Obama Needs to Clean His House...
Confidence Fairies Have Infiltrated The White House: I was on Good Morning America this not-so-good morning, doing what I could. But I was struck by something that George Stephanopoulos said: he claimed to have been speaking to an administration official who asserted that what we need to get businesses investing is for business to know that the government has stopped — presumably, that means no new spending, no new regulation, whatever. GS is a careful guy, so this must be true. And it’s shocking — not that people are saying this, but that someone inside the administration is saying it.
It’s garbage, of course: businesses are refusing to invest because they don’t see enough demand for their products. And administration economists know that it’s garbage. But obviously some people in the WH — I’m guessing a political person, but who knows — have bought the right-wing line hook, line, and sinker.
We’ll never know what might have happened if Obama and co. had actually had the courage of their convictions; what we do know is that they have undermined their own message at every turn.
If Obama does not believe that Summers, Geithner, Romer, and company know what they are doing in their judgment that additional government action to boost demand is important to achieving a healthy recovery, he should get a very different team of economic policymakers. If others working in the White House do not accept Obama's judgment that Summers, Geithner, Romer, and company with their Keynesian orientation know what they are talking about, they should stop undermining the policy and resign.
If they will not, Obama needs a new and very different crop of people authorized to hold off-the-record conversations with George Stephanopoulos. He needs to clean his house.