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« More Reason Not To Fear The PPIP: Jamie Dimon Talks Some Shit | Main | TARP Inspector Neil Barofsky Smells Bank Fraud »
Thursday
Apr162009

Thoughts On A $2 Trillion Annual Deficit And Collective Tea-Bagging

Until now I have avoided comment on the hundreds of tea parties held nationwide yesterday.  I haven't missed the fact that certain pundits are having a field day with the tea-bagging comedy.  I've enjoyed the laughs. Tea-bagging, though inherently juvenile, is still funny.  But jokes aside it's time to examine the movement and yesterday's events.

My thesis is simple. The critics are mostly wrong. The demonstrations were real.

Tea Party critics have asked the following question: "If it's about deficits and spending, then why weren't these fools complaining during the last 8 years of Bush?"

Actually, we were. Fiscal conservatives have been complaining about the deficits under Bush and the growth of government spending for much longer than the last decade. The difference is that Bush had average deficits of $250 billion, while Obama's average will be $1.5 trillion for his 4 years.  That's a factor-of-6 increase. 

We understand the economy is weaker and federal tax receipts will inevitably be lower in a recession, leading to larger deficits.  But not 6-times larger.  The difference is the Obama stimulus as well as new structural spending programs.  So let's break it down.

Approximately 10% of the stimulus is going to infrastructure spending. Ten percent. That's an infuriating joke. We do not believe the stimulus will multiply into the type of force needed to rescue our debt-laden, obese economy. It's a waste of borrowed money. We do not buy the Keynesian claptrap.  And we will be proven right again. (Except then Krugman will say it was because we didn't spend enough.)

Peter Schiff was right about Krugman and Keynes.  In some ways, for otherwise smart guys, Keynesians are idiots.  As my Theo Panayotes used to say "I may be dumb, but I'm not stupid."   For Krugman and the rest it's the reverse. They are not dumb but they got 'stupid' nailed.  Decades of empirical evidence demonstrates that government stimulus spending does not work efficiently, if at all, yet they do not cease with their failed theory.

So the tea parties became an expression of anger against a borrowed and wasteful stimulus and an exploding annual deficit.  There was also a third factor: the bailouts. Considering the focus of this site, I needn't explain the anger most people feel about using borrowed money to bail out failed private banks for their extreme leverage and risk, while management and employees made hundreds of billions in bonuses over the last decade.  It is disgusting at it's core and makes some of us actually spew smoke. (A side note: I predict the bailouts will be the single most important issue to voters next Congressional cycle in 2010. Book it, Dano.)

I voted for Obama, but I am not beholden to a doctrine of blind faith.  I was asked to speak at one of the tea parties and declined.  And I did not attend any of the events yesterday. But I can fairly report, from having read close to 100 accounts of rallies large and small, that the Tea Parties were ultimately anti-deficit affairs.  The political cross-section was wide.  Though they were Republican promoted and dominated, there are millions of fiscally-conservative Democrats and Libertarians (yours truly), and their attendance was noticed yesterday.

Deficit and bailout politics make for strange bedfellows indeed.  There is finally a growing chorus of taxpayers who have had enough of the fiscal irresponsibility of our federal government. And they have begun to find a voice. 

Two trillion dollar annual deficits tend to have that effect on people.

 

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Reader Comments (51)

"But I can fairly report, from having read close to 100 accounts of rallies large and small, that the Tea Parties were ultimately anti-deficit affairs. The political cross-section was wide. Though they were Republican promoted and dominated, there are millions of fiscally-conservative Democrats and Libertarians (yours truly), and their attendance was noticed yesterday."

Unless you got some hard evidence, I can't take your word for it that there were any protesters other than Republican doofuses protesting higher taxes under Obama (which is to say, protesting Irony, to borrow from the great Jon Stewart). This was, ultimately, a Fox News and well-heeled Republican lobbyist production with deeply stupid Fox News viewers participating. There may have been a few non-Fox News Republicans out there, but they were statistical anomalies at best and more likely rubberneckers.

Indeed, some of us were bitching about the bailouts (what this site's all about, as I recall) from the get go. The Teabag nonsense yesterday was not part of that bitching in any meaningful way. (And by the way, Santelli was "proud" of yesterday. Really?)

Taibbi got it right. http://trueslant.com/matttaibbi/2009/04/14/americas-peasant-mentality/

So did Atrios: http://www.eschatonblog.com/2009/04/giant-puppets.html

"All fun aside, there's obviously nothing wrong with the right attempting to engage in protest politics. The problem is that it was never clear what they were protesting. So far Obama has cut taxes for most of the population and... well, that's it. The protests of "The Left" have long been mocked for lacking message discipline. That criticism has often been fair. The difference is that our side's protests generally have a single point ("don't do this stupid fucking war in Iraq") which gets hijacked by a bunch of other causes when the speakers hit the stage. But the teabaggers... honestly, I still have no idea what it was about. I mean, I know it was about tribal allegiance against Barack Mumia Saddam Obama III. But it wasn't actually about anything else."
Apr 16, 2009 at 3:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterSomething Polish
Thank you for your analysis, I agree with you. I was at the Phoenix Tea Party, and I was upset that they had Republican politicians speaking, especially the clown JD Hayworth, who lost his seat to a Democrat, leading a chant of "No New Taxes". I talked to a number of people around me at that moment, and we all agreed, that was not the point of the protest.

The Tea Parties are based on the spirit of Populism, which the Republican Party does not easily swallow, in fact, I would say the GOP is largely more against Populism than the Democrats.

In fact, there is no Poulist party anymore, although the philosophy draws in elements of all current political parties.
Apr 16, 2009 at 3:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterJubilee
Apr 16, 2009 at 3:23 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
@Polish

I've read the tabibi piece and i enjoyed it.

As for evidence, all I have is the collective tone of reading so many accounts. I will post a few links after I finish writing my next story.

I guess my point is how can it be wrong to protest massively irresponsible budget deficits?

The rallies varied greatly from location to location. Some had political speakers. Others expressly disallowed it.

Do a google news search and scan the articles for attendance and crowd composition. Almost every rally I read about had a strong representation of NON-republicans.

This doesn't mean that certain Republicans shouldn't be ridiculed, just that there are many folks who are NOT Republicans who hate our out-of-control deficit spending.
Apr 16, 2009 at 3:32 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
@ Polish

I agree with your point about those who were protesting Obama for taxes.

That's a lame attack in my opinion for several reasons. But most of the local accounts were focused more on the spending side.

Hell, who knows? I didn't attend anything. And from what I've read, virtually every event was different. So it's hard to generalize.
Apr 16, 2009 at 3:39 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
I LOVE the picture purrrfect tea-bag:)

Until we can ALL motivate and organize, and be comfortable standing next to people who may not agree with us on all the issues we hold dear, our fragmented messages won't have the force needed to stop our momentum toward financial ruin. I am ready to share my bed with some strange fellows, as long as they aren't political party pimps. Divided we fall...
Apr 16, 2009 at 3:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterAngry Jones
@ Jubilee

Excellent points.

Here's my gut. I think about 30% of the population are hard-core Democrats, 30% are Republicans and the remaining 40% are disgusted by both parties, but are forced to choose the lesser of 2 evils in every election.

You can count me in the 40%.
Apr 16, 2009 at 3:55 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
This is how complex it is to analyze why people might have attended a tea-baggin' rally yesterday.

1) they hate obama
2) they hate Congress
3) they hate all government
4) they hate taxes
5) they hate the stimulus
6) they are worried about their kids and or grandkids
7) they want government to shrink by 25%
8) they were looking for a party
9) someone at work asked them to go
10) they thought they were getting free tea

did i miss anything?
Apr 16, 2009 at 4:34 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
"I guess my point is how can it be wrong to protest massively irresponsible budget deficits?"

This is not what they were protesting. They were protesting the idea of non-Fox News Republicans.

Got a report from a reliable source who had a meeting near the White House yesterday, and wasn't really aware of the Teabag Situation.

Reliable Source: Whoa, what a day for a meeting near the White House, the lots of AWAs there and on the Metro.
Me: AWAs"
RS: Angry White Assholes

AWAs = Fox News viewership

Whatever decent ideas for a protest ever existed, they were hijacked by looney jagoffs like Glenn Beck, Neil Cavuto and the rest of the Vast Right Wing Doucheterrrium.
Apr 16, 2009 at 5:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterSomething Polish
Sorry Guys.....The Teabaggers are PISSED at the SPENDING and BAILOUTS. "O" gets heat there because he is continuing the Bush initiated spending cause and kicking it into a whole nutha' level! (Saturday Night Live- Satire) Any-hooo....The defense against Teabaggin' cause the Prez is a Dem or black is complete horse crap. I don't care if Old Man McCain was sitting in the Oval Office....He would be doing the exact same level spending OR MAYBE MORE...just money flowing to a different group of parasites feeding off the Taxpayer Funded Gov't Corpse. The Repubs have shown they can outspend the Dems over the past 8 years and now "O" is just upping the ante. The Taxpayers have cal the bluff of both these political parties and want some ACCOUNTABILITY! Teabag That!
Apr 16, 2009 at 5:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterAin't Bullshittin'
"This is how complex it is to analyze why people might have attended a tea-baggin' rally yesterday."

"They hate X, they hate Y, ...".

It's difficult for elitists to grasp this: there is a segment of the population that loves individual liberty and prefers it over the Statist's control. Obama is a Statist extraordinaire.

Obama is a modern day liberal Democrat driving the U.S.A. hard left with the cooperation of a liberal Democrat majority Congress.

Add to these points the core thesis of this (very good) web site and it's not difficult to understand the grassroots reaction.
Apr 16, 2009 at 6:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterbbrown
AB: Again, I'm gonna need some specific examples. I got plenty that says it's a Fox News/Corporate Whore production and douche-fest. (dailyshow.com; colbertreport.com; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/16/10-most-offensive-tea-par_n_187554.html for starters). Some of us are pissed about the bipartisan bailout; yesterday's Teabag-a-palooza wasn't about that. It was an Anti-Obama joint and little more.

"The defense against Teabaggin' cause the Prez is a Dem or black is complete horse crap. "

Huh?

OK, and one more:
http://flprogressive.blogspot.com/2009/04/dfh-blogger-speaks-at-pensacola-tea.html
Apr 16, 2009 at 6:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterSomething Polish
"the grassroots reaction"

Off the top of my head:: http://thinkprogress.org/2009/04/16/afp-paul-ryan/

This was not a grassroots event. Believing otherwise makes you a prime target for Mr. Taibbi. And dude, you don't want that.
Apr 16, 2009 at 6:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterSomething Polish
I have hear pundits say the teabaggin' is just an excuse to protest the Prez for the above mentioned reasons. That's not the case for those I know and that were in attendance. I was at an earlier baggin' event and all were furious over the bailouts and handouts. The political party holding The Office of the Presidency was just that...coincidence. The folks are pissed at the Dems in general because they actually wield the power by controlling the Senate and House at the same time. People want these clowns to stop bulldozing our rights, freedoms, and liberty. It wouldn't hurt if they would put a little restraint on spending our kids money before they are even born. Just an observation from the baggin' goin on in the deep south in GA.
Apr 16, 2009 at 6:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterAin't Bullshittin'
"People want these clowns to stop bulldozing our rights, freedoms, and liberty."

Could you be specific here? The people I referenced earlier (did you check the links?) had some pretty dadgum offensive things to say, quite often using those undefined words as cover.

"It wouldn't hurt if they would put a little restraint on spending our kids money before they are even born."

I was there in 2000, pushing back when Alan Greenspan was worried about "paying off the debt too fast."

I was there in 2003 trying to keep our kids from paying for a crazy stupid invasion (the money costs the least of it, and they ain't cheap).

I was there in 2008 and 2009, shrieking at the top of my lungs when the previous and current administrations thought the solution to the bank crisis was to light a long series of wheelbarrows full of cash on fire.

Yesterday was a Fox News Production (in concert with rich-ass right wing douchbag lobbyists). It was not grassroots. It was not organic. It was Glenn Beck at the Alamo talking about secession. It was horseshit. That don't cut it.
Apr 16, 2009 at 7:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterSomething Polish
http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2009/04/antitax_tea_party_could_draw_c.html

""This is not a Democratic problem. Not a Republican problem. It's all of them together," Wilder said.

They concede they did not publicly object as the federal budget deficit soared during the Bush administration.

