Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Laissez-Faire Song

Republican whip Eric Cantor constantly sings the laissez-faire song and Republicans (and a few Democrats) supply the chorus. Leave markets alone. Markets can take care of themselves. Government regulation hurts the economy. Of course, Cantor is following the holy music that was composed by Goldwater and St. Reagan. The public has been enthralled by the music and we have deregulated the financial markets. Now that we’re faced by a terrible depression Cantor’s laissez-faire song sounds different.

Back in September, when Bush's Secretary Paulson, strayed from what used to be the Republican laissez-faire refrain by offering a $700 billion bailout to the financial industry, Cantor's lyrics were as follows:

I'm not necessarily advocating going forward, that the federal government be able to set salaries across the board for any company. I think that that is just not what we're about. We're a free market country. We always have been a free market country. We rely on the innovation in the private sector and the capital markets to help drive this economy.

Bailout? Yes. Telling private companies what to do? No.

Now that we are in the midst of the AIG fiasco, Cantor has changed his tune:

To date, the Administration still has not put forth a plan to show taxpayers how the government will be accountable for how their dollars are spent. Whether it is (Treasury) Secretary (Timothy) Geithner or someone else, the Administration must account for the spending of taxpayer dollars and answer the question as to why taxpayers were forced to reward some of the executives who created this mess.

Cantor is not the only one. Boehner, Gingrich and other laissez-faire enthusiasts are blasting away in the same manner.

I must say, though, that some Republican leaders, such as Rush Limbaugh, are staying close to the traditional music of laissez-faire. Limbaugh said that we should not interfere with the AIG bonuses. At least he is consistent.

So I am confused. What does laissez-faire mean? Leave business alone until they fail? Once they fail, the government should bail them out? Once they are bailed out they can do as they please again until they fail again?

Does Eric Cantor believe in laissez-faire or is laissez-faire merely a weapon with which to attack Democrats to protect his business friends? It's about time he sang a song that would be enjoyed by all Americans, not merely those in big business.

Posted by Paul Siegel at March 19, 2009 6:05 PM
Comments
Comment #278057

Paul,
There is an unspoken assumption that free markets are somehow pro-american. Free markets are only a mechanism. They will provide a solution. Whether that solution is favorable or humane or effecient or effective is unknown.

Conservatism has absolutely no idea what to propose right now. The GOP is opposed to whatever solutions are offered. Beyond that… nothing. Another unspoken assumption is that the market will recover in a timely fashion from asset deflation, that boom & bust cycles are short. There are still an awful lot of people who think this downturn is like previous recessions, which it most certainly is not.

Posted by: phx8 at March 19, 2009 7:06 PM
Comment #278064

I watched Cantor on television and read his statements. Even the statements you quote indicate moderation. You are not treating him fairly.

IN our free market economy, we need government regulation. We need rule of law. And we need the market forces. Each of these leans on the others as long as none of them get over powerful.

The current crisis was caused by a failure of regulation (government,) a failure of markets and breaking of the rule of law. Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd made a special point of blocking increased regulation on Freddie and Fannie (regulation failure). Crooks like Bernie Madoff actually broke the law that was in place (rule of law failure). Fools gave him their money for the promise of unusually high returns (market failure). We have to guard against all three.
Government is NOT separate from the rest of society. Government officials can be just as crooked as anybody else. We need to have a balance.

The stimulus package passed last week and the reaction show why we have to be circumspect. The administration asked that legislation allow bonuses to AIG. The legislature, led by Christopher Dodd did the deed. Then they were shocked – shocked – by the results. To save their asses, they used the tax system as a political weapon.

So let’s sum up. Government passes a stimulus package so fast that nobody read it. Various interest groups have their way with the taxpayer money. Among the powerful group is AIG, who gets the Treasury Secretary and a leading Senator to carry their water. When the public finds out, the politicians who did the nasty deed get up on their hind legs and scream at the head of AIG – the only guy in the room who didn’t profit from it. Remember, he works for $1 a year as a public service. Then congress, the ones who rushed into a spending program, want to rush into a punitive tax. And you wonder why some people call for moderation.

I am outraged that guys who lost money should get a bonus with taxpayer money. But remember it was the politicians who enabled them – specifically enabled them. They did this only weeks ago. All those who voted for the stimulus w/o reading it (probably all of them) are implicated. And now they want even more power.

