Jimmy Carter Had It Hard Too

Being President of the United States at any time is probably the most difficult job in the world. Becoming President after the worst President in history left the nation in shambles puts Barack Obama in the position of being able to say his job is as difficult as any person's since FDR. That and 3 dollars will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Let me put it bluntly, saying the job is hard at this point will do no one a bit of good - politically or otherwise. Ezra Klein tries anyway:

Noam Scheiber compares the task facing deficit hawks in 2009 to the task facing deficit hawks in 1993 [. . .] As Noam [. . .] explain[s], one of the difficulties facing the Obama team is that it was a lot easier to see how to kick-start the economy in 1993 than in 2009. [. . .]

And it's a lot easier to see how to kickstart the economy now than it was in 1933. You see, Keynes had not yet been proven right. More . . .

It's not that the Obama Administration does not know what to do - I'm pretty sure they do - it is that they are unwilling to take the political risks to try and do it. Kevin Drum explains:

I imagine that no one in the administration will ever admit this, even off the record, but the main reason for inaction is almost certainly because they believe there's zero chance of getting any of this stuff done. Politically, then, there's nothing but downside here: yet another long, bruising battle with both Congress and the Fed, ending in total defeat. If everyone in the administration were utterly convinced that the economy was completely sunk otherwise, they might risk that. But no one in his right mind will risk it for anything less.

I imagine folks around FDR were telling hm the same thing. In fact, I know they were. See Morganthau, Henry. A LEADER and a genius politician would know that there is no choice but to try. And if you fail, try something else. In any event, I always get mad at the attempts to prop up Obama at Bill Clinton's expense. Therefore, once again, I will remind folks what Bill Clinton, he of the 43% mandate, did in 1993:

I have written about this before, but in 1993, Bill Clinton pushed through the most progressive legislation the US has had since the Johnson Administration. It was called, prosaically, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. What did it do?

It created 36 percent and 39.6 income tax rates for individuals. [up from 33% top rate]

It created a 35 percent income tax rate for corporations. [up from 28%]

The cap on Medicare taxes was repealed. [Making it less regressive.]

Transportation fuels taxes were raised by 4.3 cents per gallon.

[Helpful for the environment.]

The taxable portion of Social Security benefits was raised.[Making wealthier seniors pay more in taxes.]

The phase-out of the personal exemption and limit on itemized deductions were permanently extended. [Again, making wealthier Americans pay more in taxes.]

Part IV Section 14131: Expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit and added inflation adjustments [In essence eliminating taxes for the working poor.]

Clinton's initiative passed by the barest of margins - 218-216 in the House and with a tiebreaking vote from Vice President Al Gore in the Senate.

What was the effect of Clinton's initiative? You know the usual litany - 8 years of economic expansion, the creation of 22 million jobs, etc.

How about a little of that now in 2009?

Speaking for me only

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    I believe (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Steve M on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 03:45:34 PM EST
    that the most recent ex-President holds the copyright on the phrase, "It's hard work."

    Indeed (none / 0) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 03:49:51 PM EST
    And (none / 0) (#6)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 04:06:18 PM EST
    Everyone on the left made fun of him for saying that.  And if Obama and his team think it's hard work, and they really are afraid of doing something for fear of failing,  then they need to get the heck out of there and let someone in who is willing to do it.

    And to be fair to the guy (none / 0) (#10)
    by Salo on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 04:16:57 PM EST
    He got exactly what he wanted out of those years. Gutted treasury, chaotic foreign policy, privatized military, a spineless opposition and a reorganized legal code. Evil genious he was.

    no no no (none / 0) (#14)
    by CST on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 04:23:00 PM EST
    the idiot in chief said that one, not the evil in chief Dick Cheney...

    By that measure (none / 0) (#15)
    by Radiowalla on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 04:24:50 PM EST
    one would have to declare his tenure as president a great success.

    He accomplished what he started off to do, joined in the effort by a servile Republican party and a limp Democratic party.  



