Tag Archives: obama

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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Obama’s OMB Channels its Inner Tea Party

By William K. Black

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is every administration’s heavy artillery on budget issues.  OMB’s staff is dominated by neo-liberal micro-economists under every administration, so it is institutionally conservative.  OMB personnel obtain promotions by killing programs, cutting spending, and either blocking the adoption of regulations or weakening the regulations.  OMB is institutionally predisposed to embrace austerity.  OMB is also expected to be a zealous advocate for the President. Continue reading

Obama should listen to Obama about avoiding Self-Inflicted Wounds

By William K. Black

On Friday, December 21, 2012, President Obama announced:

“‘As of today I am still ready and willing to get a comprehensive package done,’ Obama said, specifically urging lawmakers to craft a deal that would protect middle-class Americans from a tax hike set to be implemented if no deal is met.

Obama said he spoke with GOP House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) Friday, asking the congressional leaders to come up with a smaller fiscal package in the next 10 days.

‘Now is not the time for more self-inflicted wounds, certainly not coming from Washington,’ Obama said.”

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Fueled by Deficit Hysteria, Obama and the Republicans Are Choosing the Path of “Economicide”

By Michael Hoexter

In the “fiscal cliff” negotiations and the subsequent debt limit talks between Obama and the Republican leadership of the House of Representatives, it appears that there will be no “good guys” because the talks and policy framework within which they are operating are at odds with the welfare of the American people.  Set up by a series of interactions over the last four years between Obama and his nominal opponents in the Republican Party, the framework of the negotiations ignores the way that the US government finances itself as well as the only known economic policy orientation which will allow our economy to thrive; the proposed policies and negotiations have been to date economically illiterate.  The biggest losers in these talks if they “succeed” according to the self-evaluations of the Republican and Democratic leaderships will be the American people and politically the Democrats who go along with a framework that demands cuts in federal budget deficits at all costs.  Continue reading

Obama and Boehner’s Grand Bargain: Gullible Democrats are Falling for the Ol’ “Good Cop, Bad Cop” Routine

By Michael Hoexter

Generally political analyses of the last four years suffer from two main faults:  they either describe an almost undifferentiated environment of complete political corruption or they pinpoint a single main source of our political downfall and attribute most “evil” to that source.  Both of these approaches can at times illuminate but ultimately they leave activists and citizens with prescriptions for a campaign of either unimaginative partisanship or ultimately exhausting efforts to joust at every powerful actor and institution on the political scene.  In other words, we are often left with either on the one hand “they’re all evil” and on the other “evil emanates mostly from this person/institution/party”. Continue reading

The Economic Consequences of Mr. Obama

By  Fadhel Kaboub

When British economist and public intellectual John Maynard Keynes wrote his famous essay entitled “The Economic Consequences of Mr. Churchill” in 1925, the British economy was still suffering the consequences of WWI, and was slowly sliding into the worst economic depression in world history. Today, as the Great Recession continues to devastate millions of people’s lives in the United States, Americans will decide in a matter of days whether they want Mr. Obama to continue on as President for another four-year term, or elect Governor Romney to replace him in the White House. As an economist who is committed to social justice, I would like to offer a brief assessment of President Obama’s economic policies during his first term, and speculate on the likely direction that the U.S. will take under a second term Obama administration versus a possible Romney White House.

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Public Briefing: Erskine Bowles Determined to Reduce Private Sector Income, Stifle US Economy – Pt. 1

By  Michael Hoexter

The electoral competition between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney seems to be largely over and barring an “October Surprise” for Mr. Obama, the attention now shifts to how he and the newly elected Congress will manage the US federal government.  The composition of that Congress matters somewhat though there is surprising unity between the two major parties on the goal of neutering the federal government’s ability to help state governments and the larger economy through pro-active fiscal policy.  Mr. Obama’s listless first debate performance has added suspense but so many factors seem to be now weighing in his favor that it would require substantial efforts at self-sabotage or a sharp pre-election slump in the economy for Mr. Obama to lose.  Recent favorable job numbers suggest that the latter will not happen and the former is up to Mr. Obama and his own determination to be President for a second term or not.

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The Vampire Squid has feelings and Obama is no longer her BFF

By William K. Black

Matt Taibbi famously dubbed Goldman “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.” Taibbi knew his metaphor worked a deep injustice on Vampyroteuthis infernalis, a small animal that feeds on carrion and excrement (I will let the reader explore the metaphorical possibilities).    Goldman Sachs’ leaders were always secretly flattered by Taibbi’s metaphor.  They like being thought of as hyper-aggressive and intimidating.  Saying that an investment banker’s goal is to make money is to state the obvious and causes no embarrassment. Continue reading

The Peril of Obama’s “Man Crush” on Geithner is exposed by the Debate

By William K. Black

FDR transformed the nation when he was confronted with the Great Depression and World War II.  He famously welcomed the hate of the banksters.  President Obama wanted the love (and the contributions) of the banksters.  He chose Timothy Geithner to be his pipeline to the banksters because Geithner shared Obama’s lack of passion for holding the banksters accountable for their frauds that drove the ongoing crisis.  We have known the core of these sad facts for years, for they were revealed (irony of ironies) in a May 22, 2010 article whose theme was that we had all done Geithner and Obama a terrible injustice by criticizing them for their servile approach to the banks.  The key facts that the article disclosed can be summarized in a sentence:  Obama developed a “man crush” on Geithner and decided to follow Geithner’s policies to bail out the banksters rather than hold them accountable for the frauds that made them wealthy and caused the Great Recession.  Obama’s “man crush” is particularly odd given the fact that Geithner is a Republican who, as a fig leaf, became an independent.

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Romney takes his Political Inspiration from Europe’s Worst Mistakes

By William K. Black

One of Governor Romney’s criticisms of President Obama is that he “takes his political inspiration from Europe….”

Romney never gives specifics on this criticism.  The irony is that Romney (and Representative Ryan) “takes his political inspiration from Europe” and that the European policies they embrace have already proven disastrous in Europe.  Here are five examples: Continue reading