On Wednesday, President Obama delivered a speech (transcript) outlining his vision for economic policy in the remainder of his term. The speech drew much dissatisfaction even among the most liberal stalwarts since the themes and policies offered have been recycled many times during his administration.

NBC’s Chuck Todd coined the term “déjà pivot” in describing how many times the White House has harnessed the same theme of refocusing on the economy:

Report from the Washington Post:

It’s not that President Obama’s big economic speech was bad. It’s that it was, unexpectedly, a warm-up rather than the main event. Obama said it himself. “Let me give you a quick preview of what I’ll be fighting for and why,” he told the crowd. The meat of Obama’s economic policy agenda will be unveiled in a series of speeches over the next several weeks.

So don’t look to this speech for the details of the policy. Look to it for the signal of the “pivot.”

“Pivot” is the word Washington likes to use when a White House stops talking about one thing and begins talking about another thing. In this case, the speech was billed as President Obama’s “pivot” back to jobs.

In almost all cases — this one included — the idea of that kind of “pivot” is nonsense. The “jobs” tab didn’t disappear from the White House Web site in recent months. It was still there, and if you clicked on it, you’d see a link for “the blueprint,” and if you clicked on that, you’d see links to a series of plans all of which included vastly more policy proposals than Wednesday’s speech.

Any thoughts on this topic? Certainly if the economy continues at the current pace, it will be a driving issue in 2014 and 2016. Is the President heading in the right direction or is this more of the same?

38 COMMENTS

  1. This is how the right wing propagandist are covering Obama’s Speech yesterday, interesting how they always know, what the progressives are thinking, and report what the progressives think, which is what they want to say, that’s why they are, propagandist. Do you here me Chuck Todd.

  2. The American people like to feel that the president, ANY president is in charge. So they get nervous if they haven’t heard from him–especially when he is being attacked from the other side. Reagan was in the public eye all the time. GHW Bush pulled back and wanted to focus on substance, and he suffered (and maybe lost) for it. At one point, they called him a “wimp.” Same with Clinton. After the 1992 rout, he went underground,and even had to argue that he was still “relevant.” but when he came out swigin’ his popularity boomed.

    It doesn’t even matter what he’s fighting about, the public just loves to see a pugnacious president.

    As for the economy, the stock market is way up in record territory, corporate profits are at record levels. There’s unheard of wealth going into corporate pockets, it’s just not “trickling down.”

    The American economy has been on a (slow) steady path since the crash. It might have been more robust, but “robust” even includes the word “bust.” If we can stay on a steady slow growth path, with only revolving corrections in specific industries, maybe we could sustain it.

    And, finally, if a president “pivots,” he has a better chance to direct the topic of discussion. That’s what this is about.

    • Goethe

      Take away the “artificial floor” which the FED has been placing under the economy (85 BILLION per MONTH) and watch the Stock Market shake, tumble and free-fall faster (and deeper) than a sink-hole created by Chris Christie after he tripped and fell on Jersey Shore Blvd. The economic tsunami that will follow will create higher interest rates which will lead to massive hyper-inflation. (Oh the Joy to which we have to look forward)

      • I think the Fed is telling Wall Street which companies to invest in too as I sure can’t follow the logic. I don’t play the mkt but I do watch it.

      • DT: Yeah, that’s a good point. The market did rattle when there was even a hint of pull back in Fed action. Of course, the stock market has never been a “patriotic” institution. . . .

  3. Gee Whiz! There is so much “Good News” that the Government and the Media forgot to mention. Here’s a few just off the Top-of-my-Head…

    Large northern cities in America have largely become Ghost-Town Ghettos – – and still the Government and the Media preaches “Good News”

    The FED is still “pumping” 85 BILLION per MONTH into the Economy – – and still the Government and the Media preaches “Good News”

    50 MILLION Americans are now on Food Stamps – – and still the Government and the Media preaches “Good News”

    More and more small businesses are going Out-of-Business – – and still the Government and the Media preaches “Good News”

    US “Meddling” or involvement in War in Syria is escalating as more and more CIVILIANS are being KILLED by the Rebels which the US is arming with weapons. All this was UNAMIOUSLY approved by our elected “Congressional Whackos” from BOTH Parties (not that there is any difference between them) – – and still the Government and the Media preaches “Good News”

    Meanwhile, China and Russia are becoming quite “pissed-off” by the US intervention in Syria so that it’s being reported that “Tensions are Now Imminent” – – and still the Government and the Media preaches “Good News”

    Maybe the Government and the Media feel it’s BETTER to LIE” to the American People, rather than “share” with them, all this “Good News”.

    It just may be too overwhelming!

