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The Big Obama Administration Thread

Discussion in 'Alley of Lingering Sighs' started by Death Rabbit, Mar 2, 2009.

  1. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I would like to add that most other western democracies have universal healthcare and can afford it (well as much as they and every other country can afford anything).
     
  2. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    As with basically everything in economics this too is not quite so undisputed with economists. The amount of dollars pumped up by the Fed might not even be possible to suck back, giving a possible hyperinflationary backlash in the future. Europeans are very much worried about this possibility and therefore more careful with their monetary policy. The US is basically healing its economy by pumping out more currency right now, that's not sustainable and if it were anyone else but US their currency would be dust right about now. Lucky for US the dollarisation of world economy ensures that the collapse of the dollar would take everyone else down with it, the amount of available dollars needs to be reduced in the future though and I sure hope that the Fed and the president (whoever it will be at that point) won't forget it when the economy takes a upswing.
     
  3. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    Good point, Morgoroth, but I think what we're doing to prop up our economy in the short term is a heck of a lot better both here and abroad than any of our other options at the moment. Assuming full economic recovery, we shouldn't really need to pull much money out of circulation, since the GNP would go up to compensate. We can (more or less) painlessly reign in most of our new debt by simply not putting the money back into circulation as we pay it off, and I see no reason to believe we wouldn't do this. It is, after all, exactly what Clinton was setting us up to do the last time we ran a surplus.
     
  4. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    I agree that a strong stimulus is what's probably best for the US since they have the ability to fix it later. You mention that Clinton ran a surplus but I hardly need to remind you what happened to that surplus when the presidency changed. ;)

    Times are also a bit different than in the Clinton years. Back then the economic downswings did not require the drastic measures that have been used this time, no one really knows what rate of inflation we'll have when the upswing starts nor do we know when the upswing starts. I'm not sure that just relying on growth to pay back the US debt will work that well this time. In my opinion the US has two choices when the recovery of the economy starts to cut spending or to cut imports and preferrably to do both. This also cuts back to the rest of the world. Europe, China and the emerging economies really need to start concentrating on developing their domestic markets instead of continuously relying on US to buy their imports.
     
  5. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    As much as I wish we would, the only way I see the US ever cutting back on imports is our economy becoming so unstable that it is no longer profitable for other countries to export their products to the US. I don't see the US doing this willingly. Regarding spending cuts, though, that one is a bit more painless -- assuming we continue to make responsible policy decisions over the next decade or two. One of the best tools we have for cutting spending is to simply pay down the debt. We'll also probably want to make some judicious tax increases as our economy recovers. As far as lowering actual, real (ie non-debt) spending, I'm not convinced that doing so would be necessary, wise...or even possible.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2009
  6. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    Yes I was speaking more of public spending than private spending, allthough the cutting of private spending might have to do with cutting imports. The US imports have allready gone down a lot and what I mean by cutting imports is not to let them reach the same heights as they did before atleast not for a while. With sufficent growth that level can obviously be reached but even then the US trade should be more balanced that it has been in the past few years.
     
  7. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    Logic has always indicated to me that one of the best ways to strengthen the economy is to have a strong "Buy Local" ad campaign encouraging the populace to buy goods from the country under discussion. If the US did that, Canada'd be screwed big time, but I could understand their reasons for such protectionism.
     
  8. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    But I don't think that's a practical solution for most people, even if they wanted to do so. Fact is, the US does not make most of the stuff we buy. Heck, even a lot of the produce you see at supermarkets is imported - the apple I ate during lunch had a sticker on it indicating it was from Argentina, because obviously there will be no apples from local orchards until the fall.

    Clothing is even worse. Most domestic brands are designer. You won't see many made in the USA tags on the clothing sold at WalMart, JC Penny's, or Sears*, when you can pay an 9-year old working in a sweat shop in Sri Lanka a dime a day to stitch those clothes.

    Cars? With Chrysler in bankruptcy, and GM right behind, I'm not too keen on buying a US made car right now. We bought a 2009 minivan this spring - from Toyota (although at least the Sienna was built in Kentucky).

    Most purchases fro, exclusively US sources are from the services industry - like our lawn care company and when my wife gets her hair done. I guess when we went to Home Depot and bought some shrubs and flowers this spring that they were domestically grown. I cannot think of a significant amount of items we buy that are made in the USA.

