The Madness of Barack Obama or, How Can a GOP Landslide "Return" Us to Failed Policies of the Past if They've Never Really Left?

President Obama is on the campaign trail warning voters about "returning to the very same policies that failed us during the last decade."

If he's talking about bailouts, ineffective stimulus packages, and massive government spending, then we won't be returning to them because we've never left in the first place. The continuities between George W. Bush and Barack Obama and their parties are far more disturbing than the differences.

Approximately 55 seconds.

Written and produced by Ted Balaker. Music by Ambient Teknology (Magnatune Records).

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  • Rich||

  • SIV||


    My favorite quote:
    "Handwritten letters of any sitting president on White House letterhead are extremely rare. It is certainly worth more than I am paying for it."
    I can smell the "outrage".
    Capitalism Bitchez!!!

  • ||

    I'd imagine that letters written by future presidents on White House letterhead are even rarer. However, letters from the former presidents are a dime a dozen since you just know they grab a bunch of boxes of letterhead on their way out "just in case".

  • Citizen Nothing||

    $7,000? Ok. There's your stimulus. Just have Obama write a letter to every U.S. household.

  • waffles||

    don't you understand how inflation works?

  • nekoxgirl||

    Sadly, I'm pretty sure most of the people running the country would think Citizen Nothing's suggest is a brilliant idea.

  • Baaa||

  • Realist||

    This is what you can expect when everyone gets to vote.

  • creech||

    Did the president mention what those "failed policies" were? I've yet to hear any Democrat name one that at least doesn't have bi-partisan fingerprints all over it.

    Oh, that's right. It was libertarian free-marketers running the Bush administration and now we are sitting by the roadway drinking slurpees and criticizing Obama's efforts at getting the wreck out of the ditch.

  • Tony||

    Fanatical devotion to deregulation and trickle-down economics.

  • Sarbanes-Oxley||

    Yeah! What he said!

    After 8 years of Chimpler McKatrinaburton's regulatory slash-and- burn you can carry the Federal Register in your back pocket.

  • ||

    Does this Obamacare make me look fat??

  • #||

    i'd really like someone like Tony to someday actually show any actual facts to back up this claim. Show exactly what these regulations were that were wholsale repealed durring the bush years.

  • sarcasmic||

    If 20,000 pages of new regulation were written instead of the usual 50,000 pages, Tony figures that 30,000 pages were repealed.

    It's the same logic used by public sector union workers who, after receiving a 3% raise, complain of a 5% pay cut since they originally asked for an 8% raise.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    In TonyWorld, the slightest, tiniest cut in government power or spending is "fanatical devotion to deregulation and trickle-down economics."

    Whatever the fuck THAT means.

  • sarcasmic||

    In TonyWorld lowering the rate of increase is considered a decrease.

    So if spending was estimated to increase by a trillion dollars, and it instead increased by only eight hundred billion dollars, he would conclude that two hundred billion dollars was cut.

    He's a moron.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Oh, yeah, forgot about that tactic... it's utter bullshit, of course, but we're talking about people who think entitlements are actually legit.

  • Sam Grove||

    That's not Tony world, that's "progressive" world.

    (label varies according to popular sentiment)

  • ||

    In TonyWorld, inflation rate increases you!

  • Tony||

    If he's talking about bailouts, ineffective stimulus packages, and massive government spending

    Pretty sure he's not actually referring to these GOP talking points. Do you people have anything serious to add, or are you going to keep harping on "spending" as if it's the only thing that matters in the universe? It's just sad. The ONLY reason "spending" is the bogeyman du jour us because it's something the GOP can latch onto (implausibly, of course, but they don't have much else to offer). Calling the stimulus a failure is also nothing but GOP whoring.

  • Ike||


    Calling the stimulus a "success" is simply an exercise in counting nebulous gains lacking a contrapuntal, and shifting the costs to next year and the next generation.

  • Tony||

    It's not so clearly a failure either. Three or 4 more percentage points unemployment would have been even more burdensome on debts. If what most credible people believed (in both parties) was that we were on the precipice of a 2nd great depression, and we didn't get there because of the stimulus, then how can it be called a failure? Only if you have a political axe to grind and refuse to acknowledge reality for that sake. Anyway, the biggest reason deficits are high is because of depressed revenue, not increased spending. And don't tell me there's an important distinction because they both defer costs to the next generation in the same way.

  • Mike M.||

    Still pushing the same old unfalsifiable religious doctrine that nobody here believes? Jeez, give it a rest already.

    And by the way, you're still wrong about revenue vs. spending. No matter how many times you make this false claim, revenue is still down about half a trillion dollars from the peak of the economy and spending is still up about a trillion dollars.

  • Spoonman.||

    It's not so clearly a failure either.


  • Joe M||

    Oh god, not this nonsense again. "Unemployment would've been much worse!"

    Also, those people, they're not so credible.

    Finally, you are smoking fucking CRACK if you're trying to claim that revenue declines are responsible for the deficit more than increased spending.

    In 2009, receipts decreased by $375 billion, but outlays increased by $1 trillion.

    In 2010, receipts are expected to increase by $180 billion, while outlays drop by $400 billion. That still puts receipts down by ~$200 billion and outlays up by ~$600 billion from '08 to '10.

  • Joe M||

    Also, has anyone noticed how ridiculously rosy the receipt forecasts are? They expect them to increase a full 50% from 2009-2014, $1.3 trillion dollars more, while the budget difference in those two years will be a mere $20 billion. Not bloody likely.

  • sarcasmic||

    "Also, those people, they're not so credible."

    Ummm, credibility hinges on believing the premises of the argument, therefor proving the conclusion to be correct.

    Textbook begging the question.

  • Ike||

    See Tony... there you go, essentially saying "You must be a partisan hack or delusional" if you don't agree with me.

    The debate over whether the stimulus "worked" is as subject to manipulations as the "saved or created 3-million jobs" statements.

    For that matter, if there are 100-million Americans working today, you could claim that all of those were "saved" as well.

    I am NOT a partisan -- I'm just a person who is tired of all the Left/Right crap. You do realize that both parties are run by the equivalent of Randolph and Mortimer Duke, right? And every four years they let us hold an election to determine whether it's Nature or Nurture, or whatever their one-dollar bet is this time.

    Hope and Change are illusions, and we freely choose to blind ourselves while waving partisan flags and worshiping colors.

    As to your line about:

    If what most credible people believed (in both parties) was that we were on the precipice of a 2nd great depression, and we didn't get there because of the stimulus, then how can it be called a failure?

    There were NOT "two parties" involved in that claim. There was a single party, comprised of the Elected Class. The Elected Class wants you to believe, at all times, that NOTHING happens without its deliberate and direct action. Jobs created? The Elected Class enabled them. People fed? YAY for the Elected Class! Men on the Moon? Kudos to the Elected Class who had the vision to put them there!

    Of COURSE those "credible people" in both parties wanted us to take action... they have a vested interest in making us "act" because they don't want us to realize that often INaction is the better course.

    (Voters do understand that, which is why we come to our senses and elect divided governments.)

  • Tony||

    I'm not calling Nick a partisan hack for disagreeing with me, I'm calling him a partisan hack for obsessing about issues on the GOP election talking points memo in lieu of the real world.

  • Contrarian P||

    What exactly should we be obsessing about? As I recall, people here have been talking about these "GOP talking points" far longer than the GOP has. I guess it's finders keepers losers weepers on that one, eh?

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    Three or 4 more percentage points unemployment would have been even more burdensome on debts.

    Don't you mean 2 points less unemployment? By Obama's own numbers, without the stimulus we would have maxed out at 8 percent unemployment.

    Anyway, the biggest reason deficits are high is because of depressed revenue, not increased spending.

    And ignoring Mike's point from above and accepting that the problem is that revenue has gone down. A deficit is when you spend more than you take in. If revenues go down, you bring spending down to match. It's not rocket science.

