Baker opens with an anecdote from just before Christmas. Obama is sitting with his economic advisers to go over ideas for the State of the Union. He wanted a bold idea to bring down unemployment. But he didn't like anything his advisers were offering up. “You know, guys,” he said, according to someone in the room, “I’ve told you before, I want you to come to me with ideas that excite me.”So, President Obama, how’s that OJT working out for you? All over America businesses deal with the challenge of finding solutions on the cheap. Contrary to liberal dogma, “throw money at it” is rarely a viable solution in the real world. However, in Obama’s defense, that little factoid was probably omitted from the Community Organizer’s Handbook.
But it's not until a few paragraph later that we learn what Obama actually meant: He wanted "ways to juice the economy that are exciting, effective and politically viable." According to one adviser in the meetings, “The president wanted to lower unemployment but didn’t see a way to get more money out of Congress. He grew frustrated because the economic team didn’t have that magic combination.” Another said that Obama “was really frustrated that there weren’t solutions on the cheap.”
Most people are aware that learning on the fly is rarely satisfying and nearly always frustrating. But then most people don’t get to play “trial and error” with the US economy. If the president is frustrated by the rigors of holding a real job and all that it entails he should try to imagine how we feel.