The Political Cowardice of Barack Obama

Soaring rhetoric won't fix the economy.

Now, a return to the American values of fair play and shared responsibility will help protect our people and our economy. But it should also guide us as we look to pay down our debt and invest in our future.—President Barack Obama, State of the Union, January 24, 2012

President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night was the latest reminder that the state of political discourse in America is shockingly low. I’m not singling out Obama for special condemnation, given that these addresses always are a potpourri of banalities, regardless of which president is offering them. Yet Tuesday’s address was a vivid reminder of the shoddy thinking so common at the highest level of the federal and state governments and why we are—in the more precise, but less lofty words of a former president—in deep doo doo.

Criminologists have remarked on “the banality of crime,” the idea that most criminals are not dark geniuses, but ordinary dolts driven by the basest motives. The State of the Union is the ultimate example for the banality of American politics, of the reality that the people who want to reform us haven’t the slightest clue about anything. They are predictable and bland, traders in base ideas and driven mainly by ego and the desire to help those groups that assure their re-election. California is the starkest example. A friend of mine called the other day and told me that it finally dawned on him that Gov. Jerry Brown, despite his clever word plays is really not so brilliant. Here’s a man who actually believes that raising taxes and “investing” in green jobs will save California.

Politicians from Obama to Brown to Mitt Romney to Newt Gingrich want so desperately to build a legacy, save our state or nation, and create some shining city on the hall, but they want it all on the cheap. Democratic pols want to sound like John F. Kennedy while Republicans sing hosannas to the legacy of Ronald Reagan, but such legacies don’t come from cheap banalities and the retreading of empty words. They come from tackling real issues and fixing real problems. The courage needed to do the latter is in short supply, given that most politicians crave adulation but don’t realize that those who put that first almost assures that they won’t receive it. Look at Arnold Schwarzenegger, who had a historic opportunity to bring the state back from the brink, yet changed course dramatically after his first defeat. He chose to be loved above all else and has ended up a scorned figure.

Many of us had hoped that Brown, who no longer seeks higher office, would embrace the tough work of real governance and take on his own allies—i.e., the public sector unions—who are the key obstacle to reviving California. Instead, he has embraced one foolish answer, a massive tax increase, and has governed in a way that’s not too different from the two failed governors before him. If Brown were a serious man, he would acknowledge that it’s the way the state spends money that’s the problem, not the lack of revenue. But he has taken the easy, banal course and will in time be forgotten. And so too will Obama who continues to believe that government is the font of all wisdom and energy in this nation and that populist attacks on evil-doing mortgage companies are more crucial than serious policy.

“Let's never forget: Millions of Americans who work hard and play by the rules every day deserve a government and a financial system that do the same,” he intoned. “It’s time to apply the same rules from top to bottom. No bailouts, no handouts, and no copouts. An America built to last insists on responsibility from everybody.”

Banality is one thing, but this veers into dishonestly. No president—not even the terrible one that preceded him—has embraced the culture of bailouts, handouts, and copouts more than Obama. His administration epitomizes the term “crony capitalism,” whereby friends of the leaders get large infusions of taxpayer cash (see Solyndra) and then are full of copouts about why the money disappeared. In his speech, Obama sung the praises of the automobile bailout and called for more bailouts and government investments.

Instead of dealing seriously with the financial crisis, he embraced a kindergartner’s view of what happened (greedy banks foisted bad mortgages on decent people!), called for a special investment crimes unit to crack down on financial wrongdoers, and then pledged a new bailout for homeowners who are underwater in their mortgages, many of whom acted irresponsibly as they bought houses they couldn’t afford and tapped the equity in those houses and spent it on consumer goods. Said Obama, “And while government can't fix the problem on its own, responsible homeowners shouldn't have to sit and wait for the housing market to hit bottom to get some relief. And that's why I'm sending this Congress a plan that gives every responsible homeowner the chance to save about $3,000 a year on their mortgage, by refinancing at historically low rates.”

Just what we need—yet another irresponsible subsidy courtesy of U.S. taxpayers. In reality, the real estate market needs to hit bottom before it can rebound, and Obama’s plan will only delay the day of reckoning. This is more pabulum and more false hope for people who think the government is going to save them.

