Posts Tagged ‘Larry Summers’
October 11th, 2010 at 10:25 pm
Weakness in the West Wing
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As we profiled in last week’s Freedom Minute video, they’re currently doing a bit of housekeeping in the Obama White House, with key departures coming throughout the ranks of the senior staff. Thus far, the biggest change has been on the economic team, with the departures of Peter Orszag, Chrisina Romer, and Larry Summers. Last week’s announcement that General Jim Jones would step down as National Security Adviser, however, shows that the bloodletting is now spreading to the president’s foreign policy team.

Unfortunately, the upshot of this transitional period seems to be replacing plaques rather than policies. The new economic advisers promise more of the same. And on national security, we may actually be trading down.

While General Jones was known for keeping banker’s hours and not being a particularly influential member of Obama’s inner circle, his military credentials insulated him from being viewed as too dovish on foreign policy. Not so his replacement, Thomas Donilon, whose past successes include being in-house counsel at Fannie Mae (you can’t make this stuff up).

Writing in today’s New York Post, AEI’s Arthur Herman lays out the case for pessimism at Obama’s choice for the nation’s most powerful national security position:

Donilon is the anti-Kissinger, the bureaucrat’s bureaucrat. By every account, he measures success by the number of position papers he has read and sees process as important as substance in foreign policy.

He learned this working as chief of staff for the most colorless and ineffectual 20th century secretary of state, Warren Christopher. Formerly No. 2 at State in the Jimmy Carter years, Christopher embodied the Carter mindset of seeing America as an arrogant problem child that needs to be spanked and grounded if the world is to have any peace.

That mindset now rules the Obama White House.

It’s why Obama is comfortable with America’s steady decline both economically and strategically, why he’s pushing for more defense cuts and why he clearly resents having been talked into backing the surge strategy in Afghanistan — a problem he wishes would simply go away.

For those wondering if Obama is going to pull off a Clintonesque renaissance in the wake of a mid-term drubbing, the appointment of advisers even more ideologically extreme than their predecessors provides an answer.

We’ve always known that Obama views himself in quasi-religious terms. Now it’s beginning to look like he’s setting himself on a path of political martyrdom.


September 28th, 2010 at 12:32 pm
Ramirez Cartoon: Rats Jumping From Obama Sinking Ship
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

October 19th, 2009 at 2:35 pm
Obama Economic Aide Criticized Individual Mandates, Government Financing
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Larry Summers, Director of President Obama’s National Economic Council, has been a loyal ally to the administration and proponent of current health care reform proposals floating around Congress.

Summers has backed ObamaCare despite the many troubling provisions contained in House and Senate legislation, namely the individual health care mandate and the government-run public option.

Apparently, the economic views of Dr. Summers have changed in the current partisan environment.  When he was an academic and cared more about economic externalities than political favoritism, he penned this paper critiquing individual mandates and government-run plans.

Here is an excerpt:

Note that a payroll tax on employers directed at financing health insurance benefits publicly would have the same employment displacement effects [translation: people lose their jobs] as a mandated health insurance program….  If policymakers fail to recognize the costs of mandated benefits because they do not appear in the government budget, then mandated benefit programs could lead to excessive spending on social programs.  There is no sense in which benefits become “free” just because the government mandates that employers offer them to workers.  As with value-added taxes, it can plausibly be argued that mandated benefits fuel the growth of government.”