Democrats & Liberals Archives

It's Not The Economy, Stupid

According to a recent poll, hating Bush has gone mainstream. We all know by now that independents and Democrats overwhelmingly disapprove of the Bush administration’s performance. We now that the main reason for the disapproval for most people is the expensive, ineffective, and (lately) deeply disturbing trajectory of the war in Iraq.

In the poll above, folks were also asked to vote for the best and worst president, among the 11 since WWII. So, how does Bush fare here?

Overall, about one out of 30 people - 3% - consider Bush the best president. For comparison, 5% consider Jimmy Carter the best president, and 2% claim to have personally had an encounter with space aliens. When asked for the worst president, 34% - more than one in three - choose Bush. Dubya far outpolls his next closest competitor, Nixon, who was selected by a mere 17% of respondents.

Even among in the most favorable demographics, Bush is frequently picked as the worst: 30% of red-state residents, 21% of white protestants, and even 7% of Republicans consider him the worst president ever.

Given this, I have a modest proposal for WB. Postings from Team Blue about specific policy problems, corruption, incompetence, hypocrisy, are frequently answered not by substantive rebuttal, but by the knee-jerk, catch-all "you're just saying that because you hate Bush!". Perhaps the catch-all response to that should be "doesn't everyone?" and a pointer to this poll. A little cut-and-paste could bring us past the first uninteresting stage of rhetoric and bring us to some more substantial discussions.

Posted by William Cohen at June 2, 2006 9:33 AM
Comments
Comment #153671
Postings from Team Blue about specific policy problems, corruption, incompetence, hypocrisy, are frequently answered not by substantive rebuttal, but by the knee-jerk, catch-all ‘you’re just saying that because you hate Bush!’.

I miss the days when Republicans actually talked about the issues. Could that be a reason for Bush’s poor showing in the polls?

Posted by: Steve K at June 2, 2006 10:42 AM
Comment #153673

Interesting poll. Strangely, my vote for Best President didn’t get many votes. But, fortuntely, he got the least number of votes for Worst President. My man of the century (or second-half, at least) is none other than Dwight D. Eisenhower.

THERE was a Republican worth following….

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at June 2, 2006 10:47 AM
Comment #153676

To me the revealing thing about this poll is to look at the age breakdown. Older Americans show only one significant difference in comparing the best president — and that is Truman’s numbers shoot up with those old enough to remember him. Kennedy mystique is a big winner among those who have no recollection of that era.

By contrast, the worst are largely universally worst. Nixon even fails among those who were not born yet when he resigned. Only Carter sees him marks rise as people get on in years.

I agree with you Rob, Ike belongs up there with Kennedy’s and Truman’s numbers. And this coming from a die hard liberal!

Posted by: Steve K at June 2, 2006 11:01 AM
Comment #153707

It is interesting that you compare Nixon to Bush for approval ratings. I have a cultural question:

Have we become more tolerant of corruption?

When Watergate happened, this country was so disgusted that nobody wanted to believe it. The republicans were in denial (even the ones responsible) and the rest of the country was completely stunned. There was talk about it possibly being the end of the Republican party, completely. Yet, as opposed as I have become to the republican party and all it stands for, I have to wonder how much damage the break in at Watergate actually did. So they stole some sensitive information to use in the election. Watergate was more revealing as an indication of what those people were capable of, then it was of any damage done.

…Now is a differant scenario. We have the testimony of computer programmers who were hired to produce programs for voting machines to “hack the vote.” We have open, public admissions from voting machine manufatureres and last minute redistributions of voting machines from over crowded populous Democratic districts to more conservative districts who didn’t need the extra machines. We have known highly vocal Bush supporters in administrative positions to certify elections before the count is in and courts who make decisions without all the evidence. The obvious harm and undue influence is extreme and undeniable. …And we seem to care less. There is little or no outcry that is reaching the ears of anybody who can or will DO ANYTHING about it.

What is going on with us that Watergate seemed like such a bigger deal than what we are enduring NOW? …and at the hands of the same party!!!!!

