The Republican Federal Debt (Fiscal Conservatives? Ha!)

by Ben Hoffman

The current 13 trillion dollar debt is the result of Republican policies and we should begin calling it what it is: “The Republican Federal Debt.” Here is a good editorial from the Times Free Press:

When the Treasury confirmed last week that the cumulative federal debt had crossed the $13 trillion mark, Washington’s Republicans had a field day bashing the Obama administration for hitting that record mark. They were way off target. They should have been blasting George W. Bush’s profligate legacy, and themselves for all the help they gave him in running up the debt while inducing economic catastrophe.

It was President George W. Bush, statistical records show, who more than doubled the federal deficit, from the $5.7 trillion mark that prevailed when took office, to his final budget eight year’s later that pushed the federal debt to more than $12 trillion.

The budget mess he left Mr. Obama, moreover, had over $2 trillion more in deficit spending in the pipeline for his two credit-card wars, two rounds of deficit-fueling tax cuts for the super-wealthy, and an unfunded Medicare prescription drug bill.

Two other features of the Bush/Republican Congress era’s fiscal recklessness further compound the disastrous run-up in debt that George W. Bush continued from his Republican presidential predecessors — Ronald Reagan and his father, George Herbert Walker Bush.

One was the shift in momentum away from the Clinton era’s actual narrowing of the budget deficit trends that Mr. Clinton inherited from the 12-year Reagan and Bush I regimes of “supply-side” economics and trickle-down theory of tax cuts as fiscal stimulus. The other ominous Bush II factor was the financial implosion that occurred on his watch, which further wrecked the federal budget, and induced the global recession that now haunts the economy — and will continue to haunt it for years to come.

It was President Bill Clinton, as the year-by-year history of budget deficits show, who injected some fiscal sanity between the Reagan-Bush I and the Bush II tenures. He brought down the federal debt from the deficit heights hit during 12 years of the Reagan-Bush I: Together, they had quadrupled the federal debt, to $6 trillion before President Clinton took office. By the time he left office at the end of 2000, President Clinton had managed, for the first time in nearly 40 years, to turn in three straight years of budget surpluses, and to reduce the cumulative federal debt to $5.7 trillion.

That feat, moreover, did not include the hidden use of the substantial Social Security surplus, which the Reagan-Bush I administrations used to hide the full depth of their budget deficits. George W. Bush, of course, immediately returned to erecting soaring budget deficits.

The day that President Obama took office 18 months ago, the last Bush II budget, then carrying his $700 billion bank bailout bill, pushed the budget that the Obama administration inherited to over $12 trillion.

President George W. Bush not only more than doubled the federal debt with the unquestioning, complicit help of his Republican Congress. With GOP help, he also masked his full budget deficits by shifting the costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars “off-budget” under the annual guise of “emergency spending” and masking some of that, as well, with the Social Security surplus.

President Obama has had to deal with the wreckage of the Bush era and its negligent financial deregulation. He’s done a rather remarkable job, especially given the demand for fiscal stimulus and aid to devastated states while dealing simultaneously with a recession-whacked revenue base and a deficit-stressed Treasury.

In addition, in his own first budget this year, he has largely put the enormous costs of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq back on the annual federal budget ledger, showing taxpayers the true costs of wars that his predecessor had hidden. That has added hundreds of billions of locked-in costs, in addition to vastly higher costs for unemployment benefits to laid-off workers, along with higher health care, food stamps and worker training costs– all on a federal revenue base that has been slashed by unemployment and depressed consumer spending.

It’s all too easy now for Republicans and Tea Partiers to say that the country needs to reduce federal spending. Of course that’s true. But timing is everything. With the recession still hobbling the economy and inhibiting new hiring, fiscal caution also requires a very careful racheting down of federal spending lest the economy be pushed into a double-dip recession.

Republicans did not exercise fiscal judgment and restraint when they were getting the nation into deep debt. They should be careful now not to make the recession worse by arguing too early for a retreat from the fiscal medicine that was needed to treat the debt disease and fiscal crash they inflicted.

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100 Comments to “The Republican Federal Debt (Fiscal Conservatives? Ha!)”

  1. From 2004: “Bush Ain’t No Republican”
    (from http://www.alternet.org/election04/20367/?page=1)

    Excerpt: As they prepare to cast their vote on Tuesday, traditional Republicans must ask themselves whether this administration is truly the party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower.

    Republicans look at this election as a test of loyalty to the standards of their party. What many do not understand is that the party, and its leader who demands their fealty, no longer exists…

    Traditional Republican John Eisenhower, son of President Dwight D. Eisenhower said recently that, “Today’s Republican Party is one with which I am totally unfamiliar. To me, the word Republican has always been synonymous with the word ‘responsibility,’ which has meant limiting our governmental obligations to those we can afford in human and financial terms. Today’s whopping budget deficit of some $440 billion does not meet that criterion. Recent developments indicate that the current Republican Party leadership has confused confident leadership with hubris and arrogance.”

    • [As they prepare to cast their vote on Tuesday, traditional Republicans must ask themselves whether this administration is truly the party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower.]

      All three of them would be considered progressives today. 🙂

      • Vice President Joe Biden gave a stark assessment of the economy Friday, telling an audience of supporters, “there’s no possibility to restore 8 million jobs lost in the Great Recession.”
        Appearing at a fundraiser with Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) in Milwaukee, the vice president remarked that by the time he and President Obama took office in 2008, the gross domestic product had shrunk and hundreds of thousands of jobs had been lost.
        “We inherited a godawful mess,” he said, adding there was “no way to regenerate $3 trillion that was lost. Not misplaced, lost.” (CBS)

  2. I think Republicans (thanks to Bush) own much of the debt, but that each party has played their part in the financial crisis we’re in just as each party owns the environmental crisis we’re in.

    Clinton played a big role in making sure almost half the Fan and Fred loans were subprime, and he was just as much a fan of offshore drilling as his two successors were. On those two things alone, Dems are far from innocent in this mess. As for Obama, I’m already hearing from other businesses what negative impacts ObamaCare are going to have on their businesses.

    I almost wish we had a single party rule right now – a Fiscal Party, of sorts – one that’s focused almost entirely on the economy. Of course the oil spill can’t be ignored, but there’s a bunch of political b.s. that can be.

    • [Clinton played a big role in making sure almost half the Fan and Fred loans were subprime]

      How so?

      • [How so?]
        By introducing the National Homeowner Strategy with Cisneros in 1994 which significantly reduced the lending standards required by banks for first-time home buyers. The obvious effect of this was a larger home-buyer market which now included lower-income, less-qualified borrowers.

        Subprime mortgages rose from $35 billion in 1994 to $160 billion in 1999, to 2006 while home ownership saw its biggest increase in 25 years, the largest increase in ownership being lower-income minorities (20%+). None of the previous programs and initiatives triggered such an increase.

        I’m not going to say Clinton “caused” the housing crisis because I don’t believe that, but in the “blame Republicans for everything” theme that’s a constant on this blog, the Democrats’ share of the blame deserves mention.

