Democrats & Liberals Archives

Most of the Time, I don't source Daily Kos...

But this time, I think it’s worth making an exception. The title of the Front page article says a lot: More than half the Blue Dogs are out

As of 8 a.m. Pacific Time, 23 Blue Dogs from New York to Arizona had lost their seats in a wave that brought down at least 61 Democrats and gave Republicans a pre-recount House majority of 240-195 after four years of Democratic control. It is the first time since Senators were directly elected under the 17th Amendment in 1914 that the House has changed party majorities but the Senate has not.

In addition to the 23 Blue Dogs defeated at the polls, four others had chosen not to run, and two made unsuccessful runs for the Senate. All were replaced by Republicans, bringing the total Blue Dog losses to 29. Twenty-five Blue Dogs managed to hang onto their seats, although for some - for example, Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona - it was a narrow victory. More than half the caucus, including two of its leaders, will thus be gone when the 112th Congress is seated in January. The reconstituted caucus will comprise only 13 percent of the Democrats in the House as compared with the 21 percent it does now.

The question in any call for a turn to the right from this party is whether it's time to turn to the Right.

In my opinion, that would be a mistake, if for no other reason than you generally don't win by validating your opponent's premise half-heartedly. Doing that just makes things worse, both because you lose support for your timidity, and your opponent can always out argue you if you're conceding their point to begin with, but being wishy-washy about it.

In my opinion, the old center is dead. On the republican side, the cause of death is a deliberate surgical removal of the entire left wing of the Republican Party. There's simply few moderates left to make deals with, deals that will be honored in good faith. On the Democratic side, the centrists tried to make things work, but time and again only ended up undermining their own party's agenda, and frustrating the base, and the independents who were looking to see some real change from the Republicans. Cause of death? Starvation due to strangulation of achievements.

If Barack Obama is to head to the center, then it cannot be Clinton's center. It cannot be a middle ground with a Republican Caucus that will allow no middle ground.

Instead, Obama must create a new center, within his own party. He has to create a party whose moderates are not simply moderates in the sense that they fall somewhere between the archconservatives and archliberals, but instead represent moderates in terms of real world policy, centrist not in terms of being between Democrats and Republicans, but in terms of resting in the political center of gravity for this country.

The Tea Party would like to believe it has that center, but I doubt it. I believe they are over extended, and they will find out how much the first time they try some sort of political stunt with the mechanics of our government.

I think Obama's best bet will be to assertively make stands on issues from common sense positions, and do this again and again at the Republican's expense. He should be proud to stand for what is right, what is true, and what is real. That foundation of substance is the only rock on which he should lay his foundation for 2012. To muddle through the next two years is to put himself in a place of greater, not lesser desperation.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at November 3, 2010 10:38 AM
Comments
Comment #312217


The path you suggest for the Democratic Party is the path the party has been on for the last twenty years, move to the center and compromise with the right. As a result of that compromise, workers got inflation, wage stagnation and debt. Wall Street and wealth did real good.

Both the archconservatives and the archliberals played a role in this election which resulted in a huge win for the Republicans.

Posted by: jlw at November 3, 2010 12:38 PM
Comment #312218

Great article Stephen. Whatever your opinions, it is clear that the next move on the chess board is the President’s, and that move is a very important one.

We know that Obama is a great candidate and a great communicator. The next 8-10 weeks will determine if he is a great politician and leader.

Posted by: George at November 3, 2010 12:41 PM
Comment #312222

jlw-
Read it again. I did not say move to the right. I don’t the the political spectrum adequately represents the move I’m talking about. I’m not talking about moving closer to to the Republican’s position. Half-wrong is little better than fully wrong in the scheme of things. No, I want him to redefine the center, redefine what moderate means, so that the Republicans are either forced to move to it, or forced to absorb the political price of failing to do so.

Forget the sliding scale of politics, unask that question. Ask a different question: what kind of moderation matters more, moderation of politics, or moderation of behavior and policy. I think Americans care less whether somebody trends towards the political middle, and more whether or not their policies reflect common sense, real-world needs.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 3, 2010 12:54 PM
Comment #312224

The reason the ‘Blue Dogs’ got ousted, along with moderate Republicans in the primary, like Mike Castle and others is Obama’s marching orders to Pelosi and Reid were too liberal.

IMO, moderates are some of the best compromisers, and thus, know how to get ‘things done’ in Congress. They represent most Independent voters’ views. Our country is not made up of Progressives and ultra-conservatives. We live somewhere in the middle.

It’s looking more and more like the Republicans ‘get it’ this time around. They know the country is watching, and if they don’t work with Obama and vice-versa, they too will be dent back to their respective home states, tails between their legs.

But let’s be crystal clear here. The voters across the US have spoken. Obama must not only finally listen, he must assemble a dynamic group of insiders at the White House who are not, well, ‘insiders.’ Obama must rid himself of the Chicago machine friends like Axelrod, Jarrett, Gibbs and others (Gibbs is an adopted ‘Chicagoan’ via his work for Obama as US Senator).

Arne Duncan, Desiree Rogers (thankfully gone), and many others helped create the ‘echo chamber’ that keeps obama from branching out; Obama and company should use creative friction to lead, not friendships and political allies. There are hundreds of exceptionally qualified people who would give Obama a boost in the arm, if given the chance to serve. Heck, Rahm Emanuel was actually the best voice Obama never listened to!

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at November 3, 2010 12:56 PM
Comment #312228

Kevin L. Lagola-
If your people suddenly take a nice turn towards being accomodating and centrist and all those nice things, more power to them.

And God help them!

God help them, indeed, because Republicans and the Tea Partiers have spent the last two years defining any concession or compromise with the Democrats as evil. You can’t just turn that off with a switch, and with a Democratic President and Senate, they won’t be able to avoid it.

Your party’s put itself in a terrible position. It cannot compromise, but it cannot avoid it. It cannot alienate the Tea Partiers, but it also can’t alienate mainstream voters and independents. The Republicans have to find the route between Scylla and Charybdis.

The Republicans must either dilute the Tea Party’s brew and get away with it, or face the same problem Democrats did this election.

Oh, by the way, the reason that Blue Dogs were inevitably targeted was really simple: their districts were conservative enough to be flipped. I think the fact that they didn’t get support, but rather competition from their supposed friends on the right just shows you that what I said was right: the old center is dead.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 3, 2010 1:09 PM
Comment #312229

The exciting thing is that the center keeps getting redefined and it keeps getting closer to the Marixist position. Two years does not make a life time. I’m just being patient and the center will keep coming to me. Mr. Daugherty wants a wishy washy center; one that the winds of opportunism sway. That is a terrible way to keep moving the center. Hey guy, get on the bandwagon and keep moving left to the inevitable.

Posted by: Mark at November 3, 2010 1:14 PM
Comment #312230

George, It is absurd to think the ball is now in Obama’s court. The people didn’t elect Obama yesterday. They elected a Republican House. The ball is in the court of the U.S. House to make good on the election that put them there. The people already spoke about Obama in 2008 regardless of the 54% who no longer have confidence in his policy direction.

It is still up to the Republican majority to earn the faith they lost in 2006 in 2008. And may I remind you that a big part of the rebuke of the GOP in 2008 was the people’s view of their being the party of big business and not of the people. The Republicans in the House have been given the opportunity, not the confidence, by the American people earn the title of the People’s House. If Republicans continue to embrace big business without significantly improving the prospects of average voters, they will not keep that majority in 2012.

It is an anti-incumbent body politic growing here. No ONE should know this better than Republicans, given the Tea Party’s opposition to so many Republican incumbents. After yesterday, Democrats can’t escape this new political reality either.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 3, 2010 1:18 PM
Comment #312233

Kevin wrote: “It’s looking more and more like the Republicans ‘get it’ this time around. They know the country is watching, and if they don’t work with Obama and vice-versa, they too will be dent back to their respective home states, tails between their legs.”

Couldn’t agree with you more. I agree also with your comments about what Obama needs to do. But, I will add, that the GOP has to overcome its image to the majority of Americans of being the party of big business. The majority of Americans have no more love of a party for big business (which wrecked this economy) than they have for a party of big government deficits and debt.

Somehow, I am not sure Democrats or Republicans are going to actually listen the real message the American people are sending both in the opinion polls and the election polls. They want a government working on their behalf, not on the behalf of big business or more big spending programs.

Huge mistake for Republicans to interpret their majority in the House as an acceptance of GOP ideology. Polls show slightly less than 7 out of 10 Americans have little to no confidence in the GOP’s ability or will to manage this nation’s future, about the same percentage as for Democrats. The Democrats were the biggest and easiest to hit target to vent frustration yesterday. Yesterday’s election was about the people rejecting the progress made these last 22 months as wholly insufficient.

Republicans would do well to take that lesson to heart, for 2012.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 3, 2010 1:28 PM
Comment #312234

David,

You said, “George, It is absurd to think the ball is now in Obama’s court.”

This ignores the fact that the new House will not be seated until January. Obama is uniquely positioned because of this to take the next move. Should he concede it and allow the Republicans to make the next one, I think he is missing an opportunity to begin to reshape the message of how divided government will work.

You are right that the Republican House has only been given an opportunity not the full confidence of the American people. However, the same was true when Obama was elected two years ago. The vote yesterday was essentially a vote of “no confidence”. He now has two years to rectify it before the most important election of his life.

All of Washington, both the newly elected House, the incumbent Democratic Senate, and the President will have competing visions for how to move forward and gain confidence. The next move is crucial; Obama should want the ball in his court; I hope for the sake of the country that he does.

Posted by: Rob at November 3, 2010 1:38 PM
Comment #312235

Stephen,

You said, “Instead, Obama must create a new center, within his own party. He has to create a party whose moderates are not simply moderates in the sense that they fall somewhere between the archconservatives and archliberals, but instead represent moderates in terms of real world policy, centrist not in terms of being between Democrats and Republicans, but in terms of resting in the political center of gravity for this country.”

This is an interesting idea. However, this is a difficult thing to do. The tea party essentially tried the same thing for the Republican Party. The Time magazine cover from a few weeks ago asked a pointed question whether Obama has moved too far to the left. So, there are questions in the mainstream whether he is standing on the political center now. In finding new footing, he should be very careful lest he falls.

Posted by: Rob at November 3, 2010 1:47 PM
Comment #312238

Mark-
I just love it when people inform me of my own opinions. ;-)

Mister, I just said, I want policy defined by real needs, by what is truly necessary for the people. If you want to define that as the mushy middle, be my guest, but I define moderate by a sense of responsibility, not simply a degree of action. Sometimes you need to do something radical in degree in order to fulfill one’s responsibilities to the people. What defines it as a moderate, appropriate action are the results.

Sometimes you really don’t have the choice, if you want to do things right, to just hold back. But if you don’t have to do something drastic, don’t. Be subtle if you can.

Oh, and if you want an indication of how running away from Obama’s plan did wonders for those who did so, Talking Points Memo is reporting the following:

Of the 39 Dems who voted against Health Care Reform, 12 are going to be returning in the next Congress.

That’s approaching half of the seats we lost. So, the real question is, was supporting President Obama, supporting Healthcare Reform as much of a liability? Only four people fell from the Congressional Progressive Causus. Compare that to the Blue Dogs.

Rob-
You are right. I think he should take the initiative, but I think he should also put the Republicans on the spot whenever he can. They should be forced to take responsibility and govern. He should hold them accountable as they have held him accountable.

The question is whether the Republican House has the humility to be held accountable. If it doesn’t, I would recommend that the President move to hammer the Republicans over their extremism, and force them to take the initiative back in being conciliatory. It was easier for Republicans to roadblock when they could hide behind historic majorities on the Democrat’s part. But now they have a historical majority of their own, the best they’ve had in some time. People will expect them to be constructive in policy, not just professional political naysayers.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 3, 2010 2:07 PM
Comment #312239

“Fifty percent (50%) of voters on the East Coast think the Tea Party is good for America, although only 20% say they consider themselves part of the small government, tax-cutting movement.

These results come from Rasmussen Reports telephone polling of people who have already voted in states in the Eastern Time Zone.

Despite the positive assessment of the Tea Party movement, even more of these voters express support for tax cuts and reduced government spending, a bad signal for Democrats seeking reelection who’ve backed the Obama agenda. After all, the economy is the number one issue on most voters’ minds.

By a 63% to 18%, those who’ve already voted on the East Coast say tax cuts help rather than hurt the economy.

Fifty-two percent (52%) believe decreases in government spending help the economy, while just 27% say they hurt economically.”

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections/election_2010/election_night/most_voters_like_tea_party_tax_cuts_and_reduced_government_spending

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 3, 2010 2:19 PM
Comment #312241

Stephen,

I expect them both to take responsibility to govern. I think the rest of the country does too. Neither can do it without the other. That said, I expect Obama to move to the center in shaping his next agenda. If he stakes out his current agenda and tries to ram it down the Houses throat, he is no better than the Republicans were for the past two years (or Bush in the last two years of his Presidency).

You’re view of moderation is interesting, “…a sense of responsibility, not simply a degree of action.” I think that there is some truth to that; however, where it misses the mark is that the idea of what needs to be done is no longer unilateral. There must be consensus among leaders and the people that something must change in order for the ensuing action to be considered moderate.

Health Care reform could have been moderate had the Democrats not lost the communications battle. However, because they lost that battle, the consensus to take bold action was missing so in taking it, they were not taking a moderate action, they were taken a progressive action.

Posted by: Rob at November 3, 2010 2:32 PM
Comment #312243

Evan Bayh, Democrat senator from Indiana, writing in the NY Times said…

“It is clear that Democrats over-interpreted our mandate. Talk of a “political realignment” and a “new progressive era” proved wishful thinking. Exit polls in 2008 showed that 22 percent of voters identified themselves as liberals, 32 percent as conservatives and 44 percent as moderates. An electorate that is 76 percent moderate to conservative was not crying out for a move to the left.

We also overreached by focusing on health care rather than job creation during a severe recession. It was a noble aspiration, but $1 trillion in new spending and a major entitlement expansion are best attempted when the Treasury is flush and the economy strong, hardly our situation today.

And we were too deferential to our most zealous supporters. During election season, Congress sought to placate those on the extreme left and motivate the base — but that meant that our final efforts before the election focused on trying to allow gays in the military, change our immigration system and repeal the George W. Bush-era tax cuts. These are legitimate issues but unlikely to resonate with moderate swing voters in a season of economic discontent.

First, we have more than a communications problem — the public heard us but disagreed with our approach. Democrats need not reassess our goals for America, but we need to seriously rethink how to reach them.

Second, don’t blame the voters. They aren’t stupid or addled by fear. They are skeptical about government efficacy, worried about the deficit and angry that Democrats placed other priorities above their main concern: economic growth.

A good place to start would be tax reform. Get rates down to make American businesses globally competitive. Reward savings and investment. Simplify the code to reduce compliance costs and broaden the base. In 1986, this approach attracted bipartisan support and fostered growth.

Democrats should support a freeze on federal hiring and pay increases. Government isn’t a privileged class and cannot be immune to the times.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/03/opinion/03bayh.html?nl=&emc=a212


Posted by: Royal Flush at November 3, 2010 2:46 PM
Comment #312249

Royal Flush-
Oh, you mean Evan Bayh, the guy who quit so late in the game that he crippled his party’s ability to field a proper candidate, and then wouldn’t provide his funds to other candidates?

As far as your beliefs and your polls go?

If people say to pollster they think tax cuts won’t hurt the deficits, but the revenues don’t show up, do the deficits evaporate out of deference to popular opinion?

Of course they don’t. Nor do majorities of people thinking you do or did a good job on the economy do away with the problems your policies create if they are wrong. There are things that can be properly argued according to popular opinion, and then there are things where popular opinion is between somewhat irrelevant, and completely so.

I think Rob has a point, either here or somewhere else where he says that Obama should have been less unilateral, at least developing the consensus, but polls aren’t a magic answer to what policy is best. Some things have to be considered beyond the casual level at which most people approach polls and policies.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 3, 2010 3:34 PM
Comment #312251

Stephen,

A snippet of Boehner’s little work-up as a ploy prior to the President’s talk to America. He says the same thing as taking control is a mandate by the American people…I wonder why the obstructionism after the ‘08 election, if the voice of the American people is so important to him. To me, it sounds like ‘lack-o’-business’ as per usual. The President made the mistake of reaching out to the right early in his administration and it cost him this one. The center is the last place our citizens want him, they want him standing up, convinced and convincing that HE is the one to follow. His wishy-washy ways have provided Boehner and friends with the uppity gall to say this.

House Speaker-in-waiting John Boehner pledged Wednesday that Republicans will use their new majority to seek a “smaller, less costly, and more accountable government,” and said he hoped President Barack Obama would join them.

“We hope he is willing to work with us on these priorities. But as I have said, our new majority will be the voice of the American people as they expressed it so clearly yesterday,” Boehner said.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 3, 2010 4:03 PM
Comment #312254

Rob, we are talking about two different balls. You are talking about who will take the first initiative to shape the cooperative agenda going forward. I agree with you, that is an opportunity Obama should not pass up.

The ball I was talking about was the policy solution agenda. That ball is in the Republican’s court. The people spoke yesterday, and gave that ball to the Republican House. They can play it, or reject the gift the people tossed their way.

Republicans and Tea Party in it, promised smaller government, lower taxes, an end to deficits and a more robust economy. Frankly, Republicans will not and cannot possibly deliver on all those promises, because they contradict each other over the next 2 years. But, hey, Republicans made those promises, now the ball is in their court to live up to them. We just saw how voters treated Democrats for failing to live up their promises in 2008.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 3, 2010 4:42 PM
Comment #312255

Before everybody goes off following the leader they might want to ask themselves who will be the next Speaker of the House. For why the Status Quo and the Media are already claiming Representative Boehner as House Speaker, unless the Tea Party and Conservative Republicans want to be seen as supporting the Establishment they better start telling others that the selecting for House Speaker hasn’t even had the first vote casted.

In fact, given the willingness to show change from the Status Quo does the newly elected Republicans to the House have the courage to offer their own candidate for the Speaker of the House since one could make the hard case Representative Boehner is part of the Washington Insiders. For what would a Republican House Leadership look like if the new Speaker of the House came from the Tea Party?

So, is the ball in President Obamas’ Court or does the Republicans have to decide if they will still stay under the Flagship of Washington or bring the American People a political party they can believe in?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at November 3, 2010 4:43 PM
Comment #312261

For the last time, Obama NEVER ‘reached out’ to Republicans. Only 2 times he did so, he did it in the most ‘political’ way - On C-SPAN! (Remember the meeting with the GOP leadership and congressmen in Maryland; and the Health Care Summit meeting at Blair House)? He tried to put the Reps in a box. It failed. That tactic alone, shows his inability to caucus with the GOP.

He shot down their ideas forthwith! Heck in both instances, the GOP delivered a ‘written plan’ to Obama to peruse at his convenience. He thanked the nice little GOP folk like the Grinch thanked and patted ‘Little Cindy-Who’ on the head and sent her on her way. It was a political farse.

