Spending our way out of a spending-induced problem. Huh?

Barack Obama yesterday:

President Barack Obama outlined major new government stimulus and jobs proposals on Tuesday, saying the nation must continue to “spend our way out of this recession.”

Without giving a price tag, Obama proposed a package of new spending for highway, bridge and other infrastructure projects, deeper tax breaks for small businesses and tax incentives to encourage people to make their homes more energy efficient.

“We avoided the depression many feared,” Obama said in a speech at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. But, he added, “Our work is far from done.”

That makes about as much sense as this:

Area partygoer Joe Sixpack outlined major new beer and whiskey purchases on Tuesday, saying that the party must continue to “drink itself sober.”

Brushing aside concerns about liver poisoning, Sixpack proposed a package of excessive new drinking of Budweiser, Coors, other cheap alcohol, and harder mixed drinks in a variety of drinking games to encourage partygoers to get totally plastered.

“We avoided the hangover many feared,” Sixpack slurred in a half-coherent rant. But, he added, “Our work is far from done.”

What got us into this mess? Out of control spending on every level—individuals, corporations, and government all spending more and more and more, assuming that future gains would somehow magically make everything work out.

So now, in order to fix things, we’re going to… spend… more?!?

Oh, and if Obama’s nonsense sounds a little familiar, it may be because we’ve heard similar talk before…

While the crash only took place six months ago, I am convinced we have now passed the worst and with continued unity of effort we shall rapidly recover. There is one certainty of the future of a people of the resources, intelligence and character of the people of the United States – that is, prosperity.

President Herbert Hoover, May 1, 1930 (i.e. – 1 year into the 10-year Great Depression)

I can’t help but feel we’re going to “rapidly recover” in the same way today.

Hat Tip: Karl Denninger

[Addendum]
I’d like to briefly address a few of the comments that are coming up on this post.

First is the notion that somehow since the subject of this site is real estate, discussing politics should be off-limits. In an ideal world yes, real estate and politics would be totally separated. Unfortunately, that is far from the case today.

With the capital gains tax exemption for home sales, mortgage interest deduction, home equity loan interest deduction, deductability of points paid on mortgage, $8,000 tax credit for first-time buyers, Fannie & Freddie lending, FHA lending, government manipulation of interest rates, etc… real estate and politics are inextricably intertwined. It is inevitable that politics will come up once in a while on a blog dedicated to real estate.

So far this year, a whopping 25 out of 379 total posts (not counting open threads) have been related to politics. In other words, 93% of posts here are apolitical. Considering how intertwined politics is with real estate, it doesn’t seem unreasonable that we would bring politics into the discussion 7% of the time.

Second, name-calling (e.g. – “Obama is a fascist!” or “you just want to see the economy fail”) is pointless and counterproductive. Let’s drop the nonsense implications that anyone who disagrees with your politics must want bad things to happen to the country.

You’ll notice that nowhere in my posts or comments have I accused any politician of acting out of a secret desire to intentionally destroy the economy. I’m operating on the assumption that they genuinely want what’s best for America, I just strongly disagree with their ideas of how to get out of this mess.

How about let’s start from the assumption that we all want what’s best for America? We obviously have disagreements on the best methods, but why don’t we discuss those methods instead of jumping into name-calling and tired political stereotypes?

[Addendum 2]
Thought I’d add this comment that I posted below.

Allow me to at least briefly explain why I think [Obama’s comment] is relevant [to real estate].

The comment that we must “spend our way out of this recession” to me is indicative of an overall strategy of spend, spend, spend by the administration that demonstrably includes moves such as the $8,000 tax credit, which is estimated to have cost $15.2 billion through November (compared to an original estimate of just $6.6 billion).

If the government’s plan is to “spend our way out,” who is to say we won’t see even more home buying incentives, spending more money we don’t have to entice people to spend money they don’t have on homes that are still overpriced?

The strategy of spending loads of borrowed government dollars in an attempt to get people and corporations back into their debt-fueled free-spending bubble habits is a dangerous one that is likely only to lead to further problems down the road, including a possible re-inflation of the housing bubble.

That’s why I think Obama’s statement is relevant for discussion here.

  

About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

213 comments:

  1. 1
    Ajax says:

    Leave President Obama alone, Tim. Most of Seattle voted for the man. Seattlites love him and the whole Hope and Change thing made them giddy during the campaign. Anyhow, doesn’t he look and sound marvelous? He makes us all feel good.

    Can we talk about Bush now and how Obama needs to spend vast amounts of money to correct Bush’s reckless spending?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  2. 2
    Ajax says:

    Look…once we fix global warming and get everybody entitled to “free” health care and “free” college our economy will turn around and government revenues will skyrocket. All will be well.

    As Obama said yesterday, his administration has been very conscientious about fiscal responsibility. Give the man a break, we need to spend a ton (on credit), expand government, and chastise corporate profiteers in order to bring this economy back!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  3. 3
    Scotsman says:

    Hey, the stimulus is working just fine… if you have the right (or is that now ‘left’ ) connections. I’ll take one of those $million jobs.

    http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/71353-mark-penn-got-6-million-from-stimulus

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  4. 4
    pfft says:

    “I can’t help but feel we’re going to “rapidly recover” in the same way today.”

    really? you calculate we are going to get a drop in GDP of 20%? honestly?

    the economy is recovering people, you just don’t want to see it. the economy didn’t collapse because of government debt, it collapsed because of private and corporate debt among some companies. remember, us corporations have tons of cash. they are loaded with cash.

    increased government spending isn’t that bad right now(yeah, I can’t believe I said that) because inflation is or was swamped by deflation in asset prices like homes and stocks as well as the contraction of credit.

    the savings rates skyrocketing and money is pouring into bonds. it’s not going to be hyperinflationary like some think.

    believe me, I was shocked by the big deficits but it didn’t matter to the market because it was swamped by the crash. when things don’t happen like you thought they would you have to change your thinking. a lot of this spending is probably needed anyone. our infrastructure is terrible. if our infrastructure is better our economy is more productive.

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  5. 5
    MEDIC says:

    Extend and pretend is alive and well. They can rearrange the deck chairs on this Titanic we call our economy all they want, recession/depression is unavoidable. The damage has already been done. Credit bubbles are fun while they last, just like any alcohol fueled party binge. It’s the hangover later that sucks.

    If Obama was truly the agent of change he claimed to be, he would have put the big banks into Government receivership, made them take the losses they deserve, reinstated mark to market accounting, reinstate Glass steagall act (or an updated version of the same protections), abolished the Federal reserve and had been honest with the public about the magnitude of our problem, we may have had a chance at some meaningful recovery by now.

    Unfortunately Obama’s decision to flog our national debt in order to claim some sort of half ass “recovery” is just going to make the impending fall even more painful. The structural problems that caused this mess have not been addressed.

    Great article in The Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200905/imf-advice

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  6. 6
    pfft says:

    “Extend and pretend is alive and well. They can rearrange the deck chairs on this Titanic we call our economy all they want, recession/depression is unavoidable.”

    so the unprecedented post-war recession wasn’t enough for you huh?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  7. 7
    jcricket says:

    Really Tim? Are you that poor of a student of history to bring up the Hoover quote? The guy whose fiscal hawkishness caused the Great Depression?

    In fact, Roosevelt nearly did the same thing in the late 1930s, after initially reversing Hoover’s disastrous spending cuts, etc., that caused the “W” shape in the Great Depression’s eventual recovery. It was massive government spending for WWII, with deficit levels far greater than today’s that pulled us out of the Depression (right-wing historical revisionism notwithstanding).

    This kind of thinking is the bedrock of Keynesian economics.

    If we immediately turn, in 2010, to deficit reduction, we will be repeating Hoover and FDR’s mistake, and kill off any recovery. There is far greater danger from too immediately cutting back than there is from over-extending in the short-term.

    Yes, eventually we’ll have to pay for this spending – you seem to think it’ll all be cutbacks. I doubt it, and would disagree. There’s a long way we can go by increasing taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals, back to levels in the 90s or even the mid-80s that would erase the deficit/debt instead. As a country we have huge needs (infrastructure, social program spending, etc.) and wants that people continually vote in favor of – as unlikely as it seems, I see taxes going back up before I see people voting to cut those services. Tax levels on the rich and corporations are lower than they’ve basically ever been, and that’s a significant reason for the deficit (not to mention two unfunded wars). Lots of other countries have higher tax burdens than us and manage to fund their social services/infrastructure without bankrupting the country. Tax cuts and service cuts aren’t going to get us out of this mess.

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  8. 8
    TheJosh says:

    This blog was a lot better when it was real-estate-related, as opposed to being a half-assed conservative political forum.

    Frankly, now that TheTim’s Archie-Bunkeresque political stance has been laid out for all to see, I can no longer read his real estate analysis without assuming it has been colored by a partisan desire to see the economy fail, thereby validating his personal political views.

    In general, I like the “minimal commentary” posts much better than these sophomoric right wing hatchet jobs. If I am curious about the views of money-obsessed, compassion-bereft investors and corporate whores, I’ll watch FOX News.

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  9. 9
    MEDIC says:

    By pfft @ 6:

    “Extend and pretend is alive and well. They can rearrange the deck chairs on this Titanic we call our economy all they want, recession/depression is unavoidable.”

    so the unprecedented post-war recession wasn’t enough for you huh?

    It’s not what I or anyone in their right mind wants. It’s what we’re all going to be forced to deal with. (sooner than most are prepared for.)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  10. 10
    Scotsman says:

    RE: pfft @ 4

    During the dot.com years I had friends from doctors, to Boeing guys, to camera salesmen who were making so much money in the stock market some even quit their day jobs to “manage their investments.” I kept saying it was all nothing but hot air, yet they continued to prosper while I sat it out. One day, in mid October, after having lunch with a couple of them I decided that was it- I was going to get in on the action. Two days later my daughter was diagnosed with a serious illness, so I never got around to moving the money. Three months later the dot.com crash was well underway, and 6 months after that all my friends were in a mess and back to work but I was still whole.

    The lesson learned? Fundamentals always win in the end, but it can be very difficult to get the timing right. That’s still true today- I’m still early in most of my calls, but I’ve yet to be proven wrong in the longer run. This sucker’s going down, maybe this fall, maybe next spring, maybe two years from now, but it will crash, and hard. Economics is part psychology/sociology and part math, not a hard science like chemistry, but structured and constrained none the less. The math will win, the only question is when.

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  11. 11
    The Tim says:

    RE: TheJosh @ 8 – You seem to be reading in some sort of agenda that isn’t there. I am by no means “right wing,” as I was just as critical of Bush and the R-controlled congress for allowing this mess to build to epic proportions and then kicking off the bailouts back in November. There’s more than enough blame to go around for both political parties for this mess we’re in.

    I’m most certainly not interested in seeing the economy fail. Quite the opposite. I want us to clear out the crap and get back to a sustainable, healthy economy based on true fundamentals instead of some kind of freakish debt-fueled bubble party that we’ll eventually have to pay for. My opinion is that the current actions of the government are leading us to bigger problems down the road.

    The constant need of people in political discussions to assume that anyone who disagrees with them must actually want bad things to happen boggles my mind. How about we start from the assumption that we all want what’s best for America. We obviously have disagreements on the best methods, but let’s keep the discussion on that instead of throwing out nonsense accusations like claiming anyone who disagrees with you has a “partisan desire to see the economy fail.”

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  12. 12
    what goes up must come down says:

    hey it is a political blog, geez and I was naive enough to think this was all about the housing bubble hmmm, where would I have gotten that idea — Seattle bubble a real estate blog — well false advertising is alive and well.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  13. 13
    Ajax says:

    RE: jcricket @ 7

    I suggest you re-examine the facts.

    http://www.amazon.com/Forgotten-Man-History-Great-Depression/dp/0066211700

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  14. 14
    what goes up must come down says:

    RE: The Tim @ 11 – Give me a break maybe you should go back through the comments and see how many times you called out Scottsman on his statements. Come on at least be honest.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  15. 15
    The Tim says:

    RE: what goes up must come down @ 12

    • capital gains tax excemption for home sales.
    • mortgage interest deduction.
    • home equity loan interest deduction.
    • deductability of points paid on mortgage.
    • $8,000 tax credit for first-time buyers.
    • Fannie & Freddie lending
    • FHA lending
    • etc…

    Real estate and politics are inextricably intertwined. It is inevitable that politics will come up once in a while on a blog dedicated to real estate.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  16. 16
    Ajax says:

    RE: TheJosh @ 8

    Josh,

    And now that we know your political agenda, we can’t be sure that you won’t put on rose colored glasses whenever Obama is involved.

