Not in the headlines

While we’re all weeping in our lattes about how Obama isn’t doing what we want him to do or he’s not doing it fast enough,  David Brooks talks about short term and long term and reminds us of a few things:

“It occurs to me that the Obama administration has done a number of (widely neglected [I think he means underreported]) things that scramble the conventional categories and that are good policy besides. The administration has championed some potentially revolutionary education reforms. It has significantly increased investments in basic research. It has promoted energy innovation and helped entrepreneurs find new battery technologies. It has invested in infrastructure — not only roads and bridges, but also information-age infrastructure like the broadband spectrum.

These accomplishments aren’t big government versus small government; they’re using government to help set a context for private sector risk-taking and community initiative. . . . These long-term problems, Obama could say, won’t be solved either with centralized government or free market laissez-faire. Just as government laid railroads and built land grant colleges in the 19th century to foster deep growth, the government today should be doing the modern equivalents.”

4 responses to “Not in the headlines

  1. Same article, further down:
    “What would happen if Obama sidestepped the fruitless and short-term stimulus debate and instead focused on the long term? He could explain that we’re facing deep fundamental problems: an aging population, overleveraged consumers, exploding government debt, state and local bankruptcies, declining human capital, widening inequality, a pattern of jobless recoveries, deteriorating trade imbalances […]”

    Yeah right. Like someone would listen. He talks long-term all the time.

    But maybe Brooks is unconsciously moving to center-left as age gives him a longer view of things.. That good.


  2. Ms. Holland,

    Please explain to a stupid Republican how when you have a country who’s biggest problems are unfunded liabilities in Entitlement programs, SS and Medicare, that a President who just created new entitlement programs like Obama-Care can possibly be focused on the long term?


    • I’ll assume Alan that you asked the same question when Mr. Bush created the utterly enormous Medicare Part D program.

      That being said, the existing entitlements are a very serious problem, especially medicare. Social Security is actually not a very big problem in spite of all the tearing of garments out there. It’s very fixable.

      But Medicare is not so easy to fix. The best way to fix it AND provide insuracne to everyone would have been Medicare for all, which would have mostly funded the program.

      But to get any republican votes at all, the Dems had to give up the liberal dreams of universal care via a public option (Medicare would have been one kind of public option).

      What we ended up with is a bit of a weak sister, but it is designed to reduce medical costs over the long run – as costs, whether paid by people, insurance cos, or the gov’t are all costs that we, as a society, end up paying.


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