Obama: Rising Unemployment Rate Is Proof That Stimulus Spending Worked

“Now, without relitigating the past, I’m absolutely convinced, and the vast majority of economists are convinced, that the steps we took in the Recovery Act saved millions of people their jobs or created a whole bunch of jobs,” Obama said yesterday during his press conference about the national debt issue. “And part of the evidence of that is as you see what happens with the Recovery Act phasing out.”

Obama was referring to the most recent jobs report which indicated the unemployment rate had grown to 9.2%

Setting aside for a moment the idea that taking money from some people (be it the taxes they’re paying now or the taxes they’ll pay in the future to pay down the debt of national borrowing) and giving it to other people could be economic stimulus (it’s like taking water from one side of the pool and pouring it in the other side and expecting the pool level to rise).

Even if we stipulate that what Obama is saying is true, that the unemployment rate is going up because the stimulus spending is drying up, what Obama is telling us at best is that the hundreds of billions of dollars in stimulus spending bought us just a couple of years of almost indiscernible economic recovery.

Put another way, it means that the hundreds of billions of dollars in “stimulus” deficit spending bought us temporary jobs, and temporary recovery (if you could call what has happened recovery).

Hope for change.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • D17

    Best case; Money borrowed from China may have saved some jobs (mostly in government) for up to 2 years.  Now that money will need to be paid back for generations. 

    Obama is a stunning failure.

    • Jvette

      You have made a very good point here. Stimulus funds went to states which used the funds to keep from laying off and firing government employees. It was an artificial salve that only temporarily relieved the symptoms without helping the underlying illness.

      As that money is now gone, and states must fend for themselves without it and in some cases, begin to pay it back, government employment is dropping. It merely put off the inevitable and left us with a massive new debt load that must be paid off.

      And of course, let’s not forget the additional unemployment funds they were forced to give out and will have to pay back.

      Now of course, they are scaremongering over the debt and default in order to raise taxes.

      Obama and HIS POLICIES are a stunning failure.

      Some of us knew that would be the case even before the empirical proof we see now.

      • robert108

        It’s like thinking you need drugs to get through life.  As soon as your drug of choice wears off, you need another dose, and a larger one, just to get back to where you started.  Govt spending is exactly like the cycle of addiction to drug use, with the same disastrous results.

        • $8194357

          Debt crack…

        • awfulorv

          Better not think , as a druggee would, of robbing that seemingly weak Switzerland either, they’d probably give us a bloody nose, and a fat lip.

  • Brent

    It is funny that even taking their terrible economic logic as a given – meeting them on their own terms – they still fail.

  • Neiman

    There is a new advertisement out that compares the debt crisis to illegal drugs, the dealer (Government) gets people/society (voters) hooked on the drug of entitlements, each time we want more from the federal locker (dealer) and each time it costs us more for that fix. He knows the people are hooked, he knows they will never vote to take money (drugs) away from themselves. Pretty smart drug dealer.

    • robert108

      That’s exactly how it works.

      • $8194357

        Founders so stated: “Beware the debters pen!”

  • fedupny

    Well duh, when you spend borrowed money in a non-self sustainable way (non-income producing gov jobs, gov projects etc.), whatever you’re paying for goes away when the money dries up.

    • $8194357

      The “animal” killing us, grows larger and stronger..Larger totalitarian government leading to individuals liberties and freedoms lost due to “debt” in the peoples name…What a Bernie Madoff mess..

  • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

    At best, all we should expect from our President is that he temporarily stop economic disasters or prevent them.  Obama has done that.

    The question is, why do you expect government to create jobs?  You complain that he hasn’t fixed the US economy while at the same time claiming that it’s not the governments job. 

    Why don’t you just show your honesty about why you hate Obama so much as Studakota has.  It’s about as relevant and much more honest.

    • Heather

      He hasn’t stopped any economic disasters, he is creating new ones. 

      Government does not create much of anything of long term value.  When government spends money, it’s mostly wasted and does not give the economic boost that private investment does.  Limited services from the govt. are a necessary drag on the economy so there can be law and order that allows the private sector to grow our economy.  Every dollar our government borrows or taxes drags the economy down further, but govt. borrowing does it for years.  Government’s role is not to create jobs, rather create a stable environment for the private sector to thrive.

      Obama is a complete and total failure.  That is why we don’t like his regime.  If he was smart enough to get out of the way and let our economy grow, we would love him.

      • $8194357

        I still wouldn’t love him as he is an arrogant elitist, but yes he should quit his fascist power grab and get out of the economies way..IMO

      • ellinas1

        Darling, sweet pea, love of my life……
        Baby come to me and let me show you how stimulus works.
        You will be screaming with pleasure.

        • Heather

          Really?  What is your name and address?

          • ellinas1

            I am Ellinas, from Stockton California.

        • Heather

          Oh no!  I see you have performance anxiety! 

          • Bat One

            S M A C K  ! ! !

          • ellinas1

            Heh! Good answer.

            But back to the two of us.
            No darling, I have none of that. Just come to me…

          • Heather

            Really, what is your name and address?  I want to check the sex offender registry to see if you are on it yet?

            I want to point out that only sexual harassment or sex specific derogatory remarks I have received on this blog have come from self described liberals. 

          • ellinas1

            I also want to point out that the  only sexual harassment or sex specific derogatory remarks I have received on this blog have come from self described conservatives and tea partiers.

            If my teasing you, is viewed by you as sexual harassment then you have seen nothing. You have never received the 2otel9 treatment, or that of others that I will not mention at this time.
            However suffice to say that “liberal” female bloggers have been silenced and chased away from this blog by so called conservatives/republicans who have used words cunt and whore among others, up to and including contacting their employers.

            I do not believe any liberal used terms like that on you, or has contacted your employer or your circle of family and friends.
            Nor has any liberal (correct me if I am wrong) ever described to you the mating practices of your parents.
            If they did feel free to tell me about it and I will deal with them.

            Be fair and honest  about your standards of decency by applying them equally to all that blog here regardless of political affiliation, and you will receive the respect you feel/think you deserve.

          • Heather

            You are a disingenuous liar.  Go back and look at the history of your posts then read your lame response again.

          • ellinas1

            You are being unreasonable and disingenuous and are lying.
            Enumerate and post for me to see where I or another liberal sexually harassed you, or made sex specific derogatory remarks
            I teased/romanced you in a sexual way. 
            Sexual harassment generally and usually involves the work place.
            Are you employed by the SAB blog? 

            Romancing you in a way that includes a lot of sexual innuendo is not sexual harassment.
            Are you so puritanical, that you view all mating overtures as harassment, or are you simply using my mating calls to you, as a way to discredit me?
             

          • robert108

            Even when you face up this individual with it’s own words, it will lie and deny.

      • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

        “The nonpartisan CBO has confirmed that the Recovery Act delivered as promised, lowering the unemployment rate by as much as 2 percent, boosting GDP by as much as 4 percent and creating and saving as many as 3.6 million jobs,” she said.

        A White House official told Fox News that the stimulus didn’t just fund salaries, it also went to pay for infrastructure such as construction materials and new factories, which are in addition to salaries.

        Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/07/05/white-house-disputes-study-saying-stimulus-cost-taxpayers-278000-per-job/#ixzz1RudPyM8J

        • Heather

          Actually the unemployment rate is much higher than our economically illiterate President Obama said it would be if it passed. 

          I don’t believe or care what a White House official said about anything.  They are paid to lie for their boss.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            I don’t care what you say, what about the non partisan CBO???  What about the CEO of Honeywell?

          • Heather

            Once again, you have been easily duped by this failed president.

            The CEO of Honeywell is kissing up to get more contracts, that is how this regime works.

            The CBO does it’s analysis based on the projections, or in this case, assumptions given to it.  We have been through this before and the regime won’t give out the assumptions used to come up with the “saved or created” numbers.

             

          • $8194357

            It’s called “crony capitalism”. government sponsered partnerships or out and out corrupttion….

          • http://flamemeister.com flamemeister

            As I recall, Obama “had a discussion” with the CBO some time ago …

          • HG

            What about the pathetic economy, what about the horrid unemployment?  Nothing you can say will change reality H.  The President is a failure.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            No amount of fact or reality will change your biased opinions, that are based out of emotion, that’s true.   Your inability to read what is in front of your face and make sense of it is not my issue.  I can only lead a horse to water.

            You refuse to accept what a truly miserable failure looks like; when Bush handed over a collapsing economy that almost impacted the entire globe.  Saving that from complete meltdown is a success regardless if you are willing to admit to yourself or not.

          • HG

            9% unemployment isn’t my opinion any more than the dismal state of the economy is my opinion. 

            I’ve read far too many of your comments not to know what a failure looks like.  This latest line of BS you’re peddling is just another glaring example of the President’s failed economic policies and empty promises.  Nobody with an inkling of intelligence would argue the President’s policies worked in our economic favor — H, there’s you’re cue.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            But of course economists everywhere admit the Recovery Act stopped the Bush economic free fall, restored confidence and now corporations experiencing record profits never before seen under Bush. That’s a fact you ignore in favor of your focus on the results of Bush’s failure.

          • robert108

            There was no economic free fall, and it was due to Dem home loan mandates, not any policies of President Bush.  Profit MARGINS are higher, due to massive unemployment, but total profits are down, with the obama economic stagnation.
            You continue to illustrate your profound ignorance of economics, little hanni, and your robot-like parroting of Dem talking points.

          • HG

            So Obama did the best he could and it only acheived 9% unemployment and a stagnate economy, but it would have been worse without Obama’s help?   That’s the best you can do H? 

            You may play-pretend that Obama’s economic policies haven’t negatively contributed to the current state of the economy, but you may as well pretend last summer was the “summer-of-recovery”.  Hell, even Obama’s own estimates claim we would have been better off without his stimulus.

            http://www.economics21.org/blog/revisiting-unemployment-predictions

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            Like I said, you ignore the facts of what the Recovery Act had accomplished to focus on the fact that Bush’s failed economy was harder to recover from than expected.

            THE GOP LIE:

            “Without the government response, GDP in 2010 would be about 11.5
            percent lower, payroll employment would be less by some 8.5 million jobs, and the nation would now be experiencing deflation.”

            It is a tragedy, since if we are to have more refusal to face the effects of the stimulus, as now seems likely, life is going to get a lot more miserable for millions.

            They attribute the larger part of this wholly benign result to have been from saving the financial
            system–something begun under President Bush and completed under Obama. Nonetheless, the effects of the fiscal stimulus alone appear very
            substantial, raising real GDP by about 3.4 percent, holding the unemployment rate about one-and-a-half percentage points lower, and
            adding almost 2.7 million jobs to U.S. payrolls.

            The Big Lie is a disgrace to all who have uttered it, knowingly or unknowingly. It is worse. It is a tragedy, since if we are to have more refusal to face the effects of the stimulus, as now seems likely, life is going to get a lot more miserable for millions after one of the worst elections I’ve
            ever seen in many years of reporting.

            We were like a man a sinking in a swamp. A good neighbor rushed along and threw us a rope. It just
            about stopped us sinking. But it didn’t get us out. It was too short, just as the stimulus was too small. Now along comes another man, the
            local preacher, telling us we are sinking because of our sins (which are many) and will yank the rescue rope away.

            The result will not be pretty.

            http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2010/11/01/the-stimulus-worked-the-gops-big-lie.html

          • hg

            Ignore it?  I posted it.  9% unemployment and a dismal economy.  That is the best Obama could accomplish with his inane spending spree.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            You look deranged when you ignore the information I am providing, you know that don’t you, HG?

             You make yourself easily dismissible. I don’t have to pretend I didn’t offer you a chance to debate, you’re stuck on stupid and have to play games in order to live in your alternate reality.

          • robert108

            Your “information” is nothing more than a river of extreme left wing talking points.  As usual, little hanni, you have no facts.

          • HG

            Wait, did I miss something?  Isn’t unemployement 9% and the economy struggling?  You can say I’ve ignored your claim Obama succeeded, I’m just saying the results speak for themselves.  Whether or not the stimulus slowed the downward economic spiral doesn’t change the economic reality we face today on the back side of it. Obama’s stimulus failed to acheive the fix he sold us on and by no measure is the current economic conditions positive.

          • Bat One

            I don’t care what you say…

            Which explains why you remain so blissfully and despicably ignorant.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            She’s a nobody stating her opinion. I cited credible references.

          • Bat One

            Nonsense!  A White House flack is hardly credible, no matter who is president, and without the economic assumptions given to the CBO, their conclusions are equally meaningless.

            You should recall, for example, that the early Obamacare claim of $500 billion in Medicare savings was later de-bunked when it was learned that CBO had been directed to overlook the fact that the $500 billion in question was the result of double counting, the same sort of accounting fraud the led to the demise of Enron, World-Com, and former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe’s favorite, Global Crossing.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            She stated her opinion and that’s a fact.  You may not like it and declare that “nonsense”, but you can’t change the text written in her comment that does not include a single reference, let alone a credible one.

            Don’t you ever get tired of lying?  If you aren’t lying then you are a complete idiot who can’t understand the English language.  She had no references, she only had her opinion.

            I used her words against her, because that’s the best way to show someone a hypocrite.

          • Bat One

            Heather obviously knows a good deal more about this economics stuff than you do, kid.  The fact that the best response you could manage was, “I don’t care what you say…” pretty well proves that!

          • A Citizen

            “”I don’t care what you say…”

            Hanni is just a tape loop of lefty talking points.It (he/she) just keeps repeating and repeating. Just toss it a cracker.

          • Bat One

            It’s a problem compounded by his inability to recognize his own ignorance.  Even those lefty talking points are well beyond his comprehension.

          • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bikebubba

            Easy.  The CBO only calculates per the criteria it is given, and these were given by the Democrats.  GIGO, Hannitized.

            If the econometric model used by the Obama administration to justify its spendumore plan (and the farcical claims about its “success”) actually worked, it would have predicted the blip in the figures in the spring of 2009.

            That is, of course, the same blip which the Obama administration uses to explain why the real economic figures are so awful compared to what their model predicted. 

            Again, Obama in, Obama out.

          • ellinas1

            Darling, please name an economically literate president.

          • Bat One

            The college transcripts of both George W. Bush and John F. Kerry indicate the they both took and passed course in economics.  Mr. Bush, of course, holds an MBA from Harvard School of business.

            There is no documentation whatsoever to show that Obama so much as lifted an Econ text book, never mind passed even an introductory course in the subject.  Then, too, there’s his economic policy failures that sorta, kinda indicate that he really doesn’t have a clue.

          • ellinas1

            ” Mr. Bush, of
            course, holds an MBA from Harvard School of business.”

            A lot of good it did him:Arbusto, an oil exploration company, lost money, but
            it got considerable investments (nearly $5 million) because even losing
            oil investments were useful as tax shelters.
            Spectrum 7 Energy Corp. bought out Arbusto in
            1984 and hired Mr. Bush to run the company’s oil interests in Midland,
            Texas. The oil business collapsed as oil prices plummeted by 1986, and
            Spectrum 7 Energy was near failure.
            Harken Energy acquired Mr. Bush’s Spectrum 7
            Energy shares, and he got Harken shares, a directorship, and a
            consulting arrangement in return. Harken, under Bush, brought in Saudi
            real estate tycoon Sheikh Abdullah Bakhsh as a board member and a major
            investor. Over the next few years, Harken would turn out to have links
            to: Saudi money, CIA-connected Filipinos, the Harvard Endowment, the
            emir of Bahrain, and the shadowy Bank of Credit and Commerce
            International.
            A 1991 internal SEC document suggested George W. Bush violated
            federal securities law at least 4 times in the late 1980s and early
            1990s in selling Harken stock while serving as a director of Harken.
            This is essentially the same kind of activity that Martha Stewart is
            going to prison over. Except at the time of the investigation, Mr.
            Bush’s father was president and the case was quietly dropped.

