Obama - Health Reform & everything else

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by Justice, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. Justice

    Justice New Member

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    It's been a while since I posted. And I have a feeling this thread will literally be scorn with guffaws and vitriol, but as anyone knows rarely do I back down from people on the internet.

    Obama was elected thanks to a landslide disaster in the nations economy. Houses were defaulting on loans, banks were going broke and having to be rescued, and the stock market was plummeting like crazy after hitting a 14,000 point high. He was dead even or behind McCain in many polls up until the last month and a half of the election cycle.

    For all the time people screamed about the horrible Bush economy, we were about to catch a glimpse of what a bad economy REALLY looks like. (Henceforth the people shouting bad economy for years have had their heads up their asses).

    So now Obama is up to the plate. he is the one everyone has turned to in order to revitalize our economy.

    So far he's promised to spend us into deficit even more than President Bush did, despite complaining about how irresponsible it was when Bush lowered taxes and increased spending which produced deficits in his administration. Obama is promising tax cuts for 95% of individuals, and promising even more spending, not even including the almost 800 billion he approved in stimulus spending. You know, sometimes you can do the exact same thing as your predecessor and even more so, and somehow everyone cheers you on for it.

    Everyone except nearly half the nation. After the inauguration, Obama had a 82% approval rating. Not exactly hard to get so early on in the administration, but an impressive number. (After 9/11, Bush's approval rating was as high as 90% in some polls). However, once Obama had a cascade of TERRIBLE choices in cabinet appointees (Tim Geitner, treasury secretary, cheating on his taxes, N.M Gov Bill Richardson dropping out as commerce secretary because the FBI is snooping around his business dealings, former Senator Tom Daschle also dropping out for tax reasons, Nancy Killefer for tax reasons as well) the love fest started to fade a little. People were actually a little confused by this. The "One" as Oprah called him, the most perfect man elected to the most perfect office in all of Perfectdom sudenly makes a long and grueling chain of baffling mistakes.

    He survives Cabinet-gate, and moves on.

    Then comes the Stimulus Package. Obama tells the public again and again there is no wasteful spending or earmarks in the package. Actually, from the time of its release, nearly 9000 wasteful spending projects, called pork, have been identified. The biggest difference between an earmark and pork is that earmarks have names and specific legislation attached to them. So it's okay to waste money, just don't attach your name to it.

    People's eyebrows are raised.

    The comes the Omnibus spending package that is being debated (it could have passed, I haven't watched the news in a day or so). Despite ushering in a new era of "Better government, not bigger government", the new federal budget contain thousands of earmarks in it. Despite saying this budget was being put together during the Bush administration, Obama is President now. Shouldn't he send the bill back to ahve the armarks removed? He has the power NOT to sign the bill.

    He will sign it anyways despite campaign promises.

    March 10 Gallup tracking poll puts him at 62%. Much higher than Bush of course, but a 20% drop is a significant one. That means tens of millions of Americans are starting to sober up and realize one fact... he's just a person. There's a good chance... he might be wrong...



    Spending trillions of dollars, rewarding businesses that can't keep afloat or make bad decisions (like bank loans to people buying houses they couldn't afford which was pushed by both Republican and Democratic legislators) car companies that make sucky cars and need billions of dollars, and all the while good businesses, those who are growing and expanding and trying to thrive are now handicapped because Obama believes saving failed businesses help the economy rather than retards it.

    Imagine if a bunch of kids fail a test in a class. Say if those students who got A's had their scores reduced, and the failing students got better grades. Now the A students can't succeed as well because they've been handicapped, and the failing students have no desire to produce because the teacher will mark their grades up at the cost of those who have done better. Can anyone say that's a fair system? That's exactly what this bailout is going to do.

    Close to 40% of the American people are starting to understand this.All the while Rome is burning, and the Democrats have nothing better to do than to steer attention away and point out Rush Limbaugh is popular among Republicans.

    http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2009/03/04/team-obamas-petty-limbaugh-strategy/
     
  2. kartaron

    kartaron Hunter / Gatherer

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    Re: Obama - The other side

    All of this is true. Obama is already proven to be more inept and more of a hypocrite than Bush. Just the other day I heard Obama in a radio interview say the bank bailouts and nationalizations are in line with free market principals.

