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View Full Version : General Politics Andrew Sullivan: The Reality We Face


Cave Johnson
08-04-2011, 10:44 AM
http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/4149/gdpr.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/99/gdpr.jpg/)

Stoic is the last word I'd use to describe baby boomers and our current leadership. We're pretty much f'd.

Politico has a classic piece today on the grim background for the president's re-election campaign next year. I think it overdoes things a bit - I guess they had to sell the piece somehow - but its content tells us something important, even if it's something we already know.

America has hit a wall. Its long term growth trend faltered at the end of the last century and has flatlined and then collapsed in this one, as Nate Silver grimly reminds us (also today). It is not as bad as the Great Depression (that's the only good news), but it is the next worst thing. You can attribute it to several things: the surreal debt-financing begun under Reagan and turned into "deficits-don't-matter" dogma under GWB; globalization which increased competitive pressure on the middle-class American worker more drastically than any other event in the nation's recent history; the resources gobbled up by a welfare state bequeathed when Americans saw it as their birth-right to get richer and richer and richer for ever; or something we don't quite yet understand.

But the upshot is that the music stopped on Bush's watch, like a needle scratching across a vinyl record, and the continued silence is deafening. It's foolish, I think, to believe that the stimulus hurt; it helped short-term and may well have prevented a second round of the 1930s. Ditto the astonishing turn-around of America's automobile industry (see today's GM news); and extension of unemployment benefits way past their due date. But none of this works up against the powerful forces now arrayed against higher growth or middle class revival.

For me, the scariest thing is that company profits are booming, and yet we still are trapped in this decline. The reason? Not just globalization, but our attempts to disguise the new challenges by bubbles: tech and real estate. These tonics gave us a temporary sense of still gaining wealth, but only intensified the crash when their snake-oil ran out. This seems to me to be the real issue here. It's deeper than Bush or Obama. The weak recoveries that follow financial crashes have made matters worse. The delusion that the US is still rich enough to police the whole world doesn't help either. And there's no reason this will end any time soon, except by a grim and difficult paying down of collective and individual debt, in the context of a depressed global economy (with China's growth still highly unstable).

Sorry, but elixirs won't change this. We have no money for them. There are things we can do - agree on long-term debt-reduction, reform taxes, cut the defense budget, hope education can help middle and lower middle class Americans compete better on a global stage. But until we get used to this new period of austerity, and accept it, we will bang our heads against walls.

I confidently predict that Americans have so little experience of stasis or relative decline, let alone long-term hardship that they will continue to take out their woes on various presidents required to govern at a time like this. My fear is that this despair will be exploited by crazies on the populist right, as they have been in history. But culture war won't create jobs. Even a civilizational war, as some on the far right are itching for, won't help. We are not in the era when mass mobilization can be achieved in war or peace.

The best outcome, I suspect, will be a return to American realism, a determination to do the things we can while avoiding the things that will only give us a temporary hit. In this, the president's best hope is continued honesty with the American people, calm, and resilience. In hard times, radicalism appeals. But so too does small-c conservatism. In dark economic times, people sometimes keep a hold of nurse for fear of finding something worse. But all this requires a stoicism at odds with American character and history.

I guess I'm saying that the long great ride seems to be over. The question is simply whether Americans can or will handle it without losing their heads.

http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2011/08/the-economy-isnt-getting-better.html

Cave Johnson
08-04-2011, 10:51 AM
[A]s you absorb the horrifying revised estimates of the collapse of 2008 from the Commerce Department. Two years ago, Commerce estimated the decline of the US economy at -0.5% in the third quarter of 2008 and -3.8% in the fourth quarter. It now puts the damage at -3.7% and -8.9%: Great Depression territory.

http://www.frumforum.com/could-it-be-that-our-enemies-were-right

The hole is as big as it seemed. Now is the time to put partisanship and the goal of defeating Obama aside and enact reforms that will stimulate job growth.

Not going to happen, though.

patteeu
08-04-2011, 11:05 AM
http://www.frumforum.com/could-it-be-that-our-enemies-were-right

The hole is as big as it seemed. Now is the time to put partisanship and the goal of defeating Obama aside and enact reforms that will stimulate job growth.

Not going to happen, though.

Obama stands between us and those reforms. He's got to go.

petegz28
08-04-2011, 11:13 AM
http://www.frumforum.com/could-it-be-that-our-enemies-were-right

The hole is as big as it seemed. Now is the time to put partisanship and the goal of defeating Obama aside and enact reforms that will stimulate job growth.

Not going to happen, though.

You mean like these reforms???

Report: Obama Administration Added $9.5 Billion in Red Tape in July
http://www.usnews.com/news/washington-whispers/articles/2011/08/03/report-obama-administration-added-95-billion-in-red-tape-in-july

he claimed that the administration in July only has put in $9.5 billion in new regulatory costs by proposing 229 new rules and finalizing 379 rules. Among those he cited were EPA, healthcare reform, and financial regulatory reform rules.

