A rose by any other name

rose1 Shakespeare so eloquently once stated: “A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet”. We ought to take this sentiment to heart when considering the nature of the “economic stimulus” legislation working its way through congress right now.

For once, the republicans have got it right (sort of). Many have decried provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act not as stimulus items, but as projects that democrats simply think would be a good idea. What exactly do they mean?

One representative drew a useful analogy:  former Treasury Secretary Paulson asked for funds in order to relieve banks of “toxic assets”, to which congress promptly responded by passing the Troubled Asset Relief Program (aka TARP- an apt acronym since congressional leaders evidently thought they could simply pull a financial tarp over the deep, systemic economic wounds the nation was suffering from). Then, once he got the money, Paulson decided that he actually didn’t want to buy toxic assets, but rather distribute the funds in a different fashion. So the problem is Paulson said he wanted the money for one thing (asset relief), but then used it on another.

In the same way, republican are accusing the democrats of simply pushing through funding under one name (stimulus), when they are actually pursing another goal (an agenda). A few examples: $20 billion for health information technology, $350 for military research on alternative energy usage for weaponry, $900 million to prepare for a pandemic influenza, $150 million for a repair backlog at the Smithsonian, etc…

Of course all of this spending will stimulate the economy in some way, but so would investing $250 million in toilet paper research. The question isn’t whether these programs will stimulate the economy- but whether they are the best vehicle for doing so. So what is the republican answer? Well, some of them are calling for massive tax cuts- one even proposed that all income tax be suspended for a year. The argument there is that American consumers can best stimulate the economy by  putting money in their pockets.

There are of course  a couple of problems with this philosophy, first and foremost- the previous stimulus payments made directly to consumers had very little demonstrative impact on the economy as many (wisely) choose to apply the money towards their debt burdens.  It is a reasonable assumption that in tough economic times as these, if Americans have more disposable income by way of reduced taxes they are not suddenly going to run out and purchase a new Prius, but rather pay down their debt, other obligations, or save the money. The net effect of these tax cuts would likely only enrich banks/creditors further, and only mildly stimulate the economy.

After the first round of $350 billion, the banks hardly showed an inclination towards resuming credit and investment, so it is unwise to assume that tax cuts that would largely benefit creditors would help get us out of the recession. A further point to consider is, whether the American people have been consulted on this notion of reducing taxes during a recession. By presumably borrowing money from foreign investors and making consumers involuntarily take the proceeds, we are in effect giving the American consumer a foreign backed credit card they didn’t ask for, without knowing the true future costs of that credit.

After all, if American’s really did go out and purchase big-macs, flat screen t.v.’s and Hummers, is that really how we want to try to stimulate the economy? More moderate republicans have suggested that while tax relief is indeed part of the solution, a greater part of the stimulus legislation should be focused on public infrastructure- and I tend to agree. Construction and repair of buildings, roads, homes, highways and public facilities should comprise a significant portion of the  economic stimulus as this will not only create long term benefits to the American people, but it will also immediately generate jobs and income.

The scope of the infrastructure projects that could be undertaken would be limited only by how much of the $825 billion was reserved for such purposes. Obama might be well advised to move towards a Tennessee Valley Authority or Civilian Conservation Corps type program as part of an economic stimulus. However all of this is not to say that the vast majority of spending in the stimulus legislation isn’t valuable, and  indeed necessary to the development of our nation, because it is; and it is certainly not to say that the republicans should be let off the hook and hailed as visionaries.

What Obama should do, is pursue a true program of economic stimulus spending on one hand, and then in another round of sweeping legislation, introduce and pass all of the other types of spending under a new “New Deal” type of contract with America. This would range from spending on education to healthcare to social services, and could represent a bold new policy agenda of which funding for these programs would be the beginning.

The benefit of such a strategy would be two-fold. First, if the democrats simply used the remaining $350 billion of TARP money for true economic stimulus side-by-side with separate, “New Deal” legislation that contained investment in all of the other programs they are seeking to fund, they would still get what they wanted: economic stimulus, and a new policy direction for the nation.

