More Bad News: Unemployment Drops to 4.4%

The changing economy makes it harder to measure jobs data. The household survey, that includes the self-employed, counted 426,000 new jobs in September, while the payroll survey shows only 92,000. (Payroll data are often revised). The consistent measure is the unemployment rate. It doesn’t get much better than 4.4%. Economists (especially liberal ones like Paul Krugman) used to say unemployment could not drop below 5.5-6%. With Bush they raised the bar.

Labor markets are getting tighter. The number of discouraged workers fell this year. The share of working age people participating in the labor force, by either working or looking for work, was 66.2% in October, little changed over the last year. Median wages will probably rise as markets tighten.

These developments should come as no surprise. The economy has been doing well since 2003. Democrats can be excused for being surprised, since they have been unable to see any good economic news even when it stares them in the face.

We still have troubles. Federal tax collections jumped 11.8 percent last year, so the Feds collected an extra $254 billion. We are taking in big money, but we are spending it faster. We need to cut spending.

Maybe those Dems will make the necessary cuts if they win the House. They can use old Republican ideas if they have none of their own. I have not heard their actual proposals, but those of you who favor hope over experience can assume they have some.

Posted by Jack at November 4, 2006 11:42 PM
Comments
Comment #193378

Jack,
A lot of people are uncertain about these numbers, not as a matter of partisanship, but because the employment numbers- which are volatile- have initially been reported as very weak; earlier numbers have been revised substantially higher twice in a row. Is something wrong with the way initial non-farm payroll numbers are being calculated? As you noted, the Labor Pool Participation Rate remains steady, albeit at a relatively low rate. This is not a number that normally receives a great deal of attention, so perhaps it is not worthy of too much attention. Still, uncertainty abounds. On the one hand, job creation does not seem to be keeping up with population growth. On the other hand, the low unemployment rate suggests job markets are tightening, which means there is potential for wage increases to add to the inflationary pressures fueled by oil prices.

The only thing anyone seems sure about is that the Fed will not drop interest rates. Equity markets have pulled back because of this realization, but they were overbought anyway, and I do not think cuts were a realistic expectation in the first place.

From a partisan perspective, the low unemployment rate is good news for Repubicans right before the election, and the revision of earlier numbers upwards is great news- but most people have no idea it even happened.

My guess is that the Fed will resume rate hikes in their next meeting. The next inflation numbers will be crucial, but with oil near $60, I see no way to prevent it from slowly but surely working its way into the core CPI. Rising rates will continue pushing down housing markets- it cannot be helped- and so we move into the next part, the most unpleasant part of the economic cycle.

I jumped in with both feet at DJIA @ 7000, and walked away when the DJIA hit @ 11,500. I hope it works out for everyone else. Too rich for my blood though. The bond markets & the inverted yield curve scare the bejeebus out of me.

Posted by: phx8 at November 5, 2006 1:14 AM
Comment #193381

Lower relative wages, means employers can hire more persons. Nothing more complicated than that. Republicans through illegal immigration, exporting manufacturing jobs overseas, not enforcing laws against hiring illegals, and their refusal to raise the minimum wage, have all allowed many businesses and corporations to add two employees for the price of one and a half.

Republicans are going to lose their majority status in Congress, in part, for these very reasons. More than half the population does not feel better off economically under Republican rule. And these are the reasons why.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 5, 2006 1:31 AM
Comment #193389

Unemployment at 4.4% is a pretty good number.

If the Bush policies can lower it by another 0.3% by January of 2009 he will become the second Republican President in 60 years who ended his time in office with the Unemployment Rate lower than when he took office.

Hourly wages, adjusted for inflation, have gone up $0.20 since Bush took office. If that continues he will become the second Republican President since 1964 who ended his time in office with the inflation adjusted wages higher than when he took office.

As of September the Average Weekly Earnings, adjusted for inflation, have gone up 1.3% since Bush took office. If that continues he will become the first Republican President since 1964 who ended his time in office with the inflation adjusted earnings higher than when he took office.

The Federal Reserve becomes the big concern now. The Fed, the banks and their biggest customers have an extreme dislike for upward pressure on wages other than their own. If they see the working class getting ahead of inflation monetary policy will slow the economy, maybe even a recession, and unemployment will rise. CNBC has had the experts discussing, not whether or not we will have a recession, but whether it will be a hard landing or a soft landing.

If Bush can convince Bernanke and the FOMC to hold rates steady, or even ease a little, we may avoid another recession.

Posted by: Arm Hayseed at November 5, 2006 3:34 AM
Comment #193390

Arm Hayseed said: “Hourly wages, adjusted for inflation, have gone up $0.20 since Bush took office.”

No doubt, mostly accounted for by the doubling of CEO’s golden parachutes and annual salaries from 50 million per year to 110 million per year.

Hell my gasoline and air conditioning costs have eaten my .20 a hour wage increase up and then some. While oil and energy exec’s are seeing the highest salary increases in their history. That pretty well sums up why the majority of Americans aren’t celebrating the Republican economy numbers.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 5, 2006 5:31 AM
Comment #193398


Arm: You might want to check that 1964 date. From January 1961 to January 1969 there were no republican presidents.

Perhaps 35 to 40% of us will be better off when President Bush leaves office than they were when he took office. Everyone in this nation will or should know which of us are in that 35%. Most of them will be in the higher tax brackets but many will be illegal immigrants.

Posted by: jlw at November 5, 2006 8:35 AM
Comment #193399

Jack-
Wake me up when Bush has created more jobs than have been destroyed.

Unemployment statistics do not tell you some important things: Who’s given up on work, who’s working part-time when they wish to work full time, and who’s working at a job they are overqualified for.

People are still up to their eyeballs in debt, and wages still are stagnant. This is the triumph of supply side economics: a consumer economy slowly strangling itself.

The Housing market has collapsed. That’s been propping up growthf or some time now.

But hey, certain numbers are good, so we should celebrate, and do nothing to deal with our problems. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 5, 2006 8:40 AM
Comment #193402

I like the spending commission idea. We must control spending. I welcome a broad discussion of spending priorities.

Posted by: Trent at November 5, 2006 8:55 AM
Comment #193404
You might want to check that 1964 date. From January 1961 to January 1969 there were no republican presidents.

That is true. It is the data published on the BLS web site that only goes back to 1964.
http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/surveymost?ce

Looking at what little data that is available you can see that the average hourly wage has grown $0.45 more than inflation since 1964.

Oddly enough wages grew by $0.47 while a Democrat was in the White House and wages shrank by $0.02 while a Republican was in the White House.

Same thing with the average weekly earnings. In January of 1964 they were $297.51 and by September of 2006 they have shrunk to $278.50, a loss of $19.01.

Given what happened with the hourly wages you could expect the same thing to happen with the weekly earnings, and it did. Average earnings increased by $11.35 while a Democrat was President and shrank by $30.36 under a Republican President.

Posted by: Arm Hayseed at November 5, 2006 9:45 AM
Comment #193411

Phx8

I don’t try to go against the market. You remember when Dow was 5000 many pundits were saying it was unsustainable. It is always easy to see the turns from behind, but harder to do it in front. I invest my small amounts regularly and I keep it there. I will draw it down over what I hope are some years of retirement. In the long run, stock markets are good. I am buying the long run. I never jump in with both feet, nor do I run screaming when the water is cold.

The U.S. economy is protean. The measures we use to keep track of it (and predict it) are always backward looking.

This is off topic, but along the same lines. Think of something like eBay. I know some people who make a living buying and selling on eBay. They are counted as unemployed by the payroll survey. They will probably claim they are looking for work and will probably claim they are not making much money. EBay has created a market for all sorts of things that used to be garbage (and for some that still are). A lot of the ebay type transactions fly completely below the economic measurement radar. I buy and sell books on Amazon. I used to just keep the books until they got to heavy and then throw most of them out. Now some are worth money. These Internet markets have created eliminated a lot of waste and served needs. How are they measured?

David

Median wages are rising this year in real dollars. Ironically, they have stayed low in the face of very robust growth because of increased productivity (a good thing). Even with all the doom and gloom, wages are still higher than they were in 1998. These were not bad times.

Stephen

We repeat the same things. Presidents get too much credit or blame for the economy. Economic lag indicates that Bush policies started to take effect in 2003. Yes, I blame and credit Clinton for the economy from 1994-2002. The Bush economy (2003+) has been a good one so far.

We should deal with our problems of spending and entitlements. I believe I mentioned that in the main post. You cannot address problems if you ignore them and you cannot address problems if you define them incorrectly. The economy now is very good. We have challenges in the future. If we misdiagnose the economy we will make bad prescriptions.

BTW - I am sure the economic news will improve after the elections. If the Dems win (and they probably will) 4.4% unemployment will start to be great.

Hay

Make sure you add two years to each of the terms. It may change the figures you have. The economy is like a car. You do not go from 70 to 0 or 0 -70 the second the president steps on the brakes or the gas. We give presidents too much blame or credit anyway. Sometimes they are not even driving the car.

Posted by: Jack at November 5, 2006 10:46 AM
Comment #193424

The main Republican talking point seems to be that all good is his responsibility, and everything bad is either not his fault, or the result of incomplete or unenthusiastic support of his agenda. There’s no falsifiability, nor way of telling whether his economics are right, given that view. The real question is why nobody’s feeling their boat being floated if there’s such a rising tide.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 5, 2006 11:59 AM
Comment #193425

This illusion of a “good” economy is being funded with massive debt, borrowing, spending, and money-printing.

Perhaps enough Americans understand this?

Perhaps that is why most Americans are not buying this myth of a “good”, “very good”, or “just fine” economy?

It’s interesting that the Main-Stream-Media and the Democrats are not harping on this issue more. Perhaps it is because Democrats are equally fiscally irresponsible?

Sure, it is easy to look wealthy while you are maxing out all of your credit cards … but soon or later, there WILL be painful consequences. But, Congress doesn’t care about that. They just care about getting re-elected.

If we continue (at the current rate) the massive debt, borrowing, spending, growing government ever larger, and rampant money-printing, then this so-called rosy, “good” economy will finally be revealed for what it really is. An illusion, being funded by massive debt.

What would this so-called “good” economy be like without the massive debt created in the last 6 years?

Especially since nation-wide personal debt is also about $20 trillion (or more)?
And the real-estate bubble is not helping.
Increased global competition, and growing corpocrisy, corporatims, government FOR-SALE, and more corporations still moving overseas certainly doesn’t help.

It’s strange the way Democrats don’t make more of the massive fiscal irresponsibility.
The $8.6 trillion National Debt grew by $3 trillion since year 2000.
The Debt-to-GDP ratio is now 69%, which has NEVER been worse since WWII (and that does NOT even include the massive $12.8 trillion Social Security debt, $450 billion Pension Benefit Guaranty debt, and hundreds of billions of unfunded liabilities for Medicare, Medicaid, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan).

It appears as if the Democrats may soon inherit this fiscal-disaster-in-the-making.
Hopefully they’ll get a handle on it soon, but it seems unlikely, since the problem may ALREADY be too out-of-control?

And voters bear some of the responsibility too for blindly re-electing the very same irresponsible incumbent politicians that ignore the voters and the nation’s pressing problems for decade after decade. In a voting nation, such as ours, an educated electorate is paramount.

BAD_VOTERS = BAD_POLITICIANS = BAD_GOVERNMENT

Posted by: d.a.n at November 5, 2006 12:02 PM
Comment #193426

BTW - The median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers rose 6.9 percent, after inflation, in the third quarter.

Wages are starting up as they tend to after a couple years of recovery.

I want to point this out because we will soon have the lag time problem. Dems will probably be elected on Tues. They will begin to take credit for the upturn, which began in 2003.

So remember this. On the eve of the election, median wages are up 6.9%. Unemployment is 4.4%. We had a big upwards revision of last month’s job numbers from 51,000 to 148,000, and another 42,000 jobs were added to August’s numbers. These revisions added 139,000 jobs. The trend has been up. October will probably be the same.

DEMOCRATS DID NOT DO ANY OF THIS. They do not get credit (or blame) for anything economic for at least a year. But I am pretty sure that the media will be giving them credit for anything good within a few months. They will still blame Bush for the bad news, however.

Posted by: Jack at November 5, 2006 12:06 PM
Comment #193429

Jack:

Both Clinton and Bush have been good presidents for the economy. Economic growth, and wealth creation have been strong the last 14 years. Clinton had his S&L problem and Internet bubble. Bush is having his housing bubble. All in all the economy has performed very well.

I agree with many that the lower parts of the economic scale need some help. It is hard to point blame at a party. Was it NAFTA, welfare reform or tax cuts that is to blame for this? Arguments can be made on either side.

This expansion is expected to continue through next year. The 2007 stuff I am reading shows a slower but “fine” economy with some easing of interest rates.

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at November 5, 2006 12:28 PM
Comment #193430

Imaging how much rejoicing there would be if this were a Democrat president with house and senate. These numbers would make them wet themselves with self satisfaction and joy.

Of course, because it’s not…

Posted by: The Jim at November 5, 2006 12:33 PM
Comment #193436

Watch foreclosures continue to climb, because a slowing economy as widely predicted in 2007 will probably come with layoffs. The U.S. economy has slowed quickly, more quickly than many predicted. Recession may be closer than some think, and it could have negative ripple effects around the world, helping the snowball effect along.

A mathematical model of the economy developed by a Federal Reserve economist (Jonathan Wright) estimates a 40% chance of a recession in 2007. That’s not very comforting at all to the Federal Reserve, but they helped create this monster. Several large companies are starting to report planned layoffs (10% at GM, 13% at Borg/Warner, 16% at Ford, 17% at Daimler/Chrysler, 10% at Hewlet Packard, 16,000 workers at Intel, recent layoffs at Sun, Microsoft, Borland, Oracle, Novell, Lenovo, SGI, etc.).

Let’s revisit this after the election in 2007, because this current economy is being propped up with massive massive debt, spending, borrowing, and money-printing?

Just think what the economy would be like without the massive rup-up of $3 trillion in National Debt? What happens when that can’t continue?

Posted by: d.a.n at November 5, 2006 12:59 PM
Comment #193439

d.a.n.

Are you trying to support Bush on this chart? We see the crash under Clinton and moderate imporvment under Bush until this year. However, your use of estimate for 2006 is bad charting. So far, the ACTUAL income has been up this year. We have less than 2 months left in this year. Unless we see a truly prodigious and unexpected drop, the median income will be UP this year.

Why estimate when you can use actual figures.

Posted by: Jack at November 5, 2006 1:41 PM
Comment #193440

d.a.n.

Also re charting, why don’t you run that chart for the last 20 years? That chart gives a much better perspective.

Posted by: Jack at November 5, 2006 1:54 PM
Comment #193441

Jack:

Make sure you add two years to each of the terms. It may change the figures you have.

I was never convinced that a Presidents fiscal policy had no effect on the economy for two years.

When you posted this I was looking at the OMB budget and receipt spreadsheet and thought I would give your theory a test run.

Looking at the average deficit in billions of Year 2000 Dollars, first for the fiscal year in office, then with a lag of two years for each party I get the following:

Democrats: (24 years)
789.8 billion total deficit for an average of 32.9 billion per year (using the fiscal years in office).
762.1 billion total deficit for an average of 31.8 billion per year (using two year lag).

Republicans: (36 years)
5,610.7 billion total deficit for an average of 170.0 billion per year (using the fiscal years in office).
6,541.8 billion total deficit for an average of 181.7 billion per year (using two year lag).

I have to admit that I was skeptical at first but your Two Year Theory may have merit after all.

Posted by: Arm Hayseed at November 5, 2006 2:00 PM
Comment #193442

Arm

The other permutation you have to use. If you use the raw numbers, you have a bias toward later figures. Use % of GDP. That is the operative statastic. A college student might have a total debt of only 2000, while his father might have a mortgage of 200,000. You do not know who has more money until you figure their assets and income.

The lag does have merit, BTW. For some things it is even longer. For example, it takes 5-7 years for an investment in oil infrastructure to have an effect. The economy is bigger than the president, anyway.

Posted by: Jack at November 5, 2006 2:07 PM
Comment #193443

Arm

Besides, Republican presidents have not been very good at cutting spending either. The only time it worked was when the Republican congress pressured a Dem president. If I thought the Dems would do the same after Tues, I would be more enthusiastic.

Posted by: Jack at November 5, 2006 2:12 PM
Comment #193444

Jack-
I think blaming the most recession on Clinton misses a couple of points. First, Clinton’s tenure has been marked by a rather profound increase in median income. Under Bush, it’s dropped or remained level. More importantly, folks under Bush aren’t feeling the benefits of the economy. If I were to venture a guess why from my own life, it’s because unregulated energy and telecom bills are through the roof. People might be doing better income wise, but also worse bill wise.

The economy is about more than just indicators, it’s about conditions on the ground. Why aren’t people feeling better? Why aren’t these massive tax cuts driving an economic expansion to rival Clinton’s? What’s missing?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 5, 2006 2:27 PM
Comment #193446
Jack wrote: d.a.n. Also re charting, why don’t you run that chart for the last 20 years? That chart gives a much better perspective.
How do you figure that? Your chart still looks bad since year 1999. So, what is it about that chart that makes a bit of difference? Look at the trend since year 1999.

OHHHhhhhh h h … I see. It’s Clinton’s fault, eh?
All of the last 6 years?

But, here’s something your chart does NOT show.
Look at the wealth distribution since 1980.
There is no doubt what’s going on here.
The middle-class is getting squeezed, and a large part of the problem is government that is FOR SALE.

America is becoming an Hour-Glass nation as the larger middle-income-class get squeezed more and more. Greedy government takes in over $2.2 trillion per year, and re-distributes it. Much of it is graft, bribes, and corporate welfare, because our government is FOR SALE. And, still, that’s not enough. So government borrows even more, running up massive debt, and prints too much money.

But, voters will bear the responsibility too, because they keep re-electing those very same irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for, look-the-other-way incumbent politicians year after year (for decades).

d.a.n. Are you trying to support Bush on this chart? We see the crash under Clinton and moderate imporvment under Bush until this year. However, your use of estimate for 2006 is bad charting. So far, the ACTUAL income has been up this year. We have less than 2 months left in this year. Unless we see a truly prodigious and unexpected drop, the median income will be UP this year. Why estimate when you can use actual figures.
Jack, Did you adjust your numbers relative to inflation? My graph is in 2004 dollars. It’s easy to say something increased, but it is meaningless unless it is adjusted for inflation. This year isn’t over, and 2007 is not looking too good. Then we will revisit the end of 2006. And, even if median income is up a little near the end of 2006, median incomes are STILL way down from 1999. Besides, this economy is just barely hanging on to some reasonable statistics due to massive borrowing, debt, spending, growing government, and rampant money printing.

How long can that fiscal irresponsibility last?

What about all that, eh?

Jack,
Are you trying to say things are rosy, “good”, and/or “very good” again?
Because if you are merely looking at things at this very instant in time, you are over-looking the massive debt and borrowing these last 6 years (National Debt increased by $3 trillion).

I really don’t care whose fault it is, because the fact is, it’s ALL our fault; irresponsible incumbent politicians, and voters that keep re-electing them over and over.

But, perhaps you are more concerned with how it might make Republicans look bad?

Well, the Republicans don’t have anything to brag about. Neither do Democrats. They are both irresponsible and caused this massive debt situation. $22 trillion of total federal debt is nothing to scoff at, but that’s what is coming from many in the rose-colored column. What is that? It’s all partisan spin, and none of it can change the severity of the debt situation, and the fact that this supposedly rosy, “good” economy is being funded with massive debt, borrowing, spending, and money-printing.

Posted by: d.a.n at November 5, 2006 2:35 PM
Comment #193447

Stephen

I give Clinton as much credit as a president deserves for the years 1994-2002. It includes both good and bad. The slowdown began and ended during this time.

Look at the
The chart of median income. Interestingly, if you look at the Clinton period and the recession, the shape of the chart is very similar to Bush’s. Just eyeballing it, it looks like it took about eight years (1996) to get back to its 1988 levels. This time income peaked and began to decline in 1999 (BEFORE Bush BTW) and it looks on track to catch up by 2007.

The facts just do not support the criticism Bush gets on the economy.

Posted by: Jack at November 5, 2006 2:45 PM
Comment #193448

Jack,

Look at M3 Money Supply and the change in M3 Money Supply.

