Someone Has to Stop Obamanomics Now

The party's over, people. President Obama's economic plans are becoming more and more worrisome. These plans include throwing around astronomical sums of money and taking away a lot of incentive for businesses and entrepreneurs to do exactly what we so desperately need them to do right now.

Even ardent Obama fans may soon have to grudgingly admit the dangers inherent in his economic plans. Personally, I'd complain about policies like these no matter who was in office. I was appalled by the Bush administration's spending practices, too.

Change can be good, but what if the real change makes things far worse than we could have ever imagined?

The trillion-dollar question (no wait, that's trillions)
First, Obama's $3.6 trillion budget is sobering in its own right. That's a staggering figure, and even more sobering, it comes complete with a mind-numbing $1.75 trillion federal deficit. It also comes with a lot of spending that critics call pork.

The new president's budget includes more aid for financial companies. However, so far, the patients on government life support simply aren't getting any better. There's no sign of recovery for AIG (NYSE: AIG  ) (after bailout No. 4) or Citigroup (NYSE: C  ) , despite repeated aid. The only inevitability seems to be that they will be kept alive with no signs of real recovery. (Same goes for General Motors (NYSE: GM  ) .)

Secondly, some critics are pointing out that Obama's budget emphasizes social programs rather than public works programs. The business once foreseen for infrastructure-related companies like Fluor (NYSE: FLR  ) and KBR (NYSE: KBR  ) might not materialize after all. The portions pertaining to universal health care have frightened investors away from those stocks, too, since government's involvement could hamper or cripple that industry.

Meanwhile, the president's $837 billion stimulus package also included a fair amount of pork spending that seemed difficult to justify with a supposed possible "catastrophe" on the horizon without the package. Its "Buy American" provisions -- not proposed by Obama, but still in the bill he signed into law -- also gave doubters plenty of reason to worry that protectionism might harm us as badly as it did during the Great Depression. That's why Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT  ) and General Electric (NYSE: GE  ) both spoke out against such provisions. Even though they might help their businesses in the short run, both companies knew "Buy American" would be dangerous in the long haul.

Unfortunately, our government was overextended even before Obama moved into the White House. The nation's fiscal situation was absolutely outrageous under the Bush administration. However, we can't just say, "Hey, we love Obama, so if he's jacking up spending and our national debt even more, that's cool." The expected huge increases in our national debt -- which is already $10.97 trillion -- within the coming years is no joking matter.

Slow strangulation
Meanwhile, the cap-and-trade system that Obama has proposed to tax carbon emissions has twofold dangers during our current economic mess. First, it may make operations too onerous for many businesses; second, it becomes an instant tax increase on everyone, because who doesn't use energy? Businesses will pass as many costs as they can right back onto already beleaguered consumers. And of course, that may cause an even more serious ripple effect, as more companies wither then go under.

Furthermore, as much as many people like to hear that the wealthy will get taxed more heavily, and that income will be redistributed downward, there is still the philosophical argument -- a legitimate one -- that we are rapidly taking away any incentive for anybody to invest, create, invent, or strive for something better. Why should anybody try to put forward any more effort than anybody else under the system that's evolving?

Show me the money
Many of the plans I'm mentioning would simply be political and philosophical issues that we could all merrily argue about in a flourishing economy; in the poor economic climate we have now, though, they strike me as misguided and dangerous.

Harvard's Robert Barro recently estimated that there's a 30% chance we could enter a depression, so yes, these are frightening times. Conversely, though, Obama's budget projects a mild recession this year with recovery next year, similar to Ben Bernanke's possible scenario several weeks ago. Let's just say that seems a little too rosy. We may need a reality check, pronto.

We are spending trillions, and we're in the hole for trillions more, while many of the policies destroy the incentive for the very engines of prosperity, such as industry and entrepreneurship. Government doesn't make money -- it takes money and redirects it, and the Obama administration is enthusiastically following the Bush administration's lead in greatly increasing the size of government and massive government spending. All this is happening even as more businesses fail and jobs disappear.

I don't blame Obama for our problems. And granted, it's not exactly easy to navigate an economic situation that is unprecedented in our lifetime. However, lots of people will blame Obama if his economic policies only manage to make our situation worse, and if businesses flee the U.S. because there's no longer incentive to operate here. What will we have then? Hopefully someone will stop Obamanomics before it's too late.

Here's some related Foolishness:

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


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  • Report this Comment On March 12, 2009, at 2:05 PM, XMFTom7 wrote:

    D'oh -- clicked too early. Good thing I'm not an editor for a living... oh wait... :)

    For the record, President Obama did NOT call for the "Buy American" provisions in the stimulus package -- those were inserted by the Senate, and Obama called for to be them removed. The Senate, however, did not remove them, but instead "softened" them to require that gov't procurement should comply with WTO rules.

  • Report this Comment On March 12, 2009, at 2:23 PM, TexasLonghorns wrote:

    One Big A** Mistake America. The capital letters spell what?

  • Report this Comment On March 12, 2009, at 2:31 PM, galtline wrote:

    I was hoping for an alternative suggestion somewhere in the article. I'd love to hear one.

    Here is my understanding of the situation - banks tighten (or stop) lending. citizens suffer, tighten spending. companies suffer, lay off employees. citizens suffer, spend even less. companies suffer (because people are spending less), have trouble with paying credit. Banks suffer.

    It's a monster that turns in on itself and continues devouring until we hit bottom. Since Americans won't spend more, someone has to step in, inject liquidity back into the system, and stablize the economy. Enter the stimulus package.

    Now that we have addressed what it is for, let's address other items in your article:

    pork - welcome to how our government works. Do you think Obama gathered the Democrats together and said, "now is our chance to force the American people to swallow a bitter pill! Put as many pet projects in there as possible!" ? No. Unfortunately, this is just how goverment works - in order for bills to be passed, members must be agree on it...so they add in items that they would like to see. It's not a perfect process, but that is how it works.

    The "Buy American" provisions - completely agree with you there. It should be noted though, that Obama asked that they be removed as well.

    More taxes on the wealthy - don't you think you're being a little dramatic? I'm certainly not going to stop making more money, just because I get taxed more. Warren Buffet is often quoted on the Fool. Perhaps it should also be worth noting that Buffet is profoundly in favor of both the tax and the stimulus?

    Obama's budget projection - Yes, because we'd much rather have him yell "the sky is falling! the sky is falling!" I'm sure during half time, coaches frequently say, "Let's be honest...we can't beat this team." Come on...let's be realistic here. They've said that the situation is dire, but are putting on a brave face.

    Really...can't we get away from political articles on the Fool?

  • Report this Comment On March 12, 2009, at 2:39 PM, djemonk wrote:

    Why is The Motley Fool so against controlling carbon emissions? Is a 2% increase in profits worth the destruction of the human race?

    So far 1 TMF author, in his blog, flat-out said yes.

    I thought you guys had the long-term view in mind? Or does that apply strictly to profits with no thought whatsoever about the impact to all of us? See also: TMF's weekly touting of Monsanto.

  • Report this Comment On March 12, 2009, at 2:41 PM, RDP63 wrote:

    100% agree with galtline's comment.

    Also, have you had any health problems lately? Well, when you do, look forward to the morass of determining if your health care plan will cover your expenses and all the crap you are going to go through before you get things squared away. The American health care system is nothing more than a bunch of greedy cherry picking insurance companies and drug companies. The waste is horriffic. More power to Obama if he can fix it!

  • Report this Comment On March 12, 2009, at 2:47 PM, duegger wrote:

    I would expect as an earlier commenter noted, a plausable alternative to be aired if you are going to slam the policies. I would expect these comments off a right wing blog. This current budget that just passed is already 5 months into the budget year that started under Bush. Bush's budget did not even contain the cost of war shich was off line item. If your going to blmae Obama, at least give him time to screw it up. Who knows, his theory on what needs to be done might even be superior to yours. Obviously, the last administration failed miserably at it. Nedd to raise taxews somewhere, and my guess would be that it would have to be the more wealthy.

  • Report this Comment On March 12, 2009, at 3:11 PM, catoismymotor wrote:

    A couple of months ago I said that investing money with a Chinese company was like doing business called Fat Tony. Since then I have changed my tune and purchased shares in two Chinese companies. I plan on doing so in at least two more. China appears to have a much better plan in place.

  • Report this Comment On March 12, 2009, at 3:12 PM, catoismymotor wrote:

    Typo Correction:

    A couple of months ago I said that investing money with a Chinese company was like doing business with SOMEONE called Fat Tony. Since then I have changed my tune and purchased shares in two Chinese companies. I plan on doing so in at least two more. China appears to have a much better plan in place.

  • Report this Comment On March 12, 2009, at 3:28 PM, RepealThe16thA wrote:

    Having Obama as their president is the consequence of citizens not knowing the Constitution and its history, particularly the Founder's division of federal and state powers.

    More specifically, given that the 10th A. reserves the lion's share of government power to serve the people to the states, not the Oval Office and Congress, Chief Justice Marshall had established the following case precedent which appropriately limits the power of the feds to lay taxes.

    "Congress is not empowered to tax for those purposes which are within the exclusive province of the States." --Chief Justice Marshall, GIBBONS V. OGDEN (1824) http://supreme.justia.com/us/22/1/case.html

    In fact, the stimulus package can be thought of as the federal government returning money to the states that it stole from the states anyway.

    Today's big federal government is a result of the following, in my opinion. The Constitution-ignoring MSM has successfully seized the opportunity provided by widespread ignorance of state powers to turn the Oval Office into a throne room. And why not? After all, the people's best response is to "complain" about how the "king" spends their tax dollars as if doing so is their idea of the pursuit of happiness.

    The bottom line is that citizens need to wise up to the fact that crooked federal politicians are ignoring the Constitution that they hypocritically swear to defend and do the following. Citizens need to work with their state lawmakers to repeal the 16th A., the amendment that gives the feds the power to tax the people directly. The problem with that amendment is that it makes it too easy for the corrupt federal government to lay constitutionally unauthorized taxes, in my opinion.

  • Report this Comment On March 12, 2009, at 3:38 PM, winojohn wrote:

    Point by point: The deficit is BIG... last balanced budget was?? At least (we're led to believe) everything is in there, no off balance sheet wars, etc.

    AIG had to be saved for political reasons. Too many counter parties in too many countries that have done the US too many favors. C and GM actually are showing signs of life and may recover, even though (imho) neither should.

    Yes, there's pork in the "stimulus package" and not a thing to be done about it. It's not good, it just is.

    Carbon emissions... Enough people in the world think this is important, so something has to be done. We no longer live in an American dominated world, and we can't continue to act as if we do. Cap and trade is the trendy idea right now... got a better one?

    Taxes. Whos taxes are going up in 2009?????

    All of the "increases" are in out years, so far. Letting the ill advised (according to Alan Greenspan) "Bush" tax cuts expire won't affect 2009 taxes for anyone. If my incremental rate goes from 36% to 39% in 2011, I'll decide what to do then. Maybe I'll retire so my taxes will go down.

    gatline makes some very good points. Consumers (that is us) are retrenching and reducing debt/increasing savings. Long term, this is good! Short term, this is very painful when we all do it at once. The purpose of the "stimulus" is to keep money flowing until "we" start buying again. The administration wants to believe that will happen later this year. Others say next year. Have you ever met a pessimistic politcian??

  • Report this Comment On March 12, 2009, at 3:42 PM, TexasLonghorns wrote:

    Let's raise taxes on the rich, Liberals War Cry!! Current IRS reporting shows 1% of the U.S. pays 40% of the individual federal taxes. Over 35% do not pay anything and in fact take out far more from the taxpayers pocket than they put in.

    Ever notice how many DIRECT TV dishes are parked outside the windows on public housing, which you pay for and how many have cell phones.

    Take from the people who actually use an alarm clock to go to a J.O.B.! Give it to those who game the system. When does it ever stop.

  • Report this Comment On March 12, 2009, at 3:43 PM, Alex1963 wrote:

    Ms Lomax,

    Why is it so few critics of the budget and the deficit acknowledge thet fact that it actually includes all the numbers. I have article after article from the Economist to the Wash Post and WSJ appladuiding the president for finally including real numbers. Had he used Bushes accounting things would have looked much better. I think he has stuck by his promise to make the budget process far more transparent and honest and you could easily have included this fact and still made your point.