Taco John
08-04-2011, 11:15 AM
Ron Paul for the Long Haul...

fan4ever
08-04-2011, 11:53 AM
http://www.frumforum.com/could-it-be-that-our-enemies-were-right

The hole is as big as it seemed. Now is the time to put partisanship and the goal of defeating Obama aside and enact reforms that will stimulate job growth.

Not going to happen, though.

So we need to get out of the way and let Obama do more of what he's been doing the past 2 and a half years? :facepalm:

blaise
08-04-2011, 11:59 AM
I don't know how much you can stimulate job growth. The market is the market.

Hydrae
08-04-2011, 11:59 AM
Ron Paul for the Long Haul...

We certainly need a very different direction than we have had for the last few decades and he best represents that ideal.

KC native
08-04-2011, 03:01 PM
I don't know how much you can stimulate job growth. The market is the market.

common sense isn't allowed in DC. ITZ ONLE OBAMMAZZZ FAULT!!!0101010110!!0101010010!)1010101

petegz28
08-04-2011, 03:01 PM
common sense isn't allowed in DC. ITZ ONLE OBAMMAZZZ FAULT!!!0101010110!!0101010010!)1010101

Come on, you know good and damn well Congress can make or break a good business environment.

petegz28
08-04-2011, 03:02 PM
I don't know how much you can stimulate job growth. The market is the market.

Eliminate some of the BS rules and regulations that cost companies money???

Eliminate or at least reduce corporate taxes??

There are things the President and Congress can do to make the environment good for business.

KC native
08-04-2011, 03:03 PM
Come on, you know good and damn well Congress can make or break a good business environment.

Very unlikely.

petegz28
08-04-2011, 03:04 PM
Very unlikely.

So you're saying that government rules and regulations have no impact on business and that congress can't do anything about them???

KC native
08-04-2011, 03:07 PM
So you're saying that government rules and regulations have no impact on business and that congress can't do anything about them???

Regulations are far from being burdensome right now.

petegz28
08-04-2011, 03:08 PM
Regulations are far from being burdensome right now.

Disagree. Regulations, taxes and lack of government cooperation are hurting business right now. Including the fact they have painted a very uncertain environment for business at the moment.

KC native
08-04-2011, 03:10 PM
Disagree. Regulations, taxes and lack of government cooperation are hurting business right now. Including the fact they have painted a very uncertain environment for business at the moment.

Horseshit pete. Businesses know what's coming down the pipeline. Do you even know how the rule making process works?

petegz28
08-04-2011, 03:12 PM
Horseshit pete. Businesses know what's coming down the pipeline. Do you even know how the rule making process works?

I disagree. I think the way this Congress behaves they have little to bank on other than it's cheaper to go to China.

KC native
08-04-2011, 03:14 PM
I disagree. I think the way this Congress behaves they have little to bank on other than it's cheaper to go to China.

Pete, go read up on the rule making process for our federal regulatory bodies. Businesses have the opportunity to suggest what they would like. Offer evidence what is being proposed will harm them, etc.

petegz28
08-04-2011, 03:17 PM
Pete, go read up on the rule making process for our federal regulatory bodies. Businesses have the opportunity to suggest what they would like. Offer evidence what is being proposed will harm them, etc.

I know this. I still think current regulation is part of the problem. Obama passed 605 regulations in July alone that added an etimated $9.5 bil in red tape. Nothing has been done to improve the business environment. The stimulus was a joke and you know that. It did nothing for long term growth. It was a wish on a star that if we spent some tax payer monies things would go back to the way they were.

Have corporate taxes been lowered?
Have then been any tangible incentives offered to companies at all?

I mean real things, not making it cheaper for an already struggling business to take on more debt.

KC native
08-04-2011, 03:21 PM
I know this. I still think current regulation is part of the problem. Obama passed 605 regulations in July alone that added an etimated $9.5 bil in red tape. Nothing has been done to improve the business environment. The stimulus was a joke and you know that. It did nothing for long term growth. It was a wish on a star that if we spent some tax payer monies things would go back to the way they were.

Have corporate taxes been lowered?
Have then been any tangible incentives offered to companies at all?

I mean real things, not making it cheaper for an already struggling business to take on more debt.

Let the drudge talking points go man.

The stimulus wasn't designed to spur long term growth. It was to keep us from driving off a cliff.

Corporate taxes? Really? We have record budget deficits and you think the answer is to hand out more tax breaks eventhough their track record as engines for economic growth is deplorable?

petegz28
08-04-2011, 03:25 PM
Let the drudge talking points go man.

The stimulus wasn't designed to spur long term growth. It was to keep us from driving off a cliff.

Corporate taxes? Really? We have record budget deficits and you think the answer is to hand out more tax breaks eventhough their track record as engines for economic growth is deplorable?

Hmm, we tax corporations at the highest level in the world. How has that helped the deficit? Talk about talking points, put your Pelosi points down and use your brain.

Exactly right on the stimulus. Which is why it was a stupid and costly idea. We are finding ourselves right back in the same boat only now trillions of more $'s in debt.