Second, and perhaps more strategic, by going along with republican demands that the stimulus solely consist of tax cuts and infrastructure programs they would demonstrate bi-partisanship, and then when seeking funding for a “New Deal”, they could expose the republican opposition for what it truly is: ideological opposition to spending on social services, alternative energy options, and in general, progressive, liberal programs. By removing spending for these programs from the tough-to-defend label of “economic stimulus”, republicans would only have ideological arguments to fall back on when voting against such programs.

By calling their bluff, republicans would look quite foolish in front of the American people denying the necessity of investment in education, alternative energy, health care and social service programs, during our worst economic downturn since the depression. But by trying to sneak funding for these programs in under the label of “economic stimulus” democrats try to subvert the legislative process, call the spending something its not, and give the republicans something to hide behind.

For too long, republicans have beaten the democrats at rhetoric, spin, and in general, the political game. If the democrats and the Obama administration are serious about a new mandate for America, they need to be smart and deliberate about their decisions.

After all, if we get an economic stimulus, and our social programs under different names, won’t they still smell just as sweet?

-kd-



Advertisements

8 Responses

  1. another great post,you never disappoint us here!i wish i would have read this before i published bloggers helping bloggers,as this one (as many of your others) should be read by many.

    PS no man, the iceman post was written solely to mess with my wife tothewire…hehehe it also helps stirr up our sleeping readers from time to time to post one that gets them stirred up. our blog being made up of so many different authors,all with different political backgrounds,it isn’t too hard to do!

  2. thanks man!

    im glad to hear the post was in jest!!

  3. So Kev, I read the article and I disagree with your conclusions. Primarily the argument appears to be two fold: 1) Many of the measures of H.R. 1 seem like they will not stimulate the economy. 2) The bill is easily construed as piece of partisan rather than pragmatic legislation. (1) is demonstrable wrong, and (2) while I cannot disagree with it in a simplistic sense, I think the Democrats agenda is more forward thinking for the long-term needs of the country. The bill may be partisan in a sense, but its okay to be partisan if your group is right.
    First we need to consider why it is that government spending stimulates the economy. Economists will tell you it does not under all conditions. Sometimes the government can actually “crowd out” private investment by reducing available supply through purchases. We are in the middle of recession so this not happening. There should be a general excess of supply.
    Now, lets take the example of “infrastructural projects” that you use. I assume this means roads, bridges, etc. When the government pays for new construction it affects three areas. A) direct labor: people have to be hired to perform the project. Architects to design, managers to control the project, and finally laborers who the build the thing. B) Direct Suppliers: the businesses that make concrete, steel, asphalt, etc. Also any business that produces equipment, and then all the people who supply them. Now that these suppliers have customers, they also have an incentive to hire more workers and expand production. Finally, C) Indirect Labor and Supply (Multiplier effect): Now that laborers and suppliers have paychecks in their pocket they can spend it. They can go out to eat at local restaurants, they can buy products from local stores. The dollar that was initially placed in their hands turns over again and again.
    There is also another important consideration: Does this government spending have good long term effects. Building a road can. It depends. There was a bridge to nowhere. The usefulness of a projects is highly contextual. So one should be asking very specific questions about how money is being spent. That means good oversite. While no oversite is perfect, but H.R. 1 contains provisions for transparency. For instance, this website which detail how all the money is spent: http://recovery.gov/ .
    We now have the questions we should be asking about whether a project is worth while. Will it effect (A) direct labor, (B) direct suppliers and (C) have indirect supply and labor effects (Multipliers), and will it produce long term benefits? Well lets look the examples your article cites as bad investments. Alternative energy: it will require (A). There will need to engineers constructions workers etc. It will require (B). In fact, given that wind-turbines and solar panels are intricate there will probably a long supply chain of companies that will be helped by investing in this area. The same is true with medical database improvement. (A) You need technicians to install the equipment and geeks to set it up, (B) manufactures must supply electronics, and (C) these technicians and suppliers will go out to lunch, and by groceries, and fix up their homes. Same with military researchers. It would seem like all but the last are good investments. Some might question investing in our military. Although frankly given our F-15 were falling apart not too long ago, even the military might need some help.
    I also would like to point out that many of these projects can be considered “infastrucutral”. Kev, I have to be honest I think you are caught up in some “new deal romance” here, as partly evidenced by the title. Nostalgia for the New Deal is not entirely warranted. The thing that brought the U.S. economy was world war II. Roosevelt did not spend enough in the 30’s! It took a war to get things completely back on track. Further, the new deal was practical. It did not define infrastructure in a narrow way. Electricity generating dams were among the things that were built. This probably a relatively technology, not unlike wind and solar today. If Roosevelt were alive today, it is arguable he would be support the very same projects in H.R. 1.
    So finally, to the question of partisanship. Are the democrats basing many spending proposals on ideology? The answer seems to be yes, but I think we need these things. We need a better energy infrastructure; we need a better medical system, etc. These are good investments. I could make an argument for each, but I am long winded as it is.