    Economist 2/27 "... At a minimum, Mr Obama seems more fiscally honest than George Bush, whose accounting gimmicks vied with Enron’s. Mr Bush’s budgets routinely excluded unavoidable outlays, such as those for wars and natural disasters, incorporated tax increases and spending trims that he knew would never occur, and masked his policies’ impact on the deficit by shortening the forecast horizon to five years from ten. Mr Obama puts most of the missing items back in the budget, and restores its horizon to ten years. ...And he suggested that he will need more money to bail out banks than the $700 billion already authorised. A $250 billion facility is being set aside for this, one reason why this year’s deficit is so huge"

    I for one am really tired of this "tell the truth but not the whole truth" approach. Give credit where it's due. I think the budget is terrific and will have very positive impact. I've actually studied the 1st 12 pages already and I believe as the various interest groups wade through the details and let their constituents know how much they can reap in positive benefits I think consumer and industry confidence will really improve. That is if we can get a little more balanced reporting out of articles like this.

    I will happily pay more in utility costs if I must for Carbon control. Fine.

    Now to balanced myself: I was very disappointed in the 2% worth of earmarks within the Omnibus legislation. But I do think it would have further delayed the a pretty critical piece of legislation. I was really looking for Dems (60%) and Repub's (40%) of the earmarks to have voluntarily cut their own projects far more. Instead they have made it look as if there was nothing they could do (last years business) While Repubs still vainly try to make poilitical hay by implying Obama broke his earmark promise. Sure, he's really going to go in and veto a Congress who can't hardly pass last years budget?! Let's all yell at our Congresspeople!

    Respectfully

    Alex

  • Report this Comment On March 12, 2009, at 4:06 PM, redearth329 wrote:

    I think it's very cute when so-called capitalists complain that taxing the rich more heavily somehow removes the incentive to be successful.

    I'll tell you what: I'll either give you $100, but you have to give Uncle Sam %1, or I'll give you $1000, but you have to give Uncle Sam %90.

    You still go home with more money in the latter case than in the former case, and the bracket discrepancy isn't even this unfavorable in reality!

    I've never heard anyone say, "I turned down a $65,000 dollar job because the taxes were too high. I'd much rather keep pumping gas thankyouverymuch. I may not be able to send my kid to college, but at least I get my Direct TV, cell phone, and low taxes!"

  • Report this Comment On March 12, 2009, at 4:20 PM, thejokesonyou wrote:

    Economic concentration is POWER. That is all there is. We have allowed our industries to become monopolies and oligopolies. Free markets are a great idea if we lived in a eutopia where everyone was a square shooter and tried to do the right thing. Rather then treat people as prey to be devoured. Am I the only stupid person who realizes that cash flow is the problem. I do not the work rules of the unions either, but when we broke them did we have to cut their wages to 3rd world developing countries level? Did anyone wonder what might happen to our economy with the loss of spending power. If GM goes bankrupt and they lose their pensions will that help much. Cash flow. Cash Flow. Cash Flow...Unregulated greed has destroyed the middle class and our economy. Government must spend money because no one else has any. Unfortunately most of the middle class is asleep at the switch. They never realized what was happening to them. Someone once said I could pay one half of the working class to kill the other half. Sadly that appears to be true.

  • Report this Comment On March 12, 2009, at 5:00 PM, Jefeto wrote:

    Yes, Obamanomics needs to be stopped. Obamanomics told me to buy MKL at $494 and it now trades around $230! Oh wait, that was you guys at the Motley Fool, not Obamanomics!

    What I think is all of you who make money only when all of use read and act on your well crafted but wrong prognostications and opinions need to understand that it is not Obama (or Bush or Congress) that has wronged you. You have wronged yourselves. We have been burned by you and are doing our best not to get burned again.

    Yes, you and your counterparts have Joe and Jill Paycheck-to-Paycheck thinking that they need to attend the local tea party and those a little better off thinking that the coming tax bite will leave them wearing barrels. However, most of us know that the tea party should be held at 2000 Duke St., 900 Sylvan Ave., 82 Devonshire St. and 141 W. Jackson Blvd. and our anger should be turned on those who grab our trading fees, mortgage and credit card interest!

    We know your game and aren't yet ready to get duped again.

    Sadly, your time will come. When it does, I am sure you will forget all about those times when we were smarter than you.

  • Report this Comment On March 12, 2009, at 5:39 PM, CaptainRadd wrote:

    Oh no! Less money for KBR and Fluor.

    They've had their fill at the piggy trough at the expense of the US gov't(and taxpayers, aka us.). Huge no-bid contracts to build complete garbage in Iraq. It was a great business model when the former administration was in office.

    I'm still wondering when the whining from Wall Street types and selected other financial "gurus" about Obama's budget and tax plan is going to stop. I'm sorry that you're all sour about having to go back to the tax bracket you were in previous to the Bush administration. I think you'll survive.

    After all, everyone has to put forth their "fair share"..Ha!

  • Report this Comment On March 12, 2009, at 7:04 PM, Unics wrote:

    Like others have said before: what would be your alternative for Obama's plans? It's all too easy to criticize what everyone else does and not contribute anything as a solution. Here's a suggestion for the experts at The Motley Fool. Go to the http://www.recovery.gov/ website and contribute all your genius idea's. That would be constructive instead of just sitting on the sidelines criticizing.

    On the one hand Wallstreet and financial "Gurus" want the Obama to spend money to stimulate the economy but on the other hand they don't want him to raise taxes. I bet the writer of the article wants Obama to spend money to stimulate the economy and have ordinary Americans (or other people around the world) pay for everything while the wealthy get a tax break.

    America is still the best place to make money and be rich (even after the tax raise by Obama). All those cry babies that are screaming now about incentives to be an entrepreneur have gone should just leave the USA and go live somewhere else. See how well they do somewhere else. There are enough other people in the world willing to take their place, work even harder and contribute more to society (tax or otherwise)

    I live in Europe (in the Netherlands) and have had the chance to travel to many different European countries. What always strikes me is the difference in infrastructure correlated to the tax rate in the country.

    I like to compare infrastructure in Britain, The Netherlands and Belgium. Of these three countries Britain has the lowest tax rate. But they also have sh%$#&y infrastructure. Have you ever driven a car on British highways? I can tell you that these are in a bad shape compared to Belgium and the Netherlands. Some third world countries have better roads than Britain.

    Belgium has a higher tax rate than Britain. And what do you know? The infrastructure is much better. The highways are in much better shape and very well lit.

    Then comes the Netherlands. Of these three countries The Netherlands has the highest tax rate (maybe even the highest in Europe excluding some scandinavian countries). And believe it or not. The infrastructure is even better than in Belgium. Take the flood control system for instance (read about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flood_control_in_the_Netherland.... If New Orleans had something like this Katrina would have caused a lot less damage (and also saved a lot of people's property and insurance companies capital).

    Are you beginning to see the correlation here? Countries with higher tax rates tend to have better infrastructure. If you don't like high tax rates that's all fine but don't complain about inferior infrastructure. Someone has to pay for that.

  • Report this Comment On March 12, 2009, at 7:13 PM, Snowbird wrote:

    We had a president in office for 8 years that put us in this much debt. You can't expect to recover in 50 days. This president has some solutions, , I am retired and collecting S.S. and pension and can not pay my deductibles on my medical, my last operation was 150,000.00 . I don't make enough to pay taxes ( you may be in my shoes someday ) . In today's standard, if you pay any federal taxes consider your luckly, you are in the rich class now

  • Report this Comment On March 12, 2009, at 8:49 PM, maiday2000 wrote:

    Wow, after reading the comments above, I must change my belief that Fool readers have any critical thinking skills whatsoever. Carbon taxes, are you kidding me? Pay three times as much for the same electric output...sounds like a GREAT way to bring help out those poor people! Comparing the infrastructure of the US to the Netherlands with 4 times the population density? Talk about faulty comparisons. Bush put us into debt, so its okay that we will double every deficit he accumulated in two years? Unregulated greed? Hmmm, we have MORE regulations NOW that ever before! However, we are constantly moving into the realm of teaching our kids moral relativism over right from wrong. Obama using real numbers? If you think that 3.2% growth into infinity is a real number, I have some houses outside of Phoenix I will sell you.

    The fact is, when you spend more than make, you have to pay for it. Maybe we will get a bit of a market boost, but in the long term, we are screwed by this spending. You can't just throw money at things that are not productive. It has never worked, it will never work. Read Atlas Shrugged for a nice prediction on the next decade...

  • Report this Comment On March 12, 2009, at 10:19 PM, menefer wrote:

    We've finally got an exceptionally bright and talented leader in the White House and after less than two months the critics are pinning everything that is wrong on him. Sorry Alyce, you are wrong. Obama has put together a very talented team and they are working quickly to reverse the problems caused by eight years of gross mismanagement. Will the deficit rise? Of course! This was already unavoidable. I voted for Obama and am very happy with his actions and have complete confidence in him. I'm also making money.

  • Report this Comment On March 12, 2009, at 10:50 PM, shckr7 wrote:

    Call me crazy, but I think the suggestion made by the author was to not spend so much money. I know this a tough concept for many to swallow, but I think the insane idea being offered was to balance the budget -- yes this means we might not be able to fund as much special interest groups -- but there is always the future years where we can just take more money from those evil wealthy people.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 12:15 AM, chuck245 wrote:

    Just keep drinking the Obama-lama-ding-dong kool aid, and if you have a job go out tomorrow and spend 5 times your annual income to provide stmulus. Do this every year and if it doesn't work as well as expected you can always blame Bush.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 12:22 AM, mlaursen wrote:

    "Since Americans won't spend more, someone has to step in, inject liquidity back into the system, and stablize the economy."

    You may not see that there's a prejudice in your thinking: an assumption that some centralized authority must direct society, even when we are talking about an extremely complicated system with variable after variable.

    Imagine that the President said that he has a plan to direct the evolution of 100,000 new species in the earth's biosystem. We'd all think he's nuts. We understand that biology can't be centrally directed. Yet, we think the economic system can.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 10:33 AM, MotreyRool wrote:

    Oh where do I start. . .(great thread by the way)

    It’s Bush’s fault no wait it’s Obama’s fault, no wait FDR, Ben Franklin, David Koresh. (O.K. enough already, be prepared for the rant that is to follow)

    People respond to incentives. If people have an incentive to sit at home and eat Twinkies that’s what they’re going to do. If people have an incentive to reach a certain income and stop working harder, or hiring more people then that’s what they will do. When taxes are raised, Gross tax receipts goes down, and when taxes are lowered Gross tax receipts goes up (I don’t have time to go into the lag).

    If we don’t put caps and trades in place the world is going to end, right. Even if you believe in the man made global warming hoax, you should still recognize that a robust economy allows you to have an ambulance at your house within 30 minutes if you have a stroke. Caps and trades are nothing but a way decrease efficiency within the energy market, and thus the economy as a whole. And that’s what the economy is. A measure of efficiency. Dr. Thomas Sowell provides the best definition of economics of anyone I have read: “the allocation of scarce resources with alternative uses.”

    Anytime we reduce the efficiency of the capital markets, by forcing banks to lend to risky borrowers, or the energy markets by forcing caps and trade, or the labor market by forcing minimum wage laws, or the real estate market by forcing subsidized housing, we are incenting people to buy more, or less, than they otherwise would, creating economic Inefficiency.

    As for the person who got the $150,000 medical care; I’d like to be the first to say: You’re welcome.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 11:27 AM, chali2na wrote:

    Let these companies fail and the crooks who run them go to jail.....I know ya'll like the rhyme. And though Obama means well, you can't make people work that just don't want to. Ron Paul in 2012.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 11:30 AM, chali2na wrote:

    Let the companies fail and the crooks that run them go to jail....I know ya'll like that rhyme. Obama means well, but you can't make people work that just don't want to. Ron Paul in 2012.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 11:31 AM, chali2na wrote:

    I really need to switch from dial up...

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 11:37 AM, sabertoothtiger wrote:

    Alyce, you are skirting a little too close to calling for someone to harm Obama.

    Aside from that, I think you are wrong. Over the next few years we will find that Obama is an extraordinarily capable manager.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 11:57 AM, shermaneric wrote:

    I disagree with this author on many fronts. She claims that cap and trade will ruin business and that the stimulus bill is laiden with pork. I don't think that saving state and local governments constitutes as pork and I believe that cap and trade is a policy we should have had in place years ago, as global warming is becoming a national security problem.

    I respect Obama for tackling the long term issues head on. Here are a few major long-term economic issues no one can deny:

    1. A changing demographic. In the next 20 years, the number of elderly folks is going to skyrocket due to the baby boomer's retirement.

    2. We are going, or have already hit, peak oil. We are now seeing diminishing returns yearly as we import more each year. T boone pickens reported saying we waste $500 billion importing foreign oil overseas.

    Keeping taxes breaks for big corporations may satisfy short term profit goals, but these macro-economic issues will be right back here next year and we will be worse off.

    I implore people to read Chris Martenson's video crash course on the economy. It's very informative.

    http://www.chrismartenson.com/crashcourse

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 12:01 PM, buttercole wrote:

    Couple things:

    About the marginal tax rates, truth is once you include payroll taxes for social security and medicare, a single filer making $85,000 pays a higher tax rate on any marginal income increases he may get than an idividual making 4 times as much:

    Marginal rates for 2009 (single filer)

    - 28% on income between $82,250 and $171,550

    - 33% on income between $171,550 and $372,950

    Social Security Taxes

    - 6.2 % on the first 102,000 of income, 0 thereafter

    Medicare

    - 1.45% on all earnings

    So, an individual making 85K will pay 35.65% of any additional income to Uncle Sam

    So, an individual making 340K will pay 34.45% of any additional income to Uncle Sam

    Sorry, I don't feel to bad for the individual making 340K

    I'm all for reducing federal expenditures, but also for aligning tax receipts and outlays over the course of a business cycle. To get there, particularly in the next decade, is going to require revenue increases and spending and entitlement cuts.

    _____________________________________

    The one thing I find entertaining is to wonder what would happen today if Obama tried to propose Medicare part D without any additional effort to raise revenues for such an entitlement (as is what happended in Bush Jr's first term. I am sure there would be rightous outrage about such a thing.......

    _________________________________________

    It is time for an America without red and blue but red white and blue

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 12:02 PM, buttercole wrote:

    ugh sorry about the spelling errors above.....

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 12:16 PM, max888 wrote:

    Elections have consequences. The Republicans were in charge for the last eight years and look how well that went. The Dow dropped by over 20% during Bush's tenure.

    Similarly, Ronald Reagan also had a bad start when he took over with the Dow dropping almost 20% during his first 19 months in office.

    Obama hasn't even been in office for two months and this author won't even give him a chance. It is doubtful he can be any worse than the previous occupant.

    Elections have consequences...

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 12:22 PM, mjonesy1985 wrote:

    anythings better than bush. He was getting the country into debt by investing in Iraq.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 12:23 PM, conifer wrote:

    What a silly title for an article.

    And with all the criticism, I missed what your grand plan was about. Let me guess, corporate tax cuts!

    So we can buy more junk from China.

    I think I'll go with some of the brightest minds in the country, coming together with common sense approaches to the problems we can no longer ignore.

    Thomas Friedman's syndicated column last Sunday is what we need to hear...

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 12:56 PM, kirkydu wrote:

    Someone Has to Stop Ideologinomics NOW!!!

    This is a silly article with little econonomic insight, realization of how bad things became the past couple years or alternative ideas. Frankly, another ideological argument with little mathematical or common sense backing.

    Here's something to consider. Due to the deregulation, loose money and leveraging that occured from 2002-2006, about $15 TRILLION has been vaporized (that's just U.S, there's another $15-20T globally fried). Adding a few trillion in debt to make sure the unemployment rate doesn't approach 15-25% is a smart move because if unemployment sky rockets (8-12% is high, but won't destroy the economy) then the knock on effects would be overwhelming and we would in fact have a long depression; instead of bottoming in the next few quarters so that we can begin the long slow recovery that we should have.

    I once told a friend in a brew pub who was spouting off about things he didn't understand that the United States pisses money. He said I was full of it, went to the bathroom, came back and bought another $9 microbrew. I guess sometimes when I'm wrong, I'm wrong.

    Stimulating out of this crisis IF it is followed by a more Clintonian budget approach, which is what Obama has said he was going to do in years 3 and 4 of his administration, is not only a good approach, it makes so much sense that I can't believe some people would rather bash for the sake of bashing and validating their ideology. Those people need to pipe down and start helping the country by trying to figure out how to be more productive or maybe hire some people (I've hired two this year).

    I wish ideologues would figure some of this stuff out finally. Butt, as my pops told me way back when I was in college, "Kirk, sometimes you just have to bite your toungue. You can't tell stupid people they're stupid. They wouldn't understand anyway."

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 12:58 PM, dstb wrote:

    "Why is The Motley Fool so against controlling carbon emissions? Is a 2% increase in profits worth the destruction of the human race?"

    If global warming WAS going to lead to "the destruction of the human race" than it would not be worth it. However, there is no reliable science that demonstrates that man is causing the warming, rather than a natural planetary cycle.

    Additionally, countries like China and India will become the largest polluters in the world over the next decade and will not participate in the global warming agenda. So why destroy our economy when they will destroy the Earth anyway??

    The global warming, carbon capture movement might just be the biggest political scam ever pulled, topping even FDR's New Deal. Just because the socialists in Europe say it's a good idea does not make it true. I remember in the 70's when they talked about another ice age coming. What a joke?

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 12:59 PM, simonsez2 wrote:

    Here's a quick recap (with visual cues) to help the author better understand why we're here discussing this >

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nay4VbUJl3E

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 1:18 PM, noryakerson wrote:

    Won't pontificate. Just want to record that I absolutely disagree with this article.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 1:19 PM, RafesUserName wrote:

    I would prefer if "Articles" like this were in an editorial, or opinion section. I didn't find that very news worthy. More like someone venting without specifics. Is there a news are somewhere?

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 1:37 PM, no1insight wrote:

    Dear Editors,

    Please keep this type of article off of the front page. It's a weakly supported analysis at best and a whiney rant at worst. Not the type of thing I'm looking for from this site.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 1:46 PM, ChilkatSally wrote:

    I am have a hard time with the populist folks who give so called financial advice. Between Alice and the folks at CNBC I am ready to leave the market forever.

    Keep your weak rant to yourself. We didnt elect you.

    If you have some constructive advise, that would be an improvement.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 1:51 PM, rww0147 wrote:

    Good exchange here, unfortunately born of Ms Lomax' cynical and all-too-typical diatribe against administration policy. She really thinks KBR should be benefitting from the stimulus package? Puleez...

    Let's try to ignore criticism that fails to present viable alternatives. I think we're all open to ideas, even bad ones, because they allow us to examine our own thinking -- weighing the pros & cons of various approaches to resolving problems. Ms. Lomax appears to be suffering from the same poverty of ideas that afflicts many representatives of the administration's Republican opposition, and therefore is not worthy of our attention. Of course, if she has the smarts and courage to offer some insightful solutions, I'm ready to reconsider.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 2:14 PM, darkstarsky wrote:

    I am extremely disappointed to see the Fools site become a right wing political attack machine. Eight year of horrible “political” policies, unwarranted war in Iraq, removal of regulations which helped cause the beginning of a “depression” and excessive unconstitutional executive power, and this is the best you can come up with that it is Obama's fault after 50 days in Office. This really should be posted on Boss Limbaugh site or the RNC. I am starting to suspect that the Motley Fools are trying to pass the buck for being so wrong on the market trend over the last year. Is it Obama's recommendations that lost many Fools their hard earned money or the very bad recommendations of the various Motley Fool premium services and news articles like this one? I think Alyce Lomax is a political hack that is trying to blame Obama for her bad stock recommendations over the last year. Sorry, won't work with this crowd. Sounds like to me someone has to stop Alyce from spreading her negativity rather an Obama's policies.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 2:47 PM, CoffeeInBed101 wrote:

    I love how people think that raising spending isn't "raising taxes". Where do you people think that money comes from? Just ask the people of California if their state's government's rise in spending resulted in no rise in taxes. Just because we are not paying for it today or tomorrow does not mean that the money does not have to be paid.

    Let me state this clearly for those who still don't get it:

    Obama raised taxes.

    Oh he didn't raise the taxes on you THIS year. But a year from now, two years, three, more? You will be paying for this spending or your children will be paying for this spending.

    And the people who think that lack of regulation is the problem just haven't been paying attention. When you require people through regulation (such as "no redlining", you can't take "X", "Y", and "Z" factors that affect your probability of seeing a return into consideration when assigning risk, etc) to take on risk without a corresponding rise in the risk premium, your enterprise will eventually fail.

    Over spending and over regulation (via the government "incentivizing" or flat out telling someone where to spend/lend money) is what got us to where we are today. Thinking that spending more money and further regulating where money is spent/lent falls squarely into Einstein's definition of insanity.

    Here is the "alternate" proposal that a lot of the commenter are looking for: Do nothing to "help" and don't spend beyond the revenues that the government takes in. Prosecute those under EXISTING LAW who through fraud and outright theft have abused the system over the past several years and let the economy correct itself.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 3:03 PM, atlantiscats wrote:

    So, um how did YOU do the last 8 years? Okay, now that we got that squared away.... I say let him (O'Bama) have his way. I'm just waiting to see what "false flag" operation they will start to get us into another war or scramble of some kind requiring weapons of MASS DESTRUCTION! That seems to bring up my bottom line........

    Oh, and I'd "follow the money" but it seems to be running down all KINDS of rabbits holes (and me without a blue pill). Gosh, those guys are getting good at this game, you gotta love em.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 3:20 PM, ewInquiry wrote:

    I am a long-time subscriber to the Motley Fool for investment advise. An easy way to lose me as a subscriber is to continue expressing your political views here. Why not setup a completely seperate blog where you can "go political" on us?

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 3:20 PM, mlaursen wrote:

    re: "Caps and trades are nothing but a way decrease efficiency within the energy market, and thus the economy as a whole. And that’s what the economy is."

    I'm probably as staunch as supporter of free markets as you are, but I'll point out that cap and trade can be seen as a way to attach a price to an economic externality. That's not incompatible with a free market philosophy.

    Having said that, the actual implementation of a cap and trade system is fraught with opportunities for the government to screw it all up, and my estimation is they probably would screw it all up.

    Also, I don't see any evidence that climate change is a hoax. The biggest problem with public discourse about climate change is that the scientific debate and the public policy debate are often conflated.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 3:28 PM, engineer8 wrote:

    This article described some legitimate concerns about where the new government is taking not just the economy, but the blueprint for its structure.

    I am disgusted by how many otherwise analytical people jumped into an emotional response with name-calling and villification of the author.

    If this was a story about GE's problems, these same people would have analytical arguments pro and con the Fool story. "Yes, but you can see that their free cash flow has diminished every year, but is starting to rise again, ..." or something similar.

    But here I see things more like "Oh, yeah? GE is a great company because the money you spent on GM was worse! You are an idiot for not liking GE, and you must be an anti-GE hack! And you shouldn't be allowed to put this story on the front page, ...".

    I don't have a problem with the folks who actually responded in a Foolish manner. Congratulations to you for having done so.

    I am an engineer for a living. Many of my associates, who have excellent analytical abilities when we discuss our project, turn into children at lunch time if the topic changes to economics or politics. If we can just use those same skills, both sides would learn something. I would never ride on a plane that was designed by a team who settled arguments in the same manner as we settle discussions about our country's future. Would you?

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 3:36 PM, mlaursen wrote:

    re: "So, um how did YOU do the last 8 years?"

    Take a look through Alyce Lomax' past articles. You'll see that she was just as critical of the Bush Administration. And pretty much the same criticisms; the two administrations aren't that different in how they are dealing with the recession.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 3:41 PM, karenbe111 wrote:

    In these extraordinary times, economic and otherwise, the usual wisdom, economic and otherwise, no longer applies. Just thank your lucky stars we have Obama/Biden at the helm instead of McCain/Palin!!! No one, even a Fool, is in any position to judge Obamanomics yet...fool.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 3:41 PM, mlaursen wrote:

    re: "... don't spend beyond the revenues that the government takes in."

    I'll second that as a plan, and point out that it would be the government's "doing something". It should satisfy anybody who believes that the government must "do something" about every problem.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 3:43 PM, mlaursen wrote:

    re: "No one, even a Fool, is in any position to judge Obamanomics yet...fool."

    Of course we are in a position to judge Obamanomics. Questioning authority is a good thing.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 4:16 PM, afleetfeet wrote:

    Galtline - excellent refutation to an absolutely asinine opinion piece.

    Someone -- please stop Alice Lomax before she makes a fool of herself again.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 4:31 PM, PebbledShore wrote:

    You're right, Alyce. I think we'd all be better off if we go into a deflationary spiral, with the stock market crashing another 50%-75%, and unemployment going to 30%.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 4:32 PM, Rasbold wrote:

    Long term troubles ahead.

    Beware the sucker's rally of the day. Get ready to sell.

    Good Luck, and May Your Dow Never Jones!

    www.whatwouldwarrendo.com

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 4:41 PM, galtline wrote:

    Ha ha. Wow. I didn't expect to see this article in the headline spot. Must be popular. ;)

    "I'll second that as a plan, and point out that it would be the government's "doing something". It should satisfy anybody who believes that the government must "do something" about every problem." - mlaursen

    mlaursen,

    From the outset of the financial crisis, Roubini (an economist reknowned for seeing this all ahead of time) suggested that we needed MORE, not less money. I'd highly recommend browsing through the RGE Monitor. Great site.

