Obama Announcing Economic Team

No surprises. Geithner at Treasury. Summers to head NEC. Romer to head CEA. And Melody Barnes to head the domestic policy council.

Key quote imo "We can not help Wall Street and not help Main Street."

I'll fill in more info as I get it.

Obama looking good in this press conference and fully committed to a massive stimulus package. Refuses to be pinned down on the amount but he clearly is signaling a huge investment. Good.

One thing for sure, whether Obama gets it right or wrong on everything, we will have a thinking, intelligent, engaged President again. Boy do we need that right now.

A near perfect press conference from my view.

Speaking for me only

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    Sounds like Obama isn't backing down (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:23:00 AM EST
    on letting the Bush tax cuts fall off.

    Agreed (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:25:29 AM EST
    And more importantly, to a huge stimulus package.

    Yup, he pretty much confirmed (none / 0) (#7)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:27:12 AM EST
    the Schumer number. Sounds good to me.

    Where's Krugman today? (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 02:51:27 PM EST
    It's Monday, but it looks like he didn't write a column. He's done some blogging today, but not on Obama's stimulus plan or the intent to retain the Bush tax cuts.

    How will I know what I think, till I hear Krugman say it.


    No what he backed down on was (none / 0) (#23)
    by Pepe on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:47:42 AM EST
    on raising taxes right out of the blocks. Good thing he listened to wiser people than himself. I argued endlessly here that to raise taxes now was stupid. I knew I was right on that because even JFK agreed that higher taxes doesn't improve the economy.

    On the other hand Obama's raising taxes rhetoric might have just been stealing a page from Edwards' populist play book for the general election so he could play the class warfare card and he never intended to raise taxes. He is good at psychological games. But then so was Bush.

    So either way, whether he intended to raise taxes and was reeled in by more sensible people - or if he never intended to raise taxes and just pulled the wool over everyones eyes - neither says anything highly of him. He was either wrong on raising taxes or he was disingenuous.


    Whuh? (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by TheRealFrank on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:57:41 AM EST
    Raising taxes? You've been watching too many McCain ads.

    It was about repealing the Bush tax cuts for people above $250,000, and giving everyone under $200,000 a tax break.

    This is similar to what Clinton passed in 1993. It worked out just fine.

    My problem with not doing this is that the budget is going to be a total disaster. I see lots of spending (which is good and necessary), but no government revenue or cuts anywhere. The budget deficit is already a big problem, not to mention the national debt.

    If they don't repeal the tax breaks for the rich, then I guess they're going for some very serious deficit spending.


    Yes, the budget will be a disaster (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by Democratic Cat on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:37:11 PM EST
    The point of stimulating the economy through government spending is that the government spends more than it takes in in tax revenue.  That's how it's done.

    I think a huge stimulation is needed. Cleaning up the mess of the huge deficits this will generate will fall to (a) a future president; and (b) a stronger future economy if the deficit spending is focussed on infrastructure investment rather than just current consumption.  In a nod to TChris, infrastructure investment can and should include not just roads and bridges but investment in education and other human resources also.


    He should take another lesson from Clinton (none / 0) (#35)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:09:16 PM EST
    and jack up the gas tax.

    Ooooh (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by CST on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:15:24 PM EST
    We will never get off of oil until it is less expensive to use something else - which will never happen unless we start paying the true cost of fuel.  But it is so politically unpopular I don't know how you address it.  It would show some real b@lls though and I would love to see it.  Would definitely have to come along with some serious funding and support for public transit though.

    He won't do it (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:16:57 PM EST
    because it's political suicide. But the truth is that gas prices are too low again.

    We can tell that $4/gal was about right, because that's when people started really driving less and using public transportation.


    I agree 100% (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by CST on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:22:24 PM EST
    Although I hope the transit thing will stick despite gas prices.  People started because of gas prices, they might continue because of the economic collapse requiring all sorts of budget crunching.

    But Gas is definitely too cheap again.  There needs to be a serious investment in transit though.  It's pretty abysmal in most parts of the country.  Gas prices hurt a lot less when there is a legitimate alternative.


    And some people... (5.00 / 3) (#47)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:29:50 PM EST
    were eating less when it was 4 bucks a gallon.  Truckers went out of business.

    I couldn't be more strongly against higher taxes on staples.  Oil and gas, right or wrong, is a staple...no different than milk, rice, and beef.  There isn't a thing we consume that isn't brought to us by gasoline.  It may be a Catch-22, but until a viable alternative exists, taxing gas at a higher rate takes food out of people's mouths.  We should lower the gas tax to aid in an economic recovery, raising it would be an undue hardship on the most struggling among us.


    That's why (5.00 / 3) (#56)
    by CST on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:52:33 PM EST
    You have to earmark the money for alternate transit options.  And that includes freight.  A viable alternative won't exist until there is funding for it.  Some money could also go to subsidies for those who are really hurting.  The fact is, we aren't paying the true cost of fuel today, and it will cost us a lot more trying to clean up the mess in the future.  Andgarden is right - people had to start hurting before they got out of their cars.  But they did start getting out of their cars.  It's not pretty, but it will be a lot uglier later if there are no preventative steps.

    Personally, I disagree (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 01:14:31 PM EST
    with the idea that we should invest a lot of money now in alternative fuels and such - before they are economically viable.

