August 29 - September 4, 2011

Who will suffer most politically next year from the public anger ignited by the debt battle and its economic fallout?

Answers Votes
President Obama 42%
Congressional Republicans 27%
All incumbents 18%
No one; Americans have a short memory. 11%
Congressional Democrats 2%

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Tagged categories: Economy; Government; Politics

Comment from William (Bill) Crenshaw, (9/2/2011, 6:50 AM)

Both the House and Senate are missing one most important skill. That skill is Leadership. Without Leadership, Strong Leadership, they are doomed to failure. We look to the President to provide that Leadership.

Comment from Carl Thompson, (9/2/2011, 12:18 PM)

When the President talks to the Republican leadership, They come to an agreement, and then the tea party group says no compromise, no new source of income, and the Republicans capitulate to them, who lacks leadership?

Comment from James Johnson, (9/6/2011, 12:49 PM)

The President lacks leadership. New income, or higher taxes, would kill what little economy we have. What the President needs to lead in is reducing waste and spending and in reducing job killing red tape. The problem with the President is he has no experience and has surrounded himself with scholars with no real life experience. As a team they haven't a clue as to how to deal with the economy to create jobs. Previous spending has not helped so more spending will lead to more of the same, so that is not the solution. The tea party was not against compromise, in fact they supported Cut, Cap and Balance, which offered a solution, but the democrats were against it just because the idea came from the GOP. The dems are the ones who refused to compromise. Just as with obamacare, when the GOP offered over 1400 amendments, the Dems voted down every one because of their refusal to compromise.

Comment from Jerry Trevino, (9/21/2012, 5:36 PM)

The answer to the debt crisis to to print more money. The more money we print and redistribute, the more people buy things and more jobs are created to make those things, then the whole country collapses. This is what the president is doing right? I do not believe congress or the house passes bills to print more money or do they? Real Estate, asests in general are now worth half the value of 2007 or so, yet essential items such as fuel, food, insurance, health services, etc are twice the cost of 2007. We are all affected by the debt to China and the debt to ourselves created by printing more money. The worse affected will be our children. They will have to pay much more in taxes to pay the off the debt. The Myth that the republicans or the tea party are blocking sound decisions or proposals is false. The president spends most of his time passing programs that buy him votes. The lack of leadership is on both sides, however, the buck stops at the president. He seems to be more concerned about facilitating abortions than the providing real solution to our economic problems. This country is in a real mess. If we go further down the cliff, many other countries will follow.

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (9/25/2012, 9:36 AM)

Jerry, I'm not sure where your "half" is coming from. The Dow and S&P 500 are almost exactly what they were in 2007 (not quite the peak, but the 2007 average.) Gold is well over double what it was in 2007. Home values (Case-Schiller) are down about 25% from 2007 - not half.

Comment from James Johnson, (9/26/2012, 12:00 PM)

When more money is printed it devalues the existing currency, that is why Gold has had such an increase. Gold is worth the same value as it was before, but since the value of a dollar has gone down it now takes more of them to purchase an ounce of gold. Savings interest is about 1/2%, but inflation is over 2%, so every dollar in savings goes down 1.5% in value every year. The average personal net worth has gone down 40% since 2008, wages have dropped and there is a higher percentage og unemployed people than there was during the Depression. Printing more money is like a company printing more stock, it simply devalues the existing shares or dollars. Then turn around and borrow Trillions of dollars you know you cannot pay back and what does it get you? It gets what is called Generational Theft! My grandchildren and great grandchildren will work most of their lives and possibly still not pay back what is being borrowed today. Government has no money. All the money they have are dollars from taxpayers. When government gives away more than the taxpayers can pay in then you have Greece - Which is exactly where we are heading. The spending going on in DC is fiscal insanity! Both parties are to blame though. The House just passed a Continuing Resolution to continue spending at the current rate for another 6 months. The House menbers know spending must be reduced, but leadership doesn't have the guts to do it, knowing to do so would cause an impasse and probably shut down government. Actually, most people would love for the government to shut down! That would actually save us billions per day!

Comment from Chuck Pease, (9/27/2012, 11:23 AM)

Well said James. Jerry not sure how you come to your stated opinions, glad your not in charge. "Quantitative Easing" is what printing money out of thin air is called. Thus the increase in gold value as consumers and investors run scared as the dollar is devalued by printing more money. Rest assured the gold bubble will burst. How many bubbles do we the people have to go thru before everyone see's a pattern.When the gold bubble bursts then effectivley what little was left to the average Joes investments will have been cleaned out.I think this is a mop up of the wealth they missed in the oh eight meltdown>

Comment from John Bennett, (9/28/2012, 8:32 AM)

"there is a higher percentage og [sic] unemployed people than there was during the Depression." No, that is not true - In 1933 the unemployment rate was nearly 25%.

