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On Economy, Obama Promises More of the Same

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 1:33 pm - January 9, 2009.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Economy,Obama Watch

It doesn’t seem that the incoming Democratic president is making much of the opportunity the outgoing Republican president gave him to reshape the political landscape, with the Democrats becoming the party of fiscal discipline.

As the Washington Post‘s Chris Civilizza put this morning in the paper’s blog, Obama Bets Big on Big Government.  “Only government,” the president-elect said, “can break the vicious cycles that are crippling our economy — where a lack of spending leads to lost jobs which leads to even less spending.”

Oh, really?

Where has he been these past eight years, the eight years he so sucessfully ran against in his presidential campaign?  Does he think the trillion dollar deficits which, he warns, will become “a reality for years to come” happened because the federal government didn’t spend enough?

It seems that Obama’s economic policy is not merely an extension of the policies of the Republican president he promised to change, but an attempt to dress up those policies as some kind of noble stimulative endeavor.

On domestic issues at least, instead of change from the last eight years, we’ll be getting more of the same.  Let’s call Obama’s stimulus what it is, Bush’s economic policies with a face more friendly to the MSM. And a larger price tag.



  1. The economy is in the tank. (7.2% yikes!) You would be hard pressed to find many serious economic folks who think deficit spending is bad during such times. Whereas Bush and his republican pals say “deficits don’t matter” when times are good.

    That’s a big difference dontcha think?

    Comment by gillie — January 9, 2009 @ 1:48 pm - January 9, 2009

  2. Um, gillie, not all Republicans agree with the notion that deficits don’t matter. And anyway, what does your comment have to do with my post? I said Obama is offering more of the Bush policy of ever-increasing levels of domestic spending.

    So, if the economy is indeed in the tank, then shouldn’t one ask if maybe, just maybe those increased federal outlays and higher deficits had something to do with it?

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — January 9, 2009 @ 1:55 pm - January 9, 2009

  3. Add to that the fact that Obama, idiot that he is, is demonstrating the basic problem; he thinks that government is the only means of generating wealth or doing anything productive.

    This shows you how delusional Obama is. Government does exactly one thing — take money from one person who earns it, take a percentage cut off the top for its expenses, and send it to someone else. Right off the bat, the return on my investment is negative. When you have someone like Obama who’s going to take this money and give it to people who don’t work, there is no value added whatsoever to it.

    In contrast, if I am allowed to keep my money and invest it, I’m going to put it somewhere that it earns value for me — either by lending it to a bank who can then lend it to others, or to a company who can use it to finance their products and operations.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 9, 2009 @ 2:09 pm - January 9, 2009

  4. Meanwhile, to answer gillie’s remark, Republican deficit spending tends to be primarily for reducing the tax burden on individuals and businesses.

    When government decreases the tax burden on individuals and businesses who are actually making money, that reduces their expenses, allowing them to spend more, hire more, and produce more for lower cost. In contrast, Obama wants to increase the tax burden on individuals and businesses who are actually making money, thus increasing their expenses and forcing them to cut spending, hiring, and production, so that he can give away free money to people who do not produce and never paid taxes in the first place.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 9, 2009 @ 2:12 pm - January 9, 2009

  5. The crisis isn’t nearly as bad as the early 80s Carter disaster, because we don’t have stagflation and high interest rates on top of everything else… at least, not yet. Printing trillions of dollars in welfare money to fund Obama’s socialist paradise will definitely kick inflation into high gear and further undermine the value of the dollar… so it won’t be long before we’re back to Jimmy Carter Land and Obama’s doom and gloom prediction about the future will actually become reality. Oh, well… at least we will be in a position for a Republican realignment..

    Comment by Elephant in the Room — January 9, 2009 @ 2:14 pm - January 9, 2009

  6. And to wrap up, if gillie and his leftist Democrat Party want to truly give money to people who do not work and who refuse to produce, just as Obama demands, they can do it themselves and actually save money on administrative expenses by cutting out the government middleman.

