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The Short on the President’s “Job Plan”

2011 September 8
by Ian Welsh

The plan is supposedly 447 billion.  By my count about 253 billion of that is in tax cuts.  Corporations are sitting on a ton of money, tax cuts will not make them hire.  Minor tax cuts for households will be used primarily for debt de-leveraging unless there is a general recovery with wage increases, since people will not spend in a depressionary environment.  Most of the spending is on projects which are run by states, and the money is fungible and will be effectively diverted to avoid tax increases.

There are no structural fixes for what is wrong with the economy here.  There is nothing to deal with the fact that even if it did work (it won’t) it would cause a run up in commodity prices, especially oil, which would crush the recovery anyway.  There is nothing to deal with the fact that most US banks are still bankrupt, except some incentives for Americans to buy houses so securitization can continue.  There is nothing to stop employers from calculation the tax rebates as effective raises, and thus not offering raises themselves (which is what they will do.)  There is nothing to make any corporation which already doesn’t pay taxes (more than you want to think about) to pay those taxes.

This stimulus is more than half tax cuts, which is worse than the first stimulus.  It is not as large as the first stimulus.  It will probably save or create a few jobs, but it will not kick the country out of depression.

All of this even assuming you’re stupid enough to believe this will pass as envisioned.  It won’t.  Obama is a weak president, and the Republicans will not pass most of the useful parts of this bill, though no doubt they’ll be happy to pass the tax cuts.

Oh, and Obama wants the entire thing offset by deficit reduction.  Given how weak a stimulus this is to begin with, I predict that if passed with offsets it WILL DO MORE DAMAGE TO THE ECONOMY THAN GOOD.

I see various progressives who think talk matters are cheering the wording of Obama’s speech.  He sure does talk purdy, doesn’t he?  Reminds me of his promises during the election campaign, in fact.

(White House Fact Sheet) (pdf)

61 Responses
  1. Albatross permalink
    September 8, 2011

    Didn’t bother watching. There were only two possible outcomes: the President would propose something awful that the Republicans might accept; or the President would propose something splendid that the Republicans would reject. Neither would cheer me up. Honestly, however, I’d prefer a President who flipped off the treasonous Republican party and dared them to vote down a splendid jobs bill to one who is either too stupid to grasp the failure of his administration to is cynical enough to see this administration as a success. Maybe in 2016. If there’s still a USA by then.

    It probably doesn’t help that I just finished reading the novel “Soft Apocalypse” by Will McIntosh
    (from which this is one chapter http://willmcintosh.net/Stories.html ), which is a wrist-slittingly prescient story of the two decades following this one.

    It really doesn’t seem likely that anything will change until Wall Street is occupied by mobs with torches and pitchforks and the nation has a general worker strike.

  2. Ian Welsh permalink*
    September 8, 2011

    Didn’t watch either. Instead I read the Fact Sheet put out by the White House.

  3. Tom Hickey permalink
    September 8, 2011

    The presidents plan involves no net spending. It’s cost is offset with cuts to other programs.

    No added deficit spending > no increase in nongovernment net financial assets > no boost to effective demand, therefore, no impact on investment (hiring), no impact on deflationary trend, and no impact on growth of the economy to absorb growing population of unemployed and underemployed.

    Fail.

  4. Ian Welsh permalink*
    September 8, 2011

    The demand hit will actually be negative, is my guess. Tax cuts won’t increase demand as much as the offset spending cuts, I expect.

    This isn’t just a bad bill, if offset it is a negative bill.

  5. September 8, 2011

    Negative for some definition of negative. I imagine Obama’s owners were quite happy with the service.

  6. Shoes4Industry permalink
    September 8, 2011

    What he SHOULD have purposed…

    1. Lower the SS retirement age to 62, early retirement to age 60. Free up middle and upper management and lower positions for younger, healthier, less expensive workers.

    2. Remove the cap on Social Security contributions to pay for new and future retirees.

    3. Limit consumer credit interest rates to 15% max. This will reduce consumer debt and promote consumption without costing taxpayers a cent.

