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Morning Fix: Democrats Hammer GOP on Stimulus



President Obama signs the $787 economic stimulus bill into law. Photo by Bill O'Leary of the Washington Post

House Democrats are launching a coordinated campaign of radio ads and phone calls into the districts of six Republican members seeking to turn their opposition to President Obama's economic stimulus package into a major political liability.

Radio ads will begin today against Reps. Don Young (Alaska), Brian Bilbray (Calif.), Tom Rooney (Fla.), Thad McCotter (Mich.), Peter King (N.Y.) and Charlie Dent (Pa.) that take them to task for opposing tax cuts and job creation measures.

The phone calls will take the same tone; "I hope you'll join me in calling Congressman McCotter to tell him to stop voting 'no,' to stop standing in the way of getting the economy moving again," says the call's narrator.

Democratic strategists feel as though they are on very solid political ground in attacking on the stimulus given the results of the New York 20th special election in late March.

The race was cast by both parties as a referendum on Obama's plan; Democrat Scott Murphy was solidly in favor of the legislation as a jobs creator while his Republican opponent (eventually) opposed it due to the loophole for corporate executive pay. (The race came amid the AIG bonus scandal.) Murphy won -- albeit narrowly.

Polling suggests voters blame Republicans far more than Democrats for the current economic problems and believe Democrats are the party better equipped to turn things around. Voters' overall approval of the president is already trickling down to the economy; a mid-May Pew poll showed 53 percent of Americans believe the country is on the "right track" -- up more than 20 points from a Pew survey conducted in January.

Given that data, expect Democrats to spend more time -- and money -- trying to punish Republicans for their vote against the stimulus in the coming days.

"We're going to continue to remind voters that Republicans chose to 'just say no' to getting the economy back on track rather than be part of the solution," said DCCC deputy executive director Jennifer Crider.

Of course, if the economy stays where it is or turns for the worse between now and next November, it could well be Republicans on offense on the issue at the ballot box.

A Fix Note: Starting today, we are changing the name of the "White House Cheat Sheet" to the "Morning Fix." Why? First and foremost, because we like the straightforwardness (is that a word?) of the new title; it's in the morning and it's on the Fix. Voila! Second, while we write regularly about the White House, we also write regularly about lots of other things in politics too; so, the new title seems like a better fit for what we are doing. For lovers of the Cheat Sheet, never fear: the Morning Fix will be still have all of your political dope in one place.

What To Watch For:

Monday's Fix Picks: Rafael Nadal losing in the French Open is like Barack Obama delivering a bad speech.

1. GM to rise from the ashes.
2. Kathleen Parker on Sotomayor.
3. Burt Solomon on Sotomayor.
4. Rep. Thad McCotter: Target.
5. Susan Boyle: Runner up.

Former Clerks Speak Up For Sotomayor: Forty-five former law clerks of judge Sonia Sotomayor have penned a letter praising her "indisputably stellar" credentials for the Supreme Court opening to which she was nominated by President Obama last week. "We are united in our strong belief that Judge Sotomayor is a brilliant and first-rate judge who is an ideal selection for our nation's highest court," writes the group, which includes all but four of Sotomayor's past clerks. (Two could not be found and two others could not sign the letter due to professional conflicts, according to a White House official.) The letter will be sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) as well as Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Pat Leahy (Vt.) and ranking member Jeff Sessions (Ala.) today.

2012 Like It's Tomorrow: Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) debuted the idea of disbursing government-owned GM stock to American taxpayers during an interview on "Fox News Sunday" -- an idea that will go nowhere but is meant as counter-programming to the Obama administration by the likely 2012 candidate. "You don't want politics directing American corporations," Romney told "FNS" host Chris Wallace. "That whole approach, which obviously is one that Barack Obama is wedded to, is the wrong approach for America." None other than Jack Welch, the former GE chairman, offered approving words for such a plan tweeting: "Nice idea on spinning off Gvt. shares in GM." (Said tweet was immediately retweeted by Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom.) Romney, as he told the Fix in a recent interview, has clear ideas on the American auto industry -- his father was the governor of Michigan -- and so you can expect him to speak out repeatedly on the issue over the coming weeks and months. Romney is also ramping up his attack on Obama's national security approach with an address at the conservative Heritage Foundation today. Romney is slowly but surely seeking to fill the leadership void atop the Republican Party -- doing any number of things publicly (and behind the scenes) to make sure he is seen as first in line for the right to challenge Obama in three years time.

Suski to Michigan: Jake Suski, deputy communications director for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Calif.), is leaving the Golden State to join up with the fledgling gubernatorial bid of Michigan businessman Rick Snyder (R). Snyder, who served as president of the Gateway computer company, has not yet formally announced his candidacy for governor but that is a mere formality as he is expected to join the race in the near term. Snyder will join a crowded field that includes state Attorney General Mike Cox, Rep. Pete Hoekstra and Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land. The struggles of the Michigan economy make the state a prime pickup opportunity for Republicans in 2010.

Click It!: The oral arguments begin -- finally! -- in former Minnesota senator Norm Coleman's (R) appeal of the 2008 election result today. The case, which is being heard in the Minnesota Supreme Court, opens today at 10 a.m. central time. Tune in to "The Uptake" -- one of the Fix's best state political blogs -- for a 30 minute pre-game show (just like the NFL) and to catch the full day in court.

Follow Me: Three good WaPo Twitterers to follow -- Howard Kurtz, Rob Pegoraro and Dan Froomkin.

Say What?: "We need to know, for example, whether she's going to be a justice for all of us, or just a justice for a few of us." -- National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) on whether Sonia Sotomayor will be confirmed to the Supreme Court during an interview Sunday on "This Week with George Stephanapoulos."

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 1, 2009; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Fix Pick: Gerson's Sage Advice on Sotomayor
Next: Steve Israel: A Door Closes, a Window Opens?

Comments

Mitt Romney is an expert on the auto industry because his father was Gov. of Michigan? My father was a plumbing contractor, but I don't know squat about fixing a dripping faucet. Oh, please!
Mitt couldn't get nominated last time. Why does he think his slick-haired solutions are any better now?

Posted by: sherrycn | June 2, 2009 6:03 AM | Report abuse

Yeah ... Let's spend our way out of debt!

==

No, let's spend our way out of a Depression. You got a better idea? Let's hear it. Otherwise STFU

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 1, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Caption on picture

"President Obama signs the $787 economic stimulus bill into law"

Finally showing fiscal restraint.

Posted by: leapin | June 1, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Yeah ... Let's spend our way out of debt!

Posted by: Sturdi | June 1, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD: totally agree. I believe 2010 will be interesting because it will be about "kick the bums out" (i.e. all incumbents) which should also make the primaries interesting as well...

Posted by: mil1 | June 1, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

"Chrisfox8: it was a discussion on why the State govt positions might be open to be filled by other then Democrats (Republicans specifically). The answer is Michigan's govt was run into the ground by Democrats; all politics is local....personally I would hope they would choose based on something more than party...but I always hope that."

I think quite often it just comes down to throwing the current guys out, no matter the party. It's not so much based on an analysis of the actual positions. You'll see that a lot of governors are in trouble, both Democrats and Republicans.

Furthermore, governorships tend to be more fluid than their blue/red ID for presidential elections. California, Maryland, and New York are about as blue as you can get, but all three have had Republican governors in recent history. Virginia hadn't been blue in a long time, but vote in Democratic governors with some regularity. Kansas has a Democratic governor as did Louisiana until just a couple of years ago.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 1, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

"Does JakeD live in Wichita by any chance?"

occurred to me.

Posted by: drindl | June 1, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

"Encryption is a subset; also includes decryption, signing and verifying, and hashing, the five primitives.

Posted by: chrisfox8 "
===
Ok, Robert Langdon.

Posted by: JRM2 | June 1, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

"Great photo of dumb and dumber at the top of the page.
What a couple of morons.

Posted by: LarryG62"
========
I think it took LarryG62 just as long to think that up as it did for Obama to graduate from Harvard and end his tenure as Editor of The Harvard Law Review.

Posted by: JRM2 | June 1, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

odd that there are no trolls today. that never happens.

Posted by: drindl

==

Does JakeD live in Wichita by any chance?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 1, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

odd that there are no trolls today. that never happens.

Posted by: drindl | June 1, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Rick Snyder, former president of Gateway Computer, wants to be governor of Michigan? When was he president? When Gateway was driven off to obscurity? It would seem to be the proper set of credentials for governing Michigan.

Posted by: caribis | June 1, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't that be "encryption"?

Posted by: JRM2

Encryption is a subset; also includes decryption, signing and verifying, and hashing, the five primitives.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 1, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, trying to cook lunch for the kids--I meant DDAWD....my bad.

Posted by: mil1 | June 1, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

"I'm a software developer specializing in cryptography"
chrisfox8
====
Wouldn't that be "encryption"?

Posted by: JRM2 | June 1, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin: I think the problem is that there are too many levels of government...town boards, village councils, city boards, utility commissions, school boards, county boards, state legislatures, regulatory agencies (both state and federal), and then there is congress. All funded by tax dollars; all with different mandates promising contrary things to different people. In my community, the county board just made wind turbines illegal because they are unsightly. While the federal government pushes green power, my community said no because wind tower negatively impact otherwise pristine views of the water. I don't know how you sort this out, but somehow you have to get down to fewer levels of government.

Posted by: Merry1 | June 1, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Chrisfox8: it was a discussion on why the State govt positions might be open to be filled by other then Democrats (Republicans specifically). The answer is Michigan's govt was run into the ground by Democrats; all politics is local....personally I would hope they would choose based on something more than party...but I always hope that.

Posted by: mil1 | June 1, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"I'd really like to know how "the struggle of the Michigan economy makes the state a prime pickup for the Republicans in 2010"? Why would anyone who has lost a job or is now living on service industry wages want to reinstall the same politicos who crashed America's economy?"

If you're a governor today, you're not sleeping easy. Especially if you're the governor of a big state.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 1, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

trbajaz: Because the Michigan politicos are all Democrats....?

Posted by: mil1

==

And was it Michigan Democrats who crashed the national economy? Good luck selling that particular brand of snake oil

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 1, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

trbajaz: Because the Michigan politicos are all Democrats....?

Posted by: mil1 | June 1, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I'd really like to know how "the struggle of the Michigan economy makes the state a prime pickup for the Republicans in 2010"? Why would anyone who has lost a job or is now living on service industry wages want to reinstall the same politicos who crashed America's economy?

Posted by: trbajaz | June 1, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

yeah, I took a few computer programming classes in high school. This was the 90s when you were promised millions if you so much as looked at a computer. I couldn't really get into it, though. The whole idea of designing programs was interesting, but the nuts and bolts just lost me and I'm not the type of guy that's easily turned off by nuts and bolts.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 1, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

bsimon1: I'm as "special" as they get, I can read base64 encoding and spot others' mistakes with it. Be very afraid.

Analyzing code for vulnerabilities (read: buffer overruns) and doing threat modeling makes the search for ordinary bugs totally easy-peasy work.

Right now though I work in this scripting language called Lua and it's a little too easy.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 1, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD: yeah crypto work is a blast. There's a lot of my work in Vista's digital media layer. After that I did all the DRM at a game company that has abandoned the free-trial model (and everything that gave them any edge) in favor of a straight pay-and-download model .. now I'm at the game division of a company with lots of irons in the fire, and happy to say it's not Microsoft, but I'm not doing crypto yet. I will be later though, it's what I do.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 1, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

"" I'm a software developer specializing in cryptography"

Is this as cool as it sounds?"


If you like staring at streams of bits, sure. Have you ever met anyone that can read hex? They're, uh, 'special' people.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 1, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

"dude, you are clinically paranoid and you need a shrink. I'm a software developer specializing in cryptography"

Is this as cool as it sounds?

Posted by: DDAWD | June 1, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

"Which was the whole point of TARP - keep credit flowing to keep cash flowing, to keep the system running."

Yeah, people seem to miss this point when talking about the bailouts. Debate on the issue has been reduced to a moralistic, "why should the taxpayers reward failing banks?" It's not like we are doing this out of undying love for these bankers. We're doing this because the economy needs credit to run. Once things get back to a little closer to normal, we can start dealing with institutions too big to fail, but we can't start installing sprinklers in a building that's already burning down.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 1, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Off-thread, but thought you might like to hear about some of the folks who are calling Judge Sotomeyor a
'racist'

"Remember how Tom Tancredo went on CNN last week and called Sonia Sotomayor a racist, accusing her falsely of being a member of a "Latino KKK"? Well, if racism so offends him, how does he explain this?

