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Where the GOP is Could Be Better off than the Democrats

Today while reading the Wall Street Journal’s Political Diary (available by subscription), I realized that in one way my party is better situated than the Democrats, well, at least come January 20. As I wrote the day after the election, with George W. Bush on the way out, we conservatives “can start advancing our ideas once again.”

Basically, we have ideas which resonate with a majority of the American people. We just need to adopt policies which promote them and not lose sight of them as have all too many of our elected leaders over the past eight, perhaps ten years.

In the aforementioned Diary, John Fund quotes Republican National Committeeman Solomon Yue of Oregon who said, “Articulating a political philosophy is equally important as applying it consistently. . . . Failing to do so, we have today’s identity crisis, which resulted in our losses in 2006 and 2008.”

Exactly.

If we articulate that philosophy, apply it, campaign on it, we can win elections. In the campaign just concluded, the Democratic nominee appreciated that better than did the Republican. Barack Obama campaigned on tax relief for the middle class and rooting out excess government spending. Not just that, voters were upset with the GOP for letting federal spending grow at almost unprecedented rate.

Note how, in election cycle after election cycle, Democrats obscure their party’s big-government philosophy. They didn’t campaign on scaling back welfare reform, implementing “card-check” labor union elections, expanding affirmative action or bringing back the “Fairness Doctrine.”  They campaigned against the spendthrift Republicans, with some Democrats even faulting their Republican rivals for supporting the Wall Street bailout.

Should Democrats govern as Senate Majority Leader Reid and House Speaker Pelosi would like, pushing for an ever larger federal government, they will certainly turn Americans against them.  Well, that is, if Republicans have learned the lesson of the past two elections and stand up against Democratic policies and make the case for more responsible fiscal policies.

Looks like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is off to a good start.  He recently called the President-elect’s $850 billion economic “stimulus” plan, “unprecedented government spending[:]  I believe the taxpayers deserve to know a lot more about where it will be spent before we consider passing it.”

Now, he needs to rally Republicans to oppose this billion-dollar boondoggle as they explain why it’s bad for our country’s fiscal health . . . in terms the average voter can readily understand.

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41 Comments

  1. The Republicans have really blown it, and have no one but themselves to blame.

    I knew Bush’s “compassionate conservatism” was malarkey, a Republican excuse for Big Government, when I first heard it. I’ve since learned that Ford was our biggest non-defense-spending President of modern times, with Bush 41 up there also; and that the Bush 43 administration was, disastrously, populated with the living dead of the Ford and Bush 41 administrations, starting with Vice President Cheney (Ford’s ex-Chief of Staff) who proclaimed “Deficits don’t matter.” Sure enough, we have all paid and paid with massive spending increases under Bush and the destruction of the Republicans’ former reputation for fiscal responsibility.

    I credit Bush-Cheney for basically getting the War on Terror right. The morning after 9-11, I never imagined that we could go seven years without another major terrorist attack on our homeland. I don’t think anyone else imagined it either. In country after country, including Iraq, the Bush 43 administration has made a series of necessary and appropriate moves; with some bungling, but no more than Lincoln or Roosevelt (whose bungles sometimes cost thousands of American lives in a single week) or any other wartime President. And here we are today, without another attack; with people forgetting that the Islamist threat even matters, in fact. That is success!

    But, in terms of economics and domestic philosophy, the Bush administration has annihilated the Republican brand. We must acknowledge the bad along with the good. Bush enabled Obama to pose as fiscally responsible – and get away with it. That is a miserable failure. Now Bush is destroying capitalism with his insane bailouts.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — December 30, 2008 @ 11:38 pm - December 30, 2008

  2. P.S. GPW, would you kindly re-read/edit your post with care? (Hints: ‘oters’ for voters… billion where you meant multi-billion or trillion… and an otherwise ringing sentence that drops off a cliff.)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — December 30, 2008 @ 11:48 pm - December 30, 2008

  3. I don’t hear an economic plan. Opposing the bailouts isn’t one. And cutting federal spending at a time when businesses and consumers are drastically cutting their spending is a bad one.

    So it might help to come up with a viable plan first. The public is not going to have much patience for politically principle obstructionism in this climate. The public wants action.