    4. Lower the eligibility age of Medicare to zero. It’s an insurance (not a health care) program. Younger, healthier contributors will dramatically drive down cost and increase savings. Employers will be out of the health care business.

    5. Rescind the Bush tax cuts immediately on those making over $250 and increase the rates on those making over $1M+ to Reagan era rates.

    6. Rewrite underwater mortgages by “splitting the difference” between current market value and what is owed, (4% -30 yr. fixed) both parties take a hit, homeowners have incentive to stay and pay and banks are not stuck with vacant, non- performing assets.

    7. Make all educational expenses tax deductible.

    Problem solved.

  7. anon2525 permalink
    September 8, 2011

    Didn’t watch either. Instead I read the Fact Sheet put out by the White House. — Ian Welsh

    I just don’t believe this guy anymore, and it’s become almost painful to listen to him. — Matt Taibbi <a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/obama-and-jobs-why-i-dont-believe-him-anymore-20110906

    I did not watch, either. I’m in agreement with Ian Welsh’s comment that anyone who goes for this is a moron. How many more times does Lucy have to pull away the football, you blockheads?

  8. anon2525 permalink
    September 8, 2011

    For anyone who is interested, here is a corrected link to Taibbi’s comment about not believing words that come out of Obama’s mouth anymore: link

  9. jcapan permalink
    September 9, 2011

    I read somewhere that if you spent 300$ billion on a straight jobs program (WPA/CCC), you’d be able to hire 15 million people. Helped a good deal by cuts in UE benes etc. In light of our annual trillion $ military outlays…

    And yeah, I was just reading Digby who’s clapping about the rhetoric.

  10. anon2525 permalink
    September 9, 2011

    What was predictable about the speech is that the neo-liberal Obama was not going to propose a gov’t. jobs program that would hire millions of unemployed people. So that leaves the question about Ian Welsh’s prediction leading up to the 2010 election that Obama was not going to use the hundreds of billions of dollars of TARP money to help congressional democrats because he was going to use it to help keep his job:

    Is Obama still going to use that money?
    If so, when will he start spending it? Will he announce that he is spending it? What will he spend it on?

  11. September 9, 2011

    Perhaps I didn’t read carefully enough, but I didn’t see a single thing in that speech that sounded like it’s going to have enough positive effect on the economy to matter.

  12. September 9, 2011

    Question: What are the principles of a good progressive worth?
    Answer: One good Obama speech.

    Z

  13. September 9, 2011

    jcapan writes:

    I read somewhere that if you spent 300$ billion on a straight jobs program (WPA/CCC), you’d be able to hire 15 million people.

    As a rough rule of thumb, I assume that a man year of U.S. labor costs about $100k. Use that as a means of estimating, and you’ll be at least within a power of two of the right answer.

    Anyway, yes, $300B should translate to something like 30 million employed for a year, give or take a power of two. Depends on what the job is, what the regulatory and legal environment is, etc. Probably, it will be less than 30 million, since anything the government does inevitably involves a lot of extra red tape.

  14. September 9, 2011

    Just pathetic through and through. Obama moved his speech because Republicans complained, then a bunch of them didn’t even show up. He’s worse than a bad president–he’s a joke.

  15. September 9, 2011

    “He’s worse than a bad president–” he’s a terrible person.

    Z

  16. Jaguar Paw permalink
    September 9, 2011

    “Apocalypto” (2006) As the Mayan kingdom faces its decline, the rulers insist the key to prosperity is to build more temples and offer human sacrifices. -IMDb.com

  17. September 9, 2011

    If the cost of the package is offset by cuts doesn’t that negate the stimulative effective of the package?

    How fucking stupid can these idiots get???

  18. Ian Welsh permalink*
    September 9, 2011

    300 billion, properly spent, would employ a ton of people.

    Properly spent is the operative part, unfortunately.

  19. September 9, 2011

    re: the number of jobs $300 billion gets you.

    Sorry, make that 3 million, not 30. 3×10**11 / 10**5 is 3×10**6. I need to figure out how to use this calculator thing….

    A fair number of jobs, still, but nowhere near what’s needed. We’ve added more people than that to the workforce since the crash.

    A lot of times you find that people use estimates that include secondary effects of more people having jobs, or better ones, in turn creating others. I think it’s more honest to just count who could be directly employed.

  20. anon2525 permalink
    September 9, 2011

    If the cost of the package is offset by cuts doesn’t that negate the stimulative effective of the package?
    How fucking stupid can these idiots get???

    They can get really, really stupid because their policy decisions do not hurt them, yet. Their decisions only hurt us, and we’re not their relatives, friends, colleagues, or future employers.

    The wealthy and corporations spend money to hire lobbyists to get representation in the legislation that is passed.

    We don’t have that kind of money so we’ll have to spend time instead.

    Unless and until we demand that they change the policies to ones that help us and address the problems that the country faces, they’re not going to do it. When they can’t enjoy their homes in quiet, when they can’t go to a restaurant in peace, when they can’t enjoy their vacations because of our presence and insistence that they change the legislation, when they can’t ignore us at their work, then they’ll begin to think about doing what we demand. Then we’ll have representation in our representative democracy.

  21. anon2525 permalink
    September 9, 2011

    A fair number of jobs, still, but nowhere near what’s needed. We’ve added more people than that to the workforce since the crash.

    Putting people to work is the first step since, in our economy, a job is how you acquire the basic necessities of living: water, food, clothing, shelter, heat, light, medical care.

    Beyond that, a considerable amount of restructuring will need to be done in the u.s. economy, starting with getting medical insurance to the approximately 60 million people who do have it. The u.s. pays approximately 17% of GDP for medical needs (insurance, drugs, medical treatment), compared with approximately 9% of other OECD (“first world” economies). And the percentage is projected to rise. GDP of the u.s. is roughly $14 trillion per year. 10% of that is $1.4 trillion per year. If the u.s. adopted a single-payer system (let’s call it “Medicare”), and cut the cost to 9% of GDP, that would be a savings of roughly $1.12 trillion per year, an amount that is larger than the entire nominal military budget.

    This would be a good thing since everyone would have medical insurance (which would have even more savings as more people got treated for illness and injuries earlier and without having to access the expensive emergency-room services). But—a large number of people who are highly paid—would lose their jobs. These people need to lose their jobs because 1) they are doing work that is not needed (such as running insurance companies), 2) the cost of employing them is preventing tens of millions of people from having access to medical services, and 3) their presence in those jobs (and the money they spend on lobbyists) is a political obstacle.

    After they became unemployed, they would need to find employment in other sectors of the economy where they could do productive work. Where they are now they are doing unproductive (but often highly paid) work.

    A similar analysis applies to many other sectors of the economy (such as the military industry) where the presence of people in those jobs is also an obstacle to reform and restructuring.

  22. September 9, 2011

    anon2525,

    Agitate! Agitate! People are pissed. All of my neighbors are pissed and they aren’t political. Lately, I have been feeling like people are ready to take action. And if not now, then fairly soon. I don’t agree with Bill Maher that people are stupid. They know what is going on.

  23. jcapan permalink
    September 9, 2011

    Cujo, I’m a useless literature grad so my mind fogs over at sight of numbers, but I did find the link:

    “We can estimate the total program cost at $20,000 per worker, times 15 million workers. That adds up to a $300 billion gross cost, less savings on unemployment compensation (roughly $150 billion), welfare and food stamps, as well as the social cost of depression, divorce, abuse and crime. A direct job creation program modeled on the New Deal’s WPA could create 15 million jobs for less than $300 billion net spending, while also providing the infrastructure and public services required to bring our nation into the 21st century.”

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/with_300_billion_the_president_can_reduce_unemployment_to_zero_20110908/

  24. anon2525 permalink
    September 9, 2011

    Agitate! Agitate! People are pissed. All of my neighbors are pissed and they aren’t political. Lately, I have been feeling like people are ready to take action.