    He had the best legislative boost since LBJ (none / 0) (#27)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 05:01:59 PM EST
    got the benefit of JFK's death- if Obama had say a massive H1N1 outbreak that left a million dead in less than a week- we'd have had a massive single-payer style National Healthcare System the next week.

    In your dreams, IMO (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by Spamlet on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 10:43:19 PM EST
    What we would have is mandates and no public option, much less a single-payer system--in other words, pretty much what we're about to have, but we'd have it before 2013.

    But--just because it's such a spectacular Obama-apologist reach, surpassing all your previous Obama-apologist efforts, and that's saying something--I do admire your contention that what Obama really needs in order to lead on health care reform is a million American corpses. Quite a macabre variation on "Make me do it."


    Really you don't think 9-11 and the death of JFK (none / 0) (#76)
    by Socraticsilence on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 06:21:20 PM EST
    helped Bush and LBJ push things through that never would have occured otherwise- if so I point you to Iraq, the Patriot Act, the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act.

    Of course they helped (none / 0) (#79)
    by Spamlet on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 06:45:33 PM EST
    But--to speak only of the positive things--LBJ's Civil Rights Act, inherited from the Kennedy administration, was a far superior piece of legislation to begin with (even before Johnson improved it) than the insurance company bailout that Obama has spawned with a combination of his inaction and his double-dealing.

    Hence my contention that if we had a million dead tomorrow from swine flu, all we would get, assuming a repeat of the dynamic behind the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (and the Patriot Act, the Iraq invasion, etc.), might be fast-track implementation of Obama's POS insurance company bailout.

    That was my point. I don't disagree that events can and do spur the Congress to act, in positive as well as negative ways.


    I'm speechless (5.00 / 7) (#5)
    by goldberry on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 04:03:48 PM EST
    Nothing about the Obama administration comes as a surprise at all.  What else did people expect?  I mean, srsly?  

    But it does remind me of that speech that Clinton gave last year.  He said, there may come a time in the near future when you have to make a choice about two candidates.  Candidate X agrees with you about everything but you don't think he can deliver anything.  Candidate Y agrees with you only half the time but he can deliver the goods.  Who will you choose?  

    Well, I think we have the answer to that.  But what's even more curious is how we ever got the notion in the first place that Obama agreed with us on anything?  Where did that come from?  Because as far as I can remember, we couldn't pin him down on anything.  

    I don't think I'm looking forward to his (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Salo on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 04:10:49 PM EST
    Administation as much as I'm looking forward to his fabulous book which will explain away all the missed oportunities, mistaken assumtions and his fantastic fading new dawn. He'll have earned his 3 million dollar bonus from Random House!

    He (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 04:13:51 PM EST
    prolly should write that now so we know in advance what he's (not) going to do.

    Would be nice, for planning purposes.


    Oh, TiS, (none / 0) (#33)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 05:12:28 PM EST
    He prolly is writing it now. You see him spending his time on policy or celebrity?



    'He's the President, he's not your Boyfriend' (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Ellie on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 04:46:52 PM EST
    ... as Bill Maher succinctly put it.

    Obama's hand-wringing fans surpassed the tolerance threshold before his hand was off the bible Justice Roberts was holding.

    It's also one of the very few jobs (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 05:51:59 PM EST
    where every applicant is fully aware of the tasks ahead because every move their predecessor made was pretty much public knowledge. To apply for the job when one knows the desk is going to be left a complete disaster just doesn't give the person hired anything to complain about. No free passes.

    I've felt from the beginning..... (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by trillian on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 05:52:03 PM EST
    ...that Obama ran to become President......full stop.

    When he was sworn in, it was "mission accomplished" for him.

    I think he figured he could leave the governing to others, enjoy the State dinners, make a few best speeches evah, take Michelle out on date night.....and come re-election, tell Plouffe to crank up the old message machine again.

    Keynes had nothing (none / 0) (#3)
    by Slado on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 03:58:38 PM EST

    Keep telling yourself we can borrow our way out of a borrowing problem.

