President Obama’s Hurricane Katrina

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.

-wf


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2 responses to “President Obama’s Hurricane Katrina

  1. I am shocked by Obama’s laziness on the economy. Every month the new figures are reported and it seems that saying the economy will get worse before it gets better is good enough. It is not.

    This economy is not Bush’s economy anymore, it is Obama’s. He thinks he can pass on the blame. He won’t.
    I want the economy to pick up but no one is claiming the economy and ensuring it picks up.

  2. Hi. Thanks for the comment.

    Do you share the feeling that President Obama’s emphasis upon healthcare reform, no doubt long overdue, has a lot to do with distracting us from how incompetent his Administration has been at spending stimulus package funding? I seriously doubt those funds will accomplish anything significant, but he did say they were needed on a emergency basis, so what’s the hold up?

    Shouldn’t the economy be his highest and, if necessary, his only major priority until the 1 in 10 Americans who are unemployed have gone back to work?

    Stop by again when you have time.

    -wf

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