Posted by: RGF at June 2, 2006 12:05 PM
Comment #153717

wILLIAM COHEN-When you put such stock in the polls you should point out that election day 2004 the polls had George bush losing baddly.The polls had ol G.W. packed and headed back to texas so in short your polls dont mean a lot.You liberals are so sure you will pick up seats in the house and senate how will you ever expect to be taken serious again?As history is written your party will be concidered a joke a party that caused death to our military by supporting through the liberal media the enemy that worships the likes of teddy kennedy,john kerry, and Rep. mertha.How many terrorest’s do you think want to see a democrat white house in 2008?Answer-ALL OF THEM.

Posted by: lookingout at June 2, 2006 12:20 PM
Comment #153721

Great proposal, William!
And yes, I too think that Bush is the worst president this country has ever had.

RGF,
Here is an article you might want to read about the stolen election of 2004.

Posted by: Adrienne at June 2, 2006 12:30 PM
Comment #153729

JFK is the best president to 20% of people under 29 years old? Why, because he starred in a movie alongside Kevin Costner?

And what do you libs expect the reaction to be to yet another Bush bash party? “Harumph harumph the knee jerk Republican response is only to defend Bush and not talk about the issues.” Typical elitist garbage.

Posted by: Craig at June 2, 2006 12:55 PM
Comment #153738

William:
i like to do the whole “dog-pile-on-the-dubya” as much as the next guy, but this poll seems a bit silly.

i wonder if they used the same methodology that American Idol and the Apprentice use to have people text-message their choice for “worst-ev-R!” President.

Polls are polls. They only mean something until the next poll comes out.

just my 2 cents.

Posted by: john trevisani at June 2, 2006 1:26 PM
Comment #153740

I think the worst president was LBJ. He greatly expanded the Welfare State and I won’t even talk about Veitnam.

Posted by: Ted at June 2, 2006 1:30 PM
Comment #153757

Looking out:

Do you think that terrorists sit around and hope for a democrat president?

Are Democrats historically lenient on terrorists? Has any of Our Presidents George W. Bush’s been harsh on terrorists? And by this i mean more so than in recent years?

What are you talking about??? Who was Our former President William J. Clinton bombing during his term. Where have our troops been throughout the last 25 years? Do you think that this military invasion just sprung up? When i say 25 years i hope all of you laugh! That is a minuscule amount of time!
In that time we have had 8 years of a democrat president and while some of you praise him, He did not do anything to alleviate our current situation in Eurasia.

I would seriously doo my pants if i heard a terrorist say republican or democrat, because i give terrorists credit for knowing that it doesnt give a ******* who is behind the wheel the train is moving the same direction.

If you dont agree you lack faith in the elite of America, who actually have stake in the future, to make long term decisions to continue their position. Unlike the masses of us who barely cling to this existance, 1% of us think about the past and future. Fighting like rats for crumbs and slinging dirt against each other has allowed the children of kings to disapoint their Mothers and Fathers.

Posted by: stopculture at June 2, 2006 2:55 PM
Comment #153758

Glaring Errors

Has any of Our Presidents George W. Bush’s policies been harsh on terrorists?

Enormous amounts of speculation, Whoops!

Posted by: stopculture at June 2, 2006 3:00 PM
Comment #153761

John T: “Polls are polls. They only mean something until the next poll comes out.” Sure - opinions obviously change: in Oct 01, most people actually liked Dubya. But while those opinions have been changing, Team Red has been steadfastly using the “bush-basher” rebuttal - the implication being that if you don’t like Bush (or don’t like his policies) you’re different, elitist, out of the mainstream. In fact, the opposite is now true: most Americans don’t like Bush. You guys are out of the mainstream.

Craig: “another Bush bash party…Typical elitist garbage.” See above - I’m not just crowing, I’m making a point. Team Red is using out-of-date debating tactics, you should wise up.

Also - a popular misconception (especially among Team Red) is that Democrats are the wealthy elite. In fact, the exact opposite is true. The poorest Americans overwhelmingly vote Democratic, the richest vote Republican. In 2004, if the election had been decided by people making less than 100k/year, Kerry would be president.