      • [but in the “blame Republicans for everything” theme that’s a constant on this blog, the Democrats’ share of the blame deserves mention.]

        Clinton indeed deserves some of the blame for signing the Gramm-Leach-Bliley, which repealed the last vestiges of the Glass-Steagall Act and resulted in the banking crisis. But it was private lenders who were the mail culprits — not Freddie and Fannie. Check out this article about the causes of the crisis:

        http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2008/10/12/53802/private-sector-loans-not-fannie.html

      • Yep. Government kicked the floodgates open and then all their buddies in the private sector capitalized on it.

        It’s too big a fiasco to “blame” anybody, in my opinion. Do we blame Clinton for the legislation, or blame the unqualified homeowners who then didn’t have to prove their income, or the mortgage companies who sold the mortgages? Bush’s policies kept the floodgates open, too. Anyone can pick any player in that mess and point their finger, whether it’s anti-corporate, anti-government, anti-Bush, anti-Clinton, or whatever.

  3. Mr. Hoffman,

    Still blaming Bush for Obama’s mistakes. You are right about Bush’s deficits, but you are engaging in Sophistry when you defend Barry. Bush’s deficits were not permanent embedded deficits like Barry’s are. Except, perhaps the drug benefit. Which you guys should love, cause it’s basically welfare.

    The deficits from Obama-care are embedded like SS’s are. You can’t stop them. Bush’s deficits were related to the wars. Those will end at some point. Obama’s deficit’s are ” structural “. They will never end. That is a huge difference.

    You also are not looking at Obama’s projected deficits. Those are what scares us on the Right. You are exactly like Barry. Instead of looking at solving problems like the deficits or the oil spill, all you look to do is shift blame.

    That really is all you and Obama ever do. You know I finally figured out what the Gulf Oil Spill really is to President Obama. We on the Right have called it Obama’s Katrina. That was not fair.

    It is Carter’s hostage crisis. Bush made eventual progress on the Katrina damage. He was not powerless. Obama is totally powerless to improve the Gulf crisis. This goes on and on and keeps getting worse. Just like Carter’s disaster.

  4. Might want to check your facts…the Bush administration left office with a $9.9 Trillion deficit (which most of it was racked up on National Defense; pretty good thing because we haven’t had a major terrorist attack on American soil for quite some time).
    The scary thing about this current administration is they increased that debt by 3 Trillion in just one year and we’re estimated to hit the 14.4 trillion mark by the end of 2010. And according to the CBO, America will hit 16.5 trillion by the end of Obama’s first term, which according to anyone with any math skills whatsoever would mean that this administration will have acquired more national debt in its first term than any other president…ever.
    One more myth debunker here: the government’s largest expense isn’t the military…isn’t National Defense. In fact, total national security only comprises about 20% of our debt…and weighing in the amount of jobs defense spending creates…I’d probably say that 20% is more like 8-10%.

    What about the other 80% of our deficit? What comprises it? Things such as Medicaid, SNAP (formerly food stamps), family support assistance (AFDC), temporary assistance to needy families, welfare contingency fund, child care entitlement to
    States, child nutrition programs, foster care and adoption assistance, State children’s health insurance, supplemental security income (SSI), veterans pensions, and refundable portions
    of various tax credits that are subject to an income phase out. See the Section Notes for Section 8 in the Historical Tables Introduction for a list of these refundable tax
    credits.

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2010/assets/hist.pdf

    We need to make sure we check out facts before making bold points about our leaders. BTW…here’s a cold-hard fact…the oil leak still isn’t stopped.

  5. [Might want to check your facts…the Bush administration left office with a $9.9 Trillion deficit (which most of it was racked up on National Defense;]

    At the end of Bush’s final fiscal year, the debt was $11.9 trillion.

    [pretty good thing because we haven’t had a major terrorist attack on American soil for quite some time).]

    We’ve only had two major terrorist attacks in our country’s history. 9/11/2001 and Pearl Harbor. I’d hardly say that doubling the national debt has prevented terrorist attacks. More accurately, doubling the national debt IS a terrorist attack.

    [The scary thing about this current administration is they increased that debt by 3 Trillion in just one year]

    No they didn’t. Most of the debt was inherited from the Bush administration, a great deal was due to decreased revenues from high unemployment, interest on the debt, and a small portion was from the stimulus bill. We’ve actually paid more on interest on the Republican National Debt for one year than we’ve spent so far from the stimulus package.

    [BTW…here’s a cold-hard fact…the oil leak still isn’t stopped.]

    And that’s Obama’s fault? You’re just another right-wing sheep lying to defend your party.

    • Actually to be honest…Obama had my nod at last election. Liked what he was saying at the time: end the war, close down GTMO, and expand our energy platform. He’s done…well…almost nothing of the sort. Most people don’t know what to think about the guy. He has no plan for the war, no plan for the economy (and I don’t consider over 1 million Census jobs anything other than temporary band-aids), no plan to trim the debt, no plan for immigration, and no effective plan for energy.

      But…I agree with you. Obama isn’t to blame. The House and Senate are equally at fault here…on both sides of the aisle. Bennett is a prime example of the frustration against Washington. I read today that no budget plan is expected this year. Huh? What are politicians afraid of? The backlash come November (which I predict will be a bad day for incumbents). But to once again…no…not Obama’s fault. He just needs to listen to the American public and represent what they voted for.

      • [Liked what he was saying at the time: end the war,]

        The war in Iraq is winding down and he promised to change strategy in Afghanistan, which is what he’s done. But there’s no winning in Afghanistan. Even if things settle down enough so the government can stand on its own, what has that accomplished? The Karzai government is one of the most corrupt in the world.

        [close down GTMO,

        It turned out it wasn’t that simple.

        [ and expand our energy platform.]

        There was a lot of money from the stimulus allocated for renewable energy development, but the Republicans are fighting him every step of the way in his effort to wean us off oil.

        [no plan for the economy]

        What can he do with the obstructionist Republicans fighting everything he’s trying to do? I’d like to see some protectionist policies put in place and bring some jobs back to American, but there’s no chance of getting anything like that passed.

  6. Ben,
    The problem with renewable energy development is two-fold. First, our current economy has way too many jobs dedicated to oil, coal, and nuclear energy development/maintenance. Exxon alone employs over 9 million workers in the U.S.. Some experts project that over 50 million American jobs are dedicated to our current energy platform. Simply flipping the switch to renewable energy is almost impossible. You’re talking about creating a new niche in a heavily competitive, highly developed industry dependent on growth and expansion. Not only that, but a governmental force to implement this development…that’s somewhat scary, especially into a market so volatile yet fragile. We’re tinkering with the potential of losing a lot of jobs in an already unstable economy.

    Secondly, renewable energy isn’t profitable. If it was, don’t you think energy companies would have already jumped at its potential?

    • [Simply flipping the switch to renewable energy is almost impossible.]

      That’s true, and no one has proposed that. It has to be a gradual transition, mainly because technology has not advanced to the point where we can run entirely on renewable fuels.

