June 30, 2010

"President Barack Obama has attacked House GOP Leader John Boehner for comparing the financial crisis to an ant."

Yeah....

Once again, Obama is drifting aimlessly and out of touch. Unless something is done about ants, man as the dominant species on earth is done!

164 comments:

GMay said...

Our President doing what he does best - saying nothing.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"That’s right. He compared the financial crisis to an ant," Obama said, according to prepared remarks. "The same financial crisis that led to the loss of nearly eight million jobs. The same crisis that cost people their homes and their lives' savings."

The same crisis Obama put on the back burner while he spent almost two years ramming down a trillion dollar health care bill and a 3/4 trillion dollar 'stimulus' which to date has only stimulated Federal government employment and union pensions.

DADvocate said...

The article linked to shows what a joke, albeit a bad one, Obama has become.

Example: seizing on a theme the White House is pushing that Republicans are in the pockets of big business.

After all the bailouts Obama has given corporations, his lack of oversight/enforcement on oil drilling, and a list of other crap that Bush dared not even approach, could anything be more ludicrous than Obama accusing others as being in the pockets of big business?

DADvocate said...

Oh, and how creative of Obama to come up with the "in the pockets of big business" theme. We've never heaard that one before.

traditionalguy said...

The lawless One's streak of lying about everything all the time remans intact. If lies were home runs, then he would have beat Maris and Aaron's records a long time ago.

HDHouse said...

....and John Boehner is in touch? with what?...

@hoosierdog....can you try try try to just get a fact right something without sounding so moronish. He said he was going to deliver healthcare reform as part of his campaign. he did what he said.

the stimulas bill at least did something to stop runaway jobloss...quite unlike the 3/4 trillion give away to AIG and their friends down the street...

tsk tsk tsk..so quickly the children forget....

HDHouse said...

traditionalguy said...
"...he would have beat Maris and Aaron's records a long time ago."

which maris record do you refer to cause i think other folks did already...just a hunch...

Hagar said...

Today it might be more accurate to say that the Republican Party is in the pockets of small business, while "Big Business" is in the tank for the Democrats.

AJ Lynch said...

Speech like this only appeals to Obama's unbudgeable voter base.

When he has to spend so much time and energy pandering to & wrangling that base, it shows Obama is in deep trouble. He is a one-trick pony and the act is rock hard stale.

EDH said...

Either:

1.) Boehner should have compared it to using a nuclear weapon to kill a whale (there is no bigger animal and it's politically incorrect to kill a whale by any means, much less a nuke), or

2.) Boehner should have compared the financial crisis to an Aunt -- Aunt Zeituni, that is.

Government subsidy and special treatment for the politically connected.

Hoosier Daddy said...

@hoosierdog....can you try try try to just get a fact right something without sounding so moronish. He said he was going to deliver healthcare reform as part of his campaign. he did what he said.

hi hdhouse. I see the Polydent is working for you since you can now properly sound out the words you type.

Yes he did campaign on that but there is a thing called prioritizing. But then when you've never held a real job I suppose that is a foreign concept.

the stimulas bill at least did something to stop runaway jobloss...quite unlike the 3/4 trillion give away to AIG and their friends down the street...

Its always fun to present an unprovable as a fact. Must be how liberals get through the day.

Meade said...

A new poll from Research 2000, sponsored by DailyKos

Some highlights:

Should Barack Obama be impeached for being an ant, or not?

Yes 39
No 32
Not Sure 29

Do you think Barack Obama is a socialist ant?
Yes 63
No 21
Not Sure 16

Do you believe Barack Obama was born as an ant, or not?

Yes 42
No 36
Not Sure 22

Do you believe that the "A" in ACORN stands for "ant" or not?
Yes 21
No 24
Not Sure 55

Hoosier Daddy said...

Yes because when the private sector is shedding jobs left and right the first thing the President should do is spend 18 months passing a health care bill.

Makes perfect sense.

DADvocate said...

....and John Boehner is in touch?

Tu quoque fallacy. Are two out of touch politicians better than one?

the stimulas bill at least did something to stop runaway jobloss...

A claim that can't be proved. BTW - a primary employer and manufacturering plant where I live (Maysville, KY) just announced coming layoffs. Of course, I guess it's not "runaway jobloss," quite controlled instead.

Synova said...

Obama may have promised on the Health Reform but most of that was before the financial crash which occurred not long before the election.

What that says about his ability to prioritize is valid. Now he's saying how HUGE a problem the financial crisis is and loss of jobs is, but it WASN'T more important than everything else he has been pushing for two years. And now it's HUGE? How does that work?

And how do government jobs recover the economy? The total number of employed might be higher but the total number of people paying for it isn't higher. It's less and less production and economic growth and more and more expenses and more and more debt. Fewer people paying a larger bill.

The "growth" in the public sector is the opposite of recovery. It's anti-recovery.

shoutingthomas said...

Can we stop referring to Obama's monstrosity as "healthcare reform."

What Obama did was to impose "government price controls" on healthcare.

This means that price negotiation between consumer and health provider has been completely discarded in favor of price fixing by a government bureaucrat. That bureaucrat, and the health care industry now are free to fix prices at any level they choose.

Price controls inevitably drive prices up, because there is no consumer to refuse to pay the cost.

Jobs are going to be harder and harder to find. The weight of taxation and regulation makes hiring new employees very unattractive.

Obama seems to want everybody to live on welfare.

Hoosier Daddy said...

the stimulas bill at least did something to stop runaway jobloss...

A claim that can't be proved.


Well it can be proved it didn't work since the stimulus bill was supposed to prevent unemployment at 8% and we saw how that worked out.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

To be fair, Bohner's metaphor was terrible. At least a nuke would have actually killed the ant.

Brian said...

@HDHouse:
quite unlike the 3/4 trillion give away to AIG and their friends down the street...

.. that Obama voted for in the Senate.

Quayle said...

After the recent glaring failures of the regulated and the regulators, the fact that Washington DC and Wall Street aren't in a full-scale, all-out war against each other is all you need to know about things really work between them, about the how beneficial this legislation will be, and about how badly we little ant tax-payers are being screwed by these guys again.

edutcher said...

Typical Uncle Saul; if you haven't got an answer, twist the statement inside out and attack your opponent for something he didn't say.

HDHouse said...

....and John Boehner is in touch? with what?...

@hoosierdog....can you try try try to just get a fact right something without sounding so moronish. He said he was going to deliver healthcare reform as part of his campaign. he did what he said.


The fact that people don't want ZeroCare and will vote Republican to have it repealed means nothing.

the stimulas bill at least did something to stop runaway jobloss...

Yes, the U-3 increased 50% because of it.

quite unlike the 3/4 trillion give away to AIG and their friends down the street...

The geniuses who are giving us financial reform did that, too.

dbp said...

"Obama struck out at Boehner (R-Ohio) during a town hall meeting in Racine, Wis., for saying the Wall Street reform bill was akin to using a nuclear weapon to kill an ant.

"That’s right. He compared the financial crisis to an ant," Obama said, according to prepared remarks."

Obama could, just as sensibly, have claimed that Boehner thinks Congress produces atomic weapons rather than bills.

The President's genius is knowing that no matter how stupid something he says is, the MSM will treat it like it's a pearl of wisdom.

c3 said...

Ant attacks are serious!!

They've even written songs about it.

As for the President's comments:

Politics as usual

Trooper York said...

Hey lay off the President.

He thought he said aunt.

He hates aunt!

LordSomber said...

"Help us build a bigger, stronger colony, and for crying out loud, try to be happy about it."

Richard Dolan said...

Is anyone paying attention to this? Only the die-hard junkies, I suspect.

Even for O's most ardent admirers, this episode has to be a bit depressing, and suggests that he and his team have lost the political magic touch that got him this far. Team Obama hasn't figured out the asymmetric nature of politics once the campaign is over and you're in office.

Talking points, even petty, silly ones, can work for the out-team because they control nothing and can only carp from the sidelines. But the in-team that controls everything -- that's you, Obama, if you haven't noticed -- has to produce results. Attacking Boehner, like blaming Bush, does O no good; the pettiness and insubstantiality of the whole thing makes it even worse. Indeed, they highlight O's weakness in both restoring properity and dealing with the 'tragedy' in the Gulf he likens the financial crisis to.

