Department of "Huh?!": I Really Do Not Understand the Obama White House
Obsolete Dogma: The Don Quixote Economics of the Fed Dissenters

Mark Thoma Watches the White House Lose to Itself in Eleven Dimensional Chess


Economist's View: White House Debates Giving Up on Helping the Economy: Apparently one of the things holding up a push to put people back to work is worries that the GOP might chant "tax-and-spenders," and the administration's demonstrated inability to respond or defend itself in response would harm Obama's reelection chances. In any case, the administration promised it would put doing what's right ahead of doing what's best for reelection. This is how you convince yourself that your reelection rather than, say, job creation is the most important thing to focus on:

Administration officials, frustrated by the intransigence of House Republicans, have increasingly concluded that the best thing Mr. Obama can do for the economy may be winning a second term, with a mandate to advance his ideas on deficit reduction, entitlement changes…

The best thing the administration can do is abandon support for struggling households now so Obama can get reelected and reduce social insurance programs that help struggling households?

The administration should put its effort into job creation and talk of little else (though mortgage relief is also high on the list). If Republicans go along, great, households need jobs. If not, it's up to the administration to make sure it's their loss.

Me? I have always thought that handicapping the political future is very difficult, that doing the right thing gets you a stronger economy which does improve the political climate, that there is no honor in pursuing bad policies that make the country worse off in order to get reelected and then losing, and thus that it is always best to try to do the right thing--then, at least, you aren't left looking at yourself in the mirror afterwards thinking that it would have been better for the country and the world if you had never been born.