Democrats & Liberals Archives

You Think The Stimulus Package Is Expensive?

Try the legislation that almost let what this gentlemen described happen to this country. America was never told about it, that at some point, on a mid-september day, America almost lost 5.5 trillion dollars in a run on the money markets. That’s not a mere loss in demand over two years, as Obama describes. That’s the collapse of America and the world’s economy in a single day. If we had let the market do as it pleased that day… Well, there wouldn’t be one.

We talk about the possiblity of a Second Great Depression. It almost came. We just missed it by THAT much. Even I had no idea that things were this horrific. The monster that deregulation created almost swallowed us whole, and only government intervention prevented that from happening.

We're lucky we learned something from the last time something this bad did happen. We're lucky that despite all the banks shutting their doors, that we've had a system in place that guaranteed people's savings, prevented them from being panicked into a run on the banks.

This is how bad Wall Street and Washington dropped the ball. When these kinds of apocalyptic scenarios become not only plausible, but possible, it's time for a good old fashioned intervention to get us off the new economy crack that we've just overdosed on.

America cannot wait for Washington or Wall Street to get their act together. The stupidity ends now. We literally can no longer afford it.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at February 10, 2009 1:04 AM
Comments
Comment #275322

Stephen,
Why I am not surprised at the one day lose in the Market or the run that would have followed if America and Humanity Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders would not have gotten involved. For knowing that was one of the objective of Usama Bin Laden I have to question if President Bush was being totally truthful when he said America has not recieved an attack since 9/11. For why the $5.5 Trillion lost that day dwafts the single day lose of 9/11 I do remember something being said around that time about the need to change Americas’ Banking System.

Now, how does America go about bringing the America Banking and Financial System into the 21st Century so that in a single day or planned run on the marlet cannot take us all down?

Does President Obama and Congress needs to go as far as reinstating FDRs’ Great Depression Rules and Regulations?

Could not better accounting stop the lack of oversight that we discovered in the SEC Hearing on Madoff?

Limited to My Personal Opinion, I just fix the problem and get over the fact that Ignorance won this round.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 10, 2009 2:02 AM
Comment #275325

Good Post Stephen, I always liked That man From PA, He’s straight to the point, I watched the vid twice I think the amount was 550 billion no small amount even by todays standards.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at February 10, 2009 10:56 AM
Comment #275335

Thank you. I think that video is something every American needs to see. It just epitomizes the nature of our problem. Our problem here is not that we lack for resources, nor people willing to work, nor even for the money to push the economy.

The problem here is that we created a system for wealth creation apart from the actual creation of value. Value? Define it as the quality of the goods and services which justifies the decision to part ways with our money for it.

The current economic system has been designed by those who feel entitled to increase their own wealth, even as they give people little value for their money, or even cost them in the long term.

A system like this cannot be sustained forever. Unfortunately, they pulled out every stop to try, to avoid the reckoning.

The Republicans ply us with their rhetoric, but the problem is, the system is designed to cost the average America more and more, to cripple them economically so their earnings perpetually benefit their creditors. Unfortunately for the banks that foisted bad loans and usurious credit on their victims, folks reached a breaking point in one part of the market, and it crippled everything else that relied on its risk removing practices.

As I’ve said elsewhere, virtually no system fails to create an economic elite. The fascist systems hand it to those who have favor with the authorities. The Communist systems hands it to those who rule the state. Our capitalist, Democratic system hands it to those who succeed in a competitive environment.

Whatever the mechanism by which economic power accumulates, the truth is, power will accumulate power. Regulations wouldn’t change that reality, merely shape it. But we can shape things for the better, create a system more geared towards rewarding success based on doing good for others. Some would use Adam Smith’s words to retort, saying that the Butcher doesn’t cut up the meat for others out of altruism, but that’s not my point. My point is that the Butcher benefits his own self interests by doing good things for other people. However, by doing those things for other people, he does good whether he does it altruistically or not.

We need a system where that is the priority, where that is what we ask of people. Let people gain freely from fulfilling responsibilities and obligations. Let’s stop making it easier to profit by being economically destructive. We’ve had far too much “creative” destruction so far.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 10, 2009 1:27 PM
Comment #275338

The Stimulus package


This country was built on the back of hard working Americans. The last eight years we have seen this country taken down to a point almost if not worse than the recession that we had in this country before the end of WWII, because of the last administration this country is in a war that is based on lies and some reports say “the war is costing $720 million a day or $500,000 a minute, according to the group’s analysis of the work of Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and Harvard public finance lecturer Linda J. Bilmes.”

