“People have confidence in Obama and generally want him to succeed,” says Frank Luntz, an experienced pollster. “But they don’t necessarily translate that confidence into his policies or the government.”
Treasury is a confidence black hole. Why? Because despite many efforts to point the blame at Wall Street and greedy executives, nobody has said, “The regulaters screwed up.” Instead we have been told “we inherited this Bush mess and Bush decreased regulations so we need more regulations — we need more government.”
We don’t need more government. We need better government and more accountability: from the President through Barney Frank and the rest in congress and to Geither and all the other bureaucrats.
Who among us thinks Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd screwed up? Who has trust and confidence that Barney and Chris and Tiny Tim Turbo Tax and even Obama can get us out of this?
Yesterday it looks like Mr. Geithner actually fired — or at least sent into the penalty box — one of his top deputies. Now we are getting to the issue.
Scott Polakoff at Treasury’s Office of Thrift Supervision is on ice: and Treasury needs to explain why and take responsibility for him and his actions and fast.
Maybe we don’t need to make more rules: maybe we need to enforce the ones we have and enforce accountability.
Recovery will be about trust and confidence. Without that, investors hold back, businesses don’t hire and workers don’t spend.
A government mea culpa would be a good first step: and continuing this line of “we inherited” is now more than paper thin it is a sign of impotence.
“What we need today is more optimism and more confidence,” Larry Summers said.
“Consumer confidence is slightly up. The market is slightly up,” Biden said.
“We need confidence to make this recovery work,” President Obama said.
Confidence can’t be produced with fairy dust or a magic wand. We get it the old fashioned way: we earn it.
President Obama has to take dramatic action: not giggle through an appearance on Leno and “60 Minutes” or jabber on an Internet town hall. That may work with tweens but it is not so good with real adults with real money.
Campaigning is for wannabees. Those with real responsibility and accountability have to act to be credible and earn trust and confidence.
Now’s the time.