The Need For Fiscal Stimulus

AmericaBlog interviewed Joseph Stiglitz:

Yes, you have heard it all before. It's still true.

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    It keeps getting proven over and over (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by MO Blue on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 08:27:33 AM EST
    and over again.

    A new Labor Department report released moments ago finds that zero jobs were created last month. The unemployment rate held at 9.1 percent. The jobs numbers for June and July were both revised downwards. link

    And all so drearily (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by smott on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:15:32 AM EST

    "Stimulus" WAY TO SMALL, and Reaganistic,  funded by nearly 40% Tax Cuts.


    Astonishing, I know.


    I keep asking this question (none / 0) (#12)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 11:35:39 AM EST
    Perhaps you can answer.

    How big should have the stimulus been?

    And I'm not snarking.


    Read up (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by smott on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 11:50:15 AM EST
    It's been out there awhile and Krugman was not of the extreme.


    Or are you intending to argue from the Reagan standpoint -  that Tax Cuts = Stimulus?


    Of course there is a cause and effect (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 05:17:25 PM EST
    So Christy Romer's math looked similar to mine:

    Which was $1.2 trillion with a wish list for $2 trillion.

    I take that you would say the number should have been $2 trillion rather than the $787 billion.

    Obviously anything that puts money in the pockets of the citizen is a stimulus. You can debate how much of a bang you get for your buck. Reagan's FIT rate cuts pumped money into people's pockets who who would spend it. That's also obvious. Could it have been structured otherwise that would have even had more spent and less saved?

    I don't know. But to sustain an economy you need savings and investments as well as actual purchases. In my view one of the current problems is that the current stimulus has not increased purchases of things not manufactured in the US so the flow through has been largely flow out... to China, India, Taiwan, etc. Much of the remainder has been used to pay down debts and increase savings.

    So maybe $2 trillion would have just further enriched China, et al.......

    Then we have the huge chunks that went to the states for "shovel ready" projects which even Obama has admitted weren't shovel ready.

    The real question is, what do we do now?? Obama will probably come forward with another plan to protect state and federal jobs while doing little to actually help the average non-government person.

    In the meantime we are using around 378 million gallons of gas a day.

    When Obama became President gasoline was around $1.80 a gallon. Since then it has slowly climbed to near $4.00 a gallon, currently around $3.65.

    And the economy, which was starting to recover, started tanking about 4 months ago, which was a lagging indicator after gasoline hit $3.00 in 12/10 and kept on climbing.

    Could there be an effect of taking an additional $35-$40 a week out of Joe and Jane Sixpack's stash and giving it to the oil industry???

    Obama should immediately return to the policies that the Demos and Repubs jointly agreed on in late summer and Fall of 2008. Wouldn't cost a dime  and just might get people spending again.



    Probably around $2 trillion (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Yman on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 11:53:10 AM EST
    Certainly more than the 1.2 trillion Romer originally estimated.

    Why do you keep asking the question?


    Jobs, smobs, (5.00 / 4) (#17)
    by KeysDan on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 11:51:11 AM EST
    the problem with the economy is too many regulations. In justifying his overruling of EPA Director Lisa Jackson's implementation of 'Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards," at this time, President Obama stated "...I have continued to underscore the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty, particularly as our economy continues to recover."

    {head desk} n/t (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by nycstray on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 11:56:02 AM EST
    Here's the story (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by jbindc on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 12:19:38 PM EST
    Hey man (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by MO Blue on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 12:25:26 PM EST
    Obama and the New Democratic Party doesn't need those pesky environmentalists to vote for them either.

    His policies haven't exactly been appealing to Independent voters and the Republicans don't seem to be inclined to vote for him no matter how many of their policies he pursues, so I'm really not sure where all the votes are coming from in 2012.


    This is unbelievable. (5.00 / 5) (#36)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 12:30:59 PM EST
    But I figured it was coming.

    Why did I vote for this guy again?

    Oh yes - because he was better than the alternative.

    How incredibly depressing our government has become.

    I thought I had seen the bottom during the Bush years, and that the pendulum might swing back to some semblance of government for the people.

    But no...


    Not happy campers (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by MO Blue on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 09:01:12 PM EST
    "The Sierra Club condemns the Obama administration's decision to delay critical, long-overdue protections from smog, an acidic air pollutant that when inhaled is like getting a sunburn on your lungs," said Sierra Club President Michael Brune, whose group has an active political field operation.

    "By putting the interest of coal and oil polluters first, the White House seems to be saying that `clean air will have to wait,'" he said.

    Frank O'Donnell of Clean Air Watch called Obama's decision an "abject act of political cowardice."
    The White House decision to scuttle EPA's plan followed immense pressure from industry groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, The Business Roundtable, the National Association of Manufacturers and several oil industry groups. link

    Well, MOBlue, (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 06:12:56 AM EST
    I guess they figure since we won't have health care, and we won't have jobs, and we won't have social security, and we won't have our retirement funds or home equity anymore...

    why would we need clean air?

    If it weren't so tragic, this would be such an interesting history lesson of our times:  our government now works almost completely for the interests of big business and not at all for the citizens of this country.


    The NYTimes weighs in: (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by KeysDan on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 10:22:11 AM EST
    (Editorial, Saturday, Sept 3, "A Bad Call on Ozone").  "President Obama's decision not to proceed with stronger air-quality standards governing ozone is a setback for public health and the environment and a victory for industry and its Republican friends in Congress. ....the president said he did not want to burden industry with new rules at a time of great economic uncertainty, and he pledged to revisit the issue in two years.  Since the the proposed rules would not really begin to bite until 2015 and beyond, his decision seemed driven more than anything else by politics and his own re-election campaign."  

    It seems (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by MO Blue on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 11:43:09 AM EST
    if it weren't for Obama's "bad ideas," he would have no ideas at all.  

    Well, I think this was a good idea: (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by KeysDan on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 11:48:00 AM EST
    President Obama's Executive Order and Memo on review and improvement of regulations (January 18, 20ll): (a) our regulatory system must protect public health, welfare and safety...... It must be based on the best scientific evidence.

    Well that does sound nice (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by MO Blue on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 12:17:41 PM EST
    OTOH, it doesn't appear that his actions follow that executive order or I'm I missing something when believing this is snark.

    Sorry (none / 0) (#138)
    by KeysDan on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 12:44:31 PM EST
    just snark.

    Tell that (none / 0) (#35)
    by smott on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 12:27:38 PM EST
    To the people in the Gulf who have lost their livelihoods thanks to relaxed regulations on BP.

    And GOd help them when the next hurricane puts all those petroleum poisons in the air to be breathed.

    Are you serious??


    But Stiglitz teaches at Columbia (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 09:21:31 AM EST
    Not the University of Chicago, so he can go blow.

    But Pres. Obama finished his undergrad (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 11:03:24 AM EST
    degree at Columbia.  What went wrong?

    He made the mistake of (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Zorba on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 11:38:15 AM EST
    teaching at the U. of Chicago Law School.  ;-)

    I wish I knew (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 09:04:03 AM EST
    He seems to me to have his mind set upon a certain economic philosophy and it is a philosophy that shuns and snickers at economists like Krugman and Stilgitz.  It is a philosophy that comes right out of the University of Chicago.

    Any response yet (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Edger on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 09:26:28 AM EST
    from President Geithner? Will he order the White House,Treasury and Fed to do what needs to be done?

    Wonder how something (3.50 / 2) (#69)
    by jbindc on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 03:33:05 PM EST
    like this will play when talking about straightening out our fiscal mess.  Wonder if because it's a holiday weekend, it will get much discussion.

    The Internal Revenue Service allowed undocumented workers to collect $4.2 billion in refundable tax credits last year, a new audit says, almost quadruple the sum five years ago.

    Although undocumented workers are not eligible for federal benefits, the report released Thursday by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration concludes that federal law is ambiguous on whether these workers qualify for a tax break based on earned income called the additional child tax credit.

    Taxpayers can claim this credit to reduce what they owe in taxes, often getting refunds from the government. The vagueness of federal law may have contributed to the $4.2 billion in credits, the report said.

    The IRS said it lacks the authority to disallow the claims.


    Wage earners who do not have Social Security numbers and are not authorized to work in the United States can use what the IRS calls individual taxpayer identification numbers. Often these result in fraudulent claims on tax returns, auditors found.

    Their data showed that 72 percent of returns filed with taxpayer identification numbers claimed the child tax credit.

    Would love to know what the "experts" think...The Tea Partiers will HATE it, some on the left will make excuses for it, and everyone else will be left scratching their heads.

    A logical question is:  Would we have had more money to devote to a stimulus if this hadn't been happening?

    Verizon Strike (none / 0) (#4)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 09:42:32 AM EST
    Counted for 45,000 of the jobs lost.  Expectations were that between 60K and 100K jobs would be added last month so it is still slightly below expectations even with the Verizon strike factored in.

    But good to understand the real numbers.

    Rising population + technology = (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Dadler on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 09:47:50 AM EST
    Reduced jobs forever if all that matters is sucking profit out of human labor.  Until we decide that we will have to employ people for the sake of employing them, for the sake of human dignity and respect, so that society doesn't break down and burn from the blowback of a of tens of millions of desperate, unemployed people.  And this new and expanded underclass will grow exponentially if all we continue to do is pray for the buffalo to return to the prairie.  What is more important, money or people?  Right now, that answer is clear.  Money is king, people can rot.  

    Also counted for a gain (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by waldenpond on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 11:09:39 AM EST
    uh.... What real numbers?  They went back to work. So that would be a net zero change.

    That's what I thought (none / 0) (#10)
    by nycstray on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 11:14:30 AM EST
    Next excuse will be because the sun is shining in California . . . .

    And chances are that ABG didn't (5.00 / 0) (#11)
    by Anne on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 11:24:44 AM EST
    watch the clip, nor the ones that followed it; much more important to keep trying to make excuses.  I mean, what does Joe Stiglitz know, anyway?  And what is he doing spending his money in Paris (giving the French the benefit?  Quelle horreur!), when he ought to be right here in the US of A, doing his part to boost the economy?

    Let's blame Stiglitz, and then we can blame Irene.

    And maybe the French.  Why not?


    Anne (none / 0) (#23)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 11:57:47 AM EST
    The meme that i disagree because I didn't read or watch the pundit or source you preferred really, really isn't your best argument.

    Um (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by sj on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 12:15:07 PM EST
    do you actually know what a meme is?  Tip:  one message does not a meme make.

    Do you feel privileged (4.00 / 3) (#30)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 12:22:48 PM EST
    ....When ABG addresses you by name?

    sj (none / 0) (#26)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 12:16:59 PM EST
    I know what a meme is.

    If you follow Anne's responses to me over the past 6 months, you know it's a meme.

    But thanks for the unneeded tips wiseacre.


    I pretty much follow everyone here (none / 0) (#34)
    by sj on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 12:27:25 PM EST
    Unless I ignore their thread jacks.  Which means, yes, I frequently -- but not always -- ignore you.  

    But in any case, one commenter presenting a persistent point of view is still not a meme.  For your convenience...

    and btw: you did use wiseacre fairly well.  So that's something, I guess.  Even if the tip was unappreciated while still being needed.


    sj (none / 0) (#43)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 12:44:37 PM EST
    Ahhhhh. Selective definition selection. A tactic I know well but seldom use.

    Anyway, it's funny to me that disagreement over political stuff turns personal in an anonymous forum.

    I get "well I never listen to what you write" or "you are so stupid that you . . ." like 3-4 times a day on forums where my views aren't in the majority.

    I always wonder if people think I am like "oh my! They insulted me! Now I should change all of my ideological opinions and believe what they think!"

    I stick with the arguments for the most part.  When people go to (a) "you didn't read what I read", (b) "you don't understand how X works", or (c) "you are dumb/ simple/ hypnotized/ evil" you know they aren't doing real well in putting their adult person words together to create a substantive argument.  

    They've got nothing but the insult.  Makes me look better.


    Puhleeeaze (5.00 / 6) (#46)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 12:48:29 PM EST
    Stop with the whiny BS ABG.

    "adult person words"? (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by nycstray on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 12:48:54 PM EST

    Behold (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by sj on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 12:57:21 PM EST
    ABG looking better.

    Definition 5, per urban dictionary: (none / 0) (#28)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 12:19:57 PM EST
    5 : an internet information generator, especially of random or contentless information

    Her point is (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 12:47:00 PM EST
    why don;t you comment on the post in question instead of launching into your standard Chaitesque screed, which is a deceptive screed to boot.

    ABG, what is it you were disagreeing with? (none / 0) (#80)
    by Anne on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 04:25:41 PM EST
    Stiglitz talks about fiscal stimulus, and you want to talk about the Verizon strike.  

    And it isn't a matter of your reading or watching what I prefer, it's a matter of reading or watching something that forms the basis for the post itself.

    Which is about - fiscal stimulus.  If there are some dots that connect the Stiglitz interview to your Verizon comment, I'd like to see that road map.

    It ought to be clear by now, from the links and quotes others have provided, that Obama came in with a lower number for stimulus based solely on what he thought could pass, not what people with actual expertise had recommended as being needed to push the economy far enough out of the hole to become self-sustaining.

    I think perhaps you forget, or weren't inclined to consider, that many of us were clear on this at the time it was actually happening - and we haven't forgotten.


    More 'real' numbers... (none / 0) (#68)
    by waldenpond on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 03:09:18 PM EST
    Oh just stop it.... the sun shines in that "Southern" Caleeforneea.  Here in the real world of Northern Cal it is typically cloudy and rains well over 30 inches a year.

    Boy are you mean (none / 0) (#143)
    by MO Blue on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 01:24:53 PM EST
    ABG wanted to crow about the fact that Obama's policies would have/could have created a whopping 42,000 jobs this month and here you had to use facts to take even that away from him. Meanie, meanie, meanie. ;o)

    True. But when you are reduced to arguing (5.00 / 4) (#13)
    by tigercourse on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 11:37:19 AM EST
    that "Hey, hey! The unemployment situation isn't horrible, it's merely terrible!" you've kind of lost.

    But what I want to know is (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 11:42:02 AM EST
    Who gets to decide...WHO GETS TO DECIDE which is worse....terrible or horrible....

    snark font.


    It's the distinction between getting mauled (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by tigercourse on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 11:53:03 AM EST
    to death by a grizzly bear and getting mauled to death by a polar bear. One is slightly worse then the other I imagine, but the outcome is still the same.

    I've lost nothing (none / 0) (#22)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 11:57:02 AM EST
    If I believe that this recession was so deep, global and unique in nature that no president could have fixed it without a democratic super majority in both houses and no blue dogs.

    ... and a magic wand and ... (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by Yman on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 12:11:50 PM EST
    ... pixie dust.

    Never forget the pixie dust.


    Is there (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 01:32:27 PM EST
    somewhere people like you check in everyday called obamaexcusecentral.com 'cause today it's the blue dogs and tomorrow it'll be Boehner and the next day it will be McConnell. It's really tiresome. What all this says to me is it was really a waste of energy and money to elect someone like Obama who can't seem to get policy through in the best environment.

    Yeah, what does this account for? (none / 0) (#6)
    by me only on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 10:06:56 AM EST
    The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged down by 0.1 hour over the month to 34.2 hours.

    Something like 320,000 jobs worth of work, right?  Lovely.


    And so what?? The number (none / 0) (#82)
    by observed on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 04:33:12 PM EST
    was abysmal. What the hell is your point?

    Counter (none / 0) (#20)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 11:54:42 AM EST
    1. New CBO estimates indicate that the original stimulus created the equivalent of 1.4 and 4.0 million additional full-time jobs.  It's most likely in the low 3 million range.  The Obama Administration had predicted the Recovery Act would create 3.5 million jobs.

    When people talk about Obama doing nothing on jobs they tend to forget those 3 million people.

    2. Chait is on fire with this:

    Fantastic highlights:

    "Perhaps the oddest feature of the liberal indictment of Obama is its conclusion that Obama should have focused all his political capital on economic recovery. "He could likely have passed many small follow-up stimulative laws in 2009," Jon Walker of the popular blog Firedoglake wrote last month. "Instead, he pivoted away from the economic crisis because he wrongly ignored those who warned the crisis was going to get worse." . . . It's worth recalling that several weeks before Obama proposed an $800 billion stimulus, House Democrats had floated a $500 billion stimulus. (Oddly, this never resulted in liberals portraying Nancy Pelosi as a congenitally timid right-wing enabler.) At the time, Obama's $800 billion stimulus was seen by Congress, pundits and business leaders -- that is to say, just about everybody who mattered -- as mind-bogglingly large. News reports invariably described it as "huge," "massive" or other terms suggesting it was unrealistically large, even kind of pornographic. The favored cliché used to describe the reaction in Congress was "sticker shock."

     . . .

    "Rather than deploy every ounce of his leverage to force moderate Republicans, whose votes he needed, to swallow a larger stimulus than they wanted, Obama clearly husbanded some of his political capital. Why? Because in the position of choosing between the agenda he came into office hoping to enact and the short-term imperative of economic rescue, he picked the former. At the time, this was the course liberals wanted and centrists opposed."

    . . .

    "Liberal critics of Obama, just like conservative critics of Republican presidents, generally want both maximal partisan conflict and maximal legislative achievement. In the real world, those two things are often at odds. Hence the allure of magical thinking."


    [Insert pic of ABG starting the slow clap]

    Pfft (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 12:20:09 PM EST
    Jon Chait is an idiot on politics.

    I admit (none / 0) (#32)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 12:26:14 PM EST
    to being without a substantive response to that retort.

    Well played.


    You think (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 12:31:13 PM EST
    Chait is substantive is your mistake.

    To expand (none / 0) (#39)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 12:36:12 PM EST
    Chait never addresses any actual arguments anyone has put forth.

    He is either an idiot or a liar. Or both.


    Yeah (none / 0) (#48)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 12:51:17 PM EST
    What does a guy who has spent the last decade writing about politics for two of the biggest left leaning magazines and a common contributor on politics to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Slate and Reason the world know about politics?

    [Tapping the mic]

    This thing on?

    C'mon now. Chait knows plenty about politics. I dare say he knows more about it than anyone here or elsewhere who covers politics as a hobby as opposed to a profession.

    Just disagree with him.  Attack his points.

    This is similar to when my friends who hate boxers, for example, are like "that guy sucks so bad I can take him" and they are serious.

    "No Friend of ABG, I understand that George Clooney was a bum in the ring, but he is a professional fighter whose sole jobs is to fight.  He is better at it than you.  Sorry."

    Ditto anyone, me included, who points to one of these writers and claims that they know nothing about politics.



    Nothing (5.00 / 3) (#49)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 12:54:20 PM EST
    You ask "What does a guy who has spent the last decade writing about politics for two of the biggest left leaning magazines and a common contributor on politics to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Slate and Reason the world know about politics?"

    My answer is precisely nothing.

    Tom Friedman and Maureen Dowd write for the NYTimes. Do you want to claim they are experts at politics?

    Look, I've dealt with silly people believing The New Republic knows something about politics in the past.

    But the resurgence of TNR love is something new to me. Most people have figured out that they are dolts.


    Seriously?!? (5.00 / 4) (#53)
    by Yman on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 01:09:24 PM EST
    What does a guy who has spent the last decade writing about politics for two of the biggest left leaning magazines and a common contributor on politics to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Slate and Reason the world know about politics?

    Chris Matthews, Maureen Dowd, Ed Schultz, Ceci Connolly, etc., etc. ...

    Of course, they know something about politics.  My six-year-old knows something about physics, but as smart as he is, I wouldn't rely on his opinion as some type of evidence.

    And the idea of any of these clowns being experts on the substance, well ...

    ... that's just funny.


