While Obama’s Rhetoric Soars, His Plan Comes Up Short

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My favorite economist thinks President-Elect Obama’s proposed economic stimulus plan is insufficient.  Paul Krugman writes in today’s New York Times, “The economic plan he’s offering isn’t as strong as his language about the economic threat.  In fact, it falls well short of what’s needed.”  Krugman goes on to outline a series of economic reasons why the plan is inadequate, but more importantly, he asks a series of probing questions about why the plan is not stronger.

I try hard to remain politically neutral in these blog posts.  However, while Mr. Obama’s achievement remains a monumental symbol, his style of governing may prove too conciliatory in the end.  Conservatives have spent three decades promoting ideas and policies that have gotten us into this current economic crisis.  Why should they have any major role in determining how we come out of the recession?

Senate Democrats are not being shy about expressing their misgivings to the current administration.  Add in a few upset economists to stir up a disheartened citizenry, and this may spur Obama into crafting a bolder plan.  I am all for consensus building when there is common ground.  However, where is the common ground between “government is the problem” and government is the solution?

Now that over 40% of the new stimulus plan is being proposed for personal and business tax cuts, Obama hopes that he can insure passage by a wide margin in the House and Senate.  Mr. Obama, is it more important for you to establish your “bipartisan/post-partisan” bona fides, or pass a bill that will really lift America out of this crisis?

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