Grumblings surface every now and again and more frequently lately about President Obama's handling of things--and not just by those ideologically opposite him. Remember back in the waning days of the Bush Administration, when it looked like Bernanke and Paulson were making it up as they went along (IT being the response to the crisis in the financial industry)? Paul Krugman suggests that what is past may be prologue:
But among people I talk to there's a growing sense of frustration, even panic, over Mr. Obama's failure to match his words with deeds. The reality is that when it comes to dealing with the banks, the Obama administration is dithering. Policy is stuck in a holding pattern.
In his New York Times column, David Brooks' called Obama's budget a "liberal, big government" document that should make moderates nervous (many clamored in comments, essentially, IT DOES!). Senior folks in the Adminstration took umbrage and went on the defense.
Others have made statements that reflect my thoughts during the latter days of the campaign, and during that Santa Claus speech to Congress last week: WHERE IS ALL THE MONEY COMING FROM TO PAY FOR ALL THIS? It's almost as though he's started to believe his own hype. President Obama seems to be trying to do everything at once. This is a sense of urgency on steroids!
In my humble opinion, he should chill on everything else and focus on numbers like:
- 651,000 jobs that were lost last month,
- making the total unemployed 12.5 million
- 31 million now getting food stamps
- 150 billion given to AIG to no avail
- the billions given to bailout banks to no avail
- loans given to The Big Three auto companies to no avail
Dude. I'm thinking everything else can wait (okay work non-employer-based health insurance should move forward, given the steadily increasing numbers of unemployed).
Apparently even the Brits are anguishing. The Daily Telegraph's Iain Martin was on NPR today asserting that President Obama dissed Prime Minister Gordon Brown during his recent visit here -- there were not enough flags flying, there was no joint press conference, the gifts were cheesy (25 American movies on DVD, and replicas of the First Helicopter for the Brown boys) whereas the Browns' gifts to the Obamas were very well considered (a pen made from the wood of ship from the same fleet as the HMS Resolute that somehow has something to do with Obama's desk; a 7 volume biography of Winston Churchill by a renowned British writer; dresses from a highbrow London shop for the girls.)
That's just funny. >smirk<