Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Like Lemmings to the Sea

“Historically, the most terrible things - war, genocide, and slavery - have resulted not from disobedience, but from obedience.” 

-Howard Zinn

The question was posed to me very early on this fine Wednesday morn from a friend on Facebook: Why do so many Americans (particularly the white ones) vote against their economic interests and the future of their children? Good question. Is it the jaw-dropping stupidity of the American people? I lose patience with the argument that otherwise intelligent human beings have been duped by Fox Noise. An intelligent person would be able to take one look at their programming and realize at a glance what utter nonsense it is. But how could it be that people I know personally - far more intelligent that I - continue to cast their lot with that disgusting party? (I am referring to the GOP in case you were wondering).

My response might have been a tad reactionary - at first. Hey, it was 2:30 in the morning and I was cranky! Of course after further sober and non-cranky reflection I realized that the answer to that question is a bit more nuanced....I think....I hope.

Could it be a self-destructive, even suicidal tendency in our fellow countrymen and women? I've given that a bit of thought and have come to the conclusion that this is not the case. The simple fact of the matter is that Americans in general are depressingly deficient when it comes to their understanding of history.

Here's a tasty little morsel to munch on: What is the right wing's favorite argument against reelecting President Obama on November sixth? 

"He has had four years to clean up the mess [THAT HE INHERITED] and yet he has failed to do so!"

They make that argument because they know that most of us are practically brain-dead when it comes to our knowledge of the history of the country we profess to love so well. I once had a conversation with a high school senior who identified Abraham Lincoln as the president whose time-of-office had been during her father's childhood. 

"You mean Kennedy, don't you?" I asked slightly aghast.

"No", she insisted, "It was Abraham Lincoln."

 Can you imagine?  And this gal was not what I would describe as a dunce. She was well-reasoned and articulate beyond her years. She was a nice kid, too; I wonder whatever happened to her. My guess is that she'll probably be voting for Mitt Romney in 2012.

Once in a while a total stranger will come up to me and start berating me because of my politics. Whenever this happens I always respond to them with a simple question:

"Who was the president during the First World War?"

They're never able to answer. The next time one of these Über right wing freaks hassles you about your beliefs, give them the Woodrow Wilson test. I tell you it works like a freakin' charm every single time!

Think about it. Which American president in our recent history came into office with a bigger economic calamity to contend with than Barack Obama? Franklin D. Roosevelt! When FDR campaigned for reelection in 1936 what was the argument that was made against him by his opponent, Governor Alf Landon of Kansas? 

"He has had four years to clean up the mess [THAT HE INHERITED] and yet he has failed to do so!"

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Roosevelt had not ended the Great Depression by Election Day 1936. It would  still be lingering on Election Day 1940! It would take almost a decade to end it. And bear in mind that President Obama does not have the luxury of running for a third term (Roosevelt was elected to four). It's going to take at least two administration - possibly three - to dig ourselves out of this hole. And the only way to succeed is for those administrations to be progressive ones. A turn to the right is a turn backwards.

What would have happened had Roosevelt been defeated in the election of 1936 - simply because he had not completely ended, in less than four short years, the worst economic catastrophe in the history of humanity? What if the American people had been silly enough to revert to the policies that had started all the troubles to begin with? Alternate histories are, as CBS newsman Charles Collingswood once said, "like throwing darts into a fog". All we can say for sure is that this would be an entirely different world had Franklin Delano Roosevelt been defeated in 1936.

Or ask yourselves this question: What if he had never been elected at all? Where would we be today if FDR had been defeated by Herbert Hoover in 1932? Elections do matter - even eighty years after the fact

Right wing form of governance does not work. It never has. It never will. Sadly, the American people (most of them anyway) are blissfully ignorant of this indisputable, non-debatable historical truth. And on they go, like lemmings to the sea.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
tomdegan@frontiernet.net 

SUGGESTED READING:

A People's History of the United States
by Howard Zinn

I miss Howard Zinn. 

BREAKING NEWS:

The results of a Washington Post poll have just been announced. It would appear that Mitt Romney is starting to lose the support of white men - WHITE MEN! - the GOP's most reliable constituency. This campaign is over. 

85 Comments:

At 8:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Why do so many Americans (particularly the white ones) vote against their economic interests and the future of their children?"

Because they are not stupid, they know what happens when the State runs out of the money needed to fulfill their cradle to grave promise of care. Just look at Spain and Greece for our future under Statism.

 
At 9:52 AM, Blogger December27 said...

I'm sure you're right, Tom, but historical ignorance is only part of the story.

I like how George Lakoff relates it to differences in the underlying concept of family: The conservative view relates to the patriarchal model of a strict father doling out punishments for bad behavior in what he sees as the best way to guide his child to live a "correct" life. The progressive model is a cooperative one in which children are loved unconditionally and gently guided and encouraged to become their best selves.

It's easy to see how these world views are extrapolated out into community, and government. Given how intractable it is in families--usually even a child who was miserable under a harsh upbringing will foist the same on his own family--it's easy to understand why it's so difficult to make people see their government differently.

 
At 9:59 AM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Tom, as I have told you numerous times, this phenomenon is the result of what S. I. Hayakawa calls " the two valued orientation. " Checkout his book Language In Thought and Action and you will quickly see how ( and why ) the establishment is able to control and manipulate the behavior of the population. Hayakawa discusses the use of the two valued orientation in the context of politics as well as other aspects of human existence. Basically what he says is that when folks are presented with either/or choices ( good vs. evil, friend vs. enemy, socialist vs. capitalist ETC. ) they are easily brainwashed into believing that the " truth " lies with one side or the other and never can a compromise or integration of ideas or concepts be achieved. I strongly suggest that anyone who desires an understanding of the role of language in human existence should read Hayakawa's EXCELLENT book. Then we can talk again.....

 
At 10:12 AM, Blogger Oblio said...

Great post, I too am sickened at the lack of historical knowledge in most everyone I know. One of my co-worekers came to work one day and was showing off his new tattoo of the Twin Towers under the words 'Never Forget'. I asked him why the towers were hit on 9/11 and he honestly couldn't say anything except 'They hate our freedoms.' Holy crap, what a dunce. I too miss Howard Zinn and I try to get everyone to read 'A People's History...'. Keep up the great work!

 
At 10:13 AM, Blogger Yellowstone said...

RE; "The nice kid . . "

Tom, we have all been in a classroom as students when a egomanic professor stood up and recreated and rearranged history for us. That could be reason enough.

But while teaching Civics in the state of Texas - there were approximately 250 factual errors in the state approved history books! Numerous errors in the science books.

Astonishly these books were approved by PhDs in all related instructional fields.

Add to all this the creationism vs: evolution agrument that is allowed to go on in a student classroom.

These are all the good reasons this beautiful child is running the streets with pockets full of BS.

(BTW: Seems you did a column on Texas awhile back)

We should all be proud of or systems. This gal will be the next Miss America. State Senetor. Or next VP of the US.

 
At 11:25 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

You make a good point Oblio....

GET IT? OBLIO? POINT?

I'm sorry I couldn't resist. I'm a huge fan of Harry Nilsson. I even had a few drinks with him one night back in '85 at the Bar at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. He was a nice guy - and a great singer. I miss him.

Thanks for the kind words.

Tom

 
At 11:37 AM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Hey Tom did Harry put lime in your coconut ??

 
At 11:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you think voting for Obama is in our best interests based on his record so far?