She said she retired on disability from M&T Bank three years ago after undergoing knee replacement and back surgeries. She lives on her Social Security and disability benefits. Last year, she petitioned the bankruptcy court for protection from creditors.

She said she did not have to pay federal income taxes last year because her income was too low.

"I don't want to see this country turn into a welfare, nanny state, where we stand in line for groceries, and we're in welfare lines, and in socialized medicine lines," Wilder said.
Apr 16, 2009 at 8:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterSomething Polish
I think most of us agree on the facts: tea-party concept hijacked, some tea-parties non-partisan, some anti-Obama, some just 100% Fox News circlejerks. Whatever. I totally reject, though, that proper analysis should proceed down the axis of Real Organic Crabgrass VS. GOP-funded Astroturf. That doesn't even begin to explain this phenomenon.

I'm an academic who studies the 18th century (don't laugh, stay with me) and what you find with some of the most powerful mass movements is that they WERE almost always an amorphous hodgepodge of conflicting ideological elements. (Kind of like the tea parties). Historically, the kind of movements that put people in the streets to make noise and tear shit up have all kinds of motivations and justifications -- and it is almost always impossible to translate their incoherent rage into a coherent political program. And just as often, political elites -- or those who used to be part of the elite -- would try to use popular rage and popular sentiment for their own more coherent and specific goals. (Like the GOP.)

Ideology works in strange ways and with these tea parties I think the vagueness of "the message" will give it a staying power that it wouldn't otherwise have. You can argue with someone's policy prescriptions, or match talking point for talking point, but you can't argue with anger. You can't argue with bodies in the streets. In a way, it's almost better if the MSM can't figure out who the protestors are or what exactly they're about. This will be especially true if the protests continue. I expect they will. Of course, things will REALLY get interesting when we start throwing GOP stooges into the water along with the tea. Watch your back Sean Hannity!
Apr 16, 2009 at 9:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames H
Having said all that, it's still important that sites like this one continue to preach the coherent message: stop the bailouts, stop spending my children's money, get our money back from Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, prosecute the guilty. The most successful movements had both bodies in the streets AND diligent, obsessive ideologists who shaped "the message."
Apr 16, 2009 at 9:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames H
"You can't argue with bodies in the streets."

You wouldn't think so, but those massive, unprecedented Iraq Invasion protests--which received scant corporate media coverage, unsurprisingly enough--were pretty quickly forgotten. And that message was relatively (relatively) coherent. And that was a shitload of people. Plus it turns out that they were dead fucking right. I guess eventually the tide turned, and people soured on the idea off invading Iraq, but not soon enough to avoid disaster on many levels. Any justice there?

"Having said all that, it's still important that sites like this one continue to preach the coherent message: stop the bailouts, stop spending my children's money, get our money back from Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, prosecute the guilty."

Stay on target...this time for sure...
Apr 16, 2009 at 9:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterSomething Polish
@Something Polish

Pertaining to your exchange with DailyBail, I just happened upon this. Check it out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dd2tg8gxCDU

People are getting angry (finally) with the media, too. This is good.
Apr 16, 2009 at 9:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames H
@Something Polish

Iraq War protests? Never happened. Downing St. Memo? Proves nothing.

Your point is WELL TAKEN. Fortunately, for whatever reason, the tea parties haven't been ignored. Maybe the GOP hacks can be our useful idiots for a while. I don't know.

BTW, I love the "Republicans Suck, Too!" sign at the end of the video.
Apr 16, 2009 at 9:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames H
"Your point is WELL TAKEN. Fortunately, for whatever reason, the tea parties haven't been ignored. Maybe the GOP hacks can be our useful idiots for a while. I don't know."

That video is a darn good start; tell your friends. The "Some Guy With a Sign" phenomenon is a problem, but there seemed to be an awful lot of those guys with signs at the Teabagfest (see the video where the guy calls out crazy spending from the Red Team and gets booed), perhaps I'm wrong. I'd like to see more of that video and less of the Matt Taibbi Scenario, which still dominates as far as I can tell.

I don't know either, but I'm not an optimist about these things.

