Democrats & Liberals Archives

Obama-Instigated Change

Republicans are throwing around negative inuendos, smears and outright lies about Obama - his citizenship, his religion, his fitness, his loyalty, his policies….. But I am most disgusted with the way Republicans malign Obama’s solid achievements with regard to the economy. Two things they scream most about are the bailouts and The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. They fail to say that the big financial bailout was the work of the Bush Administration. And they deliberately confuse the Recovery Act, with which Obama has instigated an era of economic change.

Everybody understands the Recovery Act as a jobs bill and it did produce 3 million jobs. But it is a lot more than a jobs bill. Obama and his advisors studied the economy and discovered that many of the lost jobs will not come back when the economy gets out of the ditch. So they worked hard to develop a plan to improve the economic structure, so that there would be more and better jobs in the future.

Many brilliant ideas are in the Recovery Act. Time Magazine presents a tremendous list. You must read the whole thing to get to understand the genius of this legislation. Here is an excerpt:

For starters, the Recovery Act is the most ambitious energy legislation in history, converting the Energy Department into the world's largest venture-capital fund. It's pouring $90 billion into clean energy, including unprecedented investments in a smart grid; energy efficiency; electric cars; renewable power from the sun, wind and earth; cleaner coal; advanced biofuels; and factories to manufacture green stuff in the U.S. The act will also triple the number of smart electric meters in our homes, quadruple the number of hybrids in the federal auto fleet and finance far-out energy research through a new government incubator modeled after the Pentagon agency that fathered the Internet. (See TIME's special report "After One Year, A Stimulus Report Card.")

..............The stimulus is also stocked with nonenergy game changers, like a tenfold increase in funding to expand access to broadband and an effort to sequence more than 2,300 complete human genomes — when only 34 were sequenced with all previous aid. There's $8 billion for a high-speed passenger rail network, the boldest federal transportation initiative since the interstate highways. There's $4.35 billion in Race to the Top grants to promote accountability in public schools, perhaps the most significant federal education initiative ever — it's already prompted 35 states and the District of Columbia to adopt reforms to qualify for the cash. There's $20 billion to move health records into the digital age, which should reduce redundant tests, dangerous drug interactions and errors caused by doctors with chicken-scratch handwriting. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius calls that initiative the foundation for Obama's health care reform and "maybe the single biggest component in improving quality and lowering costs."

Candidate Obama promised change and here is the change.

True, we are still in a grave depression. However, it takes time to extricate ourselves from a cataclysmic depression that has been brought about by decades of deregulation.

President Obama has achieved more in less than 2 years than had been achieved by most presidents during their time in office. Among the Big achievements are universal health care, financial reform and an economy-changing Stimulus. This is what is meant by Obama-instigated change.

Posted by Paul Siegel at August 26, 2010 8:25 PM
Comment #306905


The first stimulus, the one that saved the financial system, was a good thing. I considered that a bipartisan success, but if you want to credit only Bush, that is up to you.

The second stimulus, the one that Obama pushed through, has had mixed results. The unemployment rate predicted by the Obama folks in the WORST case if nothing was done, came to be passed WITH the stimulus. It really was mostly a costly failure.

It is interesting that the Obama folks claim to have created 3 million jobs, but unemployment lingers around 10%.

Posted by: C&J at August 26, 2010 9:31 PM
Comment #306907

It’s not an Obama ‘folks’ claim, it’s the CBO…oh well…better luck next time.

Posted by: Marysdude at August 26, 2010 10:15 PM
Comment #306909


“Create” 3 million, lose more than that it nets out that unemployment was something like 7% when Obama stimulated us. His advisers threatened that w/o stimulus unemployment could be more than 8%. It got to 10% and pretty much stuck there.

I am not so good at math, but it seems like if more people are unemployed than before, it is not so good.

Posted by: C&J at August 26, 2010 10:26 PM
Comment #306913


Do you often tell tales about the fish that got away? I bet it was a really big one.

Posted by: gergle at August 26, 2010 10:33 PM
Comment #306915


I just think this “created or saved” idea is BS. And I am getting sick of the facile Obama folk response to anything that “it would be worse.” We don’t know this. Recessions end. This one is taking longer to end than usual and I think it is not in spite of the stimulus but because of it.

Posted by: C&J at August 26, 2010 10:38 PM
Comment #306920

Why are democrats trying to distance themselves from Obama, Pelosi, and Reid?

Posted by: Beretta9 at August 26, 2010 11:22 PM
Comment #306924


I think you need to rearrange a couple of sentences.

This one is taking longer to end than usual and I think it is not in spite of the stimulus but because of it. ….We don’t know this.

