Brad DeLong posts another revealing aspect of the book: The index listings for the top people who advised Obama:What truly amazes me is that a smart guy like Obama shows himself to be such a slow learner. Has his brain atrophied since his Harvard Law School days or did he fake his way to high marks and great praise in the university?
133 Lawrence Summers
131 Tim Geithner
59 Peter Orszag
On the other hand, check out economists who have been super-forceful advocates of big spending...
11 Paul Krugman
6 Robert Reich
5 Joe Stiglitz
4 Jared Bernstein
Bottom line: From the very beginning, Obama was advised by those favoring a "balanced," deficit-mindful approach, while he himself bought into self-defeating structural arguments. And so the stimulus turned out to be a wet blanket that leaves the economy faltering today.
And really, not much has changed in terms of the administration's thinking. They're still ceding ground on deficit reduction, failing to make the forceful case for stimulus (much to the chagrin of sidelined economists like Krugman and Bernstein).
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
The Continuing Mistakes of the Obama Administration
Here is a bit from an article by Joe Weisenthal in the Business Insider that looks at why Obama put together a stimulus that fell so far short of what was needed. This bit which looks at who had Obama's ear (and Obama's own proclivity for conservative economic ideology) spells out the problem: