Tim Geithner Gives Us More Lies…

The article that I was working on for tonight still is not finished. Vacation is more taxing than one might think, what with all the beach sitting, ocean swimming, and food eating. But I absolutely did not want to go another night without an article to discuss so I figured that I would find something interesting out there on the blogosphere and offer it up for consumption here. I went to my trusty standby for articles that would garner interest, The Huffington Post. They, of course, did not disappoint. I had my choice of several different interesting articles over there to think about. What I decided on was the article below that discussed the Secretary of the Treasury’s much maligned Op-Ed from last week. I have to admit that I was a bit stunned when I read the article when it was originally run over at the New York Times. After all, it was thoughts from Timothy Geithner under the title of “Welcome to the Recovery.” I don’t want to sound jaded, but I had to wonder whether Mr. Geithner had actually smoked some crack before offering up such a ludicrous statement. First the article from HuffPo and then my quick thoughts to get the discussion going…

Who Are You Going to Believe — Tim Geithner or Your Own Lying Eyes?
by Robert Kuttner

The jobs situation stinks, even as corporate profits keep rising. Another 131,000 jobs were lost to the economy in July, according to the Labor Department’s latest report released Friday. The measured unemployment rate stayed stuck at 9.5 percent.

The only reason it wasn’t worse was because more workers gave up looking for nonexistent jobs, leaving a smaller labor force to measure against the meager supply of work. Small comfort.

Meanwhile, another important government report, by the Social Security Trustees, showed only a trivial improvement in the gap between what Social Security owes the next generation of retirees and the tax receipts that it can expect.

There is, of course, a direct connection between rising unemployment, declining wages, and the condition of Social Security. That’s because Social Security is funded by payroll taxes.

If wages had continued to rise with the growth of the economy’s productivity, instead of profits and bonuses taking an ever larger share, Social Security would be enjoying an endless surplus.

Based on recent trends and a dismally pessimistic projection of our economic future, Social Security’s Trustees assume wage growth of just 1.2 percent a year. But that can be changed by better policies.

According to Monique Morrissey of the Economic Policy Institute, if wage growth were 2.3 percent, which is the actual long-term trend in the growth of labor productivity, then Social Security would be in clover. Here is EPI’s most recent full report on this, from 2005. (Since then, the screwing of workers has only intensified. An update is coming.)

The story is even more dramatic if you imagine a different history of the past two decades. If wages had risen with productivity, instead of nearly all the gains going to the top, Social Security’s surplus would be huge and we’d be talking about lowering the retirement age, not raising it.

Note the outrageous injustice of the current debate. The Wall Street crowd, led by Peter G. Peterson and his billion-dollar foundation, is clamoring for deep cuts in workers’ Social Security.

This crowd is the same people who have been making off with the lions’ share of the economy’s productivity gains for the past three decades instead of allowing ordinary people their traditional share; the same crowd that opposes a more progressive distribution of taxes and decent social spending.

Now this gang wants to whack workers a second time. You didn’t get your fair share of wages, goes the story, so there isn’t quite enough money in the Social Security accounts. And now you must take less money in retirement.

The alternative, obviously, is to get unemployment down and wages back up. And speaking of Wall Street and policy alternatives, what is the Obama Administration doing to alter this perverse trend? We need to look no further than the recent op-ed piece in the New York Times by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

Now, you can be sure that this op-ed piece did not spring full grown from the pen of Secretary Geithner. It must have gone through the White House messaging machine several times. That makes it even more appalling.

The piece is titled, with no intended irony, “Welcome to the Recovery.”

Geithner’s story is essentially this: Don’t believe what you experience in your own life; believe us. The economy is really a lot better than it looks (true on Wall Street, but not on Main Street.) Geithner had the bad timing to write this just before the economy lost another 131,000 jobs.

This is Geithner’s variation on Marxist economics — in this case Groucho, who famously said in the movie Duck Soup, “Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?”

