An excerpt from the article Obama Explained by James Fallows:
"The first contention-that from beginning to end Obama has chosen the path he thought would minimize new shocks to the economy-accords with normal political logic, since the worst threat to a sitting president is exactly the kind of slowdown Obama has tried to avoid, with mixed results at best through his first three years. It also makes sense of an otherwise disparate pattern of decisions, starting with his administration's apparent coddling of Wall Street in 2009. This early failure of accountability is the main theme of Ron Suskind's Confidence Men, and virtually everyone I spoke with said that it created a substantive and symbolic problem the administration has never fully recovered from. Substantive, because of the "moral hazard" created by using public money to guarantee the bonuses and repay the losses of people who had been so recklessly destructive. Symbolic, for all the reasons that eventually came to a head with last year's Occupy movement.
An official familiar with the administration's economic policy told me: "The recapitalization of the banks was a good idea, and necessary. But we did not put enough conditions on [their] getting the money. Ultimately not being tougher with the guys that got the money is the thing that overthrows the government twice-in 2008 [in a reaction against Bush's TARP plan] and again in 2010.""
Brenner's essay, Bare Bones Obama in the Huffington Post
Health Insurers Seek Higher Premiums
"Confidence Men" excerpt; page 307
In an e-mail sent to the senior staff on June 8, Orszag elucidated how the cost argument was dissolving, both inside the White House and beyond it. Mostly, though, he and Zeke Emanuel were left to watch as the expanded coverage advoates - including Nancy-Ann DeParle - ascended. The unspoken default was to do coverage first, pushing the moral issue of universal coverage, and at some point in the future, maybe years from now, the expanded mandate would force a cost crisis that would finally bring all combatants to the table to change the way health care was delivered in America.
Look for Ron tomorrow, September 20th, on the following programs.
NBC - The "TODAY" show - 7 am
MSNBC - "Morning Joe" - 8 am
NPR - "Fresh Air" - check local listings
Sirius XM - "White House Insider" - 3 pm
Comedy Central - "Daily Show with Jon Stewart" - 11 pm