    I was hoping for (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 04:00:43 PM EST
    an Amity Shlaes link.

    Obama is hoping for Guns and Butter. (none / 0) (#8)
    by Salo on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 04:13:50 PM EST
    I think the problem is much more serious than we feared. It's really amazing how the Ruhr wing still dumps on Keynes after seeing the moral bankruptcy of the Bush years.

    Well, let's do some targeted tax increases (none / 0) (#12)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 04:18:58 PM EST
    to get those tax revenues up.

    How much did the Bush years add to this deficit issue? What were tax policies then? Well, let's do something different. Instead of borrowing and cutting, raise some taxes on those who make a lot. Admittedly this collapse makes that issue problematic.


    Who said I was defending Bush (none / 0) (#21)
    by Slado on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 04:49:04 PM EST
    Dump on the tax cut all you want, I could care less but they are only a small percentage of the problem.

    The problems are Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

    Thanks to every president since FDR these are bipartisan disasters.


    Starve the old (none / 0) (#23)
    by Salo on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 04:55:52 PM EST
    Cull the sick-2010 GOP campaign.  Brought to you by Slado.

    from surplus to the current situation (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 05:26:23 PM EST
    with tax cuts and wars. doesn't sound like SS, medicare and medicaid are the issues that caused this.

    Reagan was Keynesian (5.00 / 0) (#35)
    by MKS on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 05:25:50 PM EST
    Increased government spending, increased the deficit to prime the economy....

    I still get a kick out of conservatives who say FDR's Depression era policies failed because everyone knows that it was WWII that got us out of the Depression.  

    It is as if conservatives think WWII was a massive tax cut.

    For conservatives, it is always about proving Democrats wrong, not nuch else.


    Very weak article (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by MKS on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 05:36:49 PM EST
    Confuses micro-economics with macro-economics....Oh my, how conservatives worship the supply and demand curves of small, discrete markets....

    We do not have a borrowing problem.  The deficit did not cause the current recession.  A banking failure on the order of the bank failures of the 1930s did.  Too little regulation of the financial markets....


    Obama Deal allegedly as 'ambitious' as New Deal (none / 0) (#11)
    by Ellie on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 04:17:21 PM EST
    Hits the wires running, in time for the Evening News:

    Major makeover of Wall Street regs passes House By Jim Kuhnhenn, AP, Dec 11 2009

    WASHINGTON - The House passed the most ambitious restructuring of federal financial regulations since the New Deal on Friday, aiming to head off any replay of last year's Wall Street failures that plunged the nation deep into recession.

    The sprawling legislation would give the government new powers to break up companies that threaten the economy, create a new agency to oversee consumer banking transactions and shine a light into shadow financial markets that have escaped the oversight of regulators.

    The vote was a party-line 223-202. No Republicans voted for the bill; 27 Democrats voted against it.

    While a victory for the administration, the legislation dilutes some of President Barack Obama's recommendations, carving out exceptions to some of its toughest provision. The burden now shifts to the Senate, which is not expected to act on its version of a regulatory overhaul until early next year.

    The president praised the House action Friday, and called on Congress to act swiftly to get the bill to the White House for his signature.

    "The crisis from which we are still recovering was born not only of failure on Wall Street, but also in Washington," Obama said. "We have a responsibility to learn from it and to put in place reforms that will promote sound investment, encourage real competition and innovation and prevent such a crisis from ever happening again. "

    The legislation would govern the simplest payday loan and the most complicated high-finance trades. In its breadth, the measure seeks to impose restrictions on every house of finance, from two-teller neighborhood thrifts to huge interconnected conglomerates.

    Democratic leaders had to fend off a last-minute attempt to kill a proposed consumer agency, a central element of the legislation and one the features pushed by the White House. The agency would take over consumer protection powers from current banking regulators, and big banks and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce vigorously opposed the idea.

