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Obama recovery plan: thumbs up/down... and why?



January 15, 2009 – Comments (33)

I'm soliciting Fool Community input for a potential TV appearance of mine next week and I already got some very thoughtful responses to my first question. Here's my second (and final one): 

What are your thoughts on President-elect Barack Obama’s economic recovery plan? Is this a plan that can realistically turn our economy around? Why/why not?

It is a political question at heart, but I'm hoping for the same quality of non-politicized answers. Yes, I realize politics runs through everything, in a sense, but as someone of a highly apolitical bent, I don't value highly polemic statements as much as I value intelligent observations and original thinking borne so often from freethinking (independent) viewpoints. All comers welcome below, of course -- just saying what I'm more likely to be influenced by. So whatever your political affiliation, I'd love to hear direct responses to the question at hand backing up any assertions with evidence. Thanks in advance, and Fool on. --David

33 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On January 15, 2009 at 4:34 PM, Imperial1964 (94.02) wrote:

It's not the type of thorough answer you're hoping for, but I'm against spending beyond our means and mortgaging our childrens' future, no matter what the short-term cost.

That's what got us into this mess in the first place, and it's going to come back to bite us several years down the road.

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#2) On January 15, 2009 at 5:09 PM, abitare (29.85) wrote:

Right now the Top Fool in points (21 NOV 09 Top Fool) quote me:

“President Obama honeymoon period will end quickly. He will serve one term and he will leave office the most hated and revival President in our nation’s history. People will look back favorably at Bush 43 after President Obama. President Obama is smart, but he lacks the wisdom from experience. It is not his fault, he is a kid with little work experience. He has been set up for failure. His policies and the Keynesian criminals that surround him will lead to failure. This is the educated expectation from Obama.  The masses still have hope; but there is no easy fix to our problems and empowering those that have proven they do not know what they are doing will make thing worse. He would have to do 180 degree opposite of his proposals to change his fate.”

Obama will be on a honeymoon for about a year before the circumstances overwhelm him and his administration. He inherited a mess and it will br beyond him and his administrations ability to fix. The only way to fix the current circumstance is to allow capitalism to work. The more the government “helps” the more it destroys.

The US government has no money, it can only print money out of thin air and destroy the purchasing power and destroy saving further. The government is NOT an efficient employer of assets. Capitalism does work if you allow it to function.  

Obama or any government sponsored recover plan will be a disaster. The problems we face are mainly problems created by the government interventions and government spending.

Obama’s fist words should be

1. ”that is a stock market thing” – like Regan, Obama should ignore the market and promise not to intervene to prop up asset prices. He should disband the PPT. The market may sell off, but it will eventually rally.

2. “It is not taxes, it is spending.” The government has to control spending printing infinite amounts of money out of thin air will have major consequences. Tax cuts without spending.

3. “those that broke the law will be pursued and prosecuted, no one past or present is above the law. Under the law we are all treated equal, it does not matter the size of someones bank account. WE WILL HAVE THE RULE OF LAW, WE WILL HAVE JUSTICE, WE WILL FOLLOW THE CONSTITUTION AND WE WILL RE-ESTALISH the GOODWILL AND LEGITIMACY THAT WAS LOST”

4. Obama should continue to state “it took years to make this mess and destroy the legitimacy and confidence in this great nation, it will take years to get it back. This will be a long struggle to correct the Bush destruction”

5. Regardless, “compared to the rest of the world, there is no place better to be then in the US. “

6. Obama should promise a lot, but do very little. Like Bush, Obama should do the opposite of his campaign promises. Everyone is expecting a tax and spend socialist. Obama should deliver the opposite. The market is expecting Karl Marx and death camps. All Obama should do is what Bush ran on, but then did the opposite.

7. The only politician the nation has fatith in is Ron Paul. Obama should appoint Ron Paul to whatever office Dr Paul wants. The US market will rally, there will be a buying panic. The other choice is Paul Volkner.

8. Obama should state “I don’t like wars. They are expensive waste of money. It is the last choice for our nation going forward. A strong defense is a sound economy and fiscal restraint.”

Obama is on track to be a one term President. His paper thin resume, lack of experience, socialist leanning, and platitudes will wear thin and people will loose confidence quickly. The only reason he is president is because McCain and Palin were awful and there is no real "choice" of decent cannidates. 

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#3) On January 15, 2009 at 5:13 PM, goldminingXpert (28.68) wrote:

Quick and easy.

Down. The problem the US economy faces was created by excess debt on the personal level, the consumer level, and the governmental level. Attempting to solve the problem of excess consumption of everything, be it houses, cars, stocks, or whatever else, on credit, by using more debt will not work! The debt must be payed off eventually, and until it does, the credit providing firms of our society will continue to fail. Interest payments continue to spiral into a larger and larger portion of GDP until eventually the whole gig collapses--that's what we've got now. More debt can not and will not solve our problems.

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#4) On January 15, 2009 at 5:22 PM, WeenTang (29.13) wrote:

This is a very simple thumbs down.  This "bail out" is less about stimulating the ecconomy and more about Government gaining even more control. 

There is a much simpler and effective way to stimulate the economy.  A 5 month tax holiday.  The Government takes in approximately $160B a month in tax receipts.  Stop collecting those receipts for 5 months and you've just pumped the $800B into the economy you hoped for and you let the market determine how that money is best spent.  But there is no possible way that will ever happen for the following reasons.

1) The Government will not have control over the spending

2) Liberals will claim its unfair to the "under priviledged."  Eventhough it will distribute the tax savings exactly in proportion to how the taxes are collected.

3) People will see exactly how much money they actually make and this nonsensical idea of "take home pay" will go away.  This would be a disaster for our tax and spend Government and is probably the single biggest reason this will never happen.

4) People may realize we are better off with a smaller Federal Government.

I'm not railing against Democrats here, Republicans would never do this either.  It would hurt their power source just as much.

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#5) On January 15, 2009 at 5:29 PM, WeenTang (29.13) wrote:

Oh, and "economist" will howl that instead of buying goods and services with their tax savings people will pay down debt and save.  Which is somehow a bad thing.

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#6) On January 15, 2009 at 5:41 PM, TDRH (96.87) wrote:

Down.   Spent last Friday going through the bureaucracy grist mill. 

1)   Passport Office in the Federal Building.

2)   Drivers license office for the State of Texas

3)   Courthouse for Texas plates.

Every step of the process was inefficient.   The government promotes inefficiency, including its interference in the correction process.  Their interference in the banking and financial system is only delaying the inevitable. 

What they need to do is to work to enforce existing laws and create new legislation to improve transparency of a company's operations.    This too will be inefficient, but it is obvious we cannot trust the companies to do it themselves- and without the transparency markets/investors are unable to have confidence in the values of assets.   Restoring this confidence, the ratings of debt, equities, book values is fundamental to the stock market and the economy as a whole.

Many would argue that government involvement in this area would be ineffective as well.  If someone has a better idea I am all ears, but I would like to see steps to prevent this type of collapse from happening again.    Rip the bandaid off, let us "stoop down and build 'em up with wornout tools" and learn from these mistakes. 

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#7) On January 15, 2009 at 5:42 PM, 5000monkey (93.78) wrote:

Thumbs down. By attempting to put more money into the consumer’s hands he’s treating the symptoms not the problem. Putting $1000 into my hands as a one time credit, does nothing to increase my annual income, my job security or the return on my portfolio. It also has no impact on my ability to pay my mortgage. For a household about to go into foreclosure $500, $1000 or even $5000 as a one time distribution does nothing but delay the inevitable. He’s borrowing money from thin air to give the average American citizen a feel good distribution that will have no lasting gains and yet will still add to the national debt. 

I’m not sure what the magic bullet is to fix the economy, and I feel proud of this as it puts me in the same room with some of the greatest financial gurus of our time because neither do they! But I do understand that spending money with no way to recoup that “investment” is not a sound financial decision. At least with the last round of financial bailout money the fed has a potential to recoup its loans through its equity share.

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#8) On January 15, 2009 at 5:54 PM, MTBiker62 (< 20) wrote:

Thumbs down

Spending more money to solve an excessive debt problem does not make sense and will not solve our problems.  The US needs to cut spending through increasing efficiencies or cutting / reducing programs.

The analogy which comes to mind is the average citizen who can't pay his credit card bills because he went on a spending spree is going to solve his excessive debt problem by borrowing more money and remodeling his house.  This just makes the problem worse.

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#9) On January 15, 2009 at 6:18 PM, Zanibel17 (92.56) wrote:

I can only echo the chorus here:  Thumbs down for all the reasons given above.  I'm horrified that people say that Obama should create the new "New Deal."'

Thomas Jefferson stated that it was immoral for one generation to burden the next generation with debt, even in wartime.  "I consider the fortunes of our republic," he wrote, "as depending, in an eminent degree, on the extinguishment of the public debt." As president, his party abolished all of Hamilton’s (and the Federalists’) excise taxes and reduced the government debt from $83 million to $57 million.

On behalf of my dear children, 9 and 6 years old, I would beg President Obama not to burden them any further with backbreaking debt.

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#10) On January 15, 2009 at 6:51 PM, MikeMark (28.96) wrote:

Thumbs down.

Essentially I agree with many points made by abitare.

The first thing to recognize is that government rarely creates economic (job) growth. Job growth is created by entrepreneurs who recognize a potential for profit for themselves or others and then go make it happen. Government rarely has the "cost conscious" attitude to do that.

The next thing one must recognize is that government generally places a burden upon economic growth. Taxes occur in many forms. We've recently had a major tax to the tune of $700 billion upon anyone holding actual cash. It will take time for that to be felt, but to put it into terms we can all understand, that's about $2,300 per person in the US. We will pay that partly in the form of increased taxes and partly in the form of inflation. Those with the least money will be hurt the most by the inflation. That money has been given to politically well connected people in companies and large banks who have better access to the money than the average citizen. Taxing the poor to give to the rich. Unfortunately, the average citizen doesn't have the proper economic education to recognize this.

Our form of government has another difficulty that it faces. Once people think they can vote themselves more money, they do it. They begin to believe that simply by voting for it they can have it.

Really, any government has a few basic jobs:

1) Protect the people. (Even from a their own government!)

2) Protect the people's property.

3) Provide help for reeducation in economic trouble. Really, this is a part of 1 and 2 but it needs to be pointed out specifically at this time.

4) Otherwise, get out of the way of progress.

One of the Obama actions is to provide more money for unemployment and reeducation. That is a great one. The unemployment part isn't so important, the reeducation is. If you recognize that progress means that you will endure economic change, including the decline of the horse and buggy giving way to the automobile and the decline of the internal combustion engine giving way to other engine types, then you must recognize that some companies must fail. People who are working for them must become reeducated. Change is good. Allow it. Preventing it will not create economic progress. That is true for every company type.

Banks should also be allowed to fail. The government's job here is to protect the deposits of the people, not the bank or it's executives and owners.

There is so much more, but for now one last thought:

Mankind generally endures no matter the government with which we inflict ourselves. That gives me a great hope.

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#11) On January 15, 2009 at 6:52 PM, guiron (39.05) wrote:

I'm curious if anyone has a concrete example where laissez-faire solved an economic crisis of national/international magnitude.

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#12) On January 15, 2009 at 6:55 PM, Alex1963 (27.69) wrote:

Hey David,

I'm for it in a general sense but anxiously awaiting further concrete details.

If Obama continues to solicit ideas from both sides of the aisle, and continues to consult with fiscal experts of varied stripes as he has been, and those involved are constructive and they offer ideas on how to move to stimulate vs naysaying to make political hay, then I'm optimistic.I think Obama's strengths are his intelligence, ability to gather wide and diparate opinions, sythesize and make sound decisions. His judgment is what will make the difference. I don't think their are too many people with any hands on experience in this extreme and wide spread a diseaster unless FDR is available by seance :)

I think the main thrust is to restore consumer confidence or at least shore it up to the greatest degree possible. It won't be easy with the drubbing we're all taking. We are a consumer society and although that needs to change long term I don't think we can tackle that just yet. I hope and believe that the events over the last 18 months will probably do much to instill saving and budget restraint in the average consumer for years to come.