On July 7, 2007, at approximately 7:15 p.m. at Jefferson and M Street, Northwest, in Washington, D.C., defendant was walking down the street making offensive remarks when he encountered the complainant, Ms. [REDACTED], who is African-American. The defendant uttered, "N•gger," as he delivered a karate chop to Ms. [REDACTED]'s head.

That defendant is named Marcus Epstein--a former Tancredo speechwriter who now works as executive director of Tancredo's political action committee.

Epstein pled guilty to the charge, but, according to Dave Weigel of The Washington Independent, he'll remain on the job "until he leaves for law school in the fall."

Posted by: drindl | June 1, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

At the end of the Carter era (1980) here is what the unemployment rates were according to the Berua of Labor Statistics.:

"Workers in the goods-producing industries bore the brunt of the rise in unemployment, with those in automobile manufacturing reporting the sharpest cutbacks in
jobs. The unemployment rate for auto workers, which had been comparatively low in the second quarter of 1979 (4.8 percent), rose sharply to an all-time high of 24.7 percent a year later....During the last half of the year, unemployment in the auto industry began to recede steadily, falling to 17.2 percent at yearend,
a considerable improvement from midyear but still well above prerecession levels. In addition to the automobile industry, joblessness was up substantially for workers in every other durable goods manufacturing industry, but particularly in lumber and wood products, primary metals, and fabricated metals. Among the nondurable industries, only rubber and plastic products showed a sizable increase in unemployment.
Construction worker unemployment also grew substantially during the recession, increasing 5.7 percentage
points from the last quarter of 1979 to a rate of 16.3 percent in the third quarter of 1980 before finally turning downward. In contrast to automobile manufacturing, construction was harder hit in the 1974-75
downturn, when its rate exceeded that of all others and jumped to a postwar record of 20.3 percent.

Given the nature of the industries which sustained the hardest economic setbacks, it follows that the unemployment rate for workers in blue-collar occupations
reached unusually high levels during 1980. After rising only marginally in 1979, from 6.7 percent at the beginning of the year to 7.5 percent at the end, blue-collar
unemployment increased rapidly thereafter, peaking at 11.1 percent in the third quarter of 1980. White-collar workers, on the other hand, were much less affected by
the recession, as their unemployment rate showed only a slight increase during the year. The jobless rates for both groups were considerably short of the peak
reached during the 1974-75 recession."

This is the hold over from Carter--the 1974-75 recession was from Nixon. Both unemployment figures are GREATER then now and Reagan--so what's the point here?

We are in a world of hurt more than both these recessions (says the administration) and yet we haven't reached these unemployment figures yet (even the auto industry is ONLY at 20 percent...can't believe I said "only"). Wait...we are the beginning and things have yet to get bad. Getting better will now take a while---not to mention the 80 percent increase in the federal deficit.

Posted by: mil1 | June 1, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

The fact that you employ the phrase confirms my belief that you are among those who are paid with taxpayers dollars to "blog mob" political sites

==

"confirms," huh?

dude, you are clinically paranoid and you need a shrink. I'm a software developer specializing in cryptography and the only taxpayer dollars I've ever collected are my own tax refund.

grip <--- get one


psychiatrist <--- engage one

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 1, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

TO: chrisfox8 at 11:11 a.m.


Interesting that, in response to my appeal for Obama to take-down the covert GPS-implanting, federally-enabled "American Gestapo" vigilante army, you write,

"I'd stick to the microwave, mind-control thing..."

I don't think I've ever used the disinformation agent- approved phrase "mind control" in any of my postings here.

The fact that you employ the phrase confirms my belief that you are among those who are paid with taxpayers dollars to "blog mob" political sites, polluting the discourse with intellectual effluvia intended to drive away "real" readers from sites such as The Fix.

Have a nice day. Hope I didn't blow your cover too badly.

Oh BTW, read this:


http://nowpublic.com/world/govt-fusion-center-spying-pretext-harass-and-censor


Posted by: scrivener50 | June 1, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Hey I heard a good joke this morning, anyone wanna hear it?

"Mitt Romney"

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 1, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD: I don't think the problem is globalization, I think the problem is the American people, such lousy citizens and so resistant to paying their dues. Nobody can get elected without promising a tax cut and taxes can't be raised to pay the bills without going through holy hell.

Just saying, the idea that taxation hurts the economy is a popular myth. Capitalism works best when highly regulated and highly taxed.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 1, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

bsimon1: I'm in the same industry, though right now I'm at a company that's doing well and hiring. But I was at another company, a game distributor, doing their DRM, when the first shock hit the economy. The layoffs followed literally within days.

So I ended up back at Microsoft again, but in the year and a half since I was last there the changes had been significant and the company is in a death spiral, focused on uniformity and consistency where they were once focused on good ideas (I've worked there on and off a LONG time). If you want to see what the whole maximizing-shareholder-value meme does to a company, look no further than the company that once changed the world and now plays catch-up, and released that total PoS called Vista with a straight face.

While I get your essential point, software is a bad example since it's so much of it has been based on investor money. And once investors get spooked it all dries up.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 1, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

"Under Eisenhower, with a 91% tax rate, America flourished. This is contrary to everything the free-market zombies believe, yet they go on talking tax cuts as the Great Panacea."

How do you think this would go over today with increased globalization?

Posted by: DDAWD | June 1, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Remember when "they" used to say

"what's good for GM is good for America"

?

I wonder what they're saying now?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 1, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

What was the average unemployment rate during Reagan's glorious tenure?

Posted by: chrisfox8

==

(silence)

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 1, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Rest in Peace (RIP) Republicans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! oh thanks RUSH,CHENEY,NEWT,HANNITY,BECK,O'RIELLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Norm Coleman too thanks for making the Republicans a National Discrace!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: mattadamsdietmanager1014 | June 1, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

"let the markets sort it out."

The problem with letting the markets sort it out is we have a cash flow problem. If the feds pull out of the bank bailouts, the banks will largely fail - they have more debt than liquid assets (which isn't in and of itself catastrophic, if there's cash flow), and as the debt loses value, the problem gets exacerbated.

Metaphorically, like most banks, most homeowners owe more on their house than they have in assets. But homeowners who have jobs have cash flow. We go to work & are paid in exchange, then turn around and send some of that money to whomever holds our mortgage. When we lose the job, the cash stops flowing. If we stop paying on the house, we lose it in foreclosure.

