Three letter word

What’s a three letter word meaning, “Created or saved?” Why, *J - O - B - S*, of course. Quite simply, the dishonesty and doubletalk from Obama and his administration are epidemic and incurable. Obama is a compulsive liar. Everything he says is a lie, a purposeful deception, meant to disguise a radical leftist agenda to ‘transform’ America.

Tax cuts for 95% of Americans? How about massive tax increases across the board with the cost of everything going through the roof. VAT taxes. Energy taxes. Soda taxes. Fat taxes. Health Care taxes. The list goes on and on. There are literally thousands of taxes being cued up in the Democrat congress as we speak.

Fiscal responsibility? Bush left us a deficit of about $400 billion. (We can blame some of that on the cost of two wars.) But Obama steps into office and pushes through the most massive spending packages in the history of the earth. Multiplying the deficit to a record $1.8 trillion according to the Congressional Budget office in his 'historic' first 100 days. Likely, this will end up being even more since Pelosi and Reid have mentioned that they may need more stimulus money to spend. No doubt right about the time they need to get reelected. Most ethical congress ever. Right?

Which brings us to that three letter word: jobs. The scare tactic used by Obama was that if they didn't pass the stimulus package immediately (and without debate) then unemployment would skyrocket to 9%! That ONLY if their plan was enacted would unemployment peak at 8% briefly and then begin to fall precipitously as the era of Obama utopia begins.

Instead, the stimulus plan seems to have accelerated unemployment. What they meant to say was that with the stimulus unemployment would top 9% because it's now 9.4% and rising.

Obama-Stimulus-FAIL chart

But don't worry Obama has plenty of lies to help the liberal media cover up the truth.

Mr. Fratto sees a double standard at play. "We would never have used a formula like 'save or create,'" he tells me. "To begin with, the number is pure fiction -- the administration has no way to measure how many jobs are actually being 'saved.' And if we had tried to use something this flimsy, the press would never have let us get away with it."

Of course, the inability to measure Mr. Obama's jobs formula is part of its attraction. Never mind that no one -- not the Labor Department, not the Treasury, not the Bureau of Labor Statistics -- actually measures "jobs saved." As the New York Times delicately reports, Mr. Obama's jobs claims are "based on macroeconomic estimates, not an actual counting of jobs." Nice work if you can get away with it.

Obama is constructing a house built on pure lies. But he can get away with it because the liberal press has no interest in objectivity.

Not only has Obama and his accomplices spent more than any One-Party-Government in history but they are getting ready to nationalize another industry and are already telegraphing that price is no object:

Dear Leader: It's OK to Borrow More For Obamacare

45% Say Cancel Rest of Stimulus Spending

The problem with this is that Obama is standing at the bow of this ship declaring that he's king of the world even as he steers it toward the icebergs with a crazy gleem in his eyes. All the while saying that he's saving or creating lives.

In the end, if Obama succeeds, America fails.

Posted by Eric Simonson at June 11, 2009 6:01 PM
Comment #282801

And Republicans wonder why they lost.

Posted by: womanmarine at June 11, 2009 7:00 PM
Comment #282802

If fear is the mind-killer, then Eric, we should bring you up on attempted murder.

Man, you could not paint a more melodramatically evil or unrealistic picture of Barack Obama. Do you think he actually intends to fail at his job? Hell, even as I criticized the living heck out of Bush, I never accused him of trying to destroy America on purpose.

But I guess, if you let people rationally appreciate the work that Obama has done, then they might not feel like they have much to fear. And so, the Republicans are pushing the fear button as hard and as often as is possible.

The irony is, the Republicans are leaving few people out there who can speak and debate about conservatism in a way that doesn’t make them seem like hardline automatons, programmed with the latest talking points.

It’s time for many Republicans to leave aside the pathological hatred of their liberal counterparts, to wake up from the nightmarish daydream of liberals as subversives and Snidely Whiplash villains.

It’s time for them to accept that they are no longer in power, and no longer trusted by Americans to lead, and to do what it takes to truly redeem themselves, rather than obstruct the much desired reform of the system. Even if you win at halting Barack Obama’s reforms, you will only succeed in being painted as the cause of those failures, and not the intercessors who saved America, as you would like to be seen. You will only intensify the anger and the disdain against conservatism, not convert people to the right.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 11, 2009 7:29 PM
Comment #282804

And maybe instead worshing Obama as a God, who cannot do no wrong because he is a Liberal and black might stop negative response. When the newspapers and everyone else in this country is so in love with a inexperienced person such Obama as President and accept the fact that he might not be what you think he is. The weak minded people who hated Bush for being strong willed and tough, now have their so call hero who will tranfer this county into a socialist country and run the debt to 2 or more trillion dollars. So that this generation and all other generations will have to pay for his fail policies. He is and will always be a communist and anti-American and will destroy this country’s way of life, he will be the worst President for all time even surpassing Carter, and Clinton.

Posted by: John Jones at June 11, 2009 8:18 PM
Comment #282806

To elect a man like Obama because you hate Bush and wanted a change, no matter who the person is or what he stands for is in my opinion Wrong!! And if you think that people will not join the Republican Party because of our stand on your GOD OBAMA is a very foolish idea or belief on your part. Not everyone who votes in the USA is a minority person. Because alot of you are too lazy and always want a handout from the Government to provide you a income is why this country is slowly disappearing from the world stage as a world power. This country in four years will no longer be a great country because of our President and his buddies in the White House. Russia and China will be the new Rulers in the World. The USA will be a third world country under OBAMA!!

Posted by: John Jones at June 11, 2009 8:33 PM
Comment #282809


Ah, the fear. It keeps me warm at night.

Seriously though Stephen is it ok to disagree with liberalism or is disagreement always a result of pathological hatred?

I’m seeing some very disturbing signs that according to my beliefs will seriously damage this country and the concept of freedom as I understand it. Is it ok for me to proclaim the danger or should I just shut up and go away?

Especially since, if you really believe that my views are convincing more Americans to be liberal shouldn’t you want more expression rather than less? What are you afraid of?

Posted by: eric at June 11, 2009 9:02 PM
Comment #282813

John Jones-
You don’t visit many liberal sites, do you? We hardly treat him like a God. His moves are analyzed, people bitch about his departures from promises and what they perceive as mistakes, and naive assumptions.

We’re doing what you folks should have done with Bush. Instead of marvelling at his superior intentions and ignoring his catastrophic errors, you should have kept an eye on on Bush, and the pressure up.

That’s what Democrats are going to do with Obama. He will hear from us when he screws up, and he has.

It’s okay to disagree, of course. But you don’t stop at disagreement, you take a right turn off the cliff into sandwich-board eschatology.

Quite simply, the dishonesty and doubletalk from Obama and his administration are epidemic and incurable. Obama is a compulsive liar. Everything he says is a lie, a purposeful deception, meant to disguise a radical leftist agenda to ‘transform’ America.

Yes, I understand now: it’s all an evil conspiracy.

The problem with this is that Obama is standing at the bow of this ship declaring that he’s king of the world even as he steers it toward the icebergs with a crazy gleem in his eyes. All the while saying that he’s saving or creating lives.

In the end, if Obama succeeds, America fails.

Oh yes. That crazy gleam in his eye. He’ll destroy us! He’ll be the death of us all! When he gets around to it! He hasn’t failed yet! But he sure will!

All kidding aside, it seems like you’re just trying to return the favor on the criticism of Bush. Problem is, Bush and your party actually screwed things up terribly. We see, in 2008, in 2001, in various years, the fruits of your “free-market” economic anarchism and corporate favoritism.

But worse yet, your party seems intent on drumming up complete political hysteria about this. No middle ground here, no wonkish critiques, just red-meat denunciations, before Obama even has the chance to truly screw things up, to be proven wrong.

What I’m afraid of is needed reform, needed emergency measures becoming casualties of Republican’s continued obstruction, that they will add insult to the injury of your policies by focusing your efforts and remaining power on being a roadblock.

I’m glad to have Republicans express themselves. But things have gone beyond simply a matter of expression, to a justification of doing real harm to the country, of allowing terrible, awful things, unsustainable, intolerable failures of our infrastructure, of our energy policy, of our healthcare policy, just so you guys can claim you’ve got political integrity once again.

And it really doesn’t help that you’re also adding in the sometimes sub-rosa, sometimes creepily obvious apologetics and even justifications of the misdeeds of your party’s extremists. Maybe it helps dogwhistle up some more support from those folks who know what your people are talking about, but its also sending the signal that they will have to, and maybe should go beyond the laws of this country to see things… Well, to set things right.

If you think that’s just conspiracy theory, take note: your glamour girl Sarah Palin’s husband was a member of a party that advocated secession. Besides the fact that Abe Lincoln must be turning over in his grave, she’s not the only one flirting with the far-right groups, when they’re not operating as part of them themselves.

I think your party has spent so much time steeped in the narrative of Democrats all being far left that by alternation of distancing of one’s politics from the hated Democrats and the greater attachment to positions that feed on that hatred of the left, you’ve managed to pull yourselves pretty far to the right; unfortunately, so far, that you’ve lost the mainstream of America, and the moderating need to appeal to the center.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 11, 2009 9:53 PM
Comment #282816

Eric, Steven is right about one thing. The president has been catching hell from the left wing of his own party. I myself wrote to him about the telecom immunity and the public financing of his campaign before the election, but still enthusiastically went door to door for him election day. You all in the name of party unity or what ever gave Bush and Cheney cart blanch. And bad things came of it. We have to hold their feet to the fire.

