Third Party & Independents Archives

Do we "need" a second stimulus?

Last Sunday the immensely entertaining and voluble Joe Biden said that the Obama administration “misread how bad the economy was” and didn’t foresee unemployment levels nearing double digits. Well, that’s one interpretation. Another might be that the Obama administration was spot-on in its assessment of the economy, and has since made it worse with its Keynesian faith-based initiatives.

Of course, too many Americans are impervious to this interpretation of current events, convinced as they are that Franklin Roosevelt ended the Great Depression by building them Mt. Rushmore and the Triborough.

They have been schooled to believe that marauding deficit spending will “stimulate” an economy, and a myriad of countervailing books and articles have failed to disabuse them of this nostrum during the last eighty years. Nonetheless…

Deficit spending is akin to giving someone a blood transfusion from her left arm to her right—with the attendant machinery leaking blood onto the floor. Four ounces are extracted; three ounces are returned; and we hope the patient doesn’t die before she perks up.

If you live off taxpayers, “stimulus spending” has some self-serving appeal. However, if you’re the one slopping the hogs—that would be the private sector—the specter of more or higher taxes, interest rates, inflation, and/or government regulation is very un-stimulating.

All my customers work in the private sector—or what’s lately left of it. They’re scared poop-free about what Obama will do next in his messianic delusion that he knows what’s best for an economy of 304,059,724 individuals, each with his or her own goals, dreams, beliefs, and circumstances.

The immediate result of this angst is an overt paralysis: business people waiting, waiting, waiting to spend on capital equipment, on market research, on advertising, on websites, or whatever else we capitalist pigs are trying to sell to one another to “create jobs.”

This is not economic stimulation. It’s economic torpor, courtesy of your government’s learned ministrations.

Business people are hunkered down under their desks are keeping very quiet. And they’ll continue to do so until they’re positively sure the shooter has left the building—permanently.

Posted by Stephen G. Barone at July 9, 2009 10:22 PM
Comments
Comment #284286

Yay! Another fantasy based economics lesson. I’m guessing you have deep piles of data backing YOUR plan. When you’re willing to stand in front of the bullseye when your ideas bring 30% unemployment, I’ll be glad to endorse your ideas AFTER target practice.

The difference between Keynes and Mises is that Keynes has evidence.

Posted by: gergle at July 9, 2009 11:27 PM
Comment #284287

Stephen B., no hyperlinks to sources, no evidence, no data, nada, but your particular slant and gut feeling about what is taking place.

A banking industry collapse to be resurrected, a recession with multiple causes creating an increase in the unemployment rate of Wahoo! 4.5 to 5 percent, only 2 percent or so, of which occurred since Obama came into office. And here your article is bashing all the efforts for not waving a magic wand and making all the booboos better.

May I remind you sir, that it was a Republican led government with some contributions by Clinton and Democrats, that fostered this laissez faire collapse of the banking system, save for massive infusions of federal dollars, and rip roaring Greenspan/Bush “Ownership Society” policy that created the worst housing bubble and valuation collapse since the 1930’s.

Of the 780 billion stimulus package, only 25 billion has committed or gone out the door, so far. If you think it is easy to spend 780 billion dollars on worth while future economic and infrastructure investments in 3 months, I have to question the reason and rationale.

Coming out of a recession which was deepening as the new Congress and President took office, in 6 months, is a lot like worm hole travel. Pure fiction. Ain’t gonna happen.

Now, if your article wanted to be reasonable, it could easily make a rational case for the speed at which the stimulus funds have left to create jobs, though, even that might be a bit tough.

But, you know what? Your article rants about the unemployed, but, those unemployed are receiving unemployment benefits. And if the Pres. and Congress have their way, that 10 to 11 percent unemployed at the end of the year will be able to look forward to affordable health care insurance as well. These unemployed are NOT unemployed by choice. They needed help, and by golly, they are receiving it. That is saying something.

No laissez faire supply side screw yous to the unemployed under this government. Which is why Obama’s approval rating is still up around 57%. He is losing some of the Independents with jobs who are increasingly concerned about the deficits and debt, as well we all should be. But, they have their jobs. And he is losing some support amongst the unemployed right leaning voters in places like Ohio, who are not yet seeing as much of the federal dollars relief in job creation as they had hoped for.

And I feel for them. I truly do. But, Obama’s and Congress’ job is to save the American economy, not drop everything and rush to Ohio’s need. Ohio will get their share and needs met from the stimulus. But, Ohio didn’t have as many ready to go projects as some other states had.

I understand their no longer approving of Obama’s or the stimulus package’s results. But, they are receiving extended unemployment benefits in a state that is bankrupt and over budget by a lion’s share. But, understanding their frustration and disappointment doesn’t mean Obama and the Congress have or are doing the wrong things. They are receiving federal dollars via their extend unemployment beneifits, so they may not feel like it, and may not be aware of it, they are feeding their families with the dollars Obama and the Congress are providing them.

As for the losses in equity in their homes, pension investments, and 401K’s, that is all Pre_Obama. Though, sociology dictates that as time passes for those who see little hope of ever getting that equity back, their opinion of Obama and Congress will sour.

But, surely, you are not advocating federal tax dollars sent out to compensate the working people for their equity losses. You are concerned about the deficits and debt, right? No federal ‘freebies’ to the suckers who lost it, eh. Well, Congress and Obama agree with you. Their focus is on resurrecting this fallen economy, which fell long before January of this year.

So, unless you have some hard data to place the blame for anything negative that Americans are CURRENTLY experiencing, I will simply chalk your article up to impatience and frustration, which I am sure nearly all Americans who aren’t in the top 5% income brackets, are feeling as well.

The debt and deficits are going to cost our nation for decades in opportunity costs. No doubt about it. But, the alternative was to invite a full blown world wide depression and throw our fate as a people and nation to the wind.

I am as angry about the debt and deficits as anyone I know. But, let us not forget that Bush doubled the national debt in 8 years, and fostered the housing bubble with Greenspan, and along with the Fed, Democrats, and Republicans in the Congress, they nearly all turned a blind eye to the grotesque corruptions and leveraging beyond all imaginable fiction by those on Wall St.

Thanks to enormous deficit spending, our family is still employed, our 401K is intact (I saw and read the warning signs of the housing bubble in 2007 well before the losses ensued and acted accordingly), and our county is still largely employed, and my daughter just got a job straight out of high school to save up for college. In other words, we still have an economy to function in, as do more than 90% of our fellow Americans. That, Stephen, may not be cause for rejoicing, but, it is certainly to be counted as a blessing, even if it did cost 2 trillion and counting.

Read the Grapes of Wrath, with some soul. You might find yourself writing an article next, with a bit more apologetic attitude toward toward the efforts of this president and Congress, and I must add, GW Bush and the previous Congress, for authorizing the financial sector rescue packages with deficit dollars, which underwrote the current 95+% of Americans still living decent lives, 90% to continue working, and provide for the needs of their families.

The unemployed can squawk, and I feel their pain. But, as long as they are receiving extended unemployment checks funded by federal dollars, I truly don’t think they have that much to squawk about.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 10, 2009 1:21 AM
Comment #284289

Stephen,
You ask if “We” need a second stimulus. Well, with Consunsumer Confidence at an all time low and less than 25% of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act spent I doubt if the government spending even another trillion dollars it does not have will put everybody back to work unless the Private Sector is willing to loss even more of its workforce.

No, in my opinion America needs to have its first stimulus package come from the Leaders of Wall Street or begin to ask Washington to creat a Job Welfare System for the Corporate Elite that think they deserve nillions of dollars for not building the goods and services wanted by the average American.

Note: Got to go to work early so i’ll write more about this subject later.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at July 10, 2009 8:34 AM
Comment #284290

A pox on both Parties. Who needs hard data when they have lived through the last 40 years to witness the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind? IMO this recession, if not planned in the war room, was and is being facilitated by both Parties as a continuing effort to break down the middle class USA.
Case in point:
15 CEO’s of the largest thrashed companies received $1.5B in compensation.
98 – 08 Moody’s ramped up from 2B to 8B while rating every investment AAA.
The raw materials used to make coat hangers cost more here than the finished and delivered product from China. Plywood from China sells for $20 a sheet cheaper than it can be produced here.
The VAT tax used throughout the EU and China was put into place after WWII to help Europe recover.
10% unemployed and 50M without health insurance. That’s equivalent to the number of illegal living and working in this country.
Non supervisory wages in the US has remained stagnant or decreased over the last ten years.
Calif. will receive 12B in stimulus funds to offset their $26B deficit. Calif. will receive a total of 50B over the next several years. 15 States have no approved budget for beginning 1 July. Eight states are facing bankruptcy. DC and other States are using stimulus funds to finance their debt.
Axlerod making statement that the Dems have cut taxes for 98% of the taxpayers.
There are 11k lobbyist or 20 per legislator. The lobbyist are paying the homeless $13/hr to ‘place hold’ for the lobbyist in lines of people waiting to get into congressional committee rooms. And, who is lobbying for the homeless?
Barney Frank is pushing a bill to make TARP money available to ACORN. ACORN is indicted in 12 states for election fraud. I believe it was Chuck Shumer that killed a congressional investigation of ACORN. (Counting dead people for the DEMS)
The SSA, also counting dead people. Paying out 4-6B yearly for improper payments of one kind or another. Their worker-bee’s just spent $700M for a 3-day ‘training’ exercise at a plush hotel in the Midwest. Most private emps get to watch a 30-minute spiel on diversity for their yearly training exercise.
New York has upped taxes by 12.B this year even as revenue is falling.
Electric rates in my county will go up 36% in the coming year.
27 – 34 Czars running government programs. The Recovery Act Czar just spent 18M on a website to track recovery funds. The contractor who developed the site, Smarttronix, doesn’t makes any mention of web design in advertising their company. They did contribute 19K to Steny Hoyer’s campaign fund over the last several years.
Jungle Jim’s, walking paths, and farmers markets are being planned for inclusion into the healthcare program. People want healthcare reformed because of the cost yet the reform package is to cost one-third more than we are paying now.

And, I do know that the only time this country has been debt free was during the tenure of Andrew Jackson, our first populist president. Read the above and consider this is a time when even the number of stitches on a baseball are regulated and tell me this government ain’t broke all to hell. We need more Jackson’s. We need reform, not change. www.republicsentry.com

Posted by: Roy Ellis at July 10, 2009 9:19 AM
Comment #284294

Mr. Barone it seems to me the mistake Obama and the Congress made was the same mistake as FDR and the Congress made in ‘36-‘37, that is they half stepped and due to political pressure from the conservatives of the day they spent to little.

The conservatives whined about giving the unemployed and those on workfare an extra pittance. The conservatives complained about giving states the extra financial help needed to keep the state going. The conservatives complained it was to much to spend. All of a sudden the insistence of “deficts don’t matter, Reagan proved that” became cries of “what about the next generation” after doubling the deficit in the previous 8 years. The problem is almost half the country want this president and his programs to fail, at any cost.

Where is the fourth leg of government during all of this? Yes where is corporate America? On the sidelines, taking a time out, asleep at the wheel. Or as you say hunkered under their desk. Why are they not taking the necessary risk to stimulate the economy with out a government handout? Why are our business leaders not showing some trust and faith in our country and foregoing some profit to get the country going again. They whine about government spending yet refuse to spend themselves. They lay off people then wonder why people are not spending.

Where are the investor class investors? On the sidelines waiting to pounce on an opportunity to be created by the government. The same people that owe so much to the country yet give so little in return during the tough times. “Lower taxes so I can profit at your expense or I will keep my money locked up”. And we wonder why things are not getting better while we complain about the job our elected officials are doing. They did their part now it is time for the responsible for this crisis, investor class and corporate America, to step up to the plate. Fat chance huh?

Posted by: j2t2 at July 10, 2009 11:30 AM
Comment #284295

Please excuse my rant WB, Roy, California and New York talk about total chaos and dysfunction and corruption proof is in the pudding the senate here in new york had been deadlocked in a stalemate for some time one democrat switched sides and now just went back to the Dems what the ##### was all that about Chi Ching! All i can say is the Nero’s on both sides watch New York burn while they play with their fiddles last fall they came up here in upstate and reassessed all the property taxes not by 10% or 15 % they raised assessment’s as much as 50% on property taxes on everybody the retired and poor and struggling while energy costs skyrocketed they raised every tax possible and while personal incomes like you said have plummeted off a cliff pure dysfunction and corruption rule here Tammany hall has returned http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2009/07/09/2009-07-09_end_in_sight_for_senate_deadlock_rogue_democrat_pedro_espada.html

Posted by: Rodney Brown at July 10, 2009 11:39 AM
Comment #284297

The question ‘Do we “need” a second stimulus” is a good question. The following article is nonsense.

For example, the suggestion that deficit spending is like a blood transfusion” from one arm to another, with less being returned than extracted, makes no sense at all. Why would money that has been borrowed in the first place without corresponding taxation represent lost money?

Furthermore, why would anything be lost in the process of government stimulative spending? The money is allocated differently, from the private to the public sector and back again, but that does not mean the money is lost. The government spending may be less efficient than private spending, but it is more effective because it is targeted; it represents stimulation precisely because the private sector lacks the confidence to spend. The stimulation increases the velocity of money moving through the economy.

The interest on the deficit spending- that is another matter. The cost of the borrowed money is real. Deficit spending and a large national debt cannot be maintained over the long term. However, if the economy cannot recover and we live through a replay of Japan’s experience with asset deflation, the long term is a lost cause anyway.

The economy seems to be bottoming out this summer. That is what the Leading Economic Indicators are telling us. That does not mean an instantaneous recovery. Nevertheless, a recovery cannot occur with the LEI’s turning north.

Unemployment is a lagging indicator. It will continue climbing. The recovery will be long and slow. It is what it is.

The article suggests the stimulus package made the situation worse. That is a foolish suggestion. The factors locking in that decline were in place long before the package was ever passed. The package made the decline less bad than it could have been. The hope was that it would do more, and some of the long-term portions of the stimulus package will continue contributing.

I work with HR and IT managers. Virtually no one is afraid of a ‘messianic’ Obama doing something that will hurt the business climate. That is complete baloney. Virtually everyone is afraid of lay-offs and unemployment.

Posted by: phx8 at July 10, 2009 11:56 AM
Comment #284298

I enjoy how those who refer to Obama as a “messiah” in sarcastic terms are the very same people who demand he wave a magic wand over everything and magically whisk out problems away. Seems slightly hypocritical if you ask me, but this is exactly what a lot of people are duing.

Posted by: mike falino at July 10, 2009 12:01 PM
Comment #284300

mike,
ain’t that the truth!

Posted by: gergle at July 10, 2009 1:24 PM
Comment #284302

Right you are J2T2. Every action taken by the Corpocracy ends up with all the risk placed on the taxpayer. When you borrow money you are expected to pay it back. Has there been any discussion above the grave digger level about how we are going to pay this money back? Can you imagine the inflation that will ensue as this massive printing and borrowing of money hits the street? That’s a couple of years off and Obama will still be around. I’ll keep my powder dry for that time.
According to the Pres. Natl Assn of Mfctrs, taxes on foreign profits by US Corporations operating overseas is deferred ‘until such time as that money is returned to the US’. The US taxpayer has paid billions to relocate these Corps overseas. I believe I heard yesterday that UBS can’t divulge the names of US taxpayers using Swiss banks to for tax evasion purposes. Can you name a product of US manufacture that is now manufactured in China by a US company that cost less? In other words greed became good in the 80’s and now greed is REAL good. Can anyone say why GE needs bailout money? AIG is still moaning about wanting to pay a few hundred more employees their bonuses. If a small biz fails does the owner get a bonus? Should big biz be any different? What kind of ‘capitalism’ is it if compensation is not tied to profits? Corpocracy-Capitalism I would think. A free ride for the free traders and all the risk to the taxpayers.
Most folks seem to rant and rail and maybe hit a TEA party now and then. I believe those folks really believe that it’s a hopeless situation and the best that can be achieved is some ‘change’ around the fringe. Real reform will never happen as long as people believe it is impossible to achieve. The Pres. Natil Assn of Mfctrs quipped “how silly to pose such a question” when asked if US corporations were patriotic. That’s how I feel about reform. How silly it is to not believe reform is possible. Our Founder’s provided a way for that a couple of hundred years ago. www.republicsentry.com

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve/

Posted by: Roy Ellis at July 10, 2009 3:27 PM
Comment #284303

Texas, a most Republican state, is looking to the Federal gov’t. for $160 million to shore up their flagging unemployment insurance fund reserve.

Republicans love to trash Democrats for deficit spending, but, when it comes to their own reelection requirements (employment issues), they don’t have any trouble at all adding to the deficit. This is precisely why there is virtually no difference between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to fiscal matters. Both will throw responsibility out the window if deficit spending can translate into votes for themselves in the next election.

Political parties have but one master. Election wins at any price, and sacrifice of any value and ethics. Power is the ultimate master of political parties, so we shouldn’t be at all surprised when our politicians, yield to their party’s demands to placate those who will fund their next election in legislation and policy: the people and nation be damned.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 10, 2009 3:31 PM
Comment #284305

We might very well need it. I think the President and everybody else ought to start drawing up plans, figuring out directions that the stimulus could go.

And then stick the sucker in a desk drawer, until its clear its necessary.

The claim the author makes, without so much of an ounce of evidence that the Stimulus Spending has gone to waste, is that federal spending must be wasteful. For my part, I think this is an unfortunate trope on the part of the Republicans, because quite plainly it becomes an excuse, a reason to shrug at that waste, rather than open up the coffin and put a stake through it.

When you hate big government, what the point in improving its efficiency, making it easier for those whose control you detest to rule us all? Better to badmouth everything, encourage the further destruction of enforcement and oversight, give out free money in tax cuts, and then say I told you so when the government runs like crap.

If you want unaccountable government, let those who hate government have control. They don’t care, why should they make improvements?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 10, 2009 4:17 PM
Comment #284307

Ah, we’ve got a good one going now! Agree 100% with your post David. That’s why Reggis Burris (sic) from Il. decided not to run for the Senate again within a couple of months of his nomination. No sense turning to the people for support when the political masters of the Corpocracy tells you you are thorough. You don’t get a foot in the door unless you espouse the Party line long enough and hard enough to convince them you are a made man/woman.
So, what are we going to do about this David? How do we pull the tentacles of the Corpocracy loose from government? Why is the government offering to use your tax dollars to give me a $4500 rebate for turning in my junker on a new one. Why does the government use my tax dollars to give you a tax cut for having a baby? The federal govt was invented to provide for security of the nation and little else. Now it has become the dig wagging it’s tail (the states). All of our ills and the govt is able to give Mex. $1.4B for the drug war, $900M I believe for Hamas, looking for $20B for Africa’s corrupt politicians, even sent some of your tax dollars to Somalia where they just recently beheaded seven. Israel and Egypt get about $3B each year I do believe. It would be most interesting to be able to collect all the little figures for taxpayer monies that have been pissed away by this government over the last 50 years. The least of which is paying GM to relocate overseas, then paying GM to go bankrupt and divest their legacy, and soon they will pay GM some more to ‘tool up’ for the car of the future.
If we agree that political parties are rotten to the core and allow our corrupt and broken government to flourish, what are we going to do about it? Anything short of violence must be done through the ballot box. That’s the solution our Founder’s provided and expected us to pursue when things went wrong. Every one of us should agree that no matter how you vote or how often you vote for the duopoly things will not markedly change. How could Chuck Shumer shut down an investigation into ACORN with no other legislators making any waves. They know when to talk or when to shut up.
Therefore, aren’t we capable of fighting fire with fire? Let’s start a party with a different political attitude. One that puts accountability into the political equation. A Party founded on some rules that are darn neigh impossible to change. Rules that allow the membership to serve as oversight for elected officials, political appointees, czars, ambassadors, etc. Let’s set down a reform agenda that will restore our sovereignty, our Constitution, and our democratic principles we once lived by. And, if the elected ones fail to support this reform agenda the membership can and will reject them from the Party by mandatory vote. Better yet! Check out the Republic Sentry Party. This Party can serve as a platform for reform of government. Fight fire with fire, achieve needed reform and KEEP IT THAT WAY.

Stephen the Dems and Reps have had a couple of hundred years to ‘put a stake through it’. They’ve had 50 years to close the border. Ad Nauseum. I don’t hate government Stephen. I don’t even hate the Corpocracy. People are people and if they can stay within the system of laws or work the grey areas and enrich or empower themselves at the expense of others they will do so. Brings to mind the greedy madam who ran much of the hotel industry. I don’t choose to live under a Corpocracy. I want a government of, by and for the people AND KEEP IT THAT WAY. www.republicsentry.com Stephen.

Otherwise, you have the Corpocracy YOU deserve

Posted by: Roy Ellis at July 10, 2009 5:54 PM
Comment #284309

Roy Ellis asked: “So, what are we going to do about this David?”

Well, what I did just today was participate in a half hour radio interview with Douglass Watts of The Rhino Show on BlogTalk radio, discussing the purpose and growth of the Vote Out Incumbents Democracy political action committee organization.

It is all about engaging the public with an alternative.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 10, 2009 7:19 PM
Comment #284310

Why I can’t fualt the verage American for worring about their job, the idea that we should invest more money into the Disposable Society of the Youth of the 60’s and Silver Spoons of the 70’s is at best a joke and worse a play of by some to deny the Children of the 21st Century the ame right to change the way business does business as their parents.

For how many tvs, cd players, and all the other junk on the market do you and your children need. And though you can blame our leaders for building a consumer based economy over the last 30 years, how many people remember when telephones shared lines or borrowing your nieghbors mower to cut the lawn. I wonder what ones Christmas list would be if they knew that Commerce and Industry has the technology to make every consumer economically viable and financially independent and build a Self-Sufficient Sustainable Government that does not need to raise taxes for such expenses as energy, heating, and maintainance.

Yes, the Learned and Unlearned of My Peers and Community Elders need a crash course in what is available that our parents and grandparents did not have 30, 60. or even 100 years ago. For from the simple act of changing the type of packing material from plastic to bio-mass would not only save the Taxpayer money by reducing the need for landfills, but inspire the Consumer and Small Business Owner to start charging the Waste Management Corporation for suppling them with the material they can use to reclaim natural gas. Opps, imagine the problem that would create when the CEOs’ could no longer exploit the Ignorance of others and line their pockets with Free Money. And have to start paying the citizens instead of charging themm to take away their trash.

Yes, I oppose the Government speding more money to line the Pockets of Fools, but now if the Private Sector is willing to start creating the facilities and services that will allow all citizens to stop throwing away their money than I do believe that an American Comprehensive Action Plan to help Commerce and Industry retool outdated plants so that the Stockholders could make more profits in cost savings and the production of renewable resources would be a good investment for every American.

Simply put. Do “We the People” spend money on making the Rich richer or can the Children of the 70’s and 21st Century discover how to use the Endless Resources of Nature spoke about by our ancestors and forefathers to build the World those over the age of 50 couldn’t even dream of becuase they were limited to the sky?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at July 10, 2009 7:19 PM
Comment #284314

Some people are finding out that it is a lot easier to imagine something great than to achieve that in the real world. It is also a lot more fun to criticize others for their mistakes than go one better yourself.

It is interesting how the tables have turned and much faster than I thought. A back in 2005, the Republicans “owned everything” and their opponents found lots to blame them for. Even when the economy was growing and unemployment and the deficit was dropping, it was never good enough. Democrats said that it was their duty to be in the opposition, and they were right. Republicans asked Democrats to get on board, but they demurred. Criticism was too much fun and profit.

Democrats have controlled congress since 2007, so they are entering their third year of power there and they now they own everything, to an even greater extent than Republicans ever did. But they don’t want to take any of the responsibility.

Biden makes the excuse that “it was worse than we thought” when we see the situation get much worse than they said under Democratic leadership. But Democrats controlled Congress during the time when the economy started to decline. How could they not have seen it? Economic factors can be seen by all. Harry & Nancy cannot again claim they were misled or uninformed. Playing the ignorant victim really doesn’t work when you are in charge of everything.

Most economist oppose another stimulus - http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124708099206913393.html. The one the Democrats rushed through Congress before any of them, or anybody else, could read it has not achieved the promised effect so far, but you have to give it a chance to work before you pile more manure on. They really have not have had time to spend the money they already got. Politicians love to give away money, but somebody will have to pay for this.

The economy is a big thing that politicians pretend to control. Ill conceived stimulations are likely to cause more harm than good. I think of the economy like a person who has suffered an illness. We administered the medicine in late 2008. It was working, but we got impatient, so we pumped in some amphetamines. They may have slowed the actual recovery, but they made everybody feel that action was being taken. Fine. But let’s not pump in any more so that politicians can feel good at the expense of our long-term economic health. The difference between a healing medicine and a deadly poison may be in the dosage. We should be careful when pumping in more debt than ever before in the history of the world. Politicians should remember the Hippocratic oath and first do no harm.

Posted by: Christine at July 10, 2009 8:37 PM
Comment #284315

rodney

“last fall they came up here in upstate and reassessed all the property taxes not by 10% or 15 % they raised assessment’s as much as 50% on property taxes on everybody the retired and poor and struggling while energy costs skyrocketed they raised every tax possible and while personal incomes like you said have plummeted off a cliff pure dysfunction and corruption rule here Tammany hall has returned”


PROP 13, GET YOUR PROP 13, GET IT WHILE IT”S HOT. sorry i coudn’t resist. thats probably your only real solution.

Posted by: dbs at July 10, 2009 8:40 PM
Comment #284332

More stimulus?

Did the first stimulus work, or merely push the debt beyond already-nightmare proportions?

Throwing trillions of dollars of new money created out of thin air won’t solve the problem (and will most likely make it worse), will it?

Repeatedly rewarding Congress with 85%-to-90% re-election won’t solve the problem (connect.bioneers.org/video/indepth-look-128-trillion-a), will it?

Even in 1933, when unhappy voters finally ousted 206 members of Congress, the Great Depression still lasted almost another decade.

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 July 11, 2009 7:58 AM
Comment #284341

NO

Posted by: KAP at July 11, 2009 11:41 AM
Comment #284345

Re political Parties: Watching c-span this AM interviewing a historian who wrote a biography on George Washington. He noted that before political parties there were ‘factions’ or small groups of people who organized politically. With Washington’s Presidency certain factions began to co-opt government in their favor. Alexander Hamilton was able to create the Federal Bank which Jefferson and others opposed. George, Jefferson and some of their close allies opposed political parties as they saw their corrupting nature in politics. However, in order to fight their political opposition Jefferson and James Madison created the Democratic (conservative) Party to counter Hamilton’s way with government. In response Hamilton’s group created the Federalist Party. Thus it began. I do find it interesting that the Founder’s split into Parties to do battle but it seems like the very natural thing to do. Strength in numbers is as old as the hills. Anyway, by creating a federal government George got what he wanted. A central government sufficiently strong to defend America. And, the political party thing is as relevant today as it was then.
Again, it’s only natural that people will choose to gain influence over any organization that can improve their lot in life. Leaves us today wondering if by giving a measly $19k to Steny Hoyer’s campaign fund over a several year period SMARTRONIX was able to lock down an $18M dollar contract to design the website for tracking Recovery Act funds. Plausible denial and accountability. We need a better balance between those two.
I agree with the Founder’s. Fight fire with fire. It’s the only way we can solve our political dilemma. But, just creating another political party won’t get the job done. A new party must be founded in some rules, similar to the Constitution, making it near impossible for those seeking special influence to gain any traction. That’s what we’ve tried to do at Republic Sentry. By working to found the Party with four or five rules politicians can be held accountable for their actions, or perceived actions and removed from the Party through membership vote. How, would the opposition counter such a Party? To the contrary, they would be compelled to create political parties that provide equal safeguards for the Constitution, our sovereignty and democratic principles of life. Fancy that!
Christine, very well stated. I come at it from a different angle. In a nutshell, let’s consider drugs and immigration. (makes me think of Joe Kennedy bootlegging for his fortune and then becoming ambassador to somewhere, Ireland I suppose). Beginning with the Regan era the government has been going to take care of the drug problem and illegal immigration. What has been the outlay of dollars in this supposed war on drugs? Counter-narcotics flung all around the world and yet nearly all of the drugs come across the Southern border. Most come across in 18 wheelers facilitated by government programs to automate border check points allowing pre-approved vehicles to wave their pass card and keep right on trucking. In brief, there is no desire to stop the drugs. This business ranks in the top 10-15 in the country. Employs thousands of people. Stephen D. said the government has had years to ‘drive a stake through it’ and I agree with him on that. Immigration, while illegal according to the law books, has been and is being facilitated by the very government who put the law on the books. Of recent the government has spent billions to lock in and support the illegal population, done in the middle of a recession no less. Congress votes themselves a raise every year while the minimum wage is somewhere South of $10./hr.
We need a middle class or working class revolt. We need government reform. Just debating the issues and attending an occasional TEA party is not going to get it done.
I believe d.a.n is on the right track. I see no way for us to pay off the debt this country has accrued. Our great great grandchildren will be indentured through this foolishness. My father was the sole bread winner, new car every 4 years, 40 acres and a mule, etc. Compare that to where we are today. Leasing our federal (taxpayer) highways to foreigner entities, etc. d.a.n, please post your 100 year graph of inflation on this thread. That one graph says it all.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve

Posted by: Roy Ellis at July 11, 2009 12:27 PM
Comment #284351

””“PROP 13, GET YOUR PROP 13, GET IT WHILE IT”S HOT. sorry i coudn’t resist. thats probably your only real solution.”“” Said dbs, well just look at all the gutted out cities in upstate NY that were the jewels of Upstate NY Business , Industry, LABOR the railroads almost all gone now, So many young people leaving this upstate to go down south or to other areas .

Posted by: Rodney Brown at July 11, 2009 4:26 PM
Comment #284367

A 2nd stimulus is not needed and will further prolong the recession, IMO. Involves more wealth distribution, borrowing/printing more money which will lead to hyper-inflation, and only 10-12% of 1st stimulus funds have been expended. It’s way clear the admin has little insight as how to effectively allocate the dollars as they keep chaging their game plan. In brief, they allocated a big slush fund of a couple of trillion dollars and will just spend from it willy-nilly over the next couple of years. Nothing more than a continuation of pissing away the wealth of this country in breaking down the middle class. That has been the main goal of government beginning with Regan and free trade. They intend to put the US on a level playing field with the rest of the world to enable the US to compete with the cheap labor markets of the world. That people can’t see that, or ignore that is a major problem for me. Because, I see free trade as the wrong approach. Instead of using the illegal immigrant and wealth distribution (to China/Saudi, etc) to put the US on a level playing field with the world I believe the US should strive to maintain our standard of living and bring the world along as best we can. Free trade has delivered the recession and brought poverty to many many developing nations. For instance, ‘O’ went to africa and offered them $20B in international funds and another $83B, I believe, in medical assistance. Knowing full well that any monies poured into Africa go straight to Swiss banks (Timely insert: “The U.S. and Swiss governments and banking giant UBS AG are asking for a delay in an attempt by the U.S. to obtain names of thousands of suspected American tax evaders.
The U.S. claims some 52,000 wealthy Americans are dodging taxes by hiding billions of dollars in UBS accounts.”
Rather than the free trade approach why not set up agri-biz in the fertile areas of Africa with US equipment and know how. Grow and process food for the continent. From such, African owned biz would start up producing jobs, etc. I no longer want my tax dollars making interest for African dictators.
So, no to a 2nd or 3rd or 4th stimulus.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at July 12, 2009 11:44 AM
Comment #284374
Roy Ellis wrote: d.a.n, please post your 100 year graph of inflation on this thread. That one graph says it all.
Inflation … (which is not even reported honestly, since the calculation was fudged downward in year 1983 and again in year 1998: See www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data ).

Worse than inflation is the untenable debt … of nightmare proportions, which is 70% larger per-capita today than after World War II (year 1945).

The predictable and painful consequences of decades of so much short-term selfishness and the lack of enough long-term, educated, enlightened self-interest.

Perhaps when things get bad enough, when enough voters are deep-into-debt, jobless, homeless, and hungry, then perhaps enough voters will finally repeat what most unhappy voters did in years 1929, 1931, 1933, and 1993.

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 July 12, 2009 2:14 PM
Comment #284389

One question about your charts d.a.n.,

If the drop in GDP shown around 1945 didn’t tank the economy, and cause “untenable debt and hyperinflation” why will it now?

And a few more curiosities:

So, to say there hasn’t been a depression since 1933 is NOT really true. The double-digit inflation, price controls, and instability of the late 1970s and early 1980s was devastating too.

Actually, it IS true, by definition.

So, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see how this could all culminate to create an economic melt-down.

The culprit is: inflation …

Not being a rocket scientist, I don’t quite follow your economic theory here, but at least you do use the slight caveat, “could”.

You say that inflation was “fudged” in 1983 and 1998, but don’t explain why. Why? Were the numbers changed without explanation?

Thirdly, what happens to your charts if GDP rises, reducing debt without sparking hyperinflation?

Posted by: gergle at July 12, 2009 9:13 PM
Comment #284393

Heard some noise on the tube today as to whether Greenland should be able to sue the US for the worldwide recession. A talking head noted that Greenland would have been bailed out by the EU bu because Greenland has repeatedly refused them fishing rights Greenland is having a particularly hard time. From an AP source I believe, “Rep. Alcee Hastings - the impeached Florida judge Nancy Pelosi tried to install as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee until her own party members rebelled - introduced an amendment to the defense authorization bill that gives Attorney General Eric Holder sole discretion to label groups that oppose government policy on guns, abortion, immigration, states’ rights, or a host of other issues. In a June 25 speech on the House floor, Rep. Trent Franks, R-AZ, blasted the idea: “This sounds an alarm for many of us because of the recent shocking and offensive report released by the Department of Homeland Security which labeled, arguably, a majority of Americans as ‘extremists.’” Maybe we should cool our rhetoric! Although, I do feel extreme!
On another note, Obama has said he wants to appoint SCJ’s who demonstrate empathy. That would suggest favoring the poor over the rich. The SOJ’s take an oath they will show no bias toward rich or poor. Is Obama not a Constitutionalist?

Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at July 12, 2009 10:51 PM
Comment #284394

Gergle,
I agree with your observations about inflation.

d.a.n. & Roy,
Inflation and hyper-inflation are not the problems we face. The problem is precisely the opposite: deflation, especially asset deflation. This is not the same kind of economic decline we have seen in the past. It is nothing like those previous ones. The Obama administration is doing everything possible to prevent asset delation. We’re desperate to prevent a replay of the Japanese experience with their asset deflation. If we suffer a similar fate, we would see the Dow Jones at 4259… in the year 2026. It’s that bad.

