Can Republicans Take ‘Yes’ For An Answer? NO

Party of NO

Once again, President Obama is pressing for a “Grand Bargain” that basically gives the right-wing Republican Party everything they have been asking for. The President wants to implement cuts to Social Security and Medicare, coupled with across-the-board discretionary spending reductions (aka austerity budgeting), and tax reform. You may recall that Willard (“Mitt”) Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, talked constantly about a plan to eliminate tax deductions during the 2012 election campaign.

So, basically, Obama is telling the right-wing “Here’s something you want, and something else you want, and I’m not going to ask for anything that progressives want.” And the GOP answer so far is a big fat NO. They would rather take the blame for a partial government shutdown. Does this make sense?

Jonathan Chait tries to explain:

President Obama is offering up something — hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts to Social Security and Medicare — that Republicans say they want and which (because of their unpopularity) they have proven unable to obtain even when they have had full control of government. They are instead undertaking a public showdown against a figure who is vastly more popular and trusted, who possesses a better platform to communicate his message, and whose message itself — spread the pain among rich and middle class alike, don’t cut retirement programs more deeply than needed in order to protect tax loopholes for the rich — commands overwhelmingly higher public support.

I think the Republican Party’s behavior can be at least partly explained, though not necessarily rationalized. The main thing that’s going on is that, in the face of cross-pressures, the party’s anti-tax wing has once again asserted its supremacy.

…Part of the confusion is that Republicans have been saying for months that they really just want to stop tax rates from raising. They’re happy — nay, eager — to make the rich pay more taxes by reducing their tax deductions. Certain conservative economists believe this as well. Since Obama is offering to increase revenue in exactly this way, his plan might seem inoffensive to Republicans.

…The answer to this piece of the mystery is clear enough: Republicans in Congress never actually wanted to raise revenue by tax reform. The temporary support for tax reform was just a hand-wavy way of deflecting Obama’s popular campaign plan to expire the Bush tax cuts for the rich. Conservative economists in academia may care about the distinction between marginal tax rates and effective tax rates. But Republicans in Congress just want rich people to pay less, period.

Robert Reich offers a better strategy for President Obama: Clear up all the confusion by taking on the Republicans’ big lies directly.

The first big lie is austerity economics — the claim that the budget deficit is the nation’s biggest economic problem now, responsible for the anemic recovery.

Wrong. The problem is too few jobs, lousy wages, and slow growth. Cutting the budget deficit anytime soon makes the problem worse because it reduces overall demand. As a result, the economy will slow or fall into recession — which enlarges the deficit in proportion. You want proof? Look at what austerity economics has done to Europe.

The second big lie is trickle-down economics — the claim that we get more jobs and growth if corporations and the rich have more money because they’re the job creators, and job growth would be hurt if their taxes were hiked.

Wrong. The real job creators are the broad middle class and everyone who aspires to join it. Their purchases keep economy going.

The Obama administration doesn’t have to play this crazy game of offering right-wing Republicans everything they say they want, knowing that they will refuse to take it. What they ought to be doing is explaining to the public that the right-wing is wrong, that they are lying.

UPDATE:

Josh Marshall:

Republicans have run on big across-the-board spending cuts for literally decades.

…But here we are. For the first time I think in our history we are about to go over the precipice of genuine across-the-board spending cuts. And Republicans are completely freaking out. There’s no other way to describe it.

  1. #1 by Nathan Erkkila on February 26, 2013 - 2:14 pm

    Well they are idiots. They are resisting a president who has no fear of losing reelection all the while they do. I really hope Obama resists and let’s this default happen. I would rather see this country ruined than let the GOP so much as let one legislation past Obama.

  2. #2 by Larry Bergan on February 26, 2013 - 4:59 pm

    This seems to be some kind of negative hunger strike which has been going on for decades, but usually a guy who goes on a hunger strike is making a commitment to the ultimate sacrifice to get his way.

    I mean, what the hell have we been going though here?

    A prosperity strike?

  3. #4 by brewski on March 3, 2013 - 6:59 pm

    Obama turned down the offer to soften the impact of the sequestration cuts. He turned down the offer to have more control to do the least harm. That is immoral. He wants to do the most harm to people. And you people voted for this guy?

