A vigorous political blog, not for the fainthearted.
Even at this late date, he could tell his aides: "I see the bill coming due for a generation of excesses and the last thing we need is more excesses. I want growth. I want only proposals that encourage growth."Our economy has great internal resiliency, even with Europe imploding, even with households weighed down by underwater mortgages. Population continues to grow. Families form and need homes. Cars wear out and need replacing. Domestic energy development is booming. Manufacturing is enjoying a renaissance. Boeing just announced its biggest plane sale ever. McDonald's is doing great. Yet his greatest miscalculation is still to come. His aides are sizing up a re-election campaign that gives up on growth, that resorts to score-settling and resentment. His enemy will be the banks, which he bailed out. His enemy will be Wall Street—though the GOP rejoinder will be too easy: Tim Geithner. His enemy will be big business—the same big business whose adaptation to a chaotic global policy environment recently has been nothing short of revelatory.This is triply sad because Mr. Obama, just this week, was handed a heaven-sent opportunity, a gift beyond his deserts. That gift was GOPer Pat Toomey's tax-reform plan, floated as part of the super-committee deliberations. Sen. Toomey's plan concedes a big revenue hike on "the rich" in return for reforming the tax code based on pro-growth principles that both parties and Mr. Obama have endorsed. Mr. Obama, if he had the political creativity he credits himself with, would now pick it up and run with it, instantly redeeming the super-committee "failure" with an act of presidential leadership.The suspicion becomes nigh irresistible, however, that Mr. Obama is lacking in the leadership department as the country stumbles towards its ultimate financial crisis. But give him credit for one world-historical achievement: He makes Carter look good.
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