With Dems Like This . . .

The Democratic candidate for Senator in Colorado Michael Bennet:

Regarding spending during his time in office [Bennet] said, “We have managed to acquire $13 trillion of debt on our balance sheet” and, “in my view we have nothing to show for it.” Speaking of the debt, he said our debt almost equals the economy. Regarding the current job situation, Bennet said the situation has been dire for over a decade saying, “We have created no net new jobs in the United States since 1998” which were the last two years of the Clinton administration. Pointing to a slide showing budget expenditures, he said that currently 65 percent of the budget was for social security, Medicaid and Medicare expenditures and that we could not grow our way out of debt.

Regarding the expiration of the Bush tax cuts Bennet would not commit to a position on whether to extend them simply saying, “I hope we look at it comprehensively.”

(Emphasis supplied.) Hell of a progressive candidate we got there. Sheesh. Mark this one down in the "who cares if he wins or loses" column. And yes, I expressed support for Bennet in the primary. I regret that support right now.

Speaking for me only

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    And I wanted the crazy guy (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 02:40:25 PM EST

    So let's see (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by lilburro on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 02:54:42 PM EST
    the Professional Dem lines are:

    Ideas that would work - more federal stimulus (supported/agitated for by almost no Dem)

    Ideas that will keep us sliding - unemployment is going to sort itself out over time (supported by some Dems/the President)

    Ideas that are stupid and counterproductive - let's whine endlessly about the debt and the deficit (supported by some Dems/occasionally by the President)

    * throws up hands *

    If the word "Democratic" were not (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by Anne on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 03:15:36 PM EST
    present in your post, it would be impossible to identify Bennet as such; his emphasis on entitlements - which shows a lack of understanding of how SS, at least, works - and his failure to mention the huge percentage of the budget going to the military and defense, is inexcusable.

    I can hardly wait for Jeralyn's reaction, since she lives in Colorado and he was also her choice.

    Her choice was based on criminal justice issues (none / 0) (#9)
    by ruffian on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 03:35:14 PM EST
    Can't fault her there, since that his her emphasis.

    But gees, can't a Dem pol even learn the basics about the entitlement budget?


    He knows (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 03:43:32 PM EST
    Finally Some Honesty (2.00 / 2) (#20)
    by DaveCal on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 05:05:13 PM EST
    I find it interesting that no one here is attacking the substance of his statement.  

    What do we have to show for it?

    For instance, what do we have to show for the $800 Billion "stimulus"?  

    I know all the talking points: the billions and billions of jobs saved or created, or lives touched or whatever; and the economy would be much worse without it; and we got pulled back from the brink; etc. etc.  

    But what specifically do we have to show for it?

    a quick google search (none / 0) (#21)
    by CST on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 05:13:57 PM EST
    and I got thisand this.

    Some highlights in the Yellowstone article:

    • Installation of a new hydroelectric generation plant near Mammoth Hot Springs

    • $4.7 million replacement of the 50-year-old Madison Wastewater Treatment Plant, which park workers say has contaminated the environment and degraded the Madison River's water quality.

    • Demolition and replacement of substandard trailers used for National Park Service employee housing.

    • Upgrades to the South Entrance Road and historic South Rim Drive along the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.

    The second article is about expansion of broadband to low income areas.  In addition you can go to any state's DOT website and find a list of stimulus funded transportation projects.

    There's stuff out there if you look for it.


    Yeah Google's great (none / 0) (#22)
    by DaveCal on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 05:53:18 PM EST
    And these look like fine public projects.

    And I'm sure the DOT websites will have other fine public projects (although I'm bettin a whole bunch of state money had to be spent as well for those -- i.e., the feds don't typically fund the totality of state projects).

    And I know you weren't trying to give me an exhaustive list.

    Still, doesn't seem like a great bargain after spending $800 Billion.  


    Gov did not spend 800 billion (none / 0) (#25)
    by ruffian on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 05:57:29 PM EST
    About 350 billion of it was in tax cuts. Non stimulative.

    And I do not remember Bennet arguing (none / 0) (#26)
    by ruffian on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 05:58:31 PM EST
    Against that ratio.

    But do we have those to show (none / 0) (#24)
    by Cream City on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 05:56:23 PM EST
    or just tell?  I can tell you that the broadband project, for example, only last week announced how much moolah will be coming -- repeat, future tense -- to each state.

    And I know that a lot of other stimulus funding to my state still is just talk.

    So the question of what do we, candidates, Dems, whichever, have to show for it is a good one.

    So far, how much of it is "just words" from  Washington?  Great speechifying and big promises  worked in 2008, but will not work in 2010.


    a little of both (none / 0) (#33)
    by CST on Thu Aug 26, 2010 at 10:08:26 AM EST
    Construction can take a while, but I've seen some underway that I know are from the Stimulus.

