View Poll Results: What level of influence does a Chief Executive have over the economy?

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  • The CE is "the man". He steers it all.

    1 3.23%
  • The CE may not be a dictator, but still desreves the bulk of the blame/credit.

    4 12.90%
  • The CE sets "the tone", but has little actual influence.

    17 54.84%
  • The CE has virtually no influence whatsoever.

    3 9.68%
  • Other?

    6 19.35%
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Thread: What level of influence does a Chief Executive have over the economy?

  1. #1
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    What level of influence does a Chief Executive have over the economy?

    What level of influence does a Chief Executive have over the economy? "Chief Executive" (CE), for this debate, is meant to be President of the United States, and/or the governor of a state.

    Using the current national economy as an example, though the same concept could apply to a state government as well...

    Is the state of the current economy Obama's fault? His supporters claim he's doing a good job, yet when it's pointed out the economy still sucks his supporters blame Congress (specifically Republicans and filibusters) for thwarting his moves. Hold on... doesn't that mean that the CE does not have the influence necessary to steer the economy? I mean, if Obama's so good, the economy would be better by now, in spite of Congress, wouldn't it?

    This begs the question: Is President Obama the man in charge and with the influence necessary to steer the economy, or not?

    If it is Congress and not the CE, then doesn't this let Bush II off the hook as well? After all, it's Congress, not the CE that has the influence, right?

    If it is Congress that wields the power and influence, then how much does it matter *who* the President is?

    Bottom line: If you want to blame Bush II for getting us in this mess, fine, but then Obama is also to blame for keeping us in this mess. If you want to absolve Obama of blame due to an uncooperative Congress, ok, but then Bush II is absolved of blame as well. Where's the the consistency in assessing blame and/or taking credit?
    If you claim sexual harassment to be wrong, yet you defend anyone on your side for any reason,
    then you are a hypocrite and everything you say on the matter is just babble.

  2. #2
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    Re: What level of influence does a Chief Executive have over the economy?

    The president only has two decisions to make that can substantially impact the short-term state of the economy: 1) Who he chooses to appoint to the Federal Reserve, and 2) Whether he chooses to sign or veto stimulus measures which Congress has passed.

    Perversely, I think that #2 is one way that Romney might actually be better for the economy than Obama: If Romney is elected president, then congressional Republicans will be less likely to keep trying to drive the economy off a cliff and more likely to cooperate with passing economic stimulus measures.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 06-30-12 at 09:20 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Re: What level of influence does a Chief Executive have over the economy?

    He has about the same amount of influence as he does over gas prices.

    Interesting to note the "I Hate Obama" crowd isn't voting here.
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    Re: What level of influence does a Chief Executive have over the economy?

    Somewhere between 2 and 3. The Federal Government is now 24% of GDP. The guy most responsible for steering that is going to have huge effects. Kandahar, I would say you missed another major point which is agency staffing. The EPA, for example, has an incredible power to depress economic activity. Who the President puts in these places is important.

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    Re: What level of influence does a Chief Executive have over the economy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    If Romney is elected president, then congressional Republicans will be less likely to keep trying to drive the economy off a cliff and more likely to cooperate with passing economic stimulus measures.
    Only if they all want to be primaried.

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    Re: What level of influence does a Chief Executive have over the economy?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    Only if they all want to be primaried.
    If there were a Republican president and a Republican Congress, I strongly suspect that ideological purity would take a back seat to actually improving the economy. Since both Mitt Romney and the Republican congressional leadership know perfectly well that Keynesian economic stimulus can help the economy recover, I think that most of them would be willing to take their chances with a primary if it meant actually improving the economy. Although making the base mildly angry (and I doubt it would even cause much of a fuss) might theoretically harm their primary reelection, presiding over a bad economy would harm them a lot more in the general election.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 07-03-12 at 11:07 AM.
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    Re: What level of influence does a Chief Executive have over the economy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    If there were a Republican president and a Republican Congress, I strongly suspect that ideological purity would take a back seat to actually improving the economy.
    Since conservatives believe that government stimulative spending in fact is a drag on the economy, I strongly suspect that you are mirror-imaging.

    Since both Mitt Romney and the Republican congressional leadership know perfectly well that Keynesian economic stimulus can help the economy recover,
    yup. There it is.

    I think that most of them would be willing to take their chances with a primary if it meant actually improving the economy.
    Yeah? How about if you ask Senator Lugar about that?