    In August, at least 400 protests happened across the country. Many of these were covered by the local news, but ignored by the national corporate media. See here for more details, including a compilation of video of some of the protests: American Dream Movement Generates Over 400 Protests Across the Country in August

    People are still too polite. It would be better if they got less polite before they get desperate. Desperate people perform desperate acts.

  25. anon2525 permalink
    September 9, 2011

    I don’t agree with Bill Maher that people are stupid. They know what is going on.

    In the words of Leonard Cohen, “Everybody knows that the deal is rotten.”

    We are ruled by so many “industrial complexes”—military, financial, energy, food, pharmaceutical, prison, and so on—that it is almost impossible to stay on top of every way we are getting screwed. The good news is that—either through independent media or our basic common sense—polls show that the majority of Americans know enough about the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, Wall Street bailouts, and other corporate welfare to oppose these corporatocracy policies.
    link

  26. anon2525 permalink
    September 9, 2011

    Anon, did you see this one:…

    No, I had not seen that. Thanks. I don’t normally read the corporate media (esp. not wapo) because of the amount of effort it often takes to find out what is misinformation, what has been left out, etc.

    After reading it, I would have liked to have seen an interview with union members. It’s interesting that it was a “wildcat” strike that was not authorized by the union’s elected leadership. Why did the members think that a strike was needed while the leadership did not?

    See here to read an interview/article with a postal union member to get a revealing understanding of the falsity of the claim that the u.s. postal service is broke (the current headline article at truthout): The Last Union

    excerpt:

    But it even went beyond that. Congress was mandating coverage for future human beings.

    “It’s almost hard to comprehend what they’re talking about, but basically they said that the Postal Service would have to fully fund future retirees’ health benefits for the next 75 years and they would have to do it within a ten-year window,” says Chuck Zlatkin, political director of the New York Metro Area Postal Union.

  27. jcapan permalink
    September 9, 2011

    That’s b/c Bill Maher has no interest in contributing to the arduous work necessary to building an alternative movement. If he just dismisses them all as ignorant it’s so much easier to live in his (for now) comfortable bubble. They’re stupid, they’re racist etc. As if any leftist movement in the history of the world occurred without massive, sustained grassroots education, from union activists in coal country to Cesar Chavez to Vladimir Fucking Lenin and Ho Chi Minh. The people aren’t going to spontaneously embrace left wing solutions to what’s ailing them. They’re not going to realize they’re getting fooled by the Cocks, their anger misdirected, if no one takes the time to respectfully provide counter narratives. And god knows the media ain’t going to do it.

    The truth works and most people recognize it when they see it. But if your entire system of communication starts with the premise that they’re too stupid to understand you, well, then Maher has it covered.

  28. BDBlue permalink
    September 9, 2011

    Shorter Digby this morning – Obama’s policies suck, but he sure did use pretty words that strike a cultural chord in me so it’s a mixed bag!

    I’m sure later she’ll be once again describing how stupid Tea Party-ers are for responding to cultural dog whistles.

    On a more substantive note, it’s really telling that this is what Obama proposes even when it’s almost exclusively for political purposes and will never pass. He really is very careful never to move the Overton window left, even if it might help him politically. Gotta sell those tax cuts and shared sacrifice!

  29. Jean Paul marat permalink
    September 9, 2011

    @anon2525,
    America needs a few bread riots. Maybe some baker’s wives marching on the palace and a few cossacks shooting before the Guillotine comes to teh square.

  30. zot23 permalink
    September 9, 2011

    1. Stop the two wars, bring all those troops home. Cost savings $300 billion a year.

    2. Close down 25% of the military bases abroad, bring those troops home. Savings? Maybe $75-100 billion a year?

    3. Take all this “saved” money and dump it into green technology, buildout of wind/solar/hydro, repairing key points of infrastructure, climate change analysis and prevention, paying straight up for metro areas to install/expand: subways, lightrail, buses, trains, etc. Make all these forms of public transport free for the next 4 years (no cost to consumers) to get them to used to using it.

    4. Let Bush tax cuts expire, +$700 billion a decade. Immediately enact Medicare for All to put this surplus to use. Let Medicare negotiate as much as it likes with drug companies.