I don't see how the Downing Street Memo is relevant.
Apr 16, 2009 at 10:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterSomething Polish
Re the memo? Relevant insofar as it was ignored rather than argued about. Not terribly important to what I was saying, I guess.


BTW, I wasn't sure what you meant by the Some Guy With a Sign "problem".

Also BTW, what brings you here, Something Polish, if you're "not an optimist"? Do you mean you're "not an optimist" when political hacks piss on the populist parade, or do you mean you're not an optimist about stopping big government and the banking oligarchy from taking your money?
Apr 16, 2009 at 10:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames H
Here's another (good) Tea Party story from Bowling Green, Kentucky. These kids must read The Daily Bail -- they're mad about the Bailouts and the Spending. Nice work, Bowling Green Tea Party.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWh80kT3YqM

(I'll see if I can find something from the actual tea party, too)
Apr 16, 2009 at 10:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames H
Here's some local coverage of the Bowling Green Tea Party. At 2:15 one of the organizers is interviewed. I grew up in the south and he seems pretty "grass roots" to me. At 3:35 he talks about why they got the thing started and how frustrated people are that Washington won't listen to us.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bu9fl-8WBi8
Apr 16, 2009 at 10:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames H
Here's Rand Paul speaking in Bowling Green yesterday:

"If you're gonna be out here and just say it's all Obama, that's not true. For 8 years we had Republicans in the White House..." (1:45).

"Obama AND McCain rushed back to Washington to vote the same way, to add another trillion dollars to the deficit" (2:10).

At 3:00 he blames both Republicans and Democrats and the crowd shouts "Amen!" "YEAH!"...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVv--TAs7hE

I think these are encouraging signs -- "little green shoots."
Apr 16, 2009 at 10:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames H
The great Wall of China...started with ONE brick.....The Pyramid of Giza...started with One brick.....The Roman Colloseum ....ONE brick. A POLITICAL REVOLUTION......ONE VOTE....2010.
Apr 16, 2009 at 11:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterAin't Bullshittin'
I stepped away for a few hours.

I just watched the Daily Show. It provided a little bit of perspective that I hadn't seen before. Did I mention I never watch Fox, and rarely MSNBC or CNN.

It's pretty much CNBC all day for me until 6 pm and then I usually don't watch any more TV the rest of the day. With that said, the Daily Show interviewed some absolute wackos.

I'm not sure whether to amend my thoughts. I saw a sign for term limits. Thought that was a beauty. Can't go wrong with term limits.

As I stated in comments earlier, I didn't attend anything myself. I was relying on print coverage. What I saw tonight changed my mind somewhat, yet I understand that TV seeks out the strange in every crowd.

I think, ultimately, that these tea parties drew all types of protesters. But I will concede that what I saw tonight definitely deserved ridicule.

I will post the Jon Stewart videos early in the morning when they become available.
Apr 17, 2009 at 12:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterDailyBail
@James

RE: Here's Rand Paul speaking in Bowling Green yesterday:

"If you're gonna be out here and just say it's all Obama, that's not true. For 8 years we had Republicans in the White House..." (1:45).

"Obama AND McCain rushed back to Washington to vote the same way, to add another trillion dollars to the deficit" (2:10).

At 3:00 he blames both Republicans and Democrats and the crowd shouts "Amen!" "YEAH!"...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVv--TAs7hE

I think these are encouraging signs -- "little green shoots."



Interesting stuff.
Apr 17, 2009 at 12:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterDailyBail
@Polish

"Whatever decent ideas for a protest ever existed, they were hijacked by looney jagoffs like Glenn Beck, Neil Cavuto and the rest of the Vast Right Wing Doucheterrrium."

I think this point of yours is exactly right.

And the hijacking while not destroying the spirit of the rallies completely, definitely made them less worthy.

And again, it's all one massive generalization on my part.

But the stuff from FOX that I saw tonight on the Daily Show was pretty bad.
Apr 17, 2009 at 12:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterDailyBail
Looking forward to those Daily Show clips.

Also, did a little look-see at the Bowling Green Tea Party Yahoo Group and I swear it looks like the real deal. Lots of talk about getting permits, picking up trash, my cousin can screen-print some t-shirts, Bobby Jo will make the potato salad, that kind of thing. Also, there were quite a few posts about whether to allow politicians speak at all. They were also initially susupicious of the local College Republicans and someone asked "friend or foe?" when someone else mentioned a local Republican pol coming to speak. Definitely a conservative crowd, being Kentucky and all, but non-partisan for sure.

