Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

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Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby Vaniver » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:00 pm UTC

Article from Reason about an amusing inconsistency in Obama's SOTU speech.
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby Ceron » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:41 pm UTC

Contradiction? In my Obama?
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:02 pm UTC

The word usage might be inconsistent, but if you read the actual quote in that very article...:
Obama wrote:On the day I took office, our auto industry was on the verge of collapse. Some even said we should let it die. With a million jobs at stake, I refused to let that happen. In exchange for help, we demanded responsibility. We got workers and automakers to settle their differences. We got the industry to retool and restructure. Today, General Motors is back on top as the world’s number-one automaker. (Applause.) Chrysler has grown faster in the U.S. than any major car company. Ford is investing billions in U.S. plants and factories. And together, the entire industry added nearly 160,000 jobs. We bet on American workers. We bet on American ingenuity. And tonight, the American auto industry is back.

He very clearly phrases it as different from a handout. As of last June, half of the money loaned has been paid back, as well.

The word choice might have been poor on his behalf, but I don't think he was hugely inconsistent.
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby pseudoidiot » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:07 pm UTC

Ceron wrote:Contradiction? In my politics?
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby Iulus Cofield » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:08 pm UTC

You're forgetting that black presidents can do no right and every sentence they utter must be reanalyzed to discover how they're insidiously destroying America.
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby quantumcat42 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:19 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:He very clearly phrases it as different from a handout.

What about a bailout? Was it not a bailout?
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby Iulus Cofield » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:22 pm UTC

Here we go. I'll get the the milk duds and root beer.
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:26 pm UTC

quantumcat42 wrote:
Ghostbear wrote:He very clearly phrases it as different from a handout.

What about a bailout? Was it not a bailout?

Perhaps, but if you look at the full quote from where he said "no bailouts"...

Obama wrote:Let’s never forget: Millions of Americans who work hard and play by the rules every day deserve a government and a financial system that do the same. It’s time to apply the same rules from top to bottom. No bailouts, no handouts, and no copouts. An America built to last insists on responsibility from everybody. We’ve all paid the price for lenders who sold mortgages to people who couldn’t afford them, and buyers who knew they couldn’t afford them. That’s why we need smart regulations to prevent irresponsible behavior.

The two quotes seem to reconcile with each other fairly well: he demands responsibility from everyone, and the auto industry got assistance under the condition of responsibility. As I said, definitely poor phrasing on his behalf, but the ideas represented by each quote are not inconsistent with each other.
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby Роберт » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:27 pm UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:You're forgetting that black presidents can do no right and every sentence they utter must be reanalyzed to discover how they're insidiously destroying America.

I'm pretty sure Clinton and Bush were insidiously destroying America as well. I think most of it is partisanship, rather than racism (although racism, xenophobia, and sectarianism all come into play with Obama).
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby Iulus Cofield » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:33 pm UTC

Partisanship is part of it, but I think the main problem is exaactly the same as when Hollywood makes a movie panderig to racist stereotypes to try to sell more tickets. It's just a lot more unsavory when the people doing the pandering are politicians and political entertainers in the guise of newscasters. They expect their audiemces don't want to hear about a black Democrat doing well, so they consistently sell the idea that he never has, never is, and never will.
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby quantumcat42 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:58 pm UTC

Because clearly, when a libertarian columnist writing for a libertarian magazine criticizes massive governmental interference in the market, he's really concerned about race.
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby Webzter » Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:12 am UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:You're forgetting that presidents must be reanalyzed to discover if their actions match their speech.


FTFY ;)

I didn't see any hint of racism in the article. And, it behooves the populace to pay attention. This is no less true under Pres Obama than under Pres Bush.

quantumcat42 wrote:
Ghostbear wrote:He very clearly phrases it as different from a handout.

What about a bailout? Was it not a bailout?


as a senator, Obama also voted for TARP. Were in in his shoes for either decision, I can't say I would have done differently. I'd chalk part of his speech up to the fact that, you know, there's an election coming up. (rhetoric used to sway voters, film at 11).
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby lutzj » Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:30 am UTC

I was also stricken by the constant willingness to heavily subsidize companies that hire line workers in the US. Most of the Republican candidates outside of the Ronpaul seem to want this sort of regime too.

