Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Economic Crisis is a Security Threat

As I have noted a number of times (see links at end of article), the economic crisis is a global crisis. We are in a world of a global economic system that has been allowed to emerge with virtually no oversight or control.

It is a system that has been structured to benefit richer nations and the corporations to which they are married. As nations pour trillions of dollars into the maw of the crisis, there is little (if any) improvement in the situation. This is because national strategies are analogous to trying to haul water to a fire in a bucket that is full of holes. The money poured in simply "leaks out" to the global financial "market." Yet, there is no plan (that I have seen) of a coordinated international strategy to stop the "leaks" and bring the global financial market to heel.

What we do see is one nation after another trying to stabilize their own economies - and failing. Hence we get the reports of burgeoning revolutions, and that the global economic crisis has become the top national security threat.

Well of course it is.

Dennis Blair, the Director of National Intelligence reported to Congress on February 12, 2009 on the Annual threat Assessment. In his prepared testimony, he detailed the origin, nature, and scope of the economic crisis. He stated that the crisis originated in the United States, and then started spreading around the world. He stated the fallout of the crisis could have deep and damaging security consequences. He mentions potential loss of both defense and humanitarian cooperation, and the potential for refugees. What he does not mention in open Congress, is the threat we are already seeing - the toppling of governments by their desperate and angry citizens. That "unrest" is clearly not just a problem for "developing" nations.

Central to this globalized world has been the deliberate stripping of nations' ability to sustain themselves. A forced dependence has been created called the import-export economy. Therefore, the natural first (and sane) tendency of nations fighting economic collapse in a collapsing world is to engage in some form of "protectionism." However, the attempt to strengthen national economies by buying national products and giving preference to local and national companies (and workers) are a significant threat on two levels. First, is that people will rapidly discover (particularly in the United States) that they cannot survive on what they produce. Secondly, those developing (read exploited) nations will starve as their exports sit in the docks. If exports are not going out, there is no money to buy the imports now necessary to survival.

So, the "Buy American" provisions get stripped from the stimulus package, rather than engaging in international negotiations which would allow a sane rebuilding of national economies. We don't want the U.S. in a "trade war." Of course we don't, because people in the U.S. have no idea that we cannot even feed our own populace at this point. Further, to allow some degree of protectionism would undermine the globalism already in place. So, nations turn to the IMF and the World Bank to get loans to save their nations. Indeed all is going as it should. As nations have revolted against the injustice of the debts that forced them into this "globalized" economy, the crisis allows the reimplementation of the "yoke of debt."

This issue too becomes a whispered part of the national security aspects of the economic crisis. For like the collapse, the people of the world also know clearly who crafted and enforced globalization, and the hand of the United States is clearly present.

We are clearly seeing that "developed" nations are as vulnerable to unrest and destabilization as the so-called "third world." We have seen mass protests across Europe, and the toppling of Iceland's government by angry pot bangers. I am sure there are concerns about a populist revolt in the United States as well. Further, rising levels of desperation around the world increases the likelihood of revolutionary recruitment. This could certainly threaten "national interests" on a global level, and as Blair notes:

The crisis presents many challenges for the United States. It started in the United States, quickly spread to other industrial economies and then, more recently, to emerging markets. The widely held perception that excesses in US financial markets and inadequate regulation were responsible has increased criticism about free market policies, which may make it difficult to achieve long-time US objectives, such as the opening of national capital markets and increasing domestic demand in Asia. It already has increased questioning of US stewardship of the global economy and the international financial structure.

In other words, the world may "revolt" against hegemonic capitalism. Since the United States has been the "steward" of this transformation into an uncontrolled, profit first and last environment, it is not surprising that global public anger may be directed at the U.S.

All of these points are no-brainers. The U.S. promoted and drove hegemonic capitalism - frequently at the end of a gun. Iraq for example, is a case study in the forced implementation of an unfettered market. The U.S. facilitated what is now called the "Shadow Market" (see video below) that is swallowing every "stimulus' that the nations of the world are throwing at it.

And yet, there is no global effort (at least that is being shared with us) to address the monster under the bed - the global nature of a crisis based on "exotic" and unregulated investment instruments.

