Archive for Sunday, March 1, 2009

Like FDR, Obama gives America reason to hope

March 1, 2009

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For more than a year, Barack Obama ran as the man from hope — or at least a man of hope. The implicit notion was that Americans could feel free to hope again, that they could dare to believe, and that the very act of hoping could be redemptive, and effective, too. Obama has been in office for little more than a month, and it is clear that hope is the thing with feathers. It flew away.

Until last week. Hope is back, or at least it is back in the Obama repertoire.

The president is a luminous figure, a symbol of American possibility, the personification of decades of dreams, particularly for black Americans. (So was John F. Kennedy to Catholics, and Ronald Reagan to conservatives.) But for almost a month’s time the world’s most hopeful character had become one of the world’s biggest downers.

Let’s leave aside this morning any qualms we might have about a man who can pick up and then put down the hope handle with such apparent ease. Instead let’s examine the tension between optimism and pragmatism, and the difficult equilibrium between rallying the country for a challenge and providing it with a sobering view of that challenge.

The president’s nationally televised speech was something of a wedding reception. Something borrowed: His address subtly embedded phrases from two men who held the same seat in the Senate, Daniel Webster (“something worthy to be remembered”) and Kennedy (“twilight struggle”). Something blue: He issued a clear warning of the dangers ahead.

But he combined all of that with a clarion call for action and an assurance — this you might think of as Reaganesque — that Americans could pull out of the current crisis and pull off something remarkable, like providing health care to all Americans. It’s hard enough to do that rhetorically. It will be doubly difficult to do it realistically.

Yet the last week marked a significant passage in the current crisis. Americans have known for some time that the economy was in turmoil, and they have seen their neighbors if not themselves lose jobs, savings, confidence and, yes, hope. But last week the crisis seemed to have been transformed from something transitory to something stubbornly resistant to reasonable and customary remedy.

That’s why the Obama address in the House chamber Tuesday was so important — one of those moments, like Franklin Roosevelt’s speech after Pearl Harbor or Lyndon Johnson’s speech after the Kennedy assassination, when the nation welcomed a big speech in a big venue about a big topic. Never mind that the Obama speech had strains of his Iowa caucus victory remarks and his acceptance speech at the Denver convention. The president had the nation’s attention, and with his speech he scratched on the wall of history.

For all the talk of the president’s Lincoln obsession — one cannot fault the man’s taste, though perhaps his hubris — this was a speech that seemed deliberately to use FDR as its model. The president pointedly used the word “rebuild,” but in truth the blueprint he set out last week was not only to rebuild the country, but also to build a different country.

Roosevelt’s task, too, was to rebuild a country racked by Depression and hobbled with hopelessness. (Obama’s challenge, right now at least, is not quite as great.) But Roosevelt used the crisis to construct a different kind of country entirely, one where the federal government no longer intruded on the ordinary citizen’s life only when he went to the post office (the model used by the three Republican presidents who preceded FDR) but instead played an activist role in stimulating the economy and perhaps actually running the economy, or at least some sectors of it.

The irony is that some of the modern equivalent of FDR’s New Deal began under perhaps the most devoutly conservative president since William McKinley; it was George W. Bush’s administration, after all, that put Washington in such a commanding position over the nation’s banks. But Obama, deftly building on the idea that an economic crisis is a political opportunity, clearly wants the country that emerges from the current upheaval to be a different country, with substantially different financial, health and educational infrastructures.

Last week’s speech was the functional equivalent of a State of the Union address, though Obama technically won’t give one of those for another 10 months. But State of the Union addresses generally are dreary affairs, important sounding but not really significant, long laundry lists of programs and proposals that everyone knows are going nowhere. Not so the Obama address.

The Republicans are diminished and in disarray — don’t let their near unanimity on the stimulus fool you — and polls show that the country clearly wants its young president to succeed. The public is giving him a break. But it is also giving him more leeway than any president of our time.

We don’t yet know what Obama’s America will look like, just as no one, not even Roosevelt, knew in March 1933 what New Deal America would look like when the president was finished. But if the current president has his way, the country will not look like the America of February 2009. That is the real meaning of last week.

“Last week marked an end to three years of a nation’s drifting from bad to worse, an end to helpless acceptance of a malign fate,” said the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal after FDR took power. “For an explanation of the incredible change which has come over the face of things here in the United States in a single week we must look to the fact that the new administration in Washington has superbly risen to the occasion.”

Neither of those sentences quite applies to Obama’s Washington, not quite yet, and it surely won’t be the Journal’s inclination to salute Obama quite that way anytime soon. Though Roosevelt didn’t precisely know where he was leading the country, it was clear in the winter of 1933 that he was at the very least leading it somewhere. Three quarters of a century later, Americans have reason to feel the same way.

— David Shribman is executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Comments

Godot 6 years, 1 month ago

Obama has multiple personality disorder exacerbated by handlers with conflicting agendas who advise him to use polling to shape his message. Shribman is a passable writer of fiction, by the way.

weluvbowling 6 years, 1 month ago

"Barack Obama ran as the man from hope — or at least a man of hope."...I must have missed this one because I thought it was "change"????

Wow!!! I really need to go back and read some of his campaign stuff if it is still out there. Yep, sure 'nuff, man from/of hope...what do you know! Man of MANY slogans.

Chris Ogle 6 years, 1 month ago

jonas_opines (Anonymous) says… This thread should go well.


jonas- ol cut and paste is on his way. Be patient, all that cuttin and a pasten is hard work.

canyon_wren 6 years, 1 month ago

I guess I have missed out on the "hope" part. However, since I don't have TV, I have also missed out on most of the flim-flam as well. Good luck, America!

weluvbowling 6 years, 1 month ago

canyon_wren...thanks for letting me know that I was not the only one who missed out on the "hope" part. Makes mefeel better.

jafs 6 years, 1 month ago

Terri,

He clearly campaigned on a dual message of hope and change.

jonas_opines 6 years, 1 month ago

Er, Xbusguy, "ol' cut and paste?"

Could you narrow that down?

Chris Ogle 6 years, 1 month ago

merrill (Anonymous) says....merrill (Anonymous) says...merrill (Anonymous) says

jonas_opines 6 years, 1 month ago

Ahh, truly, though, too many it could have applied to.

Bob Forer 6 years, 1 month ago

Snap, it was Truman who dropped the bomb, not FDR.

weluvbowling 6 years, 1 month ago

jafs...and I clearly stated I missed the hope part...pardon me for my disinterest in the man!

Chris Ogle 6 years, 1 month ago

Mr_Nancy_Boy_To_You (Tom Shewmon) says…

Not sure which is dropping faster, the stock market or BO/porkulus approval.

I would rather be curious than broke.

Alyosha 6 years, 1 month ago

So sad to see so many misconceptions, outright falsehoods and lazy, ideology-driven, simplistic claims.

Funny how the commenters hear seem to believe they've got better insight into the national economy than professionals like Warren Buffet, who despite all the "socialism" fearmongering going on by overly-ideological citizens, says:

“Whatever the downsides may be, strong and immediate action by government was essential last year if the financial system was to avoid a total breakdown,” Buffett said. “Had that occurred, the consequences for every area of our economy would have been cataclysmic. Like it or not, the inhabitants of Wall Street, Main Street and the various Side Streets of America were all in the same boat.” http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601068&sid=aFmgGBH8rr4Y&refer=home

Next we'll hear that Buffett, an informal advisor to and supporter of President Obama, is a socialist, too, out to destroy the country.

In the real world, though, Buffett believes "Stocks and the economy will rebound, and the best days for the U.S. are ahead." Read his own PDF statement: http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/2008ar/2008ar.pdf

Mr_Nancy_boy_to_you, what do you know that Warren Buffet does not? How does your knowledge make you a better source of analysis and forecast than Buffett himself about what needs to be done to fix the economy?

Or do you believe that Buffett is a "socialist" too, since he holds substantially the same beliefs and positions as President Obama?

Chris Ogle 6 years, 1 month ago

Alyosha - Buffett knows more about investing than anyone, as far as I am concerned. However, Buffett also lost a bunch of money this year, and stated it is not over yet.

I think we are in deep doo-doo.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 1 month ago

Oops, it was Truman, not FDR who was President when the bomb was dropped. I stand corrected.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 1 month ago

Call it what you will. Hope or whatever.

What Obama is demonstrating is an intelligent, non-ideological strategy to identify and actually solve the problems facing this country.

For example, he makes a clear argument that stimulus spending is required in the short term but that deficit reduction will eventually be the order of the day once the economy is stabilized.

This sort of long-term planning and truthful explanation is refreshing. The ability to hold two seemingly contradictory approaches in mind as part of a long term strategy speaks to his practical approach and strategic thinking. The less-intelligent see this as being duplicitous or lacking in conviction. It is in fact a practical strategy to solve our problems.

Will it work? Maybe, or maybe not. But I think Obama has argued his plan effectively and convincingly.

This is in stark contrast to the last eight years of ideological rigor (mortis).

This gives me hope.

AjiDeGallina 6 years, 1 month ago

marion, repeating a lie only makes you a repeat liar. and in your case a repeat anti-Semite

beatrice 6 years, 1 month ago

Are the neocon fools around here crying because their party lost after their leaders were allowed to drive the country into the ground, are are they crying because they realize nobody any longer cares for what they have to say?

"boohoo boohoo" - the new neocon mantra

Oh well, I guess no matter how much you hope, some losers never change.

beatrice 6 years, 1 month ago

Marion's panties are still in a wad because Obama's middle name is "Hussein." He doesn't like what that represents.

jumpin_catfish 6 years, 1 month ago

I agree, BaRobbinHood gives me hope that the conservatives will get their act together and take back at least the senate in two years and then the Obamaliar is gone after one term.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 1 month ago

Obama's plan might fail, he might be a one-term president, and the GOP might make a huge comeback.

These are all possibilities. On the other hand, Obama has proposed a logical and practical plan that has a good chance of working; short-term economic stimulus coupled with long-term deficit reduction. The GOP can only find the political will to blockade and propose more tax cuts.

Wishful thinking is one thing, but on balance of facts and reality, I think there is a better chance that the Obama plan will be successful and the the GOP will have a difficult time making a comeback.

I would like to hear reasoned arguments as to why the plan will fail, not simply Dorothy-esque wishful thinking and rabid insult.

Roadkill_Rob 6 years, 1 month ago

So, based on what the neocons on these threads believe, we are a socialist nation with a Muslim president that won the presidency b/c of a jewish/liberal media. Wow, what an amazingly impossible feat!

And based on what the neocons believe, we should fix our problems by electing government-hating officials to give tax breaks to their rich corporate friends so they won't have to move out of their million-dollar mansions.

Sounds good to me. Where do I sign up?

jayhawklawrence 6 years, 1 month ago

Helpful Info:

A recent extraction of DNA from Neanderthal bones indicates that Neanderthals had the same version of the FOXP2 gene as modern humans.

There is no mention of a CNNP2 gene.

beatrice 6 years, 1 month ago

Marion, there is no other person for whom you regularly insist on using his or her middle name. Why is that? I'll tell you why. It is because Obama's middle name bothers you since it represents a shift away from Anglo male dominance in this country -- and you just hate that.

But keep it up -- the pathetic middle-name-game worked soooo well for you and your white brethren during the last election. I'm sure it will work just as well in the next.

By the way, why do you still own guns? I thought you promised that Obama was going to take away your precious as soon as he became President. Guess you and your buddies like snap and Tom were just wrong on that one too.

Now, be a good little conservative and please step aside -- we Americans have a nation to fix.

Godot 6 years, 1 month ago

clipped from an article by economist John Chapman:

"Mr. Obama is an admirer of FDR's New Deal, but the explosion in public works spending still left unemployment at 17% in 1940, eight years into his administration; so much uncertainty was created by all the New Deal programs that private investment did not recover until after 1943. And Japan's "lost decade" of the 1990s is a particularly tragic example of spending waste, because at least eight separate stimulus measures pursued by Tokyo between 1992 and 1999 totaled over $100 trillion yen (more than $1 trillion at current exchange rates), yet unemployment grew throughout the decade (to almost 5% from 1%), and GDP growth averaged an anemic 1% for over 10 years (and close to zero between 1996-2002). Meanwhile Japan's debt-to-GDP ratio has tripled since 1990, burdening future growth.