      [Secondly, renewable energy isn’t profitable]

      Sure it is. You still need machinery and technology to harness the energy. To protect the oil industry is… what do you call it?… It’s SOCIALISM!

  7. Mr. Hoffman,

    ” What can he do with the obstructionist Republicans fighting everything he’s trying to do? ”

    🙂 Republicans had very very little power to obstruct in the first year, and not much more in this second year of the Obama era. Obama and Pelosi and Reid had almost unlimited power. Look how screwed up the country is.

    Republicans ” never ” had this much power!

    And on the important things like the “wars” they gave Obama a lot more support than Bush ever got from the useless Democrats.

    No,,,Obama and his crowd own the oil disaster, the economy, and yes Afghanistan. Don’t worry, come November, help is on the way.

    The best thing that ever happened to Bill Clinton was Republicans taking Congress. It saved his Presidency. It might salvage Obama’s.

  8. bigtentnews,

    Facts do not work here. I’ve cited Spain’s experience with ” Green Energy “. They won’t even try to explain why it did not work in Spain. Green is their religion and oil is Satan. Well that, and George Bush .

    It really is that simple.

    • Okay, you want to use simpleton logic? The Deepwater Horizon is leaking some 60 thousand barrels of oil a day into our Gulf. Therefore, oil is bad.

      • @Alan Scott…Spain and America…too different to compare. American investors have way too much money to invest into “risky” technologies. What do you think that says about “Green Energy.”

        @ Ben Hoffman–The Deepwater horizon leak isn’t the oil’s fault. It’s those who developed the well improperly. We have 700+ oil rigs (not counting drilled wells…this number could be in the thousands) in the gulf coast and only 1 has failed. That’s a success rate of 99.8%. But you’re right…deep ocean drilling is a dangerous venture. Drilling elsewhere on land (most notably ANWR) would pose less of a risk and in case of a leak would be much more easy to manage.

  9. Mr. Hoffman,

    ” Okay, you want to use simpleton logic? The Deepwater Horizon is leaking some 60 thousand barrels of oil a day into our Gulf. Therefore, oil is bad. ”

    And “your” luxury SUV runs on what ? It has what in the motor for lubrication? The bearings are greased by what?

    • Alan,
      Just like over in “Whatever Works”, will you please stop insinuating that anyone is saying we should stop using oil.
      Almost ALL of the “easy” oil is gone already. Which means more and more extraction in extreme conditions. Which mean, more and more accidents and increased fuel prices in the bargain.
      If ever there were an argument to pursue alternate energy sources, I’d say the gulf oil spill is a good one.

  10. People like to split hairs here and point to individual instances or politicians to prove a point. I am POSITIVE that the great majority of voters, liberal or conservative, like to think they are fiscally conservative. Who would say they were fiscally reckless? What it comes down to is 1) ignorance of the issues and the thinking that the federal government can simply stop paying for things. What seems like a ridiculous waste of money to someone in Indiana, may be crucial to residents of Texas. 2) Most people, like this farmer ( http://thinkprogress.org/2010/06/23/farmer-democrats-parasites-subsidies/ ), always think it’s somebody ELSE who is to blame. 3) Republican politicians say one thing about debt and taxes on the campaign trail, and quite another by the votes they cast. Their voters get the old bait and switch. And as the article Ben posted points out, the record proves it.

  11. The Conservative Lie,

    ” Just like over in “Whatever Works”, will you please stop insinuating that anyone is saying we should stop using oil. ”

    No, I am not insinuating anything. I am flat out saying it. Yes they do say we must stop using oil. What Liberal Planet do you live on ?

    The less we drill, the more comes in on tankers. That is a fact. Before this current spill, all of the big oil spills were tankers, except for the 1969 Santa Barbara spill.

    ” If ever there were an argument to pursue alternate energy sources, I’d say the gulf oil spill is a good one. ”

    I well remember the 1970s when I first heard the alternative energy snake oil pitch. It doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.

    Show me where it works. By working I mean where it does not involve spending $ 100 to save $10, which is pretty much what your green energy is all about.

    • Alan – I have never said we must stop using oil. Ever. For you to claim otherwise is, well, to use Ben’s language, a lie. A plain lie.

      You have heard me say that beside the obligation to rein in our selfish use of carbon fuels, we must also acknowledge that sweet crude is getting harder to reach and things like shale will cost us a lot more to extract from. And given that fact we have to begin agressively developing affordable alternatives.

      Or – and probably the easiest way to get this process moving – just raise the damn price of gasoline.

      • Ms. Holland,

        ” Or – and probably the easiest way to get this process moving – just raise the damn price of gasoline. ”

        You say this as if there is no down side to the nation. Just like you folks say raise taxes on the Rich, because we are not Rich and it does not directly affect us.

        I have no prospect of being rich. I work for rich people. Many of my customers are rich, compared to me. When you people screw them it hurts me. I also look at the States and Countries that adapt your philosophy and they are all in trouble.

        Getting back to oil and gasoline. I lived through the 1970s. We had inflation and recession caused by high oil prices. And all your alternatives were like spitting in the ocean.

        Again in 07. Besides the Fannie and Freddie induced banking collapse, it was $4-$5 per gallon gasoline that crashed the economy. Again, all the BS Ethanol, hybrids, electric cars, and oil bashing did nothing.

        The little bit of economic growth we have had under Barak Obama has had low oil prices to thank for it. But you go ahead. Raise gasoline prices to usher in the “green economy”. Your hero’s poll numbers will drop even faster.

      • [Again in 07. Besides the Fannie and Freddie induced banking collapse, it was $4-$5 per gallon gasoline that crashed the economy. Again, all the BS Ethanol, hybrids, electric cars, and oil bashing did nothing.]

        Alan – oil prices didn’t crash the economy, sub prime mortgages and all the shenanigans that followed crashed the economy.

        The price spike in 07 caused a huge turnaround in attitudes. Everyone was discovering conservation (I myself learned to stop speeding!), the car companies were reminded that people like fuel efficient cars and miles traveled on a per capita basis fell steeply.

        Higher gas prices would present difficulties for me, but I still thimk it’s the right thing to do becuase it’s probably the only thing that will get us off our duffs!

      • High fuel prices did indeed help crash our economy. Money that could have gone towards consumer goods was instead just going towards putting gas in the car. Small companies that relied on fuel for their operating expenses were forced out of business. It caused food prices to go up, as well as other goods that relied on the trucking industry.

      • Okay – apology to Alan. Ben’s details made the case. Oil prices did contribute. I was wrong.

      • Those were tough times for a lot of people. Some had to choose between buying gas or food. I remember people sleeping in the park a few blocks from my house, and I’ve never seen that before or since.

  12. Alan,
    No one HERE is saying it. We are saying it is time to start seriously pursuing alternatives while we continue to use oil at an intelligent rate.

    I’m not the one saying the “easy” oil is about gone. That would be the oil companies.

    I hope you are young enough to live long enough to see that you are wrong.

