The Price Of Politics chronicles in excruciating detail the inside story of how President Obama and the U S Congress tried to unsuccessfully to restore the American economy and set it on a course of fiscal stability.
Unfortunately, the author who wrote several very successful books, fails to mention how the American economy collapsed under the presidency of George W. Bush and what the incoming, inexperienced Obama faced.
More than half the book is on the crisis that lasted from June to July 2011 and regarding the potential default on U S debt that could have caused a worldwide financial calamity never seen before.
There are many things the author reveals about American politics – the pettiness on the Hill, how elected officials play fast loose to win the next election, and how they push through projects in favour of their states knowing full well that the treasury cannot afford the funds required to compete them.
It is revealing to learn how occasionally the White House ignores the necessity of a plan to fall back on, if a negotiation between it and Congress fails.
Bob Woodward portrays democrats as “spenders” and republicans as fiscally conservative, regardless of economic requirements of the time.
Clearly the Great Recession, was an administrative failure for which Republican policies must be held responsible.
One aspect of all these political problems is that no administration dares to cut where cuts are absolutely necessary, and increase taxes intelligently by persuading the population that taxes must increase in order to keep up with the inflation, and growing needs.
While the author reports in detail how politicians for what they believed to be the right thing, he stops short to bringing forth suggestions. Maybe he believes this is not his duty and that the book simply records what ahs transpired to avoid the fiscal cliff.
It is a good read for those who want to understand the depth of the American government’s fiscal problems, and how difficult it would be to balance the books with a debt load of 16 trillion dollars.
Highly recommended for all who want to understand how the enormous American government “machinery” and adversarial politics contribute to the continuing acrimony between Democrats and Republicans.