    5. Eliminate the cap on SS payroll tax. You make $1 million, you pay x% of $1 million to FICA. Use the massive windfall of new money to EXPAND benefits by 10-30% at all levels.

    6. Raise minimum wage to $11.00 and tax the living hell out of CEO ‘option incentive packages’. Yeah, I’ve had these packages, they’re great – like printing free money. Made me enjoy my job more, didn’t give half a crap more for the company though – their stock price simply needed to rise to my trigger level once a year or so.

    If we could muscle that through (in Fantasyland!), we’d be living a whole different life (as a country) by 2015. Not very hard to figure out, just hard to get our shit together and do it!

  31. September 9, 2011

    Obama is like a doctor who says “You lost some blood in that car crash so we’re going to give you 2 pints, but at the same time we’re going to draw 2 pints from you because we can’t have our blood bank running a deficit.”

  32. anon2525 permalink
    September 9, 2011

    Corporations are sitting on a ton of money, tax cuts will not make them hire.

    This claim–that tax cuts to businesses will lead to more jobs–is one of the great lies and myths of the past thirty years. It is repeated endlessly by republs and neo-liberals among the democrats. Why is this not argued against by any politicians?

    Here is what republs who work with corporations know intuitively about how businesses work:

    1. Businesses hire more people when there is an increase in orders from customers and the current number of employees cannot meet the higher demand. Period. Taxes have nothing to do with their decision; that’s just a spiel to sell it to the rubes. Anyone who has worked in a company and observed the business sees this and knows this.

    2. Similarly, businesses are not charities. They give raises (beyond “cost of living” increases) for one reason: When employees are being stolen by other companies, which occurs when employment in that area of the economy is near full employment.

    Meanwhile, over-educated neo-liberal democrats who “worked” as law professors or community organizers or “journalists,” but who haven’t worked as an employee in the lower levels of corporations believe that when taxes are cut, companies have more money, and more money means that they’ll have that money to spend on providing raises or hiring new employees. You know, because corporations are nice.

    Combine the scammers and the idiots, and you have a large crowd of people repeating the lie that cutting taxes creates jobs and provides raises.

  33. September 9, 2011

    Thanks for the link, jcapan.

    Despite their rather impressive-sounding credentials, it’s hard to believe those authors have ever been involved in government work. There might have been a time when the federal government could have hired people to work for the equivalent of $20k in today’s money, but I think that time has long passed. $20k per worker might cover the supervisory costs, which would mean that these people were working for free. All government contracts now require audits of various sorts, and I doubt these folks would be direct civil service hires.

  34. September 9, 2011

    zot23: For what it’s worth, that sounds like a good program to me. Just ending the wars would free up $150 billion a year or so that is not spent in the U.S. Even if that went to deficit reduction, it would still have little negative effect. Bringing our defense spending down to the level most advanced countries spend would free up $200 billion or more per year, which if it was spent elsewhere would almost certainly benefit us more.

  35. September 9, 2011

    anon2525 writes:

    Businesses hire more people when there is an increase in orders from customers and the current number of employees cannot meet the higher demand. Period. Taxes have nothing to do with their decision; that’s just a spiel to sell it to the rubes. Anyone who has worked in a company and observed the business sees this and knows this.

    I guess I’ve observed different kinds of businesses, but they will also hire when they anticipate the need for new production, or for new products, or for some other reason having to do with supporting their product line. Even so, in a time of low demand like this one, all of those things are far less likely.

    The best lies have a grain of truth in them.

  36. anon2525 permalink
    September 9, 2011

    I guess I’ve observed different kinds of businesses, but they will also hire when they anticipate the need for new production, or for new products, or for some other reason having to do with supporting their product line.

    “anticipate the need for new production” is another way of saying “more customers for your product.” Otherwise, it is anticipation just to be anticipating. Businesses don’t go far with that model.