  • Tony||

    Why do you have to bring down spending? Why not just do away with the massive tax cuts that were a large chunk of the revenue dip? It's not like they did any good. Furthermore, what would you cut? Programs to help people whose situation is the other major cause of lower revenues (such as being unemployed)? That's just counterproductive.

    Spending has gone up, and revenues have gone down. The question is how do we balance things out in the long term. That may mean increased spending now in order to lower unemployment.

    But this is all beside the point I was trying to make, which is that there are other problems in the world than the Republican obsession of the day. Such as, the damage Republicans will inflict on this country if they regain power.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Cut spending, and there's no *need* to raise taxes.

    I know, raising taxes is pretty much all you care about, Tony. It's understandable. Your party has been flogging this "rich people suck" economic policy for decades now, and it's easy to see how it can become ingrained in the brain.

    We sensible folk don't look at it that way, though. We're too busy buying monocle polish and mustache combs.

  • Tony||

    You're not sensible if you can never countenance a tax increase, ever, no matter the circumstances.

  • nekoxgirl||

    My understanding is that even Keynes (which forms the basis of the Democratic economic policy) was against raising taxes during a recession. He believed that taxes should be raised during a boom. The excess revenue would then be saved and spent during a recession.

    Regardless of what you thought the federal government should have done during the last boom, using your own economic theory (I'm assuming you're a Democrat) it makes no sense to raise taxes now.

  • ||

    Tony is correct here.

    Allowing a temporary tax cut -- that was intended to be temporary when it passed -- to expire is not a tax increase anyway, any more than department stores ending a temporary sale are "raising prices".

  • ||

    However, it's not a question of either-or. We need to end the tax cuts AND reduce spending to get rid of this deficit.

  • ||

    You're right, Tony! Why bring down Governemnt spending, when we can bring down private spending?



    Furthermore, what would you cut? Programs to help people whose situation is the other major cause of lower revenues (such as being unemployed)? That's just counterproductive.

    What programs are you talking about? Unemployment? You know unemployment doesn't help anyone in the long run. If you've been out of work for 99 weeks, it's game over. Money won't help you, you're obsolete.

  • Tony||

    I have a hard time asking people who are unemployed through no fault of their own (rather the fault of moneyed elites) to just lay down and die. How about making people responsible for the crime pay for it?

  • Contrarian P||

    What about those who are unemployed through fault of their own? Should we tie them to an ant hill at high noon? As someone who has actually run a business (unlike you I'm sure), I've had to let people go who were lazy, incompetent, or actually actively stealing from me. What to do with those people? Or do I owe them a job?

  • Yonemoto||

    How about if you really feel that bad for them you help pay out of your own damn pocket.

  • ||

    "unemployed through no fault of their own"

    Like the guy that's late 2 weeks in a row.

    Like the guy who toked up every day for 8 years after highschool, working occassionally while living at home, when he could have gotten some type of vocational training.

    Like the guy who's got a history of negligence on the job.

    Like the housewife who after spitting out 5 back-to-back kids realized she's got no marketable talent.

    Like the meth addict with tattoos on his face and 1" holes in his earlobes that freaks the fuck out of most people.

    Like the guy working at the auto plant since he was 18 doing the same monotonous task that was bound to be automated sometime before he retired yet chose to stay on the bottom wrung.

    Like the lazy-ass who's just a lazy-ass.

    Every (chronically)unemployed person I've ever come across fits at least one of these scenarios.

  • ||

    ""That may mean increased spending now in order to lower unemployment.""

    Didn't we recently try that?

  • ||

    Your argument for the stimulus is that "it's not so clearly a failure"? Seriously?

    Secondly, the beliefs of a bipartisan cadre of "credible people" (whatever that means) don't make it a success. They make it a failure that can be blamed on a lot of people.

    And third, we were never "on the precipice of a 2nd great depression". The recession was technically over before the stimulus even started.

  • Tony||

    But not before the bank bailouts.

    The thing is, you guys have to argue that the economy rapidly and dramatically improved on its own DESPITE the bailouts and stimulus. Guess markets really are magical. Wonder what everyone is complaining about.

  • ||

    I don't know what would have happened without the bailouts. Some banks would have failed I suppose, but it's irrelevant. Most people who were strongly affected by the recession suffered because they chose risky investments or because the government had its hands in the finances of their retirements and homes. I'm not happy that they suffered, but the government could do more good in the long run by just staying out of the way.

  • Jordan||

    The economy hasn't improved, and you don't have one shred of evidence to the contrary.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    "The economy hasn't improved, and you don't have one shred of evidence to the contrary."

    No kidding. Even leaving aside that one of the primary indicators of economic health, which is the U3/U6, is absolutely horrible right now by any objective standard, even the other normal indicators that people look at aren't all that great once you dig into the causes of their improvement.

    The GDP rise, for example, is the result of the government raising deficit spending to 12% of that GDP; real GDP has remained around -8 to 10% for a while once that's removed--you can see a similar result of disparity during the housing bubble.

    The DOW is running over 11K, but a huge chunk of investor volume has pulled out the last two years and hasn't returned. The runup has mostly been from Bernanke's QE/ZIRP programs and HFT algos running at warp speed. Commodities have all had huge ramps, and both gold and silver have gone up roughly 75% in the same time frame.

    Initial claims still remain over 450K; an improving economy in line with current indicators during a normal recovery would have had them at 400K or below by now. 350K or below is typically when we are at "full" employment. This number might actually improve, but right now those "improvements" are the result of people running out of their 99 weeks of funemployment payments.

    In short, the economy continues to suck, no matter how much it's spun, and the meme that the bailouts and stimulus saved the economy is simple bullshit from the political class.

  • Tony||

    I have unemployment numbers and the GDP that says the economy improved markedly after the bailouts. What's your evidence?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    "I have unemployment numbers and the GDP that says the economy improved markedly after the bailouts. What's your evidence?"

    The second link even has a nice little chart for your perusal. Arguing that GDP has "improved" by 2% when the government has ramped deficit spending from 4% of GDP to 12% of GDP in two years is missing the forest for the trees.

    As to the second half of your argument:

    Since when is a rising, then stagnant, U3 and U6 an improvement?

    Since when is >450K in initial claims over the last year an improvement?

    Since when is 1 out of 8 people on food stamps an improvement?

    Since when is 40% of the reported unemployed workforce being out of work for longer than 27 weeks an improvement?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Now what's your evidence, Tony?

  • Hooha||

    lol. Friggin' pwned.

  • Steve Chaos||

    Okay Tony, let's play your game. I've got a laundry list of non-GOP talking points for you. Ready?

    -DADT / gay marriage
    -The War on Drugs
    -Detention of American citizens without trial
    -Warrantless wiretapping
    -Mindless and intrusive airport security
    -Wars without end

    Feel free to get back to me on any of those whenever it strikes your fancy. Which I expect to be about half-past never.

  • Tony||

    You've just listed several issues on which Dems are demonstrably better than Republicans. Hardly perfect, but who is talking about perfection?

  • Spoonman.||

    Give me an example of a powerful Dem taking a superior position to the default on each of these.

    Go on, I'll wait.

  • ||

    Democrats don't actually have to DO anything to be better on those subjects. They were BORN better on those subjects, so, NYAH!

  • Tony||

    Obama (powerful enough?)--vows DADT will end on his watch and is ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • Spoonman.||

    He vows it will end on his watch, but sues to keep it in place until Congress can do something about it, which it won't since Congress will become TEAM RED! tomorrow.

    He is not ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That you would state such a risible lie as fact is a testament to your character.

  • wackyjack||

    Obama is not "ending" the Iraq war. He's following a timetable established by Bush.

    What's worse is that he's also not ending the Afghan war one way or the other. He's not committing the forces or doctrine changes necessary to win and he's not pulling out.

    Shit, he's increased drone strikes in Pakistan. And yet people still believe he's somehow better than the Republicans on war issues.

  • Steve Chaos||

    Bingo. Obama's DOJ had no obligation to appeal the District Court's overturning of DADT - to do so was entirely at the president's discretion. They chose to do so. How, pray tell, is this "better than the Republicans?"

  • ||

    Are we counting 'vows' now eg see Gitmo, Promises Broken? And didn't he just increase the number of troops in Afghanistan? I always thought ending a war meant going in the other direction but maybe it has to do with sipping slurpees in a ditch while debating whether you put it in D or R.

  • ||

    ""and is ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.""

    He is doing a pretty good job of managing the Iraq withdraw that the Bush admin and Iraq agreed to. He does deserve some credit for that. But it's fair to acknowledge that it's not Obama's time table.

    As far as Afghanistan is concerned, who knows what will happen? He will probably have a vaild reason on why he can't pull the troops out on his time table.

  • Jordan||

    Obama has expanded the government's anti-terrorism powers. He's demonstrably worse on civil liberties than Bush was.

  • ||

    ""Obama has expanded the government's anti-terrorism powers. He's demonstrably worse on civil liberties than Bush was.""

    I'm not sure. Bush did argue that anyone who supports terrorism is fair game anywhere in the world. He just might not have commented if it included Americans. But I would guess that it did.

  • Yonemoto||

    Bush argued it, Obama implemented it.

  • Joe M||

    How in the hell are they even an iota better on these?

    -Detention of American citizens without trial
    -Warrantless wiretapping
    -Mindless and intrusive airport security

    They're not. Wasn't the DHS in fact a Democrat idea originally?

  • ||

    Dude, a bulleted list? Those are, like, automatically "talking points."

  • ||

    I don't think the idea was that they couldn't be called talking points at all, but that they weren't GOP talking points.

  • #||

    obama is also addopting the exact same anti-terror and anti privacy policies of the bush years too. Is that what you were talking about?

  • Sam Grove||

    When discussing government in the context of economics, spending and imposed costs are all that matters.

  • Ted S.||

    My snarky comment calling Tony a shmuck created or saved 13 jobs.

  • nekoxgirl||

    Considering the stimulus plan was passed in the hopes of keeping unemployment below 8%, I think we can safely say it was a failure.

  • Tony||

    One person made one prediction, and like a black panther at a polling place it get endlessly replayed in the GOP propaganda circuit, dutifully regurgitated by "independent minded" libertarians on reason.

    How about a best guess about where the economy would be sans stimulus? You don't know and neither do I, but SOMETHING stopped the hemorrhaging that was happening in late 2008/early 2009. What was it?

  • Yonemoto||

    the fact that there actually is a bottom to 'deflationary spirals'?

  • MattN||

    Tony, the first sentence misses the point; the rest is meaningless drivel.

  • ||

    Whom will MSNBC assign to cover the removal of a straitjacketed Obama from the White House?

  • ||

    When they take him away the final irony will be them putting him in the back of the car.

  • Janeane Garofalo||

    This is racism straight up.

  • Rich||

    That should be "strait" up, dammit -- you're supposed to be a comedian!

  • Rachel Maddow||

    It's already in my contract.

  • Joe M||

    Obama: Let's stick with the failed policies of the present!

  • Rrabbit||

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

  • hehe||

    It is kind of sad that the best they can come up with is "Hey, remember you elected us two years ago because the other guys sucked?"

    Maybe I'll try that tack on a job interview and see how it goes. "Objective: To suck in the present, instead of in the past like the other guy."

  • ||

    I am stealing this that is awesome.

  • ||

    Fuck, I've got a P&P coming up at work. I'm stealing that. The beauty of it being that I'm continually meeting my objective, given any point in time, and still getting paid while I post on H&R.

  • Upgrayyed||

    I dunno- I could go for some 2003-2007 right now- minus the war stuff.

  • Number 2||

    Welcome to Obamaworld, in which your predecessor's adoption of more new federal rules since the Great Society is called "deregulation," and having the rate of unemployment higher throughout your term than it was the day you took office is called "saving the economy from ruin."

  • ||

    Why do you have to bring down spending?

    "I can't be broke; I still have checks!"

  • Pip||


  • Realist||

    Tony is the village idiot. Don't taunt him it only encourages his irrational behavior.

  • d||

    We need to give the first string's equipment and food and housing and money to the junior varsity because they need more help.

    Without coach Barry, we would have lost the last game by 21 points instead of loosing by only 14!! We must move forward into the ditch, not back out onto the road.

  • ||

    Coach Obama, are you sure taking an intentional safety in overtime is a good idea?

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    That safety created or saved 54 quarterbacks' careers.

  • d||

    Half a league, half a league,
      Half a GDP onward,
    All in the ditch of Death
      Rode the Obamed.
    'Forward, the Lib'l Brigade!
    Change for the mid'class he said:
    Into the ditch of Death
      Rode the Obamed

  • ||

    I fully expect the GOP to take Congress in these mid-terms. Nothing will improve or change for 2 reasons. One, Bush and the Republican Congress of 2001-2007 are just as much to blame for this country's problems as Obama and the Democratic Congress of 2007-2011. Two, any attempts by this new Congress to undo anything Obama's done will be crushed by the single stroke of the Veto Pen.

  • ||

    If Obama uses the veto to prevent the repeal of Obamacare, look for the Republicans to win the White house in 2012. (Unless there is some way for Congress to avoid funding Obamacare - which sets up all kinds of Kabuki...)

  • ||

    Oh believe me, Obama will use the veto. He gave himself ulcers to get this monstrocity passed into law.

  • ||

    Yeah, it was pretty much a rhetorical question...

  • Joe M||

    Lucky for him he has a special presidential health care policy and can get those ulcers treated.

  • nekoxgirl||

    I agree. Obama will fight his way straight out of the White House to protect his precious health care bill.

    He really seems to believe all his own hype it. That the bill is some sort of historic piece of legislation, destined to forever make the American people love their federal government and the Democratic majority permanent.

    When in reality, it's just an expansion of Medicaid, funded through tax increases on the middle class.

  • Pip||

    "He really seems to believe all his own hype it. That the bill is some sort of historic piece of legislation"

    Oh it's historic alright. Tomorrow's election outcome will be proof of that.

  • Ted S.||

    Technically, they could avoid funding anything, and let the government be idle from the time the 2011 budget expires until the Democrats win back a majority in the House.

    Of course, the Democrats and the media will show tourists unable to get into Gettysburg or the Washington DC monuments, as if those were the only parts of government....

  • ||

    You'd need 60 senators favoring repeal (or 59 senators plus shameless procedural trickery, as the Dems did) to even get it to Obama's desk. Not gonna happen.

  • ||

    ""If Obama uses the veto to prevent the repeal of Obamacare,""

    The republicans are not really interested in repealing the Obamacare. They want to fix it and turn it into bi-partisan care. I'm guessing that many of the fixes from team R will be reasonable fixes that Obama will approve. Obama's excuse will be that we didn't really know until we voted what was in it, now we see somethings wrong with it and we need to make some changes.

  • nekoxgirl||

    How exactly are they going to fix the mandate? The funding of Obama-care is based entirely on the ability of the IRS to collect more taxes from people without health insurance. Without the mandate, the entire bill falls apart.

  • ||

    Our liar-in-chief is an arrogant,lying,incompetent,ruthless,corrupt,phony dog.When the Republicans get Congress,the subpoenes will fly.I hope they IMPEACH this fraud because if not God only knows how far he will push us.All he needs is the excuse,we will be under MARTIAL LAW and we can all kiss the U.S. goodbye.This fraud was put in by the puppetmaster GEORGE SOROS to dismantle our capitalistic system and the FINANCIAL REFORM was designed to take down our free market system.He should spend his life in prison for TREASON.NOV 2 we will not forget

  • ||

    I hate when people say, "Impeach the president" just because they don't agree with his ideas. Let him break the law first, then shout IMPEACH!

  • ||

    Please publish a copy of the composite Bush/Obama picture, I want to print it out for my dartboard.......Thanks

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  • دردشه عراقية||



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