Pathetic and counterproductive, even from his own perspective.

Fred4Pres said...

ants in his pants!

DADvocate said...

Ant attacks are serious!!

Absolutely!! One of my most memorable short stories I read as a kid, Leiningen versus the Ants which was later made into the movie, The Naked Jungle. I've avoided South America ever since.

The Drill SGT said...

Obama's analogy is wrong on multiple levels.

First of all, when you go to the Ant's and Grasshopper (Locust by another name), Ants are the industrius saver GOP and the Grasshoppers are Democrat loan defaulting, handout wanting voters.

Second, the Recession we have now is not driven by Wall street collapse so much as it is by folks with capital sitting on the sidelines because of risk/return uncertainities created by Obama.

Third, the Financials regulations do so much harm by favoring big banks over small ones, that it ultimately will cause a larger collapse.

PS: why wasn't the proximate cause of the last collapse, Freddy and Fannie, part of these regulations? Because Obama is using the for more social engineering and wealth spreading.

PPS: FHA is the next collapse

PPPS: PBGC and FDIC are next after that.

Adam said...

The Republicans' obsession with ants is a distraction from our real problem--flies.

Trooper York said...

Hey Fred4Preshe's got ants in his pants and he needs to dance!

former law student said...

I was surprised to see Kris Kringle in the movie trailer.

Fans of THEM should see MANT, the half-man/half-ant movie within the movie Matinee.

Ants are nothing to sneeze at, so to speak:

Just what makes that little ole ant

Think he'll move that rubber tree plant?

Anyone knows an ant can't

Move a rubber tree plant



{But he's got hi-i-igh hopes, he's got hi-i-igh hopes}

{He's got high apple pi-i-ie-in-the-sk-y-y hopes}

So, any time you're gettin' low, 'stead of lettin' go, just remember that ant

Oops, there goes another rubber tree plant

(Oops, there goes another rubber tree plant)

{Oops, there goes another rubber tree plant}

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Second, the Recession we have now is not driven by Wall street collapse so much as it is by folks with capital sitting on the sidelines because of risk/return uncertainities created by Obama.

This is absolutely true. People are not going to invest in new businesses or invest more capital into their existing businesses until there is some certainty about taxes, new surprising regulations, cap and trade effects on just about everything, health care mandate and how much it will cost.

The business owners that I personally know are not hiring, are laying off people if they can to be able to make do with less staff and are sitting on cash. They are only purchasing the bare minimum of supplies or replacements of tools and equipment: just enough to get by for now.

The entire private business economy is just waiting for the other shoe to drop before deciding what to do or if to continue to even BE in business.

Obama's assbackwards policies are the root cause of the continuation of and worsening of the current recession.

I personally think that he is doing everything he can to purposely make things worse for personal political reasons and the Democraps are playing along because they think it will help them to keep power. And this, folks, is what it is all about POWER. Its not about the people or the economy. It is just raw lusting for power....at our expense.

Fen said...

Diversity Hire finds yet another scapegoat to blame his failures on.

Same old same old.

Henry said...

There was a time when Presidents delegated attack politics. Let the Vice President do the dirty work so the President can retain the dignity of his office.

Not with this team. All that is left is the chicken-and-the-egg argument. What came first? The dirty work or the lack of dignity?

DADvocate said...

And this, folks, is what it is all about POWER.

Amen.

The Dems want you to focus on and hate those who are more successful than you or have/make more money than you. While you're looking the other way they grab every bit of power and control over your life that they can.

traditionalguy said...

HD...Those were the steroids hitting those HRs. Besides I really liked Roger Maris, unlike the Yankee fans at the time. I do wish that I had kept my baseball cards. Atlanta had a good AA team called the Crackers, but we all also adopted a Major League team as our favorite, which of course was the Yankees.

Trooper York said...

I knew I liked you for some reason traditionalguy. I guess I have to overlook the fact that you are an ambulance chaser.

HDHouse said...

@dadvocate...

maysville....? that takes me back to the early 70s...taught part time at the community college and was in some theatre productions there...small world

AJ Lynch said...

DBQ - I agree with you and Fred. How long will it be before Obama figures this out and tries to extract this idle capital in some way?

Big Mike said...

Shall we start by separating the question? Some of us commenting on this thread seem to be conflating the stimulus package, which Boehner was not discussing, with the financial reform package, which Boehner certainly was talking about.

Boehner's concerns are very good ones. For the record, the fact that a huge catastophe occurred manifestly does not mean that the fix has to be expensive and intrusive. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is an apt metaphor -- the results are catatrophic, but the way to prevent future such disasters is to make certain that the countermeasures, the devices that are supposed to prevent underwater gushers, have been tested at the depths and pressures encountered, are properly maintained, and effectively managed.

And Boehner is far from the only person to look at the bill and assert that it has some serious flaws, notably that it institutionalizes "too big to fail," so that "to big to fail" will continue to be a serious risk to the United States economy until saner people than Barney Franks and Chris Dodd can get to work to amend it.

Meanwhile, if anyone besides myself is insterested, the stimulus is still being tracked at this web site. It's interesting to look at what's happening in the various states. For instance through the end of March California received $8.8B and "saved or created" slightly more than 70,000 jobs -- a bit more than $125,000 per job. Has anyone besides me noticed that we could have given 140,000 people $60K apiece and not only helped more families but saved considerable money?

Think California is bad? Michigan received $2.27B through the end of March and saved or created precisely 14,749 jobs -- roughly $154,000 per job. Heck, I'd work for that. Bet a lot of people in this thread would, too. My home state of Virginia did quite a bit better: only 14,802 jobs saved or created, but at a cost of under $81,000 per job. And Texas, well, they might be the champ: 43,551 jobs saved or created for only $2.89B, or only $66,285 per job. Us southerners, and especially them there Texans, we know how to do things "raht."

Getting back to the Gulf Oil spill, I understand that the big Dutch skimmer is still sitting in Norfolk thanks to Obama's EPA. Seems it only cleans up a bit over 99% per cent of the oil before discharging the water, and EPA regs require 99.9985% clean. So there it sits while 100% dirty water washes towards the beaches and marshes of the Gulf.

As I've said before, George W. Bush is not even the most inept president of the 21st century.

And if Obama ever got ouside the big city environment where he's most comfortable (at least when he's not in Hawaii), maybe he'd be bitten by a fire ant and maybe he'd discover that comparing an ant bite to a financial crisis isn't so far-fetched after all.

HDHouse said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...
Second, the Recession we have now is not driven by Wall street collapse so much as it is by folks with capital sitting on the sidelines because of risk/return uncertainities created by Obama."

Profits and productivity are at record levels that means less workers doing more work for less "per piece" rates. It is utter bullshit to think that a small business who needs help sits around a conference table trying to outguess the government's course of action when it is so plain as to scream in your face...just count on the republicans tying up everything just to avoid debate much less passing anything.

AJ Lynch said...

Hdhouse:

Profits may be up but sales are not. When businesses grow their top line revenue, we get economic expansion, more jobs and more opportunities.

AJ Lynch said...

Lastly, why do you think the Verizon CEO stabbed Obama in the back the other day? I suspect his sales staff told him very very few people were adding new lines, new services and almost no business customers were expanding, moving, growing or adding new dots on the map.

LarsPorsena said...

"....just count on the republicans tying up everything just to avoid debate much less passing anything..."

The Democrats have overwhelming majorities in both houses. the "R'" are irrelevant.

wv: whinger - any Democrat now days

traditionalguy said...

Troop...You can rest easy. My son has re-retired me from the firm now because ambulances have started chasing me. Did you know that a life-flite Helo for a 20 mile ride costs $12,000 now? But it turned out to be worth every penney.

former law student said...

Poking around recovery.gov, I notice the City of Madison has yet to report back what they did with $2.4 million of stimulus money they got last November:

http://www.recovery.gov/Transparency/RecipientReportedData/Documents/Q12010_NonReporters.pdf

former law student said...

