The Obama team here seems so happy with delivering only what the Republicans and the Financial Lobby would allow. And that is unfortunately playing to the weaknesses in the Executive Branch that have continued through the last two presidencies –
a)a grossly poor financial management and regulatory record with a tough choice among Alan Greenspan as FED chairman, the SEC failing to control Wall Street, Bush Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson granting immense favors to financial favorites during the financial crisis and the Clinton White House dismantling bank controls for being the worst /most blatant concessions to Wall Street as quid pro quo for the financial lobby’s election bankrolling;
b)increasingly ineffectual government regulation – this is not confined to the Financial sector but can be seen at FDA, DOE, DOD, and many other departments and regulatory agencies which have been grossly under performing. And if you look at the Financial Regulators, there is a giant octopus of 15 agencies with overlapping responsibilities and mismatched top level reporting authorities which creates a huge sprawling mess when trying to regulate coherently the financial sector. And the tragedy is Treasury/Finance is not alone. There is a curious echo octopoid sprawl in the Intelligence community with another 17 agency octopus trying to co-ordinate National Intelligence. As one pundit has noted, it will take another 9/11 or Depression Inducing Perfect Financial Storm to provoke the President and Congress to take serious action;
c)less effectiveness from government administration – out and out administrative failures by SEC, FTC, CFC in the financial arena are unfortunately matched by the FDA, FEMA, MMS, and a long list of agencies. Getting more from government agencies should be the priority of
d)Republican strategy of Starving the Beast guarantees ineffectual regulation and administration – for example, the 2400 page Financial Reform Legislation so joyously being signed into law adds huge responsibilities at the Fed, SEC, and a cluster of other agencies but does not provide any budget to these agencies so they are doomed to fail. Much of the Republican’s deliberate obstructionism in Congress towards budgets, appointments, and agency rules is designed “to show” that the Democrats cannot make government work any better than their 8 year failure to do so.
In sum ,Yes We Can was embraced because a sufficient number of Americans wanted more executive leadership. The ability to not only work harder, act more prudently in World and domestic affairs; but also to manage the government, its people and resources much better than it had been in the past. Clearly the Bush regime was at best a pecuniary penchant just muddling through; but just as often a covert exercise in proving that regulation and big government cant work by end running the bureaucracy and starving the agencies of support, staff and monies when they needed it the most. The Obama Flaw is that his White House Staff seem cheerfully oblivious of this need for much better management and administration of the government. Shades of a reverse Jimmy Carter.