Comment from James Johnson, (9/28/2012, 10:46 AM)

John, the NYT is a liberal publication and you cannot believe a word they say, but that is true of most, if not all, of the media today. The same is true with government issued numbers. For example, back in January our government suddenly decided that 3.2 Million people had stopped looking for work, so they deducted 3.2 million people from the total number used to calculate the unemployment rate. That act alone dropped the unemployment rate from about 8.7% to 8.3%. Then all the news services made a big deal of how unemployment had gone down! Then there are the 3.5 million people who's unemployment ran out so they were shifted onto SS Disability roles, because they must be emotionally damaged by being unemployed for so long. Food prices have increased by about 35% in the last year, there has been a similar increase in our energy costs, but when they calculate inflation those numbers are not included, presumably because they are too "volatile". Inflation is calculated based upon "durable goods" only, like washing machines and cars, so they tell us inflation is only at 2% while daily it costs us more like 30% to live. When one looks at the number of employed people versus the total number of non-working adult people the percentage not working is higher than it was during the Great Depression.

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (9/28/2012, 11:45 AM)

Inflation (CPI) is NOT calculated based on durable goods only. It includes food and beverages, housing, apparel, transportation, medical care, recreation,education and communications, and other goods and services broken out into over 200 categories. "Core" CPI strips out food and energy. Want the detailed breakdown? While I do have issues with the way CPI is measured (particularly substitution and improvement/upgrades for things like computers, you cannot oversimplify to "durable goods only."

Comment from John Bennett, (10/1/2012, 8:28 AM)

"John, the NYT is a liberal publication and you cannot believe a word they say, but that is true of most, if not all, of the media today. The same is true with government issued numbers." Is that true even if the government is controlled by conservatives?

Comment from James Johnson, (10/1/2012, 12:07 PM)

Tom, I just spoke with my Congressman last week. He verified that the rate of inflation is calculated on "durable goods" only. Durable goods being defined as objects having a life expectancy of 3 or more years. Perhaps that over simplifies it, but it does not include our every day living cost, such as food and energy. I doubt it could be held to 2% and include medical cost as that would definately drive it up above the stated level. Health insurance alone has gone up about 15% in the last year on a national average. I will go check out that website though. Thanks for the addy! John, I cannot remember back to when a true conservative controlled the government. That would probably have been Reagan and he had to work with a divided Congress as he was a republican and the democrats controlled at least one branch of Congress much of the time he was in office. In the current Congress the republicans control the House, but few are really conservatives, while the Senate is controlled by the radical liberal element bent on Generational Theft and spending us into a fiscal hell. If we ever did get a President and Congress comprised of true conservatives, men and women who were willing to stand firm on their moral and ethical principles and refuse to compromise those principles, I believe we would get an honest government, which would result in an honest media. Were our elected officials willing to commit to abide by the Marine Corps Code of Ethics they would be made to be honest or resign, but I'm sure we all know that is not going to happen. Most of them are not even willing to vote for legislation to enact term limits.

Comment from William Feliciano, (10/1/2012, 3:30 PM)

I'm a registered Democrat (moderate/conservative), and though perhaps Jim's facts may be a bit off, it doesn't take from his message that to the average person, prices in the things that matter most are spiraling out of control, and it doesn't seem like anyone cares or is doing anything about it. What bothers me most is that in many blogs and/or exchanges like this one, while we all clobber ourselves over being liberal or conservative, no one mentions several things: 1)corporations have the $ means and now the legal rights to influence government more than any of our individual votes, and 2)profit (corporate or Wall Street)doesn't seem to have allegiance to the USA. No matter what controls are put in place by a Republican or Democratic president or Congress, if the end result continues to be jobs created oversees by American businesess, then what is the point? You cannot create jobs both here and abroad. Sorry but its time for some serious protectionism here. I cringe when i hear politicians say that we must forget the jobs (and their respective fields) that have been outsourced and concentrate on training americans to work in high tech jobs to be created here. I'm sorry, but that is a cop out on allowing outsourcing. America, with its college prices, will not be pumping out a highly educated populance any time soon. Those low tech jobs you outsourced, hey, sorry but we can use them here too. Corporations, and their lack of allegiance to the USA in the "world economy" must be held accountable as well by whoever is the new president. Unfortunately, i have a feeling that this will not be the case.

Comment from John Bennett, (10/2/2012, 8:14 AM)

" John, I cannot remember back to when a true conservative controlled the government. That would probably have been Reagan..." Now I know you're joking...Reagan was not a fiscal conservative. After cutting taxes his first year in office, he raised taxes eleven times in the next seven years to make up for the decline revenue. We still ran a deficit and the deficit tripled over his two terms. He grew the federal government by bailing out Social Security in '83, and while he had promised to shrink government by cutting from the Depts. of Energy and Education he instead added the Department of Veteran's Affairs, one of the largest government agencies. Note, I don't disapprove of these moves, because I think we need to support Social Security, our veterans, and a host of other things, but I'm not a conservative...and neither was Reagan.

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (10/2/2012, 10:15 AM)

James, I'm afraid that your conversation with the Congressman says more about your Congressman's understanding of inflation measuring methods than it does about the numbers themselves. Don't get me wrong - we are certainly seeing inflation, and we are seeing it in lots of important categories. QE Part 3 is certainly moving things further toward inflation. I also think the BLS measurement methods are far from perfect - but it's what we have.

Comment from John Fauth, (10/3/2012, 12:45 PM)

John, the full Reagan tax cuts did not take place immediately. In fact, the reduction was done in three steps; from 69% to 50% in 1982; from 50% to 38.5% in 1987; and from 38.5% to 28% in 1988. Economist Art Laffer described their delayed installation as the biggest economic mistake of the Reagan administration because it encouraged delayed investment until lower rates kicked in. The effect of those marginal rate reductions was to tremendously increase tax revenues. According to figures published by the White House, revenues went from $ 517 billion in 1980 to $ 1,031 billion (or $ 1.031 trillion) in 1990. Now John, I ask you in all seriousness, are the deficits in the decade a result of too little revenue or too much spending? Politicians have an enormous appetite to spend money faster than we can make it (or print it) in an effort to buy our votes. But even those trillions can't change facts, or history.

Comment from Chuck Pease, (10/4/2012, 10:56 PM)

Well said William.The more I have been hearing about the global economy for the last couple of decades the more outsourcing of America's job I have watched happen. What they should be telling us is the new global economy doesnt include the USA. Big business doesnt want to pay Amricans a fair wage thats why the push for a global economy. Just my opinion.

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (10/5/2012, 8:31 AM)

John: While absolute revenue did go up from 1980 to 1990, if you account for inflation (using 1990 dollars) - 1980 revenue would be $883 billion, not $517 billion. Yes, revenue increased a lot, but inflation ate more than half the increase.

Comment from John Fauth, (10/8/2012, 9:05 AM)

Tom, there's no question that inflation is the destroyer of wealth in any decade. Which is, of course, the cause for concern arising from the Federal Reserve policy of QE1, QE2 and now QE3. At some point (we hope) the economy begins expanding and generating jobs. At that point, the dormant dragon of inflation rises anew. Eventually we must pay for the profligate spending of our government.

Comment from John Fauth, (10/8/2012, 9:09 AM)

Chuck, would big business send jobs overseas if American consumers would not buy the resulting "made in (fill in the blank)" products? I think not. Your friends and neighbors sell each other out every day as consumers in order to save a buck. That's not the fault of big business.

Comment from Chuck Pease, (10/9/2012, 10:53 AM)

John, I must admit you have a good point. I was having tires changed in and I wont mention business name. It took a hour and half to get this done. In the mean time I spent that time looking at various items thruout the store, not 1 item out of hundreds I looked at where made in the USA!!! Not 1. Then I got home and looked at a lot of the items that furnish my home and all of the appiances and did research on the points of origin. Guess how many were made in America?? Not 1. Wow. Thank you for opening my eyes.

Comment from John Fauth, (10/11/2012, 8:32 AM)

Chuck, obviously it's not just you. It's all of us. With few exceptions, manufacturers who produce products in the US sell those products at higher prices because they have higher costs. And the market (ie: consumers) consistently chooses lower cost products made overseas. People make choices for short term savings and pay the long term price for it. It's the freedom to make poor choices. But blaming their choices on someone else (ie: big business), well... it makes for great political advertisement, but it's just not factually accurate.

Comment from William Feliciano, (10/11/2012, 2:12 PM)

John, that may be true. But neither i or many of my neighbors can afford to seek out "Made in the USA" products anymore. I always check the label, but i cannot find a domestic competitor in most cases. I surely can't afford the gasoline to drive around seeking domestic products either. I don't believe that the American consumer instructed big business to go abroad for cheaper labor - Washington, Congress and the businesses did that all on their own. Yes we the consumer benefited by lower prices. But i don't believe any American foresaw (or would have approved of) the huge shift of manufacturing abroad. I'm now sorry that i made fun of Ross Perot. I'll never forget his words: "there will be a loud sucking sound" created as jobs fly abroad once protectionism is dropped. Big business didn't go abroad so much to bring you lower prices - they also went abroad for larger profit margins. If you take your average lady's blouse, and subtract from it the (foreign) labor costs, there will still be a substantial profit. I don't think that the prices are truly reflect the savings in labor. Yes, the company has to recoup their investment in facility-buildign, but i think the prices are still too high. Once you rid yourself of all American made alternatives, and there is nothign to compare to, well then, how do you know you are paying cheaper for foreign? I think the prices will creep up to what we would pay if it were made in the USA.

Comment from John Fauth, (10/12/2012, 1:48 PM)

William, you raise a valid point. To some degree, the "Made In The USA" ship has sailed and younger folks don't have that choice anymore. They've been sold out by previous generations. I don't know how old you are, but I'm 51 and can remember when the choices existed. But if you're young enough that the choice didn't exist for you, think of what happened as we spend the next generation's financial choices into oblivion. It's not fair either. As for profits, the first few to go overseas to low cost labor can enjoy increased margins for a while... until the rest of an industry follows. After that, the same "laws" of competition exist regardless of country of origin.

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