Sunday, May 24, 2009

To The Victor Goes The Spoiled

When does Obama "own" this economy? At what point does the public blame him for both old and new problems? I have my own opinion based partly on historical precedent. But I'd like to hear yours.


Anonymous Bill in SoCal said...

Depends on your definition of public. If you mean "public" opinion as in normal Americans, he probably has until Christmas. The kid needs the G.I. Joe with the kung fu grip and dad can't produce. If you mean "pundit" opinion as in what the great thinkers believe, he's screwed. Since he's a democrat, he owned it Jan. 21 . World Trade attack 1 happened Feb '93 and was Clinton's fault. World Trade attack 2 happened in Sept '01 and was ....

Clinton's fault

5/24/2009 6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't Obama already to blame for all ills? The last Democratic President was too long ago (and Clinton was more of a Republican but that's another story...) and the Party of Responsibility is NEVER responsible for anything bad, so of course it's Obama's fault.


5/24/2009 6:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some on the right started blaming him for everything five minutes after he took office. Some on the left will always blame Bush for creating the disaster he inherited and excuse every mistake he made trying to fix the mess, it's not like he inherited the economy and budget surplus Bush did. At some point in the next few years they're going to run out of fancy schemes to avoid recognising the trillions in losses in the system and then everything they've told us about stress tests and fixing the system might not look so accurate. Probably the average independentish American starts getting upset with Obama around then.

Dick Dastardly.

5/24/2009 10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Based on the emails I've been receiving, Obama owned this mess back in November.

The fact this question exists is part of the reason we're in this crisis in the first place.

Clinton and Bush 43 learned from what happened to Carter (and to a certain extent to Bush 41), and so they "managing quarterly expectations".

That's also why we have massive long term debt financed on revolving line of credit: 1% cost of funds sounds much better than 4%.

If you think about it you could come up with 10 other examples off the top of your head.

5/24/2009 11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This "economy" has been in the making since the 80's. It ain't going to get fixed for a very long time.

Obama got something that was extremely broken. As a leader, he already is owning the situation because you can't fix what you don't acknowledge.

When do you think Wall Street will own up to what they have done to our economy, and Nation?John Bogle wrote another good book, "Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life". He takes the financial industry to task for it's gross excesses, Nation crippling abuses, and being an ever increasing intermediary cost without adding the appropriate value.

5/25/2009 1:15 AM  
Blogger Dad29 said...

6 months--roughly the "Christmas" deadline of Bill/SoCal.

5/25/2009 11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the leeway he gets (or doesn't get) is problem-specific.

5/25/2009 12:45 PM  
Anonymous RW said...

What Anon 12:45 said: In general blame will be problem-specific until some critical mass is reached and then it will spread from the political middle, not the ends; i.e., among some groups blame was assigned the instant Obama ran for office, among others blame will never be assigned; both these poles have much to say but nothing to add.

5/25/2009 12:57 PM  
Blogger DrDave said...

I think most Americans give him 9 - 15 months. He might get a little more latitude because he spends a lot of time talking to the public which demonstrates (1)that he understands what is going on and wants the public to understand, too, and (2)that he is intellectually engaged with the process of problem solving.

OTOH, to the FoxNews/Rush set, he took ownership last November 5.

5/25/2009 1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Which precedent is the most relevant? Reagan?

5/25/2009 1:20 PM  
Anonymous Thomas Daulton said...

My disjointed thoughts: Obama has basically taken ownership of one stimulus bill, another on the way, and the $12-Trillion "bailout". When those plans are implemented and are seen to fail to bring us back to the carefree days of Clinton or Reagan (depending on your preference), he will indelibly own the economic mess in the eyes of the public. "We gave him his chance."

I suspect a lot of people on this blog agree with me that the failure of those plans is pretty much inevitable, (also that the problems were created during Reagan, Bush I & II, and definitely Clinton, so bringing us back to those times is a fool's errand). And furthermore that the Obama Administration will massage, censor, and falsify economic statistics in order to avoid the perception of failure, so get ready for a blizzard of political spin even more severe than we saw under Bush II, and that's really saying something. However all the political spin in the world isn't going to help the man-on-the-street find a job and pay his debts, so ultimately those efforts are doomed and the general public really will catch on this time. Obama will own the mess. The Christmas deadline sounds reasonable: it'll take that long for various stimuli/bailouts to be passed, implemented, and failed.

All that being said, I agree with other commenters that American economic history is not necessarily written by the winners, but by Republicans and their big-business interests. For example, when you think of the sweeping stock market instability during December of 2000, many of us inwardly attribute it to Al Gore's dispute of the election, don't you -- the Limbaugh/Hannity line -- rather than the dot-com crash, which according to this model was building steam from September to October 2000, took a one-month hiatus, and then hit with full force in January of 2001.

It's similar to Tom Tomorrow's recent comic: because Republicans tend to represent big business interests, and big business interests control the media, the Republican version of history is more likely (not certain, but much more likely) to be recorded as history, no matter how nonsensical it is.