This president has come into office, taking on a country with unemployment as of February 9th 2009 at over 9%


To make changes in this country we need to change the way we all think. People need jobs. They need to feel they are safe at work and they need to feel that the jobs they have are safe. We need to remove those elected officials that special interest groups have in their pockets. Lobbyists need to be regulated and held accountable. Some elected officials only care about profit and do not care about the environment.


The Government needs to stop thinking too much, politicians need to stop belly aching about this and that and pass the bill, the only reason certain Republicans are against this bill is because it doesn’t do anything for their state. Republicans and some unnamed Democrats that were part of the last administration are to blame for why this country is the way it is. They say this bill is about spending.

Tell the truth guys, what you are worried about is that you’re not making any money right away from this bill. It’s all about control and you know that this president is really about the people and not about big business.

As for the banking industry, it needs to be closely monitored and made accountable their mishandling of this nations monies. How can people in this country have faith when the very banks and other financial institutions that some of us invest in and have our monies in cannot be trusted to be honest.

What this president needs to do is to send a clear message to everyone in the financial market that this kind of abuse stops now, and those who are to blame will and should be made to pay with fines and jail time.


A comment was made, and I quote “The Republicans offered a plan at half the cost, and it would have produced twice the effectiveness on the economic recovery; but it was rejected by the Democrats.
JENNIFER, CLEVELAND, USSA

Bravo…. Spoken by someone who does not have an idea of what the over all bill now in congress has in it, and what was cut and what was kept in the bill.

It’s people like you that have made this country what it is, and a good reason why we need to remove elected officials with narrow views.

What needs to be done is, the government needs to start thinking about things in black and white and keep politics out of it. It was politics and wrong decisions that have brought us to where we are right know.

So if you have a better idea, run for office and see how well you really do. As long as the old guard stays in Washington, the rich will continue to get richer and the poorer get poorer and the middle class will always get the shaft.

Posted by: Robert of Richmond,Va at February 10, 2009 2:10 PM
Comment #275345

S.D., you made a very false statement in your article, though apparently unknowingly. You said “America was never told about it”

That is patently false. I was told about it within days of its occurrence by media coverage of Fed Reserve Actions and explanation of the emergency meeting between the White House and Congressional figures to discuss the TARP as a response. I was just an America citizen paying attention to the news at the time, and I heard Bernanke speak directly to this run on the money market funds shortly after the initial flurry of activity in D.C.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 10, 2009 3:59 PM
Comment #275352

David R. Remer-
David, this is news to many of us, so understand that this the sense that I got. Maybe Bernanke testified to it, but the news media never really talked about, that I would remember.

I don’t know. What do you think is more important here? The point of this entry is to emphasize that the time for games is over. I felt that before, but it just chilled me to think what almost happened. If we don’t set immediately to fixing this economy, we might not get a second chance to avert this kind of catastrophe.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 10, 2009 5:50 PM
Comment #275353

I didn’t reveal the author of the following as I would like the reader to understand what is written without biased thinking.

From 1933 to 1940, the unemployment rate averaged 18 percent. As the 1930s ended, FDR’s Treasury secretary, Henry Morgenthau, wrote in his diary: “We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work…. We have never made good on our promises…. I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started…and an enormous debt to boot!”

Most of us have probably heard just about all the arguments we can take in favor of the so-called stimulus package Barack Obama urges upon us. They boil down to this: if the government seizes resources from individuals (whether by direct taxation, borrowing, or inflation) and devotes them to arbitrary projects, we will prosper.

Japan has been through countless “stimulus” packages over the past 18 years, none of which has accomplished a thing apart from driving that country deeply into debt. And after years and years of government attempts to give artificial stimulus to the stock market and the real estate sector, the Japanese stock market is now about where it was in the mid-1980s, and real estate is selling, on average, for the same prices it was in 1975.

Posted by: Jim M at February 10, 2009 5:59 PM
Comment #275356

In case you missed it…from the London Times

Sweden to swap green plan for nuclear plants

Despite a vote to phase out nuclear power the Swedish Government wants more plants like this one in Ringhals
David Charter, Europe Correspondent

Nuclear reactors are to be built in Sweden for the first time in nearly 30 years after the Government decided to abandon a decades-old commitment to phase out the power source.

Sweden joins a list of EU countries that have chosen nuclear energy under pressure to diversify from fossil fuels and meet tough climate-change targets for cutting CO2 emissions.

The dramatic policy switch showed that even in a country where popular opinion has been against nuclear power previously — and one with extensive hydroelectric resources — atomic generation is seen as part of an emissions-free energy strategy.

