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Archive for Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Obama seeks $50 billion in transportation spending for jobs

September 7, 2010

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— President Obama on Monday called for a $50 billion surge in spending on the nation’s roads, runways and railroads, his latest effort to respond to the sluggish economy in a political climate turning against his party.

Speaking at a union-organized rally in Milwaukee, the president said his proposal would put construction workers back to work and rebuild deteriorating infrastructure.

“It’s a plan that says, even in the aftermath of the worst recession in our lifetimes, America can still shape our own destiny, we can still move this country forward, we can still leave our children something better — something that lasts,” the president said, in a speech that sought to make the case for his economic policies.

The Labor Day speech came as Democratic candidates were launching the final leg of their campaigns and, in many cases, facing a harsh assessment from voters. Polls show voters feel uneasy about the economy, unhappy with the rising deficits and willing to give Republican policies a try.

The infrastructure plan was slated to be the first in a series of proposals unveiled by the president, although experts have cast doubt on whether the administration can do much to improve the job market before November.

Senior administration officials on Monday declined to make predictions about how many job could be created by the infrastructure plan. They said only that they expected results next year.

The $50 billion plan outlined Monday amounted to roughly half of what was allocated to infrastructure in last year’s stimulus package.

The initial spending would be used to build or repair 150,000 miles of road, 4,000 miles of railways and 150 miles of airport runways, as well as to support a modernization of the air-traffic-control system.

The president also planned to call for the creation of an infrastructure bank that would leverage funding for projects that reached a regional or national scale. Over the next several years, the plan would continue funding for high-speed rail, consolidating more than 100 small programs, and prioritize investments in projects that lower greenhouse-gas admissions and reduce oil consumption.

Comments

Turbin_Cowboy 4 years, 3 months ago

Where on earth does he get this money? Is it real? Or is he relying on the good will of the working class to make it worth something.

mr_right_wing 4 years, 3 months ago

C'mon!

Chump change!

Everybody pitch in!

independant1 4 years, 3 months ago

Obama is just cleaning up a mess?

Thomas Sowell writes today - Political Fables The party line that we are likely to be hearing from now until the November elections is that Obama "inherited" the big federal budget deficits and that he has to "clean up the mess" left in the economy by the Republicans. This may convince those who want to be convinced, but it will not stand up under scrutiny.

No President of the United States can create either a budget deficit or a budget surplus. All spending bills originate in the House of Representatives and all taxes are voted into law by Congress.

Democrats controlled both houses of Congress before Barack Obama became president. The deficit he inherited was created by the Congressional Democrats, including Senator Barack Obama, who did absolutely nothing to oppose the runaway spending. He was one of the biggest of the big spenders.

The last time the federal government had a budget surplus, Bill Clinton was president, so it was called "the Clinton surplus." But Republicans controlled the House of Representatives, where all spending bills originate, for the first time in 40 years. It was also the first budget surplus in more than a quarter of a century.

The only direct power that any president has that can affect deficits and surpluses is the power to veto spending bills. President Bush did not veto enough spending bills but Senator Obama and his fellow Democrats in control of Congress were the ones who passed the spending bills.

scott3460 4 years, 3 months ago

Or the government budget problems are the (predictable) result of drastically reducing the taxes paid by the most successful in our society.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Another nice myth to throw out there, scottie.

Federal tax revenues increased - rather dramatically - following the Bush tax cuts. By 2006 they were at record levels, followed by a new record in 2007. Capital gains tax revenue by itself doubled after the capital gains tax rate was cut. Corporate income tax revenues soared.

The problem was on the spending side, not the revenue side. Try looking up the numbers for yourself instead of parroting what your liberal masters tell you to think.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

The result of a bubble (as in fake) economy. And what happens when the bubble bursts? I'd say that's pretty self-evident.

Only problem is, a high percentage of those who gained wealth under this bubble didn't lose all that much when it burst, while everyone else was left to pick up the tab.

But that's how a trickle-down economy is supposed to work.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

As opposed to government bailout/buyouts of private industry and the creation of temporary jobs, all paid for by borrowing money and just printing more worthless paper.

That must be Herr Klowne's idea of a "genuine" economy.

BTW, boohoohoohoozo? When the stock market tanked and capital gains dropped to about zero, it was the poor people who lost money?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

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notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

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Stuart Evans 4 years, 3 months ago

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scott3460 4 years, 3 months ago

For those interested in fact based discussion, the following is offered for consideration.

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefing-book/background/bush-tax-cuts/account.cfm

The essential conclusion is as follows:

"two common conclusions emerge: a majority of households are made worse off by the tax cuts, and the net effect of the tax cuts is a transfer of wealth from lower-income households to wealthier households."

For those of you who benefited from the bush tax cuts, lucky you, I am sure you are enjoying it.

For the majority of the rest of us.......are we better off as a result of the republican tax cuts? Did it create the promised "trickle down" benefits promised? Does your government work better, or worse, after the tax cuts?

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

That's interesting, and comes to exactly the opposite conclusion that notajayhawk comes to.

I'd be interested in his response to that analysis.

scott3460 4 years, 3 months ago

My suggestion is not to hold your breath, and don't expect a direct engagement on any of the criticism.

Jimo 4 years, 3 months ago

"Federal tax revenues increased - rather dramatically - following the Bush tax cuts."

This from a well-documented liar.

Federal tax revenues as a percentage of GDP has NEVER exceed the rate pre-tax cut (a/k/a, "stimulus") - or even come close.

Here, for example is a useful chart from the right-wing Heritage Foundation: http://www.heritage.org/budgetchartbook/current-tax-receipts

The "increase" described comes from recovery from recession (just as the decrease in present revenues is significantly derived from the decline in economic activity): a concept grade-schoolers -- but not liars -- easily grasp. The lost revenue NEVER returns to the Treasury. Or so says EVERY reputable economist.

"Capital gains tax revenue by itself doubled after the capital gains tax rate was cut."

Capital gains occur when taxpayers CHOOSE to realize - ONE TIME - that income. And just as the EXPIRATION of low capital gains rates would result in a MASSIVE increase of capital gains revenues as taxpayers rush 'to take the money and run' while they can. Lowering capital gains tax rates is the tax equivalent of 'cash for clunkers' or the 'home buyer tax credit' -- a scheme to pull future events into the present, leaving the future barren. Recognizing capital gains at a lower tax rate ALWAYS deprives the Treasury of revenue with the exception of course of dying first (which the GOP has also separately engineered to be a no-tax event).

Besides, capital gains is an obscure and largely irrelevant portion of the Treasury's take. Bringing them up merely is a dodge from the core issue: Tax cuts cost revenue. Period.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

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notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Awwww, poor widdle Jimo had the post removed. If you can't back up your facts and get proven wrong (again), just whine, right?

Are you serious, award-winning LJW moderators? I've been posting facts, documentable, verifiable facts, this guy calls me a liar - repeatedly - and when I point out he must be ignorant of the facts to think so, MY posts get removed?

Glad the editors don't take sides in politics around here.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Well, let's try this again.

Allow me to congratulate you, Jimo, respected fellow member of the award-winning LJW message boards, for ascertaining that tax revenues, as a percentage of GDP, remain fairly constant over time. (I'm sure the realization had little, if anything, to do with the fact that I said as much in response to one of your previous, equally insightful posts).

Having come to this astute observation, perhaps, respected fellow member of the award-winning LJW message boards, you could explain to me why tax revenues did not increase as a percentage of GDP when the maximum tax rate was 92%?

Could it be, respected fellow member of the award-winning LJW message boards, that it is because tax revenues do not correlate with tax rates, but rather with tax base? And that, since revenues remain relatively constant (as a percentage), tax rate and tax base must be inversely related? And therefor if tax rate decreases, with revenues (in absolute dollars) increasing (you DO realize that 2006 and 2007 were record years for federal revenues, don't you, respected fellow member of the award-winning LJW message boards?), then the tax base must have expanded (that means the economy grew, Jimo)?

I guess, respected fellow member of the award-winning LJW message boards, that it was all just a lucky coincidence. Unemployment dropping, corporate tax receipts soaring, record federal revenues - what an amazing stroke of luck that those just happened shortly after the tax cuts. It's a shame that the interventions of our current president don't appear to be so lucky, respected fellow member of the award-winning LJW message boards.

By the way, respected fellow member of the award-winning LJW message boards, did you happen to notice, in your exhaustive research, that your economic experts never said revenues dropped after the tax cuts? Perhaps you may have misunderstood what they were saying, which was to claim that revenues would have been higher without the cuts (similar to our current administration's claims that things would have been worse without their efforts). Unfortunately, respected fellow member of the award-winning LJW message boards, that is a theory (yes, a theory) that they also admit can not be tested, let alone proven. So, while it pains me deeply to inform you of this, respected fellow member of the award-winning LJW message boards, while the theory is that cutting taxes does not increase revenues, the historical facts would seem to dispute that.

Jimo 4 years, 3 months ago

Hmmm....as I suspect: blather added atop blather. Anything to avoid the subject, Mr. Kaczynski. I'll forward your "insight" to the Heritage Foundation. I'm sure they'll be as impressed as I am.

Yet, still no citation to any reputable economist who agrees with your contention that tax cuts pay for themselves. Hmmm.....one would be forgiven for almost thinking there was no such person.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

"I'll forward your "insight" to the Heritage Foundation."

Save yourself the trouble - pretty sure they already know. And thanks for bringing them into this:

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2007/01/ten-myths-about-the-bush-tax-cuts

and maybe this one:

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2002/12/tax-cuts-increase-federal-revenues

or maybe this one:

http://www.heritage.org/Research/Commentary/2010/05/The-Tax-Cuts-Didnt-Cause-the-Budget-Deficit

It's you that's avoiding the subject, blind one. You continue to call me a 'liar' without a shred of facts on your side. You refuse to answer a single question (because you can't), such as why tax revenues weren't significantly higher when the top tax rate was 92%. Or this: What were tax revenues in 2003, jimmie? What were they in 2006, in 2007? Go ahead, tell me they went down.

If you don't understand that revenue = rate x base, and that revenues correlate with base, not rate, then it's obvious what your problem is - you don't understand what the so-called 'experts' you're listening to are saying, and you just latch on to the sound-bites because it fits with your blind dogma.

Here's a fact for you to chew on, jimmie:

Total federal revenue collected, 2003: $1,650,372,248

Total federal revenue collected, 2007: $2,396,290,997

So go on listening to what your 'experts' tell you what should have happened. I prefer to keep my eyes open, look at the facts, and look at what DID happen.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

(Money amounts are in thousands, in case you couldn't figure that much out.)

Jimo 4 years, 3 months ago

And yet Heritage's own graphic obliterates your claim - the same claim that you - STILL - fail to support with any reputable economist: tax cuts pay for themselves. Should we look at the graph and believe our own eyes or you, a well-documented liar?

Dance! dance, oh little monkey! Not chasing your red herrings, not losing sight of the topic, not blinded by all the dirt you're throwing in the air - you presented a lie and when challenged want to do anything and everything other than focus on that lie.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

What were tax revenues in 2003, again?

What were they in 2006, again?

BTW, jimmie - not that I expect an honest answer from you any more than the BS you've been slinging for days:

Where did I ever say they "pay for themselves"? Where did Heritage ever say that?

Oh, that's right - neither of us did. Typical tactic of a lying liberal: When you lose the argument after finally having to face the facts, change the question.

Good luck with your life, jimmie. As long as you keep yourself locked in your room and never turn on a TV or read a newspaper, you can keep believing your little reality.

I thought you were just ignorant of the facts. Now you've proven you got nothin' except lying through your teeth.

Jimo 4 years, 3 months ago

'Where did I ever say they "pay for themselves"? '

Is this your attempt at an apology? ROFL You don't believe they pay for themselves? Is there a being alive who thinks you don't claim so? What contempt you have for the intelligence of the common man! What a thoroughly dishonest person you are. Seriously! Who the hell do you think you're fooling??????

"What were tax revenues in 2003, again?"

Hmmmmm...what did the Heritage chart show? Answer: LESS than before the rates were cut! Much less! Q.E.D. http://www.heritage.org/budgetchartbook/current-tax-receipts

"But, but, I say, what about 2006!!!'

Errr.....the very peak year of the lower Bush rates barely exceed the worst of the Clinton higher rates and are considerably less than the Clinton average (let alone the Clinton peak) -- the precise opposite of what voodoo-morons claim to be the effects of tax rates.

Luckily, in the real world where the rest of us can't make statements that cause 3rd graders to burst out in laughter, --- again! ---- every reputable economist agrees: tax cuts don't pay themselves. Period. Full stop!

Talk about stuck on stupid! (But I'm sure you'll keep digging that hole rather than just saying 'Oh, I agree with that!')

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

In other words, you couldn't find anywhere that I said what you claimed I said, and you were just talking out of your diaper, as usual.

I don't know why I bother trying to explain anything to someone who obviously isn't equipped to understand. Maybe it's for the benefit of those who might read your BS and wrongly assume you have the faintest idea of what you're talking about.

What I said, and you called me a liar for, was that federal tax revenues increased with the tax cuts. I did not say, and the Heritage Foundation specifically states they are not saying, is that any one particular cut necessarily has to 'pay for itself' for overall revenues to grow. For instance, any reduction in individual income taxes can be more than made up in corporate taxes, since when people have more money in their pockets to spend, companies make more money selling them things. (And this is one of the things that happened in the years following the TRRA, when corporate tax revenues soared.) If you knew what you were talking about on this issue, you wouldn't have gotten confused by the terms 'pay for themselves' and 'revenues increase'.

"LESS than before the rates were cut!"

Um - dipstick? The TRRA took effect in 2003. You can't even get THAT right.

"Errr.....the very peak year of the lower Bush rates barely exceed the worst of the Clinton higher rates and are considerably less than the Clinton average"

The peak was in 2007, not 2006. Again, you can't get your facts straight.