Soaring rhetoric and promised bailouts won’t fix what’s wrong in California or in the United States. It’s time for a little reality and some tough choices. It’s time for leaders with less banal rhetoric, better ideas and more courage.

Steven Greenhut is editor of CalWatchDog.com.

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  • Concerned Citizen||

    We told you so. Unless Ron Paul wins, that's all we'll have. If he doesn't, the shitnami that's coming is huge. Hyper-inflation, unemployment in double digits, which will spur the security crackdowns, etc. But we told you so.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    ...create some shining city on the hall...

    Pretty sure you meant HILL, Steve.

  • fish||

    which will spur the security crackdowns, etc.

    Which will drive us further down the spiral!

    An so on.....

  • ||

    Mr. Lahey: Do you know what a Shit Barometer is, boy?
    Bubbles: What?
    Mr. Lahey: Measures the Shit Pressure in the air. When the Barometer rises, and you'll feel it too, your ears will implode with the Shit Pressure. I tried to warm you, Bubs, but you picked the wrong side! Beware, the Shit Winds are a-comin'.

  • More Jim Lahey||

    We're in the eye of a shiticane!

  • rather||

    Even Castro is not impressed
    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.....&sq=castro &st=cse

  • Old Mexican||

    Even I am not impressed... with Castro.

  • Rather||

    I always think of the Cold war as a classic Get Smart episode; even Max didn't want CONTROL completely destroyed

  • fish||

    ....even Max didn't want CONTROL completely destroyed

    Well considering that Max worked for CONTROL I would suppose not.

  • Rather||

    Did Max know that? ;-)

  • ||

    Max worked for CONTROL. The enemy was KAOS.

  • Sudden||

    Fortunately Castro didn't endorse Ron Paul.

  • Old Mexican||

    Look at Arnold Schwarzenegger, who had a historic opportunity to bring the state back from the brink, yet changed course dramatically after his first defeat. He chose to be loved above all else and has ended up a scorned figure.


    And with an ugly mistress to boot.

  • Sudden||

    Yeah, something tells me that wasn't the Latina housekeeper fantasy he had originally envisioned.

    At least she had latin curves. When your banging a skeleton, I'm pretty sure Rosie O'Donnell looks tempting.

  • k2000k||

    I'm pretty sure that Arnold is banging more women than cinnamon hippo and skeletor. He is a known womanizer.

  • k2000k||

    Frankly I think the reason he banged that hippo is that for a guy like Arnold, who, even now, has his pick of hot women to bang, he probably enjoyed the illicit thrill of banging an uggo. That or he just has an indescriminate penis.

  • Ahnold||

    Der roids made me dooo it.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Yeah, something tells me that wasn't the Latina housekeeper fantasy he had originally envisioned.

    Dude, Arnold's a chubby chaser. Have you seen pics of Maria back when they first started dating?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Banal intercourse should be outlawed.

  • Brick Santorum||

    I agree.

  • Richard Santorum||

    Also ban the earth because its TEH GAIA!!!!!1!11!!!!

  • ||

    I think Newt ( seriously I cant say that name without making a smirk ) summed it up nicely with " The difference between his rhetoric and his actions are astounding."

  • Almanian||

    Was he looking in a mirror while holding a picture of Obama and Mittens when he said that?

  • ||

    What scares me is Newt turning his own rhetoric INTO action.

  • Almanian||

    "....you go up and you come down
    workin' for the Clampdown.
    ....you start wearin' blue and brown and
    workin' for the Clampdown..."

    The Clash were right! Some of us are not surprised...

  • Old Mexican||

    If Brown were a serious man, he would acknowledge that it’s the way the state spends money that’s the problem, not the lack of revenue.


    But he is not a serious man. He is just like Tiny - er, Tony, who believes spending is an inevitability but revenue can be grown by mere wishing. Both Brown and Tiny see the world exactly backwards.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Yesterday, I re-read the final chapter of Jane Jacob's Economy of Cities. She succinctly explains why economies fail, and how they must be revived. Free-markets, and spontaneous order. Simple. She wrote the book in 1968. In the 44 years since it's publication, not a single politician has proposed one of these simple ideas. Instead, it's more of the same failed ideas, just repackaged.