    I propose that the government enact an immediate tax on Democrat Party members of 100% for any income over $250k, with the proceeds to be used to provide free healthcare, mortgage, and welfare payments to Democrat Party voters who make less than $250k to bring them up to $250k — without any stipulation that they work, educate themselves, or spend responsibly.

    That will nicely close the loop on the Democrat Party, let them implement their socialist theories, let them protect their welfare addicts, and leave the rest of us alone.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 9, 2009 @ 2:17 pm - January 9, 2009

  7. Therein lies the problem. The policies of the Bush administration. Especially with the financial services bailout/rescue. But, I think the reason President Bush and company acted rashly was all about Hurricane Katrina. The fact that everyone seems to have blamed President Bush as if he could have stood on the Gulf of Mexico and sent the hurricane some place else. The people of New Orleans were dumb enough to re-elect the incompetent mayor, Ray Nagin. Yet, it was all W’s fault. Now, President Bush has been crazed to show he cares and has to “do something” about the current recession. And he opened the door for what we are going to get with President-elect Obama. Hope and change, baby! Hope and change!

    Comment by Mark J. Goluskin — January 9, 2009 @ 3:20 pm - January 9, 2009

  8. Have you looked at the economic forecasts for the next two years? 10% unemployment. Negative or Zero GDP growth. Federal deficits at post-war records, and maybe exceeding wartime records?

    The Democrats always wanted us to have a European-style socialized economy and, hoo boy, are we ever going to get one.

    Comment by V the K — January 9, 2009 @ 3:31 pm - January 9, 2009

  9. And that’s even before job-killing environmental regulations come down from the Carol Browner EPA.

    Comment by V the K — January 9, 2009 @ 3:32 pm - January 9, 2009

  10. All the people who attacked Bush for $400B deficits are going to look silly trying to rationalize the trillion dollar deficits to come.

    How long before corporate bailouts are in the form of Monopoly money?

    Comment by Attmay — January 9, 2009 @ 5:40 pm - January 9, 2009

  11. #5- EITR, you’re assuming the Republican Party hasn’t already done a McCainite “Realignment”… to the same side as the Democrats.

    Comment by DaveP. — January 9, 2009 @ 5:44 pm - January 9, 2009

  12. DaveP, I have no doubt that the soft core Democrat policies embraced by Republicans for the past eight years have done damage to the party and to the country… which is why I am hoping the Republicans finally get back to their Reaganite roots and Just Say No to every single piece of big government legislation the Lefties try to shove down out throats. But I won’t hold my breath waiting on McCain to do the right thing, that’s for sure…

    Comment by Elephant in the Room — January 9, 2009 @ 6:36 pm - January 9, 2009

  13. I don’t think a realignment goes far enough.

    No one’s gonna listen to me, but with the GOP needs to do is take out a clean sheet of paper and start over. Instead of picking which old model to use, they should go in and write a new constitution for themselves. Make a list of every challenge facing the country and come up with a new solution, instead of recycling an old solution. I’d even give the RuPaulians a say, if they brought good ideas to the table.

    They should rechristen themselves the New Republican Party, and brand themselves as the Party of Solutions (‘Solutions’ being a much more substantial word than ‘hope’ or ‘change.’)

    But, they’ll probably just muck around, dither, and wait for the democrats to stumble.

    Comment by V the K — January 9, 2009 @ 6:43 pm - January 9, 2009

  14. Let’s call Obama’s stimulus what it is, Bush’s economic policies with a face more friendly to the MSM. And a larger price tag.

    I agree with your larger point, and by no means approve of Bush’s response to the economic meltdown, but lets make an important distinction, the bailout fiasco Bush and congress passed was aimed at the major lending institutions that most economists, even though I disagree, seemed to believe was essential to rescue.

    Obama’s Jillion dollar obamination is focused primarily on make-work jobs and passing as much of the Democrat agenda as possible under the guise of “urgent financial rescue” and a whole hell of a lot of fear mongering. Yet, I am still waiting for Obama to explain why tennis courts, national pre school and television converters are necessary to save the economy.

