August Job Growth Slows Again
Job growth slowed again in August as the economy added back just 96,000 jobs. Unemployment ticked down to 8.1% mostly on shrinking participation rate changes. This is one of three final employment reports before the November election.
ADP's report of 201,000 jobs gained seemed to point to a good BLS report but it apparently hasn't been that useful for predicting BLS. BLS numbers came in under consensus again like it has off and on all summer.
This was the 30th straight month of positive private sector growth worth a net increase of 4.6 million jobs. We're still about 4.2 million jobs short in the recession but we're chipping away at that number each month.
This report will disappoint Democrats and excite Republicans. Obnoxiously rooting against the American economy to prove Obama's policies a failure has become all too easy for conservatives these days.
But sure to draw the ire of President Obama's critics is the drop in unemployment. For many on the right this number must go up every month to match their grim view of the Obama economy or else it's fudged. Nonetheless, the rate itself is lower now than when he took the oath of office and could go even lower in the next two months.
Despite the poor job growth, economic activity picked up overall in August. The four big indicators all grew positively. There was improvement in Industrial Production, Real Income, Real Sales, along with Employment.
The overall trajectory of the economy is still one of expansion even though it's not a very rapid expansion. It seems like we'll continue this kind of expansion on into next year for now unless something dramatic changes.
The trick for Republicans in the next two months is to convince Americans that 3 years is plenty of time to rebound from the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression and that Obama's policies have let the country down. The Democrats countered that message to a great degree at their convention but it's not clear whether it will resonate with independents.
Posted by Adam Ducker at September 7, 2012 8:59 AM
We know how the unemployment rate is calculated. Fewer people are looking for work because they are discouraged by the Obama doldrums. We need to add more than 100,000 jobs a month just to stay even, so we are losing more and more with Obama.
I think that there would be a lot more complaints about conspiracy if the rate had dropped below 8%. 8% is a touchstone number. Above 8% is still really crappy; you can argue a little when it gets below.
So our arguments now are only how much Obama failed on his promises to bring down unemployment. He told us that if he didn’t get unemployment down into the 5% range he didn’t deserve to be reelected.
Let’s assume Obama was telling the truth. He failed and we should get a better man for the job.
BTW - this is the worst recovery anybody can remember. We can do a lot better than Obama. When he had super majorities, instead of working with others to help the weak economy, he pushed through an unpopular Obamacare. He squandered his mandate and now the people should take it back.
Real unemployment, U-6, is at 14%+. The amount of people working in America is the same as 30+ years ago. The left can spin this all they want, but every single American knows someone who is out of work, looking for work, or has given up looking for work. 1 in 6 Americans in this group.
I’m glad to see that Adam Ducker has jumped out 1st to spin the dismal employment numbers.
C&J: “Fewer people are looking for work because they are discouraged by the Obama doldrums.”
It is that but also mostly demographic changes that have been going on for a decade. There’s a lot of discouragement for sure though.
“He told us that if he didn’t get unemployment down into the 5% range he didn’t deserve to be reelected.”
When did he say that?
“BTW - this is the worst recovery anybody can remember.”
I agree. It’s the worst recession anybody can remember. You can’t just compare it to previous recessions and say that it should be back by now.
Frank: “Real unemployment, U-6, is at 14%+.”
There’s no such measurement as “real unemployment” but that’s what the right calls underemployment in order to make unemployment look worse than it is. U-6 is always about 1.8x U-3 so of course it’s high right now with U-3 high. It’s called underemployment because it adds in among other things those who are employed but want more work.
“The left can spin this all they want, but every single American knows someone who is out of work, looking for work, or has given up looking for work.”
I don’t, but of course that’s anecdotal. There are millions of Americans out of work and millions more wanting more work than they have.
“I’m glad to see that Adam Ducker has jumped out 1st to spin the dismal employment numbers.”
Thanks. Just doing what I always do: Writing about the monthly BLS job report when it comes out. You call my reporting on the real numbers “spin” but I don’t know what you call the lies you tell about the economy every week.
I would like to hear exactly what the Republican Party in Congress has done to solve this problem. What? Nothing? That’s right. They block everything that isn’t Bush policy, not to put too fine a point on it.
How are we supposed to move on from the economically destructive policy that landed us in this economic downturn, if the other party will permit no other relief to the economy than what failed to prevent, or actually caused its fall in the first place?
Cut taxes did not save America from the financial crisis. Bush gave people a tax cut right before the first recession of his administration, and another two or three right before the second, including the 2008 STIMULUS. Yes, that’s what they called it.
If you really look at it, this is no fight between the tax raisers and the tax cutters. This is a dispute about who gets stuck with the bill for years of unpaid for wars, medicare benefits, and tax cuts for the rich.
What you folks are saying is this: The middle class not only pays for the cuts before, but pays even more for the cuts now. Oh, and we promise that this will stimulate the economy and lower the deficit.
But there’s no mechanism for it. There’s no improvement for the job situation built in. The rich can create more jobs, if they want to, but they can also sit on their buts for longer, accumulate the money, and wait for unemployment to gradually recover, if it ever does. More to the point, the numbers are funky on the deficits reduction, especially when you start with another tax cut. So why should investors be more confident in America’s fiscal situation?
Rather than indulge what was likely always a defensively presented pretext for tax cuts that would otherwise have no relation to the average person’s self-interest, we should take common sense approaches both to improving the deficit situation, and the job market.
If you want a job done right, do it yourself.
Republicans are doing the public a disservice by insisting that we must only resolve things their way, no matter how bad things get, and in this, they are responsible for extending the pain, suffering, and fiscal cost of having millions of Americans remaining out of work. They have no room to point fingers, since they have insisted on halting any further measures to stimulate the economy, and now have burdened it with austerity that promises to send us back into recession.
In other words, the Republican Party is proving itself useless as **** in terms of helping the American people, and that should not qualify them to take over. It should qualify them to be swept out of office in favor of those who will take new approaches Not all of those approaches will necessarily work, but doing nothing else but what has failed before will only lead to further failure.
You had your time. Now it’s our time.
Actually, he said if he didn’t turn the economy around in three years, he would be a one-termer.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCN5-ovvFL0. You can find similar statements.
Unemployment above 6% is poor record. Unemployment above 8% is horrible. AND even this horrible number is helped by the massive numbers of people leaving the labor force.
Re the worst recession - only because Obama policies didn’t bring us out of it. Reagan faced higher unemployment.
Beyond that, when we are pushed farther down, we jump back faster. I am not saying that we should have necessarily recovered we lost but the RATE of recovery should be much higher.
Obama failed, plain and simple. You can blame others for the recession, but he was in charge when the terrible recovery took place and I think he contributed to the poor performance.
“You had your time. Now it’s our time.” First, I think it is important to get things right, not try to take turns with bad policies. But if you want to take your logic, I would agree. Democrats had control over both Houses of Congress from 2006-10. They massively controlled both Houses plus the Presidency 2008-10 and controlled at least one part of congress and the presidency 2008-now. Yes, get the heck out of the way and let more competent people take over.
“If you really look at it, this is no fight between the tax raisers and the tax cutters. This is a dispute about who gets stuck with the bill for years of unpaid for wars, medicare benefits, and tax cuts for the rich.”
I will get stuck with this bill. Maybe even you will have to pay a little if you ever make enough money to pay taxes. Mostly, however, young people will get to pay and they will pay more if “your people” block reforms to SS and medicare.
The people who were rich during the times you dislike are unlikely to be the same people who are rich ten years from now. In fact, the irony is that they will probably be retired and collecting that full SS you insist on keeping unchanged by raising taxes on the young.
It ain’t great, no way to spin a bad jobs number. It certainly doesn’t help re-election chances for Obama. But Romney hasn’t shown that he has any new ideas or plans other than cutting taxes which will only balloon the deficit even more and not create any more jobs. Whoever is president in 2016 will still be dealing with this issue guaranteed whether Obama or Romney wins in November. There is also no proof that anything Obama is doing or not doing is hurting the recovery. All evidence I have seen is anecdotal. One thing is for sure. Obama didn’t cause this problem. Corporate greed, mismanagement, and deregulation (or not enforcing regulation) did. All Romney is proposing is deregulation and tax cuts which won’t fix things nor will it help to prevent it from happening again. Romney is a one trick pony and his trick is an old, tired one that we have tried.
I don’t expect that the convention is going to give Obama much of a bounce but they clearly put on a better, more cohesive convention and are in a lot better shape coming out than the GOP. The debates will make the difference.
Compared to when Obama took office, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. More have lost their homes and even more are watched their home values plummet. More have cars they can’t afford to drive, credit card bills they can’t afford to pay, and tuition that’s beyond their reach. To those who have been running the show it’s time for them to own their failure.
“Obnoxiously rooting against the American economy to prove Obama’s policies a failure has become all too easy for conservatives these days”
People on the right root against Obama’s policies because his policies create division, go against the principles of our founding and are bad for our country.
Your claim that Republicans want the economy to fail so as to hurt Obama, is no more valid than the claim that liberals wanted our troops to fail in order to hurt Bush.
C&J: “Actually, he said if he didn’t turn the economy around in three years, he would be a one-termer.”
First of all he did turn the economy around. But if you turn the car around after getting lost you still have some backtracking to do and then it takes even more time to get back where you would have been had you never been lost.
The right likes to assign that statement about one-term to whatever they feel like. A recent ad made it be about reducing debt. You said it was about 5% unemployment. The conversation they’re having in the video is about TARP. You’ll obviously be taking his statement “have this done” to mean whatever allows you to call the president a failure this week.
“Re the worst recession - only because Obama policies didn’t bring us out of it. Reagan faced higher unemployment.”
A little worse. And what was unemployment like in February 1981 versus August 1984? It was 7.4% vs 7.5%. Of course unemployment peaked further into President Reagan’s term so it’s not that fair of a note. But if more people were unemployed when Reagan ran for re-election than when he was first elected, what does that say about using that argument against President Obama?
“Beyond that, when we are pushed farther down, we jump back faster.”
That is not a rule that implies not jumping up is a failure. I don’t understand why you keep insisting that should be true of a recession that was much worse and had multiple sources of failure in the economy.
“Obama failed, plain and simple. You can blame others for the recession, but he was in charge when the terrible recovery took place and I think he contributed to the poor performance.”
Your mentality of wanting Obama to accept blame is like blaming firefighters for failing to stop a massive forest fire. Sure, in the pure sense they failed, but would you really argue they failed when they’re fighting a fire that isn’t typical? I have yet to see anyone say what Obama should have done so that we would be fully recovered by now.
kctim: “Your claim that Republicans want the economy to fail so as to hurt Obama, is no more valid than the claim that liberals wanted our troops to fail in order to hurt Bush.”
Really though? Folks like Michelle Malkin, Rush Limbaugh, Rich Santorum, and John Goldberg have all said they hope Obama’s policies fail. Then when these same bunch of folks cheerfully relay bad information about the economy I can’t help but believe they want America to suffer so that liberal policies aren’t given credit for any success in America’s economy.
Adam, they have offered something - cut taxes and deregulate - never mind that it won’t work and both are sources of our current problems. Though you gotta hand to ‘em, at least they’re consistent … wrong, but consistent.
kctim - Obama’s policies go against YOUR principles, not the country’s. There is no single ideology that are the principles of this country. We liberals and moderates are also citizens and our viewpoint is every bit as American as yours. What is un-American is thinking that any one ideology is more “American” than any other ideology. Nor does one side have all the answers.
The problem is not Obama being divisive, it’s Republicans and conservatives. When the Republican nominee’s own plan from his days as governor becomes a wedge issue, we know that the problem Republicans have isn’t the policy, it’s the policymaker, and simply because they want to call him divisive, want to make him look like he’s a partisan.
The sheer, artificial consistency of the opposition of the right is only outshone by the natural inconsistency that Republicans have developed towards their own policies when Obama and the Democrats put them into bills and proposals.
The main thing that makes Obama divisive for Republicans is that he had the gall to be elected President. Republicans don’t feel they can earn the office on their own, if Obama measured up to his potential, so they did everything to sabotage Obama, even if it meant harming the rest of America as collateral damage. They made politics their priority, not what the politics were mean to solve and resolve.
Reagan got 10.8% unemployment off a 2.7% drop in GDP, and the whole thing occured AFTER his record tax cut. It stayed above 10% for about 10 months.
Reagan also had a Congress that wasn’t going to try and kill every bill submitted, and wasn’t ideologically opposed to giving the economy a helping hand.
Obama was faced with about 5.1%, with the rate over the quarter before he was inaugurated at about 9.1%. He got one chance to stimulate the economy, not several like Bush or Reagan, and he still managed to bring the economy back. You do not measure the force of a leader by what they do unopposed, you measure them by what they do, accounting for resistance. Republicans made a near universal point to vote against everything he did, and try to filibuster everything after the Stimulus (where the filibuster was broken by three soon to be punished Republicans.)
Cooperation was punished, party-line votes and failures to compromise were rewarded. So, given that he’s dealing with a hostile Congres right after the worst economic crisis since FDR, he’s done extraordinary. 29 straight months of private sector growth 23 straight months of job growth PERIOD.
If he didn’t have to carry y’all around on his back, he could have been in positive territory by now, overall even with your full lack of cooperation, your confidence-killing debt ceiling debacle, he will have broken even before the year is out, if he keeps his average pace of job creation for the summer. And that will mean that he created jobs faster than Bush did in his first term, during which Bush was negative. That, on a less than single digit recession.
Imagine what he could have done if Republicans had put country first.
“Reagan also had a Congress that wasn’t going to try and kill every bill submitted…” this is because Reagan was a good leader who knew how to find ways to cooperate even with those who disagree with him. Obama is more like a school teacher than a leader. He “helps” his students reach the “correct” answers, at least according to him. This works not so well with competent adults.
“Imagine what he could have done if Republicans had put country first.” I think they did. Had Obama done what he seems to have wanted, it would have been much worse. He really believes in the market as much as you do. I think he would agree with what you said in the other column that profit is a privilege firms and people “earn” by politically correct behavior rather than making products people want.
I am not saying America will get to be Greece if Obama is reelected. We have institutions too strong. They will resist his dumb moves. But we will be better off if we trade Obama for more competent leadership that Romney will give us.
Adam, you can’t help believe that way because they are Republicans. If they were Dems, you would be defending their opinions.
If people believe the policies are harmful and will cause America to suffer, then of course they are going to hope those policies fail.
My principles are the same as those laid out in the Constitution. Doesn’t matter what ideology one follows, if you wish to change those principles, you are going against them.
Of course we all have different viewpoints and nobody definitely does not have all the answers, that is why it is so important to to follow the rules when changing things.
If people want to throw away their freedom of choice for government health care, get your real majority and do it right. Don’t reinterpret things into pretzels.
It’s always somebody else’s fault, isn’t it? Yawn!
The “Republican nominee’s own plan” is a wedge issue because a government mandate taking away freedom of choice and raises taxes is liberal legislation. No matter who passes it, liberal legislation passing in a liberal state does not mean it is accepted by all others.
“Your people” wouldn’t be so pissed off and angry all the time if you just accepted the fact that, no matter how good you think it is, not everybody likes your policies.
Obama has been divisive from the very beginning. Pitting American against American with his words, his blaming, his policies and his severe lack of leadership.
I wonder if people remember the election of 2008 very well… Taking a quick look at the polling information from Sept 7, 2008 and comparing it with today, you will see that then McCain was leading while today we are in pretty much of a tie. How did that lead end up for McCain, seen as the ‘incumbent’ party?
I am glad the Democrats are so confident that they are going to win, I’m just not sure what they base that off of other than faith…
Rhinehold: “I am glad the Democrats are so confident that they are going to win, I’m just not sure what they base that off of other than faith…”
Personally I don’t share the confidence that Phx8 and others have. I think the polls are too close nationally and in key swing states for either the popular or electoral vote to be clear cut right now. I think the odds favor Obama if they favor anyone but that’s not saying much. That could change tomorrow. But right now Obama’s pulling ahead both in his Job Approval and his head to head with Romney.
I don’t think Obama can lead us out of this mess and I don’t know that Romney can either. So much has changed since Clinton has been in office and I’m not just talking about George W. I’m referring to the fact that the global economy as a whole is in the dumps and countries are tied together more than ever before. Problems in Europe, problems here, Asia has their own set of issues. This could just be how it is for quite sometime.
kctim: “Adam, you can’t help believe that way because they are Republicans. If they were Dems, you would be defending their opinions.”
Republicans. We’re talking about a group of people who called Obama a failure on Day 1 and have spent every day since finding ways that has to be true. American conservatives stretch every piece of economic data, distort the fact about legislation and it’s impact, take Obama’s words completely out of context, and spread rumors like those about the president’s birth country and religion, etc. The right roots against America so that Obama himself is a failure.
Yale professors in NYT: link textAmerica’s”>http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/11/americas-hidden-austerity-program/”>America’s Hidden Austerity Program
Why is the recovery from this recession different from recoveries from past recessions? In the previous two recessions, it took 32 months for nonfarm employment to reattain its June 1990 peak, and 48 months for it to reattain its January 2001 peak. Assuming the economy keeps adding nonfarm employment at the current rate, it will have taken 88 months to reattain its January 2008 peak. The explanation most often heard is that “financial crises are different”: after a debt crisis, shaken consumers are reluctant to spend and shaken firms are reluctant to hire, slowing private-sector job growth even after the recession has bottomed out
There is some truth in this, but it is not the whole story. In fact, while the latest recession was particularly deep, the recovery in private-sector employment, once it finally started, has not been particularly slow by recent historical standards. In the 27 months since the start of the current employment recovery, the private sector has added 4.3 million jobs, fewer than the 5.0 million it added in the 27 months after February 1992 but not many fewer than the 4.5 million it added in the equivalent period after August 2003.
But there is something historically different about this recession and its aftermath: in the past, local government employment has been almost recession-proof. This time it’s not.
Romney has no solid answers for job creation, and wants even MORE austerity — even though we know that has already only lead to the loss in millions of American jobs.
I remember a time when the filibuster was a manuever, not a blockade, when folks used it to extract concessions. Do we see votes followed up with demands for such? Not at all. Instead, we see bills just dropped.
Obama tried concessions. If he wanted to ram something down Congress, he could have come up with a bill, and pressured his caucus into passing it, and it would have been quicker. Instead, he insisted on the gang of six negotatiations, only to find that the Republicans steadfastly refused to vote for anything in good faith.
You cannot hold out for nothing but everything you want, and then blame people for the failure of negotiation.
As for what you believe? Here’s what I believe: Obama halted unemployment at a lower level that Reagan did, and Reagan didn’t have half the recession Obama did, nor banks collapsing under the weight of overleveraging. Reagan had interest rates, austerity really, that he could relieve the economy of.
Bush had a much, much shallower recession, but not only lost more jobs than he gained in his first term, but kept on losing them long, long, after the recession ended, without the economic damage to explain the continued loss
of jobs. Obama’s recovering from much, much worse, faster.
So, I believe the statistics show much more effective policy, on those counts. I also believe that what we’re experiencing right now is the price we pay for not going far enough. Given that Republicans did everything to declare Obama’s policies a failure before they had time to actually work, and the fact they pretty much promised continued filibusters, and voted down any jobs bills, I think its plain to see that Republicans interfered with further beneficial policies. Things haven’t gotten worse under Obama, the way they were getting worse under Bush.
As for Greece? We have much 0% interest rates, and no pressure to increase them. The biggest threat to our credit rating wasn’t the debt, but instead the Republicans making incredibly stupid policy decisions on things like the debt ceiling.
Re recoveries - it is the RATE of growth. This recession was deep. It will take time to get back to where we might have been. But after a deep drop, you expect a quicker RATE of recovery as the economy approaches its longer term averages. This has not happened. At the rate we are going under Obama, we will never catch up.
You guys are talking about the convention bounce. Think of it like a ball. The harder you slam it down, the higher it bounces back, at least economies always have done until Obama.
So you might be able to blame Bush for knocking us down, but it is Obama’s fault that we are not standing back up.
“I would like to hear exactly what the Republican Party in Congress has done to solve this problem.”
Perhaps Stephen could tell us how many of the House jobs bills were taken up in the Senate by Harry Reid over the past 1 ½ years. The Republican controlled House is only 1 part of the Congress.
“Really though? Folks like Michelle Malkin, Rush Limbaugh, Rich Santorum, and John Goldberg have all said they hope Obama’s policies fail. Then when these same bunch of folks cheerfully relay bad information about the economy I can’t help but believe they want America to suffer so that liberal policies aren’t given credit for any success in America’s economy.”
There is a difference between wanting his policies to fail and wanting the economy to fail. You are assuming Obama’s policies are synonymous with success. They aren’t; Obama’s policies have failed and therefore have made things worse. Why would we want the policies of someone who is in way over his head to succeed? If Obama had had his way, we would be on a single payer HC system; if he had had his way we would be taxed for Cap and Trade; if Obama had had his way all oil, gas, and coal production would have been shut down, and if Obama had had his way the Democrats would have remained in control of the House after 2010. Perhaps Adam Ducker can blame the American citizens for wanting Obama’s policies to fail when they gave control of the House to the Republicans, took the super majority away from the Democrats in the Senate, and gave Governorships and State Legislators to Republicans? If Americans were upset with Obama’s policies in 2010, what do you think they feel about them in 2012?
“kctim - Obama’s policies go against YOUR principles, not the country’s. There is no single ideology that are the principles of this country. We liberals and moderates are also citizens and our viewpoint is every bit as American as yours. What is un-American is thinking that any one ideology is more “American” than any other ideology. Nor does one side have all the answers.”
Posted by: tcsned at September 7, 2012 2:00 PM
Sorry, but the 2010 election proves this theory wrong.
It’s always somebody else’s fault, isn’t it? Yawn!”
Yes kctim, it is because this is the Democrat line. There is an old saying “employees will take on the personality of their boss”, “churches will take on the personality of their pastor”; and liberals will take on the personality of Obama. He is a whinny wimpy crying blame everyone else person and the Democrats like Stephen have taken on his personality. What do you think it will be like when Obama and the Democrats get a real ass-whooping in November? I can hear their wailing now…
“But right now Obama’s pulling ahead both in his Job Approval and his head to head with Romney.”
Posted by: Adam Ducker at September 7, 2012 5:13 PM
Adam Ducker, didn’t you just have that conversation a day or so ago; that you put little faith in polls. And now, 1 day after the convention, you are saying Obama has had a bounce in the polls? Based on a Gallup Poll, which you considered a biased poll. Very strange?????
“Republicans. We’re talking about a group of people who called Obama a failure on Day 1 and have spent every day since finding ways that has to be true. American conservatives stretch every piece of economic data, distort the fact about legislation and it’s impact, take Obama’s words completely out of context, and spread rumors like those about the president’s birth country and religion, etc. The right roots against America so that Obama himself is a failure.”
Posted by: Adam Ducker at September 7, 2012 5:22 PM
So tell me Adam, are you like Stephen Daugherty who believes the Democrats are angelic and only the Republicans do such evil deeds, as distort, lie, take words out of context, spread rumors, and stretch every piece of economic data? Are you willing to say it happens on both sides or are you willing to make yourself irrelevant like Stephen?
“Obama tried concessions. If he wanted to ram something down Congress, he could have come up with a bill, and pressured his caucus into passing it, and it would have been quicker. Instead, he insisted on the gang of six negotatiations, only to find that the Republicans steadfastly refused to vote for anything in good faith.”
Perhaps Stephen should read Bob Woodward’s latest book, and he might have a better understanding of Obama’s negotiation skills…
A comment from Adrienne’s gotcha moment link:
“Santelli seemed wary of suggesting the Obama administration has anything to do with the improving jobs outlook, real or fabricated, even though jobs always weigh more heavily on a president than he should be blamed or credited for. And for good reason: his prediction is especially interesting given his stature as a tea party hero.”
Actually Adrienne, if you would check Rush Limbaugh’s archives you would find he predicted the same thing. It doesn’t matter what the unemployment numbers are now, by election day the MSM will be touting 7+% unemployment. I believe this is what Santelli is saying.
Frank, the 2010 election was not an endorsement of the Tea Party, it was a frustration with the economy. Every party who sweeps into power makes this same mistake. They see these things as a referendum or endorsement of them not what it actually is, a rebuke of the status quo. There is a difference. I would say that it was and still is an endorsement of the Tea Party by the GOP as they continue to nominate extreme candidates. Many of these will lose in general elections like this bozo in Missouri running for the Senate. When the the public only has a choice between the status quo and the other guy, if they’re not happy with the status quo, they’ll take the other guy. It inevitably leads to an overreach and a smack down. The Dems got that in 2006-08 thinking they had a mandate and got slapped in 2010. The GOP is headed that way now. The Tea Party folks have shown an utter inability to govern and are looking like a less attractive alternative than they did 2 years ago. Maybe not ready for a full rebuke this time but it looks likely that Romney will lose this time barring an “October Surprise” the electoral map looks pretty grim for the GOP which will also likely mean Dems retaining the Senate and making gains but not retaking the House. That’s why they’re resorting to voter suppression tactics and other desperate attempts to prevent Dems from casting votes.
You need to get beyond cultivated nature. Your assumptions are based on the notion that there is a natural point of equilibrium, to which things are supposed to return, and if Obama would just stop messing with things, putting in new regulations or whatnot, it would get there.
But you look at nature in the wild, and there are plenty of examples of places that pass some threshold and end up shifting their nature on a permanent/semi-permanent basis. The Sahara was once vast grasslands, but a change in temperature, paradoxically a cooling, dried out the area, and one thing led to another.
Normally, when an economy gets hit by a recession, it maintains the parts, the employment and the banks, and whatever else, that would normally help the rebound. Additionally, we don’t normally have 0% interest rates, so normally we can prime the pump easily with monetary infusions. That’s a huge part of how Reagan’s recession ended.
It’s to your political benefit, in a way, to believe Obama is at fault, to pretend that things have gotten worse. The trouble, really, is that you will walk straight into whatever situation we leave behind, if you win. So, if the problem isn’t Obama, then Romney’s not going to be a two-term President, either.
I think the basic trouble with our current economy is that the ecosystem of employed consumers that helped keep the economy going finally collapsed under the pressure of all the bills and the debts that the financial elite put them under. The system has been turned into a fantasy at several removes, and unfortunately those we depended upon to maintain the economy themselves came to the brink of their own destruction as the reality check undermined their whole ability to maintain operations.