    Buffett has also been in favor of the stimulus.

    While I'm confident in my own abilities, I know when to accept the counsel of others who are more knowledgeable about the subject. Who you pick to listen to is another matter entirely. I'm not saying that Roubini and Buffett are definitively right, I'm just giving their opinion a little more credence.

    Too little, too late is what Japan did. Too little, too late is what we did before the Great Depression.

    It seems counterintuitive to pile on more debt in order to get out of debt, but I don't see many alternatives that make sense.

    Engineer8,

    I understand what you're saying.

    The GE analogy is a good one.

    However, would the Fool accept articles about religion? Perhaps a discussion on the separation of church and state, and why they have tax exemptions? The role religion plays in governments view of stem cell research (we could even list some company tickers in that one!)? There are plenty of ways that you could tie religion into an economic discussion. We could give it a catchy title, like "Someone Stop Religion Now!"

    Based on the vehemence and emotion that many of these posts have displayed, I lean toward saying that this article may have crossed the line a bit into the realm of political banter. It reads like a list of Fox News headlines (and yes, I do read Fox News, although I seldom agree with it…and for the record, I have no political affiliations).

    Investment advice is why I come to the Fool. Let’s have more of that.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 4:45 PM, mlaursen wrote:

    A brilliant refutation? Let's start here: Where did galtline refute Lomax' claim that all the spending so far has not done anything for AIG, Citigroup, or General Motors?

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 4:46 PM, simon9998 wrote:

    Too bad this idiot didn't try to stop Bush and his Republican lackeys from destroying the economy and starting a useless war that wasted 2 trillion dollars, which if spent in this country would have solved most of our problems. We need to give Obama the full eight years to try to fix some of the damage, if that's even possible.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 4:53 PM, galtline wrote:

    "You may not see that there's a prejudice in your thinking: an assumption that some centralized authority must direct society, even when we are talking about an extremely complicated system with variable after variable."

    That’s too bad, since we already have structures in place to centrally direct the economy. We have taxes and tariffs. We have fiat currency (which can be printed to infinity). We have the SEC. I don’t believe it is the place of government to muddy the waters of free market too much, but I do believe it should be moderating it. Let’s go with this analogy – your email works because someone is making sure that the servers are patched, drives are swapped out, and problems fixed. What CAN’T happen is for the network admin to stop monitoring it…if they do, they wind up with catastrophic failures. Sound familiar?

    Can a government affect an economic system? I believe that is a resounding “yes”. The question for me is whether injecting liquidity will work. I hope so, because I don’t like to think what will happen if it doesn’t.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 4:55 PM, mlaursen wrote:

    I don't think it's wise to say, "I'm not going to use my own judgement. I'm going to defer to the experts." This financial crisis is complicated, but not so complicated that a reasonably intelligent adult can't understand it and form their own judgement about proposed solutions.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 4:56 PM, WFAPrez wrote:

    Your title is interesting, Alyce. How, exactly, do you propose Obamanomics be stopped? Are you suggesting we overturn the election, or do you favor something more overt? Like it or not, this president has as much right to push his agenda as every other guy in the office before him.

    As far as a critique of your essay goes, Galtline has done a great job of laying it out for you. Let me just suggest that you re-read his post the next time you feel like sharing your 'thoughts'.

    In the meantime, I will not waste my time reading anything else with your byline.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 4:57 PM, mlaursen wrote:

    re: "Too bad this idiot didn't try to stop Bush and his Republican lackeys from destroying the economy and starting a useless war that wasted 2 trillion dollars"

    Again, look through the history of Lomax' articles. She's been very critical of Bush.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 4:59 PM, mlaursen wrote:

    Exactly! We don't have one guy in Washington, D.C. trying to make sure all the countries servers are patched, drives are swapped out, etc. The work, the judgement, the responsibility, the risk, etc. is widely distributed and decentralized.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 5:00 PM, galtline wrote:

    "A brilliant refutation? Let's start here: Where did galtline refute Lomax' claim that all the spending so far has not done anything for AIG, Citigroup, or General Motors?" - mlauren

    Well, I wouldn't have called it brilliant. ;)

    I didn't refute it, but since you asked-

    For an answer as to why we stepped in to save the banks, look at the start of the Great Depression. Banks failed and people madly rushed to withdraw cash. It all falls within the scenario that I outline in my first post (detailing how banks, companies, and individuals were all inextricably linked).

    What the government is doing is softening the landing. It will get worse...but at least we're crash landing in the Hudson instead of spiraling into the ground. That is what that money did.

    Now...the GM rescue...I'm not sure about that. I have mixed feelings.

    Banks need to lend, but some businesses are going to continue failing (and that includes the car companies).

    As I said, I feel differently about the car companies than I do the banks...but I'm not an economic expert either...

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 5:07 PM, galtline wrote:

    "I don't think it's wise to say, "I'm not going to use my own judgement. I'm going to defer to the experts." This financial crisis is complicated, but not so complicated that a reasonably intelligent adult can't understand it and form their own judgement about proposed solutions."

    Funny...I thought what I said was, "I know when to accept the counsel of others who are more knowledgeable about the subject." I never said that I defer thinking to other people. I just do plenty of reading, listen to experts, and form an opinion. Other people may do the same research and come up with a different opinion.

    I had my appendix removed recently. It may come as a surprise, but I accepted the counsel of a doctor who said, "it looks like you have appendicitis". I also allowed them to remove it.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 5:20 PM, mlaursen wrote:

    re: " never said that I defer thinking to other people. I just do plenty of reading, listen to experts, and form an opinion. Other people may do the same research and come up with a different opinion."

    That's what I'm talking about! Good for you! Wish everybody did that.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 5:23 PM, engineer8 wrote:

    One of the enablers of the disaster was when the GOP voted in, and Clinton sighed, an act (in 1999) that repealed the Glass-Stegall Act of 1933. Glass-Stegall prevented your bank from also being your broker and an investment banker and insurance company. So Wall Street couldn't take high risks with Main Street's money, and use their own insurance company to say, "you are safe". The Republican-controlled congress of 1999-2000 and President Clinton are both at fault. I hope they bring Glass-Stegall back. It worked well.

    The deregulation of the banks was an over-reaction to the excessive regulations of industry in general that Reagan complained about. It is too bad that they believed the mantra, but didn't think it through. They threw out a well-considered regulation, while ignoring others that helped bring the house of cards down.

    The other key enabler was a democratic party hangout, the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac corporations. Look at their history, and you will see that at every step, their management has been democratic party luminaries. They were set up by democratic congresses and administrations, with the aim of subsidizing loans to marginal borrowers. At the same time federal regulations were created to threaten banks who weren't making enough loans to "the poor". In reality, that was telling the banks that they must lend money to people with bad repayment history. Fannie and Freddie were authorized to buy those loans from the banks at face value. So the banks could risk Fannie money instead of bank money.

    That put the banks and a zillion new "mortage lenders" in position to make risky loans, take their fees and commissions, then sell those loans at face value to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Free money, and transfer the risks to someone else.

    Bush had Fannie and Freddie audited in 2003, and found that they were cooking their books. He suggested a new oversight agency. (NY Times, Sept 11, 2003, still on their website now). Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and Maxine Waters made a huge political firestorm about Bush hurting poor people, and racism (CEO of Fannie was African-American) and the press gave them the coverage, while ignoring Bush's warning. Maxine Waters (D-CA) is great on U-tube, telling you that Bush's inquiries are "a lynching".

    So Fannie and Freddie continued to sell their bonds and stock to your grandmother as a "safe" investment. And the investment bankers bought in too. Then sold CDO insurance to each other as a new, unregulated kind of business, falsely believing that Fannie and Freddie had done their due diligence on the loans, and therefore Fannie and Freddie were financially sound.

    Fannie and Freddie were cooking their books. Their CEO structured his bonus based on the amount of money under management, not the number of productive loans under management. He skated away with a fat $90 Million payday before the collapes. That collapse kicked off the confidence crisis that became what we are in now.

    As late as August 2007, Barney Frank (utube) is saying that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were good investments. He knew better, but many believed his statement. You know what comes next.

    Bush should have pressed the issue on Fannie and Freddie, and failed to do so. Christopher Cox should have inquired into the audit practices of the agencies who kept high ratings on companies with Byzantine books. Congress, yes even the democratic one (2007-2008) could have, and failed to prevent this. They were posing for the cameras and taking huge donations from the very financial giants that they were supposed to be regulating. You can verify on opensecrets.org who were the big recipients of money from Fannie and the others.

    Both parties share in the blame for the mess. Both parties could work together on a solution. Both parties are listening more to their lobbyists and donors than to each other. And lets not forget those cameras, election time is only 18 months away.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 5:39 PM, kirkydu wrote:

    CoffeeInBed101, I'm sorry but you are very wrong if you think that "over regulation" led to this crisis. Here's an article that is a nice summary about what really happened:

    http://www.realwisconsinnews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

    Also, here's an excercise in logic.

    From 1977 to 2002 subprime lending rose rather gradually from 2% to 6% of originations. From 2003 to 2006 subprime went parabolic to 30% of originations.

    Defaults grew from about 2% to 3% of mortgages from 1977 to 2002 (with some spikes for recessions to the mid to upper single digits for a year or two here and there). From 2003 to now, the rate is approaching 12% and likely will hit 15% at some point soon.

    Fraud complaints regarding subprime lending went throught the roof as well from 2003 to 2006.

    http://www.fbi.gov/publications/fraud/mortgage_fraud07.htm

    So, with those things in mind, what happened in 2002 and 2003 to kick off this crisis?

    I have four suggestions:

    1. Money supply was too loose in 2002 to 2006.

    2. The Homeownership Challenge was issued by President George W. Bush in 2002, which happened to benefit disproportionately benefit Hispanics and investors, who provided important votes in 2004 for George W. Bush (think about that).

    3. Anti-predatory lending laws were relaxed (this is an understatement) by the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (a division of the Treasury Dept) in 2002 and 2003, codified in 2004 utilizing federal pre-emption.

    4. The investment banks began leveraging at 30-40:1 in 2004 after Hank Paulson lobbied the Bush SEC to discard the 12:1 maximum as under previous rules (this is what is making this recession 3x to 4x more severe than it otherwise would be even with the general government incompetence- which isn't restricted to either party).

    I know conservatives like to point to the legislation in 1977, executive orders early in Clinton's administration and even the 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, but the facts are, we didn't have major problems until the four things above almost simultaneoudly occured.

    Finally, regarding inflation, consider this. About $30-35 TRILLION of leveraged money has been vaporized. So long as we don't print more than about $5-7 Trillion (because traditionally banks will leverage at 6:1 making the $5-7T worth about $30-35T in economic value), we won't get monetary inflation. We probably get supply constricted commodity driven inflation in a few years either way as recoveries globally take hold.

    Peace Out.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 5:48 PM, mlaursen wrote:

    re: "The investment banks began leveraging at 30-40:1 in 2004 after Hank Paulson lobbied the Bush SEC to discard the 12:1 maximum as under previous rules"

    That sounds like a bigger cause of our banking problems than the repeal of Glass-Stegall Act.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 6:16 PM, whyincreasetaxes wrote:

    If I were Obama, I wouldn't create economic disincentives for the most successful individuals, businesses and investors in the middle of the "worst recession of our lifetime." Did he take any economics classes at those high brow universities?

    I am a person who can control how much I make. I'll be spending more time with my family after $250k for the next 4 years. The person who posted that people wouldn't purposefully make less money because of taxes obviously doesn't pay much tax, isn't an entrepreneur, or has no ability to change their yearly income. I was already tired of $110K in taxes every year under the old system (I make around $380K/yr). I live comfortably, I sure don't feel "rich." Maybe that's because I pay so much *&%# tax. (I grew up very poor - but never on government welfare). My already over - inflated tax burden will be greater under Mr. Robin Hood. Taking home only 40% to 45% of what I make over $250k under Obamanomics isn't worth the extra work (my job ain't easy and is extremely stressful - 50% burnout over 15 years). Robin Hood wants to expand the middle class. He's going to do it by taking enough money from the "rich" to put them in the middle class.

    He can take the money from Ted Kennedy and all his great disgustingly rich friends in Hollywood and Chicago (that's you Oprah) that helped him get elected to fund his expansion of the new and improved welfare state. (I wonder how much money those bleeding heart celebrities hide from the tax man every year). I'm not paying for any more of it than I already am. I don't believe in expanding indefinite handouts.

