Six tidbits on politics and economic policy – diligently digested and all highly recommended by yours truly.
2012 State of Play
Romney and allied Super PACs have pulled out of the ad market in Michigan and Pennsylvania, forfeiting two “Reagan Democrat” states seemingly within striking distance. Jon Chait does the electoral arithmetic and learns the effects of this action on the presidential landscape.
I fear Super PACs may have already given up on Romney and are devoting far more resources towards Congressional races. After all, who needs the Presidency when a GOP-bought Congress can effectively tie Obama’s hands and enact sweeping reactionary policy changes through reconciliation.
Past Presidential Candidate
John Kerry was not a much-ballyhooed figure leading up to Charlotte despite performing admirably at past conventions. His speech on foreign policy hit Mitt Romney in indefensible territory: “Ask Osama Bin Laden if he’s better off than he was four years ago.”
Anyone else think Kerry was just annoyed about the playing Mitt Romney in mock debates with Obama?
Cheers to the Senator, 2004 Democratic nominee and supposed Secretary of State in the event of an Obama second term.
Future Presidential Candidate?
The Boston Globe touched on Deval Patrick’s potential 2016 candidacy and attractiveness to progressives prior to his blue-meat convention speech. Mark me down among the doubtful – for purely demographic reasons, I don’t think we’ll see an African-American atop the ticket in 2016 unless Michelle Obama throws her hat into the ring. The smart money is on a Senator from the Midwest (Ohio) with blue-collar appeal and a liberal record to boot: Sherrod Brown.
Despite this – Patrick’s speech was an inspiring call to action on Obama’s behalf, and his stock appears to be on the rise.
Bird’s Eye Economic View from Nobel Nation
Paul Krugman breaks down Obama’s economic recovery and its impediments along with his diagnosis: the next four years will be better than the past four year. Unless, you know, a new ruling party institutes monetary inflexibility and fiscal austerity.
If you only have time to follow one economist/writer, read Paul Krugman. Best in the business.
Congressional Republicans? Minus Two Million.
Today, September 8, is the one year anniversary of the American Jobs Act. Steve Benen eulogizes the 2 million jobs that died on the House floor and laments the GOP’s “heads I win, tails you lose” approach to monthly job reports. GOP gamesmanship is simultaneously heinous and tragic given that 23 million Americans are looking for work.
It’s Infrastructure, Idiots!
Here’s an economic success story:
A national government formulates a fiscally feasible plan for infrastructure projects after local governments failed in their attempts. This plan encourages economic growth in a slowing sector and generates positive socioeconomic externalities. The stock market improves upon hearing of the plan; related industries in the supply chain are strengthened. Oh, and yes – jobs are created.
Too bad it’s happening in China – not America.