Tag Archives: obama

Obama Consults a “Wide Variety of Economists” – Just Not Those Who Got it Right

By William K. Black

In a PR effort that aptly illustrates his approach to governance, President Obama has revealed that he is meeting with a “wide variety of economists” to try to figure out what economic policies he should follow.  “Obama Seeks Advice From Wide Variety of Economists.”

Obama is already well into the lame duck phase of his presidency, so this is simply a PR exercise.  The message Obama wants to send is the same one he has sounded throughout his presidency.  He is open to economic views from the parts of the political spectrum that range from the hard right to the mild left.

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When Will They Ever Learn: Uncle Sam is not Robin Hood

By L. Randall Wray

Memo to Obama: Don’t tie progressive spending policy to progressive tax policy. Each can stand on its own.

Reported today in the Washington Post:

Obama proposes $600 billion in new spending to boost economy

President Obama on Tuesday unveiled an ambitious budget that promised more than $600 billion in fresh spending to boost economic growth over the next decade while also pledging to solve the nation’s borrowing problem by raising taxes on the wealthy, passing an overhaul of immigration laws and cutting health costs without compromising the quality of care. Obama seeks to raise more than $1 trillion – largely by limiting tax breaks that benefit the wealthy — to spend on building roads and bridges, early childhood education and tax credits for the poor.

Here’s the conceit: Uncle Sam is broke. He’s got a borrowing problem. He’s gone hat-in-hand to those who’s got, trying to borrow a few dimes off them. But they are ready to foreclose on his Whitehouse.

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We are all Keynesians Now – Chris Matthews Recants

By William K. Black

On January 28, 2014, Chris Matthews told a guest on “Hardball” that his sources were telling him that the Obama administration was convinced that the U.S. economy needed additional stimulus.  Matthews told his guest:  “I’m a Keynesian; you’re a Keynesian.”  They talked about the difficulties of getting Congress to provide the necessary increase in stimulus.

On November 12, 2012, I wrote a column about Chris Matthews statements on his November 9 program about Matthews’ denouncing Paul Krugman because Krugman was (like us at UMKC) calling on the administration not to adopt an austerity policy in the form of the “Grand Bargain,” which is really the Grand Betrayal of the safety net.  Here is the key passage from my column.

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Will the Chilean People Save the U.S. by Electing Michelle Bachelet?

By William K. Black

For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.  John: 3:20

The effort by corporate CEOs to dominate the global economy and global government is reaching the end-game stage.  Corporate CEOs view government and democracy as their gravest threats and are constantly seeking to discredit and hamstring government and democratic decision-making.  CEOs are particularly eager to discredit, destroy, or capture regulation and they have enlisted enormous support in both major U.S. parties and many of the world’s dominant parties for these efforts.  President Obama has continued and made worse the effort of President Bush to betray our nation, our democracy, and our people through the secret, draft Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.  In this first column on TPP I explain that while there is no realistic chance of convincing Obama to repudiate the TPP, there is a chance that the people of Chile will save our democracy and our national sovereignty.

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Obama Finally Fights GOP, Affirms a Role for Government, but Renews Threat to Shrink the US Economy

By Michael Hoexter

As the US government shutdown was still in effect and the prospect of a debt default loomed, President Obama held an extraordinary and revealing White House press briefing on October 8th in which he clarified his then position vis-à-vis the shutdown and debt ceiling.  After the shutdown was (temporarily) ended on October 17th, Obama made a fairly extensive public statement airing his views of how he sees economic policy and government’s role. While I have not followed every one of Obama’s press conferences or speeches, in both of these public appearances, Obama went into unusual detail and lengths to expand on his views of politics, government and the economy.  In addition, he marked out his most combative stance vis-à-vis the Republicans to date.  Also in his October 17th statement we had the clearest statement for a number of decades, of some of the benefits of having a government at all from a top American political leader.

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Assad Reveals He’s a Bank CEO: Obama Ends Threats, Bails Out Syria & Grants Immunity

By William K. Black

I do not think the twin epidemics of mortgage loan origination fraud (appraisal and “liar’s” loans) and the various epidemics of post-origination fraud by financial institutions are comparable crimes to the use of chemical weapons.  The President’s job, however, is to deter a wide range of criminal conduct.  The elite fraud epidemics cost over $11 trillion in losses to households alone and 10 million American jobs.  The cost of these fraud epidemics is so vast that deterring future epidemics should be a high priority of every administration.  The refusal of the Obama and Bush administrations to prosecute any elite banker whose actions contributed to the crisis has done the opposite of deterring future fraud epidemics – it has encouraged them.

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“Nobody in Europe” sees a “contradiction” between austerity and growth

By William K. Black

The two most revealing sentences about the gratuitous Eurozone disaster – the creation of the deepening über-Depression – was reported today.  The context (rich in irony as I will explain) is that U.S. Treasury Secretary Lew spent his Spring Break in Europe meeting with his counterparts.  The Wall Street Journal’s article’s title explains Lew’s mission and its failure: “U.S. Anti-Austerity Push Gets Cool Reception in Europe.”  Here are the sentences that capture so well why Germany’s destructive economic policies caused the über-Depression:  “Nobody in Europe sees this contradiction between fiscal policy consolidation and growth,” said Mr. Schäuble. “We have a growth-friendly process of consolidation.” Continue reading

Slate Agrees that Obama’s Vanity Drives the Grand Betrayal – and Praises the Betrayal

By William K. Black

Slate’s John Dickerson leads its (and CBS’) political reportage so his specialty is in examining what is actually driving politicians’ policies and their efforts to “spin” those policies.  Dickerson authored an article entitled “Why Obama’s Outreach to Republicans is All About Obama” (March 12, 2013).   

Dickerson’s theme is one I have long emphasized:  Obama is driven by concerns for his “legacy.”  In more human terms, he is intensely vain about how history will perceive him.  That is common, particularly in politicians’ final terms, and it can be a positive influence on policy.  Dickerson also agrees with my warnings that Obama sees inflicting the “Grand Bargain” on the Nation as his means of achieving his legacy.  Here is Dickerson’s introduction to his article. Continue reading

Why Obama Refuses to Kill the Sequester

By William K. Black
(Cross posted at Benzinga.com)

We are in the midst of the blame game about the “Sequester.”  I wrote last year about the fact that President Obama had twice blocked Republican efforts to remove the Sequester.  President Obama went so far as to issue a veto threat to block the second effort.  I found contemporaneous reportage on the President’s efforts to preserve the Sequester – and the articles were not critical of those efforts.  I found no contemporaneous rebuttal by the administration of these reports.

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Some One Penny Bets

By James Stuart

This post is not about the TDC, although I am a big fan. This is about putting into the MMT conversation a different point of view about Obama. Most MMTers seem to think that the President is a Trojan Horse – attractive on the outside; dangerous, even lethal on the inside. I have a different perspective. What I often do now, when I disagree with someone, instead of arguing, I make one penny bets. The bets need to be about something definite and measurable. If I win, my position on the issue may not be proven, but it is at least partially vindicated.

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