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The Promise: President Obama, Year One by Jonathan Alter


SteveFromYellowstone

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I have to say this is an absolutely amazing book. I'd recommend that everyone read it; democrat, republican, and everything in between. It's an interesting mix of history and journalism narrating Obama's campaign and first year in the Oval Office.

Even if you absolutely despise President Obama, you will no doubt respect him more. He has made some of the toughest decisions anyone has ever had to make. He did very politically unpopular things that he knew had to be done even though they could badly hurt his chances at reelection, I knew that the financial crash of 2008 was severe, but I didn't understand the enormity of it all until it was put into perspective in this book. I don't care if you hate wall street and democrats, the bank bailout prevented a world financial meltdown. Without it we would have seen another great depression.

Virtually every respected economist in the world agreed that a substantial government stimulus was needed to the tune of almost a trillion dollars (most thought the stimulus should have been larger than that actually). It was however rushed because Obama knew that it had to get passed as soon as possible, and that hurt the quality of it. He couldn't afford to fight over every issue he wanted to as it would have delayed it's passage. I also didn't know that it was the largest education, science&technology, and infrastructure (and a few other things i can't remember) bill ever passed.

Alter always mentions when he thinks Obama made a mistake, and that's the beauty of it. It isn't an Obama love fest, it's an accurate account of his presidency and gives keen insight into Obama the man. Read it. The end.

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Great and now instead of facing $2 trillion of unfundable liabilities in the mortgage market we are facing $30 of unfunded federal liabilities in the western world. We are no better off than before the stimulus and the worldwide economy is in a more untenable position than it has ever been. How can you say we successfully fended of a depression? We just put a bandaid on a malignant tumor.

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Great and now instead of facing $2 trillion of unfundable liabilities in the mortgage market we are facing $30 of unfunded federal liabilities in the western world. We are no better off than before the stimulus and the worldwide economy is in a more untenable position than it has ever been. How can you say we successfully fended of a depression? We just put a bandaid on a malignant tumor.

I understand that the purpose was not to heal the tumor by to avoid the imminent death from it.

Yes our structural problems remain largely undealt with.

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