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Since You Asked ...

President Obama has done a dismal job his first few weeks. His lack of executive experience and competence has become painfully obvious around the world, even to many of those people who elected him in the forlorn hope that Obama would make things better rather than worse. Because Denial is the first stage in the way many people deal with Obama's true level of performance, many on the Left desperately hope that his idiocy will somehow work out, even prove to be brilliantly successful. As it becomes increasingly obvious that President Obama's plans are ill-considered and frankly damaging to the nation, however, that dismal hope has shifted to bitter accusations that Obama's critics have not submitted alternative suggestions; every post I publish which point out Obama's blunders will be met with at least one challenge from the Left to present my own plan.

First off, it needs to be noted that Republicans in Congress have offered a number of substantive plans - the problem there, is that Pelosi and Reid have shut down the traditional lanes of dialogue between parties to debate bills and propose alternatives. The stimulus bill and bailout packages were essentially rammed through the chambers; debate was killed from the outset. Next, while I consider myself reasonably intelligent and informed on the issues, one would expect that the President of the United States, having a staff of economic experts convened for his benefit and advice and the faculties of his office, would be able to produce a far more detailed, effective, and comprehensive program than any individual citizen; it seems to admit the unfortunate limits of the man to match President Obama with an ordinary run of the mill blogger. That is to say, there is no downside for me to fail in matching up with President Obama, seeing as he is the one who promised solutions and answers, indeed he all but promised miracles and he has all the tools and resources to address the issue, while speaking for myself I made no promises and have only my own experience and intellect to answer the questions. Should I prove to be at least the equal to President Obama in my resolutions, the reader will be compelled either to grant that I am an ideal candidate for POTUS myself, or that the man occupying the office is not nearly equal to the task.

So, to the issues. My approach is simple; Economics boils down to two essential ingredients - contracts and confidence. Every financial action amounts to a contract, whether it is hiring an employee, buying supplies to make the product, a customer purchasing the product or service, or whatever. It involves at least two parties making an agreement satisfactory to them both. And the satisfaction of that agreement depends on confidence. When confidence is strong, a company, business, or worker sees more revenue and activity, but when confidence fails, business falls off and times get tough. Call it a downturn, recession, or even a depression, at the heart of it the rough times all involve a collapse of confidence by the public in the economy. Therefore, the first cause of recovery from such a condition is the rebuilding and restoration of confidence. This is also one of the few areas where the President can have direct and beneficial influence, or he can screw things up and make the situation worse. The president can recommend actions to Congress and the Federal Reserve which increase the flow of money and credit. This action risks increasing inflation, but most economists regard moderately higher inflation an acceptable cost for lowering unemployment and reviving consumer confidence. Therefore, tax breaks for companies which hire significant numbers of new employees, especially by returning core operations and headquarters to the United States, are the historically preferred means for rewarding desired behavior and improving the domestic economy and stabilizing long-term confidence. Actions which demoralize industry, such as punitive taxes or public antagonism by political leaders, deter growth and recovery, which is one reason why things have simply gotten worse under Obama.

- continued -

It should be noted, at this point, that both parties are guilty of hyperbole in referring to the present economic condition in dire tones. Democrats have falsely compared the present condition to the Great Depression of the 1930s, in hopes of blaming the Bush Administration for the crisis, while Republicans have done so in hopes of blaming President Obama for turning a mild recession into a catastrophe. Neither comparison is valid, and the behavior only worsens the matter, since few sources in the media or the government are acting responsibly in describing the causes or effects of the situation. Whether inflation, unemployment, housing foreclosures, bank failures, or any other major metric of economic condition is considered, it is plainly dishonest to pretend that the current situation is at all comparable to the Great Depression. In this respect, what a President should do is call out the naysayers and pessimists, emphasizing the core strength of the nation and its workers, validating his own credentials by affirming the nation's most essential treasure - it's workers, investors, and yes it's executives. Obama's penchant for harassing the top brass at convenient target companies, even when the guys attacked came in to fix the problems caused by someone else, shows character and/or comprehension flaws that do him no credit and make the task of restoring confidence in the economy that much harder. I am not saying that I would lavish praise indiscriminately, but at the same time Obama's habit of attacking whole demographic segments with general disdain is more characteristic of class warfare than sound understanding of economics. It may sound trite, but 'praise in public, criticize in private' also applies to public figures, as much or more so than anyone else.

