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Dems' bill would help more small businesses than extending tax cuts for rich

Fun fact of the day: The small business bill that the President signed earlier this week would help far more small businesses than extending the Bush tax cuts for those above $250,000.

The small business bill was opposed by almost all Repubicans, while the principle rationale many GOPers (and some conservative Dems) have given for extending the high end tax cuts is that it would help small businesses.

Extending the Bush tax cuts would impact roughly 2.5 percent of small businesses -- some 900,000 of them, according to the Tax Policy Center.

By contrast, the new small business bill, which would create a $30 billion fund to open up lending to small businesses, would directly impact far more of them than extending the high-end tax cuts. According to the White House fact sheet, over one million small businesses are eligible to receive investments this year that could be excluded from capital gains taxation; and millions more will be able to make new investments, because the ceiling has been lifted on the amount that can be written off.

To be clear, there's nothing inconsistent in Republicans supporting the high end tax cut extension, while opposing the small business bill. That's broadly consistent with the overall GOP argument: We must rein in government spending while freeing up private capital to foster economic growth. But the above comparison shows just how heavily invested Republicans are in tax cuts as the cure-all.

By Greg Sargent  | September 29, 2010; 2:05 PM ET
Categories:  House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, economy  
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Next: The Charlie Crist crunch

Comments

Just opened up $300,000,000,000 in new lending along with the elements you just highlighted.

You'd think Republicans would be all over this one. I guess when they say no they mean no, even if it means potentially hurting small business.

I imagine this vote is being hammered into advertisements as we speak.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 29, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Too bad DEMS joined in the bipartisan filibuster then, huh?

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 29, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Now I know why we haven't seen any new projections of how many House and Senate seats the Repubs are going to gain -- the number is shrinking so fast the experts can't keep up.

Republicans in their heart of hearts really don't want to take back control of Congress. It's too much work and not nearly as fun as being obstructionists.

Posted by: Observer691 | September 29, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I'd like all the tax cuts to expire.

There was nothing crippling about the tax code under Clinton. Nothing at all.

I don't buy in to the argument that letting the expiration of these tax cuts go as planned, as per the GOP plan, will crash this economy. Most economists agree that the multiplier effect of tax cuts is LESS than the multiplier effect of direct spending. Therefore, while tax cuts can have a positive impact, they just aren't the best bang for the buck.

Heck, according to Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Economy.com and a former adviser to Republican Sen. John McCain during his 2008 presidential campaign, making the Bush income tax cuts permanent has a multiplier of 0.32, which means that for every dollar the government cuts in taxes, GDP grows by $0.32. Cutting the corporate tax rate also has a multiplier of $0.32. Yet the tax multiplier for food stamps is $1.74...

That is why I am not hot and bothered about the Dems not holding a vote on the tax cut issue; I don't WANT them to extend the tax cuts. I didn't want the tax cuts when Bush passed them, why would I want them now?

If you absolutely must do a tax cut of some kind go with a Payroll tax holiday.

Besides, I doubt the Dems could get the messaging right in any case. 90 plus percent of us received a tax cut as part of the stimulus yet what percent of us even realize that?

Posted by: nisleib | September 29, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Democratic policy is better than Republican policy.

In other news:

The Earth is Not Flat,
Humans Require Water to Survive,
and
Land Mines are Dangerous!

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | September 29, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

"Too bad DEMS joined in the bipartisan filibuster then, huh?"

Read the article.

OT but, it's like these bozo's don't even try and hide it any longer.

"How often can you go see a bunch of white guys play basketball?" Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) said of seeing the Ivy League school's hoops team play, sources told POLITICO....Paul Lindsay, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said it was all in jest."

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0910/42889.html

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 29, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Ladies and Gentlemen:


LET ME BE CLEAR


This is what Obama wants small businesses to do: BORROW MONEY so they can PAY OBAMA'S HIGHER TAXES AND HIGHER HEALTH CARE PREMIUMS.

This is a complete joke.


This is NOT an economic plan - it is the DUMBEST THING EVER.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 29, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

STRF - No, your posts on this blog are, "the DUMBEST THING EVER."