    Comment by Erik — December 31, 2008 @ 12:16 am - December 31, 2008

  4. Actually, the Republicans are promoting the simplest and best action of all; an immediate across-the-board corporate and individual income tax cut.

    The reason why is simple; if the government is taking less of their money, people and businesses have more of it to spend themselves, and a much stronger tendency to do so. But instead of taking that logical step, which would put money into the hands of people who are actually working and earning it by generating products and services that people want, Obama and the “redistributors” want to punish those people and reward the welfare-addicted and businesses who are dependent on government spending because nobody wants their product.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — December 31, 2008 @ 12:29 am - December 31, 2008

  5. I don’t hear an economic plan. Opposing the bailouts isn’t one. And cutting federal spending at a time when businesses and consumers are drastically cutting their spending is a bad one.

    Oh, my goodness gracious. What fallacies you struggle under, Erik.

    Opposing the bailouts is a plan. You know that oath physicians are supposed to take? “First, do no harm.” Bailouts do massive, long-term harm. It’s not just the money they cost. The whole point of capitalism is to make the failures fail, so their assets (and people) will then be taken over by the successes, and re-deployed in new ways that are beyond anything you or I could imagine. That’s it. That’s the secret. That’s where all the dynamism and new jobs of the 50s and 60s and 80s and 90s came from. By propping up failures, Bush and the Democrats are doing massive harm to all of us. Bailouts are not capitalism, they’re socialism – and socialism is the ruin of nations.

    So, that’s point one of the plan. “First, do no harm.” Which means: First, do no bailouts.

    Second: Cutting federal spending is an excellent idea! Federal spending accomplishes nothing but to redirect – that is, to misdirect – private spending. It doesn’t add to the net economic output. Moreover, like bailouts, an excess of government spending (beyond that needed to provide defense, law and order) misallocates resources away from efficient uses and *slows*, not stimulates the economy. Why do you think the Great Depression lasted so many years *after* Roosevelt took office? Because his programs hurt! They didn’t help!

    Third: America has the second most burdensome and destructive corporate taxes of any nation in the world. Slash corporate taxes! Every $60k in corporate taxes paid is another job destroyed.

    Erik, America is going to go through a terribe recession no matter what anyone does. We have accumulated decades of

    (1) debt; incurred in the course of
    (2) malinvestment – investing in businesses and ideas that should never have gotten off the ground.

    Recession is the cure for those things. The questions are:
    – How long does it have to be? and,
    – How much good will we allow it to do? That is, how strongly can we bounce back? What’s the future, beyond the painful recession? Dynamism or stagnation?

    Under Bush and the Democrats, we will suffer, and suffer, and suffer, for years to come. We will not bounce back. We will be more stagnant than Japan in the 1990s.

    Under my plan, we will bounce back. We will get back to a soundly based, dynamic economy that provides real jobs for real people. That plan, again, is:

    1) No bailouts. Accept the recession.
    2) Slash government spending.
    3) Slash taxes, especially general corporate taxes.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — December 31, 2008 @ 12:58 am - December 31, 2008

  6. responded to Erik, caught in spamfilter, stay tuned

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — December 31, 2008 @ 12:58 am - December 31, 2008

  7. Barack Obama campaigned on tax relief for the middle class and rooting out excess government spending.

    What? I’m fairly certain I didn’t spend the last year or so under a rock. When the hell did he do that?

    Floating ideas for trillions in new spending, not to mention attempting to add almost another trillion to fight “global poverty” doesn’t impress me as “rooting out excess government spending”.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — December 31, 2008 @ 1:10 am - December 31, 2008

  8. The public is not going to have much patience for politically principle obstructionism in this climate. The public wants action.

    I dont know where youre getting your information, perhaps straight from the DNC, but the public is overwhelmingly opposed to the bailout and congress’ approval ratings have reached all new depths.

    Comment by American Elephant — December 31, 2008 @ 5:22 am - December 31, 2008

  9. until the GOP abandons its harsh stance on social issues, it will be a losing party. the vast majority of Americans want abortion legalized and the GOP’s rigid stance will ensure it’s a loser for at least the next decade.