Not to get obsessed with one Tea Party, but if Bowling Green is any kind of indication of what went on elsewhere, I'd say things are looking up. I'd also say that Sean Hannity MUST be tossed into some body of water by summer's end.
Apr 17, 2009 at 12:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames H
@James

Re: I'm an academic who studies the 18th century (don't laugh, stay with me) and what you find with some of the most powerful mass movements is that they WERE almost always an amorphous hodgepodge of conflicting ideological elements. (Kind of like the tea parties). Historically, the kind of movements that put people in the streets to make noise and tear shit up have all kinds of motivations and justifications -- and it is almost always impossible to translate their incoherent rage into a coherent political program. And just as often, political elites -- or those who used to be part of the elite -- would try to use popular rage and popular sentiment for their own more coherent and specific goals. (Like the GOP.)

More interesting stuff. Always wondered about the protests from this period. Great information.
Apr 17, 2009 at 12:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterDailyBail
@ Polish

"This was not a grassroots event. Believing otherwise makes you a prime target for Mr. Taibbi. And dude, you don't want that. "

I never stated these were organic grassroot events. I know that in many cases they were orgainzed and staged by Republicans. My thesis was that the demonstrations of anger were real and as a whole these rallies attracted Democrats and Libertarians as well as Republicans obviously.
Apr 17, 2009 at 1:19 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Here is a comment from someone who attended the rally in Bloomington. It is from the local paper.


Those of us who attended this tea party were ordinary citizens (and NOT right-wing nuts) who are tired of massive government spending, and particularly worried about the horrendous growth of the Federal government. There were, I guess, Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, and Democrats at the demonstration. There's no way we can ever pay for the new programs/fundding and there is doubt about whether we can even pay the interest on it. We want it to stop now. Our Congressmen admit they didn't even read the first bailout bill! Why should we support any of it? Now no one will tell our elected officials where the money went! Yes, I'll just sit still while they continue this travesty. Time for new leadership in Washington on both sides of the aisle and time for term limits.
I personally do not want a government who can't even run Medicare, Medicaid, and other social programs without massive fraud to "manage" my healthcare. There are some other interesting plans out there, some of which incorporate the French verson. Do some research before turning the rest of your life over to the government in D.C. They DO NOT know what our lives are like at all - and, truth be told, they could care less.
By the way, there were at least 250,000 attendees at tea parties nation-wide. Not sure what tea party you were looking at?
These accusations are even funnier: Fox News organized us? National sponsorship by billionaire lobbyists? Hee hee! Better do some fact-checking. Fiscal conservatives no longer have the money - the liberals do, from lawyers to George Soros to Hollywood stars to Bill Gates. It is paranoid thinking or some kind of projection to believe we are being managed by someone! Why are you so upset by Fox News except that they don't agree with you? Fiscal conservatives have to listen to prejudicial reports (or no reports at all) by the MSM every day of the week.
Read the Declaration and the Constitution and the Federalist Papers. If you don't like what they say, maybe that should give you pause to think about what kind of country you really do want to live in.
By the way, we left no trash, required no policemen to watch us, and caused minimal disruption downtown. Oh yeah! We're really bad folks.
Apr 17, 2009 at 1:25 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
AB

"I don't care if Old Man McCain was sitting in the Oval Office....He would be doing the exact same level spending OR MAYBE MORE...just money flowing to a different group of parasites feeding off the Taxpayer Funded Gov't Corpse. The Repubs have shown they can outspend the Dems over the past 8 years and now "O" is just upping the ante. The Taxpayers have cal the bluff of both these political parties and want some ACCOUNTABILITY! Teabag That!


Very good point. I firmly believe this is well. I do not believe the bailouts would be handled any differently under McCain and Phil fucking Gramm. And McCain would have done a big stimulus as well. McCain was a horrible candidate.