Total federal revenues, 2000: $1,900,329,406,000

Total federal revenues, 2007: $2,396,290,997,000

Now, gee, jimmie, I may not be one of your high fallutin' economical expurts ur anythin', but I'm perty durned sure that $2.4 trillion is MORE than $1.9 trillion. So yes, revenues increased compared to the last year before Bush took office. (By almost half a trillion dollars - yep, that's "barely" exceeding it, alright.) 2007 revenues also represented an increase of three-quarters of a trillion dollars over the low spot of the recession Clinton handed off, which bottomed out in May of 2003. Gee, what a coincidence - that just HAPPENED to be when the TRRA took effect! Golly, imagine that, spanky!

[continued]

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

[continued]

You keep obsessively clinging to the fact that revenues decreased as a percentage of GDP. Mostly because that's the only straw you can grasp at. You can't deny - well, maybe you can, I forgot who I was talking to - that $2.4 trillion is more than $1.6 trillion. The percentage went down because the economy GREW. See, little boy, when you have a ratio or a fraction, and that number on the top (let's call it the 'numerator') increases and the number on the bottom (let's call it the 'denominator') increases faster, then the ratio gets smaller, but the number on the top is still - getting - bigger. The only reason the percentage went down is because the economy grew at twice the rate it was projected to - to put it in very simple terms (that, who knows, even YOU might understand), money was being made faster than it could be taxed.

Unemployment went down (starting to decline within two months of the TRRA's passage). The economy expanded beyond anyone's projections. The tax burden on individuals - all individuals - went down despite the fact that overall revenues climbed to a record level. And to you - and your precious economists - that's a BAD thing?

What a loser.

Jimo 4 years, 3 months ago

"The peak was in 2007, not 2006. Again, you can't get your facts straight."

So . - YOU - bring up 2006. I respond to you on - YOUR- point and I turn out to be the clueless one??? Wow, what a piece of work. People were emailing me about your stupidity all day but I hadn't had time to check in - not all of us can sit in pajamas in the basement all day! OMG!

'But .. but.... the number is bigger! That's got to mean that my theory works!' (The crowing rooster does cause the rising sun - see, there's the sun right there!) "The percentage went down because the economy GREW."

So, to summarize: Moron Economic Theory: tax revenues as a percentage of GDP will go down when the economy grows. What the Rest of the World Said: Ummm.......how then does the percentage a decade earlier, when tax rates were increased, when the economy grew more strongly and lengthily than in generations, didn't 'go down' but rather 'went up"?

How? Because you're full of the gassy slightly liquid droppings of a male bull trying to have it both ways. Ewwww. Have some self-respect.

You cannot name a single reputable economist to support your Doofusism -- and you haven't the character to admit that -- but you continue to jabber, jabber, jabber......

Sorry...tax cuts are a form of gasp stimulus. Not particularly an effective form, mind you, but sort of useful in periods of high tax rates, high inflation (the polar opposite of today). But like every other form ... - IT HAS TO BE REPAID. Something you just refuse to accept despite the fact no one backs you up.

Dance, monkey, dance!

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

"So . - YOU - bring up 2006. I respond to you on - YOUR- point and I turn out to be the clueless one???"

Nice spin. Which, of course, is the most polite way I can point out that ol' jimmie boy is lying through his teeth again, which he seems more wont to do as he gets deeper and deeper into his BS.

Uh, jimmie? Have someone read the big words to you if you need help. I asked a straightforward question (which you, as usual, repeatedly evaded) as to what federal revenues were in 2006. YOU responded by talking about the 'peak' of the Bush cuts. I pointed out that the 'peak' wasn't IN 2006, it was in 2007. Got it yet? Need someone else to walk you through this?

"People were emailing me about your stupidity all day but I hadn't had time to check in - not all of us can sit in pajamas in the basement all day! OMG!"

I have no doubt. You definitely come across as the kind of buffoon who would never hang around with anyone that didn't fall for your BS and fawn on you like you knew what you're talking about.

At least you're finally letting it sink in that revenues grew. Which is something you called me a liar for just a couple of days ago. If you're a good little child, and eat all your vegetables at dinner, maybe I'll take the time to explain to you why, in a down economy, it's a little more important to have revenues increase in actual dollars instead of remaining constant as a percentage of GDP.

"So, to summarize: Moron Economic Theory: tax revenues as a percentage of GDP will go down when the economy grows."

Pretty amusing, the level of dishonesty from someone that throws the 'liar' word about so much, child. If you are just going to continue to make up things you claim I said, or change the things I said so you can argue with yourself, be my guest - but you don't have to attach your ignorant rants to my posts.

What I actually said was: "The only reason the percentage went down is because the economy grew at twice the rate it was projected to". Not that the percentage goes down when the economy grows, but when it grows significantly faster than expectations. I guess when I said "even YOU might understand" I was giving you way too much credit.

BTW, jimmie, let me take the opportunity to again ask another of the questions you've been evading - when the maximum marginal tax rate was 92%, how come tax revenues didn't increase as a percentage of GDP?

Now, take mommy's advice and go outside to play. Go back to your imaginary third-grade friends and impress them with just how gee-whiz smart you are. Then go read another book about how it doesn't matter what did happen, because the 'experts' said it shouldn't have.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

"Just think how much better things would look with that trillion on iraq available to us."

The fact that the economy would be better off if the wars hadn't happened is true. The notion that it was the Republicans who pushed the war on us is not. Heck, even John Kerry voted for the war (before he voted against it). So did our illustrious Secretary of State, "with conviction".

"Oh, won't even mention the tax cuts to the greedy"

And one more time:

1) The tax cuts were across the board, about the same percentage for all income brackets (except, of course, those not paying any), and cost about three times as much for the cuts for the non-rich as they did for those for the 'rich' - even if you don't count the secondary gain from the latter.

2) Tax revenues increased - dramatically - following the final tax cuts in 2003. Capital gains tax receipts doubled, corporate income tax revenues skyrocketed. The problem was on the spending side, not the collections side.

3) The unemployment rate dropped significantly starting just a couple of months after TRRA, and stayed low for almost 5 years before the economy tanked due to rising energy costs coupled with the bottom falling out of the housing, domestic auto, and stock markets.

For someone who includes the word "facts" in their user name, I notice you don't seem to have much familiarity with them.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

Well, the intelligence used to promote the war in Iraq seems to have been "spun" quite a bit by the Bush administration.

What's your response to scott's interesting post which shows an analysis of the effect of the tax cuts that is in direct opposition to yours?

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

"Well, the intelligence used to promote the war in Iraq seems to have been "spun" quite a bit by the Bush administration."

Why do Democrats always fall back on that excuse? "We only did what we did because we're gullible and/or stupid".

As for the rest, see below, these nested threads are getting tiresome.

scott3460 4 years, 3 months ago

Except Obama wasn't speaking yesterday to unemployed folks yesterday. The crowd was made up of union members, the vast majority of whom were employed.

Regarding the republicans intent to squash his plans, I don't think there can be much argument about that. As our President said yesterday, if he said that fish live in the water, the republicans would claim otherwise.