    Best,
    Matt

  4. Thanks for your long, and thoughtful response matt.

    I would say a couple of things in return:

    -I did not state that “new deal” legislation would stimulate the economy. On the contrary, I said “new deal” type legislation should be implemented ALONGSIDE stimulus legislation. I support that type of legislation not to stimulate the economy, but because I think it is good policy.

    -I do not dispute that the 3 examples I cited will stimulate the economy, and again on the contrary I stated that there is no doubt that this spending WILL stimulate the economy, but the question is whether this is the BEST we can do.

    -The 3 examples I gave are but a small smattering of wasteful spending in the bill. There are millions of dollars in earmarks for other wasteful projects such as building and repairing golf courses- which like the examples I cited, will undoubtedly stimulate certain parts of the economy, but again are projects like these the best we can come up with?

    -Re: the legislation being partisan. It is partisan, plain and simple. It is a democratic agenda- which as I stated, I believe represents good ideals. Remember my argument was largely not against spending on a democratic agenda, but rather under what guise that spending is done. I simply feel that the stimulus should be based on public infrastructure projects, housing, etc, and that the agenda should be pursued through other legislation.

    -Of course the validity of public infrastructure projects needs to be taken into account in any instance.

    -My argument re: alternative energy was not against alternative energy, but in investing $ in alternative energy for the DESTRUCTION OF LIFE (i.e. military weaponry). If the military want’s to go green great, lets cut their size, and then talk about upgrading to eco-friendly weaponry. I whole heatedly support alternative energy research, but lets do it in the civilian sector.

    I think you will find with a re-read of my piece that we are largely in agreement, and our differences largely bread of semantics.

  5. Kevin (I thought it was Doug, mad bad),

    So what is the republican answer? Well, some of them are calling for massive tax cuts- one even proposed that all income tax be suspended for a year. The argument there is that American consumers can best stimulate the economy by putting money in their pockets…

    You’ve left out the more crucial and pressing concern behind the whole notion. That being the fact that the federal government is incapable of not wasting money (i.e. be it for crap no one needs or even wants, or grossly overpaying for the stuff we do).

    There are of course a couple of problems with this philosophy, first and foremost- the previous stimulus payments made directly to consumers had very little demonstrative impact on the economy as many (wisely) choose to apply the money towards their debt burdens.

    That was a tax rebate not a cut per say. Nonetheless the observation is still key…

    It is a reasonable assumption that in tough economic times as these, if Americans have more disposable income by way of reduced taxes they are not suddenly going to run out and purchase a new Prius, but rather pay down their debt, other obligations, or save the money. The net effect of these tax cuts would likely only enrich banks/creditors further

    And that’s actually a good thing. Bank are failing for the same reasons they always fail – i.e. they have too many loans on the books that aren’t being paid, or even better put, can’t be paid. Without people paying back their loans, the entire financial system is reduced to being nothing more than an overblown ponzi scheme waiting on the -inevitable and very predictable at this point- axe to fall. And when it does, usually due to investors for one reason or another discovering that they’ve been pulling into an overblown ponzi-scheme, the banks fail.

