The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Obamanomics: Failure Is The New Success

Posted on | June 30, 2010 | 20 Comments

by Smitty

Heritage has a piece entitled: ‘Why Obamanomics Has Failed – Annotated’. Questions beginning with ‘Why’ being quite a Smitty-magnet, let’s see what these esteemed think-tankers are swimming in.
They pick up with Meltzer at the WSJ: ‘Why Obamanomics Has Failed’. RTWT, but I’ll summarize here.

. . .they want new stimulus measures—which is convincing evidence that they too recognize that the earlier measures failed.
. . .
Two overarching reasons explain the failure of Obamanomics.
First, administration economists and their outside supporters neglected the longer-term costs and consequences of their actions.
Second, the administration and Congress have through their deeds and words heightened uncertainty about the economic future. High uncertainty is the enemy of investment and growth.
. . .
Most of the earlier spending was a very short-term response to long-term problems.
. . .
Another large part of the stimulus went to relieve state and local governments of their budget deficits.
. . .
The Obama economic team ignored past history.
. . .
Another defect of Obamanomics was that part of the increased spending authorized by the 2009 stimulus bill was held back.
. . .
Other aspects of the Obama economic program are equally problematic. The auto bailouts ran roughshod over the rule of law.

The value added by the Heritage post is the thorough annotation of the points I’ve cribbed above.
These are some of the tactical aspects of the failure, as President Vuvuzela cruised his domain, popping up in Racine, Wisconsin today (h/t Gateway Pundit)

Meanwhile, the political wrecking ball swings on, as the House approved the Wall Street overhaul legislation, again, emphasis mine:

The House of Representatives passed a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s financial system Wednesday setting the stage for a final vote in the Senate where votes for the far-reaching bill remained in flux.
The party-line vote, 237-192, came after Democrats backed down from a $19 billion tax of major banks and hedge funds in hopes of securing Senate Republican votes.
President Barack Obama says House passage of a massive overhaul of financial regulations is a victory for everyone who was hurt by what he is calling Wall Street “recklessness and irresponsibility” that caused the financial meltdown and millions of job losses.
“Never again, never again should Wall Street greed bring such suffering to our country,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., declared.

Now, I don’t think Steny quite as big as tool as Gentleman Jim Moran, but a crescent wrench is as good as a socket set when you’re getting nailed.
All of this farce and theater, again, is purely tactical. None of it bespeaks the entitlement worm gnawing the heart out of the budget. If you want some real doom and gloom, check out Perot Charts. Gore, un-elected, went toys-in-the-attic. Ross just hoists an analytic middle finger at everyone.
I, for one, like this chart that shows the cancer of mandatory spending (entitlements) as an increasingly fat chicken we just keep on pluckin':

Megan McArdle bemoans that there is ‘No Easy Way to Fix Social Security’.

I confess, I fail to see the liberal romance with Social Security. I don’t mean the notion of making sure that old people don’t go hungry. I mean an attachment to Social Security in its current form so strong that it interprets any change in benefit levels as tantamount to implementing an ice floe strategy. The program was implemented in 1935. What are the odds that its structure and retirement age are suitable for the current era?
I am strongly in favor of generous progressive programs to care for the indigent and disabled. But surely it’s at least arguable that there are better ways to provide for most peoples’ old age than a massive government-run system whose PAYGO structure would be criminal fraud if it had been implemented by a private firm? I mean, I understand the arguments that “a program for the poor is a poor program.” I don’t agree with them, but I understand them, and I think the worries are legitimate. But so is the conservative argument that we can’t make everything a universal entitlement in order to make sure that the poor get a little bit of the action.

The conceptual problem, Megan, is that social programs are not a Federal task. Progressive sodomization of the 9th and 10th Amendments, which we can perhaps admire from the academic vantage of the question “How would you, over time, trick the US Constitution into eating itself?”, has wrought a level of debt that is difficult to conceptualize.
Do debt and entitlements make it such that even Paul Ryan’s Roadmap is an exercise in wishful thinking?
Smitty’s Laundry List, while not detailed, includes the following:

  1. Blow this Keynesian taco stand STAT, like, in four months.
  2. Continue to educate Tea Parties. For all the impatience in the blogs with the GOP of late, we’re all talk until we are shaping opinion for the 2016 election. The memory of Perot voters being subsumed into the 1994 Republican Revolution must be put to bed before the party heads will pay attention. Sorry, Riehl. While I enjoy blogging, there are things I’d rather do, like harass the wife. But I have to do this, because the government is untrustworthy.
  3. Shape the Tea Parties into an educated movement that is willing to support budgetary courage. When leadership comes along that has the fortitude to make hard policy, that leadership will require backup. You want something other than President Vuvuzela? You’re going to have to support cutting entitlements and having your state governor make up the difference from wallets nearer to home.

In summary, Obamanomics is based upon a theoretical foundation of failure. However, a proper theoretical foundation will, initially, look as bad or worse. We The People have to knuckle down and support that theoretically successful approach.