Unless we join with the world in either getting a new bucket, or radically "patching" the existing one, national strategies are only going to have limited (if any) success in addressing the economic crisis. This train wreck is still happening. Banks and investment firms are still paying out on the credit default swap "insurance" claims which exceed the entire GDP of the planet. More mortgages in the U.S. (and elsewhere) are resetting to higher interest rates over the next two years - which will continue to drag down recovery at the very least. Job reductions and losses are adding to further mortgage collapse. We have not seen bottom of this crisis, and if something is not done to address the global components, then that "bottom" will indeed be "catastrophic" for much of the population of the planet.

60 Minutes, 10/05/2008, "Wall Street's Shadow Market"

Previous articles by Rowan Wolf on the global nature of the economic collapse.
Economic "Stimulus" Considerations. 1/25/09.

Under Our Noses - The Great Heist of 2008. 1/03/09.

Economic Globalization and Speculation Coming Home to Roost. 10/07/08.

It's the Derivatives Stupid. 9/26/09.

From 'Mortgage Crisis' to 'Economic Meltdown'. 9/19/08.

Posted by Rowan Wolf at February 14, 2009 9:35 AM
Comment #275505

The power brokers, i.e., bankers, financiers, politicians, et al, come from us, come from the ‘people’, so to speak, so it is our failure. Were we too lazy, too stupid, too trusting or did we also just lack enough honor to keep it from happening? From what you say it is likely too late to fix.

Do you have any suggestions as to how we, the ones who survive the riots, should handle the aftermath of meltdown? Build a cabin in the woods and eat grubs?

Posted by: Marysdude at February 14, 2009 10:34 AM
Comment #275507

Excellent writing as usual Rowan,

Scary, Scary; I’m beginning to think we’d be better off to let them all fail. We’d go through years of misery, but when it was all over we’d be set up properly. If we keep propping these bastards up, things we never be right.

Posted by: Mike the Cynic at February 14, 2009 10:51 AM
Comment #275509

Suggestions? Actually I do have a few…

1. Shut down the derivatives market. Just cut it off at the knees. Some unknown portion of bailout monies across the world are to meet the insurance calls of the derivatives market. Since those investments were so leveraged that they are largely money in name only, then either revalue them to real money or cut them loose.

2. Negotiate protections for critical stimulus. We are all dependent on the import-export economy, so totally shutting it down would be more than devastating. However, we could decide to put a moratorium on certain aspects of agreements such as GATT, to allow strengthening of local economies and workforces.

3. What can “we the people” do? Well, I recommend working like the blazes to strengthen local economies. Encourage investment (or move your finances) to reliable community banks and credit unions. Encourage officials to use part of the stimulus monies to experiment with micro-lending. Join bartering groups. Do cooperative gardening with your neighbors (they plant beans, you plant zuchinni, and share the produce). Have barter fairs (swap meets with no money exchanged.

I don’t think that buying guns and moving to the woods is likely to be particularly effective over the long run. Unless one has either tremendous resources, or remarkable survival skills, that strategy will run a short course. We are interdependent in a million ways, and building cooperation will likely benefit most far more than withdrawal - IMHO

Posted by: rowan at February 14, 2009 11:05 AM
Comment #275512

Calling the economic downturn the biggest security threat is true but not useful. It is like saying that winter is the leading reason you are cold. It is more important to focus on the things you can address, such as buying a coat.

The economic downturn is worldwide, which shows both how dangerous it is AND how complicated it is to find causes and cures.

The countries in the Euro zone are suffering more than the U.S. The EU has an economy about the same size as ours. Their policies have been very different. And Germany is one of the hardest hit, despite following policies almost opposite of ours. Most Euro zone economies have been doing what we call bailouts for many years. We just don’t know what will work.

Calling the economy the big problem is a cop-out. It is the typical loser excuse. They avoid addressing the problems they can address by complaining that they cannot address all of them

Posted by: Christine at February 14, 2009 11:34 AM
Comment #275514

Interesting film from 60 minutes. What wasn’t addressed to my satisfaction is the answer to the question; To whom and from whom is the money owed? Is it #1 owes #2 owes #3 owes #4 owes #1 in a kind of round-robin? And, if so, can’t this be unwound?

Posted by: Jim M at February 14, 2009 12:10 PM
Comment #275520

Jim M:

Sounded to me as if no one knows. Scientists created this stuff with complicated formulas that probably they only understand. Perhaps they could unravel it all, but maybe not.