    • #5 by Cliff Lyon on March 7, 2013 - 6:29 am

      Obama didnt turn down anything. He stood up against bad policy and clowns who have destroyed the country.

      Republicans suck it hard and Republicans have sucked long time.

  4. #6 by Richard Warnick on March 3, 2013 - 7:42 pm

    Everybody is saying that the sequester cuts may be dumb, but they’re not that big a deal. $44 billion in FY 2013 out of a $3.55 trillion budget. It’s still a partial government shutdown, and the Republicans will get the blame, but it probably won’t send us into another recession. Bonus: the DOD budget cuts will go mostly to the red states.

    Bottom line: Speaker Boehner has already ruled out a full government shutdown on March 27.

  5. #7 by brewski on March 3, 2013 - 8:08 pm

    Doesn’t change the point. Obama wants to harm people.

  6. #8 by Richard Warnick on March 3, 2013 - 8:19 pm

    The point is, no matter what deal President Obama offers to the right-wing Republican extremists they will still try to sabotage our economy.

    Why else would the GOP say NO to tax reform after campaigning all last year on the promise of tax reform?

  7. #9 by brewski on March 3, 2013 - 9:37 pm

    Because Obama the liar in chief and the man who wants to hurt people changed what everyone else means by the phrase “tax reform”.

    I am in favor of tax reform too, as you know, but not the shit the liar in chief and the man who wants to hurt people has in mind.

  8. #10 by Richard Warnick on March 3, 2013 - 10:30 pm

    President Obama wants to lower the top corporate tax rate to 28 percent, and close some loopholes. Isn’t that exactly what the Republicans want? I can’t see any substantive disagreement.

    • #11 by Bob S. on March 4, 2013 - 10:43 am

      Richard,

      Didn’t President Obama say last time the sequestration was delayed something along the lines of “Let us raise taxes this time and next time we will deal with the spending cuts”?

      Now it appears as if the previous deal never happened. Yet another reason to avoid the government and your version of compromise.

  9. #12 by brewski on March 3, 2013 - 11:43 pm

    He does not have that currently on the table in any offer.

  10. #13 by Richard Warnick on March 4, 2013 - 12:38 pm

    Bob S.–

    I think it was the Republicans who said they were done raising taxes, not President Obama.

    For those of us that wanted ALL the Bush-Obama Tax Cuts For The Rich to expire, making 98 percent of those cuts permanent was not exactly a promise fulfilled. At the same time as they permanently extended most of the tax cuts for the rich, they raised payroll taxes (which only affect ordinary income up to $110,000).

    I think it’s hilarious that the entire Republican Party seems to have forgotten everything that they said about tax reform during last year’s election campaign.

  11. #14 by brewski on March 4, 2013 - 1:15 pm

    I think it’s hilarious you don’t know the difference between actual tax reform and fake tax reform.

  12. #15 by Richard Warnick on March 4, 2013 - 5:49 pm

    The fake tax reform being the Republican kind, as espoused by Romney?

  13. #16 by brewski on March 4, 2013 - 8:39 pm

    Yes. exactly. Romney’s alleged plan was pretty crappy. That’s not what anyone who knows anything about tax reform, including the IRS themselves, has proposed as being good ideas.
    http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/National-Taxpayer-Advocate-Delivers-2012-Annual-Report-to-Congress

  14. #17 by Richard Warnick on March 5, 2013 - 11:00 am

    So Romney wanted to fire Big Bird (who is not employed by the government). It was symbolic of the silly ideas Republicans come up with when asked what parts of the federal budget they want to cut.

    Now we have this:
    Republican budget demands Congress pull funding from defunct group ACORN

    Might as well de-fund the Easter Bunny.

  15. #18 by brewski on March 5, 2013 - 1:03 pm

    No, Romney did not want to fire Big Bird. He was pointing out that Big Bird would do just fine without taxpayer subsidies. You are just parroting MSNBC talking points. Try to raise your game a little.

  16. #19 by Richard Warnick on March 5, 2013 - 2:14 pm

    I was being facetious, but as a matter of fact Romney tried to answer the question of what budget cuts would eliminate deficits by saying he would de-fund PBS and Planned Parenthood. Which was silly.

