Friday, April 15, 2011

A Relatively Balanced Summary

Michael Brooks is what the New York Times calls a conservative. Not my favorite, but I do think he gets to count as thoughtful and perhaps he could even be called balanced. Here is his article from today which I think provides a decent summary.

It looks to me as though Obama will win reelection because we have yet to see the candidate that can beat him. The polls show that the country believes we are going very much in the wrong direction, which I presume means they want a change in that direction. But Ryan's proposal is too easily demagogued and Obama loves class warfare so, as his speech showed, he will use fear and distortion to win the day. And it will probably work.

The Dems are almost certain to lose control of the Senate, however, simply because they must defend 22 incumbent seats in 2012 as opposed to the Republicans who must defend only 11.

That will set up the chance for a deal similar to that achieved on welfare reform between Clinton and a Republican Congress.


Obama won't want to be the guy tagged with fundamental changes to the Entitlement State, but he might want the chance to appear historic for some reason other than being the first President born outside the borders (just kidding!). We won't get a deal now, but the next election cycle may create the opening for some meaningful progress.

All the best,


1 comment:

Baxter said...

Good post, Hags.

One man's "demagogue" is another man's thoughtful critic. The GOP has a serious problem, as Americans want the Medicare/Medicaid guarantee and not a voucher of limited or questionable value. No distortion is necessary to criticize the GOP approach. Ryan's proposal reminds me of Bush's plan to privatize Social Security - the "thud" sounds very much the same.

I agree with Warren Buffet - class warfare is going on right now and the wealthy are winning handily.

You are probably right about the Senate, though the 538 did an interesting story yesterday on the topic. They give the GOP a 52% chance of picking up the Senate and a 9% chance of getting 60 seats. If the election goes as the last three did, it will be one sided one way or the other - which gives the Dems a realistic chance of actually picking up seats.

I am more optimistic of a deal than you are. $4 trillion seems to the magic number of the moment. I expect that Bowles/Simpson or a similar outline will be part of a deal next month to raise the debt ceiling. We can only hope.

Then, we can continue debate on how to best grow jobs, eliminate the deficit sooner rather than later, and ultimately pay down the debt.