People have convinced themselves of the godlike ability of the deal, convinced themselves that they can perpetually con people into exchanges that don’t benefit them, and not eventually have people either unable or unwilling to buy in.
I think the problem in this economy is that there was a certain level of productivity that America was capable of, but instead of knocking us down to that level, or something close to it, the Financial crisis crippled demand and the employment that allows that demand to exist, making it very tough for the full potential of American workers to be employed. I think if we push it hard enough, it will settle into a new level of productivity, but if we do nothing, this unemployment might become chronic, and no amount of incentives to those already making enough money for themselves is going to get them to spend money satsifying demand that isn’t there.
The problem is, given that Obama was first President of a Democratic Congress, and even now still has the senate, there is no way for you to push and alternative agenda without having to negotiate or share credit with Obama. So, for him to fail utterly to do anything he could get credit for, you must fail utterly as well. Only when Republcians control everything can you safely put forward legislation without having to share credit with him.
But why? The simple reason is, if Obama succeeded, it would validate his approach, his politics, at the expense of your approach, which the end of the Bush Administration cast as a complete failure.
You’re running away from the Bush Administration, but like one of those cracks opening up in the ground in the movies, the wreck and ruin follow.
Personally, I don’t think the Republicans have the policy maturity anymore. They’ve embraced an adolescent sort of wishful thinking, instead of acknowledging that politics rarely translates perfectly into real world policy, and rarely should. People can make promises and spout theories and dogmas, but as man proposes, god disposes. It’s better that we be able to adapt, that we maintain political purity, because nobody is going to long remember those who were pure Republicans or pure Democrats, but they will long remember both those who screw things up royally, and those who achieve things well.
The GOP in this case has gotten practically nothing done for the last several years. It’s become a party of critics, a party more concerned about being self-consistent than being competent, and its spent the last three years starving itself of achievement so nobody could give Obama the kind of credit that would make him a shoe-in for a second term.
The question is, when are Republicans going to be worthy on their own merits?
As far as the Gallup poll goes, Adam said that it was a little biased against Obama, which is to say that it underates his popularity. If his popularity, then, goes up profoundly, then that means that Obama’s popularity potentially will have bounced even more than Gallup measured.
That’s the thing about you and bias. You don’t realize what a crappy argument bias arguments are unless you can point to real shortfalls in the facts. You’ve hung around too long with the pundits and media personalities of your party, who want nothing more than a captive audience, an audience of people who don’t want somebody going to an outside source, for various reason. They want people to disregard, so they claim total unreliability of such information.
But claiming and having it be true are two different things, and I think that’s been a fundamental part of your party’s current weakness. It’s unable to moderate its own bias, and so it’s missing a lot of information that could be useful in creating an actual, productive conservative policy and political model, one that could make Republicans well respected again.
Adam doesn’t think Gallup is utterly wrong. He’d probably say that you have to allow for the bias, but that it could point to where things are, once you’ve calibrated things properly. That’s my attitude towards bias, too. I didn’t give up on FOXNews at the beginning of the war because of its politics, I gave up because it kept on cheerleading stories about found WMDs that where then retracted before I could verify them.
I don’t like to be lied to. I can tolerate a bit in the way of dancing around the truth, and spin, but the thing that made policy so bad in the last administration was the unwillingness of the administrtion to be honest with itself, much less anybody else.
Your party hasn’t shown any signs of recovering from that. It’s gotten worse in fact, which is why my opposition to the party is even stronger now than it was back in 2004, when I started this. I once thought that the GOP could be reasonable, that it would eventually realize how badly it was screwing things up, but I’ve come to believe at this point that it is so drunk on its own propaganda that people probably don’t even realize how out of this world their beliefs and how problematic the policy has become.
The party keeps on getting wake up calls, and like a cartoon character, it’s coming up with ever more destructive ways to destroy the alarm clock.
As for Santelli-
It’s sad that he’s so unhappy about people getting back to work, but then that tea party idea was never about fixing the party’s mistakes, it was about distracting people from the fact that mistakes are ongoing, while blaming the other side for them.
We took steps to fix the economy and stop its free fall in 2008-9. These worked, more or less well.
Obama piled on more stimulus and programs that did not much except move economic activity. Cash for clunkers was one. “Investments” in green energy was another. These things did nothing but spend money, which moved activity but did not create any.
Indications are that cash for clunkers spurred car sales, which are now going quite well. Investment in Green energy has doubled the market.
I think we can safely say that no matter what the facts are, any program of Obama’s that you mention will be claimed to have achieved nothing. I can show you sharp increases in economic growth, a change in the dynamic of the market, but if you admitted to that, you would be admitting two things: 1) That Obama’s done his job, and 2) That the steps Obama took, and the economic theory behind it, distinct from yours, have been validated.
That’s an unacceptable outcome, especially for conservatives whose ideology people no longer give the benefit of the doubt. If you can’t stuff the liberal policies back into the box, your strategies don’t have enough popularity to succeed on their own merits.
The idea behind deregulation is that markets will work harder when barriers are removed. But since the major reforms were passed, growth rates have been cut in half, where they haven’t disappeared altogether. The idea behind tax cuts is that there’ll be an explosion of new business when the “job creators” no longer have to spend money paying Uncle Sam. Except we’ve had taxes cut for over a decade now, and, again, growth did not occur as promised, and deficits followed this tax cut as it did the previous one.
Long story short, it doesn’t seem that what some would think would make business more successful actually does. Taxes don’t seem to be as much of a disincentive to job creation(as a matter of fact, one might be more productive, in order to make up for the lower net income), and deregulation doesn’t necessarily raise productivity, since many try to cheat the system in ways that actually make business more volatile and less productive in real terms, however rich they make the individuals.
The contract Republicans wrote up on stimulating the economy the way they did has not been fulfilled. Without the housing boom, Bush would have had an even more lackluster tenure as job creator.
I’m sorry, but it’s time for new thinking in the GOP. The old dogmas are not playing out like they should.
People bought car a few month before they would have bought them. After that, car sales declined and now they are going back to normal levels.
It is like Obama lighting a match under the thermometer in March and claiming it made it warmer in May.
“I can show you sharp increases in economic growth, a change in the dynamic of the market.” Actually, you cannot. This is the worst recovery in living memory. There was no sharp increase. There was a dead cat bounce.
Re regulation - it should be smart.
So what’s a six point turn around on GDP? Chopped Liver?
The point of a stimulus is not to create an eternal effect, but to get it back to normal. Normal is good, when the alternative is the hollowing out of an industry.
The big problem with your approach, I would say, is that you keep on acting like Obama was handed a stable situation. You also push the notion that Obama simply displaced the economic problem from one time to another.
