Saying No to a "Top-Down Command and Control" Economy

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I missed Obama's interview with Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace, but skimming the transcript, this exchange caught my eye. I'm not sure how much confidence I have in Obama's sincerity hereโ€”and it's certainly a smart thing to emphasize when speaking to a Fox News crowdโ€”but this is an encouraging answer:

WALLACE: Over the years, John McCain has broken with his party and risked his career on a number of issues—campaign finance, immigration reform, banning torture.

As a president, can you name a hot-button issue where you would be willing to buck the Democratic Party line and say, "You know what? Republicans have a better idea here?"

OBAMA: Well, I think there are a whole host of areas where Republicans in some cases may have a better idea.

WALLACE: Such as?

OBAMA: Well, on issues of regulation. I think that back in the '60s and '70s a lot of the way we regulated industry was top-down command and control, we're going to tell businesses exactly how to do things.

And you know, I think that the Republican Party and people who thought about the markets came up with the notion that, "You know what? If you simply set some guidelines, some rules and incentives, for businessesโ€”let them figure out how they're going to, for example, reduce pollution," and a cap and trade system, for example is a smarter way of doing it, controlling pollution, than dictating every single rule that a company has to abide by, which creates a lot of bureaucracy and red tape and oftentimes is less efficient.

I think that on issues of education, I've been very clear about the fact—and sometimes I've gotten in trouble with the teachers' union on this—that we should be experimenting with charter schools. We should be experimenting with different ways of compensating teachers that…

Excepting the cap and trade example, Obama's renunciation of the "top-down command and control" economy is still pretty vague. This could simply mean that he has, say, no interest in returning to pre-1986 Tax Reform Act rates of corporate taxation (which topped out at 46 percent). Regardless, it couldn't possibly be worse than this story on that earmark-loving Senator from Chappaqua, Hillary Clinton. The Hill reports:

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) has requested nearly $2.3 billion in federal earmarks for 2009, almost three times the largest amount received by a single senator this year.

The Democratic presidential candidate's staggering request comes at a time when Congress remains engaged in a heated debate over spending federal dollars on parochial projects.

It also has gained traction on the campaign trail. Presumptive GOP nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), a longtime foe of earmarks, has called for eliminating what he dubs "wasteful Washington spending." Democratic front-runner Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) has spurned earmarks, seeking no funds for pet projects in the upcoming fiscal year.

Yet Clinton is continuing to request billions for earmarks, most of which will go to her home state.

Last month, anti-earmark crusader Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) stopped by the Reason DC HQ to talk with reason.tv about Cuba, freedom-and Flake's own failure to live by his self-imposed term limit pledge.

NEXT: Who's Going to Get Your Wasted Vote?

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  1. Excepting the cap and trade example, Obama’s renunciation of the “top-down command and control” economy is still pretty vague.

    A cap-and-trade system is STILL a top-down approach.

  2. Democratic front-runner Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) has spurned earmarks, seeking no funds for pet projects in the upcoming fiscal year.

    “I’m Henry the VII I am … Second verse! Same as the first!”

  3. If he is being sincere (I am dubious) he is more of a pragmatist than I thought. He may be more of a technocrat than an ideologue; again, this is assuming sincerity.

  4. Doesn’t Obama have contacts with a lot of people from U of Chicago’s economics department?

  5. “Doesn’t Obama have contacts with a lot of people from U of Chicago’s economics department?”

    The group of people who claim to be capitalists but have more in common with Keynes?

  6. For more info on the Chicago school:
    http://mises.org/journals/scholar/jankovic2.pdf

  7. A cap-and-trade system is STILL a top-down approach.

    Well, unfortunately you aren’t going to be getting a choice between interventionist and non-interventionist in this election. You get to pick which one will be the least onerous interventionist.

    I won’t go so far as to endorse Obama, but he isn’t the worst of all possible choices, either.

  8. We’ve never had a Soviet style “top-down command and control” economy, but we’re perfectly happy to have a watered-down version of one, or what Obama calls “guidelines, some rules and incentives.” So yeah, maybe we should be hopeful, the same way Russians were hopeful when Khrushchev took over.

  9. Obama is really imploding. Clinton is coming WAY up in Indiana now in the latest polls!

    Maybe the Reagan Democrats won’t flush their party down the toilet after all.

  10. Well, on issues of regulation. I think that back in the ’60s and ’70s a lot of the way we regulated industry was top-down command and control, we’re going to tell businesses exactly how to do things.

    You read this statement and though about tax rates?

    What is it about libertarians that causes them to read the word “regulation” and leap immediately to “tax rates?”

    Taxes aren’t regulation.

  11. Whoa, whoa – you can’t cite something from Mises.org as support for a description of the Chicago School. That’s like someone asking about the Yankees and being directed to a Red Sox site (or vice versa, if you prefer.)

  12. count this as one of my bi-weekly agreements with joe.

  13. I’m gonna start the dick parade and say sarcastically “Wow, Obama eschews Communism!…whatta helluva guy!”

    Whatevs, man.

    The group of people who claim to be capitalists but have more in common with Keynes?

    Lemme guess…you just gobble up every piece of junk the VMI and the Rockwellians put out, doncha?

    Tell you what: List the positions of the Chicago school, line them up withe Keynesians, and get back to us how they’re more simliar than they are differnt.

    I predict a whole lot of FAIL.

  14. We’ve never had a Soviet style “top-down command and control” economy,

    except for monetary policy.

    and the mises institute calls the chicago school socialists for agree with centralized control of money.

  15. Ayn_Randian,

    that is the main one that pisses th LvMI off. BOth keynes and the chicago school view manipulating the money supply in order to affect the economy as okie dokie.

  16. Taxes aren’t regulation.

    You’re right, but given all the costs of regulations on time, compliance with dubiously beneficial (and oftentimes harmful) rules and all those wonderful regulators we pay, they may as well be.

  17. I thought Obama sounded really good on Fox News. He was vague but what politician isn’t?

  18. “and the mises institute calls the chicago school socialists for agree with centralized control of money.”

    How is that not socialism? Socialism is an economic term. Money is central to a discussion of any non-barter economy. How would this NOT be a form of socialism?

  19. Yet Clinton is continuing to request billions for earmarks, most of which will go to her home state.

    Show Me the MONEY!

  20. Is the election over yet?

    Neil, say “comsymp” or “Op Chaos”. I need some amusement.

  21. I think Hillary is about to sink Hussein.

  22. Erm… I thought the Monetarists wanted to increase the money supply in parallel with the growth in GDP.

  23. Serious, if slightly OT question: Couldn’t one of the two Dems change the dynamic of the race significantly if they chose and/or hinted at their respective VP candidates?

    I mean, what if Hilldog hints that she’s going to pick Mike Easley?

  24. I thought the Monetarists wanted to increase the money supply in parallel with the growth in GDP.

    But don’t you get it, Penguin? To the yokeltarians, monetarism = central control = Keynesianism = communist.

    This is what happens when you approach a science and try to pigeonhole it into axioms, instead of developing axioms from observations.

  25. woohoo, $128 for every man, woman and child in ny york state!

    i’m spending mine on gasoline!

  26. “Erm… I thought the Monetarists wanted to increase the money supply in parallel with the growth in GDP.”

    Penguin, the problem is that once you give government that tool they can grow the size and scope of government without even “raising taxes” by simply printing money to pay for expenses. This is in effect a tax raise on any human on planet earth who has U.S. Currency. As a side effect the USD becomes weaker in comparison to other currencies.

  27. YA – I recognize the problems with giving the state control of the money supply. I’m familiar with Germany 1923, Brazil 1980, Zimbabwe 2003-present. However, the gold standard is not the be-all, end-all it’s supporters would claim.

    While it would definitely cap the kind of meltdowns seen in SE Asia in 1997-8, it also brings with it the prospect of deflation. Deflation can be more destructive than inflation. Ironically, it was the Fed who helped prove that by taking 1/3 of the money stock out of circulation, greatly worsening the Depression.

    Also, Japan was in a deflationary recession during the 1990’s – for pretty much the entire decade.

  28. LOL Clinton within 5 in North Carolina!!

    http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollReport.aspx?g=d4d1bc7e-32d4-438e-8143-75c8b25b3435

    Riots in Denver! Op Chaos is working.

  29. Given that Obama has also said that he’ll stop imports of all Chinese-made toys, that he wants to raise the capital gains tax in the name of “fairness,” even if it brings in less revenue, that he believes in the Second Amendment except that localities ought to be able to have blanket bans on guns, how much weight should anyone give these vague statements? I’d say little to none.

  30. “This is what happens when you approach a science and try to pigeonhole it into axioms, instead of developing axioms from observations.”

    How many times do you need to observe gravity before it becomes an “axiom” that if I let go of a golf ball while I am standing on planet Earth it will fall to the ground?

  31. the problem is that once you give government that tool they can grow the size and scope of government without even “raising taxes” by simply printing money to pay for expenses.

    What? What in the world does the printing of currency have to do with the money supply?

    You mean that they can lend more bonds or something?

  32. Yahoo Answerer: Now with SpellCheck?,

    Could you please argue against the actual monetarist position rather than a strawman version?

    The monetarists would have a long and detailed Constitutional Amendment describe exactly how much money should be added into circulation depending on a number of metrics.

    Now you might think that unworkable, problematic, or otherwise idiotic, but it is exactly not an allowance to “grow the size and scope of government without even ‘raising taxes’ by simply printing money to pay for expenses.”

  33. Riots in Denver! Op Chaos is working.

    Thanks Neil, now just “comsymp” please.

  34. “While it would definitely cap the kind of meltdowns seen in SE Asia in 1997-8, it also brings with it the prospect of deflation. Deflation can be more destructive than inflation.”

    What I would like to see are competing currencies. If people loose confidence in one currency they can begin to use another. Some may choose to back their currency in gold, others may prefer silver, and still others may choose cattle futures. There can be infinite experimentation in a free market of currency.

  35. “What? What in the world does the printing of currency have to do with the money supply?”

    What in the world does iPod manufacturing have to do with the supply of iPods?

  36. We had both of the Tiresome Twosome in for L.A. Times endorsement interviews within a day or two of each other. Obama easily clinched it right there, and the split was exactly as Moynihan lays out in his post.

    To wit: On all economic topics you got vague-but-encouraging, generally New Democrat pro-market stuff out of Obama, and you got straight-up socialism out of Clinton. That was true for free trade, for punishment of the “CEOs who have caused this mess,” for making sure “the workers who created the wealth get their fair share,” for the bailout of sub-prime deadbeats, for everything. This was not exactly a Fox-News-type crowd they were addressing either: With a handful of exceptions, everybody in the room was quite eager to hear hang-the-rich, protect-the-people-from-themselves claptrap.

    I’m not exaggerating when I say Clinton’s rhetoric was openly socialist and Obama’s at least showed familiarity with the basic notion of a free market. That doesn’t mean Clinton will rule that way or that she’s legislated that way, and it doesn’t mean Obama won’t suck. But just counting their comments on economics, Obama was orders of magnitude less objectionable than Clinton.

  37. YA:NWS,

    First of all, banks create money, not the Federal Reserve. The Fed limits how much money banks can create, in order to control inflation.

    Currency is printed as a function of demand…that’s why I am confused as to what in the world the Treasury Dept’s function of printing currency has to do with money supply.

    Loathe though I am to say “Take Econ 101…” you’re getting me there.

  38. “The monetarists would have a long and detailed Constitutional Amendment describe exactly how much money should be added into circulation depending on a number of metrics.

    Now you might think that unworkable, problematic, or otherwise idiotic, but it is exactly not an allowance to “grow the size and scope of government without even ‘raising taxes’ by simply printing money to pay for expenses.””

    Yes, it is, when is the last time that we actually followed the constitution? The problem is in trusting the government with powers. If the monetarists wanted to form a private currency company that functioned according to their views I would have no problem with that. What I want are competing currencies. May the best currency win.

  39. What I would like to see are competing currencies. If people loose confidence in one currency they can begin to use another.

    You mean like the Euro, Pound, Yen, etc.?

  40. Taxes aren’t regulation.

    Al Capone disagrees.

    Voter’s poll tax? Sin tax? “Windfall profits” tax? Carbon tax? Import/export tariffs? Prohibition (i.e. marijuana) taxes? Tax incentives?

    “The power to tax is the power to destroy.”

  41. Yes, it is, when is the last time that we actually followed the constitution? The problem is in trusting the government with powers. If the monetarists wanted to form a private currency company that functioned according to their views I would have no problem with that. What I want are competing currencies. May the best currency win.

    And when the government passes a law that says that it can print as much of any of these private currencies as it wishes in order to pay its expenses, then what?

  42. “First of all, banks create money, not the Federal Reserve. The Fed limits how much money banks can create, in order to control inflation.

    Currency is printed as a function of demand…that’s why I am confused as to what in the world the Treasury Dept’s function of printing currency has to do with money supply.”

    The Federal Reserve is itself a Bank. And the Federal Government is a huge customer both in terms of borrowing and spending. There is also a huge network of “Federal Credit Unions”. Make no mistake; the federal government has control over the money supply.

    You are also giving trust where no trust should be given.

  43. Well, unfortunately you aren’t going to be getting a choice between interventionist and non-interventionist in this election.

    Not true. Depending on who the LP puts on the ballot, I may have a non-interventionist choice.

  44. “You mean like the Euro, Pound, Yen, etc.?”

    These are not competing currencies within the same geographic area. If I opened a store in South Florida I would not have the freedom to have a “No U.S. Dollar” policy. In fact, one man is being prosecuted for promioting a competing currency.

    http://www.courierpress.com/news/2007/nov/17/libertydollar-headanticipates-his-arrest/

  45. If Obama can’t make the decision whether to cute Wright loose or not, how can he make decisive Presidential decisions about the economy?

  46. “And when the government passes a law that says that it can print as much of any of these private currencies as it wishes in order to pay its expenses, then what?”

    If they are printed by the government they are not private currencies.

  47. PapayaSF | April 29, 2008, 5:21pm | #

    Given that Obama has also said that he’ll stop imports of all Chinese-made toys, that he wants to raise the capital gains tax in the name of “fairness,” even if it brings in less revenue, that he believes in the Second Amendment except that localities ought to be able to have blanket bans on guns, how much weight should anyone give these vague statements? I’d say little to none.

    You are going to have to provide direct quotes to where Obama said those things for me to believe you. Somehow, I doubt he actually said what you are saying he said (maybe on the second amendment issue).

  48. Taxes aren’t regulation.

    You’re right, they’re even worse than that. They’re manipulation.

  49. If they are printed by the government they are not private currencies.

    That’s your rebuttal? A semantic observation?

    Say the government allows private currencies and gets rid of the Federal Reserve Note. Private currencies happily fill the monetary ecosystem, and the economy hums along just fine.

    Then the government passes a law such that it can demand any private currency provider print off any amount the government desires for the government to fill its own coffers with.

    What then?

  50. If they are printed by the government they are not private currencies.

    Perhaps the point would be better made like this:

    If the government increases the monetary supply without regard to the Monetary Supply Constitutional Amendment, then that is not monetarism.

  51. A cap-and-trade system is STILL a top-down approach.

    Yes it is like putting a bottle around the economy and allowing it to work so long as you do not go outside the bottle.

    Congratulations Obama you have just come right enough to support the free market reforms of Communist China……..

    ….from 20 years ago.

  52. We had both of the Tiresome Twosome in for L.A. Times endorsement interviews within a day or two of each other.

    Geez, Tim, I thought you were going to improve the LA Times. The paper is still spending valuable money on valueless exercises like endorsement interviews?

  53. “Then the government passes a law such that it can demand any private currency provider print off any amount the government desires for the government to fill its own coffers with.

    What then?”

    Then the government would once again be ruining the economy. I am not going to advise a man with a broken arm to avoid seeing a doctor because his cast might one day have a broken leg. I want the government out of the economy period.

  54. “If the government increases the monetary supply without regard to the Monetary Supply Constitutional Amendment, then that is not monetarism.”

    The biggest danger is not monetarism qua monetarism. The biggest danger is government control.

  55. The biggest danger is not monetarism qua monetarism. The biggest danger is government control.

    If you allow that the government will stay out of your monetary proposal, then please allow monetarists the same courtesy.

  56. “because his cast might one day have a broken leg.”

    Because his cast might one day through a long series of events cause a broken leg.

  57. “If you allow that the government will stay out of your monetary proposal, then please allow monetarists the same courtesy.”

    They put their trust in government behaving itself. I do not. My proposal does not even require the existence of a government. In fact, my proposal would function even better in a stateless society.

  58. The biggest danger is not monetarism qua monetarism. The biggest danger is government control.

    By the way, what keeps private currency provider A from printing off private currency provider B’s notes?

  59. By the way, what keeps private currency provider A from printing off private currency provider B’s notes?

    Vengeance.

  60. “Vengeance.”

    Hey, that’s mine!

  61. “By the way, what keeps private currency provider A from printing off private currency provider B’s notes?”

    Customer sanctions and social sanctions. When customers found out, and they eventually would, there would be a lack of trust in that company and they would suffer as a result. There would probably also be a greater use of precious metals that are verifiable via simple tests.

  62. They put their trust in government behaving itself. I do not.

    Actually, we have already established that you put your trust in the semantic meaning of the word “private”.

    In fact, my proposal would function even better in a stateless society.

    Your proposal would be required in a stateless society. That has no bearing on the fact that, in a stateful society, your proposal is open to government interference just as monetarist or centralized commodity standard proposals are.

  63. Customer sanctions and social sanctions.

    Good answer.

  64. “Actually, we have already established that you put your trust in the semantic meaning of the word “private”.”

    In other words, I actually know the meaning of the word.

    “That has no bearing on the fact that, in a stateful society, your proposal is open to government interference just as monetarist or centralized commodity standard proposals are.”

    Which is why I advocate a stateless society.

  65. Very well. Let’s go back to my original comment…

    Now you might think [monetarism] unworkable, problematic, or otherwise idiotic, but it is exactly not an allowance to “grow the size and scope of government without even ‘raising taxes’ by simply printing money to pay for expenses.”

    Can we now agree that your issue is with government not with monetarism? That an extant government can mess up your private currencies proposal just as it can mess up the monetarist currency proposal and that therefore your above quoted complaint is inaccurate?

  66. “Can we now agree that your issue is with government not with monetarism? That an extant government can mess up your private currencies proposal just as it can mess up the monetarist currency proposal and that therefore your above quoted complaint is inaccurate?”

    As an anarcho-capitalist, I would not interfere with a Hippie-Style Commune that was entirely consensual even though I think that it would be inefficient. So long as people are free to leave and no one is compelled to join they should be free to organize themselves in that manner.

    In the same way, I would not interfere with a group of private individuals who wanted to organize a private community or currency around the principles of monetarism.

    My problem is indeed with government. Which complaint are you saying is inaccurate?

  67. Which complaint are you saying is inaccurate?

    Your complaint of 5:12pm…

    “Erm… I thought the Monetarists wanted to increase the money supply in parallel with the growth in GDP.”

    Penguin, the problem is that once you give government that tool they can grow the size and scope of government without even “raising taxes” by simply printing money to pay for expenses. This is in effect a tax raise on any human on planet earth who has U.S. Currency. As a side effect the USD becomes weaker in comparison to other currencies.

    Monetarists specifically want to restrict “that tool”, using every means possible to guarantee the monetary supply grows only with growth in economic output.

    Can government muck that up? Of course. Can government muck up private currencies? Of course.

  68. “Monetarists specifically want to restrict “that tool”, using every means possible to guarantee the monetary supply grows only with growth in economic output.

    Can government muck that up? Of course. Can government muck up private currencies? Of course.”

    It would be much more difficult for governments to muck up a private currency. Compare the control governments have over “public schools” (in the U.S. sense of this word) vs. the control they have over “private schools” (again, in the U.S. sense of this word). Governments have far more control over the curriculum, what subjects are taboo, the school lunch, who is admitted etc. than they do over private schools. Might that change? Perhaps but it needs to go through another set of hoops before it can reach that stage. Some states have “charter schools” that are actually run by the government. These charter schools can be changed far more easily than a private school – some have already found this out.

  69. Tim Cavanaugh. LOL. ZOMG.

  70. Ayn_Randian,

    uhhhh…what?? When the Fed buys treasuries in the open market committee, they use money they just created to do so. I will grant you that through reserve requirements banks end up creating a lot more. But when the gov’t starts running deficits and throws out masses of treasuries it fucks up the Fed’s funds rate thus they need to create a lot of money in order to take those treasuries off the market so they can achieve their target rate.

    Secondly, in the depression the fed didn’t cause the deflation they were desperately trying to inflate but it is hard to do so when no banks are lending and everything seizes up. Bernanke promised milton friedman on his 90th birthday that they would never let this happen again and now we see bernanke coming up with very creative ways of inflating credit even though a lot of the lending institutions have tightened up.

  71. It does seem odd to have spent all this time debating someone with whom I pretty much agree on this issue. But if you are going to call monetarists socialists because they believe in government-monopolized money, then you’ll have to call all varieties of minarchists socialists because they believe in government-monopolized defense, police, and courts.

  72. “uplifting” animals to human-level intelligence”…and running one as a libertarian candidate? It’s worth a try.

  73. “I would stop the import of all toys from China.” – Obama

    Speaking of the Great Depression, it seems some have not learned from the Smoot-Holly Tariffs Act.

  74. Oops, wrong thread.

  75. “But if you are going to call monetarists socialists because they believe in government-monopolized money, then you’ll have to call all varieties of minarchists socialists because they believe in government-monopolized defense, police, and courts.”

    They are indeed mildly socialistic. But while defense, police and courts are mere services within a larger economy the concept of currency is the very essence of any non-barter economy.

  76. People who have the same answer to every question are people who don’t know what they’re talking about.

  77. Bloggers still making a BFD of earmarks? They’re just amendments to a spending bill that attach greater specificity to how some of the money is spent, rather than leaving it to the discretion of bureaucrats.

  78. Neil: “If Obama can’t make the decision whether to cute Wright loose or not, how can he make decisive Presidential decisions about the economy?”

    decisive decision making like GWB and Iraq? I’ll take non-decisive decision making please.

  79. MY FELLOW “BITTER”, STUPID, WORKING CLASS PEOPLE ๐Ÿ™‚

    If you think like Barack Obama, that WORKING CLASS PEOPLE are just a bunch of “BITTER”!, STUPID, PEASANTS, Cash COWS!, and CANNON FODDER. ๐Ÿ™

    You Might Be An Idiot! ๐Ÿ™‚

    If you think Barack Obama with little or no experience would be better than Hillary Clinton with 35 years experience.

    You Might Be An Idiot! ๐Ÿ™‚

    If you think that Obama with no experience can fix an economy on the verge of collapse better than Hillary Clinton. Whose ๐Ÿ˜‰ husband (Bill Clinton) led the greatest economic expansion, and prosperity in American history.

    You Might Be An Idiot! ๐Ÿ™‚

    If you think that Obama with no experience fighting for universal health care can get it for you better than Hillary Clinton. Who anticipated this current health care crisis back in 1993, and fought a pitched battle against overwhelming odds to get universal health care for all the American people.

    You Might Be An Idiot! ๐Ÿ™‚

    If you think that Obama with no experience can manage, and get us out of two wars better than Hillary Clinton. Whose ๐Ÿ˜‰ husband (Bill Clinton) went to war only when he was convinced that he absolutely had to. Then completed the mission in record time against a nuclear power. AND DID NOT LOSE THE LIFE OF A SINGLE AMERICAN SOLDIER. NOT ONE!

    You Might Be An Idiot! ๐Ÿ™‚

    If you think that Obama with no experience saving the environment is better than Hillary Clinton. Whose ๐Ÿ˜‰ husband (Bill Clinton) left office with the greatest amount of environmental cleanup, and protections in American history.

    You Might Be An Idiot! ๐Ÿ™‚

    If you think that Obama with little or no education experience is better than Hillary Clinton. Whose ๐Ÿ˜‰ husband (Bill Clinton) made higher education affordable for every American. And created higher job demand and starting salary’s than they had ever been before or since.

    You Might Be An Idiot! ๐Ÿ™‚

    If you think that Obama with no experience will be better than Hillary Clinton who spent 8 years at the right hand of President Bill Clinton. Who is already on record as one of the greatest Presidents in American history.

    You Might Be An Idiot! ๐Ÿ™‚

    If you think that you can change the way Washington works with pretty speeches from Obama, rather than with the experience, and political expertise of two master politicians ON YOUR SIDE like Hillary and Bill Clinton..

    You Might Be An Idiot! ๐Ÿ™‚

    If you think all those Republicans voting for Obama in the Democratic primaries, and caucuses are doing so because they think he is a stronger Democratic candidate than Hillary Clinton. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Best regards

    jacksmith… Working Class ๐Ÿ™‚

    p.s. You Might Be An Idiot! ๐Ÿ™‚

    If you don’t know that the huge amounts of money funding the Obama campaign to try and defeat Hillary Clinton is coming in from the insurance, and medical industry, that has been ripping you off, and killing you and your children. And denying you, and your loved ones the life saving medical care you needed. All just so they can make more huge immoral profits for them-selves off of your suffering…

    You see, back in 1993 Hillary Clinton had the audacity, and nerve to try and get quality, affordable universal health care for everyone to prevent the suffering and needless deaths of hundreds of thousands of you each year. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Approx. 100,000 of you die each year from medical accidents from a rush to profit by the insurance, and medical industry. Another 120,000 of you die each year from treatable illness that people in other developed countries don’t die from. And I could go on, and on…

    OBAMA AIDE: “WORKING-CLASS VOTERS NOT KEY FOR DEMOCRATS” ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    DEBATE! DEBATE!! DEBATE!!!…

  80. DEBATE! DEBATE!! DEBATE!!!

    It’s time for everyone to face the truth. Barack Obama has no real chance of winning the national election in November at this time. His crushing defeat in Pennsylvania makes that fact crystal clear. His best, and only real chance of winning in November is on a ticket with Hillary Clinton as her VP.

    Hillary Clinton seemed almost somber at her Pennsylvania victory speech. As if part of her was hoping Obama could have proved he had some chance of winning against the republican attack machine, and their unlimited money, and resources.

    But it is absolutely essential that the democrats take back the Whitehouse in November. America, and the American people are in a very desperate condition now. And the whole World has been doing all that they can to help keep us propped up.

    Hillary Clinton say’s that the heat, and decisions in the Whitehouse are much tougher than the ones on the campaign trail. But I think Mr. Obama faces a test of whether he has what it takes to be a commander and chief by facing the difficult facts, and the truth before him. And by doing what is best for the American people by dropping out of the race, and offering his whole hearted assistance to Hillary Clinton to help her take back the Whitehouse for the American people, and the World.

    Mr. Obama is a great speaker. And I am confident he can explain to the American people the need, and wisdom of such a personal sacrifice for them. It should be clear to everyone by now that Hillary Clinton is fighting her heart out for the American people. She has known for a long time that Mr. Obama can not win this November. You have to remember that the Clinton’s have won the Whitehouse twice before. They know what it takes.

    If Mr. Obama fails his test of commander and chief we can only hope that Hillary Clinton can continue her heroic fight for the American people. And that she prevails. She will need all the continual support and help we can give her. She may fight like a superhuman. But she is only human.

    Sen. Hillary Clinton: “You know, more people have now voted for me than have voted for my opponent. In fact, I now have more votes than anybody has ever had in a primary contest for a nomination. And it’s also clear that we’ve got nine more important contests to go.”

    Sincerely

    Jacksmith… Working Class ๐Ÿ™‚

  81. This story reminds me vaguely of certain key elements of political grandstanding. “For the children”, “For the common good”, ” . . . or the terrorists win”, and my favorite ” . . . so that everything will be a fair and level playing field”.

  82. Can someone please ban this jacksmith jackass? All he’s doing in spamming threads with the same cut-and-paste Hillary ads. This is at least the fourth time he’s posted the exact same “You Might Be An Idiot! :-)” screed; we get it already – he’s an idiot….

  83. Unbelievable. That’s some of the most free-market rhetoric heard from a major party candidate (and definitely from a Democrat) in, what, forever? But only a handful of people here bother to comment on it, if only to debate whether he’s sincere or not.

    Everyone else is more interested in discussing whether monetarism is socialism, minarchism, and stateless societies.

    And that’s why I’m not a libertarian!

  84. “But only a handful of people here bother to comment on it, if only to debate whether he’s sincere or not.”

    Yeah, it sure is wacky debating whether or not a Democrat (or Republican, or anyone running for office for that matter) is sincere in their campaign rhetoric.

    “And that’s why I’m not a libertarian!”

    And what a terrible loss for libertarianism that is. Really. Just crushing. OK, bye now.

  85. It’s nice to see a not-so-partisan partisan! At least he’s able to approach a topic objectively, even if it means not walking the party line.

  86. Mr. (or Mrs.) Pendulum above may be being slightly shrill, but (s)he does have a point. I thought this was going to be an interesting thread, but it took a fifth-dimensional turn into retarded money-policy land like 60 posts ago.

    Republican candidates worship at the altar of Reagan and yet can barely restrain themselves from giving corporations welfare and spending money they don’t have on giant military boondoggles, while treating the Laffer Curve like a ski slope. Democrats are just mainly economics-retarded (“the Laffer what?”).

    That Obama is saying he’ll ease up on punitive regulation is at least *notable* and worthy of discussion.

  87. Substantively, what Obama is saying is consistent with one of the most successful policy initiatives of the Clinton administration, the recasting of the role of regulatory agencies and the industries they govern. The replacement of regulatory micromanagement with standards and compliance assistance was a big part of the agenda at departments like Energy, EPA, and OSHA.

  88. What is it about libertarians that causes them to read the word “regulation” and leap immediately to “tax rates?”

    What is it about joe that always makes him take what one libertarian said, often the most unreasonable one with which he can strike up an argument, and leap immediately to putting that guy’s words in every libertarian’s mouth?

  89. Everyone else is more interested in discussing whether monetarism is socialism, minarchism, and stateless societies.

    But how else will we know whether Obama’s libertarian-leaning rhetoric is more Chicago School libertarian or Mises Institute libertarian?

    But only a handful of people here bother to comment on it, if only to debate whether he’s sincere or not.

    I’ll serve my penance…

    Whether or not Obama previously believed or now believes the more pro-market positions he expounds, he chose advisers with those positions. I think that Obama’s is an intentional strategy to capture the middle ground that the Republicans have stupidly abandoned. In Democratic terms, it is an anti-Two Americas play and a return to the “the era of big government is over” rhetoric of Bill Clinton — just as Hillary Clinton runs directly in the opposite direction.

    Obama is at least getting an education in economics from his advisers and his positions. Whether he would observe those principals in his governing remains to be seen.

  90. But only a handful of people here bother to comment on it, if only to debate whether he’s sincere or not.

    This just in: Politician says things; libertarians are skeptical!

  91. the reason libertarians jump at the word regulation isn’t because it means taxes it means FORCE.

  92. Obama threw Wright under the truck today. Doesn’t that say everything we need to know about his sincerity. Just another politician who’ll do anything to get elected, and once elected rather than emerge from stealth cover will continue espousing bullshit to get reelected so he can continue ‘changing’ Washington. What a pathetic human being. There’s more hope in just about anything else. Exasperating!

  93. Clarification:

    Had Obama stood by Wright on certain defensible issues (imperialism, war on drugs), while denouncing the silly (AIDS is a white-man Andromeda strai unleashed on darkies) he would have shown some modicum of leadership. I am devastated! How could such a well-educated man fall and fail so miserably. Instead he has shown pure kow-tow to the media/press.

    Another one bites the dust! Ouch!

  94. Something is happening here & I think I know what it is

  95. Lies that life is black & white spoke from my skull I dreamed

  96. (Be)Lies that life is B & W spoke from my skull I dreamed.

  97. 000H bama, can this really be the end, to be stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis blues again.

  98. When all your advisers heave their plastic at your feet to convince you of your pain, trying to prove that your conclusions should be more drastic…won’t you?

  99. But to live outside the law, you must be honest

  100. Close your eyes, close the door
    You don’t have to worry anymore.

  101. I don’t care how many letters they sent (morning came, morning went) pick up your money pick up your tent…You ain’t goin’ nowhere

  102. Just like my heart Obama, when you kissed my ass.

  103. Obama threw Wright under the truck today. Doesn’t that say everything we need to know about his sincerity. Just another politician who’ll do anything to get elected, and once elected rather than emerge from stealth cover will continue espousing bullshit to get reelected so he can continue ‘changing’ Washington.

    Considering how long it took Bush to throw clowns like Alberto Gonzales, Scooter Libby and Donald Rumsfeld under the bus, a president who’s quick with the ax would be refreshing. How long do you think a Rumsfeld would be around in an Obama administration.

  104. the reason libertarians jump at the word regulation isn’t because it means taxes it means FORCE.

    That’s it, exactly.

    They don’t/can’t/won’t talk about government operations and how to make them better in a technocratic sense, even at the level of “taxes are different from regulation.” What matters to them isn’t how the government operates, whether it is more or less efficient at its mission, or whether something works better than something else.

    You might as well ask a pacifist about which beaches to storm on D-Day.

  105. woohoo, $128 for every man, woman and child in ny york state!

    i’m spending mine on gasoline!

    For Molotov Cocktails. I hope.

  106. Edward | April 29, 2008, 8:06pm | #
    Oops, wrong thread.

    As if it makes a difference…

  107. Yeah, I was really impressed with this interview too, especially considering the primary isn’t even over yet. I can’t wait to hear how he campaigns in the general.

    Honestly, I feel better about McCain and Obama than any other Presidential candidates in my lifetime. These guys are both sounding like centrists.

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