I don’t know if you’ve been following it, but the first signs that the in-coming Obama administration will be center-right in character have – on a policy level – emerged in the new administration’s plans for stimulus or recovery spending. Many people like me quietly (or loudly) worried that the cabinet & White House appointments were Clintonian in character. The appointments of Senator Clinton, Rep. Emmanuel and the rest worried me, but I’ve thought that – if the team were led in a progressive direction, having centrist Democrats on board could be handy.
However, Obama-inspired press leaks about the stimulus package have made clear than on a policy basis, the far right of the Republican party may be accommodated with useless tax cuts while the needs of the nation may be ignored. The New York Times and Washington Post carried the news a couple of days ago and its very bad.
Mr. Obama plans a $750 Billion stimulus, $300 Billion of that will be spent on tax cuts . The reason this is a ghastly idea, from the point of view of softening the nation’s deepening depression is that the $300 Billion is – in essence – money thrown away. The stimulus value of the proposed tax cuts is very, very small, as compared to other ways of spending the money. read more »