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Author Topic: Obama's Economic plan  (Read 14148 times)

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LucasJamison

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #45 on: January 27, 2009, 11:18:49 AM »

Just out of Curiosity where did that chart come from Dave? Sorry I probably missed where you posted the source.

Sorry about that!

The chart is mine. The data comes from the US Census Bureau (available at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/histpov/hstpov2.xls - column D - All People, by percentage by year).

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LucasJamison

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #46 on: January 29, 2009, 10:14:23 AM »

Some ideas on why the current stimulus is not enough, or rather focuses on the wrong areas:

http://bradhicks.livejournal.com/422902.html?format=light

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Frigemall

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #47 on: January 30, 2009, 08:23:05 AM »

Some ideas on why the current stimulus is not enough, or rather focuses on the wrong areas:
I agree this stimulus package is filled with pork and things that will do little to help the economy, while costing the country an incredible amount.
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1870575,00.html
This shows where some of it is proposed to go. Note that many of these areas have nothing to do with stimulating the economy.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123202946622485595.html
Science and Technology
$10 billion Science facilities
$6 billion High-speed Internet access for rural and underserved areas

 

Infrastructure
$32 billion Transportation projects
$31 billion Construction and repair of federal buildings and other public infrastructure
$19 billion Water projects
$10 billion Rail and mass transit projects

 

Education
$41 billion Grants to local school districts
$79 billion State fiscal relief to prevent cuts in state aid
$21 billion School modernization

 

Health Care
$39 billion Subsidies to health insurance for unemployed; providing coverage through Medicaid
$90 billion Help to states with Medicaid
$20 billion Modernization of health-information technology systems
$4 billion Preventative care

 

Taxes
Individuals:

$500 per worker, $1,000 per couple tax cut for two years, costing about $140 billionGreater access to the $1,000-per-child tax credit for the working poorExpansion of the earned-income tax credit to include families with three childrenA $2,500 college tuition tax creditRepeal of a requirement that a $7,500 first-time homebuyer tax credit be paid back over timeBusinesses:

An infusion of cash into money-losing companies by allowing them to claim tax credits on past profits dating back five years instead of twoBonus depreciation for businesses investing in new plants and equipmentDoubling of the amount small businesses can write off for capital investments and new equipment purchasesAllowing businesses to claim a tax credit for hiring disconnected youth and veteransSource: Associated Press
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LucasJamison

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #48 on: January 30, 2009, 12:10:57 PM »

I agree this stimulus package is filled with pork and things that will do little to help the economy, while costing the country an incredible amount.

Though apparently little else? The main thrust of the article I linked was that, if the government wants to create jobs and get a decent ROI for expenditure, a revamped WPA would be about the best it could do. Those estimates that for every 40K/year job or so that is created, several hundred thousand would be spent, in this plan? Based on that fact that most of the money will be absorbed in shoring up losses, padding profit lines, and any new work created will first be absorbed by folks already employed - as many companies are not producing to the full capacity of their existing labor force - before any new hires can come of it you have to get to the point where the work simply can't be done by the current staff and more people must be hired. If you just HIRE the poeple, direct, they cost what you pay them plus some administrative overhead. Significantly less per job created. Sadly, that's not a part of the bill that's on the table, and it's something no one with clout is suggesting. I think the last time I heard this idea touted in a widely viewed public forum was in that movie "Dave".

Actually, as a brief aside, the article goes more in depth into why national security is tied with the nation's economic and social welfare.

The Time opinion piece you linked to doesn't actually say anything substantive - it repeats several times that no one knows what to do, from an economic theory perspective, to best stimulate the economy, presents the various components, and says the Obama team's proposal was basically a mix of the various possible options that different sides in the debate support. No meat here!

This shows where some of it is proposed to go. Note that many of these areas have nothing to do with stimulating the economy.

Which areas have "little to do with stimulating the economy"? They all have the intent of either shoring up weak spots or encouraging development. Now, whether or not the bill will have the intended EFFECT, that's a lot iffier.

Science and Technology - $10 billion Science facilities

Title 3 of the bill only allocates about 3.6 billion for all "science" related activities, of which only a small fraction is dedication to related infrastructure. Where's the other 6.4 billion from?

But reseearch spend is nearly always a good idea, providing consistent (if slight) gain on investment and occasionally some real good shit. Of course, I think a lot more technological development comes from meeting specific challenges related to fairly lofty goals (space race castoffs are especially iconic, but not the only example possible). Call for a 100% renewable energy goal in ten years, get people on that shit, and who knows what other discoveries will be made in the process? Or you could get dismissed a kook.

$6 billion High-speed Internet access for rural and underserved areas

Again, I'm having some trouble following their math - I see an appropriation of a hair under $3 billion for wireless and broadband communications development, which isn't specifically limited to high speed internet access, but is certainly a good thing to see some spending on. Communications and access to information are important, and this contries wireless/cellular infrastructure is almost as laughable as our rail system, compared to other nations.

