Economic decisions

Il Duce would be proud. The government, that is, Our Great Leader, has decreed that the car market will change and it shall be so.

Obama’s new rules will transform US auto fleet
DETROIT (AP) - Some soccer moms will have to give up hulking SUVs. Carpenters will still haul materials around in pickup trucks, but they will cost more. Nearly everybody else will drive smaller cars, and more of them will run on electricity. ~news.moneycentral.msn.com

Every vehicle will cost more, go slower, not go as far, and will likely not be as safe to drive, but it's all for our own good: the government says so. Trucks and SUV's will be all but outlawed it seems.

Yes, this does look like the "Transformation of America" that I expected. An America where decisions are made from the top and handed down across the land. It will no doubt take time for our rulers to get around to tackling Urban Blight and Sprawl by making decrees as well, but socialist centrally-planned utopias aren't built overnight.

The higher mileage and emissions standards set by the Obama administration on Tuesday, which begin to take effect in 2012 and are to be achieved by 2016, will transform the American car and truck fleet.

...the changes will make pickup trucks so much more expensive that they will be used almost exclusively for work.

And instead of a minivan or SUV, more parents will haul their families in much smaller vehicles with three rows of seats — something more like the Mazda 5 small van, he said. The Mazda 5 gets about 28 mpg on the highway. ~news.moneycentral.msn.com


Only government can do this job of regulating and transforming our society, one aspect, one industry at a time. Free Markets would never get around to making the hard political choices of banning products and services people want and are willing to pay for. Especially when a free market is not intelligent the way a single dictator is. No one person makes any decisions in a free market. It's just the choices of individuals who aren't smart enough to know what's good for them.


Posted by Eric Simonson at June 4, 2009 4:00 PM
Comments
Comment #282448

5 stars crash rating i thought that was very good i remember the old pinto it use to crash and burn and many of those big suvs and pickups had worse side and front crash ratings. http://www.automotive.com/2009/12/mazda/mazda5/crash-tests/index.html

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 4, 2009 4:54 PM
Comment #282449

Eric, the reason why the car companies are in this pinch is that they didn’t do this sooner of their own accord. They didn’t think ahead or plan ahead for a time when gas was no longer going to be cheap.

As a result, when the economy took a nose-dive, their reliance on big, expensive rolling boondoggles became a basic death sentence in the market place.

Now, unless your aim is to have America reliant on foreign auto companies for their vehicles, a fate I doubt is altogether good for the country, we had to bail these people out. But the bailout is not without strings, and those are there, not without reason. We don’t want to have to bail these suckers out again and again, especially after the economy rebounds, and fuel prices rebound with them.

The paradigm you show such affection for is a naive dream, at best. Do we really need another lesson in fuel economics? Do we want to ride over this wave, or have it ride over us when the time comes?

Oh, and as for SUV’s and pickup trucks becoming mainly professional vehicles again? Good. That’s what they originally were in the first place. Have the people who actually can afford to go out camping, off road, use the SUVs. Have the people who actually hall bunches of equipment and supplies drive the pickups. Stop compensating for lives of self-inflicted boredom with large vehicles you can’t afford. Obama’s not defying the market, he’s moving this country ahead of it, in anticipation of the direction in which it must inevitably go, as gas supplies gradually descend, and the stark reality of climate change looms.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 4, 2009 5:53 PM
Comment #282450

Eric,

Damn, that abolition of slavery. That good old free market made all the right choices, all the time. Why is it conservatives want to abolish abortion, if they are so pro free market?

I guess I’ll just never understand that conservative tilt ( some might call it blind ignorance).

I’m much more in favor of giving our car market directly to the Japanese and Chinese and Koreans, aren’t you? The Free market really has been working out great in Detroit. When WWIII comes about, I’m sure we can convince the Chinese to build our drones and tanks and ships. Who needs a manufacturing base, we can just be a banking center and declare ourselves neutral like Switzerland and then make sure we return the Jews(or ethnic group du jour) to Germany and put their gold teeth in numbered safety deposit boxes. Great Plan.

Posted by: gergle at June 4, 2009 7:06 PM
Comment #282452

Stephen,

I forgot… We don’t need these fallible markets or private businesses because the government always makes the right decisions, doesn’t it?

Posted by: eric at June 4, 2009 8:47 PM
Comment #282455

Gergle

Slavery was decreed by law and enforced by government. It is not a free market institution. It cannot be since it requires government coercion to enforce it. Recall that in the pre-civil war times, various laws protected slavery and prohibited actions that could mitigate it.

A fundamental problem with using terms like conservative and liberal in modern America is that the terms have shifted. Liberal used to mean someone who favors less government and freer markets. It was liberal to rebel against the power of big government. It still means that in most of the world. That is why a European neo-liberal is more like an American conservative.

You may use the terms liberal and conservative to refer to past times, but you will always be wrong in the details. It is better to look to the descriptions of what they are/were doing.

The South of the 1860s doesn’t fit well into either modern category. Government was much more punitive and regulatory than a conservative of today would like, in some areas. It was also less of those things than a liberal would like, in other areas.

The system that replaced slavery had elements of both modern liberalism and modern conservatism because both came from it. And both also have aspects of the older system.

As for the car thing, I think we should impose a carbon tax and let individual choice sort out what sorts of cars we drive. If the choices are clear and costs properly allocated, I have confidence that the people will make the best choice, but I am an old fashioned liberal (i.e. a modern American conservative.)

Posted by: Christine at June 4, 2009 10:06 PM
Comment #282456

If corporations run the government in the name of a free market, that is corporatism. It results in deregulation, privatization, and the use of propaganda to incite the citizens to nationalism, ethnocentrism, xenophobia, anti-labor attitudes, and wars of expansion, all in the name of profit- short-term profit, at that. So-called ‘Free Market’ oligopolies control the government.

If “We the people” run the government OUR interests, in the best interests of the people, this mixes capitalism with socialism, and produces the most successful solution found to date.

GM, the largest single industrial asset in the entire world, failed. It filed for bankruptcy. It’s virtually impossible for any other economic system to do worse.

Posted by: phx8 at June 4, 2009 11:28 PM
Comment #282461

“…the changes will make pickup trucks so much more expensive that they will be used almost exclusively for work.”

Good! I have always wondered why people buy pickup trucks when they do not even use the pickup bed part of it at all. Honestly I have wondered and wondered how dumb do you have to be to buy a pick up truck when you are never gonna use the bed for actual work and only use it for moving every few years!

The extra cost people pay for pickup trucks with unused beds could easily have been used to hire a mover. & do you know what hiring a mover does? It gives someone work! Thus stimulating the economy.

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at June 5, 2009 1:41 AM
Comment #282463

Aah, that’s right, Christine, there was no slavery in the US prior to government intervention. Which history book do you have? It had nothing to do with markets or economics, of course not. It was actually Obama that legislated slavery. I think you have the cart and the horse slightly out of position.

Slavery was created by government and racism no longer exists. If this thinking is a product of public schools, I’m going to rethink my position on that.

While the US government did acquiesce to the existence of slavery, it did not create the institution.

Where exactly was I referring to slavery as a conservative position?

My point, was that free markets are not the only criteria in making good choices as Eric seems to be advocating. GM FAILED in the supposed free market. The reason for it’s bailout has to do with not surrendering our manufacturing base and the economic impact of it’s failure. I know it’s difficult for conservatives to understand that patriotism isn’t just about blowing up other countries, but perhaps they should think outside the box once in a while.

We have a right to our own opinions, just not our own facts.

Posted by: gergle at June 5, 2009 2:18 AM
Comment #282466

Richard Rhodes

people have the right to drive whatever they please. the fact that you do not approve makes no difference. it’s called freedom of choice. something we value in this country. there are a lot of things that you could argue people don’t need, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have them. if you don’t want a pickup then i suggest not buying one.