    Equally silly:

    ACORN again

  17. #20 by brewski on March 5, 2013 - 4:53 pm

    So what you are saying is that your post #16 had no point.

  18. #21 by Richard Warnick on March 6, 2013 - 9:34 am

    No, the point is that Republicans refuse to list serious budget cuts that they are willing to take the heat for. They’re all hat and no cattle on deficit reduction.

    Remember Dick Cheney: “Deficits don’t matter.”

  19. #22 by brewski on March 6, 2013 - 10:28 am

    Bullshit.
    The Republicans have passed a budget every year and the Democrats have not.

  20. #23 by cav on March 6, 2013 - 10:34 am

    Say what you will, Reality will prevail.

  21. #24 by Richard Warnick on March 6, 2013 - 10:36 am

    A budget resolution is not a “budget,” because it has no numbers in it. President Obama has presented a budget every year, but nothing can pass Congress because of the Party of NO.

  22. #25 by brewski on March 6, 2013 - 4:58 pm

    You mean the President’s Budget which states:

    “health care costs are likely to continue
    to rise faster than inflation as the population ages,
    posing a danger to long-run budget stability.

    Population aging also poses a serious long-run budgetary
    challenge. Because of lower expected fertility and
    improved longevity, the Social Security actuaries project
    that under current law in which the normal retirement
    age rises to 67, the ratio of workers to Social Security
    beneficiaries will fall from around 2.9 currently to a little
    over 2 by the time most of the baby boomers have retired.
    From that point forward, the ratio of workers to beneficiaries
    is expected to continue to decline slowly. With fewer
    workers to pay the taxes needed to support the retired
    population, budgetary pressures will steadily mount and
    without reforms, trust fund exhaustion is projected by the
    Social Security Trustees to occur in 2036.

    Resolving the long-run fiscal
    challenge will require a comprehensive approach, one
    that restrains spending growth

    the deficit and the debtratio
    begin to rise again in the period after 2022, with the
    debt-to-GDP ratio eventually far exceeding its previous
    peak level reached at the end of World War II.

    Under current policies, Medicare, Medicaid, and
    Social Security are projected to absorb a much larger
    share of Federal resources than in the past, limiting what
    the Government can do in other areas. The ratio of debt
    to GDP, which is stabilized within the 10-year budget
    window, is projected to resume its growth in the long run
    without further policy changes.”

    That one?

  23. #26 by Richard Warnick on March 6, 2013 - 8:38 pm

    President Obama is still threatening to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Thankfully the Party of NO says no to everything, or it might have happened already.

    Look, here’s how you reduce federal deficits:

    (1) Recover the economy (may require running a bigger deficit for a few years)

    (2) Tax the rich (who are still enjoying a tax holiday, except for the top 2 percent)

    (3) Tax the corporations

  24. #27 by brewski on March 7, 2013 - 2:38 am

    “(1) Recover the economy (may require running a bigger deficit for a few years)”
    How? Telling employers that hiring people will be more risky and expensive is not the way to do it. Fake “Stimulus” bills with about 0.6% of actual stimulus in them is not the way to do it.

    “(2) Tax the rich (who are still enjoying a tax holiday, except for the top 2 percent)”
    How? Raising statutory rates on the #69th code in the world is not the way to do it. Look to Canada among others.

    “(3) Tax the corporations”
    How? Raising statutory rates on the #69th code in the world is not the way to do it. Look to Canada among others.

  25. #28 by brewski on March 7, 2013 - 2:41 am

    “President Obama is still threatening to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.”
    No. He points out that these programs are time bombs and then he proposes exactly nothing to do about it. He hasn’t proposed anything other than to leave it to the next guy or gal to deal with. It’s called arithmetic.

    • #29 by Cliff Lyon on March 7, 2013 - 6:31 am

      Bullshit Brewski,

      Their no purpose in discussing facts with a racist. Here are the facts of which you and O’Reily seem conveniently unaware. [caption id="attachment_34079" align="alignright" width="590"]Obama's plan to cut spending Obama’s offer to Boehner[/caption] Fuck off putz.

  26. #30 by Richard Warnick on March 7, 2013 - 7:01 am

    brewski–

    You can’t be that clueless. President Obama has proposed “chained CPI,” which would cut $130 billion over 10 years. Obama also has proposed requiring wealthy retirees to pay more for their Medicare coverage, which would save about $35 billion over 10 years.

    Progressives reject any cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. These programs are not causing budget deficits – those are the result of tax cuts for the rich.

  27. #31 by brewski on March 7, 2013 - 7:27 am

    1. I don’t listen to anybody whose first tactic is to throw out the “r-bomb”

    2. I don’t listen to anybody whose second tactic is to tell me to suck his donkey cock.

    3. I don’t listen to anybody who tells me to fuck off.

    4. The phrase “deficit reduction” is in itself dishonest and manipulative. I don’t listen to anybody who uses that phrase since I know that they are dishonest and manipulative.

    5. The phrase “spending cuts” is also dishonest and manipulative when in fact no cuts, in the English language use of the term, have actually happened. Reducing an increase is not a cut. A cut is a cut. Anyone who uses the phrase “spending cut” to mean something other than an actual cut is dishonest and manipulative.

    6. Some of the “cuts” above are just cost shifting to someone else and not actual savings.

    7. I don’t listen to anyone who pays Chinese slave laborers 10 cents an hour to make lead and cadmium laced kitsch to poison children and fill our landfills.

    8. Nothing above solves the problems articulated in the Presidents’ Budget. It just kicks the problems down the road. Sound and fury signifying nothing.

  28. #32 by Richard Warnick on March 7, 2013 - 6:19 pm

    brewski–

    I don’t like President Obama’s Social Security and Medicare proposals either, but you said they didn’t exist.

  29. #33 by brewski on March 7, 2013 - 10:29 pm

    I went back through the string. I don’t see where I said that. Show me where. While you are at it, please show me where in #29 where Obama is proposing a 28% corporate tax rate. Also, show me how increases in spending counts as “deficit reduction.” Show me more of your upisdownism.

  30. #34 by Richard Warnick on March 7, 2013 - 10:54 pm

    Do these words seem familiar?

    He hasn’t proposed anything other than to leave it to the next guy or gal to deal with. It’s called arithmetic.

  31. #35 by brewski on March 8, 2013 - 7:14 am

    That remains 100% true.

  32. #36 by Richard Warnick on March 8, 2013 - 7:47 am

    In other words, you said President Obama’s proposals to cut Social Security and Medicare didn’t exist.

  33. #37 by brewski on March 8, 2013 - 8:05 am

    No. What I said was that Obama has done nothing to fix the certain mathematical disaster. His current proposals do not change that.

    Also, he has not proposed any “cuts” at all. I speak English and you seem to speak Washington Bullshit-ese.

  34. #38 by Richard Warnick on March 9, 2013 - 10:33 am

    Nothing is certain. If the economy improves (despite the best efforts of the GOP saboteurs), if Congress decides to make the payroll tax apply above $110 K, if health care costs are brought under control, then Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will be just fine indefinitely.

    After 2033, if nothing is done to increase revenue, Social Security will still be able to pay out 75-80 percent of benefits — calculated based on 2033 dollars, which is actually more than people are being paid in benefits right now.

    Medicare is also fine for the foreseeable future, except for Medicare Part A (which covers inpatient hospital stays, care at a nursing facility, hospice care and some home health care). The Affordable Care Act lowered expenditures and increased revenues, so that even if Congress does nothing, Part A will be OK for the next ten years, and able to cover 87% of estimated expenditures in 2024.

    Why is anyone worrying about earned benefits programs, when we ought to be concerned with economic recovery and income inequality?

  35. #39 by cav on March 9, 2013 - 9:46 pm

    It may be awful that the Republicans missed that the President has chained CPI on his website, but it is even worse that reporters and smart people don’t report this as the devastating cut it is, point out that our retirement programs are a mess, AND that cuts to Social Security should not ever be on the block as deficit cuts since it does not contribute to the deficit unless you count defaulting on loans as deficit cuts, IN WHICH CASE LETS TALK PAYING SAUDI ARABIA AND CHINA BACK LESS THEN THEY ARE OWED AS PART OF OUR DEFICIT REDUCTION PLANS.