    Failing banks mean the doom of any company that is credit dependent for its day to day operations. Which means that more people WILL be out work, meaning less income, AND consequently, less government revenue derived from income taxes anyhow.

    Furthermore (if we can back up a bit), when investors/depositors in the financial market become aware of the spectacle of banks using their (i.e. the investor’s) money to give out loans that can’t be repaid -for whatever reason-, the very reasonable conclusion will be reached that the money which was intended to be saved -if not expected to see some sort of a return for its use- is at an untenable risk, and they’ll either take their money out or won’t put anymore in. Which not only means the doom of the bank which still has those bad loan on the books to contend with, BUT also less government revenue derived from capital gains taxes. Because people who have capital won’t be putting it up (i.e. at least not voluntarily, which means you’re probably gonna need that military).

    My point here is that in such a scenario, the more people we have paying down their debts, the better for everyone. And as far as cutting taxes go, it seems to me that the government is going to see less revenue derived from capital gains taxes and income taxes one way or another, regardless.

    After the first round of $350 billion, the banks hardly showed an inclination towards resuming credit and investment

    Right! Just like folks weren’t incline to go off buying a few Big Macs and a Prius with their stimulus monies. TARP did nothing to address the problem of those bad loans on the books. Fannie and Freddie failed for a reason. I’m inlicned to think it was because they were engaged in business models in which failure is inevitable…

    BTW, business is either good or bad, and it is ONLY good when that business is profiting. We’ve got to get rid of this bug we’ve got up our asses about businesses/corparations/banks/individuals profiting (code word for succeeding), where and when others fail. No one wins anything by bringing down the successful. No one other than politicians and whichever campaign donors they deem ‘worthy’ of the wealth they have.

    so it is unwise to assume that tax cuts that would largely benefit creditors would help get us out of the recession.

    The credit market is what needs repairing. You don’t pull your hamstring and go do something about your very debatable ‘need’ for some new ’21st century’ shoes… you know, cause your old ones are out of ‘style’.

    The stimulus plan seems much more concerned with getting those new shoes than doing something about the pulled hamstring… To expands this metaphor a bit -since I’m already on a roll here- the government weidling the TARP plan, was the like coach who demands the athlete continue running full speed while he try to drown out the hamstring issues via Bengay, shot by a blind physical trainer using one of those big ass bazooka-like water guns things.

    More moderate republicans have suggested that while tax relief is indeed part of the solution, a greater part of the stimulus legislation should be focused on public infrastructure- and I tend to agree. Construction and repair of buildings, roads, homes, highways and public facilities should comprise a significant portion of the economic stimulus as this will not only create long term benefits to the American people, but it will also immediately generate jobs and income.

    Not if the country goes bankrupt in the effort. Never in the economic history of the world has such government spending work to stimulate anything but civil unrest. Our national debts are unsustainable. And when the proverbial axe falls on our fiscal well-intentioned but still really, REALLY bad habits, not only will there be NO money for government sponsored health care, infrastructure repair, education, public utilities, we will have a problem of a whole other kind.

    For too long, republicans have beaten the democrats at rhetoric, spin, and in general, the political game

    Well clearly that’s not the case any longer! Lets hear it for the champions of rhetoric shall we…hip, hip, ha-boooo….

    What Obama should do, is pursue a true program of economic stimulus spending on one hand, and then in another round of sweeping legislation, introduce and pass all of the other types of spending under a new “New Deal” type of contract with America. This would range from spending on education to healthcare to social services, and could represent a bold new policy agenda of which funding for these programs would be the beginning.