That’s probably why the Republican administration is extending tax cuts for billionaires while cutting NYC’s funds for homeland defense in half.

Posted by: William Cohen at June 2, 2006 3:11 PM
Comment #153762

Stopculture I beleive befor 9-11 Osama Bin-laden took into concideration what kind of help he could depend on from the liberal media and the opposition party.They called it shot for shot.And still today they take this into concideration.The liberals of this country has a history of aiding the enemys of the united states.One of your most influentual senators met with the enemy during the viet-nam war.In case you dont remember this hero was john kerry!While john mccain was being tortured john kerry was sipping tea with the viet-cong.Bin-laden knows he will all ways have these guys fighting for him in the states.You need to start giving credit where credit is due.These guys are smart i just wish the media and liberal democrats were as smart as Bin-laden!

Posted by: lookingout at June 2, 2006 3:15 PM
Comment #153763

List of the best American presidents, in my opinion:

In a class by themselves:
Washington
Lincoln
Franklin D. Roosevelt — aside from the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII

Great presidents:
Jefferson
Wilson
Theodore Roosevelt
Truman — aside from dropping the bombs
Eisenhower

Posted by: Adrienne at June 2, 2006 3:17 PM
Comment #153766

john:

Very well spoken. Polls tend to be swayed quite a bit by who they target, and by how they are worded. Its also kind of natural to not really see the current President in proper historical terms. In 20 years, we’ll have a much clearer view of Bush and his presidency.

In football, everyone loves the backup quarterback….until he becomes the starting QB due to injury or whatever. Then he’s scrutinized more closely and his imperfections begin to show.

With politicians, they look great before they are really candidates, they are scrutinized closely when in office, and then as time passes by, they generally are perceived in a better light. We have seen it happen with Nixon and Carter to a greater degree than with others.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 2, 2006 3:27 PM
Comment #153769

Adrienne,

In a class by themselves:
Washington
Lincoln
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Have you ever noticed that our country reinvents itself about every 72 years? Consider…

1789 - George Washington begins his first term. The country begins life under a new Constitution, uniting the various States under one protective umbrella.

…72 years later…

1861 - Abraham Lincoln begins his first term. The country is wracked by a Civil War, which initially divides the country, but eventually shifts more power from the States to the Federal Government. The Union emerges as an entity greater than the sum of its parts.

…72 years later…

1933 - Franklin Roosevelt begins his first term. Between the Great Depression and World War II, the Federal Government grows even stronger in power, eclipsing State authorities, and finally emerges as the world’s largest superpower.

…72 years later…

2005 - George W. Bush begins his second term…

…we’re overdue for something BIG!

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at June 2, 2006 3:30 PM
Comment #153781

William,


Team Red is using out-of-date debating tactics, you should wise up.

First things first, ff you think I’m engaging in any sort of “debate”, you should either reread the title of the original post and/or lookup the word “debate” in the dictionary. Here’s a hint: how many debates begin with a sentence ending in “Stupid”?

Also - a popular misconception (especially among Team Red) is that Democrats are the wealthy elite.

You don’t have to be wealthy to act like rules should apply to everyone but you - hence the “elitist” moniker that rightly applies to most of you bluesters.

Everyone thinks Bush is an idiot!
Right wingers are using the same tired argument that he’s NOT an idiot!

Hey, I’m all for this type of progressive thinking, it’s definitely going to propel your party back into relevance…sometime soon, I promise.

Posted by: Craig at June 2, 2006 3:50 PM
Comment #153784

That’s a really interesting observation, Rob.

“2005 - George W. Bush begins his second term…

…we’re overdue for something BIG!”

Indeed. But keep in mind that Bush and the Neocons rigged our elections in both 2000 and 2004 — so we may well have been cheated out of our chance for another truly great American president.

Posted by: Adrienne at June 2, 2006 3:53 PM
Comment #153786

Adrienne,

Indeed. But keep in mind that Bush and the Neocons rigged our elections in both 2000 and 2004 — so we may well have been cheated out of our chance for another truly great American president.