    Democrats said the broad legislation would help address problems that led to last year's calamitous financial crisis. Republicans argued that it overreached and would institutionalize bailouts for the financial industry.

    "Let's put it to the American people: Do you prefer the Republican position of doing literally nothing to rein in these abuses or should we try to rein them in?" Rep. Barney Frank, who led the Democratic effort on the bill, asked moments before the final vote. [...]

    I wonder what the freshly bailed-out Wall St. barons will make of this over the weekend.

    The senate... sigh (5.00 / 12) (#13)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 04:21:23 PM EST
    we're in the minority in the senate. Our caucus is only 60, and the opposition has a robust 40. What can we do?

    LOL! (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 04:27:29 PM EST
    This bill still exempts derivitaves (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by AX10 on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 04:43:15 PM EST
    from any regulation.
    The biggest teeth in the bill have already been gutted before going to the Senate.

    this could be a very good thing (none / 0) (#17)
    by CST on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 04:26:28 PM EST
    if it survives the senate.

    I bet it dies after the State of the Union Address (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Ellie on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 05:29:07 PM EST
    ... Obama's record on pre-accomplishment applause and awards being what it is.

    Not hugely unbelievable (none / 0) (#28)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 05:03:27 PM EST
    given that the last 30 years have basically been a continous period of federal deregulation moving in the other direction would be quite radical.

    Hmmm ... (none / 0) (#16)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 04:26:10 PM EST
    I imagine that no one in the administration will ever admit this, even off the record, but the main reason for inaction is almost certainly because they believe there's zero chance of getting any of this stuff done. Politically, then, there's nothing but downside here: yet another long, bruising battle with both Congress and the Fed, ending in total defeat. If everyone in the administration were utterly convinced that the economy was completely sunk otherwise, they might risk that. But no one in his right mind will risk it for anything less.

    Of course, had Obama taken that attitude toward running for President, he wouldn't have ran.

    And I think that it's been so long since Drum's seen a President stand up and fight for something, he forgets the political power that act alone can have.

    When was the last time a president did something (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 05:05:32 PM EST
    Politically insane but morally right (assume it has to be greater than Obama trying KSM in NYC)- LBJ on Civil Rights? When?  

    Windfall profits tax proposal? (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 05:30:30 PM EST
    Vietnam amnesty? I know there must have been others, but those two jump to my mind.

    Ah Carter (none / 0) (#56)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 09:05:46 PM EST
    better man than a President- the problem is that every person since him has viewed him as a mistake not a man who sacrificed the Presidency in order to do the right thing.  If you wanted to give the GOP a chit you could point out that both Reagan and Bush I raised taxes when they thought it necessary- but I think Bush the first getting slammed over and over again with the "Read my Lips' bit has killed that kind of courage in the GOP.

    I saw the Truman White House in (none / 0) (#62)
    by hairspray on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 09:45:58 PM EST
    Key West today. That was one incredible man. Tried to pass the "fair deal" a health care plan in 1948.  He did lots of very gutsy things bcause they were the right thing to do.Desegregated the military.  The marshal plan, and many other forward thinking things.

    A mixed record (none / 0) (#22)
    by Politalkix on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 04:55:14 PM EST
    BTD writes
    What was the effect of Clinton's initiative? You know the usual litany - 8 years of economic expansion, the creation of 22 million jobs, etc.

    Please don't forget the giant whoosh of jobs from the United States to Asia and a massive destruction of our engineering and manufacturing base during the Clinton years. I can see the debris of the "economic expansion" during the Clinton Presidency (along with that of 3 Republican Presidencies) all around me. Many in the middle-class believed the sales pitch of a "post manufacturing" economy (manufacturing will only be done in "3rd world countries") in the 1990s. Many even cheered as CEOs shed manufacturing jobs to "reduce costs" because their 401Ks made healthy gains as Wall Street soared. Many thought that "housing bubbles" were the imagination of the weak  of heart. Some even thought that they could retire by the time they were 50 by "playing the stock market"!
    Instant gratification economics may seem great in the short term, however it can bring a lifetime of misery. Huge parts of critical industries like steel, auto and semiconductors moved offshore during the last 4 presidencies owing to politics of the short term. If we do not rectify course, the day is not far away when we will even have to buy our airplanes from Europe, Brazil and China. The "service economy" centered around sales and marketing, financial engineering, home construction and hospitality industry, entertainment and trial lawyers that was sold in the 1990s was a sham!