    It goes both ways.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  17. 17
    what goes up must come down says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 10 – I believe you are a genius because you saw everything coming, hey what will the temperature be tomorrow at 11:00.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  18. 18
    Cash is KING! says:

    Leave young Benito MaObama alone! He is such a Nice Man, and never mind the campaign promises… At least until I close this latest transaction and am getting away with a 15% long-term capital gain rate. It’s almost like stealing… I would never steal though because government would be jealous and hates competition!

    Income tax rates on sale Right Now, Boys and Girls. The music will stop soon. Do you have a seat picked out?

    Fascism can be Fun! Happiness is a positive cash flow. Cash IS King!

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  19. 19
    what goes up must come down says:

    RE: The Tim @ 15 – By your reasoning when I walk down the street to the corner that is political — side walks — police — firemen — street lights — etc…

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  20. 20
    what goes up must come down says:

    RE: Ajax @ 16 – what is the other way if I might ask?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  21. 21
    3rd Generation says:

    Trust in the Lord and a Great Lawyer.

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  22. 22
    what goes up must come down says:

    RE: Cash is KING! @ 18 – Do you even know the definition of Fascism?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  23. 23
    3rd Generation says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 10 – I believe you are a genius because you saw everything coming, hey what will the temperature be tomorrow at 11:00.

    About the same as it is in Kenya. -Look it UP.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  24. 24
    pfft says:

    By MEDIC @ 9:

    By pfft @ 6:
    “Extend and pretend is alive and well. They can rearrange the deck chairs on this Titanic we call our economy all they want, recession/depression is unavoidable.”

    so the unprecedented post-war recession wasn’t enough for you huh?

    It’s not what I or anyone in their right mind wants. It’s what we’re all going to be forced to deal with. (sooner than most are prepared for.)

    meanwhile citi and bank of america are raising tens of billions of dollars right now!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  25. 25
    The Tim says:

    Here’s another somewhat related gem.

    November 5, 2008:

    [Gregoire] said she intends to work with state Republicans to help stimulate the economy. She said she does not intend to raise state taxes during the next four years.

    “Now is not the time you put taxes on people,” she said, adding that during the campaign she has met people across the state who are suffering from the economic problems. “We need to be there helping them get through these tough times, and raising taxes is not going to help them.”

    Emphasis added.

    December 9, 2009:

    Gov. Chris Gregoire released a state budget today that would gut core services to the poor and suspend programs such as all-day kindergarten as a way to close a projected $2.6 billion budget shortfall.

    Major cuts include a sharp reduction in financial aid for college students and eliminating state-subsidized insurance for thousands of low-income workers, as well as aid to people who can’t work because of disabilities. The governor is required by law to draft a budget that is balanced using existing revenue.

    That doesn’t mean Gregoire has to support such a budget. And she made it clear today she plans to dump this proposal and quickly write another one that includes tax increases.

    “This document is not true to the values I believe in and which have guided me through a 30-year career in public service,” Gregoire said in a letter released by her office. “It is not a budget I can live with, nor is it one I believe Washingtonians can live with it.”

    Emphasis added.

    So much for “raising taxes is not going to help” people get through these tough times.

    P.S. – If there were any Republicans in power at any level locally or at the state level and they pulled a crap stunt like this, I’d call them on it too.

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  26. 26
    TheJosh says:

    @TheTim

    I would love to believe that everyone wants our country to succeed. Unfortunately, GOP Dear Leader Rush Limbaugh had this to say last January:

    “I’ve been listening to Barack Obama for a year-and-a-half. I know what his politics are. I know what his plans are, as he has stated them. I don’t want them to succeed […] I would be honored if the Drive-By Media headlined me all day long: “Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails.”

    So paint me as some immature troll if it makes you feel better, but given the highly snarky, silly nature of your political commentary (comparing Obama to Hoover–is that a joke?), I don’t think its a huge stretch to assume you’ve been chugging the Hatorade right along with the rest of the sore-loser conservative blogosphere.

    You’re obviously entitled to post anything on your blog–its yours–but don’t pretend that your politically slanted snark doesn’t drive away readers (especially in ultra-liberal Seattle). It surely does.

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  27. 27
    k2000k says:

    Wasn’t the first stimulus bill going to spend on roads and bridges?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  28. 28
    pfft says:

    “Leave young Benito MaObama alone!

    Fascism can be Fun!”

    wow, you’re are soooooo clever. when you graduate high school you should be a comedian.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  29. 29
    The Tim says:

    By TheJosh @ 26:

    So paint me as some immature troll if it makes you feel better.

    Where would someone get the idea that you’re an immature troll?

    You’ve been chugging the Hatorade right along with the rest of the sore-loser conservative blogosphere.

    Oh.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  30. 30
    The Tim says:

    RE: Cash is KING! @ 18 – FYI, the fascism comments are just as counter-productive as TheJosh @ 8 accusing me of having “a partisan desire to see the economy fail.”

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  31. 31
    pfft says:

    ‘1 year into the 10-year Great Depression”

    the depression ended in 1932.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  32. 32
    k2000k says:

    By jcricket @ 7:

    Really Tim? Are you that poor of a student of history to bring up the Hoover quote? The guy whose fiscal hawkishness caused the Great Depression?

    In fact, Roosevelt nearly did the same thing in the late 1930s, after initially reversing Hoover’s disastrous spending cuts, etc., that caused the “W” shape in the Great Depression’s eventual recovery. It was massive government spending for WWII, with deficit levels far greater than today’s that pulled us out of the Depression (right-wing historical revisionism notwithstanding).

    This kind of thinking is the bedrock of Keynesian economics.

    If we immediately turn, in 2010, to deficit reduction, we will be repeating Hoover and FDR’s mistake, and kill off any recovery. There is far greater danger from too immediately cutting back than there is from over-extending in the short-term.

    Yes, eventually we’ll have to pay for this spending – you seem to think it’ll all be cutbacks. I doubt it, and would disagree. There’s a long way we can go by increasing taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals, back to levels in the 90s or even the mid-80s that would erase the deficit/debt instead. As a country we have huge needs (infrastructure, social program spending, etc.) and wants that people continually vote in favor of – as unlikely as it seems, I see taxes going back up before I see people voting to cut those services. Tax levels on the rich and corporations are lower than they’ve basically ever been, and that’s a significant reason for the deficit (not to mention two unfunded wars). Lots of other countries have higher tax burdens than us and manage to fund their social services/infrastructure without bankrupting the country. Tax cuts and service cuts aren’t going to get us out of this mess.

    1) During WWII we didn’t have foreign nations owning portions of our debt like we do now. As it stands the interest we accrue on our debt will make up the major portion of our federal spending in the future. 1 trillion dollar yearly deficits are inexcusable, our debt is currently around 12 trillion dollars, in 2008 our GDP was 14 trillion. I don’t think our GDP will be that high this year.

    2) Solving the debt is going to take a lot of hard actions, that means increasing taxes and cutting services. It means we will have to rethink some of our regulations, cull out the ones that do nothing but increase cost, sarbanes oxley anyone, and increase enforcement on regulations we do have, Berney Madoff and Enron were fully preventable, and think ahead when it comes to economic planning. The US has the largest EEZ, Exclusive Economc Zone 200 miles from the coast, in the world, China doesn’t even rank in the top 10. I believe we have the largest natural gas reserves in the world. And if our government took the time to utilize those resources wisely we could not only, free ourselves from foreign energy dependence, but also, become a net exporter in energy. That along with prudent development of green technology could go along way towards fixing the US economy.

    But I fear that won’t happen. We will continue with entitlement programs of dubious economic value, ramping up the debt so we can increase the future, all the while ignoring that our government is simply mortgaging it away.

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  33. 33
    MEDIC says:

    By The Tim @ 15:

    RE: what goes up must come down @ 12

    capital gains tax excemption for home sales.
    mortgage interest deduction.
    home equity loan interest deduction.
    deductability of points paid on mortgage.
    $8,000 tax credit for first-time buyers.
    Fannie & Freddie lending
    FHA lending
    etc…

    Real estate and politics are inextricably intertwined. It is inevitable that politics will come up once in a while on a blog dedicated to real estate.

    I agree. The local housing market and the world economy are directly related. I started coming to this and other housing blogs about a year ago to get some “education” on where things might be going.

    We were all set to develop our land when the local housing market tanked in 2007-8. Like many we were caught off guard by the drop in values. Plans changes and due in part to education I got here, we decided to sell, for what the market would bare, last spring. After exhaustive research about the world, national and local economy, we’ve decided to just rent and watch this mess unfold.

    I have never been that interested in economics. I’m thankful to guys like The Tim and Scottsman for giving me some heads up on what’s going on out there. The further you dig the more you see the breadth and depth of the problem. It’s quite un-nerving.

    For the people on here that are critical of the economic conversation, I suggest you do your own research before being so quick to discount others points of view.

    > http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/
    > http://www.zerohedge.com/
    > http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/
    > http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/
    > http://seekingalpha.com/?source=headtabs
    > http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/
    > http://patrick.net/housing/crash.html

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  34. 34

    RE: TheJosh @ 26
    TheJosh,
    I’m about as far left as anybody who comments on this blog, and I’m not about to go away just because I disagree with The Tim, on politics and, in fact, I’d say that 70% of the readers here are left wingers. There’s a lot of incredibly valuable stuff on Seattle Bubble, and some people can be completely correct and astute on certain things, and wrong on others. In fact, I’d say that’s true about most of us.
    Sure, you can choose to not read Seattle Bubble because you don’t like The Tim’s posts on politics. If that’s all he posted about, I’d have been gone a few years ago, but the vast majority of his posts are more insightful than his political posts. I’m sticking around, continue to enjoy Seattle Bubble, and rather like some of the right wing nutjobs here.

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  35. 35
    pfft says:

    “Hat Tip: Karl Denninger”

    using karl as a source isn’t going to help the I am not trying to be conservative argument.

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  36. 36
    Scotsman says:

    Wow- is this back-lash the redirected fury of buyer’s remorse on the part of Seattle’s liberal elite? It looks like some are a bit edgy today- maybe it’s the cold. Or maybe there’s a large group out there that now realizes they’ve been taken for a ride by hope and change but are loath to admit it. And the real fun hasn’t even started yet.

    What a deal- the political class and their banker friends, those super intelligent, all-knowing, all-caring folks are having all the fun- on your tax dollars, or at least your hopes and dreams- and they didn’t even pass you the lube. Priceless.

    Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

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  37. 37
    Scotsman says:

    RE: pfft @ 34

    Fiscal considerations aside, Karl isn’t much of a conservative. Try libertarian.

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  38. 38
    k2000k says:

    By what goes up must come down @ 22:

    RE: Cash is KING! @ 18 – Do you even know the definition of Fascism?

    It’s the same golly thing as communism, or totalitarianism, or a theocracy. A centralized body telling you how to live, what to think, and how to make your money. Left wing equals total government control, a.k.a the aforementioned political systems, right wing equals total lack of government control, a.k.a anarchism, those crazy militias in Idaho. The whole idea that Fascism is somehow right wing and communism is left implies a difference that doesn’t exist. In my opinion liberals and conservatives are left of center because they each espouse government intervention in certain parts of our lives.

    By what goes up must come down @ 19:

    RE: The Tim @ 15 – By your reasoning when I walk down the street to the corner that is political — side walks — police — firemen — street lights — etc…

    You mean you don’t see how politics and real estate are intwertwined when the government gives out 8000 tax credits to encourage house buying, or how state and local government benefit from increased homeownership because of increased tax revenue? Im thinking of a certain redneck comedian saying something about a sign.

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  39. 39
    The Tim says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 36 – I think in some people’s view, anyone who doesn’t wholly embrace every single action or statement by Obama is by definition a flaming conservative right-wing nutjob that wants to see America fail.

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  40. 40
    Ajax says:

    RE: what goes up must come down @ 20

    Critical of Obama
    Infatuated with Obama

    I’d put the media in the later category throughout most of the campaign. They are still pulling for him even after so much of the talk turned out to be just hype.

    There is a third category, BTW: Obama had the independent vote during the election. Bush fatigue/screw-ups and a botched GOP Congress drove them to Obama. But now Obama fatigue/screw-ups and a botched DEM Congress are driving them in the other direction.

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  41. 41
    The Tim says:

    By Ajax @ 39:

    There is a third category, BTW: Obama had the independent vote during the election. Bush fatigue/screw-ups and a botched GOP Congress drove them to Obama. But now Obama fatigue/screw-ups and a botched DEM Congress are driving them in the other direction.

    Hooray for the two-party system. Blech.