  8. #8
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    Re: What level of influence does a Chief Executive have over the economy?

    It is not within the President's control to completely manipulate the economy. As with all elected officials, he has some level of influence, though.

    His influence can be felt in the following ways:

    1. Approval or rejection of economic bills submitted through legislative vote.
    2. Encouragement of legislative action on economic policy.
    3. Leadership of legislative officials to affect change on economic policy.
    4. The issuance of executive orders regarding economic policy.
    5. Interaction with global business forces through multinational leadership summits and agreements with foreign bodies.
    6. Multi-national leadership in issues that affect the global economy.

    Should the President be blamed or held on high when the economy contracts or grows? To some degree, yes. Is the President the end-all, be-all of economic change? Absolutely not.

    I'm willing to assign as much praise or blame as the President is willing to seek. If the President presents him/herself as though they're the final word on economic change, I will respond in kind. You don't promote the message that your policies or actions are the corner stone to economic advance and then immediately reject any responsibility for economic contraction. If you want it one way, you're getting it both ways.

    Another issue is at what point the current government body can be legitimately assigned the praise or blame for economic progress. Is it one year after policy is enacted? Six months? Two years? The next presidential term? Some would tell you that it takes up to eight years for economic policy to have a lasting influence on the current economic climate. Some would tell you that changes in policy create immediate changes in the economic state.
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  9. #9
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    Re: What level of influence does a Chief Executive have over the economy?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    Since conservatives believe that government stimulative spending in fact is a drag on the economy, I strongly suspect that you are mirror-imaging.

    yup. There it is.
    Except conservatives don't actually believe that stimulative spending is a drag on the economy. Maybe the rank-and-file who don't know any better believe that, but not the intellectuals and the ones in positions of power. Let's not forget that many Republicans supported an economic stimulus bill just four years ago when one George W. Bush was president. If conservative politicians actually believed that stimulative spending was a drag on the economy, then there would probably be a more concerted effort to improve the economy by cutting spending when Republicans hold the White House and Congress. History suggests that this is not the case.

    Yeah? How about if you ask Senator Lugar about that?
    Well, it's all well and good for Republican politicians to rant about the economy and demand ideological purity to asinine ideas, when there is a Democrat in the White House. But if the voters actually view the Republicans as the custodians of the economy (as they would if Republicans controlled the White House and both branches of Congress), I suspect that they'd take the course of action that would actually improve the economy instead of continuing to tout crackpot ideas. And that means that they'd stop trying to drive the economy over a cliff.

    This is why, in a perverse way, a Romney presidency might actually be better for the economy than an Obama presidency. (Not that I'd want to reward this kind of behavior.)
    Last edited by Kandahar; 07-03-12 at 11:34 AM.
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  10. #10
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    Re: What level of influence does a Chief Executive have over the economy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Except conservatives don't actually believe that stimulative spending is a drag on the economy.
    um, yes, actually, we do.

    Maybe the rank-and-file who don't know any better believe that, but not the intellectuals and the ones in positions of power.
    so all the smart people agree with you? I call BS. You've got lots of conservative intellectuals who don't believe that crap.

    However, I find your argument unique. You are suggesting that Republican Congresscritters will nobly do what is right despite the fact that they will be thrown from office for it. Color me suspicious.

    Let's not forget that many Republicans supported an economic stimulus bill just four years ago when one George W. Bush was president.
    that is correct, and along with the attempt to impose amnesty, sparked the Tea Party. Stimulus spending is no longer an acceptable platform for a Republican any more than an individual healthcare mandate. To suggest it is effectively to announce that you are retiring/switching parties.

    Well, it's all well and good for Republican politicians to rant about the economy and demand ideological purity to asinine ideas, when there is a Democrat in the White House. But if the voters actually view the Republicans as the custodians of the economy (as they would if Republicans controlled the White House and both branches of Congress), I suspect that they'd take the course of action that would actually improve the economy instead of continuing to tout crackpot ideas. And that means that they'd stop trying to drive the economy over a cliff.
    Implied Assumption is your forte, isn't it?

    This is why, in a perverse way, a Romney presidency might actually be better for the economy than an Obama presidency. (Not that I'd want to reward this kind of behavior.)
    well we'll see. But I think you are living in a bubble if you think Republicans are going to be able to get away with Stimulus Spending, especially anything larger than that last pile of crap.

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