Posted by: dbs at June 5, 2009 8:51 AM
Comment #282468

In 1993 I bought a Geo Metro XFI ( a Chevy product). It got 48 miles on a gallon of gas. In 1999 it was time for a new car. By then it was a Chevy Metro and no XFI. That car only got 40 miles on a gallon of gas. Both these cars had a one liter engine and a five speed transmission. In 2006 I needed a new car. American car companies made no little cars with a big hatch back none not a one zero zilch, and the smallest engine you could get was 1.5 liter. That’s 50% bigger. Since I didn’t want to buy a foreign car I was stuck buying a used car! I also have a 1970 Chevy truck for when I need to move something which gets 19 or 20 miles to a gallon. Now I’m told 30 miles to a gallon is good for a car, and 22 miles a gallon is good for a truck. Makes me think Mobile-Exxon is paying some one under the table or some thing.

Christine, I’m glad to hear your in favor of cap-and-trade. If the true cost of fossil fuel was charged, then the market would control a lot of it. Too many times the market is manipulated to maximize profit and not allowed to work the way it should. I don’t know if the government has the courage to do cap and trade. Not only would it would cause the price of energy to go up, but very strong special interests (fossil fuel companies) are fighting tooth and nail to stop it. Write your congress person!


Posted by: Mike the Cynic at June 5, 2009 9:03 AM
Comment #282471

Mike the Cynic

i don’t disagree with you on the manipulation of energy prices, but cap and trade will bite us all in the ass. the added costs will just be passed on to the consumer, and result in increased heating, cooling, and energy bills for all, including those who can least afford them. with china and india having no part of it, it will no doudbt put us at an even greater disadvantage, in the world market place.

we need to utilize our own energy resources. gas, and coal, being two of the largest. nuclear should not be out of the question either.

Posted by: dbs at June 5, 2009 9:56 AM
Comment #282473

Mike c. It was a good Little car the Metro my wife’s niece had a 1989 model a tiny little 1 litre 3 cylinder engine that cost like peanuts and go 150,000 - 175,000 miles easy she’d get 38 mpg around the city and right at 49-51mpg on the highway. They Downsized in the 1980s !!! Cars, trucks, mini vans, suvs, everything then oil hit what 19 dollars in 1996 and Boom ! It goes back to what George Santayana Said “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” Metro history
Generation I Metro

1984 - Suzuki and General Motors announced they would sell rebadged models of the Suzuki Cultus in North America as Chevrolets and Pontiacs, with Suzuki selling their own version as the Forsa.
1985 - GM began marketing in North America as the Chevrolet Sprint. The car is also sold as Suzuki Forsa and Pontiac Firefly in Canada. The Chevrolet Sprint was sold only in the Western United States until 1986.
1986 - Chevrolet Sprint began nationwide sales in the US. Sprint consumers had a choice of ER, Base, and Turbo models. Firefly marketed in FE, Turbo, and Base models.
1987 - The Metro name first appeared on a model of the naturally-aspirated Chevrolet Sprint: the “Chevrolet Sprint Metro.”
1988 - Production began on the first Geo Metro models at Suzuki’s plant in Hamamatsu, Japan.
Generation II Metro

1989 - The Geo Metro debuted in the United States, replacing the Sprint. Canadian models continued with the Chevrolet Sprint and Pontiac Firefly nameplates, while the second generation Suzuki Swift replaced the Forsa nameplate. Suzuki begins marketing the Swift in the United States.
1990 - Geo introduced Metro LSi models, which included an automatic transmission, air conditioning and a stereo with cassette player. Geo introduced the XFi model optimized for mileage, featuring the three-cylinder engine with a shorter duration cam, leaner fuel map, two ring pistons, and a higher final drive gear ratio and deleting interior amenities (e.g., the passenger mirror), thereby achieving 43 city, 51 highway per the revised 2007 EPA mileage standards. XFi made up less than 10% of Metro sales[2]. Production began at CAMI Automotive, where all remaining Metro models with the exception of convertibles would be produced. The convertible model debuted, available in LSi trim. As with the Metro, the Firefly is offered in sedan and convertible models.
1991 - GM increases convertible production and adds paint options.
1992 - The Metro received a facelift with new hubcaps, exterior modification and new interior controls. The Pontiac Firefly is dropped.
1993 - Convertible production ended. Automatic door locks, which deploy after the car reaches a speed of 10 mph (16 km/h) are introduced this year.
1994 - 5-door hatchback production ended. There was also a slight but barely noticeable change in the headlights, as well. Canadian Pontiac dealers began selling the Firefly (first generation) again, but with a facelift. The Convertible is dropped from the Firefly lineup, but Suzuki still produced Firefly and Metro sedans for Canada this year. Geo drops the Xfi model [16].
Generation III Metro

