The Obama administration is considering further actions to strengthen the housing market, but the bar is high: plans must help a broad swath of homeowners, stimulate the economy and cost next to nothing.
I hope the White House has come around to seeing things Jared Bernstein’s way:
Jared Bernstein, a former economic advisor to Vice President Joe Biden, said it was futile for Obama to try to accommodate Republicans determined to block the White House agenda. “If the president frames his jobs agenda based on what Republicans will accept, I don’t think he’s going to end up with much,” he said. “He has to prescribe what he and his team believes the country needs and fight for it.”
This presents a challenge because polling (and the last election) shows that the people really do not like stimulus spending. It’s counterintuitive that you get out of debt by going further in to debt.
No it isn’t, and I really wish people would stop saying this because it supports the simplistic right-wing framing of this issue. Anyone who has ever taken a loan to buy a car or a house, open a small business, or get an education understands that you can in fact ‘spend your way outt’ve debt.’ As liberals, progs, Democrats what-have-you, we’d do ourselves a favor to stop acting like “you have to spend money to make money” is such a mindblowingly complicated idea. It was conventional wisdom for generations, and it can be so again if we stop acting like such pussies about it.
One of the more amusing aspects of the current political landscape is the tendency for conservatives to tie themselves into knots trying to maintain the fiction — two and a half years in — that President Milquetoast McStatusquo really is the violent leftist radical they’ve been describing him as. Here is Norman Podhoretz taking what we could call a fundamentalist approach: ‘Never mind what Obama has done, our talking points from the ’08 election say he’s a dangerous radical who associates with terrorists!’ This is the only approach they will ever try, because the last thing they’re going to do is honestly compare Obama’s policy choices to those of a Republican.