Friday, February 06, 2009

Everybody Calm Down.

I am deeply concerned about the hyperventilating in Washington and among certain portions of the media over the Senate deliberations on the Economic Stimulus Package. And I'm worried most about President Barack Obama.

We are in way too big of a hurry to pass what could be a disastrous bill. Obama and a small but influential part of the media is applying massive pressure to pass the bill today. This simply must not happen. In fact, the entire bill should probably be scrapped.

Many, if not most, economists are really concerned that this massive spending package, the largest in the entire history of the nation, will doom our economy into hyper inflation and ultimate collapse. Even the bi-partisan Congressional Budget Office is screaming at the top of their collective lungs that we are about to make a serious mistake.

I'm afraid no one is listening.

What concerns me most is that Barack Obama seems to be panicking. His lack of experience and lack of knowledge is starting to show. Obama sees this crisis as his 9/11 and he his not handling it well. And it's not 9/11 either. It's a slow burn and everyone needs to calm down, study the extent and nature of the fire and then plan a coordinated effort to fight it.

Barack Obama is our President and he deserves all of our help and support. But part of that support and help is the necessity that we help our Senators and Representatives to slow down and really consider the impact of this massive spending bill.

This is not play money. We will borrow it in order to make these expenditures and it will add to our national debt.

The efforts of the bi-partisan groups of Senators now trying to forge a package is a good start. But even more analysis needs to be done before we mortgage our future.

"Desperate always reaps stupid." Dave Ramsey

I urge you to call your Senator today (the switchboards are very busy) and urge a delay, or at least a reduction, of the Stimulus Package. Every bit of contact information you might ever need to reach your Senator is here. I apologize for this "conservative" link, but it is the best and most comprehensive list I've ever seen.

More food for thought: Mitt Romney: Stimulate the economy, not government


Unknown said...

This is increasingly disturbing.

Obama has little to no clout.

Pelosi has no clue.

Dean has no leadership.

As time goes forward public support for the pork is going down, down, down. The Democrats in charge are giddy with spending, but not with the inevitable aftermath of same.

Stella by Starlight said...

Hate to say it, Lee. Us Dems have always deconstructed instead of standing together.

And, yes, Pelosi has no clue. On behalf of California, I apologize. Too bad Waxman isn't leading the House of Representatives.

Bob Keller said...

Before we spend $830 Trillion Dollars that we do not and will never have, we really need to stop and think.

Based strictly on recent history (the last 50 years only), the current economic conditions are not very bad. Unemployment was this high (7.6%) and HIGHER for over 1/3rd of the 1970's, 1980's and 1990's!!! And during much of that time INFLATION was revaging the ecomony and especially the lower and middle calss.

Factually, things are not as bad today as they were during the Carter Presidency.

We have grown used to EXTREMELY LOW unemployment rates under Clinton and Bush and grown used to low inflation under Reagan until today.

But today President Obama and the media are trying to convince us WE MUST PANIC and spend trillions of borrowed cash, plunging the US into a deficiet that our GDP cannot ever overcome.

Are we looking at a near term future when a loaf of bread costs $20.00? And a gallon of milk $50.00? It is a real risk.

How can we give Congress and President Obama a wake up call before it's too late?

Bob Keller said...

And, while I'm at it, let me point out that the DOW is only down 6% this year.

Some of my retail clients tell me business has turned around, too.

But the government can kill the receovery if they over-react.

Contact your Senator and Congressperson and tell them to calm down and wait before over-reacting.

This does not need to happen today. It is especially important ot contact DEMOCRAT Senators and Congress Members. Republicans have got the message.

K McKiernan said...

Obama is panicking?


And, overreacting? Someone should have reacted in the last 8 years... then maybe we would not be in this pickle.

K McKiernan said...

Obama is panicking?


And, overreacting? Someone should have reacted in the last 8 years... then maybe we would not be in this pickle.

Bob Keller said...

Senator Mitch McConnell (Republican Leader of the Senate) made the following remarks on the Senate floor Friday night. He and I disagree about the need today for any kind of stimulus package, but his points here is really critical to the debate.