    Is this the same politically astute (5.00 / 5) (#62)
    by MO Blue on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 01:39:29 PM EST
    Jonathan Chait who on March 10, 2003 appeared on Hardball, said the imminent attack was a "just war," and proclaimed: "I don't think you can argue that a regime change in Iraq won't demonstrably and almost immediately improve the living conditions of the Iraqi people."

    Is this the same politically astute person?

    Jonathan Chait says: "I did not know that the Bush administration was incompetent before the invasion of Iraq!"

    Not IMO a great assessment of one of the most costly blunders of our time.


    If you are reputation shopping, (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by observed on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 04:34:38 PM EST
    try Krugman.
    If your standard is reputation,then you should pay attention to Krugman. As it is, you pick and choose the idiots to quote, based solely on whether they say something which can be construed as positive for Obama.

    Speaking of Krugman (5.00 / 2) (#120)
    by MO Blue on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 10:07:45 AM EST
    I've actually been avoiding thinking about the latest Obama cave-in, on ozone regulation; these repeated retreats are getting painful to watch. For what it's worth, I think it's bad politics. The Obama political people seem to think that their route to victory is to avoid doing anything that the GOP might attack -- but the GOP will call Obama a socialist job-killer no matter what they do. Meanwhile, they just keep reinforcing the perception of mush from the wimp, of a president who doesn't stand for anything.

    ...tighter ozone regulation would actually have created jobs: it would have forced firms to spend on upgrading or replacing equipment, helping to boost demand. Yes, it would have cost money -- but that's the point! And with corporations sitting on lots of idle cash, the money spent would not, to any significant extent, come at the expense of other investment. link

    That is so utterly logical. (none / 0) (#130)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 11:34:00 AM EST
    Which is why I love him.

    I do not support less stringent policy (none / 0) (#154)
    by Politalkix on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 10:18:11 PM EST
    against ozone depletion, however it must be really nice for Krugman to be able to live in an ivory tower. In his world, small businesses like dry cleaners that use ozone depletion chemicals  or chemical companies or electronic hardware manufacturing businesses (whatever has remained in this country and which operate on very low profit margins), etc can never just shut down shop or move to another country or lay workers off or increase costs of their products to compensate for new costs of equipment or processes. But that is not reality. Krugman is an economist, not an engineer or scientist; any engineer or scientist will tell you that realities are more complicated than Krugman imagines them to be. In the short term, more regulation may lead to a net loss of jobs in this country (more production workers getting laid off while scientists and engineers come up with new technology and processes or try to understand the impact of changes in regulations); in the long term employment may increase.

    Krugman doesn't just make things up. (none / 0) (#158)
    by observed on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 10:09:00 AM EST
    Your Republican talking points convince no one.

    Respectfully, if you think (none / 0) (#160)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 11:31:10 AM EST
    this is about helping small businesses retain employees instead of caving to big oil and other polluters, I think you are fooling yourself.

    Most respectfully (none / 0) (#162)
    by Politalkix on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 01:25:37 PM EST
    I would like to point out that ozone depletion chemicals and emissions are not just about "big oil". Ozone depletion chemicals and processes are even used in manufacturing of alternative and renewable energy transportation systems that will wean us away from our dependence of oil. The hybrid vehicle industry uses a lot of small manufacturing businesses in places like Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and other states. Also "polluters" like chemical companies (such as Dow Chemicals,Owens Corning, etc) are also heavily involved in development of technologies such as photovoltaics and solar cells, thermal insulation systems, etc which allows us to use energy efficiently while decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels.
    Realities in life are quite often more complicated than simplistic sloganeering allows.
    Mind you, I have always strongly supported any movement away from our dependence on foreign oil. However, the honest way to convince people about the need to do so is emphasize environmental or national security reasons. It will be dishonest to tell people that atleast in the short term there will be no net loss of jobs or increase in energy bills.

    The dry cleaner and all the others (none / 0) (#166)
    by christinep on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 03:52:09 PM EST
    You highlighted an issue about the perceived effect on small businesses that has been quite significant. While more of the compliance issues that would have followed ozone standard changes may have been perception issues rather than actual compliance costs, the perception created a kind of reality here.

    Given my 27 years with the EPA--many of those years working directly in the field of air enforcement--I've hesitated to wander into this controversy here or elsewhere. Not for lack of info & background, but because of it...being so steeped in environmental issues & skirmishes involving proposed regulation development for so many years can elevate my emotions.

    IMO, the full-court press by the anti-enviro Repub crowd left little room for truthtelling to be seen let alone heard. Recall that a fundamental aim of the powerplaying Koch Bros industry has been the demolition of environmental regulation (and many Rs are on record these days calling for the abolition of EPA.) While I disagree with deferral by the WH, I completely understand and completely accept the how & why of it. In brief: The hullabaloo & boogeyman portrayed by the likes of the hardnose, longstanding enviros has seeped into the realpolitik to such an extent as to take focus/direction away from the critical jobs & economic area. (A few years back, I had a conversation with former Congresswoman Betsy Markey, a Democrat from the almost 50-50 district east/northeast of Denver. She courageously voted for the Dems climate change legis in 2009; part of her 2010 loss is attributed to that courageous act. She knew it was coming; she lost. Realpolitik.)

    As for costs v. perception of costs: In the last few years before my retirement, I was fortunate enough to participate in a small group--about a dozen--state, industry, federal members--whose task was to explore combined steps for pollution reduction from drycleaners. It was one of the most instructive times in my career...learning about PERC and alternatives, learning about distribution from the key distributor & about the realities of instructing employees where changeover is large, learning about the perceived fears of individuals who ran samll cleaning operations, and finally--after two years of push-pull, growing understanding on everyones' part, including the national SBA ombudsman, we produced a booklet defining expectations & individual pollution-reducing steps...and, when checking a year or so ago, that booklet can still be found & used in the Denver market.  Why go through this recitation? Well, honestly, I wanted to recount something that may have worked just a bit AND, mostly, to underscore your contention about complications in the small business program.

    Again, this is about much more than the oil industry. Small business concerns are a large factor here...whether or not the cost is perceived as reality or real in terms of debilitating economic effect.  

    Finally: The ozone standard--while it is backloaded with controversy--is not going away. The proposal, in same or similar form, clearly will be back.


    uh-oh I left out a key word (none / 0) (#167)
    by christinep on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 03:58:25 PM EST
    In my urgency to write something about the ozone issue.... Please read "anti" before the word "enviros" and following "hardcare, longstanding."  Yoiks; sorry for the big typo.

    And some of these "painful retreats" (none / 0) (#134)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 12:26:27 PM EST
    result in policy that is no different than what the Shrub would do.

    Our paper's headline reads:

    "Obama yanks smog plan, cites burden on business"

    Isn't this the excuse Shrub ALWAYS gave?

    No reason to vote for Obama that I can see.


    Odd that you (none / 0) (#85)
    by lilburro on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 04:38:29 PM EST
    decry ad hom attacks, and yet defend people like Chait on an entirely ad hom basis.

    As far as The New Republic goes, it's not exactly the most progressive magazine.  Andrew Sullivan?  Marty Peretz?  


    But seriously (none / 0) (#33)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 12:27:03 PM EST
    Are the bolded portions of the quote above untrue?

    And that means what to you? (5.00 / 4) (#41)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 12:40:32 PM EST
    Are you denying that the President was told he needed a bigger stimulus? and that he chose to not offer it? Need I remind you and Chait that the President, in a January 7, 2009 interview said he was offering the lower amount because he thought the number would increase through the legislative process?

    Look, if you and Chait want to pretend that the President did a great job on the economy, have fun.

    Nobody is listening anymore.

    You look as stupid as Chait now.


    Ahhh, an actual response (none / 0) (#54)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 01:16:45 PM EST
    1. Nowhere in the actual quote you reference does Obama say that the number is going to increase in the legislative process.  Harwood does. You fill in Obama's words.

    2. There are experts that I can find right now that will tell you that global warming is a pile of hokey.  The issue isn't whether someone on earth said it.  The issue Chait raises is that the political thinking of those who would vote on the stimulus was that it was huge.

    3. If you extrapolate the numbers and we had a $1.2 trillion stimulus, we'd still beat 8% unemployment.  You really want us to believe that you would think you wouldn't still be blaming Obama for a too tiny stimulus?  Of course not.  In that reality you would be pointing the the numbers as evidence that the stimulus should have been even bigger.

    That's the fundamental dishonesty running through these criticisms that Chair is really pointing to and that's why I believe that if Obama had done everything you've advocated and actually got things passed, we'd be sitting at 8% unemployment, the GOP would be running on the fact that Obama ballooned the deficit and the rate was still higher than when he took office and many around here would still be calling him a sellout.

    You call yourself a serious person (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 01:29:42 PM EST
    What a ridiculous comment.

    On 1, I wrote extensively on the point at this web site. No, I will not find the links for you but suffice it to say that you are full of it. Go find out why on your own time. You can of course try to use YOUR ignorance to rebut my argument, and maybe someone else will buy your game. I won't play.

    On 2, I have no idea what that is supposed to mean. Some people thought it was ?"huge?" So what. A lot of people, including your truly, did not.

    On 3, I'm positive I would not be blaming Obama in that he would have listened to people he should have trusted and gone as big as Romer thought.

    You are just making stuff up now.


    I see the issue (2.00 / 2) (#61)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 01:37:06 PM EST
    You believe the fact that you wrote about it makes it true.

    If we went by the theory "everything I write has to be accepted" I'd think people who disagreed with me were stupid too.

    I have been reading here since that time and I never agreed with your political analysis on the stimulus issue or Krugman's political analysis about what could be accomplished at the time.

    But OK. I understand that your words are too sacred to defend.

    Enjoy the echoes from the chamber today. Funny thing is that you think this means that you have somehow won the discussion.


    Nonsense (none / 0) (#66)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 02:33:22 PM EST
    I am pointing out that because you do not know about it does not mean it did not happen and I will not waste a second of my time looking for info for you.

    Your ignorance as I stated, is not a rebuttal of my arguments and the facts that underly it.