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  42. 42
    Scotsman says:

    RE: The Tim @ 38

    Sadly true.

    The funny thing to me is thinking that somehow politics and housing aren’t related, and shouldn’t be discussed on the same page. They are inseparable. In fact, one could make a pretty good argument that political considerations have done more to affect housing prices than any other component of the pricing mechanism.

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  43. 43
    Ajax says:

    By TheJosh @ 26:

    @TheTim

    I would love to believe that everyone wants our country to succeed. Unfortunately, GOP Dear Leader Rush Limbaugh had this to say….

    I call strawman!

    Strawman ALERT!

    So if we disagree with Obama’s policies, we must be followers of Rush Limbaugh? And why call Limbaugh the leader of the GOP? Another strawman.

    And yes, I DO want Obama to fail. I want him to fail at spending more money we don’t have, fail at having the government take over health care, fail at putting in place Cap-and-Tax, etc. etc. Just as Liberals wished that Bush had FAILED to sway public opinion towards invading Iraq. Failed at tax cuts. Etc. Etc.

    Got it? This is how politics works. You hope your opponent’s policies/actions fail.

    The problem with Obama and his supporters is that he has built up quite a Cult of Personality. So wishing that his actions fail becomes categorized as a vicious personal attack that violates some kind of grand rules of Hope and Change that we are all supposed to inherently support because its is good and right. Sorry, that doesn’t wash.

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  44. 44
    Markor says:

    RE: The Tim @ 38

    I think it’s just “tea bagger” now.

    On first glance I would disagree with much of Obama’s spending that does seem to be wasteful and counterproductive. But if he didn’t do that, if the economy made a sharp fall (better in the long run), we’d surely return to the party that intentionally destroys for the elite’s profit. So I guess he’s making the best choices that can be made considering how Americans vote on average. If only we had more than two viable choices, like Australians do.

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  45. 45
    Tony says:

    And it’s come to this…

    I’m outta here!

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  46. 46
    Pndscm says:

    if you disagree with the Obama administration’s policies then you’re obviously a raging right-winger.

    Unless you’re Joe Bageant:

    http://www.joebageant.com/joe/2009/12/the-devil.html

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  47. 47
    patient says:

    I like Obama, I voted for him. However he has unfortunately proven to be a weak leader imo. I think he wants to do the right things and tries hard to learn about the issues, i.e I think he has good work ethics. The problem is that he has absolutely useless, destructive morons in the leading positions for the economy. People who have utterly failed and was in power during the creation of the disaster and who now continue to pump up the disaster. I’m thinking of Chris Dodd, Barney Franks, Ben Bernanke and to some extent Tim Geithner. The most important quality of a leader is to choose the right people and get rid of or demote the wrong people. You can’t do everything yourself so you need good people to do most of it for you. Obama has utterly disappointed in this regard. I’m find myself agreeing with the republicans to 99% on the economy issues these days.

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  48. 48
    Lake Hills Renter says:

    By Scotsman @ 36:

    Wow- is this back-lash the redirected fury of buyer’s remorse on the part of Seattle’s liberal elite? Or maybe there’s a large group out there that now realizes they’ve been taken for a ride by hope and change but are loath to admit it.

    Or maybe people want to come to a housing and real estate blog to read about housing and real estate, not politics.

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  49. 49
    hdizzle says:

    Less politics, more real estate talk.

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  50. 50
    patient says:

    I think many comes to this site since they are interrested in where the housing market is and even more to where it is headed. Where it’s headed is to a very large extent determined by the economy and the economy is to a similar extent influenced by political decisions ( more than ever at this point in time ). I agree with The Tim and Scotsman, you can’t have a credible housing blog like Seattlebubble without some level of political analyses.

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  51. 51
    WestSeattleDave says:

    RE: Markor @ 43 – “If only we had more than two viable choices…”

    It’s true that we only have two choices, but what makes you think they’re viable?

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  52. 52

    “It’s the same “golly” thing as communism, or totalitarianism, or a theocracy. A centralized body telling you how to live, what to think, and how to make your money. Left wing equals total government control, a.k.a the aforementioned political systems, right wing equals total lack of government control, a.k.a anarchism, those crazy militias in Idaho. The whole idea that Fascism is somehow right wing and communism is left implies a difference that doesn’t exist. In my opinion liberals and conservatives are left of center because they each espouse government intervention in certain parts of our lives.”

    You can decide that commonly accepted terms mean nothing, but fascism and communism have very little in common, aside from a strong central government.
    In theory, communism means that the workers control the means of production and there is no private enterprise. In practice, communist regimes have been very repressive and corrupt, but often provided healthcare and education to those formerly unable to acquire them.
    Under fascism, not only does private enterprise exist, but large corporations have a very strong influence on the government. I’m not defending one or the other, and I’m not a member of either the Joe Stalin or Adolf Hitler fan club, but to say that they’re the same really ignores facts and history. Fascists have always been considered right wing, despite your definition, and anarchists almost all consider themselves left wing.

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  53. 53
    laterite says:

    The question I always ask is, would anything be different if John McCain was President? More importantly, would anything be better? I doubt it. I don’t think McCain would handle any of this with as much circumspection as Obama has so far. But I also agree with patient @47 that Obama has surrounded himself with hacks.

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  54. 54
    The Tim says:

    By laterite @ 53:

    The question I always ask is, would anything be different if John McCain was President? More importantly, would anything be better? I doubt it. I don’t think McCain would handle any of this with as much circumspection as Obama has so far.

    Agree wholeheartedly. As far as the future of the economy goes, Election 2008 was a choice between two equal evils.

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  55. 55

    RE: patient @ 47
    I agree with you. A year after taking office, Bush had an incredibly high approval rating and many liberals were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. That lack of goodwill seems to not have been extended to Obama.
    Still, I’m disappointed in Obama too. The banks, brokerage houses, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, etc still have a stranglehold on the economy, and Obama appears to be every bit a marionette as his predecessor was. I hope he proves me wrong.

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  56. 56
    Lake Hills Renter says:

    I’ve been thinking about why this post in particular doesn’t seem to fit here for me, and I’ve come to the conclusion that, while it is true that politics can and does influence housing and real estate, this post has nothing to do with either of them. This is a post about what Obama said about a stimulus package, a subject whose connection to “News & discussion about real estate & the housing bubble in the Seattle area” is tenuous at best. Thus, it comes across more as Tim’s political opinion rather than anything related to the stated purpose of the blog.

    For me, that’s not why I come here. I can go to numerous places to hear peoples’ political opinions. But I come here because it’s the best place I know to get data-driven anaylsis of the local housing market, and as a place to cut through agent hype to the facts. Economics and poltics can indeed play a role in that discussion when it is connected to the topics at hand, but this post doesn’t relate to any of that. It’s more of a political op/ed piece, and thus doesn’t fit here IMO.

    That’s my two cents at least. Please take it in the constructive tone it was intended.

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  57. 57
    jcricket says:

    RE: Ajax @ 13 – Oh c’mon, you trot out Amity Shlaes’ poorly-sourced, misleading book that’s been trashed by every economist and even friendly Libertarian types? 70 years of economic research and an overwhelmingly majority of economists argue the opposite, so I think I’ll stick with that well-supported conclusion.

    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/11/krugman-vs-shlaes-not-a-fair-fight/
    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/amity-shlaes-strikes-again/

    And, at best, Shlaes is the source of pretty much any “fact” (I put that in quotes for a reason) people have marshalled recently in their attempt to rewrite history about the Depression.

    The New Deal wasn’t perfect, but it proved that when the private industry and state governments are unable to spend, “cutting” your way out of a recession simply leads to greater economic calamity – and that greater intervention by a central government can effectively lessen the pain and shorten the overall economic downturn – acting as a counter-cyclical force. The central/federal government is not a private citizen or a small business, and it shouldn’t act like one. The whole “I had to tighten my belt so the government should too” argument sounds plausible, but will just lead to further devastation. Frankly, macro and micro economics are not the same thing.

    Ideally government would be spending less during boom times (saving more) and spending more during lean times (using the savings) – but only countries like Norway, with taxes (and oil revenues) high enough to consistently run surpluses, seems to get this.

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  58. 58
    jcricket says:

    RE: Ira sacharoff @ 55 – Uh, what happened less than a year after Bush took office? Little thing called 9/11? I, and many other people who didn’t vote for Bush still “rallied behind him” out of a sense of patriotism.

    Sure, it was misguided b/c (imho) Bush squandered that good will on an unnecessary, ill-advised war (Iraq); failing to effectively manage a necessary war (Afghanistan) and otherwise slashing and burning his way through the economy (tax cuts for the rich, unpaid for Medicare Part D, no enforcement of regulations, politicization of the justice department, torture, etc.).

    But still, there was a specific reason why Bush’s approval went sky-high, and the after effects of that kept it “artificially” high for years (although look at the charts – it’s a steady down slope from 9/11 until he left office).

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  59. 59
    The Tim says:

    RE: Lake Hills Renter @ 56 – Fair enough. Allow me to at least briefly explain why I think it is relevant.

    The comment that we must “spend our way out of this recession” to me is indicative of an overall strategy of spend, spend, spend by the administration that demonstrably includes moves such as the $8,000 tax credit, which is estimated to have cost $15.2 billion through November (compared to an original estimate of just $6.6 billion).

    If the government’s plan is to “spend our way out,” who is to say we won’t see even more home buying incentives, spending more money we don’t have to entice people to spend money they don’t have on homes that are still overpriced?

    The strategy of spending loads of borrowed government dollars in an attempt to get people and corporations back into their debt-fueled free-spending bubble habits is a dangerous one that is likely only to lead to further problems down the road, including a possible re-inflation of the housing bubble.

    That’s why I think Obama’s statement is relevant for discussion here.

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  60. 60
    Lake Hills Renter says:

    Your explanation makes the original post make more sense to me. That’s what was missing, I think — the tie in to real estate — and thus the seeming overt political tone (and responses). Thanks for clarifying. For what it’s worth, I agree with you. But you should have said this in the original post. =)

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  61. 61
    The Tim says:

    RE: jcricket @ 58 & Ira sacharoff @ 55

    For reference, here are plots of Bush’s 1st term approval and disapproval rating with Obama’s overlaid:

    Data via Gallup’s Weekly Job Approval data

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  62. 62
    AMS says:

    The Tim-

    Naturally I am not going to tell you how you should run your blog. That said, I have reviewed the comments in this post and the post itself, including the added information.

    The political part started with “That makes about as much sense as…”

    Rather than go that direction, you could have opened the issue up for further discussion, with a question such as:

    How will this impact real estate, especially in the Seattle area?

    I imagine that there are a few people who support the increased spending. For you to compare those people to drunks lapping up more alcohol seems a bit offensive.

    Personally I don’t have an opinion one way or the other. I’d rather discuss what chances the increased spending will happen, and what impact, if any, that will have on various parts of the market. I’d also like to see what other have to say, including those who support the increase in government interaction, intervention, as if may be. I doubt those who support Obama are willing to comment given the way you’ve set the stage up.

    If it’s going to delay major declines for 3, 4, 5 years or more, then that may impact some market players’ decisions. For example, maybe if I am looking to buy, I won’t want to delay a purchase for so long, even if the market is declining. Maybe it’s my opinion that my enjoyment of the proposed purchase far outweighs the slowed market declines.

    It also set the stage for the counter factual discussion about McCain. Counter factual discussions seldom do much good.

    In any event, we are not seeing a good variety of views, other than the bickering.

    Another option might have been to make it clear that you were going to give political commentary at the top of the post, and then made the commentary clear, such as “My opinion is that makes about as much sense as…” And end it with “What’s your opinion on this?”

    My last observation is that you could have made the main page post without your personal commentary, and then commented with your opinion. This would have left the post open to discussion, and made it clear what your personal position is on the issue.

    I am not suggesting that politics doesn’t impact the real estate market, but given the level of bickering, there must be a better way to handle such.

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  63. 63

    I appreciate your addendum, Tim.
    Politics may be only 7% of the blog posts, but it sure gets the fur flying.
    I get it, that, in fact, you’re about as Republican as Jim McDermott, but invoking the name of Herbert Hoover seemed a bit provocative. Hoover is thought of as one of the worst and most overwhelmed presidents in US history, and FDR has been praised as one of America’s best, a President who Ronald Reagan admired.
    Hoover was criticized for not doing enough.
    Less government might be the best course of action, but is seldom popular or politically feasible.

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  64. 64
    The Tim says:

    RE: AMS @ 62 – Good suggestions, thanks. I have also been working on a bit of a site redesign that would allow the more commentary-heavy posts to be featured off to the side in a separate “opinion” section, with the main page being dedicated solely to the news / analysis posts–something akin to the way most newspaper websites are laid out.