  36. #40 by brewski on March 9, 2013 - 11:32 pm

    ” If the economy improves (despite the best efforts of the GOP saboteurs), if Congress decides to make the payroll tax apply above $110 K, if health care costs are brought under control, then Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will be just fine indefinitely.”

    No. The President’s Budget. The CBO. Anyone who can do third grade addition can tell you that it will not be just fine indefinitely. It will be a train wreck and you will wonder why and blame someone else. Blame arithmetic if you don’t like the answer. You are Sarah Palin.

    “Social Security will still be able to pay out 75-80 percent of benefits”
    How is this OK? Cutting SS benefits by 25% to people who have paid into it (you and me) is not OK. If that is OK then how is any other talk of cuts not OK? You make no sense and you never have. It’s arithmetic.

    “Medicare is also fine for the foreseeable future,”
    It isn’t “fine” when people get 300% more than what they put in. That isn’t fine. That is Greece.

    “The Affordable Care Act lowered expenditures”
    Nothing was lowered. It was shifted. Big difference.

    “Why is anyone worrying about earned benefits programs,”
    Because they will bring an end to the country as we know it. It is arithmetic.

    “we ought to be concerned with economic recovery”
    Why would you think this is going to happen now after 4 years of not caring about it?

    “and income inequality”
    Symptom and not a cause.
    We will be equally poor soon anyway.

  37. #41 by brewski on March 9, 2013 - 11:37 pm

    Obama did NOT offer chained CPI. He offered a different formula the White House calls “superlative CPI”. So you are all wrong.

  38. #42 by cav on March 10, 2013 - 10:26 am

    Maybe the differences between ‘chained’ and ‘superlative’ are so obvious to you that you can indicate complete ‘wrongness’ on my part. Perhaps you could expand on those differences.

    And you may be correct about the evolution of Obama’s tinkering, but, if I’m not as mistaken as you suppose, there was in fact talk of Chained CPI on his part not so many whiles ago.

    Also, too, I have no beef with you on some issues – the PTB’s wangling / manipulating / bribing, the requisite layer of government into ‘seeing’ things with a helpful (to them) perspective, may be one of them.

    One needn’t push one’s luck in each an every position.

  39. #43 by Ronald D. Hunt on March 10, 2013 - 2:50 pm

    superlative CPI is the same as chained cpi except for the SS minimum payment amount, which would continue to grow at the CPI.

    It is still a stupid thing to do, we should be increasing SS given the abject failure of 401k’s and the growing problem of pensions.

    If the $6.4 trillion dollars that went up in smoke that was invested in 401k’s in 2007, had been in SS instead; Then SS payouts would be higher and fewer people would be holding off on retirement and the unemployment rate would be better.

    And the “savings” is overstated, you take that $130 billion(from whitehouse.gov) over the next 10 years away from seniors, and you lose the second order effects of them spending that money, which means fewer people employed to service their wants and needs which means fewer SS taxes paid.

  40. #44 by Richard Warnick on March 11, 2013 - 8:46 am

    brewski–

    Sarah Palin’s math was bad, and another Republican VP candidate, Paul Ryan, just as bad. But I’m giving you the facts. Earned benefits programs are not causing deficits, tax cuts for the rich are.

    BTW Rep. Ryan is still peddling his godawful Medicare voucher scam.

  41. #45 by brewski on March 11, 2013 - 9:41 am

    Richard, are you saying Obama is lying when he says:

    “the fiscal position gradually deteriorates mainly because of
    the aging of the population and the high continuing cost
    of the Government’s health programs. By 2030, the deficit
    is projected to be 4.5 percent of GDP, and by 2040 it is
    nearly 6 percent. The deficit continues to rise for the next
    75 years, and the publicly-held debt is also projected to
    rise persistently relative to GDP”

    “after 2022, with the
    debt-to-GDP ratio eventually far exceeding its previous
    peak level reached at the end of World War II.”

  42. #46 by Richard Warnick on March 11, 2013 - 9:55 am

    What are the assumptions? If we had full employment and if we taxed the rich and corporations, the fiscal projections would be greatly improved.

    Therefore, somebody in Washington ought to be addressing the jobs deficit in the here and now, not problems with earned benefits that might come around 10-20 years from now.

  43. #47 by brewski on March 11, 2013 - 10:23 am

    So is Obama lying?

