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At this rate, by tomorrow we may find that 500 million Americans oppose Spendulus

Harry Reid gave the impression earlier tonight that he had the votes to pass Spendulus (aka: Porkulus, 2009 Generational Theft Act, etc.), but at 9 p.m. he announced the Senate would reconvene in the morning. I hope the 14 or so moderates that are meeting to try to come up with something they can all agree on check their email and phone messages before they vote. The way the polls are sinking for this porker we may wake up to find 500 million Americans oppose the bill. Heh. Mary Katharine has a good report on the latest regarding the polls and negotiations.

Chuck Schumer called Republicans "out of touch" on the floor tonight. The next time Republicans need lessons in being "in touch" with just 22 percent of the electorate, I'm sure they'll let him know.
Senators vote for this crap sandwich at their own peril. Nothing is firm yet. There is still time to make your voice heard. MELT THE PHONES. I tried to get through quite a few times today and never could. I am going to be calling tonight. Hopefully I will be able to at the very least find a voicemail box that is not already full and leave a message. Email too. Kim has some numbers for wobbly Senators in a post below. I will update here with additional numbers and email addys shortly.

It is a bit ironic that if we are successful in stopping this big spending bill we might be doing a huge favor not only to the country, but to Democrats and Obama for saving them from themselves.

UPDATE: Here is the link to the list of Senators' websites, email and phone numbers.

More contact info here.

The main Capitol switchboard number is (202) 224-3121. It was jammed all day, but you might be able to get through tonight or in the morning to leave a message.

UPDATE: The "Evil Republicans" are to blame.

UPDATE II: An ad from Americans for Prosperity targets Senator Kay Hagan here in NC.

UPDATE III: Chicago's Mayor Daley refuses to reveal his stimulus "wish list."

UPDATE IV: The unemployment figures released today may give Democrats enough "fear factor" to get the votes they need for porkulus to pass, but I hope that at least some of the crap in the crap sandwich will be removed first. For those who are saying all of the spending in this bill is stimulus, there is an easy to understand definition of stimulus in this Weekly Standard post:

The White House has its signals crossed. President Obama flew to Williamsburg, Va., tonight to address the House Democrats. Originally the speech was supposed to be off the record. But the White House decided to let the cameras in so that the president's appeal for the economic stimulus bill could be heard around the world.

And what an appeal. Obama lambasted Republican critics of the stimulus and heaped scorn on the Bush administration for piling up the national debt. He said the stimulus bill could end the "tyranny of oil," whatever that means, and made fun of Republicans for questioning whether some of the spending in the bill is actually stimulative. "What do you think 'stimulus' is?" Obama said. "It's spending -- that's the whole point! Seriously." (Just an aside: Obama is wrong. Stimulus is short-term spending to increase aggregate demand during an economic downturn. When the economy recovers, the stimulus spending is supposed to stop. The spending in Obama's plan doesn't stop after the economy recovers. Quite the contrary. Most of the spending is long-term.)

Obama's performance was fiery. He went way off script. He seemed genuinely angry. He's already blaming Republicans for holding up the stimulus -- even though the GOP leader in the Senate says he has no intention of filibustering the bill. No bill, however important, ought to be passed without scrutiny. Certainly Democrats, who have spent the last eight years criticizing Republicans for rushing into things, should realize that.

UPDATE V: Something to be taken from the high unemployment numbers released today via email from people much smarter than me....

We've had enormous government spending in the last few years, from farm bills, to stimulus, to bailouts, to new federal regulations and control over major industries of the economy, and this is what it has given us? 3 million lost jobs in about a year? This is the hope of a bigger government and patriotic tax increases and federal control of healthcare, banking, and real estate?

Government grew $400 billion under Bush and we spent more than $1 trillion on bailout/stimulus in his last year but look at the results... while the private sector is slashing 600,000 jobs, Obama is proposing to add 600,000 new bureaucrat jobs in the public sector.
Bigger and bigger government. And this from Mitch McConnell:
"Americans can't afford a trillion dollar mistake, however well meaning the intent. And at this point, that's what many of them think this bill would be."

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Comments (33)

Chuckie needs to get a new ... (Below threshold)
Marc:

Chuckie needs to get a new talking point, "out of touch" has been used to describe Bush & Co for the last 8 years by various nutjobs and partisan hacks both in and out of the gov.

Guess he missed the memo, or more likely, can't read the friggin' thing!

Probably an unethical and e... (Below threshold)
Alan Orfi:

Probably an unethical and even un-American thought here, but I really find myself hoping this insane bill passes because it would clearly be done so along strict party lines. As much as this would eventually ravage our economy, at least it would greatly enhance the chances that Americans learn their lesson and sweep true conservatives into power in subsequent elections. It really did take a Jimmy Carter to give us a Ronald Reagan. Conversely, if the bill is scrapped and rewritten in a Reaganesque fashion now, the 'rats will end up getting credit for a much-improved outcome.

If that freakin' pork bill ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

If that freakin' pork bill passes, there had better be not one Republican vote for it. Take the whole mess and hang it around the necks of the Democrats. It won't take six months for the American public to find out that it was all smoke and mirrors. Let Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Schumer, Dodd, Frank, et all explain their way out of it.

"Spendulus"The exp... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

"Spendulus"

The expiration date on that borrowed wit arrived when Seinfeld petered out; i.e. before it was coined.

"Creditculus" has more of a ring since it's allusive to the word Ridiculous and a reminder of our helium-filled credit-based economy that was supposedly so great til someone farted and started blaming the dog despite the fart smelling like Szechaun Chicken instead of Alpo.

Plus "creditculus" reminds me of the crappy Anglo-Danish monster flick, "Reptilicus". Bonus.

Would anyone here like to v... (Below threshold)
Paul Hooson:

Would anyone here like to volunteer some ideas how to get the economy back on track if they disagree with this bill?

I like the Anchoress 123 pl... (Below threshold)

I like the Anchoress 123 plan. I would scrap this porker and start from scratch. I like tax cuts to individuals and businesses to put more money in their pockets and to hire additional workers and to put more money back into their businesses.

I think it is okay to have some infrastructure spending, but only where it is really needed like on roads and bridges -- no frisbee golf courses. Seriously, there are frisbee golf courses in this bill.

But actually, I think that if we do nothing we will be much better off than we would be with the current bill or probably anything else the congress will come up with.

I think the economy will come back on its own due to the general cyclical nature of the economy. There may be some more pain before it does, but this obscene spending bill is going to cause more pain in the long run for generations to come.

If gas prices stay low I think the economy will bounce back quicker. Prices have dropped dramatically over the past few months. If prices stay low, people will start feeling the effects. My family has already felt it in a big way. We have at least an extra hundred dollars a month in our pockets now due to the lower gas prices. Low gas prices affect everything else too. Of course if they go back up it will take longer to recover.

Here is the Anchoress 123 p... (Below threshold)
I actually prefer The Gener... (Below threshold)

I actually prefer The Generational Theft Act of 2009 but it takes too long to type it.

Porkulus is kind of fun, but lefties usually resort to calling me fat and I figured why give them an invitation.

I've read a few other good ones, but since it is 3 a.m. my brain is too tired to remember them.

It's funny how little names... (Below threshold)

It's funny how little names like that get under the skin of those on the left, but those of us on the right were supposed to be just fine with all the ChimpyBushMcHitlerWarMongerLiarMurdererWhoHatesBlackPeople talk. And we are supposed to bend over backward to make sure Obama succeeds at all costs. Even at the cost of a trillion plus dollars.

Thankfully I don't think those on the right will come anywhere near the vitriol that was spewed at Bush so you all don't have to worry about nasty names piercing that thin skin.