Asset deflation is the worse problem to face. We may not be able to pull ourselves out. We may see the situation as bad or worse for years to come.

The Federal Reserve has already dropped interest rates as far as possible. It is terribly sad for the US that the debt was run up in the past, because stimulative packages are the best solution towards restarting the economy. I’m not disagreeing that the national debt and federal deficits are bad. They are. However, we’re in the position of choosing the least worst alternative.

The country has fallen a long way in a short time. We’re still falling.

I don’t blame Obama. I’m sorry to see the Obama administration made the choice to attempt to resurrect the previous system, but I understand the choice. It’s just that too much damage has already been done. The damage is deep. It cuts to the bone.

To pull out of this, the country will need to provide universal health care. Canada spends 12% of its GDP on healthcare. The US spends 17%. Alternative energies need to replace oil to the greatest extent possible, as quickly as possible. Commodity based inflation sparked by demand for oil and shrinking supply are a threat, but they can be avoided if we act.

Once US GDP grows again… whenever that day comes… taxes will have to increased, and spending cut back.

I’m not optimist. Too many large corporations are invested in preventing action, and with our political system, it’s not difficult to do.

Posted by: phx8 at July 12, 2009 11:25 PM
Comment #284402

Roy,

Homeland Security which labeled, arguably, a majority of Americans as ‘extremists.’”

….Or not so arguably. What it stated was a likely threat by homegrown terrorists….you do remember Timothy McVeigh don’t you?

Posted by: gergle at July 13, 2009 1:58 AM
Comment #284403

phx8,

I do think d.a.n. makes valid points, and there IS a danger of hyperinflation, as well as deflation. I don’t think we really need to worry about hyperinflation, at this point, and as you point out, deflation is probably the bigger worry, today.

It’s going to be a tricky walk out of the woods.

I just don’t think a tone of conspiracy about inflation is accurate or effective in conveying his points.

Alt A loans are picking up on default rates and are going to be another wave of banking instability issues in the near term. Criticizing the stimulus is more than a bit premature at this point. Will more be needed? I don’t think anyone knows, yet. As Obama points out, he’s looking at a 2 year time horizon, not 4 months.

Posted by: gergle at July 13, 2009 2:07 AM
Comment #284407

I have to agree with Stephen Barone’s analopy of the stimulus being like a blood transfusion from one arm to the other with some spilling.

We are getting away with borrowing money from China only because we are counting on them to never ask for it back. Sounds like an economic house of cards to me.

Posted by: Schwamp at July 13, 2009 8:25 AM
Comment #284410

T Boone has shelfed the windmills and is looking for new places to install some and House them. http://seekingalpha.com/article/147955-t-boone-pickens-epic-wind-fail Quote “”If the goal is to increase wind’s percentage of energy production to 20%, the amount of new transmission lines needed to handle the electrical load is estimated to be between 12,650 and 19,000 miles - over $60 billion worth. When I wrote about the stimulus plan in February (Is Alternative Energy Dead?), I mentioned that the U.S. had only $11 billion earmarked for investment in transmission projects.”“

Posted by: Rodney Brown at July 13, 2009 11:17 AM
Comment #284411

I’m not so much interested in solutions to our many problems. I’m looking at the cause of our problems over the last 30-40 years. The problem is Dems and Reps and I’m ready for a long over due reform of government.

Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at July 13, 2009 12:03 PM
Comment #284413

“”Well, what I did just today was participate in a half hour radio interview with Douglass Watts of The Rhino Show on BlogTalk radio, discussing the purpose and growth of the Vote Out Incumbents Democracy political action committee organization.

It is all about engaging the public with an alternative. “”” Said David R. Remer. I listened to the radio program and was very impressed David , Your delivery and message was clear and concise and right to the point of what the founders designed for us in We The People in the first place it’s right their in black and white and I never seen anywhere in the Constitution where a Republican or Democratic insignia was stamped after there names and they all had their own ideologies instilled and already in place, Good gosh if we could get just 25% to 35% of We The People to vote for an alternative Person to remove the “Kings” and there jesters from power what a wonderful world it “Could” be.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at July 13, 2009 1:05 PM
Comment #284419

Rodney,

Thanks. It is a message and understanding I have honed here at WatchBlog and at Vote Out Incumbents Democracy from my own education and the feedback of many others.

It is an unmistakable truth, but, one which is kept a secret from voters and the media at large, at enormous expense and effort by the incumbents and party heads of the duopoly party. Truth doesn’t sell well in America anymore, only the extraordinarily bad or good, outrageous or reality show mundane. Simple truth, no, not much market for that these days.

We will however, eventually acquire a loyal American patriot who has become very wealthy in America who will patron our VOID organization, and then, we will be able to afford to hire an expert or two to dress up the simple truth in a way that will get folks attention. That, or, our nation will fail first, and 200 million American lives will be devastated in a manner not dissimilar to that of the 1930’s.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 13, 2009 5:10 PM
Comment #284434
Roy Ellis wrote: I’m not so much interested in solutions to our many problems. I’m looking at the cause of our problems over the last 30-40 years. The problem is Dems and Reps and I’m ready for a long over due reform of government.
That’s a perceptive statement.

A lot of people are distracted by quick-fixes and half-ass solutions.

The root of our problem is very simple.
It’s us.
All of us.

Education is the key, and most Americans are getting their education.

This economic tsunami may be a good thing for America and voters. If for no other reason, than to obtain their much-needed education. Regardless, they’re going to get their education one way or another. The sooner, the better.

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 July 14, 2009 12:04 AM
Comment #284454

That’s right David, A heavy hitter like A “Sam Wainwright ” Thousands of them out there Men and women, Many of them i’m sure are feeling disconnected from the duopoly party.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at July 14, 2009 12:58 PM
Comment #284457

Yeah d.a.n, you are right. All of us. Hard to say who is more at fault. Voters are doing what comes natural and so are the politicians. And, I agree that education is the better way to achieve reform. Maybe we will get some action in 2010, 16 months away. Nah!!

Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at July 14, 2009 1:25 PM
Comment #284465

d.a.n, there are signs the public is getting the education it deserves. They are saving more, anxious more, and spending less on non-essentials. These are positive signs that some modicum of education in the wake of this economic debacle is taking place. How much and how quickly remains to be seen.

