Economics

Obama: Let's Get the Spending Party Started

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Who will bail out the Bradford Exchange when the plate market hits rock bottom?

The text of Obama's major economic address, delivered live earlier today, has been posted. Read it and weep here.

The short version: We're gonna spend like there's no tomorrow. Because if the government doesn't spend enough right now, there ain't gonna be no tomorrow.

Highlights include generic shout-outs to massive spending and then a steaming pile of feel-good slogans such as these:

We will modernize more than 75% of federal buildings and improve the energy efficiency of two million American homes, saving consumers and taxpayers billions on our energy bills. In the process, we will put Americans to work in new jobs that pay well and can't be outsourced - jobs building solar panels and wind turbines; constructing fuel-efficient cars and buildings; and developing the new energy technologies that will lead to even more jobs, more savings, and a cleaner, safer planet in the bargain….

[W]e will make the immediate investments necessary to ensure that within five years, all of America's medical records are computerized….

We'll provide new computers, new technology, and new training for teachers so that students in Chicago and Boston can compete with kids in Beijing for the high-tech, high-wage jobs of the future….

We'll put people to work repairing crumbling roads, bridges, and schools by eliminating the backlog of well-planned, worthy and needed infrastructure projects. But we'll also do more to retrofit America for a global economy. That means updating the way we get our electricity by starting to build a new smart grid that will save us money, protect our power sources from blackout or attack, and deliver clean, alternative forms of energy to every corner of our nation. It means expanding broadband lines across America, so that a small business in a rural town can connect and compete with their counterparts anywhere in the world.

Wow, that's change everyone can believe in! We're going to put people to work computerizing medical records, changing lightbulbs, turning wind turbines, you name it. The whole thing, featuring various exhortations to not delay ("We could lose a generation of potential and promise") in passing even more spending bills, is here.

How did we get here? Obama calls out the following:

Too many Wall Street executives made imprudent and dangerous decisions, seeking profits with too little regard for risk, too little regulatory scrutiny, and too little accountability. Banks made loans without concern for whether borrowers could repay them, and some borrowers took advantage of cheap credit to take on debt they couldn't afford. Politicians spent taxpayer money without wisdom or discipline, and too often focused on scoring political points instead of the problems they were sent here to solve. The result has been a devastating loss of trust and confidence in our economy, our financial markets, and our government.

That's all true, though it's really important to underscore that by implicitly and explicitly guaranteeing market losses for homeowners and investors, the government radically alters the ways in which people behave. And sets up precisely the next big tumble. The losses surrounding Bernie Madoff involve mostly the fat-cat shitheads who invested with him; we're unlikely to socialize those bad choices.

On the point of "the devastating loss of trust and confidence," I direct Hit & Run readers' attention once again to a terrfying-if-true working paper titled "Regulation and Distrust," by Philippe Aghion, Yann Algan, Pierre Cahuc, and Andrei Shleifer. The authors argue:

"Distrust influences not just regulation itself, but the demand for regulation. Using the World Values Survey, we show both in a cross-section of countries, and in a sample of individuals from around the world, that distrust fuels support for government control over the economy. What is perhaps most interesting about this finding…is that distrust generates demand for regulation even when people realize that the government is corrupt and ineffective."

Read the whole thing here. And despair.

Reason Foundation on the bailout(s).

 

NEXT: Alien World

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  1. [W]e will make the immediate investments necessary to ensure that within five years, all of America’s medical records are computerized….

    …And transferred to a laptop that a HHS intern can leave on a bench in the Metro station.

  2. No, no, no, no! Please!

  3. And Thales says: “It’s all water!”

    And Anaximenes says: “No, you fool! It’s all air!”

    And Keynes says: “No, it’s all demand!”

    And Friedman says: “No, you fool! It’s all supply!”

    And Hayek says…

    …..

    Golly, aren’t ideological arguments about economics delightful?

  4. If you look at the time he made his speech and the market timing, he did make the market jump a little from it’s slumping. Bush had the opposite effect. Haha!

    Obama made the market go up, if temporarily.

  5. Hugh,

    I’d trust my medical records far more to whoever finds the laptop than HHS and whoever they voluntarily provide the info to.

  6. [W]e will make the immediate investments necessary to ensure that within five years, all of America’s medical records are computerized….

    This actually shouldn’t cost a thing as amazingly enough most healthcare providers are doing this anyway. It’s almost like they have a self interest in doing so.

    But I doubt that will stop him from claiming credit for it.

  7. ‘Politicians spent taxpayer money without wisdom or discipline’

    To solve that problem, we will spend massive amounts of taxpayer money *with* wisdom and discipline. The solution is so obvious when you think about it. I’m surprised nobody thought of it before.

  8. ‘Distrust influences not just regulation itself, but the demand for regulation. Using the World Values Survey, we show both in a cross-section of countries, and in a sample of individuals from around the world, that distrust fuels support for government control over the economy. What is perhaps most interesting about this finding…is that distrust generates demand for regulation even when people realize that the government is corrupt and ineffective.’

    The answer is a thriving civil society, or in H&R terms, social repression.

  9. Obama made the market go up, if temporarily.

    Most roller coasters climb first, then there’s a precipitous hill.

    Change!

  10. Elemenope,

    The first two aren’t ideological arguments about economics. And of course in the case of Thales, as many have already pointed out, his was an extremely important argument because it is scientific in its composition and different from the mythological explanations of a guy like Hesiod.

    Anyway, Friedman never stated that it was all about supply (of money that is).

  11. “The answer is a thriving civil society, or in H&R terms, social repression.”

    get back in the closet for the good of the greater.

    why wouldn’t anyone take that deal?

  12. I hope all the libertarians that supported Obama, many of whom work at Reason, are happy with the policy they get.

    I am going to copy and paste that comment for the next four years. There is not anything libertarian about Obama, and there never was. This just proves that cosmopolitan libertarians are as sensitive to race-guilt politics as their left-wing counterparts.

  13. Yes, because it was libertarians that put Mao-Bama over the top.

  14. Here’s what I don’t understand. Since government spending is so dominated by political motivations, and so little of the decision making is based on utility or actual national interest, why are so many people in favor of it? At least spending by consumers or companies benefits them directly in some way.

    In other words, how is allocation of money and resources by politics better than by market? There are no philosopher kings up there, making well-thought out decisions about, well, much of anything. So people who applaud this type of spending are applauding a corrupt process that benefits exactly the wrong people.

  15. “Yes, because it was libertarians that put Mao-Bama over the top.”

    Not exactly. But Libertarians talk a lot of shit about protest votes and voting to make a point not to win. In Reason’s defense, only two of the full time staff admitted to voting for Obama. But a lot of other self professed “libertarians” on the web did vote for Obama. Most of them I think were like Megan Mcardle and voted for him because they have weak personalities and wanted to fit in with their lefty friends.

  16. distrust fuels support for government control over the economy.

    I distrust the government; can’t we regulate that?

  17. Hey, for what it’s worth, the WSJ says he promises:

    To answer their concerns, he promised to allow funding only for what works.

    So, anyone else see a contradiction in his proposed spending and that statement? I mean, since we’ve pissed away, what, $800B thus far, obviously throwing money around doesn’t work, so he shouldn’t spend it, but he says he needs to spend it, but only on what works, but we’ve shown that spending doesn’t work.

    I guess I just need to shout “Change!” and disengage my rational thinking.

  18. In the process, we will put Americans to work in new jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced – jobs building solar panels and wind turbines; constructing fuel-efficient cars and buildings; and developing the new energy technologies that will lead to even more jobs, more savings, and a cleaner, safer planet in the bargain….

    As far as I can tell, every single one of those jobs can be “outsourced” (I assume he means overseas), with the sole exception of building constriction.

    [W]e will make the immediate investments necessary to ensure that within five years, all of America’s medical records are computerized….

    Aint gonna happen. Electronic medical records are the prime example, nay, the very genesis, of RC’z Third Iron Law:

    The less you know about something, the easier it is.

    Real EMR is fantastically, fabulously complicated and very, very hard to implement, because it requires cultural and workflow changes all through the health care process.

    Add this to the list of:

    Aint Gonna Happen.

  19. The first two aren’t ideological arguments about economics. And of course in the case of Thales, as many have already pointed out, his was an extremely important argument because it is scientific in its composition and different from the mythological explanations of a guy like Hesiod.

    It was a joke. I was comparing the arguments of the pre-Socratics about ontology with modern economic arguments, because at least at below expert level, that’s precisely what such arguments devolve into: arguments about personal preference for an ideology.

    The Friedman comment was partially facetious, though he did tend to emphasize the supply-side of production than the consumption side. I can put Laffer in his place if it makes you feel better.

    And trust me, I know Thales and Anaximenes were important, though they were more important IMHO by inaugurating empiricism with the first experiments and observational theories that did not include magical thinking, as opposed to their metaphysical speculations, which are mostly important as history and trivia.

  20. There are no philosopher kings up there

    What about Robert Byrd?

  21. Mad Max-

    IMO, a thriving civil society necessarily means that religion must tenaciously press government to mind its own business.

  22. “Politicians spent taxpayer money without wisdom or discipline, and too often focused on scoring political points instead of the problems they were sent here to solve.”

    of course obama would NEVER make that mistake. no way. no how. yes we can!

    sweet sweet irony.

    Right Wing Realist,

    see, i didn’t vote for obama. but even i think that is a rather ridiculous comment. do you honestly think a pres. mccain would be reducing gov’t spending right now? hardly. its like those idiots (on both sides) who said “can you imagine if gore was president?!” – yeah, he would have pursued the same exact same fucking policies…only dems would cheer and republicans would jeer.

  23. “What about Robert Byrd?”

    Or John Murtha

  24. “There are no philosopher kings up there

    What about Robert Byrd?”

    hmm, wouldn’t he be philosopher grand wizard?

    of course, as always, remember: democrats = enlightened

  25. I distrust the government; can’t we regulate that?

    We can. I hear they’re building a center just for that very problem, anyone who distrusts the new Obamanation will be…uh…invited.

  26. building constriction

    Funny typo.

  27. “see, i didn’t vote for obama. but even i think that is a rather ridiculous comment. do you honestly think a pres. mccain would be reducing gov’t spending right now? hardly. its like those idiots (on both sides) who said “can you imagine if gore was president?!” – yeah, he would have pursued the same exact same fucking policies…only dems would cheer and republicans would jeer.”

    Maybe so. We will never know. If that had happened, then people who didn’t vote for McCain would have been free to ridicule those who did. Further, there were other choices like not voting or voting for Barr. If you chose to vote for Obama, you should have to answer for the stupid shit he does or admit you made a mistake doing so.

  28. I distrust the government; can’t we regulate that?

    I know that was supposed to be a joke, but Obama actually created a new government department to…restrain the spending of other government departments!

  29. IMO, a thriving civil society necessarily means that religion must tenaciously press government to mind its own business.

    And, concordantly, refrain from fellating those in power with divine accession.

  30. We will modernize more than 75% of federal buildings

    More than 75% of commercial buildings are “modernized” at all times.

  31. “Maybe so. We will never know. If that had happened, then people who didn’t vote for McCain would have been free to ridicule those who did. Further, there were other choices like not voting or voting for Barr. If you chose to vote for Obama, you should have to answer for the stupid shit he does or admit you made a mistake doing so.”

    meh, you say potato, i say “know with the certainty required to wager the life of my first born child”

    but i take your point re criticism, barr and not voting. just assumed bc they were “right wing realist” they voted for mccain. DNVs and Barr voters cast the stones. mccain voters, you voted for the same thing with a different package…*looks in mirror. shakes head*

  32. Also, I’m so proud to not have voted in the presidential race.

  33. “but i take your point re criticism, barr and not voting. just assumed bc they were “right wing realist” they voted for mccain. DNVs and Barr voters cast the stones. mccain voters, you voted for the same thing with a different package…*looks in mirror. shakes head*”

    You think that but you don’t know that and never will. One of the beauties of losing is that you are not responsible for anything. If you win, you get the responsibility and have to face the facts if your guy fucks up.

  34. We will modernize more than 75% of federal buildings

    Good lord! First they plan on temporarily closing all the bridges into DC for the coronation. Now they are going to start construction on all the govt buildings on Constitution Ave.

    Won’t somebody please think of the VA commuters? NoVA voted D this time.

  35. I could summon some respect for the guy if he just issued a mea culpa: “Let’s face it, my party was just as culpable, as was I when I became a senator. And my campaign spun the truth of our Democratic party involvement, for political purposes, and successfully convinced the majority of voters that President Bush and the Republicans were solely responsible for this mess. In the spirit of bipartisanship, I’m here this morning to apologize and to tell you it won’t ever happen again. To show my sincerity, here’s a list of the top ten Democrat spenders and enablers, whom I urge their constituents to turn out of office at the next opportunity…”

  36. Yes, because it was libertarians that put Mao-Bama over the top.

    I went to a Reason event before the primaries, which were open primaries in Virginia and DC. About half the people there were voting for Obama in the Democratic primary (something like 30% were for Ron Paul). I imagine that something like 80% probably voted for Obama in the general election.

  37. Elemenope,

    I know it was a joke. My response was my way of telling you it was a stupid joke.

  38. Obama actually created a new government department to…restrain the spending of other government departments!

    Will their budget be derived solely from the “savings” they obtain from other departments?

    Government by cannibalism! I like it.

  39. The less you know about something, the easier it is.

    So true.

    It constantly amazes me (though it shouldn’t) when people propose the most grandiose plans that require extensive knowledge of complex engineering and scientific principles.

    When they’ve finished their spiel an ask me (as they sometimes will) what I think, I usually have to say “Gee, I really don’t know enough about that to be telling the people who do that how they ought to be doing it.”

  40. I know it was a joke. My response was my way of telling you it was a stupid joke.

    Ah. Well, to each his own humor.

  41. “In the process, we will put Americans to work in new jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced – jobs building solar panels and wind turbines; constructing fuel-efficient cars and buildings; and developing the new energy technologies that will lead to even more jobs, more savings, and a cleaner, safer planet in the bargain….”

    Quick, someone check the foreign source content of all the windmills and solar panels that have already been installed in the U.S.

    The claim that none of this stuff can be outsourced is nonsense.

  42. What is that old trope about history repeating itself first as tragedy and then as comedy? When Roosevelt took office, the entire federal government was even accounting for inflation the size of PBS. No kidding. So needless to say there was a lot of room to grow and all sorts of stuff that had never been tried and wasn’t being tried. When Johnson took office, there wasn’t any kind of national welfare program. So again, it was pretty easy to think of new ways to spend money.

    In contrast Obama inherits the largest government in the history of the world. I defy anyone here to think of a major area of life the Federal Government isn’t directly involved with or a major type of welfare program short of full blown socialized medicine that the federal government doesn’t already do. So just exactly what the hell is going to be “new” in Obama’s “new deal”?

    Democrats haven’t figured out and refuse to acknowledge that they are the establishment. They won over the last 80 years. Government exploded and entered into every phase of life and expanded beyond what someone like Roosevelt or even Johnson could ever have dreamed. That is the good news. The bad news is that you can only have one “New Deal” or one “Great Society”. Something can only be fresh and revolutionary one time. After that, you are just exanding something old or fighting the forces of counter revolution or in some cases of change and reform.

    All of these lefties who think it is 1932 or 1964 all over again are dellusional. If Ronald Reagan had really succeeded in creating a small government and we were back to 1920s or even 1950s era government, maybe there would be something new and revolutionary about Obama beyond the color of his skin. As it is, that didn’t happen and when you get down to it, all he can offer is more of the same only bigger or a return to policies of 40 years ago. Call it what you want but it sure isn’t Camalot or a New Deal.

  43. Gilbert Martin,

    We do not have to outsource any of this. If we had a system of public communal living areas and each dedicated themselves to a task for the greater good we could do all of these things a lot more cheaply than what it will cost now.

  44. Democrats haven’t figured out and refuse to acknowledge that they are the establishment. Yes, even under a stranglehold on government of Republicans the Democrats were still in charge. Funny, really funny.

  45. I hope all the libertarians that supported Bush, many of whom post at Reason, are happy with the policy they get.

    I am going to copy and paste that comment for the next four years. There [is] not anything libertarian about Bush, and there never was. This just proves that paleo libertarians are as sensitive to race-baiting politics as their right-wing counterparts.

  46. BTW, I voted for Paul, and then Barr. I’m just sick to death of the whole “all the libertarians who voted for Obama” bullshit. I don’t think there were substantially more libertarians who voted for Obama than there were for McCain.

  47. “Democrats haven’t figured out and refuse to acknowledge that they are the establishment. Yes, even under a stranglehold on government of Republicans the Democrats were still in charge. Funny, really funny.”

    Yes because the size and scope of government shrank so much over the last 8 years. Do your meds have to be taken with food?

  48. Yes, Baked Penguin, because anyone that didn’t support Obama must have supported Bush and therefore McCain, especially the libertarians.

  49. Politicians spent taxpayer money without wisdom or discipline, and too often focused on scoring political points instead of the problems they were sent here to solve.

    I was going to point out the irony in that statement amidst a plethora of throw money at it proposals but others have beat me to it. I knew this was going to happen and still think Obama is the better of two non-thinking ideological twits.

    I “threw my vote away” on Barr.

  50. Babar.

  51. “I don’t think there were substantially more libertarians who voted for Obama than there were for McCain.”

    Reason did a round table of prominant libertarian intellectuals from the net and Washington before the election asking them who they planned to vote for. Obama was by far the biggest vote getter. I think a lot of under 40 upper class or creative class white libertarians voted for him because their votes are driven more by culture than policy.

  52. “I “threw my vote away” on Barr.”

    No you didn’t. Every vote counts in the sense that the higher percentage of votes someone like Bar gets the more seriously people take his ideas. You have to start somewhere.

  53. What irks me is how many people took the position that since they hated Bush, therefore, they had to vote for Obama. Bush wasn’t running, for one, and the Democrats are at least as abusive of power as the GOP. Purported libertarians forgetting that little fact is what got me annoyed.

    I know joe and other party faithful (either side) get all-so annoyed at the pox-on-both-their-houses talk, but it’s really the right way to view things. . .if you care about freedom, anyway. Where I will agree is that the poxes should be different–I curse the Democrats with Ebola and the Republicans with the Black Death.

  54. GONNA RIDE MY PONY ALL DAY LONG

  55. I voted Obama because he was the closest thing to winning for change in the right direction. I am sure joe voted for Obama just because someone told him to or because Hillary lost the primary.

    I would have much prefered McKinney, LaRiva, Nader, Calero, Moore or others like them but I saw the establishment was strangling them from any positive attention that they should be getting.

  56. hound – my post was a cut-and-paste of Right Wing troll, substituting appropriate words. The point being that there were (almost) as many libertarians who voted for McCain as Obama.

    John, libertarian-ish, maybe. The liberal versions of Donderrrroooooo, without the screaming. Also, DC is (thankfully) not America, not that you don’t already know that.

    For the record, Pro Lib is right – the Ds and the Rs both suck. Parsing “who sucks more” is pointless.

  57. For the record, Pro Lib is right – the Ds and the Rs both suck. Parsing “who sucks more” is pointless.

    I usually agree with that.

  58. We start 2009 in the midst of a crisis unlike any we have seen in our lifetime – a crisis
    that has only deepened over the last few weeks.

    From an earlier thread –

    Ok, that’s enough of this bullsahit. To date, this recession is, hold on to your hats boys and girls, just a recession and nothing special.

    How many times have you heard self-serving, power seeking politicians and lazy dumbass sycophant pundits refer to this as “the worst economic crisis since the great depression”? Hundreds, right?

    Inflation 1975 – 9%
    Unemployment 1975 – 8.475% (average for year)
    Inflation 2008 – 1.1%
    Unemployment 2008 – 6.7% (November figure)

    OK, this time it’s just “a crisis unlike any we have seen in our lifetime”. Still bullshit.

    I’m saving this post so I can use it whenever the Democrats trot out the hyperbole about how fucking bad things are today. It’s too hard to type out the html links and not screw them up.

  59. John,

    I don’t begrudge people their Obama vote, if it was cast to get rid of McCain.

    My simple calculus: Vote for Obama, and the government wrecks the economy.

    Vote for McCain, and the govenrment not only wrecks the economy, it engages in brinksmanship with nuclear powers over things that aren’t important to us.

    The U.S. economy is doomed. All the voters who grew up attending government schools and getting their news from media members whose success is a function of their ability to maintain a symbiotic relationship with government officials have ensured that.

    The big difference between McCain and Obama was whether the economy would be further hobbled by additional wars.

  60. J Sub D,

    Are you aware of my riposte using the data from Shadow Stats later in the same thread?

    Remember you are comparing apples and oranges. The methods of calculating inflation and unemployment changed significantly in the past 20 years. Shadow Stats claims to use the old pre Reagan algorithms so that we get a more consistent picture.

    Under that rationale, things are at 1970’s levels of suckiness, and we haven’t had our Great Leap Forward yet…

  61. We would not have unemployment if we had a more responsive government in charge of the economy.

  62. Yes,
    we’ll put people to work repairing crumbling roads, bridges, and schools by eliminating
    the backlog of well-planned, worthy and needed infrastructure projects.

    Allow me to translate –

    Shovel ready bike paths and senior citizen centers, coming soon to a neighborhood near you!

  63. One of the weird things about the who-needs-more-poxing discussion in recent decades is that the parties both co-opt each others ideas when they feel they need to for electoral purposes, even when those ideas are fundamentally inconsistent with their platforms. In addition, there are real blindspots for both parties, where they are scared to vary from positions that really look more like the other side’s.

    For the Democrats, their blindspot is usually law enforcement and foreign policy/intelligence/military stuff. Even Carter, but especially Clinton, ran into a brick wall when it came to feeling the need to appear “tough”. I think Carter tried to avoid that, but he ran for cover and got very hawkish before the end. Democrats generally don’t avoid wars, don’t end questionable practices in law enforcement and intelligence, don’t end the war on drugs, etc.

    For the GOP, their blindspot has become all of the social programs. With the notable exception of the anti-welfare initiatives that began in 1994, there has been little in the way of social programs that the GOP hasn’t been willing to sustain or even to add to. Where the Democrats want to look tough, the Republicans don’t want to look mean.

  64. Kind of creepy how they Photoshopped Obama’s left arm out of that plate image.
    I smell a conspiracy. See? He’s no lefty!

  65. Are you aware of my riposte using the data from Shadow Stats later in the same thread?

    Not till you pointed it out. Thanks for the link. I’m not buying it lock, stock and barrel, nor am I totally discounting it. It’s a tad bit of reading/digesting to do on the fly.

    Still, I reached the age of mojority* in 1973 and this ain’t even close to as bad as the Ford/Carter Years. I know that much of the blame for that belongs to LBJ and Nixon governments. And I also know which party controlled the congresses that passed the budgets in all of the years since 1973.

    * a typo too effin’ good to correct.

  66. J sub D,

    For what it’s worth, I agree with you. This is not as bad as things got in the bottom of the 1970’s. I do, however, think that the picture is far less rosy than government stats claim.

  67. “The big difference between McCain and Obama was whether the economy would be further hobbled by additional wars.”

    What about Obama beyond wishful thinking makes you beleive he is less likly to engage in a war than McCain? Obama has kept Bush’s entire DOD staff, vowed to stay the course in Iraq and plans to send 30K or more troops into Iran. Further, Obama, unlike McCain will have the burden of proving to the world how tough he is. Worse still, if McCain would have gotten us in a way, he would have had the Democratic Congress to contend with. If Obama gets us into a war, the same people who spent the last 8 years screaming “no blood for oil! Stop this illegal war! will be buying liberty bonds talking about how Obama really is the new FDR. Do you honestly think people like Joe are going to look on any Obama foreign adventure with the same skepticism they would have had McCain won? No way. You watch, the first time Obama gets us into combat Joe will be on here making me sound like a peacenik. If anything Obama is more likly to get us into wars because there will be no one there to restrain him. Come on, like the Republicans are going to be an “anti war party”. The only Democratic President in the last 70+ years who hasn’t gotten the US into a war was Carter. Given all of that, I fail to see any reason to think Obama is less likly to get us into a war than McCain. Moreover, even if he was, the enemy still gets a vote. Even the biggest peacenik still has to defend the country when attacked.

  68. Make that 30K troops into Afghanistan.

  69. Simple, John, Obama may face external pressure to show how tough he is. How he will react to the external pressure is open to question, but there are many signs that he would be willing to stick to his guns in face of public pressure. Furthermore, he is capable of backing down when things start to go wrong, and capable of the oratory needed to sell his change to others.

    On the other hand, McCain was a truculent, raging psychotic, who turned every conflict into a fight for existence with a bad guy that needed to be obliterated.

    While Obama might invade Sudan or Somalia, McCain would be willing to attack Russia and China.

    Again, I am not saying Obama is going to be great. His appointment of Hillary Clinton shows that his foreign policy won’t be very different than that of George Bush. Nor did I ever consider voting for him. However, if one is trying to choose the lesser of two evils, from a libertarian standpoint, the scary-on-economics, bad-on-civil-liberties, and rotten-on-foreign-policy Obama stands head and shoulders above the the scary-on-economics, scary-on-civil-liberties and raving-psychotic-on-foreign-policy McCain.

  70. I live in Panama but the US’s problems do create instability for the whole world so I have to actually care about this wretched useless Obama. He will be as bad on personal freedom and economics and worse on foreign policy than George W. Bush and Bush was the worst president in US history.

    And for Panamanians, there is no more hated person in the world than Colin Powell. Obama might just be insensitive enough to make Colin Powell Ambassador To Panama.

    Within a week he’d get mailed back labelled parts 1-71

  71. The only way out of this is to challenge Obama in the Democratic Primary with a libertarian-minded Democrat like Wexler, running with Paul, Flake Rohrabacher, or Bilbray as VP as fusion of progressive/libertarian ideology.

    Emphasis on Personal Freedom and Peace. Start balancing the budget by scrapping all the wasteful wars and military shit, start supporting the dollar and then mixing and matching on the stuff the two sides disagree on

  72. Good thing about Wexler, also, is that he told AIPAC to go away and leave him alone because he was sick of supporting an expansionist Israel. So, he has no ties to them anymore.

    Also, Wexler doesn’t have any of that White Liberal Guilt ™ in him at all. He used to be a defense lawyer in South Florida and he’s seen it all. Not an innocent by any means.

    He’s also cream Obama in any debate because he’s very aggressive and Obama can’t handle that if the person is aggressive on ideology and the facts. Obama can be pleasant and times but he can also be so egotistical that he can become nauseatingly vulgar, I think.

    This week he showed it by being Mr Hawaii Pecs man preening like Miss Ecuador for the papparazzi while Palestinians were getting blown into strawberry sauce. Then on Tuesday he orchestrated this whole thing of putting that old fellow Burris through the worst humiliation of the guy’s life.

    As well-mannered as Obama seems he really lacks class in a fundamental way.

  73. “Simple, John, Obama may face external pressure to show how tough he is. How he will react to the external pressure is open to question, but there are many signs that he would be willing to stick to his guns in face of public pressure. Furthermore, he is capable of backing down when things start to go wrong, and capable of the oratory needed to sell his change to others.

    On the other hand, McCain was a truculent, raging psychotic, who turned every conflict into a fight for existence with a bad guy that needed to be obliterated.

    While Obama might invade Sudan or Somalia, McCain would be willing to attack Russia and China. ”

    the only thing i can muster in response to this ….interesting analysis is humor. good luck with that reasoning you just played. its almost coherent.

  74. I think Obama is well situated as the imperialist chickenhawk he is with two American wars on full boil plus the proxy war amongst Israel, Palestine and Lebanon. Plenty of action for him and Colin Powell to place their GI Joe action figures in.

    To be a peacekeeper in Sudan would require more personnel than the US has. Somalia, they could only try as a PR stunt, using tne Navy only.

    Obama, I don’t think, would ever aggress on Russia or Venezuela although I wish he would stop being so lippy about those countries because those countries are both sitting on a mountain of US government debt and loose USD and if Venezuela ever switched to a Euro or Swiss Franc board and dumped all it’s US Treasury paper on the market, you could kiss the dollar goodbye and you’d have rioting in every city town and hamlet in America.

    Obama is such a chickenshit that he was too scared to register for the draft in 1980 with at least a 5-year deferment in hand. I registered because I had the same available to me and I thought it would be grotesque not to register when I had the deferment and so many others didn’t. I had to at least show a tiny commitment to exposure, like say if Reagan didn’t get rid of the draft and didn’t pull out of Lebanon.

  75. As far as I can tell, every single one of those jobs can be “outsourced” (I assume he means overseas), with the sole exception of building constriction.

    I assume when Obama says he is going to “put Americans to work” on these things he means massive government subsidies for these industries, which would certainly discourage foreign competitors.

  76. dhex:

    “The answer is a thriving civil society, or in H&R terms, social repression.”

    get back in the closet for the good of the greater.

    why wouldn’t anyone take that deal?

    Maybe they don’t like the idea of people using social vigilantism to promote the mores they like. 😉

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