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

"To be clear, there's nothing inconsistent in Republicans supporting the high end tax cut extension, while opposing the small business bill. "

Perhaps not, but it's even more consistent if you think the Republican's goal is a cynical ploy to deprive the Democrats of any victory.

Given the pricetag of the legislation, and the struggling economy, signing on to the small business bill would make a lot more sense that signing on for the original stimulus. Also, voting for such a bill does not mean they can't still support high end tax cuts . . .

I think if the Republicans were serious about making an effort to boost the economy, some of them would have signed on to this bill.

@Observer: "Now I know why we haven't seen any new projections of how many House and Senate seats the Repubs are going to gain -- the number is shrinking so fast the experts can't keep up."

While not impossible, this seems like wishful thinking. But, I've never been convinced that the Republicans are going to enjoy an incredible sweep into power. Revolutions are rarely accurately predicted. Rather, I'm expecting them to gain seats in both houses, thus making obstruction easier, while not actually taking control of both houses--maybe one, but maybe not. They aren't running on much, other than not being Democrats.

However, history indicates that the Republicans should do well, if not as spectacularly as some are predicting, in the mid-terms.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 29, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Kevin_Willis:

You were wrong about "history indicat[ing]" Obama will be a two-term President as well ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 29, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Just a couple of things.

Each day that I read Mr Sargent's blog I am impressed with his ability to mischaracterize the vast universe of non liberals.

IMHO there really is no good explanation for this. I can only surmise that either Mr Sargent actually understands the conservative position and mischaracterizes it to achieve some personal goal like, for example, creating a following of liberal commenters. Or he truly just doesn't get it.

In any case his "explanation" of things above is ludicrous on its face.

Why? Point two: businesses don't need loans right now, they need CUSTOMERS. Borrowing money while cash flow is in the tank is a prescription for suicide. Smart folks won't hire or extend investments until some of the economic indicators show that a decent ROI is possible. That just ain't so in the current economic environment.

I'm not surprised that the Obama economics team got this one wrong. After all, summers slumbers and geithner can't make turbo tax work right.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 29, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

nisleib at 2:29


There is no singular - plural agreement in your comment.


Please correct that.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 29, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Nisleib

The small business owners ARE facing 20% higher health insurance premiums - and perhaps 10% higher next year as a RESULT of Obama's health care plan.


How is anyone supposed to expand hiring under those circumstances???


The health care COSTS for EXISTING employees are skyrocketing.


ON TOP OF THAT, Obama wants to raise the TAXES on these small business owners $700 Billion.


HHHMMMM - yea, maybe they DO need a loan.


BUT A LOAN TO PAY ALL THESE INCREASES WHICH ARE OBAMA'S FAULT.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 29, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

nislieb:

"I'd like all the tax cuts to expire."

Well, you have control over your own tax cut regardless of what congress does. If you want to pay a higher rate, you certainly can. I'm guessing the US treasury will not reject your kind donation. Have at it.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 29, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

@kevin: "I think if the Republicans were serious about making an effort to boost the economy, some of them would have signed on to this bill."

Well - "some" did, but more to the point - Greg doesn't help here at all by not explaining *why* the GOP did not support this bill. Skip above is spot on - small businesses need customers. More:

"While the objectives of H.R. 5297 may be laudable, the policy blindly ignores the findings of the Congressional Oversight Panel (COP) which clearly states that the Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF) may have little or no effect on small business credit access or job creation. According to the Panel’s May 2010 report, “The SBLF also raises questions about whether, in light of the [Capital Purchase Program’s] poor performance in improving credit access, any capital infusion program can successfully jump-start small business lending. Supply-side solutions that rely on bank balance sheets, such as the CPP and the SBLF, may not increase lending.”

"... The COP report also pointed out that sub-normal levels of small business lending could be driven by a number of factors, including fewer financially sound businesses in a tightened underwriting environment or less demand for loans by businesses cutting costs and facing lower sales—not just the lack of capital on the part of lenders, as Democrat policies assume.

