Obama Agenda: Failure to finish
The only failure in anything that is attempted is the failure to finish what you start. For Obama to gain credit, at this moment, he will have to make the economy his priority. If he cannot get the economy back on it’s feet, get people back to work, and turn a backward spiral around, he will not be able to make any other project a success, or gain support for it. Health Care Reform, for millions of people out of work, is like tossing daisies at a coffin; it’s a nice sentiment, but it serves no purpose.
The issues in Iran and North Korea are over-shadowing his abilities to fully concentrate on the matter of economic woes in the United States. People who are well-nourished, able to work, and have the ability to face each week knowing there will be a paycheck to show for honest labor, have much broader minds on forces outside our country. We need to know that our country is secure, that our freedoms are being protected, and that our voices are being heard. These are the failures of this administration, as has been the case with administrations in the past, our voices fall on deaf ears while politicians seek to further what they consider the public good.
What is happening today in Iran, may well happen in this country in the very near future, if the voices of the people go unanswered. One more public appearance, one more elegant speech, one more promise does little to soothe the unsettling feeling that our futures are hanging precariously in the balance. We do not need pretty words, we need real solutions, and for the present, we are in no rush to throw more money after what is appearing to be a bad investment. A prioritized list would have, as it’s first agenda, the economy, with the closing of Guantanamo Bay and health care reform somewhere nearer the bottom. If he can put people back to work, he will regain his loses, if he fails, he will go down in history as one more president that made promises he could not keep.
Posted by D. Ffallis at June 24, 2009 8:22 AM
So after years of neglect, and the silence accompanying it, everybody wants everything fixed right now, and even 5 minutes from now is not an option.
This administration was handed a pile of manure and is expected, overnight, to make ice cream.
I am constantly amazed at how shallow the people in this country truly are.
Uummm… failure to ‘finish’? Wow… I reckon 6 months in office is long enough to single handedly fix everything? And that a good leader doesn’t have the ability to focus on many important things at once? That he should work on only one thing and let everything else wait? An, uummm, interesting viewpoint, to say the least…
Those of us who rejected the devastating policy making and ideologies of the previous administration have not forgotten the last eight years. Why would anyone other than that 30% or so that is totally partisan suddenly support a party that has no direction or vision for the future. Seems to me that it was republican policy that created our current situation. By all means, please take to the streets. I am guessing that you will be a lonely crowd. The world is not ready just yet for more of the past.
I reckon 6 months in office is long enough to single handedly fix everything?
Everything? No. Something? Yes. Has he filled out his cabinet’s offices yet?
Why would anyone other than that 30% or so that is totally partisan suddenly support a party that has no direction or vision for the future. Seems to me that it was republican policy that created our current situation.
Continually selling an idea and that idea being accurately correct are not the same thing, RickIL. Since the Dems don’t want to understand that and all but the ardent 30% or so that is totall partisan towards the Demcrats do, I am smelling some harsh realities in the future for your party, whether you choose to acknowledge them or not.
But, just for the record, it was not ‘republican policy’ that has us where we are now any more than it is not ‘democratic policy’ that will get us out of it. In fact, most on the left supported the housing boom to get us out of the recession that Clinton gave us in 99-00. This country didn’t just start existing in 2001, nor was everything peachy keen at that time either.
Oh, sorry, I didn’t mean to step on the advancement of your political power with hard facts, please continue.
There was no recession in 1999 - 2000. Please do not make up random assertions.
The housing boom was not the cause of the current disaster. The main cause was the failure to regulate and oversee the financial sector, a failure which directly reflects on the weakness of conservative and libertarian thought. That failure to regulate and oversee resulted in a credit crunch. A downward turn in the housing market was magnified by the failure to correctly assess risk in unregulated financial instruments, and that failure nearly destroyed the financial system.
The federal government has put the financial sector- what’s left of it, now that all but one major investment bank blew up- on life support.
The current economic situation is much worse than most people realize. I realize I am pessimistic. Unfortunately, events have proved me right.
There is a very real chance Obama and the Democrats will fail. They made the right moves. Sadly, the damage done is so deep it cannot be repaired in six months or even a year.