Posted by: Mike the Cynic at June 11, 2009 10:30 PM
Comment #282817

Barack H. Obama a liar? Surely you jest.

What was he spouting in Michigan today about healthcare? Something about gov only being competition and that you’d still have options. Then later talking about how if the gov can keep everyone’s weight down it would save them money.

He’s no liar. Very centrist man.

Posted by: Bradley at June 11, 2009 10:39 PM
Comment #282818

Two points.

One, the election of Obama did not mean that the country repudiated conservative values and adopted liberalism. In fact, Obama ran as a centrist promising tax cuts for pete’s sake. Which I believe was a straight out lie and dishonest attempt to hide his true beliefs.

Two, I don’t think that constitutes a conspiracy. It’s just dishonesty. When you say one thing and set about doing another, that’s lying. It’s hiding your true purpose, obscuring the ultimate goal because he, Obama, knows that the country is not behind his radical views.

Posted by: eric at June 11, 2009 10:42 PM
Comment #282819

Stephen, don’t be one of those Democrats who thinks that simply because their party won a couple of elections, that the Democrats suddenly speak for America and are qualified to sagely diagnosis where Republicans went off the straight and true path.

The wheel will turn again, and Obama is making it turn a lot faster than I ever thought possible. His policies do NOT enjoy the support of the majority of Americans, despite his personal (and likely temporary), personal popularity.

The major concern at this point is the length of time before the inevitable happens and America realizes the absolute enormity of its error in signing up for this Castro/Mugabe-type cult of personality in lieu of seeking out competent governance.

To our collective misfortune, we can blame our political parties for providing America with such a poor choice in the 2008 presidential election. We forced them to choose between a grumpy old charismatically-challenged white liberal and a photogenic and charismatic African-American socialist. The only way that it COULD have ended was badly.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at June 11, 2009 10:47 PM
Comment #282829
We forced them to choose between a grumpy old charismatically challenged white liberal and a photogenic and charismatic African-American socialist.

It’s funny, but I liked our choices during our last presidential election. I preferred McCain back in 2000, and lost some respect for him during the last election. But, I attributed that to his need to appeal to the far right and moderate’s at the same time.

It is also funny how the right wing talking heads were all giddy that Obama wasn’t as liberal as his supporters thought, right after the elections. But now they seem to despise him.

Either way, Obama still enjoys approximately a 60% approval rating, while Gallup is reporting that Republicans have a 38% disapproval rating of their own party.

What does this have to do with the original posting? Not much, except I can’t believe that 45% of Americans even know what is in the stimulus plan, let alone even understand it. But then again, the WSJ is reporting

Virtually all Americans, more than eight in 10, blame Republicans for the current economic woes,

Posted by: Cube at June 12, 2009 3:37 AM
Comment #282830

“Virtually all Americans, more than eight in 10, blame Republicans for the current economic woes,”

If that stat is true the media should be ashamed of themselves. And if it’s not true they should be ashamed of themselves.

Posted by: Bradley at June 12, 2009 4:01 AM
Comment #282831

Incredible. Just by bolstering up hard pressed states many jobs that would have been lost were not. Increasing and extending unemployment benefits so people could continue to buy necessities and make minimum payments on their credit cards saved jobs. There are plenty of examples. There is more on the way. There was an honest concern that the funding was moving too slowly. That is being addressed. The danger now is that the stimulus plan was NOT BIG ENOUGH. BTW the plan was debated extensively and compromises were made. One compromise was the removal of funding to combat global pandemics.
All you have really stated was that you hate and fear Obama and will continue no matter how he performs. You have stooped to childish name calling. I suppose the twisted logic you attempt to employ is necessary for you to have any illusion that might have anything of value to add to the political discussion beyond hate. Shame on you. Its an insult to the red column and those of us that attempt to participate in real political discourse.

Posted by: bills at June 12, 2009 6:15 AM
Comment #282840

Eric Simonson, excellent representation of the minority view held by the likes of von Brunn. I firmly believe in the 1st Amendment and thank you for bringing this minority view to the fore, for public review and rejection by the majority.

Fortunately for America, such hysterical and unsubstantiated views are held only by a minority, for whom self centered emotions dictate their thoughts, instead of thoughtful reason dictating their passions.

It is wonderful to live in America, especially if one is a radical. Not many other countries in the world allow such radicals to vent their prejudiced and negative passions without consequence.

America is a great nation, and it is ironic that such voices as von Brunn’s of hate and passion, who enjoy her freedoms, are so condemning of the government that protects them. But, then, it is ludicrous to expect such folks to acknowledge and appreciate the protections afforded them, as they seek to deprive others of the same.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 12, 2009 9:02 AM
Comment #282847

He promised healthcare for everybody. He promised greater regulation, greater rules of the road. I think he was promising a stimulus package in the final days of the campaign, and was publically urging bailouts of the Auto Companies. He was talking about the closure of Gitmo before, and he is now. He was talking about helping labor then, and he’s doing it now. He was talking about targeting the tax cuts to the middle class and poor, and he did it.

Obama is in some ways centrist, but not centrist as Republicans now define it, but centrist as the majority of Americans define it.

Your problem is that Obama didn’t lie. He’s doing much of what he said he was going to do, what you expected him to lay aside as just so much campaign rhetoric, and become your kind of centrist. Put another way, he didn’t lie the way you wanted him to. He presented himself as a centrist liberal, and so far has demonstrated himself to be exactly what he said he was.

We did win a couple of elections, and our majorities exist primarily because we do speak for what a lot of Americans want, and that is how we get people to elect us!

His policies, for the most part do enjoy majority support, and that majority support is much greater than that of the minority support for the Republican alternatives.

You’re counting on American politics to just cycle back around and rescue you from your party’s current disempowered status. How many elections does your party have to lose before it acknowledges that the elections its losing aren’t flukes?

Why don’t you quit this melodramatic defamation of Obama, and wake up to the fact that your party’s essentially cocooned itself from reality with a shell of rhetoric. You’ve bought propaganda what was once extreme and counterfactual for the sake of effect, but which now forms your basic dogma on the state of American politics. It’s time to realize that most of America isn’t buying that message, especially now that they’re more sympathetic to those policies.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 12, 2009 9:33 AM
Comment #282849


i like what barry said the other day when he was talking about how we needed the top tax rate that we had under reagan. lowering the the top rate to 28%, who would have thought he would do such a thing. oh wait maybe he meant the top rate when reagan first entered office. 70% ya that’ll fire up the economy.

Posted by: dbs at June 12, 2009 9:44 AM
Comment #282850


you realize the absolute irony of your last comment. right?

Posted by: dbs at June 12, 2009 9:57 AM
Comment #282853


I’m seeing some very disturbing signs that according to my beliefs will seriously damage this country and the concept of freedom as I understand it. Is it ok for me to proclaim the danger or should I just shut up and go away?

It’s great you’re finally seeing some disturbing signs, it is too bad you’re about 8 years too late.

You may certainly proclaim the danger, but how about some facts and perspective to go along with all that fear mongering?

Posted by: gergle at June 12, 2009 10:11 AM
Comment #282856

Eric S. said: “In fact, Obama ran as a centrist promising tax cuts for pete’s sake. Which I believe was a straight out lie and dishonest attempt to hide his true beliefs.”

Don’t know about you, Eric, but we got a tax cut in our withholding beginning in April. So did the majority of other American workers. Claiming a falsehood to be a fact, doesn’t make anymore true. Taxes were cut for many, and raised for some. That is a black and white fact in law, on record, legislated by Congress and signed into law by Obama.

Where are you getting your news from? Limbaugh?

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 12, 2009 10:44 AM
Comment #282858

Eric S., and btw, Obama said on the campaign trail that those who reap the greatest rewards from our society would have to pay a bit more. Promise kept, as far as I can see, as he seeks increasing taxes modestly for capital gains and high income tax bracket persons. Curiously, wealthy folks like Warren Buffet agreed with the policy.

And conservative values mean nothing if they are not predicated and advanced on the basis of truth and fact, as opposed to hyperbole and fear tactics. Your party would do well to find another spokesperson other than Rush Laughbaugh.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 12, 2009 10:51 AM
Comment #282862


“Don’t know about you, Eric, but we got a tax cut in our withholding beginning in April. So did the majority of other American workers.”

that pittance you’re talking about probably amounts to less than what you received from bush when the bottom rate was reduced from 15% to 10%. BTW i don’t know what bracket you’re in i’m just using that one as an example. a 33% reduction in that bottom bracket. in jan 2011 those reductions will be gone unless congress extends them. this will result in a large tax increase for the middle class. the truth is a good portion making less than 30k usually end up paying no income tax.

the other thing to keep in mind is the proposed value added tax, the tax proposed on employer contributions to your healthcare plan being taxed as income. IMO by the time this all settles you are going to see some of the largest tax increases on ALL earners that we’ve seen in decades. couple that with cap and trade, and the increase in energy costs to all, and we’re are in deep sh#t, and will be taxed to the gills to pay for everytrhing on obamas wish list.