    • Give me one concrete example where alternative energy has a) made considerable headway versus current energy dependency b) has proven to be profitable and c) hasn’t caused further environmental damage to a country’s natural resources. Just one.

      And don’t you dare bring up Brazil and their pathetic attempt at harnessing corn-ethanol; i.e. let’s slash and burn 100,000 hectares of fragile rainforest to plant corn fields which will provide enough energy for 100 cars to operate for one day. The fact of the matter…current alternative energy = Tripping over dollars to make cents.

      • We’re laggards in new technology because of right-wingers’ hatred of government. We should be leaders in high-speed rail, renewable energy, environmental protections, health care… everything! American exceptionalism has become just a slogan because of the Republican party’s race to the bottom.

      • I disagree. Show me an eco-friendly bullet train that’s going to provide a steady 10%+ return and I’ll invest in it. Show me the potential for an eco-friendly bullet train and I’ll do the same.

        But right now I have no clear confidence in how Obama’s going to direct or manage this economy. More specifically, I have no idea how Obama or his new policies are going to affect those returns. No investor I know does. Obama has his Wall Street and Insurance cronies whispering in his ear and he’s letting them write the rules.

        Dodd and Frank are ready to shove yet another 2,000 page bill down our throats in the wee hours of the morning without having much of a clue as to its overall impact. The health care reform and the drop in income it has already created is already causing many of the doctors I invest with to pull back and “wait and see”. Simply put, Obama inspires zero certainty or confidence whatsoever when it comes to his ability to direct this economy. THAT’S what’s holding us back.

      • Alright…the Germans have made some headway into the energy industry (I’d hardly call 10% headway, but they’re definitely up from the 3% it was 6 years ago); but still…proven to be profitable? What your report failed to mention is the amount of government capital required to not only initiate this technology, but the amount it costs to maintain it.

        Meanwhile…this raises gas prices to near $7/gallon, which forces people to use mass transit and other modes of transportation not nearly as effective as vehicles operating from fossil fuels (Can you imagine potato farmers in Idaho, corn growers in Iowa, or cattle ranchers in Texas using an electrical hybrid with no power?). I failed to mention that this type of technology and the amount of governmental spending in Germany is causing dire effects on their own debt–rising debt, deflation of the Euro, and inflation of GDP. Not a good combo. That second linked article (from Mr. Kaine) poignantly details this out–

        “Evergreen earlier this month said it would expand its European sales division to cater to the robust government incentive programs in Europe, which are encouraging businesses to adopt more renewable energy practices.”

        Like I’ve stated earlier, I don’t have a problem with finding alternative energies, but I do have a problem when we use government to intervene with the natural processes of economical development; all the countries listed in these links practice redistribution of wealth as a common governmental process.

      • Other thing I forgot to mention about the Germans and their “alternative energy”, which I thought was really funny and further solidifies my idea about further environmental damage–Biomass (with Biogenic share of waste…should be categorized as same thing) comprises of 32% of this new rise in alternative energy for Germany. So what is most of this Biomass comprised of? Biodiesel–mostly animal fat-based fuel (once again…let’s slash and burn 100,000 hectares for a few cows to produce enough energy for a week). Vegetable Oil–(once again…the corn-ethanol statement from above). And Bio-ethanol–more slash and burn.

      • [Show me an eco-friendly bullet train that’s going to provide a steady 10%+ return and I’ll invest in it. Show me the potential for an eco-friendly bullet train and I’ll do the same.]

        Show me an airline that provides a steady 10% return. Mass transportation just isn’t that profitable, but it’s necessary for the commons. That’s why we need the government to take charge of it.

        [Simply put, Obama inspires zero certainty or confidence whatsoever when it comes to his ability to direct this economy. THAT’S what’s holding us back.]

        That would be the same no matter who is in charge. It’s a lot easier to destroy the economy than it is to get it moving again — especially when everything you try to do has to be watered down to get enough votes to pass.

        A question for you… What would you suggest he do?

      • [Meanwhile…this raises gas prices to near $7/gallon, which forces people to use mass transit and other modes of transportation not nearly as effective as vehicles operating from fossil fuels]

        That didn’t cause gas prices to rise. High gas prices were one of the INCENTIVES to get off fossil fuels.

        But it comes down to this: do you believe American should be a leader or a follower when it comes to technology?

      • I have a suggestion for Obama:

        Hit the freaking road back to Chicago. Or is it Hawaii? No wait, Kenya …

        Damn, who the hell knows? But take your freak of a wife with you.

      • Steve – freak of a wife?

  13. [That would be the same no matter who is in charge.]
    No, the Dems create far more confusion in the markets because they are the worst at wrapping their crony-benefiting deals under the guise of the “common good”. They apparently love sneaking 2,000 page bills through without any real knowledge (or disclosure) as to what’s actually in them.

    Even with Bush racking up all his debt and his stupid decisions, there was still more market certainty as to what he was after and where he was heading. As investors, we get none of that with Obama. All we know for sure is that his cronies like Geithner and Dodd are snakes who are running his financial and economic show, and while that’s the case, I’m investing in Canada.

    [It’s a lot easier to destroy the economy than it is to get it moving again — especially when everything you try to do has to be watered down to get enough votes to pass.]
    Agreed. Politicians by their nature have to make a mess of things or they can’t justify their existence. As for watering down, just look at the watering-down that’s already happening with the Financial Reform bill from within the Democrats own party. Dodd’s a snake, did I mention that?

    My comment re: seeking a 10% return from a bullet train was inaccurate. You don’t get or expect that from a new or emerging technology. You take a risk, and even a loss early on for greater returns down the road.

    My point was that government isn’t helping people like me make these kind of investments or take these kinds of risks, because they’re too much in the way. They let banks get away with hoarding stimulus dollars and posting profits without improving lending access to small business and venture capitalists. Here in Vegas, access to capital is HORRIBLE even for those of us with great credit.

    Why should I invest when I have no clue what my actual returns are going to be after the government’s done with them (i.e. after the [new?] taxes, increased health care costs, etc.)? I can afford to wait and see, so for the most part I do just that but it does nothing to drive small business growth.

    If you think this Administration is so pro-growth and pro-business, go sit in on a Venture Capital or investment banking meeting, or sit in on an executive roundtable of small business owners and ask them if this government is operating in a pro-business, or anti-business kind of way. Tell them you think it’s a (D) vs. (R) issue and that “the right hates government”, and you’ll be laughed out of there.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think the donkeys over at the GOP could be running things any better at the moment.

    [A question for you… What would you suggest he do?]
    1) Post these 2,000+ page bills online like he said he was going to do so they can be scrutinized and reviewed out in the open.
    2) Quit allowing major banks to brag about their profits while small businesses with good credit continue to gasp for air.
    3) Be CRYSTAL CLEAR on what his intentions are with dividend taxes, capital gains taxes, and disposition/estate taxes once Bush’s tax cuts are gone.
    4) Significantly increase the tax deduction for either a) investing in green technology, or b) donating to registered charities.
    5) Allow the Fed to be audited.

    • None of the things you posted are going to make much of a difference with the economy.

