Robert Reich takes to the interwebs to grade Obamanomics:
Read the whole thing, but here's the pithy essence:
"The 10-year budget gets an A. It's an extraordinary vision of what America can and should become, including universal health insurance and environmental protections against climate change.
The stimulus package gets a B. Good as far as it goes but doesn't go nearly far enough.
The last grade is for the bank bailouts. I give them an F. I'm a big fan of this administration, but I've got to be honest. The bailouts are failing."
Well Bob, that's a hell of a curve you're using. Here are an alternative set of grades.
10 year budget: C-/D+. Remember this is supposed to be about economics, not social engineering and the budget leaves government too large and the deficit way too large.
Stimulus package: C/C-. Even if one grants the administration the existence of a decent sized multiplier, there were too many conflicting goals to make the spending truly timely and stimulating.
Bank bailouts: B-. We put public money into bank capital to avoid a meltdown of the financial system. To my mind what made the great depression so protracted and hideous was the meltdown of the financial system, so I applaud these actions as necessary. However, the stops and starts, the changes in plan, the non-transparency, the politicization makes giving a truly good grade impossible here.
Here's another Obamanomics grade:
Auto Industry restructuring: F. So far, it's just talking tough while continuing to shovel money into non-functioning firms (and, no it's not the same thing as the bank bailout, not nearly). Especially nuts is the idea that banks who have taken TARP money should take a big loss on the Chrysler bonds they hold, essentially to show they are "team players". You can't really simultaneously prop up and undermine them can you? Well I guess you can, but maybe you shouldn't.