Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Means And Ends And More Means

An honest if troubling article by John Judis. He begins with politics 101: Presidents and candidates rise and fall with voters' confidence in the economy and satisfaction with their own situations. (That's also why President Obama won decisively in '08 after the mid-September meltdown, as any Democratic nominee would have, and why he never had a mandate for massive change.) The scary part is that since the recovery is halting at best, especially on the jobs front, Judis counsels Obama to save Democratic candidacies in the upcoming gubernatorial and midterm elections, and himself in 2012, by spending recklessly on a Rooseveltian alphabet soup of public works and jobs bureaus -- "colorful new agencies," he calls them:
Obama should turn a deaf ear to those who are calling for fiscal responsibility. He should keep pouring money into jobs and into the pockets of people who will spend until the unemployment rate begins going down and wages begin going up.
Ironic that Richard Nixon was accused of acquiescing in wage and price controls while pressuring the Fed to keep credit and money flowing in the run-up to the 1972 election, boosting employment but causing inflation in the years that followed, especially after the controls were lifted. If Nixon manipulated the economy to stay in office, it was so he could end the Vietnam war and consolidate his course-changing policies toward China and the Soviet Union. Judis wants Obama to hand out government jobs so he can win another term and make government even bigger.

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