GW Broke with Clinton. Did Obama Break with GW?
by Mike Kimel
Update: McClatchy tackles the question here.
GW Broke with Clinton. Did Obama Break with GW?
Cross-posted at the Presimetrics blog
The following major initiatives had occurred toward the end of April 2003, about two years and three months into the GW Bush administration:
1. Marginal income tax rate cuts in 2001, 2002 and 2003.
2. Passage of No Child Left Behind Act
3. Outlays as a percentage of GDP rose.
were 18.2% in fiscal 2000, 18.2% in fiscal 2001 and 19.1% in fiscal 2002.
4. The inherited surplus became a deficit.
5. Passage of the Patriot Act.
6. Invasion of Afghanistan in response to the Sept 11 attacks. Note that by April 2003, the Taliban insurgency was already gaining strength again.
7. Abortion restrictions. Reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy. Withdrawing funding for the United Nations Population Fund. Began the push for the Partial Birth Abortion Ban (introduced in Feb. 2003 by Rick Santorum, passed in November of 2003).
8. Sarbanes Oxley.
9. Homeland Security Act.
10. Invasion of Iraq.
Whether you agree with these policies or not, its a not insubstantial list. Several, if not most of these initiatives represent big breaks with the previous administration. For instance, Clinton raised marginal tax rates, whereas GW lowered them. Federal spending / GDP fell during every single year of the Clinton administration, but would rise in most years of the Bush administration. Clinton managed to turn a deficit into a surplus, whereas GW went the other way. The Mexico City Policy which GW reinstated had been rescinded by Clinton. The Patriot Act and the Homeland Security Act don’t seem to be Clinton’s style. And while one might argue Clinton might have acted against Afghanistan following 9/11/2001, it is very, very hard to envision the subsequent invasion of Iraq had Clinton been President in 2003.
We are now about two years and three months into the Obama administration – about the same amount of time it took GW to engage in the initiatives mentioned above. So…. what are the major initiatives of the Obama administration so far, and which of them represent clear breaks with the Bush administration? (Please stick to things that actually happened or at least in which Obama invested some political capital. Something Obama might have said during his campaign, something you heard from one of your hallucinations, or something reported by Fox News may not fit into that category.)
Note – this post is a follow-up to the post entitled Why I Will Not be Voting for Obama in 2012 which appeared in the Presimetrics blog and at Angry Bear.
God what a horribly depressing question.
Net net: not really. we can’t throw gay people out of the army and the war on human rights for humans with wombs may have moderated. may.
If those weren’t your reasons for going BO you have to be pretty disappointed basically.
Hard to give him much credit for Kagan since she didn’t replace one of the more insane radicals in the current majority.
Meant to mention Sotomayor too of course. Point still holds. Neither of them has managed to change the direction this court has taken. Yet.
Q: “So…. what are the major initiatives of the Obama administration so far“
A: Spend without any, sane restraint.
A complex initiative, stated simply ?
Last GW budget = $2.8T … Current BO budget = $3.8T
A growth of 35%, while; states, cities, businesses and homes have cut back..
Net-effect ? Adding $4.5T to the national debt (on a pace to add more debt (adjusted for inflation) , than all past adiminstrations combined)..
According to the Congressional Budget Office’s January 2009 estimate for fiscal year 2009, outlays were projected to be $3,543 billion and revenues were projected to be $2,357 billion, leaving a deficit of $1,186 billion. Keep in mind that these estimates were made before Obama took office, based on existing law and policy, and did not take into account any actions that Obama might implement.
I thought his 2009 budget proposal was $3.1T ?
It is a good point though.. either way.
Let’s throw in what did happen after BO took office.. namely the stimulus spending… and how much of that “one-time” spending remains with us..
I don’t wanna get into ideological argument around the Keynesian stuff, in this thread (we probably will).. I’m referencing the spending “intitiated” by BO
Well, let’s fast forward to the end of fiscal year 2009 then, and see just how much net spending was actually added by Obama. According to, it ended with spending at $3,515 billion and revenues of $2,106 billion for a deficit of $1,409 billion.
The deficit came in $223 billion higher than projected, but spending was $28 billion and revenues were $251 billion less than expected. Thus we can conclude that more than 100 percent of the increase in the deficit between January 2009 and the end of FY 2009 was accounted for by lower revenues. Not one penny is due to higher spending.
I’m not particularily interested in an ideological debate either. But I do like accurate presentation of the facts.
– Healthcare Reform
– Putting two wars on Budget
– Budgeting without the sunset laws skewing the outcome.
– Fair Pay for Women
– Student Loan Reform. You can lose your loans
– The stimulus
– Expansion of Children’s Healtcare
http://realdealtalk.com/2010/11/09/what-has-president-obama-accomplished-in-2-years/ As a wimp, I do not care for him. We need a teabagger’s mentality.
The Affordable Care Act will reduce the deficit by $148 billion in its first decade according to the CBO and by $1.2 trillion in its second decade. In contrast Medicare Part D will add $1 trillion to the deficit in the next decade and considerably more in the following ten years. I’d say that constitutes a change of course. But given the trajectory that was set by the previous administration and the “very serious” nonserious way that Ryan and the other House Republicans are addressing our fiscal future I’d say Obama has a lot of headwind to deal with.
I’m assuming by GW’s last budget you mean for the 2008 fiscal year. Total spending that year was 2.9825 trillion. (The link to the OMB historical tables is in the post above in item 3.) Estimates for 2011 FY spending are at 3.818 billion. (Why you want to use nominal figures I’ll never guess, but OK.) The change over three years: 28%.
Now… the equivalent comparison is to look at the growth from FY 2000 (Clinton’s last budget) to spending in FY 2003. That was an increase from 1.7890 trillion to 2.1599 trillion, an increase of 21%.
Since you call this a major initiative of Obama’s, I have to assume in your world the difference between an increase of 21% and 28% over three years is the difference between spending without any sane restraint and presumably spending with a sane restraint. Interestingly enough, the difference between outlays in 1980 (590.0 billion) and 1983 (808.4 billion) is 36% – very close to the 35% figure you seem to have made up in your comment.
But all of this is irrelevant and I assume you know it. See, the fiscal year doesn’t quite match up with the calendar year. Fiscal year 2009 began October 1, 2008, which is before Obama was elected, much less inaugurated. Additionally, a big part of the spending – even the appropriations stuff – was commited before Obama took office.
So… FY 2009 was 3.517 trillion. The two year change to FY 2011 was… 9%. On the other hand, FY 2001 was 1.862 trillion. The two year change to FY 2003 was 16%. (And from 1981 to 1983 it was 19%.)
