Sunday, September 27, 2009

Points of View - September 27

Too Big to Ignore - The Wall Street Journal - "President Obama's economic advisers are struggling to sell their financial reform plan to . . . an Obama economic adviser. Paul Volcker, the Democrat and former Federal Reserve chairman who worked with President Reagan to slay inflation in the 1980s, now leads President Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board. He warned in Congressional testimony Thursday that the pending Treasury plan could lead to more taxpayer bailouts by designating even nonbanks as 'systemically important.'"

Health Care

Popularity of 'Public Option' Complicates Health Debate - By Robert Schroeder - MarketWatch - "Republicans are dead-set against it. Some Democrats pan it. President Barack Obama says it's not the only option. But when it comes to a government-run insurance plan, a new poll released Friday suggests all may have to think twice about whether to support it -- just as lawmakers move into a critical stage in the health-care debate."

Medicare Scare-Mongering - The New York Times - "It has been frustrating to watch Republican leaders posture as the vigilant protectors of Medicare against health care reforms designed to make the system better and more equitable. This is the same party that in the past tried to pare back Medicare and has repeatedly denounced the kind of single-payer system that is at the heart of Medicare and its popularity."

Climate Change

The New Sputnik - By Thomas L. Friedman - The New York Times - "Most people would assume that 20 years from now when historians look back at 2008-09, they will conclude that the most important thing to happen in this period was the Great Recession. I’d hold off on that. If we can continue stumbling out of this economic crisis, I believe future historians may well conclude that the most important thing to happen in the last 18 months was that Red China decided to become Green China."

Avoiding a Crash at Copenhagen - The Economist - "The diplomatic process leading up to the climate-change conference in Copenhagen in December is gathering speed. Preparatory meetings are flashing by: the Major Economies Forum last week, the UN climate-change summit and the G20 this week, pre-Copenhagen negotiations in Bangkok next week. The people who run the world are burning carbon like never before to try to agree a successor treaty to the Kyoto protocol."

China Tire Tariff

Meltdown 101: China-US Trade Spat and Tire Prices - The Associated Press - "The political back-and-forth could hurt businesses on both sides -- some of them already struggling -- and it could also affect consumers. Most notably: You could see rising prices for tires from China, and fewer price cuts on the ones that aren't imported from there."

The Obama Tire Tax - The Wall Street Journal - "Remember that 35% tariff President Obama imposed on tires imported from China this month? American drivers will sure find it hard to forget, as the higher costs start trickling down to U.S. consumers."

Tire Tariffs Are Cheered by Labor - By Steven Greenhouse - The New York Times - "As China and some American companies denounce President Obama’s decision to impose tariffs on Chinese tires, the Obama administration can take solace that at least one important Democratic constituency is enthusiastically applauding the move."

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