Obama’s Economic Test

Obama is now president-elect.  He won, in large part, because of the economic crisis that we’re now seeing world-wide.  The timing was almost perfect, but McCain’s economic ignorance and his identification with the party in power cemented the deal.  All Obama had to do was maintain his cool, something he seems to have no problem with, and talk about change. Now, though, as the Onion put it, a Black man has been given the nation’s worst job.  Assuming we begin recovering from this crisis in three years, though, he should be a shoe-in for re-election.  The president has some influence over the economy, but e we usually give him more credit than he deserves when things go wrong. Chart of relative deficit since JFK No, the thing Obama will have more control over is the deficit.  The question is, what will he do?  Can he do what Clinton did after Bush Sr’s excesses? Will he be a borrow and spend conservative or a tax and spend liberal? Additionally, he starts out with a clear majority of Democrats in Congress.  Will they live up to the worst fiscal fears propagated by Republicans — that they won’t be able to resist pigging out at the taxpayer trough? Or will they show Clintonian fiscal restraint? We’ll know shortly.  I can’t wait!

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