Posted by: dbs at June 12, 2009 11:16 AM
Comment #282864

Stop using words like socialism and communism as being bad or Anti-American, our federal, state and local government system today has a ton of policies, dating back the past 100 years of capitalist, socialist and communist programs, ALL of which intend better provide and protect our citizens instead of the U.S. reverting back to an agricultural backwater.

You CANNOT, cannot, CANNOT, justify with good reason that an employee who has worked at a plant, office, wherever for any amount of time makes 1/1000th+ of the money that his employer does. I’m talking about the 80-100 million a year guys, the 200 million a year guys. No amount of “work” a human being does short of curing cancer deserves that amount of compensation.

However, the media does explicitly support Obama on ANYTHING he does and gives no voice to people who want to turn off welfare for the chronically dependent, like in inner cities, ergo, more taxes must be paid from the upper middle to upper class, but….

Too often conservatives love to argue that small businesses = upper class tax cut, because small business people are the upper middle/upper class. So taxing “rich” people makes no sense because you’d be hurting small businesses which employ X amount of people in the country.

No. Small business =/= upper class, or rich or even middle class. There is nothing wrong with taxing executives, CEO’s, cutting their tax shelters, and making their financial lives hell because they, knowing or not, inherently are subverting the system. Until the day come where an employee who makes 60k a year can be compared to his boss who then makes, say 200k a year, then that’s fine. You cannot justify $60k vs $200 million.

The only way Obama can pay, in the short term, is either, raising taxes for everyone, which realistically could happen, or, raising taxes by a huge margin on the top 5%, which because of politics, I doubt would.

Posted by: Jon at June 12, 2009 11:44 AM
Comment #282870

dbs, you can call it a pittance if you will. That’s fine. But, one cannot, as eric did, claim that Obama lied when saying he would cut taxes for the Middle Class, and raise taxes on the wealthy. He is making those statements fact. And the American voters were privy to those statements and VOTED for them. Nuff said on that mark.

In a time of record deficits and national debt, brought on by Republicans I might add, it does not make sense for the Federal Government to reduce its gross revenues, but, increase them.

At a time when the economy has faltered and recession threatens depression, it is, for the sake of workers and breadwinners in America, for the federal government to increase spending to shore up that economy and prevent a recession from becoming a vicious spiral downward into depression. Obama has and is doing that.

Now, if you want to speculate that Obama and Congress’ intention or actions will plummet the federal government into default on its debts, creating a future depression, by all means, go ahead and speculate. Time will tell if you were right or not.

After listening to Larry Summers speak today at the Conference on Foreign Relations, he proved he was anything but an idiot, and certainly no left wing socialist. Likewise may be said of Geithner. These guys came from Wall St and the Fed, and have proven, and are proving, that in their new role as protectors of our economic future and American jobs, they are no lackey for Wall St., nor the socialists.

You may want to listen to Summer’s speech today. I think you and many conservatives would find it enlightening and relieve some of the paranoia flying about amongst those on the extreme right.

Also, bear in mind, that a pittance times 4/5 of the work force, is no longer a pittance, but billions and billions of dollars. Are you suggesting that a pittance is not enough and that Obama should be spending even more on tax cuts for the middle class, increasing the deficits and debt further? Really?

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 12, 2009 4:09 PM
Comment #282873

In 2006, tax revenues hit an all time high. Unfortunately, Republicans who had controlled congress for the last 12 years had given up the moderation that they had from 1994-2000 and they allowed the government to grow so big that it swamped the revenue that would have been enough to create a big surplus had the government stayed the same size.

Democrats pointed out the mistake and they won control of both houses of congress in 2006. In 2008 they won the presidency too. But they did nothing to remedy the situation. IN fact, they spent more and promised to spend even more. The deficit will triple by then end of this year.

If it was bad for Republicans to have a deficit in 2006, why is it okay for Democrats to have deficits three times that big? Is the cure for government obesity even more donuts?

If the Democratic big-spending works, we will all need to become liberals. I would have to change my mind. But I fear we will have an anemic recovery that will make the much maligned 2002-2007 period look like a fantasic boom as the big spending and red tape pulls it down.

We are running a very interesting experiment. Democrats have big majorities in both houses of congress. The media is on their side and the president is their dream man. They have enacted big-spending never before done or even seriously contemplated. Let’s see how it works.

If it works, we will be a liberal nation for the rest of our lifetimes. If not, the revolution will be over and we won’t have to worry about an over-reaching government for a long time to come.

Good luck to us all.

Posted by: Christine at June 12, 2009 8:51 PM
Comment #282877

If the current recession follows previous patterns, and unemployement continues to be a lagging indicator, the national unemployment rate should hit 11% next year. That is if everything goes well. Most leading economic indicators have already turned positive.

You write: “If it was bad for Republicans to have a deficit in 2006, why is it okay for Democrats to have deficits three times that big?”

Do you understand the term ‘fiscal policy’? Deficit spending by the government can act as a fiscal stimulus upon the economy. Cutting spending can act as a brake.

With ‘monetary policy’, lowering interest rates acts as a stimulus, and raising them acts as a brake. Interest rates are already as low as they can be. That tool is no longer available to the Federal Reserve. However, the Federal Reserve also pumped an additional $2 trillion into the economy through the banks as another way of stimulating the economy.

The deficit spending and the unconventional moves by the Federal Reserve are radical efforts to prevent a deep recession from becoming a depression. They are precisely the opposite courses advocated by conservatives and the GOP. We already know the programs advocated by conservatives and the GOP resulted in miserable failure.

These radical and unconventional moves are obviously controversial. No question. It was a necessary action to counter asset deflation. Japan and other countries have experienced asset deflation, and it is really, really bad news.

If the Democratic program works, the best we can hope for is a stabilized economy and a very large debt. Traditional inflation should not be a problem. However, commodity based inflation, driven primarily by oil, could be the wild card that drives a new bout of stagflation.

Developing an energy alternative to oil IMMEDIATELY is crucial, as a matter of economic security, national security, and for combating Global Warming- take your pick. Personally, I don’t think the US is capable of it. Had we started years ago, maybe we’d have a sporting chance.

A tax hike on the wealthiest Americans is a foregone conclusion. The Omnibus Act of 1993-94 under Clinton and the Democratic Congress turned around the economy by instituting those kinds of tax hikes. By the end of Clinton’s term, tax surpluses of $10 trillion were predicted. Democrats might pull it off again. Good luck to us all. We will need it.

Posted by: phx8 at June 12, 2009 10:20 PM
Comment #282878

Jon et al

”, the media does explicitly support Obama on ANYTHING he does …”

There is no evidence of this. Media support of BHO is not a given. Just because they do not jump on board every paranoid, rascist ,fantasy nightmare, does not indicate bias. Pictures of his cute kids playing on their new playground or mentioning that his wife likes to do her own gardening instead of recognizing them as communist demons is not bias. BHO also has the unfair advantage of being able to put more than a dozen words together without saying something stupid. That does not indicate bias either. When a president is doing a good job addressing national problems and the media reports it they are just doing their jobs.


The massive spending is is troublesome. Clearly it is not sustainable. There is no intention of even trying to sustain it. The big chunk was put in place as an emergency economic stimulus. It is working. Its not magic and it will take time for the full effects to bear fruit. An analogy is a fellow that spends all his time and money partying etc. As a result he gets sick and goes to a doctor. Then he decides that the medicine the doctor prescribed is too expensive. This is not the time to be cheap. To gain a better perspective you might look at the writings of Nobel Prize winning economist, Paul Krugman, himself a frequent critic of the BHO economic plan. What has happened as a direct result of the stimulus is we, and the world, have been pulled back from the brink. The challenges going forward are to re-introduce stabilizing factors into the system, gain energy independance and reform health care delivery to contain cost and provide wider coverage. These are big task but they are also vital to prosperity and security. Unfortunatly all the Reps are offering to help these goals has been a big giant NO and that is the good response. Their other response has been wacko, rascist,anti-American, fear mongering.

Posted by: bills at June 12, 2009 10:57 PM
Comment #282879


Eric Simonson, excellent representation of the minority view held by the likes of von Brunn.

Are you serious?!

Think about it and tell me again that I hold the views of Von Brunn.

Posted by: eric at June 12, 2009 11:00 PM
Comment #282880


I understand fiscal policy. Isn’t that what happened in the late 1960s that caused the great stagflation of the 1970s, or all that money spent in the 1930s that didn’t end the depression?

I suppose you supported deficit spending in 2001/2.But we may have done too much of it then. Now it is 3x as big. That makes you love it three times as much?

As I said, let’s see how it works.

You recall that the surplus came when Republicans controlled congress. It was based on a fast growing economy. It wasn’t the tax increase and remember that in 2006 we got record revenues, more than we got in the late 1990s. How did that happen with lower tax rates?

Anyway, if your pessimistic scenario comes to pass, we will never get out of this mess and Democrats won’t be is office much after that. Democracy is like that, sorry if you think it is unfair.

Commodity inflation, BTW, turns into regular inflation. It is kinda like if you pay more for stuff, it is inflation.

re oil - what works to reduce oil consumption is price. We used less when the prices rose and our CO2 emissions dropped in both 2006 and 2008. The last time we missed a chance to do something about oil was when the price dropped in the middle of the 1990s. The Clinton/Gore people were in charge back then, just as the Democrats are in charge of everything now. Its on them. Do it … or not and take the consequences.

