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Obama's cabinet

We only have one data point so far, but it's already caused a stir. Conservatives and liberals alike have been expressing angst about Rahm Emanuel's nomination to Chief of Staff. Conservatives are anxious because he's a partisan street fighter, and the libs are disappointed because he's not a foam-at-the-mouth ideologue. I'm actually happy with the pick, because I take it as an indication that perhaps Obama will indeed try to govern from the center rather than his leftist roots. Plus, I think there's a debt of gratitude involved. Obama's job will certainly be made easier by a Democratic congress, and that's as much due to Emanuel as anyone.

I'm going to be paying closest attention to his economic team because I think that's the most important. I'm also cautiously optimistic about the team he'll put together based on the meager tea leaves I've read. We'll see.

I figure his foreign policy team is the one he's most likely to screw up, but that's probably not his fault. There's not exactly a deep roster of seasoned, competent foreign policy hands in the party. Who knows, maybe Colin Powell will get something in exchange for all the flagrant ass kissing he got up to before the election.

And my favorite thing about all this? I had worried for years that the next Democratic president would appoint either John Edwards or Elliot Spitzer to Attorney General, but I guess I won't have to worry about that anymore (tee hee.)

So what about y'all? Predictions? Hopes? Fears? Bets? Threats?


John Kerry for Secretary of State.

Obama isn't stupid, he wants to be a two-term president who is revered for his great leadership, peace and prosperity, like Bill Clinton.

He will govern as a moderate, like Clinton. The wackos of both parties will be ignored, as Clinton ignored them.

Obama is basically exactly what we needed -- another Bill Clinton.

Really, another bill clintion? I'm not sure about all that but it is interesting that so far all that talk about his cabnit and other people is all democrat. These liberal illuminati had us believe he was going to be a bipartisan president but so far he is not proving. Lets see some balance Obama.

Obama is basically exactly what we needed -- another Bill Clinton

People connect Clinton with good times because of the dot-com boom (which busted in 2000) and the reconfiguration of Russia and her former satellites.

There is no dot-com boom and green jobs are whack (Bloomberg did an article exposing green jobs as low-paying), and Russia and China are dockeying for the #1 position without much bloodshed by economic bullying.

If Obama thinks he can repeat the Clinton years just by electing his old cabinet, good luck. There is no economic boom on the horizon; the world is rebalancing its checkbook and it's gonna hurt

Anonymous: Obama is basically exactly what we needed -- another Bill Clinton.

I sure hope not!

Bill Clinton was a Conservative Democrat who went against even his fellow Conservative Democrats, who’d long advised moving their agenda through the DNC. Instead, Bill Clinton helped start the DLC to wrest that Party from its Liberal leadership and move it to the Right.

The DLC remains that (a vehicle for Conservative Democrats), to this day. Harold Ford, a very Conservative Democrat is its leader today.

Bill Clinton spent his first two years virtually at war with Congressional Democrats, but as a Moderate, he was far from ready to embrace much of Newt Gingrich’s sweeping, if not radical agenda.

Clinton did indeed refuse to embrace the massive federal budget cuts that the Gingrich Congress sought to and eventually imposed, nor did he initially take to the massive welfare reforms and the Capital Gains rate cut the Gingrich Congress demanded. The one area where Clinton and the Gingrich Congress were in complete agreement with was on free trade.

At that time, I argued against those federal spending cuts and against that kind of drastic welfare reform.

In retrospect, I concede that I was wrong on both those issues and I’ve acknowledged as much to JC/JMK who was and remains a vociferous Gingrich supporter. Welfare reform has not only saved hundreds of billions of dollars in government spending, it has both eradicated most, if not all of the welfare fraud that was once rampant and it brought many others, formerly mired in dependent poverty into the workforce and to better lives.

As I’ve noted, I and others, like Robert Reich, Greg Mankiw and Paul Krugman were surprised to find that those Capital Gains rate cuts resulted in increased revenues from that tax and I now concede that those federal spending cuts not only resulted in those budget surpluses, they also did seem to coincide with some of the lowest Misery Indexes in decades, though I‘ve argued there were other intervening factors involved with that.

Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich were pretty much on the same Supply Side page. Clinton’s reappointing of Alan Greenspan proved that out. They differed only in degree. Bill Clinton believed in Supply Side’s top down method of building the economy – you give tax breaks on Capital Gains and to investors and that produces more jobs for everyone else.

Barack Obama believes in building the economy from the bottom up, and that’s what I believe as well.