1995 - The third generation Metro was introduced with a revised 4-cylinder engine for LSi models with hydraulic lifters and lash adjusters, and a 30,000-mile service interval[2] — supplementing the 3 cylinder models. The hatchback featured a three-inch lower liftover height compared to the Generation II [2], and safety equipment included optional anti-lock brakes, safety cage construction with deformable front and rear crush zones, and steel side impact door safety beams [3] and new daytime running lights — the Metro was the first GM car to get DRLs as standard equipment), as well as dual frontal airbags. The sedan and coupe chassis were 20% and 5% stiffer respectively than the previous generation Metros,[2] and at the time of its introduction, the Metro was the smallest car in the world to meet the impending 1997 side impact standards [2]. The revised sedan was also introduced in the United States, replacing the 5-door hatchback. Its twins, Pontiac Firefly and Suzuki Swift featured the same redesign. The Metro now featured a coefficient of drag of .32 [3]. At the introduction of the Generation III, GM arranged for a car carrier with 1995 Metros to drive to college campuses across the country. Local writers took a half-day seminar at “Metro University” with the head product planner and senior members of the engineering, assembly, and marketing teams [2].
1996 - OBD-II (On-Board Diagnostics, Second generation) was added to Metro models, at a cost of some fuel efficiency.
1997 - The last year for the Geo brand. The Metro returned in 1998 as with a Chevrolet nameplate.
1998 - The Metro now carried the Chevrolet nameplate, along with new front and rear fascias and a SOHC 16v design I-4 1.3L engine with a horsepower increase of 12%. Electronic ignition replaced the distributor, and MPFI (Multiport Fuel Injection) replaced the TBI (Throttle Body Injection). The new motor offered more HP, torque, and higher fuel economy. This I-4 engine replaced the older 8v 4 cylinder, but the 3 cylinder engine remained unchanged.
2000 - Metro and Firefly sales to the general public ceased, with fleet sales only returning in 2001.
2001 - The Metro’s final year. The only model available this year is the 4-door LSi sedan. The Metro continued on sale in Canada. General Motors announces that the Metro would not be included in the 2002 Chevrolet model lineup. CAMI Automotive manufactures the last Metro, a red sedan, in April, 2001.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 5, 2009 10:24 AM
Comment #282481

Bought the wife a new mid sized 1986 Chevrolet Celebrity coupe 2 door 2.8 litre V6 loaded for like $8,200 great car good looking and 24 city and over 34 hwy 2,700 lbs room for 5 easy try and find something like that today for $16,000.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 5, 2009 1:24 PM
Comment #282493

Phx8

Please google corporatism and find the definition. YOu can use the word as you please, but educated people will not take your meaning. Corporatism is much more like the idea of group rights liberals so love. It doesn’t mean corporations rule. It just happens that the two words are similar.

Richard

My family owns a pickup truck. We use it to move yard waste, help others move, carry stuff etc. We also have to drive on dirt roads from time to time. The higher suspension makes this possible. Cars bottom out. It is a Ford Ranger. It gets around 20 mph and cost less than $15000 new. I could get a car. It would probably cost more and many cars get less good mileage. It isn’t always stupid to buy a truck.

Gergle

Slavery was enforced by government. Government in general is not to blame, but neither is it a free market institution. Life is just a bit more complicated and nuanced than you seem to want.

Of course we agree that the U.S. did not create slavery. It is older than the pyramids and of course I never said or implied anything else. All I said is that slavery requires the force of law. Government enforces the law. You can argue against this point, but it approaches a tautology.

The reason I called you on the slavery question is that I thought you tried to use false sarcasm to associate a conservative position with it. If that is not the case, sorry for my misunderstanding.

I indeed do not really understand your point that saving GM is somehow patriotic. I understand the need for a domestic auto industry, but not for a particular firm. Various foreign companies also make cars in America. These employ American workers on American soil and many of the investors are American. You can buy stock in Toyota or Honda tomorrow. Many GM vehicles, conversely, are made in other countries. The auto industry is international. If the center of the American auto industry shifts from Michigan to Tennessee, it really doesn’t make any difference.

