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Archive for Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Better off

September 5, 2012

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To the editor:

In his column of Sept. 1, Mr. Simons says: “The country and its citizens are not better off today than in 2008,” a notion endorsed by Mitt Romney in his acceptance speech. What poor memories they have.

In 2000 George Bush enacted his economic growth plan (which Mr. Romney wants to duplicate) passing tax cuts and deregulation, which, along with unpaid wars and other unpaid-for programs, transformed a surplus into a $1 trillion annual deficit for Obama to inherit. The result of this strategy was an increase of the unemployment rate from 4 percent to 5 percent between 2000 and 2007 before the bottom really fell out. In 2008, the last year of the Bush presidency 3,623,000 jobs were lost, and when Obama took over, more than 700,000 jobs were being lost each month. The Dow hit 6,700.

In February 2009, the Recovery Act was passed, and by May the job losses were cut in half. By November 2009, positive job growth occurred for the first time since 2007. In 2010 more private-sector jobs were created than in all the Bush years put together.

Job growth is not as easy as in previous times what with globalization, off-shoring and the emergence of the Third World countries, but today we have 29 straight months of continuous private-sector job growth, the Dow is at 13,000, housing prices are finally going up, General Motors is alive and well, and Osama Bin Laden is still dead.

Not better off than in 2008? Really?

Comments

yourworstnightmare 1 year, 7 months ago

Yes, really. How is your retirement plan doing?

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tbaker 1 year, 7 months ago

Better off? Really?

•5.1% - The current unemployment rate for government workers, which is the lowest unemployment rate for any of 17 different categories and subcategories of industries for which employment is tracked and published on a month-to-month basis by the Department of Labor. •8.1% - The current national unemployment rate, which dropped .2% because 368,000 Americans dropped out of the labor force in August. Do you understand what you just heard? These people –368,000 of your neighbors and friends – just said the hell with it and gave up. •8.4% - What the unemployment rate would be if the labor force participation rate had stayed the same as just last month – if those people had stayed in the job market and kept looking for work. •11.2% - What the unemployment rate would be if we had the same number of people either working or looking for work now as we did when Obama took office. •14.7% - The U-6 unemployment rate, which includes all of those who are unemployed and under-employed (part-time workers who want full-time work). •39 - The average number of weeks that workers find themselves out of the jobs market (the long-term unemployed). •43 - The number of consecutive months with joblessness above 8%. •63.5% - The current labor participation rate, which is the lowest share of Americans over age 16 in the workforce since September 1981. •2025 - If we continue to create jobs at a rate of just 96,000 per month, it will take until 2025 just to return to pre-recession unemployment levels. •41,000 – The number of jobs created for the prior two months were revised lower by 41,000 jobs. •96,000 - The total number of nonfarm jobs created in August. •119,000 - There were 119,000 fewer Americans employed in August than there were in July. •173,000 – The increase in the number of food stamp recipients for the last month for which we have data (June). Compare that to the number of jobs being created … •250,000 - The number of jobs per month needed to have significant job creation impact and bring down the unemployment rate. •368,000 - The number of Americans who dropped out of the labor force in August. •5 million – The number of jobs still needed to get back to the point where we were in the end of 2007. •20 million - The number of unemployed, underemployed and discouraged workers who’ve left the labor force altogether. •31 million – That’s the population growth since 2000, yet fewer Americans are working today than in April 2000.

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jafs 1 year, 7 months ago

Actually, upon reflection, the better question would be "Are we better off than we would have been if McCain had been elected?"

And, will we be better off with Obama or Romney over the next 4 years?

Of course, those are hard questions to answer.

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jafs 1 year, 7 months ago

Actually, upon reflection, the better question would be "Are we better off than we would have been if McCain had been elected?"

And, will we be better off with Obama or Romney over the next 4 years.

Of course, those are hard questions to answer.

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yourworstnightmare 1 year, 7 months ago

We are far better off than four years ago.

Remember back to that time. Credit frozen. Banks failing. Auto industry on the brink. Hundreds of thousands of jobs being lost a week. Stock market at 6000.