I have to say that it is very interesting to watch Democrats try to be victims. They control the whole show. No Republican has had this kind of power since Calvin Coolidge. Go to it boys and girls. You got what you asked for.

Since my kids and I have to live in this country, I hope the Democrats succeed. But I cannot think of any examples where a government takeover like this has done lasting good. A little is good; a lot is not better.

Posted by: Christine at June 12, 2009 11:04 PM
Comment #282881


I read the Von Brunn blames G Bush for 9/11. He hated the Fed and had a personal grudge against Bill O’Reily. He also thought U.S. policy was too pro-Israel.

It doesn’t sound much like Eric or Republicans in general. Those who blame Bush, dislike the Fed, hate Bill O’Reily and think America is too pro-Isreal can claim Von Brunn as one of their own.

Posted by: Christine at June 12, 2009 11:09 PM
Comment #282882

Christine, the simple answer is, because this recession was 3 times worse than the one the Republicans had to deal with resulting from the tech. bubble. The government didn’t have to bail out the tech companies in order to keep most people employed, or capital and lending from imploding, or the world and our creditors from collapsing and knocking on our door.

The comparison of the Republican’s recession in 2001 and this one in 2008, is very nearly apples oranges in some respects.

If you think allowing the financial and banking sector fail would have cost tax payers less, try adding up the FDIC insured funds of depositors of all those regional and smaller banks that could have dominoed following the big banks. Frankly, I think Americans got through this so far, impressively well, saving world commerce and economies as we did, which both the Bush administration and Obama administration can take credit for salvaging to date.

The problem with averting a worldwide depression is that antagonists will never admit that a depression was even in the cards. But, that was not the consensus of economists in October of 2008. Even many conservative economists, opposed to the bailout, admitted the depths of the consequential recession were unpredictable and could have resulted in a depression world wide in response to a de-leveraging all at once in a matter of weeks to couple of months, and the vicious cycle of bankruptcies, personal, corporate, and national, the would have ensued.

I agree with you entirely that this Democratic Congress has an appalling sense of priorities when during the midst of a severe recession they go off trying to increase spending on National Parks, earmarks for local projects with no benefit to the national economy, and no cut backs in foreign aid. They are nuts, and should be replaced in the next election’s primaries and general election.

Still, they are a damn sight better than some Republicans who are still squawking, “Let America Fail” so those of us who don’t have to work for a living can get back to making money as soon as possible by rebuilding a razed economy. Of course, that prescription would have meant unemployment in 20% range and likely higher for a protracted number of years. One doesn’t build an economy up from the ashes overnight. Ask Brazil.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 12, 2009 11:18 PM
Comment #282884


No problem with keeping the banking system up. We wasted some money, but it was necessary to move quick. Much of the “stimulus” however will not even come on line for a couple years. That is the part I worry about.

I also think giving all that cash to the failing automakers was a mistake.

It is a matter of how much. The options were not zero stimulus vs 1.8 trillion. Mabye some middle course would have been better.

The Democrats spent with obvious glee. We will all pay for their pleasure.

Eric makes a good point re the jobs created or saved. It is just plain BS.

I have to get to bed now. I stayed up too late, but no worries. Since I could have stayed up until 5am, I figure i created or saved more than five hours. I shouldn’t be tired tomorrow with all those saved hours.

I like this Obama logic. Tomorrow I may eat a half dozen donuts, but I could have eaten two dozen, so I am saving lots of calories.

Posted by: Christine at June 12, 2009 11:27 PM
Comment #282886

Deficit spending is not automatically a form of fiscal stimulus, and the same holds true for taxation. It depends upon how the spending is targeted. The GOP and conservatives advocated tax cuts regardless of economic conditions. It was not intended to be stimulative. It was part of an overriding philosophy of wealth capture, with wealth redistributed upwards. Jobs were outsourced, unions opposed at every opportunity, and wages remained flat or actually dropped in real terms for all of the population (except the wealthiest of the wealthy).

Obama’s economic program is not a program of wealth capture. It does not the elimination of capital gains or estate taxes, which are examples of wealth capture for the wealthiest of the wealthy. Instead, the program proposes wealth creation.

The program is distributed over several years. The wealth creation is not a one shot deal, but a sustained and sustainable economic stimulus. This is a very, very good idea, since the weight of the deficits and debts will make long-term growth difficult.

Letting GM, the largest single industrial asset in the world, go under was not a realistic option. It would have resulted in an additional three million unemployed on top of the already horrendous number of people losing jobs, which would have deepened the recession and possibly put the country into a death spiral.

I do not particularly like GM. They have suffered from terrible mismanagement. It would be good to see the company broken apart. Too big to fail is too big to exist.

Of course, conservatives who want Obama to fail would love to see the economy go into a death spiral. They want the worst for the country because that might bring them back into power. No amount of suffering is unacceptable for conservatives and Republicans if it resurrects their failed ideology.

Posted by: phx8 at June 13, 2009 12:03 AM
Comment #282889

William Clay “Bill” Ford Jr The Great- grandson i remember him i want to say around late 1990s ealry 2000s on TV basically apologizing for his product they had there share of problems with quality in the 1990s and I’ll give them credit they have made one heck of a turnaround with prouduct and workforce no easy task with the huge increases of health care and energy in the last decade in this case having a persons name on the door meant something more than Dividends?

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 13, 2009 9:37 AM
Comment #282890


NOT letting GM go under was not a realistic option. Obama has been unable to save it. He merely created a zombie. You might consider the these bailouts a kind of “Pet Semitary” where the real life is gone replaced by something else.

As I understand the concept of fiscal stimulus, it is not really defined as to what you use the money for. I know you think that Obama is being wiser, but fiscally stimulating dead companies like GM doesn’t seem all that smart.

I don’t want Obama to fail and certainly don’t want the economy to fail. I don’t believe he will fail, but I am pretty sure he will not succeed in making the economy work well. The tools he is using and the way he is using them is wrong.

So please be confused. Most people want what is best for the country. We disagee re what that is.

I am interesting in this test of government spending. I hope it works to fix the economy but I don’t think it will. That is indeed an ideology, but it is like an ideology of believing that a screwdriver might be more appropriate for a particular job than a hammer.

Anyway, liberalism and Democrats are in power in a way no conservative or Republican has ever been. I accept the truth of that. It is all up to them.

Let’s see how it work and judge the results in a couple of years. If it works, we should all become liberals. IF not, let’s abandon that idea. Of course, as with all things political, the results may be unclear. So let’s try this.

Ronald Reagan faced a higher unemployment rate, terrible inflation, a very dangerous international environment and a general industrial collapse when he took office in 1981. Eight years later, things were better, not perfect, but better. If Obama does as well, let’s call it a success. Otherwise, not.

Remember also that Democrats hold all the cards with massive majorities not enjoyed by Republican for more 90 years. It is up to them. A fair test.

Posted by: Christine at June 13, 2009 9:46 AM
Comment #282891


How fair a test can it be with what Obama was handed? Not fair at all in my book.

Posted by: womanmarine at June 13, 2009 9:53 AM
Comment #282893

Eric, you are partially right. This country has been beseiged by the far right conservatives, the center right liberals and their corporate sponsors.

The radical left had absolutely nothing to do with the sad state of affairs that this country is enduring. When it comes to politics in this country, the radical left barely has a foot in the door and they certainly don’t make policy.

Bashing the radical left may make great political theater but, it has no basis in reality.

Posted by: jlw at June 13, 2009 10:47 AM
Comment #282894

“Anyway, liberalism and Democrats are in power in a way no conservative or Republican has ever been. I accept the truth of that. “

Christine not necessarily so.. Go back to pre- depression times and you will notice it was the repubs leading the charge towards the ruination of the country. Notice a coincidence between the past 8 years and the 8 years prior to the depression?

Posted by: j2t2 at June 13, 2009 10:58 AM
Comment #282898

bills - “There is no evidence of this. Media support of BHO is not a given. Just because they do not jump on board every paranoid, rascist ,fantasy nightmare, does not indicate bias.”

Okay, that’s unfair, I don’t believe that MSNBC, CCN, etc. are always on his side, BUT, even though obviously they’re the family that has the highest seat in government, we really DON’T need to know what play they went to this weekend, or what dog they have more than once, yet a whole weekend of news was dedicated, on both sides, to those events.

The type of glam that was in during Kennedy isn’t applicable now because we, as citizens, in this time, should make the media report what’s really important, not 5 minutes of “Heroes who manke a difference in Michigan” on Nightly News, and then 10 minutes of what Michelle wore overseas.

Back to the topic, Republicans are on this wave of claiming that Democrats will spend, spend, spend us into oblivion, while under the Bush administration, they spent just as badly. Imagine the amount of money that the federal government would have saved on oil, maintenance, transportation, logistics, personnel, communications if we had not gone into Iraq at all.

Now conservatives can’t use this vast spending by Democrats on the economy because the war was far worse in terms of money that needs to be funneled in over X many years/decades. What they CAN, and should be doing, but aren’t except for a minority, is calling Democrats on stupid and wasteful spending. Forget the pig research, but Republicans should focus on bringing business, financial training to inner cities,promoting small efficient business, and either exterminating the welfare dependency by giving people long term solutions (i.e. small independent business), and security through financial freedom (yes, less taxes on the money they could make via the business).

