Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Nothing given, nothing gained



There is dignity in all work. There is nothing shameful about working at McDonald's. However it is shameful to think that the President of the United States should force your employer to give you something extra without you doing anything for it.

There is shame in begging the leader of the free world for benefits. There is shame in claiming that you "can't find something better" and assuming that you will never move up without someone giving you a handout.

What is it, in a few words, that all Republicans believe? We believe - along with millions of Democrats and Independents - that a government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.

-Gerald Ford

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Miglavs,

Shut the fuck up!

Republicans were in power when this financial crisis developed. Do you not understand that? Government is the only entity that can get us out of it.

Given that you are spewing only stale conservative fiscal ideology - and we can clearly see how well that has worked out - why don't you sit this one out, genius.

Anonymous said...

All the Republicans who have hollered and cried about having faith in the market these last few months ought to be laughed out of the room. The market, fully aided and abetted by the government, has FAILED billions of people around the world, and will fail many more before this is all over. And as for your attempt to appear distinguished and above the fray by quoting Gerald Ford, Miglavs, cut the crap: If Ford were alive today, you and the Limbaughs of the nation would be flaying him as a liberal. Pull your head out already and fucking THINK for a goddamned change, Miglavs.

DAVE01 said...

Anon 7:13
You need to remember, Jimmy Carter started the CRA. Clinton put it on steroids in 1999. The idiot Bush and other Republicans were reaching across the aisle and being nice to the Democrats. They should have stomped on them for this crap. Here is a video you should watch.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MGT_cSi7Rs

You state that government is the only entity that can get us out of it. I'm not saying that the Republicans are not without fault. However, the Democrats were really pushing for banks to give loans to people (including a lot of criminal aliens) who could not afford them. They were buying votes. You now want the government to fix the problem. They are the problem. Banks would never have given these loans if they were not forced to. The democrats stopped any regulation or oversight of this crap.

Our founding fathers were against large governments. Our government needs to be trimmed down by a large percent.


After you watch this video, report back what you observed.

Why don't you sit this out genius!

OregonGuy said...

Attempt to fix social security? Fail. Reason? Democrats.

Attempt to fix Fannie and Freddy? Fail. Reason? Democrats.

It's nice to point fingers at Republicans. Only thing is, a simple majority in the Senate is not enough to pass legislation. Maybe you knew this. Maybe not. No matter. You know now.

Did Democrats oppose fixing SS and FM/FM? Yes. And in sufficient numbers to protect their pet projects. Who is to blame?

Ta-da! Democrats. (Nice try, though.)
.

Anonymous said...

fact

Liberals suck

Stevie said...

I always enjoy the irony of Republicans moaning about big government.

Our national debt is almost $11 trillion. Almost $8 trillion of that debt was created under only two Presidents…both Republicans (Reagan and G.W. Bush). Moreover, between 2000 and 2006, when Republicans controlled both the Executive and Legislative branches of government, they gave us the first new big government bureaucracy in 30 years, and the first new big government entitlement program in 40 years.

You’d think these FACTS would inform the argument, and would have right-wingers engaging in a little less hypocritical finger-pointing. But nah. As long as they think they can get political mileage out of blaming OTHER people for the current size of government, they’ll conveniently forget their own significant culpability in the matter as they wag their fingers in shame. And in this circumstance, “personal responsibility” becomes yet another thing that Republicans preach, but don’t particularly seem to believe in as it applies to them.

No wonder Republicans have become so discredited in recent years. You can only be hypocritical and lack personal responsibility for so long before people catch on to it. And that’s what happened in the last election. The electorate realized that, in practice at least, the Republicans don’t actually believe in the things they claim to believe in. Including and especially the size of government. ‘Cause the fact of the matter is this: Republicans have absolutely no problem with a big government…but only as long as THEY’RE the ones in charge of it! And as soon as they lose that power, they somehow all of a sudden remember that they’re actually against large government.

How terribly convenient!

God, it’s mind-boggling how a mere eight years of embarrassing Republican “leadership” can set an entire political movement like conservatism back at least 30 years!

Anonymous said...

Dave01 - without a doubt Fannie and Freddie shouldn't have been giving those loans. HOWEVER, we would not be in the crisis we are in had large investment banks not bundled those mortgage debts with other securities. THAT is far and away the major source of the current crisis. In essence, investment banks started betting on whether people would be able to pay their mortgages and selling those bets. That used to be illegal. From 2000 to 2006, Republicans were in control of congress and the white house. This shit was going on during that time and there was no oversight.

Hey OregonGuy, are you fucking kidding me? Bush wanted to "reform" social security by putting it in the stock market. Could you fucking imagine how that would have turned out? Good lord, get a clue.