Obama saved the economy, and is doing the right things to keep it growing.

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ibroke 1 year, 7 months ago

for all the people who are giving obama a chance and saying his policies are working in time please do the same with brownback

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lunacydetector 1 year, 7 months ago

I've never met a doctor that wasn't filthy rich, so I'm sure Dr Bruner is better off than 99% of the people out there. But thank you doctor, I'm glad I'm better off since you say so.

If I'm sick and the treatment isn't making get well, I'm glad there are doctors out there who will tell me I'm getting better when I'm not.

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Brock Masters 1 year, 7 months ago

Here is a lie being told by the democrats to make Obama look good. It is about the jobs he says he created.

However, CNN fact-checked that claim and found it to be "not the whole picture." Instead, CNN found that there has been a net increase of just 300,000 nonfarm payroll jobs since Obama took office. And if you count government jobs, there are actually 400,000 fewer people working today than in January 2009.

When Democrats use the 4.5 million jobs number, they're referring to jobs created after the economy bottomed out in January 2010, one year after Obama took office. That time frame excludes the worst job losses, which took place in 2009, and which many Democrats argue were the result of Bush policies.

CNN concludes: "The figure of 4.5 million jobs is accurate if you look at the most favorable period and category for the administration. But overall, there are still fewer people working now than when Obama took office at the height of the recession."

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/fact-check-4-5-million-jobs-created-under-175621036--election.html

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Alyosha 1 year, 7 months ago

For those actually interested in facts, not blind ideology (unlike the editorial writer referenced in the letter above), yes, we are better off.

See, for instance:

Being wrong is a human trait, not one of only a single political party. Being reluctant to face facts is a human trait, not one of only a single political persuasion.

But the capacity to learn, admit one's faulty thinking, and actually accord one's beliefs with reality is also a human trait. May we all work towards that goal instead of lamely believing our own particular party or political persuasion has a monopoly on truth.

Smarten up.

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jhawkinsf 1 year, 7 months ago

Am I better off now than I was 3.5 years ago? Yes, a little. Of course, I did a little better during the previous 8 years and the 8 years prior to that. Hmmm.

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Richard Payton 1 year, 7 months ago

16 trillion and growing makes each man and woman owe $50,000 for their share of our debt. Doesn't four years make a difference.

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yourworstnightmare 1 year, 7 months ago

The country is clearly better off than four years ago, in large part because of Obama's actions.

Yes, unemployment is still high, but overall the economy has stabilized and has started to grow again. Just look at the stock market.

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Pastor_Bedtime 1 year, 7 months ago

Is Mitt richer now than four years ago?

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jafs 1 year, 7 months ago

True public servants don't obstruct their political opponents to the detriment of the nation.

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rockchalk1977 1 year, 7 months ago

True leaders don't blame other people. True leaders roll up their sleeves and get it done. January 20, 2013 will be the end of an error.

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Brock Masters 1 year, 7 months ago

Here is the real question everyone needs to answer for themselves. it doesn't matter what Bush did and it doesn't matter what Obama did in his first term. The question is who will do a better job in the next four years - Romney, Obama or Johnson (yes, there is a 3rd option).

I will not vote for the lesser of two evils and will voter for Johnson, but for this discussion let's compare Obama and Romney.

We are worse off today than when Obama took office. Unemployment, the debt and the deficit are higher. Everyone has to agree these are bad things so will Obama continue with the same policies that got us to this point or will he do something different? If you believe he can adopt new policies that will work then by all means vote for him.

If you don't believe he will do anything different then vote Romney. Try something new.

If you believe that Romney's policies will make it even worse then vote for Obama.

It really is that simple.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 7 months ago

We are most certainly better off than if McCain had won, and Republicans had had a free hand in dismantling the middle class over the last three plus years. And we're certainly better off today than we will be if RyanRomney are elected, and the full-speed dismantling of the middle class is given real legs, accompanied by a dismantling of the EPA, allowing the poisoning of millions, and accelerating us off the global warming cliff.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 year, 7 months ago

Great letter, Steve. Good to know my doc is "right on"!