    • Does it really matter? FNC is the media outlet for the Republicans. MSNBC is the media outlet for the Democrats. They both have the SAME edict, but to their “assigned” constituencies:

      Keep Americans distracted with BS “stories” and with the “nonsense” which keeps them fighting amongst themselves, so that the Politicians and the “Power Elite” can do their “dirty deeds” while no one is looking

      Perhaps, if Americans started looking at the Voting Records of some of these BOZOS, we might have a Constitutional Government instead of a Socialist/Fascist one.

    • I’ve often wondered how NBC can have such a big tent. They have MSNBC on the left and CNBC on the right. I also think it was a tactical error to use “NBC” in the partisan networks. Likewise, I wonder if Microsoft has had any negative repercussions for that partnership.

      • NBC its self is one of the big three, ABC & CBS & . . . and it is actually diversifying a bit politically, especially with all recent the heat about bias. I think “why?” the big tent is: Comcast bought out GE in February and will compete with the other two biggies in standard non-cable free over-the -air. CNBC is doing great for a startup and will give FNC some competition. To the point Murdoch decided about 6 mos ago he was going to have several (like 30) FOX Democrat contributors and even have 2 or 3 independent hosts during non- prime time. FNC has several lawyers involved now, too.

        MSNBC still remains 50% NBC and 50% uS and a separate entity. both Comcast and Microsoft donate 70-30 split Democrats and almost all hollywood media companies donate heavily Democrats (cept Disney is only 51-49 D). Intel and uS are a-hole buddies and jointly produce several products. Intel does a 60-40 split R. We Dweebs that use intel / uS don’t care about their politics only their bugs. i’m betting uS gets a discount on advertising no matter who they go to. But i don’t think i see as much hi-tech ads on FNC as i do on the big three. guess the market isn’t there. but see a ton on investment / insurance and retirement. guess that tells a story, too. .

          • sorry didn’t realize about CNBC. i didn’t even start watching cable news much until about 18 mos ago. i don’t have any money, so not much reason to watch CNBC or FBNC. get what i need from finance.yahoo.com and email.

            • Sam: No need to be sorry. I don’t watch or listen to any of that stuff anymore. My daughter is a Dave Ramsey addict, though.

              I used to trade stocks and commodity futures. I made $5,000 in two hours one time–three months after I LOST $5,000 in three hours another day. And that was on an investment of only $1,000 each time–high stakes. That loss was the one and only time I experimented with shorting silver calls. Buying puts is risky. Selling calls is insane.

  4. At this point, the public is becoming more and more skeptical of the ability of this president to lead in a direction that will really enable economic growth. Hence even the liberal media at MSNBC are skeptical. Problem with Obama is that he won’t be willing to do what it takes to give business owners the confidence to hire people. He could do 3 things and the economy could quickly turn around and unemployment drop:
    1. Open drilling onshore and offshore
    2. Repeal Obamacare…all of it
    3. Return tax rates back to what they were under the bush era

    I guess what I’m saying is that the extended problems with the economy are really caused by the policies of this president and the current crop of democrats in congress. Regardless of what he says, he is not willing to address the core issues which are really causing the economic issues we’re facing today. Sure, he wasn’t president when things started, but a recovery has *never* taken this long…not since the great depression.

    Evidence shows (as Goethe pointed out) that the money is on the table. However, business owners aren’t greedily holding it back, they are being realists, realizing this president and the dems in congress are pushing us towards a national Detroit. Investors and business owners know instinctively that you can’t hold on to money and prosper, not long term. But they’re doing what they’re doing now as a part of risk mitigation. Obamacare won’t fully implement for a couple years, but they know its coming and *will* increase their cost of doing business, hence they are holding on to what they’ve got.

    He can give all the speeches and talk about all the things he wants to do, but none of them will address what are the major issues causing the economic woes.

    • Oh! And the Republicans haven’t contributed to the National Debt? (The National Detroit)

      This is WHY nothing will ever get done. There are just too many people in one camp or the other. The Dems and Repubs have “both” DESTROYED this Nation and it’s Economy. The sooner that we can admit that, the sooner we can fix it! The First step to fixing any problem is realizing you have one. In this case 2 (Democrats and Republicans)

    • Think it would take a bit more than that. there is 3.7 trillion dollars worth of paper out there in the form of municipal bonds. Government is going to need a great deal of money in the not too distant future, If they default …..there goes the retirement nest egg for those that have one. If you don’t have it you can’t spend it.

      • When you add the $11T to the $3.7T for SSA, Fed Pensions, Mil Pensions, Fed Reserve we owe the U.S. $14.7T of the $17,000,000,000,000 and change, of debt. Big Daddy has amassed $6.4T by his lonesome. And now he wants to increase the deficit as well – and blame everything on the Republicans. As we head towards Greece financially, if BO can’t make us a 2nd rate nation with his original plan (damn those snarky phony scandals) then he do it by breaking our backs. We have already lost all respect from every other nation in the world. Lead from behind, see,hear,speak nothing and ramble on with his 2008 rhetoric (minus hope and change of course)

        And here i thought old farts like Goethe, Billy, and myself would “get outta Dodge” before the roof caved in – probably not.