    Comment by buckeyenutlover — December 31, 2008 @ 9:56 am - December 31, 2008

  10. Actually, Buckeye, I hate to point out the obvious, but abortion is already legal, and polls show the majority of Americans favor tighter restrictions not easier access. Not to mention the fact that Republicans won and held control of both houses of congress for 12 years and the White House for 8 with exactly the same pro-life policies they hold today. And lastly, the abortion issue wasn’t even raised in this election. Nor were “social issues” for that matter. I’d remind you that the broad consensus for the reason Republicans WON in 2004 was “values voters”. You are projecting your own preferences onto the populous, but the facts dont support your assertion.

    Comment by American Elephant — December 31, 2008 @ 10:37 am - December 31, 2008

  11. The Democrats proposed plan of massive infrastructure and welfare spending financed by a huge expansion in public debt has been tried before, and it has always failed to bring about economic prosperity. It failed in the Depression, lengthening it by seven years, we now know. It failed in India in the 1970’s. It failed in Latin America in the 1980’s. It failed in Europe in the 1990’s. It failed in Japan in the 1990’s.

    Meanwhile, the Chinese are cutting taxes. Even the Swedes are cutting taxes. And the Cubans are cutting state spending and telling people to suck it up. Good Lord, even the communists know communism fails. But Harry Reid, Barney Frank, and Nancy Pelosi are determined to try and resuscitate the corpses of Marx and Lenin.

    Comment by V the K — December 31, 2008 @ 10:54 am - December 31, 2008

  12. The seeds for the loss of power began in 1996. The biggest mistake that Newt Gingrich made was to rest on his laurels. He failed to followup his success in 1994 with a sequel, Contract Two With America. True, he and the House accomplished thier goals under the Contract. There was still work to be done. Fortune magazine in 1996 had an article that said while Congress had reduced the size of government, there were still over 150 agencies providing duplicate services. Continuing to shrink the bureaucracy would have been a good starting point for a second contract. Instead they spent more time obsessing over impeaching Bill Clinton, that it resulted in losing five seats in 1998. What is ironic is that the House Republicans blamed Newt and wanted him to step down as the leader of the Party; yet with the loss of the majority in 2006 and 35 more seats in 2008, only a few blamed John Boehner and he still is the Party leader. Many of the freshman class of 1994 campaigned on a commitment to term limits. In 2000 some members honored their pledge and either sought a higher office or returned to private business, while others liked being in power and reneged.

    We are a party of ideas and in the next session the majority will give us a opportunities to formulate a platform that will either reduce their advantage or return us to be the majority. If one of those planks is term limits, those elected should abide by it. We should not be the party of bait and switch. As Tony Saca, President of El Salvador says, ¨The only promises worth anything are promises kept.¨

    Comment by Roberto — December 31, 2008 @ 11:24 am - December 31, 2008

  13. Despite Obama’s natural constituencies (or unnatural, depending on your view), McCain pulled within 4% nationally and did so with a horrible campaign. Then the economy fell through the floor. There was no way to win this election, particularly with a candidate willing to suspend his campaign to promote socialism.

    The silver lining is that Americans largely voted with their pocketbooks, recognizing Bush and the GOP as extremely out-of-touch. To me this means that our essential values are largely sound but that Republicans, despite their own ineptitude, are the victims of a cyclical economy and our electoral battles are largely being decided during and due to the negative territory of a fiscal sinusoidal wave. At some point during the next administration the economy will turn for the better and Obama, like Clinton before him, will be given credit despite or in spite of his massive spending increases and new programs. Pent-up demand for goods and services will compensate and indeed pay for government seizing more taxes and power. The danger is that if such cycles continue, an uninformed public (an electoral majority, seemingly) will conclude that previous decades and administrations prove Democrats are economically superior — a 180-degree shift in American political axioms.

    The best place to begin addressing the current economy is not by cutting spending or taxes but by cutting regulation. Spending cuts are obviously beneficial in the long-term and are necessary, but in the short-term and particularly in a deflationary economy have negative side effects that compound our consumption-based economy. Cutting taxes in a bad economy is good because it increases job creation and investment, spending in R&D, etc., but only to the point that in doing so tax receipts are increased to pay for current government services. Cutting regulation is the least damaging strategy in the short-term and during a bad economy; it should be the first avenue of attack because it gives industry (and then the financial markets) a much-needed jolt.

