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A Three-Point Plan for the President


Our Jeff Macke sends Obama a to-do list.

Greetings from New York, where I'm utterly and completely over my Obamania. A lesser man would bear a certain amount of ill-will after a break-up; a degree of rancor or bad wishes towards his former, albeit short-lived, love. While I am exactly that sort of lesser man, I'm trying something this time: I'm moving gleefully back into my snuggie of cynicism, but, while so doing, I'm not only sincerely extending my good will towards President Obama, but I'm going to tell him how he came save it.

The man has had the shortest honeymoon since George Bailey had a run on his savings and loans within seconds of saying "I do." His staff is less in synch than a fifth grade marching band. He's somehow managed to make the insult "tax-and-spend liberal" seem not only utterly insufficient as a gibe, but the closest thing the president has to a coordinated policy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen over 1300 points and 16% since President Obama's inauguration, yet he and his staff members continue to complain about the problems they "inherited." I waited 3 and a half years to take the scarlet W off my sweater for voting Republican in 2000 and 2004, and I'm pining for W less than 2 months into the post-Bush era.

I'm not above gloating. I'm above gloating in a crisis. These are troubled days. It's a time to hang together lest we hang separately. Pot shots are both inappropriate and simply too easy to be amusing. I'm taking the high road and giving President Obama a 10-point plan. The goal isn't to fix the economy; as I've said before, there's no quick fix. Indeed, the lack of said fix is how we know this is a crisis. This is a time for leadership banding together in a coordinated effort to beat the Huns of depression back from our gates.

Normally, I'd rely on the resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for said leadership; a reliance which, I fear, will be as foreign to my children as LP's and the Chinese owners of the sweat shop in which my children toil.

Here's what President Obama can do to get back on track, if not regain my love:

1. Limit His "To-Do" List

The 3-step plan from DC since January has been: 1, blame George Bush for the looming economic crisis; 2, stoke the fires of class warfare; and 3, fix everything. Numbers 1 and 2 are misguided. Number 3 is the best single reason to sell stocks. The President and his representatives have vowed to: save our banks, save our auto industry, fix our schools, reverse the ramping unemployment rate, repair our infrastructure (a term itself that means, roughly, "everything"), create a budget surplus, fix the health-care system and cure cancer. I'm making up none of those priorities; not even the one about cancer. These are the vows not of a president, but of a man waging a campaign.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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