I agree that spending (or printing) our way out is a very unattractive and potentially dangerous route to go but manageable if monitored very carefully. I like the idea above of a temporary moratorium on taxes but feel that as stand alone step it wouldn't work because most people would spend far less than is needed to make a difference. By a difference I mean enough spending happening on the consumer side to reverse or even slow the business side fiscal tightening consisting of layoffs, bankruptcy restructuring, delays cash of outlays or cancellation, renegotiating  or postponement of orders.

Also having the government provide a stimulus gives the opportunity to direct some of the effect to areas which need attention in order for the US to target key areas for investment in it's future such as alternative energy, a refocus on education for all ages & so on. I just don't see how individuals could purchase us towards these goals on their own. A combination of funding and tax incentives seems the route to go.

Targeting overall sectors with specific plans gives investors and business a road map of sorts as to reasonable directions in which to allocate resources. It also can help consumers and those in (or maybe even more importantly, those worried about the possibility of) unemployment some sense of relief. Even if you are say a CPA and you don't see a definite plan in this go round for your sector, seeing that construction will be up, or alternative energy boosted, and eduction reinvigorated could restore some confidence that help is coming. To me it's about the perception that things can be improved decisively, That a well thought out plan with measurable goals is being implemented as much as the specific steps that might be taken.

I believe if Obama addresses home foreclosures to stabilze that sector somewhat and provide a bottom, perhaps by guaranteeing against  a % of loss, similar to PMI insurance, on current and maybe future loans. banks may pry open their wallets. I think housing fears are the #1 problem in the US economy and at the root of foreign nvestment concern. It must be addressed decisively

If Obama can address the toxic assets preventing many banks from lending, even to each other again, it should help unthaw the credit enough to get some momentum in this critical area. I do think he needs to address the failure of the previous bailouts/stimulus to do this, perhaps by instituting requirements and yardsticks to ensure this past and future money is actually put back in the marketplace.

If he can work globally to promote fair and robust trade the business sde should become less fiscally defensive.

If he can figure out a way to drastically reduce our finacial commitment to the Iraq war we could "save" 5-7 billion a month (assuming 10B now). To me this has all kinds of positive repercussions in promoting global cooperation and goodwill. Which we will need in spades to get out of out domestic mess.

I think we can risk the inflation side of the bailout/intervention because we have some wiggle room as I see it. We have to watch deflation but I think that can also be managed and minimized.

I'm no economist, obviously, but I my core belief here is that the majority of ordinary Americans and global citizens need to see the US (& their own countries) taking decisive interventioist steps before the will feel any consumer confidence. This includes the vast number of small business owners who are the employment engine of the US and more and more of the free world.

Good luck with your interview!


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#13) On January 15, 2009 at 7:29 PM, DaretothREdux (49.54) wrote:

Tell them: No corporation is too big to fail, including the corporation that is quickly replacing the U.S. government.

Both thumbs down for me. Seriously, is it any wonder that the majority of top fools seem to support the same things: sound money, less government spending, a return to free market principles, the constitution, and (of course) Ron Paul.


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#14) On January 15, 2009 at 7:38 PM, johnw106 (< 20) wrote:

Thumbs up if it truly includes tax cuts for the middle class and the money is spent on rebuilding our power grid and improving our internet grids. And our transit systems are a joke. Private enterprise will not rebuild our bridges and improve mass transit. There is no profit in it and heaven forbid a company anger its poor stock holders.
It wont do much good for gamblers in the stock market to make a few pennies if our country collapses due to inferior roadways and rolling daily blackouts.

We will be bailing out the state governments soon anyway. Get ahead of the curve and give them the money before they declare bankruptcy and invest in what the USA need to be fifty years from now, not what Wall Street and speculators in the market want tomorrow.

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#15) On January 15, 2009 at 7:55 PM, MikeMark (28.96) wrote:

Time for a few more thoughts.

Our government proceeds from the mistaken belief that people aren't spending enough. The problem really is that people aren't saving enough. One of the reasons they don't is because of the example that our government gives to the people. If the government can do that, why can't I?

Spending comes out of excess wealth, not out of poverty.

One poor example our government has given us is the appropriation (read that theft) of Social Security tax money for any other use. Instead of protecting the property of the people, we have stolen that property from ourselves to use elsewhere. Money that should have been safe, isn't. This has a definite effect on the people.

What should have been saved and invested has been spent and lost. Why is anyone surprised that the general populace is in the same condition?

