Wednesday, September 17, 2008

McCain, the economy and BS

The federal government is going to own 80% of the world’s largest insurance company? Does this mean we are finally going to get affordable health care for all Americans?

That's a stretch.

I can’t find the source again, but I agree with the economics professor who said this bail-out seems to privatize profits and socialize losses. Why? Because the U.S. taxpayer will be responsible for the bad investments made by the greed-driven private sector.

Yet John McCain has said over and over that the U.S. economy is fundamentally sound. That’s not bullish, Senator. That’s bull s**t. If there was any doubt before, McCain just underlined the truth of his earlier statement that he doesn’t know much about the economy.

Don't forget. John McCain wanted to privatize our Social Security. The horror.

Speaking of BS, where is President George Bush? This is the largest financial crisis facing our nation since the Great Depression. Why has he gone underground? The President should go on national television tonight and reassure the nation with a plan to fix the massive financial hemorrhage.


Anonymous said...

George, I agree with everything you say but one--that President Bush should come up with a plan.

God forbid!

Every plan of the Bush Administration for ANYTHING has been a disaster. Why would we be any better off if Bush came up with a plan for this?!

In colluding with the corporate plunderers, especially the Big Oil fat cats, the Bush Administration is, in fact, largely responsible for the crisis.

Let's hope that our retarded president goes out doing as little damage as possible.

Anonymous said...

I am almost as old at McCain, and at first I resented all the old age jokes. Now as I listen to the drivel that falls from of his mouth, I am realizing the man is out of step. Doesn't know how many homes he owns, thinks the economy is fine, and continues to support deregulation. That is McCain's view of reality. However, his greatest disservice is trying to pass Palin off as qualified. She is a joke. McCain is living proof there is no fool like an old fool.

Jeff Hebert said...

Allow me to save your more conservative commenters the trouble of replying.

This is all the fault of the Democrats, they've been in charge of Congress for almost two years now!

No? OK, Mr. Smarty Pants, try this one:

This is all the fault of Bill Clinton! Yes, that's right, the Bill Clinton who was last President in 2000. If he hadn't gutted oversight and regulation on the banking industry we wouldn't be in this mess!

Ignore that fact that explanation 1 makes a mockery of explanation 2, since Clinton had a Republican Congress to deal with. Also ignore the fact that explanation 2 makes a mockery of explanation 1, since by that logic the President at the time deserves the blame, and currently the President is -- wait, let me double check this, yes here it is -- a Republican.

Everything that's bad is a liberal's fault, except the stuff that isn't and instead is the fault of Clinton's penis.

Ken Martin said...

Where's Bush? Retired on active duty, as we used to say of career Marines nearing retirement who made little or no pretense of caring about work.

Please note that as of today, September 17, Bush has exactly 125 days left in office. Can the country take it that much longer?

sph said...

Palin's lies continue to stack up -she has repeatedly(3 times I have heard) taken pride in Alaska producing 20% of the gas and oil consumed by the USA - not true, at 3.5% of the OIL used down here, she is a little off. Also, she obviously didn't bother to check the record of other vice presidents and their visits with foreign dignitaries as she said in the ONLY interview she has granted - since FDR, all VP nominations have had visits with foreign leaders prior to election. She did not visit Iraq; she got to the border in Kuwait and never crossed over according to the Alaska National Guard. Her plane only landed in Ireland and she never got off although she counts that as a visit to a foreign country. The Bridge to nowhere in Ketchikan, there are still 3 bridges still in the running and she continues to take credit. A whole soliloquy just ran on NBC and she answered one reporters question TODAY, 2 weeks after appointment. She said what was happening on Wall Street was a shame.

I think we will all starve before the RNC realizes there is a crisis.

Anonymous said...

Come on, KNOW why he's gone underground. The Republicans have an election to win and they do NOT want that face anywhere near any more negativity...negativity he is directly responsible for.

I remain perplexed and yet fascinated at the idiocy created by Palin and all this falderol involving everything around her. This country, to its detriment, continues to look for the pretty-face, quick fix to every single problem from politics to prostrate.

Enjoyed reading the conservative columnists you forwarded. I think they are perplexed as well. Probably dumbfounded...Mike

The South Plainsman said...

Have been on the road, and have not had the opportunity to get caught up.

Will say that this crisis is everybody's fault. Greed and politics seems to go together.

The economy is good. The capital markets are crashing, and will pull down the economy.

Politicians need to stay the Hell out of it for a while. None of them know anything about how to cure what ails us. Don't know if anybody knows.