BTW - bailing out failed businesses seems to be the flavor of this month. THIS congress and adminstration is doing it.

We have to add to the old saying. “If it moves, tax it; if it keeps on moving, regulate it; if it stops moving, subsidize it and if people are complaining dump a load of money on it.

When will we learn not to panic and do stupid things when we are under stress? Just because we need some regulation and intervention, doesn’t mean we should just open the gates to any dumb idea, subsidize any crook or pass any law.

After 9/11, most politicians (both parties) supported anything that was called “war on terror” Now most are willing to support anything that is called stimulus. See the pattern?

Posted by: Christine at March 19, 2009 10:13 PM
Comment #278076

Rep. Eric Cantor has a very interesting, unsettling, and sometimes confusing record when it comes to government intervention and policy affecting wages and compensation. Today he is screaming at Democrats because our government FAILED to dictate compensation rules for white collar workers of financial corporations receiving federal dollars.

His record on government policies aimed at lowering American blue collar and technical worker wages is very clear. Bills which will lower American wages or provide American jobs to foreign workers, he is for.

2003 - Voted against American workers by voting for worker-importation program (Singapore Free Trade Agreement)

2003 - Voted against American workers by voting in favor of worker-importation program (Chile Free Trade Agreement)

2005 - Voted against amendment to prohibit immigration increases in Free Trade Agreements (Tancredo Amendment to H.R. 2862)

2006 - Cosponsored bill to increase high-tech foreign-worker importation (H.R. 5744, the Securing Knowledge, Innovation, and Leadership Act of 2006 (SKIL Act).

2007 - Cosponsored bill to increase foreign-worker importation (H.R. 1930 (Securing Knowledge, Innovation, and Leadership [SKIL] Act of 2007).)

2007 - Opposed the bill raising American minimum wage saying after it passed on Fox news, “I am shocked”.

There is a general pattern. He generally opposes government actions geared to raising non-management employee wages, is opposed to government meddling with executive or managerial compensation, UNLESS the company is receiving tax payer dollars, in which case, according to his recent comments about AIG executive bonuses, government interference with executive compensation is just fine.

In other words, Eric Cantor is opposed to the middle class and poorer workers maintaining or improving their middle class standing through wages, but he is all for corporate and managerial salaried workers extracting whatever no limit compensation that can negotiate, provided, their business is not being bailed out of bankruptcy by tax payer dollars. I guess one could argue there is a consistent principle applied by Cantor. I just don’t see how anyone below the class of wealthy could logically accept such an argument however.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 20, 2009 3:48 AM
Comment #278082

I don’t know what it is about that guy. I remember seeing him at the advent of the tarp program. He had a smirk on his face that made me just want to punch him in the face. He looks like one of those mamby pamby spoiled rich kid momma’s boy that never had to work for anything in his life. I may be totally wrong, but that is just how he rubs me. He gives me the impression of a classic flip flopper. A tried and true republican that places the interests of the party far above those of the people. I suspect he will oppose whatever view the dems take, no matter it’s worth.

Posted by: RickIL at March 20, 2009 8:54 AM
Comment #278087

“I am outraged that guys who lost money should get a bonus with taxpayer money. But remember it was the politicians who enabled them – specifically enabled them.”

Christine are you saying the government forced these executives into taking this bonus? What hogwash. This “retention bonus” is nothing more that a ruse to side step previous laws. That someone leaves the company and is still able to receive a “retention bonus” should be telling in and of itself. Just because the feds excluded “bonuses” agreed to before a certain date does not force any company from giving out these “bonuses”. One has to wonder why, when the company is in such dire straits, this “bonus” issue in house.

The former executives responsible for the unregulated securities insured by this company should all be charged with fraud for the acts of this company. There is no difference between what Madoff did and what this company did.

“BTW - bailing out failed businesses seems to be the flavor of this month. THIS congress and adminstration is doing it.”

Christine where have you been the past 30 years? The repubs including the god of all things conservative have been bailing out their business interests for years. This is not new this is SOP, certainly you have heard the phrase “privatize the gain socialize the losses” well thank Reagan for it, at least this go around of it.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 20, 2009 11:13 AM
Comment #278094

In a Laissez-Faire spirit, my coworker and I just filed a patent on a portable teleprompter.

Get the word to the White House!

