Why are Republicans Wrong about Everything?

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Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
Jun 19, 2014 - 11:35am PT
OK,, do you guys remember a Maj/General who back in Roosevelt times uncovered a plan,, backed by the heads of companys like GM, Goodyear tires, and several others to take out Roosevelt and replace it with a dictatorship much like Nazi Germany to thwart the oncoming depression? That Roosevelt eventually "struck deals" with.. The corruption has been going on for quite some time.

JUST LIKE our fore fathers, those writers of the Constitution warned us about, and weve been ignoring them forever.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Jun 19, 2014 - 11:36am PT
I remember Carter as a decent man, but not a great president. He tended to micro-manage everything and it hurt him in the end.

Now as for ex-presidents, he has done another life's work caring for the poor and other good deeds.

Carter wasn't evil, like half of the others.
Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Jun 19, 2014 - 11:48am PT
Everything was glorious under Nixon and Ford. Great times indeed.
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Jun 19, 2014 - 11:56am PT
For the life of me, I can't figure out what would possibly make some of these Repugnuts happy.

Except more bitching and complaining. That seems to be their only real reason to get up in the morning.
Sketch

Trad climber
H-ville
Jun 19, 2014 - 12:00pm PT
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy

Jun 19, 2014 - 11:56am PT
For the life of me, I can't figure out what would possibly make some of these Repugnuts happy.

Except more bitching and complaining. That seems to be their only real reason to get up in the morning.

How ironic.
Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Jun 19, 2014 - 12:00pm PT
Under Carter: "The U.S. economy, which had grown by 5% in 1976, continued to grow at a similar pace during 1977 and 1978.[59] Unemployment declined from 7.5% in January 1977 to 5.6% by May 1979, with over 9 million net new jobs created during that interim,[60] and real median household income grew by 5% from 1976 to 1978.[61] The recovery in business investment in evidence during 1976 strengthened as well. Fixed private investment (machinery and construction) grew by 30% from 1976 to 1979, home sales and construction grew another one third by 1978, and industrial production, motor vehicle output and sales did so by nearly 15%; with the exception of new housing starts, which remained slightly below their 1972 peak, each of these benchmarks reached record levels in 1978 or 1979"


OPEC doubled oil prices in 1979 which led to double digit inflation...of course that was Carter fault. Of course no one in America wanted to listen to Carter about our dependency on foreign oil.

The first president to address Gay rights, what a horrible man.

Oh...he also appointed this guy: Paul Volcker, a Democrat,[12] was appointed chairman of the board of governors for the Federal Reserve System in August 1979 by President Jimmy Carter and reappointed in 1983 by President Ronald Reagan.[13]

The Federal Reserve board led by Volcker is widely credited with ending the United States' stagflation crisis of the 1970s. Inflation, which peaked at 13.5% in 1981, was lowered to 3.2% by 1983
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Jun 19, 2014 - 12:43pm PT
Under Ford's presidency, the Fed laid the groundwork for an expansion of the economy without inflation

If inflation was not a factor for Ford, what was with the Whip Inflation Now program?

Not that inflation was Ford's fault, that was brought to us by the Vietnam War.

The Carter years were good for me, plenty of work after the Republican Recession of 1974. Then came the Reagan Economic Miracle. The Miracle of the Disappearing Industrial Base is what that was. It was a miracle that anybody had a job.

One good thing about the Reagan economy, though, was that it got me to move to California hoping to find work with the merchant marine. I'll always be thankful to Reagan for that!
Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Jun 19, 2014 - 01:26pm PT
John E...you are full of it with your statement that Reagan save the economy.

"First, it was Carter not Reagan who appointed Volcker a full 14 months before Reagan became president. Carter knew that Volcker would raise rates sharply probably causing a recession but told his counselors who advised against the appointment to let him worry about the politics.

The Federal Funds rate was 11 percent when Carter appointed Volcker in August 1979. By the time Reagan took office in January 1981, Volcker had pushed the rate to 20 percent (the prime was 21 percent) and rates never went higher. So contrary to the mythology, Carter took the political risks not Reagan. Indeed during the first year of Reagan's administration Volcker brought the Federal Funds rate down from 20 to 12 percent, and pushed it down to 8.5 percent by the end of 1982. It took no political fortitude on Reagan's part to tolerate a 60 percent decline in rates over his first two years.