Now let’s play “do it right and add inflation.” (See column F of the table to which I linked)
1981 – 1983 change = 5.8%
2001 – 2003 change = 11.2%
2009 – 2011 change = 5.3%
There’s your spending without any sane restraint.
“I’m not particularily interested in an ideological debate either. But I do like accurate presentation of the facts.”
Me too : )
And if we’re gonna break it down.. How much of the massive jump in spending (2008-2009) was more a result of the Democrats taking control of congress ?
(and how much of the surplus that article’s author credits to BC was due to the Republican Congress taking over, midt-term?)..
All that aside.. my assertion holds factually true. BO is on a pace to eclipse ALL prior preisidents’ deficit spending.
I typed slowly… my response to RweTHEREyet appears below. Like you, I like to see an honest look at numbers. I guess I could have passed on answering had I seen your response.
I would like to comment on your point about Obama having headwind. You are correct. But part of the job of the President is managing the opposition. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: LBJ would have had Boehner’s metaphorical testicles sitting in a jar of pink formaldehyde on his desk by now. Clinton triangulated his way into what he wanted much of the time. Bush bullied and presented “evidence.” The guy with the bully pulpit usually gets his way. (See the Appendix entitled “Is it Congress?” in Presimetrics for a numerical example.) The fact that Obama can’t seem to get his way on almost anything except without watering it down so much that its unrecognizable is yet another sign he has no idea what he’s doing.
My response is downthread.
Actually most of the spending jump was on Bush’s initiative. In particular his own fiscal stimulus and TARP (Remember Paulson/Bernanke “money or your life” speech to congress?)
Any president handed an economic depression to them will end up with huge deficits. The same thing happened in 1933.
I appreciate your response because it adds yet another perspective.
Yes, Obama is no LBJ. But anyone who thought he was going to be one didn’t read him correctly. I voted for him in the general election because he was the only option to defeat the Republican nominee, not because I had any delusions about him. And just to be clear, I didn’t vote for him in the primaries.
I’ll be voting for the Yellow Dog (whomever it turns out to be) in 2012 as well. I encourage you to do the same.
You are forgetting somethig . . . Greenspan during Clinton and Bush.
The “sanity” of the spending isn’t the amount.. but the amonunt above and beyond revenues.
I’ve noticed a tendency to change the argument each time you are presented with the facts. First you argued that Obama increased spending. When shown that didn’t happen you claimed that congress increased spending. When that didn’t turn out to be true you claim that it’s the deficits that really matter (i.e. the revenue side).
I’ve seen this slippery pattern before. It seems common to all of your stripe. Were you aware that you were doing this?
In any case, by changing the argument to revenues you’ll be openly admitting that revenues as a percent of GDP have fallen to their lowest level in over half a century. Are you sure you want to go there?
I didn’t change anything.. my reference to just spending was just to point out how much it has grown since 2008 (I shoulda said 2008 budget instead of GW.. my bad).
And I wasn’t arguing anything.. read the conclusion in my first post.. that’s my position .. hasn’t changed a bit.
“The “sanity” of the spending isn’t the amount.. but the amonunt above and beyond revenues.”
So you’re advocating an increase in the tax rate? Because the real problem with Obama is not the spending increase – as I’ve noted, by the standard of some modern Republican presidents, its rather a tame increase. The problem is that its coupled by a big reduction in revenue. Go to the link I provided again, and you’ll see that long before the recession started the tax cuts were presenting a revenue problem. Real Federal revenues in 2006 were about what they were in 2000. That’s the tax cuts for you.
And yes, I see the slipperiness that Mark Sadowski is commenting on too.
I’ve had this post a long time ago, but Greenspan behaved differently under Clinton than he did under Bush 1 and Bush 2.
I’m not sure what you mean by this but I think Mike has looked at monetary policy in his book on Presimetrics (correct me if I’m wrong because I still haven’t read it, although I plan to).
However you raise an interesting point. Greenspan was, after all, the “maestro”. Although not particularily bright he knew how to run (bully) the FOMC and had an cerebrellum for monetary policy that eclipses all of Bernanke’s massive frontal lobes.
The problem with Bernanke is we went from implicitly targeting nominal GDP to targeting inflation rates. Bernanke became Fed chair in 2007. One year later total chaos. Coincidence?
Ad sure, I’ll go there.. (not sure what you’re getting at)… it only adds to my “sanity” position.. spending MORE, as revenues DECREASE.
But we aren’t spending much more (at least as compared to the CBO estimates in January 2009). The implication of your argument is that in order to arrest the fiscal deficit problem we need to dramatically increase taxes.
Mike I haven’t seen final estimates for spending and revenues (and deficit) for FY 2011,. have you? Obama asked for spending of $3.834 T but didn’t get that. He also settled for far less revenues, back in December, than he had requested in Feb 2010. FY 2011 numbers might look a lot like FY 2010 numbers?
As for initiatives, he took the banks out of the loop for guaranteed college loans; saved automakers; passed credit card reform, fair play act, hate crimes legislation, the stimulus bill and ACA of course; a regulatory reform bill, a new GI Bill (high marks there imho), DADT, about two dozen targeted tax cuts. A new START treaty, Iraq wound down on schedule. Reports of torture are down. Allies are better, like in Libya initiative. Need to include as an initiative the record deficit spending, too (an initiative that isn’t a small thing, but it’s not thousands of dead Americans, either). I don’t think it’s been a boring 3 years.
“Supposedly” Greenspin . . . Greenspan made a deal with Clintom. You keep taxes high and I will keep Fed Rates Low. He did such and Clinton appeared to prosper. Politics or reality? How much control does the Fed Chairman have? Greenspan raped Glass-Steagall starting in 87 with changes in Section 20. He was the major instigator in its repeal. Greenspan is no John Galt.
Bernanke is a fucken idiot. He missed the downturn after it occurred. He failed with TBTF. He failed to support Main Street> Both he and Geithner and Summers are in Wall Street Pockets.
You’all have been sip-sliding all around my assertion.
Now we’re into ideolical stuff ? Spending problem or revenue problem ?
Now.. quit distracting, and address my assertion, or leave it stand..
He may have differed but, he supported the 2001/2003 tax breaks to return the surplus which Clinton wished to use to finaace SS. Greenspan supported a similar presdiential policy that he had with Clinton. Then he reversed directions. Alzheimrs? Lisen to his dialogue sometime.
I agree (in a sense). Bernanke is completely entranced by the credit channel of the monetary transmission mechanism (MTM).
It’s also worth noting that Summers acted as the communication channel between Bernanke and the White House. There’s no telling how much was “lost in translation” as it were.