But, I really think we should all listen to Obama when he says that pointing partisan fingers is absolutely pointless right now. Can someone answer me this though: what IDEAS have the Republicans offered with respect to stimulating the economy? The only "ideas" that I've heard voiced are more tax cuts. I don't get it. The theory is that when you cut taxes, employers hire more workers. But Bush and 2000-2006 congress cut taxes, and what happened? We lost jobs during that period!

Stevie's right. Republican rhetoric is empty. Nothing is a better indicator of the utter lack of merit in their economic ideology than the last eight years. Maybe it's time for the Republicans to come up with some new ideas.

DAVE01 said...

ANON 11:04 AM
You said:
I really think we should all listen to Obama when he says that pointing partisan fingers is absolutely pointless right now.

I disagree. With the democrats controlling congress and the white house, we have the people who caused a lot of this mess still in charge. They need to be pointed out. If we do no do this, they will still be there fucking up our country for many years. Those shithead need to be fired (voted out) hopefully. I doubt it though. Too many lazy and apathetic Americans. Yes, Bush ran up the debt. However, under his tax cuts, the government has 20% higher revenues than clinton had. The big problem was that congress wrote larger bills (checks) and bush signed them. It was congress that could not control their spending and bush did not veto any of them. That pisses off a lot of us conservatives.

Don't forget the shortest recession that began the last six months of clinton's term. Since Obama is now the president, the job losses are his to claim now. Bush took over in 2001, so if there were job losses in 2000 as you said, that was clinton's fault.

We Republicans have had a hard time finding good conservatives. We keep getting democrats lite. Obviously, they are not working out. Hell, most of us Americans are against this porkulas package and we still are going to get it. The fucking senate won't even put E-verify in it so only Americans or legal aliens can get those jobs. They keep crying about American jobs and then won't do shit to make sure Americans get those jobs.

We did over one trillion of bailouts and stimulus's last year, has any of that helped? No! So congress and the new president will keep throwing trillions more down the hole. Most of the stimulus is not for job creation.
It is pork. How about our government stop spending so much. That would be a novel idea.

Stevie said...

Anon 11:04, you touched upon something that our right-wing friends either don’t understand, or don’t want to understand.

It is true that the standards for Fannie/Freddie-backed loans should not have been relaxed in the 1990’s. But as you correctly point out, that problem was small potatoes compared to what Wall Street then did with those loans. With Republican help between the years 2003 and 2006, Wall Street took those loans and turned them into CDO’s (Collateralized Debt Obligations). No less than Warren Buffet has called CDO’s “financial weapons of mass destruction”, because these investment vehicles create no residual risk for the ever-increasing (and less visible) layers of ownership. These CDO’s use extremely high levels of leverage with no clear owners of the risk, which is an absolute recipe for disaster. Packaging mortgage-backed securities into CDO’s used to be illegal, until the Bush Administration caved into finance industry lobbyists in 2003 and allowed the practice.

Had the story ended with the Democrats in the 1990’s, you’d have some underperforming loans right now that would have been properly marked to market and disposed of. It would not have caused any real systemic damage to the banking system, because the owners of that debt would have been readily identifiable. But when Republican deregulation in 2003 turned these loans into three-headed CDO monsters, THAT’S when the real problems were created.

Republicans don’t want you to know this however, because it contradicts their incorrect version of events wherein Democrats are entirely responsible for the mess. They don’t mention the REAL problem (CDO’s), because they know that the REAL problem is traced directly back to them and their deregulation of the CDO market.

Luckily, the public “gets it”. The public may not understand all the moving parts, but they get the big picture: that the GOP can’t be trusted in any matter related to the regulation of Wall Street finance. It really is a case of the fox guarding the hen house.

Anonymous said...

Dave,

Our economy lost jobs under Bush's watch. That's a fact, and for me, serves as a pretty good indicator that tax cuts don't create jobs as Republicans are STILL claiming.

"Most of the stimulus is not for job creation.
It is pork. How about our government stop spending so much. That would be a novel idea."

This is all I hear, but no one ever expalains why the stimulus package does not create jobs. It seems pretty clear that it will indeed create jobs.

It's a financial crisis. Everyone agrees that the government is going to have to spend a shit-ton of money to get the markets going again, that doing nothing is not an option, and that spending too little is far riskier at this point than spending too much. If you don't like the package, then why? How would you change it so that it would be more likely to get the markets going again? CAN YOU PROPOSE ANYTHING IN ITS STEAD?

The main problem republicans seem to have is an inability to answer these questions with anything other than "tax cuts". Why would we try something that hasn't seemed to work over the last eight years? People didn't use their tax cuts to spend money and hire other people. They saved it, paid of debts, and generally lost it in the stock market.

Republicans are going to piss and moan about anything Obama does because he's a democrat. But I fail to see any substance in their criticisms. Maybe you can clarify that for me, Dave.

Scottiebill said...

