Walter Rhett

Dispatches from the Economic Front

In National Affairs on October 16, 2010 at 3:02 pm

So far, Obama and his advisors have jettisoned the serious political tasks of setting an economic policy that will stimulate job growth. Like the dispatches of Union generals during the Civil War, they seem more interested in establishing intermediate points where victory can be declared, decisions defended (as was done with the first stimulus), egos and fears satisfied with nominal risks and a proper public face.

Those in economic policy positions in the White House, have become timid and have conceded power to the advisors whose specialty is the photo op. But cross-country photo ops don’t create jobs.

The new court manners ignore truth and tamp down solutions available in plain sight.

Production creates jobs, not tax cuts. As Rep. Clyburn said, how can you give a tax cut to a person without a job? Jobs cannot be created without spending to increase production. Democrats must actively fight the lie that tax cuts will save the economy. The next 10 weeks may be their last chance for years.

The Administration’s response so far? A White House “Snapshot,” a daily email feature better placed in Home and Garden. Dr. Krugman’s daily blog offers more information (graphics, data, insights, explanations, comparisons, arguments) about policy.

Obama’s political foes have the advantage of his reticence. For them—and it seems, for his administration–the vanity of glory may be more important than doing something good for the country.

Image, Source: digital file from intermediary roll film copy
Images: Industrial Boarding School Buildings, The Pullyallup Native Americans, WA, 1885. American Thread Factory, Mt. Holyoke, MA, 1909. The Library of Congress Archives.


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