Getting back to the Gulf Oil spill, I understand that the big Dutch skimmer is still sitting in Norfolk thanks to Obama's EPA. Seems it only cleans up a bit over 99% per cent of the oil before discharging the water, and EPA regs require 99.9985% clean. So there it sits while 100% dirty water washes towards the beaches and marshes of the Gulf.

You left out:

1. It's a brand new invention.

2. It's never skimmed even a teaspoon of oil before.

3. Neither BP nor anyone else has given it a contract.

But let's blame government regulation whenever possible.

LarsPorsena said...

1. It's a brand new invention.

2. It's never skimmed even a teaspoon of oil before.

3. Neither BP nor anyone else has given it a contract.

So what?

You want a year of testing and 6 months of contract negotiations?

The EPA has a slot for you.

tim maguire said...

Let's not forget the biggest problem with this metaphor--a nuclear bomb would kill the ant.

TW: waling. Off by 1 letter.

Joe said...


Poking around recovery.gov, I notice the City of Madison has yet to report back what they did with $2.4 million of stimulus money they got last November:


Purchased a Server Farm for Althuse, I believe....

DADvocate said...

HD - The 70s are before my time in Maysville. I moved there in 1990.
Emerson Power Transmission, aka Browning Manufacturing, is the company laying workers off.

The layoffs will be done over 2-3 years time. The area has several other light industries now and a paoper recyclimg plant now (which employees amazingly few people for what it does). Generally Maysville has weathered the recession fairly well but it's creeping closer to the edge of serious problems.

Things could get really bad if economic improvements don't come within a year.

Scott M said...

Profits and productivity are at record levels that means less workers doing more work for less "per piece" rates. It is utter bullshit to think that a small business who needs help sits around a conference table trying to outguess the government's course of action when it is so plain as to scream in your face...just count on the republicans tying up everything just to avoid debate much less passing anything.

HD, I realize how much you think you're right, but you're simply not. This is EXACTLY what the owners of the two companies I work for are doing and is EXACTLY what the manifold small business (trucking and logistics) companies I work with on a daily basis are doing.

They are waiting to see what's going to happen. No capital expeditures beyond what had already been in the pipeline and what it takes to remain in business. No expansion of hiring or facilities AT ALL.

Sorry, HD. You're simply wrong.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Profits may be up but sales are not. When businesses grow their top line revenue, we get economic expansion, more jobs and more opportunities.

And, as businesses get used to doing more with less, many of those jobs, especially in manufacturing, will never come back.

Business have fixed expenses and variable expenses. Fixed costs that might include energy, utilities, parts etc. which are ALL double dip guaranteed to rise a LOT if Obama gets cap and trade passed. To look at variable costs that can be lowered will include those things that you might be able to do without or use less of. Labor costs are the biggest variable that any business has.

You can often make do with less labor, you can't turn off the electricity or make a widget with only half of the parts.

Until there is some certainty and the government stops fucking with the economy and fucking with the business environment and stops threatening businesses......no one is going to be putting much of their capital into anything.

Until they stop screwing with the Banks and financial sectors of the market, like Boehner says, the banks are reluctant to lend any money.

IN ADDITION: the banks don't want to lend money at these low low low rates. Their income is from loan income and if you lock you income stream in at these low rates, you are a fool. Banks are not generally managed by fools. The government on the other hand......

edutcher said...

HDHouse said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...
Second, the Recession we have now is not driven by Wall street collapse so much as it is by folks with capital sitting on the sidelines because of risk/return uncertainities created by Obama."

Profits and productivity are at record levels that means less workers doing more work for less "per piece" rates. It is utter bullshit to think that a small business who needs help sits around a conference table trying to outguess the government's course of action when it is so plain as to scream in your face...just count on the republicans tying up everything just to avoid debate much less passing anything.


Never forget, dbq, HD thinks small business pays no taxes. The idea of minimum wage reqs, ZeroCare, etc. are things you never have to worry about.

DADvocate said...

Ant attacks are serious!!

Absolutely!! One of my most memorable short stories I read as a kid, Leiningen versus the Ants which was later made into the movie, The Naked Jungle. I've avoided South America ever since.


Great Chuck Heston flick - and he wasn't even God's agent on Earth yet.

former law student said...

You want a year of testing and 6 months of contract negotiations?

The EPA has a slot for you.


I'm sure if BP wanted to give this untried Today Makes Tomorrow Group ship a contract, the US Govt. would not stand in their way. I can't believe BP hasn't whipped out their checkbook already.

But I like the way you do business. I have some Eternal Youth Serum and some Make-Any-Woman-Do-What-You-Desire formula for you.

George said...

This is the same president who compared the financial crisis to something which could be fixed with a mop, correct?

http://www.grabamop.com/

Does that mean that the president is so out of touch that he thinks the USA's economic predicament can be fixed with a mop?

President Literal says yes!

LarsPorsena said...

I'm sure if BP wanted to give this untried Today Makes Tomorrow Group ship a contract, the US Govt. would not stand in their way. I can't believe BP hasn't whipped out their checkbook already.

But I like the way you do business. I have some Eternal Youth Serum and some Make-Any-Woman-Do-What-You-Desire formula for you.

Okay, your right. Let's study the problem some more.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I have some Eternal Youth Serum and some Make-Any-Woman-Do-What-You-Desire formula for you.


That would be alcohol and diamonds, I believe.

HDHouse said...

shoutingthomas said...
"This means that price negotiation between consumer and health provider has been completely discarded in favor of price fixing by a government bureaucrat. "

how are those memory pills working for you...or did you just not hear about the prescription drug plan....

you guys are just too easy.

HDHouse said...

/edutcher...I remember that story so well.

AlphaLiberal said...

John Boehner in opposing financial industry:

"This is killing an ant with a nuclear weapon."

So the "ant" here is the economic crisis that started in mid-2008 and continues.

We have 10% unemployment and Republicans continue to oppose unemployment insurance extension or efforts to help the economy.

Republicans WANT the American economy to fail to harm Democrats.

If anything Obama should have hit Boehner and the other corporate whores of the Republican Party harder.

Althouse, also, displays a callous disregard for the unemployed. She's tenured and well off, why should she care?

SMGalbraith said...

Logic and Rhetoric 101: An analogy is not a comparison.

XWL said...

"Unless something is done about ants, man as the dominant species on earth is done!"

I have news for you, argentine ants already rule.

Big Mike said...

@FLS, everything I've read says that the only thing holding up the big skimmer is the EPA's regulations and the EPA's insistence that it be tested to meet their standards for discharge. Meanwhile the oil is reaching the coast. Doesn't any Democrat outside the Gulf Coast states grasp the meaning of the word "crisis"?

If I was a member of the senior White House staff I'd tell the President to quietly take the EPA director, Lisa Jackson, aside and tell her to suspend their regulations until the crisis is past and then revisit the regulations to add realism.

So far the EPA's response has been utterly lame, meaning that either Obama has poor quality senior staff -- which is his fault if he does -- or he flat out doesn't care enough to do much more than show up for photo ops.

Obama has famously asked whether we expect him to "suck it up himself with a straw." Hey, if that's what it would take for him to grasp the seriousness of the situation then I'll supply the straw!

Trooper York said...

Well there can be no serious dispute that the current occupant of the Oval Office is the Henry Pym of Presidents.

However it is unlikely that he will change character like the original. His stature will remain the same.

Michael said...

Alpha: I think that Boehner's point was overstated but basically that the financial "reform" was less surgical than it needed to be in some areas and not surgical at all in others such as Fannie and Freddie. On the matter on extending unemployment benefits it has been shown (perhaps not to your satisfaction) that extending benefits has the effect of extending unemployment. This may not be correct in the current environment where the president feels it quite OK to stop an entire industry from production by fiat, but otherwise it works.

Trooper York said...

"This may not be correct in the current environment where the president feels it quite OK to stop an entire industry from production by fiat, but otherwise it works."

By Fiat? What he took over the Italian auto industry too?

Jeeez where will it end?