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Comments

  • David R. Graham

    Why is it that “pundits,” “journalists” or “opinion makers” are considered qualified to pronounce on anything, their writings deserving of attention?

    The same question could be asked of nearly all “professors.”

    Standards of qualification and deservedness are low and often, as with the so-called POTUS, non-existent, or at least secret.

    So why is this allowed, why does it happen? How can any good result be expected from “elections” so low in standards of deservedness?

    Absent deservedness, what chance has life in the furnace of history?

  • David R. Graham

    Why is it that “pundits,” “journalists” or “opinion makers” are considered qualified to pronounce on anything, their writings deserving of attention?

    The same question could be asked of nearly all “professors.”

    Standards of qualification and deservedness are low and often, as with the so-called POTUS, non-existent, or at least secret.

    So why is this allowed, why does it happen? How can any good result be expected from “elections” so low in standards of deservedness?

    Absent deservedness, what chance has life in the furnace of history?

  • Estragon

    “Nothing is impossible to the man who doesn’t have to do it.”

    .

    Eliminating Social Security is a great subject for a White Paper at Cato, or over a few microbrews and finger food at the local brew pub, or a blog post. As a serious policy proposal it’s just as big a joke as Al Gore’s Social Security “lock box” was. It just ignores reality altogether.

    For example, remember when George Bush decided to spend his political capital after reelection on a minor reform system which would have allowed voluntary investment of part of worker contributions into equity funds? It wasn’t even mandatory, and guaranteed anyone who wanted to stay in the old system could do so forever. And yet, he was demonized, vilified, and so weakened from it that his Presidency could barely affect policy anywhere but Iraq, especially after 2006 midterms.

    Well, the average age of Americans and of voters isn’t getting any younger. You can’t find a dozen elected members of Congress who will speak freely of any SS reform now. It’s political suicide.

    If you want to kill off the Tea Party movement quickly, have them embrace this. Wait until they get home and Grandma says, “I saw you on TV – what do you want, me to eat dog food? Should I just die and be no more trouble to you?”

  • Estragon

    “Nothing is impossible to the man who doesn’t have to do it.”

    .

    Eliminating Social Security is a great subject for a White Paper at Cato, or over a few microbrews and finger food at the local brew pub, or a blog post. As a serious policy proposal it’s just as big a joke as Al Gore’s Social Security “lock box” was. It just ignores reality altogether.

    For example, remember when George Bush decided to spend his political capital after reelection on a minor reform system which would have allowed voluntary investment of part of worker contributions into equity funds? It wasn’t even mandatory, and guaranteed anyone who wanted to stay in the old system could do so forever. And yet, he was demonized, vilified, and so weakened from it that his Presidency could barely affect policy anywhere but Iraq, especially after 2006 midterms.

    Well, the average age of Americans and of voters isn’t getting any younger. You can’t find a dozen elected members of Congress who will speak freely of any SS reform now. It’s political suicide.

    If you want to kill off the Tea Party movement quickly, have them embrace this. Wait until they get home and Grandma says, “I saw you on TV – what do you want, me to eat dog food? Should I just die and be no more trouble to you?”

  • Joe
  • Joe
  • Joe
  • Joe
  • Estragon

    The more direct question of “why” Obamanomics is a failure is that it is nothing more than a resurrection of policies which have repeatedly been tried and failed in multiple instances. They have never delivered, yet the Left’s eternal answer is to simply throw more money at the problems. Now they’ve progressed from throwing billions and tens of billions and hundreds of billions to throwing trillions.

    Some just never learn.

  • Estragon

    The more direct question of “why” Obamanomics is a failure is that it is nothing more than a resurrection of policies which have repeatedly been tried and failed in multiple instances. They have never delivered, yet the Left’s eternal answer is to simply throw more money at the problems. Now they’ve progressed from throwing billions and tens of billions and hundreds of billions to throwing trillions.

    Some just never learn.

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  • http://www.pugsofwar.blogspot.com BlogDog

    “overhall” ???

  • http://www.pugsofwar.blogspot.com BlogDog

    “overhall” ???

  • http://theothermccain.com smitty

    @BlueDog,
    Thanks. The NyQuill was working well.

  • http://theothermccain.com smitty

    @BlueDog,
    Thanks. The NyQuill was working well.

  • http://www.pugsofwar.blogspot.com BlogDog

    That’s BlogDog, sir. I ain’t no Blue nothin!

  • http://www.pugsofwar.blogspot.com BlogDog

    That’s BlogDog, sir. I ain’t no Blue nothin!

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  • Estragon

    @BlogDog ~ it seems the Nyquil is still working well . . . they say if you add club soda and half a roofie it gives a cool buzz (you know how these Libertarians are).

  • Estragon

    @BlogDog ~ it seems the Nyquil is still working well . . . they say if you add club soda and half a roofie it gives a cool buzz (you know how these Libertarians are).