True, but our alternatives were Gore and Kerry, so I doubt we were cheated THAT much… :-)

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at June 2, 2006 3:57 PM
Comment #153791

As long as we are doing a Pres like list.here’s mine
Most Honest: Jimmy Carter
Most Photogenic: John F. Kennedy
Most out of touch: Dwight. D. Eisenhower (except at the very end)
Most likely to have the nuttiest wife : Abraham Lincoln
Most able to fool most of the people most of the time: Ronald Reagan
Most likely to go down in history as a failure:
George W. Bush

Posted by: jblym at June 2, 2006 4:11 PM
Comment #153796

So William,
If George is the best president by a similar proportion as those who’ve encountered aliens and think Jimmy Carter is the best president, does that mean the giant Jackrabbit that attacked Jimmy was an alien or an illegal immigrant from Georgia?

Posted by: gergle at June 2, 2006 4:16 PM
Comment #153797

Ok.. here’s a good category..

Best Ex-President — the one who did the best work AFTER leaving office, no matter how well he did while IN the office.

My nominees are Jimmy Carter and George Bush Sr.

Yours?

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at June 2, 2006 4:17 PM
Comment #153799

Adrienne — great link re stolen election. I’d heard bits of that, but this link provides quite a compelling and complete argument. I must say after reading all the statistical facts and quotes from reliable, non-political sources, I wonder what is happening with our great democracy. here in Texas, we’ve all heard about LBJ stuffing the South Texas ballot boxes in his early days, and other such local election antics, but when National elections can be rigged and the will of the people stolen, it makes me wonder what is so great anynore about this great country of ours.

Posted by: MaggieRose at June 2, 2006 4:21 PM
Comment #153800

Look at what george bush has done to the democrat party Took the senate Took the congress Took the judituary and took the White house.Just imagine if he were smart.Whats that make the democrat party?Face it it makes you DUMBER than George Bush.NOW THESE ARE FACTS THAT NOT EVEN DEMOCRATS CAN DENY.

Posted by: lookingout at June 2, 2006 4:23 PM
Comment #153819

“it makes me wonder what is so great any(m)ore about this great country of ours”

No need to wonder. The fact that we are now a DEMOCRACY, as you said yourself, and no longer a CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC, proves that you are correct.
We used to be great, that is until we became a democracy.

Posted by: kctim at June 2, 2006 5:06 PM
Comment #153831

Guys,

These lists are completely opportunist meaning it is stating the blatently observable and playing off of it, like polls are done intelligently anyway. Ofcourse GW is the worst we’ve ever seen, second only to Clinton bending over sideways for the Republican congress, China, The World Bank and Castro. Let’s face it they all suck to a certain capacity. This one I didn’t even like from the start but then again I hated Gore more as he was an embarrassment to the party. I hated Kerry when after months of trying to pump him up he goes to an athletic store midelection to buy a jockstrap (not to mention was unfamiliar with the topics he was even running on). They all suck!

Let’s hope Joe Biden has no half retarded quirks or we got nuthin’ again. Also we desperately need to hide Dean—I think he’s a Republican plant, he’s got to be.

The real question I’d like to ask Republicans is; How much of a chance do you think the Jebber has of POTUS now?

They all suck! Now if we can only merge the Democrats with the libertarians and get the clutzes and yutzes of the baby boomers out of we can finally have a better country. Have we had enough of this dumb boomer generation yet? These boomer morons have proven to be nothing but the death of us. Can we ouster people by generation? The baby boomers on the right are corporate bootlickers and the ones on the left are free market globalist communists, which makes absolutely no sense.

Posted by: Novenge at June 2, 2006 5:27 PM
Comment #153836

Rob-
While Bush Sr. has done commendable things since leaving office,starting with leaving office,do you seriously believe that the response for the Katrina victims would have been as great without Pres.Clinton?