Reversing the model again, for the bank, the act of 'working' is loaning out money. The cash flow of payments on morgages (or other instruments) is how the banks get paid for their work. If they 'lose' that 'job' (i.e. a homeowner stops paying), they're potentially unable to make their payments - which might be their payroll, or having funds available for depositors.

In my industry (software development) we're basically a service industry, with no real assets or inventory. Many software companies (I'm thinking consulting, but it applies elsewhere) need to borrow money to make payroll because we get paid at the end of a contract. So if I hire a couple guys to program, I have to pay them salary somehow between the start of the contract and my eventual payday, which is when the client pays an invoice to me - which might be 90 days after the software is delivered. If I'm sitting on a bunch of cash, I can pay out of pocket & patiently wait. But if I'm like most businesses, I don't have that kind of cash sitting around, and have to borrow money to make payroll - when I get paid, I pay the bank back, and everyone's happy. Now, if banks stop making those loans because they don't have any liquid assets, I can't pay programmers to write software for my client. Letting 'the market sort it out' means economic activity slows significantly. Which was the whole point of TARP - keep credit flowing to keep cash flowing, to keep the system running.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 1, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Why would that be, considering that the 'struggles' of the entire domestic economy can be laid squarely at the feet of republicans and their deregulatory policies?

==

Why, they will tell lies, of course. And a lot of people will believe them. People with short memories, careworn low-information voters and hate-crazed 21-percenters who stopped caring about their own self-interest years ago.

Just look at those "tax protest" parties, screaming in rage that the rich got a slight tax increase while their own taxes went down.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 1, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

You know where they get it, chrisfox. From the bloviators who 'think' for them.

Posted by: drindl | June 1, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

"The struggles of the Michigan economy make the state a prime pickup opportunity for Republicans in 2010."

Why would that be, considering that the 'struggles' of the entire domestic economy can be laid squarely at the feet of republicans and their deregulatory policies?

That's like asking an arsonist to house sit for you.

Posted by: drindl | June 1, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I believe that lack of knowledge of our own country and its needs in transportation will create a govt auto company only interested in fostering local mobility--a sure way to kill small farms, small business and small towns. Which in turn will hurt our economic recovery and our ability to continue as a "first tier" country. I grieve for myself, my children and my grandchildren to see all this happening....

==

Yes, getting around locally with efficient and low-pollution transport can only come at the expense of long-distance transport. If people who drive less than 20 miles to work don't burn two gallons of gas each way, farmers won't be able to carry their produce to market.

Where do you guys GET this crap?!?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 1, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

" I do not know how civic responsibility can be taught, or whether it will ever be."

No, but civic IRRESPONSIBILITY is taught everyday on Fox, on talk radio, on rightwing blogs, and hence we have the 'Sovereign Citizen' and other violent nutcase tax deadbeat groups running loose in the street.

Posted by: drindl | June 1, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

"you only have to back to the Reagan years."

If I remember right, Reagan borrowed huge amounts of money and pumped it into the economy.

Posted by: nodebris | June 1, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

So if govt companies work so well let's ask Mexico about the cattle industry (which the drove out of business there by price controls), the banking industry (which the Mexican govt runs but which is in dire straits), and the oil industry (which although very lucrative has been LOSING money). Or we could look to Germany with it steady 9 percent unemployment about to go to 19 percent as the govt works to control it's "stimulus" and ensure that Opel workers keep their jobs by supporting a company that will probably fire 7000 workers in the UK at Vauxhall.

OK so maybe the US isn't Mexico or Germany you say? Then take any, and I mean any, modern govt that steps in and "takes over" an industry and give me a good report on how that's going--Russian oil? Norwegian oil? Venezuelan oil? These are all very lucrative industries run "badly", run for "the people" while govt takes the profits and distributes them for support of the "people" and the govt bureaucracy not to improve the economy or follow a good business model.

Chyrsler and GM started this downward path in the 70s when they refused to recognize the small car market. What has kept Chrysler going has been their truck line. With discussions that trucks will only be affordable to companies from the Auto task force, I can see that govt managers also have no vision and have no concept of what light trucks mean to America. Light trucks are what middle America uses for transportation. This isn't a matter of not liking small vehicles, its a matter of being unable to work without one. Although most of America's population (obviously) lives in larger metropolitan areas, those who do not need affordable transportation that can haul things (and people) long distances.

I believe that lack of knowledge of our own country and its needs in transportation will create a govt auto company only interested in fostering local mobility--a sure way to kill small farms, small business and small towns. Which in turn will hurt our economic recovery and our ability to continue as a "first tier" country. I grieve for myself, my children and my grandchildren to see all this happening....

Posted by: mil1 | June 1, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

ddawd writes
"there's no question that the technological advancements helped sustain US superiority to this day, but don't you think the sheer funding of the gigantic (for that time) war machine and the creation of manufacturing jobs was a major stimulus for economic recovery?"

During the war there was limited domestic economic growth. Yes, there was enormous investment in manufacturing processes, and many people new to the workforce were making money, but there weren't a lot of things to spend money on - there was a lot of rationing of things like gas & rubber, and people were recycling in support of the war effort. At the end of the war there was a period of time when the war machine was wound down and factories were repurposed to produce domestic goods, but it took time for that to happen. Its hard to point to one policy that made the difference; but many factors included the GI Bill, resumption of pent-up demand from the war years, etc.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 1, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I do not know how civic responsibility can be taught, or whether it will ever be.

Posted by: mark_in_austin

==

Excellent post.

People love to talk about freedom, they hate to hear about the other side of the coin. I've read that a democracy only lasts as long as it takes people to figure out that they can vote more money for themselves, be it undeserved entitlements or lower taxes.

Under Eisenhower, with a 91% tax rate, America flourished. This is contrary to everything the free-market zombies believe, yet they go on talking tax cuts as the Great Panacea.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 1, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Part II

So a "stimulus" from the Fed is used to jumpstart deferred maintenance. I agree with Bsimon that this is good use of "stimulus" money. However, I have no solution for the historical problem that this will cause the localities to not take
responsibility for continuing maintenance, because people will vote down bond issues, tolls, and taxes, while demanding safe bridges and smooth roads, in part because it got fixed without local responsibility in 2009. There is just no civic concept of the importance of local government, in part because it has become easy to whine to one's congressperson. Look at Murtha, for the worst [current] case example.