Ron Paul was the guy. That's how I feel and I was not involved in any of the mania surrounding him. Ron Paul could have beaten Obama in my opinion. If McCain-Palin almost pulled it off, I'm pretty sure Paul would have won. Most Americans are ready to shrink government and shrink the military and our presence overseas. That's what Paul is all about. Obama is not prepared to make any major changes to the military industrial complex.

Ron Paul would have taken on the Federal Reserve and the Pentagon. That would have made for some real change.

Sorry, but the Obama level of change from Bush though welcome is barely noticable outside of social issues and stem cells.

He is the exact fucking repeat of Bush-Paulson when it comes to the bailouts. It sucks ass, imo.

It's a hell of a lot better than Bush, but how difficult was that to accomplish.
Apr 17, 2009 at 1:37 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
DailyBail,

Where can I get my "Bailouts Suck Ass" bumper sticker?
Apr 17, 2009 at 1:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames H
As Anthony Hopkins said in Legends of the Fall......SCREW EM'
Apr 17, 2009 at 2:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterAin't Bullshittin'
I am very weary of false flag style operations. It seems the tea bag movement has been co-opted by corporate interests. GOP/Dems what's the difference really when you follow the money and various round table/think tank policy/interest groups. I am surprised there weren't some staged shenanigans and arrests to silence the dissenters with threats of terrorist charges. Just look at Janet Napolitano's recent comments. Could have been something great and honorable others could watch and be inspired by and they defiled it. It's sad really.
Apr 17, 2009 at 5:10 AM | Unregistered Commenterspideydouble
@DailyBail

Regarding Phil Gramm, want to go into business together making toilet seat covers with his picture on them. I'm kidding, but somebody needs to do it. There is nothing like that kind of relief and cathartic release at the same time.
Apr 17, 2009 at 6:15 AM | Unregistered Commenterspideydouble
James H:

More encouraging signs from Bowling Green. Keep 'em coming, please.

The "Some Guy With a Sign Phenomenon" was on display by the CNN hack faux-reporter. Media (and people in general) are drawn to the most outrageous people and signs and they get hung with the entire movement. And, yeah, I'm a victim of that too--that's about all I'm seeing ("Taxed Enough Already"--really? That guy's not getting a cut?) and Fox News is doing all they can to confirm that. As funnyman David Cross once pointed out, the Iraq War protests weren't about some guy with a giant metal robot puppet chanting about legalizing marijuana, it was about stopping a stupid invasion. What got shown on the tee-vee?

And I'm not an optimist, but you do whatever you can. I support about everything Daily Bail's trying to do here (again, apart from The Hoosiers), but I don't see the TRAP money coming back anytime soon. I'm not optimistic about Global Warming either, but I'm still gonna shoot to curb it as much as possible.

IIf the Daily Show videos don't appear here, check 'em out:

http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=224275&title=nationwide-tax-protests

http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=224276&title=tea-party-tyranny
Apr 17, 2009 at 9:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterSomething Polish
"So far Obama has cut taxes for most of the population and... well, that's it."

I guess watching 4 million people lose their jobs in your first 100 days in office is sort of like giving them a tax break. Obama hasn't done anything to affect tax rates. That extra money in your paycheck? You'll be writing a check to pay it back next April.

The tea party "movement" will be more significant in 4 years when there are 25 million unemployed and inflation is raging at 25 percent. And the CNN bimbo calling it a Fox News contrived movement on air is doing so at the risk of her own job. Has she looked at CNN ratings lately?
Apr 17, 2009 at 9:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn S
And why am I not optimistic?

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/04/stiglitz-blame-summers/

If there's a just God, Larry Summers's afterlife will be most unpleasant.
Apr 17, 2009 at 10:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterSomething Polish
@ Polish

It's tough to be optimistic about any of this crap, but fight on we must. I got the Daily Show videos up now and I will throw Stiglitz up later as I tend to cover everything he says.
Apr 17, 2009 at 12:46 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Larry Summers is a special kind of evil.

Are you aware he was Obama's first choice for Treasury Secretary?

It's that type of thinking that I honestly don't understand about Obama.

He is making a big mistake with his approach to banking and bailouts.

Why does he not see it?
Apr 17, 2009 at 1:17 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Why does Obama not see it? Because he is in way over his head, both with the banks and in general. That's my considered opinion. I hadn't watched him much (hardly at all, really) until after the election. Bad for my nerves. But hearing him and watching him after the election, especially on the economic stuff, I was flabergasted by how ignorant and uninquisitive he was about it all.

