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#268515 - 02/17/14 09:17 AM Obama made life worse for America's middle class
Doug Thompson Offline

Honcho
old hand

Registered: 10/01/94
Posts: 5184
Loc: Blue Ridge Mountains of Virgin...

Obama made life worse for America’s middle class

President Barack Obama says he has to use 10 pens as he signs the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan as Vice President Joe Biden (L) looks on at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science in Denver, February 17, 2009.  (REUTERS/Rick Wilking)

President Barack Obama says he has to use 10 pens as he signs the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan as Vice President Joe Biden (L) looks on at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science in Denver, February 17, 2009.
(REUTERS/Rick Wilking)


Five years ago Monday, President Barack Obama signed the signature economic proposal of his presidency, saying that the passage of the $787 billion economic stimulus package heralded the “the beginning of the end” of the Great Recession.

The president told a Denver audience that he was “keeping the American Dream alive in our time.” But for millions of Americans, he made things worse.

It is now clear that bold White House predictions about stimulus jobs “saved and created” were just a prelude to later pledges about keeping your doctors and falling premiums.

Equally maddening has been the president’s unwavering belief that an economic recovery could be engineered by Washington’s central planners. It’s as if he isn’t aware of the cynicism engendered by a stimulus bill that seemed to have been designed not so much on the basis of real need or an empirical study of what would actually help people get back on their feet, but on ideology and political connections.

From the tens of billions that have been poured into green energy to an executive order that basically excludes non-unionized workers from major construction projects, for many Americans the stimulus looked more like political payback than a jobs bill — all compliments of the taxpayer.

Meanwhile, middle class incomes have continued to shrink, making it even harder for millions in the middle class to keep up with bills. The cost of college tuition and healthcare are rising faster than inflation, and millions of Americans have received cancellation notices from their health insurers. Countless others now live with the worry that their new plan may not cover the doctors they know and trust.

No wonder so many people now feel as if no one in Washington is looking out for them.

The real tragedy here is that none of this was necessary. Republicans have always been willing to work with the president on reforms that would have broad bipartisan support, and, we believe, a far better impact on the lives and livelihoods of ordinary Americans. Things like paring back regulations, tapping into vast domestic energy resources through projects like the Keystone XL pipeline, and putting the nation’s finances on a more solid footing, just to name a few.

To some, it may seem like the two parties in Washington are locked in some never-ending debate about the real unemployment rate versus the official unemployment rate, about whether to raise the minimum wage or extend emergency unemployment insurance one more time, or when exactly the debt limit will be breached. In recent days, we have even debated whether fewer people holding down a job as a result of Obamacare is a good or a bad thing.

But to focus on the day-to-day debates is to miss a larger point. It’s to forget that the record expansion of all these government programs is proof that more Americans are in need of help today than they were in 2009; that the president’s policies have failed the very people they were intended to help. If the stimulus had been the great success its supporters predicted, we would not be having these debates.

It’s that simple.

Far from establishing the firm foundation and middle-class renewal that the president promised, nearly seven out of 10 Americans now think the country is worse off than it was when the stimulus was signed. The labor participation rate is at its lowest level since the Carter era, and confidence in government has been dropping like a stone.

If the goal was to make things better, a clear majority of Americans would say it didn’t.

An even sharper verdict comes from the nine out of 10 Americans who say the president should make a “top priority” of creating jobs this year. Such overwhelming majorities wouldn’t feel that way if the stimulus had led to the kind of “long-term growth and prosperity” that the president initially envisioned.

Five years later, the stimulus is no success to celebrate. It is a tragedy to lament.

(Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is the Republican Leader of the Senate.)

_______

Copyright © 2014 Capitol Hill Blue

Copyright © 2014 Thomson Reuters All Rights Reserved


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#268516 - 02/17/14 09:40 AM Re: Obama made life worse for America's middle class [Re: Doug Thompson]
logtroll Offline
old hand

Registered: 04/25/10
Posts: 6450
Loc: New Mexico (not old Mexico)
That danged Obama ... if he would just let the other branches of government play a role, instead of always shutting down their good ideas, we wouldn't be worse off now. Hmm
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#268517 - 02/17/14 10:20 AM Re: Obama made life worse for America's middle class [Re: Doug Thompson]
NW Ponderer Offline
Moderator
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 12044
What this little "commentary" demonstrates is exactly what is wrong with the GOP. I looked long and hard to find any - ANY - element of the screed that was true. Any iota that was factual. There was/is none. I'd challenge anyone else to present one. Oh, I suppose it is encouraginging that Senator McConnell acknowleged that Barack Obama is actually the President, and not a fraud, and that he did sign legislation, but substantively it makes claims devoid of any relationship to reality.

And therein lies the problem. How is it possible to run a government when one entire wing refused to accept anything that approaches reality? What "sound" reforms has the GOP proposed? Which had "broad bipartisan support"? It's complete and utter fantasy. In short, a lie. Par for the course. I suppose "bipartisan" to Senator McConnell means that both his energy lobbyists and pharma lobbyists agree?
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#268518 - 02/17/14 10:27 AM Re: Obama made life worse for America's middle class [Re: Doug Thompson]
Joe Keegan Offline
veteran

Registered: 12/25/05
Posts: 8707
A more effective stimulus would have been to give each American household 100k and let them spend it as they pleased. We'd be well on our way to a genuine recovery.

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#268519 - 02/17/14 10:48 AM Re: Obama made life worse for America's middle class [Re: Doug Thompson]
Ardy Offline
veteran

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 11734
Loc: San Jose, Ca USA
It is hard to know where to begin responding to such a loopy argument.