    When has increasing taxes on anyone, "rich" or middle class, ever been a good idea during a recession? This guy is just as dangerous as he said he would be during the election. All you true believers are in denial. Look at his sinking approval ratings. News flash - advancing class warfare and the liberal agenda on the backs of the already overtaxed most successful americans isn't sound fiscal policy during a recession, or any other time. All of you in the "middle class" will get your tax increase when the messiah figures out that the rich can't fund all the handouts he has in store.

    Don't get me started on the fact that he and his vice are lawyers. There is a reason for the jokes. Why are so many prominent liberals lawyers? Is that why they're so good at blurring the line between right and wrong? ("I did not have 'sex' with that woman.")

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 6:23 PM, TheBlizzard wrote:

    90% of the responses here have been in disagreement with this article. Make that 91% because I find it rather mind-numbing too! (So how about we start flying some different types of articles!)

    I still don't get how anybody doesn't see that both a biological environment and a economic environment require healthy parts throughout. If you fail to protect honey-bees (or bacteria for that matter), nothing grows (or gets recycled for use through decay). The food chain stops and the top predators numbers will dwindle too. And the predators are also needed to maintain the balance of the system- NO PART WORKS WITHOUT THE OTHER!

    The same goes for us. If there is a drought, the whole forest struggles as one. Right now, it's the little guy struggling to pay his electricity and rent/mortgage and to put food on the table. If you let enough of these people go under, the burden that will put on the entire system will have massive effects on the guys at the top of the food chain too, much bigger than a relatively modest tax increase in a few years time.

    Same goes for the Cap and Trade system for carbon emissions; we can have a structured, well planned, relatively gentle method to deal with a scientifically undisputed problem (and if you don't think this is true, have a genuine check of your motives), or we can wait for the crash and all experience the most massive social and economic collapse imaginable. You thought Katrina was bad- try 1000 times that as every coastal city in the world deals with being underwater!

    So those who seek to manipulate the masses, understand this- YOU ARE NOT IMMUNE TO THE FOLY IN YOUR OWN THINKING!

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 6:45 PM, TheBlizzard wrote:

    As for the stimulus packages and bailouts, if you owned a $500,000 truck and it needed some maintainance to keep it running (and thereby earning you an income), wouldn't it make sense to borrow some money to keep it on the road rather than saying, "I'm already in debt, I'll just drive this rig until it stops running because it's irresponsible to spend the extra money"? It doesn't make much sense to allow it to cease up completely for the sake of an oil change, some new brakes and a set of tyres!

    Surely you'd agree that it would be irresponsible not to keep it running? right! If things turn around, we'll be able to pay off the loan for the repairs. But if we don't take the loan in the first place, we are guarranteed of things not turning around! And then we take 5 more huge steps back as it snowballs and we have to start over from scratch. That's not the American way! Nor does it make sense! WE NEED TO TAKE STEPS TO SECURE WHAT WE HAVE IMMEDIATELY AND MANAGE THE FUTURE THAT FOLLOWS, - WHICH WILL BE MORE FAVORABLE THAN THE ALTERNATIVE!

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 7:12 PM, mlaursen wrote:

    Going with the $500,000 truck analogy, what if the price the mechanic was quoting you sounded kinda high, so you asked him for details on how he planned to fix your car, and he responded that he would fix your car by pouring a case of STP in your gas tank?

    By the way, can we make it a $50,000 truck? The analogy works a bit better if we don't posit a platinum-plated truck.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 7:17 PM, mlaursen wrote:

    re: "Right now, it's the little guy struggling to pay his electricity and rent/mortgage and to put food on the table."

    The idea behind this stimulus package is that we should get that little guy to spend more of his money because his saving too much of it would be a bad thing. Does that plan have the ring of common sense to it?

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 7:23 PM, mlaursen wrote:

    re: "You thought Katrina was bad- try 1000 times that as every coastal city in the world deals with being underwater!"

    That's an exaggeration of what the worst-case scenarios predict. The biggest worry is that third-world countries would experience the brunt of climate change, but, alternatively, they would also experience the brunt of constricted energy use. It's arguable which would have a bigger impact.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 7:41 PM, mitchell37 wrote:

    Are we seeing a bloodless coup here by the Socialists?

    With the election of a Socialist leaning president and the present econmic "crisis", the Democrats are pulling a fast one. They are buying future votes with dollars yet to be printed. They will establish programs that states and corporations will have to follow and do it on there own nickels. From health care to what types of vehicles you can drive to how we heat our homes. There is not one Republican in Washington with a sound conservative philosophy that can lead us away from socialism.

    Andrew Lake, the #2 at State under Clinton gave a speech in the late ninties where he told us that the government will essentially be in partnership with corporations and that government will have a say in what and how they produce. Now we see it coming to fruition lending all that money to the banks and the auto companies. B o A and Citigroup now realize the strings attached and are trying reverse the situation, but it may be too late.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 8:38 PM, whyincreasetaxes wrote:

    TheBlizzard. Apparently, it's a little too cold where you live because your brain has frozen up. You've been watching too many Al Gore movies that he used to help fund his enormous personal carbon foot print. You've also been watching too much CNBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, etc. The way to "stimulate" the truck is not to tax the engine and throw money away by buying a new boomy stereo with ridiculously large speakers, accent lights, condoms in the glove box and candy to throw out the window at the people who aren't even a part of the engine (but they helped put you in office). Who are you trying to fool? The way to stimulate the truck is to make it easier for the engine to do it's job by tuning it up and taking off some of the drag off it and get the h*** out of the way.

    Please name me a recession that was fixed by a government tax and spend policy. (If you can't- and that goes for all of you- don't bother replying. You're just wasting everyone's time). I expect a deafening silence.

    I've got a little economics equation for you from the 70's and 80's: Tax breaks (for everyone) = incentive = economic recovery. How many houses do you think would sell if the "rich" (ie people who can actually afford and qualify for a loan in this economy- and who need a tax break) received a $10,000 tax break for each house they purchased? This would also help many of the banks that are in trouble. Instead, the Messiah, in his continued efforts at class warfare, has decided to only allow people who may or may not qualify for a loan -and will likely only buy one house -to get a tax break. He has also decided that we should take large sums of money (through a toxic combination of tax hikes and tax break cuts) from the people who can afford to buy up all these empty houses that are dragging down the market and give a few hundred dollars a year to everyone else so that they can ......... do something to stimulate the economy? Maybe I should buy Wal-mart stock.

    I'm no economist, but honestly trying to fix the real estate market through incentives seems more likely to aid the recovery than taxing the rich and using it to give away free health care. If the excess inventory was taken care of, we would start to see property values come back up and some people may actually be able to refinance their currently underwater mortgage. This wouldn't fix everything. Some people have, should and will lose their houses. They bought at ridiculous valuations (my 220,000 production house was worth a laughable $500,000 at one point) and took on too much debt. I think my idea would do much more for the economy than anything in the obamanomics plan. Of course, I didn't go to Columbia and Harvard. I had the grades, the course work and the test scores, but, unfortunately, I'm caucasian.

    Pretending that putting more drag on the engine by taking away more money from the successful during the worst recession of our lives because we can't have a recovery without giving away healthcare on the backs of the "rich" is not just obamanomics, it's stupidobamanomics.

    I hope it warms up where you and the other liberals live. I could really use some tax relief. (Please try to argue the topics and not my grammar, sentence structure, etc. We will already know your liberal slant by your comments without you stooping to that tired liberal tactic).

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 9:14 PM, sevenofseven wrote:

    Let's get one fact straight. Bush was in office for the last eight years. The Congress has been controlled by the Dems for the last two, and they gained even more seats this past election. This Country is not governed by a dictator. The President proposes, Congress disposes (spends the money). The Repubs sucked too when they were in charge.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2009, at 9:27 PM, mlaursen wrote:

    re: "This Country is not governed by a dictator. The President proposes, Congress disposes (spends the money)."

    Nobody has said otherwise, have they?

  • Report this Comment On March 14, 2009, at 12:22 AM, anuvaka wrote:

    Alyce where are you coming from? Obama has been president for a month and a half and you think that is long enough to achieve a miracle? There has been some minor good news from GM and Citi. Yes, it is hype, but for such a short time, it is encouraging hype.

    It sounds like you want to plant a seed on Tuesday and enjoy the harvest a week later.

    Not that I agree with all of Obama's plans, but this has never been done before, there is no model to follow, and you Have to Give it Time to Work. But I don't agree with you. You are political rabble rousing with out offering a alternate solution. I don't care if you don't like Obama, you are stuck with him for the next 4 years

    Talk to me in July and please stop being a being a trouble maker like the Talking Heads.

  • Report this Comment On March 14, 2009, at 12:41 AM, mlaursen wrote:

    So, if in July, it looks like the stimulus package isn't working, it will be OK for us to assess how well it is working?

  • Report this Comment On March 14, 2009, at 1:37 AM, aegeansail wrote:

    Alyce,

    As a Fool member, I dedicate to you what WARREN BUFFETT said, aired January 18, 2008 at NBC with Tom Brokaw:

    " ... he is smart, he's got the RIGHT VALUES, but he also -- he understands economics very well. He's cool. He's -- he's -- analytical. But then, when he gets it all thought through, and he's FAST -- he can convey to American -- the American people WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE. Not to expect miracles. That it's gonna take time. But that we're gonna get to the other end. And -- and I don't thing there's anybody better for the job than the president-elect ..."

    Regards,

  • Report this Comment On March 14, 2009, at 3:26 AM, engineer8 wrote:

    "Too bad this idiot didn't try to stop Bush and his Republican lackeys from destroying the economy and starting a useless war that wasted 2 trillion dollars"

    Both parties helped. Scan for my post "engineer8" and I explain it. The cost of the wars hasn't hit a trillion yet. We spent more than that in the last 6 weeks. Not that I am a fan of wars. I am a fan of facts, so I can figure out what to believe.

  • Report this Comment On March 14, 2009, at 3:33 AM, engineer8 wrote:

    If rich people are to blame, and should be taxed to pay for everyone else, why are you here at TMF? You want to make more than you have, with "unearned" income, right? Who came up with the name "unearned income" anyway? Staying alive in these markets, it should be named "doubly earned income".

    So a guy comes along and says, "If you lose money, you lost it. That's your problem. If you make money, I take half." You look closer, and see that he is a newly elected politician.

    What's the point of investing anyway? To have your money work for you, so you have enough to retire, or put your kids in a real school, or just enjoy life? I guess you are a bad person for wanting that. Get a job at Burger King and hope social security is enough.

    Or, maybe there is more to the story. A relative handful of people at the head of large companies and in congress and more in mortgage companies made bad choices. So we will hit the reset button on our national economic policy? Are you sure?

  • Report this Comment On March 14, 2009, at 3:39 AM, engineer8 wrote:

    People in Warren Buffet's category don't worry as much about taxes as you would think. If you disappear half of his money, he still lives like a king. Same with the Hollywoodies.

    But Buffet isn't being exactly honest with his "more taxes" thoughts. For one, he pays nothing until he sells an investment, which he rarely does. And if he trusted government to spend money wisely, why then did he donate all that money to the Gates Foundation, instead of the US Treasury?

  • Report this Comment On March 14, 2009, at 5:44 AM, FirebirdMan wrote:

    How many fools does it take to run a government? In fact how many fools does it take to believe what Obama was going to do to "Change". What a bunch of lies. It's business as usual. This man is a lier! Oh, and we are fools for believing "HIM".

  • Report this Comment On March 14, 2009, at 7:09 AM, dmjst11 wrote:

    Carbon Tax is on the way, make no mistake about that. Personally I believe it will be harmful to our economy not only in the short term but long term as well.

    Short term every American will be faced with higher prices for goods. Recovery will be slower.

    Lastly our manufacturing jobs will move west to China, India. Everything we used to produce like steel, plastics, cement, etc, will have to be purchased from these countries.

    Those countries have cheaper labor but not cheaper energy now....but they will have cheaper energy soon if we implement a carbon tax

    Game, set, and match if Obama has his way with carbon tax. What happened to "if we can put a man on the moon, we in American can come up with a way to burn coal cleanly"

    He can talk the talk..........

  • Report this Comment On March 14, 2009, at 7:25 AM, Celtics17 wrote:

    Obama's a communist and needs to go now. Same with Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid.

  • Report this Comment On March 14, 2009, at 7:32 AM, Celtics17 wrote:

    Obama's a communist and needs to be impeached now. Same with Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid.

  • Report this Comment On March 14, 2009, at 7:36 AM, foolshand wrote:

    BUY AMERICAN, BUY CHINA, BUY WHOEVER,, IT REALLY DOESN'T MATTER WHO ANYONE SAYS TO BUY FROM....

    THE BOTTOM LINE, EVERYONE IS IN BUSINESS TO MAKE MONEY, GREED THATS THE BOTTOM TRUTH ABOUT IT....

