Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Obama’s Budget

There may not be many things I know, but one thing I do, is that the further out you go in time, the much harder it is to make accurate projections.

All of this moaning and groaning about apparent budget deficits six or seven years out is total nonsense. Before we come to that bridge it will be possible to see whose growth assumptions are the best and make the appropriate adjustments.

Every long range plan I’ve ever been involved in begins to fall apart five or six years down the road. Typically you can’t identify revenue accurately that far away and any cost or growth extrapolations you do become more and more problematic.

Every long term manning plan I’ve ever done shows everyone out of a job three to five years out. Of course that never happens because things you can’t rely on at the moment appear.

Obama is trying to establish a long term plan. Spend today and get the benefits sometime in the future. That can be risky, but it’s the right thing to do. It’s a plan to build a solid foundation for ongoing prosperity rather than simply aiming for short term low hanging fruit.

I’ve said for a long time that the American economic outlook focuses too much on the next quarter at the expense of long term planning. Its part of what got us into this mess and I’m glad to finally see a leader that has the intelligence, and the courage, to take the longer view.

How he’s going to get the morons on Capital Hill to go along with it I don’t know. It’s not without its risks and you have to be realistic about how things are going and be prepared to make the necessary adjustments. Wishful thinking of any form can be catastrophic with this type of approach.

Obama and some of his advisers may have the fortitude and vision for this kind of road but I guarantee you the average congressman doesn’t. It’s going to be a long hard battle even with other Democrats. As for the Republicans, even if they realize the road he wants to take is the right one, they’ll oppose it tooth and nail.

The Republicans would rather see the country burn than have Obama succeed. They're not interested in what's right for the coutry, only in what's right for them.

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