Posted by: Crusader at March 20, 2009 12:12 PM
Comment #278108

phx8:

There is an unspoken assumption that free markets are somehow pro-american.

I think it is far far more than an assumption. It’s more along the means of “Life, Liberty and the persuit of happiness.”

It’s also along the vein of the constitution of the United States, that limits the power of the State, and guarunttees our right to private property.

Private enterprise is not an assumpton, but is a matter of freedom. It is an act of freedom than many have given their blood.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at March 20, 2009 2:09 PM
Comment #278112

Craig,
No. “Free markets” are nothing like what the Founders imagined. The world has changed too much since then to even apply that terminology to economics and freedom. The Marxism of the 1800’s and the Chicago School of Economics last century share this in common: they conceive of individual citizens as primarily economic entities, who exist to produce and consume.

These economic entities share rights similar to corporations, as misinterpreted by the 14th amendment. It is obscene.

In truth, the Europeans are living in a fashion much more in touch with Constitutional principles than we we live today in the United States. As we reel from the results of the latest bout of boom and bust and corruption and deregulation and ‘privatization,’ we are coming to the realization that it does not have to be like this, and it should not be like this.

The world is changing for the better, Craig. The disastrous concept of laissez-faire capitalism, and the corrupt, unregulated, privatized obscenity known as ‘free market’ capitalism is in its death throes- let us hope it does not recover, because there is a chance something much better will take its place, and that all of us may thrive in the ways the Founders originally visualized: free, secure in our lives, healthy and long-lived, enjoying liberty and the pursuit of happiness…
Not the almighty buck.

Posted by: phx8 at March 20, 2009 3:19 PM
Comment #278117

Phx8:

I appreciate your thoughts. We live in the greatest economy the world has ever seen and live at an economoic level no people have ever experienced.

At the same time Europeans have lived with a much lower standard of living and high unemployment.

I would be happy to compare America with Europe.

It is interesting the China and India are moving billions of people out of poverty by using free market principles.

Old Europe is in far deeper trouble that we are. They are older, have a far greater legacy cost from it’s years of social spending.

Today we have just gotten the bill for the down payment on are move to European style social programs. The CBO just did an analysis of Obama’s budget. Trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see.

Our current president has placed our country on a firmer path toward bankruptsy. He will be stopped. The American people were not told the cost.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at March 20, 2009 4:00 PM
Comment #278119

Phx8:

Ok, let me go with you a ways here. Now we are in for something different, something new.

If you look carefully at the CBO chart here is the bottom line with Obama’s plan. Basically, he lowers taxes, because he lets bush’s taxes expire for higher income taxpayers but lowers them for the bottom 95%. Roughly a wash.

Then he increases expenses to about 24% of GDP from it’s historical 20% or so.

Now remember we are already on track for bankruptsy according to CBO. So your great big idea is simply to increase the size of goverment without paying for it, at a time when debt got us into this problem.

This is not related to the crisis. These numbers go way out to 2019 and still show a trillion dollar deficit.

And so, somehow Republicans are suppose to feel defeated and get on board with this radical budget proposal.

As Obama has reacently said, “I am OUTRAGED”. How can you propose trillion dollar deficits for the next 10 years? How can you bring that to the American people right when we have this AIG thing going on?

Posted by: Craig Holmes at March 20, 2009 4:27 PM
Comment #278126

I don’t see how any of this really matters. lassez-faire capitalism died long ago. No bid government contracts have been handed out for many years now. At least Cheney didn’t keep partial stake in Halliburton after he granted them billions. Johnson on the other hand rode around in the Bell helicopters he had stake in, after he handed out the no bid contract to them for the Vietnam war. The system is corrupt and led by the corrupt. The reason this guy is so seemingly stupid is to give him popularity and allow him to give the GOP a look of difference within the party. These people receiving the money right now owe all the congressmen who vote for them to get the money. Now after they cycle out of Congress they will move into the private sector making ten times as much, where? Within the industry who owes them for their well being. I think we would have figured this out after the flight from Congress to private companies who received government contracts. Lassez-fair is alive and well if your a senator using his seat to shop around for the highest bidder.

