Advice to President-elect Obama

Commentator Will Wilkinson


Bill Radke: Barack Obama has only been president-elect for a few hours, and already the advice is pouring in. Here's a commentator Will Wilkinson with his.

Will Wilkinson: Congratulations, Barack Obama! You're the next President of the United States. Sadly, the government's so broke that even new curtains for the Oval Office are beyond the bounds of fiscal responsibility. Thanks to the war, the Wall Street bailout, the lousy economy, and the drop in tax revenue, your big campaign plans just got a lot smaller.

Here's my advice: First, you've got to get spending under control. Yes: Bring the troops home, and shrink the military. But there's enormous waste in the non-defense budget, too, and you need to go after it. You said we need to cut spending with a scalpel, not a hatchet. Well, if you don't want to leave your kids with a crushing tax burden, you better get yourself a crate of scalpels.

Second, drop the xenophobic claptrap. The stuff from the debates about "mortgaging our future" by "borrowing from the Chinese to pay the Saudis" has got to stop. We are not, and cannot be, a self-contained fortress city. It's good that capital markets are international. It's good that energy markets are international. It's good for prosperity and it's good for peace that we're all in it together. Help save America's economy by making it even more open to the goods and people of the world.

Third, get real on the "new energy economy." You've been claiming that the government can simultaneously create millions of new jobs, spur growth-enhancing innovation, and save the Earth by politically picking winners among energy companies. It's a beautiful dream. But in reality, it means nothing more than the greening of corporate welfare and an increase in energy prices. Our struggling economy can't afford that.

You've got Congress on your side and the wind of public opinion at your back -- which is exactly why you should take it slow. This election was exactly what you said it was: a referendum on the last eight years of George W. Bush and his coalition. The voters agreed it was time to throw the bums out. But if you overreach, you'll be tomorrow's bum. Remember how popular Newt Gingrich's Contract for America was? Yeah. Me neither.

Radke: Will Wilkinson is a research fellow at the Cato Institute.

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President-elect Barack Obama offered the most detailed statement yet of his economic recovery plan, sketching out broad-based spending proposals and tax incentives aimed at reviving an economy mired in recession. The main goal of his plan: to create 3 million new jobs. Most would come from the private sector. I don’t know if it will have any effect on payday loans, but details about President-elect Barack Obama’s stimulus plan are starting to come out. He calls it the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan.” He says he is going to provide assistance for middle and low-income Americans, who are the ones who typically take out payday loans, in the form of tax cuts and invest in infrastructure such as bridges, roads and water mains. He also plans to help states with faltering revenues. Maybe with a little luck his plan will turn the economy around, and Americans will only need <a href="http://personalmoneystore.com/installment-loans/">Installment Loans</a> for emergencies, not just to make ends meet.

Jerusalem for Israel witou dividing it. Retrieve the palestinians from the land of Israel and give to them the former coastal cities ,God will know how to get all that is for Israel for her. Let your soldiers stay between them as ctizens ,,,,,,,,ask the United Nations to help you. Make peace regn between Iran and Iraq then withdraw your troops, in order to save your dollar.

How about giving him some real advice. As much as I hate to say it we live in a trickle down economy. To stimulate it we need to raise the minimum wage instead of giving out another round of tax rebates. If you want to improve healthcare how about giving incentives to business owners to hire full time employees and to provide affordable health insurance to those employees. By increasing minimum wage those people that are in forclosure could pay their bills which would boost the housing market thus assist in stimulating purchases. also how about extending the payback on student loans especially for those in civil service jobs such as teaching and law enforcement from 10 to 15 years. As far as bringing our boys home I am all for it but let them decide their job is done. That is unless you want to leave the door to the chicken coop open for another 9/11. I remember the 1st gulf war and served in both. I remember how I felt we left without finishing what we started. Lets not let this generation of warriors feel their job was not completed. As far as national healthcare goes quit trying to lie to us. The constitution states that its responsibility is to regulate commerce between the states and foreign countries. Not to ensure healthcare we are not a communist country, where everyone gets a fair share regardless if you work for it or not, If thats what you want move to China or Cuba. You want healthcare talk to your individual states and local governments.

Wow! I'm really confused how anyone can see this commentary as negative. Debate the article, not the person who wrote it. Will makes some very good points. Besides, you really think BO is going to be reading this?

I found it very thought-provoking. Just goes to show how "closed-minded" some of the listeners and reader are hear. Pretty much of the same, just different a party.

No more bull, stop talking and start chalking big guy!

The very first thing Obama should do -- I would say 8am the morning after the inagural ball -- is to order the closure of the prison in Guantanamo Bay, and the transfer those prisoners into the mainstream justice system. (Or the Hauge, but that may not fly with the military)

It would be a bold moral statement that human rights are more important than money, no matter how bleak the economy looks. More important even than the economic crisis is assuring the world that the United States will once again adhere to the Geneva convention.
It would also be the biggest thing the US could do to curb terrorism. We must end our own human rights abuses before we can have any moral authroity to try to solve any global problems, including the financial crisis.

It's sad how people shut their ears the moment they sense (in this case wrongly) an opinion from across party lines. In fact, Wilkinson supported Obama over McCain all along. He recently called himself a "pro social safety net classical liberal, not a 'destroy the welfare state' libertarian."

His perspective is welcome!

(Also, I agree with him, but the fact that so many listeners here don't is all the more reason to keep him! This is not a left-wing version of Fox News.)

Mr. Wilkinson. Why offer advice to President-elect Obama whom you opposed and probably voted against? Be honest. What you really want is for Obama to fail. But remember if he fails - we ALL fail. Please stop earning your living by polarizing and dividing our country. I am sure somewhere in your ethics classes you learned something valuable.

President Elect Obama:
The powder keg in the middle east requires your attention because:

Why the Next U.S. President Will Be a Wartime Leader - Michael Eisenstadt (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)

The next U.S. president will face unprecedented challenges and dangers in the Middle East, with few good options and precious little time to waste.
At the current reported rate of enrichment, Iran might have enough low enriched uranium by late 2009 necessary for its first bomb. Iran's progress toward acquiring nuclear weapon capabilities is already transforming the regional security environment in ways inimical to U.S. interests.
The U.S. should avoid public advances toward Iran prior to the country's June 2009 presidential elections because Iranian President Ahmadinejad might claim credit for any diplomatic progress, thus increasing his electoral prospects. The U.S. should also roll out plans for a regional security framework to contain and deter a nuclear Iran, which will make the point that acquiring nuclear weapons will harm, rather than help, Iran's security.
The new administration must be prepared to support PA and Israeli efforts to quash Hamas-inspired violence in the West Bank. Providing political support to the PA and Israel, and bolstering U.S. efforts to build a professional and effective Palestinian security force, will be vital to keep Hamas at bay in the West Bank in the short-run, and to bolster PA influence in the long-run.
The current Israeli-Hamas ceasefire is unlikely to last indefinitely, and Israel eventually will reenter Gaza to remove the rocket threat or dismantle Hamas' terror and governmental infrastructure.
In Lebanon, Hizbullah, with the help of Syria and Iran, has rebuilt its rocket forces. It had 13,000 on the eve of the 2006 war and has more than 30,000 now - in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701. In the event of another war, the U.S. needs to coordinate with Israel so that the next war is much shorter, and succeeds in significantly weakening Hizbullah and undermining the interests of its Syrian and Iranian patrons.
The writer is a senior fellow and director of the Military and Security Studies Program at The Washington Institute.

Excuse me,
We just elected a man because of his excellent judgment. Why should he take your advice? If you want to run the place maybe you should run for office.


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