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Conservative Imagines Dream Obama Administration

Conservative columnist David Brooks has outlined his vision for an Obama Administration all Americans could get behind. In today's New York Times he painted a picture of an American leadership free from extreme partisanship and ideology:

Walking into the Obama White House of my dreams will be like walking into the Gates Foundation. The people there will be ostentatiously pragmatic and data-driven. They’ll hunt good ideas like venture capitalists. They’ll have no faith in all-powerful bureaucrats issuing edicts from the center. Instead, they’ll use that language of decentralized networks, bottom-up reform, and scalable innovation.

Brooks went on to suggest that Obama appoint Republicans to crucial positions, push policy with broad support such as middle-class tax relief and an energy package, and hold off on health care reform until success in fixing the economy and reducing the budget defect has helped gain the trust of most Americans.

Do you think the Obama Administration can succeed in pleasing both conservative and liberal Americans? What does change you can believe in look like?

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gemini7827 gemini7827 8 years
he is sooooo far left. I will be shocked (but pleased) if he did something conservative
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
Not being snarky here so please bear with me... All I could find online was that Rahm was on the board of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae from 2000 to 2002. That seems like a long time ago. Does being associated with them make you unable to serve as Chief of Staff? What are the concerns here?
Michelann Michelann 8 years
That's not what I meant to imply, I'm sorry it that's how it came off.
stephley stephley 8 years
It's equally unfortunate to assume that people only disagree with your point of view because they don't know as much as you.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
Haha, windfall profit taxes on oil. It's unfortunate when people fall prey to the idea that oil companies have profit margins different from most companies. Once people learn the difference between profits and profit margins, I think they won't be so vulnerable to demagoguery.
kranky kranky 8 years
stephley- you are right - it was not windfall gas taxes. That was an error on my part, I got ahead of myself. It was freezing prices that caused the shortages - which happened after prices skyrocketed (due to all those other things going on in the world). Logically, prices would go up if taxes were imposed. In my mind, price freezes would come into the conversation if taxes went too high, causing prices to increase dramatically. And I see where you said they would 'pass on the tax' in post #25 - I took you to mean something else entirely, so thanks for restating your position. I am going out on a limb and saying that I think we both agree that penalizing the company will ultimately penalize the consumer. Feel free to disagree. I'm not sure what you mean about 'diverting funds,' but I certainly agree that we need to find alternative energies. I have to sign off now, but do not want to deny you an opporunity to respond. Feel free to pm me, or leave another post and I'll try to get online at a later time. Have a good one-
stephley stephley 8 years
Don't need your background, I know about the 1970s gas shortages and they were NOT caused by windfall profits taxes - there were other things going on in the world at the time. And I have said, I know that eventually the companies pass things on to consumers, and that for now diverting funds will have to do. Then we should take back their tax breaks. And then we should cut back on oil usage.
kranky kranky 8 years
Roar - ok, fair enough. You don't want increased spending on the military. Got it. Sorry if I pre-empted you - I have heard the argument plenty that getting out of Iraq would bring lots of money into the government. That is not the case.
kranky kranky 8 years
Ummm... stephley, I thought it was common knowledge about the 1970s gas shortages. I am happy to provide background if you wish. Also, my thought process is most definitely NOT locked. I specifically asked you to explain why companies would not pass increased costs onto their consumers. I am open to hearing your thoughts on that, and I haven't gotten any.
Roarman Roarman 8 years
"Moving the military to other places will not save the government any money." My argument was that we do not need to spend more to beef up our existing military if we stopped exhausting them on wars that have no end or validity. We would have had plenty of military to fight a war in Afghanistan if we had not shifted to Iraq.
piper23 piper23 8 years
Talk about an old argument. I could go on with how Clinton had the chance to take out Bin Laden, blah, blah, blah - but like I just wrote and like you wrote earlier - old argument. Have a nice day - I'm out.
stephley stephley 8 years