    My reasoning is that when they do become economically viable the landscape will have changed such that whatever whiz bang stuff we come up with now will be obsolete.

    And I say this as someone who a couple decades ago was paid very well for years to come up with massive forward-looking infrastructure plans as stuff for a major city in the SW, but today 99% of those plans sit on shelves and will never see the light of day because the forecasts from back-in-the-day were sufficiently inaccurate such that the plans we designed back then are useless today.

    Not that the two issues are all that similar, it's just that I'm not confident that what we might develop now would be right for unknown future conditions.

    Also, why aren't we paying the "true" cost of fuel? What is the "true" cost?


    A few things (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by CST on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 01:25:17 PM EST
    I didn't necessarily say alternative fuels - there is also alternative transportation.  The options we have in a lot of major U.S. cities is slim to none.  With a big investment in public transit, some of the alternative fuel stuff can come later.  Alternative fuels for freight I think is more important than alternative fuels for cars - since people don't really need cars as much as they are used today.  However, efficiency in freight can be greatly improved, and we do have some of that technology already.

    The "true" cost of fuel includes the clean-up.  We are paying out the anus right now on environmental clean-up of old waste.  That will be the future cost of gasoline as well.


    Public transit can help, of course. (none / 0) (#65)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 01:49:46 PM EST
    PT benefits densely developed cities generally.  However if the goal is using less fuel, the billions of dollars spent to build subways in a city really results in but a drop in the bucket reduction in world-wide fuel use. Not counting the extra fuel to build the PT system in the first place.

    I'm not convinced PT is the "key" that will solve all/any of our energy problems.

    We are paying out the anus right now on environmental clean-up of old waste.
    I love the way guys talk! Anyway, yes, I see what you mean.

    Tee hee (none / 0) (#74)
    by CST on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 02:17:23 PM EST
    "I love the way guys talk!"

    I think you may be a bit confused there.  Us gals can use bad language too!

    Also, public transit isn't just subways.  I think there is a lot to be said for clean buses and busways.  If done right they can be a viable alternative as well with significantly lower infrastructure costs.  Although I must admit a personal preference for trains - buses are more fuel efficient except when trains are packed.

    It may be a drop in the bucket, but it's better than an empty bucket.  And I prefer to think of it as a light stream :)


    Don't forget rail... (5.00 / 4) (#76)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 02:21:03 PM EST
    both heavy and light.  Can serve both public transportation and moving goods from one place to another.  

    You funny! (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 02:31:34 PM EST
    Yes, LA recently installed the "Orange Line" a clean busway system across the valley connecting to our decade or so old subway system utilizing an abandoned railroad track right of way.

    My office is right near a stop and it seems to be well utilized, although I don't have any idea if it's self-funding or not.


    Yep... (none / 0) (#59)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 01:14:26 PM EST
    That's why I said Catch-22...alternatives need to be cheaper to take off, but artificially raising the price of gas and oil hurts those with nothing the most.

    Maybe we could just raise the taxes on jet fuel to fund alternatives?  Get more freight out of the air and onto the rails and roads, and it is not like any poor people are planning to hop a flight to Miami Beach or anything.


    And it is what most European countries (none / 0) (#54)
    by feet on earth on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:50:41 PM EST
    have been paying for the longest time.  In many countries many cars run on natural gas as well as gasoline.  It is years that all my family members over there go around happily with these cars.  It took gasoline to be has high as it has been to get there.  But, these are socialist countries (snark) with universal health care, stronger social nets, hybrid cars ...  

    So driving less (none / 0) (#66)
    by Pepe on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 01:51:45 PM EST
    and having less freedom of movement is a good thing?

    Frigging brilliant andgarden!

    Yeah less freedom of movement that's the ticket. Gees!


    You can walk anywhere you want! (5.00 / 4) (#94)
    by Fabian on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 03:12:09 PM EST
    Go for it!

    That "freedom of movement" is not free.  My vehicle (33-40mpg) is not "free".  The gas it runs on is not "free".  The roads I drive on are not "free".  All of that costs money.  Private money.  Taxes.  Subsidies.

    Freedom of movement?  Sure.  Free ride?  No.


    I can only hope (none / 0) (#105)
    by Pepe on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 03:47:08 PM EST
    that you are snarking and that you really get what it was I was saying.

    Choices have consequences. (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by Fabian on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 07:08:41 PM EST
    It isn't snark.  I'm tired of the "We have always done things this way." malarkey.  We haven't always done anything.  Ever.

    Any place that relies on cheap long distance travel is going to be in trouble.  New Orleans? I'm really sorry.  Las Vegas?  My condolences.  And so on.

    Change?  You want change?  Better get ready because Change is a'coming.  


    OK (none / 0) (#122)
    by Pepe on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 12:26:26 AM EST
    You missed my point all together. Your're riffing on your own thing so I won't bother explaining.

    I didn't see you as one of those 'You can walk' kind of guys. I thought you were more pragmatic. But you are of the andgarden crowd who thinks $4 gas is just fine so people won't drive. It escapes you at those prices people 'can't' drive and can't make ends meet. Guess you missed the headlines. But that is all OK with you.

    Yeah Howdy, change is coming. And if you think Obama wants people to walk like you want them too you are in for a rude awakening.


    The fossil fuel economy is going extinct. (5.00 / 2) (#123)
    by Fabian on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 04:11:14 AM EST
    If you can't come to grips with that, fine.

    If you can't come to grips with the fact that increasing population means increasing demand on a finite resource, fine.

    If you can't come to grips with the fact our economy has been eroding steadily for the past two decades and that a mere capital infusion will NOT fix that, fine.

    If you can't come to grips with the fact that in our lifetimes much of what we take for granted must change, fine.  

    Indeed, it has already changed.  People and communities and countries will change.  It's ironic you should whine that the poor will suffer.  The poor always suffer.  Perhaps we should look at those who don't seem to ever suffer and ask why.

    Spare me the "Won't someone think of the children!  Won't someone think of the poor!" schtick.

    The price of gas?  

    Chinese manufacturers have a great solution to that.  They build dormitories next to their factories.  Room and board are free.  Transportation?  Nil.  Problem solved.


    Get real dude (none / 0) (#128)
    by Pepe on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 01:31:55 PM EST
    I'm talking about the immediate future, not 10-20-30 years down the road.

    Rant on!


    That's why we need (none / 0) (#125)
    by WS on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 07:41:22 AM EST
    more infrastructure spending on public transportation and bicycle lanes so our cities and towns don't have to be automobile oriented.  

    With these types of public investments, private investment can be funneled into denser, more pedestrian oriented development.

    There will always be a need for investment in roads, but there has to be parity now with other types of transportation options.  


    If I had to choose (5.00 / 4) (#42)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:21:52 PM EST
    between repealing tax cuts for the wealthy and raising the gas tax (a tax that hits the poor esp hard), I'd choose the former.

    But as I've said before, we have a group of trickle down economists among the Democrats, now that Obama is in office.


    Well Bush cut your taxes too (none / 0) (#49)
    by Pepe on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:36:54 PM EST
    So I guess according to you if those were also repealed you wouldn't have an raising of your tax bill?

    I think your taxes would raised under that scenario. Keyword being 'raised'. Just because McCain said it doesn't change simple math.


    That (5.00 / 5) (#45)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:25:13 PM EST
    generic "raise taxes" meme is very Republican.

    Raising taxes on the rich via repealing a stupid tax break isn't going to harm the economy.  These people have more disposable income already than they can spend.

    However, rich folks who donate to campaigns can make lots of money waiting for this tax to sundown, so it's just paybacks for campaign donations.


    Look (none / 0) (#52)
    by Pepe on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:49:04 PM EST
    it's simple math so leave politics out of it.

    If I adjust 'your' tax rate up your tax bill is raised. If I adjust your tax rate down your tax bill is not raised it is lowered.

    Bush adjusted your tax rate down. He decreased your tax bill. If that adjustment were to be repealed would your tax bill be raised or lowered?

    You see it is simple math.


    I guess you make more than $250,000 then. (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by TheRealFrank on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 01:22:22 PM EST
    Or you're just spreading lies.

    Lies (none / 0) (#64)
    by Pepe on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 01:45:43 PM EST
    about what? I posted facts which you can't dispute so you bring up my income or that I'm telling lies?

    You're being silly.


    Let's see (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by TheRealFrank on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 01:54:09 PM EST
    You are talking about "raising taxes", like it will affect everyone. You refuse to even acknowledge that it's just for people who make more than $250,000.

    You sound just like a McCain ad: "Barack Obama will raise your taxes".


    and the economy gets even deeper in trouble, I don't think his breaking his "promise" to only raise taxes on the "rich" will be too far behind.

    The current idea is to let (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by MKS on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 02:39:23 PM EST
    the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire in 2011....Actually, all could work out quite well.  

    Cut taxes right now--no tax inreases for anyone right now.  Spend like a maniac on public infrastructure and new-energy/green jobs.....Keep interest rates low.....That should pour a lot of gasoline on the little, teeny campfire that is our current economy.

    In a couple of years, when hopefully the economy is producing more jobs and has turned around, the danger could well be inflation.  So, an increase in taxes for the wealthy, a classic Kenyesian response to inflation, would seem appropriate.  It keeps Obama's promise and works towards reducing the deficit--just as the Clinton 1993 tax increase, which came during an economic expansion (the recession having ended before he took office) led to surpluses and did not hurt economic growth.

    Obama's team will have to have great skill in knowing when to say when on the spending.....and when to increase taxes for the wealthy....The danger is of course in overshooting on the stimulus and ending up with inflation run amok and indeed even Carter style stagflation....which could come with higher oil prices.

    But the stimulus approach is our only real hope of avoiding a very deep recession and even perhaps a depression.....


    Another Republican talking point (none / 0) (#71)
    by TheRealFrank on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 02:05:57 PM EST
    There's no reason whatsoever to assume that.

    Thanks for the Democratic Talking Point. (none / 0) (#72)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 02:09:38 PM EST
    And the insightful commentary.

    Right.. (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by TheRealFrank on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 05:38:19 PM EST
    You assert that increasing taxes for the rich is a slippery slope, and that Obama would probably break his promise and tax lower incomes as well.

    This was a standard Republican talking point (a Joe the Plumber talking point even..), and you provided no reasons why this would be at all likely.