      What would help are:
      1) Increase tariffs so we’re on an even footing with other countries like China.
      2) Eliminate the tax deduction for outsourcing jobs overseas.
      3) Penalize companies that outsource jobs overseas.
      4) Direct government loans for small businesses

      Some things that have already been done are tax cuts for small businesses that create jobs, monies for renewable energy development, but that’s not enough to make a difference either.

      • You’re suggesting a top-down approach, which is more economic theory than business reality, and serves more to make nice headlines and campaign speeches than actually having an impact on small business growth (where the jobs will actually come from).

        Both a top-down and bottom-up approach would be best, but let me be more specific. The Fed thing and the online posting thing I put down have to do with govt transparency, so put those aside for the moment.

        The #1 killer of small businesses is lack of cash flow. Some of this is internal (sales), some of it is external (banks, investors, credit). If you want businesses to grow and the economy to grow, it’s simple – give small businesses better cash flow. Your suggestions don’t do that, and arguably, will do the opposite.

        For instance, gov’t loans won’t do it. Some overpaid government idiot and/or government department is not going to have any clue as to what business is worthy of a loan or isn’t. It may sound nice, but it’s utterly useless. The fact that government gets into this space will cause regular banks to purposely stay out of it, too, and once again government stifles both choice and free enterprise.

        1) Tariffs only make sense (if at all) on raw materials, not on consumer goods. What are you going to tax from China, iPods? Plastic piping? Nike shoes? It sounds nice on paper but it will have a negative overall result. See how many jobs at Apple here are left when an iPhone 4.0 is now $8,000 instead of $800, or people can no longer buy a $10 pair of shoes. Prices are set based on what the market will pay/bear. Let the government start messing with prices on consumer goods, and it will be a disaster.

        2) Outsourcing actual jobs overseas applies mostly to large businesses, but even with that, which government are you going to get in a fight with, and what are you going to do for the US importers/exporters/manufacturers who deal with those countries? Again, it’s headline and campaign-speech fodder.

        There will always be countries with cheap labor, and the US has no jurisdiction over that. The advantages cost-wise are far too great for any removal of a tax deduction here at home to have any meaning anyways – it would be just for show. Besides, if you think government can actually lock down big business into doing anything business doesn’t want to do, you’re dreaming. Again I’ll use Apple – you think you can honestly force them to be and stay domestic?

        My suggestions come from actually being in business and working with dozens of others.

        What I suggested was for the government to get clear on whether or not it’s going to penalize current and future small business owners and investors (specifically those hiring 10+ employees), and if so, by how much so we can factor that into our decision-making. That will open up investment capital.

        Second, the government needs to decide what it’s doing with our human and natural resources which affect the price of virtually everything in this country. Owners need to have some certainty as to whether benefit costs are going up, whether employees can now be forced into a union against their wishes, or even if simply the cost of our raw materials are going to go up because Obama’s going to “punish” all the oil companies for the spill in the Gulf.

        Let’s get even more specific: if my COGS is going to grow from $30m to $33m in one year based on Obama’s hikes, I’ll grumble, but so be it – at least let me know ahead of time so I can plan for it.

        If Obama’s going to keep all the things I mentioned uncertain, then I’m not going to put my company or peoples’ jobs at risk just because he can’t make a decision. I’ll put that possible $3m increase in the war chest as the smarter, safer play.

        Even in spite of Bush’s spending, this government has created far more uncertainty regarding the markets and the future of the US economy than past administrations. Obama’s been dealt a bad hand and has had to make the best of it, but has anything he’s done or suggested honestly been clear? Talk to any business person in a strategic decision-making role and they’ll tell you that it’s unclear that Obama has ANY clue as to what he’s doing, and that it’s a major cause for the “wait and see” positions that many small businesses and investors are taking regarding hiring new jobs, and overall growth.

      • Vern, Maybe you should read the bill that passed. It doesn’t affect businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

        [See how many jobs at Apple here are left when an iPhone 4.0 is now $8,000 instead of $800, or people can no longer buy a $10 pair of shoes.]

        Straw-man argument. While prices might go up, they’re not going to go up anywhere near that amount. But what it will do is motivate companies to build manufacturing plants here. In fact, there needs to be some kind of national campaign to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. and a stigma on companies that outsource jobs overseas.

        Take Carly Fiorian (PLEASE!). She cut 30,000 jobs while at HP, many of which were outsourced overseas, and now she’s the Republican candidate for Senate in CA. Outsourcing those jobs took money out of our economy and put it into China’s and India’s economies. It reduced tax revenues here, which increased our deficits.

        Sending jobs overseas is un-American. We spend 100s of billions of dollars every year to “protect” our soil. We should also be protecting our jobs.

      • [Straw-man argument. While prices might go up, they’re not going to go up anywhere near that amount. But what it will do is motivate companies to build manufacturing plants here.]
        Straw man?! Your words are all political. Give me a specific example to back it up, otherwise, do the math! If I can build for 1/10th of the price, and staff for 1/10th of the price (at least), what do you think that does to my overhead with all other things being equal??? Look at the COST of an actual iPhone to get an idea, then compare it to Apple’s stock returns and ask yourself where the rest of that money goes.

        What you’re talking about is a dream based on yesteryear with no practical application to it in today’s economy whatsoever. What you say sounds nice, but it’s completely unrealistic. How many of these manufacturing jobs do you think you could actually “bring back” with your plan, anyways? 1%? 2%? 80%?

        The only “incentive” to keep manufacturing here right now is proximity to market. It’s consumers that are the problem here, not government penalties (or lack of them). Politicians (including Obama) have talked about doing something about losing American jobs overseas, and have done nothing because they basically can’t. Like I said, though, it sounds nice and patriotic to say.

        [Take Carly Fiorian (PLEASE!)]
        No, you take her! 🙂 Fiorian is a complete and total idiot. It makes sense that she’s now trying to be a politician because she’s a complete and total idiot as a businessperson. You want to know why I don’t dogmatically follow party lines? There’s a perfect example. Unfortunately Republicans have their share of cheats and morons just as the Democrats do.

      • [Vern, Maybe you should read the bill that passed. It doesn’t affect businesses with fewer than 50 employees.]
        For one, that’s just PART of what I was talking about (as collective confusion), and for another, maybe you should actually get inside a business affected by Obamacare before you pretend you think you know all about it just because you read about it in some newspaper somewhere.

        You know things about labor costs, manufacturing, logistics, and small business economics/finance because why, you read them in some newspaper? You might as well be reading it out of a storybook. I suggest getting actually inside a company and talking to a CFO, COO, CEO about what their fears and concerns are re: Obamacare, and what they’re doing about it – especially companies that are right around that threshold. “It only affects companies >50 employees” – no, it affects companies of ALL sizes in some way, shape, or form.

        You see realities in the boardroom that you’ll never see in black n white print which I guess means you’ll never see it. You might gain something from taking your Democrat-colored glasses off once in a while and seeing how a real company actually runs and makes decisions (hint: it’s not based on “Rah Rah Obama!”) 🙂

      • [maybe you should actually get inside a business affected by Obamacare before you pretend you think you know all about it just because you read about it in some newspaper somewhere.]