AlphaLiberal said...

Michael, the industry worked fine for decades under effective regulation. Deregulation led to corruption and failure on an epic scale, as we've seen throughout history.

You are also overstating the case to say "the president feels it quite OK to stop an entire industry from production by fiat, but otherwise it works."

Hysterical hyperbole from people who want us to just trust big business.

Trooper York said...

"Hysterical hyperbole from people who want us to just trust big government."

Fixed.

Big Mike said...

@Alpha, if you're a liberal Democrat then the current recession is so terrible that no matter what the Democrats do nothing helps.

If you're a Republican, and, increasingly, if you're an independent, then you consider that tax cuts have, in the past, helped to pull the country out of recessions, but tax cuts have not been tried, and, indeed, will not be tried. From my perspective the Obama administration has done everything possible to convince employers not to hire people.

Liberal Democrats apparently feel that tax cuts are a last resort.

But, by the way, Boehner was talking about the financial reform legislation, which, far from "reforming" Wall Street seems to be crafted primarily to institutionalize practices that helped create the 2008 crisis.

lemondog said...

Does that mean that the president is so out of touch that he thinks the USA's economic predicament can be fixed with a mop?

I'm confused. I thought the mop was for the BP spill.

How many mops are there, doggonit!

Michael said...

I would urge the lefties on this thread to carefully read Dust Bunny's comments. Business is frozen at the moment waiting to find out if it is OK to buy the big truck instead of the little truck, to hire the experienced guy versus the untested, to let a few people go versus hit a new government requirement based on number of employees, to sell their financial assets to capture favorable capital gains or ride it out with the odd speculative play over the next year or so. It is absolutely a nightmare that business is experiencing now because this administration is hostile to something about which it knows nothing at all and is incoherent in its approach to the stagnant economy and intemperate in its language. Every time we think we have a grasp on the direction the administration is headed we find a new idea launched that has unbelievably complex implications, usually ill considered and negative. The lift in the mood that we felt in the early spring has given way to strong headwinds that will keep this "recovery" limping until someone gets a glimpse of leadership.

MadisonMan said...

If I was a member of the senior White House staff I'd tell the President to quietly take the EPA director, Lisa Jackson, aside and tell her to suspend their regulations until the crisis is past and then revisit the regulations to add realism.

Total agreement. There's also the problem of foreign workers on the ships that can be addressed if Obama suspends the -- is it the Jones Act? -- as Bush did during Katrina.

I don't think there are words to describe how f'ed up the spill response has been.

I wonder -- looking at 2012 -- if the Republican Party realizes how ripe for the picking the middle-of-the-roaders are, and if they'll take advantage of it by nominating someone for the Presidency that is closer to the center than to the far edge of the party. Someone who is fiscally conservative, environmentally aware, and socially liberal would look very very good to me.

Michael said...

Alpha; Well, the president is doing everything it can to destroy big business so you should be in good shape in the future. assuming, of course, you are not some stupid redneck or coon ass who had the temerity to go into working in the oil business on the Gulf of Mexico. But those yahoos should have known better than hook up with big business, right? They should all be working in the post office.

Trooper York said...

Just about every small business on Court St is not hiring. Or more accurately only replacing people who leave if they absolutely have to do it. Otherwise everyone is hunkering down and waiting till after the election to see if they can survive the tax rates that the federal, state and city will impose to cover the balloning budgets of all three entities.

MadisonMan said...

Poking around recovery.gov, I notice the City of Madison has yet to report back what they did with $2.4 million of stimulus money they got last November:

You mean it's not going to all the Road Construction?

Maybe it was the "useful" bike bridge over Aberg Ave.?

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

I'm sure if BP wanted to give this untried Today Makes Tomorrow Group ship a contract, the US Govt. would not stand in their way.

Apparently you missed Obama's earlier statement on the situation:

"The American people should know that from the moment this disaster began, the federal government has been in charge of the response effort"

Old Dad said...

There is simply no question that uncertainty and tight credit are stalling the small business recovery, and, hence, the dismal employment numbers. Obamacare, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd are scaring hell out of small business owners. Cash is always king, but in this effed up business climate it's Emperor of the universe. That's why banks and businesses alike are building cash.

Trooper York said...

Not to say that all businesses are blameless. Many have used the economy as the excuse to cut deadwood or excess employees. The rest of the workforce just has to work harder if they want to keep their jobs.

For example, last year the NFL laid off about 200 middle class guys. Not the big money people but working stiffs. The salary for one quarterback would pay all of those salaries twice over. But they are free to rape college students and kill dogs while the working stiff gets it in the neck.

AJ Lynch said...

Trooper- I thnk it is the same everywhere. I work in one of the most affluent areas in this state yet the storefront vacancies on the main commercial street are glaring.

No one is expanding their business footprint unless they were lucky enough to get in on a stumulus gravy train.

AJ Lynch said...

I agree with your NFL comment too. It was pure greedy opportunism.

Trooper York said...

A small business doesn't have the luxery to keep on anyone who isn't vital. So if they want to try something new they won't do it especially when you factor in payroll taxes, workers comp, unemployment insurance and whatever the new health care ripoff is going to mean down the road if it sticks.

A small deli wanted to set up a sausage stand and barbeque outside the shop to attract passersby and compete with other people on the block. But he couldn't hire someone even on a part time basis. So he tried having one of his counterman do it but that lead to long lines and disgruntlement at the deli counter. So he had to stop it. A potential profit center was lost as well as a summer job for some kid.

Your government regulations and taxation policy at work.

Trooper York said...

Of course that is a real world example and has no place in this discussion.

Quayle said...

"basically that the financial "reform" was less surgical than it needed to be in some areas and not surgical at all in others"

The current financial reform is like cleaning dog crap off your white carpet with a bucket of horse manure.

Only these imperious incompetents would think that the solution to failed regulation is more regulation.

Trooper York said...

The answer of course that the other guy on the block had for his bbq is to hire an illegal who makes about $2 a hour and keeps his mouth shut.

There is no percentage in playing by the rules.

But back to the political theory.

Michael said...

Trooper York: You are right that a recession always results in deadwood and excess being trimmed. What we have seen in the past, and hopefully we will this time around as well although I am not so sure this time, is that those cut loose find an entrepreneurial streak and go on to found successful businesses of their own. I think many of the good things of the technological revolution of the last 20 years came from the people let go from IBM in the 80s. Ex-NFL guys will find a way to take their skills and market them elsewhere. Don't blame it on the players making the big dough. They have short careers and blow most of their bucks anyway. The ex-NFL guys can sell them insurance later when they are just about broke and have discovered they have no skills.

Big Mike said...

@MadMan, good analysis up to a point, but what do you mean by "socially liberal"? Can we not reach compromise on social issues?

Trooper York said...

You can run you team like a man. Some teams never lay off a working stiff. Old line familes like the Maras and the Rooneys and even Bob Kraft and Jerry Jones don't do business like that. But the league didn't care. They just wanted to help the bottom line.

Geoff Matthews said...

I think he does not understand the metaphor.

MadisonMan said...

Can we not reach compromise on social issues?

I'll take socially ignorant. How about someone who says: This is not the role of Government. Maybe that's socially atheistic? Socially neutral?

A.W. said...

argh, the most tedious form of argument. How dare you create a metaphor that likens something to something else.

that is insulting to the thing you are comparing it to!

its phony and i don't know why anyone even pretends anyone cares.

bagoh20 said...

Maybe he meant aunt.

former law student said...

Big Mike -- that says a lot about your choice of information sources. Even though you may disbelieve the NY Times or the Washington Post, surely the New Orleans Times-Picayune deserves some attention:

'The Whale' giant oil skimmer: will it work? Video
Published: Wednesday, June 30, 2010, 10:31 AM Updated: Wednesday, June 30, 2010, 10:35 AM
Andrew Boyd, The Times-Picayune

A converted oil supertanker, now fitted for oil skimming, has arrived in the Gulf, but not yet working. The technology is untested and the ship has no BP contract, yet.

http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/06/the_whale_giant_oil_skimmer_wi.html

former law student said...

