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Author Topic: Obama's Economic plan  (Read 14150 times)

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AndromacheNY

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Obama's Economic plan
« on: January 10, 2009, 04:22:15 PM »

Okay, here's the deal, I probably won't comment about this much if at all after throwing it out there. You can get on board or not as you please. I'm not gonna try to convince you at all, and I strongly encourage anyone who's curious to look into the plan themselves. I'm just putting the option here. Do with it what you will. And duke it out if you want to, of course.  ;)

Hi,

The bad news: Unemployment has hit a 16-year high.

The good news: Obama just laid out a bold plan for how to get out of this economic crisis. He wants to invest in clean energy, green jobs, and health care.

But the most important parts of Obama's plan are already under attack by oil and health insurance lobbyists!

I signed a petition urging Congress to pass Obama's economic plan right away. Can you join me at the link below?
Thanks!


« Last Edit: January 10, 2009, 04:28:48 PM by AndromacheNY »
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Alf Cunha

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2009, 07:57:28 PM »

** - Call me a buzzkill, but the site offers no details on the plan itself or even why the opponents are against it.  Signing a petition without knowing what it is actually FOR is not my cup of tea :(
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Horace

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2009, 10:52:18 PM »

People are against it because all the things he wants to do have been tried before and failed.
Gov't work programs have never worked. Neither have higher taxes.
And especially not more deficits.
Since the democrats took control of both houses of Congress two years ago, we've been getting some previews of what is to come.
The economy wasnt doing wonderful before then, but at least it was going in the right direction. Constant, near record low unemployment, shrinking deficits, average 4% annual growth, no mortgage crisis, and consumer confidence was constantly reported as good. The democrats ran on a promise of change when they took over congress. Amazingly, they kept their promise and all the things above changed. Unemployment is up, consumer confidence is down, economic growth has been changed to recession, a mortgage crisis cripples the economy, and with Obama not even in office yet, some economists are predicting that he will give us the single largest deficit in US history. (And no, I dont think the republicans are much better. They could have done much more over the last eight years to cut spending, further reduce taxes and thus boost the economy even more, but lacked the spine to do so.)
No, I dont think McCain would have been good for the US, being a RINO (republican in name only). I just think he would have been less bad.
But hey, this is what America asked for. Big daddy gov't to bail us out and take care of us, so we never have to accept the consequences for our decisions.
Hold on to your wallets people, because if you think its bad now, just wait till Obama is sworn in and starts doing what he promised, with little opposition from Congress.
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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2009, 12:21:20 AM »

Can you PLEASE wait til the guy gets in office!?  My mother in law is the one screaming that he's a terrorist and is going to blow up the White House.  I asked her, 'why is he fighting so hard to get into 'his' house and then blow it up'?  I've BEEN having my handbasket packed.  I'm looking forward to the ride already.  I SO hate politics!
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Frigemall

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2009, 08:19:09 AM »

Why only create 'Green' jobs, people need jobs period. If he wants to create jobs he should offer tax incentives to buisinesses that will hire people. As far as Medical interests, the prospect of the government getting more involved in the health care industry is chilling at best. The chances that our government will screw it up worse are not only likely but also inevitable. I say the same about developing clean energy sources. Give buisnesses incentives, such as tax breaks, not handouts, to do so yes, but do not force them to do so, or you will bankrupt the industry and screw that up too. Give Capitolism a chance by backing off and letting buisinesses fail and flourish, while keeping an eye out to make sure it does not trample people. Will I be signing that, I think I can say with certainty 'NO'. My guess is most of his 'solution' will be to create more government oversight commitees, and restictions while giving out handouts to those buisinesses that 'play ball', while punishing those who do not. But we do not know simply because the details are real sketchy at best. I am willing to give him a chance to do the right things, but am at best sceptical that he will. I will oppose him when I see him doing things I think will be disatrous, as I did with the last president that I at least voted for.
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LucasJamison

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2009, 11:17:45 AM »

Why only create 'Green' jobs, people need jobs period. If he wants to create jobs he should offer tax incentives to buisinesses that will hire people.