Except, I know a little something about the way this government finances debt, and I know for a fact that the bills wouldn’t come due for years, for the most part. So, where exactly does spending that money then take it from now? You’ve never specified a mechanism, only a belief that this bill coming due or the displacement of private investment is so.
Your thermometer analogy runs into another problem: we are better off than we were. Growth is anemic, but there are worse outcomes than anemic growth, as children of the Depression can tell you.
The problem here is that Republicans don’t want to change on account of their mistakes or failures. They want to cheat their way out of having to pay the political price for one of the worst Presidencies, and one of the most irresponsible Congresses in American history.
So you blame this president for the deficits your laws and your policies create. You blame this president for doing nothing to create jobs, even though you block every bill that does something of worth.
This is how shamefully low your party has sunk. Even Reagan relented on some ideas when things didn’t go as planned. Today’s Republicans will not take failure as a sign that some policy must be ended, and that is why they must be opposed.
I think the general public understands that job growth is too slow and people are pessimistic about job growth in the immediate future. We get it. It blows.
The question is who to blame and who is most likely to address the concerns of the average middle class citizen.
I’m not sure Romney is really benefiting from what should be a given. The average Joe just doesn’t trust the Republican plans to fix it. They just don’t see the Republicans as having the interests of the middle class at their core.
Class war doesn’t work with most middle class Americans. They get that the Republican response is to give more breaks to the wealthy who are already sitting on tons of cash. They don’t buy the trickle down treacle any more.
That’s why Romney is very likely to lose this election. The next question for Republicans will likely be: “how long can we continue to be the opposition party, the party of denying the elected President his efforts to right the economy?” People notice what is happening.
As bad as the poll numbers are for Obama and the Democrats, the Republicans are worse.
“So what’s a six point turn around on GDP? Chopped Liver?” Six point over what time period? This is the weakest recovery in living memory.
What Obama got was a situation that was stabilized.
This from Washington Post - Holman Jenkins, Jr. reminds us that “the heavy lifting was done by the Federal Reserve and . . . [the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.] long before Mr. Obama became president. ” The Troubled Assets Relief Program, the brainchild of Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, if you recall, initially failed in the Democratic-controlled House before passing in October 2008. As for the car industry, again to the dismay of many conservatives, it was Bush who began the auto company bailout. Jenkins notes: “Mr. Bush plainly put money into GM and Chrysler to keep them afloat for Mr. Obama’s benefit, since Mr. Obama would have to clean up the mess if they went into liquidation. And you know the sequel — a questionable, UAW-friendly bankruptcy that is proving one of the few money losers for taxpayers.”
RE “Your thermometer analogy runs into another problem: we are better off than we were. Growth is anemic, but there are worse outcomes than anemic growth, as children of the Depression can tell you.”
I have said that things are better today than at the depth of the problem but not nearly as good as they should be. The economy recovers, but Obama didn’t help much.
Re children of the depression - my father was a child of the Depression and told me about it all the time. Most people are too young to have such personal contact with children of the Depression, which is why they think that Obama ideas are new or interesting.
There is a difference between wanting Obama’s policies to fail and wanting the country to fail. And of course people who disagree with his vision of the country want his policies to fail.
Both sides distort things in their favor, it’s called playing politics. “Romney likes to fire people,” “Republicans are all racists,” “war on women,” “gutting Medicare,” “middle class paying for tax cuts for the rich,” “8.1% is good.” Any of that sound familiar?
Re Obama’s religion though, why is it now ok to include religion in the national debate, when in 08 you guys shouted that it didn’t matter what Obama’s religion was?
If Islam is ok for America, Mormonism is ok for America. If preaching against America is ok, preaching for America is ok.
“Frank, the 2010 election was not an endorsement of the Tea Party, it was a frustration with the economy. Every party who sweeps into power makes this same mistake. They see these things as a referendum or endorsement of them not what it actually is, a rebuke of the status quo. There is a difference. I would say that it was and still is an endorsement of the Tea Party by the GOP as they continue to nominate extreme candidates. Many of these will lose in general elections like this bozo in Missouri running for the Senate.” Tcsned
Sorry, your opinion the 2010 election was not an endorsement of the TP is incorrect. It was TP candidates who were elected to the House. I have listened to your side whine and cry about the ultra conservatives in the House blocking everything Obama wanted. So you are by yourself on that opinion. Yes, the 2010 elections were a referendum, just as the 2008 elections were claimed, by the left, to be a referendum to transform America into a socialist nation. As for MO, you will witness the “bozo” win the Senate race.
The problem is, given that Obama was first President of a Democratic Congress, and even now still has the senate, there is no way for you to push and alternative agenda without having to negotiate or share credit with Obama.” Stephen Daugherty
So Stephen, the welfare of the country is about who gets the credit??? I believe this is the first time I have heard you claim the Democrats control the Presidency and the Senate; normally you speak only of the Republicans controlling the House and blocking Obama’s agenda. Thanks for admitting the responsibility for our problems belongs to the Democrats.
“You’re running away from the Bush Administration, but like one of those cracks opening up in the ground in the movies, the wreck and ruin follow.” Stephen Daugherty
Sorry Stephen, but I will have to classify this as a real big “dumbass” statement. The TP was against a lot of things Bush did; in fact the TP came into existence because of Bush and Obama. You are really one ignorant SOB Stephen. How many times do you have to be told that conservatives did not agree with the policies of Bush? You just can’t seem to comprehend that TP conservatives are not “running away from the Bush Administration”, because we never supported many of his policies from the beginning.
“The GOP in this case has gotten practically nothing done for the last several years. It’s become a party of critics, a party more concerned about being self-consistent than being competent, and its spent the last three years starving itself of achievement so nobody could give Obama the kind of credit that would make him a shoe-in for a second term.”
Stephen, why don’t you remind us of how much control the Republicans have had over the “last several years”? How about the Democrats were in control for the past 2 years of Bush and the first 2 years of Obama; and they screwed up so bad, that control was taken away from the House in 2010. Do you understand how much fear was in the hearts of the American people in order to transfer 60+ Congressional seats to the Republicans? I don’t think you can understand. What achievement are you talking about Stephen? Are you talking about the achievement of caving to the Democrat socialist agenda? This is the very reason TP conservatives were elected; to block the Democrats and establishment Republicans from ramming through socialism.
“As far as the Gallup poll goes,”
No Stephen, as far as any polls go; you and Adam Ducker will claim them when they benefit you agenda, and deny them when they don’t. It’s as simple as that…
“As for Santelli-
It’s sad that he’s so unhappy about people getting back to work, but then that tea party idea was never about fixing the party’s mistakes, it was about distracting people from the fact that mistakes are ongoing, while blaming the other side for them.”
Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 9, 2012 12:39 PM
Don’t talk to me about Santelli, it was Adrienne’s comment, not mine. I am fully aware of your attacks on anyone who does not support your “dumbass” comments…
First quarter 2009 had a 6.7% annualized loss, then second quarter was just .7% loss.
