Not So Optimistic--What Obama Didn't Do

A mostly political weblog.
Feb. 26 2009 2:53 PM

Not So Optimistic--What Obama Didn't Do

One more point about Obama's alleged "tonal masterpiece":

After the Tuesday speech I listened to the local news. The anchorwoman said Obama had reassured Americans that the end of the recession

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"was in sight."

No. That's exactly what he didn't do. Obama describes a "difficult and uncertain" redemptive ordeal, after which "we will rebuild" and "emerge stronger than before" but fundamentally changed in some way (at least in the energy, health, and education sectors!). The


In the midst of civil war , we laid railroad tracks from one coast to another that spurred commerce and industry.

From the turmoil of the Industrial Revolution came a system of public high schools that prepared our citizens for a new age.

In the wake of war and depression , the G.I. Bill sent a generation to college and created the largest middle-class in history. [E.A.]

The implication was clearly that recovery might take years, with a trauma level of 1930s proportions. The end was not "in sight." I'm not even sure there was a "light at the end of the tunnel." And Obama might be right about that. But it would be better if he were wrong, and the economy managed a "gradual" return to growth in the second half of this year , as Fed Chairman Bernanke recently suggested -- without " remaking America."   Why do I get the impression that if Bernanke is right, and we avoid a redemptive New Dealish ordeal, Obama will on some level be disappointed? ...

Update: 'Who are you going to believe--me or my budget?' In Obama's budget, on the other hand, things are looking up! The recession's end is right around the corner .

[T]he administration's budget depends on optimistic projections that the economy, currently in the longest recession in a quarter-century, will come roaring back with economic growth of 3.2 percent next year and 4 percent-plus rates in the following three years, significantly higher than private economists are forecasting. [E.A.]

12:09 P.M.

___________________________

TODAY IN SLATE

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