    Comment by American Elephant — January 9, 2009 @ 8:23 pm - January 9, 2009

  15. DaveP, EITR, I would suggest that realignment is insufficient. The GOP should start over. Get out a clean sheet of paper, come up with a set of solutions to all of our country’s challenges. Re-christen itself ‘The New Republican Party.’ Brand itself as ‘the party of s-o-l-u-t-i-o-n-s that work.’

    Comment by V the K — January 9, 2009 @ 8:45 pm - January 9, 2009

  16. Off-Topic, but what do Detroit, Baltimore, and Illinois have in common?

    The Democrat Chief Executives of all three are officially crooks.

    (And at least one was praised by PEBO as an “outstanding” mayor.)

    Comment by V the K — January 9, 2009 @ 10:11 pm - January 9, 2009

  17. “We are from the government and we are here to save the economy.” Yikes!!!!

    Einstein said: “Things should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” It sure looks like Obama has gone crazy for fattening the economy on pork.

    We have the largest decline in employment in the retail sector since WWII. Do you know why? Businesses are drawing down on expenses in order to survive. Do you suppose that the California government is laying off a single worker? Not possible.

    It is a terrible thing to be a “marginal” employee. But every person with the least concept of the market should understand that when the economy constricts unemployment follows. Just how you go from making lattes to building bridges is curious to me. Oh, sure, a certain number of bridge builders may buy lattes as long as your shop is the closest one.

    We are on the cusp of the biggest whirlwind of socialist spending since FDR. It will rip through the economy in micro seconds and have minimal positive affect.

    Most of us got creamed by the Freddie/Fannie bubble. Now we are carefully deciding how we will proceed. New car, remodeling, big vacation, etc. are not just on hold, we are not considering them. Obama promises a $1000 tax credit in his first budget which will kick in October of 2010. Remember when Bush”s tax rebate was snorted at as being no more than a new muffler for your Lexus?

    The fact is, recessions cure themselves by the invisible hand doing the cutting and the aiding. The bright guys who want to rush in with scrip and deficit dollars are on a fools errand and they will only succeed in dragging out the recovery while sinking us further into eternal debt.

    We are in for radical chemo therapy conducted by the cast of Young Frankenstein. Think Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi as leading the cast.

    Comment by heliotrope — January 10, 2009 @ 8:18 am - January 10, 2009

  18. Obamunism: The economic philosophy of spending the maximum amount of dollars to achieve the minimum amount of benefits: Practiced by a president who outspent his opponent 5-to-1 and still managed only a six-point margin of victory.

    There is only one possible endgame to all this debt the Democrats are racking up: Default. The Six or Eight Trillion Obama proposes in deficit spending his first term is never going to be repaid.

    Comment by V the K — January 10, 2009 @ 10:59 am - January 10, 2009

  19. V – agreed – and the sooner (after Jan. 20) our creditors realize they aren’t going to be repaid, and force the default, the better we’ll all recover in the long run.

    Let’s call Obama’s stimulus what it is, Bush’s economic policies with a face more friendly to the MSM. And a larger price tag.

    A silver lining in all this, and an opportunity for Republicans (if they are smart enough to seize it), is that our nation’s ruinous Big-Spending-Bailout policies are finally going to have the Democratic face they deserve.

    Take this recent GP thread:
    The left-liberal commentor (Erik) took implicit moral ownership of Bush’s spending and bailouts. He put himself in a position of defending them. Because he knows they’re Obama’s policy and philosophy, and he wants maneuvering room for Obama.

    So, when the default (or hyperinflation) comes, reflecting 8 decades of Democrat-socialist philosophy (that Republicans like Bush went along with cravenly), Democrats will finally own it.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 10, 2009 @ 11:24 am - January 10, 2009

  20. P.S. Of course, Obama could always handle the default/hyperinflation by reading _Atlas Shrugged_, having a massive awakening and returning the U.S. to laissez-faire capitalism under small government and a gold standard. LOL. Well, power to him, if he does.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 10, 2009 @ 11:43 am - January 10, 2009

  21. At some point in, oh, about 2 years the economy, like a very large ocean liner, will turn for the better. (It will have taken on a bit more water, but what the hey?) Then Obama will point to the increased bank lending (because to remain in business, the banks will not be able to hold out any longer), the resultant relaxation of credit, the increased spending due to the many months of pent-up consumer demand from those whose savings weren’t wiped out in the real estate and finance bubbles, the increase in home values, the momentary reduction in the trade imbalance, etc. and say “Our policies of increased spending and placing a higher burden on the wealthy have worked. It is finished.” And the media, who will have been talking up the economy since around January 20th, will swoon and the people will swoon and unemployment will fall and history will be written that Democratic policy is more economically successful than Republican.

