BLOG: Bad news for Obama

Tom Jackson
Jun 8, 2011

Let's see. Judging from what's getting the most coverage, the most important news in the U.S. is that a you-know-what in Congress Tweeted a picture of his you-know-what, and Sarah Palin's account of Paul Revere's famous ride may not be strictly accurate. Oh, and there's big news in Ohio, too -- some guy left the football team at OSU.

Here a couple of apparently unimportant things you may have missed:

(1) The U.S. economy actually is getting worse, at least in terms of employment. The unemployment rate has gone up for two months in a row — from 8.8 percent in March, to 9.0 percent in April and then 9.1 percent in May. People who have given up looking for work aren't counted in these numbers, because they are considered no longer in the workforce. People who took a crummy, low-paying job because they can't find a good one also don't figure in the raw numbers.

(2) President Obama's war in Libya apparently is illegal. Or so says lawyer and author Glenn Greenwald.

Comments

brutus smith

He could have your IQ of 2. 

gilamonster
He has a superior IQ and wears pins on his hat: are they made in China? I bet it’s a railroad conductors cap. All aboard the Trotsky Express!   “ A liberal is a man too broad-minded to take his own side in a quarrel” R. Frost   Stimulus was nothing but a band aid, times will get worse, the ship is sinking. My advice buy Rosetta Stone and learn some Chinese. I like what one ‘financial forecaster’ said he would do, “ Replace the Fed with a 486 computer.” If Kasich loses more jobs (he would have to top 400,000) the Repubs can use the same Obama rhetoric; “not enough time to undo all the years of Ted Strychnine.” Yes your right; The Bailout Kings; just get home before the carriage turns back to a pumpkin.   Annoy a liberal, buy a handgun!
rizzaC

There are economic problems that the country is facing and the decision on the strategy to use to solve this will really come from authorities like the president. Careful analysis and studies must be done to be able for it to be a successful one.Obama went to a Chrysler Jeep assembly plant in Toledo, Ohio a week ago. This visit comes two years after Obama's administration decided to invest $60 billion to bailout the troubled car market. Obama was given a warm reception from a group who were grateful for a decision which has kept them currently employed. Here is the proof:  Obama visits Jeep plant in Ohio, cardealexpert.com/news-information.

Bess

“Gloom and Doom, Gloom and Doom”  Oz.  Finian’s Rainbow.

Yes, the economy is showing signs of strain, great strain.  But wait, it could get worse.  August will come and if the debt ceiling is not raised who knows what the effect will be?  I don’t know, do you?

What I do know is this.  Obama was elected in 2009 after eight years of GWB wars, tax breaks, and deregulation.  Until 2008 GWB and the Republican Party passed pretty much anything they wanted.  Disgusted in late 2008 we elected Obama and a Democratic Congress.  In 2010 Tea Party Republicans waged a successful campaign and changed the color of the House of Representatives back to RED and many State Governors and Legislators as well.  We are currently suffering from all of this.

An honest liberal should admit that after two years we have the Obama economy which is showing awful signs of strains with no clear direction.   Why?  I posit the reason lies with the willingness of both Liberals and Conservatives not to bargain in good faith. 

As a liberal, and progressive one at that, I observe that Obama has compromised, diluting Keynesian economic policies that continue today.  No one can know with certainty why Obama compromised on the stimulus and many other policies.  One can presume that compromise was necessary to pass any legislation through the Senate.  The Senate filibuster can stop any legislation proposed in its pure form.  What is clear is the policies we have were negotiated with the Republican Party.   In the end no one is happy. 

Republicans, post election, have shown us what they are all about and it is not compromise.  It is about division: division on capital and labor, division on abortion and now even birth control.  The Republicans are insisting on moving forward the separation of the rich and poor.  And, while they claim they are the party of less government at the state level they legislate more government control over our private lives than we have had since the early 1950’s. 

