For any who might have thought that President Obama had begun his 2012 campaign with his hostile comments before the debt ceiling deal was concluded, The New York Times asserts that Obama and his campaign only are “considering whether to adopt a more combative approach on economic issues, seeking to highlight substantive differences with Republicans in Congress.” The Times frets that “compromises” have been “elusive.”
The New York Times quotes Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), who says that “The president’s team puts a premium on being above the partisan fray, which is usually the right strategy,” even though he had several press conferences during the debt ceiling negotiations and insisted on a tax increase until the last week of negotiations.
The Times also claims that the “nonconfrontational approach…has defined this administration.” If the creation of a new healthcare entitlement without a single Republican vote, the passage of a near-$1 trillion “stimulus” legislation without a single Republican member of the House’s vote and the insistence upon a budget plan that failed without a single vote in favor, Democratic or Republican, are not confrontational, one must ask what The Times would find confrontational.
The Times cites Christina Romer, former head of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, in support of fighting “for short-term spending in combination with long-term deficit reduction.” Romer had claimed that with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, unemployment would not exceed 8 percent. Needless to say, it has. Romer asserts that “Not proposing anything bold and not trying to do something to definitively deal with our problems would mean that we’re going to have another year and a half like the last year and a half;” left unsaid is whether a $787 billion stimulus would be “bold.”
Among the initiatives that The Times claims the President’s team is proposing is the creation of yet another Federal bureaucracy:
“The administration may also merge the Department of Commerce, the Office of the United States Trade Representative and some economic divisions at the State Department into a new agency, administration officials said. Possible names include the Department of Jobs or the Department of Competitiveness.”
This plan deserves the derision shown in the British comedy program that noted that government departments are “tombstones.” When an Administration is defined by a Keynesian philosophy from which it tolerates no deviation, every hole needs the “stimulus” of a tombstone.