Hello Lorie, normally the s... (Below threshold)
Paul Hooson:

Hello Lorie, normally the steep decline in oil and gas prices would be viewed as a good thing and should help to revive the economic situation worldwide, however in this current worldwide economic crisis this sharp drop in oil prices is actually a dangerous indicator sign of deflation. This is something not really witnessed since the Great Depression.

For example, 78rpm phonograph records sold for $1 each before the Depression, but when demand dropped through the bottom of the floor, record companies responded with cheaper 10 cent 78rpm "Depression Discs" which had much worst sound quality, but a far cheaper price. This "deflation" of prices was one of many items during the Depression when the value of goods fell through the floor and items became virtually worthless.

Oil demand is now so low worldwide that oil has dropped from a high around $150 a barrel to around $40 a barrel. And this steep decline in prices so far has failed to revive the world economy situation. In fact, some countries like the government of Iraq are in serious economic trouble because their government was made to run on revenues of oil bringing in about $80 a barrel or more, and now struggles with providing basic services worse than before. In order for this young government to survive economically oil needs to rebound to at least $80 a barrel very soon.

The steep decline in oil prices and the lack of a positive response by world economies to this seems to indicate that this is not just a normal cyclical event but a very serious world economic event far more similar to the Great Depression.

What is so frightening about this steep fall in oil prices is that it indicates that many factories are now closed worldwide, demand for goods is down, and many people have simply stopped driving to work because they no longer have jobs to travel to.

And another problem is that since the U.S. is only just one of 192 nations in the world, local tax cuts will likely fail to much impact to revive the entire world economy very much, which is really the action needed. Some local increase in spending in the U.S. is probably not enough action to pull up the economic mess for very long, however tax cuts need to be at least one element of the U.S. recovery goals.

This current government spending bill is far from perfect. But with Roosevelt during the Great Depression a wide range of government spending and job creation projects did help to revive the American economy and lift it out of the Great Depression. And this latest proposal does have some elements of job creation and government spending that have goals of creating 3 million or more jobs. But the question is whether this enough new jobs at the rate of jobs loss as this serious economic mess deepens and economic problems outside of the U.S. control in other world economies cannot be touched by this legislation.

The current economic stimulus bill is an effort to try a number of proposals all at the same time hoping that something might work. This is what Roosevelt had to do during the Great Depression as well.

This economic mess has already had a big impact on me personally, when I had to sell off one of my problem rental homes last year at a $130,000 loss because of $70,000 in damage done by some irresponsible renters who wouldn't leave the property until a sheriff forced them out. In normal times, I could have gotten a far better price for this property even in damaged condition. And this limits my available capital to re-invest in another property. For example, I'd like to buy an apartment building that is priced at $1 million dollars that is a real bargain, but I might have to accept a purchase of some smaller business properties due to this economy. So when persons in the business community like me have more limited means to re-invest in the economy, then it is a sign of a deep mess with this economy that is difficult to emerge from. This real estate problem also keeps taxes unrealistically low and hampers government revenues to fund police, schools, services, etc.

Persons in the business community will need much more than just some tax cut to be able to re-invest. More money needs to be available for loans, etc.

I certainly don't have all the answers to this current economic mess, myself. But I welcome hearing any constructive ideals on how this nation can start to emerge from this mess. This is an important discussion.

"The way the polls are sink... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

"The way the polls are sinking for this porker we may wake up to find 500 million Americans oppose the bill."

You are aware of the fact t... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

You are aware of the fact that there are only 300 million Americans, right?

Ryan,I do know there... (Below threshold)

Ryan,
I do know there are not 500 million Americans. It was a joke at Nancy Pelosi's expense. Her 500 million Americans comment was so widely reported and ridiculed that I did not realize I needed to explain it. I guess I should not assume, huh?

Paul,
I did not realize oil prices had continued to decline as you say. Gas prices here in NC have gone up over the past few weeks. They have not gone up drastically like they did last year, but they went from around $1.50/gal. to 1.80/gallon over the course of a few weeks, but now seemed to have settled around 1.80. I thought that meant things were beginning to stabilize, but was just judging from what I am seeing firsthand here. I didn't realize we were out of the norm. Hey, now I feel like I am getting ripped off! Maybe I need to move.

I agree that we need an an honest debate. Not the "Rush says he wants Obama to fail so he is slime" kind of thing I was reading last week where some bloggers were pulling Rush's comments out of context and failing to include the part of the quote where Rush said he wanted Obama to fail because his proposed policies are liberal and Rush wants conservative policies. At least the "debate" seems to have moved from Obama blaming a talk show host to talking about what is actually in the bill. At least the Republicans are talking about what is in the bill. That is better than debating an out of context comment from a talk show host. Small steps, but steps forward just the same.

Gas prices have risen over ... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Gas prices have risen over the past few weeks here too in Fl, by over 20 cents a gallon. Why? ... is what I want to know.

I'm no fan of Barbara Boxer, but if our illustrious representatives and senators think re sodding the Mall makes more sense than this, we're in worse shape than we know:

"On Tuesday, California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer failed to win a majority for a provision backed by Silicon Valley high-technology firms and home-state drug companies that would have allowed them to bring overseas profits back to the U.S. at reduced tax rates."

Way to go Congress! Idiots.

Only an Obama Robot like Pa... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Only an Obama Robot like Paul would think this bill is what the country needs. What should the bill look like? Money only for things that will directly stimulate the economy. The liberals did their ususal thing and loaded this bill up with special interest pork thinking it would sail through. Does the democratic leadership care about anything but themselves? ww

In regards to the Stimulus ... (Below threshold)
Angellight:

In regards to the Stimulus controversy, some in the media, earning cushy salaries, unaffected by the impending crisis, asks what's the rush? But, thank God, there is a new Sherrif in town as President Obama takes his fight to the people. He understands the American people are hurting and needs help NOW, found here due to greed and neglect!

Republicans' new talking points regarding help to the people in the form of a stimulus - is that polling shows the American people are against this Stimulus (against help)! What planet do they live on. By the day, Blue and White collar workers are losing thier jobs, homes, cars. They are resorting to food and bread lines; unemployment compensation and food stamps (by the way the GOP calls this Welfare). The American people are hurting and the GOP are playing political games -- let's damage the President, instead of putting their time and care on the crisis looming large for the American people. At least for Once!

Not unexepectedly, the GOP cry loudly, that that is not the way for Pres. Obama to win -- taking it to the airwaves, (however, he tried being diplomatic and nice)! They don't want him to fight -- to Expose their phony objections and impediment to this catastrophe. They don't want light but President Obama believes in transparency, and there is no time to lose in this situation. This patient, the U.S. economy, needs emergency care, now. Thank God, a new Sheriff is in town and President Obama is fighting for You. This country has waited long enough for a blood transfusion, and theres no time to lose!

This is not about Pork, as GOP wants you to believe -- this is about the saving of our economy, our way of life. America is crumbling all around us and the GOP wants to play political games, as usual! As custodians of the people, President Obama assumed that due to the direness of the situation, Congress would Act accordingly and pass a stimulus, not try to Revive their policical party, when the country needs to be revived, for once to act selfless and put others before themselves!


We must remember, that when the GOP were in control they held no oversight hearings on anything, they did not increase the minimum wage, their concern was not about our crumbling bridges or dirty air, water, contimanted food and Ponsy Schemes that robbed people of millions.

We will know what to do in 2010.