KC native
08-04-2011, 03:26 PM
Hmm, we tax corporations at the highest level in the world. How has that helped the deficit? Talk about talking points, put your Pelosi points down and use your brain.

Exactly right on the stimulus. Which is why it was a stupid and costly idea. We are finding ourselves right back in the same boat only now trillions of more $'s in debt.

No we don't tax corporations the highest in the world. Do we need to cover marginal tax rates and what these companies are actually paying again?

petegz28
08-04-2011, 03:45 PM
No we don't tax corporations the highest in the world. Do we need to cover marginal tax rates and what these companies are actually paying again?

Sure. Let's face it, you and I disagree and we are going to disagree. You don't think the Fed Gov can create a better business environment, I do. It's that simple.

BucEyedPea
08-04-2011, 04:04 PM
I don't like the use of the word "us" as if we all the same.

trndobrd
08-04-2011, 05:28 PM
http://www.frumforum.com/could-it-be-that-our-enemies-were-right

The hole is as big as it seemed. Now is the time to put partisanship and the goal of defeating Obama aside and enact reforms that will stimulate job growth.

Not going to happen, though.

From today's WH press conference:


ABC News' White House correspondent Jake Tapper prods press secretary Jay Carney for President Obama's plan to foster an environment where jobs can be created. Carney blames the difficulty to create jobs on environmental disasters such as the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan earlier this year. Key part of the 5 minute+ back-and-forth is transcribed below:



JAKE TAPPER, ABC NEWS: I believe the Dow has gone down -- obviously, the day is not over -- but I believe the Dow's gone down now more than during that controversial TARP vote. And analysts are saying that the reason that this is happening is because of uncertainty about the American economy, that we are entering a double-dip recession, or at the very least, a period of real softness and weakness for the U.S. economy. What is the administration doing about that?

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE: Well, the analysis I saw today did not -- was not about the American economy, particularly, in terms of what's happening.

TAPPER: Im talking about analysis from the last 20 minutes.

CARNEY: But there are obviously -- there are a lot of global issues that affect the global economy and that obviously affect the American economy. We strongly believe, as I've said, that we will continue to grow and we will continue to create jobs, and we need to take the measures necessary to do that.

We have encountered in this calendar year a number of economic headwinds that could not have been foreseen: the tsunami -- earthquake and tsunami in Japan that disrupted global supply chains; the unrest in the Middle East, which has an impact on oil prices; and the situation in Europe. So, you know, obviously that has hurt the economy globally and has slowed growth and job creation, but we believe that growth and job creation will continue.

TAPPER: Well, what is the president doing? We know that he went to a -- -- he went to fundraisers last night. What's he doing today?

CARNEY: Jake, that is --

TAPPER: What is he doing --

CARNEY: The president -- as the president has worked --

TAPPER: We hear him hectoring Congress about all the stuff that needs to be done to help create jobs --

CARNEY: That's right. And Congress --

TAPPER: -- and then he flew off to Chicago. What is he doing today?

CARNEY: The president is having meetings with his senior staff. The president has called on Congress to move quickly on things that have bipartisan support and are in Congress's lap, the trade --

TAPPER: The same stuff he was doing a couple months ago, calling on Congress to pass things.

CARNEY: Congress has the power to pass legislation that the president can sign. The actions that it can take could create more jobs right now, if it passed the patent reform, if it passed the free trade agreements. And as you know, there are other issues that the president encourages and will push hard for the Congress to take up when it returns from its recess, including extension of the payroll tax cut, which would put -- which has this year put an additional $1,000 in the pockets of every American, or typical American family.

And he believes we need to do that again next year, because that assists those families in having them -- you know, giving them the ability to make ends meet, and puts money back into the economy, which in turn sustains businesses and creates jobs. And he will continue to come up with and propose measures that we in Washington together can take to spur further economic growth and job creation.

TAPPER: Has he called Mitch McConnell? Has he called John Boehner? Has -- is he working on things that they can do? If every --

CARNEY: Jake, I don't -- I know you weren't here yesterday, but I know you were here for most of the days before that, when this president and those leaders and others worked seven days a week to avert a major economic crisis in this country that would have made

TAPPER: Youre the one always saying the president can walk and chew gum at the same time. I'm asking you --

CARNEY: Well, what are -- are you asking me what -- he is -- he is focused --

TAPPER: Other than calling on Congress to pass things you've been calling on Congress to pass for months, what is he doing to help the economy?

CARNEY: He is working very closely with his senior economic advisers to come up with new proposals to help advance growth and job creation. He is working with members of Congress to help advance growth and job creation. And he will continue to do that. There are things that Congress can do now to create jobs, and they should. There are things that Congress will be able to do when they return from recess to help create jobs and spur growth, and they should. And he looks forward to working with Congress to do that.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/08/04/tapper_peppers_carney_what_is_obama_doing_to_create_jobs.html

ROYC75
08-04-2011, 05:35 PM
Obot : Jake Tapper is a terrorist!

blaise
08-04-2011, 06:39 PM
He's not doing nothing. He's fundraising

ChiefaRoo
08-04-2011, 07:04 PM
Very unlikely.


Really moron?