    So you are all for (none / 0) (#73)
    by Pepe on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 02:13:06 PM EST
    raising taxes on other people as long as they are not raised on yourself. Selfish much? Unfair much?

    As I said and explained in another post it is a good thing someone had a Come To Jesus talk with Obama and explained that raising anyones taxes during a recession and economic meltdown was not sound policy. You obviously don't get that.


    It doesn't make sense to you (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by lilburro on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 02:36:06 PM EST
    to tax Warren Buffet more than a 25 year old post college grad?

    On whose part is that selfish?


    isn't he being taxed more?

    In one way (5.00 / 4) (#84)
    by lilburro on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 02:51:47 PM EST
    but in another no.  20% of my 100 dollars leaves me with 80 dollars.  20% of his 10000 dollars leaves him with 8000 dollars.  He has much greater buying and spending power (and much greater power in general) and our revenues are tiny because our government pretended there was no difference between someone with $8000 dollars and someone with $80.

    an argument (none / 0) (#86)
    by lilburro on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 02:55:13 PM EST
    no doubt you've heard before...

    Yeah, I've heard it before. (none / 0) (#89)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 03:04:58 PM EST
    Never, though, that rich & poor are taxed the same or that our revenues are tiny...

    suo - I was just responding to your question (none / 0) (#92)
    by lilburro on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 03:10:12 PM EST
    where you presented that scenario.

    as far as how much that very wealthy bracket should actually be taxed?...I dunno.  


    I get it, fair enough. (none / 0) (#100)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 03:24:54 PM EST
    I dunno either.

    How much do you think he should give?

    You could just move to Dubai (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 03:07:01 PM EST
    and take the sarcasm with you, please ;-)

    Yep, and if BO keeps those (none / 0) (#96)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 03:16:43 PM EST
    "Bush tax cuts" I'll be able to afford to move there! Those tax cuts are like a gusher of money that never ends! omg, thanks to the Bush tax cuts, I'm drowning in mooooooneeeeeyyyyy!!!!.... ;-)

    I've downed my kool-aid (none / 0) (#98)
    by lilburro on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 03:20:41 PM EST
    and I'm hungry for your money!!!!!  Look out!

    Most importantly in this context... (none / 0) (#88)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 03:03:26 PM EST
    The wealthy have the power to buy political influence, ergo, the power to influence policy. i.e. Obama's newly minted policy to retain the Bush tax cuts for, guess who, the wealthy.

    Good thing those rich people never (none / 0) (#91)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 03:07:46 PM EST
    influence policy that benefits, guess who, the non-wealthy.

    oh yes (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by lilburro on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 03:11:06 PM EST
    our industrialists have a long history of benefitting the non-wealthy...

    Um, well, (none / 0) (#99)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 03:23:29 PM EST
    1) are those people who pass laws rich, generally, or poor? You know who pass laws like SS, unemployment, welfare, SCHIP, etc., etc.

    B) Let's see, Gates gave away 30Billion to charity, Buffet gave away 35Billion to charity, not to mention Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller Sr., Henry Ford, J. Paul Getty, W. K. Kellogg, et al.


    Andrew Carnegie (5.00 / 2) (#102)
    by CST on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 03:38:42 PM EST
    Is quite the enigma.  On the one hand, he single-handidly destroyed the environment in Western PA, and he was terrible for unions/laborers.  On the other hand, if it weren't for all the money he gave away - they might not have anything left there today, and he also invented the "gospel of wealth" which is to give it all away.

    He was not always the hero he is today however.  Talk to anyone who lived in Pittsburgh before the 70s - or look at the many skyscrapers he turned black.

    Disclosure - I went to a school founded by Carnegie. I also did work on Pittsburgh water-quality issues that still exist today because of Carnegie and his buddies.


    Thanks CST. I imagine many (none / 0) (#106)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 03:49:10 PM EST
    super-successful people are quite the enigma, especially in comparison to us mere mortals...

    Charitable donations are tax deductible. (none / 0) (#110)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 04:00:06 PM EST
    Not all rich people are charitable by any means. But, those who are charitable have the benefit of getting back a lot of their charitable donations by way of tax deductions. So, a big chunk of charity money doesn't stay in the larger economy.

    That's why Buffet would prefer that the wealthy contribute to society through higher taxes rather than philanthrophy.


    Well, no. (none / 0) (#113)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 04:08:41 PM EST
    Charitable contributions are not all deductible.
    50%, 30%, and 20% Limits on Charitable Contributions

    Generally, you can deduct cash contributions in full up to 50% of your adjusted gross income.

    Generally, you can deduct property contributions in full up to 30% of your adjusted gross income.

    Generally, you can deduct contributions of appreciated capital gains assets in full up to 20% of your adjusted gross income.

    I think Buffet's point is that the very rich, like him, often have relatively small earned incomes in comparison to their wealth. Of course, when they die, that wealth gets taxed.

    philanthropy is nice (none / 0) (#107)
    by lilburro on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 03:49:25 PM EST
    but it's not a guarantee to the well-being of the relatively lower classes.  Not something to count on in the end.

    and the people passing laws are generally better off, I admit...but they often pass the laws knowing there is a crowd of the lesser off agitating behind them.

    or uh, so they did in "olden times."


