How Is This Possible?

I don’t understand:

Factory jobs disappeared. Inflation soared. Unemployment climbed to alarming levels. The hungry lined up at soup kitchens.

It wasn’t the Great Depression. It was the 1981-82 recession, widely considered America’s worst since the depression.

That painful time during Ronald Reagan’s presidency is a grim marker of how bad things can get. Yet the current recession could slice deeper into the U.S. economy.

If it lasts into April — as it almost surely will — this one will go on record as the longest in the postwar era. The 1981-82 and 1973-75 recessions each lasted 16 months.

Unemployment hasn’t reached 1982 levels and the gross domestic product hasn’t fallen quite as far. But the hurt from this recession is spread more widely and uncertainty about the country’s economic health is worse today than it was in 1982.

I don’t get it. The Republicans and some in the media are calling this the Obama recession and the Obama bear market and the Obama economy, but this says it will be the longest recession on record. Yet Obama has only been President for a few weeks. The math just doesn’t seem to work.

Sometimes I think the media and the Republicans are just making shit up.

On a serious note, the last few years have been really eye opening for me. I was never one of the Republicans who thought the media was liberally biased. I always felt they were just lazy and superficial (and MoDo is a fine example) and on issues outside their safety zone (faith and religion, for example), and they just were not equipped to discuss them. However, it becomes more and more clear every day that the media is not biased towards liberal or conservatives, but rather, it is simply in the business of defending the status quo for the wealthier members of society. The reason social conservatives and progressives both hate the media is because they really don’t care about either group or their issues. This is about protecting the amassed wealth of the few.

The past couple of weeks we have faced nothing but story after story about how the market (translation, the folks who created this mess) are nervous about the Obama plans, when no one will admit that the “markets” will only react positively to bail out after bail out with no pain for the people at fault. The same people who created this mess are now bitching about the attempts to fix it, and upset because it might not continue to reward them. The MSM is providing no critical analysis but serves merely as a platform for people kvetching about reverting to the tax rates that were in place just a few years ago. The fact that the same people whose buddies are receiving trillions in taxpayer dollars to fix their mistakes are allowed to go on television and chant socialism is mind-numbing.

It really is breathtaking (especially since most families in the country just got a tax cut from the Obama administration). Can anyone give me any reason why Jim Cramer is asked for advice on anything, let alone given a broad forum to savage the attempts to fix the mess he helped to create?

***

[poll id = 8]

Pick up to three.

130 replies
  1. 1
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Obama is responsible for this recession the same way that obstetricians are responsible for babies.

  2. 2
    MattF says:

    There is also "expert bias", i.e., the assumption that the answer to your question is derivable from the expert’s current knowledge. Because if it isn’t, you may as well ask anyone.

  3. 3
    Josh Hueco says:

    I know I’ve said it before, but don’t these kvetchers understand that there are PLENTY of people who’d love to have the ‘problem’ of paying an additional 3 cents on every dollar of adjusted, post-deduction income over $250K? I do understand the resistance by those who are self-employed, because at least they’re out there doing it for themselves (probably because I myself was a self-employed delivery contractor for a few years). But our media sock puppets and Wall Street bandits have plenty of nerve complaining.

  4. 4
    Kirk Spencer says:

    Yep. There’s a group (I refuse to link it) that is claiming 14% of small businesses either have or will close their doors for fear of Obama’s policies and their effects on the economy.

    nvm that we can’t get decent stats on small businesses, much less why they close their doors. nvm that even the half-way stats say that 1/3 of small businesses close their doors even when times are good. nvm the braincell check – if a business is profitable, why close the doors? Nope,

    It’s All Obama’s Fault (IAOF).

  5. 5
    mr. whipple says:

    Isn’t it amazing. Obama gave 95% of people a tax cut(wife and i got our first checks that included the cut..an extra $80. thanks, Obama!), yet 100% of the discussion is on the 5% whose taxes will be raised 4% in two years.

    Unfreakingbelievable.

  6. 6
    Riggsveda says:

    And I don’t recall Reagan being blamed for the recession in the 80s, nor the Republicans that preceded him for 9 years. Carter spent 4 short years in office and bam! it was ALL his fault, even though I remember personally receiving a $50 WIN rebate from Gerald Ford in the dark days of a 1975 Michigan winter as a token stab at the snarling inflationary/unemployment spiral.

  7. 7
    John O says:

    John, Al Franken made the same point about the media several years ago in "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them."

    A very funny bit about why journalists lean left on social issues, and right on economic ones. And of course, he used some actual data to back it up.

  8. 8
    jcricket says:

    I think what John is describing is why Josh Marshall says the DC press are "wired" for Republican administration/rule. However, I’ve seen some mildly encouraging signs the media is starting to get it. There’s Karen Timulty’s cover story in Time (even people with insurance are probably one serious health crisis away from massive debt/bankruptcy). There’s this story about having "perspective" on government debt (not really that big, and a good thing right now). There was a story a couple of days ago about how both parties love big government (just different programs).

    Those are all examples of pretty good reporting on issues average people care about and how average people would be affected.

    Democrats need to step up their game about 1000% though, if they want to get healthcare and energy reform through. They’ll need to work the press to counteract 30 years of Republican "liberal bias" ref-gaming and the press’ general trend of he-said/she-said faux objectivity.

  9. 9
    El Cid says:

    Exactly. Carter was at fault for the 81-82 recession, and liberals in general were at fault for the Reagan tax increases every year 83-88, and the Reagan tax reform of 1986 which was the largest ever tax hike on corporations and the biggest ever closing of loopholes. It was also liberals’ fault when Reagan initiated the biggest round of unfunded spending ever in U.S. history.

    Thus Obama is at fault for the fact that 7 weeks into his administration, he singlehandedly and retroactively destroyed the economy.

    In the same way, Bill Clinton was responsible for 9/11/2001 which happened 8 months into George W. Bush Jr’s Preznitzy, whereas the crashing economy was all the doing of Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Chuck Schumer, and Harry Reid.

  10. 10
    JL says:

    Please vote on John’s poll above. Right now I am one of two votes and I sure am not worried about paying more taxes.

  11. 11
    Unabogie says:

    I suppose this is why President Obama is touting the 25 police recruits who were put back on the job, and will be placing that logo on all of the stimulus projects so people see them in their towns.