BS? No, just long over due truth telling and partisanship from the President. We'll see if it is too late in the game, but from the levels of right winger screeching about what he said, I'd guess it was effective.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

"Except Obama wasn't speaking yesterday to unemployed folks yesterday. The crowd was made up of union members, the vast majority of whom were employed. "

He was talking in Wisconsin, a state that still has double-digit unemployment. But hey, who cares about all those other unemployed folks, the union members are working, right?

scott3460 4 years, 3 months ago

No, Tom talked about the spectacle of the President telling people who were beaming with excitement in response. Perhaps Tom is able to divine what Wisconsites watching at home on TV were doing, but the clear meaning of his original statement was that the President was delivering a populist message to a bunch of unemployed people. Problem is, as is so often the case with the righties assertions, it is not factually accurate.

scott3460 4 years, 3 months ago

No, Tom, just responding to the factual inaccuracy in your original post and the impression that your comments either intentionally or unintentionally left.

You see, I was actually at this speech yesterday and can speak from first hand knowledge. The crowd was heavily labor and at least 80% were wearing tshirts indicating their current employment (and union) status. So your statement that he was in Milwaukee simply telling all those beaming unemployed folks what they wanted to hear is just plain old factually wrong.

And, yes, I know a thing or two about unions.

By the way, the Democratic Party is something that is becoming less and less important to me as they have decided to mimic republican strategy and methods in the last 10-15 years. I am a left of center individual concerned with creating a better and fairer society. That may or may not always include the Democratic Party. It rarely includes any party on the right.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Actually, the story only says it was a union-organized event. How is your assertion any different than Tom's, since you claim some omniscience in knowing that of the rally-goers, "the vast majority of whom were employed"?

You might want to consider, for a moment, that if the "vast majority" of them have jobs - why weren't they at work?

scott3460 4 years, 3 months ago

Because the celebration of Labor Day is still a holiday in our country. The republicans will have to wait until control the government is regained in order to continue effort to abolish it (and the gains of the movement that led to there being a Labor Day.)

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Oops, my bad. As the holiday didn't have any particular significance in our household, that's the second time since last night I forgot it was a holiday.

Still like to know how you came to the conclusion that "the vast majority of [them] were employed", though, or what makes that assertion any different than Tom's.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

So you counted heads? Tell me, what did you come up with for the number of attendees? And how many of those had T-shirts "indicating their current employment"? Just wondering what numbers you had to come up with 80%, in case someone wanted to check your math.

By the way, is that some kind of requirement now in Wisconsin, T-shirts identifying employment status?

scott3460 4 years, 3 months ago

No, I saw with my own two eyes and came to a conclusion. As opposed, say, to making false accusations on an internet blog site.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Just wondering if your math would hold up. I'd still like to know about that T-shirt thing, though - where do you get those?

scott3460 4 years, 3 months ago

The event was called "Laborfest," I believe. It was an organized labor event (although the public could get in too) and roughly 80% of the crowd had on a t-shirt with some sort of union affiliation......UAW #123, Teamsters, SEIU, WEA, etc. A show of your colors, so to speak. You could tell what people did by reading the shirts much the same way you'd go to a KU game and know the Cornhuskers fans by the red they wore. Google some of the pictures from the event and I think you'll see what I mean.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

I have no doubt that most of the people at the event were union members, scottie. But union affiliation does not always mean the person is working, now does it? Having your name in the book waiting to be sent out on a job isn't quite the same thing as having a paycheck coming in, is it, scottie?

scott3460 4 years, 3 months ago

Whatever, notajahawk, I was simply explaining the basis for my statement. If you want to join Tom in asserting that the crowd was unemployed folks who came to see our President, go right ahead. I saw the crowd with my own two eyes and am confident in my conclusion that the vast majority in attendance were employed union folks who came to support our President. I suspect many unemployed union members did not bother to attend.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, don't get me wrong, I have no reason to doubt that they were working. I have no way of knowing one way or the other. I only questioned what made your contention any more accurate than his. You were there, I wasn't, if you believe most of them were working fine. I only pointed out that just because they were wearing a union T-shirt isn't exactly proof they're getting a paycheck. Your being there may have given you another sense of the situation.

John Hamm 4 years, 3 months ago

Too little - too late. Should've been initiated at start of this "recession." No politician ever uses the "D" word.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

I agree, and have been saying so for 2 years. The weasel-in-chief will claim that the final two years of his 'historic' presidency failed miserably because of Republican obstructionism. It would have been nice to let him have a full term to get his way, with nobody else to blame.

But then, I don't know that the country, or our children, or grandchildren, or great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren, could afford two more years.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

It's disappointing to see such partisan stuff from you, given the generally higher level of intelligent understanding and analysis in many of your posts.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

I was responding to nota's post, not yours.

I expect unthinking partisan vitriol from you, given your posting history.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

I'd have to go back and find the post, and don't really feel like doing so, but a little while before the 2008 election I predicted - I think I even said people could carve it in stone and look at it in a couple of years - that if McCain won, and the economy continued to tank, he'd get all the blame (but none of the credit if it recovered). But if Obama won, he'd get all the credit for any recovery, and none of the blame if it continued to tank, with the apologists saying it was just too much for anyone to be able to fix.

Partisanship or not, are you going to say my prediction turned out to be wrong?

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

I have no idea - how could we possibly know what would have happened if McCain had won?

I just find the partisan stuff - name-calling, etc. - distasteful, regardless of which side is doing it.

And, I thought your understanding of our system was more nuanced than that.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

How about the half that DID happen?

Obviously the 'if-then-else' prediction was mutually exclusive, and only half - the half contingent on the one of two possibilities that actually occurred - could happen. As much time as you spend on these message boards, are you going to try to say it has not been a case of Obama can do no wrong, everything good that happens is due to his intervention while everything bad is due to his powerlessness?

And this has nothing to do with our 'system'. My post has to do with the reaction to the results of that system. There has been no shortage of vilifying Bush while idolizing Obama on these message boards, and elsewhere around the internet and in the press. Your own opinions, while expressed more subtly than my own, reflect no lesser degree of that same partisanship.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

I think that Obama has been criticized quite a bit, and from both sides of the political spectrum.

Democracy Now, a clearly left biased group, regularly criticizes it for being too much like Bush, having too many ties to moneyed interests, not following through on campaign promises, etc.

The right's criticism is also evident.

I think he's not getting much of a break from many people.

I do not "idealize" or "demonize" any political figure or side - I vote for what I perceive to be a relatively better candidate or party. But I'm quite aware that the side or candidate I vote for is human, flawed, and makes mistakes.

My father-in-law is a much more partisan Democrat, and I often push him on his tendency to idealize Democrats and demonize Republicans. It makes him mad, which I don't understand - why would someone want to have a skewed view?

The way that a better understanding of the system helps is, for example, that you and I both seem to understand the complexities of how legislation is passed, and thus we should be able to avoid simple-minded blaming when it's not warranted by reality.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Um, jafs?

Your argument that the Democratic president gets criticized as much as a Republican president is based on the fact that he's criticized - for being too much like a Republican?

Wanna' think about this one for a minute? :)

I was not blaming one side or the other for the flaws in the system, BTW. And I don't mind hearing criticism from each side of the other. In case you hadn't picked up on this (pretty sure you have, though), I tend to prefer blatancy to subtlety - I like people that, right or wrong, say what they mean, and I like people that are passionate about those beliefs. I might not agree with them, and I'll argue just as vehemently, but I prefer the outspoken ones. (With some exceptions, I don't think it necessary to mention names, who just refuse to look at either facts or logic.)