This thing is going to get much worse before it gets better.

Neither McCain nor Obama had a damn thing to do with it, and neither can cure it with campaign promises.

Anonymous said...

Allow me to put my two cents (or is that three now?)in on this conversation.
1.Bush has not been the total failure that some of you have stated.(I would like to say implied but you have been very direct in spewing your venom.)The war in afghanistan and Iraq have been a general success so far. The surge that Reed so vehemently decried as a failure,worked very successfully.
2. The accumulation of greed and outright theft by corporate bigwigs
has brought the country to its knees. Unless you like a Marxist approach by the government in taking control of everything it doesn't agree with then you can't blame Bush for them.
If Obama is elected,it won't be long before you can look with pride upon the increase in taxes, the increase in businesses going over seas and for certain more government control.
It sounds as if many of you have never heard of the Constitution. As long as it agrees with you it's good,but let it send you screaming into the night because the Anti Christ Legal Underlings(we'll call it the ACLU for short)have opposed a part of it then then that shatters your liberal dreams of a
Marxist style of government.
I do agree with Jeff in that it's good to blame Bill Clinton for the problems we have today,partly because there's a lot of truth in it,and second I need for Jeff to invite me down to his ranchero to dispatch some venison.Jeff,I am a certified member of PETA (people eating tasty animals) I obey all lawsand share the bounty.
Oh well;this will all be over soon and after President
McCain and Vice President Palin are sworn in,things will be perfect. RIGHT!!!----Goose

Jeff Hebert said...

See Goose, this is what I don't understand. You say:

Unless you like a Marxist approach by the government in taking control of everything it doesn't agree with then you can't blame Bush for them.

just two days after the government took control over the largest private insurance company in the world, AIG. And just a week or so after it took over a huge amount of the debt of one of the largest banks in the world. That's socialism -- the government took over a private company.

Then you say "It sounds as if many of you have never heard of the Constitution. As long as it agrees with you it's good", and yet the Bush Administration has engineered some of the most breathtaking violations that wonderful document has ever been subjected to.

It's this weird sort of cognitive dissonance I get, you keep saying these vile things the Democrats will do if they're ever (God forbid) put in charge, and yet they're all things the Republicans are already doing!

When I was growing up, R's stood for small government. And yet it's the Clinton Administration that shrunk the size of government, and the Bush Administration that ballooned it. R's used to be for fiscal conservatism, yet under the Clintons the deficit went down and we had a surplus, while under Bush it's shot to the highest levels ever and we're in trillions of dollars of debt.

R's used to be about prudence and realism abroad, decrying liberal idealism, and yet we've launched a huge idealistic campaign to "bring peace to the Middle East", the very pie-in-the-sky idea that made so many laugh at Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton both.

Sure, Republicans lower taxes while making me pay $150 to fill my truck up with gas, triple my health insurance when I tried to start my own business, told me tough luck on the home mortgage while bailing out giant corporations for billions, and slashed the value of my 401K by half.

If that's the price of lowering my taxes, by all that's holy raise them already and maybe I can afford to pay my bills again!

The South Plainsman said...

Pick on McCain all you want, but he supported reform of the GSEs. Obama did not. See the Congressional Record:

Anonymous said...

One of the things that drives me nuts in this financial crisis is that all the politicians and bureaucrats are flapping their jaws but saying nothing suggestive of a plan for solving the mess. My own 28-year-old kid who works in the financial services industry knows better than our nation’s leaders.

Here is an exchange of e-mails traded between us today:

Hi Papa:

I’ve been watching the Wall Street fire sale all day and thinking about what you told me about people selling silver on E-bay for $20 an ounce while the spot price was $10.50. Silver is in short supply, yet its price has fallen from a high of $18 in just two months. Something fishy there.

Joe Biden deliberately misled people on Monday by calling the Fed a government institution. If you look up some i-reports on, you'll see that more and more people are realizing that, as a private institution, the Fed is probably the worst case of misrepresentation ever and that it has played a large part in the mess we're in now.

The AIG rescue package didn't provide much of a calming effect and banks in Ireland and Britain are in big trouble too. Silver is around $12 today and gold posted its largest single-day gain ever—10.74%.

We're all going to get a replay of all this when the credit card debt and ARMs hit the fan in the next couple years, and that may make this look like a Sunday stroll.

Public figures now propose "new" lending standards that actually take in borrowers' ability to repay the loans. What a concept!


Dear H,

Okay, those are facts we all know... Now, I have a question for you that a guy at the town diner asked me today: where does a "smart" average fellow put his money today? What do you think?

I will withhold my answer to the guy until I hear yours.


Hi Papa:

I think what this summer has shown us is the importance of investing in real assets instead of promises.

I'll think about what businesses qualify, but for now, buying anything that has real, tangible value—and will retain it—is a good option. This includes real estate, precious metals, commodities (not options but the commodities themselves), and anything else that's related to "fixed costs" of living. These are things that people need to survive, literally.

Every price has two parts: the material value and the emotional value. If the "emotional" premium disappears, at least you always have the material value. That's why generic food is cheaper. Food will always cost something, but the generics don't derive much from "brand loyalty" or cute cartoon characters. So you pay for the food only, not the frills.

Just as your grandmother wouldn't eat anything she didn't recognize, you don't want to invest in anything you don't understand. Buy real land or shares in it, instead of some confusing investment pool that gets a payback only if some distant renter or lessee pays the rent or only if other equally nameless people don't pay.

Of course, if a trend bucks historical patterns, it will not last. Five years ago the ratio of housing prices to incomes was out of whack so it had to stop somewhere. The tech bubble burst because companies could not deliver the promised revenues. There was no intrinsic value. Same thing for real estate. Outside the normal price to income ratio, everything else is fluff. I'm convinced that local governments pressured appraisers to inflate home values so they could extract more taxes and make their towns appear more desirable.

This is especially important to remember because real estate is a finite resource, so supply is mostly fixed forever. But even that doesn't mean endless appreciation.


Dear H,

We are definitely on the same beam... this is just what I told the guy, but not as well as you said it. (I still say you should write a book!)

I told him there are no safe havens except for real assets that one is able to USE for one's survival and welfare. I told him to keep some cash IN HAND, and not to trust everything to a bank. "If it is on deposit," I said, "somebody can and will seize it." This is the age of plunder, and unfortunately the politicians and corporate fat cats have set things up so they can steal from you lawfully.

Sadly, the real laws of the land today are “Self Reliance” and “Every Man for Himself.”


The South Plainsman said...

H is pretty smart for a youngster. You dang sure need to invest in something that has real value, instaed of just a mere promise. Now figuring out what is a real value takes some thought and skill.

In a way, voting is much the same. You can vote for somebody with a real record, or just vote for promises not backed by anything.

George Phenix said...

To H. and Papa -- enjoyed reading your comments. Thanks.

Here's how Wikipedia describes the Federal Reserve:

"The Federal Reserve System (also the Federal Reserve; informally The Fed) is the central banking system of the United States. Created in 1913 by the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act, it is a quasi-public (government entity with private components) banking system[1] composed of (1) the presidentially appointed Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, D.C.; (2) the Federal Open Market Committee; (3) 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks located in major cities throughout the nation acting as fiscal agents for the U.S. Treasury, each with its own nine-member board of directors; (4) numerous private U.S. member banks, which subscribe to required amounts of non-transferable stock in their regional Federal Reserve Banks; and (5) various advisory councils. As of February 1, 2006, Ben Bernanke serves as the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System."

And, I question the wisdom of real estate investment until we hit bottom and start back up.

Let us hear from you often.

Jeff Hebert said...

You can vote for somebody with a real record, or just vote for promises not backed by anything.

Alternatively put, you can vote for someone with a long record of being wrong over and over and over, or someone with a shorter record of being right over and over and over.

Of course McCain changes his mind so often you can discern pretty much any policy position you fancy in what he says. Now that's change we can count on!

Anonymous said...

Jeff, if you think McCain changes his mind often then what do you call the various stands on any issue that Obama and Biden take?
The change we can count on is a rise in taxes,allowing the United States to kiss the collective rears of the U.N.countries, a mass of bad information about guns,in an effort to get them out of the hands of good people,an even larger take over of private business,the continues murder of millions of in the womb babies,a agovernment that thinks that it is smarter than the people,and the list goes on and on.
ou can blame all of our problems on the R's if you like but the Clinton era is largely responsible for the downgrade of the U.S military's amount and qauntity of reliable weapons.
Clinton gave us the largest tax hike in history and we certainly not better.
You equate Bush with thousands of ignorant individuals in the housing and investment market.I disagree with anyone who thinks that the government should bail out the problems caused by themselves.You can blame it all on the corporate raiders,and their clients.----- Goose

Jeff Hebert said...

So you disagree with Bush and McCain for bailing out AIG, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, good to know Goose. We'll get you talked around yet! The more you describe what you're against, the more you're describing the current Bush Administration and the potential McCain-Palin one. Bravo!

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