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Show Your Love

February 22nd, 2015

Let’s see: under Obama, we’ve had 59 consecutive months of private-sector job growth, including six straight months of healthy job gains over 200,000, after Obama came to office while the economy was cratering and we were losing up to 750,000 jobs a month; unemployment has gone from 10.1%—something Obama was not in the least responsible for, despite conservative allegations—to 5.7%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average has nearly tripled, from 6627 to 18,140, since Obama took office, while the NASDAQ had nearly quadrupled, going from 1294 to 4956; most of this economic turnaround has been due to a greatly successful stimulus package Obama shepherded, which while imperfect has nonetheless undeniably turned the economy away from what was certain ruin; about 10 million Americans without insurance are now insured, while crippling restrictions like denial for pre-existing conditions have been outlawed; the auto industry has been effectively saved where conservatives wanted it to collapse so money could be made from the restructuring; and, oh yeah, Obama got Osama bin Laden.

Sure, even despite the effects of massive obstructionism and opposition to almost everything he does, Obama still hasn’t been as strong on ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, shutting down Guantanamo, fighting for gay rights, overseeing Wall Street and political reform, ending the harmful drug war and easing massive incarceration of mostly minority citizens, or helping us achieve energy independence—but overall, he has been moving us in the right direction on all of these issues.

Meanwhile, Republicans have obstructed the political system because “it works for us,” held the American economy hostage as a political ploy to the point where the American economic rating was downgraded, tried to lower taxes for the rich while raising them for the poor, attempted to dismantle Social Security and Medicare, torn down long-standing civil rights, refused to repair the Voting Rights Act while passing laws to suppress voting, incessantly tried to deny health care to millions of Americans, have insulted, browbeaten, lied about, disrespected and even threatened to sue the president for no discernible reason, while generally working against the welfare of the majority of American citizens.

Which is why Obama doesn’t love America, and Republicans do.

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  1. Troy
    February 22nd, 2015 at 16:00 | #1

    I just started reading Nixonland, and it’s good stuff.

    Obama fails to unite us because we are in fact deeply divided.

    Pick an issue, there’s no middle ground any more.

    ACA was supposed to be the middle ground compromise, preserving all the efficiencies of the private insurance market ha-ha — instead of having government step in like Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D — but too much of the American electorate is too easily bamboozled.

    Conservatism — got mine screw you — is a deep rot in the national soul.

    From Nixonland, talking about Nixon’s 1962 bid:

    “The first surprise came when he announced his intentions in September 1961. A state legislator, oilman, and former USC football star, Joe Shell, so boring that a friend said “not to know Joe is to love him,” decided to keep running even though he had only 2 percent in the polls. His far-right ideology matched a mood among Republican activists. The Los Angeles County Young Republicans’ president had declared that the “difference between a ‘liberal’ Republican and a ‘liberal’ Democrat is the difference between creeping soçialism and galloping soçialism.” At a convention of the California Republican Assembly, Nixon denounced the “nuts and kooks” of the John Birch Society. A miscalculation; the CRA had been taken over by those selfsame nuts and kooks. Their leader averred, “I don’t consider the John Birch Society extremists. Except maybe extremely American.”

    Conservatives exist everywhere. In fact, the better things get, the more conservative people become — again, “got mine screw you” !

    (Japan has this issue on display now)

    Conservatives are the largest typology:


  2. Troy
    February 22nd, 2015 at 16:20 | #2

    As for Obama’s 6-year performance, the electorate disconnected the tiller in 2010 so what is now has been due to inertia I guess.

    Nobody really understands this, but the 2002-2006 recovery was built on bullshit, ~$5T of new mortgage debt wasn’t a side-effect, it was the prime driver of economic growth, a stealth stimulus an order of magnitude bigger than the tax cuts for most people.


    mortgage borrowing annual growth / total wages

    or another view, total borrowing / total wages:


    which shows how overextended we got in 2008, just hitting the wall flat-out, like the Japanese found themselves in over their heads in 1990.


    is an interesting comparison of the two housing bubbles.

    But the economy wasn’t going to crash to zero (like the Great Depression), as long as the housing bubble money could be replaced with something else.


    shows the something else, the stimulus spending, a bolus of $3,000 per working-age person that righted the ship more or less . . . that and the mind-boggingly large Federal Reserve interventions 2009-2013:


    $1.75T of mortgage bond funding and $1.6T of bond buying — another bolus of money to keep the system from pancaking further.

  3. Troy
    February 22nd, 2015 at 16:26 | #3

    But enough on Obama, since that wasn’t really your point, what Giuliani is doing is simple character assassination on all Democrats, casting all of us as America-hating bums who want to destroy the country.

    Just like Benghazi! big lie, it doesn’t matter what is true, only what moves the rubes to vote GOP.

    Only ~5% are independently wealthy I guess, another 20% or so are Christian fundamentalists, these are the two core constituencies of the GOP. The remaining 25% of the GOP coalition has to be cobbled from the fears of the muddled middle, a voter undecided as to which party to support.

    “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” – Winston Churchill

  4. Troy
    February 22nd, 2015 at 16:54 | #4

    I, er, have another post that just disappeared. It might be in your spam filter

  5. Tim
    February 24th, 2015 at 16:57 | #5

    I think the growth in the stock market has something to do with the Quantitative Easing programs done by the Fed.

    In a normal recession a Central Bank can lower interest rates &/or increase the money supply. But once interest rates hit zero that policy mix is no longer efficacious.

    In that case, ideally, government spending is done to jump-start demand, because everyone else is holding back in spending and lending.

    QE then is done by central banks when the legislature/government doesn’t do its job of fiscal stimulus during a demand deficient, supply saturated economic depression.

    A great explanation of how the mechanics of QE works is explained through an analogy in this video by Richard Quest at CNN.


    QE, by his explanation is a real attempt by central banks to use a real trickle down to try to get money to consumers hands. It is, by definition pushing on a string, or tail attempting to wag the dog. It attempts to do this by flooding money from the top down, hoping money eventually gets to consumers. Conservatives hate this because it undoes the choking of the economy, if only a little, that conservatives are attempting to do so that Obama won’t be seen as a success.

    We see the big beneficiaries are banks, and businesses, and I think that explains why, in part, the stock market has tripled under Obama. The people who get money first are the rich. The people who own stocks are the rich. Therefore the rich have more money to bid up the prices on shares of stocks. I think that one could assume that if the economy ever normalizes, and QE, and its remnents end, or are even reversed, then the stock market will start going the other way.

  6. Troy
    February 24th, 2015 at 21:00 | #6

    Therefore the rich have more money to bid up the prices on shares of stocks

    While of course true, not just that, tho


    shows corporate profits are now ~5X that of just the 2000-2001 era.

    Also, as corporate tax rates decline their NPV goes up & up in response.

    Effective tax rates used to be 30% in the 1990s, now they’re under 20%:


    With a corporate-friendly Congress, the market has to price in the doubling of after-tax revenues corporations are going to see vs. the 1990s.

  7. Troy
    February 24th, 2015 at 21:08 | #7

    “if the economy ever normalizes”

    that’s just it, there is no normal, or perhaps this is it now.

    QE has in fact ended:


    but the Fed is committed to ZIRP:


    The same trap Japan fell into, getting too far into debt:


    total systemic debt / GDP

    that last graph is most important, it shows how we’ve had two great regime changes, in the 1980s when the boomers leveraged themselves up the first time and the 2000s when they had a party a 2nd time and Gen X got to join in.

    Gen Y was only age 5 to 23 when the housing bubble froze in 2005, so they missed the party entirely.

    More worringly, I don’t understand what cancer lurks here:


    but that can’t be good (Japan is by far the #1 net creditor nation in NIIP terms)

  8. Troy
    February 25th, 2015 at 04:34 | #8
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