  44. #48 by brewski on March 11, 2013 - 10:32 am

    We will not get to “full employment” anytime soon. Or as long as we have the Chicago-Thug-in-Chief in the white house and his henchmen.

    We are so far from full employment it is scary:

    “If you include both part-time workers who want full-time work and people who have stopped looking for jobs but still want to work, the unemployment rate is actually 14.3 percent.

    It’s not clear what’s behind the growth in part-time work. It probably has to do with companies’ not having as much need for labor today as they did when the economy was strong, or perhaps a desire to avoid paying benefits if they can. The Affordable Care Act also has incentives for employers to keep their count of full-time workers below 50,”

    New York Times
    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/08/the-rise-of-part-time-work/

  45. #49 by Richard Warnick on March 11, 2013 - 2:19 pm

    brewski–

    You quoted the White House Budget Office, not President Obama. It’s your favorite trick of not linking to a quote, but there’s this thing called Google…

    Again, the truth of the statement depends on the assumptions. For example, the Social Security Board of Trustees always incorporates very pessimistic economic assumptions in their analyses. For example, the trustees assume that economic growth over the next 75-years will be less than half as fast as over the last 75 years. This is a propaganda trick that has a lot of people believing there is something wrong when there’s not. Social Security has paid its own way for the entirety of its existence, and it’s never contributed to the deficit.

    As long as we have the Party of NO engaged in economic sabotage, and most Washington politicians remain obsessed with future budget deficits instead of the jobs deficit we have right now, then the recovery is going to be very, very slow. But we’re going to get there despite politics.

  46. #50 by brewski on March 11, 2013 - 2:53 pm

    Which part of “The President’s” is confusing to you?

    Here is your link. Start reading.
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget

    “Social Security has paid its own way for the entirety of its existence, and it’s never contributed to the deficit.”
    Tell me you know what the word “demographics” means.

    You do understand that the past is totally irrelevant when looking at the future cash flows of Social Security:

    “Because of lower expected fertility and
    improved longevity, the Social Security actuaries project
    that under current law in which the normal retirement
    age rises to 67, the ratio of workers to Social Security
    beneficiaries will fall from around 2.9 currently to a little
    over 2 by the time most of the baby boomers have retired.
    From that point forward, the ratio of workers to beneficiaries
    is expected to continue to decline slowly. With fewer
    workers to pay the taxes needed to support the retired
    population, budgetary pressures will steadily mount and
    without reforms, trust fund exhaustion is projected by the
    Social Security Trustees to occur in 2036.”

    Obama gave us 14% unemployment. I don’t know why you have this optimism that things will get better as long as we are doing our best to discourage hiring.

  47. #51 by cav on March 11, 2013 - 3:15 pm

    “Because of lower expected fertility and improved longevity on part of the 1% only (who’ll naturally need ALL of the money to perpetuated their rather, shall we just say – ‘classy’ standards), the dearth of well paying (or any) jobs at this point, and off-shoring of many of those yet remaining, the Social Security actuaries project…

    There, fixed that for ya.

  48. #52 by Richard Warnick on March 11, 2013 - 3:21 pm

    brewski–

    If the White House Budget Office wrote something that’s not true, is that the same as “President Obama lied” in your mind?

    I know they doubled the payroll taxes on my generation so that we had to pay for the retirement of the generation ahead of us and our own retirement, too. Then they moved the goalposts to age 67, further penalizing us. That’s what “demographics” means to me. The ratio of workers to retirees is irrelevant because of the trust fund surplus.

    “Obama gave us 14% unemployment”? Ever hear of a guy named George W. Bush?

  49. #53 by brewski on March 11, 2013 - 6:15 pm

    Ever heard the phrase “Chief Executive”? When you are the chief executive and something goes out with your name on it and your approval, you are responsible.

    “The ratio of workers to retirees is irrelevant because of the trust fund surplus.” Hahahahahahahahaha!

    “Ever hear of a guy named George W. Bush?”
    He hasn’t been president in over 4 years. The Obama recovery started 3 years ago. Obama owns it now.

  50. #54 by Richard Warnick on March 11, 2013 - 10:27 pm

    brewski–

    It’s just absurd to label everything you disagree with as a so-called “lie.” There is such a thing as an honest difference of opinion. Facts do matter, however.

