Democrats & Liberals Archives

Ideas Tested to Destruction- Updated, With Correction

The Republicans just got their check returned from the marketplace ideas marked Insufficient Funds No matter how they do in this next election, the Republicans are running on fumes. The question for people out there, Democrats, Republicans, or otherwise, is when you want to realize this fact in your gut.

These people will fail you. Not like the Democrats have, dragged down by a fanatically closed-rank and closed-minded Senate minority that's filibustered everything of consequence to create an illusion of fecklessness. No, these people will fail you regardless of whether anybody stands in their way or not.

They had their tax cuts. They gave money to the rich. The rich sat on it. at the end of his administration, Bush had the worst job creation record since they started keeping records.

That is the Republican tax policy that they want to extend, at immense cost to the American Taxpayer. As in, $4 trillion dollars of cost over the next decade. I know Republicans will beat me over the head with the notion that somehow tax cuts aren't spending. Listen, if you can show me a way to deficit spend without having to take out a loan that American Taxpayers must pay back by law, be my guest and claim that.

Ezra Klein's comment is particularly pointed:

Take the deficit. Perhaps the two most consequential policies in the proposal are the full extension of the Bush tax cuts and the full repeal of the health-care law. The first would increase the deficit by more than $4 trillion over the next 10 years, and many trillions of dollars more after that. The second would increase the deficit by more than $100 billion over the next 10 years, and many trillions of dollars more after that. Nothing in the document comes close to paying for these two proposals, and the authors know it: The document never says that the policy proposals it offers will ultimately reduce the deficit.

Perhaps, you can tell me where the offsets are coming from. Funny that the GOP's come up with the deficit-increasing policy without first coming up with the spending offsets to absorb the cost. That's a problem in my book, really. Even if we can say that spending cuts are the way to keep this from continuing the runaway deficit effect, where are they? What are the proposals for that? The last Budget document from the Republicans that said anything about reducing the deficit put its resolution past my life expectancy!

I mean, my Watchblog colleagues on the right should understand that this is the time scale for any offsets that the GOP will claim:

In all the Ryan budget plan dubbed the "Roadmap for America's Future" would take the deficit from 11 percent of gross domestic product in 2009 to 4.8 percent in 2030 and 2.6 percent in 2050. The Congressional Budget Office shows the GOP plan would end the deficit around 2060 and they would produce a surplus of 6 percent of gross domestic product by 2083.

"The Roadmap would put the federal budget on a sustainable path, generating an annual budget surplus of about 5 percent of GDP by 2080," the CBO wrote in its analysis.

I spent most of Wednesday scouring the Ryan budget proposal to try and understand how he manages to cut the deficit and ultimately end it - in 50 or so years.

That, actually is the outer boundary, the most extreme example. Anything the Republicans push is likely to be more diluted, for the sake of not ruffling the feathers of voters.

It's pretty simple. Cut four hundred billion dollars out of the deficit every year, and somebody's ox is going to get gored. And really, if they don't have the guts to roll out the offsets now, when do you think they'll have the guts to do it? Here's my prediction: Either they'll never do it, or they'll kill your party doing it.

They can talk about defending the country, but they talk about it with the legacy of two badly mismanaged wars around their necks. Do you think America can honestly afford another? Will that important strategic point figure into things? Before Bush, no President ever signed a tax cut into law during a war. No President, no Congress ever had such misplaced trust in their ability to keep a war under control, in order to avoid balooning the deficit.

This was what Ron Brownstein Reported in 2003:

The further tax cuts Bush proposed last week will only deepen that hole. Because the operating side of the federal budget is already deeply in deficit, every penny of Bush's new tax cut would have to come from taxes raised for Social Security or by increasing the national debt. The Democratic staff on the Senate Budget Committee has estimated that if the new Bush tax cut plan passes, as well as the prescription drug plan for senior citizens he has endorsed, the national debt will balloon to $4.8 trillion in 2008.

Republicans looking to see Democrats wrong, can see them wrong right there, but it's no cause for celebration. According to the Treasury, the debt held by the public at that point was 6,369,318,869,476.54, 4.8 trillion got reached two years earlier. If you add what we borrow from the Social Security Trust Fund in, the national debt's trend goes from 6.3 trillion dollars to 10.7 trillion by then end of Dec. 2008.

Looking over the whole length of the Bush Administration, we go from 5.7 trillion to 10.7 trillion. This added debt doesn't simply sit there. A huge portion of Obama's deficit problems will simply come from him being statutorily required to pay back America's creditors. American taxpayers will pay back what they owe, and the result will be more debt they have to pay back later. This freight train of debt got its moment from the decisions of the party that now wants to get back in power and do the same.

Look at what they did with the manpower. Look at it. Look at all the stop-losses, the repeated deployments, the backdoor draft of the soldiers. Even a slight bit of foresight would be enough to see that we needed more soldiers early on. Republicans and Bush resisted that, though, until 2006. Until it was no longer their problem.

The Republican energy policy and transportation policy was to depend on fossil fuels and hope that the price didn't go so far up that it choked things up.

That, too failed. SUVs went from being fashionable to being white elephants.


Should I belabor the failure of the economy? Should I talk of Over The Counter Derivatives known only to party and counterparty, with investors and the federal government kept in the dark about how leveraged and obligated their banks were? Should I talk of the permissive nature of lending in the last decade that let these companies write trillions in bad loans without feeling the market's sting until it was too late?

Republicans had terrible ideas, based on idealized visions of the market that in no way resembled the actual black box of secrecy.

They're still promising to defend marriage as an institution. They, the people who gave "wide stance" and "hiking the appalachian trail" new meanings. They who keep on supporting a man who was caught going to prostitutes where he would engage in diaper-play.

At least when we liberals offer political jokes to the American people, they're coming out of Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert's mouths, not going on the ballot. I mean, do the Republicans bother to check the past of anybody they nominate for political office, or do they just trust that their mercenary media will do the job of getting people to overlook things like the blatant lack of qualifications? I mean, Republicans still carp and complain that Obama was too inexperienced, not enough time in Washington. So what do they do the next election? Nominate folks with even less experience, and idiots to boot.

I had a Republican roommate in college (no, it didn't really end well), and I remember him at least being in command of the facts. Yet I listen to the average Republican, average Tea Party Candidate right now, and I wonder which hole in their head their brains leaked out of. And it isn't the policy, it's the "I wouldn't say these things if I weren't looking to go down in flaming defeat" lines.

I mean, how many websites are they goingj to have to scrub of far-right references? How many Tea Party candidates are they going to have to lock away in rubber rooms, not even going on Fox News the Sunday after, in order to avoid alienating mainstream voters?

And really, lets face facts: Tea Party Candidates don't say anything any different than their Republican candidates. They talk about doing away with government agencies and department. So have Republicans, if you've paid attention. They talk about tax cuts, tax cuts, and more tax cuts.

Don't tell me you've never heard the Republicans talk about that!

They talk about restricting the growth of government. Like every other Repulblican. They talk of returning to Reagan's principles. They talk about getting rid of government regulation on Wall Street, on industry--

Well, hell, you've heard everything from them already.

Oh, but the difference is, they're supposed to mean it this time.

Folks, meet Lucy. This time, she's not going to pull the football away. Honest.

I know the Democrats haven't done their best in Washington, but they at least have tried to do what voters sent them to Washington to do. Just recently, they passed a small-business loans measure designed to finance 600,000 additional jobs. What have the Republicans done lately to increase the jobs out there?

What we have here is a party that has been crippled by the unprecedented behavior of its opposition and the weakness of its political caucus, and party that's not only doing the crippling, but says that it wants to do the same for the rest of the government.

For thirty years, we've spoken of reducing government, of setting tax rates so that the rich could sprinkle down the money they were given upon the masses, of getting tough with our enemies- this that and the other thing. Republicans said that they could reform the society in their image, clearing away all that troublesome deviancy and lechery.

Republican ideas have been tested to destruction. Ours, and theirs. If they had come back with new ideas, I could see that it was reasonable to react like this was some kind of marvellous event, but as far as I can see, all the Republicans are trying to do is re-win 1994's mid-term, and then do things exactly the same from there.

Given a track record that includes writing the legislation that made banks too big to fail, legislating to remove regulatory authority from the Federal Government concerning OTC Derivatives, writing the industry laws that allowed The Macondo Well drilling operation to rush through the permitting process, with no real plan to handle the environmental threat of an blowout, writing and passing the original, expensive, and ultimately economically ineffectual Bush Tax Cuts...

Well, why in the name of all that is good and pure in the world are we going to vote these morons back into the majority? Because the Democrats haven't been good enough? Because a bunch of angry bigoted tricorner hat fetishists with no real sense of history, recent or distant say what they've done is dangerous socialism? Because Republicans promise this time that they'll do better, but they'll do nothing different either?

The Republicans in Washington today are used car salesmen. They sold us a lemon the last time, and now they're going to sell us the same vehicle again, this time with the promise that it's going to run like new.

Tell me, folks: do you want to wake up a year from now, counting the days until you can vote these dumbasses out of office once again, or do you want to walk away from the used car dealership while you still have money left in your wallet?

Correction: In defending the claim that the Republican's tax plan would cost about 4 Trillion dollars, I ran across a bit of uncomfortable and inconvenient information. Rather than pretend its not there, I'll offer it up here: The measurement for the four trillion over ten years comes from the baseline of what happens when and if all the Bush Tax Cuts expire. Obama's Tax Cuts, which include the middle class and poor income brackets, and the AMT fix to keep the upper middle class from paying taxes designed for the rich, will cost three trillion dollars from the baseline.

In other words, the Obama Plan, while only costing 75% of the Republican Plan, still adds a significant amount to the deficit. That means supporting the Obama Plan is better, fiscally speaking, but nowhere near a full cancellation of that four trillion price tag.

What will make setting the tax levels challenging is the cash-strapped nature of our economy. Already, Obama put off his promised ending of the upper class tax cuts for fear that ending them early would destablize the economy. Now that things are better, it's still an open question, but the programmed end of the Bush Tax Cuts, the end prescribed by the law as the Republicans wrote it to get it past reconciliation, forces the matter.

So, there's the truth. If this causes you to reassess my points, well that's the point. I wouldn't want to mislead people on purpose, knowing the truth, because that kind of action has a nasty habit of coming back to bite you.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at September 26, 2010 1:40 PM
Comments
Comment #309274

“The Republicans in Washington today are used car salesmen. They sold us a lemon the last time, and now they’re going to sell us the same vehicle again, this time with the promise that it’s going to run like new.”

The democrats are TV repairmen. So what’s the difference. Nothing. So you gave an example of your thoughts about republicans that also fit the democrats. The point is politicians of all colors are taking the country down the tubes.

Of course democrats never elect criminals to public office. Impeached judge Alcee Hastings is an exception. And, well going down that road opens up a instutional size can of worms for both parties.

Stephen, you sure used a lot of words to give your opinion, which is that you are nervous about the left wing party losing some power in WDC this fall. Welcome to reality. People don’t like where the country is going and they are about to alter that concept. We have had an AD HOCKEY program of power grab. AD HOC=Another Democrat Hope And Change Keeps Entertaining You. Because if they are serious then the country is in dire straits and both parties are to blame for it. Try to understand that.

Posted by: tom humes at September 26, 2010 4:27 PM
Comment #309277

Mr. Daugherty wrote; “That is the Republican tax policy that they want to extend, at immense cost to the American Taxpayer. As in, $4 trillion dollars of cost over the next decade.”

The $4 trillion dollar figure comes from a link to the Washington Post and the author of that figure offered not one single piece of information or source to substantiate it.

Isn’t it interesting that Mr. Daugherty, in his uncountable previous comments proclaims to be someone who seeks out facts and disregards all else, yet appears, by his linking to it, to have swallowed this bull shit with no fact finding proof necessary. I have posted numerous times the information offered by CBO clearly showing that the Bush era tax cuts have shaved only a few percentage points off our tax revenue.

However, Mr. Daugherty in his comments, once again becomes a hypocrit by saying one thing and doing something else completely. I must say, I am not impressed or surprised.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 26, 2010 5:02 PM
Comment #309279

RF
Just standard SOP

Posted by: tom humes at September 26, 2010 5:55 PM
Comment #309280

RF,

Standard SOP is redundant.

Posted by: Marysdude at September 26, 2010 5:59 PM
Comment #309284

Royal Flush-
Oh? I would think he would tell you that these would be Tax Policy Center, Joint Committee on Taxation, Office of Management and Budget projections for the extension of all the Bush Tax Cuts.

If you want to call me a hypocrite, it helps if you prove me false, first. They are reporting this in the regular news, not merely in Ezra Klein’s column.

If you have a problem with the information, take it up with them. Of course, there’s a catch in there somewhere, if you’re willing to look, but if you’re not, then you’re not. I discovered in researching my response to you that part of my argument is not entirely true, but if you’re unwilling to do the research, it may not occur to you.

Once you find it, I will issue a correction to the post above, and take the hit. But until you hold me accountable on the facts, and not on your pre-concieved notions of truth, you won’t get anywhere. Here’s a hint: What’s that increase in the deficit being measured from?

(Regardless of what happens, though, the Republicans will still be creating larger deficits than Obama. The question you have to answer is, by how much?)

As for everything else? Look, you can say “shaved percentage points”, or you can say “Added trillions of dollars to the deficit by not paying for any of his spending in any way while cutting taxes at the same time.”

You can argue that he improved business, but from what standpoint? You might say it was an economic success, but with such anemic jobs figures, and the the fact that much of the growth was the result of the housing bubble whose bursting is now killing the markets, what success is there to celebrate? Your economic policies lined one pocket only to pick the other, and the price of those tax cuts is going to be paid in a long term increase in interest rates and taxation that’s almost guaranteed as a result.

Where are your facts then? To what can you appeal?

tom humes-
I get the feeling that the reason some people are saying “everybody’s taking us down the tubes” is to mask just how much the policy of one party, the political ideology of one side of the American political spectrum contributed to it. Yes, both sides of the aisle were involved. But who lead? Who insisted loudest and proudest on it, and now can’t be talked out of it?

For all the talk of Republicans as the fiscal heroes, their policy approach is useless. For one thing, it’s ill-timed. Now’s not the time to try and squeeze the public or federal outlays for more money. But apart from that, they never work both sides of the equation when they do their tax cuts.

That is to say, they never balance tax cuts with spending cuts in any kind of reliable way. That’s why debt skyrocketed and deficits got out of control on their watch. They don’t care to be realistic about it, they’ve completely politicized taxation and spending policies to where few people in Washington are actually crunching the numbers right.

As for Democrats never electing criminals? Don’t be silly. There are crooks in every party, and they get elected the old-fashioned way: sweet-talking. Blarney. The question is, do the folks in charge hide things, or do they bring out the perpetrators to face accountability. The Democrats, despite our political problems, have Rangel and Waters out there with ethics hearings coming up. We’re not being soft on them. We’re not covering for their behavior for years on end.

As for my argument? My argument, backed by facts, is that if you don’t like where Washington is going these days, you’re better off not switching parties at the polls this november, because however Democrats might disappoint you, Republican policies promise even worse results.

I won’t deny that the Democrats have earned a lot of flack over the past two years. There’s going to be a lot of people looking to primary certain folks coming 2012. However, Republicans are responsible for most of the gridlock, and their plans and behavior around lobbyists indicate that they’re simply going to return to old tricks.

The fact that a very recently former lobbyist was the Republican staff member who wrote this pledge.

Yeah. Kind of puts it in perspective, doesn’t it? Come up with all the cute slogans you want to. It won’t help the right do any better in the long run.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 26, 2010 6:37 PM
Comment #309286

Mr. Daugherty wrote’ “I discovered in researching my response to you that part of my argument is not entirely true…”

Do a lot more research Mr. Daugherty and you will find most of your comments about taxes and spending are cockeyed nonsense taken directly from those who would socialize our entire economy.

Our current revenue from taxes is within one or two percentage points of our nation’s historical average based upon GDP. Our current tax rates are not the problem, excess spending is the problem.

I wonder if any of the libersocialists recall all the pork that was promised and spent to pass the HC legislation? All this useless spending was applauded by these mental midgets as necessary to purchase votes for another huge entitlement program that, if it follows the example of SS, Medicare and Medicaid, will become hugely and wastefully bloated soaking up ever more scarce resources. None of the three existing social experiments mentioned have lived up to the dreams of their authors. All are hugely expensive and failed social engineering designed to enslave and impoverish working men and women.

These entitlement programs, and their continued growth, appeals to the lazy and ignorant, those who desire a free ride on the backs of those who do work, and represents the constituency of the democrat party. The dems, seeing their failed policies crumble, and unable to pass even more legislation to curry favor among this group now have their sights set on another huge potential voting block…the illegals.

With the defeat of the libersocialists legislators in November their fondest wishes of legalizing millions of illegals to vote for them will vanish. This alone, will save our nation’s treasury untold and uncountable trillions of dollars.

I am continually amazed by Mr. Daugherty’s comments praising needless pork spending to pass cripling legislation and then bashing conservatives for objecting.

As I read it, his comments are merely justification for more “social justice” at the expense of working Americans.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 26, 2010 7:40 PM
Comment #309292

Robert Reich had this to say, “John Boehner, the Republican House leader who will become Speaker if Democrats lose control of the House in the upcoming midterms, recently offered his solution to the current economic crisis: “Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmer, liquidate real estate. It will purge the rottenness out of the system. People will work harder, lead a more moral life.
Actually, those weren’t Boehner’s words. They were uttered by Herbert Hoover’s treasury secretary, millionaire industrialist Andrew Mellon, after the Great Crash of 1929.
But they might as well have been Boehner’s because Hoover’s and Mellon’s means of purging the rottenness was by doing exactly what Boehner and his colleagues are now calling for: shrink government, cut the federal deficit, reduce the national debt, and balance the budget.”

Gee, ain’t it funny how time slips away?

Posted by: Marysdude at September 26, 2010 9:30 PM
Comment #309295

Mr. Hanson sums up the need for a change in leadership and direction far better than I can.


Victor Davis Hanson

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September 23, 2010 12:00 A.M.

A Nation of Peasants?
The U.S. has returned to deriding “trickle-down” economics.


Traditional peasant societies believe in only a limited amount of good. The more your neighbor earns, the less someone else gets. Profits are seen as a sort of theft; they must be either hidden or redistributed. Envy, rather than admiration of success, reigns.

In contrast, Western civilization began with a very different, ancient Greek idea of an autonomous citizen, not an indentured serf or subsistence peasant. The small, independent landowner — if he was left to his own talents, and if his success was protected by, and from, government — would create new sources of wealth for everyone. The resulting greater bounty for the poor soon trumped their old jealousy of the better-off.


Citizens of ancient Greece and Italy soon proved more prosperous and free than either the tribal folk to the north and west or the imperial subjects to the south and east. The success of later Western civilization in general, and America in particular, is a testament to this legacy of the freedom of the individual in the widest political and economic sense.

We seem to be forgetting that lately — though Mao Zedong’s redistributive failures in China, or present-day bankrupt Greece, should warn us about what happens when government tries to enforce an equality of result rather than equality of opportunity.