As far as how Obama should handle this debacle I don’t see how printing more money is going to solve anything. As the fed prints more money our money devalues. This is a much larger issue, the worth of our dollar. Expanded social programs and a lower standard of living will be the end result of this inflationary period. After a few more periods like this we will have a dual class system, which will arise seamlessly after decades, if not centuries, of planning and implementation. I look at the government as farmers not framers, right now they are doing a controlled burn to trim the fat. With economic uncertaintly I believe the birth-rate will slow if not go negative until a lower class is the class of the majority. At this point the population should then go up again. First though, the middle class must die. People aware of how poor they are know better than bringing more people into squalor. That is if the US doesn’t create a communist-like existence where we are born into a position, or lifestyle and have a very minimal chance of getting out of it. It is a similar concept to that of today, except there will not be the variation of which industry individuals are stuck in. We will all be led out to the fields to tend to the crop, so the world doesn’t starve. Food is what keeps us alive, and food is what made us so powerful. The world needs our food. If we lose our currency our food will still be worth money.

This concept of something better than the free-market doesn’t exist. The only way to change this is through controlling it. This is called communism. Lassez-faire should be excentuated and explained at a more developemental phase in our education system. Why isn’t this concept emphasized as American and free. This whole concept of under the table dealings to get the best deal, which is whatever deal puts your buddies in the money is rediculous. Or is it? That is the question. Is the cheapest always the best? Should cost be the decider in every venture, or should quality and cost be the ultimate factors. There is not anyway to win against the US government, we have been subjugated to the will of the government. This will not go away until the structure of it changes and grants the people with the power to punish the leaders directly. The only way for this to happen is if the Politicians choose for it to happen. This is just another example of how powerless we are and will remain. Regional control is all this system of government is set to give us. Centralized power will always exist to protect the aristocrats and keep them the aristocrats. If things were supposed to get better for everyone and the aristocrats weren’t protected, then this world would have a few more wealthy people in it, and the division between the classes wouldn’t be so dramatic or growing. The message we should all be receiving is, if your not rich your not going to be rich, unless we let you in the club. Hard work just gets you more hard work these days, I was told you will never be a rich man as long as you work for somebody else. How many of us work for the Government and don’t even know it. How many of us are trapped by where we were born, Lassez-faire exists for those who want to choose who gets a cut of their pie. We have all seen those signs that say, “we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.” This is lassez-faire capitalism in the eyes of the Government, they reserve the right to refuse business deals/service to anyone. Is this lassez-faire? Is this just discrimination? I don’t know if there is a difference at this point.

Posted by: chad at March 20, 2009 5:28 PM
Comment #278127

Craig,
Deficits for “defense” spending somehow never seem to be an issue, even as we invade a country Iraq on trumped up evidence. The most unequal distribution of wealth, in which the vast majority is concentrated among 1% of the population, with 2/3 of that inherited is never a problem, never raises questions with conservatives; yet the idea of deficits for health care or universal education are outrageous.

In Europe (and to some extent, Australia), jobs are secure. Baseline unemployment runs a few percent higher in Europ(until our plunge towards depression), but the consequences of unemployment are assuaged by social programs. People have less take-home pay, but have education through public university funded (in some, but not all countries), six weeks paid vacation, and universal health care. The Europeans have less violence, longer life expectancies, lower infant mortality, and access to the same goods and services as we have in the US.

Liberals and progressives and socialists didn’t light the fire. We’re being left to socialize the losses while the profits are privatized.

Uh uh. That’s enough. No more Chicago School of Economics “free markets.” No more wars on credit cards, and bailouts for Wall Street.

This time, let’s socialize something WORTH socializing, and let everyone benefit equally.

Posted by: phx8 at March 20, 2009 5:34 PM
Comment #278136

phx8:

At the end of WWII America’s economy was roughly the size of France Germany and England. Today our Economy is roughly the same size as the entire EU.

It is obvious that America has a faster rate of growth in the economy. Over time, lack of economic growth will bury socialist countries.

Take a look at this quote:

There are currently more elderly people than children living in the EU, as Europe’s young population has decreased by 21 percent - or 23 million — in 25 years, 10 percent of which in the last ten years alone.

Only 16.2 percent of today’s EU population is less than 14 years old, while one sixth (16.6 percent) is 65 years or more. In addition one out of every 25 EU citizens is over 80 years old.

Italy has the least young people (14.2%) and one out of every five Italians is more than 65 years old. At the other end of the scale, Ireland has the most youngsters (20.7%), according to a recently-released report by the Institute for Family Policies based in Spain.

