American Economy: What Has Conservatism and Progressivism Done For America? - Short View (updated 4-2-16) [159*239]

Yet Another Way to Look at the Difference Between Political Philosophies

I POSTED SOME COMPARATIVE NUMBERS on my most popular hub, What has President Obama Done Right in Three Years? LOTS!, to show what has transpired from when President Obama took office until now. Also, I prepared a hub a few weeks ago titled, Comparing 12 Quarters Of President Obama With His Predecessors ... Not Too Bad, Considering, which is similar to this one, but considers many past presidencies over a much longer time period.

Those two hubs gave me the idea for this hub, which will offer a series of before-and-after charts; large ones so that you can read them. By design, this hub considers the 3-years leading up to the Recession and the 3-years following it. The purpose for using this time frame is two-fold. One is to show that in spite of the political ads swamping America during the Obama Presidency arguing the opposite, President Obama's record of achievement in bring the country back for the edge of depression shines in comparison to the Bush record for the same number of years that brought America into the worst Recession since 1937.

The other purpose was to show that President Obama began his presidency in the worst economic and social condition since 1933. Conservatives, and their libertarian billionaire backers, want to either minimize or have you forget altogether this fact as they bash him for the anemic recovery which America experienced the first several years after the recession. Problem is, the public Conservative agenda to destroy Obama involves not letting him do his job helping America recover from the economic crisis their policies left us in. As I said, no president in history, save for FDR, started from so deep a hole in terms of a collapsing economy and an on-going and accelerating job loss record left them by their predecessor as President Obama.

The following story supports the above allegations.

ECONOMIC INDICATORS - GROWTH

ONE OF THE PRIMARY INDICATORS BEING BANDIED ABOUT TODAY is economic growth as measured by % annual change in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The conservatives complaint is that President Obama hasn't done enough to "grow" the economy; that his plan has failed or that he had no plan at all; Conservatives say that America should go back to the conservative way of doing things. This is what Chart 1 and Chart 2 would like you to consider.

Chart 1 provides a picture of President George W. Bush's two terms in office. The last 12 quarters of the Conservative economic plan would be 2006 Q2 to 2009 Q1 (President Bush owns 2009 Q1 because President Obama, or any other President for that matter, has no effective control over the economic output of the first quarter of their presidency). Besides showing the ups and downs of the quarterly growth rates, expressed in terms of annual percents, I also included three GDP numbers for comparison purposes, the first one at the beginning of the period under consideration, the second one is the high point in Bush's presidency, and the third one is his low point.

% QUARTERLY CHANGE: 2001 - 2009 Q1 - CHART 1
% QUARTERLY CHANGE: 2001 - 2009 Q1 - CHART 1 | Source

Chart 2 presents the first 14 quarters of the Democratic (Progressive) plan. The two GDP numbers, which are in constant 2009 dollars, btw, are the low and high points (to date) for President Obama's 14 quarters.

The dip in 2014 Q1 is a result of one of the worst winters in the Midwest and East coast seen for decades. It was followed by two very strong quarters.

% QUARTERLY CHANGE IN GDP: 2009 Q2 - 2015 Q4 - CHART 2
% QUARTERLY CHANGE IN GDP: 2009 Q2 - 2015 Q4 - CHART 2 | Source
% QUARTERLY CHANGE IN GDP: 2009 Q2 - 2015 Q4 - CHART 2
% QUARTERLY CHANGE IN GDP: 2009 Q2 - 2015 Q4 - CHART 2 | Source

LET US COMPARE

INDEPENDENTS, SINCE YOU ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT PEOPLE IN AMERICA right now, I hope you taking this hub seriously for it you make the wrong choice come November, America could be in serious trouble.

Keep in mind the conservative's arguments are 1) their economic system works better and 2) President Obama has failed to pull America out of the recession. Are these assertions true? What do the two charts tell you?:

  • (Keep in mind,
  • -- in 2006, Bush had a totally Conservative Congress, and in 2007-2008, nothing passed Congress that the Conservatives didn't want passed.
  • -- in 2009 - 2010 Obama had a veto proof Democratic Congress, and in 2011-2012, nothing passed Congress that the Conservatives didn't want passed plus, Conservatives had vowed to stop President Obama from achieving anything at all including fixing the economy
  • In the first 13 quarters presented
  • -- Conservative economics managed one quarter of 4% growth or more while President Obama had two such quarters
  • -- Conservative economics managed six quarters of growth between 1% and 4% compared with nine.
  • -- Both President Obama and Conservative economics produced two quarters of near 0% economic
  • -- and only Conservative economics had four quarters of negative economic growth, two of which were -8.9% and 5.3%, respectively; the worse America has experienced since 1937.

The final two points I want to make are these:

  1. I can repeat Chart 1 over 20 more times during the period of American history when Conservative economics was dominant. I cannot come up with one chart that is as bad as Chart 1 when Progressive economics was dominant, not one! I am not blowing smoke or making hyperbole, if you don't believe me, and have the time, read A Short History of American Panics, Recessions, Depressions: Why Conservative Economics Can't Work , soon to be out in paperback ... really.
  2. Conservatives have been unabashedly working, since 1981, to re-implement their economic philosophy; they have made no secret of that, they aren't now. Over the almost 30 year period, Conservatives have worked hard to dismantle the regulatory barrier put in place after the Great Depression to protect Americans from just the type of catastrophe that began occurring Jan 2006 with the reversal in home prices and construction, and then brought down the world in 2008. They completed their task in the early 2000s; after that, it was only a matter of time before America returned to the bad times of the 1800s

ECONOMIC INDICATORS - STOCK MARKET

THE STOCK MARKET IS OFTEN KNOWN AS A "LEADING" indicator of economic times to come. This is so because people who buy and sell stocks are betting on what they believe the future holds for both an individual company and the economy as a whole. As a result, once the stock market, generally viewed through the popular Dow Jones Index of 30 "blue chip industrial" stocks, has established a long-term trend in one direction of another, the economy almost always follows suit.

There is an exception to this theory, however. There are times when the economy flattens out or turns down first, but the stock market keeps on sky-rocketing; this happened between Jan 2006 and Sep 2006. It also happened before the Crash of 1929 and before almost every other "bubble" which led to a major recession or depression in America's history. Conservatives might point to the "Tech bubble" of 2000 and observe that this "pop" led to only a minor recession and they would be right; that is why I say "almost"; there are always exceptions to the rule, but there aren't that many. There are two common factors to most of these major "bubbles", 1) the "bubble" was due to real estate speculation in one form or another and 2) Conservative economics was dominant; never Progressive economics.

OK, let us take a peek.

CHART 3
CHART 3 | Source

JUST TO ADD A LITTLE CONTEXT

IT HELP A LITTLE TO KNOW WHAT GOING FROM 2006 TO 2008. The housing market peaked in the 1st quarter of 2006, but credit and fraudulent loans were getting much easier to get and give. This was also the period of the mega-mergers of mega corporations. Even though the economy had stopped growing in 2006, nobody cared nor paid attention; that included the Federal Reserve, the various federal regulatory agencies, the President, and Congress. Those who did notice were State regulators and governments, but when they approached the federal government and its agencies, they were turned away saying the economy is doing exactly what they intended it to do; not to worry. (My source for all of this, btw, is the authorized edition of The Financial Crisis Inquiry Report.)

From very late 2006 through Oct 2008, as housing prices began to fall, and then plummet, the financial markets (a small part of which were Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) started to sweat and squirm under the declining value of their sub-prime based portfolios. Huge pressure built up as the financial markets, with the help of the Federal Reserve and President Bush, tried to put a bright face on it until, in October 2007, it couldn't be kept under wraps any longer and news of the impending disaster finally hit the mainstream media.

After that, it was a losing battle with corporations trying every gimmick known to man and some that were unknown and still are today, to try to stave off the inevitable. In Sep 2008, the Federal Reserve made the infamous decision to let Lehman Bros. go bankrupt, i.e., no bail out following the conservative economic model. After that, the history is well known, the American and world financial markets imploding and a global depression was on its way.

CHART 4
CHART 4 | Source

THE DEMOCRATIC (KEYNESIAN) SOLUTION

KEYNESIAN ECONOMICS SAYS that there are two forces at work in any economy, "microeconomics" aka conservative aka Austrian School aka "trickle down" aka "supply-and-demand" economics and "macroeconomics", which considers things like employment, inflation, and interest rates. Conservatives dispute the need to consider macroeconomics because it has a bit of baggage that comes with it, government intervention in business affairs; with macroeconomics, a laissez-faire economy cannot exist and that is the rub.

It was controlling all three of these "levers" that led to the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in October 2008. Virtually 100% of economists were convinced that if the financial institution went bankrupt, which they were in the process of doing in late 2008, then that would have frozen all credit and bankrupted most businesses globally leading to unimagined unemployment, hyperinflation, and sky-rocketing interest rates. Most conservatives who were not economists did not believe this senario could happen as supply-and-demand would correct everything; even though it never has throughout American history in these situations.

In the end, TARP worked. In fact, America made an actual profit from the effort and make still more.

Another Keynesian economic program are stimuli, but only when certain conditions are in place. The main two are 1) that the private sector is not hiring, regardless of the reason, and 2) that there is major or massive unemployment. Both of these conditions existed in February 2009. What wasn't available to the incoming Obama administration before he assumed office was the information needed to guage just how much stimulus was needed to put into ARRA which would be passed just a couple of weeks after he was sworn in. The purpose of any stimulus, in terms of macroeconomics, is directed at employment; to infuse enough money into the economy to increase demand enough so that the private sector will start hiring again to replinish decreased inventories; and not, as Conservatives suggest, for the federal government to creat jobs.

As it turned out, the data for the last quarter of 2008, which really became available not too long before ARRA was passed, surprised all the experts in its devastating numbers; Obama's stimulus was going to be short, by half. Unfortunately, by the time the results of the initial stimulus became known to be insufficient, the conservative counteroffensive to stop President Obama was such that future stimulus legislation was impossible.

FYI -

  • Where the markets tops out in 2011 is the beginning of the Conservative-inspiered debt crisis.
  • The big drop is July 2011, when the Obama and Conservatives compromise on the debt crisis and agree to the super-committee, which failed in Nov 2011. More importantly, July is when the debt crisis led to the downgrade of America's debt rating.
  • The period from July to Dec 2011 is the fight over the budget.
  • Dec 2011 is when Democrats and Conservatives failed to reach a compromise and the sequestration fail-safe became a reality giving the market some direction as to what was going to happen.

EMPLOYMENT INDICATORS - FIRST TIME JOBLESS CLAIMS

THIS IS ANOTHER HOT BUTTON FOR CONSERVATIVES; well, the unemployment rate is, but this is related and we will get to the other shortly. First Time Jobless Claims measure Layoffs. the level at which Americans are getting fired by their employers.

Charts 5 and 6 are pretty self-explanatory.

DEPT OF LABOR MONTHLY UI DATA - CHART 5
DEPT OF LABOR MONTHLY UI DATA - CHART 5 | Source

YOU CAN SEE FROM CHART 5 that the business community tried to hold on as long as they could. Layoffs didn't begin to increase until the beginning of 2008, but held off the major increases until the end of the year with the announcement of the Lehman Bros. bankruptcy.

CHART 6 - NOTICE THE DOWNWARD SLOPING TREND - Dept of Labor Monthly UI Data
CHART 6 - NOTICE THE DOWNWARD SLOPING TREND - Dept of Labor Monthly UI Data | Source

A DIFFERENT LOOK AT GROWTH RESULTS

THIS NEXT TABLE TAKES A LOOK at long-term economic growth during various administrations. Because there are terms of varying lengths, I present two metrics. One is simply total growth in GDP (or projected linear growth) over the eight-year length of a presidency from the 2nd quarter of their term to the 1st quarter that includes the last month of their term. For those Presidents who had less than eight-years, I just did the arithmetic to extend their actual results to eight-years Also, for those periods where one President didn't complete a full-term (Kennedy and Nixon), I combined terms with their successor.

The second metric looks at the annualized growth rate. Between the two metrics, you get a pretty good picture of how each presidential term did relative to the others. The 'P' stands for Progressive and the 'C' stands for Conservative.

THE NEXT TIME YOU HERE CONSERVATIVES COMPLAINING about how bad President Obama has done on the unemployment front, remember this chart. Remember that President Obama's 3-year monthly average 1st time unemployment claims is only 20,000 more that President Bush's 8-year average and that Obama's numbers are now 160,000 claims below Bush's average as well as 60,000 below the 42-year average!

PRESIDENT
8-YEAR GDP GROWTH (4-year growth)
ANNUAL GDP GROWTH RATE
TRUMAN (P-6)
41.8%*
4.5%
EISENHOWER (C-8)
19.0%
2.2%
KENNEDY/JOHNSON (P-8)
48.8% (22.1%/19.1%)
5.0%
NIXON/FORD (C-8)
23.4% (15.2%/6.5%)
2.7%
CARTER (P-4)
24.1%*
2.7%
REAGAN (C-8)
31.0% (12.7%/14.8%)
3.4%
G. W. BUSH (C-4)
14.4%*
1.7%
CLINTON (P-8)
33.1% (15%/15.2%)
3.4%
W. BUSH (C-8)
11.9% (10.9%/1.1%)
1.6%
OBAMA (P-7)
17.6%* (7.7%/9.9%*)
2.0% (actual)
* projected 8-year grwoth results - Table 1

ISN"T THAT INTERESTING! If President Obama continues, his "worst President in history" economic growth record the Conservatives trying to make America believe is true for another 5 years, Obama will have surpassed, Presidents G. W. Bush, W. Bush, and nearly equaled Eisenhower!

Imagine what Obama could have done with a Congress that helped, rather than hindered him?

LONG-TERM VIEW OF CONSERVATIVE vs PROGRESSIVE ECONOMICS

THE NEXT TWO CHARTS DEPICT the relative stability of the two economic systems. The conservative Austrian system was used prior to 1937 and the Keynesian was used after 1937 until 2001, and then again from 2009 on. The height of each spike on the top chart represents the severity of the Panic, Depression, or Recession; and the width its longevity from the economic peak to the following economic trough.

On this chart, only those economic downturns picture is slightly distorted in that those downturns shown prior to 1945 can be generally related to internal monetary or fiscal policy, or simply to boom-bust economic cycles are shown. Depressions and recession caused for other reasons, like wars and turmoil in Europe are not shown. After 1945, all recessions are shown because, if I didn't, no recessions would be depicted until the 2000 tech-bubble and then the Great Recession of 2008. Every other recession you see began because of external events, mainly problems in the Middle East. (to make the two sides comparable, flat-line all recessions from 1945 to 1999, and then compare.)

The bottom chart is the result of a thought I had in tracking how unemployment grows in the lead-up to a major recession or bigger. It turns out, each recession has its own unemployment signature, but the resulting chart was interesting in its own right. The two tall towers on the left are the increasing unemployment rates leading up to an into the two really great depressions in our history. The three on the right are the largest recessions after WW II. The numbers '1' and '2' represent which economic system was at work at the time.

The thing to know when looking at this chart is that virtually all other recessions and depressions prior to the 1929 depression were bigger than the three shown on the right. I can't show unemployment numbers for those because I can't find any past the ones estimated for 1890. Nevertheless, all you need to do is use a little common sense to fill in the blank as to where you would draw those bars relative to what you do see in front of you.

Obviously, what I am trying to get across is that there is a definite, undeniable difference between the conservative and progressive economic systems. The question you have to ask yourself is "Which one would I rather live under?" My choice, of course, is the one with lower unemployment and less volatility, the Keynesian system.

CHART 7
CHART 7 | Source
CHARY 8
CHARY 8 | Source

MUCH ADO ABOUT DEFICITS

MAY 7, 2013 - NOW THAT WE HAVE FOUR YEARS IN, let's look at the deficit picture. This has been one of the mainstay arguments for Conservatives; that President Obama has destroyed the economy by running up, presumably for no particularly good reason, the deficit, and therefore the public debt.

Now there is enough data to draw some conclusions regarding how guilty Obama is of these charges. In looking at Graph 4, you will see the shaded blocks, representing each president's time in office, overlap the next presidents election. The reason for this is a new president rarely has the ability to influence the near-term economy and budget, instead, the previous president's policies normally have just as much impact.

Source: Office of Management and Budget, Historical Tables, Table 1.3; http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals/ (last accessed April 13, 2012).  - CHART 9
Source: Office of Management and Budget, Historical Tables, Table 1.3; http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals/ (last accessed April 13, 2012). - CHART 9 | Source
Source: Office of Management and Budget, Historical Tables, Table 1.3; http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals/ (last accessed April 13, 2012).  - CHART 9
Source: Office of Management and Budget, Historical Tables, Table 1.3; http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals/ (last accessed April 13, 2012). - CHART 9 | Source

Leading up to the Great 2008 Recession, it is clear the deficit had been brought under control during the Clinton Administration; in fact, America experienced its longest sustained period of growth during this time period. Of course, all good things must come to an end and in 2001, the economy softened and the budget surplus shrank a bit.

Then, beginning September 11, 2001, America experienced a series of shocks starting with the attack on the Pentagon and World Trade Center. This was quickly followed by the War in Afghanistan, the War in Iran, and the Bush tax cuts, all of which cost significant amounts of budget dollars. All of this combined wiped out the surplus and left the country with a deficit as large as any experienced during the Reagan-Bush administration.

The housing bubble and merger mania provided enough growth to begin bringing the deficit back down in 2005. This decline lasted until the economy eventually collapsed in 2008 under the weight of all of this artificially growth, speculation, and greed and the deficit skyrocketed. In another hub, I show where about 2/3rds of the 2009 deficit was the direct result of the costs surrounding the recession itself, e.g., unemployment payments.

Notice that in the Obama administration, after the run-up from the recession, the deficit has been in a continuous decline since! In 2013, there is a sharp reduction which, while still an estimate, is pretty much in the bank with actuals from Oct 2012 through April 2013. In fact, for the 2nd quarter, 2013, the CBO is expecting the first quarterly surplus (from April tax receipts) in six years.

If you look past 2017, however, Obama is not out of the woods. The CBO projects increases in the deficit from that point on due to the still unresolved Medicare/Social Security problems.

A SURVEY (POLL) FOR INDEPENDENTS ONLY PLEASE

ONES THAT VOTE FOR THE BOTH SIDES ONCE IN A WHILE, that is. I am especially looking for those who voted Republican in 2010 but hope any Independent will take time out to vote in this survey. (I am hoping any Conservative/Progressive votes will cancel each other out since they are a given.)

What I am trying to gauge with the following two questions is your belief that, despite all of the ads, statements, speeches, etc about how poor a job Obama has done which Conservatives have flooded the airwaves with, 1) President Obama's (the Progressive) approach to running the economy was, in reality, better or worse than that when President Bush was President and 2) whether the Conservatives voted into office in 2010 have had a important role in the economy not improving as much as it could have, keeping in mind their stated political agenda for 2011 - 2012 was to prevent President Obama from succeeding.

Some will say these question are biased, and I suggest they are not. In the first question, if the Conservatives had not "flooded the airwaves" with such messages, and I was being hyperbolic, then the question would be biased, but my phrase is absolutely true and not particularly inflammatory, just accurate. In the second question, if the Conservative agenda to stop Obama from succeeding was a "hidden" agenda, they by saying it was a "stated" agenda would be false and the question would be very biased; fortunately, many Conservatives have made variations of that statement many times in the last two years.

INDEPENDENT VOTERS -

Despite all of the Rhetoric in the last Two Years that President Obama has done a Poor Job with the Economy, do you

  • Believe Obama has GREAT job pulling America out of recession he inherited in 2009?
  • Believe Obama has GOOD job pulling America out of recession he inherited in 2009?
  • Believe Obama has SO-SO job pulling America out of recession he inherited in 2009?
  • Believe John McCain and the Conservatives could have done a better job than President Obama
  • Not Sure
See results without voting

239 Independent Respondents:

  • Great Job - 98
  • Good Job - 98
  • So-So Job - 17
  • McCain Better - 24
  • Not Sure - 5

INDEPENDENT VOTERS -

Do you believe that the Conservative Agenda to Prevent President Obama from Succeeding played an Important role in slowing down the Economic Recovory?

  • YES
  • NO
  • MAYBE
  • NOT SURE
See results without voting

221 Independent Respondents:

  • YES - 179
  • NO - 24
  • MAYBE - 13
  • NOT SURE - 2

DEMOGRAPHIC SURVEY #1

For those who read this hub, do you think your beliefs line up more closely with

  • Moderates
  • Conservatives
  • Progressives
  • None of the Above
See results without voting

229 Respondents:

  • PROGRESSIVES - 126
  • MODERATES - 71
  • CONSERVATIVES - 18
  • OTHER - 16

DEMOGRAPHIC SURVEY #2

Are you

  • FEMALE
  • MALE
See results without voting

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Comments 173 comments

SassySue1963 4 years ago

The latest jobs report shows an increase in unemployment claims, meaning we are still losing jobs.

We are not creating half the jobs we need to ever crawl out of our economic mess. The only area that has seen an increase in jobs in the Government.

The unemployment rate does not count those underemployed, those whose benefits have run out, and those who have simply given up looking for a job and all experts agree it is closer to 14%.

Many proposals for growing the economy are Reagan policies. Reagan inherited a more troubled economy than Obama and yet, his policies saw an immediate growth in all economic factors, including the reduction in unemployment, even though it was not as low as they had hoped by the end of his first term.

You are trying to use eight years of Bush to compare to 3 years of Obama.

The man who promised to "cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term" has increased it twofold.

The only thing that is standing between Obama and massive spending is the GOP in Congress and a few Democrats as well.

I like how you "gloss over" the fact that this Administration had two years when they could have done anything they wanted at all. Instead of putting Americans back to work they chose to give us a Health Care Law that is more about taxes and fees than Health Care.

They had their chance, they made it worse.


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My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

I love how your eyes plays tricks on you Sassy; how you can reverse the massive job loss at the end of the Bush era with the major decline in job losses at the beginning of the Obama presidency. Dyslexia is the only way to account for you belief Obama has failed to repair the damage Bush did.

Obviously you didn't look at the first time unemployment claims chart I provided, I don't see the increasing trend you are talking about, can you point it out to me?

Do you think we might be creating the jobs we need if the Conservatives weren't so dead-set on making Obama fail? I certainly do. If they had simply stood out of the way, this country would be propering nicely, if they had helped, we would be doing great!

Read my hub (and look at the charts) on the Reagan years, he had 1.5 good years after his first recession, then it was all downhill after that, including bankrupting the nation with largest debt and deficit we had ever known to that point.

The one truth you do have is that Democrats had two years of opportunity to do it right and they blew it squabbling over heath care. When they learned in February 2009 the totatality of the devestation wrought by the Conservative econonic mess, and knew the stimulus was short by half, Obama should have pushed through the other half no matter how loudly the Conservatives screemed.


SassySue1963 4 years ago

When Obama took Office the unemployment rate was 7.6%. It now stands at 8.2%. We added 80,000 jobs, barely enough to contend with population growth let alone get people back to work. The GOP has simply obstructed all the additional spending Obama and the Dems wish. You whine about the deficit and then in the same breath talk about Reagan and the deficit. The Dems plan is a tax and give. It taxes the job creators and creates an entitlement society. Take a look at Europe if you'd like to know where that road takes us. He has not cut the deficit, his plan that you claim the GOP is "obstructing" does nothing but double the taxes on job creators, add fees to banking and oil, which you and I will wind up paying for, and add entitlement spending. You cannot tax people and business and expect to fix a sluggish economy. it isn't even logical. There is nothing better about this economy. The GDP just took a downward hit as well. There isn't a single economic forecast that sees light at the end of the proverbial tunnel under the current direction. Oh, but, let's just keep plodding down that path. Romney is not Bush. Bush is not running. The Bush rhetoric is beyond old and makes me believe the Dems have nothing else since Obama's record is so bad. Have you even perused Romney's plan? He has one you know. It's there on the internet. Yes, there are tax cuts, but it also includes eliminating certain deductions for those in the upper tier keeping it revenue neutral. It includes coporate tax breaks, which the Dems have been screaming about for the last year and have now, suddenly adopted a watered-down version that they claim will create a million jobs. Imagine how many jobs Romney's real corporate tax breaks will create. Hey, I've conceded it before, and I will again, Romney could fail to get the economy rolling, but Obama has already proven a failure. The Dems had their chance and blew it. It's time for new direction. And it is new direction, not the "oh vote against Bush propaganda" that seems to be the only arguing point the Dems have left.


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My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Sassy, I appreciate the opportunity to talk about physics with your 7.6% unemployment comment. In physics, there is a concept called "momentum" and it is equal to the "mass" of an object times its "acceration" through space. Momentum is the force a runaway truck keeps gaining going down a hill with no brakes. Well, momentum applies to economics as well where the "mass" is the "weight of all of the people losing jobs" and the "acceleration" is rate at which the job loss is increasing.

The thing about momentum is it keeps getting larger and larger and larger until something gets in the way to slow it down and then stop it. In the case of the truck, it is apply brakes or turning off onto one of those runaway lanes with soft sand or gravel in the road to act as a brake.

So let's look at your famous 7.6% unemployment number that Conservatives love beat President Obama about the head and shoulders so much with. Let's look a moment at what came before it; let's look back to May 2007, just 20 months previously, when unemployment was 4.4% and then May 2008, just 8 months previously when unemployment was only 5.4%. Or, how about Sep 2008, just 3 months earlier, unemployment was still only 6.1%. And now, at the end of Jan 2009, unemployment stood at 7.6%.

So let's understand acceleration, accelerating unemployment in this case: from May 2007 to May 2008, unemployment increased about .08% per month. From May 2008 to Sep 2008, unemployment increased about .28% per month. From Sep 2008 to Jan 2008, unemployment was increasing at a rate of .31% per month. Extending that to Oct 2009 when unemployment peaked under President Obama, that means unemployment would have been at least 10.9% and growing, if John McCain had been president and done nothing as the Conservatives wanted. Compare that to Obama's 10% and falling; personally, I like that better.

I know, Sassy, you are intelligent, for you write very well, and understand momentum and therefore know perfectly well that when President Obama took office, unemployment was going to increase well beyond the 7.6% Bush left him with. So, by throwing that number out there and then saying Obama has failed by only bringing it down to 8.2% without, at the same time admitting your side has done everything it could to make sure that number was even higher (so you could take back the Presidency, at least that is what your leadership says) means you must have another agenda.

I know you know the truth of the matter and are purposefully trying to be deceptive to fool independent voters. Go ahead, admit it.


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My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

You are quite correct, Romney is not Bush, but that is not the point. Romney wants to follow the same conservative economic plan which failed us in 2008 and failed us over 20 other times from 1815 through 1929. The point Independents need to undersand is that it isn't "who" the Conservatives put forward as their candidate, it is the Conservative economic philosophy that doesn't work, it never has in American history, it didn't 2008, and it never will.


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teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

Where do I start? I can't comment on all of your hub, but there are some points which stand out. From the chart comparison of the Bush years and the Obama years, I'm receiving the sromg impression that you think the economic downturn and other problems we face are related SOLELY to those years.

I feel strongly that what we experience today is the CUMULATIVE result of many years of policies, some good, some bad. FDR was reelected even with a depression, because he lead and the people were hurting, they were clamoring for leadership and he found a way to lead them from the bread lines to prosperity. Barack Obama hasn't done that. Leadership isn't his strong suit to put it mildly.

In other words, I don't feel that the problems was ONLY Bush or Obama. Others, throughout th last 8 decades contributed. Do you think all the policies the FDR were in the best interested of the people? No, they weren't but he united the people, he provided leadership. This is not a Bush v. Gore issue, this is an American issue; which way do we want to grow the economy With deficit spending and more entitlements, or the old fashioned way. YOU WORK FOR WHAT YOU HAVE. America needs to decide.

I strongly disagree that 12 months of consecrative measurement makes a trend ("Chart one provides a picture of the last 12 quarters of the Conservative economic plan. ")

About Congressional control, in 2006, George Bush had a Republkcan majority in the House and Senate and in 2007, he worked with a Democratically controlled House and Senate. In 2009-2010. Barack. Obama had a Democratically controlled House and Senate.

Statements like, "nothing passed Congress that the Conservatives didn't want passed." and "nothing passed Congress that the Conservatives didn't want passed plus, Conservatives had vowed to stop President Obama from achieving anything at all including fixing the economy" are your opinion.

Mitch McConnell said, "Our top political priority over the next few years, should be to deny President Obama a second term." That's a far cry from stating that Conservatives "vowed to stop President Obama from achieving anything at all including fixing the economy."

"In the end, TARP worked" Tarp worked if you were a UNION worker (teacher, postman, electrician, plumber). Those UNION members are indicators that TARP benefitted them. But, the majority of Americans AREN'T union workers and TARP benefitted them not.

The worker at a small business didn't see benefits increase, the owner of that small business didn't benefit. Those stimulus dollars did not go towards 'shovel ready jobs.' "The majority of jobs created were in the public, not the private sector." Also, the 'cost' of TARP exceeded it's original $787 billion and was closer to $840 billion. Also, the majority of the stimulus was appropriated, but only 62% spent ("there's no such thing as shovel-ready projects." (Barack Obama 2010)

"What wasn't available to the incoming Obama administration before he assumed office was the information needed to gauge just how much stimulus was needed " So, the man didn't have as much info as he would have liked. He has had 3 1/2 years TO GET the info and do something about it, to own it, yet we still hear talk of the debt that was inherited, that was greater than he knew. We all know that, but at some point in time President Obama needs to OWN that America has problems and he was elected to try to solve them and Americans are STARVING for some leadership out of this pile of doggy doo.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

Dear My,

"Do you think we might be creating the jobs we need if the Conservatives weren't so dead-set on making Obama fail?"

What are a few SPECIFIC examples of Conservatives being DEAD-SET on making President Obama fail? ? Conservatives would be only too happy to see President Obama succeed if he proposed policies which were for the betterment of this country, those that follow the Constitution strictly. Annie


SassySue1963 4 years ago

@My

" The point Independents need to undersand is that it isn't "who" the Conservatives put forward as their candidate, it is the Conservative economic philosophy that doesn't work, it never has in American history, it didn't 2008, and it never will."

That is a bald faced lie. The real fact is that the tax and give of the Dems has never worked. The Carter years are a prime example of the last time we had a country completely controlled by the Dems. Economically, we were a disaster. That is what Reagan inherited. That is what Reagan fixed. Yes, there was a deficit, but because Reagan got the economy rolling in the right direction, efforts continued by Bush Sr, Clinton had an economic situation where he was able to work on revenue and bringing that deficit down. You see, that is how you do things. You do not tax people, especially the job creators, when you need jobs and to boost your economy.

Now let's take your "momentum" theory. Under both Obama and Reagan, who both inherited an economic problem and unemployment issues. Unemployment hit 10% under them both in their first terms. However, those conservative economic policies that you claim "have never worked" brought the unemployment rate 3% DOWN from where it was when Reagan took office, while under the "great job" Obama has done, it has RISEN. Do you understand the difference here? Is it sinking in? Not only that, but in Reagan's first term, although the recovery was not as fast as had been hoped for, every economic indicator IMPROVED. That is why he won by a landslide when he ran for re-election. Under Obama, every economic indicator has either been see sawing, stayed the same, gone further down, or proven so sluggish as to not fix anything. Every expert claims that under our current direction, we will be in the same place or worse economically and job wise at least until 2015 if not longer. Does that sound like we're making progress to you?

It boggles my mind how anyone can even try to argue that Obama has done anything to aid us on the economic front. The numbers do not lie, and they tell a different tale entirely.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

Sassy, thanks for setting the record straight with FACTS. Too often the liberal discussion is devoid of facts or laden with facts taken out of context.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Annie, thanks for commenting. Rather than repeat them here, if I may, let me refer you to a recent hub I wrote that provides a few examples, "INDEPENDENT VOTERS, WHAT SAY YOU NOW? Have You Changed Your Mind or Are You Happy With The Outcome of 2010?"

Also let me briefly point out the illogic of what you proposed in your statement "...Conservatives would only be too happy ..." when bumped up against your Party leadership's publicly avowed promise to make their number one legislative agenda item the failure of the Obama Presidency. They have vowed to do anything it takes to make Obama a "one-term President". So, let's assume Obama proposed something the Conservatives actually liked, which would be not one thing, I suspect, they would still have to stop it because by approving it, they would fail in their mission of getting the White House back.

Do you see the conundrum your leadership has put you in? If Conservatives let the economy get better, they lose the White House, therefore they have no choice but to stop the economy from getting better consequently, you will never be happy. Also see, "Romney Says, "Obama's Plan Failed!"; He Forgot to Say, "BECAUSE THE CONSERVATIVE PLAN SUCCEEDED!"


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Sassy, please take the time to read the hubs "A Short History of American Panics, Recessions, Depressions: Why Conservative Economics Can't Work", both Parts 1 and 2; I have in to editing for publishing sometime next month. In them I cover every major economic downturn from 1797 to 2008 (it is "short" only in that I don't make a book of each recession and depression, just a very short story.) If you do, then come back and see you still believe I am a "bald-faced" liar. It is a plain and simple fact, whether you want to believe it or not, the Austrian School of economics (Conservative economics) as practiced throughout American history has been a dismal failure. The ONLY time America has had a long period (more than 12 years) without a major Recession, 2008 or bigger, was when America was practicing Keynesian economics; that is a fact. When this country runs into a major economic-type recession, depression, or panic every four to six years, as we did between 1815 and 1937, you can't tell me that is a sign of a good economic system and philosophy. Of course you might guess, the only economic philosophy America really knew until after 1937 was Conservative economics.

It was this 115 years of failure that finally pushed America into a new economic system, Keyensian economics, and it worked, from 1945 through 2001, when Conservatives drug back into the 1800s again.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

By 2010 when that statement was made, most conservatives had seen enough of his agenda to be able to make those remarks. They continue to see them in Harry Reid who tables every bill sent to the Senate that is sent to him by the House. Why is President Obama not chastising his majority leader of the Senate to do away with partisan politics and get something done?

Why is President Obama not telling the Senate that a budget must be passed and he wants 'x' y' z in it? Why isn't he leading? Why The man didn't go to leadership school, has no backbone or something is seriously wrong with him. The POTUS is to lead the country, to make it safe for the people, to UNITE the country and it is more divided than I've ever known.

That people are pointing fingers, playing games, he says he wants the country to put aside partisanship (remember Gaby Giffords), but does not chastise the people who continue partisan politics. We don't need a POTUS like that.

On another note, "" "Romney Says, "Obama's Plan Failed!"; He Forgot to Say, "BECAUSE THE CONSERVATIVE PLAN SUCCEEDED!""

I'm not sure what you mean at all but that little tidbit, but in the words of Condi Rice "ours has never been a dialog of, ;'I'm doing poorly because you're doing well.'"


SassySue1963 4 years ago

@My

"It was this 115 years of failure that finally pushed America into a new economic system, Keyensian economics, and it worked, from 1945 through 2001 "

Really? I think you better dig back and study the Carter years again. That is anything but working. And the years you count as working include the Reagan years, sorry that's conservative economics for you. Furthermore, we had a recession just before Clinton was elected, you know 1992. So, your entire premise is incorrect in its very basic facts, let alone in totality.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Just some nits for the moment, Sassy.

- FDR didn't have an opposition Party who refused to work with the President to get the economy going, who didn't use the filibuster to block 99% of the Democratic bills, even job creating ones originally sponsored by Conservatives, put before the Senate, who refused to compromise to save the country from defaulting on its debt, no, he had an opposition Party that actually helped get out of the depression.

- Exactly what does TARP, Bush's Troubled Asset Relief Program, have to do with Unions? TARP bailed out your friends, the big corporate banks.

- Just for grins and giggles, I looked up when unemployment was between 3 and 4%: 2000 (Clinton), the late 1960s (Johnson), 1957 (Eisenhower) then you get into the war years. Keynesian economics all and Clinton was a tax raiser to boot!

- I agree a longer time period is better, that is why I wrote "Comparing 12 Quarters Of President Obama With His Predecessors ... Not Too Bad, Considering". Even so, the point of this hub was to put a story behind the political ads being foisted on the public today which have no comparisons whatsoever $6, but as one statisitician to another, looking at more than a five-year span of time in monthly intervals (60 data points) is enough to establish short-term trends and make before and after comparisons of a major event. It is certainly better than saying on day one, the unemployment rate was 7.6% and now it is 8.2% therefore Obama is a dismal failure now isn't it?


SassySue1963 4 years ago

No one mentioned unemployment under Clinton, I said, in 1992 we had a recession, the year he was elected. Recession does not mean unemployment.

You were the one touting that 8.2% like it was this great accomplishment of the President.

Again, the GOP has prevented this President from increasing the deficit, the very thing you demonize in your Hub. The President wants to spend, the GOP has stopped him. You can't have it both ways.

As I already stated, Clinton had the freedom to address issues such as the deficit and balanced budgets and raising revenue because of the state of the economy from Reagan and Bush Sr. Those years you claim we went back to the 1800s and were such a dismal failure.

And once again, you've conveniently completed ignored the debacle that was the Carter years.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Nooo, when Reagan was elected president, Keynesian economics was alive and well, thank you. All of the regulations from the late 1930 and 1940s were still protecting us, the Fed was still using monetary policy wisely to keep wild swings in the economy at bay, etc. etc.

What Reagan did do was raise effective tax rates on the lower and middle class while making drastic cuts on the wealthy with the overall effect being a tax increase rather than the expected tax decrease! Go look up the numbers, I did after somebody told this. You think Reagon had low unemployment, try again. he started where Obama did, at 7.5% and hit a high of 10.8%. Did you know it took Reagan 27 months to get his rate below 8% after having crossed it going up? Granted, Obama has been at it for 41 months and counting, but again, he started from a much, much worse position and, where Reagan had a Congress that would work with him, Obama has one that works against him. Did you know that Reagan maintained a UE rate over 10% for 10 long months compared to Obama's one, and Reagan had a UE over 9% for a total of 19 months, compared to Obama's 28. Reagan's UE never got below 5.3%


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Sassy, no, I haven't ignored Carter, in fact you can read all about him in "A Short History ...". If you read your history, you would know that, compared to 2008, the Carter-Reagan recession (each had one right after the other, Carter a small one, Reagan a much bigger one) was small by comparison. You would also know that unlike the 2008 recession, which was caused by bad economic policy, the recessions from 1970(Nixon) through 1982, yes, including Reagan, was caused by outside forces, mainly the Middle East, Arabs, and OPEC, and not internal economic policies. In fact, it was the actions of the Federal Reserve, using the Keyensian macroeconomic model that kept the recessions from getting out of hand, just as it was intended to do.


Nick Hanlon profile image

Nick Hanlon 4 years ago from Chiang Mai

Was Bush an economic conservative?Huge assumption.The seed odf doubt that first started off the tea party was when he said that ''I believe in free-market economics but..."The religious right had taken over the Republican party and it was time for free-market believers to have their voice heard.The type that believes that the bailouts we're downright wrong,the stimulus package was just stupid and that at the very least the Fed needed to be audited.difference between Romney and Bush is that Romney is running on his economic credentials with his religion being background noise.Bush ran on his religious/social conservative credentials with his economic record being in the background.


SassySue1963 4 years ago

@My

"...he started from a much, much worse position and, where Reagan had a Congress that would work with him, Obama has one that works against him. "

Again you are incorrect in such basic facts it becomes difficult to take anything you say seriously.

For the first six years of the Reagan presidency (1981-87) The Republicans controlled the Senate, and the Democrats the House of Representatives

In 1986, the Democrats recaptured the Senate (while retaining the House) and thereafter remained in control of both chamber until losing both in 1994.

In comparison, Obama had both chambers for the first 2 years of his term. They would have passed anything at all that he wanted. If his plan worked, we should have seen massive improvement within his first two years.

The difference is Reagan knew how to actually lead and compromise. Areas in which our current President is greatly lacking.

You seem to be hung up on strictly unemployment numbers as some sort of measurement of economic viability. Every economic surge or fall is, in part, affected by external reasons. I never said Reagan had low unemployment numbers, I said he began in the same mess as Obama, that it hit 10% during his first term, like Obama, but by the end of Reagan's first term it was down 3% from where it began in comparison to Obama where it has risen from where it began. I never said it was low overall.

I disagree that Obama started from a position any worse than Reagan. Inflation was astronomical, growth was non-existent, and Carter had the highest average rate of unemployment prior to Obama at 7.6%.

"..all the regulations from the 1930s and 1940s were still protecting us." and yet, we have one of our worst economic periods prior to Reagan's election.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Sassy, I am home for lunch so I wil deal with what I can see on the screen without scrolling.

You really need to review your stats before doing battle with me in using them; while I have been known to use hyperbole, normally I can back up what looks like it with my research. Let's start with your disagreement about Obama starting off from a worse position than Reagan:

- When Reagan took office, UE was 7.5%, for Obama it was 7.8%

- When Reagan took office Jan UE claims were .8 million (Dec 80), 1.3M (Jan 81), .9 M (Feb 81); for Obama it was 1.5 M, 1.8 M, 1.5M

- Carter, after his recession, left Reagan with two quarters of fabulous growth (didn't know that, did you) of +7.6% and +8.6% annualized quarterly growth. Obama on the other hand was handed negative growth of -3.7% and -8.9%, respectively.

- The decline (peak-to-trough) in GDP for the Carter recession was -2.2%, for the Reagan recession, it was 2.7%, and for the Bush recession, it was 5.1%.

- Finally, the cause of the Carter/Reagan recessions weren't internal economics but external foreign affairs, mainly the OPEC oil embargo and related oil price increases. The cause of the Bush recession was internal economic collapse.

NOW tell me they started from the same position.

"... worst economic periods ..." ??? First, your myopia is showing. You do understand don't you that four years of Carter was sandwiched between 24 years of Nixon/Ford and Reagan/Bush and that the economy was in turmoil from roughly the time Nixon took office until Clinton took office; almost all of it having nothing to do with U.S. economic policy. If fact, it was US economic policy that kept it from turning into a 2008-sized disaster. (yes, Eisenhower, Nixon, and Ford all accepted Keynesian economic theory as being the better way to go.)

As to Carter having the highest UE rate, wrong again, go look at the Nixon/Ford era, it was much worse.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

Friends, neighbors and fellow hubbers; does it really matter what who inherited, how much and how far down in the ditch someone was? The way I see it, is that we have a problem. We have debt spiraling out of control and unemployment is too high. There are a ton of things that we have to deal with as a country, that all this bickering back and forth isn't solving anything.

I think what we need to do is have a discussion between ourselves about what is best for OUR COUNTRY keeping in mind that this is not the time to point fingers, it is the time to solve problems.

Who knows, the solution could lie in us? Washington insiders don't seem too inclined to look for a solution or don't seem capable of working together to find one. Is there a reason that we can't show them how little they are and how grand WE are by working together, libs and conservatives, independents and greens, to find a solution?

There, I've said my piece.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

You are perfectly right, Annie, no doubt about it; but, in what you just said also lies the big conundrum that divides our country (as well as Sassy and myself) right in half (well 20% on one side, 20% on the other, and the remaining 60% getting bombarded by political ads). At the moment there only two diametrically opposed solutions in solving the problems you just mentioned; they aren't just variations of each other, but fundamental differences.

As you might have guessed, I am a bit of a historian because I am a firm believer in the idea that you have to "learn from history". So, to help me come to my own conclusions as to what the best economic solution is, that is what I did, I looked back through 200+ years of American economic history (my background is an off-shoot of economics as well). The result was http://myesoteric.hubpages.com/hub/A-Short-History... This is where I have been pulling some of the info I have been laying on Sassy.

So, here is the crux of the problem, and I have alluded to it in my responses back to Sassy, there have been two basic economic systems followed in America; the conservative version, which Ron Paul refers to as the Austrian school, and more progressive version known as Keynesian economics. (I don't say Democratic version because both Democrats and Republicans believed this was the better system from the 1940s up until Ronald Reagan.) Well, why can't we all get along and compromise between the two. Here is why we can't and why you have to choose between one or the other.

The Austrian school believes you only need to worry about "microeconomic" influenses, in other words supply-and-demand; you simply don't need anything else. Under this system, the government can (and did up until 1933 for the most part) practice laissez-faire or no government involvement in private sector business affairs; just what conservatives ordered.

The Keynesian school came about trying to explain why the Austrian school didn't work over the long-term. It tried to answer the question "why, when the economy got overheated, wasn't supply-and-demand, microeconomics sufficient to bring it back under control". They were asking this in 1937 after the Great Depression, number 26 or 27 of a string of 2008-type recessions, depressions, or panics to happen since 1815. The answer was NOT music to coservative ears, however, because it required government intervention to control what were called "macroeconomic" factors, inflation, interest, and employment.

There, in a lot of words is the conundrum I speak of. In the next comment, I will pressent Sassy with a list of economic downturns and ask her why she would like to readopt the economic system that caused them all.

That, of course, will start another fight but that is where it stands ... one system works, the other doesn't; all one has to do is look back over 200 years of history to see which works and which doesn't. Why does it matter? Well, none of us are old enough to remember how devestating the Great Depression was; we only have pictures and some really old grandparents or great-grandparents to tell us. If you multiply 2008 by three, you might start approaching the cost in human misery.

Now, here is why it matters. Draw a time line from now back to 1815. Find 2008 and draw a medium sized circle around it. Count back 7.5 years and draw a small circle, count back 7.5 more years and draw another small circle until you get to 1937 where you draw a large circle. Move to 1929 and draw a very large circle. Now count back five years and draw a large circle, then five more year and draw another large circle. Keep going until you get to 1815. Now move forward and make every third circle very large until you get to 1929 again.

Obviously the small circles are small to medium sized recessions, the large circles are 2008-sized recessions or larger, and the very large circles are depression. OK, look at what you have, then remember that I said that progressive economics didn't start until after the Great Depression. Now you know why at least I think it matters a geat deal; Keynesian economics, which includes an active Federal Reserve, stopped what was going on prior to 1937 dead in its tracks.

(BTW, those weren't the only recessions America suffered, those were just the ones caused by bad economic decisions. There were more from things like the Civil War, WW I, etc.)


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Sassy, here is that list I referred to in my response back to Annie. Keep in mind that while Conservatives controlled America politically for social policies from Jefferson to Lincoln, they controlled it for economic policies all the way to FDR. (Teddy Roosevelt was the ice-breaker with his anti-monopoly activities). Keynesian economics wasn't practiced until 1933 (it wasn't known as that then, but that was what it was). So, the following is a list of Panics (runs on banks leading to recessions or depressions), Depressions, or Recessions that happened when America followed the Conservative economic model for which the cause was internal economics, and not external or non-economic reasons:

1825

1836

1839

1847

1857

1873

1882

1887

1890

1893

1896

1902

1907

1910

1913

1920

1923

1929

1937*

2008

I included the 1937 depression for it was caused when FDR abandoned his stimulus programs begun in 1933 and began to cut the debt and deficit in order to balance the budget. Ultimately, he was forced to restart the stimulus programs to get the recovery going again but WW II came along and finished the job.

I would offer a similar list for the Keynesian period from 1945 - 2000, but there are none that qualify (yes, there were some economic recessions, like Bush I's 1992 recession or Bush IIs 2001 recession, but none were large enough to make the list.)

Seriously Sassy, doesn't that tell you something about the veracity of the conservative economic's story?


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

I am not ignoring you Nick, thanks for joining the discussion. I would be extremely surprised to find out Bush was more like Nixon on economics. If he were, I doubt 2008 would have happened the way it did. Part of the reason 2008 blew-up like it did was because those running the show thought things were going swimingly; Bush, Greenspan, Bernanke, Paulson, and Conservatives coming out the ying-yang said so all through 2005 - mid 2008 when those in the trenches were telling anybody who would listen the economy was coming apart at the seams; nobody listened because the belief was, and it was stated many times by Greenspan and others, this is the way it is supposed to work, pretty soon the corrective mechanisms will kick-in, no problem.

The problem is, with a microeconomics only-based economic model, when the economy overheats, as it was in 2005, microeconomics always breaksdown - see the list I gave Sassy to answer, there are no microeconomic mechinisms that can handle overheated economies; that is why macroeconomics was invented in the first place, 1) to explain it and 2) to control it.


SassySue1963 4 years ago

Ah but you see, the criticism of the Keynesian model is that the spending is supposed to be temporary. The problem is that is never the case. The programs and spending become not only permanent but continue to expand government intrusion, leading to the disruption of supply and demand and the private business sector, which is what set in motion the recessions that followed FDR's programs.

A recession is a recession, and you ignoring them to suit your own purposes doesn't change that. Government spending in your model of choice is to be only a temporary solution, but we already know from history (which you say we have to learn from) that is never the case. When it becomes permanent and expanding, which it always does, it becomes severely damaging to the economy. Neither model is inherently correct and further, none of the administrations in the US have ever followed either model exclusively. Most have used a mix of the two, leaning one way or the other.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

The last part first, theory: What Keynes did was add a level to the Austrian microeconomic model; Keynes and his contemporaries understood very well that microeconomics, supply/demand; individual decisions driving the economy, etc, explains much of economic activity; that is a given. What Keynes added to the equation, but those wedded to the Austrian school reject, is that there are other forces at work that become very evident when the economy gets out of whack, either going up or going down which have nothing to do with supply and demand or, especially, the individual player. In fact, in extreme times, it is that part of the Austrian model that fails, individuals stop making rational decisions in large numbers. As a consequence, Keynes added the macroeconomic level, those set of economic forces that work on the whole economy all at once.

Conservatives don't buy that because to control these factors requires the government to get involved by regulating, to some degree what private sector can and cannot do. One such example is the 1938 Glass-Steagal Act which separated commercial banks from investment banks; the one that was repealed in 2000 which was the last major impediment preventing what took place from 2004 - 2008. Democrats thougt this Act was the greatest thing since sliced bread (which Clinton traded away in an illfated compromise with the Conservatives) and Conservatives believed it was an unneeded intrusion on the banking industry who could regulate themselves just fine, thank you; just give them the chance, so we did.

Not sure what you meant by "a recession is a recession, and [me] ignoring them ...", but there aren't too many that I ignored between 1797 and 2008. If you meant a small recession is the same as a large recession, then I suppose you think a pothole and the Grand Canyon are similar as well, they are both holes in the ground, after all. The ones I chose not to consider were ones that lasted less than a year and had both low job loss as well as not much in the way of business decline, but nevertheless still had two consequetive quarters of negative growth. If you do consider the smaller ones, after throwing out those not caused for economic reasons, it just makes it look worse for the conservative model because there just weren't that many recessions during the Keynesian period; and most of those that did happen were conflict related, e.g. WW II, Korean War, Vietnam War, various conflicts in the Middle East and the like.

If truth be told, the 2008 recession was the first honest-to-goodness purely economicly-based recession since 1929. Even the tech bubble of 2001 wasn't a real economic recession, per se, it was a rich man's recession, the middle class barely felt it. (of course "barely" is a relative term)

As to FDR, his stimulus programs weren't permanent. In 1937, he cut them all figuring they had done their job (FDR was more or less a fiscal conservative, just not a radical one) because growth had returned to pre-1929 levels, although employment had not; so he unfunded them and took other actions to slash spending and balance the budget. Problem was, it was too soon and he drove the country into another deep recession with these Conservative approved measures. So no, FDR did not permanently expand spending; it was the cutting of it "at the wrong time" that damaged the economy; timing is everything in economics.

None of Obama's stimus measures are permanent either, they aren't intended to be and they won't be. The only one continuing right now is the repeated extensions of unemployment benefits. I suspect that those will continue to be extended because unemployment will never improve so long as American's keep a divided Congress.

I fear the only way out of this delimma is for America to either 1) elect a veto proof/filibuster proof Congress full of Democrats or Conservatives or 2) elect Republicans in place of the Tea Party/Far Right Conservatives they put into office in 2000 through 2010. Anything less, I am afraid, will leave us where we are now with the private sector afraid to move because the two Parties can't get their act together.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

Dear My,

"one system works, the other doesn't;" That's YOUR interpretation: we wouldn't be having this discussion or division if it was EVERYONE'S interpretation.

"Why does it matter?" I haven''t read all of your response, but I'd say that it matters in that we learn from the past; but the problem lies in the fact that there are a number of different interpretations of the past, and I'll stick to your example that Keynsian economics works the best.

Thing is, there are just as many folks who don't agree that Keynsian theory is the way to go, as don't agree, Paul Krugman or no.

Why in our circle are we drawing a circle ev. 7.5 years, then every 5 years, and every ___________and back until 1815. What makes 1815 so special, what is the reason for 7.5 years, 5 years? This sounds like 'chocolate math' and it'll give you the same answer whatever you input.

We have problems to solve, not games to play.Yes, we learn from the past, but there are more valuable lessons than dates.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Annie, unfortunately it is more than an interpretation, those are conclusions drawn from an analysis of over 40 major economic downturns since 1797 and comparing it to what the causes were, whether the economic system in play had anything to do with it or not, and which economic system was in play at the time. Simply put, the evidence is overwhelming. Doesn't it bother you at all that I gave Sassy a list of over 20 major economic downturns when the conservative economic model was being used and I couldn't find even one major economic downturn when the Keynesian economic model was followed? Tell me why that passes right by you, please.

As to my circle game. 1815 is special (actually I could have had you stop at 1830) because that is the first time America experienced a large economic drop "solely due to internal economic factors". You can extend it back to 1797, when when the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) puts America's first Panic at if you want, just don't draw any circles.

The spacing of 7.5 and 5 (actually 4.8, I think) is the average number of years between downturns large enough for me to include in my book. It was 7.5 under Keynesian economics and 5 under Austrian economics.

The size of the circles is based on data provided mainly by the NBER or that I found in my research from other sources.

Do you think it Unimportant that the Conservative economic model produces, on average, one major economic downturns every 5 years and the Progressive model only one minor economic downturn every 7.5 years?

You may not, but I bet most people reading this and considering what they just lived through would.


SassySue1963 4 years ago

@My

It IS just your interpretation. Poland is showing the most growth in GDP than any other country right now and they have done so by abandoning most of the principles of your chosen method of economics. It is a continuing process and not complete, still, they are the ONLY member of the EU that has not seen a decline in GDP. As I said, it really is not even a this or that argument as not one administration has used either method to exclusivity. Policies of both methods have been employed, even if there was a strong propensity to lean one way or the other.

I can promise you this: if this President is re-elected, and given a majority in Congress, he will spend us into oblivion. It is only the GOP in Congress that is currently curbing his spending. Whatever economic process you which to admire, the fact is we cannot afford to become an entitlement society, we've already seen where that leads. You say the spending is temporary, because you are only taking stimulus spending into account, however, that is not the only spending that is being increased. Entitlement expansions are always permanent and expanding. The fact is that Government is a wasteful soul and does not need to have more control of our money. Less government intrusion always spurs growth, and a smaller government on the whole, always cuts costs.


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My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

It would be my interpretation if the score were 18 major recessions for the conservatives and 13 major recessions for the progressives, with that, I would agree. It is my observation as a professional analyst, however, that a score of 25 to zero is rather "conclusive".

As to Poland's GDP "right now"? Well I am glad for them. And if I reach into a barrel of mostly rotten apples and pull out one good one, does that make the whole barrel good? I don't think so but that is what you are trying to do with your logic.

BTW, what makes you think Obama will spend us into oblivion? Subtract out all of the "new" money obligated toward fixing Bush's problems and assuming the CBO projections are correct for the programs put into place, since you have no better authoitative number, show me your "numeric evidence" that Obama is trying to spend us into oblivion.

Give me numbers I can research, not rhetoric or bumper stickers which I can't.


SassySue1963 4 years ago

The new money spent during his first term was already attributed to Bush. Sorry, you don't get to play the blame game 3 years down the road. Especially when you could have done anything at all in your first 2 years. lol you mean like the projections for the initial stimulus and spending on infrastructure? That was supposed to create all these jobs and didn't? That was supposed to jump start the economy and didn't? Those projections have already proven false. So the solution is to do the same thing again. Now does that make sense?

Here it is in a nutshell. Reagan relied on deficit spending during a recession to jump start the economy, a practice you cheer, however, he also employed tax cuts, which your method clearly holds disdain for. He also lessened regulations to create an atmosphere geared to business, another method discounted in your method. Yet, the only recession from his practices is one you say does not count. Hmmm...okay.

Now, let's take Clinton. Who you clearly say used your methods. In reality, he fought for a balanced budget, which your method does not tout. While he raised individual tax rates, he also cut corporate tax rates. Another method that is not approved in your method. Yet, we saw growth during this period.

Just research Obama's proposed budget and the amount of spending asked for in 2013. The Jobs Bill and its costs. When the same program did not work the first time around.

The point is that every single administration has adopted policies from both methods, which I think I've said 4 or 5 times now and you keep ignoring. Recessions occur for various reasons. You keep on saying that the collapse of 2008 was because of Bush's methods however, it also had external reasons and even the internal ones cannot be solely attributed to any administration. Clinton had a hand in that collapse, as well as Bush. You are saying it was an either/or scenario where one has never existed.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

"Annie, unfortunately it is more than an interpretation, those are conclusions drawn from an analysis of over 40 major economic downturns since 1797." Who's analysis? Mr. Keynes? The gospel according to Paul Krugman?

I also (from another post) don't understand why you and the liberal left INSIST on calling the tea party members, FAR RIGHT. Au contra ire, the majority of them want to stick to a STRICT INTERPRETATION OF OUR CONTITTION. Since when did that make on uber-ANYTHING?

I believe that when the market is left free, it will correct itself. It may take a while, but I don't believe in artificial corrections, for the most part and I'm not so sure, if any, what good the Federal Reserve is doing.

Yes, there need to be regulation, most free-market economists will tell you that; but not the plethora of banking regulations that prevent a start-up business with plenty of capital, from getting a loan. We can regulate against the Ken Lays of the world if we put our collective hats on.

How, our collective hats would say IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE to regulate that Farmer John's son whom has an intricate part of running the farm (but is only 15 years old) needs a driver's license to drive a truck on his Dad's PRIVATE PROPERTY. Not public roads, but private property.

Why waste taxpayer dollars enforcing a regulation that says that a man cannot drive down to the mailbox on his own property without a license at 90? Don't give me that song and dance of, 'it's for his own protection.' At 90, if you can't do the risk/benefit analysis and realize that you may wind up dead in a ditch, at least you'll die happy in a ditch. You don't need the government to tell you what is best for you.

I mention the old man in a golf cart/car, because he's representative of the hundreds of unnecessary regulations that burdens this country. We're regulated to death. The small AND LARGE business owners DON'T have any idea what is coming around the corner and how they'll have to budget their money; so rather than spend ANY (hire that new employee like my husband), they sit on that cash-it's their 'rainy day' fund.

"Do you think it Unimportant that the Conservative economic model produces, on average, one major economic downturns every 5 years and the Progressive model only one minor economic downturn every 7.5 years?" I don't think it unimportant, but for every person who says that one is true, i bet I could find another who disagree. Let me get back to you on that.

"You may not, but I bet most people reading this and considering what they just lived through would." Conjecture that I don't find it important and others do. Although we differ in what to DO with that interpretation and what potential solutions. Your solution is more Keynesian economics and I say, let free market capitalism rip. The thing that this country was founded on and worked for SOOO many years. If you like a different economic system in another country, GO.

We were endowed by our created to pursue happiness and we cannot pursue it if we're hamstrung by a bunch of Dodd/Frank meaningless regulations.


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My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Annie, you are definitely quite correct, in virtually all circumstances, a totally-free market will correct itself over time, but only at the cost of great human misery. Virtually 100% of those 25 or so downturns under Conservative economics before 1937 self-corrected (1929 was not one of them) and there was another Boom that occurred afterwards (that then Busted). But, at least four were of the size of 1929 in terms of total human misery. The rest fell somewhere between that and 2008.

None of that happened after 1945 until 2008.

If what happened between 1815 and 1937 is your idea of an idea economcy, then there isn't much left to talk about is there.

Americans must choose between the kind of chaotic life Americans led in the 1800s, a period of frequent, self-correcting large economic downturns and the much more serene period of relative economic stability, with a few, small to medium, managed recessions of 1950s through the 1990s. Your choice appears to be the former, mine, obviously is the latter.


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My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

BTW, driving without a license on your own property, regardless of age isn't illegal as far as I know; but you would have to check with your State DMV because it is a state issue, not a federal one. It is just when one drives on a public road does the state become involved.


Chris Dogood 4 years ago

Two questions: 1. Is there one progressive out there that knows what a budget is?

2. If yes, I would be interested to know what use you have for one?


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

It is a state issue; not so much because states CARE, but because the feds have MADE the states care. "Unless you fine Mr. 'x' for driving a golf cart on his own property without a license, we withhold our Fed. DMV or highway aid, infrastructure, etc." So states are caught between a rock and hard place. Fine taxpayer Mr. 'S' and lose the support of him and his family.

Or, don't fine Mr. 'S, so you comply with Fed law. In both cases, the taxpayer is pissed and all who know him and his family and friends are pissed both at the state government and the Federal government.

Not the way to run a business; not a way to run a county; AND NOT A WAY TO RUN A COUNTRY.


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My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Is there even one state where it is illegal to drive on one's property without a license? I haven't heard of any. To the larger question you are addressing, however, yes, there are "infrequent" occasions the federal government does exercise such coersive power, it is for great societal benefit like drinking age or speed in times of an oil embargo crisis where oil supplies were a premium, both done under Republican presidents, as I recall.

In the latter case, if the various States had been responsible enough to restrict driving to save oil on their own, then the feds (Nixon, I think) wouldn't have had to coerce them. But then, the States didn't want to fund George Washington and his Army while he fought the British either. Individuals like Washington, Robert Morris, even Benidict Arnold contributed their own wealth or used their connections to get others to contribute while the States bickered among themselves and held their pursestrings tight, after the initial funding they had given to the Continental Congress had run out. If the States couldn't be bothered to fund the American Revolution, why would they bother trying to save America's oil reserves?

You will have to pardon me if I don't have much faith in the States doing what is good for America; they only seem to do what is good for the state and screw everybody else. That isn't a way to run a business or a country either, is it. Hell, the states didn't care enough about a united States of America to even fund the effort to create one.

Sorry about getting sidetracked, back on point - I am not sure you can come up with very many anecdotes to support your blanket, all encompassing indictment; I doubt they exist.


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My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Chris, I would offer that progressives have passed an awful lot of budgets in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. But, today's Conservatives simply don't understand the word "compromise"; they have gone so far as to say there is no place in politics for "compromise". So, if one side promises not to compromise, as Conservatives have done, and will only accept a budget STRICTLY and ONLY on their terms, there can be no budget.

It is not a coincidence that when Congress was made up of Republicans and Democrats who knew how to compromise, there was "always" a budget; it is only when hard-core Conservatives kicked all of the Republicans out of the Republican Party did budget making stop because there was no one left to compromise with.

When and if Republicans ever take back their Party, then 1) I may consider rejoining it and 2) Congress will start passing budgets again.


SassySue1963 4 years ago

@My

Let me help. It is indeed NOT the states but Obama who is proposing such a law. Not only such a law for driving, but, whether a child can work on his parent's farm. Isn't that rich?

"Additionally, the proposal would prohibit farmworkers under 16 from operating almost all power-driven equipment. A similar prohibition has existed as part of the nonagricultural child labor provisions for more than 50 years. A limited exemption would permit some student learners to operate certain farm implements and tractors, when equipped with proper rollover protection structures and seat belts, under specified conditions."

link: http://floppingaces.net/2012/03/22/more-obama-regu...


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My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

You really need to read the whole article you are using to support your assertion that Obama is going to stop farmers from using their children as laborers on their own farms. From your article,

"The proposed regulations would NOT APPLY to children working on farms owned by their parents."

Now, how does that square with your assertion that "It is indeed NOT the states but Obama who is proposing such a law. Not only such a law for driving, but, whether a ---child can work on his parent's farm ---. Isn't that rich?" Seems like you need to go back to the drawing board.

As to the broader issue of child labor laws in general; I am unclear from you arguments whether you support or oppose them; my sense is that you oppose them, at least at the federal level.


SassySue1963 4 years ago

@My

I live in a rural area. It is apparent you do not understand the family farm in the least. Perhaps you should have kept reading:

"Johnny might work on his dad’s farm, but he might also go right next door to his uncle’s property to work for him a few hours in the afternoon. These rule changes would make that traditional practice much more difficult.

Under these rules, kids wouldn’t get to drive (or sometimes even ride!) tractors. Typically, farm youngsters drive tractors from an early age. I did. My 14-year old nephew, an experienced tractor driver, tells me he started driving a tractor at about age 7 and was driving in the field by 9 or 10."

"“There is no better example of the vast overreach of government into the everyday lives of Americans than the Department of Labor’s proposed rule to regulate young people working on farms and ranches,” Sen. Moran said. “For generations, the contributions of young people have helped family farm and ranch operations survive and prosper. If this proposal goes into effect, not only will the shrinking rural workforce be further reduced, and our nation’s youth be deprived of valuable career training opportunities, but a way of life will begin to disappear. This proposal should alarm more than just rural America"

And typical re-direction on your part, just like the re-election campaign of our President. This has absolutely nothing at all to do with sweatshops.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Yep, you are right, although I now live in rural Florida, I am a suburbanite; however, that is neither here nor there to understand right from wrong. The proposed law provides an exception for parents of the children on their own farms. Until you get into the weeds, you don't know if it also carves out an exception for the parents to loan out their kids to their relatives to work as well, although I suspect it does not.

Now, what a parent does with their children on their own private property beyond killing them, sexually abusing, and a few other pretty bad things the reach of the federal government (but not the state government in many lesser cases of abuse.) But, once the child leaves the parents property, the state, both federal and state have a public obligation and civic duty to protect that child from harm.

Conservatives howled eqaually loud in the early 1900s when the feds finally passed laws barring the use of children in child sweat shops clamouring it was bad for business. If parents wanted to farm these kids out to labor all day, why not, it was their kids after all and they can use them any way they want, can't they? How dare the federal government come along and try to provide for the general welfare of its youngest citizens when they aren't on their partents property.


SassySue1963 4 years ago

But it does not just regulate them off the property. It regulates everything they do on the farm, even on their parents' farm. It involves restrictions on handling livestock, harvesting, storing grain, etc. The list goes on and on and on and on. The family farm many times is one farm that has been split between siblings, meaning everyone pitches in to harvest the acres because everyone benefits in the long run. This would impede that effort. Furthermore, many rural kids by choice, join organizations such as 4H and the FFA. That would no longer be possible partly due to the restrictions on handling livestock, but also because kids in rural areas whose parents do not own farms, would do these activities on the farms of others. Now they will not be able to. Wake up, really. I don't know what else to say. "...you have a responsibility to give back. You didn't build that". Regulation of farm kids. Telling INS to not emforce existing federal immigration laws. And the latest, endorsing the non-enforcement of layoff notification for all the military jobs that will be lost because the timing will be two days before the November election. When faced with all the facts before you, you just keep sticking your head deeper in the sand.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

" both done under Republican presidents, as I recall." Exactly what I was talking about. This kind of 'he said' 'she said', 'let's play a blame game' and point the finger DOES NOTHING. It only serves to divide. That's the stuff of the sandbox, "I'll take my toys home to my sandbox and YOU can't play with them" WE'RE ADULTS.


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My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Are you not blaming Obama and the Democrats way of doing things for the current and future state of affairs?


Ginger Ruffles 4 years ago

Great hub on economics w/o being a snoozer! Thank you ME. Please keep it coming.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

To My:

"Are you not blaming Obama and the Democrats way of doing things for the current and future state of affairs?" Heck, I'm not 'blaming' Obama, current administration , PAST administrations.

What i AM saying-NOT BLAMING-is that the current and future state of affairs is the result a compilation of policies, a culmination of hundreds of decisions made, not over 8 years of the previous administration or 3 1/2 years of the current administration; rather the sum total of all administrations since our country's inception, concentrated from the industrial revolution until now.

There should be NO ONE PERSON with the power to change all that this country stands for, but with the current ADMINISTRATION, that is threatened and Americans, beware.


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My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

OK, I can accept that, your "sum total" assertion; you certainly can't get around that logic. But how is that related to your last paragraph?

Are you suggesting that Obama is so powerful that he, as this ONE PERSON, could change all that this country stands for (assuming it was true that he stood for something different than what the Constitution calls for)?

If that is what you are suggesting, how do come by that belief? If I am off the mark, then what are you suggesting?


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My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thank you Ginger. I have sat through too many lectures in accounting, economics, and statistics, where toothpicks were absolutely needed, to intentionally inflict that pain on others.

I also see I need to start hitting the Approve button BEFORE I start responding. My apologies to those whose comments may be slow in appearing; I am old, it is a memory thing.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

Dear My,

"Are you suggesting that Obama is so powerful that he, as this ONE PERSON, could change all that this country stands for (assuming it was true that he stood for something different than what the Constitution calls for)?"

Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I DON'T believe that Barack Obama ascended from NOTHING to the Presidency of the United States of America without help. Call it New World Order, Saudis, vonRotschild, etc. There is too much in his background that we don't know . We've heard about Mitt Romney's record in prep school. Yet no-one has come forward to say, "Gee, I was that guy's 4th grade teacher and he was a real hellion." Not one comment that I've heard in the media about his cocaine use.

His mentor in Frank Marshall Davis? While you were in grade school, playing on swing sets and sandboxes, he was being mentored (for something and taking lessons) from a member of ACA?

Now, back to your quote. No, I'm not of the belief that ONE MAN, can bring down the Republic, but I believe that his administration, his whole administration (Jarret, Axelrod, Emmanuel-even though he's not there any more and the same with Van Jones. can knock a fair-sized hole in it. It took years to get to this point, and it'll take years to tumble it. But, Barack Obama is doing a 'fer piece/his level best to accelerate the process.

If he didn't swear otherwise, I'd question his love for the Consitution, for his country. I'd like to know specifically why you think he's such a patriot? Not one-not-2 or 3, recess appointments and many more UNELECTED czars. Yes, before you get your undies in a bundle, I know Dubya had them, too It was wrong then and just as wrong now.


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My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

I am glad we are moving to other relavant areas, the other horse is about dead, I suspect.

I have time to discuss recess appointments before heading back off to work. Theoretically, I agree with you, the intent of the founders, I would have hoped, was for the President to use this Clause in emergencies, for things moved very slowly back in the day. Since each of the Constitutions framers, starting with John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who became President abused the power, one has to wonder.

In terms of modern history (I have not researched this at all), I don't remember this being an issue up until maybe Clinton, I am not sure; that is when the dynamics changed considerably because the opposition party, then the Conservative/Republicans, and later just Conservatives, in the Senate began using the "withhold" power and filibuster like it had never before been used to block Clinton appointees to the bench and federal offices. Of course the Democrats returned the favor when Bush became President, and now the Conservatives have made an art form of it expanding it beyond appointments to include wholesale legislative blocades.

I am a pragmatist at heart and let effective government rule when ideology gets in the way. In the case of recess appointments, both sides were and are seriously eroding the governments capality to carry out its Constitutional functions because of past and present abuse of Senate "privelges". So, as a practical matter, while I would rather recess appointments be used for what they were intended, I cannot oppose them being used this way by a sitting President when the other side is abusing long-established pratices in ways not intended when the Senate voted them into existence.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

"Since each of the Constitutions framers, starting with John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who became President abused the power, one has to wonder." Does that make the practice right, no matter who did it? Several of the framers supported individual mandates for health insurance. Does that make it right?

"In terms of modern history" To what are you referring?

"now the Conservatives have made an art form of it expanding it beyond appointments to include wholesale legislative blockades." Is it selectful that you don't mention Harry Reid's tabling of ANYTHING that comes from the House? We can tit for tat all day long until the cows come home, but we must acknowledge all the facts and then realize that it is our representatives that aren't serving us when they pull such childish ploys.

I'm not saying that Republicans are angels, but I am asking you to look beyond the rhetoric and talking points and realize that the Dems aren't lily white, either. It is up to us to elect only representatives who have integrity and what is best for this country at their core. Oh, they can all say it, but Americans need to get out their books and demand accountability. Throw 3/4 of the fellows out. They've either abused their power, or forgot why they were elected in the first place.

" In the case of recess appointments, both sides were and are seriously eroding" Do, you sound like a representative of sandbox politics. "Jimmy did it first so I get to do it a few more times" When will we ever grow up and DO THE BEST FOR OURSELVES? This keeping track of, this scorecard approach gets real tiresome.

Right here in this statement, "both sides were and are seriously eroding " likes the problem, "BOTH SIDES. That leads to your conclusion of MY SIDE DOES IT LESS which is interjected whenever possible. We deserve to go down with attitudes like that.


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My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Modern history = in my memory meaning the last 60 years.

There is a difference between using the perogatives of the Majority Leader and abusing the filibuster and "withhold" rules.

1) It was intended for the Majority Leader of both Houses to be able to set any agenda they see fit; that is the way it has ALWAYS worked, and that is the way it is SUPPOSED to work; that is the advantage of being the winner.

2) It was NEVER intended for either the filibuster or the withhold Senate rules to be used in the manner that it has become to be used. That was invented in 1994 with the first Ginrich-type Conservatives being elected to Congress.

My point on bringing up history on the recess appointments was IF the way they are currently being used WAS intended by the Constitution's frames, then YES, it is right to use it in that manner; ditto for the individual mandate IF it is Constitutional, which it currently is.

"Sandbox politics" as you put it, isn't dealing with weighty matters of national importance where action is required when on side refuses to act.


SassySue1963 4 years ago

@My

You ignore this Administration's attack on some of the very basic rights stated in the Bill of Rights. You ignore hiding behind Executive Privilege. You ignore the Presidential ORDER to ignore Federal Laws in matters of immigration. You ignore the fact that the HealthCare Law impedes some business owners their religious beliefs by forcing them to provide contraceptives and fund abortions. They are many faith-based businesses around. Many are self-insured. You should do some research. You ignore the recent action of the Chicago Mayor to attempt to make laws to impede Chic-Fil-A from doing business in his city based solely on their beliefs and speaking out for those beliefs. You ignore it all and then proclaim "when one side refuses to act". It is not one side. Sorry, your precious Party had two years to get it right and all they did was royally mess it up more. Now, it's the other side's turn and sorry, they aren't going to let this Administration screw it up even more.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

When a discussion produces fruitful responses, it is worth continuing. However, when it is met at every turn with more defense than actual discussion of the facts at hand, it ceases to be a discussion that bears fruit. It becomes one-sided and one-sided discussions are just that: one sided and I'm not interested in them.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

Thank you for presenting facts, Sassy.


SassySue1963 4 years ago

No problem teamrn.I keep presenting them. They keep getting ignored lol


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Unfortunately, I have seen relatively few facts from either of you although you and I have different definitions of what facts are, I suppose.


SassySue1963 4 years ago

"Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as Customs and Border Protection, were instructed in a memo to immediately react by reviewing individual cases and preventing eligible immigrants from being put in removal proceedings. Those already in proceedings could be granted deferred action for two years, and then may apply for renewal. They will be given work authorization on a case-by-case basis."

source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/15/obama-imm...

"Chicago Alderman Proco Moreno announced he would block the fast food chain from opening a new restaurant in his ward."

source: http://bloomfield-mi.patch.com/blog_posts/chicago-...

"The "decision to invoke executive privilege implies that White House officials were either involved in the Fast and Furious operation or the cover-up that followed," said Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio"

source: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/po...

"Today signals the beginning of a season of impossible decisions for employers who, for reasons of conscience, have not been paying for abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, or sterilization for their employees. Employers are now required to offer these services for “free”—meaning the employers pick up the cost of including these services in their health insurance plans. At the renewal of their health plan years, the HHS mandate will force employers into an untenable choice: violate their deeply held beliefs or forfeit the provision of health insurance altogether and risk steep fines."

source: http://blog.heritage.org/2012/08/01/morning-bell-o...

These are facts. The way most have been in the news ceaselessly I have to wonder how you haven't heard about them.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

I had to stop back; Sassy introduces facts. My, the things that you have introduced are your suppositions based on quotes.

An example, "It would be my interpretation if the score were 18 major recessions for the conservatives and 13 major recessions for the progressives, with that, I would agree. It is my observation as a professional analyst, however, that a score of 25 to zero is rather "conclusive."

No doubt you analyze and no doubt that you're good at it, but I read a spin to analysis, (i.e however, that a score of 25 to zero is rather "conclusive."). There are many 'at bats' where a team is down 0-25; wouldn't your stats be a bit amiss if that team with a 0-25 record started to gather momentum and won the World Series?

My definition of facts; not something I read in the Onion or Huffington Post or Politico, but something I can substantiate with verbatim quotes. "Believe none of what you hear and only 1/2 of what you see."


wba108@yahoo.com profile image

wba108@yahoo.com 4 years ago from upstate, NY

I would like to see a side by side comparison between the first 12 quarters of the Bush administration vs. the first 12 quarters of the Obama administration. Taking data from worst period the Bush presidency distorts the issue.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Ask and you will receive, WBA, although it is one of my work-in-progress hubs. http://myesoteric.hubpages.com/hub/Comparing-12-Qu...

Right now, there are two pairs of charts in it, more to come. The first chart shows the four quarters leading up to the change in administration back to Nixon. The second of the pair shows the same metric over the first 12 quarters of each Presidency, back to Nixon; get your maginfying glasses on.

However, that wasn't my point for this hub. The Conservative claim is that Obama is the worst President in American history and has taken a bad situation and made it worse; they repeat that many hundreds of times a day in each swing state. What this hub shows is that those claims are absolutely false, a lie in other words. Any sane analysis of the before and after charts simply cannot, to the clear minded, leave any other impression than things have gotten much better since Obama took office from the way they were.

BTW, the first several quarters of Obama's administration will clobber Bush's, because the first thing that happened to him was a recession. It wasn't until the middle of his term that things finally got better. Only unemplment will look good because Bush didn't start with the country being out of work.


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My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Come on Annie, give me a break here, you must be having some fun at my expense. Why would any rational person want to give an economic system yet another try when it has failed each and every time it has been used; not once has it ever worked; it has always led to frequent panics, recessions, and depressions.

Why wouldn't a rational person want to stick with an economic system proven to work so much better when used by both Parties, from Eisenhower through Ford to Clinton. Even Reagan reverted back to Keynesian economics in order to mitigate the damage when his economy declined twice during his administration .


SassySue1963 4 years ago

@My

You are comparing numbers yet, when we do that here you say "oh but you have to consider this or that". So here are some numbers for you:

"As a result, while the Reagan recovery averaged 7.1% economic growth over the first seven quarters, the Obama recovery has produced less than half that at 2.8%, with the last quarter at a dismal 1.8%. After seven quarters of the Reagan recovery, unemployment had fallen 3.3 percentage points from its peak to 7.5%, with only 18% unemployed long-term for 27 weeks or more. After seven quarters of the Obama recovery, unemployment has fallen only 1.3 percentage points from its peak, with a postwar record 45% long-term unemployed."

...and all experts agree, though I will also post it here, that Reagan faced a far worse economic picture than Obama.

"When President Reagan entered office in 1981, he faced actually much worse economic problems than President Obama faced in 2009. Three worsening recessions starting in 1969 were about to culminate in the worst of all in 1981-1982, with unemployment soaring into double digits at a peak of 10.8%. At the same time America suffered roaring double-digit inflation, with the CPI registering at 11.3% in 1979 and 13.5% in 1980 (25% in two years). The Washington establishment at the time argued that this inflation was now endemic to the American economy, and could not be stopped, at least not without a calamitous economic collapse."

Yet, we had one of the most prosperous times in our nation's history under Reagan and the effects were felt immediately, which is why he won his re-election bid by a landslide. There are no numbers that show we are "better" absolutely none. Unemployment is higher than when he took office, growth is beyond sluggish and actually slowed last quarter to a mere 1.8%. The number of jobs lost also increased. His stimulus bill did nothing to create jobs. Yet he wants to spend more money to do more of the same. The only thing Obama has grown is government and government jobs. That is not a recipe for success, no matter how you care to slice it.

So My, what failure are you talking about here? Reagan's policies put us in a 25 year boon of prosperity with only two short recession periods, both of which you have already claimed do not count because of size. Twenty-five years of prosperity doesn't sound like failure to me but the numbers under Obama sure do. So, why are you campaigning for 4 more years of failure?


SassySue1963 4 years ago

Oh and another tid-bit for you:

"We call this period, 1982-2007, the twenty-five year boom–the greatest period of wealth creation in the history of the planet. In 1980, the net worth–assets minus liabilities–of all U.S. households and business … was $25 trillion in today’s dollars. By 2007, … net worth was just shy of $57 trillion. Adjusting for inflation, more wealth was created in America in the twenty-five year boom than in the previous two hundred years."

"Previously the average recession since World War II lasted 10 months, with the longest at 16 months. Yet today, 40 months after the last recession started, unemployment is still 8.8%, with America suffering the longest period of unemployment that high since the Great Depression. Based on the historic precedents America should be enjoying the second year of a roaring economic recovery by now, especially since, historically, the worse the downturn, the stronger the recovery. Yet while in the Reagan recovery the economy soared past the previous GDP peak after six months, in the Obama recovery that didn’t happen for three years. Last year the Census Bureau reported that the total number of Americans in poverty was the highest in the 51 years that Census has been recording the data."

Those are the real numbers that matter My. Put down the books and look around at what is happening in this country.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

"Why would any rational person want to give an economic system yet another try when it has failed each and every time it has been used"

First off, I'm not intending to have fun at your expense. Simply put we think differently. A case in point, "Why would any rational person want to give an economic system yet another try when it has failed each and every time it has been used;"

This implies that I'm irrational-which I'm not. Capitalism, or a free-market economy DOES work, when not strangled by regulations. Certain regulations are necessary; I refer you to an article published in THE NEW YORK TIMES, none-the-less:

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/09/a-fai...

Condemning capitalism because of the failure of regulations is sheer folly.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thank you Sassy for giving me some real facts to work with, and so I shall, one-by-one; some I will agree with, some I won't. I will do this in pieces though so as not to create a book. Let's start with the average 7.1% growth over seven quarters of recovery. Since you didn't give me a starting date or whether the 7.1% is over all or annualized, I will look a a couple of possibilities, also, I am not sure exactly what I will come up with at the moment, but given what I remember, I am sceptical.

OK - here is what I found. On an annulized basis, Reagan never achieved 7.1%, no matter when you pick to start counting quarters, but based on "chained constant 2005 GDP $, he maxed out at about 6.7% (it is actually a bit higher than that if you use more complicated, but correct math than I did to figure out annual growth rate), that was in 1984Q2; nevertheless, it is close enough to 7.1% to begin to support your point.

If you look at pure growth over 7 quarters, then you were quite low. A 7 quarter moving window ranged from 7.5% in 1983Q4 to 7.1% in 1985Q3, with a high point of 11.7% in 1984Q2.

Back to annualized rates, the more likely number you are talking about. Reagan only had 8 out of a possible 25 7-quarter periods where he performed better than 4%, only 3 better than 5%, and two better than 6%. The rest were either negative (3 sets of 7-quarters) or less than 4%. I bet you Reagan's record is nowhere near as stellar as you thought it was.

However, your point is still valid when taken in isolation for Obama's record using the same methodology, while not having any negative growth as Reagan did, what growth he has had has been anemic.

I don't believe anybody disagrees it has been. Where the argument lies is WHY has it been anemic.

Conservatives want to blame it on either Obama having 1) no policy at all, 2) what policies he has implemented hurt the economy, and 3) no understanding of how the economy works even though they, the Conservatives, have been willing to compromise and help all along the way.

Democrats want to blame the Conservatives of standing in the way of recovery, throwing up every roadblock know to God and man to make sure whatever Obama does try, fails.

What is certain to me is that the main reason for anemic private sector growth is they are sitting on their money until either 1) the Democrats and Conservatives learn to work together and compromise or 2) one side or the other wins decisively at the polls.

I have been on this earth a long time now and I have watched Congresses full of very liberal Democrats and full of very conservative (Goldwater-type) Republicans, and until 1996, they have ALWAYS found a way to come together in the end and not bring the country to its knees in their partisan fight. With Newt Gingrich and the crowd of Conservatives that came with him, that dynamic changed and, for the Conservatives, ideology, in my opinion, has come ahead of country.

No longer is political compromise an accepted way of doing business for "compromise" has become a dirty word. With the 2000 election it became even worse of a word and then in 2010, it became downright filthy; some Conservative politicians say flat-out that compromise has no place in government.

My feeling on that, of course, is if America comes to accept that view and keeps those who believe that way in office, America will go the way of the Roman Empire. for governance as we, and our Constitutional framers thought of it, will cease to exist.


Nick Hanlon profile image

Nick Hanlon 4 years ago from Chiang Mai

115 years of economic failure from 1830 to 1945?In that time America went from a nation of small-time farmers to the most powerful country on earth.An economic failure?The mind boggles.You had by far the highest living standard in the world.Sure,America was far from being a perfect place.And what created the baby boom?Truman cutting the military budget by about 90%.That is a cutback in spending created a boom which went from 1945 thru to 1973.There lies the lesson folks.Cut back on spending;business will create jobs.Of course it took a democrat to demonstrate this-Harry Truman.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Nick, what would be your opinion of our economic growth during that period if, instead of multitude of boom-bust cycles, almost every one leading to a recession at least as bad as the 2008 recession; instead of that, we had a period characterized by the one under Keynesian economics where there were none?

More to the point, between our founding and 1830, on a constant $ per capita basis, our economy didn't grow at all, it was flat. From 1830 t0 1940 (Austrian economics was in place from 1801 - 1933), the economy grew at an average annual rate of 1.4%, by my calculations. From 1940 - 2000, (the period of Keynesian economics), it grew at a rate of 2.5%. From 2000 - 2009, "back to the deregulated Austrian economics", it fell at an average annual rate of -0.4%.

Now, the difference between 2.5% and 1.4% is substantial in economic terms, but, in and of itself, it doesn't make the Austrian model a "failed" model, just a poorer one. What does make the Conservative model a failed one is the "incomprehendable human misery" that went along with each and every "bust" part of the "boon-bust" cycle that is a feature a microeconomics-only based economics theory.

America was powerful prior to WW II, no doubt, but it was in, but probably near the top of the pack with Europe for much of that time. But, we didn't reach superstar status until after WW II when we were the only ones left standing with a viable economy.

WW II, Korean War, and the suburbanization of America (the last a government-sponsored program, btw) started the baby boom, lot's of lonely returning soldiers and a desire to put them in single-family homes in the suburbs.

90% reduction in the miltary budget? I would hope so after the end of WW II. Did that help in getting the economy moving, you betcha', as a newly famous person taught America to say. Does it help prove your theory of "simply by cutting spending, ergo the economy grows"? It doesn't even come close.

FDR prooved that cutting spending in the middle of (or in his case at the end of) a recession is rarely, if ever a good thing. How can it be when you throw a few hundred thousand government-related American workers into the streets and unemployment lines when the economy is weak? It just doesn't make common sense to me. And if you say they will simply move into these miraculously created private sector jobs that appeared overnight, well that just isn't the way the real world works. FDR found that out when he employed today's Conservative plan (the Ryan plan if you will) back in 1937, it drove the economy back into a deep recession.

Just for the record, the average annual per capita GDP growth for the 1940s (Truman), 1950s (Eisenhower), 1960s (Kennedy/Johnson), 1970s (Nixon/Ford/Carter), 1980s (Reagan/Bush), and 1990s (Bush/Clinton) was 3.7%, 2.1%, 3.5%, 2%, 1.3%, and 2.5% respectively. The high point was Truman, following WW II; after that was the Kennedy/Johnson era. The worst was the Reagan/Bush decade; already Obama is shaping up to do better than that.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

I believe that when WBA wanted to see a comparison, it would (or at lease it SHOULD) be by an unbiased source. Your bias is clear. Not that you should distort statistics, but you can easily put a spin on it.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

All my sources are from gov't data bases. You can get the same numbers and get the same charts. I spent over 20 years doing similar analysis for DoD and know how to keep my personal opinion out of the results.

For example, I wasn't expecting the "... no matter when you pick to start counting quarters, but based on "chained constant 2005 GDP $, he maxed out at about 6.7% ..." result I presented WBA, supporting his 7.1% number; I thought it would be at least a percentage point lower than that, but it wasn't, so that is what I reported.

The fact that I may have a have a preconcieved notion of what the answer may be, every one in the world has one of those, so long as 1) I use data from a credible source, 2) use cridible analysis, and 3) report what I find regardless of the outcome, then my particular bias has no relevance.

There has been more than one occasion I have had to eat crow because my numbers proved me wrong. Fortunately for me, this isn't one of them.


SassySue1963 4 years ago

@My

Whether it is the 7.1% or closer to 6% was not even the point. You've missed the point entirely.

Under Reagan's policies this country saw the greatest percentage of growth, median incomes for ALL American households increase as they never had before, and unemployment come down. It continued under Bush Sr. who kept the majority of Reagan economics in place with one small tax increase (which Congress actually demanded). The growth continued under Clinton however, when Clinton began to raise taxes to unheard of rates is when the growth slowed and then we had a recession, albeit one on a small scale. Clinton went too far with the taxes plus there were things like NAFTA which contributed as well. Then Bush comes in, spends like your plan recommends to bring us out of recession, brings taxes back down but fails to cut any spending. Again, there were external factors here. Bush also increased government. This was partly due to the creation of Homeland Security.

The point being this:

1. Reagan's policies not only worked to lift us out of recession but created an atmosphere of growth and prosperity.

2. When his policies were CHANGED, regardless which direction they were changed, is when that growth and prosperity ceased.

Obama is doing exactly, in every single case, the opposite of Reagan. We've already seen that it simply does not work. His plan is to continue to do exactly the opposite of Reagan. There is no history to suggest it will work. It is massive failure that will send us into ruin.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

I really wish you were correct, Sassy, we would all be much better off. While "technically" you are right, and this where looking at top level numbers can fool you, in reality you are very wrong.

This is because the Reagan tax policy accomplished the following: 1) it lowered taxes a lot on the rich, 2) it raised taxes on the rest of us to to a lesser degree to partly make up for the loss in revenue, 3) the net effect, when the dust settled and the number crunchers finished crunching, was an overall tax increase on the nation, not a tax decrease like everybody thinks. If you don't believe me, just go look up the individual marginal tax rates before and after Reagan.

What did this do? It allowed a massive gain in wealth for the upper 95th percentile of Americans, a moderate gain in wealth from the 60th to the 80th percentile, a tiny gain in wealth for those between the 40th and 60th percentile, and NO gain in wealth for the bottom 40% of America. Now, how does that square with your statement, " ... median incomes for ALL American households increase as they never had before ..."?

The ONLY reason overall median income increased so much is that the top 20% did fabulously well, but that is where the "trickle down" stopped trickling, don't you see.

I think if you check, Bush Sr, sort of had to abandon Reaganomics and raise taxes on the wealthy shortly after taking office, didn't he?

You can check any number you wish, Reagans highwater mark was by virtually every economic measure, except unemployment for awhile, it was downhill from there until the Bush Sr. recession in 1992, the result of Reagans policies from the decade before.

Yes, Obama is doing the opposite of Reagan, and a good thing to; instead, what he is trying to do, if the Conservatives would let him, is put back into place the Bush Sr.-Clinton policies of the early 1990s, you know, the ones that saw the longest economic expansion in American history?

(BTW, I think somewhere back there you said I ignored the 1980 - 1982 recessions in my book. That isn't true, they are there. What I didn't do is assign econonomic reasons (internal poor financial management by either the public or private sectors or both). I didn't do that because the primary drivers, as I said before was the Arab oil embargo. The 1992 recession was the result of poor fiscal and monetary policy, however, but it wasn't a large one.


SassySue1963 4 years ago

@My

You are completely incorrect. I just gave you the numbers and the facts. The median income ROSE for every single solitary household in America under Reagan. Bush Sr. kept most of Reagan's economic practices in place, as did Clinton. What Clinton did however, was raise taxes disproportionately. This helped, in part, to slow growth and bring us the recession of 1992.

Reagan cut taxes on EVERYONE, during the crisis he inherited from Carter, including businesses. Later, AFTER massive recovery, he raised taxes on EVERYONE, but not to the extent that Clinton took it, which led to the recession of 1992.

You like to credit Clinton for our growth when that is not accurate. Clinton also kept most of Reagan's economics in place, including a further cut to corporate tax rates. Raising taxes is not always an evil thing, but doing so during the longest recession period in the history of our country, when you've not stimulated growth of GDP or job creation in any real fashion, is a set back, not a move forward. Plus, you also fail to acknowledge that this President's budget proposals call for even more spending for programs that have already failed to stimulate the economy. You can slice and dice the numbers any way you like, but you can't change 25 years of prosperity which was spurred by Reagan's policies. Further, you also ignore, that it was not a Bush economy. The Congress was controlled by the Dems and much of our economic policy was initiated there with Bush compromising. It is a fallacy that these policies reflect those of the Bush Sr-Clinton years. It is also a fallacy that we are anywhere near the same position we were then. I explained before, and I'll mention it again, Bush Sr - Clinton inherited an economy in growth. They had the freedom to address revenue by raising taxes. To do so in our current situation will not help us out of the hole, it will only dig a deeper one.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

Dear My,

I had a whale of a response written and somehow I lost it. That's wonderful that you are employed in your passion, but your bias DOES show through. Maybe not at work, but at play, here at HubPages it does.

I'm a professional writer and know a logical conclusion without emotion when I see it. Then there's the opinion piece which you write smattered with so many stats and because if has stats in the right place, it's almost an easy leap, to claim it as FACT, NO MORE THAN FACT.

A few examples of where that's not the case: I feel I have to point out a few little tidbits (unsolicited as they may be).

One example is from the Hub itself:

"-- in 2006, Bush had a totally Conservative Congress, and in 2007-2008, nothing passed Congress that the Conservatives didn't want passed." In the years 2007-2008 there was a Democratic majority in both Houses; if liberals wanted to pass bills, bills would have been passed.

Why did you not say that Dubya had a Democratically controlled House and Senate in 2007 and 2008 and legislation still happened. That's bias right there.

Then , in 2009 and 2010 there was a Democratic executive, and both legislative bodies and precious little was accomplished other than the health care bill and TARP. Both major pieces of legislation, but the viability of each, open to opinion.

said to Sassy, "I don't see the increasing trend you are talking about, can you point it out to me?" Not so much biased, as downright arrogantly stated and mean. (The whole quote won't fit into this little box!)

"As to Carter having the highest UE rate, wrong again, go look at the Nixon/Ford era, it was much worse." I think this was said to Nick or Sassy. Please back up that assertion with FACT. All I can say is that UE is higher under President Obama than it was with Carter.

It fell during the Carter years (UE) while UE grew during Obama years with the exception of @ 11/11-3-4/12.

You provide lots of examples of parties not compromising, yet you flat out say, "some Conservative politicians say flat-out that compromise has no place in government." There needs to be an example of Democratic obstructionism if your Hub is to be considered balanced. And please don't insult us with some jabberwocky that there's no such thing as Democratic obstructionism, or liberal stunt or filibustering. That's an insult to the intelligence of every person who reads your Hub.

"NO gain in wealth for the bottom 40% of America. " This was said to sassy. While the stats were true, how many of those 40% paid taxes? If the figure was 60%, then a lot of people didn't work to get wealthy. That is the kind of thing you leave out of your statistics that could make common sense and give credence to your points.


SassySue1963 4 years ago

Oh and for the bottom 40% not increasing:

"The report concluded that"families in the lowest forty percent of the income distribution actually had lower real incomes on average in 1989than they did in 1979." Upon closer inspection, however, what the income data really show is that when JimmyCarter's economic policies were in effect, family incomes plummeted by 9 percent, but that after Reagan's economicpolicies took effect (1982-89), family incomes rose by 11 percent."

source: http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa261.pdf


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

(I hate it when that happens!) Annie, good points and I do try to be careful even when I use declarative words to make a point. Let's take the first example you pointed out:

"-- in 2006, Bush had a totally Conservative Congress, and in 2007-2008, nothing passed Congress that the Conservatives didn't want passed." In the years 2007-2008 there was a Democratic majority in both Houses; if liberals wanted to pass bills, bills would have been passed.

Why did you not say that Dubya had a Democratically controlled House and Senate in 2007 and 2008 and legislation still happened. That's bias right there.

There is no question about my bias toward progressivism, however, there is nothing "unfactual", if I might coing a word, in my saying " ... nothing passed Congress that the Conservatives didn't want passed ..." That statement is actual fact, it is in context, and that is exactly the point I wanted to make as it related to the legislative process.

Because, as the minority Party in the Senate, they can make use of the filibuster any way they want. In past Congresses, that statement would have been biased because it would have only been theoretical fact, the minority Party "could have", if they so chose, stymied the majoirty Party via the filibuster, but they rarely did. Beginning with the 2008 Congress and continuing to today, the use of the filibuster to control legislation has become a very real and dangeruous threat. (and yes, "danerous is a biased word also, but also correct because anytime one uses a process to bring the government to a standstill, that is, by definition, dangerous)

Consequently, while my statement may sound biased, it is, in reality, not. And neither is yours, for that matter, although it hides the truth of the matter. The NEW rules of the Senate, beginning in 2007 are thus:

- the Majority Leader sets the agenda, which has always been the case and is that way by design, meaning he or she controls what reaches the floor for a potential vote.

- the Minority Leader, so long as he has a lock-step Party of sufficient numbers behind him or her, controls, byway of the filibuster, what parts of the Marjority Leaders agenda gets to the President's desk. (That is the new part.)


SassySue1963 4 years ago

@My

"Because, as the minority Party in the Senate, they can make use of the filibuster any way they want. In past Congresses, that statement would have been biased because it would have only been theoretical fact, the minority Party "could have", if they so chose, stymied the majoirty Party via the filibuster, but they rarely did"

Really?

"During the 1930s, Senator Huey Long used the filibuster to promote his leftist policies. The Louisiana senator recited Shakespeare and read out recipes for "pot-likkers" during his filibusters, one of which occupied 15 hours of "debate"."

"Finally, in 1975 the Democratic-controlled Senate[5] revised its cloture rule so that three-fifths of the senators sworn (usually 60 senators) could limit debate, except on votes to change Senate rules, which require two-thirds to invoke cloture.[18][19] Another type of filibuster used in the Senate, the post-cloture filibuster (using points of order to consume time, since they are not counted as part of the limited time provided for debate), was eliminated as an effective delay technique by a rule change in 1979"

"The 110th Congress broke the record for cloture votes, reaching 112 at the end of 2008." (a Democratic majority Congress I might point out) Now, do I get to say their sole purpose was to hinder Bush to insure election of their candidate?

So no, your so-called "facts" are not facts at all.


SassySue1963 4 years ago

sorry...I hate when I forget something:

You're premise that all the filibusters of the current Congress are the GOP is also false:

"On December 10, 2010, self-described "democratic-socialist" Senator Bernard Sanders, I-VT, began a "Tax Cut Filibuster" at 10:25 am and finished at 6:59 pm later that day[37] on the floor of the Senate. Sanders' office said the intention was to "speak as long as possible against a tax deal between the White House and congressional Republicans."


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

More - I am not sure where the idea among Conservatives came from that TARP is an Obama program, it is not. TARP was signed into law by President Bush in October 2008. The piece of complementary legislation which Obama signed was ARRA, the stimulus probram in February 2009.

As to your dimuniation of Obama's accomplishments in the first two years (which also included extending the Bush tax cuts and repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell), I refer you to http://myesoteric.hubpages.com/hub/What-has-Presid... Now you may not like what he has accomplished of what he said he would, but accomplish he did.

I gather you attribute the rise in unemployment from 7.9 to 10 as the fault of Obama and his economic policies and that under McCain it might have gone down under his leadership? While at the same time you don't credit Obama from bring unemployment down from 10% to 8.25%; that isn't bias?

As to unemployment rates, I refer you to my source: http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/data/UNRATE.t... For the record, however, Nixon/Ford ranged from 3.9% (inherited from Johnson) to 8.9% and Carter from 5.6% to 7.8%; both better than Reagan's record which ranged from 5.3% to 10.8%. Further, unemployment was stable when Nixon took office, going down when Reagan took office, stable when Bush Jr. took office, and skyrocketting when Obama took office; go figure.

Of course Democrats, meaning progressives, have obstructed, but never, to the point of bringing the country to its knees as the Conservatives did in the debt ceiling crisis, and they have never used the filibuster in the large scale obstructionist pattern inaugurated by the Conservatives. There is a couple of reasons for that last statement, the main one being that the Democratic Party has members from all political wings, not just one. There is no way on Earth Harry Reid could command the Democratic Senators to vote in the same manner that Mitch McConnell does because the conservative, moderate, and liberal wings of the Democratic Party rarely see eye-to-eye enough to let him do that. In the end, until the Gingrich revolution came along, except in a few instances, Republicans and Democrats always found a way to comprise; not so today.


SassySue1963 4 years ago

So, let me get this straight, your basis for your facts comes from your own Hub? Firstly, President Obama did not want to extend the Bush tax cuts. He did want to extend unemployment benefits. The GOP forced a deal. They would approve the unemployment extension if the President did not veto the extension of the Bush tax cuts. I don't consider this "one of his accomplishments". He already came out and said, both in 2009, 2010 and now, that he is fine with ALL of the Bush tax cuts expiring. The GOP is why those tax cuts were extended.

"


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Nooo, Sassy, if you had read the Hub, you would have seen my main source is Politifact, which, in turn, lists all of its own sources. I just put things in chronological order with my own brief comments.


SassySue1963 4 years ago

Ah the Obamameter (I did try to go to your Hub, couldn't get there from here). That thing is bogus. It counts things like "use influence to get a college football playoff" and counts it as a "promise kept". Further, I've seen things counted as "kept" that clearly were not. And it leaves off many things as well.

Nevertheless, I was referring strictly right now to the "extending the Bush tax cuts" as an accomplishment of Obama when it was only the GOP compromise that made this happen.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

My, there you go again, not keeping bias out of stating fact. Me thinks that MSNBC would find a FINE replacement for Chris Matthews in you.

Anyway, " I am not sure where the idea among Conservatives came from that TARP is an Obama program" My Esoteric friend, there are MANY libs who think the same thing, also; do you really think that Conservatives have the market cornered with that erroneous thinking? Yet, you fail to point out that just as many libs are a bit confused on that one!

Of course Democrats, meaning progressives, have obstructed, but never, to the point of bringing the country to its knees (like Republicans). I consider not passing a budget (other than CR) more more than a minor inconvenience to the country and bringing small business-and large- to a standstill, because they are so unsure about how much Obamacare will cost them- a MAJOR problem.

Why is that a MAJOR problem? It keeps the UE rate low, as businesses don't know how much to set aside to cover their employees. To pay the penalty/tax or not hire that new employee? No longer can small business afford to offer health care benefits to employees. They'd rather pay what appears to be a tax now because it is the cheaper alternative. So, UE stays high.

The unemployment rate which appears to be coming down? These figures don't count the numbers of underemployed workers, the unemployed whose benefits have run out (my husband included). The real rate is much higher and unfortunately, the numbers are MUCH higher among inner-city blacks. Up to double digits. This doesn't make it to network news, and rarely to the MSNBC or CNNs of this world.

According to the New York Times, the unemployment rate for inner-city black teenagers is a staggering 40%. What has the POTUS done for this situation? Education is one key. Throwing more $$ at hamburger joints and telling them how to eat isn't helping them at all, Michelle.


teamrn profile image

teamrn 4 years ago from Chicago

My,

"There is no question about my bias toward progressivism, however, there is nothing "unfactual", if I might coing a word, in my saying " ... nothing passed Congress that the Conservatives didn't want passed ..." That statement is actual fact, it is in context, and that is exactly the point I wanted to make as it related to the legislative process."

I'm glad you admitted bias, but what makes you say that nothing passed Congress that conserve didn't want passed. Were deems that lame and cuckolded? Also, later on in a different post, you said something to the effect that 'the majority party rules and that's the way the game is designed to be played.' Well, you can't have it both ways, calling it a negative when conserve do it, but NOT calling the same when it is done by libs.

I just read this, "- Exactly what does TARP, Bush's Troubled Asset Relief Program, have to do with Unions?" You've got to be kidding? Please say you are!


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

No, the Dems weren't that lame and cockolded; instead the Conservatives abused the filibuster rule and there was nothing the Dems could do about then, just like they can't do anything about it today. With the filibuster (assuming they have 41 votes and the Conservates did and do), the Minority rules in the Senate to the degree that they have equal control as to what gets to the Presidents desk.

No, I didn't say the Majority Party "rules", I said the Majority gets to "set the agenda", what bills come up for consideration. It is the Minority, when abusing the filibuster, who controls what actually gets voted on by the full Senate.

In the past, the minority Party, when sufficiently motivated by a bill they didn't like, could have its three wings close ranks and successfully filibuster a bill; but this power was used sparingly because they knew the other side would ultimately return the favor. Now, there are no wings in the Republican Party, it is just Conservative, period, the ranks are already closed. Because of this, they don't pick and choose what to filibuster, they simply filibuster everything in sight, with a few minor exceptions.

I will have the same complaint when, and if, the Dems do it the next time they are the minority party in the Senate. They will be much less successful however because they are an inclusive Party rather than an exclusive one. But will the Dems at least try to do what the Conservatives did to them, you know they will at least try. Fortunately for America, I doubt they will be able to tie up government as effectively as their predecessor did.

I will be interested in how you draw the link between what TARP was used for and Unions, this will be interesting. If you said stimulus and unions, then you would have a point, but not TARP and unions.

BTW. I added a new section to this hub and I remembered you can get to the a couple of the hubs I refered to from links at the beginning of this hub


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

While I have no doubt there are at least some Dems who confuse TARP with the stimulus, I haven't seen any so far in the comments I have read. On the other hand, I have been surprised to find several examples of Conservatives trying to lay TARP on Obama. My guess is they are not making that up but repeating it from a more authoritative source such as Limbaugh, Hannity, and the like who know the difference, but like the good SDOs they are, pass on the misinformation anyway; that is my guess anyway.

" ... and bringing small business-and large- to a standstill, because they are so unsure about how much Obamacare will cost them- a MAJOR problem." -- I guess I can only give my personal experience to this one. My little 32-person (in about 9 different states) company has only benefitted from Obamacare with a 10% reduction in my rates this year; I provide full health, dental, and vision benifits picking up 80% of the tab. There is nothing in Obamacare that my HR department or my HR business partner ADP finds threatening in the future either; I had them look to make sure. As a business person, I am pleased with Obamacare and I haven't talked with any of my contemporaries who have been hurt or are confused by it either. As to cost, the CBO estimate is as good as any; the only confusion there is whether the Conservatives will be successful in changing any of it. If the Conservatives dropped their opposition, then business could get on with implementation. As it stands now, they have to wait until after November to see if the battle and further confusion is over, or just beginning.

Answer me this, if the Democrats had proposed a budget, would it have done any good? Would it have ever passed or would the Conservatives have torpedoed it to because of a refusal to compromise? Fortunately, while very helpful, a budget isn't critical; the appropriations are. Further, I doubt, so long as there are only Conservatives in the Republican Party, America will every see the normal 13 (I think) appropriation bills come out of Congress on Sep 30, or even Dec 31 as they once did with some frequency; the Conservative's inability to compromise will guaranteed that.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Sassy, by definition your statement " to the "extending the Bush tax cuts" as an accomplishment of Obama when it was only the GOP compromise that made this happen." is true. But I don't think it was the extention of the tax cuts for the middle class that was the accomplishment, that was a given; it was the rest of the package he got for agreeing to the extension of the tax cut for the rich as well that was the accomplishment.

I am not sure what you are implying by saying "On December 10, 2010, self-described "democratic-socialist" Senator Bernard Sanders, I-VT, ...", I mean the highlighting of the "democratic-socialist" part. Yes, he is a socialist, one the people of Vermont elected, maybe you can eleborate.

As to the rest, "... began a "Tax Cut Filibuster" at 10:25 am and finished at 6:59 pm later that day[37] on the floor of the Senate. Sanders' office said the intention was to "speak as long as possible against a tax deal between the White House and congressional Republicans." I actually remember something about that, but again, I am not sure what your point is. This is what filibusters are for, aren't they, but it looks like he was fighting alone for it certainly didn't last very long, as true filibusters go. Again, Sanders was "not" on a campaign to stop virtually every piece of Democratic legislation coming down the pike as the Conservatives are, that is a big difference between your example and what I am talking about.

I need to work on this one: "The median income ROSE for every single solitary household in America under Reagan. Bush Sr. kept most of Reagan's economic practices in place, as did Clinton. What Clinton did however, was raise taxes disproportionately. This helped, in part, to slow growth and bring us the recession of 1992.

Reagan cut taxes on EVERYONE, during the crisis he inherited from Carter, including businesses. Later, AFTER massive recovery, he raised taxes on EVERYONE, but not to the extent that Clinton took it, which led to the recession of 1992."

First - are you saying Clinton's policies led to the 1992 recession?

Second - who is the "he" that raised taxes on EVERYONE

Third - my source for all of my tax rate data is: http://taxfoundation.org/article/us-federal-indivi...

Before Reagan 1980: (adj of inflation)

$0 - $9,258 tax rate: 0%

$9,258 - $14,977 tax rate: 14%

After Reagan 1982:

$0 - $7,906 tax rate: 0%

$7,906- $12,788 tax rate: 12%

$12,788 - $17,671 tax rate: 14%

After Reagan 1988:

$0 - $55,305 tax rate: 15%

So, those with an AGI of $9,258 or less went from paying zero taxes to 15% and those from there to $14,977 went from paying 14% to 15% under Ronald Reagan. Yep, those taxes sure went down alright, love your math. How many tens of millions of people do you think had their taxes lowered like that? (How many thousands of people had their taxes lowered from 70% to 35%?)

Fourth: While you are going to be "technically" right (all groups did increase), you will nevertheless be embarassingly wrong regarding the median household incomes. Granted, I am just eye-balling these numbers from a graph, but in inflation adjusted dollars:

20th percentile: 1980 - $17,100 1990 - $17,200 (0.6%)

50th percentile: 1980 - $45,000 1990 - $49,000 (+8.8%)

80th percentile: 1980 - $80,000 1990 - $90,000 (+12.5%)

95th percentile: 1980 - $130,000 1990 - $155,000 (+19.2%)

That certainly is proportional sharing in growth, isn't it.


SassySue1963 4 years ago

Let me educate a bit about taxes:

" The wealthiest 1 percent of the population earn 19 per­cent of the income but pay 37 percent of the income tax. The top 10 percent pay 68 percent of the tab. Meanwhile, the bottom 50 percent—those below the median income level—now earn 13 percent of the income but pay just 3 percent of the taxes. These are proportions of the income tax alone and don’t include payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare."

"But haven’t the tax cuts put more of the burden on the backs of the middle class and the poor?

No. I examined the Treasury Department analysis of how much the rich would have paid without the Bush tax cuts and how much they actually did pay. The rich are now paying more than they would have paid, not less, after the Bush investment tax cuts. For example, the Treasury’s estimate was that the top 1 percent of earners would pay 31 percent of taxes if the Bush cuts did not go into effect; with the cuts, they actually paid 37 per­cent. Similarly, the share of the top 10 percent of earners was estimated at 63 percent without the cuts; they actually paid 68 percent"

"What is the economic logic behind these lower tax rates?

As legend has it, the famous “Laffer Curve” was first drawn by economist Arthur Laffer in 1974 on a cocktail napkin at a small dinner meeting attended by the late Wall Street Journal editor Robert Bartley and such high-powered policymakers as Richard Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. Laffer showed how two different rates—one high and one low—could produce the same revenues, since the higher rate would discourage work and investment. The Laffer Curve helped launch Reaganomics here at home and ignited a frenzy of tax cutting around the globe that continues to this day. It’s also one of the simplest concepts in economics: lowering the tax rate on production, work, investment, and risk-taking will spur more of these activities and will often produce more tax revenue rather than less. Since the Reagan tax cuts, the United States has created some 40 million new jobs—more than all of Europe and Japan combined."

" Do tax cuts on investment income, such as George W. Bush’s reductions in tax rates on capital gains and dividends, pri­marily benefit wealthy stockowners?

The New York Times reported that America’s millionaires raked in 43 percent of the investment tax cut benefits in 2003. It’s true that lower tax rates have been a huge boon to shareholders—but most of them are not rich. The latest polls show that 52 percent of Americans own stock and thus benefit directly from lower capital gains and dividend taxes. Reduced tax rates on dividends also triggered a huge jump in the number of companies paying out dividends. As the National Bureau of Economic Research put it, “The surge in regular dividend payments after the 2003 reform is unprecedented in recent years.” Dividend income is up nearly 50 percent since the 2003 tax cut."

source: http://www.american.com/archive/2007/november-dece...

Now, back to those income figures:

"Also in 2007, again before Obama was even elected, and after 25 years of Reaganomics, the bottom 40% of income earners on net as a group paid less than 0% of federal income taxes. Instead of paying at least some income taxes to help support the federal government, the federal government paid them cash through the income tax code."

"In the Tax Reform Act of 1986, President Reagan reduced the federal income tax rate for middle and lower income families all the way down to 15%. That Act also doubled the personal exemption, shielding a higher proportion of income from taxation for lower income workers than for higher income workers."

I do believe I already said that Reagan reduced them originally to aid in economic recovery and after that recovery was well under way, he did then increase taxes, however, the higher exemptions for lower incomes remained in place. Meaning, that less of their income was taxable, the net result being less taxes paid.

I tried to find a simple chart but could not because I know from personal experience that your numbers are not even correct. Absolutely no one making $9000 a year pays one dime in taxes. In fact, if they are HOH they get PAID by the Government with the Earned Income Tax Credit. If you really knew about economics the way you claim, you would be well aware of this fact. As the Earned Income Tax Credit was created in 1975, a move Reagan testified before Congress in favor of, your figures for 1988 are an outright lie.

Growth is not going to be proportional. However, what you leave out of your chart is how much of that "growth" actually goes into paying the tax burden.

In 2009, the bottom 50% paid only 2% of the entire Federal tax burden.

The top 5% paid over 50% of the entire nation's tax burden. This idea that the middle class is carrying the tax load is a lie.


Annie 4 years ago

Dear My,

House Republican would have proposed a budget and sent it on to the Senate where the Senate would have voted on it and passed it on to the WH for yay/nay.

Thing is, the House DID propose several budgets and Harry Reid did not take them up; he didn't want his members to go on record as having voted for a piece of legislation that had no tax cuts, but spending cuts, only.

A bill such as this would greatly harm the Democrat senate balance and THAT is the reason that Harry Reid still blocks. most things that come fro the House.

Then on to the Senate and Executive where it would have been smooth sailing.

So, the WH gets no budget to sign and rather than lead and TELL HARRY REID, "enough of this crap." "play ball..." BO passes CU after CU. Is that a way to govern?


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Actually Annie, I think if you check, the Senate did vote on the Ryan budget and rejected it 40 yes - 57 no (including 4 Republicans and 1 Conservative) on 5/25/2012.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

I added a few more links in the Related Links Section that contain much of my more detined economic analyses on these subjects.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

I will have to mull over your numbers, Sassy, but, the $9,000 is quite correct, that is taxable income or AGI less all deductions. So, before Reagan, if a family ended up with taxable income of $9,000, they paid no taxes and under Reagan, they paid $1,350 in taxes, money that probably ate into their subsistance level of living given they probably didn't gross more than $20,000.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

You have to be careful when using the Laffer Curve in support of your lower tax generating more tax revenue thesis, it may come back to bite you. Laffer hypothosized on his napkin that there is a theoretical point where taxing more or "taxing less" will generate less revenue. Where that point is has been subject to much debate but several studies conducted in the U.S. and other developed countries place it somewhere between 33% and 70%, a very wide range indeed. It is really impossible to figure out the exact point without trial and error.

It does seem we are on the downslope side of the Laffer curve at the moment, meaning, higher rates will bring in more revenue (the Clinton effect), because in 2005, the CBO conducted an exhaustive study that presumed a 10% cut in all tax brackets which suggested as much. Their conclusion was that increased revenue from a higher GDP would cover only 28% of the revenue lost in individual income taxes ("Analyzing the Economic and Budgetary Effects of a 10 Percent Cut in Income Tax Rates". )


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Dear, Long-suffering, Determined, Heroic, Committed My Esoteric -

You have my deepest appreciation and admiration.

-- for undertaking this important and much needed hub

-- for providing comprehensible charts

-- for making sense out of statistical data

-- for your incredible patience in dealing with comments

-- for your incredible patience in dealing with comments

No, I didn't make a mistake. I wrote it twice because you deserved it.

I do not have the time, patience, or ability to handle the issues and the materials like you, but I am so glad you are willing and able to do so. Shorter hubs with more clear charts are definitely the way to go in order to reach more well-intentioned people who care, but who may not have the background to follow lengthy convoluted discussions and arguments.

I am sorry that you are being tag-teamed by people who steadfastly refuse to look at the truth or deal with the facts (they are held captive by political dogma and hyperbole from the right). You are a "good man." Thank you. Seriously, thank you. Sharing. ~~~ Theresa

I keep trying to find time to read a book by Alfred Stieglitz about why Dem and Rep fundamentally see the world differently and perhaps why even the best information and facts will not be convincing -- because political positions are often based on something deeper and more fundamental (sadly) than facts and reality. Do you know his work and what do you think?


Annie/teamrns 4 years ago

Theresa, Tag-teamed? Au contraire, this is what this gentleman does for a living and we're just keeping him honest. He proclaims to know the truth and nothing but the truth, but his bias steps forward in statement.

His are not errors of commission, but errors of omission and selective use of facts to prove a point. Ciao guys! Thanks for the wonderful discussions.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

My Esoteric....You are magnificent! This hub is wonderful, including the charts. I haven't enough superlatives at my command to praise you enough!

You are also incredibly patient to continue a logical, fact-filled discussion with people who are apparently incapable of understanding factual, provable information. For those of us who haven't checked our brains at the door (as required by the GOP), this information is powerful indeed. I only hope that a lot of American citizens who classify themselves as Independents or Undecided will read and assimilate your fact-filled hub.

Thank you! Voted Up, Useful, Interesting and Awesome! (And thanks to Theresa for sharing so I could find you!) Jaye


SassySue1963 4 years ago

@Jaye

No they are not facts. My brain is fine thank you, but you should work yours out more often apparently as we've proved many of the claims of his Hub false.

For instance, it is easy for My to claim the tax figures for 1988 are correct, but they are not. The Tax Reform Act of 1986 did many things, but one of those things was the following:

"The act eliminated federal income tax liability for those below the poverty line. This restored the laws as they existed in the late 1970s, when poor people were excluded from the obligation to pay taxes. This particular reform was made necessary by the effects of inflation: inflation increases people's nominal income and therefore their income taxes, even though in real economic terms they live in poverty."

Not adjusted for inflation, the poverty line in 1988 was $5,000 and some change for a single person and $11,000 and some change for a family. Therefore, the information provided for taxes after Reagan are false.

Further, anyone who knows anything, would know that Reagan re-wrote much of the tax code and it is not so simple as comparing tax rates either. Exemptions were different. Standard deductions were changed. Itemized deductions were changed. This meant that the actual income that individuals were taxed upon was lowered, meaning that it was not just about the tax rate, but the amount of income that wound up being classified as taxable. Therefore, much less income tax was actually paid because less of a person's income was considered taxable income. This is pretty basic stuff that is either just not known or being intentionally omitted in the interest of presenting a biased point of view.

You should really peruse the following sources if you think what is presented here is fact.

sources:

http://www.answers.com/topic/tax-reform-act-of-198...

http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/figures-fed-reg.shtml


Wesley Meacham profile image

Wesley Meacham 4 years ago from Wuhan, China

I'll be honest, I found the comments section more informative than the actual hub. Still, you provided an interesting read.

I left the republican party about six years ago. I had two main reasons for this at the time. First, many of the issues being discussed in the republican party I felt were superfluous and unimportant. Looking at the news I find that these issues are still paramont to the republican platform. Second I found a lot of hypocracy in many of the local republicans. Many of the people I had voted for talked about cutting spending and entitlement programs but within my state they actually increased spending and their were a few programs they voted for that only helped members of the state senate.

I did not vote for Obama the first time. I voted for McCain though at the time I did not believe that there was much difference between them. I will not vote this year because I don't really like either candidate and because I've gotten to the point where I simply don't think that it matters. I've about decided that all politicians start out well intended but eventually become crooks. Maybe I'm a bit cynical but I think that they're ALL screwing us.

I will say this... a few months back when they were discussing the budget and they came closer than ever before to shutting down the government, Obama attempted to comprimise while the republicans in congress refused to budge. To me, this made Obama look like the lone adult in a room full of squabaling children. I don't really believe in his policies and I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw the White House but for this one reason he does have my respect.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thank you Wesley for your deeply felt thoughts, they are appreciated and understood. As for the comments, I, or should I say we, probably doubled the amount of data from that contained in the original hub squabbling back and forth.

I to use to be a Republican, until Clinton when it became clear the moderate and liberal-wings of the Republican Party were becoming extinct, crushed by the conservative steamroller. I didn't really join the Democrats other than they had the only viable candidate, from my perspective, whose platform would hurt the country and regress it back into the 1800s.

My preference would be to be able to rejoin the Party of Lincoln once more for my economic policies, while Keynesian, and ideas of justice and foreign policy are nevertheless of the conservative bent, but my social policies are definietly progressive.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Theresa, Jaye, thank you for you kind words and support, they really are appreciated. I have always been a lone-wolf, cave-man type, but this was getting rediculous, lol. I will need to look up Stieglitz's book, it will be an interesting read. I wonder if he sources Dr. Altemeyer? (I added my hubs on his RWA and SDO surveys to my Related Hub list.)

In defense of Sassy and Annie, though, (Sassy, all my numbers are in inflation-adjusted dollars, where appropriate, btw), their point of reference from a social framework and mine are on near opposite ends of the spectrum. As a consequence, we can each look at the same exact set of numbers and come to opposite conclusions as to whether they represent a good thing or a bad thing. The challenge is to get to the point that we are looking at the same set of numbers and agree they are relavent.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Sassy, it took a bit of thinking to figure out the best way to approach what is a common conservative theme regarding the fair distribution of taxes (from a comment way upstream) and keep it short enough to make a comment out of it. The tax and earning numbers you present make a powerful visual and sound-bite story, especially since the numbers are reasonably accurate. The problem lies, as it always does, in the details but it also drives at the core differences between a Conservative and Progressive perspective of the American social structure; what the American society believes is the right thing to do regarding those whose income levels barely make it possible, if at all, to live a minimally comfortable lifestyle which all Americans strive for.

Well, I wrote my thoughts on this, and it wasn’t short, it was another hub which I will provide a link to in the future. Nevertheless, let me summarize what I was getting at.

The US income tax system was designed to be progressive in nature, which is to tax those who earn more at a higher rate than those who earn less. Until Ronald Reagan, that was the case. Briefly, Reagan reduced the tax brackets from over 12 to just two, 15% for those earning $55,608 (2011$) and 28% (2011$) for those earning more than that amount; effectively turning the tax system on its head, from progressive to regressive.

You have mentioned several times that Reagan made adjustments by introducing standard deductions, increasing the exemptions and indexing them, all that is true. But, that wasn’t enough to offset the increased tax rates on the poor. You got my curiosity up so I dug out my 1981 and 1988 tax returns, an inflation table, and my calculator. When the dust settled, if my wife and I made $28,954 (in 2011$), which is the top of the 18%, 1981 tax bracket, and compared what we would have paid under the 1981 and 1988 rates, assuming no itemized deductions, I would have paid 5.6% more under Reagan than under Carter. If I had two kids, I would have paid 21% more under Reagan. Do you know where my extra taxes went? To pay for the tax reductions for the wealthy, that is where. And that is called regressive taxation.

It is the fact that Conservatives find this state of affairs acceptable and the way things ought to be that differentiates them from Progressives, who believe this is intolerable. And, THAT, is what the issue is with the argument over raising the tax rates on the wealthy back up to Clinton’s formula. It is this situation I just described which Progressives instinctively understand as “fair” and Conservatives find as “unfair”.

The rational for why the top income people pay such a large share of the taxes is just as commonsensical; the mathematics of it drives it that way. The simple fact is the poverty line and the median family incomes are relatively close together; about $27,000 apart. If you assume those below the poverty line pay no taxes, it isn’t good social policy, and those near the poverty line pay little in taxes, what does that leave you? The people above the median income level, because it is so skewed to the left due to income inequality in this country, the only ones left that have any money left over to pay taxes are the well off. So, why are you surprised that people below the median income level pay only 3% of the taxes? The median income in this country is only $27K from being considered in poverty, for goodness sakes.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Excellent My Esoteric. Thank you for doing all the math and expending the time and energy on writing up this comment. It goes without saying that I strongly support your original essay.

Thank you for trying to bring clarity and fairness, not equality or equity - because in the real world that is seldom possible - but we can and should strive for "fairness." Theresa


Annie/teamrn 4 years ago

Dear My, I read your post above, and it really doesn't matter which one. You frequently, as in the title of this hub, discuss the difference between the Conservative approach and the Progressive approach (to the Constitution).

Therein lies what I see as THE FUNDAMENTAL disagreement. Conservatives see no reason for the Constitition to PROGRESS. That piece of paper has only been revised (in amendments 27 or 28 times) which gives an idea that it IS fine the way it is.

The only thing left out, and I feel that it was left out because the framers NEVER DREAMED THAT PEOPLE WOULD WANT TO MAKE POLITICS A LIFESTYE. Woulnd't they rather go back to the farm, back to their law practice? So, the one thing they left out, and most Americans agree on, is TERM LIMITS for all legislators.

What in God's Green Earth does the Progressive movement see as the reason to Progress and TOWARDS WHAT? The Consitution doesn't need to change. That's why we have the SCOTUS. For those few instances where we really can't agree on what the framers meant by their words. The SCOTUS is to INTERPRET to the best of their ability, what the framers words would mean in 2012, since 1789 was a ways away.

What are all Progressives progressing 'to' (I know that a proposition is a word you don't end a sentence 'with;' but this is Friday eve and I thought I'd play with the King's English a bit!


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Madam Annie, your first three paragraphs are spot on, I couldn't agree more.

But to answer your question in the rest of your comment, let me approach it this way.

-- If it weren't for Progressives, you wouldn't have the right to vote

-- If it weren't for Progressives, blacks wouldn't have the right to vote

-- If it weren't for Progressives, blacks would still be slaves in America

-- If it weren't for Progressives, the tax code would be regressive

-- If it weren't for Progressives, there would be no man on the moon and space program

-- If it weren't for the Progressive Chief Justice John Marshall and his famous, or as Conservatives call it, infamous, Marbry v Madison decision, SCOTUS would not be interpreting the Constitution today.

-- If it weren't for Progressives, there would not be a Constitution of the United States, only the Articles of Confederation.

I wonder if that can be put to a song. But, anyway, that are a few of the things Progressives are progressing "to".


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

Great response, M.E. Even if it's not put to music, it makes a powerful chant!


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Hehe, thank you Jaye, and you to Theresa.


annieteamrn/ 4 years ago

Assuming your suppositions are all true, my questions, WHAT DO PROGRESSIVES FIND THE NEED TO PROGRESS TO remains unanswered? Why do thy feel that the Constitution must progress with the times?

That's a simple one paragraph answer, not a need for a diatribe about what Progressives may or may not have done IN THE PAST. I just ask you to answer from your heart and head, not history book-biased text. What does your GUT say? WHY DO PROGRESSIVES SEE THE NEED TO KEEP THE CONSTITUTION 'UP TO DATE?'That is not an essay question, but a good answer (if thought out) can be written in one paragraph,

The examples that Progressives are progressing to are ALL in the past. 'Progress' implies FORWARD MOTION.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Annie -

I will try to answer your question and I am an average "lower class - finally made it into the middle class" with a lot of hard, hard work and a little governmental support (educational grants/loans) and private support (merit based - read hard work - scholarships) from generous individuals and foundations.

I have raised three sons, cared for aging parents, volunteered in my church and my local community, have lived carefully when it comes to money - I have no credit card, school loan, or vehicle debt. Paid them all off and raised the boys -- by myself as their father skipped out in their early teens. So that is who I am, an average hard-working American who has gotten some government help along the way a few times and this is what I think.

As a progressive I hope we are moving toward a more level playing field (it will never be perfectly level - perfection does not exist in the real world) where educational, employment, and social opportunities are available to everyone willing to put in hard work;

moving toward a society that finds and maintains a healthy balance between freedoms, rights, and responsibilities;

moving toward a political system which values cooperation, service to country over personal aggrandizement, the wisdom of compromise, and the importance of resisting extremism, whether on the political left or right;

moving toward a society that values group compassion and individual responsibility and effort, but realizes that it will benefit all of us if poor children are well-fed and housed, families are able to get decent medical care (not last ditch crisis ER care - which actually costs you and me as taxpayers far more than if everyone had access to a regular doctor -- look at the math on medical costs - its quite instructive), and rigorous education is available in every town and city....

but all of this needs and can be done without increasing government dependency, by eliminating graft, cheating, and waste, by targeting our financial resources where they will do the most good, by calling on communities and churches to carry part of the burden.

The goal is not a massive paternalistic welfare state, neither should our goal be profit at the expense of kindness and generosity toward those who may need assistance (hardly what the Bible teaches). Additional personal effort is an essential component.

As a progressive, it is not either /or, it is that we need a healthy balance in so many areas and programs. Demonizing the opposite political party may garner votes and win an election (although that speaks so poorly of both politicians and voters), but it does not lead to good government or a better, stronger society.

Annie, I am walking out the door to a family birthday party, so my apologies if this is not as well-written as it might be.

My Esoteric - thank you for the opportunity to express myself.


Annie 4 years ago

pdatz,

Thoroughly enjoyed your non-inlammatory response; to the first two paragraphs, I'm in agreement and applaud. We've all overcome something and those who haven't tried, have missed out on part of life.

There are those who won't succeed, no matter how much government helps them. They have the mind frame that no matter what destructive behaviors they choose to engage in, that the government 'owes them.' Nobodoy owes anybody ANYTHING other than a few things like taxes and what we get in return for taxes.

Despite my being on Social Security Disability for my income, it is my feeling that I'M NOT OWED THAT except by virtue of the fact that it is the law from 1938-9. People managed with the assistance of church, community, fund-raisers, etc. Unfortunately the cost of life itself (medical, dental, rents, gas: necessities) has risen to an intolerable level., so the law states that if I meet certain requirements, I am able to APPLY for assistance. What that whole paragraph had to do with the price of tea in China, I don't know.

As towards moving towards a more level playing field, I don't want us EVER to get to the point where those people who work hard for a living and sacrifice, don't enjoy the fruits of their labors. Of course, the majority of people work hard for a living, but I see a difference between working hard and succeeding. Those who succeed, worked hard and were in the right place at the right time. That is fate, destiny, karma, call it what you'd like, but that person who succeeded at what he worked hard for SHOULD NOT worry about having the fruits of his success and hard work, giving to someone who doesn't TRY.

I want us to work on developing a more 'level playing field' but I know too many small business owners who have gone without a paycheck for months. Should they give up more, just so someone who doesn't give a damn, gets a little of his hard earned income? We are guaranteed EQUAL OPPORTUNITY to succeed, not EQUAL SUCCESS. We have rights given to us by whomever our God is, not by our government.

If success on a level playing field is what we're all about, shoot me now. There are adages, galore, but Emily Dickenson comes to mind, "Success is counted sweetest Bby those who ne'er succeed. " In short, if you don't succeed and keep trying until you do, you appreciate success once you get it.

Is the answer to that person's success, to grab it from him immediately? What will be the incentive to try, try, try and try again until he succeeds. It's easier for 'him/her' to rely on the government for support and become one of the 40+% who pay no taxes. Even on disability, I pay state and federal income taxes.

I don't think that all that you mention can be done by eliminating graft, waste, etc. If it could, it would have been done years ago; the hang up is lack of agreement on HOW to do it.

It has been mentioned and often a bone of contention that all we need to do is raise taxes on the wealthy to accomplish this. Well, raising taxes on the wealthy, will seemingly sounding fair, would fund the government for a bit less than a month, give or take. Then where would we be. We've had a break, but the party is over and now the wealthy will take their jobs off shore, further decreasing the jobs available here in the US. One answer, REVISE the tax code so that no-one can take advantage of loopholes. That includes me and my medical deductions. I guess what's good for the goose is what's good for the gander.

I know you were just running out the door and in a hurry, but this sounds nice, but WHAT DOES IT REALLY MEAN? Not platitudes, "moving toward a society that finds and maintains a healthy balance between freedoms, rights, and responsibilities" What is a healthy balance between freedoms, rights and responsibilities.?

"The goal is not a massive paternalistic welfare state, neither should our goal be profit at the expense of kindness and generosity toward those who may need assistance (hardly what the Bible teaches). Additional personal effort is an essential component." That may not be the goal, but that is what is happenning.

Examples of that happening, staying on Mom and Dad's insurance, providing K-COLLEGE and beyond education when it can be done without help. Promising GOOD healthcare for all when it is NOT feasible until we revise our system. There's NO way that more can be provided to more recipients for NO CHANGE in what is CHARGED, My healthcare analogy is simple. The healthcare pie is only so big. If you have more people eating from the pie, the slices have NO CHOICE but to be smaller-unless another pie (increased premiums) is baked. Then eventually, you run out of ingredients (quality) and you've a substandard pie. As Americans we can do a much better job of assuring that all are insured.

I don't like this demonizing the other political party AT ALL, but some seem to thrive on it. As far as I'm concerned, it accomplishes nothing other than self-aggrandizement. I'd love to hear your thoughts.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

The answer to you question lies in the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States. What Progressives "find the need to progress to: is to " ... form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves AND OUR POSTERITY, ..." (there is your paragraph)

I need to point out what the writers of the Constitution found important to capitialize for emphasis and what they did not (setting aside my capitialization.) They emphasizied Union, Justice, Tranquility, Welfare, Blessings of Liberty, and Posterity; they did not emphasize defense or "ourselves".

It has been a battle be canservatives and progressives throughout the history of America where the Progressives focus and motivation are on those words that are capitalized while the Conservatives focus has historically been on those that are not.

What Progressives always strive to do is prevent the Constitution from becoming the Ariticles of Confederation, a document much more to the liking of Conservatives whether they want to admit it or not for it is the Articles of Confederation, and not the Constitution, which embodies every principle Conservatives hold dear.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

The first goal of Progressives for future legislative actions is to reduce the Gini Index (a measure of income/wealth distribution, Table H-4, U.S. Census Bureau) back to 1971 levels.

To baseline this for you, a Gini index of zero means every person in the US earns the same income or has the same wealth (the conservatives idea of communism), a Gini index of 1 meanes all the income or wealth of America is concentrated in the hands of one single person; neither cases are possible, of course, reality is somewhere in between.

For the U.S. the Gini Index was:

4.69 in 2010,

4.70 in 2006,

4.66 in 2001,

4.50 in 1995,

4.06 in 1981,

3.96 in 1971,

3.97 in 1967 (1st year reported)

and finally in 1947, it is estimated to be 4.17

---- Do you notice how income inequality in America starts rapidly increasing after the Reagan tax policies became effective? That is not a coincidence.

For comparison (CIA estimates),

Argentina - 45.8

Buruni - 42.4

China - 41.5

Germany - 27

Switzerland - 33.7

Taiwan - 34.2

United States - 45.0


teamrn 4 years ago

They Capitalized. There is meaning in that of which you have intimate/inside knowledge. Where you there?

We're all after the same things, Union, Tranquility, establish Justice, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves AND OUR POSTERITY, ..."

We propose different ways of attaining them. That doesn't mean that Conservatives don't WANT the same thing. Is there some reason that you feel that progressives have the market cornered in wanting the best for everyone? That's your tone and I find it somewhat distasteful that I'm accused of wanting the opposite of all those virtues. Please. cut that out. Ciao


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Annie, let me respond to one piece of your response, because it deals with numbers more than philosophy; for the latter, I will let Theresa carry the ball if she wants to.

The health care pie isn't static, that is what a lot of people don't understand. Now, nobody, including Obama, said Obamacare was going to be free, at least in the outset but, in a perfect world and Congress enacted everything it is supposed to and the economy does exactly as predicted, the end result is a savings of money and a lowering of healthcare costs.

Of course, we all know Congress won't do what they are required to do, the economy could do worse, or better, and a whole series of things will be different than what the Obamacare economics and the CBO analysis had assumed, but then that is true of life in general, isn't it; you plan as best you can.

But, to off-set some of the costs, excise taxes were added to medical equipment and similar products, a big push to eliminate Medicare and Medicaid fraud was begun which has already reduced Medicare costs, and other such measures.

But the biggest measure, the one that will drive down insurance and then medical costs is the individual mandate which increases the healthcare pie significantly by including millions of healthy people into the insurance pool that weren't formerly there. This is what makes Romneycare work and it is what will make Obamacare work.


SassySue1963 4 years ago

Why is it a goal to reduce it and exactly what is your plan to do that? Take from those who have earned and give to those who have not? You believe that is fair? I don't think so. Opportunity to succeed is there for every American citizen. There are many factors that affect that success. Sometimes they can be external, but the hard truth is that many times they are internal. it is not the job of Government to guarantee its citizens success, only the opportunity. For those willing to work for it, there is every opportunity that anyone who has succeeded in America had. To say differently is a falsehood.

It's nice that you leave out the fact that "the Progressive Movement' is sometimes claimed not to be a movement at all because the Progressives couldn't and can't even agree amongst themselves on many issues and goals. You also conveniently leave out some other "goals" of the Progressives:

1. Prohibition (that one was certainly a success)

2. (I'm sure some will love this one) To change other people by having them adopt the Progressive vision of middle class

behavior and thought...this particularly applied to issues of recreation and leisure, the

status of the family, sexual orientation and behavior. Progressives sought to revive a

sense of Victorian family and social values early in the twentieth-century

3. (here's another great one) To segregate society into groups, based on occupation (labor, management,etc) race,

sex (laws protecting women insured secondary status in employment), and immigration

status. Segregation of the races was seen by Progressives as a method of stabilizing

race relations.

Just food for thought.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

No, Annie, I wasn't there, obviously, but I do understand the English language and the nuances of sentence and word structure. There are clear and discernable reasons why certain words are emphacized and others are not; even Supreme Court justices have made note of this in a decision or two that I have read over. I also read what others think as well as what some of the original writers wrote (so much my personal sentence structure and nuance).

And no, I don't think Conservatives and Progressives want the same thing. Two of the biggest differences are the words Union and Welfare; you and I, as surrogates for our respective views, have entirely different understandings of what those two concepts mean, and, as a result, you push in one direction and I push in the opposite just as Adams and Jefferson did or Hamilton and Madison did (at least until Madison served a couple of years as President, then he started coming around to my way of thinking regarding Union.)

How Congress legislates to obtain the ideals of Union and Welfare, as well as Liberty (which we don't view in quite the same way either) will either drive to a society more like what Theresa describes and Presidents Washington, Adams, Linclon, Kennedy, Johnson, and Obama have in mind or back to societies that people like President's Jefferson, Jackson, Coolidge, Cleveland, and Reagan could be proud of.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Sassy, unfortuanetly, it is the opposite that is going on, it is the poor who are giving to the wealthy in the macro world , although you are correct in the micro, acecdotal world. That is the beauty of the Gini index I mentioned earlier. It is a measure economists use to measure the transfer of wealth/income over time. If the Gini index is getting bigger that means wealth is accumulating at the top, which is what I am saying is happening; if it is getting smaller, then wealth is being transfered from the top to the bottom income levels, what you assert is happening, but is not.

Because total wealth in a country is essentiall a zero-sum game, if the rich are getting richer, it is only because wealth is being transfered from the poorer classes to the richer classes; and that is what the Gini Index is telling us is happening in America, in spite of your anecdotal evidence to the contrary.

Wasn't Prohibition the goad of the Religious Right, the Conservatives of America? I believe you will find the Progressives of the day fought against that amendment.

As to #2 and #3, I am sure you know what you are talking about, but none of that sounds familiar to this Progressive.


SassySue1963 4 years ago

" if the rich are getting richer, it is only because wealth is being transfered from the poorer classes to the richer classes"

Say what? There is no finite amount of wealth. Bill Gates did not accrue his wealth by stealing it from the poor. There is no "transfer". Anyone has the opportunity to create something, start a business, imagine an idea and market it. When they do so, and enhance their financial position, it is not a "tit for tat" thing. That does not mean that for every rich person, a poor person, or a group of poor people are doomed because someone already made their share of the money.

And, just for the record, I did not assert that any transfer was happening, I asked if that was the plan to "redistribute" it. To take from Tom A. because he succeeded, and give to Tom B. because he did not.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Nobody said anything about "stealing" anything, but there is, if you understood economics better, a definite "transfer"; there is absolute proof (those Gini numbers) that since 1981, the old adage that the "rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer" is alive and well in America.

Since 1981, the top 1% of Americans have been accumulating wealth at a stupendously faster rate than the other 99% and that money has to come from somewhere, doesn't it, it doesn't grow on trees in Gates' backyard. The growth in wealth of the top 1% compared to the next 9% is just as mind-boggling, let alone the comparison of the top 10% to the bottom 90%. It is only when you get to the 80% range do you start seeing equal participation in the remaining growth of wealth in America (that doesn't mean each gets the same amount of money, it means they share at the same "rate".)

Also, nobody is talking about "tit-for-tat" either. These are aggregate numbers, this is what is happening in the American society as a whole.

Doen't it freighten you just a little bit to know that the Median Income of all American families is only $27,000 above the poverty line? To me, that says our idea of "The American Dream" is a broken one where only a select few individuals in the poor and the middle class break through to the top and that income mobility in this society is, in reality, a myth. The data prove that over the last 30 years or so, if you are born poor, that is where you will stay, if you are born middle class, you will stay there or fall back, and if you are born well-off, you will stay that way or get better; since 1981, the migration between those level has slowed down substantially.

"Redistribution" = "Transfer"

I did miss your nuance in talking about the future as I am so used to that argument being applied by Conservatives to the past and present, sorry.

Another goal of Progressives is to improve "income mobility"; to make it more realistic that an American, if they work hard, can actually move up the income scale.


SassySue1963 4 years ago

Taxing the wealthy to pay the Government isn't going to effect the median income range. The government cannot and should not determine wealth or success. Only jobs and growth does that. This Administration has failed miserably in both areas. I really don't care about progressive nor conservative exactly, if you want the truth. I care about results. Reaganomics was what it was and that was successful at ushering in 25 years of prosperity. Under this Administration (whose ideas are what you claim we need) more American's have gone into poverty, more are on food stamps than every before in our history. And that is in percentages of population, not just numbers. That is not only failure, that is criminal failure. And they take no responsibility for anything. I've never seen any President spend so much time golfing and blaming the other guy than this one. It's nearly 4 years down the road. No, the current mess is all on Obama and the policies you believe are so successful.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

SassySue -

I agree with some of your concerns. But the economic downturn, decisions, and failures that you blame on a "criminal" Obama administration actually began several years earlier in Bushes second term. If we are honest there is plenty of responsibility that must be shared by both Rep. and Dem. Why do so few people mention or acknowledge that?


SassySue1963 4 years ago

Bush's 2nd term was with a Democratic controlled Congress. Much of what occurred on the economic front was forced on Bush by the Dems. Again, it just is the facts. On the one hand, everyone wants to blame the GOP for "obstructing" when they only hold one chamber. Truth is, the Dems held both chambers in Bush's second term, determining much of the policy. I did not blame Obama for 2008. I said, his policies, that are supported here, have not done anything to help and have only worsened it. That is simply fact.


Annie 4 years ago

My,

"And no, I don't think Conservatives and Progressives want the same thing."

What do you think I want (re: Union and Welfare)? . I'm a conservative, albeit moderate, and again, to say that you know WHAT I THINK and WHAT the framer's had in their minds, is somewhat presumptous, don't YOU think.

Regardless of what the SCOTUS thinks, other scholars think, WHAT DO YOU think? Can you separate for a minute from what you've heard, to what YOU, in your gut and in your heart of hearts, THINK? Not an discussion based on YOUR interpretation of stats; rather a discussion completely devoid of talking points; WHAT IS IT THAT MY ESOTERIC FRIEND THINKS WHEN NO ONE IS LOOKING?


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

What you see is what you get, Annie, what I think and believe is the synthesis of all the knowledge that I have acquired to date, filtered through whatever genetics gave me as a notion of what is right and wrong. (BTW, I am Scott, much shorter than My Esoteric, but longer than My) Another BTW is I am an INTP by Meyers-Briggs standards; if you are not familiar with MBTI (Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator), just google INTP, and there I am; it is pretty dead on; I am also a Libra. Knowing just those things will tell you quite a bit about how I think and why I feel the way I do.

Like Theresa, I am an egalitarian at heart and believe there is no social distinction between gender, ages, ethnicicity, income groups, and the like and that the federal government, under the Constitution, has responsibility to insure such distinctions are not created in practice by human bigotry. I beleive it is the duty of the federal government, under the "general Welfare" clause to insure all Americans have the same opportunity to succeed on their own merit and not to have artificial barriers created by human greed to interfer with their ability to live a Tranquil life.

I definitely DO NOT believe the following message, which epitomizes the Conservative for me, from President Grover Cleveland, a very conservative Bourban Democrat, as he vetoed a farm-aid bill to help Texas farmers during a major drought occuring in the middle of the worst depression in America's history before 1929, he said

"I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the general government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadfastly resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that, though the people support the government, the government should not support the people. The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood"

I find this view abhorent and against every American value I hold dear because it turns a blind eye to the realities of life and forces others to live in misery in order for him to hold to his principles, which only exist in Utopia.

All those historic facts and figures I throw out there is to show the that both the Conservative social and economic philosophies have not been, are not, and will not be good for America and that the alternative has consistantly led to better results.

I realize I will never convince you or Sassy or any other solid Conservative to change your opinions, your mind-set is as strong as mine, I am sure. But I am hoping the discussion will sway others who are still trying to figure it out.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Sassy, I really do try to be patient and non-commital as to the quality of some of the comments made, but sometimes I need to be blunt. Your myopic view of some things is absolutely mind-boggling. My jaw sort of drops when I read statements like

"Under this Administration (whose ideas are what you claim we need) more American's have gone into poverty, more are on food stamps than every before in our history"

While, obviously you are technically correct, it was under Obama's administration this happened, what kind of idiots do you take your readers for? Does it phase you at all that the REASON Obama is left with this kind of terrible statistic in his administration is because the policies of the previous administration cost 10,000,000 American's their jobs, most of them before Obama took office. Exactly how did you think these people were going to feed themselves in the years following the recession, their good looks? Did you think Obama was God and was going to magically create 10,000,000 jobs in 1/4 of the time it took Conservatives to lose them?

Of course you aren't the only one who throws out these ridiculous illogical bombshells that totally ignore reality, I realize that, but I guess you are the one that just pushed my button, sorry.


SassySue1963 4 years ago

Your logic does not hold My, I'm sorry. Blaming the other guy when you've had 3 years, 2 of which you could have done anything you wanted just does not cut the mustard. It isn't that he hasn't created 10,000,000 jobs. It's that he's hardly created any. More people went on SS disability in June than the number of jobs that were created. In fact, the number of jobs created in his entire tenure as President do not even keep pace with population growth. You are being myopic in your view if you think that in any fashion equals policies that are working.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Scott --- We are both indeed egalitarians.

How interesting. I have taken the long, long, long version of Meyers-Briggs twice at a ten year interval. Once the results indicated an INTP and once an INTJ. In either case my numbers always fall close to the mid-line - so just a little more I than E and so forth. I think this is a result of two very literate and intelligent parents one of whom was definitely an I and the other an E. In personal relationships and preferences I am an I. In the classroom I am strong, outspoken E. :)

You are an extremely patient and dedicated man and you have my gratitude. I could not do what you do. Of course some days I am not sure can deal with 25 eighteen year-olds. I loved your comment that you had no illusions about changing Sassy Sue or Annie's minds, but that you write and go to all the effort for other readers who might not yet be dogmatically committed to an emotional and fearful vision of politics.

I recently wrote almost the same thing. A neo-Nazi troll came after me for a while and I did respond twice before I began deleting his vile stuff. A fellow hubber said ,"Why are you wasting your time? You will never convince him." Of course I won't convince him!

I explained that I wasn't writing to him or for him, that I had no expectations. But I was writing for anyone else who might come away with a healthier perspective after reading his emotional and vicious junk and then my measured and rational and evidence based responses.

Anyway, it was interesting to see you articulate the same thing. I hope you have a good week. Take care. Theresa


Annie 4 years ago

Scott (?),

"The data prove that over the last 30 years or so, if you are born poor, that is where you will stay, if you are born middle class, you will stay there or fall back, and if you are born well-off, you will stay that way or get better; since 1981"

Is that the self-fulfilling prophecy, or what? We were all given a choice and we don't need a government to exercise that choice. We were smart enough, although, to guarantee that we made our government GUARANTEE that we all have an OPPORTUNITY to succeed. The government cannot and should not be in the business of guaranteeing equal success, though, Guarantee equal opportunity, yes. Equal success, no. That is a recipe for disaster and if that's what you want, equal success, please leave now.

I do take offense at remarks that you have no illusions of changing some minds, I can't speak for Sassy, but I know I am open and can have my mind changed when presented with facts that don't fly in the face of bias, JUST FACTS presented in reasonable adult discourse.

Myers-Briggs? You have to be kidding. Please not to insult the intelligence of many people by feeling you need to explain what it is and what type.

"I realize I will never convince you or Sassy or any other solid Conservative to change your opinions, your mind-set is as strong as mine" Have you EVER dared to try, just try, to put the shoe on the other foot? There ARE two sides to every story and anyone who doesn't realize that fully...


jo miller profile image

jo miller 4 years ago from Tennessee

I appreciate your efforts in this hub--well done and informative as usual. I also appreciate your efforts in dealing with some of those responding, but I think you're wasting your time. Facts don't matter to some people. You might use your time better playing with that very bright grandson.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

hehe, yeah, he is surprising, that is for sure, thanks for the comment Jo.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Annie, yes, I am quite aware a Conservative has no hope of convicing a dedicated liberal to change their mind either, both sides are wedded to dogma rather than pragmatism and logic.

I also appologize if I made a wrong assumption about your convincibility but it is statements like "Myers-Briggs? You have to be kidding. Please not to insult the ..." and "presented with facts that don't fly in the face of bias ..." that pushed me toward my assumption, given that most of what I work with are sourcable facts and analyse; the fact that you don't like the outcome or my point of view doesn't change the numbers or the context they are presented in.

It is also statements like "Is that the self-fulfilling prophecy, or what? We were all given a choice and we don't need a government to exercise that choice...." when the context the statement you are refering to clearly is talking about artificial barriers placed in front of those who have less by those who have more in order for them to keep that status.

What your "self-fulling profacy" orientation tells me is that your going in position is that everybody already has an equal opportunty to advance in the country, all they have to do is try, and that there are no structural barriers preventing them from doing so. That isn't reality, I hope you know and that is why government intervention is needed. That whole paragraph is soaked in the conservative presumption that those who haven't succeeded just didn't try hard enough or try at all. Other statements you have made imply you believe that most welfare recipients are cheats and not just a few, otherwise I would think you would waste so much ink castigating them rather than the rich cheats, where in some cases, just one cost American taxpayers more than all of the welfare cheats put together. It is those who Progressives rail against while Conservatives rail against the welfare cheats, go figure.


Annie 4 years ago

"most of what I work with are sour cable facts"

I agree, MOST of what you work with are sour cable facts. The problem lies with the interpretation of those facts and the facts that omitted.

I hardly believe that most welfare recipients are liars and cheats. I know not and believe not. The same with other entitlements. Restrictions are too great. Granted, there are scofflaws who milk the system. (what statements have I made to support, " Other statements you have made imply you believe that most welfare recipients are cheats and not just a few...?"

Being the recipient of an entitlement, I have a unique vision from the inside. The one vision that says that I should work the impossible out, disabilities a-go-go and the other vision that says, in this day and age, the needs of the disabled cannot be met by a church, bake sale or community. The government has stepped in and provided a safety net.

That is my way of saying that I have been given an opportunity, but the government does NOT owe me the success. People have succeeded in 'getting off' of reliance on an entitlement. How. THEY worked. THEY sweat, THEY paid taxes to use the roads that SOMEONE else (as HIS BUSINESS) built.

I'd really like to know what it is that I said that somehow indicated to you that I felt most recipients of welfare. are cheats. "I am curious YELLOW!"

The 'self-fulfilling prophecy'-

"If you are born poor, that is where you will stay, if you are born middle class, you will stay there or fall back, and if you are born well-off, you will stay that way or get better; since 1981"

If you believe that "f you are born poor, that is where you will stay, if you are born middle class, you will stay there or fall back, and if you are born well-off, you will stay that way or get better; since 1981"" you have a very good chance of staying there (rich or poor).

Is that your way of saying that if you are born poor, you will stay poor IF government doesn't step in and save the day? It is only WITH government assistance that you have a CHANCE? For if that's NOT what you mean, it sure as heck SOUNDS like what you mean.

Are you saying that the only chance one has to succeed is with the assistance of the government? That is sad. I like to think that if I succeed at my endeavors it is because the government made sure I had the OPPORTUNITY TO SUCCEED; then I CHOSE AND I WORKED to MAKE it happen, to get off the 'dole.'


Annie 4 years ago

", I am quite aware a Conservative has no hope of convicing a dedicated liberal to change their mind either" At best, a well-versed conservative OR a well-versed liberal SHOULD be able and willing to have his mind changed when presented with 'mind-changeable facts.' I've not been presented with that kind of fact, so I've not changed my mind. But, I would.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

"most of what I work with are sour cable facts" - I thought you caught me in a fruedian-slip, anyway, however you spell scource-able.

"I hardly believe that most welfare recipients are liars and cheats..." - I am glad that is the case, and I hope most conservatives feel the same way, but tell me, why is there such a fixation on welfare cheats by Conservatives; why has that been and is one of their main campaign themes when it is such a small piece of the problem? There are much bigger fish to fry that do significantly more human and economic damage from the business comunity than from the welfare communityp, why isn't the Conservatives focus on that much larger problem? More later.


SassySue1963 4 years ago

@My

So, let's see here. So far, for disagreeing with your interpretation of some numbers, and the omission of others, Annie and myself have now been accused of being biased, closed minded, myopic, having the intelligence of a child, and though indirectly I'll admit, compared to a neo-nazi stalker. But, WE are the issue?

No one believes that most welfare recipients are liars and cheats. Only that some do exist that are taking advantage of the system. However, I could turn that around as you seem to suggest that all successful businessmen are evil and out causing "human and economic damage". Hardly the case.

You have yet failed to address much of what was presented to you in the comments. I have no issue with anyone disagreeing with my point of view (unlike your fans here who somehow feel the need to denigrate anyone who thinks differently than them) but at least do so offering ALL the facts and not just those that support your position.


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My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

I only plead guilty to the "myopic" as a direct accusation. "Biased" goes along with the territory, you have both proven to be quite intelligent, but I will go along with you on the closed-minded; as to a new-nazi stalker, you aren't even in the ballpark with a few I have run into, sorry.

Believe it or not, there are areas where I disagree with liberals on, and this goes to a point Annie and I talked about, I run into the same round of comments as we have here, just from the other side and I get accused of the same things you do in terms of picking and choosing my facts and data, leaving things out, and so on (I would point out that in using long-term data, which I often do, that is sort of hard to accomplish), so, other than the neo-nazi part, I have heard the same from the liberals as well; maybe they said neo-communist.

You are absolutely right, Sassy, about a few rotten apples don't spoil the businessmen barrel either, but you slipped right past my question; why do Conservatives apply most of their energy to solving the welfare problem rather than the much more serious businessman problem? That is my question.

And yes, I have have failed to address probably 90% of things brought up in the comments, but then I have a limited amount of time between my full-time job, my book writing, my hub writing (other hubs, that is), and, oh yes, my family, as I get darts from my wife. Consequently, I get to what I can.


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My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Sassy, I don't think you helped yourself with this statement:

"The 110th Congress broke the record for cloture votes, reaching 112 at the end of 2008." (a Democratic majority Congress I might point out) Now, do I get to say their sole purpose was to hinder Bush to insure election of their candidate?"

What that statement says is that the Republicans of the 110th Congress tried to block, via the filibuster, most of the Democratic measures they put forward; they were successful about in about 50% of the cases. Does that support my point that whatever measures the Democrats actually tried to get through the Senate (maybe to help mitigate the coming disaster) were stopped by the Republicans?

Now, let's get to presenting the rest of the numbers for comparison:

-- in the 111th Congress there were 97 cloture votes

-- so far in the 112th, they are 64

-- but in the 107th, 108th, and 109th Congress, there were only 61, 49, and 51 cloture votes respectively when the Democrats were in the minority, (I find that interesting, don't you?)

-- the filibuster started being used as a weapon, it seems, in 1971 with the 92nd Congress with where there were 20 votes, up from 6 the Congress before.

Now, that is how I use data, all of the data, to understand an issue; which is how I have present most of what has come before this comment.


Annie 4 years ago

"-- the filibuster started being used as a weapon, it seems, in 1971 with the 92nd Congress with where there were 20 votes, up from 6 the Congress before." IT SEEMS. How about AS EVIDENCED BY and giving a few examples as to HOW from EACH party.

THAT is not all the data, so you can't "present most of what has come before this comment" intelligently.

Sassy said that, ""The 110th Congress broke the record for cloture votes, reaching 112 at the end of 2008." (a Democratic majority Congress I might point out) Now, do I get to say their sole purpose was to hinder Bush to insure election of their candidate?""

and you replied

"What that statement says is that the Republicans of the 110th Congress tried to block, via the filibuster, most of the Democratic measures they put forward; they were successful about in about 50% of the cases. "

How do you come to that conclusion. The statement says only that there were 112 cloture votes for the 110th Congress. It says NOTHING about Republicans TRYING to block votes via the filibuster. That is the part that is open to discussion.

You made another point, earlier about why Conservatives are so hell=bent on cutting excess fat in entitlements-or did you specify Medicaid? That is because entitlement spending is one of the main drivers of our debt. Medicare and Medicaid represent 23% or our national debt at almost $800,000,000,000 and SS isn't far behind at $745,000,000,000. Right there you have @ 1.5 trillion


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My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

The fifth paragraph first, I come by that conclusion by observation and paying attention to what happened in Congress. I don't need charts and data for that, I saw it with my own eyes, just as I am watching it today.

Probably a good point on the first paragraph, something I need to check. Again, however, by observation, since I have been alive and watching the political scene since the late 1950s (when I first took an interest) I have noticed that most filibusters are initiated by the minority party to block something the majority party is trying to push through, that was what the filibuster was designed for; it really wasn't put there as a tool for the majority to protect itself from the minority, but the otherway around.

Consequently, please forgive me for jumping to the conclusion that is the way it was actually used.

Is that the way I put it - "hellbent on cutting "excess fat" in entitlements ..."? I would actually agree with the way that is phrased, so I doubt I would have used the words "excess fat".

BTW, is that 1.5 trillion before or after the payroll tax contributions? How about all of the people who died because they couldn't getting medical care or food since Medicaid and Social Security were killed? That is your goal, isn't it? (the killing of the programs, not the people, of course.)


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My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

It took a bit to find it, but I have been wanting to respond to this one for awhile now, Sassy -

" ... Opportunity to succeed is there for every American citizen. ... For those willing to work for it, there is every opportunity that anyone who has succeeded in America had. To say differently is a falsehood."

If you were a black child starting school in Mississippi today, I really doubt you would be saying that, unless you actually believe the school he or she will go to will have the same qualility of teachers, school infrastructure, and funding as say that of a white child starting school in Beverly Hills, CA. That is just one of those "factors" you talked about that is critical to having the same opportunity at success. How does this obvious difference in quaility of education each receives give these two children the same opportunity at success when they graduate, even if they both graduate at the top of their class?


Annie, 4 years ago

I had a whole post here that was eaten in cyberspace. Since education isn't the same EVERYWHERE, we should target the EDUCATION system. Not with federal dollars, but with state dollars. That would go a long way towards ending union influence to keep teachers who don't produce, but are tenured. Lousy teacher resting on his/her laurels is NO reason to keep said teacher until it's time to collect a big, fat pension check.

The numbers I referred to are JUST Social Security Diability/Medicare and Medicaid, but I'll isolate for now how much those people who 'milk the system' do cost.

The average monthly payment is $1000; lets just suppose that there are 50,000 out of the 6.8 million people who are on the rolls, but don't meet strict eligibility requirements. Thats $1000 x 12= $12000/year x 20 (an average number of years people are on SSD, though often that number is EXCEEDED) . That is $ TWELVE TRILLION, unless I miscounted my zeros (don't have my glasses on). And that's only SSD.

Even assuming there are only 1000 people 'milking the system.,' that's $240,000,000. I don't know, nor does anyone know, how many are really abusing the system, but that $700,000,000,000 would have been MORE THAN ENOUGH to find out.

I'm also remembering in your post that you said how it was that I could justify killing Medicare, Medicaid and SS? I'm only going to speak to Medicare right here. The CBO actuaries have projected that Medicare will go bankrupt in 20+ years.

With President Obama having taken $700,000,000,000 from Medicare to fund Obamacare, Medicare's solvency is 'x' minus $700,000,000,000. That hasn't been told to seniors, nor have the Progressives been straight with seniors. It has been said that Romney and Ryan would end MDC as we know it. For those under 55 that is true, but for those OVER 55 or for those w/in 10 years of Medicare age, the benefits will remain the same.

So shame on Progressive liberals for perpetuating talking points and not doing their own homework before they scare seniors to death. You also mention how can I rest knowing that Medicare, etc will be killed. The plans are going to dies anyway and Republicans have plans to save them.

You've heard Tim Geithner prattle about, 'we don't have a plan; we just don't like yours' or some such nonsense. WHAT THE HELL kind of plan is that?

You also say that I - I can't find the post, so I h ave to assume that you or HubPages removed it- but it was directed at people wanting to see MDC, SS, MEDICAID fail.; not the people die, but the programs fail. On what basis do you see that?

Assuming that for a minute that it was Medicare that conservatives want to see fail. That would mean a failure to provide your mother with healthcare. Would you want that for YOUR mother, your wife, or grandmother? If you wouldn't want it for YOUR MOTHER, what makes you think that I'D WANT IT FOR YOU, FOR MY MOTHER? Smacks of elitism to me.

We have a problem in this country in that (to use an old analogy) the health care pie is only so big. You can't serve more people, more pie (benefits) without the slices getting smaller (rationing). To make ends meet, you bake another pie (raise taxes) and slices get even smaller, decreasing bennies.

We have to do something, granted, but we need to take a more common sensical approach to finding a solution that isn't a 2000 page bill that no one knew (except lobbyists and staffers) what it contained. Something as big as healthcare cannot be someone's signature 'achievement' and what he wants to go down in history for.

It will affect your kids, my nieces and nephews and their families for generations to come. It should be ANYTHING but something that measures the success of a presidency. Think of the tax reforms and all that could have been accomplished, figuring out why Jeffrey Immelt's company GE paid no taxes. Oh I forgot, "shovel ready jobs weren't really as shovel ready as we expected."


SassySue1963 4 years ago

@My I thought the statement about the cloture votes meant what you were saying as well. Until I read further and discovered that was not the case. The Congress instituted the cloture votes to prevent a filibuster from ever occurring. I should have been more clear here and that is my fault. (yeah, I too have a life outside Hub pages and sometimes am in a hurry lol). The point there was that the filibuster is not the obstructing mechanism as you claim and that the Dems in that particular Congress blocked the GOP from having any say in anything with the cloture vote process.

As for education, time and time again I do believe the GOP has offered several different variations of voucher systems. This would allow that poor black child in Mississippi to choose which school they attend. Naturally, they will choose the one that gives them the best opportunity. Of course, the Unions block this measure at every turn because it will expose those teachers who should not be teaching. Do not get me wrong. Unions were necessary and brought about a lot of needed and positive change. However, now, they simply allow below par people to keep their jobs and drive up the costs of goods with wages that are not equal at all to those of the non-union sector. Probably a discussion for another Hub but I wanted to address the issue since you brought it up. The answer to the education issue however, is not taxing the wealthy and pouring massive amounts of tax dollars into a system already proven a failure. (see Obama's budget plan and the largest increase in Education funding EVER).

What else was there. Oh, thank you for saying I do not even come close to a neo-nazi, and no, that wasn't directed at you. I was merely pointing out that while Annie and I disagree with your interpretation, we have not fallen to name calling while those in your house have felt the need to do so claiming WE are the problem. You on the other hand, have been very civil and I hope you understand that this isn't anything personal against you on my part at all.


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My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

With

"That would go a long way towards ending union influence to keep teachers who don't produce, but are tenured. Lousy teacher resting on his/her laurels is NO reason to keep said teacher until it's time to collect a big, fat pension check."

are you suggesting the reason for poor education in America in the poor schools (as opposed good education in the rich schools) is the plethora of tenured, underperfoming teachers protected by their unions; so many they far outnumber the good teachers to such a degree they hold students back? If not, what was the point of your statement?

You have, I have mine on, although sometimes I am not sure it does any good, but 20 times $12,000 times 50,000 people is 12 billion. By comparison, Bernie Madoff ripped the public off for about $18 billion all by himself, more or less., in actual losses and there is around $65 billion missing from accounts; and that is just one guy. Add to that Enron, AIG, Bear Stearns, Citibank, Merril Lynch, and so on and so on. As I said, welfare fraud is a drop in the bucket by comparison.

You might want to say that welfare fraud costs the taxpayer while all these other things I mentioned only hurt private people; not true, there is a huge taxpayer cost in the aftermath such massive business fraud.

The post you are referring to is two above yours. Yes, CBO does project Medicare to run out of funds in 20 years or sooner (and SS not all that far behind) IF something isn't done. Neither side disagrees that something needs to be done, the question is what. My personal favorite, and one I think the Dems would accept is the one put forward by Alice Rivlen, former CBO Director, now of the Brookings Institute,at one of the hearings of the supercommittee; it is called the "Premium Support Plan" and is also a combination public-private arrangement but leaving the gov't in charge. http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2011/12/1...

As to the Ryan plan's protection of seniors currently on Medicare, that is problematic because one doesn't know what will happen to costs (which are currently going down) or availability of services as the system reverts to private care..

What has the number of pages in Obamacare got to do with anything; I would hope they would be very careful in their implementation of this hugely complex initiative; that takes a lot of words.

Speaking of "homework" and "With President Obama having taken $700,000,000,000 from Medicare to fund Obamacare,", are you aware that Ryancare cuts Medicare by about the same amount? The bottom line difference in cost is Obamacare costs the taxpayer more and the seniors less while Ryancare (or my biased way "Ryanlackofcare") costs the taxpayers less and the seniors more; the voters get to choose.

Shovel ready jobs ... sighhh, you got me there, they weren't, at least not as soon has Obama had been led to believe or fooled himself into. Ultimately they appeared, but nowhere near as soon as he thought. By--the-by, Ob


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My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

I just added another section to the Hub for your reading and viewing pleasure.


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My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Sassy, did you mean to say "ever" in "The Congress instituted the cloture votes to prevent a filibuster from ever occurring"? If so, that is not correct. Cloture is certainly a way to stop a filibuster, but it doesn't guarantee it happening; today, it takes 60 votes to stop a filibuster, that is why the Conservatives have been so effective with it, they have more than 40 Senators.


SassySue1963 4 years ago

We were discussing the Congress make-up under Bush's last term. Point being: They effective prevented the GOP from having any say in anything. So do I get to say that they were obstructing anything from getting passed that "did not meet the liberal left's approval" to borrow your words and switch it up. Effectively preventing anything from getting done to insure their candidate a victory.


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My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Yes, I had agreed with you until my comment change got lost in a time out. The Dems did stop the Conservatives, but it wasn't with cloture or the filibuster; cloture is used to get their own agenda through. Instead, it was through the agenda itself, much the way the House has always done it and can do it since they never voted in a filibuster rule to pretect the minority party.

It didn't use to be this way. Back in the Reagan/Bush era when there were still Republicans in the Republican Party, the filibuster was used sparingly. It was like the nuclear bomb, once used indiscrimanently, the other side will retaliate ten-fold; therefore the two sides learned to get along. The majority had to let the minority have a role and the minority had to let the majority more or less get its agenda through, so long as it had a minority "flavor" to it; it was called the "art of compromise"

That all went out the window when the Conservatives took over the Republican Party in 1995 and then lost the Senate in 2007. For Conservatives, it is principle over pragmatism and they started using the Bomb because the "art of compromise" had been lost.


Annie 4 years ago

Dear My,

We''re splitting hair after hair and I know you'll claim 'victory' and I WON, I'm history. It's been nice talking to you, but inasmuch as I try to see your points and entertain them as possibly my truths, I don't see evidence of your entertaining my points at all. Time to VAMOOSE! Asta la by-bye!


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My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Bye Annie, it has been good and very informative.


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Ken Burgess 3 years ago from Florida

An incredible amount of effort and information, however when I saw you wrote that Bush had a Republican majority in Congress in '07-08 ... with that error comes others...

Much indeed was left out... from ignoring 9/11 and the impact that had on the economy, to Katrina and the impact that had, to the fact that before he left office, the Bush Administration had already used TARP to stop the collapse of the economy, and gave Obama the foundation to give us yet another...

So, what has Obama done with 4 years of no major disasters, and no Banking crisis? Why is the economy still in a quagmire about to slip into another recession?


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My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

I appreciate your comments Ken, sometimes I get too cute with my words. I didn't say Bush had a Republican majority in 07-08, clearly the Democrats had the majority in both Houses; my statement was that the Conservatives controlled what got to his desk, which is absolutely true given the Conservative's decision to cross the Ribicon and abuse the filibuster for short-term gain but long-term self-destruction.

Hopefully I gave Bush credit in the hub for biting the bullet and supporting TARP, I try to do so every chance I get. However, I do not give Conservatives, and some conservative Democrats, similar kudos for they opposed TARP, some to the bitter end, until the stock market crashed yet again after they voted TARP down the first time. While TARP, and the auto bailout, came into existance prior to Obama's swearing in, it was up to Obama to implement them in the face of stiff Conservative opposition.

While Obama didn't have Katrina, he did have the gulf oil spill. Worse though for the economy, he had, for the first time in American history, an opposition party dead-set stopping his every effort to bring the economy out of the worst economic downturn since 1937. In EVERY similar or worse downturn, the opposition party HELPED the recovery, not opposed it as has the Conservatives have done for four years.


Patriot Quest profile image

Patriot Quest 3 years ago from America

In your first comments you berated a comment by saying she didn't look at the charts closely.........Your charts are probably not truthful, why? Because unemployment numbers come from the white house! Notice how unemployment dropped right before the election? I have heard many authorities say the REAL number is around 13 to 16 % So who knows what the real numbers are? Obama said only those that are rich will get tax hikes, I make under 5 digit salary and mine just went up $240 a MONTH! thats gas, shoes for the kids, groceries etc..........I cant take another 4 years of this!


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My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Patriot thanks for the comment and the fruit salad.

First, nobody in the White House produces unemployment numbers, never have, never will; they come from the Dept of Labor using the same methodology that does not vary from the time before. While there are a multitude of ways of measuring unemployment, there is only one official way to measure it that is used month-in and month-out which means that over time, you have a useful set of numbers to guage how unemployment is doing. A one month drop doesn't mean a thing, a downward trend does and that is what Obama has established and has maintained even after the election. Even your "real" number has come down over time, it use to be 20%.

Why are you surprised about your increase, everybody and their brother knew that was coming and they also knew it wasn't from your income tax rate going up, unless you earn over $400,000. I think you knew, and just aren't saying, that your increase is from the end of the social security tax holiday.


Patriot Quest profile image

Patriot Quest 3 years ago from America

So you uh don't believe the dept of labor is part of the white house admin??? I'm not surprised at tax hikes, but your president has stood upon many a podium and promised Americans it wouldn't happen, this should dismay you sir? No budget in 3 years, no direction, no leadership.............only another giant entitlement called health care for many more masses that refuse to work..........and I have to add yet another burden to my own pile of bills to make it happen........ by the way saying it the stolen money didn't come from income tax doesn't help now does it????


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My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

No, the Dept of Labor is part of the executive branch, led by a Dept Secretary appointed by the President and approved by the Senate. The White House is elsewhere on the organization chart and led, more or less, directly by the President; big difference.

The President has never promised the social security tax holiday would never go away (how is that for a double negative), that is why it is called a "holiday". Find me one instance where he promised to permanently to lower individual social security tax contributions.

The President has submitted a budget to Congress, as required, in Feb of each year he has been President; and will do so again this Feb.

Obamacare is not an entitlement. In a perfect world, which I know it is not, it saves money.

Do you mean to say you choose not to have health insurance and be a drag on the rest of society when you get sick, go to the hospital and can't pay for it?


Patriot Quest profile image

Patriot Quest 3 years ago from America

I always wonder why Democrats put blind belief into something like health care and openly believe it will save money? How many wonderful programs produced by our government save money? When did the federal government ever come up with a way to SAVE money for the taxpayer? If they are so responsible then why are we 16 TRILLION in debt? Surely sir you cannot force yourself to believe this will be good for America? It fails in every country in the world and our government has the largest failing record of all countries when it comes to implementing huge projects such as this? Where does your confidence come from? Daddy always said if it looks like a rat, smells like a rat, walks like a rat...........it must be a rat! So I pay for my health insurance and I'm getting taxed more to pay for someone elses health insurance.........where is the savings???


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My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

I know, on balance, Obamacare will end up costing some taxpayer dollars, mainly driven by expanded Medicaid, but not nearly as many as you think. I absolutely know it will bring down overall healthcare costs; in my former life, I was a cost analyst and therefore understand the economic mechanics involved when you increase the pool size with healthy, younger people. For a change, Obamacare is having a real impact on fraud in Medicare, unlike previous attempts; the key is to keep it going.

You will have to ask Bush about the 16 Trillion. Clinton was bringing the debt down when he left office and Obama had to clean up Bush's mess.

Neither Social Security nor Medicare are failing because they are intrinsically flawed, they are having problems, some significant, because the politicians we have in Congress today ARE inherently flawed.

Actually, your taxes will ultimately go down because the State and Federal taxpayers won't be picking up the tab for the uninsured.


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Nathan Orf 3 years ago from Virginia

Good work ME! You definitely have a lot more patience in debating than I do. Your hubs are all very informative and thought provoking, and this one is no different.


Ewent profile image

Ewent 14 months ago from Old Bridge, New Jersey

Recently, Robert Kessler, a global investment guru was interviewed on Consuelo Mack's Wealth Track program. When asked what he saw as the biggest obstacle to the future of investments, he said, "wages that have stagnated backward 35 years."

Conservatives are too heavily invested in Big Business to so much as blink an eye at what this 35-year retrograde in wages actually means. Not just for those who are working longer, harder and for less..but for the long term interest of the US's economy.

Conservatives have ALWAYS refused to take accountability for their actions, all while they exploit taxpayers, consumers and their own employees. For conservatives, it's a round Robin game of extort profits by stiffing employees on wages and making them pay for all their own so-called "employer benefits." The dirty little secret there is that Mr. Employer gets a free ride on HIS benefits and all he has to do is register 15 employees on any 401K or HMO and his costs are part of what his employees pay for these "benefits."

And let's be honest. Every Big Business CEO isn't driving around in a 12 year old jalopy or living in a ghetto for a reason: He is living off tax subsidies and tax cuts, his employees pay for through their federal taxes. When Mr. Employer decides to peddle his corporate influence to his favorite politicians, he just jacks the prices on goods and services and makes a tidy little profit in the meantime, some of which goes to his corporate influenced politicians. This is government? We would do just as well allowing the Mafia to BE the government. A crook is a crook is a crook...whether his collar is white or not.


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My Esoteric 14 months ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Great information Ewent and thanks for reading and commenting.


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Ewent 14 months ago from Old Bridge, New Jersey

My Esoteric, Thank you. The reality is that what some refer to as "conservatism" has nothing remotely connected to the idea of efficient, effective government.

What good is any ideology if it is only effective for 1% of the population?

When a global investment guru recognizes the damage done by today's so-called "conservatism," revolt is coming. History through the ages proves that the wealth regime never lasts.


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My Esoteric 14 months ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

I hate to say it, but what we are headed to is the norm, historically. Prior to 1918,

- say 1900, the top 1% had 17% of income and 50% of the nations wealth (it was worse prior to that in America and much worse in Europe)

- in 1960, after the leveling effects of WW I, the Great Depression, and WW II, the top 1% got 7% of income and 25% of wealth (this is probably as good as it can get and it wasn't bad)

- in 2010, it has worsened to 12% and 35%, respectively.

The distribution of income and wealth was one, but not the only factors in the French Revolutions. It also played a part in changing the distribution of power that came with the Magna Carter in England; but, this was mainly between aristocrats. Obviously, it was behind the success of the various communist revolutions, just not in the way Marx predicted.

My point is that populations will put up with a lot (mainly because the wealthy control the levers of power and often the deployment of police and military forces) before getting into a full-fledged revolt. On a positive note, our political system will probably correct things when it gets too bad now that we have had almost 75 years of a vibrant middle class in our 230 year history.

But, the middle class, as is well known now, is in danger of disappearing. The middle 40% as gone from 45% to 35% of income and 30% to 25% in total wealth. The economic dynamics which has led to this decline are well established and does not appear to be changing.


Ewent profile image

Ewent 14 months ago from Old Bridge, New Jersey

My Esoteric, I agree. People can stand deprivation, hardship and mindless austerity for only a while before they revolt.

When you have "HAVE" mentalities treating the middle and lower class like trash and refusing to play fair, the HAVES will be knocked off of their pedestals with a crash...usually of their own making.


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My Esoteric 14 months ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

That is true, but at a high cost to everybody; it wasn't only the rich and famous who lost their heads in the French Revolution.


Ewent profile image

Ewent 14 months ago from Old Bridge, New Jersey

Poverty costs infinitely more when it destroys honesty, integrity, progress and advancement.

This is the reason the most backward US states want to hang on for dear life to their antiquated cultures. They know so long as there is no honesty, integrity, progress and advancement, the rest of the country will pull up their slack...on our tax dollars. All while these states get to live in the 1800s, oblivious to the damage they are doing to the entire country.

When 1% of the population ONLY earns wealth through tax subsidies, corporate tax cuts and loopholes, that's a kind of welfare that is borne of an entitlement attitude that is as phony as a $2 bill.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 14 months ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

While I, without question, agree with your first sentiment, I can't with your second ... as broadly as it is stated.

The reason is, in terms of household income, I am in the top 1.5 % and probably the top 1% myself; to get there, however, your household income must exceed only $250,000 (bet you didn't know it was that low) and I can tell you I didn't get my wealth through tax subsidies, etc. Where do I get mine? From my wife and my retirements (two of them), salary from being CFO of my company, a little rental income, and stock trading. And I worked full-time from 1971, when I joined the Army, to the present.

Those that you think you are talking about are actually the top 0.1%, where the bottom threshold is $1.6 M. But even there, most have earned their wealth honestly and a reasonable degree of ethical behaviour; the same is true, I feel, with most small to medium size companies and many large to very large corporations.

But, like the problem with the portrayal of the poor where the Right uses the bad actions of a few to paint the whole, so does the Left when talking about the top 1%. Neither approaches represent reality but a pretend world created by each group for their own propaganda purposes.

The difference, the way I see it, is the problem the Left is raising the roof about has much more negative consequences to society than the boogeymen the Right is upset about. While it takes around a million poor people abusing the system to start approaching significance, it only takes a few wealthy people and corporations acting poorly to achieve the same level of damage.


Ewent profile image

Ewent 14 months ago from Old Bridge, New Jersey

The Office of Government Accountability (GAO) lists the 1% as those who earn the biggest benefits from tax cuts. In 2004, after a single tax cut, the top 1% of US earners were 11% wealthier from ONE tax cut. Then, 2 more tax cuts followed.

The 1% are comprised of people who benefit most from tax cuts, corporate tax subsidies and state subsidies that keep their businesses in existence. Please don't try to tell me this is not so.

All any NJ business owner has to do is hire an employee for 18 months to get a single $5,000 tax cut. All any NJ gentleman farmer has to do is sell one bale of hay and his property taxes are cut by 25%.

Sorry, but when you try to absolve wealth in a way that opens the doors to mass greed that diminishes the 99%, you do not, in any way, have an answer to the problems of how conservatism has demonized the poor and middle class in this country.

As I read your post, I also read between the lines of how we should all feel sympathy that you worked so hard for your wealth. Really? And that wealth never came with the aforementioned benefits no one but those with wealth have equal access to?

Sorry...but if any family cannot live on $250K a year, they need to go back to school and study economics. These are the same employers, who like mine, say, "I can rip off my employees easier than I can my customers." And he, like all employers do this very thing.

Employers get their healthcare at discounted rates just for enrolling 15 or more employees. Then, of course, there are the skankos employers who bank their employees' payroll deductions in interest bearing accounts until the 401K, IRS or state div. of taxation requires dispersal of those funds. Nice tidy little profit from hard earned employee paychecks, right?

Please don't bother to tell me what I saw many NJ employers of small to large corporations do.

The level of damage in the US today is by those all too well connected. Did Kozlowski of Tyco need that $7,000 shower curtain? And how about Madoff? How do you explain how this guy got away with $67 billion from his own clients' retirement accounts right under the noses of the SEC?

How do you explain why Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan Chase and the other Big 4 of Finance managed to pilfer not just foreclosed homes but also the insurance they collected on foreclosures they instigated in the first place with those bogus ARMs? How do you explain how a guy like the CEO of Healthcare South used his customers' premiums like his personal piggy bank?

Sorry but when you add in the rest of the NeoRobber Barons like Icahn, Ebbers and one of the Huntsmans, you see the League of Crooks among the top 1%.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 14 months ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Again, Ewent, categorical statements like "The 1% are comprised of people who benefit most from tax cuts,..." are rarely, if ever, 100% true all of the time. The tax change policies of Obama, Clinton, Bush 1, and Kennedy benefitted the non-wealthy more than it did the wealthy. (I can't use the GAO definition because it is unique to them and not the commonly accepted definition.)

Without looking into each "subsidy" regardless of form as an individual action, you don't know whether it was beneficial to society or not. Take the subsidies Bush 2 and Obama provided to green technology; without them oil and gas would be our only alternative ... until that gave out and there is nothing to replace it with. On the other hand, very profitable oil companies getting development tax breaks is ridiculous; but you wouldn't know that until you take a close look at it.

Take your NJ example. Without that $5,000 break during times of high unemployment, NJ, and the nation, would have forgone the stimulative and tax generating effect of an additional $30,000 - $40,000 minimum injected into the economy in addition not so inconsiderable tax savings from not paying unemployment or public assistance to the person they hired. Chances are, much more than $5,000 was recovered in economic terms than was spent incentivizing a company to hire someone. That break made quite a bit of sense from 2009 - 2012; it doesn't make any sense at all today. Again, you have to look into the particulars.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 14 months ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

You said Ewent, that I "Sorry, but when you try to absolve wealth in a way that opens the doors to mass greed ..." Which set of my statements led you that conclusion?

Why should you feel "sympathy for me" (and why would I want you to?) because I worked hard for what I got, isn't that the way it is supposed to be? And who said a family who has $250K income shouldn't be able to make it? It certainly wasn't me. Of course they should as should any family earning more than $50K/yr.

Exactly what is wrong with "Employers get their healthcare at discounted rates just for enrolling 15 or more employees. ..." Should larger pools of people get lower rates? That seems like a good thing for the employee to me; apparently not you. And again, what is wrong with an employer investing their money until such time it must be expensed? Are they breaking any laws or even being unethical? I don't see it; it's their money after all.

Where did I say "you saw" anything? I looked back and nothing of that nature is there.

While I basically agree with "The level of damage in the US today is by those all too well connected.", it is only true when you assert "The level of damage in the US today is by SOME OF those all too well connected. And what is wrong with K buying a $7K shower curtain if it pleases him:? It is certain something I wouldn't do if I had that kind of money, but then he is not me and I don't need to judge.

What I care about much, much MORE is HOW K earned enough money to do that. Did he generate it by hurting other people along the way or did he come by it honestly through hard work, talent, and innovation? Personally, I think it is the former but that has nothing to do with what he purchased with it; that only clouds the issue.

Re: Blankfien, Dimon, et al; My only explanation is they are crooks of the highest order and probably should spend the rest of their lives in jail. BUT, that doesn't mean 100% of their peers are equally guilty of terrible behavior, I doubt even 50% aren't; but I am shaky ground there.

No question about your League of Crooks among the 1%, but are you implying that anybody with that much income are crooks, even a large majority of them?


Ewent profile image

Ewent 14 months ago from Old Bridge, New Jersey

Please read the 2005 GAO report. It clearly shows that the 1% in the US with the "highest incomes" earned 11% growth in their wealth.

Add in the demand by conservatives for 2 more tax cuts in 2008 and 2009. Now, the total earned in wealth is even higher than the 2004 11% increase.

Just as the wealthy conservatives accuse those who pay every pay period into SS, Medicare and Medicaid as being "entitled," so too are the wealthy.

I've already posted several examples of how the wealthy people are "entitled" to certain types of tax cuts, corporate tax subsidies and cuts that the average individual middle and lower income earners pay for.

Is that not welfare for the wealthy when the wealthiest 1% top income earners get massive tax cuts and leave huge gaps in revenue needed to pay our US debts? Who do you think fills in those gaps that the 1% avoid paying in their fair share amounts if not the middle class?

Once you factor in how employers get away with all manner of under the radar corruption, you see "HOW" wealth has been earned.

Sure..any employer can hire one employee to do the job 4 employees used to do. Sure. Any employer can take advantage of tax cuts just for locating in a certain state or municipality...but when those cuts leave huge holes in the economy, then these crooks blame the taxpayers? I think not.

If you earn your wealth in the US, you OWE ...you owe the employees a living wage for helping you to earn that wealth. You owe consumers fair pricing on goods and services and not price gouging every 3 months jacking the prices on everything. You owe taxpayers for the money they pay that you don't when you take all those fat tax cuts and subsidies that keep your businesses in existence.

As Thomas Jefferson once said, "There is no freedom without responsiblity." Too bad too many wealthy Americans like to pretend they have NO such responsibility for the freedom they have to be wealthy people in the US.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 14 months ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

I did a quick Internet search for this and didn't find it, but, I don't doubt the GAOs findings, in fact I have charts and analysis in other hubs which show the same thing.

But, I am puzzled by your comment on the 2008-2009 "tax cut". This was just an extension of tax breaks that had expired (all of which benefit the middle and lower classes) as well as increases in things like AMT exclusions and standard deduction (which also benefits the non-wealthy). I didn't see one item in that bill which benefitted just the wealthy. Consequently, this extension of tax breaks tended to LOWER (caps are for emphasis and visibility) Income Inequality, not increase it. So, from my analysis, the extension of the tax breaks was a boon to lower and middle income taxpayers and was neutral toward the wealthy.

The major tax initiatives were the 2001-2002 Bush tax cut and the Obama "fiscal cliff" tax compromise of 2013-2014. While Bush's tax cut INCREASED Income Inequality, Obama's tax cut (non-wealthy)/increase (wealthy) works to reduce Income Inequality; only time will tell if the increase in the Gini Index which measures such things begins to slow down or even decline as a result.

BTW, if you read some of my other Hubs on the subject, the results are even worse than what I suspect the GAO's report found. The reason I say this is I take a much longer time-frame than what the GAO probably did (more than likely it was a span from 1990 to 2003, I consider beginning points of 1980 and somewhere in the 1960s, I think)

When you say "I've already posted several examples of how the wealthy people are "entitled" to certain types of tax cuts, corporate tax subsidies and cuts that the average individual middle and lower income earners pay for." I say "absotutely". These breaks more than make up for the limits put on itemized deductions for those in the 1% and above. Those limits, btw, do effect me, but I don't have the off-sets that the .1% and above get, i.e., the ones you speak of.

Do I mind the limits? Not particularly, for I am one of those who think the more wealthy you are, the more you ought to pay in taxes. But I don't believe that probably for the same reasons you do. What I think is that the more money and/or power you have, the more opportunities become available to you than for people of lesser means. That is a function of two things, 1) life in general, that is the way it works and 2) the protection offered by our form of government; the more you have, the more that protection is worth. Problem is, that "protection" is free ... and it shouldn't be. It should be paid for like any other thing of value and the way it is collected is through higher tax rates on those who earn more.

You say, Ewent, that "Is that not welfare for the wealthy when the wealthiest 1% top income earners get massive tax cuts " I ask, when was the last "massive" tax break where the wealthy benefited disproportionately more than the non-wealthy; I can think of three, and one of them wasn't really "massive", but big enough.

I would rephrase "Once you factor in how employers get away with all manner of under the radar corruption, you see "HOW" wealth has been earned." to read "Once you factor in how SOME employers get away with all manner of under the radar corruption, you see "HOW" wealth has been earned DISHONESTLY and UNETHICALLY."

I for one run what was a $6 M business, but do to the unethical and dishonest competitor (and possible collusion within the company requesting the work) we are now a $1.5 M company ... boy am I having fun!

If an employer hires, on a consistent basis, one employee to replace four WITHOUT an major increase in technology to replace the productivity of those displaced employees, then they will quickly go out of business. If those four employees can effectively be replaced by one, then they shouldn't have been employed in the first place in order to have a profitable business.

As to the second to last paragraph. I would modify that somewhat to say, "If you earn Wealth do to benefits and capabilities provided by our Constitution, laws, and regulations, then you must pay taxes commiserate with the value of those benefits."

I do not believe the company "owes" its workers anything in fair and open competition (which rarely happens), other than a safe and secure working environment and to be treated fairly and without discrimination. Nor do I believe a company "owes" the customer anything, other than a safe product and an honest service, for the same reason (competition, which does occur more frequently)

Workers - In those frequent cases where the employee is at a distinct competitive disadvantage to the employer, like it has been for most of our history, then government must step in. The minimum wage (which was established by FDR to protect Northern labor from the cheap labor in the South, btw) was governments misguided answer. I say misguided because the minimum wage by its very existence stifles economic growth because companies are less willing to form and therefore not hire workers (I don't believe the other argument that companies go out of business; if they are that weak where they can't absorb cost through efficiencies and higher prices, then maybe they shouldn't be in business.) So, what is the alternative, and there must be an alternative if you don't want people dying on the street? The alternative is the Earned Income Tax Credit, a much more robust version of what we have now. It accomplishes exactly the same purpose as the minimum wage without the negative consequences. And what's better is that the employer pays for most of it anyway through slightly higher taxes.

Anyway, that is how I save the world.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 7 months ago from Ohio, USA

"(President Bush owns 2009 Q1 because President Obama, or any other President for that matter, has no effective control over the economic output of the first quarter of their presidency)."

The word rubbish leaps to mind, but I'll ask politely: how does any President for that matter have effective control over any economic output at any point in his presidency? How does he magically gain effective control over economic output at the start of Q2? How does me mysteriously release control at the end of his last term? Last time I looked there were three branches of the Federal government, two of which did not have the word 'president' in them.

I ran my business the same regardless of who was President. Every morning I woke up without a single thought regarding The White House or who lived in it. I didn't work harder or easier if there was a Republican or Democrat in office.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 7 months ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

It's simple really. For example, Kennedy, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, and Obama, in recent times, have all proposed and pushed through tax cuts or tax increases; absent their effort, Congress would not passed such a law.

Bush sent us to war which helped destroyed our economy. His (and Greenspan's and Conservative's) economic philosophy allowed them all to ignore the warning signs that a bubble was building between 2003 and 2006 and would burst in 2007; signs that many others, especially at the state-level saw and tried to warn the Fed and Congress about. There response ... everything is alright and following they classical economic theory wholeheartedly agreed with.

Reagan's military buildup and economic war on the Soviet Union blew the federal debt all out of proportion; this would not have happened if Reagan had chosen a different course (and might not have led to the Cold War ending). It was largely Clinton's economic policies and standing up to and then working with Gingrich that resulted in a budget surplus.

Time and time again it has been a presidents agenda that has enormous leverage on how an economy performs.

I run my business the same way as you, but ever since John Adams became President, it has been the president which set the economic agenda.

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