        You’re blaming the uncertainties on Obama out of convenience. The fact is: we don’t know which way the economy is heading. And that’s not due to “Obamacare” or any of his policies. We do know that none of the policies coming out of Congress are going to be very effective because everything has to be compromised.

      • [You’re blaming the uncertainties on Obama out of convenience. The fact is: we don’t know which way the economy is heading. And that’s not due to “Obamacare” or any of his policies.]
        Oh relax. I’m not “blaming” Obama for anything. Face the fact that Obama hasn’t been very clear. Health Care, drilling, Afghanistan, taxes, the list goes on. You going to tell me this new 2,000 page finance reform bill is “clear”? You can’t, no matter how in Obama’s corner you may be. And there’s nothing “convenient” about the uncertainty that exists right now.

        No one I know in the business community trusts where he’s going to go next on business and investment-related matters. Maybe that changes tomorrow, but right now that’s how it is today.

      • [You going to tell me this new 2,000 page finance reform bill is “clear”? You can’t, no matter how in Obama’s corner you may be. And there’s nothing “convenient” about the uncertainty that exists right now.]

        Are you going to tell me you believe Obama wrote the finance reform bill?

        Congress is like a sausage factory when it comes to crafting legislation. We had some decent laws on the books until the Republicans in Congress repealed them. It’s a shame they just can’t reinstate the laws that were repealed, but they don’t work that way.

      • [Are you going to tell me you believe Obama wrote the finance reform bill?]
        So now it’s don’t blame Obama, blame the sausage factory? Seriously? Bush wasn’t capable of writing ANYTHING while in office, yet you’re sure quick to blame him by name. Talk about hypocritical. If Obama signs off on a bill, he owns it no matter who wrote the thing.

        It’s apparent that your hate of Republicans makes you love anything the Democrats do way too much. A double-standard, to say the least.

      • [Bush wasn’t capable of writing ANYTHING while in office, yet you’re sure quick to blame him by name.]

        Bush was directly responsible for both wars along with the ineptitude in which they were fought. He was also directly responsible for the irresponsible tax cuts, one of which he couldn’t even get 51 votes and Cheney had to cast the deciding vote through reconciliation.

        [If Obama signs off on a bill, he owns it no matter who wrote the thing.]

        Says you, you little f*cking right-wing sheep.

      • [Says you, you little f*cking right-wing sheep.]
        Wow, Ben – once again your true colors shine through. Your response shows just how immature and ignorant you are, not to mention thin-skinned. I’m done with both you, your comments, and your blog.

        I hope one day we get to meet in person so we can see if you have the guts to call me those kind of names to my face. In the meantime, have another drink, “Snapshow”.

      • [Wow, Ben – once again your true colors shine through.]

        Ha! You insult me and then play the victim when I insult you back. 🙂

      • [Ha! You insult me and then play the victim when I insult you back.]
        Nice try. I don’t insult you and you know it. As your shrink will point out, all that’s happened here is once again you got hyper-defensive when your hypocrisy was (once again) called out. Just as before, it’s exactly the point where your often profanity-laden personal attacks begin, and I’ve heard enough of them – whether they be directed at me or anyone else on this blog.

        How you insult people and why you insult them says you’re not even half of what you say you stand for. If you were truly a Democrat it would be one thing, but by your comments you’re just a bigot, which is something different altogether that I refuse to be a part of. Let your ego label that how it would like, but your comments and personal attacks speak for themselves.

  14. [But it comes down to this: do you believe American should be a leader or a follower when it comes to technology?]
    “Technology” is too general a term. Speaking in terms of “green” technology, I’d say inventing it, perhaps. Developing it? Unlikely. Producing it? I doubt it. As soon as we invent something it will be shipped offshore to be perfected and produced, and we’ll be buying our own stuff back. That basically happens with every other technology that we have today.

    • [As soon as we invent something it will be shipped offshore to be perfected and produced, and we’ll be buying our own stuff back. That basically happens with every other technology that we have today.]

      And that’s why we have such huge trade deficits.

      • Agreed, but I don’t think there’s any way around that unless we and our buddies (like Canada) a) own the majority of the oil, and b) price fix it against our competitors.

  15. Mr. Hoffman,

    Been at a Ted Fu**ing Nuget Concert, so besides being deaf I’m behind on my correcting you .

    ” Here you go. Germany gets over 10% of its energy from renewable sources: ”

    Some of those sources like sewer gas are small potatoes. Lets look at the big one, Wind Power. Power companies have a challenge of increasing and decreasing supply as demand changes. There is a practical limit of 10 or 15% of integrating a constantly varying supply source to a big electrical grid.

    Not all of the costs of electricity are fuel. You have to have back up capacity for peak demand. That costs big bucks. All of your wind and solar has to be backed up with real capacity.

    I believe that Germany’s 10% electrical green power is just a handout to it’s politically well connected Industrial welfare complex .

    If Russia ever cuts it’s natural gas to Germany, the whole country would fold. All of that renewable crap is window dressing. Nothing more .

    Germany is just rich enough to waste money on renewable toys. Compared to Spain which actually believed the green pied pipers and wrecked their country.

  16. Mr. Hoffman,

    I was invited along because someone bailed out of the hard core “Nuge” fans. I felt like an old lady who gets stripped searched at the airport while terrorist looking people sail right through, as I was questioned by security. Guys and women in fatigues, with tattoos attracted no notice. I more conservatively dressed, obviously was dangerous.

    I just love what Uncle Ted Nuget stands for. He does a lot of charity work on behalf of wounded veterans and sick children. Plus he hunts and unlike me, he actually gets his deer. Of course being rich he does not have to hunt public land. But I’m not jealous of him or anything. I’m more class envious of people who can go out and buy new saws. Ought to be some kind of stimuli money for that .

    • [I’m more class envious of people who can go out and buy new saws.]

      Interesting. Why do you hate the middle class but love the upper class? I don’t know how much tickets were for Ted Nugent, but the last concert I went to, tickets were over $100 each. There’s too much money involved in music these days and that’s one of the reasons there’s no good music.

  17. Mr. Hoffman,

    ” Interesting. Why do you hate the middle class but love the upper class? ”

    I do not hate the middle class. I just know that screwing the upper class does not help me in the long run, Komrade. Unlike you I can prove what I say. Examples are Greece, New Jersey, New York, California. Now show me where taking from the rich and giving to big government is working, “Robin Hood “.

    ” the last concert I went to, tickets were over $100 each. ”

    See there is the difference. I can only afford $35 tickets to slum at Penn’s Peak, where as, you think nothing of $100 tickets and still have plenty left to buy new toys. I always said the Democratic Party has less poor people in it than the GOP.

    ” There’s too much money involved in music these days and that’s one of the reasons there’s no good music. ”

    I thought it was because after the 80s, computers made it so you did not have to be a musician to make music.

    Well, in a couple of weeks we are seeing the B52s.