    You don't know it happened, therefore it did not happen is your argument.

    I refuse to play.


    Dammit (5.00 / 3) (#67)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 02:35:22 PM EST
    Iwasted a minute of my time -

    "Pres.-elect OBAMA: [. . .] We've seen ranges from 800 to 1.3 trillion and our attitude was that given the legislative process, if we start towards the low end of that, we'll see how it develops."

    Now go away ABG.


    Ah, but I have to agree with ABG (none / 0) (#59)
    by Towanda on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 01:30:24 PM EST
    "that if Obama had done everything you've advocated and actually got things passed," this would be a better world.



    Which was? (none / 0) (#38)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 12:35:01 PM EST
    "Because in the position of choosing between the agenda he came into office hoping to enact . . ."

    Thinking of recent crackdown on E.P.A.  What's the goal here?


    And this is straw (none / 0) (#42)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 12:44:21 PM EST
    "Because in the position of choosing between the agenda he came into office hoping to enact and the short-term imperative of economic rescue, he picked the former. At the time, this was the course liberals wanted and centrists opposed."

    That stupid people like Chait did not want a stimulus has nothing to do with the fact that the stimulus was inadequate.

    Now why don't you and Chait pretend that liberals said the stimulus was adequate why don't you? And how liberals loved HAMP.

    Hell, Chait lies about everything else, why not that too?


    BTD (none / 0) (#55)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 01:18:06 PM EST
    C'mon man.

    Calling people stupid is the stuff of lesser minds.  You're better than that.


    Just stop (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 01:30:19 PM EST
    Seriously, stop.

    As to whether Chait is an idiot.... (none / 0) (#70)
    by christinep on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 03:53:38 PM EST
    Maybe, at times. But, the points & the recall of the times are well taken.

    Sure, Krugman was right about the stimulus. Many of us knew that. But, did the requisite number of people in Congress "know" that? I don't think so. Frankly, no matter how we might feel, there is a challenging matter when the voting numbers in Congress are considered. IMO it is magical thinking to club someone for not waving the wand to produce the numbers that were never there.

    And, the same thing holds today. The package that will comprise the speech may contain a surprise or two, but we can guess at most of the contents. Granted, the Presidential presentation needs to be given with the passion that shows there is nothing more important. Obama needs to confront, expose the Republicans on each component of the expected package. He needs to talk directly to the American people in that speech. We know that; and, we can expect him to do that.  And, I hope that works.

    But...what if the "no" line is continued. What immediate device is available to a President. Sure, there are some EO authorities. Sure, you use it in the elction. But...if the Repubs cross their arms in the months ahead in a kind of "we'll hang together or surely we'll hang separately," what is the practical/real step for a President at that point (in October, Noevermber 2011) to create jobs? Is there something more than playing to the public? Does he say "bring in on?"

    BTW, this is not about excuses. It is about looking for timely answers.


    Obama didn't know apparently (5.00 / 0) (#71)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 03:57:30 PM EST
    And no, Chait's points are poorly taken and utter distortions of what people are arguing.

    He's not smart and not honest.


    My memory is that there was genuine concern (none / 0) (#73)
    by christinep on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 04:06:31 PM EST
    throughout the Democratic delegation that the numbers were there to support the higher end. Lots of articles to that effect; lots of Congressional commenting at the time.

    Strategy? A judgment call as to whether one goes with what one can count/can get or whether one goes long. Advantages to both...the old bigger risks give bigger rewards. That is definitely true in hindsight.

    Yet...the question remains "What can the President do now (any president) after the speech, after the initial sell, after the surrogates coordinated push? Certainly, the WH expects resistance to anything proposed & certainly they can & should be expected to push hard publicly. Then what? What specific steps? What would you want then?


    It's too late (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 11:21:12 PM EST
    He's lost all credibility with left and center.

    So--are you looking for a Pres. Perry (none / 0) (#128)
    by christinep on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 11:30:10 AM EST
    BTW, that is only partially kidding...when one considers the reality...not the magic, the reality.

    No, I think that's unlikely (none / 0) (#135)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 12:33:01 PM EST
    as a pol, Obama is extraordinarily lucky with the crop of GOPers on offer.  Romney could beat him and maybe Huntsman, but neither of them are likely to get the nomination.

    If Romney somehow pulls it out, I think you can say good-bye to Obama-- in large part because of what I just said, he has zero credibility with the public anymore and promises and rhetoric are all he has now since he's so totally blown it on actual policy.


    Hyperbole (none / 0) (#148)
    by Politalkix on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 06:12:27 PM EST
    How much are you willing to bet that "If Romney somehow pulls it out, I think you can say good-bye to Obama"?

    I think that any election will be close given how evenly divided America is at this time. The element of luck has always governed elections. Nothing new here! Move on! Even Bill Clinton was extraordinarily lucky that he faced two of the lousiest campaigners that the Republicans put up in a while. GHWB and Bob Dole were not just lousy campaigners, they also hated campaigning. What if Colin Powell had decided to run in 1996 as a Republican and got a nomination? What if Clinton had to face someone like Ronald Reagan? What if he had to face the hardball tactics of Karl Rove?

    A sense of history will provide perspective. The election will be close, there will be lots of twists and turns. Using constructions like "zero-credibility" and "good bye to Obama" and "so totally blown it on actual policy" justs shows that you are strongly opinionated. Nothing more than that and nothing to indicate that you are correct on the facts!


    You are clueless (none / 0) (#149)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 07:16:27 PM EST
    on what Clinton had to face incoming from the GOP---lots and lots of name calling, character assassination etc. Bob Dole would have won if the electorate wasn't happy but they were.

    This is why Obama's strategy has been so disastrous. If you ever want another Dem president you don't do what Obama has done.

    James Carville: If you opponent is drowning, throw him an anvil.

    Obama: if your opponent is drowning hand him a life raft and perform mouth to mouth resuscitation on him.


    You have lost your mind (none / 0) (#150)
    by Politalkix on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 08:10:28 PM EST
    In 1996 the only thing Bob Dole (even on Viagra) could excite were yawns from his Republican base. Turnout was only 49.1% because people were generally disgusted with the politics that was offered. The media was in the tank for Bill Clinton, it was just focussing on Bob Dole's "mean streak" for something that he had said to Papa Bush in 1988 and cooing piffle like how the President was connecting with "soccer moms" and how Dole was scaring kids. Clinton was also using tactics called "Mediscare" by Republicans (so it was mostly negative campaigning) to win.

    I am ofcourse happy that Clinton won in 1996, however let us not pretend that he did not win by running a negative campaign.



    Really? What "people"? (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by Yman on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 09:51:20 PM EST
    Turnout (in 1996) was only 49.1% because people were generally disgusted with the politics that was offered.

    Turnout was low because the economy was humming along, there were no wars, and people were generally content ... but it's nice to know that you were "disgusted with the politics that was offered".

    Clinton was also using tactics called "Mediscare" by Republicans (so it was mostly negative campaigning) to win.

    Seriously?  A link to an article where Dole's crying about "Mediscare" is supposed to prove that "it was mostly negative campaigning"?

    Pfffffttttt ....

    Hate to break it to you, but there is some negative campaigning in any campaign.  In '96, Clinton spent a huge amount of money during that summer advertising his own record and agenda.  The economy was greatly improved (and improving), and he was happy to point to his record.

    I am of course happy that Clinton won in 1996, however let us not pretend that he did not win by running a negative campaign.

    You're the only one pretending here.


    Close (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 06:48:21 AM EST
    races are what brings people out to vote. I know in your mind nobody is a bigger victim than Obama but Clinton faced stuff just as bad if not worse than Obama from the GOP.

    Did Clinton use Medicare? He sure did. He used Dole's stance on cutting Medicare against him. He used Dole's own record to defeat him.

    Heck, I was better off in 1996 than I am now. Obama's term as President sucks as bad as Bush's.


    Anecdotal evidence goes both ways (none / 0) (#157)
    by Politalkix on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 09:56:24 AM EST
    "Heck, I was better off in 1996 than I am now. Obama's term as President sucks as bad as Bush's."

    Your personal situation may have more to do with Georgia having Republican Governors since 2003 and the south getting more and more Republican.

    A lot people I know are doing better now than they were doing in 1996 (no, they are not bankers, neither do they work in the oil and natural gas industry). They have made career advancements that people make naturally over time. Your personal anecdote can therefore be countered by the experiences of a lot of people I know.

    Offshoring of manufacturing jobs over the last 3 decades has led to a big decline in the standards of living of the middle class in this country. However, policies of the Clinton administration helped in offshoring of jobs. I really believe that manufacturing is important and attempts should be made to bring it back. This process will take some time.
    Many others who have been hit hardest by the economic downturn were employed in the bubble industry during the Clinton and Bush presidencies. These jobs were not sustainable over a period of time. A country does not really need so many real estate agents, finance industry workers, sales and marketing people, lawyers, MBAs, etc. The bubble created by these people would not have survived for so long in any country other than the USA!
    Home construction workers (electricians, carpenters, plumbers, etc) have also been hit hard due to the collapse of the housing bubble. The Obama administration should devise policy to gainfully employ these people in rebuilding our nations infrastructure.

    I think Obama's term as President "sucks" most for people who were employed in the bubble industry. For others, he has been a pretty good President.


    "Clinton bad" (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by Yman on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 10:10:17 AM EST
    .... blah, blah, blah.  No evidence, no support, ... no credibility.

    I think Obama's term as President "sucks" most for people who were employed in the bubble industry. For others, he has been a pretty good President.

    Right - tell that to the "9"%+ unemployed, who are more like 18-20% when you look at people who have given up looking, or an even higher number of underemployed.

    But it's nice you have friends who are "doing better".


    I'm not (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 12:08:45 PM EST
    going to defend the idiots that GA has elected governor over the last decade but considering how high the unemployment is nationwide Obama has to take responsibility.

    Neither I nor my husband is or has been in a "bubble" industry and what you are not realizing is that incomes have declined under Obama.