Here are choice extracts from Geithner’s op-ed:

  • “Private job growth has returned — not as fast as we would like, but at an earlier stage of this recovery than in the last two recoveries. Manufacturing has generated 136,000 new jobs in the past six months.”
  • “Businesses have repaired their balance sheets and are now in a strong financial position to reinvest and grow.”
  • “American families are saving more, paying down their debt and borrowing more responsibly. This has been a necessary adjustment because the borrow-and-spend path we were on wasn’t sustainable.”
  • “The auto industry is coming back, and the Big Three — Chrysler, Ford and General Motors — are now leaner, generating profits despite lower annual sales.”
  • “Major banks, forced by the stress tests to raise capital and open their books, are stronger and more competitive. Now, as businesses expand again, our banks are better positioned to finance growth.”

But take these one at a time:

Private sector job growth, in fact, is stuck. And without a massive stimulus of the economy, it will stay stuck.

Business may be “in a strong position to grow,” but without growth of jobs and wages, nobody will buy their products.

Yes, American families are saving more — because they are scared stiff that they economy will get even worse. That private savings behavior, in a recession, deepens the deflationary spiral unless it is offset by more public spending.

The auto industry has added something like 50,000 jobs after recently losing several hundred thousand; Detroit’s market-share remains basically stuck compared to imports; and GM’s “Volt” is about to get its clock cleaned by better Japanese electric cars.

Banks are still in precarious shape. That’s why small businesses are having such a hard time getting credit.

Geithner concludes thus:

“These are considerable challenges, but we are in a much stronger position to face them today than when President Obama took office. By taking aggressive action to fix the financial system, reduce growth in health care costs and improve education, we have put the American economy on a firmer foundation for future growth.

And as the president said last week, no one should bet against the American worker, American business and American ingenuity.

We suffered a terrible blow, but we are coming back.”

Sorry, but this issue is not whether anybody is betting “against the American worker,” which is a lame metaphor. The issue is whether the Obama administration and Geithner have credibility as instruments of economic recovery going into a midterm election.

For Geithner to insist that things are actually better than working Americans experience their own lives is both insulting and guaranteed to backfire as politics. If the administration wants to bet on the American worker, both as a much abused contributor to the economy and as a voter, Geithner and his president need to do more to bring back jobs and wages.

You can read this article at its original posting at the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-kuttner/who-are-you-going-to-beli_b_675296.html

I have to tell you, fair readers, the pure cajones of the Obama administration in particular, although applicable in the case of both parties, stuns me. The way that they have fallen into the false belief that they can say whatever the hell they like, regardless of whether there is even a grain of truth to it or not, has gotten to the point of absurdity. I understand that politicians believe they can sway public opinion, but to just completely spout the opposite of reality and expect it to be believed is bold. What is even more bold in this case is the fact that he is telling the American public that everything is getting better despite the fact that those he is lying to are actually the ones experiencing the issue.

It’s like telling someone with a hot poker pressed against their arm that it isn’t a hot piece of metal.

I don’t know how everyone else is feeling, but I still feel the economic hardships. I don’t see anything that makes me even begin to think that we are beginning a recovery. In fact, everything around me tells me that we are heading for much tougher economic times in the future than we are facing right now. Heck, just the impending health care legislation enactment and the ridiculous rate of increase of American national debt is enough to give us at least a 50/50 chance of complete economic meltdown if we aren’t careful.

So I am wondering what the mood is among the readers. I know that some of you are really feeling that economic collapse is imminent and unavoidable. But I know not everyone believes that. I am personally still on the fence as to whether it is going to happen in this particular cycle or whether we will have some form of recovery and continue down the path for a while longer. I know that the doomsday folks say this is it. But we have heard that before. So what does everyone here think? I offer a few questions for thought:

  1. Are we at the beginning of the recovery from the recession that we have been going through for the last couple of years?
  2. As a follow up, if you think the answer to #1 is yes, do you think it is getting better because of Obama’s policies?
  3. How many of you believe that a complete meltdown is going to happen?
  4. Of those, how many think it is within the next 5 years? 10 years? 100 years?
  5. Back on the topic of this article, how do people feel about the completely fantasy based declarations of recovery from Geithner?


