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Americans aren't 'spoiled,' they're angry about not having jobs

Adam Serwer of the American Prospect is guest blogging on The Plum Line this week.

Eugene Robinson's column about how the American people are "spoiled" ingrates unable to recognize all that's been done for them is comically ill-timed given today's dismal unemployment report, showing an economy unable to get moving:

In the punditry business, it's considered bad form to question the essential wisdom of the American people. But at this point, it's impossible to ignore the obvious: The American people are acting like a bunch of spoiled brats.

This is not, I repeat not, a partisan argument. My own political leanings are well-known, but the refusal of Americans to look seriously at the nation's situation -- and its prospects -- is an equal-opportunity scourge. Republicans got the back of the electorate's hand in 2006 and 2008; Democrats will feel the sting this November. By 2012, it will probably be the GOP's turn to get slapped around again.

It's bad form to call the American people "spoiled" because generally that's what pundits do when their side is losing. This column is no exception: Robinson laments the fact that "incredibly, according to Gallup, registered voters say they intend to vote for Republicans over Democrats by an astounding 10-point margin."

I can understand why liberals would find that frustrating. But it's silly to blame the American people for reacting to the results of Democratic governance. Unemployment edged up to 9.6 percent, the economy losing 54,000 jobs. As Neil Irwin reports today, "The current pace of job creation is too weak to put Americans back to work in significant numbers." There's no mystery as to why Americans aren't dancing in the streets. A better argument might be that Democrats are being "spoiled," since it's their lack of enthusiasm about voting that is giving the GOP a major advantage. 

Had Democrats pushed for a bigger stimulus or been successful in getting more legislation passed that would get the economy going, the president's approval rating and that generic ballot would look very different. The Republican Party deserves its share of blame and criticism for its unprecedented level of obstructionism, but the American people aren't being "spoiled," they're being rational. I might disagree with their conclusion -- since I think the policies I see Republicans running on would make things worse -- but there's nothing "spoiled" about it.

By Adam Serwer  |  September 3, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
 
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Next: Why are Dems in New York still thriving?

Comments

Folks complain that politicians are liars. That is true, politicians who tell the truth are unelectable.

Posted by: Czarathustra | September 3, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

And Quitter Palin is The Queen Of The Teabagging Liars.

"The author of the blistering Vanity Fair profile on Sarah Palin says he wanted to write a positive piece, but was shocked by what he learned as he researched his story.

"The worst stuff isn't even in there," Michael Joseph Gross said on "Morning Joe" Thursday. "I couldn't believe these stories either when I first heard them, and I started this story with a prejudice in her favor. I have a lot in common with this woman. I'm a small-town person, I'm a Christian, I think that a lot of her criticisms of the media actually have something to them. And I think she got a bum ride, but everybody close to her tells the same story."

In the profile, Gross paints Palin as an abusive, retaliatory figure with an extreme ability to lie.

"This is a person for whom there is no topic too small to lie about," he said. "She lies about everything."

Asked about Palin's political future, Gross said it depends on what the media lets her get away with.

"If we decide to let her keep lying and getting away with it, she's gonna still be around," he said. "But if we start returning to the standard that a politician has to talk with people, and a politician has to tell the truth, then she's outta here, because she can't stand up to that."

Gross added that he takes exception to criticisms that he wrote a "hit piece" against Palin.
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"I started this with every good intention toward her," he said. "I was just shocked and appalled at every step at what I found. And I wrote this story sort of against my will. It wasn't what I wanted to write, it wasn't what I wanted to find. It was what was forced on me by the facts."


Posted by: Liam-still | September 3, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Exactly what is that legislation that would "get the economy going?" So easy to say, so hard to do.

Posted by: horacemann | September 3, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Horsefeathers, Mr. Serwer

In one sentence you place much of the blame (rightly) on "unprecedented GOP obstruction" and then you contradict yourself by saying the American people are being "rational" by punishing the Democrats.

There is nothing rational about ignoring the obstructionism. Its easy to imagine better poll numbers by imagining that there would've been any.other.result given A) the makeup of Congress and B) GOP's "Party of No" fetish.

This is what I find so frustrating about some liberals- the inability to deal with realpolitik.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | September 3, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Eugene Robinson has the ability to do so much better.


I am extremly disappointed with a whole set of things he has been saying this year - in particular he seemed to join in on the False Charges of Racism around the health care debate.


It is inappropriate to call millions of people Racist as a result of a policy debate - the Tea Party is trying to be respectful - the democratic attack machine is not trying at all.

Having said that, Colbert King and Eugene have been saying some pretty outrageous things this year.


The two of them are RACIAL ZEALOTS - who see every issue first through a racial prism.


I find it INAPPROPRIATE for the Washington Post to print these views - I do not believe these views are up to standard.


The reason is that I do not believe Eugene Robinson and Colbert King are helping racial relations - they are setting racial relations back.

The editors of the Post have their own standards - but I feel that this situation is NO standards - rather than Eugene Robinson passing a standard.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 3, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Could be that there are no jobs to put Americans in. After off-shoring and the destruction of the manufacturing sector the pickings are slim. We should lower the retirement age not increase as the GOP wants.

Posted by: Canonera | September 3, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I happened to catch Robinson on Morning Joe this morning and I got the distinct impression he was advocating for middle class Americans to accept the fact that there are structural problems in the economy and that we better just accept that fact and lower our expectations. In other words, we're going to have to sacrifice more. His comments were very odd I thought or maybe I was just shocked when I woke up and caught my husband watching Morning Joe.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 3, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

To me this is an example of the perennial error of trying to explain everything simplistically, in one broad stroke, as well as classic, dopey pundit hubris.

Eugene Robinson is a clown. Why would anyone care what he thinks?

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 3, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Talk about comically ill-timed:

Sharron Angle is continuing to rail against unemployment benefits -- going so far as to say that extending the payments "really doesn't benefit anyone."

Angle has previously said that "We really have spoiled our citizenry" with unemployment benefits

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/09/angle-extending-unemployment-insurance-doesnt-benefit-anyone.php?ref=fpi

All she needs to do is add "c'mon" to that statement.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 3, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

We should restore our domestic manufacturing base, so that people who are not college material can earn a decent wage, and afford to send the smartest of their kids to college. That was the way it used to be, until the Robber Barons shipped out all the plants to where workers are paid a starvation level hourly rate, and have no health or environmental protection standards.

Why should our middle class have to drop their wages to compete with places where workers are paid almost nothing.

Restore our manufacturing of consumer goods, and put a wage differential tariff on imports. We do not mind competing on productivity, but why the hell should we reduce our workers to third world wages and conditions, in order to compete.

Tariff the difference, and force the low wage nations to either raise the wages of their workers, so that they can afford to purchase items we export, or Tariff the wage difference, and use it to pay off our debt to China.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 3, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Adam Serwer is correct to make an issue of the "spoiled" attack.


I would like to advance what is really going on here: Eugene Robinson is STEROTYPING.


"How dare those spoiled rich white people start to pull their support from Obama."


THAT is what is being said here.


"Spoiled" is codeword for "White and Rich"


"Spoiled" is a racial term - and this is a RACIST article because it is directed at WHITES.

The truth hurts - and that is exactly why this has to be said. Eugene Robinson should not be saying RACIST things - and the Washington Post should not be printing things like this.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 3, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

"Americans aren't 'spoiled,' they're angry about not having jobs"

OK, but what about the 90% of us that do have jobs? I saw that Robinson article this morning too and I really thought he nailed it. I'd recommend reading the whole thing.

Posted by: CalD | September 3, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

What is with all your double spacing between every sentence?

Do you think that you are taking dictation from the spaced out Jan Brewer?

Posted by: Liam-still | September 3, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

How remarkable that Democrats blame the GOP for their failures when they have POTUS and Congressional majorities unprecedented in decades, and they also hold the GOP responsible for everything bad that happened when the GOP had razor thin or no majorities at all.

At this point Dems have controlled Congress outright for four years, and at worst shared power for six or eight.

For crying out loud, take responsibility. Liberalism is a disaster.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 3, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Shorter nickel -- C'MON!!

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 3, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

"Tariff the difference, and force the low wage nations to either raise the wages of their workers, so that they can afford to purchase items we export, or Tariff the wage difference, and use it to pay off our debt to China."

That worked out great in 1929-30. Why not again? What could possibly go wrong?

Sheesh, how moronic can you get.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 3, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I think the American people are angry at the Democrats for being judged -- rightly or wrongly -- an incompetent political party.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 3, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I disagree with your analysis of Eugene Robinson's article.

He is making the point that Americans want an immediate fix that will quickly solve all of the huge problems left over from the reckless spending and war-mongering of the Bush/Cheney administration.

But how quickly even people like you, Adam, forget.

You say the American people are being "rational" and yet how can you say that it's rational for voters to endorse unpaid-for tax cuts for the rich? How is it rational for voters to elect Republicans who have all but announced that they intend to do nothing to help the American people, but will instead spend their time conducting bogus investigations on the President's birth certificate?

How is it rational for voters to elect Republicans who have put forth no plans for creating jobs?

The enthusiasm that is being generated among Republican voters is not rational -- it's irrational nonsense drummed up by a 24 hour barrage of lies and manipulation and falsehood from Fox News. If you want to see an example of that, just go read some of the comments posted under Mr. Robinson's article. It's Tea Party Central over there.

Demcrats who are feeling blase about Obama are being too critical of a President who has done much more in 18 months than he is fairly being given credit for. And I do think that's being rather "spoiled."

And when people like you, in the media, choose to attack an article by someone like Eugene Robinson, instead of spending time correcting the lies coming out of the Fox News crowd, then you are part of the problem, Adam. And I don't consider that very "progressive," at all.

Posted by: elscott | September 3, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I notice SaveTheRainforest is still the only person that's been talking about racism today.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 3, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse


And thank Buddha, we have been. Where was the GOP regarding HCR when Shrub and Congress had a love-fest?

One wonders what kind of Wall Street love-fest we would have if the GOP were still in power during the meltdown...

One wonders how the GOP woulda gutted more regulations and shipped how many more jobs overseas while enabling the CEOs to drive Bugattis in the Hamptons...

