Thursday, January 28, 2010


Naturally, I watched the State of the Union speech last night (I did not partake in the SOTU drinking game however). While I felt it was a good speech, and said many of the right things, I still do not understand President Obama's obsession with bi-partisanship. In the last year, the Republican Party has voted against policies it supported in the past, voted against bills dozens of its members co-sponsored, and has used the filibuster more than any other Congress in history. A recent study conducted at UCLA concluded that the filibuster was only used during 8% of major legislation in the 1960s, but rose to 70% in the 110th Congress (2007-08). That number continues to rise. The Republican Party has zero interest in working with this president or the majority in Congress, and would gladly vote against a measure it supports if it deems it damaging to President Obama.

The president can scold the GOP, the statistics can show the party is doing nothing more than obstructing the will of the people, and yet the party still does nothing. This has been the strategy since it lost control of Congress in the 2006 elections. So what is the president seeing that no one else is? Why does he still hold out hope that the party of NO, will suddenly become responsible and try to work constructively with the majority? I have no idea.

Dumb ass comment by the media of the night: Chris Matthews of MSNBC with the following, "You know, I forgot he was black tonight for an hour. You know, he’s gone a long way to become a leader of this country...I was watching, I said, Wait a minute, he’s an African-American guy in front of a bunch of other white people...It was so broad-ranging, so in tune with so many problems, of aspects, and aspects of American life that you don’t think terms of the old tribalism, the old ethnicity." Seriously, Chris, WTF?!


T. Paine said...

When, as a party, you are not invited to the table to craft legislation and 90% of what the Democrats produce in bills is socialistic and adds to the deficit with no discernible good being delivered to the people, I damned sure hope that the GOP will obstruct to the very best of their abilities.

Obama realizes that the voters are pissed at him and the Democrats, even if he won't admit it. This is why he at least pretends to talk like a centrist at times. No one buys it, but he tries.

As for Chris Matthews' comment, I totally agree with you on that!

Dave Splash said...

Except the GOP has been invited to the table, and they have decided that if a bill does not revert back to failed Bush era policies, then it must be opposed. I have never seen a group as devoted to failure as the Republican Party.

But at least you admit they are obstructing. The party leaders still insist they are not, and the media plays along, but the truth is pretty obvious.

free0352 said...

The failed Bush era policy was big government. "Everyone has the right to own a home."

How did that turn out?

Now its "Everyone has a right to health care."

How will that turn out?

The Republicans are voting the way they are because the people who ellect them (that would be people like Paine and I) are DONE supporting them no matter what because we're "in the party."

Fuck that party.

Now we only vote for people who share our values, which is-

Small government and self government.

Fiscal Conservatism.

Non-interventionalism. (with the exception of radical islamist terrorism)

Strong National Defense.

Reduction of the budget deficit and paying down the debt.

Fair international trade.

Energy Independence

I'll vote for anyone who shares those values. Some good examples of democrats who share them are Governors Brian Schweitzer from Montana and Phil Bredason of Tennessee. President Obama, Nanci Peloci and Harry Ried share none of those values, and hence we don't allow our representatives in government to work with them. If they do, they'll loose their jobs.

T. Paine said...

Yeah! What Free said! :)

Dave Splash said...

Fair enough. Those are pretty generic and both the Republican and Democratic parties say they want energy independence, fair international trade, strong defense, reduction of the deficit, etc. It's how you go about implementing them that is the issue. I imagine we see this differently.

In my view, the Democratic Party (while far from perfect) has better plans toward achieving those goals.

I will vote for candidates who support a strong defense; part of that strong defense is maintaining good relations with our allies and friends, understanding our adversaries, and only using military force when necessary. Not by choice in wars based on lies or a faulty premise. It also includes fully funding all veterans programs, and ensuring that veterans receive first rate health care.

I will vote for candidates who understand the basic fact that fossil fuels are finite; that no matter how much one drills domestically it is impossible to produce enough oil for our energy needs. Therefore, utilization of alternative or clean energy (i.e. wind or even nuclear) is mandatory to achieve energy independence. No more money to the Middle East where it is then used to fund terrorism.

I will vote for candidates who are fiscally responsible. This means a recognition of the fact that reducing taxes on millionaires and large corporations does not increase tax revenues, nor does it benefit anyone other than those at the top. Trickle down/supply side economics does not work and is a proven failure. Furthermore, I will vote for a candidate who understands that, in a recession, it is idiotic to reduce government spending. That is the time it is needed most. Spending cuts are best when the economy is growing, and private spending returns to normal levels. Reducing the deficit is very important, but tackling the problem during a recession is counter productive.

I will vote for candidates who support not a big government, but a smart and effective government. Government is not the enemy, and it is not the solution to all problems. But government does have its purpose, and providing a basic safety net for its most vulnerable citizens, I believe, is one of those purposes. I also support candidates who feel that in the richest country in the world, it is pathetic that upwards of 40 million people do not have health insurance. If the private insurance market is unwilling or unable to reduce costs to the people and make insurance available to everyone (regardless of a pre-existing condition), then government must step in. If criminals have a right to attorney, it is pretty sad that average Americans don't have a right to quality health care.

I will vote for candidates who seek to penalize American companies who send jobs to other countries and reward (via tax incentives) those companies who keep their workforce American. In addition, said candidates must support meaningful, enforceable regulation on banks, and support a fed policy that does not only offer cheap money to large institutions, but ensures small business has the same access.

I could go on and on, but I have to get back to work...

free0352 said...

both the Republican and Democratic parties say they want energy independence

But Democrats have stood in the way more so than Republicans... who in fairness have too. John McCain comes to mind. We're the Saudi Arabia of coal and you can run a combustion engine off it. That buys us decades of time to figure out the better mouse trap and it doesn't kill the economy in the process. Democrat Brian Schweitzer and I think exactly alike on the issue. I agree we need nucear energy as well. A smart grid where individuals can sell power for profit would go a long way. We could be off forign oil in two years, but we're not because Washington is standing in the way.

As for the war on terror, we need to focus on who we're really at war with. It's not just the Taliban, or Al'Queda or Hamas... there is a large group of radical isam out there in a hydra of hostile groups bent on killing as many Americans as possible and the reason is we're infidels. Until Washington and its political correctness quits standing in the way of that realization no American is safe. We certainly aren't at war with all of Islam, just a portion of it. We need to be honest and admit that. Politicians of both parties again stand between common sense and danger.

No tax should be cut without a corisponding cut in spending. Thats again common sense. And while "trickle down" supply side economics is russian rulete, so is the "trickle up poverty" of progressive taxation. The income tax and corporate taxes kill investment and should be abolished and replaced with a flat tax and perhaps a national sales tax. Again both parties stand in the way.

As for spending, it's even more idiotic to borrow money when one is in debt as much as we are. We all have the friend in bankruptcy because they got crazy with the credit cards. It's time to cut back and plan for the long road, and not the immidiate political reality. The Keynesian economics of "Stimulus" has clearly failed and failed miserably.

I want to live in a country where people are responsible for themselves. The government should not do for them what duty they have to provide for themselves. I vote for candidates who protect the taxpayers from politicians and voters who use the power of the state to take what isn't theirs.

Corporations who are punished often cease to be American companies. Perhaps with our highest in the world corporate tax rate (higher even than any European nation) we should consider more business friendly policy instead of driving even more business out.

Lastly, inflation will soon be skyrocketing, and steps should be taken now to control it. Raise the interest rates.

T. Paine said...

With the American corporate tax being the highest or second highest in the world, that is the reason many companies leave for cheaper places to do business. The ones that stay, pass on that cost of doing business to us the consumers.

Unions also make what is basically unskilled labor in many cases too expensive for corporations to work with. The result is GM and Chrysler being bailed out by the tax payers.

Further, supply side economics DOES work. I give you the 1980's under Reagan to prove it. Where we went wrong was that congress, under Democratic control, spent $1.50 for every $1.00 of revenue raised then.

Free is right. Cut taxes AND cut spending.

When you cut taxes for corporatation and the rich, they invest that money into R&D, and new companies etc. which create new jobs, which gets more people off the unemployment roles, which gets more people paying income taxes instead of receiving tax-payer funded payments.

I have NEVER in my life been offered a job by a poor man yet!

The federal government by and large does NOT create jobs, other than those in government, and we do NOT needed a more bloated bureaucratic government...thank you!

The federal government can help to create jobs by reducing uneccessary job-stifling regulation and taxation so that people can keep more of their OWN damned money and re-invest in their own future. This create self-reliance and more jobs.