Obama always responded back to the GOP with:
‘I’ll certaintly entertain some ideas you might have,’ BUT… Obama always qualifies his retorts to the Republicans with ‘But,’ and ‘If it doesn’t interfere’ with MY (Obama’s) personal ideological agenda. It’s really tired and old. Now, Obama has to deliver. He’s on the Hot Seat and must ‘Lean Forward’ as MSNBC says, or ‘Move Forward, as FOX NEWS says.

Believe me when I say the Republican leadership cannot wait to be a part of Obama’s team.

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at November 3, 2010 5:14 PM
Comment #312262

Obama is an egoist. He won’t reconcile that character flaw with any compromises on his very liberal agenda. No way he moves anywhere near a center consensus outside of lip service. My prediction is that nothing gets done for the next two year. NOTHING. For most repubs, that suits them just fine.

Posted by: b0mbay at November 3, 2010 5:18 PM
Comment #312264

His wishy-washy ways have provided Boehner and friends with the uppity gall to say this.

House Speaker-in-waiting John Boehner pledged Wednesday that Republicans will use their new majority to seek a “smaller, less costly, and more accountable government,” and said he hoped President Barack Obama would join them.
“We hope he is willing to work with us on these priorities. But as I have said, our new majority will be the voice of the American people as they expressed it so clearly yesterday,” Boehner said.

Posted by: Marysdude at November

“Uppity Gall” dude…have you read any of the exit polling? What you call uppity gall is what the majority of those polled want.

Mr. Daugherty, displaying his liberalism, faults Indiana Senator Evan Bayh for loosing the Indiana seat. Liberals are fond of eating their own when they don’t toe the liber/socialist line. Bayh served in the Senate since 1999 (when he won 63.7% of the vote in 1998 and in 2004 won 61.6% of the vote) and before that was Governor of that state. He was the Keynote speaker at the 1996 Democrat National Convention. Now, according to Daughertys comments, he’s a jerk.

For liberals the mantra always seems to be what have you done for me today, we don’t give a damn about yesterday. Fickle is too kind a word for that sort of behavior.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 3, 2010 5:25 PM
Comment #312268

RF; Evan Bayh read the tea leaves (no pun intended) and he knew he was on his way out. So Bayh dropped out because he knew he would loose as a result of Obama’s agenda and Stephen blames Bayh for throwing the election to the republicans?

Who does Stephen blame for Feingold (18 year incumbent from WI) being booted out?

With a liberal/socialist, it’s always someone else’s fault. They do not know what personal responsibility means.

The difference between “Mark the Marxist”, writing above, and Stephen is that Mark is not ashamed to admitt his political stand.

Posted by: Beretta9 at November 3, 2010 5:52 PM
Comment #312270

Royal Flush-
Oh, I’m just so horrible for wanting my Senators to retire early enough to afford my party the opportunity to have primaries to select a good candidate. And really, it’s just so unfair to expect that he would give the money he’s not going to used to seek re-election to help his fellow party members.

Goshdarn me for expecting courtesy and loyalty!

Brad Ellsworth should have gone through the primary and competed with other candidates, instead of basically being appointed by the party. I mean, if you are so overwhelmingly concerned with the will of the people (when it doesn’t go against your party in an election), then of course you should want the registered Democrats of that state to have the opportunity to choose for themselves.

I’m pretty flexible about people adapting my party’s agenda to region and state. I didn’t throw a fit over Manchin’s behavior. But I do think that helping the party on things like procedural votes, or by not denying registered Democrats the chance of a primary is the least they can do.

Marysdude-
Look, I’m not talking Clinton centrism. That way, as I said elsewhere, is dead. The real third way here is not about heading towards the Republican’s policies. Those are bad and downright dangerous. Rather, he should push for policies that are moderate by the standards of today’s society. Look at the polls, look at what people across the board want, especially when its at odds with the extremism of the Republican party, and stake your positions there, I’m saying. Force the Republicans to either capitulate to what the public considers reasonable demands, or force them to display their excessive partisanship by rejecting popular policies.

If the Republicans do not cooperate, he can build a list of such offenses against majority sentiment, and put the pressure on the Republicans and their poll numbers. It’s not as if they have the popularity to maintain their numbers against him.

Democrats should help him by supporting these positions.

We’re not really going to get what we want until we restore some balance to the country. By restoring that balance, we open the door to doing more things our way.

bombay-
Keep in mind that doing nothing may suit the GOP fine, but the rest of America might have a different idea.

Kevin L. Lagola-
Define reaching out. He’s not a pushover, or a Clintonian concede the loaf to get the slice type. But he has promoted extensive negotiations and concessions to the Republicans, and paid for it politically at times.

The Republicans tend to think that they’re not being dealt with fairly unless they get to write the legislation from the ground up. Many Democrats, inside and outside of Washington disagree.

As far as policy goes, the Republicans put themselves in the box, because they based their political positions on opposing whatever the Democrats presented, even when they were presented with their own alternative to Clinton’s plan from 1993. It’s ironic that Obamacare was once Romneycare, and the would-be presidential candidate feels the need to utterly reject his own ideas.

The price for positioning your party as always diametrically opposed to the Democrats is that such opposition becomes the relationship of consistency between Republican positions, rather than the internal logic of their policies.

The GOP needs ideas. It needs workable policy that isn’t simply a rehash of the metric ton of slogans and dogmas they’ve reduced their policies to. The country needs policy that deals with the real world.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 3, 2010 5:58 PM
Comment #312271

Mr. Daugherty wrote; “Force the Republicans to either capitulate to what the public considers reasonable demands, or force them to display their excessive partisanship by rejecting popular policies.”

It is difficult to believe that a seasoned political writer would write such nonsense. WAKE UP MR. DAUGHERTY…WE JUST HEARD THE PEOPLE’S VOICE. Nah…go back to ignoring reality and facts.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 3, 2010 6:12 PM
Comment #312272

Beretta9-
I think Feingold ran afoul of independents. They went heavily Republicans this year, especially after the crapload of corporate-funded advertising came down on him. He was outspent 4 to 1.

I just have to wonder, though, how well voters will warm to Ron Johnson.

As for what I said, I would not say he threw the election to the Republicans. What I said is that he threw that seat to them, very arguable since there was quite a bit of controversy and consternation about the way Brad Ellsworth was nominated.

Finally, would you do me a favor? Quit lecturing me about liberals. I know liberals quite a bit better than you. You just parrot fifty years of party propaganda like some Soviet political officer, confident in your indoctrination. I used to be a Clinton liberal, used to be willing, even eager to compromise with Republicans. I liked comity between the parties, a stasis between things.

I’m somewhat conservative, actually, in my mindset. I don’t have any tattoos, I don’t drink or smoke, I’m a Christian who deliberately went to Baylor, knowing I’d run into fairly conservative people, despite my politics.

I’ve never been fond of Marx, and think that basic complexity in society makes his vision untenable.

But because I don’t parrot your blood party line, you pigeonhole me with all the arrogance I’ve come to despise from the GOP and the Right. You stereotype my honest wish to have the free market run in a stable fashion as marxism.

I don’t want a ****load of stupid, pointless economic crashes just so a bunch of people who didn’t play by the rules, who didn’t act responsibly on behalf of their investors or their customers, can make money without paying for their fraud, their deceptions, their contempt for transparency. I don’t think that the system will magically make up for it, and for that belief, you treat me like I’m to the left of Trotsky.

I don’t feel great affection for systems that don’t work, and I have even less patience for people who persist in pushing supposedly self-sufficient systems that require constant interventions to prevent disaster.

No truly well-constructed free market would have required a bailout. And regardless of what your zampolit propaganda says, its not the GSEs that inflated the bubble. It was all the free, totally private companies that jumped at the chance to make money off of bad mortgages, with the hedge funds keeping them from suffering for their Market stupidity.

Or put another way, the markets created their own market distorting structures. They didn’t need government to lead them to ruin.

I am not afraid to admit where I stand, either to say that I do not follow Marxism, or to say that I think letting Wall Street always do what it wants is a recipe for disaster.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 3, 2010 6:20 PM
Comment #312273

SD

Your last post fits both political parties. Why do you single only one of them out when the same offenses fit both. That shows your colors quite clearly. If the dems want it it is good, but if the reps want it is bad. You accused the republicans of doing something the last two years and calling it wrong but when the democrats do it, it is okay. That reeks of hypocrisy. In fact is makes a good definition of political hypocrisy. You are dishonest in what you write and should talk to your priest about that the next time you go to confession.

Posted by: Larry at November 3, 2010 6:21 PM
Comment #312274

Royal Flush-
What do you think the people are, paper cut-outs with dialogue balloons coming out of their mouths? People in the real world can change their mind, and adjust to things as they learn for themselves how the Republicans actually think.

I’m just saying that Obama should force Republicans to put their ideas to the test with Americans. If what you say is true, Obama will lose the exchange. But if it’s not, then your people will have a problem.

It’s a good honest way of putting them on the spot.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 3, 2010 6:22 PM
Comment #312275

Larry-
In the real world, neither blame nor truth rest so evenly or equal between people.

I employ facts and figures to back my arguments, of where the inequality of these facts rest. Tell me something: why in your accusations do you not bother to cite one fact about what I said to critique it?

The world does not neatly organize itself around platitudes and claims of equal fault.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 3, 2010 6:26 PM
Comment #312276

Mr. Daugherty wrote; “No truly well-constructed free market would have required a bailout.”

If the market were “constructed” would it be free? Can you explain what you mean? And, while you’re at it, please describe what a free market means to you.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 3, 2010 6:26 PM
Comment #312277

Mr. Daugherty wrote; “I’m just saying that Obama should force Republicans to put their ideas to the test with Americans.”

Please elaborate. obama can not write legislation, can not force congress to do his will. Are you suggesting that he put in place regulations thru the various departments that are so onerous that the rep house must act with laws to counter them?

I believe republicans made very clear what their ideas are and won’t need any urging from obama to test them with the public.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 3, 2010 6:35 PM
Comment #312278

obama, after just having his party philosophy of big spending government slapped down by the voters is leaving on a foreign trip that I understand will cost taxpayers $200 million per day. Good Grief, has this man no brain? Can we imagine how this must appear to the families struggling to survive on unemployment compensation? Could the cost of that trip have been done at less cost or not at all. It would have been a good start for obama to display his understanding of fiscal responsibility.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 3, 2010 6:46 PM
Comment #312279

I’m pretty sure he could have hopped a freighter…

Posted by: Marysdude at November 3, 2010 7:25 PM
Comment #312280

These trips are planned for months in advance. President Obama, would likely like to stay at home to help his party lick its wounds, settle down and get back to business, but he could not. To abandon the trip except for an emergency, would not show America very well to international leaders.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 3, 2010 7:28 PM
Comment #312285

dude…glad to hear that $200 million per day sounds reasonable to you. That should really impress the world that the US is intent on reducing its debt.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 3, 2010 7:37 PM
Comment #312291

Royal Flush, did you denounce Bush’s trips to visit his Saudi family friends on your tax dollars? I doubt it. Just more partisan hype. The security of our elected President is neither cheap, nor unwarranted. In case you have forgotten, there are terrorists who would love nothing more than take out America’s president. Terrorists are very bi-partisan that way.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 3, 2010 7:56 PM
Comment #312293

Royal Flush wrote: “Please elaborate. obama can not write legislation, can not force congress to do his will.”

Then you truly do not know very much about the awesome power of the President to present a budget, which is a blue print for legislation, and his power to veto Congress’ counter budgetary proposal. And given the Congressional makeup in January, overriding such a veto will be virtually impossible. In this regard, Obama has become more powerful as a result of this election, not less. Remember, the Republicans took out the Blue Dogs. Oops!

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 3, 2010 8:01 PM
Comment #312294

Mr. Remer appears to also believe $200 million per day is chump change. I don’t recall how much it cost for the trips Mr. Bush took, but I would venture a guess that it was nowhere near that expensive.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 3, 2010 8:02 PM
Comment #312295

Mr. Remer presents a very flawed view of obama’s power with regard to the budget.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 3, 2010 8:04 PM
Comment #312306

That’s the best you can do, Royal Flush? C’mon, I dare you to present a case to back up your statement. It is not Obama’s power per se, I referred to, but, the power of the president. Your straw man argument won’t fly with me either.

I am very disappointed so far, with your anemic response.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 3, 2010 8:52 PM
Comment #312307

Make that anemic and unsubstantiated, response.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 3, 2010 8:55 PM
Comment #312310

Royal Flush-
What’s your position on the sale of stolen goods? What’s your position on theft? Don’t you know that property rights get in the way of the market being entirely free?

Or maybe we should dispense with laws that determine weights and measures altogether, too! We should just count on the market to keep the butcher from rigging his scale to indicate more than than the given weight of the product!

Or are you one of those marxists who wants government involved in setting weights and measures?

Let’s be realistic, no market can function without government. Government sets currencies, constitutionally regulates interstate trade, sets weights and measures, builds roads, the postal system and other things as well.

Government, in the form of the courts, the congress, and the executive branch, also has traditionally enforced contracts, and resolved disputes relating to those.

And, last but not least, Government gives corporations their very existence through the corporate chartering process. The rights and obligations of those corporations are also set in law.

So, the participants in the market, before they even step out their door, have depended on the government for their structuring. Without them, they couldn’t punish those who renege on agreements, demand payment from those who haven’t paid, or pursue political influence by using their free-speech rights as persons, which entirely depends on an interpretation of the fourteenth amendment.

If you want a truly free market, according to your definition, then say goodbye to corporate charters and rights, the ability to enforce contracts, the set, stable value of currency, property rights and their enforcement, and so on and so forth.

What free market means to me is that supply and demand interactions set most prices, most of the time, that business be held accountable for behavior as your average individual would be. It means that companies aren’t allowed so much market share that they endanger the health of the market. I would have never let the companies get too big to fail.

What you call a free market, I call self-destructive anarchy. Competition doesn’t always move to healthy ends. Animals, who don’t know better, may graze so much or eat so many prey animals that they starve. Humans, in the mindless competition markets sometimes encourage, can do the same.

If the consequences simply stayed with the few who took the risks, I’d say “**** it, let them go broke.”, but because these people, instead of being firewalled off, had been operating major profit centers, overleveraging their banks, letting them go broke became a systemic risk.

This sort of thing strikes me as particularly idiotic, especially since I’ve seen banks and corporations do the same things at several points through my life. The system is not purging itself of this tendency, especially not after all the doors we’ve thrown open to letting them just do what they want.

There’s no point to having a free market, only to have the idiocy of the few doom a great many businesses and individuals who did nothing wrong to financial destruction.

I’m not against people taking risks, but it should be their asses, not ours, when their risks go wrong. If market forces are incapable of preventing the entanglements that spread the damage further or turn such events into systemic risks, I want the government to step in and just lay down the law.

As for putting ideas to the test?

Well, nothing more than asking the Republicans to put their money where their mouth is. They say they can create the policies that create jobs. Okay, go ahead. Do it. Obama will offer his ideas, confer with Democrats to offer up shadow proposals, Republicans will offer theirs up, and we’ll see what we can bargain.

The idea basically is, we don’t let you just coast along, you’re instead challenged to make actual policy. If your proposals are too scary, too alienating, or whatever, Democrats and Americans will hold you accountable.

I suggest, really, nothing more than the basic model of how competition to write good policy should work in representative government.

As for the trip? The source is a state government official who is talking on condition of anonymity about a foreign leader’s travel budget. What strikes you as a good reason why he would know anything about such a budget?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 3, 2010 9:15 PM
Comment #312313

I have a deep suspicion of such instant scandals.

It’s deeply stupid on four levels.

The first level is that the source is anonymous, and is reported to be an official of the equivalent of a state government. The guy isn’t even a federal level official.

Yet, somehow, he knows the cost of Obama’s trip to India. How does he get a hold of such a budget, given security concerns?

The second level relates to the fact that Obama’s travel is by necessity an expensive proposition. He is the President of the United States, and is accompanied by many vehicles, many security officiers, and probably quite a few staff members. If this is a state visit, then he could also be bringing along State Department officials to do negotiations, and they would have their own arrangements.

Is this Aruba he’s flying to? Nope, just one of the most populous and economically important nations in the world.

What utter frivolity.

The third level of stupidity to these charges is that fact that security here is probably being arranged in Mumbai in light of the fact that not so long ago, the place was attacked by terrorists from the sea. Anybody here remember that? You do not let the president go to such a city without adequate preparation.

And fourth, let’s be blunt here: There’s already a budget for the White House for the purpose of travel, and whatever the costs are, the President mostly likely is not asking for American taxpayers to put up any more money than was already appropriated for the purpose.

So you tell me guys, what exactly, other than a ridiculous attempt to catch Obama with a budget related scandal, is this bull**** about?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 3, 2010 9:41 PM
Comment #312322

He who screams loudest and longest gets the axle grease…nothing the conservatives say has to be true, supported or even make sense, all it has to be is long and loud. Karl…

Posted by: Marysdude at November 3, 2010 10:32 PM
Comment #312327

For the most part this was a good discussion. Most of the posts were constructive, but they lack addressing a very important component.

My experience has led me to believe there are those who can see no wrong being done by their parties. It has been all to apparent these last years that the media is partial to the Progressives in both parties. The obvious bias portrayed by some in the media must be addressed and corrected with an objectivity that may very well have to be addressed as early as journalism 101 in High School.

It will not matter if Republicans are in power and present logical and neccessary legislation if the media ignores these efforts or discredits them before being heard by the majority of the American People. When the media stops refering to proposals as the “So-Called … bill” as it did with the Stratigic Defence Initiative, it will go along way towards including all of the American people. They are paying attention and demanding the facts without the political spin. If house republicans are going to be treated like Sarah Palin or the Tea Party were treated then nothing will get done. There will still be people who can see no wrong in their party. There will still be people who get their information from non-bias sources and they will still be opposing each other and the media will continue selling the disagreement and calling it journalism.

I suggest, really, nothing more than the basic model of how competition to write good policy should work in representative government.
Posted by Stephen Daugherty at November 3, 2010 09:15 PM

Excellent start, Stephen Daugherty. A media that adheared to the rule of more eyes and ears and less mouth would go along way in getting all the information to the people.

Posted by: Weary Willie at November 3, 2010 11:35 PM
Comment #312331

Stephen,

This one kinda goes along with what you’ve been pointing out.

The polling firm Rasmussen is out with a relatively shocking poll given the results of yesterday’s election. Here’s the gist:

Hold the celebration. Most voters expected Republicans to win control of the House of Representatives on Election Day, but nearly as many expect to be disappointed with how they perform by the time the 2012 elections roll around.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds, in fact, that 59% of Likely U.S. Voters think it is at least somewhat likely that most voters will be disappointed with Republicans in Congress before the next national elections. That includes 38% who say it is Very Likely.