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | September 3, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats and most especially the White House crowd doesn't have to look very far to understand why there is an electoral enthusiasm gap between dems and repubs:

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/09/02/parties

Posted by: grosmec | September 3, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

If nothing bad happening now is the Democrats' fault, because they lack sufficient control to pass a "truly progressive" agenda, then a fortiori nothing bad that has happened in the past decade -- or thirty years -- is Republicans' fault.

Explain your way out of that, liberals.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 3, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Sewer is part of the professional left.

He suffers from what many of the professional left suffer from.

Establishment derangement syndrome.

It doesn't matter who's running the country, they always know of a better way and it's their way or the highway. They are unable to take the type of criticism they dish out on a daily basis and hunker down and defend their beliefs. They have become overly sensitive.

It's kinda funny but sad at the same time because Republicans are laughing all the way to November while many who have a prominent voice on the left choose to pick internal fights and help the right pick out little bits and pieces of things that may be unpopular and create a frenzy over them to the point everything else that may be of good is forgotten.

Some warned of Dems turning on Dems during Clinton's first term and the enthusiasm gap dropped drastically because many Dems turned on Clinton for not putting into place all the reforms they had on the waiting block immediately and thoroughly. It's happened again.

It will be grand watching the Health Care legislation be defunded and falter and watch the million upon millions that will finally have access to affordable health care have that taken away from them along with the millions of Seniors that will finally be able to eat instead of having to dish out for life saving drugs. I suppose Jane Hamsher will be pleased.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 3, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Two words, nickel - Republican Obstruction

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 3, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Ah, politics American style. lol
the rich steal from the poor, while the poor fight each other over the "words" of who is to blame.

Ah Americans, not spoiled but ignorant and used!!!

Posted by: Beleck31 | September 3, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

"Mr. Sewer is part of the professional left. ... I suppose Jane Hamsher will be pleased.'

As I said, an incompetent political party that thinks insulting Liberals is an effective strategy for governance and electioneering. Only problem is, the GOP has that market cornered. Nonetheless, please proceed with the Liberal-bashing. It's about the only thing the Democratic Party does well.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 3, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Mike From Arlington


Again - I will state clearly that I really am not talking about racism - but false charge of racism as a means to attack.


Just because your pal Obama has decided NOT to be post-racial anymore - that doesn't mean the rest of the country has to do the same.


A POST-RACIAL STANDARD - A COLORBLIND STANDARD is what I choose to apply to everyone - white and black.


I can see you don't want to talk about race - because you NOW believe it is a losing issue for the democrats - because of the behavior of the democrats.


However, the NAACP is still attacking - saying they are going to start to investigate the Tea Party for racism - and start to post on a website anything questionable.


(I suppose Andrew Breitbart is now green-lighted to do the same)


Anyway - you are NOT making a blanket rule that you don't want to talk about race. You just don't want to talk about race when you think you will lose the discussion.

If there is an issue of race the democrats wish to bring up, firestorm is the right way to go, right?


But reasoned discussion on a blog is inappropriate, is that your position?

Eugene Robinson was calling voters "spoiled rich kids" - and that is codeword for RICH WHITE PEOPLE.


It is racist and offensive -

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 3, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne, you just made my argument for me.

Liberals thinking bashing this administration will be good for liberals doesn't make sense either.

Got it?

It goes both ways. I'm not talking about being each others cheerleaders but ffs, some are playing the role of opposition party.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 3, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Holy cow SaveTheRainforest, nobody but you is talking about racism still.

You bring it up every thread. It's boring.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 3, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, what elscott said @ 1:56. You missed Eugene's point.

Posted by: JkR- | September 3, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Yes indeed. I do feel your pain.

When is President Obama going to get around to Emancipating all those millions of oppressed Tea Bag Wearing White People?!

Posted by: Liam-still | September 3, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Americans think this Administration can hit F5 and refresh the economy that just about went into another Great Depression. No s$@t it's gonna take time to recover from an economy that was built on housing bubble home equity lines of credit.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 3, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Behind the scenes, Michael Steele has been organizing fair minded African Americans, to operate a new underground railroad, that will smuggle Oppressed White Tea Party members, to freedom in Canada, and other regions of The Great White North.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 3, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Blinkered folks these days. How sad.

It appears that what Mr Robinson and Mr Sargent's "rentaliberalpundit" don't get is the source of the anger.

These guys keep looking at the reaction to the Democrats and Obama in the hopes of finding a central theme that doesn't amount to a rationality based rejection of the liberal agenda.

There isn't such a theme. The fact is that liberalism is being rejected. Given that this is keystone to their thinking, this vain search for alternative explanations is just the voice of denial.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 3, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

mikefromArlington, I agree with SaveTheRainforest denouncing these false charges of racism, so that's at least two of us since you are keeping count.

Posted by: clawrence12 | September 3, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Republicans ruined the economy and destroyed the livelihoods of millions of working class Americans.

Who wouldn't be enthusiastic about calling back those Republican Kevorkians to finish treating the patient.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 3, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

"Liberals thinking bashing this administration will be good for liberals doesn't make sense either."

That assumes that Liberals are bound forever to the Democratic Party. And that assumption undergirds the Democrats' fetish for Liberal-bashing. WHich is much easier than looking in the mirror and facing what you've done wrong and, maybe, fixing it.

"It goes both ways."

Not entirely. The Democratic Party is a political party. Liberalism is a governing philosophy. They aren't at all the same. The job of the Democratic Party is foster Liberalism; otherwise Liberals have no reason to align with the Democratic Party. That the GOP is worse is insufficient. As a commenter said on another thread: It could be worse is hardly inspiring. But Democrats forgot that which led to 40 years of Conservadem rule. Now the Democratic Party is merely an election machine, and an incompetent one at that.

"I'm not talking about being each others cheerleaders but ffs, some are playing the role of opposition party."

As for "playing the role of opposition party," you mean like the way Democrats are almost as gleeful as Republicans in attacking Liberals.

The Democratic Party needs Liberals and Liberalism. The reverse is not true. It is up to Democratic Party leadership to assure Liberals that Liberalism is respected and recognized as the raison d'etre for the Democratic Party. The Democratic leadership has not only failed to do so, it is openly scornful of Liberals at the highest level. So that's why Liberals aren't enthusiastic. Pretty straightforward really.

The more interesting failure is the loss of Independents. For that, I think Independents are abandoning the Democratic Party b/c the Democratic Party, once put in power, demonstrated a complete lack of governing capacity (abetted of course by the GOP). IMO, that is also a result of the Democratic Party's hostility to Liberalism. Without a coherent grounding philosophy, Democratic politicians can adopt nearly any policy position and, without party discipline, they can do so with impunity. The resultant unprincipled horse-trading has been uninspiring, to put it mildly.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 3, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Here is a shocker, more proof of Democrats' continuing to tell gargantuan economic lies.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703959704575454061524326290.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop


cmc,

We know that is your two-word excuse. It happens to be laughably ill-founded and illogical.

What you need is an actual explanation that defends your sorry Keynesian-socialist policy record in the face of the withering hail of damaging facts showing it to be a disaster of historical proportions.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 3, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

skipsailing28, which part of Liberalism is that?

The Godless, pull the plug on grandma, supporting of terrorist, anti-White governance liberalism or the part about wanting to make laws more fair for the 95% of America that doesn't earn a fortune from financial bets that don't benefit the economy in any way, shape or form?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 3, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

disagreeing with this article. We often behave like spoiled brats. We want our cake, and we want to eat it, too. Right now. Anyone who was paying real attention two years ago when the economy went from a limp to a splat should have realized that we would be years putting things back together again. It was certainly said by every economic historian and economist who could claim a forum. If people didn't hear it, it's because they didn't want to. Because Americans prefer to stick their fingers in their ears and scream "NANANANA CAN'T HEAR YOU!" And you know what? They don't want to hear it now, either. That's why people are so very angry; nobody likes to hear "I told you so." They prefer to remain willfully ignorant and go on angry, illogical, and mostly incoherent rants. Anything rather than taking a look at themselves and facing reality. And if we abuse our right to vote by casting spite ballots, we'll get exactly what we deserve.

Posted by: cb11 | September 3, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

"I can understand why liberals would find that frustrating. But it's silly to blame the American people for reacting to the results of Democratic governance."
-------------------------------------------

Oh is ~that~ what the problem is. Yikes. Talk about adopting right-wing frames.

Silly me, all this time I thought the problem had to do with raging federal deficits throughout the last administration, a trillion dollar war for no particular reason, more than a decade of Republican dismantling of the government's regulatory capability, particularly for the financial industry and inviting investment bankers in to re-write the laws affecting their industry -- the name William Philip Gramm comes to mind... It's also not like people running up mountains of personal debt for the last two decades had nothing to do with the problem.

-------------------------------------------

"Had Democrats pushed for a bigger stimulus or been successful in getting more legislation passed that would get the economy going, the president's approval rating and that generic ballot would look very different."
-------------------------------------------

Now here I have to call shenanigans again. You may be right, you may be wrong, but if one thing is sure, it's that economics and politics are two domains wherein even the effects of a lot of things that have ~already happened~ remain largely theoretical. Any time someone says about either of them that if you do x then y will happen, without a very healthy amount of hemming and hawing and ifs, buts and maybes attached, run away as fast as you can. I frankly find both of those claims to be gratuitous and specious at best.

It also happens to be a moot point because it isn't as though significantly more aggressive stimulus measures were realistically achievable anyway. No one seems to think that just a little stimulus more would help a lot more and anyone who thinks there was ever any realistic chance of spending half again or twice as much is very simply smoking rope. The president could have climbed into the magic bully pulpit and waved his magic wand from now until the sun cools and he couldn't have gotten that much more than he got. Deal with it.

Posted by: CalD | September 3, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

of course they're angry about n ot having jobs -- at least the ones who don't have jobs are.

But if they expect the causes of them not having jobs -- systemic failure of a nation-wide ecoomic model based on a ponzi scheme called "home values can never go down" -- to be fixed in a year or two and will strike out angerly at anyone who tells them otherwise then, yes, they are spoiled brats.

Posted by: summicron1 | September 3, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Nickel - The short explanation is - you're wrong. But if you add c'mon to your unsubstantiated statement, it may make more low information voters agree with you. Give it a try, all of the GOPers are doing it.