  • k2000k||

    It's funny I took a class that talked extensively on her book about livable cities. She constantly blasted the concept about central planning and that it was communities themselves that created neighborhoods in which you wanted to live. The professor, somehow through twists of logic that only academia could accomplish, used her writtings as an argument for more goverment planning.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    "The Death and Life of Great American Cities" has been a go-to text for Big Government academics for quite some time, mainly because their hatred of the suburbs causes them to get a hard-on for Jacobs advocacy of mixed-use neighborhoods. As you pointed out, the profs take this to mean that the managerial class in city hall needs to centralize city planning to create those mixed-use neighborhoods, not that the residents of said neighborhoods should determine how to best organize their own communities.

  • ||

    "No bailouts, no handouts, and no copouts."

    Words fail me.

  • Sudden||

    "No Bailouts"
    -"And more cities can be like Detroit"

    "No Handouts"
    -"Start a fund to help underwater homeowner's refinance their mortgages at historically low rates"

    "No copouts"
    -"Now some of our govt investments will fail"

  • ||

    Sudden, I like the way you point out Obama's doublespeak. I guess Obama thinks taxpayers will hear the former, and the rent-seeking campaign cash contributors hear the later. Let them all eat cake.

  • Jim||

    Brilliant comment - he's so phony he can't even keep the lies straight in the same speech!

    I know the speechwriters must have been laughing when they wrote this line. Probably was a side bet about whether Obama would just blankly read it off the teleprompter in his Kennegy voice or if we'd see that smirk he makes when he realizes he just squeezed another turd out of his mouth.

  • ||

    The whole country has gone mad. What do you say to otherwise reasonable people who honestly believe in green unicorns powering the nation?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    What do you say to otherwise reasonable people who honestly believe in green unicorns powering the nation?

    WAKE. THE. FUCK. UP!

  • ||

    Try explaining kinetics to them in terms of money.Equate calories or joules to dollars, or just 'energy in' as investment and 'energy out' as profit. Money they understand, energy...not so much.

  • Sudden||

    Considering how fat the average american is and how in debt the average american is, I'm pretty sure your strategy will be met with blank stares.

  • Almanian||

    I'm so fucking depressed by the course we're on....FUCK!

  • k2000k||

    If it makes you feel better our fall will be broken upon the backs of other nations. The benefits of being on the top of the pyramid ya know?

  • ||

    OK, whose sorry today that they didn't buy gold a few months ago, when I suggested it?

  • ||

    Good article. Sadly true.

  • Old Mexican||

    This is more pabulum and more false hope for people who think the government is going to save them.


    Gotta love that word!

    "Pabulum"

  • ||

    I don't like it. I prefer kerfuffle or schadenfreude. A dog's breakfast is a good one too.

  • johnc||

    No love for "folderol"?

  • Almanian||

    A somewhat-related fave from a former colleague: "This is as fucked up as a bag of coathangers..."

  • ||

    As a former recycle of coathangers, I can tell that your comment is true. Fuckin A, I get 2 coathangers fucked up, much less a BAG.

  • ||

    Bromides. That is another good word.

  • ||

    Or barking mad.

  • Malopropism Police||

    The word is "Pablum," not "Pabulum." They are both words, but they do not mean the same thing. The author should invest in a dictionary or a good editor.

  • johnc||

    Part of the problem is the clear lack of results in the many states that elected anti-union governors in 2010. None of them are seeing any demonstrable increase in prosperity to contrast with California's.

  • Sudden||

    It's not about short term prosperity bumps, its about long term fiscal solvency. CalPERS ain't looking any more sustainable, that's for damn sure.

  • adam||

    Newsflash. Politicians don't control the economy.

  • ||

    Bullsh!t! My state (PA) has slashed the deficit by almost 75% with control of the governship & both houses by team red. The ed. cabal hate 'em as does the unions, all good. My business does new product development in NWPA and I'm busy! Why? Because the business climate here now encourages investment, contrary to what's being done on the West Coast. Do a little research before you shove your foot in mouth.