"...As long as businesses are faced with the multiple challenges of…enhanced political risk associated with unpredictable governmental interventions in the private sector, and uncertain health care and energy costs, it is unlikely that they will enthusiastically assume the entrepreneurial risk necessary for protracted economic expansion.”

"... Both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue have done little to stimulate sales, ... and chose instead the ineffective route to increase small business access to credit by increasing the number and size of Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, the latter being a bit like using a garden hose to put out a house fire.”

http://www.gop.gov/policy-news/10/09/10/democrats-small-business-jobs

Posted by: sbj3 | September 29, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

"The centerpiece of the bill is the creation of a $30 billion lending facility that would direct taxpayer money to regional banks on the condition they lend it out to small businesses.

The bill also includes about $12 billion in tax breaks, including an immediate write-off of 50% of new equipment purchases in 2010 for small and large businesses. It would double, to $500,000, the amount of new investment that small businesses are allowed to expense in 2010 and 2011.

It contains a proposal from Obama to eliminate capital gains taxes on certain small business stock.

The bill would allow self-employed people to deduct health insurance costs for themselves and their families. It also removes employer-provided cell phones from a list of items that can be taxed as fringe benefits."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703384204575510163698849570.html?mod=WSJ_SmallBusiness_LEFTTopStories

Sounds pro-business to me.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 29, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

John Boehner's Pledge To America; In A Nutshell.

More Feasts For Our Fat Cats.

More Starvation For The Rest Of You.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 29, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Nancy Pelosi almost didn't get enough votes today to get the House to close and go home

The 39 Democrats who voted against adjournment were a mix of centrist Blue Dogs and vulnerable members from Republican-leaning districts. Reps. Jason Altmire (Pa.), Gerry Connolly (Va.), Travis Childers (Miss.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Steve Driehaus (Ohio), Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (S.D.), Frank Kratovil (Md.), Walt Minnick (Idaho) and Tom Perriello (Va.) were among the vulnerable Democrats to vote against ending the work period without voting on the tax cuts.

.......................

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 29, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

ohn Boehner's Pledge To America; In A Nutshell.

We Republicans Want To Take You Back To The End Of 2008

More Feasts For Our Fat Cats.

More Starvation For The Rest Of You.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 29, 2010 2:51 PM

Posted by: Liam-still | September 29, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

yeah Mike, but where are the customers?

businesses look at their cash flow. I view this as "the size of the nut one must crack every month". does the firm have enough net revenue to meet my unavoidable costs? If the firm can barely cover existing expenses, where will it find the ready cash to pay back a loan? Even a loan at a good rate? And of what value are after the fact tax gimmicks if there are not enough sales to make good on existing obligations?

giving a business the ability to write off the depreciation in year one is terrific. Except that the firm still must pay its bills. buying a great new widget producing robot and getting a smoking deal from the bank doesn't help if there is no one purchasing the product.

is it a chicken and egg issue? I think so. but ultimately American business people need to be confident that their five year ROI forecast isn't pie in the sky and won't be destroyed by some hidden aspect of legislation that comes to light only months after the fact.

I'm thinking here of the sales tax on home sales that was embedded in obamacare. Just imagine being a realtor in a swanky part of the NYC 'burbs. Now imagine having the actual proceeds from a sale reduced by 4 or 5% because Obama needs the money. Who is gonna take that hit?

It is this opacity that is costing Obama and the Dems. They said they'd be transparent. Apparently they lied.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 29, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse


How or why, does anyone expect any of the members of the 2 main political parties to do anything constructive for America?

They are all corrupt and spineless. They are all so far in hock to the lobbyists and their payola that any public display is for propaganda use only. By the time the banks, unions ,corporations, military contractors and other assorted bribers get through, Congress can do nothing except hold their hands out.

Throw all of them out as soon as they are up for re-election and impeach those crooks now up for impeachment...and do it BEFORE the November election. They have been shelterd from justice long enough and if guilty, deserve life in jail.

Violating the trust given to Senators and Members of Congress should carry more penalties than drunk driving.

Get rid of the scum and start over. We have enough public servants to keep the books straight and pay the bills until the new elected servants get their desks ready.