A good start would be replacing healthcare for profit with single payer healthcare. Canada spends 12% of its GDP on healthcare, while the US spends 17%. It is an obvious candidate for radical repair. But it won’t happen. There is too much money lined up behind that 17%… Insurance, Big Pharma, and the AMA… Too bad for all of us.
What is happening today in Iran, may well happen in this country in the very near future, if the voices of the people go unanswered.
What? Which is it? Is he ignoring the economy or meddling too much in the free market? And whose voice is he not hearing? Yours? Do you expect him to respond to 300 million individual voices?
There was no recession in 1999 - 2000. Please do not make up random assertions
The only thing preventing a recession being labelled in 1999-2000 was a slight increase during the christmas season, one which was manipulated to express that growth.
The Commerce Department, in one of their last acts was able to redefine that number so that ‘officially’ a recession didn’t take place.
But it did, contrary to those wanting to keep the Clinton legacy alive. And they even have to admit that we didn’t have constant growth during that time either, which people like you want to forget.
3rd quarter 2000 - negative growth
4th quarter 2000 - slight positive growth
1st quarter 2001 - negative growth
Thos are the last three quarters of the Clinton presidency. What a great testament to ‘non recession’!
The Commerce Department has revised data for gross domestic product, sparking a minor debate as to whether a recession actually occurred in 2001. Either way, some now argue, if there was a recession, it was one of the mildest on record.
That’s not only utter nonsense, it shows a sad lack of short-term memory.
There was a recession in 2000-01 and it was deep. But you have to look behind the headline real GDP numbers to understand it.
Nevermind that the only thing keeping the 2001 recession from being wose and going back to 1999 was the adjusted numbers for one quarter from the Clinton commerce department, fighting to save a legacy and win a presidency.
I love partisan politics. :P
The housing boom was not the cause of the current disaster. The main cause was the failure to regulate and oversee the financial sector, a failure which directly reflects on the weakness of conservative and libertarian thought.
Again, complete twaddle. First, because libertarians didn’t support the economic policies of Bush but, knowing that I’m a libertarian, you feel the need to include the two groups together which I find HILARIOUSLY transparent and second, without the housing bubble, there is no downturn in the economy. The bubble was put into place by bad fed policies (governmental meddling) and caused the situation to occur. Had the ‘market’ been well regulated we would STILL be in a recession for that very fact. We would still have record loan defaults, houses would be foreclosed at record rates, etc. All that the ‘unregulated finanical market’ did was cause financial firms that were unsound to fail. Only not so much. The MAJORITY of banks and lending institutions were not involved in those types of transactions and were not affected negatively.
I love people who just can’t accept reality for want of their political viewpoints. :/
The federal government has put the financial sector- what’s left of it, now that all but one major investment bank blew up- on life support.
Again, such twaddle. Most of them are trying to give back the funds they accepted because they now realize the cost. And it still doesn’t change the defaulting home loans that are the primary cause of the recession. The collapse of the financial speculation market was a result of that, not the cause.
So, what you’re saying in so many words is, there was no recession. Thank you.
There have been downturns in the housing market before this one, and they did not have anywhere near the same kind of repurcussions. There have been spikes in foreclosures. That’s tough, but it’s normal in a downturn. What we’re experiencing now goes far beyond that. The financial instruments which cause the collapse were based upon housing, but those instruments were unnecessary in the first place. Proper regulation and oversight would never have let the situation develop in the first place, regardless of what happened to the housing market.
Some banks are giving back the TARP funds because they want to escape regulation, that’s true. The money to do so comes from the Federal Reserve, which gave them $2 trillion. That is not TARP money. It’s different, and there were no strings attached.
So, what you’re saying in so many words is, there was no recession. Thank you
And there was no recession in 2008 either. Thank you.
There have been downturns in the housing market before this one, and they did not have anywhere near the same kind of repurcussions
Because they were not so artificially inflated and dependant upon very very low manipulated interest rates. People took out 1.5% Adjustable mortgages and when the rates readjusted, they were out of luck. This was a direct result of Fed manipulation of the market because people are more concerned with words like ‘recession’ than they are with how things are really going, your example is prime.
Proper regulation and oversight would never have let the situation develop in the first place, regardless of what happened to the housing market.
Wrong! Are people suffering because some institutions required federal bailout money or because so many people are losing their homes at an unprecidented rate? Why are they losing their homes?
