ChrisWeigant.com

Friday Talking Points [133] -- The Silly Season Begins

[ Posted Friday, August 6th, 2010 – 17:45 PDT ]

August in Washington means the beginning of the official "silly season" of politics. This is because Congress takes the whole month off, and political news stories become rather thin on the ground. Intrepid political reporters, wishing to be on vacation themselves, get lazy and start going crazy over non-stories hyped into political wildfires seemingly overnight -- over the silliest of subjects. But these fun and games have not quite yet begun, because the Senate wrapped up work this week, and a few legal decisions of great moment were in the news.

Silly Season '10 may not even begin next week, since Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called the House back into a rare vacation-interrupting session, so they can get some emergency money out to the states to save thousands upon thousands of jobs for firefighters, teachers, and cops. The Republicans, in a stunning display of hubris, called this a giveaway to "special interests," but more on that later.

Perhaps an early harbinger of this year's silly season was the Capitol Police allowing a protest group to hang a senator in effigy, but drew the line at beating the effigy with sticks (although slapping him apparently met their standards). So, anyone planning an effigy party in the near future, be warned -- the line has now been drawn. Hanging an effigy -- OK. Beating said effigy with sticks -- not OK. And both the senator involved and the group protesting hail from the Right, making the silliness all that more enjoyable.

Silly news aside (or perhaps in the "so silly it's sad" category), we have to pause here to highly recommend an article in another publication. Now, we here know a few things about regular readers of this column (forgive me if you just wandered in here for the first time, feel free to skip down to the next section if this is so). Firstly, that you do not mind when we (quite frequently) enjoy the heck out of using the editorial "we" instead of just saying "I" like a normal blogger, just because it sounds so much cooler. Secondly, that you are a wonky-minded type of person, otherwise this whole article series would put you to sleep. And thirdly, that you are not afraid of reading an article longer than the usual 800-word editorial. Sometimes far longer....

For all these reasons (well, maybe not the first... but, tangentially, you'll love the article's oh-so-correct usage of accents in English -- such as "reëlect" -- which, we feel, is closely enough related to our first audience-criterion for us to make such an assumption)... where were we? Ahem. Oh, right -- as we were saying... for all the reasons stated above, we just know you're going to love an article in the recent issue of The New Yorker written by George Packer. It is titled "The Broken Chamber," which its subtitle explains by asking "Just how broken is the Senate?"

Anyone frustrated by the past eighteen months, especially the progress we have made versus the progress we could have made, needs to read this article. Everyone who has ever railed at Harry Reid for not getting more things done also needs to read this article. Everyone frustrated with Obama's legislative pace needs to read this article as well. In fact, if you have the pride to call yourself any sort of wonk at all, you really need to read this article.

But enough shameless magazine-plugging in the hopes of their sending us a free one-year subscription. Ahem. Instead, let's get to the week we've had, and then move on to what Democrats should be saying next.

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

As previously mentioned, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was surprisingly impressive last week, for announcing she was calling the House back into session right smack in the middle of their month-long summer campaign/vacation. Elena Kagan got confirmed by the Senate as our next Justice of the Supreme Court, which is impressive as well -- especially considering that 75 percent of all women who have ever served on the high court will do so together, as a full third of the court will now be female. It only took about 90 years after getting the right to vote, and maybe for the suffragettes' 100-year victory party, they'll achieve something approximating true parity (which would equate to either four or five seats). Both Pelosi and Kagan deserve at least an Honorable Mention this week.

The really impressive politician this week was the New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg. Unfortunately, while he has jumped party lines twice in his career, at this particular point in time he simply cannot be labeled a "Democrat," so we'll have to forego giving him this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award, although I would encourage everyone to read the full speech he gave earlier this week in support of the "Two-And-A-Half Blocks Away From Ground Zero Mosque." Democratic House member Jerrold Nadler, whose district includes both "Ground Zero" and the mosque site, also released a strong statement of support (noticeable in the Democratic universe due to the shameful absence of other prominent Democrats echoing both Nadler and Bloomberg's sentiments).

No word yet on how those opposing the mosque have reacted to the predictable news that (gasp!) the Pentagon -- also a 9/11 target -- has a mosque inside the building! The smart money would be on "they'll ignore this news completely," what do you say?

But back to Democrats. Now, we're going to go out on a limb here, and make the assumption that Kristin M. Perry, Sandra B. Stier, Paul T. Katami, and Jeffrey J. Zarrillo are all Democrats. You may not have heard their full names, but they are the four plaintiffs in the case we're all going to remember as Perry v. Schwarzenegger -- which a federal judge just ruled on, effectively throwing out California's Proposition 8, which took away the right of gay people in the state to get married.

Of course, this fight is nowhere near over, and will likely end up before Elena Kagan and the other eight justices of the Supreme Court. Which could take years. But the ruling was indeed a victory on the tough legal road these four plaintiffs are traveling, and a stunningly sweeping victory as well. The judge, on fairly straightforward (sorry about the pun, there) Libertarian principles, ruled that the government really doesn't have any business in deciding who will get married to each other, and that everyone must be treated the same way under the Constitution (leaning heavily on the Fourteenth Amendment).

There is one interesting bit of irony here -- the judge was initially appointed by Ronald Reagan, and later re-appointed under George Herbert Walker Bush, after Democrats blocked his confirmation for two years. Gay rights activists, at the time, were incensed at his nomination, because he had been on the side of the International Olympic Committee against what were then called the "Gay Olympics" (and are now called the "Gay Games," if memory serves). They were forced to change their name on the reasoning that the I.O.C. owned the term "Olympics." As mentioned, this enraged gay rights supporters when he was named to the federal bench.

The moral of this story is: when judges receive a lifetime appointment on the bench -- whether initially from the Left or the Right -- sometimes they develop legal philosophies which surprise the heck out of their initial supporters.

In any case, for having the stomach to travel an extremely long and arduous legal road that few among us (no matter how discriminated-against we may feel, at times) would ever sign up for, and for their spectacular early victory in their legal fight, we are going to just assume they're all either Democrats or at the very least "fellow travelers" and go ahead and award a Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week to Kristin M. Perry, Sandra B. Stier, Paul T. Katami, and Jeffrey J. Zarrillo this week. Keep fighting the good fight, and know that we're behind you all the way.

[I know of no public contact for any of these people -- and do not wish to impose upon their privacy in any case -- so if you want to show your support for their cause, please donate to any organization which is helping them with their case.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

We must confess a kind of free-floating disappointment with Democrats this week, although it seems to us that no particular one of them stood above (below?) the rest of the pack this week. This is probably due to a faulty memory on our part, we fully admit. Ahem.

But this past week had a lot of "disappointment by omission" rather than the more normal "disappointment by commission." A lot of Democrats were noticeable by their absence on a few key issues. The court ruling in favor of gay rights would have been a good time for Obama to start supporting the concept, but he didn't. This wasn't all that surprising, as he's always said he's not a gay marriage supporter, but still. California Senators Feinstein and Boxer came out in support of the ruling, though, as did a few other scattered Democrats. There was another vast silence from both the White House and most congressional Democrats on the mosque fracas -- a deeper silence than the one after the gay marriage ruling.

The Senate did a few good things, and let slip a few other good things, in their usual fashion. Senate Democrats (almost all of them, with the exception of a few newcomers like Al Franken, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Sherrod Brown, to name three) almost got the MDDOTW award en masse this week, just because that New Yorker article was so blood-curdling in its outspoken critique. I could also have handed the award to Harry Reid, because this week would also have been a dandy time to pass the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," as the House has already done -- which Harry failed to do (which doesn't exactly bode well for seeing this repeal actually happen this year). But Harry did, surprisingly, indicate that he's going to take on the whole Bush tax cuts issue before the election (and not after), so we gave him a pass this week as well.

In other words, a free-floating disappointment pervaded the week, without ever rising to the point of outright annoyance. So, reluctantly, we are going to forego the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week since nobody really stood out from the pack in the past seven days.

We will entertain suggestions for who richly deserves this week's MDDOTW award this week, just in case we forgot something egregious. It's certainly happened before.

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 133 (8/6/10)

Democrats face a new framing battle in the coming weeks. This will be an important one, and while it may not change the outcome of any election this November (it could, but it'd be hard to tell, even if it did), it will be absolutely crucial for the tenor of the debate not only now but possibly for a long time to come.

Because the "Bush tax cuts" are about to expire. A whirlwind history of these tax cuts is in order here, first. Bush pushed through a package of tax cuts at the very beginning of his term, in 2001 (he later added a few others, but this was the main bill). Because he got these approved through the congressional tactic known as "reconciliation" (which Republicans loved back then, before they discovered that they hated the tactic when it was used to pass healthcare reform), this meant that these tax cuts were not "permanent" but rather only went as far as the 10-year budget projections required at the time. Anyone who can add can quickly see that these 10 years are almost up. Now, in the intervening years, Republicans held Congress for longer than Democrats. So the question arises, "Why didn't Republicans, when they controlled both chambers and the White House, make these tax cuts permanent?" The answer to that is: because doing so scared the bejeezus out of the Republicans who truly are fiscally conservative. The budget projections for extending the tax cuts showed that, unlike the snake oil of "tax cuts pay for themselves" (which every Republican truly, truly believes; no matter how often it is proven wrong by actual facts), these tax cuts would -- very shortly after they were scheduled to expire -- blow an enormous hole in the budget, and require massive, massive deficit spending to continue. Which is exactly where we find ourselves now.

But this time around, Democrats have a secret weapon. Or call it "leverage," it sounds less militant. Because if Congress does nothing (which they excel at being able to do, of course), then the Bush tax cuts automatically expire. No vote is required -- if Congress sits on its hands, then POOF! all the tax cuts go away next year.

This is a powerful, powerful legislative lever. If only Democrats would realize it, and start tugging on it in a meaningful way.

The problem is, Republicans have defined their own framing already, meaning Democrats have to fight back in various ways. In the first place, Republicans have defined "not extending a tax cut" as "raising taxes" -- although this raise in taxes is due to their very own vote (since that's the way their bill was originally designed) and due to George Bush, and not anything Congress or the White House is doing this year. When examined, this is ridiculous, but chances are the media will never examine this basic premise unless Democrats do it for them. Secondly, the Republicans have (so far) succeeded in lumping all the tax cuts together. But there are tax cuts, and then there are tax cuts. Democrats have actually fought back on this front, after being led there by none other than Chris Wallace, who works for Fox News, in an interview with Senator Jon Kyl a few weeks back. Democrats need to continually separate in the public mind "the Bush tax cuts which we are going to extend (any tax cuts on people making less than a quarter-million dollars a year, in other words), and the Bush tax cuts on the top two percent of earners in this country (the tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy) which we are going to allow to expire."

So this week, in our "suggestions for how Democrats should frame things in their messaging" section, we're going to start with the battle over the Bush tax cuts -- which, much to our surprise, Harry Reid has indicated that he's going to tackle before the midterm election, rather than in a lame duck session afterward. Meaning this could become the defining battleground as campaign season heats up.

 

1
   Play smallball

Up until this point, Democrats have "swung for the fences" (warning: baseball metaphors ahead...) in their legislative tactics, bringing up "comprehensive" bills on many subjects -- on the theory that if you cram everything into a giant bill, then even people opposed to one part of it or another will have to vote on the whole package as being an overall good thing. On the stimulus, on healthcare reform, on Wall Street reform -- and also on things which have yet to pass, such as immigration reform and energy policy reform -- Democrats have wrapped all related subjects into a single omnibus piece of legislation.

But, on the Bush tax cuts fight, they're going to need to do exactly the opposite. They're going to have to, in baseball terms (I warned you) "play smallball." Because, once again, Democrats don't need to actually pass anything for all the tax cuts to expire. Exploit this, by taking the "good" Bush tax cuts (such as eliminating the "marriage penalty" and other tax cuts which predominantly helped the middle class) -- one by one -- and passing small and very targeted bills which repeal each one of them, singly. Dare Republicans to vote against extending a tax cut, during an election!

"The Democratic leadership has decided to extend the Bush tax cuts on middle and lower income American workers. We are going to do this by breaking things up into individual bills. There will be a vote on extending the fix to the marriage penalty, for instance, and then maybe a vote on extending tax credits for families. Republicans have been complaining for awhile now about massive Democratic bills, so we're going to take their advice and extend these tax cuts one by one. I will be very interested to see how Republicans vote on each of these bills, because you had better believe we will be making this an issue on the campaign trail if the Republicans vote against tax cuts."

 

2
   All Bush tax cuts are not created equal

Republicans are going to counter with "all or nothing" rhetoric. Be prepared for it.

"You keep talking about the 'Bush tax cuts' as if they are one single thing. They are not. Even the fact that we use the term in the plural should give you a clue that this is not a single thing. There is nothing to stop Congress from tackling these tax cuts individually, instead of having one massive up-or-down vote on every single tax cut President Bush passed. I know Republicans would like to fool the public into thinking that Democrats have only two options on this issue, but saying it over and over again doesn't make it true. We are going to examine each of these tax cuts, and we are going to extend the ones that truly benefit working Americans. We are not going to extend those which benefit the ultra-wealthy, since that would explode the deficit and the national debt."

 

3
   Who's the deficit hawk now?

Which brings up the issue that Chris Wallace, to his credit, first raised -- how can Republicans be making such a huge stinking deal over the deficit, and then turn around and ignore it for tax cuts for the rich? This is a key thing for Democrats to point out, as it cuts the Republican "we're the biggest baddest deficit-cutters around" chest-thumping position off at the knees.

"Senate Republicans have been demanding that everything passed has to be paid for, in an effort to pander to the voters worried about the deficit and debt. So, as a Fox News commentator put it a few weeks ago: 'How are you going to pay the $678 billion just on the tax cuts for people making more than $200,000 a year?' How exactly do you intend to pay for this? Are you just going to borrow $700 billion from China and hand it over to the wealthiest of the wealthy? Is that really the best way to attack the deficit and the debt? Or was all that 'deficit hawk' stuff just a fib you were telling voters?"

 

4
   Tax cuts for the rich, or firemen's salaries?

This is really the same as the last point, just put in a slightly different way.

"Once again, I have to quote Chris Wallace, from Fox News: 'The fact is those would cost $678 billion over 10 years. At a time Republicans are saying that they can't extend unemployment benefits unless you pay for them, tell me, how are you going to pay that $678 billion to keep those Bush tax cuts for the wealthy?' Do you agree with Senator Kyl, that while we absolutely have to raise taxes or cut spending in order to extend unemployment benefits, or provide states with money so they don't have to lay off firefighters and police officers, or -- shamefully -- to pay for health problems the first responders to 9/11 are now facing -- that we absolutely must be fiscally responsible on all that stuff; but that, as Kyl put it, 'you should never have to offset cost of a deliberate decision to reduce tax rates on Americans' -- or, in other words: 'the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny will provide the $700 billion we're going to need to pay for this'?"

 

5
   Give them a taste of what's coming

Democrats, to be really effective on television interviews where they are contrasted with a Republican, should have a list of tax cuts ready to go, and run down this list and hammer their opponent with each item.

"Democrats are going to bring these tax cuts up one by one, so I'd just like to ask my colleague whether he (or she) would support voting to extend the tax cut which did away with the marriage penalty? Would you vote to repeal that? How about the increased child tax credit? Democrats plan to extend this, can we count on Republican support? Will you vote to keep the child tax credit where it is today? How about keeping the lowest tax bracket, for the working poor -- would you vote to extend this?"

[Note: this list can be as long as you'd like it to be, just keep adding middle-class items to it...]

 

6
   My special interests are more special than your special interests

Republicans, John Boehner in particular, just tried a familiar tactic: smear the opponent's position with the label "special interests." Democrats really should fight back on this one, hard. The Democratic National Committee has already taken the lead on this fight, with a web ad featuring three public school teachers. I would strongly recommend they immediately follow up on this ad with one by firefighters, and one by police officers. Here is the kicker line from the ad:

"Until you understand that, you need to come down off the Hill and visit my classroom and see just what it is that I do on a daily basis before you lump me in with the fat cats on Wall Street and the banks."

 

7
   Saved the good news for last

Well, here we are in August. August has not traditionally been a good month for President Obama, or his agenda. Two years ago, it was the month of Reverend Wright. One year ago, it was the month of "death panels" and town halls. This year, possibly... just possibly... it might be different. The Democrats in the Senate hunkered down recently with some folks from the White House to plan ahead for the upcoming month, so that they don't get caught sleeping this year. Talking points were passed around (full disclosure: we had nothing to do with this). And even (gasp!) a Democratic narrative -- the first one I've heard of in decades, mind you -- was printed on cards for Democratic senators to refer to (and hopefully memorize). Now, this may sound like stupid political tricks. But it is important. Very important. Democrats need to explain exactly what their party stands for, and what the opposition stands for -- forcefully -- every chance they get. They are operating at a loss, because Republicans have had a narrative of their party for about thirty years now. Democrats, rather than just passively being defined by their opponents need to make their own case to the public. And this is an excellent first step in doing so. Here is the text from the front of these pocket cards (the back has a bullet list of talking points as well -- Huffington Post has the PDF download).

