The Price Is Right Stimulus Game

When some of us say that President Obama should have asked for much much more in his opening stimulus proposal, this is why:

[T]he centrists continue[] to demand more reductions. . . . Other reductions are likely in a $15,000 tax credit for all home purchases in the next year as well as a tax credit for the purchase of new cars, both of which were added to the Senate bill after little debate. House Democrats have objected to wholesale deletions from their original bill during the Senate debate, but they are likely to see some return of aid to states that their plan priced at $79 billion. The Senate reduced that figure to $39 billion, while it also zeroed out a fund that would finance school construction, another priority for which House Democrats are pushing to restore funds.

(Emphasis supplied.) There was never any rational thought process from "the Centrists" on this. No underlying thought or plan. It was always going to be "The Price Is Right" with these fools. Cuz that's how Broder designed this game. If you understood the game, you would have known to ask for more so that when "the Centrists" came in, they would do less damage.

Speaking for me only

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    So basic. Sigh... (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by oldpro on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 12:23:06 PM EST
    Given what we're beginning to learn about how bad things really, truly are Obama should have asked for two or three times that much in the stimulus alone.

    I'd also say that the politics of getting the bill passed is well behind the curve when the president has to stump the states to raise publicity and support.

    Might have been more effective if he'd called on Republican governors and mayors to come to DC, huddle with him and then off to the Hill to lobby their senators.  State and muni aid is so obviously the most needy, job-producing and fat with shovel-ready projects.

    This really isn't rocket science and it scares me how ineptly Obama and the Democrats are handling it.

    Didn't he explain that he won't be (none / 0) (#13)
    by ThatOneVoter on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 12:30:48 PM EST
    part of that kind of game playing, in his presser?

    Talk is cheap. (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by oldpro on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 12:38:31 PM EST
    If he meant it, he's a fool.

    How do i post youtube links? (none / 0) (#30)
    by BTD Adopted Son on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 12:59:03 PM EST
    Because i have 2 links where Paul krugman says that a stim pkg of around 600b would almost get us there? Mr. Krugman was on the Rachel Maddow Show and Hardball.

    And one quick question.  DId Obama submit the bill or did he give the bill to a congress person to write the pkg?


    Krugman gave us that figure (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:01:12 PM EST
    3 months ago.  Since then the economy has been in steep decline and now we need a trillion.  That is what people don't understand about using stimulus during this crisis, the longer we hold off at this very moment the more money that is required to hopefully stablize the economy.  We are at a point where every single day counts exponentially, every single job that is lost today and is not replaced today sends job loss ripples through the economy taking down other jobs with it.

    Hey Military tracy (none / 0) (#59)
    by BTD Adopted Son on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:25:44 PM EST
    Wow its great to have a reply from you.

    1. I think those links were from the late Decemeber 2008 am i wrong?

    2. Would you concede the point-- that those were infact Paul Krugman's word at the time?

    3. When was the stim bill introduce?

    4. If the stim pkg was introduce around the same time as Paul Krugman suggestions, then how can we get mad at Obama for his pkg size ?( no pun intended) --lol

    You post proves my point even more.

    Another one of my basic arguments is as follows:

    1. If the longer we wait the worst our economy gets.

    2. But we want a more progressive bill.

    3. And it takes 60 votes to pass this bill

    4. But we only have 58 democratic senators

    5. And  the 59th and 60th senators are Republicans and they say  if you put 100 billion more of spending in this pkg i am not going to vote for it. Which would cause us more time.

    6. That would cause us to use more time.

    7. Which would effectively make the stim bill less stimulative.

    Summary question?

    Would you rather have a good progressive bill -- they way we like it with no chance of passing or a ok bill that does?

    based on your post the choice is quite clear


    Krugman began putting the (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:34:25 PM EST
    600bn figure out there in October.  Both of these interviews were from early Dec., one was Dec 3rd and the other Dec 6th (I checked to make sure).  This was before Christmas.  Most people interested in economics know that the Christmas season is an important time in our economy and then it is followed by the wrap up of the end of the year and the closing of the yearly books.  Upon making those final tallys layoffs began to be enacted massively.  I can concede to you that Krugman said those words, but two years ago I'm sure he said that we weren't in a recession and  some rebuke can run with that too.  Krugman said 600bn over two months ago, his recent statement has been 1 trillion.......let us not dally.

    What bill are you talking about? (none / 0) (#66)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:36:12 PM EST
    Aren't they still arguing about all this or have they decided something for certain and I have not heard?  If where all this has been going has been so "good progressive" why is Pelosi pissed?

    There's an article... (none / 0) (#33)
    by Salo on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:03:23 PM EST
    ...where Krugman laid out his argument for something like a trillion.  Offhand unsourced anacdotes...pass on that.

    hey thanks Salo (none / 0) (#40)
    by BTD Adopted Son on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:37:38 PM EST
    You're a giant around here so it's a honor to have you reply to my post.

    1. Actually the links i have are Paul Krugman speaking.

    2.  He was a guest on their shows.  It's him speaking. i can visually see Paul's lips moving.

    if someone can show my how to post a link or even point me in the right direction that would be greatly appreciated.  thanks

    All you need to is paste the URL in. (none / 0) (#44)
    by Salo on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:43:29 PM EST
    Or a key search.

    The New Yourk Time column succinctly laid out Krugman's argument. he's very persuasive that the Centrists have destroyed the utility of the spending bill...


    Hey thanks Salo (none / 0) (#50)
    by BTD Adopted Son on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:55:21 PM EST
    He is my basic argument

    1. People blame Obama for a small stim pkg right?

    2. Well before the stim bill was crafted Paul Krugman suggested what size he thought the stimulus bill needed to be. That size was roughly 600 b.

    3. Obama's  first year  stim pkg is bigger than what Pual orginally suggested.

    4. So why does Obama get blamed for supporting a bill the roughly the same size that Paul Krugman orginally suggested?

    I am sumbitting 2 Exibits for your consideration.

    Exibit a:  Paul Krugman on Harball


    Exibit B:  Paul Krugman on Rachel Maddow



    Both of these interviews are over (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:15:23 PM EST
    two months old in a steeply declining depression worthy economy.  The number on the day of these interviews was 600 billion, and then thousands and thousands and thousands of layoffs occurred and when no stimulus had happened.  The number today is now around 1 trillion.  If the politicians want to play around even longer that figure can become 1.5 trillion soon.

    thanks again military tracy (none / 0) (#63)
    by BTD Adopted Son on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:32:14 PM EST
    Were you ever in the military ?

    If so what branch?

    When i was younger i was a clinical lab scientist in the air force Travis AFb CA.

    I responded to your post up thread.

    So those interview took place only 2 months ago right?  December right.

    Was that the same time  the stim pkg was introduced?

    Your post proves my point!

    We are saying the same thing-- almost


    My husband is in the Army (none / 0) (#71)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:41:59 PM EST
    He has 20 yrs in now as of December.  I spent my early blogging days complaining about it.  I haven't complained in awhile and I need to too.  DOD is attempting to deploy my husband again Arghhhhhhhh ficken fracken bleh bleh bleh!  We just discussed it via telephone.  I can't do an Iraq deployment.  I just can't do it.  Sorry, I'm just not that patriotic anymore.  I may not even love my country. They offered him a MIT team in Iraq training Iraqis and I said I can't survive that for a year.  I just can't.  I can do Afghanistan.  I can do Korea.  I can't do Iraq ever again.  Stick a fork in me but I'm done, I cannot play good housewife taking care of kiddos and keeping my chin up during an Iraq deployment ever ever again.

    I am sorry to hear that (none / 0) (#85)
    by BTD Adopted Son on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:22:49 PM EST
    I know exactly how military deployment affects families.

    My family and i are from the San Francisco Bay Area.  My father was in the military and my mom was a stay home mother. The Air Force sent my father or repeated deployments to Germany. I barely saw him.  It eventually lead to my parents getting a divorce. You know i am still trying to figure out why we were not allowed to go to Germany with him..

    But i was crushed and my mom was devestated.

    Then i followed in his footsteps were i eventually meet my wife..

    To be honest the military was good to us financially-- we got BAH/ BAS and our medical was taken care of -- tricare, etc.  But i don't know if they really put a price on family.. They say they do -- put many times their actions are counterproductive  if you get my drift?

    Well hopefully this war will be over soon and this constant strain on you family will be over soon.

    It was tough for us so i can't even imagined how tough it is with your little kiddos too?


    For fair comparisons, (none / 0) (#76)
    by KeysDan on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:57:18 PM EST
    the quality, and not just the quantity, of the stimulus bill needs to be considered.  For example, Dr. Krugman's original estimates did not include tax cut to the same extent--since he did not view tax cuts to be effective at this point.

    Obama should have remembered (5.00 / 0) (#8)
    by andgarden on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 12:23:42 PM EST
    that you always reject the first showcase.

    Heh. (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by oldpro on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 12:30:05 PM EST
    "Door number two!  Door number two!"

    I could be wrong, tho...


    What's that show with Howie Mandel? (none / 0) (#25)
    by Salo on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 12:51:23 PM EST
    you get zero or a million or something in between. The bookie offers you an opt out offer.

    When the bookie offers about $150,000-200,000 you ought to take the offer.


    Would make "Slumdog Millionaire" (none / 0) (#79)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:06:20 PM EST
    a very short movie.

    Harvard Prof. Martin Feldstein... (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by santarita on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:30:17 PM EST
    former Reagan economic advisor was just interviewed on CNBC and said that as a fiscal conservative it pains him to say that the stimulus package isn't nearly large enough to fill the hole in the economy and that the government needs to stimulate spending by doing spending programs.   How much clearer can it be said?

    and (none / 0) (#67)
    by jedimom on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:37:32 PM EST
    feldstein propsed a form of holc to team obama back in NOVEMBER..still no action tho'

    Feldstein (none / 0) (#69)
    by wprange on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:39:21 PM EST
    I heard the exact same thing on CNBC and was somewhat puzzled: he supported stimulus last year, but opposed this specific bill 10 days ago, and now he seemed to support it again.

    Specter tried to use him in response to Laura Ingraham and had a great spat over him because of Feldstein's latest op-ed. But this comment seems to support Specter again?


    Does anyone think (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by cal1942 on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:23:36 PM EST
    that Obama will learn anything from this?  

    Will he learn that bi-partisanism is not a valid goal?

    Will he learn that he must start very high?

    Will he learn that he has to know where the bodies are buried?

    Will he learn that he has to turn the screws on members of his own party.

    Will he learn that he has to play hardball with the opposition never hesitating to hold them up to ridicule.

    Will he learn that Republicans have no interest in solving the nation's problems as long as Democrats are in power, that they're nothing but Leninists?

    Will he learn that the opposition has in mind an entirely different nation than the nation most Americans envision?

    No. (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:31:47 PM EST
    I'm afraid all he will learn (5.00 / 3) (#89)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:33:32 PM EST
    is that his bipartisan compromise got an 789 Billion dollar bill passed. That is the positive spin he will put on it. In any other time that would be enough.

    I'll add (5.00 / 3) (#91)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:36:26 PM EST
    Amazingly enough, I don't think Obama quite recognizes the seriousness of his situation. This bill seems to me the bare minimum that could possibly work. I don't think it is likely to work. I hope he has more plans for later in the year.

    My goodness, you folks are still on this nonsense? (1.00 / 1) (#70)
    by RussTC3 on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:40:06 PM EST
    Frightening. lol

    There's a tentative deal on the (none / 0) (#1)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 12:09:50 PM EST
    Stimulus package, per Congress Daily - via Think Progress:

    CongressDaily reports the key elements of the tentative compromise:

    House and Senate leaders have struck a tentative deal on a stimulus package with a top-line figure of $789.5 billion, Democratic aides said this morning. The overall mix of funding and tax provisions remains to be hashed out. One disappointment for President Obama is likely to be a scaled-back "Making Work Pay" tax credit of $400 for individuals and $800 for married couples, which falls short of his goal of $500 and $1,000. But those figures would still meet Obama's goal of providing a tax credit to 95 percent of working families. Conferees are scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. today, although that will largely be a formality. Democratic aides said House Speaker Pelosi intends to bring the bill to the floor Thursday, followed by Senate passage Friday.

    Update: Ambinder adds, "The Republican Senators will pare back some of their preferred tax cuts, and the Democrats will get some of their education / state aid money restored, although both sides will have to sacrifice."

    Update: ABC's George Stephanopoulos reports, "The compromise scales back the tax credits for auto and home purchases and other tax cuts. It also restores some of the House education funding that the Obama administration has called 'crucial.'"

    How do you have a deal with so much still to be decided?  

    AMT is not stimulus (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 12:12:02 PM EST
    The reporting SHOULD say a $729.5 billion stimulus package. In addition, the bill dopes the AMT fix at a cost of $70 billion.

    Why are you objecting? (none / 0) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 12:41:51 PM EST
    I just want it to be accurate - a 719B stim bill and a 70B dollar AMT fix.

    Why all the fuss from you?


    70 billion reasons to single it out (none / 0) (#90)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:34:24 PM EST
    education (none / 0) (#55)
    by jedimom on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:12:08 PM EST
    john harwood cnbc says only 9 billion of the 40 billion in education cuts was restored, i call bs

    Will be hard to come back and ask for more later (none / 0) (#3)
    by Saul on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 12:12:40 PM EST
    if this amount does not cut it.

    What say you.  

    Yep (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 12:15:04 PM EST
    I am trying to arguer this is a $729B stimulus, with an unrelated $70B AMT fix.  

    719 billion (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 12:24:32 PM EST
    I mean.

    But what's 10 billion in tax cuts between friends?


    In that case, (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by oldpro on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 12:37:13 PM EST
    hand it over, Sparky!

    It would certainly solve all of MY problems and I could even bail out my entire state's budget deficit and the county's as well, which I am prepared to do as soon as the check arrives.

    Oh...and I'll help out with the new tunnel to replace Seattle's viaduct.  (Talk about your failing infrastructure!)


    The Price is Right (none / 0) (#4)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 12:13:30 PM EST
    So, if they get within a $100 of the right answer, do they win both showcases?

    And will they be playing "Plinko" (my favorite TPIR game)?

    Geithner (none / 0) (#6)
    by SOS on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 12:17:51 PM EST
    said this morning he would inform Congress as soon as possible if more taxpayer money were needed to salvage the banking sector as part of the effort to reinvigorate the economy.

    (Now we'll see an upside on the street in this  maximum pain market designed to make about everyone in it look like fools.)

    If? If? He said, "If?" (none / 0) (#10)
    by oldpro on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 12:28:06 PM EST
    He meant when.

    Meanwhile, back in the boardrooms, (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 12:46:18 PM EST
    the new word for "bonus" will be "retention award;" good to know someone is thinking ahead and managing priorities.

    From HuffPo, via Think Progress:

    Huffington Post reports that bailed-out financial firms Morgan Stanley and Citigroup's Smith Barney -- which will soon merge -- plan to reward their financial advisers with "very generous" cash bonuses. During an internal conference call last week, advisers were warned not to call the awards bonuses because it would cause a PR headache:

    "There will be a retention award. Please do not call it a bonus," said James Gorman, co-president of Morgan Stanley. "It is not a bonus. It is an award. And it recognizes the importance of keeping our team in place as we go through this integration."

    Gorman said that the payments would be "based on performance numbers from 2008 instead of 2009," which "virtually guarantees an increase in the size of the awards." On the call, Gorman said that the advisers should be "clapping" at the "very generous and thoughtful" announcement.

    So, they've got to keep the people that will make the merger happen in a seamless way, so that - just speculating here - once it's all done, thousands of employees can be laid off.  Who wants to bet that's what happens?

    HuffPo has the audio.


    layoffs are an inevitable (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by NYShooter on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 12:55:38 PM EST
    part of mergers, even during boom times. What we're going to see now are lopalooza layoffs.

    layoffs (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by CST on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 12:57:35 PM EST
    may be inevitable, but AWARDS???

    I wonder how many lower-paying jobs those awards will be worth...


    Oh (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by CST on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:00:41 PM EST
    and just the idea that these people would need an "incentive" to stay on...

    Where else are they gonna go???


    That's the question I sort of (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:39:20 PM EST
    keep screaming whenever I hear the apologists for the financial institutions/brokerage houses whining about how they need give their best people a reason to stay.

    Where else are they gonna go??? (none / 0) (#46)
    by NYShooter on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:46:06 PM EST
    You have asked the type of question

    That reminds me of Obama, the media, and the primaries: "Barack Obama, he who shall not be questioned."

    It's not about the one dimwit, dipstick, or doorknob who gets an undeserved, gargantuan bonus, award, whatever that's important to them. It's an entire culture: CEO (avarice infested incompetent)...Board of Directors (interlocking aka circle je*king luffa wielding back scratchers)...Compensation Committee (just keep doling  it out, better than tenure)....Audit Firm (where's the numbers you want me to put down?")

    we just hear about the CEO's, but it's really a very large conspiratorial cabal...........much harder to crush.

    oops, wrong parent, but no matter


    Question (none / 0) (#11)
    by magster on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 12:29:38 PM EST
    The auto industry bailout was lacking last month. Was there any attempt to have this bailout pump more money into Detroit?

    Nope it's going to (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by SOS on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 12:32:35 PM EST
    propping up the "elites" who got us into this mess obviously.

    Sausage-Making is Never ... (none / 0) (#15)
    by santarita on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 12:34:37 PM EST
    pretty.  The major reasoning behind the "centrist" position seems nothing more than splitting the baby between tax cuts and spending proportionally.  

    It would be nice to see an honest, reasoned discussion among lawmakers because there are important and fundamental issues at stake - the role of government in times of economic crisis, the nature and scope of the crisis, tax cuts versus spending etc.  But the media looks for sound bites instead of discussion.  When Chris Matthews discussed what Geithner might say with Steve Pearlstein of the Washington Post, he cut Pearlstein off and said that he (Mathews) was too stupid to understand the complexities, he just wanted to know what would happen to his stock portfolio.  Until we get beyond that level of simplicity, many will think that  the simplistic rationale of the centrists constitutes good politics and good legislating.

    Actually (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 12:38:54 PM EST
    I worked part time in a butcher shop for 12 years - sausage making is not gross - law making is gross.

    hehehehe! (none / 0) (#27)
    by Salo on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 12:52:22 PM EST
    Tequila brewing should never be seen though.  

    Ahem.. too much *WORM*?! (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by ThatOneVoter on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:01:43 PM EST
    Well played! (none / 0) (#41)
    by jbindc on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:38:40 PM EST
    Makes sense (none / 0) (#21)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 12:42:57 PM EST
    Bail out the auto industry, but don't bail out the states.

    Makes total sense....but only if your interests are in industry and not individual.

    Auto Industry (5.00 / 0) (#74)
    by cal1942 on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:54:27 PM EST
    wasn't bailied out.  They got loans.

    So, did we all see this? (none / 0) (#23)
    by oldpro on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 12:46:20 PM EST
    No wonder Geithner isn't being specific...they aren't sure what in the Hell to do...if you haven't watched this video to the end, I recommend it.  By way of Magnifico's Monday night post at DK.

    "According to Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D) (PA-11), in mid-September of 2008, the United States of America came just three hours away from the collapse of the entire economy. In a span of 2 hours, $550 billion was drawn out of money market accounts in an electronic run on the banks.

    Rep. Kanjorski: "It would have been the end of our economic system and our political system as we know it."

    Kanjorski's bombshell begins to detonate at roughly 2:10 into the video." (From C-SPAN's 'Washington Journal' on Monday).