Only now are we finding out Romer’s true opinions concerning the conduct of monetary policy. The last two years were wasted from the standpoint of monetary policy. Why did the President wait so long to nominate three replacements for the FOMC?
Geithner should be fired. He is a Summer s piss ant. Smmers and Greenspan are why 2008 occurred. Ask Brooksley Bon, Iris Mack, and Senator Dorgan. Summers testified in front of Congress that Born was throttling a growing arket with her suggestions’ The course of today was already carved in stone with the players of today , , , Obama’s fault. I wroye Obama on this paradigm.
That’s not my argument.. I’m not arguing anything.. I even acknowledged your point that my sepending numbers weren’t the point I thought they were.
You guys are looking for an argument where there isn’t one.. and for the record, if I was offering a solution, it would obviously be to reduce the size of gocernment, not increase taxes.
The libs here are by and large correct that the deficit is not all Obama’s fault:
In 2009 Federal spending increased from 20% to 25% of GDP, but primarily due to non-discretionary locked in spending. Federal revenues decreased from 19% to 15% of GDP, but that is not due to the Bush tax cuts, which happened in 2001.
This is a real good summary of the 2009 deficit, that also discusses an overlooked fact:
The great deficit of 2009 was the result not just of increased spending, but also of dramatically lower tax revenues….. http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2009/11/breaking_down_deficit.html
What happened? Total Federal tax revenue is dependent on a very small segment of the taxpayers. In 2008, the top 10% paid 70% of the tax revenues. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but like a company that depends on only a few large customers, it is a vulnerability. In 2009, the recession must have hit the heavy taxpayers hard. I look forward to the release of that data to confirm this hypothesis.
More importantly, FY 2009 is the starting point. It’s the benchmark by which we make comparisons. In short, Bush set the bar so low anyone could exceed it.
It’s time to quit blaming Bush. He didn’t cause the 2009 deficit either.
It was locked in spending programs, primarily entitlements, and lower tax revenues caused by the recession, not his tax cuts.
Obama is the president, he needs to work to solve the problem. (I’m not holding my breath). Here is a good graphic showing historical and projected revenues/expenditures as a % of GDP: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_N4XvePkmKjA/TEgAR8xKZ7I/AAAAAAAAAPQ/WFFZc5HKMCw/s640/Federal+Spending+-+Revenue.jpg
So you’re saying that the amount added to the deficit by Medicare Part D, the tax cut, two wars and new spending for Homeland Security shouldn’t count?
Exactly how many trillion dollars should we excuse?
BTW. Your graphic is projected by what organization?
Those programs do have benefits and are inconsequential in terms of overall spending. Why don’t you blame FDR for starting Social Security, or Johnson for starting the Great Society?
The point is, Bush has zero control over budgets right now. Obama has considerable control over matching revenues with expenses. It’s his JOB, and he is not doing it.
I weigh costs against their benefits. What are Medicare Part D, Bush’s tax cuts, the two wars and Homeland Security worth compared to the Great Society and the New Deal? Go do the math.
I find them sorely wanting. All I remember is we had those programs and a $200 billion dollar surplus before this fiasco took hold. What changed?
Great Society ? ala Medicare ? A program that’s cost has increased even faster than it most ardent critics ? .. and real coverage that has declined to the point where you need good, supplemental insurace , else you go broke just a little slower than with no medicare ? … the Medicare where the first person to complete ONE cycle still has ~20 years to go, and it’s been on an acknowledged course to insolvency for a generation now.. THAT medicare ? That’s a good cost/benifit ?
I guess you mean the same Medicare that paid for all of my Mother’s health care expenses during the last six months of her life.
It seemed alright to me at the time. And I’m not broke (thanks to Medicare).
That’s the benefit side. Nobody doesn’t like the government paying medical bills. Heck, there’d be a benefit side to free pizza at the post office, but it wouldn’t be a good cost/benifit thing.
That’s the question.. I mean, it would be great if we started a government program that paid for everything we might need, but the costs (as with any of these programs) end up running off to oblivia.
If Medicare provided the same level of coverage as it did at enactment, without growing at a pace to swallow the entire federal budget, I’d be all for more of it. Not only has it failed to do that, and grown out of control, cost-wise.. it’s even driving doctors away because on top of all that, it’s UNDER paying..
As for more of the Great Society… let’s talk about the cost/benifit of the war on poverty.
Let’s talk about the cost benefit ratio in general:
My Debt to the New Deal
My parents were able to live securely in retirement (SS)
I was able to get by while looking for another job (Unemployment Benefits)
I was able to work in a unionized workplace (NIRA an NLRA)
My bank account is secure (FDIC)
My limited savings are relatively safe (SEC)
I have a roof over my head (FHA)
My debt to the Great Society:
My clothing as a child was safe (Flammable Fabrics Act)
I was able to feed myself when I coud not afford to (Food Stamps)
My car has seat belts (Motor Vehicle Safety Act)
I’m confident my food is healthy (Wholesome Meat and Poultry Acts and Fair Packaging Labeling Act)
My air is fit to breah, water fit to drink ((Clean Air, Water Quality and Clean Water Restoration Acts and Motor Air Pollution Act)
I can hear sounds of nature unspoilled by man (Aircraft Noise Abatement Act)
I can find places unspoilled by man (National Trails System Act)
My hometown still has evidence of its past (National Historic Preservation Act)
I can make informed choices when borrowing money (Truth in Lending Act)
My school district was able to afford to employ me (Elementary and Secondary Education Act)
My mother was able to die with dignity in a nursing home (Medicare)
I will soon earn a PhD in Economics (Higher Education Act-Pell Grants and GSLs)
My debt to the Republican Party:
How many of those things were a big break (i.e., not a footnote) with GW? DADT and the START treaty I think. Some of te rest either are nothing special (reports of torture are down? Down? The US is still more or less openly in the business of torturing people???), and Libya presented Obama with an “opportunity” that GW probably would have taken too. The stimulus bill had some items GW wouldn’t have included, but its hard to argue that it was a clean break from GW’s fevered 2008 Q4 let’s throw as much money possible out there regime.
I’ve had a few posts on that too. It seems Greenspan was in favor of returning the country to a surplus, got leaned on (there was a two week period in 2001 where it seemed just about member of the administration was on tv saying “Greenspan did a fine job, but he’s getting old”), and he caved. That caving probably came easier because Greenspan truly believed cutting taxes was going to cause a monster boom.
And yes… Clinton did move some of the banking deregulation forward. (I think he’s said he is sorry about that now.)
It is time to stop blaming Bush. (Note – I did have a post commenting on the fact that in his last ten days in office, Bush gave an interview blaming Clinton for the economic mess during his term.) As Sadwoski has pointed out, starting in 2009, this mess became Obama’s. His baseline is when he took over, and he is supposed to make it better.