The longer explanation:

Why do people like me feel the need to revisit the fateful decision to go for an underpowered stimulus right at the beginning of the Obama administration? It’s not about “I told you so”, or at least not mainly. It’s about the economic narrative, which will matter long after the current players are off the scene.

The way the right wants to tell the story — and, I’m afraid, the way it will play in November — is that the Obama team went all out for Keynesian policies, and they failed. So back to supply-side economics!

The point, of course, is that that is not at all what happened. A straight Keynesian analysis implied the need for a much bigger program, more oriented toward spending, than the administration proposed. And people like me said that at the time — we’re not talking about hindsight.

You can argue that nothing bigger and better was politically feasible; we’ll never know about that. But what we do know is that (1) senior administration officials, even in internal arguments, claimed that half-measures were the right thing to do, based on … well, invented doctrines that certainly weren’t basic Keynesian. And (2), the administration has never said that it had to make do with an underpowered plan; on the contrary, to this day it maintains that what it did was just right. And this just feeds the false narrative.

So I’m trying to keep the record straight here. It may not matter for the immediate political debate, but I think it does matter for the long game.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/01/the-economic-narrative/

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 3, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

"The Democratic Party needs Liberals and Liberalism. The reverse is not true."

Really. Then please, approach Mitch McConnell and sell your ideas to him and see if he is willing to work with you.

I'm wondering where is the Liberal hero organizing marches and energizing voters to put more liberal candidates into office? Where are the liberal conferences? Where is the liberal equivalent of Value Voters conference, CPAC, every massive Tea Party event?

From my perspective, it seems prominent Liberals with a voice attacked this administration from the get go and ignored political realities. Those voices shaped opinions. Opinions have translated to enthusiasm.

That's the way I see it. Who knows. I'm probably wrong but its still the way I saw things go down.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 3, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

When people act irrationally, what is that called?
When you vote against your own best economic interest, what is that called?
After ten years of tax cuts that were supposed to created jobs and the jobs never materialize but the same people recommend the same prescription to solve the unemployment problem and people believe them, what is that called?
It seems to me that many US citizens have a childish view of our economic situation. We refuse to accept the fact that it takes money to run a government. For those of you who want the "government" off your back. How would you like to live in a society where the food and drugs you consume could not be trusted. Where there are no paved roads. Where there are no public utilities. If you know your history, you would know that many of the thinks that make this country economically great have been subsidized by the "government."
Of course, why not believe your Congress person when that person tells you that "government is the problem" but all the time is spending million of dollars to become a representative in that government.
Go figure!

Posted by: cdearman | September 3, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

If not soft, Americans were certainly ripe for a wakeup call which they seemed to have miss.

This was not a natural economic downturn. This disaster was created by bad governing over reckless corporations that cost million of layoffs and took a lot of the world down with us. Yet Republicans are selling the same laissez-faire government that got us here: little corporate controls or regulations. It's like we didn't learn a thing. We are no wiser.

All that matters to Republican voters is if a Muslim cultural center exists within a few blocks of Ground Zero: typical Republican's deflective politics using race/religion to stir people up.

Posted by: Beeliever | September 3, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse


"There are jobs out there."

Ahhh, Secratary Solis. Another Administration official, splitting atoms... with their minds.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/2010-09-04-solis04_ST_N.htm

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | September 3, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

cb11 & cmccauley60

Word.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | September 3, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Hey Mike,

why is it always about race with you guys?

STR has it right. The false accusation of bigotry and racism comes so quickly to the lips of the liberals that they don't even realize it anymore.

so mike, if you're still counting, we're now up to three people with the unmitigated gall to disagree with your whitewash of the liberal calumny.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 3, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Spoiled? - No.

Grotesquely misinformed and frequently stupid? - Yes.

Posted by: PorkBelly | September 3, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Mike from Arlington


More Cowbell


We NEED more Cowbell.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 3, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"Spoiled? - No.

Grotesquely misinformed and frequently stupid? - Yes."

I agree. Thanks alot 52%.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | September 3, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of "grotesquely misinformed and frequently stupid"

After her trainwreck of a gubernatorial debate two nights ago, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) says she's done with any more debating and claims the only reason she participated in that first debate was to collect public campaign matching funds.

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2010/09/brewer_i_just_did_it_for_the_money.php?ref=fpblg

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 3, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Update from TPM:

This is truly hilarious. After Wednesday debate trainwreck, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer says she's done with debates. In fact, according to Brewer herself, not some random person trying to besmirch her integrity but Brewer herself, she only did the first debate because she thought it would help her get $1.7 million or more in public funds to campaign with.

Good that she's for small government.

She also has a new explanation for why she said there was an epidemic of beheadings in her state even though there appear to have been none. She now says she never explicitly said she was referring to Arizona and in fact she was talking about only the worldwide background noise level of beheadings that is taking place all the time.

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2010/09/friggin_hilarious.php?ref=fpblg

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 3, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Can any of the resident GOPers translate that last paragraph from the esteemed Governor re beheadings and "worldwide background noise?"

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 3, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

"I'm wondering where is the Liberal hero organizing marches and energizing voters to put more liberal candidates into office? Where are the liberal conferences? Where is the liberal equivalent of Value Voters conference, CPAC, every massive Tea Party event?"

Excellent questions, Mike. Should the Democrats turn further Right after November I expect you will see your answer.

"From my perspective, it seems prominent Liberals with a voice attacked this administration from the get go and ignored political realities. Those voices shaped opinions. Opinions have translated to enthusiasm."

I have little use for the shenanigans of some Loud Liberal Voices and I also agree that some of them were far too quick to pull the Obama=Bush nonsense. But those people were marginal and (properly) marginalized until the health care fiasco. Health care is where the Democratic Party collapsed and the Democratic Party has no one to blame but itself for that. The primary reasons? Without core convictions and lacking party discipline the Democrats humiliated themselves before the entire country and showed that they were not prepared to govern.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 3, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Or how about this for grotesquely misinformed or frequently stupid:

If the NRSC wants to paint Oregon Senator Ron Wyden as an out of touch D.C. Democrat, they're gonna have to try harder.

"Despite his claims that he is 'like Oregon,' it's clear from Ron Wyden's record that he has simply lost touch with his constituents during his 14 years in Washington," reads a recent NRSC press release. "Senator Wyden is a career politician who has championed a reckless economic agenda that has driven our national debt to a staggering $13 trillion and failed to create jobs as the Evergreen State's unemployment has skyrocketed to 10.6 percent."

But it's hard to blame Wyden for abandoning the voters of the Evergreen State, because it's a totally different state from the one he represents in the Senate. Washington is the Evergreen State. Wyden enjoys the distinction of representing the Beaver State, Orgeon.

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/09/fail-nrsc-says-wyden-has-lost-touch-with-voters-from-the-evergreen-state-hes-from-oregon.php?ref=fpblg

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 3, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

here's an interesting thought:
==================
Not entirely. The Democratic Party is a political party. Liberalism is a governing philosophy. They aren't at all the same
=============================

Now Substitute conservative for liberal and Republican for Democratic and you've got the exact reason why 06 and 08 were dreadful years for the GOP.

Heck IMHO you can also use this to explain why Bush the elder didn't win a second term.

the difference now is that many conservatives have learned a hard lesson: the Republicans in congress must be kept on a very short leash. DC is addicting and power corrupts.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 3, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Trollmcwingnuts and porkbellyfutures write:


Spoiled? - No.

Grotesquely misinformed and frequently stupid? - Yes.


________________________________

Let's be clear here: Eugene Robinson is talking about that segment of the population which INITIALLY voted FOR Obama - and now do NOT support him anymore.

He calls them ""spoiled" ingrates unable to recognize all that (OBAMA has done) for them.

HHHHmmmmmmm


The Republicans would say that these people made a mistake in the firt place by ignoring the inexperience and lack of qualifications of Obama.


Robinson is calling the people who actually VOTED for Obama - and now are not supporting them - spoiled, rich, white and therefore RACIST.

Just want to clarify EXACTLY who we are talking about here - and what your pal Eugene Robinson is saying.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 3, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

cmciq60,

You are just proving my point -- well, more like two points. You liberals blame the abject failure of this Administration's policies on "Republican obstructionism," pleading that we haven't "really" tried comprehensive Keynesian-socialist-redistribtion.

But your party has had control of government to a degree Republicans never had, and this disastrous non-recovery is what they've given us: unprecedented spending of trillions more dollars, with unprecedented deficits projected as far as we can see, massive new programs and threatened programs and taxes, resulting in complete economic flatlining when they had promised an immediate turnaround.

Republicans never had anything remotely like this level of power, and never could come close -- because of eternal Democrat "obstruction" -- to a meaningful rollback of the liberal, tax-and-spend, welfare and regulatory state. GWB was able to cut some taxes by a few percentage points, and that was all.

Yet people like you pretend that Republicans were in complete control and passed a comprehensive free-market, conservative economic plan. You blame every negative on Republicans who NEVER had control that your party has had.

Your argument is completely illogical and ahistorical, and the narrative you are trying to protect is fraudulent.

Btw, we didn't need the link to Krugman, since it was obvious two paragraphs in that you were just repeating his claptrap.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 3, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I think for a lot of these people "change" meant changing the curtains and maybe painting the trim a different color.

Obama, Pelosi, and Reid thought "change" meant a new garage, pool, and a new addition on the house.

Posted by: sold2u | September 3, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Americans are stupid to believe the government was capable of fixing it as long as the republicans were blocking everything.
And they are stupid to put more NO folks in there now.
I think the great experiment has failed.

Posted by: BeamMeUpScotty1 | September 3, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Eugene Robinson - throws a few more gems into his piece today - he writes:

"And one thing he really hasn't done is frame the hard work that lies ahead as a national crusade that will require a degree of sacrifice from every one of us"


AND Eugene says that gasoline should be more expensive.


__________________________________


Eugene starts out by saying that he is not being partisan - but he is.


Clearly, there is one side side saying: We have to FIX the economy first.


Obama and Eugene are saying - YOU have to sacrifice NOW to transform the economy so Obama's ego can be fed for the history books.


Americans do NOT want to pay for Obama's "transformation" - Americans do NOT want it at all.

So what is Eugene doing ATTACKING people who do not want the "transformation?"