    Obama should carefully examine what worked during the Clinton presidency without leaving long term adverse side effects and implement only those policies. However, the notion that the Clinton presidency was a period of unalloyed golden economic accomplishment is pure bunkum.

    The usual style is to (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 04:58:51 PM EST
    blame that on NAFTA, not the 1993 Tax Act.

    I'd he turns around (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Salo on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 05:01:10 PM EST
    The heavy industrial sector I'd be shocked. He's even more post industrial than anything Ive seen from Clinton. Obama is a glibertarian. Globalized libertarian.  See Goolsbee and Rubin.    Puffing up your chest about the industrial sector and Obama at the same time is laughable. He ran against the candidates of the industrial unions in the primaries.

    Dear Salo, (none / 0) (#46)
    by Politalkix on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 06:01:59 PM EST
    It seems your tendency to be a blow hard defender of Clintonism has severely impaired your reading comprehension skills. I only wrote about some aspects of Clinton's economic accomplishment as a counterpoint to BTD's post. My post was not about Obama; only at the end I expressed a wish that he learn from some of the long term adverse effects of Clinton's economic policies which are never discussed in TL.
    Rubin was President Clinton's Secretary of Treasury, not Obama's. Austan Goolsbee is definitely not the monster he is portrayed to be, I would definitely prefer him over Rubin's proteges like Geithner about whom I have some doubts but have adopted a wait and see approach. Most of the industrial unions that supported HRC in the primaries did so because they were convinced that she would win the nomination effortlessly and wanted to be in her team from the start. It may come as a shock to you, but it is also a fact that many Union bosses, who are part of the established power structure, really do not care that much about younger workers or about "the common good" if their personal hold on Unions is  
    Turning around the heavy industrial sector will require a lot of effort, I expect the Obama Presidency to spend a lot of effort in that area through direct and indirect means, the kind of effort that were sadly missing from the last 4 Presidencies. Bail out money that was sent to the auto industry along with demands for a path towards modernization is definitely a good first step in the right direction.
    Best Regards

    Goolsbee's no monster (none / 0) (#47)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 06:10:18 PM EST
    Neither is Rubin. and both agree with me, not you, on the trade issue.

    Actually, salo agrees with you on trade.


    Rubin (none / 0) (#53)
    by jondee on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 08:46:38 PM EST
    wasnt he one of the ones who circled the wagons around Greenspan when he said that the derivatives market should be completely unregulated?

    What else was - is he (none / 0) (#69)
    by jondee on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 12:03:17 AM EST
    potentially disastrously wrong about?

    These people spend their lives thinking about larger and larger forests without ever actually seeing a tree -- both figuratively and literally. Where was Bob Rubin and what was he saying in the year leading up to the meltdown?


    Defending Clinton? (none / 0) (#52)
    by Salo on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 08:41:05 PM EST
    Bwahahaha. You need to read what Obama has been saying about trade.

    Closer to the mark (none / 0) (#40)
    by abdiel on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 05:37:07 PM EST
    BTD ignores the "correlation is not causation" warning and assumes the 1993 omnibus bill caused the computer/internet boom.  Economic growth in the late 90s had little to do with government and everything to do with Microsoft Windows, the Pentium chip, and the internet.

    Credit Clinton with shoring up the budget deficit and not screwing up a good thing.  But his success wasn't from his policies and emulating his policies isn't going to cause a repeat.  

    Obama knows the policy choices that he "should" make, but what most people ignore is what happens if we're in the same hole as 1990s Japan and we irreversibly alter the economy but things don't get better.  