The insane and unproven agreement between the Tea Party masses and the Tea Party financiers is reasonably clear.  The agreement parallels the Republican Party platform.  Financiers promised support to the religious right for their support of lower taxes for them and laissez faire government.  Ironic isn’t it that religious people would “sell their soul” and compromise the living population of workers for their narrow view of religious principles in fact ignoring the constitutional proposition of religious freedom. 

anthras

Bess, you advised that up until 2008 President Bush and the republican passed what they wanted however the first 6 years of President Bush and the republican party were good years with unemployment very low, interest rates good inflation was in check and in 2006 the people elected a democratic congress and at that time things were different in many ways.

President Bush was concerned about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and sent a letter to congress asking if there should be some over sight by congress. Both Chris Dodd and Barney Frank advised that all was well and congress did not have to  investigate the matter. President Bush was at that time controlled by the Democratic congress.

Ergo we had 6 good years via President Bush and the republican congress and 2 years of  President Bush with a democratic congress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bess

Anthras-

Upon closer look however you may well find that during the perceived veneer “good times” of GWB’s first six years the unregulated markets - over and above Fannie and Freddie were splitting up these bad loans and selling them as derivatives as having value when they really had little value.  Then the unregulated insurance companies sold insurance on these awful things putting Goldman Sacs and others in a win-win situation.  This was before they were declared “to big to fail” by the GWB administration before Obama was president.  Ordinary citizens were not bailed out by either GWB or Obama and many thousands were forced into foreclosure under the guise of “moral hazard”; funny how the same principal of “moral hazard” was not used for the financial markets.  Ordinary citizens watched as their investments lost value.   October 8, 2007 the DOW stood at $14,093 and by the beginning of the Obama Administration it was $9,034, a loss of 36%.  Those who held homes as their principal investment fared no better.   Since Obama took office the markets recovered some value.  The current DOW is at $12,122 so the investor class has recovered some value.  The ordinary citizens clearly have not. 

Who knows where we will go from here.  But given the continuing tax breaks for those who would not be damaged paying more and the challenges to the “working peoples” right to collectively bargain it appear that the middle class will weaken further.

http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=%5EDJI+Interactive#chart1:symbol=^dji;range=20060614,20110608;indicator=volume;charttype=line;crosshair=on;ohlcvalues=0;logscale=on  

6079 Smith W
@ Bess:   To paraphrase LM Keynes: Save during the yrs. of plenty in order to spend during the times of scarcity.   Along the way, Mr. Obama and the so-called "Progressives" have bastardized Keynesian economics to mean: Spend, spend, spend and spend some more.   As so finely illustrated by the current fiscal events and public unrest in Greece: No country in the history of the world can spend itself into long-term prosperity.   You may want to occasionally peruse the writings of economic-historian Mr. Niall Ferguson as well as economist, Mr. Kenneth Rogoff:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niall_Ferguson   http://www.amazon.com/This-Time-Different-Centuries-Financial/dp/0691142165   Every great nation and empire in the history of the world has eventually been broken by massive debt and public spending, i.e., Rome, France, England, Spain, the Soviet Union, etc.     The U.S. has no immunity to the inertia of fiscal history. We are living way beyond our means - pure and simple.   I’m currently re-reading Chas. Kindleberger’s classic, “Manias, Panics and Crashes.” Trust me, our current crop of idiots in DC and elsewhere are no smarter than the multitude of idiots of the past who thought that they could have the good life on the cheap.   http://www.amazon.com/Manias-Panics-Crashes-Financial-Investment/dp/0471467146/ref=pd_sim_b_3   Essentially all Mr. Obama and friends have done is to have taken private debt and transformed it into public debt.   We've spent the majority of our monetary bullets to save us from the Great Recession and have few if any left for the coming worldwide Greatest Depression.     Finally, blaming the policies of POTUS Bush for our current situation demonstrates a lack of macroeconomic sophistication and knowledge. These past, current and future events have been decades in the making.

 

Bess

 Well my worthy opponent Smith is back and begins with:  “To paraphrase LM Keynes: Save during the yrs. of plenty in order to spend during the times of scarcity.”  Perhaps you just forgot but when the conservative Republican GWB took office we were not running an annual deficit but a surplus with a Democratic Administration. 