We do, in fact, have experience with these kinds of economic conditions and do, in fact, know how economies respond to expansion and contraction of the monetary supply, and fiscal stimulus.

I get a little tired of those that refuse to believe reality and want to make up their own to fit their ideology.

Posted by: gergle at August 27, 2010 1:08 AM
Comment #306928


Don’t mind them…they have become Beckian in there thought waves and talking points.

C&J doubts that millions of jobs have been created and saved by the stimulus, but can speak unequivocally that the recession wasn’t so bad after all…is that a catch 22?

Posted by: Marysdude at August 27, 2010 6:34 AM
Comment #306931


I think there is always great uncertainty in these things economic. Experts cannot predict even a couple weeks out with the kinds of precision we like. I don’t know whether or not the second stimulus did much good and neither does anybody else. We still argue about whether the New Deal did more good than harm economically.

That is why I don’t go in for big government programs. They are always crap shoots based on poor information. That is why I think government should stick to creating general conditions of prosperity and let the people nearer to the situations, the ones with better information and more incentive to get it right, fill in the details.

So let me be clear. When talking about big government management, I don’t think only that Obama cannot do it; I think it cannot be don’t. The wise and experience leader stays away from things that cannot work. It is hubris to get involved the way he did.

Posted by: C&J at August 27, 2010 8:49 AM
Comment #306934

Jobs,cost, going green,!!!!!!!!! Do the American people not realize we are letting mainly foreign ships use our shipping lanes to pollute our waters trough ballast dumping and a carbon footprint, while they bring foreign manufactured goods into our country putting Americans out of work? Do they not realize that the cost of imports would rise with action by the Senate, to overcome Senator Boxers state rights objection to the legislation passed in the house 395-7 in 2008 for the change we needed to make America more cost competative manufactures. Do they not realize that the longer we wait, the edge we could have, is disapearing as foreign ships scramble, towards new technologies? The Senate through their lack of action is helping to destroy our environment and economy at the same time, as this obvious delay, benefits only economic globalization, over economic Americanization. Do the American people not realize in these though economic times States are being put in economic competition with each other, having to spend vast amounts of money to protect their waters against an international organization of primarily foreign economic interest, because of lack of national ballast water legislation? Dose President Obama care about any of this, since he has not bothered to address the states rights issues of just one Senator Boxer who held up the house legislation passed for the change we needed in 2008 to protect our environment and our jobs. Or as commander and chief dose he believe America can aford to wait for his purposed two decade military plan to start with yet another study for 14 months while many American suffer?

Posted by: Don Mitchel at August 27, 2010 9:02 AM
Comment #306935


Don’t you enjoy those ad hominem attacks. It can cause us to pause. I don’t watch Glen Beck, but what would it matter if I did. From what I see of him, he makes more sense than Rachel Maddow or Keith Olberman.

The pretense of intellectual superiority is unjustified and clearly not supported by the facts.

Posted by: C&J at August 27, 2010 9:05 AM
Comment #306938


I don’t know whether or not the second stimulus did much good and neither does anybody else. We still argue about whether the New Deal did more good than harm economically.

There are some that argue about whether the earth is flat and some that think the sun revolves about the earth. There isn’t serious argument about whether the stimulus had SOME effect. There is serious discussion as to whether it was enough. The New Deal did not end the depression. Relief helped people, at least, feel that someone was trying to meet their needs. There is no debate whether WWII spending stimulated the economy. Trying to make this a dichotomy of the new deal and monetary supply economic theory is utter nonsense.

Your post’s attitude of throwing your hands in the air saying no one knows, or worse, promoting some politically driven nonsense economic theory as the equivalent of fairly well understood economic principle, simply has no basis in fact or intelligent discussion of the issue.

Posted by: gergle at August 27, 2010 10:03 AM
Comment #306951

You don’t have to watch Glenn Beck to talk in circles like him, or to attempt to create doubt where there should be none. Who you watch or how you watch them is of no concern of mine, and neither is whether you believe I’m intellectually superior to you…I just don’t care.


You accused me of ad hominem (did you intellectually mean ad homonym?) attacks. Which attack was ad homonym? The one about taking a flier like Beck, or the one where you said the stimulus was not working but the economic situation was not as bad as first thought? Did it occur to you, in your wildest dreams (nightmares) that perhaps it was the stimulus that caused the downturn to not seem as bad as first thought? Hence…Catch 22. Please let me know where you found your ad hominem.

By the way, most noted economists believe the economy is actually farther from resolution than previously thought, so can President Obama be right and wrong at the same time about his stimulus?

