Opinion

The Great Debate

President Obama’s first hundred days

April 29, 2009

 Diana Furchtgott-Roth– Diana Furchtgott-Roth, former chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor, is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute.  The views expressed are her own. —

In his first one hundred days, President Obama has shown himself to be one of the most radical U.S. presidents in history.  He is harming America’s defenses by publishing memos on interrogation of detainees and threatening to prosecute lawyers who drafted supportive memos.  He shakes hands with America’s enemies, such as Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, and sends mixed signals to its friends, such as Colombia’s President Uribe.

And, in the name of combating a recession, he is destroying the fundamental institutions of America’s free-market economy.

Not only would President Obama’s proposed programs move government spending to levels, in relation to the economy, unseen since the end of World War II, but his administration is increasingly involved in the minutiae of a new, unwise, industrial policy, such as how much firms can pay workers, and which banks are allowed to repay government loans, and which industries and companies deserve a government rescue package.

Under Obama’s proposed budget, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects the government deficit to hit $1.2 trillion in 2019, or six percent of GDP, after “bottoming out”—if it does—at  $658 billion in 2012, a level more than 40 percent above the highest deficit under the presidency of George W. Bush. By 2019, government spending would take up nearly a quarter of GDP, far higher than at the peak of Iraq war spending and the highest, excepting 2009 and 2010, since 1946.

Much has been written about President Obama’s plans for multi-year, growing expenditures on energy and health care. He has proposed to invest billions of dollars in wind, solar power, and other renewables, which now produce about 3 percent of U.S. energy, yet he neglects nuclear power, which produces 20 percent.  He has suggested a substantial cap-and-trade energy tax, which would raise more than a trillion dollars over time, according to some estimates. And he wants a down payment of $634 billion for a universal health care plan whose details he has not yet confided to the public.

In addition, Obama is pushing for other programs which are both costly and naive.  One of his priorities is high-speed passenger rail service, which was given a downpayment of $8 billion in economic stimulus funds and possibly $5 billion more in the budget.  This proposal is, to put it charitably, poorly-designed. Real high-speed rail, with trains that travel 150 miles an hour and faster, can be found in Europe and Japan, but they have not stemmed the increasing use of road transportation.  And these trains need their own, specially engineered rights-of-way, which would cost much more than $13 billion.

Some of Obama’s economic proposals appear to be aimed at placating labor unions, an important element in his political base, rather than encouraging economic recovery.  In March, even before the swine flu scare, he signed legislation ending a program, opposed by the Teamsters union, allowing a small number of Mexican trucks to enter into the United States.  Mexico is retaliating by imposing tariffs on almost 100 agricultural products, including wheat, beans, beef and rice, hurting American exporters.

In another concession to unions, the president has let the U.S. Labor Department end some disclosure requirements for union finances, originally put in place so that union members can learn how their dues are being spent.

Although Obama lauds transparency, the Labor Department has announced that it would not enforce the filing of the form that requires union officials to report conflicts of interest, such as whether they had personal relationships with firms doing union business.  In addition, unions will no longer be required to disclose supplemental information about officers’ pensions and compensation.

Even as unions are allowed to reveal less about their finances, financial institutions that have taken government funds, some reluctantly and under Treasury Department duress, are subject to an unprecedented level of scrutiny as to their compensation of senior executives.  Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and J.P. Morgan are being discouraged from repaying their Troubled Assets Relief Program funds, even though pay caps are interfering with retention of talented staff.  A government pressuring banks to do something not required by law is engaged in extra-legal behavior.

The government’s treatment of executive compensation bonuses, standard in many industries, has also been capricious. Some executives working in banks that received TARP funds were paid their bonuses without complaints from Washington.  Others, notably those working at AIG, were demonized both by the press and government.

For those who favor nationalization of the economy, or at least of big business, Obama’s first 100 days have been a roaring success.  Others, however, pray that the economy can survive not only the recession but also the president’s prescriptions.

Comments
53 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

We heard these same lame arguments when Bill Clinton was in office. Tax increases will kill the economy, the family leave act will kill business, increasing the minimum wage will kill small business. Every Republican voted against the first Clinton budget.We saw the end results. Over 20 million jobs created and a surplus.Obama’s plans are what is necessary to repair the massive damage done by the Bush administration on all fronts from schools to infrastructure, health care to our low standing in the world, the rise of terrorism due to his torture policies and the failures in Afghanistan.Diana Furchtgott-Roth will be eating her words by the end of the Obama term, but you will never see a column admitting so.

Posted by Mike O | Report as abusive
 

So if the economy ever recovers, Obama gets the credit? How would you distinguish the impact of his policies vs. the fluctuations of a normal business cycle?I love how Obama’s stimulus proposals are couched as ‘creating or saving’ millions of jobs. By including the word saving, he can always claim that his policies worked irrespective of the absolute unemployment level.

Posted by Jeff | Report as abusive
 

After eight years of a president who stole from the poor and spent trillions of dollars on a war that made no sense and pretty much no one supports anymore, I’d say Obama isn’t doing too bad. At least the money he’s spending can in some way be given back to its taxpayers.Less we forget the majority of the TARP bailout was written when George H. W. was in office, and was written by Representatives in dark corners of the capitol. Not sure how that can be pinned to President Obama.And shouldn’t we expect an assault on train travel from a person who worked for the American Petroleum Institute? Which uses more oil, hundreds of cars, or one train?At some point, hopefully before the wells run dry, Americans will have to think about which makes more sense to maintain: a few train tracks and trains driven by professional drivers, or a crumbling system of thousands of Interstate Highways which promise to keep future generations behind the wheel 20% of their lives or more, and us fighting wars in the Middle East for causes no one’s sure about.

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive
 

Obviously above I meant George W. was in office when TARP was written, not H.W.

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive
 

The political polarization of America, manifested in diverse, uncompromising political and economic philosophy, is the only obstacle to recovery.

Posted by RR Reading | Report as abusive
 

I think the guy’s been a complete washout – ZERO!He has had no successes. He’s only embarrassed his country by apologizing to anyone who’d listen and by shaking hands with every degenerate potentate and dictator he’s been presented to. The reality of BO, that hag Nancy Pelosi and her clueless lap dog Harry Reid running the country sends shivers of abject terror down my spine.

Posted by RFL | Report as abusive
 

April 29, 2009Where were you when the Bush administration promised to pay for the Iraqi invasion with Iraqi oil money? Why did we not hear arguments from you when Al Gore’s lock box was raided and the national surplus was “magically” reduced into a raging “deficit”? At least we get a bullet train under Obama. Under Bush all we got was torture and the greatest economic free fall since 1929. Not to mention the enmity of the Iraqi people, who want us out of their country even after all the lives, suffering and billions in war expenditure and economic aid for their country. Yes, Jr. Bush, the archetypical “Ugly American”.

Posted by David Pee | Report as abusive
 

New flash for you, Mike O, the economy under Clinton had nothing to do with anything that he did. The upturn was due to the boom of the .com industries. Read up.

Posted by Billy | Report as abusive
 

Mike O.This classic “post hoc, ergo propter hoc” argument has been made far too many times by the Clinton aggrandizers. Always, the fact that the 1990′s was an era of unprecedented technological growth that radically altered our business environment and paved the way for globalization is simply left out of this fallacious argument. Unless you would like to credit Mr. Clinton with the invention of the Internet, please do not assume that the economy boomed only due to his policies. In addition, there was a yearly surplus at the end of Mr. Clinton’s term, not an overall surplus – we were still in quite a bit of debt. Oh, and on top of that, there was a Republican majority in Congress during this time period that reigned in spending through the utilization of a Republican spending policy named “paygo.” You simply cannot justify this argument because you have left out too many other contributing events.

Posted by Matthew L. | Report as abusive
 

Mr. Obama’s budget rests on the blade of a very sharp knife. By the white house budget office’s own admittance, the Obama budget will make the economic situation worse should our economy not experience the double digit growth that the Obama administration expects in upcoming years. Mr. Obama also expects budget windfalls from lower health care costs in the future to fund his current health schemes. I, for one, do not like the specter of what ifs and contingencies floating around spending plans, because, well, things never seem to go as planned. Look at California; they are currently in the worst shape of any state in the Union because they chose to spend money they had not earned yet. My father used to have a great axiom for this very situation: “Son, you can never bet on the come.” Mr. Obama would do well to heed the sage advice of my old man.

Posted by Matthew L. | Report as abusive
 

If Ronnie comes back from the dead maybe you could go back to work for him? In the meantime try walking your newsreporter ass down the middle and less to the Republican side of the road please.

Posted by chris | Report as abusive
 

After seeing that our economy was sitting on a foundation of sand, how can anyone trust what an economist tells you? I blame economists for this recession. It’s their job to understand the economy, to warn us laypeople of its problems, and they obviously failed. Economics may as well be called politics, because that’s all I hear coming from this lady’s mouth. Politics with a few statistics thrown in for good measure.

Posted by kyle | Report as abusive
 

Economists have been nothing but hacks to the USG and corporate swindle of “Free Trade”. “Free Tade” at any and all costs and to everyone but the corporations. The scam of “Free Trade” has hollowed out our economic base making this recession worse, squandered our economic sovereignty and made us slaves to Red China. Believe me these vultures will come home to roost – just wait until Red China wants to make a move in the western Pacific.

Posted by RFL | Report as abusive
 

Fact: EVERY Republican voted against the Clinton budget that started the boom. Clinton specifically taxed what needed taxed and relieved what needed relieved. You read up, Billy.Fact: There were surpluses as far as the eye could see when Clinton left. The major debate between Gore and Bush was what to do with the surpluses. Bush elected trickle-down economics, or voodoo as his father called them. Even reagan abondoned it with massive tax increases himself.

Posted by Mike O | Report as abusive
 

3 months into a gigantic mess created by 8 years of blind ideology and outright mistakes, it looks like the problem definitions and required fixes are being enacted and transparently too.Second-guessers should turn down the rhetoric for a year or so to have a serious look at the staggering “to do” list which the President inherited without the luxury of being able to pick a couple of items.Then, with some time and progress to review, they might not just grind but suggest their own reasoned and assessed alternatives if they have differences. I for one am amazed at the focused effort and early signs of progress which have been achieved. Along with this are examples of the President’s leadership style and resolve on many fronts including foreign policy where the US is regaining its reputation without caving in to adversaries.Wish the administration well rather than pulling it down.

Posted by lecourt0 | Report as abusive
 

I have heard talk radio describe some liberals as thugs, bullies, houligans and haven’t understand why someone would make such comments…until now. Reading the comment posted by Chris now helps me better understand what they were talking about.It’s funny how some people choose to ignore the ‘facts’ as presented by one side when rebutting comments. Anyone who’s been to Europe, and it seems Obama is bent on making us more like the Continent, has seen the vast railway system in every city. It is hard to fathom the United States being able to implement a bullet train system. The comment in the article argued (implied)the system would cost billions more than proposed. The rebuttal comes back with “a few train tracks”…? Huh? Really? Ignore the reality and maybe it will go away?Who is going to argue for the rapid escalation of socialism that Obama is imposing on this country? What country in the history of the world was succesful running this way? If you do decide to conjure up some story of how this is good. It still contradicts the basis on which this country was founded. Limited government. And yes, a God loving, God fearing Christian based people.No, no one is going to force you to become Christian. You are free to choose your religious beliefs. But it does not take away from the fact that our founding fathers, who created the greatest living governing document, were Christian and wrote Christian values into this country’s origin. So now we have to hide these facts and can’t talk about it? Really? Because we’re going to offend someone? Really? This is the basis of the country’s roots. We became the greatest country on earth…and somehow in the past 50 years it has become wrong? Really?It’s unfortunate to see all the Bush bashing. It’s very popular and it seems many people know they can get support by making a comment in conversation…even if they have no idea about what they are talking. Not a clue. Maybe it’s not their fault. They don’t read or listen to what is going on. And of course the media can be misleading.People want to ignore what happened under the Republican congress…as in policy that spurred growth. Trickle down effect is too much to argue here. Are there exhorbant salaries that exist? Sure. Are there people who take advantage of others in the name of greed? Sure. But the bottom line is jobs are created with people who have the guts to invest, build something, invent something…and eventually get rich from it. Does that make them bad people? It’s an arguement that seems not to get addressed by liberals. Instead, it seems that the focus is on the greedy guy who swindles money from people. Not on a guy who founded a software company, became one of the richest people on earth, and employs tens of thousands of people. You prefer to have the government manage businesses???On the one hand it’s hard to understand the thought process of the Left. On the other hand, watching the liberal media with slanted reporting, the average guy doesn’t stand a chance to understand what is really going on.