Practically speaking, this is what will happen, anyway. There are like, 0 "shovel ready" green projects, so a lot of infrastructure spending is going to go to repaving existing roads and shoring up existing bridges, not redesigning transportation infrastructure in meaningful ways with more long term (decades/centuries scale) benefits.

On the energy side, there's whack nutjob voluntary human extinctionist green, and there's efficiency and scientific advancement green, and I'm the latter sort, so I love the idea of focusing on developing more technically interesting and potentially higher efficiency projects in energy. I just hope nuclear doesn't get thrown too far under the bus - it's neat stuff and we ought to do more with it. Not quite as cool as building massive space-based deathrays and turning them to beneficial use, but neat stuff anyway.



As far as Medical interests, the prospect of the government getting more involved in the health care industry is chilling at best.

Your pathological distrust of government makes me wonder why you are not more of an anarchist. If it can and will never do anything right, why do you support having a government at all?

Healthcare is infrastructure. When you privatize infrastructure, bad things tend to happen. At least, the way things have generally been done.
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Bulova

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2009, 03:30:45 PM »

I read most of the posts in this thread, and while they present differing points of view and opinions, there is only one that garnered a resounding "WTF?" as I read it. Why am I not surprised at its author?

People are against it because all the things he wants to do have been tried before and failed.
Gov't work programs have never worked. Neither have higher taxes.
And especially not more deficits.
Since the democrats took control of both houses of Congress two years ago, we've been getting some previews of what is to come.
The economy wasnt doing wonderful before then, but at least it was going in the right direction. Constant, near record low unemployment, shrinking deficits, average 4% annual growth, no mortgage crisis, and consumer confidence was constantly reported as good. The democrats ran on a promise of change when they took over congress. Amazingly, they kept their promise and all the things above changed. Unemployment is up, consumer confidence is down, economic growth has been changed to recession, a mortgage crisis cripples the economy, and with Obama not even in office yet, some economists are predicting that he will give us the single largest deficit in US history. (And no, I dont think the republicans are much better. They could have done much more over the last eight years to cut spending, further reduce taxes and thus boost the economy even more, but lacked the spine to do so.)
No, I dont think McCain would have been good for the US, being a RINO (republican in name only). I just think he would have been less bad.
But hey, this is what America asked for. Big daddy gov't to bail us out and take care of us, so we never have to accept the consequences for our decisions.
Hold on to your wallets people, because if you think its bad now, just wait till Obama is sworn in and starts doing what he promised, with little opposition from Congress.

Just to point out two out-and-out falsehoods:

"Gov't work programs have never worked." Except for the infrastructure improvements, and the jobs created by the TVA and other New Deal programs under FDR.

And the most fantastic revision of history that I have ever read that didn't come from the fiction section:

"Since the democrats took control of both houses of Congress two years ago, we've been getting some previews of what is to come.
"The economy wasnt doing wonderful before then, but at least it was going in the right direction. Constant, near record low unemployment, shrinking deficits, average 4% annual growth, no mortgage crisis, and consumer confidence was constantly reported as good."

The deficit ballooned every single year under Bush II, not just "Since the democrats took control...two years ago" We were (and still are) in an unwarranted war that drains BILLIONS from our national treasury every year (and it's still not enough to properly wage it), and the economic crises (yes, plural) are a result of years of de-regulation and lack of enforcement where regulations are in place in the various economy industries.

The impending failure of the US Auto Industry is a result of systemic and regular mis-management. Reliance on "today's hot car" and cheapening manufacturing methods (to make up for union negotiated-and-won wage and benefit increases) resulting in an overall inferior product to the imports.

And let's not forget the 50-Billion Dollar Man: Bernard Madoff, who was allowed to get away with his alleged Ponzi scheme for 10 more years after first reports of suspicious results were actually delivered to the SEC in 1998; and who did absolutely nothing with them. Or the second set of reports in 2002. Or the third notice in 2005.