This really was not an issue in 2008 - it came up later - and Eugene is trying to say that people are spoiled BECAUSE they want the economy fixed and they don't want to sacrifice - BECAUSE he WANTS sacrifice for the transformation - NOT on account of the bad economy.


Eugene and Obama want to push 2 sets of pain on America.

It is completely ridiculous to have this attitude during a recession - a deep recession - and apparently Obama and Eugene think that you are a SPOILED RICH WHITE RACIST if you don't agree with them on economic policy.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 3, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

It will be interesting to see how the Obama/Holder War Against Arizona will help Democrats there (and elsewhere).

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/New-evidence-undermines-feds_-case-against-Arizona-705578-102106209.html

Holder has in less than two years run away with Worst AG Ever. He is clearly the worst partisan hack in the job in living memory -- well, maybe Bobby Kennedy still holds that title -- and will be lucky if this attack on Arizona and Americans in general does not completely blow up and result in his being driven from office.

Democrats in Arizona must be thanking their lucky stars that Obama and Holder are on the job. LOL

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 3, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Robinson wants to RAISE gasoline prices - in addition to everything else.


And one thing he really hasn't done is frame the hard work that lies ahead as a national crusade that will require a degree of sacrifice from every one of us


__________________________________


Robinson JUST isn't claiming that people are spoiled because they are impatient -


Eugene is complaining because the polls mean people are NOT on board with paying for Obama's "transformation" of the American economy.

The American People simply have been ignoring Obama on his "transformation" ideas - because when the democrats say that word they mean

- HIGHER GASOLINE PRICES

- TRIPLE ELECTRICITY PRICES

- ALL THOSE HIGHER ENERGY PRICES WILL CAUSE GOODS AND SERVICES TO GO UP BY COST OF ENERGY USED TO CREATE AND DELIVER THOSE PRODUCTS.


- THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT A MASSIVE JUMP IN INFLATION.

- AND THE DEMOCRATS ARE TALKING ABOUT A MASSIVE JUMP IN TAXES

See - Eugene is saying YOU are spoiled because YOU aren't on board with all those "sacrifices" you will have to make for the "transformation."

Eugene just doesn't get it - People voted for Obama because they thought it would help race relations - they wanted racial progress - they like the ideas of bipartisanship, post-racial and transparency.


The American People were NEVER on board with this "transformation" crap - or the far-left programs for health care.

Eugene and Obama JUST don't get it - that is NOT was 2008 was about


A vote for racial harmony is not a vote for higher gasoline prices -

Eugene's article today is so stupid and idiotic - I really can not be stronger without cursing -

The Washington Post really should not have printed this - it simply is not up to standard.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 3, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

More unsupported drivel and disingenuous nonsense, nickel.

You claim I said "we haven't "really" tried comprehensive Keynesian-socialist-redistribtion." When did I say that? When did Krugman say that? When did Keynes ever advocate for "socialist redistribution?"

Maybe you would have convinced me if you'd started with C'MON.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 3, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Holy cow, Adam. This piece perfectly exemplifies what I have come to dislike about the Professional Left. Taking one piece of another pundit's column and squishing it into a 'Dems are bad' or 'Dems are screwed' narrative. Total bs.

Americans, by and large, ARE acting like spoiled brats. They constantly blame Dems and the current administration for SYSTEMIC problems which were made WORSE by the previous administration. On top of that they complain about the deficit created largely by Bush, taxes which are low and have been cut by Obama, the lack of jobs despite a total blockade of any useful jobs legislation by the GOP, policies that are called job-killing but which actually create jobs, among many other issues where the public is either ignorant or misinformed.

I think the Professional Left could really help dispel some of the myths and lies out there, but they typically don't. They attack and criticize fellow Dems, usually over a perceived weakness generated wholly by Republican spinmeisters and fearmongers. That is the basis for my frustration, that the left COULD really help write a strong narrative based on facts, but they don't and instead attack attack attack the WRONG PEOPLE. Its really getting tiresome.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 3, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Holy cow, Adam. This piece perfectly exemplifies what I have come to dislike about the Professional Left. Taking one piece of another pundit's column and squishing it into a 'Dems are bad' or 'Dems are screwed' narrative. Total bs.

Americans, by and large, ARE acting like spoiled brats. They constantly blame Dems and the current administration for SYSTEMIC problems which were made WORSE by the previous administration. On top of that they complain about the deficit created largely by Bush, taxes which are low and have been cut by Obama, the lack of jobs despite a total blockade of any useful jobs legislation by the GOP, policies that are called job-killing but which actually create jobs, among many other issues where the public is either ignorant or misinformed.

I think the Professional Left could really help dispel some of the myths and lies out there, but they typically don't. They attack and criticize fellow Dems, usually over a perceived weakness generated wholly by Republican spinmeisters and fearmongers. That is the basis for my frustration, that the left COULD really help write a strong narrative based on facts, but they don't and instead attack attack attack the WRONG PEOPLE. Its really getting tiresome.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 3, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Try it nickel --

C'mon, everyone KNOWS we can solve all of our problems with tax cuts for the rich.

Say it like that and it's so very convincing.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 3, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Well then, it might be more worthwhile to report on actual news instead of punditry

Posted by: getjiggly | September 3, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Robinson has been upset since people started relizing that Obama was no more qualified to be president than Bush.

Could we elect an adult next time ?
HRC where are you?

Posted by: newagent99 | September 3, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

newagent99:

Bush41 will only be 88 years old. Tanned, rested, ready to go!

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 3, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Try it cmciq60 --

C'mon! Everyone knows we can solve all our problems by sticking it to "the rich" and "spreading the wealth around."

Your party's ideology is a melange of Keynesianism, welfare statism, and neo- and even paleo-Marxism. I put in plain terms exactly what you are saying: "We haven't really tried it."

Our economy can't take any more "stimulus" and "pump priming" nonsense. It can't take more taxes and government spending and centralized planning. Your medicine is killing the patient.

You need to own it. Grow up and take responsibility. Nearly two years into total Democrat control the economy is on life support and you are still passing blame to a party that has never had actual control.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 3, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Q.B. A few days ago I posted information with links that showed the American Middle Class has been shrinking since 1980. It had been growing since WWII.

You responded with nonsense. That it was just the marketplace at work and some dislocation always comes with free enterprise.

Again you DID NOT ANSWER THE QUESTION.

Where was all that "free market' disruption from WWII to 1980. Again the marginal tax rates went from 90% down to 28% at the low to the current rates in the low 30% range from 1980 till now. You of course believe that had NOTHING to do with our dilemma. I don't believe it had EVERYTHING to do with our current crisis, but it certainly played a major role along with massive deregulation and off shoring of jobs. Corporations used to shoulder 25% of our taxes...now they are down to 8%.

"Two out of every three United States corporations paid no federal income taxes from 1998 through 2005, according to a report released Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress."

Of course the saddest part of your post Q.B. was that you didn't find it a problem that the middle class was shrinking. While that thought is morally repugnant to me and leads me to believe you have ZERO compassion much less any sense of fairness...the saddest part of all is that there are numerous economic studies that show PRAGMATICALLY it's a horrible thing the middle class is shrinking. Societies GDP's invariably and historically shrink when there is no vibrant middle class.

Henry Ford understood this concept when he paid his workers above market wages long before Unions forced him to...he realized that in order to have customers his workers would have to be able to afford his Model T.


Meanwhile Q.B. you have failed to explain WHY the middle class grew from WWII to the late 70's and then started it's long downhill slide with the advent of R.R's trickle own economy and the major tax cutting.

It defies logic that Bush II cut taxes and the first decade of this millennium is the first time our nation actually LOST jobs in decades. We cut taxes twice...the economy goes into the sh*tter and yet here are the same morons telling us to do it again.

Letting the millionaires save another 100,000 on tax breaks while the middle class suffers like this is idiotic and IMHO unfair to the max!!!

FACT- WE CURRENTLY ARE PAYING THE LOWEST TAXES SINCE HARRY TRUMAN...THAT'S RIGHT TEA BRAINS...THE LOWEST TAXES IN 50 YEARS!

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 3, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Ethan2010 at 4:10

You still don't get it, do you ?


The American People do NOT want the left agenda.


Eugene Robinson is saying that there is a segment of the electorate that is spoiled - codeword for rich and racist.


HOWEVER - this is exactly the segment of the electorate that the democrats NEED to keep their majority.


Furthermore, these are the people who supported Obama before, so how could they be racist ?


The democrats have developed some sort of entitlement - like their ideas are so good that they deserve support - it is pretty out of touch.


The democrats are NOT going to dictate to the American People anymore. They aren't going to have a hidden agenda, and be able to slip it in. The American People are watching you now.


The democrats can NOT be trusted - let me be clear.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 3, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

wbegonne,
So liberals can do it alone? I am an independent, and as I remember it took all of us donating and voting to get Obama elected. Right after Obama was sworn in though the liberals claimed total credit and held him accountable to things he never campaigned on.

Who is your liberal candidate that could actually win the presidency? There isn't one. Liberals need my vote.

Posted by: Beeliever | September 3, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

The bottom line is Eugene Robinson refuses to be even-handed or post-racial.


Eugene is more like a RACIAL ZEALOT - pressing every issue through a racial prism.


NOW the people who voted for Obama, but who now have changed their mind are racist. But they really can't be racist because THEY voted for Obama.


Eugene really has a difficult argument to make - because it is precisely these people who are making a racial-free evaluation of Obama - and Obama has failed in their eyes.

Obama is a failure as a President - part of it is character flaws, part is he is not qualified, and part is he doesn't have the experience to understand the job.

Yes, Obama does NOT understand the job.


You are not spoiled if you can see from a mile away that Obama doesn't know what he is doing.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 3, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Mike says

"I'm wondering where is the Liberal hero organizing marches and energizing voters to put more liberal candidates into office? Where are the liberal conferences? Where is the liberal equivalent of Value Voters conference, CPAC, every massive Tea Party event?"

_________________________


The liberals are doing everything in secret


There are hundreds of secret provisions in the health care bill


Obama is even forcing affirmative action on all financial firms - and Obama is setting up 20 Obama gestapo offices to make sure all financial firms hire NOT ON MERIT but based on the color of one's skin.


Another secret provision.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 3, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Q.B. "and you are still passing blame to a party that has never had actual control."