Swedes voted in a referendum in 1980 to phase out nuclear power by 2010 but the Government became anxious that renewable sources were not being developed quickly enough to decommission the generators.
Related Links

* Obama’s way ahead in race to be green

* GDF-Suez joins race to build nuclear reactors

* Sweden’s winter music festival on ice

The proposal to renew the reactors is expected to face a battle to get through parliament, however, and will become a main issue at the general election next year with the main opposition parties firmly against the move.

Several European countries are opting for nuclear energy and there is concern about the reliability of Russian-supplied fuel after Moscow’s gas dispute with Ukraine last month.

Poland wants its first nuclear plant by 2020 and Britain decided last year to replace its ageing nuclear reactors and create new sites. France has ordered its 61st nuclear generator and Finland is building the largest reactor in the world, which is expected to open in 2011.

Sweden has some of the most ambitious greenhouse-gas targets in the world and plans to become carbon neutral by 2050. It wants to abolish fossil fuels as a heating source by 2020 and use half of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.

“The nuclear phase-out law will be abolished,” a government spokesman said yesterday. “The ban in the nuclear technology law on new construction will also be abolished.”

The change of policy was also made possible by the election in 2006 of the first right-of-centre Government in Sweden for 12 years. Although the four-party coalition of Fredrik Reinfeldt was split three to one, the dissenting Centre Party said that it would not block the move. “I am doing this for the sake of my children and grandchildren,” said Maud Olofsson, the party leader and Industry Minister.

Martina Kruger of Greenpeace accused the Government of giving into intense industry lobbying. She said: “I think that linking climate change targets to this is just a cheap excuse. If we cannot become entirely renewable [for energy sources] I cannot see who can do it.”

A poll published a year ago showed that 48 per cent of Swedes were in favour of building nuclear power stations and 39 per cent were opposed.

Power supply

— Europe has 196 nuclear plants

— About 35 per cent of the EU’s electricity comes from nuclear - it is the biggest power source

— Coal is second, gas third

— France get an estimated 77 per cent of its electricity from nuclear power, the highest proportion in Europe. Lithuania is second on 65 per cent. Sweden’s figure is estimated to be 46 per cent

source: www.euronuclear.org

Posted by: Jim M at February 10, 2009 7:11 PM
Comment #275359

David and Stephen,
Why both of you make a good point about knowing of the problem. Just as many men are guilty of not catching what a woman says when she says something so “We the People” cannot hold each other accountable for something said in a 30 second sound bit even in the 24 hour news cycle. For if “We the People” are to maintian the Common Knowledge and Common Sense Argument of Man than break this knowledge out six months from now and see how many Americans are hearing about for the first time.

And why that may not seem fair nor help us solve the problem, waiting for the Media to make a document and History to write about it so everybody can say they know about will not help prevent the problem from accurring again.

So, let me challenge both of you to put your differences aside and find a viable political solution that Americas’ Democratic and Republican Civil, Political, and Religous Leaders can use to limit the exposer to risk taken by our banks and financial institutions.

Jim M.,
Why I cannot help France, Lithuania, or Sweden with the problem they are creating for Their Children. Given the opportunity to invest in Zero Emission Zero Waste Power Plants or burden future genations with tons of nuclear waste just to feed our craving for cheap energy I see no advantage of building nuclear power plants in America that will do nothing more than become targets.

No, nuclear powered electricity may seem cheap if you use fuzzy math; however, add the 500 years plus of storage plus the added cost of security into the equation and I do believe that the term Cheap compared to Wind Power and other alternative energy sources become mute. For why France, Lithuania, and Sweden Citizens and Elected Officials may not understand the cost of filling the Land with nuclear waste. Unless you want to make every upscale neighborhood a nuclear waste dump than “We the People” should be careful about letting the Idiots in Charge build more nuclear power plants that will be absolete in 40-50 years.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 10, 2009 8:15 PM
Comment #275361

Henry-

France produces about 160 cubic meters of high level waste per year after vitrification. That’s about the size of a back yard swimming pool.

Posted by: George at February 10, 2009 10:06 PM
Comment #275366

S.D., I agree with the gist of your article. Just had to point out a factual error in it, one I know from personal experience is false. A simple Google of the topic will demonstrate to you that your statement about the media not covering it, is false.

Here are some links:
IrishTimes

CNN

By the way, Kanjorski ALSO presented a factual error in stating potential loss of 5.5. trillion. As the CNN article states (link above) : The total held in money funds, which had hit a record high of $3.535 trillion on Sept. 9, plummeted to $3.288 trillion 10 days later, when the government plan was unveiled.