Democrats are on the side of the middle class. We are fighting to cut taxes for small businesses and middle-class Americans, end tax cuts for CEOs who ship American jobs overseas, and create clean energy jobs that can't be outsourced.

Republicans are on the side of Wall Street bankers and CEOs. They support tax cuts for corporations who ship jobs overseas. But their economic policies failed under President Bush. Millions of people lost their jobs, the deficit exploded and the middle class got hammered. Now they want to return to the same failed policies of the past. We can't afford to go back.

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

-- Chris Weigant

 

160 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [133] -- The Silly Season Begins”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    There was another vast silence from both the White House and most congressional Democrats on the mosque fracas -- a deeper silence than the one after the gay marriage ruling.

    Why would Obama and Biden still cling to the "were not for gay marriage" message? It can't be just because that is how they really feel personally about it since personal feelings shouldn't enter into it as at least Biden has said on other hot button issues such as abortion.

    The only answer appears to be a less than admirable amount of political courage and a hope against hope that they won't alienate that increasingly small group within their constituency who they have not yet alienated. Ironically, their silence on issues like the mosque and their being on the wrong side of issues like gay marriage should do a pretty good job of alienating who's left of their supporters.

  2. [2] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    So, anyone planning an effigy party in the near future, be warned -- the line has now been drawn. Hanging an effigy -- OK. Beating said effigy with sticks -- not OK.

    It's not exactly a newly drawn line, CW. A stick is considered a weapon, which demonstrators are not allowed to "arm" themselves with and wield around. 'D

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    All Bush Tax Cuts Are Not Created Equal

    I would suggest that Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, should be out in full force this Sunday in several repeat performances of his delivery of remarks on fiscal policy this week at the Center For American Progress.

    I thought that address just might have garnered him at least an honourable mention in the category of the MIDOTW award. Maybe next time. :)

    You can listen to his full speech here and see if you don't agree that any Republican would be outmatched by a country mile in going up against Geithner on the issue of fiscal policy.

    http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/08/august_geithner_event.html

  4. [4] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Which brings up the issue that Chris Wallace, to his credit, first raised -- how can Republicans be making such a huge stinking deal over the deficit, and then turn around and ignore it for tax cuts for the rich? This is a key thing for Democrats to point out...

    Good luck with that. Dems may succeed in lighting a fire under their base with the class-warfare routine, but in this mess of an economy, the average American — particularly business owners — knows not to raise taxes in a mess of an economy like this. The last thing on earth we need is for the evil rich to cut back even more on their investing and spending. If the evil rich are gonna be the target and the government the hero, the Dems might as well just run spots that say, "Hi, we're the Democratic party. And just in case you haven't noticed, we really don't get it — particularly our fearless leader, Obama, who's surrounded himself with economic advisers who've never run a business in their lives, just like our fearless leader himself. But the good news is, we're happy to ruin the economy even more than we already have, ensuring that 9.5 million of you remain unemployed and that states start going bankrupt, one by one. No need to worry about the latter, however, 'cause we're fully prepared to spend even more billions upon billions of your tax dollars, bailing them out.... Unsustainable debt? What's that?... Cut entitlement programs? Umm, no, we weren't planning on doing that. Creating humongous new government programs and regulatory agencies is way too much fun... And, oh, by the way, did we mention? Everything is Bush's fault."

    That's all the Dems' "message" effectively boils down to. They're on the wrong side of virtually every issue out there. Everything the majority of Americans are for, the Dems are campaigning against, and everything Americans are against, the Dems are either defining as a victory or going out of their way to avoid talking about (e.g., HCR).

  5. [5] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    The really impressive politician this week was the New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg. Unfortunately, while he has jumped party lines twice in his career, at this particular point in time he simply cannot be labeled a "Democrat," so we'll have to forego giving him this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award, although I would encourage everyone to read the full speech he gave earlier this week in support of the "Two-And-A-Half Blocks Away From Ground Zero Mosque."

    Translation: NYC needs the jobs and the money. LOL. You don't know Bloomberg, CW. There's a reason he's changed parties three times. He wants what he wants and will do anything to get it. Including getting the term-limits law changed so that he could have a third term, and spending $100M on his campaign to ensure that he (just barely) got it.

    And, in this case, he wants a 13-story building gig. He's big into development and has been gung-ho on it from the start, throwing every conceivable obstacle up to anyone who tries to stop it, including hand-selecting the panel who conveniently found no historical significance to the building, despite it having been hit by the landing gear of the first plane.

  6. [6] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris1962,

    I'm having trouble understanding what you're trying to say with your latest tirade.

    Let me put it this way. What about the following excerpt from Geithner's address to CAP do you take issue with ...

    "Over the past two decades, Washington provided the country with a useful lesson in the consequences of two very different approaches to economic and fiscal policy.

    "In the 1990's, sound fiscal policies led to large surpluses and important investments in the middle class, which helped contribute to a period of strong growth and job creation, led by the private sector, with broad gains in income for all Americans.

    "After that, Washington changed course, abandoned the basic disciplines of budgeting, and borrowed to finance expensive tax cuts skewed towards the most affluent, and a significant expansion of Medicare. The result was a huge increase in our debt burden, relatively slow job growth, and stagnation in incomes for the middle class. We are living today with the damage caused by those choices.

    "And, as we start a new decade, we have compelling evidence of what works for middle class Americans and for Main Street businesses - and what doesn't.

    "The debate we now confront is whether to extend tax cuts for the middles class, which are due to expire at the end of the year; and whether to allow tax cuts for the top 2 percent of Americans, those with annual household incomes of at least $250,000, to expire, as scheduled.

    This decision is about more than the impact on our future deficits and debt, although that is critically important. It's a decision that will impact economic growth and the faith of Americans in the fairness of our tax policies.

    Now, the President's commitment is to restore polices that will help the middle class and lay the foundation for better long-term growth ... extending middle class tax cuts is an essential part of that commitment.

    These tax cuts save more than $2,000 per year for a typical middle class family. But given the size of the deficits and debt that we inherited, we must provide that tax relief in a fiscally responsible way.

    We believe the best way to do that is by allowing the tax rate for the top 2 percent to go back to levels seen at the end of the 1990's, a time of remarkable growth and economic strength.

  7. [7] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Democrats really should fight back on this one, hard. The Democratic National Committee has already taken the lead on this fight, with a web ad featuring three public school teachers. I would strongly recommend they immediately follow up on this ad with one by firefighters, and one by police officers.

    Gov. Christie has kinda spoiled that spin with the success he's had in NJ, knuckling down on waste, shutting down unnecessary agencies, and reducing spending across the board. And all without the help of Big Bro.

    Again, Americans are all for these approaches. The fear-tactic stuff isn't flying this time around. Firefighters and cops don't have to be laid off; out-of-control spending on entitlement programs has to end.

    I know you're aware of how royally peeved the electorate is over Big Bro spending federal dollars, like a drunken sailor, on the federal level. Take a wild guess how they feel about federal dollars being thrown at the STATES. This is not a winning campaign selling point.

  8. [8] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    these tax cuts would -- very shortly after they were scheduled to expire -- blow an enormous hole in the budget, and require massive, massive deficit spending to continue. Which is exactly where we find ourselves now.

    Here's a thought: Cut back on the insane spending and the expansion of programs and agencies. The budget doesn't HAVE to be as high as it is.

  9. [9] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    No word yet on how those opposing the mosque have reacted to the predictable news that (gasp!) the Pentagon -- also a 9/11 target -- has a mosque inside the building!

    Was it funded by money from overseas? If not, that's the biggest red herring you've thrown out yet. 'D

  10. [10] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    The problem is, Republicans have defined their own framing already, meaning Democrats have to fight back in various ways. In the first place, Republicans have defined "not extending a tax cut" as "raising taxes" -- although this raise in taxes is due to their very own vote (since that's the way their bill was originally designed) and due to George Bush, and not anything Congress or the White House is doing this year. When examined, this is ridiculous...

    "Ridiculous" has nothing to do with anything, because the bottom line is that if those tax cuts expire, people's taxes WILL, indeed, go up. It's not gonna matter who voted for what in 2001, because this is 2010, and included within that evil "rich" group are an awful lot of small-business owners who are going to get hurt even worse if their taxes rise.

  11. [11] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris1962,

    Was it funded by money from overseas? If not, that's the biggest red herring you've thrown out yet.

    Oh, so now it's not a matter of the money coming from terrorists but rather money coming from overseas.

    You had better be careful there, CB ... you dig yourself deeper with each nonsense comment.

  12. [12] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris1962,

    "Ridiculous" has nothing to do with anything, because the bottom line is that if those tax cuts expire, people's taxes WILL, indeed, go up. It's not gonna matter who voted for what in 2001, because this is 2010, and included within that evil "rich" group are an awful lot of small-business owners who are going to get hurt even worse if their taxes rise.

    Clearly, you don't understand the fundamentals of what the Obama administration is proposing for the Bush tax cuts.

    Next time, try to make some sense.

  13. [13] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Democrats are on the side of the middle class. We are fighting to cut taxes for small businesses and middle-class Americans, end tax cuts for CEOs who ship American jobs overseas, and create clean energy jobs that can't be outsourced.

    Republicans are on the side of Wall Street bankers and CEOs. They support tax cuts for corporations who ship jobs overseas. But their economic policies failed under President Bush. Millions of people lost their jobs, the deficit exploded and the middle class got hammered. Now they want to return to the same failed policies of the past. We can't afford to go back.

    You know what's wrong with that platform? It's nothing but Bush-bashing and Republican-bashing and evil-rich-bashing rhetoric. There's no substance to any of it. Take this one, for example:

    "...create clean energy jobs that can't be outsourced."

    "Clean energy jobs"? What the heck does THAT mean? Are Americans supposed to understand what a "clean energy job" is?

    Who's gonna create these whatever-they-are jobs? The government? If so, you've got a loser proposition on your hands right there.

    And, whatever the heck these "clean energy jobs" are, what does "can't be outsourced" mean? What's going to be prevent these whatever-they-are jobs from being outsourced?

    Take it from someone who's been selling products and services to the country from the past couple of decades: Every single part of that "message" lacks definition. It's nothing but a group of words. So why should voters — Indies, specifically — get on board with it?

  14. [14] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris1962,

    Just when I think I've heard it all ...

    I'll tell you what ... I can't believe you're in marketing (if you really are in marketing ... because I know how much you value your privacy) as every single part of your message here not only lacks definition, it stretches credulity to its limits and then some.

    You really are something else.

  15. [15] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    We will entertain suggestions for who richly deserves this week's MDDOTW award this week, just in case we forgot something egregious. It's certainly happened before.

    Does it have to be "egregious," or would "stunningly tone deaf" do? If so, I'd like to nominate Marie Antoinette Obama: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1300852/Spanish-police-close-public-beach-Michelle-Obamas-250k-Spanish-holiday.html

    Jet-set on the taxpayer's dime, much?

  16. [16] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris1962

    Now, that's what we call around here "getting desperate" and, sadly, it reflects very poorly on you.

  17. [17] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Democrats, rather than just passively being defined by their opponents need to make their own case to the public.

    I really beg to differ on this. I think the Dems did a dandy job of clearly defining themselves with such smooth moves as ignoring the will of the American people on HCR. Look at Missouri. Roughly 45,000 DEMOCRATS voted in favor of killing the mandate. That should tell you something.

    Defying the will of the people told an awful lot of voters everything they needed to know about the Democratic congress. And it sure wasn't the Republicans who rammed HCR through, despite the American people having very clearly said "no" for a solid year.

    And now you guys want to contend that the Republicans defined you? Uh-uh.

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    I have to concur with nominating Mrs Obama for the MDDOTW award..

    The President goes on and on about how we must all tighten our belts and make sacrifices for the good of the country.

    I guess that doesn't include his own family..

    Just one more glaring example of why President Obama is not a good leader.

    His "do as I say, not as I do" attitude seems to be endemic amongst Democrats these days.

    Michale.....

  19. [19] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    I have to concur with nominating Mrs Obama for the MDDOTW award..

    The President goes on and on about how we must all tighten our belts and make sacrifices for the good of the country.

    I guess that doesn't include his own family..

    How about the FORTY FRIENDS accompanying her? Is there some reason the American taxpayer should be footing THEIR bill? What the...?

  20. [20] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    But their economic policies failed under President Bush. Millions of people lost their jobs, the deficit exploded and the middle class got hammered.

    You're neatly forgetting a few things: like the economy nearly collapsing under Bush's DEMOCRATIC congress, with Pelosi at the helm and Barney minding the Freddie/Fannie store and Senator Obama casting votes in favor of said "policies." You're also neglecting to recall that those amorphous "policies," responsible for bringing this nation's economy to the brink of destruction, were the handiwork of Greenspan/Rubin/Summer/Geithner.

    Now they want to return to the same failed policies of the past. We can't afford to go back.

    Go back to what? The Bush days of Bernake and Geithner? We don't have to go back: they're still here. This is where the Dems come off sounding like crazy people. Obama hasn't CHANGED anything. He's carrying out all of Bush's same "policies" with Bush's same economic people and Bush's DEMOCRATIC congress, replete with Speaker Asleep-At-The-Wheel Pelosi and that great economic watchdog, Rep. Barney What-Housing-Bubble? Frank. The only difference between Obama and Bush is that Obama somehow managed to make an even BIGGER mess of the economy.

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    WOW... And I thought me n Matt went at it!!! :D

    Liz, you have to admit, it's a good point regarding Mrs Obama..

    Here we are in one of the worst economic disasters of our lifetimes and she is jet-setting around the world..

    Yea, the Obamas are picking up the tab for personal expenses.

    But the taxpayers are STILL footing a bill of around a half a million dollars...

    What in the HELL is Obama thinking???

    Michale.....

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    How about the FORTY FRIENDS accompanying her? Is there some reason the American taxpayer should be footing THEIR bill? What the...?

    It's my understanding that the Obamas and the friends are footing the bill for their own personal expenses.

    I am assuming that the friends made their own travel arrangements and met Mrs Obama in Spain.

    If the friends did fly over on AirForce2, then I would have to agree with you..

    Did you catch how the State Department had to quickly pull their travel advisory for Black Americans traveling in Spain??

    How embarrassing is THAT, eh?? hehehehehehe :D

    Michale.....

  23. [23] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    The taxpayers are footing a helluva lot more than a half million bucks. That "conservative estimate" doesn't even include the basic stuff, like evil jet fuel.

  24. [24] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    I am assuming that the friends made their own travel arrangements and met Mrs Obama in Spain.

    I see no reason to assume that. Air Force 2 is plenty roomy and it sure is thrilling for friends to fly on. But 40 friends aside, this is her second vacation in a month, and she's scheduled to vacation in the Gulf after this.

    Meanwhile, do ya think maybe an American designer might've liked this job? http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23864323-white-house-calling-please-will-you-make-a-coat-for-michelle-obama.do

    Could she be any more tone deaf if she tried? A disastrous jobs report just came out, and she's hiring Brits to make her clothes?

  25. [25] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    WOW... And I thought me n Matt went at it!!! :D

    Liz, you have to admit, it's a good point regarding Mrs Obama..

    I am just now realizing how much fun you and Matt must be having ... or, had. Well, I know YOU'RE having fun ... if you know what I mean and I'm sure that you do! :)

    As for CB's point regarding Mrs Obama ...I don't have the first clue about what Mrs Obama does or where she goes. I just don't care. Sorry. And, number two ... I'm pretty sure the point isn't good. That's just been my sad - I mean, Happy! - experience. :)

  26. [26] 
    akadjian wrote:

    @Liz

    I thought that address just might have garnered him at least an honourable mention in the category of the MIDOTW award. Maybe next time. :)

    I thought this as well and I think Geithner makes many of the points Chris talks about.

    Geithner is getting at what could be a very powerful economic difference between Democrats and Republicans.

    Almost all Republican policies are about welfare for large businesses. Businesses that can't compete w/o government help. They focus on reducing benefits and wages of workers and continuing an economic race to the bottom. Some examples:
    1. Tax breaks
    2. Policies that favor ever larger companies and monopolistic conditions
    3. Limiting the power of citizens to fight back by organizing or through the courts
    4. Eliminating benefits
    5. Reducing the middle class

    The Democratic philosophy by contrast is about supporting innovation, fair competition, expanding the middle class, and increasing the consumer class.

    In Geithner's words:
    "In the 1990’s, sound fiscal policies led to large surpluses and important investments in the middles class, which helped contribute to a period of strong growth and job creation."

    "Permanently extending the tax cuts for the top two percent would require us to borrow over $700 billion over the next decade… That would be a mistake."