    But those are details (or to use the favored word: “nuances”). What’s relevant is that the businesses are not making hiring decisions for tax reasons. And progressive politicians should be explaining the real reasons behind hiring and raises, and not letting the scammers and idiots go un-rebutted. They should go even further and argue for increasing taxes, using the explanation that the wealthy and corporations would rather use their profits to expand their businesses (hiring people and purchasing new equipment) in order to avoid the taxes on those profits. This is how businesses and the wealthy avoided their taxes in the 1950s and ’60s.

  37. Et tu, Brute? permalink
    September 9, 2011

    From the Republican audience’s response to Rick Perry’s comments about executing convicted death-row criminals, the government is missing a HUGE income opportunity by not make them a Pay-Per-Events. It worked for the Romans (for a while).

  38. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    September 9, 2011

    Robert Fisk wrote today: http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-its-not-the-brutality-that-is-systematic-its-the-lying-about-it-2351634.html well worth the read. Curiously it sheds light on Obama’s jobs presentation; its not the ignorance that is systemic, its the lying about it.

    President Obama must be removed. He has done nothing but lie since his oath of office was taken. Obama must be removed, by ballot, or by bulldozer. He is not fit to occupy the office. He is not fit to occupy any public office. Obama is a fraud.

    I did not hear his oratory pertaining to jobs. I do not live in the country, nor will I ever return to the places where my family is buried as long as the country is without a legitimate government. Not since AD 2000 has a legitimate government pertained. Only systematic lies are the order of the day. The constitution has become an illusion, political belief a delusion, the flag has become a decoration, symbolic of nothing but the corruption that hides behind it.

    Nothing will address the economic collapse facing the citizens or redress the theft of public funds. There is no intellectual structure to use to analyze and build an alternative construct let alone repair the existing structures, there is no appreciation of the classic efforts to understand the complexity of humankind’s endeavours. The government itself has been neutered and eviscerated to serve private agendas and no longer functions as an independent entity directing and allocating the use of economic resources toward public ends. The King of Spain has better democratic credentials than the President of the United States.

    Ignorance and hubris have destroyed the Republic through the failure to protect that Republic from enemies, both foreign and domestic. Treason is in high fashion; applause meets it at every appearance. Once shepherds dispatched herding dogs which had tasted blood to protect the herd from their future predation, but no longer, the will and the ability is gone, the understanding is just not there. One observation of Republics gave their average lifetime as about 200 years. This one is far beyond its use by date. Have caution for what it can still do, its madness is very dangerous. Abuse of power must have consequences; abuse of absolute power must have terminal consequences.

  39. September 9, 2011

    Well.

    I see from the rapid & massive pile-up on this thread that the President pissed off everyone as much as he did me. Good.

    Ian, I admire your tenacity in bothering to respond at all, since the glib hypocrisy just drained me. I wasn’t even entertained by the overall disrespectful posture of the Congress, which in less dark times would have been somewhat amusing.

    As for “pretty words” – nope, he’s lost even that.

    @jcapan – Digby, really? She was useful in her glib opposition foil to the last administration, but has faded into irrelevance since Obama’s election. I know – you knew that. :)

    I am depressed today. That is not easy to do.

  40. September 9, 2011

    @Formerly T-Bear:

    Obama is a fraud.

    In-effing-deed.

  41. September 9, 2011

    And don’t get me started on this “Democratic” President and his “reforming” Medicare…

    Da balls on dis guy!

  42. September 9, 2011

    The link on FDR creating 15 million jobs comes from Dick Polman, who totals up the WPA, the CCC, and other job programs. Note that the WPA was created by executive order, so Obama could do it tomorrow, if he wanted. So he doesn’t want to.

    So when Obama says that the government doesn’t create jobs, he’s… He’s… Well, he’s just flat out lying, is all. And the “progressives” don’t call him on it, so they’re liars too.

  43. anon2525 permalink
    September 9, 2011

    From above: “What was predictable about the speech is that the neo-liberal Obama was not going to propose a gov’t. jobs program that would hire millions of unemployed people. So that leaves the question about Ian Welsh’s prediction leading up to the 2010 election that Obama was not going to use the hundreds of billions of dollars of TARP money to help congressional democrats because he was going to use it to help keep his job:”

    Note that the WPA was created by executive order, so Obama could do it tomorrow, if he wanted.