    That way, in six months, when the same reporters ask why stocks haven’t rebounded (something everyone say won’t happen until 2010) he can say (channeling Barack):

    Now…now..look. This problem can’t be only measured by Wall Street. It also must be measured by Main Street. People can look around and see the progress in their neighborhoods. Those are the measures that have been ignored in Washington for far too long…

    And people will see the truth in that.

    Long range thinking, folks.

  12. 12
    The Moar You Know says:

    it becomes more and more clear that the media is not biased towards liberal or conservatives, but rather, it is simply in the business of defending the status quo for the wealthier members of society.

    This is self-evidently true. However, accusations of a biased media have a purpose. A couple of decades ago, before I was really aware of anything political, some evil genius came up with the slanderous term "liberal media". That slander has been effective beyond the wildest dreams of its creator – once you establish the idea of the media as a propaganda distribution machine and not a distributor of reasonably factual information, it becomes very easy to dismiss news containing inconvenient facts (climate change, infrastructure decay, falling scholastic test scores, high American infant mortality, civilian Iraqi deaths, etc) as "biased".

    This achieves two goals – one, it undermines facts that the ruling class would rather the public either not know or dismiss out of hand, and two, it legitimizes the creation of a propaganda channel to "counteract the liberal media" as a balancing meachanism rather than what is actually is – a propaganda channel.

    Pravda didn’t have anything on Fox News. Or CNN. Or NBC.

  13. 13
    Fulcanelli says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Chock full of WIN.

  14. 14
    JL says:

    @Unabogie: Unfortunately, some have poor memories and the MSM sure won’t remind them.

  15. 15
    The Other Steve says:

    but it becomes more and more clear that the media is not biased towards liberal or conservatives, but rather, it is simply in the business of defending the status quo for the wealthier members of society.

    And there you go. Now you’ve come full circle. You finally understand.

    So why do Republicans claim the media is liberal, if the media is benefacting their wealthy donors so much?

  16. 16
    Unabogie says:

    @JL:

    Yeah, but when they ask the question (and we all know they will), Obama will say just what I’ve said. The reporter will find the answer wholly unsatisfying, while the public will love it.

    I could be wrong, but this is the pattern I’ve seen for the last 2 years.

  17. 17
    Fulcanelli says:

    @The Moar You Know: Thus proving the influence of a Jack Welch come-to-Jesus horse-whipping starting with first Russert, then Tweety and now Hairdo Gregory. Tools of the wealthy, all of them. Don’t bite the hand, ad nauseum… Which is how Gregory went from being a fly in the ointment during BushCo press conferences to right-leaning fluffer on MTP.

  18. 18
    Polish the Guillotines says:

    As more stuff like this starts happening, it’s going to be harder and harder for the media to ignore what’s really going on.

    And lest we forget, cable news was running 24/7 Natalie Holloway coverage right up to the minute Katrina hit the Gulf Coast.

    It was Chandra Levy 24/7 until the WTC was attacked on 9/11.

    Octomom, anyone?

    Rhandi Rhodes is right: "The news has been cancelled."

  19. 19
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Which is how Gregory went from being a fly in the ointment during BushCo press conferences to right-leaning fluffer on MTP.

    Those houses for August on the Vineyard don’t rent themselves, boys.

  20. 20
    Polish the Guillotines says:

    Moderated?? Wha??

  21. 21
    Polish the Guillotines says:

    Moderated on account of I screwed up my email address.

  22. 22
    John O says:

    This isn’t rocket science. Our media is almost entirely owned by 5 megaconglomerate corporations, who have one goal: Make money.

    Make your talking heads rich, and the discussion will naturally lean in your direction.

    It sure is going to be interesting to see how this all plays out. I would be tough to convince we won’t reach the point of some seriously angry, poor, sick people running amok to the point of violence.

    I simply don’t believe our media or politicians have the capacity to get us out of this mess cleanly. The train is off the tracks, and it’s big and heavy and the path is very sharply downhill.

  23. 23
    realbtl says:

    No one could have predicted that if a handful of huge corporations gained control of virtually all of the media they would use that power to further their own goals.

  24. 24
    Conrads Ghost says:

    "we have faced nothing but story after story about how the market (translation, the folks who created this mess) are nervous about the Obama plans, when no one will admit that the “markets” will only react positively to bail out after bail out with no pain for the people at fault. The same people who created this mess are now bitching about the attempts to fix it, and upset because it might not continue to reward them."

    Sweet rant, Mr. Cole. Keep it up; this is the kind of rhetoric we need to put the Santelli’s back in the dunce corner where they belong. Or jail. Wherever. These guys, this tiny, very privileged and entitled segment of society have turned as a group into screeching little money whores, without even the measured class of their predecessors. Better the pathetic squeaking weasels we have now than the treasonous fascists who spawned them, I guess.

  25. 25
    ricky says:

    There are so many concerns not listed in your poll:

    A) Having to hire English speaking domestic help and thus understanding their gripes.

    B) Being reminded when economic statistics come out that not all the efforts to mythologize Reagan’s golden era can mask slightly unpleasant facts about the mid eighties.

    C) Uncertainty over whether the end of the death tax will apply to those in prison for economic crimes.

    I could go on but the Ecuadorian "hedge managers" have knocked over the potted plants and it is clogging a fountain in front. What will the neighbors think?

  26. 26
    Tecumseh says:

    A belated welcome to the side of the Truth and the Light, John. Keep up the good work.

  27. 27
    Will says:

    Look John, it’s McGriff, the Crime Dog! "Hey, John, help me bite crime, ruff, ruff!"

  28. 28
    Ned R. says:

    The reason social conservatives and progressives both hate the media is because they really don’t care about either group or their issues. This is about protecting the amassed wealth of the few.

    Already singled out by a few folks as the key, of course. And it’s quite true.

    I’m reminded, obliquely, of what I always felt was a cogent observation — Chuck Eddy, one of my writing heroes (and like John, an army vet stationed in Germany, in this case back in the mid-eighties) said once in an explanation of why he didn’t like Iron Maiden even though he loved heavy metal was because, to paraphrase, they were the kind of people who worshipped power because they never fully understood they would never have any themselves. Now I love Maiden so I’ll differ with Chuck there but the point is apt — when you consider all those figures both in the mainstream media and with regular access to it — think NRO writers and editors, for instance, but obviously not just them — I think you have that principle fully illustrated.

  29. 29
    Jackie says:

    Thanks for this post, John. I had the exact same epiphany this week. I honestly could not figure out why the media seemed so obsessed with that tax hike for the 250,000+ 5%. Until I realized, the media is that 250,000+ 5%.

