Sunday, January 2, 2011

Gregory Mankiw has some advice for President Obama

In today's New York Times, Gregory Mankiw has some advice for Obama on How to Break Bread with Republicans. To begin with, you might be asking, "Who is Gregory Mankiw?" According to the Times, he is "a professor of economics at Harvard. He was an adviser to President George W. Bush."

What's interesting to me is that the advice Mankiw gives indicates that he hasn't been paying much attention to Obama over the last couple of years.

First of all, he suggests that Obama will have to be bipartisan. This is laughable. You have to wonder if Mankiw is also whispering in Boehner's ear - you know, the guy who rejects the word compromise. Based on what I've observed - bipartisan seems to be a euphemism to these guys for "my way or the highway."

Then he has 5 suggestions for Obama:

1. Focus on the long run.

Are you kidding me? What do Republicans know about the long run? They've demonstrated that they're willing to play with fire in order to win the next election. All while we have the ultimate long term thinker in the White House.

2. Think at the margin.

What Mankiw means by this is - worry about the tax rates at the top.

For example, the so-called Making Work Pay Tax Credit is phased out for individuals making more than $75,000 a year. That is, because many Americans lose some of the credit as they earn more

As you'll see from the next piece of advice, Mankiw doesn't seem to like ANY progressivity in the tax code.

3. Stop trying to spread the wealth.

What this one comes down to is that Mankiw doesn't like that Obama has proposed to return the upper tax rates to what they were under President Clinton. It - you know - reeks of socialism. Just stop paying so much attention to those "little people."

4. Spread opportunity instead.

I think we can all actually agree on this one - its about the need for educational reform. Trouble is - Mankiw doesn't get into specifics - like the Republican proposals to undermine public education. The devil is in the details.

5. Don't make the opposition your enemy.

Again, perhaps this advice is better shared with Mitch McConnell.

The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.

So there you have it. All I can do is think about the twisting of that old saying..."Do as I say, not as I do."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Disney to DeSantis and Rufo: FAFO

On February 27th, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill that allowed him to appoint members to the supervisory board of the the Reedy...