Even after the failure of statism at the end of the Cold War, the disasters of socialism in Venezuela and Cuba, and the recent financial meltdowns in the European Union, America is returning to a peasant mentality of a limited good that redistributes wealth rather than creates it. Candidate Obama’s “spread the wealth” slip to Joe the Plumber simply was upgraded to President Obama’s “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.”

The more his administration castigates insurers, businesses, and doctors; raises taxes on the upper income brackets; and imposes additional regulations, the more those who create wealth are deciding to sit out, neither hiring nor lending. The result is that traditional self-interested profit-makers are locking up trillions of dollars in unspent cash rather than using it to take risks, since they will likely either lose money due to new red tape or see much of their profit confiscated through higher taxes.

No wonder that in such a climate of fear and suspicion, unemployment remains near 10 percent. Deficits chronically exceed $1 trillion per annum. And now the poverty rate has hit a historic high. We are all getting poorer in hopes that a few won’t get richer.

The public is seldom told that 1 percent of taxpayers already pay 40 percent of the income taxes collected, while 40 percent of income earners are exempt from federal income tax — or that present entitlements like Medicare and Social Security are financially unsustainable. Instead, they hear more often that those who manage to make above $250,000 per year have obligations to the rest of us to give back about 60 percent of what they earn in higher health-care and income taxes — together with payroll and rising state income taxes, and along with increased capital-gains and inheritance taxes.

That limited-good mindset expects that businesses will agree that they now make enough money and so have no need to pursue any more profits at the expense of others. Therefore, they will gladly still hire the unemployed and buy new equipment — as they pay higher health-care or income taxes to a government that knows far better how to redistribute their income to the more needy or deserving.

This peasant approach to commerce also assumes that businesses either cannot understand administration signals or can do nothing about them. So who cares that in the Chrysler bankruptcy settlement, the government quite arbitrarily put the unions in front of the legally entitled lenders?

Health insurers should not mind that Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius just warned them to keep their profits down and their mouths shut — or face exclusion from health-care markets.

I suppose that no corporation should worry that the government arbitrarily announced — without benefit of a law or court ruling — that it wanted BP to put up $20 billion in cleanup costs for the Gulf spill.

What optimistic Americans used to call a rising tide that lifts all boats is now once again derided as trickle-down economics. In other words, a newly peasant-minded America is willing to become collectively poorer so that some will not become wealthier.

The present economy suggests that it is surely getting its wish.

— Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and the author, most recently, of The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern. © 2010 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Posted by: Skeptical Boomer at September 26, 2010 10:16 PM
Comment #309298

“Actually, those weren’t Boehner’s words. They were uttered by Herbert Hoover’s treasury secretary, millionaire industrialist Andrew Mellon, after the Great Crash of 1929.”


Wasn’t it Pelosi that said, “Let them eat cake”?

She believes she is a queen.

Posted by: TomT at September 26, 2010 10:54 PM
Comment #309300

Why do you people lie?

Posted by: Jeff at September 26, 2010 11:53 PM
Comment #309301

Jeff…because it gets a response, even if it’s negative.

Posted by: jane doe at September 27, 2010 12:28 AM
Comment #309302

Speptical Boomer,
The article by Hanson is weird. I don’t believe he is really a historian or a ‘classicist.’ He presents a curious alternate history about Greece and Rome in which he basically just makes up whatever he wants, and then comes out with this lulu:

“Even after the failure of statism at the end of the Cold War, the disasters of socialism in Venezuela and Cuba, and the recent financial meltdowns in the European Union, America is returning to a peasant mentality of a limited good that redistributes wealth rather than creates it.”

He ignores the 800 lb gorilla in the room, the collapse of the US financial sector in 2007-2008, which dwarfs the so-called disasters in Venezuela and Cuba. He ignores the role the EU played in SAVING the US economy. They floated us, especially Merkel and the Germans, even though they detested Bush and the foolish policies which led to the collapse in the first place. The author also manages to ignore the Great Depression.

Hanson, supposedly a historian- of what planet, I’m not sure- manages to conduct a dismissal of peasants and a toadying, bootlicking paean to his wealthy betters without even mentioning the French Revolution, the role of the peasants, or the deep distrust with which the Founding Fathers viewed Big Business.

It’s even funnier because the next comment by Tom T refers to a phrase from the French Revolution: ‘let them eat cake.’

The influence of that revolution is inescapable, even when Tom T seeks to use humor to attack a liberal. The French peasants revolted because trickle-down economics did not work, France had engaged in a series of very costly losing wars, and the peasants were starving by the millions.

If conservatives like Mr Hanson want to worship at the altar of trickle-down economics, fine, just say so. Toady away. Kowtow everytime a perceived superior enters the room. Go for it. But please don’t pretend government is the problem, and ultra-rich people are the solution. About 60% of the ultra wealthy inherit their wealth, they don’t create it. Labor creates wealth. In historical terms, the middle class rose despite trickle-down economics, not because of it; bloody conflicts ranging from the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, the German riots of 1848, the US Civil War, and the labor movement were required for the middle class to succeed, not passively waiting for the crumbs of wealth to come floating down some kind of economic sewer.


Posted by: phx8 at September 27, 2010 12:49 AM
Comment #309303

Royal Flush-

Do a lot more research Mr. Daugherty and you will find most of your comments about taxes and spending are cockeyed nonsense taken directly from those who would socialize our entire economy.

So, you decided to base your argument on more Ad Hominem BS?

Most of my comments about taxing and spending are taken from those who are capitalists that don’t agree with your straitjacketed mentality on markets. As for Socializing our economy? Look, the car companies are not being run by the state. The banks were not nationalized. If that is your idea of socialism, then your idea of socialism is badly distorted.

You really didn’t take the bait, did you? You didn’t find out the dirty little secret, did you? Instead of actually investigating and examining the problem with my initial assumption, you instead decided to go on another slogan-packed ad hominem rant against libersocialists.

And by doing that, missed the fact that Obama’s tax cut plan, as currently formulated, would cost three trillion dollars over ten years, to the Republican’s four trillion.

Pity, really. That could have been a big scoop on your part. But instead I’m going to admit the fact, openly, and to everybody here. I’m going to post a correction, but the record here is going to reflect the fact that you decided to go after me with talking points, rather than think for yourself, find out for yourself.

All you do in your arguments as of late is find creative names to call liberals and Democrats, and insist that we’re the ones who are worse. Under Republicans, the earmarks got up to $29 Billion. You say they increased under Democrats. Instead, they’ve been steadily decreasing.

I am continually amazed by Mr. Daugherty’s comments praising needless pork spending to pass cripling legislation and then bashing conservatives for objecting.

As I read it, his comments are merely justification for more “social justice” at the expense of working Americans.

The only truly amazing thing is that you didn’t bust a blood-vessel writing that epic sentence of perjorative demagoguery. I am a working American. I grew up in a working class household. I endured lay-offs with my family, and saw my father nearly get worked to death by people supremely ungrateful for his top-notch work.

I’ve seen what the expense and the shortfalls of modern healthcare do to people first-hand, how medical mistakes and bad drugs can damage people’s lives.

I understand the need for social justice from a standpoint of bitter experience. I understand the good government programs can do in terms of keeping the people I love alive, and keeping those I love from being utterly ruined by bad circumstances. Personal experience, and knowledge of how bad the alternatives could be, informs my perspective.

And yes, I am still all for making Americans out of those who have really known no other life, and who didn’t commit the immigration crime themselves. Those kids’ homes are here. They have no life in the country of their birth to return to, and they aren’t here by their own fault.

Skeptical Boomer-
It’s been observed that the reason that the Rich pay more of the taxes is that they take in the lion’s share of the money. Why tax the Rich? Simple: they got the money, and you won’t hurt the economy if you increase their taxes moderately.

Which is what this increase is. They will pay about 39% income tax, and that will only be on their top bracket of income. Also, though, if Obama passes his tax cuts, They’ll get a cut of it, because their lower brackets would keep the cuts.

TomT-
Right. Can we speak of the irony of a never fully attributed comment like that getting tacked onto a speaker of the house who actually oversaw the legislation of several aid packages for those out of work by people who have worked consistently to force Americans to gut it all out?

Really. The Right Nowadays will say anything, anything remotely negative, in order to tar and feather the Democrats. This is half of what depresses me about arguing with Republicans nowadays. The constant river of ugliness and contempt, with no attempt at all to really nail down the facts of the matter. Just say anything you can to defame those on the left, and even in the center.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 27, 2010 2:17 AM
Comment #309306

Stephen,

Mexicans have been crossing the border to find work since before New Mexico joined the Union in 1912. The 14th took effect in 1868. Those babies since (Mexico was in a recession in the early nineteens) born here became citizens. They are not all innocent children we are talking about, many are full fledged adults and many have grown old and died here as good productive citizens. History is in favor of leaving the 14th alone.

Posted by: Marysdude at September 27, 2010 6:17 AM
Comment #309307

Marysdude-
I was talking about the DREAM act.

And I am fully on board with leaving the 14th alone. But as Congress is free to determine, hell, called to determine other cases beyond that in its enumerated powers, the DREAM Act is well within its authority.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 27, 2010 8:10 AM
Comment #309308

PHX8,
Why trickledown ecomics may be paclakaged and sold to work, all one has to do is look at how well trickledown inheritence has worked.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 27, 2010 8:20 AM
Comment #309310

Stephen,

I stepped out of thread when I spoke of children of the 14th amendment. I noticed you spoke to RF about children being born here, and like the media, never say that many of those children are hardly children. Some came here in the early twentieth century, lived here all their lives and died here. Most of those were productive non-citizens of the United States. We are not speaking of only babies when we refer to ‘anchor’ babies, we are speaking of a long line of very good, productive non-citizens.