    The war in Iraq and McCain’s widely reported, widely misconstrued (although according to current apparent Republican doctrine absolutely true), and extremely badly timed and stated answer that we could be stationed there for a hundred years illustrate that Republicans are far too willing to send the U.S. military on adventures that do not benefit the U.S., promoting a democracy that simply gives a population with virtually no history of such to likely vote themselves back into tyranny, thus legitimizing what we sought to overthrow with lives, blood, materiel, and treasure. History will prove that this has been one of the worst foreign policy decisions ever made by an American president.

    Comment by Ignatius — December 31, 2008 @ 12:26 pm - December 31, 2008

  14. Despite Obama’s natural constituencies (or unnatural, depending on your view), McCain pulled within 4% nationally and did so with a horrible campaign.

    And despite being outspent by The One by about 5 to 1.

    Comment by V the K — December 31, 2008 @ 12:49 pm - December 31, 2008

  15. To ThatGayConservative in # 7 — Obama repeatedly said much of his proposed new spending would be “financed” by cutting “wasteful” spending — especially programs that should have been “sunset” years ago. I don’t know if he can — congressional committee lords don’t like to give up “oversight” — but he hoped he could.

    To American Elephant in #10 — Subsequent studies of the 2004 vote have raised real questions about how significant so-called “values voters” were.

    Dan, I would love to see the Republican Party return to its core values and principles.

    As you know, I supported Obama in November. And while I did vote for Bush 43 in 2000 and 2004, there were elections when I couldn’t support GOP candidates for Congress, Senate or Governor. I did so because the Republican Party strayed so far from the core values and principles that originally attracted me to the party. And the GOP has shrunk the tent as Southern evangelicals have taken over.

    If the Republican Party ever returns to its core values and principles I can’t imagine ever again voting for a Democrat because what the GOP once held dear trumps almost everything the Democrats propose.

    Comment by Jack Allen — December 31, 2008 @ 1:30 pm - December 31, 2008

  16. Subsequent studies of the 2004 vote have raised real questions about how significant so-called “values voters” were.

    They have? Could you link to them please, because not only is that the first I’ve heard of it, but it also contradicts the exit polls.

    Comment by American Elephant — December 31, 2008 @ 1:35 pm - December 31, 2008

  17. And the GOP has shrunk the tent as Southern evangelicals have taken over.

    Yes, damn John McCain, that southern evangelical!

    Comment by American Elephant — December 31, 2008 @ 1:37 pm - December 31, 2008

  18. I supported Obama in November

    And, by your own previous admission on GayPatriot, Hillary Clinton before that. In light of which, this statement is mystifying:

    Dan, I would love to see the Republican Party return to its core values and principles.

    What could those values and principles be? Not the principles of Barry Goldwater, since both Obama and Hillary Clinton abhor them and stand for the opposites.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — December 31, 2008 @ 2:14 pm - December 31, 2008

  19. And yet, in 2008, when the Republican party ran a moderate for president with a long history of eschewing the C-h-r-i-s-t-i-a-n Right, Jack Allen voted for the socialist alternative.

    So, we should believe he has the best interests of the GOP at heart why?

    Comment by V the K — December 31, 2008 @ 3:14 pm - December 31, 2008

  20. At some point during the next administration the economy will turn for the better and Obama, like Clinton before him, will be given credit

    Maybe, but don’t count on it. Remember, socialism doesn’t work in reality. Foreigners have absorbed a lot of our debt/deficits and inflationary money creation up to now, but that must inevitably end at *some* point. Three factors that might precipitate its end within the next couple of years are:

    – if the U.S. should intensify its debt/inflation efforts by, say, half an order of magnitude
    – if the U.S. becomes increasingly interested in protectionism
    – if the U.S. loses international respect from shrinking its military, switching to a strategy of appeasement in dealing with dictators and terrorists, etc.

    All of which Obama has proposed. And all of which Jimmuh Carter before him played with. I allow that the economy could get better sometime in Obama’s 4 years, but I look for that to happen early-ish – like his first or second year – followed by a steadily worsening U.S. position. It will be like the Carter years, except worse because the U.S. balance sheet is so much worse than it was in the 70s.

    In fact, I look for a minimum-3x devaluation of the dollar (gold at $2200 or more, oil at $200 or more) sometime before the Obama years run out. Bush can’t leave office soon enough, as far as I am concerned, so that the blame for it will be sure to fall on Obama. I don’t want it to happen, but the levels of debt that Obama is inheriting – and stupidly planning to intensify – are astronomically worse than in the 70s or the 30s. I think things will actually get better in 2009, giving Obama a honeymoon period as he gets credit from the left-wing media – then head down an inflationary slippery slope by 2012.

