Robert Kuttner on the Failures and Successes of the Stimulus: Democracy Now!

Posted on Wednesday, February 18th, 2009 at 11:45 pm by dpacheco

Economists Michael Hudson and Robert Kuttner (Obama’s Challenge: America’s Economic Crisis and the Power of a Transformative Presidency) weigh in on President Obama’s economic stimulus plan in this video from Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman.

The biggest problem of all is the Geithner plan to try and bring hedge funds and private equity companies with loans from the federal reserve as a way of propping up banks. It’s resuscitating the same system that got us into this mess. It’s totally wrong-headed. All of the economists who I respect—from Joe Stiglitz to Paul Krugman to Nouriel Roubini—all argue that sooner or later we’re going to have to nationalize the banks, clean out the bad assets, make the bad actors take a hit, replace corrupt management, and clean the slate so that we start out with viable banks that can get the credit system operating again. And the longer we defer that with more pyramid schemes financed by the Fed or the Treasury or the taxpayers, the deeper the hole is.

You asked the question why we’re not doing it right—the problem is political. On the one hand, Obama has hired a lot of Bob Rubin’s protegés, who aren’t even advocating the right policy. On the other hand the Republicans are stonewalling him across the board, and so people like Susan Collins, Senator from Maine, who are pretty conservative, get to block this thing. The only way to end this blockage is for Obama is to go to the country and to become a lot more radical, because the times demand radical solutions.

Watch the video on Democracy Now!

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