    Yes, Obama wants manufacturing to come back but he believes that our wages have to decline another 30% before that will happen. So instead of raising or keeping our standard of living Obama wants it to decline.

    Actually if you read his poll numbers on the economy, about 75% of the country thinks he sucks. So I'm not alone in my beliefs.


    Not talking about '06 here, but (none / 0) (#163)
    by jeffinalabama on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 02:03:50 PM EST
    '08-'11... I was employed. Thew tax base was enough to pay for teachers, instructors, professors.


    Not so much. Hmmmm... better, or worse?


    Alabama too has Republican governors (none / 0) (#164)
    by Politalkix on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 03:10:03 PM EST
    since 2003 who have giving huge corporate tax breaks to auto and aerospace companies and promised them an union free work environment. No wonder the tax base is shrinking! The elections of 2010 also swept tea partiers to office who are involved in an ideological warfare against academia (unless these programs are funded by the Koch brothers). Tourism income may have also decreased because of the gulf oil spill and decreased revenues.

    There was definitely (none / 0) (#165)
    by jeffinalabama on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 03:20:12 PM EST
    a loss after the oil spill. Alabama's unemployment didn't rocket like other states. It did increase.

    But the issue of the legislature... the current legislature has been much more conservative, even though not tea party, than the previous. Senate and House now republican controlled. They have seemed more intent on fighting the AEA-- Alabama Education Association, and its head, Paul Hubbert, than anything else.


    I'm in for $500 (none / 0) (#151)
    by Yman on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 09:22:18 PM EST
    If Romney somehow pulls it out, I think you can say good-bye to Obama?

    How about you?

    Even Bill Clinton was extraordinarily lucky that he faced two of the lousiest campaigners that the Republicans put up in a while. GHWB and Bob Dole were not just lousy campaigners, they also hated campaigning. What if Colin Powell had decided to run in 1996 as a Republican and got a nomination? What if Clinton had to face someone like Ronald Reagan? What if he had to face the hardball tactics of Karl Rove?

    We're playing the "what if" game, now?  Please.  Clinton ran against GHWB, an incumbent President - never an easy proposition - and one who had a very high approval rating at the beginning of the campaign.

    As far as the "hardball tactics of Karl Rove", are you serious?  Some of us are old enough to have been around in '96, and the campaign was easily as "hardball" as anything Rove could dream up.


    And some of us were around in 1988 and 1992, (5.00 / 2) (#155)
    by caseyOR on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 01:52:57 AM EST
    and we remember the tactics of Lee Atwater, the guy who took dogwhistling and smear tactics and refined them into an art form.  Willie Horton, anybody? Genifer Flowers? Hardball was the only game Atwater played, and he was a master.

    Everything Karl Rove's knows he learned at Atwater's slimy knee.


    Didn't Atwater die in March 1991? (none / 0) (#168)
    by Politalkix on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 05:51:08 PM EST
    I really do not believe that GHWB would have run such a complacent campaign had Atwater lived till the GE of 1992.
    Dukakis got the worst of Atwater, not Bill Clinton. GHWB was very complacent, he almost seemed tired of the job in the WH after 2 terms as VP and 1 term as Prez.

    He did indeed die in 1991 (none / 0) (#170)
    by Yman on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 10:08:07 PM EST
    OTOH - Atwater was focused on Clinton from the moment Bush was elected in 1988.  Try reading "The Hunting of the President".  There's a reason Conason devoted the first chapter to Atwater, and it wasn't 'cause of the way Atwater treated Dukakis.

    Yoiks--read: the numbers were NOT there.... (none / 0) (#74)
    by christinep on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 04:07:22 PM EST
    The specific steps... (none / 0) (#125)
    by lilburro on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 11:05:31 AM EST
    Progressives want (IMO anyway) more stimulus.  Because it is the one thing that will work.  All the other gambits and "micro-targeted" policies are unlikely to work on the scale necessary for recovery.  Do I think we need an infrastructure bank?  Sure.  I think that's going in the direction we need, stimulus spending.  Do I think that's going to revitalize the economy, esp. at the size discussed?  No.  Discussing specific steps that can fix the economy as though we don't know what they are is an absurd exercise.  We know at the very least that we can't tax cut our way through this.  I know some bloggers want to play games as to which unheard of policy idea will provide a minute benefit to the economy, but that in itself isn't going to cut it.

    Tell me about Congress voting for (none / 0) (#129)
    by christinep on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 11:31:41 AM EST
    "stimulus." (Thats not a game; thats real.)

    Exactly. (none / 0) (#136)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 12:37:34 PM EST
    So the idea is we're supposed to vote for Obama because he's utterly powerless?

    He could try whipping up the country behind a big policy the Republicans will kill, but it wouldn't work because nobody believes him anymore because his record is so horrendous.

    But it might, just might, give down-ticket Dems. something to run on.  But he won't do it for that reason because he's tossed them all under the bus with the rest of us already with his push for slashing the social safety net.

    BTW, the word is he's going to elaborate on how he wants Medicare, Medicaid and SS cut in his big speech.  Wait for it.


    He decided not to go into specifics (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by MO Blue on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 12:48:33 PM EST
    on the deficit during the 9/8 speech.

    President Barack Obama will release a detailed deficit-cutting plan soon after his jobs speech, the White House said Friday, answering Republican critics who demanded more specifics during the debt-limit debate but reopening old wounds with the Democratic base.

    In the speech Thursday, Obama will challenge the 12-member congressional supercommittee to exceed its $1.5 trillion goal for budget savings -- setting a higher target that would allow the additional money to fund tax breaks and other stimulus spending. But the "very specific" deficit recommendations that Obama promised last month won't come until after the speech, although the exact timing is unclear, White House officials said. link


    By your reasoning (none / 0) (#147)
    by christinep on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 03:48:09 PM EST
    there is no reason to talk about wanting the President to do anything anymore in view of your apparent conclusion that there is nothing (or extremely little) he can do.

    I do get your frustration and all the emotions that run deeper too. (I'm not there, because my approach has always been to support one of two parties in a system that, in every likelihood, will produce the 2012 electoral winner from one of those two parties. The one time I toyed early on with a primary for a sitting Dem President was in 1980 with the Kennedy magic...& look what happened. As a result, that type of wishing for someone else would not appeal to me in future.) And, I even understand how off-putting the choice/what alternative argument is to a number of people here. Yet....

    I do disagree with your last two paragraphs fairly strongly...especially since they read to me as the product of imagination. But then, people can imagine and fear what they want. For me, my ole' look-for-the-silver-lining self tends also to eschew the "lesser of two evils" characterization as well. In the case of this Administration, my chart of accomplishments that fit the Democratic profile has more than sufficient  done-that marks. Then, the big one--all along the big one--jobs. And, even there, I expect continued attempts by Obama--and, given his fortune from time to time, some results in an area that is nigh impossible to effect singly without the participation of Congress.


    *I* never said there was (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 09:01:33 PM EST
    nothing he could do.  That's the excuse you and your buddies give for why he doesn't actually, you know, do anything.

    "Lesser of two evils" is quite literally the only thing he can run on, and it will most likely work for 2012.

    After that, count on it, the nutjobs on the right will elect a president and likely sweep both houses of Congress because Obama will have so completely discredited the Democratic Party.  As the saying goes, why would anybody vote for a fake Republican when they can vote for a real one?

    If Obama's "record of accomplishment" satisfies you, it probably won't bother you that much, though.


    That (5.00 / 1) (#171)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 06:46:21 AM EST
    is why I'm wondering if Obama being reelected is even worth the trouble. We are going to have to start fighting radical fundamentalism in this country and we can start it sooner or later. All reelecting Obama does is delay the situation.

    You are too smart for that, gyrfalcon (none / 0) (#172)
    by christinep on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 03:51:48 PM EST
    While this isn't the time for "how many accomplishments on this side" vis-a-vis "how many not on that side," we know there will be a vast difference between this (and any) Democratic administration & the likes of any of the present (&foreseeble future) Republicans. We know that. We can argue otherwise; but, we know & can demonstrate the real differences issue by issue...and certainly in sum. While you have not suggested as others close-by here something to the effect that "we ought to just go ahead & elect the Repubs, because yada yada yada," I confidently say that any saying of "they are all the same" defies American political history for the past century...whether economic or foreign policy, it defies history.  That the particular position you or I might like did not come out in the particular way we would prefer, even strongly prefer (like the public option, e.g.) does not take away from that conclusion. There are huge differences...in degrees & in sum.

    BTW, I have trouble thinking beyond the next few months (or thru the entire 2012 election cycle) without even venturing a guess at 2016. That takes a big imagination and sheer luck.


    There may be huge differences out here (5.00 / 3) (#173)
    by Anne on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 04:17:05 PM EST
    among the electorate, but where the policy is being made and legislation crafted - which is where it all matters - the differences have been narrowed, not widened.

    And at the top of the heap is a president who has not - as he campaigned on - set himself apart from the ideas and policies and actions of his Republican predecessor, working boldly and diligently to reverse those policies, but one who has embraced some of the worst of what the Bush/Cheney years gave us.

    A "huge" difference would be a Democratic president who resisted calls for massive spending cuts, for changes to how safety-net program benefits are calculated, who didn't pander and cater to the banks and Wall Street, who wasn't in bed with health industry special interests, who got behind a HOLC-type program to really make a difference in the housing market, instead of creating one of the worst programs ever - HAMP - that has probably hurt more people than it has helped.

    The environment?  Come on, chris - that's your area; are you not puzzled, angered, dismayed that we have a Democratic president whose idea of "balance" is to come down on the side of big business, to the environment's detriment?  Tar oil sands?  Expediting the process for approving that pipeline?

    There are huge differences in what I expect from a Democratic president and what I am getting, but there are not enough ideological differences among the powers that be who are making and legislating policy for us to make anywhere near the kind of forward movement on the many fronts where that movement is so badly needed.