And where did the root of all this industry deregulation originate? In the revered Reagan Administration. Yeah, even the much-respected Alan Greenspan, Fed Chairman for over 18 years (August 11, 1987 January 31, 2006), admitted that his support of deregulation was a mistake. (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27335454/, http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/aee9e3a2-a11f-11dd-82fd-000077b07658.html)

And somehow, this is all the result of the Democrats having control of both houses the last two years? I don't think so.
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Fox McCloud

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2009, 10:08:25 PM »

Okay...I dont like Obama...I didnt vote for him...But he won...You all drank the cool-ade and here we are.  I wish the man the best and I am shure he will do fine or okay maybe even bolth.  But seriously tho.  Its over....Can we all just stop now...Shake hands and give each other a big old GG.  If you dont wanna sign her stupid patiton dont.  But there is no reason to turn this thread into another politacal flame.
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Horace

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2009, 10:20:25 PM »

Just to point out two out-and-out falsehoods:

"Gov't work programs have never worked." Except for the infrastructure improvements, and the jobs created by the TVA and other New Deal programs under FDR.

Of course these problems did not work to improve the economy. They kept some people working, and built some necessary things, but when the jobs were done, the economy had not changed.
The common cause of people believing these problems worked is that the Depression did eventually end. The truth is, that it was WW2 that ended the depression.

And the most fantastic revision of history that I have ever read that didn't come from the fiction section:

The deficit ballooned every single year under Bush II,

Only if you look at it as dollars. When examined properly as a percentage of the overall budget, the economic growth and the increased federal revenues caused the deficit to become smaller.

But I await you posting the deficits as a percent of the overal budget showing them "ballooning".

Dont get me wrong, the budget is one of the things I am the most unhappy with President Bush about. When the post tax cut revenues equalled the pre cut level, he should have started pushing for more cuts. He should have also pushed for spending cuts.

But then, you can also look at the timeline. (and keep in mind that the congress has much more to do with the economy than the President does)
Bush inherits a recession.
Before the policies he pushes can really start being implemented and having any effect, we are attacked and get in to two wars.
From then till just about two years ago, we had no mortgage crisis, unemployment was at a constant, near record low, the auto industry wasnt begging for money, and the economy was growing slowly.
And now? Well, you can see whats happening in the real world.
And Obama's plan? Spend even more money we dont have.

You complain about "ballooning deficits" Paul. Tell us how you feel about Obama (according to some economists) giving us the single largest deficit in national history? (predicted of course, since he hasnt actually submitted a budget yet, the prediction is based on all the things Obama has said he wants to do)
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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2009, 11:13:34 PM »

I tried to leave this, I really did. But the incredible new and vast dimensions to the concept of pathetic and stupid that Paul has reached with his attempt to blame todays economy on Ronald Reagan just wouldnt let me.

Here's a clue for you Paul, and please, get someone with a brain to sit with you and help you comprehend it, because obviously you havent grasped it on your own yet....

Here it is---Ronald Reagan has been out of office for twenty years. TWENTY YEARS! And much to the joy of many who share your side of the political spectrum, he's been dead for most of those years.
During that twenty years we have had Presidents from both parties. All of those Presidents have had some time with their own party running both houses of congress.
During that twenty years, the economy has grown, shrank, and some might even say gone a little sideways.
During that twenty years regulations have come and gone.
And during that twenty years, the economic factors that have contributed to the current situation have not had near the problems that they are having today.
No, what President Reagan did is not at fault for todays economy.
What is at fault for todays economy are people who are so massively pathetic that they will still take every desperate chance they can to blame a guy who's been gone for twenty years.

Respond if you want paul, but dont expect anything more from me. You and that strange irrational reality you live in are too damn pathetic to waste any more of my time with.
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Having seen a video (Thanks dave and CAH) I now understand why she said that.

Bulova

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2009, 07:55:35 AM »

Brian...it does seem pointless, but, man, you really have to learn to accurately comprehend what you read.

Your post displayed such partisan tunnel vision, it is a JOKE that you can hurl such disrespectful epithets in my direction. THAT'S what's really "pathetic and stupid" here. If I attacked anything, it was WHAT YOU WROTE. I also expressed my lack of surprise that it was you who wrote it. You respond by attacking me. Thank you for making my position easier to defend.

