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eisely

Obama op ed in Washington Post today

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President Obama published an op ed on his "stimulus package" in the Washington Post today. A link is at the end of this post.

 

I put "stimulus package" in quotes for a reason, since as his op ed makes clear, his legislative desires include a variety of initiatives that are not at all related to stimulating the economy. It is utterly disingenuous for any president, including former President Bush, to expect everybody to just roll over for every major policy change that president may want without debate. Yet this seems to be what President Obama expects.

 

If President Obama could clearly point to how all his detailed proposals will really make an immediate difference in the state of the economy, those proposals would probably pass pretty quickly, but this thing in its present form is little more than a gigantic pork barrel designed to grow the role of the federal government in everybody's lives. It deserves debate.

 

I do give President Obama credit for claiming that only 5 million more American jobs will be lost, not the 500 million per month that Nancy Pelosi has claimed.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/04/AR2009020403174.html

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Yah, it's interestin' how he's playin' da politics of this, eh?

 

Just yesterday one of the blue dogs leaked that the Obama people had encouraged him to vote against the bill in the House because it had run a bit amok. I see today that there's an effort afoot to strip about $200 billion out of it. Makes me wonder if he isn't playin' a more subtle game than people think.

 

Personally, in it's current form I think he should get out da big red VETO stamp, and do it on prime time. That would get people's attention, and get da nuttier democrats in congress under control.

 

B

 

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President Obama in the Op Ed:

 

"But they (US citizens) have no patience for the same old partisan gridlock that stands in the way of action while our economy continues to slide."

 

No, we have no patience for the same old pork-barrel political process, where "me-first" politicians (on both sides of the isle) add in worthless pet projects without any public scrutiny. Let's have just a tiny bit of that "transparency" you promised during the election, and make those politicians that added all the ridiculous pork have to stand up in public and defend their earmarks.

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Undoubtedly, the Democrats are acting like idiots on pork barrel spending since regaining the majority. There is however a lot of revisionist history going on right now in talk radio trying to lay our current problems at the feet of Congress with the 2006 loss of Republican majority and ascendance of Democrat majority. The Libertarian think tank, CATO Institute has a very interesting paper called "The Republican Spending Expolsion" that is worth reading or at least scanning. The folks who are screaming the loudest in Congress right now were the same people who were spending like drunken sailors over the last decade. It is a case of do as I say, not as I do. Both sides paly the same game depending on who is in majority or minority at the time. Pork is how they get relelcted and remain in power which seems to be the object of the game for both sides.....regardless of what they claim. Both sides have dirty hands.

 

Obama seems to want to try to transcend the politics of the whole mess and do something to help the American people. He at least has made the effort to actually go see the Republicans and listen to them as well as tell the Democrats to take items out of the bill. Obama can't make Congress do anything. What he can do is veto the bill if he doesn't like it. Here is hoping that he understands the purpose and power of the veto as opposed to his predecessor who presided over the greatest government spending spree and expansion in the history of the world. Will Obama do the right thing? Don't know, it remains to be seen. Assuming at this point is a waste of time.

 

The article is here. http://www.cato.org/pubs/briefs/bp87.pdf

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If Obama were to veto this legislation that would be a game changer and would certainly increase my estimation of him. One of Bush's biggest failings was that he never attempted to rein in the recklessness of his own party in the congress. The republicans paid a political price for their ways and they deserved to do so. Unfortunately the democrats in congress are if anything more reckless. The most recent "approval rating" for congress that I have seen was 25%, which is up from single digits. It is not at all difficult to understand how Obama may really believe that he has a mandate to drastically change American society, but he and his party may be in for surprise. We shall see.

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Its so refreshing to have an articulate and intelligent POTUS.

I agree with everything Obama said in the article.

That makes me more patriotic than anyone who disagrees with me.

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I found this interesting, from the Washington Times

 

President Obama's economic recovery package will actually hurt the economy more in the long run than if he were to do nothing, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday.

 

CBO, the official scorekeepers for legislation, said the House and Senate bills will help in the short term but result in so much government debt that within a few years they would crowd out private investment, actually leading to a lower Gross Domestic Product over the next 10 years than if the government had done nothing.

 

 

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We are witness to the importance of the Senate NOT being controlled by 60 or more votes by one party. If the Democrats had a 60+ seats, I am convinced this stimulus package in its original form of 900 billion would have been rammed through. I like the Beav's idea of putting the line item vetoing on prime time. BHO will never do it though, too early to be making enemies among your own party.

 

This stimulus package was outsourced to Pelosi and Reid, who bragged they could get him something to sign within a couple weeks. Well, they did and the package is less about an adrenaline shot to the economy and more about increasing the footprint of the federal government on everyday life.

 

So Blansten, you decry the borrow and spend agenda. So do I. But now, your guy, BHO is about to borrow and spend, right up there with the best of them. BHO, Pelosi, Reid and all the rest are about to do what you accuse GWB of doing, but they're going to do it in spades. But it is OK for your guy to admonish the Senate Republicans to pass a pork laden bill because he was "painted into a corner?" That is weak.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://selfinvestors.com/tradingstocks/news/details-of-economic-stimulus-package-too-much-pork-too-little-stimulus/

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Most economists agree that deficit spending is necessary during times of economic crisis. But Bush was deficit spending when there was no need. He simply kept granting tax cuts and deficits to stoke a false economy and pay for an ill-conceived war. Never in our history have we had tax cuts during a time of war. Look at where we are.

 

I've already said the entire stimulus package is pork. That's what a stimulus package is. Spending. Either in the form of tax cuts/rebates (pork for the people/corporations) or highway programs (pork for the masses). Its still spending and all spending is pork.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't this "stimulus" bill contain tax cuts? Aren't we still at war? Surely, Obama wouldn't do anything so terrible as give tax cuts while we are at war, would he?

 

I was under the impression that 9/11 did create an economic crisis.

 

Yes, look at where we are now. Thanks to the Democrats forcing banks to give loans and mortgages to people who couldn't afford them. I'll probably go to my grave still hearing Barney Frank and Franklin Raines claiming that Freddie and Fannie are just fine, no worries!

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Your definition of "all spending" being "pork" is different from mine. Government has basic functions they need to spend money on: national defense, a justice system, law enforcement, fire protection, and infrastructure like roads and streets. These are legitimate uses of tax revenue. Spending $500,000 for a dog park in Chula Vista CA, as part of the stimulus, is pork, in my opinion.

 

In your post, you don't distinguish between legitimate spending and wasteful spending -- to you its all pork. And one cannot conclude from your last post that you think pork, (i.e. all spending by your definition) is wasteful. Your view seems simplistic, as if you have concluded that they're going to spend a certain amount of money, and you don't care what they spend it on, and, oh yes, its all GWB's fault.

 

As Eisely said in the first post, "it deserves debate." Any legislation this big, this expensive and put together in this much of a hurry is bound to have flaws and can only be improved by examination and debate.

 

 

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Not sure if I understand this correctly. If we have a Republican President i.e. Reagan, GH Bush, GW Bush and a Democrat Congress (1/81-12/94, 1/07-12/08) its the Republican Presidents fault for deficit spending. But if we have a Democrat President i.e. Clinton, with a Republican Congress (1/95-12/06) its the Republican Congresss fault for deficit spending. I cant see the logic in that. Either its a Presidents fault or since all spending/budget bills originate in Congress it should be their fault but not both.

 

I see a distinct parallel between President Carter and President Obama and the state of our economy. Both are starting with an economy in a recession. Problem is that President Carter and the Democrat Congress took a minor recession and transformed it into a major recession. When President Carter took office unemployment was 7.60%, inflation was 5.91% and prime rate was 6.50%. With President Obama unemployment was 7.20%, inflation was 1.00% and prime rate was 3.25%. When President Carter left office unemployment was 7.20%, inflation was 12.52% and prime rate was 20.00%. Unfortunately the economic stimulus that President Obama and Congress is proposing is similar to what Congress did under President Carter. History shows us what happened, went from bad to much worse.

 

The one big difference is that today most mortgages are adjustable which if prime rate goes up then they go up. Then the housing problem will not be limited to sub prime mortgages it will affect everyone with an adjustable mortgage. With the spending spree Congress is proposing something is going to give. Either inflation or interest rates will increase and if both increase it going to be lose-lose for everyone. Sad part is economy doesnt always react they way economic theory says it should. Reality doesnt always follow theory. Economic theory said what happened during President Carter shouldn't have happened but it did.

 

I lived through President Carter as I graduated College in Jan 1977. I remember well the shambles of an economy he and the Democrats created. Who could afford to buy a house when 25 year fixed rate mortgages went from 9.00% to 17.00+ %. Inflation made sure that your take home pay couldnt take you home, 22 straight months of double digit inflation (10.09%-14.76%).

 

 

 

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Government spending on established, budgeted programs like Medicare, defense, NASA, welfare, etc. are not pork.

Spending on anything else is. Faith based programs, the I35 bridge replacement, the war in Iraq, stem cell research, abstinence only programs, the dog park in Chula Vista, broadband to rural areas, alternative energy, that's all pork.

If the government is gonna open up the treasury to stimulate the economy, isn't it better to at least help build America stronger at the same time? Rather than just give it to a bunch of rich guys to pay off bad debt?

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