Sound money is also a necessary condition for optimizing capital formation. It acts as an inducement to invest in the long run, and promotes the effective allocation of scarce resources via allowing for calculation of true profits and losses through the price system's signals. To say this differently, when a currency is unstable or weak, economic resources are misallocated, causing waste and real decline in wealth; profits contract, and private investment is curtailed. The explosion of housing construction due to easy money and artificially low interest rates is a canonical example of this, and the current era proves that the economic ills which accrue from an unstable currency are magnified when it is the U.S. dollar, the world's reserve currency. Yet here as well, Mr. Obama's Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, has virtually promised a continuation of the Bernanke/Bush weak dollar.

What does all this mean? Higher interest rates and a collapse of U.S. Treasury bonds seem assured, and a run on the dollar cannot be ruled out. Absent inducements to sustainable growth, the fiscal stimulus program will only add to the U.S.'s debt burden. Most importantly, there will be no global recovery without a return to growth in the United States, which can only happen via recapitalization (including banks) and the profit growth which drives employment. By ignoring both economic logic and history, Mr. Obama has condemned the world to repeat an unpleasant past."

http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=022509A

beatrice 6 years, 1 month ago

But Marion, I've read your posts. Never do you use any of these others' middle names. The only person for whom you regularly and repeatedly use a middle name is our sitting president. Try to deflect if you must, but you know why Obama's middle name drives you so crazy -- he isn't just like you. Too bad you aren't willing to admit it to yourself.

By the way, why hasn't Obama taken your guns yet? You said he would! Why won't you answer? Is it because, as with most thing, you were again wrong!!!!

AjiDeGallina 6 years, 1 month ago

bea, marion is a passive agressive and a liar (and an anti-Semite to boot) and just needs to be pitied, not fed.

He is a failed man.

beatrice 6 years, 1 month ago

Aji, yes, I know, but sometimes it is fun to poke the thing with a stick just to watch it squirm.

A funny thing is, it actually thinks I would click on any link it would post. I'm sure a site like "GunControlKills .com" is a wonderful site for knowlegable information on President Obama's policies and not at all biased.

Why doesn't it use its own middle to identify itself?

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 1 month ago

Still no reasoned arguments are forthcoming about why Obama's plan will fail, only heel-clicking wishful thinking and name-calling.

It really would be refreshing if reason and logic were used instead of these indications of a failure of thought and intelligence. It is no surprise that they are not given the constant demonstrations of these failures splashed across these threads.

camper 6 years, 1 month ago

The use of the word Obamination is ad hominem in my opinion.

Jim Phillips 6 years, 1 month ago

"yourworstnightmare (Anonymous) says…

Still no reasoned arguments are forthcoming about why Obama's plan will fail, only heel-clicking wishful thinking and name-calling."

It's really too bad logic apparently is not your strong point. There is no logical reason to believe we will get out of debt by going deeper in debt by a trillion dollars (and that is just the beginning). I have never been able to spend my way into more money.

And as far as the above mentioned "traitor" comment goes. you Bush-bashers would definitely win the Benedict Arnaold award for the last eight years.

Republicans crying, bea? Whining and moaning is all we heard out of your side since Bush "stole" the election in 2000.

beatrice 6 years, 1 month ago

Guardian, so your defense against the whining from the right is that the left did it too? Again, if you didn't like the name-calling that was directed toward President Bush (I didn't care for it either), then why would you turn around and support the exact same behavior from those who act exactly like the people you claim to despise? I think you should be able to rise above it. Argue the issues, but leave the name-calling to the children.

ecogenius 6 years, 1 month ago

China owns us now - what China says OBAMA do. Your all slaves to the chinese now. Our congressmen are nothing but a bunch of pretenders and OBAMA is the greatest pretender of all. Wait until his birth certificate resurfaces.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 1 month ago

It's amazing what a Chicago corruptocrat was able to accomplish with the aid of a compliant press and hundreds of millions of dollars of illegal campaign contributions.

Godot 6 years, 1 month ago

The reason Obama's plan will fail is because it does nothing to address the problem; Obama is exploiting a crisis to implement a sweeping societal and ideological policy that is totally outside the bounds of our constitution. Obama is not the answer, he is an opportunist.

The crisis we face was not caused by capitalism, it was caused by crime, fraud, and corruption that has gone, and is continues to go, unpunished.

What are the crimes? Banks and financial institutions that lied on their annual reports, that lied in public pronouncements about financial health, that either did not enforce the sound lending practices required by statute, or even encouraged employees to make unsound loans for short term profit.

What is the fraud? Lenders who filed false mortgage applications; lenders who did not require documentation to prove citizenship, income and assets from borrowers; rating agencies paid by the companies they evaluated that did not report on unsound borrowing; borrowers who lied about their income and assets on mortgage loan appications. The regulators and executives of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and AIG. And then there are the simple criminals, the Madoffs, the Stanfords, and others.

What is the corruption? Government officials, particularly those at the OCC, OTS, SEC, elected officials on the House and Senate Banking and finance committees who were "friends" with executives and Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Merrill, Lehman and more and did not question the obviosly illegal activies of said corporations, who brought these crooks before their committees and treated them like royalty.

The most egregious example of corruption is the relationship between Hank Paulson and Timothy Geithner with Goldman Sachs. This also ranks as a crime as severe as Treason for their resultant pillaging of the US treasury and rape of the US taxpayer.

Which brings us to the biggest traitor of all: Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve. He is about to dump the entirety of the financial industry's toxic debt onto the shoulders of the American taxpayers by buying treasuries with taxpayer dollars, then exchanging the treasuries for the toxic assets that he took as collateral when he loaned trillions of dollars to the said GS, BOA, CITI, JP Morgan, etc.

If President Obama wanted to solve our economic woes, he would hold Nuremburg style trials for the barons of Wallstreet and the Hamptons, and their government patsies.

That will not happen; Obama, is one of them; so are many on his cabinet and staff. So we will be distracted by the argument over moral hazard and punishing the productive, while the culprits get away with their dirty deeds....and our treasury.

The end result? Our children will be serfs.

Read Karl Denninger. He says it better than I ever could:

http://market-ticker.org/archives/837-The-Underlying-Fraud-In-Banking.html

beatrice 6 years, 1 month ago

snap, once again you repeat the same exact thing you have probably posted one hundred times already, if not more. The "compliant media" stuff is purely subjective and can't be born out, but have you got proof on those illegal campaign contributions? That is a real thing that you should be able to prove. However, you can't. So why not just go all the way and call him the Anti-Christ already. Geez.

Marion, while I'll gladly call you a fool because it is true, please find a post of mine where I have shown disrespect to the office of President of the United States. Please show me where I took part in calling President Bush anything other than his name, often beginning with his official title, with the occasional use of his own campaign's shorthand of "W." Please show me where I took part in calling our President names. Please.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 1 month ago

So the New deal didn't end the Great Depression. World War II did. I don't necessarily disagree.

What was it about WWII that ended the Great depression?

Danimal 6 years, 1 month ago

I guess since Obama is like FDR we all need to get ready for the next world war, which will be the only thing that resuscitates our economy. Yay Democrats!

Godot 6 years, 1 month ago

"What was it about WWII that ended the Great depression?"

The great depression did not just "end," there was a gradual recovery. One could say the great depression did not "end" in the US until the mid 50's.

What lead to this gradual recovery? Perhaps it was a combination of the reduction of world population by millions of people, aka users of scarce resources; consolidation of power. Bretton Woods. "reboot."

I hope that is not in our future.

BTW, I do not believe that World War II ever ended; it was just brought to the level of a simmer, a low boil.

Godot 6 years, 1 month ago

Warning: full boil is about to erupt.

beatrice 6 years, 1 month ago

Marion, sure, you are taking part in reasonable discussion ... sure you are. You convinced me when you defended using Obama's middle name every time you write his name. Sure, you are such a reasonable person.

To the economy, the thing that gets me about the neocon whining is that the right also had plans to put tax-payer money into the economy in similar ways. Don't any of you remember John McCain's ideas to buy up bad mortgages? In case you forgot, here is a little bit from the final debate with Obama:

MCCAIN: "Well, thank you, Bob. I just want to get back to this home ownership. During the Depression era, we had a thing called the home ownership loan corporation.

And they went out and bought up these mortgages. And people were able to stay in their homes, and eventually the values of those homes went up, and they actually made money. And, by the way, this was a proposal made by Senator Clinton not too long ago.

So, obviously, if we can start increasing home values, then there will be creation of wealth."

Now how would things have been all wonderful and perfect if McCain were in office after he infused the economy with our tax dollars yet it is so terrible that Obama has done so?

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Godot uses cherry picked information. If he had checked with a Japanese economist, he would have learned that they now admit that their government was too conservative and did not spend enough money early on, which allowed unemployment to grow and more problems to develop. They are advising us to spend what is needed to put people back to work as quickly as possible. It is fortunate that we can learn from the Japanese, but clearly the Republicans are not interested in doing that. Leave it to them and we will also lose 10 years.

There are three ways of growing an economy; consumer spending, banks lending and government spending. The first two are out the window now as banks are having to balance their books, consumers don't have discrestionary money, which means that the government must spend to keep the economy moving. It is known now that it is much less costly to spend now, rather than to allow more collapse and then spend. So, even without Republican support, we are fortunate that there are enough Democrats in office now to do the right thing. All Republicans can do is hope that we all fail. Isn't that great?

Flap Doodle 6 years, 1 month ago

Do you wonder what a city run by Democrats and unions for decades could be like? Check out Detroit: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-detroit-housingjan29,0,5435392.story

Godot 6 years, 1 month ago

"rshrink (Anonymous) says…

Godot uses cherry picked information. If he had checked with a Japanese economist, he would have learned that they now admit that their government was too conservative and did not spend enough money early on, which allowed unemployment to grow and more problems to develop."

More academic blah blah blah. The only test of that theory was FDR: the result was more unemployment, and a prolonged depression.

Keynes was a fool. The bigger fools are those who "believe" in his theories.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Once again kneejerk repubs fail to read accurately and fail to understand. But are we surprised? I think not. "Academic blah blah," comes from an actual Japanese observer admitting that they made a mistake. Why is it important for them to admit that? Well, like many countries, the success of the US economy will mean more success for them. They want us to succeed, unlike Republicans who want us all to fail. Oh and by the way, Snap, Detroit is a city that comes under the federal rule of the USA like the rest of the cities in the USA. Your easy blame of unions will not hold up. Buick moved to Mexico, no unions and their failure actually happened after the move. It was greed that drove them their, like many other companies, which led to more unemployment and less production in the US. There is that nasty unemployment problem again. You see having people employed is a good thing. Sending jobs to other countries is a bad thing. Money put in the hands of American workers, turns out to be a great way to grow the economy. We should try it.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

I really don't expect Repubs to understand. It does take a bit of sophistication, which is lacking in Republicanism. The money spent to create jobs also simultaneously creates infrastructure. This infrastructure is necessary to promote more productivity. Without it, we will not be able to compete in the global economy. What it costs is far less important than what it makes. Consider it like capital expenditures such as machiney to produce goods.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Curious how Snap finds unions at fault from an article that doesn't even mention unions. How monkey brained is that? Snap, you may want to actually read the articles that you refer to. Like many big companies, execs took large salaries and bonuses for mismanagement. The US auto industry allowed other companies to take the chances and make the advancements. They made changes, kicking and screaming all the way. Consumers elected to purchase better concept products. America loses out due to rigidity of management, determined to tell buyers what they should buy instead of providing the products that people wanted and needed. Then they make the unions the scapegoat. Well, workers of the USA are not taking it anymore. Get used to it.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

While you may like your ideas Liberty, in fact they are weak and misguided. I see you go to no trouble whatsoever to explain how productivity comes about. You need to think on that awhile and then get back to us. Be prepared to argue with some of the best known ideas available now due to actual observations of actual economic observers, not just kneejerk dittoheads.

jonas_opines 6 years, 1 month ago

"I find it both interesting and quite telling that the machniations of Barack Hussein Obama cannot be discussed on their own merit but only through meaningless comparisons with the ideas of GWB and Cheney."

