Forget Health Reform—We Can't Afford It

The economy should be Obama's top priority: Henninger
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2009 8:50 AM CDT
Robert Gates, left, and Tim Geithner greet President Barack Obama at last night's joint session of Congress.   (AP Photo/Jason Reed, Pool)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama makes health care sound like the most pressing issue in American life, but with unemployment at 10% and the country still officially in recession, Daniel Henninger wonders why he's "draining a dwindling reservoir of presidential capital." The cost of health care may be a problem for many, but government's job of fixing wrecked markets is not nearly over—and voters agree, with 87% dissatisfied with the economy. For the Wall Street Journal columnist, "even more so now than way back in 1992: It's still the economy, stupid."

The stimulus, the auto bailout, and TARP were not enough to set the economy right again, and there are new problems—not the least of which is inflation, suggested by gold's recent puncturing of the $1,000-an-ounce barrier. Obama would do well to get back to the economy, which will let him "rebuild his political capital by taking credit for the inevitable rebound." At the moment, the president's "mad obsession with arcane health insurance puzzles looks beside the point."