This has been predicted by many people for many years. Why aren't those individuals involved in the solution to our problems? Why are the individuals who have helped create these problems allowed to continue?


I suggest a reading of "The Lesson after Thirty Years" from "Economics in One Lesson" by Henry Hazlitt written 32 years ago. There could have been plenty of learning by our leaders in the 62 years since the first edition. There has been little or none.

The best thing our government could do would be to economize, reduce and remove. There are many bloated and unnecessary programs and systems in our government. A truly progressive Executive recognizes when it is time to remove them and press on to something better.

As Diogenes said when Alexander the Great asked if he could do anything for him, "Stand a little less between us and the sun."


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#16) On January 15, 2009 at 7:57 PM, chilln868 (99.33) wrote:

Down, down and down.

Obama and the dumbocrats will destroy this country. The new age redumbicans who were led by Bush the Stupid will become even more confused and will blend themselves even further to the socialist ideals that are destroying this country. 

We were the No. 1 country because we allowed capitalism to work. Now that we have let socialism in the door the party is over.


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#17) On January 15, 2009 at 8:16 PM, tomfromgolden (< 20) wrote:

Thumbs down.

Like Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama will have the disadvantage of his own party controlling both houses of Congress.  There will be no one to save him from himself.

He and most of Congress suffer from the delusion that more government interference in the market and fiscal irresponsibility can fix the problems created by government interference in the market and fiscal irresponsibility.

The solutions I keep hearing proposed from Washington sound eerily like the actions taken by the outrageously inept politicians in Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged".

There is no problem so great that the government can't make it worse by trying to fix it.


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#18) On January 15, 2009 at 8:21 PM, devoish (67.86) wrote:

Thumbs up.

Alot of what is being spent here is to improve energy efficiency of Gov,t buildings, which should save energy expenses in our taxes going forward while reducing energy consumption, lowering our energy costs too.

The money being spent to improve roads/bridges should be a blessing to every taxpayer and business who spends hours watching the clock take their time and money sitting in traffic. Construction delays will come first, benefits later.

Scientists get money! Hip hip Hurrah! We get to progress!

Real money to "Support our Troops". It's about time to finance the lip service.

There are a lot of steps toward Universal Healthcare here including the first steps toward making it viable including improved health record keeping to save money and finding enough primary care providers.

Alot of money to the States without which we are not United States. States which really are to important to fail, and have the task of balancing the power of the Federal Gov't.

Money to keep education from collapsing with nothing to replace it.

Money to help get the unemployed through this recession by extending unemployment benefits and enlarging healthcare. I don't see how you can refuse doing that.

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#19) On January 15, 2009 at 8:59 PM, devilinside (< 20) wrote:

I don't believe the current plan will revive this economy in it's present form. Putting billions of dollars into the infrastructure will create some jobs and help some industiries tied to that segment. It won't be significant enough to turn the economy around in the near term.

If the government would put a moratorium on taxes than the hard hit consumer would bring this economy out of recession much faster. It should also be extended to the small companies to help them get through these hard times to prevent further job loses and create new jobs as recovery takes place.

It has amazed me that the government will through billions at those that created the problem to begin with. Capital is not flowing and as long as money doesn't flow economies will not recover.

The consumer spending will cover every spectrum of our economy including capital for banks as some consumers elect to pay off debt or keep them from losing their homes. Is there any area of the economy that would not benefit from consumer spending? It accounts for 70% of our economy.

If you are going to put this country in debt, than why not put that money to work where it can do the most good for all.

 I find it very hard to believe that Obama's plan can create 4.2 million jobs. We have lost in excess of 3.2 million jobs. Not everyone worked in the job fields that will benefit from his proposals. Yes it does spread out to many areas of the economy but not far enough.

We need to let those that are above their heads (Banks and Consumers) fall. We can't save everyone.

Lets look at his proposals:

Tax cuts: The average tax savings would be a disimal $20 to $60 per week for the average consumer. Yes it's a help but not enough to encourage people to spend and it won't reduce further job loses.

Jobs created are primarily in the construction industry. It will take at least a year before projects get underway and only industries tied directly to the construction will benefit in the first year. It will take several years before it trickles down to the rest of those poor soles who desperatly need jobs.