Some of the comments made by conservatives on this thread betray a disturbing lack of contact with reality:

This means that price negotiation between consumer and health provider has been completely discarded

Who in the last 30 years has negotiated with their health care providers? I can never remember a time when I sat down and haggled with any doctor I ever had. Do conservatives actually win discounts from their health care providers? Ten percent off, or something like a quadruple bypass for the price of a double bypass? Can they swap a dozen eggs and a pullet for a blood panel?

Ants are the industrius saver GOP

The last GOP President not to leave the country in more debt than when he took office was Gerald Ford.

Doesn't any Democrat outside the Gulf Coast states grasp the meaning of the word "crisis"?

BP controls the checkbook (remember Obama's "shakedown"?) and so far has not seen fit to hire this skimmer. Unless BP management are all Democrats, which I doubt, Democrats have nothing to do with this.

Liberal Democrats apparently feel that tax cuts are a last resort.

You cannot yammer about the deficit and simultaneously advocate tax cuts. Voodoo economics serve only to run up the deficit. Bush's tax cuts left the country worse off and more indebted after his regime than before he took office.

sunsong said...

Barack Obama just doesn't seem to like 52-54% of America. It makes me wonder why he wanted to be President?

Issob Morocco said...

Ahh I bet the One thought Boehner was comparing the financial crisis to his Aunt Zeituni and was just protecting the family!

Issob Morocco said...

Former Law Student was obviously not a former business student nor a former finance student given his lack of understanding of who creates the budgets in the government (hint House of Representatives) or how a consumer can be a business who would negotiate with health care providers.

Perhaps a Polly Sci former student, though given the proclivity to spout off like a Dimmycrat politician with such gems as "Voodoo Economics" and Bush left the country worse off, which he won't be able to say in 2.5 yrs when the current WH resident heads back to Chicago as a former president having left the country 10 times worse off than Bush did.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Who in the last 30 years has negotiated with their health care providers? I can never remember a time when I sat down and haggled with any doctor I ever had. Do conservatives actually win discounts from their health care providers?

I have. My husband has no insurance, pre existing condition, so when we go to the doctor or clinic we make it very clear that we are not insured.

At that point the staff and the doctor, who we know as a personal friend, will sit with us and discuss the options and bend over backwards to help us get the best pricing on the lab panels and other proceedures.

We pay cash.

It has also just might happen that a certain amount of services could be exchanged between Dr. and plumber. Dr. and backhoe operator. etc.


What the OP was talking about in the negotiations, is that between the insurance company, the doctors and the consumer. With the new rules. The government will set the rates AND determine what coverage you MUST have in your insurance policy whether you want it or not.

former law student said...

how a consumer can be a business

A consumer is an individual or a family, not a business. Although a consumer could own a business, he would be in a small subgroup of consumers.

GMay said...

BetaLib fantasized: "We have 10% unemployment and Republicans continue to oppose unemployment insurance extension or efforts to help the economy.

Republicans WANT the American economy to fail to harm Democrats.

If anything Obama should have hit Boehner and the other corporate whores of the Republican Party harder."




So how does the fact that Democrats balked at the idea of funding the extensions from the still-unspent portion of the stimulus funds fit into your shitty little narrative?

Since Obama has handed out my fucking money, as well as every other taxpayer's money to fund some pretty goddamn big corporate whores, how does that fit into your shitty narrative?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

You cannot yammer about the deficit and simultaneously advocate tax cuts. Voodoo economics serve only to run up the deficit. Bush's tax cuts left the country worse off and more indebted after his regime than before he took office.

You can yammer all you want about voodoo economics, but it is painfully obvious that you don't understand business, finance or economics.

Whenever there is a reduction in the marginal tax rates, the government brings in much more revenue. When there is a cut in captial gains taxation there is more revenue.

Bush's tax cuts did NOT decrease revenu. In fact the tax revenues werehigher than normal after the tax cuts.

The reason we had a growing deficit under Bush had to to with excess SPENDING. Not tax cuts.

You can drool voodoo all you want and try to play class warfare bullshit games, but it doesn't change the historical truth that reduction in marginal tax rates and punitive investment taxes increases the revenues and is good for the entire economy.

Reduced taxes means that there is more money available to be invested, spent by private individuals. It increases the velocity of money in the economy.


If you are so freaking concerned about the deficit, and you really should be frightened to death, here are a few clues on how to fix it

STOP SPENDING SO MUCH MONEY

Make some of that 49% of the population that doesn't pay income taxes cough up something instead of being leeches on the backs of the rest of us.

Quit fucking around with business and stomping them into the ground.

Lower the marginal tax rates across the board or better yet....a flat tax that applies to everyone...>EVERYONE.

Oh.....and STOP SPENDING MONEY on stupid shit like peanut museums, roads named after corrupt and now dead Senators, handing out tax payer money like party favors.

And while I'm at it....there was NO CLINTON surplus. It was an estimated surplus based on forcasted tax revenues based on the booming economy, before the Dot Com bust and on accounting sleight of hand. The PREDICTIONS never came true and there was never a surplus.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

A consumer is an individual or a family, not a business.

A consumer is any entity who consumes or purchase a product. Business are some of the largest purchasers of all sorts of things.

They are by definition consumers.

Merriam-Webster: " one that consumes: as a : one that utilizes economic goods "

c3 said...

This means that price negotiation between consumer and health provider has been completely discarded

Who in the last 30 years has negotiated with their health care providers?


As a doc I can say I've been involved in "negotiations"

Doc my co-pay is ______ for that test, do I really need it?

-OR-

That med you prescribed isn't on the preferred list so I pay $50 dollars. Is there one that will work on the $10 list.

(Though frankly the way many patients "negotiate" is to go to the pharmacy, find out the cost and then decide against filling the prescription.)

And frankly a large chunk of the uninsured are folks who have available health insurance through their jobs but who elect, due to cost, not to enroll. I mention that because the consumer has and is involved in the "cost discussion".

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Whenever there is a reduction in the marginal tax rates, the government brings in much more revenue. When there is a cut in captial gains taxation there is more revenue.
"

Obviously there is a point of diminishing returns. Just like the Laffer curve graphically illustrates there is a point at which too much in taxes or too little in taxes will be counter productive.

Sheesh. Econ 101

John Lynch (another) said...

fls,
Every year my company "works with" (aka negotiates) the coming years healthcare, and other component benefits.

In the case of healthcare, we pull experience data (how much we've used), cost data, and comparisons with other providers. We usually get 10-15% off their initial quote - before we start tinkering with the nature of the coverage. Usually another 5-10% off by altering the coverage (co-pays, whether adoption is covered, emergency care at clinics, etc.).

Our employees appreciate that their matching costs (as well as the company’s costs) are not escalating as fast.

Those negotiations are part of our annual planning and have a part of setting budgets. Based on those budgets we may, or may not, have money to invest in growth, more people, marketing, etc.

When we have uncertainty, we must bake into the budget worst case scenarios so that we don't "fly into the ground" with unexpected expenses.

We've a lot of worst case going on right now - it freezes almost any thought of increases in any area and has us looking for contingency plans to cut costs - read reduced work weeks (at partial pay), layoffs, keep the IT equipment going for another year without replacement, etc.

Deborah said...

And this, folks, is what it is all about POWER. Its not about the people or the economy. It is just raw lusting for power....at our expense.
Truer words never were spoken. And if you think for one SECOND that it's about anything else, you are fooling yourself.

wv: chera.

The Drill SGT said...

Michael said...
Alpha; Well, the president is doing everything it can to destroy big business so you should be in good shape in the future.


I think it's more complicated than that. Obama is picking big business winners and losers based on ideology, kick-backs, lobbyists, etc. The folks that pontificated on transparency, ethics and "no Lobbyists" operates exactly opposite. This Financial reform bill loxks in the concept of "too big to fail" for current PC bank players (Goldman, etal)while imposing additional burdens on small banks that will prevent them from competing with the big boys. Same with auto companies, oil companies, insurance, healthcare, etc.

edutcher said...

AlphaLiberal said...

