Just a quick update from my post yesterday on Obama’s economic legacy: looks like I’m not the only one that thinks our lackluster economic performance over the last five years has been entirely the result of GOP opposition.
Obama inherited the worst economic recession since the Great Depression; there’s no doubt about that. And Obama’s early efforts to stymie the worst of the free-fall were largely successful; TARP (in combination with emergency actions from the Fed) got the systemic distress in the banking system under control relatively quickly, and the stimulus blunted the worst of the recession. And, I’m well aware that the rabid GOP opposition to anything and everything associated with Obama has made accomplishing much of anything in DC a pipe-dream.
However, Obama’s advisers (political and economic) have also failed him–the decision to go along with the GOP’s desire to pivot to deficit reduction in 2010 and 2011 was disastrous; Obama has repeatedly failed to nominate policy-makers to key economic positions, the Obama administration completely failed to help underwater homeowners (how the banking system received Trillions in bailout funding but individual homeowners can’t receive federal funding to refinance their mortgage because of ‘moral hazard’ is absolutely beyond me), Obama made the mistake of negotiating over the debt ceiling; not only did a willingness to negotiate lead directly to adverse economic outcomes (sequester) but it set a dangerous precedent for the future (now), the horrible handling of Summers’ candidacy for the Federal Reserve…
The list of strategic political and economic policy blunders has been long–hopefully the Obama administration is aware of these shortcomings, though their actions indicate that they are perfectly satisfied with their economic performance so far…not a fantastic situation.