It appears that Clinton’s administration almost balanced the budget between 1995 and 2000 with MASSIVE money-printing.
It’s unlikely M3 Money Supply did grew that much from growth alone.

Posted by: d.a.n at November 5, 2006 2:51 PM
Comment #193449

d.a.n.

The long term chart shows how the income generally rises, but with some retreats. It also shows less effect of politics. There is a big jump with Reagan, but besides that the patterns do not respect elections.

The income decline DID BEGIN UNDER CLINTON. Even if you do not believe in lag time, you cannot blame Bush for what happened in 1999. Besides, I do not blame or praise presidents as much as you do.

Yes, the estimates for this year are adusted for inflation.

I agree with you that the future is uncertain. I disagree that the best plan is to constantly change politicians. Some are good; others bad. I do not see the value in bringing in all inexperienced leaders every two years.

And things today are rosy, good, fine at least compared with almost all the other years of our lives.

I agree that we are spending too much. So what do we cut?

Posted by: Jack at November 5, 2006 2:55 PM
Comment #193454
Jack wrote: d.a.n. The long term chart shows how the income generally rises, but with some retreats. It also shows less effect of politics. There is a big jump with Reagan, but besides that the patterns do not respect elections.
That’s debatable (that patterns do not respect elections). The decisions of the last 6 years have an effect now and for many years after that administration is no longer in office. That chart does NOT show that there are more workers per household. It does not show the skyrocketing cost of some things (e.g. education, healthcare, energy, etc.).
Jack wrote: The income decline DID BEGIN UNDER CLINTON. I do not blame or praise presidents as much as you do.
Really? Weren’t you just trying to blame Clinton? Of those two sentences, the second one negates the first one. Besides, just above, I wrote that it doesn’t matter to me. I’m non-partisan, and there’s plenty of blame to go around for everyone, including voters.
Jack wrote: Yes, the estimates for this year are adusted for inflation.
We will see in 2007 what the end of 2006 looks like. I don’t think it’s going to be good, neither will 2007. And, that is largely due to the fiscal irresponsibility of the last 6 years and prior.
Jack wrote: I agree with you that the future is uncertain. I disagree that the best plan is to constantly change politicians.
That’s fine. I know you don’t. But still, no one can name 50, 100, 200, or even 268 (half of 535) in Congress that are responsible, aren’t bought-and-paid-for, don’t troll for big money donors, and don’t look the other way.
Jack wrote: Some are good;
Who? Unless there are at least 268 in Congress that are “good”, what does that tell you?
Jack wrote: others bad.
Many are bad, and their handi-work is there for all to see. Their voting records are there for all to see. If they are SO good, why are the nation’s problems growing in number and severity. And even though unemployment is supposedly low, what about the types of jobs, and the fact that household incomes are based on more workers per household, and the massive debt being used to fuel this so-called “good” economy. Those issues are still being dodged with other things to cloud and distract from these important issues.
Jack wrote: I do not see the value in bringing in all inexperienced leaders every two years.
  • Experienced at what?
  • Spending all their time trolling for big-money-donors?
  • Peddling influence?
  • Carrying the water for their big-money-donors?
  • Votin’ themselves cu$hy perk$ and raises?
  • The politicians that love to fuel the circular petty partisan warfare?
  • Looking the other way?
  • Voting on pork-barrel, graft, and waste, and corporate welfare?
  • Running up massive debt?
  • Gerrymandering?
  • Abuse of eminent domain laws?
  • Starting wars based on flawed and/or trumped up intelligence?
  • Corpocrisy and corporatism, and influency of government by some that abuse vast wealth and power?
  • Still plundering Social Security surpluses?
  • Creating more vast governemnt social program, such as prescription drugs for senoirs?
  • Ignoring illegal immigration, and then pitting illegal aliens and U.S. citizens against each other?
  • Deceptively pushing the costs of illegal immigraiton onto U.S. taxpayers (over $70 billion per year)?
  • Alienating our allies?
  • A funny-money fiat monetary system and too much money printing?
  • Using and abusing the voters?
  • Ignoring our energy dependency?
  • Being irresponsible and/or crooked?
  • These other 99 blunders?
Jack wrote: I do not see the value in bringing in all inexperienced leaders every two years.
And, that is a clever mis-characterization of what I’m saying, which is simply stop re-electing irresponsible incumbents. Keep the good ones. You know that, but you always try to cleverly mischaracterize it that way. We were never supposed to re-elect irresponsible incumbent politicians, ever.

What makes no sense is re-electing, rewarding, and empowering incumbent politicians that ARE irresponsible.

Jack wrote: And things today are rosy, good, fine at least compared with almost all the other years of our lives.
AHHHhh … the argument for mediocrity again. Jack, with falling median wages, and more workers per household, growing corpocrisy, corporatism, corporate welfare, growing debt, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, you say things are getting better? No, I don’t thing so. So, your argument is that things could be worse? Also, your contention that things are rosy completely ignores the potential for an economic meltdown if we stay on this current course of extreme fiscal irresponsibility, massive borrowing, debt, and money printing.

When Democrats get control, lets see how you judge these things.

Jack wrote: I agree that we are spending too much. So what do we cut?
There are a LOT of things to cut.
  • Cut pork-barrel and waste.
  • Cut the number of people in government.
  • It’s too big.
  • Implement a 17% flat income tax rate system with no deductions and only a poverty level exemption.
  • Put an end to influence peddling.
  • Stop plundering Social Security surpluses.
  • Stop borrowing.
  • Interest alone on the $8.6 trillion Natonal Debt is 20% of the $2.2 trillion in revenues.
  • There are lots of things to cut.
Posted by: d.a.n at November 5, 2006 3:39 PM
Comment #193458

Dan/Jack:

On Median income. I would be very very skeptical of short term numbers. For instance take the numbers from the late 1990’s.

There were two huge effects that happened that spiked “Income”.

1. Capital gains tax reduction. Now for all on the left, I am not making the argument that lower taxes increases tax revenues. I am making the arguement that they create a “spike” in income. They do this because owners of assets decide to sell while the selling is good. Capital gains rates were reduced in the late 1990’s which caused a temporary spike in income.

2. Stock market bubble. When Mutual Fund managers hit the “sell” button in 2000, (Panic button), it created a tremedous capital gain distribution. Ask anyone who owned stock mutual funds outside of retirement plans in 1999-2001 about their taxes.

This might have created the upswing in the late 80’s as well.

I think that chart Jack presented is best as it shows a more realistic approach to median income. It looks like a typical economic curve with peaks an valleys and a general upward trend.

It says that over the long term median incomes tend to rise no matter which party is in office.

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at November 5, 2006 4:05 PM
Comment #193462

I think it’s dishonest to talk about the economy without talking about debt. This house of cards called our economy could fall at any minute, and at the moment is propped up entirely on loans.

If you want a good idea, think about how nice it would have been to put our surplus into a “lockbox” where it would be invested and we wouldn’t touch it. That was a good idea. Conservatives mocked it. Cheney said “Reagan proved debts don’t matter.”

Posted by: Max at November 5, 2006 4:16 PM
Comment #193465

Jack said: “Median wages are rising this year in real dollars. “

That is a meaningless statistic for voters. Here’s why! A makes $10 per hour. B makes $20 per hour. C makes $40 per hour. Mean income wage is $25 per hour.

Now, raise C’s wage from $40 per hour to $100 per hour while A and B’s wage remains constant. The mean wage increases to $55 per hour. But A and B have not improved their lot one cent.

That is precisely what has happened in America. The wealthy got wealthier, and high priced salaried folks got even higher salaries. But, it didn’t change what the middle and lower middle classes make.

You can tout median income increases all you want, it won’t change how working people feel about their wages remaining constant or falling in real purchasing terms.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 5, 2006 4:30 PM
Comment #193468

Please remove my editors profile from the Watchblog page. Thank you.

Posted by: Hank Chapot at November 5, 2006 4:51 PM
Comment #193469
Max wisely wrote: I think it’s dishonest to talk about the economy without talking about debt. This house of cards called our economy could fall at any minute, and at the moment is propped up entirely on loans.
Thank you Max. Over here in the ros-colored column (the “IN PARTY” zone), it’s difficult to get anyone to acknowledge the danger of such massive debt ($22 trillion (or more) of total federal debt).
Craig Holmes wrote: I think that chart Jack presented is best as it shows a more realistic approach to median income. It looks like a typical economic curve with peaks an valleys and a general upward trend. It says that over the long term median incomes tend to rise no matter which party is in office.
Craig, You’re still over-looking:
  • the increased number of workers per household
  • the types of jobs
  • the massive debt to fund this supposedly “good” economy
  • median incomes are STILL way down since 1999.
  • the long term effects of running up debt much faster the GDP ($3 trillion since 2000).
  • the shrinking middle-income-class; and not due to natural causes; it’s being caused by government malfeasance, irresponsibility, starting a unnecessary war based on flawed and/or trumped up intelligence, corpocrisy, corporatism, corporate welfare, pork-barrel, massive waste, and corruption
  • massive interest (over $1 billion per day!) on the massive $8.6 trillion National Debt
  • increasing foreclosures as a result of increasing interest rates
  • increasing inflation
  • increasing foreign competition
  • an aging population (77 million baby boomers; and, NO … immigrating millions of impoverished and less educated will not help at all).
  • $12.8 trillion of Social Security debt, and probably shortfalls in a decade or so

Still, I wonder what this so-called “good”, “very good”, or “rosy” economy would be without the run-up of an additional $3 trillion in National Debt?

Max is absolutely correct.
We are building a fragile house of cards, and if we don’t get control of the rampant spending, pork-barrel, graft, and waste, borrowing, debt, and money printing, it WILL collapse.

What I see is a strong effort to stick to a few cherry-picked statistics, show how those few statistics are within historical norms, and avoid the other numerous issues. It will be interesting to see the flip-flop when the “OUT PARTY” becomes the “IN PARTY”.

Most Americans will be the ones that suffer most.
Most of those we elected into office that brought about this mess will probably be OK.

But, as long as voters keep re-electing those very same irresponsible incumbent politicians, then voters only have themselves to thank for it.

Even if Craig and Jack are right, and we somehow muck through, does it warrant continuing down that path?
Does it warrant trying to dispell others’ concerns?
Does it warrant trying to minimize the severity?
Does it justify playing down this and many other issues?
No, it doesn’t.
Especially not $22 trillion of total federal debt.
Not when revenues are only $2.2 trillion per year.
That’s like you making $100K per year, but being $1 million in debt.
When you keep having to make the rent and feed your children and pay the electricity, how long will it take to pay down $1 million?
Likewise for the federal government.
Look out though.
They have a secret.
They may simply print more money, but that will only delay the inevitable.
So, what’s up with all that?

Posted by: d.a.n at November 5, 2006 5:01 PM
Comment #193470

Craig,
Have you ever wondered what causes these bubbles?
Like the stock market, real-estate, gold, etc.?
There are millions of factors, but one major factor is the destabilizing effects of inflation.
People are running around like chickens with their heads cut-off looking for ways to stop the erosion of their savings.
Why save, when it will simply be eroded?
That was especially true in the 1980’s.
So, people fled to real-estate.
That bubble burst, causing a lot of foreclosures and people sitting on realty that was worth far less than they owed on it.
Then there was a run-up in the stock-market in 1999.
Then, that bubble burst.
A lot of people lost a lot of money.
So, what happened?
People fled back to real-estate.
Now, that bubble is bursting, foreclosures are rising, and so are interest rates.
A big part of the reason for this is the constant tinkering with the monetary system (i.e. excessive money printing).
It is destabilizing.
It also discourages saving.
To really understand why the dishonest fiat monetary system is so popular among some economists, the business community, bankers, and government officials, you need to understand how it gives them the power and influence to put money in their hands, FIRST, early in the circulation cycle, before the currency loses its value due to inflation. This dishonest system shifts the loses to others that don’t understand how they are being used. It is like yet another tax on most tax payers.

Most people are oblivious to all this. Many don’t even know how or why inflation is bad. Every new dollar created dilutes the value of existing dollars in circulation. People who worked hard, paid their taxes, and saved some money for a rainy day are hit the hardest when their savings is eroded by the inflation. Their dollars depreciate in value while earning interest that is kept lower by the Federal Reserve than the rate of inflation. The poor and those dependent on fixed incomes can’t keep up with the rising cost of living. Median incomes have been falling for six consecutive years (2000 to 2006), because the government is printing too much money, borrowing too much money, and spending too much money, proving beyond a shadow of doubt that they are fiscally and morally bankrupt.

Now, not only do we have a serious debt problem, but an irresponsible congress, and irresponsible voters that keep re-electing them. Some are not concerned as long as THEIR party remains in power. But, wait until the tables turn, and the “IN PARTY” becomes the “OUT PARTY” and vice-versa. This partisan bias and warfare is distracting us from more important issues.

It would be nice if someone in the Main-Stream-Media picked up on this (like Jack Cafferty and/or Lou Dobbs) and start telling people about the magnitude of the debt problem, like they did about illegal immigration, and busting the myths about who that’s really costing.

Still, nothing will change as long as voters keep re-electing the same incumbents that keep ignoring the voters.

Posted by: d.a.n at November 5, 2006 5:17 PM
Comment #193471

Jack

The other permutation you have to use. If you use the raw numbers, you have a bias toward later figures. Use % of GDP. That is the operative statastic. A college student might have a total debt of only 2000, while his father might have a mortgage of 200,000. You do not know who has more money until you figure their assets and income.

The lag does have merit, BTW. For some things it is even longer. For example, it takes 5-7 years for an investment in oil infrastructure to have an effect. The economy is bigger than the president, anyway.

These numbers were adjusted and are directly comparable. There is no need to compare them to any other statistic particularly the GDP, which is directly effected by government expenditures.

Your example does not fit this situation, we are not trying to calculate net worth, just who has created more debt over a period of time. This example would fit better. College student (R) has a debt of 6,541.8 billion and college student (D) has a debt of 762.1 billion. Who has the larger debt?

I was beginning to think that your Two Year Lag Theory might have some validity, now the lag may be as long as 7 years.

With a 7 year lag does that mean that this booming economy is left over from Clinton?

The economy may be bigger than the President but the economic indicators have historically been better when the President was a Democrat.

Posted by: Arm Hayseed at November 5, 2006 5:21 PM
Comment #193474

Dan:

What I see is a strong effort to stick to a few cherry-picked statistics, show how those few statistics are within historical norms, and avoid the other numerous issues. It will be interesting to see the flip-flop when the “OUT PARTY” becomes the “IN PARTY”.

You will have a hard time finding very many quotes of mine based on who is the in party. I don’t believe it matters much. I think our system (as in our government under our constitution) is the key. Party’s change. Clinton is a great example. It used to be “tax and spend liberal”. Clinton turned that on it’s ear.

Let me give you another example. ie the Bush tax cuts. Of course they have been much alligned from the left. When you dig into them and look at the context of when the debate happened, it was when we had a surplus and were moving into the 2000 election. Congress THEN was spending the surplus as fast as it could. In 2000 (before the recession of 2001) Greenspan was for the tax cuts. I was for them to get the money away from congress less they spend it.

The choice was never between save the money, have surpluses, pay down the debt, and return to deficit spending. The surplus was going to be dead. The choice was “If the surplus is going away, it it better to have it go through increasing government spending, or is it better to reduce taxes”.

The reason is that people want to be re elected.

Now we have moved back to where to get elected, we need more fiscal responsibility. You will see congress be more restrained going foward, and see your statistic turn the other way. (68%)

I would love to “wager” with you. My “wager” would be that NO MATTER WHICH PARTY IS IN POWER, the debt to gdp ratio will start to decline soon. We will go into a period of fiscal conservativism for a while.

It is not about political parties
Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at November 5, 2006 5:38 PM
Comment #193476

Dan:

I also thing we are going to see a new idea appear in foreign policy.

“Stay the course” was dead on Sept 12, 2001. Clinton’s foreign policy died on that day. It sorta worked, but 9/11 proved it to be inadequate to protect americans.

“Stay the course” will be dead in Jan of 2009. bush’s reaction to Clinton’s policy that he started on 9/12/2001 has been a failure.

No matter who the next president is, there will be a new approach. It will be:

1. Less unilateral.
2. More careful about intervention.
3. Slowly solve Iraq by some form of withdrawal.
4. Will probably involve Syria and Iran.

It can’t be created by Bush because he has too much “skin” in the current game.

Prediction number two:

No matter which party wins the white house in 2008 yet a third foreign policy that will be neither Clinton or Bush II will be launched.

Not all is about party,

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at November 5, 2006 5:43 PM
Comment #193478

d.a.n.

re blaming Clinton. I am merely stating that presidents often do not start economic trends

We hear all the time about the decline in real incomes under Bush. The fact that it started under Clinton merely negates this.

You can say that Clinton did not cause a decline in real incomes and I will agree with you. But then you do not get to say they started under Bush.

Re Congress: It depends on who and why you don’t like. The trends in median income we are talking about are very long term. The economy is working well at this time. If you are against this particular group of incumbents, there is no basis for your argument in the economic performance we have experienced recently.

You often say vote out incumbents. Perhaps you will specify which and then I will not be able to accuse you of merely seeking to vote out experienced people for no good reason.

Max

Lockbox is a ploy. The government cannot save money the way you can. They create the money. They can spend less, which is good, but that is not the same thing as saving in the sense you and I can put money away. Today’s taxpayers pay for today’s pensions. That is the way it always is. When the baby boom retires, the young people of those times will pay for the old people of those times.

Let me be clear. We spend too much NOW. We should cut spending. Cutting spending now will help us be stronger financially later to deal with future problems, but the idea that we could put money aside is just bogus.

The Federal government accounts for around 20% of GDP. If it taxes 20% of GDP we are in balance. If it taxes less, we are in surplus and if it taxes more we are in deficit. If it stays in surplus for a while, the temptation of politicians is to spend the money. Then the government grows to fit the bigger percentage. This is not good.

But speaking of lock boxes, if the government “saves” where does it deposit that money? Right, it gives itself an IOU. This is like you writing checks to yourself. This is great, but it depends on how much money you have when the IOU is paid. Your IOU is just a note to yourself.

David

Median income. Half of all people make more; half make less. It is possible the top half is doing really well and the bottom half is doing poorly but HALF the people are earning more than the median. The guy right in the middle is making median wages. We are not talking mean. The mean income is going up a lot for reasons you mention.

For all re statistics and median wages

I knew the left would abandon this measure too. When unemployment was high, they blamed Bush. Now that it is low, they question the statistic. The same for most statistics, but they always brought up median wages. Now that we got that one too, the left will have to give up on all of them and talk about how bad they feel.

The median person - the one where half the population is making more and half less - will make a little more money in real terms than he did last year. He has been in decline more or less since 1999, but he still makes about the same as he did in 1998 - in real purchasing power. And he makes more than the median in EVERY year in American history before that time. This is hardly a disaster and by the time Bush leaves the WH, is is likely earnings will be at all time highs again. They are close now and going up. Earnings lag economic growth, BTW, so the trend is up because the economy has been doing so well since 2003.

d.a.n.

One more for you. You can look gloomily into the future, but it is very hard to blame Bush for trends that started before he came into office. The only thing that is “new” is the deficit. We had surplus before. BUT you must recall that we had the REPUBLICAN congress when we had a surplus.

In other words, you can either be correct in your long term. economic analysis (some is okay) OR you can rail against the Republicans, but it is not correct to do both at the same time. And the solution to vote them out is a non sequitur.

Posted by: Jack at November 5, 2006 5:48 PM
Comment #193484
Craig wrote: I would love to “wager” with you. My “wager” would be that NO MATTER WHICH PARTY IS IN POWER, the debt to GDP ratio will start to decline soon. We will go into a period of fiscal conservativism for a while.

Craig,
I certainly hope so.
Congress does not instill much confidence.
Some fiscal responsibility is needed soon.
Wait much longer, and it may get totally out of control.
But, I’m surprised the probem has been allowed to grow as bad as it is.
Also, when we look at historical Debt-to-GDP ratios, it should be noted that a huge part of federal debt is left out (i.e. $12.8 trillion of Social Security debt). So it’s not really accurate to say Debt-to-GDP is within historical norms. If you include ALl $22 trillion of current federal debt, it’s 176% of the $12.5 trillion GDP.