More details here. And before you question whether Rasmussen has a Democratic bias, note Nate SIlver’s observation about their election polls last night:

“Rasmussen polls quite consistently turned out to overstate the standing of Republicans tonight. Of the roughly 100 polls released by Rasmussen or its subsidiary Pulse Opinion Research in the final 21 days of the campaign, roughly 70 to 75 percent overestimated the performance of Republican candidates, and on average they were biased against Democrats by 3 to 4 points.”


Posted by: Marysdude at November 4, 2010 6:40 AM
Comment #312333

Weary Willie-
Look, I think most news outlets don’t set out to have a political bias. They set out to avoid it as a matter of policy. But even if it is there in some form, I think it’s pointless and dangerous to chase it.

Why? Because in a political system where the press is supposed to help keep politicians accountable, accusations of bias can be used by politicians and political organizations to get people to ignore problems until they’ve festered too long to be ignored. It can also be used by deliberately partisan outlets to make sure you don’t seek out non-partisan outlets that might contradict their party and candidate-friendly news and analysis.

In essence it makes you a captive audience, and leads to you having less and less interchange of ideas with other people beyond the conservative sphere, so if you folks are wrong, as all people are from time to time, there are fewer people to call you on it.

I don’t particularly depend on bias to be my filter on matters of fact. I research to see whether basic facts of the story pan out.

Republicans, for example, say that Obama’s going on a $200 million dollar a day vacation. Only problem is, he’s really going on a state visit to see the Prime Minister of India, where he will negotiate on matters. Rather than complain about bias here, I can say right off the bat that the Conservative media misunderstood the purpose of the trip.

And this $200 million dollars a day figure, who’s giving it? Well, an anonymous source, somebody not willing to go on the record. Also, a source from the local State government. This is an Indian state government official who claims to know what the US government is paying for the visit. I read another article that says the Secret service doesn’t allow that budget to be distributed for security purposes.

Without information on the source, there is no way to determine the level of access, the security clearance or any other facts that would tell us whether this person even knew or understood what they were talking about.

This is our head of state, also, so we are not shy about protecting him. I have no doubt that the last thing most Republicans want is a dead President in Mumbai. Mumbai, by the way is the location of a previous terrorist attack. So, naturally, security will be heavier, and therefore more expensive. But it’s not like the President’s travel is jus something that gets added gratuitously on top of everything else. He has a travel budget. This was planned far in advance. So this notion that suddenly Americans are going to be out some money as taxpayers that they otherwise wouldn’t be is absurd. Even if it was additional, it wouldn’t be coming out of the pockets of the average person now in the midst of the economic crisis, but isntead out of deficit spending that wouldn’t be due for years.

In other words, this is just pure propaganda.

I don’t like to be manipulated. You shouldn’t either. Manipulators will play on your fears, your resentments, the irrational side of your personality we all have to pass questionable information by your filters. That, or they may be so lazy, so opportunistic, that they just cover their sloppiness by playing to the biases of the audience.

And there I come to the crux of the matter. It isn’t as if the news organizations play to a blank slate audience. We have beliefs, prejudices, cultural backgrounds. It’s not as if we’re utterly neutral out here! In chasing this supposed bias in the media, we fail to look behind ourselves and see the bias problem chasing us. Of course, we can never be completely sure we’re not skewing information towards our perspective.

But if we indulge it, we can badly narrow our perspective, and also narrow our ability to empathize and see the world of others through our own eyes. And that’s a problem.

If we are callous towards others, its more than a matter of brusqueness. It makes us poorer negotiators, less savvy audience members, less wiley and successful wagers of war. To understand your enemy, your partners, your friends, and others, rather than merely understand your own perspective is to be connected to the world, and be better able to work to your own advantage, to the betterment of your interests in the world out there.

The GOP and the Right-wing have encouraged this problematic blindness to other’s way of thinking, because it makes it easier for them to get elected and re-elected without actually having to earn people’s trust. They can get supporters who blindly support their party, even when they sense something is wrong. They can get people who sacrifice their own self-interests because they’ve been tunnel-visioned into thinking that the other side means them harm, wants to destroy their way of life, their freedom. Thus, God, Gays, and Guns.

But even as they’ve made the promise to preserve the American way of life, they’ve worn it to rags in many ways, rewarding their voters with fewer and more menial jobs, lost competitive edges, poorly run wars, and an economic collapse the likes of which we haven’t seen in three or four generations. I don’t think that’s simply coincidence. I think, tunnelled in there, shielded from criticism, Republicans and GOP policy makers have lost their edge, let the subjective, endlessly reinterpretable political sentiments become their guides, rather than good-old fashion solid reality.

I think it’s time for you to stop worrying about the liberal media, and start worrying about what your own sympathetic media is doing to you. It’s like somebody once said, when everybody’s thinking the same thing, nobody’s really thinking.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 4, 2010 8:13 AM
Comment #312334
For the important posts in the new House, the top contenders are all men. Nearly all are white. Most have deep ties to the business community or the industries they will soon oversee. Some have former staffers who now work in the lobbying world and could seek influence before their committees.

The old me would assume that this article means having a Republican takeover of the House just means ‘business as usual’, but the new me will just put it out here for others to figure out.

DRR, jlw, d.a.n., Roy and others, should be able to use it to push their kick ‘em all out philosophy.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 4, 2010 8:29 AM
Comment #312335

David wrote: “Then you truly do not know very much about the awesome power of the President to present a budget, which is a blue print for legislation, and his power to veto Congress’ counter budgetary proposal.”

Yes. It was the power that Ronald Reagan used with a Democratic Congress to get his budget priorities and legislation passed.

Obama now has the opportunity, like Reagan and for that matter, Clinton, to establish a clear distinction in policies between the White House and Congressional leadership. The decks have been cleared for an understandable public debate by the principals on policy unencumbered by the arcane proxy battles that have been fought in Congress over the past two years.

If there was a major mistake that Obama made during his first two years it was relying on Pelosi and Reid to fight the fight in an arena full of parliamentary traps and blockades. Relying on the sausage factory to convey your vision was not the best PR move. That was abundantly apparent in the health care debate and also the financial reform debate.

It may be more difficult for Obama to get legislation passed. However, the public will now know more directly his policy visions undistorted by the prism of Congress.

Posted by: Rich at November 4, 2010 8:50 AM
Comment #312337

David,

You said, “The ball I was talking about was the policy solution agenda. That ball is in the Republican’s court. The people spoke yesterday, and gave that ball to the Republican House. They can play it, or reject the gift the people tossed their way.”

If I were Obama, I’d not miss the opportunity to take the ball preemptively. He has just been given a vote of no confidence. It seems reasonable to me that he should reach out to the country with a new positive message. He now has about 10 months to fix this perception, or he will likely face a challenge in the primary. If he waits until January, he will have wasted 20% of the time he has reverse the current perceptions.

Posted by: Rob at November 4, 2010 9:28 AM
Comment #312338

Royal,

With all due respect, the $200 million dollar per/day India trip is not credible. After some astute investigating, some Indian Hotel guy threw out this number.

As a comparison: Clinton’s entire Asia tripbill was approximately $50 million dollars and it lasted well over a week. $200 million per/day versus $50 million toatal (even accounting for inflation) doesn’t pass the ‘smell test.’

Michele Bachmann of Minnesota jumped on it without doing her due diligence while speaking to Anderson Cooper on CNN Wednesday. Cooper asked her a pointed question about what ‘cuts do you propose to slow down spending?’ And instead of answering the question, she launched into an embarrassing diatribe of this $200-million-dollars-a-day-trip-that-will-supposedly-send-two-thousand-people-to-India-and-stay-at-lavish-Taj-Mahal-type-hotels-and-spend-millions-on-airfare canard.

Her source: ‘The Internet.’

Btw, costs shouls ALWAYS be looked at. The White House and Congress should lead by example. However, there is always a cost-benefit analysis that needs to be done with respect to certain travel plans. I want my president, or other ‘high-profile’ negotiators to broker foreign trade and discuss foreign policy.

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at November 4, 2010 9:50 AM
Comment #312340

I think the $200 million figure is flawed. This time the screamer may have stepped on his own larynx.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 4, 2010 10:10 AM
Comment #312345

Marysdude:

“For the important posts in the new House, the top contenders are all men. Nearly all are white. Most have deep ties to the business community or the industries they will soon oversee. Some have former staffers who now work in the lobbying world and could seek influence before their committees.”

Want to link this quote? I not saying you’re lying, but a link would be nice.

Stephen:

“Look, I think most news outlets don’t set out to have a political bias.”

You mean like Chris Matthews interview of Michele Bachmann at her party headquarters on Tuesday, when he accused her of being hypnotized and then continued to insult her, while Olbermann and several other non-biased liberals laughed in the background? Would he have done this to Pelosi? Of course she had the last laugh by asking him if he still had that tingly feeling running down his leg, after Republicans took the House.

Stephen, why can’t you just answer a question or make a statement? You insist on writing an essay every time you post. Do a lot of words make you feel smarter than everyone else?

Concerning King Obama’s Royalty trip to India: $200,000,000 tax payer dollars a day, 3,000 family and friends, 800 rooms in a 5 star hotel, 40 aircraft, 34 Navy ships including an aircraft carrier to protect him from a sea invasion, probably close to 10,000 navy personnel, and all the coconuts to be taken off the trees to protect the king from getting hit on the head. Total cost, at least $500,000,000 a day.

My mother-in-law, who is 81, believes King Obama is trying to get all his world vacations with relatives and friends in because in two years, he will be paying for his own trips again.

The whole trip reminds me of some dictator king of an African tribe, making a trip to a neighboring village and showing off his status with a big entourage.

Posted by: Beretta9 at November 4, 2010 11:19 AM
Comment #312346

Stephen,

Once again you speak true about the media (as if we were not aware):

One of two mail bombs sent from Yemen last week was disarmed just 17 minutes before it was set to go off, the French interior minister said Thursday.

Post Script:

To whom it may concern,

I’m glad I’m not being called a liar. I did not provide a link for this one either.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 4, 2010 11:34 AM
Comment #312348

#312346 is in referrence to the Brian Williams hint that the recent terror bomb threats may have been timed for the election and not as serious as reported. As much as I admire our Constitution, it is evident that our modern media does not fit the intent of the 1st.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 4, 2010 11:37 AM
Comment #312349

PPS:

I did not provide a link to that one either.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 4, 2010 11:38 AM
Comment #312351

Beretta9,

I saw Chris Matthews’ interview of Bachmann and how the rest of the panel snickered in the background. It was way over the top and spoke volumes to Mr. Matthews’ credibility.

Btw, I catched the election returns on TV until approximately 3 a.m. ET. I mostly switched between Fox and CNN, but I checked out MSNBC on occasion. Wow! What a contrast!

CNN has a well-rounded group of Conservatives, Liberals, Men, Women, Blacks, Hispanics, etc. Likewise, at Fox’s main ‘panel table,’ there were two liberals and two conservatives, respectfully. And Fox also had at least 6 - 8 additional liberal commentators/guests on throughout the broadcast.

At MSNBC, they had a line-up that consisted of:
Olbermann, Matthews, Lawrence O’Donnell and Rachel Maddow! No David Gregory or Brian Williams, or even punditry from the likes of MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough or Pat Buchannon. It was putrid!

Fox is still #1 and CNN was losing its mojo for a while, but it’s doing a much better job now. As for MSNBC - they basically are a liberal ‘netroots’ group of opinionators. They NEVER have a Republican or conservative guest or point of view on their primetime line-up.

Fox and CNN always try to balance it out.

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at November 4, 2010 12:35 PM
Comment #312352

All it takes is mass E-mails to conservatives that Obama is taking a 200 million dollar a day vacation with tax dollars and that’s what everyone believes. The more ridiculous the charge the better. Just ask Beretta.

Posted by: Schwamp at November 4, 2010 12:36 PM
Comment #312353

Beretta9 -

LOL! Indeed, Stephen fails to realize that the length of his posts are not commesurate with the logic or lucididy of his argument.

Heck, if someone can’t articulate their respective point in 2 to 4 paragraphs or less, they ain’t making a very good argument. Words matter. Superfluous words do not.

I don’t even read posts beyond 4 to 5 paragraphs unless the first 2 or 3 paragraphs are interesting, insightful or relevant.

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at November 4, 2010 12:42 PM
Comment #312354

Schwamp,

I expect to see that same email in my junk mail box four or five times in the next three or four years. It’ll be swathed in crazy crap like…”Can you BELIEVE this guy would do this!?!”…”Send this on, so EVERYBODY can see what a loose cannon he is!?!”…well…you know the drill.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 4, 2010 12:47 PM
Comment #312355

Many of these guys indicate that they read the Bible, but think Stephen’s posts are too long, that he uses superfluous words, and does not provide logic…hmmm…if they don’t read past the third paragraph, how do they know there is a lack of logic? I don’t think that’s very logical…

Posted by: Marysdude at November 4, 2010 12:51 PM
Comment #312358
At MSNBC, they had a line-up that consisted of: Olbermann, Matthews, Lawrence O’Donnell and Rachel Maddow! No David Gregory or Brian Williams, or even punditry from the likes of MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough or Pat Buchannon. It was putrid!
Fox is still #1 and CNN was losing its mojo for a while, but it’s doing a much better job now. As for MSNBC - they basically are a liberal ‘netroots’ group of opinionators. They NEVER have a Republican or conservative guest or point of view on their primetime line-up.

I actually thought it worked better than what FOX tried to do. FOX made the decision to air different coverage but in the same format/people on both FOX and FOX News. NBC ran Brian and David on the NBC network but let the regular nightly commentary folks (Rachel, Chris, Keith and Lawrence) have MSNBC. Worked out if you knew to look both places.

Chris had become a joke, but with the return of some Republicans to talk to he might save his “Hardball”. It’s “Softball” to the Democratic guests. Lawrence is the worst though. He kept on and on about Paul being able to filibuster the debt ceiling like that is going to happen. He needs to stick to interviewing Levi Johnston.

Posted by: George at November 4, 2010 1:44 PM
Comment #312359

Kevin:

I was up until 1AM on election night and my wife and I flipped to some of the other channels and you’re right, putrid. Polls showed that Fox News had 7 million viewers on Tuesday evening.

Re Stephen: when I attended seminary, we had one prof who said “If you can’t say it in 30 min, it can’t be said”, referring to a sermon. Could you imagine Stephen preaching a sermon; by the time he hit 2 hours everyone would be gone or asleep. He violates the rules of writing; by the time one gets to the end of his essay, they have forgotten what the subject was.

MD; difference is, the Bible is interesting, makes sense, and is written with authority. And cannot first be heard on Olbermann or Maddow.

Posted by: Beretta9 at November 4, 2010 2:02 PM
Comment #312360

Joe Scarborough or Pat Buchannon probably refused to be part of the circus.

Posted by: TomT at November 4, 2010 2:04 PM
Comment #312364

Mr. Daugherty wrote; “If you want a truly free market, according to your definition…”

Sorry mate, I didn’t define free market, I asked you to give me your definition. What you wrote concerns “regulation” not “construction” which is what I was talking about in answer to you. One can regulate a free market (and should to a limited degree), but how does one construct it?

I was a fan of CNN for many years until their liberal slant became just too much. I have watch FOX for years and like the network.

On election eve I turned to CNN while FOX ran commercials and was pleasantly surprised by how much they have changed. No longer are they slanted too liberal, at least not on Tuesday night, and I suspect it is because slanted reporting was costing them viewership. Ain’t competition wonderful!

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 4, 2010 2:46 PM
Comment #312366

Off subject: I have been reading Stratfor for years and enjoy their assessment of world affairs without any political slanting. You may enjoy this assessment as well.


The World Looks at Obama After the U.S. Midterm Election

http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20101103_world_looks_obama_after_us_midterm_election?utm_source=GWeekly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=101104&utm_content=readmore&elq=7be3bb1a38e6489b9652e561560b1c94


Posted by: Royal Flush at November 4, 2010 2:51 PM
Comment #312368

Rich-
I think you nailed what went wrong on HCR, PR wise. We didn’t need the sausage factory doing our advertising.

Rob-
I think you’re right. I think he’s already started. His folks are already mobilized.

Kevin L. Lagola-
Thank you for admitting that story’s suspicious. If we Democrats are going to be held accountable, if you folks are going to debate us on something, the system works best when it’s substance, not unfounded rumor and allegation that serves as the foundation.

But as for your next post?

1) I don’t like to post part of an argument that I have in mind. I like to get it all out.

2) I tend to respond to people point by point, often looking at a copy of their comment next to the comment window as I compose the response.

3) It’s certainly better composition to quickly lay out an argument, but it’s not completely necessary. Don’t let form get in the way of analysis.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 4, 2010 2:59 PM
Comment #312370

The new Senate is absent 15% of its previous incumbents. The new House is absent 21% of its former incumbents.

In the Senate, 15 Incumbents either stepped down or were defeated in 2010 races. In the House, 91 Incumbents either stepped down, or were defeated in the 2010 election.

It was a good anti-incumbent year. It has to get better going forward if responsible government is to be achieved. Prior to the 1980’s, incumbent reelection average was above 90%. It has been declining on average since 1994. This year 85% of Senate incumbents were reelected and only 79% of House incumbents.

As the rate drops, the Parties will have to address that anti-incumbent Independent voters and their common reasons for voting anti-incumbent, in order to gain competitive advantage over the opposing party. The party’s objective is to acquire and hold power for their incumbents and new candidates. The objective of Vote Out Incumbents Democracy and other non-partisan anti-incumbent advocates and organizations, is to defeat the Party’s objective until the people’s common concerns are successfully addressed.

Jobs and financial security are among the top concerns of anti-incumbent voters. Will those concerns be successfully addressed by 2012? I have grave doubts. If not, the anti-incumbent effect will continue to grow. The parties would do well to consider this trend, long and hard, because lies, mudslinging, and catering to wealthy special interests are the wrong tactics and strategy to fight that trend.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 4, 2010 3:15 PM
Comment #312371

RF, thanks for he web site, it is interesting. I think it gives a fair assesment of what is going on. If the congress extends the Bush tax cuts and stops the bleeding of voters tax dollars, the economy will begin to rebound. This is all the voters want. The rest of the voters desire is to neuter Obama and put a stop to his agenda. This they can do. This will allow us to reach the 2012 elections, and the voters will respond to how the remaining dem senators and congressman have voted for 2 years. Unlike the spin meisters of WB, the fate of dems in 2012 are in their own hands.

Posted by: TomT at November 4, 2010 3:20 PM
Comment #312374

“Deep differences arise when there are strong competing visions for national policy, such as occurred during the debates over the stimulus, health care, cap and trade, and coming tax increases. A vibrant democracy is expected to have vibrant debates, with elections sorting out winners and losers.

But the last two years have been conducted differently than the normal debates of the past and I think explain the scale of Tuesday’s election results.

When bills are passed without any member of Congress having time to read them, it’s insulting to a free people.

When $800 billion are wasted on a stimulus program that visibly does not create jobs, and yet our leaders tell us that jobs were “saved or created,” it’s insulting to a free people.