But, this is why creating jobs as an economic stimulus is the better stimulus, and not a direct cash infusion into tax payer’s pockets, because cash is being saved, not spent, and therefore, holds little economic stimulus benefit. Whereas, jobs creation does stimulate economic activity by the newly employed and businesses engaged in the creating those jobs, and the subsequent spending on essentials, and some descretionary. In addition these jobs remove workers from the tax dollar funded unemployment drain on the federal budget. Though of course, that benefit is only partial as federal tax dollars are spent to create those jobs along with matching state funds.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 14, 2009 4:14 PM
Comment #284480

The President is talking about providing training for the unemployed to shoe horn them into the jobs of the ‘future’. Of course we are all waiting with bated breath. I’m 68 but I believe I could handle a job of the future if it was offered. Saw recently where ExXon Mobile put $500M into an effort to convert bio-material into an alternative fuel. Making good press but laughable as ExXon Mobile brings in something like $400B a year.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at July 14, 2009 7:53 PM
Comment #284489
David R. Remer wrote: d.a.n, there are signs the public is getting the education it deserves. They are saving more, anxious more, and spending less on non-essentials.
That’s only the tip of the iceberg, and it’s very likely to get much worse over the next 4 years. Foreclosures and bankruptcies are still very high, the $11.6 Trillion national debt is 70% higher (per-capita; $37K) today than it the national debt per-capita ($22K in 2008 dollars) was in year 1945 after World War II, the $57 Trillion nation-wide debt is up from 100% of GDP in year 1956 to 411% of GDP today (and the percentage per-capita is even larger), and all of it is getting worse. The talk about a recovery by the end of the year is delusional, when it took 5 years for foreclosures to ramp up to 3+ million per year (8,000 to 10,000 per day), and it will take years to ramp-down. And even then, the massive $11.6+ Trillion National Debt and $57+ Trillion nation-wide debt will still be there (or worse).

And then there’s this $12.8 Trillion of rescue money borrowed and created out of thin air too.

When inflation from so much borrowing and new money finally kicks in, it will most likely be unstoppable.
The debt is most likely untenable.

And none of that includes a looming $62 Trillion Credit Default Swap (CDS)/Derivatives bubble.

David R. Remer wrote: These are positive signs that some modicum of education in the wake of this economic debacle is taking place. How much and how quickly remains to be seen.
It’s not nearly enough, nor soon enough to avoid significant pain and misery for many years to come. And it will get much worse as long as too many voters continue to reward FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress for these 10 major abuses with 85%-to-90% re-election rates.
David R. Remer wrote: But, this is why creating jobs as an economic stimulus is the better stimulus, and not a direct cash infusion into tax payer’s pockets, because cash is being saved, not spent, and therefore, holds little economic stimulus benefit. Whereas, jobs creation does stimulate economic activity by the newly employed and businesses engaged in the creating those jobs, and the subsequent spending on essentials, and some descretionary. In addition these jobs remove workers from the tax dollar funded unemployment drain on the federal budget. Though of course, that benefit is only partial as federal tax dollars are spent to create those jobs along with matching state funds.
Well, we’ll have to part ways on that path, because no nation so ridiculously deep into debt has ever borrowed, money-printed, and spent it’s way to prosperity.

I’m not at all convinced that all of this massive borrowing, money-printing, and rampant pork-barrel spending will help more than it hurts.
The debt is so massive, it’s clear that it can’t be paid-down even by 33% in many decades.
At only 2.5% interest, it would take over 200 years to merely pay down only 33% of $11.6 Trillion dollars
Too many Americans do not understand how long and how painful so much debt will be for a long, long, long time.
Younger Americans are getting screwed royally with massive debt that will last long after they are gone (unless something else drastic happens to change it, and that’s not far fetched).

Roy Ellis wrote: The President is talking about providing training for the unemployed to shoe horn them into the jobs of the ‘future’. Of course we are all waiting with bated breath. I’m 68 but I believe I could handle a job of the future if it was offered. Saw recently where ExXon Mobile put $500M into an effort to convert bio-material into an alternative fuel. Making good press but laughable as ExXon Mobile brings in something like $400B a year.
Even more ridiculous with tens of millions of illegal aliens, jobs still leaving the nation in droves, umemployment still rising to double-digit levels, and massive debt of nightmare proportions being ignored as usual … at least until all of it becomes too painful.

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 July 15, 2009 12:12 AM
Comment #284497

One tht bears watching: International conglomerates and large corporations are once again trying to change US paten law (HR1250). The corporatist want the law to real ‘first to file’ rather than the current law which reads somethig kuje ‘first person to file”. The idea is to root out the potential for a small inventor to retain patent rights. They also want to put in a new litigation rule whereby the patent has to be defended ever so often which will be prohibitively expensive for the small inventor. They tried twelve years ago, last year and if they don’t win this year they will keep buying votes until they do.
d.a.n, the numbers are staggering but like you said business as usual, nobody paying any real attention or perhaps they expect the President to straighten things out in a few months. Maybe we should just agree to hold our breath and go down feeling proud.


Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at July 15, 2009 9:12 AM
Comment #284501

d.a.n said: “Well, we’ll have to part ways on that path, because no nation so ridiculously deep into debt has ever borrowed, money-printed, and spent it’s way to prosperity.”

And no one ever walked on the Moon until Neil Armstrong did the first time, either. And no one was ever immunized against smallpox until Jonas Salk invented the vaccine.

I agree with the rest of your commentary. But, the argument that because something hasn’t happened before, precludes it from ever happening in the future, runs contrary to entire human history.

Brazil’s economy just a couple decades ago was regarded as hopeless and incurable, rampant with debt and hyperinflation. Today, Brazil has one of the more rapidly growing economies and its fiscal management is generally regarded as among the best of the emerging economies.

One thing that will doom the American economy without any doubt at all, is the auction of federal debt in which there are no buyers. That will put and end to floating debt with more debt, and the house of cards will implode.

But, no other major economic nation in the world wants to see that happen, due to the interdependence of economies among the major nations. Therefore, it is not at all assured, that such an event will occur. It could. But, it also, very realistically, may not. The future on that point is unknowable.

We are rapidly approaching the brink of an economic chasm, to be sure. But, between here and moving an inch past the edge, a number of brakes can be applied, and steerage can alter our direction. The greatest single economic crisis our future poses is health care costs and the unfunded mandates of the Medicare/Medicaid system.

Our government is attempting to ameliorate that threat, and if successful, our economic demise is not assured by any means. Which means there is still cause and reason for hope and action to contact representatives and tell them, fix the rising health care debacle or we won’t vote to reelect them.

Even if making the calls doesn’t fix the problem, I can feel that I was part of the solution, not the source of the problem.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 15, 2009 10:49 AM
Comment #284512

Agree healthcare is ‘one’ of the big elephants in the room. Even China is demanding we solve the healthcare issue. The President is saying this morning that our healthcare won’t cost any more than we are paying now. Is this a something new? I’ve heard we are in for 1-3T for healthcare. Or, at least a third more.
I’m not worrled about falling into a chasm or a depression, etc. When the Corpocracy feels the US working class has been sufficiently reduced to third world status they will take the heat off. I’ve said that will be when wages hit $6/hr. I hope thats a good guess as a Chinese worker makes considerably less than that. I really think the healthcare thing is a farce that will go nowhere, like the cap and trade thing. Folks making $6/hr can’t afford the type of healthcare we currently have. Or, maybe reform to get less, that might work.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at July 15, 2009 1:44 PM
Comment #284516

If the President is seriously expecting the well to do to pay extra for healthcare to hold up the poor, middle class and illegals he is barking up the wrong tree, IMO. Unlike the poor and middle class, the well to do have a voice and a loud one. They will shout him down in a NY minit. Only the poor and working folks will allow themselves to be used and not complain. Folks have tolerated a regressive tax system for near a century. Why? I just don’t know, maybe its benovelency. Dunno.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at July 15, 2009 3:03 PM
Comment #284518

Roy, short term investment in health reform will cost 1 tril. or more.