    No one knows what the right price is.  No one.  If Geithner knew for sure he would have said so with a specific, detailed plan.

    Hey BTD--Kimbo Slice??? (none / 0) (#26)
    by BTD Adopted Son on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 12:51:37 PM EST
    Does the name Kimbo Slice have any meaning to you?

    You wrote a post about 3-4 months ago  and you said something to the effect paraphrasing of course:

    "Kimbo Slice was all talk.  Just what i thought."

    WHat ever happened to that guy? 14 second knock out-- and he is nowhere to be seen.

    Ok back to the thread topic

    Why do some here think that Obama stim pack was too low  when Paul Krugman went on hardball and the RAchel Maddow show  and said that a stim pkg
    of about 600B would get you almost there?
    I have the links i just don't know how to put a link in here

    Also the number one criticism Obama gets was he was to soft on the stim pkg. Some people here say that he should have use the bully pulpit to hit the republican before they hit him-- paraphasing

    But on the very same show Paul Krugman was on Rachel read 2 letters from Republicans calling out Obama while he was still Pres. Elect?

    you don't need a link (none / 0) (#34)
    by NYShooter on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:03:26 PM EST
    I have never heard Krugman say anything close to 600 Bil.being enough.

    Out of context?.... meaningless.

    And what does Republicans "calling out" Obama mean anyway. Aren't they the opposition party?


    Hey thanks for your reply (none / 0) (#45)
    by BTD Adopted Son on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:44:51 PM EST

    1. Actually if you can show me how to post the video of Paul Krugman being a guest on hardball-- i will gladly supply you with Paul.

    2.It's pretty hard do argue against facts and proof right?

    can you help me post the video? -- pls --thanks


    I posted the links up thread (none / 0) (#54)
    by BTD Adopted Son on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:08:16 PM EST
    1.  The part about republicans  was this.  I was having a pretty good debate with Columbia Duck yesterday about the stim pkg.

    2. Columbia Duck suggested that Obama was failing on the stim pkg because the bill was watered down. and somehow this suggested Obama was not fighting for progressive causes despite the 10 other progressive things he's done so far while being in office.

    3. Columbia Duck facts for stating such a claim?-- which really wasn't a fact--  Obama could have been tougher on the republicans, he needed to use his bully pulpit,  and somehow that would have made them retreat.

    4. So to inorder to refute this ridiculous claim. I was trying to supply Columbia Duck with the fact -- that before Obama was in office the republicans were already preempting him.


    Seriously? (none / 0) (#57)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:20:15 PM EST
    I had absolutely no idea that a president-elect is kept sequestered in a bubble with no way to communicate with the public!  How could I have forgotten that during the period between an election and inauguration the President-Elect is absolutely prohibited from talking about policy or advancing an agenda!  Jeez, what an oversight on my part.

    Your back for some more? (none / 0) (#77)
    by BTD Adopted Son on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:00:10 PM EST
    Didn't you lose this debate already?

    This is sooo easy...  This will be fun!!

    Look a good fact based debate is a very good thing for this blog and the blogosphere in general.

    It allows all of us to grow.  WHich allows us to become stronger critical thinkers and stronger debaters..

    This is important because  when we come up against republicans  we can refute their silly arguments with ease.

    After about 9-12 hours and about 10 posts

    you still did not prove your point.  You have not laid out ONE fact.

    Here is your home work assignment. Solve for Y

    5+y= 7

    7=  Obama not fighting for progressive causes.

    5=  You making that claim.

    y= your facts!!

    your arguments come out like a  plate of  pasta.  There all jumbled up.

    Remember the first person  to resort to a snarky response in a debate effectively loses.

    So, instead of giving snarky and sarcastic responses try developing a stronger debate frame.

    Or to borrow your words " Go back to the mental drawing board."



    You are" = "you're" (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:08:02 PM EST
    not "your."

    You missed one: (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:14:21 PM EST
    They are = "they're," not "there."

    Are we spending enough on education?


    Thanks Oculus (none / 0) (#96)
    by BTD Adopted Son on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 04:09:51 PM EST
    Hey thanks Oculus.

    I will probably make many more mistakes--i am trying to do to many things at once-- i have my 4 children with me -- i am cooking --and i am typing on this antiquated laptop.--lol

    This is why i continue to be impressed by this site and this i why i have great respect for Jeralyn, BTD, Ruffian, thatonevoter-- Dr. Molly - Oculus -- Steve--Militarytracy-- and many many others on this blog- you guys are a great and respectful people.


    i don't know how to paste direct quotes link but i will paste a link to the page.

    did you write this:

    "Obama has proven me right. Sirota may want to cal me bitter but I take no joy in the fact that we apparently have an ineffectual president who is unwilling to stand up for basic progressive principles at a time when we need those principles the most."

     here is the link:


     you can find your comment mid way down the page.

    Do you concede ?

    I will not move on to a new debate with you until you concede.  Once, you concede i will glady answer your question.