I would think that after 8 years of "but Clinton" we would have been used to it by now.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Posters might consider that since we are a country that has political parties which diverge, much like the desires of our citizenry, we can never have a perfect example of any theorists ideas. They are always mitigated and often subverted. We have all just witnessed, due to Bush, what happens when there is no regulation of the system, when conflict of interest is the norm, no rules and no concern for consequences. If we don't make the changes back to reasonable regulation and adherence to principles that are known to be of benefit, then we will all suffer. We don't have an ideologue now, just a practical leader who listens to practical advice. So, sit back and watch the improvement and keep the blood pressure level down.

Godot 6 years, 1 month ago

Look here! See this massive spending, see this redistribution of wealth. Be concerned, be angry at everyone in commerce, but do not blame your government.

Do not notice that you are being robbed by the Treasury department in collaboration with the Federal Reserve, all under the control of the President. Do not see. Do not protest. Nothing to see here, pass on by. Move on.

We have a government made up of crooks, frauds, thieves and traitors.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Wind power, solar power, algae manufactured as fuel, grid to support and move this energy, cleaning up the mess of pollution which would eventually kill off people and any ability to produce, improving roads and bridges; all examples of (not clothing), although if clothing was made in the USA again, that would help, improving the educational system so that graduates can perform at a level competitive with the rest of the world, a healthcare system that will keep workers performing at a higher level, all perfect for increasing productivity and so much better than just making the obcenely wealthy, more wealthy. So once again, we see kneejerk cherry picking of ideas, to support failed ideas.

gl0ck0wn3r 6 years, 1 month ago

"rshrink (Anonymous) says… Consider it like capital expenditures such as machiney to produce goods."

This brings the lolz. A sidewalk/bridge/roadway etc. =/= a machine producing goods. At best one could argue that it reduces the friction in the movement of goods and provides very expensive short-term employment. However, the offsetting cost of funding coupled with the "eat the rich" mentality that seems to have cropped up amongst the faux-progressives will kill whatever possible stimulus effect the expenditure might have.

Don't believe me? Look at the market. Sure, yeah, I know the faux-progressives hate the market and believe that it is the source of all things rich and evil, but it is a leading indicator and it is, at best, totally unresponsive to the stimulus package. Yeah, I know, the "rich investors" deserve to have a terrible market... but next time you get your TIAA-CREF statement, take a look at your retirement fund, prole.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

The New Deal did work. It dropped unemployment by a considerable amount. If it had gone on, it would have continued to bring positive change to the economy. The New Deal worked in the same way that the stimulus package will. It put people back to work, making them productive and it built infrastructure, as the stimulus package will. Military spending is only short term gain. It has been called boom/bust by economists. The reason is, it is one and done. It does not have the ability to circulate money as normal businesses do. Once a bomb explodes or a bullet is fired, it is done. It adds nothing to productivity. Secondly, we are now desperate to end wars and get people back to work doing useful things. Even the commanders of this war are clear that we now need political solutions, that military has done about all it can do.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

glockown is working on the monkey brained award for the day. Yes roads are infrastucture. Try doing business without them. Did you not even notice in your own city, the need for infrastructure changes required to get Walmart going on 6th street. I look for another sorry comeback.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Pilgrim, thanks for the intellectual response, "trout," right back at you.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

To add glock, roads are not short term. An electrical grid is not short term. Walmart does not pay for the infrstructure that is relies on to do business. They claim to add enough to the local economy to be able to expect us taxpayers to take care of that little bill for them. While that is not likely correct, we pay anyway.

gl0ck0wn3r 6 years, 1 month ago

"rshrink (Anonymous) says… glockown is working on the monkey brained award for the day. Yes roads are infrastucture. Try doing business without them"

Read your post, then read my post and then get back with me and try not to be insulting next time - it's rather sad given your position.

"porch_person (Anonymous) says… “Socialists” and “Communists” can scarcely do more damage to capitalism than some of capitalism's staunchest proponents.

Bernard Madoff did stuff in real life that movie character Gordon Gecko could only dream of."

Yes and no. While I agree with your statement that intelligent, hardworking people have every right to be upset, I don't agree with your two other conclusions. I agree Madoff is a bad guy and he should serve a long, long time in jail. Ponzi schemes are illegal and nothing new. However, it isn't guys like Madoff - or even the bank CEOs - that really have the market collapsed.

In my opinion, the market is moving out of uncertainty and the sort of pseudo-socialism that we are currently experiencing. When an investor hears "nationalization," it doesn't bode well for his investments and thus he gets out or stays out. When an investor hears constant talk about increasing taxes on the "rich" to pay for pseudo-stimulus projects, the investor looks for other options. As an example, why should I do anything right now on the market when I have no idea what is coming? It is safer for me to keep my investments in areas that are less risky and wait out the pitchfork crowd. I'll do what I need to do to set myself up for the next several years and take advantage of the laws as they stand, but there is no way that I'll be volunteering to pay more taxes. The increase in taxes, like anything financially penalizing, only ends up hurting the people who can least afford it.

gl0ck0wn3r 6 years, 1 month ago

"rshrink (Anonymous) says… To add glock, roads are not short term. An electrical grid is not short term. "

Read my post: "...provides very expensive short-term employment..."

Operative term: employment. The road and the grid will be there - both requiring increasing tax dollars and some employment to maintain (in this sense, Lil' Dickie Heckler is perversely correct but for the wrong reasons) - but the actual short to medium term stimulus effect of the actual building will be very, very small.

gl0ck0wn3r 6 years, 1 month ago

"porch_person (Anonymous) says… I don't see the infusion of capital as “pseudo-stimulus”. I see it as infrastructure investment, which makes everything better for everyone but is not necessarily anything one can profit from directly. The market hasn't been making those infrastructure investments and the economy is feeling the effects.

The increase in taxes will only “hurt” those who make over $250,000 / year. I'm going out on a limb and venture that people who make over $250,000 / year aren't hurting. To describe that demographic as one that can “least afford it” is complete hubris."

I'll approach your first point and then the second point. Define an infrastructure investment? The vast majority of stimulus infrastructure investments are government infrastructure, not private sector (ie: roads, etc) and thus the investments aren't really anything that have been neglected by the private sector. As an example, look at the physical plant at KU. Buildings are falling apart because the state government decided to spend tax dollars elsewhere. Private sector (market) dollars couldn't have filled that gap really. Suddenly deciding to spend tax dollars on those projects is unlikely to actually benefit anyone economically except in a very short-term time period. What economic benefits do occur will be totally offset by the associated cost increases. Note: I use KU as an example because it is one with which most are familiar.

Secondly, I was not entirely clear on the "hurting those who can't afford it" statement. Let's assume for the sake of discussion that the tax increases really do hit only those who make $250k or above. Even if that is true, those increases will almost certainly ripple downward to those who cannot afford it. Law of unintended consequences. If, for example, I own a business that employs four people and I make $275k, do you think I'll take a pay cut and a tax increase to maintain my staff if I think I can cut one staffer and reduce costs/maintain my salary? Taxes roll downhill.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Unfortunately, many of the posters here can only look at one variable at a time. That handicaps them from seeing the bigger picture which is necessary when policies are arrived at. One really needs to connect the dots and there is a gross failure on the part of glock, barry and liberty to do that. Fortunately, our economists are much better at that and that is why they are the ones being paid attention to and not the dittoheads who take up the campaign now for the failing republican party.

gl0ck0wn3r 6 years, 1 month ago

Really, rshrink? Is that the best you have? I'm neither a republican nor a Limbaugh listener... but I recognize the total inability to understand the financial situation when I see it and your posts quite clearly illustrate that. If I needed any evidence, your total inability to discuss the topic without lamely tossing out insults happily affirms my position relative to yours. Have a fantastic evening.

RedwoodCoast 6 years, 1 month ago

"I know these steps won't sit well with the special interests and lobbyists who are invested in the old ways of doing business, and I know they're gearing up for a fight as we speak. My message to them is this: 'So am I.'"--Barack Obama

Come on, guys, when was the last time you heard a president say something like that? Moreover, have you ever heard a modern president say something like that?

Your "Free Market" has deeply eroded the "government of and for the people" so that it borders on a government "of and for the Free Market." Corporations have the same legal rights as citizens. Go figure.

gl0ck0wn3r 6 years, 1 month ago

"porch_person (Anonymous) says… Unfortunately, most defenders of the status quo which got us to that point somehow believe that the infrastructure which provides them profit comes from the economic infrastructure fairy. They don't see the economy as “all of us”, just “what can I get from it”. That's part of the change that Obama is promoting. He's starting by not placing this into a Democratic / Republican paradigm. It's “Americans”. You take care of the infrastructure and the infrastructure will take care of business which will take care of jobs.

Without an infrastructure, there's no field for business. No government is anarchy, but you knew that."

I agree with some of what you have to say in a very limited extent. You are correct that it is the job of government to do things like build roads, rail and other public sector projects that cannot be built effectively by the private sector. I do not argue this point. However, I do argue if the increase in funding of such projects will have a stimulative effect beyond the very short-term employment of the people constructing these projects. You can build all the infrastucture you want, but in the end you've created short-term employment gains, long-term debt, long-term taxation problems and you haven't done a thing to increase the real demand for goods and services.

I also disagree with your thinking regarding how "they" (whoever that is) see the economy relative to how Obama and others see the economy. Despite the rhetoric, Adam Smith was correct: people do see the economy in very selfish terms - including the faux-progressives. This isn't always a bad thing. Further, a healthy economy does (to an extent) resemble economic anarchy because old processes and businesses are constantly giving way to new processes and new businesses. Propping up businesses that can no longer compete in a vain attempt to save American jobs (ie: GM etc) simply stops creative destruction and brings this process to a halt.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Glock, too bad you don't listen to Limbaugh. Then you would at least have an excuse for ignoring reality. Maybe Drudge would work for you.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Trouble is Glock, it is just as I said. You don't connect the dots and if you insist on continuing in that manner, you will remain stuck in your viewpoint. Money being spent in the short term is not benign. It becomes money circulating in the economy and it is that circulation which then takes over. That is the part that you miss in all of this. I also think we need to fund inventors and help with research and development of new technology and more efficient products. Other countries have already begun doing this, so we are behind and need to get moving quickly. Obama knows this, but the difficulty is in getting everyone moving in this direction. Some people are just stubborn, like yourself.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

So Pilgrim, when you say "trout," that means you have a clue. See, I didn't realize that. Nice how you can sum up in that way.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Pilgrim, Did you ever have an affair? Have you ever done anything wrong? You might think it is inappropriate of me to ask you that question. You might ignore it, lie, distract and be less than forthcoming. If I am the republican party, I think, lets waste millions of dollars of taxpayer money to see if we can get something on this Pilgrim guy. Something will turn up sooner or later. A rational person might not really care about this nonsense. But, I do realize that the Repubs have really nothing to offer the ordinary people. They only serve the super rich and while they can't come out and just admit that, behind the scenes they better take care of those people or they will not get the fame and control of power and chances for great wealth, that they desire. So, the only option is to play games, to fool people, to take up causes they don't really care about, to blame other people and accuse them of what they do routinely. Distract, Decieve and Divide, the motto of the Republican party and Limbaugh, Gingrich and Rove will lead the way.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 1 month ago

If the O'dude fails, real Americans can take control of the government again.

georgeofwesternkansas 6 years, 1 month ago

Rushing into this stimulis package is no different than the rush to war by bush. Why do we continue to be pushed into bad situations by those we choose to govern??

At some point we have to stop being fools.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Yah Pilgrim, you knew all along. Follow the money. No bid contracts to Halliburton, Blackwater, now all found to have "lost" money, must have spent it on something, we just don't know what, failed to live up to contracts and didn't lost them due to Bush hand picked people being paid to look the other way, rewrite science, etc. Pay attention Pilgrim or it will keep being your bad.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Pilgrim, thanks for not holding my hand. I may have to puke on your shoes. And by the way, "salmon."

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

RIght Liberty, money has to come from somewhere. We have a what, 4 Trillion dollar GDP. Would that be where it would come from? It is not where it comes from that is the problem, it is what we do to keep it coming.

RedwoodCoast 6 years, 1 month ago

Hey, thanks everyone (some more than others) for immunizing me against any anti-Islamic allusion in our president's middle name--Hussein. There, see, no reaction from me. Hussein. See still no reaction. Thanks!

