KINDLE ☳ A Crisis Wasted ♕

Reed Hundt s A Crisis Wasted Barack Obama s Defining Decisions gives the reader an inside look at the beginning of Obama s presidency The book provides facts and opinions for the reader s knowledge and understanding of the difficulties the Obama administration faced from the before day one of his taking office. I won this book as a Goodreads Giveaway.I found the topic and the view from within the transition to be fascinating Unfortunately for me, I found the author s writing style to be dry and boring But let s begin with the positives.There doesn t seem to be very many books about what happens during the presidential transition, and so I appreciate the unique insight this provides in that regard To really appreciate this book, you need to be a bit of a DC insider in my opinion The author assumes you, as the reader, have some baseline level of knowledge about the players and the issues While it allows him to go into depth to discuss the issues and the decision making, it does lose the reader if they are not familiar with the various government machinations during this rather tumultuous time So if you re not tuned into the happenings of DC, you might find yourself having to look up some of the people or issues to get the basics I would ve appreciated having a bit character background on some of these players, like what their past was, their motivations, and their outlooks But overall, I really enjoyed the perspective and vantage point the author provided.What I didn t like about the book was the writing style Overall, it felt unnecessarily stuffy and academic, with the author using large words for seemingly the sake of doing so Like the word syzygy Not really necessary to use it in the book Also, the author seems to have an aversion to using the word and in his writing Instead, the author likes to cut it out, move on to next word It makes reading the book a bit challenging, awkward Like those last two sentences If you can power through the writing, there s some good insight to gain from this book.Overall, I recommend this for DC insiders, policy wonks, and anyone interested in politics in general. KINDLE ☤ A Crisis Wasted ♇ This Book Is The Compelling Story Of President Obama S Domestic Policy Decisions Made Between September And His Inauguration On January , Unlike All Other Presidents Except Abraham Lincoln Who Decided Not To Allow Slavery To Expand Westward Before He Was Sworn In Barack Obama Determined The Fate Of His Presidency Before He Took Office The Results Of These Fateful Decisions Led To Donald Trump, The Worst Person Obama Could Have Imagined, Taking His Place Eight Years LaterThis Book Describes How And Why These Decisions Were Made, And Discusses Whether The Outcomes Could Have Been Different Based On Dozens Of Interviews With Actors In The Obama Transition, As Well As The Author S Personal Observations, This Book Provides Unique Commentary On Those Defining Decisions Of Winter A Decade Later, The Ramifications Of The Great Recession And The Role Of Government In Addressing The Crisis Are The Reasons Behind The Ideological Battle Between Progressivism And Neoliberalism In The Democratic Party And The Continuing Struggle For Direction In The Republican Party As Many Seek The Presidency In The November Election, All Candidates And Of Course The Eventual Winner Will Face Decisions That May Be As Critical And Difficult As Those Confronted By Barack Obama This Book Aims To Provide Them Guidance From History In the last few years I have participated in Goodreads giveaways but never had won a book I soon started to sulk and wonder if ANYONE ever won one of these contests I finally did win a copy of A Crisis Wasted and I suddenly became a proponent of the old adage Careful what you wish for The book is a tour de force on national and international economic issues requiring your attention and concentration to its comprehensive details and conclusions No light reading here It was work to get through, but worth it A Crisis Wasted is indeed a challenging read The author is a member of the transition teams for the Clinton and Obama presidencies and former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission The book, in many ways, is like reading an economics textbook However, it also contains a rapid paced you are there series of riveting narratives where we see members of the Obama transition team explore policy and political options often in heated debate mode as they move from simple policy discussions to the actual implementation faze Indeed we note that governing is much harder than suggesting ideas in a think tank environment The book is the story of President Obama s domestic policy decisions made between September 2008 and his inauguration on January 20, 2009 It is the author s contention that the decisions made by the President Elect and his policy makers were done hastily and were the product of the branch of the Democratic Party Clintonians and their neo liberal economic view that did not reflect Barak Obama, nor did they express the progressive ideas that Mr Obama had presented the country during his successful presidential run in 2008 Specifically, Hundt believes that the amount of money suggested for the economic stimulus package was woefully inadequate and doled out without a proper consideration of our country s priorities Moreover, Hundt indicates that even when the advisers realized that there projections were short of the mark they compounded their initial errors by failing to alert the President Elect of that fact, nor did they put other options before him for consideration The advisers all appeared to be marching to the same drum with preconceived ideas not subject to change or modification The President Elect appeared to have no other choice but to follow down the only economic hole that they had recommended for him It s sobering to realize that decisions made even before a president takes office can often have dire effects and even sabotage the hopes and plans of an incoming Administration.It is Mr Hundt s conclusion that the rush to package and put forth the stimulus package, along with Obama s subsequent decision to give full attention to healthcare reform with the construction and passage of the Affordable Care Act Obama Care , led to the squeezing of the middle class and precipitating their anger and frustration Home values declined as did job prospects These factors contributed to the Trump Revolution a movement that the author conjectures would never have been possible but for the Obama Administration s failure to address the economic woes of the middle class Looking to the manner in which politicians should address future economic crises, the author writes In the event of the next crisis again, government will