Posted by: jblym at June 2, 2006 5:36 PM
Comment #153840

Novenge,

I hope this doesn’t make you switch your loyalty, but i am a baby-boomer, and I Love Biden. He makes so much sense. On the Rep side, I’ve completely done a flip-flop on my opinion of Newt. I hated him when he was leading the charge against clinton, but if you’ve caught his talks lately, he has some wonderful ideas. Both men are thoughtful, both men have a sense of history, are imminently educated and intelligent.

BTW, lookingout, Bush had nothing to do with stacking the Rep House and Senate. The same machine that rolled him into office, also rolled most of those people, and with all the gerrymandering, is doing all they can to keep free elections from unseating them. Bush has, however, been able to stack the courts. Just our luck that Chief Justice and Sandra Day, both important seats, had to be filled during this man’s term.

Posted by: MaggieRose at June 2, 2006 5:44 PM
Comment #153845

kctim,

what???? according to my recall of history, this government has always been run by the people, or their elected representatives, which is the definition of a democracy. Of course the term constitutional republic also seems to apply, altho nothing came up when I did a reference search on that specific phrase. I did get a hit on “republic” which also fits us, and we do have a constitution which governs all, so the phrase constitutional republic also seems to be an appropriate phrase. Were you splitting hairs? Or is there some subtle difference i am unaware of?

Posted by: MaggieRose at June 2, 2006 5:58 PM
Comment #153849

I really wish we could do things like England does where they get the majority party and they choose who is Prez (Prime minister). That would be better—oh wait that would mean…Nancy Pelosi—oh nevermind. It was a good thought for a second.

Maggie Rose, still a dem no matter how disenfranchised.

Posted by: Novenge at June 2, 2006 6:04 PM
Comment #153850

Mag Rose,

Let’s hope it comes down to the Newtie verses Biden. Newt is such damaged goods with his Contract with America going terribly awry we would have miles of Ammo on him and his phony contract. I hope the Newtster runs and gets the nomination. That’s their version of Howard Dean. Biden would kick his dairyaire back through the goal posts.

Please Republicans do it, pleeeeeease…

Posted by: Novenge at June 2, 2006 6:20 PM
Comment #153864

You know, on these best president/worst president polls, I can’t understand why Gerald Ford is always ignored and overlooked. In the two years he was president he contributed more material to Saturday Night Live than all the rest combined (except for Ross Perot—and he wasn’t president…was he?).:-)

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 2, 2006 7:36 PM
Comment #153886

Craig: “how many debates begin with a sentence ending in “Stupid”?

Oh, clever! LOL! Just in case any of those elite bluesters missed your subtle humor, let me make it clear —- I certainly wasn’t insulting you, Craig, or indeed anyone on Team Red. The title could only be construed as offensive by someone that didn’t pick on on the satiric reference to the famous phrase “It’s the economy, stupid” - and surely none of the redsters could be so thin-skinned, so historically and culturally ignorant, so totally brain-dead and lame-o as to miss that!

Posted by: William Cohen at June 2, 2006 9:20 PM
Comment #153905

Tim,

Ford jokes on SNL were perfect for Chevy’s physical humor. Falling off the plane and fore-heading the guy were my favorites.
I miss those days, at least back then our conservative parents/uncles/… were just “old fogies” instead of hate filled neo-lib-fascistic theocrats. (feel free to add more bait anyone, I’m just wearing my red hat).

Posted by: Dave at June 2, 2006 10:22 PM
Comment #153916
The title could only be construed as offensive by someone that didn’t pick on on the satiric reference to the famous phrase “It’s the economy, stupid” - and surely none of the redsters could be so thin-skinned, so historically and culturally ignorant, so totally brain-dead and lame-o as to miss that!

Yup, you got me Willy, this brain dead blog reader has never heard that phrase before. So maybe I’m out of touch, but then again I’m not the one who used “LOL” and “lame-o” in the same post - I’d rather be the one missing the satiric reference.

Posted by: Craig at June 2, 2006 11:08 PM
Comment #153920

I am glad that you implicitly agree that the economy is good now.

I always bring up issues, but it is often hard to do because we just get the Bush sucks lines.

This post is only a little different. It is not just Bush sucks, but everyone thinks Bush sucks.