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

I think Bush and Cheney and others need to be prosecuted. There are organizations pushing Obama and the Congress to pursue this. I don't like Obama's "clean coal" comments. I have written to him and also Sebellius, although I think she also reached the proper conclusion about coal and she appears to be joining his organization. So, I would say, write Obama about the wiretapping business and sign petitions. Maybe he needs to be pushed and hopefully, unlike Bush, he can be. It is not time to throw in the towel yet.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 1 month ago

"So, I would say, write Obama about the wiretapping business and sign petitions." If you enclose some unmarked $20s, he might read your letter. It's the Chicago Way.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 1 month ago

The hits just keep coming. "WASHINGTON (AP) — Another Obama administration nominee has tax troubles. This time, it's Ron Kirk, the president's choice to be U.S. trade representative." http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/politics/wire/sns-ap-kirk-taxes,1,6611614.story?xid=rss-page

gl0ck0wn3r 6 years, 1 month ago

"rshrink (Anonymous) says… Glock, too bad you don't listen to Limbaugh. Then you would at least have an excuse for ignoring reality. Maybe Drudge would work for you."

Right. I'm done attempting to discuss the subject with you. I took a look at your posting history and realized you are simply a troll who is clearly unable to discuss an issue without using the same lame insults over and over. You aren't even interesting.

FYI: Pulled some money out of the market today - at a profit - and have pretty much set myself up to make it through this mess while simultaneously not increasing my tax load. The fun part is that I can get back in the market when I choose and again make money. How about you? No doubt you'll be volunteering to pay increased taxes for the good of the commune? Have you taught your children how to say "would you like fries with that" yet?

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Pilgrim is embarrassed about wanting to hold my hand. Its okay, we libs accept gay people, just don't try to hold my hand.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

"The question isn't totally answered there though, what causes the increases in technology and organization? Why are production processes altered at all? It is the profit motive and competition that create the incentive to alter the production process. Thus the real driving factor behind economic growth is entrepreneurship."

If we were in fantasy land, the above would be true. In the real world, it doesn't turn out that way. And oftentimes we need things that there is no profit to be made on. People tend to stick with the tried and true and that defeats advancement. In addition, when certain people get enough power and enough money, they start using their money to maintain the status quo by buying politicians like Bush, Palin Tom DeLay, soon to be prosecuted. Sorry to burst your bubble, but likely you will quickly make another one with a little help from Limbaugh. And by the way Barry revisionist, Bush was the one who got us into this mess. Recall the record number of banks failing and the mortgage crisis and the wall street crisis that caused Bush to come out of hiding to summon money for them to be bailed out? If you want to get back to good times, that would take going back to Clinton. Bush started paying companies incentives to send work out of the country. Big, Big mistake!!!! So, at some point, you may want to come out of fantasy land and stop being duped by the Repub elite.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

glock, I am honored that you were interested in my posts. Sorry that you are so easily offended. Sometimes the truth hurts. Waking up to reality won't be easy for you, but I would still recommend it. Living a fantasy will eventually eat you up.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Snap, you need start reading up on how the richest people in our country don't pay any taxes at all. Then maybe you would get a clue as to what is really going on.

Alyosha 6 years, 1 month ago

Speaking of whom one should listen to in terms of why the stock market is tanking: http://online.wsj.com/video/why-a-tsunami-hit-the-markets/0A29A0F6-C631-4BC1-A824-B575231EAA14.html

Use caution, though. Even though it's the Wall Street Journal, which is not a Socialist Newspaper, they don't blame it on Barack Hussein Obama.

They blame today's drop on the nasty effects of an intense world-wide recession, and call the result a "rational depression."

I think the only professional economics expert to blame the market drop on Obama can be found in this thread.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Pilgrim praises Barry's question. It is a great question, if it had any bearing on reality. Trouble is, it doesn't. Keep trying though. Eventually, you may accidentally learn something in the process. I'll be here for you.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Marion, I am shocked at how nasty sounding you got there. Here is something for you to read: (April 2001)

During a Senate Finance Committee hearing last week the head of the IRS, Commissioner Charles Rossotti, said there were hundreds and perhaps thousands of illegal tax scheme promoters. “It's absolutely a big problem,” he said, particularly among people with six-figure incomes who pay no taxes or illegally use trusts to reduce their tax liability.

Under an IRS disclosure program, 25 US corporations admitted they had evaded $4.2 billion in taxes through dubious tax shelters. An IRS official termed this only “the tip of the iceberg.” One scheme stopped by the Treasury Department involved a corporation that leased a municipal building in Switzerland and immediately leased it back for the same amount, writing the entire amount off as a tax deduction.

Emboldened by the indulgent attitude of the IRS and spurred on by right-wing anti-tax organizations, a small but growing number of businesses are no longer withholding taxes from employee paychecks. One company, Kristi Tool in Magnolia, Mississippi, has not withheld taxes in more than 20 years. IRS officials said it would probably be several years before any of the businesses that openly refused to withhold taxes were indicted.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Here is another thing to check out to understand the problem of the super rich not paying taxes:

www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/07/28/super-rich-tax-cheats-vid_n_115375.html - 134k -

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Question Liberty, what allowed Bush to do this stuff that you don't like. Think about it. It is really important.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

After you have thought Liberty, go back and read my responses again. Thanks.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Yes things are really bad Marion, in fact with banks failing, I think it would be safer for you to put your money under my mattress. Let me know when you want to make the transfer. Here is more info on taxes:

How The Rich Avoid Paying Taxes by Howard Gleckman on Thu 29 May 2008 02:59 PM EDT | Permanent Link It is a nice object lesson in how a couple of obscure changes in the tax law can save a few people a lot of money. The IRS has reported that the number of those earning $200,000 or more who paid no taxes rose sharply in 2005. More than 7,300 of these worthies avoided U.S. income tax entirely, two-and-a-half times the year before. About 85,000 paid worldwide taxes of less than 10% of their income.

The study, by the IRS’ Brian Balkovic, cites two big reasons for this plunge in tax liability. One was a 2004 law that let individuals use foreign tax credits to reduce their Alternative Minimum Tax. The other, passed in response to Hurricane Katrina, opened a temporary window for people to make big cash charitable contributions without facing the normal limits on how much they can deduct. The 2005 tax return data are the most recent available.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

cont.

The impact of just these two changes was stunning. Balcovic reports that in 2004, 412 of 3 million high-income taxpayers reported about $16 million in foreign tax credits. In 2005, more than 3000 wealthy filers took nearly $450 million in these credits. The increase in reported charitable contributions was also dramatic.

Of course, these were not the only reasons the wealthy were able to cut their tax liability to zero or near-zero. They also relied on such golden oldies as tax-exempt bond interest, large casualty losses, and deductions for investment interest.

To be fair, the study also shows many high-income folks paid hefty taxes. While 2.4 percent of the $200,000-plus crowd paid little or nothing, one-third paid effective rates of 20 percent to 25 percent and nearly one-quarter paid 25 percent or more.

Of course, it is worth remembering that a $200,000 earner in 2005 was very different than one 30 years ago. In 1977, only 53,000 taxpayers reported adjusted gross income of $200,000 or more. In 2005, that rose to more than 3.5 million. To put it another way, you might say that $200,000 of 30 years ago is the new $700,000. But even if you adjust for inflation and look at it in 1976 dollars, the pattern is the same, Many of these folks are hardly super-rich, but they have accountants and can figure out how to take advantage of a loophole-ridden tax code.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Marion, A fun book for you to read:

Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich--And Cheat Everybody Else [PERFECTLY LEGAL] David Cay Johnston

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

I was so hoping you would think about this and now I feel very let down.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Liberty, maybe if you would go back and read my other posts and whoever it is other than Limbaugh or Coulter or Drudge who is feeding you the lines for dupification and distraction and deception, try to ignore them and let some reality sink in.

BigPrune 6 years, 1 month ago

If it wasn't for the United States entering World War II (that's WWII to all the naive liberals out there) FDR would have NEVER brought our country back from the depression.

To find similarities between FDR and Obama is delusional.

Ronald Reagan brought our country back from economic doom from the history revisionists' "distinguished elderly statesman" Jimmy Carter and his economic disaster that was far worse than it is today.

Obama will need to bring the United States into a war that becomes a world war. His economic stimulus plan will generate enough extra spending money for the people to pay for the increase in electricity and gas. In other words, Obama doesn't know what the hell he is doing.

Rich Rodgers 6 years, 1 month ago

Short term stimulus followed by fiscal responsibility...it sounds so reasonable. Heck I voted for the guy. I refuse to vote for a republican until they actually find a candidate capable of speaking articulately. By that I mean in complete sentences. Year after year, even men I respect, get on the national stage and just look like doddering old curmudgeons or undereducated boobs. There are simply too many litmus tests for the GOP.

ANYWAY, to the actual point- Obama's plan when put so succintly sounds good. But in reality the "short term stimulus" amounts to the biggest grab bag of endless spending ever foisted upon us as a populous with less time spent analyzing it than it took to write it. Literally. The things put in the "short term stimulus" will be dealt with forever. How is that "short term stimulus".

Argghhh, I quit. Honestly I don't understand how any of you can decide one side in this debate is genius and the other the devil incarnate. They all seem chock full of inconsistencies and self serving jingoistic pap. But at least one side at this point is capable of coherent speech.

Hoots 6 years, 1 month ago

I voted for him and had hope. Unfortunately, he already has me very worried. If you look at the history of this kind of intervention it doesn't bode well. This truly could be doing more harm than good. With all the stimulus that has been given to the big players they could have created real stimulus with ever taxpaying person in this country. $1400 per family just to bail out AIG alone. What could you have done with say $78,000?

Rich Rodgers 6 years, 1 month ago

Are there really six (I HOPE he meant seven) figure incomes that are not paying taxes? Really? Do you know any? I know many people with six figure incomes and they spend more in a year in taxes than I have my entire life. And the only seven figure income I know personally, I also know he is PAYING six figures to the gov't. Which pays for how many hundred four figure incomes?

Hoots 6 years, 1 month ago

One year I sent off $90,000 to Uncle Sam. It's almost a disincentive to make money. I don't have that problem now. The economy took care of that.

Hoots 6 years, 1 month ago

The funny thing is once you make several million dollars per year your tax burden actually gets quite low as a percentage of income. I was watching a 60 Minutes segment a few years ago and someone making $8 million only pays about 7% to taxes. Even people making fairly low incomes pay way more than that as a percentage. The Average Family gets hit much harder than Joe Millionaire.

Left_handed 6 years, 1 month ago

He makes me Hope that we still have an economy (and a country) left after he's through with his pork-laden stimulus packages.

The_Sandwichman 6 years, 1 month ago

FDR and Obama both took office with an economic crisis on their hand. People get on Obama about the heavy deficit spending he is planning on, but FDR did the same thing. Granted, WW2 did finally pull us out of a depression, but we were going in the right direction already. If the government has to intervene in the economy due to a crisis, there will be huge deficit spending. After the economy is on track people can look for a surplus. No I didn't read any of your comments, except for the person that falsely said FDR dropped the bomb, but he did correct himself.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

"rshrink, I think you miss the point. I've read your posts, they are directed at the neo-cons, not me. You just can't help bringing them up like they're relevant to the discussion. The neo-cons are big-government types who support the military-industrial complex. That's not me. I support limited government and a humble foreign policy."