    • [I thought it was because after the 80s, computers made it so you did not have to be a musician to make music.]

      That’s what people were claiming back then. I don’t think it’s changed that much. Most bands are still guitars and drums. They just don’t seem to have the creativity they used to have.

  18. I keep hearing how poor ole little Obama can’t get a break. The bad economy was from Bush, 2 wars inherited from Bush, the idiots at the MMS who let BP pollute the Gulf of Mexico inherited from Bush. Poor little Barak.

    Bush inherited an economy that was going downhill because the dotcom bubble burst. 8 months into his first term there was 911. The next couple of years were filled with terror plots. President Bush launched two wars to deal with foreign terrorism. Now,,,every thing I mentioned was really bad for the economy, yet somehow the economy did not tank. Unemployment kept going down until 2007.

    In 05 there was Rita and Katrina. Yet the Bush economy with stood all of these head winds. Why? Capitalism, tax cuts, Bush’s leadership. Then in 07 Reid and Pelosi took over in Congress. They managed to do what 2 Hurricanes, 2 wars, terrorism, and the dotcom bust could not do, destroy the economy.

    Obama came in to office promising to turn every thing around. Bush used Capitalism to turn the economy around by 04 or he would not have been reelected.

    Barak Kickass Obama and Joe Bite me Biden are doing the opposite to try to turn the economy around. So far, no good. Laurel and Hardy are using Big Government Regulation, class envy, and welfare . Yet it’s not working.

    It comes down to what works. Reagan and Bush used tax cuts and capitalism and it worked. I’m betting against Socialism working.

    Between now and November I predict more Bush blaming and excuses on the economy and the damn hole.

    • Bush was re-elected due to it being a choice between a sh*t sandwich and a giant douche (as depicted on South Park). Bush ran on the fear-and-hatred ticket. Kerry was just a douche-bag.

      We had an unhealthy economy under Bush: one that was based on enormous debt and little job creation. It was obvious that it would bust eventually. The two wars propped up the economy to some extent. While there was massive outsourcing of jobs overseas, the military industrial complex grew quite a bit.

  19. Mr. Hoffman,

    ” Are you going to tell me you believe Obama wrote the finance reform bill? ”

    Can you tell me “who” wrote it? Can you swear that the Democrats who vote for it, will have read it ? If it’s like anything else you Democrats have rammed down America’s throats, it will be as readable as an Obama speech. ” Let me be clear about that “is one of the great jokes of the 21st Century.

    ” Congress is like a sausage factory when it comes to crafting legislation. We had some decent laws on the books until the Republicans in Congress repealed them ”

    Congress controlled by you. If you want to see how it’s done, read the Arizona Immigration Law on line. It’s short and clear.

    Tell me, what are the costs of all the BS regulation you guys wrote in a year and a half? We all complain how screwed up the tax code is. We used to hear about simplifying it and other Government red tape. Guess after January new people in Congress will have to do it.

    In 2013 hopefully we won’t have a President who uses 100 words where 5 will do. May be a President Like Jindal who actually spends time battling the Gulf spill. Who can govern better than he gives speeches.

    • [May be a President Like Jindal who actually spends time battling the Gulf spill.]

      Ha! Mr. Rogers as president! That’s a good one! It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor…

  20. It is rude to spam people. Learn your manners.

  21. Mr. Hoffman,

    ” Ha! Mr. Rogers as president! That’s a good one! It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor… ”

    I think you cannot stand the thought of an Indian American as President. Gov. Jindals neighborhood is not so beautiful thanks to the way President Kickyourass has botched the Gulf cleanup.

    • While Jindal is considered a superior intellect by right-wingers, he is only one AMONG right-wingers. To the rest of us, he’s a joke. And a liar.

      Nearly two months after the governor requested—and the Department of Defense approved the use of 6,000 Louisiana National Guard troops—only a fraction—1,053—have actually been deployed by Jindal to fight the spill.

      It’s believed officials in Alabama, Florida and Mississippi and are reluctant to use more troops because their presence could hurt tourism. In hardest-hit Louisiana, however, Jindal is pointing fingers.

      “Actually we asked the White House to approve the initial 6,000,” Jindal said. “What they came back and said is the Coast Guard and BP had to authorize individual tasks.”

      But Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the national incident commander in charge of the government’s response to the spill, said Jindal is just flat wrong.

      “There is nothing standing in the governor’s way from utilizing more National Guard troops,” Allen said.

      Read more…

  22. Mr. Hoffman,

    ” Nearly two months after the governor requested—and the Department of Defense approved the use of 6,000 Louisiana National Guard troops—only a fraction—1,053—have actually been deployed by Jindal to fight the spill. ”

    Are you serious or making jokes? Governor Bobby Jindal wanted approval to dredge barrier Islands to protect his coast line and President Kick your ass could not decide to give him approval. He needs more booms to protect his coast line and President Kick your ass can’t find any. Instead he authorizes 6,000 National Guard troops to do what, shovel it off the beeches in buckets?

    Wow 6,000 troops. I hope President Kick your ass, also sent tanks, planes, and attack helicopters. Maybe Governor Jindal should have the tar balls machine gunned as they come ashore . 🙂

  23. Mr. Hoffman, Ms Holland,

    ” High fuel prices did indeed help crash our economy. Money that could have gone towards consumer goods was instead just going towards putting gas in the car. Small companies that relied on fuel for their operating expenses were forced out of business. It caused food prices to go up, as well as other goods that relied on the trucking industry. ”

    ” Okay – apology to Alan. Ben’s details made the case. Oil prices did contribute. I was wrong. ”

    Thank you.

  24. [You’re blaming the uncertainties on Obama out of convenience. The fact is: we don’t know which way the economy is heading. And that’s not due to “Obamacare” or any of his policies.]
    Which way the economy is heading? Doesn’t high unemployment and underemployment rates indicate at some level the state of our economy?

  25. Unemployment benefits are creating jobs faster than practically any other program, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday.

    Talking to reporters, the House speaker was defending a jobless benefits extension against those who say it gives recipients little incentive to work. By her reasoning, those checks are helping give somebody a job.

    “It injects demand into the economy,” Pelosi said, arguing that when families have money to spend it keeps the economy churning. “It creates jobs faster than almost any other initiative you can name.”

    Pelosi said the aid has the “double benefit” of helping those who lost their jobs and acting as a “job creator” on the side.

    “It’s impossible to think of a situation where we would have a country that would say we’re not going to have unemployment benefits,” Pelosi said.

    So the best way to create jobs is to have more unemployed!!

    • What is the rationale for tax cuts? It gives people more money to spend, which stimulates the economy. Unemployment benefits have the same effect. It gives the unemployed money to spend, which stimulates the economy.

      I believe that’s what Pelosi meant. I’m not sure I agree that unemployment benefits create jobs (except for maybe at the unemployment office), but the faulty logic is the same as for tax cuts.

    • [So the best way to create jobs is to have more unemployed!!]

      Nope. Not what she said or meant. GIVEN THE CIRCUMSTANCE that we have more unemployed, that means less purchasing out there because they don’t have income. And consuming is what drives an economy.