    Pent-up demand for goods and services will compensate and indeed pay for government seizing more taxes and power.

    Demand, pent-up or otherwise, doesn’t pay for anything – unless there is financing to back it. That financing can come from one of two sources, at this point: foreigners, or Fed monetization. See above comments about what I see happening with foreigners. That leaves the Fed, i.e., massive asset monetization leading, not in 2009 but over time, to inflation worse than the 70s.

    The best place to begin addressing the current economy is not by cutting spending or taxes but by cutting regulation. Spending cuts are obviously beneficial in the long-term and are necessary, but in the short-term and particularly in a deflationary economy have negative side effects…

    You’re sounding a bit like Erik. 😉 The single most direct thing Obama could to “create or preserve jobs”, and to ensure that the right companies survive, is to cut the tax burden – with a heavy emphasis on corporate taxes. Massive spending cuts should then be brought in to pay for it, i.e., we must stop trying to rely on ever-increasing, unsustainable deficits / debt. Or on inflationary monetization that punishes the nation’s few remaining savers who provide our non-foreign capital. Stop it now, because each new increment only worsens our long-term prospects.

    Having said that: You’re right, of course, that slashing regulations would be enormously helpful.

    Obama will do none of the above. America got into this mess by following a path of ever-increasing spending, regulation, debt and deficits… financed, up until now, by foolish masses of Japanese and Chinese. We *cannot* escape by doing more of the same – but Presidents Bush-Obama-Bernanke are proposing to try. It is impossible. It must, and will fail. To get on a healthy path, we must endure a painful recession that slashes away the bad companies, jobs and debts – then have a regime of low regulation (as you’ve said) and low taxes and spending (as I’ve said) to promote the best possible recovery. Interest rates have to rise so that people have an incentive to save again. Our economy has to return to producing things of real value.

    Obama, again, will do none of it. Perhaps his “stimulus” policies will gain him a shallow recovery, though I’m not sure of it. In the long run, they are only more of the poison that made us sick to begin with, and if Obama stays in office long enough, he will pay the price for 80 years of gathering socialism. The Republicans’ job is to get their philosophical sh*t together, returning to their uncompromising small government, Goldwater-Reagan roots. America’s future depends on it.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — December 31, 2008 @ 8:25 pm - December 31, 2008

  21. Peter Schifff’s predictions are a little overdrawn, but he was right in predicting the present crisis. I think he basically knows what’s going on, and his new predictions will come true in time – perhaps a little slower than he thinks:

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

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — December 31, 2008 @ 8:38 pm - December 31, 2008

  22. (and be sure to move on to some of his Related Videos)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — December 31, 2008 @ 8:39 pm - December 31, 2008

  23. And lastly, the abortion issue wasn’t even raised in this election. Nor were “social issues” for that matter.

    I’d be shocked if anybody who voted for Comrade Obama had any issues in mind.

    Obama repeatedly said much of his proposed new spending would be “financed” by cutting “wasteful” spending — especially programs that should have been “sunset” years ago.

    Oh c’mon! You know he’s going to add new (read: wasteful) spending and you know damn well a liberal will never cut wasteful spending. The notion that he would cut out useless programs and redundancies is patently absurd.

    We’re the ones expected to do with less. The government and liberals never will.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 1, 2009 @ 1:45 am - January 1, 2009

  24. The whole point of capitalism is to make the failures fail, so their assets (and people) will then be taken over by the successes, and re-deployed in new ways that are beyond anything you or I could imagine. That’s it. That’s the secret.

    Yes, except when the reason said companies are failing is because they can’t get credit because the banking system is teetering on collapse. And when allowing the banking system to collapse would bring down the entire economy.

    So that’s that. It has to be done.

    Why do you think the Great Depression lasted so many years *after* Roosevelt took office? Because his programs hurt! They didn’t help!

    And his programs hurt SO much that the voters re-elected him in landslides in 1936 and again in 1940 and again in 1944. I know the Republicans want to rewrite FDR’s historical record. But you can’t change those election results. Those are the people who actually lived it. Their verdict on FDR’s policies has always been very clear.

