Well, I managed to watch some of President Obama’s news conference last night. Consider that a miracle — given the late 8 p.m. start. And as I watched, I am still convinced of one thing: We’re facing a crisis of trust and confidence in this country that rivals the economic meltdown.
I think Obama is trying to fix both. But it ain’t going to be easy. Still, of what he said last night, this resonated with me: “I am an eternal optimist. I think that over time people will respond to civility and rational argument.”
Well, we all need to be optimistic. I don’t believe anyone has the magic answer to the mess we are in. Not Obama. Certainly not the members of Congress. And Obama is saying things are going to get worse before they get better. No doubt.
So in the context of being optimistic, here’s still some things that trouble me.
- How did Obama and team come up with the 4 million number in terms of jobs that the stimulus plan would either create or maintain? These are macro numbers — and just about every projection we’ve been handed during the past few years about jobs and the economy has been wrong. And if more than 11 million Americans are out of work now, looks like a lot of people are still going to be looking for chairs once this stimulus dance is over. Anybody talking about that?
- Is every stimulus/bailout dollar — spent somewhere and somehow — a contributor to economic growth and to job creation? Hard for me to believe that. You would think that some (many?) people would take the modest tax cuts and pay off debt, save the money or head to Mexico on spring break. Seems building bridges, roads and so on would be a better way to go. But this would take years to produce any meaningful results. And do we really have enough skilled trade people in this country to take on massive public works projects?
- Do we really have to cater to bipartisanship for anything to happen in government — and in Congress especially? Liberals and conservatives have differing views. And the country is basically split in the middle. So that says to me at least that we need leadership — and civility. Maybe Obama can restore that by continuing to come clean with the American public.
And talking about coming clean, A-Rod admitted yesterday that he did a bad thing. And, boohoo, “I’m sorry.”
That’s not exactly what he told Katie Couric a year ago.
Liar, liar pants on fire.
Oh well. Let’s hope Obama has more success in restoring trust and confidence — and in playing ball with Congress.