The question has never been about whether the stimulus bill would solve all our economic woes, it has always been about whether the nation would be better off if we had it than if we did not. All but the absolute MOST conservative in all who speak on the subject agree that we were better off because of it, and that without it we would now be in a deep depression, or much farther along in getting there.

Posted by: Marysdude at August 27, 2010 1:18 PM
Comment #306954

Actually, the pretense of intellectual superiority is justified and clearly supported by the facts.

I am back to watching Beck on occasion. He is, or rather his staff is good at coming up with obscure facts and applying spin to make them conform to his message. Just as often, he leaves those obscure facts hanging without comment, allowing his faithful followers to apply those facts to their ideology.

Hear is some Glen Beck facts: Eisenhower is the Founding Father of desegregation and Wilson is the greatest bigot that ever sat in the White House. Beck presents facts to prove his point of view to some degree, but his conclusions are black or white because he omits a lot of colorful facts that when added, present a technicolor conclusion.

Posted by: jlw at August 27, 2010 2:04 PM
Comment #306959

The fact is the previous IN-PARTY and OUT-PARTY made things bad, and then the subsquent IN-PARTY and OUT-PARTY made things worse, and it never ends … at least, perahps not until enough voters learn that repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt incumbent politicians with 90% re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

It is so predictable how the IN-PARTY repeatedly tries to paint a rosy picture, and the OUT-PARTY repeatedly tries to sabotage the IN-PARTY, while the nation’s problems continue to grow in number and severity, and the voters repeatedly reward BOTH with 90% re-election rates, … , at least, perahps, until enough voters learn that repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt incumbent politicians with 90% re-election rates only leads to more pain and misery.

And when the OUT-PARTY isn’t sabotaging the IN-PARTY, they are trying to give them enough rope to hang themselves.

So BOTH appear to be doing about all they can do to destroy the nation.

While BOTH the IN-PARTY and OUT-PARTY have been taking turns running the nation into the ground (of course, with the voters approval and votes), the Democrats have had the vast majority in Congress all but 12 of the last 78 years.
We didn’t get where we’re at today in only the term of Bush (43).
So, how do Democrats explain away this fact?
The simple fact is, rewarding failure and corruption only creates more failure and corruption, which equates to more abuses, pain, and misery.

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Do-Nothing Congress with 85%-to-90% re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at August 27, 2010 3:23 PM
Comment #306960

This is what is meant by Obama-instigated change.

Posted by Paul Siegel at August 26, 2010

Right on Paul…we now understand what obama meant by change. You may not agree, but the majority of the voting public is not favorably impressed by the change he has wrought as evidenced by the polling data highly favoring R’s and C’s over D’s and L’s in the coming election.

I find it interesting that so many incumbent dems are avoiding town-hall meetings and instead, are opting for texting, safe meetings in bank lobbies, and factory sites where the attendees can be hand-picked. The anger over this congress and its legislation is palpable and obama shares in that anger.

In Texas, the dem candidate for governor refused a meeting with obama as are other dem candidates for races in other states.

I can’t wait for the 2012 presidential election. If obama runs and wins the dem nomination will he be running on a platform of more “change”, less “change”, or no “change”.

I am beginning to hear exactly how the new house (Republican/Conservative) leadership will work to defund, dismantle, and eliminate much of what this congress has foisted upon the American taxpayer. With recent polls showing substantial R majorities in many congressional races featuring incumbent dems, and considering that most are running against the obama “change” and current congress legislation, why would you believe that obama has it right?

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 27, 2010 3:45 PM
Comment #307026


In WWII we mobilized the country and put millions of our young men to work directly in the army. We also lost more than 400,000 of them killed. Worldwide 60 million people died in the war. That is not a way I want to reduce unemployment.


The ad hominem comes in when you dismiss good arguments by implying or saying outright that they come from Glen Beck. YOu are not attacking the arguments.

I don’t get your joke about ad homonym, so I cannot respond to it. That indeed has me stumped.


Interesting that you think that about intellectual superiority. It is not often I run into people who score in the 99th percentile, but evidently there are a few around here.

Posted by: C&J at August 28, 2010 3:30 PM
Comment #307179


If you think that is why we went to war in WWII then you are badly misinformed. It point’s out the MASSIVE spending that MUST be done to counter a MASSIVE depression.

You know, monetary and fiscal policy that changed the economic conditions and cycle. The piddling bit of stimulus we’ve done thus far doesn’t compare. If we we have to spend a bit more to keep from having to make this MASSIVE expenditure to recover the economy, then it’s money well spent.

There is no substitute for sound economic policies to reestablish a growing GDP. Political and ignorant rhetoric won’t solve a thing and will probably make it more expensive to resolve later.

Posted by: gergle at August 29, 2010 5:12 PM
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