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President Obama Weighs His Economic Legacy - By ANDREW ROSS SORKIN


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“If I hadn’t gone into politics and public service,” Obama told me, “the challenges of creating a business and growing a business and making it work would probably be the thing that was most interesting to me.”

 

 

I bet he would be savage

 

Republicans were unanimously opposed to the bill, and Obama could pass only so much major legislation before the congressional election that many expected to flip House control from the Democrats to the Republicans, as it indeed did. That meant that he had to choose the A.C.A. over any number of other high-priority agenda items, including another stimulus, perhaps in the form of a massive infrastructure bill, which would have given the economy an unambiguous boost. “If you went back a few years, you might say, ‘Well, he should’ve focused even more on pushing through a bigger fiscal stimulus, which he could have if he wasn’t going for the Affordable Care Act,” Rogoff said. “That was a trade-off he made, and it cost him.”
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I understand it was a bit political and that makes it a bit personal. Also, I thought there were some good lines in there. Althougg thought it was a fair assessment.

 

You can disagree with him on a political level but you have to admit he's a very smart man and, I think, his statementship has been superb....but I always make outlandish comments.

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I understand it was a bit political and that makes it a bit personal. Also, I thought there were some good lines in there. Althougg thought it was a fair assessment.

 

You can disagree with him on a political level but you have to admit he's a very smart man and, I think, his statementship has been superb....but I always make outlandish comments.

 

It seems to me that America has never been less respected in the eyes of the world as we are today- both with respect to our allies who feel we have abandoned them and with respect to our enemies who feel emboldened enough to threaten us regularly. I would not call that superb statesmanship.

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I understand it was a bit political and that makes it a bit personal. Also, I thought there were some good lines in there. Althougg thought it was a fair assessment.

 

You can disagree with him on a political level but you have to admit he's a very smart man and, I think, his statementship has been superb....but I always make outlandish comments.

 

It seems to me that America has never been less respected in the eyes of the world as we are today- both with respect to our allies who feel we have abandoned them and with respect to our enemies who feel emboldened enough to threaten us regularly. I would not call that superb statesmanship.

 

Really? You think the US is less respected now than when GWB was the laughing stock of the world? Living in an ally country I can tell you that the US is looked upon much more favorably than in the dark years of 2000-2008...

 

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I understand it was a bit political and that makes it a bit personal. Also, I thought there were some good lines in there. Althougg thought it was a fair assessment.

 

You can disagree with him on a political level but you have to admit he's a very smart man and, I think, his statementship has been superb....but I always make outlandish comments.

 

It seems to me that America has never been less respected in the eyes of the world as we are today- both with respect to our allies who feel we have abandoned them and with respect to our enemies who feel emboldened enough to threaten us regularly. I would not call that superb statesmanship.

 

Really? You think the US is less respected now than when GWB was the laughing stock of the world? Living in an ally country I can tell you that the US is looked upon much more favorably than in the dark years of 2000-2008...

 

I'm interested to hear your experience. What country are you from? As far as appearances go, I assumed most people would conclude that GWB was much more likely to advance American interests than BHO. I bet there are also large differences between the opinions of allies that face an existential threat, like Israel, and allies that don't.

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Maybe what's best for America isn't what's best for Israel or our "allies"? Perhaps Obama recognizes that.

 

Perhaps it is and Obama doesn't recognize it.

 

With regards to the actual topic of this post, Sorkin's claims that Obama reduced the deficit by 3/4 is factually accurate but drops all the context of why it was so large when he came into office. The statistical unemployment number is again factually correct. Yet when looking at the full context you see the labor force participation rate is back down to where it was in the late 1970s, ignoring other factors like underemployment or the quality of jobs. As acknowledged, the argument is essentially: the economy would be worse without me. Bush's stimulus didn't work, but instead of questioning the theory, Obama tries a bigger stimulus. That didn't work, should we question the theory yet? No, spending one and half AAPLs simply wasn't big enough either! The solution to economic stagnation is not to take more wealth from the private sector and redirect it according to political whim (the nicest description of the stimulus boondoggle I could think of). The idea that the economy is doing well but those republicans have (somehow?) convinced everyone of the opposite is bizarre, perhaps rivaled only by the notion that adding another massive entitlement in the form of the ACA is going to be great for the economy in the long run "because it actually is closing a key part of the insecurity gap." Unfortunately, when social security benefits are cut, many Americans will be forced to come to terms with the real meaning of government provided security. One issue of importance that's barely mentioned is the introduction of thousands and thousands of new regulations under Obama. What effect did that have on growth? The best thing Obama could have done for the economy is stayed out of the way of people actually trying to create wealth, to say nothing of the immorality of routinely violating the individual rights of Americans.