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  65. 65
    The Tim says:

    RE: Ira sacharoff @ 63 – I guess I could have chosen the quote from someone else, but the point I was trying to make certainly wasn’t Obama = Hoover. It was, as I said, that the quoted comments from each were similar. Nothing more. Live and learn.

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  66. 66
    Ajax says:

    By jcricket @ 57:

    RE: Ajax @ 13 – Oh c’mon, you trot out Amity Shlaes’ poorly-sourced, misleading book that’s been trashed by every economist and even friendly Libertarian types? 70 years of economic research and an overwhelmingly majority of economists argue the opposite, so I think I’ll stick with that well-supported conclusion.

    That’s your opinion. The book is quite good and she makes solid arguments. BTW, Krugman’s expertise (and Nobel prize) is on global trade. Yet, he wades into serious political discussions with a big government / liberal agenda. That’s fine, but let’s not give him more credit than he is due; especially when he drives outside his lane of expertise. But alas, this is far too common nowadays:

    Al Gore won a Nobel Peace Prize; yet, he won’t debate anybody face-to-face on Global Warming.
    Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize; yet, he hasn’t brought peace to any place on the globe yet.

    Now back to the subject at hand, if you think STIMULUS II, STIMULUS III, Health Care Overhaul, and Cap-and-Trade are vital to our economic future, then please don’t be alarmed when our creditors (China, et. al.) say enough is enough. You can try to convince them that only MASSIVE government spending is the cure to our sagging economy, but they are simply looking at the numbers and THEIR money.

    At this rate we will either 1) default on servicing the national debt in the decades to come (given our growing entitlement obligations) or we will 2) monetize our debt. Either way, they are left holding the bag. No amount of arguments in favor of FDR during the Great Depression and the merits of big government action/spending will sway them. Again, its their money.

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  67. 67

    RE: The Tim @ 61

    …And yet, by sometime in 2006, Bush’s approval ratings managed to fall into the 20’s, one of the lowest ever recorded.
    Politicians often overstay their welcome, like in-laws and meat left on the counter.

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  68. 68
    patient says:

    Some people are just to sensitive to politics and opinions. Nothing wrong with spicing up facts and information with some opinions to give the blog and it’s author a bit more identity . Don’t let the overly sensitive make this into a clinical/boring encyclopedia style blog. As long as quotes and facts aren’t changed a little bit of edgy/sharp commentary should be perfectly cool with the cool :-)

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  69. 69
    Ajax says:

    I think the bigger issue here is why we are proposing even MORE stimulus when the $787B Stimulus Package has yet to be totally spent and has yet to be proven to be working.

    Can somebody cite for me the success stories of STIMULUS 1 that would merit TARPfunds being converted into stimulus funds or a STIMULUS 2 packaging being crafted?

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  70. 70
    Matsayswhat says:

    I have a few thoughts:

    1. Tim, the addendum to this post is very well written and I especially like your suggestion that we all follow the assumption that “we all want what’s best for America”. What this country needs is dialogue, not arguing and I applaud you for encouraging that here.

    2. It’s both interesting and unfortunate how many posters (especially non frequent ones) came out of the wood work early on to make inflammatory statements. Why do so many people need to be like that? Especially on the Internet? It’s not like that actually sways anyone’s opinion, you’re just being counterproductive! I’m not going to all of the sudden say, “Oh my goodness Obama IS a fascist! And I only realized it just now because someone called him Benito MuObama!”.

    3. I firmly believe that the primary change that needs to occur before any true progress can occur in our nation is the throttling of corporate lobbying rights. Until that happens, entities with almost as much individual right as you and I, but with a much larger bankroll will have a much greater say about what happens in America. Money makes the world go round and those bank executives that are sitting pretty with our money likely donated more money to most of your political representitives’ party than you did, or even could if you wanted to. The problem isn’t Obama, it’s the system.

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  71. 71
    The_Dude_Abides says:

    I think The Tim is a fiscal conservative…something we need, regardless of party affiliation. As I’ve been saying for decades, balance the GD budget, and then let the parties fight it out between guns or butter.

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  72. 72
    Ajax says:

    By Matsayswhat @ 70:

    I have a few thoughts:

    The problem isn’t Obama, it’s the system.

    Ahhh…that’s a little too convenient. Obama is currently at the top of the “system”. He drives the agenda. Especially, when it comes to spending. He said the other day that his administration is fiscal responsibility (cough). Bush said the same thing.

    Let’s face it, Bush (and the GOP Congress) spent too much and now Obama (and the DEM Congress) have accelerated the spending. And the acceleration isn’t just TARP. It’s the stimulus bill and the budget. It’s bills in the pipeline like health care, cap-and-trade, etc.

    A faceless “system” didn’t run up the bill all of these years, politicians with names did. If all we do is attribute our woes to a faceless “system”, then our politicians will NEVER be held accountable.

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  73. 73
    Herman says:

    RE: The Tim @ 61 – Are you suggesting that Obama should stage a fake attack on the US in order to boost his ratings?

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  74. 74
    patient says:

    I heard not two but three areas where the remaining TARP funds should be used:

    1. Tax breaks for small businesses
    2. Stem the foreclosure crisis
    3. Tax breaks for energy saving updates of homes ( Cash for caulkers )

    I’m mostly concerned of number 2. What more nonsense will be added to the already failing foreclosure relief programs? I’m worried that Dodd and Franks will get a slush fund of our borrowed from the future taxes to plug into the pockets of bankers via foreclosure “relief” banner.

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  75. 75

    RE: The Tim @ 25 – The state budget has gone considerably more in the red between November 2008 and now. At some point you’ve cut all you can cut and the only option is new taxes.

    I find it interesting though that the federal government is spending more, without new taxes, while the state government will be spending less with new taxes, and you’re against both!

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  76. 76
    Scotsman says:

    RE: AMS @ 62

    Heh- thank goodness you’re not going to tell Tim how to run his blog. But did I miss something? It seems like you spent the next ten+ paragraphs telling him how to run his blog…

    And as an aside, if you’re going to use the “sandwich method” to deliver negative content, remember to put the “bread” (compliment) on both sides- you left us with an open face sandwich, face down. ;-)

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  77. 77

    RE: patient @ 47 – Interesting post noting that you think Obama picked the wrong people. I’ve said the same thing about W (esp. Rumsfeld). I’ve also said I don’t see that much difference between Obama and W. Perhaps that’s because they both picked the wrong people (although I wouldn’t necessarily agree with your list, in part because you didn’t mention all 100 Senators). ;-)

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  78. 78
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Herman @ 73

    That may be coming- worked for Clinton, too. Would you prefer Iran or Pakistan? What affect do you think it will have on housing prices?

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  79. 79

    RE: Scotsman @ 78

    It would clearly lower housing prices in Iran and Pakistan.

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  80. 80
    Scotsman says:

    RE: patient @ 74

    Tax breaks for small business- yes, they create jobs. Stem the foreclosures? No, that value is gone and won’t be bubbling back. Suck it up and clear out the losses. Tax incentives for caulkers, green things, etc? No- use the equivalent funds to give tax breaks to individuals, putting money in their pockets now. FICA cuts will impact the lower tier that typically doesn’t pay income taxes- match the employer’s contribution to give everyone a 16% raise. If unemployment gets worse, go to a WPA type program to provide jobs that benefit all of America, not just the bankers, etc.

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  81. 81

    Okay, now as to the main piece. The problem I have with it is that even if past spending was the problem, that doesn’t mean present and future spending is a problem. I’ve said in the past deficit spending can be a good thing–but the problem is that in this country it tends to be practically a constant.

    But to use a different analogy, let’s assume a patient has an infection, and the patient has been taking “precautionary penicillin” for 5 years, because they’re an idiot. Without even testing that would tend to indicate that the infection wouldn’t respond to penicillin. Does the fact that past penicillin use was stupid mean that the doctor shouldn’t prescribe some other antibiotic?

    The way I see it the past deficit spending will limit current deficit spending (note that Krugman thinks it should be greater), and also increase the risks associated with deficit spending. That doesn’t mean the current spending is the problem. It’s the past spending.

    As to support for the housing market (e.g. the $8k tax credit), the justification for that is that markets over-react both directions. An over-reaction downward would have very severe consequences on many financial institutions in the country, and make a collapse of the system more likely.

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  82. 82
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Ira sacharoff @ 79

    They have houses? I thought it was either palaces or caves with not much in between.. I learn something from you everyday, Ira! ;-)

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  83. 83

    RE: Scotsman @ 80 – I think the cash for caulkers thing is an employment program–one that is designed to have long term benefits.

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  84. 84
    Ajax says:

    http://www.breitbart.tv/obama-breaks-vow-on-plans-for-repaid-tarp-money/

    Outside of the policy reversal, what is the legality of the President re-directing TARP funds to more stimulus? My fear is that this money will just be more slush-fund spending at the taxpayers expense.

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  85. 85

    RE: Scotsman @ 82
    Yes, but with just a little TLC, this is a cave you can call your very own! This is a rare opportunity to buy your very own cave now before prices explode!

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  86. 86

    RE: Ajax @ 84 – Beyond that, from day 1 with TARP we knew that the cost of the program was likely to be much less than the dollar amount authorized. About the only way the cost would be that large would be if the economy had collapsed. There was in fact even some chance that the program might make money (as it has with the bank portion of the program).

    So to take this money and spend it is considerably different than what was authorized. It’s the difference between authorizing someone to spend $50,000 to buy stock and $50,000 to have a party.

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  87. 87
    David Losh says:

    I happened to watch a portion of Obama’s speech with a rabid Republican.

    You’re forgetting that the speech was on the same day the Dow dropped 97 points in early trading. The Dow ticked up to 67 during Obama’s speech, the Dow has stabilized since. It dropped a 100 then gained 50 points today.

    Moody’s threatened the AAA rating of the United States. Greece received a warning, and European, as well as Asian markets reacted with drops in their respective stock markets. My Republican buddy and I both agreed that the message was unpleasant, but the right move at the time.

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  88. 88
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Ira sacharoff @ 85

    Ok, I’m listening. Especially since most of the pipes in my current cave are frozen. Can you hook me up on an 80/20 with a teaser rate? Oh- and this is a man-cave, right? “Frilly’s” not my thing.

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  89. 89
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 83

    I don’t deny the benefit- I just like the flexibility of cash-in-pocket verses a tax credit, assuming the same cost.

    Did you know caulkers have a union? What’s next?

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  90. 90

    RE: Scotsman @ 89 – Cash in pocket might be the problem. They want the money spent!

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  91. 91
    matsayswhat says:

    RE: Ajax @ 72

    I’m not saying that Obama doesn’t bear a certain amount of responsibility nor am I saying that our politicians don’t either… They do, they all do.

    What I’m saying is that until soft money lobbying on the part of corporations is more heavily regulated and/or limited (if not eliminated), it’s going to be unlikely that we the people will see many positive changes that benefit us equally as a whole.

    Basically we need McCain-Feingold Part II.

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  92. 92
    Scotsman says:

    RE: matsayswhat @ 91

    Two words- “Term Limits.”

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  93. 93
    pfft says:

    “The comment that we must “spend our way out of this recession” to me is indicative of an overall strategy of spend, spend, spend by the administration that demonstrably includes moves such as the $8,000 tax credit, which is estimated to have cost $15.2 billion through November (compared to an original estimate of just $6.6 billion).”

    in the scheme of things $16 billion dollar isn’t anything. it’s an insignificant percentage of the budget or the economy.

    if you really want to prove your point show us that the people who are buying homes are overleveraged. my guess is the overleveraged aren’t the one’s buying through gov’t programs whether they are tax credits for buying a house or a car.

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  94. 94
    React says:

    RE: Ajax @ 1

    Most Seattleites are oblivious to what’s going on… because they trust what they see on their TV set. Just like most people all over the US.

    Try some truth for a change. Read this book and understand what is happening. What is happening is intentional…

    http://www.captaincanadacrusades.ca/articles/none-dare-call-it-conspiracy%5B1%5D.pdf

    And then react intelligently to preserve your own skin.

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  95. 95
    pfft says:

    By Ajax @ 69:

    I think the bigger issue here is why we are proposing even MORE stimulus when the $787B Stimulus Package has yet to be totally spent and has yet to be proven to be working.