Posted by: Marysdude at September 27, 2010 9:29 AM
Comment #309311

Royal Flush, Republicans, by adding 5 Trillion dollars to our national debt, raised taxes on future tax payers for years and years to come. That money has to be repaid, or our government defaults, and nearly all Americans go down the economic drain.

Republicans, RF, NOT DEMOCRATS, raised the taxes by 5 trillion dollars in the long run, and reduced taxes in the short run by 2.74 Trillion through 2008 while at the same time delivering a trashed economy and Great Recession through their deregulation ideology which turned a blind eye to the mortgage and banking industries activities.

Health Care reform adds nothing to the debt. Financial regulation added nothing to the debt. The TARP, a Republican bail out of banks, has been repaid in great part under Democrats. The costs of Afghanistan and Iraq wars have been included in Obama’s budgets without bookkeeping tricks like those used by Republicans to fund the wars OFF THE BUDGET through years of so called “emergency appropriations”.

Stephen D. is on to something here, real, and tangible, empirical, and verifiable. The Republican’s “Pledge” amounts to further erosion of our economy, and deepening our debt. Some Republican candidates have been campaigning on privatizing Social Security and getting rid of Medicare. While getting rid of Medicare would solve our long term structural debt increases, it would also bankrupt half or more of the American population over the next 50 years.

Democrats have disappointed voters on many counts, but, when it comes to practically balancing the demands of the voters with strategies to hold down the debt and deficits while rebuilding an economy, their actions are substantially better than what Republicans are offering.

The wealthiest in America are not investing their largess in job growth due to the lack of domestic consumer demand and the prospect of a sluggish economy going forward. 2 Trillion of their cash is sitting on the side lines or being invested in better returns in foreign investment instruments, or commodities in ever increasing demand in the BRIC countries. Which means, Republicans insistence on tax cuts for the wealthiest would not result in more jobs. NOT IN THIS ECONOMY.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 27, 2010 10:09 AM
Comment #309317

Dude wrote; “Boehner and his colleagues are now calling for: shrink government, cut the federal deficit, reduce the national debt, and balance the budget.”

Hmmm…sounds good to me. What part do you disagree with dude? Do you actually wish to grow government, increase the federal deficit, increase the national debt and have the budget even more out of balance? If so, please exlain why.

Skeptical Boomer wrote; “We are all getting poorer in hopes that a few won’t get richer.”

Excellent post Boomer and I just love the line quoted that you wrote. That succinctly sums it up.

Mr. Daugherty wrote; “You really didn’t take the bait, did you? You didn’t find out the dirty little secret, did you?

Of course not Mr. Daugherty…your ploys and simplistic baits and traps aren’t worth my time.

Mr. Daugherty also wrote; “I understand the good government programs can do in terms of keeping the people I love alive, and keeping those I love from being utterly ruined by bad circumstances.”

Did anyone notice that he praises “good government programs” as being an entity that displays sympathy and help for the needy…not the American taxpayer. He totally ignores all the non-government charitable organizations that help millions of American with freely given donations, not a myriad of bloated and wasteful government programs funded by taxes collected by threat of force.

Where is his gratitude to his fellow American for paying the bills for this generosity? And, just where is the end of this “social justice” he imagines is a right.

Mr. Remer writes; “Health Care reform adds nothing to the debt.”

This contention has been argued by both sides and in my opinion is false. I would ask Mr. Remer if the nation’s other huge entitlement programs…Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid added nothing to the debt. Of course, we know they have and do. Why would we expect anything different from the HC reform legislation?


Posted by: Royal Flush at September 27, 2010 1:31 PM
Comment #309319

Royal Flush,
“We are all getting poorer in hopes that a few won’t get richer.”

That is the whole problem. The rich are getting richer at the expense of the other 99% of the population; for example, CEO compensation has increased dramatically, while non-supervisory wages remain stagnant, or even decline. Wealth is becoming more and more concentrated in a tiny fraction of the population, while the vast majority produces products and services of real value, and sees its share of the wealth stay the same, or drop.

“We the people” saw the US economy boom after WWII through the 60’s, even though the highest income brackets were as high as 90, and still at 70% during the Kennedy years. The middle class boomed, people earned a living wage, employees enjoyed benefits and retirement, and, as a result of the increased purchasing power, everyone benefitted, rich and poor alike. The size of the proverbial pie grew.

The current conservative philosophy is to keep the size of the economic pie the same, but redistribute how the slices are allocated. It has proven to be an economic disaster. Incredibly, the conservatives seem to want to do the same thing again. They will say anything to regain power.

That article by Victor Davis Hanson is a good example. It is complete crap. He just made up stuff out of whole cloth, and ignored the economic collapse in 2007 - 2008. Incredible. That’s some historian you got yourself there. I guess that’s what it takes to be in a ‘think tank’ named ‘The Hoover Institution.’

Posted by: phx8 at September 27, 2010 2:50 PM
Comment #309320

Royal Flush-
Context does wonders on this one. Hoover’s economic team tried austerity at the beginning of the Great Depression. Did it work? Absolutely not. Why?

When your basic problem is that the economy doesn’t have the cashflow to sustain healthy activity, then when you take from that cashflow to try and seal up deficits, you worsen the economy, and the economy in turn worsens the fiscal situation, by requiring extra expenditures and preventing sufficient taxes from being gathered.

Another issue, if you’re trying things the supply side way, is that the marginal gains on spending by the people with money to spend is nowhere near enough to counter the economic hole of so many in unemployment, or worse.

You can’t solve a fiscal problem like we have with an economic problem like this distorting America’s cashflow. Solve the economic problem, and the revenues will go up, and the other expenditures go down. You’ll have to deal with the deficits you ran to undo the situation, but if you did nothing (or are doing nothing right now) The economic problems have their own fiscal price, and you pay that whether you like it or not. With up to forty percent of the deficit a result of the hard times, this is no small matter to be concerned with.

Excellent post Boomer and I just love the line quoted that you wrote. That succinctly sums it up.

Let me succinctly sum up the problem with Victor David Hansen’s point: The rich got richer, and did we get rich, too? No. The four hundred richest Americans are worth over a trillion dollars together, and that’s a rise from last year. Did everybody else see a corresponding increase? No. The Rich have a greater share of American Wealth since the Great Depression, and that’s not likely to be a coincidence.

There has to be a balance to the way money circulates. Some of it has to redistribute, rather than being sat upon, or the economy doesn’t work. The more the Rich keep (and they do keep it, according to research done on the subject), the less there is for everybody else to use. You can’t run a healthy, robust economy on All Chiefs and no Indians. Or, put another way, Consumer economies need consumers, and consumers need cash.

Mr. Daugherty wrote; “You really didn’t take the bait, did you? You didn’t find out the dirty little secret, did you?

Of course not Mr. Daugherty…your ploys and simplistic baits and traps aren’t worth my time.

Oh, I see, you’re using the arrogance defense. Works wonders.

“Oh, Stephen, It’s not worth my time to venture to a site and find out that one of the key Democratic Talking points is undermined by the expense of the Democrat’s own tax plan.”

That’s what you’re saying. That’s very puzzling to me, though. I love to punch holes in talking points, and to do it in such a way that there was no easy way to talk the hole shut. Why you simply decide to depend on your talking points is beyond me.

As for the next one?

Let me be blunt with you. You play with words. I describe my real life. The people I mention were good, hardworking taxpayers for most of their lives. They paid their dues, they did their part, they paid for all the things your party and your people voted for.

As for the NGOs?

U.S. donations to charities reached an estimated $307.65 billion in 2008, according to the Giving USA Foundation.

That was their best year. And now?

“The nonprofit sector is like the caboose … of the economy, so we often go over the cliff last and then we stay over the cliff even after the economy starts going up the other way,” said Ken Berger, president and chief executive of Charity Navigator, which evaluates the nation’s big charities.

“The teeny-weeny, little local community-based, grass-roots charities are hitting a brick wall.”

The Republicans are attempting to vindicate an approach to recovery that has not worked once before. The charities don’t have the economic strength in the best of times to make up for things, and these are not the best of times. The austerity measures are best employed for times of runaway inflation, and these are not runaway inflation times.

Understand- I’m not commenting on the Republican’s ability to sell this kind of BS, I’m commenting on whether it can work or not. And so far, history does not speak well of these approaches.

You’re too immersed in selling this BS to smell it for what it is. That’s why you turn down an excellent, volunteered opportunity on my part to track down a signficant fact. You’re more interested in spewing talking points than actually researching your position.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 27, 2010 3:10 PM
Comment #309322

Mr. Daugherty wrote; “The four hundred richest Americans are worth over a trillion dollars together, and that’s a rise from last year. Did everybody else see a corresponding increase? No. The Rich have a greater share of American Wealth since the Great Depression, and that’s not likely to be a coincidence.”

Excuse me, but you are totally wrong. I have posted repeatedly the increases in pay and benefits received by government employees each and every year despite hard economic times. There are millions of government employees who don’t share hard times with their fellow private company employees. Why is that?

Please define the “Rich” you claim have a greater share of American Wealth since the depression. Hell, even those at the poverty level today share more wealth than many Americans during the depression. We provide food, clothing, shelter, and cash money to our poor today. What more do you want in the libersocialist quest for more “social justice” at the expense of working Americans.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 27, 2010 3:47 PM
Comment #309323

>Dude wrote; “Boehner and his colleagues are now calling for: shrink government, cut the federal deficit, reduce the national debt, and balance the budget.”
Hmmm…sounds good to me. What part do you disagree with dude? Do you actually wish to grow government, increase the federal deficit, increase the national debt and have the budget even more out of balance? If so, please exlain why.

RF,

History is my answer.

Posted by: Marysdude at September 27, 2010 3:55 PM
Comment #309324

PS:

What really works:

In down times, spend.
In up times, pay.