The first Justice Roberts was a R who changed his vote on the Supremes to uphold Social Security as constitutional.
Years later, he said he came to believe the economy was national, not local, and that Congress's power under the Commerce Clause was indeed plenary. I believe now that Roberts change of heart was the final turning of the page from the 19th to the 20th century and that it forshadowed much of what we take for granted, like the Interstate Highway System, funded by Congress in your state and mine. But I do not believe that Americans have yet learned to deal with the unintended consequences of the changes of the last century, and I do not know how civic responsibility can be taught, or whether it will ever be.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 1, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Great photo of dumb and dumber at the top of the page.
What a couple of morons.

Posted by: LarryG62

==

Better get used to having a president whose middle name is Hussein. Your party shows no signs of pulling out of the death spiral.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 1, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Part I
Jaxas posted:

"The message for conservatives is: Americans do not want a small, weak government and they are
willing to pay taxes if what they get is sensible good government."

Jaxas, do you have some source for the assertion that Americans are willing to pay more taxes
even for sensible good government? There is a great deal of evidence to the contrary, I am afraid.
CA voters regularly ask for more services and then refuse to pay for them, for example.

There are structural problems in American politics for which I offer no brilliant solutions, but only recognition.

1] At the Federal level, congresspersons represent districts, not the USA. If each one gets "more" for her
district while telling her voters that they are not paying for it, she wins.

2] At the civics level, divorcing local government from having to pay its own way causes local government
to enjoy spending without visible taxation. Examples abound. Here is a local one. The annual budget of
UT Austin is about $3B, or about $60k per student. That budget is funded first by the feds, second by tuition, third
by the Permanent Fund, and fourth by the Lege. Why is the Fed first and the Lege fourth?
Because it is cheaper for the Fed to conduct research through graduate students at UT [and UCLA,
Penn State, Wisconsin, John Hopkins, etc.] then any other way. But it gets the states into an irresponsible
mindset; popular, however, with voters.

This is compounded by the dismal turnouts in local and state elections for everything, including bond issues.
It is always easy to get out the vote against a bond issue. The school does not get more classrooms. Bridge maintenance is deferred. Potholes in the northeast are said to have roads in them.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 1, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

vbhoomes writes
"Thats easy chrisfox, you only have to back to the Reagan years. When he took office, we had double digit inflation and a dead economy. He cut taxes, and as they sa, the rest is history. The 80's were boom years thanks to Reagan and supply side economic."

Problem is, its not 1980 any more. The top tax rate is about 40 points lower now than it was then.

You're also overlooking the inconvenient truth that Reagan was a borrow-and-spender. He cut taxes, and increased spending - and the deficit ballooned. He postponed the day of reckoning, which forced his successor to deal with it (and be a one-term president). Its also curious to note that Reagan raised taxes after realizing he lowered them too much.

In short, there's a bit of glossing-over going on in rewriting the Reagan legacy.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 1, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

The 80's were boom years thanks to Reagan and supply side economic.

Posted by: vbhoomes

==

What was the average unemployment rate during Reagan's glorious tenure?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 1, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

"That's not exactly true. We borrowed an enormous amount of money (i.e. war bonds) to fund the war effort. But, part of the payback on all that spending included enormous gains in technological advancement. We climbed out of the hole in the 50s, which saw enormous expansion of the middle class and huge gains in manufacturing efficiency, technological advancement, etc."

I trust your opinion more than my own and there's no question that the technological advancements helped sustain US superiority to this day, but don't you think the sheer funding of the gigantic (for that time) war machine and the creation of manufacturing jobs was a major stimulus for economic recovery? Given the successes of the New Deal, this doesn't seem like a stretch to me.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 1, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Thats easy chrisfox, you only have to back to the Reagan years. When he took office, we had double digit inflation and a dead economy. He cut taxes, and as they sa, the rest is history. The 80's were boom years thanks to Reagan and supply side economic.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 1, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't call him an idiot, but its hard for me to look at the enormous job losses, collapse of Wall St. and the burst of the housing bubble and think that all this could have been avoided if only we were more Libertarian.

Posted by: DDAWD

==

Oh, I'd call him an idiot. I've heard him speak. He's a market fundamentalist of the lowest order.

As for the libertarians, they jumped the shark a long time ago, dropping any pretense of caring about any freedom other than the freedom to enslave other human beings. Aside from gun ownership they never have anything to say about "freedom" without putting "economic" in front of it. And while there are some outfits like Cato that have some contribution to make to public policy discussions, even the best of them shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the topic of money and taxation. They believe crap and they don't care if we have people starving in the streets as long as they get to keep more of "my money."

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 1, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

"I'd stick to the microwave mind-control thing if I were you, it's a lot saner than the idea that Ron Paul has anything to offer. The man is an idiot."

I wouldn't call him an idiot, but its hard for me to look at the enormous job losses, collapse of Wall St. and the burst of the housing bubble and think that all this could have been avoided if only we were more Libertarian.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 1, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Great photo of dumb and dumber at the top of the page.
What a couple of morons.

Posted by: LarryG62 | June 1, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

vbhoomes: Hoover believed that same "market forces" thing you do. The genie never showed up, what makes you think it'll come out of the bottle this time?

There is no ghost in the machine. You've been inundated with this anti-tax BS for 30 Norquist-ridden years and you've bought into it. I challenge you to find one (1) historical data point to support it.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 1, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Chrisfox: the biggest mistake Hoover made was to raise taxes in an effort to balance the budget. You also had Smoot/Hawley Protectionist Act that just about everbody agrees made things a lot worse.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 1, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

let the markets sort it out.

Posted by: vbhoomes

==

Oh Jesus, thinking money again.

Check it, bleed, markets don't "sort it out." There is no ghost in the machine.

In tomorrow's lesson we get the grim news about Santa Claus.

I mean, really, dude, come on.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 1, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

BSIMON: You hit right on the Head, let the markets sort it out. All this government intervention does is to prolong the day of reckoning. The sooner we hit bottom, the sooner we can recover.Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon had it right during the Great Depression. It would have ended a lot sooner if FDR took his advice instead of waging war on capitalism.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 1, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

The Great Depression would likely have been only a Great Recession were it not for Hoover's free-market beliefs. He favored letting the "inefficient" companies go out of business so the "competitive" ones would rise to the top. America learned the hard way, the very VERY hard way, that market forces are fairy dust. People who had worked hard and never missed a payment in their lives lost everything as the economy continued to tank. Cutting taxes didn't do anything to help because hardly anyone was making enough to pay taxes anyway.