    But you both bring up good points.  When I googled Stimulus the first 2 pages were full of things like the "worst 100 projects" etc...  The Dems should have a list of the "best 100 projects", ones that are actually underway or built, and be putting that all over the airwaves.

    People need to know how these projects are helping them.  They aren't very good at that messaging.  Vague numbers like "x" jobs saved is not very helpfull because no one can really verify that and people are naturally distrustfull of government.  But "hey we cleaned your water down the street" or "fixed that bridge that was falling down" is something people can wrap their minds around, and how it benefits them even if they aren't one of the "jobs saved".


    CBO report I heard about this morning (none / 0) (#23)
    by ruffian on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 05:53:39 PM EST
    said among other things that unemployment would be 1.5 or so pct higher . Not good enough I know, but to people that have jobs that would not have otherwise, it is something.

    65 percent (1.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 02:46:34 PM EST
    Pointing to a slide showing budget expenditures, he said that currently 65 percent of the budget was for social security, Medicaid and Medicare expenditures and that we could not grow our way out of debt.

    Perhaps "Don't worry be happy." would have sounded better,  Hey, it worked in Greece for a while.  

    OF course Bennet or the reporter more likely (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 03:00:37 PM EST
    is worng here.

    61% of the budget goes to the military, social security, Medicare and Medicaid.

    Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are 40% of the budget. The other 21% is military spending.


    Even that is really inaccurate (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 03:02:19 PM EST
    in that spending on Social security and Medicare should be offset by revenue capture for FICA.

    It really should be either off budget or on, but let's then stop pretending that FICA is for MEdicare and Social security.


    Exactly - that's what I was going to point out (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by ruffian on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 03:33:25 PM EST
    Lumping SS and Medicare in with the general fund budget drives me insane. Any pol that uses that as one of his talking points about the budget shows me his ignorance.

    Or duplicity. (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by oculus on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 04:20:18 PM EST
    More likely, yes (none / 0) (#15)
    by ruffian on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 04:26:24 PM EST
    they're banking on our ignorance (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by jondee on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 04:29:15 PM EST
    the pundits, pastors and talk radio goons till the ground and they sow the seeds.

    Oh yeah, the military (none / 0) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 03:44:39 PM EST
    ......a typo, those damned aides

    I didnt follow this at all (none / 0) (#7)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 03:20:37 PM EST
    but the other guy must have been a real doofus.

    They were both probably going to (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 04:00:02 PM EST
    "Obama" us once they got the nomination.  Bennet was a lot more of a liberal on our economic issues before he knew he was going to be the Democratic candidate.  The honeymoon is over now I guess.  I think Romanoff was the only one who came out guns blazing for gay rights.  But andgarden worried about Romanoff's emotional stability because he sold his house in order to finance his campaign.  Then he loaned the money to his campaign.

    Pretty savvy move if you ask me.  Now his campaign owes him what the house was worth when he sold it instead of what it is worth now or next year :)  Romanoff is now free to purchase a comparable property much cheaper in his future :)


    Hey! (none / 0) (#19)
    by andgarden on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 05:00:29 PM EST
    I never said anything about emotional stability. I questioned his judgement.

    I'm sorry andgarden (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 06:56:32 PM EST
    I suppose it is a girl thing.  You did say something about his judgement.  Sometimes when people question my judgement I then get asked if I'm getting my period.  Years of emotional abuse?

    In counterpoint (none / 0) (#11)
    by christinep on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 03:44:03 PM EST
    Polls are now coming in Colorado showing the very conservative (as in, for starter, being against the 17th Amendment in sync with the other Tea Party interlopers) Ken Buck running several points ahead. I'm guessing the emphasis on "the debt" is Bennet's call to the Independents--who represent the largest of the three major voting segments in Colorado. In a very crass (but real/reality based community way) Bennet will corral Buck with the right.
    It may not be palatable--and, it usually isn't--but, that is the way of Senate politics in Colorado. BTW, Senator Udall is not much different in that approach; nor was the find-the-center mastermind of the '70s Gary Hart. (Both Senators will be at a small fundraiser tomorrow with Senator Bennet.)
    Different states seem to have their pound-of-flesh requirements. Over the years, Colorado--like a number of independent leaning interior western states--likes the anti-debt talk. In our gubernatorial race, the Democratic candidate who often-doesn't-point-out-that-he-is-a-Democrat John Hickenlooper cuts the same images. OTOH, these Democrats are typically acceptably liberal on social issues as well as environmental issues. The trick for some of us is to let them get their independent pitch out there to take center, while always remembering that (when it counts) their vote is there as much as any east coast or west coast Democrat and that, in some areas such as the environment, they rank ahead of many Democratic compatriots. Finally, remember that Colorado only recently has emerged in the Democratic column...its a growth process where the state's tinges still carry a lot of red.

    If that is is tactic/strategy (none / 0) (#17)
    by BTAL on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 04:46:06 PM EST
    I'm guessing the emphasis on "the debt" is Bennet's call to the Independents...

