Economics

It's the Economy, Stupid

Understanding Obama's plummeting approval ratings

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The story goes that a dog food company brought out a new mix, which sold poorly. The people in charge tried new ads. They tried different packaging. They targeted particular consumers. Nothing worked.

The chief executive called in his top managers and demanded an explanation. The reply: "Dogs hate it."

With his approval ratings falling, his party improbably losing a Massachusetts election, and his legislative agenda derailed, President Obama is now subject to elaborate diagnoses of where he went wrong. He is too liberal or not liberal enough. His health care reform is too ambitious or too timid. He is a closet radical or a flunky for Wall Street.

It is no surprise to hear journalists, commentators, and political operatives spin theories for his problems. That is what they get paid to do. Nor is it unexpected that their explanations invariably support their own agendas. You will never hear a conservative say the president could succeed by being less conservative, or a liberal suggest that he really needs to accommodate Republican concerns.

But in this case the analyses are about as relevant as Obama's horoscope. The simplest explanation is the best one. If dogs hate a dog food, nothing else matters. If Americans are afflicted with a dismal economy, they are not going to be enchanted with their leaders, particularly the most prominent one.

Decades from now, students of history unfamiliar with Harry Reid and Scott Brown will have no trouble grasping how a special election went badly for the party in power. All they will have to do is look at unemployment when Obama was elected and when Massachusetts went to the polls.

Between October 2008 and December 2009, the rate rose from 6.6 percent to 10 percent nationally. In Massachusetts, it went from 5.5 percent to 9.1 percent. Guess what? Nobody likes it, and voting against the Democratic candidate was an easy way to express that discontent.

The connection between political fortunes and material concerns is not exactly a revelation. A sour economy is what torpedoed Jimmy Carter in 1980 and George H.W. Bush in 1992. It's also the primary reason that the Republicans lost in 2008 to Obama—not his eloquence or policy positions.

It is deeply unfair to expect politicians to take a sickly economy and instantly restore it to health. Yet people, including politicians, act as though elected officials have magic dust that they can sprinkle on the productive sector anytime they want.

A spokesman for Harold Ford Jr., who is expected to run for the New York Senate seat held by Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, charged the other day that "unemployment is rising and the economy around the state isn't improving on her watch." He didn't mention that the same would be true if that office were occupied by Ford or John Maynard Keynes or Saint Francis of Assisi. Blame Gillibrand because unemployment has risen? Ford might as well blame her because the tide is out.

Obama, being president, has more effect on our economic fortunes, but even his power is modest, particularly in the short run. His policies, smart or stupid, are not the chief reason unemployment has gone up, and they will not be the chief factor when it goes down. But just as he gets the blame now, he will get the credit then.

At that point, many of the qualities blamed for his current unpopularity will take on a different appearance. Instead of looking cold and detached, he will be seen as calm and wise. Instead of appearing ineffectual, he will exude competence. Policies denounced as pallid or radical will seem just right.

Consider Ronald Reagan. In 1982, thanks to a brutal recession, his approval rating fell to a puny 43 percent. Two years later, he was re-elected by a landslide.

Reagan hadn't suddenly transformed himself into a different president. The country didn't undergo an ideological shift. He was merely the beneficiary of a turn in the business cycle. Maybe his policies helped, and maybe they didn't. Either way, the rising prosperity cast him in a flattering light.

Obama's approval rating is higher than Reagan's was in 1982. So neither his critics nor his supporters should make too much of the current polls. Right now, he is stumbling in the dark. By 2012, it may be morning in America.

COPYRIGHT 2010 CREATORS.COM

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  1. It’s the stupid statism. Hopey/changey doesn’t create jobs (in the real world) and it doesn’t help the economy. The fake “budget freeze” crap won’t help either.

  2. Our political class has worked itself into a particularly nasty bind here. The best way they can cause an economy to grow is to enforce contracts, punish fraud, and otherwise get out of the way. Of course, then they will be accused of doing nothing..especially by their cronies who want lots of “stimulus” or “bailout” money thrown their way.

    1. The thing is, isn’t that (mostly) what Bush tried? An economy not properly regulated by the government (or not regulated at all) will suffer from extreme boom and bust cycles, such as the current situation, which was caused by private, non-governmental over-speculation in real estate. I guess that’s what libertarians want, but that’s not what most ordinary people want.

      An argument that many people will make (including myself) is that the government should artifically slow down the economy during boom times and artifically boost it during the bad times, to smooth things out.

      1. Uh no, check basel 1 & 2, monetary policy being way too loose.

        Watch this, simple explanation:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0nERTFo-Sk

        1. Isn’t having any monetary policy at all regulation? It’s certainly not “getting out of the way”.

          1. Now you’re getting it.

            It’s the attempt to manage that creates the boom bust cycle.

            Simply fiat credit makes people think there are more resources available than really are.

            They then embark on projects based on that assumption. But of course it’s not real resources it’s just more paper and electrons. So there is no real demand and enterprises fail and this triggers a domino effect; a crash. But it was the artificially low price of risk that set up the dominos.

            Or you could believe the Disney economists in DC that tell us it’s just some crazy random mania that strikes economies.

            Animal Spirits, yeah. It’s all because of Animal Spirits!

            1. In other words THE FED.

            2. In other words THE FED.

      2. The meme that Bush ushered in an era of deregulation is completely false. Bush greatly increased the federal government’s regulatory apparatus.

        1. Yes, and the cannard that Bush deregulated the banks and so created the environment of banks being able to risk commercial assets. That deregulation took place in 1999.
          The federal government has been bailing out “too big to fail” enterprises for decades. Investors, corporations, banks, and lenders simply responded to conditions created by the federal government. They knew they had the backing of the federal government $. They knew they weren’t really risking their own money.
          One of the greatest salesmen of all time, Joe Girard said; “Fear of loss is greater than the desire for gain.”
          If any of the above enterprises had feared losing their own money they would have done better risk calculation and management.
          Free markets punish bad risks and reward good ones. A good risk is an outcome. Government has no way of predicting outcomes; i.e. Stimulus $.
          Besides which, government never learns from their mistakes because they never lose anything, except elections.

      3. Ugh… No Geotpf. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

  3. Right now, because of leadership in Washington, the business world sees an uncertain future. Will my business be burdened with new regulations? Will I be subject to higher taxes? Am I going to be forced to pay for health insurance for my workers? This uncertainty leads to employers wary about hiring, about growing their business, which is growing the economy.

    An ideologically entrenched academic is the absolute last thing the economy needed right now, and the business world knows it. And a psuedo-populist, reality-disconnected Congress is not helping.

    So, yes, while it is, in fact, the tanking economy that has undone the fortunes of the party in power, the Obama Administration has to own a huge chunk of why. And hopefully the next guy or gal will learn from those mistakes.

    1. You certainly can’t repeal the business cycle but you can sure make it worse by increasing government meddling.

      That’s the part Chapman leaves out.

      It’s not just a matter of presidents sitting there doing nothing and either getting the benefit or blame from a business cycle that would be exactly the same regardless of who WAS sitting there and what they were doing.

      You can’t make any business cycle better than a pure hands off approach but you can certainly make it worse by attempting to “fix” it.

      1. The business cycle is the result of intervention, especially tampering with the money supply

      2. Of course you can repeal the business cycle if you outlawed fractional reserve banking. (which I don’t suggest)

        Banks will always be tempted to leverage themselves. But if we don’t bailout banks there is a natural baffle to ‘irrational exuberance’ and panics are contained and not catastrophic.

        You can look at the period between the 2nd and 3rd national banks. There were runs but they were blips.

        All you need to do is do away with the Fed, allow the interest market to work, and for regulation just insist banks make publish much they are leveraged. If you want to put your money at a bank that’s leveraged 20 to 1, because they offer great returns, fine. If it pays off great. If they go bankrupt that’s on you too.

  4. Yesterday,Foxnews on the teevee was giving results of a poll they had recently taken. The thing that stuck out to me was that 43% of those polled said they would vote for Obama’s re-election. I was a bit shocked that the number was that high.

    1. Expect that number to go higher when voters get acquainted with the turd the other party puts up for 2012.

      1. You sir, are an idiot. Obama is going down in flames.

        1. I can’t wait to vote for Mike Huckabee, he makes my leg tingle. Ditto for Romney, Palin, Jindal, et al.

          Maybe Mary Beth Buchanan will run, I’d cream my jeans.

        2. I am an idiot, but not for the reason you think.

        3. Piss off, JohnD. No matter how shitty Obama is doing, the Republicans are still very likely to fuck things up by nominating a turd. In fact, I expect nothing but turds in the primaries.

          1. There is no way that Obama loses in 2012. The Republicans will nominate a Kerry or a McCain or a Dole or a Dukakis or a Monale. That, plus the power of incumbency, as well as Obama’s skill at campaigning, guarantees an Obama victory. See Bush, 2004, for an example of this in action.

      2. Agree, seriously would you rather have huckabee or palin?? Im not too sure. What “true” fiscal conservative can the republicans pick??? I dont see anyone with a real shot at winning the nomination who is a real fiscal conservative or not a religious populist.

        1. If Congress somehow isn’t firmly under GOP control by then, then there is no way in hell I’m voting anything other than idiot Republican in 2012. Gridlock, in one form or another, is our only hope.

          Well, I suppose if the LP actually had a decent candidate, I might keep my LP presidential voting streak alive.

          1. The Democrats will not lose either house of Congress in 2010. It looks like they will take significant hits though, losing five Senate seats or so, and a few dozen seats in the House, but they will almost certainly retain their majorities in both chambers.

            Of course, voting for the LP candidate for president is voting to not to vote, voting to not affect the outcome of the election.

            1. “The Democrats will not lose either house of Congress in 2010.”

              No, but they’ll lose more than enough seats to ensure gridlock. That’s all that’s necessary. Hell, they couldn’t get shit done with a supermajority.

            2. It’s important that you continue to believe this:)

        2. I “true” fiscal conservative would have to either slash SS, Medicare, or defense….and by “slash”, I mean chop off at least three limbs, not a haircut.

          None of them has the balls, even if they actually believed it was the right thing to do.

      3. I agree. I can’t imagine even thinking about voting for any Republican who has an outside chance at getting the nomination. Looks like another election where I’ll either vote Libertarian or just stay home and veg.

    2. Never underestimate the stupidity of the American people,

    3. The business cycle is the result of intervention, especially tampering with the money supply

  5. One thing, Obama’s insistence on transforming the economy will most likely extend the recession.

  6. I want to tear my hair out every time some moron in the MSM talks about how the people want Obama to focus on jobs, as if lack of activism were his only mistake.

    ‘Focusing’ doesn’t mean shit, becasue anything O will do will be detrimental because he has a fundamentally broken view of how the world works.

    1. Unfortunately, that broken view is one that is shared by most of the population. We humans are a tribal species by nature, and look to the leader of the tribe to take care of us and tell us what to do.

      With apologies to Locke, the idea that if each person looks out for himself and those dear to him, that society will function perfectly well without an all-powerful leader, is a counterintuitive and fundamentally unnatural one for humans to hold. That’s why liberty rarely appears in history, and once it does it usually gets squashed almost immediately. Yeah, we’ve had 200+ years of it here in the US, but most of that time we’ve been coasting on the momentum from the unique moment in history when our nation was conceived.

      I can hardly imagine what the Constitution would look like if the politicians of today wrote it. I guess the EU constitution monstrosity gives a good approximation.

      1. I appreciate the Locke reference, but I disagree strongly with how you stated your case:

        “the idea that if each person looks out for himself and those dear to him, that society will function perfectly well without an all-powerful leader, is a counterintuitive and fundamentally unnatural one for humans to hold”.

        The truth is exactly the OPPOSITE of what you say. It is absolutely INTUITIVE that one’s family will care for one (why? because one can see and feel one’s family ACTUALLY caring for one) and NATURAL (i.e. from nature… see how puppies turn toward their doggie mother, gravid with milk, rather than trying to suckle passing chickens) that people SHOULD NOT/WOULD NOT expect help from some nameless, faceless, unknown “leader” entity rather than their family or close community.

        It is a LEARNED (cultural, environmental, whatever you want to call it) behavior to associate your well-being with a far off “leader-type” who neither knows you nor vice-versa. To expect help from this quarter is more truly what is “unnatural and counterintuitive” to human reason.

        1. My blood pressure was rising from some of the idiocy on display here, so thanks for the amusing mental image of “puppies … trying to suckle passing chickens.”

      2. It’s always best to look to our closest relatives when trying to figure out what is “natural” to us, so when the chimpanzees crown their leader I’ll believe you….

      3. My blood pressure was rising from some of the idiocy on display here, so thanks for

    2. “Focus on jobs” should be understood as a polite euphemism for “drop failed health care.” I doubt Congress will do anything about Obama’s proposals anyway.

      One of the President’s problems is that he’s proud that he doesn’t listen to the voters. Voters have sent the message in the polls, in the results in Virginia and New Jersey, and now with Scott Brown. And he’s still talking about it (along with Cap and Trade). He’s just like the Terminator, endlessly menacing people with atrocious ideas. If he doesn’t stop, the voters will just punishing him until he has no choice.

    3. If only the folks in DC could figure this out, we would be eternally grateful…
      Our only hope is a divided govt. Republicans hold one branch and Democrats the other. I can’t believe it will take 8 years (out of last 10) of one party rule to get this basic fact through folks thick skulls!! They are all scumbags who are intent on stealing money from group A or B to give to their respective friends and interests. The minimum amount that they can steal is achieved when they are deadlocked in selecting BOTH the target and beneficiaries.

    4. What does “focus on jobs” really mean? For most people, I expect it means a desire for statist meddling and entitlements.

  7. I don’t think this analysis takes the intensity of opposition to Obama’s statist policies into account. Not only is the economy bad, which hurts the Democrats on a “typical” level, but the solutions they propose seem both an order of magnitude worse than the current situation and inconsistent with Americans’ traditional preference for liberty.

    1. Unfortunately most of the intense opposition to Obama is characterized by a hatred which doesn’t offer any coherent or palatable alternatives. The ‘Obama is an Arab’ crowd can whip itself into a frenzy but alienates everyone else (and rightly so). The ‘Obama is a statist’ opposition is burdened by the fact that the republican candidates they support are too.

  8. This piece seems a bit like moral equivalency, as if what Ronald Reagan was doing in 1982 is the same as what Obama is doing now. I think this article sucks.

    1. +1

      I could not have said it better.

    2. I agree.

    3. You’re right.

    4. I don’t think that’s what he’s saying. The author is making the observation that what Obama does or does not do doesn’t really affect the things that the majority of voters care about most, that no one should count the man out — especially if there is a chance the economy can recover.

      The DOW is back over 10,000; taxes are flat. If those remain unchanged, and unemployment drops below 8 percent and stays there until 2012 he’ll likely be reelected.

  9. “Consider Ronald Reagan. In 1982, thanks to a brutal recession, his approval rating fell to a puny 43 percent. Two years later, he was re-elected by a landslide.”

    Yep: and he was willing to accept the political pain his policies caused in 1982-3 in order to fix the economy.

    If there were any hope that this president’s policies would actually improve the economy in the next two years, you would have a point. But I beg leave to doubt that they will.

    1. You’re right. Reagan assumed office saying “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

      His policies amounted to less government interferrence with the economy. That’s what allowed the American people to create the prosperity Reagan expected. In other words, he did great things by doing less. http://historyhalf.com/the-reagan-deficits/

      1. In a lot of ways, Reagan wasn’t the limited government, free market, fiscal conservative that he claimed to be. See drug war, for example. Or tinkering with tax credits and bullshit like that to manipulate the market.

  10. No, it’s the stupid, stupid.

    Not the stupid of a natural stupidity, but the stupid of an educated idiocy, bred by years of leftist ideological indoctrination.

  11. While I agree with some of what Mr. Chapman writes, I think he’s ignoring the essential point that Obama’s entire economic agenda is anti-business, anti-growth, anti-investment and anti-employment. This is coupled with a fiscal policy that is creating tremendous debt and setting us on the road to a ruinous inflation IF the economy ever does get turned around in the face of Obama’s war against it.

    All of this contrasts mightily with what Reagan’s agenda was in 1982, when he was cutting taxes drastically and Paul Volker at the Federal Reserve was fighting to wring inflation out of the system.

    With all due respect to Mr. Chapman, to imply that these two radically different agendas may result in roughly the same economic outcome is to confess an ignorance of economics.

    Obama is determined to drive over the cliff — which would be fine with me, except he plans to take the American economy with him.

    Our nation remains in grave danger.

  12. To suggest that all of Obama’s problems, including losing a Massachusetts Senate seat, is totally due to the economy is laughable analysis. In fact it is so laughable that it strikes me as wishful thinking.
    Obama’s worldview is wrong, and that leads to failed policies. The people of Massachusetts voted against Obama’s failed policies.

    One thing the pundits never mention when discussing Obama’s sinking poll numbers is that he retains absurdly high approval numbers in the black community (95% in some polls). When you realize that and see him polling in the mid to high 40s, that should really tell you something.

    Based on his preening, whining, blaming, lecturing performance last night, I don’t think his numbers will go up.

    1. No, the people of Massachusetts voted for a centerfold model who drove a pickup over somebody who ran the worst campaign since a certain man named Mr. McCain.

      1. And thank goodness they did…

      2. Well, it’s hard to run a good campaign when your slogan is “I’m a fascist bint who railroaded innocent people”.

  13. As a couple people alluded to above: It’s the statism, stupid. It’s NOT the economy. I’ve been to about half a dozen town hall meetings over the past year; only ONE person (out of the hundreds) mentioned unemployment as a concern. People are furious about the takeovers of banks, automakers, student loan programs, and the attempt (God forbid) to take over health care. They’re livid at the lying and backroom deals which are worse than ever. They’re sick of the corrupt politicians who give themselves sweetheart deals and then ruin the American economy, i.e. forcing banks to give politically correct, ACORN-pushed NINJNA loans (google it) and which led to the housing crash. They’re sick of the cap and trade nonsense, the climate change hoax, the election fraud and phony voter registration and all the rest of the leftist agenda that Obama pushes with his stubborn radical agenda.

    For once, it’s NOT the economy. Americans know that if this godawful government would sit down and shut up — gridlock IS our only hope!! — that things would get much better.

    It’s the leftist statism, stupid.

    1. “Mom” is absolutely correct. The anger is not merely over unemployment — the anger is at the blatant attempt to squash our remaining freedoms by having government seize control of vast chunks of our economy, including energy production, banking and finance, automotive, and the entire health care system.

      The man is a power-lusting, dangerously delusional leftist out to sieze control of as much of the private sector as he can get away with.

      He’s a looter, pure and simple.

      1. LOL. He’s doing exactly the same things the ‘conservative’ bush did.

        1. Careful with that!!

          Yes, Pres. Bush ticked off conservatives (like me)with his vast spending increases, new government programs, amnesty plan for illegals, etc. All that is true.

          But he put Roberts and Alito on the Court. If Al Gore had been president for two terms the court would have only two Justices who care what the written Constitution actually says.

          Until we can pursuade our neighbors to vote for hard core fiscal conservatives like Reagan for every office, we should be willing to give Bush his props.

        2. The same things that libertarians called him out on, you mean?

        3. Which is why McCain lost because Obama was able to paint him with the Bush brush.

          And the media protected him from inspection so the electorate had no idea Obama was four times worse than Bush.

  14. Disgusted by the premise of this article. Sure, some people are stupid enough to fall for whatever changes the unemployment rate in the short term, but if that were everyone, there would be no use for reason.com.

    If this ignoramus voter view were entirely correct, Ben Nelson would have been a hero back home in Nebraska. Health care cost B.O. more support than the unemployment rate in year one. The work of the Tea Party and educational outfits such as Reason is not all for naught–some people do in fact have some electricity running through their gray matter.

  15. Still my liberal friends are posting to each other on facebook about how inspired they were by the speech. Guess, it’s true love.

  16. Obama is boring. I can’t bring myself to watch his speeches even for the mock value. Last night I watched Alfred Hitchcock’s 1940 movie Foreign Correspondent instead. Now that was a good use of my time. There is a great line where new reporter “Haverstock” says he wants to talk to Hitler to see if he something interesting to say about the looming war in Europe. Great stuff.

  17. Chapman seems ignorant. Economic policy effects the economy. You take too much money from a business or make a bunch of confusing regulations that business will hire less, go out of business or new start ups won’t start up at all. You get out of the way and cut red tape then businesses have more money, they’ll hire more, make more of a profit and there will be more start ups. Thats the simple version.

    1. Yeah Chapman ! Bet you never thought of that huh ?!

  18. I get what you’re saying, Steve, that a bad economy is bad for incumbents period, but to say their policies are meaningless is not only false but historically blind. Reagan enacted a significant tax cut that jump-started the economy and made it clear he wanted to restore more economic freedom to business. Obama has been hostile to all business small and large, and his extreme meddling and talk of punitive bank taxes has panicked investors, so people aren’t hiring as much till the dust settles; this is kind of obvious. All his ideas about how to manage an economy are catastrophically wrong, and he brought in losers like Geithner who may be just as bad. He also spent all his political capital on a health care scheme that again spooks business, and that the public vehemently doesn’t like. Others have said it and I’ll say it again: Obama’s cockeyed worldview is incompatible with economic prosperity and that’s the biggest thing souring voters on him. If he had not inherited a recession, he would still have caused one, and he has no power to pull us out because he will not embrace a free-market, pro-growth vision that is anathema to him.

    As for Gillibrand, she’s done little in the interest of the state she represents (mine) and has gone along with policies that dealt major damage to Wall Street, therefore to NYC, therefore to the state. Nobody elected her to the Senate; she was selected by a second-string Governor who nobody likes. She isn’t to blame for the mess the state is in, but she has no ideas to help fix it and votes in lock-step with measures that will worsen the damage. Any predator with a brain would try to pull her out of the herd. If Schumer keeps going along with this “Wall Street is evil” demagoguery, he’s likely to feed someone’s cubs too when it’s his turn to face the polls.

  19. A huge chunk of people will never vote for Obama no matter what. Whether it’s his race, his party, his policies, whatever, they’ll never vote for him. That’s not the question.

    The question is why the massive swing in his popularity has happened. Most of those people probably couldn’t tell you about the particulars of his policies. They just know that things aren’t getting better, even though the media is trying to sell that idea pretty hard. And the President gets undue blame and credit for it. If Obama was making his proposals and the economy was turning around, his rating would be fine.

    I think Chapman’s analysis is spot on.

    1. The question is why the massive swing in his popularity has happened.

      I doubt his popularity will get much lower – what’s left is probably pretty much True Believers.

      The decline is the group of independents, blue-collar Dems, squishy Repubs, and idiot libertarians who were taken in by his schtick. The past year has pretty much stripped the illusion away, and they are pissed.

      1. I don’t know man… My dad is slowly losing the faith, give him another 2 years of stagnation and we’ll see what happens.

      2. I don’t know man… My dad is slowly losing the faith, give him another 2 years of stagnation and we’ll see what happens.

    2. “If Obama was making his proposals and the economy was turning around”

      Impossible.

  20. “It is deeply unfair to expect politicians to take a sickly economy and instantly restore it to health.”

    What if they expect themselves to do so?

    The low support for democrats isn’t just a kneejerk reaction to the economy, its because they keep trying to convince voters they are god.

    1. Yes. People wouldn’t be ‘disapointed’ if they hadn’t been led to believe it would be different. But of course no candidate could run on a platform of ‘meh, it’s gonna be another 3 to 8 years before we’re out of this no matter what I do.’

  21. What a simplistic article, and I normally agree with Chapman. Of course the economy is a factor, but it’s not the only one.

    It’s true Obama didn’t cause the recession, but it is also quite possible people think Obama is going about it all wrong by seizing control of large parts of the economy, spending more than Bush and printing way too much money.

    They are also annoyed with how his rhetoric (let alone campaign promises) often don’t match his actions, how he seems to have no respect for anyone who disagrees with him (a large percentage of the country), how he still blames Bush for everything, and how he is obsessed with pet projects while Afghanistan and the job situation get worse.

    I have trouble believing that those don’t contribute to his tanking numbers.

  22. Yes, it’s that condescending smugness that grates. Always saying that people are frustrated, angry. No one opposes him on principle, it’s their childish emotions. But to be fair, i do get angry when I listen to the arrogant little prick.

  23. He does not know where to go, He is just throwing any and every thing he can to fend off his critics from the left and the right. He talks about spending freeze while talking about a 200 billion jobs bill. Off shore drilling and nuclear energy? it will never happen. He is done and sinking fast. His narcissistic attitide will be his desmise. The Bizzaro President knows no other way. Saul Lewinsky rules for radicals can’t help him.
    Check out http://www.suckitupcrybaby.com

  24. “It is deeply unfair to expect politicians to take a sickly economy and instantly restore it to health. Yet people, including politicians, act as though elected officials have magic dust that they can sprinkle on the productive sector anytime they want.”
    It’s because they do have the solution, they just don’t want to use it. They can cut taxes, cut spending, cut regulation, but everyone of those things also cuts their power and influence.

  25. Thank you Mr. President for selling out America to:

    Brazil: http://online.wsj.com/article/…..24166.html

    Thank you Mr. President for selling out America to:

    Japan:
    http://www.manufacturing.net/a…..?id=238590

  26. Obama is a lying, racist, Marxist sack of garbage. He hates this country and is doing his damnedest to destroy it. Unfortunately for the rest of us, he’s got a lot of help from the looters and leeches that sixty years of mollycoddling and easy living have produced.

    Obama hasn’t the faintest idea of how a real business works or what it takes to produce wealth. Like most people who haven’t ever produced anything worthwhile, he wants the trappings of the affluent life without doing the work it takes to get them. He just “wants to eat his waffle.”

    America will be damned lucky to escape in one piece from the damage this fool and his Democrat Party accomplices are doing to our finances. No one under 45 will ever receive a dime from Social Security despite paying into it for more than 20 years. If the USG stopped spending more than the country takes in taxes RIGHT NOW we would be another twenty years of hard work and higher taxes getting back to where we were in the early 1990’s.

    The 52% of Americans who voted for this bastard son of a slut (insults, yes, but truth is a defense to libel) are going to live in a poorer, more angry and more dangerous country because of that action.

    Unfortunately for those of us who early on recognized this looter for what he is, we’re going to have to live in it too. That’s why lots of us are procuring and storing up ammunition by the multiple caseload. We’re getting prepared to “welcome” Mr. Obama’s looting friends when they come to “redistribute” the wealth they were too damned lazy to earn themselves.

    Democrat=criminal

    1. Deep breaths … foxnation.com misses you

  27. Steve, I was just wondering: when Ronald Reagan’s ratings plummeted, how may hundreds of billions of dollars of the taxpayers money did he then spend? How many American companies did he bailout/nationalize/buy? And… did he have the equivalent of a massive ObamaCare program that died, and left him with the perception of an epic fail? If so — what was that program?

  28. I sense Hillary may have moved back into the enemies camp this week. Clinton surrogates have been busy.

    Blood in the water?

  29. So it’s a single issue and the incumbent seeking re-election (for apparently any role) is pretty much irrelevant. The times will either suit them or they won’t, depending on the cycles of the economy.

    That’s far too simplistic, and is probably wishful thinking.

    The state of the economy at election time is a major factor, but there is more to it than that. This analysis is too simplistic.

  30. Agreed: There is no idealogical shift, just people using votes to lash out at any incumbent in site. It is, indeed, the economy, and it is, indeed, a stupid logic.

    Neither the president nor the congress has much short-term control over the economy. The fraction of the GDP that would have been allocated differently under McCain (or a third Bush term) is no more than a couple percent. We could have literally flushed that much money down the toilet, and the only noticable effect on the economy would have been a boom in the plumbing market.

    Policies have effects that spread out over decades. Our economy today is more strongly influenced by the policies of FDR and Reagan than it is by the policies of Obama. I wish people would take the time to understand this simple idea.

    1. Well it took Reagan three years to turn the economy around. If you honestly believe Obama’s policies aren’t destructive you may think you have cause to hope.

      He has till 2012 to prove Keynes right that you can spend your way out of debt and reverse unemployment.

      As the Man in Black told Inigo:

      “Get used to disappointment”

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  35. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I’m not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It’s just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight…the Bible’s books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on…the Bible’s books were written by people with very different mindsets…in order to really get the Books of the Bible, you have to cultivate such a mindset, it’s literally a labyrinth, that’s no joke.

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