Sunday, July 24, 2011

Grumping about the debt-ceiling negotiations fiasco

A Democratic President should not be describing himself in terms of "folks like me who have done extremely well." As Obama did in his press conference of 07/22/2011 at 4:30ff. As he does repeatedly.

This entire debt-ceiling negotiation nightmare was self-chosen by President Obama. Everyone knows the debt ceiling has to be raised. Negotiating over it was Obama's choice.

Even allowing for Obama wish to have these negotiations to prove political cover for his austerity proposals, he's still a terrible negotiator.

Cutting Social Security and Medicare as Obama has proposed to do is a bad idea. Terrible policy, period.

Our political and media establishments are remarkably out of touch with the needs and political priorities of the American public, i.e., they don't give a flying flip about unemployment, which is the leading concern of the people.

The austerity economics that currently dominates both major parties is remarkably out of touch with basic macroeconomics.

The austerity economics that currently dominates both major parties is a remarkably bad idea for a economy like that of the US right now that is in a protracted slump with high unemployment and interest rates near the zero lower bound.

The biggest weakness of American democracy today is the pitiful state of our national political press. We see that on austerity economics, on our three-plus wars, on rule of law issues, on the Obama Administration's outrageous assertions of Executive secrecy and police powers.

The weakness of the press doesn't excuse the political actors from the responsibility for their actions. It's just that a healthy democracy has to have a healthy press. And we don't have a healthy press.

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