    Well said, Tim! Keep it up!
    -David

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Permanently extending the tax cuts for the top two percent would require us to borrow over $700 billion over the next decade… That would be a mistake."

    How many millions of jobs would NOT extending the tax cuts cost us???

    What IS it with Democrats that they are doing their damndest NOT to create jobs, NOT to save jobs etc etc..

    And please don't give me that fairytale felgercarb about how the stimulus saved xxx jobs. That is just so much vaporware..

    But we CAN point to many actions taken by Obama and the Democrats that have cost hundreds of thousands of jobs..

    If it's the Democrats intent to create a society where everyone is on some form of government welfare, they are doing a bang-up job...

    Michale.....

  28. [28] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    "welfare for large businesses. Businesses that can't compete w/o government help. They focus on reducing benefits and wages of workers and continuing an economic race to the bottom"

    Regurgitate talking points much? LOL. Good lord, David. "Corporate welfare"? You mean, impetus for companies that can barely afford to operate in the U.S. to continue to do so? Oh, by all means, lets raise their taxes and make it impossible to cut a profit. Then we can all whine about their sending jobs overseas.

    You know who this "corporate welfare" battle cry nonsense works on? Those who don't know the first thing about business. It's an instant dead-giveaway. 'D

  29. [29] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    3. Limiting the power of citizens to fight back by organizing

    Ah, yes, let's create more unions so that they can make it that much more impossible for evil businesses to turn a profit. Then businesses can employ LESS people, and then the Dems can whine about no jobs to be found in America. Excellent plan.

  30. [30] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    How many millions of jobs would NOT extending the tax cuts cost us???

    What IS it with Democrats that they are doing their damndest NOT to create jobs, NOT to save jobs etc etc..

    The problem is that these are the people who are 100% clueless as to how business works. And that would include Obama and his zippy economic advisers, none of whom have worked a day of their lives in the private sector. Hence, the belief that government can create jobs.

  31. [31] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    The Democratic philosophy by contrast is about supporting innovation, fair competition, expanding the middle class, and increasing the consumer class.

    Why? Because they told you so? If that's their philosophy, how come their policies seek to achieve the opposite? Do you even know what those catch-phrases mean? What does "supporting innovation" mean? How are companies supposed to "innovate" without the manpower to do so? Have you seen the ticket price on GM's latest "innovation"?

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    I would also point out that, by destroying jobs, Democrats are DECREASING the consumer class..

    One can't be a consumer if they don't have a job and, hence, no money to use in their consumerism...

    Isn't it amazing how everything always comes back to the ONE thing that Americans have been screaming for and the ONE thing that Democrats have simply been unwilling to tackle..

    JOBS....

    The Dems philosophy seems to be, "Screw jobs... We're going to do our agenda first. Granted, we're gonna do it half-assed, but we're going to ignore jobs while we do it half-assed..."

    What part of JOBS..JOBS..JOBS.. do Democrats simply NOT understand???

    Michale.....

  33. [33] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    "Permanently extending the tax cuts for the top two percent would require us to borrow over $700 billion over the next decade…

    Does it ever occur to a Dem in this country to simply cut spending instead? Like, on the stuff we can't afford, duh? The ever-clueless Geithner seems to be under the impression that the federal government is somehow constitutionally mandated to spend the people's money on any and every entitlement program the liberals can dream up. Here's a thought: How about starting by running Big Mommy and her nannycare programs out of business? How about shutting down the Board of Ed and letting the states handle their own education system, like they're supposed to? Guess how much money THAT would save, Timmy? Cut Marie Antoinette Obama's globetrotting activities, and Big-Mommy nannycare initiatives, and there's another couple of billion. Shall I go on? This government could cut $700B in its sleep.

  34. [34] 
    Kevin wrote:

    Wow. The Delusion is strong in that one. Seriously Chris, even though I know it goes against everything you believe in; I think in this case you have to do some comment moderation. When the new "puppy" regurgitates Limbaugh talking points all over the site, and thoughtful regulars like Elizabeth and David have trouble keeping in their exasperation, enough is enough.
    Michale, I apologize for bitching about your verbosity, but could you please ease up on encouraging your new BFF?
    What I don't get is the flood of anti-Obama diatribes on what is patently a reality-based site. When a regular commenter like Matt, Liz, David, Bashi etc. is frustrated by something the Dems did or didn't do; they explain what their problem is.
    The Dimwit chorus supports...who/what do they support? With all the problems that need to be dealt with, where is the Republican white knight who actually has a functioning brain and lives in the real world? One who might have a genuine program of ideas instead of cravenly following the other lemmings. Hmmm. I seem to recall the rare one I could respect while disagreeing with, but the present crop just scares me to death depending on the level of their hypocrisy/lack of principles.
    I'd hoped for more from the Obama administration, but then again I'd never have guessed that the Republicans would respond to their defeat by seemingly collectively going insane. That Obama has managed to accomplish what he has, given the Party of No and the suckers who buy their drivel, is amazing.
    I apologize for ranting, but crap like even CONSIDERING keeping the Bush tax cuts gives me an embolism. If common sense is now considered "socialism", then I fear you are well and truly doomed.

  35. [35] 
    akadjian wrote:

    @Michale
    How many millions of jobs would NOT extending the tax cuts cost us???

    There's no evidence that giving tax cuts to the wealthy creates jobs or improves the middle class.

    In fact, during the years of the tax cuts, the income of most of America has decreased.

    @CB
    You mean, impetus for companies that can barely afford to operate in the U.S. to continue to do so?

    Oh, we must save our poor corporations!

    *yawn* This is the trick. Companies trying to get tax breaks cry about how they can't compete and threaten to move their operations overseas. We've been falling for it for years and granting tax breaks and incentives with no conditions whatsoever. Then they outsource jobs anyways, fight unions, cut benefits and wages, and stop innovating.

    Why not support companies that are doing the right thing and innovating here in America?

    Why not fight to bring up the standards of workers around the world? Is the only way to compete to destroy our middle class?

    I'd be willing to grant tax breaks and incentives to corporations, but in return, I'd want some guarantees.

    Besides, I thought the government was supposed to stay out of the economy. Why not let the market work? Why do we have to give money to the wealthy, CB? Why not let competition eliminate those companies who can't innovate?

    Let's be honest, CB. There's some flaws w/ your conservative philosophy. Why should government be involved at all in the market? Why should they be giving tax breaks to the wealthy?

    Then we can all whine about their sending jobs overseas.

    Hmm. The Bush tax cuts didn't do anything about stopping companies from sending jobs overseas.

    We gave out tax breaks and they continued to outsource jobs.

    How come we never asked for any guarantees in exchange for the wonderful Bush tax cuts? Or any conditions whatsoever?

    Time to revoke 'em for the top 2%. These people don't need any more free handouts!!!

    Keep it for the middle class!

    Cheers
    David

    p.s.
    CB- If you know so much about business, maybe you could explain how giving tax breaks to the top 2% is going to benefit us all?

    1) They certainly aren't creating jobs here
    2) It's not trickling down to the middle class

    So are there any new arguments we haven't heard? Why should I want to give my tax money to the wealthy?

    They sure as hell aren't doing anything for me or our country.

  36. [36] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Wow. The Delusion is strong in that one. Seriously Chris, even though I know it goes against everything you believe in; I think in this case you have to do some comment moderation. When the new "puppy" regurgitates Limbaugh talking points all over the site, and thoughtful regulars like Elizabeth and David have trouble keeping in their exasperation, enough is enough.

    Not quite sure what your point is, there, Kev. Am I not supposed to express opinions that differ from yours? Do elaborate.

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    In essence, what you are saying David is telling the corporations to take huge risks with their investors money with no guarantee that they will get any kind of return...

    And the ONLY incentive that these corporations are being given to do this is that they will be taxed and unionized to the point where it is GUARANTEED that they WON'T have any returns...

    What's the corporations incentive for committing business suicide??

    Michale.....

  38. [38] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Hmm. The Bush tax cuts didn't do anything about stopping companies from sending jobs overseas.

    Which companies might those be, Kev? And would you happen to know which jobs? And/or why they were outsourced? Or may I safely assume you, too, are regurgitating the standard talking points, i.e., phrases that sound good but which you have no real working knowledge of they actually mean, or why companies are compelled to outsource, or (my favorite) what might serve as the solution to outsourcing.

    We gave out tax breaks and they continued to outsource jobs.

    Jeepers, you don't suppose the unions could have had anything to do with that, do ya?

  39. [39] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    CB- If you know so much about business, maybe you could explain how giving tax breaks to the top 2% is going to benefit us all?

    I've already explained that, David.

    1)They certainly aren't creating jobs here

    Keynesian economics, anyone?

    2)It's not trickling down to the middle class

    Keynesian economics, anyone?

    Hey, I know how to get Business interested in getting back to business: Let's raise taxes and create some more regulations. That'll surely inspire production and jobs. Overseas, that is.

  40. [40] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    I'd be willing to grant tax breaks and incentives to corporations, but in return, I'd want some guarantees.

    Such as?

  41. [41] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    The Dimwit chorus supports...who/what do they support? With all the problems that need to be dealt with, where is the Republican white knight who actually has a functioning brain and lives in the real world? One who might have a genuine program of ideas instead of cravenly following the other lemmings. Hmmm. I seem to recall the rare one I could respect while disagreeing with, but the present crop just scares me to death depending on the level of their hypocrisy/lack of principles.

    IOW, anyone who disagrees with your views is a dimwit. Is that about the size of it?

  42. [42] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    What's the corporations incentive for committing business suicide??

    I'm a little stuck on that one myself. The liberal formula for economic success seems to go something like, "Well, we should raise all conceivable taxes on the wealthy. And jobs will then be created, quite naturally, because....."

    And then it kinda stops there.

  43. [43] 
    Kevin wrote:

    Well, for starters David and I are different people. As for regurgitating Limbaugh, you're the one making a big fuss over Mrs. Obama and the planned mosque. I'm pretty sure middle-America cares more about getting the economy back on track. I have no idea what your brilliant solution is, your final paragraph in comment #33 was so blindingly clueless my mind momentarily shut down.
    As for differing opinions, you might want to stress that they are just opinions; you present yours as though they are self-evident facts. Eg. In my opinion, you're off your rocker. Sadly, also in my opinion you're a boor. Can we leave it at that? I'll happily ignore you if you'll extend the same courtesy to me?

  44. [44] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    How come we never asked for any guarantees in exchange for the wonderful Bush tax cuts? Or any conditions whatsoever?

    Who's "we"? The federal government? If so, "we" got no guarantees because the federal government isn't a dictatorship. It doesn't get to extort money from business owners, Chicago-style.

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    Michale, I apologize for bitching about your verbosity, but could you please ease up on encouraging your new BFF?

    Like I really have that kind of power.. :D

    "You do me great honor...
    -Ael t'Rllallieu, MY ENEMY MY ALLY

    What CB says IS logical and rational, given the current circumstances and the gross Anti-Business sentiment coming from the Obama Administration..

    That, coupled with this administration's apparent complete inability to put forth the most basics of Jobs programs, makes a political agnostic wonder exactly WHO the Obama Administration serves...

    I apologize for ranting, but crap like even CONSIDERING keeping the Bush tax cuts gives me an embolism. If common sense is now considered "socialism", then I fear you are well and truly doomed.

    Well, I truly hope you have medical help standing by..

    Because it is likely that the DEMOCRATS will extend the Bush Tax cuts...

    That Obama has managed to accomplish what he has, given the Party of No and the suckers who buy their drivel, is amazing.

    What exactly has he accomplished??

    Nada, Zero, Zilch, Nothing...

    That is as reality-based as you can get.

    Americans are a LOT worse off now than they were under Bush... Both security wise and economically wise...

    That's the reality....

    Well, for starters David and I are different people. As for regurgitating Limbaugh, you're the one making a big fuss over Mrs. Obama and the planned mosque

    Just as the Democrats would be making a fuss if Laura and the twins went on a world-wind jet-set tour of Spain that cost the taxpayers a million bucks, AFTER George told the American people it's time to tighten your belts...

    Ignoring Hannity and Limbaugh for the moment, you don't think that THAT bugs the American people???

    Seriously???

    In my opinion, you're off your rocker. Sadly, also in my opinion you're a boor. Can we leave it at that? I'll happily ignore you if you'll extend the same courtesy to me?

    I am sensing a pattern here...

    Two people who give a differing viewpoint in calm, rational and fact based comments and you seem to have personal problems with both..

    Is it even SLIGHTLY possible that the problem may not be me or CB, but rather the fact that things aren't as rosy in Obamaland as you want to believe and you dislike those who point out that the emperor is buck-assed nekkid???

    Is that even SLIGHTLY possible??? :D

    Michale.....

  46. [46] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Because it is likely that the DEMOCRATS will extend the Bush Tax cuts...

    Let's get one thing straight, shall we? The Obama administrtion proposes to extend the Bush tax cuts, and allow them expire.

    Just wanted to clear that up.

    :)

  47. [47] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    David,

    Geithner's latest address is, essentially, one big FTP ... or a whole bunch of smaller ones.

    And, yes ... it seems the president is not the only FTP aficionado around the White House and environs. Or, perhaps Chris is a closet Giethner fan!

    In any event, I would love to see Geithner's address highlighted in its full glory in one of Chris's HP pieces. I can just imagine the comments now - I really don't think I could handle that much fun. Seriously.

  48. [48] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Kevin,

    Hang in there, buddy. We have reality on our side, after all. And, all's well that will end well. :)

  49. [49] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Because it is likely that the DEMOCRATS will extend the Bush Tax cuts...

    Let's get one thing straight, shall we? The Obama administration proposes to extend the Bush tax cuts ... and, allow them to expire.

    Just wanted to clear that up.

    :)

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    Let's get one thing straight, shall we? The Obama administrtion proposes to extend the Bush tax cuts, and allow them expire.

    Just wanted to clear that up.

    Wanna put some quatloos on that??

    Because the word is that Democrats will vote to extend the Tax Cuts...


    Kevin,

    Hang in there, buddy. We have reality on our side, after all. And, all's well that will end well. :)

    Tell ya what...

    We can discuss "reality" on 3 Nov 2010, OK?? :D Ohhh That's my sister's b-day.. :D

    Like President Obama said, "Well, that's what Elections are for..."

    And we're gonna find that out, in spades.... :D

    Michale.....

  51. [51] 
    akadjian wrote:

    @Kevin
    I'd hoped for more from the Obama administration, but then again I'd never have guessed that the Republicans would respond to their defeat by seemingly collectively going insane. That Obama has managed to accomplish what he has, given the Party of No and the suckers who buy their drivel, is amazing.

    It is pretty amazing. And yes, it's become clearer that the opposition has abandoned any sort of rational philosophy and is relying on their media might.

    When they can say in the same breath that they're against big government (but for big government when it comes to tax breaks for the wealthy). And they support deficit neutrality, except again, when it comes to wealthy tax breaks, it's pretty clear who is calling the shots on the conservative side.

    I actually pity conservatives these days because it's got to be hard to try and make any sort of sense whatsoever when there's so many contradictions in their philosophy.

    Keep the faith, Kevin, and just remember that Michale and CB are good people. Just good people who truly believe in Supply Side Jesus.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxsbj4TNJg0

    Sorry, couldn't resist :)

    I will say, though, Kevin, that I like both CB and Michale and think they are passionate about a certain viewpoint. I don't agree at all with this viewpoint, but I respect their right to believe in Supply Side Jesus.

    @CB
    CB- If you know so much about business, maybe you could explain how giving tax breaks to the top 2% is going to benefit us all?

    Still, no answer. No answer that can be supported by any facts.

    Here's a quick summary of some of your earlier answers. You believe that the wealthy will invest and this will create jobs for the middle class. Basically, trickle down theory in one guise or another.

    But trickle down theory hasn't worked. It hasn't trickled down. It's stayed at the top. This is what the facts show.

    So why should we give the wealthy more tax cuts if it is not trickling down?

    It doesn't get to extort money from business owners, Chicago-style.

    Huh?

    You really are a marketeer. Let's bring in "Chicago-style" and try to label Obama as a gangster.

    I'd be willing to grant tax breaks and incentives to corporations, but in return, I'd want some guarantees.

    Such as?

    Actually creating jobs here-in America. Showing some responsibility to our country. Working with unions instead of fighting against them. Not trying to extract perks from the government.

    Idunno. You tell me. I'd be willing to negotiate. Anything would be better than simply handing them money.

    Look at the giant mess which was TARP.

    We handed them $700 billion and they, in return, saved their collective asses. And did very little for the average person who gave them this money.

    Hence, the belief that government can create jobs.

    CB- You seem to believe that the government can create jobs as well. By handing out money to the wealthy who would then create jobs. But government is still the force for creating jobs. There's just a middle man involved.

    What I want to do is cut out the middle man.