CALL YOUR SENATOR and CONGRESSPERSON TODAY. Tell them to "just slow down" so the implications can be fully assessed. This is not a crisis where time is of the essence. Don't mimic the Republicans; our message should be simpler, kinder and more thoughtful: WAIT!

Here are McConnell's remarks:

“The question of whether or not the economy needs help is really not in debate. I don’t think there’s a single member of the Senate that believes that no action is the appropriate course for us to take.

“But one of the good things about reading history is you learn a good deal. And, we know for sure that the big spending programs of the New Deal did not work.

“In 1940, unemployment was still 15%. And, it’s widely agreed among economists, that what got us out of the doldrums that we were in during the Depression was the beginning of World War II.

“We have another example.

“What is called in Japan the Lost Decade of the 1990’s, where stimulus packages similar to the one we’re considering tonight were tried again, and again, and again. And, at the end of the 1990’s, Japan, looked very much like it did at the beginning of the 1990’s, except that it had a much larger debt.

“Now, we’ve not seen the compromise proposal, which has been discussed here tonight. And, I know there’s been a good faith effort on the part of those involved to pare down the size of the underlying Senate measure.

“But as near as we can tell, even after those efforts, it is roughly the same size as the House bill.

“According to the figures I’ve been given, the House bill is about $820 billion. The Senate bill, under the compromise, we believe, would be about $827 billion. Bear in mind the interest costs on either of those proposals would be $348 billion. So we’re really talking about a $1.1 trillion pending measure.

“A $1.1 trillion spending measure. We’re looking at a $1 trillion deficit for this fiscal year.

“We believe that the Secretary of the Treasury and the President will suggest to us as early as next week that we need to do — what has commonly become referred to as a TARP round – some kind of additional assistance for the financial system as early as next week. We’re talking about an extraordinarily large amount of money and a crushing debt for our grandchildren.

“Now, if most Republicans were convinced that this would work, there might be a greater willingness to support it. But all the historical evidence suggests that it’s highly unlikely to work. And so, you have to balance the likelihood of success versus the crushing debt that we’re levying on the backs of our children, our grandchildren, and, yes, their children.

“And the need to finance all of this debt which many suspect would lead to ever higher and higher interest rates which could create a new round of problems for our economy.

“So let me just sum it up by saying no action is not what any of my Republican colleagues are advocating. But most of us are deeply skeptical that this will work. And that level of skepticism leads us to believe that this course of action should not be chosen.

“We had an opportunity to do this in a truly bipartisan basis and the President said originally he had hoped to get 80 votes. It appears that, the way this has developed, there will be some bipartisan support, but not a lot. And it’s not likely, in the judgment of most of us, to produce the result that we all desire.

“So, I will not be in a position to recommend support for this product as it has developed in spite, again, of the best efforts of those who worked on the compromise. I commend them for their willingness to try to work this out. It seems to me that it falls far short of the kind of measure that we should be passing.

Unknown said...

• $600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees.

• $400 million for the Centers for Disease Control to screen and prevent STD's.

• $1.4 billion for rural waste disposal programs.

• $125 million for the Washington sewer system.

• $150 million for Smithsonian museum facilities.

• $1 billion for the 2010 Census, which has a projected cost overrun of $3 billion.

• $75 million for "smoking cessation activities."

• $200 million for public computer centers at community colleges.

• $75 million for salaries of employees at the FBI.

• $25 million for tribal alcohol and substance abuse reduction.

• $500 million for flood reduction projects on the Mississippi River.

• $10 million to inspect canals in urban areas.

• $6 billion to turn federal buildings into "green" buildings.

• $500 million for state and local fire stations.

• $650 million for wildland fire management on forest service lands.

• $1.2 billion for "youth activities," including youth summer job programs.

• $88 million for renovating the headquarters of the Public Health Service.

• $412 million for CDC buildings and property.

• $500 million for building and repairing National Institutes of Health facilities in Bethesda, Maryland.

• $160 million for "paid volunteers" at the Corporation for National and Community Service.

• $5.5 million for "energy efficiency initiatives" at the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration.

• $850 million for Amtrak.

• $100 million for reducing the hazard of lead-based paint.

• $75 million to construct a "security training" facility for State Department Security officers when they can be trained at existing facilities of other agencies.

• $110 million to the Farm Service Agency to upgrade computer systems.

• $200 million in funding for the lease of alternative energy vehicles for use on military installations.

Source -

Unknown said...

K McKiernan, Your response is that this pork filled non-stimulus bill being ram rodded is not due to Panic on behalf of President Obama?

And further "its Bush's fault?"

Geebus... stop your BDS and look at this mess your man is making.

Stella by Starlight said...

K! Where have you been? It's so good to "see" you. I agree with K Someone should have reacted in the last 8 years. Had they done so, we wouldn't have a $1.2 trillion deficit and President Obama would not have to add to it.

Lee, billions went to Halliburton, KBR, and Bechtel: there's a couple of billion, at least, for which these military contractors can't account. I support budgetary oversight, whether Democrat or Republican. There's a new budget on Madmike's America, as Wizard knows.

More concern for the national budget should have occurred during the Bush administration. The budget problems occur prior to his presidency: when he became Texas governor, Gov. Ann Richards (bless her great soul) left a $2 million surplus in the budget and initiated excellent social programs. When Bush left the governorship, there was an $8 million deficit.

Bush has an history of bankrupting companies and governments. He owned Arbusto, Harkin, and The Texas Rangers: all of these companies he owned went bankrupt.

We are all concerned about the budget, but many good programs disappeared under the Bush Administration. President Obama is left to clean up. I think Wizard is right that we need to use extreme caution in spending before finalizing the budget.

But why didn't Bush get this message? Lee, help me with something: if our national debt isn't the fault of the Bush Administration, who's fault is it? If you're concerned about the current deficit, why not the previous? I don't ask you in anger: as always, I just want to dialog about this.

Lee, my friend, we've lost a tremendous amount of social programs. I'm all for cutting the $600 million for hybrids and having Congress use the train, where possible. If Senators and Representatives are close enough to drive, they can use the train. Then, the Amtrak budget becomes a logical choice, preserves American history, and creates jobs.

Although I'm a cancer survivor and ex-smoker, "smoking cessation activies" programs can go. I think we can agree that's a personal choice. I don't think the expenditure is necessary.

I consider the $200 million for public computer centers at community colleges a long-term stimulus because it's education.

Both sides need to stop pointing blame and work together. Obama's federal budget is an enormous amount of money, but so was Bush's. The primary difference is that social programs and national infrastructure were all but ignored under the Bush Administration.

I, like Wizard, worry about the added financial debt with this current budget, Wizard. But Bush bears responsibility for creating this financial miasma that burdens our nation. I consistently read the GAO annually when Bush released the national budget, and saw a constant increase of spending while our budget went into the red. Lee, no slight toward you intended: I left the link for each of you. I do commend him for raising Veterans' benefits each year and his charitable work in Africa: if he can be lauded for social programs, why not President Obama?

The National Budget? It's a mess, no matter what side of the aisle you're on. What's encouraging is that we're talking about how we want our nation run. We are considering the political process, as our founders intended. Do we agree? No. But this dialog is critical despite our different perspectives.

There's no easy answer, friends.

Unknown said...

On Wednesday, the Congressional Budget Office issued a rather pessimistic view of the stimulus bill in front of the Senate, and virtually no major media outlets reported it.

Not the New York Times. Not the Washington Post. Not USA Today. Not ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, or MSNBC

Unknown said...

if our national debt isn't the fault of the Bush Administration, who's fault is it?

Every president and congress who spent more then we took in. LBJ forward.

"Someone should have reacted in the last 8 years" time and time again us conservatives did. Bush spent like a liberal!

"$200 million for public computer centers at community colleges a long-term stimulus because it's education." -- Stupid expense. Give the money to a college and let them spend it as they see the need. First hand experience. You get all this equipment with NO ONE who can maintain it.

"Both sides need to stop pointing blame and work together." I am only seeing finger pointing at Bush. So yeah I agree. I further say that working together does NOT mean caving in.

Bob Keller said...

Stella, With a single swipe of the pen President Barack Obama will double the deficit in one disasterous moment. He will then probably triple the deficit with additional bank and personal stimulus packages. At this point the country will actually be doomed.

This isn't a joke and it's not an exageration. Worst yet it is unnecessary. The eceomony isn't that bad. Unemployment isn't that high. It's damned banking and liquidity crisis for Christ sake!!

We must, as good citizens and the actually eventual taxpayers, put a stop to this right now!

Call you Dempcrat Representatives and Senators today. Put pressure on them. The Republicans (God bless their little conservative souls) are unified against this. We need to peel off more Democrats.

Unknown said...

Wizard. I wanted to share this Editorial from Saturday. From SCOTT S. POWELL i senior VP at ELP Capital, a fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Stella by Starlight said...

Our national debt is the fault of the Bush Administration. I suspect we agree on that point. Also, your comment Every president and congress who spent more then we took in. LBJ forward. is not true, Lee. Clinton left office with a surplus.

CNN: WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Clinton announced Wednesday that the federal budget surplus for fiscal year 2000 amounted to at least $230 billion, making it the largest in U.S. history and topping last year's record surplus of $122.7billion. He was, of course, the only president that did.

But I agree that a pessimistic view of the stimulus package is highly newsworthy. None of these outlets reported it? New York Times. Not the Washington Post. Not USA Today. Not ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, or MSNBC. I'll check. If factual, that's a disturbing comment.

Wizard, you are absolutely right: a single swipe of the pen may double, maybe triple, the deficit.

I think we're financially doomed already, and I sincerely agree with you that it's neither a joke nor exaggeration. But you are wrong about unemployment. We are at 7.8 nationally and 8.6% in California. The financial perks for the CEOs played no small part in this problem, and I agree that restricting them to a maximum salary of $400,000 a year, rather than $27 million, is an excellent start. I would rather have my tax dollars spent on education than a $44 million party for AIG after our government bailed them out.

It's just not that easy. Our national infrastructure is crumbling, which is dangerous to national security. Middle-class kids can no longer hope to attend a good college and get an education. The prime reason comes from the Bush Administration. Much as I like you and Lee, the Bush Administraton destroyed so many social programs and gave to so many multinational corporations that we have to take a closer look at his administration's budget.

I want to know why the Republicans weren't unified against the massive spending during the Bush years. Review the House Oversight Committee. Think of Tom DeLay. I trust Lee as a reasonable, rational individual, as I do you.

Lee is right: Bush spent like a liberal. What about all the social programs that Bush decimated? A full 48% of our budget went to the military.

I agree with you, Wizard, that we need to consider carefully where our money goes. But much was lost under Bush. As a result, we are in the fiscal conundrum you describe. I agree some programs can be cut—others are decrepit thanks to Bush.

Let's just get to the point: we all agree that America is in dire financial straights.

Unknown said...

Stella, I was correct in saying: "Every president and congress who spent more then we took in. LBJ forward."

Clinton Did leave the office with a surplus. thus he did NOT spend more then he took in, also, we can thank the Republican controlled congress for that as well.

Why didn't the Republicans stand up to Bush's spending? Mostly they were moderate and had no conservative principles. You will note they were fired by their constituents almost to a man. The Republicans only have themselves to blame for that.

Stella by Starlight said...

Yes, you were correct, Lee about Clinton. Every other president was in a deficit when they left office. Here, I like charts to demonstrate my point.

Note that in 2001, there was no federal deficit.

Alternatively, I think graph addresses your comment, Lee. If you review the start and end GDP, the chart gives a good idea of various presidential policies. If the End Debt/GDP is lower than the Start Debt/GDP, that's a good indication of of how the president dealt with fiscal responsibility. What I found was both Republicans and Democrats were able to diminish the budget and keep the economy healthy.

Sorry, I read comment too quickly. However, we can also thank the Republican Congress and Clinton's signature on NAFTA and CAFTA which has taken 600,000 jobs from the American people because we import more than we export. I'm still annoyed at Clinton and the Republican Congress for NAFTA—to me, the legislation was the beginning of the end for American workers.

Anonymous said...