Must Read Op-Eds for August 10, 2011

Updated
 

WE NEED A JOBS BILL, MR. PRESIDENT  BY KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL
WASHINGTON POST

Obama used to say on the campaign trail that we can’t keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different outcome. He was right. Isn’t it high time he take his own words to heart? We don’t need the president to start talking about jobs again. We need him to start doing something about jobs — something that will capture the attention of the American people and the media, something that will change the debate in a city that has lost its way… Great leaders, when confronted by crisis, act.

A POLITICAL CRISIS OF FAITH  BY DAVID IGNATIUS
WASHINGTON POST

The scariest aspect of the current political-economic crisis is that it tests [our] faith in democratic governance. The political systems in the United States and Europe have proved unable over the past year to solve crucial financial problems. The political system has been no more self-regulating than the economic. That was the real message of Standard & Poor’s downgrade of America’s credit rating after the debt-limit debacle. This was, indeed, a self-inflicted wound… What does that leave as political-economic models? China, Russia, India, Turkey? No wonder the world is depressed.

WITHHOLDER IN CHIEF  BY MAUREEN DOWD
NEW YORK TIMES

Obama has spent a lifetime creating his persona… But as Drew Westen, a liberal psychology professor at Emory University wrote in The Times on Sunday, puzzling about what has happened to his former hero’s passion, the president never identifies the villains who cause our epic problems. It’s unclear, Westen wrote, whether that reflects his aversion to conflict or a fear of offending donors, or both. Obama’s assumption that you can rise above ascribing villainous motives has caused him to waste huge chunks of his first term seeking bipartisanship from Republicans who were playing him for a dupe. And it has led to Americans regarding the nation’s capital as a place of all villains and no heroes.

THE REVENGE OF THE RATINGS AGENCIES  BY JEFFREY MANNS
NEW YORK TIMES

Politicians will be tempted to wave a white flag by granting [ratings] agencies a pass from tough regulation in exchange for the agencies’ not downgrading federal debt further. While that approach may give the United States breathing room in the short run, the government should not give in to such extortion. Instead, politicians must take the hard medicine of a downgrade in stride and get America’s house in order… regardless of what rating agencies say. At the same time, they should not forget the rating agencies’ role in the crisis and allow these monitors of creditworthiness to revert to their pre-crisis ways of lax ratings and blindness to deception.

A NEW STRATEGY FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH  BY KEVIN WARSH AND JEB BUSH
WALL STREET JOURNAL

The debt-limit debate caused policy makers to recognize what citizens already knew: We must put our fiscal house in order. Cutting spending is essential. But we will never cut our way to prosperity. So, what should be the economic grand strategy? In a word: growth… Stronger economic growth is not just about economics. Growth unleashes human potential. It turns personal aspirations into positive achievements. And it lays the predicate for a better, stronger, more prosperous and opportunity-filled America. Our weak economic recovery has dashed the hopes and dimmed the prospects of too many of our citizens. And it has put America’s place in the world at risk.

THINK BIG, MR. OBAMA  BY HAROLD MEYERSON
WASHINGTON POST

[Mr. President], you need a program to run on, one that gives people some hope for the nation’s economic prospects and their own. The small stuff won’t do that. It’s time to go big. So forget the Vineyard. When Congress comes back (you can call it back if the economy keeps dropping), address a joint session and lay out what we need to do to get the economy on track. Don’t get rattled if the Republicans boo. You’re making your case for salvaging the American economy and your presidency. And, brother, do you need one.

A DEFAULT RISK? WELL. DUH.  BY RUTH MARCUS
WASHINGTON POST

I kept waiting throughout the debt-ceiling debate for Wall Street to wake up to the fact that Washington is not nearly as functional as the market calculated. Instead, Wall Street assumed that because default was unthinkable, it did not have to price that possibility into its risk assessment… Rather than turning a crisis into an opportunity, Republicans turned an opportunity into a crisis — one just narrowly averted. Having underreacted to the default risk, the market is overreacting now. Nothing in Standard & Poor’s analysis should surprise the average newspaper reader, no less a titan of finance.

Must Read Op-Eds for August 10, 2011

Updated