(WSJ) David Wessel: Political Stalemate Holds Economy Hostage

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There is an optimistic scenario for the U.S. economy: Europe gets its act together. The pace of world growth quickens, igniting demand for U.S. exports. American politicians agree to a credible compromise that gives the economy a fiscal boost now and restrains deficits later. The housing market turns up. Relieved businesses hire. Relieved consumers spend.

But there are at least two unpleasant scenarios: One is that Europe becomes the epicenter of a financial earthquake on the scale of the crash of 1929 or Lehman Brothers 2008. The other is that Europe muddles through, but the U.S. stagnates for another five years, mired in slow growth, high unemployment and ugly politics.

No one would intentionally choose the second or third, yet policy makers look more likely to stumble into one of those holes than find a path to the happier ending.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationHistory* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeEuroEuropean Central BankHousing/Real Estate MarketLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketThe Banking System/SectorThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--Politics in GeneralHouse of RepresentativesOffice of the PresidentPresident Barack ObamaSenate* International News & CommentaryEurope--European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010

11 Comments
Posted September 28, 2011 at 3:32 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. AnglicanFirst wrote:

The headling “Political Stalemate Holds Economy Hostage” is misleading.

It should read “Progressive Ideologists Are Holding the Economy Hostage” and by doing so have damaged disabled the free enterprise system.

September 28, 5:09 pm | [comment link]
2. Kendall Harmon wrote:

#1, it is their title, which I see they have now changed.  You know in any case that those on the opposite side from you believe it is “conservative ideologists” who are doing the same thing.

September 28, 5:14 pm | [comment link]
3. Br. Michael wrote:

The point is that the American people are polarized.  The Congress is in fact doing its job.  The liberal/progressives complain only that they are opposed.  From my perspective gridlock is my friend.

September 28, 5:22 pm | [comment link]
4. Capt. Father Warren wrote:

The progressive agenda will destroy all aspects of America as it was founded [by definition].  Just as an armed robber will take all the money in your home.  Do you compromise with the robber and give him some/most of what he demands?  No, you defeat him one way or another.

I am with Br. Michael and a goodly number of the American people who elected sufficient republicans/conservatives to install gridlock in Washington becasue they were scared silly by what they saw in the first two years of the Obama Reign.  That Mr. Obama’s poll numbers continue to slide indicates the American people will continue the job started in November 2010.

The robber will no doubt call me all kinds of things as I seek to defeat him.  So what?  There is no moral equivalence between his position and mine.

September 28, 5:47 pm | [comment link]
5. robroy wrote:

I wish we had “political stalemate” before the job killing obamacare and the crime against humanity (future humanity that is) stimulus bill. Obama is having a hard time pushing through more regulations…and that’s a good thing.

September 28, 6:12 pm | [comment link]
6. Br. Michael wrote:

But look at the executive regulations the Democrats are pushing through without any Congressional enabling legislation!.  We are in the decline of the Republic and heading for dictatorship with the liberal/progressives leading the way.

Of course hear how they howl if the Conservative side ever takes the power that they themselves have given to the Executive!

September 28, 9:17 pm | [comment link]
7. AnglicanFirst wrote:

Reply to Father Kendall (#2.).

I hope that you know that I meant no offense to you.  If I offended you, please accept my apology.

Regarding the “opposite side,” I am not a conservative with an opposing point of view.

I am, to coin a term, a ‘preservationist.’  And my position is not ideological, it is based upon a strong deserve to preserve what it is that we have had historically as a nation that has made us the great nation that we have been up until a rapid series of innovations over the past 50 years. 

These innovations are mostly rooted in progressive ideology that goes back to the 1800s.  A progressive ideology that resulted in Bismark’s Germany and World War One, then World War Two in Europe and in the post-WWII Cold War.

The things that I feel we must preserve are based upon our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, our Judeo-Chrisitan rooted traditions and the free market system.  They are based upon a civil society in which a person’s vote is based upon a well-informed rational choice and not upon empty-headed populist slogans.

September 28, 10:50 pm | [comment link]
8. Dave B wrote:

When we didn’t have a stalemate we passed an $800 billion dollar “stimulus” bill that funded, among other things, a program to teach African men how to wash their genitles, build windmills in China and Spain.  We bailled out Chrysler which used bail out money to develope the Volt car a version of which will now be produced in China.  Over all I think we could use even more grid lock, at least soon the clown show in DC will run out of money to loan to organizations like Solyndra (which is getting $10 million more in loan guarantees dispite the fact that all the executives took the 5th when testifying before Congress). What is the down side?

September 29, 9:55 am | [comment link]
9. Mitchell wrote:

When we did not have a stalemate we enter into two wars that to date have cost 1.25 trillion dollars and borrowed the money to pay for them.
http://www.costofwar.com

September 30, 3:37 pm | [comment link]
10. Capt. Father Warren wrote:

When we did not have a stalemate we enter into two wars

Do you remember why?  Does 9-11 ring a bell?  Thanks be to God we have had a strong military and a President unafraid to defend the country from terrorism when it was attacked and over 3,000 innocent citizens killed in one day.

  Better enjoy the freedom that was maintained.  Once the “super committee” guts defense, it may just be a memory.

September 30, 4:12 pm | [comment link]
11. AnglicanFirst wrote:

“Once the “super committee” guts defense, it may just be a memory.”

This “super committee” just may be a Trojan Horse that naive (re-election conscious?) Republicans allowed to happen. 

The Tea Party faction played their cards and ‘voila,’ the left-wing of the Democratic Party successfully seized upon an opportunity to seriously down-size our national defense forces.

These ploys are not new.  Back in 1he early 1980s, during the Cold WSar, the left-wing Democrats (many of them unabashed Sandinista supporters) wanted to turn the Navy’s amphibious ships over to the Naval Reserve Force (NRF).  This would have seriously hindered the President’s ability to use those ships during the immediate response stage of a national security crisis. 

It didn’t work.  Instead, the Navy gave the NRF some super-desroyer escorts called FFGs.  However, this left-wing faction remains in Congress.  It is really worth studying what this faction says about itself, what its goals are, and what they have accomplished toward achieving those goals over the past 45 years or so.  Its alll there in print.  In the Congressional Record and in newspaper archives.

September 30, 5:25 pm | [comment link]
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