Jack wrote: d.a.n. One more for you. You can look gloomily into the future, but it is very hard to blame Bush for trends that started before he came into office. The only thing that is “new” is the deficit. We had surplus before. BUT you must recall that we had the REPUBLICAN congress when we had a surplus.
Jack, both parties are to blame, and so are voters for continually re-electing, rewarding, and empowering incumbents to be irresponsible.
Jack wrote: In other words, you can either be correct in your long term. economic analysis (some is okay) OR you can rail against the Republicans, but it is not correct to do both at the same time.
Jack, BOTH Republicans and Democrats politicians are irresponsible. You ought to know by now that I don’t play favorites. Heck, until about two years ago, I had been a Republican for 30 years. As for the future, none of us know what will actually happen. However, we make predictions based on circumstances. If the fiscal irresponsibility continues, it’s not hard to see an economic meltdown in the not-too-distant future. Craig Holmes believes Congress will suddently become fiscally disciplined. Maybe, maybe not. I hope Craig’s right. We will see.
Jack wrote: And the solution to vote them out is a non sequitur.
No. Not in the least. Voting our irresponsible incumbents is never non-sequitur. We were NEVER supposed to keep re-electing irresponsible incumbents. Keep the good ones (if there are any). You keep trying to mischaracterize it. Still, no one has named 20, 50, 100, 200, or even 268 (half of 535) in Congress that are responsible, aren’t bought-and-paid-for, and don’t look the other way.

But, Jack. Please feel free to help me build my Pros and Cons list of why voters should always vote out irresponsible incumbent politicians, always.

If you have any real reasons, tell me what they are. I’m confident I can provide far many more and better reasons than you can. You merely say it is non-sequitur, and talk about experience, but that’s about it. Look at the list of PROs and CONs. I’ll be happy to add to the CONs list if you have some reasons. The “experience” reason is already on there.

Posted by: d.a.n at November 5, 2006 7:17 PM
Comment #193501

d.a.n.

All races are local. We have to let the people of the districts make those decisions. On Tuesday I am voting to reelect my congressman, Tom Davis and my Sentor George Allen. Both have done good jobs, as far as I am concerned and I do not think their opponents would do better.

Let others make their choices in their districts.

All elections are choices between alternatives. We should always vote for the person we think is the best alternative. The choice of perfect is not on the ballot. You don’t know whether or not you should vote anybody in or out until you have looked at the alternatives.

In any case, the state of the economy today should make people more, not less, happy with what they have now.

Posted by: Jack at November 5, 2006 8:42 PM
Comment #193513

AHHHhhhh … right. The old “all politics are local”, eh?.

George Allen? ! ?
Yikes!
Even after the anti-semitic “mucaca” moment and his affinity for the Confederate flag?
Have you ever really looked closely at Senator George Allen’s voting record?
Or, is it merely a straight-ticket thingy?

Of course, that’s your right.

Sen. George Allen (R-VA):

  • Voted NO on banning “soft money” contributions and restricting issue ads. (Mar 2002)

  • Voted YES on allowing some lobbyist gifts to Congress. (Mar 2006)

  • Voted NO on establishing the Senate Office of Public Integrity. (Mar 2006)

  • Voted NO on banning campaign donations from unions & corporations. (Apr 2001)

  • Voted NO on restricting business with entities linked to terrorism. (Jul 2005)

  • Supports privatizing Social Security. (Sep 2000) {Why not simply stop spending the surpluses?}

  • Voted NO on reducing marriage penalty instead of cutting top tax rates. (May 2001)

  • Supports allowing churches to provide welfare services. (Sep 2000) {this is possibly a violation of the 1st Amendment}

  • In 1984, George Allen opposed the MLK holiday; in 1993, George Allen honored the Confederacy. (Sep 2006)

  • Kept Confederate imagery in Governor’s office; for heritage. (Sep 2006)

  • Voted YES on recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration. (Jun 2006) {George really has no clue about free speech, does he?}

  • Voted YES on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. (Jun 2006) {that’s always a good wedge issue}

  • Supports anti-flag desecration amendment. (Mar 2001)

  • Voted NO on repealing tax subsidy for companies which move US jobs offshore. (Mar 2005)

  • Supports parents choosing schools via vouchers. (Sep 2000) {this is a good way to undermine public education; doing this is stupid}

  • Voted NO on shifting $11B from corporate tax loopholes to education. (Mar 2005)

  • Voted NO on spending $448B of tax cut on education & debt reduction. (Apr 2001)

  • Opposes spending resources to stop Global Warming. (Sep 2000)

  • Roll back federal gas tax to lower gas price. (Apr 2000) {Jack, isn’t this opposite of what you wanted?}

  • Voted NO on reducing oil usage by 40% by 2025 (instead of 5%). (Jun 2005)

  • Voted NO on targeting 100,000 hydrogen-powered vehicles by 2010. (Jun 2003)

  • Voted NO on including oil & gas smokestacks in mercury regulations. (Sep 2005)

  • Voted YES on $40 billion per year for limited Medicare prescription drug benefit. (Jun 2003) {Yet, another vast, mismanaged governemnt program. But, it’s a good way to get votes.}

And, Tom Davis has a direct link to David Safavian, the former Federal Procurement Policy officer currently on trial facing charges of obstruction of justice, made inaccurate statements to a GSA ethics officer, the GSA-OIG, the FBI, and the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. Safavian was the first person to be arrested in the Jack Abramoff scandal.

Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA) :

  • Voted NO on campaign finance reform banning soft-money contributions. (Feb 2002)

  • Voted NO on banning soft money and issue ads. (Sep 1999)

  • Government is too big, too intrusive, too easy with money. (Sep 1994) {interesting; then why vote NO to ban ways to may it easy?}

  • Voted NO on reporting illegal aliens who receive hospital treatment. (May 2004)

  • Voted YES on more immigrant visas for skilled workers. (Sep 1998)

  • Voted YES on treating religious organizations equally for tax breaks. (Jul 2001)

  • Voted YES on eliminating the Estate Tax (“death tax”). (Apr 2001) {WRONG: the estate tax should be the rate from the tax tables; not eliminated}

  • Voted YES on constitutional amendment prohibiting flag desecration. (Jun 2003)

  • Supports anti-flag desecration amendment. (Mar 2001)

  • Voted YES on allowing vouchers in DC schools. (Aug 1998) {Again, this undermines public education}

  • Voted YES on increasing AMTRAK funding by adding $214M to $900M. (Jun 2006) {more corporate welfare}

  • Voted YES on continuing intelligence gathering without civil oversight. (Apr 2006) {bad idea; this no good reason for no civil oversight}

  • Voted YES on preventing tipping off Mexicans about Minuteman Project. (Jun 2006) {what’s up with this crap?}

  • Voted NO on strengthening the Social Security Lockbox. (May 1999) {of course; they want to keep plundering the surpluses}

Jack, I recognize and respect your right to vote for who ever you want, but I question why?

Especially after looking at their voting records.
Have you actually looked closely at their voting records?

Jack wrote: All elections are choices between alternatives. We should always vote for the person we think is the best alternative. The choice of perfect is not on the ballot. You don’t know whether or not you should vote anybody in or out until you have looked at the alternatives.
Maybe. Maybe not. It certain makes no sense to keep re-electing irresponsible incumbent politicians, ever. Besides, it is less important who you vote for, than who you vote for understands their career will be short if they are irresponsible too. The reason Congress is irresponsible is because we keep re-electing, rewarding, and empowering them to be irresponsible.
Jack wrote: In any case, the state of the economy today should make people more, not less, happy with what they have now.
Well, I disagree, because this so-called “good”, “rosy”, and/or “very good” economy is being funded with massive debt, borrowing, spending, and money-printing. Just the $8.6 trillion National Debt (only a portion of the total $22 trillion of total federal debt) has grown by a massive $3 trillion since year 2000). There will eventually be consequences for that much fiscal irresponsibility, and it can’t continue much longer. The “IN PARTY” is doing it for political reasons, but most Americans aren’t buying it. They many not understand the whole debt problem, but they know it is out-of-control, and many may sense that the consequences for all that debt, borrowing, spending, and money-printing is just around the corner. Posted by: d.a.n at November 5, 2006 10:18 PM
Comment #193521

d.a.n.

I disagree with some of their stands and agree with others.

Just for you, let me go through Davis.

-Voted NO on campaign finance reform banning soft-money contributions. (Feb 2002) I agree
-Voted NO on banning soft money and issue ads. (Sep 1999) I agree.
-Voted NO on reporting illegal aliens who receive hospital treatment. (May 2004) Don’t care
-Voted YES on more immigrant visas for skilled workers. (Sep 1998) I agree strongly.
-Voted YES on treating religious organizations equally for tax breaks. (Jul 2001) I agree.
-Voted YES on eliminating the Estate Tax. (Apr 2001) Don’t care
-Voted YES on constitutional amendment prohibiting flag desecration. (Jun 2003) I agree, although it is not worth the trouble.
-Supports anti-flag desecration amendment. (Mar 2001) see above.
-Voted YES on allowing vouchers in DC schools. (Aug 1998) I strongly agree
-Voted YES on increasing AMTRAK funding by adding $214M to $900M. (Jun 2006) I would disagree, but it is not a big issue for me.
-Voted YES on continuing intelligence gathering without civil oversight. (Apr 2006) I agree very strongly.
-Voted YES on preventing tipping off Mexicans about Minuteman Project. (Jun 2006) Not sure about this one.
-Voted NO on strengthening the Social Security Lockbox. (May 1999) I agree. Lockbox is BS.

Thanks. Now I am even more convinced that I have made the right choice.

Davis is doing great, isn’t he?

BTW - I think this demonizing the Confederacy has gone too far. It is part of southern heritage. Virginians like Robert E. Lee or Joe Johnston were honorable and like them were the reason the American civil war did not end with reprisals like most others. If honoring them is a sin, put me in that camp too.

Posted by: Jack at November 5, 2006 10:53 PM
Comment #193562
Jack wrote: Davis is doing great, isn’t he?

No. And neither is George Allen, who you omitted.
But it’s your right.
So you’re OK with politicians that don’t want bans on gifts?
You don’t care if Social Security surpluses continues to be plundered (this is theft)?
You don’t care about Election Reform, campaign finance reform?
You are “not sure” about Davis Voting YES on preventing tipping off Mexicans about Minuteman Project (Jun 2006)? Really? You’re kidding, right ?

You think Tom Davis and George Allen are doing great? Well, many voters will justifiably disagree, and this election (and 2008) will prove it.