Mike the Cynic

Actually, my first love is a carbon tax. Cap and trade is a corruption of that, but better than nothing. If the true costs are included, Americans have the right to drive what they want and they will make, in general, good choices.

Posted by: Christine at June 5, 2009 9:58 PM
Comment #282496

Christine,

I indeed do not really understand your point that saving GM is somehow patriotic. I understand the need for a domestic auto industry, but not for a particular firm. Various foreign companies also make cars in America. These employ American workers on American soil and many of the investors are American. You can buy stock in Toyota or Honda tomorrow. Many GM vehicles, conversely, are made in other countries. The auto industry is international. If the center of the American auto industry shifts from Michigan to Tennessee, it really doesn’t make any difference.

Aah, finally, we CAN agree. That is a cogent argument. My point about GM is more about the economic impact of a massive corporate collapse. We needed to bail out banks, why not blue collar jobs? It also matters who owns and runs the car company. Granted we could take over a car company in the US in time of war, but having a truly US vested company makes sense to me. Given that GM and the rest of Detroit are simply international companies now, anyway, I’m not completely sure that argument holds merit, but the dislocation of jobs needed to be ameliorated.

Posted by: gergle at June 5, 2009 10:37 PM
Comment #282499

It was marketing and lack of oversight that allowed our American auto industry to convince people that they needed, could, and should have bigger, better and more. They turned their noses up at the possibilities of the well running dry. The free markets created a scenario where the desire for profits overshadowed sensibility. The free market should have some responsibility to itself and the consumers without whom it would not exist.

One need only look at the current state of our nation to realize that the so called free market scenario is deeply flawed. It is deeply flawed because profiteers were allowed to have free unfettered reign over our financial markets. What we now know for sure is that we can not allow corporate American to tell us how we should live. We can not allow them to dictate policy in government. Corporate America can not be trusted to do what is in the best interest of anyone. Only what is in the best interest of profit. They have shown that corporate greed trumps common sense in most all cases. It seems to me that the top free market entrepreneurs for quite some time have had more influence with our legislators than their constituents. My point is that the so called free market really is not so free. It really is very controlling and manipulative. The term free market is really nothing more than a guise for corporate socialism. After all the free markets greed and lack of responsibility has literally cost all us tax payers hundreds of billions of dollars to date.

This all makes me wonder why some think we should just sit back, bail all these irresponsible financial slackers out, and ignore what happened. After all isn’t lack of oversight what got us into this mess to begin with. I guess we should just continue to give GM billions while allowing them to continue to self destruct because the thirst for immediate profits clouds any sensible vision of the future. Yeah, that makes sense. Lets just turn our heads and ignore the financial abuses that have occurred under unregulated free market rule.

Posted by: RickIL at June 5, 2009 11:20 PM
Comment #282500

Christine,
When I googled the wikipedia article on corporatism, many definitions are provided for the many forms corporatism can take, including the concluding comment of the opening paragraph:
“At a popular level in recent years “corporatism” has been used to mean the promotion of the interests of private corporations in government over the interests of the public.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporatism

This article by Eric suggests that government ownership of GM is socialism, and that something bad will happen as a result, a possible dictatorship and loss of freedom, with freedom in this case consisting of unrestricted consumer choice. The article ignores that fact that the worst has already happened. GM failed. AIG failed. The US financial system suffered a catastrophic failure last fall, and only massive government intervention prevented an economic armageddon.

The American taxpayer socialized the losses incurred by private companies at great cost. No one likes this. Under Bush and the GOP Congress, the national debt doubled from roughly $5 trillion to $10 trillion, and the country ran the invasion and occupation of Iraq on a national credit card, with disastrous financial consequences.

The Democrats and Obama have made the tough decision. Instead of permitting the financial sector and GM, the largest industrial asset in the world, to fail, the Democrats and Obama have chosen to take on additional trillions of debt, and socialize the financial sector and now GM. The intention to do so is temporary. It is not a pleasant option, but it is the best among bad choices. The alternative was seeing a long, painful turn into a full blown Depression.