I don’t care and I don’t think Bush does either. He figures he will be vindicated as was Truman. I figure he will never again run for office, so whoever the Republican nominee of 2008 turns out to be will be free of the stigma all the more if you blame Bush. So feel free. Blame Bush. Statistics show things are generally good. I also don’t like the war in Iraq, but I like the pulling out now options even less.

Posted by: Jack at June 2, 2006 11:24 PM
Comment #153936

sorry long day, Adriennes list, is hard to beat. in a Class by themselves. no 1. Washington. no 2. Lincoln. no 3. F D Roosevelt. :Great Presidents: no 1. T Jefferson. no 2. T Roosevelt. no 3. H Truman. no 4. D Eisenhower. no 5. W wilson. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. to be determined at a later date.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 3, 2006 1:09 AM
Comment #153947

I don’t blame Dubya for being such a bad president, really, it’s not his fault. It’s ours. While I didn’t personally vote for him, quite a few people did, almost enough to win is what I heard. Our reputation is forever tarnished because of his irresponsible opinions and wreckless, unthought out actions. When he was reelected I wasn’t surprised, I was devastated. Now I hear there is a bill to repeal the two term limit? No, we can’t blame the presidents. The burden falls on the votes, the people. This is America, where you get what you ask for.

Posted by: Scott Burgoyne at June 3, 2006 5:32 AM
Comment #153977

Jack,

You’ve been riding the ‘economy is good’ horse for a long time now.

So I can only assume you are unconcerned by the deficits or by the long term view into the future from here? Is that true?

Posted by: RGF at June 3, 2006 10:29 AM
Comment #153980

to Craig (who’s obviously much younger than I am):
From Wikipedia, “It’s the economy, stupid,” in American politics was a phrase widely (but usually imprecisely) quoted after Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 presidential campaign against George H.W. Bush.

Jack: “I am glad that you implicitly agree that the economy is good now.” Taking a page from your book, Jack, I think the question as to whether Bush’s economic policies were good for the country or not will be answered long-term, not by one quarters’s numbers. Most workers are not better off in real-dollar terms than they were six years ago, and the limited prosperity that we are enjoying now may be paid for further down the line, when we start dealing with that $11,000,000,000,0000 debt.

“I always bring up issues, but it is often hard to do because we just get the Bush sucks lines….
This post is only a little different. It is not just Bush sucks, but everyone thinks Bush sucks.”

Again: the poll is a little nugget of fact, Jack, and behind the satire is a serious proposal for making WB’s point & counterpoint (which I used to love, and which seems to have decayed a bit recently) a little better. Those “oooh, you don’t like Bush, there must be something wrong with you!” taunts may still ring beautifully in your ears - and they may still make us lefties who’ve been bashing Bush for years feel a bit uncomfortable. But to anyone outside the shrinking circle of partisan Republican hard-core Bush supporters, it’s just a reminder how out-of-touch you all have become with what most Americans think.

“whoever the Republican nominee of 2008 turns out to be will be free of the stigma all the more if you blame Bush. So feel free. Blame Bush.”

Bush, his associates, his advisors, his supporters, his party - like it or not, all of them will share the credit or blame, Jack. Ford was uninvolved with Watergate, but barely managed to win his parties nomination as a sitting president - he was too close to Nixon. Gore was a boy scout, with nothing to do with Clinton’s office parties, but millions voted against him in protest anyway.

A prediction: the Republicans (and Democrats) who fare best in 2006 and 2008 will be those that distance themselves fastest and earliest from Bush and his policies - especially his cronyism, and the invasion of Iraq. And the same for pundits, Jack.

Posted by: William Cohen at June 3, 2006 10:49 AM
Comment #153987

William

You are probably right politically that those who distance themselves from President Bush will do better. I don’t blame them. If I were running for office, I would distance myself, but since I am not I don’t have to. The current opinion about the president will not last. His opinion in the future depends ON the future. Consider Ronald Reagan’s reputation and how it rose when his policy predictions turned out to be correct. If the Middle East improves, so will Bush’s reputation.