That way the economy has a chance to recover, and as money flows you have a chance to pay down debt. It seems so simple to me, but rote learners and mouth pieces have a hard time with it.

Posted by: Marysdude at September 27, 2010 3:59 PM
Comment #309326

I was just going over what conservatives really want for our future. Tea Klan leaders want desperately to either sidetrack, abolish, or repeal the Civil Rights Act, Fair Employment Act, Voting Rights Act, Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Pure Food and Drug Act,Labor Management Relations Act, Environmental Protection Act, Consumer Product Safety Act, Occupational Safety and Health Act, Matthew Shepard Act, Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, Fair Housing Act, Employee Free Choice Act, National Labor Relations Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, Employment Non-Discrimination Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Medicare, Social Security and public education. All of which are specifically designed to help, protect and elevate the standard of living for working-class Americans.

I’ve asked it before, and I’m asking again…just what do conservatives have against America and Americans?

Posted by: Marysdude at September 27, 2010 4:42 PM
Comment #309327

Stephen,
You write: “There has to be a balance to the way money circulates. Some of it has to redistribute, rather than being sat upon, or the economy doesn’t work. The more the Rich keep (and they do keep it, according to research done on the subject), the less there is for everybody else to use.”

This is the difference between wealth capture and wealth creation. The economy can be stimulated or braked depending on whether fiscal policies favor capture or creation.

It used to be popular among economists to pay attention to money supply and the velocity of money. You allude to the velocity of money in the previous comment, and it’s an important concept, especially when evaluating the differences between wealth capture and creation and, more generally, between stimulative and braking fiscal policies.

Sadly, conservatives do not ascribe to concepts of supply and demand, wealth capture and creation, stimulative and braking policies, and the other basics of economics.

Marysdude,
“In down times, spend.
In up times, pay.”

Well said. Unfortunately, GOP conservatives always have one, and only one answer for the economy: cut taxes. It is good for votes, especially among people who have no commitment to the future of the country.

Those conservatives believe that if there were less government and less taxation, they would be freer. Sounds simple enough. The problem with this thinking arises when other large organizations replace the role of government, assume power, and rule in its stead, effectively enslaving people as thoroughly as any totalitarian government.

Somalia is a perfect example of a conservative paradise. Replace Islam with Christianity and you would have the
Tea Party’s promised land.

Posted by: phx8 at September 27, 2010 4:45 PM
Comment #309329

Royal Flush-
I guess I could offer proof, but then you’ll probably say liberal talking point next.

Reject and object. Never offer any proof

“It’s given us the first clear, comprehensive picture of income distribution over the economic cycle that ended in 2007,” said Arloc Sherman, senior researcher at the CBPP. “Now we know definitively that income inequality grew in that cycle. Just before the recession hit, we know that inequality was heading into record-breaking territory.”

In 2007, 17.1 percent of all after-tax income in the country went to the top one percent of earners. According to Emmanuel Saez, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, who used a slightly different methodology in calculating his figures, the proportion of the country’s income going to the top one percent is at its highest since 1928.

And as far as that Libersocialist thing goes?

Do you think we’d be in quite such a good shape if the regular retail banks had been allowed to join in the fun of what the big financial organizations did? Do you think you’d have been able to prevent a run on the banks if savings and checking accounts weren’t insured by the FDIC?

And imagine, really, what would happen to poverty and unemployment if Americans weren’t being supported by unemployment insurance.

Without New Deal Reforms and recent liberal actions, we’d be a lot worse off. We’ve seen hundreds of banks fail in the financial crisis, but we never had the crippling runs on the banks. Why? Because people knew that their accounts would be safe, even if the banks failed.

Think of how our economy would be if people knew tomorrow that their bank could fail, and take with it their life-savings.

After all that has happened, it is wonder of denial that the Republicans can still think that the Laissez Faire version of the Free Market is still best. We’ve seen definitive proof that this system does not work as intended. But still, you folks insist it has to be the truth.

No, it doesn’t. No more than your assertion, your counterclaim that income inequality hasn’t reached historic highs.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 27, 2010 5:27 PM
Comment #309332

Royal Flush,

Regarding the wealth and income distribution issue, read this: http://www.people.hbs.edu/mnorton/norton%20ariely%20in%20press.pdf

Posted by: Rich at September 27, 2010 6:13 PM
Comment #309333

In down times, spend.
In up times, pay.

That way the economy has a chance to recover, and as money flows you have a chance to pay down debt. It seems so simple to me, but rote learners and mouth pieces have a hard time with it.

Posted by: Marysdude at September 27, 2010

Dude, in down times American’s with any sense save all they can…I know that is what I am doing…how about you? Some say that because American’s with disposable income or savings aren’t spending like drunken sailors the government must do it…the government must step in and do the spending instead to replace this non-spending by its sensible working citizens. One would almost believe, from your comment, that having money and not spending it is somehow unpatriotic.

From where does government get this money to spend. Well, three places come to mind. 1) Increase taxes, 2) borrow, and 3) print more money.

1) increasing taxes to pay for more government spending removes that money, dollar for dollar, from current and future private spending forever. Recent news stories are replete with Government spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to create a job that pays $50,000. Does that make any economic sense to you? Why not eliminate the middle man and give away the entire amount by just mailing checks to those whom government is favoring at any particular time?

Those extra dollars sent to government are never again available to private business to create new productive jobs, pay for innovation, research, plant and such.

2) Borrow…not a great idea when we are trillions in debt already. It is just a matter of time before inflation rears its ugly head and those borrowed dollars will demand huge and ever increasing payments. The interest on the debt we currently owe is overwhelming without adding even more to the debt our children must pay back at some point.

3) Print more money…not a great idea either as those countries who have gone this route in the past have paid dearly for being so irresponsible.

A much better idea than to allow government to take even more in taxes, spent on those they wish to reward, is to provide incentives to business to grow and expand and hire and create payrole.

Can anyone give me an example in recent history of any country taxing its citizens into prosperity?

Mr. Daugherty’s link compared the top 1% income earners with the “middle fifth and lowest fifth” of income earners.
I wonder how the other three-fifths of American earners fared. Perhaps it’s in the report but I didn’t see it.

But, my discussion has centered on taxes, not income. I have stated repeatedly that revenue from taxes measured as a percentage of GDP is now within 1 or 2 percentage points of our historical average even with the Bush tax cuts in effect.

One can find many reasons why income has declined for 2/5ths of Americans. Have we lost millions of jobs? Of course. Why would anyone be surprised if incomes go down when jobs disappear. However, when it comes to taxes, we are not currently being over or under taxed. It is spending that is grossly out of the historical norm.

Frankly Mr. Daugherty, I have no idea why you bring up the FDIC or seem to believe that I am against government insured accounts as presently configured. I am not against that.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 27, 2010 6:35 PM
Comment #309336

RF,

Americans save in down times because they fear. Conservatives feed off that fear like ticks feed off blood. The confidence to spend can only come from an entity large enough to push money into the system. Corporations COULD do it, but are not likely TO do it. That leaves government. How do you expect an economy to thrive if there is no fluidity? Please don’t say by lowering taxes on the wealthy in order to encourage hiring, because that has proven ineffective.

Posted by: Marysdude at September 27, 2010 7:29 PM
Comment #309340

Dude, I would contend that rational fear is a good thing. I could give dozens of examples. It is not an irrational fear that causes Americans who can, to save or reduce spending. It is a fear based upon reality.

It doesn’t require confidence to spend other peoples money. Any damn fool can do that. There are no personal consequences should it fail. Corporations have a responsibility to their owners (shareholders) which includes a vast majority of Americans. Unlike government, corporations respect their owners and do not intentionally spend money if they are fairly certain it won’t make a profit.

I have written repeatedly the way to get business to spend and expand is to give them incentives to do so. That doesn’t necessarily mean lowering taxes.

President Obama today signed a bill including tax reductions for small business. I haven’t read the bill so I can’t comment on the details. But, do you disagree with the president in this action?

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 27, 2010 7:57 PM
Comment #309344

RF,

No, but that is not what has been on the Conservative agenda. Republicans want an extension of taxes on the wealthy. That would lose a couple trillion out of an economy already in stress.

Posted by: Marysdude at September 27, 2010 8:25 PM
Comment #309345

RF,
You write: “Can anyone give me an example in recent history of any country taxing its citizens into prosperity?”

Virtually every country on the face of the planet has taxed its citizens into prosperity. In fact, I cannot think of a country which has not done so.

Posted by: phx8 at September 27, 2010 8:57 PM
Comment #309346

Royal Flush-

Dude, in down times American’s with any sense save all they can…I know that is what I am doing…how about you?

When everybody saves at once, when everybody is no longer willing to buy at a given price, and the prices are forced lower, that’s called deflation, and it basically makes the return on any investment in that area most likely negative.

You would have us become a risk averse economy in the extreme, to compensate for the Conservative’s riskaholic excess. Yep, the big banks overdid it, so the rest of you poor saps have to tighten your belts. Not only is that not fair, it’s not practical.

On your points about spending:

1) No dollar goes away forever. Money circulates. The problem is a circulatory one, in that the average person has fewer dollars to spend. That’s about the only reason keeping tax rates low for the average American makes sense.

2) Here you really stick your foot in it. Your people are going to push a greater rise in deficits spending than Obama has ever done. That’s just a fact. Unless and until you offset it, it’s going to end up forcing more spending into the deficit spending category. That’s just how it works. You guys shouldn’t even dare to lecture Democrats or Obama if that is your policy. The math simply doesn’t work.

And I know, the projections are just projections, but are you then suggesting that we should just move forward with fiscal policy based on faith in political dogmas?

3) Going to let you in on a little secret: we’re already doing that. And guess what? It’s having little to no effect. The main reason is, it’s not the banks that are in trouble. It’s the average person. And they, being customers of business transfer their troubles over to the businesses.