Posted by Mike B | Report as abusive
 

Diana, i see you got the rove talking points memo. Your points are all totally refutable. Lets just start with the first real point … since you waste the fisrst paragraph coughing up Rovian finger pointing.Did Obama destroy the free market? You think he did? Really .. or are you just going for shock value? Let me take you to the distant past … 7 months ago. Do you recall that deregulated free market came within an inch of destroying itself and everything remotely attached to it? Do you recall that the brilliant free-market minds came up with financial packages that they themselves could not unravel. The same banks that thought it was okay to be leveraged 30:1 or more. Your a bit confused even for a pundit … i’m shocked your editor didn’t immediately point this out. But you have the audacity to be mad that, unlike the Paulson plan (who bailed out the firm he owns 500million in stock in), Obama put some strings on the money. And really … they only got strings after they showed how morally depraved they are by handing out bonuses. God, you have a really bad memory.you know, I initially thought it was a bad idea to micro manage the banks, but it turns out its brilliant. See, greed is the one constant that they understand. And if you cap their earning potential while they hold a loan … guess what … they go out of their way to pay it back and fast. It seems to me that ‘salary-approach’ actually provided the stick that was missing in the Paulson plan?Diana, you don’t like Obama because he crashed your party, he spoiled your good time, your faith in Reaganomics is ruined and its his fault … somehow. I liken the republican reaction like hearing moms car park and the house is a total mess. Or maybe, your the babysitter in master bedroom with your boyfriend and the parents just got home early. We’ll tough stuff. You’re busted. But way to turn it around. Instead of ‘lesson learned’ … its you yelling at them for coming home early. Then yelling at them for not paying you.But your just a pundit that got lucky to have someone at Reuters want to publish your opinion. Your really not the bad guy. What i am really pissed at is Wallstreet. Every year they come to my company and tout the virtues of saving and adding to my 401k. They said its for the longterm. Then they go out and try to make short term gains on it. Its like going to Vegas … but gambling with someone else’s money and telling them you’ll split the pay out if you win.But i’m also pissed at myself. Somewhere along the line i got convinced that it was only natural to make 20% return on my money. That it was better to invest to get money you didn’t work for then create wealth with my own work. At one point in time, Western Civilization considered it usury to lend money with interest. You where considered a leech on society if you just got rich by collecting interest, skimming off other peoples hard work. Now, our financial system has allowed the leaches to become the biggest fish in the pond. I’m going back to admiring the people who build companies … not the people who finance them.

Posted by Juls | Report as abusive
 

Obama is a terrible president. It hurts to even offer him the title President Obama but nevertheless, he did get voted in. He is so in opposition to what he is sworn to protect.

Posted by jason | Report as abusive
 

Mike O, you are grossly mis-informed. Every thing that you read will tell you the boom under Clinton was due to increase of the dot.com and the internet boom. As someone else has stated, the years of the Clinton terms were controlled by the Republicans in congress. The President does not control the budget, or the laws passed or their outcome. The congress does. I am not going to argue with someone who does not belive in reality. BTW, maybe your Hillary will attempt to straighten out the mess your president has gotten us into. She will be the Deomcratic nominee in the next election. Hide and watch.

Posted by Billy | Report as abusive
 

if anybody thinks that we are going to come ou of this debt you all better wake up and smell the coffee we didnt even pay chinas last months intrest 0f hundreds of billions china will soon own america if the call in thir loans and treasury notes we are completley broke and the next shoe to drop is the federal reserve bank no money either.

Posted by lou | Report as abusive
 

NON of you saw the video of Obama bowing to Saudi king did you? But I bet the bleeding heart libs will say that it was not a bow it was Obama looking for more coins for the economy. Keep looking – do your research, none of his programs will come without a cost. Do some research on Pelosi too what a hypocrite.

Posted by sonny | Report as abusive
 

Seriously – maybe there’s room for you down on the ranch in Crawford?

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive
 

During the “Spring and Autumn Period” of China, the king of Qin, ancestor of the first emperor once help the second son of the neighbour Jin into power because the second son was not so good so King of Qin hope it would weaken the neighbour Jin. Unfortunately the new King of Jin created a lot of trouble and made unnecessary wars with his neighbour. King of Qin regretted what he did.George Bush created a weak USA. He made wars that go nowhere. He brought US deficit to 11 trillion. He refused to rectify the Kyoto Treaty putting USA 8 years behind its commitment to carbon emission. During this period, we see the North Pole nearly melt completely.Obama would likely create a stronger USA. Learning from King Qin, we Chinese believe a stronger leader for the USA is in the best interest of China. So far Obama keeps his words. We prefer to deal with wise men. I supppose it will be the best interest of the Americans to have a wise president that keeps his words too.