Now… the point of this post and my previous post is that for some of us who consider ourselves slightly left of center (I imagine you don’t consider me to be a raving leftist) he has been a disappointment. Some folks of that opinion may vote for him anyway, saying to themselves: well, he beats the alternative. Some may end up leaving the vote for President blank on the ballot. Some may vote for third parties. Whatever.
What you won’t find on the Dem side is very many people calling him great. You won’t find people who others listen to and respect talking about Obama and Mount Rushmore. (I remember people doing it in 2004, and I think in my previous post I had a link to Thomas Sowell doing just that as late as 2005.)
Mike says: “And yes, I see the slipperiness that Mark Sadowski is commenting on too.” RWT starts his conversation by talking about spending” then Mark shfts the topic to “estimated budget” numbers. Using a past estimate years after the actuals are available is the first shift of subject.
RWT takes the bait and the discussion then goes off on the new Mark preferred direction. Mike then comes in and adds even another coupla confusion factors, other presidents and inflation. So we end up with the Mark and Mike show doubling down by claiming it was RWT who was slippery.
Good show, guys.
Mark asks: “Why did the President wait so long to nominate three replacements for the FOMC?” Clueless comes immediately to mind. Surrounded by like minded advisers that reinforced his poor, uncaring reasoning.
Mark asks: “BTW. Your graphic is projected by what organization?” Why does it matter. Just ask Mike, the numbers don’t lie.
When someone refers to Obama’s current budget and mentions its a 3.8 trillion dollar budget he is referring to the 2011 FY. That was brought up by rwethereyet. Don’t blame us for responding to what he brought up. If you think the discussion should have stayed with 2010 figures then take it up with the person who brought up projected figures.
I assume you are repaying those debts now, though, right? No, you feel entitled.
Why should I be forced to pay your mom’s medical bills for six months? That money would be better well-spent on infrastructure or education as an investment, not postponing the inevitable. That may sound harsh, but it’s true. The truth hurts.
Your debt to the Republican party? The Soviet Union didn’t invade the United States or take us down with them because they knew Reagan and H.W. Bush wouldn’t hesitate to push the button.
Both parties are the party of big government and big spending. For the longest time we were able to grow our way out of our debts because our population wasn’t all that old (most people didn’t need Medicare or Social Security) and oil and other resources for real economic growth were abundant.
Libertarianism is the only enlightened philosophy. If we lived in a world of infinite resources, free health care, iPods, Harvard educations, BMW 7-series’, and everything else for everyone would be fine with me. But, we don’t live in a world of infinite resources. We need to end the Fed and let the markets work. We need to restore actual Capitalism where bad companies/banks/institutions/individuals fail and good companies/banks/institutions/individuals rise in their place.
Ron Paul 2012!
Although, it’s too late for a political solution. We’ve propped the system up too long (by we I mean the Fed) If we had been on the gold standard, we would have been forced to deal with these spending and tax code problems over time. It would have kept the government in check. The Fed couldn’t have kept interest rates artificially low and enabled us to kick the can down the road. But, we dropped the gold standard to expand the unnecessary war in Vietnam (thanks LBJ) without literally raising taxes. And the rest is history. A major, catastrophic, unstoppable collapse is all that’s left. Uncle Sam used his only parachute in 2008. If oil were $20/bbl, we could easily grow out of this. It isn’t and never again will be. The game is up.
I, I, Me , Me ,I ,Me …
And more of the ridiculous framing that if it were up to Republicans, we’d starve, suffer, get poisoned, and burn to death… By that logic, this massive entitlement state, and your freedom to rely on it, is due to Republicans willing to keep the military well funded..
Of course, neither is true, and both are, to a point, silly.
But let’s pretend I agree with your post.. Sure YOU’ve gotten plenty of help from the government.. but at what, long-term cost to ALL of us ? Ala Medicare… first couple generations enjoyed the fantasy, but in 20 years less time than it took for the VERY first person. entering the workforce in 1965, to complete ONE test-cycle, it has become much less of a benefit than it started out as.. and the cost has exploded to unsustainabilty.
Most of your list reads like.. “how can we survive without government programs?” Having a government program holding your hand through every stage of life, is a sad commentary as to what our society is becoming. Sure,, we need safety-nets.. but this, “government will fix all” , theme, has gotten us to wherre a single person earning $60K. wanting to adopt two children, will be better off, financially, if they quit their job and take a part-time job making $15K. (I can itemize, if you like)
Now.. let’s look at the commen-sense stuff in your list, that a conservative (like me) appreciates, too. Starting with the EPA (for whom my brother works).. a Nixon initiative. Things like food-stamps, and vehicle safety, nosie, pollution, can all be handled at the state-level.. no need for a massive, centralized, government agency to first funnel all the tax dollars, burn them up employing countless bureaucrats for what can be done at the state level. Same with trails-n-history. States and cities can do things like that, sans funding the DC money-pit.
And education? Seriously ?… Track back on the increased funding (adjusted for inflation) of education via countless, federal departments… compare the per-student spending since 1970 vs graduation and literacy rates over the last, few decades.. good lord. We need to get the feds OUT of education.. reduce taxes accordingly, and leave that task (and all that money) locally, where it belongs.
Making informed decisions when borrowing ? Aside from that being YOUR responsibility; I’d much rather rely on a bank’s need to keep customers, and if I’m too lazy or stupid to read a loan agreement, I’d certainly rather pay for an attorney now and then, than continue funding the DC money pit to “take care of me”.
So.. I’d say that your debt to the Republican Party, is that they’ve at least been a speed-bump on the race to see this country collapse under the weight of the federal government.
Well now we have Mark A Sadowski’s standard for “good” government spending:
1) It was started by a Democrat
2) It benefits Mark A Sadowski directly.
Can’t say I blame him. But then Cooper asks “Are you repaying that debt?” The answer is probably “No.” When 10% of taxpayers pay 70% of taxes that the other 90% benefit directly from, well, they will be outvoted 90% to 10%. That is why it will be so difficult to cut spending – 90% get stuff for free.
Mike I think W would have done none or almost of those things, for better or for worse, and I think these breaks with W policy are easilly understated because they theoretically could have been bigger with more drama. Surely we wouldn’t have had ACA or any regulatory bill or new consumer or credit card protections–liberals want more on each of these fronts, but each is a major step in their direction. It’s easy for most to ignore the signficance of legislation for women and gay rights, and to ignore legislation for veterans and direct student loans, but these are major changes for the groups affected and Bush wasn’t interested in any of them. I’m not sure what would have happened with the torture issue (for Obama it’s gone except for charges–warranted or not–that the wikileaks leaker is being tortured). With Libya, W most likely would have taken complete charge and I can imagine at least two very, very different scenarios today that would horrify liberals. In Iraq, there already was talk under Bush of walking back the timetable for ending US-led operations.