This is where that negative return on investment comes in unhandy. What point is there to hire more and pay more, if you’re not going to see more business, if you’re not going to see more work gotten out of them? This economic crisis has idled so much of America’s productivity, and the supreme irony of the Republican’s de facto policy is that they’ve been encouraging a lack of productivity by ruling out stimulative efforts that would get more money into the economy, so that Demand could increase, and we could see businesses deal with that demand by hiring more people.

Your economic moralism doesn’t move this economy the way it needs to be moved.

As for comparisons, you would do well to look at the graph that accompanied the story that I posted the link to, indicating how substantial of an increase the Rich made with their earnings.

As for the FDIC, let me describe to you what the FDIC basically does.

The FDIC basically takes over the bank when its ratio of it’s capital to its risk-weighted assets falls below two percent. That is to say, the bank gets nationalized, it’s bad assets cleared out, and its good assets sold off to other institutions.

That’s far more socialistic than a lot of what Obama has done. But even folks like you accept it. Why? Because it works. as the wikipedia article says:

Since the start of FDIC insurance on January 1, 1934, no depositor has lost any insured funds as a result of a failure.[4]

It’s my belief that for a capitalistic system to work, people must believe that it is non arbitrary enough that a human being can make decent judgment calls and not suffer for it. People basically want to know what their risks are when they invest. They don’t want to look into the pool of their investments and find sharks circling in it.

What I believe is that we cannot simply run a system on individual judgment and management alone. That has to be part of it, to allow the system to be flexible enough to do its job, but there’s got to be some system in place such that people know that other people can’t cheat them without consequence, and that the fundamentals that are reported about the companies and funds they invest in closely resemble the real things.

You make the mistake of thinking that what most Liberals want is a totalitarian system. That’s wrong. What most liberals want is a reliable, transparent system that doesn’t let the market run away into irrational territory with too much abandon. Personally, I just want a system where you’re not playing frogger every time you invest. It’s not humanly possible to keep up with many of the systems that are at work on Wall Street, and there are consequences for that. We need a system that’s humanly manageable.

The FDIC is an example of that. Instead of risking a situation, like we had with the big financial institutions, where letting one bank fail could cause a cascade of uncertainty as to the value of one’s deposit, something no human being could make a solid judgment about, we instead ensure deposits, so that even in times where over a hundred banks go under, (like they did this year), it’s not a downward drag on the economy. It’s not cheap, but sometimes, when comes to government, the cheap solution is the one that costs you the most in the end.

The aim in efficient regulation is to recognize where the systemic risk outweighs the systemic benefit of maintaining the legality of a practice.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 27, 2010 9:21 PM
Comment #309350

A few ideas for you all to chew on from the Heritage Foundation. Check out their Solutions for America at Heritage.org


Highlights:

Place a firm cap on overall federal spending, and limit future year-to-year growth to inflation plus population growth. Federal spending is on an unsustainable trajectory because we lack a mechanism that forces Congress to live within agreed upon spending limits. A binding cap will force lawmakers to make the tough decisions required to get us back to fiscal sanity.
Require the Big Three entitlement programs—Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security—to live within firm, congressionally approved budgets. If Congress is ever to control spending, it must end the era of open-ended entitlements. Currently, Big Three spending is on autopilot—increasing automatically year after year. Entitlement spending must be brought into the congressional budgetary process. Lawmakers should establish a five-year budget for these programs and include protective mechanisms, such as triggers, that will automatically keep spending within the congressionally approved limits.
Revive federalism. The federal government has usurped the states’ traditional role in areas such as transportation, education, health (especially Medicaid), homeland security, and law enforcement. Washington must cede vast swatches of its policymaking authority—and the funding that goes with it—to states willing to reassume leadership in these areas.
Limit the unsustainable growth of welfare spending, and require recipients to give something back. Aggregate welfare spending now approaches $1 trillion annually and does more harm than good. Congress must treat all 71 means-tested welfare programs holistically, as a discrete category of federal spending, and cap annual year-to-year welfare spending growth at inflation. This will force Congress to consider new approaches that could actually help the poor surmount poverty. To this end, Congress should require able-bodied adults to treat a portion of certain welfare benefits as loans to be repaid rather than as an open-ended grant from taxpayers.
Pay federal workers wages and benefits comparable to what their counterparts earn in the private sector. Federal employee compensation is far too generous. Total compensation—hourly wages plus benefits—is 30–40% above that of comparable private sector workers. By bringing federal compensation in line with market rates, Congress would save taxpayers approximately $47 billion a year.
Do no harm. Tax increases, especially those loaded on small-business owners (our most productive and entrepreneurial individuals), are counterproductive at any time. To raise taxes during a recession is a recipe for crippling economic growth and job creation. Maintaining the tax burden at its current level is the least Congress should do.
Encourage investment and job creation. Reduce the top tax rate on corporate earnings—currently the second highest among all industrial nations—and let businesses immediately deduct investments in new plant and equipment. These two changes to the tax code will unleash the most productive investment and create the most private sector jobs. Specifically, lawmakers should align the top rate on corporate earnings to those that prevail in our 30 largest trading partners—approximately 25%.
Liberate employed seniors from payroll taxes. As part of the broader effort to reform entitlement programs, seniors who wish to work beyond retirement age should be freed from the burden of paying Social Security payroll taxes. Employers willing to retain or hire these older workers also should be exempt from paying the employer share of the FICA tax.
Invest in peace through strength. A robust military is the surest way to deter aggression and reinforce U.S. diplomacy. To accomplish this, the Pentagon procurement holiday must end. Congress must refurbish our armed forces, especially our depleted Navy fleet and vital missile defenses.

Posted by: Skeptical Boomer at September 27, 2010 11:23 PM
Comment #309353

Skeptical Boomer-
The first suggestion is unnecessary if we follow pay-go rules. Instead of setting arbitary caps, we require those who want to spend to balance their willingness to spend with the political risk of either cutting from another program or raising taxes to pay for it.

It worked wonders under Clinton, so why not go with what’s proven to work?

First, Congress already sets Medicare rates. That’s what the problem with the Doc Fix is. Republicans trying to get cute with budget cutting cut too deep and started undershooting the market on Medicare reimbursement.

Second, you don’t want people with constituents to please on social security getting their hands on the payouts in that way. There’s no guarantee, in fact not much of a chance that they want to be the one who is singled out as having cut people’s entitlements. As such, they’ll increase them, just like Bush’s people made more and more tax cuts. You want some sort of firewall, some sort of way of setting the rates that is arbitrary to the politics.

I don’t get the notion of being miserly with them. I understand not being extravagant, but we must realize that people are relying on these programs, and there will be economic consequences for shortchanging people. Remember, what people pay for food and other necessities will cycle back through the economy.

And treating it as loans to be paid back? Good grief, you want people in even greater debt that they are now, particularly the poor?

Maintaining the tax levels at current levels means absolutely obliterating any gains you could make from any of the reforms you’re talking about.

Many of your tax solutions have already been tried.

Plus, lets consider the last one: a robust military is needed, but of what size, and at what expense? Once again, Republicans are proving to be blind to the excessive expense we pay for our armed forces and our defense. We have to realize sooner or later that it does not make sustainable economic sense to continue paying for a military that is supposed to face a cold war enemy that no longer exists, with weapons no superpower is in an arms race with us to justify, at an expense that dwarfs all other non-entitlement spending in the budget.

On naval fleets? Sorry, but can you point out to me the last time we had a true ship-to-ship naval battle?

And missile defenses? For the most part, they’re a joke, and easily defeated with countermeasures that are way more affordable. Expensive weapons systems that are defeated cheaply are a strategic liability.

We need to fit our defense spending both to what is effective in the fights we take, and what is low enough in its price that we can sustain it in good conscience.

The Heritage Foundation is the think-tank to which Republicans have been going for their ideas for decades now, but the ideas all seem to look the same in end result: Lower regulation, lower taxes, more defense spending, gut social spending. Beware cure-alls. The substance that can cure all is most likely the stuff that can’t cure much if anything at all. These aren’t new ideas, they’re placebos.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 28, 2010 12:33 AM
Comment #309354

Many states require a balanced budget. Many of those went broke (Georgia comes to mind). Placing a cap seems silly as well as unnecessary.

Posted by: Marysdude at September 28, 2010 7:32 AM
Comment #309355

“This economic crisis has idled so much of America’s productivity, and the supreme irony of the Republican’s de facto policy is that they’ve been encouraging a lack of productivity by ruling out stimulative efforts that would get more money into the economy, so that Demand could increase, and we could see businesses deal with that demand by hiring more people.”

That point needs to be repeated. Aggregate demand is only at 70% of output capacity. That is a very large gap. The issue is demand not supply. Businesses are not hiring and expanding due to concerns over regulation, taxes, etc. They are not expanding because there is not sufficient demand.

The private sector had too much debt and when the asset values which supported that debt crashed, the private sector went underwater. It is now saving and reducing debt, not taking on new debt. That results in a drop in the money supply which leads to a drop in aggregate demand which leads to idle output capacity and unemployment.

The Fed understands the problem and has been attempting to increase the money supply (induce the private sector to borrow) by maintaining low interest rates and supporting asset values by taking non-performing assets onto its own balance sheet (QE). However, the results have been modest since interest rates were very low at the beginning of the crisis. The Fed can only do so much with monetary policy. You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink.

That is why fiscal stimulus by the federal government is so important. It supports demand while the private sector saves and repairs its balance sheet. It fills the gap in demand resulting from the private sectors need to save and reduce debt. Bernanke has repeatedly warned Congress against a premature withdrawal of fiscal stimulus under such circumstances.