"In another sign that the economic recovery under President Obama is not producing gains for average Americans, median household incomes fell 1.1% in August to $50,678, according to a report released Tuesday by Sentier Research.

Since the economic recovery started in June 2009, household incomes are down 5.7%, the Sentier data show, and they are down more than 8% since Obama took office.

Earlier this month, the Census Bureau released its annual report showing that the number of people in poverty was nearly 3 million higher in 2011 than in 2009, an increase of 6%."

 
At 11:52 AM, Blogger charles moore said...

Historical ignorance is a part of it and it is a sad thing to see. Parties and elections aside, people should read about Teddy Roosevelt and FDR if only to see how they really cared about this country.

As for people voting against their own best interests, anyone who is not familiar with the south would probably be surprised at the number of women who let their husbands decide who they will vote for. They do not think for themselves, they simply fall in line and "do what the man says". Same thing for many of them who say I have always voted for this party or that party, right or wrong because it is my party and I have always voted that way.

In response to Yellowstone, remember how often Texas wants to rewrite history in text books the way they would like for it to have been rather than the way it actually was.

 
At 12:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"As for people voting against their own best interests, anyone who is not familiar with the south would probably be surprised at the number of women who let their husbands decide who they will vote for. They do not think for themselves, they simply fall in line and "do what the man says".

Please support your statement. Or is this just another example of the war on women liberals are waging

 
At 1:03 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Reading John Dean's "Conservatives without Conscience" we learn about 25% of any population are authoritarian personalites. They are almost always Right Wing, as exemplified by our authoritarian follower trolls.

These authoritarians are told FDR caused the Great Depression.

The facts tell us the opposite:

Unemployment rates under FDR:(Bureau of Labor Statistics)

1933 - 24.9%

1934 – 21.7%

1935- 20.1%

1936 – 17%

Unemployment is what they call a "lagging indicator"; the last measure of recovery.

Other indicators show improvement since Obama took office.

Stock Market Closing Prices – January 20, 2009

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA ) Close - 7949
Nasdaq Stock Market Close - 1440
S&P 500 Close - 805

The Bush Recession was rapidly hitting the fan before Obama took office.

Soon afterwards, Obama's economic stimulus plan started to create the confidence needed to stop the panic.

On July 24, 2009, the Dow reached a higher high, closing at 9,093.24

What happened since?

October 2009: Peak Unemployment Rate – 10%

Current Unemployment Rate – 8.3%

Stock Market Closing Prices - September 25, 2012

Dow Jones Close - 13457
S&P 500 Close - 1442
NASDAQ Close - 3118

It looks like we’re better off now than four years ago, and headed in the right direction.

If....

We don’t give it all back to the Republicans and go backwards to the same failed policies.




 
At 1:04 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Charles is a native of the south. He knows what he's talking about.

Doctor, ain't there nothing I can take, I say Doctor, to relieve this bellyache.

 
At 1:25 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

Anonymous, as to supporting my statement about southern women voting as their husbands say, I lived there for many years and I have MANY relatives still living there. I talk with these people fairly frequently and they and their friends are in agreement; they vote as the man says.

In case you are not aware, the south is very heavily Southern Baptist and the guiding principle is that wives are subservient to their husbands.

 
At 4:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charles,
Provide source supporting your claim or it is simply hear say. Like my making the statement that most union voters vote democrat because the do what their union leadership tells them to.
Whatdoesa persons faith have to do with your argument, Jane Fonda became a Christian while living in the south, a if,Emory serves, was a Baptist.
Me thinks you are generalizing just whole lot. Like all blacks don't know who their fathers are, I can't support that statement with data, anymore than u can yours



 
At 4:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So dd, if we are better off now than four years ago, aren't you going to blame bush for the improvement since you blame him for every other Obama failure?

 
At 5:10 PM, Anonymous John said...

>"Americans in general are depressingly deficient when it comes to their understanding of history."

I would argue that this is one of the goals of federal education policy. Message to citizens, go back to digesting grass ...or, to quote the edookatn president, 'Mission Accomplished'.

FDR also immediately displayed greatness in repealing prohibition which had ruined beer for generations - however, 80 years later we are in the midst of the micro-brew revolution which is one of the things Americans can not only take pride in - but truly enjoy.

Obama on the greatness scale? So far, not so much. Don't get me wrong he did appeal to me with the promise to close Guantanamo, stop torture, end renditions... but now, his sole qualification for the presidency is that Romney is likely to be worse.

Tom is a democratic optimist who's prayer is that Obama realizes that he is a person representing a nation of people and that maximizing quality of life for the most people possible becomes his true goal. One might refer to that as a 'second term miracle'. I too can hope for this, but if the first term is any indication, all I expect to see is more corporate sell out.

Good luck to us all in the next election - unfortunately, as our civil rights continue to erode, good luck seems to be in shorter supply.

Going back to the topic of grazing, perhaps the best way to cast our vote is in choosing what we consume be it food, energy, media or skooln.

 
At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

2Q GDP revised down to 1.25% from 1.7%...

Durable orders drop 13.2% -- 'worst since Depression'...


Blame Bush?

 
At 4:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like Lemmings going to the Sea, example #1

youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tpAOwJvTOio

 
At 5:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lemmings with money!

The Democrats heavy-hitters are finally coming out of the dugout to play ball in the brave new world of unlimited contributions and super PACs.

A spokesperson for Priorities USA Action, the super PAC backing President Barack Obama’s reelection, confirmed to The Huffington Post Thursday that billionaire investor George Soros has committed $1 million to the PAC.

The New York Times’ Nick Confessore was first to publish the news about the Priorities donation and, in addition, reported that Soros will donate $500,000 to each of the two Democratic super PACs working in the House and Senate elections.

According to Confessore, Soros’ political adviser Michael Vachon announced the contributions at a meeting of the liberal donor group, Democracy Alliance where former President Bill Clinton, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) were urging donors — most of whom have refused until now — to give to super PACs. Aside from the Soros donations, another $10 million was promised by donors attending the meeting.

 
At 5:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lemmings making a right turn, not pretty at all, once again we see the real racial hate of the greedy right wingers. Sick.



www.standamerica.us/exodus-now/

 
At 5:46 PM, Anonymous Michael said...

Zinn was a Marxist and recieved funding from Stalin as a member of the CPUSA. Pretty low in my books. Although I like parts of his book.

 
At 6:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lemmings getting paid $11.00 per hour!

youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=G5DTqvX74O4

 
At 6:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BLAME BUSH!!

"Americans must be wondering how much more of this “recovery” they can afford. New figures from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, compiled by Sentier Research, show that the typical American household’s real (inflation-adjusted) income has actually dropped 5.7 percent during the Obama “recovery.” Using constant 2012 dollars (to adjust for inflation), the median annual income of American households was $53,718 as of June 2009, the last month of the recession. Now, after 38 months of this “recovery,” it has fallen to $50,678 — a drop of $3,040 per household."

 
At 7:51 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Zinn was a Marxist and recieved funding from Stalin as a member of the CPUSA.

According to whom?

Is this substantiated and documented by real journalism, or is it a Right Wing blog/organization's accusation?

The only sources I find are nameless "informants" and vague statememts.

 
At 8:24 PM, Anonymous Michael said...

http://vault.fbi.gov/Howard%20Zinn%20

Source: FBI

I respect the guy for being a Vet and a Historian but he's a communist.

 
At 8:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael,
Now you did it, you proved to all of us that DD doesn't know how to find out anything unless he gets it from the left wing talking points machine. Good catch Michael!