  • ||

    Research leads to insight, which leads to a sense of what is right, which leads to success, which leads to increased liberty, which leads to increased responsibility, which leads out of the Socialist hell johnc calls home. Ergo research is counter-indicated.

  • Almanian||

    What grates me is the "external locus of control" for El Presidente and so many others. They appear to sincerely believe the words they say - but it's always directed outward, at everyone else. No self reflection at all, no recognition that what they're saying could apply to others. "If EVERYONE ELSE would change, we'd be fine." It's never or at least rarely "what can I change" - always what someone else should do.

    There have always been people like this, but it seems to me to be increasing of late, so maybe it's just a "thing" of our times. It appears to be spreading, and Obama is the King of Lack of Self Awareness.

    Exceptionally, deeply frustrating, because it is utterly impossible to deal rationally with someone who thinks like this. Im. Possible.

  • Sparky||

    They're in charge.
    You need to be doing it right to be in charge.
    If they're in charge, they are doing it right.
    Therefore, everyone else is doing it wrong.

  • Stop Picking On Barry!!||

    Let him pull the killer-drone trigger without criticism.

  • ||

    My favorite line from the speech

    What happened in Detroit could happen in other places in America.

    Now that is a first class threat.

  • ||

    As is so often the case with political pronouncements, try saying it with a German accent to get the full flavor.

  • Barry||

    Those are some nice cities you have there, I would hate for something to happen to them....know whatta I mean?

  • ||

    Nice little country you've got here...be a shame if somethin' was to happen to it

  • ||

    Cheer up Almanian. It has always been just like this. The storm blowing now always seems worse than storms of the past.

    Consider; (lifted from my post elsewhere)

    In the mid 1800's the mississippi river was the most dangerous waterway in the world. The property and lives lost on it were equal to the resto f the world combined. No one, not one person, dared to operate a salvage business on it.
    James Buchannan Eads, when he was 22 years old, designed a salvage ship and diving bell ( the bell from a 40 gal whiskey barrel ) and started to salvage. His first contract was for 400 tons of lead ingots that had sunk. He hired a professional diver and went out. The diver could not locate the lead so Eads donned the bell himself and dove in.

    He went down 65 feet in a swift current and zero visibility. He said he sunk to his waist in the bottom and could feel sand moving from the current 2 feet below the surface. He was able to locate the lead and salvage all of it, one ingot at a time.

    Does the term " balls of steel " occur to anyone else?

    Eads also built the first steel bridge over the mississippi at St. Louis. He also was the first to open the mouth of the mississippi. The army corps of engineers had worked on it for 35 years, but Eads accomplished it in less than a year.

    All his life, every step of the way, he was fought by lesser men who could not accomplish what he could. HIs arch-nemesis, whose name escapes me, was head of the corps of engineers. He attempted to have congress block Eads's bridge construction because he had financial interest in the working ferries. He had his cronies contracted to work the mouth of the mississippi, and when Eads finally won approval to start work, the corps made him work on the outlest least suitable to his plans. The corruption, cronyism, pig-headedness and so on were the same then as now, yet we prevailed. We need more Eads's.

    Again, cheer up Almanian. In the end we will win. It is a foregone conclusion.

  • Sudden||

    His first contract was for 400 tons of lead ingots that had sunk

    You could really bump your smithing skill with all those ingots.

  • Sparky||

    400 lead daggers would probably get you a decent amount of skill gains.

  • ||

    Yeah, I cast alot, so thinking of just one of those tons in my garage makes my mouth water a bit.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Thanks Suthenboy. I needed a pep talk, too.

  • ||

    Wow. Thanks. I will have to look that guy up. If there hasn't been a book written about him, there should be.

  • johnc||

    This bibliography looks like a good starting point.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/eads/filmmore/fr.html

  • Almanian||

    Thanks, Suthen! By nature I am an optimist, but I'm becoming a curmudgeon in my old age. Motorcycling keeps me partically (in?)sane.

