Archive for the ‘Romer’ Category

Obama’s Budget Comes As Government’s Ability To Manage Economy in Doubt

March 23, 2009

Democrats had hoped to launch the budget debate on Capitol Hill this week with a focus on their priorities: cleaner energy, healthcare reform, and education. Instead, they’re embroiled in a game-changing debate with Republicans over whether government – the White House, Congress, the bureaucracy, even the Federal Reserve – has what it takes to manage the financial crisis.

Between the AIG bonus debacle and prospects for $1 trillion annual deficits into the next decade, the likelihood is fading that President Obama’s first budget will survive with its key elements intact. The historic deficit numbers, in particular, make a tough sell on the budget even tougher, though some Democratic lawmakers say it’s not out of reach.

“The reality is we are going to have to make adjustments to the president’s budget if we want to keep the deficit on a downward trajectory,” said Sen. Kent Conrad (D) of North Dakota in a statement Friday, after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released projections showing federal red ink would total $9.4 trillion over a decade.

Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, was more blunt.

“People can afford only so much government spending, even for the worthiest-sounding causes,” he said in a statement. “The White House should take a break from the heavy sales job on the budget.”

How much the government should do to try to buttress the weak financial system and spur a flagging economy is the germane question before Congress – and the news from last week may serve to point out the limits of government oversight and financial acumen to date.

Read the rest:
From the Christian Science Monitor


How Much Debt Can The Nation Afford?


Congressional Republicans on Sunday predicted a doomsday scenario of crushing debt and eventual federal bankruptcy if President Barack Obama’s massive spending blueprint wins passage.

But a White House adviser dismissed the negative assessments, saying she is “incredibly confident” that the president’s policies will “do the job” for the economy.

In a TV interview, Obama himself laughed when discussing the dire state of parts of the economy — and ascribed his laughter to “gallows humor.”

White House Council of Economic Advisers chairwoman Christina Romer insisted that the nation’s flailing economy will be rebounding by 2010.

Administration officials — and the president himself — have taken a cheerier tone despite economic indicators that are anything but positive.

“I have every expectation, as do private forecasters, that we will bottom out this year and actually be growing again by the end of the year,” Romer said.

The president, in an interview that aired Sunday on CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” talked about the need to spend taxpayer money to save financial firms and the auto industry.

“I just want to say that the only thing less popular than putting money into banks is putting money into the auto industry,” Obama said with a laugh.

Interviewer Steve Kroft asked how that laughter might be perceived, given the economy’s troubles.

“There’s got to be a little gallows humor to get you through the day,” Obama said. “If you had said to us a year ago that the least of my problems would be Iraq, which is still a pretty serious problem, I don’t think anybody would have believed it.”

Read the rest:


Shelby: Geithner Needs “180 Degree Change” To Stay At Treasury

March 22, 2009

“We are on a fast road to financial destruction,” Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) said today.

Shelby, speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” said Mr. Obama was going to have to scale back his budget in light of the new estimates: “He’s going to have to. We’re on a — on the fast road to financial destruction, and I see a 20 billion — a $20 trillion deficit in the few years to come,” he said.


The top Republican on the Senate banking panel says he doesn’t think the treasury secretary can survive in his job without a 180-degree turnaround.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is on “shaky grounds” these days with Congress and many in the country, according to the Senate Banking Committee’s top Republican.

Sen. Richard Shelby said Sunday he doesn’t think Geithner will last long unless he starts doing a better job.

Shelby, who voted to confirm Geithner, said he has less confidence in the treasury secretary each day — over the AIG bonus mess, solving the nation’s financial troubles and helping turn around the economy.

“I said competence brings confidence to anything. I don’t see a lot of things positively thus far that Timothy Geithner’s been involved in,” Shelby said Sunday on “Fox News Sunday.”

“He’s going to have to do a 180-degree turnaround, I believe, to be a successful treasury secretary,” he said.

But President Barack Obama has faith in Geithner. The president tells CBS’ “60 Minutes” that if Geithner offered to resign, the answer would be, “Sorry buddy, you’ve still got the job.”

While Shelby did not specifically call for Geithner to resign, at least two Republicans — Reps. Connie Mack of Florida and Darrell Issa of California — did.

White House economic adviser Christina Romer said those calls are “silly.”