As for the economy and budget, W is a true believer in supply side economics, and I’ll let more qualified people tell me what that would have meant and whether he would have done better at spurring recovery. As a guess, perhaps he would have let unemployment slide further in 2009 (under Reagan it nearly reached 11 percent and 2009 could have been worse) with no spending increases in his budget; states would have been squeezed more and laid off more workers; and the corporate tax rate might have been slashed (corporate profits fell dramatically during the recession). Bush did TARP for Wall Street out of desperation but I don’t see him subsequently bailing out state government workers and the unemployed, and maybe not the auto industry. Conservatives can and do say Obama was wrong on all of this and made things worse–yes, there was a major break regardless of your political leanings.
There’s an old, political adage.. If it get’s to the point where a majority of the population can vote themselves other people’s money, they will. And it will take a significant crisis to turn that tide..
“The Soviet Union didn’t invade the United States or take us down with them because they knew Reagan and H.W. Bush wouldn’t hesitate to push the button.”
No serious adult believes that the USSR had plans to invade the US during the Reagan or Bush administrations, or at any other time of its hapless existence. Your comment is just stupid, Cooper.
Oh good lord.
Libertarianism is a great theory…sounds great and all, problem is, it doesn’t actually work in the real world….
We have a libertarian country in the world today…it’s called Somalia…..I wouldn’t want to live there….would you?
As for the rest of this post, it sounds like some talking points memo……
Mike, you are right. It is time to stop blaming Bush, and time to start blaming who was really responsible….
Reagan, who should have been tried for treason.
Laffer….napkin econometrics….30 years of failed economic policy based on a napkin…sigh.
So the Soviet Union was benign, with no intention of world domination .. ?
I’d say a stupid comment would be one under-estimating that danger.
Using Somalia to represent Libertarianism, is like using Cuba to represent Liberalism.
Libertarianism can function quite well in the Republic as laid out in the Constitution. You’re trying to equate Libertarianism to anarchy.
The just passed 2011 budget contains $158B in addition to the basic $513B for the pentagon’s wars of showing off their expensive stuff and getting nothing done. Not sure what changed in putting the wars “on budget”, not much has changed inthe bottom line.
Nothing has been done to rationalize the discourse on national security or to gain trust in their motives, there is no rational discourse about the unwarranted infleunce of the national security state.
While Bush used 9/11 to nearly double the war state in “real terms”.
“I’d say a stupid comment would be one under-estimating that danger.”
And I’d say you and Cooper are fools and dupes. You fell for the right-wing propaganda.
The Soviet Union has been gone for neary 20 years. Since its fall, there has been publication after publication of archival material from that time. Please cite the evidence, from internal Soviet documents, that there was ever a plan for the military invasion of the US.
The myth that the USSR ever planned to invade the US certainly worked on the sheeple for decades. It’s surprising that there are still fools in the 21st century who cling to this myth.
Yeah.. that whole, Eastern European deal, and missiles in Cuba were blown out of proportion.. silly me.
George Keenan, the author of “containment” saw Soviet capabilities to be less than sufficient for soviet “plans” ascribed by the burgeoning national security state in 1950. Thence the CIA grossly inflated the Soviet danger, but the US is approaching bankrupting itslef in a military industrial complex based on similar wild speculation about dangers from terrorists.
Unwarranted influence and experts with sales related agendas, neither suggest the citizen trust the motives nor expect rational discourse on the size of the US national security state.
And enough conventional force was in Florida during the 1961 Cuba missile misunderstanding to turn the Caribbean into a boiling lake.
“that whole, Eastern European deal,”
Check a map. The US is not in Eastern Europe. Never has been.
“and missiles in Cuba were blown out of proportion..”
The missiles in Cube were not part of a plot to invade the US. At best, they were there to defend Cuba against a US invasion, which really was contemplated by the US government.
” silly me.”
Boy, I’ll say. Why on earth did you imagine anyone here would fall for your anachronistic right-wing propaganda?
You suppose the voter cannot be trusted?
Do you underestimate the media’s power to mislead? Or do the people get the message wrong?
There goes a whole lot of political economy this side of Stalin.
So.. Soviet expansionism was a myth ? And the Cuban missiles weren’t intended for a first-strike against the U.S… you’re taking the Soviet line at the time as truth ?
Man.. I’ve seen revisionist history, but this is good stuff. The whole Cold War was right-wing propaganda… hu ? .. and pointing to it is MY proaganda ?
(or could it be that this revision is aimed at lessening the significance that the Cold War was won by a Republican ?)
“Check a map. The US is not in Eastern Europe. Never has been.”
Yeah.. I’m sure the expansionism would have stopped at the the European side of the Atlantic. They had NO designs on bringing the U.S. down.. **eyes rolling**
That’s your evidence that Reagan and Bush prevented a Soviet invasion of the United States?
You have to be a Bircher parody. A lame parody, to be sure, but a parody.
Ummm.. it’s not my evidence.. But I’ll humor you (unless you’re still insisting that the Soviet Union meant us no harm)
So.. how does one institute exansionism ? Just say.. “hey, we won the Cold War, prepare for our government installation”..
Of course it’s not like some D-day-esque landing at the Kenedy compound, and the beaches of South Carolina (I’ve been mistakeny assuming you had the common-sense to know what Cooper meant by “invasion“)(apparently not).
“Do you underestimate the media’s power to mislead? Or do the people get the message wrong?”
How could someone underestimate the power of the media, when Obama sits in the White House ?
So, in other words, you got nothin’.
Not sruprising. There isn’t an atom of evidence that the USSR had plans to invade the US, so Cooper’s assertion “The Soviet Union didn’t invade the United States or take us down with them because they knew Reagan and H.W. Bush wouldn’t hesitate to push the button” is baseless. And your attemps to defend him with misdirection and tired, anachronistic Cold War propaganda is simiarly baseless.
Or perhaps you and Cooper are resorting to the Kyl defense that your statements were never intended to be factual?
“So, in other words, you got nothin’ “
I’ll have nothing, if you can convince me that the Soviet Union had no expansionism in mind.. and that they had no designs on bringing the U.S. down… and that whole Cold War thing was no big deal. While you’re at it, try to explain how expansionism ends with anything other than some form of occupation... and how occupation can occur sans invasion.
You, myself, and anyone reading this thread knows full well the point Cooper was making… and you attempted to drag it into distraction by semantics.