Infrastructure

$32 billion Transportation projects
$10 billion Rail and mass transit projects
$31 billion Construction and repair of federal buildings and other public infrastructure
$19 billion Water projects

An unfortunate lack of vision is involved with this, but they are necessary and are also in many cases ready to start ASAP, which is, I suppose, the point. Also - these numbers are understated by a few billion each, from my read of the bill.
 

Education
$41 billion Grants to local school districts
$79 billion State fiscal relief to prevent cuts in state aid
$21 billion School modernization

While I can understand that this might not meet the sniff test for immediate economic stimulus, many states, and so in turn many municipalities, are getting their asses kicked right now. These expenditures are mostly to stave off further decline.
 

Health Care
$39 billion Subsidies to health insurance for unemployed; providing coverage through Medicaid
$90 billion Help to states with Medicaid
$20 billion Modernization of health-information technology systems
$4 billion Preventative care

Similarly, a healthy populace is a more productive one, and this frees up a lot of potential debt and helps folks get back on track, soo... kinda goes hand in hand with recovery. Also, direct spending on programmers! Out of work folks in the medical IT sector will get a boost, at least.


Taxes
Individuals:

$500 per worker, $1,000 per couple tax cut for two years, costing about $140 billion

From what I can tell from the relevant sections of the bill, this is actually a tax credit of 6.2% of earned income (wages - not capital gains or other sources of income), not to exceed $500. Working that out, if you made more than $8K in wages last year you should be getting a $500 credit. Not entirely sure how this works for folks who paid less than $500 in taxes for the year, though. Also, any wages earned over $75K cause a proportional reduction in the credit, so if you made more than about $82K in wages, you get no credit at all. This is what was meant by a "middle class tax cut", I believe.

A $2,500 college tuition tax credit

This already exists - the HOPE credit. It's being extended from only applying to first 2 years of a qualifying academic program school to first 4. Has made a big difference in my tax returns for the past couple of years. What sucks is, for 2008 I don't qualify, but 2009 I do. Bah!

No apparent modification to the lifetime learning credit, which I do qualify for this year, but has lower caps and applies to a much smaller percentage of costs.

Greater access to the $1,000-per-child tax credit for the working poor & Expansion of the earned-income tax credit to include families with three children & Repeal of a requirement that a $7,500 first-time homebuyer tax credit be paid back over time

These three I don't have a lot of personal experience with - I didn't get this credit when I bought my home, and don't claim any children for tax purposes.

However, seems to me like all of these measures will put money in people's pockets, and that ought to keep more roofs over people's heads, which ought to do a little something toward shoring up the mortgages upon which mortgage backed securities rest, in turn slowing the sliding value of the banks so heavily invested in same, ultimately leading to somewhat healthier financial system. Not quite as good as just doing the damn thing directly, but the best one can hope for from a bunch of worshippers in the cult of the invisible hand.

Businesses:

An infusion of cash into money-losing companies by allowing them to claim tax credits on past profits dating back five years instead of two

I think this is a crap way to achieve the desired result, and if it contributes to stimulus it's by way of life support rather than encouraging growth.

Bonus depreciation for businesses investing in new plants and equipment & Doubling of the amount small businesses can write off for capital investments and new equipment purchases

This, though, is definitely intended to get people spending. Capital spend means money spent at home, too - can't offshore the construction of a building very easily. Problem is, this probably won't get a lot more companies spending, save in a few marginal cases. If you can't get loans, or you can't be sure you'll be doing well enough down the line to pay them back, then you won't spend the money. And if you desperately needed to make the improvement anyway, while this is nice, it doesn't affect your economic behavior.

Allowing businesses to claim a tax credit for hiring disconnected youth and veterans

I really hope this works, but wish it extended to those covered under the ADA, as well. Getting businesses over their fears of employing the so-called unemployable would be great, get more folks off of SSDI and such. Of course, that would require better healthcare provision.

======

All of which is not so much to say that I love this bill - I think it's pretty wasteful, and definitely isn't going to be creating any 4 million jobs! I just don't object as much to the general sectors on which the money is spent.
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Frigemall

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #49 on: January 31, 2009, 08:13:14 AM »

