10.16.2009 Policy Points

Obama and Public Policy: An Assessment

At Grasping Reality with Both Hands, economist Brad DeLong assesses the performance of the Obama administration in handling the recession, regulating the financial sector, protecting the environment, and reforming health care. Blogs DeLong:

Don’t get me wrong: My complaint is not that the Obama administration has not been liberal enough. My complaint is that the Obama administration, so far, has not been devoted enough to good policy –to the good technocratic policies of what I used to see as the bipartisan center–and has been unwilling to use any leverage at all against a congress that is underbriefed, unfocused, and easily captured by special interests. You can only use such leverage if you have a moment arm–allow daylight to open up between the President’s position and the position of the marginal senator, and say that the President’s policies are those he and has staff have concluded after sober reflection are best for the nation but that he will take what he can get from congress.

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