    How can you blame President Obama for 14% unemployment? Employment declined for 10 months in a row in 2008, and reached a 14-year low by the election. The unemployment rate peaked at 9.7% in 2010 (“U-6″ = 16.7%). Then it went back down, and the current rate of 7.7 percent is the lowest since December 2008.

    Corporate profits have gone up and up steadily since 2008.

  51. #55 by brewski on March 12, 2013 - 4:58 am

    I never call a difference of opinion a lie. I call intentional misrepresentation of facts a lie. He lies. You lie.

    The 7.7% only exists because of 2 factors:
    1. The lowest percent of Americans in the labor force in over 30 years. This has happened since people have just given up and walked away and don’t even bother looking for work any more.
    2. A huge increase in the percent of people who are working involuntarily part time. Meaning people who want full time work but can only get part time work.

    If you adjust for those to factors the real unemployment rate is 14%. If you look at the 7.7% and conclude that things are getting better then you are an idiot. If you promote the 7.7% number to others as proof that things are getting better then you are either an idiot or a liar. Since I assume people in the white house know the truth behind what makes up the 7.7% I will assume they are not idiots and are just liars.

    I can blame Obama for the 14% since his stimulus bill in 2009 (more than 4 years ago!) didn’t have any stimulus in it. I can blame Obama for the 14% since Obamacare punishes companies for hiring and growing. I can blame Obama for the 14% since he has been president for more than 4 years now and has not fixed the tax code that punishes companies for hiring in the US. It is easy to blame Obama for the 14%. It is called accountability.

    Corporate profits have gone up because of cost cutting, not because of growth. Don’t advertise your ignorance any more. It is painful to watch.

  52. #56 by Cliff on March 12, 2013 - 7:05 am

    Brewski,

    According to significant consensus among economists, the stimulus DID work and more is needed. The GOP blocked it to insure Obama is a “one-term president.”

    True or false ^^^?

    2. You cannot defend the assertion that companies are not hiring because of Obamacare. THAT is a right-wing canard and you know it (if you are an honest girl.)

  53. #57 by brewski on March 12, 2013 - 7:49 am

    Cliff,

    “According to significant consensus among economists, the stimulus DID work”
    False.

    “The GOP blocked it”
    False. It passed and was signed in February 2009.

    “2. You cannot defend the assertion that companies are not hiring because of Obamacare. ”
    Yes I can. Just ask the Federal Reserve:
    http://www.businessinsider.com/beige-book-affordable-care-act-comments-2013-3

    You lose 0-3.

  54. #58 by Richard Warnick on March 12, 2013 - 8:55 am

    The fact remains that everybody knows who crashed the economy, and it wasn’t the Obama administration. Maybe they could have done a better repair job, but the Republican wrecking crew has been sabotaging everything they can.

  55. #59 by cav on March 12, 2013 - 9:11 am

    This!

  56. #60 by cav on March 12, 2013 - 9:32 am

    Re: the ‘stimulus’, despite the liquidity spread by the Fed, it went to a whole lot of banks that should have failed. At the time there were widespread reports of businesses closing because those banks were too busy doing flash trades with that ‘liquidity’ to actually loan that money. In fact everything that was listed as a failure in ’33 and financial panics happened because the solution to the financial panic they love didn’t stop the actions they say cause aggregate demand crises.

    The real history is that we had a financial crises AND a demand crisis and gave half-hearted help for the demand crisis and ongoing unlimited help for the financial crises. When we should have done the absolute opposite. Limited help for the financial crises, and ongoing unlimited help for the demand crisis. But hey, I’m down in the sector that didn’t get the help and is still in crisis…because nothing solves the problem of “too big to fail” like buying up more banks with the bailout money.

  57. #61 by brewski on March 12, 2013 - 9:49 am

    What happened to your principle of “on his watch”? Did you get amnesia? The current 14% unemployment rate and almost zero GDP growth is on Obama’s watch. The recovery started 4 years ago. It is Obama’s recovery to own and it the the worst recovery ever.

  58. #62 by Richard Warnick on March 12, 2013 - 10:47 am

    Obama didn’t crash the economy. He’s trying to recover it against determined GOP opposition. Republican economic sabotage is the story here.