Liberty, the trouble with ideologues is that they can only see things through one lens. Neocons are not the only ones who do that. Small government was fine when people farmed and times were more simple. That is no longer the case. Whether you like it or not, the world has become highly technical and sophisticated and approaches to governing need to fit with the times. There are things now which actually need regulating by people smart enough and expert enough to do that sort of thing. We also need to regulate because sometimes people who are smart and expert enough can figure out how to bend the rules, such as Maddoff, Abramoff and others. They, like others we don't know, have enough money to basically determine the outcomes of elections. A recent example is a coal company (Massey) who got hundreds of thousands of dollars for a judge to get elected, that judge later ruling in their favor to start building or mining or whatever. All this, at a time when our scientists tell us, this is going in the wrong direction. That is why it isn't about the size of government, it is about the conscience of government and if we have enough people to do the job. Bush didn't care. He cut staff and had it headed up by people who would look the other way. That was the modus operandi for the Bush admin, which has caused one of the greatest calamities in the history of this country. It wasn't the size of the Bush government, it was the lack of conscience and cold blooded desire for power, no matter what. If you don't see this, you just are not trying. Marion won't, but then ....

hunterb 6 years, 1 month ago

Wasnt hope and change the same intentions of Adolf Hitler, I see many similarities in the two and their persuasion through public speaking. People should be very careful how much they ask for hope and change!! History has taught us that not all change is a good change. I would rather keep my money, guns and freedom and let Obama keep the "Change".

hunterb 6 years, 1 month ago

I think the best stimulus package Obama could have given our great nation would have been a one year break from paying our income taxes. That would put the stimulus right where it belongs in the pocket of the working man who has carried this country since the begining!!!!! It would also benifit the people who have been wise and fortunate enough to save money rather than living beyond their means..... Not the big corporations who's CEO's have been unwisely spending the billions of dollars made by their companies and are now in such terrible need for help. I bet those big private jets and corporate meetings in the bahamas are really needed to run a business.

georgeofwesternkansas 6 years, 1 month ago

The only hope America has right now is that some of our retirement savings will be left after he is done spending everything.

hunterb 6 years, 1 month ago

Alyosha: I am sure it is easy for Warren Buffett to be optomistic about our countries future. He is after all one of the richest people in this country. If I had his bank accounts I would be optomistic too. He dosent have much to worry about. Wish I could say that for the other 95% of our countries population.

managialamiseria 6 years, 1 month ago

Obama is an incredibly mediocre individual. He has been hyped by the media and adored by the ignorant.

Before we pronounce him successful, let's see some of this stuff work. Let him prove that the answer is to throw money at the problem until something sticks.

I don't buy it. He doesn't have the answer. He was actually part of the problem when he voted as a junior senator to block the Bush appeal for more oversight on Fannie & Freddie

Yes, Obama is part of the problem, a very real part, and he has so far offered no solutions.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

hunterb, some people already are not paying income tax. They don't have jobs. We are losing now 7000 jobs a month. They will be excused from paying income tax. That is hardly an answer. The stimulus bill is designed to create jobs. We don't know that it will create enough, at least not at first, but again, keep in mind that when people are building or repairing a bridge, they buy food from the locals and the locals then buy things that they need and the people they buy from, buy things. That is called putting money into circulation and it helps lots of people. Need to quit looking at this through a drinking straw and see the bigger picture. And if someone says this is Keynesian economics again, I wil heartily refute that. If it is, okay, but the point is, it is common sense. Get over your theory phobias.

managialamiseria 6 years, 1 month ago

When Obama said, "ONLY the government can solve this problem", I knew we were doomed.

If you start with a premise that is just plain WRONG, how do you think the end result can be positive? Nothing ele was looked at but throwning money at the problem. If that doesn't work, then it just means we didn't throw enough.

Gawd. I'd run for the hills bit I think AIG owns them.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

managialamiseria (Anonymous) says…

"Obama is an incredibly mediocre individual. He has been hyped by the media and adored by the ignorant."

Funny how first you say give him a chance and then proceed to say he doesn't have any answers. So, which are you going to do, give him a chance or immediately start to judge. Lets also be real here. The mess Bush allowed to come about through his poor policy choices are bigger than seen before practically by anyone who remains alive and answers are not totally known. The best minds have gotten together and there is some consensus about what needs to be done and what congress put together with Obama's input is about as good as one gets through a body of people of that type that represents a huge number of interest groups, which are also about as divergent as is possible.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

"rshrink, the world is a more complicated place. It's harder and harder for any government to control an economy, to regulate everything, to set prices or determine spending. Because the world is so complicated we need less government not more. You put the government on a pedestal as if only it can get it right."

I predicted you wouldn't get it and I was right. You are myopic unfortunately for you. I am not enamored with government. I hated the Bush government, due to its incompetence. Repubs are all about feelings and messing with people's lives, telling them how to live. Democrats, mostly, respect intelligence and competence. We don't want figure heads. We want people who are smart and can get things done. Some things need to be done and those things will never be profitable, but they still need to be done and that is where government comes in. When you apply profit motive to curing the ill, teaching the children, especially the poor ones, taking care of the elderly, helping the developmentally disabled, the mentally ill, addressing starvation, monitoring the poisoning of the environment, watching over the safety of the citizens, then you set up a whole set of possible abuses, reduce the proper motive of just caring, and risk only focusing on the ones who pay the best. Now, you are probably going to still think this is a good thing, but I don't. That is where we will differ.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Liberty, This is not about controlling the economy. It is about helping to sustain it. If that step wasn't taken, then it could heavily impact on the whole world. We would then be setting up circumstances of potential war, famine, a world in chaos. That is unacceptable and the intelligent people in our government know that. There are proper times for government to step in to prevent the bottom from dropping out. Likely, things will be mostly back in place in a year or two. Although not as devastating, we did have the savings and loan disaster and we came out of that. The government bailed them out, which means we taxpayers bailed them out. Yes, we had to pay for their misdeeds, but the alternative was much worse. Our role, as I said before, is to put people in office who are intelligent and focus on issues, not emotions and then to hold those people accountable. So, do whatever needs to be done to hold the current office holders accountable and if they don't perform, vote them out. Clearly though, we did not need four more years of Republican cronyism and corruption. Keep a watchful eye, but sit back and let the blood pressure go down.

managialamiseria 6 years, 1 month ago

rshrink (Anonymous) says… Funny how first you say give him a chance and then proceed to say he doesn't have any answers.


You got it shrink, sure, give him a chance, what choice do we have, and and and and, he certainly doesn't have any answers. No one does.

And for your information, it wasn't Bush that got us into this mess. It's been going on for about 30 years.

Let's just hope that Obama's spending spree doesn't push the knife deeper into this country's heart.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

I see it a little different than you Liberty. They are not all corrupt, but yes, there are corrupt ones that still have to be dealt with. That is why I said in my previous post, to keep a watchful, but clear headed eye out on things. Don't assume that they are all corrupt or you will fail to see where the ones that are not, are working their a$$es off to do something good. Yes, some people are motivated to do things just because it is a good thing to do. We didn't see many like that associated with Bush, but that doesn't mean that good people won't be around Obama. One needs to have an open mind. Some of your concerns I share, but an open mind is the best way to approach this. I think we need to be activists and if people become too cynical, they will give up and trust me, if that happens, things will get much worse, so don't give up.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

managialamiseria, I disagree with your characterization of 30 years. There has been a struggle for control throughout my lifetime, which is more than 30 years, but we won't go into that. So, if you are thinking that the struggle for ethics, rules, regulations and so forth have been going on for a long time, then yes. But, the thing is, Bush came in cutting taxes, which impacted on the wealthy the most, he deregulated the environment by allowing Cheney to meet with the polluters and decide how much to pollute and he was hands off of business, allowing them to get in over their heads. It was Enron squared. Bad loans were made by the banks and loans were sold to bigger banks and the bigger banks ended up with the huge losses. This was actually predicted by historians and economic experts. Read Kevin Phillips, a Republican who will now look prophetic. Bush was a lazy president and he staffed agencies with people who would look the other way. The idea I suppose is that business can regulate itself. Well, we learn again and again that it can't. Too bad, too sad and now it has to be fixed and hopefully it won't take too long and that we won't have to learn this lesson again in the near future.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Liberty, Certainly you don't want to trust Britney Spears. Don't even think of asking her to run for office.

managialamiseria 6 years, 1 month ago

shrink, whaaaaaaaat? You say business can not regulate itself. Then the alternative is government regulation. You can't be serious.

Jimmah Carter's Consumer Reinvestment Act got the banks making bad loans. That single act is one of the houses of cards that built over the years and then totally crumbled recently.

Reagon scaled it back, as did Bush Sr., Clinton pushed it, I'm not sure what Bush Jr. did with it, but it was there long before he was.

And that is probably the single most conributing factor to our crisis. Even the Sub Prime Mortgages were born of the CRA.

managialamiseria 6 years, 1 month ago

Barry, and if people weren't greedy, untrustworthy liars. You know what would happen to Bernie Maddow in China? He would have been shot.

Now that's a deterrant to cheating people.

gogoplata 6 years, 1 month ago

Like FDR, Obama will plunge this country further into a depression.

Rich Rodgers 6 years, 1 month ago

"Democrats, mostly, respect intelligence and competence. We don't want figure heads. We want people who are smart and can get things done."

and they're smart and handsome and wise.

ralphralph 6 years, 1 month ago

Obama makes me hope ... that he and his bunch of tax-cheating idiots don't run the Country the rest of the way into the ground ... finishing what the Clintons and Bushies started before him.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Oh Liberty, when will you ever be free of your tunnel vision. The government just like every other human endeavor is fallible, of course, but certainly no more so than Enron, AIG, Citibank, Boeing, General Motors, about to go belly up. There is nothing sacred about corporations and like I said and still is true, is not about government, but more about people. Are they mostly honest or are they mostly selfish, power crazed, egomaniacs. What they are depends on us. You, in a cavalier mode are throwing away your responsibility. You are like, I can't control it, so screw it. What government doesn't run, other institutions will and still be ran by people and still screw it up. The thing about a government is that you can vote people out. You try voting people out of General Motors or AIG. Good luck with that. You throw the term Keynesian out to make it simple, to dismiss ideas that you cannot grasp. You say, "true believer." I don't believe in anything "truly." You cannot attain this stage of life and be a true believer. What is worse however, is not taking responsibility to address the problems that can be addressed. People came out in big numbers recently to stop a negative force in government. Should it have happened sooner, before so much damage was done? Of course. But that is the past. Now we must keep going and accomplish very important things and resorting to labeling and dismissing won't get it done. If you really want to shrink government, then you really need to get busy and stop blaming and start replacing. If you can get a road built or create a responsible and effective education system or keep banks from going broke, then go ahead and do it. Get on it right away and let me know how you are getting along.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Mana........ don't give me that crap about Jimmy Carter. You were suckered by the repubs who ran a successful campaign of destroying him and blaming him. I lived during his years of presiding and he actually did a lot of good things. He was up against a repub congress at the time and was limited. He didn't choose to become a dictator like Bush Jr. He didn't have a Cheney for a vice president, a man who gets away with everything. What kind of power do you have to be able to do what Cheney does. He lies with no consequences. Even if people bother to fact check him, nothing is done with those facts. They fall on the floor. He has his own armies I guess. Regulation was needed and it was deregulation that brought problems. Check with the experts on that. Even Greenspan now admits he was wrong about the benefits of deregulation. He was stunned with what executives did. These people are the most entitled people you will find on the planet. Give them an inch and they will fly to the moon. Sorry maaaaaaa, you are just sadly mistaken.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

What many of the posters don't understand here is that there is constant tension between labor and management, between big business and consumers. Usually, small businesses are more user friendly. Big Business needs to make a profit and the bigger the better. They are accountable to shareholders. If they can monopolize, fix prices, control product advancement or lack of advancement, get cheaper labor outside the country or from illegal immigrants, they will do so. Shareholders don't care, as long as the stocks go up. Businesses in the US have an annual budget and hence have an interest in making big gains in the short run. Oftentimes, what is good in the short run, is very bad in the long run. Businesses become crisis motivated. If they don't make x dollars in this quarter, then they will have consequences. In trying to make x dollars, they pull out all of the stops, make rash decisions, which in the long run are counterproductive. But, who cares, make x by April and get a bonus, start working on the next crisis in this company or take your record to another company and do the same for them. If workers lose their jobs, no problem. If families can't afford food, their mortgage, gasoline, no problem. The stockholders are happy, so the world is good. But, eventually if you don't take good care of the workers and consumers, the market will decline. People will lose faith in their nation. Health declines, behavior declines, and there is a loss of hope. The goose that laid the golden egg has been killed off. No problem for the rich folk. They move on to the next country. They have their Swiss bank accounts and Yachts and Resort homes, so off they go. As soon as the workers get back on their feet and restore things, then the fat cats come to get their grubby hands on it again. What is the answer?

