We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Monday, November 12. 2012
Affairs are partly about narcissism
England: And Next They Came For Bacon
Move to San Francisco, Get a Free Sex Change
... the Obama administration spent $5.60 for every $1 of economic growth.
Foodstamps Surge By Most In One Year To New All Time Record, In Delayed Release
Denmark seriously rethinking the world’s first “fat tax”
Can't count on Rasmussen anymore
“Imagine the howls if Bush played golf during the post-Katrina cleanup.”
Now They Tell Us: Costs of the GM Bailout
Sarah Westwood: Advice From a Lonely College Republican - The GOP is like a supermodel who's been doing photo shoots under fluorescent bulbs without any makeup.
MORE DEAD BODIES Discovered in Sandy’s Wake – Media Yawns – Obama Golfs
Not Quite Like Being There - Firefights and ambushes make for melodrama, but our soldiers' most difficult struggles are more mundane
Diplomats still in Benghazi say they had long questioned U.S. reliance on local militia
China's next first lady: a folk singer who threatens to shake up political life
Dark Blots on the Blank Slate - An epic yet intimate history of how the Soviets attempted to remake every aspect of life in Eastern Europe in the wake of World War II.
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Bird Dog: ... the Obama administration spent $5.60 for every $1 of economic growth.
Mark Steyn: In the course of his first term, Obama increased the federal debt by just shy of $6 trillion and, in return, grew the economy by $905 billion. So, as Lance Roberts at Street Talk Live pointed out, in order to generate every $1 of economic growth the United States had to borrow about $5.60.
The U.S. economy was contracting precipitously in 2008-2009. Any measure of growth has to measure from negative growth, not zero growth. Also, much of the debt is due to the associated drop in tax receipts, not due to stimulus per se.
It's this sort of historical revision that lost the Republicans the election. Serious mistakes were made leading up to the financial meltdown; allowing a bubble to form in the shadow market in securities, overheating the economy with tax cuts and unfunded wars, over-reliance on market forces, and lack of oversight as underwriting standards in the mortgage industry collapsed.
"Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholder's equity – myself especially – are in a state of shocked disbelief." — Alan Greenspan.
But do not forget that the economy crashed because of policies pushed by the Democrats (Dodd & Frank) in 1999 and signed by President Clinton. And when it crashed it was a recession no worse then the one that President Carter left for Reagan to clean up. The difference here is that Obama didn't clean it up and in fact never wanted to clean it up. To Obama and the neo-libs a recession is an opportunity to raise taxes, spend money, pay off cronies and buy constituents. If there had not been a crisis they would have had to create one so they could get their far left policies implemented. Arguably we are in a depression today. 50,000,000 people are in bread lines (EBT). Our economy is circling the drain and Obama golfs and his wife and kids take multi-million dollar vacations in exotic places.
Do not forget that the Dood Frank laws REQUIRED the mortgage industry to make sub-par loans. This depression was caused by Democrats/liberals and has been made worse by Democrats/liberals.
GoneWithTheWind: But do not forget that the economy crashed because of policies pushed by the Democrats (Dodd & Frank) in 1999 and signed by President Clinton.
While blurring the line between traditional banks and investment banks was a contributing factor, it wasn't the primary mechanism of the financial meltdown. In any case, you're supposed to steer the ship of state, not watch it run aground. Excessive demand for mortgage-backed securities resulted in a bubble of an enormous scale.
GoneWithTheWind: And when it crashed it was a recession no worse then the one that President Carter left for Reagan to clean up.
That's not even close to being true. It was the worst financial debacle since the Great Depression.
GoneWithTheWind: To Obama and the neo-libs a recession is an opportunity to raise taxes...
Taxes are at their lowest levels in generations. Obama doesn't even propose to return tax rates to Clinton-era levels.
Not the Dodd Frank Act. That will no doubt bite us in the ass but it was not the cause or the cure for our problems created in the Clinton administration. I am referring to the Democrats forcing banks to make sub-prime loans and for Fannie and Freddie to buy these loans and bundle them to be sold to the equities market. THAT is what caused the crash.
