Friday, July 17, 2009
Running for President is one thing. President Obama is a superb campaigner with an exceptional campaign management team. Managing the government is something else altogether.
Rightly so, President Bush was lambasted for his slow and horribly inept response to the devastation caused by hurricane Katrina on New Orleans and in other communities throughout the region. What’s stunning is that President Obama – clearly President Bush’s intellectual superior – has proven himself no better, and perhaps worse at delivering government support in a crisis of much greater magnitude.
Despite his popularity and majority ownership of Congress, despite his stated need for a stimulus package on an emergency basis, here we are, 154 days since the stimulus package was passed by Congress on February 13, 2009, 5 months later and the Obama Administration has so far managed to spend only $90 billion of the total $787 billion approved – and much of that $90 billion has yet to hit the street, is still categorized as being “in the pipeline.”
The stimulus package was never necessary or appropriate. The way the money would have been spent wasn’t the most effective use of those funds to blunt a serious downturn and facilitate recovery. We didn’t have the money, and the economy is recovering on its own without it. That having been said, there’s just no excuse for President Obama’s not having spent the money Congress approved. He’s in charge. It’s his fault.
Please, save me from one more speech where a politician accepts responsibility for his or her failures. I don’t want an apology. It’s the last thing the American people and the economy need. What I want is for him to step up to his teleprompters, tell us they’ve missed the window of opportunity they had when the bill was first passed and cancel the stimulus package. “That’s it. It’s too late. We’re not going to spend the remaining $687 billion as originally planned. I’m sure we can find something else to do with it. Sorry, I blew it.” (That last sentence is optional.)
Better yet, let’s deliver the $697 billion directly to those consumers who have been hurt the most by the recession and who will put these dollars out there in the economy where they need to be, immediately.
Suggested reading… “Occam’s Economics: A simple, back-of-the envelope plan to regenerate consumer spending – immediately.” which I posted Thursday morning, July 8.