    At the very least least that would be more in step with the much lauded ‘transparency’ of this administration, and would avoid playing to the more sinister implications of statements like ‘You never want a serious crisis to go to waste’. Just my opinion though…

    if the democrats simply used the remaining $350 billion of TARP money for true economic stimulus side-by-side with separate, “New Deal” legislation that contained investment in all of the other programs they are seeking to fund, they would still get what they wanted: economic stimulus, and a new policy direction for the nation.

    Yea they would, but they’d also be in the open…

    …by going along with republican demands that the stimulus solely consist of tax cuts and infrastructure programs they would demonstrate bi-partisanship, and then when seeking funding for a “New Deal”, they could expose the republican opposition for what it truly is: ideological opposition to spending on social services, alternative energy options, and in general, progressive, liberal programs.

    The only problem is that the republicans have the historical record on such policies to back their ideology, unlike the Democrats who apparently have resigned themselves to whole heartily embracing barefaced demagoguery (Note your next statement).

    By calling their bluff, republicans would look quite foolish in front of the American people denying the necessity of investment in education, alternative energy, health care and social service programs, during our worst economic downturn since the depression

    That’s the idea right? RIGHT! Reality be damned!!!! Republicans should stand and take this rhetoric on straight up (i.e. minus the counter rhetoric…Yea, I know I may as well be asking for the moon).

    If the democrats and the Obama administration are serious about a new mandate for America, they need to be smart and deliberate about their decisions.

    Well regardless of what you or I may think they are certainly being ‘deliberate’ if nothing else. Sorry but when deficits are already out of control I see nothing ‘smart’ about piling on more deficits. If our government collapses I seriously doubt anyone’s going be grateful…

    I say that we need every politician to say what they mean and mean what that say, vote that way, THEN after the chips have fallen wherever they may, and let the bodies hit the floor…We all would be much better off…

  6. I feel inclined to qualify my last words should someone mistakenly take me to be incompassionate.

    I said

    I say that we need every politician to say what they mean and mean what that say, vote that way, THEN after the chips have fallen wherever they may, let the bodies hit the floor…

    By ‘bodies hit the floor’ I was specifically referring to the political careers of overly ambitious politicians who would rather deceive the voter about their real intentions and/or their voting record in order to advance their own immediate interest. This type of stuff causes us to grow apathetic in regards to the policies of our government, when apathy to the ramifications of those same policies is highly untenable in the long run…

  7. Hi Netlosh- glad to see you are still around!

    I really appreciate your taking the time to give a thorough and thoughtful response! That being said, here are my thoughts:

    your first point: “That being the fact that the federal government is incapable of not wasting money”

    –>I would disagree with that notion. Surely there is government fraud, waste, and abuse, but is there any less in the private sector? Take health care for instance. Private insurance companies take about a 30% overhead on every insurance dollar collected. Conversely the federal government only takes about 3% overhead to run programs like medicaid/medicare

    your notion that “its a good thing” that we would simply enrich banks and creditors has at its central premise a fault.

    –>I think recent months have demonstrated the wide scale fraud, corruption, greed, and otherwise selfish actions taken by large corporations/banks/investors/creditors. Under a system (capitalism) where the ultimate goal is self-enrichment as the cost of others, the pursuit of profit will always reign over public good. This being said, simply enriching banks/creditors and hoping they resume lending, and do it in a fair way is a naiive ideal.
    However, the end conclusion, that individuals paying off debt is a good, I agree with.

    “We’ve got to get rid of this bug we’ve got up our asses about businesses/corparations/banks/individuals profiting (code word for succeeding),”

    –> I would have to say the public does and should be appalled at the profit of these entities when it is done in unscrupulous and deceitful ways at the cost of the public. Again- the last few months have given us more than reasonable grounds for indignation.

    I said:
    “By calling their bluff, republicans would look quite foolish in front of the American people denying the necessity of investment in education, alternative energy, health care and social service programs, during our worst economic downturn since the depression”

    You said:
    “That’s the idea right? RIGHT! Reality be damned!!!! Republicans should stand and take this rhetoric on straight up”

    “Sorry but when deficits are already out of control I see nothing ’smart’ about piling on more deficits”

    –> I never cease to be amazed to hear about limiting deficits now that obama is in office, when during bush’s term, we saw the first budget surplus in ages turned into the largest budget deficit in history…

    I would be interested in the counter argument to this “liberal rhetoric”.