    Also - just closed a casting plant at our site. As I told some visitors to our gleaming new prod facility on a tour today, "If you're a mfg guy, you'd have LOVED the casting plant! That's REAL mfg! Sparks and danger and molten iron and dark and asbestos and...it smelled like manufacturing."

    And yes, Mr. Lead Retriever's balls were clearly made of steel - and as big as pumpkins. Scary shit, and awesome.

    Thanks again, suthen!

  • Spoof Tony||

    The army corps of engineers had worked on it for 35 years, but Eads accomplished it in less than a year.

    Word

  • ||

    I was thinking of Tony the totalitarian turd when I typed that. Shame that we cant get his feedback. I am sure he would ignore it.

  • Tony||

    It's quite obvious you redneck neanderthal that at that time there were insufficient numbers of TOP MEN in government service.

  • ||

    Great spoof. Really, has me laughing.
    Ok enough of this nonsense I am going out to split wood.
    See y'all later.

  • spoof Tony||

    Yeah...I was laughing while I was typing! Spoofing Tony....good times, good times!

  • Tony||

    When are you going to realize that it's you who are the totalitarians, except you're too dumb to realize it?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It's always amazing when a liberal accuses others of being "totalitarian".

  • Bill||

    Freedom is Slavery. War is Peace. Got it.

  • BC||

    Because, apparently, requiring people to take responsibility for themselves, when they'd prefer not to, is totalitarian.

  • ||

    I think the question answers itself.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Tony = Winston Smith. Minus the charm and depth.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    The courage needed to do the latter is in short supply, given that most politicians crave adulation but don’t realize that those who put that first almost assures that they won’t receive it.

    I maintain that most every person who desires elected office probably shouldn't have it. Same way most people who want to be cops probably ought not be. If you interrogated every single one of them hard enough as to their motives, you would ultimately get down one word:

    Power. Power over money and power over lives.

  • ||

    True, certain personality types ( and personality disorders ) are drawn to certain professions. This usually works out well, but politicians and other power seekers are a special case. I slightly disagree with the cops bit, I think they just need to be held on a shorter leash. But for politicians? We need a draft and short term limits.

  • ||

    True, certain personality types ( and personality disorders ) are drawn to certain professions.

    You lookin' at me? [reaches for ballpoint pen]

  • Sparky||

    Obama decides to double down on this message and pulls an Elizabeth Warren.

  • Mainer||

    Roads !

  • ||

    Without the government - he'd be nothing but a mediocre lawyer in nice suit.

  • Barry||

    Without the government - he'd be nothing but a mediocre lawyer in nice suit.

    Nahh...lawyerin dat too much work! Mau mau the flak catcher dat where the action be!

  • ||

    Well, see there, govt does produce something.

  • Federal Dog||

    Like hell. His grasp of law is consistently weak, to say the least.

  • ||

    Take it from me, the big firms always have room for a neatly groomed person of color to round out the palette. No need to understand much about that technical stuff - just keep a sharp crease in the trousers.

  • Arf Arf||

    ".....a mediocre lawyer in nice suit" defending white-collar embezzlers, tax-cheating politicians and war criminals.

  • ||

    Sitting here trying to imagine what Eads experienced on those salvage dives....shit....gives me the willies.

    The dude was teathered to an airline. Have you ever seen the snags that go down the river?
    I live near the river and have seen 100 ft Oaks 6 ft in diameter tossed around in there like toothpicks.

  • Tony||

    It's not the slightest bit of bravery I'd ask from deficit hawks on the other side--just a little sanity. Sure there are brutal choices ahead of us if we operate under the arbitrary and nonsensical rule that taxes can never go up from their current rates, ever.

    The one worrying thing is that it's become politically impossible ever to do a bank bailout again--yet the banks are no less tentacled to the real economy and could very well suffer a crisis again. I don't know that it would take a huge amount of political bravery to advocate reinstating Glass–Steagall, which seems like an important first step in guaranteeing no more bank bailouts. What was that? You guys are against reinstating Glass-Steagall? Of course it takes the least amount of bravery of all to be against bailouts when you're operating from a position of ideological purity untethered to reality.