Bottom line, I think Obama and his team are living in a pipe dream (can you say dream team).

Did anyone in Washington ever take economics 101?

Tax relief would be immediate and swift bringing this country out of recession in a very short period of time.


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#20) On January 15, 2009 at 10:49 PM, kstarich (28.77) wrote:

I agree with abitare.

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#21) On January 16, 2009 at 1:31 AM, blake303 (28.52) wrote:

No politician or economic stimulus plan can expeditiously fix our economy. Obama and Ron Paul are no exception. Some of Obama's goals (increasing renewable energy production, electronic health care records, public transit, etc.) are a step in the right direction but are too small to save the economy and any benefit will not be seen until after his first term. By the way - Abitare's prediction that Obama will be the most hated president of all time is one of the most ridiculous things I have read on CAPS lately, although I agree with many of his other comments. Take a look at his last political prediction if you need evidence that CAPS accuracy only applies to stocks. 

Some of Obama's other initiatives (support for auto unions, continued bailouts, windfall oil taxes, etc.) will be detrimental and will setback recovery. 

This crisis is far too complicated to expect blanket statements like "free markets will fix everything" to have any relevance. Obama will make many mistakes, but so would anyone else. What Obama has going for him is that he is not the stubborn moron we have been stuck with for eight years. He is off course in many of his proposed stimulus initiatives, but he is also not foolish enough to believe that he can do it on his own. I hope that he is willing to make decisions that may be unpopular at the time if he believes they are in the best interest of our country. Anyone that believes they can predict how the next four years are going to play out is fooling themself.

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#22) On January 16, 2009 at 2:15 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

It won't work because it is impossible. Officials work outside of the priced market. They have no way to calculate the effects of their capital allocations. Therefore they depend on other factors, particularly political and business influence.

It never works. It never has. It never will. It will always be a net overall loss of wealth for the nation, despite any successes seen in the immediate area of capital injection.

Now if that's what you want, fine. Go for it. But it doesn't take a genius to realize that an unlimited number of capital injections from Officials will lead to destruction of the nation.

Why can't Paul Krugman understand that? Well, I think he does. That's what's a bit unnerving about him.


David in Qatar

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#23) On January 16, 2009 at 2:43 PM, ahobbs (< 20) wrote:

I have the nagging feeling that it's the 1930s all over again, and the only way out of this cycle will be the impending World War in the middle east over Israel.

I sincerely hope I'm wrong...

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#24) On January 16, 2009 at 5:57 PM, brob88888 (< 20) wrote:

That much spending is bound to help stimulate something in the short term.  I just don't believe it will come near to fufilling the promise it embodies currently and won't creat enough meaningful improvements to the nations infrastructure to help commerce in the long run.  Our infrastructure is so good that our improvements to it have a very low marginal rate of return.  For example replacing a bridge doesn't improve our potential future commerce it only protects our existing capabilities. Building a new highway bypass doesn't have near as much impact as when the original highway was put in.

I look at it like the old joke about advertising.  At least half of it is a waste of money you just don't know (or in this case congress won't agree on) which half. 

I also don't believe those who keep speaking out that the Free Market with fix everything.  They forget we do not have a Free Market, and thank you because those lead directly to monopolies and all the evils we regulated and outlawed from the Golden Age through the Great Depression.

Today's crisis traces a lot of its recent history to repealling the Glass-Steagall Act. Upon repeal, financial institutions immediately started growing bigger and bigger trying to get as close to monopolistic as possible, to assume as much of the advantages a monopoly would have, without being catagorized as one because that is illegal. Suddenly you have institutions to big to fail.

We are also in very unfamiliar territory because this is the first time our newly minted service based economy is trying to crawl out of a recession and we are depending on economic theory that was targeted at how to stimulate a production based economy. Another reason the stimulis package might be more blunted then people think.

Finally I think too many people forget Rich people are Rich because they don't spend their money.  The same goes for countries.  How powerful a position would we be in if we ourselves had a Sovereign Weath Fund.

