January 26, 2009 – Monday
Category: News and Politics
At the end of last week, President Obama invited Democratic and Republican legislators to the White House to talk about the stimulus package. Hmmm, I don’t remember Bush doing to much inviting, or listening to the other side.
Let’s not put Obama on a pedestal, he did take a swipe at Republicans. In an exchange with Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) about the proposal he had for the stimulus (don’t tell, more tax breaks?), the president shot back: “I won,” according to aides briefed on the meeting.
A side note on Rep. Cantor’s wife. She works for a privately held bank which just before Bush left office received $267 Million dollars in TARP money. You’ll love this, the bank is called, New York Private Bank and Trust, and bills itself as a “haven for wealthy individuals and families.”
Maybe that’s why Cantor is so big on tax cuts for the rich, they are his constituents and his wife’s employer.
Obama also took a swipe at the hard right in general:
“You can’t just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done,”
Ok, I think I just felt that “tingle up my leg” that Hardball’s Chris Mathews was talking about. Yea, maybe he deserves to be on a pedestal.
I watched all the Sunday news shows. What an interesting round up. Let me share my views, and the views of Jason Linkins from the Huffington Post:
FOX NEWS SUNDAY had John McCain. John doesn’t like the stimulus package. He doesn’t notice that a huge part of it is given in tax cuts exactly the way Obama said he would, as well as tax cuts for small business, which John McCain was for in his run for the president.
No matter, John went on to say that Waterboarding is torture, good for him, but he also said that we should be forward looking. So, if you get pulled over for a traffic violation, and smoky walks up to your window, let him know, “Hey, let’s look forward, and not back. After all, while I’m sitting here on the side of the road I’m not speeding anymore …
Brit Hume believes that we’ll one day realize that “enhanced interrogation techniques” really did help America in the seven years after 9/11. I would like to say that I believe Hume will one day realize that NOT USING these techniques really did help America in the seven years after the first attack on the World Trade Center, and, past that, Presidents should take their Daily Security Briefing seriously. I’d like to believe that, but this is Brit Hume we’re talking about.
FACE THE NATION had VP Joe Biden on for the half hour. Biden was relatively gaff free, but he is so knowledgeable about everything foreign policy. I feel safer now that Dick is gone.
MEET THE PRESS had I believe the best show of the weekend. I really like David Gregory. He had Larry Summers, and John Boehner (Boner) on the show, but not at the same time. That would have been a real show.
Remember, Boehner (Boner) said last week, after the Obama meeting:
“You know, I’m concerned about the size of the package. And I’m concerned about some of the spending that’s in there, [about] … how you can spend hundreds of millions on contraceptives,”
“How does that stimulate the economy?”
So a guy named Boehner (Boner) is concerned about the package size, and wonders how contraceptives stimulate? Lol!
Back to the show, Summers really lays out what the Obama administration is going to try to do. The reason why all the money won’t be spent in 18 months is because the way the economy is going we will need stimulus for years beyond 2010.
Boehner (Boner) wants more tax breaks, you know because they have worked so well over the last 8 years, and questions giving so much of the money to the states. I’m not sure about this, but by states, aren’t they talking about the 50 states we, you and I, live in?
Summers wants the Bush Tax Cuts to go away, sooner rather than later. Why? We can’t afford it, and it hasn’t done anything for the economy. Remember, thus far Bush’s tax cuts have cost the treasury over $1.3 trillion dollars.
Gregory, points out says that Americans aren’t spending or borrowing, they are saving their money, and doesn’t that make the government the spender of last resort? Boehner says no: “If you give the taxpayer back more of what they’ll earn, they’ll either save it, spend it, or invest it, all of which are good for the economy.” THIS ELIDES OVER THE QUESTION GREGORY ASKED IN THE FIRST PLACE. Americans will ONLY SAVE THAT MONEY. And that is a good idea! For the individual American! But it doesn’t defibrillate the economy. Also, it just proves that individual Americans are not going to eschew their own self-interest to save the economy, either.
I’ll break it down in short hand. Boehner (Boner) wants tax breaks, put money back in peoples hands, but not poor or middle class people, though they will spend it quickly. Summers spelled out tax breaks for the middle/lower classes, and for small businesses. Summers also spelled out spending programs on infrastructure, green energy, and other investments in America.
ABC This Week had Nancy Pelosi on. I am happy to hear her put bipartisanship in context. She doesn’t seem to care too much about what the Republicans want. She has allowed them to put forward ideas to be voted on, but beyond that, ummm, they need to get real. There is a reason the Republicans are not in power any more. Their ideas have not changed, though the current conditions have.
The round table was most interesting. George had Carly Fiorina, Paul Krugman, George Will, Cokie Roberts and Sam Donaldson. I love to hear Krugman straighten out Carly and Will on economics, neither seemed to understand that the banks in America are grossly over leveraged.
Yes, we have put tons of cash in the banks, but they are still over leveraged, and until that changes they will not lend money, they will instead beef up their leverage. Plus, if we want to tell the banks what to do, we need to nationalize them not buy stock that has not vote.
Which leads to my theory on the economy, I believe even more strongly now than ever, that we should have taken the first $350 billion dollars should have been put in individual’s bank accounts for one year before the money could be removed. That way the banks get the leverage, and the tax payer gets to keep the money in the end.
That’s my round up, in addition to the great week our nation had, I am very hopeful that things have changed for the good, finally!!!