The last quarter of the year was 3.8% growth. So, within the eyar, we go from losing 6.7%, to gaining 3.8%. So, if you’re talking about no turnaround, you must be speaking very, very figuratively.
As for the other part, Bush was continually pumping money in. Obama’s actions resolved GM’s problem, and they haven’t been back for another bailout since.
Republicans have refused to let Obama do much else than that, but it’s useful to see a 3% growth rate for the next year. Yes, it was sold as doing better, but it was also sold on taking care of what was supposed to be quarterly drop of 3.8% It turned out to be about 8.9%, followed by the 6.7% drop. now you tell me, what happens when you confront drops of that magnitude with a stimulus meant to deal with a 3.8% drop.
And if the mistake is, he made it too small, doesn’t that contradict the ideological argument that he shouldn’t have done it at all?
You say the fed did the heavy lifting. Perhaps on the banks. But the banks weren’t everything. You can’t deal with the American economy just by dealing with the banks. The banks can only finance business owners who think they can get a return on their investment, and its been a lack of jobs that has made this a problem.
If your argument is that Obama hasn’t done enough, your argument is complicated by the actions of your people. It would be one thing if Republicans had made reasonable efforts along those lines, but you can’t blame somebody for not doing enough if you yourself have done nothing.
Let me remind you of something about Why TARP failed. While there were some Democrats involved, virtually every Republican took a hike on the bill. So, excuse me for lining up blame along that proportion.
I could completely believe that sentiment. Trouble is, Obama is President, which means his support would be necessary for anything Republicans might want to pass as an alternative. With a no negotiation stance, with a shut Obama out stance, there’s no room to manuever around that. Republicans could not create an alternative without having it be compromised by interaction with Congresional Democrat, and without adjusting to what President Obama would prefer, not to mention giving him credit for being bipartisan and somewhat responsible for the passage of the bill.
I think it’s just lovely what importance you attach to your “classifications.”
As far as the Tea Party goes, they took a referendum to deal with jobs as an excuse to deal with everything else but. People were frustrated, the Tea Party offered relief for that, but then turned around and actually actively endangered the economy , not to mention pushing that whole Ryan Budget thing.
It think if people had known how counterproductive electing the Tea Party would be, they would have stuck with the Democrats, who at least showed a willingness to be helpful.
So Stephen, the welfare of the country is about who gets the credit???
I never said I believed that. It was your side, rather, that has taken that notion to heart. Ironically, it looks like your side is skidding towards defeat, so all they will have to show for years of gridlock and partisan refusal to cooperate is a Fiscal Cliff, and Democrats not half so willing to cooperate as they were years before.
I believe this is the first time I have heard you claim the Democrats control the Presidency and the Senate; normally you speak only of the Republicans controlling the House and blocking Obama’s agenda. Thanks for admitting the responsibility for our problems belongs to the Democrats.
Republicans are expecting concessions they have no business to expect. Democrats negotiated and compromised plenty when they were the opposition. The operative question in many people’s minds is why things are suddenly gridlocked. Now I saw Democrats put forward much more conservative policies, including the mandate, in hopes of getting GOP support. Unfortunately, Republicans didn’t want to negotiate in good faith. They even took a Republican’s idea, and turned it into some totalitarian death squad.
When you’re so partisan in your opposition that you’ll use conspiracy theory against a good provision in the bill your side came up with, then pretending that somehow it’s the Democrats who failed to reach out is no less dishonest than the conspiracy theories themselves.
As far as the whole thing on your disagreement with the Bush Administration…
Bull****. I mean, really, I had to argue with Republicans during this previous administrations. I had to argue with folks just like you. And really, what is Romney, what is his value? The whole point of him as a candidate is that he could appeal to the center, that he could be believeable as a moderate. Sounds an awful lot like Bush. He’s pushing to make Bush’s tax cuts permanent. His foreign policy staff is rife with Neocons. He’s pushing a hardcore fossil fuel energy plan, just like the President Gasman. He’s a more northern version of Bush, with the serial numbers filed off.
As for fear? That’s all folks like you peddle. Psychotic levels of fear. You lie and lie and lie, about Obama wanting to get the Guvments hands on Medicare, about him being some sort of foreign crazy guy, about Healthcare reform being about death panels, and a complete takeover of the system. Worse yet, you trot some of those out again.
So, it wasn’t surprising in retrospect that people ditched the Democrats. However, it won’t be surprising if they ditch the do-nothingest Congress in a long time, or at least thin out the herd. I will hardly be surprising if Obama wins by a wide margin. Your side has burned way too much of people’s patience with it, and now they will pay the price.
If we had kept on growing at that rate, as we did during the Reagan recovery, Obama would have been a successful president. It stopped. You count from the low to the high but forget other things.
What was growth last quarter? In fact, what we see is the economy turning around more or less until the Obama policies start to bite and then it flattens out and stays flat.
“What Obama got was a situation that was stabilized.”
Nonsense! That is not meant to disparage the efforts of the Bush administration, Congress and the Fed to address the collapse of the financial markets and to shore up the auto industry. To his credit, GW Bush has said that the crisis was a time to put aside ideology and do what was necessary to save the financial markets and our auto industry. In his own words, “he would do it again.”
But, to claim that the initial actions of the Bush administration had been sufficient to stabilize the economic free fall is simply not true. In a “Frontline” documentary of the crisis, it was reported that the incoming Obama administration was simply “stunned” by the extent of the problem when privy to full details of the crisis. Hundreds of thousands jobs were being lost monthly from the time of election to inauguration. Nothing had been done for Main Street.
It is not, in my opinion, a coincidence that the employment losses began to stabilize shortly after his inauguration and the signing of the stimulus package less than two weeks later. It stopped the free fall. The calvary had arrived for Main Street. It was a strong signal to businesses that the federal government would not let aggregate demand fall any further.
The idea that Bush had sufficiently shored up the auto industry in 2008 is completely false. Nobody, including Romney, believes that the auto industry could have survived without a structured bankruptcy in 2009. The only issue is whether the auto industry could have obtained sufficient “debtor in possession” funding from private sources to survive a restructuring bankruptcy or whether government funding was required. There is no disagreement that the Bush auto bailout was insufficient to support the survival of the auto industry.
The Reagan Administration had functioning banks and interest rates that could be lowered.
Another things, and something you really, really, really should not overlook, in your judgmental attitude towards Obama: Ronald Reagan raised outlays in his first term by almost 40%. Got that? I think Bush was more modest in his spending increases, but he was still raising it substantically.