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#25) On January 16, 2009 at 9:41 PM, vriguy (65.38) wrote:

Basically down. Obama is a smart guy, and has already taken on the leadership of the country before he is sworn in.  Full marks for leading.  But, his proposal errs in giving money directly to people instead of focussed infrastructure spending. Of course that will get votes, but it is not what is best for the country. Congress will, as always, lard his proposal with more pork barrel spending so I expect little of value. Great leaders do not always do what is popular - and in my opinion Obama is blowing his first, best chance to shine as President.

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#26) On January 16, 2009 at 9:46 PM, vriguy (65.38) wrote:


Forget about a Mideast war saving the economy. We've got two of them going in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I have yet to see any significant  positive impact on the economy.

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#27) On January 16, 2009 at 10:08 PM, Bkeepr100 (< 20) wrote:


   Down, this deflationary cycle has been made by government interference.  There has been too much redistribution of wealth.  The housing problem is a direct result of Federal meddling.

   Even the Agriculture budget is a example of hiding the handouts.  A large portion of the budget is Food Stamp doesn't even belong there...Remove it Mr Obama!  Let the people see the true cost of such socialist programs.

   Obama is fated to be a one term president, such as Carter was...The only good thing that happened was when Regan got elected cut taxes and turned everything around.  


   Ben Franklin said it best "Gentlemen, remember the power to tax, it is the power to destroy..." 

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#28) On January 18, 2009 at 10:18 AM, daftstockpicker (89.08) wrote:

Thumbs up. Obama is in a tough spot with being handed an economy run by the most incompetent administration in American History. More should be spent on infrastructure improvements rather than tax cuts. All the tax cutting done in the past eight years has done nothing to improve things. I tend to agree with the viewpoints expressed in the following article by Joseph Stiglitz titled 'Do not squander America’s stimulus on tax cuts':



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#29) On January 19, 2009 at 3:10 PM, ahobbs (< 20) wrote:


Afghanistan and Iraq are small battles compared to what could erupt.  Don’t forget that we’re dealing with a nuclear Pakistan, and possibly a nuclear Iran.  I'm no expert, but it would appear that WWII got us out of the last depression by mobilizing industry to war and by increasing our sphere of influence in the Pacific.  Remember that in the Middle East, we’re talking about some of the most energy rich (oil) nations in the world.

“To the victors belong the spoils...”

Did the New Deal work last time, or was it the war effort that bailed us out?

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#30) On January 19, 2009 at 11:14 PM, tonylogan1 (27.57) wrote:

Infrastructure does not "create" nearly as many jobs as MSM estimates.

When you build a new highway, you temporarily create a job, however as soon as the construction is completed, the worker is unemployed again. I own a constuction company and can state for a fact when we take on new contracts we bring on additional people for that job, and when it is over, those workers go looking for other work again.

 However funny the post was, over on the SKF board one person advocated a plan where we dig a 150 foot wide trench from Texas to San Diego, use it for shipping route, build nuclear plants along edge plus desalination plants. Now that is a stimulus!


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#31) On January 19, 2009 at 11:45 PM, Xciteddon (66.16) wrote:

Throwing money at our problems is not the answer. If I, as an individual, use a credit card to pay my bills, then I create more debt and more problems. The same holds true here. Throwing money at all these problems only adds to it and only solves the problem for a short time. I think President Obama will have to do what the government and previous presidents have not done and balance the federal governments budget. We need to streamline what we need, as far as government, put some of it in the private sector, and illiminate wasteful spending. Thereby lowering taxes, and reviving the economy. We need this at the same time we issue tax insentives on many levels. Corporate, personal, investment, ect... It all has to follow each other. You can't spend what you don't have.

 We know the government does't really create jobs. Jobs are created in the private sector and usually by new small business not by big business. But then again there are more small businesses than big ones.

 I know his ideas in present form will not work. I give him a thumbs down!

If businesses were run the way our government is we would all be in big trouble!

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#32) On January 20, 2009 at 6:24 PM, usmilitiadude (< 20) wrote:

Thumbs up! I quit my job and will live off you suckers.

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#33) On January 27, 2009 at 9:20 PM, Bupp (27.91) wrote:

Everyone talking about how adding debt is an unfair burden on our children/grandchildren should remember that there is a difference between taking on debt to finance current consumption and taking on debt to purchase assets that will have value going into the future.  There is nothing unfair to our children/grandchildren if we use debt to build bridges and roads, increase energy efficiency etc.

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