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“If I hadn’t gone into politics and public service,” Obama told me, “the challenges of creating a business and growing a business and making it work would probably be the thing that was most interesting to me.”

 

 

I bet he would be savage

 

I bet he would be savaged.  And would he have the candor and the humility of a George McGovern, who was mugged by reality?:

 

http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052970203406404578070543545022704#:jVWXRsRrTlvMIA

 

Excerpts: 

 

"In retrospect, I wish I had known more about the hazards and difficulties of such a business . . .  "

 

"I also wish that during the years I was in public office, I had had this firsthand experience about the difficulties business people face every day. That knowledge would have made me a better U.S. senator and a more understanding presidential contender. '

 

"For example, the papers today are filled with stories about businesses dropping health coverage for employees. We provided a substantial package for our staff at the Stratford Inn. However, were we operating today, those costs would exceed $150,000 a year for health care on top of salaries and other benefits. There would have been no reasonable way for us to absorb or pass on these costs."

 

"In short, "one-size-fits-all" rules for business ignore the reality of the marketplace. And setting thresholds for regulatory guidelines at artificial levels -- e.g., 50 employees or more, $500,000 in sales -- takes no account of other realities, such as profit margins, labor intensive vs. capital intensive businesses, and local market economics."

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Maybe what's best for America isn't what's best for Israel or our "allies"? Perhaps Obama recognizes that.

 

Perhaps it is and Obama doesn't recognize it.

 

You realize that Obama's foreign policy neatly lines up with Donald Trump's worldview especially when it comes to relations with allies?

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Right. Because pre-ACA companies were doing such a great job at providing health care for employees.

 

Apparently health insurance premiums were flat to falling for the 30 years prior according to some.

 

What's best for our allies is Americans fighting and dying in their various proxy wars (potentially even while a large portion of their society funds terror attacks against us) or otherwise paying the price for their defense while they enjoy lavish social welfare states.  I have no problem with being more thoughtful, rather than continuing to "lead" that way.

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Right. Because pre-ACA companies were doing such a great job at providing health care for employees.

 

+1

 

The demography that has most directly been "freed" from jobs / companies that they did not want to work in or the employers wanted to push out is the 55 plus group. There is an epidemic of early retirement going on, check out forums where this is discussed. There are whole threads on how to get ACA, help to those trying to navigate it (some gaming as well). And those with pre-existing illnesses who could not simply find coverage before. Don't have the stats but there is likely a large overlap of these two. America is / was simply unkind to both. Any "repeal" being considered by the next guv will have to get past this group. That'll be one more giant group to piss off. And we'll all become 55 and sick one day, ha.

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Maybe what's best for America isn't what's best for Israel or our "allies"? Perhaps Obama recognizes that.

 

Perhaps it is and Obama doesn't recognize it.

 

You realize that Obama's foreign policy neatly lines up with Donald Trump's worldview especially when it comes to relations with allies?

 

Is that supposed to be a favorable fact for Trump or an indictment of Obama?

 

Right. Because pre-ACA companies were doing such a great job at providing health care for employees.

 

+1

 

The demography that has most directly been "freed" from jobs / companies that they did not want to work in or the employers wanted to push out is the 55 plus group. There is an epidemic of early retirement going on, check out forums where this is discussed. There are whole threads on how to get ACA, help to those trying to navigate it (some gaming as well). And those with pre-existing illnesses who could not simply find coverage before. Don't have the stats but there is likely a large overlap of these two. America is / was simply unkind to both. Any "repeal" being considered by the next guv will have to get past this group. That'll be one more giant group to piss off. And we'll all become 55 and sick one day, ha.

 

Pre-ACA, the government was also spending $0.50 of every dollar in health care. I'm not sure what you'd expect to happen to the price of health care. We see the same thing with the exploding cost of education. If the government spent $0.50 of every dollar spent on hammers, I think we can guess what would happen to the price of hammers. I assume we'd also see calls for the government to nationalize the hammer industry because the 'free market' in hammers just isn't working for Americans. And I don't personally regard it as kindness to force some individuals to sacrifice pieces of their lives to subsidize other people's lives. We used to live in a country that regarded the individual life as sacrosanct. Now it regards your life- your values- as a resource to be bled dry.

