Worst Weekend: Roundup

March 23, 2009 in Economics,Politics

Unusually, the NYTimes published three opinions this weekend which all slammed Obama - from authors who usually gush about the administration. I don't back off my own opinion that the Times editorial writers are a bunch of pseudo-populist fair-weather fans, but as usual they manage some salient points in their rants:

Let's kick it off with Nobel prize-winning economist Krugman, who writes:

If the reports are correct, Tim Geithner, the Treasury secretary, has persuaded President Obama to recycle Bush administration policy — specifically, the “cash for trash” plan proposed, then abandoned, six months ago by then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

This is more than disappointing. In fact, it fills me with a sense of despair.

Moving on to Friedman, who nails the counter-productive idiocy of the latest round of political  squabbling:

If you want to guarantee that America becomes a mediocre nation, then just keep vilifying every public figure struggling to find a way out of this crisis who stumbles once — like Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner or A.I.G.’s $1-a-year fill-in C.E.O., Ed Liddy — and you’ll ensure that no capable person enlists in government. You will ensure that every bank that has taken public money will try to get rid of it as fast it can, so as not to come under scrutiny, even though that would weaken their balance sheets and make them less able to lend money. And you will ensure that we’ll never get out of this banking crisis, because the solution depends on getting private money funds to team up with the government to buy up toxic assets — and fund managers are growing terrified of any collaboration with government.

And finally, Frank Rich actually goes so far as to print:

President Obama may not realize it yet, but his Katrina moment has arrived.

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