 
At 10:46 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Michael,
For perspective, Hoover’s FBI thought John Lennon as a commie threat.

This is your accusation:

”Zinn was a Marxist and recieved funding from Stalin as a member of the CPUSA.”

You have not shown us where anyone says this, other than you and Right Wing sources.

That statement is not substantiated in the FBI file. Thanks for the link.

As I was saying, nameless "informants" and vague statements are the FBI sources. As we know, people will say what the FBI wants them to say.

As far as I can tell, the source for your conclusion would be a Right Wing blog/organization's accusations, such as “City Journal” from the Big Money Boy’s “Manhattan Institute”.
The article is by Right Wing blogger Daniel J. Flynn, author of A Conservative History of the American Left.

Flynn wrote Zinn, “amid charges innocuous and amorphous”, “MAY also have lied to the FBI about his Communist Party membership.”

And:
“Information received on 6/12/53, indicated that the subject was POSSIBLY in contact with persons operating in the Communist Party underground.”

And:
“...another informant BELIEVED that Zinn was “selected as a delegate to the New York State Communist Party Convention.”

And:
The neighbor, “she BELIEVED Zinn was a Communist.”

And this one is funny:
“The files PARAPHRASE one informant’s conversation with Zinn in 1948.
According to the informant, Zinn indicated that he is a member of the Communist Party and that he attends Party meetings five nights a week in Brooklyn.”

Five nights a week? Can’t you just picture Zinn brushing off a snitch with an obviously absurd claim like that one?

Since you claim your source is the FBI file, did you read their disclaimer?

“Please note, that the information found in these files may no longer reflect the current beliefs, positions, opinions, or policies currently held by the FBI.”

As I was saying, Right Wing sources, nameless "informants" aka snitches out to cover their ass, and vague statements from files with a disclaimer are all you have to jump to your conclusion.

Your conclusion is based as I described.

Now, what can you tell us are the facts? And what supports the facts?

A word of advice. Anonymous is thrilled by your point...

Does that comfort you and indicate your accuracy?

 
At 2:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

DD,
I trust the word of the FBI more that Harry Reid.

 
At 2:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Job openings in Cleveland, OH.

Help wanted:
Unemployed but current union member needed to attend and disrupt Romney rallies and events.
Loud, obnoxious voice needed.
Disheveled appearance ok
Transportation, food, gas, phone, lodging ,expenses per Diem included
Please bring sign.

 
At 2:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

During his first run for president, Barack Obama made one very specific promise to voters: He would cut health insurance premiums for families by $2,500, and do so in his first term.

But it turns out that family premiums have increased by more than $3,000 since Obama’s vow, according to the latest annual Kaiser Family Foundation employee health benefits survey.

Premiums for employer-provided family coverage rose $3,065 — 24% — from 2008 to 2012, the Kaiser survey found. Even if you start counting in 2009, premiums have climbed $2,370.

What’s more, premiums climbed faster in Obama’s four years than they did in the previous four under President Bush, the survey data show.

There’s no question about what Obama was promising the country, since he repeated it constantly during his 2008 campaign.

 
At 4:27 AM, Anonymous Ron Baldwin said...

I am an old Geezer approaching age 80 and was a young boy during the Great Depression. Let me tell you there was nothing “Great” about it. As I came of age in the 1940’s I had many conversations with adults who survived those awful years. One theme was prevalent – the economic policies of the 1920’s did not work. Buy stock in substantial companies on 90% margin and find yourself wiped out when the stock market crashed in 1929. Formerly prosperous investors were jumping out of tall buildings when the margin call went out after the 13% drop on Black Tuesday. There was no SEC back then and many companies were a house of cards.

Then came the 25% unemployment of the 1930’s. Ever wonder why pictures of people in the 1930’s rarely showed any who were overweight? When survivors of the dust bowl tried to move to California the police turned them back at the California border if they didn’t have any money. Listen to Woody Guthrie’s “Do Re Me” or read "The Worst Hard Time" by Timothy Egan, published in 2006. That book chronicles “The Untold Story of Those Who Survived The Great American Dust Bowl.”

In the 1930’s there were many who believed that the American Dream was just that, a Dream. During those years the tightly controlled stories from the Soviet Union told how everyone who wanted to work had a job. It was from each according to their means, to each according to their needs. A number of patriotic Americans believed that the USA could only be saved by communism and they joined or flirted with the Communist Party. Of course when the real stories came out about the 1930’s in the Soviet Union, the forced moves to collective farms, the purges, the millions or Soviet citizens murdered, that all changed. And thanks to FDR and the New Deal we were slowly digging ourselves out of the Depression.

The 1940’s and The Greatest Generation proved how great the USA could become. We all know that story.

Then came the 1950’s, or what I call the Eisenhower Years. The top marginal tax rate was 91% during all that time. Eisenhower proposed building a 40,000 mile interstate highway system and paying for it as we built it. Imagine that! But along came the alcoholic “Tail Gunner Joe” (Senator McCarthy) who waved a paper and thundered that was a list of more than 200 members of the Communist Party who were employed in the State Department. The witch hunt was on. People who in the 1930’s were searching for a way out of the Depression were blackballed from employment. Eventually with the help of Attorney Joseph Welch and the Army hearings, McCarthy was unmasked and was censured by the Senate.

And here we are in 2012 dismissing Howard Zinn as a “Communist” and a “Marxist.” Howard Zinn, born in 1922, a bona fide member of The Greatest Generation, WW2 combat bombardier, beneficiary of the GI Bill, civil rights activist, and historian, who came of age in the 1930’s. If you do not understand history you will have a warped understanding of today.

 
At 5:56 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Good one, Ron! Bravo!

 
At 8:36 AM, Blogger Mack Lyons said...

"Why do so many Americans (particularly the white ones) vote against their economic interests and the future of their children?"

Because they remain easily swayed by people who point to a nearby boogeyman (usually a social/ethnic minority or outlier) and shout "They're taking your stuff!!!" or "They're going to kill you!!!"

Think about it. The current reaction against the supposed spectre of Islam and socialism is nearly the same as the hysteria surrounding communism. Back then, ordinary Americans were easily scared stupid by the Red Commie/Red Dawn rhetoric - it was a distraction from issues that should have actually mattered. Today, ordinary Americans are being scared stupid by the spectre of Islamic terrorism, set off by a legitimate event (9/11) and continued courtesy of an administration that wanted the average American's waking moment of attention focused on terrorism (when it wasn't focused on reality TV, of course).

During various junctions of history, white Americans were supposed to be scared stupid of the so-called Negro menace. That frenzy of fear and stupidity often morphed into an evil hatred and bloodlust. Even today, crime stats and stereotypes are often thrown around to get Americans to piss themselves over those Negros over there.

As always, a good American is an American scared stupid and kept stupid (we're teaching to the test here).

Oh, and there's this thing about middle class Americans wanting to do right by the wealthy, as they imagine themselves joining their ranks at some point and it's just the polite thing to do, dontchaknow?

"Basically what he says is that when folks are presented with either/or choices ( good vs. evil, friend vs. enemy, socialist vs. capitalist ETC. ) they are easily brainwashed into believing that the " truth " lies with one side or the other and never can a compromise or integration of ideas or concepts be achieved."

In other words, either/or choices mean exactly that: the truth must be on one side and one side only. We don't do shades of gray-type thinking that well.

"Please support your statement. Or is this just another example of the war on women liberals are waging"

You can always tell when a troll's around with those canned phrases.

 
At 9:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like 700 Lemmings are losing their good paying union jobs. Not to worry, Obama will use his stash of cash to get them "shovel ready jobs".