The subjects of economics and finance are just occasions for him to say a bunch of empty words. He clearly doesn't care what the right answers are. All he seems to care about is campaigning and accruing power and prestige for himself and his administration. I mean how can a "smart" and inquisitive president not have anything to say about Keyenes? Why weren't the signatories to the Cato ad invited to the White House to talk about the "stimulus"? Because he simply didn't care. And he doesn't know enough about it to even know he should care. I'm sure Summers growled something about multipliers and spending lots of money and Obama likes what he hears: he gets to spend tons of (China's) money AND he can claim it's good for the economy. An inquisitive president would want to know more, or ask for a second opinion. But he didn't. Same way with the banks -- why let these companies fail when you get to control them? Or maybe he just believes Summers and doesn't want to get blamed if they are allowed to fail.

Either way, I've never gotten a tingly feeling in my leg about this guy. He pimped for the bailout for Chris' sake (sounding like a complete idiot, I should add).
Apr 17, 2009 at 1:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames H
My fear is that Obama's lack of smarts and curiosity about the economy is part of a larger, more general pattern. I never expected him to end the war in Iraq. (I tried telling people that back in 2005.) HOWEVER, even I am surprised by the almost total lack of "change" in foreign policy. Not the relevant topic here, but it again suggests the degree to which political expediency (orObama's lack of real self-confidence) will continue to shape this administration's policy when it comes to the banks and the economy.
Apr 17, 2009 at 1:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames H
Hey, wadda ya know? HT to Mish Shedlock (from Bloomberg):

"Treasury Seeks to Keep U.S. Bank Stakes After Buyback"
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a9F3N8vvrHgY


Mish calls it "Fed California" after the Eagles song:

"You can check out any time you like,
But you can never leave!"

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/04/welcome-to-fed-california-you-can-check.html
Apr 17, 2009 at 2:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames H
"My fear is that Obama's lack of smarts and curiosity about the economy is part of a larger, more general pattern. "

That's a reasonable fear, I think Obama's relatively smart (yeah, not much competition there) and curious. But I guess he may not be. It's nothing like the fear that he's in the back pocket of Big Finance, which is not only worse, but well-founded.

As for political expedience, that's unfortunately part of the game. You don't get you Profile in Courage Certificate from edgy blogs, but you do get to go another day and get Howard Fineman and David Broder's blessing to boot. Hard to lay off of that. I want to believe that there's some sort of UltraPoliticoKungFuJujitsuForce at work, but I also want to believe that I'll finally get that pony for my birthday this year. Besides, if there really were such an animal as UltraPoliticoKungFuJujitsuForce, Larry Summers would never ever ever be a part of it.
Apr 17, 2009 at 2:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterSomething Polish
@Something Polish

No argument from here. If we get real "change" from the taxpayer's Hitler (kidding) I'll buy you that pony you've been wanting (no kidding). What color would you like?

I can't find it right now, but Scott Horton of anti-war radio said (a while ago) that he's heard many people talk about Obama's "pragmatic" approach to getting elected, and how he's saying certain things he really doesn't mean, and how "just as soon as he gets the reins of power he Really Will be exactly the kind of angel I've always wanted him to be..."
Apr 17, 2009 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames H
This world needs more Scotts Horton.

Reminds me of Berube comments back in December:

One writes:
"If and only if B. Hussein Al-Bama somehow uses this shitty gesture [having America's Pastor deliver some religious jive at the Inauguration] as cover to repeal DADT (or, I guess, DOMA), then I’m cool with it."

Berube responds:
"You know, we should probably create a separate file somewhere for sentences that begin “if and only if” and take “Obama” as their subject. Because they’re beginning to pile up. If and only if Obama named Ken Salazar to Interior as cover for issuing the most sweeping environmental regulations ever (while getting an actual Democrat to replace him), then I’m cool with that, too. "

Link just to prove it or you care: http://www.michaelberube.com/index.php/weblog/comments/1207/

I'm guessing we may be straying off course a wee bit here. It happens.
Apr 17, 2009 at 7:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterSomething Polish

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