The biggest problem I see with this bill is that the idea they are touting is a stimulus package intended to stimulate the economy quickly, to restore confidence in the system. This bill is far from that. It has lots of provisions that promote several ideas they have been trying to get through piecemeal for years, most of which are either not necessary, wasteful in a down economy, or just plain pork. A true stimulus package would include things like tax credits to companies who hire, stimulus of buisinesses with the conditions that the money must be allocated for growing the economy, etc. Most of the programs in this bill should have been left out and voted on seperately. This will cost over $300 Billion we simply can not afford, and will do little to get the economy going. Since there is nothing backing our money, they are just printing this money and devaluing our dollar. This will cause major inflation and further undermine the confidence in the US economy in the world. I do not like this bill. I believe it is very dangerous and will ultimately cause more problems than we have now. They are in the majority at this point, with both houses of Congress and the Executive Branch under their control. Most of these provisions should get passed in other bills, however it will not be done under the guise of stimulus. Place what you are doing right out there and people can support it or not. If the country runs to the right and votes out a bunch of Dems in 2010 like they did in 1994 when they did similar stuff, they will get their answer.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2009, 02:01:05 PM by Frigemall »
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Frigemall

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #50 on: February 05, 2009, 08:12:00 AM »

It seems to me that the American public is starting to get it when it comes to this bill.

http://www.newsmax.com/insidecover/rasmussen_stimulus_poll/2009/02/04/178542.html
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LucasJamison

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #51 on: February 05, 2009, 10:44:38 AM »

I'm not a huge supporter of the plan as it was passed by the House, and as its developing in the Senate. I think it spends too much addressing the wrong problems, and not enough the right. I do know that if it dies, things will get worse. I don't know for sure that will be the case if it doesn't.

But, for the poll? Dude, 50% of ACTUAL voters thought George Bush was the way to go.

Twice.
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Frigemall

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #52 on: February 06, 2009, 09:34:15 AM »

I'm not a huge supporter of the plan as it was passed by the House, and as its developing in the Senate. I think it spends too much addressing the wrong problems, and not enough the right. I do know that if it dies, things will get worse. I don't know for sure that will be the case if it doesn't.

But, for the poll? Dude, 50% of ACTUAL voters thought George Bush was the way to go.

Twice.
    I know passing a huge wasteful spending bill right now will not help and will probably do a great deal of harm. Congress (which by the way has an even lower approval rate that George Bush ever had) is depending on the good will of the people towards Pres. Obama. If he is not careful, and does not make sure that Congress passes a responsible bill that is not full of pork and measures that will not take effect for several years, he will be in danger of wasting that good will. If the American people lose their faith in him that he has been given up to now, he will have a very hard time of it and the Dems will lose alot of seats in the midterms. This may happen anyway, but passing bad bills that tank the economy worse will only ensure it and hasten it.
   Keynesian theory has been proven over and over to just extend recessions. If the market was allowed to correct itself and companies were allowed to fail, there would be a greater amout of responsibility that would come to the other surviving companies. By pumping money into the economy by funding every spending project that had a hard time getting through on it's own until now cloaked under the guise of "an emergency", is just bad economic practice. Pres. Hoover was one of the first to try this technique. It failed. The depression was far worse than it should have been. It happened again in the late 60s. This caused the recession of the 70s. Pres. Carter tried it yet again in the late 70s and it did not get better until Ronald Reagan came in to office.
   Some spending by the government can be helpful near the end of a recession to help bring us out of it, but only when coupled with tax cuts (and not just giving money to those who pay little or no taxes), buisiness tax incentives, etc. Waving a magic wand and spending $1 Trillion on pork and wasteful projects aimed toward rewarding lobbyist who have been helpful to Democrats, will only cause major inflation and a further eroding of the dollars worth. The aim should be trying to balance the budget and trying to become solvent. This bill will soon be followed by another TARP program, and then Pres. Obama plans to follow up with a huge health care spending project. When will enough be enough? When our country is in such bad shape we will never recover?
« Last Edit: February 10, 2009, 08:21:56 AM by Frigemall »
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Horace

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #53 on: February 12, 2009, 05:02:59 AM »

Re the census and poverty level.
I apparantly made the mistake of considering actual number living under the poverty level, instead of percent of population.
http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/histpov/hstpov2.html

Drifts are allowed. I see it as evidence of your unwillingness to argue from evidence,

When the drift takes the conversation away from the original point, I lose interest.
When it starts appearing to be degenerating in to a flame war, I lose interest faster.

The point about vehicle safety was brought up as one example in a question I had asked about how much you wanted the gov't to be involved in things.
Personally I see this drift as your unwillingness to address the question I had asked.

But apparantly the conversation has evolved past that in my absence.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 05:08:44 AM 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 #54 on: February 12, 2009, 05:21:57 AM »

Mark was correct when he said earlier that this bill isnt about stimulating the economy.
Its about pork, paybacks and getting many pet projects passed that the democrats could not get passed before.

Here is some of what the "paid liars" I read have to say about it.
http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YjcyODIyZGM2MGU1ZDdkNDgxZDc3OTNjYjM4ZDY1ODI=
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/february_2009/62_want_stimulus_plan_to_have_more_tax_cuts_less_spending




And the worst part of the bill is of course tom daschle and hillary clintons dream of a centralized beurocracy monitoring and dictating your medical care. (the article is commentary, but contains page references and a link to a pdf of the bill)
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&refer=columnist_mccaughey&sid=aLzfDxfbwhzs
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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.