Posted by: jstratt2 | September 29, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

"How often can you go see a bunch of white guys play basketball?" Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas)

Wow.

And he is the chair of the NRCC (National Republican Congressional Committee). Insane.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 29, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

nislieb:

"I'd like all the tax cuts to expire."

Well, you have control over your own tax cut regardless of what congress does. If you want to pay a higher rate, you certainly can. I'm guessing the US treasury will not reject your kind donation. Have at it.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 29, 2010 2:44 PM
.............

I see The Comments Parasite is up to his usual tricks.

He said: "all tax cuts", not just those that would apply solely to him.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 29, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

LET ME BE CLEAR


Obama and the democrats think it is THEIR money.


Obama believes the money EARNED by small businesses is HIS - and he should be able to TAKE as much as he wants.


Somehow - Obama tells us - if he does not TAKE THE MONEY FROM THE SMALL BUSINESSES, OBAMA HAS TO "BORROW" IT.

No, Obama can stop spending - and that will settle the issue.


Obama wants to take $700 BILLION DOLLARS from American small businesses - and he would -


Except Obama couldn't because he didn't have the votes - Obama would have TAKEN the money already.

The democrats have got to be kidding.


America is on to your tricks, your deceptions - and AMERICA IS REJECTING THE DEMOCRATS.


The few democrats who remain will only stay because of gerrymandering - or other advantages that the democrats built into the system.


If EVERY democrat ran on a level playing field, EVERY DEMOCRAT WOULD BE VOTED OUT.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 29, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

STRF has made himself the spokesperson for all of "America". Soon he will start designing his own military style costumes, awarding himself many medals, and demand to be referred to as The Omnipotent STRF.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 29, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Ethan


Did you look up that stuff on the windfarms - I knew if I posted it you would not believe me.


While you are at it - you can look up the experience with solar farms too - in particular in Spain.


Spain put in place SUBSIDIES for electricity generation for solar power - all these companies popped up - and one town was particularly popular for solar companies.


The subsidies expired - and the companies went BUST -


Their electricity was just too expensive.

Remember to ask what the COST of things are before you tout them -


Like Obama's health care plan - Remember to mention that premiums went UP $460 Billion this year -


That is the COST of the additional benefits we have been hearing about - DO NOT PRETEND THEY ARE FREE - someone's got to pay.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 29, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Wind Farms are doing great in Denmark.

Wind Farms would do great where that Pinko Commie Energy Industry Billionaire, T Boone Pickens, seeks to have them established. Of course he does not know as much about the energy supply business as Windsock STFR does.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 29, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

STRF, why do you never talk about the rainforests?

Don't you want to SAVE the rainforests?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 29, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

All, introducing the Charlie Crist crunch:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 29, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Folks: Are You Feeling Nostalgic For The Bush/Cheney Great Recession Times.

Now is your chance to return to those times, that you are missing so much.

All Aboard The John Bohner Pledge to America Express. In No Time At All, He Promises To Land You Right Back In That Economy Ditch, That You Have Lately Being Pining Over.

Full Steam In Reverse; Back To:

More Feasts For Fat Cats,

And More Starvation For All The Rest Of Us.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 29, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Liam-still at 3:14 PM

At least everyone knows where I stand, not like the deceptions and lies of Obama.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 29, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

how much gummint money will Mr Pickens get? Isn't this a bit like the farm subsidies in that the taxpayers funnel money from their pocket to the pockets of agribusinesses? How would this be different?

Just to investigate the claim that Denmark is doing well I did a wee bit of googling.

Here's what I found from a publication called "money week"
"Denmark is the world’s most wind-intensive state with more than 6,000 turbines generating 19% of its electricity. But this figure is misleading, says Tony Lodge of the Centre for Policy Studies. Not one conventional power plant has been closed in the period that Danish wind farms have been developed.

In fact, the Danish grid used 50% more coal-generated electricity in 2006 than in 2005 to cover wind’s failings. The quick ramping up and down of those plants has increased their pollution and carbon dioxide output – carbon emissions rose 36% in 2006.