Are you serious. That some truly ludicrous stuff!!!! And so it was the Dems who forced the two huge tax cuts for the wealthiest amongst us down our throats. As I recall the Dems did everything they could to stop the second go around and what did the R's resort to? Ohhh nooo the dreaded reconciliation they so disparaged during the HCR debate. It was such a partisan move they had to have DICK the five deferment coward Cheney to break the deadlock by casting his VP vote in the Senate.

"and you are still passing blame to a party that has never had actual control."

That may be the dumbest thing you've ever posted Q.B. You can try your revisionist history here but it fails even simple logic. The R's never had actual control?

Geesh Q.B. can you at least get your facts straight. Bush had control of the House for 6 of is 8 years...The Senate for 4 of his 8 years...HE HAD THE ENTIRE FREAKING CONGRESS FOR FOUR YEARS!!! PLEASE AT LEAST POST FACTUALLY Q.B.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidents_and_control_of_congress

Do I have to do all of your fact checking for you? Obama has nominally had both the Senate and the House for less than 2 years. The House has passed a lot of legislation. The Senate under the new Republican mantra of OBSTRUCT..OBSTRUCT..OBSTRUCT has turned into a laughingstock of a deliberative body. The R's are now electing morons who don't even know what the words deliberate and legislate mean. They simply know how to work for Obama's "Waterloo".

BTW Q.B. that obstruction comment is not my opinion it is borne out by the FACTS!

There were 39 cloture votes last year, nine more than the combined total for 1949-1970.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 3, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

SaveTheRainforest:

My wife and I voted for the OTHER African-American running for President in 2008, and we still got RACISTS! So, cognitive dissonance is no big deal for them ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 3, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan...You know how much I respect your posts. But again I'm curious as to who you are referring to when you say "professional left" I agree pretty much with everything wbgonne posts. I'm not sure why he/she gets so much vitriol in return.

I'd like to post a letter to the editor of the St.Petersburg Times written by Jay Johnson of St. Petersburg. This is not me, or wbgonne but an actual citizen here in St. Pete...NOT A MEMBER OF THE PROFESSIONAL LEFT!!!! Although I do take your point Ethan that Adam and Greg perhaps are members. :-)

Mr. Johnsons' letter..
AN ADVOCATE TO THE END
Declaring the war over on Tuesday night, President Barrack Obama at the same moment waved the white flag for Democrats in the November elections. Speaking in prime time Obama made a mockery of his...and his party's..longstanding opposition to the War in Iraq. He undermined the very campaign that ushered him into the White House and gave Democrats their majorities in Congress.
It was as if in keeping his promise to end the war in Iraq, Obama had become a convert to it. He heralded the very success he predicted could never be attained. He lauded the defeat of an evil regime, "that had terrorized its people"...a despot he once considered an irrelevant distraction from what he called the "real war" that needed to be won in Afghanistan.
And speaking to soldiers at Fort Bliss earlier Tuesday he said that because of this fight, "America is more secure."
Obama even talked about the importance of Iraq as a "friend" and a "partner" in the Middle East.
The address could have been delivered word for word by former President George W. Bush, whose steadfastness in Iraq earned him the blind hatred of so many liberals. The hypocrisy here is mind boggling.
Obama opposed the surge that brought about victory and voted to deny funds to the war effort. My how things have changed when you have responsibility."

IMHO Mr. Johnson is mind numblingly wrong about the surge bringing victory in Iraq.
THERE IS NO FREAKING VICTORY...WE SIMPLY STOPPED FIGHTING. The surge was ostensibly to give the Iraqis space to form a government...yes they had elections and what happened...the LOSER is still Prime Minister and the WINNER is still on the outside.

Despite Mr. Johnson's delusions about victory...his letter will ring true to a lot of I's...and perhaps even some Dems.
Obama should stop being so "centrist" and start governing from a position of POWER not a position of pretty please.

NOTE: I am a registered I...but I would NEVER AGAIN vote for an R after what they have done to our nation. I may be apathetic about the Dems...but my knowledge of the scummy R's like Rick Scott will drive me to the polls and to donate...Mr Johnson's letter is hard to refute except for the final paragragh.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 3, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

ruk,

I see you are back to spewing and shrieking patent incoherencies and misinformation again. And perhaps are drunk.

I wouldn't dignify your rants with a response except that you have decided to hurl a litany of personal insults and can again be so humorously exposed as an uninformed blowhard and fraud. So:

Stop lying to everyone. I not only answered your claims but completely and utterly destroyed your thesis, which you dropped like a hot potato when you saw how indefensible it was. I'll just summarize here again.

You claimed that Reagan and Bush I destroyed the economy and middle class by cutting taxes, that Clinton produced a "robust" economy and surplus by raising taxes, and GWB again destroyed the economy and middle class by cutting taxes.

As I showed, this was patent nonsense even taken on its own terms. I first showed that you had grossly misstated the timing and amounts of cuts and increases. Reagan cut the top rate from 70% to 50 and then 28. Bush I raised the rates and gave us a recession. Then Clinton raised them again to 39.5% (and admitted he raised too much!), and GWB cut it back to 35.

Now, any child can see that Clinton's rate was drastically lower than the pre-Reagan rate you idealize and even well below Reagan's intial cut, which you claim destroyed the economy and middle class. Yet, because you are a blind, partisan ideologue who believes resentful economic fairy tales, you claim that Clinton's rates were sound policy and created prosperity, while the Reagan, Bush 1 and GWB rates were all disastrous gifts to the rich that destroyed the economy.

And of course you misstated that Clinton created a surplus and gave us "no crisis," when in fact there was never even a single year of surplus and he left us the bursting of the tech bubble, a market crash, and recession. Or was that the Replican Congress' fault? It's hard to keep your ad hoc rationalizations straight.

So essentially everything you said then and say now is either a lie or utter nonsense.

I'm sorry you don't understand economics. I'm sorry you and Paul Krugman are apparently the only two people on earth who don't understand that economic growth and progress -- driven by technological advances -- inherently result in increasing differences between the richest and poorest. It isn't "dislocation." It is simply the fact that the most successful will always make more gains than the least. But no one can explain this to you, because you either are not smart enough to understand it or don't want to recognize realities that impinge on your resentments.

I'm sorry that you lack the common sense to recognize that claims that living standards of the middle class have declined since the halcyon stagflation days of the 1970s. You are obviously beyond help in your ignorance. But at least stop lying about other commenters.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 3, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Jake

Was Charlize Theron running for President ?

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 3, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

ruk,

As to your second foolish rant, please identify the period of time when Republicans had anything approaching the control Democrats now have.

I won't bother with the rest, because your rant is just too stupid and irrelevant to waste time with.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 3, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

CORRECTION:

I voted for the OTHER African-American running for President in 2008, and I still got called a RACIST ...

I apologize for any confusion : )

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 3, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

No, Alan Keyes.

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 3, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Q.B. So sad my friend...you wrote...

"you have decided to hurl a litany of personal insults"

A litany? Really? I did say you could use some compassion. I did suggest you had incorrect facts..and then posted the facts that proved my point. However I refrained from calling you ignorant, lacking in common sense etc...:-) And here I thought we were going to engage in civil discussion. :-)

And through it all you have yet to answer the simple question...why did our middle class grow and thrive since FDR until 1980 and then begin to shrink?

OK if you don't wish to use the term 'dislocation" whatever I'll accept your terms as you just posted and which I'll cut and paste to avoid any confusion.

The closest you have come to an answer is

..."that economic growth and progress -- driven by technological advances -- inherently result in increasing differences between the richest and poorest."

It results inherently does it? And so then it is your contention that there were NO TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES FROM 1945-1980?

Because logically speaking Q.B. that is the only way your post makes any sense.

Again what is the REASON(S) that the middle class experienced a very healthy growth (largest in our history) from 1945-1980 and then began to shrink from 1980 till now....still waiting Q.B...again unless you are contending that there were not technological advances from 1945-1980.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 3, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

RUK, to suggest that President Obama made a mockery of ANYTHING in his Iraq speech is, to me, INSTA-FAIL.

When I say "professional left" I mean paid advocates and bloggers like Mr. Serwer, Mr. Sargent, Mr. Marshall at TPM to name a few, not to mention the tv crew (Olberman, Maddow, Schultz) and the more mainstream columnists. While I agree with most of them nearly al of tje time on issues, I think they, with the only real exception being Rachel Maddow, have really let the Dem party down by failing to successfully communicate the essential facts that support the administrations worthy policies. It reaaly is a shame imho and leads me to believe that the progressive movement, while right on the issues, was either not prepared or not qualified to make the case. There has been way too much focus on factors that do NOTHING to advance either the President's agenda, and that is really a shame since the President really has had a progressive agenda. I understand frustration with certain bills not being strong enough, but failure to communicate was NOT an option, and we are suffering the result of that failure now. The result being, of course, a strengthened and emboldened far right.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 3, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

RUK, to suggest that President Obama made a mockery of ANYTHING in his Iraq speech is, to me, INSTA-FAIL.

When I say "professional left" I mean paid advocates and bloggers like Mr. Serwer, Mr. Sargent, Mr. Marshall at TPM to name a few, not to mention the tv crew (Olberman, Maddow, Schultz) and the more mainstream columnists. While I agree with most of them nearly al of tje time on issues, I think they, with the only real exception being Rachel Maddow, have really let the Dem party down by failing to successfully communicate the essential facts that support the administrations worthy policies. It reaaly is a shame imho and leads me to believe that the progressive movement, while right on the issues, was either not prepared or not qualified to make the case. There has been way too much focus on factors that do NOTHING to advance either the President's agenda, and that is really a shame since the President really has had a progressive agenda. I understand frustration with certain bills not being strong enough, but failure to communicate was NOT an option, and we are suffering the result of that failure now. The result being, of course, a strengthened and emboldened far right.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 3, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

FWIW: Ms. Theron was born on August 7, 1975 in Benoni Gauteng, South Africa, but she is a Democrat. According to the anti-Birthers, she is therefore eligible to become President of the United States too.

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 3, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Nickel once agains regurgitates GOP boilerplate with his "technological advances..." pullyerselfupbyyerbootstraps claptrap. Oy.

Nickel will not admit to what others have concluded about the state of the Middle Class http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,439766,00.html


Posted by: ChuckinDenton | September 3, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

ruk,

Call me crazy, I consider being called a moron who talks nonsense and having my statements misrepresented insulting.