    120% debt to GDP, public works up the wazoo, universal health care, no wars...but a stagnant economy watching the world grow without them.


    The point is (none / 0) (#41)
    by Steve M on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 05:46:51 PM EST
    the economy boomed and prospered in spite of all these supposedly "job-killing" tax increases.  Meanwhile there was enough money in the coffers for the government to provide social services and all the other good things it does.

    Maybe there is one person on earth who think raising taxes was the primary cause of the Internet boom... I don't think BTD is that person though.


    Bob Rubin might be that person (none / 0) (#45)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 05:54:26 PM EST
    The idea was balancing the budget lowered long tern interest rates that encouraged capital formation and investment, including in high tech.

    I do not have any quarrels with BTD (none / 0) (#48)
    by Politalkix on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 06:33:43 PM EST
    about Clinton's tax increases (there is an optimum limit in my mind which President Clinton did not cross), Republican arguments in this regard are laughable. However, there is no denying the fact that President Clinton got some lucky breaks. A lot of technological investments that were made by the government during the Cold War years got commercialized in the 1990s when the cold war ended eg: The roots of internet commerce lie in ARPA net (government investment) and invention of the personal computer (private enterprise).
    President Clinton's economic policies were good in some areas, they were not so good in other areas. However, all things considered, his policies were significantly better than anything the Republicans have offered in decades.

    Nope (none / 0) (#55)
    by The Last Whimzy on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 09:00:32 PM EST
    not even Clinton could stop the evolution of the american economy away from manufacturing to service information.

    it almost makes me wish FDR preserved jobs by keeping america a strictly agrarian society, not the industrial society it became.

    yes.  economies do evolve.  who knows how long we'll be a service information society?  and some see that as a bad thing.  they ask themselves "if we are no longer what we are now, what will we become?"  and they fear change.  

    which is understandable.  i'm 40.  not the spry young resourceful lad i used to be.

    but you gotta remind yourself, fretting about here and now about what the economy will become would be just like going back to 1890 and asking yourself the exact same damn question.


    Changing isnt necessarily the same as (none / 0) (#58)
    by jondee on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 09:31:39 PM EST
    "evolving":we're not talking about events in the biosphere here, moving of necessity in the direction of increased survival value and complexity.

    Those changes are as subject to influence of human weakness and faulty reasoning as any other historical trend and what people, including Presidents, do, is what makes those changes.


    evolution also has dead ends (none / 0) (#59)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 09:38:26 PM EST
    and 'unfit' changes, though...

    Outsourcing (none / 0) (#61)
    by jondee on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 09:43:15 PM EST
    to make the Wall St big donors happy is one of those deadends, IMO.

    wall street investment (none / 0) (#65)
    by The Last Whimzy on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 11:21:32 PM EST
    has always been blamed.  even when we changed from agrarian to industrial.  if you take the long view of history you will see that.

    yes.  wall street rules the kingdom and demands satiation.  but even if wall street refused to invest in manufacturing back in 1930, the only thing that would have happened is they would have lost money.


    One's a weak leader (none / 0) (#60)
    by jondee on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 09:41:08 PM EST
    who should be held accountable and the other is helpless to thwart the forces of nature that are bigger than any one of us.

    i guess (none / 0) (#66)
    by The Last Whimzy on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 11:25:30 PM EST
    my main point is that in every fundamental shift, part of humanity feared that change.

    i bring up the change in america from agrarian to industrial.  now we've had a shift away from manufacturing to info/tech service economies.

    the way i look at it, back when they first discovered fire, there had to have been a group of people who said "how am i going to provide for my family now that we have fire?"  get it?

    and they probably blame wall street back then too.


    Sometimes the fear is (none / 0) (#67)
    by jondee on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 11:42:20 PM EST
    warranted; it's not, in every case of change, the equivalent of benighted fearful cave dwellers who "just dont understand" when the intelligentsia offers up to mankind the gift of fire.