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

Cute.

You aren't aware of the massive amounts of criticism coming from the right??

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Uh, yeah.

How many Democrats voted their 'conscience' instead of the party line on the health care bill, pooch?

When Democrats all line up in a row, and vote the will of the party instead of the expressed wishes of the people they were elected to represent, that's 'progress'. When Republicans agree on something, that's 'obstructionism'.

Better the party of "No" than the party of "Don't know", pooch.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Note that in the story it says "the initial spending". In the full version of this story (which the LJW, as usual, truncated), it says this is a first step, and besides declining to say how many jobs would be created, they also declined to say what the final price tag would be.

Also notice they expect results "next year" - more kool-aid for the Barackolytes to swallow, something else to take on faith, just like the contention that things would have been worse had it not been for the other $800B he spent.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

By the way, are these construction workers the new spending is supposed to put back to work the same ones that are just hitting the unemployment lines because the 'stimulus' spending was running out? Yep, really sounds like more government spending is a good long-term solution, Mr. President.

jaywalker 4 years, 3 months ago

"BS? No, just long over due truth telling and partisanship from the President."

Puhleeze, scott! Long overdue??? Um, yeah, sure, none of that has been spouted repetitiously by the President over the last few days, weeks, months, derrrrr......since he was elected.

Anybody else laugh out loud at the numbers thrown out with this? 50 billion for 150,000 miles of roads, 4000 miles of railways, and 150 miles of runways??!! Only in Never Never Land. I worked on the project for the 5th runway at Hartsfield in Atlanta. It cost more than 330 million just to move the DIRT to build that runway.

scott3460 4 years, 3 months ago

Yes, Jay, long overdue. President Obama has wasted too much time, energy and effort trying to woo republican support which they never intended to offer. Yesterday he took sides and I'd like to see more of it. repuiblicans and right wingers may not enjoy hearing it, but their policies are wrong and have been bad for our country.

You can argue with the numbers and I am not sure who really believes such things. One thing I hope most Americans can agree on is the use of our tax dollars here in our own country rather than in some far flung land supporting some despot or supporting yet another of our military entanglements. I am happy to see the President supporting improvement here at home. Are republicans?

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Hmmm ... let's see if I can rephrase that question so it's applicable:

scottie's happy to see Obama flush another $50B (for a start) down the toilet to follow the $800B or so he already flushed down the toilet for nothing. Are Republicans?

Um, probably not.

By the way, scottie, how was Obama 'wooing' the Republicans when he said he was going to include some of their proposals in the health care 'reforms', then reneged on that promise? And, um, maybe you could go back through the last 2 years and give us a couple of examples of how the Messiah 'wooed' the Republicans?

scott3460 4 years, 3 months ago

Many of us think forcing citizens to buy insurance companies product is a huge adoption of right wing ideas.

Many of us consider taking single payor or even a public option off the table a huge cave to right wing interests.

The exchanges for small businesses, the right to purchase across state lines and the fact that the whole thing was paid for and operated within a CBO budget are all right wing concepts.

As far as President Obama wooing republicans, one only has to recall the dance the White House did with Senators Grasley, Snowe, and others on health care.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Um - wow. Just - WOW! scottie, ol' bud, if you think any of what you said are 'right wing ideas', you must be so far to the left you're in another solar system.

The fact that people are being forced to buy insurance from private insurers was a concession to the insurance companies, not the Republicans. That, and they knew otherwise there wouldn't have been a single Democrat re-elected for the foreseeable future, since forcing insurance companies to cover everyone without forcing the uninsured to buy in would have made premiums skyrocket (even more than they already will), with nobody to blame but the Dems. And, um, scottie? I don't know how to explain this to you, but the Republicans objected to being forced to buy insurance, period - who they're forced to buy it from is irrelevant.

Single payer and public option were taken off the table because they couldn't even sell it to the Democrats, not because of the Republicans. They were scrapped long before the Massachusetts election when they didn't need a single Republican vote.

The right to purchase across state lines already existed. The 'reform' package says it's allowable as long as both states agree. Guess what - they could already have done that. The problem is that the states don't agree, each one wants to regulate their own insurance industry. To have changed anything, the fed would have had to require states to allow interstate sales - they didn't. And, um, the insurance exchanges were something that was supposed to be an option for people who wanted insurance, not part of a mandate.

And in case you haven't been paying attention, the CBO budget went out the window a long time ago. The CBO only signed off on what was required, their analysis clearly stated that it did not take into account any future additions or discretionary spending. And it relied on making the Medicare cuts that will never, ever happen. You should try to keep up with the news.

So your idea of incorporating Republican ideas is to bribe one or two Republican legislators to sign off on the Democrats' ideas? Well, I guess that was at least bipartisan, considering how many of their own party members they had to bribe. But turning a Republican into a Democrat isn't exactly the same thing as compromising with the Republicans, unless maybe it is on your planet.

Nice try, scottie, no cookie. What else ya' got?

jaywalker 4 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, scott, but blaming Republicans and screaming about partisan politics has been the MO of this admin from the start. Nothing's "overdue" since it's been going on forever. And fixing things here at home is fine with me as long as we have the money to pay for it. Which we don't. So any of these "improvements" the Prez is talking about is just more printed money with no backing which simply leads to more piling onto the tax burden of the citizens, something most everyone is going to experience come January, and it ain't gonna be pretty.

scott3460 4 years, 3 months ago

Well, Jay, we will simply have to disagree on how partisan and effective President Obama has been at advancing leftist policy and support. He wasted too much time seeking the approval of those who would never grant it.

We still have plenty of money. Scale back on the war/empire machine in whatever amount is needed to fund infrastructure improvments and get to improving the lives and living conditions of Americans rather than paying multinational corporations our tax dollars for war and destruction.

jaywalker 4 years, 3 months ago

Disagree with how partisan the President has been? The last half dozen times he's opened his mouth in the last month it's been to slam the right and blame them for everyones' lot in life. Everything else you keep adding has nothing to do with the ridiculousness of your "overdue" drivel.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Another quote from the full AP story:

"All it did was rack up record deficits and result in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression."

Let me correct that:

'Record deficits - until Obama took over.' Like everything else in the weasel-in-chief's 'historic' presidency, he blew away that record, too.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

Well, Bush managed to keep the costs of the wars out of the budget costs, somehow.

If they had included them, I'm sure the deficits would have been even higher.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

I'm not sure what you mean out of the budget. Wars are, pretty much by definition, unbudgeted expenses, the same way most people don't budget for replacing items that were stolen when their home was broken into. The actual costs of the war, whether in the Defense department budget, other departments' budgets, or special appropriations, are already part of the deficit.

infidel 4 years, 3 months ago

I thought the fist big spending bill for infrastructure that cost billions has yet to be spent, or at least the vast majority of it was not used.

How nice when we in this part of the state have a perfectly good project waiting to be funded, the SLT. Perhaps that would create a few jobs in this area for a while.