Posted by: Rich at September 28, 2010 7:36 AM
Comment #309364

An interesting day at WB, I am sorry I had trouble getting on the internet; nevertheless, I do believe both political spectrums need to readdress their own political point of view so they may expand the debate with the other side. Because although it is easy to get caughr up in the Talking Points like the Heritage Foundation, we all should have learned a long time ago that burning a candle at both ends cannot be seen as smart.

For example; RF and others say that federal employees should have their pay reduced to reflect that of the private sector. And why that may make sense if one fails to see the hovernment workers leaving their employment due to the fact they can earn more money in the Private Sector, the Reality that our parents and grandparents of the Great Depression designed government pay of its employees to reflect a set Standard of Living should make one ask why the Private Sector wants to strip this section of the Market of its current standing.

True, the private secror has added more and more jobs that pay at or near the poverty rate over the last 10-15 years. And the private sector has worked hard to eliminate middle class work by shipping the jobs overseas. Nevertheless, with Federal Employees having to work for America, our Elected Officials are not able to enjoy that luxury or take advantage of Illegals Cheap Labor.

Now, we face as a Nation, a Society, and as Individuals a great divide in Personal Wealth. And though some of this problem can be directly linked to Americans wanting certain jobs over others, we must keep in mind that 30 some years ago (in order to increase their base) the top 1% and the American Public agreed that Top Management and certain jobs should recieve more pay than your run of the mill socieal worker. Given that anyone can be shown how to do a factory job, but not everybody can be a Doctor, a Lawyer, etc..

For we could scream and yell about how Inheritance Wealth has or has not become an Entitlement; however, if one cares to look back when taxes were 90% and the amount of money permitted to be passed on to our children was limited it seems that no one had a problem with the Entitlement Programs being funded or the State and Federal Govrnments having rge funds to make the improvements deemed necessary to improve every Americans Standard of Living.

Nonetheless, way past that bridge and doubtful if any politician is good enough to get those over the age of 60 to agree returning to the Good old Days I do have to agree with folks like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet about the idea of a pparent leaving all their wealth to their children. And though I don’t expect many on the Far Left or Far Right to agree establishing An American Trust Fund for the Advancement of the Standard of Living. I do believe many of the issues we are debating now can be resolved if we are willing to learn the lesson our parents and grandparents have been trying to teach us for the last 200 plus years.

For if the Private Business cannot spend money in the market (for whatever exuse) and the Consumer cannot spend money in the market (for whatever reason) and the Government cannot spend money in the market (for whatever reason) than who will spend money in the market and what will happen in the market for whatever reason? Now, care to explain how one goes about leveling a four sided titer toter?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 28, 2010 2:37 PM
Comment #309368


Rich, two + decades of easy credit rather than pay raises has created massive consumer debt. That, coupled with deregulation culminating in Wall Street legalized fraud and the bailout has created the economy that we are now enjoying.

Stephen D. and tom humes, both political parties put on a great show. They both put out great advertisement telling their constituents what the show will be about when they get the stage, but the show they put on is not the one they advertise.

The Republicans are telling their constituents that they are ready to finish the conservative revolution they began under Clinton and Bush, their not.

The Democrats are admonishing their constituents for apathy, basically demanding they come out and vote for a Democratic Congress which is obviously not in tune with many of it’s constituents.

The Democrats, that are in power, are telling the left to go along to get along even though the left is very disappointed in them.

The Republicans, that are not in power, are promising the right everything on the conservative agenda.

Posted by: jlw at September 28, 2010 3:05 PM
Comment #309369

This is really funny:
GOP ‘prearranged’ National Review editorial praising ‘Pledge to America’: report

Posted by: Adrienne at September 28, 2010 3:07 PM
Comment #309371

And these are not funny at all:

Income Gap Widens: Census Finds Record Gap Between Rich And Poor

GOP, U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Beat Back Bill To Combat Outsourcing

Posted by: Adrienne at September 28, 2010 3:16 PM
Comment #309379

Adrienne’s second link stated that; “Sens. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) broke with their party to vote to continue the filibuster, as did the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Max Baucus (D-Mont.)

No, I guess for liberals it isn’t funny to have these dems desert the party faithful. That Max Baucus found the legislation flawed should send an important message to all.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 28, 2010 5:07 PM
Comment #309382

Royal Flush-
Apparently, you underestimate what the average Democrat knows about their caucus. These are mainly conservative Democrats you’re talking about. Hell, telling Democrats that they should follow Ben Nelson’s lead- that’s practically fighting words for the left! They despise him.

As for the desertion? In saner times, the bill would have passed. It won majority support, in case you didn’t look. However, a majority’s just not good enough for the GOP, whose politics nowadays more resembles Ayn Rand than Thomas Jefferson.

Baucus is not seen as a moderate in our party. Neither is Nelson. If you think the message they should get is that they’re too far left, that’s going to be naive assumption on your part. What they’ll actually think is, there those bozos go again, betraying the party.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 28, 2010 5:18 PM
Comment #309384

Mr. Daugherty claims Mr. Baucus is not a moderate yet, he holds the powerful position of chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. Hmmm…isn’t that strange? I wonder why the party would place a traitor (betraying the party) in this very important chair?

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 28, 2010 5:37 PM
Comment #309385

Flush:

“Sens. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) broke with their party to vote to continue the filibuster, as did the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Max Baucus (D-Mont.)

No, I guess for liberals it isn’t funny to have these dems desert the party faithful. That Max Baucus found the legislation flawed should send an important message to all.

Yes, indeed. It sends the important message that once again those are Senators who are Democrats In Name Only, and that the reason they joined the Republicans is obviously because they don’t care about keeping jobs in this country.

However, I’m sure it sends a different message to you and your ilk, Flush. And that would be the same old message lefties have long known about folks who stand on the right.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 28, 2010 5:43 PM
Comment #309386

Thanks for the link and the laugh Adrienne. Did you even bother to read those “loaded” poll questions? I’ll bet I could compose a poll for them that would find 39% of the respondents agreeing that the world was square.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 28, 2010 6:03 PM
Comment #309387

Adriene, Where do you get that BS?

Posted by: MAG at September 28, 2010 6:08 PM
Comment #309390

The GOP created a web site to track what web surfers would like to see included on the Pledge to America agenda. The second most popular item: stop corporate outsourcing.

The sheer corruption of a party which would almost unanimously support the interests of multinational corporations over the interests of the American people is breathtaking- mostly because no one wants to inhale the stench of conservative corporatism.

Posted by: phx8 at September 28, 2010 6:35 PM
Comment #309393

phx8, there are many ways to encourage corporations to keep their operations and employees here in the US. The carrot is always better than the stick for getting cooperation and results.

It’s refreshing to see some democrat senators buck the nutty liberal wing of the party.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 28, 2010 7:12 PM
Comment #309398

RF,
A corporation does what it is legal to do to achieve its goal: maximize profit in the short term. A corporation acting within a free market has no loyalties, no bias to favor the US and its American citizens over, say, Libya. So it is not so much a matter of carrot and stick as a matter of effectively using the law and corporate tax structure to achieve the desired results, namely, a result favoring the US and its citizens.

Most mult-national corporations would not forsake the US because of the size of this market. More importantly, in our capitalist system, we can simply allow the openness and innovation of our marketplace to replace any mutlinational corporation which chose to opt out of the American market. That’s the great thing about our system- if one corporation is unsatisfied with the size of its profit margin for whatever reason- (increased taxation, restrictions on outsourcing, whatever), and decides to leave the US- there is another corporation which will be perfectly happy to operate at that lower profit margin.

Posted by: phx8 at September 28, 2010 8:07 PM
Comment #309399

RF,
Why carrots might work I do believe having a stick that will remove a Business Status of being American does work alot better. After all how can one have over 50% of the Labor and Management located offshore and say they have the best interest of Americans in mind?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 28, 2010 8:29 PM
Comment #309400

RF,
Why carrots might work I do believe having a stick that will remove a Business Status of being American does work alot better. After all how can one have over 50% of the Labor and Management located offshore and say they have the best interest of Americans in mind?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 28, 2010 8:31 PM
Comment #309401

Royal Flush,

What carrots do you propose to keep US corporations from sub-contracting their production to China? How does the US compete with the state capitalism of China?

Posted by: Rich at September 28, 2010 8:49 PM
Comment #309402

Royal Flush-
The last ten years have had the rich awash in carrots. Hell, the biggest carrot of all time was waved in front of their face, ostensibly to get them to make more jobs and do more business.

By that measure, it was a complete failure, leading to the most anemic job growth on record.

As for Baucus? Democrats were trying to impress people with the fact that they would put fiscal conservatives of the party on the finance committee.

And what did that do for us? Not much. For all the offsets we did to make sure that 1 trillion dollars of new spending didn’t become 1 trillion dollars of new deficits, the Republicans still acted like we went wild. For all the lengths Baucus and Conrad went to deliver a deficit neutral bill, and cut out all the stuff that seemed too socialist to them, we still got called socialists for essentially broadening a private market, rather than taking over everything and making it single payer. We didn’t even get so much as a public option.

And Nelson? What a short memory you have. You praise him now. Were you so glowing in your assessment when you excoriated the Democrats over HIS Cornhusker Kickback?

Yeah, it did us a lot of good to be so concerned about what you guys think, and what criticisms you might throw our way. We naively supposed that Republicans based their criticisms on principled positions, rather than the simple desire to defame and slander the Democrats to sink their stock with the public.

You guys say what you have to say to make us look bad. Nelson and Baucus represent the naivete of our leaders that they were dealing with people who were willing to meet them halfway.

That, by the way, was an idea tested to destruction this last Congress: the notion that Republicans could be bargained with, compromised with. I think as time goes on, people like Obama, and the rest of the Democrats will become increasingly unwilling to give the Republicans room to humiliate and delay them. Slowly but surely, Republicans are ensuring that rather than try to be bipartisan and get hit for it, most Democrats that survive the next election will be more grudging in their negotiations.