    Ask yourself this. Why can big banks borrow at virtually 0% interest? Why can't I simply borrow at this rate?

    The answer is because banks have a relationship with the government in which they take a cut off the top.

    Shouldn't small businesses have this same opportunity? Why should big banks be the only ones to benefit? Why not cut out the middle man?

    Does it ever occur to a Dem in this country to simply cut spending instead?

    Yes. The Dems want to eliminate spending on failed "trickle down" theories.

    It ... doesn't ... work.

    Let's stop supporting it. Here would have been an easy way to save $700B. No TARP.

    Let the @ssholes who created this mess go under. Start from scratch.

    But that's over. So now let's quit it with the corporate handouts.

    Cheers
    David

  52. [52] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Oh, we must save our poor corporations!

    What kind of a response is that? Do you want corporations to keep doing business here in America or not? If so, you have to make it financially practical and profitable for them to stay. So how do you propose doing that, David? What's a business owner's impetus to produce goods here, and employ people here, rather than in some other country that enables them to operate more cost-efficiently and profitably? Do you have an answer for that or not? Because you don't get to have it both ways. You don't get to rail against "corporate welfare" — a.k.a., financial incentives, created to help keep businesses and jobs here — and also wail when the lack of incentives, and higher taxes, and costly regulations drive them elsewhere.

    See this?

    http://chris11962.com/blog/files/0bdcd85a2c5e7f212fdf9c16c382db60-141.html

    That's how business operates, in a nutshell. Make costs high and business owners go someplace else, where they don't have to pay as much. That makes perfect business sense, right? So why is it so hard for liberals to understand that exact same concept on a larger, big-business scale? This is not rocket surgery, my mortal marketing enemy. Want businesses to operate here, and employ Americans? Keep their costs down. Wanna drive their costs up by raising taxes, and laying profit-draining regulations on top of that? Wave good-bye as they (and those taxes you were counting on) move their operations to a more cost-efficient locale. Wave bye-bye to those American jobs, too.

    WHAT part of that do liberals not get?

    And what, pray tell, do you guys see as the BENEFIT to raising those taxes and increasing those operational costs via a crapload of new regulations — in this train wreck of an economy, no less? Does the thought process, by any chance, begin and end with "Neato! The federal government will collect more money!" with zippo thought given to anything beyond that? Like, the ramifications of making it unprofitable for companies to operate in this country? Do liberals possess any foresight, whatsoever? Can somebody please tell me how raising taxes and imposing costly regulations on corporations is somehow gonna CREATE jobs???????????????????????????

  53. [53] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Wanna put some quatloos on that??

    Because the word is that Democrats will vote to extend the Tax Cuts...

    Oh, I would like to put some very serious quatloos on that, and then some!

    Because the truth of the matter is that the Obama adminstration is proposing to extend the Bush tax cuts for the middle class while allowing the Bush tax cuts for the top 2 percent of Americans (those with an annual household income of at least $250,000) to expire ... as they were originally scheduled to do.

    Do you still want to make that bet? :)

  54. [54] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Before you answer that, you really should take a look at Geithner's address the other day ... I really think you'll like a lot of what he had to say.

    I kid you not!

    http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/08/august_geithner_event.html

  55. [55] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    CB- You seem to believe that the government can create jobs as well. By handing out money to the wealthy who would then create jobs. But government is still the force for creating jobs. There's just a middle man involved.

    I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about, David. Sorry. What do you mean "by handing out money to the wealthy..."? Are you talking about TARP money, or "corporate welfare," or what? If you're referring to "corporate welfare," the federal government doesn't hand them anything. That's achieved by NOT raising taxes and NOT over-regulating, etc.

    As for this: "But government is still the force for creating jobs. There's just a middle man involved."

    Ya lost me there. The force for creating jobs NOW? With TARP money? Or are you saying that the government is ALWAYS the force behind creating jobs in this country?

  56. [56] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    What I want to do is cut out the middle man.

    Ask yourself this. Why can big banks borrow at virtually 0% interest? Why can't I simply borrow at this rate?

    Borrow at 0% from whom? The federal government???

  57. [57] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    When they can say in the same breath that they're against big government (but for big government when it comes to tax breaks for the wealthy).

    That's not what they're saying. They're against the federal government overstepping its constitutional bounds and insinuating itself into areas of private business and personal lives, which it was never constitutionally designed or empowered to do.

  58. [58] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris1962,

    As for this: "But government is still the force for creating jobs. There's just a middle man involved."

    Ya lost me there. The force for creating jobs NOW? With TARP money? Or are you saying that the government is ALWAYS the force behind creating jobs in this country?

    I think you may be confusing the TARP with the stimulus package - two completely different animals.

  59. [59] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    *yawn* This is the trick. Companies trying to get tax breaks cry about how they can't compete and threaten to move their operations overseas. We've been falling for it for years and granting tax breaks and incentives with no conditions whatsoever.

    David, are you seriously contending that Company-A, who manufactures, say, garments in the U.S., is on a level playing field with its competitor, Company-B, who manufactures garments in China?

    And what are these "conditions" you're talking about? You seem to view the federal government as a corporation instead of a government. Senators and congresspersons are there to appropriate the American people's money to, like, building interstate highways and maintaining the military and getting the frickin' mail delivered. How do you see "conditions" being set? Are you suggesting, for instance, that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid make a public announcement to American business owners inside the "wealthiest 2%" bracket — from Mom & Pop's $253K grocery delivery service, to GE — that Congress will keep the Bush tax cuts in place, but only if businesses agree to... what? Manufacture here instead of in, say, China? Or sell only American-made products?

  60. [60] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    I have no idea what your brilliant solution is

    Ask me.

    your final paragraph in comment #33 was so blindingly clueless my mind momentarily shut down.

    Ya kinda sorta forgot to mention what was so clueless about it.

    As for differing opinions, you might want to stress that they are just opinions; you present yours as though they are self-evident facts.

    I generally seek to distinguish between the two. It is, indeed, a fact that eliminating the Board of Ed would eliminate the federal government's need to FUND the agency. So may I assume that you're of the belief that the states can't run their own school system with their own tax dollars? If so, I sure would love to know why.

    Eg. In my opinion, you're off your rocker. Sadly, also in my opinion you're a boor.

    As opposed to yourself, I take it?

    Can we leave it at that? I'll happily ignore you if you'll extend the same courtesy to me?

    In other words, you can neither defend your own positions nor refute mine and are just basically here to insult anyone who disagrees with you, as I'd earlier cited.

    Yes, I'd be real happy to extend the courtesy of not discussing policies or government functions or current events with you, Kev, as I've yet to see you actually contribute anything beyond HuffPo-style personal insults, which is not the level of discussion I come to Chris's board to engage in.

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    Let the @ssholes who created this mess go under. Start from scratch.

    Uh... David??

    The @ssholes who created this mess are now working for the Obama Administration..

    And are busily setting up Part Duex....

    Liz,

    Because the truth of the matter is that the Obama adminstration is proposing to extend the Bush tax cuts for the middle class while allowing the Bush tax cuts for the top 2 percent of Americans (those with an annual household income of at least $250,000) to expire ... as they were originally scheduled to do.

    Do you still want to make that bet? :)

    Sure... I got quatloos to burn... :D

    Michale.....

  62. [62] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya'all need to ask yourselves one question.

    If Obama is truly on the side of Main St, why is it that the Administration cannot do the ONE thing, the VERY thing that Main St has been clamoring for, for years???

    Create Jobs???

    Why??

    Why has the administration pushed a CrapCare package that the majority of Americans DID NOT WANT in lieu of creating jobs???

    If, it is as ya'all say, that the government CAN create jobs.....

    WHY hasn't it????

    Michale.....

  63. [63] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    The @ssholes who created this mess are now working for the Obama Administration..

    ROFLMAO! Do you sometimes get the funny feeling that there are an awful lot of Dems out there who are completely unaware that Clinton's economic team — Greenspan, Rubin, Summers, and Geithner — are 100% wholly responsible for having successfully convinced congress NOT to regulate OTC derivatives? And right on the heels, no less, of the first near-meltdown, back in '98? The 2008 near-collapse would never even have happened if it weren't for those four men. Hell, the FIRST near-meltdown might not even have happened if they hadn't done everything in their power to stop the OTC regulatory agency (CFTC) from doing its job.

    Yet the inevitable SECOND near-meltdown was all (wait for it) Bush's fault. Fascinating.

    And then, just to add insult to injury, Rubin's Citigroup had to be bailed out by Bush. LOL. Ya can't make this stuff up. It's like some kinda sick Monty Python routine. And here's Obama, now, warning Americans that we can't afford "to go back to the Bush policies that got us into this mess." Gee, lie through your teeth much, Obama? Wow.

  64. [64] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Sure... I got quatloos to burn... :D

    Okay, Michale, you're on.

    But, this really is the equivalent of taking candy away from children and a case of heads I win, tails you lose.

    Of course, that's never stopped me before. :)

  65. [65] 
    akadjian wrote:

    The @ssholes who created this mess are now working for the Obama Administration.

    Understood. And I'm not fond of this.

    What they followed under Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush II is a particular philosophy of laissez-faire economics. Under Obama, they have taken steps in the right direction, but yes, I fear the underlying philosophy is still much the same.

    Are you with me, Michale, in being against laissez-faire economics? Or are you just against the Obama administration?

    David, are you seriously contending that Company-A, who manufactures, say, garments in the U.S., is on a level playing field with its competitor, Company-B, who manufactures garments in China?

    Of course not, CB. But I believe the answer isn't to lower the standards of our workers to those of China so we can compete. Why not instead fight for global standards of workers rights? Why not instead work to create new innovations that we can charge more for? The alternative is a race to the bottom.

    Or are you saying that the government is ALWAYS the force behind creating jobs in this country?

    You're saying that tax cuts for the wealthy will create jobs. This sounds like government involvement to me. I just thought conservatives wanted to "let the market work".

    What I'm getting at is that "let the market work" is marketing. Marketing that gets used whenever corporate America wants something.

    But conservatives believe in government activism when it comes to corporate tax cuts and deregulation.

    Can you explain why you're pro-government when it comes to helping corporations and anti-government when it comes to helping people?

    Cheers
    David

  66. [66] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Of course not, CB. But I believe the answer isn't to lower the standards of our workers to those of China so we can compete.

    Who's suggesting that? The answer is to lower Company-A's costs as much as possible, here in America, to give it has as much of fighting chance to compete with Company-B WITHOUT having to leave the country and (point) taking its JOBS with it. That's what big, evil "corporate welfare" boils down to, David. America needs its industries to stay here so that its citizenry has jobs to go to. Business provides around 85% of the jobs in this country. And a citizen who isn't working also isn't paying taxes. So its in the interest of governments at every level (fed, state, and local) to make it financially viable for companies to not only stay here but to stay in business.

  67. [67] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    What they followed under Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush II is a particular philosophy of laissez-faire economics. Under Obama, they have taken steps in the right direction

    Are you kidding me? The Obama administration has gone OVERBOARD with regulations. What this administration doesn't understand — because it has no BUSINESS people advising it — is that too much regulation can be just as damaging as too little, or none at all.

    You're saying that tax cuts for the wealthy will create jobs. This sounds like government involvement to me.

    What the...? The government is INHERENTLY involved because they're the ones creating the tax legislation.

    And would you mind very much leaving the talking-point catch phrases at the door? That "wealthy 2%" includes SMALL business owners, with staffs of, like, three people, who are barely scratching by in this wretched economy, much less rolling in dough and living the sweet life. These tax increases aren't going to affect ONLY mega business owners pulling down gabillions of bucks, David. That's the problem. Business owners who are closer to the $250K end of the spectrum are gonna get hurt worse than they already are, if not put out of business all together, with HIGHER taxes and MORE regulations draining what little profit they're currently making.

    And guess what happens to their "staff"? They get to join the ranks of the unemployed. And the zippy federal government LOSES the tax dollars it USED to collect from them.

    Very zippy master plan, indeed. Oh, and who's gonna be paying for their health care, at that point, David? Would you happen to know?

  68. [68] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris1962,

    You latest post is factually wrong, on a number of points, your misguided opinions, notwithstanding.

    Number one, the Obama administration has countless businesses advising it.

    Secondly, the Obama adimistration, in general, and Secretary Geithner, in particular, have demonstrated a clear understanding that a careful and prudent balance must be struck in so far as how much is too much regulation. There is ample evidence for this.

    And, the top 2% of wealthy Americans do not include most small businesses. Look it up!

  69. [69] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    What I'm getting at is that "let the market work" is marketing. Marketing that gets used whenever corporate America wants something.

    You mean, that evil corporate America that provides PAYCHECKS to citizens? HOW, in God's name, did you ever get the impression that those corporations are the enemy? WHO taught you this? HOW do you think the average American is gonna put food on the table without a paycheck coming in? WHO benefits from a corporation HAVING to move its operation out of the country if it wishes to REMAIN in business?

    Do you understand that Company-A's price points must be comparable, or less than, its competitor's if it wishes to remain in business? If it costs Company-A five bucks to manufacture a 100% cotton shirt here in America, and Company-B two bucks to manufacture a 100% cotton shirt in China, guess what happens when the department store's Buyer says "I'll take it for five bucks? Company-B walks away with a three-dollar profit while Company-A profits to the tune of zilch.

    HOW does Company-A then pay its employees salaries and utilities and building rental, etc., with zero dollar? It doesn't. Company-A (manufacturering in America) is forced out of business by Company-B (manufacturing for LESS in China).

    Do you understand that the government has a vested interest in keeping Company-A in existence, because if Company-A goes under, American jobs are lost, and so is the TAX REVENUE derived from business owner and employee alike??? So HOW does the government keep Company-A in existence? It says, "Wait! Don't move your operation over to China, where you TOO can manufacture a shirt for two bucks and actually stay in business. How about if we lighten your tax burden so that you can offer your shirts at a price point closer to two bucks than five?"

    THAT gives Company-A impetus to hang in there, David. Without that "corporate welfare," Company-A has two choices: move out of America or shut its doors.

    So DO tell me what's so God-awful egregious about giving the Company-A's of this nation financial incentive to remain in this nation.

    Are you beginning to see what kind of pure crap you've been handed by the Democratic party — whose campaign dollars derive, conveniently enough, from unions? Y'know, those folks who make it impossible for Company-A to manufacture its shirt for anything BUT five bucks, because they keep demanding higher and higher wages and more and more benefits for everyone from the cloth weaver to the thread spooler to the seamstresses to the truckers, and on and on and on.

    And you wonder why "corporate welfare" is offered to the Company-A's of this nation?

  70. [70] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    But conservatives believe in government activism when it comes to corporate tax cuts and deregulation.

    More talking-point phrases. "Government activism." Please, David. Whether lawmakers — otherwise known as the government — sets taxes high or low, they're still ACTIVELY setting tax rates. The only question is whether to set those rates high OR low. High taxes hurt businesses; low taxes help businesses.

    And bear in mind that a lot of this so-called "corporate welfare" occurs at the state level. If New Jersey would rather not have Company-A move its operation to another state, it creates financial incentives to encourage the company to stay. Fascinating concept, ain't it?

  71. [71] 
    Kevin wrote:

    Michale & CB...I asked quite seriously who the Republican white knight was that would meet with your approval and slay the Obama-demon you both take such pleasure in denigrating...crickets...
    I apologize for previous testiness, but you both go ON and ON and ON ad nauseam about how wrong the Dems are on everything without presenting a sensible Republican counter-proposal. I hate to agree with everyone, but the Democrats lack of spine in watering down most of their legislation to appease the do-nothing crowd has lead to the present gloomy situation.
    But Michale and CB, if you continue to protest that your country was better under Bush, and cannot come up with a SINGLE present Republican who is sane/not bought and paid for; then your collective litany of "facts" will continue to only impress each other. It cannot be repeated enough, but this is a REALITY-BASED site. Yeesh.

  72. [72] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Can you explain why you're pro-government when it comes to helping corporations and anti-government when it comes to helping people?

    WHAT?!?!?!? Helping corporations DOES help people, which is the point you're continuing to miss. When businesses operate in America, American people have jobs. When businesses can no longer afford to operate in America, because they can't meet their competitor's price point, some other country's people get those jobs. WHAT on earth is so difficult to understand about that very basic, fundamental, common-sense tenet?

    Company-A can not hand out paychecks unless a retail buyer PURCHASES the shirts. And no retail buyer in his or her right mind is going to purchase a shirt for eight dollars from Company-A when it can get it for five bucks from Compnay-B. THAT'S how business works, David.

    Then the next leg of the process occurs at the retail level. To make a profit, the store has to mark the shirt up. So if Store-A marks its five-dollar shirt up to $9, and Store-B, across the street, marks it up to $11, guess which store is gonna sell more shirts.