It is important to get these facts straight where possible. Else falsehoods get perpetuated.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 10, 2009 11:38 PM
Comment #275372

George,
Thanks for the info. And why that number and size doesn’t seem like alot I wonder how many backyard swimming pools France has available for the next 500 plus years. Care to bet if the Elite will allow them to store the nuclear waste in their pool?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 11, 2009 2:33 AM
Comment #275377

Jim M
Every one of the countries you mentioned has a 100% socialist nuclear program. Is that what you have in mind?

Posted by: bills at February 11, 2009 7:41 AM
Comment #275378

David R. Remer-
Your are correct when you say that the amount of the shortfall was in the news. But I don’t read in either of these two articles what the losses could have potentially been. I think that’s what makes the Congressman’s recent statement on C-Span interesting.

Maybe he was talking about the rate. Regardless, it still meant a collapse in the money market, which would have immediate and catastrophic effects beyond that. I don’t imagine that the gutting of the money markets would have been a good thing.

So, you’re right to question the factual details, but I don’t think it changes anything, and neither do you. So, taking the quoted numbers with a grain of salt, we come to the same conclusion: the market’s too damn unstable for our national and international economy’s good.

Jim M-
Seizing? What is it with conservatives and using words just for their negative connotations? The word seize, by its nature implies that something is being taken by force.

Congress, elected this november to do something about the economy, is doing something: this bill. Majorities support it, or something like it. The approval ratings are higher for those backing this than those opposing it.

This is something the American people are agreeing to. If they don’t like it, they can fire the people responsible in the next election and come up with a new plan.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 11, 2009 8:56 AM
Comment #275381

Finland has four privately owned nuclear reactors producing 18 percent of there Electricity Needs and the Fifth one will be on line in 2011, But there going to close some old sites down after the new one comes on line . They also get over 25 percent from renewables and that rate is growing.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at February 11, 2009 10:14 AM
Comment #275395

Daugherty writes; “Congress, elected this november to do something about the economy, is doing something: this bill. Majorities support it, or something like it. The approval ratings are higher for those backing this than those opposing it.”

I question whether “majorities support it” as you wrote. Here’s my source…where is yours?

Results from a recent Rasmussen poll.

67% Say They Could Do A Better Job On The Economy Than Congress

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

When it comes to the nation’s economic issues, 67% of U.S. voters have more confidence in their own judgment than they do in the average member of Congress.

Nineteen percent (19%) trust members of Congress more, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Fourteen percent (14%) aren’t sure.

Republicans and unaffiliated voters by double digits have more confidence in themselves than Democrats do, but even a majority of the party that controls Congress trust themselves more than the average legislator.

Forty-four percent (44%) voters also think a group of people selected at random from the phone book would do a better job addressing the nation’s problems than the current Congress, but 37% disagree. Twenty percent (20%) are undecided.

The new Congress fares worse on this question that the previous Congress. Last October, just 33% said a randomly selected group of Americans would do a better job than the Congress then in session.

Although an $800-billion-plus economic rescue plan has now passed both the House and Senate, the overwhelming majority of voters are not confident that Congress knows what it’s doing with regards to the economy. Fifty-eight percent (58%) agree, too, that “no matter how bad things are, Congress can always find a way to make them worse.”

The Senate and House versions of the stimulus plan will now be the subject of a joint conference to work out a package that both chambers can agree on.

Seventy-four percent (74%) of male voters have more confidence in themselves than the average member of Congress. Sixty-one percent (61%) of female voters feel that way.

Seventy-four percent (74%) of GOP voters, 73% of those not affiliated with either party and 58% of Democrats say they know better.

Whites and investors are more confident of their economic know-how compared to the average congressman than are African-Americans and non-investors.

Since they no longer control either the Senate or the House, it’s no surprise that a majority of Republicans (51%) say a group of people picked at random from the phone book would do a better job than the current Congress. But even more unaffiliated voters (56%) agree.

Democrats take the opposite view—49% of those in Nancy Pelosi’s party say Congress today is better than a random group from the phone book. Just 28% disagree.

Posted by: Jim M at February 11, 2009 1:16 PM
Comment #275399

Jim,
That’s an interesting survey. I wish they would have followed up with these ‘could be’ politicians by seeing what % of them could find Washington D.C. on a map.

Posted by: Schwamp at February 11, 2009 2:00 PM
Comment #275401

Schwamp writes; “I wish they would have followed up with these ‘could be’ politicians by seeing what % of them could find Washington D.C. on a map.”