    Will Republicans be worse?  Maybe they'd like to be, but I see more chance for Democratic resistance against Republican rule than I do for resistance from within the ranks of Democrats against a Democratic president pushing Republican policies.

    I won't vote Republican, ever, but I also will not vote to give Obama four more years to completely obliterate the meaning of "Democrat."


    It's quite fascinating the way (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 01:12:26 AM EST
    you so consistently make up your own narrative about what Obama critics are saying, rather than dealing with the actual criticism.

    That enables you no doubt to pride yourself quite contentedly on having "countered" what somebody else has said, while not actually having even come close.  If you really are a paid shill, your employers are not getting their money's worth.

    I was, as I think you very well know, characterizing what I think the majority of the electorate will think by the time 2016 rolls around.  I said, I believe, if not here then repeatedly in other comments, that I do think, given the hideous GOP candidates, that Obama will likely pull it out in 2012.  But the Republicans will not be so stupid in 2016.

    I'll say it again.  Obama, with the help of his congressional Democratic Party enablers, are in the process of utterly destroying what little meaning remains for the Democratic Party. However stupid you think the broader electorate is (you know, all those bitter knitters who cling to guns and church), they're not so stupid that it's escaped them that the Democratic Party no longer stands for anything that affects their lives in a positive way.

    The ACA is an utter disaster, the "financial reform" is a big, fat joke, and frankly, my dear, they don't care all that much that Obama was finally dragged kicking and screaming all the way to giving DADT the boot and grudgingly supporting doing away with DOMA-- well, maybe some day.  I suspect they do care, however, about gutting the environmental regulations that protect their health on behalf of dirty corporate interests.

    For anybody older than about 25, they, as we, are aware that Obama's few tentative lurches partway into liberal policies don't even match Ronald Reagan's liberal policies.  And those of us old enough to remember Nixon shudder to realize that he was far left by comparison.

    Congratulations on playing a small part in the destruction of so many lives, and of the United States of America.


    Interesting (none / 0) (#175)
    by Politalkix on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 02:48:24 AM EST
    It seems that some people had a Rip Van Winkle decade in the 1990s and just woke up. It seems that when some people were 15 years younger they did not mind the lurch that the Democratic Party took to the right, now they seem particularly incensed about it (or feign that way).
    Nobody knows what is going to happen in 2016. There will be electable Democratic candidates (Cuomo, Hickenlooper and more) as well as Republican ones. If there is a 3rd party by that time it will more likely be a party formed by centrist Democrats & Republicans; I am almost certain that the party will not be to the left of the present Democratic party on economic issues. In my mind, thinking about 2016 at this time is a waste of time.

    Really? To an Obamapologist ... (none / 0) (#176)
    by Yman on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 05:56:30 AM EST
    ... and CDSer "it seems like" followed by a string of fantasies ?!?

    That's all you've got?

    Pffftttt ...


    Not very polite, civil, well-intended nor accurate (none / 0) (#178)
    by christinep on Wed Sep 07, 2011 at 03:46:10 PM EST
    gyrfalcon, to lash out with questionable congrats to me "on playing a small part in the destruction of so many lives," etc. There are many other adjectives that such hyperbole would warrant, but I'll just use "mean-spirited" & "wrong."

    At this point, given your espoused prediliction, there is little more to say. Two things, tho: (1) I'll repeat my reference about political predictions for 2016--but a bit more directly--by noting from so much history how foolhardy such claims are.  Entertaining, but little more. (2) Thanks for the chuckle about suggesting myself as a "paid shill."  Nope, sorry. Just a lifelong Democrat with a background originally from the coal country in Penna--you know, us Polish-Slovenian Catholic & , for many of the relatives, gun-owner types. We like the give & take of politics; and, you don't have to pay us for it. (Now, on the Repub side, there are a few on this site who write the line of keeping-as-many-from-the-polls as possible....)


    Gore and NAFTA (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by dandelion on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 04:10:39 PM EST
    Do you remember Gore debating Perot about NAFTA?  A televised debate complete with pie charts and graphs to educate the public about the benefits of free trade?

    I'm not arguing here in support of NAFTA.

    What I'm arguing about is the efficacy of leadership and using the bully pulpit to educate and persuade the public.

    Gore decimated Perot in that debate, and the public was swayed.

    So if everyone in the WH and everyone in the punditocracy understands that the real problem is the igorance of the citizenry and the Congress, why is NO EFFORT WHATSOEVER being made to change those conditions?


    Obama has spent the last 2 1/2 years (5.00 / 3) (#81)
    by MO Blue on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 04:30:27 PM EST
    "educating" the public. Statements like this are part of his "education" process:

    One striking example of this rightward shift came in last weekend's presidential address, in which Mr. Obama had this to say about the economics of the budget: "Government has to start living within its means, just like families do. We have to cut the spending we can't afford so we can put the economy on sounder footing, and give our businesses the confidence they need to grow and create jobs."

    That's three of the right's favorite economic fallacies in just two sentences. No, the government shouldn't budget the way families do; on the contrary, trying to balance the budget in times of economic distress is a recipe for deepening the slump. Spending cuts right now wouldn't "put the economy on sounder footing." They would reduce growth and raise unemployment. And last but not least, businesses aren't holding back because they lack confidence in government policies; they're holding back because they don't have enough customers -- a problem that would be made worse, not better, by short-term spending cuts. link

    Another Obama "education" program:

    The truth is Social Security is not the huge contributor to the deficit that the other two entitlements are. link

    The truth is that Social Security is not a huge contributor to the deficit. It is not a small contributor to the deficit. Is not a contributor to the deficit at all.



    He thinks we're stupid (5.00 / 2) (#109)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 11:23:28 PM EST
    He never speaks in anything but generalities, and his people have been quoted several times (by name) as saying that "The public isn't interested in the details."

    Gore didn't think we were stupid, nor did Bill Clinton.  Obama does.


    HRC said (none / 0) (#100)
    by Politalkix on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 07:34:54 PM EST
    that she did not hear anything that Perot said because she was laughing so hard at the sight of some one showing charts.

    How many people are gonna watch the speech? (none / 0) (#72)
    by jbindc on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 04:00:04 PM EST
    It's on at 7 pm in the east.  People are coming home from work and sitting down to dinner - they may watch. Many other people will be in bars, getting ready to watch the football game.  The TV's may be tuned to the president's speech, but will they really be paying attention?

    People in Central and Mountain time zones will probably be somewhere in transit - they COULD listen on the radio if they so choose, I suppose.

    People out west will still be at work.  I doubt many are going to sit and stream this speech when it's almost time to go home.

    Hawaii and parts of Alaska?  Forget it.

    I suppose people could watch it later, and maybe many will.  But it will be much easier for most to get the abridged version on their favorite cable news station and in the paper of their choice the next morning.


    Seems like a good time (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Zorba on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 04:35:46 PM EST
    for me to be making Buffalo wings, fried zucchini, and the St. Louis specialty toasted ravioli (which is actually also deep-fried), in preparation for the football game.  Gee, what a shame, I guess I'll miss the speech.  And if all else fails, we'll all have heart attacks from the fried food and miss the speech, anyway.   ;-)

    Doesn't the pre-game show start @ 7? (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by nycstray on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 06:25:16 PM EST
    Many will be paying attention to that, and not just for this game, but for what's coming up over the weekend also. Gotta keep up on your FF players/teams ;)

    Dunno (none / 0) (#99)
    by Politalkix on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 07:25:58 PM EST
    jbindc wrote
    "It's on at 7 pm in the east.  People are coming home from work and sitting down to dinner"

    Probably first time someone wrote in TL that some people have work and can afford dinner.....

    jbindc wrote
    "Many other people will be in bars, getting ready to watch the football game.  The TV's may be tuned to the president's speech, but will they really be paying attention?"

    Fascinating to learn in TL that some people still have jobs and can also spend money in bars to watch a football game. Or is she imagining that the unemployed will show up to spend money in bars?

    jbindc wrote
    "People in Central and Mountain time zones will probably be somewhere in transit - they COULD listen on the radio if they so choose, I suppose."

    Surely they are not returning from work! OMG, they are? You are not supposed to say that people have work in TL

    jbindc wrote
    "People out west will still be at work.  I doubt many are going to sit and stream this speech when it's almost time to go home."

    Are you are saying even more people have work? You are now violating TL code of conduct too blatantly.

    jbindc wrote
    "Hawaii and parts of Alaska?  Forget it"
    Do people in Hawaii and Alaska need to hear a job speech to vote for and against BHO, respectively.



    Point of style... (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 08:35:25 PM EST
    The bold is really irritating.  Try italicizing the quotations and respond in a normal font.  That way, you sound, y'know, normal.

    I love that you find (5.00 / 2) (#126)
    by lilburro on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 11:10:57 AM EST
    the fact that people here find 9% unemployment a problem worth mocking.  Oh wait, is that because you believe (for what reason, I am not sure, since its been disputed everywhere) that such unemployment is "structural"?  

    What is being mocked (none / 0) (#146)
    by Politalkix on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 02:26:44 PM EST
    is the notion promoted by talking heads whose views are being parroted by some in this blog that the unemployed whose lives apparently cannot be fixed without immediate massive government intervention have no bigger priorities at this moment than drinking and watching football.

    Where in jbindc's post ... (5.00 / 0) (#152)
    by Yman on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 09:35:15 PM EST
    ... does it say that he's referring to the unemployed, rather than just a substantial part of the general population?

    Time to stock up on straw ...


    Reading is fundamental (5.00 / 0) (#177)
    by jbindc on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 06:54:32 AM EST
    Thanks for understanding Yman - apparently some people don't get that concept.

    Krugman was not right (none / 0) (#78)
    by Slado on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 04:21:52 PM EST
    Stimulus doesn't work.  

    He was wrong then, he's wrong now.


    Doesn't work (none / 0) (#79)
    by Slado on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 04:24:54 PM EST
    So if Krugman was right where these guys right too?

    Seems like my opinion is backed up by the facts.  For anyone to believe Krugman you have to believe that multiplication only works some of the time.

    Hogwash.   The left has lost this argument because their argument flies in the face of facts and common sense.

    Either way it doesn't matter.  There will be no more stimulus.


    How (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 04:42:42 PM EST
    do you suggest the lack of aggregate demand be rectified then? That is the major problem and the reason why there will be no recovery for years in the future. Supply side has been shown to be an abysmal failure because we have done nothing but shed jobs for 10 years now. Taking money out of the economy is just going to cause more economic contraction.

    Multiple questions but I'll state my overall (none / 0) (#88)
    by Slado on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 05:08:53 PM EST

    We have a debt problem.  A debt problem created by the private and public sector.  Neither is blameless and it's irrelevant who is more or less responsible.

    Our debt as a percentage of GDP (household, business and government) peaked at a whopping 300plus% of GDP in 2008 right before the crash.

    The crash is a natural reaction to too much debt.  The aggregate demand was not real.  It was debt fueled and unsustainable.  

    Eventually that credit ran out and as such so did the demand.  Why?  Because there wasn't real wealth, savings and innovation to support it.  Only the debt filled balloon.

    So what now?   Contraction.   We contract and we work off the debt.  

    What was governments answer?  More debt.  What's your answer now?  More debt.  

    Want to bet me if it will work?  I'd love to take a 2trillion dollar stimulus bet with you.

    I suppose in theory it could work.  If our government borrowed 2trillion dollars (since it doesn't have it) and invested it in things that people actually wanted and spured growth then it could on paper work.

    Here's the problem.  It sucks at all those things.  Government sucks at spending money better then the private sector because it doens't give the public at large the things it needs and wants.  It gives it the things the government thinks they want or thinks they should want.

    Solar energy anyone?

    So I have zero faith that even if Krugman was right in theory (which he isn't) that any president and congress is capable of doing anything more then wasting it.  Wasting might be the wrong choice of words.  I'm confident the government would take on more debt it can't afford to and inefficiently spend the money.  It's be better off borrowing the money and just giving it to us directly.  But that didn't even work when GW tried it.

    What's my evidence?   This past stimulus. GW's stimulus, the fed's secret stimulus, on and on.

    We are buried in a mountain of debt that took decades to create and the answer of the left is a new credit card that will make everything different.  Then when that doesn't work we'll just pay off the credit card with a bigger more strategic bolder credit card and we'll be fine.

    Please.   There is zero evidence that this will work and the consequences of it not working are too dire to mention.

    The government needs to get out of the way and do what it does do well.  Provide a safety net for the less fortunate and we all tighten our belts.

    That's it in a nut shell.  I have no solution.  Because there is no solution in the short term.  We made our bed and we must lie in it.  We can bite the bullet now or endure decades of crappy growth and a sputtering economy like Japan has for the last decade and probably will continue to do so for the near future.


    What you (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 06:13:57 PM EST
    are advocating is a long slog and a depression that lasts for a decade or more. I guess you won't be one of the ones that will be without a job will you? The housing industry might as well close up shop along with a lot of other industries pretty much for good then.

    What I would do is build green energy plants since the private businesses in this country are loathe to do anything really forward thinking right now. If you build it, they will come.  


    The Fed's stimulus? (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by MKS on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 06:55:18 PM EST
    If you are talking about the near zero interst rates, that is monetary policy, and is entirely different than a fiscal deficit.....

    If interest rates were not lowered by Bernanke, we would have the 25% unemploymnet of the Great Depression.

    I actually like Bernanke....He is a scholar of the Great Depression and knows that contracting the money supply kills jobs and the economy.  I think he has done a good job......It should have been matched by accompanying good fiscal policy.  

    This "common sense" approach that the federal government is just like a family's budget is nonsense and is killing us.


    Different means (none / 0) (#105)
    by Slado on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 09:43:23 PM EST
    Same problem.

    Money is too cheap and too easy to borrow.  Only new banking regs and an excess in housing is keeping the bubble from blowing up again.

    The Fed has been pumping money into the economy for years and it isn't working.   Inflation is coming and once it starts itnwill stifle any recovery if it should ever develop.


    There is no inflation (none / 0) (#141)
    by MKS on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 01:16:34 PM EST
    And money being too cheap and easy to borrow?  According to whom?

    You are just making this stuff up--or borrowing the theories of people who care not at all about people except the rich already.


    The Stimulus did work (5.00 / 3) (#97)
    by MKS on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 06:59:16 PM EST
    but not well enough.

    The complete cave-in was avoided and the job losses staunched.  New jobs were created.   So, it did work.  

    If we had not been so gung ho to fire public employees across the nation, it would have worked even better.

    We rowed the boat half way across the river and then just stopped....


    Wrong (none / 0) (#104)
    by Slado on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 09:38:55 PM EST
    The stimulus pumped borrowed money into a deflating balloon.  As in this example breathing really hard into a balloon with a hole in it "works" but is not sustainable.  Kind of like this ecoonomy.

    In 2008 Obama inherited a recession.  He pimped borrowed money into it and what did we get?  Another recession.


    You really need to study (none / 0) (#142)
    by MKS on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 01:20:18 PM EST
    the Great Depression.

    Deflation and lack of demand were the problems then.

    You are advocating a further contraction just because debt offends your sensibilities.....

    Show me an example of your theorectically pure economy that did not devastate average working people.


    I'm not advocating (none / 0) (#106)
    by Slado on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 09:47:26 PM EST
    I'm mearly pointing out reality and the inability of our government to do anything about it.

    The faith of some in the ability of our government to solve a problem that took many years to create with the same solutions used to create it to me is foolish.

    The best thing our government could do is nothing.  It's done quite enough thank you.

    It's only helpful role at this point is to help the citizens that will be most harmed by the inevitable.


    The current (none / 0) (#117)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 06:38:26 AM EST
    problems were created by Wall Street and their uncontrollable greed along with a lot of CEOs who wanted $60,000 shower curtains. There has been no accountability for all of that and it continues unabated for the most part.

    The industry in this country has shown that they are either unwilling or unable to do anything to solve this problem. Actually I think they like high unemployment to a certain extent.


    It keeps costs low (none / 0) (#144)
    by MKS on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 01:29:57 PM EST
    The rich and the Republicans in general do not care about high unemployment.  

    They do use it as a political weapon, though.

    The poor deseve to be poor.  Only 9% unemployed means 91% are employed.   Why worry about the losers?

    The GOP and Wall Street Journal purists do not care about anyone except the winners who deserve to be rich.


    It's not (none / 0) (#145)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 02:07:42 PM EST
    just the poor. it's the middle class is full of losers to them too. The middle class didn't make it to being wealthy so they are losers also.

    one question for you (none / 0) (#91)
    by dandelion on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 06:00:10 PM EST
    Where does money come from?  Can you answer that and then explain how the govt. does not have enough?

    Money comes from (none / 0) (#107)
    by Slado on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 09:50:05 PM EST
    Wealth creation.

    The government doesn't create money.  It prints it, collects it and manages it.  

    Our government is broke by any definition you can think of.  This year it will commitn1/3 more then it will take in.

    If it was a business it would be shut down.


    The government CREATES money (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by Dadler on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 11:27:09 PM EST
    Absolutely no different than casino chips (or blips), the only difference being this casino, at the highest levels, is rigged.

    Your paradigm is really the money as the buffalo on the prairie paradigm.  It's a fake thing, entirely.  It ain't coming back until we make more of it and learn how to more equitably and less criminally shift large piles of it to those who never need a dime of help for the rest of their lives.


    The government can create (none / 0) (#114)
    by Slado on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 05:32:09 AM EST
    A piece of paper but that piece of paper is onlly useful when it is backed up by real wealth.

    The Confederacy printed lots of money at the end but it was worthless when there was no wealth to support it.


    Wall Street Journal Article with (5.00 / 4) (#95)
    by MKS on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 06:50:09 PM EST
    not much discussion of facts--just bald conclusions......

    The Right will have to explain:

      (1) Why Bush's tax cuts in 2001 did not work;

      (2) Why the economy boomed under Clinton after he raised taxes; and,

       (3) Why increases in government spending cut in half the unemployment rate when FDR first took office, then decreases in government spending in 1937 increased unemployment significantly; then the uber large debt of WWII ushered in the modern middle class.

    You theory that debt caused the crash in 2008 is just a post hoc rationalization.  There is no evidence that government debt caused the crash.  It was the crash of real estate caused by deregulation of the shadow banking system.

    You have a theory and are cherry picking to support it.

    Your solution is to have a Great Depression so that we can pay down our debt....Good luck with that.


    So the answer is a world war? (none / 0) (#115)
    by Slado on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 05:39:29 AM EST
    That example is not possible and the world economy was in shambles in 1945.

    It is not hard to grow when you're the only western democracy left who doesn't have to rebuild your large cities because they've been bombed back to the stone ages.

    No china, no India and no competitors.  That's why the economy boomed.  

    GW tax cuts worked.  Clinton tax hikes worked.  They both worked temporarily because they where both riding along with huge fed induced bubbles.   Clinton's crashed when Gw took office and Bushes did as well and it was even worse because his bubble took over where Clinton's left off.

    As for FDR some would argue not for WWII his policies would have failed.  


    More spending on infrastructure (5.00 / 0) (#140)
    by MKS on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 01:14:21 PM EST
    It would employ many--that is a great help by itself.

    It would also pave the way for future growth.

    Show me an example of an actual economy that you think we should emulate....

    Yours, is just right wing theories cooked up that are not based on actual experience.....

    Show me this Rigth wing Nrivana of no debt economies.......

    Of course the answer is not a war--what snide nonsense.....


    Obama speaks for himself on stimulous (5.00 / 5) (#40)
    by MO Blue on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 12:37:02 PM EST
    President-elect Barack Obama confirmed to CNBC Wednesday that he plans to lay out a roughly $775 billion economic stimulus plan but indicated that the amount could grow once it gets taken up by Congress.

    "We've seen ranges from $800 (billion) to $1.3 trillion," he said in an exclusive interview with CNBC's chief Washington correspondent John Harwood. "And our attitude was that given the legislative process, if we start towards the low end of that, we'll see how it develops."

