Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hands off, Hands on - Alan Greenspan pulls a Karate Kid

Tom DeLay (yuck) recently said, “All three branches of our government should stay out of the economy…”

Last week, before the House Oversight Committee, the former Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan, did some serious fessing up. His economic theories had a flaw, “a flaw in the model that I perceived as the critical functioning structure that defines how the world works.” Indeed. In layperson speak that means: I screwed up. The market couldn’t take care of itself after all. Go figure.

This from a man who openly proclaims himself to be a Libertarian, who has held that governments shouldn’t interfere in the market, who has fought regulation for years. Now he says, the only way to sustain support for capitalism “is to continue to support market incentives that create jobs and to find productive ways to ease the pain of job losers.” He also spoke of “the recent growing inequality of income,” a new problem that “requires insight into its roots, and policy action where appropriate.” I find this all immensely ironic. Sounds a little like “spread the wealth around” to me, or maybe that some government oversite is needed. And that leads me to my next point.

I have heard over and over how scared people are of Obama being elected president. Is it mainly because of this comment he made to Joe the plumber? Do they find it offensive because it sounds socialistic – taking money from the taxpayer and giving it to someone else, in this case someone who makes less? Maybe part of the reason the country as a whole is moving towards the center is because, if taxpayer money can be used to bail out stupid bankers, then why can’t the every day person get help from the government before they lose their house?

Or is it that if Obama is elected, that he and the Democratic controlled congress and senate will reign unchecked in Washington and according to DeLay, go about "prohibiting conservative talk radio, validating socialization of the energy industry, and billions in new taxes on small businesses and the resulting job losses and wealth evaporation?" I could be wrong here but it seems to me that when FDR and his congress took over the mess Hoover made, they were able to successfully set America right again from the brink of collapse. Can it happen again? Maybe. I believe Obama should be given at the very least, a chance. He's not an idiot after all. When the bases are loaded, I want my best and smartest hitter at the plate. Could it get any worse than what we’ve already been through these last eight years?

What I can’t figure out is why no one is scared about McCain and his hard-line taking with Russia and China, wanting them kicked out of the G8, his not agreeing with Bush being so soft on North Korea, not having a problem with bombing Iran, and continuing the war in Iraq for 100 years if necessary. How many of these countries have nuclear weapons? Most of them! Good grief. You know what I worry about? I worry about this:

Now to me, that's scary.


okbushmans said...

What I love about reading your blog is to see how political views are really apparent in how people interpret people. It's not bad, just different. For example, Greenspan referred to market incentives, I interpreted that to mean tax incentives for hurting companies. Yes, the 'inequality of income' is an interesting quote. But he said, look at it's roots (education, background, etc) not let's give every family making under this much a stimulus check. And if he is suggesting 'spreading the wealth' or some form, I would disagree with him
Secondly, I would argue that those who oppose Obama's 'socialist ideas' would be the same who were strongly opposed to the bail-out. (As I was). I find both ridiculous, the bail out even more so. (62% of the country agreed)
Thirdly, UCLA economists studied the depression, and are suggesting FDR's New Deal prolonged the depression 7 years. Who really knows what would have happened.
And lastly, I find it ironic that you disagree with conservatives overexaggerating Obama's 'socialist' view which will bring on a depression or end of the world (which I also find ridiculous), however you suggest a McCain administration would bring about WWIII or a nuclear holocaust. (BTW, McCain referred to a presence in Iraq, not actual war. just like we have people stationed all over the world.)

Ben and Christina said...

I have been thinking about what to write, mostly because it is really bothering me that McCain is spouting off this word, "socialism" as if he knows what he is talking about, and he does not. I lived in a socialist country for quite some time, and I can guarantee that Obama is NOT socialist (as if that really is such a bad thing, anyway), and McCain is merely using this as another scare tactic to scare people into voting for him. If you read/listen to exactly what Obama said to Joe the Plumber, you would understand more of how McCain has taken Obama's words, snipped out one sentence, taken it completely out of context, and is trying to tell everyone that Obama is a Socialist/Marxist. This article says all of what Obama said, not just one small sentence:

Now, I can guarantee you that giving a tax cut to 95% of Americans- including myself and I am sure you- a tax break, is NOT socialism. Anyway, I know that you don't think he is a socialist, but I wanted to clarify that because it is really frustrating that people are falling for such nonsense.

However, I will say that there is one arguement that I actually do agree with the Reps. on. Our country has a system of checks and balances on purpose, and I am a little worried about the Dems having all the power, which it looks pretty likely they will have. I think that is the strongest arguement currently coming from the Rep. side. Of course, the counter-arguement is that the Reps. had COMPLETE power for the past 6 of 8 (you could argue it was only the last 4 of 8, but at any rate, there was no checks and balances for quite a long period of time while they were in power), and the Reps. didn't seem to complain about checks and balances then, so it is quite hypocritical to say that it is a problem now.

I did appreciate Greenspan's comments- at least somebody was finally being honest and fessing up to their mistakes! Imagine if Bush would do that...

Jen said...

You asked if conservatives were scared and said: "Is it mainly because of this comment he made to Joe the plumber?" Well, the concept there is, in part. But here is a list (From Patrick J. Buchanan's article entitled "Obama's First 100 Days) of why I, and many conservatives, are scared of Obama:

What does the triumvirate of Obama-Pelosi-Reid offer?

Swift amnesty for 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens and a drive to make them citizens and register them, as in the Bill Clinton years. This will mean that Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona will soon move out of reach for GOP presidential candidates, as has California.

Border security will go on the backburner, and America will have a virtual open border with a Mexico of 110 million.

Taxes will be raised on the top 5 percent of wage-earners, who now carry 60 percent of the U.S. income tax burden, and tens of millions of checks will be sent out to the 40 percent of wage-earners who pay no federal income tax. Like the man said, redistribute the wealth, spread it around.

Social Security taxes will be raised on the most successful among us, and capital gains taxes will be raised from 15 percent to 20 percent. The Bush tax cuts will be repealed, and death taxes reimposed.

Two or three more liberal activists of the Ruth Bader Ginsburg-John Paul Stevens stripe will be named to the Supreme Court. U.S. district and appellate courts will be stacked with "progressives."

Special protections for homosexuals will be written into all civil rights laws, and gays and lesbians in the military will be invited to come out of the closet. "Don't ask, don't tell" will be dead.

The homosexual marriages that state judges have forced California, Massachusetts and Connecticut to recognize, an Obama Congress or Obama court will require all 50 states to recognize.

A "Freedom of Choice Act" nullifying all state restrictions on abortions will be enacted. America will become the most pro-abortion nation on earth. (Please read up on this, I know you don't think that Obama is a "baby killer" but this act sure does enable other people to perform the greusome act.)

Affirmative action – hiring and promotions based on race, sex and sexual orientation until specified quotas are reached – will be rigorously enforced throughout the U.S. government and private sector.

Universal health insurance will be enacted, covering legal and illegal immigrants, providing another powerful magnet for the world to come to America, if necessary by breaching her borders.

A federal bailout of states and municipalities to keep state and local governments spending up could come in December or early next year.

The first trillion-dollar deficit will be run in the first year of an Obama presidency. It will be the first of many.

The reality of these things happening is far greater than a WWIII. I believe that Obama has Socialist ideas (Christina my not think it socialism is such a bad idea, but I beg to differ--Christina, you know I still love you!). Obama is also promising a tax cut. YES, this is a good thing, but I just don't believe him. I really wish I could believe him, but I don't. He has recent track record of raising taxes, why all-of-the-sudden should I believe him. Regardless, his tax cuts hurt the very people that create jobs, which in turn, would cause job losses.

I agree that the current admin hasn't done their part to help. In my opnion, George Bush ran on very different ideals than what he brought to pass. Many of the decisions he made were more moderate than conservative. I don't completely hate him like many do, but I think he is VERY flawed. I agree with Christina regarding the fact that Greenspan fessed up. I wish more of the, on both sides of the isle, would do the same.

Lula O said...

Good grief I've been trying to get to this all day. We do, all wear different shades of political sunglasses. We probably see what we want to see; hear what we want to hear, snippets here and there from brief conservations. I just read 40% of the country is expected to vote as a Democrat, 40% vote as a Republican, and the last 20%, the one's neither black nor white, that are gray or some color inbetween, actually will decide this election. I find that facinating! That's were the country is, right smack in the middle.
I can't think of anyone (who isn't the head of a bank) that would say they agreed with the bailout, but I couldn't stick with the purist line either- Let failed banks fail. It's not realistic and affects too many people.

And as far as FDR goes, I belive you're right, we don't know what would've happened, but I trust the American people who were there at the time, who lived it and suffered the affects from it. They liked FDR and his Democrat predecessor's so much that they were rewarded with victories for decades afterward.

I was trying to prove a point with the picture. Do I think McCain will cause a nuclear holocaust? No, but do I think he's more likely to engage in an aggressive stance that could lead to more war, more than Obama might be? Maybe, based on what he's said. In the same sense, I don't really believe most Republicans think that we're going to revert to a socialist state if Obama's elected, based solely on his tax cut ideas. I agree with Christina, that's it a scare tactic, just big alarming talk, like that mushroom cloud. Something that gets people attention and distracts them from the truth. Both candidates are doing it.

And please, Pat Buchanan? There's an unbiased voice of truth and reason for ya. What, can he see the future now? He and Rush certainly don't make strange bedfellows that's for sure. Let's face it, whoever's elected will probably have just two years to screw up the entire planet before Congress switches again, and probably four years in office total. Let's hope he uses his time wisely.