Obama fearmongering?

The newest rightwing meme is that Obama is engaged in Bush’esque fearmongering while pushing for the economic stimulus bill that’s likely to pass the Senate tomorrow.

What’s at issue are statements like this from Obama:

A failure to act and act now will turn crisis into a catastrophe and guarantee a longer recession, a less robust recovery, and a more uncertain future. Millions more jobs will be lost. More businesses will be shuttered. More dreams will be deferred.

I could understand their point of view if the evidence of faltering economy weren’t so clear, and if economists hadn’t been calling for a stimulus for months now. This is what the Economist said last October:

When credit markets are dysfunctional, private demand is fading and confidence weak, a fiscal jolt is a good option. Cutting taxes puts extra cash straight into people’s pockets. By stepping up their own spending, governments can directly boost demand and employment. True, stimulus increases short-term government deficits—but the fiscal damage from a prolonged slump would be greater still, as Japan showed in the 1990s. 

Bush, on the other hand, pushed the case for a war on Iraq without an existing pretext or clear and present danger. The most frightening rhetoric wasn’t coming from unbiased experts, but from Dick Cheney and Condi Rice. 

What do you think?


  1. Ian

    There is a big difference between telling us the boogie man terrorists are going to get us and that our economy, which is obviously not well at the moment, is going to get worse. I don’t know if I believe Obama. I personally think that in the long run, a month of debate to find the right solution is better than forcing through a solution, and I do like seeing some of the pork getting cut from the stimulus bill. I know that isn’t the goal of the Republicans. They simply want to be a road block for anything Obama wants. It is selfish and petty and ignores what this country needs. Obama is responding this way, whether he actually believes what he says or not, in response to this behavior. I don’t know how I feel about him acting like that because I don’t know how well the stimulus would actually work.

  2. Jordan

    I liked his speech last night and I think that he did a good job in actually taking the time to address each of the questions that the White House press corps asked. They were all kind of softball questions but he went a bit further into depth than he has from his speeches this week (and moreso than Bush ever did in his presidency). Too bad some of them were softball questions and one was blatantly stupid (A-Rod?!) but you could actually see him thinking over the answers and explaining them in a way that makes his current plan make sense to everyday people. I was most happy when he called out the Republicans who are fighting so hard against this in the name of fiscal responsibility for being the ones who ran up the deficit for the past 8 yrs. I’m not sure that the plan will do what it is supposed to but it’s there and there’s not much we can do about it. I’m also glad that he brought up the accountability issues with the last TARP and how the American public was dicked over for $350 bil there too. The speech at least restored my confidence that even if it doesn’t work, there will be some measure of transparency and accountability, something we would never get from Bush.

    The one question I really want answered ‘yes’ is when they get to the legislation about investigated the past 8 yrs of the Bush presidency. That could get very interesting.

  3. Jordan

    How many times can I say softball questions? Sorry…

  4. Chris

    Apology not accepted… I expect metaphorical variety…

  5. Jordan

    They lobbed red frisbees then that gently floated up and out but not too difficult for a retriever to catch