    Of course, considering how much the Republicans hate Social Security and the minimum wage, it’s not surprising that you’re still trying to disparage Roosevelt. It’s a lost cause, fellas.

    Under my plan, we will bounce back.

    Your plan would’ve been to let the banking system collapse. If we’d have let that happen, if we had let liquidity completely dry up, there would have been no bouncing back. It would’ve been just a thud, not even a dead cat bounce. It would’ve been anarchy. That is not a plan or even an option.

    Comment by Erik — January 1, 2009 @ 12:19 pm - January 1, 2009

  25. And his programs hurt SO much that the voters re-elected him in landslides in 1936 and again in 1940 and again in 1944.

    So that means Bush was a success because he was re-elected by even larger margins in 2004.

    Meanwhile, economists have determined that FDR’s policies did indeed lengthen the Depression by seven years. Just like Japan’s similar policies and refusal to let banks fail, while politically popular, produced a “lost decade”.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 1, 2009 @ 12:26 pm - January 1, 2009

  26. Your plan would’ve been to let the banking system collapse.

    Oooo, threats!

    No; the plan would have been that the banks that needed to collapse would have, the ones like JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo, and others who didn’t would have picked up the pieces for pennies on the overvalued dollar, and then would have put them to work. The fact that this works and works well is why we have antitrust laws; acquiring your competitors is such an extraordinarily-effective method of instantly increasing your productivity, profits, and market share that we have to take care that it doesn’t become overwhelming.

    Sure, there would have been short-term turmoil. But now, because of this, the taxpayers are now being forced to subsidize industries that are unprofitable because they employ too many people and financial institutions that are insolvent because they gave credit to too many people who can’t pay it back. In order to fix the problem, you have to lay people off and foreclose on assets — and the leftist Barack Obama will never allow that because it would be “politically unpopular”. As a result, productive taxpayers like myself will be forced to subsidize people who don’t manage their money intelligently and are overpaid/underemployed.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 1, 2009 @ 12:38 pm - January 1, 2009

  27. Those are the people who actually lived it. Their verdict on FDR’s policies has always been very clear.

    Notice, amusingly, how the leftist Erik tries to invoke the voters as being right when it comes to his attempt to defend FDR — but whines and cries that the voters are wrong, ignorant, and bigoted when it comes to Proposition 8.

    Will the leftist Erik admit that the voters are right and that he is wrong on Proposition 8, since he insists that the voters are always right?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 1, 2009 @ 12:44 pm - January 1, 2009

  28. the reason said companies are failing is because they can’t get credit because the banking system is teetering on collapse

    False. The reason said companies are failing is because they suck.

    Look at the automakers. They’re perfectly capable of continuing to operate after declaring bankruptcy. That’s what corporate bankruptcy is for. It gives you protection from creditors, so that you can use your cash to pay employees and costs as you *restructure the business* into something viable. There is no reason to bail out the automakers. Except: They don’t want to restructure. They don’t want the boat rocked. The people in charge want to stay in charge and be paid their full bonuses. And that includes the unions, who want to continue to be paid way more than their jobs are worth.

    Long story short: The automakers suck ass (except maybe Ford). And they want to continue as they are, without having to change. That’s what the bailouts are about.

    Same for brokerage houses. There is no reason whatsoever to bail out Goldman-Sachs, or any of them. They can also operate under bankruptcy protection. But a state of bankruptcy would imply boat rocking, lost bonuses, etc. They want bailouts instead.

    The banks are a more complicated area because of extra intense, complicated regulations involved, but the general principles would apply by extension. Bush-Bernanke-Obama are choosing techniques that keep the failures in power. That’s wrong.

    [Roosevelt’s] programs hurt SO much that the voters re-elected him in landslides in 1936 and again in 1940 and again in 1944

    And the voters were stupid enough to elect Obama in 2008. So what? That doesn’t change economic reality.

    Here’s what happened in the Great Depression. In WW1 and the early 1920s, the Fed expanded the money supply, setting off the Roaring 20s and a stock market bubble. Around 1928, they decided to cut back the money supply, producing a stock market crash in 1929. So far, so bad. The Fed shouldn’t have done either action, and the country would have to have a recession to pay for it. *But only a recession*.