        • This is going off-topic,but if you’re retirement age, you should consider taking Social Security as early as you can. I did the math. I realized that if I took it early, as opposed to waiting to standard age, I could collect $50,000 cash before I would have.

          Now, it’s true that I could get 1-1/2 times as much if I waited, but assuming I did NOTHING with that $50k, it would still take until I was 77 before I’d break even. Of course, I didn’t just stuff it in a mattress, so the money has been working for me, and I would NEVER have gotten as much if I waited.

          And here’s the thing: if you don’t need the money, you can invest it, and when you get to normal retirement, you can REPAY the principal, keep the interest, and get the higher rate of Social Security payments, anyway.

          There has been talk of changing the guidelines, so this gambit may not be available in the future. Also, of course, who wants to pay back $50k in hopes you’ll live long enough to get it back? If you’re savvy, that $50k will continue to earn for you the whole ten additional years before you would have broken even. So unless you plan to live to 150, taking early Social Security is a smart move.

          Of course, that assumes that you don’t have big income. Since I’m self-employed, I can adjust the intake so that it doesn’t get high enough to fiddle with the Social Security. Also, rental income is not considered earned income, so you can get all of that you want. Rental income is my main source now, so it works all the way around for me.

        • The printing press can keep the federal ship up a bit longer than the municipalities. Then again if Obama can make 3.7 trillion dollars vanish doesn’t that make the dollar a bit stronger. They made 80 billion vanish with GM as a test flight. Seemed to work, the 80 billion is gone and it did put a lot of people back to work. Well all those that were retired holding GM paper anyhow. Think of what 3.7 trillion can do for the dollar and unemployment.

  5. Not saying that republicans haven’t contributed to the problem. The current president and current crop of democrats are unwilling to do what it will take to fix things because they are stuck in social justice via government program and saving the planet at the expense of the people of the planet.

    Clinton wasn’t like this, Carter wasn’t like this…nobody has been like what’s happening now regardless of party.

    Clinton averaged in the low 4’s on unemployment and about 200 Billion per year in deficit
    Bush Jr also averaged in the low 4’s on unemployment and about 350 billion per year in deficit

    The point of this article is about what Obama is doing *now* – I’d gladly return to the Clinton period, or the Bush period (either of them). The point is that the values of this president are not improving the current situation, in fact they are making things worse.

    If Obama had done *nothing* as president, the economy would have recovered way before now and businesses would have been hiring. That’s not praising the republicans, its just the truth.

    • “Amazon is an AWESOME corporation other corporations should model themselves after!!!!”*

      *Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

    • Goethe – it’s hard for me to use a Distributor as a “Guide-on” to leading a successful recovery. Their business profile is considerably different than an OEM or even a direct manufacturer to end user. especially a Disty who is 100% ecommerce with no store front or R&D or defined market profile. All that’s needed is a credit card at the ready. Their marketing is minimal for Amazon itself and tags to their suppliers and OEM’s marketing themes.A Disty lives on “turns” and “credits”. No sales, manufacturing, or marketing force and btw no union concerns besides Warehousing pleading for > min wage. minimal training & no re-training.

      Pick some some full boat manufacturers of products with conventional R&D / Marketing / Sales Life cycle.
      http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newSTR_80.htm
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_Cycle_Thinking
      Add the uncertainty of America, our dollar, instability of almost any subject here you can conceive, an administration trying like mad to reach a $20T debt, and raise taxes of corporate profitability, a congress that can’t decide which cheek to lift, and finally no true ;leadership in Congress or Administration!!!

      I would be making minimal re-investments and taking my $$ asap and placing them almost anywhere but the U.S..

  6. Are there NO Real Americans left in Congress and Senate?!

    Or are they all cowards?!

    Are both these bodies polluted with anti-Constitutional and American-hating scumbags, that NOT a Single ONE of them will START IMPEACHMENT proceedings against the creature that has usurped for the first time the US Presidency — Barry Sotero, or Hussein Obama….whatever its real name is???!!!

    We all know the charges — but, no-one in Congress or Senate has the guts to be a Real American, and challenge this Usurper of The White House according to Verified Records!

    Contact your Congressmen and Senators, and TELL them this is the reason Barrack Hussein Obama MUST be IMPEACHED! And if you fail to support its impeachment, don’t expect to be reelected!

    The BO lied on all its promises — and once elected did the EXACT OPPOSITE of what it said. THAT’S PERJURY! Also, the BO NEVER supplied its original Birth Certificate — but had a fake published!..

    WHO IS THIS Barry Sotero or Hussein Obama, remains a question to THIS DAY!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BmdovYztH8

    Make this 2 minute video viral!

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