It’s a point that would make a modern comic book author blush. The threat was vastly overstated. The evidence of the exaggeration by US foreign policy elites is well established fact. The success of the campaign is reflected in the massive cold war levels of “defense” spending against still nonexistent threats. Not to mention fear mongering dead ender cold warriors.
Ah, little RTY,
If by “semantics,” you mean “actual meaning of words,” then yes, I’ll cop to distracting you by challenging the meaning of the words you and others use.
But thanks for confirming that your statements and those of Cooper were never intended to be factual. I can understand your frustration at my insistence on treating as though they were. My bad.
If by “semantics,” you mean “actual meaning of words,” then yes, I’ll cop to distracting you by challenging the meaning of the words you and others use. Clearly, the word “invade” doesn’t mean what you and Cooper think it means.
But thanks for confirming that your statements and those of Cooper were never intended to be factual. I can understand your frustration at my insistence on treating them as though they were. My bad.
CoRev, “….the numbers don’t lie.”
Is that a serious statement? Are your numbers raw data? Has there been a summarization of that data to enable a given set of numbers, the data, to suppport an analysis that the “statistican” prefers? It’s never the numbers that misrepresent the findings. From first step in any data analysis the raw data can be “shaped” to support nearly any argument. That’s why any truly scientfic journal will subject its atrticles to peer review before publication and any publication will be scrutinized by other scientists in the field who might find the data analysis to be suspect. In fact a “scientist” who publishes in a truly respectable journal will expect that they may have to share their raw data with others who express an interest in re-analyzing that data.
Identifying who it is that produces any summarization of a set of raw data will allow the reader to evaluate the possibility that such an analysis is fair and balanced, as they say on Fox News, or not. If the analysis comes out of some neo-conservative, corporatist, bull shit factory (sometimes refered to as a “think tank”) it can be rejected for a lack of face validity.
Yeah.. we’ll ignore the semantic liberties you’ve taken.. while making a point. I understand your points and won’t bother with a 15-post distraction, dictionary in-hand. I WILL challange the points, though..
So yup.. your bad..
cactus-There is no way to know what Clinton would have done with Part D, the Patriot Act, Homeland Security, Afghanistan or Iraq. It’s all speculation. Of course we do know what his wife supported.
Your post brings up a good point. It really highlights how radically Bush broke from his predecessor. Bush’s radical departure may be blamed on 9/11, but in the history of American presidential politics that is pretty rare. Most presidents don’t radically break from the previous Chief Executive. I mean was Eisenhower that much different than Truman? After campaigning on “Rollback” Eisenhower continued Truman’s policy of containment.
In response to your previous post about why you won’t be voting for Obama again, you’re right, Clinton did enact some of your highlighted policies and left office as a popular president. (Did he ever receive more than 50% of the vote?)But let’s also remember that none of this happens in a vacuum. While Clinton couldn’t get DADT repealed or get health care reform passed (in fact his stance on both of those issues harmed his popularity) Obama has passed those things. But while Clinton could raise taxes in an era of (spectacular?) growth it would be very hard for Obama to do the same in a struggling economic climate. I mean how can you account for a ever-changing and fluid national mood or consciousness?
I think this is one crucial point – Obama undertook a fiscal stimulus in the face of recession, after Bush had refused to take substantial action. Bush undertook tax cuts to reduce the surplus – essentially a pro-cyclical act. Not all of Obama’s deficit expansion was aimed at some group of his cronies. One is good policy, the other is not.
Obama undertook a moderate health insurance reform effort, mandating universal coverage and a few other good things, all of which fit more or less into the badly distorted insurance and medical services market we already have.
These are both important policies, neither one taken to its socially efficient conclusion, but surely breaks with the Bush policy set.
“I mean how can you account for a ever-changing and fluid national mood or consciousness?” Little John
Let’s see? How about a mostly ignorant electorate and a disingenuous media, both print and broadcast. assisting in keeping them that way. Ask your friends the details of last nights sports extravaganza and you’ll probably get a detailed report and analysis. Ask them about the Ryan budget proposal and they’ll’ probably scratch their heads having no clue of the details, if they even know who Ryan is. Remeber, “Keep your governement hands off my Medicare.”? When will the people learn to vote their own economic self interest would be a better question. For that matter, when will the people understand their own economic self interest? As my personal favorite political ideologist once said:
“When will the people be educated? When they have enough bread to eat, when the rich and the government stop bribing treacherous pens and tongues to deceive them. When will this be? Never.”
See, here you go again, drifting away from the valuable work of presenting data, and onto the barstool. One value of the data, for all of us, but particularly for those who tend to tend toward hyperbole, is discipline. You’re kinda getting away from that in this series of “I Hate Obama” posts.
LBJ was a one-election president. Obama may well win two. That remains to be seen, but if he wins a second election, that “doesn’t know what he’s doing” comparison to LBJ is gonna look pretty silly.
What cost LBJ the election? In large measure, it was the Vietnam war. That war was handed to him, but he was responsible for his reaction to it. What, if anything, will cost Obama a second term? Conventional political science says the state of the economy. The recession was handed to Obama, but he is responsible for his reaction to it.
Now, you may like the ideas that LBJ pursued better than the ones that Obama is pursuing, but that doesn’t make LBJ a better politician. That is to say, it doesn’t mean “he knew what he was doing”. It makes him more to you liking. As a politician, LBJ was unable to hang onto the presidency – didn’t know enough about his job to hang onto it.
So there’s this little book about punditry written by some economics/political scientiest/judge associated with Chicago U – whose name escapes me. One point the book brings up is that once a person earns a reputation for specialized knowledge, opportunity arises to comment outside that area of specialized knowledge.
Mike, you have established yourself as an analyst of data as it relates to political parties. What you are doing here is something quite different, and you are letting your standards of objectivity slide away. What is the standard for a “big” break? You aren’t convinced that ARRA is significantly different from what Bush did with tax cuts. Others apparently are. What standard should we use? Well, right now we appear to be stuck with “it’s my post, so I set the standard”. That’s pretty close to the Fox News standard, except they read everything backward from the way you do. Obama is a atheistic muslim socialist nazi to them, and George Bush to you. On no evidence from either of you.
You are playing pundit here. It’s not a good game to play.
It will never be time to stop blaming Bush. He is our worst president ever, so valuable in the “those who forget history are doomed to repeat it” sense. We need to keep blaming him, so those who would recreate his policies are kept under a strong light.
Let me play that annoying game – the shorter Kimel.
George Bush was bad. George Bush introduced a bunch of bad policies that were very different from those of his predecessor, which is how we know he’s bad. Obama has not introduced a whole bunch of good policies that are different from his bad predecessor, so he’s not good.