Bernanke's replacement also should understand that the Fed role in ending inflation three decades ago has been significantly exaggerated. A bigger factor over the 30 year period has been more intense competition in large sectors to the American economy as a result of legislation Carter pushed through.

Carter took on bruising political fights with Congress to end price fixing by airlines (1978) and trucking companies and railroads (1980). He opened the auto and steel industries to more intense competition (1980), as well as oil, natural gas, and electricity (1978) with the same anti-inflationary results. These were political fights in Congress against powerful interests that Reagan never had to take on.

Price fixing had been a fact in the case of railroads since the 1880s, and since the 1930s for trucking and airlines, but no president until Carter had the political courage to take on the incumbent interests. In doing so, Carter faced the ire of not only business interests like the truckers who were a constituency in every state, but also the railroads, air carriers, and AT&T. These anti-competitive business interests were backed by the Teamsters, the Railroad Brotherhoods, the airline Machinists and the Communications workers who also wanted to maintain regulated limits on competition. As a result of what Carter did to open these markets, price increases have been restrained ever since.

In the election year of 1980, Carter also broke the U.S. auto cartel --- the Big Three --- by refusing to protect American car makers from foreign imports even though the trade laws gave him a politically attractive way to do so. Ford, Chrysler and the auto workers wanted him to limit this competition, but Carter refused. This is why many working class Democrats in Michigan jumped to support Reagan in 1980.

In a fascinating twist, competition in autos led to the collapse of steel prices in 1982 because in a more competitive car market the Big Three stopped accepting price increases for steel that they could no longer pass on to consumers.

It also was Carter not Reagan who battled for two years to pass legislation that gradually expanded competition in natural gas, oil, and electricity. U.S. inflation was fueled by rising energy prices between 1972 and 1979 linked to OPEC and instability in the Middle East. The public blamed Carter for high prices while Reagan benefited from their long decline after 1980."
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Jun 19, 2014 - 02:23pm PT
Bob,

I agree that Carter's deregulation of transportation was a long overdue reform. Alfred Kahn, who advised him on that issue, was a leading scholar, and knew what he was doing.

The macroeconomic policy of the same time is an entirely different matter. I was still forecasting full time in those days, and I was hardly alone in seeing what would happen. Volker deserves the lion's share of the credit for ending the inflation, but Reagan's tax cuts, that Paul Krugman said at the time would re-ignite inflation, were a large reason why we rebounded so quickly from the recession. Compare the drop and rise in the "Great Recession" with the that in the recession at the beginning of Reagan's term, and the difference is dramatic.

Moreover, I do not think that Volker's monetary austerity -- which was absolutely necessary to end inflation -- would have occurred under a second Carter term with the same Democratic majority in the House and Senate that resulted after the 1976 elections. Too many traditional Democratic oxen would have been gored.

The Democratic energy policy of the 1970's was disastrous. The higher taxes, price controls, and general philosphy that Washington knew better than a very competitive oil industry led to both shortages and higher prices -- an amazingly bad combination.

Then there's Carter's judicial appointments, which in the Ninth Circuit (where I practiced) were often arrogant extremists. I can't afford to put names of sitting judges in print in a negative light, so I won't, but a great many of his appointees were extremely uncivil, pompous, and often wrong. We used to refer to the Carter appointees on the Federal Courts as "Carter's Little Liver Pills." They contrast sharply with, say, Clinton's appointees, who generally were smarter, fairer, and less likely to think they knew everything.

Finally, there's the whole matter of the zeitgeist of America in the late 1970's. There was a pervasive feeling that our best days were behind us, that western ideals were declining, and that our day had come and gone. Carter did nothing to dispel that. Reagan, in contrast, completely changed that attitude.

There was, however, one other good development in the Carter years besides the deregulation of transportation. Congress enacted the bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978. That was a good change in an 80-year-old law, that is fundamental to the proper working of an economy, because bankruptcy ends up transferring assets of production to more productive uses.

Of course, the latter affected my self-interest, since my first day as a bankruptcy lawyer coincided with the effective date of the new law.

John
Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Jun 19, 2014 - 02:29pm PT
John wrote: The Democratic energy policy of the 1970's was disastrous. The higher taxes, price controls, and general philosphy that Washington knew better than a very competitive oil industry led to both shortages and higher prices -- an amazingly bad combination.