Just because there are those that hold JM Keynes (not LM) was incorrect does not make it so.  There are many current economists that hold onto Keynesian principals.

Taxpayer

Poor 0bama!  Boo, hoo, hoo!  "He works so hard, he makes me weep."  Ha! Ha!

6079 Smith W

Even more "bad news" for Mr. Obama:

Hot off the web -

"The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose by 1,000 last week, according to a report on Thursday that could stoke fears the labor market recovery has stalled.

Initial claims for state jobless benefits increased to 427,000, the Labor Department said. A department official added the slim rise meant the level was "essentially unchanged."

http://www.cnbc.com/id/43337769

------------------

Here's some quotes for ya:     "I screwed up" - President Barack Obama, 2/3/09

In Aug. 2007, during the campaign, Mr. Joe Biden said the following about Mr. Obama:

"I think he can be ready, but right now I don't believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training."

 

6079 Smith W

 A couple of other fine missives from our illustrious POTUS:

“I love those folks who helped get us in this mess and now say, ‘This is Obama’s economy,’ That’s fine. Give it to me. ... My job is to solve problems, not to stand on the sidelines and carp and gripe.”

  -   POTUS Obama, 7/15/09     “I don't mind, by the way, being responsible. I expect to be held responsible for these issues because I'm the President. But I don't want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them just to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess. I don't mind cleaning up after them, but don't do a lot of talking.”   

- POTUS Obama, August 6, 2009

 

There ya go; in his own words - He's responsible and he claims ownership.

 

brutus smith

 

6079 Smith W says

 A couple of other fine missives from our illustrious POTUS:

“I don't mind, by the way, being responsible. I expect to be held responsible for these issues because I'm the President. But I don't want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them just to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess. I don't mind cleaning up after them, but don't do a lot of talking.” 

 

- POTUS Obama, August 6, 2009

 

So birther/deather/full time right wingnut, you agree that the Repubs need to get the f--- out of the way so we can get our economy going again.

6079 Smith W

Bess writes:

"But given the continuing tax breaks for those who would not be damaged paying more,"

 

So in other words, stealing from Peter by Sam, to be used in programs for the benefit of Paul will fix all economic problems now and forever?   Taking capital out of the hands of those who either invest in and/or create jobs producing enterprises and giving it to wasteful taxpayer supported govt. bureaucrats for their disbursement is classic backward brain-dead socialistic thinking.

 

Bess

Smith I don’t understand why you use such easy arguments to oppose.  You just wrote -

“Taking capital out of the hands of those who either invest in and/or create jobs producing enterprises and giving it to wasteful taxpayer supported govt. bureaucrats for their disbursement is classic backward brain-dead socialistic thinking.”  - which defies all logic and history.  Further, liberal politics do not equate to socialism.   Liberals have a point of view.  It is justice not confiscation and redistribution of all property.  Perhaps you should look to equal opportunity and justice for all and stop spewing your nonsense.  As for “taking capital...” by your premise we should be swimming in jobs since the Bush tax cuts.  I don’t see this happening so much for your benevolent investor class.

6079 Smith W
@ Bess:   A one-time annual surplus? More like a blip due to a confluence of factors - not currently repeatable.   You most conveniently forget (the following list is not all inclusive):   A Repub Congress and Senate   The Tech Boom (Stock mkt. began crashing in 2000) NASDAQ at 5K - where is it now?   High tax receipts due to tech boom and economic expansion   (And later) 9/11/01 and the defense build-up and expense of Homeland security.   A boom in housing values (Mr. Clinton drastically reduced the cap gains taxes on the sale of real estate)   Cheap money and credit - Thank you Mr. Greenspan   Cheap oil     That's the problem with people who aren't students of history, they tend to see events in isolation and arrive at very erroneous conclusions.  

"Lord" JM Keynes.

 

 

brutus smith

 birther/deather/full time right wingnut, enlighten me when it is good to cut taxes during a time of war? Show me where it didn't explode a country's deficit. You start 2 trillion dollar wars and cut taxes? Hmmmm.