When a 300-page amendment is inserted into a cap-and-trade bill at 3 a.m. on the same day of the final vote, a bill that would reorder the nation’s economy and impose economic costs of trillions of dollars, it’s insulting to a free people.

When corrupt backroom deals are cut to buy support for health care legislation, even after promising all proceedings would be put on C-SPAN, it’s insulting to a free people.

When a health care bill is imposed against the wishes of the American people, and moreover involves the paying for abortion for the first time under federal law in return for a few votes, it’s insulting to a free people.

When the president publicly scorns the democratically enacted legislation of one of the states of the union, legislation that nearly 70 percent of the country supports, it’s insulting to a free people.

And when all of these things cause the people to rise up and demand that their leaders stop, and the response from Washington is that Americans are “hard wired” to not think clearly when afraid for the future, it’s more than an insult to a free people.”

Author’s name withheld intentionally

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 4, 2010 3:56 PM
Comment #312375

How very profound…as if the fate of Republicans is in someone else’s hands.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 4, 2010 3:59 PM
Comment #312380

TomT wrote: “If the congress extends the Bush tax cuts and stops the bleeding of voters tax dollars, the economy will begin to rebound.”

Glad to see you agree with Obama’s and Democrat’s proposal to extend the tax cuts. The extension of tax cuts for all but the top 2%, would, in fact, keep consumption dollars in the hands of the middle class where most of our GDP consumption activity comes from (70%).

The tax cuts on the upper 2% won’t stimulate the economy, at all. The reason is simple. Businesses in America are not expanding and the reason is a lack of demand. The wealthiest in America are not going to increase their purchases of energy, toilet paper, food, home repairs, auto and appliance purchases with the extension of their tax cuts. What they will do is put those dollars to work in investments and a growing number of those in overseas markets where higher short and long term returns are better assured.

During a time of deficits and debt, tax revenues raised today is treasury interest payments saved, tomorrow, and tomorrow is where America’s economy is most challenged by debt. And there is double beneficial effect given the fact that the majority of our treasury interest payments will be going to foreign national investors, not American, removing money from America’s economy.

Everyone knows we need to reduce government spending. But, spending is only half of a budget balancing act. Revenues have to match spending if deficits are to be eliminated. And having studied some of the proposals out there and their political efficacy like Paul Ryan’s proposal, the cuts are not going to practical. Paul Ryan’s proposal would put an enormous part of the burden on retirees. People over 65 were a very big part of Republican victories in this week’s election. I commend Paul Ryan for being the Only Republican with the courage to put a plan out there. But, I can assure you, the GOP leadership is not about to alienate the largest sector of the voting public that brought them their House majority.

We have to be practical. The wealthiest will remain the wealthiest if their Bush tax cuts end. There is no net loss, at this time, when business capital is abundant and unused, to increasing tax revenues from the top 2% of income earners. Not if cutting the deficit is the priority. Now, if paying back Party donors contributions with American tax dollars is the Republican priority, then of course, insisting on the wealthiest having their tax cuts extended will meet that objective, but, not the deficit objective.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 4, 2010 4:54 PM
Comment #312381

Royal Flush is still diseminating lies and political propaganda saying: “When $800 billion are wasted on a stimulus program that visibly does not create jobs, …”

1.5 to 3 million jobs were saved by the 1/3 of the Stimulus allocated for that purpose. CBO - non-partisan.

I find it ironic that so many Republican governors were elected in red ink states along with a Republican House which will seek to cut federal dollars to those very governors’ states, forcing those governors to cut back spending on education and essential services which their constituents depend upon. Good luck with that in 2012.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 4, 2010 4:59 PM
Comment #312390

David,

According to many of the analysis I have read, capital is not abundant and unused. The biggest barrier to expansion for many businesses is the lack thereof. The low interest rates are likely part of the problem. Banks that use risk return analysis are finding it difficult to justify loans that are even moderately risky because the return on that investment will not outpace the cost of the risk. This is compounded by the fact that no one believes that the current interest rates are maintainable and banks don’t want to use up their supply at low prices; they want to hold it for the higher ones coming.

The Fed and banks are in a catch-22, raise the rates, and demand for credit shrinks. Keep the rates as is and the supply contracts.

That said, I agree demand is still lagging and stimulus is required. Based on the last story that I heard, GDP is growing at about 2% a year. However, productivity is growing at 4% a year. Until the growth outpaces productivity, then significant employment gains will not be possible.

I also have no problem with the wealthiest absorbing the lion share of the cost; however, the proposal on the table doesn’t necessarily do that. It is income based, not wealth based. Until the money moves, it’s not income. Money with the wealthy has no real incentive to move right now. Instead, the 2% mark is certainly hitting the wealthy people that are still working for their money, but it also hitting some people that would like be considered upper middle class in some areas of the country ($250K/ year). While in most areas of the country, that certainly qualifies as wealthy, on the coasts where the cost of living is much higher, this is less true. If we want to fairly move the burden to the wealthy (and do under the existing tax structure), I would recommend that we change it to the top 1% of all earners. That takes it from families making $250K to families making in excess of $350K/ year.

Those making $250K/ year in lots of cases that I know aren’t wealthy by traditional definitions. They are double income young professionals still paying off college loans and mortgages and paying day care costs.

Posted by: Rob at November 4, 2010 5:25 PM
Comment #312397

So David, you don’t think Republican Senators, Congressmen, and Governors can work together? On what do you base this astute observation?

Rob, you are correct, the cost of living is so high in some areas that $250k is barely middle class.

Posted by: TomT at November 4, 2010 5:59 PM
Comment #312399

How much of that $800 billion has actually been spent? If it hasn’t been spent, it cannot have been wasted. Put that together with the misinformation about ‘saved’ and ‘created’ jobs, and the entire claim is bogus. Nothing newe there. That is how the right managed this coup…lies, yelling, intimidation and more lies.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 4, 2010 6:10 PM
Comment #312401

dude wrote; “That is how the right managed this coup…lies, yelling, intimidation and more lies.”

Aw…c’mon…what happened to deceipt, corporate money, voter fraud and all the rest liberals ususally blame losses on?

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 4, 2010 6:37 PM
Comment #312403

TomT-
We’ve been doing what you suggest for the last ten years. The Bush tax cuts wouldn’t be some dramatic new program that would shake things up. They would be the same program that has yet to actually , in good times or bad, stimulate the economy as promised.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 4, 2010 6:51 PM
Comment #312406

I recommend that Mr’s. Daugherty and Remer read and reread this story.

CBO: Extend Bush Tax Cuts to Boost Economy

“A surprising report from the Congressional Budget Office gives new support to permanently extending the tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush—dealing a major blow to President Obama’s plans to raise taxes at the end of this year.

In a significant story that receive scant attention from the national news media, CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf says that keeping the Bush tax cuts that affect upper-income taxpayers, small businesses and investors will give the weakened economy a “considerable” economic boost over the next several years and create jobs that will drive down unemployment.

Elmendorf’s conclusions were part of a CBO analysis released recently on the government’s record-breaking trillion-dollar deficits.

The comparison between this rate of growth under the President’s spending plan and the faster rates that followed President Reagan’s across-the-board tax cuts in the 1981-82 recession is both startling and instructive.

The Reagan-era quarterly growth rates were 5.1%, 9.3%, 8.1%, 8.5%, 8%, 7.1% and almost 4% heading into the fourth quarter of Reagan’s 1984 reelection campaign for a second term.

In an analysis in the liberal Washington Post, headlined “Reagan’s first term offers measuring stick for Obama”, political reporter Dan Balz went into considerable detail to show how Reagan’s tax cuts were far more successful than Obama’s stimulus spending plan.

The U.S. economy experienced a growth surge in 1983 and 1984 that helped set the stage of Reagan’s gauzy ‘Morning in America’ ads and prepared the ground for his huge reelection victory,” Balz wrote.”

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=38702

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 4, 2010 7:08 PM
Comment #312407

We already know what the wealthy do with their extra income from tax breaks, etc. (sit on it or send it overseas). Rehashing how good that might be for the economy is redundant. If that money was going to benefit our economy, it would have already done so.

>what happened to deceipt, corporate money, voter fraud

Okay.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 4, 2010 7:17 PM
Comment #312408

Not according to the CBO dude. I do understand why many liber/socialists wish to increase taxes on those who have more than they do. Simple, they expect the plunder to go to them.

I’ll play the obama card and state…keeping the existing tax rates will create or “save” millions of jobs. LOL

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 4, 2010 7:26 PM
Comment #312412

Time to go. I’ll leave with a little humor…

David Letterman

You can tell it’s winter. The Democrats have gone into hibernation.
In Washington, D.C., volunteers were washing the mud off Democrats and releasing them back into the wild.
Voters didn’t like how President Obama was handling the economy. Wait a minute — he was handling the economy?

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 4, 2010 7:44 PM
Comment #312416

Royal Flush, in the words of one of our greatest American Presidents, Ronald Reagan, “Well, there you go again”. You have to go an introduce evidence into the debate. You know Stephen and Dude don’t like facts, unless they come from dailykos.

Posted by: Beretta9 at November 4, 2010 9:10 PM
Comment #312418

Royal Flush-
Short term. Long term, it bankrupts us faster, costs us more in interests, costs Americans more because of inflation and higher interest rates. Obama’s plan, though little better, is still the more fiscally sound of the two. It provides much of the benefits of the plans, at lower cost.

But really, if we wanted to get the stimulus value of this whole big tax cut extension into the economy, All we’d have to do is $866 billion in direct stimulus spending on things like infrastructure and state aid.

Whether you deny it or not, the 4 trillion dollar tax cut is a Keynesian stimulus, and a huge increase in Deficit spending over the Democratic Party’s proposal.

It’s just an incredibly inefficient one, cost-ineffective. I derived the figure based on the stimulus values given out for different stimulus measures. Taxes yield 32% return on the dollar. If Republicans run government like a business then this a ridiculous return on investment. It means that we’re only going to get 1.3 trillion, or 130 billion dollars of stimulus a year for our troubles.

Infrastructure spending, aid to states, and other programs have 150% or higher return on investment. This is what the Republicans, supposedly running government like a business, are rejecting. If we’re looking to get 1.3 trillion dollars worth of value out of our spending, how much do we need when we get a dollar and a half for every dollar spent?

Well, 2/3rds of that number is 866 Billion.

Tell me, with interest costs, and everything, how much would you rather spend to get the same economic effect? 4 Trillion? Or 866 Billion?

Of course, this is a hypothetical. The reason Obama won’t do this, beside the Republican’s pathological hatred for Keynesian stimulus that’s not frustratingly indirect, is the fact that monkeying with taxes in a deflationary economy is a bad idea. So’s cutting services, so’s cutting government spending.

But hey, the Republicans are the experts who got us into this mess, they should have getting us out of it ALL figured out.

Really. There’s just only so much brute force stupidity I can handle in a day, and Republican policy never fails to fill the quota.

If Any Republicans here can show me how their plan magically closes up the budget deficit while it forces us to do more debt financing, I’m all ears.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 4, 2010 9:39 PM
Comment #312419

Beretta9-
Stop Watching Fox News. Stop Reading Human events. Stop going to any Republican or conservative site to get information.

Then bitch at me about occasionally picking up information from Daily Kos.

Besides, the test of that information I have gotten from Daily Kos is simple. Check their math. If that number of Blue Dogs actually got kicked out, then they are right even if they are the Great Orange Satan.

See, that’s called the fallacy of Ad Hominem argument. Facts are what make people right or wrong, not affiliation.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 4, 2010 9:42 PM
Comment #312421

There are two main reasons why extending the Bush-Era tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 is the prudent choice:

1. Indeed, as I’ve stated over the last months and others have in the above posts, the $250k threshold is too onerous. Numerous small businesses fall under this ceiling amount. That, in and of itself, in this economy, with nacsent job growth and a continued housing/foreclosure problem still growing, is the wrong policy at the wrong time. (deficits and debt matter, but a hemorraging economy must come first).

2. We all know the wealthy are wealthy. They pay more than their fair share. But even if they are given the tax cuts, their ‘extra’ money (btw, it’s all of OUR money, we just loan it to the government - am I wrong on this assertion?) will still contribute to the economy in the form of banks using their savings/investments to ‘loan’ money so other business people and entrepreneurs are incentivized to buy capital and create jobs. The ONLY way the wealthiest 2% doesn’t ‘add’ to the economy is if they put their money under a mattress or bury their money in the backyard.

Remember, the unemployed DO NOT create jobs.

This policy removes uncertainty in the economy. It absolves the Obama administration of a ‘perceived’ disdain for those who pursue innovation, entrepreneurial behavior and success. Wealth redistribution or a ‘perceived’ hatred for those who do well for themselves by taking on risk, only foments more division. Class warfare is UnAmerican.

How to pay for this tax cut? Answer: It’s our current tax law! It doesn’t have to be paid for. What are we buying that we didn’t buy since 2001 and 2003 when the tax measures began? Also, the extra money in the system allows supply-side economics to do its job. And if someone doesn’t buy the aforementioned argument, cut a requisite amount of spending over the next ten years. Heck, there’s like $200 billion left in the Stimulus kitty, I believe. Freeze that and/or reallocate this money where it can be used more efficiently.

I’m sure no Democrat or Republican would balk at using the $200 billion to be spent on infrastructure (bridges, sewers, highways, ports, rail and airports). Let Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi challenge Mitch McConnell and John Boehner to a Best-of-Five game of Rock, Paper, Scissors.

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at November 4, 2010 10:37 PM
Comment #312422

Stephen,

That $1.50 return for every stimulus dollar spent is fantasy.

During the 1930s, New Deal lawmakers doubled federal spending—yet unemployment remained above 20 percent until World War II.

Japan responded to a 1990 recession by passing 10 stimulus spending bills over 8 years (building the largest national debt in the industrialized world)—yet its economy remained stagnant.

In 2001, President Bush responded to a recession by “injecting” tax rebates into the economy. The economy did not respond until two years later, when tax rate reductions were implemented.

In 2008, President Bush tried to head off the current recession with another round of tax rebates. The recession continued to worsen.

Now, the most recent $787 billion stimulus bill was intended to keep the unemployment rate from exceeding 8 percent. In November, it topped 10 percent.

The idea that increased deficit spending can cure recessions has been tested repeatedly, and it has failed repeatedly. The economic models that assert that every $1 of deficit spending grows the economy by $1.50 cannot explain why $1.4 trillion in deficit spending did not create a $2.1 trillion explosion of new economic activity.

University of Chicago economist John Cochrane states:

“First, if money is not going to be printed, it has to come from somewhere. If the government borrows a dollar from you, that is a dollar that you do not spend, or that you do not lend to a company to spend on new investment. Every dollar of increased government spending must correspond to one less dollar of private spending. Jobs created by stimulus spending are offset by jobs lost from the decline in private spending. We can build roads instead of factories, but fiscal stimulus can’t help us to build more of both. This form of “crowding out” is just accounting, and doesn’t rest on any perceptions or behavioral assumptions.

Second, investment is “spending” every bit as much as is consumption. Keynesian fiscal stimulus advocates want money spent on consumption, not saved. They evaluate past stimulus programs by whether people who got stimulus money spent it on consumption goods rather than save it. But the economy overall does not care if you buy a car, or if you lend money to a company that buys a forklift.”


Posted by: Skeptical Boomer at November 4, 2010 11:02 PM
Comment #312423

I bring up the CBO report on jobs saved and created. Conservatives laugh me out of the thread. Somehow or the other the CBO comes up with something that will contribute to conservative argument, and they can’t wait to present it and act oh so unbelieving when I toss it back to them…hmmm…go figure. Seems like the standard double standard conservatives use as their standard to me…is THAT the new standard?

Posted by: Marysdude at November 4, 2010 11:19 PM
Comment #312424

Marysdude,

I don’t care where you got the information. This “saved jobs” is total BS that no one can possibly determine in an objective verifiable manner. It is a made up number which has never been reported until this Administration came to power. They can throw any number out there they think people will believe. I had 22 people working for me in 2008 and I have 24 working for me now. Can the Obama Administration claim they saved 22 and created 2 jobs in my office? It is unverifiable.

Posted by: Skeptical Boomer at November 5, 2010 12:02 AM
Comment #312425

Skeptical Boomer said: “During the 1930s, New Deal lawmakers doubled federal spending—yet unemployment remained above 20 percent until World War II. “

Right. They didn’t spend enough. Cranking up the production for WWII quadrupled government spending and in a very much shorter time period than during the 1930’s, and that did the trick. A lesson completely lost on conservatives and in their texts. Facts and reality which don’t conform to ideology are discarded, denied, rejected. Empiricism has no place in conservative circles these days, unless they serve ideological ends. It was not always thus. But, it sure is today.

Liberals suffer a similar rejection of fact and reality in believing that people will voluntarily conform and modify behavior according logic, empirical data, and researched cause and effect results. Often, they don’t. What liberals fail to take into account is relative value systems and priorities.

There are millions of cigarette smokers who know they should, and really want to, quit. It is logical, desired, and proven to be the healthier, happier course of action. But, these are are longer term results and payoffs, and there are intervening short term values that get a higher priority than quitting, like anxiety management and obsessive compulsive thinking behavior that is not at all easily turned off or managed. After all, it is an addiction.

Still, the fact remains, there is a rational and most efficient and productive course of action to every set of problems and challenges. Problems and challenges never come in the singular, always in the plural. There are costs and consequences to even the best of decisions and actions. Its complicated - and life’s complexities overwhelm people, causing them to reject the complex route to the rational, efficient, and most productive avenues. It is just too hard for many, some would argue, for most.

Faith is a shortcut. Faith in predestination, faith in god, faith in one’s political party, leaders, or superiors, which are all substitutes for faith in oneself to craft the best decisions and choices in a complex world of events and connections which few of us, if any, are fully versed in.

One thing, however is certain, faith in the American system of government, culture, and society is a very dangerous thing to lose. And that faith is first and foremost built on the idea of a united people. We divide ourselves at our own peril, especially, in the population numbers we have today. Two people fighting on a street corner is not a threat to society. But, an entire population divided on its future can, and very likely will be, catastrophic for all if fed and perpetuated. The Civil War costs continued to be paid throughout most of the following century.

These are precarious times for America, and the political parties and politicians fighting each other inside government and drawing the rest of us into that fight, are the source of danger to our nation’s future, instead of being the source of unity, resolve, and leadership for all Americans.

Federal government is not the enemy - from the beginning it was the source of our nation’s unity and preservation as a United states. It is the Party’s within federal government, warring with each other, and recruiting the people to take sides in that war through media paid for by their respective corporate and wealthy donors, that is the greatest threat to our future.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 5, 2010 1:03 AM
Comment #312426

Skeptical Boomer said: “I don’t care where you got the information. This “saved jobs” is total BS that no one can possibly determine in an objective verifiable manner.”