It appears to me as if they are attempting to address some of the problems.

Posted by: womanmarine at February 14, 2009 2:52 PM
Comment #275525

Rowan, most people are not aware, but, there was an unprecedented cooperation amongst the world’s nations following the money market run, led by our own Federal Reserve. What folks don’t realize is that by the U.S. taking monetary measures to fight its own financial crises, other nation’s could have taken competitive advantage, but, instead chose to take comparable and concerted central bank measures with the U.S. to combat the case made by Bernanke, that if the U.S. went down, so would all other economies to varying but severe degrees.

At the monetary level, there has been enormous cooperation and global coordinated effort. It is at the fiscal level in which governments, rightly, chose individual paths geared toward their own economic circumstances. And let’s be clear here, many nation’s would not have faced domestic financial crises had it not been for their investments in American financial institutions, or, at least the severity of their own banking crises would have been dramatically lessened.

America led the way with unfettered capitalist measures in the financial sectors, and to other nation’s discredit, a majority of them followed our lead in this regard of less oversight and less regulation of financial institutions, giving such institutions the assumed benefit of free rein in competitive international transactions. Then unintended consequences, a Republican Party hallmark, fell in to make their presence known in a cataclysmic way, threatening the entire world’s financial system.

The fact that our domestic and global financial systems have not collapsed, is a testament to the cooperation and concerted efforts by the world’s central banks in this crisis, regardless of the role they played in creating the crises in the first place.

The clean-up and detoxification of the financial systems is proving to be an incredibly expensive and daunting task, due to their dependence upon nation’s economies and nation’s fiscal policies, which are trying to balance present need against future need, and finding most options to be politically an either present/or future priority debate.

Republicans in our own Congress are screaming too much burden on future tax payers. Democrats are screaming future tax payers have no future if we allow the current economy to devolve into a long and protracted depression leading to a bankrupt government and depressed economy for decades to come. Either, Or.

When anyone with a lick of common sense KNOWS our efforts must balance the needs of the present with the needs of the future, insuring both are met with the least amount of harm to the people, now and future. This is why Obama had in mind a Recovery (present need) and Reinvestment (future need) spending package that would address the needs of both.

Democrats, like idiots fell for Republican bait when Democrats for weeks on end referred to this bill as a stimulus bill. The term ‘stimulus bill’ implies very clearly legislation aimed at the present economic circumstances. And that became the primary objection by Republicans to voting for this bill, that too much of the spending was not focused on stimulating the current economy. Stupid Democrats failed to follow Obama’s lead in referring to the bill as a recovery and reinvestment effort.

Democrats lucked out in finding 3 moderate Republicans whose home constituencies and personal sense of responsibility hold higher priority than other Republican’s adamant intent to see Democratic efforts stalled and failed in order to pave way for a comeback in 2010 and 2012.

Democrats will be fools indeed to depend on such luck going forward. And they will be fools to fail to carefully appreciate the gift Obama has for precisely and calculatedly choosing his words for their literal meaning and intent. Democrats don’t necessarily have to follow Obama’s lead, but, they had better make bloody sure they clearly understand his lead before rejecting it for some convenience shorthand like ‘stimulus bill’ fed to them by their arch-rivals, the Republicans.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 14, 2009 4:14 PM
Comment #275528

Remer writes; “Democrats lucked out in finding 3 moderate Republicans whose home constituencies and personal sense of responsibility hold higher priority than other Republican’s adamant intent to see Democratic efforts stalled and failed in order to pave way for a comeback in 2010 and 2012.

Why am I not surprised with Remer naming anyone who agrees with him and PO as having a “personal sense of responsibility hold(ing) higher priority”.

It’s just more thoughtless agreement by one liberal for another.

Posted by: Jim M at February 14, 2009 4:52 PM
Comment #275530

Such a way with words, M….”thoughtless agreement”.

Posted by: jane doe at February 14, 2009 5:15 PM
Comment #275535

Thank You jane doe. Thoughtless agrement is the opposite of “reasoned, rational, sound, consistent, articulate, lucid or considered agreement”.