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The Campbell Soup plant in Sacramento is closing as of July 2013 as the company says it is taking steps to “improve supply chain productivity,” according to a company release.

Employees were told of the closure during a 6 a.m. meeting Thursday at the plant.

Blame Bush.

 
At 9:40 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...


The stock market didn't return to pre-Depression levels until the 50's. Not everyone believes FDR's policies were helpful, and some economists make a pretty good case that his social and monetary policies extended the malaise rather than ease it.

I'm sure if I had 4 terms in office I could be credited with "solving" all sorts of problems. I'll have to stick to criticizing FDR and not Obama. I don't want to be racist.

I'm going to let everyone in on a well-kept secret. Get ready - it's pretty complicated. The right doesn't like Obama because he's on the left - the same reason, shockingly, that the left tends to prefer him. I know - try to wrap your head around that. It's not my fault that he's black sometimes. Now, in truth, both parties are devoid of good solutions to what faces this country, it would seem, based on my observation and I hold out little hope. But, it would sure be nice if folks could allow for some differences in opinion from their fellow Americans without resorting to berating and namecalling (followed humorously by griping about berating and namecalling). Until that happens, our country will continue to circle the drain. Because until that happens, the political machine has us where it wants us.

 
At 4:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barney Frank SEAL of APPROVAL

Biden speaking to a group of FL seniors said:

“Everyone knows, everyone in this room knows that President Obama has increased the benefits available to people on Medicare by the action he took,” Biden said. “You are now able to go get a wellness exam, and guys, if you conclude you need a colonoscopy because of the FEELING you had or you need a breast health examination, you don’t have to pay a co-pay for that.”

Just buying votes Joe, that's all.

 
At 4:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Say DD, did you forget to add this to your most recent glowing report about the miracles Obama has performed in the last 3 plus years?

"Business activity in the U.S. Midwest contracted this month for the first time since September 2009, as new orders sank, a report showed on Friday.

The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago business barometer fell to 49.7 from 53.0 in August. Economists had forecast an unchanged reading of 53.

A reading below 50 indicates contraction in the regional economy.

The forward-looking new orders index plummeted to 47.4, from 54.8. while the gauge of employment sank to 52.0 from 57.1 last month.

Following the report, stocks added to their losses on the final trading day of the third quarter and amid uncertainty ahead of the result of stress tests on Spanish banks."

BLAME BUSH

 
At 4:39 PM, Anonymous Ron Baldwin said...

Harley A said the “stock market didn’t return to pre-Depression levels until the 50’s,” and that is absolutely correct. But let’s compare the initial stock market crash in 1929 (down 13% in one day) with the stock market crash of 1987 (down 17% in one day).

In 1929 there were widespread 90% margins and resultant unmet margin calls. In 1987 there was a maximum margin of 50%, and no margin calls.

Even if an investor was wiped out by margin calls in 1929, many still had money in bank accounts. Then came runs on banks, which no bank can withstand, and the real panic was on. From November 1932 (when FDR was elected) until March 1933 (when FDR was inaugurated) 4,000 banks failed and their depositors were wiped out. Imagine if that happened today. 4,000 BANKS FAILED IN JUST FOUR MONTHS!!! In 1987 the FDIC guaranteed up to $100,000 of bank deposits and there were no runs on banks.

After 1929 when a job disappeared the ordinary workers were by and large without any money. In 1987 when a worker lost a job there was up to six months of unemployment compensation that at least put food on the table.

After the 1929 crash the stock market entered its version of the death spiral, ending up in 1932 at a low of 13% of the pre-1929 crash values. It took more than 20 years for the stock market to recover. After the 1987 stock market crash there was no death spiral and the stock market recovered in six months.

Thank you FDR and the Congress that passed those laws.

And a tip of the hat to Harley A for recognizing the perils of today’s no-compromise Members of Congress.

 
At 8:13 PM, Anonymous Henry Morgenthau, Jr said...

"We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. And I have just one interest, and if I am wrong … somebody else can have my job. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises. … I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started. … And an enormous debt to boot."

Henry Morgenthau, Jr. U.S. Secretary of the Treasury under Franklin D. Roosevelt May 9 1939

 
At 8:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The continued near deification of FDR by liberals is amazing in light of the current events in Greece, Spain and France. These and other socialist followers of the New Deal are living, breathing examples of why the path FDR started the USA on is one that ends in abject misery for all, as the State "equals the playing ground" to the lowest possible level. In doing so no one fails, and none succeed, but instead it is the entire society that fails. As all share equally the misery of State-ism, anyone who rises above the State imposed level of poverty is look upon by the masses as either a person of privilege as a thief of what is rightfully the State.
This is the the result of the State promising cradle to grave care to the population in exchange for their vote. This is the end game of liberalism, not to promote individual success, independence and achievement. But to destroy the human instinct to improve their life by their own efforts. The non-achievers who by their own hand break the back of the economy by making demands on the achievers, end up bringing all down to their level non-achievement.
Sadly it seems 47% of our population is there now.

BLAME BUSH!

 
At 8:47 PM, Anonymous Harry from Mass said...

In 2008, Obama says adding $4 trillion to debt is unpatriotic. Obama has added $6 trillion in only 3.5 years!

This big bullshit artist is slicker than Slick Willie Clinton who made it into the Big Bullshitter Hall of Fame on his first try!

 
At 8:51 PM, Anonymous Harry from Mass again said...

In 2008, Obama says adding $4 trillion to debt is unpatriotic. Obama has added $6 trillion in only 3.5 years!

This big bullshit artist is slicker than Slick Willie Clinton who made it into the Bullshitter Hall of Fame on his first try.

 
At 9:17 PM, Anonymous Harry from Mass said...

Good points anon at 8:13 PM.

I just want to add that FDR and the central planners in Europe were able to keep the Social Welfare Ponzi schemes going as long as the ratio of young workers to retirees was high. Now the ratio of young workers to retirees is way too low and the chickens have finally come to roost. Its only a matter of time before the can that has been kicked down the road will stop. But there will always be the naive dreamers of utopia where everyone lives in Peace and Harmony and crosses the finish line holding hands like Tom, Dave, and Oblio who will go to Hyde Park to hug FDR's statue and claim what a great man he was.

 
At 5:29 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Anonymous "The continued near deification of FDR by liberals…"
That's Sir Saint FDR!

"...is amazing in light of the current events in Greece, Spain and France."
It's a morality play. Germany is punishing their spendthrift ways. That is to say, the German government is inflicting austerity on those countries, after German banks helped inflate their bubbles. Which is the GOP's plan for the US. Weird how economic hardship only punches down, isn't it?
Even in the relatively good times of the previous decade, except for the increased "value" in their homes, the bottom 90% of the population got none of the gains. None.
So, to sum. When things go up, you get none. When things go down, you sacrifice. Weird how economic hardship only punches down, isn't it? It's almost as though the game is rigged or something.

Also, Greece's problems aren't the United States' problems. Greece is, frankly, bizarre. (Oh, and for a patriotic slant, Goldman-Sachs helped hide their debt). And Spain was running a surplus before the crash. France is just France.

Harry from Mass "Now the ratio of young workers to retirees is way too low and the chickens have finally come to roost."
While SS does have issues (if we do nothing, in time it won't be able to provied full benefits), the shorter answer to your sentence ino.