That is patently FALSE. I watched a total of at least 80 jobs filled in a road upgrade project funded by the Stimulus, over 18 months, take place right in front of our home. I know of 4 other such projects that took place withing a 50 mile radius of where we live North of San Antonio, Texas, with a minimum of 300 other jobs filled by Stimulus dollars. Multiply by the number of such projects across the U.S. that took place in the last 18 months and one can get at least a minimum of raw jobs saved by the Stimulus program. Each State government has a web site listing Stimulus dollar projects. Add them up.

But, THEN, you there is the multiplier effect. For every X number of those jobs and paychecks, a host of other jobs were saved by Stimulus dollar job holders having paychecks with which to buy products and services from other companies having nothing to do with the Stimulus projects - utility companies, auto repair shops, grocery and restaurant businesses, clothing shops, toy stores, and myriad others which received the business of those Stimulus Job workers who had a paycheck to continue normal consumption activities as an employed person.

Then, take all those jobs saved, and add up how much welfare assistance and unemployment dollars were saved because they had jobs instead. The compounding effects are tremendous. As was evident by government spending on jobs and job orders in the cranking up of production during WWII, which ended the Great Depression that lasted a decade in the absence of sufficient short term government spending to employ America. The government created all those jobs in WWII. Making conservatives today who say government can’t create jobs, deniers of reality and truth. The government today directly employs 2.15 million Americans. The compounding effect of 2.15 million people out there as consumers, supports millions more jobs in the private sector whom depend on those 2.15 million as customers buying their products and services. And none of those are on welfare of any kind.

Conservatives have to deny reality to in order to make their simple minded ideology make sense. Throw facts and reality into it, and their ideology breaks down. So, they run around lying to themselves and each other by saying government doesn’t create jobs, and the Stimulus didn’t save jobs. Patently false, demonstrably false, measurably false, but, conservatives ideology can’t stand up to the facts, and reality, so they deny the reality.

There are intelligent and educated conservatives, my kind of conservative, who argue that the government can and does create jobs, but, those jobs don’t produce the same compounding economic effects as private sector self-sustaining jobs. And they are correct and it is a sound argument. But, not one that leads to the conclusion that smaller government, as in fewer employees, necessarily leads to greater economic activity. A certain level of government employment is absolutely essential to a sound economic policy and preservation. That is a far cry from the simple ideologues who run around believing the government that governs best is the government that governs least. That is not only false, but dangerous and illogical and irrational. There is an optimum size for government and it changes with the needs of the nation and society and economy.

As in the 1940’s, a larger government employment boosted the economy in ways that the smaller and less stimulative government of the 1930’s simply couldn’t and didn’t. The rapid growth in the size of government in the 1940’s literally saved our nation, militarily and economically nearly doubling the work force and nearly tripling the jobs and wages of the 1930’s with government taxes and deficit borrowing.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 5, 2010 1:30 AM
Comment #312427

Kevin said: “1. Indeed, as I’ve stated over the last months and others have in the above posts, the $250k threshold is too onerous. Numerous small businesses fall under this ceiling amount.”

That is false propaganda, Kevin. Surprised you are succumbing to it. Those tax cuts are on personal income. The business’ operating capital is not included the owner’s personal income. Our tax code permits business expense and capital deductions - which excludes the operating cash for even a privately owned business from being included in the personal income tax assessment of the Bush tax cuts.

And Obama’s proposal provides additional benefits to private and small business owners. You are obviously intelligent. It is important for intelligence to function on factual information, rather than succumb to political sophistry and lies for ulterior political motives.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 5, 2010 1:37 AM
Comment #312428

Kevin said: “Remember, the unemployed DO NOT create jobs.”

But, the unemployed receiving unemployment compensation DO save other workers from becoming unemployed. Unemployment check dollars support jobs in the consumer market place just exactly the same as employee check dollars do, dollar for dollar. Are you not aware of the domino effect of the loss of one paycheck from the economy. It is wide reaching having a small impact on utility companies, grocers, clothing stores, restaurants, dentists and health care delivery personnel, credit card companies, mortgage and bank lenders, and a host of others. Now multiply that effect of the loss of one paycheck or unemployment check by millions. The domino effect reaches into the trillions over time in economic activity. This is economic metrics 101, Kevin.

Then consider the tax effect on the person whose employment was saved by the consumption of customers receiving unemployment checks. They continue to receive their paycheck of $200 and up per week, but, only see their tax burden for unemployment government expenditure go up by perhaps .50 a week. The person whose job wasn’t cut because of government unemployment extensions is $199.50 per week better off.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 5, 2010 1:46 AM
Comment #312440

My point exactly. I cite a source and the source is poo-pooed by conservatives. Conservatives cite the very same source, and rag on me when I doubt the veracity of it. Double double toil and trouble.

On a side note: The Chamber of Commerce says their highest priority now is to take down the Obama Administration, and Mitch McConnell says his first priority is to take down the Obama Administration…they probably both listen to Limbaugh and watch Beck. It is far more imporatant to kill the percieved enemy than to take care of American governance. I think that’s what Jefferson Davis, and the cotton shippers thought.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 5, 2010 7:32 AM
Comment #312446

Kevin L. Lagola-
Numerous small businesses?
How does two percent of small business owners strike you?

Your definition of Small businesses also leaves something to be desired.

Under the Republican definition of “small business,” the GOP is fighting to protect companies like Wall Street buyout firm Kohlberg, Kravis and Roberts, “which recently reported more than $54 billion in assets managed by 14 offices around the world.” PricewaterhouseCoopers, a massive international auditing firm, qualifies for the label, too. So does Tribune Corp., which owns the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and the Baltimore Sun.

The article goes on to say that under the broadly expansive definition, you could claim that George Soros’ hedge fund, a celebrity’s entourage, or The President himself, owing to his proceeds from his writings, were all small businesses. Even Alan Viard, an economist under Bush had to admit it was BS:

As a member of George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers recently conceded, “How can it be that 3 percent of owners are accounting for 50 percent of small business income? Those firms they’re owning can’t be all that small…. They’re very large.”

As for what else you say?

What is onerous? I mean, you can use the word as a loaded political term, just fling it out there, but most people making that kind of money are not hurting, and ifyou’re just at that threshold, understand this: your marginal rates only go up under Obama’s plan on the money you make over that amount. So, even if you’re a struggling student making over 250,000 a year, you’re not going to see an absolutely huge increase in your taxes. It’s only as you get further into the brackets above that the bill goes up, but really, you’ll still keep most of your money. That didn’t use to be the case. When Reagan made his tax cuts, he brought it down to 50% top rate from 70%. Obama’s only bringing up the top rate to the high thirties, and that only applies to the highest income ranges for the taxpayers in question. They still keep the tax cuts the rest of the Country enjoys.

As for the banks thing, I don’t think you’ve paid attention. The problems with the banks is that they’ve reversed their error from loaning too much money out, to loaning too little. Where Rich people or the government stick money in the banks it’s not going to finance things in proportion, just to filling up the massive hole their derivatives-based fraud left in their bottom lines when it fell through.

But more to the point, the problem for people right now is not that businesses don’t have money to invest. Many business have the money to invest, but no business activity to justify that investment. So long as you’re not going to make money by spending money, what’s the use? With no demand, why create supply, much less hire the people necessary to do so?

Supply-side economics can’t fund a recovery when there aren’t enough customers to demand the supply. Businesses will not hire factory workers to make products they know people won’t buy.

As for the stimulus kitty? That money’s already promised to somebody else, and you will put people out of work and take money out of the economy to do what you’re doing. A lot of that, by the way, is the exact same infrastructure spending you’re talking about!

I’m sure no Democrat or Republican would balk at using the $200 billion to be spent on infrastructure (bridges, sewers, highways, ports, rail and airports).

They already did, when they voted against the stimulus, when they demanded it all be tax cuts.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 5, 2010 10:20 AM
Comment #312448

A small, but significant step in the right direction, or something that gets in the way of a conservative take over?

You be the judge:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The economy generated a net gain in jobs for the first time in five months in October, as businesses stepped up their painfully slow pace of hiring.

But the unemployment rate, measured by a separate survey of households, remained stuck at 9.6 percent for the third straight month.

The Labor Department said Friday its survey of employers showed a net gain of 151,000 jobs last month, the first increase since May. Private employers hired 159,000 workers, the best since April.

Economists welcomed the report, which showed much stronger job gains than Wall Street analysts had expected.

“This is not a gangbusters report but it is very important,” said Carl Riccadonna, an economist at Deutsche Bank. “It shows us that the momentum in employment is building.”

Employers also extended the average work week to 34.3 hours, up by one-tenth. The additional jobs and longer work week should boost Americans’ incomes and provide fuel for more consumer spending, which drives about 70 percent of the economy.

The additional income, combined with the Federal Reserve’s decision Wednesday to pump more cash into the economy and the potential extension of the Bush tax cuts, could “jump start a virtuous cycle,” Riccadonna said. More income may encourage more spending, leading to more hiring by healthier companies, he added.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 5, 2010 10:31 AM
Comment #312449

Question:

If jobs begin to increase, say to 6.5% by June, and banks begin to make good loans again, and health care costs begin to drop, are conservatives going to back off, or will they charge ahead full steam?

Question:

Is it for America that liberals and conservatives are in this struggle to the death, or is it pride, arrogance and the ‘gotcha’ mentality?

Posted by: Marysdude at November 5, 2010 10:40 AM
Comment #312451

Skeptical Boomer-
Actually, the unemployment numbers did not behave the way you believe they did.

1929: 3.8%
1930: 8.9%
1931: 15.9%
1932: 23.6%

Those were the Hoover years, right there.
This is what Roosevelt starts with:

1933: 24.9%
1934: 21.7%
1935: 20.1%
1936: 17.0%

That’s the first year we see with unemployment under 20%. Not the last, though.

1937: 14.3%

Then, FDR, on the advice of his economic team pulls back on New Deal Spending and raises taxes.

1938: 19.0%

This was the recession within the Depression. Up until this point, the economy had been growing incredibly fast, but then it took a 3.4% hit. Not until we took a 4.1% hit in the Great Recession would we see a recession hit us as hard. But FDR eased up on the austerity, and the numbers responded:

1939: 17.2%
1940: 14.6%

Then, of course, the war and its production demands stimulated the economy. The debt of this country went up considerably, but the Depression’s back was broken.

Japan responded to its recession much as we did, with excessive caution and an emphasis on only one kind of spending, construction and infrastructure. The Obama Stimulus hit several different fronts simultaneously, so the economic recovery would be generalized.

As for the Bush economy? 2001’s recession was only 11 months, and very shallow: .03% The main engine of growth was not tax cuts. It was the Housing Sector. The main problem for most people was not that they were taxed too much. It was that food and gas prices were getting crushingly high, and manufacturing was continuing to suffering. Bush’s U3 numbers were good, but if you look at his U6 numbers, the numbers blew.

Now, the most recent $787 billion stimulus bill was intended to keep the unemployment rate from exceeding 8 percent. In November, it topped 10 percent.

The president made that prediction when the Fourth Quarter numbers had not yet come in. That’s critical, because they were much worse than expected. Obama was measuring from a particular baseline that turned out to be an underestimate of the damage done.

So, you’re essentially saying the stimulus didn’t work because it didn’t meet goals made in ignorance of the true scope of the devastation.

The difference it actually made is profound, though. Consider the momentum of Several hundred thousand jobs lost a month. You don’t stop that on a dime. Despite that frightening momentum of lost work, Obama was able to turn around the unemployment rate by the end of last year. The back of the recession was broken, growth, though anemic restored.

The economic models that assert that every $1 of deficit spending grows the economy by $1.50 cannot explain why $1.4 trillion in deficit spending did not create a $2.1 trillion explosion of new economic activity.

First, you’re misinterpreting the actual claim. It’s particular kinds of spending that are more efficient. Part of the deficit, for example, are the Bush tax cuts, which would only return 32 cents on the dollar. Other parts, like the Medicare Drug benefit were already a part of the economy. Medicare spending was already there, part of the economic baseline.

It’s also important to note that considerable parts of that budget deficit were emergency spending measures, like TARP, which indeed are part of the reason why the economy is not in much worse shape. That would include the now growing domestic auto sector, which if the Republicans had their way would have simply collapsed, taking jobs and supporting industries with them.

As for John Cochrane? His crowding out theory might have some currency to it if there were actually private dollars out there to push aside. The folks who ran the numbers found that it might take off a fraction of percentage point in growth later, and that was it.

Banks aren’t lending like they did, and businesses aren’t financing things, because they have no additional business to finance for. As for where that dollar come from? The distant future, really. The question is whether we solve our economic problems now, or let them become heirloom to the next generation, along with the debt we’ve piled up trying to stimulate the economy the Republican way.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 5, 2010 11:19 AM
Comment #312457

Damn it Stephen! There you go again, putting out facts and data. Have you not learned ANYTHING during the last couple of years??? Facts and data are anathema to the conservative mindset.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 5, 2010 12:50 PM
Comment #312459

Mr. Remer wrote; “Then consider the tax effect on the person whose employment was saved by the consumption of customers receiving unemployment checks. They continue to receive their paycheck of $200 and up per week, but, only see their tax burden for unemployment government expenditure go up by perhaps .50 a week. The person whose job wasn’t cut because of government unemployment extensions is $199.50 per week better off.”

Yes, it is amazing what can be accomplished with borrowed money. It cost .50 cents to receive $200. A simple question is, who paid the other $199.50? It didn’t fall from a tree.

Taxes were obviously not increased sufficiently to pay for it and productivity was not increased to sustain it.

It is an illusion to believe in something for nothing. There is always a cost. If not, then one could logically advocate near zero unemployment thru government spending on jobs. I believe that is what they did have in Cuba until just recently when the Castro brothers realized that even the $20 per month pittance in government subsidized payrole was unaffordable.

Nearly all private wealth in Cuba was siezed from the private sector to sustain the communist dream there. When the private sector had no more money or assets to sieze the government fell into poverty.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 5, 2010 1:04 PM
Comment #312460

Royal Flush, jobs and the economy are the issue to be resolved. If you want to rail that Americans helping Americans during bad times is communist, then be consistent and demand no tax dollars be used to help hurricane type victims, flood victims in the Heartland, or BP type catastrophes, or catastrophic hurricane victims. I personally don’t see any difference between those type disasters and millions thrown out of work by greedy irresponsible capitalists operating in the absence of government regulation which they bought and paid for and blackmailed politicians for, all very legal, of course.

But, you rail against the American people the vast majority of whom believe their government should be there for them when such circumstances beyond their control create disaster for them.

No one is talking about something for nothing, EXCEPT YOU. Unemployment extensions will cost future tax payers but, only a fractional amount increase. Given that as opposed to the Republicans forcing the Pentagon to buy military equipment it does not want or need to pork up wasteful spending for their districts, I think folks such as yourself have a serious priority problem.

It appears that Republican majority newly elected is about to raise the Debt Ceiling, YET AGAIN, as they did for 8 years before from 2001 through 2009, increasing the national debt 5.65 Trillion dollars.

Folks who think Republicans are going to improve America’s conditions will be proved wrong. They are going to increase national debt with unneeded and counter-productive tax cuts on the wealthiest, and they are going to remain faithful with your and my tax dollars to paying back their corporate and wealthy campaign donors as their first priority. That is what makes the GOP no better than the Democratic Party, and the opinion polls show the majority of American like neither, equally.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 5, 2010 1:35 PM
Comment #312461

Marysdude, were Democrats any better in IGNORING the facts, data, and public opinion polling on the Public Option? NO! Democrats did what Republicans do, yield to their corporate and wealthy campaign donors demands for payback with tax dollars, and quake in their boots about the prospects of facing an election after having failed to repay Big Pharma, or the Insurance Industry corporations.

Fundamentally, there is little difference between the Parties. They talk up ideological differences, but when it comes to legislation and law, they both remain enslaved to the campaign money brokers that pay for their election expenses.

If Democrats want to regain faith and trust of the electorate, they could find no faster or credible way than to immediately make political and campaign finance reform to divorce Political parties from wealthy special interest influences, the center-piece of their agenda, and explain how the current system corrupts all other electorate priorities and results. The people of this country, especially the Independent and non-partisan anti-incumbent voters, would have ENORMOUS respect and encouragement for such a shift and effort.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 5, 2010 1:46 PM
Comment #312464

That is what makes the GOP no better than the Democratic Party, and the opinion polls show the majority of American like neither, equally.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 5, 2010

Can’t agrue with that as being the norm for some years now. However, we have a new group in the mix, that being the TEA party. My hope is that these newly elected members will have a positive affect on both Reps and Dems not only in Washington, but in state houses across the nation.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 5, 2010 2:20 PM
Comment #312466

Royal Flush, you can hope, but, I don’t possibly see how the Tea Party influence will have any positive resonance with the general public. The Tea Party’s agenda will threaten all Democrats, a majority of Independents, and a percentage of Republican voters, if the GOP yields to them.

Across the board spending cuts will alienate just about everyone when the list of specific category cutbacks become known. The Tea Party’s demand for zeroing out the deficit over the next two years will be catastrophic for jobs and the economy, not to mention impede State budgets and public services of local governments. Lastly, such cuts will force state and local governments to either make drastic and unpopular cuts in spending or raise taxes.

These are practical realities from which there is no escape if the media and Democratic Party and third parties do their job in fair and accurate reporting as to what the proposed cuts will mean specifically for citizens in every state and urban and rural community.

McConnell and Boehner and other Party leaders know this, and the war between the GOP’s establishment leadership and the Tea Partyers in the Congress has already begun. It will be interesting to watch what emerges. The Tea Party has the ability to rally GOP turnout, but, their agenda will be catastrophic for working tax paying Americans, who expect more from their tax dollars, not less, especially where the economic growth and jobs are concerned.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 5, 2010 2:42 PM
Comment #312470

DRR,

You are right about the failure to stand up and be counted for the public option. That was a failure of epic proportions, but it was a mistake made not because of corporate pressures, but rather pressures from the right. When Democrats went into the health care planning phase, they expected business, and especially the Chamber to be yelling loud and long, and for mega-bucks to be thrown at the opposition. What they had not anticipated was the whole hearted sell-out of American best interest by the other side of the aisle (universe).

Posted by: Marysdude at November 5, 2010 3:00 PM
Comment #312471

P.S., Royal Flush, a lot of folks have tried to characterize just what the Tea Party stands for. I may be proved wrong, but, it appears to me that the Tea Party is little more than the Libertarian fiscal wing of the Republican constituency. Less government, less taxes, and drastically less spending. That is the Libertarian position. I have had many discussions with Libertarians over the years as well as Republicans, and I have found there is a real schism between them on actual policy. That schism is now going to play out within the GOP instead of between the Libertarian third party and the GOP.

Hard to see how the GOP can hold these factions together - and Palin this last week said, if the GOP doesn’t yield to the Tea Party then the GOP is through. Those are pretty powerful words coming from a person who has the ear and hearts of all those Independent voters who helped sweep Republicans into office this week.