          • robert108

            Source of this fantasy?

          • ellinas1

            Search the internet for:
            a) arbusto energy
            b) Spectrum 7 Energy Corp.
            c) Harken Energy

            You can do it.

          • robert108

            So, you admit you just made it up.  No link.

          • ellinas1

            So you admit you can’t make a simple search on the internet. Pathetic.

          • robert108

            You made the claim, so the burden of proof is on you.  You certainly have no credibility.
            You didn’t use quotation marks, so what you presented were your own words, and you are known to be ignorant about everything except homosexual filth.

          • ellinas1

            Oh, Bullshit.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            And notice how you changed your story from “he hasn’t stopped any economic disaster” to that of crying about the “unemployment rate” based on what he had said, only after I provided facts to support my claim and to contest yours?

          • Trollhunter

            The obumbler has increased unemployment which hasn’t stopped any economic disaster. It’s magnified the disaster. You moron.

          • Heather

            You are correct.  One of the disasters he has made is the unemployment rate rising far beyond his projections after his failed economic policy sailed through the Democrat controlled House and Senate. 

            Obama is an economic illiterate and a total failure (just like you). 

        • Bat One

          (T)he stimulus didn’t just fund salaries, it also went to pay for infrastructure such as construction materials and new factories…

          Ah, yes… all those “shovel ready” projects that turned out not to be so shovel ready!

          • ellinas1

            A lot of streets in Stockton that needed paving, got just that.
            Now they are smooth as a baby’s behind.

          • D17

             And we will be paying the debt on that for generations, long after that road repair has crumbled.

          • ellinas1

            Not true. The next president whether democrat or conservative to the bone will borrow money.
            Start with Reagan’s budget deficits and the increase in the national debt…..then come to Obama.

          • robert108

            Start with Carter’s disastrous economy, then handing over of the Panama Canal to China, and the handing over of Iran to the mad mullahs, and stick President Reagan with the bill.  He paid it the right way, by facilitating economic growth, but the greedy Dem Congress, which promised to cut spending in exchange for tax increases, lied, and increased spending, thus the debt.
            Your ignorance of economic reality trips you up every time.

          • ellinas1

            Yes uncle robert180, whatever you say.

          • robert108

            Your ignorance of history is not my problem.  You keep trying to join discussions when you have no knowledge of the subject.  Starved for attention?

          • Bat One

            Adjusted for inflation, Obama’s addition to the national debt in less than three years, is nearly twice what was added during the eight years of the Reagan presidency.  And more than half of the debt added during the Reagan years was because Tip O’Neil and the Democrats broke their word by not cutting spending in the $2 for $1 deal they had made with President Reagan.

          • ellinas1

            Bwahahahah! They did it. Those darn dems.
            Especially that Tip O’Neil.

            Don’t tell me he (old Tip O’Neil)  enlarged the size of the government too.
             

          • robert108

            You illustrate your ignorance again.  Congress spends the money; it’s in the Constitution.  And yes, they lied about cutting spending later, just like they are lying now.  They want to jack up tax rates right now, and maybe cut spending sometime later.  It won’t happen, since Dems are spending junkies.

          • Bat One

            What this demonstrates – quite clearly – is that promises of fiscal responsibility by Democrats are worthless.  Obama, Pelosi, and Reid have only managed to add more exclamation points.

          • ellinas1

            You are either mistaken, or you are wearing your partisan pink glasses.

            What this demonstrates – quite clearly – is that promises of fiscal responsibility by Republicans and Democrats are worthless. 

            The Republicans are the party of borrow and spend.
            The Democrats are the party of tax and spend.

          • robert108

            The Republicans are the Party of economic growth through limited govt and low tax rates;  the Dems are thieves who steal to line their own pockets.

          • ellinas1

            Repeat the above enough times and someone might believe you.
            I however doubt that in light of your past pronouncements such as this one:

            Telling one lie or even consistently lying about one subject…doesn’t make you a liar…
            robert108 on May 18, 2009 at 03:23 pm

          • D17

            Not true?  Was the stimulus money borrowed?  How long will it take to pay it back?

            This type of nonsensical response by you is why you have no credibility on anything.  You seem to share the financial ineptitude of the Greek Government, but there is no one to bail us out when our economy goes bankrupt.

          • ellinas1

            “Not true?  Was the stimulus money borrowed?  How long will it take to pay it back?”

            As long as the republican are refusing to allow the government to tax the people  at the appropriate levels, in order to meet our obligations it will take a very long time.

            This type of nonsensical response by you is why you have no credibility
            on anything.  You seem to share the financial ineptitude of the US
            Government, and especially that of the republican party:
            Wanting to spend, but not willing to work for it.

          • Bat One

            As long as the (R)epublicans are refusing to allow the government to tax the people  at the appropriate levels, in order to meet our obligations it will take a very long time.

            But the Republicans are merely reflecting the will of “the people” they represent, the ones who are expected to pay to meet those “obligations” which they never wanted in the first place.

          • robert108

            Who decides what the “appropriate” level of taxation should be?  Certainly not an ignorant left wing extremist and pervert.  The “obligations” are for Dem vote buying, not the real needs of real Americans.

          • ellinas1

            Really?
            I say they are reflecting the will or the Republican conservative people that are refusing part with their entitlements, and are afraid they will run out if more people get them.

            And you know what? Society or “the people” as you say are like an large extended family, where the old ones control the purse and resources and are expected to take care of the younger and upcoming generations, until those generations are able to care for themselves.
            Now, among the younger generation there are individuals that for various reasons are unable or unwilling to care and fend for themselves. This category of family members includes but is not limited to the following:  lazy, addicted, criminals disabled, mentally disabled etc.
            What is the family to do? Cast them off mount Taygetos?

            http://www.allaboutavia.com/page_1225360662906.html

          • robert108

            To whom are you referring?  Can you give us their names?  Are you just making things up again, as you usually do?
            Society is not an “extended family”, except in your Marxist delusions.  “Unable” is one thing, and that can be means tested, but “unwilling” is quite another.  Here’s a suggestion: if you extreme left wingers care so much for the unwilling, you support them.

          • ellinas1

            The extended family is a Christian reality. That you cannot fathom that, speaks only of your mental disability, and reflects your absolute devotion to earthly things.
            Repent! Repent I say to you.. Repent son of Satan, and save your soul

          • Bat One

            Wanting to spend, but not willing to work for it.

            Uh… No!   That’s the Democrats’ “base” of victims you’re describing.

            Conservatives are more than willing to work for what we spend.  We just don’t want someone else spending what we’ve worked for.

          • robert108

            Real Americans are more than willing to work for what we get, but we can’t find jobs in this obama economy, and when we do, the greedy Dems want to take it all to give to their union mob cronies.

          • ellinas1

            I meant to write “Wanting to spend, but not willing to tax for it.”
            However it now done.

            I know a lot of conservatives waiting for their welfare checks.
            This condition is not limited to the democrats.

        • Guest

          “A White House official…”

          You, a liar believing the lies of another liar who speaks for a liar. Can you be anymore of a moron? Of course you can. Be all you can be!

          • http://flamemeister.com flamemeister

            In the old classification system an idiot had an IQ of 25 or less; an imbecile was in the 26 to 50 range, and a moron was at 51 to 70.  A moron can communicate & learn common tasks, an imbecile stalls mentally at about 6 years old, and an idiot is unable to respond competently to stimuli or attempts at communication,
            Clearly hanni evinces aspects of each of these classifications, and should probably be referred to as a polymorphous retard (libtard).  To be generous, and to stick with the classifications, he might be said to be somewhere on the cusp of moron/imbecile, heading south.

      • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

        David Cote, CEO of Honeywell, told Fox News that the stimulus plan did more than just create jobs, it helped restore confidence in the business sectors.

        “I would say I have never seen such fear in the business community as I did at that time,” Cote said. Everybody panicked. …. I liken that a herd was running off the cliff and you had to fire a shot. You might have killed a cow in the process or someone said it could have
        gone this way, but you had to stop the herd from running off the cliff.”

        Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/07/05/white-house-disputes-study-saying-stimulus-cost-taxpayers-278000-per-job/#ixzz1Rue0TEoy

        • Bat One

          No doubt the nearly 10% of the American workforce who are unemployed, two and a half years after Obama’s “stimulus” legislation, and the 7% to 8% more who are either underemployed or have given up HOPE of finding employment, would all be hugely impressed with what Mr. Cote has to say. 

          If Cote is correct, and the “stimulus” restored confidence, why are companies large and small not hiring and why is the unemployment rate still over 9% and moving up?  Hmmm?

          • $8194357

            Maybe Honeywell cut a deal like GE and so many other leftist big government “suppliers of choice?”

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            Not surprisingly, your tantrum ignores the main point of the argument, which is that the Recovery Act restored confidence what in was all collapsing.  The fact that we didn’t have much larger and extensive damage from Bush’s policy failures is the reason why corporate profits are higher today than they ever were under 8 years of Bush.

          • Shelly

            “The fact that we didn’t have much larger and extensive damage”

            The much larger and extensive damage started when obama took office.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            That’s a lie if the Recovery Act stopped the much larger and extensive damage that would have occurred.  Face the reality.  The free fall had stopped and confidence was restored.

          • Shelly

            The key word you used was “IF” and it didn’t. The MUCH LARGER  and  more extensive damage continues on a daily basis. It gets worse every day that the bumbler in chief is in office.And that’s a fact.

          • http://proof-proofpositive.blogspot.com/ Proof

            Hannitized Proof’s Punching bag said: ” if the Recovery Act stopped the much larger and extensive damage that would have occurred.”  Also, aliens could have invaded, dinosaurs could have been cloned from DNA and unicorns may have stampeded the White House. Too bad we’ll never know just what might have occurred without the stimulus!

            According to White House projections, just what would unemployment be after the stimulus?  8%.
            Good thing they were right about that!  /sarc

            http://oi56.tinypic.com/2a77k39.jpg

          • robert108

            There was no “free fall”, little hanni.  That was liar obama’s crisismongering to force his wasteful spending agenda on us.  It’s a fairy tale.

          • robert108

            The crash had nothing to do with any policy failures by President Bush; it was entirely a result of Dem housing policy mandates based on a false charge of racial discrimination in the granting of home mortgages.  Of course, if you can give an economic analysis of the “failure” of any Bush economic policy, listing the chain of cause and effect, have at it, little hanni.  Otherwise, all you are doing is parroting Dem talking points.

          • Bat One

            In all the years I have been posting here at SAB, I have had two tantrums.  One was later amicably resolved with the private exchange of mutual apologies.  The other resulted in another commenter being permanently banned.

            If you are going to use words, kid, even two syllable ones like “tantrum” you really ought to learn their meanings first.  You can use every scrap of believability you can muster.

        • Bat One

          Mr. Cote ain’t exactly the iconic American business poster boy you might like to think.  Honeywell has gained employees over the past two years, but those gains have been almost exclusively in its overseas locations.  Honeywell now generates at least 50% of its company revenues from operations outside the US.  

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            Success means expansion and expansion means moving into other areas, even if it translates to overseas operations.

          • Bat One

            Be sure to pass that bit of wisdom on to all those Democrat supporting union goons whining about companies taking “American jobs” overseas.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            There’s an obvious difference between expanding business and moving it.  I would join my union brothers who oppose moving operations in order to avoid costs in America.

          • Phil

            You’re such a marooooon!!!!!!!!

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            Nice ad hominem, but you can’t argue with the facts or logical debate.  You are incapable.

          • Phil

            You’re a funny guy. No wonder everyone refers to you as the Jester of SAB who wouldn’t know the true facts or logic if it bit you in the ass.How smart can you be? You voted for the clown who’s causing the smaller problem to turn into depression problems. Go away little turd.

          • D17

            He is not our brightest bulb around here.  But at least he’s consistent. 

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            And you voted for the guy who dumped the economic crisis, not seen since the great depression, on Obama.  That makes you the bigger fool by any logical definition.  Of course you ignroe how Obama’s policies stopped the economic free fall.

            Facts logic can’t bite anything or anyone in the ass.  Just shows how little you know.

          • robert108

            The fact is that obama campaigned vigorously for the office of President; it was not “dumped” on him in any way.  When obama was elected, the economic crisis was simply a recession; obama has turned it into something resembling the Great Depression of FDR.  obama’s policies have prevented a normal recovery from the Dem mortgage meltdown, and have spread it throughout the entire economy, with the worst impact on the housing and lending industries.
            Facts and logic smack you every time, little hanni, since you can only parrot Dem talking points.

          • Phil

            You don’t know who I voted for. For that matter, there’s not too much that you do know.
            I’m not ignoring obama’s policies. I’m watching them create a depression while shit bags like you applaud the down fall of the United States.
            And little man, it’s spelled IGNORE, not IGNROE. You’re so fucking stupid, you make dirt look smart.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

             It’s a typo while responding via cell phone, in a car.  You probably couldn’t talk and drive at the same time, mental midget.

          • HG

            Isn’t that illegal?

          • A Citizen

            Only a schmuck will text while driving. Maybe we’ll read about you wrapped around a pole one day.

          • http://proof-proofpositive.blogspot.com/ Proof

            Hanni already told us he drove his mom’s minivan off a cliff back before the advent of smart phones. If his new Fisher Price phone occupies even one of his active brain cells, the other one can’t be held responsible to drive accident free.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            Not that you get any facts right, but your information is wrong.  It also shows that you are sort of obsessed….but you get the most flak when you are over the target.

          • http://proof-proofpositive.blogspot.com/ Proof

            “you get the most flak when you are over the target” You parrot Rob nearly as well as you parrot Nutterbob, Tranni.

            “Not that you get any facts right”

            Your projection is duly noted.

            BTW, if you get the most flak over the target, then you get the most bruises at the bottom of the cliff. Or were you lying when you told us about driving off a cliff? (Wouldn’t surprise anyone.)

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            You are a weird little stalker that can’t debate issues at any intelligent level or capacity.  You are pretty good with ad hominem though.  It speaks volumes about you.

          • http://proof-proofpositive.blogspot.com/ Proof

            You know, Hanni, I doubt that anyone here could describe you much better than that. You still have more projection than a multiplex.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            Yeah, sure.  Lets list all the stalker things you have done and tell me which ones I have done to you, that you did to me:

            1) Contacted friends or coworkers
            2) Collect and keep pictures of your political rivals
            3) Make photoshopped images of your political opponent after stealing his pictures on the net
            4) Threaten to call his employer or threaten his livelihood
            5) Keep notes on just about everything the person has said about their personal life, or comments in general
            6) search for information about that persons personal life on the net

          • http://proof-proofpositive.blogspot.com/ Proof

            To quote the blog’s resident moron:

            You got it wrong or you deliberately lied, we know you lied

            Or as someone not semi-literate might say,
            Aside from your lies, delusions and fairy tales, Hanni, projection is all you have, Narcissist. Now please continue to try to hijack this thread  to make it all about you.

            search for information about that persons (sic) personal life on the net

            Oh like when you searched the web for my screen name. I have evidence of that, what do you have other than the little voices in your head?

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            Only an old yenta would be so shallow as to focus on something you believed, but hadn’t read.

            I never said I was driving.  I said he probably couldn’t even drive while talking.

          • A Citizen

            Only an impotent middle aged narcissist would think the statement was about him. But, you being a shallow racist and bigot, along with being a shallow narcissist, always focus on only what you say and believe. Even though you’re also classified as a schmuck, I never said you were the schmuck that was driving. But, one day we may read about you wrapped around a pole.It would be an easy read.
            Your antisemitism is also duly noted. But everyone already knew you were a JEW HATER.
            No wonder Len couldn’t stand you.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            You implied it, but your cowardly attempt to hide from your own words is what I expect from you and people like you.

            All you have is fabricated nonsense to libel me, because you can’t debate the issues.  You make yourself look the fool, but I am sure it makes you “feel” better.

          • A Citizen

            You being a narcissist, a bigot, a racist and a JEW HATER is not fabricated. Since it is all true, it can’t be libel. Look up the word since you have no clue what it means.
            If I was trying to hide from my own words, I’d be using sockpuppets the way you do, Larry, EDD, Willhunt, Joe6pack and Bloggerman. But thanks for reminding us and bringing your cowardliness to light, once again.
            Looking forward to reading about you one day.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

             Only a complete fool would make threats on a blog and base their conclusions on their delusions.

          • A Citizen

            Speaking of delusions…Only you would see a threat where there is none. But you being an attention whore, you have to see anything that that you can claim. Right moocher? LOLOLOL!!!!

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            Who said I saw a threat?  Are you crazy, old man?

          • A Citizen

            “Only a complete fool would make threats on a blog”

            Go ahead, be a liar and say you just didn’t type that. You fucking moron.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            Only an impotent old aged narcissist would think the statement was
            about him. But, you being a shallow racist and bigot, along with being a
            shallow narcissist, always focus on only what you say and believe. Even
            though you’re also classified as an old yenta, I never said you were the old yenta who was making a threat.

          • A Citizen

            You’re a bigger joke than I ever thought you could be. No wonder no one likes you.
            Speaking of impotent, how many kids don’t you have? Or is just that a decent woman see’s right through you and wants no part of you? Either way, you’re a loser, enjoy your belt buckle..LOLOLOL!!!

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            You are really too stupid to see how I simply used your own excuse and argument against you.  Now you are calling your style, your argument and your words “a joke”.

            You said you never claimed I was the person you were referring to that was driving while texting.  It was a cowardly way to hide from the fact that you got it wrong, as I was just a passenger.  You used the “narcissist” label after I nailed you on that one.

            Yet, in my statement never said you made a threat, I just made a vague statement as you had.  Then I used your narcissist excuse to show you how stupid you look while playing games.

            You are way too old for this, you damned old Yenta.

            LOLOLOLOLOL

          • A Citizen

            “Only a schmuck will text while driving.”

            Your bullshit reply is way to thin to even read, as if it was relevant. Take a hike skankfucker, time for me to stop pissing down your throat. Regards to Larry, Edd, Willhunt, Joe6pack and Bloggerman.

            It’s your mirror you’re talking.

          • Bat One

            If Phil is arguing with you, he certainly need not worry about contending with facts or logic.

          • ellinas1

            Bat One says: Mr. Cote ain’t exactly the iconic American business poster boy you might like to think.

            Mr.Bat One ain’t exactly the iconic American business poster boy he wants us to think, or what his fellow lemmings believe.

            Mr Bat One, in response to the liberals here at  SAB were sounding the alarm of the impeding financial meltdown/doom  said:

            “I don’t believe for one minute that we are in, or about to enter into, a recession. Despite the best efforts of the Democrats and the media to convince us otherwise…”
            Bat One on January 25, 2008 at 10:17 am

            After his colossal failure to see the writing on the wall, how dare Mr Bat One criticize others?
            Mr. Bat One isn’t the shining light bulb he would want us to believe.

          • Bat One

            I notice you STILL haven’t managed to explain what exactly a recession is, what causes it, and how to measure one.  Either of you!  Nor have you posted any examples of when you were sounding the alarm of the impending financial meltdown, have you?   All we have is your word on that… and your word isn’t worth much.  If you knew what you were talking about, and were a bit less dishonest, you’d acknowledge that Q4 of 2007 showed positive GDP growth, as did Q1 of 2008.

            How dare I criticize others?  Because those others, including you two buffoons and the witless fraud in the White House, clearly have no idea what any of you are talking about.  And the proof of that is in Obama’s own pre-stimulus promises and the miserable results we see today, two and a half years after ARRA was passed.  4% plus GDP growth as promised?  Nope.  Less than 2% inflation?  Not a change… we’re at 3.5% and rising.  1 million new private sector jobs for each 1% of GDP?  Not even close!   Unemployment is a third higher than team Obama told us it would be without his clearly worthless stimulus!

            Instead we’ve got a 40% increase in the national debt, and trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see, and an illegal war in Libya as well.  There’s your “colossal failure.” 

          • ellinas1

            We ar going through a recession, and you want me to describe what is going on around me?
            Oh, come on professor.  Play nice.

            No I did not post them, because I lost them.
            We will have to rely on my excellent memory of past events, your reservations not withstanding.
            Growth or no growth, the borrowing and spending of the so called spendthrift republicans/conservatives brought the economy of our beloved USA to it’s knees.

            And yes. How dare you criticize others int the face of your incompetence, your financial ignorance and the farrago of palpable nonsense that you post here on this blog.

            40% increase in the national debt? That’s all?
            How much did the republican conservonuts increased it percentage ways?
            Don’t get me started.

            Illegal war on Libya you say?
            I say this president follows a long USA tradition of illegal, secret and proxy wars.
            Now rest your neck.

          • Bat One

            We are going through a recession, and you want me to describe what is going on around me?  Oh, come on professor.  Play nice.

            I see!  You can’t define it, can’t explain it, can’t tell us what it is, how it happens or what causes it, much less out to get out of it…  but then what makes you think you have any credibility even talking about recession?  Hmmm?   Incidentally, we aren’t in a recession, though of course that may wel change by the time Obama is voted out of office next year.

            No I did not post them, because I lost them.  We will have to rely on my excellent memory of past events,

            Yeah, right!  And the dog ate your homework, too!

            Growth or no growth, the borrowing and spending of the so called spendthrift republicans/conservatives brought the economy of our beloved USA to it’s knees.

            More witless tripe, but it does tell us that while you’re faithful to the latest talking points, you really don’t have a clue about this stuff.  Fact is, growth, real economic growth, along with serious spending cuts, is the ONLY way out of the mess we’re in.  But you, being a true, blue partisan hack, wouldn’t know that.  Those of you on the Left are so busy rearranging the pie pieces and doling them out to society’s unproductive victims, your supporters, that is never occurs to you that what is needed isn’t smaller pieces but a larger pie instead.  Fools!

            Illegal war on Libya you say?  I say this president follows a long USA tradition of illegal, secret and proxy wars.

            So, you admit that Obma’s Libyan adventure is illegal?  Good!  That makes you at least that much smarter than that vapid adolescent, Hannitized.  But are you suggesting that its okay because someone else did something illegal beforehand?  That’s pretty thin, e,… even for someone afflicted with performance anxiety!

          • ellinas1

            Bat One says: ” Incidentally, we aren’t in a recession, though of course that may wel change by the time Obama is voted out of office next year.”

            Even though what many economists consider recession may have ended  in June 2009, ordinary citizens in the USA do not share that view as nothing much has changed for them.
            Ask the people who are losing their retirement account and the shirts off their backs.
            Therefore your drivel is just drivel and posturing. No substance.

            Heh! I never claimed the dog ate my homework. I said the blog ate my homework.

            Bat One says: “More witless tripe,….”
            Witless tripe is what comes out of your mouth.
            Fact is growth or no growth, the borrowing and spending of the so called spendthrift republicans/conservatives brought the economy of our beloved USA to it’s knees.

            I admit that this president embarked in an illegal war like most of his predecessors have, starting with Reagan.
            It saddens me that the republican controlled house has not started an investigation on the issue.
            What are the honorable tea partiers and conservatives worried about?
            That maybe the oil industry lobby will stop giving them reelection money?

            PS:All of a sudden “someone else did it too” is not good enough for you, even though you have claimed the same time and again.
            Be forewarned. I have marked your words for future use against this hypocrisy of yours.
            According to your MO it wont be long before I nail your ass.

          • Bat One

            Be forewarned. I have marked your words for future use against this hypocrisy of yours.According to your MO it wont be long before I nail your ass

            I wish I could explain just how terrified I am by your threat… but I’m kinda busy trimming my toenails at the moment.  Perhaps another day?

            All of a sudden “someone else did it too” is not good enough for you, even though you have claimed the same time and again.

            I’ would ask you to provide examples of when I have used the excuse that someone else did it too, but we’ve already been through your “I-lost-it-and-you’ll-just-have-to-take-my-word-for-it” nonsense, haven’t we?

            (O)rdinary citizens in the USA do not share that view as nothing much has changed for them.  Ask the people who are losing their retirement account and the shirts off their backs. Therefore your drivel is just drivel and posturing. No substance.

            No, not “drivel” at all, but rather proof that Obama’s policies haven’t lived up to the promises he and his supporters made in promoting those policies!   Unemployment is over 9% – 25% higher than we were told it would be if the “stimulus” was enacted.  GDP growth is 1.9% – less than the country’s historical average rate of population growth – not the 4% to 4.5% we were told it would.

            Look, no one is seriously claiming that Obama caused the financial crisis or the recession (although insisting that President Bush’s 2003 tax rate cuts did cause it is just plain stupid!).  But Obama most certainly claimed that his policies would CHANGE things for the better, and whether you care to admit it or not, the official numbers I’ve cited and the American public’s sense of where we are to which you’ve alluded above, both demonstrate that his policies have only made things worse.  Worse for the country today, and worse for our children and grandchildren who will be stuck with the bill for his Keynesian recklessness tomorrow.

          • ellinas1

            I am so glad you are terrified by my non threat.
            Be careful with those toe-nail clippers, you my cut some meat off your toe.

            “I’ would ask you to provide examples…” That is your standard answer. If you can’t see it in writing it didn’t  happen.
            Well I got news for you: It did happen. Your pretending otherwise is part of your MO.

            You are a Johny come lately. When the liberals (myself included) were decrying the borrow and spend of the conservatives/republicans we were told by y’all that budget deficits don’t matter, and that the debt or deficit as a percentage of the GDP was irrelevant and/or it did not matter.

            For the record I have always  been opposed to our government spending more then what it collects from taxes. Not just when a democrat is president.

          • Hal634

            “we were told by y’all that budget deficits don’t matter”

            Can you post evidence of this?  I remember conservatives were upset with excessive spending when Republicans took control of the US House.

          • ellinas1
          • robert108

            This is one of the problems with sites like this; a lot of people try to horn in on a discussion when they have no knowledge of the subject matter.

          • Bat One

            True that!  E actually knows better, in my view, but relishes his chosen rhetorical role as a self-appointed, leftwing Til Eulenspiegel.  The kid, on the other hand, simply isn’t smart enough or honest enough to recognize his own ignorance.

          • robert108

            Have to disagree, Bat.  In my time here, I have yet to see any leftie who knows anything about economics.  There are many who parrot the predigested Dem talking points, but that just shows their ignorance.  Even when you get past the juvenile namecalling and filthy language(which is a defense mechanism of the ignorant, IMO), there is no knowledge of how economics works, even something so simple and logical as the Law of Supply, Demand and Price.  They don’t know about crowding out, which is the source of a good deal of obama’s economic damage, and have no concept of opportunity cost, which explains why individual demand is essential, and aggregate demand is an economically useless concept.  Not one of them understands that all economic systems are “capitalist”, in the sense that all economic systems deal with the ownership, use and distribution of capital.  The difference in the systems is in who gets to own/control the use of the capital.
            Without this basic knowledge, it’s just soundbites and talking points for them.  The individual you think “knows better” is addicted to personal attack, and is devoid of facts or reason.
            With a few exceptions, I find talking economics on this blog is casting pearls before swine.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            Maybe you should ask that question of Rob, he’s the one who says we are in a recession today. 

            You are about to correct him, right Bat One?

        • Guest

          You, being one of the loudest critics of Foxnews using Foxnews. You hypocrite. Go away, you’re nothing but pig waste.

          • ellinas1

            He used FOX because you wing nuts reject most other sources.
            You hypocrite. Go away, you’re nothing but chicken waste.

          • http://flamemeister.com flamemeister

            “He used FOX because you wing nuts reject most other sources.”
            Most sources are unreliable, so one is bound to reject most sources in any case.
            hanni really is pig waste.  I can smell his comments coming up 2 feet of scrolling away.

          • ellinas1

            “Most sources are unreliable, so one is bound to reject most sources…..”

            Well if most sources are as you say unreliable, he was correct in using FOX.

            Your sense of smell is deteriorating…..what’s up with that?

          • http://flamemeister.com flamemeister

            FOX is a reasonably good start.
            The sense of smell deteriorates with age like the rest of the bod. In some cases, it is a mercy.

          • ellinas1

            You mean to tell me you can’t smell pig waste, but you can sense it?
            Wow! That is mercy.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            Bingo!

          • ellinas1

            The wing nuts knew that… they are just playing games.

          • Guest

            We “wing nuts” don’t reject other sources, as long as it’s the truth.

          • ellinas1

            “We “wing nuts” don’t reject other sources, as long as it’s the truth as we understand the truth to be, and it matches our political, social, fiscal and religious views.”

            There fixed it for you.

          • Guest

            You fixed nothing. All you did was prove that you being a liar can create a lie that only liars would be gullible enough to believe.
            It must really be depressing to be you, or anything like you.

          • ellinas1

            Yes uncle robert180, whatever you say.

          • Guest

            Uncle Robert180??? Another lie from your warped mind.

          • robert108

            The delusions of a diseased mind, ignorant on every subject, desperately grasping for attention.  Just examine the no-content comments.

          • ellinas1

            Yes uncle robert180, whatever you say.

          • Guest

             It’s common knowledge that you’re warped.Now repeat yourself again.

          • ellinas1

            Yes uncle robert180, whatever you say.

          • robert108

            Still desperately seeking my attention.

          • robert108

            Stick with sniffing pig waste; that’s probably the only thing you’re good at.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            Cheap excuse from a person who doesn’t have the intellectual capital to invest.

          • Guest

            Yes, you are a cheap excuse of a man. You’re just a sack of racism, bigotry and narcissism.

    • Bat One

      Why don’t you just show your honesty about why you hate Obama so much as Studakota has.

      Unlike liberals whose hatred of President Bush and conservatives in general is palpable and tediously on display, those of us on/in The Right don’t HATE Obama, since we’re smart enough to recognize that hatred is a personal emotion, and none of us even knows the man, and our thinking is on a much higher level than base hatred.

      But Obama’s policies are wrong-headed, counter-productive to what the country needs and clearly run counter to what he said he would do. (And of course, more than a few of the things he’s done are illegal and clearly in violation of the Constitution and his oath of office!)   And because of those policies, and Obama’s lies, things are far worse in this country than they were when he took office two and half years ago.  And that FACT is on Obama – not George W. Bush, not Ronald Reagan, not NATO or the UN.  Obama… period!

  • mickey_moussaoui

    “the vast majority of economists are convinced”, …  hahahaha, That’s the same lame lie these assholes use to defend global warming.

    Then read this duchebag hannity, he’s trying to spin that somehow we think governemnt creates jobs. Jesus, these libtards are pathological liars. Egads, Obama’s policies have made EVERYTHING worse. The stimulus was a failure as far as the nation as a whole was concerned. It was a slush fund to buy votes from one small segment of America. Obama is an epic failure and you hannity are an epic lying retard.
     
    lying bastards

    • fedupny

      “the vast majority of economists are convinced”
      When all that is taught is Keynesian principles, of course the majority will agree, except the pesky economists who will think, use logic and actually determine for themselves that Keynes uses flawed assumptions.

  • HG

    So the President is saying he did the best he could do.  Now he’s actually boasting over a 9% unemployment rate and a dismal economic performance.  How desperate. How pathetic. 

    • $8194357

      Some of the folks here in western ND who came from Illionois, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnisota have told me that back home its closer to 17 or so percent who have been unemployed or under employed and is why they are here living in campers sending paychecks home…Charts, graphs, and “the numbers” are easily manipulated, no?

  • mickey_moussaoui

    7point62

    The word is out on the jobs in ND. I know of one young engineer graduate who is working out there by you. They paid him $120,000. right out of Michigan Tech. The down side is he has to drive an hour one way to buy a house to live in due to the inflation in that market

  • AV

    “explain what exactly a recession is” — Bat One

    A recession occurs when national output falls significantly behind potential (“full-employment”) output. The text-book definition of when an economy is in recession is when there are two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

    “what causes it?” — Bat One

    Several schools of thought on this one, the three most popular schools of thought are:
    1/ Sudden and large decreases in money supply. (Monetarism)
    2/ Total savings exceeding total investments, typically caused by a lack of business or consumer confidence, causing net spending (GDP) to fall. (Keynesian)
    3/ Upredicted events lead to recessions. (Rational expectations)

    Bat One, what’s your interpretation of why the economy is stagnant, and why private enterprise is not hiring, or significantly increasing investment in new capital? (Despite record profits, and companies sitting on mountains of cash, also an all-time high.)

    Doesn’t #2 on the above list of theories seem to be the most plausible?

    Also, why the alarmism over deficits? To finance the deficit, the government sells off bonds, that private citizens and companies can purchase, and in return these bond-purchasers collect interest, that can then be spent within the economy, and when the bonds expire the govt gives the principal back to the bond-owner. How is this a big problem in the short-term?

    Isn’t the problem a (societal) lack of investment in the future (technology, physical capital, and human capital), and if businesses are currently failing to invest enough, then who will?

    P.S. Japan has a debt-to-GDP ratio of 220%, the US about is at about 90%, yet the Japanese govt can still borrow money at 1.5% interest rates. It isn’t game-over for the US yet, not by a long way, but austerity programs — like those advocated by fiscal conservatives (like the Repubs and Obama) — will certainly make things much worse. One only needs to look at the “success” of Greece’s previous austerity program, or Ireland’s.

    • robert108

      Living within your means isn’t “austerity”, it’s just good sense.  Govt spending crowds out productive private sector spending, and obama has had his boot on the neck of the private sector, esp. the domestic energy industry, since his election.  He has also nationalized two thirds of the auto industry and the entire healthcare industry, which was profitable and had positive employment before he started meddling.  Look no farther for the ongoing causes of this recession.  BTW, attacking private sector profits isn’t good for economic growth.
      The incentive to invest is profit, if you want more investment(real investment, not govt spending) stop attacking profits and crowding out private credit with massive govt borrowing.

    • Bat One

      AV,  FYI:  I posed those
      questions to point out that the two liberals whose criticisms typically consist
      of personal attacks on the messenger and little else don’t actually know what
      they’re talking about and thus don’t have much credibility.  The answers are telling – and predicable.  From one I got bluster and a veiled threat of
      no consequence.  The other apparently
      couldn’t find something suitable to cut and paste and thus, in his mind, bolster
      his claim to knowledge and relevance.

       

      Personally, I would define recession as a prolonged period
      of economic stagnation (or “malaise” for those who recognize the difference
      between wit and mere humor!)  And I am
      comfortable with the traditional metric of two consecutive quarters of negative
      GDP growth. 
      Unlike algebra or differential calculus, economics is not a precise
      science, and I think consistency in definitions is a good thing.  Rhetorical inertia keeps us all on the same
      page.

       

      As far as causes go, I’m more inclined to go with #3 than
      either #1 or #2, although both, I believe, have their place.  The traditional business “cycle” explanation
      doesn’t really explain anything.  And
      while I can understand the “up” portion of the cycle as a natural occurrence (inertia,
      again), the “down” portion of the cycle ought to have a more specific cause
      than simply “just because.”  #2 is
      intriguing, but only because it demonstrates just how far the term “Keynesian
      Economic Theory” has been stretched by its adherents from the actual writings Lord
      Keynes himself.  Also, your #2 really
      doesn’t answer the question of what causes recession, but merely notes one of
      the more interesting effects or symptoms of recession instead.

       

      As for why I think the economy is essentially stagnant –
      which is a separate question from why private sector firms aren’t hiring – I think
      there is a widespread unease about the American economy and the American
      future.  Obama’s policies haven’t done
      what he said they would and what everyone agreed needed to be done, while the actual
      results of those policies, the monstrous deficits and debt and continued
      unemployment, coupled with the threat (literally) of tens of thousands of pages
      of as yet undefined regulations and more and more government control, leaves
      people, both here and abroad, with a deep sense of trepidation and
      distrust.  The housing and mortgage
      industries aren’t fixed as he had promised, which is a huge drag on the economy.  The credit industry isn’t fixed either.  Banks aren’t lending.  The big boys are flush with profits and cash,
      and don’t need to borrow, while small and mid-size firms still can’t get the
      credit they need.  Have there been
      improvements?  Some.  But those are more attributable to the
      original Bush/Paulson TARP and the nature of economies to ultimately
      self-correct on their own than to Obama’s ARRA. 
      And the more bad economic news gets reported, the more uneasy and
      cautious people become.  People may not
      understand the specifics of what happened and why, but the gravity of what we’ve
      been through and still face today and tomorrow, two and a half years after
      Obama’s election, weigh heavily indeed.

       

      Finally, as for deficits and debt, ultimately the question
      of how much debt is one best left to the markets, not the economists, not the rating
      agencies, and certainly not the Washington
      politicians.  Japan
      can handle such a relatively large debt to GDP
      ratio because Japan
      enjoys such a high savings rate and because most of Japan’s
      sovereign debt is absorbed by the Japanese themselves.  That is certainly NOT the
      case in the US.  Considering the enormous amount of new debt
      piled on by the Obama administration, and the paltry results of all that
      deficit spending, I don’t see that there is much of a case to be made for
      increasing federal deficit spending, no matter what the Japanese have
      done.  And if the polls, any of them, are
      an indication, Obama and the “progressives” would be committing political
      hara kiri to attempt it.

       

      It is telling that you see this as a “societal” problem, and
      thus, presumably, in need of a federal government solution.  If anything, that type f thinking is what got
      us into this mess in the first place. 
      Government interference in the market, any market, has never been as
      benign or as effective, or as modestly priced as it’s supporters have
      promised.  One need look no farther than
      the fiscal responsibility, economic vitality, and job growth promised by Obama
      and the Democrats to see that government isn’t the answer… it’s the problem.  We don’t need more government.  We need less. 
      Lots less.

      • robert108

        It is unfortunate that govt, in general, cannot resist the temptation to pick economic winners and losers, either out of cronyism or social justice theory.  If govt stuck to its Constitutional job to provide a basic framework for the doing of business by free people making free choices, we would be much better off.

        • Bat One

          Not only would we be better off, we’d all be one helluva lot richer!

          What we are seeing today is the result of government trying to do all the things it’s devoted supporters think it can do, rather than the few basic things it was clearly meant to do.

      • AV

        Thanks for the detailed reply Bat One.

        “#2 is intriguing, but only because it demonstrates just how far the term “Keynesian
        Economic Theory” has been stretched by its adherents from the actual writings Lord
        Keynes himself.” — Bat One

        I think my one-sentence summary is fairly close to what Keynes meant. You mention “widespread unease”, due to the state of the economy, as a reason for a lack of investment. This insight, that people and businesses tend to spend and invest less in times of uncertainty, was due to Keynes. Markets are supposed to achieve equilibrium, and in the case of investments, the savings rate is supposed to equal the investment rate. If people started saving more, then businesses would have access to cheaper credit, and therefore would be able to invest more.

        But when there is uncertainty, businesses may not be wish to invest in capital, even if the cost of credit is extremely low, since they may not be able to sell the extra goods and services generated by the new capital. So Keynes’ insight, that led to his subsequent theories of govt spending, was this failure of savings to equal investments, which is called an “investment gap”.

        His solution to this problem is that the govt can spend money to eliminate this investment gap, pulling the economy out of recession. This is the part that most people associate with Keynes, but the insight leading to this was his real contribution? These days, investment gaps can be calculated (and the US economy is currently suffering due to a lack of investment), and if you are opposed to the govt eliminating investment gaps, and businesses obviously refuse to (or else there would never be an investment gap), then what do you propose as a solution?

        Monetarists favor expansionary monetary policy (to lower the interest rates even further, hopefully encouraging businesses to invest)?

        And markets obviously won’t solve the problem in the short-term, since the investment gap is the result of a market failure. (Though Keynes noted that in the long-run markets would sort it out, “in the long run we are all dead”.) But this is the position of the Austrian school?

        “It is telling that you see this as a “societal” problem” — Bat One
        I’m an idealist, I believe in democracy. I think the federal govt may be too bloated and corrupt to do the job properly. But maybe they can distribute money to those that can carry out the job?

        • robert108

          “Markets are supposed to achieve equilibrium…”

          Only in textbooks; in real life, it is market dynamics which produce economic growth and progress.
          I see the anarchist vegetarian hasn’t changed his dedication to a command economy.

        • Bat One

          Sigh… your idealism would be far more laudable if the rest of us weren’t stuck with the bill!  I will never understand why liberals think that their conscience is entitled to a subsidy from my checkbook.  That attitude betrays a disrespect for the thoughts and rights (including property rights) of others, as well as intolerable level of sanctimony.  That’s not democracy.  It’s autocracy in face paint masquerading as benevolence.  The same old end justifying the means thinking we’ve come to expect from liberals.

          This insight, that people and businesses tend to spend and invest less in times of uncertainty, was due to Keynes. Markets are supposed to achieve equilibrium, and in the case of investments, the savings rate is supposed to equal the investment rate. If people started saving more, then businesses would have access to cheaper credit, and therefore would be able to invest more.

          I think you are unwittingly disproving your own point here.  In the first place, interest rates are already, albeit artificially, at historically low levels.  And as you are well aware, there is plenty of cash – more than enough, unfortunately – and still there is no substantive uptick in lending or investing.  The housing market is still moribund, with many markets still in price decline.  And as I’ve noted, commercial lending, particularly to small and mid-size firms, the ones which traditionally provide new employment opportunities, is at a virtual stand-still.   There are those who have argued that the Fed’s “quantitative easing” programs have had no discernible value to the economy.  But I disagree.  Bernanke has in fact been rather clever.  Buying up the $600 billion in Treasury securities from banks, he has credited the proceeds to the sellers’ required reserve accounts at the Fed, thus offsetting the increasing reserve requirements imposed on those banks by federal regulators.  So while there may well be an imbalance between savings and investment, it isn’t a cause of the recession/economic stagnation we’re experiencing, but a symptom instead.

          (I)f you are opposed to the govt eliminating investment gaps, and businesses obviously refuse to (or else there would never be an investment gap), then what do you propose as a solution?

          The correct way to adjust the imbalance, if that is indeed the proper goal, is to let the market decide the correct allocation of resources, rather than the federal government.  The market is unquestionably far more efficient in doing this… and far more effective as well.  Allowing government to do decide the allocation is really not much different from throwing a bucket of shit on the wall in the hope that some of it sticks for a change!  Besides, the government action you advocate, whether financed with taxes or more borrowing, is something we simply can no longer afford.  We are going through a rough period economically speaking.  To a very large extent, it was government actions which created this mess i the first place.  Looking to government to fix it , even if we could afford it, makes no sense, and is rather akin to hitting your thumb with a hammer to cure the pain of a hangnail.

          Look, the real reason for the unease and trepidation, among the business community and the public at large, is the steady drumbeat of bad news.  It’s like the old Chinese water torture… or water-boarding for liberals with a sense of humor.  Here’s an exercise to prove my point:  What are the 5 worst economics and finance related stories/issues over the past 6 months?   In no particular order, I would choose the US debt ceiling debate, the federal budget, unemployment, Greece’s pending default (along with Portugal, Spain, Ireland, and Italy) and the probably demise of the Euro, and the earthquake/tsunami in Japan and its effect on the country’s manufacturing and exports.  And I suspect that if you polled the public, or the readers here at SAB, they would agree on at least 3 of those 5.  And what is notable is that all but the last, Japan, are the direct result of reckless liberal fiscal and economic policies by governments.  And you want more government interference in the markets, and more artificial and clearly unaffordable government “stimulus”???

          I think not.

          BTW, Seth Yantiss and I are about to restart a conversation on money, fiscal, and economic policy on his reader’s blog, Seth’s Ramblings.  He is another one, on the other end of the spectrum, with whom I disagree, albeit agreeably.  I invite you to join in.

          • AV

            “In the first place, interest rates are already, albeit artificially, at
            historically low levels.  And as you are well aware, there is plenty of
            cash – more than enough, unfortunately – and still there is no
            substantive uptick in lending or investing.” — Bat One

            Oops, maybe I was unclear, but this is exactly my point too. This is a situation of “market failure”? If lenders were to lend money to those willing to invest then both parties would benefit. But this would have to be across the whole economy, since if the economy were to slip back into recession, the few lenders that lent out money could lose it. But if all savings were invested in capital, the whole economy would start growing again (since growth requires an increase in inputs, labor, capital, and/or technology), resulting in very low risk to the lenders.

            The benefits of govt spending are twofold, firstly, govt spending can reduce or eliminate the investment gap. Secondly, as Hannitized quoted above (CEO of Honeywell), the govt engaging in expansionary fiscal policy, to prevent a recession, increases business confidence. (Though the reverse has to also be true, the govt has to cut expenditure during periods of strong growth, which was one of Bush’s many errors.)

            “And you want more government interference in the markets, and more artificial and clearly unaffordable government “stimulus”???” — Bat One

            Real-life markets are rarely efficient, the three big reasons being:
            1/ Natural monopolies
            2/ Externalities
            3/ Information asymmetry

            Govt interference doesn’t always reduce efficiency, it can actually increase efficiency.

            The most obvious area where govt interference is a good thing is the regulation of pollution. Poor waste disposal practices cause a lot damage, but the business causing the damage typically does not pay for (much of) this, so any goods or services they produce are at an artificially low price, as the environmental cost is not factored in.

            Despite it’s obvious problems, the FDA actually does a good job too. An FDA approved medicine is likely to do what its manufacturer claims that it does. Compare this to many alternative medicines, like homeopathy for example, that are only as effective as a placebo. Without FDA approved medicines, and if you were sick, how can you be sure that the money you’re spending is actually helping you get better? Spending money on “medicine” that is only as effective as sugar pills, but costing much more, is an innefficient allocation of resources.

            So why imply that all govt interference in markets is destructive? And from my point of view, having 25 million Americans unemployed and underemployed is not affordable, it is a massive waste of potential economic output, and if the govt can remedy this, then clearly they should.

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