have to choose between restoring the profitability of the financial industry or directly helping millions of families harmed by economic downturn The book moves at a rapid pace, even with its detailed economic emphasis, and includes a very thoughtful chapter on how Mr Obama framed his January 20, 2009 Inaugural Address as compared to that of President Franklin Roosevelt in his nothing to fear but fear itself Inaugural Address in March, 1932 during a time when he faced the economic crisis caused by the Depression and the fall of the stock market in 1929 Mr Hundt compares the similarities and differences in the times and the men themselves The book presents great insights into what our leaders need to think about in putting America s economic well being front and center moving forward I would recommend that Mr Hundt be at the table during any such discussions. I received this book free in exchange for a fair and honest review I thoroughly enjoyed this book It describes how president elect Obama dealt with the financial crisis before he was in the white house and how the amount of the economic stimulus package was settled on The belief now is that if he had waited until in the white house he could have had the situation analyzed better and perhaps gotten the money needed for the stimulus, unfortunately this did not happen This may not sound particularly interesting and I am not a political or economics person at all But it is fascinating to think of how the country went from having president Obama, who by all accounts is truly an compassionate, honest man with impeccable integrity who was trying to do what was best for all Americans to president Trump who, except by his own words, has never been accused of such virtues and has been accused of much worse An excerpt from the epilogue that I think is indicative is Obama did slide into the Bush administration s embrace of the Wall Street plutocracy Eight years later he delivered, like an obstetrician handling a baby to a feckless parent, a spanking good economy that Trump fed with candy In the long gestation of Obama s tenure, the middle class stewed, fumed, and then erupted at the ballot box in November 2016. I would give this 3 1 2 stars if I could It s as tight and dry as a lawyer s brief arguing arcane points of banking law Hundt is, in fact, a gifted lawyer and he explains difficult concepts clearly This is an excellent review of the challenges and choices Obama faced at the time he assumed the office of President The book is true to Obama s moniker, No Drama Obama The book s discussion of America s greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression is as dry as Grape Nuts without milk And, depressingly, one of the book s principal conclusions is that Obama s selection of Clinton retreads as staff dictated his policies Of these, the imperious Larry Summers stands out as first among equals The contrast between Obama and what we know of Trump could hardly be stark Where per Hundt Obama followed staff advice to a fault Trump follows no one s advice consistently other than possibly Mark Meadows While there is much to admire in Obama, if anything, this well reasoned treatise makes me long for someone somewhat less disciplined and imaginative than was Obama But that personality carries with it greater risk of failure Maybe, in the end, Obama s consistency and discipline was the best we could have hoped for in a time of crisis where there was very little margin for error However, as Hundt argues, Obama arguably squandered the opportunity to advocate for bolder policies that could have been of far benefit to the middle class and left no opening for a disruptive Donald Trump. By awarding Obama the 2009 Peace Prize on credit before any substantial achievements the Nobel Committee put forth the core of his presidency hope that would never effect true change This book suggests that Obama may have been too inexperienced to handle the situation he had inherited By relying on self serving members of former regimes, the former president allowed his rather their policies to continue benefitting the wealthy well connected banks ie friends of the Treasury Secretary the Fed chairman The ordinary people whom he had claimed to champion were left in the lurch Yet because there was still a desire to believe in him a greater future, the common citizens were reluctant to criticize him outright he basically got a pass for the 1st few years Voters tend to ask themselves, Are you better off now than you were 4 years ago The answer being a resounding no, it was not too surprising that traditional supporters of the Democratic Party would shift allegiances If only people remember to ask that same question come 2020.I received a copy from a Goodreads giveaway The author provided key information only an insider would know. I won this book in a giveaway Since I am relatively ignorant about both politics and economics and never read this type of book, I was a little out of my comfort zone as far as reading goes But it is good to stretch one s mind and I am glad I read it I have always liked Obama, but have wondered why he was not as effective as I thought he should have been I have a better understanding of that now. This is a book that confirms a gut feeling I have had since the 2016 presidential election I have thought Trump s victory was the result of the disillusionment of the middle class after the bright promise of Obama s election The country was looking for transitional change and it didn t get it It is disappointing, but not surprising, to realize that the decisions made before the inauguration contributed so greatly to this situation I can only hope that future leaders learn from this.This is a rather dry read but does contain a lot of relevant information that gives food for thought.I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway for this honest review. I will start off by saying this was a very difficult book for me to readalmost boring, in fact, because it was very academic, and very much about economics I believe it was also a difficult book for the author to write, as he was an early Obama supporter and that his whole family campaigned for Obamaand still believes Obama to have been a graceful, well spoken, classy president However, he gives much evidence that Obama and team did very poorly with the economic crisis that faced the nation at the time of his presidencythat the 800 billion stimulous infused into the economy did not do the job I particularly am reminded of Obama s statement that, the shovel ready jobs were not so shovel ready The author states that Obama and team chose an economic recovery plan that benefited educated, well off people much than the middle class Over the long haul, the author has proved to be correct.