The Democrats allowed themselves to become a divided party between Establishment Democrats and Progressives. We see how that played out. I thing Republicans now face the exact same dilemma in 2012 with the Tea Party and Establishment leadership. I don’t envy the GOP leadership in facing the decision whether to put Bachmann in a leadership position as a concession for unity, and at the same time give the Tea Party that much vocal power heading toward a Presidential election season, which is already underway. Do they really want Bachmann speaking to the public at large as member of the leadership of the GOP? It would be like putting Christine O’Donnel or Sharon Angle in that position with a megaphone with GOP written all over it in bold letters. One helluva pickle. The leadership will deny Bachmann at enormous expense in internal disunity and public opinion. A real Catch-22.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 5, 2010 3:00 PM
Comment #312474

Marysdude wrote: “That was a failure of epic proportions, but it was a mistake made not because of corporate pressures, but rather pressures from the right.”

There was certainly pressure from the Right, but, that was not the critical concern. The Democratic Party KNEW they were facing an election in which they would be outspent by Republicans, and alienating their corporate donors would have been election funding suicide. In a recession, Democratic donations from working Americans dry up. Not so much with Republicans, who don’t rely on working American dollars the way Democrats do.

But, don’t take my word for it. Check out this article on Huff Post referencing a NY Times article on a deal struck between Obama and the Hospital and Drug industry lobbyists. What is the weapon of lobbyists? Campaign contributions and opposition contributions. The link is inescapable.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 5, 2010 3:16 PM
Comment #312480

Mr. Remer, I think we both agree that we can not continue to deficit spend and that there will be financial pain involved for everyone. I don’t see giant steps being made in this political atmosphere, but even baby steps have to begin somewhere.

Should congress begin to compromise on issues much could be accomplished. As a conservative I could live with some increased tax adjustments for the very wealthy and cuts in some military programs and most federal agencies and no new earmarks (pork) for either side. Certainly, both sides could agree to a federal hiring and pay freeze as everyone needs to participate.

There are some provisions (considered obnoxious by reps and cons) in the HC bill that could be changed and still keep some of it intact, mainly the provisions that actually save money.

Lowering ethanol mandates would help ease the increasing cost of grains which has adversely affected food prices here around the world. Agreement to develop and use our huge proven fossil fuel supplies would create more employment, make us less dependent on foreign energy and reduce costs at the pump. I know, the MMGW crowd will hollar like hell but we have a fiscal and employment emergency that must be dealt with now and all must sacrifice some cherished beliefs and desires.

I agree with Donald Trump that we must stop financing China’s growth with our jobs. He advocates tarrifs on some Chinese imports. Mr. Obama must get much tougher with China over the imbalance of trade. There is more we can do but this would be a good beginning with neither side being required to capitulate entirely.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 5, 2010 3:47 PM
Comment #312481

Stephen

Just flew in to give my condolences. Been working hard on the election and the job is half done.

In 2012, when 20 dem Senate seats come up versus 10 for the Repubs, the job will be done.

By that time, even if they dig Barry Goldwater up from the grave, he’s beat Barry.

Right now, at least 3 or 4 Repubs can beat the guy.

:)

Posted by: sicilian eagle at November 5, 2010 3:49 PM
Comment #312487

Hi eagle…missed your presence. Dems think this election was a difficult pill to swallow, but 2012 will give them a real stomachache.

With the addition of many new rep governors and state house control and the redrawing of many districts they will really be in a bind. There only hope is for a significant start to economic recovery and a rise in popularity of obama.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 5, 2010 4:16 PM
Comment #312488

Royal Flush, I respect your thoughtful comments, and agree with many.

During a period of a teetering economy is no time to be attempting to zero out deficits. Yet, that is what the Tea Party is going to insist on, now that there are at the table of power. It won’t take much to push this 1.5 to 2% GDP growth into negative territory, again.

The U.S. is in a real Catch-22 with China. There are no easy or quick solutions. If we were to get tough on China with tariffs, cheap imports of Chinese goods would dry up, and consumer price inflation would rear its ugly head at the same time we are fighting deflationary pressures. It is called stagflation and the 1970’s stagflation offered up no quick or easy or painless solutions. Tariffs may shore up jobs in the U.S. modestly and in the the short run, but, in the long run inflation and falling consumption due to increasing prices could overtake those employment gains and send this economy back into recession.

Increasing consumption demand is the target for rescuing our economy going forward. Whatever solutions can be implemented to accomplish that in the short run must not carry with them longer term and deeper deleterious economic consequences. All of this is taking place in the context of ever rising deficits due to entitlement spending and majority public rejection of any proposals to end those entitlements.

So any solution addressing increasing aggregate consumer demand must work in tandem with driving down Medicare and Medicaid costs. The fastest growing segment of health care costs is health care industry profits. The GOP is in the hip pocket of the health care industry, so such measures to morph health care industry into non-profit or diminished profit mode is off the table if the GOP has power in government. Of course, Obama struck a deal with the Hospitals and Drug industry to not back the Public Option which could have seriously reduced health care costs, so, it doesn’t appear that will be much support for such measures by Democrats, either.

Which leaves America where she usually finds herself, paralyzed to act preventively against looming economic crises. The writing was on the Wall and on WB foretelling of the Housing and mortgage industry market collapse as early as 2006. But, our politicians needed the crisis to happen before being politically able to act on it.

But, failing to get debt under control as a crisis will be fatal to the quality of life Americans now enjoy, and will make this late Great Recession the Good Old Days longed for. This scenario has played out many times in our history. Waiting to be attacked and have our Pacific Fleet wiped out in 1941 was a consequence of FDR’s and Congress’ political inability to act instead of react. OK, we recovered from that. In the late 1920’s warnings abounded over the leveraging and unsustainable run on markets. But, Hoover and Congress were unable to politically act to regulate the banking and stock market sectors. OK, we recovered from that.

But, you know what both those periods had in common? Vast untapped resources in America’s future unleashed by WWII. America no longer has vast untapped resources before it to unleash in a recovery from another economic depression. And the world’s growing economies will have neither the will nor the resources to spare to rescue the U.S. from a 20 to 25 Trillion dollar national debt. We have little to export, and in a depression brought on by default on our loans and entitlement programs, we will have precious few domestic resources to tap into and shore up consumer demand and tax revenues. Wealth will exit America like chickens spotting a fox on the prowl.

All great civilizations in economies in history refused to believe that that there would ever be a crisis from which they could not recover, just before they passed into history.

You are right. Bi-partisan cooperation will be essential to averting this crisis. But there are political forces in play in both Parties that will fight such efforts tooth and nail, the Tea Party and Libertarian wing of the GOP and the Progressive wing of the Democratic Party. And they both now have enormous clout in their respective parties.

McConnell said the top priority is to insuring Obama is a one term president. Progressives are calling for all out political warfare on the Right’s propaganda machine and libertarian agenda. I fail to see where bi-partisanship can gain a foothold in addressing the debt and deficits which must begin with getting the current economy off the teeter-totter.

Bottom line is this: The private sector is not going to create 5% GDP and employment growth if aggregate consumer demand is absent or low. That leaves only one option for uplifting aggregate demand, and that is government intervention and job stimulus. But, that option was pulled off the table last Tuesday. And if we can’t get GDP growth up, deficits are inevitable, and the Medicare/Medicaid entitlement crisis looms ever larger at a political impasse.

The reality is that the government could eliminate taxes altogether and it would only exacerbate the current economic malaise. Consumer demand would increase, but, the deficits would then explode and default on interest payments. Cutting taxes is not a solution when low growth is a result of low aggregate consumer demand and deficit spending is structurally built in.

The FED is buying $600 billion in treasuries to put money into the economy, but that is a monetary solution to a fiscal problem, and inflation in a stagnant economy will be the only result. The FED is now caught in its own Catch-22 due to the absence of fiscal action to stimulate consumer demand and job growth by the warring political parties.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 5, 2010 4:46 PM
Comment #312489

Royal Flush, call me David instead of Mr. Remer, if you like. We have spent enough time together here, to be on a cordial first name basis, even as opposites on some of the issues. I respect our debates, and appreciate their forcing me to stretch my research resources, and consideration on such issues. Thank you for that.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 5, 2010 4:56 PM
Comment #312492

Mr. Remer wrote; “America no longer has vast untapped resources before it to unleash in a recovery from another economic depression.”

I would disagree. We have proven fossil fuel resources in the ground that rival those of any country in the world and many new power sources on the near horizon. We have some of the best soil, technology, and farmers anywhere and already feed much of the world even with much of our land laying idle. We have vast quantities of lumber, great rivers and ports, and mostly temperate weather. We have great universities and hospitals, rail networks, roads, and infrastructure.

Most important, we have the resource of a mostly educated, highly motivated, productive, mobile and work oriented population that only waits to be tapped again. There are trillions of private dollars here in America and more around the world ready to be put to work here in America if given a competitive reason for doing so.

We have a legal system that has no rival in the world and a history of rolling up our sleeves when the going gets tough. We remain a can-do society that merely awaits a leader who can instill confidence and a legislative body that cooperates for the benefit of all.

God has blessed our country with location, resources and liberty. All we need do is apply our common sense. I see great days ahead for America if we can just get past our petty political squabbles.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 5, 2010 5:12 PM
Comment #312497

David,

I respectfully disagree with your ‘elimination of the tax cuts’ will only make things worse argument.

Oftentimes in life, we over-analyze things. It is a simple proposition:

Uncertainty for ALL businesses (the wealthy included) is a death knell.

Especially during a ‘jobless’ recovery.

Nothing more, nothing less. We can all peruse various sources and provide various facts and information; however, we can also ‘cherry-pick’ or take out of context ANY fact or piece of information. I mean, do you really think those at the CATO Institute or the Heritage Foundation would agree on the same facts as say, the Center for American Progress would? It ain’t gonna happen!

Sometimes, reality on the ground, what real people are saying, thinking and feeling (people who are risk taking business owners, entrepreneurs, small business analysts, economists and other ‘broad view’ commentators) is a clarion call for Congress to act accordingly.

Btw, Obama will compromise. You stated earlier that only on 2 points would the president change his mind. That’s your interpretation. Moreover, history has shown that raising taxes during a recession has failed. Knowing how the ‘real world’ works trumps Krauthammer-like pyschological analysis every time (although Charles K. is right, as usual on this matter).

Finally, what do Liberals have against success or being wealthy? Why is punishing those who have taken on enormous risks considered ‘anathema?’ (could it be that the wealthy are the ‘sugardaddys’ of entitlement revenue?) The fact is, anyone who spends money, acquires capital, invests their money or gives charitably helps move the economy forward.

Western Europe’s tax and spend fiscal and monetary policy is now finding that out the hard way. And in one of the most prescient bits of Irony, the United Kingdom, France and Gemany are following Supply-Side economics, and are pushing hard their austerity program.

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at November 5, 2010 6:00 PM
Comment #312498

POTUS gave us ‘Citizen’s United’, The Chamber of Commerce/Insurance Industry/Oil gave us conservative financing that would float every ship on the sea, and the Tea Baggies/Limbaugh/Beck gave us a conservative leadership that sets the highest priority of ridding the land of progressives (the only leveling influence in America).

All of these things can only mean the end of America and the beginning of American Corporation. We will have to go through a period wherein sweatshops, child labor, genocide, and privation prevail, but it now has to come, whether we are ready for it or not.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 5, 2010 6:05 PM
Comment #312503

dude, i think your probably right sadly. When i am visiting out of country and people ask me where i am from, going to be telling them US Corp. LLC in the future


LLC because its always someone else s fault in Washington, tired of the Teflon congress. Following Mr. Remers lead at this point i VOID’ed all the (R) and (D) on my ballot on Tuesday

Posted by: JOHN IN NAPA at November 5, 2010 7:20 PM
Comment #312505

America is our home, we live here, work here, love here and die here. Why is it necessary to continue soiling our own house with political squabbles and ignorant policies?

If we could get some adults appointed by the president, those who actually understand how the economy, markets, and business works, who are not socialists or worse, we could think and work our way out of this mess.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 5, 2010 7:48 PM
Comment #312506
Royal Flush, you can hope, but, I don’t possibly see how the Tea Party influence will have any positive resonance with the general public. The Tea Party’s agenda will threaten all Democrats, a majority of Independents, and a percentage of Republican voters, if the GOP yields to them.

Across the board spending cuts will alienate just about everyone when the list of specific category cutbacks become known. The Tea Party’s demand for zeroing out the deficit over the next two years will be catastrophic for jobs and the economy, not to mention impede State budgets and public services of local governments. Lastly, such cuts will force state and local governments to either make drastic and unpopular cuts in spending or raise taxes.

These are practical realities from which there is no escape if the media and Democratic Party and third parties do their job in fair and accurate reporting as to what the proposed cuts will mean specifically for citizens in every state and urban and rural community.

McConnell and Boehner and other Party leaders know this, and the war between the GOP’s establishment leadership and the Tea Partyers in the Congress has already begun. It will be interesting to watch what emerges. The Tea Party has the ability to rally GOP turnout, but, their agenda will be catastrophic for working tax paying Americans, who expect more from their tax dollars, not less, especially where the economic growth and jobs are concerned.


Posted by: David R. Remer at November 5, 2010 02:42 PM
Mr. Remer, I think we both agree that we can not continue to deficit spend and that there will be financial pain involved for everyone. I don’t see giant steps being made in this political atmosphere, but even baby steps have to begin somewhere.

Should congress begin to compromise on issues much could be accomplished. As a conservative I could live with some increased tax adjustments for the very wealthy and cuts in some military programs and most federal agencies and no new earmarks (pork) for either side. Certainly, both sides could agree to a federal hiring and pay freeze as everyone needs to participate.

There are some provisions (considered obnoxious by reps and cons) in the HC bill that could be changed and still keep some of it intact, mainly the provisions that actually save money.

Lowering ethanol mandates would help ease the increasing cost of grains which has adversely affected food prices here around the world. Agreement to develop and use our huge proven fossil fuel supplies would create more employment, make us less dependent on foreign energy and reduce costs at the pump. I know, the MMGW crowd will hollar like hell but we have a fiscal and employment emergency that must be dealt with now and all must sacrifice some cherished beliefs and desires.

I agree with Donald Trump that we must stop financing China’s growth with our jobs. He advocates tarrifs on some Chinese imports. Mr. Obama must get much tougher with China over the imbalance of trade. There is more we can do but this would be a good beginning with neither side being required to capitulate entirely.


Posted by: Royal Flush at November 5, 2010 03:47 PM
The Tea Party would like to believe it has that center, but I doubt it. I believe they are over extended, and they will find out how much the first time they try some sort of political stunt with the mechanics of our government. I think Obama’s best bet will be to assertively make stands on issues from common sense positions, and do this again and again at the Republican’s expense. He should be proud to stand for what is right, what is true, and what is real. That foundation of substance is the only rock on which he should lay his foundation for 2012. To muddle through the next two years is to put himself in a place of greater, not lesser desperation.
Posted by Stephen Daugherty at November 3, 2010 10:38 AM


Our positions are defined in some detail in these posts, but I have to think they are just nibbling around the edges of our problem. We have to define the problem first. Identify the pieces and get to the root. To do that we must have access to all the information. My proposal will scare the hell out of all three of you, because you won’t know the results of what you would agree to. You would have to take a leap of faith and hope it’s execution is honest and the results are in our favor. What scares the three of you? My opinion is, you already know the results will be bad.


http://www.campaignforliberty.com/blog.php?view=39302
Federal Reserve System is “Deeply Flawed.”
Posted by Matt Hawes on 11/05/10 4:04 PM

On Friday, Congressman Ron Paul was interviewed on Fox News’ Your World w/ Neil Cavuto concerning the Federal Reserve and returning to honest money.
http://af.reuters.com/article/metalsNews/idAFN0422739520101104?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0
(Ron) Paul, who has written a book called “End the Fed,” has been a fierce critic of the central bank’s efforts to boost the economy through monetary policy.

Ron Paul should be an influential figure in the media, and the house, in the next 2 years. If he is still considered a “crackpot” in the media, and here on WatchBlog, then nothing will change.

Posted by: Weary Willie at November 5, 2010 7:50 PM
Comment #312507

Weary, thanks for the links. I’ll be honest and say that I really don’t have an experts understanding of the FED and don’t feel qualified to really comment further. I will attempt to become more informed and buy Paul’s book on Amazon and download to my Kindle.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 5, 2010 8:01 PM
Comment #312508

Kevin Lagola said: “Sometimes, reality on the ground, what real people are saying, thinking and feeling (people who are risk taking business owners, entrepreneurs, small business analysts, economists and other ‘broad view’ commentators) is a clarion call for Congress to act accordingly.”

The reality on the ground for a true small business person is lack of consumer demand. As a close friend of mine who is the owner of multiple franchises said to me recently: I don’t need investment capital or more credit, I need more consumers. He was truly concerned that government cut backs would impact consumer demand. He is a conservative. He is not some teary eyed liberal.

Conservatives need to take a hard look at what is actually happening in the economy. There is a real output gap between demand and productivity. There is simply not the consumer demand to purchase the current available output. Only 70% of productive capacity is being utilized.

Its simple. Cutting back on government spending at this time will only aggravate that gap by reducing the amount of money in the economy and demand. The Fed understands this problem and is attmepting to increase the money supply through another round of Quantitative Easing to increase the money supply and aggragate demand. Is the Fed crazy? If not, why would anyone suggest that cutting back on fiscal stimulus would be a good thing? Do conservatives ever look at what happened in 1937-38 when the Roosevelt administration got bitten by the deficit hawk syndrome and balanced the budget, only to see the economy revert to negative GDP and increased unemployment.

Posted by: Rich at November 5, 2010 8:20 PM
Comment #312513

The highest price of silver in the last century was around 30$ an ounce. Someone tried to “corner” the silver market and they were willing to pay 30$ and ounce for it.

I purchased an amount of silver at 12$ an ounce. I’m glad my investment has reached near historic proportions in returns. Am I happy for why this gain has been generated? Not at all. I’ll keep this silver with me until we hit rock bottom.

Unless someone steals it from me.

Let’s say we’re driving the newest Government Motor’s vehicle. The arguement in the front seat is between the driver and the passenger. The driver is saying we must go and the passenger is saying we must stop. The kids in the back are screaming bloody murder and pinching each other and grabbing things neither of them want.

So the driver stops and the passenger and the driver switch positions!

This makes an instant impression on the kids in the back. They think things have changed.

Those in the back don’t realize those in the front are still going in the same direction.

Posted by: Weary Willie at November 5, 2010 9:14 PM
Comment #312518

So, flushed, now that you don’t have as many in Congress to bad-mouth as you did before, we can all just quit griping and smile????? Talk about one-way.

Posted by: jane doe at November 5, 2010 9:37 PM
Comment #312520

Weary Willie-
I think the basic problem we have here is the idolatry of growth. The assumption is that without somebody cutting back or opening the floodgates on the money supply, growth will be faster.

