Friday, January 9, 2009

Obama's Thumb on the Scale

Participating in a regular ritual of administration turnovers, PEBO gave a speech yesterday in which he looked at our economy and pronounced it on life support, leading to the logical conclusion that HIS economic policies and proposals should be immediately acted upon. As this article correctly points out, this is the stuff of ritual; Bush II did it, Clinton did it, Bush I, Reagan, etc. Paint a worse picture of things than actually exists, lower expectations, but most of all, take advantage of a sense of crisis (Rahm Emmanuel's contribution to the strategy) to pass legislation important to the administration.

While our economy is certainly in trouble, is this the right time to spend money on "computerizing medical records"?

I take issue with the view of where our economy is. I believe we've about found the bottom. The ridiculous swings on Wall Street have largely ended, mortgage applications are up, and the TARP candy seems to have stabilized the financial system. At this point, continuing to perform CPR on an economy with a normal (albeit lower) heart-rate seems overkill. I'm not saying that the Obama team should come in and do NOTHING (well, I guess deep down, that is what I'm saying), but a lot of wasteful spending doesn't seem to make sense. Immediate stimulative impact should be the catch phrase....lower corporate taxes, easing depreciation limits, investment (spending) on necessary transportation infrastructure....these things are ok with me. Just not thrilled about a big Christmas tree of spending larded with shiny, expensive ornaments.

UPDATE: Yes, Yes. I see that unemployment has risen. Not a surprise. There are leading economic indicators and lagging economic indicators. Unemployment is a lagging indicator.


Goldwater's Ghost said...

Nothing like the "politics of fear" to sell an agenda.

But I think the case could be made that this is precisely the time to spend money on computerizing medical records.

A significant portion of Medicare claims are still handled via paper, which is terribly inefficient and wasteful. The notion of EMR's have been floating around for years, but always seem to get pushed to the backburner for one reason or another.

It's a safe assumption that a large portion of the stimulus money will be ill spent, but on the flip side, some of it will make its way to sound investment. I think this might be a worthy investment.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Obama the one who so decried the 'politics of fear' during the campaign?

The most disturbing thing about his speech yesterday was his statement that 'only government can solve the problem.' And you know he firmly believes this not just about this crisis but about virtually every aspect of life in America.

I think it's going to be very interesting to observe the political theater in getting this passed (or not.)

Dan said...

Unfortunately, the "Catch Phrases" you are looking for will be hard to come by.
Instead, look for "Catch Phrases" such as: "Government Oversight, Economic Advantaging, Stimulation Through Taxation, etc."

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