“I think all of this discussion is — is really silly. Tim Geithner is an excellent secretary of the treasury. He has been dealt an unbelievably difficult hand to deal with. But he’s actually doing a fantastic job,” Romer said on “FOX News Sunday.”

From Fox News

Related from the New York Times:

For Obama, Crisis is a Really Good Thing

March 16, 2009

After Pearl Harbor, Franklin Roosevelt didn’t also declare a crisis in health care, the environment, education, our energy supply and other fibers of the national fabric.

Obama did.

Suddenly, when faced with a huge financial and economic crisis, we needed a total overhaul of health care in order to survive.  Health care costs are the reason the economy is a mess.

Same for education: without a better (and much more costly federalized) system, our future is bleak.

“Never waste a good crisis” has become the semi-official motto of the Obama administration.

Rahm Emanuel and Team Obama say: Open that can of worms.

But when Obama’s gloom and doom about the economy prompted others to say maybe we should prioritize and focus more on the economy and wait on health care and these other projects, President Obama now says the crisis is “not as bad as we think.”

He even trotted out Rosy Romer and a bunch of others on the Sunday talk shows to tell us so.

So lets wait.  Lets’s wait to see if the economy is improving before we bet the kids’ future by spending all the borrowed money we can muster to fix health care and everything else.

If Bernanke is right and the rebound is ahead this year: show me.

Or tell me how, when and by whom this humongous tax and debt bill will be repaid?

The thing about a crisis is: it really can be a can of worms if it is handled without measured steps.  By opening the current economic can of worms with a full throttle assault on America’s former self and proposing what is really a wholesale change to socialism, the president may have bitten off too many worms at once.

The “Tea Party Protests” are just the first sign of trouble….

Socialist Former CNN Reporter Wins Election in El Salvador; “Yes We Could”

Sun Setting On American Superpower?

On Bernanke: Recession Will End This Year


Washington Times Editorial:
Crisis is Obama’s Mantra

Obama Can’t Govern Until He Kills More Positions

 Obama’s TV Talking Heads: Sunday Surrogate Disaster

Obama’s TV Talking Heads: Sunday Surrogate Disaster

March 15, 2009

President Obama should have the “best and brightest” in the nation working for him, especially now during the economic crisis, he so aptly named a “catastrophe.”

But today, if these guys are the best and brightest; prepare for more disaster.

Obama economic adviser Christina Romer was asked during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” if the fundamentals of the economy were sound. “Of course they are sound,” she replied. 

She even elaborated: using about the same language John McCain used last autumn which brought a fire storm from Barack Obama.

The only thing worse than blindly reciting the talking points is forgetting to read them all together….

Unless Team Obama has just not settled on the true talking points.

Is it a disaster or is it getting better?

Christina Romer
Romer.  Clueless?

On “Fox News Sunday,” Obama economic adviser Austan Goolsbee appeared.  It wasn’t pretty.

And many of the shows discussed the possibility that Obama would tax health benefits.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner was in London and he may have been in Siberia for all we know.

He spoke at the G20 yesterday but made no impression on anybody, apparently.

Question for President Obama: If Geither is so good, after he urged the G20 to “strong action” yesterday, in London mind you, why couln’t we find a report of that speech on page one of the London Times or the Telegraph?

Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) said, “Even Barack Obama’s ardent supporters now say his spending, borrowing and taxing makes Republicans look like amateurs.”

Obama’s surrogate talking heads on Sunday were the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.

These are the folks taking care of the economy…..

The AP said:
The seesaw message from the new administration drew sharp criticism from Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who said Obama’s team was exploiting the economic situation for political gain.

“They’re taking advantage of a crisis in order to do things that had nothing to do with getting us into the crisis in the first place,” McConnell said.

Rosy Talk From Obama and Gang is BS

Obama: Fire Geithner

Sun Setting On American Superpower?

Obama using recession to justify largest expansion of federal authority ever; U.S. less safe


Associated Press

WASHINGTON — One of President Obama’s economic advisers said Sunday that the economy is fundamentally sound, a striking reversal from the Democrat’s campaign rhetoric as his administration now guides the nation’s financial health amid dire conditions. 

Obama’s Democratic allies pleaded for patience for an administration hitting the two-month mark this week, while Republicans said the White House’s plans ignore small business and the immediate need to fix what ails the economy. 

