Friday, February 06, 2009

This ain't Chicago, Mr. President, it's DC.

Kevin Costner's Elliot Ness explained to a guy ("The Untouchables") that he didn't understand how things are done because "... you're not from Chicago."

Seems Mr. O found out how things are done in THIS town by the weak, frail, dejected and deflated Republican party. Guess nobody likes to have things rammed down their throats especially when they're only recently had lip service paid to them.

Obama to reach out to Republicans on stimulus plan
http://www.reuters.com/article/bondsNews/idUSWAT01087920090129

Instead of “if we don’t pass this now, it might be a catastrophe,” the rush -- Wooo, I said the word! -- might be translated as, “If we don’t pass this now, I might not be popular enough to have another chance to play Santa Claus to this extent again.”

http://www.dailypress.com/news/local/newsletter/dp-news_cwobama_0206feb06,0,3919799.story

“Obama also has increasingly sought to rebut Republican criticism of the plan.
He also increasingly has reminded the GOP who is in charge now — and on whose
watch the economy collapsed.” -- AP Story


Wasn't it Al Haig who once said, "According to the Constitution, I'm in charge here." Who's in charge NOW? The Democrats have been in control of the House of Representatives and the Senate since January, 2007. I must have missed their numerous attempts at across-the-board emergency budget cuts to reduce the out-of-control deficit.

"I found this deficit when I showed up," Obama said,
earning a standing ovation. "I found this national debt doubled, wrapped in
a big bow waiting for me when I stepped into the Oval Office." -- AP Story

So your solution is to add to it by another $1 Trillion? Do you really think you’ll be hailed as saving the country in the future by little bronze plaques that read: “On this spot in the year 2011, for part of the low, low price of $1 Trillion, President Barak Obama put a solar panel on the roof of this building and turned it into a "green" building. Enter ye, therefore, and be glad knowing that you are still paying for it.”

“We are not going to get relief by turning back to the very same policies
that for the last eight years doubled the national debt and threw our
economy into a tailspin." – AP Story


First of all, the economy hasn’t been in a tailspin for "the last 8 years." We've had 73 months of expansion, since the last recession, better than the average length of expansion post WWII (57 months). As a matter of fact, a lot of people did pretty well for a good portion of those 8 years and they all weren’t Rich Republicans, Corporate CEOs and Oil Companies. In fact, people WANT to get back to the economy when the Dow was at 14,000 and our 401Ks were increasing in value.

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the recession really
started in December 2007. The NBER based their assessment on monthly statistics,
not quarterly. Jobs peaked in December of 2007 and have been declining ever
since then. Duration of recessions can change. The last expansion lasted 73
months (2002-2007) and prior expansion lasted 120 (1990s) months. The average
expansion since the end of World War II has lasted 57 months. The typical
postwar recession has lasted 10 months. According to financial economic
researchers this recession has the possibility of lasting longer. The good news
is that we have been in a recession longer than we have realized.

“He said tax cuts alone as a way to stimulate the economy
are "a losing formula." – AP Story

If tax cuts are so inept at helping things around, and so evil and so "costly" to provide (back to the people who paid the money in the first place....), then why offer one at all--especially aimed that Obama's/Democrats constituents?

I’ll tell you what’s a losing formula: taking money that NET current and future taxPAYERS contribute and giving it to non-US citizens (illegal and legal immigrants) and/or to people who essentially pay “zero” income taxes, making them the recipients of a so-called, “tax-cut.”

As the WSJ points out:
http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2009/02/05/unclear-how-stimulus-will-dole-out-tax-relief/

The so-called “Making Work Pay” credit is the
largest tax cut for individual taxpayers in the stimulus plan. It would cost
the government roughly $145 billion, out of the total $900 billion, 10-year
cost of the package.
Here’s how it works: individuals are eligible for a refundable credit of the lesser of $500 or 6.2% of earned income. In other words, most workers with more than $8,100 of annual earned income will get the full $500.

Notice they use the word, “workers” not "taxpayers." Not necessarily the same thing, and someone can pay income taxes without being LEGALLY in this country – and therefore eligible for the “MWP tax cut.”
He defended how quickly the bill is moving through Congress and
belittled those who call the measure simply a spending bill: "What do you
think a stimulus is? That's the whole point!" --AP Story.

"How quickly the bill is going through Congress?" Sure. If you by-pass normal committee rules and don't listen to the minorty party on anything, things can move pretty fast.

Spending can be stimulating, sure, but for WHAT purposes? Spending for pork’s sake or to put money in people’s hands to spend on US goods and services or invest in businesses? How is “... tribal alcohol and substance abuse reduction ...” going to do that? OR “$... 400 million for the Centers for Disease Control to screen and prevent STD's...– that’s nearly a half-billion dollars right there? How many jobs are going to be created there?

Still think there’s not more to cut? Go here:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/02/gop.stimulus.worries/index.html

  • “Buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees” (some of which are going to have to be “foreign made” because Detroit can’t produce that many cars that quickly based on the models they have now. Not to mention the useful life left in the fleet that we’ve already purchased.)
  • Or worse yet, funding to LEASE, not BUY “alternative energy vehicles for use on military installations.”

And why would you want to spend $75 million for "smoking cessation activities” especially when the Prez just signed the $33 Billion SCHIP legislation covering only 4 million more children (kids up to the age of 30 of course) with healthcare, and using an increase in the FEDERAL CIGARETTE TAX TO PAY FOR IT?

... funded primarily by boosting the federal tax on
cigarettes by 61 cents, to $1 a pack."

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-kids-health-care_thufeb05,0,30310.story

Mr. O, dude, we’re going to need all the smokers we can get, not fewer.

And from the NYTimes, comes this:

"Japan’s Big-Works Stimulus Is Lesson"
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/06/world/asia/06japan.html?th&emc=th


During those nearly two decades, Japan accumulated the largest public debt in
the developed world — totaling 180 percent of its $5.5 trillion economy — while
failing to generate a convincing recovery….

Economists tend to divide
into two camps on the question of Japan’s infrastructure spending: those, many
of them Americans like Mr. Geithner, who think it did not go far enough; and
those, many of them Japanese, who think it was a colossal waste.

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