Posted by: Jon at June 13, 2009 12:54 PM
Comment #282899

Need about 125 Independents. Or like David R. and d.a.n. say vote out Incumbents.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 13, 2009 12:55 PM
Comment #282900

Jon, “we” do make the media report what is important to “us” collectively, via our channel surfing and consumption of advertised products on those channels we surf. It is all tracked, fed through computers, digested, statisticized, and given monetary values, and the free market of consumption of TV programming tells the media programmers what “we” watch the most and they in turn produce more of that. And that which we watch the least, they produce less of.

Americans (collectively) do determine what TV, radio, Newspaper, and Magazine coverage we consume to a very large extent.

For this to change, our schools would need to incorporate TV in a much bigger way to develop an appreciation for the medium as a learning tool, and as those students grow up to consume more news, history, and science programming, the media programmers will accommodate. That is where the money is.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 13, 2009 1:21 PM
Comment #282901

David -

Schools already do that, for example, I graduated in 2001, and from 1999 and on, we, during homeroom, and for say, once a week in social studies, had highlights from the week’s news, and Channel One when it came out (hosted by Lisa Ling no less).

But since then, maybe it was a deal with school districts or whatever, but a lot of the news we used to watch, which was 80% newstime and 20% commercials from a 20-40 minute news program, has become “fluff” news, and I’d say almost half commercial (to offset costs?). The same class I took 10 years ago, where we had folk musicians from Nigeria, local councilmen lectures, now does Fashion Fridays where they discuss celebrities.

So I guess my question is are Americans really in charge of what we want to see, and on topic, how we’re in touch with government, or like reality TV, the more we’re fed it, the more we just get used to it until it’s palatable.

Posted by: Jon at June 13, 2009 1:57 PM
Comment #282903

J2t2 and others

Okay – Republicans have not enjoyed the kinds of power Democrats have now in the last 90 years.

Why are you guys so afraid to be in charge? You have everything you could have wanted and all that you asked for. Vast majorities in congress, a president who is your dream, the press on your side and the majority of the American people willing to give change a chance. Put the shoe on the other foot. If the Republicans had what you have, would you consider that they were in charge totally?
It is up to you.


Yeah, unemployment in double digits, inflation in double digits, major industries collapsing, hostile powers expanding overseas, the highest misery index, environmental degradation and a general feeling of decline among influential Americans. Couple this with a skeptical media, a Senate controlled by your party by a single vote and the House firmly in the hands of the opposition. Yeah that is not a fair test. That was Ronald Reagan’s challenge. If Obama does as well, we will call it a success.

This should be an exciting time for Democrats. You have won this round decisively.

Republicans cannot stand in your way. You have excluded them from power. At worst, they can be a nuisance. Of course they can, and will, try to hold you accountable. Would you expect less?

The future, at least the next couple of years, belongs to you. We have heard your promises for the last eight years, a little modified in the last two years when Democrats controlled congress. What you said you were going to do is what you can do now. See if it works. Maybe it is harder to govern than to talk about it, but it is up to you. This is your test, just like it was Republican’s test in 1981. Only you have more power than RR ever did.

Go for it Democrats. You hold all the cards. The world is watching and will judge the outcome.

Posted by: Christine at June 13, 2009 2:47 PM
Comment #282905
general feeling of decline among influential Americans

Who the hell cares?

Reagan may not have had the best, but I’m sorry, it doesn’t compare to this fiasco economically and politically. And weren’t the original bailout funds/idea a Republican/Bush deal? If Obama can’t straighten this out, I for one won’t blame him. Republicans got us into this, after all. Sometimes things aren’t fixable. Just ask any doctor. If the experts can’t agree on what will work and how it will work, how is anyone to know?

The agony in your posts and the posts of others i the same vein because the Democrats are in charge is evident. Kind of like you’ll all take your ball and go home if you can’t make the rules. Good riddance. Take and admit some of the blame and be willing to compromise and fix things, and we might be able to talk. Otherwise, take your ball, we don’t need it.

Posted by: womanmarine at June 13, 2009 4:44 PM
Comment #282910

(2009-2011) 435 257 178 Independent (0)=shame

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 13, 2009 5:39 PM
Comment #282911

The conservatives & Republicans are still in deep denial. They want to pretend what happened with the economy last year was a little glitch. They don’t want to admit the US champion of free markets, the financial sector, failed. They don’t want to admit socialist policies bailed out the financial sector, because the alternative was complete and catastrophic failure. Yes, it was that bad. Republican Secretary of the Treasury Paulsen asked for a $700 billion bailout, not because that was the full extent of the problem, but because that was how much readily available cash the United States of America had on hand. Since then, the Federal Reserve has GIVEN the financial sector $2 trillion dollars with no public oversight whatsoever. The financial sector has been socialized, at least for the time being.

Christine and Eric are deep in denial. Eric has no idea whatsoever what happened to the financial sector, and absolutely nothing constructive to offer in the way of a solution. Christine pretends it’s just a little speedbump, and in a few months people will be blaming the Democrats for the mess.

It could easily take a long time to dig out of this hole.

Posted by: phx8 at June 13, 2009 6:40 PM
Comment #282912

Phx8 and Woman Marine

It is a serious crisis. Not the first one we faced. The 1981 situation had higher unemployment and higher inflation and an international situation as dangerous.

You can blame conservative policies if you wish, as Reagan to a large extent blamed liberals. But now Democrats are in charge. Period. Nobody can take their ball and go home because Democrats have the ball. They also own the field and determine the placement of the goal posts. All that I am saying is let’s see how they do.

If things get better, they will have succeeded. IF they get worse, they will have failed and if they stay more or less the same it was just a waste of time. Simple. Why is that so hard to understand. It will be a test of concept.

What I would have constructive to say is that we should expand the money supply, as we have. We should be opportunistic in making fixes, which Obama has done. I have no trouble with that. I fear the general expansion of government and I think we are spending too much on thing that don’t work, such as the GM bailout.

I also liked the Obama proposal to auction off CO2 credits, but I hate what the Democrats in Congress have done to it by giving away the shop to their friends and allies. I think President Obama should spank them.

At this point it is not clear what to do. That is why I say that the big government concept is being tested. You say that the financial sector has been socialized. Let’s see how it works. What else do you want?

BTW - your statement about 700 billion being the cash on hand is just wrong. The Fed created that money as they have created the bailout money. This debt can be monetized, as we did in the 1970s with inflation, or paid back, but the Federal government has on-hand as much as it wants to have on-hand in these sorts of situations.

Re blaming Democrats - not in a few months, but we should be able to judge some of the policy result within a year or two. After all, Dems were in control of congress since 2006. They had a running start.

BTW - did you blame Bush for the downturn that started in 2000 or the recession of 2001? I suppose not. That would have been as unfair as blaming Obama now.

Posted by: Christine at June 13, 2009 6:59 PM
Comment #282913


Just for the record, the Democrats have not been in control of congress since 2006. The Democratics elected in November of 2006 were not seated until January of 2007.

Posted by: Rich at June 13, 2009 7:11 PM
Comment #282914

Officially, the First Bush Recession started six months after Bush took office. Officially, the current recession started in December 2007. The economy lost jobs in every month of 2008. It turned into a bloodbath when the financial sector imploded due to its failure to “manage risk” through unregulated securities.

Comparisons with the Reagan recession are not very useful. That recession was induced when the Federal Reserve raised interest rates to combat inflation. Interest rates spiked, and unemployment climbed over 10%. The current recession has interest rates already at rock bottom. Inflation isn’t much of a consideration. This is an asset deflation and includes a credit freeze. The only comparable period in the US was the Great Depression.

Posted by: phx8 at June 13, 2009 7:41 PM
Comment #282916

Phx8 & Womanmarine

I underestimated the Democratic desire to be victims. I remember the recession of the 1980s and it seemed pretty bad, but I guess nothing compared to our suffering now. My father told me stories about the Great Depression. It sounded a lot worse than today, but I guess the old guy was wrong. He also told me stories about WWII. He was in the 8th Army-Airforce. They bombed Germany to rubble by 1945.By 1948 the German economy (at least in the West) was again growing robustly. Maybe Obama is no Adenaur, but I think we can expect the Democrats to show results within a similar time period.

I regret that the prospect of actually having to show results frightens you guys. But it is indeed a test. Let’s see how it works. If it hasn’t worked by 2012, go ahead and try to blame Bush. If it does work, you won’t have to make excuses. Simple. Democrats are on the spot. You got everything. There is nothing left to win. Do something or admit you can’t. But take a look at a picture of Berlin in 1945 and tell me how it is worse for us today.

Re recessions - Maybe you own stocks. When did your portfolio start to go down? Most people began to lose money in March 2000. That is when the S&P 500 started to dip. The Dow dropped in January 2000. The official recession happened in 2001. What could Bush have done to make that happen? Things take a big more time, as you have pointed out and politics is not always the cause. Can we blame the Democrats for the current recession because it started eleven months after they took over both houses of Congress?

Posted by: Christine at June 13, 2009 9:08 PM
Comment #282917

That was bad over 5 trillion was lost i remember those days very well one Optician i knew young fella lost $225,000 and most of it was his moms and girlfriends money she was a doctor my other pal Optician extremely liberal and his dad went to the Naval Academy with Jimmy Carter asked me if i got into it i said no way and i asked him he said not enough to even worry about I never put all my eggs in one basket the stock brokers were coming in and spending money like water to relieve there anxieties and they looked like ghosts.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 13, 2009 9:46 PM
Comment #282919

Christine, seems one must spell knowledge out letter by letter in response to your comments which ignore vast parts of history.