The future belongs to the young not the old. The young are in China and India and they are moving away from socialism.


Posted by: Craig Holmes at March 20, 2009 6:31 PM
Comment #278138

Phx8

The % of the budget devoted to defense is about the same as it was in 1994 and lower than it was every year before that since 1940. The massive new spending proposed by the president will make that % very much smaller. The level of debt proposed by President Obama is unknown territory. That is why we should be careful.

We can talk about defense spending, but even if we assume we are at peace forever and we cut defense to zero the Obama proposals would still give us a level of debt never before achieved in peacetime. Never before has any president proposed such devastating numbers. We are taking 9 Trillion in deficits over ten years. And those are under optimistic scenarios for growth. Good luck to us. We will need it.

J2t2

I can remember the last 30 days. The same politicians who yelp about controling bonuses etc specifically voted to allow them. How can we trust politicians like Dodd or Frank who reward bad actors? How can we trust any of them who enthusiastically vote for a bill none of them has read? When will we get that transparency we were promised?

Posted by: Christine at March 20, 2009 6:44 PM
Comment #278139

Demographics and immigration and population explosions measure… what? Open v closed borders? Capitalism v Socialism v Communism? Access to natural resources? Amount of weaponry? It’s an interesting topic, but I don’t see how population-related issues support the success or failure of economic systems, unless you look at economies which are devastated by war and colonialism, and how neighbors benefit from over two million people fleeing, oh, say, Iraq.

By the way, there are some very interesting studies on the effect of Black Plague on Medieval populations in Europe. The lack of available workers, a tight labor pool, resulted in technological developments to enhance productivity.

But if that’s the case, the huge populations prior to the Plague would have to be chalked up to the rousing success of the economics of Feudalism.

Posted by: phx8 at March 20, 2009 6:47 PM
Comment #278142

“I can remember the last 30 days.”

Perhaps Christine you should take a moment to review what got us into the mess as opposed to what is going on whilst we are in the mess, after all that is the real issue.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 20, 2009 7:10 PM
Comment #278150

j2t2

What got us into this mess was a lack of proper regulation. Remember that Frank and Dodd blocked more oversight for Freddie and Fanny years ago. Remember that the derivitives bill was passed under the Clinton administration. I don’t say this to villify Democrats. I only mention them specifically because you are trying to draw some kind of distinction. I want to point to the general bipartisan problem with government.

The Republican led congress got us a bigger deficit. The Democratic congress did nothing to lessen it and now they want to push it farther than it has ever been before.

Now the same guys who gave us the problem want us to give them complete faith and freedom to solve it. Recent exprience with Dodd, Geitner, Pelosi, Waters, Frank etc, have indicated that they have not gotten any better.

The “real issue” is how to get out of this mess. If big spending was a problem under Republican from 2000-2006, will even bigger spending under Democrats 2007-? be better?

Posted by: Christine at March 20, 2009 8:13 PM
Comment #278157

There is a great deal at stake. It looks to me like America is about to go down as a world power. That may be the point. Obama’s deficits will have a reaction in the global markets with the US dollar.

It looks pretty bleak when you look at the CBO chart.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at March 20, 2009 9:44 PM
Comment #278163

“What got us into this mess was a lack of proper regulation. Remember that Frank and Dodd blocked more oversight for Freddie and Fanny years ago.”

Christine if Fannie and Freddie were the problem then why are we bailing out AIG? Don’t you think it is time to address the real problem?

“Remember that the derivitives bill was passed under the Clinton administration. I don’t say this to villify Democrats. I only mention them specifically because you are trying to draw some kind of distinction. I want to point to the general bipartisan problem with government.”

Yes Christine due to Phil Gramm the entire Congress and Clinton was fooled into passing the bill. FYI I am not a democrat and only because they are slightly less deliberately evil than the repubs, and because of the potential SCOTUS picks did I side with them. IMHO they are all a victim of the current method we are trapped into when choosing our elected representatives. As long as the repubs/cons side with corporate and special interest financing of elections things will not change.

“The Democratic congress did nothing to lessen it and now they want to push it farther than it has ever been before.”

What choice did they have. Poof, a miracle occurs doesn’t work in the real world. To turn the ship of state around requires time and effort. To use this as a reason to persecute them is unfair. Remember the repubs of the 110th were the obstructionist and proud of it. GWB also found his veto pen at the same time, funny how that happens.

