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Obama's no expert at choosing experts [Most commented]

Obama-Experts

Barack Obama's biggest mistake as president, writes columnist Jonah Goldberg, is that he counts too much on experts and their predictions. "No president since Woodrow Wilson or Franklin Roosevelt has been more enamored with the cult of expertise than Obama," writes Goldberg. "That none of his economic predictions have panned out is not surprising. What is surprising is that so many people are surprised." Goldberg leads up to this conclusions by arguing how unexpected events "throw everybody off their plan," thereby rendering experts' predictions useless.

In a similar fashion, Obama and his advisors predicted the economy would do better -- much better --than it has, and those predictions were wrong. The president blames events: the European debt crisis, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, the political tsunami of the 2010 elections. Some of that is plausible, but the two years of anemic job and economic growth that preceded those events can hardly be blamed on them. And it's that economic performance that has scuttled Obama's plans for an easy reelection in 2012.

Here's a sampling of the reaction to Goldberg's column on our discussion board:

Obama chose the wrong experts

It's expected that a president will surround himself with who he believes are experts.  Unfortunately, Obama chose people who did the opposite of what they should have done.  Remember Bush telling us to go spend, go on vacation, etc.?  Obama did the same thing by blowing trillions on those 'shovel ready jobs' and telling us unemployment wouldn't rise above 8%.  Oops.

Barak Obama - Bush's third term.

If I was a lefty, I'd be furious with him.  It's surprising the left continues to support him, when he's essentially turned against them and shown that he is exactly what he said he was not -  a Washington insider, corporatist and a card carrying member of the party of crony capitalism.  

--trust no one

Academics don’t always make the best experts

Actually there are lots of experts that told us that Obama's tired, old, stale, 1960s, elitist, extreme left wing policies were going to fail exactly as they have.  What is most amazing is that despite the failure and damage they've done to the country, Obama is still determined to continue imposing them on the nation regardless of the cost.  Today he chose his chief economic advisor.  You'd think with a massive UNEMPLOYMENT problem, and a reputation as the most business hostile President in history, he would have selected an experienced CEO with experience expanding a business and hiring thousands or tens of thousands of people.  But NO, not Obama.  He chose another left wing elite Princeton/Harvard Ivy League Professor who’s never hired anybody other than a maid or gardener in his life.  To be fair he has worked outside of the University.  Of course for the Government under Obama where he helped with the disastrous cash for clunkers fiasco!  So we now have the blind leading the blind, just like we've had for the last 3 years.  Obama's job plan will be another massive stimulus plan with government hiring and government spending hundreds of thousands to save or create temporary $30,000 a year jobs.  Because Obama nor anybody in the White House has a clue.  What a disaster!!!

--valwayne

Economists specialize is educated guesses

Economics, like political science, sociology, and other liberal arts is just that, an art. You can make some educated guesses on an outcome based on past events, but not with the degree of certainty that hard science can. But it does add prestige to one's ego to consider one a "scientist". 

--edwardskizer

What do Obama and Jimmy Carter have in common?

It shows again what a lack of leadership can fail to accomplish.  Presidents Carter and Obama listened to their "experts" and we get what Democrats now run away from:  The Misery Index.  President Reagan loosed the reins of government, and we got prosperity and employment.   

--TimBowman

Don't all politicians feed us messages of optimism?

Politicians are what they are, and will try to paint the future with optimism but try to jam special interest stimulus that is polluted and cannot succeed due to the dollars not flowing to the right people. (Supply or demand side)

Obama is clearly over his head on economic theory and unless the Republicans come up with a lame candidate, or the far lefties can paint a strawman bogeyman into the candidate(s) that the Republicans put forth, Obama is toast.

--reasonable333

Jonah Goldberg is no expert

Just as I thought, Jonah. Democrats should stop listening to 'experts' and go with their gut! No wonder the Republican party is so full of evolution-denying know-nothings.

--DTurkin

RELATED:

How to pay for disasters

The wrong budget analogy

Federal spending: It's simple, stupid

Building the case for corporate tax reform

President Obama picks a labor economist to help on jobs front

-- Alexandra Le Tellier

Photo: Alan Krueger, nominee to lead the White House Council of Economic Advisers, left, shakes hands with President Obama. Credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

 

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The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.



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