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Economists answer: Should we really be better off already?



Published: Sun, November 4, 2012 @ 12:01 a.m.

SEE ALSO: Question is staple of every election

• New banking rules pose threat to recovery

By Burton Speakman

and Jamison Cocklin

news@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Less than five years after the start of the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression, the U.S. economy still grows at an anemic pace.

Republicans and Democrats on the campaign trail have traded barbs over what was — and what wasn’t — done during and after a recession as the American economy hemorrhaged 8.7 million jobs between December 2007 and early 2010.

The upcoming election will serve as a litmus test on the four years of economic policy, which produced:

• Non-farm payroll employment 3.2 percent lower than at the start of the recession.

• An unemployment rate nearly frozen from when President Barack Obama took office.

• An economic growth rate that appears stuck in neutral, growing only slightly in the last 13 quarters.

The current policies of Obama are dismissed by some for being so insufficient that they worsened the recession.

But Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s ideas are dismissed by others for being either unexplained or for being too similar to the policies blamed for the recession.

“Are we better off than we were four years ago?” is a political touchstone.

An economist might approach that concept differently:

“Given economic cycles, is it reasonable for us to have expected to be better off than we were four years ago?”

“When the housing bubble burst, it cost trillions and forced a radical consumption of wealth,” said Josh Bivens, research and policy director at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. “The shock it caused was so big that there was never any real reason to think that the recovery would have occurred in less than a decade, especially absent government action.”

Alex Pollack, financial expert for the American Enterprise Institute, said that six or even seven years was a reasonable time for recovery based on the length of the preceding boom.

The only thing that might have slowed the real estate recovery was the tightening of federal regulations, Pollack said.

“Now that they’ve reached the time for recovery, the government has made it harder to get loans, which has slowed growth,” he said.

Obama inherited the recession, but there were certainly things in the recovery that could have been handled differently, said William W. Beach, Heritage Foundation director of the center for data analysis and senior economist.

“Accelerating depreciation has long been the silver bullet for killing a recession,” he said, referring to the process of allowing companies to devalue holdings, like equipment or vehicles, quicker to reduce tax burdens. “For reasons that have never been explained to me, that wasn’t done in this case.”

THE MAKINGS OF RECESSION

In the minds of economists, policy experts and some politicians, the Great Recession was a perfect storm.

The roots of the crisis are found in the years leading up to December 2007. The housing market was booming, fueled by low interest rates and banks willing to approve mortgages for almost anyone.

This gave rise to sub-prime lending where financial institutions would make loans to individuals or families who couldn’t pay for them. Delinquency rates spiked and foreclosures became rampant, causing the housing market to hit bottom.

Investors were left with mortgage-backed securities sold by banks to increase profits. Markets were inundated by faulty securities, the market sank and the financial hole grew deeper.

“Real estate is a cyclical market. Following every boom there’s a bust,” Pollack said. “This will continue as long as you have some semblance of a market economy.”

In this case when there is a tremendous boom, the bust is also going to be sizable, Pollack said. With the recession, the real estate market shrank from $23 trillion to $16 trillion.

“In some parts of the country, the bottom has been reached and prices are starting to go back up,” he said.

The housing boom impacted all parts of the industry, but particularly home construction. Barry Tancer, director of construction operations for Brownstone Construction, said his company spent about four years to gain ownership of the Westbury Park housing development in Canfield.

This project stopped in 2007 when the previous owner ran into financial troubles, just like companies across the country, he said.

“It’s unfortunate. It’s a really nice development,” Tancer said. “One home on the property sat unfinished since construction stopped in 2006.”

Brownstone is just trying to complete the homes and get the development started again, he said.

The housing and stock market crash resulted in a major loss of assets and wealth, said Tod Porter, professor of economics at Youngstown State University. These problems left people with unmanageable debt.

“Typically during a recession, people rely on acquired assets to help them maintain some level of spending,” he said.

There are a lot of people who have compared the most recent recession to the one in 1980, Porter said.

“That recession was almost intentionally caused by actions taken to slow down inflation. When they started easing back those actions, it was still a long time to recover in terms of unemployment,” he said.

REACTION POLICY

According to figures from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, the branch of the Federal Reserve that measures economic recoveries, this has been the slowest recovery from a recession since World War II.  

This invites comparisons to the Great Depression, which began with a stock market crash in October 1929 and gripped the country for a decade until about 1939 when the economy was aided along by a spike in demand for war goods in Europe.

In all other recessions that have occurred since that war, gross domestic product (the sum of all goods and services produced by the economy) has increased by more than 10 percent by this point in the recovery.

In October 2008, when the GDP was sharply contracting, Congress approved the Troubled Asset Relief Program, commonly referred to as the bailout. The government purchased bad mortgages from financial institutions, to provide banks, insurers and automakers with $700 billion in capital.

Last month, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that $431 billion of the initial $700 billion authorized would be disbursed, at a cost to the federal government of $24 billion, stemming mainly from transactional costs. To date, more than $300 billion has been repaid.

Additionally, in 2009, lawmakers passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act at the urging of President Obama. It pumped $787 billion into the economy through tax cuts, unemployment benefits, federal contracts, grants and loans.

The stimulus helped reduce budget cuts and economic harm, but it was not enough, said Amy Hanauer, director of Policy Matters Ohio, a progressive nonprofit policy research organization. Local governments have continued to lose public sector jobs like teachers, law enforcement and others.

ADDED UNEMPLOYMENT

“When those people lose jobs, they’re unemployed just like anyone else,” Hanauer said. “We need more resources to get those people back to work for the economic benefit and for the services that they provide.”  

Bivens mainly agreed with Hanauer, saying the government’s biggest mistake was pulling back fiscal support too quickly.

Many conservatives have been critical of the first stimulus package and the Romney campaign has suggested that it helped lock the country into slow growth.

The bailout and the stimulus package have at times been deemed the government’s biggest move into the private sector since Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration moved to enact a series of economic programs known collectively as the New Deal at the height of the Great Depression. Roosevelt’s presidency was intertwined with the country’s economic woes, serving four terms from 1932 until his death in 1945.

Critics maintain that the stimulus measures pursued between 2008 and 2009 ballooned the federal deficit. Romney has called for a reduction in federal spending, a cut in marginal income taxes and gradually reducing growth in Social Security and Medicare payments paid to affluent seniors.

President Obama in 2011 faced off with Republican congressional leaders over what they billed as a second stimulus. At the time, Obama advocated for a jobs package that would have reformed the unemployment benefit insurance program, cut taxes for small businesses and families, and provided better refinancing options to underwater homeowners. The effort stalled and the legislation never passed.

“Early on in the recession we were heading off a cliff, policy makers were able to grab the steering wheel and they landed us in a ditch. Unfortunately we’re having a hard time getting out,” said Greg Acs, director of the income and benefits policy center at the Urban Institute. “If that jobs bill would have been passed there’s no telling where we’d be. We just don’t have the answer for those kinds of things.”

‘A PRESIDENT CAN’T DO IT ALL HIMSELF’

Bivens and other sources interviewed for this story generally agree that the stimulus helped to save between 2 million and 4 million jobs. The economy has recovered about 4.3 million of the 8.7 million jobs it lost during the recession.

Friday’s final jobs report before the general election showed the unemployment rate ticked up from 7.8 percent in September, to 7.9 percent in October, with 171,000 new jobs created last month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In order to achieve pre-recession employment levels, the economy needs to create 187,000 jobs per month. About 152,000 jobs have been added per month in the last 31 months.

Currently, the jobs deficit is larger than in any previous recession. At its peak between November 2008 and February 2009 the U.S. lost 3 million jobs, compared to a four-month peak during the 1981-82 recession when about 1.2 million jobs were lost.

The growth rate is modest and reflects what happened after the 1991 and 2001 recessions, but remains below the rate of job recovery from the 1982 recession.

The Congressional Budget Office and the Federal Reserve warn unless the pace picks up, the jobless rate will remain above 5 percent or 6 percent until at least 2016.

“It goes beyond economic policy and one of the real problems we have in this country is we misunderstand our government,” said Paul Sracic, chair of the political science department at Youngstown State University. “Presidential candidates encourage this when they go around saying, ‘Elect me, I have a plan.’”

Bivens added that neither candidate has pressed for more fiscal support from Congress.

“Obama could be making an aggressive case against lawmakers, more and more he could be saying ‘Look, I called for a jobs act in 2011, but it was blocked,’” Bivens said. “Neither Romney or Obama are clarifying that and the gridlock will remain a challenge to growth.”

Likewise, pundits contend if Romney is elected president he could face significant hurdles in implementing his plan to create 12 million jobs in four years.

“I don’t know whether you could generate that level of job creation in this economy, that’s about 250,000 jobs per month,” Acs said. “It’s not outlandish to think... out of historical norms, but regardless of who’s in office the fact remains that it’s just not a roaring, normally functioning economy.”


Comments

1Knightcap(692 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Do not accept this economy as the new norm. We need an economic expansion. Obama can't do it. He's a good TV personality (The View, MTV, Letterman, Jon Stewart,etc.) buy he sucks at trying to lead this country. The only direction he's headed is down a cliff with a bunch of kool-aid drinkers under his wing.

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2Rockyroad(149 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Hey Knightcap, what you and the rest of the Creationist-Evangelical-Birther-Conspiracy-Theorist Right Wing-nuts out there don't know about economics, healthcare, the Constitution, foreign policy, leadership and citizenship could fit inside Buckeye Stadium. Talk about "kool-aid drinkers". History will speak well of Obama and the last four years. If Bush had eight years to mess everything up, Obama deserves at least that much time to get things straight. He sure isn't making things worse.
But the question itself, "are you better off than you were four years ago" was a sophomoric line from an actor, Ronald Reagan. It plays well with simpletons. The complexity that exists in the world today, the speed of change and the economic interdependence of nations makes a four year snapshot look ridiculous as a measuring stick for just about anything, let alone a President. Instead, voters should look at the attributes of the candidates; at decisions they made in the past and who will do the best job when the next crisis hits.
Obama has demonstrated that he is a credible leader. Because of his party affiliation and his skin color, he is a lightening rod for the extreme right. When a politician like Chris Christie praises Obama, even the wing-nuts should take note.

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3theotherside(331 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Well said Rockroad. And Romney's claim that he is going to create 12 million jobs in 10 years (is actually what he said) is a straw man anyway because economists are making that prediction regardless of who is elected president. Romney is simply doing what he does best. Being an opportunist who will do and say anything, including lie about Jeep to unsuspecting Ohioans, just to get elected. And that 47% comment only reinforces what most educated people already know about Romney, and that is that he can't be trusted.

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4theotherside(331 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Anyone who doesn't think the stimulus didn't help this country is ill informed. If Obama didn't pump that money into the economy at the time, the recession would have been much worse. thethinker has selective memory because he is incapable of crediting Obama with anything, all while saying that the events that caused the recession should have been regulated, but that regulations will ruin the country. Which is it? You can't have it both ways.

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5UticaShale(853 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Locally it is attributed to energy underneath us period. It is not attributed to the Incubator , stimulus, GM , and definitely not to Obama. The businessman once elected will grab onto our newfound energy and use it to propel the US into an energy superpower......we beat Russia as the largest producer of NG in the last two years. Youngstown will be the center of this new found wealth.

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6sue(170 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Wait until Obama is re-elected and his head of the EPA, Lisa Jackson, puts an end to fracking. Say goodbye to V & M as well as all the the new energy related jobs. There will be a war on coal AND natural gas. The only viable economic opportunity in the Mahoning Valley in the last 40 years will have come to an abrupt end. Then Bob Hagan can run for mayor and govern over a wasteland.

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7nodice(68 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

I saw a sign the other day that read, "Frack Obama".

Don't forget to change your clock and your President on Tuesday.

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8uselesseater(229 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

the Constitution...

Doesn't Obama claim he was a "constitutional lawyer"? That his studies at Harvard were on the constitution?

Then why has he passed things that are clearly anti-American and anti-constitution?

To point, the NDAA, National Defense Authorization Act passed by Obama and actually wrote and pushed by his cabinet.

It advocates using the military against US citizens. It also allows for indefinite detention without any court review.

That can be used over mere allegations of terrorist association.

Let's not even go into that bogus IRS push being passed off as "Obamacare". Another Constitutional violation if there ever was one. Mandates to purchase something from government? Government mandating churches and related entities to provide abortion dollars and other funding that violates Amendment #1.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Folks backing Obama as some success in dealing with this economic decline need to question their mental IQ.

Since elected, we've seen wages decline, home values plummet, foreclosures go through the roof, interest rates on consumer lending skyrocket and bank fees come from every direction. That's in addition to lending be mostly eliminated for small businesses and consumers. Commodities like food and gasoline have increased at an unbearable pace.

Obama's 4 years make Carter's look like a walk in the park. We tossed Carter out for far less pain.

50 million people ear dependent on food handouts - 17 million more than during the "Great Depression".

Unemployment ranges from 15% to 40-odd% depending on how you want to count.

I voted for Obama. This time I vote to replace him.

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9uselesseater(229 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Oh yeah, and we've recently confirmed the first increase in major crimes nationwide in 20 odd years of declines.

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10exlonghorn(35 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

The "Affordable Care ACT" (aka ObamaCare) has come home to roost for me. I work for a small business in Mahoning County (fewer than 30 employees). Over the years we had a good health care benefit which came to incorporate copays etc. Over the years, those co-pays were adjusted up. Now it has it home to roost.. Our health benefit now pays NOTHING until individuals are out of pocket $3,500 (single) or $7,000 (family), I have never consumed $3,500 worth of health services in any year of my 64 years. So, unless I get hit buy a bus or are hospitalized, I essentially have no health insurance. I guess my only option is to hold on 'til I reach medicare.
I thought this was supposed to bring down insurance premiums. I don't think so.

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11sam_carter(87 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Hey delphy.
Google Forbes romney bailout.
Romney personally profited handsomely to the tune of $15million from your delphi pension fund. Your pension is sitting in his cayman islands account.

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12Knightcap(692 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

@Rockyroad is a prime example of someone who comes from a line of parasites. He leans toward communism and social ideas. He walks aimlessly around the streets with shovel in hand looking for those shovel ready jobs. He screams four more years. I don't know if he is deaf or dumb maybe both. But someone close to him needs to tell him the national debt clock continues to move forward to 20 trillion. The economy is stagnant.Gasoline is $4. No opportunity for college graduates. Maybe Rockyroad belongs to the church of goddamn America. Our president sat there for 20 years and listened too.

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13thinkthentalk(258 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

LOL
Hey knight, you left out the lie about Obama being born in Kenya...

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14Bill1776(20 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

OBAMA'S PLAN IS, FORWARD TO MORE DESTRUCTION!
More sodomite parties in the white house, more same sex marriages, more forcing military chaplains to perform same sex marriages, more high gas and food prices, more people out of work, more national debt, more Muslims in home land security and the state dept, more Muslims in Bible belt areas to bust the Bible belt, and more secular governments destroyed in Muslim countries so they can we replaced with more radical Islam governments that will come up against Israel and the world like Jimmy Carter did in Iran.

Former democrat, now independent.

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15Founders1791(3 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

"...It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now..."
-- John F. Kennedy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEdXrf...
-----------------------------------------------------------------

Lower Taxes & Less Government Interference puts people to work as George W Bush ...proved... by adding over 10,826,000 people to the Work Force.

George W Bush Administration - Two Terms
------------------------------------------
2001 143,800,000
2004 148,059,000 -- 4,259,000 increase in Labor Force
2008 154,626,000 -- 6,567,000 increase in Labor Force

Unemployment 1st Term: +4.7%, +5.8%, +6.0%, +5.5%
Unemployment 2nd Term: +5.1%, +4.6%, +4.6%, +5.8%

Barrack Hussein Obama Administration - One Term
-------------------------------------------------------
2009 154,236,000
2012 155,641,000 -- 1,405,000 increase in Labor Force

Unemployment 1st Term: +9.8%, +9.8%, +9.1%, +8.1%

sources:
http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS110...
http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/surveymost

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16cambridge(2987 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Obama 2012!

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17Founders1791(3 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

"...Shovel-ready was not as ..uh ..shovel-ready as we expected..."
-- Hussein Obama Junior

-----------------------------------------13 MILLION STILL UNEMPLOYED

2009-2012 GDP Growth: -3.1%, +2.4%, +1.8%, +1.2%
2009-2012 Unemployment: +9.8%, +9.8%, +9.1%, +7.9%

"...I will be held accountable...if i don't have this done in 3 years then there is going to be a 1 term proposition...."
-- Hussein Obama Jr

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCN5-o...

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18Founders1791(3 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

The Great Recession of 1981-1982 was far more devastating than of 2008-2009 in many respects HOWEVER it took "leadership" to get these results....

Just a few greatest hits....

Won the Cold War with Russia
Massive S&L Bank Failures fixed
Forced the Collapse of the Berlin Wall
Created 19 million jobs from 1981-1988
Dropped UNEMPLOYMENT from 10.8% to 5.3%
21.5% MORTGAGE INTERST RATES cut in half to 10.5%
Federal SPENDING dropped from 4% during carter to 2.5%
Dropped top marginal TAX RATES from 70% to 28%
Dropped DEFICITS from 6% of GDP in 1983 to 3.2% in 1987
Dropped INFLATION from 13.5% in 1980 to 4.1% in 1988
Converted Military' Arapanet into the Internet in 1981

Ronald Reagan's Farwell Address ...19 million job recovery!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKVsq2...

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19captdinger(108 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Hey RockyHead, oops I mean rockyroad, you sound like the typical Mahoning Valley Dumocrat. Typical namecalling, etc. No specific ideas or solutions. Samo-samo.

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20Education_Voter(849 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Founders1791 -- Were you of voting age during the Reagan Administration? Those were some of the most corrupt years of our country, starting with encouraging Iran to hold our hostages until after the election and ending with a president suffering from Alzheimer's.
Reagan invented deficit spending, and raised taxes repeatedly. This list is how I remember it:
http://thinkprogress.org/politics/201...

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21sam_carter(87 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

delphy,
All these posts that you put on, im trying to figure out if you are truly a delphi retiree or a shill for the republican campaign.
You, and everybody who is inclined to consider your argument, should google Forbes Delphi Romney. Forbes, a reputable business magazine, has written how Romney has profited from your pension with his Bain hedge fund company.
In other words, again, if you truly are an ex-delphi employee, the money that you believe is yours is in Romneys cayman island accounts.
Wonder why he doesnt want to release his tax returns? There is your answer.

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22shonwilson(1 comment)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

The extent of damage to our economy in 2008 takes a while to recover from. The economic plunge of 2008 was the result of 32 years of economic decisions by our Federal government. 32 years to break, 4 years to fix? I don't know. If Romney got elected and couldn't fix our econmy in 4 years, would we oust him too and start yet again with yet another leader? Something to think about.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7u5dL...

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23WilliamSwinger(341 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

@Sam

The article you are pushing is not a Forbes article at all. The reference you provide is to a blog belonging to Jim Gorzelany which is hosted on Forbes. The original article appeared on The Nation, which you would know if you had read the Forbes blog. The Nation, a longstanding publication, is self-described as "the flagship of the left" and is about as unbiased as DailyKos or HuffingtonPost.

Romney did release his tax information which showed, among other things, that he and his wide contributed millions to charity as well as that the Romneys paid their taxes in full, which also number in the millions. This issue is akin to the BIRTHER claims which is why I call you and the others PERCENTERS. This is a non-issue, not that any of you would admit it. Even after your hero Harry Reid (D) has been caught lying and making untrue accusations that Romney paid no taxes at all. These claims of Romney taxes is PATHETIC.

Also, there is nothing wrong whatsoever with capitalistic pursuits that yield profit. In spite of the fact that your party wants to promote envy and jealousy as ways of life and as a means to elect leaders, our country remains the freest greatest nation in the world and has produced more persons of success and wealth than any other. That is all the result of capitalism, the pursuit of profit and personal financial gain. Would you prefer socialism instead? We could take a look at the great achievements of socialism if you like.

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24JulietZavon(18 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Gridlock in Congress has made economic recovery more difficult. Congress doesn’t serve us when it cannot work together. Gridlock comes from “gerrymandering” that lets politicians create congressional districts that are “safe” for incumbents. Legislators from “safe” districts know their party will win the next election. They have no incentive to work in a bi-partisan way if they’ll be elected without it. Ohio voters can tackle gridlock: Vote Yes on Issue 2 to eliminate gerrymandered “safe” districts. By making elections more competitive, legislators will have to earn re-election by working to find solutions. They won’t earn it with gridlock.

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2576Ytown(1229 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Sam:

Isn't GM part of the S&P 500 or the Dow? That means we all stand a chance that we've invested in it with our 401k's. I'm sure you already familiar with diversification. You don't have anything against profiting by investing in companies do you?

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26FightCensors(1 comment)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

@Education_Voter,

Too funny...

You quote as you news source an Obama Super PAC, ThinkProgress, owned by Jon Podesta a former Obama Administration crony.....

LMFAO!

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27WilliamSwinger(341 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

@Juliet

The dems had full control of Congress and every lever of government for the first two years of BroncoBama's term. They FAILED to get anything done and the eelectorate SPANKED their bottoms in the 2010 midterm. Now these same folks want to blame Repubs. This is nothing short of a lie. The dems blew it. Now they want to pass Issue 2 to make it easier for themselves or harder for the Repubs to manage the boundaries of their districts. More lies from the party of liars.

Conservatives VOTE NO ON ISSUE 2.

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28JohnPan(1 comment)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Please remember when you vote: Who destroyed our economy and who has been trying to bring it back from the brink. Mitt Romney was part of the financial manipulation that destroyed our economy. He never managed a real business. He was a stock trader specializing in
corporate takeovers. This short video explains how corporate takeovers works and what they did to American business:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5us3uL...

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29WilliamSwinger(341 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Thanks for the reminder JohnPan. The Democrats destroyed the economy. Take a look at the marvelous job Dear Leader Bronco Bama as done:

-43 months of 8%+ unemployment
-16.2 trillion dollars in DEBT
-Al Qaeda is ALIVE
-Ambassador DEAD
-47 million on FOOD STAMPS
-MILLIONS left the labor force
-Grocery prices up 15%
-Income down 8.2%
-Gasoline prices up 250%
-Benghazi cover up.
-Fast n Furious cover up
-Billions in fraudulent "green" projects

And how about the other wonderful things the Democrats have achieved over the years:

The Democrat Party

-Fought for slavery
-Began the Civil War
-Founded the Ku Klux Klan
-Created Jim Crow
-Levied poll taxes
-Fought against Civil Rights
-Insured Japanese internment

The Democrats have been working to keep blacks and others down for 250 years!! Woo-hoo! Thank you Democrats!

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30Education_Voter(849 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

FightSensors: Go where you want. The story is everywhere. Your Fox and Glenn Beck sites will be remixing them for your understanding, don't worry. You want an investigation? How about investigating the way that Repugs were willing to sink a CIA operation for the sake of a desperate political campaign?
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2...
http://www.journalnow.com/opinion/col...
http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2...

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31Education_Voter(849 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Fox News: Where the richest pay the rich to convince the middle class that the poor are the enemy.

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32kurtw(846 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

.Above description of Democrat Record is about right. It sure does pay to study history. Makes a lot more sense than to listen to the likes of Dave Betras and the Hanni Gang.

What I don't understand is how- considering their abysmal record on race- they have a stranglehold on the Black Electorate. Maybe African-Americans should spend a little less time watching BET and more time studying the History of their Country (and, specifically, the history of the Party they support) instead. Of course, they won't get the facts in school- considering the left-wing ideological bias of the NEA (the Dems biggest supporters).The information is out there though, for anyone who wants to find it.

There's a larger issue here, though, and that is the traditional American disregard for historical study and analysis. Remember Henry Ford's statement: History is Bunk! It pretty well summarizes the prevailing American attitude as polls testing peoples historical knowledge repeatedly show . That kind of ignorant attitude is dangerous and it is exactly what demagogues have always counted on: it's a lot easier to pull the wool over peoples eyes if they are ignorant.

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33Rockyroad(149 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

"it's a lot easier to pull the wool over peoples eyes if they are ignorant." Hey Kurt, you nailed the mantra of the Republican Party. They get their base all worked up over race, religion, the Bible, abortion, gay marriage, the Affordable Care Act, the Constitution (which none of you who reference it in your arguments has a clue as to what it is about), patriotism, Israel, foreign policy, guns, unions, entitlements and every crazy conspiracy theory out there, like the "birther-conspiracy", death panels and Muslims infiltrating our government. They get all the rubes from down south and rural areas like Columbiana County all worked up in a fever to actually vote against their own self-interest.

The Republican hierarchy knows how to play to the ignorant, of which there are far more in the Republican base than anywhere in the universe. And then they laugh, all the way to the bank and you know why? Because they aren't going to do anything that they promised and they got Ma and Pa Kettle to do their bidding for nothing. But Ma and Pa Kettle are happy in their misery because they voted out the "black guy" who is a "socialist", even though they don't know what socialism is, just like they don't know the Constitution, foreign policy, economics, Wall Street, the banking industry, leadership or civics. If they rally to defeat Obama, they only defeated themselves. They better come around, like Cris Christie did, and see the light.

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34Rockyroad(149 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

So you don't have to look it up, here it is from the dictionary (make sure to check out the synonyms at the bottom "chawbacon" is my favorite):

rube noun \ˈrüb\

Definition of RUBE

1
: an awkward unsophisticated person : rustic
2
: a naive or inexperienced person
See rube defined for English-language learners »
Examples of RUBE

They treated us as if we were a bunch of rubes.
<rural voters were tired of being treated as rubes by Republican state officials, who showed interest in them only at election time>
Origin of RUBE

Rube, nickname for Reuben
First Known Use: 1891
Related to RUBE

Synonyms: bumpkin, chawbacon, churl, clodhopper, cornball, countryman, hayseed, hillbilly, provincial, hick, rustic, yokel

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35WilliamSwinger(341 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

@Rockyroad

bigot [noun]

One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.

This fits you and the other lefties here quite well.

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36WilliamSwinger(341 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

@Education_Voter

MSM: Where the poorest watch the democrat shills convince everyone that the rich are the enemy.

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37Rockyroad(149 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Hey Bill, I'll be the first to admit that I am very intolerant of the "intolerant"...which is the base of the Republican Party...
....to paraphrase a Tea Partier of old, Mr. Goldwater:
" Intolerance in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

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38WilliamSwinger(341 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

@Rockyroad

So your bigotry is okay then. Got it. The only intolerant folks I see here are dems and it is no secret why thy are...

The Democrat Party

-Fought for slavery
-Began the Civil War
-Founded the Ku Klux Klan
-Created Jim Crow
-Levied poll taxes
-Fought against Civil Rights
-Insured Japanese internment

The Democrats have been working to keep blacks and others down forever. The party of hate and intolerance.

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39AnotherAverageCitizen(1174 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

VOTE OBAMA

4 MORE YEARS.

Let us not go back to what got us in this mess. It cracks me up when repubs say "Obama didn't FIX the economy fast enough". HEY. REPUBS!!!! Why did Obama need to fix the economy? because the Repubs distroyed it. The one smart thing McCain and Romney has done is not let "W" politic for them.

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40WilliamSwinger(341 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

At least 33 papers that supported Obama for president in 2008 have flipped to endorse Romney for president in 2012.

Billings Gazette
Cape Cod Times
Casper Star-Tribune
The Columbian
The Daily Herald
Daily News (L.A.)
Daily Tribune
The Dallas Morning News
Des Moines Register
The Florida Times-Union
Florida Today
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Houston Chronicle
The Journal & Courier
The (Peoria) Journal Star
The Joplin Globe
Naples Daily News
New York Daily News
New York Observer (weekly)
Newsday
Orlando Sentinel
Pasadena Star-News
Pensacola News Journal
Press-Telegram (Long Beach)
Quad-City Times
Reno Gazette-Journal
Shreveport Times
South Florida Sun Sentinel
Statesman Journal
The (Nashua) Telegraph
The Tennessean
Times-Journal
Wisconsin State Journal

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41WilliamSwinger(341 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

@AAC

The Democrats destroyed the economy. Take a look at the marvelous job Dear Leader Bronco Bama did:

-43 months of 8%+ unemployment
-16.2 trillion dollars in DEBT
-Al Qaeda is ALIVE
-Ambassador DEAD
-47 million on FOOD STAMPS
-MILLIONS left the labor force
-Grocery prices up 15%
-Income down 8.2%
-Gasoline prices up 250%
-Benghazi cover up.
-Fast n Furious cover up
-Billions in fraudulent "green" projects

And how about the other wonderful things the Democrats have achieved over the years:

The Democrat Party

-Fought for slavery
-Began the Civil War
-Founded the Ku Klux Klan
-Created Jim Crow
-Levied poll taxes
-Fought against Civil Rights
-Insured Japanese internment

The Democrats have been working to keep blacks and others down for 250 years!!

Woo-hoo! Thank you Democrats!

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42VindyPost(436 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Hey Willy! "Swing On This"

....in 3 (THREE) very short years

*************************************************************************
*Now, the Fifty (50) Obama Accomplishments:

1. Passed Health Care Reform
2. Passed the Stimulus
3. Passed Wall Street Reform
4. Ended the War in Iraq
5. Began Drawdown of War in Afghanistan
6. Eliminated Osama bin laden
7. Turned Around U.S. Auto Industry
8. Recapitalized Banks
9. Repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”:
10. Toppled Moammar Gaddafi
11. Told Mubarak to Go!
12. Reversed Bush Torture Policies
13. Improved America’s Image Abroad
14. Kicked Banks Out of Federal Student Loan Program, Expanded Pell Grant Spending
15. Created Race to the Top
16. Boosted Fuel Efficiency Standards
17. Coordinated International Response to Financial Crisis
18. Passed Mini Stimuli
19. Began Asia “Pivot”:
20. Increased Support for Veterans
21. Tightened Sanctions on Iran
22. Created Conditions to Begin Closing Dirtiest Power Plants
23. Passed Credit Card Reforms
24. Eliminated Catch-22 in Pay Equality Laws
25. Protected Two Liberal Seats on the U.S. Supreme Court
26. Improved Food Safety System
27. Achieved New START Treaty
28. Expanded National Service
29. Expanded Wilderness and Watershed Protection
30. Gave the FDA Power to Regulate Tobacco
31. Pushed Federal Agencies to Be Green Leaders
32. Passed Fair Sentencing Act
33. Trimmed and Reoriented Missile Defense
34. Began Post-Post-9/11 Military Builddown
35. Let Space Shuttle Die and Killed Planned Moon Mission
36. Invested Heavily in Renewable Technology
37. Crafting Next-Generation School Tests
38. Cracked Down on Bad For-Profit Colleges
39. Improved School Nutrition
40. Expanded Hate Crimes Protections
41. Avoided Scandal
42. Brokered Agreement for Speedy Compensation to Victims of Gulf Oil Spill
43. Created Recovery.gov
44. Pushed Broadband Coverage
45. Expanded Health Coverage for Children
46. Recognized the Dangers of Carbon Dioxide
47. Expanded Stem Cell Research
48. Provided Payment to Wronged Minority Farmers
49. Helped South Sudan Declare Independence
50. Killed the F-22

**********************************************************************

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43AnotherAverageCitizen(1174 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

I have been saying for a long time, newspapers should not endorse any candidate. They should not take sides. Newspapers and local news TV should only report the news. NOT TAKE SIDES. If you are shallow enough to make your vote on what a newspaper endorses, shame on you.

WillystrikeOUT

-43 months of 8%+ unemployment ... 800,000 losing jobs under Bush

-16.2 trillion dollars in DEBT...-- Bush started the over $800 BILLION BAILOUT.

-Al Qaeda is ALIVE. .. Bin Laden is DEAD

-Ambassador DEAD... Thousands Americans died looking for Weapon Mass Destruction that were not there.

-47 million on FOOD STAMPS.... Thanks to 800,000 people a month lost jobs under Bush

-MILLIONS left the labor force.... Unvoluntarily under BUSH

-Grocery prices up 15%.... happens every recession.. and Bush put us in it.

-Income down 8.2%.... The way business owners want it.

-Gasoline prices up 250%.... I paid $4.00 under Bush also

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44AnotherAverageCitizen(1174 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

VOTE OBAMA

VOTE OBAMA

VOTE OBAMA

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4576Ytown(1229 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Real time debt clock:

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

US National Debt
$16,235,000,000,000 ($16 trillion)
Rounded off because the debt clock ticks so fast that it adds $1 million per minute)

$51,587 per citizen.
$141,605 per taxpayer.

Student debt higher than personal debt.

Unfunded liabilities (Social security, prescription drug liability, medicare):
$1,058,213 liability per taxpayer ($1 million)

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46WilliamSwinger(341 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

@AAC

Nice try. Blaming Bush is why Bronco Bama is going to lose. That and destroying the economy. And sucking in general.

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47AnotherAverageCitizen(1174 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

I know don't blame Bush........he didn't create the recession. my bad

800,000 a month lost their jobs prior to Obama. I wonder who was Pres. then? my bad.

Obama has not fixed the ecenomy fast enough. Not sure what needed fixed since Bush was so great. my bad.

Still looking for weapons mass distruction. Is that where Bush has been? my bad.

We paid near $4.00 before Obama president. Gas has gone up and down.

We were in two wars when Obama became Pres. and Bin laden was still alive. oops my bad again.

Come on man. How do you not blame BUSH for the disaster that Obama took over??

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4876Ytown(1229 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

If you are successful...you didn't build that.

If you are a failure...blame Bush.

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49AnotherAverageCitizen(1174 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

The repubs did not want romney 4 years ago..

Mass did not want him back as Gov.

1994 Senate Run in Mass. How did that work out?

Ted Kennedy 1,265,997 votes 58%
Mitt Romney 894,000 votes 41%

Hmmmmm..

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50WilliamSwinger(341 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

@AAC

ZZZZZzzzzzz

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51BabaGhanoush(106 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

"History will speak well of Obama and the last four years."

Just like they speak of Jimmy Carter, don't they?"

"If Bush had eight years to mess everything up"

GW had an unemployment rate of 5.3% overall even with the last two years of dems screwing things up.,

"Obama deserves at least that much time to get things straight."

Eight years?!?

Reagan took less than three years to correct all of Carter's screwups and had 5 straight 8.0% quarters of growth before his first term was up.

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52BabaGhanoush(106 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

"We paid near $4.00 before Obama president. Gas has gone up and down."

And gas was 1.75 when O'Bama took control in Jan of 2009 and it hasn't been there since.

All it has done is go up and up.

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53BabaGhanoush(106 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

"-Gasoline prices up 250%.... I paid $4.00 under Bush also"

I paid 1.75 at the end of GW's term and haven't seen it since then.

PS I remember paying 1.10 under GW.

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54BabaGhanoush(106 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

"Why did Obama need to fix the economy? because the Repubs distroyed it. "

The democRATS were in charge of the House and Senate from Jan 2007 to Jan 2009.

According to The Constitution, Congress SPENDS the money!

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55BabaGhanoush(106 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

So Nice,
you should post it Twice:

The Great Recession of 1981-1982 was far more devastating than of 2008-2009 in many respects HOWEVER it took "leadership" to get these results....

Just a few greatest hits....

Won the Cold War with Russia
Massive S&L Bank Failures fixed
Forced the Collapse of the Berlin Wall
Created 19 million jobs from 1981-1988
Dropped UNEMPLOYMENT from 10.8% to 5.3%
21.5% MORTGAGE INTERST RATES cut in half to 10.5%
Federal SPENDING dropped from 4% during carter to 2.5%
Dropped top marginal TAX RATES from 70% to 28%
Dropped DEFICITS from 6% of GDP in 1983 to 3.2% in 1987
Dropped INFLATION from 13.5% in 1980 to 4.1% in 1988
Converted Military' Arapanet into the Internet in 1981

Ronald Reagan's Farwell Address ...19 million job recovery!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKVsq2...

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56BabaGhanoush(106 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

Don't forget to change your clock and your President on Tuesday.

http://a2.img.mobypicture.com/e2b111c...

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57VindyPost(436 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

*****************************************************************

O B A M A / B I D E N 2 0 1 2 ! !

******************************************************************

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58IslandMike(752 comments)posted 1 year, 9 months ago

HILLARY 2016!!!!!!!!!!!

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