Lorie, the funny thing is t... (Below threshold)
Paul Hooson:

Lorie, the funny thing is that oil prices have been slightly on the rise recently, while world oil prices are great lows compared to only a few months earlier. At your $1.80, your prices aren't too bad. In Oregon, we use a special Winter air pollution control mixture with some ethanol added, so we're paying about $2.00 a gallon. But this still beats gas over $4.00 a gallon only some months ago. However, the economy of many oil producing nations is built on oil at prices more near $80 a barrel like Iraq or Mexico. So many nations face great government revenue problems with oil this low per barrel at around $40 right now from a high near $150. Even very poor nations like Cuba hoped that recent oil exploration by Britain and China in their coastal shore waters would help their sorry economy. However, the big low in oil prices isn't infusing very much needed cash into this awful economy there.

Wildwillie, I really don't care who will provide a stronger economy. I'll gladly take prosperity from either party. But I'd like to see a bipartisan consensus on this economic bill to fix it so that it will actually boost the economy as intended. I don't like to take $130,000 losses on just one property because of sharply declined real estate prices. But the market is terrible right now. But the upside is that I might offer $500k on another business property that I'm eyeing that is listed at $849k because prices are so bad right now. But if I need to finance part of some property, then that could still be a problem because even investors like myself face a tight credit market because many banks have little extra cash for loans right now, so I might be forced to offer to trade another property and cash to purchase a larger investment property. I've never seen an economy so tight for business interests as is now. That part really hampers new business startups or economic development. When business investors like myself can't trade around real estate or create new opportunities in the market for new retailers to spring up. then it is difficult to see this economy rebounding soon. And car dealers need to see looser credit so folks can buy their cars as well. This tight credit situation is what is hampering this economy. Too many people owe large credit card amounts to the banks, so these banks now have little available cash to loan. Maybe if government offered billions to the banks to loosen up credit, that might actually do the most good right now.

Yeah Angellight, Republican... (Below threshold)

Yeah Angellight, Republicans want dirty water and air and poor people getting cheated by Ponzi schemes (?) because Republicans don't live here or have families or friends that live here and all Republicans are millionaires and have all the money in the world because they have stolen it from all the kind decent Democrats. Puhleeze.

Republicans are all for stimulus. They passed stimulus bills and put money back into peoples' pockets during the dark, evil Bush years. What they and most of America are not for is porkulus. Frisbee parks and STD prevention, for example. If Dems cut the crap out of the crap sandwich they will get lots of Republican votes and will have a true bipartisan bill. Instead they have a liberal wish list that will pass with little Republican support in its current form.

(I voted this post 5/5 just... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

(I voted this post 5/5 just for the title.)

LOL

Why is it that Republicans ... (Below threshold)
jmc:

Why is it that Republicans always find religion on pork when a dem is in office? Red-States take far more pork than blue states. 7 of the top 10 porkulas states are red with Miss Palin topping the list in Alaska.

Liberal Califronia and New York were 49 and 50 Arizona was 51 (D.C. included in list) So McCain has been pretty true on this issue.

In general though, it seems like Republican opposition to spending is a recent political move.
http://www.cagw.org/site/PageServer?pagename=reports_pigbook2008porkpercap

JMC -If someone in... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

JMC -

If someone in a position of authority came up to you and told you that you needed to spend 3x the amount you had available in your checking and savings accounts - and furthermore that you had to spend it NOW, without questioning, without hesitation, and without any analysis of what exactly you'd be spending it on or what benefit you'd get from it - wouldn't YOU balk?

Paul,I don't underst... (Below threshold)

Paul,
I don't understand why a few short years ago when oil was around $40/barrel we were told that Bush and his rich oil buddies were soaking us all and that gas prices were too high. If oil producing countries were able to thrive with those prices five or so years ago, how can it be that price today would throw the world into economic disaster? You say their economies are based on $80/barrel prices. How can you say that when in 2000 oil hit a ten year high of $38/barrel. In 2003 it was just over $30/barrel. In 2005 it hit a then record high of $68/barrel due to Katrina. That was less than four years ago. I just don't understand how you can say those countries suffer if their oil is less than $80/barrel when around five years ago $40/barrel was average. The drop in price today reflects the slowing world economy, but it just doesn't make sense to me that oil producing countries will collapse when getting the same price for oil that they were getting just a few years ago. The link below is where I got my numbers.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/interactive/2008/sep/16/oilprice

The lefties think we don't ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

The lefties think we don't want a stimulus, but of course they are reading challenged. We do. Just take out the pork.

It is like immigration. The american people are willing to talk about immigration and the millions of illegals in this country, but first, tighten the border.

The american people keep our government in check. Not the other way around. ww

For those who don't underst... (Below threshold)

For those who don't understand what stimulus is, and why Republicans refer to this as spending rather than stimulus, Matthew Continetti had a good explanation at the Weekly Standard. I posted it in my update, but here it is:

"Stimulus is short-term spending to increase aggregate demand during an economic downturn. When the economy recovers, the stimulus spending is supposed to stop. The spending in Obama's plan doesn't stop after the economy recovers. Quite the contrary. Most of the spending is long-term.)"

Paul -You want a s... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Paul -

You want a solution? Try FairTax.Org. Yeah, I know - reducing taxes is never seen as a solution by the Left, but if you want business to come back stateside and the money that's been flowing out of the country to come back in - you're going to have to drop taxes. Not play at dropping them while jacking up all sorts of other fees, not mandating government oversight (which worked real well with Fannie and Freddie) to make sure the 'politically correct' businesses get tax breaks, while others which aren't deemed worthy don't.

We've got to get off the idea of tax policy as a means of implementing social policies.

If someone in a p... (Below threshold)
jmc:
If someone in a position of authority came up to you and told you that you needed to spend 3x the amount you had available in your checking and savings accounts - and furthermore that you had to spend it NOW, without questioning, without hesitation, and without any analysis of what exactly you'd be spending it on or what benefit you'd get from it - wouldn't YOU balk?

Jlawson, you are arguing against the bill and the rush to push it through, I think there is a fair argument to be made for that (although I would as you know disageee.)

What I'm asking though, is why didn't Republicans stick to their principles during the last administration? Why are Red-States such Pork ridden States? My point is that this always seems to become an issue for Republicans When Dems are in power, suddendly spending is important, after the HUGE tab the Bush administration ran up. It just looks to me like partisan posturing, rather than idelogical, opposition. Shouldn't Red states like Alaska, the most pork ridden state, start volunteering to give back, before they start opposing states which are much further down the list gettting packages?

Excellent question JMC. I h... (Below threshold)

Excellent question JMC. I have wondered that myself. My theory is two fold. I think Bush and Republicans went along with a lot of spending they normally would not have because Bush needed funding for Iraq and the war on terror and that he had to give to get. Don't know if that is right or not, but it is just my theory. The second part of it is not surprising. Republicans are human and flawed and they are politicians who want to bring home the bacon.

I think many Republicans now are opposing this for a couple of reasons. 1 -- they truly believe this is not going to help the economic situation and in fact could make things much worse. 2 -- they are getting an earful from their constituents and want to be re-elected. That's just what I am hearing, with a bit of my own opinion thrown in.

Paul,I'd suggest s... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Paul,

I'd suggest some simple ideas instead of this horrible bill that has been proposed. Not in priority order.

1. Tax cuts for all taxpayers.
2. Tax cuts for all businesses.
3. Stop all foreign aid, except where it is required by the constitution. Let out allies/enemies stand or fall on their own.
4. Bring all troops stationed overseas home. Exception would be the troops involved int he combatant theaters of operations.
5. End all government mandates to the states, especially regarding health care and eduction.

I could continue, but you should get the gist.

JMC -I dunno. I'm... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

JMC -

I dunno. I'm starting to think there's something in the water inside the Beltway that makes people go damn near crazy to spend other people's money as fast as they can. Maybe we need to just declare DC a museum, and move the Capitol to Kansas or something. The area's a toxic waste dump of ideas and ideology.