    LETS JUST SAY U OWN THE BUSINESS, YOUR GOING TO BUY YOUR NEEDS FROM WHOEVER GIVES U THE BEST DEAL AND YOU DON'T CARE WHO IT'S FROM..

    LETS SAY YOUR THE CEO,, YOUR STILL GOING TO BUY FROM WHOEVER GIVES YOU THE BEST DEAL OR YOUR A''''''S WILL BE FIRED, BOTTOM LINE!

    MAYBE THATS WHAT OBAMA SHOULD HAVE SAID BEFORE HE SAID BUY AMERICA!.....

    SO ALL U RED NECKS AND THOSE OF U LIVING BACK IN THE 50'S AND THOSE OF U THAT WERE GIVING , ((((( GIVING IS SUPPOSE TO TRIPLE UNDERLINE IN BOLD PRINT )))) THEIR WEALTH FROM GRANDPA COTTON GINS.. THAT WAS ALSO TAUGHT ON HOW TO TREAT PEOPLE JUST LIKE GRANDPA AND STILL LIVING IN THOSE DAYS..

    GET OFF HIS BACK PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!

    HE'S TRYING TO DO THE RIGHT THING FOR THIS COUNTRY AND ANY JACK A''''S CAN TELL THAT FROM HOW HE SPEAKS.

    WHEN HAS THIS COUNTRY HAD A PRESIDENT THAT SPEAKS FROM HIS MIND AND HEART, THAT WRITES HIS OWN SPEECHES AND THEN DOESN'T STAND ON T.V. LOOKING DOWN READING FROM WHAT HE HAS WRITTEN...

    OH YOU SAY, SO WHAT HE HAS THE GIFT OF GIVING SPEECHES..

    WELL FOR U BACKWOODS PEOPLE AND LET ME ALSO INCLUED THOSE STUPID A'''''S REPUBLICANS, DEMOCRATE, INDEPENDENT, WHATEVER , WAIT LET ME TRIPLE UNDERLINE """STUPID A''''S """"" THAT VOTES FROM THE PERSON OF THEIR PARTY NO AND I MEAN NO MATTER WHO OR WHAT KIND OF PERSON HE R SHE IS, AS LONG AS THEY DON'T VOTE FOR THE OTHER PARTY,, WHAT FRIGGING IDIOTS!!!!

    SO GET OFF HIS BACK AND TALK AND WRITE TO YOUR GOOD OLD BOY CONGRESSMAN THATS BEEN THERE 50 YEARS TAKING PAY RASIES AND PERKS EVERY YEARS WHILE YOUR PAY, JOBS, BENEFITS, FAMILY AND FRIENDS ARE CRASHING.

    WRITE TO THEM AND ASK THEM TO GIVE UP A BONUS, A PERK, A TAXPAYER AIRLINE TICKET, OR JUST GIVE UP THEIR CABLE AND PHONE BILLS THAT THE TAXPAYER PAYS FOR. BTW U DO KNOW BILL CLINTON AND EVERY OTHER X PRESIDENT HAS A 7,000 DOLLAR CABLE BILL EVERY MONTH???? YEAH THREE 000"s.. JUST ASK YOUR CONGRESSMAN, WHAT WILL HE GIVE UP TO SAVE US TAXPAYERS HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS EVERY YEAR,,, NOTHING THATS WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!

    HAVE A GREATDAY, MAY THE TRADES BE WITH YOU. ESOLUTIONS, ( ES ) LOOK IT UP!

  • Report this Comment On March 14, 2009, at 8:21 AM, JerichoHill wrote:

    Yes, McCarthyism is back. Let's accuse each other of being commies.

    TMF Folks, this is despicable. Where are your moderators?

  • Report this Comment On March 14, 2009, at 8:29 AM, Celtics17 wrote:

    Good morning foolshand,

    I am a patriot first, capitalist second, libertarian third, republican fourth (and I just registered republican this past month). I do not vote on party, I vote based on who I think is the best candidate. Would have loved to see Mitt Romney at the wheel in these troubling times. Cheers.

  • Report this Comment On March 14, 2009, at 10:23 AM, TMFKris wrote:

    JerichoHill: I'm just a Fool reading the comments because I'm interested in the topic, but our comment boxes allow: "If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment (raised hand) icon found on every comment." The icon's in the blue bar containing time and date of post.

  • Report this Comment On March 15, 2009, at 1:45 PM, IIcx wrote:

    I honestly don't like the tone of the Investors Business Daily link I'm posting but it does outline some of the extended issues that have contributed to the current mess. http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=31017387735...

    JP Morgan Chase (JPM) Chief Executive Jamie Dimon put it best last week when he urged everyone to unite behind the existing plan and not behave like a “dysfunctional family” as the country battles the economic crisis. He went on to say this is a war and everyone is needed to win it.

    President Obama is our President and we need to fix this mess. But, there will be plenty of time down the road to determine the true causes.

    I do agree with Alyce, the "Pork" that was just passed is criminal and we can say it with votes in less then 2 years.

  • Report this Comment On March 15, 2009, at 1:56 PM, TideGoesOut wrote:

    I wish I could Rec some comments here.

    I sure won't be Rec'ing the article.

  • Report this Comment On March 15, 2009, at 2:14 PM, IIcx wrote:

    I agree Kickstart70 - the article is so slanted that it never should have been published but it does point to some of the extended and more complex aspects of the sub-prime mortgage mess.

  • Report this Comment On March 15, 2009, at 7:46 PM, TexasLonghorns wrote:

    Due to fiscal constraints and environmental considerations...the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off..

  • Report this Comment On March 15, 2009, at 10:42 PM, redneckdemon wrote:

    Ohhhhkay. So someone dosen't think Obama is up to the job of running this country, that makes them a redneck, living in the fifties? Nice.

    As for the "political" slant of the article in question...are you freaking nuts? Saying that the guy running the country is spending too much money and should be stopped from doing so is a political piece now?

    Did anyone even get to the bottom of the article, where it says:

    "I don't blame Obama for our problems. And granted, it's not exactly easy to navigate an economic situation that is unprecedented in our lifetime. However, lots of people will blame Obama if his economic policies only manage to make our situation worse, and if businesses flee the U.S. because there's no longer incentive to operate here. What will we have then? Hopefully someone will stop Obamanomics before it's too late."?

    As for a valid alternative suggestion, prefaps NOT doing what Alyce is complaining about in her article would be a start. If that ain't enough for you, reread some of the comments here, or swing by Ron Pauls website at house.gov

    And for future reference, typing your post all in caps doesn't make you right, dosen't help get your point across, and dosen't improve your typing skills.

    If the pres. wants to spend all this cash, how hard would it be for him to cut outdated and defunct goverment programs? Or pull troops (like me) back to the states instead of...well, I don't want to start up that argument here. But my point is, if you want to spend cash just for the sake of spending, fine. If you want to spend cash to accomplish a goal, use some of those Harvard trained brain cells to figure out the best way to do it. If the way it's going now is the best he can do, I see no reason not to call him out as doing a poor job.

    And for what reason should we "wait and see"? If I buy a car that is supposed to get 150k miles if properly serviced, and it breaks twice in the first week, am I not allowed to complain about it? Yeah, right.

  • Report this Comment On March 16, 2009, at 3:34 AM, nicko168 wrote:

    Seems that the Banks, GM & AIG are having the last laugh in the end...the real fools are the one feeding their hunger...

  • Report this Comment On March 16, 2009, at 3:36 AM, nicko168 wrote:

    I would say Nationalizing the problematic companies will ensure the taxpayers money safety..

  • Report this Comment On March 16, 2009, at 8:42 AM, brwn8484 wrote:

    Tax and spend .... Tax and spend..... blah blah blah

    I thought we were going to see something useful being tried this time. Just as I thought. Just another brainless grab for money, power and bigger govt.

    I guess we are in for another long tortuous 4 years. There will be no new jobs and no relief till we get some real leadership in Washington. But dont expect it anytime soon. The media is too busy worshiping the Messiah..... for all its worth. When the common man wakes up, it will be to late to save the patient.

    See you at the Soup Lines boys............

  • Report this Comment On March 16, 2009, at 9:09 AM, brwn8484 wrote:

    Lets just keep rewarding the fools that caused this mess. Lets give bigger bonuses to the reward the criminal behavior of the corporate fat cats and crooks running our banks and insurance companies. (AIG just gave out more bonuses to their executives for all their fine leadership.... Thanks for all of your Tax money. Excuse me but could I have some more if I destroy a few more industries or businesses?)

    Lets reward the people that lied about their income and bailout their mortgages. If I can convince my bank to overlend to me... can I get some more Tax money... Please, please?

    Lets reward the criminal politicians that are using this crisis to grab power, money and prestige by lying to us about the reasons for all the spending and socialization of banks, insurance co's and whatever else. If I spend some more money on some hair-brained scheme to waste taxpayer money, will you give me some more.... I promise I will use it to give you a $10 tax rebate. Who cares if it the largest wasteful spending lann in the history of the world.

    Until we start holding these people accountable, nothing will change. Even the Treasury secretary under FDR has stated that spending did not work during "The Depression". So why are we going down that same old path. If you need to ask that question, you are part of the reason that we are in this mess. Just keep rewarding the criminal and naive behavior and we will all be fine.

  • Report this Comment On March 16, 2009, at 9:51 AM, deebh wrote:

    Can you say "Mein Kampf"? Did you know that Hitler originally titled the book "Four and a Half Years of Fighting Against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardace" until his publisher got him to change it? When was the last time you read the piece, if ever? Wake up America and perform your own due diligence; the following quote should open a few eyes - "The Party believed that Social Welfare was the business of the State. Before the Nazi movement, the churches administered charity. The government enforced a collection of a 10% tithe which was paid directly to the churches. This charitable bureaucracy was shifted to the State." WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD FOLKS, HISTORY IS CYCLICAL, WHAT WILL YOU CHOOSE TO BE, ANOTHER LEMMING?

  • Report this Comment On March 16, 2009, at 10:11 AM, galtline wrote:

    Engineer8 -

    Great post on why both political parties share the blame in creating this mess.

    Redneckdemon -

    "As for the "political" slant of the article in question...are you freaking nuts? Saying that the guy running the country is spending too much money and should be stopped from doing so is a political piece now?"

    Ummm...yeah. I'm having a difficult time seeing the article as investment advice. It's a critical piece on how the nation is being governed. Politics.

    "As for a valid alternative suggestion, prefaps NOT doing what Alyce is complaining about in her article would be a start. If that ain't enough for you, reread some of the comments here, or swing by Ron Pauls website at house.gov"

    I have read Schiff's books and articles (which should be the equivalent, since Ron Paul relies on him for advice).

    RedNeckDemon, what do you believe caused the Great Depression? Other than Ron Paul, what other sources do you use to understand the economic forces at work here?

  • Report this Comment On March 16, 2009, at 2:14 PM, GUNIT wrote:

    As other comments seemed to indicate, I thought the Fool advocated a long-term planning approach. The current boom and bust economic environment is not sustainable (see technology, real estate and banking busts during last 10 years).

    Obama is reshuffling the deck and trying to implement a more sustainable, long-term growth model. This means making uncomfortable and tough decisions in the near term, especially as it pertains to health care and energy.

  • Report this Comment On March 16, 2009, at 2:56 PM, Schlobotnik wrote:

    "... many of the policies destroy the incentive for the very engines of prosperity, such as industry and entrepreneurship."

    Really? America's industry and entrepreneurship are being destroyed? Can you back this assertion up, please?

  • Report this Comment On March 16, 2009, at 8:59 PM, Vineconimcs wrote:

    Obamanomics, Supply Side Economics, Reaganomics. I really enjoyed this grouping of blogs; they show some careful thought by lots of readers. The article itself “Someone has to stop Obamanomics” is the worst of it.

    A professional writer should avoid this terminology. There are basically, three types of Economic thought, they are Classical, Keynesian and Monetary Economics. There are some who think there is Neo classical, Post Keynsian, etc, but in the final classification there are only 3. Systems of Governing, i.e Socialism, Communism, Capitalism, Fascism, Totalitarian are not Economic thoughts, they belong in the closely related field of Political Science.

    So Obamanomics as far as Economist’s go, is just something writers use to get our attention. It worked to that end.

    My take on this situation, is that Mr. O, is more of a Cheerleader than a participant in the current efforts to revive the US Economy, if not that of the entire world. The Congress, Mr . Bernacke and our own cumulative actions as investors and Consumers will have more impact on the “if and when” this Economy recovers than our President (though Cheerleaders are important).