Posted by: Jim M at February 14, 2009 6:01 PM
Comment #275536

Jim M does not believe Republicans attempted to stall this bill? What planet does he live on. Jim M doesn’t believe Republicans would like to create a path back to majority status in coming elections, and have to view Democratic successes as barriers to that path? It’s a real distant planet where Jim M’s comments come from.

He argues against the obvious by labeling the obvious partisanly liberal. Nothing new about that tactic, is there, folks?

And I thank you, Jim M, for as my writings evidence, on certain issues I am on the liberal side, and I find no more negative connotation to being on the liberal side of some issues than I do when I am on the conservative side of other issues. Takes a true partisan to try to make liberal or conservative derogatory labels. Thank you for trying.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 14, 2009 6:06 PM
Comment #275539

Good article. Thank you!

There are three interrelated parts to the current disaster. Problems with the declining real estate market and the overall decline of the economy are in the process of being addressed. Whether they will be successfully addressed is another question.

The killer is the failure of the banks. I don’t think anyone has really come to grips with what happened, with the catastrophic failure of the financial sector. The repeal of Glass-Steagall and the Commodoties and Futures Act of 2000 have turned out to be the two most disastrous pieces of legislation in US history. They might actually end capitalism. It’s that bad. Thanks bunches, Phil Gramm!

The failure of the financial sector is primarily due to leveraging. To this date, no one knows the actual value of the failed derivatives- or, if they know, they’re not telling.

I’ve seen a serious estimate of $20 trillion.

Glass-Steagall separated investment banks, commercial banks, and insurance. There are no longer investment banks, just a giant smoking crater. The other two legs of the financial sector, commercial banks and insurance, have attempted to absorb the investment bank losses, but it’s toxic. Only the US government is propping them up.

So for anyone opposed to socialism, or a bailout package of a $800 billion, don’t even bother. It’s too late. We’re staring a multi trillion dollar loss in the face, and the only answer to date is to suspend mark-to-market accounting, and pretend it does not exist. Good luck with that.

It’s true, credit unions and community banks have performed well. In that sense, capitalism has been very successful, because it is tied to the community- the society- because socialism works.

It’s all that’s left.

Oh. Unless someone has a spare $20 trillion in their pocket.

Posted by: phx8 at February 14, 2009 8:41 PM
Comment #275547

Excellent break down of the politcal problem facing America. And why I agree with Jim M. that the problem goes much deeper than the American People are being lead to believe by the Democrats of Congress. This Unlearned Unbridled Anti-Authoritarian Child of the 70’s by Freewill and Self-Nature is glad that President Obama carefully choice the words “Americas’ Recovery and Reinvestment Plan.”

For why $800 Billion may sound like a lot of money to take the first step down the road to Energy Independence, I hope My Peers can act more like Parents than the ones “We the People” were told to go teach Right from Wrong.

Jim M.,
Why I feel for the Conservatives in America President Bush said it best for the Republicans when he said something in 2005. However, unlike the Late 60’s and Early 70’s the word “IF” no longer applies. And that is a political position that the RNC has yet to come to terms with.

Why I don’t have an extra $20 trillion in my pocket or even in my wallet, care to bet that if the American Worker was given the proper guidance and wages that in less than a year they could make up the difference in GDP. My only question to “We the Corporation” is what Products, Goods, and Services are going to be affordable to the American Consumer and Small Business Owner of the 21st Century that are American Born and American Made.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 15, 2009 6:02 AM
Comment #275548


In your comment, 275536 above, are you not making a direct criticism of Jim M? I don’t see a critique of his message, Only him.