    * However, unless this has changed recently, all of the Sears brand tools, sold under the Craftsman label are made domestically.
     
  9. Déise

    Déise Both happy and miserable, without the happy part!

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    So what happens when every country does this? You get a reduction in the global economy. This was one of the main reasons the Great Depression lasted so long. The US is big enough to only do poorly but it's a pretty terrifying thought for a lot of smaller ones which need to trade.

    That's not to say that some countries don't need to start balancing their exports and imports. Germany and a lot of Asian countries are learning that if you rely on exports for growth you're relying on others' economies to be stable, which can completely undermine all the work you've put in to make your own ecnomy stable.
     
  10. Noesis Gems: 1/31
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    I just thought I would chip in and say:

    Drew and The Shaman are right.

    Alright thanks. :)
     
  11. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    I wasn't sure it I should start a new thread or just add this to this one. I'll let Tal decide :D

    While I am in no way an Obama supporter I believe Obama is in a very unique position in time and history. Depending on what he does he may go down as either one of our best presidents or one of the worst of all time. I just don't see anyway he will end up as a middle of the road type.

    Today I read an article by Deroy Murdock (which I will spoiler below) and I thought that he said a lot of very important things. The middle part of the article is a lot of whining about wasteful government spending (as if nobody knew that happened), but what he had to say in the beginning and end of the article rings true to me.

    Enjoy

    America Is Broke
    A domestic “Nixon goes to China” moment.

    By Deroy Murdock


    ‘We’re out of money,” President Obama admitted. “We’re operating in deep deficits,” he said in a May 23 C-SPAN interview.

    While Obama is refreshingly realistic, he resembles a man who strolls into a bar, sees that his wallet is empty, then slaps a round of drinks for everyone onto his wheezing credit card.

    Rather than use America’s rapidly deteriorating public finances to restore fiscal discipline after G. W. Bush’s deplorable spend-o-rama, Obama is digging America into a deeper hole — not with a shovel, but with a backhoe. If he continues, the ensuing canyon walls will collapse and crush us.

    Look how spectacularly Washington squanders your money:

    General Motors recently requested $2.6 billion in fresh bailout money. On May 22, Washington gave GM $4 billion, 154 percent of what it wanted. Worse yet, this gift arrived just days before GM was expected to declare bankruptcy. The Treasury might as well have deposited $4 billion into the nearest landfill.

    The so-called Bridge to Software is an $11 million taxpayer-funded project in Redmond, Wash. This landscaped bridge, pedestrian walkway, and bike lane will connect the east and west campuses of Microsoft — a company with $20 billion in cash. Meanwhile, as CBS News reports, the 76-year-old South Park Bridge carries 20,000 people daily and scores 4 out of 100 on a government-safety scale. (Before it collapsed in 2007, Minneapolis’s Mississippi River Bridge earned a 40.) Its repair remains unfunded. Washington is utterly incapable of setting priorities, or of barring the wealthy from the trough.

    Across the entire budget, such lunacy soon spells fiscal doom.

    Thanks to recession-driven revenue shortfalls and the endless Bush-Obama bailouts and stimuli, the federal deficit will explode from 2008’s $458 billion to at least $1.84 trillion in 2009. Despite the mid-month tax collections, the federal government finished with an April deficit for the first time in 26 years. Washington incinerated all those hard-earned tax payments within a fortnight.

    Last year was the first in which Medicare disbursements outran revenues. Medicare is expected to go kaput in 2017, two years sooner than had been predicted. Come 2016, Social Security checks similarly will outpace the payroll taxes that fund them.

    Publicly held debt’s share of Gross Domestic Product has soared from 33 percent in 2001 to 44 percent in 2008 and will hit 77 percent in 2013, Standard & Poor forecasts. Federal IOUs total $8 trillion. Beyond that, $45 trillion in unfunded liabilities constitute a long-term Red River on the national ledger. Financial analysts warn that America could lose its sterling AAA bond rating. Atop international humiliation, this would subject both government and consumers to higher interest rates as U.S. bonds grow riskier.