"But there will always be the naive dreamers of utopia where everyone lives in Peace and Harmony and crosses the finish line holding hands like Tom, Dave, and Oblio who will go to Hyde Park to hug FDR's statue and claim what a great man he was."
This is Utopia? Damn, those Lefties have a crappy imagination.




* Fun fact: Obama's CommiePinko Simpson commision decided the only solution was to cut benefits now. Not raise the cap, not get the unemployed/underemployed back to work (so they'd pay more as payroll taxes), but to cut right now. Because the greatest threat to America is apparently Grandma's $1,200 a month. Who knew?

 
At 8:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mo from oh Canada, America's favorite pilot fish:

"Fun fact: Obama's CommiePinko Simpson commision decided the only solution was to cut benefits now. Not raise the cap, not get the unemployed/underemployed back to work (so they'd pay more as payroll taxes), but to cut right now. Because the greatest threat to America is apparently Grandma's $1,200 a month. Who knew?"

How many know that if all the millionaires were taxed 100%, that it would only fund four months of government operations, failing to seriously address budget deficits and debt? Not the math challenged Progressives who spend like a teenager with their first credit card!

 
At 10:52 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Anonymous "How many know that if all the millionaires were taxed 100%, that it would only fund four months of government operations, failing to seriously address budget deficits and debt? Not the math challenged Progressives who spend like a teenager with their first credit card!"
I'm sure that must be quite a zinger to the imaginary me in your head whose points you're apparently replying to.

 
At 12:27 PM, Anonymous FDR said...

Morganthau,

Unemployment rates (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

1933 - 24.9%
1939 – 17.2%

 
At 1:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mitt Romney finally released the awaited dump of information on his tax returns, after Sen. Harry Reid’s fanciful accusation that Mr. Romney did not pay any taxes for years obsessed the media for weeks. The dump revealed that Mr. Romney had actually paid more than his fair share of taxes and that he gave away nearly 30 percent of his earnings to charity.

This compares to President Obama’s 21 percent for charity — and only 1.5 percent from Vice President Joseph R. Biden, the miserly old uncle in the attic. Joe’s talent for squeezing every penny until Abe squeals recalls Bill Clinton’s taking deductions for old underwear he gave to charity. (To be fair, Bubba’s skivvies were little worn, spending most of their time around his ankles.)

 
At 1:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reporters and pundits who were so obsessed with Mr. Romney’s taxes mostly passed on “analyzing” these facts. But the far more serious sin the media ignored was the debacle in Libya, where Muslim terrorists killed the U.S. ambassador who, despite fervent pleas, had been left stranded in a hostile land without sufficient security.

For days the president, his secretary of state and the ambassador to the United Nations scoffed at the notion that the terrorism was the work of terrorists, and insisted it was spontaneous rioting by devout Muslims angry about a video they had never seen. It couldn’t have been the work of terrorists, because Mr. Obama had gone to Cairo as soon as he was inaugurated to bow to the imams and apologize for America being America. Nobody was mad at us any longer.

The big media had no interest in following the story; the celebrity journalists knew the president and they knew he was a stout fellow. He meant well and deserved a second term. Everybody knew that. When Philippe Reines, who holds Hillary Rodham Clinton’s horse at the State Department, was questioned closely about why the administration thought it necessary to tell such whoppers about the death of an ambassador, he blew his stack and resorted to trite schoolyard vulgarity.

 
At 3:41 PM, Anonymous Jim Treacher said...

“The economy is collapsing. Our embassies are being overrun. Our diplomats are being murdered, and our own government is blaming it on the First Amendment. And Obama doesn’t know what to do about any of it, except for his usual plan of lying his ass off. So he and his enablers in the media hope you’ll be offended that Romney pointed out what the Dems have been telling you your whole life: You need the government to provide for you, and you can’t go a single day without a handout.”

 
At 3:47 PM, Anonymous Hopey McChange said...

The economy is in the tank and headed worse, unemployment has been over 8% for 43 months, the national debt is over $16,000,000,000,000, gas is up to almost to $4/gallon nationwide, the President's middle east policy is in shambles as our ambassador is killed and dozens of our under defended embassies are under attack from crazed Muslims, Iran and Israel are about to nuke each other and the main stream media, Tom Degan's Blog and the Obama campaign (actually, for all intent and purposes one in the same) choose to ignore all that and obsess instead about a three month old clip from a private Republican fund raiser? Really?? Just when we thought the MSM could not get any more lame!! Really pathetic.

 
At 3:53 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Dems have been telling you your whole life: You need the government to provide for you, and you can’t go a single day without a handout.”

Care to show us where a Dem spoke that Republican talking point, sport?

Iran and Israel are about to nuke each other

The hysterical voice of ignorance speaks again.

You guys are something. Well programmed cultists comes to mind.

 
At 3:56 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

The economy is collapsing.

You mean like back in September 2008?

No. Best forget that.

 
At 4:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

DD,

Care to share with us who controlled the House and in Senate in 2008?

 
At 4:44 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

"Forgot" about September 2008 again?

Control of the Senate requires 61 votes.

How many vetoes were overridden by the non-filibuster proof Senate?

November 2008 Senate:
Republicans: 49
Democrats: 48
Independents: 2 (Including McCain’s pet Lieberman)

That leaves the House. How many vetoes did they override?

The present House has been GOP controlled for two years.

Where are the jobs, all-powerful Mr. Boehner?

 
At 5:41 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Ron -

My point is that economists study the Great Depression probably more than any other single economic phenomenon. There is no clear open-and-shut case that says FDR's policies "saved" the country. Of course, none of us can really predict a "what-if", but I have read some unbiased articles on the topic that are critical (hind-sight is 20/20) of some of his monetary policy and isolationism in addition the the social programs he enacted. That's not to say every move he made was bad, but I think his policies are open to criticism as much as anyone's. His populism carries a lot of clout for him - I get that.

And, Harry makes a good point that I've pointed out before too. An economy propped up by social programs depends heavily on demographics. Our demographics in America and in the west in general are abyssmal. Birth rates are below replacement and declining. We are staring at (by the Fed's own calcs) 40-50 trillion in unfunded obligations over the next half decade.

You folks can laud FDR and maybe he was a good guy - I don't know, but the jury is out for me as to whether he did me and my children any favors.

 
At 6:05 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

but the jury is out

No that is Republican historical revision. The jury will always be out in their world.

The real "jury" was the American people who voted to re-elect him.

The Republican Depreassion after the deregulated '20's left a quarter of Americans unemployed.

There are many CCC projects still standing today in testomony. Back then there was the increase in jobs for testimony.

Unemployment rates under FDR:(Bureau of Labor Statistics)

1933 - 24.9%

1934 – 21.7%

1935- 20.1%

1936 – 17%

 
At 7:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

DD, you have the balls to ask where all the jobs after the King of Shovel Ready Jobs that you support(OBAMA) blows through 6 Trillion dollars in less than four years? With none of the promised results?? FDR had total Party control of the House and Senate for how many of the 12 years in office and if a little thing called WWII(you may have read about in books at some time)hadn't come along, how long would it have taken FDR's socialistic plans to get our unemployment rate under double figures? If ever?
You left wing nut job have an excuse for every one of your failures, its either the others sides fault or BLAME BUSH.

Now it's in the news that our most transparent of all Presidnets is begging defense company's to NOT start laying off workers till after NOV due to the impact it will have on the unemployment rate. Who you going to blame on that, since most of your fellow left wing nut jobs want defense spending cut?

