Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 24 years.

27 Responses to “Weekly Open Thread – Obama’s Economy Edition”

  1. 1


    I had nothing to do , they all started, to forget the thread,
    this is terrible numbers here, and OBAMA want a trillion 1/2 more,

  2. 3



    Reignus asks my favorite food… me it all depends on my mood, sometimes I crave Thai, sometimes Mexican, sometimes good BBQ. I hardly eat any of that because it’s too fattening but if I had to choose one that is my all time favorite it would have to be a good Prime Rib.

  3. 4


    I’m glad I retired just before King Obama was crowned. I can’t loose a job I don’t have. Unles congress changes it, there is a law that says Social Security payments can’t be stopped for those who EARNED them.

    Since Obama wants to put the 401(k) money in the federal budget, it won’t surprise me when he tries to cancel SS payments.

  4. 5

    Nan G

    Obama talks a great game about wanting to spread the wealth around and sanitize the planet, but his policies show what really happens when his words become law or regulation.

    This chart shows our pathetic ”recovery,” employment-wise in comparison to every other recession since WWII.
    At that pitiful rate there are plenty of Americans who won’t live long enough to see us back where we were (employment-wise) before the recession started.

    Gas prices?
    Didn’t Obama promise he’d make energy prices skyrocket?
    Didn’t Obama claim that high energy prices would be GOOD for our economy?
    Yes……Last month adding this:

    As we move forward over the next several years, my hope is, is that the United States, as one of several countries with a big carbon footprint, can find further ways to reduce our carbon emissions,” Obama said in Canberra, Australia.

    “I think that’s good for the world. I actually think, over the long term, it’s good for our economies as well, because it’s my strong belief that industries, utilities, individual consumers — we’re all going to have to adapt how we use energy and how we think about carbon,” Obama added, according to a White House transcript.

    Obama’s policy of high energy prices have stifled our economy.
    This 1st graph shows that since he took office vehicle miles on our roads has stalled out.

    Federal Debt and debt per person is most easily seen at this site; the U.S. Debt Clock, Real Time.
    (We’re up to $48,471/person and $134,512 per taxpayer)

    I’m going to skip down to that last one….
    “Americans in Poverty.”
    This is an artificially high number Obama has created by simply redefining what qualifies as ”poor and near-poor.”
    Obama has defined a number just below our US median income as the cutoff point for ”near-poor.”
    That means we will ALWAYS (under his definition) have nearly 1/2 of Americans labeled poor or near-poor.
    BUT Obama has a US Census plot in the works to change that poverty definition by adding incomes from taxes not paid.
    Just weeks before the 2012 election these new numbers will come out and MAGICALLY a huge number of Americans will have left poverty and joined the ”middle class.”
    (On paper.)
    Obama will take the credit and, if the scheme is not debunked in time, win the election based on his astounding economic success.

  5. 7


    Nan G
    can you believe he could decide suddenly to call on all people to pay the individual share to him, by only a stroke of a pen on executive order, he’s done so many times in the last 3 years ,
    I think the one who receive something from the GOVERNMENT, are now saving some of their check’s money, even if they have to take it on some other needs, because they no longer can trust THE GOVERNMENT which is out of money now, and still want another trillion 1/2 more to spend
    this is how powerful he has become at this point, it cannot
    get better, only worse. the secure line has been cross.

  6. 8

    gary kukis

    This chart is the key to Obama’s defeat. Just go over the numbers and stats over and over again.

    Maybe tie everything together with that woman who was so excited about Obama, that she would not have to worry about making her mortgage payment or putting gas in her car.

    Entitlement society versus a meritorious society.

  7. 9


    It would be great to use against our out of touch, Commie leaning President except for one thing. The MSM, better known as the Co-opted Media or as I call it the ” Obama/Democratic Party Propaganda Agency” (Tass or Pravda JR. also comes to mind) will not only never publish it but in fact will continue to push the lies that are the alternative! Of course, I’m afraid the huge piece of the mind dead, entitlement raised electorate will continue to believe the lies. As I have said more than once, the facts are out there for all to see as evidenced above. However, the electorate has got to take their responsibilities as not only voters, but Americans seriously. unfortunately that would mean thinking on their part and we all know dictators and wanna be dictators look down on such actions as one taking responsibility and thinking.

