Immelt mit der Ruhe

Like probably many of you, I know next to nothing about Immelt, but apparently he has been tapped to serve on some commission or another:

President Obama has asked me to chair his new President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. I have served for the past two years on the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, and I look forward to leading the next phase of this effort as we transition from recovery to long-term growth. The president and I are committed to a candid and full dialogue among business, labor and government to help ensure that the United States has the most competitive and innovative economy in the world.

Does this council have any power, or is it just something to titillate the villagers like the SS commission? Who is this Immelt (other than a GE exec)? How do they expect to put people back to work without a jobs program, which no one will pay for in our new ages of austerity? Is this just another wet kiss on the lips for our corporate overlords? Did the DNC need some GE donations? What gives…

I’m trying to be a good Democrat, so I know I’m supposed to be outraged about this, but I honestly know nothing about this and probably am going to cool my jets until I know something.






166 replies
  1. 1
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I’m trying to be a good Democrat, so I know I’m supposed to be outraged about this

    Good democrats don’t constantly get digs in at Democrats. The bad ones do.

  2. 2
    david mizner says:

    Well, it will have as much power as Obama allows it to have, and seeing as though Obama and Immelt have an ongoing close relationship, it will probably have quite a bit. Immelt is a massive offshorer of jobs and embodies much of what’s wrong with Corporate America. Jobs? What the hell does Immelt know about creating jobs?

    Ho hum. Nothing to see here. Just another day in the Corporate States of America.

  3. 3
    BTD says:

    I think the Immelt naming is meaningless. But I do take issue witha premise you have in your post. You write:

    Does this council have any power, or is it just something to titillate the villagers like the SS commission?

    The power to drive the debate is not meaningless and the discussion of “reforming” social security THIS YEAR is due to the recommendations of the Catfood Commission (which in fact was NOT a Social Security Commission at all, but a Deficit Reduction Commission.

    Indeed, you’re calling it the “SS Commission” demonstrates just how powerful that commission actually was. It was NOT a Social Security Commission but it decided that that is what it wanted discussed (not surprising since that is all Pete Peterson ever wants to discuss).

    And lo and behold, Social Security “reform” is central to the “deficit reduction” discussion.

    In any event, I think this Immelt thing is pretty meaningless.

  4. 4
    klem says:

    [I] am going to cool my jets until I know something.

    Fuck the Jets, them boys better think about the wrath that’s about to set down on ’em.

    Go Stillers!

  5. 5
    david mizner says:

    @BTD:

    And how much to want to bet that Obama reference the Catfood Commission in the SOTU?

    The appointment of Immelt might be meaningnless but only because Immelt already had Obama’s ear. It’s putting an official stamp on their relationship, like a marriage license.

  6. 6
    sukabi says:

    think his job is to fellate business into producing jobs or something…. and to tell them how strong and important they are.

  7. 7
    BTD says:

    @david mizner:

    Immelt’s presence on a nondescript “council” that no one ever heard of or cared about is meaningless in my book. I doubt we will hear about it again after today. Guy does have a day job after all.

    But yes the Catfood Commission’s recommendations remain very pronounced in the Beltway air.

  8. 8
    david mizner says:

    Here Cole read this — written early last year when Immelt was already advising Obama. http://www.inthesetimes.com/wo.....om_ge_ceo/

    Here’s just a taste:

    “While Immelt was calling for manufacturing to stay in the U.S., his company was at the same time shipping manufacturing jobs overseas by canceling an order with an American-based wind turbine maker, ATI Casting Service in LaPorte, Ind., so that GE could instead buy the parts from a factory in China.

    Recently, ATI made $30 million worth of investments to buy, convert, and modernize a shuttered factory in economically ravaged Michigan so the company could provide more parts to GE as the green economy expands with federal stimulus funding. But a Chinese firm underbid ATI, and the factory faced having to lay off 302 union workers and shutter the plant.

    In an aggressive bid to keep the factory open, ATI offered to match the price of the Chinese producers. GE once again said they would prefer to buy from China. The ATI plant is now closed, the jobs gone. After Immelt pledged to create jobs in America, for him to make a U.S. company shed jobs so GE can buy Chinese goods for the same price is beyond hypocritical. “

  9. 9
    david mizner says:

    @BTD:

    ???. The guy was already in Obama’s inner circle. See my link above.

  10. 10

    would the modern english immelt with you be too obvious?

    i guess what i would be worried about is the idea that its time to transition from recovery to long term growth, i mean the “recovery” is great on wall st, and the corporate balance sheet, but, ahem. what about the fraking jobs?

    anyone?

    anyone?

  11. 11
    BTD says:

    @david mizner:

    “Has his ear” is kind of a ridiculous formulation imo. Obama does what Obama wants to do.

  12. 12
    cleek says:

    don’t know if you’re still taking blog design comments, but it would be cool if the “comments” link from the front page was a bit bigger, or offset, or something.

    it kinda gets lost in all the stuff down at the bottom of the posts.

  13. 13
    Culture of Truth says:

    It’s a complete outrage. For some reason.

  14. 14

    @BTD:

    But yes the Catfood Commission’s recommendations remain very pronounced in the Beltway air.

    Really? They are?

    The calls to sharply reduce tax expenditures, like the mortgage interest deduction?

    The calls to cut military spending? Very pronounced in Washington?

    Oh, wait, you meant the Social Security cuts – the ones that the Republicans and villagers have been talking about constantly for the past decade-and-a-half, and that they are still talking about in exactly the same way.

    I’m just not seeing the impact this commission has had on the discussion of the deficit.

  15. 15
    david mizner says:

    @BTD:

    Yes and No. His appointees reflect his views more than they shape them, but it’s silly to claim the last 2 years would’ve gone the same had he been advised by Stiglitz, Dean Baker, and Richard Trumka, etc.

  16. 16
    John Cole says:

    Obama does what Obama wants to do.

    Bingo.

  17. 17
    Dollared says:

    I am a good Democrat, which is I say what I think will advantage me the most, no matter what the situation. And what I say is this:

    Obama will be damned in the Village for this, because Immelt is GE/MSNBC to the Right.

    And to the Corporations, this is Obama’s explicit permission to fuck us all, harder, faster.

    Pair this behavior with
    1. the razing of Afghan villages with 49,500 lbs of bombs and missles, and
    2. the fact that the Bush Tax Cuts have now entered their second decade, and
    3. Social Security cuts

    and the question that I always hated becomes pretty rational: what is the difference between Bush and Obama? A bit less theft? A bit less patriarchy? So what?

    I’m a white male past military age. Why shouldn’t I vote for a Republican if I feel like it? Obama offers me nothing.

  18. 18
    david mizner says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Here’s Christina Romer’s recent op-ed:

    “My hope is that the centerpiece of the speech will be a comprehensive plan for dealing with the long-run budget deficit.

    I am not talking about two paragraphs lamenting the problem and vowing to fix it. I am looking for pages and pages of concrete proposals that the administration is ready to fight for. The recommendations of the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform that the president created are a very good place to start.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01.....LXIW5PRHZA

    Now here’s her op-ed for three months ago: “Now Isn’t the Time to Cut the Deficit:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10.....4view.html

    Hmm, what happened in the interim?

  19. 19
    Mnemosyne says:

    @BTD:

    But yes the Catfood Commission’s recommendations remain very pronounced in the Beltway air.

    Do you mean the real commission’s actual recommendations, or the PowerPoint presentation that Bowles and Simpson did to undercut the real report? Those are two very, very different things and only one of them proposes cuts.

