Monday, November 24, 2008

Caution, Disdain and Hope

As the first democratically elected President of the United States this century prepares to assume his Challenge, those who must assist and implement his strategies are coming to their places.

One of the reasons I preferred Barack Obama to Hillary Clinton is that the former's Economic understanding was supported by one Robert Reich, where as the latter's had the backing of a man who, in my eclectically formed opinion, was a part of the problem; Robert Rubin. As times have changed and Mr. Rubin's fetish for deregulation has proven, at the very least, too laissez faire for reality's health, evolution is being embraced over revolution, and comprehension is dawning in the minds of those who would establish a Financial System based still on the idea of Growth, yet not without fetters on those whose grasp of it might give them Dominion to the detriment of all.

Yah. I do so love to fancy m'self poetic.

The point is, as the NYTimes* puts it;
(T)imes have changed since (the Clinton era). On Wall Street, Mr. Rubin is facing questions about his role as director of Citigroup given the bank’s current woes. And in Washington, he and his acolytes are calling for a new formulation to address the global economic crisis that Mr. Obama will inherit — and rejecting or setting aside, for now, some of their old orthodoxies.

Instead of deregulation, Mr. Obama has sworn to usher in a period of re-regulation, to avoid the freewheeling risks that Citigroup and the rest of the financial industry undertook after Mr. Rubin, with Mr. Summers, helped tear down the regulatory walls between banks, brokerages and insurance companies, and freed them to trade in unregulated and little-understood derivatives worth trillions of dollars. Mr. Geithner spent his first years as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York seeking ways to at least monitor those markets better.

Instead of balancing budgets, the Obama team will be going deeper into debt for at least two years by spending hundreds of billions of dollars more to stimulate the economy, without concern for deficits, for aid to the jobless, states and cities; tax cuts for workers; and job-creating construction of roads, schools and other public works. Nor, given the downturn, is Mr. Obama expected to try to quickly bring in more revenue by repealing the Bush tax cuts for those making more than $250,000.

[We gotsta works with what we got]

A rational Tax Code means one that honors current expectations and expedients. Repealing those cuts immediately would not only dampen an already recessing economy, they'd damage much of the trust the upper middle class has put into President-elect Obama's upcoming administration, and rattle the wounded Republican party's Congressional membership more so than their mere reduction in numbers on the Hill has already. Politics is still gaining advantage over one's opponents, but, as a man who ran on a platform of Uniting the citizenry of his nation, Obama has to be both Liberal and pragmatic.

As long as that pragmatism doesn't prevent him from enacting Change we really, honestly, empirically and unquestionably do need.

Of course, we can't forget that the Health Care Industrial complex and how to support Israel without obliterating Palestine are two more biggies on any Administration's To Do List. That's just another reason for Mr. Obama to recall his Uniter theme as his Challenge commences.


* Funny, but for some reason I thought I was reading WaPo online, instead of the Times.

2 comments:

  1. Jesus, this poor guy is coming into office at a rotten time! I hope he's as smart and centered as he seems, or it may be all over for the United States.

    I liked his speech this morning (11/24). He wants to help the middle class. The current administration just wants to support the banks and CEO's, pouring the last available money into the top of the system. I have to hand it to them: they have timed it just right, stealing almost everything and getting out of town just as the shit is coming down.

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  2. That's the total, unadulterated Modus Operandi of George Dubya Bush. Pillage and Run.

    Freakin' crazy, but I hope this fall means that campaign slogan; Change We Can Use!

    {sigh}

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