Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I think we'd agree

I think we'd agree that the current economic situation is less-than-desirable. It's the worst economy that the US has seen since Jimmy Carter's presidency.

If history is such a great teacher, maybe we should look at the state of things when President Reagan took office compared to when Obama took office. In 1981, we were suffering from numerous years of double-digit inflation, double-digit unemployment, double-digit interest rates, declining incomes, and rising poverty. Much like now...except to a much higher degree on the scale of worse-ness. President Reagan managed to turn things around in 2 years. And many years of economic growth followed. I like Reagan's results, don't you?

So, how do the turnaround policies of President Reagan and Obama compare? To put it mildly, they are polar opposites. Instead of moving in the right direction, it is only fair to wonder how much of a wrong turn we're making.

The only comfort that I take from this is knowing that we might not have had a Reagan without a Carter.

Is it 2012 yet?

(If you enjoy the back and forth of differing political opinions, please check out the site of a blog-writing friend,
Martyn Oliver. )


Martyn Oliver said...

We won't know the results of this new social experiment for a while, but if Obama's plan works would you be willing to say the failure's of the Bush presidency paved the way for the success of Obama?

As for policy differences, they are stark to be sure. Do you think it'd be possible to re-employ Reagan's policies today? It would be a little tougher given that our taxes are, today, historically low. I know it doesn't feel that way, but it's true.

Second, do you think there might be a happy medium regarding necessary infrastructure spending? That is, one might say that the lack of progress on certain items (bridges, roads, energy delivery systems) has now come due at a huge cost that might of been avoided?

Just wondering . . .

Krista said...

To say the least, I think that this is way too expensive of a "social experiment" for us to be testing out. Plus, the programs that were "snuck" into this plan, in addition to the outrageous spending, brings us much closer and closer to the spending levels (% of GDP that goes to the gov't) of that that our socialist countries to the East have in place.
In my opinion, Bush is finished and is no longer a point of concern. Yes, if these policies succeed (which is highly unlikely), then Bush may have "set the stage" for Obama's success. But, that won't occur... unless we count socialism as the desired end result. That terrifies me.

The expense on roads, bridges, etc., should not be put into this bill. The bill is just bailing out states, programs, etc., that have failed. If they can't meet their budget and have shortfalls, then something needs to change. Throwing more $$ at a failed system hasn't proven effective in the past and will undoubtedly fail here in this situation, too.

The pork spending in the bill is outrageous. Can you really look at the items listed below and say that you truly believe that we will see an economic benefit (measured by lower unemployment levels, consumer confidence rising, the DOW moving upward once again) from these huge spending projects ("pork") and reimbursements to groups that will not, and have not, made a profit for many years, if at all (amtrak, acorn, etc.)?

The level of transparency that was promised to the american people has already been violated by obama. we didn't get 5 days to review the bill in it's entirety, as he promised. and the public doesn't want this bill or this outrageous spending to continue.
your thoughts?

This bill is generational theft at best. And a bridge to socialism at it's worst.

Stimulus Verdict: A $3.27 Trillion Porker
Saturday, February 14, 2009 9:40 AM
By: David A. Patten
The gargantuan stimulus bill Congress has rubber-stamped with virtually no Republican support contains tens of billions of the very spending projects that made the legislation a lightning rod for criticism.

And although the bill is generally described as costing $787 billion, the Congressional Budget Office reports the actual figure is now closer to $3.27 trillion.

That stems from the $744 billion it will take to pay for the additional debt the legislation will create, and $2.527 trillion in increased spending from the new and expanded programs the bill will spawn over the next decade.

The bill now spans more than 1,000 pages. While Democrats removed some provisions that fiscal conservatives objected to, most of the pork remains. Among them:

· The plan has more than $3 billion in “neighborhood stabilization” and Community Development Block Grant funding, much of which may go to benefit ACORN, a low-income housing and voter registration “community” organization that is under federal investigation for its suspicious voter registration practices.

· $1.3 billion to bailout AMTRAK, the perennial money-loser railroad.

· $1 billion for educational programs, including courses on sexually transmitted diseases.

· $30 million for restoration of wetlands to be spent in the San Francisco Bay Area – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s district. The money will go in part to protect the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse.

· $200 million for a low-pollution, coal-fired power plant in President Barack Obama’s home state of Illinois.

· $45 million for ATV four-wheeler trails, and government office renovations, according to RNC Chairman Michael Steele.

· $200 million to provide computers to community colleges.

· $50 million for the National Endowment of the Arts.

· Over $650 million in coupons to help consumers buy digital TV converter-box coupons.

· A reported $300 million for hybrid vehicles and electric-powered cars. According to the Washington Times, this item will include buying golf carts for federal workers.

GOP Sen. John McCain summed up his view of the bill: “This measure is not bipartisan. It contains much that is not stimulative.”

Some of the criticisms of the bill, however, center on policy rather than cost.

The Heritage Foundation, for example, reports the bill reverses the bipartisan welfare reforms achieved during the Clinton administration.

Also, opponents have slammed the bill for being “anti-religious,” because it expressly prohibits the use of stimulus funds for faith-based schools, schools of divinity, facilities used for “sectarian worship,” or places of religious worship.

Martyn Oliver said...

Well, we do agree that some things need to change!

As for the list of pork, it's both outrageous and disingenuous. This is a "stimulus" plan after all--the point is to spend money. Whether we should be doing so or not is a different question. David Frum and Michael Gerson have some interesting takes on that.

While we are seeing a sea change in policy direction of the nation, the notion that this is turning us into some communist state is . . . overstated. Remember all the nasty comparisons liberals made about Bush? The pendulum has, in my opinion, swung back the other direction rather quickly.

It's gonna take time to see how this plays out, we just don't know. In the meantime, in the hopes of furthering the conversation, do you care to cross list my blog on yours? You can label me a commie pinko if you want!


Krista said...

Hey guys - check out this link. What do you think?


Martyn - I put you in my post! :)