Roger Altman: Obama’s Business Plan

…there is skepticism over the president’s commitment to reducing the huge and dangerous budget deficits which America now faces. A strong step toward deficit reduction next year ”” like undertaking the difficult task of trying to fix Social Security ”” would earn deeper credibility with business and with all Americans.

Another problem is that the administration’s rhetoric ”” which too often employs inflammatory words like “reckless” ”” has the effect of tarring all of business with the same brush. The White House might better distinguish between Wall Street, Big Oil and health insurers, which have all incurred public wrath, and the majority of businesses, which haven’t.

The tension between President Obama and the business community is hurting both sides and may hamper economic recovery. Closing that divide requires the business community to mute its criticism, and the administration to make personnel and policy adjustments. Neither should be hard.

Read it all.


Posted in * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Federal Reserve, House of Representatives, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, The U.S. Government, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

10 comments on “Roger Altman: Obama’s Business Plan

  1. Daniel says:

    This clown must be smoking medical marijuana. Perhaps if he has some free time, he can accompany the Presidential dog, Bo, on said dog’s separate private jet, the next time the first family goes on vacation (probably within the next few weeks if they keep their current schedule). Yes, that’s right, Bo rode on a separate jet up to Maine, accompanied by a presidential aid. Aren’t you glad Obama is spending your tax dollars so “wisely” as Mr. Altman puts it?

  2. sophy0075 says:

    I have no doubt as to how he will try to reduce the horrific deficits he and his congressional cronies have run up:
    and more taxes
    including the highly-regressive VAT

  3. Br. Michael says:

    Obama will be fiscaly responsible at roughly the same time that Jesus returns. An example:

    [blockquote]WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is calling on Republicans to stop blocking a bill that would extend unemployment benefits to millions of out of work Americans.

    Obama says Republican leaders are advancing a misguided notion that emergency relief discourages people from looking for work. He says that attitude reflects a lack of faith in the American public.

    After weeks of partisan wrangling, the Senate is set to take up the measure again Tuesday, immediately following the swearing in of a replacement for the late Sen. Robert Byrd. Filling that seat will give Democrats the 60 votes they need to block a Republican filibuster.

    GOP lawmakers say they will support an extension of the benefits only if the bill is paid for and doesn’t add to the national debt.[/blockquote]

    Ever the consummate liar Obama portrays Republican efforts to make sure the benefit is paid for as obstructionism. But it’s not just Obama because he is supported by a like minded Democratic party.

  4. francis says:

    Where exactly does Altman live, D.C.?

  5. Tomb01 says:


    Like passing multi-trillion dollar bills affecting every aspect of our economy without reading them?

  6. Dan Ennis says:

    Let’s see…Obama, in office 18 months, can earn “credibility with business” if he tackles–in his first term–Social Security, the political third rail that has been a known problem for decades but was kicked down the road by Bush II, Clinton, Bush I and even the now sainted (but deficit-addicted) Ronald Reagan.

    Obama’s no fool. You mess with social security in your first term you won’t get a second term. “Credibility with business” is a pretty vague reward for committing political suicide.

  7. John Wilkins says:

    In the end, someone has to pay for the wars. Few countries try to have a war and expect them to be for free.

    Generally, since we love the prosperous, the middle class pays more of the taxes through fees and payroll taxes. In other countries, the prosperous pay. We prefer plutocracy.

    What the article points out is that Obama has been quite good for business. Some would prefer not to believe it.

  8. Br. Michael says:

    Here is a good example of why we never get anywhere. The unemployment extension:

    [blockquote]If all goes as expected, about 2.5 million people will receive jobless benefits retroactively. Instead of being dropped from a federal program that extends benefits for those whose six months of state-paid benefits have run out, millions of others will continue to receive payments.

    But first, Obama and his Democratic allies are pressing the issue for maximum political advantage, blaming Republicans for the impasse that halted unemployment checks for people unable to find work as the jobless rate remains close to 10 percent.

    Obama launched a fresh salvo Monday, demanding the Senate act on the legislation — after a vote already had been scheduled — and blasting Republicans for the holdup.

    “The same people who didn’t have any problem spending hundreds of billions of dollars on tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans are now saying we shouldn’t offer relief to middle-class Americans,” Obama said.

    Republicans say they do favor the benefits but are insisting they be paid for with spending cuts elsewhere in the government’s $3.7 trillion budget. After initially feeling heat this winter when a lone GOP senator, Jim Bunning of Kentucky, briefly blocked a benefits extension in February, the GOP has grown increasingly comfortable opposing the legislation.[/blockquote]

    So we can either pay for this or finance it. Obama wants to finance it, in part to score political points against the hard hearted Republicans and Tea Party folks who what already appropriated funds to be used to pay for it. The voters love it because they get largess and they don’t have to pay for it.

    The Democrats have used this technique for years to score political points against fiscal responsibility, only to switch their tune when the Republicans do the same thing. This political gamesmanship and demagoguery, of which the Democrats are past masters (but Republicans do it too), goes on and on and the net result is the deficit goes every higher (who wants to be accused of taking candy from a baby after al) until the economy collapses.

  9. Chris says:

    Wilkins (Gawain), the problem is not “the wars,” it is the entitlement programs Medicare, Social Security plus interest on the debt that are bankrupting our country.

  10. Katherine says:

    I saw a chart recently, and sorry, I don’t know where and can’t link, showing that the deficits from Obama first-term programs exceed the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan efforts in total. Crying about military expenses is becoming a less and less credible line.