It may happen anyway.

The failure rests fully and completely upon the proponents of free market capitalism. Conservatives failed. Bush failed. The GOP failed.

Epic fail.


Posted by: phx8 at June 5, 2009 11:31 PM
Comment #282505

Phx8

Yes, the very last sentence in a long intro acknowledges that among the less educated the term has lost its meaning. Go with it if you must. But look at the other definitions to find the more applicable meaning.

Corporatism and socialism are related, so maybe you stumbled on the right meaning anyway when talking about the government running business.

The problem I have with the misuse of the word is that it indicates a general historical amnesia. We are entering into a phase in our economy that closely resembles corporatism in its original form. We can assess what happened to previous corporatist experiments. There are some successes (like Holland) and lots of failures (like fascist Italy and many Latin American caudillos). However, if we use the word corporatism in its corrupted version, we really are stuck w/o a real definition or a protean definition which we can change depending on the needs of the argument.

Anyway – I think corporatism in the original sense is a bad idea for America. I also think corporatism in the way you seem to mean it is also a bad idea. I prefer a system that respects the rule of law, has reasonable regulation and uses the market mechanism whenever possible.

I notice that you seem concerned that the debt doubled under Bush. I’ll go with your estimate. How much do you expect it to go up under President Obama?

BTW - the Detroit automaker have been in trouble as long as I can remember and longer than the average American has been alive. I was unaware that Bush and Republicans had been in power for forty years. I recalled a few Democratic Presidents and that Democrats controlled congress most of the time.

Maybe you have an alternative history, something about corporatism.

Posted by: Christine at June 6, 2009 12:13 AM
Comment #282508

Christine,
When Bush and the GOP controlled Congress in 2001, they projected a $10 trillion surplus. Despite the recent dot com bust of the late 1990’s, the projected surpluses were so large, the Congress mailed checks to taxpayers. Bush and the GOP Congress cut taxes, prosecuted a war by borrowing, and the results were catastrophic. The rest is history… or alternate history, if you want to pretend it didn’t happen that way.

The auto industry has been in a long decline for many reasons. I’d like to see government ownership result in policies which drive rapid change and innovation for GM.

However, I am very pessimistic about the chances for reducing the debt and deficits, and for the ability of the government and GM to rise to the challenge. Entrenched interests are vested in maintaining the status quo. Under Bush and the GOP, Exxon became the most profitable corporation in the history of the world. Incredibly, when faced with Global Warming, Peak Oil, and national security concerns over energy, conservaties in all seriousness changed “drill, baby, drill.” Any attempt to innovate and make rapid changes meet charges from conservatives of ‘socialism,’ charges which are generously funded and supported by large corporations. Universal Health Care could be provided to every US citizen at half the price of the current for-profit set-up, yet Big Insurance and Big Pharma seem certain to prevent change.

So it would probably be better to ask a young person what they think of the future of the US and debts and deficits and so on. I hope they can be optimistic. I’m not.

Posted by: phx8 at June 6, 2009 1:52 AM
Comment #282513

Eric
The function of leadership is to lead. In the US our leaders are selected by the people(usually). This is nothing new or sinister. It was the government and the governments elected leadership, with a fair amount of prodding, that ended legal segregation. It was not without pain and there is more to do but I believe that the vast majority of Americans are proud of the changes. There is no reason energy independance should be any more threatening and it is also of great importance for a number of reasons.
What are you so afraid of. That you might drive a car that gets good mileage. Oh! The horror!

Posted by: bills at June 6, 2009 9:54 AM
Comment #282518

Phx8

When have you seen government take over of any large enterprise drive rapid change and innovation?

GM is the walking dead. The best that can happen is it shrinks down to a respectable size. Government bailouts will just slow that process.

If you look at the timeline of the deficit, you see that there was a big drop in tax revenue that began in early 2001 - before any Bush policies came into play. Revenue surged again in 2006, the problem was the government had grown much faster.

Republicans grew government too fast and Democrats promise to do it faster. It is like the fat man seeking to diet by eating more donuts.