    I think maybe there’s something to, back in the day, journalists and reporters were largely middle-class people who earned a middle-class wage and whose job depended upon them investigating and reporting the news in a way that seemed relevant to their largely middle-class audience.

    Now, journalists and reporters on the tv are more financially aligned with their conglomerate employers and so that has become their audience. The rest of us just read our news on the Web.

    I think Obama’s election demonstrated a cultural re-alignment. I hope people’s dawning realization that the tv media (the cable pundits, anyway) no longer speaks for them leads also to a media realignment. One can hope, anyway.

  30. 30
    DougJ says:

    Some of it is laziness and superficiality. Some of it is identification with other wealthy people. Some of it is that the national media system rewards mediocrity.

    In any case, it’s pretty likely that we’re fucked.

  31. 31
  32. 32
    Just Me says:

    No one could have predicted that if a handful of huge corporations gained control of virtually all of the media they would use that power to further their own goals.

    Except for a mass media instructor I had in a little community college 20 years ago…

    I was channel-flipping yesterday and stopped a moment at CNN, which I haven’t watched much lately. They were, with a straight face, wondering why Obama’s stimulus plan hadn’t turned the country around yet.

    The expectation of instant gratification run amok…

  33. 33
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    The claim that small businesses will go under because of Obama’s policies needs preemptive refutation but, that’s not going to happen because it spoils the meme. Small businesses (And large ones: today is Circuit City’s last day after fifty years) will be shuttered because of a decline in demand for their goods and services. Even in normal times half of small businesses fail in their first year. Nonetheless, the Republicans and their enablers will be awash with charts and graphs "proving" that the failure of businesses is all Obama’s fault.

  34. 34
    Elie says:

    –Ah timing is everything…

    Obama inherited this depression too fast. Roosevelt had the advantage of three years of deep suffering first, which knocked the BS out of much of the openents to change. Also then, the Republicans were still more or less literate and interested in what happened to this country — unlike these for whom teh stupid really understates it. I’m not sure these clowns would get it in 6 years of suffering..

    We are in a world of hurt tis true and the old barons of this now destroyed system are stamping their little bound, scented feet to have everything fixed by lunchtime so that they can go back to their opium pipes.

    Hard, hard lessons ahead — some necessary but still are going to hurt bad. We have no means for true information sharing. Watched the ABC trash with Stephanapoulos — what a waste of time! He never asks any question of substance about anything. They are ping pong matches to set up cute little arguments for the (whose?) entertainment. How do we turn this shit on its head and clean it out? How can we change fundamental, necessary institutions without a means to communicate real facts and information, not just fantasy talk? I actually think this is more important than the financial crisis because its the failure of the media and communication of facts, ANALYSIS and information (along with an ignorant and docile population) that set up the financial melt down.

    We are going to get to the crux sometime in the next 6 months. Hold onto your hats…something will have to be done — not just patiently played — Obama is running out of time and so are we.

  35. 35
    Mako says:

    Stop watching that crap on tv already. The tv is for movies/entertainment not news.
    If you want to get news from tv watch comedy central.

    Your poll does not include hyperinflation.
    Add that and I’ll vote.

  36. 36
    Dave_No_Longer_Laughing says:

    I don’t get it. The Republicans and some in the media are calling this the Obama recession and the Obama bear market and the Obama economy, but this says it will be the longest recession on record. Yet Obama has only been President for a few weeks. The math just doesn’t seem to work.

    Sometimes I think the media and the Republicans are just making shit up.

    Just like the media and Dems make stuff up when it’s convenient. Media is about making a profit off of controversy, and that we all know.

    Although, which media outlet is calling the current economic situation the "Obama [economic situation]"? Or I should ask, which media outlets that matter (NY Times, Washington Post, and maybe one or two others) are saying this?

    It’s intellectually dishonest to credit Obama with this present economy as he most certainly did inherit it from W. And the Republican party has seen a dearth of intellectuals since 2005. So it’s to be expected.

  37. 37
    David says:

    Kill your tv before it kills you.

  38. 38
    Elie says:

    Mako at #35

    My point was not about myself. I know how to get information. Not sure the majority of Americans do so this crap does shape their opinions. Telling them to stop watching tv is not likely to happen. Got some better idea that is actually likely to succeed?

    Elitist proscriptions about tv watching do not help fix a real problem — just keeps it shitty for a large number of people who don’t know better or can’t do better. We don’t even have internet with pcs available that you can go in and for a small "rental" fee use like they have commonly in Europe and all over the world. We only let you have access if you already HAVE a computer…

    Real solutions please and less judging

  39. 39
    Josh Hueco says:

    There are many reasons I don’t have a TV. I truly hope the awakening of citizen consciousness that some on this thread have predicted or claim that is happening now does come to pass. I have no children but I do have a niece and a nephew, and I worry about what world they’ll inherit if things don’t change…if WE don’t change.

  40. 40
    4jkb4ia says:

    Bob Herbert destroyed the entire way of thinking being critiqued very impressively.

    You think John didn’t know this was coming?

    Meanwhile, I had pipe dreams of something called the NIT, but SLU has to play LaSalle again on Wednesday.

  41. 41
    colleeniem says:

    It’s not just the t.v. though, and it’s not only the right wing. They all have to make money, and they do it in the most vapid way possible.
    This week, I could have had the opportunity, being in the military, being in D.C., and being female, to meet the First Lady at a reception she was giving at the Women’s Military Memorial at Arlington. I didn’t get chosen to represent, but I was eagerly awaiting some stories about what she said and what they talked about.
    I know that the audience is limited for that kind of story, but most people follow the first lady because she is fascinating. Also it’s just a good angle of the support the troops trope that people usually eat up when mentioned by republicans.
    AP and Washington Post had a perfunctory mention of the event. I found one story on Huffington post about this. It was under the headline "What do you think of Obama’s layered outfit?"
    There was no corresponding story in the NY Times.
    WTF.

  42. 42
    Mako says:

    @Elie:
    Hey no worries, I agree with everything you say, we are smart and we can’t keep the dumb from being dumb. And actually, I wasn’t even talking about you, I was just generally ranting. Frikkin americans always think everything is about them.

    More importantly, I believe Cole’s poll doesn’t go nearly far enough, simply because most Americans are still in denial, believing things will pick up in a couple of years. Very few Americans are still alive who live thru the Depression and no Americans alive have lived thru a hyperinflation. I’m arguing we are an the cusp of both.

    You want my advice, stockpile some food and shoes, its gonna get ugly.

  43. 43
    Max says:

    I generally enjoy taking part in online polls, but I can’t vote in this one. I don’t have a house, or a job, or health care, or a retirement portfolio.

    I guess I should feel lucky that I don’t have any debt either.

  44. 44

    Reagan’s error was expanding free trade because $25/hr labor cannot compete with $0.37/hr labor. But he was correct in tightening the money supply to choke inflation and starve government. This was unpopular, but worked.

    Barack’s answer is to print money and give it to government agencies, banks, and

  45. 45
    Jim says:

    John, you have written some really impressive stuff lately, this being among the best. If one reads both liberal and wingnut blogs you see a real disconnect – while both hate the media, they are convinced it favors the other side. They are both right for their hate, but misplaced in their reasons why. The media is in love, but with themselves and their perceived position as the ones that know it all. Lazy callow media is a real danger and one that is fostered by the rich pukes who are determined to stay rich pukes to the detriment of the vast majority of Americans.

  46. 46

    I am not sure what happened there. It looked good on Preview.

    Reagan’s error was expanding free trade. $25/hr labor cannot compete with $0.37/hr labor. But he was correct in tightening the money supply to choke inflation and starve government. This was unpopular, but worked.

    Barack’s answer is to print money and give it to government agencies, banks, and

  47. 47
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    @colleeniem:
    Thank you for your service!
    Maybe if Obama had been married to a zoned-out ex librarian the coverage would have been different – although I kind of fucking doubt it.

  48. 48
  49. 49

    …and less than $2/day to working families. This will cause inflation, 56% for the year, if he stops spending money now, which he won’t.

    The banks get most of the money. I believe that this is because Barack is compromised, and being extorted.

  50. 50
    o kanis says:

    Reagan (Volcker) raised the discount rate from 7 to 14% and passed a huge tax cut. Pushed the gas and the brake at the same time. No supply side effect (huge deficit), but a massive recession due to raised interest rate, which cut the inflation rate but raised the deficit.

    In late 1982, increased taxes and dropped interest rates. The Reagan myth lingers though, with economic cretins.

    As for Cramer, see…

    Lessons from Cramer how he manipulates the market.

    http://tinyurl.com/59jnwb

    Cramer and the naked shorting Wall Street crooks.

    http://tinyurl.com/5kk6vo

  51. 51
    Pennypacker says:

    John, you’re sounding more like a marxist all the time.

  52. 52
    PeakVT says:

    But he was correct in tightening the money supply to choke inflation and starve government. This was unpopular, but worked.

    That would be a great point except 1) the president doesn’t control the money supply (or interest rates), and 2) the federal government in 1988 was about the same size relative to the economy as it was in 1981. Reagan didn’t cut taxes, he put them off into the future.

  53. 53
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @Elie:

    Obama inherited this depression too fast.

    The sudden severe drop yes, but people had been telling pollsters for several years they were not happy with the economy, despite the high GDP and corporate earnings. In one result of the new Newsweek poll, when people were asked how long would it take for the economy to recovery the answer was a long time.

    less than one year 12%
    one to two years 54%
    3 to 5 years 23%
    more that 6 years 8%.

    In spite of all the wingnut wailing and hoping to pin the bad economy on Obama, the public gets it that things are pretty screwed up and it will take awhile to fix. That said, I also believe in spite of the small daily number of people who watch Cable teevee, that over time it has an effect on peoples opinion. And non stop and un-rebuffed wingnut wanking on the Obama recession or depression meme will shorten the time frame in the poll. So far, Obama is doing ok in using the bully pulpit to add doses of reality to counter the wanking.

  54. 54
  55. 55
    Tonal Crow says:

    However, it becomes more and more clear every day that the media is not biased towards liberal or conservatives, but rather, it is simply in the business of defending the status quo for the wealthier members of society.

    I think it’s glaringly obvious that the media are both biased toward cons, *and* are in the bidness of defending the very wealthy. No matter which MSM outlet you look at, its reporting implicitly accepts most of the cons’ talking points. For just one example, compare the amount of discussion the MSM gave to the idea that the stimulus package was "too large" versus the amount it gave to the much-more-credible idea that it was too small.

  56. 56

    […] in Daily life, GOP, Government, Obama administration at 10:21 am by LeisureGuy John Cole has an excellent post: I don’t understand: Factory jobs disappeared. Inflation soared. Unemployment climbed to alarming […]

  57. 57

    I stand corrected PeakVT; Reagan/Volker tightened the money supply. Obama/Geithner are opening up the spigots.

    Reagan checked the growth of government. Obama believes government can solve our problems. I wish that the President could have had the opportunity to work with the man with two desks, and the ladies who manage him, during his professional development.

  58. 58
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    …and less than $2/day to working families. This will cause inflation, 56% for the year….

    BOB, your trolling is really falling off. 56%?

  59. 59

    We’re on the cusp of a depression AND hyperinflation?

    Um…ok.

    You’ll have to excuse me. I’m off to simultaneously drown and burst into flame.

  60. 60

    Reagan/Volker tightened the money supply. Obama/Geithner are opening up the spigots

    Reagan came into office during a period of high inflation, and was compelled to send the country into a recession by tightening the money supply in order to bring inflation down. Once it was down, he opened up the spigots to get us out of the recession.

    Obama came into office in the midst of a deep recession, with extremely low inflation.

  61. 61

    […] Cole in How Is This Possible? I don’t get it. The Republicans and some in the media are calling this the Obama recession and […]

  62. 62
    Elie says:

    Colleniem at 41 — I agree — but what do we do to fix it?

    You and I are not trapped by tv — we need a liberated civic minded population instead of brain adled consumers who are being prevented from consuming – not citizens.

    I am not completely without hope. I think that there is a stirring of the need for becoming citizens again, taking our lumps but stepping up to responsibility.

    We have to move this communication and access to real nformation and analysis issue forward. People need access to free internet or to be able to "rent" internet access (as I said in my post above at #38) as they can in some of the poorest areas of countries such as Turkey and Croatia, much less the major European countries. No such thing in the US. Not only do you have to have a computer for public wi-FI access, you have to have a wireless enabled lap top

  63. 63
    JL says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: Paul Volcker was in charge of monetary policy until Reagan replaced him with Greenspan.

  64. 64
    Mako says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:
    Reagan’s error was sweet-talking everyone into believing in that ‘invisible hand’ of the marketplace bullshit. Anyone who still believes that should go make themselves a peanut-butter sandwich and check their 401k.

  65. 65
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    I believe that this is because Barack is compromised, and being extorted.

    OBL must be threatening to release the video showing he and Obama smoking crack and getting blowjobs from unemployed mooslim dwarves. Outsourcing blowjobs would look bad in our sour economy.

  66. 66
    Mako says:

    @Comrade Stuck:
    51% of registered voters voted against their best interests twice in electing GW Bush. Fuck polls. We already agreed most people are too stupid to not get their news from the tv.

  67. 67
    Orlando says:

    At the end of the day, they aren’t hurting so why should BIG government care? "Let them eat cake" THe common amn is hurting….

  68. 68
    Tonal Crow says:

    The reason social conservatives and progressives both hate the media is because they really don’t care about either group or their issues.

    Social cons hate the media because the media aren’t sufficiently-biased in their favor, and because hating the media is a rhetorical strategy to force the media to become more biased. Thus, e.g., the ubiquitous accusations of "liberal media". Progressives hate the media because they largely ignore us, and when they don’t ignore us, they caricature us.

  69. 69
    Martin says:

    Reagan checked the growth of government.

    And Bill proves the rule. So long as the media keep saying it, the average Joe will keep buying it, no need to actually check facts…

  70. 70
    Elie says:

    42 Mako — I’m good —

    Agree with you that it is going to get ugly but really, really mourn that…even as I know its true. We are stocking up and have a big big garden and live in semi rural area with good access locally to most things. Have even thought absentmindedly about how to turn our garage into a chicken coup…

    Lots of people out here also have guns — unfortunately
    (I live in western NW WA State).

  71. 71

    M3 stopped being tracked in 2006, when the circulating money was $10 trillion. Recently, between loan guarantees, printing presses, and discount window loans, we have created $13 trillion more to the best that I can tell.

    Raising M3 from $10 trillion to $23 trillion equates to a 56% inflation rate. This is an oversimplistic analysis, but I nailed the housing cycle. I was a year ahead of Roubini.

    We are currently in the deflationary phase, this I know because I track the Pizza Price Index, which has fallen from $1.57 on 29JAN to $1.45 on 02MAR, or a 8.3% rate of deflation, but this is because people are putting less cheese on their macaroni. Once that $13 trillion works itself into the system however, there will be no stopping it.

    At this point, the costs of grains, tomatoes, pepperoni, as well as cheese, will rise at a high rate of inflation. This is when people will get angry.

  72. 72
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @Mako:

    I agree that voters have been stupid, especially regarding GWB, but nothing concentrates the mind like the thought of having an empty pot. They done better the past two elections, because they started paying attention imo. They will continue so until things get better and will again be stupid and vulnerable to GOP bullshit. Not as much now though.

  73. 73
    Mako says:

    @joe from Lowell:
    Okay joe, here’s how its gonna go, several years of serious deflation, and then the money printing is gonna kick in.
    I know you are joe, from lowell, you never saw depression or hyperinflation, cuz you have always been an american and this sort of thing doesn’t happen in america, but , well… hey get back to me in five to seven years. If I’m wrong, I’ll give you a pair of shoes.

  74. 74
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:
    Where in the world did you get that number? I just looked at U.S. inflation data back to 1914 and the highest annual inflation rate was 17.8%. That was in 1917 (Monthly inflation during that year actually went over 20% at times).

  75. 75
    chrome agnomen says:

    Why does john cole hate america?

  76. 76
    Elie says:

    Comrade Stuck

    "So far, Obama is doing ok in using the bully pulpit to add doses of reality to counter the wanking."

    Agree but I am less concerned with that in some ways than how the public informs itself if things get really rough…the noise machine would make things even worse but citizens would have to get their real information from somewhere. Though us "haves" communication wise can spread the word, how should we develop networks to disseminate information quickly". If our country fragments into little pockets controlled by local interests, we are going to be in deep deep darkness in many places…

    Sorry — don’t want to get too dark or paranoid, but I am seeing us at a nexus of great change and/or catastrophe with many variables in play — but the ability to communicate with each other quickly and with real information is critical to our survival…

  77. 77

    […] down and check out the quiz. Spotlight Financial Crisis, pseudo […]

  78. 78
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:
    OK, that’s better trollin’, but still not up to your best. I really like the part about the pizza index, and especially the nonsense "math".

  79. 79
    dslak says:

    Where in the world did you get that number?

    You don’t really want to know which orifice BoB pulls his numbers out of.

  80. 80
    Mako says:

    @Elie:
    Hey you should get some chickens, easy to raise and free eggs.
    And they won’t lay around on your sofa shedding hair and attitude.

  81. 81
    PeakVT says:

    I stand corrected PeakVT

    If you defined being wrong again as correct. Volker, acting as the Chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, raised interest rates after Carter appointed him to that independent body. The size of the federal government has remained roughly the same since the 1960s, as can be seen by plotting federal spending as a percentage of GDP. The current flood of money started under last year under Bernanke who, at the risk of repeating myself repeatedly, as the Fed Chair, is the one who controls the money supply. Oh, and he was appointed by Bush.

    Data here.

  82. 82
    Calouste says:

    What happened to the media is a straight adaption from the neocon’s favorite book. No, not the Bible, not Atlas Shrugged, 1984.

    In 1984, Winston Smith is told by his interrogators how they have improved the on the conversion of dissidents since earlier time. The Spanish Inquisition, they say, burnt heretics at the stake but would still allow to preach their heresy even while they were burning. The Soviets during the Stalinist show-trials of the 1930s would force dissidents to renounce their previous ideas in public before they were executed. But as the confessions were forced, they didn’t appear genuine and didn’t have the desired effect. But in 1984’s Oceania, dissidents are brainwashed to completely believe that they were wrong, and only then executed.

    And something similar has happened to the media. First the rich bought the media, but the journalists were still saying whatever they wanted. Then the media owners forced the journalists to say the things they wanted them, but it wasn’t too convincing. And then the media owners saw the light, and realized that to have a convincing defense of the rich in the media, the only thing they needed to do was make the journalists rich as well. So the journalists got million dollar salaries and stocks and golf trips, and they started defending tax cuts for the rich as if it affected themselves, because it did affect themselves.

  83. 83
    jenniebee says:

    Well, yeah. It’s been obvious for ages that progressives and SoCons were joined at the populist hip. That’s why so much effort has been put into keeping both sides frothed on the issues (gay flag-burning abortions) that keeps us from forming a coalition in opposition to the monied interests that the economic elite media is in the business of defending.

  84. 84
    Mako says:

    @Comrade Stuck:
    Dreamer. You underestimate the stupid. We are doomed, there’s billions more of us than the last Great Depression and the fundamentals of this one are worse, its gonna get ugly, and no amount of hippy wind-whispering is gonna help. But if it makes you feel better-
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlk9Sj4Ns2k

  85. 85
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @Elie:

    Sorry—don’t want to get too dark or paranoid, but I am seeing us at a nexus of great change and/or catastrophe with many variables in play—but the ability to communicate with each other quickly and with real information is critical to our survival…

    I don’t discount dystopian possibilities in this country, and we are in transformational times right now, that’s for sure, but still some distance from total disaster, I think. We have always had two prevailing viewpoints in this country, in many ways diametrically opposed regarding social and governing principles. One has been historically anchored in the South with the rest of the country more in line with staying together despite differences. If catastrophe does occur, I suspect people of two minds will go off to their historic safe regions and we will take it from there.

    Try an not worry about the worst. If that’s what happens, cable news nuttery will not have caused it and will be the least of our worries. Other types of technology will help us communicate with those we agree with, I suspect. And if not, there is always the Pony Express.:)

  86. 86
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @Mako:

    hippy wind-whispering

    Like my momma used to say, you get further with some hippy wind-whispering and a gun, than just the HWW. My bunker has both in the High Desert.

  87. 87
    Dan says:

    Perhaps I’m biased, being a recent graduate of divinity school, but I think the media is exceptionally lazy and utterly superficial when it comes to faith and religion.

  88. 88
    Mako says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:
    Don’t forget the SDR valuation vs the yen, that shit is sick.
    Industrial production fell in the latest three months by 3.6% and 4.4% respectively in America and Britain.
    It now costs $0, not counting fuel and handling to ship a container from southern China to Europe. Back in the summer of 2007 it was $1,400.
    Germany’s machine-tool orders were 40% lower than last year. Half of China’s 9,000 or so toy exporters have gone bust. Taiwan’s shipments of notebook computers fell by a third in the month of January. The number of cars being assembled in America was 60% below January 2008.

    Macaroni and cheese prices have, however, remained relatively stable.

  89. 89
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @joe from Lowell, before you ignite that h20, try out the way it’s stated on CR: inflation for the things you need to live, deflation for the things you can’t afford.

  90. 90
    Andrei says:

    So now that you are starting to realize a lot of things… I wonder. Have you gone back into your archives and read the crap from Stormy70 and Rick from back then, and if so, can you now see why so many of on your comments board were so infuriated with them (and by proxy, you as well) so often?

  91. 91
    Rick Taylor says:

    I don’t get it. The Republicans and some in the media are calling this the Obama recession and the Obama bear market and the Obama economy, but this says it will be the longest recession on record. Yet Obama has only been President for a few weeks. The math just doesn’t seem to work.

    I’m not even surprised. Of course the Republicans would make this argument; they have no choice. What are they going to say, this is all the result of the previous administration? And of course the media is going to go along with them, at least to some extent. They always do.

    The same people who created this mess are now bitching about the attempts to fix it, and upset because it might not continue to reward them. The MSM is providing no critical analysis but serves merely as a platform for people kvetching about reverting to the tax rates that were in place just a few years ago. The fact that the same people whose buddies are receiving trillions in taxpayer dollars to fix their mistakes are allowed to go on television and chant socialism is mind-numbing.

    And they do all this will shouting your playing class warfare if you point any of it out. Yep.

  92. 92
    dsc says:

    you didn’t include

    "lost my job already, worried about losing everything else"

    my husband (part owner of one of those all-important "small businesses") hasn’t been able to make a full payroll since the first of the year. I have earned a pittance during the same period.

    We’re making the minimums on everything (our small "rainy day" fund is gone), only two more payments on his car (I’m driving a 1989 CRX, looks like hell but gets 40mpg), and our house payment is small comparatively.

    We have a small home in a very rural area; 1/2 acre garden, small orchard, access to lots of berries and produce, I’m putting in a chicken house this year. I cook, can, bake, gather, and preserve.

    I have a PhD and NOOOOOO job prospects. I have type 1 diabetes and NOOOOOO health insurance.

    And nearly everyone I know is holding his/her breath, waiting for the next bit of bad news.

    A false spring has arrived. My fruit trees are trying to bud out. A late freeze will rob us of fruit we will need. I’m not much one for metaphors, but….

    I love our new president; he has so much weight on his shoulders because he is aware of how afraid we all are, how bad it is going to get, and wonders if he will be able to convince, not just the Rethugs, but his own party how much pain and fear are out here.

    Hoping for hope.

  93. 93
    HRA says:

    Good post, John. You are absolutely right about Reagan.

    I worked for the state labor dept. unemployment services in those years. We started out with the majority claimants being steelworkers (2 plants shut down here) and automobile plant workers (they were downsized). It was unlike anything I had ever seen. The line was out on the sidewalk for at least a mile. They were followed by smaller companies hit by trade. I was a temp. It lasted from 1978 till the end of 1984.

    Yes, it even affected my paycheck, too and I curse Reagan to this day.

  94. 94
    Michael says:

    Interesting. There’s a diary on Kos that is talking about AIG overpayments to counterparties.

    The counterparties are a very short list, and Goldman Sachs is always on it. For those who don’t remember, Goldman was short selling CDOs which it packaged, and this occurred during the Paulson tenure there.

    The overpayments are occurring at 100 cents on the dollar, and they’re letting the counterparties keep the collateral – a definite win-win for them, as they have a current value anywhere from 20 to 60 cents on the dollar, and if they lay around for a while, could wind up in the good.

  95. 95
    Darius says:

    A few minutes ago, I turned on CNN. The very first thing I heard was some CNN anchor asking, "what does Obama need to do to regain the trust of Wall Street?".

    Click.

  96. 96
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    Michael @94,
    Interesting reading. I’m sure that Paulson, trusted public servant that he was, would never have used his office to knock off Goldman Sachs’ main competitor and line his pockets (And those of his friends) in the process.
    Link to the DKos Diary.

  97. 97

    re: header article.

    Reagan was elected in 1980. Democrats did blame Reagan for the bad economy in 1981.

    Obama was elected in 2008. Obama, likewise, should also be blamed for the bad economy in 2009, unless you are a hyp0critical partisan bigot applying a double standard.

  98. 98

    Okay joe, here’s how its gonna go, several years of serious deflation, and then the money printing is gonna kick in.

    If we have several years of serious deflation, inflation would be a good thing.

  99. 99

    re: mr. whipple:"Isn’t it amazing. Obama gave 95% of people a tax cut(wife and i got our first checks that included the cut..an extra $80. thanks, Obama!), "

    Did you thank Bush for his tax rebate checks?

  100. 100
    The Moar You Know says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: You need to stop smoking ground-up fiberglass as a marijuana substitute. It may be legal but it’s not doing your brains, such as they are, any good.

  101. 101
    Michael says:

    @dennis

    Interesting reading. I’m sure that Paulson, trusted public servant that he was, would never have used his office to knock off Goldman Sachs’ main competitor and line his pockets (And those of his friends) in the process.

    Oh, I think it was just a side opportunity that presented itself. They’re not smart enough to have a grandiose plot.

    The meeting back in the fall, where all the shouting occurred after congressional leaders from both parties were given the bad news? No doubt, there were questions about sliding out via bankruptcy, and Paulson mentioned the superlien granted to counterparties under the 2005 BK bill.

    At some point, Paulson reportedly got on his knees and begged. Its a real shame that nobody in the room punched him while he was on the ground.

  102. 102
    Ash Can says:

    @El Cid:

    liberals in general were at fault for the Reagan tax increases every year 83-88, and the Reagan tax reform of 1986 which was the largest ever tax hike on corporations and the biggest ever closing of loopholes. It was also liberals’ fault when Reagan initiated the biggest round of unfunded spending ever in U.S. history.

    Fo shizzle. During that time, day in and day out, Reagan blamed everything on the Democrats in the House and the Senate. Everything. It was (the Democrat-controlled) "Congress" who wouldn’t allow him to be as fiscally responsible as he wanted, it was "Congress" who forced him to run up the deficit, it was "Congress" who stood in the way of all Americans being happy and secure in their lives, jobs, and rainbow-pony ownership. What was actually happening was that the Congressional Dems were acting as the first, last, and only line of defense preventing the non-Reagan-voting groups (poor, minorities, children, women, cities, etc.) from getting completely fucked by Reagan’s efforts to make the world safer for robber barons.

  103. 103
    El Cid says:

    @Ash Can: It is my argument that that is what kept the conservative movement going — they were able to promise their base that their true ideas were never ever really allowed to be tried. The conservative movement built itself upon that argument since the 1960s populist / anti-Civil Rights reaction.

    And then, from 2002 – 2006, the hard reactionary right took over every single branch of the Federal government, rode it hard and slammed it in the barn still hungry, and their whole reason for being for the last 40 years fell apart.

    They had their chance. Their years in paradise. Absolute power, to restore the 1890s / 1920s / 1950s land of all their fantasies.

    And we all looked upon it, and lo, saw that it was sh*t, and we said, ‘OMG let us get the f*@%ing crazy people out of our government,’ and so we did.

  104. 104
    LosGatosCA says:

    Welcome to media reality. It has always been so – stenography. The national media is part of the establishment. I grew up reading Scotty Reston and then Hugh Sidey. Now it’s Woodward. Top 5 moments for the media:

    1. CNN

    Blitzer: You think it’s the media’s job to cover all the candidates fairly? (roughly)

    Wes Clark’s son: No, I think it’s the media’s job to sell advertising.

    2. Sports writers / Norm Van Brocklin during hospital stay

    Q: Norm, what are you in the hospital for?

    Norm: A brain transplant. But the good news is that I got it from a sportswriter. So it’s never been used before.

    3. Sportswriter in interviewing Sam Baker / Phillies kicker

    Q: Sam, blah, blah, blah.

    Baker: I notice you’re not taking notes. Do you misquote from memory?

    4. Colbert at DC Correspondents dinner

    5. Jon Stewart skewers CNBC

  105. 105
    Napoleon says:

    @adagioforstrings:

    Except of course the recession during Ronny Raygun’s admin. started well after he took office, whereas the current one predates Obama’s election by 11 months and his admin. by 13 months.

  106. 106
    srv says:

    Well John, I had sort of given up hope, but maybe you can be turned into a real progressive yet. Just remember, it’s as big a jump as it was from Wingnut to Democrat.

    It will all make sense when you realize that Obama was seen as someone more predictable and controllable by those who run the country and media. McCain was just too big of an ego to risk it.

  107. 107

    re: Napoleon:"Except of course the recession during Ronny Raygun’s admin. started well after he took office, whereas the current one predates Obama’s election by 11 months and his admin. by 13 months."

    During which time the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress in which Obama served.

  108. 108
    ksmiami says:

    BOB – like other posters have said here, you are totally off regarding inflation… we are entering a viciously cyclical period of deflation, which leads to more job losses and less confidence and unless government measures, up to and including firing the bastards who did this, turn it around it could be 7-10 years of lethargy… i.e. a lost decade.

  109. 109
    Glocksman says:

    I work with a guy who has swallowed the bullshit to the point that he believes the mere concept of the income tax is ‘immoral’ because it takes away the ‘fruits of a man’s labor’.

    If there has to be an income tax, he prefers a flat tax rate and sees a progressive income tax as ‘class warfare’.

    His preferred tax system would consist of sales taxes and tariffs.

    Did I mention that this guy works 2 jobs and makes about $50k/year?

    He’s truly willing to sacrifice so that John Thain can keep his money.

  110. 110
    Glocksman says:

    @adagioforstrings:

    Huh?

    Obama didn’t serve in the House at all and wasn’t elected US Senator until well after Reagan was out of office.

    If you’re trying to say that the Congress was just as irresponsible as Reagan, I agree.
    If you’re trying to somehow tie Obama to that era, you’re full of shit.

  111. 111
    Jennifer says:

    Here’s a thought: conservatism was soundly rejected in 2008, in both the legislative and executive branches of government. In response, conservatives have now resorted to battlefield language…not in an effort to rally the country, but to protect their political ideologies. The echo chamber hysteria is so over the top – ALREADY – that I can’t imagine where it goes from here. That said, the only possible scenarios are neither pretty nor productive.

    They scare me, frankly. They’re ready for Civil War.

  112. 112
    TenguPhule says:

    Obama, likewise, should also be blamed for the bad economy in 2009

    Except that it officially started in 2007 and its roots can be traced back over the last 8 years.

    Oops, dittoheaded again.

  113. 113
    El Cid says:

    @Jennifer:

    They scare me, frankly. They’re ready for Civil War.

    They will be happy to stir up even more hatred and lunacy than they did in the 1990s leading to Tim McVeigh blowing up the Oklahoma federal building, and it’ll be even more easy to stir it up since Obama’s black and their movement is largely built on the rejection of the Civil Rights laws.

    But they’re not as a group ready for Civil War; most movement right wingers are the cowards you’d expect them to be given their loud, preening rhetoric.

  114. 114
    Jennifer says:

    Perhaps they aren’t ready, as a group, for Civil War. But they are certainly ready, willing and able to employ massive civil unrest, aimed solely at making sure Obama fails for the purely selfish justification of keeping their ideology somehow relevant. That is the very definition of their brand of patriotism. It’s vile. And, I’ll say again, frightening.

  115. 115

    @Jennifer: Here’s a thought: conservatism was soundly rejected in 2008, in both the legislative and executive branches of government

    It’s not just Republicans who support free market capitalism & view Obama as a socialist. Jim Cramer, a lifelong Democrat, describes Obama as a Leninist. Obama ran as a centrist & was presented in the MSM as such. The majority of Americans did not knowingly vote for a socialist revolution.

  116. 116

    @Jennifer: Perhaps they aren’t ready, as a group, for Civil War. But they are certainly ready, willing and able to employ massive civil unrest, aimed solely at making sure Obama fails for the purely selfish justification of keeping their ideology somehow relevant.

    So now, exercising one’s right to free speech has suddenly become "civil unrest" "vile" & "frightening"? During GWBush’s adminstration 51% of Dems Wanted Bush to Fail

  117. 117

    @El Cid: it’ll be even more easy to stir it up since Obama’s black and their movement is largely built on the rejection of the Civil Rights laws.

    The Republican party was founded as the abolitionist party. The Democratic party was the racist, pro-slavery party. The only KKKer that served in the federal government during GWBush’s administration was Sen Byrd, DEMOCRAT from W. Virginia. Sen. Byrd, DEMOCRAT, also frequently uses the n-word in conversation.

  118. 118

    @TenguPhule: Except that it officially started in 2007 and its roots can be traced back over the last 8 years.

    As I pointed out in a previous post, Obama was serving in the senate in 2007. Democrats, who don’t pay their taxes, & receive lobbying $$$, had just as much to profit from the mismanagement of banks as did Republicans.

  119. 119
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    Jim Cramer, a lifelong Democrat Asshole, describes Obama as a Leninist.

    Fixt

  120. 120

    @Glocksman: Huh?

    Obama didn’t serve in the House at all and wasn’t elected US Senator until well after Reagan was out of office.

    If you’re trying to say that the Congress was just as irresponsible as Reagan, I agree.
    If you’re trying to somehow tie Obama to that era, you’re full of shit.

    Perhaps you should go back and re-read my post when you are sober. I said "both houses of congress". The House of Representatives is one house & the Senate is the other house.

    The point of this thread header, presumably, is to say that Reagan started the recession in 1981. As I pointed out in my previous post, if Democrats are going to blame Reagan for the 1981 economy after being elected in 1980 (& exonerate his predecessor, Carter , a Democrat), then they should likewise blame Obama entirely for the 2009 economy & exonerate GWBush.

    Conversely, if Democrats are going to entirely blame 2009’s economy on GWBush, then it is only fair to blame the 1981 recession, not on Reagan, but entirely on Carter.

  121. 121
    TenguPhule says:

    As I pointed out in a previous post, Obama was serving in the senate in 2007.

    And this makes sense, how?

  122. 122

    @TenguPhule: The Congress is responsible for passing the Federal budget. I don’t see how you can cite Obama’s service in the senate as qualifying experience, but, at the same time, you don’t want him to take responsibility for his actions while he served.

  123. 123
    TenguPhule says:

    The Congress is responsible for passing the Federal budget.

    And this relates to unregulated CDOs, credit derivative swaps and lack of enforcement by Bush’s cronies of the financial sector that caused this mess, how?

  124. 124

    […] at Balloon Juice.   […]

  125. 125
    myiq2xu says:

    However, it becomes more and more clear every day that the media is not biased towards liberal or conservatives, but rather, it is simply in the business of defending the status quo for the wealthier members of society.

    I agree completely.

    Now consider this:

    The media hates the Clintons, but loves Obama.

  126. 126
    El Cid says:

    The media hates the Clintons, but loves Obama.

    That’s obviously it. Because the Clintons were revolutionary proletarians, overthrowing the wealthy and media power, unlike Obama, who fills his Cabinet with Clinton-hating paranoids.

    Do you ever get off this schtick? Are there really people who think this nonsense?

  127. 127
    myiq2xu says:

    That’s obviously it.

    The truth hurts

  128. 128
    El Cid says:

    @myiq2xu: Is that supposed to be a witty response? It isn’t. It’s just more pointless nonsense. And it certainly doesn’t hurt. Whatever.

  129. 129
    anonymous says:

    While the current republican attempt to link the recession to Obama is disgusting, can anyone say that its a surprise? They never ever admit to screwing up.

    However, there probably is a danger to people actually linking the crisis to Obama, despite the fact that thre were a variety of causes. All they need is for the stimulus bill to fail, really. Maybe that’s not all they’d need but that would go a long way. Hence the effort to make the financial crisis Obama’s fault when it was in fact, at the very least, partially due to Bush (I think it was Grover Norquist who started the effort).

    If the blogging community is so concerned about this, why not try to combat it by laying the blame where it properly belongs? It seems to me that Norquist’s policies, while in pursuit of lowering taxes and deregulation, are at least partially (and legitimately) to blame for the current problem, much more so than Obama ever would be. Norquist and his faction have been in power throughout the last administration, and have been able to enact most of their policies, thus enabling Wall Street to screw the American public. So shouldn’t the recession be referred to as the Norquist Recession?

  130. 130
    Orlando says:

    The craziness never stops, the Obama administration is trying to unscrew to the 8 years of BUSH’s mess…

    Orlando

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