Your claims that the middle class is "shrinking" are pretty much meaningless rhetoric.

I responded rather to your claim that income inequality has increased. And, no, I have no problem with that. I see nothing morally repugnant about it. I would like to have Bill Gates' or Warren Buffet's money, but they earned it and I didn't. The nature of economic growth is indeed that these men become richer than the rich of the past, but the poor never gain as much. Think about it. How exactly would janitors or housekeepers make significant advances as a result of technological advancements and growth? Computer technology created billionaires out of people who saw the future and created software and hardware. It didn't do much for janitors. You should know that this is standard economic principle accepted rather broadly across the ideological spectrum. Only you and Krugman apparently don't accept it.

You already have the answer to your questions about 1945-80 versus 80 to now, if you think about it and actually have any grasp of logic. The high-tax, redistribution, unionized economy was in full flower then, and it restrained and redsitributed after-tax gains fairly effectively. Great if redistribution and restraint of inequality are your goals rather than freedom and growth.

There was a Cato paper on this topic some time ago. I dont recall the author, but you can find it with a little googling. Look it up if you would like. Or don't, and stick to your Krugman-Garfinkle Bible.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 3, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Here are some Cato papers on claims of income inequality for you.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=cato+institute+income+inequality&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=CFsPmVHuBTKfGC6e-zgSht9GLBQAAAKoEBU_Qh3iJ

Learn and enjoy.

Then explain again how cutting the top rate a few points destroyed the economy and raising a few points will restore it.

Sheer nonsense.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 3, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

And ruk please explain how tax cuts caused the real estate bubble and financial meltdown. We had gdp and job growth otherwise.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 3, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

qb has admirably dealt with most of your post, but I couldn't let this pass.

"FACT- WE CURRENTLY ARE PAYING THE LOWEST TAXES SINCE HARRY TRUMAN...THAT'S RIGHT TEA BRAINS...THE LOWEST TAXES IN 50 YEARS!"

No. "We" may be currently paying the lowest tax rates, but in fact the amount of taxes that the fed collected from "us" in 2009 was over 5 times more in constant dollars than it collected in 1950.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 3, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

@ Ethan2010 | September 3, 2010 6:17 PM:

Hear, hear!

(I was tempted to say from your lips to god's ear but let's face it, I'm an atheist.)

Posted by: CalD | September 3, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan "It really is a shame imho and leads me to believe that the progressive movement, while right on the issues, was either not prepared or not qualified to make the case."

We are agreed! I believe this is what wbgonne is trying to say as well. Most of us still believe Obama is an erudite, well intentioned man who in addition to facing the normal challenges of our nation also has to deal with a dysfunctional republican party more concerned about creating a "Waterloo" than helping their fellow citizens.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 3, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

@Scott "No. "We" may be currently paying the lowest tax rates, but in fact the amount of taxes that the fed collected from "us" in 2009 was over 5 times more in constant dollars than it collected in 1950."

Link of explanation please. Are you simply stating that or do you have a link. As for me I have linked before but perhaps you missed it.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/taxes/2010-05-10-taxes_N.htm

Amid complaints about high taxes and calls for a smaller government, Americans paid their lowest level of taxes last year since Harry Truman's presidency, a USA TODAY analysis of federal data found.

Some conservative political movements such as the "Tea Party" have criticized federal spending as being out of control. While spending is up, taxes have fallen to exceptionally low levels.

Federal, state and local income taxes consumed 9.2% of all personal income in 2009, the lowest rate since 1950, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. That rate is far below the historic average of 12% for the last half-century. The overall tax burden hit bottom in December at 8.8.% of income before rising slightly in the first three months of 2010.

Understand Scott...I think..perhaps I'm assuming..you can correct me if I'm wrong...but I believe we all agree...and by all I mean..R's D's I's and even teabags that we need to address the deficit. It seems foolish to me for us to borrow the many billions that will be added to the deficit to continue financing the tax cuts for the top 1-3%. The everyday American is suffering...the top 1-3 % are not!

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 3, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

rukidding wrote,
"Most of us still believe Obama is an erudite, well intentioned man who in addition to facing the normal challenges of our nation also has to deal with a dysfunctional republican party more concerned about creating a "Waterloo" than helping their fellow citizens."
------

In the likely event Republicans regain control of one or both houses of Congress in the upcoming midterms, I look forward to hearing people like you criticize any and all Democrats, including Obama, who oppose any legislation they propose. I wonder what we'll hear then about "the party of No," the "president of No," or obstructionism. What goes around comes around, and I'm sure even an ideologue wouldn't want to be aptly branded a hypocite.

Posted by: Brigade | September 3, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

@Q.B. First I did not call YOU a moron. Although I confess you could have assumed that I included you in my statement...
"the economy goes into the sh*tter and yet here are the same morons telling us to do it again." That did not state you specifically but I won't try to parse it to death. I suppose it's fair to assume you are one of those who are against the letting the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 1-3% expire. And so I apologize for even inferring you are a moron. Bad taste on my part. However that hardly constitutes a litany and by and large I've tried to turn over a new leaf and approach you as I do Scott in complete disagreement but with respect.

But surely you understand that respecting you is not synonymous with respecting your posts or agreeing with your opinions.

Several days ago you accepted the links I gave...or at least did not challenge them..about the increasing wealth distribution disparity in America and the resulting shrinkage of the middle class.
You failed to account for as to how that happened...except today when you posted
"..."that economic growth and progress -- driven by technological advances -- inherently result in increasing differences between the richest and poorest."
Given that there was certainly economic growth and progress from 1945-1980 the only logical conclusion is that you think there was no technological advances. Did you or did you not post that today?

Realizing you had backed yourself into a corner you suddenly changed the entire debate by now claiming there is no wealth disparity increase...nor a shrinking middle class. And so I cut and paste your link and what do I find..propaganda from ONE SOURCE..the freaking Cato institute..LMAO..co-founded by one of the greediest robber barons in the history of our country..one of the infamous Koch brothers. ONE SOURCE...a biased source at that...well here you go Q.B. if you really want to debate that there is NO INCOME DISTRIBUTION INEQUALITY IN OUR NATION AND THE MIDDLE CLASS IS NOT SHRINKING...

http://www.faireconomy.org/issues/growing_divide?gclid=COz-renC7KMCFUeW7QodYDWk3Q

The next one is particularly interesting because you'll notice the shift beginning in 1983...then 1998-2001 it actually gets better before shifting again for the remainder of this decade. A University btw not a partisan think tank funded by the infamous koch brothers.

http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

http://www.faculty.fairfield.edu/faculty/hodgson/courses/so11/stratification/income&wealth.htm

These data suggest that wealth is concentrated in the hands of a small number of families. The wealthiest 1 percent of families owns roughly 34.3% of the nation's net worth, the top 10% of families owns over 71%, and the bottom 40% of the population owns way less than 1%.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 3, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Q.B. There's more...

http://www.lcurve.org/

http://www.businesspundit.com/wealth-distribution-in-the-united-states/

Financially speaking, there is a great inequality in the United States. Over the last 30 years, while the rich have been getting richer, the poor have been getting steadily poorer. One reason for the growing disparity between the rich and the poor is the fact that most new jobs that are created pay low wages and often do not offer retirement plans or health coverage. Here is a graphic look at the widening gap between the nation’s rich and poor.

http://www.mint.com/blog/trends/wealth-distribution-07192010/

Q.B. I could come up with dozens and dozens and dozens of other links which state the obvious...the wealth has been shifting in our country and in a fashion that is dangerous to our welfare and well being. But rather than refer you to some partisan progressive think tank as you did me with the Cato institute..the propaganda arm of the koch brothers that maintains it is liberterian...let me answer you with a LIBERTERIAN...Ron Paul who has a bit of liberterian credibility..certainly more that the propaganda arm of the koch brothers. FROM RON PAUL'S WEBSITE Q.B.

http://www.dailypaul.com/node/111232

Top 1% own 38.1%
Top 96-99% own 21.3%
Top 90-95% own 11.5%
And it gets much uglier as you proceed downward. Bottom 40% of population has 0.2% of all wealth.

The founders equated freedom to liberty which in their language meant you "owned" property (you were not in debt). The amount of property you owned had a proportional relationship to the amount of liberty you experienced.

Our system of freedom is skewed and is becoming very dangerous (approx. 100 million US citizens experience ZERO freedom). You can only cage humans for so long and then something has to give. When liberty is skewed into the hands of a very small number of the population, then our ability to "self-govern" becomes a complete and utter illusion.

I believe in free markets, but this distribution of wealth is not a normal distribution in any way (meaning it is not subject to natural forces- i.e. statistics 101). It can only exist within an un-natural (non-free) system, where the relative nature of freedom is constrained."

Q.B. THAT WAS RON PAUL...hardly a bedwetting socialist progressive. His last paragraph sums it all up and you and SCOTT have no answer!!!!

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 3, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Brigade..WTF are you talking about...yeah what goes around comes around...but I doubt you'll hear a Democrat say something as stupid as the South Carolina inbred Jim Demint about creating anybody's "Waterloo"

And of course the Dems will not have to make up ludicrous lies like "death panels" or "pulling the plug on granny". However if the Dems were truly like R's then EVERY time they refer to Republian's or their ideas the word FASCIST should be inserted at every chance...just as the R's have done with Socialism. Of course considering the R's have dumbed themselves down the level of the Wasilla Hillbilly it's understandable that they don't have a clue as to what Socialism is or means.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 3, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

And ruk please explain how tax cuts caused the real estate bubble and financial meltdown. We had gdp and job growth otherwise.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 3, 2010 7:13 PM
-----

Do not expect an answer, because there is none. It was a dream of Bill Clinton and the Democrats that every American who wanted to own a home be able to own a home. The bipartisan repeal of Glass Steagall---90+ votes in the Senate, an overwhelming majority in the House---signed into law by President Clinton created the environment in which the worthless mortgages could be bundled into exotic financial instruments which, in turn, were given fraudulent ratings and foisted off on unsuspecting investors.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, arguably adjuncts of the Democratic party, were spared from regulation such as Sarbanes Oxley just as they were spared in the recent FinReg bill. When has it ever been a "conservative" idea to loan money to people who can't pay it back? This was guaranteed from day one to be an economic house of cards.

