Reminder: Congresspeople Are Not All Smart

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Go ahead, dish out the accusations of "shilling for Democrats"—this floor speech by Louie "rhymes with Homer" Goehmert, on Tuesday's stock market correction, is some seriously stupid economic commentary.

In two months of talking about raising taxes and more regulation and one committee chairman talking about how he's going to undermine the President's national security policy — two months! — we have this terrible damage to the stock market, to the economy. Unbelievable.

Yes, the economy booms when Congress falls in line with Republican national security policy. It's like Lysenkoism, but for stocks!

NEXT: Father of Funk

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  1. Well, since you asked for it:

    Weigal is shilling for the Dhimmicrats!

    Hey, the man asked, what else was I supposed to do?

  2. Mr. Goehmert, I want to buy your rock.

  3. The only shilling I see here is done in the name name of bad links.

  4. Never mind, the link didn’t work one second, now it does.

  5. Goehmert has said something perceptive.

  6. Didn’t you mean to say rhymes with Gomer?

  7. You know, I haven’t been able to get my hair quite right for the last couple of months. I thought it was because of the humidity, but now I guess it was because of Congress’ waffling on Iraq.

  8. Speaking of stupid economic commentary from politicians, I saw poor Bernanke getting questioned yesterday by a bunch of lowly House Representatives. The questions were so bad that I felt sorry for him.

    Every Bernanke answer I saw could have been summed up thusly:

    “It is obvious you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about and you only want to be on C-SPAN, so I will act like I agree with what you are saying, say what you should have said, then Jedi mind trick you into leaving me the hell alone.”

  9. It’s a good thing you phrased it that way Dave. It is easy to prove that they are “not all smart” with this one example. I am trying to prove that they are “all not smart” which is a much taller order. No need to prove this empirically because I think most people share my suspicions.

    I really think we need to work on Ron Paul’s stance on immigration. This will probably require an amendment to the Constitution because he seems to be a robot like that. Wow, the Constitution of the United States of America is some CRAZY esoteric knowledge, isn’t it?

  10. do you think if politicians were paid more, the job would attract people with some semblance of intelligence?

  11. do you think if politicians were paid more, the job would attract people with some semblance of intelligence?

    If $165,200 only attracts stupid people, then I’m clearly a complete moron.

  12. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think politicians are all that dumb. It is just that there is no way anyone one person can know as much about the economy as Bernanke, as much about War as a General, and know as much about stem cells as a Doctor.

    These politicians think they can have an in depth discussion with each of these experts, and school them a little bit on what they are missing. Like I said, the politicians aren’t that dumb, they are just so god damn arrogant it makes my bowels quiver.

  13. do you think if politicians were paid more, the job would attract people with some semblance of intelligence?

    I am pretty sure the politicians had the same idea but they seem to be getting progressively stupider at an alarming pace.

  14. Of course this guy is no dumber than your typical economic reporter who rountinely say things like “stocks are down today on news of …” never bothering to learn that stock prices are the product of millions of individual decisions far too diverse to be traced to one particular cause. The idea that four or a five point drop or rise in the broader markets is the result of one particular cause is completely stupid but gets repeated all of the time.

    Of course, no Democrat would ever blame Republicans for a stock drop. How long before you can find some Democratic hack blaming “6 years of Bush economic terrorism” or some such nonsense for a drop in the stock market? My guess is not too long. Of course, Weigel won’t be posting any of those stupid comments.

  15. Am I missing something? Looks like the link just goes to a main page, and I’m far too lazy to read headlines and click links this early in the morning.

  16. Cab, perhaps the solution would be for our elected representatives to realize that legislation is a sometimes solution.

  17. two months of talking about raising taxes and more regulation

    Has there been much talk of this? Admittedly, I don’t pay attention to much that Congresspeople say, but I haven’t heard much talk of more taxes at least.

  18. Brian24,

    The issue is that they are going to let the tax cuts expire which of course is raising taxes. Why the Republican Congress didn’t have the stones to make them perminant is beyond me. That is the “talk of tax increases” such as there is.

  19. No such thing as “permanent” tax reductions.
    They are always subject to new legislation
    (albeit it is harder to change something people thought was permanent).

    Are Congresscritters any dumber than 75 or 100 years ago? I doubt it; their gaffes and stupidity are just reported more widely.

  20. Speaking of economic policy —

    Has anyone else noticed that Greenspan — the citizen — is now warning about recessions and economic downturn?

    Funny how perspectives change once you leave your appointed positions

  21. David Wiegel is shilling for Democrats.

  22. Meanwhile, our noble Demo saviors are busily loading the “special appropriation” for the Iraq war with pork.

    Congressmen all are dumb. Nobody with any sense would subject themselves to the electoral process.

  23. “Has anyone else noticed that Greenspan — the citizen — is now warning about recessions and economic downturn”

    Did you actually read the AP ARticle Tom or just the misleading headline?

    Headline, “Greenspan warns of likely recession”

    What Greenspan said,

    “While, yes, it is possible we can get a recession in the latter months of 2007, most forecasters are not making that judgment and indeed are projecting forward into 2008 … with some slowdown,” he said.

    Greenspan said that while it would be “very precarious” to try to forecast that far into the future, he could not rule out the possibility of a recession late this year.”

    I think Weigel must be moonlighting as a headline writer for AP these days.

  24. “No such thing as “permanent” tax reductions.
    They are always subject to new legislation”

    True, but these automatically expire without further action by the Congress, meaning Congress has to take affirmative action to preserve them. So, yes all tax rates are subject to change, these tax rates require affirmative action to preserve rather than staying the same. That is why they are not “perminant”. Granted perminant is a misleading term.

  25. I guess the Democrats really scared the hell out of the Chinese.

  26. I guess the Democrats really scared the hell out of the Chinese.

    Actually, to some degree they could. Talk of protectionism or forced currency correction could portend terrifying changes for China’s well being.

    Not that I am aware of anything like that happening… This week’s worries appear to be a perfectly apolitical correction of an overvalued market.

  27. Why the Republican Congress didn’t have the stones to make them perminant is beyond me.

    I can come up with a few reasons that I remember being discussed repeatedly at the time:

    1) Why make a cut permanent when you can bring it up for a vote every four years: “I voted to cut taxes in 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007…”

    2) The rosy budget predictions were only possible if you assume the tax cuts expire — even though you never intend to let them expire.

  28. That’s pretty run of the mill Kudlow Skool stock analysis. It was fun watching his head nearly explode during the Nancy Pelosi Bull Market from July through January.

    I watch CNBC all day and I keep hoping someone will just come on and say:

    “Now is clearly the time to panic.”

  29. John,

    So that is not different than his outlook while at the fed? Or does what he said not warn about recessions?

    I wasn’t implying that he predicted doom and gloom, just that since he left the fed he doesn’t seem to think that everything is A-OK and that he is more frank and honest about the economy these days

  30. Tom,

    Eventually there will be another recession. They are inevitable. It has been six years since the last one. The houseing market is overvalued, global trade talks are at a stand still and protectionists have a lot of sway in Congress. I don’t think Greenspan was saying anything other than “things are good now but that could change”, which is true pretty much all of the time.

  31. Good point on the voting for tax cuts four times rather than once. Of course, those rosy budget projections only work if the economy continues to grow, which is less likly if you tax the hell out of the economy, and if they are true, Congress gets to waste that much more money on political chronies and who doesn’t love that?

  32. You people are nuts. WEigal is clearly shilling for the Natural Law Party.

    I’m not really sure how to finish out this joke, so I’ll just mumble something about manbearpig.

  33. Lunch!

    awesome!

    and don’t forget to “/kick pebble”, too!

    brief interlude with llama

  34. “Of course, those rosy budget projections only work if the economy continues to grow, which is less likly if you tax the hell out of the economy”

    P1:
    The economy will not grow if we tax the hell out of it.

    P2:
    During the 1990s, our economy experienced the longest period of growth in American history.

    C: The tax system in place during the 1990s is not taxing the hell out of the economy.

  35. I don’t think Greenspan was saying anything other than “things are good now but that could change”, which is true pretty much all of the time

    Latter months of ’07 is not “Eventually” — and I don’t remember him saying “things are good, but you know they are gonna change and a recessions is gonna strike” while he was chairing the Fed. SO again…the question you keep ignoring…has he he or has he not changed his tune rather quickly since leaving the fed?

    Personally I find it rather noteworthy when the man running the fed has nothing but glowing praise of an economy mentions recessions once he leaves the Fed. You can find it worthless if you like….but the man has changed his tune whether you think its significant or not

  36. I’m sorry, it Wiegel supposed to be libertarian?

  37. Of course this guy is no dumber than your typical economic reporter who rountinely say things like “stocks are down today on news of …” never bothering to learn that stock prices are the product of millions of individual decisions far too diverse to be traced to one particular cause.

    Air temperature is the product of quintillions of molecules randomly bouncing around near you; does that mean that a room getting warm or cold cannot have a single cause?

  38. “During the 1990s, our economy experienced the longest period of growth in American history.”

    I am not even sure what that means Joe. Further, since the current growth run is continueing, does that mean that you will admit that today’s tax rates are optimal? As far as comparing the 00s to the 90s, Bill Clinton got re-elected on a “booming” economy that had 5.4% unemployment and a GDP growth rate of less than 3%. This as opposed to today’s 4.6% unemployment and GDP growth of 3.2% in 2006.

  39. “Air temperature is the product of quintillions of molecules randomly bouncing around near you; does that mean that a room getting warm or cold cannot have a single cause?”

    Are all of those molocules sentient actors making independent decisions? I don’t think so. Yes, big changes in the stock market, like yesterday’s response to China’s market slide can have a single or driving cause, but ordinary changes in the market of a few points here or there do not.

  40. Politicians love to attribute the health of the economy to political decisions. Fortunately, the USA is not yet so socialist for this to be true.

    As such, I view statements like the one from this Goehmert fellow to be background noise.

  41. John,

    “I am not even sure what that means Joe.”

    It means that the number of consecutive quarters of positive economic growth, uninterrupted by a recission, was the longest such period in American history.

    “Further, since the current growth run is continueing, does that mean that you will admit that today’s tax rates are optimal?” No, I’m not making any claims about what is optimal. Just about what is, and is not, “taxing the hell out of the economy.”

    “As far as comparing the 00s to the 90s, Bill Clinton got re-elected on a “booming” economy that had 5.4% unemployment and a GDP growth rate of less than 3%. This as opposed to today’s 4.6% unemployment and GDP growth of 3.2% in 2006.” Yes, the economy has been strong for the last year or more. Of course, I remember seeing snarky editorial cartoons during the 1996 race, lambasting Clinton for talking up the economy.

  42. “Yes, the economy has been strong for the last year or more. Of course, I remember seeing snarky editorial cartoons during the 1996 race, lambasting Clinton for talking up the economy.”

    Joe the economy has been strong for a lot more than a year. We haven’t even had a real recesion since 1991 and that was a mild one in a historical sense. Truth is neither Bush nor Clinton deserve credit for it beyond just not doing something really stupid, like national healthcare, to mess it up. They are bystandards.

  43. I guess it depends on the terminology, growth vs. absolute numbers. If strong growth is making up the losses from a deep recession, causing employment to drop from 9% to 7.5%, is the economy good yet?

    What if so-so growth has caused the unemployment rate to rise from 3.1% to 3.3%?

    But I get what you’re saying.

  44. It was fun watching his head nearly explode during the Nancy Pelosi Bull Market from July through January.

    How did Nancy get a market named after her when she was just a minority Congresscritter?

  45. Because, RC, if we believe people like you, the likelihood of Democrats gaining power was supposed to send the stock market into a tailspin.

  46. Obviously Greenspan does not know that Al Gore has ended the cruel tyranny of the business cycle. Depressions have been permanently banned from the American economic landscape. You would think Greenspan would know this stuff.

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