Romney is a liar and a flop flipper. On a video on the convention coverage last night he was shown with Ted Kennedy and was roundly supporting a "woman's right to choose". Really!!

Romney is a clueless wok who "adapts" to the political flavor of the hour. His lies about the President cancelling the requirement for work to obtain welfare is well known, his comments about "let Detroit fall into bankrupcy" and many other ZRepuvlican mantras is only further proof that we do not need this idiot in any public office. Maybe his sort of misinformation and fraudulance is adequate for his church followers, but most regular people should be distressed and dismayed that this guy has ascended to the nomination for the highest job in the land.

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FlintlockRifle 1 year, 7 months ago

Stay tuned in folks, it will get better in the up coming days-----------

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ferrislives 1 year, 7 months ago

Some of you must have forgotten the basics taught in Government class. There are three branches of government: the Executive Branch, the Legislative Branch and the Judicial Branch.

The Executive Branch could not have signed off on anything without the help of the Legislative Branch (who actually writes the legislation), and without the official backing of the Judicial Branch. So now a lot of those same people who asked for stimulus money, voted for the auto-bailout, and wrote similar legislation to that touted by the President are now whining about the same positions they themselves held not long ago (Paul Ryan anyone?).

Maybe they should invest more of their hard-earned money (with a 13% tax rate) into a new flip-flop company. God knows the world always needs more flip-flops.

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shawnsmith 1 year, 7 months ago

Dr. Bruner, You are cheerleading the whiners again. Deep debt never helps. Mr Oboma has us down another 5 TRILLION. Better off?

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gbulldog 1 year, 7 months ago

The author needs to do more research, as the reality of this economy and the way it is being handled appears to be following the path to increase the control over the masses. Tlhe author apparently is well paid and does not understand that it is very difficult to make ends meet, nor the cost of borrowing money? Why not do a study of pay day loan companies? That way you have another subject to blame Bush for.

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Brock Masters 1 year, 7 months ago

Doc - you're entitled to your opinion but a prominent democrat, Governor O'Malley MD, said that he doesn't believe we're better off today.

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Mike Ford 1 year, 7 months ago

when exalted texas dummies make huge messes it takes some time to emerge. when countries like greece and ireland drink the goldman sachs cheap money poison and screw up the world economy it takes some time to dig out. when all of us don't have george romney or preston bush as an atm it takes time to dig out. see the message here?

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Liberty_One 1 year, 7 months ago

"In 2000 George Bush enacted his economic growth plan passing....deregulation."

What deregulation did George Bush pass? I see that he added several thousands of pages to the federal register of new regulations, created new regulatory agencies, doubled their total budgets and increased their staff by over 1000.

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Paul R Getto 1 year, 7 months ago

Got more than 2$ a day in your pocket? You are in the top 1/2 of world income. Things are tough but we are whiners.

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chet_larock 1 year, 7 months ago

Hell, even Romney thinks we're better off. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/romneys-problem-the-economy-is-in-fact-improving/2012/09/04/97c38354-f6a2-11e1-a93b-7185e3f88849_blog.html

INGRAHAM: You’ve also noted that there are signs of improvement on the horizon in the economy. How do you answer the president’s argument that the economy is getting better in a general election campaign if you yourself are saying it’s getting better?

ROMNEY: Well, of course it’s getting better. The economy always gets better after a recession, there is always a recovery. […]

INGRAHAM: Isn’t it a hard argument to make if you’re saying, like, OK, he inherited this recession, he took a bunch of steps to try to turn the economy around, and now, we’re seeing more jobs, but vote against him anyway? Isn’t that a hard argument to make? Is that a stark enough contrast?

ROMNEY: Have you got a better one, Laura? It just happens to be the truth.