Jack wrote: BTW - I think this demonizing the Confederacy has gone too far. It is part of southern heritage. Virginians like Robert E. Lee or Joe Johnston were honorable
Jack, They supported slavery. That’s honorable? And please don’t tell me it was all about states’ rights. States’ rights don’t trump slavery.
Jack wrote If honoring them [i.e. those that honor the confederacy] is a sin, put me in that camp too.
OK. Fine. That’s your choice. Thank you. This has all been very enlightening.

And what would this wonderfully “rosy”, “good”, and “very good” economy be like without $3 trillion in more National Debt since year 2000 ?
And a total federal debt of $22 trillion?
This supposedly good economy is an illusion being funded by massive debt, spending, borrowing, money printing, and fiscal irresponsibility.

And some irresponsible incumbent politicians, fortunately, are finally going to be ousted for it.

  • Posted by: d.a.n at November 6, 2006 9:31 AM
    Comment #193570

    d.a.n.

    Slavery was something practiced by all major cultures from the dawn of history until about 150 years ago. I admire Washington, Jefferson, Madison, & Robert E. Lee, among others. Their acceptance of slavery was bad, but they lived in a different sort of society and it is not the only thing I judge them on. I would have to reject ALL the achievments of virtually every culture more than 150 years old, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Chinese and - yes - Americans. That I will not do and I will never change my mind about that. It is not open to rational discussion. If you want to have a different opinion about that, it is your business. We will not agree.

    Re tipping off Mexicans. I just did not understand it. Either way i do not care much. If you mean he supporting telling illegal aliens re the minute men, I would not agree.

    BTW - Davis will win. Allen has about a 50/50 chance, so the voters of Virginia are not as angry as you are.

    Posted by: Jack at November 6, 2006 10:49 AM
    Comment #193575

    Jack,

    It’s not anger as you seek to characterize it.

    It’s just plain common sense.

    After all, voting out irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for, look-the-other-way, incumbent politicians is simply the one simple, common-sense, peaceful, logical, balanced, non-partisan, inexpensive, honest, and responsible thing that voters were supposed to be doing ALL along; always.
    Keep the good ones (if you can find any).

    And here are the many PROs and CONs.

    That is the simple indisputable truth that you can NOT refute.
    And, this illusion of a “good”, “very good”, and “rosy economy was funded with $3 more trillion in National Debt (raising it to $8.6 trillion, which has NEVER been larger since WWII; with respect to both size and the debt-to-GDP ratio of 69%, which does not even include all of the $22 trillion of all federal debt).

    As for in America in the 1800s and before, it was wrong then and most knew it. Those that chose to continue to support slavery were wrong, and they fortunately were defeated.

    At any rate, I’m optimistic, but this discussion, in my mind, exemplifies the basic problem in this nation. In a voting nation, education is paramount, and blinding partisan warfare gets in the way. Some will keep blindly pulling the party-lever forever. Fortunately, I think most Americans are catching on to it, and this election and 2008 will hopefully prove it.
    One thing is for sure; Republicans are going to lose a lot of seats. They may barely hold on to the majority in 2006, but the losses are justifiable. Republicans have blundered over and over and over, been extremely fiscally irresponsible, and voters (many long-time former Republicans like myself for 30 years) have simply had enough of that. Democrat politicians ain’t much better, which is why voters should think seriously about not re-electing ANY irresponsible incumbent politicians.

    Ideally, Democrats and Republican voters, alike, should take off their blinding partisan blinders.
    Otherwise, while they are bickering about the need for countless, badly-needed, common-sense reforms, this economy is dangerously approaching the point-of-no-return, and NO reforms are ever likely without first making a fundamental choice to simply stop re-electing, rewarding, and empowering the very same incumbent politicians that are doing it. That is, we can learn the smart, less painful way, or the hard, painful way. Take your pick. But, pick wrong, and we will learn the hard way (again).

    Posted by: d.a.n at November 6, 2006 11:15 AM
    Comment #193604

    d.a.n.

    I am voting for my guys because I like what they do (or at least I like it better than the promised alternatives). I do not see the things as bad as you do.

    We both get to vote and I presume we both will vote tomorrow as we see best. I see no reason for a blanket vote-em-out statement and I will not do it.

    Posted by: Jack at November 6, 2006 12:55 PM
    Comment #193623
    d.a.n. We both get to vote and I presume we both will vote tomorrow as we see best.
    Jack, My wife, son, myself, mother, father, several friends and neighbors, and relatives (once, all long-time Republicans; I was a Republican for 30 years; up until about 2 years ago) already voted early and voted for non-incumbents, and the others are vowing to do the same tomorrow.

    : )

    d.a.n. I see no reason for a blanket vote-em-out statement and I will not do it.
    Of course not. I never advocated a blanket vote-em-out strategy.

    But, it is fascinating how you feel compelled to keep mischaracterizing it that way.
    Thank you for the opportunity to keep clarifying.

    You have a right to vote for who ever you want.

    I was merely demonstrating how your congress persons are irresponsible, use racial slurs, have an affinity to the confederacy, refuse campaign finance reform, refuse many other common-sense reforms to increase transparency and accountability, and are threatening the future and security of the nation due to their fiscal and moral bankruptcy.

    If you still want to vote for them after that, fine.
    That’s your right, and would never presume to say other wise.

    But, this is a political blog, and I am merely trying to debate the PROs and CONs, and was hoping you could provide some more CONs.

    However, your only CON was with regard to “experience” only.

    Thus, there are still many more PROs than CONs, and voters were never supposed to keep blindly re-electing, rewarding, and empowering the same irresponsibile incumbent politicians.

    Posted by: d.a.n at November 6, 2006 1:58 PM
    Comment #193640

    A vote for an incumbent is a vote of approval for the way things are. A vote for a challenger is a vote for changing the way things are.

    Logically, anyone and everyone who is not content with our Congress for whatever reasons, should be considering the anti-incumbent vote.

    But, then, what has logic to do with voting - look at the political campaign ads - they are nearly all designed to appeal to voters emotions, not their logic. What does that say about us voters, since the polls show such ads are very, very effective?

    American voters, by and large, are adolescents when it comes to their democratic republic. They haven’t matured enough to assume the responsibility for employing Congress and firing them as necessary. Throw them some pork spending candy and make them ‘feel’ like loyal party grownups, and American voters will get suckered into voting incumbents nearly every time.

    That’s why America’s problems simply don’t get solved anymore. They only get worse, election after election. But the piper will be ‘round soon enough demanding his due.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at November 6, 2006 3:23 PM
    Comment #193654
    David wrote: A vote for an incumbent is a vote of approval for the way things are. A vote for a challenger is a vote for changing the way things are. … That’s why America’s problems simply don’t get solved anymore. They only get worse, election after election. But the piper will be ‘round soon enough demanding his due.

    Good point David.
    Think I’ll add that to my list of PROs and CONs.

    Yes. That’s why we have some reason for hope, and some reason for concern.

    The system is somewhat self-correcting, due to the education from the pain and misery voters bring upon themselves.

    But, also, if voters wait too long, they may allow the deterioration to go too far. That education may not only affect them for a long, long time, but future generations too.

    The massive debt has the real potential to unravel this so-called “good” economy.

    It’s interesting how little attention the $8.6 trillion National Debt and $12.8 trillion Social Security debt )gets from the Main-Stream-Media.

    While I commend Lou Dobbs and Jack Cafferty for bringing some issues to the media, it’s interesting how the one issue (fiscal irresponsibility) that has the real potential for the most devastation is barely ever mentioned.

    Posted by: d.a.n at November 6, 2006 4:02 PM
    Comment #193667

    d.a.n.

    Every time you post you right in bold letters that we should vote out incumbents. Now you have added the modifer.

    Let me ask you. Specifically, are their ANY incumbents you would not vote out? You do not need to name names, just tell me how many, what %?

    Posted by: Jack at November 6, 2006 5:00 PM
    Comment #193682
    Jack wrote: d.a.n. Every time you post you right in bold letters that we should vote out incumbents. Now you have added the modifer.
    Jack,

    Not true.

    Can’t you help yourself can you?

    Why do you feel compelled to keep mischaracterizing my position?

    I did NOT write “vote out all incumbents”.

    So, you are mistaken about that.

    For a very long time, I have written: “vote out IRRESPONSIBLE incumbents”.

    And, that is NOT even subtle in the least, either.

    And, I have also written many times to keep the good ones.

    Jack wrote: d.a.n Let me ask you. Specifically, are there ANY incumbents you would not vote out?

    Jack,
    Thank you for that question.
    Yes, there are a very few incumbents I personally would NOT vote out.
    There are a few good ones (I think).
    So, Yes. We should keep the good ones.
    But, there are not any in my state.
    That’s why I voted against all incumbents in my state (Texas).

    Jack wrote: d.a.n You do not need to name names, just tell me how many, what %?

    Jack,

    As I said, we should keep the good ones.
    However, there are VERY few, and none of the good ones are my Senators, Representatives, Governor, or State Officials (in Texas).

    I researched all of my candidates carefully. That is why none of my incumbents got my vote.

    We should ALWAYS vote out ALL irresponsible incumbent politicians. Would you argue with that? Or do you believe a victory for YOUR party is more important?

    What percentage should be voted out?

    That would be at least 50% of Congress, which is why the nation’s problems continue to grow in number and severity, government is FOR SALE, and government is arrogant and irresponsible.

    In my opinion, the percentage is actually probably closer to 90%.

    However, voters are NOT likely to ever bring about that much turn-over, even though there have been times past when almost half of the House of Representatives has been voted out in one election.

    But, that’s not likely to happen, and that is NOT even necessary anyway.

    Why?

    Because most elections are won by a small percentage. 90% of elections are won by the candidate that spends the most money.
    If only 5% to 10% of all 200 million eligible voters chooses to NOT re-elect an irresponsible incumbent politician, it would send a clear message to Congress, and begin to have the badly-needed effect, and these are the many PROs and CONs for doing just that.

    If enough irresponsible, long-time incumbents get ousted, it will NOT go unnoticed by the incumbents lucky enough to retain their cu$hy, coveted incumbencies.

    It is your right to vote for who ever you like, but after looking at your congress persons’ voting records, there is NO way I’d vote for Sen. George Allen or Rep. Tom Davis.