      Putting money directly in the hands of the people most likely to spend it immediatelfy is hugely important.

  26. Pelosi, while not inaccurate about creating jobs, would have been more accurate had she said “sustaining” jobs. Especially in high unemployment areas (see michigan), a lot of service industry jobs and even small businesses are relying on the purchases of people receiving unemployment checks right now.
    Republicans know this. Regardless of the intellect of their voters, the policy makers know exactly what is going on. And getting things to be as bad as they can be until November is an election strategy. Being obstuctionists in the process is an added bonus.

  27. Mr. Hoffman,

    ” What is the rationale for tax cuts? It gives people more money to spend, which stimulates the economy. Unemployment benefits have the same effect. It gives the unemployed money to spend, which stimulates the economy. ”

    I was wrong when I said that you should go on MSNBC. You should join the Obama Administration as an economist.

    How can I splain it to you? Unemployment is meant to help you survive. To keep you in your house. Tax cuts are for those with a job or a business. Tax cuts, Obama magnanimously allowing you worthless piece of crap, to keep more of what you “earned”. So that you might take a vacation to Vegas, and get someone in Vegas rehired. You might invest that tax cut in your business and if Obama has not totally increased your costs, you might hire back someone you had to lay off.

    I would not expect a community organizer or a San Francisco Knucklehead to understand grammer school economics.

    • [You should join the Obama Administration as an economist.]

      I didn’t say I agreed with it. I said that was the “rationale” for extending unemployment benefits.

      [I would not expect a community organizer or a San Francisco Knucklehead to understand grammer school economics.]

      They teach economics in grammar school? That’s odd. 🙂

      But what you’re talking about is Reaganomics, which has always been purely theoretical and has never worked. The only thing it does is drive up the deficit and makes the rich richer.

  28. Mr. Hoffman,

    ” But what you’re talking about is Reaganomics, which has always been purely theoretical and has never worked. The only thing it does is drive up the deficit and makes the rich richer. ”

    Well in fairness it is a little early for Obamanomics to be judged. But let us look at Reaganomics,shall we ? What is theoretical about Reaganomics ? It has a track record. It either worked or it did not. Now if we just look at unemployment rates, it is merely pretty good. If we add in the other portion of the misery index,,,Inflation, then Reaganomics is outstanding.

    Just as if we only read unemployment, Jimmy Carternomics is not so bad. Only when you add inflation to unemployment do you get a true picture. You are interested in truth, are you not ?

    Here are the stats for the Reagan years. I’ve added two years before and a year after to give it context.

    1979 Unemploy= 5.85% Inflation=11.22%
    1980 7.18% 13.58%
    1981 7.62% 10.35%
    1982 9.71% 6.16%
    1983 9.6% 3.22%
    1984 7.4% 4.30%
    1985 7.19% 3.55%
    1986 7.00% 1.91%
    1987 8.18% 3.66%
    1988 5.49% 4.08%
    1989 5.26% 4.85%

    Reaganomics dealt with inflation and unemployment.

    Anyway Obama had no inflation to deal with, only unemployment. So why is he having such a rough time ?

    I know with Obama sucking so bad right now, it must be a sad time for you. Things are tough for me too, as I watch what he is doing to my Country. I have to find joy wherever I can. I was traveling on Route 78 today back from a family picnic and saw this Giant Billboard reading ” Where’s the Birth Certificate? ” .

    Don’t know what it meant, but I thought it was funny as hell. 🙂

  29. Ms. Holland,

    ” Looking at the Reagan numbers you’ve posted, they say that while reducing inflation over the first two years, there were three years of bad unemployment numbers before it began to drop – it didn’t happen all at once. It took time. Was that your point? ”

    My point was that yea it took a long time because inflation was a bigger problem than unemployment. You and Mr. Hoffman would no doubt look at the time it took Reagan to revive jobs and say that by comparison Obama is right on target.

    We are arguing whether Reaganomics works. Based on battling inflation and unemployment simultaneously I say yes. Obama has another year just to show progress in one area before he is a failure. Tick tock.

  30. Mr. Hoffman,

    ” Reaganomics worked great in Reagan’s war on the middle class. ”

    Prove it!

    Reaganomics worked better than Carternomics. Besides which Reagan had a military to rebuild and an evil empire to defeat. Not a bad day’s work. Besides American businesses, I wonder who Barak Obama will defeat. To Obama, American Companies are the evil empire.

    • [Reaganomics worked better than Carternomics.]

      Economic prosperity wasn’t much better under Reagan than it was under Carter, but Reagan tripled the federal debt. Carter could have had better results if he ran up the federal debt, also, but he cared a little more about our country.

      Reagan’s war on the middle class included the destruction of unions, the beginning of the massive outsourcing of our manufacturing jobs overseas, Alan Greenspan’s desire to maintain job insecurity to help keep wages down (which also kept inflation down), no enforcement of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, which resulted in large corporations driving small business out of business, the massive reduction of progressive taxation, which resulted in far less money available for education, parks, libraries, and other things that support a healthy middle class.

      As Jefferson warned about conservatives of his day who “now look to a single and splendid government of an aristocracy, founded on banking institutions, and moneyed incorporations under the guise and cloak of their favored branches of manufactures, commerce and navigation, riding and ruling over the plundered ploughman and beggared yeomanry. This will be to them a next best blessing to the monarchy of their first aim, and perhaps the surest steppingstone to it.”

      Jefferson knew the importance of a strong middle class to preserve his vision for our nation. Reagan waged a war on that vision and on the middle class.

  31. Mr. Hoffman,

    ” Economic prosperity wasn’t much better under Reagan than it was under Carter, but Reagan tripled the federal debt. Carter could have had better results if he ran up the federal debt, also, but he cared a little more about our country. ”

    Carter was the worst President until ,,now we ever had. Carter kept deficits down on the backs of American soldiers. A close relative was in the service during Carter and said the military hated Carter. Their equipment was allowed to disintegrate. They had pay raises delayed and they were already on poverty wages.

    Reagan got a lot for his deficits, which would have been very little if a Democratic Congress could have controlled their earmark addition. Reagan reversed the decline of the military and the decline of the economy and the decline of the American spirit that festered under President Jimmy.

    Inflation was tamed under Reagan. I was sober in the 1970s and remember how bad it was.

    And unions are not the cure all you think they are for the middle class.

    Why do you repeat this fallacy that the middle class declined under Reagan? Prove it!!

  32. Mr. Hoffman,

    We have really thick skins. Unlike Obama, we can take it. We don’t have to make up straw men like he does every single time he speaks. At least Clinton could charm you while he lied to your face. Big ears just gives you the big snow job.

    I noticed you did not prove anything you said. Situation normal. 🙂

    • [We have really thick skins.]

      You have really thick heads. 🙂

      But I intend to do a blog post on Reagan’s war on the middle class when I get a chance. Right now, it’s margarita time!

      … wasted away again in Margaritaville… searching for my lost shaker of salt…

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