Can someone convince me this isn't as bad as it sounds?
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby sardia » Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:37 am UTC

Rephrase your question, I don't know what you are saying. Are you saying you noticed that Obama + republican candidates are willing to subsidize certain industries?
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby Proginoskes » Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:14 am UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:Here we go. I'll get the the milk duds and root beer.


Are you in your comfortable chair as well?
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby lutzj » Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:23 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Rephrase your question, I don't know what you are saying. Are you saying you noticed that Obama + republican candidates are willing to subsidize certain industries?


Obama repeatedly said in his address that he'd give tax cuts and cheap financing and other goodies to manufacturers that hire Americans, and that he wants to double these benefits for high-tech firms. A lot of Republicans similarly want to cut taxes on American corporations etc. There's also a trade protectionist bent involving people that want to put tariffs on Chinese goods or repeal NAFTA.

Those sort of policies amount to subsidies for some American businesses.
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby sardia » Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:10 pm UTC

That is correct, the US does subsidize certain industries. Are you trying to make a value statement as in "subsidies are bad"? I prefer subsidies in the form of R&D funding, and grants towards companies as opposed to tinkering with the tax code to subsidize companies. There are examples of whole countries subsidizing their industries to maintain an advantage in the marketplace, I believe Germany, Korea, and Japan are good ones.
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby Iulus Cofield » Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:58 pm UTC

Subsidies and grants are the easiest way to promote an industry without changing laws (such as labor or safety laws) and without blasphemous tariffs. The American government has been using them for at least 100 years, but we should be appalled and maybe a little scared when this president wants them


because he's black
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby quantumcat42 » Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:39 pm UTC

Iulus, do you know what "libertarian" means? Or are you just being deliberately disingenuous?
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby Iulus Cofield » Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:42 pm UTC

I seem to recall checking that box on my voter registration card.
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby lutzj » Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:17 pm UTC

sardia wrote:That is correct, the US does subsidize certain industries. Are you trying to make a value statement as in "subsidies are bad"? I prefer subsidies in the form of R&D funding, and grants towards companies as opposed to tinkering with the tax code to subsidize companies. There are examples of whole countries subsidizing their industries to maintain an advantage in the marketplace, I believe Germany, Korea, and Japan are good ones.


I agree that research grants and investment can be an effective way to help businesses; protectionist tax breaks tend to be market-distorting and prop up flawed businesses.
Iulus Cofield wrote:Subsidies and grants are the easiest way to promote an industry without changing laws (such as labor or safety laws) and without blasphemous tariffs. The American government has been using them for at least 100 years, but we should be appalled and maybe a little scared when this president wants them


because he's black


I don't care which president implements them; you'll note that this is a problem I have with many of the Republican candidates too.
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby jakovasaur » Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:14 pm UTC

Iulus, you sound like an idiot.
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby sardia » Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:17 pm UTC

"Protectionist" is more of a buzz word than anything else. I try to judge spending, which investment and tax breaks are, based on the value you get from it. What's the difference between giving a tax break to a company and offering money to a company? Nothing.
However, government investing in industries means that there is a risk that said investment will fail. The reason I have a problem with tax breaks as opposed to grants is that tax breaks conceals the fact that we are spending money on a corporation to achieve some goal. There's nothing inherently bad about tax breaks. I hope you don't find those two lines contradictory.
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby sourmìlk » Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:53 am UTC

jakovasaur wrote:Iulus, you sound like an idiot.

Jakovasaur, we're really glad we could have you in this discussion. Your posts are so consistently insightful and thought-provoking.

Anyways, I don't think it's just racism that effects ridiculous criticism of Obama. I myself am too young to remember the Clinton administration in any useful detail, but my dad tells me that there was about as much ridiculous partisanship and obstructionism then. I mean hell, they impeached Clinton for having an extra-marital affair.
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby lutzj » Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:37 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:I mean hell, they impeached Clinton for having an extra-marital affair.


In theory, they impeached him for lying about his extra-marital affair (and the various issues involved in fooling around with your younger female intern).

In practice, they knew they weren't removing him from office anyway and it was a big PR stunt.
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby Proginoskes » Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:58 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Anyways, I don't think it's just racism that effects ridiculous criticism of Obama. I myself am too young to remember the Clinton administration in any useful detail, but my dad tells me that there was about as much ridiculous partisanship and obstructionism then. I mean hell, they impeached Clinton for having an extra-marital affair.


For those of you who don't know about Bill Clinton:

Yeah, he married a woman, cheated on her, then divorced his first wife and married the woman he cheated on. Then he cheated on his *new* wife, insisting on only a blow job (because it wasn't "really" sex), and told the woman that if she said they'd had an affair, he'd say that she was lying. Well, later, he divorced his second wife and married the woman he cheated on her with.

No, wait, that wasn't Bill Clinton ... That was Newt Gingrich. Sorry.
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby pizzazz » Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:01 am UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:You're forgetting that black politicians can do no wrong and every thing they do must not be analyzed in any way to discover how they're potentially bad for America and any attacks against them for any reason whatsoever (unless they're Republicans)


FTFY
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby Arrian » Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:40 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:Article from Reason about an amusing inconsistency in Obama's SOTU speech.


Economists do it with Models noticed this little inconsistency, and a few others, like:

econgirl wrote:9:56: From a purely economic standpoint, I don’t understand how Chrysler hiring people in the US to build cars is any different from a (publicly-traded) foreign company hiring people in the US to build cars, but I suppose it doesn’t sound as good to boast about how awesome Toyota is or whatever.


(That's always been a particularly sore point for me, I remember when the Honda plant went into Anna, Ohio. A lot of friends from back home commute over an hour to get there because it's got some of the best pay and best working conditions of any factory in the area. [And it's non-union. :P] I know several people who build Hondas and nobody who builds GMs, but buying an Accord isn't "buying American?" Screw your rhetorical bullshit.)

Also, the President was pretty misleading (and inconsistent) about tax breaks for offshoring:

econgirl wrote:12:00: I LOVE LOVE LOVE that the sidebar explains what the “tax breaks to send jobs overseas” thing really is, since it’s (as I now know) incredibly misleading. The graphic says that the tax breaks are because the expense of shutting down a factory due to moving jobs overseas is a business expense and therefore isn’t part of the taxable bottom line. It’s not like the government is actually saying “Moving jobs overseas? Here, have some cash.” It irks me more than a little that this supposedly special treatment for those companies moving jobs overseas is actually just treating all business expenses equally, and I am disappointed by the purposely misleading wording on this issue.
...
12:32: “That money should be used to cover moving expenses for companies like MasterLock that decide to bring jobs home.” News flash: those expenses are also business expenses and thus not part of the taxable base, i.e. tax deductible. Shouldn’t you, therefore, be bragging that you’re giving tax deductions to corporations who bring jobs home?


It's a good blog post, well worth reading, and it links to a video of the State of the Union speech that includes graphics, which is kinda cool.
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby Zamfir » Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:09 pm UTC

Arrian wrote:
econgirl wrote:9:56: From a purely economic standpoint, I don’t understand how Chrysler hiring people in the US to build cars is any different from a (publicly-traded) foreign company hiring people in the US to build cars, but I suppose it doesn’t sound as good to boast about how awesome Toyota is or whatever.


(That's always been a particularly sore point for me, I remember when the Honda plant went into Anna, Ohio. A lot of friends from back home commute over an hour to get there because it's got some of the best pay and best working conditions of any factory in the area. [And it's non-union. :P] I know several people who build Hondas and nobody who builds GMs, but buying an Accord isn't "buying American?" Screw your rhetorical bullshit.)

That's not so weird, is it? Foreign companies tend to cut those jobs quicker again. Many of the formal and informal levers on their behaviour are back home, so they prefer to cut jobs abroad first, before they cut at home. Sometimes that' s not even ill will, just the extra cultural layer that makes it harder to get a message through to a foreign management. If management wants to close one factory and isn' t sure which one has the most potential for the future, it's far easier for their countrymen to build a convincing narrative about their potential.

Also, growth for a domestic company tends to lead to more different kinds of jobs as well, in r&d, in administration, for related suplliers, for office builders, caterers, on and on. Shareholders too tend to cluster somewhat by country, so profits for Honda go to Japanese pension funds and Ford's to American funds.

You shouldn't overdo it, and it's not a universal law, but there's nothing weird to the idea that the people around you benefit more from business for domestic companies than for a foreign company, even if that foreign company also employs people in your country.
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby Arrian » Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:52 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:That's not so weird, is it? Foreign companies tend to cut those jobs quicker again. Many of the formal and informal levers on their behaviour are back home, so they prefer to cut jobs abroad first, before they cut at home. Sometimes that' s not even ill will, just the extra cultural layer that makes it harder to get a message through to a foreign management. If management wants to close one factory and isn' t sure which one has the most potential for the future, it's far easier for their countrymen to build a convincing narrative about their potential.


I don't know of any empirics either way, that's not a question I've thought to research in the past. But I'm not sure the theory is very convincing. After all, isn't the whole argument against outsourcing (where this issue was brought up in the President's speech) based around the point that multinationals are too willing to move jobs out of their home country, rather than keep them there? So, while it may prove to be a convincing argument coming from you, it's certainly not internally consistent with the argument the President and other politicians are making.

Anecdotally (from the area of Ohio that I'm familiar with,) Japanese multinationals have been much more likely to keep their manufacturing operations in place than American multinationals. The factories providing the backbone of my hometown's local economy 20 years ago have all been replaced by Japanese factories: Goodyear, Huffy Bicycles, and their suppliers have all been replaced by Honda and their (Japanese owned) suppliers. Local companies are more likely to keep their manufacturing local, but that's pretty much a tautology, and even then only a trend, not universal.

Also, growth for a domestic company tends to lead to more different kinds of jobs as well, in r&d, in administration, for related suplliers, for office builders, caterers, on and on. Shareholders too tend to cluster somewhat by country, so profits for Honda go to Japanese pension funds and Ford's to American funds.


These aren't very compelling arguments, either. Publicly traded companies are publicly traded. Most multi-nationals have their local division listed on the local stock exchange, and in any case, there's nothing economically preventing Ford from buying Honda or Volkswagen shares for its pension fund.

The only job positions you'll possibly miss out on are upper management and some engineering positions, local branches of multinationals need everything that any large administration needs: Caterers, office builders, suppliers, janitors, the works. Fewer engineering jobs can be a little worrisome, but there are still large local engineering staffs in most multinationals, especially in developed countries. And I somehow have a feeling that President Obama isn't publicly favoring local multinationals to foreign ones because the former employ more American plant managers and VPs than the latter. (I know the guys who only buy GM cars aren't doing so because GM employs more American born VPs than Honda.)

Favoring local to foreign multinationals might not be weird if you don't think it through or don't know how they operate. But once you do, it sounds more like cheering for the home team than serious economic analysis.
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby nitePhyyre » Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:24 pm UTC

In what world is "The bailouts did what they were supposed to do, but we shouldn't have had to do it in the first place" an inconsistent position?
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby Princess Marzipan » Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:54 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:In what world is "The bailouts did what they were supposed to do, but we shouldn't have had to do it in the first place" an inconsistent position?
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby Noc » Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:57 pm UTC

I dunno, "The thing we did worked as intended, but in retrospect what we intended to do was bullshit" doesn't seem that inconsistent to me.

[Edit, nevermind I misread a negative and it turns out I'm not actually disagreeing.]
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby quantumcat42 » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:51 pm UTC

Nader weighs in on this point:
Ralph Nader wrote:But then, when he said to the American people, "no more bailouts, no more handouts, and no more cop-outs" — but that’s what’s been going on. And it’s going on today and it went on last year under his administration. Washington is a bustling bazaar of accounts receivable. They’re bailing out and they’re handing out all kinds of subsidies to corporations—handouts, giveaways, transfer of technology, transfer of medical research to the drug companies without any reasonable price provisions on drugs, giveaway of natural resources on the federal lands. You name it, it’s still going on. And as far as a cop-out, how about his deferred prosecution gimmicks with these corporations under the Justice Department, where they never have to plead guilty, they never have to make themselves vulnerable to civil lawsuits so they pay back the American people what they’ve stolen from them?
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby Darryl » Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:43 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
jakovasaur wrote:Iulus, you sound like an idiot.

Jakovasaur, we're really glad we could have you in this discussion. Your posts are so consistently insightful and thought-provoking.

Anyways, I don't think it's just racism that effects ridiculous criticism of Obama. I myself am too young to remember the Clinton administration in any useful detail, but my dad tells me that there was about as much ridiculous partisanship and obstructionism then. I mean hell, they impeached Clinton for having an extra-marital affair.

I was old enough for the Clinton (and Bush the elder, as well) administration. And while that may be true, no other president has received as many death threats as Obama, nor has any president before had sitting politicians praying for him to die. And when the one big difference is that Obama is half-black, while every other president has been white, I'm calling racism on that.
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby lutzj » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:15 pm UTC

Darryl wrote:I was old enough for the Clinton (and Bush the elder, as well) administration. And while that may be true, no other president has received as many death threats as Obama, nor has any president before had sitting politicians praying for him to die.And when the one big difference is that Obama is half-black, while every other president has been white, I'm calling racism on that.


That's not even on the same order of magnitude as some of the antipathy some Presidents have been subject to. A number of them have been shot at in public. Shit, half the country started a revolution in response to Lincoln just getting elected, and then he got assassinated too. "I hope you die" is weak tea compared to "I am going to kill you and go to jail for life because it is so important that you be removed from office."
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby jakovasaur » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:16 pm UTC

What sitting politicians prayed for Obama to die anyway?

Edit: Nevermind, I found it. The guy was joking, but whatever. I'm sure plenty of influential liberals held the same "Grr...I wish he was dead" opinion of GWBush.
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:49 pm UTC

quantumcat42 wrote:Nader weighs in on this point:
Ralph Nader wrote:But then, when he said to the American people, "no more bailouts, no more handouts, and no more cop-outs" — but that’s what’s been going on. And it’s going on today and it went on last year under his administration. Washington is a bustling bazaar of accounts receivable. They’re bailing out and they’re handing out all kinds of subsidies to corporations—handouts, giveaways, transfer of technology, transfer of medical research to the drug companies without any reasonable price provisions on drugs, giveaway of natural resources on the federal lands. You name it, it’s still going on. And as far as a cop-out, how about his deferred prosecution gimmicks with these corporations under the Justice Department, where they never have to plead guilty, they never have to make themselves vulnerable to civil lawsuits so they pay back the American people what they’ve stolen from them?

A great example of this is Obama's much-touted "Jobs Bill" which was yet another trillion dollar package of handouts and bailouts, with the promise that the corporations who benefited would start hiring for realsies this time. His speech boils down to "I will never do this again! (except times when I really need to)... (like right now)."
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby sardia » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:39 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:[
A great example of this is Obama's much-touted "Jobs Bill" which was yet another trillion dollar package of handouts and bailouts, with the promise that the corporations who benefited would start hiring for realsies this time. His speech boils down to "I will never do this again! (except times when I really need to)... (like right now)."

What about the republican job's proposal? "Lets give them a handout in the hopes that they will hire Americans." The only difference is who gets the handouts and what form they are in, permanent tax cuts in the GOP case. Are you against both parties? Is there no way that government spending on industrial policy can yield dividends that is worth it? What about Korea, Germany, and China? Are they all mistaken?
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Re: Obama attacks, defends bailouts.

Postby Darryl » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:48 pm UTC

lutzj wrote:
Darryl wrote:I was old enough for the Clinton (and Bush the elder, as well) administration. And while that may be true, no other president has received as many death threats as Obama, nor has any president before had sitting politicians praying for him to die.And when the one big difference is that Obama is half-black, while every other president has been white, I'm calling racism on that.


That's not even on the same order of magnitude as some of the antipathy some Presidents have been subject to. A number of them have been shot at in public. Shit, half the country started a revolution in response to Lincoln just getting elected, and then he got assassinated too. "I hope you die" is weak tea compared to "I am going to kill you and go to jail for life because it is so important that you be removed from office."

The presidents who were shot at were being shot at by individual citizens. No president has had death publicly wished on him by other elected officials. Not Clinton, not either Bush, not even Andrew Jackson, who wasn't exactly liked.

And the person who was praying for Obama's death was not joking, he only said that after he got called out on the fact that he was wishing death on the sitting POTUS.
yurell wrote:We need fewer homoeopaths, that way they'll be more potent!
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