John Boehner in opposing financial industry:

"This is killing an ant with a nuclear weapon."

So the "ant" here is the economic crisis that started in mid-2008 and continues.

We have 10% unemployment and Republicans continue to oppose unemployment insurance extension or efforts to help the economy.


I'd try to explain a metaphor, but, unfortunately, I know better.

And, of course, I'd bring up the fact that the great Democrat statesmen, Dodd and Barney Frank, who are crafting this disaster, are also the ones who creating our current Depression.

But I would be talking to the wall.

Real unemployment is not 10%. The U-6 is at 17% and even that's not correct. The real number out of work may be five points higher, taking into account people who have dropped out of the job market. All the Republicans want is for unemployment insurance (and I'm getting it) to be paid for.

An unreasonable and heartless demand, if ever there was one.

Republicans don't have to want the economy to fail. It already has; they're just trying to apply the old saw, "If you want to get out of a hole, the first step is to stop digging".

rhhardin said...

Nobody has mention picnics.

ricpic said...

Si Se Puede Fuck You

The velocity of money is slower than an ant.
To every plea to set us free from uncertainty
The Dems say "Tonto campesino, no, we can't."
And then they laugh sadistically.

former law student said...

I guess I should be happy that dbq did not recommend the "organism that preys upon other organisms for the complex organic compounds it requires definition.

But I am a bit surprised that when her business-owning customers ask if they should get a commercial loan or a consumer loan, she just sits back, laughs, and says "Like there's a difference?"

DBQ may be interested to know what the federal government thinks consumers consume:

FOOD AND BEVERAGES (breakfast cereal, milk, coffee, chicken, wine, full service meals, snacks)
HOUSING (rent of primary residence, owners' equivalent rent, fuel oil, bedroom furniture)
APPAREL (men's shirts and sweaters, women's dresses, jewelry)
TRANSPORTATION (new vehicles, airline fares, gasoline, motor vehicle insurance)
MEDICAL CARE (prescription drugs and medical supplies, physicians' services, eyeglasses and eye care, hospital services)
RECREATION (televisions, toys, pets and pet products, sports equipment, admissions);
EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION (college tuition, postage, telephone services, computer software and accessories);
OTHER GOODS AND SERVICES (tobacco and smoking products, haircuts and other personal services, funeral expenses).
Also included within these major groups are various government-charged user fees, such as water and sewerage charges, auto registration fees, and vehicle tolls. In addition, the CPI includes taxes (such as sales and excise taxes) that are directly associated with the prices of specific goods and services. However, the CPI excludes taxes (such as income and Social Security taxes) not directly associated with the purchase of consumer goods and services.


The feds track the consumer price index. And who are the consumers that purchase such goods? Two groups: all urban consumers and urban wage earners and clerical workers. The first group is composed of almost all residents of urban or metropolitan areas, including professionals, the self-employed, the poor, the unemployed, and retired people, as well as urban wage earners and clerical workers. Not people living in rural nonmetropolitan areas, farm families, people in the Armed Forces, and those in institutions, such as prisons and mental hospitals.

Or businesses. Just people.

c3 said...

This just in:

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday he was not satisfied with the rate at which the U.S. economy was growing and said it needed to be expanding at 4 to 5 percent annually.

And so the President ordered it so...
and we all lived happily ever after

Paul Zrimsek said...

Obama should try burning the unemployment rate with a magnifying glass. It's bound to be more effective than what he's doing now.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Not people living in rural nonmetropolitan areas, farm families, people in the Armed Forces

So according to FLS, I'm not a consumer. I don't count. I always knew that Obama and the government in general doesn't really give a shit about anyone who isn't an member of an approved ethnic victim group or from a big city like Chicago, but it sure is nice to have someone as super smart about economics as FLS confirm it.

Funny when I went to the store just now on my way home from work and purchased groceries, cleaning supplies and booze.....I sure felt like a consumer when I paid at the check out stand.

Maybe I'll feel more like a consumer when I consume those strawberries with vanilla ice-cream.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Seriously FLS...quit trying to lecture at me on finances and economics. CPI, as if I don't know what that is ..pshaw. You haven't a clue and sound ridiculous.

I have no idea what it is that YOU do for a living, but I'm sure that if it was something outside of my area of expertise or experience, I would have the common sense to keep my mouth shut about it or try to learn something, rather than spout off like a fool.

former law student said...

dbq -- your defense of voodoo economics would be more convincing if you didn't send people to its home and creator. Would you really cite the Palmer Institute on the efficacy of Chiropractic? How about the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem on the importance of pork and clams to a balanced diet?

Now let's see some evidence from sources other than the Heritage Foundation.

I must warn you, the Brookings Institution's Tax Policy Center comes to the opposite conclusion:
http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefing-book/background/bush-tax-cuts/revenue.cfm

I have two problems with the Laffer Curve. First, it defies convention by swapping the dependent and independent variable axes, making it hard to read. Second, and more important, there are no data points marked on the graph. As far as I can tell, Laffer just pulled it out of his ass.

Big Mike said...

Some of the comments made by conservatives on this thread betray a disturbing lack of contact with reality.

You said that, FLS, and way upthread (posted at 2:08) I wrote "Some of us commenting on this thread seem to be conflating the stimulus package, which Boehner was not discussing, with the financial reform package, which Boehner certainly was talking about."

Now here you are for the past hour or so picking nits with DBQ and others over whether or not people negotiate with healthcare providers and yada, yada, yada.

Is there a point where you get in touch with reality? In another one of her posts Professor Althouse wanted to know why no one says "do the math" anymore. So let me describe what you've been doing using mathematical terminology.

You have described a conjecture as though it were a theorem. Counterexamples have been produced. Ergo, your conjecture is false.

QED.

former law student said...

dbq: you're still a consumer, just not an urban consumer. Just like the guys in the nuthouse are urban but not consumers. Relax.

AC245 said...

I see FLS is still working hard to make sure people fully appreciate the depth and breadth of his ignorance.

former law student said...

Mike, if you don't want people to discuss skimmers and tax cuts, perhaps you should not have brought them up in this thread.

And I would not want to have a Lafferian managing my money, but I can only speak for myself.

Big Mike said...

Oh, and FLS? Don't you check out web sites before you link to them? I followed your link and here's what the clip had to say.

(1) The vessel is in Norfolk -- as I stated -- while the EPA decides whether to allow it to help skim the oil. Also as I stated.

(2) The vessel is not under contract to BP just yet, but I find it difficult to believe that Obama can't just pick up the phone and suggest to BP that they put it under contract, pronto.

(3) The vessel needs to have the Jones act waived, but Bush famously got it waived post-Katrina. That cannot be an insurmountable problem.

(4) The vessel has never before been tried on a major spill, but let's get a little perspective here. First of all, there haven't been that many major spills since the vessel was retrofitted as a skimmer. Secondly, at the 60 day mark the entire amount of oil skimmed was roughly 600,000 barrels, while this vessel alone can skim 500,000 barrels in only ten hours.

So if you can figure out why former alcoholic baseball team owner Bush can figure out how to get the Jones Act waived while former law school professor Obama can't, and if you can figure out a better place to test the vessel than the Gulf, go ahead and let me know. Be sure to CC Beth.

Oh, and by the way. Skimming technology is not a great unknown. The vessel should work just fine.

bagoh20 said...

"Bush's tax cuts left the country worse off and more indebted after his regime than before he took office"

Have you told Obama this? He could fix things with just a simple tax hike maybe 80%. He won you know. Call him. He needs this info. We all do. Thanks!

Big Mike said...

@FLS, perhaps you flunked calculus, but I certainly did not. The Laffer curve is an application of Rolle's Theorem, and Rolle's theorem, being a theorem, is necessarily true.

QED

The question isn't whether the Laffer curve is true. The question is where that maximum point is. Since the amount of tax revenues rose under the Bush tax cuts, that's very suggestive that the Bush tax rates may be pretty close to the optimal. If so, then the case for continuing the Bush tax cuts is that raising the rates will lower the revenue.

ricpic said...

