What accounts for this debacle? You could start with a lack of presidential leadership. Who would have thought the missing player in the first month of the administration would be Barack Obama? He let his signature economic legislation, the stimulus, be shaped by congressional Democrats. He let internal disputes over the difficult question of how to save the banking system result in a disastrous non-announcement of a non-plan by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner last week. Before that, he let Geithner become Treasury secretary after cheating on his income taxes, and waived his own ethics rules to appoint a lobbyist as deputy secretary of defense--undercutting his promises to clean up Washington. He allowed Rahm Emanuel to politicize the Census Bureau, losing as a result his commerce secretary-designee, Judd Gregg, an ornament of his professed hope for bipartisanship.
The passage of the stimulus package, labeled as “Obama’s big victory” (like it wasn’t going to be passed?) has overshadowed a myriad of missteps that have been chronicled, in part, in these pages.
KT provides a nice wrap-up, here, about early Administration decisions sure to bite us in the ass down the road.
Dig the part about Chris “Onions” Dodd inserting language into porkulus which would restrict executive pay retroactively…. a feature not part of the advertised plan and which was done without White House knowledge.