Summers loving


Via Corrente, A Tiny Revolution:


If Only the Czar Knew

This is tough for me, because I was hating on Larry Summers before hating Larry Summers was cool. But I’m going to defend him about something important. That’s just how honest I am.

One of the stories that appears to have developed on liberal blugs is that some of Obama’s economists believed that a stimulus package of over $1.3 trillion was needed—but Larry Summers prevented this news from getting to the president. And here we are in 2011 with a hideous economy that may be getting worse, and it’s Larry Summers’ fault.

(boring details omitted)

So it’s obvious Obama knew what his economists were saying. He had all the information he needed. You can’t pin this one on my dear friend Larry Summers.

The stimulus bill ended up at $787 billion, and because of the way it was designed, with much less bang for the buck than was possible. Thank you, Barack “No One Cares Less Than Me About Whether I’m Reelected” Obama.


Don’t blame Larry, and don’t blame Moe, Curly or any other stooge.

Blame Dick.



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46 Responses to Summers loving

  1. myiq2xu says:

    I’m gonna be watching the season premiere of Breaking Bad so y’all behave until I get back

  2. Three Wickets says:

    Seems the demand-side fiscal stimulus and the supply-side monetary stimulus have both mainly been used by individuals and institutions to pay down debt. Someday we’ll begin producing more and consuming more again, but not clear when. Maybe there is more housing to unwind. BO keeps looking like Hoover though.

    • myiq2xu says:

      Hoover had principles – misguided and mistaken, but principles.

    • ralphb says:

      We’re not going to begin producing and consuming again until the country has wound down some of it’s overhanging debt. I think that means both personal and public debt. Thus, no recovery is really possible yet.

      No one, and I mean no one, has done one single thing to help with all that debt. All the government has tried to do is reinflate the bubble. Housing is a major indicator of where we are, much better than the Dow Jones IMHO.

      • 1539days says:

        This goes back to who pays. Banks are trying as hard as possible to get people to either pay up on their mortgages or default. Refinancing means they get less money per month and the owner gets a house at a reduced price. Defaulting means they get the house back for less than 100% of the mortgage. Keeping an unsellable house is bad, but it’s easier to inflate it as an asset.

        If we make the banks pay by refinancing mortgages, they will stop writing mortgages and otherwise complain bitterly. The problem with investment banks is that investments (the stock market) do well now and loans do terrbly. If we let the interest rates go up, maybe the banks would be more interested in lending.

        • ralphb says:

          Business can’t expand without new customers. People have no faith in the future and they’re worried now, they don’t buy. Housing prices are a symptom of the larger problem.

          It should be a classic Keynesian problem, but we can’t provide enough “stimulus” to cover the huge hole left by the balloons. I’m afraid we’re just in for another decade of a horrible economy, it we’re lucky enough not to fall even further.

        • JeanLouise says:

          That’s why there should have been regulations attached to the bailouts. Handing out money like it was Halloween candy was a huge mistake and both the Democrats and the Republicans made it.

        • ralphb says:

          Regulations? They shouldn’t have bailed them out. Should have followed Sheila Bair’s advice and let them fail. Wound them down via the FDIC and took our medicine.

        • JeanLouise says:

          Okay, I can go with that.

          Sheila Bair and Elizabeth Warren, 2012!

  3. Dario says:

    Krugman seems to be running in a circle complaining about Obama.

    Letting Bankers Walk

    • JeanLouise says:

      I agree with everything Krugman said in that column. He’s been fairly consistent in his criticism of Obama and he clearly supported Hillary during the primaries.

      He also has called Obama out repeatedly on buying into the Republican meme that Social Security needs to be ‘fixed’ anytime soon.

      • 1539days says:

        Depends on what you measn by raising reveues. He basically talked about increasing revenue by making the economy more job friendly. He also wanted to simplify the tax code, which may or may not effectively increase tax revenue.

    • ralphb says:

      He’s useless anymore. The markets have not returned to normal. They are artificially propped up to the former bubble level by all that lovely bailout money.

      This I mostly agree with, though it’s not the only debt overhang we have to worry about. There is also the huge public debt.

      The big drag on the economy now is the overhang of household debt, largely created by the $5.6 trillion in mortgage debt that households took on during the bubble years.

      • 1539days says:

        Actually, the “drag” is the fact that people are paying off debt at a higher rate than before, making the banks richer and the shops poorer.

        • ralphb says:

          That’s a big factor and it won’t stop until we get confidence again. That would be irrational now.

    • Dario says:

      It’s not that I disagree with Krugman, but he should just say that someone needs to primary Obama because he needs to be defeated.

      • JeanLouise says:

        I don’t think Krugman’s going to say that. He backed off of Obama for a little while after he was invited to lunch at the White House. Sad to say but even Krugman will drink Kool-Aid if it comes in WH crystal.

        I haven’t seen any ‘liberal’ columnists say that Obama should be primaried. They would probably be accused of treason.

        • 1539days says:

          The institutional left will never want to primary Obama. She who shall not be named might become president.

        • Three Wickets says:

          Been seeing more Progressive chatter saying Nader gave us Bush, and we shouldn’t make that mistake again with an Obama challenger.

        • 1539days says:

          I remember that commercial where Michael Moore apologized for supporting Nader in 2000 telling people they HAD to vote for Kerry in 04.

    • JeanLouise says:

      Anything that doesn’t roll back the Bush tax cuts, at least for millionares, is a sin.

  4. ralphb says:

    Marco Rubio v Bob Schieffer and while Schieffer tried his best to spout his Dick talking points, Rubio ate his lunch.

    Marco Rubio is a good politician.

    • myiq2xu says:

      I just posted a new thread about the debt limit

    • JeanLouise says:

      Did he say anything about raising revenues? If he didn’t, he’s just full of hot air.

      • ralphb says:

        If we raised taxes, wouldn’t those “thieving” Republican governors just take the money? 😉

        • JeanLouise says:

          They’d try. With any luck, they’ll be recalled or neutered before they have the opportunity to do so. We may be stuck with Kasich for another three-and-a-half years but a lot of his minions are up for election every two years.

        • 1539days says:

          The current deficit is 1.67 trillion dollars. The top 1% ($380K+ in income) in 2008 paid about 38% of the total federal income tax. If their xincome tax rate were raised to a theoretical 98% (which would be tough given sales tax, local taxes, Medicare and Social Security) from 35.6%, it would increase raw income tax revenue 1.75 times. Now, 38% of the $2.6 trillion in total reveue would be $988 billion. That $1.72 trillion would cover the current deficit.

          Except half of tax revenue is from individual taxes. There would still be an $800 billion hole that is bigger than defence. What gets cut?

        • ralphb says:

          I’ve given up explaining. Arithmetic just doesn’t count.

        • 1539days says:

          and economics isn’t worth it.

        • JeanLouise says:

          That’s just a blathering, strawman argument. Nobody has said that raising taxes on the rich will solve all of our financial problems. If I have to pay taxes, hedge fund managers and the other Wall Street whores should pay taxes, too. I frankly don’t care if it doesn’t cut the deficit or the debt by a nickel. Everyone who shares in the bounty of this country should share the cost. It’s the only way to avoid a class war.

        • 1539days says:

          So every income group should pay the same tax rate.

    • Dario says:

      I think Schieffer did a good job with Rubio. CBS does a credible job now that Couric is gone. It’s incredible that someone from FL doesn’t understand that most people 65 or older have lost their edge to compete for jobs. Companies don’t want old people. Until those who made out like bandits these past 20 years pay their fair share of taxes, the debt will continue to be the problem, as Rubio says. The fact is that cutting spending is only going to throw more people out of work and make the deficit worse as the tax base shrinks because the unemployed don’t pay taxes. Obama and the Republicans don’t want to understand that.

      • ralphb says:

        He didn’t say people over 65 should get jobs. He said one of the things which might have to happen is raise the retirement age. If they don’t up the cap, eventually that will have to happen.

        They was talking about Medicare and that senile ass Schieffer came out of left field with social security.

        • Dario says:

          The first solution to help SS is to raise the retirement age. It’s insane. I see seniors working alongside young people, and it’s simply painful how their minds don’t work as fast. Their bodies are often not up to the jobs. To work beyond 65 is unacceptable. If what they want is a whole bunch of old people, and I’m talking about those who are in their 40s and 50s now, eat cat food because that’s all they can afford, then fine. It’s a good thing I’ll be dead and won’t have to see it.

        • ralphb says:

          They’re going to do something about it. If you don’t want the age raised, then start talking about raising the Earnings Cap. It’s not ideology, it’s fucking arithmetic!

        • 1539days says:

          That borders of age discrimination. My manager is 65 and he is a harder worker than I am. Life expectantcy is in the mid 70s now. Does that mean most people are walking vegetables for over a decade? When FDR introduced Social Security, the “retiremnt” age of 65 was 2 years past life expectantcy. If he introduced it today, that would make the retirement age about 83.

        • JeanLouise says:

          Do you know any sixty-five-year-old bricklayers?

        • 1539days, on July 17, 2011 at 9:15 pm

          Check that life expectantcy figure. When figured starting from birth, it looks like a lot of change, because there’s less infant mortality. But when figured from around age 50-60, there’s not much change. People who lived past middle age had as much chance of reaching 70+ as we do, iirc.

  5. timothy2010 says:

    Is Breaking Bad worth renting the first few seasons? I have a bunch of VOD credits through Amazon from buying digital music. Can only be used to rent/buy from their video library and unlike netflix you can’t watch through gaming console. I hate watching movies on my monitor, but tv shows not so bad.

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