It is unbelievable to me that people are really willing to try to say that ‘the reason we are where we are today is one single aspect of a single financial market not being regulated’ as if had that one market been regulated there would have been no problem.
And then go on to reject the notion that they were in control of congress, who could have mandated that regulation, for nearly two years before it happend and still haven’t closed that regulation loophole after winning control of the presidency as well.
That’s hubris IMO.
And there was no recession in 2008 either. Thank you.
FYI, let me rephrase since you probably will not get what I was saying.
During the election, we had still not undergone the requirements of a recession. It wasn’t until 2009 that we could say that there was a recession in the 2nd half of 2008. So all of those people saying, after not even 1 quarter of decline in the GDP, were lying when saying we were in a recession. After all, that’s what matters isn’t it? No recession = times were good and we should keep doing that…
The recession officially started in December 2007. If memory serves, the economy lost jobs in every month of 2008. That was bad, but the first warning sign of truly serious problems came with the failure of Lehman Bros. It was supposed to be the free market in action, but then the realization hit that Lehman Brothers had been the third largest investment bank, and had taken more risk than anyone else in that industry, becoming a primary producer of dangerous mortgage-related instruments. The failure had strong repurcussions. As the financial sector realized its the extent of the risk of those instruments, and that most institutions held them, the credit markets froze. Everyone realized the other guy was not financially viable.
The question of why the Federal Reserve maintained low interest rates is complicated. A major part of the problem was that the economy was dependent upon refinancing of mortgages to fund consumerism. The economy failed to produce jobs due to outsourcing; even worse, a deep antipathy towards organized labor resulted in flat and even declining real wages for @ 80% of the population (non-supervisory wages).
Throw the oil run-up into the mix, and voila…
By the way, it would have been impossible for the Democrats to close the loopholes that led to the collapse. They came into power in January 2007, didn’t they? By that time the die had been cast.
The recession officially started in December 2007
I’m sorry phx8, then we are going to have to define what you are calling an official recession. The official recession definition that I am aware of was two straight quarters of declining gdp. If that is the definition, it did not start until July 2008, and wasn’t officially a recession until January 1, 2009.
If you want a redifinition so it can be sooner, great, then that brings 1999-2001 back into play. And any measure that can say that the recession we are currently in started in December 2007 will also show that a recession started in December 1999.
So, go ahead, tell me what YOU define a recession as.
As the financial sector realized its the extent of the risk of those instruments, and that most institutions held them, the credit markets froze.
Froze? Interesting because I bought a second home in November 2008. How on earth did I get that mortgage if ‘the credits market were frozen’. You need to stop listening to rhetoric a bit and look at the realities.
Most people didn’t care much about the fall of Lehman brothers, however their homes values dropping like a stone because the bubble in the housing market burst affected nearly EVERYONE. Including Lehman Brothers. Had the market not burst, Lehman would have been fine, wouldn’t it?
The question of why the Federal Reserve maintained low interest rates is complicated.
No, it isn’t. The Fed wanted to keep the economy growing even through artificial means if necessary, because that is what they are asked to do by the administration. Bush wanted to win an election and try to stave off the 2006 push towards democrats AND wanted to keep people making money, so keep the rates low so people can enjoy the benefits of that. Unfortunately, that means that the growth is not ‘real’ and when the bubble burst it affected everything and everyone.
The economy failed to produce jobs due to outsourcing; even worse, a deep antipathy towards organized labor resulted in flat and even declining real wages for @ 80% of the population (non-supervisory wages).
Just can’t help but bite off the rhetoric can you? No, it couldn’t have been that organized labor was sucking wage funds out of the employer’s pockets so that they could not hire more people, could it? NO, had to be outsourcing. In reality, it was a combination of many things, but you have to reject the one and latch on to the other in order to keep pushing the partisan line.
That is the problem we have today, people doing just that.
They came into power in January 2007, didn’t they? By that time the die had been cast.
I don’t think so. Of course, since they didn’t try, it will be hard to say, wouldn’t it? I mean, they were in power (both houses) for a full year and a half and they were defending the very institutions that turned up failing on us against the warnings of many.