    So, there’s one answer: “When is Obama going to spend the TARP money to help save his job? Never.”

    What makes this more egregious is that the money has already been allocated, so Mr. BiPartisan Fiscal Conservative can spend the money without asking Congress and without increasing the deficit.

    This use of the TARP money was brought up here (among other places) back in November 2010:

    Obama Should Create Jobs by Executive Order

  44. anon2525 permalink
    September 9, 2011

    I see from the rapid & massive pile-up on this thread that the President pissed off everyone as much as he did me. Good.

    Based on Democracy Now!‘s reporting, my impression is that his speech presented neo-liberal policy proproposals, which obama then attempted to sell using progressive rhetoric, in other words, lying through sales-speak. Unfortunately, too many people who support progressive politics listened to the rhetoric and “hope” that the neo-liberal proposals will work. This is why the neo-liberalism needs to be laid bare and refuted as directly and as clearly as we can. Ian Welsh has described, in brief, what many of those false economic propositions are in his original post.

  45. Bruce permalink
    September 9, 2011

    Campaign pitch-slap the Baracketeer back to the Bush leagues!

  46. anon2525 permalink
    September 9, 2011

    And the “progressives” don’t call him on it, so they’re liars too.

    I do not understand why the progressives in the Democratic party continue to support him.

    From last year:

    The Insight Center for Community Economic Development (3/8/10) released a stunning report about the wealth gap for women of color: Single black women have a median wealth of $100 and Hispanic women of $120—dramatically lower than white men ($43,800), white women ($41,500) or black men ($7,900).

    http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=4078

    “$100″?! “$120″?! And that’s the median. Half of these women have less than that.

    Obama and the democrats have done nothing to improve this situation. Why do the progressive democrats not reject him?

  47. Ian Welsh permalink*
    September 9, 2011

    Yup, I was wrong about using TARP to help reelection by creating jobs prior to 2012. I assumed Obama wanted to be reelected more than he wanted to destroy liberalism and gut the Democratic party. The TARP money has been tied down by Congress since then, anyway, though that was avoidable if Obama wanted to.

  48. anon2525 permalink
    September 9, 2011

    The TARP money has been tied down by Congress since then, anyway, though that was avoidable if Obama wanted to.

    It was? I hadn’t heard about that. But, yes, the only way that congress could “tie it down” would be for obama to sign some bill that tied it down.

  49. Celsius 233 permalink
    September 9, 2011

    Formerly T-Bear PERMALINK
    September 9, 2011

    President Obama must be removed. He has done nothing but lie since his oath of office was taken. Obama must be removed, by ballot, or by bulldozer. He is not fit to occupy the office. He is not fit to occupy any public office. Obama is a fraud.
    ===============================
    Yup. But it’s a bit late, no?
    Our republic isn’t damaged, because that would imply it can be repaired.
    No, not damaged; it’s totaled, kaput, shot, finished, beyond repair.
    If one believes one cannot leave the U.S., for whatever reason; then one has only a single choice; get the hell out of the system. It’s a matter of will and a recognition of reality and most importantly: what one is willing to endure…

  50. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    September 10, 2011

    @ 233ºC

    “Abuse of power (or position) must have consequences, …”
    X
    “… its the lying”
    ________________________________________
    Failure of the system to self correct => systematic failure

    What to do about systematic failure is dependent upon one’s circumstances, abilities to react, and resources at hand. No one answer is sufficient for all; there are no “correct” answers, just better answers dependent upon circumstances; not all can leave or escape or even gain the necessary perspective from their vantage, some will and will share their perspective.

    Jared Diamond’s research produced “Collapse”, a study of systematic failure that ended the existence of some organized group. The organization based upon the 17 Sept. 1787 constitution is displaying the failure to self correct as well as other identifiable signs of systematic failure. Some will be able to leave this collapse, but doubtlessly most of the population will survive the collapse of the political economy so constituted. What form the power that will emerge from the collapse will take and how the political economy will function is not predictable, but to ignore or maintain ignorance of the factors present or available to use is a formula for a failure leading to terminal collapse.