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Not whining about the 6 figures. It is the o figures for the 7000 lost jobs each month and counting. Due to the carelessness of unregulated business, people who were providing the labor are no longer able to count on making a living unless something is done. You fear socialism like the bogeyman. That is paranoia driven by Limbaugh and yet you claim to disregard the fat man. When there are real problems in front of your face, you don't need to make up fake ones, unless you are afraid that you will be exposed for your lunacy. When corporations are laying off and banks are not lending to start new businesses, there is nothing left but the government to help get the ball rolling again. That is not socialism. That is smart. Ask the Japanese or do you really think they are socialists as well? Careful, your conspiracy and elitism is about to be exposed.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

rpostal - absolutely!

ralph - don't worry!

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Think of it this way Pilgrim. You are now a shareholder in several large banks. Congratulations.

hunterb 6 years, 1 month ago

rshrink

"Think of it this way Pilgrim. You are now a shareholder in several large banks. Congratulations."

Wow if that is how you see it you have a seriously warped sense of reality. Give the goverment all the control of everything and what you have is communism where they tell you what to do, how to do it, where to live, how much money you can make, what you can own. Sounds like slavery to me brother, guess you will be the one who watches it coming with his eyes closed pretending its not happening!!!! Thats like saying slaves owned a share of a great cotton plantation they worked for.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Boy Liberty, getting really upset. I guess it wouldn't occur to you that someone can be educated and also have learned a lot from life experience. It is really a good combination. You will get there some day. Don't give up, some day you will understand and maybe hunterb will also wake up and smell the coffee one of these days, but until then, you may need to get help for your paranoia and conspiracy theory ideas.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Liberty, you want to label Keynes, socialist, communist, sarcastic true believer and now moron? If you can't take it bro, don't dish it.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Liberty, I swear you have been talking to my Limbaugh loving brother in law or else, could it be, you are a closet Limbaugh lover? Or at least his cliches. You are in serious need of new material.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Pilgrim, sorry, can't answer questions that begin with fake information. Anyway, answers are lost on you. You could go back and read the existing posts, but likely will not. I can't do your work for you.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Pilgrim, already told you that Japan tried your response. That is why they are still struggling. They are advising us not to do that. They like the Obama response. So, get over your idiotology.

ReadingSports 6 years, 1 month ago

Oh, yea, well you're ugly and your momma dresses you funny.

No one in particular. Just thought I would elevate the debate to it's proper level. So respectful around here.

And even those that have known better in the past are guilty.

Bye now.

jonas_opines 6 years, 1 month ago

"Please name for us a single nation that has taxed its way to prosperity. Please name for us a single socialist economic system that hasn't collapsed of its own weight and inability to suck more money out of people."

Sweden and China.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Yah Marion, as he promised, no more than was earmarked back in the 90's, which was 20 billion less than last year. So keep cherry picking so I can expose your tricks.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Reading, thank you so much for elevating the discussion. I was hoping someone would do that.

ReadingSports 6 years, 1 month ago

rshrink, Self-examination, fail. Retry?

jonas_opines 6 years, 1 month ago

Goodness, Readingsports! Long time no see.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Liberty, I don't dream up anything. I have access to actual information. If you don't want to sound like Limbaugh, then don't repeat his rude rhetoric.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Barry, first you may need help from Joseph McCarthy to find the neomarxists. Maybe they are back in Hollywood.

ReadingSports 6 years, 1 month ago

You're welcome, let me know if you change your mind. :-)

Been really busy elsewhere, and waiting for some of the nasty to die out around here.

jonas_opines 6 years, 1 month ago

You might, errr, be waiting for awhile. Or staying close to the OTS thread. It's generally more pleasant there when they don't have firebomb questions.

ReadingSports 6 years, 1 month ago

You might, errr, be waiting for awhile.

Yea, I've noticed that this forum has been even more intense after the election. Eventually, both sides will become more reasonable, or not. However, I just couldn't resist a bit of fun.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

From the Christian Science Monitor: March 3, 2009

"Member projects – aka earmarks or “pork” – account for less than 2 percent of spending in the $410 billion omnibus bill on the floor of the Senate this week, but they’re drawing most of the opposition fire.

The bill, which will fund government for the balance of the 2009 fiscal year, includes 8,570 earmarks worth $7.7 billion, according to a new report by Taxpayers for Common Sense in Washington.

Some critics see this issue as a rallying cry for a battered Republican Party to win back the House and Senate, but they’ve got a problem: Republicans are nearly as successful in bringing home the bacon for their constituents as Democrats – and in no mood to change the practice. GOP senators account for six of the top 10 sponsors of earmarks, according to the Taxpayers for Common Sense."

Marion, Cherry Picking again. This is the Omnibus bill, only 2 % going to earmarks and it was put together by congress with Repub. support. McCain can afford to show opposition. It will pass anyway.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Well Mr. Liberty, It is not my theories you are arguing with. So, if you are an expert, then by all means, share your expertise. I would be pleased to hear where your apparent confidence derives from.

Hoots 6 years, 1 month ago

"barrypenders (Anonymous) says…

The country wouldn't be in this pickle if people were responsible and paid their bills."

That is an easy statement until your job disappears. Most people I know like the ability to pay their bills. In fact I don't know a single person that doesn't do everything they can to get by. Do you really think people enjoyed losing their homes and spending the last dollar on some Raman. Get real. You too could end up in that glass house you are throwing stones at.

I've also seen the same person here say 7000 jobs lost per month. How can you miss 2 zeros so many times. The figure is 700,000 jobs a month and don't forget the government stops counting the unemployed after 6 months which is another huge lie in government accounting. We actually passed the 10% unemployment rate some time ago using real numbers and not the fairy land figures that come from Washington.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

The article Marion cites is misleading in part. Last years earmarks were 28 billion. Since this was included in the Omnibus bill which is 410 billion, there is an underhanded effort to make it appear that the whole bill is earmarks and it isn't. 7.7 billion is earmarks.,which like I said is 20 billion less than last year. Raise H about this and next time it will be less. Yes, we do have to participate.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Hoots, thanks for correcting the number. Just heard it out of the blue when I turned on the radio driving home from work. So, again thanks. We need to know the truth about these unfortunate times.

Hoots 6 years, 1 month ago

I wish it were only 7000 per month. I haven't seen any figures on job creation to compare to the 500,000 to 700,000 that have been lost each month for many months. All I know is many people are very nervous right now.Unless you are over 70 you have never seen times like we are living in and could live in. I remember the stories my Grandparents told of the 30's and they are chilling. I just hope we don't have record heat and dust storms to go along with all the economic heartache.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

For my major areas of college, undergrad and grad required economics, business, political science and government policy. The most important way to understanding what is going on is to follow the money. Who pays for what. Who sits on the city commission. At one point in Lawrence, we had 10 developers on the commission. Did that have anything to do with what was going on in Lawrence? Yes. Look at Bush and who he associated with. Tom DeLay, now facing charges, but probably never convicted due to crooked Texas politics. Look at Cheney and his associations. Bush called the Enron guy by a cute nickname until that guy got into trouble. These are just examples. I have been in business, have been in sales for a national company, been involved in community work, worked with charities, churches, hospitals, and done some work for the government as well. As I said, a lot comes from just experience. I learned good things in school, but when you get out and deal with the actual life problems, and have to solve problems, then one has to get real and deal with a lot of issues and personalities. So, that is it. Marxism and Socialism is dead. No one is pursuing it, especially in the USA. It will never happen. It is a red herring. It is a distraction designed to divide and conquer. There is a campaign now to destroy Obama just as was done to Carter and tried on Clinton. People are imperfect, so you can always find something to pick on them for, but overall, and with helping each other, we can succeed at many things. Just need to solve problems and leave theology, theories and concepts out of it after awhile. They can get in the way.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Sorry, getting late and losing it grammatically. Repeat, socialism and marxism, dead. Not coming back. Moving forward, who knows what will develop. Just need to solve problems.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Liberty, too bad that you are so full of yourself that you will never be able to learn anything. You are being used yourself and maybe will realize it someday when you have wasted your life away. Now, you can be content with trying to manipulate people to make yourself look good and brilliant. Before you take your last breath as the ship is sinking, think about how brilliant you were and see what comfort that gives you. Now get on with your paranoia and Limbaugh work.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Liberty the cherry picker, makes false claims and then will snicker, writes his posts as he drinks his liquor, "mean ol bast d on his bumper sticker.

Worried about socialism just like Limbaugh, Denies his allegiance, but knows he's gau gau he's a right winger, tried and true Enjoys manipulating, but he will get his due screws his friends until they say were through with you.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Look at Liberty now projecting his own paranoia onto the president. Obama, just like Bush, he thinks. Lets see, Bush gave the biggest tax breaks to the wealthy that we have ever seen. Obama is giving them to the middle and lower classes. Bush gave no bid contracts to his friends. Obama is approving money going to be used to put middle and lower socio-economic groups back to work. Bush deregulated corporations and banks. Obama is going to re-regulate them. Yah, these guys are just alike. Get a brain Liberty. Perhaps we can arrange a transplant for you. Now get on with your Limbaugh work and your backing of the Republican party.

jonas_opines 6 years, 1 month ago

"Both have had to embrace more and more capitalism to keep themselves afloat.

Try again."

But have had success off a division between the two concepts, and a much greater percentage of publicly owned assets than we have now or are likely to become, even under Obama. If we're talking about very socialist countries, then you might have a point, but then purely capitalistic societies don't actually exist, so what he have, of course, is a continuum of different mixes, not black and white.

So no, I don't think I will try again. This is fine.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Narcissism, the reason we don't have to worry about socialism in the USA. Socialism requires cooperation. No worry of that, I'm positive. It's every heartless soul for himself or herself, so no problems here.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

President Obama has inherited the biggest mess of any president in history, in terms of the ill conceived war in Iraq and the tragic bungling of the economy due to the unusual combination of incompetence and greed and with the right wing spin machine doing damage control all the while. So many people just couldn't believe what was going on until it was too late and some here still refuse to believe it. Obama has said he needs our help and support and as bad as things are, some will still stand back and criticize and blame and not support. They are a drag on the nation at a time when we can ill afford it. We better get our act together quickly or soon we will be irrelevant.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

You never cease to be preposterous. It is your calling.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Liberty exudes the bully who thinks no one can comprehend him fully he has delusions of the grandeur type but his exaltations are all just hype Sees his put downs as indications of being smart But you could find much more quality at Walmart and take it to your car in a Walmart cart Then realize that liberty is not worth a far action of a US cent.

shockchalk 6 years, 1 month ago

I've seen this headline for the last 4 days, and each time I see it, it makes me smile. I mean really.........reason to hope? I guess maybe hope the next 4 years go by fast? Or, hope his stimulu plan doesn't bankrupt future generations of Americans? Hope that he would keep his word on earmaks and pork? Yes, I would guess there is a lot of "hope" out there and it's definitely time for "change".

jonas_opines 6 years, 1 month ago

"You sound like a person who has no idea"

In regards to Larry, you can stop your post right there. Ask him about all the jobs our there, it's just that people don't want to work.

The problem, of course, is that he has a ludicruos ideology to protect.

jonas_opines 6 years, 1 month ago

"Now you tell me, what am I supposed to think?"

That unfortunately there was no better practical option in November. I assume that you realize that a system that you can't even implement, regardless of how good it is in theory, is still not a particularly effective system? As I see it, it's really the only flaw in your position, at least at this point. I suppose we can discuss practical flaws if it ever does get implemented, so we have something beyond a model to compare to.

jonas_opines 6 years, 1 month ago

"There's nothing impractical about doing any of these things, the only thing that's impractical is hoping that corrupt politicians will give up all this power."

Except that you're outnumbered, apparently, by a vast vast margin. I agree that there is nothing, in theory, about those things above that we can't implement. . . except that of course we are not. Reality is suggesting to me that at least at this time we can't, in fact, do any of those things, or we would have.

So I guess what I'm looking for are how you would get from point A where we are now to point B where you think we should be, because I can't see it myself.

georgeofwesternkansas 6 years, 1 month ago

porch-person says

"I think that the fastest way to get the housing bubble fixed is to enforce a moratorium on house foreclosures and to require a mandatory refinance based upon current valuations and on non-predatory lending practices. Some companies would get hurt but the idea is to get the major monthly expenditure of ordinary Americans under control so that they can start consuming again."

What makes "current valuations" the perfect barameter vs last years valuations in determining the value of a property?? The case could be made that this is a depressed market and that a depressed market valuation is not correct either. Banks have contracts with their barrowers, are you going to void that contract to keep me in a house I cannot afford??