    And if Customer-A, with twenty bucks in his pocket, buys the shirt for $9, and Customer-B buys it for $11, guess which customer returns home with more money in his pocket. More money in one's pocket enables one to purchase more items, which means more department store sales, which means more demand for stock replenishment, which means more sales for Company-B, which means more paychecks for Company-B's workers.

    All while Company-A fires its workers and either closes its doors or starts manufacturing in China, or Taiwan, or Mexico, or ANY place that will enable it to turn out a 100% cotton shirt for three bucks OR LESS.

  73. [73] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Michale & CB...I asked quite seriously who the Republican white knight was that would meet with your approval and slay the Obama-demon you both take such pleasure in denigrating...crickets...

    Were you expecting an answer from me, after having requested that we ignore each other's posts?

    I apologize for previous testiness, but you both go ON and ON and ON ad nauseam about how wrong the Dems are on everything without presenting a sensible Republican counter-proposal.

    The Republican counter-proposal to raising taxes on the "2%" is not to raise them.

    I hate to agree with everyone, but the Democrats lack of spine in watering down most of their legislation to appease the do-nothing crowd has lead to the present gloomy situation.

    Who's "the do-nothing crowd"? The Dems watered down most of their legislation to get enough Dems on board to vote for them.

    But Michale and CB, if you continue to protest that your country was better under Bush

    The unemployment rate sure was. Beyond that, I didn't approve of a lot of things he did in the spending department, so I don't know what you're talking about.

    ..and cannot come up with a SINGLE present Republican who is sane

    "Sane" in whose opinion?

    /not bought and paid for;

    Bought and paid for by whom? I don't give a damn about anything other than reversing Obama's job-killing policies, repealing the HCR mandate, putting the brakes the out-of-control spending,bunker-bombing President Ahmanutjob's nuke facilities, and taking terrorism seriously again. And whichever candidate's laundry list comes closest to mine has my vote.

    then your collective litany of "facts" will continue to only impress each other.

    Care to give an example of what you're referring to?

    It cannot be repeated enough, but this is a REALITY-BASED site. Yeesh.

    "Reality" as perceived and defined by whom? You? I really haven't seen you do anything other bash people you disagree with, with broad, general statements that apply to no subject in particular. So I don't even know what you feel is "unrealistic" about Michale's or my comments. I know that the concept of abolishing the Board of Ed drove you to experience some sort of brain freeze, but you neglected to offer any explanation as to why the states couldn't, or shouldn't, control their own school system. Did you want to explain that now? Or is "you're a boor" pretty much the extent of your repertoire?

    I'm here for civil discussion, Kev. If you're capable of sharing your views without resorting to personal insults, I'm happy to hear what you have to say. If not, count me out of your discussions.

  74. [74] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    We can discuss "reality" on 3 Nov 2010, OK?? :D Ohhh That's my sister's b-day.. :D

    Like President Obama said, "Well, that's what Elections are for..."

    Pretty interesting "reality" that went down in Missouri the other day. It would appear that about 71% of voters REALLY do not not want the Dems' HCR "mandate."

  75. [75] 
    Michale wrote:

    WOW... :D

    It's been a while since *I* have had to play catch-up... :D

    David,

    What they followed under Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush II is a particular philosophy of laissez-faire economics. Under Obama, they have taken steps in the right direction, but yes, I fear the underlying philosophy is still much the same.

    Where do you see the "right direction" steps you are referring to???

    Are you with me, Michale, in being against laissez-faire economics? Or are you just against the Obama administration?

    " I object to intellect without discipline. I object to power without constructive purpose."
    -Spock, STAR TREK, The Squire Of Gothos

    That pretty much sums it up for me... :D

    Let the @ssholes who created this mess go under. Start from scratch.

    That's what I have been saying since the first bail-outs..

    Let the whole damn house of cards collapse and THEN we can rebuild a better economy..

    Funny how back then you supported Obama in all the bail-outs..

    NOW you want those that "created" the mess to go under.

    Make up yer mind, will ya!!?? :D

    Kevin,

    Michale & CB...I asked quite seriously who the Republican white knight was that would meet with your approval and slay the Obama-demon you both take such pleasure in denigrating...crickets...

    First off, let me say that I don't believe Obama is a "demon" or is inherently evil.

    I believe he is utterly and completely inexperienced and he is way over his head..

    As many people who are like that do, Obama is flailing around, trying to stay afloat..

    And, like many people who have been a big fish in a small pond, they try to apply those same ideas and plans when they are a big fish in a big pond..

    What Obama is finding out is what is appropriate in Chicago politics doesn't sit very well with the rest of the country..

    Look at things logically and rationally... We are in an economic disaster. Obama has been on the PR bent, telling ALL Americans that the time to tighten our belts is here.. We have to make sacrifices..

    And his wife takes one of the kiddies out on the Riveria for a 7-day jaunt that will likely cost the taxpayers (that's me and you) a cool million..

    Now, seriously... Ignoring the reality, what kind of message does that send to John Q Public..

    The Right doesn't HAVE to "demonize" Obama...

    Obama is doing a pretty good job of that all by himself...

    I apologize for previous testiness,

    "The cause was sufficient"
    -Surak, Father Of Vulcan Reformation

    :D

    But Michale and CB, if you continue to protest that your country was better under Bush, and cannot come up with a SINGLE present Republican who is sane/not bought and paid for; then your collective litany of "facts" will continue to only impress each other. It cannot be repeated enough, but this is a REALITY-BASED site. Yeesh.

    Kevin, you may not realize it, but what you see from me and CB is NOTHING compared to the virulent anti-Bush sentiment that was displayed all over the blogosphere and yes.... even here on CW.COM....

    Yes, I admit.. Sometimes I go overboard in my anti-Obama rhetoric...

    The reasons are two-fold..

    1. I am sincerely pissed off that I was made a fool of.. I don't like it when someone takes me for a ride and convinces me that they just might be something different... I HATE it when that happens..

    2. I am giving ya'all a taste of what it was like to see, day in and day out, "BUSH LIED", "BUSH IS EVIL", "BUSH IS SATAN", "BUSH IS HITLER" etc etc etc ad nasuem...

    And I can guarantee you one thing..

    When the GOP takes back Congress in less than 90 days and when there is a GOP president in 2012, the roles will, once again, be reversed...

    Ya'all will, daily, be screaming to high heaven about how evil and nasty the Republicans are etc etc etc ad nasuem..

    "And so it goes... And so it goes... And so will you soon I suppose.."
    -Billy Joel

    Michale.....

  76. [76] 
    akadjian wrote:

    @CB
    Helping corporations DOES help people, which is the point you're continuing to miss.

    Not at all CB. I think I've talked about this ad nauseum actually. There's no evidence that "trickle down" theory has helped the middle class or created new jobs here in America. In fact, the evidence points to the fact that its primarily benefited those at the top.

    Here's former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin talking about the lack of a supply side effect from tax cuts for the wealthy:

    "I would put an estate tax in place right now, immediately, because we have no estate tax right now. There is no supply side effect in having an estate tax. And we should fill that void. Number two, I would increase the tax on the higher brackets, those top two brackets, and bring them back up to the Clinton rate. I believe there's no supply side effect there. We did it in 1993 people said we were going to destroy the economy, in fact we had the longest expansion...in American history. I would leave the middle-class tax cuts intact for a limited period because I do think that the probability is higher that we're going to have slow and bumpy growth than vigorous growth, and I think that given the vulnerability, the high unemployment rate, one thing and another, I wouldn't want to have that contractive effect right now."

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704268004575417503318495276.html

    Oh, but I forgot. He's a "liberal". You can't listen to him. Unless he's talking about all the deregulation that he did under Clinton. I'm not a fan of Rubin, but I think he's got it right this time.

    @Michale
    Funny how back then you supported Obama in all the bail-outs.

    2 corrections. One, it was Bush who bailed out the banks with the help of a Democratic Congress. And two, I did not support it. In fact, I seem to recall writing many posts about how wrong I felt it was.

    I'd of much rather seen the bailout money either go directly to the taxpayers or to banks who hadn't taken huge risky bets. I'd of let those who bet poorly on the market fail or at least broken them up.

    I'm not trying to blame Bush, just get the facts correct. In fact, I do give Bush some credit for trying to do the right thing. I just disagreed w/ his method of saving the "too big to fail" banks. If I recall, this was one point where I know we shared some common ground.

    Even here on CW.COM ...

    You must be reading a different site than I am, Michale.

    Sure lots of folks here at CW disagreed with Bush, but I don't recall these awful, horrible personal attacks you're describing.

    Again, I admire your passion, Michale. But sometimes I think in your haste to go after Obama, you have a curious way of "adding color" to what actually happened.

    Cheers
    David

  77. [77] 
    Kevin wrote:

    Michale, now that you've explained your position, I apologize again for my pettiness. I at least understand precisely where you're coming from. Truce. Let's just agree to continue to disagree. And David's point is well taken...I may have been late to the feast that is CW's site, but shortly after I discovered it I went back and read all of his archives, comments and all. In my (admittedly) failing memory, this site has never had over-the-top anti-Bush vitriol. Bemoaning his incompetence, guilty.
    And I concede to you that Obama has made many blunders; indeed from my Canadian perspective one of my biggest worries was that he'd made too many promises that I couldn't see how he'd keep.
    In my defence, I did enough pre-2000 election research on Bush to know before he was elected that he would be a disaster as President....Go back and read Molly Ivin's work from that time. She had him pegged from the start.
    And since I know that you are a nice, personable sort, I wouldn't wish a return to Republican "leadership" on my worst enemies, let alone caring folk like you and the rest of CW's American readership. For your sake, I hope you're hugely wrong with your predictions of the near future. Place my hoard of quatloos with Elizabeth :-)

  78. [78] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Would anyone like to take a stab at where we'd all be without the "bailouts" of the failing financial institutions?

    Have you all forgotten just how dire the situation was in the fall of 2008?

    I mean, good God! If our short to medium term memories are that poor, then we had better start bracing ourselves now because we'll be heading into very choppy waters with attitudes like those towards the "bailouts" being displayed here.

  79. [79] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    There's no evidence that "trickle down" theory has helped the middle class or created new jobs here in America.

    Huh? That's the only way jobs are created. That's the foundation of the basic business transaction. How do youbelieve it works?

  80. [80] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    "We did it in 1993 people said we were going to destroy the economy, in fact we had the longest expansion...in American history."

    Ummm... is this man certifiably insane? What he, Greenspan, Summers and Geithner did in the 90's nearly did destroy the economy — twice. First, in '98 and again in 2008. WHY is anybody still listening to him? He's one of the CEO's whose financial institution had to be bailed out by Bush.

    And, so, who does Obama have advising him, on the campaign trail? Why, Rubin, of course.

    And here we are today, a year and half into this utterly FAILED Keynesian so-called recovery, and with Bernake and Geithner still on the payroll, for God knows what reason, and Whatshername Romer freshly fired, and Business sitting on $1.8 trillion, afraid to make a move, because these total incompetents can't figure out if they should raise taxes in an economy that's on the verge of a double-dip recession. WHEN, if ever, do you think it's going to occur to Obama — the CEO of the world's superpower, with zippo CEO experience — that perhaps he should get himself a new economic team?

  81. [81] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    The Right doesn't HAVE to "demonize" Obama...

    Obama is doing a pretty good job of that all by himself...

    I think the Obamas are two of the most politically tone-deaf people I've ever seen on the national stage. In fact, I can't even think of anyone who comes close. Brilliant idea to go sailboating in the sparkling waters off the coast of Maine while thousands of Gulf residents struggle to put their lives back together.

  82. [82] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    First off, let me say that I don't believe Obama is a "demon" or is inherently evil.

    I believe he is utterly and completely inexperienced and he is way over his head..

    I agree. Hillary was right, IMO. Obama was not ready for primetime. This is a one-term president if I've ever seen one. I'd bet the ranch on that.

  83. [83] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Fed set to downgrade outlook for US
    The Federal Reserve is set to downgrade its assessment of US economic prospects when it meets on Tuesday to discuss ways to reboot the flagging recovery.
    Faced with weak economic data and rising fears of a double-dip recession, the Federal Open Market Committee is likely to ensure its policy is not constraining growth and to use its statement to signal greater concern about the economy. It is, however, unlikely to agree big new steps to boost growth....
    - Financial Times

    Seriously, at what point does Obama either admit his error and fire this economic team, or America admit its error and impeach/remove this president on the grounds of incompetence. I don't bring the "impeach/remove" topic up lightly, either. But this country's economy is a little too important, on a global scale, to have come crashing down all because Obama is too stubborn, or clueless, or whatever the case, to admit — or even realize — that HE, as this nation's CEO, has got to do some firing and reorganizing, and game-plan revamping.

    After Romer's firing — oh, I mean weariness — I'm praying that this is the White House signaling that Bernake/Geithner are {{ahem}} tired, too:

    Obama's economic team exhausted
    http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/113141-white-house-economic-team-exhausted

  84. [84] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    2 corrections. One, it was Bush who bailed out the banks with the help of a Democratic Congress. And two, I did not support it. In fact, I seem to recall writing many posts about how wrong I felt it was.

    I was actually referring to the Auto Bailouts...

    Sure lots of folks here at CW disagreed with Bush, but I don't recall these awful, horrible personal attacks you're describing.

    If I get time today, I'll find some examples..

    But, regardless, I don't see any "horrible personal attacks" against Obama here..

    I have stated he is incompetent, which he is (IMNSHO), I have stated he is inexperienced, which he is. I have stated he has made some big mistakes, which we all agree he has. I honestly don't recall any horrible personal attacks. At least nothing compared to the attacks on Bush.. The whole "Bush Lied" mantra which has proven false time and time again was especially tiresome...

    I have tried to be fair to Obama.

    Kevin,

    Michale, now that you've explained your position, I apologize again for my pettiness. I at least understand precisely where you're coming from. Truce. Let's just agree to continue to disagree.

    No worries.. :D

    In my defence, I did enough pre-2000 election research on Bush to know before he was elected that he would be a disaster as President...

    And yet, he will likely go down as one of the best presidents we have ever had. :D

    And since I know that you are a nice, personable sort, I wouldn't wish a return to Republican "leadership" on my worst enemies, let alone caring folk like you and the rest of CW's American readership. For your sake, I hope you're hugely wrong with your predictions of the near future. Place my hoard of quatloos with Elizabeth :-)

    I better take stock of my quatloos!! :D

    CB,

    WHEN, if ever, do you think it's going to occur to Obama — the CEO of the world's superpower, with zippo CEO experience — that perhaps he should get himself a new economic team?

    Ever read EXECUTIVE ORDERS by Tom Clancy??

    I refer to it a lot, because it seems to apropos to our current situations, both economically and National Security wise...

    One particular part reminds me of Obama's economic team.

    In this part of the book, an Iranian deep cover agent has just assassinated Saddam. Iran has rolled in the troops and "assisted" Iraq in it's recovery, in essence annexing Iraq. Iran and Iraq went before the UN to request that sanctions be lifted. The former Iraqi officials were falling over themselves trying to explain that they WANTED to come clean about everything, but the evil Saddam wouldn't let them..

    That reminds me of Obama's economic team. The ones that REALLY caused our economic messes.. Now that they are part of the government, they are falling over themselves trying to say, "Well, we WANTED to do the right thing and not destroy the economy, but the evil Republicans wouldn't let us.."

    Once again, Art imitates Life. :D

    I think the Obamas are two of the most politically tone-deaf people I've ever seen on the national stage. In fact, I can't even think of anyone who comes close. Brilliant idea to go sailboating in the sparkling waters off the coast of Maine while thousands of Gulf residents struggle to put their lives back together.

    I have to agree with this and I think everyone here would also, begrudgingly, agree as well.

    I mean, seriously.. We're in one of the worst economic messes of our lifetimes and the First Lady and the First Daughter go on a jet set tour of Spain. I mean, it doesn't take a political genius to see how something like that will play out back here...

    All that's left is for the First Lady to be quoted, "Oh the people back home?? Let them eat cake.."

    I agree. Hillary was right, IMO. Obama was not ready for primetime. This is a one-term president if I've ever seen one. I'd bet the ranch on that.

    I am definitely no fan of Hillary, to be sure... But she pegged Obama dead on..

    Seriously, at what point does Obama either admit his error and fire this economic team, or America admit its error and impeach/remove this president on the grounds of incompetence.

    I don't know if I would go as far as the "I" word yet..

    But if Obama has proven one thing, he has proven that he doesn't like to own up to or take responsibility for his mistakes...

    He has the same "stay the course" mentality that Bush had...

    With Bush, that has been proven to be the proper course of action at the time..

    I don't think Obama will be as lucky as Bush was..

    Michale.....

  85. [85] 
    Michale wrote:

    You KNOW that a president is in bad shape when he is boo'ed by the Boy Scouts!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAWsy7VV8oE&feature=player_embedded

    Michale.....