Bess

Smith-

I agree there are many factors to consider but my general observation stands.  I would also note you cherry pick the observations, a common problem leading to “they tend to see events in isolation and arrive at very erroneous conclusions.“

6079 Smith W

Bess writes:

"Perhaps you should look to equal opportunity and justice for all,"

And who decides this? DC bureaucrats? Socialism is such a nice comfortable fantasy isn't it?

So if the U.S. is not "swimming in jobs" with Bush (and now Obama) era tax cuts, then raising taxes on those with capital will create a boom in employment?

More bastardized Keynsianism - dumping trillions of dollars into the economy has not spurred jobs but increased taxes will?

Talk about "nonsense" - that counterintuitive and absurd.

Approx. 70% of U.S. GDP is consumer spending. Apr. consumer spending increased by a measly .04%. Consumers are paying down debt. They don't want to take on any more debt!

Much of the boom we experienced during the past decade was people borrowing on the increasing value of their houses. Houses values have since cratered.

Pretty much until housing stabilizes, this economy will be moribund.

 

Bess

6079-

You write: "And who decides this? DC bureaucrats?”  Yes.  That’s what they are elected to do. “Socialism is such a nice comfortable fantasy isn't it?”  This clearly illustrates one problem with conservative thinking.  They neither listen nor read and understand anything they do not want to hear.  They just keep going with their own talking points.  I wish they were pretending that contrary facts were not presented but I cannot because I don’t think they recognize them at all.

“So if the U.S. is not "swimming in jobs" with Bush (and now Obama) era tax cuts, then raising taxes on those with capital will create a boom in employment? More bastardized Keynsianism - dumping trillions of dollars into the economy has not spurred jobs but increased taxes will? Talk about "nonsense" - that counterintuitive and absurd.”  See above and ... If we agree that the deficit must be addressed, then the revenue side must be considered.  Taking taxes back to pre-Bush rates would help address this.

6079 Smith W

 Bess writes:

 "I agree there are many factors to consider but my general observation stands."

  So you agree but you disagree? LOL. Let's square that circle!   It’s obviously very convenient for you to spew out opinions without a shred of substantiation. Most mentally lazy people tend to rely on this simplistic "technique."   

And no, you're a poor “opponent” due to the fact that I constantly have to spend time making a seemingly futile effort to educate away from your socialist sophistry.

 

Bess

Square away my friend.  Then try to read for comprehension.

6079 Smith W

brutus smith writes:

"So birther/deather/full time right wingnut,"

From the bs archives:

“Is there something you want to add to the conversation other than your usual hate and nastiness? (brutus smith, May 24, 2011)

Have a nice day Cupcake.

 

 

6079 Smith W
@ Bess:   Here are the EGTRRA tax level changes: a new 10% bracket was created for single filers with taxable income up to $6,000, joint filers up to $12,000, and heads of households up to $10,000. the 15% bracket's lower threshold was indexed to the new 10% bracket the 28% bracket would be lowered to 25% by 2006. the 31% bracket would be lowered to 28% by 2006 the 36% bracket would be lowered to 33% by 2006 the 39.6% bracket would be lowered to 35% by 2006 Are you OK with rollin' 'em ALL back to previous levels? Increase taxes on everyone or not at all eh?   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_Growth_and_Tax_Relief_Reconciliation_Act_of_2001     A far much greater problem than the here-today-gone-tomorrow elected officials are the career bureaucrats in the seemingly endless number of alphabet soup of govt. agencies who interpret and carry out their dictates long after they've left office.  

For one, does the U.S. tax code need to be as Byzantine as it currently is?

 

brutus smith

 Weren't the tax cuts for the rich given to spur the economy? Well, they haven't used the money to spur the economy. Time for them to give it back then. If you bought a new car on the promise you would get 40 miles to the gallon, but only got 15, would you want your money back? That's what happened with the rich.