Not one of your ideas holds water and requires many laws to be changed retroactively.

think_about_it 6 years, 1 month ago

Stock market is down more that 2000 points since the Messiah was elected. Down 35%.

think_about_it 6 years, 1 month ago

Sorry, I had old data. It is now down 2700 points.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 1 month ago

"Barack Obama once again showed why he is not up to the job, when he decided to personally antagonize radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. This latest decision, consistent with most of Obama's judgment calls since winning the White House, has once again shown President Obama to be the most paranoid and divisive President since Nixon. Let's start with the mechanics of Obama deciding to attack Limbaugh. Yes, Limbaugh mocked Obama's stimulus plan and said he hoped Obama would fail, since in Limbaugh's opinion Obama is a socialist who is a threat to the United States. That, however, is Limbaugh's right as a private citizen, to hold his opinion and speak it freely, even into a microphone on a popular radio talk show. It is not appropriate for government officials to appear to be oppressing free speech, but that is precisely the move Obama chose. On January 23, President Obama demanded that Republicans not even listen to Limbaugh's show if they wanted any chance of participating in the stimulus bill discussion...." Read the rest at: http://wizbangblog.com/content/2009/03/05/a-fool-and-his-influence.php

shotgun 6 years, 1 month ago

What was it that the redneck conservatives used to say?.................Oh yeah, "Love it or Leave It" LOL

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

I see Liberty still hasn't figured out that there is a core of rich and powerful people in this country that want to stay that way. They managed to fix the system. They worked on the scheme in their think tanks for probably since the 60's. They came into power with Eisenhower, although he didn't support them. They were there with Nixon, then with Reagan, less with Bush I and then again, big time with Bush II. They are freaking out now because they have nothing going on with the whitehouse, the senate or house now. They still have people in the pentagon and they have still have corporations operating in foreign countries. Limbaugh and others have started their smear machine re. Obama. Many of the factions that the repub party duped, are no longer going along with this deception. Slowly they have figured out that the repubs are only in it for the power and money and don't really care about abortion, gay marriage, stem cell, etc. They were used and were single issue voters and got taken in. Certainly, some of them still haven't figured it out. Everything I have said has been documented. Anyone can find out about this and it has been corroborated by many sources who operate independently. Some of it can be learned even from sources like the WSJ and some is caught on tape. Clearly, we know that Cheney and Rumsfeld were prominent in the Nixon admin. and they keep coming back like bad pennies. They have been involved in the oil and gas industry and the weapons industry. (Follow the money) You cannot just study economics and understand economics because other elements have to be

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

cont.

factored in. Even the brightest mathematicians understand how humans make deals and if they have enough influence, money and power, then normal economics is out the window. That is where government comes in. Some of you say you don't trust government, and I don't trust all government either. It is hard to get in power if you don't play the game to some extent. I understand that. But, we can and have done better. We must insist that our leaders do certain things. We can make them do what we want if we participate. Look at the success that minorities and gays have had by protesting and staying involved. We cannot let up ever. While I like Obama, I understand he still must be pushed to do certain things that he may not have the heart or determination to do. So, step I, elect better people, better not ones that are ideologues. We need practical people who are not overly religious and who focus on helpful policies and not morals, patriotism and all of that crap. We cannot legislate morality, only drive it underground, which only makes things worse. Now, liberty, and others, don't come back to me with your punk reactions. If you have reasonable arguments, I will do a give and take, just not interested in nonsense. I told you I have a diverse background, educationally and professionally. You reacted by saying I was clueless liberty. Not only is that rude, but it destroys your credibility. Diverse information is really the only way to put the puzzle together. I am not implying that I know it all. Of course I don't and I am willing to try to obtain more of the pieces to the puzzle, but without legitimate dialogue that won't happen. That takes being open minded. So, I will ask again for that, but if you can't do it, just give a smart answer and we can get back to fun with put downs. This will be in two parts and I am not going to spell check it. It is too long.

Hoots 6 years, 1 month ago

Truthfully we could send all the politicians home. This country has all the rules and laws it needs and probably has for years. Part of the reason we're in trouble now is a law that was rescinded in the mid 90's that was enacted in the early 20th century. Funny thing is history repeated and caused the same set of problems it did 100 years ago before the law was enacted. Funny thing is none of the wonder minds in DC ever thought to investigate why the congress of a century ago thought the activities they were deciding to allow once again were declared illegal in the first place. What we need dearly is for these laws and rules to be enforced. In reality if someone doesn't care about the rules and wants to commit a fraud on you it matters not to them whether there is 1 law or 1000 laws against it. The simple fact is dishonest people don't care about matters of law. They only care about money and power just like the Washington elite. Actually punishing people for a wrong is the only message that needs be sent. It shouldn't be a matter of wealth, race, or religion as to how justice is measured but it is. The richer the fraudster the less justice they suffer. Until we punish greed at any cost we will repeat the mess we are in. Martha Stewart committed a federal crime to gain $50,000. She was a billionaire. To the average person that would be akin to committing a federal crime to become $5 richer. I don't think anyone here is quite that stupid but greed amongst the elite is a never ending path with no limits.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Liberty, go back and look at your own posts. Look at where the posts changed, when you were ignoring what was being said. But, okay, I hear you didn't vote for Bush. Still when you bring up socialism and that crap, that takes down the dialogue level and puts you on par with Limbaugh whether you like it or not. Democrats are not pushing for socialism. The bailouts and stimulus are not derived from socialistic ideas. They are derived from economists of all stripes and most agreed that it was necessary even though they don't like having to do it anymore than anyone else does. If it wasn't done, then it was believed that there would be a domino effect which would impact on the whole world economy.

The tensions between conservatives and progressives have been pushing us to the middle for many years. In my mind, it isn't about this element being bad or that element being bad, it is that people, in general, need to get better. We need to not only be smarter, but act smarter. As I have tried to make clear, when you get involved in solving problems, if one thinks of fairness and the well being of all involved, rather than just being selfish, then good solutions can be found. It isn't that business shouldn't make a profit. It isn't that workers shouldn't get paid enough to support their families. Both need to happen. People also have been developing advanced products, but haven't been able to get them to market. If businessmen can't imagine how to profit from something, they won't consider it. Sometimes it takes the government to get the ball rolling and then they can bow out. Japan has done that and it certainly didn't hurt their car industry. And look at the jobs they have been able to sustain with the car manufacturing, even in the US.

Privatization isn't all good either. Bush has had prisons privatized. That really doesn't work. It ends up creating incentives to keep people in prison and it forces the non criminals to help pay for the housing of the criminals and still no money is saved because the prison has to make a profit. It only adds another layer of expenses. The same has happened by closing down state hospitals. More mentally ill people end up on the streets, costing us more in law enforcement, ending up in jails and prisons, which is inappropriate and more expensive, ending up in nursing homes where they don't belong and those places are not suitable for that kind of patient anyway and it makes it difficult for the other elderly patients. There are many functions for which the private companies are not suited to address and once they get into those kinds of functions, they find out it was a mistake. What motivate business people and what motivates humanitarian oriented people is quite different, but they both fulfill important roles.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

cont.

Government has a role and business has a role. They can work together without the extreme of socialism and the extreme of every man and every business group for themself. We also don't need models to label this kind of thing. Then people start worrying about what model it is. Who cares? Everything has to find its balance in the here and now based on what is going on in the real world. Adherence to models mostly interferes with that process. Need to quit worrying about "what is right," and be more concerned with "what is good." If there is a model for that, it is not something which is rigidly fixed and can't be deviated from. And I did not use a teleprompter for this post.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

It appears that you are so hung up on Keynes that it blocks your brain. If we don't first get people back to work, nothing else much matters, we will just be screwed. For possibly now the third or fourth time, I would invite you to examine what Japan did and didn't do and see what they learned from their failure to act bigger and quicker. This is not a "spending spree." It is an attempt to grow the economy again. It will be based on new technology in part and will be repairing infrastructure which will allow us to keep doing business. It appears to me that you do not recognize, somehow, what a disastrous situation that is in place and the normal things that people worry about must now go on the back burner as the basic foundation is in jeopardy. If we don't take care of that, no other actions would even make sense. Get your head out of you Keynes and wake up and realize we are now in one hell of a mess which must be fixed. You are worrying about repairing the windows in a house that is sliding off of a cliff.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Don't care what it is called as I said. Don't see any "buddy" connection. I think that is a misread. Bush had played golf with, socialized with, been in business with,campaigned with, raised money with, covered each others a$$es with,etc, Obama had been working in the Ghettos of Chicago, trying to help people overcome poverty and all that comes with it or in academia. So if those are the buddies you are talking about, then somehow that doesn't bother me nearly as much. I will look at your links however. I will keep an open mind. I realize there is a campaign to smear Obama, just as with Clinton and Carter, so one has to be wary of that and factor that in to anyones writings. Who are the buddies of Obama?

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

time to choose, wordpress, can't tell who supports the comments, doesn't give any information about the author, just looks like someone doing an off hand editorial, sort of like a movie review.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

NPR article is saying what I was saying earlier, I think several times, about theories working theoretically, but the problem is that the world they are operating in, is messy. An approach is never really able to be tried in any pure sense. The closest example of the use of Keynes was FDR's use of it. Yet, he was not doing it right according to Keynes, himself. So, what Obama is doing is closer to Rooseveltian than Keynesian. Whatever it was, again which doesn't matter to me, it worked, lowering the unemployment from 35 % to around 9%. Also, what I got from the NPR article is that there is a time for Keynesian approaches and it is only when we are going into a deep recession. Politicians, who are not economic experts as we know, have often tried his principles when conditions were good and therefore would render that approach not of much use. The thing is, our recession recently did not come about in the usual way as well. It was the result of really, really bad policies by the Bush admin. This one was not caused by market conditions, but rather, it was simply human error. Truly if Bush had not made the changes he made, we likely would not have gotten into this mess. And while you may say that some of the problems were started with Clinton, I am pretty sure if an administration had been competent, those problems would have been fixed rather than added to by Bush.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Real Clear Markets, actually, isn't real clear. These are presumably KU profs. I am of the school of Yogi Berra, that is, you can see a whole lot by just looking. While I have been looking, the market has always performed better when Democrats were in office and yet, those most involved in the markets almost always vote Repub. That tells me that they don't know what is good for them. The profs point to what Keynes will do and won't do. No one really knows. Even Keynes would agree that Roosevelt didn't start early enough and didn't spend enough. This was the same problem the Japanese had. Once again, the Japanese admit screwing up in this way and as a result, their recession has been much longer and difficult to recover from. You might be able to make the case that Obama doesn't know what he is doing, but neither does anyone else. Still, again, what was learned from Roosevelt, is the value of getting people back to work. Jobs of practically any kind and created by any source, are needed for us to get back on our feet. We must get productive and businesses are laying off in dramatic numbers, which makes it highly unlikely that they are going to invest in these uncertain conditions. They need to see things getting better before investment will begin. There you have it, in a Yogi Berra nutshell.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Re. the Yale daily news, again, we have an article written by an unknown. He cites the Cato which I will address in this response. Cato is a think tank for Libertarians, which is people who are on some kind of unknown diet, (just kidding.) He talks about 200 economists. Who are they? Are they economists who support Milton Friedman? Friedman is perhaps even more controversial than Keynes and although he won A Nobel prize, it turns out, it was not THE Nobel Prize, rather it is the much much lesser regarded one, that was hastily set up to compete with the real one. Friedman is usually highly regarded by Libertarians and the Cato Institute. (For reasons which escape me) I see him as a highly unethical individual whose ideas were used or misused by the neocons.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

NEW YORK, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- U.S. economists strongly support a new economic stimulus bill that could include tax reductions and spending on infrastructure, a recent survey said.

The USA Today survey of 43 economists found 32 indicating support for a new stimulus package. Ideas for the bill included tax cuts, spending to create jobs and extensions of unemployment benefits, the newspaper said.

"It won't keep us from going into recession," PMI Group (NYSE:PMI) chief economist David Berson told the newspaper. "But it may make the difference in preventing a worse recession," he said.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Here is another problem, the media misrepresenting Obama's plan and the stimulus bill, the smear campaign I was talking about:

The media's tax fraud

by Jamison Foser

When is a tax cut for 98 percent of taxpayers portrayed as a tax increase? When some of the small handful of people whose taxes will go up happen to control the nation's news media.