"life of yesteryear when anyone who wanted a job had one." You mean the past 30 years when wages stagnated and wealth inequality widened to a point not seen since the Great Depression? Perhaps people should consider the effect of the idea behind Mitt's previous company (not that he still doesn't still profit from said company shipping jobs overseas though we couldn't know for sure since he hasn't been forthcoming with his TAXES) and others like it had on jobs here in America. See also: how demand for products is what drives companies to produce, thus creating jobs, and who really drives demand. (Hint: "It's the Middle Class, Stupid!" - James Carville). That's the name of a book, not an insult to any one of our lovely LJWorld neighbors.

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Dan Eyler 1 year, 7 months ago

The good doctor clearly hasn't experienced the Medicare cuts and new Medicaid payments for healthcare services. I'm sure in time when those cuts reach a point they don't pay his bills he will be the first to kick those Medicaid patients out of his office and down the road to a welfare clinic like health access. As for being better off today compared to any point in the past 30 years I'm not even on the same planet and if Obama is our future I long for the hard work and life of yesteryear when anyone who wanted a job had one. We don't deserve a hand out we deserve a ladder up.

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chet_larock 1 year, 7 months ago

Some people don't understand how to look at a paycheck or how taxes work. They also don't seem to understand inertia, and have an amazing ability to ignore 66% of the last 12 years. To some, this country was an unspoiled land of perfect freedom before Obama and his Kenyan Muslim army snuck in and broke it in just 3 1/2 years. Better off than Sep 08? Maybe not.. Than Jan 09? It's not really debatable.

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Number_1_Grandma 1 year, 7 months ago

Don't mess up the Republicans with facts, for Pete's sake, Dr. Bruner....Jeez, the nerve of some people..

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autie 1 year, 7 months ago

don't you love way 'some' post "can" 'say' absolutely 'nothing'?

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 7 months ago

Republicans keep telling us how pathetic the economy which they should know. The republican party put the nation in this position not once but twice, Reagan/Bush and Bush/Cheney both did it in a convincing manner. When is America going to learn this is the republican standard economic policy?

Romney the debt man.

If Romney is going to create 12 million jobs then THE GOVERNMENT will need to step in with tons of tax dollars to make it happen. Romney and the repub party have always said no to government tax dollars creating USA jobs. Romney cannot do it.

Those 11 million jobs lost during the Bush/Cheney financial scandal went abroad with no intention of coming back so I read.

As investigative journalist Matt Taibbi began to cover the Romney campaign earlier this year he was listening to Romney’s stump speech about debt.

Mr. Taibbi claims Romney created this whole image of a prairie fire of debt raging across America that literally could burn children alive in the future. Taibbi kept thinking to himself, does nobody know what Mitt Romney did for a living and how he made his money?

Matt Taibbi: “Mitt Romney is unabashedly a leverage buyout artist. And a leverage buyout artist is a person who borrows lots of money that other companies have to pay back. And that’s the simple formula.”

To which I say often spells bye bye USA industry.

Gov Richard Perry called Romney a vulture capitalist which impacts all upper middle class,middle class and lower income people regardless of party affiliation.

Upper middle class,middle class and lower income republicans have also lost jobs and homes in the two nationwide home loan scandals created by reckless economics such as leveraged buyout mania.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 7 months ago

Romney is claiming he will create 12 million jobs. Bush/Cheney didn't do it. The repubs have done nothing yet is this regard under Obama. How is Romney going to accomplish this working with the same congressional republicans that have been saying no way?

After repeatedly touting his business experience as an asset towards reviving the U.S. economy, Mitt Romney has been put on the defensive by Bain Capital workers who are fighting back against the outsourcing of their jobs.

One hundred seventy workers at a Sensata Technologies plant in Freeport, Illinois — of which Bain is the majority owner — are calling on Romney to help save their jobs from being shipped to China.

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/8/28/workers_at_bain_owned_illinois_factory

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FalseHopeNoChange 1 year, 7 months ago

It 'took' a Dr. to prove Falsey's point that profound Flex is "perfect" for New America.

I bet the 50%'ers with "no skin in the game" applaud you Dr.

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