Trouble is, If you look at the mood swings of the economy before the Fed, you get an idea of why the bank was created. Honestly, I think reform is more important. That and the reform of the markets, to where you don’t have this huge portion of it devoted to bubbles of false growth.

We need stable long term growth built on productive, not speculative behavior, where there aren’t all these insane pockets of market manipulation that create troublesome crashes like the one we just endured.

We need people able to buy things, or the people willing to sell them become irrelevant to market growth.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 5, 2010 9:44 PM
Comment #312522

jane doe,

I have witnessed the expulsion of commentators from WatchBlog for slurring a fellow commentor’s name.

Respect his name, jane doe.

Posted by: Weary Willie at November 5, 2010 9:53 PM
Comment #312524

Is commentor a new word?

I claim it!

Posted by: Weary Willie at November 5, 2010 9:55 PM
Comment #312528
Weary Willie- I think the basic problem we have here is the idolatry of growth.
Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 5, 2010 09:44 PM

I would say so, Stephen Daugherty. After years and years of your party blaming others for your foibles, your phylosophy rears it’s ugly head.

No growth, only control.

Posted by: Weary Willie at November 5, 2010 10:20 PM
Comment #312532

One of the things that ruin urban areas is spralling, uncontrolled growth. Perhaps a controlled economy is not such a bad idea?

Posted by: Marysdude at November 5, 2010 10:42 PM
Comment #312533

I am WW….I just used the past tense.

Posted by: jane doe at November 5, 2010 10:43 PM
Comment #312537

why did you use the past tense? Was it with respect?

He ain’t dead yet.


Posted by: Weary Willie at November 5, 2010 11:17 PM
Comment #312564

JK Galbraith makes sense to me. President Obama’s biggest mistake was in asking the fox to guard the henhouse, but it was such a trying time, and the panic was so great to stop the hemorrhage, that he may have felt there was little choice. It is a shame, but things are starting to turn in a favorable direction now, and if conservatives can be circumvented for just a few more months, we may still yet get right with the world.

Up to a point, one can defend the decisions taken in September-October 2008 under the stress of a rapidly collapsing financial system. The Bush administration was, by that time, nearly defunct. Panic was in the air, as was political blackmail — with the threat that the October through January months might be irreparably brutal. Stopgaps were needed, they were concocted, and they held the line.

But one cannot defend the actions of Team Obama on taking office. Law, policy and politics all pointed in one direction: turn the systemically dangerous banks over to Sheila Bair and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Insure the depositors, replace the management, fire the lobbyists, audit the books, prosecute the frauds, and restructure and downsize the institutions. The financial system would have been cleaned up. And the big bankers would have been beaten as a political force.

Team Obama did none of these things. Instead they announced “stress tests,” plainly designed so as to obscure the banks’ true condition. They pressured the Federal Accounting Standards Board to permit the banks to ignore the market value of their toxic assets. Management stayed in place. They prosecuted no one. The Fed cut the cost of funds to zero. The President justified all this by repeating, many times, that the goal of policy was “to get credit flowing again.”

Posted by: Marysdude at November 6, 2010 11:54 AM
Comment #312565

So, flushed, now that you don’t have as many in Congress to bad-mouth as you did before, we can all just quit griping and smile????? Talk about one-way.

Posted by: jane doe at November 5, 2010

Sorry you misunderstood my optimism about our country’s future for something else Jane. FDR was right when in the depth of depression he said, “the only thing we have to fear…is fear itself”.

We can sit on our pity-pots and continue to wail and cry about things gone bad or we can stand up and do something about it.

Put me in the column that believes that America’s best days are still ahead of us.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 6, 2010 11:55 AM
Comment #312569

>We can sit on our pity-pots and continue to wail and cry about things gone bad or we can stand up and do something about it.
Put me in the column that believes that America’s best days are still ahead of us.
Posted by: Royal Flush at November 6, 2010 11:55 AM

And, those of us who believed the same thing before this fiasco? You so easily forget who was weeping in the crying towel pre election. The one who could find absolutely NOTHING positive to say and envision no future.

We should get our grieving time too…

Posted by: Marysdude at November 6, 2010 12:47 PM
Comment #312572

So now the election was a fiasco? Great dude, you have a real grasp of the electorate.

Posted by: Beretta9 at November 6, 2010 1:02 PM
Comment #312573

Isn’t optimism great?

Posted by: Beretta9 at November 6, 2010 1:04 PM
Comment #312587

Weary Willie-
To commit idolatry is to make a false God of something. Or, put in more secular terms, to attach an inappropriate level of value or infalliblity upon something.

Not all economic growth comes from good economic behavior. Much of our growth over the last few years came from fraud, predatory lending, and other practices that came to a nasty end in 2008. Much of that growth came at the expense of sinking a great many people under bad debts.

My philosophy is that honesty is the best economic policy. Rather than build everything on every more complicated layers of speculation that could collapse, we build our system on productivity, on trade relationships that make sense, on the increasing of wealth and financial solvency in the middle class.

The funny thing I find about Republican responses on what my “phylosophy” is, is that you keep on “discovering” that I somehow match your horrible, propagandized vision of what Democrats are like. How convenient. All my rather earnest and comprehensively explained points of view are simply dropkicked out of the picture.

I want economic growth. But I want the kinds that actually lead us somewhere, not more ideologically driven policy that simply lands us back into this same position a decade or so later, just as screwed or worse. I’ve seen several major economic crises hit this country in the time the Republicans have been pushing their dismantling of New Deal Regulation. I consider that great enough reason for people to rethink the whole notion that deregulation is an economic good by default. I’m not saying it’s NEVER good, but I believe that without the right regulation in the right places, nothing in the market has dependable enough meaning or trustworthiness for people to make healthy, rational decisions.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 6, 2010 2:33 PM
Comment #312589

Royal Flush said: “Uncertainty for ALL businesses (the wealthy included) is a death knell. Especially during a ‘jobless’ recovery.”

That is a crock of crap. Uncertainty in the ecnomomic, financial, and political world is omnipresent and perpetual. Let’s separate fact from fiction. I know stock market pundits with BA’s in journalism or business on Bloomberg and Fox and CNBC mime the corporate and stock broker spin about uncertainty, but, the reality is, the Stock Market, where capital is bought and sold is perpetually uncertain. For every buyer of a stock betting it will go up, there is always a seller betting it will go down. Don’t get more uncertain than that. And people adjust their portfolios and investments making these bets by the minute, by the hour, by the day, by the week, by the month, by the year to uncertainty about the future of the market.

There is no certainty in the economic world, capital markets, or even small business, where more than 70% will fail in the first 3 years even in the best of times. It is an international business and economic environment with myriad markets, players, currencies, central banks, and shifting trade balances - that uncertainty is omnipresent and permanent. When I took a graduate business course in microeconomics, the instructor said something that rang so true as to be memorable.

He said you have better odds with a Bachelor’s degree of profiting at a 7 card stud table in Las Vegas than you do investing in the Bond markets, Stock markets, or establishing a new start up business. And he was right, in principle, that all business is little more than legalized gambling. Business people, he said, are decisive risk takers. If ‘you’, meaning us students, are risk averse, you would be well advised to change your business major, he said. He was one of the best business instructors I had besides my organizational psychology instructor.

The point being, that all this crap about uncertainty is just the corporate way of influencing the media and public to pressure government toward laissez faire. In other words, it is political and rhetorical, and bullcrap. There is no certainty in business and never was. The best minimizer of risk in business is insurance, and that only covers a very limited set of risks, but, then insurance is a bet against yourself that you are paying out good money for premiums on the bet that something bad is going to happen to you that is in the covered set of risks.

We are in a jobless recovery - and stock markets are healthy and climbing beyond anyone’s expectations a year ago, and business profits are unprecedented or near unprecedented levels. In reality, a sluggish jobless market is proving to be very advantageous for business. The reason is they are taking less risks voluntarily, consolidating their overhead expenses and maximizing productivity, which is maximizing profitability in large sectors of the market. Even retailers and auto manufacturers are profitable in this sluggish economic rebound.

You can buy the hype, or you can look at the business data and accept the reality. GM is facing a profitable year. Energy profits remain extremely high. International company profitability has been soaring. The credit crunch launched by the big banks strangled small businesses who couldn’t find, and many who still can’t find, small business lenders. But, that is not due to uncertainty. That is due to the big banks carrying enormous over leveraged undervalued assets on their balance sheets, and includes many of the regional and smaller banks as well who hold mortgages as collateral.

Bottom line: All that uncertainty talk is a fake out to scare D.C. into more favorable treatment of business and deregulation and leaving businesses alone to recreate the crisis all over again. And they will, if their scare tactic is successful and laissez faire rears its destructive head yet again in D.C.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 6, 2010 3:12 PM
Comment #312590

Royal Flush, your comments reflect exactly the same misguided optimism for the future that preceded the demise of the Roman Empire, Babylonian Empire, Persian Empire, Japanese Empire, and British Empire. They all believed in their vast untapped resources as infinite. Of course, they weren’t. You mistake the existence of resources for the historical ease and low cost of accessing them. There are multitudes of the resources we want in the Galaxy, getting to them and retrieving them however, is cost prohibitive. And that’s the point. Yes, we have a lot of oil reserves in our national boundaries, but, the costs associated with retrieving them are going up rapidly.

And its not just the physical extraction costs, but, the social, environmental, and political costs that are rising rapidly. We are approaching the point where those resources and associated costs are creating price inflation which is strangling consumption. Gas prices are the perfect example. The more they go up, the more strangled the consumer becomes, to the point that consumers today, can’t keep GDP at 4-5% anymore to maintain and reestablish the employment levels of 2005 and 2006.

That is a fact and reality that we don’t have an answer for, at this very moment. Cutting taxes for the wealthiest is the GOP’s answer, which is just plain stupid. Like I said, it is consumption, not lack of capital constraining economic growth. Cutting taxes for the wealthiest will not expand business growth where there is no consumer demand to justify it. What those tax cuts will do, however, is add 700 billion to deficits over the next 10 years. STUPID! Republicans in Congress wear STUPID as a badge of honor.

No, what they really want is repay their corporate lobbyists and campaign donors with your and my tax dollars for funding their reelection campaigns. And we the people are STUPID or IGNORANT for allowing them to continue that practice.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 6, 2010 3:26 PM
Comment #312594


Beretta9


“So now the election was a fiasco?”

one mans fiasco is anothers fantasy.

“Isn’t optimism great?”

HELL YA !!!

Posted by: dbs at November 6, 2010 3:46 PM
Comment #312596

“And, those of us who believed the same thing before this fiasco? You so easily forget who was weeping in the crying towel pre election.”


weeping eh? i remember not liking the outcome of 08, and feeling disappointed that so many were so easily distracted by the shiney object. there was no crying involved though. look on the bright side, the fed just printed another $800 billion for barrys stash. i’m sure that’ll fix everything. as long as they keep printing we’ll be flush with money. of course it won’t be worth anything, but why worry about silly stuff like that.

“The one who could find absolutely NOTHING positive to say and envision no future.”

well here’s your chance to show us how it’s done. bet you can’t.

Posted by: dbs at November 6, 2010 4:00 PM
Comment #312598

Mr. Remer wrote; “For every buyer of a stock betting it will go up, there is always a seller betting it will go down.”

OH REALLY! I have bought and sold stocks for years and for many reasons. Some stocks I purchased for the dividends they paid. Some stocks I sold because I wanted to invest in something else or needed the money, not because I thought the share price was going to decrease. If I purchase stock at $10 per share someone must sell me their share. Did the seller expect their share to drop or did they just want to cash out?

Remer then writes; “There is no certainty in business and never was.”

True statement which also applies to everything in life we do. There is risk in driving a car, flying, eating in a resturant, getting married and having children, painting your house, etc. People go into business for many reasons; and while one of those reasons is expectation of profit, it is not the only reason.

What Mr. Remer fails to appreciate in business ownership is that we make certain assumptions and if correct we succeed. One assumption made by all business is the impact of government taxes and regulation on their business. A government that provides stability in taxation, law and regulation that is not cripling is one which encourages business. It is difficult for any business to make plans five or ten years out when they don’t know the impact of taxes and regulation and changes in law that may adversely affect those plans.

When unknown government action becomes a “risk” factor many with money to invest in business will wait for that to be resolved.

I named many resources this country possesses in addition to abundant and cheap energy if we have the resolve to use it. I find it interesting that Mr. Remer choose just this one to write about.

Mr. Remer ascribes “misguided optimism” to my belief that America’s best days are still ahead of us. I itemized why I was optimistic…perhaps he could illuminate his pessimism.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 6, 2010 4:53 PM
Comment #312599

dbs said: “$800 billion”

Let’s be accurate, dbs, it was 600 Billion for the time being. It didn’t have anything to do with Obama.

I agree with you, however, that it will prove to be a largely wasted move with an inflationary cost. The problem with dumping capital into the economy when there is an absence of aggregate consumer demand, is that business won’t grow and hire just because there is more cash. There is already an abundant amount of capital liquidity sitting on the sidelines.

And that is the very same reason why it makes no sense to incur a 700 billion dollar deficit in tax cuts for the wealthiest over the next 10 years. Making the wealthiest 700 billion wealthier won’t stimulate the economy being held back by a lack of consumerism. The wealthiest will simply invest it foreign markets where returns are higher and even, in many cases, a better bet on returns into the future.

If deficits and debt matter, Republicans WON’T fight for the tax cuts for the wealthiest. But, debt and deficits do not matter as a top priority for Republicans. There top priority is to repay their wealthy contributors with deficit borrowing and future taxes, which will be the net outcome of extending Bush’s tax cuts on the wealthiest permanently.

The obvious and logical choice is to allow the wealthiest tax cuts to expire and buy down the deficit, and when, and if, in the future, our economic growth is being limited by a lack of capital liquidity, then reinstate tax cuts for the wealthiest to allow business expansion to grow to meet a larger consumer demand.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 6, 2010 5:23 PM
Comment #312600

Royal Flush, your argument doesn’t negate the fundamentals of the securities markets, but to reap return on investment and sell when it appears that return on investment will not realize. Nothing you can say can change that fundamental of the securities markets, try as you will.

You bought stocks betting you would get a return on that investment. When investors perceive they won’t be getting that expected ROI, they will, if they are not idiots, sell those securities.

Of course, folks have various changing circumstances that prompt them to sell securities for other priorities other than ROI. Doesn’t negate the fundamental of trading.

Try again, your anecdotal argument doesn’t negate a single fact I talked about.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 6, 2010 5:28 PM
Comment #312601

Royal Flush said: “Mr. Remer ascribes “misguided optimism” to my belief that America’s best days are still ahead of us. I itemized why I was optimistic…perhaps he could illuminate his pessimism. “

If you need me to respond to that, your are even less informed than I gave you credit for. Pick up the WSJ or NYTimes, there is plenty there to answer your request for me. But, I will offer the most obvious, unfunded entitlement mandates and the deficits and debt they will create. DUH! Couldn’t figure that one out on your own, eh!

I worry about, Royal Flush. If you think the GOP is going to ride up on a white horse and kill Medicare/Medicaid entitlements, you are in for one helluva rude awakening.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 6, 2010 5:31 PM
Comment #312603

Jeez Mr. Remer…you got from A to Z and skipped everything in between. From my optimism to “white horses” and killing entitlements is quite a leap.

I do read the NY Times and WSJ, I just don’t wear my cloudy glasses when I do. I also think for myself and don’t believe all that I read. There is much to be opimistic about for our country if we just get a few things right in the next two years.

If it was raining dollar bills should would be depressed because they weren’t $100 dollar bills.

With all the bounty given us by God, there is nothing to stand in our way expect puny stinkin’ thinking.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 6, 2010 5:57 PM
Comment #312605

Mr. Remer wrote; “For every buyer of a stock betting it will go up, there is always a seller betting it will go down.”

I proved him wrong so he writes; “Of course, folks have various changing circumstances that prompt them to sell securities for other priorities other than ROI.”

Thanks for amending your statement.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 6, 2010 6:07 PM
Comment #312625

Royal Flush-
I’m an optimist, but I’m also a pragmatist. The purpose of optimism is to give us motivation to try, for the pessimist refuses to even give efforts to rise up from failure a try.

I don’t believe the economy will repair itself on its own. I think the rules of construction for the economy, the obligations between those who served, and those who were supposed to be served broke down at a basic level, and we created a system that encouraged the financiers to become parasites on the rest of the economy. When times were good, they were not noticed, but as their bad behavior had its ill effects, the pain manifested itself.

The simple fact is, our financial success in this country, our wealth creation, was based on the overinflation and false valuation of real estate, and all the speculative bull**** on Wall Street that got built up on it. If it hadn’t been for the way the rules were set up, people’s sense of risk and sense of return on investments would have lead them to curb certain practices and take the air out of overheated markets.

But for some, market reality wasn’t good enough, so they, owing to the absence of laws against it, created a system of hedging and leveraging that essentially deferred all the bad economic karma of underwriting bad mortgages and defrauding customers on the value of certian investments until later. But when it hit, it hit back pretty nastily, and just a few failures of those businesses was enough to threaten the very existence of our ordered economy.

We have to end that market distortion, because of all the things that made this market uncertain, that lack of regulation on derivatives was one of the most serious and crucial nodes in the network of disastrous factors. Pull it away, and so many of the other problems become impossible, or are moderated by the market.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 6, 2010 10:07 PM
Comment #312626

RF said: “if we just get a few things right in the next two years.”

Such a little word, and giganitic as well in this context. I see nothing in the current political climate to even remotely suggest that our government is going THOSE few things right that are needed to rescue this nation from its debt. NOTHING.

You think Democrats in Congress are going to be pushovers because the GOP won the House, after the way the GOP treated the Dems with their obstructionism in the Senate? If so, that is mighty wishful thinking. With a majority still in the Senate, Dems can make the House GOP appear to have done NOTHING for America in their two years leading up to 2012. And it would be tit for tat.

The 2/3 of the public already has a dim view of both parties. Senate Democrats have nothing to lose by turning the GOP’s tactics right back on them going forward. McConnell has already declared war on Obama’s run for a 2nd term and made it public. If anything gets done at all, it will be between Obama and Boehner and Reid. And they will get some things done that would be mutual political suicide not to get done in 2012. But, those things don’t include really tough and difficult shared responsibility for debt and entitlements and those are what are taking our economy and nation down going forward.

I think you optimism over 1/2 of 1/3 of the government having been won by Republicans is spread transparently thin. Non-cooperation and mutually assured destruction are now in the play book of both parties and both parties already have established a history of faith to it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 7, 2010 2:10 AM
Comment #312630

david said

“Making the wealthiest 700 billion wealthier won’t stimulate the economy being held back by a lack of consumerism.”

aren’t the wealthy also consumers of goods and services. if they are then it would stand to reason that with extra money in thier pockets they would spend more on those goods and services. buy another car, spend a vacation in vegas, maybe remodel the the vacation home? i would have to argue that they have the ability to stimulate the economy as consumers in some ways even more so than the average person.

you then said

“The wealthiest will simply invest it foreign markets where returns are higher and even, in many cases, a better bet on returns into the future.”

isn’t that what investors do, regardless of thier class status? don’t they look for the best return on thier investment? wouldn’t this increase in returns then represent an increase in capital gains? while you could argue that this will not add much to domestic investment, it would still be a net gain because of the increase in capital gains revenue. still a win win situation IMO.