“The “real issue” is how to get out of this mess. If big spending was a problem under Republican from 2000-2006, will even bigger spending under Democrats 2007-? be better?”

Yes I agree it is the issue. To what do we turn to as an example of what will get us out of this mess? The great depression is the logical answer IMHO. In a nutshell, Hoover did nothing for 4 years, putting his faith in the market. Of course the market failed him. So we have to do something, as FDR did. He adopted Hoover’s ideas amongst others and fought the conservatives of the time to allow many Americans to be able to continue to exist. Things of course slowed as he applied conventional logic and attempted to reduce the debt. So what do we do now? If the repubs/conservatives have their way we cut taxes. Or we act as if nothing is wrong and let the market work things out. Or we take the approach of the current administration and deal with the current problems, while understanding we are causing a debt problem. Who knows if it will work but we have to realize the tremendous debt problem left over from the previous administration only serves to further complicate things although they were adamant when they told us debt doesn’t matter. Seems we now have to face this problem at the same time. Complaining over small and inconsequential problems won’t work IMHO. The repubs/conservatives need to come to the table with constructive suggestions or stay to home and let the Obama administration handle it.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 21, 2009 12:16 AM
Comment #278167

J2t2,
Absolutely right. People like Christine repeat the same talking points about Frank and now Dodd. They blissfully ignore the fact that if the problem was only Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, bailing them out (which has already been done) should have instantly solved the problem. They ignore the multi-trillion pound gorilla in the middle of the room, as if the leveraging of mortgage derivatives was the equivalent of the problem with mortgages.

Thanks to a few pages inserted by Phil Gramm into an omnibus bill of over 10,000 pages, the futures and commodoties markets were allowed to run amok, and Gramm’s work specifically prevented any government regulation or oversight. Along with the repeal of Glass Steagal, it was one of the most destructive pieces of legislation in the history of the United States.

It was the result of a conservative philosophy of deregulation at any cost. Foreclosures and the problems with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were problems, but they could have been handled to the tune of three or four hundred billion, and that would have been the end of it. Instead, the lack of regulation in futures and commodities markets turned a serious problem into a catastrophic which threatens the US and the world with depression.

Kind of makes you yearn for the days of Terry Shiavo and Katrina’s aftermath and all those lies about Iraq…

Hey, remember when Bush took office, and the budget surplus was projected to be $10 trillion by the end of his term? Wow.

Posted by: phx8 at March 21, 2009 12:52 AM
Comment #278180

phx8:

Don’t even start with comparing George Bush and Obama. Obama is in a league of fiscal irresponsibility all his own. Trillion dollar deficits for ten years. America has never had a president propose such a thing except during WWII.

This is way way way way past Bush. Obama is unique.

Don’t compare Obama to the Republicans. He is way past them in irresponsibility as well. In the history of our country this is arguably the most irresponsible long term budget.

Imagine projecting a trillion dollar budget for the year 2019, which is two years after Obama is gone!!

And you on the left want to criticize Bush’s tax cuts. How can you even think that way? That is like the town drunk criticizing a social drinker.

This has nothing to do with the financial crisis. IT has everything to do with destroying the country with borrowed money over a ten year period.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at March 21, 2009 8:16 AM
Comment #278190

So that’s what they say and we’re supposed to believe it.

Posted by: Stephen Hines at March 21, 2009 12:04 PM
Comment #278212

Crusader and others have mentioned the President’s Teleprompter, can someone please tell me why, in a modern age, there would be fault found with someone who takes advantage of those modern technologies? Would you rather listen to Cheney/Bush trip all over his tongue?

Posted by: Marysdude at March 21, 2009 3:32 PM
Comment #278213

PS:

Does anyone think, even for a minute, that Cheney/Bush would have been able to use such a device?

Posted by: Marysdude at March 21, 2009 3:33 PM
Comment #278232

dude, when they resort to stupid comments about the teleprompter, it must mean they can’t find anything else legitimate to whine and bitch about. Considering the fact that most of Obama’s more recent speeches have been about the financial fiasco, I’d think having correct reference material on hand would be appreciated….even by dissenters. When one has constantly changing, moving, updating information to relay, then correct figures and sources are necessary.
Silly to consider that, after all the years of the opposite with Bush, but it’s really refreshing to say the least.