Posted by Lee Siu Hoi | Report as abusive
 

This is a President who dislikes everything about America, so much so that he wants us to be like Europeans and others who have spent decades envying us, and our way of life. Everything that was great about America will die in his Administration. His only appeal is to those who don’t want to take responsibility for their own lives, and want Government to act as a parent.This President is not like President Clinton in anyway, he will be another Jimmy Carter. My only hope for the survival of America is that he only gets one term.

Posted by Dee McDonald | Report as abusive
 

President Obama is a real breath of fresh air. He has his facts at his finger-tips and inspires leaders and people across America and world-wide. He is determined to bridge the gap between rich and poor. here is a caring, intelligent President trying his very best to reshape America and take it to the heights again. President Obama is vey much like President Kennedy especially with regard to charisma and intelligence. In 100 days his report card makes fascinating reading and one is convinced that his first term will be full of memorable successes

 

Do some reading Billy, you haven’t posted a fact yet.The Republican Congress of the 90′s was the biggest joke of the 20th Century. Rather than do something for the American people, they spent their entire time going after Clinton. They even shut down the government to their everlasting shame.Pay as you go Congress? They increased spending as much as any Congress, the difference being Clinton’s increased revenue.The dot.com boom was a small blip in the trillions of dollars of the US economy, it was the Clinton economic policy that caused the boom.

Posted by Mike O | Report as abusive
 

Diana, do you have to be so alarmist? Every article I’ve read from you thus far has been intensely critical Obama, and the goals that he is trying to achieve. I appreciate that your offering your opinion on the matter, but could you be a little less biased? You speak of Obama as if he’s going to precipitate the collapse of civilization.

Posted by Jonathan | Report as abusive
 

High speed rail is not practical for the US. In Nashville, they put in a passenger train line of about 30 miles. Used existing rail lines, bought used cars and refurbished them. The cost- ONE MILLION DOLLARS PER MILE!Now I am no expert, but I expect high speed rail to be much more costly. 13 Billion probably does not get us very far. And who will pay? Those of us who work. We pay the bill and if you think “Big Companies” or “rich people” will pay higher taxes to fund this you really are stupid. The companies pass the extra taxes to us as consumers. The rich had tax experts to keep them from paying, so “we” the “little people” pay.Oh, BTW, look how good a job universal health care is doing with the swine flu in Mexico. Sick people being turned away and not being treated aggressively. This is waht we have to look forward to under the big “O”.

Posted by Mel | Report as abusive
 

Hey Arlen – Welcome to The Party! Diana there’s still time to see the light!

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive
 

Mel – Are you seriously thinking that comparing Mexico and the United States on any level is an apples-to-apples comparison. Mind you Universal Care has hurdles, but a US Mexico comparison doesn’t come close to being real. While you are busy with your research remember to throw down a couple of Ho-Ho’s and some Ring Dings. Ultimatley there is of course no relationship between what you eat and how healthy you are. I am looking forward to paying more for all of you lard asses to have state sponsored heart by-pass operations under the future US Universal Health Care. Right after Im done paying for the mortgage on the house you couldn’t afford and the 60″ flat panel you bough on credit you really didn’t have.

Posted by chris | Report as abusive
 

Mike O, do some reading yourself. Not everyone agrees with you:”Clinton’s economic success was due to the dot-com revolution and all the capital gains taxes generated by huge stock gains and sales, not to mention the peripheral gains in income taxes from the resultant economic boom. These gains happened in spite of Clinton’s tax increases. That is, he was lucky. When the boom burst so did the surpluses.”That is not my opinion bur only one of many economic experts. Nothing but the facts, Mike. I’ll be watching from Costa Rica while you and your ilk go down the drain to socialism under your new prez.Costa Rica, the oldest democracy in Central America, NO MILITARY, low taxes, excellent health care at 1/3 the cost of the USA. Bye, bye.