Posted by: Common Man at February 15, 2009 6:40 AM
Comment #275549

A brief report from the Philippines,one of those third world countries: They went through a severe bank shakout in the 90s and adopted some stricy regulation.The banks took a hit from AIG etc. but it was comparitively minor. Exports are down some. One major exporter is Texas Instraments and they are laying off people,for example. Also the export of minerals is dropping some but this is somewhat made up in the price of gold. A matter of concern is the fate of OFWs,overseas forign workers. About %10 of the population works overseas and remittances are a major economic factor. So far there has been little change in the number of workers but the government is setting up programs to try and find domestic jobs for returnees. International projects are still being financed by the IMF, EU,China,US and others. Whether this dries up remains to be seen. A greater problem with this financing appears to be indemic corruption than lack of funding at this point. Expectations are that the downturn will hit sometime this year. The rate of growth has been cut to about %4. The president of the country is an economist and appears to know what she is doing although she cannot spin straw to gold. There has been no great stimulus program but this country is poor enough that stimulus is aotomatic. That is when they can get funds they inject them into the economy especially to releave poverty. There is a substantial international debt load and difficulty paying it. Attempts to do so brought about a %10 VAT. One chain of small rural banks has been taken over by the PDIC. It was operating as a ponsi scheme a la Madoff but on a much smaller scale. It was not a systemic problem and heads are rolling.
We moved here just before the crash. I saw it comming,just being a carpenter and not some 40 million a year banker. I find some ironic amuzment that the banks AND the peanut butter are safer than in the US.

Bill Scanlan

Posted by: bills at February 15, 2009 8:09 AM
Comment #275553


Yes, they did try to address other issues. But putting the world economy on top of the list is a kind of “the devil made me do it” explanation. Even if it is true, it doesn’t create any options for remediation.

Nobody knows what to do about the economy. World nations are trying various things and blaming various causes. In the U.S., we are criticized for being too loose with regulations. Yet the Euro zone and countries like Germany, that had strong government control and did not participate so much in the recent property boom, are suffering harder times and higher unemployment.

My point is that if you put economy first and imply that economic prosperity is required to solve our security problems, we can never solve the problems.

It is always better to work on the problems you can solve, rather than complain about the things over which you have little control.

Posted by: Christine at February 15, 2009 9:33 AM
Comment #275554

Common Man wrote of Mr. Remer; “In your comment, 275536 above, are you not making a direct criticism of Jim M? I don’t see a critique of his message, Only him.”

Common Man, Mr. Remer writes of himself in his profile, “BA in Psychology from UTSA with equivalent in philosophy, and 1 year MBA grad school” among other achievements.

Frequently, Mr. Remer shares his views on investing and financial planning while not sharing any credentials that would make him responsible for those views such as holding an insurance license or being a registered rep for the sale of investments.

However, he does apparently have the credentials for deriding me as coming from “a real distant planet”. Frankly, it doesn’t bother me as my 68 years of life have taught me that when those who disagree with me resort to those kinds of words it simply means that they can no longer support their argument with reason and rely upon what they know best. In this case…derision.

Posted by: Jim M at February 15, 2009 12:41 PM
Comment #275558

Rowan once again an excellent article on the global economic crisis. Thanks for the link to Blairs report to Congress.

“Calling the economy the big problem is a cop-out. It is the typical loser excuse. They avoid addressing the problems they can address by complaining that they cannot address all of them”

Why so Christine? It seems you are saying that if we ignore the economic problems we are winners? That we should only deal with the small problems and not the overall problem? That seems like a … well a loser excuse to me, more so than attempting to address the big problem.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 15, 2009 2:38 PM
Comment #275564

I understand what you are saying Jim M. However, everyone else is expected to obey the rules of the forum. Is he excepted?

Posted by: Common Man at February 15, 2009 3:30 PM
Comment #275565


“Jim M does not believe Republicans attempted to stall this bill? What planet does he live on. Jim M doesn’t believe Republicans would like to create a path back to majority status in coming elections, and have to view Democratic successes as barriers to that path? It’s a real distant planet where Jim M’s comments come from.”

there’s no doubt in my mind that the republicans would like to be back in the majority, and at some point they will be, but only after the dems have had the chance to screw things up for awhile. the stimulus plan IMHO is more a gift to the people that helped the dems aquire thier power. there is very little that will help the economy. the funny thing is that the dems banked on the failures of rep. policy, and reveled in the thought of benefiting from the peoples suffering. do you remember tom daschle saying every 100 pt drop in the dow was another congressional seat for them. the democrats viewed repub. success as a road block to thier reaquisition of power. they love the current situation because it gives them cartblanche to ram through anything they want, and with the majority they have in the senate there will not be anything standing in thier way, something the repubs never had. by the time the dems finish doing thier damage the current crisis look like everything is coming up roses. you cant fix the current problems by dumping billions of tax dollars into programs that do nothing but grow the size of gov’t. the problems will only get worse.

how much sense does it make to ram through a stimulus package that you haven’t even read, and understood. you and i may not always read all the small print, or the entire text of somthing we’re signing, but that only affects you or i personally. when these morons in congress do it they have the ability to take us all down with them. they should be forced to read every paragraph of every bill they sign on to, or find another job.