Your beliefs are rife with misinterpreted, and outright false understandings of history. Your debate is marred by this lack of comprehension.

And the latest one is this: "During that twenty years regulations have come and gone."

No, Brian. During that twenty years, regulations have gone. And gone. And gone. And the agencies charged with enforcing the remaining ones have had their budgets slashed. Or have made POLICY decision to NOT enforce them (see: SEC and Bernard Madoff, for example. And the DOJ and the Microsoft anti-trust case, for that matter.)

And no. I don't exclusively blame President Reagan for today's mess. But his IDEAS, and their apparent instant "success" so brainwashed the "Establishment" that subsequent Policy changes have continued along the same line.

If I ascribed any "blame" at all for the current crises, it was to the dismantling of regulation of the economic industries. And I laid the foundation for those de-regulatory policies on the Reagan Administration, under which they began in earnest. It was during that administration that the mindset of "regulation--BAD" became an ingrained thought-process of America Economics. We are now seeing where that leads.

Until you both learn how to read AND take some history lessons, there is just no use trying to communicate with you on the subject. This response is more for the benefit of the other readers, so that I don't look like an idiot for letting your mis-information stand unchallenged.
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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2009, 09:29:37 AM »

Its over....Can we all just stop now...Shake hands and give each other a big old GG.  If you dont wanna sign her stupid patiton dont.  But there is no reason to turn this thread into another politacal flame.

There needs to be a reason? :)
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LucasJamison

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2009, 11:26:02 AM »

Of course these problems did not work to improve the economy. They kept some people working, and built some necessary things, but when the jobs were done, the economy had not changed. The common cause of people believing these problems worked is that the Depression did eventually end. The truth is, that it was WW2 that ended the depression.

Come on now - that's sleight of hand. It's true that GDP did not recover to pre '30 levels until almost '41, but the deflationary trend was reversed and GDP was rising from '33 on. War or no war, the country was on the road to recovery, and without the massive electrification and industrialization projects undertaken under the "New Deals", the US might never have been able to mobilize for war production on the scale that it did, in the time frame that it did, and so would not have reaped the economic benefits it did in the post-war years. And that's just assuming, of course, for sake of argument, that this would not have had an impact on the outcome of the war itself, which of course it also would have.

Only if you look at it as dollars. When examined properly as a percentage of the overall budget, the economic growth and the increased federal revenues caused the deficit to become smaller. But I await you posting the deficits as a percent of the overal budget showing them "ballooning".

He seems a bit lazy, so let me. I'm not sure where "ballooning" is an accurate trend description for any period, in dollars or as % of receipts. There were some big jumps, but they are not sustained trends over time.

I mean, the first FY Bush was really responsible for was '02 (Bush was in office at the end of FY'01, but just as Obama is coming in on FY'09, the budgets are set and spending has begun months before he came into office), and there was an over 20% y/y jump in on-budget deficit spending. There was actually a slight budget shortfall in 01, but off-budget surplusses allowed Bush to fund his '01 tax rebate (which I thought was no less stupid in '08, though I'll admit I cashed that check real damn fast - bought myself 2 root canals, so I did my part! Bury the Axis! ;p).

Despite continuing off-budget surplusses, fairly constant in dollar terms, the on-budget deficits were so great from '02 to present that overall deficits have persisted. The two big jumps really were the '02 jump (2% to 24%) and the '03 jump (24% to 43%). Things levelled off in 2004 and a downward trend persisted through 2007, where the deficit was cut back to '96 levels (~17%), but still higher than in any year from '96 to '01. Best estimates place the overall on-budget deficit for '08 at 2005 levels (30-32% of receipts), and early projections for FY'09, prior to discussions of the big stimulus plan, were at around 30%. Of course, anything near that size piled on top of the bail-outs would raise on-budget deficits to the 50-60% of receipts range, the greatest since the end of WW2 (during the '39-'45 years, deficits ranged from a low of 58% of receipts in '39 to a height (in '43) of a whopping 243%! Of course, in non-adjusted dollars, the emergency war appropriations for Iraq & Afghanistan alone (in any given year of late) exceed TOTAL government spending in any of those years. Don't have the number handy to do the adjustments for inflation.