I agree that Obama is note good. Obama isn’t Dick-Cheney-bad or Rummy-bad or Shrub-bad, but he said right out loud that Guantanamo is beneath us and Guantanamo is still there. He is smart enough to understand economics and to understand that when somebody is part of the problem, they may not be willing to allow a real solution, but hired Summers anyway. Obama is underachiever-not-good. He’s fly-home-to-sign-the-retarded-guy’s-death-warrant-bad (that’s a Clinton reference, y’all). He’s triangulator-not-good — even if you think Clinton was the better triangulator, triagulation often puts winning over the best policy.
But this “did not introduce a whole bunch of policies that break from Shrub” thing isn’t working all that well, because it is not a standard that is useful over time. The business of declaring that some policy or set of policies is not a break with Bush, so therefore Obama is not a break-with-your-predecessor-presidential…guy…thing? Looks like a made-up standard to write a blog post to say “Obama is bad”.
So why not just go with that? Obama should have been braver. Should have taken more chances. Should have loved Michelle better. Should have been the guy he campaigned as. Should stop smoking. Let’s go with that.
Wow Jack you’re a believer in false consciousness? I would have never guessed! What happened to the media and electorate in 2006 and 2008? Were they so ignorant and disingenious that they elected an incompetent(s)? Or did the masses finally figure out what was in their best financial interests?
“Obama undertook a moderate health insurance reform effort”
If it was so Moderate why was it voted on before anybody had a chance to read it? If it is so moderate why doesn’t it kick in until Obama’s second term? If it is so moderate why is it create so expensive? If it is so moderate why does the majority of the country want it repealed?
“by $148 billion in its first decade according to the CBO and by $1.2 trillion in its second decade.”
Funny, now fess up on whether or not you actually believe that?
“so those who would recreate his policies”
What policies are you refering to?
“Bush’s radical departure”
Clinton’s Administration is the administration that developed the plans that Bush used in the invasion of Iraq.
Clinton pushed for not balancing the budget, but of course he took credit for it when the republicans made it happend.
Clinton dropped bombs too!
“While Clinton couldn’t get DADT repealed”
Didn’t Clinton create DADT???????????
“The business of declaring that some policy or set of policies is not a break with Bush, so therefore Obama is not a break-with-your-predecessor-presidential…guy…thing? Looks like a made-up standard to write a blog post to say “Obama is bad”.”
You just said in an earlier statement that you never quit balming Bush, because you feel it is so important for everybody to learn that the Bush Policies were horrible. But then of course like every other ObamaBot, you exempt Obama from your previously immature statements?
Guess what we call you in the real world?
Before DADT there were witch hunts actively looking for gay soldiers, Clinton raised more than a little ire in establishing DADT among the holy roller faction so quietly prevalent in the US military then as now.
I remember quite well the angst among the bible thumping mid grade officers who still think the Old Testament is the root of the UCMJ.
Yeah and Fox was a group of pacificist then.
Not that Kosovo made the least bit of sense. And a B-2 dumping a cpouple of 2000 pounders on the Chinese embassy!!!
Losing a stealth aircraft etc………………………
Clinton did not open the valves to the military industrial trough.
According to the most recent Gallup Poll a plurality see ACA as a good thing.
Of course I believe it. Why shouldn’t I?
Is there a particular reason why we shouldn’t use estimated budget numbers? And moreover is there a particular reason why we shouldn’t consider a budget passed while Bush was president his last budget? In the final analysis Bush loaded a lot of spending onto the budget in his final few months in office. Why do you want to ignore that fact?
You’re even more slippery that RWT.
Yes. Larry Summers comes to mind.
Libertarianism is an appealing philopsophy to those of an adolescent mentality. I myself voted for Ron Paul when he ran for president in 1988. But I’ve grown up since then.
The amount you know about Mark Sadowski probably could be written on the head of a pin. More than likely you’re currently living at my expense.
What do you really know about Eastern Europe?
I have no doubt that Obama intends to run against G.W. Bush’s record in 2012. Hopefully, the majority of voters will be so damned sick of that bullshit that he will be sent packing.
Obama isn’t a leader. Never will be at this rate. The situation is turning into a joke.
Who are the key Democratic challengers in the primaries? Somebody needs to step up to the plate.
Oddly I find myself agreeing with your last comment. “The situation is turning into a joke.” Though I’m not sure that we agree on the punch line. It’s interesting that you focus on Democratic Party challengers as though that is the solution to the leadership problem we face. The joke could turn yet more grim if the Ship of Fools Obama. Just imagine, The Donald as President. Or Sarah Palin. Or Mike Huckabee. How low is the Republican Party denominator? Good cop, bad cop; take your choice. Obama represents a failure to live up to his own campaign rhetoric. The Republicans represent a failure to live up to their responsibility to represent the people.
The electorate can easily be misled when the candidates focus on emotions rather than the content of good government. That generally occurs when the candidates have little inclination to carry out their own promises once elected to office. Yes, a desperate crowd can be sold a bill of goods. I wish that I could offer a solution to the revolving door of mediocrity that is reflected by our Congress and Executive Office. That doesn’t mean they are all incompetent, but there is certainly a high tide of self dealing and fealty to great wealth.
I am an Independent voter. I am only interested in results.
President Obama has demonstrated to me that he isn’t the leader we need. Either the Democrats get their sloppy act together and roll out a viable, steong candidate to take him on in the primaries, or the Republicans will ultimately mount an effective campaign in Nov 2011. It’s not more complicated.
I don’t waste time pretending that everything under the Sun is the fault of the pathetic Republicans. It’s just another of the political lies that fill the news media print cycle and the blogs. The Democrats are pathetic in my judgment.
This is all about the failures of the Obama Administration, starting at the top.
We don’t have enough time to mess around with nursing this wet behind the ears kid along in understanding his responsibilities to the nation and our allies. The guy has to go.
I’m a registered independent too. Replace Obama with what? Donald Trump? Sarah Palin? Pawlenty? Romney? Gingrich? Give me a break.
Mark A. Sadowski – “I’m a registered independent too. Replace Obama with what? Donald Trump? Sarah Palin? Pawlenty? Romney? Gingrich? Give me a break.“
I wasn’t aware that any of those individuals were Democrats.
Either a strong Democratic challenger will knock him out of the primaries or a Republican may take him in Nov 2012.
Obama is a joke at this point. He has no idea what to do next. He is lost.
This guy is all talk. He is not a leader.
Don’t be so quick to discredit The Donald as president. He has important experience that might turn out to be really valuable in that office: His companies have declared bankruptcy 3 times in the last couple decades. IIRC they weren’t small ones either.
