Wednesday, 28 January 2009

The Penny Starts To Drop

Poor President Obama. The shine seems to be coming off his his Presidency after only a week. In a previous post (see post) we commented upon the impossibility of the task that he has set himself. This theme was taken up by The Economist this week (see article). It would appear that the strategy of seeming to please as many as possible on the way into office has created a problem of failing to please so many when in office.

I was out for a meeting this afternoon. As I drove home I managed to pick up a bit of the debate on the fiscal stimulus in Congress. Should the stimulus work through tax cuts? Should it work through increased Federal spending? If so, on infrastructure projects? Or on welfare projects? There certainly seemed to be a good deal to argue about. And yet, the supporters of each of these positions appeared to believe that the candidate Obama had promised support to their pet projects. President Obama appeared to be letting them down.

I think that is the basis of my Obamascepticism. He appears to have promised so many mutually exclusive entitlements to so many groups that he can only fail to deliver. And that is only within the US!

1 comment:

Matt Sterenchuk said...

Hi Stephan,

I am a bit behind on my blog reading, but enjoy the points you’ve made in the past couple posts. I am a bit pensive on casting any hard and fast opinions on the progress of the Obama administration. (Please note that I am biased by my vote of confidence for him in the election. With that said, I maintain my status of consciously staying politically independent.)
At my core, I know what you say is very well appointed and will turn to be proved very correct. I deviate in a slight fashion though.

I will offer that even as potent as presidency may or may not seem in the immediate that the impact is delayed. I know this a quite the obvious statement, but I believe that most media outlets are negligent in truly acknowledging this concept.

I also argue that in terms of the fiscal impact the president is limited to pulpit of media and extreme measures. (i.e. why do we not put more blame on Greenspan?)
I am not saying the president is any where near impotent to address fiscal matters. Rather, I believe there is too much media hype put towards crediting any president with the scale of immediate impact he can bring or has brought.

Again, I agree that so much has been promised and appears seemingly impossible. I also believe that it is the nature of modern western thought (American population) to not accept the personal accountability for unwise personal practices. Such news of obesity and financial woes abound our news, but yet the populace continues to proliferate the bad habits. I cringe as I write this, but it appears Americans (as a population) have the habit of only stepping up to the hard choices when in dire straights. We as a society fawn over the problems now facing us, but still finance almost everything we buy with debt or margin. This imbalance in procurement funding is exponentially compounded by nature of those purchases. I argue that our social norms lend to a gluttony of unnecessary spend.
Example being the reports indicating that Westerners are upset with global outsourcing, but in the same breath they declare that are paying too much for their consumables. The onerous in on all of us.
Pardon the cliché, but we can only hope that our elected/appointed officials help lead the turning of the tide.

These comments were a bit of a soapbox tangent, sorry.
I do wonder if anyone else agrees or disagrees with my ‘spouting’?
I try to be well planned in my thoughts and hope they come across well penned. I apologize for any lack of cosmetic craftsmanship perceived.

Most of all thank you to Stephan for opening up his platform for discussion. It is the free exchange of thoughts that truly fuel me.