 

On the topic of Obama's economic legacy, I read today that according to a Federal Reserve survey, 47% of Americans don't have $400 of savings. It's unclear to me to what extent Obama's policies are to blame, but I suspect the "closing the insecurity gap" nanny state plays a large role: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/05/my-secret-shame/476415/

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Sorkin was actually on Charile Rose...friday I think...thats where I heard about the piece

 

I caught a bit of it while driving. I thought Mr. Sorkin made some good points.

 

perfect driving material......that and any recording of buffett or munger....really let things sink in...lol

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Maybe what's best for America isn't what's best for Israel or our "allies"? Perhaps Obama recognizes that.

 

Perhaps it is and Obama doesn't recognize it.

 

You realize that Obama's foreign policy neatly lines up with Donald Trump's worldview especially when it comes to relations with allies?

 

Is that supposed to be a favorable fact for Trump or an indictment of Obama?

 

 

It works both ways depending upon where you stand on the Republican nominee.

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Pre-ACA, the government was also spending $0.50 of every dollar in health care. I'm not sure what you'd expect to happen to the price of health care. We see the same thing with the exploding cost of education. If the government spent $0.50 of every dollar spent on hammers, I think we can guess what would happen to the price of hammers. I assume we'd also see calls for the government to nationalize the hammer industry because the 'free market' in hammers just isn't working for Americans.

 

LOL, look at American healthcare costs compared to countries with single payer systems--America has the same outcomes but is way more expensive.  On the other hand, I can see your point....  Why bother examining evidence if it doesn't support your ideology?

 

 

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Pre-ACA, the government was also spending $0.50 of every dollar in health care. I'm not sure what you'd expect to happen to the price of health care. We see the same thing with the exploding cost of education. If the government spent $0.50 of every dollar spent on hammers, I think we can guess what would happen to the price of hammers. I assume we'd also see calls for the government to nationalize the hammer industry because the 'free market' in hammers just isn't working for Americans. And I don't personally regard it as kindness to force some individuals to sacrifice pieces of their lives to subsidize other people's lives. We used to live in a country that regarded the individual life as sacrosanct. Now it regards your life- your values- as a resource to be bled dry.

 

On the topic of Obama's economic legacy, I read today that according to a Federal Reserve survey, 47% of Americans don't have $400 of savings. It's unclear to me to what extent Obama's policies are to blame, but I suspect the "closing the insecurity gap" nanny state plays a large role: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/05/my-secret-shame/476415/

I don't know if gov't health care spending was 50% of total but it would have been quite high because you have Medicare, Medicaid, and VA. And older people and military people tend to get sick. But if you've done a bit of research you would have discovered that Medicare costs while more expensive than other single payer systems (such as Canada) are way lower then private healthcare. Also cost increases for Medicare were very close to cost increases in Canada. The giant expansion in overall costs was mainly driven by the private side.

 

On the economic side I didn't say that the current situation in the US is a paradise. Not by a long shot. But the US made a lot of right moves to fix it's economy, more than many other counties. And it has managed to do that despite huge obstruction from the legislative bodies. While the situation now is still not great, in my opinion the current state is pretty close to the top of the range of possible outcomes looking forward from some years back.

 

About the less than $400 available I don't really see your point. As I've said, it's not an ideal situation. But what is your suggestion? That instead of Obama people should go (have gone) with a Republican party who's chomping at the bit to cut the safety net? Yea, that would really help those people that have less than $400 to deal with an emergency!

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LOL, look at American healthcare costs compared to countries with single payer systems--America has the same outcomes but is way more expensive.  On the other hand, I can see your point....  Why bother examining evidence if it doesn't support your ideology?

I don't mean to be a pest Richard cause I know your heart is in the right place. But small correction. America is more expensive but the outcomes are not the same.

 

Last time (in 2000) the WHO ranked the worldwide healthcare systems the US came in at 15th in terms of outcomes and 1st in cost earning a global rank of 37. There have been many other studies of healthcare systems since then. The US routinely comes in at the bottom of the developed countries based on outcomes despite being by far the most expensive system.

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