Say what you want about his hair or his mouth breather TV show the guy knows how to stiff a bank.
Y-Clinton did create DADT but that was his fallback position.
“I’m a registered independent too. Replace Obama with what? Donald Trump? Sarah Palin? Pawlenty? Romney? Gingrich? Give me a break.”
You do realize Obama has only a possiblity of 6 years left in office. Your gonna have to replace him with somebody at some point. He was an empty suit when he took office, and it gets worse everyday, anybody will do.
The majority of the country DOESN’T want it repealed. And the number really drops when you actually ASK if they want the whole thing repealed or just parts of it. Only roughly 27% (IIRC) want the whole thing repealed.
It phases in over several years. Part of this is due to the enormity of the legislation. HHS has to write about 50 pages of regulation for every page of the bill. It’s not that expensive, and as the CBO found, repeal would actually ADD to the deficit.
As far as reading it, well, then they are lazy. I’ve read it 3 times, and I read it in it’s entirety prior to it being passed.
Also, it’s a conservative plan anyway. It’s the EXACT same plan that Stuart Butler of the Heritage Foundation proposed to Congress in 2003.
Which is why GOP opposition to it was so puzzling.
The CBO estimates are based on unrealistic assumptions from Agenda driven politicians, The CBO does not have the freedom to analize the legislation in a commonsense fashion, they are asked to analize the legilsation based on strict parameters and assumptions given to them. That’s why the CBO estimates on health leagislation are typically severely flawed.
1.) assumes that hundreds of billions of dollars in Medicare cuts would be used to pay for the new health care entitlement.
2.) avoids scheduled cuts in doctors’ payments under Medicare. CBO projects that if the so-called “doc fix” were added to the legislation, it would produce deficits of $59 billion from 2010 to 2019.
3.) Assumes the “Cadillac Tax” will be passed
4.) Assumes an unrealistic growth in the economy, and an unrealistic number of 19 million unemployed by the legislation, when the latest estimates have been revised up to 35 million.
“repeal would actually ADD to the deficit”
The CBO analysis predicting a deficit increase shifted the Budget window to do so. Shifting the budget window from 2010-19 to 2012-21, finds a 10-year savings of $230 billion, compared to $143 billion in the estimate from last March. And to get those savings all of the above needed to happend. The original estimation of paying for 10 years to get six years of benefits also needs to be considered. In other words…it’s all total crap, and you can use it as a proganda weapon if you chose, but you can’t expect honest thinkers to take the CBO ARRA projections seriously.
“same plan that Stuart Butler of the Heritage Foundation proposed to Congress in 2003.”
This is incorrect. It was not a proposed federal mandate. It was a tax credit for buying your own insurance. Butler is not a Republican Politician.
“The majority of the country DOESN’T want it repealed”
In January, the majority wanted it repealed 46% to 40%. Now the majority only want part of it repealed?….Hello….Red Flag anyone? And when the public realizes how flawed and expensive it is going to be then you will say what?
Not to feed the troll, but Fiscal Year 2009 started in 1 October 2008 and President Bush had submitted the budget Fiscal Year 2009 on which it was largely based in Feburary 2008. The Senate in 2008 was still controlled by Republicans. In April 2009, the Democrats passed a CR that did boost baseline spending for a lot of intiatives that they wanted, but that was only in the 12% of the budget where you find discretionary domestic spending.
However, the whole argument is stupid. A conservative and Village meme to tell frightening stories to children about the Deficit Boogie Man!! Who would care what the debt of the U.S. Government is if the U.S. was experiencing 5% annual non-inflationary growth? The short term debt would be falling like Galileo’s ball and we could start bending the curve on health care costs. But instead of Dean Baker, Joe Stiglitz, and Jamie Galbraith advising him, the President chose Robert Rubin and Jamie Dimon (and all that campaign donation money) and their stooges: Larry, Gene, and Tim and their big bank centric view of the world. So we have what we have. And banks don’t care about unemployment, they care about a strong dollar.
Yes, on Foreign Policy and National Security Obama did not break with the major foreign poicies of Bush’s 2d term. But aside from withdrawing from Iraq, which he is doing, he is not doing anything different than what he promised in the campaign. Forgotten or misheard by us lefites as we might have done, Obama ran promising more war for Afghanistan in 2008. It was McCain who was uncertain about it.
Besids the AAFHCA and two supreme court appointments, there has been a huge change of personnel and policies. Maybe not enough to satisfy you Mike, but imagine McCain’s appointments to the supreme court.
We should agitate, like the abolitionists agitated Lincoln, but we should remember who are the real enemies. A President Pawlenty with a movement Conservative Senate, a Movement Conservative House, and a six or seven vote majority on the Roberts court and we will need violent revolution to make any change. Kiss Medicare and Social Security good-by.
You know folks, take a deep breath. There is nobody, but nobody, who could challenge President Obama in the Democratic Party. And I would not want to. Yes, his continued attachment to Rubinomics is frusrtrating, and I wish he would make more full throated Defenses of the New Deal and Great Society as opposed to giving more tax cuts to rich people. But he has to deal with both divided Democratic Party and a very united, if reduced, Republican Party.
Further, as disappointment as many find the Affordable Health Care Act, it was the biggest expansion of the safety net since LBJ. It accomplished far more than anything Clinton or Carter accomplished. And the stimulus and auto bailouts saved millions of jobs and at least prevented a Great Depression II, something I expect McCain would have flubbed.
Don’t lose sight of the fact that in a bankruptcy it is not only the banks that get stiffed, if they do at all, but it is often the other investors that get the stiffing. Or is that a screwing by the general partner? Certainly the Donald seems to come out of each situation on his feet though some would ask whose feet he’s landed on.
He is a brilliant self promoter. I don’t think that that works well for the contry if he were actually chosen to be the President by a majority of voters. It would say an awful lot about those voters, but they did elect Ronnie “the Actor” Reagan. Trump has enormous name recognition so who can tell what may happen. One thing is clear, the Republican front runners are a sorry lot in a race for the Presidency.
I am tired of voting for the lesser of evils, but I don’t see any viable candidate that will challenge Obama in a Democratic Party primary fight. He’s too much of a conciliator for my taste and that’s an affliction that seems to dominate Democrat’s whole approach to governing. Republicans are at the other end of the extreme with their “my way or the highway” approach to governing. I’d like to see the Obama administration take the Republicans to heart when they talk about more limited government. Maybe the government should stop sending so much money to the more conservative states and localities. Their citizens are asking for cuts. Why not give them the direct experience of cutting Federal support to those localities? The best cure for a conservative approach to government spending is to give the conservative what he wants, less government spending in his neck of the woods.