    Wealthy people can't even effect economic policy that would benefit the non-wealthy.

    Case in point: for years, Warren Buffet has been lobbying to repeal the Bush tax cuts and increase the tax rate on the wealthiest Americans.

    As a billionaire, Buffet has this crazy idea that he should be taxed at a higher rate than his "secretary" (his word). But, neither the GOP nor the Dem establishment will let him have his way.

    Wait, you may say: Buffet should just quadruple his secretary's wage. He could do that, but it wouldn't help the tens of thousands of other secretaries who don't work for Buffet.

    Instead, he wants to increase taxes on people in his income bracket so that the government can provide things like UHC and affordable college tuition for his secretary and other people in her income bracket.

    Whatever happened to noblesse oblige?


    Buffet's not taxed (none / 0) (#103)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 03:41:12 PM EST
    at a higher rate than his secretary? That sounds unbelievable.

    Unbelievable (none / 0) (#104)
    by CST on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 03:45:51 PM EST
    But true, unfortunately.  Note - a higher "rate" means % not $ value.

    Right. (none / 0) (#108)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 03:51:15 PM EST
    If they pay the same %, they must be earning the same wages. That's what I find unbelievable.

    Wiki says he paid himself $100K in '06. (none / 0) (#109)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 03:56:10 PM EST
    (not including the ~10 mill he spent on a private jet). He must pay his secretary very well.

    You are being an obstructionist... (none / 0) (#112)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 04:05:51 PM EST
    By "you", I mean SUO. You are not debating in good faith, imo.

    I, for one, am done with you.


    Debating? (none / 0) (#114)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 04:19:36 PM EST
    I was trying to learn something. I had no idea Buffet paid himself so little.

    You cannot be a progressive (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by cpa1 on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 10:08:22 PM EST
    If you don't want the tax mistakes fixed.  If you believe continuing, even for one minute, the terrible mistakes that got is into the mess we are in, how could you be a progressive and how could your ideas ever solve our problems?  Rasing taxes on the wealthy to give back to the middle class their share that the wealthy stole is the only way to fix US.

    Let them whine, let them complain and cry, which these super wealthy people always do, but don't let them get the words trickle down out of their deceptive mouths.  The Plutocracy failed miserably and now it is time to dismantle it and go back to the way things work.


    Yep, I'm stupid. (none / 0) (#115)
    by TheRealFrank on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 05:30:54 PM EST
    Please explain to me how:

    1. Why this worked out just fine in 1993
    2. How spending habits for people making over $250,000 will change in such a way that the economy will be affected badly.

    Obviously you're an economic genius, so go ahead.

    First of all (none / 0) (#117)
    by Pepe on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 06:24:54 PM EST
    I'm not going to say much because of what you confessed in your title line. lol

    1. If you don't know what the higher taxes did in 1993 then why are you even arguing about anything other that you want other people to pay your way?

    I will say that it is strange that you don't recognize that todays economy is nowhere near what was happening in 1993 and that policies should reflect the times. You don't tax more during a recession as many economists are pointing out.

    Also you probably don't know that the biggest growth in the Clinton years occurred after 1997 when he lowered taxes again. You also leave out an increase in the federal gas tax that ate into the tax cut AND the phase-out of personal exemptions and the phase-down of the deduction for itemized expenses which also screwed you if you were around which I doubt you were of you would remember all this.

    2. Oh I don't know. If I took more money from your wages would your spending habits change? Or put more simply if I took more money from you would you have as much to spend? Of course not so why ask a silly question like you did.


    Blogclogger: Pepe (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 02:26:25 PM EST
    Thus far far today, 34 comments and counting. Newish member, joined 10/13; now approaching 400 comments.  

    Whah! (none / 0) (#118)
    by Pepe on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 06:28:32 PM EST
    So I'm not supposed to respond to people who responded to me?

    I hate blog cops how about that! Gees what a baby you are.


    So, uh, what is your opinion... (none / 0) (#25)
    by Addison on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:49:33 AM EST
    ...on the difference between letting Bush's tax cuts lapse and "raising taxes?"

    Huh? (none / 0) (#44)
    by Pepe on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:24:19 PM EST
    The difference is that Obama wanted to immediately raise taxes as part of a stimulus package.

    Instead of doing that he is talking about letting them lapse in 2011.

    It's a difference of 3 years!

    On top of that there is no guarantee that come 2011 he won't change his mind again and keep the tax structure as is.


    Obama had (none / 0) (#126)
    by WS on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 08:00:49 AM EST
    already made quiet indications in the general election that he will let the tax cuts expire.  This was not a sudden turn around.  

    As long as the tax rates for the wealthy go back to the 90's levels, I'm happy, and I'm sure Obama will oblige.  Hopefully, the economy will have improved by then from the current climate because we will need revenue to pay down the deficit and Obama knows that.


    I like that (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Dr Molly on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:30:59 AM EST
    he is saying the auto industry needs to retool and justify how they will change before they get the $$$$$ from us.

    That won't come (none / 0) (#28)
    by Pepe on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:57:17 AM EST
    fast and easy. You don't take a behemoth and reinvent it overnight. I guess Obama still has a lot to learn.