Well, how many million “average” American’s found their way to DC for the recent inauguration? I also wonder how many legislators could find their way to DC if they didn’t rely upon the pilot of the airplane they’re riding in.

Posted by: Jim M at February 11, 2009 2:38 PM
Comment #275408

Jim M , maybe we need to start a “take your random voter to work” week for members of the Congress. I think we might be surprised how the numbers in that poll would change. Did the poll you refer to ask these people if they had to work with another what… 535 people as 1 member of Congress would they still be as foolish to believe they could do a better job. After all it is easy to be a dictator, its harder to govern when you have to share the power.

On the nuclear power issue I am not against it I just prefer the reactor to be in your back yard, not mine. I have wind generators in my back yard and prefer it that way.

“Most of us have probably heard just about all the arguments we can take in favor of the so-called stimulus package Barack Obama urges upon us. They boil down to this: if the government seizes resources from individuals (whether by direct taxation, borrowing, or inflation) and devotes them to arbitrary projects, we will prosper.”

The problem Jim M is we haven’t heard any reasonable solutions to the mini depression we are in from the insurgents in Congress. It is the same old crap Rush said and it has been proven to be ineffective. They criticize but they do not have anything better to offer. Do you really think a reduction in capital gains tax to 5% and a reduction in corporate taxes to 15 % will solve the problem? They don’t even realize the problem is one of demand not supply.

“Japan has been through countless “stimulus” packages over the past 18 years, none of which has accomplished a thing apart from driving that country deeply into debt. And after years and years of government attempts to give artificial stimulus to the stock market and the real estate sector, the Japanese stock market is now about where it was in the mid-1980s, and real estate is selling, on average, for the same prices it was in 1975.”

And now the rest of the story. The Congressional Talibanist formerly known as repubs are comparing apples and oranges it seems. This is why the Obama plan is passing Jim M. there is nothing constructive coming from the conservatives in Congress except misinformation.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123360930255440715.html

Posted by: j2t2 at February 11, 2009 9:28 PM
Comment #275409

There is one problem with the survey and how you are using the data Jim. That it is about last year, not the year going forward. And considering Democrats have gained more seats since last year, I think you have some faulty logic with your statement that you “backed up”.

Posted by: Kudossupreme at February 11, 2009 10:04 PM
Comment #275422

j2t2-
Good article, but don’t forget to pull the relevant quotes from it.

We should illustrate:

The difference in the Monetary policy that accompanied it.

Alongside the unsettling parallels between then and now, there are important differences. The biggest one, as Rep. Ryan notes, is that Japan made a fundamental mistake in monetary policy, which the U.S. Federal Reserve decidedly isn’t repeating. At the outset of Japan’s woes, it instituted a tight monetary policy. The Fed is doing the opposite.

This contraction of monetary policy was also a feature of Hoover’s fatal depression era mistake and FDR’s error in prematurely trying to return to fiscal conservatism at the beginning of his second term. The essential point would be, you need as much money as possible out there, even if you have to deficit spend to get it.

Further:

The American package is more diversified.

“Virtually the totality of the Japanese programs was what we call roads and bridges,” he says. “The phrase ‘roads to nowhere’ came from that.”

The U.S. stimulus package, by contrast, has a considerably more varied makeup; about half is tax cuts and spending on programs such as unemployment insurance, worker retraining and Medicaid benefits to the states, which most analysts on both sides agree largely get injected into the economy quickly. Of the remaining spending, Mr. Bergsten notes, only some is of the traditional roads-and-bridges variety. “So the composition is very different,” he says.

Ironically enough, the Republicans are asking for precisely that: more roads and bridges in the stimulus package. Granted, we need to improve infrastructure, replace it, but that shouldn’t be what we’re depending upon to get us out of this mess. Useful infrastructural projects are better stimulus items than promiscuous ones.

Japan also was half-hearted, halting about how they did it:

In addition, economist Barry Eichengreen of the University of California, Berkeley, says that one problem with Japan’s stimulus spending was that it was slow and halting. “My reading of Japan’s experience is that fiscal stimulus didn’t work because it was delayed, sporadic, undersized and inadequately front-loaded,” he argues.

Republican critics should keep in mind that their people have done their best to make sure that this measure is delayed, and small as they can get it.

And so on. Republicans aren’t getting something crucial here: the point here is to spend as much as possible into the economy as quickly and as effectively as possible. The sad thing is, that while this is counterintuitive even for the average liberal, it’s positively unthinkable for Republicans, who seem poised to make the same mistakes as the folks over in Japan, and likely for the same reasons.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 12, 2009 10:25 AM
Comment #275423

Well, you could say that this was a problem of deregulation if you want. But you’re talking about a very very heavily regulated financial sector here and one which you yourself say was rescued by intervention. What other regulations do you want?