It would have been interesting if, say, Obama had introduced ONE piece of legislation or talked ONCE about the need to do something to stave this off before it occured. Yet, I don’t really remember him or many others in his party doing that. Instead, I heard a resounding demand that Fannie and Freddie were ‘a-ok’.
BTW, had there been a relaxing of the post-enron rules that were put (mistakenly) put into place, it is likely that we would have had a much less problem with ‘frozen credit’ and no one would have ‘failed’.
But since the Democrats rejected that until they won the presidency and then finally accepted that as a necessary step, I’m sure you won’t accept it as reality either, will you?
Rhinehold said: “And there was no recession in 2008 either. Thank you.”
That has not yet been determined AFIK. It takes 6 to 9 months afterward to analyze the economic data and determine if, 6 to 9 months before, a recession was underway.
But, you are right, there was no recession in 1999. For the U.S., that did not come until 2002, a considerable time after the tech bubble burst. There is a lag between bubble bursts and job losses and declines in GDP.
Rhinehold, phx8 is correct about 2007. From CNN/Money:
The National Bureau of Economic Research said Monday that the U.S. has been in a recession since December 2007, making official what most Americans have already believed about the state of the economy.
Perhaps, instead of relying upon memory to refute other’s claims, a little Googling would support your debate and refutations a bit better.
The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) uses a broader measure of economic data to determine the beginning and end of recessions. According to the NBER, the current recession began in December of 2007. The earlier recession in the 2000s began in March of 2001.
Perhaps you should read the entire dicussion before making accusations?
I’ve already pointed out the GDP losses and growth during the time, which marked with the 2008 recession that he stated started in December 2007. By using the criteria he used to assert that there was a recession in 2007, there was also one in 2000.
Apparently no one wants to actually discuss the real issue and wants to make political points, so have fun with that. If you don’t think that jobs were being lost in 1999 and 2000, that the economy wasn’t having issues, etc, then by all means believe that fairy tale, I don’t expect christians to accept that their god isn’t real either.
What are the criteria and what do they represent and what does it really mean?
The GDP dropped for 3 out of 5 quarters between the end of 1999 and the beginning of 2001, yet there was no ‘recession’ because the quarters were not in a row.
Are we now going to say that the economy was fine until 9/11? That all of those people who lost jobs, the manufacturing businesses that closed, the tech people who couldn’t find work, they were just imaginging it?
Yep. Three and a half years left, and Obama is finished. Does this kind of reflect an undue haste on the part of Republicans to win their political battles before their rhetoric loses them the election anyways? The Republicans have dropped like a rock in every non-white category of voter, and don’t think that they’re doing well with them, either. The Republicans are taking more damage for their endless partisan war than they’re seeing benefits for.
The Republicans need to recognize its over. They aren’t returning to their glory days, any more thand the Democrats got to return to their glory days. They need new blood, new policy thought, and their current crop of leaders is in the way, desperately trying to save their old powerbase..
Rhinehold, your comments indicate a desire to define the language to fit your argument. There is an official definition to the word Recession, and an official body to measure all the data to determine if that definition applies. The phrase 2+2=4 is meaningless in 1984, and that society does not function successfully by any measure we use to define success, because the antagonist is intent on torturing the language and people’s understanding to make 2+2=5 to suit the antagonist’s political ideological purposes.
Want an honest debate? Torturing the language (and in so doing, rejecting the rules of logic) to fit one’s view of things is not the way. When an inaccurate statement is made due to a poor choice of words or misinformation, fess up, take ownership of the mistake, and rectify the choice of words or information, then proceed to make a more sound argument using accepted definitions.
Don’t like the definition of recession, create a new word and give it the definition you choose. If it becomes accepted in the society’s dictionaries or official references, more power to you, and the language is enhanced to boot.
I don’t think anyone was suggesting that a declining rate of GDP growth and increasing unemployment makes for a strong and healthy economy, as you suggest with your Red Herring statement.
One of the vital aspects to the economic stimulus strategy is to keep it up, even when there is fear and opposition to see it through. A few months is not enough time for people to start considering it failure. As for health care delivery, reform is also a vital part of any long term economic improvement. The way it is now it is such a huge economic drain that it is likely to cripple any economic gains. The same can be said of energy independence and shifting away from fossil fuels. We all know that as soon as things pick up, the oil conglomerates will be right there to suck us dry again.Our long and even short term systemic problems are interconnected as have to be approached together.Nobody said it was going to be easy or quick.