Dave is absolutely right about Carter and Clinton starting and enhancing the CRA. And Bush did little to steer away from it.

The Dumocrats seem to be winning in getting this porkulus package passed and on Komrade Zero's desk, likely by the end of this week.

Then they will be heralded as being successful in getting this abomination through. The Dms need to remember that the secret to success is knowing who to blame for their failures. Right now, and for the nest few years, their patsy is and will continue to be President Bush.

As for Congress and the Reid/Pelosi cabal of anarchists, none of them are as dumb as all of them.

Anonymous said...

scottiebill,

thanks for demonstrating my point that conservatives have little of substance to say in criticizing the stimulus package. more of the same, pork this, anarchist this, commie that. There's no there, there.

Bobkatt said...

It's just a grab bag of every spending proposal that s been banging around Congress for years, the chief executive of Forbes Inc. told Bloomberg TV.

They just threw in everything. There's no coherence, no real strategy. There are some good parts stimulus for small businesses to invest, the electric grid. But even there, they didn't really follow through.

What does Forbes recommend instead?

If you want sustained economic growth, you need incentives, he explains.

If you want to throw around a lot of money, they should have reduced the payroll tax in half for two years.

The benefit of that is that it gets money instantly into people s hands, Forbes said. If you're low income, you have to wait until next year before you get money from this thing.

And a payroll tax would instantly cut hiring expenses, making businesses more eager to expand their workforce.

Forbes also favors a business tax cut. The U.S. has the second-highest business tax rate in the developed world, he explains.

Why not cut that from 35 percent to 20 percent? That's the way to have businesses plan for the future.
Forbes isn't the only one criticizing the stimulus plan.

The fiscal package now before Congress needs to be thoroughly revised, Harvard economist Martin Feldstein wrote in The Washington Post.

In its current form, it does too little to raise national spending and employment.

Anonymous said...

If the guy in that video had been that animated and loud while questioning George Bush, no fewer than 8 cops and security guards would have slammed his ass to the ground, pepper-maced him, and hauled him off to jail in cuffs. (And Miglavs would have applauded and giggled like a little girl).

Bobkatt said...

I think you are confusing George Bush with the John Kerry speech. "Don't tase me Bro."

OregonGuy said...

In seven to nine years, social security payments will exceed the amount of money collected by the social security tax.

True or false?

It's just one, huge, ticking fiscal timebomb.

On a separate track, state guarantees to public employee pensions will be blowing up state budgets.

Who did this? Yeppers. Republicans. You've convinced me. (Laughs out loud.)

Had social security privatization occured, the uproar over the current market abuses performed by the likes of Barney Frank would have forced Democrats to come up with a plan that allows markets to work. Instead, we have the same mythical "problems"--greed and capitalism--and the same "cures"--more government spending.

It has been said that everyone has an opinion. It's never been asserted that everyone has received a reasonable facsimile of an education. Or, as exhibited here so forcefully, long-term memory. Even less, a job.
.

Anonymous said...

wow some of you people just don't get it . even nobamas own economic advisers have said that if we do nothing , thats NOTHING the problem woul;d correct it self so ehy then spend 900 plus billion dollars . I forgot this is pay back for voting for them . Lets see how many more votes they buy for the next election!

Anonymous said...

Anon 939 - do you live in a cave?

Here's a Republican's view of the situation:

How We Can Restore Confidence

By Charles T. Munger
Wednesday, February 11, 2009; A19



Our situation is dire. Moderate booms and busts are inevitable in free-market capitalism. But a boom-bust cycle as gross as the one that caused our present misery is dangerous, and recurrences should be prevented. The country is understandably depressed -- mired in issues involving fiscal stimulus, which is needed, and improvements in bank strength. A key question: Should we opt for even more pain now to gain a better future? For instance, should we create new controls to stamp out much sin and folly and thus dampen future booms? The answer is yes.

Sensible reform cannot avoid causing significant pain, which is worth enduring to gain extra safety and more exemplary conduct. And only when there is strong public revulsion, such as exists today, can legislators minimize the influence of powerful special interests enough to bring about needed revisions in law.

Many contributors to our over-the-top boom, which led to the gross bust, are known. They include insufficient controls over morality and prudence in banks and investment banks; undesirable conduct among investment banks; greatly expanded financial leverage, aided by direct or implied use of government credit; and extreme excess, sometimes amounting to fraud, in the promotion of consumer credit. Unsound accounting was widespread.

There was also great excess in highly leveraged speculation of all kinds. Perhaps real estate speculation did the most damage. But the new trading in derivative contracts involving corporate bonds took the prize. This system, in which completely unrelated entities bet trillions with virtually no regulation, created two things: a gambling facility that mimicked the 1920s "bucket shops" wherein bookie-customer types could bet on security prices, instead of horse races, with almost no one owning any securities, and, second, a large group of entities that had an intense desire that certain companies should fail. Croupier types pushed this system, assisted by academics who should have known better. Unfortunately, they convinced regulators that denizens of our financial system would use the new speculative opportunities without causing more harm than benefit.

