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Obama has yet to lead the way

John Kiernan
Dolan Media Newswires

Long Island, NY – On Nov. 5, being a Democrat was a nice place to be. President Barack Obama had just been elected in an impressive victory. In Congress, the Democrats increased their majorities in both houses by substantial margins. But, four months later, the economy has continued to worsen, and the mood of the public has soured.

Obama inherited an economy that was collapsing. The economic conditions continued to decline on a catastrophic level after the stock market dipped sharply in mid-September. The emergency bailout program that was quickly thrown together last fall by the Bush Administration did not produce the desired results.

There is blame to be spread among many officials. It is also important to note that the federal law that strictly separated the activities of commercial banks and investment banking institutions was repealed in a bill signed by President Bill Clinton in 1999. Many experts believe this repeal set the stage for the current financial collapse.

The approval of that bill encouraged the bundling of subprime mortgages as investment securities. When the housing market collapsed, these securities became virtually worthless. A downward spiral began that has not stopped.

Shortly after Obama was elected in November, he said he wanted an economic stimulus package on his desk so he could sign it the day he was inaugurated. That did not happen.

The bill he finally received and signed contained so many questionable “stimulus” items that it has not generated confidence in the economic and investment community. For example, the solution put forth for the foreclosure crisis is overly complicated.

Obama’s nominees for key posts for Treasury and Commerce have been huge embarrassments. Have we ever seen so many nominees that turned out to have tax and legal problems?

The president cannot be blamed for the economic mistakes of the last eight years. He did, however, campaign on a relentless mantra of “yes we can.”  But does he know how?

We need a leader — not a great orator — to lead the nation. The presidency is the first job Obama has had wherein he has to function as an executive and as a leader who has to deliver. In the most basic comparisons, Steve Levy, Tom Suozzi and even Sarah Palin, have more experience making a government work and deliver results than our president has.

It is time to put the oratory away, curb the symbolism and start the real work. Obama has to stay focused on the economy and he should stop trying to satisfy, in his first three months of office, every special interest group he made promises to on the campaign trail.

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