    I am not trying to pick on you-- i just want you to make you argument better. People correct me on my english syntax right? Thats ok right?

    Is it equally ok to correct someone's debating performance?

    Pls concede the point.

    To Anne.

    Thank you for your reply. and thanks for your corrections.  I will try better.

    I bet you are a great intelligent person  who is highly respected in your profession.  

    I also bet that someone who is so well verse in grammar can appreciate a well thought out-- and well versed blog post right? One that has facts right?

    I also bet that you would be equally compelled to correct a non- facted based post right?

    Or do you only feel compelled to correct one's grammar?



    Now you apparently can't read your own posts (none / 0) (#97)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 04:56:38 PM EST
    You quote me as saying this:

    Or to borrow your words " Go back to the mental drawing board."

    Which I never said, which again just makes your arguments all the  more bizarre.

    I freely concede that I said Obama was ineffectual.  I believe the entire debate over the stimulus bill (which most economists believe is too small, too focused on tax cuts and too little focused on helping states) bears out my view.  And I totally stand by that statement.  You may disagree, but you are not going to dissuade me from my belief.


    Apparently you're confused again (none / 0) (#98)
    by BTD Adopted Son on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 06:48:28 PM EST

    This is what happens when you don't start or maintain a linear and logical argument or thought.  You get confused and you start mixing up your debating points.

    We were supposed to be debating about your original quote from yesterday? The one that i supplied upthread.

    Why are you not willing to debate this part of the quote:

    "who is unwilling to stand up for basic progressive principles at a time when we need those principles the most."

    I know why you can't debate that point because you can not supply any --not one-- fact to back up your claim.

    You are entitled to your own opinions but not your facts.

    I am begging you pls do not go around talkleft or any other blog for that matter stating opinions as facts without supplying:

    metrics to evaluate your claims

    ALso using economists who are commenting on the size of a stim bill-- does not add credence to claim that obama " is unwilling to stand up for basic progressive principles."

    Let me help your argument out: These are only suggestions

    Based on Obama 3 and half weeks in office he has done many progressive things.  To name a few FOIA, Schip, Ledbetter, Mercury emission standards, Gitmo, Order To lift ban on fuel efficient  standards.  

    If i had one complaint against him it would be his handling of the stim bill. I based this on  rather small and limited infomation bases.  These bases are newspapers-- blogs-- radio-- and the tee-vee.  Since i am not a senator i can only speculate. I am not a closed minded person who is completely stuck on my opinion. I would be willing to change my opinion if presented with more information.

    Or something to that effect

    Some republicans make non- fact based statements all day long like:

    FDR and the Great DEal made the GReat Depression worse

    or something equally silly.  We democrats don't have to be that silly.

    We make arguments rooted in  facts and we make republicans look silly all the time.. We out think them. WE supply facts.

    So i beg you pls be more careful in your arguments



    It's hard to take you seriously (5.00 / 2) (#84)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:16:49 PM EST
    When you manufacture quotes.

    Honestly, I have no idea what you are talking about - I am expressing my views.  Others may find them to be compelling or not but I am under no obligation to adhere to some arbitrary standard set but you.  I stated why I hold the views I do; that you might not like them is hardly something that will cause me to lose sleep.

    This isn't a debating society nor is it your blog - you don't get to set the rules and decide what is or is not acceptable to say or how it should be said.  Jeralyn and BTD can set those terms because it's their blog but that is their call, not yours.  

    But I would very much like to see you produce evidence that shows Obama (or any president) is prohibited from lobbying for or proposing legislation prior to being sworn in.  I don't expect it, however, but that particular claim was so outlandish, I felt obliged to respond.  I will not do so again.


    Earmark ban (none / 0) (#35)
    by magster on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:11:46 PM EST
    Maybe this was a mistake.  If Republicans were told they could add spending earmarks for their districts designed to create jobs, more money could have been spent with greater bi-partisan support.

    A smart legislative strategist (none / 0) (#47)
    by andgarden on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:46:51 PM EST
    would have rushed to Lisa Murkowski first.

    If they cut the $15K credit for the purchase (none / 0) (#36)
    by coast on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:12:27 PM EST
    of a home or put restiction on it as they did with the previous $7K credit, then they are truly full of hot air when they talk about wanting to help the people hurt by this crisis.  It was one of the few tax cuts included in this bill that actually made sense and could provide....wait for it..an actual stimulus to the economy.

    Actually, the people hurt by this (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:36:19 PM EST
    crisis are not the ones looking to buy a home, but those already in homes they cannot afford the payments on.

    Here's an explanation that made sense to me:

    Shifting to unrestricted tax credit doesn't reduce inventory: While I wasn't wild about the first-time homebuyers' tax credit (it largely paid people who were likely to buy a house anyway), it was at least narrowly targeted. Now, anyone who buys a home is suddenly eligble for a $15,000 windfall from the government. There's another name for first-time homebuyers: renters. So the nice thing about incentivizing renters to make their first home purchase is that each buyer would reduce by one the number of properties available for sale.