Posted by Billy | Report as abusive
 

As an independent both of you party-line voting sides scare the hell out of me. One side bowing to Obama, another side talking about how great Bush is (by siding with the bush-loving author).Best way to help the market is with limited gov’t, no income taxes and a 10-15% corporate tax, which neither president and neither political party wants to have their powers over the peopled limited in such a way.Both parties want to tax us all til we’re lower class,spend crazy amounts of money through “stimulus” packages, nation build (Iraq or Afghanistan), keep the borders wide open, rack up the national debt, bow down to NAFTA, work hand in hand with Communist China, there’s literally not one bit of difference in the two parties.We’d prefer to just keep shooting ourselves in the foot while our standard of living slowly declines year by year. To the guy who was whining about Obama bowing down to the Saudi King, we’ve been allies with those monsters throughout both democratic and republican administrations and your boy Rumsfeld was happy to shake hands with Saddam Hussein.For the good of your country and the good of your souls in the next election vote for a 3rd party and if you don’t support any of them don’t vote.Ron Paul 2012

Posted by Michael Ham | Report as abusive
 

Michael, obviously you have mistaken me for someone who votes for the two leading parties. I learned better than that long ago. I vote Libertarian and always will. Keep the government OUT of my business. That’s why my state still has a 14 billion dollar surplus and will not take any bail-out money that has any government stipulations.

Posted by Billy | Report as abusive
 

Billy,I was talking about the commenters as a whole, not you individually. However you are implying that NOW we’re a socialist country and weren’t prior to Obama. Despite the fact that our taxation, parts of healthcare, parts of auto insurance, social security, education have all been socialist for decades.

Posted by Michael Ham | Report as abusive
 

Equity holders are wiped out. Secured lenders offered mere pennies on a dollar, and the offer strongly implies “you better take it or else…” Corporate actives handed down to the unions and the government. Who could’ve done it? Lenin in 1917? Fidel Castro in 1959? Chavez in 1998?Nope, it’s Obama 2009! That scenario was exactly what he planned for Chrysler, and something along those lines is in the works for GM. Ford will remain the only private holdout in the industry, and probably not for long. The control over US auto industry being handed down to UAW, that was the main culprit in the industry demise, with their exorbitant pay and benefit demands. The unions were among Obama’s most fervent supporters, and now he is paying back.Hopefully the bankruptcy judge will stick to the law and not give in to the pressure. According to the law UAW is nothing more than unsecured lender, and as such must line up behind bond holders, suppliers, and other secured lenders.As for other things, there are questions no one dared to ask:- Are you personally better off today than 100 days ago?- Is the economy better today than 100 days ago?- Are the relations with our allies around the world better today than 100 days ago?For the last 2, the jury is still out, but it looks rather negative than positive. And the first question – ask any one that got laid off, went into bankruptcy, or lost their house in foreclosure during the last 100 days.

Posted by Anonymous | Report as abusive
 

It is evident to me that our political parties nominate and and elect criminals to office including the Presidency. Our government is charged with the responsibility of impeaching and prosecuting elected officials where evidence suggests they have committed “High Crimes and Misdemeanors”. Or are wars of aggression, seizing resources and torture neither?Perhaps we should all read the works of John Locke and closely review the Declaration of Independence too.

Posted by Anubis | Report as abusive
 

I think he’s doing the same thing I would have done. I’m tired of all the secrets, the allowing of executive orders to be signed in, (more secrets) and how there was no regulation in the banking industry so that this mortgage crisis could manifest into the implosion of the the century. I thank God for the transparency, I believe it is written that there are no such things as secrets, just a lacking of knowledge as to how to read between the lines. A long time ago, people thought that a wierd looking vehicle was called a chariot of fire, but today, we’ve seen that what it really was a flying saucer. Every mystery has a time for recognition, it just takes the right kind of people. Is Obama the right kind of person for this job. Of course he is, i’ve seen no one with more guts to open up the chambers of lies and disclosure like President Barak Obama. Now if he could only look into the secret world of DCF, he will faint, his heart will be broken, touched and moved. This group is one of the biggest conspirators of all times. Foster kids for sale.

Posted by pumpkin pie | Report as abusive
 

Diana, your comments on energy consumption are misleading, and suggest that you are too focused on promoting your agenda to be bothered by the facts. Nuclear power provides for 20% of U.S. ELECTRICITY consumption, not 20% of our total energy. And since solar and wind power currently supply much less, why NOT encourage their growth? These are two of our cleanest and most plentiful renewable energy resources, and have been neglected unwisely for decades by previous administrations.

