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October 1, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Don’t fault Obama for economic ills

The fact that opinion polls show Americans are unhappy with President Barack Obama’s handling of the economy amazes me. Any high school graduate should know from social studies classes that Congress holds the purse strings on all economic matters facing this country.

Fact is that nearly every economic proposal the president has put forward has been met with opposition and filibusters from Republicans in Congress who are determined to see him fail despite the damage they are doing to Americans.

The blame for our economic woes is not President Obama’s but that of American voters who literally tore the promise of progress from his agenda when they handed the ruling body (Congress) over to Republicans who take their orders from corporate America. Thanks to voters, there will be no jobs bill or any bill passed in any way, shape or form that would violate the Republican pledge to Grover Norquist (of Americans for Tax Reform). Amazing, isn’t it, that the pledge to not raise taxes takes precedence over the Pledge of Allegiance? It looks like the ideology of Mr. Norquist overrides that of President Ronald Reagan who raised taxes several times during his presidency.

Do your homework, America. Before you vote in 2012, take a good, hard look at where Republican policies have taken us over the past decade. The power is in your hands. Use it wisely.

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  1. I agree with 'part' of Diane's letter. The R's refusal to consider tax increases is 'ill-advised'. Many fear if government is given more money by raising taxes, it will not be used for debt reduction but foolishly spent instead... and I fear that is true. That said, with a 15 trillion dollar debt and an economy in recession, tax increases on 'everyone' must be part of the solution.

    After that, Diane's letter runs off the tracks. Congress should take a good deal of the blame because it does hold the purse strings and it is getting nothing done. But Obama and the D's had control of Congress for almost two years. They bailed out GM and the banks and they deserve credit for doing it. The bailouts to the banks were handled poorly, which allowed the banks to get the money with very few strings attached and that failure falls squarely on Obama and both parties in Congress.

    Then the health care bill, which should have only been passed and approved by Obama IF it contained real cost savings was passed and signed by Obama when both he and Congress KNEW it had no cost savings and instead just expanded benefits that were not paid for.

    Then the stimulus. I am not one who will say it did not create any jobs or one like Nancy Pelosi who claims if it were not passed we'd be at 15 % unemployment. Both are wild speculation and probably wrong. Jobs were created or saved but most were in the 'public' sector, few 'shovel ready' jobs were created and unemployment rose to over 9 % instead of did not go obove 8 % as Obama promised. some of the money was also wasted on projects and companies that were provided ill advised loans and then went bankrupt.

    In 2010, voters decided they did not like what they saw of 'change' and went back to a 'divided' Congress.

    Oh no, Diane, there is plenty of blame to go around and some of it belongs yo R's in Congress. Some of it also belongs to President Obama and D's in Congress. Obama deseves credit for forming the debt commission and criticism for ignoring its recommendations. In Congress R's won't raise taxes on everyone, and for that they should all be voted out. D's in Congress only want to tax the rich, won't deal with Medicare and SS and want to put any cuts in government spending so far out into the future that the cuts will never happen, and for that they should all be thrown out.

    I don't know what will happen in 2012, but I do know that President Obama, the D's in Congress and the R's in Congress have little to point to as successes, that we still sit in recession, that millions are still out of a job, that the real estate market is still a mess, that our medical system is still a mess and just keeps getting more expensive, that Medicare and SS are still heading toward insolvency, that we have no coherent energy or immigration policy, that military and foreign aid spending have not been addressed, etc. That record will be tough to run on for President Obama, the D's and the R's.

    Michael

  2. So, Diane, the Dumbocrat's did wonderful things to revive the economy the 2 years they controlled the Presidency, Senate & House, did they not? Of course not. They dithered and diddled and solved nothing, but they did go on a spending spree that produced little other then enoromous damage to our economy and our credit rating. They rammed through a new way for bureaucratic drones to control our lives at a cost far greater than just money. It will stifle business and cinch the yoke around our necks just a bit tighter. You like the nanny-state, Diane? I do not. You happy with letting others make your decisions for you, Diane? I am not. You okay with having your freedoms chipped away, bit by bit? Not I. Time for a change and, thankfully, 2012 will provide that.

  3. RingofFire - "The dems do not know how to balance the federal budget or create an environment for private sector job growth. They create plans to create jobs in the public sector at the expense of the American tax payer and the private sector."

    Really? Who created that surplus Bush pissed away?

  4. This is much more hyperbole than fact. Doing your actual homework would show that Obama's first 2 years were done with control over the government through his party. His passed major proposals for the economy and not surprisingly they failed on their own merits.

    The idea that Republicans are now blocking recovery is just partisan nonsense. Obama diserves as much blame as, if not more than, Bush II. In fact, it could be said Obama is more like Bush III.

  5. FYI - The Obama administration has passed 3 jobs bills, spending billions of dollars, to date. They've all failed to do much of anything. Another government spending bill is unlikely to help.

  6. Vernos,

    The answer is Bill Clinton - the Democrat president who declared "the era of big government is over"

    Now Democrat Obama is President George Bush III and may go done as the worst president in US History.

  7. Vernos,

    Neither party really knows how to make the economy humm, despite what they say.

    Former President Clinton was in office during a major technological transition in America and Worldwide and he and the economy benefitted from the dot com bubble, which I was a part of. He did raise taxes during this period and of course, Progressives claim that shows that raising taxes will spur the economy. That, of course is just conjecture since so many other factors were at work.

    Former President Bush cut taxes and the economy eventually sputtered, which makes Progressives claim that cutting taxes ruins the economy. That, of course is also just conjecture because it discounts the fact that we had 9/11 and all that surrounded it, and we were heading into another global transition where our economic superiority would be challenged by China and others. The global transition during the Bush era was negative for America, where it was positive during Clinton's era.

    Botton line is: Administrations get way to much credit and blame for what a very complex economy does during a certain time. This also clearly illustrates that when either party claims they 'know' what does or doesn't spur the economy, we all should take that claim with a great deal of doubt.

    Michael

  8. Taxes, regulations and rules were also reduced under Clinton as were many barriers to trade.

  9. I don't think anyone "faults" Obama for the economic woes, rather people have figured out he has no clue what to do, has no economic or business sense or experience, no military background and is not a strong leader so he needs to be replaced. What things he has tried have failed, so time for someone else to step in and try new policy. He spends more a year than 10 years of Bush tax cuts! I mean at some point you have to say no, this is not working, time for a new person with better qualifications.

  10. Brtaylor,

    I could be wrong of course, but I feel you are part of a minority in this country, not a majority.

    I agree that President Obama has not been as Progressive as many Progressives would have liked. However, I think that if he had been that Progressive, he'd have 'zero' chance for re-election. You'd vote for him, but you would not have enough company to come close to getting him re-elected. Because he has steered a more 'moderate' course than many Progressives would have liked, he does have a decent chance to be re-elected.

    I don't understand how you and others on the far left Progressive side and those on the far right Conservative side can live in the same world I live in and still believe that a majority of Americans believe what you believe.

    If either view was suuported by a majority, we'd see that reflected on a permanent basis in the Presidency and Congress. What we see instead reflects the reality of America. We have a small percentage of people who favor far left Progressivism and another small percentage that favor far right Conservatism and a large number of moderates, about 1/2 of whom support R's and 1/2 that support D's.

    You must be living on another planet with all the other far left people if you can't see that. I also think the far right people also live on another planet.

    Michael

  11. We were told supply side economics, better known as "trickle down economics" was the way to go.

    We were told that the Gramm Leach Bliley Act for globalization of banking was a good thing.

    We were told NAFTA would better our economy and create jobs.

    We were told establishing relationships with communist China would benefit us at home.

    We were told invading other countries and building their nations to accept democracy would help us at home.

    We were told to achieve the American Dream and be successful we needed to be in heavy debt.

    Over the last 30 years it seems all the things we were told hasn't worked out very well for working class people, has it?

  12. Peter,

    Some people do fault Obama for the mess we are in, which is unfair. But many others do just think he doesn't have the right solutions to the problems, regardless of who created them. That is a problem for all of us and it will be a problem for his re-election chances.

    Michael

  13. Brtaylor,

    I don't like Geithner and think he should be gone, but Paul Krugman? He thinks we can deficit spent our way out of this mess. We need higher taxes on everyone and large cuts in government spending.

    Nancy Pelosi pushed through a health care reform bill that she knew would not reduce costs but would move us closer to a system that exists in Great Britain or Canada. I don't fault people who favor that, considering our system doesn't work that well, but at least tell the truth and don't pass bad legislation just to pass something. If you support Pelosi, or most of the other numnuts in both parties in Congress, you are not where I am.

    It was much more than conservative and republican pro corporate policies which drove our economy off the cliff. D's participated, the world economy went global while we snoozed, 9/11, etc all contributed. Neither all Progressive or all Conservative policies led us to this point and neither, alone, will lead us out.

    Medicare for all? We can't pay for Medicare for some. This program is already on track to either go broke or break the back of the taxpayer.

    I know you think your positions are mainstream, but you, like the very Conservative people, are simply wrong.

    Michael

  14. Among Mr. Clinton's accomplishments was Gramm-Leach-Bliley, which "modernized" our financial system by removing regulations. And we all will live for the next 20 years or so with the consequences of creating the very holes that everybody ran through to make money by doing the things that put our economy into free fall and which almost destroyed us.

  15. Actually Rocky is close to being right. The Clinton "surpluses" may have been Budget Surpluses, but total federal debt appears to have grown each year. We can have Budget Surpluses while Debt increases because of the funny accounting we use in Budget calculations. (Which also means that whatever the Newt-led Republicans claim to have done, they did not reduce the growth in the size of the federal Debt.) The problem has been caused by Rs and Ds and it won't be fixed by either Rs or Ds.

  16. Here is a link to a Politifact story that among other things helps clarify the picture about jobs bills that have been proposed: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/...

    It deserves a careful read to get the full meaning.

  17. Let's see: George Washington got a raw deal because he could never blame his problems on the guy before him.

    Obama does not know anything about anything. He wants the rich to 'pay their fair share', what does that mean?? Really? The top 1% pays 37% of the Fed Income Taxes, the top 50% pays 97% of the total income taxes, the bottom 47% PAY NO INCOME TAXES and actually GET money from the govt. The top 5% of the population makes 95% of the things that makes our lives easier and better and more productive, employees 95% of the workers, pays a great deal of ALL taxes:income, social security (as employer half, right libs), unemployment insurance, worker comp insurance, PROPERTY TAXES (paying for roads and schools that the libs think 'we' pay for)and so forth. And after all of this they still haven't paid their 'fair share' to take care of everyone too lazy to get a job? And for those of you who claim that protesters aren't lazy look at the video out on the ODC crowd that wouldn't fill out employment apps because getting a job would just make them wages slaves and they were smarter/better than that. Its time to prune the trees and burn those limbs that do not produce fruit. Work or don't eat.

  18. The Urban Dictionary defines Obama Derangement Syndrome as, "The acute onset of paranoia in otherwise normal people in reaction to the policies, the statements -- nay -- the very existence of Barack Obama." From my point of view, I totally agree.

  19. President Obama took full responsibility for unemployment when he made this statement not even two months into his term: "So I guess the answer to the question is, not all of these jobs are going to come back. And it probably wouldn't be good for our economy for a bunch of these jobs to come back ..." ( http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_offi... )

    By saying that he implied that he will create replacement jobs. He has failed to do so.

    And therein lies the fundamental problem with our economy, our jobs have gone overseas. Our leaders *must* determine why this has happened and correct the situation so it stops, and yes, reverses. We simply are not going to create an equal number of replacement jobs in new areas.

    Bring back our manufacturing base, and all the other problems we face will either solve themselves or be open to reasonable debate again.

  20. The problem started when the govt thought it was the best at creating jobs and managing the economy. The first guy was Sherman with his 'anti-trust' act. The govt has no business in this matter.
    From there it was more and more meddling until in 1929 the unemployment rate went from 2 to 9 then back to 6% in about 6 months. When it went from 2 to 9 the govt started to draw up plans to fix things, before it could do anything the rate went down to 6 and then the govt plans were finally ready and passed. Once they took affect the unemployment rate went back down to 2% and the great depression never happened. Thank God for the govt.
    ---No, that is not the history. Shortly after the govt passed the bills the enemployment rate went to 15%, 17%, 20% and then 25% all in short order!!!!!!!!!!!! The unemployment rate during 1939 after SEVEN years of the NEW DEAL was still 20%!!! (the GD was not over until 1947, three years after FDR died)!! You see FDR did not have an opposition party that made him come up with GOOD ideas, he just kept spending money and with his crack team of dictators (as he called them)he managed the economy actually sending a small NY tailor to jail for charging 2 CENTS less than what the govt said was THE price for dry cleaning suits!!!! FDR sicced the IRS on newspapers that dared question his logic of spend, spend, spend on friends, friends, friends, friends! he also saw that newspapers that wrote favorably about him got govt grants, loans, and contracts with big overruns no problem--wink, wink. He also gave stimulus money to those states and cities that either voted for him or those of his party and made a point to tell those that didn't that if they wanted some graft they had to remember how to vote!!! This sounds like Obama, stimulus is as stimulus does, right Solyandra?. That is what the 'jobs bill' is all about--graft for friends the shaft for the 53%!

  21. A little over one year ago President Obama said this in a speech in Maryland: "Now, I don't believe that government can or should guarantee the success of this company or any company. I don't think Bob or any business owner expects government to guarantee success. Success has to be earned. It has to be earned the old-fashioned way through great ideas and hard work and great employees. That's the American way." ( http://www.realclearpolitics.com/article... )

    Well, Mr. President, it's time to remind your supporters (especially the Occupy movement) that TANSTAAFL still has meaning! Or have you changed your mind since Oct. 29, 2010?

  22. Boftx,

    The reasons the jobs left are several:

    1) The corporate taxes here are higher than many other nations.

    2) With the wages and benefits paid to workers here, if our companies manufacture here, their products have to cost more and therefore are not competitive on the world market.

    3) Americans want to buy and do buy the least expensive product or service they can find and those are all provided or produced outside America.

    Unless all that and more changes, those jobs are not coming back. The R's and the D's won't even acknowledge that all these conditions exist, much less present 'ANY' coherent plan to address them.

    Michael

  23. Boftx,

    I don't think Obama does believe in 'guaranteeing' success. But he does believe in government 'assisting' certain favored industries and companies to be successful and therein lies the problem.

    Michael

  24. Well considering that Obama inherited a economy losing 700000 jobs a month with the financial crisis along with a devastated housing market and let us not forget two wars with Ben ladin on the the lose. If I was a conservative I would be to embarrassed to call Obama and Democrats failures.

  25. Rocky

    Your claim that bush inherited a worse economy then he handed to Obama. How is that possible? What celestial object are you orbiting?

  26. Thanks for acknowledging you live somewhere else then reality. What do you dispute about my post about the bush handing off the worst economy in 75 years to Obama? Of course you are going to blame that mess on bill Clinton or how about Barney Frank or Chris Dodd. But then again you will deny that the Graham, Leach, blily act had anything to do with it or the Republican Congress along with bush secretary of treasury, comptroller of currency or thrift and Alan Greenspan get a free pass from you. Why because you have been conditioned by fox news and right wing media. By the way do you post under seargant rock?

  27. What we need is a president like Ronald Reagan . Someone who will raise taxes and grant amnesty to illegal immigrants .

  28. Nice try rock the Graham Leach bliley act was introduced by Republicans the act first passed pretty close to partisan lines. Then after the lobbyists had time to bribe the rest of Congress they were able to pass the bill with super majority. Bill Clinton had no choice but to sign that bill as his veto would have been overridden by Congress. And of course you fail to mention that the Republican Congress in 2005 eliminated the rest of the glass steagle act. Or how about Alan Greenspan? The office of comptroller if currency? Officer of thrift? Are you also not aware bank of America's chief lobbyists wrote the bankruptcy bill of 2005? And that this bill was passed a Republican controlled Congress? Overwhelmingly the evidence points to Republicans in the housing and financial crisis that destroyed our economy. But in the soup that you swim in you can never understand that.