Sen. Sen. McConnell implies The stimulus package somehow destroyed jobs for the middle class. He implies that somehow the queen energy program destroyed job how that might be is unknown I suppose we could discuss with the green energy program was effective or not. But that does not seem to be the point this sen. McConnell it's making

We could go through and do the same analysis about program after program that was part of recovery act. Programs to build bridges, programs to support the unemployed, programs to save the United States auto industry. Programs to support state and local government so that they could retain workers on on the list goes but it's hard to find any particular program that cost jobs and in fact a lot of them seems to be beneficial as far as I can tell.

so Sen. McConnell proposal that the recovery act killed middle-class jobs seemes a little bit specious


Well sen. McConnell through them all the standard sort of) clichés. Among which the assertion that overbearing regulation kill jobs. He is however not clear about which specific regulations Obama added that killed jobs. Except for of course the XL pipeline. And whether the controversy about that was well-founded or not. It is hard to imagine that some turn McConnell is seriously proposing that that single decision or lack of decision tremendously impacted the American economy nor is it possible to seriously imagine in what world Center McConnell is living with Obama's policies have seriously crippled America's ability to produce oil.

Yes it is true that the recovery of our economy has been unknowingly slow. But it turns out that the economic problem was really quite severe. It wasn't just the USA. Economies around The world have been suffering from recovering from this problem. And by comparison our economy has righted itself better and sooner the most

In discussing the recovery act. Sen. McConnell avoids talking about the reality of the situation when that act was passed at that time there was broad consensus that the government had to do something. The debate was not upon whether to do something or whether not to do something The debate concerned how much money to spend and what to spend it on.

In general Republican position was we need to spend more of the stimulus on giving the bridge further tax cuts. The Democratic proposal included tax cuts but also included spending programs like building bridges and so on. The Democratic program tried to help the unemployed.

In short major dispute between Republicans and Democrats was whether to focus on indirect helps like text cuts. or to add programs have more direct impact like helping the. unemployed etc. etc.


The other issue of note in the debate about the stimulus package was how large the package should be. Should it be something like 500 billion or should it be something like 800 billion. And the argument that Mitch McConnell seems to be making is that extra hundred billion dollars a year just destroyed the American economy Again he gets no answer why or how this would be the case

Mitch McConnell talks about the ever-expanding federal bureaucracy. It's a well worn conservative cliché. But as I understand the facts the facts are that state local and federal government bureaucracies have all been shrinking over the past several years

When you boil it all down. Mitch McConnell is proposing the standard conservative line of thinking. Smaller government lower taxes less regulation

As far as I can tell. The government is shrinking and taxes are historically low. particularly on rich people. That leaves us with regulation

In my opinion lack of adequate regulation is what sort of got us into this mess. I certainly do not see any argument that somehow closing some regulatory burdens. Would have allowed the economy to flourish in a way that it has not over the past five years. And it seems like every year we have some new disaster which causes people to wonder if maybe the government should not have handled things differently to stop private industry from blowing things up. Do the people who can no longer drink the water want less regulation. Is there a call for less regulation of drilling in the gulf. Would Our nation really be so much better off with less regulation of cars and automobiles. Would we be better off with uninspected food. Would we be better off if we just let the banks do whatever they want. Would we be better off if only corporations could dump whatever they want until water. Maybe we want pharmaceutical companies to be able to produce any drug that they want without any regulations

From my read of Mitch McConnell's essay I don't see much sense to it
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#268520 - 02/17/14 11:00 AM Re: Obama made life worse for America's middle class [Re: Joe Keegan]
Ardy Offline
veteran

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 11734
Loc: San Jose, Ca USA
Originally Posted By: Joe Keegan
A more effective stimulus would have been to give each American household 100k and let them spend it as they pleased. We'd be well on our way to a genuine recovery.


Have you worked out the numbers on that Joe

100k for 1 million people worked out to be $100 billion

For 100 million people that works out to be about $10 trillion

for 300 million people that works our to be about 30 Trillion

Yeah It would be a hell of a stimulus


Edited by Ardy (02/17/14 11:03 AM)
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#268522 - 02/17/14 11:20 AM Re: Obama made life worse for America's middle class [Re: NW Ponderer]
pdx rick Offline
Member
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 36329
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
...Which had "broad bipartisan support"? It's complete and utter fantasy...

I am all in favor of bi-partisanship. I tell the Wingnuts: I'll kiss your elephant when you kiss my àss. smile
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#268524 - 02/17/14 11:30 AM Re: Obama made life worse for America's middle class [Re: Doug Thompson]
pdx rick Offline
Member
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 36329
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Originally Posted By: Doug Thompson
The labor participation rate is at its lowest level since the Carter era...
  • Retiring baby boomers. Boomers began retiring in the year 2000
  • Less Gen X'ers and Y'ers and Millennials born than Boomers
  • More workers going on disability
  • More recent high school graduates are going to college
  • Jobs lost to software automation and through robotics
Hmm

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#268527 - 02/17/14 01:47 PM Re: Obama made life worse for America's middle class [Re: pdx rick]
loganrbt Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 5850
Loc: Massaphuggintwoshirts
Yes, Rick, very well done. A perfectly fine list of all the things Obama caused in making life worse for America's middle class.

The most disappointing Rant I've seen in years.
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#268532 - 02/17/14 05:02 PM Re: Obama made life worse for America's middle class [Re: Doug Thompson]
pdx rick Offline
Member
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 36329
Loc: Portland, Oregon
...found this on WND: (where else?)

Quote:
Mr Business owner; Protect yourself. Do not hire anyone! Move the work around to keep under the limits or simply don't accept any new business. Slow things down to keep your own income comfortable but whatever you do, don't hire!

The Wingnuts "winning" strategy to deny the POTUS any wins.
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