Inner Dialog

It needs to grow! It needs to grow! The economy, not the hole. The hole needs pluggin' and the economy needs unpluggin'. I useta have experience with the first but the second's a complete mystery to a rabble rouser like me...at which I'm pretty damn good, pretty damn good. Maybe the graft machinery will set that mysterious economy machinery goin'. One never know do one? Double down on the graft machinery. That's the ticket!

Dead Julius said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Lynch (another) said...

fls,
US small business (~48M employees, company size 1-49) and medium business ~41M employees, company size 50-499) comprise ~20M entities. Well more than half of these are "Sub S", LLC, LLP or other forms that comingle finances with their owners. While keeping separate books, the owners are often on the hook for loans. Hence the lack of meaningful distinction between consumer loans and business loans. An individual takes out the loan, provides personal assets as collateral, and is personally on the hook. Terms from the lending entity reflect terms indistinguishable from your borrowing money for a car.

SBA loans are mostly a joke. They take too long to obtain, require someone with pull to get them through the bureaucracy, and take too long to process. The businesses in need usually can't afford to mess with them. Hence, the practical work-around is an individual going into debt to provide funds for the business.

ref: http://www.adpemploymentreport.com/pdf/FINAL_Report_June_10.pdf

Dead Julius said...

The "Wall Street Reform Package" is a complex beast; it is virtually impossible for the lay person to understand.

Barry Ritholtz posted the most accessible (and reasonable) critique of it here last Friday.

Read his grading of it and you'll see that it is a pretty bad package. Obama & Co know that; but conveniently the arguments against it are complex and it's much simpler for Obama to take the debate down to an Us vs. Them level. I think that's why Obama seized the opportunity to attack Boehner about the "ant" comment.

Now, instead of discussing the merits of the potential legislation, and coming up to speed on the economic issues involved, the public should just sit back and be confident that Obama & Co are taking this seriously, while Republicans are acting with their usual flippant disregard for the good of the country.

ricpic said...

OT: Elin's gonna take 500 mil outta Tiger's hide!

Paul Zrimsek said...

Now, now. I'm sure the current financial reforms will be every bit as effective in preventing the next crisis as Sarbanes-Oxley was in preventing this one.

Old Dad said...

FLS,

Stop digging son. Businesses don't run on unicorn farts. Businesses buy shit--shit loads--and for consumption--just like FLS. Rational buyers anticipate a return on investment--that's why my kid a few years back was pissed when his Ipod battery failed, repeatedly. That's why we are pissed at BP. You're attempting to create a distinction without a difference.

Soldier on.

Synova said...

In case no one has yet mentioned it...

An ant with a nuclear weapon isn't about the size of the problem, it's about precision targeting. Granted, it's way to easy to turn it into "the problem is tiny" when what it is is aimed fire verses spray and pray.

Obama's ideas for fixing the financial crisis have been spray and pray. It's like the solution will be found if only we can do *enough* no matter what the *enough* is.

AprilApple said...

Obama sees an opening. Obama's policies have been a disaster for this nation, but hey look, Boehner said something that Obama can use to help Obama. Nation stays screwed.

knox said...

"He should ask the men and women who’ve been out of work for months at a time," Obama said. "He should ask the Americans who send me letters every night that talk about how they’re barely hanging on."

Jesus. Really, really weak. This is the same tripe he used to try to get us on board Obamacare.

He really just isn't that smart. I mean, that's been obvious for a while now. But these remarks in particular are just painful.

Pogo said...

It's Fascism. You're soaking in it. Fascism softens your people as you take their liberty.

Insist on it by name.

caplight said...

Geez. Now I itch all over.

David said...

Love the movie trailer--better than the movie itself, as I recall.

"Them" is about unintended consequences.

"Take cover!!! Now!!!!!"

former law student said...

@FLS, perhaps you flunked calculus, but I certainly did not. The Laffer curve is an application of Rolle's Theorem, and Rolle's theorem, being a theorem, is necessarily true.

It's true for differentiable functions. Would you be so kind as to differentiate the Laffer Curve for me?

The question isn't whether the Laffer curve is true.

The question is how it behaves between the points of 0%,$0, and 100%,0. Is the magnitude of the effect masked by noise? Did tax revenue go up because Bush stimulated the economy with his war deficit spending? Even if the effect is real, and the effect was caused by the tax cuts, does the tax cutting cover only a local dip in the curve, such that raising taxes will add revenues even more?

The absence of a mathematical expression to describe the Laffer Curve does not really bother me: When I took numerical methods we learned to fit curves to empirical data. As far as I can tell no one has even tried to plot any data. And this is a bad sign for me, because, in my experience, people will plot whatever data they have.

Businesses buy shit--shit loads--and for consumption

Sure they do, and Consumers Reports is their bible. Each purchasing agent in every corporation in America has the 2010 Buying Guide on his desk for ready reference. There's really no difference in kind between Joe down the street and IBM, just a difference in scale.

Bruce Hayden said...

Obama struck out at Boehner (R-Ohio) during a town hall meeting in Racine, Wis., for saying the Wall Street reform bill was akin to using a nuclear weapon to kill an ant.

"That’s right. He compared the financial crisis to an ant," Obama said, according to prepared remarks. "The same financial crisis that led to the loss of nearly eight million jobs. The same crisis that cost people their homes and their lives' savings
."

I think that this would be quite humorous, if it were not so tragic.

Here we have the President of the U.S. effectively blaming the financial crisis on a bunch of smaller lenders who weren't going to get bailed out. And he is doing this to back legislation being spearheaded by two of the prime culprits in Congress for the financial meltdown - Chris Dodd and Barney Frank.

So, Dodd and Franks are using this financial meltdown, of their own creation, to push legislation that would impose significant government control over huge swaths of the financial system that have no real connection with what went wrong, while protecting the too-big-to-fail institutions that were behind a lot of the mess.

So, Boehner is right, and Obama is grandstanding here.

And, with Dodd and Franks behind this "reform", the 2010 elections won't come too soon. Check your pocket books, and buy gold. And maybe we can vote the crooks out in five months (ok, Franks is likely safe, but his effectiveness can be neutered by relegating him to the minority).

Oh, and did any mention that the only way that we can know what is in this package is to pass it into law? That was a bad sign with health care "reform", and is likely just as bad for financial "reform".

Bruce Hayden said...

the stimulas bill at least did something to stop runaway jobloss...quite unlike the 3/4 trillion give away to AIG and their friends down the street...

Keep dreaming. And, of course you ignore that most of those jobs "created or saved" were in the public sector, and, in particular, were giving raises and bailing out pensions of government workers. As if they would actually quit their high paid jobs with gold plated benefits to work in the private sector (or, more realistically right now, to be unemployed in the private sector).

traditionalguy said...

@ David..."Them" was the only sci-fi film that ever gave me bad dreams. Those Ants were aggressive team workers and were 10 feet long . Entomologists indeed see the Insect Kingdom as the #1 enemy at war with Humans for food and territory on this earth. If the Human hating Green Party has its way. then we may lose that war with insects after we have disarmed ourselves of our poison weapons. The ants still get to use their poison weapon called formic acid. And Yellow Jackets are always dangerous.

DADvocate said...

Obama's an idiot to get into an argument over Boehner's analogy when everyone knows Obama's economic policies are an abject failure. Obama's a gas bag who thinks that nothing is more important than his rhetoric.

DADvocate said...

"Bush's tax cuts left the country worse off and more indebted after his regime than before he took office"

The tax cuts weren't the problem. Increased spending was the problem and Obama's making it worse.

Bruce Hayden said...

FLS

Keep in mind that the Laffer Curve is only part of the problem. It only really speaks to tax revenue levels. What is probably more important is that high effective tax rates impede economic recovery, while low effective tax rates help such.

Where the Obamaites made their mistake here was in greatly increasing spending, in the name of Keynesian economics. They then found that, surprise, surprise, deficits exploded. So, they believe that they have to now raise tax rates to cover the deficits they created with their prolific spending.

In short, they got it all backwards. They should have known that they shouldn't have run up their spending like they did, because it would explode the deficit and borrowing, and that this is the absolute worst time in the economic cycle to raise taxes. And, I suspect that Lord Keynes, if he were alive today, would have given them just that advise.

