There Is No Plan

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Posts Tagged ‘Budget

Enough With the Accountability Mr O.

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accountability, shmaccountability. just make the damn plan work already

accountability, shmaccountability. just make the damn plan work already

I’m a huge fan of accountability, I think it’s great. But government is a big place. The idea of opening up all government business to accessible public scrutiny adds little value. It will only create confusion. Sifting through and understanding the data remains the key, and guess who’s going to be able to do that. The same people who knew how to access the information before it was put on recovery.gov. In short, it’s 10% useful, 10% public relations, and 80% window dressing.

Accountability to the public has its place. And that place is called democracy. Every two years we get to hold our legislators accountable and every four years the President and his party gets the same treatment. It’s not a great system but it kind of works.  The dirty little secret is this. Too much ‘demos’ in democracy is not necessarily a good thing. In fact, in these perilous times when leadership has never been more important, it might actually spell disaster at precisely the wrong moment in our history.

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Written by coolrebel

March 4, 2009 at 8:41 am

Now It’s Up to the Democratic Congress to Step Up

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clinton in 1993. he came from hope, he ended up nowhere.

a fresh faced bill clinton in 1993. he came from hope, he ended up nowhere.

In 1993 Clinton arrived on a heady wave of enthusiasm, dedicated to undoing some of the excesses of Reaganism. He made a few stumbles, he announced a sweeping healthcare initiative and he got nowhere. There are many reasons for his failure. The sheer newness of the administration, presentation issues, and this – he got very limited support from a Democratically controlled Congress. That opened the door for Gingrich’s charges of stasis and corruption that led to the Contract for America, and sweeping mid-term victories. That broadly was the end of the Clinton Administration as an effective liberally-driven government. It’s the main reason that the Reagan Revolution was not shattered. Clinton became merely a painful interregnum.

Cut to 15 years later.  Obama is getting it right. The budget is a great document, the bipartisan experiment is over, the decision to leave troops behind in Iraq is correct, and the healthcare, energy, and education agendas are on course. Now it’s up to the Democratically elected Congress to respond. Obama’s charm offensive is wasted on the GOP. Obama appears to have realized that. The true targets of his charm offensive should be members of his own Senate caucus with a more conservative viewpoint. Read the rest of this entry »

The Budget – Obama Answers The Call

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potus has his brain in gear.

potus has his brain in gear.

There are an awful lot of liberals breathing easier after the release of President Obama’s first budget. Krugman, who had been as close to castigating the President as any columnist on the left was almost unequivocally supportive. The budget’s focus on healthcare and education as key to our long term economic revival as well as boosting the middle class in a meaningful and intelligent way is a great starting point for recalibrating American economic and social policy. It sets up a battle royal with the Republicans, and will put Obama’s political savvy on the line. Rahm Emmanuel will also get battle-tested for the first time. Convincing Blue Dog Democrats of the need for a fundamental shift away from Reaganomics and its terrible legacy will be tough, but Obama is starting to display the calm under fire that suggests it can be done.

It’s been mentioned before on this blog, but you’ll be hearing an awful lot about The Two Ladies of Maine, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe. At least one of them is required to beat the inevitable GOP filibuster.  Maine’s two senators are about to become the most important people in the history of the state. They are sure to drive a hard bargain as they together become the last vestige of Obama’s short dalliance with bipartisanship.

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Written by coolrebel

February 27, 2009 at 12:54 am