    Can somebody cite for me the success stories of STIMULUS 1 that would merit TARPfunds being converted into stimulus funds or a STIMULUS 2 packaging being crafted?

    sure

    Congressional Budget Office report
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Recovery_and_Reinvestment_Act_of_2009#Congressional_Budget_Office_report

    “The CBO estimated that an increase in the GDP of between 1.4 percent and 3.8 percent by the end of 2009, between 1.1 percent and 3.3 percent by the end of 2010, between 0.4 percent and 1.3 percent by the end of 2011, and a decrease of between zero and 0.2 percent beyond 2014.[52] The impact to employment would be an increase of 0.8 million to 2.3 million by the end of 2009, an increase of 1.2 million to 3.6 million by the end of 2010, an increase of 0.6 million to 1.9 million by the end of 2011, and declining increases in subsequent years as the U.S. labor market reaches nearly full employment, but never negative”

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  96. 96
    pfft says:

    “Now back to the subject at hand, if you think STIMULUS II, STIMULUS III, Health Care Overhaul, and Cap-and-Trade are vital to our economic future, then please don’t be alarmed when our creditors (China, et. al.) say enough is enough. You can try to convince them that only MASSIVE government spending is the cure to our sagging economy, but they are simply looking at the numbers and THEIR money.”

    1. a healthcare overhaul is a great idea. 45,000 americans die each year for lack of adequate medical care. babies are denied health insurance for being too underweight or overweight. people who have healthcare are more productive, especially if it saves their life!

    2. cap and trade is great. polluters are polluting at the expense of the public health and private property. why should they pollute for free? they are imposing an negative externality on society. we can hopefully begin rolling back climate change. if it turns out that climate change isn’t a problem we still have made the air cleaner and saved people a lot of money on heating and cooling costs.

    3. china holds lots of treasuries. they can’t dump them. they sell tons of stuff of the united states. if the market even got wind of china selling large amounts of treasuries everyone would get out before china could because china simply couldn’t get out in time. their positions are too large. they would tank their own holdings because they hold so many treasuries.

    in a sense china is the market for treasuries. read what happened to LTCM when they were the market in many securities. and everyone knows they must sell.

    4. china has it’s own stimulus.

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  97. 97

    RE: Scotsman @ 92
    I support term limits, but do you really think that Senators and Representatives will be less corrupt simply because they have a term limit? Maybe they’ll grab as much as they can while they have time.
    But yeah, these congressmen for life are pretty tiresome. I’d just as soon see Orrin Hatch, Mitch McConnell , Dave Reichert and Jim McDermott all sail off into the sunset, off into the land of eternal smarm.

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  98. 98
    Helmut says:

    RE: The Tim @ 11

    Not to nitpick, but the house and senate have not been Republican controlled for about 3 years now.

    Pfft,

    You would probably agree with some people who I have spoken to that think China needs the US to buy their shiny wares, otherwise they wouldn’t have all those sweet sub-poverty level jobs so their only way to stay aloft is to keep lending us money so we can keep buying.

    There is a problem with this line of thinking, I’d explain it but typing hurts my fingers and I think it would be lost on you.

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  99. 99
    Helmut says:

    RE: Ira sacharoff @ 55

    Obama’s goodwill ran out much faster in my opinion simply because of the state of our economy. He was very popular for about the first 100 days, after that people expected things to somehow get better. Also, let’s not forget that his drop in the polls has a lot to do with the unpopularity of his ideas, every poll I’ve seen seems to show that people still like Obama, they just don’t like his ideas. Sending 30,000 more soldiers to Afghanistan isn’t going to help him either.

    Bush spent like a maniac too though, and McCain suspended his campaign to help push through the 700B TARP bill, which I would rather that had failed. I made the mistake of watching CSPAN coverage of the senate debating the health care reform bill. Our problem is that our representatives are not able to understand law, math or logic. I thought meaningless rhetoric was reserved for campaigning, it’s not. If you don’t believe me, just check out CSPAN sometime, maybe you’ll get lucky and see Al Franken deliver a brilliant 4 minute message completely devoid of meaning.

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  100. 100
    mydquin says:

    Apparently Tim does not know the difference between public and private spending. He also apparently does not know much about economic history.

    This blog is no longer about real estate. It is turning into a clearinghouse for Republican whiners.

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  101. 101
    GoneFromSeattle says:

    It’s your blog, The Tim. Speak your mind!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  102. 102
    AMS says:

    Meow.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  103. 103
    Dave0 says:

    RE: The Tim @ 25 – Wait a sec, I thought you were for balanced budgets? Yet you are calling Gregoire’s attempt to do the responsible thing and balance the budget a “crap stunt”?

    Maybe I had you views wrong, and you are just against paying taxes at all. Taxes suck, but we’ve got to pay for our police, roads, public transit, street lights, schools, parks, etc. somehow.

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  104. 104
    pfft says:

    “You would probably agree with some people who I have spoken to that think China needs the US to buy their shiny wares, otherwise they wouldn’t have all those sweet sub-poverty level jobs so their only way to stay aloft is to keep lending us money so we can keep buying.

    lower paying jobs are better than no jobs at all and that’s a fact. the chinese have drastically increased their standards of living and wages since they started to become a manufacturing powerhouse.

    the fact is china does need to sell us stuff as that is a significant part of their economy. china probably holds too many treasuries, but the fact is the US bond market is the largest, deepest and most liquid in the world. it’s perfect for a large buyer.

    There is a problem with this line of thinking, I’d explain it but typing hurts my fingers and I think it would be lost on you.”

    please don’t leave us waiting.

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  105. 105
    Jonness says:

    The real problem goes straight back to the Santa Clause theorem I bring up here from time to time. Most people don’t want to face reality, so they spend their entire lives believing in fairy tale delusions. When it comes time to elect a new president, instead of putting thought into the process, most people vote for whoever tells them what it is they most want to believe. If it’s, “borrowing money is the best way to get out of debt” or “Santa will come down your chimney if you’re good,” it really doesn’t matter. Most people easily give in to emotional weakness (keeping themselves in an infant state); thus, they vote in their favorite con artist so they don’t have to develop and use their adult brains in order to deal with reality.

    Democracy does not work, because the infant-minded masses will always have the final say. They want to be taken care of like little babies and told everything will be OK, even if it won’t. They want their parents (i.e. government) to let them off the hook if they make a mistake. IOW, they do not want to be held responsible for the consequences of their actions. If they borrow and spend themselves into a depression, they want the government to take away the punishment with a rash of borrowing and spending. And most of all, they don’t want to ever have to grow up, because the definition of that is to face reality. Thus, their heads go into the sand, which leaves them blind to the fact that their unexposed rear ends are sticking straight up into the air.

    So what is left for the minority of people who choose to practice adult-level reality? Observe the madness and use the higher awareness you learn from the experience to live a more interesting and fulfilling life.

    Then again, the above claim might not be true at all. Thus, I’m open to other possible explanations of how we wound up in this mess.

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  106. 106

    RE: Jonness @ 105
    Actually, in almost all cases the candidate who is taller and has more hair wins. John Kerry was an exception, but he looked like Frankenstein. So even if John McCain had told the American people everything they wanted to hear, he still wouldn’t have stood a chance. Short, bald, and old doesn’t win elections.

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  107. 107
    what goes up must come down says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 78 – Wow, going back to the Clinton well, how surprising.

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  108. 108
    The Tim says:

    By Dave0 @ 103:

    RE: The Tim @ 25 – Wait a sec, I thought you were for balanced budgets? Yet you are calling Gregoire’s attempt to do the responsible thing and balance the budget a “crap stunt”?

    Balanced budgets are great. What I’m calling a “crap stunt” is insisting all through the campaign that you will not raise taxes because the recession is just too darn tough on everyone then barely a year later when the recession is still in full force if not even worse (latest statewide unemployment is 9.3% vs. 5.9% a year earlier), whoops, times are just too tough to not raise taxes.

    That is what I call a “crap stunt.”

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  109. 109
    Scotsman says:

    RE: what goes up must come down @ 107

    At least Clinton was competent as a manager and knew how to compromise in order to get things done. Obama is not only a hard-line ideologue, he’s incompetent as a leader- even the democrats in congress see him as such. Clinton also had a sense of humor and some real intelligence- I’d love to spend some time with him talking about what ever came up. Obama is a thin-skinned elitist who takes himself way too seriously, is lost without his TelePrompter, and really isn’t very creative. Put him down for his place in history, but only one term.

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  110. 110
    Ajax says:

    RE: pfft @ 96

    Your numbers don’t add up….nor do Obama’s.

    http://blogs.reuters.com/james-pethokoukis/2009/12/07/cost-benefit-analysis-of-jobs-stimulus/

    “The Obama Administration is touting that their stimulus program has saved or created 640,329 jobs since it was enacted back in February through the end of October. This number is updated and posted on the Administration’s recovery.gov web site. That amounts to $246,436 per job based on the $157.8bn that has been awarded so far! Total compensation earned by the average payroll employee during October, on an annualized basis, was $59,867. If the government had simply used the funds awarded so far to pay for a year’s worth of labor, that would have paid for 2.6mn jobs!”

    Now this is $246K per job using Obama’s inflated numbers…the Recovery.org data has been thoroughly trashed. If you took out all of the bogus claims about saved/created jobs the average cost/job is much worse.

    And you want to talk about the stimulus being a success? Pfft…only in places like Seattle do the true believers buy this nonsense.

    Oh, and if you want to get into the latest GDP numbers we can dissect those too. Are you sure you want to go there? Hint1:clunkers. Hint2: $8k.

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  111. 111
    Ajax says:

    By mydquin @ 100:

    \
    This blog is no longer about real estate. It is turning into a clearinghouse for Republican whiners.

    I guess thou shalt not speak critically of Obama. Seattlites can’t handle it. Okay, now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

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  112. 112
    pfft says:

    “Now this is $246K per job using Obama’s inflated numbers…the Recovery.org data has been thoroughly trashed. If you took out all of the bogus claims about saved/created jobs the average cost/job is much worse.”

    don’t you think the money is being spent on more than just jobs. I did not cite recovery.gov, I cited the OMB.

    here is the OMB number.

    “The impact to employment would be an increase of 0.8 million to 2.3 million by the end of 2009″

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  113. 113
    pfft says:

    “is lost without his TelePrompter, and really isn’t very creative.”

    teleprompter? you’re not very creative.

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  114. 114
    pfft says:

    “Oh, and if you want to get into the latest GDP numbers we can dissect those too. Are you sure you want to go there? Hint1:clunkers. Hint2: $8k.”

    yes, I absolutely want too. car sales are still pretty good since cash for clunkers was stopped and what was an after thought of a program was pretty successful. you don’t really understand the concept of the stimulus. it’s SUPPOSED to be artificial. it’s supposed to be a bridge a time when the economy can stand on it’s own. not saying I agree with all of it. w/o those programs GDP would have been flat, that’s not bad considering.

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  115. 115
    Ajax says:

    RE: pfft @ 112

    So OMB is able to accurately measure jobs created/saved by the Stimulus Plan? Interesting bit if magic I guess.

    Anyhow, why not go with what the White House says in their most optimistic assessments? Team Obama makes their claim on the web, so as a supporter why are you dismissing those numbers?

    Anyhow, if Stimulus I has been a success, why are we talking about Stimulus II?

    You are full of contradictions, pfft.

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  116. 116
    Ajax says:

    By pfft @ 114:

    “Oh, and if you want to get into the latest GDP numbers we can dissect those too. Are you sure you want to go there? Hint1:clunkers. Hint2: $8k.”

    yes, I absolutely want too. car sales are still pretty good since cash for clunkers was stopped and what was an after thought of a program was pretty successful. you don’t really understand the concept of the stimulus. it’s SUPPOSED to be artificial. it’s supposed to be a bridge a time when the economy can stand on it’s own. not saying I agree with all of it. w/o those programs GDP would have been flat, that’s not bad considering.

    Really? So why is much of Stimulus I earmarked for next year and the year after?

    SHORT ANSWER: It’s a slush fund for Congress and the WH.

    LONG TERM: So how many quarters of GDP do we need to prop up with government overspending? Can our kids afford it?

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  117. 117
    pfft says:

    “LONG TERM: So how many quarters of GDP do we need to prop up with government overspending? Can our kids afford it?”

    us gov’t debt isn’t that high. the way to get it down is to get the parents of those kids you mention back to work! the debt isn’t at crisis levels. the us is still a good credit risk. both japan, italy and belgium have higher gov’t debt/gdp ratios w/o triggering a crisis.

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  118. 118
    Scotsman says:

    RE: pfft @ 117

    Really? Japan’s growth has been flat for the last 15 years and has never recovered to it’s 1995 peak- and that’s in nominal numbers. no adjustment for inflation. High debt might be the problem, eh?

    http://www.google.com/publicdata?ds=wb-wdi&met=ny_gdp_mktp_cd&idim=country:JPN&q=japan+GDP

    Italy has benefited from major political change and joining the Eu, but struggles against high debt, experiencing less than 1% annual growth for the last decade. Why do we want what they have?

    Belgium? “The federal government has managed to present balanced budgets in recent years, but public debt remains high, at 80.8% of 2008 GDP. GDP growth in 2008 was 1.3%” WI KI Let’s see, that’s less debt than the U.S., a lower growth rate, and fails to mention that they have a very high personal savings rate which translates to cheaper capital. Not sure why you felt they were a good example. Oh well.

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  119. 119
    TheJosh says:

    Interesting that when the previous administration cut tax revenues and mailed out free “rebate” money, all while engaging in an unnecessary and incredibly expensive war of choice, most conservatives were cheering from the sidelines.

    Now, surprise, surprise, when similar amounts of money are being spent to help their friends and neighbors (as opposed to visiting death and destruction on people halfway around the world), they’ve suddenly transformed into outraged deficit hawks.

    I guess that pretty much tells you all you need to know about conservative priorities, let alone moral values.

    If I’d heard a peep from the teabagger contingent about the Bush Administration’s RECORD DEFICITS at the time, their current hysterical hand-wringing might not reek of political opportunism now. The sudden GOP interest in fiscal responsibility seems a little fishy. I guess you just prefer it when Halliburton gets handouts as opposed to struggling young familes. Real nice, GOPers–you’re obviously a bunch of sweethearts.

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  120. 120
    Scotsman says:

    RE: TheJosh @ 119

    “Now, surprise, surprise, when similar amounts of money are being spent ”

    Ongoing annual deficits FIVE TIMES as large are similar? What planet are you on- the drugs must be better than what we have here at home.. Try making an argument with the correct facts next time.

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  121. 121
    what goes up must come down says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 109 – It is funny you talk about compromise NOW I wonder if you talked about it so much between 2001 and 2008? When Connie Rice was on National TV talking about Mushroom clouds what were you saying then? I love it conservatives got the asses kicked last election and now they dog and whine it just makes me laugh so much more. What was it that George W said “Brownie you are doing a great job” did you dog then — NO, was he such a great Manager? Would you have liked to sit down with him and have this great discussion you mentioned.

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  122. 122
    what goes up must come down says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 109 – Oh and the elitist label what a fing joke. YOU were born with MORE than he had do you consider yourself an elitist? Just like the right wing wacko’s to try and twist things. I remember when Kerry ran against Bush — oh the SWIFT boaters — KERRY went to Vietnam BUSH joined the guard and flew missions over Mexico — what a joke. I guess this is why I have great distaste for those on the right.

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  123. 123
    what goes up must come down says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 120 – oh and how can those be ongoing ANNUAL deficits those are Projections — the guy has been in the WH less than a year. So maybe you might want to add projected. Bushes deficits were REALIZED.

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  124. 124
    what goes up must come down says:

    RE: The Tim @ 108 – HOW ABOUT stating a solution, instead of dog and whine, what is your SOLUTION.

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  125. 125
    Mike says:

    It’s good to know something about The Tim’s politics. He presents us with lots of arguments, some of them interesting, even convincing, some of them, falling short of both categories. Knowing that his views on politics and economics makes it easier to understand what he knows and what doesn’t know. He is a tough guy with a chart, with a narrow technical education. But we love him for puncturing real estate industry blah blah.
    Mike

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  126. 126
    The Tim says:

    One more comment and I’m done with this thread. I just thought I’d point out that I have been using the drunken party analogy for the US economy since May 2006. So it’s not as if it’s some sort of new concept I just decided to throw out there because the president has a D next to his name.

    The problems we are facing today have been building for many years, through multiple presidents and congresses. There is more than enough blame to spread around for everyone.

    I guess for some people, if I don’t agree with the way Obama and his appointees are dealing with things, I must be a crazy, ignorant, belligerent partisan whiner in love with Rush Limbaugh and Sara Palin that wants to see the country fail. Because clearly there are only two choices when it comes to politics: far left or far right.

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  127. 127
    David Losh says:

    RE: The Tim @ 126

    Good Morning!

    Before i read through the last 25 comments today I wanted to mention that I saw you lurking over at the Rain City Guide when Dustin changed the look of his blog. I think you could benefit from the magazine lay out. You’re putting up multiple posts and people can comment over the course of time and still be on the first page. There is a template called magazine basic that we had customized and it looks like the best one so far.

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  128. 128

    RE: The Tim @ 126

    What’s the record for the number of comments in a particular thread?
    This one’s got to be right up there.

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  129. 129

    By Ira sacharoff @ 97:

    RE: Scotsman @ 92
    I support term limits, but do you really think that Senators and Representatives will be less corrupt simply because they have a term limit? Maybe they’ll grab as much as they can while they have time.
    But yeah, these congressmen for life are pretty tiresome. I’d just as soon see Orrin Hatch, Mitch McConnell , Dave Reichert and Jim McDermott all sail off into the sunset, off into the land of eternal smarm.

    What you wouldn’t see is campaign contributions leading to legislation passing. The best example of that is the bankruptcy act a few years ago. The voting was something well over 60% every time it came to the floor. During Clinton he had to veto it while Congress was out of session so that they couldn’t override the veto. Note it wasn’t possible for Clinton to run again at the time.

    Congress milked that thing a long time. It was all about getting campaign contributions, and nothing at all about doing what was right.

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  130. 130

    By Ira sacharoff @ 106:

    RE: Jonness @ 105
    Actually, in almost all cases the candidate who is taller and has more hair wins. John Kerry was an exception, but he looked like Frankenstein. So even if John McCain had told the American people everything they wanted to hear, he still wouldn’t have stood a chance. Short, bald, and old doesn’t win elections.

    Gore had more hair than Bush, but the problem was no one liked Gore. He couldn’t even carry his own state, which is pretty incredible.

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  131. 131

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 130

    ….And maybe Gore actually won?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  132. 132

    By The Tim @ 108:

    By Dave0 @ 103:
    RE: The Tim @ 25 – Wait a sec, I thought you were for balanced budgets? Yet you are calling Gregoire’s attempt to do the responsible thing and balance the budget a “crap stunt”?

    Balanced budgets are great. What I’m calling a “crap stunt” is insisting all through the campaign that you will not raise taxes because the recession is just too darn tough on everyone then barely a year later when the recession is still in full force if not even worse (latest statewide unemployment is 9.3% vs. 5.9% a year earlier), whoops, times are just too tough to not raise taxes.

    That is what I call a “crap stunt.”

    The state doesn’t have the ability to deficit spend like the feds. When revenue projections fall to a certain point, there is no realistic option but to raise taxes. The state revenue forecasts change very frequently, so again, what she said in November 2008 was based on considerably different facts than what she faces today.

    BTW, I’m not a big fan of hers, but I will say she hasn’t been as big of a disaster as what I thought she’d be 5 years ago.

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  133. 133
    David Losh says:

    The Dow is up again today in early trading. No matter what he said, and it wasn’t much, it’s my opinion, the intent is to keep tha stock market propped up.

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  134. 134

    By The Tim @ 126:

    Because clearly there are only two choices when it comes to politics: far left or far right.

    This is one thing I’ll agree with you on. Partisan politics is ruining the country. We now have two parties saying entirely different things, but acting the same and hoping no one notices. And for the most part no one is. They’re buying the extreme arguments put out by the left or right, depending on their own leanings.

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  135. 135

    By David Losh @ 127:

    RE: The Tim @ 126

    Good Morning!

    Before i read through the last 25 comments today I wanted to mention that I saw you lurking over at the Rain City Guide when Dustin changed the look of his blog. I think you could benefit from the magazine lay out. You’re putting up multiple posts and people can comment over the course of time and still be on the first page. There is a template called magazine basic that we had customized and it looks like the best one so far.

    That’s pretty funny. Have you considered at all how that has worked out for Dustin? :-D

    It would be nice though if the recent posts could be expanded to maybe 10 items.

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  136. 136

    By Ira sacharoff @ 131:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 130

    ….And maybe Gore actually won?

    I think just about every analysis came out that Bush won, and every court too, except the Florida Supreme Court. The people on the left want to think that the US Supreme Court was way out there siding with Bush, but if there were partisan court decisions, they came out of the Florida Supreme Court (not the lower courts there).

    But Gore would have won if he had carried his own state. I wonder how often that happens? I remember McGovern carried his state, and he was pretty well beaten up in that election.

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  137. 137
    Tim says:

    I’ll just come out and say it. This site has jumped the shark.

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  138. 138

    RE: Tim @ 137 – I’ve been avoiding most the political threads. People even commented on my lack of posting at times. But I’ve enjoyed this one for some reason. Maybe it’s because yesterday was the day I paid my bills, and I’ll do anything to procrastinate when paying bills.

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  139. 139
    pfft says:

    By Ajax @ 115:

    RE: pfft @ 112

    So OMB is able to accurately measure jobs created/saved by the Stimulus Plan? Interesting bit if magic I guess.

    Anyhow, why not go with what the White House says in their most optimistic assessments? Team Obama makes their claim on the web, so as a supporter why are you dismissing those numbers?

    Anyhow, if Stimulus I has been a success, why are we talking about Stimulus II?

    You are full of contradictions, pfft.

    the first stimulus was probably too small, that’s why. unemployment is still too high.

    I quoted the OMB because it’s not the administration..like any intellectually honest person would.

    “So OMB is able to accurately measure jobs created/saved by the Stimulus Plan? Interesting bit if magic I guess.”

    no, it’s probably pretty simple economics using multiplier effects and such.

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  140. 140
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 120:

    RE: TheJosh @ 119

    “Now, surprise, surprise, when similar amounts of money are being spent ”

    Ongoing annual deficits FIVE TIMES as large are similar? What planet are you on- the drugs must be better than what we have here at home.. Try making an argument with the correct facts next time.

    bush ran up a debt of $5 trillion in his 8 years. the 2009 spending was mostly the last congress and president bush, not obama. obama added the stimulus. the other $1.2 trillion was bush. that’s a fact.

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  141. 141
    Matsayswhat says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 134:

    By The Tim @ 126:
    Because clearly there are only two choices when it comes to politics: far left or far right.

    This is one thing I’ll agree with you on. Partisan politics is ruining the country. We now have two parties saying entirely different things, but acting the same and hoping no one notices. And for the most part no one is. They’re buying the extreme arguments put out by the left or right, depending on their own leanings.

    I couldn’t agree more. The partisan chocolate has got to stop. The media (in general) is only making it worse by fanning the flames for the sake of ratings.

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  142. 142

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 136

    Nope, McGovern didn’t carry his own state. He only carried Mass. and Washington DC.
    I’ll agree with you that Gore was a horrible campaigner, could never appear to be a man of the people, and always seemed stiff. I think he seems a lot more relaxed since then.

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  143. 143
    what goes up must come down says:

    RE: The Tim @ 126 – Come on take credit you got that masses fired up that was the point right?

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  144. 144
    Scotsman says:

    RE: pfft @ 140

    No, it’s not a fact. The $1+ trillion deficits projected for the next ten years are all Obama. And those are just the OMB projections. The reality for 2010 is that we are already on track for $1.72 trillion as an annual deficit with it trending even higher for 2011. That’s a fact, based on the first two months actual expenditures and revenues.

    “The problem with our liberal friends isn’t that they’re ignorant, it’s that they know so much that isn’t so.”

    –Ronald Reagan

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  145. 145
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 144:

    RE: pfft @ 140

    No, it’s not a fact. The $1+ trillion deficits projected for the next ten years are all Obama. And those are just the OMB projections. The reality for 2010 is that we are already on track for $1.72 trillion as an annual deficit with it trending even higher for 2011. That’s a fact, based on the first two months actual expenditures and revenues.

    �The problem with our liberal friends isn�t that they�re ignorant, it�s that they know so much that isn�t so.�

    �Ronald Reagan

    don’t quote ronald reagan, he’s the reason we are in this mess. he was the one who wanted to get government off our backs. wall street got that for the last 30 years and look at what we got. wall street got what it wanted and it crashed the economy.

    supply side economics is a joke. reagan kicked off the whole national debt problem everyone is worrying about. reagan is a myth.

    projections are just that, projections. nobody know what the economy will look like in a year or 3 years. the economy could recover stronger than their projections and lower the deficit. bush said he would cut the budget deficit in half by the end of his term. the budget deficit is multiple times higher.

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  146. 146
    what goes up must come down says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 144 – was that before or after RR had alzheimers? By the way how much does GW own?

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  147. 147
    what goes up must come down says:

    RE: pfft @ 145 – RR is Scotsmans wet dream.

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  148. 148
    Scotsman says:

    RE: what goes up must come down @ 147RE: what goes up must come down @ 146RE: pfft @ 145

    Typical rebuttal of the facts from a lefty- personal attacks, insults, and tangential diversions. You could at least make this interesting, or better yet, challenging.

    I’ll make it easy for you- I admit: that hurt, you win, I’m an idiot. Sorry I took up so much of your time.

    Feel better?

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  149. 149

    RE: what goes up must come down @ 147

    Republicans and Democrats Are Both To Blame

    I agree with Scotsman and you, we have a two party system and its like two wings on the same “corporate stooge” [Ralph Nader recently coined that name for our two party system] turkey.

    Look at the agreement Obama had with Bush on the trillions to the banksters.

    Look at the middle east wars getting enlarged by both parties.

    Look at the uncontrolled population density both parties pushed and their total unemployment problem denial [even to the point of blatantly masking it with Clinton unemployment statistics eliminating severely underemployed in 1997], or why else would both parties be all for more population density making it far worse?

    Both parties are in total cahoost, albeit the Democrats are slowing the inevitable economy trainwreck down, but adding far more brainless debt gasoline to make the end explosion far worse.

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  150. 150
    pfft says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 149
    ” agree with Scotsman and you, we have a two party system and its like two wings on the same “corporate stooge”

    this is the biggest meme in politics. do thinking people honestly believe there is no difference between bush and obama and between republicans and democrats? no thinking person should.

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  151. 151
    fabuladocet says:

    Wow. Maybe we should just hug this one out, fellas.

    Our true collective enemies are ignorance and incivility, not one another; regardless of what our pitiful excuse for a fourth estate tells us.

    Well, that and the Jews and Mexicans, but you get my point.

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  152. 152

    “Well, that and the Jews and Mexicans, but you get my point. ”

    I, Ignacio Gonzales Guadalupe Goldstein, take offense to that remark.

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  153. 153

    By softwarengineer @ 149:

    RE: what goes up must come down @ 147 -I agree with Scotsman and you, we have a two party system and its like two wings on the same “corporate stooge” [Ralph Nader recently coined that name for our two party system] turkey.

    I describe the Dems and Reps as being like the AL and NL in MLB. Only slightly different, and really just part of the same thing.

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  154. 154
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 135

    The way I read it Dustin unilaterally changed the format, but he hardly ever contributes. It would be different for Tim because he does carry on multiple posts, he’s involved, and presents timely material.

    I also think that the Rain City Guide is a discount brokerage site that is hawking Real Estate services, so it is different in it’s content.

    The magazine style would allow for more open discussion that you could see on one page rather than searching through the forums or waiting for a comment that catches your attention from the side bar.

    Dustin also added a Real Estate brokerage search site that was more than an advertiser, they are an actual brokerage affiliated with the Rain City Guide. So now when the mortgage, attorney, sales, and escrow companies contribute they are bolstering a brokerage that may or may not have a reciprocal agreement. Now it’s a matter of seeing whether or now that brokerage will be a good business to be associated with.

    That’s a lot of issues that may never be worked out.

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  155. 155
    The_Dude_Abides says:

    Did I stumble onto the Newsmax blog?

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  156. 156
    Charles says:

    The problem with your post is you are conflating two different things. Yes, the cause of the recession was out-of-control real estate spending and the consequent malinvestment.

    However, the result of the recession is a nearly-total capital strike on the part of the finance industry. Recovery requires investment, and the financial sector now refuses to invest in anything. We want them to be more cautious, but what they are being now is passive aggressive. It is entirely appropriate for the government to lead this process.

    It’s also good to be skeptical. There are many ways for this to go totally wrong. But Obama’s position is basically sound.

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  157. 157
    React says:

    It’s interesting that folks still believe that there is a difference between the Republican and Democratic parties in the US. Both are financed by the same international central bankers who dictate the agenda of both parties. This has been going on for more than 50 years. This happens due to the massive amount of money our government has borrowed from these bankers, who have purchased our bond debt.

    When international central bankers get involved in the handling of the currency of a country, they intentionally run up the debt so that they can ultimately “own” the government of that country. Since 1913 when the privately owned Federal Reserve was created, this is exactly what has been happening. Now the debt is far deeper than ever before, which means their control is almost complete.

    Cap and trade (Copenhagen Treaty) legislation will seal their work once and for all and create the solid foundations of world government, which will solidify the power of the international central banking families for centuries to come.

    The fact that Americans still throw stones over Repub vs. Democrat is now irrelevent in the face of such things as the Copenhagen Treaty. Keep in mind that the end result of the treaty will still happen, via the EPA. This will result in massive taxation of the US and other Western countries, in order to fund the green-ing of developing countries.

    Thus, ignorance of these things means you are ignorant in knowing that the US will never recover, economically. The level of taxation will prevent any level of real recovery. Manipulation of the markets will eventually end, and the US dollar will go away (as recently discussed by the G20) as the world reserve currency. And our debt will lose AAA status. These things alone ensure that the long-term housing market in the USA is officially DEAD.

    RIP.

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  158. 158
    Jonness says:

    By React @ 157:

    It’s interesting that folks still believe that there is a difference between the Republican and Democratic parties in the US. .

    IMO, that’s because those folks are interested in emotional issues and could care less about the gigantic pool of borrowed money being handed out behind the scenes. If you close your eyes to 99% of the game, it seems like there is an enormous difference between candidates. The candidates push different emotional issues in an attempt to lure in the greater number of sheep.

    Hitler observed, “What good fortune for governments that people do not think.” I believe there is a game occurring keeping otherwise intelligent people from thinking. The key is to get people emotional about nonsense issues; thus, they are blinded to logic. At that point, they do stupid things like vote for the person with the most hair or vote for the person who got them the most emotionally worked up over a nonsense issue.

    I don’t think people are stupid. I believe the problem is they are extremely emotionally immature, and this allows the powers that be to herd them in mass like mindless sheep. As long as people are distracted from the important aspects of the game and stuck in an emotionally unsolvable void, the game continues as usual. The smart money changes hands, and the taxpayer puts his rear end in the air and his head in the sand.

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  159. 159
    David Losh says:

    People with money are never going to do anything for you.

    If the governments didn’t have work projects you would all, all of you, starve to death, and no one would care.

    Internet, government, oil, government protected, farming, government subsidized, transportation, total public works projects, electrical, water, air quality, public safety, defence, banking, not regulated enough, but government controlled.

    The insurance industry is what private enterprise would ever give us. Pay them, and they will manage for you.

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  160. 160
    sead97 says:

    Two words: “Ponzi scheme”

    That is what America has been reduced to.

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  161. 161
    Tyler says:

    RE: Ira sacharoff @ 85

    Ira, you are by far my favorite Liberal.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  162. 162
    what goes up must come down says:

    RE: Tyler @ 161 – wow tyler I guess that should be a huge compliment because you my favorite gay guy.

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  163. 163
    explorer says:

    It’s not so much the spending per se, it’s WHERE it is spent, that Government has control of, if they choose to exercise it. The WPA was a good thing and was a direct contributor to getting through the depression. The legacy of that is still paying dividends today in infrastructure. We are in danger of losing it to neglect.

    Throwing $8K to people who do not need it, and extending the bailout is not going to be productive. It’s not of question of “we can’t afford it,” so much as where we are spending the resources now. There is a difference between throwing money without strings and hoping for the best, and submitting a ROI case for an INVESTMENT with expectations.

    Anyone read the Matt Talabi piece in Rolling Stone?

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/31234647/obamas_big_sellout

    Add that to the deal he made before the Health Care legislation debate got into full gear, his support of Bush/neocon policy continuation, and most should be getting some clues by now. A 3rd party has not had such a fertile environment for establishiment in many many years.

    I did not support Obie, because I actually did my objective homework on him, unlike the vast majority of his supporters. He does not represent any kind of “movement,” and never did. Obie was NEVER a Progressive. Most traditional Liberals have no clue what a real Progressive is and stands for.

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  164. 164
    mydquin says:

    It’s Matt Taibbi and he just ruined his credibility for good with this article.

    Here are just a few examples of why….
    http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/tapped_archive?month=12&year=2009&base_name=oh_matt_taibbi

    It’s a shame that Taibbi can’t articulate a legit criticism without mangling the facts. Unfortunately, he perpetuates the myth that the bailout was a giveaway. I don’t like the downside risk to taxpayers, but the bailout was a loan that will be paid back. Interest income off that loan is intended to offset default loses. So the actual costs of the bailout are much lower than shrill populist writers, like Taibbi and many posters on this site, suggest.

    Here is Taibbi’s characterization of the Citigroup bailout…

    “Under the deal, the bank gets $20 billion in cash, on top of the $25 billion it had already received just weeks before as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program. But that’s just the appetizer. The government also agrees to charge taxpayers for up to $277 billion in losses on troubled Citi assets, many of them those toxic CDOs that Rubin had pushed Citi to invest in.”

    Here is a more accurate description…

    “Treasury has agreed to inject an additional $20 billion in capital into Citigroup under terms of the deal hashed out between the bank, the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Treasury officials will charge a higher interest rate for the capital injection — 8% for the first few years — than it has charged to dozens of other banks now borrowing money under the government’s the $700 billion rescue package approved by Congress last month.

    In addition to the capital, Citigroup will have an extremely unusual arrangement in which the government agrees to backstop a roughly $300 billion pool of its assets, containing mortgage-backed securities among other things. Citigroup must absorb the first $37 billion to $40 billion in losses from these assets. If losses extend beyond that level, Treasury will absorb the next $5 billion in losses, followed by the FDIC taking on the next $10 billion in losses. Any losses on these assets beyond that level would be taken by the Fed.”

    Mind you that the $25B in Citi TARP money is also a loan at 5% interest.

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  165. 165
    mydquin says:

    The whole premise of this post and thread is completely ignorant of the Great Depression experience… not to mention the 1907 panic that prompted the creation of the federal reserve. Before you start ranting about govt spending, just go back and actually learn something about how the govt reacted in 1929-1932 and in 1937. Knee-jerk populism sounds wonderful in a blog, but it makes for knuckleheaded policy.

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  166. 166
    Matthew says:

    There are some MAJOR difference between now and the Great Depression. First and foremost, we weren’t saddled with 12 trillion in debt during the Great Depression.

    I tend to be very libertarian in my political beliefs, and I find it fascinating that many of the “spend our way out of it” people on this forum think that the government can simply conjure up US Dollars to spend on whatever it wants. We have to find someone to buy our debt people, and the Primary Dealers are already stuffed to the hilt with the stuff. If people think that the Chinese and Japanese are going to continue to buy U.S. debt in order for the U.S. to pass bailout after bailout package, meanwhile tanking the US Dollar and killing Japanese and Chinese export value, you are out of your mind.

    Do you people realize that the FED is the largest purchaser of U.S. treasuries right now at auction? We are engaged in one giant Government circle jerk right now trying to keep this mofo a float.

    The M1 money multiplier is below 1 for the first time since the GD and we have 12 trillion in debt on top of that. We are in a deflationary spiral right now that we have no hopes of exiting if we continue on this same path. A massive currency reset and/or debt default is coming soon. Mark my words.

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  167. 167

    RE: Matthew @ 166

    You Summed it Up Quite Saliently

    The Great Depression had a Dust Bowl and a degree of American hunger that we don’t have now….but considering the MASSIVE farm productivity increases since 1930 and the lack of a Dust Bowl, one out of seven going hungry today is far worse than the one out of four then; IMO.

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  168. 168
    AMS says:

    RE: Matthew @ 166 – “A massive currency reset and/or debt default is coming soon.”

    Before I mark you words, can you give some idea as to how soon is “soon?”

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  169. 169
    Matthew says:

    Software,

    Yes you are on the right track, what really led us out of the Great Depression was INDUSTRIALIZATION and an increase in manufacturing.

    Considering golly near everything in this country is made in China, Japan, or Malaysia, do people really believe that we are going to add a surplus of decent paying manufacturing jobs to this economy to sustain any sort of recovery?

    Our economy has become service based since we decided to outsource nearly every blue collar job since the 60’s and 70’s. We have enjoyed an orgy of easy money and loose credit the last 30 years, and are now about to pay the price.

    Enjoy.

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  170. 170
    David Losh says:

    RE: Matthew @ 166RE: mydquin @ 165RE: mydquin @ 164RE: explorer @ 163

    This was worth coming back for today. There was a segment on the radio about the Citigroup bail out that didn’t mention the loan portions of the program, nor the incremental absorbtions. There was a broad characterization of the losses, I think, of $240 billion that need to be written off.

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  171. 171
    Matthew says:

    AMS,

    I’d say we are on a pretty similar timeline as the Great Depression.

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  172. 172
    Matthew says:

    RE: David Losh @ 170

    I have become completely flabergasted as to how we, as a society, have become so complacent that figures like “240 billion” seem like “No biggie”.

    Thomas Jefferson is rolling around in his grave right now knowing that our Government has spent TRILLIONS of dollars bailing out bankers.

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  173. 173
    AMS says:

    RE: Matthew @ 172 – “I have become completely flabergasted as to how we, as a society, have become so complacent that figures like “240 billion” seem like ‘No biggie’.”

    Similarly, people were buying homes at the peak with thoughts that it was “no biggie.”

    RE: Matthew @ 171 – So I can tie 1929 to ~2009. The cracks were quite clear in 2008, but a year here or there isn’t that important.

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  174. 174
    AMS says:

    RE: Matthew @ 172 – “Thomas Jefferson is rolling around in his grave right now knowing that our Government has spent TRILLIONS of dollars bailing out bankers. ”

    I guess we need a few more $2 bills in circulation?

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  175. 175
    Matthew says:

    Mydquin,

    The only reason that any of the TARP recipients are “paying back” the money to the G, is due to the fact that:

    A. Their asset values have been raised by the credit agencies knowing that they are fully backed by the American Government and the taxpayer (aka you and I)

    B. They want to have total control over executive pay.

    Chitigroup, JPM, Goldman Slachs, and the rest all know that they are “too big to fail” and now that TARP has been extended, they can go back to the G for a handout if there is another leg down. If these guys were really solvent, why would Turbo Timmy extend TARP for another year??

    Why are the banks not making loans?? Because they are still stuffed with crappy assets and know that they are going to need a ton of cash to write them down.

    We have extended mark to myth, and these guys are still on life support. Extend and pretend baby!

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  176. 176
    Matthew says:

    AMS,

    I don’t have a crystal ball. I can see the underlying problems and the potential final result, but I can’t predict the actions of people that may affect the path traveled.

    But hey why listen to me, I was only chiming in on this forum that WAMU and Countrywide were toast nearly a year before they went under.

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  177. 177
    Matthew says:

    AMS,

    Yes people were buying houses at peak value, they are called the greater fools.

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  178. 178
    AMS says:

    RE: Matthew @ 177 – Yes, and the greater fool game can go on for long periods of time. This is what makes prediction so difficult. There was no doubt that prices were too high, but buying high to sell even higher (i.e. the greater fool game) sometimes can last decades.

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  179. 179
    explorer says:

    mydquin : Interesting that your critique and well as the post you cite, do NOT change a thing about the main points Tabbi made. Economics is not a hard science after all, and it is more dangerous to rever in it, than to have a bit of healthy skepticism for what it really is. Sometimes, populism gets to the heart of the matter more quickly.

    And yeah, Timmy G is touting the taxpayers will be AHEAD $16 plus billion when it’s all paid back. THAT made me laugh out loud when I read that. I am not the only one here who is aware of all the other mitgating factors make that statement laughable. How it is affecting the residential and commercial Real Estate market is but one of them.

    Sounds so much like sour grapes on your part, more than the bottom line to me.

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  180. 180
    Matthew says:

    “We are spending more money than we have ever spent before, and it does not work. After eight years we have just as much unemployment as when we started, and an enormous debt to boot”. – U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau…May 1939

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  181. 181
    Matthew says:

    AMS,

    The longer it lasts the greater the fall.

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  182. 182
    AMS says:

    RE: Matthew @ 180 – That was 70 years ago! I don’t expect to outlive a 70 year delay, no matter how large the eventual fall, or how fast it happens.

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  183. 183
    Scotsman says:

    Nice work Matthew, suddenly I don’t feel so alone. ;-)

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  184. 184

    By Matthew @ 175:

    The only reason that any of the TARP recipients are “paying back” the money to the G, is due to the fact that: …

    B. They want to have total control over executive pay.

    . . .

    Why are the banks not making loans??

    They’re not making loans because they want government out of their affairs. Rather than making loans they’re paying back TARP prematurely. The pay czar thing is harming the economy. Businesses need the loans more than government needs the TARP funds back.

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  185. 185
    Matthew says:

    Kary,

    I got a Benjamin that says the banks don’t increase consumer and small business loans now that TARP is paid back.

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  186. 186

    RE: Matthew @ 185 – Maybe you missed my point. My point was they won’t be increasing lending BECAUSE they paid back the government. Repaying the TARP loans makes them less able to loan out money.

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  187. 187

    Oh, I almost forgot. Leno used “The Tim’s” alcoholic drinking analogy as part of a joke about Obama’s spending.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  188. 188
    AMS says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 187 – Video evidence or it didn’t happen.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  189. 189

    RE: AMS @ 188 – I deleted my recording, and don’t even remember what day it was. Tuesday through Thursday are the most likely dates.

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  190. 190
    David Losh says:

    Unwinding the banking sector will take time. No one needs to lend money in order to make money. The money is still rolling in, every day, every month, and every year. People are still paying on a wide variety of loan products.

    Institutional Investing is buying or selling gold for a profit. The Carry Trade is making profits. Trading currency, commodities, or swapping debt is making profits.

    I think it was naive to just hand out money without strings attached.

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  191. 191
    AMS says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 189 – I’ll just go watch the Humpty Dance once again.

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  192. 192

    RE: AMS @ 191 – That would probably be a more productive use of your time. It wasn’t a particularly good delivery by Leno.

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  193. 193
    The Tim says:

    RE: AMS @ 188 – Looks like that would be December 9th, same day this was posted.

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  194. 194
    AMS says:

    RE: The Tim @ 193 – A+

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  195. 195

    The Leno joke make “The Sunday Funnies” on ABC This Week, but I can’t find a link to current Sunday Funnies.

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  196. 196
    Scotsman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 190

    “I think it was naive to just hand out money without strings attached”

    No, it was corrupt.

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  197. 197
    fabuladocet says:

    Leno was a lot better when he was pop-culture-related, as opposed to being a half-assed conservative political forum.

    Frankly, now that Leno’s Archie-Bunkeresque political stance has been laid out for all to see, I can no longer watch his program without assuming it has been colored by a partisan desire to see the economy fail, thereby validating his personal political views.

    In general, I like the “minimal commentary” shows much better than these sophomoric right wing hatchet jobs. If I am curious about the views of money-obsessed, compassion-bereft investors and corporate whores, I’ll watch FOX News.

    So I’m just going to come out and say it. Leno has jumped the shark.

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  198. 198
    mydquin says:

    RE: Matthew @ 175

    A. Allowing bank runs is not good policy. I am not happy about the way the US govt backed banks, like Citi. I would have much prefered the Swedish model. However, the way it happened here was still better than the alternative. Not backing them would have been incredibly stupid.

    B. Executive pay is really a non-issue in an economic sense. The only reason the govt cares about it is that the media have whipped up a populist frenzy.

    There is a lot that is wrong with bank regulation, particularly with regard to the credit rating agencies, but that does not negate the fact that govt intervention has prevented this mess from getting a lot worse than it is.

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  199. 199
    mydquin says:

    By Matthew @ 166:

    There are some MAJOR difference between now and the Great Depression. First and foremost, we weren’t saddled with 12 trillion in debt during the Great Depression.I.

    This doesn’t change the need for govt intervention. If anything it is an illustration of how the govt screwed up during the great depression by letting it go on way too long. The govt didn’t break the Great Depression until it finally increased public debt to more than 100% of GDP, significantly higher than it is today.

    The bottom line is how much it costs to service the debt relative to the size of our economic engine. The fact is that that cost of servicing our current debt is still significantly lower than it was at the end of the Reagan/Bush I administration. That will go up, but there is no need to panic as long as the govt balances the budget after the economy recovers.

    I am not happy about the way our govt has been functioning, but populist panic is not economic analysis. In fact, populist panic over debt is exactly why Hoover sat on his hands in 1929-1932 and Roosevelt allowed the double dip recession in 1937.

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  200. 200
    AMS says:

    #200!

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  201. 201

    By mydquin @ 198:

    B. Executive pay is really a non-issue in an economic sense. The only reason the govt cares about it is that the media have whipped up a populist frenzy. .

    It’s not a non-issue economically. It’s incredibly stupid. Although these banks are not the type that typically do a lot of lending to small business, you can’t simultaneously complain banks need to do more lending, while setting policies that encourage banks to pay back the government loans ASAP.

    If I were a bank exec meeting with Obama, after his “fat-cat” statement yesterday I would have contacted all the other bank exec and organized a boycott of the meeting, and then issued a statement that we didn’t want to waste our time meeting with someone who is more interested in pandering to voters than helping the economy.

    I think it was Geithner a month or two ago that had to squirm a bit in explaining why he didn’t think the pay czar thing was a bad idea.

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  202. 202
    mukoh says:

    IMO, rescuing banks is not a bad thing. I think and most of my partners, and friends agree that leaving banks in the same structure that they are right now, is the bad thing. Banks need to be broken up into entities that do not have systemic risk to the economy or financial system, I think too big to fail is still going to be coming back and haunting us. If you look at B of A now it is even larger then it was before the crash.

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  203. 203
    mydquin says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 201 – I don’t see how you are showing that exec pay is economically relevant. It might be politically relevant, but exec pay is peanuts compared to the real issue. The exec pay issue is just a distraction from the real issues (e.g., fraudulent credit ratings, excessive leverage in commercial banks).

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  204. 204
    mydquin says:

    By mukoh @ 202:

    IMO, rescuing banks is not a bad thing. I think and most of my partners, and friends agree that leaving banks in the same structure that they are right now, is the bad thing. Banks need to be broken up into entities that do not have systemic risk to the economy or financial system, I think too big to fail is still going to be coming back and haunting us. If you look at B of A now it is even larger then it was before the crash.

    Exactly. People should have their panties in a knot about the lack of regulation, not about the rescue package or the stimulus. We need to remember where this whole mess started (i.e. credit rating agencies being allowed to issue fraudulent AAA ratings on mortgage-backed securities) instead of where it ended up (i.e., the rescue).

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  205. 205

    RE: mydquin @ 203 – It’s not the pay that is relevant. It’s the banks paying back the TARP funds early so that they can avoid government interference in their businesses that is relevant. The TARP dollars are much bigger. They could be used to be loaned out, where they should create some jobs, but instead the funds are going back to the government, and no longer earning the government interest.

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  206. 206
    mukoh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 205 – I thought TARP was not ment to be used for lending out more money?

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  207. 207

    RE: mukoh @ 206 – I don’t recall that at all, but maybe. I seem to recall complaints that they couldn’t demonstrate where the money had gone, and that I think would be lending.

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  208. 208
    Matthew says:

    Privatize the gains, socialize the losses… Nice mantra floating around here.

    The banks took taxpayer money to post record profits, without any accountability and without the taxpayer getting any reasonable claw backs.

    The model has not been fixed, we merely gave them a bundle of money without fixing what caused the problems in the first place.

    The financial reforms passed so far are a complete joke.

    The banks paid themselves huge bonuses to assume huge risk in a giant insurance fraud scheme, and came begging for a bailout when it came crashing down. They took my money, turned record profits, and now its biz as usual.

    The banks own this country, if you are ok with that, SOLD TO YOU!

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  209. 209
    Matthew says:

    Kary,

    BTW, the banks weren’t lending any money when the got TARP assistance, and they aren’t lending money now that they have paid it back.

    0 X 0 = 0

    WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE??????

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  210. 210

    RE: Matthew @ 208

    There’s Gold in Them Thar Stock Hills

    At least for 2009, or until the stimulus welfare to the banksters runs out?

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  211. 211
    explorer says:

    I’d say #208 is a fine example of “populst” analysis getting to the heart of the matter. Well said Matthew.

    Bailouts without clawbacks and defined conditions only delay the inevititable. I would rather see a SHORT, sharp, crash, than a long extended decline. The latter only really benefits the wealthy.

    Restructuring the banks is a good idea, and is more “populust” than at first meets the eye. the chances of that happening at this point, seem less than zero.

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  212. 212
    The Tim says:

    RE: Matthew @ 208A World Crisis No Bailout Can Stop

    Some say that a year ago we faced economic disaster on a massive scale. In one year, governments around the world have printed money, and done little else, except to provide daily lip service and commentary. The contagion has been lying dormant and will become an epidemic.

    No bailout will stop it.

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  213. 213
    mukoh says:

    RE: Matthew @ 209 – Your stats might be incorrect, the banks are not lending to mainly secured real estate loans, they are however lending in other aspects.

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