So President Obama's approval rating after one month is...only 68%. Our expectations of him on Inauguration night were too high. His approval rating back on Jan. 20 was around 80%.
He is not superman. I believe that some expect too much of him. In the end, he is only what he is, a man and a politician. He is taking more actions than most of the politicians we have seen through the years. Only time will tell if his actions are as good as we expect them to be.
Survey Reveals Broad Support for President
Published: February 23, 2009
President Obama is benefiting from remarkably high levels of optimism and confidence among Americans about his leadership, providing him with substantial political clout as he confronts the nation’s economic challenges and opposition from nearly all Republicans in Congress, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
Doug Mills/The New York Times
President Obama during a meeting with members of his economic team at the White House on Monday.
How the Poll Was Conducted (February 24, 2009)
First Lady Receives High Marks in Poll (February 24, 2009)
Complete Poll Results (pdf)
Does Bipartisanship Matter?
Given the decidedly partisan outcome of the stimulus vote, should President Barack Obama give up on bipartisanship?
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Back Story With The Times's Jeff Zeleny
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A majority of people surveyed in both parties said Mr. Obama was striving to work in a bipartisan way, but most faulted Republicans for their response to the president, saying the party had objected to the $787 billion economic stimulus plan for political reasons. Most said Mr. Obama should pursue the priorities he campaigned on, the poll found, rather than seek middle ground with Republicans.
Mr. Obama will deliver his first address to Congress on Tuesday evening against a backdrop of deep economic anxiety among the public, with worries spanning party, class and regional divides. A majority of Americans, 55 percent, say they are just making ends meet, with more than 6 in 10 concerned that someone in their household might lose his job in the next year.
Americans are under no illusions that the country’s problems will be resolved quickly, but the poll suggested that they will be patient when it comes to the economy, with most saying it would be years before significant improvement.
A month into Mr. Obama’s term, with his first big accomplishments, setbacks and political battles behind him, more than three-quarters of the people polled said they were optimistic about the next four years with him as president. Similar percentages said that they thought he was bringing real change to the way things were done in Washington and that they had confidence in his ability to make the right decisions about the economy.
The aura of good will surrounding Mr. Obama at this stage of his presidency is similar to the one that benefited Ronald Reagan as he led the nation out of economic gloom.
With a job approval rating of 63 percent, Mr. Obama is in a strong position to sell his economic policies. Yet the poll also captured skepticism about how effective his plans will prove to be in addressing the deep recession, as well as a strain of populism that could test his ability to retain public support for efforts to prop up key sectors of the economy.
At a moment when some economists are talking openly about the possibility of nationalizing banks, a majority of poll respondents said that so far, the administration’s bailout plans for financial institutions would benefit bankers, not all Americans. An even wider majority said the struggling automotive companies, which are seeking billions of dollars in additional loans from the government and which are shedding tens of thousands of workers, should not receive any more taxpayer money to help them survive. And while there is a strong belief that government should help homeowners avoid foreclosure, people are evenly divided over whether the plan announced last week is fair.
“The government doesn’t step up and help other industries, so why should they help the banks and the auto companies?” Margie Rowe, 62, a Democrat from Ahoskie, N.C., said in an interview after participating in the poll. “It’s not fair. Our taxpayer money is going to bail out all these corrupt people who are making millions.”
The national telephone poll was conducted Wednesday through Sunday with 1,112 adults, and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.
The poll suggests that for now, Mr. Obama has been successful in explaining to Americans that the country is in for a long road to economic recovery. Over all, 53 percent of the public expect that the economic stimulus plan he signed into law last week will improve things, but half of those surveyed say it is not likely to shorten the recession and just over two-thirds expect that more money will be needed to right the economy.
Nearly all Americans are concerned that the cost of the economic programs will have significant long-term effects on future generations, with 65 percent saying they are very concerned about increasing the national debt and 26 percent suggesting they are somewhat concerned. Yet about three-quarters say they are more concerned about the current economic crisis.
“The one-time help was O.K., but I think the amount they are asking for is unreasonable,” Priscilla Felknor, 67, a Republican from Dandridge, Tenn., said in an interview after participating in the poll.
Most Americans said the president was trying to make good on his promise to bridge the partisan divide. About three-quarters, including 6 in 10 Republicans, said Mr. Obama had been trying to work with Republicans. But only 3 in 10 Americans said Republicans were doing the same.
On the economic stimulus plan, 63 percent of poll respondents said Republicans opposed the legislation for political reasons, not policy ones. Seventy-nine percent said Republicans should now be working in a bipartisan manner rather than holding fast with their policies.
But 56 percent of those surveyed said Mr. Obama’s priority should be following the policies he proposed during the campaign last year, rather than working with Republicans.
Rosemary Wedel, a 65-year-old Republican from Richmond, Tex., who participated in the poll, said in a follow-up interview that she had not voted for Mr. Obama last fall, but that she approved of how he had performed in his first month in office.
“I think it’s going to cost us more,” Mrs. Wedel said, “but I trust his political savvy.”
The poll found that the public’s widespread concern about the economy remained high, though now it is focused considerably more on jobs than on other dimensions of the economy, like the home mortgage crisis. Forty percent of those polled cited jobs and unemployment as the most important economic problem facing the country, up substantially from 11 percent last March, when fuel costs were the greatest concern.
Mr. Obama’s approval rating is about 10 percentage points higher than either George W. Bush or Bill Clinton were at this early stage of their presidencies. His job approval rating of 63 percent includes 88 percent of Democrats and 44 percent of Republicans.
The White House is reviewing many practices of the Bush administration, including the barring of photographs of the coffins carrying soldiers killed in Iraq. Mr. Obama has yet to offer an opinion on the matter, but the poll found that 69 percent of Americans would like to see the policy reversed.
Marjorie Connelly and Marina Stefan contributed reporting.
Next Article in US (12 of 31) » A version of this article appeared in print on February 24, 2009, on page A1 of the New York edition.
Carter also started his administration with a high approval ratings--to the tune of 70%. He did not end his term with such numbers. Oh, pardon me, that was before your time.
He has a terrible mess to deal with, and a mess most people don't fully understand with the economy and bail outs. It is not surprising that his approval rating has slipped a bit.
His campaign ran on hope--it also ran on solid credentials, political agility & ability for those who paid attention to that stuff. Of course, not everybody did pay attention to these things and quite a few just listened to the easy-to-swallow message of "hope."
Don't think that it is wrong for him to have understood and run on this message--a message that most could appreciate and support. Fewer, of course, are going to understand the rest--that's just reality, unfortunately.
Unlike the previous administration, the Obama Administration is taking action it believes will help the middle class and, we all hope, will help solve the mess he inherited. At the same time, he is trying to act, as much as possible, in a bipartisan manner. It's hurting him in the short run, but it's the right thing to do. If the Republicans also do the right thing, we may return from the brink of disaster.
One thing is certain - the US will leave the brink of disaster - whether by walking or falling is not yet certain. Obama needs and deserves full support in this unprecedented trial.
Where have you seen bipartisanship so far? All I see is pissy democrat senators and representatives getting frustrated with republican senators and representatives not following their lead. I haven't seen anything outside the normal 5-10% of sens & reps going across the aisle on an issue or two every now and then. And also, please, tell me what the "right" thing to do is.
Both sides have their version of the "right" thing to do. I would love to have this century's old question answered.
Listen, I was not fan of bush, and I voted for Obama, but I'm getting kind of sick and tired of the rhetoric being thrown around by those who are overly optimistic about this administration. He's a damn person for Christ's sake, and there isn't that much power installed into the executive branch. Miracles won't happen, but he may help pave the way to better times than we are having now. I'm not expecting utopia as a lot of people are.
I address the question of press coverage of flag-draped coffins in my torphour blog, Ralph, but, as a longtime newsman, I am opposed to Secretary Gates' decision to allow the decision to be left up to the families. We are all an American family, and the Constitutional right of a free press should not be written off. The free press protects us against practices such as those of the Bush Administration in keeping the realities of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from American citizens. Obama should not, and, I hope, will not follow in the footsteps of George W. Bush.
I agree wrt coverage of flag-draped coffins. Freedom of the press is a sacred right for which exceptions should be few and far between.
Depends how you translate the freedom of the press. I don't have the right to publish videos of burning cats and child pornography, do I? I think the freedom of choice prevails in this context--the next of kin has the right to choose in this situation. That's how mortuary affairs' laws go. I wouldn't want my kid's coffin to be viewed by the media, because I would have that right to do so. If the government told me that I HAD to have the picture published and that I didn't have the choice--wouldn't that seem a bit tyrannical and paradoxical in the face of the constitution? I'm sure that would violate at least one section of it.
When constitutional values conflict with each other in a certain context federal law will usually side with the side that pleads victim. I wouldn't want my dead child posted on some blog for your viewing pleasure and to act as propaganda for one camp or another.
... would you?
Tricky issue; good questions. I quit a newspaper job just in Sept. and can say that obituary photos and news photos are handled quite differently. The obit desk is actually a touchy place to be, and for ordinary citizens, they do indeed have the right to use or not use a photo as they would like.
News is something else again and we get into the realm of editorial freedoms and purposes. Of course the law should be reversed--AT least to the extent that the Obama administration has advocated thus far. I'd have to know more about the issues concerning the use of these photos to really have an informed opinion.
If your oh-so-witty name means anything, then I'd venture to guess you were born in 1979. That means you were a whopping two years old when Carter left office. So, darling Nick, Carter was before YOUR time, too.
The official evaluation of President Barack Obama performance is the historic 100 day evaluaion. Achieving an approval rate of 68% is great and the drop from 80% is to be expected as most Americans go through a weaning of the honeymoon stage of a new politician in the White House.
You must notice that President Barack Obama in fact hit the floor running and have accomplished quite a major feat with the passage of the $787 Billion Economic Stimulus Package. As an Washington outsider, President Barack Obama has stepped away from the Bush way of running the government which was mostly for the afflluent. The historic president have kept his campaign promises to take care of the people on main street.
President Barack Obama did not stop with the $787 Economic Stimulus Package but looked to other bailouts of the housing market of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with the $275 Housing Stability bill headed by his US Treasury Secretary Geithner. Peter Orszag as President Barack Obama's budget director has warned the American people to not look for immediate results but he has a positive attitude about President Barack Obama handling of the nation's economy.
A news reporter, Mr. Anderson asked President Barack Obama how did he compare himself with President Lincoln. President Barack Obama's reply was that they both were tasks with jobs that they were not trained to do but are willing and adamant learners of their elected posts. President Barack Obama said that Lincoln had to be knowledgeable of war as he was President during the Civil War. President Barack Obama said that he had to learn the workings of the federal economy though he was not trained to be an economist.
President Barack Obama's honesty that he did not divulge to the commentator as a similarity to the great President Lincoln also is a like comparison of the two commander in chiefs. His honesty as President Lincoln of adhering to his campaign promises gave President Barack Obama the backing to introduce a $634 Health Care Plan. This major Medicare and Medicare health care plan seeks to cover 11 million of uninsured children in America. This $634 Billion Health Care Plan is going to bring information technology to the health care industry as well as promote a bidding system that will help with seniors health care system in the private sector.
President Barack Obama in a house of "No" indicating the unyielding economic policies of the Republicans has remained true to the American people to deliver on his promises.He was able to carry on three Republicans to agree with the signing of the $787 Billion Stimulus Package into law. Those brave Republicans who crossed party lines into the non-partisanship that President Barack Obama stands for were Ms. Collins, Ms Snowand Mr. Specter of Maine and Pennsylvania respectively. President Barack Obama started talks of bringing home Americans from the Iraq war that was milking the economy out of $10 billion a month. Plans are in place now after talking with Robert Gates to bring the troops home and to recognize the many veterans who have returned home to joblessness and homelessness. President Barack Obama $787 Economic Stimulus Plan will focus on the Veteran Affairs Department that promulgate matters of this recourse and have appointed Vice President Joe Biden to make sure that the states are spending responsibly to get the economy back moving again. President Barack Obama has also instituted a new department to oversee that the money spent by the states from the $787 Economic Stimulus Package is budgeted and used responsibly.
If the 80% rating score is based on a curve and is considered an A, then a 68% is only a subjective drop of 12% so President Barack Obama is performing greatly after having been in the White House for less than two months. Never has a presidency been so transparent except maybe in President Franklin D. Roosevelt's term when the Great Depression was prevalent. The unemployment rate during those post war times was upwards to 30% or more and President Barack Obama is dealing with unemployment in Indiana,Florida and other states upwards to 12% or more. Unemployment is grim in America at this time, but as President Barack Obama said in his inaugural speech and in his speech to the Joint Session of Congress, Americans has recovered from economic crisis before and can recover from economic crisis again.
The $787 Billion Stimulus plan will not be evaluated until 18 months after becoming a law giving economist plenty of time to test the recovery plan for sustainabillity. The massive tax cuts, tax credits and spending bill became law on February 17, 2009. Republicans have called the bill a "pork" bill because of the spending entailed. President Barack Obama has repudiated that statement with the fact that the ecnomy needs a jolt to get it up and running again and spending as in stimulus will give it what is needed.
We, as the American people are to act responsbly in our communities, cities, towns, and states to do what we can performing community service to help each other in these difficult times. Newspapers are reporting that state governments are placing their employee on four day work weeks to save gas on a five day commute to work. There are printed accounts of workers foregoing a day of pay of week to keep employees on the role at restaurant and other places of service. The whole country heard about the business man from President Barack Obama's Joint Session of Congress speech where a businessman gave his $16 million executive bonus check to needy people in his community. When asked why did he forego of his bonus that he had rightfully earned, the executive simple reply was that he had known some of the people that were not faring too good and needed help since he was lad.
These are some of the heroic actions that Americans have done to do their part to help the economy. Even as you read this article, in light of the recent gas price hike, if you thought twice about making a trip to a nearby grocery store and decided to walk to save gas, then you have done a little to help America. The saying goes that every little bit helps and President Barack Obama would appreciate it if Americans could return just a little of the optimism, patriotism and trust that he has in his country and the American people. When he reads the ten letters from the American people that he has requested from the thousands that pour in; when he reads and familiarize himself with the black book of briefings on national security and the economy each night; it is certain that he appreciates that he has earned the 68% approval rating. President Barack Obama is not resting in the comfort of the numbers but the satisfaction that he is doing the best he can to remake America into the proud country of historic forefathers such as George Washington or Thomas Jefferson. We as Americans have to do our part and do the best we can be to help President Barack Obama in his agenda of making America great again. Then again do not give your service for President Barack Obama because he has asked us to give. Give your time and talents for service in your community for the good of yourself, your family, your friends a needy stranger and ultimately to help rebuild America, your country.
This is phenomenon is not unique to our current president.
This is a superficial observations. You do not cite an particular provisions of the Stimulus Bill or explain how such provisions will stimulate the economy. It is of interest that NO ONE was permitted to analyze this bill before its passage. It was rushed through the House and Senate and Obama failed to achieve any degree of bipartisanship as promised.
Do you even know the purpose of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and why they need to be bailed out?
If we should not look for immediate results, why was their such a rush to pass the stimulus-why not let is sit for a week or two so Congress knew what it was voting for. Not a single Congressman or Senator read the Bill in full before passage.
Obama doesn't even know what is entailed in meeting a payroll ever two weeks let alone macroeconomic! But it doesn't matter, he is intent on destroying our economy for his radical agenda.
Obama should consider enacting tort reform--it's largely because of greedy trial lawyers that Health Care in the US is so expensive. But that won't happen, because guess who the trial lawyers support...
Please expand with specificity what you understand these "unyielding" economic policies to be.
The above listed Senators' days are numbered.
Do you even know what the money is being used for? how about in your home state?
Are we to resort grading presidents like students? Or is that just a reflection of the scope of your experience of the world?
I cite legislative process behind the stimulus package again--hardly transparent.
Yes very inspiring.
What percentage of the stimulus package is devoted to tax cuts? Will taxes be raised subsequently?
So are you implying that the economy is best stimulated by "pork" spending?
Typical, demagoguery--A play on the emotions to mask a hidden agenda.
Barack Obama will suffer the same fate a Jimmy Carter.
Wrong again Nick. Tort awards are a very small part of health care costs. The biggest unnecessary cost is the parasitic, greedy health insurance industry. Malpractice judgments are under 1 percent of health care costs. http://www.division42.org/MembersArea/I … reform.php
Health insurance premiums amount to around 30 % of health care costs.
Medical insurance costs are not limited to malpractice liability. There is workers' comp. , commercial general liability, regular general liability, disability, no-fault etc etc. All of these factor into the cost of health care. That's 1% statistic is incorrect incidentally.
You were talking abuot tort reform. Workers comp has nothing to do with tort reform. Tort reform would do little for reducing health care costs.
http://www.dmiblog.com/archives/2008/01 … c_and.html
Malpractice awards have almost no effect on health care costs. Doctors and hospitals make errors every day for which they should be held accountable.
Tort reform is a red herring.
In 2006 the US health budget was $2.1 trillion.
Tort costs were $30.3 billion this is 1.4%.
Stories about defensive medicine to forestall suits are anecdotal and not supported by any comprehensive studies.
One of the biggest cost savings would be to get people to live a healthier lifestyle. This is much talked about, but little is done. It is more than 50 years since the dangers of cigarettes were proven and yet they are still on the market.
The same is true about the ill effects of junk food, especially high fat, high salt products pushed by the likes of McDonald’s and the other big chains.
Drinking a single extra Coke per day will add 15 lbs to your weight over a year if you don’t compensate in some other fashion. We still see such drinks being sold in schools and pushed on kids by ads and even parents who want to “treat” their kids.
I don’t believe in blaming the victim, but government can do things to minimize the ill effects of poor diets by removing subsidies from the corn and beef industries and offering them to fruits and vegetables instead. It is almost impossible for a poor person to eat a healthy diet on a limited budget. The dollar meal provides more calories at an affordable price than any of the (unsubsidized) alternatives.
Drug firms push pills and the FDA approves them as a way to “cure” poor lifestyle choices. No wonder costs are so high.
The term "tort" encompasses more than Malpractice causes of action. It encompasses a whole host of personal injuries at the hands of not only doctors, but of anyone who injures someone. Anyone can be a "tortfeasor" and when a tort is committed, insurance is implicated. And if insurance isn't implicated because of lack of coverage, the health care industry must absorb the cost. Either way, the cost is passed on to people who pay for insurance as a cost of doing business. Workers' Comp. is related to this issue because it is a substitute for a personal injury cause of action against an employer--that doesn't however mean an employee or employer can't sue some other 3rd party who may have contributed to a work-related injury...which brings us back to insurance. And for that matter workers' compensation requires insurance as well. It doesn't come out of business operating expenses unless the company happens to be self-insured which is rare. Therefore, the 1% percent figure, even assuming arguendo it is correct (and it's not), is not the whole story. You only have a superficial knowledge of what's involved here.
I'm familiar with the term "tort." You're the one that said that "Its largely because of greedy trial lawyers that health care is so expensive in the United States." This is simply not true. It's true that doctors are always whining about huge malpractice awards and the cost of their insurance. The truth is that most malpractice suits are dismissed or settled for small amounts and that malpractice awards are a small part of health care costs. Michigan has adopted some fairly stringent limits on tort suits and so have other states, however, this has had little or no effect on health care costs. Nobody is saying that tort reform is any more than a tiny part of the solution to the country's excessive health care cost increases.
Back in the 50s insurance fraud (slip & fall) was a career option. Maybe still is. But for that they just fired the little guy. However when they knowingly injure and kill people with faulty products because they don't want to spend the money to fix the problem (costly) then that is the responsibility of the bosses.
However this can only be proved in court, where documents are required.
Tort reform is to stop that. Course with the settlements, admission of guilt is sealed. By the way Ralph - liked your cars.
And now you want me to pay for the meds for all those idiots who drink only cola and don't know any food but junk? Thank you Ralph
The concept is known as insurance or social insurance. Everybody pays into the fund, and the fund pays the expenses of those who need the care.
Thanks for your information Ralph. You did not answer the last question though
I repeat it here for your convenience: do you think it is fair to force somebody to pay for other people stupid actions consequences?
What is your standard of fairness Misha? I think the better question is "to what extent must tax-payers be forced to pay for the consequences of the stupid actions of other, especially the stupid actions of non-taxpayers and illegal aliens. The answer of course is the LEAST AMOUNT POSSIBLE and erring on the side of not paying enough where there is doubt. On the other hand, such a policy, of course, has to be balanced with the countervaling claim that sometimes leaving issues unaddressed (even if it is more "fair") may cost everyone more in the long run. It is a complicated question--but at the end of the day the prevailing policy should be individual responsibility and not general entitlement. People need to know that they are NOT helpless victims of socialogical forces beyond their control as is all too often the preached--this world view makes people soulless.
The radicals in Washington not only want to make everyone responsible for the stupid actions of others, they want peoples' souls. They want it worn down by taxes until EVERYONE is dependent and helpless. They want to trash the economy; they want to subsidize poverty and failure that THEY THEMSELVES CREATE by punishing success. Ironically, when you do subsidize poverty and failure, you get MORE poverty and failure, not less. According to their ideology, individuals can do nothing for themselves. They think of everyone as soda-drinking, fast food eating idiots while a select few are smart enough rule the world. They say they are interested in people--or the "greater good". They will tell you they are for the poor, the downtrodden, the voiceless and the helpless. But IN ACTUAL PRACTICE, every policy and precept of their ideology supports the development of a dependent collectivist state and the FORFEITURE of freedom that is the unavoidable consequence.
Taxes on the highest income Americans are the lowest they've been since the 1930s and income disparity the greatest. Please specify which government functions you would eliminate--Defense, the courts, Interstate highways, FDIC, SEC, FDA, Social Security, Medicare, or what? All of the above programs have broad support. Taxes are required to pay for them. Put up or shut up!
Have you been "Limbaugh-tomized?"
Three Blind Mice
Published: March 6, 2009
The Republicans have reached a new low, literally.
According to the most recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, the percentage of Americans who view the Republican Party positively is at an all-time low. Meanwhile, President Obama’s positive rating is at an all-time high, and the Democratic Party’s positive rating is near its high.
Why? Because the Republicans have dissolved into a querulous lot of nags and naysayers without a voice, a direction or a clue, and we are not amused.
And who has surfaced as their saviors? Bobby Jindal, Michael Steele and Rush Limbaugh — the axis of drivel.
Let’s start with Jindal, who delivered his now-infamous, numbingly rote response to Obama’s national address in a kindergarten cadence. He fumbled his facts and sealed his fate. He then scurried off to Disney World to lick his wounds in a place where they appreciate a character and a fairy tale. Goofy.
As for Steele, the Republicans seem to be suffering from buyers’ remorse. They apparently didn’t show him the job description. They wanted a wheeling-and-dealing, Rovian maestro. Instead, they got a bobbing-and-weaving, camera-loving mouthpiece.
On Sunday, he continued his ludicrous, “off the hook” mission to appeal to the hip-hop set by going on the D.L. Hughley show on CNN and calling Rush Limbaugh an “entertainer” with an “ugly,” “incendiary” style. Spot-on observations — and brave. But, alas, illusory.
Limbaugh delivered a blistering, frothy-mouthed rebuttal on his radio show, admonishing Steele to pump his brakes and stay in his lane (hip-hop references just for you Mr. Steele): “It’s time ... for you to go behind the scenes and start doing the work that you were elected to do instead of trying to be some talking-head media star, which you’re having a tough time pulling off.”
Steele predictably bowed and scraped and repented.
The whole sorry episode reeked of the same cowardice that the entire party is showing in the face of this howler, afraid of offending his Limbaugh-tomized minions of the far, far right.
The Democrats know the Republicans are afraid to confront and disavow Limbaugh, so they keep poking him, and he keeps snapping like a rabid dog. This is a brilliant bit of Machiavellian strategy on the part of the Democrats. (I didn’t know that they had it in them.)
Commenting on this circus of absurdities, Steele told the “Today” show on NBC that “there’s a lot of popcorn going around for folks who are watching this and enjoying it.” You betcha. Keep it coming. You guys are obviously blind to the damage you’re doing.
The past two weeks perfectly illustrate why the Republican ranks are withering — the mindless bickering with the left and spineless groveling to the right.
The future of the Grand Old Party is in the hands of some mighty small men. Jindal should bring back Mickey Mouse ears for them all. It’d be suitable.
LOL Nick, this was not the purpose of the question. I am well aware that our world is unfair, and I am pretty much agree to what you say here.
All what I wanted to demonstrate is double standards our HP "socialists" have. They are all for eliminating unfairness when it comes to paying for corporate bosses stupid actions, and at the same time they are pushing forward this absolutely identical unfairness of paying for common people stupid actions. See how Ralph avoids answering the question altogether? My guess is he feels it's a double standard, and doesn't want to admit to it...
Why they are doing it? My guess is they hope to be on a receiving side, consciously or not...
You are now sounding very CLS (critical legal--which is a little radical, btw), from my brief foray into that world the other day. In response to that, I would say--as I think Misha has an inkling of--there is such a thing as tyranny of the right as well as tyranny of the left (although I believe that the tyranny of the left often has to do with the interpretive voices that enact the practices & not the actual principles and approach which are--I am sure--the correct and ethical ones.)
I personally do not look at most people as "soda-drinking, fast food eating idiots," but as individuals where both environment and heredity come into play. Given certain environments, some do indeed turn out as fast food eating idiots due to exploitation (and some may just be born that way--though that isn't about individual responsibility, either, is it?). The key then, would be to end the exploitation--the argument then is (perhaps?) on how best to do that (although your past diatribes on 'success' lead me to think otherwise and that you have a more than passing interest in exploitation for your own purposes.)
You are right in the assumption that without free will (or soul) and internal motivation, many would end up without lives of meaning. But again, this 'force' could come from both right--rampant capitalism, or left (government control)--though again, I'd say (though Misha will surely interject in regard to the USSR) history would show the worst comes from unregulated power.
We are at an unusual place, I believe in history. This isn't really about the old dualistic arguments anymore (though you do have valid points--it isn't the whole picture). As Colin Powell (a conservative) pointed out, we have become used to certain entitlements. And obviously, as Ralph points out, we must have government--and government is not an 'evil' function as, yep, the limbaugh-timized might believe. I think the deeper question is one of motivation--what our real nature as human beings is--and I don't think its about materialism (or carrots and stick motivation). Thus, I believe that regulation supporting broad human rights (and minimal necessities) and true freedom can peacefully co-exist and should exist.
Just for the interesting perspective:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joseph-a- … 74611.html
You're welcome, Misha. Unless you make more than $250k you'll be paying less.
I'm still waiting for Obama's tax cuts...where are they?
Leaving aside my income, let me get one question straight - do you think it is fair to force somebody to pay for other people stupid actions consequences?
That is a complicated issue and no time...
To be Knol-like, aren't we doing that now with our beloved capitalists?
What is that complicated about it? To make it easier for you, imagine you are forced to pay for the treatment of a serious illness I acquired because of many years of smoking? Or, say, for repair of my teeth that I severely damaged cause I like to chew on metal screws? And if you don't, you go to jail?
And I answer your question after you answer mine
I just love it when men talk down to me, Misha. Some of us have jobs and cannot type all day long...... hence, use of the word 'complicated.'
I believe Pam put it in simple and illustrative terms. The 'socialist' concept of education should also help with that smoking and tooth problem.
When my kids were young and still lived with me I'd ask one of them to do the dishes or run the vacuum cleaner and often I'd get, "I didn't make the mess, so I shouldn't have to clean it up. It's not fair." To which I would say, "Life is not fair. Do the dishes."
I do pay for other people's mistakes all the time. It's not fair but I consider it the cost of living in a place with schools and roads and police and so forth. It's like being part of a family. You do your part, even when it isn't tit for tat.
"Leaving aside my income, let me get one question straight - do you think it is fair to force somebody to pay for other people stupid actions consequences?"
So you opened the door as they say on 'Law and Order'. Is it fair for those to pay for roads when they don't drive, and fair to pay the hospital bills of recless drivers, when they crash themselves and into others, and don't have enough insurance?
Thank you Pam, I guess you are the only socialist around who was brave enough to answer the question
So, it is not fair, we agree on that. Yet you chose to tolerate it.
I have two problems with your answer:
1. How in the world your health insurance is paying for schools and roads? Or your health tax will for that matter?
2. Now health insurance is at least sort of optional. If I choose not to, I can opt out. You guys plan to make it mandatory. Exactly same people who run AIG now will run the government health agency. At worst their best friends will. But I won't be able to opt out any more, unless I am willing to go to jail. How is this better? Don't tell me it will be different people, just look at the numbers government gives to AIG. You don't give such money to strangers. If not to yourself, than to the best friends. Chances are other health insurance companies are not far from AIG in that regard.
So, most likely it is going to get even more unfair, and not going to solve any problem - do you really need it?
Sorry if I came across as talking down to you, I did not intend to. You said it was complicated to you, I tried to make it less complicated.
Knol, no it is not fair
You are right Misha, there is no way to opt out of some things that taxes pay for but consent to others. But I have similar issues with that, I just object to different things. For instance, I don't like it that so much of the tax I pay goes to the Iraq war and to Wall Street losers who messed everything up. But I do take a fairly conventional attitude towards our system and pay taxes and put up with what I don't like for the things I do like. Then I write about what I don't like and write to my Congresspersons and so forth.
I think part of living in a place that has any kind of government is that there will be things you don't like, and the question is always, "How much don't I like this?" Enough to leave? Enough to revolt? I ask myself those kinds of questions all the time. So far I'm still here, paying my taxes.
Misha! I am extremely tongue-in-cheek... That was supposed to be lightly humorous.
Whose definition of human rights? What are minimal necessities? What is true freedom? and what about the Constitution. It's very easy to write nice sounding sentences on this topic--but you work from so many unshared assumptions that what you say here is valueless verbiage.
Then let me interrogate you--
Then you are saying you do not believe in any universal or truths whatsoever?
Is this a recently acquired assumption? Or an assumption for the case of argument or support of your agenda?
And frankly, no, these were not nice sounding sentences--but rather bland by my own definition.
and you're reference to CLS is lost to me, but no doubt whatever is intended by the reference, it is grounded in yet another unfounded assumption about my perspectives.
Look it up. Wouldn't hurt. Oh, yeah, right, C student....
I've got more interesting things to do, like laundry...
edit: Ugh. Not really meant as an insult--just something I came across that seems to fit:
But the post just above IS an insult.
Let's consider the facts for a change-War on the Rich?The bogus GOP claim that Obama is trying to bleed wealthy Americans.
By Daniel GrossPosted Thursday, March 5, 2009, at 6:09 PM ET
Illustration by Robert Neubecker. Click image to expand.To hear conservatives tell it, you'd think mobs of shiftless welfare moms were marauding through the streets of Greenwich and Palm Springs, lynching bankers and hedge-fund managers, stringing up shopkeepers, and herding lawyers into internment camps. President Obama and his budgeteers, they say, have declared war on the rich.
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On Tuesday, Washington Post columnist (and former Bush speechwriter) Michael Gerson argued in an op-ed that "Obama chose a time of recession to propose a massive increase in progressivity—a 10-year, trillion-dollar haul from the rich, already being punished by the stock market collapse and the housing market decline." The plans are so radical, "there will not be enough wealthy people left to bleed." CNBC's Larry Kudlow wrote that "Obama is declaring war on investors, entrepreneurs, small businesses, large corporations, and private-equity and venture-capital funds." Other segments on the financial news network warn of a tax on the rich, a war on the wealthy. My personal favorite was a piece from ABCNews.com, which had to be rewritten and reposted because the original was so poorly done. (The revised version isn't much better.) It quotes a dentist who is contemplating reducing "her income from her current $320,000 to under $250,000 by having her dental hygienist work fewer days and by treating fewer patients. [That way, she] would avoid paying higher taxes on the $70,000 that would be subject to increased taxation if Obama's proposal is signed into law."
It's hard to overstate how absurd these claims are. First, let's talk about the "massive increase in progressivity" that Gerson deplores. It consists largely (but not exclusively) of returning marginal tax rates to their levels of 2001, before Gerson and the epically incompetent Bush administration of which he was a part got their hands on the reins of power. Obama wants to let marginal rates for families with taxable income (not total income, but taxable income) of more than $250,000 revert from 33 percent to 36 percent, and to let the top rate—currently 35 percent on family income above $357,000—revert to 39 percent. (Here are the current tax tables.) There's also talk of capping—not eliminating, but capping—deductions on charitable giving and mortgage interest.
Obama's proposals don't mean the government would steal every penny you make above the $250,000 threshold, or that making more than $250,000 would somehow subject all of your income to higher taxes. Rather, you'd pay 36 cents to the government in income taxes on every dollar over the threshold, rather than 33 cents.
Second, this return to 2001's tax rates was actually part of the Bush tax plan. The Republicans who controlled the White House and the Republicans who controlled the Congress earlier this decade decreed that all the tax cuts they passed would sunset in 2010. They put in this sunset provision to hide the long-term fiscal costs of the cuts. The Bush team and congressional supporters had seven years to manage fiscal affairs in such a way that they would be able to extend the tax cuts in 2010. But they screwed it up. Instead of controlling spending and aligning tax revenues with outlays, the Bush administration and its congressional allies ramped up spending massively—on two wars, on a prescription drug benefit for Medicare, on earmarks, etc. Oh, and along the way, they so miserably mismanaged oversight of Wall Street and the financial sector that it required the passage of a hugely expensive bailout. Even before the passage of the TARP, the prospect of extending all the Bush tax cuts was a nonstarter. Once Bush signed the $700 billion bailout measure into law, extending tax cuts was really a nonstarter. The national debt nearly doubled during the Bush years. So if you want to blame someone for raising taxes back to where they were in 2001, don't blame Obama. Blame Bush, his feckless Office of Management and Budget directors, his economic advisers, and congressional appropriators like Trent Lott and Tom DeLay.
Third, we know from recent experience that marginal tax rates of 36 percent and 39 percent aren't wealth killers. I was around in the 1990s, when tax rates were at that level, and when capital gains and dividend taxes were significantly higher than they are today. And I seem to remember that we had a stock market boom, a broad rise in incomes (with the wealthy benefitting handily), and strong economic growth.
Fourth, we also know from recent experience that lower marginal rates on income taxes, and lower rates on capital gains and dividends, aren't necessarily wealth producers. The Bush years, which had lower marginal rates and capital gains taxes, were a fiasco. In fact, if you tally up the vast destruction of wealth in the late Bush years—caused by foolish hedge funds, investment banks, and other financial services companies, it seems like the wealthy have in fact been waging war on one another.
Finally, there has been a near total absence of discussion of what higher rates will mean in the real world. Say you're a CNBC anchor, or a Washington Post columnist with a seat at the Council on Foreign Relations, or a dentist, and you managed to cobble together $350,000 a year in income. You're doing quite well. If you subtract deductions for state and property taxes, mortgage interest and charitable deductions, and other deductions, the amount on which tax rates are calculated might total $300,000. What would happen if the marginal rate on the portion of your income above $250,000 were to rise from 33 percent to 36 percent? Under the old regime, you'd pay $16,500 in federal taxes on that amount. Under the new one, you'd pay $18,000. The difference is $1,500 per year, or $4.10 per day. Obviously, the numbers rise as you make more. But is $4.10 a day bleeding the rich, a war on the wealthy, a killer of innovation and enterprise? That dentist eager to slash her income from $320,000 to $250,000 would avoid the pain of paying an extra $2,100 in federal taxes. But she'd also deprive herself of an additional $70,000 in income!
Can she, or we, really be that stupid?
Yes, very reminiscent of a winning campaign strategy: John McCain aka Bush II. Obama teetering over pit called Carter.
These references are just completely lost on me....
For starters on your beloved McCain:
http://www.rollingstone.com/news/covers … ohn_mccain
Just keep repeating it like an incantation and it may help your legion.
Yes we can. Yes we can. Obama is Carter. Where's the change. Where's the change. Same old same old Jimmy Carter.
Do you ever ever get tired of your own sound bytes?
Game's been a little off, lol
And seems like this is just more and more Limbaugh, this Carter bs (which of course I didn't read anywhere)...genuinely all you seem capable of, which wraps up any game...
CNN reported 3 hours ago[6:58 EST] that Obama has the highest % rating in 30 years. I find that comforting and good. I am glad to see that Obama is a 6:1 favorite upon Americans. I been looking for Jimmy Carter's % but haven't found it. I still find this very interesting. CNN says that this comparison comes off the heels of recent time frames. I wonder if they have in fact exaggerated that timeline. I can't find any approval ratings for W. less than 100 days in office. Not sure if this is worth noting. But if someone else can find figures before 100 days were up with any of the other Presidents named below, I'd be interested in having them.
Here is some of that CNN report:
"Obama's support is not as high as it was during the transition period and immediately after the inauguration, but approval from six in ten Americans is a pretty robust level of support," said CNN polling director Keating Holland.
The 61 percent approval rating is also slightly higher than his predecessors' numbers around the same time. President Bush stood at 58 percent around 50 days into his administration. President Clinton was at 53 percent, President George H.W. Bush was at 56 percent and President Reagan was at 60 percent."
More importantly than approval ratings, Obama is the best and the brightest--and that is who you want in office at this point in time. Popularity contests are one thing--substance is another. I read as much as I could on him before the election.
CNN in fact exaggerates much. I'm losing respect for them for any indepth coverage, and only watch them to get basically surface-level event news. They pretend to be representative of all points of view--but instead they present all points of spin, mainly. A little depressing--because I know it is possible to approach news with an eye towards facts and good interpretation, not just agenda. We must view the other crap instead.
CNN is mentioning this stuff about Carter (if they are), simply because Limbaugh said it, so it is out there and is news and must be covered. Not because it actually means anything.
I use their online site. The TV program is a joke. I watch it for maybe about an hour a night.
I went online to the gallup poll website and was surprise to see they hadn't done an updated poll. Seems like every news affiliates and poll sites were doin something on Obama's first 50ty days.
CNN is not reliable. It's very biased on a number of subjects and I can't stand Lou Dobbs or Nancy Grace. Wolf Blitizer is a dim bulb. At least Beck is gone to Fox where he fits in quite well with Hannity, et al. I lost faith in CNN a long time ago.
Hmm. I don't know about Gallup. They are headquartered in Omaha, where I am from--which is usually very right leaning. ? Don't know if it means anything. Sometimes it does--lol--as I know how the newspaper is there.
Am the same with CNN...
The Associated Press' Gallup Poll? Or gallup.com?
I believe it is one and the same, if it says Gallup. Started in Omaha--has expanded, of course, immensely.
Got it. I thought you didn't know about Gallup. But you didn't know about what Gallup was saying. I got it now. Hi. How are you today?
Am OK... Better than yesterday, lol Baaad day...
Yeah--I didn't see any poll on Obama's first 50 days, either...
And Make Money--I think you have to read and watch more than a few sites/newspapers/mags/channels to be really informed. I think it has maybe always been so.
Like it wasn't already in the dumpster from Bush.
Haha, wow, nice one. But come on, what did Bush do?
The difficulty of being an informed American
First paragraph quoted
I hate them kinda days. Glad this one is better.
I did just see on huffington.com that in a CNN poll Obama was at a 69%. So far so good.
Obama's pee cures cancer.. he is the king of the world and more than just man.. or is he just another politician ? I will go with the latter.
Mr.Obama has planned doubling the troops in Afganistan on the pretext of fighting talibans. He has asked Pakistan to deploy more troops on the Afgan border to fight alongwith them against talibans. India has been asked to reduce troops on the Pakistan borders and enable redeployment of Pak troops there.... as expected, India has rejected it.
The old American ways of trying to dictate terms to other countries has not gone. They are on the same notion that they can do wonders with their military ever after so many defeats.
There are equal-opposite forces to the talibans in this region itself and American misadventure will go as another blackspot it its history. This plan can only be seen as an attempt to gradually come nearer to India and China.
Obama thinks that offering bonus to insurance personnel is wrong and taking personal responsibility for the "mistake", he has apologised ! Insurance is a canvassing industry and only bonuses and other offers will improve it. If he tightens the financial offers, no one will come to take insurance policies, as the personnel will hesitate to canvas. This news has really come as a blow to Tata AIG.
Like this, Mr.Obama will have to apologise many times in future and he need not waste his apologies now itself.
Are you saying that some of the executive bonuses that AIG paid from the bailout are actually going to Tata executives in India?
I heard on the news today that if the executives that got the bonuses for failing do not voluntarily give up their bonuses there will be a 90% tax put on the bonus.
90% taxation on bonus is a good measure. But this will certainly one day lead to layoffs and strikes.
Bonus to AIG executives must have been paid in a limited amount. But taking it back by way of taxation is not welcome.. Tata AIG is in India also and someone will have received it. As an insurance-man, my support goes to AIG executives, who should be encouraged.
As far as Indian economy is concerned, it stands unaffected because of public savings and insurance companies.
No, that is not the case. Tata and AIG are in a joint venture in the Indian Insurance sector. I believe AIG has many more interests besides Insurance. Even this JV with Tata has AIG participating with 26% stake in the JV, as prescribed by the Indian Regulations.
No Tata executives have received any of the bonus. I am not sure about the AIG participants though. Btw, Tata AIG is headed by a previous AIG employee.
Upper Mang. doesn't go on strikes. They don't get laid off. This taxation applies to 6 figure or more cash bonuses.
People if your boss gives you a $200.00 bonus, your rate of pay is 36%. If your boss pays you $200,000.00 then your bonus would be 90%.
Sidh, don't you feel you should give the public the whole story as it applies instead of bits and pieces? If I missed the line in where you explained the 90% tax rate on bonuses, my bad. But you are leading people to believe that this 90% tax rate is something to be enforced on everyone and when in fact it is for the stinking wealthy!
You should be more worried about the fact that this is a retro-active tax.
Shit Mark, that only one part of it. I am tired of worrying, you know? America can't get the right information out to the people, let alone someone like Sidh suggesting that upper mang. is going to join forces with the poor. False reporting, posting websites that are known for fraudulent stories, misquoting and half truths are only fueling a very well lite bomb-fire. Its enough to make a man drink.
What should AIG exceutives be encouraged to do? Start going to church every Sunday?
Jump off the George Washington Bridge?
I saw a good line something to the affect: 'Obama is not going to be the president who lost the empire'.
Mike, are you serious? Taxing in retrospect? Adopting a law that works backwards in time? You scared me...
Shit, looks like it's time to pack suitcases...
This is the ghost of USSR raising from its grave...
In case you need to know Misha. The U.S. just have drones monitoring the Manitoba/U.S. border so far, with more to come apparently. So much for the longest unprotected border in the world.
This site claims that "nine states have declared sovereignty with another 13 states considering legislation to do so."
"s**t, looks like it's time to pack suitcases..."
No fear Misha, the gangsters are still ruling the roost. They just got caught with the bonus thing, and have to do a quick cover up. Means nothing but to tamp down the pitchfork crowd, even though not many have a pitchforks anymore.
I was more entertained by the fact that the fed is now printing money.
Not sure why they don't just use that to pay the bonuses. Maybe they could just print pink money or something and say that is only worth 10% of green money?
Hey, it's fun to watch from France, and much less fun having a family with small kids here, when you know where this train is heading...
British gov Inc has already been printing money for ages and they are talking about changing the bonus taxes there, plus introducing MINIMUM prices for alcohol. The french cleared a slum out in Paris a couple of weeks ago and shipped a bunch of Romanians home. Only to have the Romanians tell them they were headed straight back. We had two million government workers striking today - wanting better money - and a bunch of workers in Paris held the head of a Sony manufacturing plant hostage because they got fired.
No different here I'm afraid.
Oh and did I mention that there are now German troops on French soil for the first time on goodness knows how long -
Just a friendly exchange of forces to foster better understanding.....
Yeah, while the pitchforks are being waved around the Treasury is printing as fast as they can and Wall Street can't decide whether to sh*t or go blind. Meanwhile Bernanke is making appearances on 60 Minutes and assuring us all he's just common folk and all will be fixed by the end of this year.
It won't be long now. At least it's warmer out here. Although I hear freezing isn't really a bad way to go compared to some of the other choices...
I guess you did not understand the meaning of this knol. I am not a lawyer, someone of our resident lawyers hopefully will chime in and confirm that modern western law does not have a precedent of a law that applies to the time when there was no such a law. It is a break of the fundamental legislation principle, and by precedent leads to very bad consequences...
For example, a few month down the road they pass the law that says having a username "knolyourself" is a felony and is punished by 10 years in jail. And this applies retrospectively...
A slight exaggeration, but I hope you see the groundwork for putting anybody behind the bars at will?
It is happening all over - in the UK, they hastily tore up our monopoly laws (anti trust laws) in about 2 seconds flat so that one bank could buy another.
These laws had been in place for years after the last "crisis" LOL
I would think it will have been (going to have been) (would have been going to be) illegal to own gold and a few other things soon. Like last month?
Mark, if any analogy with USSR holds, you are right on the spot with the gold.
BTW, the last time they used retrospective law in USSR, it was to execute several businessman who dealt in currency. Exchange operations (and possessing foreign currency at all) were unlawful, but were punished by a mild jail sentence of 5-10 years.
Well, the scale of those currency operations was so big that they changed the punishment to capital one, and applied it retrospectively... Does it ring any bell?
Printing money is a kids game in comparison to this...
" It is a break of the fundamental legislation principle, and by precedent leads to very bad consequences..."
Seems to me this assumes everything is on the up and up. In Bush vs. Gore the supreme court ruled that the votes could not be counted. Then they amended it to say that that ruling could never be used again.
LOL it's getting funnier and funnier even in France, by the hour...
I guess I need to think about Sufi's suggestion....
I can either laugh about it or become very, very pissed off. So, I am going with LOL
Just glad I am not in Afghanistan or Latvia or Spain.
13% unemployment in Spain and rising. And that is government figures......
Laughter is the only way.
Everything is fine here, with no more rioting than normal, but the tourist season could be the killer. Numbers and spending will fall, but by how much...?
Same here on the Cote D'Azur - everything is fine. Until one lousy summer. We have relied on British and Russians for the last few years. Guess what? If you think things are bad in the US - take a look at Russia. All the oligarchs are going to be government employees by the time this is over.
Even Mrs Mayor of Moscow is asking for a bailout
That is a concern - Most of the high-end tourists in Greece are Russian.
I think that Greece will survive one bad season. Whilst the Olympics Games were good for Athens, the rest of the country saw a collapse in tourism, but the businesses survived.
If this thing goes into next year.....
Bank on it. If you trust any banks that is........
LOL - if that does happen, you will see a few burning banks in Greece. Possibly the Parliament building, too.
Australians are slow to fire up, but we may see some trouble next year when the economy does it's final fizzle!
Australians are slow to fire up, but we may see some trouble next year when the economy does it's final fizzle!
That's a cool one Mike, probably the best piece of news I've heard for a long time, thank you
Granted, state governments themselves are not exactly angels, too - yet they are a far cry from the federal government.
Yeah it definitely shows there are not a lot of happy campers around.
Thanks to SidhSingh.. for explaining. What is AIG, who heads AIG, is not the case. It is only about payment of bonus and taking it back.
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