Then the news is reporting today that Lakota Sioux Nation has announced it is seceding from the USA. I bet Obama and his media tools will blame some movie like they tried to blame the murder of our Ambassador on. Or will he do a Ruby Ridge attack, AFTER the election. Hey, who knows, maybe smoking pot will be legal in the Lakota Sioux Nation of America!

This is the worse example of on the job training this country has ever has the misfortune to live through.
But, you left wing nut jobs can always BLAME BUSH!

 
At 7:40 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

No, that is absolutely not "Republican revisionism". That is a label used to try to wipe away valid criticism with a dogmatic assertion. The labor statistics prove only that more jobs were created - not that the economy was helped, the depression was eased or that his policies have been good for the country long term. It is one statistic and an oversimplification to hang one's hat on.

And, of course the jury is always out - nothing so complex is air-tight provable one way or the other. Maybe FDR was brilliant and all his moves were spot on. However, it is possible (and highly likely in MY opinion) that we survived and pulled out of the depression DESPITE his administration on some counts - not all. And, furthermore, I don't believe SS is long-term sustainable. So, what appeared as a savior at the time was simply deferring the burden to their great-grandkids and no skin off FDR's back. If the Great Generation is okay with that, so be it. I am not. My generation has to figure out how to keep paying for it and it's not looking very promising...

 
At 8:11 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

The "jury", aka the voters, decided.

You and your anonymous sidekick may say what you will. Jobs don't matter?

Mere words from the Right cannot change history, try as they may.

 
At 9:07 PM, Blogger edwin_ said...

Ano said "Romney had actually paid more than his fair share of taxes and that he gave away nearly 30 percent of his earnings to charity"

I replied to this or another ano on one of Tom's blog. When Robme says he donates to "charity" he is really giving to the Morman church which is not a charitable organization. They are a homoohobic PAC that uses their funds for unAmerican purposes

 
At 9:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

DD,

Sure jobs matter, just look at all the jobs our current FDR wannabe has created. Look how OBAMA is asking defense companies to not lay people off due to defense budget cuts, to prevent higher unemployment right before the election. That sounds like something FDR did more that once while he was in office.

Why is it DD, that you believe the best creator of jobs is govt? You want jobs? Look who controlled the House and the Senate from 2007 through 2010. Did the govt create jobs during that time? How has the middle class economy improved during this time? Nope, and I guess you are going to blame BUSH and the party not in power from 2008-2010. But wait you cant do that because every budget Obama has sent to Congress, the democrats in the Senate have prevented it being voted on! So blame BUSH and the GOP for that DD?

When are you going to understand that there was zero unemployment in the USSR, but no one was happy. It was a place people tried to leave. (Ever heard of the Berlin Wall?) If they were, the people would have voted back the old USSR type of economy. That they haven't speaks volumes, that you don't seem to hear. Look at Cuba, no unemployment, cradle to grave health care. Are people flocking to move to Cuba, the workers paradise? Why not DD, why not if govt jobs are the answer? If central economic control is the answer why aren't people moving to Cuba?

Why is it DD that you can not see that once govt controls all aspects of our lives in exchange for"jobs", the workers have no say in their wages or life style. Their liberty has been traded for the failed dream of socialism. What you want DD will work until the people who are paying for you dream run out of money. Just ask those who live in Spain, Greece, Ireland and Italy.
I know, it's time to BLAME BUSH and now Boehner.

No ones trying to change history with mere words DD, words will never do it. But the truth will, if you're brave enough to accept it. Your type of economy does not work.

 
At 9:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

edwin_ "unAmerican purposes"

So not approving sodomy is now unAmerican?

W.E. PAINE

 
At 12:32 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Anonymous "Now it's in the news that our most transparent of all Presidnets is begging defense company's to NOT start laying off workers till after NOV due to the impact it will have on the unemployment rate."
"Keynes was correct!" says Anonymous, "Take that, liberals!"
Golly, you sure told us.

"Who you going to blame on that, since most of your fellow left wing nut jobs want defense spending cut?"
They couldn't agree on spending, so they agreed on a bipartisan commission, Simpson-Bowles ("bipartisan" meaning, obviously, "conservative Democrats and deficit-hawk Republicans"), to decide the issue, decreeing that if they couldn't agree there'd be a budget sequester. The bipartisan commission couldn't agree on spending, so the budget sequester came in to effect, kicking the can a little further down the road.
Now that we're down that road they're against the sequester.

And with one war technically over and the other winding down, if you can't at the very least nibble around the edges at the Pentagon (which is spending more now than it did at during Vietnam or the end of the Cold War), simply, you're done.

 
At 12:39 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

W.E. PAINE "So not approving sodomy is now unAmerican?"
Sodomy is already approved. Woo! Go sodomy!
The issue now is marriage. I'm told that family, and marriage, is the glue that binds the nation together. Unless it's a family with gay parents. Then it is the glue that tears the nation apart. The physics behind that baffle even the greatest, um, physicians in the world.

 
At 1:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey MO,Hey Larry

Show me Obama's budgets that even his own party wouldn't vote for and tell me its the GOP's fault.

How about the tax increases OBAMA care get put on the middle class starting in 2013

1. The Obamacare Medical Device Tax – a $20 billion tax increase: Medical device manufacturers employ 409,000 people in 12,000 plants across the country. Obamacare imposes a new 2.3 percent excise tax on gross sales – even if the company does not earn a profit in a given ye

2. The Obamacare “Special Needs Kids Tax” – a $13 billion tax increase: The 30-35 million Americans who use a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) at work to pay for their family’s basic medical needs will face a new government cap of $2,500 (currently the accounts are unlimited under federal law, though employers are allowed to set a cap).

There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children.

3.The Obamacare “Haircut” for Medical Itemized Deductions – a $15.2 billion tax increase: Currently, those Americans facing high medical expenses are allowed a deduction to the extent that those expenses exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI). This tax increase imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI. By limiting this deduction, Obamacare widens the net of taxable income for the sickest Americans. This tax provision will most harm near retirees and those with modest incomes but high medical bills.

Destroying the American Middle class, one tax increase at time. Increasing the welfare roles by eliminating one job at a time. Subsidized cell phone service providing phones not made in America.

BREAKING NEWS!! SOCIALISM FAILS IN PORTUGAL.
MO AND DD BURY HEADS DEEPER IN THE SAND IN AN ATTEMPT TO IGNORE.

 
At 1:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another Blame Bush moment from our V.P.
FORT MYERS, Fla. (ABC) – Vice President Joe Biden placed the blame for the ballooning deficit on the Bush administration today, arguing that the previous administration saddled the country with the burden of trillions of dollars in debt.

Earlier in the week, the Washington Post fact checked President Obama’s claim that the Bush administration’s policies accounted for 90 percent of the country’s current deficit and rated the assertion as false, since the president also pushed spending increases and tax cuts that added to the deficit.

 
At 3:13 AM, Anonymous Ron Baldwin said...

Harley A,

At 5:41 PM you commented that “There is no clear open and shut case that says FDR’s policies ‘saved’ the country,” and I agree because you go on to recognize, correctly, that we have no alternative history to prove or disprove whether or not he saved the country.

The same could be said about Lincoln and the assertion that he “preserved” the Union. Had Lincoln not been elected President in 1860 it is very likely that Fort Sumpter would not have been attacked in April 1961. Had Stephen Douglas or John Breckinridge been elected President, either of them may have allowed the secession to proceed without a Civil War. Who knows? And where would the country be had that happened?