  59. #63 by brewski on March 12, 2013 - 11:01 am

    That was in 2008. This is 2013. Obama passed his fake stimulus bill. Obama passed his fake health reform bill. He’s gotten everything he wants. The Democratic Senate still hasn’t produced a budget in 4 years. You are blaming the wrong people. You are using your Sarah Palin logic again.

  60. #64 by Richard Warnick on March 12, 2013 - 11:55 am

    We’ve been over this. President Obama keeps trying to work with the other party like Bill Clinton did. Unfortunately for him the other party is the Party of NO.

    The ARRA was chock full of stuff that the Republicans wanted, and very little that progressives wanted. But Republicans, with few exceptions, refused to vote for it.

    The ACA – same story. It was Republican legislation, but they would not vote for it. Now Dems are stuck with the blame.

    The Obama administration has written a budget every year. It’s on their website. The Senate can’t pass a budget resolution because of Republican obstruction.

  61. #65 by brewski on March 12, 2013 - 4:45 pm

    “President Obama keeps trying to work with the other party”
    Hahahahahahahaha!

    If I was president in 2009, I would have made ARRA be 100% infrastructure along with revenue neutral tax reform and simplification. That would have gotten things going. Obama failed.

    “The ACA – same story.”
    Bullshit.

    “The Obama administration has written a budget every year.”
    Late

    “The Senate can’t pass a budget resolution because of Republican obstruction.”
    Bullshit. The Dems were afraid of Obama’s budget and treated it like the plague. They didn’t even want to bring it to the floor since they were embarrassed by it.

  62. #66 by brewski on March 12, 2013 - 4:51 pm

    “Why Senate Democrats haven’t passed a budget?
    * A budget isn’t necessary.
    * Democrats don’t want the blame.
    * Democrats couldn’t decide on one.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/01/22/why-senate-democrats-havent-passed-a-budget/

    So according to the Washington Post, none of the reasons have to do with your upisdownism Debbie Wasserman Schultz MSNBC unicorn partisan fantasy.

  63. #67 by cav on March 12, 2013 - 6:09 pm

    So, Mrs. cav and I are sitting around the kitchen table, doing budgetary stuff, when our senator pipes in, saying, “Certainly this is some kind of a joke”.

  64. #68 by brewski on March 13, 2013 - 6:39 pm

    Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden and his wife gave an average of $369 a year to charity during the past decade, his tax records show.

    The Bidens reported earning $319,853 last year, including $71,000 in royalties for his memoir, Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics.

    The Bidens reported giving $995 in charitable donations last year — about 0.3% of their income and the highest amount in the past decade. The low was $120 in 1999, about 0.1% of yearly income.

  65. #69 by Richard Warnick on March 13, 2013 - 6:54 pm

    brewski–

    Any word on Willard (“Mitt”) Romney’s tax returns? Oh, I remember, he said we would only get to see them if he won the election. ;-)

  66. #70 by brewski on March 13, 2013 - 7:32 pm

    I already posted Romney’s.

    Besides I already gave my position on tax returns.

  67. #71 by obama's jack booted truncheon wielding goons on June 7, 2013 - 9:12 pm

    After promises of the most transparent administration in American history I am happy to announce that president obama has all but disappeared.

    That’s transparency I can live with.

  68. #72 by cav on June 8, 2013 - 9:19 am

    Kill Lists and Surveillance. Not something I’m real proud of. It’s as if the will of the people had no meaning at all. Our overlords will dictate.

  69. #73 by obama's jack booted truncheon wielding goons on June 9, 2013 - 8:26 am

    Don’t forget drone murder terrorism..In this they, our “overlords” as you well put it, chose a house slave to do it..think any of the field slaves now free are into gun control? Into anything this boot licking house slave has done or proposes by now?

    When the masters leave they better take their house slaves with ‘em.

    It all looks safer when you are in the mansion…plus the wind doesn’t blow inside..

  70. #74 by cav on June 9, 2013 - 9:21 am

    The things we do for love, democracy, exceptionalism…

    …keeping separate from the ‘horde’, lest we too risk ‘burning in hell’. Now pass me that collection basket.

    There’s got to be an exit from this thing here somewhere.

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