Factitious

If Obama's action in Libya is illegal, why hasn't the Rabid Republican House impeached him?

6079 Smith W

Bess writes:

"I agree there are many factors to consider but my general observation stands."

"Square away my friend.  Then try to read for comprehension."

FYI: The "but" negated the prior statement in which you stated that you agreed.

Any comprehension issue appears to lay squarely with the writer.

 

 

6079 Smith W

Bess writes:

"This clearly illustrates one problem with conservative thinking.  They neither listen nor read and understand anything they do not want to hear.  They just keep going with their own talking points.  I wish they were pretending that contrary facts were not presented but I cannot because I don’t think they recognize them at all."   Exactly what facts have you presented?   Other than simplistic emotional appeals for increasing taxes on some, equal opportunity and justice - you've presented no substantial arguments whatsoever.   Just more liberal-socialist-progressive gobbledygook.  
Bess

6079-

“Anger leads to the dark side…”   Yoda.   And you my friend are very angry, why? I know not. 

1)      You continue to erroneously call liberal adherents socialists, ignoring or not aware of the written comments.   Then without a shred of evidence claim superiority.

2)      I would agree with going back to the tax code rates you presented but for at the lower income levels the people have naught to live on before paying taxes.  Perhaps you don’t care.  I do.

3)      Facts worth repeating.   

“Gloom and Doom, Gloom and Doom”  Oz.  Finian’s Rainbow.

Yes, the economy is showing signs of strain, great strain.  But wait, it could get worse.  August will come and if the debt ceiling is not raised who knows what the effect will be?  I don’t know, do you?

What I do know is this.  Obama was elected in 2009 after eight years of GWB wars, tax breaks, and deregulation.  Until 2008 GWB and the Republican Party passed pretty much anything they wanted.  Disgusted in late 2008 we elected Obama and a Democratic Congress.  In 2010 Tea Party Republicans waged a successful campaign and changed the color of the House of Representatives back to RED and many State Governors and Legislators as well.  We are currently suffering from all of this.

An honest liberal should admit that after two years we have the Obama economy which is showing awful signs of strains with no clear direction.   Why?  I posit the reason lies with the willingness of both Liberals and Conservatives not to bargain in good faith. 

As a liberal, and progressive one at that, I observe that Obama has compromised, diluting Keynesian economic policies that continue today.  No one can know with certainty why Obama compromised on the stimulus and many other policies.  One can presume that compromise was necessary to pass any legislation through the Senate.  The Senate filibuster can stop any legislation proposed in its pure form.  What is clear is the policies we have were negotiated with the Republican Party.   In the end no one is happy. 

Republicans, post election, have shown us what they are all about and it is not compromise.  It is about division: division on capital and labor, division on abortion and now even birth control.  The Republicans are insisting on moving forward the separation of the rich and poor.  And, while they claim they are the party of less government at the state level they legislate more government control over our private lives than we have had since the early 1950’s. 

The insane and unproven agreement between the Tea Party masses and the Tea Party financiers is reasonably clear.  The agreement parallels the Republican Party platform.  Financiers promised support to the religious right for their support of lower taxes for them and laissez faire government.  Ironic isn’t it that religious people would “sell their soul” and compromise the living population of workers for their narrow view of religious principles in fact ignoring the constitutional proposition of religious freedom. 

Captain Gutz
"An honest liberal should admit that after two years we have the Obama economy which is showing awful signs of strains with no clear direction.   Why? I posit the reason lies with the willingness of both Liberals and Conservatives not to bargain in good faith. "

I couldn't agree more, just like the previous administration, and the one prior to that , and to that, ad nauseam.

goofus

For the last time, there was no tax cut for the rich, it was a continuation of the Bush tax tables. We could stop this argument if the liberal socialists that want to pay more taxes,pay more taxes and leave the rest of us alone. Bess and Brutus, there is nothing stopping you from donating more money to the government. Don't ask the rest of us to march to your drumming of wealth redistribution, I find it so vile to take what a person worked hard to achieve and give it to classic underachievers. It's stealing no matter what you call it.

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