And do you think, even if you can get some turncoat Democrats on your side, and win Congress, that you’ll get past a presidential veto? Obama, I bet, will be looking for some red meat to veto, and you folks will deliver him some pitches right over the plate.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 28, 2010 9:05 PM
Comment #309407

By what measure are we to assess something bad about something that was commonplace until Republican lockstep showed up for our new black President? Until recent history, a complete lockdown of government would have been unthinkable. No political party held itself above the needs of America. Those three idiots are the last of a breed who still think conservatives have legitimate points. They do not understand the strange game being played.

Democrats are slow to believe the national betrayal fostered by the conservative right. One of these days we will wake up, see what is happening to American politics, and either stand our ground together against the thundering horde, or be trampled. If we choose to be trampled, we deserve what we get.

Posted by: Marysdude at September 28, 2010 10:33 PM
Comment #309419

Marysdude,
Today the Republicans may have shot themselve in the foot by not rebuking Senator DeMint. For how a jr senator wjos’ claim to fame is calling the President a liar during a joint meeting of Congress, how can his words be squared with the Mionority Leader of the Senate and his Court.

No, I do believe the conservatives did themselve a disfavor and one which may lead to the Republicans losing the 2010 Election before a vote is cast. Because why I may not consult the Democratic Leadership I for one would enjoy seeing Senator DeMint single handed shut down the government by using his fillbuuster powers on the Spending Budget.

Care to see how many Republicans and Tea Party Candidates and Incumbents get elected when the Voting Public does not recieve their government checks for a couple of months?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 29, 2010 12:54 AM
Comment #309424

Henry,

I think it was Joe Wilson who sprung the ‘liar’ thing on the President of the United States, but DeMint has added several subjective statements and actions to his bio, so your point hopefully is valid. To be frank with you, the DeMint’s of this nation have cast-iron nerve and no conscience, so I won’t hold my breath. The sad truth is that Democrats have had to know this was going on, and have done nothing about it so far. I don’t expect the disclosure to have much impact. I think DeMint was the one who said the Health Care Bill would be President Obama’s Waterloo. And, I’m sure he has his eye on usurping Boener as top dog if the November elections turn out bad for Democrats.

Posted by: Marysdude at September 29, 2010 6:32 AM
Comment #309426

Marysdude-
Sorry to tell you this, but he couldn’t do that. Boehner’s the top Republican in the House. DeMint would be angling for Mitch McConnell’s job.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 29, 2010 7:08 AM
Comment #309429

Yeah, I typed McConnell’s name, but this stupid computer misspelled it…:)

Posted by: Marysdude at September 29, 2010 10:43 AM
Comment #309430

Ok, so we all need a lesson on who is who in the Republican Hierarchy; nevertheless, I do believe this is the first time I have heard a Jr. Senator tell their Senior Senators that they have to report to them if they want to get anything done.

And yes Marysdude you are right about Joe Wilson and yes Stephen you are right about Mitch McConnel. Now, who is going to blink first? For if the Minority Leadership of Congress won’t stand up to one of their own steping out of line. What is going to happen to the Senate Majority Leadership?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 29, 2010 10:49 AM
Comment #309431

Mr. Daugherty wrote; “Obama, I bet, will be looking for some red meat to veto, and you folks will deliver him some pitches right over the plate.”

Should the dems lose the house and some seats in the senate I believe obama will refocus his attention from domestic matters to international problems. With his power base eroding in congress, and if the public shows its anger by denying him majorities in congress, he will wish to make his (hopefully) final two years as president notable for some international achievements.

And, on the world stage, he could perhaps actually accomplish something that would indeed be notable. After November, if the R’s are successful, it will become obvious to obama that more liberal policies are unwelcome. And, I am not convinced he will use the veto pen as willingly as Mr. Daugherty might imagine.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 29, 2010 12:12 PM
Comment #309434

RF,

Your attacks are more and more about how un-American liberalism is, and how President Obama’s liberal agenda is unpopular, etc.

So far, and I’ll admit my list may not be complete, he has accomplished these. I have noted which I think may be legitimately called liberal by italicizing.

1. Averted a 1930’s era Depression or worse with Bank Bailouts and Car Industry Bailouts (questionable, as it differs but slightly from the TARP in concept and initiation)

2. Minimized potential environmental disaster due to the Oil Spill on the Gulf Coastline

3. Passing the largest economic stimulus bill in American history

4. Ordering the closing of Guantanamo Bay military detention facility and abolishing enhanced interrogation techniques. (questionable, unless torture is a conservative policy and floating Habeas Corpus is in the Republican Platform)

5. Setting a fixed timetable for withdrawing U.S. combat forces from Iraq

6. Ordering 21,000 additional troops to Afghanistan and enlisting, with modest new assistance, European allies in a new multi-layered strategy there and in Pakistan, and setting a timetable for a drawdown of our troops

7. Returning science to its rightful place, by lifting the Bush restrictions on federally funded embryonic stem cell research (questionable as this has little to do with Conservative or liberal political philosophy and everything to do with separation of church/state)

8. Signing laws to expand children’s health insurance (financed by a 61-cent per pack increase in the federal cigarette tax the adviser did not tout)

9. Signing a law meant to improve the ability of women who allege pay discrimination to sue their employer (questionable, unless conservatives want to challenge whether or not women were getting short shrift in pay)

10. Lifting travel and remittance restrictions for Cuban Americans who seek to travel more frequently to the island and send more US currency to their immediate family

11. Appointed the first Latina to the US Supreme Court (questionable unless you also expect conservative Presidents to appoint liberal judges)

12. Signed a law supporting increased financial aid to severely injured war veterans, and their caretakers (questionable, unless you think wounded veterans don’t deserve care for wounds suffered while fighting our wars)

13. Banned offshore drilling until parameters for deep well safety procedures are clarified (questionable, unless you think all drilling should be free no matter where or when)

14. Put a hold on Arctic oil exploratory digging until environmental impacts are clear (questionable, unless you think all drilling should be free no matter where or when)

15. Passed health care reform


16. Signed a hate crime bill

Feel free to add anything I’ve left out, you don’t have to limit yourself to just those you consider liberal. It is easy to SAY how far left the President has taken the country, but not so easy to SHOW it. As far as Health Care goes, it was as much the reason more than half the country voted for him as anything. It has decreased in popularity because of the minority viciousness against it, but has begun to rebound as people tune the viciousness out a little.


Posted by: Marysdude at September 29, 2010 2:20 PM
Comment #309451

Royal Flush-
You will have given him much motivation.

Just try a government shutdown. You know how that last one ended. There’s a reason Republicans don’t talk about a second Contract with America.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 29, 2010 7:57 PM
Comment #309505

Dude, that’s a good list. However I can’t go along with this one:

Minimized potential environmental disaster due to the Oil Spill on the Gulf Coastline

I wish this were true, but I honestly don’t think that’s the case. Of course, Obama and the Dems do seem a lot better if we compare them to the actions of GOP. We all know that they apologized to BP, and currently they won’t allow any investigation into the spill.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 30, 2010 6:42 PM
Comment #309519

Adeienne,

We speak of this oil spill matter in degrees. You say tomAto and I say tomahto. Minimize means less than it could have been without the intervention…to me. I’m pretty sure the government played down the situation to keep panic out of the air. I’m not at all sure, and only time will tell, if he could have done more, sooner. We are not in the oil business, and our expertise is limited to what industry folks feed us.

Posted by: Marysdude at October 1, 2010 12:14 AM
Comment #309520

Dude, while I’m not in the oil business, I’ve been reading a huge number of articles during the entire length of this disaster (and it’s far from over) because I’ve been doing research for a local environmental group on this subject.

For instance, you might take a look at this article:
Oil Commission Baffled By Lowball Estimates; Suspects They Slowed Response
Or this one:
Report: Federal Disaster Response Plans Shortchange Worker Safety

Also, despite what the administration and government agencies have been saying about this, please don’t eat gulf seafood, because it’s obviously not at all safe:
Exclusive: Gulf seafood poses long-term health risks, experts say

I do realize that in many ways the existing laws tied the president’s hands in dealing with many aspects of how this disaster could be and was initially addressed and dealt with throughout, but there are also quite a few things about the government response to the killing of the Gulf that I’m simply unwilling to even try to make excuses for.

I cannot begin to tell you how much I hated it when people on the right side of aisle tried to lie and provide cover all during the many disasters and pathetic government responses lead by the Bush administration, so right now I simply can’t and won’t try to pull the same crap that they did. People on the right obviously didn’t even care about how many people suffered (and are still suffering to this very day) due to the actions of the Bush administration. But because I do care about the people and the myriad of animals who live and have died (and will die in the future) in and around the Gulf of Mexico, I have to be brutally honest, and am totally unwilling to provide any cover for what is unfolding there.

Posted by: Adrienne at October 1, 2010 1:32 AM
Comment #309524

Adrienne,

Yeah, I’m sure there are even more than those you mentioned. I’ve read two of the three you linked, and agree the situation is not good. But, please be aware that the folks who write these things may have biases of their own (either way). It would not be very sane to equate the Katrina fiasco to the spill, and ‘some say’, and ‘experts say’, are two very overused terms. I’m not trying to sugar coat anything, I just recognize how these things play out. In future, we will find that the President may be exonerated, or that he was worse than Cheney/Bush, but perhaps we won’t find out very much accurate information right now. Before the gulf incident we had stopped eating seafood from anywhere except Canada and the United States (never ordering when eating out), so you can see our (me and wife) predicament…seafoods are nutritious and good for our health…unless they are taken…where?

Posted by: Marysdude at October 1, 2010 7:17 AM
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