Not Cheering – Not Zero

A new report released by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the stimulus bill that went into effect in February 2009 has created between 1 million and 2.9 million jobs. While this falls short (even at 2.9 million) of where job creation needs to be it also invalidates the right-wing narrative that the stimulus didn’t work. Just this past week Sean Hannity falsely stated we are losing 400,000 jobs a month.

• • •

Obama Or The Market?

If you turn on the news it isn’t long before you will hear the standard Republican talking point that President Obama has not shown leadership in creating jobs and improving the economy. Wait a second, I thought it was ‘the market’ that created jobs? If Republicans and conservative Democrats resist the government initiatives — repairing our existing infrastructure and building new infrastructure to benefit this nation in the future — required to get the economy going then they share at least some, if not a majority, of the blame for the state of the economy right now. If ‘the market’ is our best hope then what leadership is Obama supposed to be showing? At a time when government should be spending money on projects that will be a catalyst for economic growth and that will benefit us for decades to come instead deficit hawks have won the messaging war. We may look back at this time in the future and wonder how we could have been so foolish.

• • •

A Credible Downgrade?

On Friday Standard & Poor’s lowered the AAA credit rating of the United States. The new credit rating is now AA+ and it marks the first time in history that the U.S. has had its credit rating lowered. It probably doesn’t even need mention that this will serve as political ammunition for opponents to President Obama. It will be beside the point that the Republicans use of the debt ceiling for political advantage is the only reason the United States came precariously close to a first ever default on its financial obligations.

• • •

Bad Ideas Die Hard

As the economy increasingly begins to resemble the scene pictured below from Live Free or Die Hard (2007) we still have persistent calls for incredibly stupid ideas on how to fix the economy. Republicans in congress led the charge with stupid ideas and many Democrats appear to be complicit in the madness.

• • •

Budget Debate Nonsense

The current government budget debate is an argument over pennies instead of an adult conversation over dollars. This highlights a fundamental issue that it’s near impossible for people holding temp jobs (elected officials) to solve the really big, long term problems our country faces. There is no real talk about cuts to the big entitlement programs or tax increases to help solve our budget deficit because to do so is seen as political suicide. So instead politicians go after the low hanging fruit in the hopes that the “dumb” American public will be happy that something was done. Then those politicians can run a campaign in the next election saying they cut spending and didn’t raise your taxes. The budget items being discussed don’t amount to much in the way of savings. Cutting funding to public radio (or other low hanging fruit) equates to a family debating whether they should buy a name brand product over a store brand product when instead they really should be discussing whether they need a fancy car or that expensive tropical vacation. I think the real problem is that nobody is paying attention. The average person in this country doesn’t pay very much attention to government, politicians or much of anything that they don’t perceive to have a direct and immediate impact on their lives. Politicians know this and that’s why they go after the low hanging fruit because they know that most people only hear quick sound bites and then move on. So if they can say they cut spending and didn’t raise taxes, to the average citizen that sounds like a good deal and will then reward that politician with another term. There needs to be an awakening in this country. More people need to start paying closer attention to what is actually going on in this country and in the world.

• • •
1 6 7 8