Aaron Blake and Chris Cillizza write in The Fix that President Obama almost granted me one of my wishes last evening. "There was a word missing from President Obama's jobs speech Thursday night: 'stimulus.'" Their statement reminded me of something I wrote in December 2008 when asked about the ideal stimulus package by the Economix blog:
If I had my druthers, the word ’stimulus’ would be expunged from public discussion, along with ‘bailout’ and ‘rescue.’ These words convey the idea that, because we have so mismanaged our economic and financial affairs, we are somehow able or entitled to conjure up additional funds out of thin air to fix our problems. There are two problems with this idea.
The way Ezra Klein tells it is largely the way I remember it, too. Antecedents of President Obama's policies -- an individual mandate in health insurance, cap-and-trade on emissions, and some willingness to raise taxes to close deficits -- can be found in Republican policies of the George H.W. Bush era. I supported them then and support them now, though in a way that comes from the right side of the political spectrum rather than the left. More specifically:
It turns out that Lexington at the Economist had noticed the introduction of "Sputnik moment" into the Preisdent's speeches last month. Anticipating the argument in my last post based on the State of the Union address:
The trouble with applying the Sputnik moment to China is that it is not much of an analogy. There has, for a start, been no “moment”: China has been rising steadily for years without delivering any single shock. Whereas the Soviet Union and America built separate economic spheres, globalisation has bound the American and Chinese economies intimately together, to mutual advantage. And though China is a geopolitical competitor, it is not a mortal enemy of the United States as the Soviet Union was (unlike Nikita Khrushchev, Mr Hu has never promised to “bury” the West). Even if it were, most Americans believe that they still have the military edge. According to a Pew survey, Americans think by two to one (60% to 27%) that China’s economic strength is a greater threat than its military might. And a 58% majority says it is very important to build a stronger relationship with China.
You don't have to be a football fan to get pumped for this collision of political views. I'll be watching. Kickoff time is 6:25 p.m. Sunday, February 6. Hotline broke the story today.
I thought this was one of President Obama's best moments at the podium in a long time. (Ignore the spin in the framing from the media outlet.)
More on the story here.