5/25/2009 3:15 PM  
Anonymous KAIMU said...


Every day his name is on the US TREASURY DAILY STATEMENT, which means every day his name is on the DEBT! ITS ALL HIS ...

I do not understand the mentality? The first day George Bush took office was the first day he was in charge. Really it is no different than any President or any other person who starts a new job. Your job starts the day you start! Or has everyone forgotten that these guys work for us? I know they forgot it ...

Once again the only thing these guys are "experts" at is "getting elected"!

5/25/2009 10:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I observe a growing understanding among the average people I know (and I count myself among them) that there will be no return to the spectacular "growth" and seemingly endless opportunities of the past twenty-five years or so. That, in fact, there is something to be said for the "new normal," which is that the uncertainty we are all experiencing to one degree or another will be with us for quite some time, and will probably wax and wane, however slightly, for the foreseeable future.

I don't believe we should expect to see a repeat of past tendencies to blame the president for these circumstances. During times of genuine crisis, Americans are extraordinarily forgiving toward their leaders. Of course, we will be encouraged to take our frustrations out on Obama by the endless chorus of shouting faces on television and radio, but at the end of the day I believe most people see this as a symptom of the same disease that got us here in the first place. Americans tend to rally around a president who they perceive as honest, sympathetic, and hard working, especially when he faces seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

Soon, the severity of our situation will become evident to nearly everyone who has a pulse, and then Americans will more or less attempt to make the best of a bad situation. That is, after all, what we do best.

5/26/2009 2:59 PM  
Anonymous Cheryl said...

It took the GOP 8 years to make this mess--I'll give Obama at least that long to clean it up.

5/26/2009 4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 2:59: agree on the "new normal." In that respect, Obama's criticism of past policy and its boom/bust effects will serve him well.

5/26/2009 4:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Throw away historical precedent on this one. I say the economic issue never gets pinned on him, at least for the 51% it takes to win in 2012. The right wing will try, but he's got a teflon coating on this one.

If it all crumbles around us, he still gets credit for trying to clean up a mess not made on his watch. If if gets better, he gets credit for fixing it.

It helps him even more that the R's are intellectually bankrupt on this issue, with no alternative plan.

5/26/2009 6:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also agree with Anon 2:59 on the "new normal." All this fingerpointing will not help us one bit. We all have to become more realistic and start doing the right things.

5/26/2009 8:02 PM  
Anonymous am4 said...

I was a reluctant Obama supporter in the primaries and a volunteer and contributor in the general election. I know CR's question was about when the PUBLIC would hold Obama responsible for the economy, but I'm concerned by some of the comments here that suggest perhaps Obama should never be held responsible for the economy. Certainly the GOP is largely responsible for the mess of the last 8 (or 25 years)--with major supporting roles played by Clinton, Summers, Rubin, Schumer and other mindless or Wall Street-owned Democrats. And it will take some time to change this very corrupt system. But Obama, Geithner and Summers could very well be making a bad situation, much, much worse by continuing to reward the incompetent and corrupt and punishing the law-abiding and frugal. My fear the US has become a banana republic is far greater now than it was 6 months ago. Obama must be held accountable for his decisions if they delay a recovery or push American further into kleptocracy.

5/26/2009 10:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

am4: Yes, in focusing on the faults of the previous admin, Obama supporters could be contributing to the same lack of accountability that got us here. Which brings us to the question of what is the right/appropriate time for Obama to start to be held responsible?

5/26/2009 11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course the correct answer is: Obama owns this staggering economy beginning on the day that the correct solution executed by him would have begun to get it back on its feet.

Personally, I feel it became Obama's the day he continued the bailout strategy.

With politics being what it is, there probably won't be public agreement on when it became his until some 20 years from now.

5/27/2009 1:00 AM  
Anonymous KAIMU said...


One man aside ... Can we all agree that it was the US CONgress which voted on the bills and spent the money? Was it all DEMS or all REPS that controlled the US CONgress the past 8 or 25 years or 50 years?

So far nobody has looked in the mirror to blame the real culprit! Is voting for PROMISES really the best we can do? Every politician is an "expert" at only one thing! GETTING ELECTED! Hasn't it occured to anyone yet that they might LIE to get elected?

5/27/2009 5:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't it just nice that WE are never to blame?

You can play all the partisan games you want but nothing changes the fact that "our" representatives, in doing their sponsors bidding, got us here - while we looked on and cheered them on as they sold their souls to the highest bidder collecting campaign contributions.

We are responsible for this, and blame Bush if you want, and blame Obama if that makes you feel better, but nothing changes the fact that we're screwed just the same and it's all our fault.


6/01/2009 7:38 AM  
Blogger Publisher said...

2012 of course

6/04/2009 2:41 AM  
Anonymous Buy modafinil said...

I can approximately it's a good aim ever since general practicioners advise buy modalert also buy provigil in place of lengthy characterize application.

7/12/2011 5:37 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home