The NBER, utilizing a multi-factor approach, defines a recession as “a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales. A recession begins just after the economy reaches a peak of activity and ends as the economy reaches its trough.” The NBER does not use the two consecutive quarters of decline in real GDP as its sole criteria for defining a recession.
A complete discussion of the NBER analysis of the 2001 recession can be found at
Again, you might want to actually know what you are talking about before posting, you keep missing the mark by a mile.
He knows what he’s talking about. You’re backpedalling from a poor choice of claims.
But hell, we are in a recession. We’ve had multiple quarters, at this point, of negative growth. Millions of jobs have been lost, pay has been cut. Please define what a recession is, if a double digit drop in GDP and an approach to double digit unemployment number isn’t it.
Has he filled out his cabinet’s offices yet?
I’m not sure this had anything to do with the original thrust of this post, or about what I was speaking? But, that said, presidents always take time to completely fill out ALL cabinet positions.
I was simply saying that we can’t expect the moon in such a short amount of time. Democrats were (unfairly) jumping all over G.W. his first few monts in office over the downtown he inherited from Clinton. This one is MUCH worse. I heard something on one of the cable news shows yesterday (I forget which one) that was fairly humorous… ‘You can’t get nine women pregnant and expect to have a baby in one month.’ These things take time.
The original thrust of this article is way off base, and nothing more than partisan dribble.
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Bernanke-says-he-didnt-bully-apf-15619221.html?x=1 “In turning aggressive toward Bernanke, Republicans are adopting the role of outsider and trying to link the Fed chairman to the Obama administration as advocates of government meddling in private industry. Many Republicans are suspicious of the administration’s plan to expand the Fed’s regulatory powers.
It’s an odd shift, because Bernanke is a Republican appointee and many of his key advocates are Democrats” A perfect example of folks who don’t like change Bernanke is not a neocon so Republicans want to kick him to the curb unbelievable.
There was a definite downturn in 2000 and a definite downturn in 2007. The technicality is less important. Bill Clinton was very lucky in that he came into the presidency a year after the economy started to grow again and left office just as it was sinking. Bush was unlucky to take over just in the decline.
The Obama history is yet to be written. He has the luck to take over (unlike Bush) at at time when the economy is recognized as going down, so people will cut him more slack. On the other hand, he has implied that there will be a big postitive change. He may have over promised.
Much of what happens in the economy is not tied to current politics. It takes 5-7 years to get things like oil refineries on line, for example.
Most downturns last only a couple years. Obama is lucky in that he will probably get an upturn. In any case, the voters will blame or credit him with the economy in 2012.
This might be more fair than usual. Obama has been pushing some really radical policies. By 2012 we will have some idea how well they are working, or not.
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/06/25/obama.iran.ahmadinejad/index.html >The Iranian leader says Obama more or less equals Bush. The problem with negotiating with international thugs is that they don’t really want to negotiate. They just score PR points off of us.
I know it is frustrating, but sometimes you just cannot accomplish much by being reasonable and friendly. No matter what our president says, the Iranian regime will lie about it. Their goal is just not the same as ours.
But hell, we are in a recession
I don’t think I said that we weren’t. Again, I don’t think you or David are actually getting my point, or aren’t really trying that hard either.
The indications are that this is going to be our second jobless recovery in a row. The experts say that jobs always lag behind in a recovery. Well, the jobs from the last recovery are still out there somewhere, lagging.
It is possible that Obama may beat Bush for lowest job creation since the Great Depression.
Jack is right we have been negotiating with the republican thugs and nothing positive happens!
Trust and talk, but verify.
It will be hard to deal with an Iranian regime that has to kill and beat its own people in the streets of its capital to maintain its power.
Your Republican joke actually indicates a good point. Many Democrats complained about Republicans, but I never heard of riots where troops killed and beat Dems protesting. If you thought Bush was bad, certainly you cannot accept the legitimacy of the Iranian regime.
We may have to be “realistic” but just remember what we are doing. It is like coming to the door of a man who is beating his wife and kids. He tells us that all is well and that is the way they like it. We may not be able to stop him, but we don’t have to believe him and we cannot trust him.