Re the economy

I worry about dept. We have to get spending under control. The big danger is entitlements in the near future. I always put in this caveat.

The thing that I just cannot understand re Bush opponents is that they cannot recognize the reality of a good economy. All the indicators we usually look to are positive.

Re median income figures, you compare incomes to the best year ever in the U.S. (2001) and a year that was at the end of a what eveyone acknowleges was a BUBBLE. The Census Bureau uses a rolling 3 year average. I referenced it on the other side. If you look at that, you see the general progress and the recovery from the downturn (that began BTW almost a year BEFORE Bush took office in March 2000. Anyone with investments can prove that by looking at his portfolio. Employment lags this, you others may not have noticed.)

Posted by: Jack at June 3, 2006 11:11 AM
Comment #153994


When George Bush was running for president, he made many promises.

1) Provide relief to the oppressed and suffering wealthy people.

2) Destroy the welfare state.

3) Get the homosexuals.

4) Get the abortionists.

5) Keep the guns flowing to the American people and anyone else that can buy one.

6) Keep America safe.

7) Avoid foreign entanglements.

Perhaps his poor showing in the poll is a reflection on the fact that he has only managed to accomplish two of his promises.

Posted by: jlw at June 3, 2006 11:42 AM
Comment #153995

Jack,

You are mis-characterizing the ‘BUBBLE’ There was a TECH bubble associated with the .com industry that burst. New technologies have generated bubbles, historically, every time. Many new firms are born to work new niches in a new industry and then only the best funded of them survive to expand the new area of industry into the future. It happened with telephones, electricity, automobiles, steam-shipping, even running water, you name it! You cannot characterize the whole economic health on a ‘bubble.’ In fact, we were rising again out of the ‘hic-up’ of the .com crunch when Bush was elected. That rise was nipped in the bud by his deficit spending even BEFORE 9/11!!!

The result was a bond market fall, which resulted in med-mal carriers losing money and turning around and raising the rates on doctors. When the doctors complained, the carriers blamed lawyers and frivolous lawsuits and got MORE favorable legislation from more comparative-greed type thinking on the part of republicans. Then the med-mal carriers turned around and quietly reported RECORD PROFITS!!!

This comparative greed thing is causing immense harm to our economy, Jack. It seems to tie into to just about everything.

You also mis-characterize ‘entitlements.’
The single largest weight on our economy is the military budget. If it’s pork you want to cut, look at what is going on: Haliburton is fruadulently false charging in the billions now, Jack. Becoming an empire costs. I suggest it is not worth the cost.

As for your ‘entitlements’ hoopla…it’s nothing more than some kind of comparative greed. You and others of your bent don’t want to imagine anybody getting a free ride. Yet, the welfare rolls have been cut dramatically (Clinton). They have been slowly coming up again under Bush. They are also a very tiny portion of the budget. They are not the issue that the comparative-greed paranoia about them would seem to warrant, Jack. Not at all.

Posted by: RGF at June 3, 2006 11:42 AM
Comment #154011

RGF:

Excellent post—thank you.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 3, 2006 12:44 PM
Comment #154032


Jack: I predict employment will lag this economic upturn all the way to it’s end and thru the next recession.

Posted by: jlw at June 3, 2006 2:33 PM
Comment #154036

RGF

The markets declined in 2000. ALL the markets. And 2001 was a special year. It was the culmination of 9 years of uninterupted growth (which began just BEFORE Clinton took office and nearly 19 years of good economic times that began under Ronald Reagan. You cannot compare that one particular year to others. Bubble or not, it just does not make sense. That is why we use the rolling averages.

Consider a simpler case. You throw darts at a target. You throw 20 darts. Do you call the very best shot “average”. Are you one of those guys who thinks the very highest price a stock ever attained is the “normal” price?

Be logical. Even if you want to be partisan.

Defense makes up around 15% of the budget and is dropping as percentage of the budget. Entitlements make up more than 50% and are rapidly growing. If nothing is done about entitlements, we will soon have no money to spend on anything else.