Last week, President Obama unveiled a budget outline that extends the Bush tax cuts for all but the top two percent of taxpayers and makes permanent a tax credit of up to $800 for low- and middle-income workers that was included in the recent stimulus package, among other tax cuts.

On the other hand, individual taxpayers with taxable income above $200,000 ($250,000 for families) per year would pay more in taxes under Obama's plan, under which the tax rates paid on income in the top brackets would revert to their levels under President Clinton in the 1990s -- from 33 and 35 percent to 36 and 39.6 percent. Slate.com's Daniel Gross estimates that for someone with $350,000 in income, this will amount to about $1,500 a year in increased taxes.

So: Obama's plan cuts taxes for the vast majority of Americans, while raising them for the small number of people who make more than $200,000.

But the media, eager to hype their bogus "war on the wealthy" storyline, have portrayed it as a tax increase.

Here's how The Washington Post led its front-page article last Friday, the day after the plan was announced:

President Obama delivered to Congress yesterday a $3.6 trillion spending plan that would finance vast new investments in health care, energy independence and education by raising taxes on the oil and gas industry, hedge fund managers, multinational corporations and nearly 3 million of the nation's top earners.

The article was chock-full of details about the tax hikes, referring to "nearly $1 trillion in new taxes over the next decade on the nation's highest earners ... $318 billion in new taxes on families in the highest income brackets, who would see new limits on the value of the tax breaks from itemized deductions. ... That proposal is a fraction of the new taxes Obama proposes to heap on the nation's highest earners. ... Hedge fund managers would take an even bigger hit. ... Oil and gas companies would be asked to pay an extra $31 billion over the next 10 years ... Corporations that operate overseas could expect to pay $210 billion more over the next 10 years."

By my count, at least 484 of the article's 1,284 words were about the tax increases in Obama's proposal. Among those 484 words was this quote from House GOP leader John Boehner: "The era of big government is back, and Democrats are asking you to pay for it." That simply isn't true, unless you make more than $200,000 a year -- though the Post simply presented Boehner's claim without rebuttal.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

See previous post. It is tax cuts like this that take this stimulus package away from the Keynesian approach.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Below is an example of what I mean when I say that there will be a lot of money and effort towards smearing Obama. It is not about his success. They want him to fail or at least to appear as if he is failing. They are desperate to be back in power, no matter how incompetent they are, they being the Republican elite.

"His success comes as Fox News embraces the role of voice of opposition to the new administration. By Matea Gold

March 6, 2009

Reporting from New York — Before Glenn Beck started his new show on Fox News in January, he sat down with Roger Ailes, the network's chief executive, to make sure they were on the same page.

"I wanted to meet with Roger and tell him, 'You may not want to put me on the air. I believe we are in dire trouble, and I will never shut up,' " said the conservative radio host.

But before Beck could say anything, Ailes shared a message of his own: The country faced tough times, he said, and Fox News was one of the only news outlets willing to challenge the new administration.

"I see this as the Alamo," Ailes said, according to Beck. "If I just had somebody who was willing to sit on the other side of the camera until the last shot is fired, we'd be fine."

That couldn't have suited Beck more. In making the jump to the top-rated cable news channel from HLN, where he had a show for two years, he hoped to alert more people to one of his consuming fears: that the government's handling of the economic crisis is ushering in an era of socialism.

"Look in your rear-view mirror; we just passed France," he said. "I think our country is on the verge of disintegration."

Beck's indignant critiques of the Obama administration and gloomy outlook on the nation's financial health have found near-instant resonance. His eponymous 2 p.m. PST program averaged nearly 2.2 million viewers last month -- double the number the time slot attracted the previous February and a remarkable amount for the afternoon. That made "Glenn Beck" the third most-watched program in all of cable news for the month, after Bill O'Reilly's and Sean Hannity's evening shows."

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Glenn Beck is a neocon, totally lacking in veracity. Yet, he is selected to provide "news." This is yet another person Fox puts on to provide propaganda, to promote their misguided agenda and smear those that oppose their misguided ways.

Godot 6 years, 1 month ago

rshrink, give it a rest. You have earned your Obama Propaganda commission several times over. Nobody believes what you type.

Godot 6 years, 1 month ago

people, believe this: rshrink is an example of one of the 4 million jobs that Obama will create (or save) by enslaving your children and grandchildren.

jonas_opines 6 years, 1 month ago

Haha. That's a great pair of posts, Godot. Nobody believes what someone else types, and your grandchildren will be enslaved.

haha.

ilikestuff 6 years, 1 month ago

Lets give it at least one term before comparing him to FDR.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Liberty, you failed to mention that the university of california was the biggest contributor, nice one. You also didn't mention how much came from the small donors mostly internet donations. Nice again. The ones you did mention are known for contributing to both parties, usually considerably more to the repub party, often by as much as 10 times as much.

(From the Campaign Finance Institute)

"Many of the repeat donors who started off small ended up in the $201-$999 middle range. Among Obama's total pool of 403,000 disclosed donors on August 31, more than half (about 212,000) started off by giving undisclosed contributions of $200 or less. About 93,000 of these repeaters gave in cumulative amounts of no more than $400 for the full primary season. Another 106,000 repeaters ended up between $401 and $999. By comparison, Clinton and McCain each had about 100,000 donors in the entire $200-$999 middle range, and for them the number included both repeaters and one-time givers.

Finally, not many of Obama's 212,000 small-donor repeaters ended up in the top group. Despite colorful press stories, only about 13,000 crossed the $1,000 threshold in their cumulative contributions.

Because of the length of Obama's battle with Clinton for the nomination, his rejection of public financing for the general election, his personal charisma and, most importantly, because of the way he organized his campaign, Obama was able to use the Internet to go back to go the same supporters over and over again for both volunteer assistance and repeat contributions. These repeaters account for the difference between the past reports that focused on small contributions and the aggregates we are able to provide now."

The big donors that you point to are also not friends of Obama. He has not had the kind of close relationships that were common with Bush and Cheney, with the companies they allowed to determine policy in their administration. I can get more cites for you on that score if you like or you can get your own.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Obama has corrected the problem with not funding birth control where it is needed, now allowing stem cell research which will be good for business, closing Gitmo, moving towards getting us out of Iraq, getting other countries involved in solving the problems in the middle east, addressing unemployment, holding the big bank execs accountable, investing in new technology, addressing the health care problems, all things which Bush didn't do, so again, apparently not like Bush.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

Wow, you seem to equate mouthing off with appearing that you know something. It isn't. Instead it appears that you are guilty of what you accuse others of. You see, I am not watching Limbaugh and Hannity like yourself. You will say you aren't a dittohead, but you know, if you walk and talk like a dittohead, then apparently you are one.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

From the Nation/World:

"Obama targets wasteful spending

08:38 AM CST on Thursday, March 5, 2009 From Wire Reports

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama on Wednesday ordered his administration to change how government contracts are awarded to private businesses, saying he intended to reverse some practices of the Bush administration and do away with no-bid contracts that have cost billions and led to corruption investigations.

With Sen. John McCain and a few other lawmakers at his side, Obama announced that he had signed a memorandum to direct the administration to inject competition into government contracting. He said guidelines being drafted could save up to $40 billion a year, largely from military-related contracts.

"The days of giving defense contractors a blank check are over," Obama said. "We need more competition for contracts and more oversight as they are carried out."

The president instructed Peter Orszag, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, to write new rules for contracts by September.

Obama said he wanted to open up the bidding for contracts to small businesses and limit the use of outside contractors, which he said had doubled over the last eight years to $500 billion."

Different from Bush

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

cont.

"A review of 95 military projects by the Government Accountability Office, the nonpartisan auditing arm of Congress, found that they exceeded the budgeted amounts by $295 billion over the course of several years.

"Far too often, the spending is plagued by massive cost overruns, outright fraud and the absence of oversight and accountability," Obama said. "In some cases, contracts are awarded without competition; in others, contractors actually oversee other contractors."

Fraud investigations

The Justice Department has leveled bribery and other fraud charges against dozens of people in a sweeping investigation of contract and procurement abuse. The fraudulent spending, officials said, was prevalent in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, with billions of dollars being spent with little oversight. More than 100 federal investigations are under way into suspected contract fraud related to those wars.

"In Iraq, too much money has been paid out for services that were never performed, buildings that were never completed, companies that skimmed off the top," Obama said. "At home, too many contractors have been allowed to get away with delay after delay after delay in developing unproven weapons systems."

Obama, different from Bush

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

cont.

"- In the U.S. Senate, Obama introduced the STOP FRAUD Act to increase penalties for mortgage fraud and provide more protections for low-income homebuyers, well before the current subprime crisis began.

-Obama sponsored legislation to combat predatory payday loans, and he also was credited with lobbied the state to more closely regulate some of the most egregious predatory lending practices.

-Barack Obama introduced the Patriot Employer Act of 2007 to provide a tax credit to companies that maintain or increase the number of full-time workers in America relative to those outside the US; maintain their corporate headquarters in America; pay decent wages; prepare workers for retirement; provide health insurance; and support employees who serve in the military.

-Obama worked to pass a number of laws in Illinois and Washington to improve the health of women. His accomplishments include creating a task force on cervical cancer, providing greater access to breast and cervical cancer screenings, and helping improve prenatal and premature birth services.

-Obama has introduced and helped pass bipartisan legislation to limit the abuse of no-bid federal contracts.

-Obama and Senator Feingold (D-WI) took on both parties and proposed ethics legislation that was described as the "gold standard" for reform. It was because of their leadership that ending subsidized corporate jet travel, mandating disclosure of lobbyists' bundling of contributions, and enacting strong new restrictions of lobbyist-sponsored trips became part of the final ethics bill that was signed into law."

Obama, different from Bush

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

It is your kneejerk way of criticizing combined with no evidence of your positions, yep that is good enough to be a dittohead.

Obama, different than Bush

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

From Progressive Values:

"President Obama Creates New Middle-Class Task Force

Something that went largely under-reported recently, was on January 30, when President Obama reversed three poor executive orders of President Bush dealing with labor unions. Mr. Obama also created a cabinet level task force assigned the responsibility to find ways to rebuild the American middle-class, which has taken a huge hit with the recession.

Mr. Obama noted that, "We cannot have a strong middle class without strong labor unions". The president also noted that, "We need to level the playing field for workers and the unions that represent their interests".

One of the executive order changes including requiring federal service contractors to offer jobs to current workers when contracts change. This could help to result in continually employed skilled labor work force. "

Obama different from Bush

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 1 month ago

cont.

"The president also reversed a Bush order that required federal contractors to post notice that workers can limit their financial support of the labor unions that are acting as their exclusive bargaining agent representatives.

A third executive order from the president prevents federal contractors from gaining reimbursement for expenses that are meant to influence workers deciding whether to engage in collective bargaining.

But perhaps the best of the new elements has to be the new middle-class task force which will be chaired by Vice President Biden.

The White House has also set up a new website, www.strongmiddleclass.gov where anyone can submit ideas about the economy, how it has affected them, or any other economy related notions. This is one administration that views the American people as a critical partner and really welcomes their input. This so much contrasts with the arrogance of the Bush Administration in many areas including the Iraq War where public opinion counted little in many decisions. If anything, the Obama Administration is advancing the notion of more citizen democracy to influence the government's decisions, while the role of professional lobbyists for corporate interests has a far reduced role from the past."

Obama, different from Bush

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 1 month ago

Since this thread is just going round and round, I here repost my remarks from a week ago:

Call it what you will. Hope or whatever.

What Obama is demonstrating is an intelligent, non-ideological strategy to identify and actually solve the problems facing this country.

For example, he makes a clear argument that stimulus spending is required in the short term but that deficit reduction will eventually be the order of the day once the economy is stabilized.

This sort of long-term planning and truthful explanation is refreshing. The ability to hold two seemingly contradictory approaches in mind as part of a long term strategy speaks to his practical approach and strategic thinking. The less-intelligent see this as being duplicitous or lacking in conviction. It is in fact a practical strategy to solve our problems.

Will it work? Maybe, or maybe not. But I think Obama has argued his plan effectively and convincingly.

This is in stark contrast to the last eight years of ideological rigor (mortis).

This gives me hope.

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