Posted by: dbs at November 7, 2010 7:34 AM
Comment #312631

There aren’t as many spenders in that class, and they tend to spend their money offshore. So economic input would be considerable less.

If all we want to do is make the wealthy wealthier that would work, but if the intent is to make America and Americans better off and to heal our national economy, it would not work at all. Lesson…that is why those tax cuts did not create jobs in America in the 90’s. Almost all the jobs created by those Cheney/Bush tax cuts were offshore jobs. Fat lot of good that did us. It actually made us weaker economically, so that when the ball dropped, recovery requires more time than it should have.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 7, 2010 7:42 AM
Comment #312632

dbs wrote: “look on the bright side, the fed just printed another $800 billion for barrys stash. i’m sure that’ll fix everything. as long as they keep printing we’ll be flush with money. of course it won’t be worth anything, but why worry about silly stuff like that.”

The Federal Reserve does not intend to print 800 billion dollars and dump it into the economy. The quantitative easing program of the Fed is, in essence, a swap of cash for existing Treaury bonds in the private sector. There is no net financial gain for the private sector. The Fed takes your 1 million dollar treasury bond and credits your account at the Fed with 1 million dollars. You do not have any net financial increase from the transaction. There is no “new” money in the private sector. The effort is to put previously existing private sector assets into more productive investments other than the safe haven of Treauries, i.e., lending, equities, etc. The goal is to increase asset prices and leverage the resulting “wealth effect” to stimulate borrowing and economic activity.

Posted by: Rich at November 7, 2010 7:52 AM
Comment #312633

rich said

“The quantitative easing program of the Fed is, in essence, a swap of cash for existing Treaury bonds in the private sector.”

so they are printing cash to buy back thier own debt? how is it then that this still will not deflate our currency?

Posted by: dbs at November 7, 2010 8:09 AM
Comment #312634

“There aren’t as many spenders in that class, and they tend to spend their money offshore.”

i’de like to see some proof of this. also while there may be less spenders they have more to spend.


Posted by: dbs at November 7, 2010 8:14 AM
Comment #312638

dbs,

The debt being purchased by the Fed is US debt obligations (Treasuries), not Fed debt. It is not buying back its own debt. The Fed acquires an asset (US obligation to pay the Fed the interest and principal on the Treasuries). It correspondingly acquires a liability for the money it generated to purchase the bonds. The Feds balance sheet rises accordingly but from the perspective of the seller of the bonds in the private sector, there is no net financial gain or loss. The seller gets cash in exchange for a bond of approximately equal value. There is no net increase in private sector assets, just a change in their composition.

The first quantitative easing program of the Fed was in the 2008-2009 period when it purchased or loaned against the so called toxic assets held by the banks (mortgage backed securities, etc). The intent was to increase the liquidity of the assets and create sufficient reserve funds for the banks to increase lending.

The Fed unwinds its balance sheet by selling back into the private sector the assets it acquired during the rounds of quantitative easing. So, if its actions create too much liquidity in the economy and generate too much inflation, it will sell back the Treasuries or other assets and extract the cash from the economy. Thus far, the Fed sees too little inflation and a danger of deflation. So, it is acting to goose the economy into investing its assets in lending or other assets that will generate economic activity.

Posted by: Rich at November 7, 2010 9:13 AM
Comment #312641

dbs-
First, there are more of us out there. Second, we tend to spend most, if not all of the money we get, so much more of that money circulates. Circulation is what makes economies go.

so they are printing cash to buy back thier own debt? how is it then that this still will not deflate our currency?

That is the question, now isn’t it? We’ve already had one session of quantitative easing, and that’s done little to add to inflation? Why would that be the case?

If such actions are not creating runaway inflation, devaluing the currency, there must be a deflationary force working against it.

If that’s the case, though, inflation fighting measures are nuts. Worrying about austerity is nuts. We’re dealing with an economy then where there simply isn’t the money to successfully, healthily cut spending and raise taxes without harming the economy and undercutting the revenues that make the success of any austerity measure possible.

If we’re in a deflationary phase economy, our greatest necessity is to get out of it, because that’s going to drag on growth for years to come, harming both the fiscal and economic picture.

As for proof that the Rich saved rather than spent?Here you go.

Truth is, the rich are waiting for the rest of us to spend to take up the slack, so they can get the stuff they’ve already bought and invested in working. Once people are buying again, putting that stuff to work, they’ll hire more people, buy more equipment. But not before. The slack in our economy needs to be resolved before we’ll be growing strongly again, and the Republicans are pushing the most ineffective and counterproductive means to stimulate the economy.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 7, 2010 9:38 AM
Comment #312646

This ain’t calculus or quantum physics. Why should anyone with money invest is a product or production, if the customer base can’t afford to buy the product? I guess it would look good setting in inventory, and would generate loan value as an asset…for a week. That oughta be enough incentive.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 7, 2010 12:46 PM
Comment #312671

David, you responded to my post,

Skeptical Boomer said: “During the 1930s, New Deal lawmakers doubled federal spending—yet unemployment remained above 20 percent until World War II. “

Right. They didn’t spend enough. Cranking up the production for WWII quadrupled government spending and in a very much shorter time period than during the 1930’s, and that did the trick. A lesson completely lost on conservatives and in their texts. Facts and reality which don’t conform to ideology are discarded, denied, rejected. Empiricism has no place in conservative circles these days, unless they serve ideological ends. It was not always thus. But, it sure is today.

I disagree and so do two economists from UCLA who have studied the reasons why the Depression dragged on as long as it did and wrote an article on this subject in 2004. They say:

“Why the Great Depression lasted so long has always been a great mystery, and because we never really knew the reason, we have always worried whether we would have another 10- to 15-year economic slump,” said Ohanian, vice chair of UCLA’s Department of Economics. “We found that a relapse isn’t likely unless lawmakers gum up a recovery with ill-conceived stimulus policies.”

They go on:

“President Roosevelt believed that excessive competition was responsible for the Depression by reducing prices and wages, and by extension reducing employment and demand for goods and services,” said Cole, also a UCLA professor of economics. “So he came up with a recovery package that would be unimaginable today, allowing businesses in every industry to collude without the threat of antitrust prosecution and workers to demand salaries about 25 percent above where they ought to have been, given market forces. The economy was poised for a beautiful recovery, but that recovery was stalled by these misguided policies.”

and:

Cole and Ohanian calculate that NIRA and its aftermath account for 60 percent of the weak recovery. Without the policies, they contend that the Depression would have ended in 1936 instead of the year when they believe the slump actually ended: 1943.

and finally:

“The fact that the Depression dragged on for years convinced generations of economists and policy-makers that capitalism could not be trusted to recover from depressions and that significant government intervention was required to achieve good outcomes,” Cole said. “Ironically, our work shows that the recovery would have been very rapid had the government not intervened.”

If you care to read the entire article, here is the link:

http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGdWW8QtdMZR4B4FBXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTE1Z3YzZ2w1BHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMQRjb2xvA3NrMQR2dGlkA1NNRTAxM18xNjQ-/SIG=136rr6mdc/EXP=1289262140/**http%3a//newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/FDR-s-Policies-Prolonged-Depression-5409.aspx

Posted by: Skeptical Boomer at November 7, 2010 7:36 PM
Comment #312673

Mr. Remer wrote; “The 2/3 of the public already has a dim view of both parties. Senate Democrats have nothing to lose by turning the GOP’s tactics right back on them going forward.”

Are you sure? I beleive in 2012 the Dems have 20 seats at risk versus 10 for REps. If the house passes legislation that the public views as reasonable and necessary and the senate blocks it, those dem senators up for election in 2012 could be very much at risk. I beleive it was the liberal wing of the dem party that the current congress was pandering too in much of the legislation they managed to pass. The liberal wing is not where the votes lie to be successful in 2012. Senate dems must please the independent voters to have a chance at keeping the senate. And it was the independent voters who ushered in Rep control of the house.

It is not at all certain right now that obama will be the nominee of the party in 2012. Should he and the senate dems cooperate with the house on the burning issues of jobs, spending, and such, they could improve their chances in 2012.

Should the next two years result in nothing but deadlock and if it is perceived by the public that it is the dems holding back progress on the issues that determined the results of this years election there will be hell to pay for the dems.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 7, 2010 7:43 PM
Comment #312674

Boomer, that was a very interesting article, thank you for the link.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 7, 2010 7:56 PM
Comment #312675

Marysdude,

Your “jobs saved” personal anecdote is just that. I still say there is no way to accurately assess jobs saved and you cannot give me a concrete answer as to how this number is calculated. You cannot prove a negative. You have no way of knowing how many people did not get laid off or fired due to stimulus spending. The number is a political ploy to make Obama’s policies seem more effective than they actually are.

Posted by: Skeptical Boomer at November 7, 2010 7:56 PM
Comment #312676

RF,

You’re welcome.

Posted by: Skeptical Boomer at November 7, 2010 7:59 PM
Comment #312684

Skeptical,

You are right, but many on here use the CBO as a good non-partisan agency to go to for such information. You too can find much of what you crave at:

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/117xx/doc11706/08-24-ARRA.pdf

Look especially at the right top of page 2 of the report. I will grant that the CBO qualifies many of their findings by stating that such information has great latitude of plus and minus, because exact predictions of market actions, and people’s reactions can vary a lot. But, it is the best guess around, and it was done by some of the best minds in the analysis business.

I understand that you will foo-foo anything i put out here,, and that’s okay, others will also see it and know that I did not use, what did you call it, “Your jobs saved’ personal anecdote’.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 7, 2010 10:08 PM
Comment #312698

Royal Flush said: “Are you sure?”

I am never sure about future election results, even if I am often right in my predictions. I wrote here for months that according to my read of the polling data, that Republicans would take the House majority but, not the Senate. I would not have bet money on it, however. Polling data has been contradicted in the past, and is not fool proof. This elections polling accuracy was less reliable due to cell phones not being included, thus, excluding a universal sampling pool.

If Republicans keep their word on cutting spending, you realize that will not work in Republican’s favor. They may not lose their base, but, they will losing Independents who are recipients of those cuts. And today’s elections are won or lost by Independents. If Republicans don’t keep their word, Independent voters will again, be lost.

The thing to remember about the American electorate is that they don’t follow legislation or the inner-workings of Congress. They by and large follow the media coverage at election time and their own immediate position as improved or not. With those two criteria, it is hard to imagine how Republicans retain the Independent vote they garnered in this election.

And of course, there is that anti-incumbent vote, which is growing, which will affect the Republicans holding the majority of incumbent seats in 2012.

Lastly, Presidential year elections bring out the liberal vote in a way that mid-term elections do not. Far more African Americans and Latinos vote in Presidential years than in mid-term elections. Another strike against Republicans in 2012.

Nope, I don’t see a winning scenario for the GOP in 2012 in regard to the House. For Republicans the race will center on the Senate and White House, but, they are going to lose seats in the House. If the House Republicans don’t noticeably improve the lot of Independents by 2012, it is hard to figure why those Independents would be for the GOP acquiring the Senate and White House as well, UNLESS, they demonstrate real bi-partisan results in working with Obama. And that is simply not in the cards, according to Boehner, McConnell and the Tea Partyers.

I reserve the right to adjust this forecast as events and circumstances change between now and 2012. One prediction I will make here and now, however, if Palin wins the GOP nomination for President, Obama will have his second term. The American public is not about to entrust national security and foreign relations to Sarah Palin. That, I know for sure because it is already in the polling data.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 8, 2010 2:32 AM
Comment #312699

Boomer, yeah, yeah, and if I wanted to make the argument that the earth is still the center of the universe, I could find some Ph.D. whack job to say so. Doesn’t make it so.

If you want truth, review the consensus of economicians or go to the expert on the Depression, Ben Bernanke, a Republican. But, the truth is not what you seek, so, you cherry pick opinions in opposition to factual and historical reality.

Fact, the Government poured more money into the economy (stimulus) and more deficit spending into in gearing up for WWII than any comparable period in the 1930’s. That is why the depression ended in the 40’s and not the 30’s. It is patently OBVIOUS. But, like I said, one can always find a Ph.D. to go against the obvious, because there will always be a political audience for opposition and that always translates into monetary reward one way or another.

I read of one Ph.D. who wrote that Christ was in fact, the anti-Christ, and that is why history to this very day continues to be plagued with disasters and diseases, and earth quakes, and volcanoes, hurricanes and typhoons with increasing human losses.

The Obvious Reality however, is, he is wrong. He made some money off making that case. What’s new?

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 8, 2010 2:40 AM
Comment #312701

Yeah, I heard that we got to where we are because God was a bad parent who couldn’t control his unruly children. Not even omnipotence could keep us straight.

Whatever Ph.D thought that one up must have been having parenting problems of his/her own.

Ph.D’s who manage to get the degree have to establish a workable theory of their own. If they come too close to what another member of the intelligentsia has already presented, they fall short at the oral examination. After the test and the degree is issued, most come back to reality…but some stay in LaLa Land the rest of their lives. I think those are the ones conservatives use most often. But, I suppose you and the conservatives think just the opposite…:)

Posted by: Marysdude at November 8, 2010 6:26 AM
Comment #312707

Mr. David Remer wrote; “One prediction I will make here and now, however, if Palin wins the GOP nomination for President, Obama will have his second term.”

Agreed. If Palin wins the GOP nomination I will be tempted to slit my own throat. After the debacle of Bob Dole and John McCain one would hope the party has better sense.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 8, 2010 11:38 AM
Comment #312778

David,

Consensus? Patently obvious? Why? Because there are opinions that don’t fit your view of the way things ought to be? Here are a couple more articles for you. The second one includes reference to a survey of economists regarding whether the New Deal made the Depression worse. Forty nine percent say yes, fifty one percent say no. Some consensus.


http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGdXD8wNhM0lwB2xdXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTE1azZ1cmRtBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDNARjb2xvA3NrMQR2dGlkA1NNRTAxM18xNjQ-/SIG=138r528es/EXP=1289359996/**http%3a//www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2009/06/world_war_ii_did_not_end_the_g.html


http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGdV6Aw9hMaWkBLA1XNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTE1azZ1cmRtBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDNARjb2xvA3NrMQR2dGlkA1NNRTAxM18xNjQ-/SIG=135blo09d/EXP=1289360640/**http%3a//blogs.cfr.org/shlaes/2009/01/15/whaples-consensus-on-the-great-depression/

Posted by: Skeptical Boomer at November 8, 2010 11:39 PM
Comment #312785

Royal Flush

what would be your opinion of the current texas governor perry as a possible 2012 candidate?

Posted by: dbs at November 9, 2010 5:54 AM
Comment #312792

dbs asks my opinion of Gov. Perry. I thought long and hard about voting for him this time. I like much of what he has accomplished for Texas, mainly encouraging business to come to Texas, maintaining a friendly business atmosphere in Texas, being strong on border control, controlling spending and such. And, he has had some real hare-brained ideas along the way.

Frankly, there are other governor’s that I believe could do better if nominated by the Rep party. I don’t think the voting public is ready for another Texan running for president.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 9, 2010 11:40 AM
Comment #312798

Boomer said: “Because there are opinions that don’t fit your view of the way things ought to be?”

Man, you really haven’t a clue how empirical research works, do you? Consensus of opinion insures that the best available data and research is used in forming that opinion. Has expert empirical community consensus has nothing to do with how lay people view things.

I understand now where your commentary and opinions come from - ignorance, and pride in them. I note you didn’t address the historical facts I presented. Par for the course. Stick to opinion boomer, it requires no facts, intelligence, or education whatsoever. Your comments are good at that.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 9, 2010 12:41 PM
Comment #312799

RF, yes, indeed, there are far better than Perry. Perry, like Bush, is a figurehead in Texas politics. If Texas depended on his decisions, Texas wouldn’t be doing nearly so well. In Texas, the Lt. Governor is the real brains and mover in the executive branch. It is therefore, ALWAYS dangerous to promote a Texas Governor to the presidency.

I see where Bush II still thinks invading Iraq was the right choice and not a mistake at all. That is what you get when you elect a Texas Governor. Because they don’t have real executive authority like other State governors do, they end up with all the ego, but, without the real executive experience to underwrite the ego their title supports.

Similar situation with Ann Richards. Overestimated her experience and abilities based on the name of her office.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 9, 2010 12:46 PM
Comment #312932

David,

Reading your posts shows I am not the first one you have called ignorant and I am sure I will not be the last. You do it quite regularly. Perhaps we should all just bask in the glow of your superior intellect.

Regarding the original article I posted regarding Roosevelt’s policies prolonging the Great Depression. Please read this quote from Ben Bernanke during an interview in 2006 on this very topic since you cited him as an expert on the subject.

Interviewer;
“I always ask everyone at the end two questions. What ended the Great
Depression?”

Bernanke:
“We could turn it around and ask why didn’t the Depression end quicker than
it did? Once the gold standard was removed, and the banking system was
stabilized by the banking holiday and the subsequent actions that Roosevelt
took, the two main impediments to recovery were removed and there was
evidently some natural tendency of the economy to begin to right itself.
Indeed, 1933 and 1934 were years of rapid gains in the stock market and even
reasonably good economic growth. So the question is perhaps not what ended
the Depression but what thwarted the recovery in the mid and late 1930s?
Again I think that the wage and price controls of the NIRA and other
interventions that tried artificially to reflate through fiat rather than through
monetary forces were a major factor. There may have been some elements of
hysteresis in that once the unemployment rate had gotten to such a high level,
people had lost skills or firms were slow to recover and re-employ workers.
But, again, broadly speaking, putting the puzzle the other way, why didn’t the
economy recover more quickly? Particularly in the early stages after Roosevelt
became president it appeared as if things were turning around pretty quickly.”

I could cite numerous additional articles on this subject but I would not want to insult your intelligence with any more “cherry picked” articles. You would simply dismiss them anyway.Have a nice day

Posted by: Skeptical Boomer at November 10, 2010 10:48 PM
Comment #312934

Skeptical Boomer, you quote passages YOU YOURSELF do not understand. I call that ignoring what is right in front of you, or ignorant.

Bernanke clearly states he is discussing what prevented the recovery in the 1930’s. Nothing in the passage you quoted has Bernanke discussing the massive infusion of stimulus spending with the onset of WWII and the concurrent immediate and rapid economic recovery that took place.

In other words, you quoted a passage that does not even address my points made about the massive deficit spending stimulus that came with gearing up for WWII, when the government employed millions directly or indirectly in the war preparation and munitions production industries.

Yes, your comments remain ignorant, and willfully so it would appear.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 10, 2010 11:16 PM
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