During the fall campaign, Obama mercilessly mocked his Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain, for declaring, “The fundamentals of our economy are strong.” Obama’s team painted the veteran senator as out of touch and failing to grasp the challenges facing the country. 

On Sunday, economic adviser Christina Romer was asked during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” if the fundamentals of the economy were sound. “Of course they are sound,” she replied. 

“The fundamentals are sound in the sense that the American workers are sound, we have a good capital stock, we have good technology,” she said. “We know that — that temporarily we’re in a mess, right? We’ve seen huge job loss, we’ve seen very large falls in GDP. So certainly in the short run we’re in a — in a bad situation.” 

Just a week ago, White House Office of Management and Budget director Peter Orszag declared that “fundamentally, the economy is weak.” 

Read the rest:

Tax Marijuana, Health Benefits? Obama Will Fiddle While It All Burns….

March 15, 2009

The “tax everything” fervor in America just now makes one wonder who will pay our bills?  Mexican drug cartels?  But what will be left that we want to save if we continue down the road now rolled out by Obama and Joke Biden?


Could marijuana be the answer to the economic misery facing California? Democratic state assemblyman Tom Ammiano thinks so. Ammiano introduced legislation last month that would legalize pot and allow the state to regulate and tax its sale – a move that could mean billions of dollars for the cash-strapped state. Pot is, after all, California’s biggest cash crop….

From Time Magazine:


Obama wants to ‘discuss’ with Taliban? Taliban threatens to kill aid workers

 Rosy Talk From Obama and Gang is BS

 Obama, Biden Chat Up Economy; Congress Talking “Stimulus II”

Obama: Fire Geithner

 Obama: Stop Thinking About What Might Be Gained; Think What May Certainly Be Lost


Obama Could Tax Health Benefits

Fox News
President Obama’s top economic advisers on Sunday disputed claims that the administration is receptive to the idea of taxing employee health benefits, but would not rule out the option. 

“He is open to all ideas,” said Austan Goolsbee, of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, on “FOX News Sunday.” 

Adviser Christina Romer, appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” also would not take the option off the table. 

But both played down an article in The New York Times Sunday that said advisers were acknowledging the president would not oppose efforts by Congress to tax health benefits, even though he is not personally proposing the change. 

“That was highly overstated. That is not in the president’ budget,” Goolsbee said. “There are some people in Congress who are pushing this, but this is not the president’s idea.” 

Read the rest:


A bonfire: your money going up in smoke?

Rosy Talk From Obama and Gang is BS

March 15, 2009

Christina Romer gave her usual rosy view of the U.S. economy today on “Meet the Press.”

She apparently did not lose a job, a house or a bunch of wealth in the current Obama economy.

“The findamentals of the economy are very stong but we inherited a problem,” Romer said. 

David Gregory was not shy in pointing out that when John McCain said during the presidential campaign “the fundamentals of the U.S. economy are strong” he was lambasted by Barack Obama.

That was months ago and the economy is worse now.  The economy is worse since Obama’s election and worse still since his inauguration.

So I am starting to hate this “inherited” BS.  Obama ran to get into the White House, along with all the goodies and problems that came with that.

Nobody “inherits” the White House unless death is involved….

“It is an economic war,” Romer, chairwoman of the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, said today on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program. “We haven’t won yet. We have staged a wonderful battle.”

Only an Obama advisor, who knows nothing of battle, could say “wonderful” and “battle” in the same breath.

The fact is, that despite the $787 billion-plus stimulus and the $410 billion omnibus, the economy is still in trouble and even China has doubts.

The $787 billion stimulus is not nearly enough to fill the “well over $2 trillion hole” in the economy, Paul Krugman said. “A fair bit of the bill is not really stimulus,” he added.

On February 17, he was already talking about the need for a second stimulus.

Paul Krugman is a professor of economics at Princeton University and a Nobel Prize winner.

Tim Geithner apparently doesn’t think the battle is wonderful.

“Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said today the new administration will wage an aggressive two-front battle against the worst financial crisis in seven decades….” (Geithner, February 10, 2009, Associated Press).

He’s not so rosy either…. 

Larger view
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Christina Romer
Romer.  Clueless?


Obama, Biden Chat Up Economy; Congress Talking “Stimulus II”

 Obama: Fire Geithner

Romer Says Economic Fundamentals “Sound,” Stimulus Will Work