Barack Hoover Obama?
Tuesday, 01/26/2010 - 12:22 pm by Marshall Auerback
Marshall Auerback argues that spending cuts would be a major misstep for President Obama — and a return to the policies of Herbert Hoover.
Every instinct the President has honed, every voice he hears in Washington, every inclination of our political culture urges incrementalism, urges deliberation, and an abundance of caution, particularly in regard to our “unsustainable government spending.” And for all of his apparent newfound populist vigour, it now appears that the President is about to heed these voices of caution. The moves against the banks, coupled with yesterday’s announcement of a spending freeze and previously voiced support for a bipartisan commission on the deficit, all point to Clinton-style triangulation.
The Wall Street Journal reports that President Obama intends to propose a three-year freeze in spending that accounts for one-sixth of the federal budget. The move is designed “to attack the $1.4 trillion deficit” and would “propose limits on discretionary spending unrelated to the military, veterans, homeland security and international affairs, according to senior administration officials. Also untouched are big entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare.”
As with so much else with this president, the effect, then, is likely to be cosmetic, but it sends out an awful statement about Obama’s increasingly “Hoover-esque” governing philosophy, and the future likely direction of fiscal policy. more