President Obama has just appointed Professor Alan Krueger of Princeton University to provide much-needed, albeit too late, aid to Timothy Geithner as they grapple with a stymied economy and a lackluster jobs market. While I am no Columbia MBA graduate, it is clear that if people do not have jobs, they cannot pay their bills, nor pay their mortgages - a jobs bill was promised by both Democrats and Republicans but in their need to have a major pissing contest, these so-called elected leaders have come up with nothing.
As of this writing, the President's approval ratings are positively abysmal, in the 40% range - low 40's, that is. While it is laudable that Professor Krueger has joined the Obama team, that is an action that is years overdue. This recession did not occur overnight - Krueger or someone else of his stature and economic prowess should have been appointed when this nightmare began two years or so ago.
President Obama began his presidency promising change - he has tried to deliver but has caved far too often when what he needed was to use his executive powers as Executive in Chief and veto any legislation he did not like and instruct then Senate Majority Leader Pelosi to keep the balance in the Senate and get Republicans and Democrats to come up with a comprehensive jobs proposal - one that both sides could live with and failing that, he should have admonished his economics team to do just that - come up with a plan and insist that congress fall in lockstep.
That brings me to the ne'er do well Mr. Geithner. From reading his bio and credentials, Mr. Geithner should have brought a lot to the proverbial table of the Obama economics team - he has, however shown little leadership; instead appearing like a deer in the headlights when confronted on difficult economic subjects - he has clearly no clue what he is doing, nor what needs to be done.
The time for Americans to be patient is past and the President has unfortunately squandered far too much political will and capital on playing Mr. Nice Guy - it has backfired and horribly.
What is needed now is strong leadership and a fiscally responsible President - one who is not scared of making tough decisions, no matter how unpopular - it is nice to be liked, but politics is not for the fainthearted.
President Obama has made history and for that, I am grateful - his time has clearly passed. It is still, after all is said and done - the economy, stupid!