In the matter of the AIG executive bonuses, for example, President Obama foolishly led a mob of outrage, only to be confronted with evidence that he had not bothered to find out the facts. It turns out that at least some of those AIG executives were brought in after things blew up there - they not only were not responsible for the company's crisis, they were brought in specifically to set things right. Kind of like blaming firemen for the fire they are trying to put out. Next, it turns out that some of those AIG execs agreed to take only one dollar a year in salary; the "bonuses" were there to serve as actual compensation for their work, and those payments were tied to actual accomplishment of specified metrics. Once those facts became known, the moral thing for President Obama to do was to admit he was wrong and apologize, but being who and what he is, the President chose to switch gears and pretend he had never said what is plainly on the record.

With those AIG "bonuses" and executive compensation in mind, let's take a look at the new trend among hystero-liberals like Barack "Panic" Obama - tossing out the idea of maximum pay for executives. To understand why this idea is incredibly stupid, let's imagine for a minute that you buy a lotto ticket, and it wins. Let's say you get a Cash Option ticket and after taxes it's, hmm, let's say 50 million dollars. Set for life, right? Well, there is talk about limiting pay under certain circumstances to a million dollars a year. Using that logic, the government would be telling you that you'd have to wait forty-nine more years to get all of your lottery winnings, even though the government would be sure to grab its take from the top. How many folks would buy lotto tickets if the payout was maximized per year? Not many, the whole system would collapse as demand folded, which is why no one has even suggested trying this stunt on state lotteries and scratch-off tickets. Lotto winners are just lucky, they don't invest time in education and training and work to get where they are, like professional athletes, rock stars ... and corporation executives. Not only that, lotto winnings are paid out of public money, while those executives everyone loves to hate so much are paid out of the company's money. And yes, the government gave AIG more than a hundred billion dollars, but they not only did not prohibit bonuses which it turns out are both legal and appropriate, the bill which handed over the money specifically assured those payments. Once again, we have to decide whether President Obama is a lazy politician who does not understand economics, or a dishonest charlatan trying to create false outrage in order to advance an agenda he knows to be unconstitutional and which even his own party would shoot down in short order, were they to consider the submissions in clear and ordered debate. Had I been in Obama's chair when the AIG story broke, I would have begun by getting my facts straight, and by protecting the fundamental priorities of the nation, in this case confidence in the corrections being exercised to right the ship. I would have used the influence that Obama so casually enjoys, to restrain members of my part from starting up witch-hunts or whipping up hysteria in the public forums.

Anyway, on to the core subjects - Economics, Trade, Finance, and Taxation. That's what this all comes down to, you know, the fundamental forces and their effects on the public. I wrote earlier that consumer confidence is a critical component to recovering from this recession, so that's our starting point. Any competent President knows better that to play on people's fears, as Obama has done - it invariably causes greater long-term harm which does not justify the short-term political opportunities which Obama chose to pursue instead of the nation's interests. I have said it before but it bears repeating; when Obama tries to sell his "stimulus" as virtuous and sure to spur the economy simply because he's spending so many trillions of tax dollars, he betrays either a dishonest character or a horrible miscomprehension of economics. It is very much possible to simply be wasting money, no matter how much is spent, if the money is not spent in addressing the vital needs of the nation. To spend almost a trillion dollars without creating private-sector jobs, without assisting even one mortgage going through foreclosure at the moment, or establishing a method for restoring confidence in the finance industry, is the government equivalent of taking the mortgage money and spending it on hookers.

There is no painless solution; the key decision is who should pay, and how can the damage be controlled to affect the fewest innocent parties? Protecting jobs is paramount - wealth comes into companies because of working employees, wealth comes to families through wages, and taxes are paid through successful jobs and successful companies. Corporate taxes need to be lowered during a recession, because that rewards increased productivity which only happens by keeping employees and hiring more. Individuals should also not see taxes raised during a recession, because so many of them own and run companies and will lay off people if their taxes go up at a time when their revenues are already suffering. Also, investments in companies depend on individuals with the means and inclination to buy stock, fund ventures, and otherwise put their money where their confidence is. Raising taxes is necessary at times, but doing so during a recession is poisoning the patient.

As to who pays, there is no such thing as "too big to fail". Take a look at the largest companies in America in 1850, 1900, and 1950. Some really big names went out of business, and harsh as it sounds that's how the world works. No one gets to hang around just because they have a history. If there is anyplace where evolution works, its in business. Look at phone deregulation. Sure, it was a mess in places, but without it no one would have really developed cell phones, much less the variety of plans available today, in almost every country. Sorry GM, but your business model is a rotting corpse. Sorry AIG, but there is no right to make taxpayers keep you going. Bankruptcy courts exist for the same reasons you got into trouble.

Then there are the investment banks. No one can explain why speculation should be protected, because there is just no way to defend that argument. No one's offering to pay me all the money my 401k lost in the last 6 months, no one has guaranteed my employer will stay in business, but these investment banks think they should be propped up for rotten judgment and a rather annoying lack of transparency about their practices and promises. Let the crooks go to prison, and let the bad banks fail. And make sure everyone knows which congressmen backed those banks.

Money should be spent, but wisely and with absolutely no sense or appearance of political gaming. Mortgages, for example, are a sound investment and it makes sense for the government to back problem areas provided it gets a take of the return. Enough good mortgages (mortgages with working families who want to keep and pay off their home) exist to cover the losses of the relatively few bad mortgages that will fail. And the return for the government could end up repaying a substantial portion of the program's cost, in addition to preventing the mortgage company from being rewarded for risky behavior - if the government accepts risk, they must be paid according to the return.

As to trade, we must stop trying to solve everyone else's problems, or deny that American businesses are the reasonable first focus of business. But protectionist policies do more harm than good, that's the history of trade, and in any case protecting inefficiency and poor performance is plain stupid. Reward R&D, reward strategic industries, but stop pretending that buying a pickup truck will decide the fate of America's economy.

Finance is a fancy word for figuring out how to pay for things. We had loans and credit as far back as the pharaohs, along with variations on bankruptcy, bad debt, and alternative payments. After several thousand years, we know the basics - everything has to be paid for, risk never completely goes away, and the possibility that something bad will happen means that sooner or later it will happen. There are laws on the books about transparency and accountability. Time to enforce them. Do that and folks will trust banks again.

As to taxes, it's even more simple - reward people who pay taxes, not those who do not pay taxes. If you can't handle that concept, there's simply no hope you could understand anything more complex, and if you do understand that concept, you will also realize that tax reform has been overdue for more than a generation. Rates and specific deductions are symptoms, not the fundamental problem.



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Comments (41)

*Yawn* Gallup 62% approval,... (Below threshold)
jmc:

*Yawn* Gallup 62% approval, CBS 64% approval stock market going back up, after the disaster that happend on Dubya's watch.

Yeah, eveyone really thinks Obama, is screwing up bigtime. 27% of everyone according to the polls, or roughly the same amount of people who actually thought Bush wasn't a disaster.

This is of course a false d... (Below threshold)
Roy Lofquist Author Profile Page:

This is of course a false dichotomy. Imagine telling someone that the snake oil won't grow hair, cure gout and make you fatally attractive to women and they come back with - oh yeah, then tell me what will.

JMCIt would be nic... (Below threshold)
retired military:

JMC

It would be nice to see exactly what question was asked, who they asked it to and the demographics of the folks who answered it.

I am sure Obama has a 90% approval rating in Pelosi's district.

I distrut polls like the plague.

JMC - That's an easily seen... (Below threshold)
marc:

JMC - That's an easily seen thru trick. You cite his approval ratings that are entirely different than how people feel on the issues.

For example, even the nutcakes at DKos when asked "Do you feel the country overall is heading in the right direction or wrong direction," 60% answered wrong direction.

On the same site you will see the public's approval of his budget is tepid, at best, dependent on which poll cited.

As far as your stock market as an indicator of obama's plans, read it and weep:

The Geithner-Summers plan, officially called the public/private investment programme, is a thinly veiled attempt to transfer up to hundreds of billions of dollars of US taxpayer funds to the commercial banks, by buying toxic assets from the banks at far above their market value. It is dressed up as a market transaction but that is a fig-leaf, since the government will put in 90 per cent or more of the funds and the "price discovery" process is not genuine. It is no surprise that stock market capitalisation of the banks has risen about 50 per cent from the lows of two weeks ago. Taxpayers are the losers, even as they stand on the sidelines cheering the rise of the stock market. It is their money fuelling the rally, yet the banks are the beneficiaries.
Put another way... it's all Fools Gold.

And some of you fools are buying ever syllable of it.

I distrut polls l... (Below threshold)
jmc:
I distrut polls like the plague.

So how do you judge the way the population feels about Obama then? From your gut?

Wasn't W's approval once ab... (Below threshold)
Captain Obvious:

Wasn't W's approval once above 90%?

Does that mean you think he was right in his policies at that time?

JMC - That's an e... (Below threshold)
jmc:
JMC - That's an easily seen thru trick. You cite his approval ratings that are entirely different than how people feel on the issues.

DJ said, Obama is doing a "dismal" job as president, that is his opinion, and he's entitled to it. However, when he says it is apparent to the world the president is doing a dismal job, that implies the world disapproves of the way the president is doing his job.

yet, when asked the question in several polls "Do you approve or disapprove of the job the president is doing?" only 27% disapproved. Meaning if the nation think's Obama is doing a dismal job they sure ain't tellin'.

So polls are of course valid to this discussion and if by "tricks" you mean posting facts, I'm guilty.

The Geithner-Summers plan, officially called the public/private investment programme, is a thinly veiled attempt to transfer up to hundreds of billions of dollars of US taxpayer funds to the commercial banks, by buying toxic assets from the banks at far above their market value.

March 24 (Bloomberg) -- Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has a good chance of succeeding with his plan to cleanse banks of toxic assets, says A. Michael Spence, co-winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in economics.

try not weep after you read.

jmc - "However, when he... (Below threshold)
marc:

jmc - "However, when he says it is apparent to the world the president is doing a dismal job, that implies the world disapproves of the way the president is doing his job."

You follow that happy horse shit with this:

"yet, when asked the question in several polls "Do you approve or disapprove of the job the president is doing?" only 27% disapproved. Meaning if the nation think's Obama is doing a dismal job they sure ain't tellin'."

You counter the authors assertion on WORLD opinion with stats on America's opinion.

"try not weep after you read."

That's possible, I might. On the other hand without a linked source, AND your long demonstrated ability to parse words and quote out of context I hardly think so.

And BTW, why do you call your blockquoted para a "fact?"

Nothing but opinion son. Am I supposed to be impressed because he has a "nobel" prize?

Like the ones Arafat and Gore possess? I'm not.

I'll respond to jmc AFTER w... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

I'll respond to jmc AFTER we're out of the recession. Hope he'll hang around for a couple of years.

Already in the running for ... (Below threshold)
Mycroft:

Already in the running for worst President EVER. Bush looks like a friggin genius next to this moron.

"So how do you judge the wa... (Below threshold)
retired military:

"So how do you judge the way the population feels about Obama then? From your gut? "

"Wasn't W's approval once above 90%?

Does that mean you think he was right in his policies at that time?
"

I could give 2 wits what "the population" feels about Obama or Bush did. Half the population runs around and cant name the person they voted for or what have their stances they proclaim their issues are.
A good portion of the population runs around and thinks because Tom Cruise or John Wayne can act (see I picked one on each side of the aisle) that they have some mystical insight into the working of the world.

I judge a person by how I see them. Period. By how I perceive their actions, their words, and their deeds.

IMO someone who places a lot of value in polls doesnt have too much of an opinion of their own values or worth. Why else do you they want to go around and see if they agree with a bunch of other people. I dont need my ego stroked by somebody saying that 57% of the population has an opinion close to mine.

As I said. I detest polls. IMO they cant be trusted. Statisticians can make numbers stand up and do a dance.

and the world is saying he ... (Below threshold)
soupy:

and the world is saying he is doing a dismal job.

President Obama has done... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

President Obama has done a dismal job his first few weeks. Because denial is the first stage in the way many people deal with Obama's true level of performance. I wonder whose performance Drummond would think outstanding..Let's see

In an earlier post on his personl job approval rating of Presidents, on
June 30th, 2008, Drummond asked:

1. Yes or no, is President Bush doing a good job as President right now (ignoring everything but right now)?

2. Yes or no, has President Bush overall done a good job as President?

3. If the election this fall were between Barack Obama, John McCain, or George W. Bush (say he could run for a third term), who of the three would you vote for?

And Drummond's answers on Bush after seven and half years
1. Yes
2. Strong Yes
3. Bush

Bush conceded in Calgary this month that his administration spent its final days "bailing water" to keep the U.S. economy afloat. Indeed Bush spent his two terms in a bubble /bunker. when he wasn't clearing brush at his Oval Office Western prop in Crawford.

It is no surprise that Drummond refers to Obama's idiocy, or that he is "lazy politician", after eulogizing Bush as being brilliant, and quote "one of the US's most outstanding presidents ever", unquote.


JMC - so if the polls say t... (Below threshold)
BluesHarper:

JMC - so if the polls say that 2+2 = 6 then there you have it folks. That's the way it is.

Do your own thinking once.

Damn, I miss W.</p... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:


Damn, I miss W.

Indeed Bush spent his tw... (Below threshold)
Sues:

Indeed Bush spent his two terms in a bubble /bunker. when he wasn't clearing brush at his Oval Office Western prop in Crawford.

This is the sentence that declares you a leftist. Typical of leftists all you can do is throw out liberal talking points and what you see as insults.

It shows that what you say should only be dismissed as someone to ignore. Why pay any attention to you, or take you seriously when you can't honestly debate but only throw out that garbage.

Sues, okay, if yo... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Sues, okay, if you want a debate on the facts, (which I'm not sure if you do).

GOP Congressional leaders have roundly condemned AIG and its executives, as part of a strategy to position themselves as heroic defenders of the taxpayers and to paint the Obama administration as weak and ineffectual. Mitch McConnell recently blasted AIG's bonuses as an "outrage." John Boehner said that the "American people are rightly outraged." And Eric Cantor bemoaned the "stunning lack of accountability" on AIG's part.

Obama's attitude is not "to demonize investors" and concerning AIG, contrary to what Drummond said... In the matter of the AIG executive bonuses, for example, President Obama foolishly led a mob of outrage, only to be confronted with evidence that he had not bothered to find out the facts.

The president held the second prime-time press conference of his presidency after a difficult 10 days in which he has been forced on the defensive for apparently failing to anticipate the public backlash over the bonuses paid out at the insurance giant AIG.

In a press conference dominated by his handling of the recession, Obama was asked why, after being informed of the bonuses, he had waited several days to inform the public.

The CNN White House correspondent, Ed Henry, who asked the question, also suggested that the New York attorney-general, Andrew Cuomo, was doing a better job of dealing with AIG than the White House.

Obama gave a general answer and Henry again asked why he had taken a few days to tell the public. The normally cool and controlled president replied sharply: "It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak."

From the same article in the Guardian, see video contained within as some of the things Obama/Geithner intends to do and has done. 'Barack Obama shows his anger over AIG bonus criticism Obama says the world is going through an 'extraordinary crisis' and appealed for patience to turn things around the ocean liner that is the US.'

Compare this to Bush`s approach of what Bush describes as his administration "bailing of water" because "this sucker is going down" and asking his SEC hand picked Ayn Rand acolyte, Christopher Cox to go soft on regulatory market enforcement for his friends on Wall Street.

Obama Geithner and the rest... (Below threshold)
914:

Obama Geithner and the rest of the demacreeps are the virus that the economy is ailing from.

"And the world is sayin ... (Below threshold)
914:

"And the world is sayin Hes doing a dismal job."

Even the new world order weirdos know a loser when they see it.

crickmore - "It took us... (Below threshold)
marc:

crickmore - "It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak."

Or... like the rest of the dimbulbs it's an tacit admission he never read the bill containing the section authorizing the cash for aIG execs.

he had waited several days ... (Below threshold)

he had waited several days to inform the public.

I might. On the other hand ... (Below threshold)

I might. On the other hand without a linked source, AND your long demonstrated ability to parse words and quote out of context I hardly think so.

It would be nice to see exa... (Below threshold)

It would be nice to see exactly what question was asked, who they asked it to and the demographics of the folks who answered it.

"Why dont You quote the ... (Below threshold)
914:

"Why dont You quote the question that was asked,who they asked it to and the demographics of the folks (sic) who answered it?"

Because this is not the US masochistic blog of America infestus, this is real America.

Got it

I think it would have been ... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

I think it would have been better for the Republican Party to start the "I hope he fails"-thing a month or two before the next election instead of at 12:01 January 20, 2009. That way Republicans could have said, "Well, we gave Obama and his policies a fair chance." But now, Republicans have blown any- and all- credibility on the subject.

*Poof*

Gone.


Come 2010 and 2012 the Amer... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Come 2010 and 2012 the American electorate will vote their pocketbook as they always do when times are hard. Even if the economy starts to grow, it's unlikely it will grow enough to restore all the jobs that were lost with equivalent jobs. If Obama gets his energy tax passed it will be the largest and most regressive tax increase in the history of the united states, and by 2012 it's likely the entire greenhouse gas, carbon footprint basis for the tax will be scientifically debunked.

The Obama administration will become known as the junk science administration as they try to defend their debunked energy tax, which by then generate revenues for expanded government programs. Instead of toxic assets, we'll have toxic taxes and programs, all of which a new republican majority will need to purge from the books.