    Bottom line Obama got what he asked for in the stimulus.


    Maybe if Obama had bothered to serve (5.00 / 4) (#45)
    by caseyOR on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 12:48:10 PM EST
    his term in the Senate he'd have had a more realistic idea of how things would go. One hopes that, at a minimum, he would have learned that Republicans no longer negotiate.

    Especially with someone (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by jbindc on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 01:05:57 PM EST
    they barely got to know...

    markers (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by dandelion on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 04:12:13 PM EST
    or with someone who hasn't been long enough to collect any markers.  No one owes Obama anything.  Instead, he owes a whole lot of people a whole lot.  

    Leadership (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 02:09:26 PM EST
    I keep hoping that he'll figure that out. But even after McConnel flat out said he would do nothing to benefit Obama, he still clings to his allusions.

    What he needs to realize is that he was elected to lead, not act as referee.

    He needs to be at the front of the issue, rather than sitting on the sidelines and accepting whatever crumbs the Republicans chose to throw his way.

    As pathetic as GWB was, (I truly believe he is the worst ever). He told Congress what he wanted and what he wouldn't accept. He got just about all he pushed.


    Upwardly mobile. An admired trait. (none / 0) (#51)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 01:03:09 PM EST
    Actually he never said that (none / 0) (#56)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 01:28:50 PM EST
    he thought it would increase.

    Here is the exact quote that appeared right after the part you reference:

    HARWOOD: It's going to get bigger.

    OBAMA: Well, we don't know yet.

    This is the part where, if I was like others, I would pound on the table and exclaim that people aren't reading and they are stretching the truth and they don't know what they are talking about  . . .

    But that's not me.  That's the tactic of the other guy.

    It was just a mistake.  No harm no foul.


    Obama got (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by MO Blue on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 01:59:44 PM EST
    the small stimulus that he asked for. He acknowledged that some people though the stimulus needed to be bigger and that he chose to go with an amount that was even under the lowest estimate of $800 billion.

    No where did I claim in my comment that Obama thought it would increase. The only statement I made about the quote was a factual statement that

    Bottom line Obama got what he asked for in the stimulus.  

    I would say that your comment was a nice try to distort what was actually posted but it isn't even a nice try. It is just one of your normal, run of the mill, distortions of the facts that we have come to expect from you.  


    Heh, so what you're saying is (none / 0) (#63)
    by nycstray on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 01:48:26 PM EST
    he had no illusions about the too small stimulus?

    I think the issue (none / 0) (#87)
    by lilburro on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 04:46:33 PM EST
    is that what Obama outlined as acceptable was too broad.  That, and his "I'm willing to settle for half a loaf, but I'd like a whole one" negotiating strategy.

    If you have an advisor (Romer) telling you it needs to be bigger, and your response is, "well, I don't know!" that doesn't strike me as being particularly brilliant economic policy.

    And of course now we've muddled to the point that we are concerned with the deficit which is going to kill us all in our sleep, apparently.  That's not an environment that is going to bring about the passage of any substantial stimulative measures.

    And all this deficit stuff WAS supposed to have a point...but I don't see that it has had a positive effect.  Is the confidence fairy just taking its time, or is it not coming at all?


    Your comments are stimulative (none / 0) (#94)
    by christinep on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 06:39:01 PM EST
    Thanks, lilburro. While I do believe that the vote situation in Congress at the time (reluctant blue dogs et al) had a big effect on which strategy was selected as the first big Presidential action in 2009, I cannot dispute your conclusion that the approach at the time (in terms of being willing to "settle") was too broad. Choices are made; and, as Krugman predicted, that selection has the same repercussions as history suggested it would. (See 1937, etc.)

    But, here we are. With this Congress, we know most components of the coming package don't have much chance. Possibly, tax incentives for small businesses and some infrastructure expansion. Ironically, maybe the static jobs numbers and bad news can be used as an impetus in terms of reaching the American people to pressure Congress? Can you think of any immediate steps as to jobs?


    Re: immediate steps to jobs. (none / 0) (#123)
    by lilburro on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 10:55:01 AM EST
    Probably nothing significant will happen.  I think the Obama Administration should focus on the things the executive branch can do for the economy (they have a fair amount of power as far as the housing market goes, for example).

    Wrong idea then, worse idea now (none / 0) (#77)
    by Slado on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 04:20:33 PM EST
    The stimulus didn't not work because it wasn't bold enough, or targeted enough, or big enough.  It didn't work because it would never work.

    Nobel Economist

    Either way this argument is moot.  It doesn't matter anymore.  Even if you think it could have worked Obama had his chance with complete control of government and he blew it.

    Now the American people have rejected Obamanomics what's the left's answer?  More of the same.

    Move on.   It's never going to happen.

    More dreck from the WSJ (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by MKS on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 07:17:12 PM EST
    Do we really want completely unregualted financial markets?

    Haven't we learned that the Invisible Hand of Adam Smith is not the Right Hand of God?

    Just look at when the economy has done well....Usually under Democratic rule.   (And, please, Reagan was actually Kenyesian by runnning big deficits.)

    When did the Middle Class really take off in this country?  Post WWII.

    Your theories are just theories....

    A completely unregulated economy leads to a wild roller coaster of speculation and stagnating wages....

    The socialist economies of Europe do not fare so poorly....

    The Nirvana of prosperous and completely unregulated economies exist only in the imagination of the Right, and in certain Right wing dictatorships.....In Third World countries.

    The world of complete Social Darwinism leads to monopolies, a pyramid of wealth that benefits only the very tippy-top.  Everyone else suffers in a a no-holds barred economic environment.



    I don't (none / 0) (#101)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 08:04:37 PM EST
    think this guy has ever heard this:

    True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence.
    People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made." - Franklin Roosevelt

    That (none / 0) (#89)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 05:10:20 PM EST
    economist you link to is a supply side loser. Supply side economics have already been shown to be an abysmal economic policy. It does NOT trickle down as we've been told for years.

    This article actually shows me why the GOP is so unpopular right now. It's more advocating of turning social security into a welfare program and doesn't want people to retire in dignity after having worked hard all their lives.

    Milton Friedman won a Nobel Prize and so did Obama.


    Never thought I'd hear three voters (none / 0) (#111)
    by Towanda on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 11:49:11 PM EST
    tonight, young Obama-mad sorts who worked hard for him in 2008, talk about not voting for him in 2012.  

    They were recalling a year ago this weekend, when they got to see Obama at a union Labor Day event.  (They're not in unions but got tickets.) They were so incredibly excited then and talked about telling their children about it someday.

    This has been a long, hard year for them, and they have been paying attention to the reasons more than I knew -- the reasons that after investing so many years in their education and doing everything that they were supposed to do, they're off to an awful start in their lives.  

    That's three votes lost -- and in two swing states.  And they're representative of so many voters in those suffering states.  I never, ever thought I'd hear them talk the way that they did tonight.  I think Obama has one week, this week, to win them back, if it's not too late already.

    Btw, is Obama even daring to get out in front of a union crowd again this year?

    Out in front of the UAW, maybe... (none / 0) (#112)
    by oldpro on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 12:31:34 AM EST
    Otherwise?  I wouldn't think so...not unless it's a public union and even then...chancy.

    I looked it up; Obama is in Detroit (none / 0) (#113)
    by Towanda on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 12:54:03 AM EST
    on Labor Day, with Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis at an event.  So it would be an event with union workers, I would think (although there are so few union workers left that most attendees will not be).

    Interesting to me is that Solis also was with Obama at the Labor Day event a year ago -- but far more prominent at that event was AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka.  This week, Truma turned on Obama, big time.  So he no longer seems to be invited.

    A Labor Day event, in Detroit, without the head of the AFL-CIO?  That's news . . . not that you'll see journalists actually reporting it, as that would take knowledge of what is traditional at such an event or even just knowledge of how different this will be from the event a year ago.


    Wow - you mean there's going to be an (5.00 / 3) (#118)
    by Anne on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 08:57:43 AM EST
    actual Hilda Solis sighting?  Does anyone even know what she looks like without Googling her?  Makes me think they could grab someone off the street in another city, call her "Hilda," and no one would be the wiser...not sure even Obama would know the difference.

    Wonder if Obama will ever have the courage to show up in Wisconsin, for example; I guess that will probably depend on whether he ever finds the right footwear.

    I wonder if he knows there are more than a few who would be happy to, uh, give him the boot.


    President Obama's big economic (none / 0) (#122)
    by KeysDan on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 10:49:57 AM EST
    speech, rather than presented before a joint session of congress, should have been given before an assembly of citizens, perhaps young citizens, such as at the  University of Wisconsin-Madison, to pick a college at random.   This would have avoided the childish episode about dates and would have brought a needed dimension of realism for workers and genuine concern for jobs. There would be no issue about competing media coverage--perhaps too audacious but a political winner.  As it now is, next Thursday's address had better be a blockbuster what with all the urgency in timing and venue-- something more than school uniforms.  

    If you eat your peas (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by MO Blue on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 11:05:02 AM EST
    maybe I will get you a job paying $10 an hour.

    Thanks, but (5.00 / 3) (#127)
    by KeysDan on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 11:26:15 AM EST
    I have already taken a job selling comfortable shoes ($10.50 an hour).

    Some other campus (5.00 / 2) (#137)
    by Towanda on Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 12:38:58 PM EST
    now, as Madison protesters -- who continue to protest, every single day -- got their hopes up, time after time, that Obama would find his comfortable shoes and show up as promised.  The job-killing policies of caving to Republicans are starting to have impact even there, with the announcement this week of layoffs in the university system offices:  layoffs of staff whose jobs involved union relations.  No unions, no jobs.

    And local taxpayers in Madison also remember the costs for the last time that Obama did show up there, where quite a lot of media coverage tallied the bills to show that the White House didn't cover its hoped-for share of the costs -- because it wasn't a "campaign event."  Yeh, right.