Yeah,pretty much. Leave us not forget that we have major dealings with China and other countries that routinely beat and arrest disenters. We dealt, even controlled, the Shah and his SAVAK.Some of these repressive regimes we sell arms to. Others we have even put US troops in harms way to support. Lets not get on too high a horse. We need to engage whatever government exist in Iran.
Card carrying Democrat here, although I’m closer to the middle than the left and moving more right as Obama’s term goes by. He’s helped the rich with Wall Street bail outs. He’s helped the poor by extending and increasing social benefits. Sadly, he has done absolutely nothing for the folks who got him elected; the middle class. Even the posturing on health care is starting to sound disturbing. The people who I interact with all agree something is terribly wrong with our system. We all hoped Obama would do something about the cost of health care. It now looks like we’re focused on getting something done for the uninsured. That’s not what I signed on for. I don’t mean to sound heartless, but the larger issue is clearly costs, not the uninsured. If you took care of the cost problem we probably wouldn’t have a problem with the uninsured. Democrats should be very concerned about missed opportunities. He’s loosing those of us in the middle and 2010 is just around the corner. I don’t like what I’m getting for my vote.
Here is what happens when a blue state turns red! The horizontal axis is income decile and the vertical axis is change in tax rate. These data are for Minnesota.
Re: the healthcare debate and John’s concern about focussing on uninsured rather than “costs”
to all the uninformed, and misinformed
Those who are NOT COVERED are a MAJOR FACTOR in the cost
IF YOU GET PEOPLE COVERED, THE COSTS WILL COME DOWN.
I SEE IT FIRST HAND — ON OF THE MOST EXPENSIVE TO THE REST OF US WHO ACTUALLY PAY, ARE THE ONES WHO CAN’T.
the Second Biggest contributor to the Cost of Healthcare is the stupid private sector insurance companies.
They FORCE costs into the system that have NOTHING to do with healthcare.
They try to SCARE us with “A Gov’t worker will come between you and your doctor and make healthcare decisions for you” — But they neglect to say that JOB is ALREADY BEING DONE BY THE INSURANCE COMPANIES.
(GUESS THEY ARE TRYING TO SAVE THE JOBS OF THEIR OWN CLERKS AND PHONE BANK PEOPLE — AS WELL AS THEIR OWN CORPORATE JETS ETC)
The money to pay for single payer could come alone from shutting down the private sector insurance companies
The doctors would no longer have to pay for offices full of clerks to handle the miriad of conflicting insurance rules, forms and Bull crap.
Our companies would no longer have to pay outlandish insurance premiums for their workers.
Even insurance company insiders have admitted that their arguements against the whole single-payer system is nothing but scare tactic lies to maintain their profits, and that actually a single-payer system IS smarter and makes more sense (except to those who are trying to maintain their bonuses by raping and pillaging the american people)
Our president was elected by popular vote. So no matter what… WE will get what WE asked for. Just like with Bush. Obama told everyone that change was coming. The change that he was talking about is Government control.
The founders of our country stated that we will know that this great experiment (The United States) has failed when the people have lost their moral direction (specifically following the Jewish Ten Commandment) and the government imposes controls over lives. The taxation that we have in America is an abomination of the founding purposes of our country.
Government will impose more and more control over the live of American’s as long as our morals continue to deteriorate. Everyone who believes this is an economic, health care or political issue is blind to the fact that the moral character of men and women are the deciding factors of how each of these issues have developed in the first place. Greed, coveting, lust, theft, ect.
Obama’s bulling nature and smooth charisma seems to be the right mix of personality traits to slowly move us into a socialist nations No God, no truth, people dependent of the Government rather than the Government dependent on the people. This is most evident from his HIGH PERSONAL RATING and LOWERING POLICY RATING.
We can reverse this process. The answer is not found in “what can you do for me” but STOP> We will not send you more that 10% of our income to take care of what government was intended to take care of. We will not let the government own banks, car manufactures, health care or it’s people. We will elect leaders who understands how to determine priorities and fully fund them, eliminating wast, and balancing the budget with the next 4 generations of American’s in mind!
This will require moralistic leaders who hold themselves to a high calling of leading what has been the greatest country in all of history. Democrat, Republican, Independent…