This recession was GLOBAL, and threatened financial sector meltdowns around the globe, not just here. Not true of the recession in the 1980’s nor 2000, though the 1980’s recession could have been exacerbated and prolonged by the oil cartels if they had been stupid enough to cut off their nose to spite their face. Thankfully, that was not the case, which allowed us to get our inflation under control as oil prices retreated.

All recessions are painful. But, none since the 1930’s have threatened to become full blown depressions, let alone global ones, over the last 80 years, and emanated from the U.S. The massive infusion of capital by governments and central banks around the globe averted a global economic collapse.

Conservatives and Libertarians who continue to tout the line that the global economy should have been allowed to collapse, leaving billions of people without the means to survive on their own resources, will plague the Republican Party’s efficacy and image for decades to come. That is the cost of pedaling ideology over humanity in economic and financial matters.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 13, 2009 10:19 PM
Comment #282920

womanmarine, you said: “And weren’t the original bailout funds/idea a Republican/Bush deal? If Obama can’t straighten this out, I for one won’t blame him. Republicans got us into this, after all.”

I have to disagree on this point. While it is true that the Republican laissez faire doctrine toward corporate and financial sector enterprise played an enormous role in this crisis we are recovering from, one cannot forget Clinton’s role in signing the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act overturning the Glass-Steagal Act. Nor, are Democrat’s hands clean on this during since 1998, having voted for the GLB and failing utterly to fight for compensatory legislation that would have prevented corporations becoming too big to fail through merger’s and acquisitions.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 13, 2009 10:24 PM
Comment #282921


“By 1948 the German economy (at least in the West) was again growing robustly.”

Ever hear of the Marshall Plan?


Posted by: Rocky Marks at June 13, 2009 10:35 PM
Comment #282922

We’re not afraid to be in charge. But we’re dealing with a Congress whose opposition party is intent on being obstructionist. Do you understand that the last Congress saw a record set for filibuster threats?

We did win things decisively, but we’re forced to pass everything by margins of sixty in the senate, something no party pushing its policy has been asked to do on a regular basis. They are more than a nuisance, they are a politically driven opposition trying to wring every last drop of effect out of their current, slim advantage.

So why don’t you tell them to stop getting in the way, that all they’re doing by being such obstacles, is making people even more inclined to remove Republicans from their Senate Seats.

The Republicans have never let the Democrats majority rule. They have taken a minor, procedural tactic and made it the whole of their legislative power play in the senate. And they are doing this at a time in which such gridlock, and such partisan, overbearing tactics are to the nation’s detriment.

We don’t want to be victims. We’re sick to death of being victims. We’re sick to death of having to run every idea past a Republican remnant not satisfied to take the major hint that their current situation represents. We won these elections fair and square, in no small part because the Republicans failed to do their jobs, failed to be practical rather than political when it came to governing.

Now, they are using political ploys to try and vault themselves back into a position they earned their dismissal from, by engineering the failure of their opponents legislative agenda.

If that were not so important, why the continued support of that obviously, long ago lost cause in the Minnesota election?

The Republicans have become a party in Washington that is not interested in practical governance, but rather, utopian partisanship, the idea being that after they’ve defeated their political enemies, they can make life perfect for everybody.

As high-flown as our rhetoric was, it was about something at the core: hope. But not hope like tip-toe through the tulips, chasing the butterflies hope, but hope as in regaining the drive and the determination to face down adverse circumstances in the face of serious, overwhelming problem.

The big problem here is that we have one group thinking in very short term tactical senses about a ideal world a long way over the horizon, while another feels obligated, despite the frustrating, constant obstruction of the other group, to try and make things work for the long term- which means not using their newfound power and public support to just wipe the floor with the other group.

The Democrats haven’t yet lost their patience that badly. We’re trying to live up to our ideals, rather than be purely expedient.

The Republicans have to realize that if there was some political apocalypse, some great big turning poing, that they already reached it, and they reached it before the 2006 elections. Everything else is just that story winding down.

What the Republicans can do is relearn how to be practical, and how to be part of an integrated, rather than divided America once again. They can realize that 2012 is a mirage, and that there’s nothing much to be gained from a continuation of the all or nothing political war that’s already cost them so much. These next few years might mean the difference between the Republicans following in the footsteps of the Whigs and Federalists, and continuing on as a major party.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 13, 2009 10:45 PM
Comment #282923

It’s fair to point out the failures of Democrats over the past decade. I think NAFTA should be included on that list. It seemed like a good idea at the time, and Clinton supported it. In retrospect, it was a bad idea. In the House of Representatives, Democrat Dingell chaired the committee that played a large role in preventing mandatory CAFE standards.

However, the vast majority of the bad ideas that led to this deep recession originated in conservative philosophy, and were pushed by the GOP. More often than not, the failure of the Democrats was in preventing the GOP from enacting conservative philosophy. Democrats deserve part of the blame. They did not stop the Republicans. Nevertheless, the lion’s share still belongs to the GOP.

No question, the Reagan recession was a hard recession. This downturn will be worse. It will not be as bad as the Great Depression. Obama will deserve credit for that, but preventing something from happening is not exactly the stuff from which great repurations are made. Like I said, this recession is different. As I have commented in the past, it will be slower to be recognized, last longer, cut deeper, and take longer to get out of. The Japanese asset deflation resulted in a ‘lost decade.’ Hopefully we will not suffer for ten years, but this downturn will probably last a lot longer than anything any of us have ever experienced.

I would be very, very happy if I’m wrong about this.

Posted by: phx8 at June 13, 2009 10:58 PM
Comment #282924


Victims? Victims don’t face problems headon as we are trying to do. Don’t include this fallacy with the traitors many have tried to make us out to be as Democrats who opposed much of what Bush and the Republican congress did. Call us traitors, call us victims, what you will. It just goes to a mindset that hasn’t yet grasped reality. It’s all fantasy.

Posted by: womanmarine at June 13, 2009 11:06 PM
Comment #282925


When did I advocate that the global economy should be allowed to collapse?

There are serious problems with the global economy. We have to make changes and adjustment. It does not necessarily follow, however, that we have to do specific big spending programs.

Is it wrong to question. I gave an example. We are talking about which tools. If we are building something maybe the screw driver is better than the hammer. It doesn’t mean we don’t want to do the job. My “ideology” is just that. We need to use the right tools. Spending is necessary, but spending too much or wrong will not do the job and may make it worse.

I also think that the Democrats are doing a big experiment. Parts of it will probably do some good. Other parts will not work and some will cause trouble. This is a rare chance to test a theory. The Democrats control everything. They have a chance to do their thing. They claimed they had solutions. Let’s see.


The Marshall Plan was enacted in 1948. It was great. It helped Europe rebuild. The German economic wonder began in 1948. Before the Marshall plan money got there. Money alone doesn’t do it. If it only took aid, Tanzania would be the richest country in the world.

But let’s stipulate the Marshall Plan. Wasn’t Germany in a bit worse condition in 1945 than we are today? The total Marshall Plan outlays (to all countries) were $ 12.7 billion ADJUSTED for inflation it is $115 billion. We got that covered already.

Sorry but Obama doesn’t face a situation worse than the Great Depression, WWII, the Civil War etc. IMO, he faces a challenge about the same as Ronald Reagan in 1981, but since Democrats want to be victims, I have gone back to war-destroyed Germany of 1945. They began to recover within 3 years. We should be able to do that and if not we need a differnt plan and different leadership.

I wish the Democrats would stop with the preemptive excuses. They have all the cards. Let’s go with their experiment and see if they have what it takes. Maybe we will need something better. It doesn’t mean a return to the past. We don’t really have only two choices.

Americans have become crybabies. It seems we have also forgotten history. If this is the worst crisis of our history, we have been misinformed about how hard it was in the old days.

Posted by: Christine at June 13, 2009 11:11 PM
Comment #282926


In the House, all you need is a majority vote. Democrats hold significant majorities. In the Senate you need sixty votes for complete control. Democrats will have those votes.

You imply that Republicans were in complete control 2001-7. They never had the kind of power Democrats have today.

Republicans do not believe the Democratic policies will work. How can they just stand aside? Did you believe the Democrats should have just stood aside when they were in the minority? Sounds kind of fascist, doesn’t it?

It is disingenuous of the Democrats to blame others. They hold all the cards. If 1981 was a test for conservatives, this is a test for liberals. That is all I am saying. If you guys cannot get your way with what you’ve got now, you cannot do it ever. And if what you are doing doesn’t work, it is on you. You should welcome the opportunity to show your stuff.


If Democrats want to face it head on, do it. That is all I have asked. The trouble is that they want make a preemptive excuse. I am only saying that let’s see how it works.

Posted by: Christine at June 13, 2009 11:28 PM
Comment #282927

Reagan had the Senate for 8 years but not the House not even close, He and speaker Tip O’Neill were bitter rivals but many times when it really counted they worked it out.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 14, 2009 12:55 AM
Comment #282935


Earlier you stated that;
“By 1948 the German economy (at least in the West) was again growing robustly.”

I am by no means comparing America’s present state to that of post war Germany, but that statement is flat wrong.