Regulation of these markets is kind of like salt in the human body. Some is necessary to survive. Too much will kill you.

Tends to be the case that the more intervention and regulation you create the more you need, and this stimulus is not really an antidote to degregulation as much as it is an attempt to deny the reality that assets have evaporated that didn’t really exist in the first place.

Why do we need a stimuuls? It’s because the economy was so overstimulated already and it came down off its high. It’s like the junky who is gotten so addicted that he needs a bigger and bigger fix.

The problem is that our economy was floating along on fantasy. A big overstimualted artifically high market. You had banks leveraging assets 50-1 and some of these assets basically didn’t even exist because they were based on bad mortgages.

Do you know what our economy’s real problem is right now? Reality. The problem of not being able to roll around in money which doesn’t exist.

So what are we gonna do about it? Basically try to bring back the good old days by pumping money we don’t have and which might not even exist into the economy.

Personally, I think that if Obama and the Democrats get their way we might get a year or two of good times. Kind of like a junky feels when he’s coming down off his high and gives himself another shot of heroin. But it’s not real. It can’t last. One thing nobody’s talking about is how all of this is gonna require us to start printing money and give us inflation the likes of which most Americans have never experienced.

Folks who want more regulation? Well, fine. Let’s hear your argument. But who is gonna regulate the regulators? It’s just weird to hear some of the same people who get angry about a CEO getting a ten milion dollar bonus saying that we should give 800 billion dollars with very little explanation or accountability to goverment officials.

Posted by: Liam at February 12, 2009 10:56 AM
Comment #275425

j2t2 writes; “The problem Jim M is we haven’t heard any reasonable solutions to the mini depression we are in from the insurgents in Congress.”

Wrong…I have posted many good suggestions from conservative members of congress. Sorry you missed them. Reposting would be redundant and irrelevant now that the libs have had their way. I did appreciate the link to the WSJ article which I found interesting and pertinent. While I believe there is a better way, I do hope this stimulus and spending plan works. If it does, PO and the lib congress will get all the credit, if not…well, you know.


Posted by: Jim M at February 12, 2009 11:32 AM
Comment #275427

Jim M. I have seen suggestions but no comprehensive plan of any merit from the repubs. Yes certain ideas from the right have been added into the bill and some have not. As far as reward/blame when we find out this may not be enough well… When the repubs obstruct the original plan, revise the original plan, and make the original plan smaller then it is also realistic to expect for the repubs to take some of the responsibility for the success, partial success or failure of the plan. You can’t dabble with and demand changes and then say “not me” can you?

Hopefully now we will see a bill from the repubs with answers to the wasteful spending working it’s way through the process. Are they up for it or was it just talk? I guess time will tell.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 12, 2009 11:47 AM
Comment #275431

j2t2 writes; “You can’t dabble with and demand changes and then say “not me” can you?”

Only days ago I predicted this exact sentiment. It was BS then and now. We know that the D’s have the votes in both houses to pass any bill they want with the wholehearted support and jawboning of PO.

Whether D or R, when the ruling party doesn’t get its way with the full support of the other side it is always viewed as obstructionist.

But wait, isn’t that how our government was set up…to be adversarial? If the D’s believe we should have $1 or even $2 or $3 trillion of spending they they should have it. As PO constantly reminds us…WE WON!

What the hell good is it to WIN if you don’t RULE?

I ask my liberal friends to RULE and fully take the consequences…good or bad.

Posted by: Jim M at February 12, 2009 12:24 PM
Comment #275438

Liam-
Heavy or light Regulation? Irrelevant. Good regulation, well enforced. We add what needs to be added, take away what doesn’t work.

Leverage or no leverage? Irrelevant. Not all leverage is bad. The key question is, can we, eventually, over time, pay back this 800 billion? Certainly. We’re not going out there and issuing mountains of loans to people who can’t pay them back, selling them off, and further leveraging them with derivatives. We’re paying for this, likely enough, with money from one of the most secure investments out there.

Additionally, we should consider that if we don’t stimulate the economy, it might be the shortfall on revenue that requires us to spend more in deficit dollars. That happened during the Hoover Administration.

You try and contrast real dollars and fake, but the truth is, we have a floated dollar, so it’s pretty much an agreement between different parties. Also, we have a growth economy paradigm, so by definition, dollars exist tomorrow that didn’t exist yesterday. That is, if we’re growing.

