May 26, 2017

What went wrong: part 1137

The New York Time explains what went wrong with the Obama administration.

By the end of his first year, Obama expected to have revamped the nation’s health care system, restructured its energy industry to curb climate change, reined in Wall Street with a new regulatory structure, closed the prison at Guantánamo Bay, signed an arms-control treaty with Russia, begun rapprochement with Iran and jump-started the Middle East peace process. Instead, the president’s approval ratings have fallen by more than 20 percentage points, unemployment remains higher than even the worst initial White House forecasts and much of the president’s agenda is stalled. Most significant, the fate of Obama’s signature health care initiative is uncertain. “What looked like it was going to be a huge achievement for 2009 became a huge challenge for 2010,” Anita Dunn, the former White House communications director under Obama, told me. “Obviously, the landscape looks a lot different heading into the second year.”

That was a mighty ambitious agenda. But did anyone consider whether it was one that had popular support. To put it succinctly:

Frankly, Obama has a big picture. It’s just the wrong one — a statist spend-a-thon that seeks to reorient the balance between private and public sectors, grow the scope of the federal government, and do it all without popular support.

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