Meanwhile Danish electricity costs are the highest in Europe. The Danish experience suggests wind energy is “expensive, inefficient and not even particularly green”, says Lodge."

Oh, and in that same article:
"Subsidies have certainly been a big success in Texas, where 400ft turbines across the state are delivering electricity at a cost of $0.08 a kilowatt hour. That compares to $0.065 for nuclear and $0.05 for coal. "

Note the use of the word SUBSIDIES. With the cost of wind generated electricity some 23% higher than nuke and 60% higher than coal it is easy to see the big problem with the big turbines. so to achieve the lefty dream of executing an expensive hoax on the American public we must pay increased taxes to fund subsidies to billionaires such as Mr Pickens, or we must face what Mr Obama told us would be skyrocketing costs for electricity.

Or both.

No thanks.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 29, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Republicans, like most Americans, believe in letting people keep the money they earn. They do not believe in having the government confiscate people's hard-earned income with the one hand and then give some of it back with the other so long as these supplicants pleading for their own money meet the conditions imposed by Dear Leader. No, that "business" model is only appealing to you statist fans of Big Government (the real thing, not the website).

Posted by: RecriminyCricket | September 29, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Republicans, like most Americans, believe in letting people keep the money they earn. They do not believe in having the government confiscate people's hard-earned income with the one hand and then give some of it back with the other so long as these supplicants pleading for their own money meet the conditions imposed by Dear Leader. No, that "business" model is only appealing to you statist fans of Big Government (the real thing, not the website).

Posted by: RecriminyCricket | September 29, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Fat Cats do not earn a damn thing. They just invest and collect "unearned income" What part of "unearned" do you Joe The Plumber type morons not grasp?!

Posted by: Liam-still | September 29, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, I don't particularly care if the tax cuts for the middle class are extended either, although it's better than extending all of them. The most important thing right now is jobs and I don't believe tax cuts in general create that many.

And the newest small business loan and depreciation measures will help slightly but really, as a small business owner, what we really need are customers. Kevin's right it's a chicken/egg set of circumstances.

IMHO, it's the housing market that is holding everything down and until the foreclosures end, properties are either sold or crammed down (it'll never happen), we're in for a long slow recovery.

David Dayen has a great piece up about foreclosures, if you're game.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"All of this sidesteps the impact of millions of Americans losing their homes and going into foreclosure, which was not a predetermined scenario. As I’ve laid out pretty thoroughly, going all the way back to TARP, then-candidate Obama promised to use the necessary tools, like cramdown and a large loan modification program, to reset the housing market and keep borrowers in their homes. Not only did cramdown, one of the only ways to fix the mess, die, but the loan modification program put in its place has been abused by lenders and made the financial situation of many borrowers worse.

Now we’re learning that a healthy chunk of these foreclosures moving through the system are fraudulent, because in the go-go days of securitization, lenders would go to any lengths to create mortgages and push paper, leading to incomplete loan processing. Nobody really knows who owns a substantial number of properties in the US, and states have begun to step up for their residents and demand answers. There’s no question that this will move beyond Ally Financial/GMAC and become an industry-wide investigation."

http://news.firedoglake.com/2010/09/29/its-the-foreclosures-stupid-why-the-broken-housing-market-accounts-for-democratic-woes-more-than-bloggers/

Posted by: lmsinca | September 29, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

So no one who makes over $250K has earned it? Are you sure about that? Somebody has to make money to pay your bills Liam.

Posted by: RecriminyCricket | September 29, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

skip, you are aware aren't you that oil, coal and nuclear all receive subsidies right? It's not exactly the free market at work. Not only that but for the new nuclear plants that Obama proposed, the government (taxpayers), will be on the hook for guaranteeing the loans ($50b), although Obama has proposed they purchase insurance to cover the possibility of default, but they're fighting it.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 29, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

@JakeD2: "You were wrong about "history indicat[ing]" Obama will be a two-term President as well ; )"

No, I'm right. History indicates that Obama is likely to be a two-term president unless he faces a primary challenge or a 3rd party challenge. The great majority of so-called "one term" presidents either face primary challenges, were unable to get their party's nomination, or declined to run. I doubt Obama is going to decline to run, which leaves us with Herbert Hoover and one or two others who actually lost the presidency without facing a 3rd party or primary challenge. Thus is the power of incumbency. If you have any doubt, note that more than a few of the candidates who declined to run, or did not get their parties nomination, still ended up with their--the incumbent--party winning another term in the presidency. Incumbency is powerful, especially for the president, and especially if it's the first term after the opposition party held the Whitehouse.