  86. [86] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/nilegardiner/100050002/the-obama-presidency-increasingly-resembles-a-modern-day-ancien-regime-extravagant-and-out-of-touch-with-ordinary-people/

    This article isn't saying anything different than what CB has been saying for weeks and I have been saying for months..

    What I don't understand is why the rest of ya'all here simply cannot accept what everyone else (sans the hardcore Left) is coming to realize as true..

    Obama is not doing himself any favors and, by extension, is all but insuring dominance from the Right for ANOTHER generation...

    Michale.....

  87. [87] 
    akadjian wrote:

    @Elizabeth
    Would anyone like to take a stab at where we'd all be without the "bailouts" of the failing financial institutions?

    Good point, Liz. For the record, what I most disagree with about the bailouts is that they didn't break up the big banks. I agree that something had to be done, but writing them blank checks was a bit too lenient.

    This creates an implicit government guarantee for the TBTF banks and encourages them to take risks. I'm not sure if the legislation which was put in place fixes this. I'd of broken them up and brought back Glass-Steagull.

    That's the only way jobs are created. That's the foundation of the basic business transaction. How do you believe it works?

    The government is at the heart of the basic business transaction? I'm not sure I understand you, CB.

    Are you saying the government has to give money to businesses in order for them to invest? Please clarify.

    What I'm saying is that the past 8 years of tax breaks for the wealthy have shown no increased job growth or wage growth for the middle class. The government has gotten no return on its investment and only increased the deficit. If there's no supply side benefit, let's end these tax breaks and lower the deficit.

    What he, Greenspan, Summers and Geithner did in the 90's nearly did destroy the economy — twice.

    Now this is funny. The minute Greenspan says anything that conservatives don't like, he gets thrown under the bus. The god of supply side economics.

    Funny how conservatives loved these folks when times were good for business.

    What did these folks do that nearly destroyed the economy? Two things: deregulation and "trickle down" economics.

    What are conservatives currently proposing as a solution? Take a guess.

    Deregulation and more "trickle down" theory.

    I'm sorry but I don't see how a return to what caused the problem is going to fix the problem.

    Cheers
    David

  88. [88] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Yeah, there's a lot to be said for a person "staying the course," but when we're talking the economy and potential collapse thereof, it matters who's "staying it." We've got a CEO-in-training, with book-knowledge but no practical experience in the business world, being guided through "the course" by otherbook-knowledge people who ALSO have no practical experience. And we're talking about the fate of this country, not to mention the rest of the world's, whose economies are tied to ours. And here we have the equivalent of a newly graduated college kid and his frat buddies doing the course-staying, which really ISN'T going well. So at what point do we, the people, pull the plug on this lab experiment of theirs: BEFORE it blows in all our faces, or after? Because "after" is gonna be a little too late.

    It would be different if a former governor were in the Oval right now, or a former CEO. But that's not the case here. We've got a smooth-talking fast-tracker, who didn't exactly win this election by a landslide and who's since lost the support of those who put him over the top.

    I'm not crazy about raising the I-word myself, Michale, but when you step back and look at the big picture here, somebody's gotta be the first to say it. I mean, this on-the-job-training "CEO," who's convinced the government can create jobs, is a year and a half into no jobs, yet is STILL convinced of it and showing no signs of altering "the course" — except to RAISE TAXES in the face of a double-dip recession. This is getting seriously scary.

  89. [89] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Nice Tom Clancy analogy, Michale. And somewhat terrifying.

  90. [90] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    Are you saying the government has to give money to businesses in order for them to invest? Please clarify.

    What I *think* CB is saying is that the government has to quit taking so MUCH money from the businesses thereby increasing the bottom line of said business. This will provide incentive for the businesses to keep their jobs here in the US instead of sending them overseas..

    As I am constantly saying, I am not any kind of economist.. But it seems to me that this is just common sense.

    If the government makes it MORE expensive for businesses to operate, then the businesses will have to cut back somewhere...

    Invariably this "somewhere" is usually the work force..

    More business taxes means LESS jobs...

    Like I said, it seems to be common sense to me..

    Funny how conservatives loved these folks when times were good for business.

    Much in the way that the Left loves people who say what they want to hear. The minute people start saying things that the Left DOESN'T want to hear, they get thrown under the bus as well.

    Throwing people under the bus that don't toe the party line is, by NO means, a sole province of the Right...

    I'm sorry but I don't see how a return to what caused the problem is going to fix the problem.

    Of course not.. The only thing that will "fix" the problem is let the whole thing collapse and start over.

    With all the bailouts from the Left AND the Right, it's obvious that fixing things is not on the agenda of the politicians.

    Therefore, the next best choice is to go back to when things were LESS bad...

    If it's a choice between going back to the Republicans trickle down theory, or going with Obama's -SPEND, SPEND, SPEND.. Ignore Jobs!! Oh Crap!! The Hole Ain't Deep Enough!! SPEND MORE!!! Ignore Jobs!!!- plan.....

    Well, guess which option the American people are going to choose come November??? And in 2012??

    Nice Tom Clancy analogy, Michale. And somewhat terrifying.

    Given our security AND economic situation, it's eerily amazing how much Life Imitates Art..

    Michale.....

  91. [91] 
    Michale wrote:

    Would anyone like to take a stab at where we'd all be without the "bailouts" of the failing financial institutions?

    We would be well on our way to a major recovery with a brand new economic system that is logical and rational and, above all else, actually works.....

    Instead we are on ANOTHER downturn looking at a double dipped recession...

    It's actually funny in a way..

    Obama seems to have misunderstood the old Engineers adage, "IF IT AIN'T BROKE, DON'T FIX IT"...

    Obama seems to think it means, "IF IT IS BROKE, CONTINUE THE SAME OLD POLICIES THAT BROKE IT AND ADD A WHOLE BUNCH OF OTHER USELESS CRAP TO MAKE IT WORSE"...

    Obama seems to be doing the same old things, over and over again, hoping for a different result..

    The very definition of insanity... :D

    Michale.....

  92. [92] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    What did these folks do that nearly destroyed the economy? Two things: deregulation and "trickle down" economics.

    Stopping the CFTC from regulating derivatives for fear of putting a damper on the the roaring-90's economic party is what nearly destroyed this economy, David. Trickle-down economics had nothing to do with it. Let's recall that these reckless morons colluded to shut down the CFTC at a time when Clinton might very well have been removed from office if not for the booming economy. They lied to congress, who had looked to them for advice as to whether derivatives needed regulating. And they sat with their mouths shut for ten years thereafter while these toxic derivatives — which had nearly wrecked the economy on their own watch — grew into a $600 trillion festering market.

    These are the same people whom on-the-job-training CEO Obama felt would be best to fill his economic positions — directly on the heels of a near-meltdown that they, themselves, had created. Think about that. There is something extremely wrong with that picture, alone.

  93. [93] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Obama seems to have misunderstood the old Engineers adage, "IF IT AIN'T BROKE, DON'T FIX IT"...

    Obama seems to think it means, "IF IT IS BROKE, CONTINUE THE SAME OLD POLICIES THAT BROKE IT

    And fill your economic positions with the same guys who broke it.

    How many times has the thought crossed your mind that these guys are actually trying to bring this economy down. Tell the truth.

  94. [94] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    What I *think* CB is saying is that the government has to quit taking so MUCH money from the businesses thereby increasing the bottom line of said business. This will provide incentive for the businesses to keep their jobs here in the US instead of sending them overseas..

    Precisely. It's not a matter of the government giving but taking away, and not just through taxes but the man-hours and monies it takes to figure out and comply with this ton of new regulations. The child-CEO in the Oval Office doesn't understand the basic mechanics of running a business. He doesn't "get" such things as having to take employees away from their job of building THE BUSINESS and devoting those paid hours, instead, to sitting with paid lawyers and consultants, and filling out reams of new government paperwork, and modifying operations (and/or equipment) to conform with these new federal regulations, some of which may conflict with state regulations, which is a whole other EXPENSIVE nightmare.

    All of those things drain LOTS of money away from the bottom line. And that's not even counting all the new tax money that has to be forked over at the end of the day. Think about how all this is gonna affect SMALL businesses.

    This is how Obama thinks you create jobs.

    =:-O

    And you wonder why I bring up the I-word.

  95. [95] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    I'm sorry but I don't see how a return to what caused the problem is going to fix the problem.

    You don't understand what caused the problem, David. The problem was caused by a totally unregulated, secret market of a very sophisticated, high-risk financial product, which only a handful of economic experts even understood. What made them so ultimately dangerous was that the financial institutions selling them were also offering the equivalent of an "insurance policy," which gave investors the confidence to buy them. The problem is that these weren't real, actual insurance policies but "credit default swaps." They were given that name because if the financial institutions selling them had called them "insurance" policies, instead, they would've been been bound by federal regulations to create cash reserves to cover them. By calling them "swaps," they were able to get around that.

    Long story short, these "swaps" tied all the financial institutions together, because they were swapping these contracts with each other. So when one institution's toxic hedge fund started failing, and jittery investors started cashing in their so-called "insurance policies," virtually every major financial institution was destined to go under, because they were all tied into this monstrous $600 TRILLION derivatives market.

    The FIRST time this near-collapse happened, under Clinton, it was manageable because banks were able to get together and pony up a couple of billion dollars each, and avert the collapse. But by the time this STILL-UNREGULATED market (courtesy of Greenspan/Rubin/Summers/Geithner convincing congress that the near-catastrophe was nothing but an anomaly, though KNOWING full well that it wasn't), this toxic market had grown so large that the only way to put the brakes on it this time was to involve the federal government, purse-string holders and distributors of we, the people's, hard-earned dollars.

    And here we are today, with the same culprits now working for Obama.

    Does the zippy new Financial Reform legislation ensure that this will never happen again, you might ask? Why, of course not. That would make far too much sense. Best the Dem congress just put together a convoluted piece of crap that doesn't fix the problem but DOES, none too surprisingly, give the federal government a stunning new level of power (the constitutionality of which, much like the HCR mandate, is being challenged). And, needless to say, we, the people, will be paying through the teeth for the humongous new financial regulatory agency that's being created.

  96. [96] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/38600623

    "Now, I don't know what all that means, but it sounds pretty bad.",
    -Tom Cruise, A FEW GOOD MEN

    Michale.....

  97. [97] 
    Michale wrote:

    Part Duex....

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/Time-to-admit-Obamanomics-has-failed-1008050-100154469.html

    How much more bad news do we all need to read about before we admit that there MIGHT be a problem here??

    Michale.....

  98. [98] 
    Michale wrote:

    "When you get in your car, when you go forward, what do you do? You put it in 'D'. When you want to go back, what do you? You put it in 'R'."
    -President Obama

    I have to admit... That's pretty cute... :D

    I wonder which one of Obama's speechwriters came up with that little gem... :D

    Michale.....

  99. [99] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    What I'm saying is that the past 8 years of tax breaks for the wealthy have shown no increased job growth or wage growth for the middle class. The government has gotten no return on its investment and only increased the deficit. If there's no supply side benefit, let's end these tax breaks and lower the deficit.

    Y'know, D, I don't even know how to respond to this, because you seem to have a distorted view of the federal government's role in this country: like it's "in charge" of businesses and that businesses are somehow obligated to obediently "grow the middle class": like this is some kinda socialism or communism, or something. I'm not sure you understand how this government was designed to function. This republic was created with the intention of enabling individuals to freely pursue their individual ambitions, and achieve success — or not.

    But you're making statements like you think this government was designed to ensure that every individual enjoys a nice life. It's a lovely thought, but that's not the case at all. People, themselves, are supposed to decide what kind of life they want, and what level of success they wish to achieve, and how many cars and boats and homes they wish to own. If one individual wishes to be a fat-cat, great. Go for it. If another wants to be a lazy slug and make just enough money to keep himself alive, that's fine, too. If you wish to be a struggling artist, because your passion for art is more important than the thread-count of your sheets, knock yourself out.

    And all the federal government is supposed to do with the money that each individual hands over is to assist the citizens in (example): traveling from state to state on safe, pothole-free highways, and connecting states to each other with bridges so that people can travel around with as much ease as possible, and hopefully arrive at their destinations in one piece; collecting and distributing the mail in a speedy and cost-efficient manner, which is of great assistance to Business, for example, because they know that if they put a check in the mail on Tuesday, they'll get it by Thursday; creating and maintaining an army, and weapons, so that if a Hitler decides to pull a couple of dozen submarines up to our shores, each individual doesn't have to pull their rocket launcher out of the closet to protect him/herself; and so on.

    As for Business, the federal government is there to assist Business, not rule over it. That money belongs to the Business owner, not Pelosi and Reid. Yet you're talking as though the government were being a big sport by giving "the wealthy" business owner a break on his OWN money; by letting him slide for ONLY x-amount, but ONLY if he comes through on his obigation to ensure that the starving artist and lazy slug live a middle-class lifestyle; like that's somehow mandated somewhere in the Articles.

    Meanwhile, back on Planet Constitution, no such obligation exists; nor does any such authorization exist that permits the federal government to insist that "the wealthy" create a middle-class lifestyle for folks who don't feel like busting their hump to study a little harder, or learn a craft, or open a store, or invent a better mousetrap. The federal government has no authority to even so much as expect, much less demand, anything from Business owners. The government is supposed to collect ONLY enough money to pay for the roads, etc., and see that its all running smoothly. THAT'S IT. And if after those bills are paid and there's money left over, i.e., a "surplus," do you know what that means? That means that the citizens of this country are paying too much.

    Yet here you are saying such things as "The government has gotten no return on its investment and only increased the deficit." "ITS" investment??? What the hell do you think the federal goverment is, a business PARTNER? "Increased the deficit"???? We shouldn't even HAVE deficit, because the federal government has absolutely not right to spend money on anything other than what's on the enumerated TO-DO LIST.

    I don't know where you ever got the notion that "the wealthy" have some kinda nerve to have made successes of themselves, and/or that they're constitutionally obligated to share their earnings with Starving Artist and Lazy Slug, and/or that Pelosi/Reid/Obama are the business owners' BOSSES, who say "Do this and this and that with the money I'm allowing you to have. And I WANT TO SEE RESULTS!" You have got that entirely backwards, my friend. It's the business owner who gets to say "Do this and this and that with my money, and if I don't see results by November, the latest, guess what: YA FIYID."

    And you wonder why "Tea Parties" have taken to the streets, intent upon taking their government back and RETURNING to the Constitution, which the power-crazed government never had the right or authority to deviate from, in the first place?

  100. [100] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    2 corrections. One, it was Bush who bailed out the banks with the help of a Democratic Congress.

    Neither Bush nor congress had any other option, at that point. He AND congress were quite literally told that "by Monday, we won't have an economy anymore." Bailing out the financial institutions was a no-brainer decision. The president is sworn to protect this nation, and allowing the U.S. economy to simply collapse does not fall under that definition.

    Why the hell we bailed out the auto industry, I have no idea. They should've been "allowed to fail." (Like the federal government has some kinda "permission" power?????) That was a royally stupid move, which Obama went on to make worse.

  101. [101] 
    Michale wrote:

    Why the hell we bailed out the auto industry, I have no idea.

    Oh that's easy..

    Obama agreed to bail out the Auto Companies in exchange to give the Unions more power within the companies....

    Duuhhh...... :D

    Michale.....

  102. [102] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    You KNOW that a president is in bad shape when he is boo'ed by the Boy Scouts!

    ROFL. Oh, my God. Now THAT'S embarrassing.

  103. [103] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Obama agreed to bail out the Auto Companies in exchange to give the Unions more power within the companies....

    Duuhhh...... :D

    LOL. Gee, y'think? Meanwhile, there's Obama's razor-sharp CEO skills on parade again. The unions make it impossible for the industry to produce some cool little highly affordable cars that would invariably sell like wildfire. And what does Obama do? Does he allow the industry to fail, and kick off a national discussion as to whether unions have become more harmful than helpful? Why, no. He bails the industry out so that the unions can CONTINUE making it impossible for manufacturers to even survive, much less thrive.

    And what's our first proud new product to emerge from the assembly line? A car that costs THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of dollars more than its closet rival, the Nissan Leaf. Just brilliant.

  104. [104] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, the silly season has certainly begun around here, of late. :)

    Anybody seen Chris? Did he take another vacation?

  105. [105] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    As Romer fades back to her teaching post at Berkeley, Obama is adding to the economic misery by creating an environment of regulatory uncertainty. The Wall Street reform law Obama recently signed potentially requires 533 new regulations, 60 studies and 93 reports, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. - http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/Time-to-admit-Obamanomics-has-failed-1008050-100154469.html

    Oh, but don't worry: This is surely going to create jobs. Because, as everyone knows, Business just loooooooves uncertainty. The only thing they love more than uncertainty is paying employees to fill out Pelosi-high stacks of government paperwork instead of doing their jobs.

  106. [106] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Are you saying the government has to give money to businesses in order for them to invest? Please clarify.