    He will be dead in the water.  With a 100% voting record for the bills listed in the linked article, every ad against him will tout that he voted for every one of those spend dollars.

    Here I thought some of the TP candidates could pull some dumb stunts, but this is up there with the best of inane campaign moves.


    Interesting point (none / 0) (#18)
    by christinep on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 04:57:36 PM EST
    Except--ironically--that Bennet has already laid the foundation as one with fiscal responsibility bona fides (courtesy an earlier worklife with Anschutz and in finance.) It does cut both ways. Of course, there will be stunts on both sides, as you seem to be well aware BTAL. I really do look for Senator Bennet to bemoan debt, while simultaneously drawing attention to the Republican extremes (like the infamous "high heels" remark that K. Buck made last month against his female Republican opponent.) All would be in line with appealing to the moderate tastes of Colorado's Independents.

    Wow, David Sirota isn't always wrong (none / 0) (#28)
    by magster on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 06:50:37 PM EST
    I just heard ads for (none / 0) (#30)
    by christinep on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 07:01:05 PM EST
    Cong.Betsy Markey (CO-Dem) of the 4th Congressional District and Denver Mayor and now gubernatorial candidate (Dem) John Hickenlooper. The ads on tonights news, and within minutes of each other, both emphasized "budget cutting" and "cutting government spending." Not to say that that tactic is the correct one; nor to say that Bennet's similar tactic is either...only to say that Colorado Democrats are running this way. (And, believe me, Andrew Romanoff would probably do the same since he did so in earlier local runs.)  While the move to perceived center is not pretty, if we truly cannot countenance it--all other things considered--there is always the nunnery. Seriously, I would be interested to know if any Colorado US Senate or Gubernatorial candidate actually ran in the general as a liberal in at least the last 40 years. Noone in my family can recall that being the case. When this happens, I'd prefer that Colorado became California or New York too (not really, just metaphorically)...but, it isn't.

    2008: "Boulder liberal Mark Udall... (none / 0) (#31)
    by magster on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 08:09:28 PM EST
    ... will raise your taxes and eat your babies." and he killed Bob Schaffer.  Of course being labeled a liberal and winning handily did not keep him from being a weenie-run-to-the-center-Dem like every other Dem that was elected.

    1974 & Gary Hart: (none / 0) (#32)
    by brodie on Thu Aug 26, 2010 at 09:54:07 AM EST
    I'd be surprised if he ran as much other than a reform-minded lib Dem in that anti-Nixon/Watergate year.  For re-elect in 1980 as the state was becoming more Red when voters turned against Jimmy Carter, it's possible GH chose to emphasize a few of his already moderate-conservative stances (guns, toughness in dealing with Iranian radicals) to maintain his viability.  

    He couldn't have gone much to the right since a few years later he was running for prez as a center-left Atari New Dem (no, not quite the same as a DLCer) against the old style ND, union-backed liberal Mondale.

    Imo, I suspect there's room for another bold-thinking, smart Hart-like CO pol of mostly lib inclinations, since we're talking about a state that has been trending Dem recently and which went for Obama ferchrissakes in 2008.  Or at least one closer to Hart as opposed to closer than the tepid, corporatist moderate Ken Salazar.

    But Dems, not just in CO, have done a lousy job of letting the other side dictate the discussion on budget deficits, and so what with that stupid pres'l comm'n on deficits, we find the smarter Keynesian approach largely left out of the debate.  


    The 1974 GH win (none / 0) (#34)
    by christinep on Thu Aug 26, 2010 at 12:50:18 PM EST
    Without going into too much detail, the 1974 Senate race consumed a lot of my family's time for a while (one reason being that my husband co-chaired the Denver portion of Hart's principal primary competitor's campaign at the time.) We quickly came to admire the Senator--our earlier divergence being the result of personal friendship with the competitor--and we certainly admired Hart's central role in the earlier McGovern Presidential campaign. While everyone views circumstances differently, it is the view from here that Gary Hart justifiably won that first (1974) race because--in contrast to what people expected--he astutely captured the center with his style, emphasis, etc. As you suggest, almost any Democratic candidate in 1974 had a headstart with a reform campaign.
    Yes, Colorado trends Democratic of late. But, scratch the surface and you will still find tinges from Nebraska, Kansas, Wyoming, Utah, Texas, etc. President Obama won Denver and Boulder based upon one perception; he captured other parts of Colorado for reasons a bit closer to other midwestern reasons. IMO, Colorado is morphing into a more Democratic constituency because of demographic changes (more urban growth, Hispanic populace growth, younger more educated settlers, etc.) and in view of much better Democratic organization (via Dem Chr Pat Waak & fairly active OFA.)

    And this was the guy the professional Left (none / 0) (#27)
    by masslib on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 06:41:02 PM EST
    thought would fight for a public option?  LOL.  Just curious, why did you support him in the primary?