Meet the Press was a perfect example of the political class dealing with symptomatic problems and solutions while completely ignoring fundamental problems and solutions. Harold Ford is the only person on the show this morning who came close to addressing fundamentals.
David Gregory started out interviewing Tim Geithner, which was a waste of time, except as a commercial for Obama. Gregory didn't laugh or fight back when Geithner said something to the effect that Obama's presidency has been a spectacular success. Geithner said Obama took the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and he's turned it into recovery. Gregory asked a few questions about the perception that the "recovery" is the weakest since the 30s, and that Obama has failed to create jobs, but he then allowed Geithner to give a litany of talking points. It's not unusal for employees to support their bosses, but is it newsworthy?
Then Gregory interviewed Kirsten Gillibrand and Michelle Bachmann, and, although I'm sick of the War on Women argument and the gender politics, Bachmann scored the most reality points by saying women are concerned with prices and jobs and generating economic growth.
The panel discussed political tactics which are diversions that prevent us from accepting the fundamental problems in the US regarding the economy. It's easier for the pundit "experts" to discuss politics and manipulation than substantive problems with government management. Our problem is not that the rich don't pay more in taxes. Our problem is not that Republicans are waging a war on women. Our problem is not that Obama is president, or that he inherited an economic mess from Bush. Obama and Bush and the political games are not important, and, as Harold Ford said, until someone starts talking about Big Ideas, we're not going to get anywhere. The only way in which a President is important is in how he will work to limit government intervention.
The Big Economic Ideas that should be discussed transcend Republican and Democrat, because both Republicans and Democrats have contributed to the economic stagnation and long term unemployeement and the high gas prices. Our problem has been our two-party protection of a mixed economic system -- playing at capitalism while controlling the main economic movers and shakers through government interventions/regulations. Government has mismanaged our economy, because government is incapable of managing the complexity of the US economy, not to mention the global economy in which we operate.
Another big idea is the redistribution of wealth to pay for the ever growing welfare state that's steadily failing. We must address the need for free market principles and the need to rely on private assistance to the poor and out of luck. Never before has limiting the power of government been more important, because the power of government has increased to the point that the constant interventions are preventing the economy from recovering. We have to create new wealth if we are going to recover and sustain economic growth. But, instead of discussing the overall damage caused by statism, after Ford brought up the need to address Big Ideas, Gregory transitioned into the news that Romney is thinking about going on SNL. We're in trouble.