LucasJamison

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #55 on: February 13, 2009, 11:16:03 AM »

When the drift takes the conversation away from the original point, I lose interest. When it starts appearing to be degenerating in to a flame war, I lose interest faster.

And yet, here you are!

The point about vehicle safety was brought up as one example in a question I had asked about how much you wanted the gov't to be involved in things. Personally I see this drift as your unwillingness to address the question I had asked.

You asked how much involvement I wanted? Simple answer: as much as is required to achieve the best outcome. But that's a fairly useless answer, just like your basic original question was a pretty useless question.

However, in your example, you were saying that safety regulations in general are fine, but specifically stated that older cars (heavier, more metallic and less yielding) and bigger trucks are safer and that trying to force manufacturers to produce more fuel-efficient cars through regulatory action will lead them to produce lighter and less safe vehicles. I wanted to point out that your example was fallacious - older and heavier vehicles are NOT safer, per se, than newer and or lighter vehicle classes. Since your premise is false, your example is invalid. Pick a different one.
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LucasJamison

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #56 on: February 13, 2009, 11:30:20 AM »

Here is some of what the "paid liars" I read have to say about it.
http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YjcyODIyZGM2MGU1ZDdkNDgxZDc3OTNjYjM4ZDY1ODI=
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/february_2009/62_want_stimulus_plan_to_have_more_tax_cuts_less_spending




And the worst part of the bill is of course tom daschle and hillary clintons dream of a centralized beurocracy monitoring and dictating your medical care. (the article is commentary, but contains page references and a link to a pdf of the bill)
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&refer=columnist_mccaughey&sid=aLzfDxfbwhzs

For the record, as far as I know most of the NRO contributors are not paid liars in the sense that they are directly paid to lie by the people their lies benefit. Most of them are die hard believers in certain fictions, and write extensively in support of their beliefs. So, they are lying in the sense that they are telling untruths, but not necessarily in the sense that they are deliberately spreading information they believe to be false. I'm willing to differentiate between the two - certainly spreading lies you think are truths is a little more forgivable than deliberate deception.

I've been a bit slow to respond on this thread lately, in part because once all the details came out I realized that I don't actually support this plan. I think Obama's economic policies and stimulus package are not going to be very helpful, and I can only hope they do less harm than good. More worrisome than the weak-ass stimulus package is that the idiot he appointed to Treasury is dead set on botching the banking fix, and even worse is that after blowing both of those there's no way he'll have a chance to address healthcare.

However, in general, my reasons for viewing these policies as failures differ significantly from yours. The sheer scope of the differences in underlying assumptions that play into the reasons for this disagreement is daunting, and difficult to address within the framework of discussing the stimulus bill. I will give it a shot, but it may still take a while.

I do have to ask though, what the fuck is you fucking people's fucking problem with the National Endowment for the Arts? I do not get the degree of hateful frothing which this program inspires!
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Frigemall

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Re: Obama's Economic plan
« Reply #57 on: February 15, 2009, 02:44:20 PM »

I've been a bit slow to respond on this thread lately, in part because once all the details came out I realized that I don't actually support this plan. I think Obama's economic policies and stimulus package are not going to be very helpful, and I can only hope they do less harm than good. More worrisome than the weak-ass stimulus package is that the idiot he appointed to Treasury is dead set on botching the banking fix, and even worse is that after blowing both of those there's no way he'll have a chance to address healthcare.

However, in general, my reasons for viewing these policies as failures differ significantly from yours. The sheer scope of the differences in underlying assumptions that play into the reasons for this disagreement is daunting, and difficult to address within the framework of discussing the stimulus bill. I will give it a shot, but it may still take a while.
Good to have you aboard even if it is for the wrong reasons. Unfortunately it has passed and we are now stuck with it. I hope it does not utterly destroy our economy, but am not very optimistic.

I do have to ask though, what the fuck is you fucking people's fucking problem with the National Endowment for the Arts? I do not get the degree of hateful frothing which this program inspires!
I can explain some of the reason I do not support it. Many of the projects it sponsers are indecent, such as a play where the actors peed on the crowd while they held up plastic, and others where they make fun of various religions, etc. Many things that have been labeled art are simply trash. If they can't make money in theaters or art shows, they probably should not be made unless the artist simply is doing it for the love of his or her art. I have done many plays and concerts simply for that reason.To know that tax money is going to "art" that is offensive adds insult to injury. Those are just my reasons for not supporting it. If someone wants to donate private money to keep these things going, great, but it should not come out of my tax money.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2009, 02:46:24 PM by Frigemall »
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