    Change isnt always progress, so to speak.


    You failed to mention the dot com (none / 0) (#63)
    by hairspray on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 09:52:16 PM EST
    explosion.  At the time it seemed reasonable to believe that we would produce high tech jobs and leave the garment work to third world countries.  Had Al Gore become president I have no doubt that alternative energy industries would be past the R&D stage, as they are now, and our country would not have wasted its national treasure in Iraq.

    Want a simple answer (none / 0) (#25)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 04:59:34 PM EST
    Right now they'd filibuster much of Clinton's domestic agenda- the filibuster has dramatically increased in use of the last decade.

    Oh sure (5.00 / 4) (#30)
    by Steve M on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 05:06:46 PM EST
    because they never used the filibuster in the Clinton years!  Actually, the 1993-94 Congress broke all previous records.

    The only reason they didn't filibuster the 1993 Tax Act is that you can't filibuster the budget.  It had nothing to do with the Republicans playing nicer back then.


    There's a reason I bring that one up (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 05:09:55 PM EST
    Good catch (none / 0) (#32)
    by Salo on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 05:10:24 PM EST
    Gingrich was a horrible mother, but a very clever parliamentarian.

    i know you (none / 0) (#57)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 09:08:59 PM EST
    can't use it on budget matters its also why the Filibuster needs to be crushed- Tax Cuts- you know the only the GOP really cares about Domestically besides keeping women in there place are a simple majority item where as virtually any thing we want to pass is now a 60 vote issue.

    Didn't GW say being president is hard? (none / 0) (#34)
    by Coral on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 05:19:14 PM EST
    Give me a break. At least FDR rose to the task, not to mention Lincoln. I was one of those with a lot of good will toward our new president.

    Now, not so much.

    BTD (none / 0) (#44)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 05:52:17 PM EST
    are you sure they know what to do? I'm not so sure. As a poster above said, they're glibertarians and they may be stuck in as much of an ideological hole as the idiotic supply siders are. I do agree that they lack spine. I'm sick of wimps.

    But enough about your love life (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by jondee on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 06:40:21 PM EST
    If this seems like the worst spell of compromising and equivocating since the early nineties, maybe it's time to start being more aggressive about getting publicly financed elections and third and fourth parties on the ballot.

    This is (none / 0) (#50)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 07:17:41 PM EST
    WAAY worse than anything that went on during the 90's. BTD has covered that time and again if you care to read.

    Sorry, but I lived (none / 0) (#51)
    by jondee on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 07:57:45 PM EST
    through it as an adult with eyes wide open and dont need BTD to interpret history for me.

    Um (none / 0) (#70)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 05:00:05 AM EST
    I'm old enough to remember too and sorry but it's waaay worse now. At least then we had some leadership not a guy who wants to flit the world around and delegate the actual work to everybody else.

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by jondee on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 01:53:57 PM EST
    the situations the two came into are so radically different, it's really ludicrous to even begin to try to compare "leadership" styles; whatever that really means.

    Clinton didnt have to deal with a trillion dollar war, two-front war in full swing, the worst economic meltdown since the Depression and most of the country noisily clamoring for radical healthcare reform all at the same. Not even remotely close.

    It sounds to me like you're looking for someone to give you some kind of magical-emotional fix to make it all go away as soon as possible rather than objectively looking at the actual historical situation and considering all the contingencies.


    You know what? (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:47:56 PM EST
    The situation is bad but Obama knew that. Eerybody knew that. If he couldnt handle it then he shouldn't have run for President.

    I'm sick of the apologia. The fact that he is showing a lack of leadership and is completely is wimpy makes the situation even worse. His character flaws are the reason that he is unable to handle the situtaion. Plenty of other people have been President when the country was in bad shape. They either learned to shape up or they shipped out. If Obmaa can't stand the heat then he should get out of the kitchen.