The main damned economic difference between the left and the right on this is that the left shows their compassion by how many people they have on welfare. The right shows their compassion by helping those same people to become self-sufficient and no longer needing of welfare.

Dave Splash said...

Interesting how you much of the Reagan legacy falls under total revisionism of history when told by conservatives. Deficits skyrocketed under Reagan, he knew this would happen and did not care. His own advisers publicly said so. Remember why Bill Clinton was elected in '92? All of the negative consequences of the Reagan/Bush years economically fell onto Bush's re-election. I seem to remember he lost, and the 1990s, under Bill Clinton, had the largest period of economic growth in US history.

Also, under Reagan the gap between the rich and everyone else began to grow at unprecedented levels. A level not seen again until...wait for it...George W. Bush. GWB took the Reagan model, and drove the country into the ground economically. Wages shrunk and there was a net negative in job growth. Homelessness shot up. But guys like Bernie Madoff and Ken Lay did very well.

You can continue to tout the "Reagan legacy" all you want, but on the economic front, he was a disaster...unless you were already rich, and then, you loved it.

It's a little tough for conservatives to run for election using the rhetoric of economic populism, when the conservative record economically, only favors the elite.

free0352 said...

Deficits skyrocketed under Reagan, he knew this would happen and did not care.

He cared, he even called it the greatest failure of his presidency... and it was. And if Clinton's economic policy was so great, why not return to it? It was certainly more Conservaitve than George Bush's.

under Reagan the gap between the rich and everyone else began to grow at unprecedented levels.


All levels of income were better off than they were in 1979, and if you're rather the poor were poorer so long as the richer were poorer also, you're just stupid and spiteful. You don't create wealth that way and you don't maintain democracy that way.

Further, I don't care how Republicans run... I'll vote for common sense.

Dave Splash said...

But people were better off in 1979 than they were in 2008. Reagan was handed a turkey when he came into office, but it pales in comparison to the stinking turd of an economy left to President Obama when he came in.

I'd be fully in favor of a return to most aspects of the Clinton economic plan.

T. Paine said...

I am guessing you don't remember much about 1979 personally, do you Splash? By every economic indicator, things were worse under Carter in 1979 in comparison to the current recession caused by tax & spend crazy socialists of Bush and Obama.

Dave Splash said...

Except for the fact that not a single real statistic could back up your claim that it was "worse" in '79. By the way, I do remember 1979.

But I understand the myth of Reagan is a hard thing to shake for conservatives. But Reagan whined about what he "inherited" until 1983 - two years after taking office, and his so-called recovery barely got going until 84 (just in time for re-election).

Funny how Obama inherits a much worse situation, and he is not allowed to correctly blame his predecessor for more than 5 minutes without conservative criticism.

I wish there was a little more intellectual honesty coming from the right on just how horrible Bush and the GOP left the country when Obama took over.

free0352 said...

I'd be fully in favor of a return to most aspects of the Clinton economic plan.

The problem is Preisdent Obama isn't.

free0352 said...

Here are some statics.

Unemployment in 1988 was lower.
All income brakets reported more income by 1988. GDP was up in 1988. Inflation, the bane of the 1970's was under control. Something Nixon, Ford, and Carter couldn't do.

Oh, and communism died and the iron curtin fell. By any metric those are successes. And they were titanic. Every historian agrees on that and diagrees with you.

They should put Reagan's face on Mt Rushmore.

free0352 said...

As for who got it worse, Reagan or Obama-

Uneployment was higher in 1980,
Inflation was much, much higher, energy costs were higher, Reagan had the Soviet Union to contend with.

I don't know you tell me who had it worese?

Dave Splash said...

To quote that senile old fool you two admire so much, "There you go again."

Reagan did not have an economic meltdown a few months before his term started. He did not have a banking and mortgage crisis, and the economy was not shedding 750,000 jobs a month when he took office. Furthermore, he was given two years to implement his policies before any signs of progress were seen. Obama was attacked by the right on day one and blamed for the problems he inherited. Reagan at least had an opposition party that accepted the idea of democracy and elections, and worked with the president even though they disagree. President Obama has not gotten the same courtesy from his opposition. It is just the party of NO.

As far as who got it worse coming in, I still say Obama. And seeing as how we just had 5.7% growth in GDP with less than a year in office, I think Obama is off to a much better start than Reagan, frankly.