    As to the guts of the article above ,the various blogs and my own reading, it is clear the problems facing us predate both presidents and a the root cause is not as simple as blaming the repeal of the Glass Steagall Act (though it certainly seemed to be the triggering mechanism.)

    I consider it more important on how we get out than how we got in. To that end. If confidence is ever to be restored in the banks, they will need to stop giving uncollateralized loans. The old way of 20% down, elemination of Teaser rates and possibly variable rates. These terms should have been forced upon every entity accepting Federal Money to cover damage to their balance sheets due to Loan Losses in the housing Industry.

    CDO’s need to be scrutinized if they are to Allowed to continue, then an independent rating agency should be constructed. We should look to Foreign Oversight agencies for this or at least make “Moody’s” and other raters, present a full “fee disclosure” in the prospectus of the Bond to a potential buyer. Consider, if the Purchasers of these Bonds had known the potential for default, with only a 10% price correction in the US Real Estate Market, would they have bought as many? We might have solved this problem before it started, had we only supervised the Rating agencies, so buyers were aware of how much money the raters received for the AAA rating, Do they get more or less money if the rate a bond A-? I’m sure I still don’t know the answer to this, but it might have an effect on my investing.

    If the above is done, we will soon recognize the housing arena as “Overbuilt.” This will as others mentioned put the screws on the housing industry until supply catches up with demand. Buyers will need to build up reserves (that’s called a downpayment). Home prices will need to fall to even lower levels until they are affordable based on incomes. The downward spiral, the reverse of the wealth effect.

    Even without some Gigantic Worldwide Engineering project, World war three, High Speed trains, mega Cities in the dessert, Colonizing the moon, Massive desalinization Projects, Chunnel to Europe, Massive solar or wind projects we will still need to rely on new technologies and industries to move forward. This is where investors have a say.

    All of the actions thus far taken and I am not arguing necessity or effectiveness, are simply slowing the fall. A bailout. This is not a plan, it is a reaction to what has occurred. Just by restoring confidence in the banks there may be positive results, but we are still looking a long way down the road. To hurry things along, I personally support the big Engineering project. I’d like to see a gigantic solar/wind only island floating out in the Pacific somewhere. We could use every port city in the USA and elsewhere, building a “Solar island” somewhere between the size of Hawaii and Nebraska.

    IF not, then at least consider and take action considering that “Peak Oil” if not already here, will be delayed longer, the less oil we use now.

    Rather than considering penalties and quotas for CO2 emissions, Governments (not just ours) should consider rewarding companies who implement replacement technologies that reduce the usage of carbon based fuels. My favorite here is GM and the auto companies. I should note, AT & T has recently agreed to buy 15,000 electric cars. This is a start. But to the point, why doesn’t congress loan money to a group of investors to, buy GM’s electric car development program – they don’t seem to want it anyway. This would give GM some revenue vs. bailout money and it would let a great idea fall in the hands of someone more motivated to produce it.

    Back on the carbon emissions, My stock research shows nearly all of the Industrial gas group members have had ways of removing CO2 from the air, actually for quite a long time. Mostly it is a byproduct, (Dry Ice)but the technology already exists. Solar or Nuclear Power would suffice nicely for a power source in this type of operation and our companies could charge for it vs. being fined because of it. The primary reason we need to use coal and natural gas in our Electrical Power Generation is due to Us, the consumers. Most power plants operate at 15-20% of capacity at 2:00AM, but the need runs up to the 80% area at 3:00-6:00 PM. Coal and Gas Generators can be slowed and accelerated easily. Nuclear, Not so much and Solar and wind, well only when the sun is out or the wind blows.

    Smart Meters, In line water heaters, Electric cars, there are all sorts of products out there already that could, if we just decided to buy them, get us out of this mess and provide a cleaner, sustainable future.

    Still, the giant engineering project really sounds appealing? We could build this giant city out in the ocean, totally non fossil fuel, no oil allowed. Construct sections at seaports around the world and float them out to the Assembly site. If global warming raises the oceans 6 feet, who cares, it would float.

  • Report this Comment On March 17, 2009, at 12:53 AM, jtpaul wrote:

    Though the Republican Administration of the last eight years is not blameless. Many of the comments above seem to ignore the fact that systemically and constitutionally Congress really controls the budget that is "recommended" by the President. The Senate takes a 60% vote for their version to pass and the House I believe takes a majority. Out of the last 8 years 4 of those years were lead by a Democratic majority in the senate and two of those years by a Democratic Majority. The Senate the other 4 years I believe was closer in number of majority than what we currently have. I am not better off than I was 2 years ago but I am better off than I was nine years ago. It is interesting to note that the first card to fall in this house of cards was the mortgage industry. The history of its rise and fall can be seen at http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/10/what_really_happened_... and this article was carried in its entirety by Investors Business Daily prior to the November elections.

    If it weren't for the Blue Dog Democrats our country would be in FAR WORSE shape because they do have a sense that our National Government needs to be reasonably fiscally responsible. The budget that Barak will sell try to sell to us on the Tonight Show this Thursday will probably be similar to the snake oil that men would sell in the center of town before the media could spread it through other means. It sounds curative, it looks different, but does it do what it says it will do? I wonder how many people died from mercury poisoning or tape worm after they tried some of the snake oil salesmens wares. This proposed budget sounds a lot like Carter economics and even has our bouy, the Chinese, concerned about their U.S. investments. Rightfully so. If I were Barak, I would think long and hard about his Tonight Show appearance. Does it make him look desperate? maybe. Does it male him look presidential? no Does it make him look like he wants to be iconic rather than a leader within his realm? absolutely Does he really want to do the U.S. good or is he looking for selling something bad to a majority of the people so he can get the majority of this budget passed? probably Does he know what he is doing? Unfortunately, I believe he does.

    He won't spread the wealth (and I don't mean this strictly economicall) around in America, but may end up passing the wealth onto other nation(s) leaving us much like Spain not too long after the discovery of America. Spain was a great nation that became a great nation without the ability to act as a Great Nation.

    It is still not too late for us, the U.S., to continue to be the Great Nation I know, but I certainly fear the consequences of the freespending of a Government that seems to want to control every facet of its citizens lives and investments.

  • Report this Comment On March 17, 2009, at 9:15 AM, breaktrack wrote:

    Everyone seems to be acting all surprised at the socialist undertakings by President Oboma! Come on ...give me a break folks! Half of you reading this post probably voted for him and now you are all wondering what is happening to your money. The man even told Joe the Plumber that he wants to "spread the wealth around" and now all the boo-hooing has started. What a mess this country is in.

    If the Founding Fathers could come back they would smack all of us upside the head for allowing this stupid nonsense in Washington to continue for even one minute longer! Wake up!

  • Report this Comment On March 17, 2009, at 1:37 PM, brwn8484 wrote:

    breaktrack:

    There is so much truth in what you said. We as a people are extremely naive. We think that everything we hear from the biased media is truth... when in fact there is a large and insidious social and political agenda behind all the posturing and money grabbing actions being thrown at this financial crisis. In fact Barak Obama has direct ties to numerous marxist and socialist groups. These groups have an ulterior motive that is not in the best interst of the average middle class American. In fact, they have written (and would love to see) the middle class in our country fail. They (the socialist club) would like to see the US run like a third world dictatorship because it would allow the statist agenda to be furthered without any resistance from the American people.

    Now I am sure that I will receive multiple criticisms from this post, but there are many people including Democrats that are appalled at the actions we are taking. Treasury Secretary under FDR admitted that spending had zero effect on "The Depression". anyone with half a brain will realize that if id did not work before, it will not work now. The Socialist crowd knows this... but they dont care about fixing the economy. They need a crisis and social upheaval to push their ulterior motives... to destroy the middle class and the freedoms that allow us to be the best country in the world. Timothy (the tax cheat) Geithner admiitted and promised that no crisis should go by without using it for the Dem's (and socialists) darker plan. Breaktrack was so correct and very wise when he said to America "WAKE UP".

    "The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." Plato (427 BC - 347 BC).

  • Report this Comment On March 17, 2009, at 6:24 PM, FleaBagger wrote:

    I skipped a lot of comments, so maybe someone already addressed this, but as to raising top marginal tax rates and expecting it not to affect incentives:

    If my boss offers me a raise into a higher tax bracket for doing nothing differently, I'll take it. But if a prospective employer is looking for someone with a degree I don't have (and would have to tuition for), wants the new hire to work 50-60 hours instead of just the 40 I work now, and requires a longer commute, the question of whether or not to take the more productive, ambitious job might just come down to whether or not I'll be paying more than 35% of the pay increase in income taxes. In fact, if rates go up to 45%, I may have less discretionary income than before, what with my college loans and commuting costs.

    Don't give us this garbage about tax rates not affecting incentives. The proof is in the pudding. When countries raise income taxes, productive work decreases. It's an economic axiom that when the cost of something goes up, people do less of it.

    As for Obama's fiscal responsibility, that could only be asserted with a straight face after the Bush administration. Obama is pushing for and signing trillions of dollars in deficit spending after just a few weeks in office, without any attempt or hint of an attempt to curtail any of the unfeasible entitlement spending that threatens to swamp our nation's economy. In fact, he keeps expressing a desire to nationalize health care and implement other ill-advised feel-good campaign trail boondoggles.

    We need a president and a congress completely unlike Bush or Obama, but we won't get one because almost all Americans just want politicians to give them stuff. 9 in 10 of us either doesn't know anything about freedom, or doesn't care enough to do anything about it.

  • Report this Comment On March 17, 2009, at 8:07 PM, Knute99 wrote:

    I completely agree with galtline. The stimulus is supported by people like Warren Buffet and Paul Krugman (Noble prize in Economics, Princeton Economics Professor) so I support it too.

    The Bush administration left the country in a terrible mess: massive budget deficits, two unfunded wars and a banking crisis caused by lack of oversight. Hi also did not address growing problems such energy security, global warming, health care and social security. The solutions are not going to be painless for us or for future generations.

  • Report this Comment On March 17, 2009, at 9:14 PM, MasterMind1234 wrote:

    Anyone see "The Obama Decepton"? Not saying I agree or disagree but just curious if anyone looked it up on google and watched the full version HQ on youtube?

  • Report this Comment On March 18, 2009, at 8:45 AM, midnight7734 wrote:

    The Obama deficit is what you get when you put the cost of two wars on the books, something the previous administration never did. This writers rantings are typical of the people that got us into this mess.

  • Report this Comment On March 18, 2009, at 2:03 PM, taslop wrote:

    Having read the first paragraph I had enough especially when the President announces a program to reduce taxes for small companies.

    While you may continue to grind your axe you may also continue to reflect on the reasons we are where we are today. The former tissue of lies gives the President with no choices to restore some level of credibility worldwide. Please stop lying, it is self-defeating.

  • Report this Comment On March 18, 2009, at 4:37 PM, viking2475 wrote:

    The longer the current president is in office, and he has his willing workers in Congress, the worse it will get. No one listened much when he was challenged on his contacts, his history, his pastor for 20 years, his absolute zero experience as a CEO and never doing any job, except as community organizer, long enough to learn from it. He did not have time to do the work he was elected to do because he was busy on his biography(s). As a matter of fact, the press did have a "slobbering love affair" with him.

    What changes he is trying to put in place will make us a worse than third world country in 4 years. He has reversed himself on every campaign promise so far, except for the promise of moving quickly. There were those who said, "Give us change." Well, you got it in spades and our grandchildren will wonder what were we thinking? Course, the history books will all be rewritten by then. America, as many of us remember it, will be a fairy tale.

    Vote for conservatives in 2010. Get rid of Pelosi and Reid, and Frank and Dodd. Beyond that it may be too late.

  • Report this Comment On March 18, 2009, at 5:30 PM, markosaur wrote:

    Regarding carbon emissions, this must be addressed soon or the world will face much bigger problems than the financial crisis. An excellent solution is a carbon tax coupled with a payroll tax reduction to offset the increased energy expense. Carbon cap-and-trade has the political advantage of not having the word "tax" in the name, but will function just like a tax, plus it adds the inefficiency and expense of a trading control body to make it work. The carbon tax, If our government has the guts to propose a plan that's upfront about being a tax, is a cleaner, cheaper to run solution.

  • Report this Comment On March 18, 2009, at 6:28 PM, Jatudrei wrote:

    Redearth,

    Here's the thing. If someone could be sure that as a result of his hard work he would get a huge payout, of which a large part would then go to taxes, leaving him nevertheless more than he would otherwise have, you're right, he'd still have incentive.

    But he can't be sure. There's always the risk of failure--and the failure will be his to shoulder. So high taxes diminishes the reward side of the equation, without diminishing the risk side of the equation.

    Aside from incentive, high taxes also diminish people's capacity to create wealth. If my money has been taken by the government, I can no longer use that money to hire new workers or otherwise expand my business, right?