    And retooling will take money so in the end all the Big Three have to do is get serious about energy efficient cars and say it will take 5 years to R&D and start designing and testing. That alone will get then the money they want.

    Obama sounded like an idiot with his ultimatum. He obviously has no experience at all in industry.


    And look where all that experience (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by ThatOneVoter on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:05:19 PM EST
    and expertise has taken the Big Three!

    Who said anything about expertise? (none / 0) (#40)
    by Pepe on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:18:02 PM EST
    I was talking about what they would have to do to get the money. And what that is has already been predetermined. Obama's finger wagging has nothing to do with it. The market is going to demand fuel efficient cars, including alternative fuel cars, which is yet to be determined exactly how big the market will be for them and how soon the refueling infrastructure can be built out to accommodate them.

    This thing is not going to tun on a dime. It isn't even going to turn in decade. Obama looked foolish wagging his finger in ignorance of those facts.

    We already had one yo-yo President that thought he could dictate to people without knowing the underlying facts of what he was trying to dictate. We don't need another one. Not a shining moment for Obama.


    Alrighty then. (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Dr Molly on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:07:16 PM EST
    I'm just glad it's not a free giveaway with no expectations of change.

    2.5 M jobs...no doubt a carefully-chosen (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by oldpro on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:33:18 AM EST
    number...achievable and not hard to exceed and claim success.

    But as an actual goal?  Too modest.

    Auto industry support from congress in the form of loans could produce/save/keep half that number of jobs alone...assuming the Big 3 come up with an acceptable plan and work with congress to lower the risk of investing in them.

    Read The Small Print (3.00 / 2) (#33)
    by Pepe on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:06:31 PM EST
    He said over the weekend that the goal was to create 2.5M new jobs OR save 2.5M existing jobs.

    So he is padding his bet. All he has to do to say he is successful is to not lose any jobs. Not particularly impressive.

    On the other hand previously he said things are going to get worse before they get better. Meaning of course that more jobs will be lost next year so he will be starting out with a foot in a hole. But then of course Obama being Obama, and like all Presidents, he will blame early losses on his predecessor.

    So once again we will have a President making promises to create jobs, unless of course he doesn't; which he can then say then he didn't lose jobs, which of course if he does; he can blame the last guy.

    Meet the new boss....(you know the song)


    Ah,..is there anything Obama is doing (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by byteb on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 01:41:07 PM EST
    that you see in a somewhat positive light or is it all darkness and gloom and negatives?
    Just curious.

    Let me pi** everyone off (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:36:47 AM EST
    Made me think of Bill Clinton there.

    Everyone? Not me. (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by oldpro on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:39:11 AM EST
    Clarity.  Nothing quite like it.

    Channeling Bill works for me!


    awww (none / 0) (#22)
    by jedimom on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:47:02 AM EST
    aww the Big Dawg!! blub blub, well if he uses that mold on policy the way he did the presser, I think America will be verry happy

    How so? (none / 0) (#27)
    by Pepe on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:51:39 AM EST
    In what respect? Because he gave a good press conference? That shows nothing but what he showed in the campaign - that he can talk. Let's see if he can lead.

    Even you admitted in your diary that he could get it Right or Wrong. If he gets it wrong his good press conferences will start to resemble Bush's - not so good.


    Why be a hater? (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by rooge04 on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:57:49 AM EST
    Are you really saying that Obama will be no better than Bush? Come on now. The man is very intelligent.  You just want to hate to hate.

    I'm not hating on him (none / 0) (#46)
    by Pepe on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:29:42 PM EST
    I just asked a question of BTD and pointed out that success relies on accomplishments not talking. We know he can talk. Everyone can talk a game, now let's see one that wins.

    Your problem is (5.00 / 2) (#85)
    by ai002h on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 02:52:19 PM EST
    you dont hesitate to use his words against him, but when his words are the ones we want to hear, then they become just words again. I've been reading your posts in this thread and there's a pretty obvious bias you have against Obama, a sort of Obama Derangement Syndrome. Fact is he isn't in office yet, so if you are unwilling to give him credit because he hasn't done anything, then don't criticize him until he actually enacts a policy you don't like, or doesn't enact one you do like. At least that way you're being fair.

    I said in a previous post (none / 0) (#111)
    by Pepe on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 04:03:54 PM EST
    "Let's see if he can lead".

    I think by saying that I already addressed what you are bellyaching about.

    And yeah I'll keep criticizing him for what he is doing now. BTD is criticizing him for things. Have you taken that up with him?

    For instance today I mentioned that he had campaigned on creating 2.5 million new jobs. After elected he amended that to creating or saving 2.5 million jobs. That is quite a turn around from what he promised. That should go unmentioned?

    If you think it should go unmentioned then it is you that has ODS, just in a different way.


    Melody Barnes (none / 0) (#1)
    by steviez314 on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:16:11 AM EST
    If she worked for Ted (none / 0) (#2)
    by CST on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:17:40 AM EST
    She's probably strong on health care.

    thanks Stevie (none / 0) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:20:05 AM EST
    I heard Melanie.

    Explaining short term vs. long term (none / 0) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:26:24 AM EST
    Personally, I could not ask for more than what I am hearing from Obama today.