Moderateguy 4 years, 3 months ago

I think it's going to be great seeing all those unemployed computer programmers and administrative assistants out there running road graders and paving machines. Why is it always "roads and bridges?" That's right up there with "We're going to root out all the waste and corruption." Give me a break. Cut the size of government and let people keep more of their own money.

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 3 months ago

Why does he always seem to give these speeches in front of unions?

It makes him look like he is afraid to talk to actual business owners and the folks that actually create jobs.

What playbook is he using? It won't fly very far.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

I first saw this story online last night. Most of the versions I've seen this morning actually have the jobs creation part secondary, as part of another story touting a plan for tax breaks for businesses. Guess the original version wasn't getting a very warm reception.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Recruiting street people. How heinous. Why, it's almost as if the Republicans were learning from ACORN.

scott3460 4 years, 3 months ago

Are they the actions of people who truely have the best interest of the country at heart? Or do they have party interests at heart? Should Americans support such unpatriotic behavior?

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

You're absolutely right - about ACORN, which is who it sounds like you're talking about.

scott3460 4 years, 3 months ago

I was referring to the actions taken by the republicans in the story cited by bozo & I think you knew it. Why won't you answer the question, nota? Ashamed?

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Uh, yeah, scottie, got that. CLUE - I didn't really think boohoohoozo was talking about ACORN, either.

In answer to your question, though, what is the fundamental difference between paying people to go out and recruit voters from areas that will increase the votes for a certain party, or putting another candidate on the ballot that might draw votes away from that party?

And, um, how is it against the principles of this country to give the voters more choice? The fact that there's another option on the ballot isn't such a bad thing, is it? If it costs the Dems some votes, then maybe the Dems deserved to lose those votes. Why should the establishment Democratic party be the only option? Why shouldn't the people whose only agreement with the liberals being the environment have to take the whole Democratic platform, all-or-nothing?

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Thought I answered that. I said it's good for the country to have more options on the ballot, didn't I? The Republicans have been dealing with that for years - the Libertarians, the Ross Perots. So have Democrats, with the Naderites and yes, the Greens. Why is that bad? It's still up to the people who pull the lever whether they're going to vote for one of these candidates or the Democrat, isn't it?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

It's fine if they want to recruit them for their own party, but when it's a campaign designed quite literally to steal elections, then it's not.

But I understand that for Republicans, the end always justifies the means, especially if it involves theft and lying.

jaywalker 4 years, 3 months ago

Brilliant as ever, bozo. One guy = THE Republicans.

scott3460 4 years, 3 months ago

Uhh, Jay, the article itself refers to multiple instances of similar malfeasance by the republican party in Arizona.

jaywalker 4 years, 3 months ago

Uhh, scott, the article references TWO other instances, vaguely. Course it also offers this:

"Arizona, where Democrats, Republicans and independents each represent about a third of the populace, is known for its political hardball. Challenging nominating petitions is common. Election-related lawsuits are filed with regularity. This is not the first election in which a party has accused another of putting forth candidates to hoodwink voters."

Huh, so if you read the article with an open mind it's apparent this isn't the first time these tactics have been attempted, and it certainly sounds like some Democrats are just as guilty. Shocker.

scott3460 4 years, 3 months ago

Jaywalker: "One guy = THE Republicans."

jaywalker 4 years, 3 months ago

My apologies, scott. Does this sound that much better to ya : 3 guys = The Republicans?
Wow. That is much more damning. Holy smokes. Now.........about the rest of the article and the apparent inclusion of Democrats involved in the same tactics............? Crickets from you, too? Shocker.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

I suppose you can direct us to the statement from the Arizona and National Republican leadership repudiating this guy and these tactics, right?

jaywalker 4 years, 3 months ago

For a story that just got published today? Cop a clue, bozo.

jaywalker 4 years, 3 months ago

Sure thing. As soon as you let us know when the Democrat leadership denounced their own party for the exact same tactics in previous elections in Arizona, as the article vaguely (shocking for the Times) alludes to.

Cue the crickets.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

I'd say the allusion was so vague as to be non-existent.

Nevertheless, it's wrong for any party to engage in such dishonest tactics, although Rove and Atwater have made it pretty much SOP for the Republicans.

And too bad that the Democrats will probably follow suit (as they do with every other nefarious tactic the Republicans engage in.)

jaywalker 4 years, 3 months ago

Uh huh, sure, ......."follow suit" lends much more credence to your blinder mentality. Yes, it's a pity the author of the article was so vague when they mentioned how this type of thing is not uncommon but decided not to mention the other offenders. Gee, I wonder who they might have been in a predominantly two party system? Takes a huuuuuuge leap of deduction to figure that one out.
Yeah, it's wrong for ANY party to engage in such tactics. Problem here is that you opted to condemn one, and only after being shown for the small minded person you are have you since decided to be magnaminous. Sorry that's as transparent as the author's exclusion of the whole story. Inconvenient for ya, I realize.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 3 months ago

How much of that will be whizzed away on expensive signs singing the praises of the current regime?

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 3 months ago

I also noticed two different versions of the same story.

That's a little scary when you think about it.

I liked the version that talked about helping manufacturers but then I read an article by Robert Reich that said if we help manufacturers they will make everything automated and replace workers with machines.

I have worked in the field for over 30 years and visited over 10,000 factories. That is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard. This is a guy whose opinion is respected as a genius.

Now that really scares me.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

It's also inevitable.

I don't know exactly what you do, but my undergrad degree is in operations management. I was APICS certified until I let it lapse a while back after I changed careers. As I said to you on another thread, I won't call it progress (for the same reason) but it is unquestionably a sign of the times. As technology has advanced, there simply are not very many things we do any more that can't be done faster, cheaper, more consistently - in other words, more efficiently, although I won't go as far as to say 'better' - by machines.

I also won't go as far as to say 'worse'. I understand the sentiment of saying we have to keep Americans working. But I often hear those sentiments from someone driving their Volvo home to sit in front of their Samsung TV, before getting online on a computer that someone in Malaysia was paid pennies to make so they can b** about the loss of American jobs. People will buy a cheaper alternative, as long as the quality is acceptable. Keeping their neighbor working is a noble idea, but not if it means they have to pay more.

independant1 4 years, 3 months ago

machines improve productivity and take over work that free people for higher order stuff.

don't need lettuce pickers anymore, machines do it better

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

scott3460 (anonymous) replies… For those interested in fact based discussion

jafs (anonymous) replies… What's your response to scott's interesting post which shows an analysis of the effect of the tax cuts that is in direct opposition to yours?


I'll answer down here rather than try to keep up with the multiple posts.

First, scottie, there's nothing "factual" about your discussion. It is an opinion piece, based on 'what-ifs', written a couple of years ago. It doesn't take much of a scan to see the ludicrous nature of their contentions: They compare the benefits and costs of the cuts from the bottom to the top quintile, and somehow come up with an answer that says that the bottom qunitile will bear an additional tax burden - ludicrous because those people in the bottom quintile did not then, nor do they now, have ANY tax burden. And something they ignore is that the share of the income tax burden born by the top percent of tax filers increased following the cuts.

