Barack Obama gets it

This quote from President Obama comes via Brad DeLong:

We’ve got a long- term structural deficit that is primarily being driven by health care costs, and our long-term entitlement programs. All right? So that’s the baseline.

Now, if we can’t grow our economy, then it is going to be that much harder for us to reduce the deficit. The single most important thing we could do right now for deficit reduction is to spark strong economic growth, which means that people who’ve got jobs are paying taxes and businesses that are making profits have taxes — are paying taxes. That’s the most important thing we can do.

We understand that in this administration. That’s not always the dialogue that’s going on out there in public and we’re going to have to do a better job of educating the public on that.

The last thing we would want to do in the midst of what is a weak recovery is us to essentially take more money out of the system either by raising taxes or by drastically slashing spending. And frankly, because state and local governments generally don’t have the capacity to engage in deficit spending, some of that obligation falls on the federal government.

Much more here.

  1. Anonymous says

    He gets it?

    Maybe I’m a little slow on the spool up here but we have 106 trillion in unfunded liabilities, 12 trillion in national debt and this guy wants to add a very expensive health care plan to the pile?

    Please help me understand how he gets it.

    IMO we are as insolvent as Enron, and the BEA and BLS and the rest make Arthur Anderson look like choir boys. Unemployment is at 22% (FYI) GDP is baked, you own a home and what you WOULD but DON’T pay in rent is added to GDP, CPI at it’s core backs out the 2 things killing families (gas and food).

    Bottom line: We take in 2 trillion and we spend 4 trillion. We can no longer borrow the difference so we have a mad counterfeiter up there debasing our dollar why his counterpart preaches the old Bush line “strong dollar policy.

    Dude, Obama is probably a really, really nice guy, but when it comes to economics the guy is a f#cking clown of a m*ron along with his stupid band of idi*ts like Summers who invest over a billion of Harvard’s money in derivatives.

    1. Edward Harrison says

      Your reply is tame compared to what people at Naked Capitalism are saying. Here’s my take:

      “Watch what I do, not what I say.”

      At least we have confirmation that he understands that raising taxes or cutting spending is what leads to a double dip recession.

      Remember, the nonsense he was spouting before about deficits was predicated on cutting spending and/or raising taxes to avoid another recession. This time he has it right.

      I will except that not everyone thinks we should avoid recession if it means more government spending because of the enormous debt loads in the private sector and the unfunded liabilities in the public sector. Fair enough.

      But, up until now, none of his statements hold together because the President is all over the map trying to please everyone and pleasing no one. First he talks about deficit reduction to avoid a double dip. Then he increases a troop commitment in Afghanistan which is more deficit spending. Now he says the opposite – that we need to keep up demand.

      You can’t have your cake and eat it too. He needs to tie these threads together into a coherent policy. No one is going to hire more workers when they have no idea what government is up to.

      For now I am satisfied he has admitted that for better or worse a deficit reduction of cutting spending and increasing taxes leads to recession.

      But, he is not going to be successful unless he takes a stand on principle. Either he is for spending to avert recession or he is for cutting the debt load regardless of the recession. You can’t have it both ways.

      1. Anonymous says

        Hello Ed:

        I now clearly see your point. W, when that m*oron could finish a sentence, used to do the monkey say monkey do something different routine also. The W administration, according to Paul O’Neill’s fine book, had a guiding principle that was a kicker: “Reality lags perception.”

        I think that perhaps it is still carved into the desk in the Oval Office.

        David Walker I’d say is correct: ‘Our biggest deficit is a leadership deficit.’ Based on what you bring to light, I’d have to say that is still true today. When you look at the $118,000,000,000,000.00 debt and the massive deficit saying that is less of a deficit than having good leadership is – when you think about it – quite a statement.

        Just for the record, I blame the 500 (out of 535) clowns in Congress and the 1500 lobbyist and the umpteen corporations as much if not more.

        Take care!

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