    Asking for 1 1/2 trillion more? Just pablum for the masses in their eyes. Class warfare and “insuring their entitlements equals their staying in power, the only thing that matters. As the chart above shows, our leftist scum leader has succeeded in not only bankrupting the country (along with his party cohorts and of course the establishment Republican scum), but in fact is actively pushing the majority of the populace into the third world poverty status that he apparently admires so much.

  8. 15


    beans soaked all night in water to cover and more of, because they swell.
    then onions carrots celery, powderd mustard 1 table spoonof it,
    and cubes cut salted lard 3/4 cup of molasses or more, pepper ,
    drain the beans add it to the pot cover with more water and the lid put in oven 275 all night

  9. 16


    @C Andrew Scott… curious – why do you ask? Do you have a ‘ better’ source with ‘better’ numbers? If so, please by all means please share it or link it….

    … Millions of people and everyone [here] knows exactly how dismal Obama’s Economy is…anyone who cannot see this after 3 years IS living in la la land …

    … well, wait a minute… there is a huge segment of Americans living in la la land that’s how we got into this mess in the first place….

    The man has no defense except for explanations that cannot possibly be determined one way or another [example: paraphrased – “if we didn’t pass the stimulus bill the economy would be far worse”.. how could he possibly know this, how could anyone?? ] And ahem, it has ‘not’ gotten any better!!

    Oh, and remember, Obama ‘is’ the 1%…

    …so is a majority of Congress the 1%… and they basically only work about 137 days per year in DC… Which is curious why Rick Perry [Texas Gov] would make a statement that Congress should be part time – they already are part time – but with a full time pay check courtesy you and me!!

  10. 18

    As 2011 slithers to its end, none of the major problems that led to the crisis point three years ago have really been solved. Bank balance sheets still reek. Europe day by day becomes a financial black hole, with matter from the periphery being sucked toward the center until the vortex itself collapses. The Street and its ministries of propaganda have fallen back on a Big Lie as old as capitalism itself: that all that has gone wrong has been government’s fault. This time, however, I don’t think the argument that “Washington ate my homework” is going to work. This time, a firestorm is going to explode about the Street’s head—and about time, too.

    It’s funny; the Big Lie has a long pedigree. A year or so ago, I was leafing through Ron Chernow’s indispensable history of the Morgan financial interests, and found this interesting exchange between FDR and Russell Leffingwell, a Morgan partner and Washington fixer, a sort of Robert Strauss of his day. It dates from the summer of 1932, with FDR not yet in office:

    “You and I know,” wrote Leffingwell, “that we cannot cure the present deflation and depression by punishing the villains, real or imaginary, of the first post war decade, and that when it comes down to the day of reckoning nobody gets very far with all this prohibition and regulation stuff.” To which FDR replied: “I wish we could get from the bankers themselves an admission that in the 1927 to 1929 period there were grave abuses and that the bankers themselves now support wholeheartedly methods to prevent recurrence thereof. Can’t bankers see their own advantage in such a course?” And then Leffingwell again: “The bankers were not in fact responsible for 1927–29 and the politicians were. Why then should the bankers make a false confession?”

    This time, I fear, the public anger will not be deflected. Confessions, not false, will be exacted. Occupy Wall Street has set the snowball rolling; you may not think much of OWS—I have my own reservations, although none are philosophical or moral—but it has made America aware of a sinister, usurious process by which wealth has systematically been funneled into fewer and fewer hands. A process in which Washington played a useful supporting role, but no more than that.

    Over the next year, I expect the “what” will give way to the “how” in the broad electorate’s comprehension of the financial situation. The 99 percent must learn to differentiate the bloodsuckers and rent-extractors from those in the 1 percent who make the world a better, more just place to live. Once people realize how Wall Street made its pile, understand how financiers get rich, what it is that they actually do, the time will become ripe for someone to gather the spreading ripples of anger and perplexity into a focused tsunami of retribution. To make the bastards pay, properly, for the grief and woe they have caused. Perhaps not to the extent proposed by H. L. Mencken, who wrote that when a bank fails, the first order of business should be to hang its board of directors, but in a manner in which the pain is proportionate to the collateral damage. Possibly an excess-profits tax retroactive to 2007, or some form of “Tobin tax” on transactions, or a wealth tax. The era of money for nothing will be over.

    About the author:

    It was in May 1961 that a series of circumstances took me from the hushed precincts of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where I was working as a curatorial assistant in the European Paintings Department, to Lehman Brothers, to begin what for the next 30 years would be an involvement—I hesitate to call it “a career”—in investment banking. I would promote and execute deals, sit on boards, kiss ass, and lie through my teeth: the whole megillah. In consequence of which, I would wear Savile Row and carry a Hermès briefcase. I had Mme. Claude’s home number in Paris and I frequented the best clubs in a half-dozen cities. But I had a problem: I was unable to develop the anticommunitarian moral opacity that is the key to real success on Wall Street.

    P.S. What is not included in the chart was a snapshot of the direction where things were heading on inauguration day. For example, we were losing 700,000 jobs PER MONTH. That 8% unemployment figure makes for a nice gotcha, but unemployment was already up over 8% before the first nickle of stimulus money was spent. Private sector employment has risen steadily. The truth is that we were headed into the Great Depression, Version 2.0, entirely courtesy of Wall Street, and bold actions taken by both Bush and Obama administrations adverted this and put the nation on a path toward recovery.

    For those of you who believe that Obama is responsible for ruining the economy, kindly provide an explanation for how, precisely, he accomplished this ruination. I can tell you precisely how Wall Street ruined the economy and how the Bush/Obama team brought it back from the brink.

    Of the national debt, precisely 1.6% of it is owing to policies put into place by the Obama administration ($250,000,000,000 divided by $15,000,000,000,000), and this doesn’t include what was and will be recovered from the auto bailout and the debt that was averted through stopping the hemorrhage and helping the recovery.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  11. 19

    very good exerpt and point of view,

  12. 21


    premium_subscriber, I’m sorry… “recovery from the auto bailout”? LOL Guess you didn’t see their second major recall for the Sonics yet, nor have checked their stock numbers. The US taxpayer will be taking a bath on Obama and his treasured unions foray into auto manufacturer ownership.

    Don’t care about your anecdotal one offs who say the government wasn’t involved with the crash of 2008. I’m actually surprised at the lengths you go to defend over encompassing central government. Or maybe not… but you won’t find me believing your constant confessions of a closet “fiscal conservative” anymore.

    Oh yes… INRE losing 700,000 monthly. We’re now $4 tril more in debt, and still losing 350,000 plus monthly. Yeah… there’s a record to be proud of. But let’s cut another 405,000 from the labor force, and make it sound oh so rosy in numbers, shall we?

  13. 22

    Hi Mata, There have always been automotive recalls, among all manufacturers, and there always will be. Huge recall. Less than 5,000 cars. As we’ve discussed many times, it was Dick Cheney’s idea to save the auto industry. George W Bush took his advice and Obama put good money after good and saved the auto industry. Here’s a quite thoughtful and balanced analysis of that:

    I am, of course, familiar with your point of view that there would have been no real estate bubble and no sub-prime mortgage crisis and no problem at all with the securitized mortgages and credit default swaps, if only liberal do gooders had not pushed lenders to reduce loan standards and had all those neer-do-well poor people not taken advantage of the situation to buy homes they couldn’t afford. I’ve never once been able to convince you to change your mind on anything at all, so I won’t try now.

    Here’s the employment situation that Obama inherited and what’s happened to it since then.

    I am vastly more of an economic conservative than are you. I think that it’s utterly irresponsible to cut taxes and borrow money from our children to finance these tax cuts. A real conservative cuts spending first and then rewards himself with a tax cut. A faux conservative cuts taxes, borrows money, runs up the debt, and then blames FDR’s Social Security (which has not only not added a nickle to the debt but which has contributed trillions to reducing the debt) and other “spending.” You can blame spending all you want, but cutting taxes without first cutting spending is the antithesis of conservative economics.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  14. 23


    Larry if you truly felt so compassionate about spending, then where has you outrage been with all the over the top (and mostly wasteful) spending since Obama took office? It shouldn’t matter to you what we “phony fiscal conservatives” think, or even what Bush did or didn’t do. Any real fiscal conservative could only be outraged at Obama money management.

    Even worse, he tells us to suck it up and then jets off, on another 4 million dollar vacation, with two sets of security and rooms for overflow at the Moana Surfrider. What’s wrong with the Jersey Shore? I normally wouldn’t deny any president his family time, but this has been 3 years of in our face waste. I swear he and Michelle toast and fist bump every night they rack up another million on our dime.

    He did NOT save us from the worst depression ever, and even if that were the case, we would have been better to have gone in as we would now be out of it, without any of his “help” thank you. All he did with the stimulus money was double goverment employement and salaries, the rest to his crony friends for companies that no private investor would have ever made an investment.

    If you don’t believe me, name ONE thing he did to help small business or corporate America? NADA, which is why billions are are on the sidelines, too afraid of the unknow Obama to move forward, consequently, few new hires or growth.

    As Paul O’Neal said so well, “We are only one great leader away from an awesome recovery.” It’s not even the economy as much as it is the leader (or lack of one at least in America’s favor).

  15. 24

    Hi Patricia. Obama helped small businesses and corporate America by preventing a collapse of the banking system. I actually give George W Bush the major credit for this, because he and Paulson took the courageous first step of bailing out the banks (but then candidate Obama gave it strong support, as did then NY Fed Chief Geithner). So it was a great tag team effort, as was the auto bailout. Because of these actions, I (a small businessman) was able to refinance a $300K loan 14 months ago, to dodge a 5 year balloon payment and lock in an affordable interest rate. There are a million stories like this — financial disasters averted or mitigated.

    With regard to the alleged spending spree, Obama’s discretionary spending budget was set by the Bush administration and the spending trajectory hasn’t gone up in the least. The spending spree consists of elements of the “stimulus” programs which were neither proposed by nor supported by Republicans. It adds up to all of $250 billion. This is, as noted, 1.6% of the national debt and a small fraction of the cost of the Iraq War, and the financial meltdown was a far greater threat to America than was Saddam Hussein. $250B is not peanuts and you can certainly criticize it, if you want, but it’s got nothing substantive to do with the debt and it did nothing to hurt the economy. The degree to which is helped is being vigorously debated and doubtless will be debated for years to come.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  16. 25


    premium_subscriber I am, of course, familiar with your point of view that there would have been no real estate bubble and no sub-prime mortgage crisis and no problem at all with the securitized mortgages and credit default swaps, if only liberal do gooders had not pushed lenders to reduce loan standards and had all those neer-do-well poor people not taken advantage of the situation to buy homes they couldn’t afford. I’ve never once been able to convince you to change your mind on anything at all, so I won’t try now.

    It becomes extremely tiresome to have you misquote, misinterpret and downright lie… yes, I said lie… about what my opinion and analysis is of the housing crash, Larry. In case you attempt to, ineptly, play translator, again with false assertions, I will remind you that I have an authored post, prominently linked in the far right margins, titled “The Perfect Storm of Housing and Lending events”. In that post, I point out that it is not one event, but the culmination of many going together for this perfect storm.

    What made it impossible to recover easily was the astronomical appreciation of homes. This was caused by a vast demand, enabled by easy money, diving at the existing inventory and fueling fast and furious new construction. In a normal market, we absorb foreclosures all the time because the LTV on the property is not so out of whack that you can just put a new qualified buyer in to replace the defaulting buyer.

    This is all explained, and I’ve said this over and over. But, as usual, you skim and fill in the blanks with your preconceived notions… not to mention adding a despicable accusation that I blame “neer-do-well poor people”. You also focus with tunnel vision on one particular item… that being your indefensible defense of the GSEs guidelines. To do so you conveniently and deliberately ignore the fact that the GSEs have been buying risky loans since the 1990s. And if the majority of financial lending institutions did not have a resale market to Fannie and Freddie, few loans would have been made along those lines. No savvy business manufactures a product without a resale market.. whether financial or physical products.

    They (the GSEs) are culpable, along with the many other factors that I mentioned in that post, and ensuing comments and articles since that time. And I would thank you to discontinue your arrogant, and erroneous,habit of assuming you speak for me, deliberately misrepresenting my opinions and work over and over.

    And that includes your other misrepresentation of me and my attitudes towards taxes and spending… and how to best accomplish fiscal responsibility… by your claim of being “vastly more of an economic conservative than are you. “ Sometimes I find your self-absorption level and chutzpah stunning.

    I actually give George W Bush the major credit for this, because he and Paulson took the courageous first step of bailing out the banks (but then candidate Obama gave it strong support, as did then NY Fed Chief Geithner). So it was a great tag team effort, as was the auto bailout. Because of these actions, I (a small businessman) was able to refinance a $300K loan 14 months ago, to dodge a 5 year balloon payment and lock in an affordable interest rate.

    To the first, there is no similarity to the end goals of the Bush admin and the Obama admin. Bush’s goal was merely to tide them over to the next admin, who would then help them achieve an orderly bankruptcy.

    It’s quite funny you slyly attempted to set some sort of DailyKO’s caliber of trap, but Cheney did *not* agree with the bailouts. It’s it’s rumored (no confirmation or denial) that he spoke with some GOP opponents on Bush’s behalf.. as he should. As Veep, he can’t just go his own, diametrically opposed way to the agenda of the POTUS. Cheney’s opposition is documented in his book, In My Time.

    Now if you want to complain that Cheney did not embarrass his superior by making a stink in public about his disagreement with the bailout, have at it. I consider that knowing your place, and diplomatic respect. It’s the same respect for chain of command demonstrated by Colin Powell, who got up before the UNSC and pitched the WMD intel which he didn’t believe then, and still doesn’t.

    Of course, the “orderly bankruptcy” that Bush was attempting to bridge across administrations is not what happened. Obama, instead, decided to seize the auto industry, proceed to pick the new Government Motors leadership, ignored bankruptcy laws and bypass the legitimate investors to give the bulk of power to the unions, and less risk prone investors.

    This takeover, redistribution of ownership, and flawed economic performance on the taxpayers backs compares to the Bush vision of an orderly bankruptcy how? Devil in the details, Larry. Find a dumber audience to pass off your propaganda and skewed visions of history.

    Your inaccurate portrayal of the cost of the ARRA and other stimulus spending under Obama is disingenuous, or simply naive. Why is it that no one cares to include the interest amortized over the time it will take to again have a balanced budget? Oh, that’s right… there is no future for a balanced budget from Obama. Never gave a projection. At least Ryan’s, and the deficit commissions did, and a painfully long few decades at that. But then Obama didn’t want to listen to the deficit commission’s recommendations until publicly humiliated.

    And I most definitely hold Dems far more responsible for the runaway debt because the majority of the spending – 2/3rds in fact – is entitlement spending…. a reform they absolutely refuse to address with any degree of serious focus. That’s because any genuine reform would have to acknowledge that it was a fiscally dangerous concoction by their historic leaders from the onset. And apparently you don’t want to add the interest we pay on the borrowed SS Trust Funds into your version of economics either. Your idea of math is to consider the paltry interest paid on the treasury securities, and ignore the re’borrowing/spending/interest by Congress as they use that depository as their cash cow piggy bank for unfettered spending. Sorry.. that don’t compute either.

    Oh, wait – according to you – *you’re* the most fiscal conservative between the two of us just because you want to raise taxes first, and cut spending after. Well, Larry… there’s lots of way to get to the end goal, and revelation – you don’t own a monopoly on the only correct path to pursue. In fact, from what you demonstrate, you are the least qualified to speak with any credibility on that subject since you parse the real numbers and realities.

    As far as your glorious personal anecdote of being able to get a loan, all because of the financial bailout… again those who think like you stomp around, pretending to be morally right, by using crystal ball visions and unicorns for economics. Would almost be laughable were it not so “pathetic”, naive and short sighted. But then, that’s the problem with most Keynesian believers, and especially politicians. They only look to see how it will be in the next coming years, and how it reflects upon them. Why should they care what happens in 2030… they’ll be dead, their “legacy” intact.

    So before you trot out your predictable Keynesian economists to chant your predictable “see? see??” as some sort of proof, I wrote an entire post on the O’economy and campaign talking points – which you are obediently and predictably repeating . A post that I notice you have studiously avoided, BTW.

    Until you read it, I suggest you don’t bother dredging up your Keynesian economists and their crystal balls, telling us how awful the parallel universe would have been if the vicious cycle of central bank intrusion into the system didn’t happen. What it has done is the same thing it’s done historically all over the globe… the elation and feel good injection of central bank cash is short lived, and does not lead to a cure. It only increases governments debt, and requires again injected taxpayer cash and increased central banking control over financial institutions… which is exactly what Obama and Keynesian economists want.

    There are two extremely efficient regulators of finance and the markets…. profit and loss. With central government intrusion, theses real regulators are no longer in effect, as government/central banks now decide who survives and fails.

    And one more time, do not… again… attempt to tell people what *I* think. I am quite capable of expressing myself, and do not require the services of a sub-par translator like you.

  17. 27


    CURT why do you call me SUSHI?
    don’t you see I’v been on your side all this year, okay, I’ll remember you,
    thank you for the best wishes, but I’m far from being a SUSHI,

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