If Obama does not face a primary or 3rd party challenger (and the 3rd party doesn't actually have to be to the left of Obama for that to hurt his election chances), then Obama will likely win a 2nd term.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 29, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

@sbj3: "Greg doesn't help here at all by not explaining *why* the GOP did not support this bill."

I should have noted, the devil is in the details. However, there are parts that are good enough, and conservative enough (from my distant view, at least), that would suggest that Republicans could have voted for it in good conscience. The loan program not withstanding. There is enough good stuff in there that in a non "Democratic Waterloo" legislative session, Republicans would not have filibustered.

As such, I consider it a kind of cynical obstructionism akin to what the Democrats did with Bush's Social Security reform. Or with the original Bush tax cuts, which ended with the Republicans passing them via reconciliation, and now trying to spin that necessity as a dastardly trick by Republicans to hide the "cost" of said tax cuts.

The Republicans have had a lot of opportunities to advance conservative legislation with a president who clearly wants to accomplish things, and they've decided rather than accomplish conservative policy goals, they want a scorched-earth-to-victory policy that may well lead to a substantial political victory. Then they'll worry about policy. Maybe.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 29, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

"How often can you go see a bunch of white guys play basketball?"

Just out of curiosity, is there an objective answer to that question? Sounds like a potential tautology to me.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 29, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Kevin,

Ever since the passing of the Civil Rights act, with the South switching solidly to the Republican side; history shows that Democratic Presidents are hard to elect or reelect. Look at the previous ten terms, before the 2008 election. The Republicans won seven out of the ten contests. The only times they lost, was when Carter was running against Ford, and the country was mad at Nixon and Ford. Of course Ford had never even won a state wide race, and had been appointed to both the VP slot, and the Presidency.

The only other time that Democrats took the White House, was twice with Bill Clinton, but I wonder would he have won without Perot having siphoned of a lot of right of center votes, away from Bush Sr.

Before the news of the Economic meltdown broke, McCain/Palin had actually gained a narrow lead in almost all the polls. When the economy crashed, and McCain went bonkers, trying to suspend his campaign, and cancel the debate, that was when Obama became the choice of the majority of voters.

He carried a lot of States that Democrats have seldom carried. I doubt if the economy had not collapsed that he would have won in States like Indiana.

Still, it all depends on how the economy looks around this time in 2012, and who the Republicans nominate. As of now; I see a clear path to the nomination for Palin, and only Palin can stop Palin. However; should a lot of her endorsed tea party candidates lose, then she might lose much of her appeal in the Republican primaries.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 29, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

in response to this:
=============
skip, you are aware aren't you that oil, coal and nuclear all receive subsidies right? It's not exactly the free market at work. Not only that but for the new nuclear plants that Obama proposed, the government (taxpayers), will be on the hook for guaranteeing the loans ($50b), although Obama has proposed they purchase insurance to cover the possibility of default, but they're fighting it.

=======
Define the word subsidy as you've used it above.

Describe which parts of which laws result in the defined subsidy.

I ask this because I hear about these but I've never seen the actual, you know, proof that they exist.

so I'll be glad to read what you share to support your contention.

and if you don't think the tax payers should be on the hook if the loans default, are you prepared to pull the plug on other such programs? Which ones?

And I note with amusement that there is no mention of my take down of the danish wind power contention.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 29, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse


"How often can you go see a bunch of white guys play basketball?"

Just out of curiosity, is there an objective answer to that question? Sounds like a potential tautology to me.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 29, 2010 4:21 PM
.............

And how often would a real sports fan want to go see such a group playing basketball? Even in Europe; they have the good sense to bring over many skilled African American basketball players, to improve their teams skill levels.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 29, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Heh.