Obama has promised to deliver targeted “tax cuts” (even in the form of additional spending, via a bulked up EITC) to lower income earners, in hopes of driving the economy through greater consumer demand.

I think using that $250,000/year threshold was good for the election, but it will have to come down from that, quite a bit. Right now, the top 10% of income earners pay almost 70% of the income taxes and that top 10% starts at around $112,000/year. Personally, I think the top 10% to 15% at minimum, will ultimately see some tax hikes, not counting the Bush cuts expiring, which Conservative, like JC will call a “tax hike.”

OK, it is technically a “tax hike,” but I’d call it G W Bush’s, or better still Tom DeLay’s and Dennis Hastert’s tax hike and not Obama’s tax hike, but I suspect the Party in power at that time, will get the blame for that.

I also think that only the bottom 75% will ultimately see any real reduction in taxes under this administration.

While I believe that Barack Obama will govern thoughtfully and moderately, I fervently hope that he won’t be another Bill Clinton. I am hopeful that he will weather the coming storms and fight, along with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, who’ve been moving toward this model, to really try and build the economy from the bottom up.

That’s something that really hasn’t been tried since LBJ-Nixon-Ford-Carter and it wasn’t done correctly back then.

Building da economy frum da bottom up WAS done correkly. It just don't work. Us folks here in Michigan had a good belly laff when ole Barky appointed Jennifer Granholm da Canuck ta his council a economic advisors. Musta been 'cause she did such a good job a savin' Michigan an all.
Good luck wid yer Marxist President fer life ey.

'Building da economy frum da bottom up WAS done correkly. It just don't work. Us folks here in Michigan had a good belly laff when ole Barky appointed Jennifer Granholm da Canuck ta his council a economic advisors. Musta been 'cause she did such a good job a savin' Michigan an all.
Good luck wid yer Marxist President fer life ey."

oh... CANADIAN humor ... ha ;)

In the eyes of the likes of bluewind and the other Kos Kids and MoveOns, you wouldn't be considered you a "real Liberal," Gary.

You support Free Trade (like Rahm Emanuel and the incoming Obama admin), you (now) support welfare reform (like Emanuel and the incoming Obama admin) and worst of all, you don't hate!

As you know, I DON'T believe in the idea of "building an economy from the ground up," at least not in terms of seeking to artificially increase the spending power of those in the lower 50% of income earners, by increasing costs/taxes, etc. on those in the top 10% to 20% of income earners.

Lowering the Capital Gains rate, slashing the corporate tax rate and making it easier for small businesses to start up, without the anchor of government hung around their necks, would, in my view, be the best way to "build the economy from the ground up" - by rewarding those with the entrepreneurial drive, the ambition and the ability to start and succcessfully run small businesses.

One of the ironies is that the current massive economic problem (the current credit crisis) was caused by over-regulation - primarily the turbo-charged CRA.

The fact that no one has challenged me on that anywhere (and that's not due to any "bullying," on my part, just that I have the facts at my disposal), would seem to prove that out. In fact you're the only one who has argued "there were other factors as well," while conceding that it was indeed "the primary factor."

The irony that a severe economic crisis born of over-regulation and TOXIC regulation (the turbo-charged CRA) has been used to move us further down a path of MORE regulation and MORE failed Keynesian policies is as tragic as it is dangerous.

Like I said, I'll let the Misery Index tell the story going forward.

We've been on a Keynesian course since at least 2007 and the fact that the current Bush admin has willingly cooperated with Keynesian Dems like Pelosi and Reid doesn't change the fact that "Keynesianism is a Liberal disease."

The Misery Index for 2007 was 7.45 (there was little impact from the few Keynesian policies passed late that year and the enhanced revenues from the earlier tax cuts covered Bush's other expenses), but it's probably going to top 10% for 2008, and there's little reason to believe that Keynesian policies won't lead to what they did the last time we employed them - a 16.5 average annual Misery Index over four years.

The people most betrayed here are the Libertarians, the likes of Barry (BNJ) and Paul Moore.

Many Libertarians embraced the Supply Side/Greenspan-led GOP in the wake of the Carter years delivering the REAL "worst economy since the Great Depression." But the Moderate-wing of the GOP has consistently abandoned Supply Side policies. In fact, since Carter, the ONLY administrations to buck the Keynesian trend were both Bush-41 and Bush-43.

Bush Sr. (41) came into office attempting to throw his better, Ronald Reagan under the proverbial bus.

That was right before Bush-41 shit the bed and delivered "the SECOND WORST economy since the Great Depresssion" - four straight years of double digit Misery Indexes, though much lower than Carter's, at a comparatively measley 10.5 average annual Misery Index over four years.

