March 06, 2009
Are We Having Fun Yet?
Posted by scott at March 06, 2009 02:23 PM
Funny, I don't recall seeing this as a headline anywhere:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen 20 percent since Inauguration Day, the fastest drop under a newly elected president in at least 90 years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
"BUT! BUT! He's only been in office 2 months!" Well, yes, but wasn't this the president widely and loudly admired for his taut, disciplined, and organized transition team? You know, one which was, compared to the previous two administrations, what the Batmobile was to a pair of Chinese fire drills?
I mean, it's all well and good to engage in just a little more Bush hating; I'm sure at least one of you out there will do just that, but GW's train has definitely left the station and the heat from its engine can't last much longer.
But wait! There's more:
Mr. Obama's $3.6 trillion budget blueprint, by his own admission, redefines the role of government in our economy and society. The budget more than doubles the national debt held by the public, adding more to the debt than all previous presidents -- from George Washington to George W. Bush -- combined. It reduces defense spending to a level not sustained since the dangerous days before World War II, while increasing nondefense spending (relative to GDP) to the highest level in U.S. history. And it would raise taxes to historically high levels (again, relative to GDP). And all of this before addressing the impending explosion in Social Security and Medicare costs.
Oh, that's right, I keep forgetting. Government is good. Economic justice is far more important than economic growth. If we engage in a dialog with the world we just won't need such an expensive defense budget. Our reliable allies will always be around to help! It's more important that gay people will be able to get married and abortion will never be threatened! People need clean air and renewable energy far more than they need jobs. It doesn't matter if you think so or not, they're the government and they know better than you, because they said so! Hey, that's what hope and change is all about!
Were all the lessons of 1977-1981 forgotten?
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No, the lessons have not been learned. Since Obama's doing pretty much the exact same things Bush was doing (drawing down troop levels in Iraq, proposing a permanent garrison there, increasing troop levels in Afghanistan, spending money like a drunken sailor on shore leave, assaulting Constitutional Rights, etc.) and has much, much higher approval levels, it's somewhat obvious that the double standard is here for quite some time.
The funny thing is the problem is still Bush's. A year from now, it'll still be Bush's fault and Obama working valiantly to save things. At this point, it almost seems to be no different than those that support Chavez - you can demonstrate that he's quelling dissent, effectively outlawing opposition parties, stealing (not nationalizing) company's facilities just because he can't subsidize costs, oil production falling due to his lack of basic maintenance, etc. and they'll still say he's a great guy and defend him.
It's a huge swath of the nation with their fingers in their ears yelling "LALALALALALALALALALA".
"Since Obama's doing pretty much the exact same things Bush was doing (drawing down troop levels in Iraq, proposing a permanent garrison there, increasing troop levels in Afghanistan, spending money like a drunken sailor on shore leave, assaulting Constitutional Rights, etc.) and has much, much higher approval levels"
It's a huge swath of the nation with their fingers in their ears yelling "LALALALALALALALALALA"."
Only this time it's the Dems with thier fingers in their ears (The last 8 years it's been the Republicans)
The country has been on the wrong track for a long time now I really wish Republican Elite hadn't elected W thier savior before the first ballot had been cast 8 years ago in the Republican Primary. Imagine what the past 8 years would have been like under McCain and not W?? The election certainly woudln't have been close Vs Gore and we would have had somebody in office who understood war when 9/11 happend.
George Santayana was right:
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
I think a key difference is that the Republicans, while bad, haven't set up nearly the level of fail that Obama's managed to in 2 months. Seriously - in two months, if his budget goes through, he'll have effectively spent more money than any other President. In fact, more debt that all of them combined.
That kind of makes the Republicans look like pikers by comparison.
"I think a key difference is that the Republicans, while bad, haven't set up nearly the level of fail that Obama's managed to in 2 months. Seriously - in two months, if his budget goes through, he'll have effectively spent more money than any other President. In fact, more debt that all of them combined.
That kind of makes the Republicans look like pikers by comparison"
Ehh under W this past year the budget deficit ballooned to over 1 trillion dollars (Since Obama's entire budget is ~3.5 trillion I sincerly doubt he has spent more money than any other president.)
Now here is the rub (And why given a choice between the two Ws and Obama's Deficit I would choose Obama's)
W spent (And drove up the deficit in a massive way) on things that didn't really help the country a great deal (Saying the war in Iraq helped the US is at best a stretch at most the same kind of thing that your accusing the Dems of doing IE sticking your fingers in your ears)
Obama is at least trying to spend on Infastructure etc.
Obama's defense spending is actually UP this year from last and from what I have read in various articles the so called "Massive cuts in defense spending" are going to come primarly thru reducing the money spent on the Iraq war.
Weather or not this is true I have no clue and only time will tell.
The fact still remains the party of Economic and Social Conservatisim went from having a large budget surplus to have record deficits year after year after year when there was a "Conservative" in the White House and a "Conservative" Congress. It's VERY hard to go down even farther (Not that Obama isn't TRYING) than what we were left with when W left office.
My comment was in reference to the amount of debt he's proposing - more than all other President's combined. Should've been a bit more clear on that.
Iraq removed a brutal dictator. We handled the subsequent portions poorly, that I'll give you. However, the debt Bush added was manageable. That's clearly different than the debt that Obama's adding at the worst possible time.
I don't disagree that the Republican party forgot what it stood for and got all spendy. However, the Dems are coming in after yelling about the spending and spending more. Yelling about the war and then, well, continuing as if not a single step was missed.
And quit, for the love of all that's holy, confusing debt and deficit. Those words are not interchangeable. They mean different things. Always have, always will.
Now your making my head hurt.
The national DEBT at the moment is ~10,966,716,094,660.10 (Got to throw in that .10)
So thats the amount of debt that all the Presidents COMBINED have accrued.
How on earth is Obama's budget proposal with a 1.75 trillion DEFICIT more than the 10 trillion the other presidents combined have managed to accrue??
Or are you just playing on Symantecs (Since W didn't propose adding trillions of dollars to the debt it's fine even though thats what he did??)
Thats certainly the kind of games that the past conservative adminsitration seemed to like to play (I think we had this discussion before about supplemental budget requests) which have now topped 600 billion or the bailouts that have cost how much (Also not in the proposed budget)??
If Obama doesn't come back and ask for another trillion dollars on top of his budget proposal because his budget is more realistic than Ws was does that make him a worse president or a better one??
I am just trying to get it straight.
As for removing a brutal dictator?? Where there is one there are many MANY more. Removing Sadam didn't really help the country (Certainly not more than it has cost the country) could it eventually happen?? Perhaps but history in that region would say not so much.
Like I said I don't particularly like what Obama is doing (Chances are we may fall in the "Rich" category and I can't afford to even get my T/A fixed the way I want to so I don't particularly feel rich). That said I would have much prefered W to have spent $650 billion dollars on:
10 new Super Carriers - 50 billion
500 F22s - 19 billion
Completeing the Army's Modular force Restructure - 57 billion
Double the US Intelligence budget - 100 billion
And simply because it's me
Reactivate/Modernize 4 Iowa class BBs - 10 billion
Then spend the remaining ~400 billion on infastructure improvements here at home (And other initiatives) or reducing the Deficit/Debt.
Sure would have made me feel safer than invading Iraq did.
Read the article - it's the authors point, not mine. You were the one that confused deficit and debt. I very specifically said debt, you said deficit.
As for how, remember the joy of compound interest. By inflating the actual level of debt, it takes longer to pay off. Especially considering that under his psychotic spend-o-rama, we'll be spending more, receiving less in tax revenues, and adding debt. An alternative explanation is that if one looks at the actual levels of debt and not the interest, Obama's proposal adds up to more. However, take that up with the author.
Removing Saddam may or may not help - that's correct. However, at least the people of Iraq will have an actual choice under an actual democracy. Initially, the transition to that new government was handled very poorly and drug the process out much longer than was needed. General Petraus, however, managed to do an incredible job - to the point that Iraq becoming self-sustaining and peaceful within the bounds of their current Constitution really isn't even in debate. It's an accepted reality at this point. The Iraqis have control over almost all of their country and we're constantly pulling out troops and sending them to Afghanistan. It definitely was a hell of a mess, but it really seems to be going very well now, all things considered.
Don't get me wrong - hindsight is 20/20 (and sober, it seems). It's easy to look at things now and make value judgements. I would much rather have had that $650 billion in my personal checking account or not spent at all, however, it is what it is. The money's spent.
My problem with Obama's budget is that his goal is to tax and spend the economy back to life. I don't really care about the actual numbers all that much - I care about them in relation to GDP and how they'll spur the economy. Everything Obama's doing seems to do the opposite of spuring. In fact, it seems that all of his financial moves actually cause the market to drop.
As for who ends up being a better President, we'll have to wait and see. Bush didn't make the current mess we're in - it's a culmination of many various factors starting with (most recently) Clinton and working their way up to, and including, Obama. However, the difference here is that the die is cast and Obama's shown us his hand. It seems that his idea is to print money like a drunken sailor.