Skip to comments.The Elite Turn Against Obama
Posted on 07/07/2010 8:02:18 PM PDT by neverdem
Even the Aspen Ideas Festival, an annual gathering of the country's brightest lights, isn't Obama country anymore. Lloyd Grove on the president's waning support among the intelligentsia.
Youd think the well-heeled and enlightened eggheads at the Aspen Ideas Festivalwhich is running all week in this fashionable resort town with heady panel discussions and earnest disquisitions involving all manner of deep thinkers and do-gooderswould be receptive to an intellectually ambitious president with big ideas of his own.
In a way, the folks attending this cerebral conclave pairing the Aspen Institute think tank with the Atlantic Monthly magazine might even be seen as President Obamas natural base.
Apparently not so much.
The real problem we have, Mort Zuckerman said, are some of the worst economic policies in place today that, in my judgment, go directly against the long-term interests of this country.
Obamas top economic adviser, Larry Summers, and his departing budget director, Peter Orszag, can expect heavy weather when they land in Aspen later this week to make their case to this civic-minded clique of wealthy skeptics.
If youre asking if the United States is about to become a socialist state, Id say its actually about to become a European state, with the expansiveness of the welfare system and the progressive tax system like what weve already experienced in Western Europe, Harvard business and history professor Niall Ferguson declared during Mondays kickoff session, offering a withering critique of Obamas economic policies, which he claimed were encouraging laziness.
The curse of longterm unemployment is that if you pay people to do nothing, theyll find themselves doing nothing for very long periods of time, Ferguson said. Long-term unemployment is at an all-time high in the United States, and it is a direct consequence of a misconceived public policy.
Ferguson was joined in his harsh attack by billionaire real estate mogul and New York Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman. Both lambasted Obamas trillion-dollar deficit spending programin the name of economic stimulus to cushion the impact of the 2008 financial meltdownas fiscally ruinous, potentially turning America into a second-rate power.
We are, without question, in a period of decline, particularly in the business world, Zuckerman said. The real problem we have are some of the worst economic policies in place today that, in my judgment, go directly against the long-term interests of this country.
Zuckerman added that he detects in the Obama White House hostility to the very kinds of [business] culture that have made this the great country that it is and was. I think we have to find some way of dealing with that or else we will do great damage to this country with a public policy that could ruin everything.
Ferguson added: The critical point is if your policy says youre going run a trillion-dollar deficit for the rest of time, youre riding for a fall Then it really is goodbye. A dashing Brit, Ferguson added: Can I say that, having grown up in a declining empire, I do not recommend it. Its just not a lot of fun actuallydecline.
Ferguson called for what he called radical measures. I cant emphasize strongly enough the need for radical fiscal reform to restore the incentives for work and remove the incentives for idleness. He praised really radical reform of the sort that, for example, Paul Ryan [the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee] has outlined in his wonderful Roadmap for radical, root-and-branch reform not only of the tax system but of the entitlement system and unleash entrepreneurial innovation. Otherwise, Ferguson warned: Do you want to be a kind of implicit part of the European Union? Id advise you against it.
This was greeted by hearty applause from a crowd that included Barbra Streisand and her husband James Brolin. Depressing, but fantastic, Streisand told me afterward, rendering her verdict on the session. So exciting. Wonderful!
Brolins assessment: Mind-blowing.
In a session Tuesday morning, Silicon Valley guru Michael Splinter piled on. From an industry standpoint, its below what a lot of people in industry have viewed as the solution to the jobs problem, Splinter, president of the Applied Materials solar energy company, complained about Obamas economic performance. He was speaking to an agreeable audience in an interview with Atlantic Media owner David Bradley. When I talk to venture capitalists, their companies are starting to move their manufacturing operations out of the United States Our corporate tax rate, on a worldwide competitive basis, is just not competitive. Taiwan is lowering their rate to 20 to 15 percent in order to stay competitive with Singapore. These countries have made it their job to attract industry. You dont get that sense here in the United States.
The consensus was similar in an afternoon panel discussion on the decline of the American middle class. He said jobs were going to be his No. 1 prioritytheres a huge disconnect between Washington and whats going on out in the country, nominal Obama supporter Arianna Huffington said. The presidents economic team kept talking about a cyclical problem. Larry Summers said jobs were a lagging economic indicator. All these things are simply wrong. The president put all his trust in the wrong economic teaman economic team that didnt understand what was happening.
Lloyd Grove is editor at large for The Daily Beast. He is also a frequent contributor to New York magazine and was a contributing editor for Condé Nast Portfolio. He wrote a gossip column for the New York Daily News from 2003 to 2006. Prior to that, he wrote the Reliable Source column for the Washington Post, where he spent 23 years covering politics, the media, and other subjects.
November is going to be a blow out. I hope the Republicans know what to do with the power that is coming their way...
I’m not impressed with their late-coming awakening. All that could have been known about Obama was available prior to 11/4/08. These people brought this destruction upon the nation...and now they whine? They make me want to puke.
Intellectual morons. Anyone who voted for Obama is not smart, in fact, they are incredibly dumb, especially if they are rich. And you can’t get any more stupid than an old white male rich obama voter. Incredibly, I STILL see these fools with obama bumper stickers that say “old white guy for Obama.” LOL!
A more appropriate bumper would be “self immolater for Obama.”
And...November means nothing to Obama.
As Lenin would say, the useful idiots among the bourgoise class have done their job, and now it’s time to sweep them away as history proceeds towards the communist utopia. Of course, they will establish the dictatorship of the proletariat before the state withers away, but first we need to get rid of the capitalists. Mort Zuckerman will no doubt be astonished when he’s served with the papers telling him to head for the showers, so to speak.
‘bout time....now those elites need to go to the WH and demand he resign....
These same “elite” scumbags will do everything in their power to get Ubama re-elected.
Count on it.
Welcome to the party pal...we got some heavy lifting to do.
Oh, he knew just what team to put his trust in. The decline is intentional. These fools think it's all a mistake. They are in for a rude awakening. 2011 is going to be a very bad year for this country. They "ain't seen nothing yet."
So this really is getting to me. These morons vote for this idiot and now they are complaining that the country is going to hell? And whose frickin’ fault is that? I want them to put up and shut up. They got what they wanted. Elections have consequences. Deal with it. I just wish that we conservatives were immune and impervious to this BS.
If they were as brilliant as they think they are, these “Intelligensia” would never have supported Hussein to begin with.
20% of US voters say they are Liberals, about 40% say they’re Conservative. So you can’t win unless you cater to the center, the independents who do not support the conservative line across every issue. Obama convinced the Indies that he was a centrist but has since moved hard to the left, and has lost them, as this article proves.
Reality wins elections, not ideology. What we need are conservative candidates that can pull Independents over, and win. That’s why we can’t be impervious to this stuff, if we can’t attract the support of independent voters, we’ll just remain in the minority, but right now the winds are in our favor, as even the elites are realizing Obama is governing against the will of the majority and they need to help fight and reverse this trend.
Simply the result of a cost-benefit analysis. When the cost of supporting the boy-president becomes too great, the wealthy will abandon him and, if it goes on long enough, will turn on him out of self-interest. Should be a lot of fun to watch.
They are nothing more than Bukharanite and Trotskyist useful tools. Stalin had no use for them once he used them. Obama has no use for them either. These people never learn..
Bright lights? More like old rich hippies.
Does this mean there will be Congressional action on capital gains and inheritence taxes before the end of the year?
The new Republicans will change their spots a day after the election, and will continue to "reach across the aisle" and continue to support the destructive practices of the Left.
I'll believe it when I see him deported...
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