It has indeed turned out to be a grest depression but if you look at the charts well into Obama's 1st term it was identical to previous recessions. it was only after Obama gave away the store to the unions and other cronies and borrowed and printed money by the trillions that it fell off the cliff.
Obama and the Democrats intend to let the Bush tax cuts expire. That is by definition raising taxes. DUH!
I do get a laugh out of the turmoil that letting those Bush tax cuts causes the left. For 10 years they have called them tax cuts for the rich and now that they are about to expire the covers have lifted and indeed they were tax cuts for everyone. If they do expire YOU and I and most others here will pay considerably higher taxes. I'm not rich! I don't make $250k a year.
GoneWithTheWind: I am referring to the Democrats forcing banks to make sub-prime loans and for Fannie and Freddie to buy these loans and bundle them to be sold to the equities market.
The majority of subprime loans were made by private lenders, and the majority of firms making subprime loans were not covered by CRA. The problem was a weakening in underwriting standards, in response to the huge demand for PMBS.
GSEs only accounted for a portion of private mortgage-backed securities, which were the root of the problem.
Defaults of GSE loans tend towards the later years, showing that their mix only became toxic in later years of the bubble.
The runup was a classic bubble, with people buying only in order to sell to the next sucker in line, with the public left holding the bag. GSEs certainly threw fuel on the fire. They were the 'greater fools'.
The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission: "We concluded that excess liquidity, by itself, did not need to cause a crisis, and that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac contributed to the crisis but were not a primary cause. We determined that government housing policies were not a significant factor in the crisis."
GoneWithTheWind: It has indeed turned out to be a grest depression but if you look at the charts well into Obama's 1st term it was identical to previous recessions.
The entire financial system was in complete meltdown in September 2008. The U.S. was shedding jobs at nearly a million a month when Obama took office.
Monthly Private Sector Jobs Created
GoneWithTheWind: Obama and the Democrats intend to let the Bush tax cuts expire. That is by definition raising taxes.
Obama has advocated only letting them expire on the wealthiest Americans.
Your ignorance or feigned ignorance knows no bounds. You say "The majority of subprime loans were made by private lenders" as though you are unaware that in 1999 the Democrats and Clinton REQUIRED that all lenders make these loans. Your entire arguement seems to be based on not opening your eyes and since I don't see what's going on it cannot be my precious Democrats screwing up again. The Democrats then REQUIRED Fannie and Freddie to buy these loans from private lenders so that more money would be available to loan to unqualified borrowers. THIS is what caused the crash. The Bush administration came before congress numerous time (8 time I believe) to protest this and each time they were admonished by congress for interfering in the grand plan. You can actually find this on youtube if you want to emerge from your ignorance, You can watch the Democrats berate the Bush administration officials and draw your own conclusions. Do that!! Watch everyone of those videos and THEN tell me how it was not an intentional crash created by left wing socialist Democrats.
Here is the link to the video you are talking about:
I'm jus' a dumb economic fundamentalist, but "over-reliance on market forces" sounds to me like over-reliance on the forces of gravity. In the formulation stated above, where is mention of the government's suing banks that balked at making [really stupid] "sub-prime" mortgages? With all due respect to Mr. Greenspan, it seems bankers' "self-interest" might skew some with the feds threatening to sue your ass off.
Or am I missing something here?
Remember how the press pilloried the BP exec who zipped home to go sailing in the midst of the Gulf oil spill?
Guess the same standard doesn't apply to current POTUS and golf.
I've hired a few new college grads (engineers) recently and they are complete political mush heads. They have no natural affinity for the Democrats or the left (except perhaps for giveaways on Student loans), but were by default Obama supporters. We work in the Energy Business (real not green) and getting these guys oriented to our clients and real world rapidly changes their views.
Mostly they don't think about politics. What saddens me is the complete inability to critically think through issues. Wasn't this one of the claims for sending more people through college?
And the colleges do their damnedest to prevent THAT from happening.
All I know is, I have 4 children. All of them are conservative thinkers and can discuss economic and political topics pretty well for their ages (the youngest is 12). The goal is for the conservative parent to produce competent, informed children... despite the educational system. If you are not discussing these issues with your kids, listening to Rush in the car while they are captive audience, keeping the news on when they are around, then I think the parents have to take some blame here.