    We're currently sitting with more than 4 million new and existing unsold homes available for sale, but shifting to an unrestricted tax credit does nothing to reduce that inventory. In order for most current homeowners to take advantage of the tax credit, they will need to sell their existing home, resulting in a net change of zero. So we're basically throwing $15,000 per housing purchase at a solution that does nothing to help the housing crisis.

    More useful to wealthier households: There is no longer a phase out for upper-income buyers. Moreover, it's not actually $15,000 across the board. It's 10 percent of the purchase price, up to $15,000. So if you happen to buy a home for more than $150,000, you get the full amount. A less expensive home? A smaller credit. In 94 of 168 metropolitan areas (as of the 3rd quarter last year), the median sales price of single-family homes was below $150,000, so the credit is more useful to wealthier households in most housing markets.

    No longer refundable and skewed towards the rich: If you happen to have a tax burden less than $15,000, assuming you have just bought a house for $150,000 or more, you don't get to claim the full amount of the credit (read: cash back that you could spend in a way that's stimulative for the broader economy). The only people who can claim the full amount in one year are making over $100,000 (let's keep in mind that these people have just bought a house and are claiming pretty substantial mortgage interest and property tax deductions before we even get to AGI). When you spread the refund over two years, you need to be making $75,000 to get close to claiming the full credit. This credit is unquestionably skewed in favor of wealthier households.

    At $35 billion, it's the second most expensive credit after the actually stimulative "making work pay" credit and more than twice as expensive as the equally brain-dead NOL carryback provision.

    It's not nearly the bang for the buck it was touted as, and it doesn't really help the people who most need it.


    And I think (none / 0) (#37)
    by CoralGables on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:32:50 PM EST
    15K to a first time home buyer is a giveaway the government can't afford. It's a foolish giveaway.

    I don't understand this. (5.00 / 0) (#48)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:48:26 PM EST
    I own a home that would be perfect for a first-time home buyer and I need to sell it because I took a job last year out of state and we need to move. My house, and hundreds like it in my neighborhood, won't sell because there is no demand. People who can't find jobs are too scared to buy a home for the first time. So there is a huge glut of homes that will take forever to move even if/when the housing market picks up.

    Why isn't it sensible to help first-time homebuyers buy a house - then I and millions of others like me can move and buy another house. Lots of stimulus and the housing market picks up all over. Isn't this what we're supposed to be trying to fix?


    Putting the cart before the horse (none / 0) (#61)
    by CoralGables on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:29:37 PM EST

    People who can't find jobs are too scared to buy a home for the first time.

    And therein lies the problem (and the answer). The purpose of the stimulus is to create jobs. People that can't find a job, or are afraid they might lose their job, aren't in the market for a home. If you want the housing market to pick back up, you need the unemployment rate to go down and inflation adjusted wages to climb.

    People that overbought with ARM's, or thought their homes were cash cows by refinancing with cash out to buy that fancy new car, dug themselves a hole leading to a housing glut on the market when they could no longer afford the mortgage payment...all the while adding their own two cents to the economic bubble which is now more of an economic anvil.

    Jobs boost the economy, tax breaks and tax credits are more of a..let's see if we cant stall this disaster until tomorrow approach.


    Yeah, I understand all that (none / 0) (#72)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:43:53 PM EST
    but I don't think they are mutually exclusive.

    Jobs need to be the first priority, but trying to pick up the housing market won't hurt either. A lot of people in real estate, housing construction, etc. are hurting or out of jobs as well.

    And then there are millions of people like me who bought modestly, faithfully payed their mortgage payments for years, and are now watching it all disappear through no fault of their own.

    It's all interconnected and stimulating on multiple fronts seems OK to me.


    I don't know if you saw it, but I (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by Anne on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:11:53 PM EST
    posted something above that I found at Think Progress' Wonk Room that did a pretty good job of explaining why the credit didn't make much sense.

    One, it wasn't just for first-time home-buyers.  In some ways, it was like the credit from a few years ago that enabled a lot of people to buy big SUV's and get a hefty credit for doing so; the benefit of a credit structured this way is always going to skew in favor of those who need the least help.  I agree that moving inventory would be a good thing, but the likelihood is that it would have been more of a wash, with people selling an existing home and buying another.

    Two, the credit was limited to 10% of the purchase price, capped at $15,000; if the purchase price was under $150,000, you would only get 10% of that amount.  Those who could afford to buy a home over $150,000 would get the entire credit.

    Three, if your total tax liability, before applying credits, was less than $15,000, the difference between your tax and the credit was not refundable, and was not able to carry forward to future tax years.

    This credit would have done nothing for people whose homes are being foreclosed on, or who need help to be able to keep the homes they have.


    In addition (none / 0) (#86)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:23:05 PM EST
    To what Anne says, since most people do not have a liability of $15,000 or more and thus cannot take full advantage of the credit, the benefits are skewed towards wealthier taxpayers.