    You forgot the third option (none / 0) (#82)
    by Socraticsilence on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:55:08 PM EST
    they're president in the last quarter of the 20th century and push massive financial deregulation thus getting short term boosts which eventually collapse due to corporate malfeasance made easier by said deregulation (see: Reagan, Clinton).

    It's (none / 0) (#83)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:12:22 PM EST
    always someone else's fault isn't it? Well, Obama praised Reagan and thought he was wonderful so what does that say about Obama?

    I'm not (none / 0) (#81)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:50:46 PM EST
    looking for an emotional fix. You guys are the ones that have spent years looking for an emotional fix from political candidates. I dont expect things to be magically fixed but so far Obama hasn't shown even the slightest inclination of doing the work that needs to be done. He even told people like you that last year. he said he believes in "delegating". It's the same thign George W. Bush said but you can't delegate the Preisdency.

    They delegate all the time (none / 0) (#84)
    by jondee on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 10:44:00 PM EST
    and they always have. That's why there's an sos, sod, soc etc

    It's also why Bill trusted Greenspan & co when they pushed financial deregulation; in a strong leader, completely-on-top-of-the-situation way, of course.


    Nope (none / 0) (#85)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 05:28:00 AM EST
    Obama wants to delegate everything. It's what he's done his entire political career for the most part. A guy who spends years "voting present" is not leadership material.

    Bill didnt delegate to Greenspan but he did support his term which was a mistake. Bill wasn't much of a delegator like Bush and Obama are.


    it's actually not that hard (none / 0) (#54)
    by The Last Whimzy on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 08:53:07 PM EST
    but obama isn't a leader.  he's only an electoral tactician.

    Watch the parking meters (none / 0) (#75)
    by jondee on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 01:59:41 PM EST
    It is clear that you loath Clinton (none / 0) (#71)
    by hairspray on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 12:35:19 PM EST
    and believe every rumor you ever heard. So what? As far as most Americans went their lives were so much better.  Especially the lower rungs. Clinton believed that societies and its infrastructure changes as it has over time.  From farm economies to the industrial revolution as an example.  The minutae you cite was also part of these changes in those times, if you read your history.  His eye was on the vision of changing and evolving. Societies grow and develop like all living organisms. The other beauty of Clinton was that he was not an imperialist as the GOP has been.
    You remind me of a person with a bag of greviances who will go to his death protecting his little bag of "injustices."  Oh and by the way some of your so called facts are simply wrong or speculativde. Is this diatribe to protect Obama from his increasingly obvious lack of ability or is it your desire to see a Republican in the WH again?

    I didnt see that forensic (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by jondee on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 01:18:21 PM EST
    critique as an example of "loathing".

    This isnt a cult site in which one must only express unconditional devotion to the master's every word and deed or reveal oneself to be a victim of base passions.

    Maybe you could SPECIFY which of the events enumerated deserve the status of "rumor" and why? That might help.


    Revere the Clintons every word (none / 0) (#73)
    by jondee on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 01:25:51 PM EST
    and deed or reveal oneself to be a right winger.

    Jesus, how far we've fallen.

    Emma Goldman and Eugene Debs are spinning in their graves at 400 rpm about now.


    I liked Clinton (none / 0) (#77)
    by Socraticsilence on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 06:23:53 PM EST
    and I admired the way he handled the economy- however- he has a point with the whole "give Clinton credit for the Tech boom then you have to give him the blame for it as well."-- it would be a double standard.

    I liked him (none / 0) (#78)
    by jondee on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 06:37:47 PM EST
    when juxtaposed to Raygun and Bush, though I wonder how he would've handled a Wall St deregulation frenzy engendered financial crisis. Asked Alan Greenspan and Bob Rubin what to do again?

    You forgot (none / 0) (#86)
    by jbindc on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 07:59:04 AM EST
    Vince Foster and the other murders he's supposedly responsible for.....

    The Lindbergh baby (none / 0) (#87)
    by jondee on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 10:40:47 AM EST
    those women in Whitechapel..

    SITE VIOLATOR (none / 0) (#89)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 03:22:28 PM EST