POLITICAL observations & opinions

* we need bold intelligent leadership from our president that takes on both the “know-nothing” Tea Party Republicans and the “too-far-left” Liberal Democrats … this, President Obama, is your moment!

Posted by Lew Weinstein on August 19, 2011

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it's time to lead!

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NYT Editorial (8/19/11) …

  • Stocks on Wall Street dropped sharply on Thursday, with investors spooked, again, about the euro-zone debt crisis and the sputtering United States economy.
  • Yet, even at this hour, leaders on both sides of the Atlantic seem determined to handcuff fiscal policies — the main tools that can increase jobs, consumer demand and economic growth — with an unquestioning devotion to rigid austerity.
  • Excessive indebtedness is a real, long-term problem. But Europe’s broad downward trajectory can only be turned around if governments — both those of lenders and debtors — spend more in the near term to put people back to work and get consumers back to spending.
  • Instead, panicked by market volatility and urged on by Chancellor Merkel, Europe’s leaders have made a bad situation worse by prescribing austerity everywhere they look.
  • The results are painfully clear. Growth is grinding to a halt across Europe.

read the entire editorial at … http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/19/opinion/austerity-is-the-wrong-idea.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

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LMW COMMENT …

When politicians and voters (in the US as well as in Europe) are ideologically driven and don’t really understand either the facts or the consequences of their decisions, the wrong policies are chosen.

What is needed is for our intelligent leaders to teach and lead, to convince the voters what is truly in their best interests, and to challenge the ideologues at every step of the debate.

The correct policies for now include …

  • long-term steps to reduce our deficit and our debt …
    • get out of Bush’s unnecessary wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
    • reverse Bush’s unnecessary tax cuts for the wealthy
    • eliminate unnecessary loopholes and subsidies for corporations and wealthy individuals
    • modify the rules for Social Security and Medicare to insure the long-term viability of both programs
  • long-term steps to make America competitive
    • improve our educational system
    • eliminate subsidies to industries that don’t need them (oil, agriculture)
    • provide subsidies to new industries that will provide jobs and give America leadership positions
  • short term steps to stimulate the economy and produce jobs
    • massive increases in necessary infrastructure … bridges, roads, airports, mass transit

Implementing such public policies means taking on the ideologues of both right and left – the “know-nothing” Tea party Republicans and the “too-far-left” Liberal Democrats. It means bringing both extremes to more sensible centrist policies.

The only way to get them there is to convince the voters, who will then reject candidates who speak nonsense in favor of those who will implement common sense compromise policies. The only way to bring the voters to do this is through factual presentations, numbers, arithmetic, analysis of consequences, etc. that go far beyond sound bites.

President Obama is perfectly positioned to provide the needed leadership. He understand the options and the consequences better than anyone. He has the “bully pulpit.” And, it is in his own best interests to convince all of us that he knows what we must do and will lead us to a better place.

This is Barack Obama’s moment

to make America strong again

and to take his place in history.

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