    It is strange, walking in the tracks of the 60′s “Lost in Space” robot, calling out “Warning! Warning! Danger Ahead! Danger!”, appendages flailing about.

  51. Rob Grigjanis permalink
    September 10, 2011

    @anon2525

    I do not understand why the progressives in the Democratic party continue to support him.

    They’re caught between Barack and a hard place.

  52. Farlap permalink
    September 10, 2011

    @jcapan – Digby, really? She was useful in her glib opposition foil to the last administration, but has faded into irrelevance since Obama’s election. I know – you knew that. :)

    Digby lost me when she started banning Obama critics en masse, without any warning or explanation, using a diabolically sneaky feature of the software that makes a commenter’s posts visible to themselves but not to anyone else. (It took some commenters several weeks to catch on to the scam.) What the hell was she thinking?

  53. September 10, 2011

    If anyone knows more about TARP, I’d love to hear about it. This is one area where I’ve been hammering Obama while talking with people who whine about how little he can do now. How much money is left there? How/where was it tied down? etc.

  54. September 10, 2011

    “So when Obama says that the government doesn’t create jobs, he’s… He’s… Well, he’s just flat out lying, is all. And the “progressives” don’t call him on it, so they’re liars too.”

    Yet we’re supposed to point and laugh when Mitt Romney refers to himself as “unemployed”, as if there’s a real difference between that and saying the government can’t create jobs.

  55. Rob Gargett permalink
    September 10, 2011

    Hey, Ian,
    I share the general disappointment with the Obama “work slowgress administration.”
    I’ve thought of a new way to describe the Repugnicans, AKA the party of No. It goes like this: One notion under God, indivisible.

  56. September 11, 2011

    They have figured us out. Neocon. Neoliberal. They know what we thought we were getting. We have been had. We are still fighting over possibilities and probabilities. We either move to repair the situation or we die. The fuckers want to kill us.

  57. Celsius 233 permalink
    September 11, 2011

    Formerly T-Bear PERMALINK
    September 10, 2011
    @ 233ºC
    What form the power that will emerge from the collapse will take and how the political economy will function is not predictable, but to ignore or maintain ignorance of the factors present or available to use is a formula for a failure leading to terminal collapse.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    That would seem to be the case.

    ===========================================
    It is strange, walking in the tracks of the 60′s “Lost in Space” robot, calling out “Warning! Warning! Danger Ahead! Danger!”, appendages flailing about.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    You remember that? Me too; I wish it was as funny now, as the memory is, of that robot…

  58. Celsius 233 permalink
    September 11, 2011

    Mary McCurnin PERMALINK
    September 11, 2011
    They have figured us out. Neocon. Neoliberal. They know what we thought we were getting. We have been had. We are still fighting over possibilities and probabilities. We either move to repair the situation or we die. The fuckers want to kill us.
    =====================
    Yes, but not directly; better a death by 1000 cut’s…

  59. StewartM permalink
    September 11, 2011

    lambert strether

    So when Obama says that the government doesn’t create jobs, he’s… He’s… Well, he’s just flat out lying, is all. And the “progressives” don’t call him on it, so they’re liars too.

    But the government creating jobs directly and directly beholden to what people need would be…socialism. And everyone on the American political landscape tells us that’s a bad thing.

    (Me, I’m hoping, like the “Marxists” in the role-playing game Paranoia, that people begin to think that if everyone from Rush LImbaugh to Romney to Obama are against something, it might just have something to say for it).

    -StewartM

  60. Nostradamas, Jr. permalink
    September 12, 2011

    What’s in play is slow motion corporate genocide. The corporations no longer need the American worker or consumer. They can, and have, outsourced both. They’ve sucked the marrow out of everyone’s home equity and pension plans. They will continue to exploit the sick and elderly with every increasing health care costs until that well runs dry. They will kill off the poor and weakest in the herd and keep the remainder as satiated with cheap entertainment, cheap unhealthy food and cheap gas. Party on, Garth!

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