In terms of revenue growth, federal revenues decreased from 00 to '03, then reversed in '04 and (in a big jump) finally exceeded '00 levels in '05, and another big jump in '06. Revenue growth slowed slightly in '07 but added another 150 billion or so, projected slight drop in FY'08 (40-50 billionish), and early numbers for '09 had an increase in revenue projected, but I'm not sure that takes the massive downturn from August on into account.

Curiously, revenue doubled from '90 to '00, as it did from '80 to '90. '00 to '10 increase is likely to be less than 50% if current trends persist.

Again, all of the dollars are in absolute terms, not adjusted, 's why I did a lot with percentages.

All numbers taken from an Office of Management and Budget report prepared in '08 for FY'09, available here: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy09/pdf/hist.pdf

Dont get me wrong, the budget is one of the things I am the most unhappy with President Bush about. When the post tax cut revenues equalled the pre cut level, he should have started pushing for more cuts. He should have also pushed for spending cuts.

In 2005, when this was the case, he was probably too busy squandering his "political capital" in a failed bid to privatize social security to push through anything else.

Bush inherits a recession.

And a significant budget surplus.

Before the policies he pushes can really start being implemented and having any effect, we are attacked and get in to two wars.

One war. Afghanistan - late '01, Iraq wasn't until Spring '03, and his policies were in effect and playing a role well prior. Spending for Afghanistan was not the biggest contributor to his deficits in '02, either.

From then till just about two years ago, we had no mortgage crisis, unemployment was at a constant, near record low, the auto industry wasnt begging for money, and the economy was growing slowly.

The auto industry has been slowly dying for decades. They interviewed an exec from... GM, I think? Anyhow, they interviewed him about what it was like to be running a company on government life support, and his response was that it was really new to him: not getting a bonus, taking a pay cut, not being able to fly in private jets or stay in "decent" hotels. Kind of a fucked up set of priorities. If that's indicative of the industry's leadership, I suppose one can see why they're not doing so well. Anyhow, that's a symptom of the overall downturn - like anyone living pay-check to pay-check, or more like running behind one or two, you miss a check and BAM. Everything falls apart.

The mortgage crisis precipitated the lending crisis which exacerbated other trends to result in the economic downturn we have been experiencing lately. To be quite accurate, the crisis had been building THROUGHOUT the period you describe, it's just that no one in a position to notice it or do anything about it fucking noticed it until it was too late to stop. There's a significant difference between that and what you said - think about it.

And Obama's plan? Spend even more money we dont have.

But still significantly less than during the great depression, as a percentage of receipts, and as a % of GDP no worse than in the early-mid 80s.
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Horace

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2009, 04:21:30 PM »

Come on now - that's sleight of hand. It's true that GDP did not recover to pre '30 levels until almost '41, but the deflationary trend was reversed and GDP was rising from '33 on. War or no war, the country was on the road to recovery, and without the massive electrification and industrialization projects undertaken under the "New Deals", the US might never have been able to mobilize for war production on the scale that it did, in the time frame that it did, and so would not have reaped the economic benefits it did in the post-war years. And that's just assuming, of course, for sake of argument, that this would not have had an impact on the outcome of the war itself, which of course it also would have.

No doubt that the country still today benefits from many of these programs. Every day I drive over small bridges built as part of these work projects.
But it was not the work projects themselves that fixed the depression. They kept people off the soup lines while they lasted, but when they were done, those people were no better off than they were before.
No one can say definitely whether or not the depression would have ended without the war, or how long it would have taken to end. But government work programs are not the answer. Everywhere and every time government has tried to employ people, whether by busy work programs or by owning the business, it has gone badly.
The way for the gov't to help business is to get out of its way and let them keep their money. Does this mean absolutely no regulation? Depends on the industry.
Go ahead, tell the mortgage industry that it cant use predatory practices. Dont tell them they have to lend to people who cant afford and would otherwise not qualify for a mortgage. Thats just asking for problems.
Want to tell the auto industry they have to meet certain safety standards? Fine. But if you tell them to make small plastic four wheeled death traps that no one wants in order to save gas, you're putting them out of business.
And most of all, no bailouts. Tell the auto industry and everyone else, "if you screw up, you suffer the consequences." This does not automatically result in the US auto industry disappearing, it results in the companies being a bit more carefull, and accepting the consequences. It also results in renegotiation with the unions and etc to possibly make the company profitable again.

