Unpopular policies, global outrage, longterm credibility problems domestically and internationally: this is not George W. Bush fighting the War in Iraq, this is Barack H. Obama struggling through an economic recession which his administration owns more every day, and which continues to move his poll numbers down. Here are some excerpts from this week’s column: Obama’s unliateral economy
The economy may become President Barack Obama’s Iraq War. Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, faced plummeting poll numbers as the American public, anxious for victory, grew fatigued as Bush strategies (some successful, some not) failed to provide resolution.
Americans agreed we need security; we disagreed on the necessity of an invasion of Iraq. Americans agreed we need economic recovery; we disagree on whether it requires trillions of dollars of spending, taxes, and debt.
By ordering the termination of General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner, or threatening massive targeted tax increases at AIG employees whose contracts provided for bonuses, Obama and the Democrats show every ounce of cowboy arrogance they accused of Bush and Republicans on foreign policy.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner informed Congress last week, “We will work with the Europeans, we cannot move alone,” but he said, “We cannot wait for consensus with the rest of the world.” Geithner’s unilateral economic policy was exactly what the Obama campaign criticized Bush’s foreign policy for embracing.
But Obama’s global economic policy - like Bush’s foreign policy - is not truly unilateral. In addition to a number of smaller nations who turn to America’s leadership, our long stalwart friend Great Britain remains by our side.
But for all the political damage done to Tony Blair’s Labour Party by Bush, Obama inflicts comparable harm on Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The British Conservative party has told Brown “you have run out of our money” and he faces opposition from the Bank of England Governor, as well as a lack of demand for the purchase of U.K. government bonds to finance his growing debt.
German finance minister Peer Steinbruck called Brown’s U.K. stimulus, “crass Keynesianism.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel proclaimed, “I will not let anyone tell me that we must spend more money.” Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said it was “never the intention” of the G20 to create additional global stimulus. France and the Czech Republic agree.
You can read the rest of the column that includes thoughts on the G20 meeting and impressions from Ronald Roosdorp, Private Secretary to the Vice Prime Minister and the Minister of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands who last week addressed a Stennis Institute forum in Jackson, online at the Madison County Journal: Perry / Obama’s unilateral economy.