    What made it a Depression? Hoover and the Congress raised taxes. And went protectionist as well, thus destroying international trade and especially hurting Europe. In the middle of a recession! The exact wrong things to do!

    Then Roosevelt came in. What’d he do? Raise taxes even more, and create business laws so fascistic that even the Supreme Court, at the height of the crisis, found them unconstitional. Business people were literally prosecuted and sent to jail for making a better product at a better price than their competitors! And what was the result of that? Unemployment stayed above 10% for NINE MORE YEARS under Roosevelt. That is the worst economic record in American history! That is nothing to brag about!

    Their verdict on FDR’s policies has always been very clear.

    So was the Germans’ verdict. Under Hoover and Roosevelt, the U.S. was the leader, first in destroying the international economy, then prolonging the crisis UNNECESSARILY for decades. The Germans responded, first by voting Hitler into power, then by enthusiastically supporting Hitler’s wars. I’ll pass on having a repeat, Erik. “Thanks but no thanks.”

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 1, 2009 @ 3:16 pm - January 1, 2009

  29. Aargh, “unconstitutional”.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 1, 2009 @ 3:22 pm - January 1, 2009

  30. In other words, Erik is totally comfortable that under FDR people were actually sent to prison for selling their products below the government mandated price. He’s comfortable that FDR’s abuses got so outrageous the Supreme Court had to step in and stop him. I have to presume Erik is also OK with the 83% taxation rates that prevailed under FDR.

    Now, like Obama, FDR had a slavishly devoted media cult to propagandize on his behalf. Unlike in FDR’s era, there now exists an alternative media. And as long as this media exists, it will be harder for Obama to hide the graft, corruption, and failures of his economic policies — no matter how hard Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann cheerlead for him.

    Second, in FDR’s Era, there was no alternative to his fascist, state-centralized economic policies because people didn’t know there were alternatives. People know about alternatives now, and there is a network of conservative organizations to put them out.

    Whether it will be enough to limit Chairman Zero’s damage to a single term, I can’t say. The people of Michigan and New Jersey idiotically return Democrats to power even as their state economies are devastated and corruption runs rampant.

    Comment by V the K — January 1, 2009 @ 3:22 pm - January 1, 2009

  31. considering how much the Republicans hate Social Security and the minimum wage

    I’m no Republican and never have been – which is why I feel so free to knock Bush 😉 – but yes, Erik, it has long been conclusively proven by economists that the higher the minimum wage goes, the more structural unemployment it causes. You care about people? Then for God’s sake Erik, start supporting some policies that will create jobs, not destroy them!

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 1, 2009 @ 3:24 pm - January 1, 2009

  32. And by the way Erik – did you know that Roosevelt explicitly promised the nation that Social Security accounts would one day be privatized?

    V and NDT – Our society has been so brainwashed about Roosevelt and the Depression, it’s ridiculous. I have to say the following again:

    Unemployment stayed above 10% for NINE MORE YEARS under Roosevelt. That is the worst economic record in American history.

    I have to say it again, because I only just ‘got it’. The Roosevelt Administration has the single worst economic record in American history. Hoover’s is right up there, because Hoover did so much damage in a single term, turning a stock market recession into a Depression. But, if Hoover had been re-elected in 1932, would his additional policies have been anything like Roosevelt’s? Would he have done Roosevelt’s additional damage, artifically prolonging the crisis nine more years? I’m beginning to question it.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 1, 2009 @ 3:37 pm - January 1, 2009

  33. I’d say Republicans are captains of their own fate. If they develop compelling alternatives to Obamunism, articulate them to voters in an attractive way, cut through the bias and hostility of the MSM, and better organize their grassroots, they will have a chance to recover. If not, they don’t deserve to recover.

    Comment by V the K — January 1, 2009 @ 3:51 pm - January 1, 2009

  34. Of course, considering how much the Republicans hate Social Security and the minimum wage,

    What’s to like about Socialist Stupidity? Please tell me what it is that I’m supposed to be so enamored about?

    It’s a Ponzi scheme of massive proportions. You saw what happened to the folks who gave Madoff money, can you imagine what it will look like when Socialist Stupidity goes to shit? You whimper about the people when it comes to letting banks and businesses fail, but you don’t seem to give a royal damn about the people who will be effected by the golden turd FDR laid on us. Why? Because you wouldn’t dare say a cross word about FDR. When you’re “retirement” plan goes south, are you going to sit around gushing about how great he was?