  8. Kevin,

    Hi Netlosh- glad to see you are still around! I really appreciate your taking the time to give a thorough and thoughtful response!:

    Thanks, I’m glad to still be around -or anywhere for that matter. 🙂

    I would disagree with [the] notion [ that the federal government is incapable of not wasting money]. Surely there is government fraud, waste, and abuse, but is there any less in the private sector?

    By definition ‘fraud’ is a deliberate deception or cheating intended to gain an advantage; to ‘waste’ is to spend unnecessarily or carelessly; and ‘abuse’ is misuse or improper use or handling. Financial abuse is the misusing of money and property, including taking money, property or possessions by coercion, and/or misusing a representation agreement.

    By sheer comparison government ‘waste, fraud, and abuse’ appears more the rule than the exception, and it poses a much larger social nuisance. Come to think of it, its not often do you hear of the type ‘waste, fraud, and abuse’ in the private sector you rightfully lampoon where some government official isn’t directly involved. The consequences for the exposure of ‘fraud’ and ‘abuse’ in the private sector is far more likely to be investigated, prosecuted, and demonized in general than when its being perpetrated/abetted by someone’s favorite politician.

    More important -at least to me- is the fact that the ramifications the prudent/imprudent decisions of businessmen in the private sector is far more immediate than for the politician. The private sector businessman at least has the incentive of their own money on the line. Perpetual waste common to government programs would mean financial ruin in the private sector (not to mention the bad PR from a whistle blower on fraud and abuse).

    Politicians on the other hand? Well where would they be if they didn’t have that penchant for alluding any queries of their constituents via the usual haze of convoluted rhetoric.

    Take health care for instance. Private insurance companies take about a 30% overhead on every insurance dollar collected. Conversely the federal government only takes about 3% overhead to run programs like medicaid/medicare

    I don’t know how your stats break down as they do, but I’m more that\n willing to take you at your word. You’ve neglected a few things though.

    Assuming universal health care is implemented wisely, the government is still taking out insurance on behave of all citizens with -guess who- a PRIVATE SECTOR insurance company chosen by either our elected officials, or someone who is appointed by our elected officials to make the call.

    Even with the assuming there are no pay-to-pay schemes or under the table kick-backs involved , the insurance company will still get their overhead, in addition to the governments newly expanded overhead. And they WILL be forced to expand the bureaucracy and red tape significantly just to be able to keep some sort of handle on the inevitable abuses of the system’. Neither red tape nor bureaucracy come cheap. Furthermore, neither of which usually factor into numbers presented when universal healthcare comes up for discussion. For that matter neither does any considerations of how/whether the prices of drugs and medical procedures will be effected due to the governments expanded involvement…

    Government contracts being considered as good as money in the bank, it not far fetch that you’ll have people milking the treasury for every dime they can get…

    But of course there’s always the not-so-wise alternative of the government nationalizing the entire medical industry -i.e. drug manufacturing, hospitals, and all. Medical treatment will get will get a whole lot crappier, somebody will get very rich, and it will all be anything but free.

    Both alternatives constitute a house of cards, and while we have figured out how to predict the direction of the winds, we know they’ll be blowing sooner of later…

    To my broader point though, there is NOT a single program/business the government embarks on that doesn’t come out more expensive than in private sector. Not ONE! And I think my skepticism of politicians ability/inclination to strike the ‘best’ deal(s) in regards to addressing our health care needs is wholly warranted and well reasoned. I think the politician would almost have to be omniscient to get it done while minimizing ‘waste, fraud, and abuse’. But then the pesky little matter of how expensive campaigns have gotten seems corrupting enough in itself, IMHO.

    your notion that “its a good thing” that we would simply enrich banks and creditors has at its central premise a fault

    My ‘notion’ merely says that this War on Profiting we’ve embarked on is not only inherently ridiculous, but happens to be a proven recipe for disaster, and NOTHING but disaster. No one has ever gotten better for it and neither will we.

