Obama stimulus, deficit plans: What matters is 'marginal' job creation and 'marginal' deficit reduction
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The first place to start is letting go of the notion that “Obama tax policy” has to include Bush tax policy extended. For as Jackie Calmes also writes:Skip to next paragraph
'EconomistMom' (Diane Lim Rogers) is Chief Economist of the Concord Coalition, a non-partisan, non-profit organization which advocates for fiscal responsibility, and the mom of four (amazing) kids to whom she dedicates her work. She’s been blogging since Mother’s Day 2008.
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When George W. Bush took office in 2001, the government projected surpluses of $5.6 trillion for the coming decade.
In an analysis of what happened next, the economists Alan J. Auerbach and William G. Gale found that much of the accumulated debt owes to Bush-era policies and to the recession, with its costs in lost income taxes and automatic benefits for the unemployed. The one-time costs of stimulus and bailout measures are “really small stuff” relative to the rest, Mr. Auerbach said.
More than Mr. Obama could have imagined, the situation now tests his promise to break Washington’s gridlock and to lead in making “the hard choices.”
Steve Pearlstein also has an excellent column today about this upcoming test of the President’s leadership:
Viewed in that context, the current political disarray need not be an insurmountable problem for President Obama, but rather could represent a golden opportunity to demonstrate the leadership the country needs and craves. He will not demonstrate that leadership by running around to carefully staged events in which he tells ordinary voters what he thinks they want to hear. Nor will he demonstrate it by redoubling efforts of his PR war room to respond to every attack or piece of Republican disinformation with overwhelming rhetorical force. Rather, the real challenge is whether the president can strengthen the bond of trust between himself and the American people by having the courage to tell the hard truths and make the hard decisions, irrespective of short-term political consequences and the tut-tutting of the commentariat.
The irony is that only by doing that which may be unpopular and unpolitic can the president revive his longer-run political fortunes…
I’m hoping the fiscal commission will serve as a good “tutor” to the President on this leadership test, which is all about helping the American people accept the “hard choices” that will pay off in the longer term. It has to start with the President being willing to talk about them more. More tomorrow.
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