    I dare say that it’s the liberals who hate Socialist Stupidity. What’s more, they hate, they hate, they HATE the people who participate in it. They know it’s going to fail and they’ll do everything they can to prevent the failure just so they can keep the memory of a gimp in their spank bank.

    Privatization has been done. It’s been proven that it works. People who have done so have retired with far more money than they ever would have gotten from Uncle Sugar. But the liberals lied and used the fear card against Seasoned Citizens and killed any effort to actually let YOU do what you want with YOUR money. They told YOU that you’re too damn stupid to know what to do with it and you agreed with them. What’s more, you reward them by giving them your votes. What kind of self loathing does that take?

    I’m supposed to believe that gay conservatives hate themselves. Well, the liberals tell you on a daily basis how stupid you are and show nothing but contempt for you and yet there you are with your lips clamped firmly to their sack. We at least stow the gear necessary to criticize our own when necessary.

    BTW, one would have a much easier time proving that FDR lied us into a war than proving Bush did.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 2, 2009 @ 1:49 am - January 2, 2009

  35. Of course, considering how much the Republicans hate Social Security and the minimum wage.

    Is this another way of saying Democrats love confiscating money from people, telling them its for their “retirement” when in fact they dispense it as part of the General Fund, and the whole scheme is going to bankrupt long before the current generation can collect it? Is that the kind of thing Erik cheers for?

    And the minimum wage — So, Erik likes having the government dictate to business what they have to pay employees, as well as who they can hire and fire, regardless of employee competence or value for services rendered?

    And the people who put together these schemes are now the super-geniuses who will run the economy.

    Comment by V the K — January 2, 2009 @ 10:47 am - January 2, 2009

  36. Speaking of Ponzi schemes like our current Social Security… and of things that the media won’t tell you… Bernie Madoff is a Democrat. He’s been a significant donor to the Democratic Party all this time. Coincidence?

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 2, 2009 @ 11:05 am - January 2, 2009

  37. Social Security has been privatized for ten years in Chile and their accounts have grown at an annual rate of 10% or more per annum. The last two center left regimes have had inclination to nationalize it because it frees up revenues for other programs. If President Bush had used this as a model he might have had better success in selling the idea.

    As for the Great Depression, it ended on December 7, 1941. With the draft already in place, it was the start of reducing unemployment. Two issues that should have been investigated, is why the CIC, FDR, ordered the entire Pacific Fleet to be docked at the same time and the same port, Pearl Harbor and why did he order the Secretary of the Navy to be out of town on Sunday December 7th?

    Comment by Roberto — January 2, 2009 @ 11:59 am - January 2, 2009

  38. What liberals don’t get is this: if you start working at age 22 with a salary of 25k and put aside 10% of your money per year, by the age of 70, you would have a nest egg of $120,000. Thanks to the miracle of compounding interest, if it were invested at a mere 3% (roughly equivalent to an average bank CD), that would be $279,182.

    The average worker benefit from Social Security, for which you and your employer have paid in 12.5% per year, is $1,153 per month, or $13,836 per year, with the expectation that you’re only going to live seven more years — which means that, having given the government $3,125 per year for 48 years for a total of $150,000, it expects to only have to pay you $96,852.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 2, 2009 @ 12:31 pm - January 2, 2009

  39. While you’re trying to figure out what’s so great about Socialist Stupidity, Erik, perhaps you can come up with the rate of return on it.

    Or is Socialist Stupidity a good deal because, without it, lord BJ couldn’t have invented a proposed budget surplus????

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 2, 2009 @ 1:33 pm - January 2, 2009

  40. We should also not overlook that in the FDR area, the global economy was not nearly so integrated, and the protectionism of that era lengthened and worsened the Depression. Currently, the USA has the second highest corporate tax rate in the world. Chairman 0 wants to push it even higher. It will be much tougher for America to spend and tax itself out of recession when even Sweden has a lower corporate tax rate.

    Comment by V the K — January 3, 2009 @ 11:28 am - January 3, 2009

  41. […] Where the GOP is Could Be Better off than the Democrats […]

    Pingback by Thought Cloud For January 3, 2009 : ETC: Everyday Thoughts Collected — January 3, 2009 @ 1:01 pm - January 3, 2009

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