    No, the government's role is to assist Business owners in achieving the success they seek by doing such things as NOT demanding so much in taxes that that it ends up hindering rather than enhancing a business owner's ability to compete, profit and thrive; And by NOT creating so many regulations that it's draining more profits than said business owner is financially ABLE to part with. Bottom line, the federal government should assist businesses by creating what is known as a pro-business environment, where business owners aren't wondering IF their taxes are going to go up, and IF so, how much so, because IF their taxes go up too high, they're gonna have to lay people off.

    "Uncertainty" is one of the worst conditions the federal government can create, but businesses have to know what the deal is. They can neither create nor execute marketing plans without KNOWING how much money they'll dealing with, e.g., how much money they can appropriate to salaries, to facility improvements to technology updates, equipment maintenance, research and development, production supplies, travel per diems, client entertainment, building security, insurance policies, licensing fees, legal fees, warehousing fees, distributor fees, trucking fees, advertising fees, utility fees........

    And then there are businesses that have "slow seasons," i.e., sales and profits are reliant upon particular climate conditions, or fashion seasons, or whatever the case may be. And that introduces a whole OTHER layer of expenses.

    Do you have any idea how much it COSTS to run a business? Any business? You seem to be under the impression that any sale a business owner makes, the profit goes into the owner's personal banking account and voila: he's a fatcat. NOT QUITE.

  107. [107] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris1962,

    Don't you ever take a break?

    :)

  108. [108] 
    Michale wrote:

    And what's our first proud new product to emerge from the assembly line? A car that costs THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of dollars more than its closet rival, the Nissan Leaf. Just brilliant.

    This is the exact kind of inescapable logic that is simply impossible to argue with...

    Michale.....

  109. [109] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Why I'm Not Hiring
    When you add it all up, it costs $74,000 to put $44,000 in Sally's pocket and to give her $12,000 in benefits....
    http://www.chris11962.com/blog/files/219badcc0e8bfb756b6fc49b81331104-147.html

  110. [110] 
    akadjian wrote:

    The silly season sure has begun around here :)

    They're calling Obama a "CEO in training" and raging against the unions and all the typical garble garble.

    Rage, rage, rage ... garble garble.

    But still no one has shown any evidence that supply side economics did what they said it would do. Grow the economy and "trickle down" to the rest of us.

    Michale actually has the most common sense response:

    What I *think* CB is saying is that the government has to quit taking so MUCH money from the businesses thereby increasing the bottom line of said business. This will provide incentive for the businesses to keep their jobs here in the US instead of sending them overseas.

    And I'd agree with you, Michale, that on the surface this seems logical.

    But when you start looking at the evidence, it hasn't worked.

    From today's business news:
    The S&P 500 extended last week’s 1.8 percent gain, which was driven by better-than-estimated profit reports. Of the 420 companies on the benchmark gauge that have reported quarterly results since July 12, about 77 percent have beaten analysts’ estimates for per-share profit.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-09/stocks-u-s-futures-climb-on-stimulus-speculation.html

    77% of the S&P has beaten analysts estimates so far.

    And, as CB pointed out, many companies are sitting on lots of cash.

    Why then is everyone complaining about the economy? Well, obviously, because people are still out of work. It is, so far, a jobless recovery.

    And if you look at the last 8 years, after the tax cuts, to see if incomes increased, they didn't. Well, except for those at the top.

    So what's going on?
    - We've been sold on the idea of "trickle down" economics and the idea that this will make things better for all.
    - So we cut taxes for the wealthy and through everyone else a bone.
    - Now, businesses are trying to keep these tax cuts by once again convincing us that the effects will trickle down.
    - Even though they are sitting on excess cash, beating market expectations, and not lacking investment capital.

    The problem is there's no problem. But boy do they want those tax cuts!

    Problem is there's simply no evidence that corporations will spend it on creating American jobs. Just like the banks didn't start lending when we gave them stimulus funds.

    So I see no reason to keep the tax cuts for the wealthy when they will likely use it to invest offshore. Let's get rid of the deficit instead by removing the tax breaks.

    Or, if we're going to give them these tax breaks, I want some guarantees. Not just fancy promises of "trickle down" wonders.

    No, the government's role is to assist business owners in achieving the success they seek.

    Now this is funny. The Constitutional scholar raging about how the government should stay out of this and stay out of that wants the government to aid businesses.

    What happened to "government by the people, for the people"?

    You want them to do nothing but aid businesses?

    What about "letting the market" work?

    CB- Honestly, you keep proving my point. Conservative philosophy benefits corporations. This is why they can say "let the markets" work when you want to deregulate, and "government's role is to assist business owners" when you want tax breaks or bailouts.

    But since you seem to know the Constitution so well, maybe you can tell me where in the Constitution it says that the government should aid businesses?

    Silly season indeed! ;)
    David

  111. [111] 
    akadjian wrote:

    p.s.
    I think the following two examples illustrate the difference between innovation and the "race to the bottom":

    1. This is a fantastic example of an idea to make highways pay for themselves. Exactly the type of thing we should be leading the world in.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnj8Y5PbFTI

    2. The alternative is to always lower costs. This is the "race to the bottom" that I would not want to invest in.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704913304575370950363737746.html

    And honestly, I don't give a rats' ass if the change comes from Democrats or Republicans. But there has got to be a change in our economic policy.

    Business (especially big business) has become dependent on the government and overly influences our government and I do not think this is a good idea.

  112. [112] 
    Kevin wrote:

    David, Elizabeth, and any other regulars who've been lurking and decided to stay out of this messy thread...check out CB's website to see where he's coming from. Trying to be fair, I just did and his site explains a lot. Amongst others, he links to Breitbart and Drudge, and his site is heavy with Faux Noise clips. I was kind of hoping his home page would explain his educational and life so far background; but clueless me couldn't find where that information was on the site. I really wanted to know. Now I need to go take a shower.

  113. [113] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Kevin,

    Two things ... apparently, CB is a she.

    And, she enjoys her on-line annonymity. Wouldn't you, in her place? :) Besides, you don't need to know!

  114. [114] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Now this is funny. The Constitutional scholar raging about how the government should stay out of this and stay out of that wants the government to aid businesses.

    That's the government's role in this country, David. Think of the business owner as the boss and the federal government as the chauffeur. It's the federal government's job to SERVE the boss, not run him off the road and over a cliff. Sheesh. If you don't know THAT much about the design of this government, I really don't know what to tell you except to suggest that you review the intentions of the framers when they created this republic. The Declaration of Independence is a laundry list of their grievances, addressed to the King, telling him that he didn't have the right to rule their lives; that human beings had inalienable rights that derived from the Creator, including the right to pursue their goals without having their efforts thwarted by a ruler. They didn’t want future generations to suffer the same oppressive crap, only under a federal overlord instead of a King. So they made the PEOPLE the ruler of the government and gave the federal government enumerated, LIMITED powers to ensure that it wouldn't grow in power to the point where it began ruling the people, instead — as in telling them they had to buy a product from the private sector or suffer punishment. Why the hell do you think people are running around in tricorne hats, railing against this MANDATE that the federal government, for the first time ever, is trying to FORCE upon the people?

    Ya know, David, I truly don't mean to be insulting, but I'm beginning to wonder what age you are, because you don't seem to know even the basics of how this government is structured, or just as importantly, WHY. I mean, given some of the things you say, I don't if I'm talking to somebody in their thirties, twenties, or teens. Do you truly not know that the framers wanted to SPARE future generations from having to live under a ruler, like they themselves had been forced to endure? They wanted the government to, instead, SERVE the people in their endeavors to pursue and achieve success, not stand in the way of it by throwing financial obstacles up, and taking so much of their money away that they could barely even make a profit at the end of the day!!!!!! Are you kidding me????

    Here's another perfect example:

    "CB- Honestly, you keep proving my point. Conservative philosophy benefits corporations."

    Well, HELL, is that supposed to be a BAD thing??? Is it the role of the government, in your mind, to THWART the efforts of citizens with businesses????

  115. [115] 
    Kevin wrote:

    Elizabeth, thanks for the info. And I didn't even mention the Limbaugh and Fox News links, I was trying to be polite. I've sort of lost my virginity, I'd never been to a site with a Limbaugh link :)

  116. [116] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Kevin,

    In future, you should avoid all form of Limbaugh links ... life is too short.

  117. [117] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    The silly season sure has begun around here :)

    They're calling Obama a "CEO in training"

    Well, jeepers, David, do ya think maybe that's because this is his first Chief Executive gig? He's the chief of the Executive branch of this government, just like a CEO is the chief of a company, with lots and lots of assorted departments doing lots and lots of assorted jobs, to keep this country OPERATING. Obama has never held an executive job before. He's never run a company, or of a state, or a city. This is his first shot at it.

  118. [118] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    David, Elizabeth, and any other regulars who've been lurking and decided to stay out of this messy thread...check out CB's website to see where he's coming from.

    Hey, Kev? If you'd like to know where I'm coming from, all you have to do is ask. I put links to my own website on this board for the express and exclusive purpose of inviting people to see what I read, and what I perceive to be important.

    As for this garbage of talking to others on this board ABOUT me, pay me the courtesy of doing that via email, huh?

  119. [119] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    I didn't even mention the Limbaugh and Fox News links, I was trying to be polite. I've sort of lost my virginity, I'd never been to a site with a Limbaugh link :)

    I don't suppose you noticed the links to the liberal sites, which are also there. I read both sides of the news, Kev. (A fascinating concept, indeed.) Is that okay with you? You seem to have some sort of problem with my reading about what Republicans have to say. Am I only supposed to be informed of what what liberals are saying? Is there something tabu about reading the commentary from both sides? Do get back to me on that, won't you?

  120. [120] 
    Kevin wrote:

    Elizabeth, I appreciate the advice and I like the brain I have; if I ever clicked on a Limbaugh link I'd worry about THE STUPID corroding it. I just saw it there and commented on it, rest easy :)

  121. [121] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris1962,

    As for this garbage of talking to others on this board ABOUT me, pay me the courtesy of doing that via email, huh?

    Now, THAT was funny. Seriously!

    You have to admit, you've given us all quite a lot to discuss. Still pretty sensitive, I see - can dish it out but can't take it.

  122. [122] 
    Kevin wrote:

    CB, I apologize. Still, what you DO have up on your site makes me cringe. It appears to me that you're a hard core Republican, and that makes our differences insurmountable. You seem to lean to the Tea Party side of the spectrum, and sorry but I can't take any "argument" you make seriously. I've been waiting and waiting for you to put forward the Republican Great Hope who will save you all from Obama's "incompetence"; but it seems even you can't choke out a name without gagging. And rightly so.
    As for your economic "wisdom", repeating the same variations on a theme over and over again, at length, simply produces what we old newsmen call the MEGO effect...my eyes glaze over.
    I never bother arguing about them because David does a much better, and gentler, job of it.
    Taking a leaf from Michale, in the immortal words of Bugs Bunny, AH SHADDUP!! This really is tiresome.

  123. [123] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    But still no one has shown any evidence that supply side economics did what they said it would do. Grow the economy and "trickle down" to the rest of us.

    Who's "they"? What ERA are you talking about? And what are you expecting to "trickle down" to you? I can only imagine. 'D

  124. [124] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    CB, I apologize. Still, what you DO have up on your site makes me cringe. It appears to me that you're a hard core Republican, and that makes our differences insurmountable.

    And? Does that, therefore, give you some kind of special license to make insulting remarks to me, and mock me via that trusty potshot tactic of making comments about me to other forum members? I'm on this board because Chris Weigart invited me over here, Kev. He and I exchange political views at the HuffPo. We don't agree with each other's political philosophies, but that's what makes for good, robust conversations.

    People with differing views can honestly, intellectually, and RESPECTFULLY disagree with each other. My best friend on the planet is a hard-core liberal with the NYC Board of Ed. Do you think we walk away from political discussions mocking and insulting each other? Do you think we refuse to read the articles we email each other because the publication doesn't lean in our preferred direction? Quite the opposite. I want to know how she arrives at her beliefs and how her bureaurocratic school-system world operates. She wants to know how my corporate-America world operates. It's called intellectual curiosity.

    Allow me to say this for the third time, Kev: If you can't tolerate my disagreeing with your personal view of the world, you're completely free to scroll past my posts. You're not, however, free to hurl personal insults, and mock me in conversation with other posters — at least not as I understand the very simple request made by the owner of this board with regard to posting etiquette. I've met some very nice people here, Kev. I enjoy this posting atmosphere. And I'll contact my host, CW, if it comes to that, and ask him to intercede with a friendly reminder to you that civil, respectful discussion is the tone he's set for this forum. So make a decision whether you wish to hold civil conversations with me or stick to chatting with others.

  125. [125] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    I was kind of hoping his home page would explain his educational and life so far background; but clueless me couldn't find where that information was on the site. I really wanted to know.

    I describe myself to forum members as an old hippie, to give people a sense of my age and the times I grew up in. I'm a native NYer. I graduated from one of those universities that tend to make liberals swoon. I'm an advertising copywriter and the creative director of a mid-sized, boutique agency in NYC. I spent the first half of my career at one of the top-ten international agencies, doing consumer campaigns (TV, print, radio) for some of the biggest brands on the planet. I then moved over to the trade side of the business, so that I could learn that industry, too. I've been a political junkie since I was about twelve, or so. And I'm female, not male.

    Now you know everything I've shared with others on this board and/or at the HuffPo. And all you ever had to do, from the start, was ask me.

  126. [126] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris1962,

    Ah ... that was really very sweet ... thanks for sharing ... :)

  127. [127] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    OK, just for everyone's information...

    I admit, I've been absent from this comment thread. I plead mid-summer "playing hooky." I spent a few days with friends elsewhere, and then watched a very exciting baseball game between the SF Giants and the Chi-Town Cubbies. The Giants won (4-3), in the 11th inning, and as I said, it was a VERY close-fought and exciting game.

    Tomorrow... oh, I guess it's "today" now... Tuesday, at any rate... I will be coming back here to address a few things. Until then, behave yourselves and play nice, as things have been getting a little pointed here. As I said, I'll chime in tomorrow, and I apologize for the delay, and have no excuse other than "I haven't seen a ball game all year... and it has been a GRIM GRIM GRIM year for Orioles fans, on the whole." Sigh.

    Until tomorrow...

    -CW

  128. [128] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    They're calling Obama a "CEO in training" and raging against the unions and all the typical garble garble.

    Any particular reason why Obama SHOULDN'T be called a CEO in training??

    Does he have any prior experience running a business???

    No??

    Then "CEO IN TRAINING" seems to be an accurate moniker, doesn't it?

    If it doesn't, please explain why not.

    As for Unions???

    Please explain why they SHOULDN'T be raged against, considering how many jobs they have cost Americans..

    Michale actually has the most common sense response:

    Hay now!! Let's not be sayin' things we can't take back!! :D

    And if you look at the last 8 years, after the tax cuts, to see if incomes increased, they didn't. Well, except for those at the top.

    I am obviously not the economist that you are, David. I don't mean that facetiously, I am dead serious...

    But, it seems to me that you are solely concentrating on the Tax Cuts... What I mean by that is you seem to be saying that 8 years ago there were tax cuts and personal incomes haven't risen so tax cuts must not work as advertised.

    That is faulty logic for it fails to consider OTHER factors, totally unrelated to tax cuts, that might have been factors in the rise or fall of personal incomes..

    It's like claiming, after seeing a red bird, that all birds must be red..

    Michale.....

  129. [129] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    "I haven't seen a ball game all year... and it has been a GRIM GRIM GRIM year for Orioles fans, on the whole." Sigh.

    Think of it as God's way of preparing you for November. Bwaha.

  130. [130] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris1962

    You might consider preparing yourself ... for some serious treatment after November. :)

    It's OK, though, we'll all be here to console you.

  131. [131] 
    Michale wrote:

    "I haven't seen a ball game all year... and it has been a GRIM GRIM GRIM year for Orioles fans, on the whole." Sigh.

    Think of it as God's way of preparing you for November. Bwaha.

    Now THAT was funny... :D

    Liz,

    You might consider preparing yourself ... for some serious treatment after November. :)

    You really don't expect the Democrats to hold onto the majority, do you??

    I could see maybe in the Senate.. Maybe...

    But the House is as good as in GOP hands...

    And Democrats, despite them wanting to duck responsibility (AGAIN) and blame Bush and the GOP, have only themselves to blame...

    They are the ones that pissed on and pissed OFF 75% of the American people...

    Michale.....

  132. [132] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Alaska TV station KTUU is reporting that it has confirmed the death of former Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) in an airplane crash. The station said it received confirmation of his death from a former staffer and family friend.
    http://www.rollcall.com/news/49146-1.html

  133. [133] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris1962,

    Would you care to relate that piece of news to what we are discussing here?

