ACTING on false assumptions is incompetence.
Rumsfeld also was so arrogant that his way would work that he did not account for the damage done by looting and breakdown of law and order once Iraq was invaded. He did not send the correct troop levels.
It was the wrong war, but it was not even the wrong war done right. The way the war was run was a good example of incompetence even if one were to buy the party line that the war was somehow justified.
Isn't it amazing how many of us hold our own to be accountable. It gives me encouragement that I am not part of some blind group of followers just when I am losing hope in Democrats being a force of change. It's too bad the Republicans, with a few exceptions, lacked that ability during the Bush years. Instead, they bashed us when we criticized some obvious Bush blunders.
Ravi,my man, simple question. Do you see any singificant improvement in the way the Treasury is run under Obama compared to Bush Jr with his first appointee Paul O neill? Geithner looks not much better than a Paulson to me. Geithner should be fired for the AIG fiasco alone. He is jeopardizing confidence in other programs Democrats would want to spend money on because he has reinforced the stereotype that Democrats like to spend our tax money despite the fact that the Bushies wasted a lot already.
even though I supported Obama since the beginning, one of the reasons I was an early skeptic of his handling of the financial crisis was Geithner's behavior. His shifty demeanor didn't help matters either. This guy has singlehandedly generated a lot of skepticism for the Democratic party and the Presidential team. Next time, Obama tries to actually do something good, his skeptics will be able to cast doubt on them by pointing to such a high profile failure like Geithner.
When Obama needs to spend tax dollars on useful social programs, his opponents will just say why should we trust our money with Obama when he empowered a guy like Geithner to waste our money?
If you go to blogs like freerepublic, you see outrght hatred towards Geithner. This guy seems to have no support from anyone but Obama. Why is Obama so stubborn on this? Obama has compromised on so many things, yet he steadfastly has been behind Geithner all the way.
The nastiness and pettiness of the right is amazing. The guys who still refuse to admit they are wrong about the Iraq war and think they are all knowing on this topic have the audacity to label Obama narcissistic? Whatever faults Obama may have, he is not anywhere as narcissistic as some of these morons.
Again, it is easy to say if we dont do something , then a disaster will happen, and now we avoided it. That is pretty vague. As Jerome mentioned, and as I did earlier in the year, how do we know that letting them fail would cause such a collapse? The assets remain the same before and after the bailout. If the value goes down, then they were artificially propped up and even if they werent, then new people get to make their fortunes. THe world keeps spinning. If you are going to go capitalistic, you might as well go all the way. The worst thing you can do is keep encouraging the same culture by avoiding the pain those in charge would feel. All those doomsday scenarios that were bandied about were not even in agreement among many economists. Each one had their own agenda.
Populism can be used to achieve good and bad. So far it has been used to achieve some questionable things in recent years(need to get back at the terrorists exploited to sell idiotic wars). There is also a populist aversion to higher taxes. There is also a populist aversion to handouts because Republicans are able to sell it well as a case where only lazy good for nothing losers need it.
But there is also a populist streak about everyone earning their fair share. While it may gibe with the libertarian concept encouraging the powerful to amass as much as they can as long as it is honest, it also gibes with the sentiment to improve checks and balances on the same high earning execs. A good politician will be able to tap into that populist vibe to sell a good policy framed in a populist manner.
Did you miss the fact that both right wingers and left wingers like Kucinich voted no on the bailouts? It was the so called reasonable moderates that voted becaue they did not want to appear radical.
So far, I have met very few people who are opposed to linmiting bailouts and holding execs accountable. Increasing transparency and accountability in capitalism actually helps capitalism thrive. What is more populist than that?
Talk to the average man. They hate the bailouts. What are you talking about? What Reagan sold was a simple message of less taxes less government. But in reality most people went along with the less taxes type stuff. If the government enacted regulations to increase transparency and accountability and framed the policies in those terms, people would b ehappy.
Wait a minute. When money is being doled out for a bailout, the burden is ON THE PEOPLE ADVOCATING THE BAILOUT to prove it works, not the other way around.
And what about the watchdog groups? Wasnt there a disconnect between them and the Obama administration?
And let's not even get into the fact that not a single meaningful reform was tied into the TARP bailouts. Why would you not ask for something significant in return? If you can't do reform when doling out money, when can you?
Jerome mentioned hindsight. I actually dont think it's even hindsight. Some of us have been skeptical of Obama's bailout approach even before he became president. He and his team exhibited a fear of deviating from the Bush approach and didn't want to risk advocating their own bold solution. Geithner has been a failure from Day 1 unable to articulate what are the probable outcomes if we give our money. This vagueness helped them avoid accountability.
There was also concern way back then whether Obama was doing enough to make sure the money spent was being done in a responsible way.
I always felt that if revenge against Osama was so important, it would have probably been easier to send an anonymous undercover assassin to take out a few top Taliban leaders(yeah, i know international law, and all) instead of getting sucked into two wasteful wars(especially the totally useless IRaq ones) in order to feel good about our doing something about terrorism.
People say targeted assassinations are immoral. Yeah, and war is better? There is very little collateral damage with an assassination. Keep in mind, that I am not referring to a war of self defense. The war in Iraq had nothing to do with defense or revenge while the war in Afghanistan was merely revenge without a solid plan. Neither was a war of self defense. And in the process, we took out many innocent lives. How is a targeted assassination even a fraction as bad?
A lot of people on the left spent extremely way too much time on the torture issue. While I feel that it was a valid issue to tackle, it wasn't that high on the list of crimes as the war itself was. The war actually resulted in the killing or maiming of thousands and thousands of people, many who were innocent. The money spent on the war is unavailable for social programs for the poor which will result in the indirect deaths of a few of them unable to get proper care.
If we were so bloodthirsty, we should have just let the CIA just conduct one of their many illegal operations anyway and kill some Taliban fanatics at a fraction of the cost.
It is really puzzling why obama is risking his presidency on this fuc**r. And I find it frustrating that our senators who like to tout their importance on issues like healthcare haven't done much to put pressure on Obama on the Geithner issue.
I don't understand how Obama can sleep at night knowing he has thrown away billions of OUR money on some of the TARP programs without empowering the auditors and adding a SINGLE meaningful reform as a condition.
The way senators nitpick over money going to healthcare reform but don't really do much over money wasted on this tells me that Nader was freaking right that even the Democratic head honchos arent that different from the republicans. Sure, on paper, they are very different. But Madoff has been conducting his scams unchecked since the Clinton years and through the Bush years. What use is talk of legislation or even actual regulation if there is no enforcement? What use is it to have a TARP oversight committee if they are not empowered enough?
The way Geithner has squandered government money for corp welfare has made me a bigger libertarian than I was. I am going to explode if another Democrat says we must accept higher taxes. NOOOO. There is enough stupid spending by government that can be curbed and reallocated to better areas.
WHERE IS THE ACCOUNTABILITY FOR OUR PUBLIC OFFICIALS? So many bad decisions by people in power and other than Michael Brown was extremelyh incompetent, not a SINGLE other RESIGNATION in the lat 8 years. THe worst thing is Obama has given this guy so much deference all along from Day 1 and his team has not listened to people like Krugman(who I dont say is all knowing either, but he has more credibility to me than Geithner).