Long term savings of reform however, neutralize that cost by averting the current health care inflation. Obama could rightly argue, that in the long run, we will reap a net gain over the initial investment, but, explaining how that could take place would require talking over the public’s head by a few miles.

The Administration’s strategy here is very simple. People in general fear change. Ergo, bring about health care reform incrementally so as to engender the least fear over the long term changes. That in turn insures the legislative passage of what is otherwise, the biggest fudging reform to hit our government since the Civil Rights Act.

And if you will recall, the Civil Rights Act brought on enormous violence and protest by those fearing its changes. In the long run however, we are a far better and more respected nation for it. Especially since Obama’s election which kinda closed the chapter on that reform.

Obama’s approach to health care reform is the only way such a massive reform can take place. And it is still questionable whether or not, even these very careful measures to insure passage, will be successful.

Critics discount the raising of taxes on the upper 5% income group as offset. Critics minimize the offset value the competitive downward pressure on private insurance premiums which will be an inevitable result of a national health insurance offering. Critics discount the curtailing of the high costs of ER care for the uninsured for non-emergency care, as savings over decades to come.

In the long run, we will save far more than we invest in the reforms today, given the spiraling trajectory of health care costs without reform. And that trajectory must be abated, or we will absolutely and without any doubt, face and economic meltdown between 2020 and 2045, or another revolutionary and or civil war in America when the government is forced to abrogate its commitment to Medicare and Medicaid.

The current reforms proposed, will actually reduce the size and number insured under Medicare and Medicaid, but that’s a whole other complex topic.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 15, 2009 3:17 PM
Comment #284519

Roy, the very wealthy opposed to paying what is needed to save this nation’s future, lost their voice when the Republicans lost the majority in government. Plain and simple.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 15, 2009 3:18 PM
Comment #284549

David, the very wealthy have access to lobbyist and therefore any such plan to pay for healthcare is pure political foreplay. For the President to propose such a scheme tells me they aren’t serious in looking to ‘reform’ healthcare. Healthcare ‘reform’ is being used as a similar ploy like cap and trade to continue breaking down the middle class Either Lou or O’riley said tonight that we are now debtors in perpetuity.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at July 15, 2009 9:18 PM
Comment #284584

Over the course of 60 years we have gone from one wage earner to two wage earners, often with each working more than one job. And yet folks like Rodney has seen their taxes raise by 50%. My electric will have gone up 50% by next year. Even as the housing market crashes home appraisals are going through the roof. I don’t think cap and trade or healthcare will pass but if they do we’ll pay a third more for healthcare and whatever businesses get tagged for cap and trade will be passed on the consumer. Leads me to believe that within ten years we will have reached the bottom where we could begin to compete with India and China, start manufacturing againt, etc. What gets me is that the Corpocracy is achieving their goals by beating down the working class. They busted up GM to get rid of their legacy and high dollar workers and will no pay GM to go back in business with a cheaper labor force.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at July 16, 2009 11:05 AM
Comment #284638

Interesting manifesto Roy, but who exactly are they?
Do you have any names?

I agree there is a tilt against the working class, but I think you taken one or two steps a bit far.

David,

And if you will recall, the Civil Rights Act brought on enormous violence and protest by those fearing its changes.

While I agree busing and integration at schools brought about violence and protests, the Civil Rights act was actually brought about, in part, through violence and protests. I don’t recall massive protests against it once it was passed. A few KKK fringe idiots probably did, but they continue to be stupid and loud.

Posted by: gergle at July 17, 2009 7:59 PM
Comment #284648

The ‘they’ to which I referred would be the Corpocracy. The Corpocracy would be an incestous mix of corporate executives/lobbyist and legislators. GM and the government arranged for GM to relocate overseas and charged the taxpayers with the bill. More recently GM and the government arranged for GM to go belly up in Detroit and disgorge their legacy (pensions, high wages, run down plants, etc) and charaged the taxpayer with the bill. Now it appears that GM and the government will arrange for GM to continue to operate in the US and will charge to bill to retool, etc to the taxpayer and bring in new workers willing to work for less. I refer to these antics as ‘breaking down the middle class worker in getting us ready for globalized free trade. This last antic does leave me perplexed as I had expected GM to close shop and bail for China, at taxpayer expense of course. Surely GM can ship cars from China to points in the US and sell them for more profit than they would receive from selling a GM product mfctd in the US. So, why would they want to stick around? Dunno, just have to wait for the final outcome.
Also perplex by the rush to pass a healthcare bill funded by high end taxpayers. Ask an eskimo floating on some Siberian ice floe if such a bill would pass and he/she would laff you off the berg!

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve!

Posted by: Roy Ellis at July 17, 2009 11:10 PM
Comment #284656

Why should a non-profit national health insurance system it cost anything?

If there was a voluntary, non-profit, health insurance system, with lower premiums than current health insurance companies charge, it seems many people (tens of millions) would join up in a heart beat. Many could afford the premium, but simply can’t get approved for any health insurance plan from any for-profit company.

For the people that can’t afford the national health insurance from the non-profit national health insurance system, that’s what welfare is for.

It’s a bad idea to overlap the two.

So, now we’re hearing that this new national health insurance system is going to be mandatory?

Yikes!

Did we suddenly wake up in North Korea today?

If so, it will most likely fail miserably.

If a national health insurance system was voluntary, it seems there would be tens of millions that would participate. It’s not necessary to make it mandatory for everyone, it’s wrong to force people into this.

And if a national health insurance system is run as miserably as the federal government runs Social Security (trillions pilfered from it), Medicare (7% of it is lost annually to fraud), and the federal budget and debt ($11.6 Trillion), it will be equally as bad (or worse).

Why doesn’t the federal government simply stop these 10 abuses first, and then perhaps more Americans could afford medical insurance?

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 July 18, 2009 11:38 AM
Comment #284673

Being somewhat of a populist I have a hard time sanctioning public healthcare. But, its clear that government has to regulate whomever runs the healthcare business. It certainly seems a non-profit would better serve our interest. But, Dan, you know we can’t expect any reform that will serve the people and certainly nothing less expensive. The best deal the people could get is for the government to do nothing, in any sector. If congress would just go home and call in once every six months I would be happy. Nothing good can come of this government until reform is achieved.

Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at July 18, 2009 7:24 PM
Comment #284696

Yesterday Glen Beck did a blackboarding of the incestous relationship between Goldman-Sachs and Congress. Used the words ‘corpocracy’ and ‘oligarchy’ in describing government. He noted that his book ‘Common Sense’ has been on the best seller list for a while. I see no reason for me to read it as I am way out in front of Beck as far as government reform goes.
Ron Paul and a some other Senators are trying to bring on an investigation of Goldman-Sachs as it relates to the TARP and bailout funding. But, the uppercrust of Congress is really digging in to ensure no such thing happens. Wouldn’t it be neat to be able to go to a website and review the memos between the gov and Goldman-Sachs for the lat year or two?

Posted by: Roy Ellis at July 19, 2009 10:44 AM
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