With abortion on demand impacting mostly minority households and the adoration of gay relationships which cannot produce children...oh and all of those 'working women' who put off marriage and family for that all important career...I think the conservatives will ultimately win the day.
Most of my conservative friends have more than 2 children. Most of my liberal friends have none or one.
It's out there and I can't find it !
Cruising (surfing?) today I noticed something that said something like this: teacher tells class election end of country as we knew it. Apparently there is a video of this out in the either today, but I cannot find it. Can anyone here find it?
GoneWithTheWind: in 1999 the Democrats and Clinton REQUIRED that all lenders make these loans
Here's a good one from the NY Times about it:
Hmm. That doesn't say anything about how Clinton REQUIRED that all lenders make these loans.
"Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits."
Also: The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, whose provisions were strengthened during the Clinton administration, is a federal law that MANDATES lenders to offer credit throughout their entire market and discourages them from restricting their credit services to high-income markets, a practice known as redlining. In other words, the Community Reinvestment Act encourages banks and thrifts to make loans to riskier customers.
So perhaps 'force' was not the perfect word for it. But 'pressure' and 'discourage' and 'mandates' all come pretty close.
And another link for you: http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/hotproperty/archives/2008/02/clintons_drive.html
KJB: The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 [/i]
The majority of subprime loans were made by mortgage lenders not covered by the CRA, hence, our original points stand.
Obama and ACORN (both seperately and in concert) picketed lenders to "force" them to make subprime loans. While not every lender was picketed every lender got the message. That along with the laws passed and the spoken intent of the administration and congress let everyone know what was expected. So to claim a win or that your original point stands based on ignoring the facts seems... well, childish.
Let me make it easier for you; I think most of the actors in the effort to make loans easier for poor and unqualified borrowers to get were sincerely trying to help. I don't think they did it to cause a crash I think they did it out of compassion and a desire to let everyone enjoy the benefits of a good economy. But (there is always a but) how could they not have seen the crash as a probable result? And therein lies the problem with unfettered or unthinking compassion (especially with other people's money). That is if you don't have skin in the game (lets say 20% down) when the going gets tough you bail out. AND this is ESPECIALLY true of people with bad credit i.e. a history of bailing out. If you really want to help poor people then I think the only thing that will work is tough love. Some people fail and pick themselves up and try again and eventually succeed. If you (the government) is there to make sure they don't fail, make sure they don't ever even try and make sure they succeed (if you call welfare succeeding) then you are creating the dependent society. Yes it is unfair that some cannot make it while others succeed and some even succeed wildly beyond expectations. Yes we all want to give the underdog a hand up. But haven't you figured out yet that you do not help someone by doing for them that which they should be doing themselves? I would not bring up my children in the way our government treats our poor. I want my children to try and maybe fail. I offer them encouragement and a handup not a handout. And at some point I let them fly the nest. And it is painful to watch them try to fly but I know this is what I must do. Why can't a liberal mind comprehend this simple natural lesson???
GoneWithTheWind: Obama and ACORN (both seperately and in concert) picketed lenders to "force" them to make subprime loans.
So we've gone from being required by law to being picketed by a few urban groups. In any case, that certainly wasn't the reason why trillions of dollars disappeared into the shadow market.
Zach I have figured out who you really are; you are Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Right! We all marveled at her ability to ignore the obvious and lie straight faced after hearing the facts exlained to her. She was truely incredible and a proud example of our Democrat/far left/Socialist/Marxist party. Come on Zach, admit it. You really are Debbie Wasserman Schultz and you miss lying in front of the TV cameras and haved devolved into this; lying on blogs...
I think what most conservatives are looking for is an admission that Clinton started this train down the road, and Barney Frank and his ilk pushed it as hard they could even farther...perhaps Republicans didn't do enough to stop what they saw coming (watch the YouTube video). However, it rankles me that NO democrats take ANY responsibility for any part of the economic meltdown and just use the 'blame Bush' mantra. It is a LIE.
So, there would be a lot less animosity if the democrats (voters included) would admit some fault here.