    Comment by Ignatius — January 10, 2009 @ 2:39 pm - January 10, 2009

  22. No. First of all, the economy will turn better sooner than that. (Oh, about 2010; perhaps even as soon as the second half of 2009.) Second, at some point after or concurrent with that, inflation will kick in – and/or our creditors will realize they’re never going to be paid, and will stop lending us additional trillions.

    The end game is Argentinian-style hyperinflation, sometime before the Obama years run out. I think by 2012; but if not, then certainly Obama is re-elected – and it happens by 2016. Either that, or Obama surprises us all by radically turning the ship around, as in my P.S. at #19; in which case he will deserve great credit. But I doubt he’ll do that.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 10, 2009 @ 2:59 pm - January 10, 2009

  23. Disagree with your predictions there, Iggy – reply caught in spamfilter.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 10, 2009 @ 3:11 pm - January 10, 2009

  24. It strikes me that there is certain language that is absent when Chairman 0 talks about the economy. Before, politicians would always speak of a “return to prosperity.” We’re not hearing that from Obama.

    I add that, to a line that jumped out at me from This AP article.

    If Congress fails to enact a big economic recovery plan, Obama’s advisers estimated that an additional 3 million to 4 million jobs will disappear before the recession ends. Obama’s team also noted that with or without the plan, the jobless rate by 2014 would be the same.

    Basically, they are admitting that all this spending will have no effect on unemployment. It will only increase the debt. Which begs the question of why spend it in the first place.

    I write in more detail at the serious blog.

    Comment by V the K — January 10, 2009 @ 3:42 pm - January 10, 2009

  25. So, when the default (or hyperinflation) comes, reflecting 8 decades of Democrat-socialist philosophy (that Republicans like Bush went along with cravenly), Democrats will finally own it.

    Dont underestimate the power of Democrats and their minions in the media and academia to blame Republicans. Just because The fact that Democrats control everything is but a trifling detail. Republicans may gain control of one or both houses by then, but even if they dont, theres always Bush, corporations, and Republican obstruction to blame.

    Comment by American Elephant — January 11, 2009 @ 7:12 am - January 11, 2009

  26. Just because The fact that

    oops, i really hate it when I begin writing one sentence, change my mind, then leave part of the original behind.

    Comment by American Elephant — January 11, 2009 @ 7:15 am - January 11, 2009

  27. Dont underestimate the power of Democrats and their minions in the media and academia to blame Republicans…

    It’s up to Republicans / economic conservatives to get their stuff together and put a different, more plausible story out there.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 11, 2009 @ 11:12 am - January 11, 2009

  28. As for when Obama gets his economic honeymoon: I’m seeing an increasing number of articles to the effect that auto sales (U.S. and worldwide) have already bottomed, and may recover as soon as 1Q09.

    I say again: Obama will enjoy a wonderful little period of seeming recovery and loud hosannas from the media – sooner, rather than later – followed by “the 1970s on steroids”. Keynesianism / “stimulus” policies are the economic equivalent of methamphetamines: they only work in the short run, while multiplying your long-run problems. And we’ve already been on meth, like, 8 decades.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 11, 2009 @ 11:36 am - January 11, 2009

  29. #16 – “We are in for radical chemo therapy conducted by the cast of Young Frankenstein. Think Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi as leading the cast.”

    I can picture Botox Nancy as Frau Blucher (horse whinny) with no problem. That woman would give Bela Lugosi the creeps.

    But who would Barney “Banking Queen” Frank be? Certainly not Dr. Frankenstein – more like Dr. Frank ‘N’ Furter from the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” in my opinion.

    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — January 12, 2009 @ 1:08 pm - January 12, 2009

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