The regulations put in place to keep all this from happening again have been systematically dismantled by Republicans beholden to corporations and wealthy families who don't care about their country, and now it looks like we'll have to learn that terrible lesson all over again. And once again it won't be the guilty to do the suffering.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 1, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

ddawd writes
"And once the fiscal policy was put on steroids during WWII, then the US leaped right out of the financial hole."

That's not exactly true. We borrowed an enormous amount of money (i.e. war bonds) to fund the war effort. But, part of the payback on all that spending included enormous gains in technological advancement. We climbed out of the hole in the 50s, which saw enormous expansion of the middle class and huge gains in manufacturing efficiency, technological advancement, etc.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 1, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Ron Paul's populist message resonates among those on both the left and the right who are wary of the dangers to personal liberty posed by an over-reliance on big government...

==

I'd stick to the microwave mind-control thing if I were you, it's a lot saner than the idea that Ron Paul has anything to offer. The man is an idiot.

http://www.counterpunch.org/tristam0716.html

"Faith, that is, in the infallibility of the market no matter how self-fulfilling its promises. The infallibility doctrine is nothing new. Like all such doctrines, its validity is somewhere between superstition and quackery, which is why we have regulations to temper it. Or used to. The Reagan administration spent the 1980s eviscerating the market of the checks and balances put in place during the New Deal. What Reagan couldn't do because of a Democratic Congress, the Republican Congress of the mid-1990s finished up. GOP Rep. Ron Paul, a market faithful, summed up his party's view of government regulators: "These little men filled with envy are capable of producing nothing and are motivated by their own inadequacies and desires to wield authority against men of talent."

It turns out the CEOs were the little men producing nothing."

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 1, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

leeh11281 wrote: "What most people don't realize is that 16,000 jobs have been lost every single day since Barry’s stimulus plan was passed."

What some few people who can't read charts don't realize is that even more jobs would have certainly been lost absent the stimulus package. Limiting the damage, it's called. No plan was going to create instant rainbows and sunshine with unicorns romping happily in the fresh air.

Really, if you're not going to grapple with an issue honestly, why even bother?

Posted by: nodebris | June 1, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

What most people don't realize is that 16,000 jobs have been lost every single day since Barry’s stimulus plan was passed.

==

What most goopers don't understand is that the job losses started long before "Barry" was even elected. The difference between liberals and goopers is that liberals have memories extending earlier than this morning's Limbaugh broadcst while the goopers are reborn every time he speaks.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 1, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Hard to believe there are still people who believe in "the magic of the marketplace," I guess these are the ones who would fall for the Brooklyn Bridge scam or cash out their 401ks to send to the Nigerian spam.

And then we have the dead-ender tax-cutters, the people with the Barbie pull-rings coming out of their chests, pull the ring and hear a recitation of how cutting taxes and deregulating will liberate the magic again and this time it'll work, really, promise.

One born every minute. Thank heavens they have no power to do anything but change channels on the TV and hold phoney tax protest rallies.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 1, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

What most people don't realize is that 16,000 jobs have been lost every single day since Barry’s stimulus plan was passed.

At some point the media cannot ignore Barack Obama and the Democrats killing the American private sector economy while claiming to "save or create" American jobs.

And note to the Democrats: creating government paper pushers is not the same as creating or saving private sector jobs. That is the Democrat rebuttal — they created government jobs.

Only the Democrats think more bureaucrats will save America.

Posted by: leeh11281 | June 1, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

"Most economists agree that the fiscal policy between 1932 and 1936 was working, and had they been continued the economy would have recovered sooner."

And once the fiscal policy was put on steroids during WWII, then the US leaped right out of the financial hole.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 1, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

ATTACKS ON GOP OVER THE STIMULUS MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY A SHOW OF FISCAL POPULISM THAT ESCHEWS 'BIG GOVERNMENT' AS A REMEDY TO SOCIETY'S ILLS...

...AND A TAKE-DOWN OF THE BUSH-ERA 'AMERICAN GESTAPO' EXTRAJUDICIAL TARGETING AND PUNISHMENT NETWORK.


The Obama administration's willingness to embrace big government solutions -- in the absence of aggressive action to reverse Bush administration policies that have eroded civil and human rights in America -- gives libertarian-leaning GOP'ers a huge opening.

Ron Paul's populist message resonates among those on both the left and the right who are wary of the dangers to personal liberty posed by an over-reliance on big government...

...such as The Obama administration's apparent acquiescence to a federally-funded vigilante army that uses covertly implant GPS tracking "beacons" to stalk and persecute unjustly "targeted" American citizens and their families...

...and microwave radiation "directed energy weapons" to degrade the minds and bodies of their "targets"...

...an "American Gestapo" hiding in plain sight, the creation of a "multi-agency" coordinated array of secret federal programs spawned or expanded under Bush-Cheney.

Is Team Obama naive, misinformed as to the mission and methods of this nationwide, neo-brownshirt apparatus...

...or is the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice surrendering to the iron will of "Dr. Strangeloves" within by refusing to investigate victim complaints?

Please, Team Obama, take heed:

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

http://nowpublic.com/world/domestic-torture-radiation-weaponry-americas-horrific-shame

OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | June 1, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

vbhoomes writes
"To believe we are in a recovery is really deep denial. Also with more job losses comes more foreclosures."

If that's the case, what is the appropriate action for the Fed gov't? Do nothing - and let the market sort itself out (i.e. stop interventions in the auto, banking & insurance industries), or stay the course, or take even more drastic action in taking over businesses - perhaps nationalize all the banks, all the auto companies, and continue adding industries as each one flirts with fiscal calamity?

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 1, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Well, its like Dick Cheney used to say, deficits don't matter. I can't imagine people will care too much if they have jobs to go to.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 1, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

These people are going to be underpaid and they are going to be making better cars, and they have been freed of a lot of legacy costs. They are going to be a better company and they will have a great spokesman in Obama who if nothing else is worth several car sales. Also, the gov doesn't want to own them long term and I hope that guys like you will continue to make noise so the gov won't be tempted to hold onto this aquisition. I highly doubt it is politically savy to hold onto a failing company... and I doubt Obama is as dumb politically as you are saying... Esp. since you said at the beginning that it is politics as usual... (MAKES NO SENSE)

Posted by: derekmanners | June 1, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

LarryG62 writes
"The Republicans are right, it's not the way to fix the economy."