  • ||

    Let's grant Tony his wish, and raise federal taxes to the historical average of 18% of GDP from the current level of 15% of DGP.

    That's a 20% increase in total tax revenue, at most, assuming a static economy that doesn't react, at all, to 3% of GDP being skimmed off.*

    That leaves us a deficit of $850BB dollars, still. Almost double the deficit from 2008, and a deficit of 17% of the federal budget.

    So, I'm not seeing how a tax increase saves us from making, what was it?, ah yes, "brutal choices." to balance the budget, you would have to implement 85% of Ron Paul's spending cuts. You good with that, Tony?

    *Naturally, a tax increase of that size would crater the economy. It would more than wipe out a year's worth of growth.

  • Tony||

    If Congress does absolutely nothing, on Jan. 1, 2013, we return to the Clinton-era tax rates, and 75% of the deficit is immediately taken care of.

    Deficit hysteria combined with anti-tax zealotry is not only nonsensical, it is so obviously part of an agenda. Talk about cowardice--why can't the Paul Ryans of the world just come out and say they want to destroy Medicare? Oh yeah, because they'll be booted out of office. So they have to pretend there's no other option and force a Democrat to sign the bill, if possible.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Talk about cowardice--why can't the Paul Ryans of the world just come out and say they want to destroy Medicare?

    That's not cowardice, it's cunning. Something of which, you know little about. (Pun intended)

  • Restoras||

    Even if this is true, it does not address the remaining 25% or the outstanding debt that exceeds 100% of our GDP, with no one in Washington interested in addressing any real spending cuts.

  • Tony||

    Unless Barack Obama vacated Washington, I don't know what you're talking about. Remember the hysteria over $500 billion in cuts to Medicare (accompanied by hysteria over socialized medicine)?

    They got like $2 trillion in cuts last year. On top of that, states and localities have been cutting way back, contributing to the tepidness of economic growth. You're getting your cuts. Now where is the promised prosperity that's supposed to magically come from them?

  • Restoras||

    If we are getting cuts then why does total spending go up every year? What are you talking about?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Speaking of magic... you just equated "going back to the Clinton-era tax rates" as being *exactly* that, Tony.

    Fuck you and your Keynesian-worshiping Team members. Might as well try to turn people into toads.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    They got like $2 trillion in cuts last year.

    A projected cut of $200 billion a year when you're still running $1.2 trillion in deficits is hardly a cut.

    On top of that, states and localities have been cutting way back, contributing to the tepidness of economic growth.

    States and localities have been cutting way back because not enough people are working. Why do you think I cite the employment to population ratio so much? You think it's any coincidence that the closest we got to actually paying down the debt since 1957 resulted from a ratio of 64%? States have to run balanced budgets because they can't just print money out of the sky.

    Until the private sector actually grows at a rate that will allow that ratio to at least be restored to the levels it was at during Dubya, there is NOTHING that Obama can do other than beg the Fed to print more money. Everything else is a stop-gap that just increases the debt burden further, and running deficits of 7-12% to get a growth rate of 1-2% is an absolute recipe for disaster.

  • Tony||

    ....and like that I'M GONE!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Like the coward you are, Tony.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    If Congress does absolutely nothing, on Jan. 1, 2013, we return to the Clinton-era tax rates, and 75% of the deficit is immediately taken care of.

    Not while the employment to population ratio as at lower levels than even the 2001 recession, it won't.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Tax hikes of 4.6 cents on the dollar = "75% of the deficit is immediately taken care of".

    Fucking. Amazing.

  • ||

    Reversion to Clinton-era rates would bring in about $400 billion / year. That's only 1/3 of the deficit.

  • Blacksmithking||

    Tony, what would you say is too much in taxes? What % of the GDP do you think the Fed should get? Besides Defense, can you think of anything the Fed shouldn't be doing that it already does?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I hope you realize, Tony, that Elizabeth Warren's argument that the repeal of Glass-Steagall lead to the current financial crisis is no more sophisticated than "The year we forgot to sacrifice a virgin, our harvest was bad."

