Obama Owns the Economy – So what Does he Own?

Obama Owns the Economy - So what Does he Own?

Desperate to move past the disastrous legacy of the previous administration the GOP is demanding that Obama own the economy today. Fair enough - let him own it. Now let's look at exactly what it is he owns. When Obama assumed office in January of 2009 the Unites States was in ...

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Paul Krugman Is Not in the 1%.

Paul Krugman Is Not in the 1%.

Paul Krugman, columnist for the New York Times, and Nobel prize winning economist, no doubt makes a tidy living. He now has a position with the Luxembourg Income Study Center at CUNY - which studies the cause and effect of income inequality. When people on the right discovered that he was being ...

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Creationism – Even Wearing its ID Frock – Isn’t Science.

Creationism - Even Wearing its ID Frock - Isn't Science.

Christian creationists have their explanation of man's origin. Other religions' creationists have theirs. They will never agree. Which points to the mystical rather than scientific basis of creationism. In an attempt to give their "theory" a scientific veneer modern-day creationists would pull the wool over our eyes with the introduction ...

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Really? 4/12/14 – Comcast sponsors a Senate committee; Schools that don’t teach; The GOP’s cheap talk; More sex in LA; Spreading the wealth in college sports; Town names; Huckabee dribbles on his shirt.

Really? 4/12/14 - Comcast sponsors a Senate committee; Schools that don't teach; The GOP's cheap talk; More sex in LA; Spreading the wealth in college sports; Town names; Huckabee dribbles on his shirt.

How money free speech works in Congress. This week the Senate Judiciary Committee held its first hearing on the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger . Every single Senator on the Committee has taken money from Comcast. Move along - nothing to see here. If you are not sure what the answer is, just write "God". Science test at ...

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The Fight Against Bigotry isn’t Bigotry.

The Fight Against Bigotry isn't Bigotry.

Arizona's Orwellian "Religious Freedom Restoration Law" was vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer. Brendan Eich, ex-Mozilla CEO, was forced to resign after the brouhaha over his $1,000 donation to an anti-gay marriage movement. Recent court decisions have repeatedly struck down states' anti-gay law measures. So what is a poor bigot to ...

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Desperate to move past the disastrous legacy of the previous administration the GOP is demanding that Obama own the economy today. Fair enough – let him own it. Now let’s look at exactly what it is he owns.

Render to Bush the things that are Bush's and to Obama the thinks that are Obama's

Render to Bush the things that are Bush’s and to Obama the things that are Obama’s

When Obama assumed office in January of 2009 the Unites States was in the midst of its first trillion dollar deficit. Don’t fall for the claim that the 2009 budget was Obama’s. George Bush signed off on it and the 2009 fiscal year started on Bush’s watch.

The deficit is now under $500 million. Or put another way, it is less as a percentage of GDP than in any year of the Reagan administration.

The investor class is celebrating. The stock market has more than doubled since the President’s 2009 inauguration. The housing market is rebounding.

And America still has a car industry.

Too many people are unemployed and conservatives carp on the slowness of the recovery. But surely it is better to suffer a second-rate recovery than a first-rate recession. It takes chutzpah to complain that the fix is sub-par when you were the one who broke it in the first place.

Too many people are receiving a government benefit. But that includes full-time employees and members of the military. Shouldn’t a full time job pay enough to feed a family and pay the rent? Shouldn’t serving your country guarantee a living wage?

carlson income inequalityThe GOP says that growing income equality is Obama’s fault, but they have resisted his stimulus efforts. And the tax code continues to favor the ultra-rich, whose income depends far more on unearned income than other economic strata – including the merely very rich.

Argue all you want about the meaning of the 8 million signed up for Obamacare. The fact is that Americans have more access to quality health care than at any time in the nation’s history. The faults in the system – most notably the 5 million left out of the Medicaid system by intransigent GOP governors – can be squarely blamed on hysterical opposition. It would be one thing if Republicans were a arguing the merits of a different plan. But they have nothing to offer but “NO!”

Overall, the rate of the increase in health spending has gone down. How much is due to the ACA? There is open to debate. But down is down.

“Aha, what about gas prices” the Tea Party bleats. There, they have a fact to support their case. On Inauguration Day, gas was $1.86 a gallon. Today it is $3.65. But commodity prices are volatile. A year before Obama, gas was $4.12 ($4.54 in 2014 prices).

gas prices

Let’s look at another commodity – gold. Its price has been declining, which, far from being a harbinger of a poor economy, is a sign of strength. Money flees to gold in times of economic woe. In rebounding economies demand for it goes down.

Inflation is nonexistent. Government revenues as a percent of GDP are the lowest since the 1950s. Taxes are historically low (The Tea Party please take note). And there are nearly 400,000 fewer civilian federal employees than after eight years of Reagan.

The number of US troops in war zones is the lowest since 2001. And far fewer are dying. Foreign affairs are fraught with uncertainty. But the threat from terrorists remains muted. In fact, the President has been roundly criticized for going too far with NSA surveillance and his love of drones.

Although quick to beat the President up for his “permissive” immigration policies, conservatives ignore the record number of deportations – another area in which liberals criticize him for going too far.

Is the Obama administration perfect? Not even close. But when contrasted with the previous lot it looks good. And he has had to do it in the face of a monolithic “just say no” policy from the GOP.

In 1980 Ronald Reagan famously asked the American voter if he was better off than he had been four years earlier. Asked today, the answer would be “yes”.

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Paul Krugman Is Not in the 1%.

April 16, 2014

Paul Krugman, columnist for the New York Times, and Nobel prize winning economist, no doubt makes a tidy living. He now has a position with the Luxembourg Income Study Center at CUNY – which studies the cause and effect of income inequality. When people on the right discovered that he was being paid $225,000 for 9 [...]

Read the full article →

Creationism – Even Wearing its ID Frock – Isn’t Science.

April 13, 2014

Christian creationists have their explanation of man’s origin. Other religions’ creationists have theirs. They will never agree. Which points to the mystical rather than scientific basis of creationism. In an attempt to give their “theory” a scientific veneer modern-day creationists would pull the wool over our eyes with the introduction of a designer. Which is [...]

Read the full article →

Really? 4/12/14 – Comcast sponsors a Senate committee; Schools that don’t teach; The GOP’s cheap talk; More sex in LA; Spreading the wealth in college sports; Town names; Huckabee dribbles on his shirt.

April 12, 2014

How money free speech works in Congress. This week the Senate Judiciary Committee held its first hearing on the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger . Every single Senator on the Committee has taken money from Comcast. Move along – nothing to see here. If you are not sure what the answer is, just write “God”. Science test at a [...]

Read the full article →

The Fight Against Bigotry isn’t Bigotry.

April 10, 2014

Arizona’s Orwellian “Religious Freedom Restoration Law” was vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer. Brendan Eich, ex-Mozilla CEO, was forced to resign after the brouhaha over his $1,000 donation to an anti-gay marriage movement. Recent court decisions have repeatedly struck down states’ anti-gay law measures. So what is a poor bigot to do? Answer: Accuse the object [...]

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“Molon Labe” – A Celebration of Statism.

April 8, 2014

“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few engage in it.” ― Henry Ford. There is a well-intentioned (I will give them the benefit of the doubt) naive, and misguided belief among the gun-nut, 2nd amendment  absolutists that guns will ensure their freedoms. So be it. But they want to have [...]

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Alice Down the Rabbit-hole of Illegal Immigration

April 7, 2014

It is common wisdom that the Democrats are the party for Hispanics, because liberals have more welcoming views on immigration and a greater support for a “path to citizenship”. On the flip side, the Tea Party GOP has alienated Hispanics by throwing cold water on the Dreamers and with rhetoric that demands the total removal [...]

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A Democratic Playbook for the 2014 Mid-terms.

April 6, 2014

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”  ― Winston Churchill The conventional wisdom is that the Democrats have a 60% chance of losing control of the Senate (h/t Nate Silver) and 0% chance of retaking the house. The further conventional wisdom is that Democrats’ only road to [...]

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Charles Koch Feels Sorry for Himself.

April 3, 2014

Charles Koch has been so beset by the forces of collectivism and an out-of-control government that he was moved to defend himself in a “woe-is-me” letter of self-justification to the Wall Street Journal. In it he portrays himself as a modern day St George, manfully donning his armor to slay the dragon of collectivism. He has [...]

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