But back to FDR. In the four months between the November 1932 election and FDR’s inauguration in March 1933, 4,000 banks failed. Now that was a crisis! FDR uttered those immortal words, “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.” He declared a bank holiday. And the runs on banks petered out. With the FDIC there are no runs on banks. What would Herbert Hoover have done in March 1933 if he had won the election? Probably nothing. But again, who knows.

All in all, if I had to characterize whether FDR’s actions “saved” the country I would say they did. Many share that opinion and some do not.

You also raised the question of demographics with regard to social programs. I agree that right now the demographics are running against us, particularly because of the 1946 to 1964 baby boom. (I am somewhat to blame for that with my five children all being baby boomers.) Take Social Security, which before the current recession was projected to be solvent through 2042. Guess what will be happening to the baby boomers in 2042. They will be dropping like flies. The oldest boomers would be age 96 and the youngest would be age 78. Our problem with Social Security is that the surplus has been used for other purposes, and we are left with only bogus IOU’s. And most Members of Congress are re-elected almost automatically. Go figure.

Somehow we all muddled through the 1990’s despite Republican Senator Phil Gramm’s promise that the 1993 tax increases would bring the economy to a screeching halt. There was a screech but it was not from a halt. It was from the acceleration of the economy. We even ended that decade with budget surpluses. Remember them?

Instead of having extended the Bush tax cuts for two years (2011 and 2012) I believe we should have let them expire, which was the Republican plan when they were enacted. But that will only happen in 2013 if we re-elect that Irish kid in the White House, Barry O’Bama.

 
At 3:21 AM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Anonymous "Hey MO,Hey Larry"
Exactly.
Obama has to cut unemployment to close the deficit. Obama also can't cut the budget because that would increase unemployment.
And he has to cut taxes. And also he has to cut the deficit.
And he has to cut Big Government Spending. And also he has to ensure that Defense gets a blank check.
And he has to cut Entitlements. And also he has to protect Medicare and Social Security.
And Obama has to [X]. And Obama also has to [thing that is incompatible with X].

 
At 9:46 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Mr. Baldwin, regarding your reply to Harley A. at 3:13 a.m.:

Priceless! Truer words could not be spoken.

 
At 11:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You libtards don't get it yet, cutting taxes brings in more money for the govt. The key is for govt to stop the increase in spending.

Another example of socialism country failing?
Despite its energy riches, Venezuela is mired in debt and unemployment as state-imposed price and exchange rate controls shackle the economy. And violent crime is so endemic that Caracas has the unenviable ranking of the murder capital of the world.
Interesting how the points about Cuba and the FORMER (thank GOD) USSR aren't even addressed. Instead, in typical liberal fashion, they are ignored and attacks on BUSH and the rich and the "fairness"of our tax system are brought up.
Deflection anyone?? BLAME BUSH!

 
At 3:30 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Anonymous "You libtards don't get it yet, cutting taxes brings in more money for the govt."
Weird. That's the opposite of what Dubya and Greenspan said.

"The key is for govt to stop the increase in spending."
Yes. But not during a recession which, despite corporate profits and NYSE highs, is still on.
Federal spending has to increase during a recession, simply as consequences of unemployment (Medicaid, COBRA, extended unemployment insurance and the like) or to slow contraction in the states (which can't run deficits and end up cutting teachers and firefighters to close them).
Long-term this is bad, but, ideally, spending on things like infrastructure increases growth, which increased revenues, which exceed the cost of moneys borrowed to pay for the initial expansion. How much will it cost? 10 year Treasuries are going for less than the rate of inflation, meaning that lenders are losing money on every dollar they lend ("Then why lend?" you ask? Because the USA is still the safest port in a worldwide storm; they lose less than they would anywhere else).
So why isn't more being done with infrastructure? Because it's good for the country, and what's good for the country is good for Obama, and the GOP (and some Blue Dog Dems, because nothing says "Democrats" like grabbing failure from the jaws of victory) can't let that happen.
"The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president." is not the statement of someone who wants America to work. It's one by someone (and a Party) who, when not in charge, is willing to burn it all down to ensure they'll be in charge again (amply illustrated by them voting against things that they're for, from infrastructure to S-CHIP to job programs for veterans).

"Despite its energy riches, Venezuela is mired in debt and unemployment as state-imposed price and exchange rate controls shackle the economy. And violent crime is so endemic that Caracas has the unenviable ranking of the murder capital of the world."
And the USA is Venezuela, how? Chavez ruined oil production; Obama increased it. Chavez Nationalized industries that weren't failing (passing them off to cronies); Obama propped them up, for better (GM, "owned" by the government more as a "lender of last resort" than anything else), for 'meh' (Obamacare's big kiss to the insurance industry) or worse (Wall Street). Chavez scared off industry with opaque rules and graft; Obama, after the biggest crash since the Great Depression, subjected Wall Street to toothless and swiss-cheese'd Dodd-Frank. Chavez jails for ridiculous reasons; Obama doesn't prosecute no matter the crime (from Wall Street fraudsters to torturers).

 
At 7:10 PM, Anonymous Ron Baldwin said...

To JG, thanks for the kind words at 9:46 AM.

Anon said at 11:45AM, You libtards don’t get it yet, cutting taxes brings in more money for the gov’t.”

Perhaps it will bring a modicum of cheer to our angry anonymous writer if I call myself a “libtard” (whatever that is) who agrees that cutting taxes can and often does provide more money for the government. But let me add “in the short run.” In the long run we see the concentration of wealth resulting in the elimination of the middle class that not only decreases government revenue but also increases government spending on those nasty “entitlements” such as food stamps.

By the way, I describe myself as a social liberal and a fiscal conservative. There are many things that only a government can do effectively but we should if at all possible pay for those things as we do them (for example the 40,000 mile Interstate Highway System). Maybe that makes me a “libcon” for those who see a need for short, catchy labels.

If it makes people happy they can call me a Socialist because I recognize that having organizations such as Seal Team 6, the US Marines, fire departments, and the like, are best managed if set up by a government that maintains those “socialist” organizations.

Finally, if someone would like to see my reasons for adding “in the short run” to the effect of tax cuts, email me at ronsr1934@yahoo.com (not my regular email address).

 
At 8:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ron,

Our budget problem is not Seal Team 6, and you know it. Our problem is not taking as MO said, $1600 a month away from Granny. And you know that, those are just stalking horses used to cover the real spending problems, and you know that as well.

Our problem is govt spending as exampled by the millions govt spent for cell phones in Ohio alone, the 99 weeks unemployment with none of the regulations of Clinton's Welfare Reform. Our problem is an expanding social safety net that has lost the expectation by its users that it is a temporary fix to be used until better times come along.

Our problem is our Social Safety Net is now deemed an acceptable way of living by close to a majority of our population. Our problem is the debt we continue to grow can not be paid off by increasing taxes as long as the distortion of our Social Safety Net is expected and accepted.
We live in a time where the highest paid unionized public school teachers in the nation go on strike for more, while refusing to be held accountable for the results of their work as a function of determining their pay. Is there a increase in their work load or working days in exchange for their demands, no. And the tax payer is expected to fork over the cash needed to meet the demands, and no one seems upset!

At the same time, business flee the heavily taxed parts of our nation, population flees CA due to high taxes and yet there is still a large segment of our population who demands more from the govt in the way of benefits, benefits they contribute very little to as a percent of the total cost.

It is madness. We see the results of this type of govt controlled economy in France, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Ireland and Greece. Yet in our madness, we continue to use class envy as a tool to increase taxes on the decreasing percent of our population that still pay income taxes to the IRS. (Much less even having to file a IRS form 1040.)