Bush-41 delivered that economy, in part by cooperating with Keynesian dinosaurs like Ted Kennedy to undermine his own "Read my lips," pledge.

Clinton came in as a Centrist Supply Sider, re-appointing Alan Greenspan, upping the H-1B Visa limits TWICE, embracing Free Trade and cooperating (after some early conflict - the gov't shutdown of '95) with the Gingrich Congress on deep federal budget cuts, welfare reform, a Cap Gains rate cut, etc.

Bush-43 governed with a Supply Side tax policy during his first term (although, even with a GOP Congress, the AMT was never scuttled), with his across the board income tax rate cuts and another Cap gains rate cut, which INCREASED tax revenues in every year since!

Early on, the business scandals (Enron, Tyco, Worldcom, Adelphia, Arthur Anderson, etc) forced some Keynesian ham-handed) regulation (Sarbannes-Oxley) and after that the Bush-41 administration spiralled off that early Supply Side track, by piling gobs of social spending (the NCLB and prescription drug boondoggles) on top of the necessary war-time spending (Afghanistan, Iraq and the tens of billions spent on Homeland Security).

Some economists have dangerously argued that some degree of Keynesian over-spending can be achieved, so long as tax revenues are maximized by things like keeping tax rates low, along with keeping commerce at a maximum.

Ironically neither Bush-41, nor Bush-43 much appreciated that, or at least, in G W's case, he seemed to overestimate the power of the increased revenues from those tax cuts. It is highly unlikely that a return to 1970s era policies can deliver anything other than 1970s era results.

I'd think that for your position, the Misery Index for 2008 SHOULD be cause for some foreboding.

Heh, at least Paul Moore has a good point -- my jaw dropped when I heard that Granholm was on Obama's team of Economic Advisors. Huh? WTF? I live in Michigan. Granholm has done nothing but idly preside over a complete meltdown and whine about not being able to institute more social spending.

Jennifer Granholm is merely a Liberal following typical Liberal policies.

Without question, Rep. Frank and Sen. Dodd have done far more damage. Granholm is merely a "typical Liberal."

Ironically enough, it's over-regulation, or more aptly, toxic regulation (the turbo-charged CRA that forced banks to make tons of subprime loans) that caused the current crexit crisis.

George Bush Sr. (Bush-41) was a Liberal ("Country Club") Republican, who was the ONLY post-Carter U.S. President to flirt with Liberal/Keynesian Democrats, like Ted Kennedy, in breaking his own "no new taxes" pledge and undermining the Supply Side Revolution that had lowered the Misery Index, from the Carter high (which was also America's post-WW II high) of 20.7 in 1980, down to 17.97 in 1981 and continuing down each year to a low of 8.91 in 1986 and keeping the MI under double digits for the remainder of his tenure.

As a result, George Bush Sr., was only the second post-WW II U.S. President to endure four straight years of double digit Misery Indexes, although his four years had an average annual MI (10.5) that was a full 6 points lower than Carter's (16.5).

Clinton embraced Free Trade, twice increased the H-1B Visa limits, re-appointed Supply Side Fed Chief, Alan Greenspan and cooperated (after some early conflict) with the very Supply Side Gingrich Congress, on massive welfare reforms, major federal spending cuts and a Cap gains rate cut.

G W Bush started off his domestic policies with some very Supply Side, across the board tax cuts, which increased tax revenues over the years since!

Unfortunately, he followed that up with the prescription drug boondoggle, the NCLB Act's outrageous spending and, since 2007, an ill-conceived stimulus package," and almost $1 TRILLION in bailouts, which amounts to yet another Keynesian wealth-transfer.

ALL of those things were widely supported by the Liberal Democrats in Congress. In fact, if they had ANY disagreements with things like the prescription drug boondoggle and the NCLB Act, it's that they wanted to spend even more!

I agree with you, i kinda like the quester of the site. And if the liberal illuminati follow through with their bipartisan agenda (that they pitched to us // i have my doubts) this sight will mean even more!

It look like most of you are with me! If Obama is another Bill Clinton we should just give up now. The liberal illuminati have made a lot of promises but if Obama is another clinton we should start filing the impeachment papers now. Ha!

Instead of "working from the ground up", what's wrong with lowering the Capital Gains rate, slashing the corporate tax rate, etc. to rebuild the economy? Guess that wouldn't be acceptable to those liberal, left-wing illuminati tax-and-spenders, now, would it?

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