He seems a bit lazy, so let me. I'm not sure where "ballooning" is an accurate trend description for any period, in dollars or as % of receipts. There were some big jumps, but they are not sustained trends over time.
(snip)
All numbers taken from an Office of Management and Budget report prepared in '08 for FY'09, available here: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy09/pdf/hist.pdf

Thank you. I may not have had every minute detail perfectly correct, but you pretty much back up what I was saying.

In 2005, when this was the case, he was probably too busy squandering his "political capital" in a failed bid to privatize social security to push through anything else.

Drives me nuts. He wasnt trying to "privatise social security" which makes it sound like completely separating it from gov't. He was trying to give people the OPTION of taking a small amount of the SS taxes and investing it privately.
But agree, he could have used his "political capital" for other causes.

And a significant budget surplus.

I've heard a few 'arguements' to the surplus claim. One says it was a projected surplus. That if we had kept on the programs we were on, we would get to actual surplus.
The other says that the surplus was more book keeping tricks, such as taking funds (such as the SS fund) and adding it to the budget to make it look like there was a surplus.
Neither of those is a "hey, we got this huge pile of money left over rignt now" surplus.
Either way, its gone now.

The mortgage crisis precipitated the lending crisis which exacerbated other trends to result in the economic downturn we have been experiencing lately. To be quite accurate, the crisis had been building THROUGHOUT the period you describe, it's just that no one in a position to notice it or do anything about it fucking noticed it until it was too late to stop. There's a significant difference between that and what you said - think about it.

I have.
No, the regulations pushed by Obama, Pelosi and the rest are not the only factor in the mortgage crisis.
But if not for this, would it have been as major and serious as it is?
Before this regulation that they passed under the guise of "affordable housing" the problems the mortgage industry faced, such as people borrowing more than they could really afford and people not stopping to think "hey, when the lock in period on my ARM expires, the bank is going to raise my rate as high as they can get away with, will I still be able to afford the payments then?"
Yes, this would have caused problems, and some companies would probably have gone under, but no where near as severe as it is with that regulation. How many billions did fannie and freddie over-lend? How much less severe would the current problem be without those billions?
Money that we now have to pay back. What do I get for those tax dollars? Nothing.

I've always been one to expect people to face the consequences of the choices they make and the actions they take. Sometimes this principle requires me to be damn cold hearted. But I think this country was far better off when more people agreed with me.

Ronald Reagan was absolutely right. "Government is not the answer, government is the problem."
Neither Reagan or anyone else sought a complete elimination of all gov't regulation. Just the regulations that the gov't shouldnt be involved in. Neither Reagan nor anyone else (contrary to what some on the 'left' want you to believe) ever supported doing away with regulations against, for example predatory lending practices, or safety standards for cars. What we stand against, is gov't telling companies what products they are required to make and who they must lend to. (after regulating away descrimination based on color etc)
History has proven again and again, before and after Reagan, in and outside of the US, that when you get the gov't out of the way of the people, the people prosper.

« Last Edit: January 14, 2009, 04:26:14 PM by Horace »
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I'm not really as scary as some people think I am. (re something Julie said to me at reg one night)

Having seen a video (Thanks dave and CAH) I now understand why she said that.

Horace

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2009, 04:31:34 PM »

Just one article supporting my claim that Obama and the dems are at least a major factor causing the current economic problems.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aSKSoiNbnQY0
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I'm not really as scary as some people think I am. (re something Julie said to me at reg one night)

Having seen a video (Thanks dave and CAH) I now understand why she said that.
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