    But, I used to do that same sort of thing.
    Just pull the party-lever.
    Vote straight ticket.
    But, I have finally realized that is wrong.
    So, the least I can do now is try to educate others as to how that blind party loyalty, and blind, circular, distracting, petty partisan warfare, which is fueled by irresponsible incumbent politicians, is what keeps voters from doing the right thing.
    The petty partisan warfare is a tool used to manipulate voters, and it is powerfully effective.
    I know, because I used to be one of them.

    Posted by: d.a.n at November 6, 2006 5:50 PM
    Comment #193683

    Jack,
    Even my web-site states:

    Don’t Re-elect Irresponsible Incumbent Politicians

    Posted by: d.a.n at November 6, 2006 5:53 PM
    Comment #193688

    d.a.n.

    Maybe I missed it. What percentage should NOT be voted out? Is it 10%.

    How about this, can you give my 5 names out of ALL these guys who SHOULD be relelected?

    It seems like you must have studied this. After all, I just advocate making an individual choice because I do not know much about other districts. YOu seem to know more. How about five good guys?

    Posted by: Jack at November 6, 2006 6:23 PM
    Comment #193689

    Jack,

    Yes, 100% - 90% = 10%
    : )

    Jack,

    I am not excited about any of the five names on my list that may possibly deserve a 2nd chance, and none of the five are from my state (Texas).

    But I am not going to list them now.

    I’ll do it after the 7-Nov-2006 election.

    So, come back 8-Nov-2006 to see those five names.

    Posted by: d.a.n at November 6, 2006 6:49 PM
    Comment #193717

    Don’t have any idea, do you? It is always easy to predict after the event.

    Posted by: Jack at November 6, 2006 9:13 PM
    Comment #193789

    Jack,
    I already have 5 names prepared to show you (along with reasons) that may possibly deserve a 2nd chance.
    But, you will have to wait until tomorrow.
    So, come back 8-Nov-2006 to see those five names.
    They are not great choices either, but most are fiscally conservative and don’t vote on a lot of pork-barrel and waste.
    Incumbent politicians that are fiscally responsible are usually more responsible in other areas too.
    Also, the junior politicians often have not yet been thoroughly corrupted yet.
    It’s tough to find any incumbents that consistently vote yes for campaign finance reform.
    The choices of incumbents are not great, because they have been rewarded, and perpetually re-elected over and over, and essentially programmed by voters to be irreposible.
    So, it’s no wonder incumbents are irresponsible.
    Voters bear the responsibility for that too.
    Voters keep blindly pulling the party lever.
    Voters keep blindly voting straight-ticket.
    Voters keep getting seduced into the petty, distracting, circular, partisan warfare.
    Voters keep ignoring voting records.
    Voters keep falling for politicians’ lies.
    Voters keep demonizing the OTHER party.
    Voters keep empowering THEIR party.
    Voters keep shooting themselves in the foot.
    Voters keep bringing their decline upon themselves.
    Voters keep learning the hard way.

    And voters will be the ones who suffer most for their own bad choices.
    The good thing about it is that voters have a built-in self-education system (of sorts).
    If voters are unhappy, it is because they have brought it upon themselves.
    When it gets bad enough, and as long as voters can still vote and get an accurate vote-count, then voters will eventually learn, regardless of whether it is the smart way, or the hard, painful way.

    Jack,

    But, don’t you worry.
    You’ll get your list of five names tomorrow (after the election).

    But, Jack, why assert that I have no idea?
    Are you trying to make the case there are NO good incumbents? Eh?
    After all, it was YOU, that said some incumbents are good.
    So, why now assert none can be found?

    Posted by: d.a.n at November 7, 2006 9:09 AM
    Comment #193794

    d.a.n.

    I am just saying that it is very easy to make predictions after. If you will not make them in advance, that indicates something.

    I sure wish I could look at today’s Wall Street Journal and decide what I BOUGHT yesterday.

    Posted by: Jack at November 7, 2006 9:34 AM
    Comment #193806

    Jack, I like how you cherry-pick whatever number happens to look good at the time and say that it’s the most important one. The most important statistic is household incomes in real dollars, and that continues to look dismal as it retreats to ever lower levels. Nobody give a crap about anything else in the economy.

    Posted by: Mental Wimp at November 7, 2006 11:31 AM
    Comment #193816
    Jack wrote: d.a.n. I am just saying that it is very easy to make predictions after. If you will not make them in advance, that indicates something.
    Jack, Now you are trying to change the subject. The issue is not about a prediction. You asked me for 5 names of incumbents that MAY deserve to be re-elected. That has nothing to do with a prediction. Whether any of them are re-elected or not means nothing, since I’m not even remotely attempting to predice winners and losers.
  • Posted by: d.a.n at November 7, 2006 12:11 PM
    Comment #193822

    Mental

    That is the point. You can no longer pick that cherry. This year it is rising AND it began to decline in 1999 BEFORE Bush.

    d.a.n.

    I think it is strange that you claim to have names, but you cannot reveal them until after the election. It is sort of like the guy who holds up a piece of paper and says he has a list, but will not reveal the names.

    Posted by: Jack at November 7, 2006 12:51 PM
    Comment #193826
    Jack wrote: d.a.n. I think it is strange that you claim to have names, but you cannot reveal them until after the election. It is sort of like the guy who holds up a piece of paper and says he has a list, but will not reveal the names.

    What’s strange about it?
    I do not wish to advocate ANY incumbents at this point (before the election). None of the 5 are in MY state (TX) anyway.

    And, as you allege, it has nothing to with predictions. But I’m fascinated by the way you side-step or ignore opposing arguments, try to change the subject, or search out one tiny immaterial thing, and assert that the one tiny thing proves your case and disproves all opposing arguments.

    At any rate, since one of the names on the list will be re-elected anyway, I will name 1 of the 5 names of U.S. congress persons that I think MAY possibly deserve a second chance:

    Senator John McCain (AZ):

    • Doesn’t vote on a lot of pork-barrel (aside from that $1 million earmark for the brown-snake in Guam thing; sneaked into a Defense Appropriations BILL).

    • Seems fairly honest. He once admitted to “looking the other way”. At least he is honest about that too.

    • Is fairly fiscally conservative (aside from that little brown tree snake in Guam earmark he sneaked into a Defense Appropriations BILL).

    • He served honorably in the U.S. Air Force.

    • Appears to be a pragmatic coalition-builder who can possibly put aside partisan warfare.

    There are several of McCain’s policies and viewpoints I don’t agree with, but he MAY deserve a 2nd chance?

    It is understandable if anyone disagrees with that?

    Especially since McCain is on the wrong side of the Iraq issue, and recently sounded like a flip-flopper (with regard to Iraq).

    I’m not going to waste any time trying to defend John McCain. It just seems to me that he is better than most, and it is largely based on his fiscal responsibility (with a few exceptions).

    You’ll have to wait until tomorrow for the other four names.

    Posted by: d.a.n at November 7, 2006 1:48 PM
    Comment #193855

    Jack,

    OK … the day is almost over.
    Here’s that list of 5 that you asked for.
    Feel free to add to it if you’d like.

    Here are the 5 incumbents that MAY possibly deserve a 2nd chance.
    However, I am not going to defend any of them, and don’t agree with much of their voting records.
    Most of these made it on the list largely because of being somewhat fiscally conservative.

    Senator John McCain (AZ):

    • Doesn’t vote on a lot of pork-barrel (aside from that little brown-snake in Guam thingy).

    • Seems fairly honest. He once admitted to “looking the other way”. At least he is honest about that too.

    • Is fairly fiscally conservative (aside from that little brown tree snake in Guam earmark he sneaked into a Defense Appropriations BILL).

    • He served honorably in the U.S. Air Force.

    • Appears to be a pragmatic coalition-builder who can possibly put aside partisan warfare.

    There are several of McCain’s policies and viewpoints I don’t agree with, but he MAY deserve a 2nd chance?

    Senator Dr. Tom Coburn (OK):

    • He also appears to be more fiscally conservative than most incumbents.

    • But, other than that, that’s about it.

    • His stance on several moral issues is bothersome, but it is futile to legislate morals anyway.

    Rep. Gene Taylor (MS-4):

    • Gene Taylor scored the highest (47%) of any Democrat for not voting on a lot of pork-barrel.

    • Also, Gene Taylor is one of the few Democrats that appears somewhat tough on reducing illegal immigration.

    Edward Royce (CA):

    • Doesn’t vote on a lot of pork-barrel. Received grade of 100% by Citizens Against Government Waste (cagw.org)

    • Unfortunately, His stance on Iraq is much like Bush’s.

    Senator Russ Feingold (WI):

    • Forthright and takes stands on important issues many others won’t.

    • Seems to be clear, honest, and concise.

    • Appears to be a pragmatic coalition-builder who can possibly put aside partisan warfare.

    • Seems honest, trustworthy, and credible.

    • Follow-through. It may take time, but he pursues goals effectively (e.g. campaign finance reform BILL).

    • Unfortunately, Feingold gets a lousy score (33% by CAGW.ORG) on government spending, pork-barrel, and waste. But, the highest score in 2005 for any Democrat was only 47% (which was Rep. Gene Taylor (MS-4)). So 33% ain’t bad for a Democrat.

    • Unfortunately, Feingold thinks illegal aliens should receive Social Security and welfare. In my opinion, that’s stupid. Most Americans are opposed to illegal immigration, amensty, or an amenesty disguised as a guest worker program. Personally, I wouldn’t ever vote for Russ Feingold because of his positions on illegal immigration.

    • There are a number of Feingold’s policies I don’t agree with, but he MAY deserve a 2nd chance?

    As stated above, there are several policies and viewpoints I don’t agree with, but these VERY few MAY deserve a 2nd chance?
    Many will say that ain’t a very good list, and I would agree.
    What’s that tell you?
    It may be possible to come up with a few others out of 535, but that’s pretty bad considering there are 535 to choose from, ain’t it?
    If you want to do your own research, do this.

    But, perhaps we need to start a list of BEST POLITICIANs ?
    We’ve got lots of sites to criticize politicians and grade them on fiscal responsibility.
    But, why isn’t there a web-site of BEST POLITICIANs ?
    Maybe because there are so damn few ?

    It’s hard to find anyone that I agree with on more than 60% of the issues.
    I can’t find any politicians that I agree with by at least 60% on the following:

    • that are fiscally responsible, serious about reducing deficits, debt, borrowing, and money-printing.