But as far as this bill goes - the rush to do this reminds me so much of scam phone calls my folks used to get. Great opportunities, that they had to act on immediately! All they had to do was give their credit card number out over the phone... oh, and there was no time to send them actual information, they had to decide right now!

So this is ringing all sorts of warning bells for me.

But as far as this... (Below threshold)
But as far as this bill goes - the rush to do this reminds me so much of scam phone calls my folks used to get. Great opportunities, that they had to act on immediately! All they had to do was give their credit card number out over the phone... oh, and there was no time to send them actual information, they had to decide right now!

So this is ringing all sorts of warning bells for me.

Excellent comparison, JLawson. And that's what the Dems are doing, too. They are telling Americans that they must act right now! So far, a majority of the American people are pushing back because they know it is a scam. It seems the only people going along with the spendulus are those gullible enough that they would be taken by telephone scams anyway and hyper-partisan liberals.

Excellent questio... (Below threshold)
jmc:
Excellent question JMC. I have wondered that myself. My theory is two fold. I think Bush and Republicans went along with a lot of spending they normally would not have because Bush needed funding for Iraq and the war on terror and that he had to give to get. Don't know if that is right or not, but it is just my theory. The second part of it is not surprising. Republicans are human and flawed and they are politicians who want to bring home the bacon.

I think many Republicans now are opposing this for a couple of reasons. 1 -- they truly believe this is not going to help the economic situation and in fact could make things much worse. 2 -- they are getting an earful from their constituents and want to be re-elected. That's just what I am hearing, with a bit of my own opinion thrown in.

Fair enough, thanks for the polite reply.

"What I'm asking though,... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"What I'm asking though, is why didn't Republicans stick to their principles during the last administration?"

Sure, many of the republicans in Congress and the Senate were spenders, but let's be honest here, there were many complaints by the public - republicans and conservatives - over Bush's inability to find his veto pen when it came to spending. Furthermore, even while some of us complained about the exorbitant spending it was construed by the media and many democrats as "not enough" or that he "cut" spending, when in fact, he just didn't let them have as much of a raise in spending as they wanted.

Hi Lorie, the biggest diffe... (Below threshold)
Paul Hooson:

Hi Lorie, the biggest difference between oil in 2000 and in 2009 is the added costs to acquire it since 2000. Saudi Arabia's giant Ghawar oil field now requires that millions of barrels of seawater to be pumped in each day to raise the oil level up to the surface to maintain past production quotas. In Russia, most oil fields now require water, air or some sort of gas injection to maintain production numbers similar to past quotas. In Iraq, high salaries as well as armed protection is required to attract oil workers, who are largely foreigners such as from the U.S. or Europe. And Mexico, Cuba and other nations have their own cost problems were oil exploration costs often need to be paid by foreign investors such as from Canada, Britain or China.

The fact of the matter is that it now costs much more to acquire a barrel of oil in nearly every nation in 2009 than it did in 2000. Oil keeps getting harder to acquire, where water, gas or air injection is now required in most parts of the world to satisfy the worldwide demand for oil as India and China industrialize. But this current economic mess has slowed the worldwide demand enough, that the price of a barrel of oil is now unrealistically low compared to the actual costs for many nations right now. Although, I'm not fond of higher gas prices myself, oil probably needs to go up to at least $70-80 a barrel for the benefit of most providers to make a decent profit.

And the fact that oil is now harder to acquire than the past proves that it is a finite commodity, where other alternatives need to be found within a few decades.

In 2008, a number of oil industry experts predicted that the production of the giant Ghawar oil field will have to soon decline because of the serious depletion of this once huge supply. New costs will have to be figured in to pay the costs for exploration of new oil sites for replacement.

The fact of the matter is oil wells cannot provide millions of barrels of oil forever. At some point they will run low or even dry. One oil site, North Sea Forty is down to about 10% of past oil production peaks.




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