    He thinks he is clever saying he will cut the deficit to half by 2013 only after he's raised it to 1 trillion.
     
  3. Blackness

    Blackness Well-Known Member

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    Re: Obama - The other side

    IMO capitalism is a failed system, it was bound to fail and seeing someone inept at the head of the most powerful world country in the midst of finantial crisis would normally bring tears of joy.
    However, i don't think Obama will fail, you don't judge a war by seperate battles, but rather the way it ends. Time will show who was right, but i think in the end we'll all be better off than we would be with McCain in charge,
     
  4. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    Re: Obama - The other side

    On the economy ~ throwing (borrowed) money around will cause more problem that it solves. The crisis came about by over-borrowing and over-consumption so is hardly going to be cured by more of the same. The key is to stabilise the financial system so that companies & individuals have confidence in it and that (properly underwritten) lines of credit and insurance are available. Other industries which do not have a sound, profitable business model which can handle the rough with the smooth economic environments should be allowed to go to the wall.

    Returning to Obama ~ his honeymoon period is rapidly coming to a close. Many wanted / expected him to be a miracle worker, they'll be disappointed. That's not to say other areas, such as foreign policy, won't benefit under his administration.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009
  5. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Re: Obama - The other side

    Hmm

    In Obama's defense;

    Obama's campaign was never aimed at crushing a depression; it was built on a fair-going economy. Now, things started looking bleak around the summer or so, and sure enough, some comments were made during the election. But no party or candidate could have assumed the pitch, pitch black scenario that has unfolded so far.

    So discard whatever has been said during the elections. It is of absolutely no value anymore.

    The most important thing is that 1.) there is a strong leader; and 2.) he is willing to take drastic actions. Every single economist will agree that action is needed not to lower the recession into a depression (give him a nobel prize if it doesn't). And those actions will hurt, no doubt. Not least the national debt. And I will remind that it's perfectly reasonable to loan money in economic bad times, to settle the debt again in years of economic wealth (which Bush failed to do). NOT spending money on revitalising the economy and, in stead, trying to pay off some old debts is generally agreed to be a very bad way indeed to deal with a crisis like this.

    Now, to be honest, I haven't looked into the stimuli packages Obama has come with so far. What I have heared from it, however, hasn't all been brilliant. But at least there's action.

    Ow, and the stock exchanges... the NY exchanges are in line with those in the rest of the world. I don't think one can blame Obama for that...
     
  6. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    Re: Obama - The other side

    In a normal economic circumstances you are right that governments try for a balanced budget/debt repayment over an economic cycle. However this crisis is diifferent, it's a crisis of confidence within the financial system itself. The banks don't want to lend to each other as many are sitting on 'assets' which are impaired. The lack of credit within the system then impacts on companies as they can't access working capital. Get the financial system stable and lending (more sensibly) and this recession won't plummet ever downward.
     
  7. Justice

    Justice New Member

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    Re: Obama - The other side


    The one thing people don't understand about Capitalism is that it is a system that changes. Failure is inevitable in many circumstances because it provides no safety net. The reason for America's remarkable success and financial power (such as it is) has been the Capitalist system.

    Ergo, failure IS a part of the Capitalist system. Until a complete collapse occurs on all founding principles, it is not a failed system.

    Having no safety net means things fail. Rather than accepting this, Obama has decided to create a sytem where no one fails.

    People who bought houses they couldn't afford are getting principals reduced and loans modified.

    Companies that gave risky loans that people couldn't pay back are receiving hundreds of billions of dollars for bad business practices.

    Many banks thought giving mortgage loans to illegal immigrants who did not pay any down payment, and did not pay ONE mortgage payment and essentially got free rent for 6 months living in houses they never intended to buy was a great business model. Well, they didn't but tens of thousands of houses that were foreclosed on were sold to illegal immigrants here in California who could not provide proof of citizenship, and never paid any money for them. the result was billions of dollars in losses for Bank of America and other banks.


    And the funny thing is Obama feels MORE government intervention will help. Regulation is necessary in some market. I'm not a libertarian who feels economics should have stopped at the Pony Express. But the wrong kind of regulation, like the ones Obama is proposing, can stagnate matters, not improve them.
     
  8. Justice

    Justice New Member

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    Re: Obama - The other side


    Well, you signal exactly what could be Obama's downfall, riding in on a wave of Hope and Change, and getting something the people see as the exact opposite.

    People on this board lauded Obama for signing legislation to close Gitmo, but they didn't even read what the legislation actually said. Literally it is a moratorium on deciding within a year on what the best action to take will be. Hell, what if they decide the best action ISN'T to close Gitmo? I know Obama has said he intends to close it, but he also said he intended to invalidate NAFTA, which he has gone completely back on.

    Between him and Hillary, ending the Iraq war was a vital issue. Now, it could be two years before things draw to a close, and even then, over 50,000 soldiers will still be there.

    And what you put about wiping out his campaign promises? That's exactly what can undo him. People bought the image of Barack Obama as he was campaigning as an "enlightened being". I'm not being facetious, a commentator in the Chicago Sun Times said,

    The fact remains what one does in office after so many people jumped on the bandwagon does matter. People remember his promises, and so far he has managed to let down a lot of people. I warned people about this way back when that people were following a cult like image rather than reading through his policies and thinking it out rationally.

    So, for the time being, I own no stock, have a very large savings account in a Credit Union rather than a bank, paid off my car, and have two jobs and will likely take a third if the opportunity arrives. I expect this to be a long winter, especially since thousands of climatologists are saying the earth is cooling, not warming, so I guess Obama was right about making the oceans stop their rise as soon as he's elected.

    Oh wait, climate models say the earth peaked at '98 and has been cooling since, never mind. It was Gore then...
     
  9. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Re: Obama - The other side

    That counters your first argument.

    Getting the financial system stable is a matter of vast amounts of money to make up for huge losses the banks have sustained. Which will have to be loaned by the gouvernments; because there is simply no other institutions in the world that can do such. Which comes down to more debt.

    Beyond that, other elements of the economy have already been hit so significantly, that a miraculous saving of banks and trust therein, with more sensible loans as a result, would safe us from the current crisis. It's beyond that....

    Well, you started about the ecomonic situation. I agree that there's a lot Obama still needs to do to come close to fulfilling all he said the campaign. And it's always been clear to me he wouldn't be able to keep up with them either. Those who have payed close attention, and I'll count you among them, already knew this.

    The economic situation however, demands a grave change in approach which couldn't have been foreseen in September/October. Campaigns were never based on it. We were in for change, yes. But no one intended them to be per Wallstreet. That is why I said that campaign promises concerning economics are best directed to the waste bin.

    Well, I am glad to hear some Americans have managed to save up for cold winters :D
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009
  10. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    Re: Obama - The other side

    Not really ~ my argument was that governments should be focused.

    I have no issue with governments strengthening the capital adequacy of banks or increasing liquidity within the markets. There is also a difference in a provision for bad debt and a realised loss. Much of the government support is therefore in the form of guarantees rather than upfront and irrecoverable loans. Most of the 'toxic' loans are impaired not worthless (other than as a trading security).

    What we see is governments trying to stimulate the economy (increasing debt further) aside from the main focus on the financial sector. Examples the VAT cut here in the UK, infrastructure investments in US & abroad, propping up the car industry etc
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009
  11. Boadicea

    Boadicea Warrior Queen

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    Re: Obama - The other side

    FDR is accredited with pulling us out of the Depression by spending way more money than the country actually had. Same principle here. Are you suggesting that tax cuts for corporate CEOs are the way to go? :rolleyes:

    This is what I'll never understand about conservatives. They insist that tax cuts for the rich and laissez faire policies will help the economy. It hasn't worked the last hundred times, why should it work now?


    I think this is the first time I've ever read something of yours and agreed with it. :D It's idiotic to give money to the people who are running the economy into the ground.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2009
  12. Justice

    Justice New Member

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    Re: Obama - The other side

    The crash of 1929 placed unemployment at 25%. Before that, the country was at 1% unemployment, which is essentially full employment. FDR did many of the things Obama did, and for a time people were working. However, when bridges were built, and roads were finished, these people were unemployed again. 7 years into The New Deal, unemployment was still almost 18%. Not as high as 25%, but it clearly didn't olve the problem for the majority of unemployed. Sadly, only one thing pulled America out of its slump. World War II.


    Here's the thing about rich people... they tend to employ workers. They own businesses, buy stock, and create jobs. California, where I live, is a great example. Business taxes and income tax have gone up so much, and even more now that Ah-nold has raised taxes again, that wealthy people are moving to neighboring states.

    But apparently being rich makes you evil these days. Until someone rich does something blatantly illegal, why should we hate them for their success?




    Conservatives believe in tax cuts for EVERYONE, not just the rich. Tax cuts aren't complete net losses to government. They get money back through sales taxes, through investment taxes, wealthy people create jobs and there's income and payroll taxes, so tax cuts aren't this evil that blights humanity, even to rich people. The government is a huge, blundering agency and the conservative principle is that money is better in the hands of those that earned it in the first place.


     
  13. Boadicea

    Boadicea Warrior Queen

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    Re: Obama - The other side

    I have no problem with wealthy people who've worked hard, and earned every dollar. I do have a problem with people like our auto industry CEOs, who come to D.C. on their private jets asking for money. These men are getting more in severance pay than many people make in their entire lives. Perhaps I have a warped perspective, but surely people making $500,000+ per year can afford to pay more taxes and create jobs for their company.

    The gov't definitely is a huge, blundering agency. But the whole "hands-off" policy works on the assumption that 90% of people are ethical. Unfortunately...
     
  14. kartaron

    kartaron Hunter / Gatherer

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    Re: Obama - The other side

    No it doesnt. It presumes that 100% of the people who engage in the market will seek to protect themselves as best they can and the intense personal reason they have to protect themselves is a far greater protection than a maze of bureaucracy and micromanagement, or outright oppression.

    Buy socialist supporters. The actual numbers show the depression was mostly stable once it started until the massive war debt owed by Britain and other European nations began being paid back.

    It is also well documented that one of the main causes of the depression and it's length was that at the first signs of recession they raised the capital gains tax and raised the income tax from 25% to 75%, plus the introduction of a new tax, presumably to pay for Social Security.

    Every time Obama opens his mouth on TV he says something deeply socialist and the market drops 300 points. Thats drastic leadership alright.

    By the way. This isnt the first time we've had major bank issues. The S&L banks failed in 1987. But because we had a free market president (Bush wasnt one either) with people who didnt wet themselves at the first sign of trouble and conclude the inept and inefficient government must save the free market... everything settled and today it is nearly forgotten.
     
  15. jake1964

    jake1964 Old enough to be your dad

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    Re: Obama - The other side

    What about a president who flies his personal jet (a Boeing 747) from Washington DC to Denver Colorado to sign a piece of legislation that was sitting on his desk in DC?

    Don't forget, it's not just one plane, they also fly in an armoured limousine and several support vehicles for his security detail.

    Just curious. ;)
     
  16. Justice

    Justice New Member

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    Re: Obama - The other side

    Well, Obama isn't taxing people at 500,000, but at 250,000, and during his term in the senate he voted with the Democrats on a practice vote raising taxes on all Americans that made over $42,000 a year.

    Unless you owned, operate, or have ran your own business, how do you know how much money someone deserves? $500 thousand is a lot to you and me, but I don't have to pay payroll checks, medical insurance, provide jobsite safety for workers, state and federal business taxes, and worry about investment capital for future business. The rich at one point paid nearly 90% of their income to the federal government through FDR, either as tax or as direct investment to the government, and that was criminally socialist. The main point of conservatives is that the government is so large that SOMEONE needs to cut it in half desperately. Obama spending us 1 trillion dollars into debt for several years in HOPES that the economy will do better is a terrifying gamble to say the least, and it's doing far more than GW Bush did which Obama criticized him so heavily for.

    And on the other front, CEO's coming to Washington for bailouts is a disgrace to our country. The companies should just fail. People will be out of work, but new companies will arise to replace the ones that failed. It's the good companies, the ones that followed sound business practices which would now have an opportunity to expand which are going to fail now, because the government sees fit to throw money at companies with business models that virtually sunk our nation.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2009
  17. Boadicea

    Boadicea Warrior Queen

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    Re: Obama - The other side

    True. But, too little government intervention is as good as anarchy. Checks and balances are needed.

    I co-manage a horse business; it started off making very little profit, but now turns in a decent amount of money. But of course, our expenses have gone up as well. I know that the more you make, the more you spend. Some people really do need to make that much money, but then there are plenty who have expendable cash pouring out of their ears. Obviously the gov't doesn't just look at the amount made, but also living and business expenses. So, it's not like I'm suggesting that all people making X amount of dollars should be taxed this much.

    Well, that doesn't make me so happy either. But I think it lacks the irony of my previous example.;)

    Just to be clear, I am NOT an Obama supporter. So far I'm disappointed, but hey, he got sworn in two months ago. A lot of people thought Bush was the best thing since sliced bread when he took office. I've got four years to establish an opinion.
     
  18. Justice

    Justice New Member

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    Re: Obama - The other side

    The problem is government has a terrible track record when trying to manage the economy. President Ronald Reagan did relatively little during the Savings and Loan crisis in 1987, and the market eventually took care of itself.



    Well, yes and no. Conservatives had high hopes for Bush, but mid second term all but abandoned him (some 50% of the Repubs still hold him dear). He was a successful president in the fact that he prevented another terrorist attack on our soil, and eventually turned Iraq into a victory, but on economic matters conservatives consider him a failure. When elected into office he has scorned very heavily. i still remember streets being flooded with "He's not my President" bumper stickers. And the funniest thing is, Obama's approval is even lower than Bush's approval when they both took office this far into the administration according to the latest Rassmussen poll.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123690358175013837.html

    This should be huge, Obama has suffered an almost 30% approval rating drop in 2 months. Virtually every time he opens his mouth about the economy, the stock market tanks several hundred points. Historical election or not, people are wondering what the hell Obama is doing spreading doom and gloom about the economy, and today making a complete about face on the economy, saying things aren't really that bad.

    http://www.usnews.com/usnews/politics/bulletin/bulletin_090313.htm

    The scariest thing is he used the EXACT wording John McCain used in describing the economy, saying "The fundamentals are sound". Back in September, McCain said the same thing. The DOW Jones was at 10,500. Unemployment was at 6%. Obama RAKED McCain over the coals for saying that then, and the country followed Obama's lead.

    Now, with unemployment reaching 8.5%, and the DOW at around 7000 points, Obama says the same thing McCain said, the fundamentals of our economy are sound. And he used the exact same words.

    We just elected the first bi-polar President.
     
  19. kartaron

    kartaron Hunter / Gatherer

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    Re: Obama - The other side

    I want to say, I dont want to dislike Obama. I had hope (and still hope) that he reigns in his policies and becomes an effective moderate. At this point Id be happy with him turning out to be something like Clinton who along with a republican congress, balanced the budget and failed to implement his most liberal policies. But the policies he has supported so far are extreme and expensive at a time when we need neither. Plus his deer in the headlights appearance when he is asked for details on something or when confronted by relatively small foreign affairs disputes is troubling. Im afraid weve put a guy in charge sho has no idea what to do and no one to help him.
     
  20. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Re: Obama - The other side

    Whereas Bush... was a man who had no idea and had the wrong people to help him?