Funny to see so many of our conservative commenters talking down the small business bill, making the point that supply follows demand, when qb and a lot of his fellow travellers were piling on the other day saying the exact OPPOSITE was true. But then it was in defense for tax cuts for rich people, so it was totally different.

I'm still chuckling over qb using Starbucks as an example of supply creating demand, especially since they closed so many stores just a year or so ago. Apparently opening one on every corner didn't generate sufficient demand to make them profitable.

Posted by: JennOfArk | September 29, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

jenn missed the point. Hardly surprising.

so let's try it again. Businesses don't need loans now, they don't need tax gimmicks now. They need customers.

the proposed bill won't create customers. A stable business environment will.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 29, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Demand increases supply, and not the other way around. If supply created demand, then all those Bush Tax Cut Fat Cats would not be sitting on their money now, instead of churning out products, to "create demand". That is why; Tax Cuts for Fat Cats, while borrowing trillions to pay for them, is a stupid idea. It did not work the last time, so why repeat the Bush stupidity.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 29, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

skip, I haven't studied the Danish energy issues so I don't have a response. I have no idea how it compares to what we are attempting to do here. Is it apples/apples or apples/oranges.

I do know about subsidies though and in general they are in the form of tax breaks for each industry, hence my point re free market. I'll have to look up the exact figures for you later but I seem to remember that the oil, gas and coal subsidies are in excess of $2.7 billion annually. And the cost of new nuclear plants are so prohibitive and risky that no one wants to guarantee the loans. I'm working right now so will find the figures for you later unless you want to do your own research.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 29, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are always clamoring for special tax breaks for various industries. How the hell is that any different than providing subsidies to jump start the much needed new energy technologies?

Posted by: Liam-still | September 29, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

That's what I'm getting at. I'm not trying to be difficult but I think it is fair to be clear about what we mean.

You are saying that these energy companies get a "tax break". what form of tax break is that exactly? There is a huge difference between letting someone keep the money they've earned and actually giving them some one else's money.

When I think subsidy I envision something like farm price support checks: Actual cash that is taken from tax payers and given to the subsidizee (just made that up!)

It is a tricky thing. Perhaps you are thinking of the oil depletion allowance?

Is the deduction for mortgage interest a form of subsidy? I think a case could be made for it. so let's see what the nature of the tax breaks are.

I checked on the danish thing really quickly because an assertion was made that the Danes were doing well. since I am thus far not persuaded that absent cash flows from the taxpayers to the windfarm owners the entire scheme makes economic sense I was curious to know if the Danes had it figured out. Apparently not.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 29, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Put it this way: if you want to increase the supply of jobs, you need to increase the demand of evil rich people for employees. That is, you need to make it so that investors see an opportunity to make healthy returns on their investments in hiring and expanding businesses. Raising their taxes, even if you promise to give it back after they jump through the requisite hoops, is not the best way to accomplish this. In fact, given how the rest of these Dems government incentive plans are working out (home loan modification anyone?), the burden of higher taxes will greatly outstrip whatever benefit the small business loan incentives are supposed to accomplish.

If Obama were smart he would be happy that the GOP is the majority in the new congress, passing pro-growth measures. He would sit back like Bill Clinton and enjoy not being forced to support whatever statism comes out of the Pelosi-Reid idea factory. But of course we know Obama won't be able to because he is much more of an ideologue than Slick Willie ever was.

Don't take my word for it, just watch the next recession start on Obama's watch because he insisted on his state-based, centrally-planned approach rather than letting people keep their own money.

