Submitted By Todd on March 14th at 8:51am
Robert Reich fantasizes about what he would tell President Obama if he had been briefing him yesterday on the effects of the Stimulus Package instead of Paul Volker.
Mr. President, it's way too early to know exactly what the stimulus is doing because the money is barely out the door, but I've got to tell you I'm worried as hell. Unemployment is at 8 percent, and underemployment is over 14 percent of the workforce. The economy is shrinking much faster than it was when you put the stimulus together. It will be more than a trillion dollars short of its full capacity this year, and I have every reason to believe the same next. So your $787 billion over two years, only two-thirds of which is direct spending, isn't going to get us nearly far enough. I'd strongly recommend you make ready a second stimulus...So - it's not just us working folk who have a sense that Hope and Change aren't going so well. A second stimulus is required, argue many, and the first one isn't out the door yet.
Oh, and by the way, Mr. President. You may not want to hear this, but your Treasury Secretary is making things worse. His dithering on what to do about Wall Street, and his incapacity to speak clearly to the Street and to the public about what needs to be done, is spooking everyone.There's a guy who is on the team repeating what has become a standard refrain. The frustration with the administration's lack of focus on the economy continues to fester, even after a better week on the stock market.
Why doesn't he just put the irrevocably insolvent banks into receivership under the FDIC, sell off their assets, protect depositors, and reimburse taxpayers with whatever remains? Let the rest of the banks fend for themselves -- working out their bad loans with their creditors. As to AIG, well, that's a complete basketcase. Put it out of its suffering. Take it over, sell its assets, protect policy holders (you'll need to create a big co-insurance plan with every other major insurer in the world), then get out.It's unusual when liberalism doesn't get in the way of coming to the obvious conclusions.