Sunday, March 15, 2009

"The fundamentals of our economy are strong"

Dr. Christina Romer, chair of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, was on "Meet the Press" this morning. Substance of her remarks aside, her choice of words brings to mind rhetoric from the 2008 campaign, but not necessarily from the candidate you'd expect. From the transcript:

(Videotape, Friday)

PRES. OBAMA: If we are keeping focused on all the fundamentally sound aspects of our economy, then we're going to get through this. And I'm very confident about that.

(End videotape)...

MR. GREGORY: Are the fundamentals of this economy sound?

DR. ROMER: Well, of course the fundamentals are sound in the sense that the American workers are sound, we have a good capital stock, we have good technology. We know that, that temporarily we're in a mess, right? We've seen huge job loss, we've seen very large falls in GDP. So certainly in the short run we're in a, in a bad situation.

Gee, where have we heard that one before? And what, pray tell, did the Obama camp think of the "well the fundamentals are the workers" back then?

Politics. Psh. Enough.


Dogwalkmusings said...

Now you know why people think it doesn't matter who is elected because the thought processes are basically all the same!

Max B. said...

firstly, mccain originally said "the fundamentals of our economy are strong," not "sound."

secondly, obama said, essentially, that "fundamentals sound aspects of our economy" do in fact exist, as opposed to implying that all the fundamental pillars of the economy are not just sound but strong.

but lastly, and most importantly, obama was then a candidate for president; his job was to criticize the administration he was trying to replace. now, as president, he is responsible for the health of the nation; he has to be a leader and fundamentally optimistic. mccain's comment was tone-deaf...obama chooses his words much more carefully, to project optimism without seeming disconnected from the economic pain average citizens are suffering.

and, on an only tangentially related note, david gregory is a dick. and "meet the press" is a crock, and has been for quite some time. i mean look at how he twists what obama actually said in order to try and pin romer into answering a yes-or-no question that doesn't actually engage or elucidate the complexities of the modern global economy, but just puts substanceless political pressure on a high-ranking official. i saw romer at brookings last week; she got a far higher quality of question there, and many of them were tough politically even as they focused on something meaningful, like the apparent gap between geithner's assessment of a "liquidity crisis" and her assessment of a "solvency crisis." but that's actually about something important! not whether the "fundamentals of the economy" - a term that i challenge anyone to actually define or quantify - are "sound," a benchmark gregory declines to even outline the vaguest definition of either. he's trying to create soundbytes that will drive news cycles, not glean information or insight that will increase public understanding.

Cany said...

I'm still thinking about all this. Was a very weird thing to hear, especially given the political context.

Jordan said...


And you're mincing words.