Posted by: RecriminyCricket | September 29, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

skip,

Here's a quick list of just a few from wiki, I know you guys don't like them, but I have other sources. This is just an example that I think shows #1, we are hiding the true cost in dollars of oil and #2, there are distinct tax advantages over other industries which in my mind constitutes a subsidy. I suppose it could be considered a matter of semantics but if we want to see new industries emerge from the wreckage of our manufacturing base, maybe it's time to end some of these.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The United States government provides a large subsidy to oil companies, with major tax breaks at virtually every stage of oil exploration and extraction. Capital expenses, including the costs of oil field leases and drilling equipment, are taxed at an effective rate of nine percent, which is a much lower rate than the 25% rate for general business taxes and lower than the taxes of virtually any other industry, according to a 2005 study by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. For example, while the Deepwater Horizon oil rig was registered in the Marshall Islands, since registering off-shore lowered the U.S. tax liability, the U.S. government was giving the rig's owner, British Petroleum (BP), a major tax break when BP leased the rig: 70% of the rent was written off in the form of a tax break used only by the oil industry, for a tax deduction of more than $225,000 per day from the day the the lease began.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 29, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Denmark has figured it out. They are more than happy with the results of their alternative energy investments. Lots of small land owners are now earning a lot of money from the energy that they are selling to the grid. Many of them have already recouped all of their initial expenditures on the technologies, and are now enjoying both an abundant supply of free electricity, as well as selling the surplus amounts generated, to the grid.

Of course there will be a time lag, from start up, until any nation will start to reduce the amount of existing traditional power plants. Denmark is now close to weaning itself completely from importing Oil and Gas. If they had not gone Green, they would never have been able to do that, and would not have been able to greatly reduce their level of carbon emissions, and would have had to add additional dirty power generating plants.

The shills for the dirty energy cartels, and dependence on foreign oil sources, do not want people to hear about that, so of course they start tossing around a lot of lies about how it does not work in Europe.

If it did not work in Denmark, they would not be continuing to expand the conversion to green renewable energy, as they are continuing to do. But, they are doing just that.

T,Boone Pickens is the one to listen to, not all those internet shills for the Dirty Energy Cartels.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 29, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Get information on how to reduce your debt by filing for bankruptcy http://bit.ly/avB0jI

Posted by: joeaken30 | September 30, 2010 5:00 AM | Report abuse

Jenn, the thread is out there. Your performance was humiliating, and as usual you are still misrepresenting what I tried to no avail to get through your thick head. You lamely tried to defend your Keynesian macroeconomic "rich are hiding all the money under their mattresses" theory by citing microeconomic crises created by government bungling.

Some things you still don't get:

You actually can't just extrapolate a microeconomic event to a macroeconomic context. A single market is not the entire economy. Goods are substituted and all that. It's apparent that you never actually studied economics at any level. Saying that my business of offering ice cubes to Eskimos would fail proves nothing about your Keynesian demand theory.

It's also a fallacy to make a rule out of "demand creates supply" or "supply creates demand." As I explained to you, to no avail, in the crude terms you are using, it works both ways depending on circumstances. I gave you many examples of successfully introduced new products, for which, by definition, there was no demand before someone took a risk that people would want to buy them. You can't reason your way out of this by claiming that the "demand" was always there but just unknown, because that implies an infinite number of similar demand functions for potential products, and that isn't possible, because demand is both willingness and ability to pay.

In terms of economic activity, supply can also "precede" demand when a supply curve moves outward, for example if the cost of manufacturing falls. When electronics makers slash their prices, people buy a lot more. Of course, it all depends on circumstances, like whether everyone already has three DVD players.

You fail to grasp this because you apparently think of supply and demand only in the context of idle manufacturing capacity in a static economy, which you imagine can only be restarted by taking the money "hidden under the mattresse" of the "rich" to spend to get the factories running again. But of course it might be that the tax rates on the manufacturer have moved the supply curve, and you are simply bleeding the patient. You are, as I said, trapped in a Keynesian thought prison. That's why you don't even understand the economic theory you claim to be critiquing.

"Apparently opening one on every corner didn't generate sufficient demand to make them profitable."

Yep, they misjudged demand. But there are still 17,000 of them. Before they were opened, the average American didn't know he wanted to pay $6 for fattening, burned coffee. In economists' terms, that preference had not been revealed. So where was the demand before Starbucks offered expensive, fattening, burned coffee to millions of Americans? According to you, Starbucks shouldn't exist, because there was no demand.

One slogan doesn't always explain everything. You should figure that out.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 30, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

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