 

Telling the truth sure makes him a radical from recent presidents. This kind of message from Diana is why the Repubs lost the election..fair & balanced..indeed

Posted by Dan Cedusky | Report as abusive
 

You leftist and Obama lovers are out of control. this is an article based on fact. Not right wing extremism. The only things extreme going on right now is our radical president. You leftist want to bash Bush and make him out to be some sort of comunist but as fasr as I am concerned he protected my white american rear. Obama chooses to sale me out, take my money, give it to worthless trash to buy crack and then expect me to also pick up the medical bill when they overdose. This is horrible and If george washington was alive today, you would see a NEW AMERICAN REVOLUTION. Starting with the removal of the new socialist party and all the imigrants and lazy fools in america that follow it. AMerica became strong by defending itself and protecting its interest in the world since it was founded. That is long gone now.This is a sad sad age fro America, I am glad I do not have children right about now.

Posted by Mike F | Report as abusive
 

Diana, you are talking rubbish, absolute rubbish. After the gormless Bush, the US finally has a president with a brain that can actually think, who writes beautifully and even manages to speak well. All 3 skills were sadly absent in Mr Bush.Also Universal Health Care systems exsist in all the civilised world, usually for well less than 10% of GDP. Here Health is heading for 16+% of GDP and predicted to rise further, while equity and access issues worsen. Also we have business going bust because of exposure to employees health costs.

Posted by C D Xbow | Report as abusive
 

100 days? 100 days! What did any of us do in the past 100 days? Stop an economic downward spiral that’s been building since the dawn of deregulation? Sell our car, stick with our old, camera-less cell because the latest gizmo is too expensive? Adjust our expectations of our own standard of living because we are all living in a mess of debt during a time when debt has become a far-too-accepted state of being?And health care? Well yippee for the deregulation there too! I get to choose, if I’m lucky enough to not have a pre-existing condition that is, between the expensive brand name drug or the really expensive brand name drug that my doctor is touting because she’s been given an extra couple thousand bucks if she prescribes a certain amount of brand name drugs. Yeah, more control over that, or at least a forced competive market, would be bad, huh?And don’t get me started on those lazy, lazy ass poor people and immigrants who couldn’t even lift a finger to pick their own noses if their lives depended on it! We all started out in a green meadow full of daisies, just frolicking and pulling ourselves up from our bootstraps right? And the only people to blame for their own troubles is the people with trouble themselves so I’ll be damned if I’m going to stand in the same line for the same health care and education as people who just don’t deserve it!Come on! After reading commentaries like Diana’s I like to close my eyes and imagine a country where people are valued more than politics, more than money, more than being right. And sometimes when I imagine it I also imagine my country is full of people that are smart enough to make their own choices rather than relying on multi-billion dollar companies to make choices for them. And I have a 1973 orange convertible MG.

Posted by G Wertzer | Report as abusive
 

Good Article: but you have left out the President\’s tirade about the removal of the leftist, drug dealing buddy of Chavez\’s, Zelaya. Calling the actions taken by the Honduran congress and supreme court as illegal when, in fact, what was done was legal, compliant with the constitution.Honduras has been a friend and ally of the US for 30 years. This radical, left leaning President of the US, has totally disregarded the Honduran laws in his statements, and has acted in an improper way. This is a clear indication of his vision of communism for the United States. Disregard for a Democratically elected congress legal actions in favor of a Drug Dealing leftist.Maybe that is too harsh, and The jerk in Honduras is the president’s drug source??? Hmmmmm, hadn’t thought of that.

Posted by Richard | Report as abusive
 

Why wasn’t there any criticism of the misguided and idiotic leadership of George W. Bush from people like Diana? It’s because of hypocrisy plain and simple. Obama’s policies are repairing the economic disaster left behind by Bush, the Nasdaq and S&P are RISING and not tanking like under Bush but yet Diana is outraged? Bush crashed the economy, failed to respond to disaster but instead often created disasters, lied about weapons of mass destruction, and spoke english as if it was a second language for him and her response was SILENCE. Yes hypocrisy indeed.