Your thought process is so locked in a certain things that I really don't feel conversation is helpful: "windfall profits didn't work in the 1970's" you read that where, you're positive of that how? All you seem to be looking for is affirmation of what you already think. BP, Exxon and Marathon oil reported record profits again in the third quarter of 2008: I'd like to be doing not as well. Eventually, they would pass on the tax, but as we saw this summer, they have no problem boosting costs when it suits their whim anyway, so let's divert a little money our way. And then, let's come up with an energy plan that sends them packing. Our troops are enduring back to back tours in wars that never should have been launched. Had Bush targeted bin Laden who attacked us, rather than Afghanistan, the Taliban, Saddam Hussein and Iraq, which did not attack us, that wouldn't have happened.
kranky kranky 8 years
"I think we need to stop taxing them [the military] on useless wars and use them where they are really needed." Moving the military to other places will not save the government any money. This is not an ethical argument about fighting the right war, I am only talking about dollars and cents here.
piper23 piper23 8 years
I think if we had not cut our military so much during past administrations, it would be big enough that the soldiers would not have to endure back to back tours.
kranky kranky 8 years
stephley- You are right - the argument is old. Taxing windfall profits didn't work in the 1970's, so why would it work now? I have yet to hear an argument as to why companies would not pass on the extra cost of taxes to the consumer. The oil companies did do really well in the 3rd quarter. They are not up to par in this one. With a lower performance, you can hardly say they are receiving windfalls, so why would we charge them windfall taxes?
Roarman Roarman 8 years
I don't think we need to build our military any more than it is right now, I think we need to stop taxing them on useless wars and use them where they are really needed.
piper23 piper23 8 years
Yeah, with the Russia threat a couple of days ago and with Israel on pins and needles over Iran and our future dealings with that country, and with the Taliban rising up in Afghanistan - building our military would be a terrible idea. I mean this stuff has a tendency to work itself out.
Roarman Roarman 8 years
I would rather add to the deficit for programs that help people rather than baseless wars and building our military based on unsubstantiated fears and bailing out banks who put us in this mess we are in in the first place. Unlike other nations that also bailed out there failing banks, we provided little protection and incentive to the taxpayers whose money was being used to fund this.
stephley stephley 8 years
The windfall profits pass on argument is old - they charge what they want anyway - and yes, the oil companies are doing quite well.
kranky kranky 8 years
How did the press conference go? Did anyone see it?
kranky kranky 8 years
stephley- Thanks for the response. The good news is that the war is ending, I don't know that detouring the bailout maoney is an option (but for the record, I loathed the bailout). I seriously doubt that taxing windfall profits on oil companies is going to get us anywhere. Why would they not pass that charge onto the consumer? And.... are they even making any profits these days? Last I heard, China's economy had come to a grinding halt and consumption was WAY down. I did read somewhere that Bush's prescription program is costing the country way more than the war. As much as I would like to think we are going to dig ourselves out of the deficit, I don't see it happening any time soon. I second, piper. I don't agree with Obama on pretty much all his policies, but do not plan on catching 'ODS' anytime soon. 'BDS' is so very unattractive.
piper23 piper23 8 years
I agree with that, Stephley. But I do think that since he is going to be President, a certain amount of respect comes with that. I do not intend to namecall and personally attack him as I have seen people do to Bush. Even if I vehemently disagree with him, whether I like it or not - he's going to be my President.
stephley stephley 8 years
Yes I would add to the deficit to extend healthcare to those who need it. End a war, detour the bailout money, close a couple of corporate tax loopholes, impose a windfall profits tax on oil companies - we are not without options. It is his presidency and they will be his decisions. Some people will hate Obama as much as some of us hate Bush. People hated LBJ for civil rights legislation. We all have to decide what we can live with.
kranky kranky 8 years
How about Charlie Rangel! (I might make it a mission to bring him up every day now...) The man is responsible for our new tax bill, and he Doesn't. Even. Pay. Taxes. (rant over)
piper23 piper23 8 years
And the politicians who are on those so-called "over-sight" committees. What a joke.
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