Posted by: dbs at February 15, 2009 3:43 PM
Comment #275570

It will be interesting to see if the senators that voted against the stimulus bill will send back the money that their state receives.

Actually, there should have been a clause in the bill that said that it would be fine to vote against the bill, but by voting no, the senator’s state will not receive any money because they felt their constituents would not want or need it. If jobs disappear in their state then the people will know who to blame.

Posted by: Tom at February 15, 2009 4:43 PM
Comment #275573

Would you also put a clause in the bill that if you don’t vote for it you don’t have to pay for it?

Posted by: Common Man at February 15, 2009 5:13 PM
Comment #275575

“by the time the dems finish doing thier damage the current crisis look like everything is coming up roses. you cant fix the current problems by dumping billions of tax dollars into programs that do nothing but grow the size of gov’t. the problems will only get worse.”

Historically dbs this has not been true. It was in fact the small government conservatives Harding, Coolidge and then Hoover and their fiscal policies during the ’20s is what got us into the great depression. The dems got us out of the depression by growing government. Nothing has changed as we have been under the grip of small government conservatives since Reagan, including Clinton, culminating in this crisis on GWB’s watch. The fiscal policies of Reagan are the same policies of the ’20s and the results have been nearly the same. Yet you make the statement above. What proof do you have,or lacking proof, what would make you think that your statement has any merit what so ever?

Posted by: j2t2 at February 15, 2009 6:05 PM
Comment #275579

Good comment. I thought the same thing. There may be other reasons to object to big government, but the fact is, growing government creates jobs, increases employment, and accelerates the velocity of the movement of money through the economy.

It’s the strangest thing. Conservative philosophy has been proven wrong, utterly wrong. It’s not just a matter of Republicans arguing about ‘how many tax cuts can dance on the head of a pin’ kind of wrong, either. Conservatives have been wrong in practice, and the GOP implementation of conservative philosophy has been a very real catastrophe.

Obama has been graceful in his offers to work with the GOP. Incredibly, they’ve spurned most of his efforts. Even more incredibly, they continue espousing the same failed policies that created such a mess in the first place. They continue pursuing a hard right agenda, even when they have every incentive to move towards the middle and compromise.

Posted by: phx8 at February 15, 2009 6:42 PM
Comment #275580


Nobody advocates ignorning the economy. But the guys entrusted with security might better employ their time thinking about security that they can address.

I know that we could well argue that the economy is everybody’s responsibility, but when anything becomes everybody’s responsibility it becomes nobody’s.

If we give everyone a pass because the economy is bad, we will have no solutions to other problems and probably none for the economy either.

We should learn about the dangers of over-reaction. After 9/11 security trumped everything and we made some hasty decisions that we later regretted. We are now in full panic mode re the economy. The Congress passed a spending bill that nobody has read. We will pay for this for the rest of our lives.

When we make decisions in haste, we regret at leisure. We should have learned about acting in panic back in 2002.

Posted by: Christine at February 15, 2009 8:55 PM
Comment #275605

Common Man asks; “Tom, Would you also put a clause in the bill that if you don’t vote for it you don’t have to pay for it?”

Of course Tom wouldn’t agree with that. Tom understands that the redistribution of wealth thru legislation takes both the have’s and have-not’s.

Do all those sterling rich citizens the liberals are so fond of quoting pay more in taxes than they owe because they feel they should pay more? Of course not. We are told the liberal rich want to pay more in taxes but they just can’t figure out how to do it.

We are told that fourth and fifth generation welfare recipients just want a chance, a leg up, a temporary hand out till they can become self sufficient.

We are told that fewer American’s should pay taxes so more can be taken from those who do.

We are told that the only way America can prosper again is by government spending money we don’t have to instill confidence in working American’s. What we are being told is that since we, working American’s, understand the need to cut individual spending, government must do it for us to save us from our selfish selves.

We were told by PO and this congress that it will be open and transparent. Does anyone feel that this spending bill is transparent, understandable, justified, balanced, or in any way different from what we have come to expect from the usual pandering of politicians for votes?