DJ,That seems to b... (Below threshold)
Baggi:

DJ,

That seems to be the rally cry right now of the Democrats. Republicans are the party of "No".

I discuss these issues on several different websites and i'm hearing the same thing. Put forward your own, alternate plan. Or, what would you do?

Forget the fact that I and others have stated repeatedly what we would do. They don't seem to have heard us.

Or have they and they are being disengenous?

Obviously the Conservatives on blogs and in the government do have our own plans and we've put them forward.

But somehow, "Let them fail" or "How about they file for bankruptcy?" or "Government is not the answer, it is the problem" aren't considered alternatives by the left.

Actually, they are probably recognized as alternatives but as so unacceptable and counter to "The one" that they aren't even heard.

Adrian - waiting to see if ... (Below threshold)
BluesHarper:

Adrian - waiting to see if Rome is really going to burn to the ground would be irresponsible on our part, yes?

Adrion #25This foo... (Below threshold)
914:

Adrion #25

This fool was a failure long before he took ( stole ) office. And no, I will not give a socialist a fair chance to ruin our Country.

But you gave Bush eight yea... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

But you gave Bush eight years and he loved to spend your money too.

Wasting money is bad enough... (Below threshold)
914:

Wasting money is bad enough, ala Bush..quadrupling the national debt in 2 months and taking away our liberties in the process is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

Adrian"That way Re... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Adrian

"That way Republicans could have said, "Well, we gave Obama and his policies a fair chance." But now, Republicans have blown any- and all- credibility on the subject.
"


You leftist kool aid drinking STUPID Yammering nitwit.

WHen did the left say this about Bush? Oh wait, it started with Selected not elected and lasted 8 long years.

Doesnt feel so good when your side is getting bashed all to hell does it.

But you gave Bush... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:
But you gave Bush eight years and he loved to spend your money too.

Your right, Bush and the RHINO's for 6 spent Money for 6 years.
Then the DEMS spent money for 2 years. However the DEMS never said we need to spend less they wanted to SPEND MORE!!!

The did not like spending money on Defending the US they wanted to spend the same amount on other projects. Now they are in controll and we see how much they want to spend.

Nobody has taken away any o... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Nobody has taken away any of your liberties. Put down the torch and pitchfork, wipe the foam off the corners of your mouth.

Any good economist will tell you that recessions require government spending to stimulate the economy as a whole. Whether you think Obama is spending too much or spending it in the wrong places is a fair criticism (if you're willing to be more specific and articulate), but having a problem with the spending in general is ignorant of basic economic tenets. Keeping spending levels flat--or reducing them--exacerbates the conditions that bring about recessions.

"Any good economist"... (Below threshold)
STaylor:

"Any good economist"
Apparently a economist needs to agree with hyperbolist to be considered a 'good economist'.
At the very least the economists Laffer, Moor and Friedman would disagree with your statement.

Any good economist can arti... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Any good economist can articulate the optimum tax rate. If they can determine such a basic attribute then they're just a voodoo economist.

Should be "If they can't... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Should be "If they can't determine"

HyperIf by "GOVT S... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Hyper

If by "GOVT SPENDING MONEY" you mean cutting things like business tax rates, personal income tax rates, etc. You are correct. If you are talking about things like oh buying new bike paths, buying condoms from china, spending money on "green energy" than you are as wrong as ever.

Nobody has taken ... (Below threshold)
maggie:
Nobody has taken away any of your liberties. Put down the torch and pitchfork, wipe the foam off the corners of your mouth.

Hyperbolist,
You wouldn't know real freedom if it
snuck up on you and kissed you on the cheek.
And it would probably scare you silly, as you've lived in a completely
controlled environment all of your life.

Steve, you claim in comment... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Steve, you claim in comment 13:

eulogizing Bush as being brilliant, and quote "one of the US's most outstanding presidents ever", unquote

Really? Where, precisely, did I make that specific statement? You better put up a link right now, or I will whack anything you ever post on my threads again, no matter what.

Dishonesty is your favored mietre, but you do not even cover your act very well.

DJ, don't get too upset wit... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

DJ, don't get too upset with the trolls. They are having a VERY difficult time explaining the actions of their messiah. While those that were never fooled by this empty suit, the trolls are trying not to face disillusionment. It will be a difficult process.

Barry simply does not have the experience or where with all to execute the tasks that need to be addressed. He is going down big time. I cannot wait until 2010. Conservatism rises again. Real conservatism. ww




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