I was going to mention to …. that you’ve heard this comment recently from some Democrats recently that a `crisis is a terrible thing to waste.’ …. Now, just rephrase that and since it’s, in my view, it’s an economic war, and–I don’t think anybody on December 7th would have said a `war is a terrible thing to waste, and therefore we’re going to try and ram through a whole bunch of things and–but we expect to–expect the other party to unite behind us on the–on the big problem.’ It’s just a mistake, I think, when you’ve got one overriding objective, to try and muddle it up with a bunch of other things…..if you’re in a war, and we really are on an economic war, there’s a obligation to the majority to behave in ways that don’t go around inflaming the minority. If on December 8th when–maybe it’s December 7th, when Roosevelt convened Congress to have a vote on the war, he didn’t say, `I’m throwing in about 10 of my pet projects,’ and you didn’t have congress people putting on 8,000 earmarks onto the declaration of war in 1941.
When billionaire investor Warren Buffett says President Barack Obama’s economic message is muddled and undermining public confidence, it’s worth listening.
Halfway through his first 100 days in office, ace communicator Obama has struggled to find the right tone in talking about the economy, twinning bleak warnings with optimism about the future.
By Steve Holland
On the campaign trail, Obama said a president must be able to do more than one thing at a time, and his White House has been doing that.
He and his aides have interspliced comments about the economy while launching theme-of-the-day initiatives on healthcare, stem cell research and on Tuesday, education.
Last week the White House spent some time accusing conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh of being leader of the Republican Party.
But Obama, together with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, White House economic guru Lawrence Summers and others have so far failed to explain how they plan to rescue American banks, some of which are teetering on the brink of collapse.
There is talk of “stress tests” for troubled banks, or nationalizing them or letting some fail — but no clear plan.
Buffett, an informal Obama adviser considered a financial seer on Wall Street, told CNBC on Monday the message has to be “very, very clear as to what government will be doing.”
“And I think we’ve had, and it’s the nature of the political process somewhat, but we’ve had muddled messages and the American public does not know. They feel they don’t know what’s going on, and their reaction then is to absolutely pull back,” he said.
At the White House, spokesman Robert Gibbs reacted defensively, saying Obama has only been in office seven weeks and it should be no surprise that “all of the problems that took many years to take hold haven’t necessarily been solved.”
In this May 21, 2008 file photo, U.S. billionaire investor Warren Buffett speaks during a news conference in Madrid. Buffett says the economic turmoil that contributed to a 62 percent profit drop last year at the holding company he controls is certain to continue in 2009, but the revered investor remains optimistic.(AP Photo/Paul White, File)
“Beware of geeks bearing models,” said Warren Buffett; which could be worrisome to people. Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag arrives to deliver testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 4, 2009.REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES)