Las Vegas Sun

January 29, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Blame Obama for slow recovery

Regarding Cesar F. Lumba’s letter “Politics is slowing the recovery”:

What is slowing the recovery is a massive debt hanging over us. Under President Barack Obama, the nation has been saddled with more than $5 trillion of new debt. We are now over $16 trillion in debt and have unfunded mandates of over $90 trillion.

How and when are we going to pay this back?

Large and small businesses are sitting on plenty of cash. They are afraid to invest it, not knowing the outcome of Obamacare and the 2012 election. If this president wins a second term, I don’t know what will happen to this country.

Lumba blames the Republican-controlled House for the president’s woes, but it was the American voters in 2010 that put them in charge. We were tired of the direction President Obama, the Senate and Rep. Nancy Pelosi were taking us. I don’t know about Lumba’s home, but all the rest of us continue to lose equity in ours. Some of us have lost 45, 50, and some ZIP codes have lost as much as 65 percent of their homes’ value. Las Vegas is on track to lose another 2 1/2 to 3 percent in 2012.

We have massive debt; a giant, bloated government; and we all are in a coma and on life support.

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  1. The Obama Express is a train wreck. Failed economic and environmental policies and defective Obamacare legislation are undermining the recovery. The uncertain future of taxation exacerbates the recession, and dampens private investment and job creation. Obama's political rhetoric creates class warfare and deepens the nation's divisions. His lack of leasdership and self serving style projects the nation off course.
    Obama's spending policies are burying the nation under deepening debt--the next enormous bubble that must break with another round of asset deflation that will further erode personal wealth and undermine the economic recovery.

  2. The writer ignores the fact that about 90% of the economy has recovered nicely and has an unemployment rste closer to 6% than 8%. This is evidenced by stock prices recently reaching mid-2008 levels. The problem is the depression in housing and housing construction. It is estimated that unemployment in construction could be as high as 50%.

    Businesses are afraid to invest because they don't see demand growth that gives them confidence in future returns, the result of a financially wounded middle class struggling with negative equity in their homes and unwilling to take on more debt.

    The depression in housing has another side effect.... lower property tax returns that have led to the layoff of 500,000 government workers during the recession. While some may applaud that, it is that many fewer middle class consumers that the rest of the economy depends on to buy their goods and services.

    The writer then asks "How and when are we going to pay this back?" without volunteering any solutions. I would bet that paying more taxes to bring down the National Debt or slow its growth is not on his agenda.

  3. A 'balanced' look would conclude that actions and inactions in the time of the Bush Administration contributed to our debt. It would also conclude that actions taken under Bush and Obama to bail out the banks, bail out GM and stimulate the economy also contributed to our debt. Unfortunately, the poorly conceived ACA will probably also contibute to the debt.

    There is plenty of blame to go around for both Presidents and Congress. But all that money is gone. We now need to decide how we want to move forward.

    I think we need an income tax re-write, probably higher taxes on everyone with an income and less government spending. Neither President Obama or Mitt Romney give me a great deal of confidence in all those areas.


  4. As President, in one of the most important election year's in our history, Obama is held accountable. Even if he isn't responsible.


  5. Apparently Weber lives in an alternate universe. It is generally conceded that the unemployment rate, when the under-employed and drop-outs are included, is closer to 20% than his fictitious 6%. As for Weber & Michael's call for higher taxes: write a check to the government, guys. Nothings stopping you from contributing your "fair" share except your own unwillingness. As for me, as long as I see the utter waste, crony capitalism, bailouts, subsidies and the picking of winners & losers by Washington, DC pencil-pushing, bureacratic drones from both sides of the aisle, I wouldn't give them a nickel more of my money then I am required to do.

  6. Unemployment stubbornly remains above 8%, and shows no sign of any real downhward bend--just the opposite is true. Stock market pertebations leave investors to wonder what is next--what new news from the Eurozone will have an adverse effect on a U.S. economy which is vulnerable and fragile. We wonder when the next bubbhle will break, plummeting assets values into another steep decline, and send prices and interest rates escalating upwards. The current situation is dire, and showing no sign of real improvement anytime soon--just the opposite is the case. The Left would tell us that the Obama economy is doing much better, and making progress. Not the case. Home values in the Las Vegas Valley are still decreasing even though sales are up. Low ball FHA and Va appraisals directed by HUD and the VA only further dampen a housing recovery. Another government intervention that is hurting our market values and the recovery. A reform agenda is needed, and we will not have any chance for that under Obama, who must leave the Oval office in November.

  7. Comment removed by moderator. Personal Attack

  8. Agree he'd rather play golf and kowtow to the illegals than do what's best for America. He played 100 games of golf as of yesterday, averaged out we spent $144,000,000.00 for 100 games of golf since he took office. The math, $180,000.00 hour for secret service detail and plane, 8-hours a day -- 100 days of golfing. This doesn't take into account his lavish vacations for him; add that to the cost for us to take care of him, national debt he's added is more like 7 trillion.

  9. It appears the President has time to write books. Already a multi - millionaire -- just give him 20 years of publishing and his personal wealth would be where? Ironic that some O supporters can't figure out what he's doing. Time for golf. Time to write / publish. Time to work with Congress? Not now, not then, not ever. Time to work within our constitution and legal framework? Nah, just get AG Holder to get the job done, no matter what laws you refuse to enforce and which laws you will intentionally break.

  10. TeaNut rhetoric...

    It's not SUPPOSED to make sense!

  11. What a bunch of hogwash. Unfunded liabilities currently sit at about $52 trillion. The vast majority of that is Medicare and Medicaid.

    In terms of our debt the government owes about $10 trillion to investors. Most to American investors I might add. The rest of the debt is intergovernmental debt comprised of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds plus VA benefits.

    Our economy is going to put out $700 trillion worth of GDP over the next 40 years. Our debt is a tiny fraction of that. If people actually wanted to pay it back we could very easily do so by taxing future consumption.

    How much of this is Obama's fault? None! When he took office there were more people collecting welfare benefits than were working in the United States. That's a hell of a nut to crack. Plus hyperinflation in medical care began 30 years ago.

    My bad. Make it $66 trillion in liabilities.

  13. Vidi and El Lobo,

    I hate to rain on your parade but if the situation was as one sided as you both present it, D's and the D party would NEVER get any support or money from big business. The fact is that they DO get alot of support.

    If America is ever going to exit the mess we find ourselves in, R supporters are going to have to admit that the R party is in bed with big business and powerful interests with lobbyists. D supporters are going to have to admit that the D party is in bed with the same folks.

    Don't you guys and R supporters as well ever wonder why is is SOOOO easy for each side to find facts the show that each side is in bed with the powerful monied interests with Lobbyists.

    Anyone that wholeheartedly supports either of these parties (as you two seem too and others that support R's) is being played for a fool.

    I can understand a vote for R's or a vote for D's by people, but when these people are positive that 'their' party is 'white as snow' and the other party is 'evil as evil can be', I can hardly believe it.

    Both parties are 'dirty' and tied in with all the monied powerful interests with lobbyists. That's why we are having the problems we have. By being true blue believers in one party or the other, people are doing exactly what both parties want, and that takes attention away from the fact that they are both 'dirty' and both are laughing at all of us all the way to the bank.


  14. A little reminder about the home values and home construction.

    Before the bottom fell out, property values increased because of speculative buying. Loans for those over valued houses were given to people who couldn't afford them, but who lusted over dream homes and the supposed security and status it gave them, even if many had to face increased interest rates on their ARM's.

    The speculation did not reflect the true value of homes.

    The new home sale market exceeded the resale home market.

    New homes were pumped out so fast that quality suffered, and HOA's had a road to their own little illegal crony capitalism.

    Jobs flourished and included hiring illegals, which put legal construction workers in a position of lack of wage growth, as well as jobs.

    You can't blame a union on this one in Las Vegas since the residential construction union is without much influence or membership.

    Most of the homes being sold are foreclosures, and older homes, and there is still an inventory available. New home construction is extremely low. Loans are more difficult to qualify for, especially for new buyers to the market.

    Land prices for new homes are higher too since there isn't as much land available as in the past. It will take a very stable market before building starts expanding outside the area.

    There is the consideration of available water, all of which impacts future growth and values. You can't sell if you don't have enough water.

    Could the older homes be valued more at what they are really worth, rather than the jacked up value from buying on speculation and inflated loan values? Yes!

    As a result of the above, taxes will increase, utilities will increase because budgets, supplies, and more were calculated on the past values. We are still in for alot of surprises and financial hits. That means further loss of income purchasing power that helps business sustain and/or expand.

    It also effects the quality of life for residents. If taxes don't increase, education suffers, parks, libraries, safety and other amenities suffer. Seniors and those with low incomes suffer and try to survive on what is already insufficient for basics.

    Every time I start looking a particular problems, it always comes out that business practices, sometimes with lack of ethics, has a big role to play in what we now experience. Yet, the population at large is expected, by some, to put business on an altar and bow while filling the profit basket with all they can. Sorry, just a metaphor.

    For the vast numbers of Americans, everything isn't about "business", except that they work for businesses and depend on the wages they receive to buy the products and services produced by business.

    There is an interrelationsip between the two, and only when there is an imbalance, and ethics, integrity, and morality disappear does it all hit the fan. That is why regulations become necessary.

  15. Miceal Casler wrote: "If America is ever going to exit the mess we find ourselves in, R supporters are going to have to admit that the R party is in bed with big business and powerful interests with lobbyists. D supporters are going to have to admit that the D party is in bed with the same folks."

    I totally agree! We need to make it possible for more parties to participate, get money and influence out of politics, and encourage everyone to take their citizenship seriously and vote responsibly.

    Even if one can only vote for "None of the above", it is a voice that speaks a message. The statistics are seen and considered. It is empowering for change. But we have to do more to make sure change occurs.

  16. Vidi,

    Very good summation, but then you tend to want to blame R's 100 % for all that happened and absolve the D's. Go back and take a look at the votes and the support many of these decisions received and it becomes obvious that both parties and all of Congress are totally a part of the lobbying that powerful interests use to get what they want.

    Neither party, at this point has any interest in changing the system that works so well.... for them.


  17. How soon we forget about losing 700,000 jobs a month before Obama taking office, the repulicans fillerbusting every bill to make him a one term president, two unfunded wars, not funding the tranportation bills, and taking the country hostage on the debt ceiling to pay our bills. How can we put somebody in charge that wants to cut taxes for the 1% and raise the taxes for the rest of us. Cut public schools, medicare and social security for us after we paid and are approaching retirement. Romney invented the health care plan and is now against it. Their best asset is citizens united and if they tell us a lie enough times then we will believe it. We will all be stuck in the ditch if he can buy this election.

  18. Peacelilies 1045 post is dead on. Vegas has lost somewhere between 70,000 and 90,000 construction jobs. Nationally the numbers are much higher. The construction industry needs to come back before the economy can come back in a big way.

    In addition 40 years of globalization has led to $200 trillion worth of financial assets and $700 trillion worth of derivatives. We are approaching a quadtrillion dollars worth of paper. People used to make money building things, now they make vast amounts of money shuffling paper around. All of this inflated paper is going to cause dislocations for generations.

    As I stated above much of the deficit problem is due to medical cost inflation. The $150 trillion in medical bills that are coming due in this country over the next 40 years is going to suck the oxygen out of the air. medical is expected to be 50% of the economy within 20 years.

    Medical costs are even blowing up the military.

    health cost inflation going forward is the single biggest headache this country faces. Nothing else is even close.

  20. Romney is ready to follow Israel on a first strike on Iran. He almost says that everytime the subject comes up. Get ready for a second $5 trillion debt and another 15 year commitment for Romney's war on Iran.

    Republicans classically use stimulus spending to create jobs, but they call it 'Defense Spending' and 'Shock and Awe' instead. Bush left the White House $5.9 trillion more in debt with the Iraq war bills still piling up even today. China is building up their Navy with interest payments we make to them for the Iraq war debt.

    Money for part of the Iran war will come from cannibalizing medicare, social security and public education. He'll kill a million people by cutting their medication but claim he is 'making America Safe'.

    Romney's attack on Social Security, Medicare, public education and Iran are all due to a common characteristic of all three: they are all Godless. They don't depend on God's will. He wants to show us that if we learned to pray correctly, all of our needs will be provided.

    Romney and his Grim Reaper buddies want us to depend on God and if we pray correctly they promise, all of our needs will be provided. However, if we start loosing weight, it's because we aren't praying correctly. Trying to collect on their guarantees is worthless.

    Romney tells us "God wants America to Lead". That means we pay the bills, the jobless kids get the shrapnel and Romney gets the chair next to God and for all Eternity too, not just on a timeshare basis.

    No thanks. If God wants America to lead, then hold the Manna from Heaven and lets see some cash on the barrel instead. If God can't afford a war, neither should we.

  21. The country is still paying the medical bills for many of the 2 million World War II vets that are still living. Were going to be paying for the Iraq and Afghanistan vets for the next 70 years. War is an expensive proposition. We better think it through before we start a third one.

  22. I have been watching the "Greek Vote" with half an eye..It is my understanding that if the "liberals" rather than the "conservatives" had won, the economy of Europe and the US would have gone down in flames.
    If this is so..then it makes sense to advocate austerity and fiscal conservatism for the US.
    BTW..the Stock Market did not go up after the Greek Vote. Obama scared the BeeJeeSus out of everyone Friday..What the heck is this clown going to do next by imperial decree and fiat.
    That scares everyone..What is he going to decree legal and illegal next? Lord Help Us All!

  23. @ M Malone, try opening both eyes and spend a good deal more time in understanding the problems in Europe before you want to jump on the austerity bandwagon.

    Germany's Merkel was the principle leader of the austerity movement, along with France's Sarkozy. Germany, has played some games and not lived up to the agreements as stated, for the benefit of Germany, while many other countries will be paying for bailouts for a long time to come.

    Lack of a growth mechanism, which Merkel doesn't want, but is seen as unimportant until "austerity" cleared up all the previous debt, has led to a disasterous lack of growth, depression like unemployment, higher taxes, cuts in fire and police safety and healthcare to name a few.

    The conservative austerity plan has resulted in Merkel's party losing elections in even places that were once a guarantee. France has elected a Socialist President and socialist majority in Parliament.

    The latest Merkel effort is trying to move Europe toward making it the US of E. They don't know what they are getting into. However, Merkel see's the financial and power benefit for Germany.

    A large portion of the world wants to remove the dollar as the reserve currency, which would have a disastrous effect on us. A US of E could be the tipping point.

    Greece was not only faced with the above, but the excess caused stresses beyond, and alot of fears about leaving the EU and Euro, and going back to the drachma. The consequences would not be much better either way, so the vote wasn't about conservative vs. liberal as much as it was staying in the EU.

    Liken Greece's effort to leave the EU with that of Alabama leaving the US. How do you think Alabama would fare starting up as a new country with it's own currency, and cancellation of all debts. If the results would benefit Alabama they would have done it a long time ago.

    One other thing, conservative and liberal have a different meaning in European politics and isn't directly translated to equivalent definitions here.

    Remember that the investment markets are global, with the US practices having had a significant effect on the rest of the global market practices, which led to the crisis.

    The crisis is still a crisis in Europe who hasn't begun the road back, unlike the US. One difference has been the austerity vs growth models. Our growth could have been alot more if the Congress had not been so dysfunctional for political reasons.

    If any of our politician's think of going on an austerity kick, we are in for alot of trouble.

    Growth is not stimulated by giving tax breaks to people who use it to gamble on the stock market, or sink it into offshore accounts. We need to raise taxes progressively, at least temporarily, as in the past for almost century in every severe problem, support real business creation in the US, and grow back a middle class whose purchase power supports businesses and expansion.

  24. PeaceLilly
    Breviy is the soul of wit. I did not intend engage in a discussion (off topic) about European politics and policies.
    I merely noted that..a liberal win in Greece would you say..perhaps..have damaged the EU.
    The collapse of the Euro ..would be disastrous..
    However..this is not my point
    My point is..It is odd that so many financiers and investors were panicked at the thought of a "liberal Greece."
    Time will tell whether the "vote yourself a check" crowd in France are not ..Greek Lite..and headed to the same place.
    As for is touted but is it possible or even desirable?

  25. Ref...companies expand using profits which have been very strong and DEBT. Trillions in debt has been created by public and private entities. Our casino industry is sitting on $46 billion in debt. Check it.
    Aggregate demand has been lax and profits have expanded due to cost cutting....firing people and slashing wages and perks. The better business bureau conducts surveys after mass layoffs. Almost all the layoffs have been due to weak demand. NOT Obama. Cost cutting in a big way started years ago, and has gotten worse since our country has lost a large chunk of it's wealth.

  26. Freeman
    The word "stable" is key. It is not the magic word " exemplified by ..the boom/bust cycles that have led to the last 10 recessions..but an unstable, wild west, attitude about ..taxes, immigration (population) education..ecology and
    It is always more more more and the edgier and more experimental the better.
    I think a little stagnation would be good for the soul of America and a bit less of everything.
    We need to get out of our military/industrial war economy and our..boom/bust cycles.
    Obama is not the person to do that..and perhaps Romeny is not either..It may be the dust is going to settle on the long trail to Dodge before we see another party like the one we have had for the last ..10 recseeions cycles..
    I will vote for Romney...Obama is too..frisky..for my taste

  27. Despite racist opposition and CONservative arrogant stupidity President Obama has managed to bring America's economy back from the Bush RepubliCON malaise. Obama/Biden is the best executive since Roosevelt/Truman.

  28. "To be fair to all Presidents, one must note, the Federal Government's fiscal year begins on October 1 and ends Sept 1 the nest year." Vidi

    Really? Try Oct 1 to Sept 30 unless Congress changed it and told only you.


  29. Doing the math, according to your fiscal year begin and end dates, it would be 11 months not 12. It still takes 12 months to equal one year. Or do you think that fiscal years only have 11 months?


  30. BTW, unlike yours, mine is not a trick quesion. There's only one correct answer.


  31. Freeman
    That is the riff..but the fact is we can't continue to grow. There is a new person in this country every 13 minutes..needing a job, a house, transportation, and the only way the government can keep the population from the devil's workshop of idle hands and hungry bellies is buying them off.
    We have a surplus of labor..and that means poverty..historically in every single instance

  32. Correction
    There is a net gain of one person every 13 seconds. I miswrote..13 minutes

  33. The US fear over Greece leaving the EU relates to the domino effect in Italy, Spain, and other bailout countries. That is what would cause the EU collapse.

    The subsequent defaults would effect the banking & financial markets globally in a big way, because of loans and other financial gambling in the markets. It would be a huge mess globally.

    It is difficult to imagine this in the way the US is structured now, but imagine the effect if the states suddenly started seceding from the US, having a separate currency. It would not only hurt us, but the world as well.

    Plus, the reserve currency status of the dollar might end, making it even worse. Then there are trade issues as well that hurt us as long as Europe is in crisis. That also effects growth of the US economy.

    We are talking chaos if the domino effect occurred. No wonder the troika, Merkel, and other leaders have been worried and some even compromising to sweeten the pot to keep Greece in the EU.

    It is also why Merkel is speeding up her efforts to create a US of E, to consolidate power. Countries will lose some sovereignty with finance & political power becoming more centralized. Then it is just a hop, skip and a jump to the full US of E.

    A US of E may have more effects on the US economy later. Asia is becoming a major trade partner with South American economies. In the future, we could find ourselves up a creek without a paddle as power shifts globally.

    Obama, untethered by a dysfunctional Congress on the international arena, has worked to influence, help, encourage and support the efforts at dealing with the EU economic crisis, which effects us too.

    Even though our growth is not enough, we are an example that growth is needed, not just austerity.

    Lack of growth is a big problem in Europe. Germany is the powerhouse of growth because of their manufacturing, but even they are beginning to slow down.

    Both of our parties will cater to the "powers" externally as well as internally, and the people will just keep affirming their actions.

    No matter which party is elected, or has the majority, the politicians will do the same things, hidden by facades that keep the voters thinking they are looking out for their interests.

    I have tried to provide a little bit broader view of things that effect our economy, recovery and future. We need to look beyond our borders as well as inside them.

  34. It is not rational for Kevin Alexander Et al to assume there is only one cause for our current economic situation. There are a combination of factors that probably go back to the Clinton administration, that have taken us to this point.

    Perhaps Mr. Alexander should ponder the local and global, variable and random factors that have contributed to our current state. Right now he and others are clearly making the mistake of misattribution in this matter, which is an act of simple-mindedness.

  35. I'd like to add a category to TEA's chart.

    The upper tax bracket %.

    1940 Roosevelt..80% Great Depression
    1944 Roosevelt..95% WWII
    1948 Truman.....80%
    1952 Truman.....92% Korean War
    1956 Eisenhower.91%
    1960 Kennedy....91% Viet Nam War
    1964 Johnson....70%
    1968 Nixon......78%
    1972 Ford.......70%

    1980-1990 US Savings & Loan Banking Crisis

    1981-1982 Classic US Recession

    1988 Reagan.....25%
    1992 GWH Bush...40%

    1999 Clinton repealed the Glass-Stegall Act

    2000 Clinton....38%
    2001 GW Bush....35% Afghanistan

    2003 Invasion of Iraq

    2007 Global economic crisis, ongoing Depression or Recession depending on location, resulting from banking and Wall Street gambling, again

    The upper tax bracket % remains at 35% due to extension of Bush tax cuts, which are due to end in 2013.

    Romney has proposed to reduce them to 28%

    Obama want to let them revert to 40%

  36. Actually, Conservative obstructionism is to blame for the slow recovery. QED.

  37. We need Obama and Eric Withholder to both resign and to get out of America - Yes, they were both born here, but their utter contempt towards our constitution makes it look like they both would be happier to live in Syria - where Obama allows for the slaughter of babies each day.

  38. Something hiding behind a fake name, "lovestohike", wants to be considered credible but instead is just another internet crank.