  20. 20
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Dollared:

    I’m a white male past military age. Why shouldn’t I vote for a Republican if I feel like it?

    If you’re perfectly comfortable voting to screw over women and minorities as long as you get your tax cuts, sure, go ahead and vote Republican. You can just step over the bodies.

  21. 21
    Suck It Up! says:

    @david mizner:

    So Elizabeth Warren is also a reflection of Obama’s views right?

    And I think your time would be better spent if you wondered what would have happened had we had a Republican party that was interested in governing.

  22. 22
    cyntax says:

    I think the point about advisors reflecting rather than shaping Obama’s views is a good one to keep in mind. Of course I find myself thinking it would be nice to see more appointments like Elizabeth Warren’s that I don’t need to keep my jets cool over, but we have the fee-fees of our galtian overlords to consider so…

  23. 23
    Culture of Truth says:

    Vote GOP, then. Who’s stopping you?

  24. 24
    PurpleGirl says:

    I believe GE has closed something like 26 domestic plants in about a year or so. Yeah, GE has experience with creating jobs… overseas.

  25. 25
    Suck It Up! says:

    and here we go with the conspiracy theories. Funny how the same people who swear that Obama will cut Social Security NEVER bring up the fact that they told us this was going to happen in the lame duck session and IT DIDN’T.

  26. 26
    Pamela F says:

    @Dollared:

    Vote for whomever you wish. That’s your prerogative as a citizen but it’s also my prerogative to say your points are superficial and lack serious analysis.

  27. 27
    scav says:

    I honestly know nothing about this and probably am going to cool my jets until I know something.

    This abject worship of “facts”, “information”, and “reality” are really something you’re going to have to get over in this brave new world we’re supposedly all a part of. Surf the meme!

  28. 28

    @John Cole:

    Does this council have any power, or is it just something to titillate the villagers like the SS commission?

    You still haven’t accepted the fact that Congress promised to vote on the commission’s report?

  29. 29
    Mike in NC says:

    Won’t the wingnuts and their media allies just view this as another example of Obama appointing an unaccountable “Czar” to steal more of our precious freedoms?

  30. 30

    @Suck It Up!:

    Who said that?

    Lots of people said that the lame duck session would be a good time to vote on Social Security cuts, because it would feature a lot of lawmakers who had already been voted out, and thus would have no fear of retaliation from voters.

  31. 31
    cyntax says:

    @Mike in NC:

    …to steal more of our precious freedoms?

    Or bodily fluids, YMMV.

  32. 32
    Tonybrown74 says:

    @Dollared:

    I’m a white male past military age. Why shouldn’t I vote for a Republican if I feel like it? Obama offers me nothing.

    You can vote for whomever you choose.

    But let me ask you this: why is it that the GOP is the default position for you? You may be a straight white male, but what is it that GOP is specifically offering you that it has to be your default position?

  33. 33
    PurpleGirl says:

    Dollared: The deficit can be dealt with several ways: (1) Cut the military budget, bring troops home from the two wasteful, credit card wars and from many of the overseas bases which aren’t needed anymore; (2) reform the military procurement process and end equipment development that may be aimed at a past war or past problems; (3) increase taxes on the top 2% of earners; (4) reform corporate taxes so that companies pay the income taxes that they should.

  34. 34
    Svensker says:

    @Dollared:

    I’m a white male past military age. Why shouldn’t I vote for a Republican if I feel like it? Obama offers me nothing.

    I’ve got mine. Fuck you.

    Very nice.

  35. 35
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Oscar Leroy: The Commission’s plan it didn’t produce didn’t receive the level of support necessary to trigger a vote in Congress.

    The issuance of a final report of the Commission shall require the approval of not less than 14 of the 18 members of the Commission.

    It got 11 votes.

    It’s dead, Jim.

  36. 36
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Oscar Leroy:

    You still haven’t accepted the fact that Congress promised to vote on the commission’s report?

    The report wasn’t accepted by 14 of the 18 commission members, which was necessary for it to be passed along to Congress. Therefore, it is not going to be voted on for Congress. Because it didn’t meet the requirements for it to be given to Congress to be voted on.

    But, hey, why should you look at facts and reality when you have your fantasy world to live in?

  37. 37
    eemom says:

    I think I see where this thread’s going, and it ain’t boldly to where no other eleventy squillion threads have gone before.

  38. 38
    Mnemosyne says:

    I’m still waiting for Oscar to explain why DADT repeal passed even though the president hated it and did everything in his power to prevent it from passing.

    Weird how Oscar has all of these fully-formed conspiracy theories that never actually pan out and he just moves on to the next one when one of them blows up in his face.

  39. 39
    Allan says:

    @david mizner: Shouldn’t you be working on the “Draft John Edwards” campaign?

  40. 40
    sukabi says:

    @Oscar Leroy: well, they actually did kind of “vote” on it… by not deeming it worthy of a vote…

  41. 41
    Davis X. Machina says:

    I’m still waiting for Oscar to explain why DADT repeal passed even though the president hated it and did everything in his power to prevent it from passing.

    That just shows how devious Obama is.

    It’s too bad Cole shit-canned the avatars, because Oscar is prevented from using the logical one — Admiral Akbar (It’s a TARP!)

    It’s the mirror image of 11-dimensional chess. Extremes become indistinguishable.

  42. 42

    @david mizner:

    Hmm, what happened in the interim?

    We added 300,000 jobs in December?

    But your framing is misleading. There isn’t any contradiction between the two columns. The deficit reduction efforts she’s talking about in the second piece don’t kick in “now.” They’re plans for reducing the deficits in coming years.

  43. 43
    BTD says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Really? You don’t? You don’t see how it has put Social Security “reform” on the front burner again?

    As for the rest of the recommendations, of course you are right. They were NEVER intended to be taken seriously. This was ALWAYS about Pete Peterson’s agenda to “reform” Social Security.

    And the Catfood Commission has served its real purpose. Which was Pete Peterson’s purpose.

  44. 44
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @eemom: It’s a feature, not bug.

    In a mad and chaotic world, in the midst of a maelstrom of change, isn’t it nice to have a few sure, stable, reliable things you can count on, like O-bot v. Professional Left pissing matches?

    It’s the bloggy equivalent of tinned chicken-noodle soup.

    We have a snow day up here, and I for one am settling in for the afternoon. No point in shoveling it for another hour or so.

  45. 45
    burnspbesq says:

    @david mizner:

    Your ignorance of business fundamentals and third-grade arithmetic is showing.

    How does a US manufacturer with a unionized labor force match a Chinese price? It does so by losing money in the short run and hoping it can raise prices sometime in the future. No responsible purchasing manager would buy long-lived capital equipment from a vendor that’s likely to be gone before the end of the design life of the equipment.

    Feel free to continue to ignore facts that don’t fit a narrative that feeds your outrage.

  46. 46
    superking says:

    This whole thing wasn’t a big secret, apparently, as Immelt also has an Op-Ed in the Washington Post today. Here’s the link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....07089.html

    I mean, I guess this could all be a coincidence, but I doubt it.

    If you read the piece, it’s pretty innocuous. I don’t see any right-wing nuttiness in there. A little line about free trade, but that is the Washington consensus anyway. Pro-manufacturing, etc.

    Sure, I’m disappointed that the president thinks he has to soothe the “business community’s” hurt fee fees, but this isn’t something I’m hopping mad about.