Of course, if one were cynical, one might believe that they did this because they didn't want to let a crisis go to waste, and so used this one to pay off a lot of their major constituents (notably, but not limited to, government employees). And, they wanted to spread the wealth around while they did so, by taxing the rich to give money to the less productive members of society.

AprilApple said...

Obama and his democrats have tripled the deficit and doubled the unemployment rate.

... and it's Boehner's fault. riiiight.

Barney Frank and Chris Dodd have personally bankrupted this nation, and are about to make it worse with their so called "financial reform bill"... Which will combine too-big-to-fail, tax payer bailouts, higher taxes & fees, (which will be passed on to consumers), and Fannie & Freddie economic black hole government regulatory control.

When democrats let the Bush tax cuts expire, say goodbye to what little economic stability exists now.

Bruce Hayden said...

"Bush's tax cuts left the country worse off and more indebted after his regime than before he took office"

What is going to be hilarious is when we will soon able to accurately say that Obama's tax increases left the country worse off and more indebted after his regime than before he took office.

Bush at least was able to justify his spending in order to fight a war. Obama's only excuses are economic illiteracy, his desire to spread the wealth around, and to pay off his political constituencies.

Fen said...

The technology is untested

So?


You've been given some really dumb talking points.

David said...

Trad Guy--

It was the first War of the Worlds film that gave me the willies.

Even now, on a quiet night, when I hear a lawn sprinkler . . .

Methadras said...

President Barely's attacks are like the persistent jabbings of a tick on an elephants hide. Full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

former law student said...

by taxing the rich to give money to the less productive members of society.


Oddly enough, some of the richest members of our society were also its least productive -- I refer to the i-bankers, who motivated purely by greed, created mortgage-backed securities and derivatives thereof that were utterly worthless.

In fact, I'm going to draw the fls curve of compensation vs. productivity. I-bankers will be taxed at 125% of income, as a deterrent to bad behavior.

You've been given some really dumb talking points.

Criswell predicts: Fen, Fall 2012: And then do you know what that idiot did? He paid for this untested oil skimmer, an unsold supertanker, growing barnacles, that some desperate Taiwanese had welded a bunch of surplus pipes into, after the spill. They sailed it to America, figuring Obama was desperate enough to buy anything at that point. BP was smart enough to leave it alone, but not Obamaclown. All it did was push the oil around. How much time and money did that waste? Talk about your grasping at straws. What a maroon.

former law student said...

Bush at least was able to justify his spending in order to fight a war.

An unjustified, wholly unnecessary war.

Obama's only excuses are economic illiteracy, his desire to spread the wealth around, and to pay off his political constituencies.

W. left only fumes in the gas tank, and now the GOP blames Obama for using a credit card to fill it up.

I guess we should have let the whole house of cards collapse.

But read Ravi Batra on that great redistributor of wealth, Ronald Reagan:

Let’s go back to the early 1980’s. In 1981, Reagan signed a law that sharply reduced the income tax for the wealthiest Americans and corporations.

The president asserted his program would create jobs, purge inflation and, get this, trim the budget deficit.

However, following the tax cut, the deficit soared from 2.5 percent of GDP to over 6 percent, alarming financial markets, sending interest rates sky high, and culminating in the worst recession since the 1930’s.

INTEREST RATES

Soon the president realized he needed new revenues to trim the deficit, bring down interest rates and improve his chances for reelection. He would not rescind the income tax cut, but other taxes were acceptable.

In 1982, taxes were raised on gasoline and cigarettes, but the deficit hardly budged. In 1983, the president signed the biggest tax rise on payrolls, promising to create a surplus in the Social Security system, while knowing all along that the new revenue would be used to finance the deficit.

The retirement system was looted from the first day the Social Security surplus came into being, because the legislation itself gave the president a free hand to spend the surplus in any way he liked.

Thus began a massive transfer of wealth from the poor and the middle class, especially the self-employed small businessman, to the wealthy. The self-employment tax jumped as much as 66 percent.


http://www.smu.edu/News/2008/ravi-batra-srilanka-23march2009.aspx

Adam said...

Good news, FLS--you can pick up a copy of Ravi Batra's masterwork The Great Depression of 1990 (perspicaciously published in 1988) for only a penny. His phenomenal sequel, The New Golden Age (2007), having inexplicably never made it to paperback, will set you back over $3.50.

I'm not sure if either one will show you how to differentiate the Laffer Curve, though.

Bruce Hayden said...

W. left only fumes in the gas tank, and now the GOP blames Obama for using a credit card to fill it up.

You forgot the intermediate step of Obama tripling, if not quadrupling, the deficit.

Revenant said...

W. left only fumes in the gas tank, and now the GOP blames Obama for using a credit card to fill it up.

How cute! It's one of the 30% of Americans who still think Obama's spending spree did the slightest fuckin' thing to help the economy. Someone take a picture. They'll probably be extinct pretty soon.

Even if we accept the "Bush left the tank empty" metaophor, FLS, the fact remains that Obama's response was to max out the credit card buying beer and candy bars at the gas station. Then he staggers back to the car and is like "oh, fuck, we're still out of gas". :)

Bruce Hayden said...

Even if we accept the "Bush left the tank empty" metaphor, FLS, the fact remains that Obama's response was to max out the credit card buying beer and candy bars at the gas station. Then he staggers back to the car and is like "oh, fuck, we're still out of gas". :)

You forgot to add that now that the credit car is maxed out, we can no longer afford the gas that we stopped at the filling station to get. Indeed, we may be able to go a bit further, with the filling station owner loaning money to pay for the gas, and now that we can't afford to pay off the credit card or the debt to the filling station, he now has a lien on our car, so we can't drive off, even if we had the gas in the tank.

GMay said...

"An unjustified, wholly unnecessary war."

Funny how we have to keep rehashing this one.

Someone obviously never read the UNSC resolutions.

Someone was obviously ok with our diplomatic efforts that killed about 500,000 Iraqis which ironically, is far more death than war caused.

(No go ahead and dig up that Lancet survey. That's a fun one to debunk.)

GMay said...

"You forgot to add that now that the credit car is maxed out, we can no longer afford the gas that we stopped at the filling station to get. Indeed, we may be able to go a bit further, with the filling station owner loaning money to pay for the gas, and now that we can't afford to pay off the credit card or the debt to the filling station, he now has a lien on our car, so we can't drive off, even if we had the gas in the tank."

Don't forget the part about the credit card belonging to someone else.

GMay said...

former law student hits a foul ball: "I refer to the i-bankers, who motivated purely by greed, created mortgage-backed securities and derivatives thereof that were utterly worthless."


Of course your reference fails to take into account the inherently faulty mortgages created by GSEs and government involvement. Not that I-bankers were on the up and up, but you need to start your tale at the beginning, not the middle.

Also, Rahm Emmanuel might have a personal issue with your tax-the-evil-lazy I-Banker scheme.

The Drill SGT said...

GMay said...Also, Rahm Emmanuel might have a personal issue with your tax-the-evil-lazy I-Banker scheme.

You missed the daily double when you left off the fact that Clinton appointed him as a Director at Freddie Mac where he earned a 6 figure salary for 6 meetings a year.

GMay said...

TDS, I had the Chicago Trib URL on my clipboard ready to paste I didn't want to make FLS cry.

Michael said...

Yes, FLS, those miserable i bankers underwrote and took public an electric car company this week. they horribly mis-priced it but I suppose if you thought stimulating the development of electric cars was a good thing for the public then you might suppose that the evil i bankers did something positive. The car company will now be able to put the cars into production which will entail the hiring of workers. American workers since the plant will be in the US. But the i bankers are evil assholes who make money.

DADvocate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DADvocate said...

others use their intellectual abilities to set up all sorts of impediments to the treatment with an unconscious goal of defeating the Analyst and insuring that they do not change. Complex and sophisticated rationalizations comprise some of the most intractable defenses.

I saw the above statement at ShrinkWrapped. It reminded me of FLS and his rationalizations. Much better than facing reality.