Posted by tom | Report as abusive
 

Radical is not a strong enough word.I voted for “change” not bankruptcy. I voted for an improvement in our insurance system, not being forced into a plan that lets the Pres, and the congress opt out of. We the people pay for the governments employee insurance plan, and are going to have to pay for lesser coverage for ourselves. The government does not administer their own insurance plan (it has been farmed out to a private administrator). And yet, Mr. Obama insists that the government will administer the plan for us. My questions as to why, go unanswered by the Presidents office.Lets be brutally blunt here, Mr. Obama says we cannot have the same insurance coverages that he and the congress have, and ours has to be administered by some other “CZAR”. This statement is coming from the very same people who have bankrupted Social Security, along with anything else they say that can administer correctly.

Posted by Lenny | Report as abusive
 

This article is pure nonsense!Obama of course not perfect is doing a great job for all American. But particularly those that Ms. Diana Furchtgott-Roth has no idea about: The Poor! Professor Levy

Posted by Alan Levy | Report as abusive
 

Sounds a bit over the top there lady with the hyphen. You badmouth the now to cover for the recent past. Our last president has left a legacy of dead brave men and women for a useless war. He left our economy in a position where it may take years to recover if we do at all. And you want to hissy fit about the president shaking hands with some wannabe dictator? And starting a rail project to promote jobs is something to gripe about? Lady please shut up. If your an economist and you were part of Bushes appointed cronys, mam I would think you would be embarassed to admit it. In fact I’d probably go get a job at a grocery store and bury all the evidence.

Posted by huh | Report as abusive
 

Obama has certainly divided the nation with his promises and actions during his firat 100 days. Is he the most radical president ever? Well, he certainly is one of the most radical in my 50 years as a voter.Obama has made tons of promises, and has already broken many of them. The appointments he has made so far are mainly incompetent fringe players with radical backgrounds. And his speeches apologizing for nearly every aspect of America simply make me sick.He has added incredibly to the debt our kids and grandkids will have to pay off. He has added jobs, alright — but almost exclusively to the federal government, at a time when the nation needs public sector jobs (which are now down effectively some 15 or 16 percent…)His plans to gut our current healthcare system in favor of an entirely new, federally-mandated and run system scare the hell out any thinking adult.I think that a large share of all American voters — upwards of 65% — now understand that America made a HUGE mistake last fall in voting for Obama.

Posted by mike | Report as abusive
 

This is incredibly biased, will make sure to never read an article by Diana Furchtgott-Roth.

Posted by George | Report as abusive
 

Great Article! Tom’s post is so wrong. Obama pushed the throttle of Bush’s policies of pending to the floor spending at three times in Obama’s first 8 months than Bush did in eight years. Do you homework before spouting off what someone told you to think.

Posted by TheBigPicture | Report as abusive
 

If nothing else, this article does promote a healthy exchange of views. One of those views would be Bush bashing. With a little research I found that since 2001 and the following years Bush had warned congress and others of the potential financial catastrophe of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in addition to the derivative mess and other exotic instruments. All warnings went unheeded or ignored. Prior to that, in the 90′s Brooksley Born who served in the Clinton White House as chair of the CFTC , had warned of a serious financial crisis due to the growth of unregulated derivatives. She was particularly concerned about swaps. Her proposed regulations of these derivative was strenuously opposed by Alan Greenspan, Robert Rubin and… Lawrence Summers. The same Lawrence Summers that is now in the Obama White House as Director of National Economic Council. Well, well… so continued warnings from Bush , and the failure of Clinton and his advisors to heed the advice of Brooksley Born led the way to economic disaster.

Posted by cfiman | Report as abusive
 

You’re right on track concerning the worst President in the history of our great nation.What I tell every one that seem’s to think he is angelic,so to speake , is just look at his record so far.He has surronded himself amongst the most far left and radical people possible. I just ask all those still attractive to him, to please take a common sense approach to his policies and agenda. If they can still back him then, We have a totall breakdown in democracy as we know it, or were being taken over without much of a fight.Sincerely,Ricky Trimnal

 

Three points to Ponder:1. If previous adminstration did not screw it all up with “WMDs”,”SHOCK & AWE”, and TAX CUTS, we would not be having these problems.2.Obama was elected as the President unlike GW Bush who was “selected” by a bunch of supreme court judges in the 1st term. Give the guy a chance to fix the mess left behind by others.3.What is your solution? other than being a critic in your cozy house.Monday morning quaterbacking wont fix these problems.

Posted by Shirish Naik | Report as abusive
 

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