My opinion on entitlement depends on what you are talking about. Nobody should get a free ride. I have no respect for the rich kid who just lives off inheritance, just as I have no respect for the poor welfare recipient who lives off his fellow citizens.

Posted by: Jack at June 3, 2006 2:45 PM
Comment #154040

“Nobody should get a free ride. I have no respect for the rich kid who just lives off inheritance, just as I have no respect for the poor welfare recipient who lives off his fellow citizens. “

I’ve heard this from you before—and it’s still bulls**t. The real question is the corporate takeover of the democratic process in this country, and the incredible corporate welfare and free rides the well-off get. If your ‘criticism’ of trust-fund brats is supposed to convince us of your open-mindedness, you’re not fooling anybody.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 3, 2006 2:57 PM
Comment #154071

I oppose “corporate welfare”. I would prefer governments stay out of economy. But the defintion is fluid. Government has responsibilty to create infrastructure and the the conditions for prosperity.

Many people now are calling for incentives for energy alternatives. Do you know that the government is still paying out about $4 billion a year in corporate welfare based on synfuels program of the 1970s. We should cut that and learn the lesson.

And nobody has the right not to work. Poor or rich. I am not open minded about that.

Posted by: Jack at June 3, 2006 4:22 PM
Comment #154078

“But the defintion is fluid. ”

No sh*t.


“Government has responsibilty to create infrastructure and the the conditions for prosperity.”

I would be more convinced if you had said at the end, “…for everybody.” But you didn’t.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 3, 2006 4:38 PM
Comment #154104

Jack,

The .com crunch very temporarily had a effect on ALL the markets…that is because of the nature of the technology and the nature of our markets. That does not mean it was not a .com bubble!

As for your percentages…you cannot back them up. Which makes me wonder what exactly you are considering ‘entitlements’ or ‘corporate entitlements.’

I did not start off being partisan, Jack. I started off being republican. Then the republicans began screwing up. The almost constant disregard of law that is now endemic to your party was the last straw. I am now an avid democrat. I hope for your sake that you, too, will soon see the light.

Posted by: RGF at June 3, 2006 6:10 PM
Comment #154126

RGF,

I did not start off being partisan, Jack. I started off being republican.

Looks like someone needs to look up the definition of the word “partisan”….

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at June 3, 2006 8:18 PM
Comment #154149

Tim

Government should build infrastructure that all can use. Government can build the road and set the basic rules of the road, but anyone who can meet the rules should be allowed to drive on it. I object to government providing special privileges for any group or individuals. Depending on the details, I don’t object to government providing special privileges to particular behaviors, if they are open to all, although that can be a slippery slope.

If you want to look at percentages try this one or Google your own. Entitlements are growing rapidly. Most are payments to individuals. Certainly not all poor. Medicare and Medicaid are the most immediate problems. Entitlements is one of the few places where I am pessimistic about my country.

Posted by: Jack at June 3, 2006 10:17 PM
Comment #154154

Jack:

Entitlements, government spending, tax cuts…okay, I’ll bite. What, in your estimation is the mature, responsible, non-partisan way/s of turning this run-away federal spending train around—or at least slowing it down?

You think entitlements are the killer—I’m willing to allow you that. Would you cut defense spending? How ‘bout a %5 cut in spending across the board?

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 3, 2006 11:02 PM
Comment #154156

And…(sorry, meant to add this)

can we as a nation seriously consider getting our financial house in order without raising taxes somewhere in the budget?

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 3, 2006 11:05 PM
Comment #154179

Jack
Military retirement is another large part of the entitlement expense is it not?. Any real budget balancing policy demands we take a good look at the military expense.This can be difficult at a time of war but needs to be done for our long term security. Of course we need a strong military but do we have to pay as much as the rest of the world combined? Much of the spending goes to outlandishly expensive weapon systems of dubious utility while our troops lack basic things like armor and flak jackets. Should one plane cost 2.2 billion dollars? I would submit that the current levels of spending have given rise to unmatched corruption and waste and have made us weaker not stronger.

Posted by: BillS at June 4, 2006 12:41 AM
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