    • that are fiscally responsible, don’t vote on a lot of pork-barrel, waste, and corporate welfare.

    • that aren’t FOR SALE, bought-and-paid-for, don’t carry the water for their big-money-donors, and don’t peddle influence.

    • that are serious about campaign finance reform, and addressing the problem that 83% of all federal campaign donations (of $200 or more in 2002) come from only a tiny 0.15% of all 200 million eligible voters. That’s not fair to the other 99.85% of all 200 million eligible voters.

    • that are serious about ending Gerrymandering.

    • that are serious about tax reform. They like it just the way they have perverted it.

    • that have a solution for Iraq, or can admit a mistake (i.e. no WMD) and/or take responsibility for getting us into that quagmire.

    • that aren’t corrupt, take bribes, hide $90K in their freezer, get yachts, travel, tickets to sports events, write hot checks, misuse tax payer funds and services, misuse expense accounts, etc., etc., etc. And, even if ever caught, indicted, and convicted, they get a presidential pardon; proving that those of the political class are above the laws that they make for everyone else.

    • that don’t spend a great deal of time trolling for big-money donors, and support campaign finance reform.

    • that are serious about any a good many badly-needed, common-sense, no-brainer reforms, despite the fact that it might conceivably reduce the incumbents’ power, or their opportunities for self-gain, or reduce the security of their cu$hy, coveted incumbencies.

    • that are serious about stopping the continual plunder of Social Security surpluses and returning part of the $12.8 trillion stolen from it.

    • that are serious about not creating more vast, mismanaged systems (such as the recent Medicare prescription drug plan); essentially bribing voters with their own tax dollars.

    • that are serious about ending eminent domain abuse.

    • thar are serious about improving public education (instead, they undermine it with taxes to private schools?).

    • thar are serious about stopping illegal immigration and the burdens being deceptively shifted to U.S. tax payers.

    • that are serious about refraining from fueling the distracting, circular, petty partisan warfare.

    • that are serious about resolving the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. problems and $450 billion of debt.

    • that are serious about looking for alternative energy sources.

    • that are serious about fighting terrorism, and continue the nonsense that the front on the war on terror is in Iraq.

    • that are serious about stopping the government from continuing to grow to nightmare proportions.

    • that are serious about reducing corpocrisy, corporatism, corporate welfare, influence on government by corporations, and the unfair influence by some who abuse vast wealth to control government.

    • that are serious about making every vote count, reducing voter fraud, and making sure only U.S. citizens vote.

    • that are serious about healthcare solutions ( One-Simpl-Idea.com/HealthCareSolutions.htm ) … and that does not mean a national healthcare system. That would be the worst thing that could happen here in the U.S. The best thing is to eliminate all the middlemen (e.g. government, insurance companies, and greedy ambulance chasing lawyers). Also, Healthcare is not only increasingly unaffordable, but dangerous. Pharmaceutical corporations and the FDA are becoming pill pushers that are killing hundreds of thousands in the U.S. annually. That does not even include the huge number of patients that are irreversibly damaged and maimed. JAMA reported that over 2.2 million hospitalized patients in 1994 had serious Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) and 106,000 were fatal, making these drug reactions the 5th or 6th leading cause of death in the U.S.! JAMA’s conclusion was that “the incidence of serious and fatal ADRs in U.S. hospitals was found to be extremely high”. On 27-July-2004, HealthGrades.com reported that “An average of 195,000 people in the U.S. died due to potentially preventable, in-hospital medical errors in each of the years 2000, 2001 and 2002, according to a new study of 37 million patient records”. Part of the problem is the growing corpocrisy, corporatism, and influence of government by corporations. Healthcare solutions are needed.

    If some politician(s) would run on even 60% of those issues, I’d re-elect them over and over.

    Posted by: d.a.n at November 7, 2006 5:58 PM
    Comment #193864

    d.a.n.

    Even at the end of the day, you can only name five that MAY be okay?

    McCain is not even running this year. Neither is Feingold. Why do you not just admit what you are saying - you want to vote out everybody.

    Posted by: Jack at November 7, 2006 7:19 PM
    Comment #193871
    Jack wrote: d.a.n Why do you not just admit what you are saying - you want to vote out everybody.

    Jack,
    Your accusation is simply NOT true, and I just proved it (above).

    I ONLY recommend voters stop re-electing irrespponsible incumbent politicians (and have been very consistent about it for a long, long time, despite your clever attempts to mischaracterize it otherwise).

    So, what is wrong with that? Eh?

    Of course, you can’t answer that.

    Why?

    Because it is irrefutable.

    Jack,
    Surely, you are not advocating we re-elect irresponsible incumbent politicians?

    But, I’m sure there are a few that are responsible.

    You asked for 5 and I gave it to you.

    But, YOU said (above) that some are responsible.

    So, WHO are they?

    It’s YOUR turn now. Give me 5 names (if you can).

    Who are they?

    George Allen?

    Pleassszzzzze !

    Posted by: d.a.n at November 7, 2006 8:35 PM
    Comment #193877

    Jack,

    Tell us the truth.

    Did you (as you promised) already pull the party-lever ?

    Posted by: d.a.n at November 7, 2006 8:55 PM
    Comment #193879

    More bad news.

    Dewine is toast.

    Posted by: d.a.n at November 7, 2006 8:56 PM
    Comment #193894

    I voted for George Allen and Tom Davis.

    I do not make general comments as you do about those outside my district and state. The people of those districts need to determine whether or not their person is worthy of reelection.

    I believe that Allen, Davis and our other senator Warner deserve reelection. Those are my business.

    I used to live in New Hampshire so I met Judd Gregg and know he is a good senator. John Sununu is also a good man.

    That takes care of five people I have standing to judge. I guess I have been happy with all my recent representatives.

    Posted by: Jack at November 7, 2006 10:22 PM
    Comment #193964
    Jack wrote: I do not make general comments as you do about those outside my district and state.

    Jack,
    Are you sure about that ? (i.e. making comments about those outside YOUR district and state)?
    After all, you wrote the following:

    • John Kerry’s Freudian Slip

    • Jack made the mistake of voting for Jimmy Carter in 1976, but redeemed himself by supporting Ronald Reagan the next time. He supported John McCain in 2000 and will do so again in 2008.

    • In Maryland, a leading Democrat embarassed himself by saying Michael Steele slavishly followed the Republican Party

    If one looked harder, they will most likely find much more. Not that there’s anything wrong with discussing politicians, as you appear to be alleging.

    Jack,
    Also, my comments were not general, but provided specific, concrete reasons (for/against).
    What’s wrong with that?

    By the way, I almost put Sununu on the list because he is got a grade of 95% by Citizens Against Government Waste. But, I don’t agree much with some of his other positions.

    Jack, You asked me to name 5 congress persons, and then you admonish me for doing it. What’s your game? This is a political blog, and don’t really see why voters/bloggers should NOT discuss all congress persons. Even those of other states, as you have also done.

    At any rate, the election is almost over.
    I see George Allen may demand a recount.
    The voters ousted a lot of Republicans, and that is good.
    Unfortunately, voters failed to oust a lot of Democrats too.
    So, few (if any) problems will get resolved in the next 2 years.
    Especially illegal immigration.
    It’s doubtful border security will happen now.
    But, it didn’t look likely to happen with Republicans anyway. They voted for a fence, but failed to fund it. So, what good was it?

    Unfortunately, most Democrats seem to want to give Social Security to illegal aliens.
    There will come a day when those that advocate massive immigration will be considered crazy, as the 6.6 billion world population continues to grow and grow. At the moment, Democrats prefer to ignore the deceptive costs and burdens being shifted on to U.S. tax payers.

    Maybe Democrats will get control of the rampant borrowing, debt, spending, and money-printing, and hopefully get us out of Iraq’s civil war?

    But, don’t worry. I will be holding their feet (Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike) to the fire too.

    Posted by: d.a.n at November 8, 2006 9:52 AM
    Comment #194144

    So d.a.n.

    Now you will be on my side. Most incumbents will now be Dems. Vote them out, right?

    I am sure all Democrats tremble before your searing wrath.

    Posted by: Jack at November 8, 2006 8:12 PM
    Comment #194257
    Jack wrote: So d.a.n. Now you will be on my side.

    Nope.
    Why?
    Because YOU are still for YOUR incumbents ONLY, and YOU are against the OTHER party.
    You are partisan.
    I am still, and always will be non-partisan, and against irresponsible incumbent politicians, regardless of party.
    Keep the good ones.
    Vote out the bad ones.

    BAD_Voters = BAD_Politicians = BAD_Government

    Jack wrote: So d.a.n… . Most incumbents will now be Dems. Vote them out, right?
    Nope. Vote out the irresponsible incumbent politicians. Keep the good ones. Voters still did not get it right. While I think a lot of voters voted for independents and third-party candidates, too many voters went with Democrat challengers, and allowed too many irresponsible Democrat incubments to retain their cu$hy, coveted seats.

    But, be thankful for those independent and third-party voters … othewise the Democrats would have had a HUGE landslide instead.

    Jack,
    I’m not happy about the outcome either.
    You probably find that hard to believe, but what I truly hoped for was an ousting of large numbers of irresponsible incumbent politicians of BOTH main parties. Unfortunately, too many voters are too fond of wallowing in the distracting, circular, petty partisan warfare. They are too brainwashed to think outside of the blinding partisan box.

    Jack wrote: I am sure all Democrats tremble before your searing wrath.
    Ya think ?

    : )

    NNnnaaaahhhh.

    It’s NOT wrath.

    It’s just plain old common-sense.

    More voters (hopefully) will learn as time goes on.

    Why?

    Because voters suffer the consequences of their own bad judgement.
    So, the system is somewhat self-correcting (provided voters are not too irresponsible and/or wait too long, and somehow mess around and lose their right to vote or obtain an accurate vote-count).

    In a voting nation, education is parament.

    The voters’ education is in the pipeline.
    The voters’ education is on the way.
    Consequences are on the way.
    Pain and misery is a good teacher.
    It’s 2.000 steps forward, and 1.999 steps backward.

    Posted by: d.a.n at November 9, 2006 11:25 AM
    Comment #194264

    CORRECTION: In a voting nation, education is parament paramount.

    Posted by: d.a.n at November 9, 2006 11:43 AM
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