Get Ready for the New New Deal

I’ve written elsewhere about the plans of Congressional Democrats to ignite a torrent of new spending if Barack Obama wins the White House. The list of Congressional Democrats eager to christen a ‘New New Deal’ is stunning (and apparently now includes Obama himself).

If Obama does win the White House, we might see a sort of coming out party for the New New Deal agenda on November 15. That’s when the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute is holding a day-long conference called “Restoring America Through a New New Deal: Policy Priorities for the First 100 Days”

Organized in association with the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, this one-day conference will bring together prominent public figures, policy-makers, academics and journalists to explore the policy priorities they see as critical to the new administration and Congress. The panelists—including Senator Chuck Hagel, Jonathan Alter, Robert Kuttner, and Majora Carter—will offer expert analysis on key issues under three broad headings: Restoring America’s Global Position; Restoring the Health of the Nation; and Restoring the Health of the Planet. According to a self-identified member of the board of the institute, the conference has already earned an illustrious list of participants:

Meanwhile, by virtue of my membership on the board of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute (“FERI”) I have been invited to attend a wonderful and somewhat presumptuous event in mid-November that is being sponsored by FERI and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. This program–obviously based on the assumption that Obama will win the election–is gathering an impressive group of panelists, many of whom may end up serving in an Obama administration, to discuss “A New New Deal: the First Hundred Days.” I cannot pass up going to this.

They’re going to have Chris Dodd, Bill Richardson, Paul Krugman, Jonathan Alter, Chuck Hagel, Dennis Ross (who worked in the State Department on trying to solve the Israeli-Palestinian problem under the first Bush and again under Clinton), Robert Kuttner (editor of the American Prospect) New York Governor David Patterson, Sherry Glied (health care policy expert), Harris Wofford (former senator and now an expert on “national public service”–concepts like Peace Corps, FDR’s old CCC, etc.) and others.

So, I guess we’ll gather and “plan” the first hundred days.

Paul Kanjorski summarized the thinking quite well when he said “All we’re doing is going into the basket and saying, ‘Damn, what did they do in ’32, what did they do in ’34, what did they do in ’36,’ and we’re pulling them out, dusting them off, giving them a paint job, correcting the fenders a bit, and we’re using them.”

I ask again: is Barack Obama going to stand in the way of the coming expansion of government — which liberal leaders are working to make sure extends far beyond what he has promised? Not likely.

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