  • Tony||

    But quite a bit more accurate. You don't think the removal of the barrier between commercial banking and securities business is relevant to the crisis? That exposure of normal people to the risks if the investment banks was the very reason the bailouts were necessary?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    What is commonly referred to as the "economy" is very similar to "consciousness" in that both are emergent from complexes of millions of single interactions. It is impossible that any piece of the system is detached from any other. That "normal people" were ever shielded or could be shielded from "risk" is an illusion.

    I refer you to the Buddhist concept of Indra's net, which is a metaphor that explains this quite succinctly.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Fuck Elizabeth Warren.

    Not literally, though.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    What was that? You guys are against reinstating Glass-Steagall? Of course it takes the least amount of bravery of all to be against bailouts when you're operating from a position of ideological purity untethered to reality.

    LOL--as Karl Denninger (a supporter of reinstating G-S)has pointed out repeatedly, the bank executives could have been prosecuted for violating the Securities Act alone, just for lying about the value of their MBSs. Instead, Obama and Holder have allowed them to continue to avoid marking their assets to market and take a bath, because the minute they started issuing subpeonas, the stock market would drop like a sack of cement.

    What's the point of re-instituting Glass-Steagall if the current occupant of the DoJ and the executive branch won't even enforce the laws that are still on the books?

  • Restoras||

    Obama and Holder have allowed them to continue to avoid marking their assets to market and take a bath, because the minute they started issuing subpeonas

    An almost limitless well of campaign funding would also likely dry up immediately.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    That too--but the public would focus on the DJIA going down faster than a virgin's dress on prom night. The last thing Obama needs before November is the type of plunge that occurred before he was elected in 2008, and pulling in guys from all these banks and hedge funds would certainly do the trick.

    It's no coincidence that the stock market started climbing back up after Obama had his "profits to earnings ratios" gaffe in 2009.

  • Tony||

    Can't argue there.

  • Bill||

    Only impossible in the next few years. We had the Chrysler bailout, the S&L bailouts, etc.

    Then 20 years later this last batch. If we don't go bankrupt, it could happen again. After the next gov't-induced bubble.

  • #||

    How would enacting glass steagle prevent a bank bailout? Bear stearns was an independing investment bank and got bailed out. Morgan stanley was an independent investmet bank and got bailed out. AIG was an independeing insurance company and got bailed out?

    Do liberals just take the one piece of deregulation they can find over the past 20 years and just make that the reaosn for everything? Do they even knwo what the law did?

  • Arf Arf||

    "Not the slightest bit of bravery" from the Chickenhawk Warmongers, NeoProgressive Commanders-in-Chiefs and their deep soulmate NeoConservatives alike, just......well.....fuck....better try to distract with this class warfare stuff instead.....

  • ||

    Stupid joke names.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Momlee||

    Obama bored me with his same ole same promises. I got a kick out of his energy policy when he said all the above is considered. He just killed the pipeline. It would have brought jobs and brought us closer to independence. Obama is still beating the drum for higher taxes. Who's he kidding. He has torn our country apart and now wants to be reelected? My vote will be for anyone but him.

  • Sevo||

    "I got a kick out of his energy policy when he said all the above is considered."

    See:
    "Obama touts another green company in State of the Union. It immediately goes bankrupt."
    http://www.globalpost.com/disp.....s-bankrupt
    Yep, every stinking, loser, 'green' company is being not only considered, but showered with your money and mine.

  • Killer-in-Chief Barack....||

    "I am George W Bush with a Heart."

  • TheCheeseStandsAlone||

    You are the problem...

    A "blame-casting" American
    society, deeply indulged in
    projecting fault onto the
    political system...

    Instant self-gratification in
    the pursuit of home ownership
    is the root cause of the current
    economic crisis:

    http://www.mint.com/blog/trends/
    a-visual-guide-to-the-financial
    -crisis/

  • ||

    Ron Paul is like a rich, delicious chocolate cake with just a little dog shit mixed in it.

  • ||

    you do know that every slice of chocolate cake does have atoms of dog shit mixed in it, right?

  • ROan PuaoL's dogshit||

    ...this is truly anti-war, anti-fascist dogshit rather than the crap we're getting nowadays.