Greed and lust for power dominates this administration and this congress. With each additional hand out American’s become more conditioned to nannyism and less able to think and do for themselves.

Posted by: Jim M at February 16, 2009 2:00 PM
Comment #275617

Terry Paulson writing in Townhall asks;

If Past Presidents Could Speak

Instead of just using Lincoln’s Bible, President Obama might have tried applying some of his core political principles. Abraham Lincoln preserved the union but knew its limits: “Government should do for people that which they cannot possibly do for themselves—and leave otherwise alone!” Lincoln knew how personal responsibility was critical to a society’s existence. After his own small business failure, Lincoln worked 17 years to pay off his debt. Lincoln would have had no patience for today’s “entitlement” mentality: “The worst thing you can do for those you love is the thing they could and should do for themselves.”.

PO has chosen the wrong president to emulate with Lincoln. That some folks buy into this obvious charade of PO’s is not alarming, just amusing.

Posted by: Jim M at February 16, 2009 4:06 PM
Comment #275622

Jim M

here are some more good quotes from jefferson. i think the one you posted above is also included. i’m sure someone here will find a way to spin them in order to suit thier purpose. i prefer to interpret them the way they were written. pretty cut and dry really. how many do you suppose po, and the liberal congress have ignored, or would rather were never repeated ?

The sayings of Thomas Jefferson
> When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall
> become as corrupt as Europe.
> Thomas Jefferson
> The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are
> willing to work and give to those who would not.
> Thomas Jefferson
> It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A
> principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.
> Thomas Jefferson
> I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government
> from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of
> them.
> Thomas Jefferson
> My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too
> much government.
> Thomas Jefferson
> No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
> Thomas Jefferson
> The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms
> is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
> Thomas Jefferson
> The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of
> patriots and tyrants.
> Thomas Jefferson
> To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he
> disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.
> Thomas Jefferson
> And finally, a Very Interesting Quote :
> In light of the present financial crisis, it’s interesting to read what Thomas
> Jefferson said in 1802:
> I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than
> standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control
> the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks
> and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of
> all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their
> fathers conquered.’
> Thomas Jefferson
here’s another interesting quote from a former member of the american socialist party

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 Democratic Party has adopted our platform.”

kinda spooky eh ?

Posted by: dbs at February 16, 2009 5:18 PM
Comment #275623

Jim M

sorry yours was a lincoln quote, so it obviously won’t be in a compilation of jefferson quotes. whoops!

Posted by: dbs at February 16, 2009 5:23 PM
Comment #275625

dbs asks; “kinda spooky eh ?”

Yes dbs, spooky indeed. Those were great Jefferson quotes and of course relevant to today. I fully expect a poll in the near future will tell us that PO has become the most favored president in all of our history.

It’s difficult for principled philosophies such as those believed by Jefferson and Lincoln to compete today with the government “Candy man” handing out fistfuls of “free” money. Those who don’t have their hand out, begging on their knees for government scraps, are now considered out of step, uncaring, and married to their beliefs and ideals.

Unfortunately I believe we have passed the point of no return and we will slide even more rapidly into socialism. Those who still value hard work and self reliance are loosing the battle to those who still believe in the free lunch.

With liberals, there is never merit in cutting wasteful spending or reducing the size of government and redemption in enslaving their fellow man to empower themselves. It is no mystery that we have failed to educate our electorate in the basics of our heritage. What built this great country now seems quaint and outdated. Immediate gratification is the norm today. Legal theft thru regulation and taxation is applauded by the masses. Moral clarity and certainty has been replaced by the church of do what feels good.

Poor decisions and incorrect actions no longer have consequences in the new liberal socialist America. Reliance upon big government has become the mantra of the fools who follow a certain prescription for decline. As we see liberals fighting over the spoils of government spending how long before the American people are fighting over food?

There are immutable laws that, when violated, lead to destruction. Defy sound financial and economic policy, responsible spending, reasonable taxation and regulation and there absolutely will be an unwelcome consequence. Not today…but soon. Socialism and liberalism works until there is no more money to steal to mollify the ever growing and demanding masses they create.