Trillions of deficit dollars are spent for shovel ready jobs that aren't there. The money instead goes to bail out the states pension funds of its workers. Madness, shear madness.

Now on the eve of this every four year self examination we put our country through called the Presidential elections, we are being told to vote to return to office the person who has made all these insane choices instead of someone who knows how to operate a business for (gasp) a profit, has balanced a state budget, and yes one time put his dog in its cage on the top of his family's station wagon.

You know once you eat the rich, there will be no left to blame for the failure of govt to keep its promises, just like there will be no money to take care of Granny or pay for Seal Team 6.

 
At 5:46 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Looks like Anonymous has given his best shot regurgitating Right wing talking points in arguing for the interests of the economic elites, over the vast majority of Americans who want Social Security and Medicare as public service programs, and not profit mechanisms for corporations.

Let’s clear away the FOX(R) BS and look at reality.

Our problem is our Social Safety Net is now deemed an acceptable way of living by close to a majority of our population.

(Unfounded and false accusation.)

Our problem is the debt we continue to grow can not be paid off by increasing taxes as long as the distortion of our Social Safety Net is expected and accepted.

(It is agreed that caps should be raised and age requirements may be adjusted. 15% too high for the rich? Perhaps if they pay zero taxes the revenue will rise to pay off the debt?)

We live in a time where the highest paid unionized public school teachers in the nation go on strike for more, while refusing to be held accountable for the results of their work as a function of determining their pay. Is there a increase in their work load or working days in exchange for their demands, no.

(Wrong. “Elementary students would gain 75 minutes to create a seven-hour school day. High school students would gain 30 minutes to create a seven-and-a-half-hour school day. Teachers want additional money to teach the additional hours .”

Ignorance of the issues is not a compelling argument. The strike was not “for more” money. It was the “teach to the test” standards, no matter the makeup of the students or class size. Forcing teachers to raise inner city students to the standards of more affluent suburban students is an unrealistic measure of accountability. Larger numbers of students in classrooms is in fact an increase in work load, as well as an increase in hours worked. )

At the same time, business flee the heavily taxed parts of our nation, population flees CA due to high taxes and yet there is still a large segment of our population who demands more from the govt in the way of benefits, benefits they contribute very little to as a percent of the total cost.

(Businesses don’t flee taxes. They go to cheap labor. “They” the large segment, pay into Social Security and Medicare at a higher percentage of their paycheck than Romney. The resentment is burning so hot we can feel it.)

 
At 5:47 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

It is madness. We see the results of this type of govt controlled economy in France, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Ireland and Greece. Yet in our madness, we continue to use class envy as a tool to increase taxes on the decreasing percent of our population that still pay income taxes to the IRS.

(The madness is Wall Street, not the government, who calls the shots, in this country. As Senator Dick Durbin said, “The banks -- hard to believe in a time when we're facing a banking crisis, that many of the banks created, are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place.”

“Class envy” is yet another false accusation from the radical Right. I don’t know anybody who wants to be Mitt the Snip Romney.)

Trillions of deficit dollars are spent for shovel ready jobs that aren't there.

(Another false unfounded assertion)

The money instead goes to bail out the states pension funds of its workers. Madness, shear madness.

(Roads were improved. teachers, police and firefighters stayed employed. The Stimulus was by all standards as successful as it could have been considering the large part that was tax cuts.

Punish the little guy, right? Is there something wrong with states meeting contractual obligations to retirees? You call that madness?)

we are being told to vote to return to office the person who has made all these insane choices instead of someone who knows how to operate a business for (gasp) a profit, has balanced a state budget,

(Government is not a profit oriented enterprise. It is a service to the public. These choices were necessitated by the economic collapse of 2008, for those who remember that far back. More GOP policies would have ensured a depression.)

You know once you eat the rich, there will be no left to blame for the failure of govt to keep its promises,

(More unfounded class envy accusations, hiding behind class warfare where the rich are winning. Envy and hate seem to be the characteristics best understood by the Right so they are projected unto others

 
At 9:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like DD is once again over looking history in an attempt to push his big govt socialist agenda.
Misunderstanding the points the right makes in an attempt to open his eyes much less his brain (sealed shut like the prison cells he guards for his govt check)is a weary job. But one has only to realize that he is apart of the 47% who get their income from the taxes taken from others, to see why he has such a vested interest in govt spending...It's for him and he likes it.

Oh well, someone has to do it, might as well be little ole me.

 
At 10:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Forcing teachers to raise inner city students to the standards of more affluent suburban students is an unrealistic measure of accountability."

Wow, who knew that the inner city teachers were being forced to work nine months a year for $75,000 was so tough. And who knew that they were being force to teach there instead of in the affluent burbs? And who would wonder after all the billions of tax dollars spent to improve the inner city schools that it would be unreasonable to expect some improvement in their students grades? And for now, wonder where DD got the stats that show the inner city poor kids were not as smart as the kids in the affluent suburbs? Sounds like kind of racist talk to me to hold the position that your income levels could determine your teachable.

One final note: DD claims that "Our problem is our Social Safety Net is now deemed an acceptable way of living by close to a majority of our population.
(Unfounded and false accusation.)"

Just because DD says it's so, doesn't make it so, use your brains people, do some research, question your assumptions.

 
At 10:47 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Misunderstanding the points the right makes

That is the funniest thing I’ve seen all day...

Until this:

Just because DD says it's so, doesn't make it so, use your brains people, do some research, question your assumptions.

You’re killing us...with laughter.

 
At 10:50 PM, Blogger Modusoperandi said...

Anonymous"Misunderstanding the points the right makes in an attempt to open his eyes much less his brain (sealed shut like the prison cells he guards for his govt check)is a weary job. But one has only to realize that he is apart of the 47% who get their income from the taxes taken from others, to see why he has such a vested interest in govt spending...It's for him and he likes it."
You do know that most of that are the retired, students, the unemployed and the working poor, right?


(For fun, contrast with the earlier, "Our problem is not taking as MO said, $1600 a month away from Granny." I can only conclude that she both is, and is not, a threat to the fiscal stability of the USA. Schrodinger's Grandma, as it were)

 
At 8:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This explains DD's logic, or lack there of, better than I ever could.

MSNBC host Melissa Harris Perry jumped to defend Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren’s claims that she is part Cherokee Indian Saturday on her weekend show. Perry delivered a mini-diatribe on the relativity of race, with the conclusion that all one must do is “think” they are a certain ethnicity for it to be true.

If DD thinks it is so, it is so.

 
At 12:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the difference between Republicans and Democrats?

Republicans sign checks on the front - Democrats sign them on the back.

 
At 2:59 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Sanity prevails. From the Washington Post:

The Republican Party remains at a low point in terms of its popularity, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, with a majority of voters (53 percent) saying they have an unfavorable view of the party and more than one in three (35 percent) saying they view Republicans in a strongly unfavorable light.

The popularity of the GOP also continues to languish among several groups that could decide the election.

While 52 percent of self-described moderates view the Democratic Party favorably, just 35 percent view the Republican Party favorably.

Fully 60 percent of moderates view the GOP in a negative light, including 33 percent who view it very unfavorably. By contrast, just 11 percent of moderates see the Republican Party in a “strongly favorable” light.

 
At 11:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama show he cant debate with out his TelePrompter. And his V.P cant chew gum and walk at the same time.
BLAME BUSH!!

 
At 11:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey crap for brains DD, less than 30% of Americans polled call them selves LIBERALS!
How does it feel to be a minority?

 

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