OPEC stuck it to America for their continue support of Israel. Carter wanted less to do with foreign sources while Reagan jumped in bed with the Saudis.

http://www.cfr.org/saudi-arabia/us-saudi-love-affair-predates-bush/p7175

Norton

Social climber
the Wastelands
Jun 19, 2014 - 02:40pm PT
Now now Bob,

are you letting your "bias" get in the way of clear and logical analysis?

JohnE would never do that, witness his even handed treatment of every issue.

Surely we can all learn from John.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Jun 19, 2014 - 02:42pm PT
Bernanke's replacement also should understand that the Fed role in ending inflation three decades ago has been significantly exaggerated. A bigger factor over the 30 year period has been more intense competition in large sectors to the American economy as a result of legislation Carter pushed through.

Bob, I must respectfully disagree again. The generally-accepted eonomists' definition of inflation is an increase in the general price level. The change resulting from more competition changes prices in the affected industries, but not generally.

This misunderstanding undergirded one of the New Deal's silliest programs -- the National Recovery Administration (the "NRA" of the 1930's). That NRA was formed to try to "re-flate" the economy, because of the devastating effects of deflation during the early years of the Depression. The idea was to have industry representatives get together so they could collude to charge higher prices. The idea was that doing so would rasie the general price level and undo the general deflation caused by the forces (not understood at the time) bringing about the catastrophic reduction in agreegate demand.

Fortuantely, the SCOTUS found the NRA to be unconstitutional (Justice Cardozo, a liberal and one of the greatest 20th Century jurists, described it as "delegation run riot.") Had the NRA worked as intended, it would not have caused "re-flation." Rather, it would have resulted in superoptimal prices in the affected industries, and a consequent reduction in quantity demanded of the products.

In the 1970's the money supply expanded far in excess of the expansion in output and economic activity generally. Until the 1970's, liberal economists argued that expansion of the money supply didn't matter. I was trained in that school, and started forecasting on that basis. The Chicago School were largely monetarists, and argued that relying on monetary policy to expand the economy would only lead eventually to inflation. They proved themselves correct then, and forced the rest of us to change our forecasting models to account for what was happening to money.

The Carter reforms increasing competition were good economic moves, but they weren't moves that affected the business cycle. They were, however, moves that benefitted the public, at the expense of those who were using government to prop up uncompetitive activity (i.e. the railroads, interstate airlines and interstate truckers). The company I worked for manufactured air filtration equipment for railroads and heavy duty diesel trucks, and I remember the howling of many of our customers over the deregulatory changes. In the end, both the industry and consumers did better. He deserves much credit there, but it was way too little to counter the boom/bust cycle the Democrats' other policies exascerbated.

John
Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Jun 19, 2014 - 02:53pm PT
John wrote: He deserves much credit there, but it was way too little to counter the boom/bust cycle the Democrats' other policies exascerbated.


It's been a boom/bust cycle since the start of this country...of course it is all the democrats fault.

Of course Carter didn't start any fake wars like Reagan to boost the economy and instill fear.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Jun 19, 2014 - 03:24pm PT
Looks like the GOP heros are in the news today:

Prosecutors Allege Scott Walker At Center Of Campaign Finance Criminal Conspiracy
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/19/scott-walker-investigation_n_5512463.html


Exclusive: Prosecutor Is Closing In on Gov. Christie
http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/christie-investigation?src=spr_TWITTER&spr_id=1456_65523787


Go team go!!
jstan

climber
Jun 19, 2014 - 03:31pm PT
JE's point seems to be that economic policies sometimes do not work as intended. Sometimes opposite. Let's look at the Fed's present zero short term interest rate and make the assumption we need go only one layer down in the economic mechanism. Admittedly a big assumption.

Possibly the Fed's idea may have been that by making it cheap to borrow money, everyone would borrow and start spending. What happened? Since there was only risk and no gain in lending money all the mattresses in the country have piles of cash under them and we have Paul Krugman's Liquidity Trap, cf below. This disconnect seems to imply when making policy one needs to follow the "Golden Rule".

To wit: "Those with the gold, make the rules."

Instead of worrying about what borrowers would do, the Fed might better have worried about what those with money would do in response to Fed policy. At least in the top layer of the economic mechanism, the Fed got a result they did not desire.

Why might this be a big deal? Those old enough to remember 1976 when complete Barbie Doll sets were going for $20,000, and those who read Krugman's piece have reason to fear what happens when people begin to fear inflation. The mattress becomes a very bad place to keep one's money. And everyone realizes this at the same moment.

Since this is all theory; theory being something potentially applicable to yesterday and not to today, I'll toss out one morsel of data. Prior to 12/13 CPIAUNS the most used Consumer Price Index, was running at an annual level around 1%.

For last December, January, February, March, and April the annual inflation rate has been pretty consistent and around 5%.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/11/monetary-policy-in-a-liquidity-trap/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

Paul Krugman | Monetary Policy In A Liquidity Trap
APRIL 11, 2013 7:22 AM 128 Comments
I’ve made it clear that I very much approve of Japan’s new monetary aggressiveness. But I gather that some readers are confused – haven’t I been arguing that monetary policy is ineffective in a liquidity trap? The brief answer is that current policy is ineffective, but that you can still get traction if you can change investors’ beliefs about expected future monetary policy – which was the moral of my original Japan paper, lo these 15 years ago. But I thought it might be worthwhile to go over this again.

So, at this point America and Japan (and core Europe) are all in liquidity traps: private demand is so weak that even at a zero short-term interest rate spending falls far short of what would be needed for full employment. And interest rates can’t go below zero (except trivially for very short periods), because investors always have the option of simply holding cash. Incidentally, this isn’t just a hypothetical: there has been a surge in currency holding, although a lot of it is $100 bills held overseas:
Credit: jstan

Under these circumstances, normal monetary policy, which takes the form of open-market operations in which the central bank buys short-term debt with money it creates out of thin air, have no effect. Why?

Well, the reason open-market operations usually work is that people are making a tradeoff between yield and liquidity – they hold money, which offers no interest, for the liquidity but limit their holdings because they pay a price in lost earnings. So if the central bank puts more money out there, people are holding more than they want, try to offload it, and drive rates down in the process.

But if rates are zero, there is no cost to liquidity, and people are basically saturated with it; at the margin, they’re holding money simply as a store of value, essentially equivalent to short-term debt. And a central bank operation that swaps money for debt basically changes nothing. Ordinary monetary policy is ineffective.

(Some readers may wonder about purchases of long-term debt, which doesn’t have a zero rate. That will have to be a subject for another post; but it makes little if any difference).

The flip side of this, by the way, is that all those fears about how “printing money” in this slump would lead to runaway inflation were predictably wrong. If you paid attention to the Japanese story from the last decade, you knew that simply expanding the central bank’s balance sheet did little, and certainly wasn’t inflationary:
Credit: jstan

Here’s the thing, however: the economy won’t always be in a liquidity trap, or at least it might not always be there. And while investors shouldn’t care about what the central bank does now, they should care about what it will do in the future. If investors believe that the central bank will keep the pedal to the metal even as the economy begins to recover, this will imply higher inflation than if it hikes rates at the first hint of good news – and higher expected inflation means a lower real interest rate, and therefore a stronger economy.

So the central bank can still get traction if it can change expectations about future policy.

The trouble is that central bankers have a credibility problem – one that’s the opposite of the traditional concern that they might print too much money. Instead, the concern is that at the first sign of good news they’ll revert to type, snatching away the punch bowl. You can see in the figure above that the Bank of Japan did just that in the 2000s.

The hope now is that things have changed enough at the Bank of Japan that this time it can, as I put it all those years ago, “credibly promise to be irresponsible”.

And that’s why I’m bullish on the Japanese experiment, even though current monetary policy has little effect.

Edit:
Bloomberg has a Friday column on this today. It may be time to get better educated on what Volcker did in the late seventies and early eighties. Whether or not that still works is an open question, but that will be the first way to be tried.

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-06-19/treasury-break-even-rate-rises-to-3-month-high-on-fed-outlook

An additional thought on my "first level" approximation. Today the portion of our national economy in the hands of the top 1% is significantly greater than it has been in the past. The people with the gold have more to say than they had in the past. That alone may have been enough to cause the Fed's strategy to run off the rails so badly.
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Jun 19, 2014 - 04:15pm PT
Eric Holder should be arrested for human trafficking and child abuse.

http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-Texas/2014/06/19/Media-Gets-Disappointing-Look-at-TX-and-AZ-Immigrant-Detention-Centers

(along with arms trafficking)
dave729

Trad climber
Western America
Jun 19, 2014 - 04:53pm PT
Looks like no one told the WH about the Federal Records Act of 1950

Iron Mountain, the secure offsite data archiver for the US Govt,
will produce all Lois Lerner's emails. A month before the Nov elections
will have the best effect.

http://www.ironmountain.com/Solutions/Federal-Government/Federal-Data-Backup-and-Recovery.aspx





crankster

Trad climber
Jun 19, 2014 - 06:13pm PT
Credit: crankster
Dr. F.

Trad climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 19, 2014 - 07:22pm PT

Captured Benghazi Suspect Confirms Video Prompted Consulate Attack

Author: Ryan Denson June 18, 2014 10:40 pm
http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/06/18/benghazi-was-over-video/

Imagine that; Susan Rice was right the whole time. Imagine that. It just goes to show that Republicans really are the liars who exploited this tragedy for their own political benefit… just like we thought they were. If this is true, I want to see Lindsay Graham and John McCain publicly apologize to Ms. Rice – while they are on their knees groveling and begging forgiveness from her. And I want to see Darrell Issa pay back the millions in tax dollars that went to his phony Benghazi witch-hunt “hearings.”

In a report from the New York Times last Tuesday, Ahmed Abu Khattala, the captured terrorist behind the Benghazi attacks in 2012, told officials the attack against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya was revenge for an American-made online video that was seen as an attack to Islam and a smearing of the prophet Muhammad.




From the New York Times:


What he did in the period just before the attack has remained unclear. But Mr. Abu Khattala told other Libyans in private conversations during the night of the attack that he was moved to attack the diplomatic mission to take revenge for an insult to Islam in an American-made online video.

An earlier demonstration venting anger over the video outside the American Embassy in Cairo had culminated in a breach of its walls, and it dominated Arab news coverage. Mr. Abu Khattala told both fellow Islamist fighters and others that the attack in Benghazi was retaliation for the same insulting video, according to people who heard him.

In an interview days after the attack, he pointedly declined to say whether he believed an offense such as the anti-Islamic video might indeed warrant the destruction of the diplomatic mission or the killing of the ambassador. “From a religious point of view, it is hard to say whether it is good or bad,” he said.

So here’s what we have; The New York Times, the CIA , Susan Rice and the White House were all correct and the conservative pundits, Fox News, the Republicans on the Benghazi select Committee, Darrell Issa and everyone else were making stuff up as they went along, as usual. The four Americans in Benghazi are dead. I hate to break it to you Republicans, but Hillary didn’t do it, Obama didn’t do it, Eric Holder didn’t do it, Susan Rice didn’t do it, the IRS didn’t do it. It was the stupid video, and other anti-American sentiments that had been burning for quite sometime that did it.

Republicans, I will tell you what YOU did, however. You exploited the deaths of four honest, hard-working Americans to try to win a presidency, to try to bring down a president, and to try to make it seem like you care about the American people. Guess what? None of that worked out for you.

Countless hearings, countless briefings, and over 25,000 pages of documents given to scandal hungry Republicans on Capitol Hill to peruse over. Now the truth is coming from one of the master-minds behind the attacks. It will not be long before the GOP discredits what Khattala has to say, and they will continue to whine and drag this Benghazi stuff on from another angle.

All of this explains why the GOP has been attempting to discredit his capture for the past 24 hours. Now they are sweating bullets because even people like Glenn Beck are admitting that liberals were right about foreign policy all along.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Jun 19, 2014 - 07:40pm PT
Finally, there's the whole matter of the zeitgeist of America in the late 1970's. There was a pervasive feeling that our best days were behind us, that western ideals were declining, and that our day had come and gone. Carter did nothing to dispel that. Reagan, in contrast, completely changed that attitude.

And that is really what its all about isn't it? Carter gave off a bad "feeling", not quite in line with the mythology of exceptionalism. Conserve fuel, slow but steady growth, all that boring sh#t.

Ronny Raygun on the other hand had the sun shining right out of his own ass and he didn't come from no humble peanut farm no sir. While he teamed up with Mulrooney to jump start the jobs to Mexico program and traded guns to Iran, he did it with the right sort of pizzazz - not like old limp dick Carter with all his honesty and crap. Or the Black guy either.

Now that was morning in america eh? First the jobs went to Mexico, then the de-regulation really got going. Bush, Clinton, Bush..... and you really wonder why you are where you are? Its because you vote for feelings. To paraphrase Clinton " Its the feelings, stupid!"
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