  47. 47
    lacp says:

    Why would this commission have any particular power to do anything? It doesn’t sound like it was created by Congress, so its only purpose is to advise the President. An easy way to make nice with the business community without having to do anything specific. I wouldn’t put this anywhere on the list of things I get the vapors about.

  48. 48
    Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people) says:

    I learn something new on BJ everyday. Like the meaning of “immer mit der Ruhe.” Cool. I don’t think appointing Immelt will help change much jobs-wise (stated reason for appointing someone from industry) but let’s see what happens.

  49. 49
    david mizner says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    The point is, austerity is in the air — you’re not actually denying that are you? Gibbs has already said the SOTU is going to focus on deficit reduction.

  50. 50
    Mike in NC says:

    Hopefully this is merely a coincidence, but then-VP Dan Quayle chaired a “Council on Competitiveness” during the Bush Sr. years. It was staffed with corporate hacks out to undo as much regulation as they could regarding federal environmental, health, and safety standards.

    Here’s a quote from a 1992 article in the LA Times:

    From the Clean Air Act to nutrition labeling, the Quayle Council on Competitiveness has covertly intervened in the normally open regulatory process on behalf of big-business interests. “Now is your chance. Come and tell us what regulations and what rules are burdening the business sector,” Quayle told business leaders recently. Meanwhile, the council has consistently refused to disclose even the most basic information about who it meets with and what its agenda is. What’s more, Quayle and his staff have repeatedly declined to answer Freedom of Information Act requests from the public. The council is equally contemptuous of Congress; neither Quayle nor his staff will testify before committees with oversight over the agencies whose regulations they meddle with. More than once, members of Congress have been forced to subpoena even basic documents.

    Maybe it was the brainchild of his Chief of Staff, Bill Kristol. Another of those GOP gifts that just keep on giving!

  51. 51
  52. 52
    BTD says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    The power of the latter derived from the former.

    And all derive from Pete Peterson.

    As Cole put it, it was a “SS Commission” intended to forward the PEte PEterson jihad for Social Security “reform.”

    I actually thought the President was going to use its existence to block extension of the Bush tax cuts. Maybe that was the intention. It did not work out that way.

  53. 53
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    Doesn’t this:

    How do they expect to put people back to work without a jobs program, which no one will pay for in our new ages of austerity?

    sort of leave Obama with no other choice than to service our Galtian corporate overlords so they will hire some people? I don’t like it, not one little bit. I’d like some rail service and a functioning snow removal system, actually. Not going to happen with this congress. So, can anyone articulate another realistic path forward because I don’t see one.

  54. 54

    @Suck It Up!:

    Funny how the same people who swear that Obama will cut Social Security NEVER bring up the fact that they told us this was going to happen in the lame duck session and IT DIDN’T

    They’ve dropped “He’s expanding the Iraq War.”

    They’ve dropped “He wants to keep DADT, and Congressional repeal is just for show.”

    They’ve dropped “He’s going to bomb Iran.”

    And yet, despite those being, once upon a time, the three strongest pillars the conspiracy theory, they theory hasn’t changed even a whit. They just swap in new fevered imaginings for the old, and keep on cranking.

    The most important thing to Protest People is their self-image as Protest People. What’s a little factual refutation, compared to the threat that some other Protest People might be more protest-ey?

  55. 55
    cat48 says:

    It’s an Advisory Council that Immelt will VOLUNTEER for. Obama did not hire him full time. The Council replaces the Recovery Council that we had to stabilize the Economy and Immelt VOLUNTEERED for that. He’s not new…..He’s the Chairman now and they have a NEW FOCUS …..jobs. I think about 9 others, including LABOR are on it.

  56. 56
    BTD says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    About the same level of salience as extending Bush’s tax cuts for the rich. How’d that turn out?

    To be honest, I don’t think Pete Peterson will succeed in his drive for social security “reform” because the political price to pay is way too high.

  57. 57

    @Oscar Leroy:

    You still haven’t accepted the fact that Congress promised to vote on the commission’s report?

    The one they didn’t get enough votes to issue?

  58. 58
    Mnemosyne says:

    @BTD:

    The power of the latter derived from the former.
    __
    And all derive from Pete Peterson.

    So did you actually bother to read the Commission’s report, or did you just look at the PowerPoint presentation and assume that they were the same?

    Peterson only has power as long as people insist on eliding the two and pretending that the B&S PowerPoint presentation is identical to the Commission’s recommendations. Which is what you’re doing right now, so congrats on that.

  59. 59
    david mizner says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Expanding the Iraq war? Bombing Iran? Who the hell, but loonie birds, claimed that?

    The only consistent part of the “conspiracy theory” was that Obama didn’t really support the public option. And we now know, thanks to Tom Daschle, that he didn’t.

  60. 60
    burnspbesq says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    Which part of “the United States is a high-cost, high-regulation, high-tax jurisdiction that anyone who has a fiduciary obligation to maximize shareholder value should avoid to the greatest extent possible” are you struggling to comprehend?

    Don’t blame Immelt. It’s a systemic problem.

  61. 61
    BTD says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    I have no idea what this is supposed to mean.

    IF you are referring to me, I reject your characterization completely.

    I do not know what Obama plans to say about Social Security “reform,” if anything. I do know there is much more discussion of Social Security “reform” because of the Catfood Commission.

    That was my point. I do not expect the same type of agenda driving by the Immelt council. Therefore, to answer Cole’s question, I said that it was meaningless.

    Are you really denying there was not a difference between the Catfood Commission and Immelt’s council? Really?

  62. 62

    @Mnemosyne:

    I’m still waiting for Oscar to explain why DADT repeal passed even though the president hated it and did everything in his power to prevent it from passing.

    People who pushed this line about DADT are the Iraq War Pundits of the left wing. Even after they’ve been shown to be completely, utterly wrong on the facts and on their interpretation of the facts, even though everything turned out exactly the opposite of what they predicted, they still hold themselves, and each other, in the highest esteem.

    You see, just like the Iraq War Pundits, they were wrong for the right reasons, while those of us who were right were right for the wrong reasons. So, really, the very fact that they were wrong demonstrates that they are serious, knowledgeable people who deserved to be listened to, while the fact that we were right only serves to prove that we are ideologically suspect, and should be denounced and ignored.

    Legends in their own minds don’t consider little things that the complete repudiation of their theories by reality to be worthy worrying about.

  63. 63
    BTD says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    What “people” are you referring to? Because, as Joe from Lowell aptly points out, the only part of the Catfood Commission recommendations that have resonancy (and a lot of it) was in fact the Social Security “Reform” part.

    As Joe from Lowell rightly points pout, nothing else will even get a hearing.

  64. 64
    Pangloss says:

    From now on, I’m just going to tie rubber tubing around my arm and mainline the outrage whenever I need a fix.

  65. 65
    lacp says:

    Somehow the thread of a post about Immelt has mutated into a yes-no on the Catfood Commission. Screw it, why don’t we just toss Sarah Palin into the mix and everybody’s happiness will be complete?

  66. 66
    Tim I says:

    @Suck It Up!:

    GE added 10,000 jobs in the US in 2010. The plant Obama is speaking at today, produces steam generators, 95% of which are exported.

  67. 67
    Mnemosyne says:

    @BTD:

    Because, as Joe from Lowell aptly points out, the only part of the Catfood Commission recommendations that have resonancy (and a lot of it) was in fact the Social Security “Reform” part.

    Which recommendations? The recommendation to increase the amount of income subject to the Social Security tax to $250,000 or increasing the minimum benefit to 125% of the poverty level?

    Here’s the real report. It doesn’t say what you seem to think it says.

  68. 68
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @BTD: He had the votes for the tax cuts. He did not, if you recall, have the votes for privatizing — and that was a whopping cut — for SS.

    High-level political commissions to address entitlements have come and gone with the regularity, and impact, of Red Sox shortstops.

    Why, I even remember a Nixon-era commission to establish a negative income tax.

  69. 69

    @BTD:

    You don’t see how it has put Social Security “reform” on the front burner again?

    Not really. I don’t see the issue of “Social Security reform” being any different now that is was when President Jed Bartlett entered into a deal to save it, thereby proving his bipartisan bona fides.

    The same people are saying the same things they’ve been saying for years.

    As for the rest of the recommendations, of course you are right. They were NEVER intended to be taken seriously. This was ALWAYS about Pete Peterson’s agenda to “reform” Social Security.

    Sounds like a conspiracy theory. All of the recommendations you like are just there for show, while the ones you don’t like – those are what the entire commission was intended for from the beginning.

  70. 70
    superking says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I agree that it’s a systemic problem–they do have an obligation to maximize shareholder value. But the primary driving factor is that wages in China and much of Asia are lower than they are here. Lower wages are a function of China’s lack of development and currency manipulation. It doesn’t really have all that much to do with our regulatory and tax environment.

    It’s just a buyer’s market for labor in China. There are something like 200-300 million people in China who either don’t have a job or are engaged in subsistence farming. And, of course, a lot of the factories in China are government owned. It’s not like it’s a free market paradise where anyone can open a factory to build whatever they want. Anyway . . .

  71. 71
    BTD says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    So you agree with me that the political cost is too high to actually enact any Social Security “reform” right now.

    Which does not deter from my point – to wit, the Catfood Commission was something quite different than the Immelt council.

  72. 72
    Zifnab says:

    @Dollared:

    I’m a white male past military age. Why shouldn’t I vote for a Republican if I feel like it? Obama offers me nothing.

    I’m going to have to assume you’re a white male past military age with no outstanding mortgage who is gainfully employed as an upper level manager in the defense industry.

    If you have a fight with your bank, the Republicans want to defend or extend the ability for a bank to trample you. If you have a run-in with the law, the Republicans want to give law enforcement unchecked powers to seize your property, detain you and your family in custody, and deny you any form of due process – particularly if you can’t afford a lawyer.

    Got kids? Because the Republicans have an eye on privatizing every aspect of the educational system. That means high costs and lower quality education for everyone from Pre-K to Grad School.

    Have you been cutting checks to the Social Security office? Because Republicans want to raid that nest egg, default on the debt, and slash benefits to as low as they can possible get them.

    Any health problems? Republicans want to allow insurance companies the right to drop your coverage the moment you get ill and give hospitals the freedom to deny you emergency room treatment if you can’t afford to pay.

    Money in the stock market? Republicans have presided over the beginning of five recessions in the last 30 years. Republican legislation has been responsible for deregulating the S&L industry in the ’80s, the derivatives markets in the ’90s, and the energy industry in the ’00s. Each deregulatory action has caused massive market fluctuation and collapse.

    Sure, you could retort “But Democrats pushed for many of these issues too!” and I’d have to admit that with some Democrats, in some cases, this is true. However, when your choice is a party that occasionally does the right thing in the face of public pressure and the party that never does the right thing despite looming catastrophe…

    I submit the Democratic Party as imperfect but preferable, and I submit the Democratic Primary Process as the method for improving the party.

  73. 73
    BTD says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Saying it more loudly and gaining ore attention don’t you think?

    Let me put it this way, at the least we are hearing MORE about Social Security “reform” now than we were before the Catfood Commission no?

    Is there anything that Immelt’s council will say that we will hear about? I doubt it.

    I simply do not understand why anyone would deny my basic point – that the Catfood Commission did in fact drive debate, to likely no action, but the Immelt council will not.

  74. 74
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Which does not deter from my point – to wit, the Catfood Commission was something quite different than the Immelt council.

    Conceded. And the Seattle Seahawks are different from the Seattle Mariners. Both will have the same effect on the legislative agenda in the other Washington.

  75. 75
    eemom says:

    wtf does “Immelt mit der Ruhe” mean? I tried googling it but that just makes the post come up.

    Immelt is sort of a cool name tho. Is it pronounced “I melt”?

  76. 76

    @david mizner

    “The point is, austerity is in the air.”

    That’s a much better point than the one made earlier, about the Deficit Reduction Commission, and its alleged connection to Obama scheming to kill Social Security in order to grow the defense budget.

  77. 77
    burnspbesq says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    “reform corporate taxes so that companies pay the income taxes that they should.”

    I don’t mean to pick on you, but you’re saying some really dumb stuff this morning.

    If I can sell my product for the same price in the US market regardless of whether I manufacture it in the United States or Ireland (because, for example, labor cost reductions and supply chain cost increases roughly net to zero), and I choose to manufacture it in Ireland because ordinary prudence says that I should have a second factory somewhere else so that i’m not totally fucked if my first factory in Silicon Valley is wiped out by an earthquake, why “should” I pay US tax on the income that is attributable to my Iriish manufacturing functions?

  78. 78
    Maude says:

    @cat48:
    Oh, thank you. You stated facts. I am overwhelmed now and need a lie down.

  79. 79
    BTD says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Whichever recommendations you wish to discuss.

    You seem to be willfully missing my point – that the Catfood Commission was not comparable to the Immelt council.

  80. 80
    BTD says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Who made this point?

    its alleged connection to Obama scheming to kill Social Security in order to grow the defense budget.

    Certainly not me? Who are you argung with exactly?

  81. 81
    Dollared says:

    @burnspbesq: Um, because if you want access to our market, you pay our taxes? Burns, it works for every other goddamn country in the world. Only because the corps own the media in this country, do you have this bogus idea that our borders don’t mean anything.

  82. 82

    @BTD:

    About the same level of salience as extending Bush’s tax cuts for the rich. How’d that turn out?

    Obama was able to trade a two-year extension for 1) the complete blocking of the rest of the Republicans’ lame duck agenda, and 2) a much larger package of Democratic stuff in that bill, and 3) a clear Senate calendar.

    So, pretty well, I’d say.

  83. 83
    NobodySpecial says:

    Does this count as a created job? If so, that’s the only thing about this appointment that means anything positive or negative.

  84. 84
    Mnemosyne says:

    @burnspbesq:

    why “should” I pay US tax on the income that is attributable to my Iriish manufacturing functions?

    Because you’re a US company selling products in the US. If you had an Irish factory that was selling to EU countries, it wouldn’t come up, but if you want to remain a US-owned company that sells in the US market but manufacture in Ireland, you should still be required to pay US taxes. If you want to manufacture in Ireland and sell to the US, you should become an Irish company.

    Otherwise, it becomes exactly what Ireland became: a tax dodge.

  85. 85
    kay says:

    @david mizner:

    Hmm, what happened in the interim?

    Nothing, that I can see, other than the passage of time. There’s no substantive difference in what she writes in the first and what she writes in the second. She wants a long term plan for deficit reduction (passed, she wants them to draft a plan and pass it: “backloaded”) and she doesn’t want them to cut anything in 2011 or 2012.

    Her whole point, reading the two pieces together, is she’s worried the debt situation will damage any continuing recovery. She just wants them to address the long-term problem.

    I’m a little surprised you thought she’d write two contradictory editorials three months apart, with no explanation for what you saw as change in position. Nothing she’s done that I’ve seen would indicate that she’d be that sloppy. She’s not a pundit. She actually has to make sense.

  86. 86
    Dollared says:

    @Pamela F: Uh, then respond to them and refute them?

  87. 87
    PTirebiter says:

    @Mike in NC: Last night, Fox was hailing the appointment as potentially signaling Obama’s refudiation of Marx.

  88. 88
    gene108 says:

    I don’t see how Obama can reward anybody from his team of economic advisers. Those guys royally screwed up estimating how bad the recession was going to be, which is ultimately what has hurt President Obama’s approval and cost the Democrats the House and significant losses in the Senate.

    I’m just upset that the ass-hats on his economic team are skating out of Washington, D.C. and back into cushy private jobs, as if they did a great job; they didn’t.

    They fucked up royally, in advising the President about the economy.

  89. 89

    @BTD:

    Because, as Joe from Lowell aptly points out, the only part of the Catfood Commission recommendations that have resonancy (and a lot of it) was in fact the Social Security “Reform” part.

    I haven’t pointed this out. At all.

    In fact, I have stated exactly the opposite.

    The Deficit Reduction Commission has sunk out of sight, and Social Security “Reform” is exactly the same discussion it’s been for the past decade and a half.

  90. 90
    Dollared says:

    @Mnemosyne: Why not? Who cares about them? Let them get some power? What is your argument?

    Because, figuratively, every policy decision leaves bodies on the floor, one way or the other. Explain why anyone should vote for Obama.

  91. 91
    Mnemosyne says:

    @BTD:

    You seem to be willfully missing my point – that the Catfood Commission was not comparable to the Immelt council.

    You seem to be missing my point that, despite your claims, the so-called “Catfood Commission” didn’t come up with the recommendations to kill Social Security that would make Pete Peterson happy.

    If you want to keep insisting that increasing the amount of taxable income from $100,000 to $250,000 will somehow force seniors to eat cat food, that’s your option, but you should probably manage to come up with a logical explanation for thinking that rather than tossing around funny buzzwords like “Catfood Commission” that are meaningless in the face of the actual report from the real commission.

  92. 92
    Dollared says:

    Way cool. The entire thread shows up as line-throughs. John, IE is the majority browser. Your people really need to know how to work with it.

  93. 93
    burnspbesq says:

    @superking:

    There’s no doubt that it’s primarily about cost. But not entirely.

    The other systemic problem is that far too many people on the left have forgotten most of the arithmetic they ever learned, don’t know how to read and interpret a 10-K, and believe there is a fairy that can make cost differences magically disappear.

  94. 94
    BTD says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Finally s real area of disagreement. You write

    Obama was able to trade a two-year extension for 1) the complete blocking of the rest of the Republicans’ lame duck agenda, and 2) a much larger package of Democratic stuff in that bill, and 3) a clear Senate calendar.

    What part of the GOP agenda, OTHER THAN extending the tax cuts, was on the table? The budget? Well, that is still open. The debt ceiling? Ditto.

    Here’s what you can plausibly argue The Deal accomplished, and they are significant achievements – UI benefits and DADT repeal. Could UI benefits have been garnered without The Deal? I do not know and neither do you.

    DADT? I think the argument is strong that you would not have gotten DADT repeal without The Deal.

    The determination of whether The Deal was good rests on two points in my mind – what will happen with the budget in March and what wil happen to the Bush tax cuts in 2 years.

    You are much more optimistic about this than I am.

  95. 95

    @BTD:

    Saying it more loudly and gaining ore attention don’t you think?

    No, not really. There was actually a major Social Security “reform” bill put in front of Congress in 2005. I don’t see any real difference.

    Let me put it this way, at the least we are hearing MORE about Social Security “reform” now than we were before the Catfood Commission no?

    Well, it’s moved up in the queue compared to where it was during the debates over the Recovery Act and Affordable Care Act, but only because those larger issues aren’t dominating the airwaves anymore.

    I don’t know your history, BTD. Were you around and aware in 1998, 2003, 2005, and 2007?

  96. 96
    BTD says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Assuming your point is true, it is not relevant to mine.

  97. 97
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Dollared:

    Because, figuratively, every policy decision leaves bodies on the floor, one way or the other. Explain why anyone should vote for Obama.

    – Stronger food contamination laws
    – More enforcement of labor laws
    – Affordable Care Act, which is already helping people I know personally
    – Ongoing reduction of military budget
    – Supreme Court justices who will stay out of my uterus
    – Accelerated withdrawal of troops from Iraq on schedule

    Please let me know which of the above things would happen under a Republican administration. Possibly the withdrawal from Iraq since the papers were signed before Bush left office, but do you really, genuinely believe that a Republican president would sign legislation to improve food safety? Really?

  98. 98
    Culture of Truth says:

    Way cool. The entire thread shows up as line-throughs.

    Cole offers me nothing but line-throughs. Why shouldn’t I read Reason?

  99. 99
    srv says:

    @gene108:

    I’m just upset that the ass-hats on his economic team are skating out of Washington, D.C. and back into cushy private jobs, as if they did a great job; they didn’t.

    They did a spectacular job preventing more onerous regulations and deserve a just reward. Mission Accomplished.

    And to be honest, these guys were way more competent than what will be left. Goolsbee makes Doug Feith look like a rocket scientest.

    Obama has achieved the pareto optimal, and if you disagree, you are just a loon.

  100. 100
    Dollared says:

    @Zifnab: I submit that the business model of this country is upside down, and tinkering at the margins won’t fix it, especially when you have GE determining employment policy. Have you ever seen the GE model? Fire 10% every year, no matter what (of course that bottom 10% always consists of employees over the age of 40). Outsource all you possibly can. No unions, ever.

    I have met so many ex-GE people, smart MBAs who hit the age of 40 and had to leave. And this is who a Democratic president picks for his economic adviser? Seriously? Did the Pope pick John Wesley for theological advice? WTF?

    Honestly, things like this make voting Green look like a moral imperative.

  101. 101

    @BTD:

    Who are you argung with exactly?

    As usual, I am arguing with several different commenters at the same time.

    After all, being an honorable man, I’m only interested in a fair fight.

    ;-)

  102. 102
    BTD says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    So that I Understand you, your position is that the Catfood Commission had NOTHING to do with the higher prominence of Social Security “reform” now? No effect whatsoever. That’s your position.

    And that the Immelt council will have an equally sized microphone as the Catfood Commission had. That’s your position. Correct?

  103. 103
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Just in passing, Erick Erickson hates the Immelt pick.

    That Admiral Akbar really gets around.

  104. 104
    BTD says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Can you identify who expressed the views you attributed in the post I linked to? For honors sake.

  105. 105
    burnspbesq says:

    @Dollared:

    I’m not suggesting that there would be no tax due to the US in my hypothetical scenario. Tax would be due to the US on the income that is attributable to functions performed in the US. How much that is, is something for the company, the IRS, and the Irish Revenue Commissioners to figure out.

  106. 106
    Dollared says:

    @burnspbesq: That fairy is the federal government, burns. You just are are a Republican union buster who believes that our population just needs to live down the Chinese, and we should export our pollution and energy consumption to them, and then let our people be unemployed.

    Woe is us! We is powerless! Burns, Frank told us so!

  107. 107
    BTD says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Fair enough. You are predicting then that there will be no discussion of Social Security reform this year.

    Here’s hoping you are correct.

  108. 108
    Tsulagi says:

    I like the post title.

    But seems most in this thread aren’t following the advice in the proverb it’s based on. But then it wouldn’t be BJ if they were.

  109. 109
    Dollared says:

    @Tonybrown74: Tony, I’m really making the argument to vote Green.

  110. 110
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Dollared: That may be at least partially true, but you’re still coming off as a committed idiot.

  111. 111

    @BTD:

    What part of the GOP agenda, OTHER THAN extending the tax cuts, was on the table?

    If this was a thread about the tax deal and the lame duck, I’d be interested in bringing you up to speed on this.

    It’s not. This was a tangential point to the topic of the thread, and I’m not interested in debating it in the volume it would take to go through the entire minutiae of the Congressional calendar.

    For instance,

    Here’s what you can plausibly argue The Deal accomplished, and they are significant achievements – UI benefits and DADT repeal.

    No, this is laughably wrong. It’s like you took the one item that passed during the lame duck that got the most press, and concluded that it was the only bill that passed during that time.

    I’d be willing to have a debate over the significance of the agenda that passed during the lame duck, but I’m not going to derail the threat any further arguing over facts that someone offering an opinion of that significance should really know before offering that opinion.

  112. 112

    @BTD:

    So that I Understand you, your position is that the Catfood Commission had NOTHING to do with the higher prominence of Social Security “reform” now? No effect whatsoever. That’s your position.

    Once again, I don’t even see Social Security “reform” as having gained high prominence. It’s no higher than it’s been for the past 15 years, and the prominence it has, it has because Republicans are making the same arguments they’ve been making for years.

    And that the Immelt council will have an equally sized microphone as the Catfood Commission had. That’s your position. Correct

    I haven’t written anything about the size of the “Immelt council’s” microphone. I imagine it will be an go-between between the president’s office and the business sector, and not much of a debate-framer at all.

  113. 113
    burnspbesq says:

    @Dollared:

    “@burnspbesq: That fairy is the federal government, burns. You just are are a Republican union buster who believes that our population just needs to live down the Chinese, and we should export our pollution and energy consumption to them, and then let our people be unemployed.”

    That’s one way to look at it. Another way to look at it is that I’m wasting my time trying to help you understand things that you clearly don’t want to understand. I’ll stop now.

  114. 114
    burnspbesq says:

    More @ dollared:

    Accurately describing the world as it exists is not the same thing as advocating for the status quo.

  115. 115
    Pat says:

    In the opening chapters of “The World is Flat” by the great New York Times columnist, Thomas Friedman, he tells the reader how General Electric was way ahead of the rest of the pack in the outsourcing of American jobs as GE began in earnest way back in Nineteen Eighty Fucking Five!

    So there’s that….for starters.

  116. 116
    BTD says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Your comment is laughably wrong and I will explain why.

    We were discussing The Deal and I presented to you the parts of the Lame Duck legislation that thought pertinent to it.

    I suppose I could have nodded to the payroll tax reduction for next year as a positive but I am of 2 minds regarding it. One, it is clearly good stimulus but not well targetted. The tax credit it replaced was much better.

    More importantly, the field was ceded on the idea that tax increases are necessary and that spending cuts are not. As I stated before, if in fact Dems regain ground on the budget in March (you are optimisitc apparently, I am not) and on taxe increaes (ditto) then you will have been right.

    Surely you can not claim that your view has been proven right. Unless of course you are fine with the Bush tax cuts being extended indefinitely and for the budget to be cut come March.

    I am sure you are not so I would hope that you would at least concede that the question remains unresolved at this time.

  117. 117
    valdivia says:

    I am actually speechless reading this thread. Goldsbee is the equivalent or *worse* than Doug Feith? WTFF?

  118. 118
    BTD says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    I haven’t written anything about the size of the “Immelt council’s” microphone.

    I noticed. I have.

  119. 119

    @BTD:

    Can you identify who expressed the views you attributed in the post I linked to?

    Oscary Leroy, on another ongoing thread.

    @BTD:

    You are predicting then that there will be no discussion of Social Security reform this year.

    No. That’ is not even close to what I’ve written. In fact, it is so completely at odds with what I’ve written that I’m forced to question your mental state or good faith.

    Joe: People have been saying these same things about Social Security “reform” for a decade and a half. I don’t see any difference.

    BTD: So what you’re saying is that people are going to stop talking about Social Security “reform” entirely.

    Seriously, BTD? Really?

  120. 120
    BTD says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    I did that on purpose. Precisely because that has been something you have done a number of times in this thread. I was wondering if you could recognize the tactic. I see now that you can. Maybe you can stop doing it now.

  121. 121

    @BTD:

    We were discussing The Deal and I presented to you the parts of the Lame Duck legislation that thought pertinent to it.

    And that’s where you went wrong; in deciding that only the upper-income tax cut extenstion, the payroll tax cut, and DADT were pertinent to it.

    As if everything else that got through the Senate, because the calendar was opened up, had nothing to do with getting the deal out of the way.

    Frankly, I think you are unaware of what passed Congress during the lame duck, and are merely dismissing everything you haven’t heard about as not pertinent.

    the Bush tax cuts being extended indefinitely

    Facepalm.

  122. 122
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @valdivia:

    Feith worked for Bush.
    Goolsbee works for Obama.
    Obama is worse than Bush.

    Goolsbee is worse than Feith, QED.

    Of course, you have to accept the premises — and accept the sorites.

    God is love.
    Love is blind.
    Stevie Wonder is blind.

    Stevie Wonder is God, QED.

  123. 123
    4jkb4ia says:

    I supply the fact that the day, or week, that Immelt is named to this board he announced a joint venture with China to share airplane technology which they never had before and which will be used in the Boeing Dreamliner. Aircraft is an area in which even Ian Welsh was admitting the USA has a comparative advantage. So automatically it looks bad.
    NYT link

    Hi, BTD. I had to run to the grocery store anyhow. I forgot plum tomatoes.

  124. 124

    @BTD:

    I did that on purpose.

    Yes, Pee-Wee, you meant to do that.

    Please stop bothering me now.

  125. 125

    I’m going to shovel.

  126. 126
    PS says:

    Dear people, it would be really civil if you were to attempt to understand what the other person is trying to say, rather than exaggerating or flat-out misrepresenting their views in order to slam a straw person. Also, we might just get somewhere.

    OK, so Joe and BTD can now tee off on me.

  127. 127
    4jkb4ia says:

    Also Immelt is replacing Volcker as head of the outside council of economic advisors that existed already, so this is more symbolism that Obama wants someone in the business community instead of an independent economist to tell him what it is like out there. This isn’t an ad hoc thing like Bowles-Simpson. Also there is no direct effect of the council on what Congress decides to take up.

    (John, my greatest artillery, George Eliot, has been deployed. It appears to be working. This is a calm day. If you do not understand this paragraph don’t worry about it.)

  128. 128
    srv says:

    @valdivia:

    I am actually speechless reading this thread. Goldsbee is the equivalent or worse than Doug Feith? WTFF?

    Speechless? This should have you speechless.

    Goolsbee is doing way more damage to this economy. Feith was just a minor player in f’ing up another country.

  129. 129
    BTD says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    You seem unable to understand what I wrote. I gave you MY judgment of what was pertinent to The Deal. You obviously have a different OPINION.

    I think that is true to a point. To wit, as long as The Deal was in the works, nothing else could be passed. But even assuming that is true, was what was paased worth it?

    I note that you stated that “”the GOP agenda was blocked.” I suppose your definition of the GOP agenda was stop START, stop UI, stop the Food Safety bill, stop DADT repeal, etc.

    I submit that you are wrong. of those 4, only stop DADt repeal was really on the GOP agenda. Stopping the START treaty was merely a pose. Stopping the Food Safety bill was merely a pose. And stopping UI was a pose.

    There was two things on the GOP agenda – (1) extending the Bush tax cuts. OF course making them permanent for all was on the wish list, but extending them all was the real goal; (2) blocking the budget. The GOP got what it wanted.
    They are confidence, rightly in my view, that they will will again on the tax issue in 2 years.

    Their only real loss was on DADT repeal.

    I am pretty sure you do not understand these points.

  130. 130
    BTD says:

    @PS:

    I think you are right.

    I will certainly try to do so. I ask that Joe do the same.

  131. 131
    BTD says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Try to do better on the honest argumentation thing.

  132. 132
    Nick says:

    @Suck It Up!:

    So Elizabeth Warren is also a reflection of Obama’s views right?

    No, that’s different, he only appointed her because the left made a fuss.

  133. 133
    PS says:

    @BTD: Great.

    BTW, I forgot that the dearly beloved software that rules our universe has chosen to interpret “less-than gee greater-than” as an illegitimate HTML call and therefore ignores it. The teeing-off was supposed to be humorous.

    Yesterday I did see subsection (f) being followed by subsection (smiley) — our lords and masters will have their little jokes, they’re just selective.

  134. 134
    Nick says:

    I’m trying to be a good Democrat, so I know I’m supposed to be outraged about this, but I honestly know nothing about this and probably am going to cool my jets until I know something.

    A good Democrat would just go see what Jane Hamsher, Arianna Huffington and/or Paul Krugman are saying and parrot it.

  135. 135
    Nick says:

    @Oscar Leroy:

    You still haven’t accepted the fact that Congress promised to vote on the commission’s report?

    Since they didn’t, I don’t see why he has to.

  136. 136
    Valdivia says:

    Davis X Machina–thanks for that. Stevie Wonder is God. Love that!

  137. 137
    eemom says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    God is love.
    Love is blind.
    Stevie Wonder is blind.
    Stevie Wonder is God, QED.

    hmm…. I think I spot a flaw. In order for that logic to work blind has to be Stevie Wonder, not the other way around.

    Which may mean that Bush is worse than Goolsbee, but that still leaves us with some leftover Catfood.

  138. 138
    Chicago Todd says:

    A good Democrat would say this is more of Obama’s 11 dimensional chess playing and that as soon as he wins the 2012 election he will be free to move to the left, just like his defenders thought he would do in 2008 and after his inauguration, and prosecute the torture regime, raise taxes on the wealthy, withdrawl from Iraq (literally)and Afghanistan, strengthen Social Security/Medicare, put together a real jobs program, etc.

    A reality based Democrat would say we are still screwed as a country because of a corrupt system where a boat load of cash rewards the courtesans in Congress and Executive branch (i.e. Obama) for vacuuming huges sums of cash up the income ladder through policies that help a select few at the top.

    Behold the magic of bipartisanship to screw the majority of Americans. Immelt is part of that bipartisanship.

  139. 139
    Valdivia says:

    the Golsbee op ed makes a point about subprime lending–that a lot of people previously locked out of the real estate market could get loans when they previously could not. And it seems he is saying that when watching over the new rules we should be careful not to lock out people who can make payments out of owning a house.

    Srv seems to think goolsbee himself went and sold the subprime loans ot banks abroad and is responsible for the creation of the derivatives based on this loans which is what tanked the economy. How is Golsbee making the point that regulation cannot be so over zealous that it creates a diffent crisis in real estate equal to Feith promoting the Iraq war based on lies and being a war criminal?

    Hyperbole much?

  140. 140
    Lawnguylander says:

    Really? You don’t? You don’t see how it has put Social Security “reform” on the front burner again?

    As for the rest of the recommendations, of course you are right. They were NEVER intended to be taken seriously. This was ALWAYS about Pete Peterson’s agenda to “reform” Social Security.

    No, you NEVER intended to take rest of the commission’s recommendations seriously or have them anywhere near your own front burner.

    That’s not Pete Peterson’s fault.

    I don’t see why you can’t understand this.

    I don’t judge you though. Nobody on the internet left with any kind of audience ever paid serious attention to any of the other recommendations of the commission or even offered up much honest analysis of the commission’s actual SS recommendations so you’ve been given nothing else to talk about. DKos, Atrios, Digby etc. all marched in lockstep with the likes of you following behind. I don’t think even they understand how they’re making serious discussion more difficult by coining and retailing to their audiences stupid slogans like “Catfood Commission” so why would you be expected to figure out your role in all this? But when you’re fed information on the difference between the Simpson and Bowles PPT presentation and the actual report and pretend that information doesn’t matter (“Assuming your point is true, it is not relevant to mine.”), you do look very silly.

  141. 141
    LB says:

    @Mnemosyne: no surprise. This is how all conspracy theorists work.

  142. 142
    LT says:

    I came to BJ to make a comment about how it’s time for John to do some hippypunching on the Immelt business. Too late! (Pretty tame, though, JC, pretty tame.)

  143. 143
    BTD says:

    @Lawnguylander:

    “serious discussion.” Got it.

  144. 144

    I gave you MY judgment of what was pertinent to The Deal. You obviously have a different OPINION.

    Nope. Let’s go to the tape:

    Here’s what you can plausibly argue The Deal accomplished, and they are significant achievements – UI benefits and DADT repeal.

    You may now stop lecturing me, or anyone else, on honest argumentation.

    I am pretty sure you do not understand these points.

    Ah, the familiar fall-back: “You just don’t understand what I’m saying.” Resisted the urge to write “Let me use smaller words,” did you?

    I don’t misunderstand your argument; I disagree with it. I think I made my point pretty well when I wrote:

    Sounds like a conspiracy theory. All of the (items) you like are just there for show, while the ones you don’t like – those are what the entire commission was intended for from the beginning.

    Of course the Republicans didn’t really want the things they didn’t get; we can tell, because they didn’t get them.

  145. 145
    LT says:

    @John Cole:

    Obama does what Obama wants to do.

    Just like Jared Loughner!

    Absolutey bizre piece of thought. Obama lives in an absolute vacuum. The hiring or appointing of people means nothing, the message said hirings might send means nothing, and the actual people being hired themselves are meaningless. We are all part of Obama’s imagination.

    Jesus, I need some of your drugs.

  146. 146
    srv says:

    @Valdivia: Goolsbee defends the mortgage lending practices of the bubble, sees the mortgage market as “more perfect” and starts with his own hyperbole against Chris Dodd. And then the whole part that if you hurt sub-prime lending, well, you just hate minorities.

    Clearly, a man who defends sub-prime and never wrote a proactive piece about derivatives and shadow banking is the best guy for leading us out of an economic catastrophe and beating up Wall Street.

    Here’s your hero writing about the benefits of lowering taxes rates on the rich. Back in 1998. He also wrote on the benefits of Bush’s tax cuts back in the early 00’s, but I can’t find a link for you (his Wiki is very judiciously perfected, the NYT’s opinion piece isn’t linked there anymore).

    Surely he’s changed his mind, and just hated extending the riches tax cuts.

  147. 147

    @BTD:

    “serious discussion.” Got it.

    Are you under the impression this is an argument?

    Let me give you some advice: the misuse of the word “serious” during the debate over invading Iraq doesn’t actually mean that being serious is a bad thing.

  148. 148
    LT says:

    While they have slashed their American workforce to fewer than 150,000, GE has dramatically expanded its global presence, now employing over 300,000 workers worldwide. Yes, GE has brought a trickle of jobs back to the U.S. over the past two years, but it still outsources more than it insources.

    When you’re seriously involved in trying to influence good policy in this country, this really counts. And talking about it, and pointing to it, counts. I do not get the compulsion you have, John, to knock every discussion like this in the teeth. “Obama does what Obama’s gonna do!” is not a worthy response to this. Neither is “It’s a done deal! You can’t do anything about it!”

  149. 149
    BTD says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    You’ve become incoherent.

  150. 150
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @srv: Now I know whom to blame for property still being theft….

  151. 151
    BTD says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    I played all of your cards Joe. How does you like it?

    Honestly, wr can have an honest respectful debate if stopped acting as if every one who disagreed with you was Oscar LEroy.

    Try it.

  152. 152
    Valdivia says:

    Srv for the record he is not my hero but can you point to anything he has DONE in the Obama administration that is equal to being a war criminal? Because you keep citing op eds as if they are the end all and be all his all out evil and sincerely it’s ptty fucking thin.

  153. 153
    les says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Seriously?

    why “should” I pay US tax on the income that is attributable to my Iriish manufacturing functions?
    Reply

    You’re the guy who plays a lawyer on Balloon Juice, right? The income is not attributable to Irish manufacturing, it’s attributable to sales in the U.S. And it’s the income that is taxed by a, you know, income tax. I’m sure you will be shocked to find out that, e.g., Toyota is taxed by the U.S. on the income from all of their car sales in the U.S., whether they’re built in Japan or the U.S!

  154. 154
    superking says:

    @burnspbesq:

    When you said that it was about our regulatory system and high taxes, did you mean to say that those aren’t cost issues? Complying with regulations and paying taxes are costs. Is there another way to think about them? Are you suggesting that businesses are off-shoring jobs just because they dislike America?

  155. 155

    […] any power, or is it just something to titillate the villagers like the SS commission?” asks John Cole at Balloon Juice. “Who is this Immelt (other than a GE exec)? How do they expect to put people back to work […]

  156. 156
    Lawnguylander says:

    @BTD:

    I was not trying to engage you in a serious discussion on this story.

    Or even an interesting one.

    If I did I apologize.

    Someone else reliably introduced fellatio to the conversation but “Catfood Comission” is no less silly. Both trade in creepy imagery vs. actual ideas and yes, “serious” discussions about the power of the President vs. the power of Imelt and the corporate interests he represents. That’s what this appointment is about and while “Obama does what Obama wants to do” is completely reductive, it’s at least a fumbling attempt to analyze the story.

    You apparently do not understand all this. This is not my fault.

  157. 157
    srv says:

    @Valdivia: The man’s OWN WORDS are pretty thin? Hard to read all his big words about how “perfect” the subprime market is, how bad regulation is, and professional publications on how tax cuts for the rich are good? The guy just supported extending their tax cuts and payroll tax holiday – a gutting of social security funding that will never be undone?

    What does an administration economist have to write/say – or are just Bush economists and DoD appointees accountable for their shit?

  158. 158
    BTD says:

    @Lawnguylander:

    Ma gavte la nata

  159. 159
    burnspbesq says:

    @les:

    No, actually I wouldn’t be shocked, because this is the area of tax law in which I work every day, and you are miles from understanding it.

    Perhaps you are familiar with the concept of “cost of goods sold.” Toyota Motor Sales (U.S.) gets to deduct cost of goods sold when it computes its US taxable income. That is true regardless of whether it buys any particular vehicle from Toyota Motors Corporation, the Japanese parent, or from Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Kentucky.

    That intercompany sale can be priced however the parent company wants it to be, and in the absence of effective regulation and enforcement could be set so that the US operates at break-even and all the taxable income is earned in Japan.

    It is a generally accepted norm among industrialized countries that economic double taxation should be avoided. The same item of income should not be taxed by two countries. In order to avoid economic double taxation of income from cross-border transactions, you need a generally accepted norm for determining transfer prices. There are two principal ways of doing this: the arm’s length approach and the formulary approach.

    The arm’s length approach attempts to set transfer prices by benchmarking related-party transactions against comparable transactions between unrelated parties. The arm’s length approach is the prevailing approach in international taxation.

    The formulary approach assigns income to jurisdictions based on comparison of factors that are believed to be good proxies for the extent to which a multi jurisdictional enterprise benefits from being in each jurisdiction. The formulary approach is the prevailing approach in US state and local taxation.

    Either approach is susceptible to abuse and difficult to effectively enforce. Choose your poison.

  160. 160
    burnspbesq says:

    @superking:

    You’re right, regulations impose costs and taxes are costs. I unpacked them the way I did because they are often talked about as though they are different.

    A dollar of tax savings is the same size and color, and has the same purchasing power, as a dollar of cost of goods sold that you avoid by beating up a vendor.

  161. 161
    Mnemosyne says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Of course the Republicans didn’t really want the things they didn’t get; we can tell, because they didn’t get them.

    This does often seem to be the operating assumption:

    If you really want something, you’ll get it.
    If you don’t really want something, you won’t get it.
    Therefore, if Congress doesn’t pass the bills that the president says publicly that he wants them to pass, that’s proof that he didn’t want it enough.

    Seriously, have these people been handed every single thing they ever wanted on a silver platter, so they genuinely don’t get that sometimes you can want things — even want them a lot — and not get them?

  162. 162
    les says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Dude, you might skip the condescension. I’ve been playing this game for 25 years, with a masters in tax. You made the (ridiculous) assertion that you shouldn’t be taxed in the U.S. for your manufacturing functions in Ireland. I merely noted that, in fact, that’s not what’s happening. In most of the civilized world, income is taxed first by the jurisdiction where the income generating activity occurs. Most jurisdictions also levy a tax on the overall income of domestic entities, with avoidance of double taxation by a credit for foreign taxes. The issue was taxation of income.

    The issue of how much is interesting to the insiders, and has lots of fun ramifications, and you can write neat articles on transfer pricing, and so on. But when the discussion is export of jobs, and the impact of income taxation on same, and your response is you shouldn’t be taxed on, or as a result of, or about, or something, domestic sales of foreign produced stuff, then a) you’re conflating taxation of income with determination of income, b) you’re wrong as a matter of practice, and c) in my opinion, you’re wrong as a matter of policy.

  163. 163
    dollared says:

    @4jkb4ia: This is a great point. “American competitiveness” means “more quarterly bonuses for executives who make short term deals that result in the loss of high paying manufacturing jobs.”

  164. 164
    dollared says:

    @les: Thanks. You just appeared, like Marshall McLuhan in Annie Hall, and shut up and idiot.

  165. 165
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mnemosyne: Ever heard a sports announcer say, “It’s all gonna come down to who wants it more”? Same thing. Also, Obama should bring in some veteran leadership, a few scrappy guys who play the game the right way, and act like he’s been there before.

  166. 166
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @les: I don’t know who you are but this was brilliant.

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