Now, to jafs: Look at the passage scottie cited. There is no truth or factual basis to the statement "the net effect of the tax cuts is a transfer of wealth from lower-income households to wealthier households". As I said to you on another thread in the last day or two, do not confuse income and wealth. Did the rich get wealthier? You bet. Did they get wealthier at a faster rate than the rest of us? Again, absolutely. So frikkin' what? Why is it that liberals just can not measure what they have in any terms except in comparison to someone else that has more?

If I am making $50K and my income goes up to $55K, and my net worth increases from $500K to $550, I'm doing better (assuming that beats inflation). If some millionaire has an income that increases from $10M to $20M and his net worth increases from $50M to $100M, he will end up having a bigger percentage of the total wealth - but it didn't cost me anything. The word "transfer" implies taking from one person to give it to another - it is not applicable to a scenario where both persons gain, one just happens to gain more.

This is scottie's source, from their "About Us" page:

"Who We Are

"The Tax Policy Center is a joint venture of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution. The Center is made up of nationally recognized experts in tax, budget, and social policy who have served at the highest levels of government."

Former government economists, presumably many of them the same ones who put us where we are today, saying what they think we should have done.

If you want "analysis" from an admittedly somewhat biased source, try this one:

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2007/01/ten-myths-about-the-bush-tax-cuts

The difference, of course, is that the TPC's piece is based on what they think would have happened, and the Heritage Foundation's is based on what actually did.

scott3460 4 years, 3 months ago

"Did the rich get wealthier? You bet. Did they get wealthier at a faster rate than the rest of us? Again, absolutely. So frikkin' what? Why is it that liberals just can not measure what they have in any terms except in comparison to someone else that has more?"

So that is settled, thank you.

Why is it a problem? Because who is now suffering the brunt of the cuts and reduction in services brought about by the tax revenue reduction brought about by the bush tax cuts? The middle class and the poor.

If you are middle class or poor and see the wealthy getting still richer and at a faster rate than before, while you see middle class slipping away from you, or remain mired in poverty, it does tend to be a pretty big frikkn deal.

scott3460 4 years, 3 months ago

It is also "insensitive," which I know is an important consideration these days for many right wingers.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Wow. You really need to read a book, or a newspaper, or something.

And one MORE time - the Bush tax cuts gave more back to the non-rich than the rich. The economy expanded, the tax base grew larger, and tax revenues increased. Corporate and capital gains tax receipts soared. The tax burden of the rich increased. Unemployment went down. Whether this was all a direct result of the cuts or just an amazing coincidence, the economy was better off after the cuts than before. It was not the TRRA that caused the current cuts to services, there were a number of reasons the economy went south in the last couple of years. Energy prices skyrocketed, the bottom fell out of the housing market, the domestic auto industry went to he**. Maybe you read about one or two things like that.

In case you didn't notice (and apparently you haven't), the rich were affected by all that, too. Capital gains tax receipts dropped to almost non-existent, for example. Your only excuse for an argument is the typical, class-jealous rant that 'they have more than me and that's not fair'. I repeat the question you were nice enough to quote: Why is it that liberals just can not measure what they have in any terms except in comparison to someone else that has more? They haven't taken anything from you. Why is it that you can't be happy when times are good if someone else does better than you, and you are ready to take up a pitchfork and torches in bad times if they haven't lost as much as you? Just wtf gives you any right to what they have, just because it's more than you have?

jaywalker 4 years, 3 months ago

I'm afraid scott might be lost, nota. He's deep down the rabbit hole of conspiracy theories and Bush-blinded-evil-money-makers, and nothin's gonna bring him up for a fresh breath of reality. Loved your takes, though.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 3 months ago

That cash won't be enough to pull the Democrat's chestnuts out of the fire for mid-terms.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

"Admittedly somewhat biased" source.

"Nationally recognized experts in tax, budget and social policy".

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

"Nationally recognized experts"

Self-identified nationally recognized experts.

At least I admitted my source had some bias. I might be giving you too much credit - I thought you had some objectivity.

And again - "expert" or not, the TPC article is an opinion piece based on what might have happened or what might happen. The Heritage article is a reflection of what actually did. That's the problem with "experts", jafs. It doesn't matter what actually does happen, their "expert" opinion is that it shouldn't have.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

I don't really have a strong side on this one.

It was a cheap shot on my part - sorry.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

No biggie. I mean, I know you'll never catch ME doing that, but...

;)

Mike Ford 4 years, 3 months ago

hey tom, huskie transplant, excedera, going to work the polls tonight calling democrats like myself. we don't believe your bs. too bad you do. it's really something how those big companies supported by the dumblicans really care about the small guys don't they. keep talking market economy and bring up this socialism bs. the market economy will go to it's social darwinistic mode and swallow your little companies up and who will you blindly blame... democrats... you're sure responsible aren't you....

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 3 months ago

notajayhawk: No offense but your undergraduate degree in operations management is not worth much if you still believe the BS about the US not being able to compete in manufacturing.

I have spent my entire career working with engineers to develop machines and processes to make everything from airplanes to automobiles, golf clubs, toasters, agricultural equipment and even artificial limbs.

The amount of ignorance about US manufacturers and the bad press they get is unbelievable to me.

I can promise you this.

There are just too damn many smart and tough Americans making products in this country to allow dumb politicians and stupid academic types or liberal economists to give our country away without a fight.

Back in the 70's when they were talking about the Japanese labor advantage (prehistoric history?), I met a guy who described a Japanese lights out factory where 2 guys were running 100 machines with robots. So much for the labor argument.

I know for a fact that Chinese companies are buying the best automated equipment they can find and they have plenty of cash to spend.

Think about it. China is run by about 25 guys who are very smart. We are run by greedy wall street types and young and stupid MBAs looking for a quick buck by liquidating our US manufacturing assets and technology. We are just giving it away.

And we think we are the smart guys.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

jayhawklawrence;

No offense, but your education didn't help much with reading comprehension if you think I said anywhere that American workers can't compete with foreign workers. I said people - whether American or foreign - can't compete with machines. The exact quote was:

"As technology has advanced, there simply are not very many things we do any more that can't be done faster, cheaper, more consistently - in other words, more efficiently, although I won't go as far as to say 'better' - by machines. "

Your mention of the Japanese 'labor' advantage only confirms what I said.

james bush 4 years, 3 months ago

Do not under estimate George Soros, his money's power, and Obama's supporters.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

The Koch brothers have at least as much money as Soros. But every dime that the K brothers spend on politics is designed specifically to pad their bottom line, while it's pretty clear that Soros's contributions actually cost him way more than just the contribution, as they often work to support policies that take away from his bottom line.

So what do you think of the Koch brothers?

Jay Keffer 4 years, 3 months ago

I think Obama's plan is great. One caveat though - if you read the fine print, the workers who benefit from this latest stimulus package will be paid with Chinese yuan, since that will be the source of the 50 billion. It may take a bit of time, but eventually the yuan will be accepted at most fine retailers. Kinda like that American Express card, only cold, hard cash. Both borrowed on credit, however.

Props to none2 for beating me to the punch.