  134. [134] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Wow, here's an interesting silly-season strategic idea:

    Hillary for Vice President?
    http://www.chris11962.com/blog/files/42398f9b3f90952c16c56725bf7154dc-152.html

    I think the Dems will lose the WH in 2012 with Obama. There's too much anti-big government sentiment and buyer's remorse out there for him to recapture the critical voting blocs he's since alienated with HCR and the other assorted massive fed-expanding things he's done. But if Hillary were to assume the veepship in 2010 and Obama were to decide not to seek reelection, I think she would give the Dems a fighting chance, if she can convincingly position herself as a centrist. I don't know how many Indies would buy it. But it sure is an interesting thought, strategically speaking.

  135. [135] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris1962,

    Yes, you have highlighted a very interesting proposal, strategically speaking ... in a silly sort of way. :)

    I hope you stick around.

  136. [136] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    CW, any predictions re: the Colorado primary? Quite the interesting showdown going on between Bill Clinton/Romanoff and Obama/Bennet.

  137. [137] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    1. This is a fantastic example of an idea to make highways pay for themselves. Exactly the type of thing we should be leading the world in.

    Veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery interesting technology. I like this concept a lot.

  138. [138] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Democrats, despite them wanting to duck responsibility (AGAIN) and blame Bush and the GOP, have only themselves to blame...

    Are congressional Dems forgetting that THEY held the majority under Bush for the last couple of years of his administration, and that the "policies" that pissed the majority of Americans off most were enacted by THEMSELVES?

    And there's Obama out on the campaign trail, talking about "amnesia" (LOL) and the perils of returning to the Bush policies, which he, himself, has been carrying out for the past year and a half. It's sounding more and more like he replaced his speechwriting team with stand-up comedy writers.

  139. [139] 
    akadjian wrote:

    @CB
    I'm beginning to wonder what age you are

    Hahahah. Here's a tip that might prove handy for your advertising firm. When you start to attack people, it usually means you don't have a solid argument to stand on.

    Just a helpful tip.

    As far as my age, I'm old enough to know that nowhere in the Constitution does it say: "government's role is to assist business owners" :)

    That is faulty logic for it fails to consider OTHER factors, totally unrelated to tax cuts, that might have been factors in the rise or fall of personal incomes.

    This may be true. But we, the American people, were sold on these tax cuts using several arguments:

    - Deficits don't matter
    - Giving tax cuts to the wealthy will grow the overall economy for everyone
    - Corporations must have these cuts in order to compete

    And what I do know is that I haven't seen any evidence of this.

    - Deficits do matter
    - Trickle down has grown the economy for the wealthy and no one else
    - Corporations seem to spend more time lobbying for tax cuts than working to compete. Is that a healthy corporation? Maybe it's time to ... Idunno ... let the market work?

    What I also know is that they're trying to resell on us this supply-side idea. With no evidence that it works.

    That's why I don't buy it, Michale. It's the same old supply-side argument dressed up.

    Cheers
    David

    p.s. Here's an article I just stumbled on that I find interesting. I haven't had a chance to fully digest and am not sure I agree w/ all of the premises, but it's interesting:

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/reagan-insider-gop-destroyed-us-economy-2010-08-10?pagenumber=1

  140. [140] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Hahahah. Here's a tip that might prove handy for your advertising firm. When you start to attack people, it usually means you don't have a solid argument to stand on.

    LOL. I'm not attacking you. I'd just love to know if you're forty or fourteen. And where did you go to elementary school? In the former Soviet Union? Bwaha. 'D

    nowhere in the Constitution does it say: "government's role is to assist business owners" :)

    Oh, I do believe it's you who's having a little trouble defending your position, now, D. You know that the framers never intended for future generations to be ruled by the federal equivalent of a king; that the "government," whom YOU, the citizen, hire, pay and fire, is there to serve you, not the other way around. So why do you keep sounding like you think the boss's money belongs to the "chauffeur" and/or that the chauffeur has the authority to thwart and trip the boss up?

    This is why parents are screaming about their kids being indoctrinated by liberal teachers, with textbooks that present the American government as some kind of Euro-style socialism, which is the exact opposite of how our unique government is designed to function.

  141. [141] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    This may be true. But we, the American people, were sold on these tax cuts using several arguments:
    - Deficits don't matter
    - Giving tax cuts to the wealthy will grow the overall economy for everyone
    - Corporations must have these cuts in order to compete
    And what I do know is that I haven't seen any evidence of this.

    Are you conveniently forgetting that this country sustained the biggest attack on the homeland in the history of this nation and that something like that tends to rock the economy a tad? It's not exactly business as usual when something like that goes down, followed by war on two fronts, D. You're all over the map with your arguments. You're comparing Clinton's peacetime economy with Bush's homeland-attack/wartime economy, with Obama's Keneysian-recovery economy. Mix apples, oranges and elephants much?

  142. [142] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    p.s. Here's an article I just stumbled on that I find interesting. I haven't had a chance to fully digest and am not sure I agree w/ all of the premises, but it's interesting:

    Digest this, D:

    U.S. Incomes Tumbled in 2009
    On average, personal income dropped 1.8% in 2009, following a 2.7% increase in 2007.
    http://www.chris11962.com/blog/files/3c19454bbdbbeaa48964a5ae7f3b9388-150.html

  143. [143] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    As an aside, WHY does Gibbs still have a job? Do congressional Dems really need this guy pissing the base off, 80-some-odd days away from the midterms? Isn't the idea to RALLY the base, not depress it?

    Liberals still steamed at Gibbs
    http://www.chris11962.com/blog/files/fc668157f9c610754381aac180a87e29-154.html

  144. [144] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    I've been waiting and waiting for you to put forward the Republican Great Hope who will save you all from Obama's "incompetence"; but it seems even you can't choke out a name without gagging. And rightly so.

    No Republican has declared his/her candidacy yet, so how the heck would I know. Frankly, I think my dog could beat out Obama at this point. And I think whomever wins the 2012 Republican primary is gonna take the Oval. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see a hard-core rightie such as Gingrich win — and with a whole lot of "Reagan Democrats" behind him, to boot, as I think the country is gonna be looking for a serious conservative to reverse legislations that the majority of Americans have been against from the start, yet have nevertheless had forced upon them. You do realize that 55% of likely voters find "socialist" a befitting description for Obama, right? Last I checked, that's not exactly the direction the vast majority of Americans want this country to be moving in.

  145. [145] 
    Michale wrote:

    I am sensing a pattern here..

    Ya'all rail against the GOP as the Party with no new ideas...

    While that may or may not be true, it is undeniable to the Party agnostic, that the current ideas are doing more harm than good..

    The Democrats argument seems to be that to vote in the GOP would be to go back to the way it was..

    It is obvious that the way it was is BETTER than the way it is now.. And TONS better than the way it's going to be in the near future, thanks to the Democrats total frak-up job that they have done.

    To be perfectly honest, the way things were under the GOP appeals to a LOT more Americans than the Democrats want to believe.

    No ideas are infinitely preferable to BAD ideas... Especially when the BAD ideas keep coming and coming and coming and coming...

    I find it very hard to believe that ANYONE can defend a Party that put forth the abomination that is CrapCare and advocate 2 more years of the same..

    It boggles the mind.

    Michale.....

  146. [146] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    I am sensing a pattern here..

    Ya'all rail against the GOP as the Party with no new ideas...

    The GOP should squash the libs' accusation by positioning itself, with great pride, as indeed the party with the oldest ideas in the country, otherwise known as the Constitution.

  147. [147] 
    Michale wrote:

    Read it and weep...

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-11/u-s-is-bankrupt-and-we-don-t-even-know-commentary-by-laurence-kotlikoff.html

    THIS is where Obama's (and to a lesser extent, Bush's) policies has lead us...

    This part is especially important..

    "Let’s get real. The U.S. is bankrupt. Neither spending more nor taxing less will help the country pay its bills.

    What it can and must do is radically simplify its tax, health-care, retirement and financial systems, each of which is a complete mess. But this is the good news. It means they can each be redesigned to achieve their legitimate purposes at much lower cost and, in the process, revitalize the economy."

    Doing business the same old way will lead to the same old results...

    We MUST totally revamp the system..

    And we can't do that while we are putting band-aids on the economy..

    Because band-aids will not cure the underlying sickness...

    "Let them die."
    -Captain James T Kirk, STAR TREK VI, The Undiscovered Country

    Michale.....

  148. [148] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    These massive federal agencies, stuffed with government workers making twice that of private sector employees, plus all the Big Mommy entitlement programs, are what's killing this country.

    The second killer is the unions. The states have to do something about them, like Christie is trying to do in New Jersey. They can't have a stranglehold on entire industries, because it's quite literally forcing companies to leave this country.

    If we had taken all that "stimulus" money and put it in the hands of the American people instead of following this unbelievably idiotic Keynesian model — where we're STILL doing bail outs; this time, rescuing the reckless, drunken-sailor-spending states — this would be a different economy today. This is why I'm raising the I-word, Michale. Because we QUITE LITERALLY cannot afford to stay on this child-CEO's "recovery" path much longer, where we're "recovering" at a snail's pace, with NO JOBS, and it's costing this country money that it. does. not. have. It's reckless and irresponsible and FRIGHTENING as hell and it has to stop. Preferably before the point of no return — provided we have not already PASSED that point.

    I'm starting to get some real disturbing thoughts, like this president is TRYING to bring this country down so that he become the second FDR, with the entire country wholly dependent upon the federal government. I'm getting to the point where I don't know how else to explain what he and his economic team are doing.

  149. [149] 
    Kevin wrote:

    From Balloon Juice, just now:

    Managed ignorance

    by E.D. Kain

    Dave Weigel passes on this interesting tidbit from Pew:

    Only a third of Americans (34%) correctly say the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was enacted by the Bush administration. Nearly half (47%) incorrectly believe TARP was passed under President Obama. Another 19% admit they do not know which president signed the bank bailout into law. Notably, there is no partisan divide on the question.

    Fortunately, according to Pew, most Americans know what Twitter is (85%). (You can take the Pew quiz yourself, here.)

    This may be a symptom of what Jason Kuznicki has described as ‘managed ignorance’:

    Ignorance has become a feature where it used to be a bug. Formerly it was the job of the media to correct ignorance, insofar as it was possible (and, truthfully, it wasn’t very possible). Now though it’s increasingly the job of the media to manage ignorance. To make a space for the ignorant, and to ensure that those kept in managed ignorance get just enough news, and never more than they need to remain exactly where they are.

    We were probably due for some measure of managed ignorance, what with the already stupefying mix of rational ignorance, the cable news cycle, cognitive dissonance, and in-group loyalty that shapes public opinion today. But still, consider: We found WMD in Iraq. We only tortured really, really bad people, we did it only in non-fatal ways, and they provided us worthwhile information. Same-sex marriage is going to force churches to do things they don’t believe in. There will be death panels deciding your grandma’s fate. Climategate destroyed global warming science forever.

    All are untrue, but there are those who believe every one of them, and these people’s opinions about where to go from here don’t count any less just because they’re based on untruth. Those who propagate such beliefs know them to be untrue, and they know it’s not worth the average person’s time, cognitive investment, and loss of group loyalty to discover otherwise.

    Yes, these examples all show conservatives as the beneficiaries of managed ignorance. I’ve tried hard to resist the conclusion, but conservatives seem to bank on it a lot more than liberals. More than anything else, it’s this style of politics that turns me away from the Republicans. I’d pick “well-informed on basic facts but ideologically divergent” over “mis-informed on basic facts and ideologically divergent” every single time. Not that I’d enjoy the choice. But what other alternatives are there?

    This is one reason why I’m not a Republican either, and why I’ve stated quite explicitly that left-leaning libertarians (or progressive conservatives even) would be better off working with Democrats than Republicans in most instances. This doesn’t mean I’m particularly fond of the Democratic party but at least it seems to care about governance. That may not always be the case of course. Managed ignorance can happen in the other direction, too. Any ideological camp can succumb to the rust of groupthink.
    Posted in Domestic Affairs at 1:30 pm | No Comments

  150. [150] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    I find it very hard to believe that ANYONE can defend a Party that put forth the abomination that is CrapCare and advocate 2 more years of the same..

    Well, at least the cost of our health care policies are gonna go down. Oh, wait...
    http://www.chris11962.com/blog/files/9bfa0c76107863f4a74f20d1ac516f3f-157.html

    Gee, who didn't see that one coming. With the grace of God this "mandate" will go before the Supreme Court and get shot down before every damned state in this nation goes bankrupt.

  151. [151] 
    Michale wrote:

    Gee, who didn't see that one coming. With the grace of God this "mandate" will go before the Supreme Court and get shot down before every damned state in this nation goes bankrupt

    Even Howard Dean is saying that the Mandate is unconstitutional and will not fly...

    And, once the Mandate is eliminated, then CrapCare completely falls apart..

    Because the Insurance Companies won't (or more accurately CAN'T) go along with all the other provisions of CrapCare if they don't have the customer base that the mandate would have provided...

    Michale.....

  152. [152] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    Only a third of Americans (34%) correctly say the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was enacted by the Bush administration. Nearly half (47%) incorrectly believe TARP was passed under President Obama.

    That's likely owed to two things: (1) TARP was passed by a Democratic congress, which Americans are associating with Obama, because it's the same Pelosi/Reid congress; and (2) the average American doesn't give a crap which administration passed it so much as the fact that the bail-outs are still going on.

    While liberals (who make up a big 20% of this country) are forever leaping into the WayBack Machine and screeching about Bush, what they don't understand is that the average American doesn't live in the past, like liberals do; they live in the here-and-now. They don't care what Bush did; they care what Obama is doing. Which is why the Dems' master campaign plan to resurrect the "all Bush's fault" battle cry is predestined to blow up in their faces — particularly since everything that Bush did is CONTINUING to done by Obama. He hasn't "changed" anything, except to force an HCR mandate upon the majority of Americans who never wanted it in the first place.

  153. [153] 
    Michale wrote:

    Kevin,

    But still, consider: We found WMD in Iraq. We only tortured really, really bad people, we did it only in non-fatal ways, and they provided us worthwhile information. Same-sex marriage is going to force churches to do things they don’t believe in. There will be death panels deciding your grandma’s fate. Climategate destroyed global warming science forever.

    All are untrue,

    Oh where to begin...

    and they provided us worthwhile information.

    According to Obama's own DNI, this is actually a true statement...

    There will be death panels deciding your grandma’s fate.

    And look who Obama chose to oversea Medicare and Medicade.. The king of rationed health care...

    Climategate destroyed global warming science forever.

    The global warming "science" can barely be called that.. More of a religion than science anyways...

    And Climategate DID put that into the full public awareness, to be sure...

    So, it seems that all the things the author says are "untrue" actually ARE true...

    FUnny how that is, eh?? :D

    Michale.....

  154. [154] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    And, once the Mandate is eliminated, then CrapCare completely falls apart..

    As does all that money that CrapCare was supposed to somehow save the country with. ROFL. Remember that CBO report that Pelosi was gleefully waving around, which promptly tripled after the legislation was passed and the CBO was able to crunch REAL, actual numbers?

    It's like a nightmare ya feel like you're never gonna wake up out of. Case in point: http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/bestoftv/2010/08/04/cafferty.health.care.law.cnn

    =8-O

  155. [155] 
    Michale wrote:

    "I don't know how ANYONE of Hispanic heritage could be Republican'..."
    -Harry Reid

    Well, gee whiz, Harry..

    I don't know how ANYONE who is an American could be a Democrat.... :^/

    Michale....

  156. [156] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    ROFL. Oh, dear, Harry's got the race card out again. I take it someone was successful in tackling him to the ground this time before he'd gotten into light skin v. dark skin, and cleanliness, and such.

  157. [157] 
    Michale wrote:

    ROFL. Oh, dear, Harry's got the race card out again. I take it someone was successful in tackling him to the ground this time before he'd gotten into light skin v. dark skin, and cleanliness, and such.

    Articulate...

    Don't forget articulate... :D

    Michale.....

  158. [158] 
    Chris1962 wrote:

    ROFLMAO! I hate when Harry screws up like this. I really do. It hurts my heart. Like when Crazy Uncle Joe Biden does it.

  159. [159] 
    Michale wrote:

    I don't know how ANYONE who is an American could be a Democrat.... :^/

    For the record, I do not actually believe this statement...

    I was simply responding to a completely and utterly moronic and bigoted comment with a completely and utterly moronic and bigoted comment of my own.

    The only difference is I said it, tongue in cheek.

    Harry Reid was dead serious....

    Michale.....

  160. [160] 
    Michale wrote:

    How ironic...

    The Left screams and moans about the pay differential between military members and military contractors..

    And, to a certain extent, rightly so...

    Yet, the Left is eerily silent when the pay for Federal Workers is TWICE that of private citizen counterparts..

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/income/2010-08-10-1Afedpay10_ST_N.htm

    Why is that???

    Michale.....

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