That's what they said in 1936. Roosevelt agreed. They cut deficit spending in an attempt to balance the budget. The economy, which had been climbing out of depression, stalled. Most economists agree that the fiscal policy between 1932 and 1936 was working, and had they been continued the economy would have recovered sooner. What the critics are promoting now is the same wrong course the GOP insisted on 70 years ago. The time for deficit spending is when the economy is down - the gov't stimulates job growth by creating demand for goods and services that the free market is not demanding. The time for balanced budgets and paying down debt is when there's a surplus. According to the GOP that's when you keep borrowing money & cutting taxes (See Bush economic plan circa 2000). In other words, y'all have it all back-asswards.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 1, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

This is politics and not the change and "hope" that the president ran on, so right off it smells.

And to those who think the auto industry is better off with a govt buy, consider this: this industry has just become an arm of the govt. At best it might be like DOD--a dedicated group of people who never met a checkbook they didn't like; at worst it can be the IRS, a group of underpaid and overworked bureaucrats who are unsure who owes what to whom but has the power to punish you if you can't figure it out. The difference between a govt run business and a private business is customer orientation. Private business needs and understands their customer or the go bankrupt. Govt neither needs, understands or cares and spend our money until we all go bankrupt.

Yup political business as usual--not what we voted for and a govt that thinks it can do everything...just what I always had nightmares about.

Posted by: mil1 | June 1, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Askgees, the argument you are making sounds a bit too easy for my tastes. Conservatives love to use this old line of argument about "throwing money at the problem" but, you tell me how you are going to repair a crumbling levee in a low lying coastal city to keep it from being inundated without paying for it? What in the world do you think gets our Space Shuttle off the ground? Where do you think this very technology you are using fairly inexpensively right now came from if the federal government had not used R & D funding in its inception and creation? And, I assume that you occasionally find it convenient to jump in your car and hit the nearest freeway when you head out to the mall. Do you think all of those happy, smiling workers out there are doing all of that repair work out of the goodness of their hearts?

Convenient little bumper sticker sloganeering is easy. Good, effective, responsive government is hard. I would very much like to see conservatives try to govern this complex country by not throwing any money at our problems.

Posted by: jaxas | June 1, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

@zouk GM >< car industry. You can always buy a Ford (Honda, Toyota and whoever else builds cars in this country).
\BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | June 1, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I cannot help but smile indulgingly when I hear conservatives rail against liberals for spending programs. Look. Conservatives have had their time in the sun and even when they had near absolute poer, they could not implement their conservative agenda. Why? Because just as the liberals found out when they wanted to go too far in their Great Society spending and welfare programs in the 60s, so too have conservatives found out that they can't do all of the things they want to do when they are in power.

And don't kid yourselves conservatives. It isn't because of liberals in Congress and the media. The single biggest problem conservatives face is that their agenda of limited government, spending cuts and tax cuts for the investing classes and the wealthy are no more popular with the people than lavishly spending billions on welafare programs that don't work.

What conservatives found out in Bush's second term was that even with almost absolute power they ran into stiff resistance when they want to place social security trust funds into private financial accounts, when they wanted to cut funds in educational, environmental and health care programs. And that resistance came from the people! Amost immediately after Bush started yammering about social security personal accounts--and after Katrina revealed the weaknesses of not funding our infrastructure needs and all of the lies about how we got into the Iraq war were exposed--the GOP started falling out of favor.

The message for conservatives is: Americans do not want a small, weak government and they are willing to pay taxes if what they get is sensible good government.

Posted by: jaxas | June 1, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Mark, AndyR3 that is a hugh if, I do not see how we have reached bottom yet. With GM costly thousands of lost jobs and a big ? if they ever come out of bankruptcy. My state Ohio, is struggling to pay the bills because their previous estimates about the revenue coming in was way off. With all of jobs we are going to lose in Ohio, the states revenue will shrink a lot more and they will start to have to cut thousands of state jobs. July 1 is Deadline Day for a lot of states, and they do not get to print money, so they are to be forced to make drastic cuts. To believe we are in a recovery is really deep denial. Also with more job losses comes more foreclosures.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 1, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

So they the DMOCRATS make a major mistake in spending money we don't have (printing a trillion dollars) then compound the problem by spending more money to try and make those that feel this is not the correct decision for America into demos. Sort of like the pitiful commercial blaming or accusing Bob McDonnell of hurting VA tax payers for not wanting to take unemployment stimulus funds. Funds that NEED TO BE PAIRD BACK and will be PAID BACK BY THE LOCAL BUSINESSES AND TAX PAYERS. The state has already extended the unemployment benefits from 26 weeks to 59 weeks. Meaning we the tax payers in VA are willing to help out citizens for a little over a year. All with out taking additional money from the Feds. I love reading the posts from the idiots who think this is going to save the economy. This simply moves the date of the collapse from now until later. It is inevitable. Throwing money at the problem will not work, never has worked. It simply puts more burden on us. Thanks to smart politicians like McDonnell and others we will not be caught up in the mess like so many other states will. I wonder if these so called libs. Will feel the same way when their taxes double to pay off the debts???? Well guess what. VA tax payers will never know because we we’re smart enough to prepare for a rainy day and smart enough to not take the bait.

Posted by: askgees | June 1, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

I haven't read an update but I know that they had already closed the schools before the lege session and the stimulus was passed. So I doubt it.

Posted by: derekmanners | June 1, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I haven't read an update but I know that they had already closed the schools before the lege session and the stimulus was passed. So I doubt it.

Posted by: derekmanners | June 1, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

The column doesn't say how the radio ads are being paid for. My guess is that the money was in the stimulus package somewhere.

Posted by: hicsuget | June 1, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Derek, I did not know that. Did ARRA help?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 1, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Did WMR propose distributing GM stock per capita? Per capita to adults? Per taxpayer? Per individual taxpayer? Based on taxes paid for '08? '09? By a lottery? Per registered voter? Including legally resident aliens? Per applicant? Per social security account? Through the IRS refund mechanism?