Our problem here, is that with the current economic situation, dollars might be going bye-bye. The purpose of the stimulus is to treat those dollars to a nice dinner of improved employment numbers and economic improvements to make sure they stay.

Under any other circumstances, I’d say we needed to be fiscally conservative, to keep our noses clean on the matter. But with excessive economic growth (that is inflation or hyperinflation) decidedly not the problem, Government’s the only institution standing that can pump in new money.

As for who’s getting the money, the Government officials are not pocketing the money like the crooked CEO’s. No, that money is going to people out in the country who need jobs.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 12, 2009 2:25 PM
Comment #275440

Jim M-
Constantly reminds you? I think he’s said once or twice. But it’s true. Why is it that you folks are intent on doubling down on your mistakes? What’s BS is that the Republicans seem to demand cuts arbitrarily, or insist on doing things the same way as they did under Bush. More tax cuts, more stimulus to those who passed on little enough of it anyhow.

It’s not enough to rule. We have to govern. We have to get things passed where obstruction renders 60 votes the magic number. We have enough to railroad you guys, but do you really want to be rail-roaded all the time? What’s going to happen is that people are going to figure out that the best way to negotiate with you folks is to simply start out conceding nothing to you and then throw you a few bones. If you cooperated more often, you could moderate the effects more often. As it is, your folks’s influence will wane the less reasonable you folks get.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 12, 2009 2:29 PM
Comment #275441

For the conservatives that were concerned about a certain sort of Rodent in Pelosi’s district…
The mouse that NEVER roared.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 12, 2009 2:34 PM
Comment #275461

“Only days ago I predicted this exact sentiment. It was BS then and now. We know that the D’s have the votes in both houses to pass any bill they want with the wholehearted support and jawboning of PO.”

Yes they do sort of, but they engaged the repubs. The repubs in order to allow passage of the bill made changes. By doing so they bought into the bill, perhaps in a smaller way. If they want to cast blame later they should leave it alone, not interfere with the bill. If they want credit they should help to make it better. After all it was on their watch and due to their manipulations that we are in this mess to begin with. You can’t wash your hands now.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 13, 2009 1:16 AM
Comment #275464

This list is worth going over…

http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1877351_1877350,00.html

It seems to cover most of the territory of the meltdown. It’s too late to keel-haul them now, but I do wonder how much these folks’ net worth has increased as ours has decreased…

Posted by: Marysdude at February 13, 2009 7:39 AM
Comment #275465

PS:

My vote went to Phil Gramm…

Posted by: Marysdude at February 13, 2009 7:41 AM
Comment #275468

Stephen,
Does this mean if I do not save Ps’ Mouse by funding the Federal Wetland Projects that I am against the NRA and Sportsmen?

Sounds to me like the Republicans are drinking that hard kool-aid again if thst report is true. And why I know that the Good Old Boys want to still live in the 20th Century, they better be thankful that the top 20% of America hasn’t figured out that they are broke if President Obama and Congress cannot get this stimulus package to work.

Marysdude,
Why history will not be kind to the millions and billions of dollars lost in tax cuts over the last 8 years. I do believe that if you care to dig deeper into the subject the top 25 names will change. For where are the Financial Advisors, Stock Brokers, and Fund Managers that told you it was safe to invest you tax cuts and hard earned money into these corporations?

Could it be that instead of Consumer Beware Americans should of been warned Investors Beware?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 13, 2009 8:56 AM
Comment #275470

Henry,

Both.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 13, 2009 9:20 AM
Comment #275472

Henry Schlatman-
It means that they should have put more straw on the floor of the particular stable from which they got that particular talking point.

The top 20% certainly won’t be getting all the perks they got from Bush as president, but they won’t be going broke. But I’d tell them this: it’s no fun being rich when income inequality and economic conditions are at their worst. The reason we don’t have all the radical sort of anarchist, socialist, and communist groups here that we once did, and that other countries do now, is we took care of much of the inequality of prosperity that once marked this country.

Republicans like to point out how well off the poor in this country are compared to their counterparts overseas. I’d like to point out to the Republicans that this is a good thing. If they can feed themselves, take care of their families, the poor aren’t tearing after the rich so much to take what they have from them. Bellies full of food make for hands empty of weapons.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 13, 2009 10:59 AM
Comment #275473

The following email is making the rounds. Wikipedia doesn’t mention this quote. Does anyone know if it is true?

Norman Mattoon Thomas (November 20, 1884 – December 19, 1968) was a leading American socialist, pacifist, and six-time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America.