    I think recent months have demonstrated the wide scale fraud, corruption, greed, and otherwise selfish actions taken by large corporations/banks/investors/creditors. Under a system (capitalism) where the ultimate goal is self-enrichment as the cost of others, the pursuit of profit will always reign over public good.

    Now that the elections are behind us, we can all get back to at least some level of fidelity to the broader interest of sound rationale. The War on Profiting, in addition to the notion that homeownership is somehow the birthright of all (the 21st century bastardization of the ‘American dream’) is responsible for the calamity we see. I don’t personally know a single person who got a sub prime loan that wasn’t totally complicit , and am highly skeptical of those claiming they weren’t. So please forgive my apparent lack of compassion.

    Furthermore, you don’t have free market capitalism when our government engages in social engineering via mandates such as ‘The Community Reinvestment Act’, and/or bloated Frankensteins called ‘GSE’s’ around to muck up everything.

    Speaking of government ‘fraud’, the fact that most of the electorate have been duped with such notions as the ‘Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act’ repealing regulations on GSE’s (didn’t happen), or concerning the facts about efforts to regulate Fannie and Freddie (complete with exactly who said what, when, where, or nothing at all) is a case study in itself…

    This being said, simply enriching banks/creditors and hoping they resume lending, and do it in a fair way is a naive ideal.

    You can’t have it both ways Kevin! Banks will be either be enriched, or they (in addition to the financial services they provide) will be no more. You guys want the financial markets healthy so everybody can get their loans to start and maintain their businesses, purchase their houses, cars, boat et al, AND at the same time prohibit banks from engaging in the supposed social vice of ‘profiting’. That’s ‘naive’.

    And will somebody define the notion of whats ‘fair’ for me please? Slowly please, obviously this is a well establish notion which I’ve failed to comprehend thus far…

    I would have to say the public does and should be appalled at the profit of these entities when it is done in unscrupulous and deceitful ways at the cost of the public. Again- the last few months have given us more than reasonable grounds for indignation.

    The last few months aren’t a result of the entities your referring to profiting, but their FAILURE (why would you need a bailout if business is good, even if crooked).

    I think everyone that profits from fraud should be prosecuted. But for me that includes complicit homeowners and localized mortgages brokers.

    I never cease to be amazed to hear about limiting deficits now that obama is in office, when during bush’s term, we saw the first budget surplus in ages turned into the largest budget deficit in history…I would be interested in the counter argument to this “liberal rhetoric”.

    Well I’m certainly willing to give it the old college try. 🙂

    Try to be careful when swinging around that ‘hypocrite’ bat. I never cease to be amaze that after having listened to Democrats in general decry the deficits of the Bush and co., campaign under the mantra of ‘Change that we need’, and then run up far larger deficits under the whole ‘but Bush nem did it too’ rationale. Clearly ‘change’ doesn’t extend in regards to our ‘transparent’ and ‘bolder’ -even if a lot bigger- deficits…

    The deficit levels are either a really bad thing or not. I personally deem them to be really bad.

    Hey did you know that the deficits have been dropping yearly since ‘04? Odd but true.

    Table 15.6—TOTAL GOVERNMENT SURPLUSES OR DEFICITS (–) IN ABSOLUTE AMOUNTS (in billions)
    2001 ………………………………………………..128.2
    2002 ……………………………………………….. –157.8
    2003 ……………………………………………….. –377.6
    2004 ……………………………………………….. –412.7
    2005 ……………………………………………….. –318.3
    2006 ……………………………………………….. –248.2
    2007 ……………………………………………….. –162.0

    I’m sure the figures for ’08 (which aren’t out yet) will reflect all the bailout frenzy that took hold last year. But since Dems were on board with that so I’m sure no one will complain. At least not as long as you got that bat of yours. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: