Obama doesn’t really believe a lack of universal health care triggered the meltdown, does he? I mean, no way. Right?
As an explanation of our current economic difficulties, this is total fantasy. As a cure for rapidly growing joblessness, a massive destruction of wealth, a deepening worldwide recession, this is perhaps the greatest non sequitur ever foisted upon the American people… At the very center of our economic near-depression is a credit bubble, a housing collapse and a systemic failure of the entire banking system. One can come up with a host of causes… The list is long. But the list of causes of the collapse of the financial system does not include the absence of universal health care, let alone of computerized medical records. Nor the absence of an industry-killing cap-and-trade carbon levy… And yet with our financial house on fire, Obama makes clear both in his speech and his budget that the essence of his presidency will be the transformation of health care, education and energy. Four months after winning the election, six weeks after his swearing in, Obama has yet to unveil a plan to deal with the banking crisis.
Bailing out AIG with another $30 billion was a pretty good way to prove that the government has no coherent plan for fixing the economy. But then having the Treasury Secretary give a press conference conclusively proving that the government has no coherent plan – that was a master stroke:
But then came the disastrous Geithner press conference, where he essentially announced the new administration did not have any better ideas on how to fix the banks. It may not have been as bad as letting Lehman go under, but claiming his press conference would contain the coherent plan financial markets were waiting on and then delivering more of the same seems to have been another turning point where things got even worse. It was similar in some respects to letting Lehman fail because it demonstrated that the government did not yet have a grip on how to handle the crisis… Markets are in free fall for many reasons, but a big one is the lack of control the government appears to have over the situation. If we don’t want to see the Dow go much lower, a change in tone and a credible coherent plan must emerge from this White House. So far, they have disappointed.
This is a genuine surprise given that Geithner got the last global financial crisis exactly backwards:
Remember when the Obama administration and its allies in Congress urged the confirmation of Tim Geithner despite his tax problems? They claimed that Geithner was “uniquely qualified” to lead the nation out of an economic collapse, and that no other candidate could possibly replace Geithner… “If anyone in the US media had thought to ask a former Australian prime minister for his assessment, they would have heard a different view. And they would not have been so surprised at Geithner’s performance since…Paul Keating gave a starkly different account of Geithner’s record in handling the Asian crisis: “Tim Geithner was the Treasury line officer who wrote the IMF [International Monetary Fund] program for Indonesia in 1997-98, which was to apply current account solutions to a capital account crisis.” In other words, Geithner fundamentally misdiagnosed the problem. And his misdiagnosis led to a dreadfully wrong prescription.
Sounds about right. It definitely seems like the kind of thinking that would embrace transferring one out of every four US dollars into government coffers as a way to boost confidence.
Some people have been suggesting that Obama is intentionally stocking an economic firestorm, the idea being that he’s of using the crisis to recreate American from the ground up. Maybe there’s a case to be made. Emanuel’s comments about “never wasting a crisis” and the White House leaks about busting the budget to pass health care justify at least a little bit of suspicion. Plus the effect is about the same: there’s no better way to create market-tanking uncertainty than via seemingly random interventions. And between
But the other argument is that Democrats seem to have no coherent plan for fixing the economy because they actually have no coherent plan for fixing the economy. Never ascribe to malice what can be accounted for by sheer ideological pigheadedness. So this disasterous cap and trade idea – that’s just “we’re going to implement our 1990′s agenda no matter what” stubbornness. And Obama’s “fits and starts” comment about the stock market – that was just rhetorical desperation. And his line about health care costs triggering more personal bankruptcies than the total number of all US bankruptcies – actually that one’s a little too silly to be accidental. That little fib was probably on purpose.
Anyway, here’s a link where Peter Schiff – the guy who predicted the financial crisis – says that the stimulus package will bring about the economic collapse of the West. Happy Monday.
References and previously after the jump…
* Deception at Core of Obama Plans [Krauthammer]
* AIG Posts $61.7 Billion Loss, Faces Grim Future
* First Bush, now Obama [Democracy In America]
* Why the Aussies could have predicted Geithner’s incompetence [Hot Air]
* Economist Peter Morici Slams Obama’s "Arrogant" $3.6 Trillion Economic Plan [Gateway Pundit]
* Politico Buries the Lede [Ace]
* Obama: You Know What The US Really Needs? A Market Intervention That Spectacularly Collapsed In Europe Last Week [MR]
* Economic savior: Eh, I don’t worry about the market’s “day to day gyrations” [Hot Air]
* Obama…Wading In It Hip Deep [Joshua Pundit]
* Peter Schiff: The stimulus will bring about economic Armageddon
* Of Course: Obama Energy Czar Carol Browner Sits On A Socialist International Commission
* WSJ: Enjoy Christmas While You Still Can
* Dems: We’ll Finance Health Care With Cigarette Tax That Will Cause People To Stop Buying Cigarettes