The unrest among my liberal friends is growing as they are impatient waiting for the promises made by PO to show up in their mailbox. PO has promised much and he and congress are running scared that their magical fixes won’t happen quickly enough. Their supporters are a fickle bunch who require daily feeding from the public trough. There will be no forgiveness for this man and his minions in congress when it is discovered that their promises were just campaign fluff and slogan filled leadership.

Posted by: Jim M at February 16, 2009 6:48 PM
Comment #275632

““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 Democratic Party has adopted our platform.””
kinda spooky eh ?”

Well not really dbs. Many people have said many things over the past that despite their highest hopes have not transpired. FDR won the election in 1944 and Truman, a moderate was voted in as VP over Wattles whose views were considered farther left, took over for FDR when he died the next year. Yet Socialism did not take over the country nor the democratic party. In fact a Socialist party exists today and has a member in Congress. I notice Mr. Thomas did run for office again in 1948, kinda spooky huh?
You know what is really spooky, dbs, the way those on the far right are all in a tizzy over things that didn’t happen and are not really prophetic after all yet are trumped up to be so, well not spooky so much as scary really but….

Posted by: j2t2 at February 16, 2009 10:17 PM
Comment #275633

As one who on occasion likes to post Jefferson quotes I am glad to see you have discovered them. The banking and corporation quote I have used , more than once, when disagreeing with those on the right over the intentions of our founding fathers on the subject of corporations and their dominance over American politics. Have you and others on the right come around to the realization that economic Darwinism does not serve the Country and was not the intentions of our founding fathers?

Here are a few more for you to ponder.

“I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.” Thomas Jefferson, 1812 Source:Liberty Quotes

“By a declaration of rights, I mean one which
shall stipulate freedom of religion, freedom
of the press, freedom of commerce against
monopolies, trial by juries in all cases, no
suspensions of the habeas corpus, no standing
armies. These are fetters against doing evil
which no honest government should decline.”
Thomas Jefferson
Source:Liberty Quotes

What do you think of the standing army, does it make sense today? And what does he mean by no suspensions of HC? Does no mean no?

“We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.” —Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816. ME 15:41

Perhaps the Constitution was meant to be a living document?

Posted by: j2t2 at February 16, 2009 10:35 PM
Comment #275648

Can someone tell me please, If this stimulus bill is so urgent, why did the president take the weekend off instead of staying in Washington to sign it immediately?

Posted by: Common Man at February 17, 2009 8:15 AM
Comment #275650


“Well not really dbs. Many people have said many things over the past that despite their highest hopes have not transpired.”

all you need to do is look at gov’t entitlements such as welfare, food stamps, and gov’t run and subsidized housing. all these things have occured since that statement was made, so unfortunately even though you’de like everyone to believe this isn’t true, unfortunately it is. none of these wasteful programs, and others that are less appearent will ever be eliminated, or even trimmed as long as those on the public dole are allowed to vote. the only shot we have at reducing gov’t theft is through reducing taxes. BTW don’t waste your time telling me that clinton reduced the cost of welfare. we all know that it was the republican congress that forced it on him. the democrats would have never let that happen.

Posted by: dbs at February 17, 2009 9:08 AM
Comment #275655


“Perhaps the Constitution was meant to be a living document?”

this is merely a repeated mantra by the left in order to ignore the parts of the const. which would prevent them from permenently aquiring power. infringment of the second amend. is a prime example.

you think po will sign this piece of crap when it comes across his desk ? i bet he does. this is the same man who claimed to respect the second amend. yet voted to not allow the people of illinios the right to defend themselves in thier own homes.

Posted by dbs at February 17, 2009 09:20 AM

Posted by: dbs at February 17, 2009 9:37 AM
Comment #275692

Common Man

you also have to ask yourself, if it wasn’t urgent enough for obama to sign it immediatly, then why was it so important to pass it before anyone had the time to read it in it’s entirety, or alow the public the time to contact thier senators and reps and make thier feeling about it known.

Posted by: dbs at February 18, 2009 1:24 PM
Comment #275811

Want to see where the bailout money went?

Interactive Map: TARP money by state

Also has a link to query certain banks.

Posted by: womanmarine at February 20, 2009 11:29 AM
Comment #275812

What will the stimulus bill cost per family?

Posted by: womanmarine at February 20, 2009 11:43 AM
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