Sam Zell Speaking Hard Truths: "Falling off the edge of a fiscal cliff is what America needs."

My old boss Sam Zell was on one of the Squawk shows on CNBC this morning (the one that stars Rutgers' own Becky Quick). While Zell's tenure and mine at Tribune Company had all to short a date, the real estate mogul and dead ringer for R. Crumb's Mr. Natural had plenty of choice words about our endless economic stagnation: 

On the fiscal cliff: "I'm not sure a fiscal cliff, falling off the edge, is not exactly what America needs." 

On whether high unemployment and low growth is the "new normal" for America: "There are always 'structural issues.' The question is what are the solutions." 

On education: "How do we keep the greatest number of failing teachers in place so we can be fair?...That's not fair...It's racist, it's unfair, it's everything you can imagine." 

On whether we're back in a recession: "We have a company in the business of creating enterprise service. One of the signs is when we see all these projects get delayed. That's one of the signs that we're heading into a recession. Somebody says we'll put it off for six or nine months. And we're seeing that... We're seeing it everywhere, except maybe Texas." 

On the overinflated stock market: "One thing: Sam has always been is an optimist... My problem is that my assessment of the reality of the stuff is that everything is too expensive... The stock market should be at 9,000... But the stock market is being buoyed by QE 7 or 8 or 9." 

On Barack Obama: "I don't think Barack Obama has been the best president we've ever had. I frankly think he's been one of the poorer presidents we've had." 

On housing: "You've got to clear the market. If the single family housing market had been allowed to fail, we would have a viable, terrific housing market today, because it would have cleared. By virtue of not allowing it to clear, you have 4 or 5 million houses in purgatory, foreclosure, all that stuff, because nobody was willing to say A is A, B is B, face up, next, let's suffer and go forward... A policy that doesn't acknowledge reality has never succeeded in the history of the world. That's been the policy of the last four years. It's been stick your finger in the dike, hope for something good to happen." 

On Ben Bernanke: "The idea of all these massive amounts of liquidity: Each time he increases, the impact is less and less. You'd think that maybe it's time to think of another solution. Because it ain't working. You've had three or four QEs, we've bought cars at inflated prices, we encouraged people to buy houses. We did all these things and nothing worked. If it was your life, if it was my life, we would have changed things three years ago, right?" 

Full video here

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  • Delroy||

    Everyone's still in the PM Links aren't they?

  • ||

    Squawk Box has sucked ever since Mark Haines died.

  • Restoras||

    Well I disagree, it's not what we need because of the extreme duress it will put people under, not to mention the opportunities for political mischief, but it is what we're going to get.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    A policy that doesn't acknowledge reality has never succeeded in the history of the world.

    Reality is racist. And sexist. And ageist. And othering.

  • R C Dean||

    Sam Zell for President! I didn't see a single thing I disagreed with.

  • SIV||

    He looks good on a tiny little poster.
    They used to come as perforated sheets of 100.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Nice.

  • ChrisO||

    The problem with falling off the fiscal cliff is that it doesn't lead to libertopia, but to soft fascists like Juan Peron. We already flirted with that sort of thing during the Great Depression in folks like Father Caughlin and Huey Long. The next time will probably be worse, because we're a more quiescent and government-dependent society now.

  • ||

    Next time? Have you noticed who our current president is?

  • Whahappan?||

    And don't forget FDR.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    My problem is that my assessment of the reality of the stuff is that everything is too expensive... The stock market should be at 9,000

    Yet Buffett and Larry Fink (who invest hundreds times more than Zell) say the market is cheap at 13x 2012 earnings.

  • Cytotoxic||

    This is the Buffet whose fund hasn't exceeded the SP 500 for about 3 years.

  • Loki||

    It's been stick your finger in the dike, hope for something good to happen.

    Nothing good ever came from sticking your finger in a dyke...

  • Bill||

    Don't knock it until you've tried it!!

  • Ken Shultz||

    For a commercial real estate guy, comin' up in the business, if I had a hero I never met, it was Sam Zell.

    Donald Trump was a joke, is a joke, and always will be a joke.

    Sam Zell is a hardworking genius.

    He said some of the same things back when this all started

    "We need to clean out all those people who never should have bought in the first place, and not give them sympathy."

    ----Sam Zell, April 29, 2008

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/.....refer=home}

    One of the things the Obama Administration and its fans in the media are really good at is making simple things seem complicated. As if the causes of the recession were complicated and the solutions obscure...

    There wasn't anything new about Obama's use of bailout funds and heaping tons of new regulation on the banking system. ...none of which did anything to get the deadbeats out of the assets that were clogging up the banks' balance sheets.

    There wasn't anything innovative about the Obama Administration heaping new regulation on the banking system even while the real economy was starving for lack of financing, either.

    Yeah, get the deadbeats out of their homes--that's controversial?

  • Ted S.||

    I presume there's supposed to be an ampersand in that link somewhere?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Hit Run, there's a small donation in it for you if and when you fix the preview button...

    Hopefully this works, but I won't know until I post it!

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/.....refer=home

  • Ken Shultz||

    Third time's a charm!

    http://tinyurl.com/8ogcunk

  • Ken Shultz||

    "You've got to clear the market. If the single family housing market had been allowed to fail, we would have a viable, terrific housing market today, because it would have cleared....A policy that doesn't acknowledge reality has never succeeded in the history of the world."

    That's true in 2012. It was true when Zell said it in 2008. It was true in 1976 when Zell formed Equity Office Properties. Years of millions of Americans suffering pointlessly... Because Barack Obama is too new and innovative to acknowledge reality?

    I can rail against the Romney Administration about the drug war or whatever when the time comes. But there's no way Romney could be half as dumb as Barack Obama about the cause of our problems and the real solutions. This election isn't about ideas. It's about firing an incompetent president.

    Our protest votes need to be directed at opposing our incompetent president--not his real opponent.

  • ||

    If you want to protest then protest effectively--voting for a piece of shit is a pretty retarded form of protest.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Voting for Johnson to protest Romney--because you want to get rid of Obama? That's retarded.

  • Cytotoxic||

    How about protesting both? Sorry, Romney's not cutting it and he's gonna lose anyway.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Think of it this way...

    If instead of an incumbent Barack Obama, the incumbent Romney was running against were none other than V. Lenin, would you still vote for Johnson?

    There has to be some point when the guy in office is so bad that removing him from office with your vote is more important than using your vote to make a statement.

    Yeah, I think Obama has gone beyond that point.

  • Bill||

    Romney is no different from Obama. When his policies fail, the free market will get the blame.

    Obama and the Dems policies must be seen as what has truly failed.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Romney is no different from Obama.

    One of them has a sum total of professional experience on his resume as being a community activist and a law school professor.

    He used part of my future paychecks to nationalize an industrial giant on behalf of the UAW.

    The other one has professional experience of raising tons of money from investors to rescue underperforming companies--and, sometimes, when they couldn't be rescued?

    He liquidated them! Oh wouldn't it be great to have a president that understood that sometimes you have to liquidate a company?

    Hell, I'd settle for a president whose default position to capitalism wasn't outright hostility like Obama's is. When one of them says what he's really thinking, it comes out,"If you've got a business, you didn't build that". When the other one says what he's really thinking, it comes out like 47% of the people out there aren't pulling their own weight...

    Yeah, there's a big difference between them. Neither of them are great, but one's a whole lot worse than the other.

    Again, if you look at what I've said, I'm not really saying that Romney's such a great guy; you gotta get past that...

    What I am saying is that Obama is so awful, it makes voting for someone like Romney necessary.

  • Calidissident||

    Who gives a shit if Romney worked at a private company? It doesn't mean he's going to be pro-free market. You're giving a guy who supported TARP credit for understanding the need for liquidation (in a political, not a business, context. I cannot stress how different those things are)? Romney will say whatever the fuck his audience wants to hear. The fact that you think he actually is sincere about reducing government dependency is astounding. And btw, color me unsurprised that despite your incessant claim that "I wouldn't even vote for a libertarian emperor" that you're selling out for Mitt Romney of all people. Ron Paul and Gary Johnson weren't good enough to get your vote but Mitt Romney is?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Who gives a shit if Romney worked at a private company? It doesn't mean he's going to be pro-free market.

    If he isn't entirely hostile to capitalism, that'll be a significant improvement.

    The fact that you think he actually is sincere about reducing government dependency is astounding.

    When he suggested that 47% of the people are too dependent on government to vote for him, I believe he really meant that, yeah.

    And btw, color me unsurprised that despite your incessant claim that "I wouldn't even vote for a libertarian emperor" that you're selling out for Mitt Romney of all people.

    I can still be persuaded not to vote for anybody, but I think there are exceptions to my general rule.

    Like I keep saying, and nobody wants to respond to, if Romney were going up against Hitler or Lenin, I wouldn't vote for a protest candidate to make a statement. I'd vote for whomever was most likely to kick those sick bastards to the curb! And I think Obama is like that. He's not as bad as they were--by a long shot--but the principle is the same.

    If there's anything good about Democracy at all, it's that we get to kick out a bad emperor every once in a while, and I think Obama is an especially bad emperor. When I make the case for not voting, my point still stands. (cont.)

  • Calidissident||

    "If he isn't entirely hostile to capitalism, that'll be a significant improvement."

    I notice you used the word capitalism and not the term free-market. To some they mean the same thing (I call my preferred economic system free-market capitalism), to others they don't. I will say that businessmen can be some of the most anti-free market people out there. I have no doubt Romney will engage in cronyism just as Obama and the past X number of presidents have done. Which brings me to my next point. You believe Romney's sincere when he says 47% are too dependent to vote for him and that the country in general is too dependent. My question to you is how is he going to reduce dependency. Who exactly is Romney going to cut off? Certainly not seniors (who get the largest piece of the federal pie). He's actively campaigning on restoring reduced future increases (they're not cuts so I won't call them that) to Medicare that Obama took to fund Obamacare. He's certainly not going to cut off the military industry complex. Or all the people financially benefiting from the War on Drugs. Or most people getting corporate welfare (he'll probably cut off some to give to more favored groups). Unneeded government bureaucrats? Don't make me laugh. He hasn't even proposed any cuts to welfare programs targeted to the poor that, despite being a minority of federal spending, seems to be the focus of all discussions on government spending (along with SS and Medicare) (cont)

  • Calidissident||

    I'm not voting for Johnson as a protest. I'm voting for him cause he's the best candidate. Everyone starts with zero votes. If other people want to pick a shit candidate, that's their prerogative. I'm not going to go along with it.

  • Calidissident||

    Also, if you're going to go to hyperbole and compare Obama to Lenin, then Romney is Mussolini, not still Mitt Romney. And I would never vote for Il Douche

  • Ken Shultz||

    Also, if you're going to go to hyperbole and compare Obama to Lenin

    How many times have I said Obama isn't as bad as Lenin in this thread?

    Three? Four?

    The point is that--IF you would vote for Romney against Lenin, then there MUST exist sometimes when a president is so rotten that voting for the candidate who can replace him is more important than making a statement.

    No, Obama isn't as bad as Lenin, but are you saying that a president would have to be as bad or worse than Lenin before you would vote for Romney?

    Now who's engaging in hyperbole?

    I don't think you're saying that at all. I think you should concede that getting rid of Obama is more important than making a statement. Unless you're so stubborn that you're gonna, what, start defending Obama now? Are you saying he's not really such a bad president after all?

    Because he is! He's an incredibly shitty president and giving him another four years to bend us over--'cause you want to make a statement?

    If I have to legitimize this contest with my participation, I think I'd rather vote to throw the foul emperor out on his ass.

  • Calidissident||

    I didn't say you said Obama was as bad as Lenin. I said you compared the two. It's not about how bad Obama is. It's about how bad he is relative to Romney. I wouldn't choose Lenin over Hitler or vice versa. And it's really not that big of a difference. As I've explained, when all things are considered, their spending policies wouldn't be that different. Obama will probably be worse on regulation, but that's getting worse either way. Romney would probably be even worse on civil liberties and foreign policy, as bad as Obama's been.

    And from a libertarian strategic view, if Romney wins, 2020 will be the earliest a libertarian Republican (like Rand Paul) could make a serious run at the white house. And if Romney gets re-elected, it's really unlikely Paul could get elected, due to the natural partisan fatigue that usually sets in after two terms. And if Romney loses re-election, Paul (if he won the nomination) would face an incumbent in 2020. If Obama wins in 2012, Paul would probably win the general if he could get the nomination, which I think he'd have a good shot, as the electorate would be looking for someone very different from Obama. This is not to suggest any libertarian should vote for Obama

  • Calidissident||

    And once again, I'm not voting for Johnson t make a statement. I'm voting for him cause he's the best candidate. Period. My vote won't change the outcome of the election regardless and it doesn't somehow count more if I vote for the winner (and I live in California, so Obama's got the state on lock). If the masses are gonna vote for Romney instead of joining me in voting for the superior candidate, that's not my fault

  • VG Zaytsev||

    And I think Obama is like that. He's not as bad as they were--by a long shot--but the principle is the same.

    Don't kid yourself Ken,

    Obama is every bit as bad as those fuckers, maybe worse.

    The difference is that the US has more governmental-political stability by at least one and maybe two orders of magnitude than any other country on earth.

    Which is frustrating at times but is saving us from dictatorship right now.

  • Calidissident||

    I hate Obama as much as anyone, but that's absurd, especially if by "those fuckers" you include guys like Stalin, Hitler and Mao.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I'm usually not willing to help legitimize somebody by my participating in the process--but Obama has been so bad, so very, completely awful, that I'm starting to think that getting him out of office is more important than not legitimizing the process right now.

    I'm serious about how the Democratic Party has turned into a personality cult centered around Obama. They don't care about the issues anymore--Obama is the only issue. They don't care what Obama does--as long as Obama's the one doing it.

    I see what Obama has done over the past four years, and I shudder to think what he will do once he doesn't have to worry about being reelected again. I don't think there's a bigger threat to our individual rights than another four years of Obama. It's like that.

    And I don't see how voting for Johnson meets that threat.

  • BakedPenguin||

    As bad as Obama is, he's not Lenin. Brezhnev, maybe.

    Romney has no convictions, so he can't have their courage. As soon as the press starts hammering him on why he isn't doing something about the economy, he will give in. And then he'll fuck up as badly as Obama.

    Also, there are two wars overseas and a war on drugs at home that need to be ended. He will keep them going, and probably ramp them up. Also: civil rights. In short, fuck Romney.

  • Ken Shultz||

    As bad as Obama is, he's not Lenin. Brezhnev, maybe.

    I've conceded as much myself. I'm not saying he's as bad as Lenin, but I am saying...

    There must be a point where a president is so bad that getting rid of him is more important than making a statement.

    We'll start at the extreme with Lenin. Once you've conceded that, yeah, if it were Lenin we were talking about, we should definitely vote for Romney--because avoiding outright communism is better than making a protest vote...

    Then we have to start thinking, well, okay, so how bad does a president have to be before getting rid of him is more important than making a statement. Does he have to be as bad or worse than Lenin?

    I don't think so! I think Obama has gone over that line already--the inflection point where voting a rotten president out is more important than making a statement against--his challenger?

    Understand, Romney isn't going to be in any position to worry about libertarians if he loses--and if Obama wins because libertarians break for Johnson, Obama isn't about to think he owes libertarians anything. So, this protest my fellow libertarians are trying to lodge with their vote, what is it that they're trying to communicate, and who are they trying to communicate it to?

    Romney?

    You give Obama another four years to do his thing--and no worries about running for reelection? And patting ourselves on the back for having defeated Romney is gonna be much of a consolation prize.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "And patting ourselves on the back for having defeated Romney [isn't] gonna be much of a consolation prize."

    P.S. I can has preview button?

  • Ted S.||

    I live in a state (New York) where Obama is probably going to get close to 60% anyway. Why should I vote for Romney?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Because it's a way to engage other Democrat voters and explain to them why?

    I know talking to some of them can feel like trying to deprogram a Moonie, right now, but, darn it, the Democratic Moonies need to be deprogrammed!

    You do that by challenging them on the magnificence of their leader. Don't say anything that can be construed as racist, etc. But tell them why Obama is such a terrible president...like a list of facts.

    It'll blow their minds! A lot of them have never heard anyone break it down in reasonable terms before.

    Also, please note, Gary Johnson isn't going to win in any state--not even New York. There are good reasons to vote for people other than them having a chance at winning, but I would say that in this one election, I think Obama losing is probably more important (to me) than, say, what I got out of voting for Badnarick.

  • Calidissident||

    Breaking down why Obama sucks and then advocating voting for a guy who will continue most of it sounds a bit hypocritical, no?

  • Ken Shultz||

    You keep suggesting that Romney and Obama are the same, but they aren't.

    They're only the same insofar as they both aren't Gary Johnson.

  • Calidissident||

    I didn't say they were the same. I'm saying they both accept the vast majority of what the federal government does today. And that's unequivocally true, whether it's fiscal policy, economic policy, drug policy, surveillance and other civil liberty issues, foreign policy, etc. Their disagreements are around the edges

  • ||

    No, my point wasn't to vote for Johnson. My point was more that voting itself is an ineffective form of protest.

    How many people are going to infer from that little digit added to whomever's vote total that you're protesting; not to mention that they would have no idea as to the specific person and/or object of protest.

    Voting=poor medium for protesting. That's all.

  • ||

    I meant to venture an answer to my own question up there.

    Zero!

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The mortgage industry did fail. Every single mortgage specialist crashed from subprime (Countrywide and WaMu) to the luxury prime (Thornberg).

  • Ken Shultz||

    Fascinating theory...

    Countrywide wasn't really subprime.

    New Century was subprime, and when New Century cratered--circa March of 2007--it was emblematic of the subprime industry imploding. The rest of the real subprime lenders all went, too--New Century was among the biggest and, hence, the last to die.

    That's right, March of 2007. That means there was a whole year between when New Century cratered and when Bear Stearns bit the dust (March of 2008). There was more than a year between the time that New Century cratered and Lehman Brothers bit the dust (September of 2008)...

    Both of them died because they made big bets on buying tons of subprime mortgages out of bankruptcy court--at pennies on the dollar (and/or with tons of leverage). There was a cash crunch the likes of which I hope we never see in our lifetimes again...

  • Ken Shultz||

    That's pretty amazing, though, isn't it? That the most well motivated, smartest investment people on the planet--at Bear and Lehman--could make a bad decision like that, when they had a whole year to make it?!

    You know what's even worse than that?

    Obama had four years since then to do something about the deadbeats clogging up the assets in our banking system--and his solution? Was to squander what would have been the taxpayers' consumer discretionary spending to keep the deadbeats in their homes for as long as possible..

    What an idiot!

    The investment people at Lehman and Bear, they didn't know a year ahead of time that the future was going to bring a severe cash crunch, but Barack Obama? He knew there was a severe cash crunch, and what did he do? He heaped tons of regulation on the banks to make it harder for them to make loans!

    ...in response to a cash crunch, you make it harder for banks to make loans? Do you understand how stupid that is?

    How profoundly stupid Barack Obama is? And he wasn't trying to look into the future. He was reacting to things that happened in the past.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Obama had four years since then to do something about the deadbeats clogging up the assets in our banking system--and his solution?

    Why do anything?

  • Ken Shultz||

    So you see it my way and Zell's way now?

    That's great. I never thought you'd come around!

    Right. We have bankruptcy court. We let a judge pay off creditors the way they've always done. We turn deadbeats into renters--and toxic assets into assets.

    And the president didn't need to do anything. Certainly didn't need to heap tons of regulation on the banks and make it harder for the rest of us to get a loan.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    And what does "allowed to fail" mean?

    Home prices at zero? All homeowners foreclosed on?

    It did fail. The government's little HAMP program was totally ineffective.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    And what does "allowed to fail" mean?

    Home prices at zero? All homeowners foreclosed on?

    If they can't pay their mortgage, then yeah. And don't be retarded--home prices would never have gone to zero, but that doesn't mean a good deal of inflation wasn't in order.

    It did fail. The government's little HAMP program was totally ineffective.

    Let us know when the banks are forced to mark their assets to market instead of just sitting on them until the Fed bails them out.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Zell was talking the entire single family housing market, not one house.

    Again, what does this mean?

    If the single family housing market had been allowed to fail, we would have a viable, terrific housing market today, because it would have cleared.

    All the market? 60%? I think he is just blowing smoke up your ass.

  • ||

    They should have let the banks fail. Let the "toxic assets" be cleared from their balance sheets at fire-sale prices. That doesn't necessarily mean foreclosing on homes, it means banks have to eat the losses on the mortgages. Eventually, you end up with other, different, banks, with either no toxic assets or the same assets valued at their actual market value.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    That is a legit theory but not what Zell said.

    Zell wanted more pain at the homeowner level.

  • Alex the wolf||

    Zell didn´t want more pain, he opposes government redistributing money in arbitrary ways. If you are for a safety net, which I am, then you must agree that is not fair redistribute money among citizens based on the size of their homes (that is, the amount of mortgage)

  • Ken Shultz||

    You keep calling them homeowners.

    ...which is really weird considering that they don't own their homes.

    Zell wanted more pain at the deadbeat level. The deadbeats who signed onto loans and then didn't pay them back.

    You make it sound like not paying back a home loan is a perfectly appropriate thing to do.

  • Ken Shultz||

    You make it sound like not paying back a home loan is a perfectly appropriate thing to do.

    You make it sound like not paying back a home loan somehow shouldn't mean the "homeowner" doesn't get to keep the loan!

    Jesus Christ!

    How's an economy supposed to function when the president of the United States thinks this way, too?

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    Let the "toxic assets" be cleared from their balance sheets at fire-sale prices. That doesn't necessarily mean foreclosing on homes

    It almost certainly would have meant fewer foreclosures because the new holders of those mortgages, having bought them for pennies on the dollar, would then be able to do more generous loan modifications and still be making money on them once the mortgages started performing again.

  • Ken Shultz||

    And what does "allowed to fail" mean?

    The deadbeats become renters--which is what's gonna happen anyway, just in slow motion over a course of, what, a decade? Rather than over a few years.

    Oh, and the banks fail! The banks that made those loans, bought those mortgages, etc., they fail, too!

    How badly did the failure of Lehman Brothers affect you?

    The Bush and Obama Administration's reactions to those failures was much worse than the failures themselves.

    And all the banks that were left standing because they didn't buy those mortgages? They attract all the new capital; they get to make all the new juicy loans; they get to expand and pick over the assets of all the failed banks...

    That would have been far preferable to what we have now, and the pain of it would almost certainly already be over.

    According to Ken Shultz and Sam Zell.

  • Calidissident||

    You realize your boy Romney supported TARP?

  • Ken Shultz||

    TARP was terrible--made all the worse for the way Obama handled it.

    Did you know that Obama signed a law that prohibited the TARP recipients from paying the money back (to the government)? He did! Obama was afraid if they paid it back, he wouldn't be able to completely remake Wall Street in his own image.

    How did Romney feel about that?

    Do you know what Obama did with the TARP money that was paid back--once they decided to let them pay it back?

    No, he didn't use it to buy back and retire the bonds they floated to pay for it!

    No, he didn't use it to slash taxes by $700 billion and pay the taxpayers back the principle that is still yet to come out of their paychecks!

    It's called the stimulus. That's right Obama, basically, used the TARP money that was paid back and squandered it on the stimulus--to help keep the public employees in the state level as overpaid and un-laid off as possible.

    How did Romney feel about that?

    How did Romney feel about Obama using TARP money to nationalize GM?

    Romney may have approved of TARP, but he didn't approve of it the way Obama approved of it--and he wouldn't have done with TARP money what Obama did.

    P.S. How likely are we to get the individual mandate repealed with Obama in office?

  • johnl||

    The individual mandate is the single least bad part of that law. ACA will never be repealed. It's the new starting point for any reform.

  • Calidissident||

    Oh gee so he would have fucked us the in the ass, but would have at least used a little lube right? Did Tulpa murder Ken Shultz and assume his identity?

  • Calidissident||

    And the stimulus would have been spent regardless. That's what happens when the government has a printing press

  • VG Zaytsev||

    It did fail. The government's little HAMP program was totally ineffective.

    HAMP didn't fail at all. Because the only point of it was to provide a 1-2 years of breathing room to TBTF banks, which it did.

    Mission accomplished.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    This.

  • Calidissident||

    When Romney does all the shitty things he'll do, and when he stabs your naive self in the back on the free-market, you have no one to blame but yourself. Voting for Romney only perpetuates the system. We do need to fire this incompetent president. We don't need to replace with another incompetent president

  • Ken Shultz||

    There is no way Romney is as incompetent as Obama on the economy.

  • JW||

    I said the same thing about Obama and Boooooosh!

  • Calidissident||

    As incompetent? Unlikely. Close? I think so. Romney seems even more sincere about starting a trade war with China. And despite the rhetoric, if you compare the spending figures each guy's proposing, and then consider the fact that they'll have to compromise with the opposition party in Congress (and Obama can't even get Democrats to support his budget), the numbers won't be that different. Remember, Romney wants far more military spending and is more likely to start a war with Iran. Which, in addition to costing a lot of money and a lot of lives, would seriously harm the economy. And his tax policies possibly involve raising taxes on the lower and middle classes. The only thing I can confidently say he'd be significantly better on is regulation, and even then, at the end of a Romney presidency, there would be more regulations, higher regulatory budgets, and the same or greater number of Cabinet departments and regulatory agencies. Just as there was under the great deregulator Bush. Color me unimpressed. But I guess that's enough for Mr. "I wouldn't even vote for a libertarian" to support him

  • Alex the wolf||

    You are complaining about gravity. You wont get Adam Smith for president. And putting Romney and Obama at the same level of Socialist mentality is just nonsensical.

  • ||

    I have half a loaf, which is better than nothing!

    (four years later)

    I have half a loaf, which is better than nothing!

    (four years later)

    I have half a loaf, which is better than nothing! Oh wait, actually, I only have 1/8th of my original loaf (of values/beliefs).

    Selling out is selling out, no matter how you try to justify it.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Again, how bad would Obama have to be before you would vote for the only guy who can replace him?

    If it were Lenin instead of Obama, would you still vote for Johnson over Romney, too?

    Obama isn't as bad as Lenin, but he's gone across that line for me. Obama's awful to the point that using my vote to oust him is more important to me than using my vote to make a statement.

  • Calidissident||

    I'm not asking for perfection. I'm asking for a good president. Which is why I'm voting for someone who I think would be a good president, despite not being perfect. His name's Gary Johnson. Ever heard of him?

  • Alex the wolf||

    Of course I´ve heard from him, I read reason.com and have a free market ideology. But guess what. 80% of the electorate has no f...ing idea of who he is.
    I agree that Romney is not perfect, particularly I think that some defense spending cuts should be done,but if a guy can get a 3 or 4 growth in the GDP like in the reagan years then that would be ok for me.
    Tell me, is there a president from the real world in the last 70 years that you would be ok with? Would you vote for Reagan?

  • Calidissident||

    Well I think you're high off your ass if you think Romney (or anyone for that matter) can achieve Reagan (or Clinton for that matter) growth rates in the next 3 or 4 years.

  • JeremyR||

    True. But at least something will be better than what Obama will accomplish.

    Gary Johnson is not going to win. It's either Romney or Obama.

  • Calidissident||

    Romney's gonna take us in the wrong direction. At best, he's slowing down. He's not coming anywhere close to reversing course.

    Gary Johnson isn't going to win because people aren't going to vote for him. And we shouldn't vote for him, because he can't win. My vote's not going to decide the election. Why do I have to vote for the winner? My vote counts just as much regardless. I'm going to vote for the best candidate. If everyone else did that, this country would be a lot better off

  • VG Zaytsev||

    When Romney does all the shitty things he'll do, and when he stabs your naive self in the back on the free-market, you have no one to blame but yourself. Voting for Romney only perpetuates the system.

    This is a perfect summary of Team Orange stupidity.

    1) voting for the most likely person to evict Obama does not mean that I'm buying anything that person is selling, nor will I give him a blank check of support in the future.

    2) The system crashing has never, ever led to less government of more freedom in the short to mid term.

    I picture you having a vote in China in 1948 saying that CKS is just as bad as Mao and that what China needs is a system crash. Which you get and then claim 50 years later that it was the right choice, ignoring the fact that Taiwan was more prosperous and freer when Mao's China was descending into barbarism.

  • Lisa||

    Yeah, Johnson just has no chance in hell of winning. Sorry, folks. And since a sizable part of the population has butterflies for brains, there is a very good chance that the worst president since Nixon will be in office another 4 years. Compared to Obama, Romney seems like an OK guy. I'll take that. I will take OK over horrible.

  • Lisa||

    I should add that I don't usually use strong adjectives like horrible, so I should point out that I don't think Obama is a horrible person...I just think he's horrible at his job.

  • Calidissident||

    "Yeah, Johnson just has no chance in hell of winning. Sorry, folks."

    He can't win cause people won't vote for him. And we shouldn't vote for him cause he can't win. What's your point? My vote isn't going to swing the election. Why does it matter if I need a million people to join me to put Romney over the top versus 40 million for Gary Johnson? Also, by your logic, everyone who votes for the losing candidate in a non-swing state is wasting their time and throwing away their vote

  • johnl||

    And if I lived in a state with a competitive election, I would vote for him. But I don't. And he's not good enough that I want to signal to the party that I'll vote for more guys like him. So I am voting for Johnson.

  • ||

    See, now you are feeling the zeitgeist.

  • deified||

    Cavanaugh and Gillespie won't stop until this is just a full-on Rutgers blog. Ridic.

  • BakedPenguin||

    DONT TALK SHIT ABOUT BECKY QUICK

  • JW||

    [googles Betty Quick....]

    Hmmmmmm.

    I'll be in my bunk.

  • Ted S.||

    Better than the dumb posts about LA traffic that we normally get from Mr. Cavana Ugh.

  • ant1sthenes||

    A is A? Objectivist dog whistle.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Stopped clock...

  • Paul.||

    "The idea of all these massive amounts of liquidity: Each time he increases, the impact is less and less

    Interesting. Most of the media types I hear or run across have a pretty standard set of talking points on the economy and how Obama handled it:

    "It's pretty clear that the administration underestimated the depth of the recession. This is why their efforts haven't shown the expected growth. We're going to be in this for a long time, the turnaround will be slow, but it will turn around, we just need to proceed with the course we're on. Clearly housing is getting better, the stock market and unemployment are all improving. Not as fast as we'd like, but they're getting better. *bursts into tears* Please vote for Obama... please please please please please..."

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Most of the media types are idiots who aren't concerned with anything more than their ratings.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The most idiotic thing about that line of argumentation is that personal income has declined more during Obama's 'recovery' than it did during his recession.

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    Chance of economic collapse if Obama is re-elected: High
    Chance of economic collapse if Romney is elected: just as High
    Chance of progressive politics being blamed on Obama: negligible
    Chance of free-market politics being blamed on Romney: 100%

    I don't see an option in the majors.

    Gary Johnson 2012

    ... Hobbit

  • VG Zaytsev||

    You'r delusional.

    Progressive politics never gets blamed. It's always the capatilists, speculators, wreckers and counter revolutionaries fault. Just ask a communist apparatchik in China ca 1960 or one in the SU ca 1932.

  • johnl||

    Your delusional.

  • Calidissident||

    The left will always blame the market, but that doesn't mean the masses will be equally convinced in every scenario. That's the fact people who say this overlook. Things aren't quite as bad here as 1960 China or 1932 Soviet Union. Had Gore been elected in 2000 (and re-elected) do you think the average person would have blamed free-market capitalism as much as they did? Do you think we would have elected Obama?

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