Thursday, September 09, 2010

The politics of macroeconomics - What ever happened to the Political Business Cycle?

For some reason I can't explain, my feed for the NY Review of Books in Bloglines was pointing to pieces from last October. So I read this piece by Elizabeth Drew on Health Care and got about halfway through it before I realized it was quite dated. But it's a useful read to help set the tone for what is happening now. One does have to wonder whether Hillary Clinton would have been a more effective President because she'd have been belligerent to the Republicans from the get go and with battle lines drawn would get her legislation passed accordingly. I don't fault the President for his initial "post partisan" posture. But when it was evident that it wasn't going to happen that way, why not rethink the pose? Now the part of this which I really don't understand, especially given how it appears that the bulk of obstruction has been in the Senate, where the Filibuster seemingly gives too much power to the minority, why does the President take on the House Minority Leader to symbolize the opposition? Why not make Mitch McConnell the focus? Is it because all the House seats are up this fall? In any event, we now seem to be having the sort of partisan contest one might have anticipated over macroeconomic policy.

Noblesse Oblige
Is under siege.

There's no latter day Robin Hood
To redistribute income for the good.

The Republicans in Congress crave lower tax rates.
While efforts to extend UI, they do frustrate.

So it seems the modern day political creed
Is to let the rich indulge their greed.

Alas, it is almost as crass
To pander to the middle class.

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