Economics

What's a Christ Figure Without a "Day of Reckoning"?

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The president has not even begun his non-State of the Union tonight, and already (at least according to leaked excerpts) he's full of shit:

We have lived through an era where too often, short-term gains were prized over long-term prosperity; where we failed to look beyond the next payment, the next quarter, or the next election. A surplus became an excuse to transfer wealth to the wealthy instead of an opportunity to invest in our future. Regulations were gutted for the sake of a quick profit at the expense of a healthy market. People bought homes they knew they couldn't afford from banks and lenders who pushed those bad loans anyway. And all the while, critical debates and difficult decisions were put off for some other time on some other day.

Which regulations? Seriously, let's name them. Here's our list; where's yours?

And "short-term gains"? What could be more short-term than pass my bill or else "our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse"? What could be a better example of putting off critical debate than trying to shut it down, and putting off difficult decisions by treating a loose-credit-based crisis with more loose credit?

Obama seems to have a difficult time shifting from campaign rhetoric–where drive-by mischaracterizations of political and ideological opponents are the coin of the realm–and governing, where a president in the midst of a crisis might just want to start talking honestly, instead of blowing smoke up the nation's collective arse about the 3.5 million jobs that will be "created or saved" (no really, think about it) as a result of his magic wand.

Consider this your open Obama/Jindal speech thread.

NEXT: Because Every Cancer Patient Needs a Calming Recipe!

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  1. Christ almighty, that’s because he believes his rhetoric.

  2. oh, he’s starting the excerpt!

  3. Obama has openned the first envelope Bush left him.

  4. My kingdom for a broken teleprompter tonight.

  5. yay everything’s fixed!

  6. It took 40 years of the grinding reality of East Bloc economic planning to force these people to grudgingly accept free-markets (and even that a mixed-market) as a useful, if distasteful tool to provide them plentiful goodies to bribe voters with, and play God through social engineering. It isn’t surprising the first economic ‘crisis’ would send them running back to what’s emotionally and intellectually confortable for them. They never were invested in free-markets.

  7. Biden looks a little tipsy back there. But hell, why wouldn’t he be?

  8. Thank god for those 56 cops; everyone remembers that dystopian classic, ‘Escape from Minneapolis’

  9. I don’t think that’s water in Biden’s glass.

  10. I thought easy credit was the problem!

  11. Biden may have a glass, but what ‘s that metal thing on the right next to Pelosi? A bar set?

  12. It was credit from banks, not government.

  13. Do you think Pelosi even knows that she’s on TV?

  14. I would actively campaign for any congressperson who had a bar set on his or her desk in the Capitol.

  15. “credit has stopped flowing the way it should”

    Not per this and this

    Things are still a bit higher than historic norms, but much better than they were last quarter.

  16. All I know is I don’t have enough bottles of Keith’s for this.

  17. Interior decorators are people too.

  18. Maybe a small business that can’t pay its workers needs to, I don’t know, go out of business? I feel like there’s a system for this.

  19. 30 yr fixed is 5.22% – you want young families to buy houses, let the prices drop.

  20. ‘drive and innovation’ in the financial sector is what got us to this point

  21. Why does my ass hurt?

  22. I’ll give him some credit for ‘we can’t solve everything’

  23. I wish I believed that politicians would have to give up things they want.

    Also, is he using public high schools to prove the efficacy of government intervention? What else, Amtrak?

  24. Loss of points for praising the GI Bill?

  25. The other thing I like about Joe Biden is that he only owns one tie.

  26. McCain/Palin would have been worse.

  27. I believe Germany, not America, invented the automobile. We popularized it.

  28. Could this speech feel any more xenophobic? Who gives a fuck if car batteries come from Korea?

  29. “the country that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it”

    Germany’s getting out of the car business?

  30. Bush couldn’t cure cancer.

  31. Obama’s going to cure cancer. Is there anything he can’t do?

  32. Bush wouldn’t let minority children finish high school.

  33. Someone is finally thinking of the children!

  34. Why is the president worried about schools? I mean, I like charter schools, and public school needs massive reform, but that’s no more Obama’s business than is my dinner choices tonight.

  35. Obama says “Stay in school kids or else!”

  36. Gotta go jerk off to Sarah Palin gun porno now.

  37. What was that about high school girls?

  38. I was just sitting here watching the non-state of the union and realized that my wallet just disappeared!

  39. universal GI bill!

  40. Do I understand this correctly that I need to go to college now?

  41. OMG fuck them all
    FUck them ALL

  42. The Biggest Deregulator was FDR.

    Why does everyone associate a REGULATION with a statute or the Federal Register ?.

    The REGULATION that required a bank to redeem a note upon demand by a commodity (usually gold or silver) is the BEST Regulation.

    The CONTRACT IS THE LAW. Not some politicians claiming they can hold some flunky “accountable” to follow their stupid rules.

    It would have been more valuable for the government to have guaranteed the value of ONE DOLLAR (ie ensure that if a bank would not redeem that ONE DOLLAR in specie on demand, it should be shut down, and its assets distributed to its creditors.)

    Instead of that, we have the blind alley of government trying to guarantee the “price level” –abstract aggregates.

    Obama should have had breakfast with Epstein in Chicago a few times.

  43. Finally something for me! Eliminating agricultural subsidies is something I can get behind.

  44. 2 trillion is roughly 7% of what will be spent over the next 10 years in nominal dollars.

  45. And that’s excluding fica stuff

  46. but that’s no more Obama’s business than is my dinner choices tonight.

    Being overweight is not just letting yourself down, it’s letting your country down! This is why I’m asking congress to send me senator Bartoli’s bill to save our children from a future of lard by banning all fat from every food.

  47. Health care is real, and it is coming to GET YOU.

  48. what about SCHIP?

  49. Matt– now we have no Adult Left Behind too!

  50. drive-by mischaracterizations of political and ideological opponents are the coin of the realm, etc.

    Don’t pick on the cripple.

    He has no capacity to imagine that anyone who doesn’t think whatever (little) he thinks about anything has any thoughts, so his figural opponents are never fully human, only lists of symptoms and sins.

    I blame video games.

  51. what about the market based carbon cap and trade just promised?

  52. What about that tobacco tax?
    will they be rebating it to “families earning less than $250k ?

  53. If this isn’t the State of the Union, then when do we have to endure the real State of the Union?

  54. For God’s sake will somebody strap Pelosi in her chair?

  55. 2 mins ago =

    Obama = “the checks are on the way”

    also, war is over

  56. w00t for GWOT!

  57. I’ll promise to cum in your mouth

  58. This could be fun.

    For the future of our country, we must have take out tonight? That’s why I’m asking Congress to send me six take-out menus of at least three different all-American restaurants. The country that invented pizza and chicken chow mein will not get out of the restaurant business!

  59. Navy Cross is not award they grant for charm.

  60. Kolohe — Are you some kind of economist or math nerd? Just asking!

  61. See, Matt, this is why you need that college degree. Everyone else is totally following along.

  62. Although I could be mistaken about what that Marine was wearing. I think those servicemembers were this group:http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2009/02/military_obamaguests_military_022409w/

  63. Matt-
    I’m also a very good driver.

  64. aaaaaaaaaand there’s your feel-good spread the wealth anecdote.

  65. hey, maybe they could have turned that school into a bunch of little charter schools…

  66. You know, a standing ovation used to mean something.

  67. it still does. It means your are a good little lap dog.

  68. Here’s hoping for a lot of broken promises.

  69. I hope Jindal really does know his exorcism stuff.

  70. A death of a thousand cuts by 1000 mini Smoot-Hawley’s.

  71. C’mon Campaign Bobby cast those Demons OUT!

  72. No one messes with Joe.

  73. The only thing that surprised me was that Obama and his good-time Donk buddies didn’t provide a boffo finish by singing this song:

    Remember when you ran away and I got on my knees and begged you not to
    leave because I’d go berserk?? Well…
    You left me anyhow and then the days got worse and worse and now you see
    I’ve gone completely out of my mind.. And..

    They’re coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!
    They’re coming to take me away, ho-ho, hee-hee, ha-haaa
    To the funny farm. Where life is beautiful all the time and I’ll be
    happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats and they’re
    coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!!!!

    You thought it was a joke and so you laughed, you laughed when I had said
    that loosing you would make me flip my lid.. RIGHT???
    I know you laughed, I heard you laugh, you laughed you laughed and
    laughed and then you left, but now you know I’m utterly mad… And..

    They’re coming to take me away, ha-haaa,
    They’re coming to take me away, ho-ho, hee-hee, ha-haaa.
    To the happy home. With trees and flowers and chirping birds and basket
    weavers who sit and smile and twiddle their thumbs and toes and they’re
    coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!!

    I cooked your food, I cleaned your house, and this is how you pay me back
    for all my kind unselfish loving deeds.. Huh??
    Well you just wait, they’ll find you yet and when they do they’ll put you
    in the ASPCA, you mangy mutt!!! And…

    They’re coming to take me away, ha-haaa.
    They’re coming to take me away, ho-ho, hee-hee, ha-haaa.
    To the funny farm, where life is beautiful all the time and I’ll be happy
    to see those nice young men in their clean white coats and they’re coming
    to take me away, ha-haaa!!!
    To the happy home, with trees and flowers and chirping birds and basket
    weavers who sit and smile and twiddle their thumbs and toes and they’re
    coming to take me away, ha-haa!!!
    To the funny farm, where life is beautiful all the time… (fade out)

    Hey, buddy!
    Yes officer..
    You a head?
    No, but I’m catching up, ha ha ha….

  74. Huh? Did Obama say something?!! Was there some sort of speech? Dang! Let me know if he said anything good.

  75. “now we have no Adult Left Behind…”
    Rarely was anything shown that wasn’t a left behind.

  76. Boy I’m glad I watched House re-runs!

  77. FDR can recommend blowing smoke up people’s asses/a permanent campaign as a winning strategy. Consider this fireside chat 2.0.

  78. uh… tax cuts! teh stimulus bill was corrupt! teh deficits weren’t our fault, we just “went along with them”! oh, btw, we can’t ever, ever decrease the military budget!

  79. Academy Award winning Jap movies on TCM!

    Fuck, I’m missing Rashomon.

  80. The key to understanding president 666 is to realize that virtually everthing he says is a flat out lie designed to obfuscate the fact that he what he’s doing is exactly the opposite of what he says he’s trhying to do.

    Thus 666 claims he doesn’t beleive in big government at the same time he’s running as fast as he can to grow it at an exponential rate.

    “New era of responsibilty” means rewarding the irresonsible people and punishing the responsible ones.

    “Fiscal responsibilty” means massive fiscal irresponsibilty not only at the federal level but doing everything possible to ensure increased irresponsibility at the state and local levels as well.

  81. Happy Mardi Gras! Flash your money, and Obama will throw you some beads.

  82. has obama mentioned publicly that he is deploying 17k troops to Afghanistan?

    you’d think that a faux state of the union address would at least offer a modest announcement, especially sinceit is very likely not all 17k will be coming home.

    How does a dem prez hide a deployment from his state of the union? not without a ton of msm help.

  83. Obama seems to have a difficult time shifting from campaign rhetoric-where drive-by mischaracterizations of political and ideological opponents are the coin of the realm-and governing

    I always said this was going to be a huge problem. Democrats haven’t had to govern until recently.

    From rendition to coercive interrogation to transparency to detainee rights, the change has either been cosmetic or nonexistent because no serious people believed those were real problems. And now libertarians get socialism, too!

    If it weren’t for a small, tentative move towards common sense on drug policy, this administration would be a total loss.

  84. The most insulting portion of the speech was when Obama proclaimed he would cure cancer. Doesn’t he know that thousands of the brightest minds have been working on this problem for decades. He just doesn’t understand the scope of this issue. In fact, it is insulting to our scientists and doctors to just state that you as a politician who has no idea of the many types and grades of cancer can just unilaterally cure it by decree.

  85. Obama chat aside, Jindal sucked a bunch. His anecdote about the Sherrif was weak.

  86. Katie: I’m old enough to remember Nixon’s “War on Cancer” in 1971. Obama’s announcement seems even stupider now.

  87. What a bunch of whiny infants.

    How does it feel that the generational catastrophe caused, in part, by your brilliant insights into the magical powers of market anarchy, are being rejected by a landslide majority in your country?

    You know it was a brilliant and persuasive speech. Some of you are aware that Obama is, in fact, a liberal, who knows how to talk to conservatives and libertarians. I’m sorry you need such coddling, but your ideas are ridiculous and fringe, and most of the country agrees with me.

    I for one could not be more delighted that the president of the united states is a pragmatic liberal rather than the alternative, which we’ve all endured for 8 years, a psychotic incompetent.

  88. Hey, if Kerry could make cripples walk, why can’t Obama cure cancer? (Wait, you mean Kerry didn’t make any cripples walk?)

  89. Uh, Tony?

    “a pragmatic liberal”

    LOL!

    For all his other issues, that phrase fits Bill Clinton far, far more than Obama, even his pragmatism was born more out of self-interested political calculation than anything else.

    Obama’s moderation and bipartisanship extend no further than his lips once the noises leave.

  90. I didn’t watch. I couldn’t. I can’t stand to listen to the guy or to look at him, although if I have to choose looking is better, because when he puts on his DETERMINED face his mouth purses just like those little rubber coin persons old men used to carry and it cracks me up, whereas if I listen to him or read his words I get either frightened, horrified, or disgusted.

    YOU GUYS, on the other hand, were a stitch. It was like reading a script for a Marx brothers show. Complete with the Margaret DuMont character, this time going by the name of Tony.

  91. …but your ideas are ridiculous and fringe, and most of the country agrees with me.

    Most of the country are “a bunch of whiny infants” who think they are entitled to a nice life no matter who has to be robbed, sacrificed, or otherwise fucked-over to provide it. Most of the country are like a bunch of savages every one of which is desperately scrambling to make sure he or she isn’t the one thrown into the volcano. If they run out of food, they can always eat each other.

  92. Still have a job?

    Obama saved it for you.

  93. What a bunch of whiny infants.

    How does it feel that the generational catastrophe caused, in part, by your brilliant insights into the magical powers of market anarchy, are being rejected by a landslide majority in your country?

    Tony,

    Its going to take the jaws of life to get your head out of your ass. There is nothing moderate about you liberals today. I wished it was otherwise but the fact almost every damned democrat went along with Porkilus shows that moderates no longer exist in your party.

    There are various shades of right wing among the different Republican politicians from traditionalist to right-centrist and there is McCain right smack in the center, and then a light year to the left is your bunch stuck on Planet Bat Shit Crazy endlessly jabbering your weirdo hostility to markets.

    So your old dinosaur party won an election, big fucking hairy ass deal. It doesn’t change the fact that your ilk is blissfully ignorant of what you are doing. It means nothing except Bush was an extreme incompetent. Since sanity has left your tent, you’ll blow it in four.

    Fuck you Democrats, and Fuck you Republicans for giving those parasitic bastards an opening to wedge through.

  94. Why does my ass hurt?

    ‘Cause you got A.S.S.R.A.P.E.D., son.

  95. Since sanity has left your tent, you’ll blow it in four.

    And as a reward, Americans will give ’em eight. You know, four more to make it right again.

  96. I wish someone would inform BO and his syncophants that he is President of the country not a high school speech and drama club. I really don’t give a shit that he can according to some give a great speech. The question is what does he say and what he says is just meaningless bullshit. Matt rightly points out the utter crap that is the substance of his speech.

    The media is what it is. They fell in love with the cool black guy and did everything they could put him in as HNIC. Well, now that the election is over, you would think one or two of them would actually start being reportors again and actually call BO on the utter meaningless bullshit he puts out. I guess that is where Welch and I just don’t understand the times. We both think the President ought to at some point move beyond the drive by bullshit of the campaign and at least in his first year actually say something. To the media it is always a campaign. It is always a new day to worship at the alter of BOdom. We have a President who is in completely over his head and when he is not lying is fucking up on a daily basis and all these clowns can do is talk about how cute he is how wonderful it is that he is black and what a great speech that was. This country is cursed with a completely shallow, vaucus elite and chattering classes.

  97. The man does deliver a good speech and reads teleprompters well. But he has not stopped campaigning. How he governs has yet to be revealed. His cabinet selecting left a great deal to be desired.

  98. “Thus 666 claims he doesn’t beleive in big government at the same time he’s running as fast as he can to grow it at an exponential rate.”

    Er, wasn’t that W?

  99. Seeing, Obama increased the size of the government more in one month that Bush did in 8 years.

  100. I pity anyone who actually wanted to watch the Obama speech. You’d do yourself a favor by just reading the damn thing in the paper – you save 40 minutes by skipping the theatrics.

    Anyone who wanted to see Jindal’s speech needs medical attention at an asylum.

  101. I think reason needs a slashdot style system where I can make sure that all future posts by Matt Welch slips by me without having to read it. For the love of all that is unholy Reason, if you’re going to ask me to subscribe to your damn magazine, at least have writers who don’t froth at the mouth and whine like a 6 year old who got told to wait for their frakking birthday present.

    Maybe you live in an America where everyone is doing fantastic and All the corporations are working in harmony with their workers to make a better tomorrow, but last time I looked, I’m seeing companies who’s *sole* goal was to inflate their stock value and leverage themselves with reckless regard for long term financial health.

    What the hell was America doing by basing so much of their wealth on a housing market whose sole value is determined, not by a tangible, rational set of standards, but simply by how much someone is willing to pay for the house at that moment. So all this money is tied up in land and real estate, and it vanishes when the realization comes that the market is over priced, and there is way too much supply for the demand.

    How did we get such an over supply of housing? and how in the hell did so many investments get intimately tied to the real estate market? Let alone how in the hell did everything get so over leveraged that we can’t even figure out if we have a banking system at all?

    You can say let the banks fail, but only if you’re ready for the US economy to collapse in a deflationary death trap that would make the great depression look like a small summer cold.

    Government is too large, but to rely upon the good nature of man when he or she has power over others, and to have no oversight or balance is to beg for a persons base instincts to take over for personal gain. That’s great if you’re the one on top, but pretty damn wretched otherwise.

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