    Dean Baker: The Flip Your House to Your Brother (none / 0) (#99)
    by jawbone on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 09:17:54 PM EST
    tax credit. He'll flip his, and if you've got the ready, you both get the tax credit. Way cool.

    Poor schlubs who pay very little Federal taxes after their mortgage deductions? Who needs to help them,. This is a Repub tax cut!

    Uber wealthy uber all us. Heh.


    I cannot believe Obama went along with this junk (none / 0) (#100)
    by jawbone on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 09:19:02 PM EST
    legislation. Newbie.

    OK, well, I agree with your last paragraph (none / 0) (#94)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:59:06 PM EST
    But I don't think those are the only people that we should worry about, I think the middle class homeowners matter too, and I think that anything that starts moving housing inventory could be helpful.

    no, it was refundable! (none / 0) (#102)
    by suzieg on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 07:23:50 AM EST
    Isn't it conventional wisdom (none / 0) (#38)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:33:28 PM EST
    people aren't buying homes because they can't get a mortgage or the can't sell their existing home because potential buyers also can't get a mortgage?

    Sharing The Pie. (none / 0) (#51)
    by melpol on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 01:57:31 PM EST

    The loss of jobs has a tremendous economic and social impact. Those laid off lose their ability to support families and pay their mortgages. Without income, many can no longer afford health care coverage. Sharing available work would increase the employee base. If employees agree to a cut in salaries and tighten their belts less would lose their jobs. An agreement to work at reduced pay, would also increase feelings of job security. Another way to share the work would be by sharing the work week. Working one week and staying home the next one is better than being unemployed. Sharing the pain and sharing the gain is the American way. Workers are entitled to a piece of the pie not all of it.

    OMStars n gartars (none / 0) (#53)
    by jedimom on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:03:18 PM EST
    did u see reid just now!!!
    speechless with admiration for snowe specter and their patriotism yada yada

    harwood cnbc says the great deal restores 9 bill of the 40 bill the centrists cut in the senate

    way to play hardball team obama, uhmm NOT

    They have a deal (none / 0) (#58)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:21:57 PM EST
    stim deal details (none / 0) (#60)
    by jedimom on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:26:31 PM EST
    oh i am sooo disappointed in these people
    via AP on breitbart form drudge
    Working to accommodate the new, lower overall limit of the bill, negotiators effectively wiped out a Senate-passed provision for a new $15,000 tax credit to defray the cost of buying a home, these officials said. The agreement would allow taxpayers to deduct the sales tax paid on new car purchases, but not the interest on loans for the same vehicles.

    It also appeared a compromise was in the works on the administration's demand for school construction funds.

    Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, told reporters that $6 billion would be set aside, and officials said it could be spent only on repair and modernization work, a limitation designed to appease the moderates.

    But officials said House Democrats were holding out for as much as $9 billion.

    So the AMT fix stayed in this version? (none / 0) (#78)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:05:20 PM EST
    Figures - the part of the bill that was already planned to go into another bill later anyway.

    I'm really afraid this bill will only get us 80% of the way up the hill, only to roll back down. But what do I know? TPM says a win is a win.


    Line-item veto? (none / 0) (#65)
    by wprange on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:35:25 PM EST
    Just a question from a foreigner: does Obama have the power of Line-item veto on this Bill?
    Obama has said he would go over the bill line by line to see what works and what doesn't. To me, that sounds like he will use his executive power

    No line item veto (none / 0) (#68)
    by andgarden on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:38:39 PM EST
    It would require a constitutional amendment.

    too bad (none / 0) (#73)
    by wprange on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:53:32 PM EST
    Ah, that's too bad.

    So I don't get to see a spectacle where Repubs would be up in arms over cutting something from the bill they opposed?

    That would have been so much fun


    No (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by andgarden on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 02:55:29 PM EST
    I think the LIV would give a President too much power over legislation.

    Agree (none / 0) (#82)
    by cal1942 on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:12:14 PM EST
    It should be remembered that both Clinton and Bush asked for line item veto.

    It would all but finish off separation of powers.


    what about a signing statement which Bush was (none / 0) (#101)
    by suzieg on Thu Feb 12, 2009 at 06:06:45 AM EST
    so fond of?

    From TPM (none / 0) (#92)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:42:43 PM EST
    The House and Senate conferees on the Stimulus Bill were just scheduled to get together for a final semi-ceremonial meeting to agree on the final bill. But the House folks didn't show up. Not clear what that means precisely, but does not sound promising. We'll have more for you shortly.

    Well, I guess it depends on what you call promising. Here's hoping the house is holding out for about 100 billion more in help for the states or infrastructure spending.

    i wish (none / 0) (#93)
    by jedimom on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 03:55:01 PM EST
    oh wouldnt that be kewl is they used their MAJORITY to like implement meaningful CHANGE and if they FOUGHT for us....

    I would love it if they had the fire they found pushing HRC out to keep the good stimulus IN


    Wouldn't it though? (none / 0) (#95)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 11, 2009 at 04:07:20 PM EST
    Isn't that why we all worked so hard (most a lot harder than me, I'll admit) to get a majority?