The failure of Democrats to recognize what caused our current economic mess and their propensity to blame it on the Bush tax cuts is alarming. They're in charge of the country, and they're stuck on stupid. Go ahead and push for tax increases during a recession, and see if you can get enough Dems to walk the plank. But don't just let "Bush's" cuts for the rich expire; let them all expire. No doubt the deficit will disappear overnight and we'll all be drinking free BubbleUp and eating rainbow stew.

Posted by: Brigade | September 3, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

And so Brigade..what do you say to Ron Paul who is NO DEMOCRAT...he is an elected REPUBLICAN..who in actuality is a libertarian.

Perhaps you could address the last paragraph that I linked from his website...

"Our system of freedom is skewed and is becoming very dangerous (approx. 100 million US citizens experience ZERO freedom). You can only cage humans for so long and then something has to give. When liberty is skewed into the hands of a very small number of the population, then our ability to "self-govern" becomes a complete and utter illusion.

I believe in free markets, but this distribution of wealth is not a normal distribution in any way (meaning it is not subject to natural forces- i.e. statistics 101). It can only exist within an un-natural (non-free) system, where the relative nature of freedom is constrained."

Brigade you are such a thoughtless partisan...perhaps suffering from Obama derangement syndrome that you stupidly bring Bill Clinton into the picture...the ONLY PRESIDENT TO SUBMIT A BALANCED BUDGET in decades...by example Saint Ronnie tripled the deficit during his reign.

Of course Phil Gramm the pinhead from Texas had NOTHING to do with Glass Stegall or any other deregulation.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 3, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

BTW Brigade...besides your historic revisionism consider what your wrote..

"It was a dream of Bill Clinton and the Democrats that every American who wanted to own a home be able to own a home."

And that was a bad thing? A bad goal. Do you not care about your fellow Americans? Or perhaps only the wealthy ones like the koch brothers.

NOBODY FORCED anybody to make a loan! Nobody FORCED any Wall Street greedy ba4trds to bundle them into "derivatives" and certainly nobody FORCED them to create the infamous Credit Default Swaps that purported to "insure" those toxic derivatives without any collateral behind them.

If you are trying to argue that the R's are the party of regulation and control of Wall Street and the D's are the party of deregulation and laizzez faire economics...well that is simply too absurd to even consider.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 3, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

"Are you simply stating that or do you have a link."

See link below, middle section, government receipts in constant (2005) dollars, 1940-2009.

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=200

"While spending is up, taxes have fallen to exceptionally low levels."

This is a semantic deception. Taxes have not fallen to exceptionally low levels.
The percentage of total income that goes to taxes has fallen, but since incomes have grown by so much, the actual dollar amounts that governments have received in taxes has grown immensely.

"It seems foolish to me for us to borrow the many billions that will be added to the deficit to continue financing the tax cuts..."

No, no, no. This is a conceptual error that you people on the left continually make, intentionally or not. Tax cuts do not need to be "financed" any more than a worker who has seen his annual pay drop needs to "finance" his loss of income. He needs to finance his expenditures, not his drop in income. You wouldn't say that the worker has "spent" money by lowering his income, would you? No, that would be stupid. Likewise it is stupid to claim that lowering income from taxes is "spending" money.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 3, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7 wrote,
"Brigade..WTF are you talking about...yeah what goes around comes around...but I doubt you'll hear a Democrat say something as stupid as the South Carolina inbred Jim Demint about creating anybody's 'Waterloo'"
----

Step away from your keyboard. Bend over and pull vigorously on your neck. The loud pop you'll hear will be your head coming out of your rear end. What I posted should be clear to all but the most mentally challenged. All we've heard for two years, as Republicans opposed Obama's policies, is crap about "the party of No" and false charges of racism. Now should the voters return control of Congress to the Republicans, we naturally wonder whether people like you will call Democrats on being the "party of No" should they oppose the Republican agenda. Is that clear enough, bozo?

"And of course the Dems will not have to make up ludicrous lies like "death panels" or "pulling the plug on granny".

Lies? I believe the idea is that as resources become scarce and your sainted but terminal granny needs expensive care to keep her around a bit longer, SOMEONE will have to make a decision. If not an insurance bureaucrat then certainly a government bureaucrat. Good luck suing the government.

"However if the Dems were truly like R's then EVERY time they refer to Republian's or their ideas the word FASCIST should be inserted at every chance...just as the R's have done with Socialism."

Been there, done that. I guess you slept through Bush43's two terms.

"Of course considering the R's have dumbed themselves down the level of the Wasilla Hillbilly it's understandable that they don't have a clue as to what Socialism is or means."

Oh, I think they understand. But we always get around to "inbred" and "stupid" and "dumb" and "Wasilla Hillbilly", don't we? Speaking of South Carolina politicians, how's Alvin Greene doing these days? Or we could step into neighboring Georgia and take a look at Democrat Representative Hank Johnson---maybe ask him if Guam has tipped over from overpopulation yet. As for Palin, has she ever said anything about those flags the astronauts left on Mars? Did she ever ask a paraplegic to "stand up, Chuck!"? Did her pastor ever mention America's chickens coming home to roost or invite Loonie Louie Farrakhan to preach to the congregation? Yep, you Dems have all the deep thinkers on your side.

Posted by: Brigade | September 3, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Brigade you are such a thoughtless partisan...perhaps suffering from Obama derangement syndrome that you stupidly bring Bill Clinton into the picture...the ONLY PRESIDENT TO SUBMIT A BALANCED BUDGET in decades...by example Saint Ronnie tripled the deficit during his reign.

Of course Phil Gramm the pinhead from Texas had NOTHING to do with Glass Stegall or any other deregulation.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 3, 2010 9:16 PM
-----

I didn't reference the rest of your post because it's totally incoherent and has nothing to do with anything I said.

Phil Gramm was one of the authors of the repeal of Glass-Steagall. I never implied otherwise. I said the vote on the legislation was overwhelmingly bipartisan
and Clinton signed it into law. Sort of hard to blame the Republicans, now isn't it? I guess you forgot that Republicans controlled Congress when Bill Clinton left us with that wonderful surplus. What say we try that formula again come November---Democratic president, Republican Congress?

Posted by: Brigade | September 3, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Scott...wow dude talk about semantics...you'd rival Bill Clinton's the meaning of is....whew..

If the worker loses income then he is financing his expenditures....BORROWING...I have personally had to do this with my small business thanks to the Bush economic crisis.
This past year we are back to breaking even and so I don't have to FINANCE anything. Cash flow takes care of it.

If a Government is spending more than it takes in then it is borrowing...to the degree it cuts it's income..taxes...it must then borrow more! These tax cuts do not pay for themselves according to the vast majority of economists.

I agree tax cuts do not have to be "financed" if we were running a budget surplus...we are not...and have not been for the past decade.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 3, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Brigade...don't know what the Wasilla Hillbilly's pastor said...but we've all seen the video of her getting an exorcism done by an African witch doctor in her church.

Alvin Greene..Hank Johnson...who are these people...nobody other than political junkies have heard of them. Greene's own state party has tried to disown him. Demented on the other hand is a leading Republican in the Senate. He is able to do REAL damage...did he give a rat's arse about America's need for HCR...no he simply went immediately for the "Obama's Waterloo" card. A real patriot. NOT!!!!

As for death panels your own post shows how evil that really was...you say...

"SOMEONE will have to make a decision. If not an insurance bureaucrat then certainly a government bureaucrat. "

So you agree we ALREADY HAVE RATIONING. That was not the Wasilla Hillbilly's point at all..nor were the pulling the plug on granny...it was all about Obama's Waterloo.

And alas because of that duplicitous behavior our country never really addressed the GENUINE problems we have.
And whether it's your granny or my mother or granny...if they're 94 with terminal cancer but an expensive triple by pass will give them two more months of life..at the expense of some less fortunate 50 year old for whom the triple by pass means another 20 years of life then yes it is time to pull the plug on granny!!!

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 3, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7 wrote,
"BTW Brigade...besides your historic revisionism consider what your wrote..

'It was a dream of Bill Clinton and the Democrats that every American who wanted to own a home be able to own a home.'

"And that was a bad thing? A bad goal. Do you not care about your fellow Americans? Or perhaps only the wealthy ones like the koch brothers."
-----

Good thing you didn't try to point out any "historic" revisionism. That would have been awkward since I didn't offer any. And, yes, it was a bad goal, a bad thing. I had to qualify for my home loan, demonstrate an ability to repay. Qualifying for a home mortgage is not about being rich. How'd this business of the bad mortgages work out? Care to defend it?
-------

"NOBODY FORCED anybody to make a loan! Nobody FORCED any Wall Street greedy ba4trds to bundle them into "derivatives" and certainly nobody FORCED them to create the infamous Credit Default Swaps that purported to "insure" those toxic derivatives without any collateral behind them."

Well aren't you the fox. Of course no one was FORCED to make a bad loan. They were REWARDED for making them. When you can make a bad loan, pocket a fat commission, and dump the worthless paper---the risk---on someone else, it's kind of a no-brainer. And it wasn't even illegal. Same with the derivatives and credit swaps. No one FORCED them, but they made them very legal and very profitable---"they" being the politicians.
-------

"If you are trying to argue that the R's are the party of regulation and control of Wall Street and the D's are the party of deregulation and laizzez faire economics...well that is simply too absurd to even consider."

Unless you have comprehension problems, you know I said no such thing. I said it was a liberal ideal that served as the impetus and a bipartisan piece of legislation that made it all possible. Chris Dodd and Barney Frank have hands as dirty as any Republican's. And once it became profitable, of course lots of Republicans got rich. And NO ONE wants to be held accountable. It's all the fault of the Bush tax cuts and the Iraq war. And people like you, who seem to know better, keep pushing the B.S.

Posted by: Brigade | September 3, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

"These tax cuts do not pay for themselves"

Sigh. You just don't get it. Tax cuts do not have to be "paid for" Expenditures have to be paid for. A tax cut is not an expenditure. It is a drop in income.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 3, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Sigh. You just don't get it. Tax cuts do not have to be "paid for" Expenditures have to be paid for. A tax cut is not an expenditure. It is a drop in income.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 3, 2010 10:56 PM
-----

Scott, liberals live in an alternate reality. In their world, everything belongs to the government, so anything the government allows you to keep is a government expenditure.