    Washington has greeted all of this, not by cutting outlays, but by monetizing them. As commentator Glenn Beck puts it: “We’ve gone from tax-and-spend to tax-and-print.”

    Obama now faces a domestic “Nixon goes to China” moment that could transform him into one of America’s finest presidents or convert him into Jimmy Carter II.

    Just as Richard Nixon’s anti-Communist record gave him the latitude to re-engage Mao’s China, Obama’s solid-Left credentials grant him the leeway to padlock dozens of government agencies, terminate hundreds of federal programs, and finally slay the entitlement monsters that will devour this republic. Obama can do this without becoming paralyzed by liberal catcalls about feeding Granny to crocodiles. A few concrete steps would help Obama succeed.


    Obama should implement zero-based budgeting. Every federal commission, agency, and department should justify its spending from the first dollar up, rather than simply ladle fresh cash onto last year’s often bloated and duplicative budget.

    Why, for instance, does Uncle Sam still run the $166 million Tennessee Valley Authority and the $958 million Rural Utilities Service, now that Appalachia has electricity? Similarly, must every program at the departments of Commerce, Housing, and Transportation remain immortal?

    Each federal transfer and entitlement payment should be affluence-tested. Poor people without options should keep vital assistance. The middle class should get middling help, at best. And the wealthy finally should be told to fend for themselves — from subsidized “farmers” who inhabit Manhattan’s luxury co-ops, to millionaire seniors on subsidized pharmaceuticals, to CEOs swimming laps in bailout money.

    Finally, if Washington cannot cut the federal budget, its growth at least should not exceed inflation. According to the Heritage Foundation’s Brian Riedl, had fiscal bedwetter George W. Bush’s total expenditures merely matched inflation, $3.3 trillion would have gone unspent, averaging some $400 billion annually.

    President Obama did not groom himself to become the elegant, eloquent man who steered America into a fiscal Grand Canyon. Instead, he should harness his intellect and charisma to retreat from the precipice. He has just enough time, if he U-turns right now.

    — Deroy Murdock is a columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
     
  12. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    This is classic. I will try to take this seriously even though anyone who quotes a mental midget like Glenn Beck may not be all that serious in the first place. What this illustrates is that there are two ways to approach this classic problem, to generate income in a slow economy. It goes back to the whole idea of the bail outs and the huge stimulus package in the first place. It's just like in business; a strong economy drives more business, which generates more income.

    The first position is typical in business: cut spending in hard times. It's an entirely defensive position, which dominates most corporate think. They cut jobs, benefits, production, R&D, wages, inventory, advertizing, selection, all in hopes of saving money on the bottom line. If you work in business you see this type of thinking all the time and its short and long term effects.

    But in business there is an old expression, which I firmly believe: You have to spend money, to make money. Even in a slow economy you look for ways to exploit the business that is there - you want your share of the market and it is still an opportunity to build youir business. So, you offer better deals, better products, advertize more, staff more (but with better intelligence) and offer the products and services that your competitors refuse to. This increases your customer base, which in turn generates more income (of course). Nevertheless, you have to make much better uses of your resources and capital.

    IMO, that is what the debate should be about.

    While the government is not a "for profit" institution, it still needs to generate income in order to have the resources to build and craft what the American people expect from it (those expectations vary, depending on the current situation). The more income business and individuals generate, the more the government takes in as a resullt. So the govenment benefits from a stronger economy, not one which is weaker. Hence the term "stimulate" the economy. By spending more now, the government hopes to generate more income for itself down the road. This makes good sense in business and good sense in government as well. What we should be debating is how intelligently the money is being spent, not if we should be spending it.

    Here:

    Is he arguing what liberals have for years? That the country can't afford corporate welfare? This refutes the whole idea of the "trickle-down" theory of economics.

    And which president would that have been 26 years ago?
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2009
  13. martaug Gems: 23/31
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    Sorry i kinda disappeared there, RL you know. Ok ragusa
    You seem to fail to grasp that Holder & certain members of the obama admin are saying that waterboarding is ALWAYS torture, so you can't have exceptions. I was playing devils advocate by arguing from that point(intent sometimes doesn't come across so well).

    No matter what you say about torture, the law states differently.
    Circular reasoning chandos, doesn't hold up. "The intent was "good", in regards that it was to save "people". is no more true than your statement.

    PS Holy crap! missed 2 whole pages of new stuff!
    Hell even people that backed obama don't like him any more.
    Obama should resign
    I'll spoiler the whole thing for you.
    MIAMI — We expected broken promises. But the gap between the soaring expectations that accompanied Barack Obama’s inauguration and his wretched performance is the broadest such chasm in recent historical memory. This guy makes Bill Clinton look like a paragon of integrity and follow-through.

    From health care to torture to the economy to war, Obama has reneged on pledges real and implied. So timid and so owned is he that he trembles in fear of offending, of all things, the government of Turkey. Obama has officially reneged on his campaign promise to acknowledge the Armenian genocide. When a president doesn’t have the nerve to annoy the Turks, why does he bother to show up for work in the morning?

    Obama is useless. Worse than that, he’s dangerous. Which is why, if he has any patriotism left after the thousands of meetings he has sat through with corporate contributors, blood-sucking lobbyists and corrupt politicians, he ought to step down now — before he drags us further into the abyss.

    I refer here to Obama’s plan for “preventive detentions.” If a cop or other government official thinks you might want to commit a crime someday, you could be held in “prolonged detention.” Reports in U.S. state-controlled media imply that Obama’s shocking new policy would only apply to Islamic terrorists (or, in this case, wannabe Islamic terrorists, and also kinda-sorta-maybe-thinking-about-terrorism dudes). As if that made it OK.

    In practice, Obama wants to let government goons snatch you, me and anyone else they deem annoying off the street.

    Preventive detention is the classic defining characteristic of a military dictatorship. Because dictatorial regimes rely on fear rather than consensus, their priority is self-preservation rather than improving their people’s lives. They worry obsessively over the one thing they can’t control, what George Orwell called “thoughtcrime” — contempt for rulers that might someday translate to direct action.

    Locking up people who haven’t done anything wrong is worse than un-American and a violent attack on the most basic principles of Western jurisprudence. It is contrary to the most essential notion of human decency. That anyone has ever been subjected to “preventive detention” is an outrage. That the president of the United States, a man who won an election because he promised to elevate our moral and political discourse, would even entertain such a revolting idea offends the idea of civilization itself.

    Obama is cute. He is charming. But there is something rotten inside him. Unlike the Republicans who backed George W. Bush, I won’t follow a terrible leader just because I voted for him. Obama has revealed himself. He is a monster, and he should remove himself from power.

    “Prolonged detention,” reported The New York Times, would be inflicted upon “terrorism suspects who cannot be tried.”

    “Cannot be tried.” Interesting choice of words.

    Any “terrorism suspect” (can you be a suspect if you haven’t been charged with a crime?) can be tried. Anyone can be tried for anything. At this writing, a Somali child is sitting in a prison in New York, charged with piracy in the Indian Ocean, where the U.S. has no jurisdiction. Anyone can be tried.

    What they mean, of course, is that the hundreds of men and boys languishing at Guantánamo and the thousands of “detainees” the Obama administration anticipates kidnapping in the future cannot be convicted. As in the old Soviet Union, putting enemies of the state on trial isn’t enough. The game has to be fixed. Conviction has to be a foregone conclusion.

    Why is it, exactly, that some prisoners “cannot be tried”?

    The Old Grey Lady explains why Obama wants this “entirely new chapter in American law” in a boring little sentence buried a couple of paragraphs past the jump and a couple of hundred words down page A16: “Yet another question is what to do with the most problematic group of Guantánamo detainees: those who pose a national security threat but cannot be prosecuted, either for lack of evidence or because evidence is tainted.”

    In democracies with functioning legal systems, it is assumed that people against whom there is a “lack of evidence” are innocent. They walk free. In countries where the rule of law prevails, in places blessedly free of fearful leaders whose only concern is staying in power, “tainted evidence” is no evidence at all. If you can’t prove that a defendant committed a crime — an actual crime, not a thoughtcrime — in a fair trial, you release him and apologize to the judge and jury for wasting their time.

    It is amazing and incredible, after eight years of Bush’s lawless behavior, to have to still have to explain these things. For that reason alone, Obama should resign.

    Ted Rall is a columnist for Universal Press Syndicate.