Posted by: jane doe at March 21, 2009 6:28 PM
Comment #278255

Yeah, janedoe…kinda like Craig and the others sudden concern with deficits and debt. The increases…double debt under Reagan, doubled again under BushI and tripled under Cheney/Bush, don’t count…and now that someone comes along with an honest stimulus and an honest budget, they fall all over themselves finding fault…go figure…

Posted by: Marysdude at March 22, 2009 9:05 AM
Comment #278335

Laissez-faire is based on theoretical ownership, either of things that never existed before, or of property to which any previous leaseholder or copyholder’s rights can not be upheld at law. It assumes that the government will always uphold the rights of the most recent purchaser of anything, regardless of any obligations incurred by any previous owner.

Posted by: bugger at March 23, 2009 12:32 PM
Comment #278606

Sometimes it amazes me to see the lack of historical perception that seems to permeate the country. The market has crashed somewhat severly only twice in the last eighty years. Yes we have had the boom and bust cycle that many are talking about but we have only had two extremely bad economical crisis in the last eighty years. My point is that most countries have had ten times the political, social and economic turmoil that America has had. Free markets generate competition, and competition my friends is the great equalizer. There should be laws to enforce morality in the financial world just as in the private world, but like in the private world the government should not presume they have ultimate control of a company that they have no stake in. The only time that the quality of life as well as prosperity increases in socialist and communist nations is when they start to make the transition to a free market sysstem. Dont take my word for it pick up a history book.

Posted by: T at March 25, 2009 4:31 PM
Comment #278609

oh and to marysdude, obama has added three times as much to the deficit in a micro fraction of the time. I am not naive and understand completely that sometimes you have to spend money to make money and that goes for the government as well as the public, but i just wish that Obama would have been more honest with the public during the campaign. His passing of a earmark laden bill after his vows of abstaining from such practices completely underminded any of the small confidence i had in him. During the the campaign he made his bread and butter from pointing the finger and not taking responsibility for his actions. He still does this by blaming Bush for him haing to pass the autobus bill. I stated during the campaign that if Obama came through on his campaign promises he would never have a problem or a hitch in his presidency and would go down as a great historical figure. The sad truth is that he has already broken many promises without justification to the public. It seems that he rode on a word he didnt trully understand the meaning of “change” all the way to inagruation day.

Posted by: T at March 25, 2009 4:57 PM
Comment #278610

P.S. As far as the teleprompter goes it seems disingenuous to the public for someone who is supposed to be the greatest orater of our time to be using a crutch. I understand the point of having correct reference material for economic adresses but he uses the thing for every thing he can get away whith e.g. anything except live press questions like yesterday. I have said for a long time now that while Bush had some quite laughable goofs if you had a camera on you niety percent of the time im sure you could put together a hour long blooper reel making you look like a Mr. Bean wannabee. It makes him look dependent and scared to face the public without a life boat. As for your comment on having it for the economic addresses i agree with yo one hundred percent but even then before the meeting starts give an acknowledgement of why you are using it.

Posted by: T at March 25, 2009 5:07 PM
Comment #279151

This jiveclown (me) says this: “In philosophy there are precepts and words used for communicating an idea. Two of them are abstract and concrete. Take the ‘idea’ of money. Imagine, in the terms of your choice, money magically being converted from being abstract to concrete and back again. Voila! What a neat trick! What happened? 12 billion dollars ‘disappeared’ from a 15 billion dollar portfolio, leaving only 3 billion dollars. Where’d it go? Was it a pension fund tied in with a private equity group? What about the do-gooder foundations? When a 1929 stockbroker in New York was looking at the ticker-tape throwing out lower and lower numbers by the minute did 23 acres of a wheatfield in Kansas magically disappear into thin air? Did the radio for sale on the shelf grow legs and walk away when nobody was looking?”
I’m a fan of cartoon physics as much as anyone. When I see it in real life I just can’t help but wonder why we go along with it. I don’t really believe that Wile E. Ceyote unknowingly defies gravity. It’s more difficult to believe that there is such a thing as homeless children and vacant housing, but there it is! And we go along with it because we don’t know the difference between abstract and concrete.

Posted by: Stephen Hines at March 29, 2009 7:28 PM
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