    Got to love this headline: (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:27:30 AM EST

    Obama's Treasury Secretary A Cursing, Skateboarding "Hipster-Wonk"
     [Huffington Post; and no, I didn't open the link.]

    Did I just hear HOLC? (none / 0) (#9)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:28:26 AM EST

    You clearly did (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:28:57 AM EST
    Could not ask for a better press conference so far imo.

    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:30:37 AM EST
    If he does what he says he's going to do, I won't complain.

    yes! (none / 0) (#14)
    by jedimom on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:31:22 AM EST
    yes HOLC is in the house!! Oh this is divine!

    yay Barnes!! CAP!! (none / 0) (#11)
    by jedimom on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:30:18 AM EST
    This is AWESOME!! Melody Barnes did a GREAT piece in wapo 2 yrs ago on the SOTU we would get from a TRULY progressive POTUS, she is also at CAP, love CAP!

    I have the post here:


    take a look, she outlines everything everyone I know has ever wanted and never got from a progressive at the top....

    BTW, when I turned on the TV to watch, (none / 0) (#16)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:34:43 AM EST
    I just stayed on CBS. Obama got wall-to-wall Presidential coverage.

    I'm sure Bush really enjoyed (none / 0) (#17)
    by ThatOneVoter on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:36:05 AM EST
    having yet another day off.

    CNN is pissy about the deficit (none / 0) (#20)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:41:55 AM EST

    Right. Now that a Democrat is President (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by ThatOneVoter on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:45:19 AM EST
    it's time to return to "conservative" principles.

    It is a very large number (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by magster on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:13:41 PM EST
    As Booman just posted, deficit spending investing in people is different than deficit spending that blows up Arabs.  Nonetheless, all this money that's been reported today will have to be repaid someday.  I supppose the alternative is worse.

    I'm convinced that the alternative (none / 0) (#38)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:15:35 PM EST
    is much worse.

    I know the powers that be... (none / 0) (#48)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:35:57 PM EST
    want us to believe the alternative is worse, it's so much easier to steal that way.

    Color me unconvinced.  Increasing the debt and the deficit should not be an option.  Need an economic stimulus package?...Fine, cut spending somewhere else, preferably DEA/CIA/ICE/DOD/FBI/NSA/HSA.  But for your childrens sake don't just borrow it.  If nothing else, it at least proves it is not just another hustle.


    That was the Republicans' (none / 0) (#53)
    by MKS on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:49:54 PM EST
    proposal in the 1930s.....

    Deficit spending has a place and purpose....Emergencies such as this.....However, deficit spending as a matter of course during normal times is a problem....



    There was a lot less federal spending... (none / 0) (#57)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:56:14 PM EST
    to cut in the 30's.  So much begging to be cut now, if we could only pry the leeches off the teet.

    But yes, in an emergency deficit spending has a purpose, I'll grant you that.  Funny how the state always seems to come up with an emergency to justify drunken sailor behavior...Saddam with nukes, undocumented immigrants with rakes, and now the banks and Wall St. with economic wmd's. Funny too how some entity always ends up with a big bag of our money after all these "emergencies" have subsided, while the debt and deficit grow and grow.  


    That reminds me (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by WS on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 02:02:29 PM EST
    Time to cut off funding for the fence ... because of the deficit and all.  Besides, undocumented immigrants won't be coming in meaningful numbers because of the moribund economy anyways.  Cut!  

    Kinda sorta (none / 0) (#97)
    by Fabian on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 03:17:44 PM EST
    As long as our economy is much better than their home economies, we'll see immigration.  If Hugo Chavez would walk the walk and pump up the South and Central American economies, we could see a drop in immigration.  

    Oh, we'll just keep borrowing from the Chinese (none / 0) (#41)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:20:06 PM EST

    No reason to bother paying it off...


    deficit hawks hibernate for 2 years or so..... (none / 0) (#24)
    by jedimom on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:48:54 AM EST
    oh they better hold onto their hats, the deficit we run will be unlike anything ever envisioned, but if it gets these programs rolled out I will gladly pay it, Dubyah ran it to hexx and back and gave us nothing to show for it.....

    Well, if they want to "pay for it" (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 11:50:48 AM EST
    we can raise taxes. (Somehow I think they aren't going to go for that. . .)

    One way or another, we're getting a big stimulus.


    Like WW II debt (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by MKS on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:47:43 PM EST
    We have to incur the debt to survive....and it will be big....But we really do not have a choice at this point.

    We are all Keynesians now (again) ...just as Reagan was in essence years ago.


    Good Press Conference (none / 0) (#32)
    by santarita on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:06:06 PM EST
    One nugget that I heard in the Q & A was when Obama was asked about working with the existing economic team and continuing the apparent ad hoc approach of the last few months, he said that his Administration would honor the public commitments already made.
    Interesting choice of words.  It makes me wonder what private commitments might have been made by Bush and Paulson.

    I thought he did well.  It is refreshing to have a President who can  speak articulately and clearly.  I get the impression that he is trying hard to be as straight with the American people as possible.  But I also recognize that he is in the honeymoon period now.  Two years from now we may all be less impressed.

    I look forward to what he will be saying tomorrow about spending cuts.

    Put off spending cuts (none / 0) (#55)
    by MKS on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:51:00 PM EST
    The Feds need to spend, spend, spend to prevent a collapse....