  • ||

    The cake is a lie.

  • ||

    What wont fix the economy is your nazi party non stop sabotaging, economical terrorism on the economy, on America, on everything Obama proposes! You oblivious , vile,hypocrites, do you think american people ar that stupid as to no see what your party is doing? Including your own republicans, had enough of your lying crap!
    More so, all of you should be on front of a firing squad for that! Its treason, not politics! Steven, o're an oblivious iddiot, just like Kennedy!The vj!

  • ||

    "More so, all of you should be on front of a firing squad for that! Its treason, not politics!"

    Spoken like a true leftist.

  • Xmas||

    It's amazing that the reaction from everyone else to the libertarian call for lower taxes is the same as a 4 year old's reaction to being told they cannot have a cookie.

  • Stop Picking On Barry!!||

    [foot stomp] "If I don't get my way, I'll bomb another Somali village!"

  • Arf Arf||

    "Firing squads", TELEVISED on CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, MSNBC with FOX showing Simpson reruns.

  • Arf Arf||

    Firing Squads with military shooters and Obama-Live giving the "ready-aim-fire" order. I get it, what a great idea....

  • Stop Picking On Barry!!||

    Let him wage his Wars in peace.

  • mgd||

    economical terrorism on the economy

    Surely you aren't suggesting wasteful terrorism on the economy?!?

  • Robert Conley||

    This is a ridiculous column. Jerry Brown has made about 14 billion in cuts in the CA budget. To single him out is crazy. Obama has been savaged by the Republicans since Jan. 20, 2009. They are savaging him now. They will not cooperate in serious budget discussions. Obama is just fed up and is now realizing that he must fight at all costs. I applaud him. The Tea Party Congressmen DON'T compromise.

  • ||

    Obama hath been thavaged.

  • ||

    "savaging" him? because his ideas are terrible, and his understanding of macro economics is a zero? because he handed the country a massive bait and switch (and that's no matter who you are, because he promised all things to all people, like the talented narcissist that he is)? right. as if.....

  • ||

    Raising taxes, as Obama and Brown want, only feeds the engine of government to take more and more of the economy. This is precisely the problem. The only solution is to starve the beast. Compromise with those who want to feed and grow the beast is not productive to the ultimate solution to the problem.

  • ||

    Please be honest enough to show that both parties are not the same. Democrats are completely in the unions' back pocket. But many Republicans, such as Governor Walker in Wisconsin, have courageously stood up to them. So for economic conservatives, Republicans are a mixed bag and Democrats are horrible. There's quite a difference between the two!

  • ||

    i just can't believe the number of "journalists" expressing surprise at the self-aggrandizing rhetoric of the personality-disorder-in-chief. we told you. we told you that you were electing a clinical narcissist, a man who's arrogance is literally boundless. we told you that he would be self-involved, divisive, a pathological liar, and one of the worst presidents in 100 years. and now you express "surprise"? please, man....

  • ||

    The person who appears to have a clinical problem here is rather self evident....ODS?

  • ||

    All that you say is correct. The sad cause of it is the stupidity of the average voter. Plain and simple, the politicians give us this nonsense only because this is what most Americans (Californians) want to vote for. We must look in the mirror to find the blame.

    Organizations like Reason are the only hope we have, to educate people on the realities of too much government. (But, I fear it is too late.)

  • ||

    What a beautifully written column. Spot on.

  • ||

    I am surprised that an organization such as yours allows egregious spelling errors in its articles.

  • ||

    "It’s time for leaders with less banal rhetoric, better ideas and more courage."

    It's time for Barack Obama and many of his cronies to go to jail, as they so richly deserve.

  • ||

    The economy is being fixed. Not as fast as it should be because the most obvious remedies are being blocked for political reasons. If you want to see what would have happened had the alternative route been pursued look at Britain which is entering a double dip recession.

  • Just an observation...||

    Long time reader, first time poster...

    I've noticed that the "John" moniker is used by more than one poster on this board. There's the Christian apologist but mostly sane John, and then there's dumbfuck John, to whose post I have appended this comment. Fortunately, they are both entertaining in their own ways...

    Carry on.

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