The statements you made later;
“The German economic wonder began in 1948”,
and “Money alone doesn’t do it.”
are more accurate, however, they don’t truly tell the whole story.

Perhaps I am just being a nudge for accuracy, but it was only in 1948, after Erhard changed Germany’s currency from the Reichsmark to the Deutschmark, thereby contracting the money supply by about 93%, stopped the price controls on food, set the corporate tax rate to 50%, and set personal taxes at 18% for the median income and 95% for the highest incomes, that the German economy began to turn around.

These facts came from;

Oh, and the Marshall plan helped a bit as well.

Perhaps it was only mostly about the money.


Posted by: Rocky Marks at June 14, 2009 11:03 AM
Comment #282936

Christine asked: “When did I advocate that the global economy should be allowed to collapse?”

You didn’t. Why are you asking such a bogus question? I said:

“Conservatives and Libertarians who continue to tout the line that the global economy should have been allowed to collapse, leaving billions of people without the means to survive on their own resources, will plague the Republican Party’s efficacy and image for decades to come.”

If you include yourself in that group, so be it. I, however, did not include you in that group. I referenced a group of persons defined as “Conservatives and Libertarians WHO continue to tout the line that the global economy should have been allowed to collapse…”

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 14, 2009 11:10 AM
Comment #282937

The Republicans had pretty much the control we do now from 2003 to 2007, and did not have the liability of an minority party constantly using a parliamentary trick to stall legislation that had majority support. So, in essence, they had greater power.

The Republicans are insisting that this power continues, even in the face of the Public’s clear wishes that they no longer hold power.

The Republicans have the option of negotiation, of taking the policy objectives and initiatives of the Democrats and promising support if some acceptable compromises are made. Instead, they are taking the path of obstruction, blocking Democrat’s legislation. Short of just doing what the Republicans want, the GOP is doing its best to stop it.

1981 is not comparable. No time is comparable. This kind of political obstructionism, this refusal to acknowledge the public’s will, is unheard of. However committed the Republicans are to their ideas, this is a Democracy, and if they don’t stop getting in the way, they will only find themselves forcibly removed, by a revision of the Senate rules (the nuclear option on filibusters), or the Americans will remove more senators from their ranks.

Americans are not crybabies, and Democrats aren’t victims. But we’re not pushovers either, and we will not remain silent while a party abuses its position.

We were in this position before. The last time Republicans chose an economic crisis as an opportunity to oppose what they painted as socialism, they lost even more seats in Congress.

What’s going to happen, sooner or later, is that people are going to get fed up with Republicans, and take them out of the game. Ask yourself: is that good for the Republicans? Keep some influence and remain something of a power, or lose influence and end up further undermined, to the point where not even absolute opposition can achieve their aims?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 14, 2009 11:11 AM
Comment #282938

phx8, IF you exclude Clinton, your point is fairly made that Democrat’s failed to curtail and prevent Republican’s laissez faire policies. Clinton however, actively and willfully pursued those laissez faire policies in his second term in office for his own reasons, and he brought a large minority of Democrats in Congress along with him.

The Congressional Democrats didn’t anticipate losing both houses of Congress after Clinton left office, so, they likely deluded themselves into thinking they could patch the holes of the GLB Act later. But, take the politics out of the equation, and one has to logically state that the Democrats voting for the GLB Act acted imprudently and knowingly passed BAD legislation.

I say knowingly, because Democrats railed against this legislation before it was passed. They knew some of the economic horrors it might bring, before it was passed. That is a matter of public record. They passed it anyway.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 14, 2009 11:19 AM
Comment #282940

They had to do it,FDR had to do it like Phx8 and David R. has said in many ways this was almost a exact copy of the last Depression It WAS WORLDWIDE.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 14, 2009 11:39 AM
Comment #282941


Okay – I thought since you put my name on the top that it was addressed to me. Let’s stipulate that anybody who advocated allowing the global economy to collapse is stupid. I don’t recall any prominent leaders who did that. When the banking system was collapsing, the Bush Administration stepped in to bolster it, as did Central bankers around the world. I heard lots of disagreement about how to do it and what tools were appropriate, which of course is not the same.

We also have to make a judgment when we have done enough. A hungry man will need to eat, maybe a lot, but at some point he better moderate his appetite if he doesn’t want to become unhealthily obese.

What the Obama administration needs to do soon is articulate an end game. How do they plan to wind this up? We needed to spend a lot of money, but spending like this is not sustainable. When recovery comes, we need to put things right.

Obama also will need to address the coming entitlement crisis. Bush tried to do it in 2005 and failed. Now it is more urgent. Obama will need to articulate a way to begin on this. IMO, the first step is to raise retirement ages.


What are you afraid of? Republicans had control 2003-7 as you say. It was not as strong a control as Democrats have now. We can judge what the republicans did when they had the lead. Mistakes were made, voters made a change. Now we can judge what Democrats do when they have the lead.

The Republicans don’t have the power to stop the Democrats. It is very compassionate for you to look after their interests and warn them that they will lose all chance of power if they don’t come around to your point of view, but you don’t have to worry about them.

Let’s be very clear. The Republicans have no significant power to abuse. If you just count votes and look at who holds power, you can see that the Republicans CANNOT obstruct. All they can do is try to get their views across and hope that enough Democrats and Independents agree. That is what we call free speech. It is not a threat to Democratic power unless they are screwing up.

You are perhaps so used to fighting Republicans that you cannot accept that you won. You said it yourself. The Republican’s only way to influence now is by working with Democrats. The only way they can come back to independent power is if the American people decide that whatever policies they propose are better than those the Democrats are following. That is what democracy means.

Posted by: Christine at June 14, 2009 11:52 AM
Comment #282942


The currency reforms set off the economic wonder that I mentioned. That doesn’t mean it was “about money”. It was about the stabilty of the money and the sound policies that went with it. And the Marshall plan helped, but w/o sound policies and good institutions money doesn’t work. Of course, there are also cultural factors.

America clearly has a lot going for it. We have unemployment under 10%, industrial base intact, citizens skilled etc. My comparision to Germany at “stunde null” was just to show that even from the worst point we can still expect recovery. Some Democrats are pretending that they face the worst ever situation. It is a preemptive excuse. If Erhard and Adenauer could do it, maybe Obama & Co can be expected to work it out too.

Posted by: Christine at June 14, 2009 12:06 PM
Comment #282943

Christine said: “Let’s stipulate that anybody who advocated allowing the global economy to collapse is stupid.”

Yes, let’s DO stipulate that the House Republican Leadership is STUPID!

Jun 11, 2009 - WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Regulators should rely on the bankruptcy process to unwind large systemically significant financial institutions rather than allow government bailout dollars to help resolve insolvent mega-financial institutions, says a broad regulatory reform proposal unveiled by House Republicans on Thursday.
Posted by: David R. Remer at June 14, 2009 12:08 PM
Comment #282944

Just IMO, Quote yahoo “The administration “”“and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke”” would like the central bank to be the overarching “systemic risk” regulator, lording over the financial system in search of flaws and weak stress points. Such a role would give the Fed exceptional authority as both the manager of monetary policy and the overseer of the enterprises with the biggest financial footprint in the country, if not the world.

Industry officials now expect Obama and Geithner to propose a system that makes the Fed a supervisor of systemic risk assisted by a council of regulators that would advise the central bank about potential dangers.

Also in the debate is how to handle failing institutions that pose a threat to the entire financial system. The administration wants a beefed up FDIC to carry out that function provided such intervention is triggered by Fed or Treasury regulators.” The Republicans are barking up the wrong tree get the net!

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 14, 2009 12:24 PM
Comment #282945

“Some Democrats are pretending that they face the worst ever situation. It is a preemptive excuse.”
Christine who specifically are you referring to? I have not seen anyone that said this financial meltdown was worse than the depression, civil war etc, well except you of course. I think you exaggerate what is being said.

“If Erhard and Adenauer could do it, maybe Obama & Co can be expected to work it out too.”

I find it hard to relate the post war German rebuilding to this economic crisis. I mean even the repubs would want to rebuild this country had it been subjected to the type of destruction ravaged upon Europe in WWII. Did these guys face a hostile nazi party intent on stopping the rebuilding of Germany? Did they have a conservative wing that fought to stop Marshall plan funding to pay for the rebuilding? It would seem the labor needed to rebuild Germany would get things moving rather fast as opposed to the current problem of overproduction and lack of work in this country. Yet you seem to want to hold the dems and Obama to a specific time frame for recovery despite the fact that a recovery has started, at least in the stock market. What am I missing here?

Posted by: j2t2 at June 14, 2009 1:00 PM
Comment #282946

“The Republicans don’t have the power to stop the Democrats.”
“If you just count votes and look at who holds power, you can see that the Republicans CANNOT obstruct.”

In general the dems lead differently than the repubs in that they try to gain input from a multitude of special interests, a group consensus if you will, where as the repubs use an authoritarian approach with more focused special interests. The competing groups have to battle it out for superiority on any given issue.I think this may be one reason why we can think the dems appear to be making excuses for their leaders. However due to this the repubs have more power than you give them credit for, especially on the bigger issues.