You may also recall that the deficit only dropped when Republicans controlled congress. Newt is as much responsible as Bill, but mostly it was the economic bubble

Posted by: Christine at June 6, 2009 11:48 AM
Comment #282569

Christine
Wow! Talk about revisionist history. The deficit was reduced as a direct result of the Clinton economic plan that raised ,slightly, taxes on the upper bracket among other things. It was passed in a Democratic congress without a single Republican vote. The opposition was led by ,your boy,Newt.
Clinton also took advantage of the end of the Cold War to effect cost reductions and re-organization of the military.Although criticized as weakening the ability of US defenses the contrary is evident. It takes time to effect changes in the military, as anyone that has served there will tell you. The brilliant and rapid early victory of US forces in the Iraq invasion was accomplished by the CLINTON military.
Where they were weak was in the support operations needed for an extended occupation, but then again, who in their right mind would get us into such a situation.
BTW, The Heritage Foundation is just a right wing propaganda mill disguised as a think tank for the brighter of the right wing power base. Their function is historical obsfucation and revision. You would do well to add a bit more salt to their blather.

Posted by: bills at June 7, 2009 12:49 AM
Comment #282596

billS

Revenues surged unexpectedly in the late 1990s. This accounted for most of the deficit reduction. Revenue surged to record levels again in 2006, but by then the government had grown to record levels.

As I said, Republican did this. But the Democratic soltution to spend more is indeed like the fat man saying he is going to get rid of his big belly by eating more donuts.

You are right that most of the reduction in government spending came from spending the peace dividend. While you may or may not support defense spending, you can only cash the peace divdend once. It cannot be the basis for a long term reduction strategy.

So to sum up, government did not grow much during the Clinton time. Bill Clinton said the era of big government was over. He was a good steward of the economy. But most of the deficit reduction was unanticipated. It came from a surge in tax revenues. This surge came to an abrupt halt in 2001 - before the Bush policy came into affect. Republicans grew government too fast. Revenues surges to record levels, even with tax cuts, but government was too big so the deficit was reduced but did not go away. Democrats said that was a bad thing, but now are piling the fat on three times as fast. Which of these facts do you dispute?

Posted by: Christine at June 7, 2009 2:43 PM
Comment #282672

GM to exit medium truck market they can’t find a buyer this is a damn shame they sold 22,000 last year it has the fine 6.6 litre Duramax diesel fuel savor right for today and tomorrow . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Kodiak

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 8, 2009 11:48 PM
Comment #282717

I’d wish we made a diesel car for five i’ve seen the co2 numbers of a Prius gas hybrid and a older 2006 VW diesel bug they were about even this newer 2009 VW diesel is cleaner to boot and no electric motors and batteries to wear out and the diesel is made for the long haul 250,000 to 300,000 miles before a rebuild. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/23/automobiles/autoreviews/23-vw-jetta.html?em Quote” In September, the Taylors, from Australia, drove a production Jetta TDI to a Guinness world record, averaging an incredible 58.8 m.p.g. for a 9,400-mile run through the 48 contiguous American states. The Taylors used just 11 tanks of fuel over 20 days, averaging 850 miles for each tank.””

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 9, 2009 6:57 PM
Comment #282759

The reason GM and Chrysler are in so much trouble is because they shared their wealth with their labor force (too much of it) and couldn’t take it back when things got tough because the union wouldn’t stand for it. Ford is still profitable and guess who sells more trucks than anyone. That left handed bull about they should have done this on their own sounds good, but it is just not true Obama wants to steal from the rich and give to the poor, just like labor unions. Guess what 2 of the “rich” auto makers are broke and who is crying the loudest…the labor unions. Socialism is a failed political plan. Eventually you run out of other peoples money.

Posted by: Dave at June 11, 2009 12:12 AM
Comment #282814

GM does Dave and always has Ford makes a great truck and so does GM but you Ford guys always forget that GM makes Chevy trucks and GMC trucks there the exact same thing just the badge. http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2009/06/may-2009-top-10-truck-sales.html And there way down in sales on both sides.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 11, 2009 10:12 PM
Comment #284784

That’s the problem with some of these politicians. THey look at things without opening their eyes to the ripple affects that come with it. Now they solve the crisis but create bigger problems.

Morons.

Posted by: Sportsbook at July 21, 2009 1:04 PM
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