    Now before you go " oh that Ted Rall is just some republican" please see here,Ted Rall
    Now i don't agree that he should resign as that would make Biden pres & put Pelosi only 1 step away(& damned if that wouldn't cut Bidens life expectency to just weeks! That woman would do ANYTHING for power!).
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2009
    Chandos the Red likes this.
  14. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    ....in much the same way that driving 150 mph is always speeding -- unless you happen to be on a race track. No offense, martaug, but this is getting pretty silly. Even if waterboarding is always torture, it doesn't automatically follow that torture is always criminal. The law most assuredly differentiates between torture conducted on a willing target during an optional training exercise and torture performed on an unwilling prisoner.

    The speed limit on residential roads is 25 mph. This doesn't mean you can't go 55 on the highway.
     
  15. martaug Gems: 23/31
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    Really drew? i just reread the entire torture statute & didn't see an exemption clause anywhere.
    Please post a link to it or admit you are wrong on this 1 point(not saying you are completely wrong, as that would be hubris(of which you are the reigning king. All hail the King:kneel::p))
     
  16. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    Martaug, I'll state this as plainly as I can. We know from legal precedent that waterboarding was considered torture prior 2002 because we not only tried and convicted foreigners for doing so, but because we also tried and convicted our own troops in Vietnam for violating the Geneva Prisoner of War Conventions of 1949 when they waterboarded POW's. As far as legal precedent goes, it doesn't get any sounder than that.

    By contrast, SERE school has been waterboarding consenting troops in training excercises since 1959, and no SERE trainer has been arrested for torturing our troops. Why? Because subjecting our own troops to waterboarding in a training exercise doesn't violate the Torture statute of the Geneva Conventions*. Waterboarding a POW, on the other hand, most assuredly does. I doubt that you fail to grasp this distinction -- you're a smart guy -- and I honestly wonder why you insist on carrying on with this particular argument. This entire line of reasoning is beneath you and I know for a fact you could do better if you tried**.

    * How could it? To be considered POW's, our troops would have to get, you know, captured first. ;)

    ** And you could certainly come up with a better insult than The King of Hubris. Seriously, Martaug, that's so passe. Next time, go with something like The Duke of Doublespeak, The Sultan of Sanctimony, The Baron of Bull**** or even The Regent of Revisionism. You know, something with a little more pizazz...
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2009
  17. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    From your own link:

    This is the guy we should be listening to, asking a black president to resign, Martaug? R-i-g-h-t....

    I'm not sure I'm getting this.
     
  18. martaug Gems: 23/31
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    No pizazz for you Drew, you like it entirely too much:hippy:

    Actually Chandos look at his other big controversies:
    &
    &
    &
    You are conviently suppressing all of the hatred spewed at condoleeza by liberal blacks, like Bill Fletcher, Jr., the former leader of the TransAfrica Forum, who called her
    And Harry Belafonte, who said that
    and other attacks on her by other blacks like "just another Uncle Tom" & an "Oreo"

    If she had Biden whacked before he appointed a new VP, guess who is next in line of presidential succession? Bingo ol'Nancy herself.
     
  19. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    Yeah, and I'm still waiting for Hillary Clinton to go on a killing spree until she is POTUS. I mean, she can't be that far behind in lane, at the elections people said she'd do anything for power, so what are 5-6 deaths? Now it's Nancy. Must be a common theme with high-ranking Democratic women. Of course, if McCain was president (and still alive, the last half a year or so has enough things to end a man with much stronger heart) we'd have to worry about Sarah Palin. Yeah, yeah, I know, she's got family values, Christian morals and all that, but you know, from the right angle McCain looks a bit like a wolf, her hunter instincts from the Alaska days could have taken over ;) .

    Anyway, was that Ted Rall you guys were discussing? I agree with some of his stuff, but I guess he can be a bit over the top in his cynicism (though I think his opinion of Obama might be little better than martaug's). Then again, I have even more regarding the leaders of my country, so I'm not exactly qualified to pass judgement.
     
  20. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Martaug - I don't go in much for hate-mongering whether it's from the left or right. To refer to Rice as the "house nigga" just because he disagrees with her policies is just stupid and ignorant. But I'm still not sure where you are going with this. Do you think this guy is right, or just another hate-mongering talking head?
     
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