Considering the huge profit potential of these activities, it may seem unlikely that any important opposition to reform would come from parties other than conventional, moneyed special interests. But many in academia, too, will resist. It is important that reform plans mix moral and accounting concepts with traditional economic concepts. Many economists take fierce pride in opposing that sort of mixed reasoning. But what these economists like to think about is functionally intertwined, in complex ways, with what they don't like to think about. Those who resist the wider thinking are acting as engineers would if they rounded pi from 3.14 to an even 3 to simplify their calculations. The result is a kind of willful ignorance that fails to understand much that is important.

Moreover, rationality in the current situation requires even more stretch in economic thinking. Public deliberations should include not only private morality and accounting issues but also issues of public morality, particularly with regard to taxation. The United States has long run large, concurrent trade and fiscal deficits while, to its own great advantage, issuing the main reserve currency of a deeply troubled and deeply interdependent world. That world now faces new risks from an expanding group of nations possessing nuclear weapons. And so the United States may now have a duty similar to the one that, in the danger that followed World War II, caused the Marshall Plan to be approved in a bipartisan consensus and rebuild a devastated Europe.

The consensus was grounded in Secretary of State George Marshall's concept of moral duty, supplemented by prudential considerations. The modern form of this duty would demand at least some increase in conventional taxes or the imposition of some new consumption taxes. In so doing, the needed and cheering economic message, "We will do what it takes," would get a corollary: "and without unacceptably devaluing our money." Surely the more complex message is more responsible, considering that, first, our practices of running twin deficits depend on drawing from reserves of trust that are not infinite and, second, the message of the corollary would not be widely believed unless it was accompanied by some new taxes.

Moreover, increasing taxes in some instances might easily gain bipartisan approval. Surely both political parties can now join in taxing the "carry" part of the compensation of hedge fund managers as if it was more constructively earned in, say, cab driving.

Much has been said and written recently about bipartisanship, and success in a bipartisan approach might provide great advantage here. Indeed, it is conceivable that, if legislation were adopted in a bipartisan way, instead of as a consequence of partisan hatred, the solutions that curbed excess and improved safeguards in our financial system could reduce national pain instead of increasing it. After the failure of so much that was assumed, the public needs a restoration of confidence. And the surest way to gain the confidence of others is to deserve the confidence of others, as Marshall did when he helped cause passage of some of the best legislation ever enacted.

Creating in a bipartisan manner a legislative package that covers many subjects will be difficult. As they work together in the coming weeks, officials might want to consider a precedent that helped establish our republic. The deliberative rules of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 worked wonders in fruitful compromise and eventually produced the U.S. Constitution. With no Marshall figure, trusted by all, amid today's legislators, perhaps the Founding Fathers can once more serve us.

The writer, a Republican, is vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which owns 21 percent of The Washington Post Co.'s common stock.

Scottiebill said...

Anon 1:06, Everyone has the right to be stupid, but you are really abusing the privilege.

If you would take the time and effort to go back into history, at least going back before Komrade Zero was elected, you might learn that the Carter and Clinton administrations were very largely responsible for the mess we are in today.

Democrat politics are the strife of interests masquerading as principles. Facts do not cease to exist just because you choose to ignore them.

Anonymous said...

Scottie,

I don't choose to ignore them. My reading of history shows that shit hit the fan during the W years. He has the worst record with respect to job creation of any president since Hoover, for crying out loud.

You talk alot, but rarely say much of anything, and assert your opinions as if they were facts.

My understanding of reading people who focus on the facts is that this financial mess is largely the result of investment banks gone wild. That is to say, better regulation could have prevented this.

If you are a Republican, then you are a member of a party that still clings to the credo of deregulated markets as the best way to fly. You cannot deny that. All you can deny as that unregulated financial markets are responsible for this crisis. And if that's your position, then I think you're going to be hard-pressed to find a respected economic mind, liberal or conservative, who will agree with you.

Scottiebill said...

Anon 2:16: You are right about the shit hitting the fan during Bush's two terms in office. But the shit was well on its way to the fan during the Carter and Clinton years.

Anonymous said...

Clinton created a shitload of jobs and handed W a budget surplus. Too bad he caved to the Republican congress and deregulated the shit out of the financial markets.

Anonymous said...

Scottie -- Reagan is curiously absent from your list. We can thank him too. The single most pivotal occurance that brings us to the disastrous situation we currently find ourselves in: Ronald Reagan lifted the law banning banks from selling thier mortgages. A law put in place during the depression for the sole purpose of preventing another real-estate driven depression.