    Spend But Spend Smartly... (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by santarita on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 02:03:49 PM EST
    is what I think (or hope) Obama was saying.  He is going to address this subject tomorrow.  He has piqued my curiosity.

    That sounds like a recipe... (none / 0) (#58)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:59:29 PM EST
    for collapse.  Why can't we start prioritizing and cutting right now so everything we spend, spend, spend, isn't on the arm, arm, arm.

    I'd rather they raise taxes across the board than simply borrow, with spending cuts obviously preferred over tax increases.


    Kdog, a voice of sanity (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by Cream City on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 06:44:48 AM EST
    is welcome here.  The soaring federal deficit is part of what got us into this mess.  I am not reassured that making it an even more massive deficit, beyond imagining, is the way out of this.

    And as for not raising taxes?  Ha.  That's just the other shoe that will have to drop.  Borrowing in massive amounts means taxes will have to go up -- and on all of us.  That press conference is coming.


    The federal deficit (none / 0) (#129)
    by MKS on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 03:31:17 PM EST
    having something to do with the current economic problem?  Taxes will have to go up on everyone?That is what the Republicans say (or some of them do.)

    No evidence to support that...On what basis do you say the federal deficit caused the current problems?


    Economists I know (none / 0) (#131)
    by Cream City on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 05:25:10 PM EST
    and articles in the Economist and other publications point to a deficit economy as a factor in current problems.  Not the sole factor, by any means -- deregulation, lack of oversight, and other Republican policies along with good ol' greed among some libruls, too, have created a perfect storm.

    It depends on your economic philosophy (none / 0) (#75)
    by MKS on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 02:17:25 PM EST
    The Keynesian idea is for the federal government to pump money into the economy.  This can be done by either tax cuts, increased spending, or both. And the monetary policy side of this would be to lower interest rates.....That would be the equivalent of pressing down on the gas all the way.

    The Libertarian view would of course find this anathema.  Raising taxes or cutting spending does the exact opposite of pumping money into the economy--it takes money out...In the Keynesian view, that would be an appropriate response to inflation....and iirc we did have a surtax during the Vietnam War to suck up the extra cash in the economy to prevent inflation (although the stated rationale was to pay for the war.)

    Obama's talk of  cutting wasteful spending, even if sincere, is just about mollifying the deficit hawks and for other p.r. purposes--it would do diddly for the economy, if not outright hurt it even further.


    Not a Keynesian and Not a Libertarian... (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by santarita on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 03:15:03 PM EST
    I don't mind government spending as long as it for something worthwhile.  There are enough ways to spend intelligently so that we don't need to fund just any old "Bridge to Nowhere Project".

    ideally, Obama would roll back the Bush tax CUTS (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 12:20:14 AM EST
    and plow that money back into his economic stimulus plan.

    It's folly to retain the Bush tax cuts and allow the WEALTHY to just hoard their money until the economy is bailed out on the backs of the middle class and working class tax payers.


    It's about the timing (none / 0) (#130)
    by MKS on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 03:33:03 PM EST
    2011 could be the perfect time for taxes on  those making over 250k a year to go up.  Before then, you are taking money out of the economy during a steep downturn.

    Obama's 11/24/2008 Transcript with Q&A (none / 0) (#78)
    by ding7777 on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 02:27:42 PM EST
    Obama announcing economic team (none / 0) (#127)
    by Rajan on Tue Nov 25, 2008 at 08:42:50 AM EST
    Obama is committing a grave blunder in appointing rank amateurs like  incompetent bureaucrats and bearded (or clean-shaven) professors from weed-infested campuses   (who might not even be able to read and make sense of their own monthly checking account statements) to man his economic management team and expecting  them to go about solving the present economic crisis in an expeditious manner. It is being overlooked that all these characters in his team were in deep slumber at the switch while the fire which is presently engulfing  the global economic system was smoldering at their very feet, had no inkling of  what was about to happen and gave not even a hint of a warning of the impending firestorm.  If you are the owner of a bank,  the vault of which has just been broken into and plundered, the smart thing for you to do is to turn for advice to a retired and truly repentant bank robber who would know what made the break-in possible in the first place and what should be done to guard against similar security failures  in future. I have in mind the ex-CEOs of the failed home mortgage corporations  and similar financial institutions in this regard. It would be unwise to ostracize such people totally by branding them as villains.  Of course, they were the prime architects of the credit crisis tsunami which is presently ravaging the global financial system but they are the people who have the first-hand knowledge of which of their acts of commission and omission caused it and what steps should be taken and what regulations should be put in place to prevent such disasters from striking again. And, of course,  it is necessary to put up, for the sake of public facade,   respectable and less-tainted faces as the Secretary of the Treasury and heads of other agencies in the federal government. Also, it would not be feasible, for political reasons, to appoint individuals  who are perceived as  primarily responsible for the on-going turmoil in the financial system and global economic meltdown to any positions visible to the public eye. But, at the same time,  it is imperative that  their wealth of experience, both positive and negative, is not allowed to go to  waste but   be harnessed and put to effective use by appointing them at least as whole-time advisors lest all the high-profile appointees should turn out to be just blind-folded babes in the wood  and remain nothing more than just high-profile!