The New York Times had an article yesterday with the promising title White House Debates Fight on Economy. The title may be promising but the content is not.
First we get some confirmation of jkw’s post The Headline President:
Mr. Obama and his aides are skeptical that voters will reward bold proposals if those ideas do not pass Congress. It is their judgment that moderate voters want tangible results rather than speeches.
In other words, Mr. Obama will only advocate support for stuff that can pass Congress — and that includes the rather conservative House.
Next we learn that almost all the advisers who were economists have departed leaving amateurs dictating economic policy. Their specialty appears to be stupid economic policy:
Mr. Plouffe and Mr. Daley share the view that a focus on deficit reduction is an economic and political imperative, according to people who have spoken with them. Voters believe that paying down the debt will help the economy, and the White House agrees, although it wants to avoid cutting too much spending while the economy remains weak.
So instead of large job-killing spending cuts, we’ll have medium large job-killing spending cuts while unemployment hovers above 9%. Peachy!
This confirms much of what Elizabeth Drew reported in the New York Review of Books, namely that the Obama Administration has decided that winning over “centrists” is the key to winning re-election. They have also decided that centrists want to see deficit reduction.
But don’t centrists really want to see the economy improve? How will doing things that have a negative effect on the economy pull up Obama’s poll numbers?
Fellow liberals, please consider what an Obama second term would be like:
Administration officials … have concluded that the best thing Mr. Obama can do for the economy may be winning a second term, with a mandate to advance his ideas on deficit reduction, entitlement changes, housing policy and other issues.
Great! We can have medicare and social security cuts in his second term! Just what we wanted!