  • Report this Comment On March 19, 2009, at 12:33 PM, HRViolation wrote:

    Paul Krugman, 2008 Nobel Prize winner in economics told me to my face (and I heard similiar from an economicist that works for The Financial Times on CNN) that the main thing wrong with the current stimulus is:

    1) That there is too much Tax breaks already. Giving money to people only works if they actually buy new stuff, not save or pay off bills.

    2) The stimulus is too small. Our economy is 14 Trillion. 800 Billion is too small to act as a KO blow. Both economicist predicted needing a 2.5 Trillion stimulus.

    Everytime I hear someone complain about 'Pork'. EVERYTHING IS PORK! The money has to go 'somewhere' even if it is a Tax break, the people or business it targets is pork. The key is to have short term, middle term, and long term projects. A short term project such as fixing ATV trails or fixing up the White House can easily be attacked because they sound trivial. However people are being hired today and work begans tommorrow.

  • Report this Comment On March 19, 2009, at 1:04 PM, Amorri wrote:

    I have followed this thread with great interest, and read both sides of the argument. My final analysis is that the rightist ideologues need to stop and think: it is their kind of perspective that has gotten into this mess, it is their kind of greed that supports bonuses for unregulated bankers that have undermined the system, it is their kind of greed and selfishness that brings down empires, ruins societies, and -- since there has been plenty of drama in the debate -- drives society to the brink of environmental disaster.

    The reference to Ann Rand is particular appalling: in the "Fountainhead" Rands heroe, Howard Rourke, blows up an almost completed public housing project because some minor changes in his design were made; talk about selfishness! Look -- nobody lives in a vacuum; for every action there is a reaction. Nobody is happy about the unprecedented government deficit spending (started by Bush). Nobody is pleased that our grandkids will still be paying for the debt. Nobody wants to pay higher taxes, or higher electricity bills, etc., etc.

    Desperate times require aggressive responses. Yes, we will be paying for this mess for some time to come, but it is not a mess created by Obama, and it is one that he can at best only hope to soften. If we come out of this period a less greedy, more cooperative, more fiscally responsive society (both at the corporate and at the individual level) that is more focused on our common goals and needs -- the environment included -- I think that we will have made a step forward, however awkwardly. It is how difficult times are dealt with that define character, and perhaps we can rediscover that we all owe something to one another. The selfish will read socialism into my comments. If you want to define individual responsibility to the whole as "socialist" then so be it, but for the record, I believe in free markets with an honest referee, enlightened public policy, and a safety net in a civilized society that seeks to give everyone an opportunity to succeed.

    Economics is an imperfect science, and governments are imperfect entitities as well, just like the bankers and CEO's that have led us to the brink of disaster. The rightists would have us believe that now that these leaders have led us to the brink, we should follow their wisdom as to how to lead us out of it -- by saving their behinds!!! I am reminded of New Yorker cartoon -- a richly dressed, elderly lady speaking to a disheveled beggar in the gutter says "Oh, poor gentleman! If only they would lower my taxes, your problems would be solved."

  • Report this Comment On March 19, 2009, at 1:25 PM, weg915 wrote:

    Does any one see any evidence of "people" becoming less greedy?

    Luckily, my kids don't have to wait to pay for things - next year in CA.

    Kindergarten- 2nd goes from 20 to 32 in a class and

    Grade 3 and above goes from 32 to 37

    Obama doesn't treat our money the way treats his own.

    Obama doesn't treat our kids the way he treats his own.

    So much for honesty. So much for change.

    Way to invest in the future.

  • Report this Comment On March 19, 2009, at 1:35 PM, Amorri wrote:

    And rj114 blames THAT on Obama TOO! What nonsense.

  • Report this Comment On March 19, 2009, at 1:48 PM, weg915 wrote:

    No, I don't blame him but I see no honesty, no strenth in his dealings. Why aren't his kids in public school experiencing what most kids experience in DC and elsewhere. If the Friends School (and I would love to send my kids there) is the philosophy he believes in then why isn't he championing those values and ideas for public education. Where is his sacrifice? Regardless of CA finances, he is hurting our kids.

    On another note: Because of all the comparisons I became interested in learning more about Abraham Lincoln and am currently reading The Humorous Mr. Lincoln by Keith Jennison.

    I understand now why Obama wanted to be compared to Lincoln but he not even close and never will be.

  • Report this Comment On March 19, 2009, at 2:55 PM, rfaramir wrote:

    I've got to remember to just recommend every story of Alyce's when I'm short on time. They always bring out the wacko attackers and well-spoken defenders.

    One interesting fact a critic brought out, though, was the disparity in marginal tax rate between highest and second highest. Blame the Social Security Scam, since the 6.2% cutoff at $102,000 frees the 'top' bracket from its clutches while shackling the rest of us. I'm for a flat tax all round, so while we have brackets, the top bracket ought to be 6.2% higher than the second-to-top AND the threshhold ought to be at the point where SS cuts off. That'll make them even.

    Go Alyce! (Can I be a fan of yours on Facebook?)

  • Report this Comment On March 19, 2009, at 6:30 PM, driller101 wrote:

    Anyone interested in the truth should check out zfacts.com and look at their graph of the national debt as a % of gdp. The trend started by reagan- bush and continued by w has been disasterous.

    Where did all that money go that caused this tremendous debt? Probably in to the pockets of a lot of rich folks and their paid lapdog politicians. Obama has proposed a roll back of the taxes on incomes over 250k back to the pre W days. I don't think that is unfair. We are going to have to pay down this debt some way, and the people making over 250k can probably afford to pay a little more.

    Much has been said about how the top 1% of earners pay over 40% of the taxes. So what? Who do you think benefitted from all that government spending? If you say the poor, I've got a souvenier stand in Plains, Ga I'd like to sell you.

    TMF seems to think a lot of Buffet. Read his views on taxes and also how he thinks he won the lottery when he was born in this country. BTW, the marginal tax rate on higher incomes has been a lot higher than it is now for much of his life.

  • Report this Comment On March 19, 2009, at 6:32 PM, manlymanliness wrote:

    I'm stunned by what I'm reading here. Obama's plan is to create government contracts to increase employment. Now granted, we need some infrastructure upgrading, but isn't the economy about the private sector? The consumers and the businesses??? How is THAT sector being strengthened by temporary public infrastructure contracts?? Within 3 months after GW signed his tax cuts into law in late 2002 (or early 2003), the stock market and employment numbers both began showing improvement. That is a fact. And those numbers continued to get downright hot until last year. And the thing which seemed to trigger all this was far-left nut-case Barney Frank wanting to frickin' socialize the housing market.

    You people here are supposed to understand investing and economics, but you sound like a bunch of far-left so-called "progressives" who don't seem to understand that we already have the second highest corporate tax rates IN THE WORLD. Ireland's economy's doing rather well now, and their corp tax rate's 11%. Coincidence?

    Some of you say "Well, if I can make $65,000 as opposed to $64,000 at a lower tax rate, I'll take the salary with the higher tax rate". Except that isn't how businesses think when moving overseas would get them an additional 20G more. C'mon people, get over this irrational Bush-hatred / Obama-worship, get over this "progressive" crap which has only shown itself to be the product of self-indulgent babies and people who make their decisions on how they think the world OUGHT to be and not how it IS and that saps economies. Before this recession, the US's unemployment rate was 4.5%. The socialistic and progressive EU's? Just under 10%.

    My solution? Put money back into the hands of the private sector via juicy tax cuts AND drastically cut federal spending. If feasible, do the latter via a law that clearly states that borrowing is only for national emergencies. And we vote out the clowns who cry about our impending economic doom and then fly around in military planes with no accountability and send $30mil to their districts to protect wild mice or global warming research. Oh... global warming...

    Controversial and highly open to debate. Many say it is real and coming, others, just as knowledgeable like NASA and the Weather Channel, ain't too sure. So before you start screaming about sacrificing 2% of our economy to save the human race, do a little more research.

  • Report this Comment On March 19, 2009, at 6:49 PM, tammyna wrote:

    Here here. Let's face it, nobody has an excuse to not to vote 3rd party next election, with Obama's lack of experience, and controversial origin of birth. What gets me is the dem's ran under this song and dance called "change" when in fact 3rd parties have been screaming it FOR-EVER. The media needs to do their jobs and report people's options rather than backing parties and telling the public who to vote for. Global warming propaganda is unbelievable. Of 528 total papers on climate change, only 38 (7%) gave an explicit endorsement of the consensus. Environmentalist are spending 3 times more on the global warming propaganda than the oil industry has on lobbying...What gets me is the main stream media won't present the global warming facts. I've posted comments with facts and quotes only to see the metro news papers withdraw the article all together. They are an embarrassment to the journalist profession.

  • Report this Comment On March 19, 2009, at 7:45 PM, manlymanliness wrote:

    Amorri wrote:

    >> Desperate times require aggressive responses. Yes, we will be paying for this mess for some time to come, but it is not a mess created by Obama, and it is one that he can at best only hope to soften. If we come out of this period a less greedy, more cooperative, more fiscally responsive society (both at the corporate and at the individual level) that is more focused on our common goals and needs -- the environment included -- I think that we will have made a step forward, however awkwardly. It is how difficult times are dealt with that define character, and perhaps we can rediscover that we all owe something to one another. The selfish will read socialism into my comments. If you want to define individual responsibility to the whole as "socialist" then so be it, but for the record, I believe in free markets with an honest referee, enlightened public policy, and a safety net in a civilized society that seeks to give everyone an opportunity to succeed. <<

    And before we get to this hypothetical world of maturity and sobriety, the country may likely become bankrupt. If that happens, foreign investment goes. If that happens, we're *blanked*. Yes, let's give Obama's obscene spending on social-engineering programs, er, economic stimulus, a chance.

    No, Obama alone is not responsible. But he is for what happens from here on. And too many folks in the know -- left-leaning Buffet excluded perhaps -- are afraid of the not-too-distant future. In addition to degrading human life, eliminating religious and moral conscience options by medical practitioners, and promoting a whole bunch of other far-left ideological policy shifts, he's draining us of all financial credibility.

    Bush did not help with his billions on entitlements and the uber-expensive Iraq war. But there was some silver to that cloud: gov't revenue was *UP* during his term because taxes were DOWN. Now, BOTH are going up. Yes, shear progressive brilliance. Let's blame Bush and the "rightists". (Altho, seriously, they do deserve some of the blame, being just as guilty for pork barrel spending as most Dems. God I wish we could make a law or a constitutional amendment against that crap.)

  • Report this Comment On March 19, 2009, at 8:41 PM, sevenofseven wrote:

    I'm amazed at all of the people who are absolutely convinced that global warming is real. That is scarier than Obamanomics.

  • Report this Comment On March 19, 2009, at 10:37 PM, pkluck wrote:

    A few points.

    Disappointed by the intelligence level of some/most fool readers here based on the number of BO pro posts here.

    My wife has chosen to quit work because the marginal tax for her income is in excess of 60%, Fed rate 40% state rate 8% Fica Medicare 7.65% add AMT and no deductions for state income tax, no deduction for child and personal exemptions, no deduction for property tax, etc. If we both work we have to hire a nanny so there is no incentive to work. Why endure the pressure of a demanding career for 30% take home pay.

    Liberals have got to stop ignoring BO's spending, it dwarfs anything Bush did and is going to cripple us and future generations. The excuse that Bush spent 1 trillion so it's ok that BO is spending 3+ trillion is all right is ignorant.

    Global warming is just an excuse to raise taxes for BO's pet socialist programs through cap and trade taxes. The Cap and Trade tax will increase taxes for industry by 350 billion which will flow down to us, it's just a tax increase.

  • Report this Comment On August 07, 2009, at 3:42 PM, magnetiter wrote:

    You really don't understand what is behind Obamanomics......take a look.....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbGz6iHcbTU&feature=relat...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYMQneyuPSM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBEsU56zxqg&feature=relat...

    The higher the taxes and the higher the debt the fewer the number of white babies that will be born and we will suffer the same fate as the Russians. All this has been masked in the USA and Europe through immigration but the problems in Europe with large Muslim populations has been much greater. Obama's policies are designed to accelerate the US down the same path. If it were not for Christian Mexicans immigrating we would be much further along than we are. Looks like change you can't believe is happening!!!!! Many European countries are enacting legislation to counter this quite invasion trend and creating subsities for their native people to better afford child rearing in the face of ever higher taxes. Obama is still programed as a Muslim just you wait and see what happens when Israel bombs Iran. His true colors will come out and it will be the end of the Democratic party and the Liberal movement if not the whole country. And, the conversions to Isam in the USA is accelerating.......

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