8 Myths about the Obama Administration

On October 25, 2010, in Recycled Tea Bags, by AnchorTeaBag

A few days ago Dave Johnson published the article below. The information is valid, and worth sharing.

There are a number things the public “knows” as we head into the election that are just false. If people elect leaders based on false information, the things those leaders do in office will not be what the public expects or needs.

Here are eight of the biggest myths that are out there:

1) President Obama tripled the deficit.
Reality: Bush’s last budget had a $1.416 trillion deficit. Obama’s first budgetreduced that to $1.29 trillion.

2) President Obama raised taxes, which hurt the economy.
Reality: Obama cut taxes. 40% of the “stimulus” was wasted on tax cuts which only create debt, which is why it was so much less effective than it could have been.

3) President Obama bailed out the banks.
Reality: While many people conflate the “stimulus” with the bank bailouts, the bank bailouts were requested by President Bush and his Treasury Secretary, former Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson. (Paulson also wanted the bailouts to be “non-reviewable by any court or any agency.”) The bailouts passed and beganbefore the 2008 election of President Obama.

4) The stimulus didn’t work.
Reality: The stimulus worked, but was not enough. In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the stimulus raised employment by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million jobs.

5) Businesses will hire if they get tax cuts.
Reality: A business hires the right number of employees to meet demand. Having extra cash does not cause a business to hire, but a business that has a demand for what it does will find the money to hire. Businesses want customers, not tax cuts.

6) Health care reform costs $1 trillion.
Reality: The health care reform reduces government deficits by $138 billion.

7) Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, is “going broke,” people live longer, fewer workers per retiree, etc.
Reality: Social Security has run a surplus since it began, has a trust fund in the trillions, is completely sound for at least 25 more years and cannot legally borrow so cannot contribute to the deficit (compare that to the military budget!) Life expectancy is only longer because fewer babies die; people who reach 65 live about the same number of years as they used to.

8) Government spending takes money out of the economy.
Reality: Government is We, the People and the money it spends is on We, the People. Many people do not know that it is government that builds the roads, airports, ports, courts, schools and other things that are the soil in which business thrives. Many people think that all government spending is on “welfare” and “foreign aid” when that is only a small part of the government’s budget.

This stuff really matters.

If the public votes in a new Congress because a majority of voters think this one tripled the deficit, and as a result the new people follow the policies that actually tripled the deficit, the country could go broke.

If the public votes in a new Congress that rejects the idea of helping to create demand in the economy because they think it didn’t work, then the new Congress could do things that cause a depression.

If the public votes in a new Congress because they think the health care reform will increase the deficit when it is actually projected to reduce the deficit, then the new Congress could repeal health care reform and thereby make the deficit worse. And on it goes.

Source: Dave Johnson at the Campaign for America’s Future

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Source: The New York Times

Primaries are over. Lots of hype and hoopla around economics, and how little has been done for the good ol’ USA.

We have short memories. As a country, we forget that things were about to get *extremely* bad back in 2008, when the financial crisis was oh but so closeto a complete global meltdown.

Two years have gone by, and no one seems to know much about anything. There are reports showing progress, and reports contradicting those initial reports. There’s one thing we can know for sure: The vast majority of Americans still have jobs, most Americans still have a roof over their heads, highways still have trucks moving freely up and down our highways, and even though things aren’t getting better as quickly as we all wished, they certainly aren’t going as bad as they were heading back in ’07 – ’08.

That’s an impressive accomplishment: take a dying nation and stop the internal bleeding. This is an accomplishment that we as a country should appreciate and hold dear.

Let’s take a look back. What caused the recession in the first place? It wasn’t Obama, nor was it “progressives” or “liberals”. What caused the recession in the first place was recklessness. Reckless, immoral, selfish, “numbers-driven” behavior. Reckless borrowing. Reckless deregulation. Reckless over-leveraging (how many times can you refinance your house really?). But were did we stand through this whole thing anyway?

It’s incredibly frustrating to see buzz phrases like “fiscal responsability”, “fiscal integrity”, or “we’ve spent millions but nothing to show for it” bantered around the media.

Really? Where were these people and these buzz words 4 or 7 years ago when America’s reckless living of a life most of us couldn’t afford was at an all-time high?

It is reckless and irresponsible for anyone to banter around those buzzwords when we have (and in a sense continues to be) on a race to the bottom.

We are extremely used to having everything. It’s the American way. What we can and what we can’t afford. What fits in our appartment and what fits in the storage space we rent down the street. How many times have you tried fixing a cell phone instead of replacing it with a new one? or a printer? a pair of shoes? how many times have you just put that one last thing on your credit card?

In our race to the bottom, we’ve become accustomed to getting everything we need and don’t need quickly, easily, and always at the lowest prices. This race for more stuff, cheaper, more replaceable, has gotten rid of jobs, depleted savings accounts, overpass credit lines, but most importantly, has destroyed any sense of value for anything.

Here’s where buzz phrases during election come in handy. In our desperate effort to restore all our stuff, fluff becomes a new God. It’s very comforting to hear “we’ll get back to where we were”. But how?

Short term solutions are the equivalent of a perpetuation of our core problem: recklessness. We, as a people, expecting a financial crisis that’s been building over years to be fixed in less than a year is just as reckless as the behavior that got us here in the first place.

Let’s take our recklessness, short-sightness, and magic buzz words in perspective for a minute.

A couple of days ago Christine O’Donnell took the G.O.P’s primary in Delaware. She praises herself on transparency, economic integrity, and someone who’ll have the people’s voice heard.

But what does any of that mean? Visiting her website tells you nothing, other than the fact that we should give her money for some unknown reason. Let’s take a peek at Google’s second entry: www.teamchristine2010.com. This page is particularly interesting from a campaign advertising stand point. It looks like someone said “social media!” at a meeting, and then a 14 year old put this page together real quick, which is the equivalent of any teenager’s myspace profile. Wikipedia doesn’t have that much information, but at least is a bit more telling. I’ve spent hours searching anything that tells me why Christine O’donnell would be at all qualified to do anything. Sadly, nothing whatsoever to show.

So on what basis are teabaggers electing their leaders? How do they really hope to see more jobs, how is the American economy expected to prosper? What’s even the purpose of the Tea Party anyway? What’s the plan, Christine?

Great economies, like great companies, are built over decades, not years. Americans should know that.

Great crisis require solid building blocks.

So when I hear “financial integrity”, “financial responsibility”, “fiscal conservative”, I’m thinking, what’s the plan Stan?

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