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 3 months ago

My mention of the Japanese factory does not confirm anything. You are taking a complex issue and picking out one short statement to try to justify your simplistic overview of US manufacturing. I cannot educate a guy with no experience or who does not care to give up their point of view.

If you really cared about the subject, and I doubt it, you can simply google the following;

"Can the US compete with China in manufacturing?"

There you will find an entire world of real information about US manufacturing.

I doubt you would take the time to do so. It is easier to simply believe the popular mythology and continue to betray the long term interests of your own country in favor of allowing emerging economies to simply talk you out of or buy our future on the cheap.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Before you try to 'educate' anyone, jhl, perhaps you might learn to read?

I don't know how many times I can say this, or how I can make it any simpler or easier to understand. There was nothing - absolutely nothing - (got that? nothing!) - in my posts that said anything - anything - about U.S. manufacturing competing with the Japanese, the Chinese, the mining colonies on the moons of Saturn, or anywhere else.

I said that machines can make things faster, cheaper, more consistently, more efficiently than human beings. Not just American human beings, but Japanese, Chinese, Malaysian, Canadian, German, Guatemalan, or any other human beings. Your statement about the Japanese automation giving the false impression of a 'labor' superiority confirms that, whether or not you understand what you said yourself.

I understand manufacturing just fine, jhl. Do you even know what an APICS certification is? The one that seems to be having trouble here is you - you talk about agreeing or disagreeing with the article in regards to manufacturing and the products Americans make when the article is about rebuilding the transportation infrastructure. Get a clue.

Seriously, if you're going to attempt to argue with my posts, at least have the courtesy to argue with what I said, not something you imagined. If you're going to make things up and argue with yourself, you can do that without involving my posts.

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 3 months ago

China has lured world manufacturers into giving them everything they need to grow their economy without actually earning it.

"Originally China was a 'copycat' and pirated goods producer. Then they required transfer of existing technology as part of foreign firms establishing production in China. Now it's been extended to require R&D into the future as well. "

Read the article.

http://www.tradingmarkets.com/news/stock-alert/amat_nvs_-7/2010-china-how-america-can-compete-1056473.html

The US government, it's political leaders and the international corporations that they cater to and the global economy "visionaries" that get paid to teach this crap basically have screwed the American people.

"Over years of manipulation by the corporations and politicians, America’s economy has been destroyed and moved into a state of dependence upon a global market. Due to the loss of manufacturing in the United States, the economy in this country has nothing to fall back on in case of economic turmoil as we had in the past. Economies are dependant upon the countries ability to produce a product, and without manufacturing, there simply is nothing of worth being produced by the American worker"

http://www.groundreport.com/Business/Has-Globalization-Hurt-the-American-Worker/2870940

Get educated, get real, save your country.

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 3 months ago

Although I don't completely agree with this article, it makes some very valid points.

In reality, there are a lot of very wonderful products made by Americans. We are far from dead.

It is just that manufacturing is not represented well or understood. We are still the largest manufacturer in the world in the value of goods sold. We just see the writing on the wall if we continue down this road of giving everything away to places like China and India and ignoring the complaints of our US manufacturers.

For some reason, wall street and Congress seems to love China and India more than their own country because all they see is dollar signs for themselves.

jafs 4 years, 3 months ago

Unfortunately, big businesses do as well.

That's why they outsource the labor to where the costs are lower, regardless of the effect on the American economy.

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 3 months ago

We have to do a better job of helping our US Manufacturers. That does not mean tariffs. Manufacturers don't like them.

What we want is a level playing field. We want stricter and better laws to control dumping.

When you have a VIP customer, you have to treat them a little differently. Manufacturing should be considered a VIP customer by the US Congress and they should get special treatment because manufacturing's health if fundamental to the future of this country.

What we need more of is more protection and/or assistance to generate small and medium sized manufacturers because they will fuel growth in our economy and make us more competitive. Large manufacturers subcontract to small manufacturers because they tend to be more skilled and efficient. There is a natural dynamic between small and large businesses that helps us become more productive and competitive. This dynamic also generates new products.

We need to do a much better job of helping our manufacturing base instead of our competitors overseas which is what wall street and our political leaders seem to have been doing. Basically they are selling us out without even understanding the damage they are doing.

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 3 months ago

Manufacturers in the US that invest in new equipment generally are replacing old equipment that may be expensive to maintain. They may have a 15-20 year old machine that is slow, breaks down a lot or has lost its accuracy. It is costing them a lot of money just to keep it running. Replacing this machine does not replace a worker. It actually allows that business to better utilize their capital, become more profitable and increase their capability so they can afford to hire another person because they have greater capacity utilization.

Another example is the improved software that is available in newer controls which allows them to implement better manufacturing management systems that monitor the production process more accurately in order to eliminate scrap and produce better and more accurate parts. This also allows the company to be more competitive, profitable, etc. This also does not eliminate a worker but it actually makes the company healthier and able to consider hiring more people.

The employees that work on new equipment become more skilled because they will be able to work with the latest technology and will have tools that allow them to make products they could not make before.

As a company becomes healthier and stronger with better state of the art equipment, it hires more people and gains the ability to develop a core group that advances into management, design, and product development. Manufacturers work in a very dynamic environment. They need state of the art equipment to keep this dynamic relationship between people, technology and their customers working and progressing.

The idea that a company will just buy a machine that replaces a worker is totally preposterous although it is common for employees to run more than one machine and also to move into different roles such as quality control and other management positions. Robots taking jobs in the US is a myth.

What is not a myth is ignorance about manufacturing and government making it more difficult to compete against a world full of new competitors who want to take what we have anyway they can and it has gotten far too easy for them to do that with a government as inept as ours.

What Obama is proposing to help manufacturers is the right idea. I support Obama and I was wondering when Congress would start to focus on manufacturing again. We have to do this.

booyalab 4 years, 3 months ago

Can I have $50 billion if I say it's for jobs? (my servants, to be exact)

TopJayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Absolutly not. He has already proved that his form of stimulus will not work. This is just another give away to the unions. Hasn't he done enough for the thieves?

TopJayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Nota. Give it up. Ol' Scotty and others are too young to even know what happened before the GOP got control. It is so obvious what you are saying. Their are none so blind as those who will not see.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Actually I don't really have that big of a problem with Scott as I do with some of the others around here, for all the cr*p I give him. Most of what we disagree on is, in the end, opinion and beliefs, and most of it doesn't have a right-or-wrong answer. I believe Scott really believes in what he's saying and he's firm in his convictions. I also believe his intentions and motivations are for what's best, even if we disagree most of the time on what that is.

Now, a couple of others around here, that don't know the difference between facts, theories, that blatantly ignore the facts when they're in front of their face, and opinions, that try to present one of the latter two as the first, that have absolutely no concept of or concern with logic but fawn on whichever 'expert' they're riding the coattails of today - THEM I have a problem with.

notajayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Oops, "Now, a couple of others around here, that don't know the difference between facts, theories, that blatantly ignore the facts when they're in front of their face, and opinions," should read :

Now, a couple of others around here, that don't know the difference between facts, theories, and opinions, that blatantly ignore the facts when they're in front of their face, ...

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