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How Obama Blew a Big Debt Deal – Rick Newman (usnews.com)

July 21, 2011

How Obama Blew a Big Debt Deal – Rick Newman (usnews.com).

And please note, the author of this US News report sounds like he’s solidly sympathetic to Obama’s plight, but at the same time not so solidly partisan as not to call him on his failures, declining to search for deeply nuanced excuses for said failures…

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One Comment
  1. Michael Eaton permalink
    July 21, 2011 3:52 pm

    The guy is very weak in this article. Let me explain why:

    “He clearly didn’t anticipate the showdown”

    Bull. Months ago (after doing the tax breaks for unemployment insurance deal) Obama talked about how the debt ceiling would be the next big challenge, and here it is. He DID NOT anticipate how strong the stupid would be on the Tea Party Freshman side, but I am not sure anyone could anticipate THAT level of stupid.

    “He passed a huge stimulus bill with no plan to pay for it.”

    This is a purely idiot statement. No, he didn’t program in specific payment options (tax increases, spending cuts). That would have been idiotic because there was no telling the extent or length of the recovery. They should have planned, a what, 5 year timeline? Come on, Rick? 6 years? 2 years? The point is no one could predict the length of the recovery to the point where spending cuts or tax increases (since 1/3 of the stimulus was tax cuts anyway) would pay back the stimulus.

    “breathless lawmakers hastily approving Obama’s stimulus measures with little thought of the ramifications.”

    Where does everyone get the 20/300 hindsight?? Apparently they forgot the economy teetering on the cliff. It was not that they were rushing o do anything, it is that the economy and stock market needed a boost, and by all (non-partisan) measures, they got it.

    “That stimulus plan has turned into a major liability for Obama, partly because it didn’t do enough to fix the economy… but if Obama had included a payback plan in 2009”

    What a dumb statement. If Obama had put in a “plan for payback”, we would have slid back into a recession, because, as it turns out, 2009 was too shallow of a glide-path.

    “This matters today because some economists feel we need even more stimulus spending”

    Try “most”.

    “He failed to tackle costs in his healthcare reform plan.”

    What?? The Affordable Care Act reduces costs by about $140 billion in ten years (as mentioned), but what would doing nothing have cut costs by? ZERO, which is what the GOP wanted. Additionally, the plan that came out of the process: ACA was NOT Obama’s plan, which is why the misnomer “Obamacare” is so stupid.

    “Obama chose to focus on expanded coverage”

    Yes, because that was not only a source of large costs (uninsured having no option but expensive late-term emergency care), but it was the human thing to do.

    “He extended the Bush tax cuts with no worries about the debt…there was virtually no mention of the debt at the time.”

    This is asinine! Obama must have mentioned debt and Bush tax cut for the rich extension about half a million times. He pushed as far as he could go, but the GOP would never let the top 2% tax cuts go, no matter what the cost to the debt, no matter that they were holding 13 months of unemployment help to the long-term unemployed. The people who didn’t care about the debt was the GOP, who don’t believe that tax cuts have anything to do with debt.

    I see that this writer usually works on defense and national security. That is good because his fiscal analysis is so weak as to be useless.

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