The Socialist Party candidate for President of the US , Norman Thomas, said this in a 1944 speech:”The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of “liberalism,” they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.” He went on to say: “I no longer need to run as a Presidential Candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democrat Party has adopted our platform.”


“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” ~~Margaret Thatcher

Posted by: Jim M at February 13, 2009 11:42 AM
Comment #275478

Daugherty wrote in the last sentence of his opening blog; “The stupidity ends now. We literally can no longer afford it.”

He’s correct!

Even without the extra spending in the stimulus bill, means-tested welfare spending is already at a historic high and growing rapidly. In 2008, federal, state, and local means-tested spending hit $679 billion per year. Without any legislative expansions, given historic rates of growth in welfare programs, federal, state, and local means-tested welfare spending over the next decade will total $8.97 trillion. The House stimulus bill adds another $787 billion to this total, yielding a 10-year total of $9.8 trillion. The total 10-year cost of means-tested welfare will then amount to $127,000 for each household paying federal income tax.

Posted by: Jim M at February 13, 2009 12:32 PM
Comment #275493

Jim M-
Oooooh. Stealth Socialism. Boogie-boogie.

Seriously. The beauty of liberalism is that it makes socialism unnecessary with means considerably less radical than the Socialists would actually use.

People go for socialism because they don’t trust the corporate powers that be to actually get the job done. To do this, though, they use much more heavy-handed methods with government, measures that can have a chilling effect on economic growth. Liberals, despite years of Republican propaganda to the contrary, are not so keen on that. Our legacy isn’t one of nationalization of everything, it’s FDR’s. FDR maintained private industry, set up regulations so that people could trust it again, so that the industries wouldn’t self destruct as they did before.

America won against communism with the New Deal reforms pretty much in place, what you would call socialist policies. That’s the irony, really. We Democrats, in our political leadership, helped make socialism and communism in this country obsolete, unnecessary, unattractive. We provide the protection people need from the powerful, but not protection to the point that people need protection from us.

I know, you folks go on about that. But I don’t recall having to worry about warrantless wiretaps from Clinton. I don’t recall Clinton’s outspoken advocacy of torture. The Republicans justified what seems like an even more centralized and autocratic interpretation of presidential powers than any Democrat I’m familiar with ever used.

Your argument on the cost per household most likely ignores the fact that households are taxed at different rates. In which case, the math for figuring out the costs per taxpayer becomes far different. As for welfare? The best way to get people off of welfare is to get people employed. Clinton got people employed. Bush got people unemployed, moreso than any other president in history. Clinton increased the ranks out of poverty, Bush increased the ranks in it.

The Republicans need to be more interested in results than philosophy. Philosophy without results is like a brilliant answer to a question to a question that had nothing to do with the response given.

Your party can’t remain the way it is and remain an effective instrument for the interests of its constituents. Sure, they can impress certain voters, but image erodes in the presence of concerted reality. And the Reality is, Democrats are in control and they set the agenda. That is a truth that must be faced and acknowledged even if only to oppose it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 13, 2009 10:06 PM
Comment #275508

Jim M. and Stephen,
I have a question for you both.

Would it be in Americas’ Inherent Best Interest to allow the Establishment to govern Commerce in the production of all the electricity used by Society or encourage Society to use Commerce so every American can own a Zero Emission Power Plant capable of producing Their Fair Share of the electricity used by the Establishment?

For why the Democratic and Republicans of the 20th Century would rather see you fight over pennies instead of address the Issues facing your Children and Grandchildren. Witnessing the dawn of a new day in America, why is it that American Barons like Mr. Pickens can get billions through spending programs and tax cuts to build commercial wind farms. Yet, the Common Citizen must work and save in order to own a Private Wind Mill provided it is allowed by the Establishment. So how is this Leberalism, Progressive, and/or Socialism helping the American Layman Citizen of the 21st Century become Self-Sufficient?

Personally, I believe that the Democratic and Republican Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders have no choice, but to select “We the Corporation” provide the Establishment with electricity. And why not out of Greed or Power, even I have to question the Logic and Reason of allowing My Peers provide the Establishiment with its electricity given their proformance over the last 8 years. Because how many of the Top 20% of Society used their Spending Programs and Tax Cuts to become Economic, Energy, and Environmentally Independent?

Broke due to the lack of vision!

For why the Common Man has only seen an increase in the basics, having lost money in the market, home prices, and lines of credit. The current Top 20% of Society missed the opportunity of a lifetime IMHO, yet want to cry about Big Brother stepping in to protect the Establishment of America.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 14, 2009 10:55 AM
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