Obama’s Second Term: What Would It Be About?

We all know that his first term was about deficits… almost entirely and only deficits. So would his second term, if he wins one, be all about jobs?

Calculated Risk, quoted by Paul Krugman, has this to say: (CORRECTION: Krugman and Calculated Risk are both quoting an earlier NYT article by Appelbaum and Cooper.)

A series of departures has left few economists among Mr. Obama’s senior advisers. Several of his political advisers are skeptical about the merits of stimulus spending, and they are certain about the politics: voters do not like it.

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.

I am not surprised, but I am aghast. How could Obama not “pivot” to focus on jobs, having done damned nearly nothing about soaring unemployment in his first term? Krugman is dumbfounded, too; here’s his reaction:

Plouffe and Daley, macroeconomic theorists! (And no, that’s not rank-pulling; it’s not about credentials, it’s whether these men have actually put in the kind of homework that would qualify them to oppose what amounts to standard textbook macro).

Krugman, admittedly not a political expert, then argues how such a position is not only disastrously faulty economics but also bad politics. I believe he is right: with a tenth of the normally working population out of work, ignoring jobs can only be the politics of assured catastrophe. What foolishness!

Welcome to the all-politics-all-the-time White House. I agree with those who say that any Republican presidential candidate mentioned to date would be worse… but not much worse. Which would I rather have, a) a faux-Republican president, or b) a real Republican president? I choose c) neither of the above. If I cannot find a suitable third-party candidate to “waste” my vote on, I shall simply not vote in the presidential race. And if the winner of the Iowa straw poll becomes our president, I’ll pack up and leave. Fuck it all!

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  • jams o donnell  On Monday August 15, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Id Bachman wins I would suggest you brush up on your Canadian.

    Repeat after me… aboot, poutine, Oh Canada!

    • Steve  On Tuesday August 16, 2011 at 9:43 am

      jams, if Bachmann wins, Canada will not be far enough away for me. Do you have a spare room? 😆

  • MandT  On Monday August 15, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    If Perry wins, I’ll volunteer to decorate the new camps for extra crackers.

    • Steve  On Tuesday August 16, 2011 at 9:41 am

      MandT, if Perry wins, “extra crackers” may be what you stand on the street begging for! 🙂

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