Just thinking about this should cause one to think about it a great deal longer and harder.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 1, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Not sure if you are aware Mark but in Dallas, they were faced with closing schools and have a huge budget problem.

Posted by: derekmanners | June 1, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Good morning -

bhoomes, I have saved most of my criticisms for the TARP. The "Stimulus" is broken down visually at the bottom of the wikipedia entry:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Recovery_and_Reinvestment_Act_of_2009

I post it as a starting point for discussing what we like or do not like about it. I really did not pay enough attention to it then to do more than get a sense that it was unfocused, as any congressional spending bill tends to be.

So for anyone who wants to pick its bones now, if we use the wiki chart and explanation we can have a common thread.

TX, this Lege session, has found ways to use fed stim to replace state funding that would have been there otherwise, in some respects, yet failed to pass CHIPS, completely blowing off the fed match. We will use the Unemployment Insurance stimulus money to keep the fund open without raising the tax on employers [like me] by a factor of eight! So I see the state help as a mixed bag, here. But we were not faced with closing schools, like some states.

So if you know about your own state's use or abuse of ARRA money, that would be interesting to me, at least.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 1, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

The Democratic party ads against six Republican Representatives is nothing more, nothing less than politics as usual. The Republicans supported higher tax reductions than the Democrats, so the argument they opposed tax cuts is bogus.

Blame for the recession and especially housing/credit bubble belongs primarily to Republicans, but should be shared by Democrats, who supported foolish deregulation of financial institutions beginning in Clinton's second term.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | June 1, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Politics in the Justice Dept.????? Oh you mean the Bush administration under Alberto right???? You mean Obama's DOJ dropping the charges against a republican named Ted Stevens? Where the heck do you get off making a claim like that? Obama is doing his best with the DOJ that is still horrible thanks to Alberto and Dick. As far as the car industry... would it have been better to let it go bankrupt and 3 million people go unemployed?

Posted by: derekmanners | June 1, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

So today the government takes over the auto industry. They also have finished politicizing the justice department. It's beginning to feel like Italy in the 30's.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 1, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Bhoomes,
You're missing the point on the stimulus vote. It makes NO difference in the eyes of the electorate if the GOP supported a smaller Stimulus bill if the one that did pass is seen as helping out the economy. The fact is that the vote on record is that they opposed it, and the democrats are going to hang them for it if/when the economy turns around.

Posted by: AndyR3 | June 1, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Like the new name Chris, it's certainly where I get my "Morning Fix" of political news.

Posted by: ChicagoIndependant | June 1, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

"democrats who want to spend, spend and spend some more are as ignorant about the economy as the dumbass in the White Hosue.
That's what got us into this mess, and it ain't going to get us out.
Having the Fed print more money is just asking for disaster, and it's on the way, as the nitwit Obama and his corrupt party controlling congress continue to act like economic morons."

So in that quote you called Obama a nitwit, called the dems corrupt, and talked about them spending too much. What you didn't do is to say what they should do. Should they stop spending money except on the wars? What should we do instead? Raise taxes and close down the gov until we are 100 percent out of debt? What is the right solution pretail?

This is why the republican party is in trouble, because they don't offer alternatives they just criticize which is why they are the party of no. They are offering no ideas or alternatives. They are simply calling names and pointing fingers which is definately not the way to go.

Furthermore, the spending during the Bush administration was for privatizing the military which is hurting us not helping us. It was for going to war in Iraq which moderates like Joe Scarborough and Colon Powell say was a horrible waste of money. Spending is okay if it saves you money in the long run. Which is what health care reform and energy conservation efforts and investment will do etc. Care to debate or just with the name calling?

Posted by: derekmanners | June 1, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, but the democrats who want to spend, spend and spend some more are as ignorant about the economy as the dumbass in the White Hosue.
That's what got us into this mess, and it ain't going to get us out.
Having the Fed print more money is just asking for disaster, and it's on the way, as the nitwit Obama and his corrupt party controlling congress continue to act like economic morons.
The Republicans are right, it's not the way to fix the economy.

Posted by: LarryG62 | June 1, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Furthermore, taxing large corporations, who have been making record profits until the American consumer ran out of money, in order to make health care cheaper, make homes and cars more energy efficient, thus saving those same comsumers have to pay less, is very much like a tax cut but it also creates jobs. That is why stimulus is a much better plan than tax cuts for businesses. Also, there wase some tax cuts in the stimulus as well, about 40 percent of the spending was that.

Posted by: derekmanners | June 1, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

The republican stimulous package would have consisted almost entirely of tax cuts. All economists say that tax cuts are not a good way to stimulate the economy. The main reason being that if people are still losing their job then a tax cut isn't going to do anything for them. Furthermore, bailing out states allows them not to have to cut services like children's health care, food stamps, and other things that are needed in a time like this. It's bad enough people are losing jobs, would it really be that wise to cut the safety net out from under them? Also, if you look at some of the states who are in serious trouble, California, Florida, among them, have republican governors. Not saying that it is there fault, all I'm saying is that it isn't so much mismanagement, it is just a tough time to be a gov since the economy had the bottom pulled out from underneath it.

Posted by: derekmanners | June 1, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Bring it on. This is a debate we will love to have. Starters, we wanted a stimulas bill at around 350-500 billon that would have been more effective and more targeted. Dems wasted a ton of money on silly stuff, including bailing out States that were fiscally irresponsible. If polling suggests that the majority of americans think the anti-business/anti-capitalist democratic party is best suited to handle the economy, then that is major indictment of our educational system. But no fear, lets get this debate going and soon americans will realize giving the dems power in economic policy is liking giving your teenage kids control of the family budget.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 1, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

About time the Dems started hitting back against Republicans for violently opposing a plan that has saved the economy.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | June 1, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Well I hope he gets convicted but still runs, seems to be the only way a dem can win in Alaska

Posted by: derekmanners | June 1, 2009 6:49 AM | Report abuse

Well I hope he is convicted but still runs, seems to be the only way a dem can win in Alaska...

Posted by: derekmanners | June 1, 2009 6:48 AM | Report abuse

Don Young,R, Alaska will do anything to get the spotlight off of the ongoing bribery and campaign contribution investigations against him. About time Don Young's blustering was put to rest. Maybe a conviction will finally force him out.

Posted by: YellowDogTexan | June 1, 2009 6:36 AM | Report abuse

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