So, if we’re being logical about this, then you might be honest, and say the problem is that Obama didn’t spend enough. But you’re not. You’re flip-flopping, in order to stay on the politically correct side of the issue. When a Democrat is in office, even if they’re increasing spending by less than what Dwight Eisenhower did, you’re going to say, why couldn’t he shrink government, while at the same time, you’re going to tout the Reagan recovery, which floated upwards on interest rate cuts, on Government Spending, and you would say on Tax Cuts, none of which even remotely resemble the austerity you’re saying Obama should embrace.
Besides, Obama is faced with a worse economy. Reagan’s recession (and we can call it that because it all occured on his watch) was a 2.7% recession. the Second Bush Recession (it’s fair to call it that because the first two thirds occured on Bush’s watch), ultimately knocked off 5.1% of GDP.
And no, you could not call it stabilized. That is, what I would qualify as a ****ing lie. Not just a lie, but a ****ing lie. Want the distinction? Well, when Obama gets into office, before his policies can be enacted, he gets hit with about 800,000 jobs lost just as he’s inaugurated. First half of that year, these are the rest of the job numbers: Feb:-724, March: -799, April: -692, May: -361, June -482. That’s what you’re referring to as a stabilized situation. GDP growth, for that first quarter registers at -6.7. Now, just to give you an idea of how many jobs went bye-bye, the total for that first six months, including a month that mostly belonged to Bush, is a little less than 3.9 million jobs lost. If we just go for Obama’s first six months, then it’s about 3.4 million jobs lost.
In other words, 73.5% of all jobs lost during the Obama administration were lost in the first six months. 92.6 % of all jobs he lost were lost in that first year. In other words, the 2010 year that would logically be the place to look for job losses if you were blaming the stimulus are less than 7.4% of all the jobs lost during the Obama administration. Let me suggest something here: there was nothing stabilized about that economy. The banks weren’t going to collapse, but what good is that if there’s nobody employed enough to buy things.
Yes, the first stimulus wasn’t enough. But you don’t see the Obama Administration arguing that it’s satisfied. It’s arguing for more intervention.
As for the rest, the stimulus did what it was supposed to, what it was designed to do, but it was designed for a smaller recession. We could get more growth with further intervention, but Republicans who remember nothing of the real policies of the Reagan Administration, are insisting that the federal government spent less, while their fabled president of legend spent 40% more than Carter did on outlays. The Republicans seem to piece together their arguments by rhetorical bingo, rather than making consistent arguments.
Oh, and if you want another reason why the unemployment numbers drag out, try the fact that this is the only recession since before Reagan where public sector employees were laid off, rather than hired. It seems like public sector jobs, however odious to the Right, nonetheless count towards economic recovery.
Republicans have killed what jobs they can directly, and shockingly enough, it seems like this has increased, or at least stalled the reduction of unemployment. Arithmetic, fellows. You have to do something pretty special to overcome it, and Republicans haven’t.
Also, has anybody observed here that if an ongoing pattern of stagnation is the problem, that perhaps the fact we have the do nothing Congress in charge might have something to do with it?
Frank, keep dreaming. The reason the Tea Party has imposed itself on our political system is through primaries. They appeal to the low-information voter and unfortunately there are a lot of them. Tea Party support in the country is probably less than 10% unfortunately. Since the GOP is probably 40% of the country the Tea Party faithful make up about 25% of the GOP. Of those, only about 25% of those that support the GOP vote in primaries but the lion’s share are Tea Party supporters. So they ran rough-shod over the GOP primaries and got and continue to get candidates through the primaries. Then we get elections with binary choices, one of them a Tea Party supporter. They instantly have 40% of the vote because Republicans will pick their own guy or gal over a Dem any day and visa versa. So all they need to do is convince a little more than half of the “undecided” voter to vote for their guy and a small minority movement gets power. The 10-20% of generally undecided voters are those who generally aren’t very interested in politics and don’t know much about the issues and votes one way or another based on general feelings of fear or well being. 2010 was a time of fear for many rational reasons and even more irrational ones. Fear = party in power getting slammed, the Dems got slammed. Just as the GOP got slammed in 2006 and 2008.
The Tea Party members in Congress have proven an inability to get anything done other than obstruction (which they are very good at). But that has lead to the worst approval ratings for Congress since 1787. I don’t think anyone is predicting gains for the GOP in the House this year, probably not losing control but not picking up seats. The Senate is unlikely to switch hands but it’s possible. Romeny/Ryan running on Tea Party issues (granted, with a seriously flawed person at the top) is not resonating with people. Even when the GOP should be handing the Dems their a**es Obama will win in November in part because the alternative is too extreme and a lot worse.
The sane people in the GOP have lost control of the party. The crop of presidential candidates was by far the worst I have ever seen. A smarmy rich guy no one likes and a bunch of lunatics. He wasn’t seriously challenged nor was he forced to refine his message and now his campaign is floundering and can’t find a working message.
Moody’s, which gives the United States the top Aaa credit rating but with a negative outlook, said Congress needs to put the debt level on a downward trajectory to maintain that rating.
If budget talks “lead to specific policies that produce a stabilization and then downward trend in the ratio of federal debt to GDP over the medium term, the rating will likely be affirmed and the outlook returned to stable,” Moody’s said in a statement.
“If those negotiations fail to produce such policies, however, Moody’s would expect to lower the rating, probably to Aa1.”
The dollar fell and the euro hit a four-month high after the ratings agency’s statement.
Rival ratings agency Standard & Poor’s stripped the United States of its top ratings last year after Congress failed to come up with a long-term deficit reduction plan and political bickering brought the country to the brink of default.
Moody’s has in the past warned it could cut the United States’ rating. On Tuesday it said its view on the U.S. economy and rating had not changed and the upcoming elections offered a chance to remind investors of its thinking.
“This appears to be the shot across the bow,” said Dean Junkans, chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank. “Without some type of rational course to tackle debt reduction, a downgrade is likely.”
And the Democrats refuse do to anything about the debt because ‘it’s not that big of a problem’… Interesting take, maybe you can ask them why they have been blocking debt reduction action (austerity to them) for the past couple of years? We all know they hate interfering with the will of the people, except when they know better about what the ‘common good’ of the country is…
Democrats have not refused to do anything. That’s just dumb rhetoric. We’ve offered quite a number of plans that create that downward trajectory.
Speaking of which, our credit rating wasn’t in danger before one party brought up the possibility that we might not pay.
But getting back to it, if you look at the country’s that have tried austerity, their deficits haven’t improved. Why? Because they tried it when they couldn’t afford it. If your priority isn’t the economy, you don’t have your priorities straight, because you can’t fix a bad fiscal situation without revenue.
Which, by the way, none of the people associated with you are willing to do. No serious economist suggests that we can resolve the troubles we have without new taxes at some point. But unfortunately, your people insist on this taxes are bad for business mythology.
We need people in charge who budget by arithmetic, not by wishful thinking.
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