Posted by: Brigade | September 3, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

@Scott...fine...the drop in income does not replace itself by magically producing itself in new found income.

Again I think we are going round and round about the meaning of is here..so to speak.

If we were running a surplus tax cuts would not affect the deficit...since we are running a deficit tax cuts have to be borrowed. Whether you call them paid for..or whatever. Perhaps you prefer the description...somebody has to replace the income lost by these tax cuts. Currently that seems to be the Chinese.

I had a European real estate instructor once who said the view from Germany is that the R's and D's are the same except for one difference.
D's tax and spend.
R's borrow and spend.

I realize you look at taxation as something akin to confiscation and therefore cutting one's taxes is simply allowing them to keep their own money.

I however view taxes as a normal societal expense..much as I view my power bill..cable bill..mortgage as legitimate expenses. Well Fargo is not confiscating my money. If Well's Fargo suddenly cut my mortgage I would KEEP more of my income.
What I am purchasing with my tax dollars runs a gamut of things...some of which you also agree to purchase...other things I desire are more ethereal perhaps...I don't wish to have a brutish society where child labor is still permitted...where old people are left to fend for themselves or where the gifted are allowed to take advantage of the less gifted.

Ironically the last two paragraphs of Ron Paul's pretty much encapsulates how I feel.

"Our system of freedom is skewed and is becoming very dangerous (approx. 100 million US citizens experience ZERO freedom). You can only cage humans for so long and then something has to give. When liberty is skewed into the hands of a very small number of the population, then our ability to "self-govern" becomes a complete and utter illusion.

I believe in free markets, but this distribution of wealth is not a normal distribution in any way (meaning it is not subject to natural forces- i.e. statistics 101). It can only exist within an un-natural (non-free) system, where the relative nature of freedom is constrained."

Or as I have been saying repeatedly..where the golden rule is....He who has the gold makes the rules.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 3, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

ruk,

"Several days ago you accepted the links I gave...or at least did not challenge them..about the increasing wealth distribution disparity in America and the resulting shrinkage of the middle class."

First, I just tried to google up the previous thread where we discussed this so I could link it, but it somehow appears to have evaporated. I recall many of the statements in the comments, but it just doesn't appear in google results. (Why are Greg or his minions hiding the evidence of your debunking!?)

In any event, one can't respond to everything in comments. I did not accept your claims that income (or sometimes you confuse income with wealth) inequality has departed from historical norms since 1980 but focused principally on refuting your primary assertion, which was that tax rate cuts destroyed the middle class and the economy. And I believe I even provided you a link to a Cato paper then refuting the inequality myth.

"You failed to account for as to how that happened...except today when you posted
"..."that economic growth and progress -- driven by technological advances -- inherently result in increasing differences between the richest and poorest."

No, I told you exactly the same thing on the previous thread. This is fundamental economics. Do you deny it? If so, perhaps you will enlighten us by explaining how we should have expected to see a janitor's income rise proportionately with that of Bill Gates from 1980 to 2010. Keep in mind that the janitor's job and economic contribution are not substantially different than they were 100 years ago.

"Given that there was certainly economic growth and progress from 1945-1980 the only logical conclusion is that you think there was no technological advances. Did you or did you not post that today?"

Your logic has no logic. Let me try one last time to enlighten you. Economic progress tends to widen income and wealth disparities because the most successful actors will always make more gains than the least, who fail to contribute to that growth and advancement to the same degree and sometimes at all.

But such gains can be restrained and redistributed by government, and the high-tax, compulsory unionization, regulatory approach that was more dominant between the New Deal and 1980 was designed to do just that. It is quite debatable whether there has even been any significant increase in income inequality since 1980 (see the Cato papers, for example, or Veronique de Rugy), but if there has been it does not mean there was no technology or economic advancement previously. It means government interventions were used to suppress its effects.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 4, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Hey all, here's a Saturday open thread for you:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/09/open_thread_3.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 4, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

"Realizing you had backed yourself into a corner you suddenly changed the entire debate by now claiming there is no wealth disparity increase...nor a shrinking middle class."

False. See above. I said exactly the same thing.

You also continue to equate the claimed "wealth disparity increase" (which you further equate to "income" disparity increase) with "a shrinking middle class." Again, this is a term with no apparent meaning. You always seem to imply that the "middle class" has made no economic gains in 30 years or perhaps even lost ground.

Look, economists can play all sorts of games with statistics. The claim that the middle class has made no gains to its material living standards is flat-out preposterous. Do you seriously suggest that a person with your equivalent "class ranking" had an equal standard of living 35 years ago? Did middle class families have better TVs, more cars, more food, better vacations? Who had a microwave oven or an Ipod? A computer? The internet????? Who had 500 TV channels or satellite radio? These claims of "losing ground" are absurd on their face and nothing but statistical hocus pocus.

"And so I cut and paste your link and what do I find..propaganda from ONE SOURCE..the freaking Cato institute..LMAO..co-founded by one of the greediest robber barons in the history of our country..one of the infamous Koch brothers. ONE SOURCE...a biased source at that..."

Your careless reading is showing. I clearly said that I linked . . . Cato papers.

And should we be surprised that your response is cartoonish ad hominem? The bankruptcy of your arguments is again self evident.

"Q.B. I could come up with dozens and dozens and dozens of other links which state the obvious...the wealth has been shifting in our country and in a fashion that is dangerous to our welfare and well being."

And I could cite dozens that refute your claims.

At a conceptual or fundamental level, however, your side has corrupted the very language of the debate with shoddy notions like "the wealth has been shifting." You consider a lack of government redistributionary interventions to be a "shifting of wealth" in itself. You live in a zero-sum and purely relativistic world where all that anyone has a rightful entitlement to have is what the government deigns to allow him to have. That is what is dangerous. You simply don't believe in liberty. You believe that to allow X to keep what he earns is to rob Y. You believe the fruits of my labors belong to someone else.

Of course, your side typically conveniently finds ways to lay these burdens on others but avoid taking responsibility yourselves. Live up to your claimed principals; give your own wealth to the poor, then come and lecture the rest of us. Just like Ted Kennedy, George Soros, John F. Kerry, and all the other rich liberals did . . . oh wait . . ..

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 4, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Response to ruk part III:

I just realized I made a foolish mistake above. Of course, what the rich and upper middle class liberals need to do is give their wealth to the government, not the poor.

"The founders equated freedom to liberty which in their language meant you "owned" property (you were not in debt). The amount of property you owned had a proportional relationship to the amount of liberty you experienced.

Our system of freedom is skewed and is becoming very dangerous (approx. 100 million US citizens experience ZERO freedom). You can only cage humans for so long and then something has to give. When liberty is skewed into the hands of a very small number of the population, then our ability to "self-govern" becomes a complete and utter illusion."

I'd like to see your historical sources for your claims.

100 million of "ZERO freedom." Really? Don't you think you are a bit off the deep end now?

Isn't it funny, too, that wealth disparities were great at the time of the founding? Are you suggesting that the founders intended for the government to redistribute wealth and restrain wealth inequalities through income taxes, etc.?

Are you suggesting that, even accepting your (fanciful) claims about the meaning of liberty, the founders redistributed the new nation's wealth so that everyone had equal "liberty" (i.e., according to you, wealth)? Or even "some" "liberty"?

Are you suggesting that we somehow deviated after 1789 from a virtuous redistributionist state the founders gave us?

Where is all this in our history books? When was the income tax enacted again? When was the modern welfare state erected? The Income Tax, Wealth Redistribution, and Liberty Expansion Act of 1789?

You realize how absurd your thesis is now?

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 4, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

"NOBODY FORCED anybody to make a loan! Nobody FORCED any Wall Street greedy ba4trds to bundle them into "derivatives" and certainly nobody FORCED them to create the infamous Credit Default Swaps that purported to "insure" those toxic derivatives without any collateral behind them."

In addition to Brigade's effective skewering, a couple of points.

First, in numerous respects and instances, the government in fact did force banks to make loans they would not otherwise have made and that did not meet their standards.

Second, your argument is equivalent to my saying, no one forced people to borrow loans they could't repay. Or no one forced tax payers to pay lower taxes. So why blame lenders instead of them?


Posted by: quarterback1 | September 4, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Finally, ruk, two things.

Your original claim was that tax cuts killed the middle class and the economy. That is always your hobby horse. I refuted that argument the other day by comparing your claims to the actual history of post-1980 tax rates.

And you completely dropped it. It isn't me who has not explained what you claim is a "shrinking middle class" or increased inequality. It is your explanation for your own claim that has failed.

Second, it's fascinating to see you relying on Ron Paul and adopting the views of a claimed libertarian. But if those are his views, they are still more than a little wacky. Perhaps he can give you an explanation of how the Founders instituted wealth equality, which we somehow let slip away.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 4, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

ruk,

I also looked at your Ron Paul link out of curiosity, since the historical claim is so bizarre.

You realize it is just a post by some anonymous blog member? It isn't even Ron Paul.

And this anonymous person has some bizarre beliefs. Read the comments. He asserts for example that:

"If we truly had a "free system" with free and open competition then mathematically, based on random events (unconstrained and free system) the wealth distribution curve MUST move toward a normal distribution (by the laws of nature- not any government system). Do you have any understanding of the probability density function and its representation of random events?"

Now, I would be the first to agree that we don't have anything like true free markets. But this statement is as far as I can tell without any empirical or even a logical philosophical support. It is just a statement of belief.

My view is reinforced by a later comment where he says that the normal distribution that would be produced by a free market would mean that 68& of the population would own 68% of all wealth. I am no statistician, but I am pretty sure this is statistical nonsense, and I am quite certain it is economic nonsense.

Do you disagree? Do you honestly think that in a true free market wealth ownersship would be equal? That is what he is asserting, and he is further asserting that this is a normal or Gaussian distribution.

This person has no idea what he is talking about, either historically or economically.

As for the wealth statistics themselves, he doesn't say where they come from, but typically those stats are derived by equality advocates and exclude entire categories of wealth. The wealthiest certainly have the most wealth. They also pay the taxes in even greater disproportion.

But in any event, I would rely on this anonymous poster if I were you.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 4, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

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