Perhaps the real problem is there are not many real “leaders” in Congress. They all follow the money and it is tough to be a leader when they abide by the golden rule.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 14, 2009 1:43 PM
Comment #282953

Tools. Remember both a screw driver and a hammer can be used in some of the same situations, but sometimes one is more appropriate than the other. Bankruptcy is what will “save” GM and Chrysler. Bankruptcy does not mean liquidation. They are not advocating the collapse of the system. You and they disagree about the best way to bring about a restructuring. Not all the banks can be saved and it is clear that there will be fewer next year than there were last year.

Thank you. This is not a crisis comparable to the ones I mentioned. I am objecting to the refrain that this crisis is so bad that it will take forever to get out of it.

Let’s agree. This is a bad crisis, but not the worst we have faced in living memory. The Democrats now hold all the cards. They should be able to make progress and this is a good test for their programs.

I am not holding the Democrats to a specific timeline. A reasonable time would be a couple of years to see significant progress. If things are worse in a couple of years, we might question the methods. Maybe there are some reason, but questions are in order. If they are better, we should also ask why. Did we do the right thing? Could it have been done for less? This is all I am asking.
And I don’t blame Obama for what has happened so far. It will take a while for the Obama policies to take effect. What is happening now is still the hold-over from the Bush Administration.

Re power of Democrats and Republicans – no matter what you say about it, the Democrats have the power in their hands. It is not Republican problem if Democrats have to represent such a wide variety of special interests. You cannot blame Republicans if Democrats cannot pull it off. They have overwhelming majorities in both houses of Congress. They control the presidency. The media is sympathetic. Nothing more can be given them.

Let me ask if you agree with my basic premise that there really is no power that the Democrats can be given that they don’t have. If you disagree, what more can Democrats be given? 60% is not sufficient. Do you need 100% of the congress?

It is on the Democrats to take purposful action. If it was me, I would be proud and delighted to have the opportunity. With all the talk we heard for the last eight years, I would have thought Democrats were more confident in themselves.

Posted by: Christine at June 14, 2009 4:01 PM
Comment #282956
Nothing more can be given them.

Not true. They can be given respect and cooperation/willingness to compromise by Republicans. Republicans appear not willing to do that.

I love that you and other republicans are sitting back with your arms crossed pontificating about the fiasco that your party handed the president and the country with the attitude “Lets see you fix it, you’re on your own”. You and your party should be helping to fix it, should be willing to try methods that go against the party line simply because what you and yours did have caused this fiasco.

Sure you can lay some blame on Clinton and some democrats, but the majority is laid at the door of republican ideals.

Posted by: womanmarine at June 14, 2009 4:15 PM
Comment #282957

BOTH parties in Congress caused it.

The $11.5 Trillion federal National Debt per-capita ($37K) is 70% larger than the federal National Debt per-capita ($22K in 2008 inflation adjusted dollars) in year 1945 after World War II.

Yet, few seem worried enough about it to do much (if anything) about it.

Well, don’t worry.
It will solve itself.
Of course, no one will like the solution.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at June 14, 2009 4:30 PM
Comment #282959

Christine said: “Tools. Remember both a screw driver and a hammer can be used in some of the same situations, but sometimes one is more appropriate than the other. Bankruptcy is what will “save” GM and Chrysler. Bankruptcy does not mean liquidation.”

Christine, your comment doesn’t seem to comprehend the difference between now, after the government has bailed out GM and Chrysler, and before the bailout. Before the bailout, liquidation would have been the ONLY option in court in light of the massive debt they had already accumulated. They are now, capable of operating as a going concern without so much debt as to scare any buyers choosing to make cars, away.

Fiat can now buy Chrysler with the realistic potential of turning a profit on making Chrysler cars. That would NOT have been the case prior to the government’s infusion of cash to 1) keep it a going concern making cars, and 2) relieving the buyer of much of the debt that would otherwise have attended the liquidation sale over a short period of time. As it stands, for example, Fiat can repay the government over a rather lengthy period our of each years profitability.

Therefore, in a nutshell, the government’s intervention saved 10’s of thousands of American’s jobs during this Recession. And that was worth every penny not ONLY to those who kept their jobs as a result, but, to those who are now doing OK and will do better as a result of the recession abating sooner, as a result.

Your comment appears lacking this overview of what has transpired, preferring instead to engage in ideological and hypothetical comparisons between ideologies. The reality of what has transpired however, has benefited 10’s of thousands of American workers who have kept their jobs, and there is no getting around that fact.

Had the government not intervened, those workers would now be unemployed and the abatement of the recession delayed considerably.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 14, 2009 6:18 PM
Comment #282960


Like Democrats loved and respected Republicans over the last eight years? You were laughing when you wrote that, right?

I never knew that Democrats were so in need of love and affirmation. If it makes you feel better, we all love Democrats. It is just that not everybody loves everything they do.

The fact remains that Democrats control all the levers of power. They may still need love, but they have the power.


Let’s talk tools again. Maybe your choice of tools changes as the job progresses.

Bankruptcy, to repeat again, is not just liquidation. It is a way to restructure. The government needed to step in to bolster the financial system. Saving a particular firm in a particular way is not necessary the right thing to do.

The government money slowed this process. It will work out much the same way. But the government big bucks managed to reward some people who had brought the firm down. Those workers will be unemployed anyway if they cannot sell cars.

I don’t know exactly how much it cost per job to save them for an additional couple of month, but it probably would have been cheaper just to give them the cash directly.

Posted by: Christine at June 14, 2009 7:22 PM
Comment #282963

“I am objecting to the refrain that this crisis is so bad that it will take forever to get out of it.”

Christine I can only assume you mean the national debt and not the mini depression. I haven’t heard the dems saying the financial meltdown will take forever to recover from,unless you have exaggerated ten years to mean forever. The national debt is another matter that has went from “deficits don’t matter” to it will handed down to our great grandchildren.

“Let’s agree. This is a bad crisis, but not the worst we have faced in living memory.The Democrats now hold all the cards. They should be able to make progress and this is a good test for their programs.”

I will agree the dems are in the drivers seat, although they do not hold all the cards. Yes they have made progress and hopefully will continue to make progress. What we the people need to understand is it will take time to return the millions of lost jobs to the economy. Those cards are in the hands of corporate America, not the dems. As long as the dems feel the need to compromise with the talk radio conservatives we run the risk of falling backwards as was the case in’37-‘38.

“no matter what you say about it, the Democrats have the power in their hands. It is not Republican problem if Democrats have to represent such a wide variety of special interests.”

It is a “we the people” problem if you ask me Christine. The Dems can look out for the best interest of corporate America to the detriment of the people almost as well as the Repubs can.

“It is on the Democrats to take purposful action. If it was me, I would be proud and delighted to have the opportunity. With all the talk we heard for the last eight years, I would have thought Democrats were more confident in themselves.”

I think the Dems do have a lot of confidence in their ability to right the economy, as we have seen so far. I have had less confidence in the Dems than they have in themsleves however. I would like them to use the power, because afterall is it really power if it is not used Christine, instead of trying to gain a bi-partisan bill with those extreme right conservatives in the Repub party that don’t seem to understand the problem.

I didn’t particularly care for Obama’s choice for Treasury nor for Summers yet they have proven themselves up to the task so far and should be able to pass any unbiased progress test. We need to remember the causes that got us to the credit crisis and financial meltdown and continue with the work to ensure those to big to fail are not able to wreck the global economy in the future.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 15, 2009 12:23 AM
Comment #282967

Thank you for your comments. I often have different opinions but its a nice change from ,”The sky is falling, there’s communist back under the bed” drivel we often get from the red side. Keep it up.

Rodney Brown et al

I am not real thrilled with BHO’s economic team but they are at least doing OK. I hope that they and congress can bring back the banking controls we had from the Depression. They seem resistant to that. So far,at least, they are firm in stating that we need to hold course on government stimulus. We can see the clearing but we are not out of the woods yet.
Banking used to be boring. Banks took deposits and lent them out to worthy borrowers. That was about it. There was no risk bundling etc. Bankers earned about the same kind of money as industry executives. They did all right but did not make the hundreds millions a year this latest batch of pirates has taken in. Banking was boring but that regulatory regime controlled banking during a time when the American standard of living doubled in one generation. It worked and well.This changed under Reagan and the first fall out was the S&L crises. Rather than learn from it we went the other way and de-regulated more and more of the system with dire results.We to make sure this does not happen again. I am not convinced BHO picked the right guys to do it with their close ties to the industry.
A bit about those obscene compensation packages for bank CEOs. There is a built in dis-incentive for long term planning as opposed to fast profits. At a 100 or so million a year all one has to do is keep all the balls in the air for a year or two and have enough money to buy that huge yacht and make sure your grandchildren’s grandchildren have college money.

Posted by: bills at June 15, 2009 7:06 AM
Comment #282968

Perhaps of interest:

Posted by: bills at June 15, 2009 8:09 AM
Comment #282970

bills, interesting article. I wonder why it is people are encouraged to save money yet to do so is fiscally irresponsible when interest rates are .5% or so. This doesn’t cover the inherent inflation. We have seen the alternatives of gambling in stocks/mutual funds and/or speculating in housing.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 15, 2009 8:43 AM
Comment #283301

Airbus won firm orders for 58 planes worth $6.4 billion over five days, mostly from Asian and budget airlines. Rival Boeing Co. managed just one order for two planes worth a paltry $153 million. Free Trade Anyone?

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 20, 2009 12:25 PM
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