The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From last night’s All Stars.

On the Obama administration’s handling of the financial crisis:

I think what’s really scaring the markets is a lack of confidence, obviously, in the financial system, but also, a lack of confidence in the Obama administration.

Looking at last year, they said the Bush administration was running around with its hair on fire, bailing out here and there, without logic, without–extremely ad hoc-it saves a Bear Stearns and lets Lehman go down. It proposes a TARP, a rescue on the basis of purchasing toxic assets. It changes its mind. It ends up injecting the money in banks.

It’s running around without a plan, and yet, the system held together.

What was hoped was that there would be a new team, new people, fresh ideas, who have a year, ‘08, in which to study and learn what went wrong and would have a plan in place. It is what Obama had said he had, they knew what to do and would do it.

It looks as if they have no idea what to do, and they won’t.

When Obama had his first press conference, he promised it would be a detailed plan by Geithner the next morning. There was none. The market tanked.

It looks as if this administration is entirely at sea on what to do on the principle element of our collapse, the banks, and they may not have any idea is what is scaring the markets. If they don’t, we are all at sea.

On the president’s approach to health care:

The Obama administration has made it a central issue. You heard about it in his address to the joint session of congress, prominent in the budget. He’s going to have a healthcare summit at the White House on Thursday.

What’s odd to me is that the economic system, the economy of the country, and the financial sector is essentially on fire.

And what he is doing, and he did this in his speech he made, is to pretend that the reason for our economic difficulties today is deficiencies in health, education, and energy over the years and neglect of those, and that he is going to cure our problem by nationalizing health care, cap and trade on energy, and by federalizing education.

This is a complete non-sequitur. You may want to do energy education and health, but this is not the cause of our problem. It isn’t the cure of our problem. And the fact that he is putting all this energy on this and doing nothing on financials is scaring the markets.

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