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Comments

  1. Geithner has proved scary stupid since he was appointed by Fredo. So has Fredo proved scary stupid. The problem is (for those who think the other side of the aisle has an answer–see a well-tanned John Boehner on Meet The Press last week refusing to answer a simple question over and over and over). “Will further tax cuts pay for themselves?” … the other side of the aisle is mired in ideological claptrap that makes as much sense as continuing to spend without pause. Bush took us to war and told us “go shopping” (there was no national sacrifice for something so serious and expensive). The Democrats, with their fingers gauging the political winds, went along with it. A much too deregulated (or corrupt) Wall Street gambled and lost and then both parties came to their rescue at our expense.

    If I had to bet, it would be for further economic failures (no matter which party is in power). Whether we reach depression or not may be conjecture, but it is a scary one with genuine possibilities.

    The Republican Party can spin the “too big to fail” nonsense however they want, but it was Bush who first came to AIG’s aid (with our money). Obama (a/k/a, Fredo or Bush III) was more than happy to follow Bush’s lead and fund the rest of the bailouts. Geithner, a former Goldman Sachs boyo himself, wasn’t ready for this job the same way Fredo wasn’t prepared for his. As BF once put it here, these are the best minds … they do not fail, etc.

    Well, they did fail. They failed in the private sector and now they’re failing in the public sector; to include both sides of the political aisle. The cost was and remains to the working man (whether small business or people trying to survive day to day).

    Geithner’s projections and his article are indeed a fantasy, but so is the idea that further tax cuts will speed a recovery at this point. Dismantling this insane war would be a good start to cutting a deficit; the ongoing cost of that fiasco in blood and money seems to be something this administration and the geniuses on the other side of the aisle are not willing to put on the table. It will be our downfall financially if it goes on much longer. There’s no return on that investment. None whatsoever.

    Welcome to the recovery?

    Welcome to the Monkey House is more like it. (Props to Mr. Vonnegut)

  2. Truthseeker says:

    What really saddens me is that the truly best and brightest never make it to the top. Instead we have popularity contests and who can lie the most with a straight face. This is what outside countries see and this is how we are represented.

    The unemployement numbers should not be based on how many people are getting unemployment benefits. It should be based on how many people are truly not working. But that is all politics.

  3. 1. Are we at the beginning of the recovery from the recession that we have been going through for the last couple of years? Yes, absolutely. You know, unless we’re not, then no.

    2. As a follow up, if you think the answer to #1 is yes, do you think it is getting better because of Obama’s policies? If the answer to #1 is yes, then of course it’s Obama’s policies – he is, after all, the President. If the answer to #1 is no, then of course it’s because of Bush’s policies – Obama isn’t a miracle worker, after all.

  4. 1. Are we at the beginning of the recovery from the recession that we have been going through for the last couple of years?

    Define “recovery”?

    The government can print more fiat currency, flood the economy and give the appearance of a recovery for another year or two. If this is what you claim is a recovery, then “yes” – probably it is the beginning.

    If a recovery is a sustainable productive economy, then “no” – not even close.

    2. As a follow up, if you think the answer to #1 is yes, do you think it is getting better because of Obama’s policies?

    Not one thing that comes out of Obama’s mouth is “Obama’s thinking”.

    These are not his policies. These are elite’s policies trying to save their own.

    3. How many of you believe that a complete meltdown is going to happen?

    “Going” to happen?

    It’s already melting, sir!

    4. Of those, how many think it is within the next 5 years? 10 years? 100 years?

    A total globby mess by 2014 – but economics is not time dependent. It could be in 6 months, it could be in 10 years.

    5. Back on the topic of this article, how do people feel about the completely fantasy based declarations of recovery from Geithner?

    When reality defeats irrational theory, the best those that cannot be rational is to cling to irrational hope.

    • well, I agree with #3, at least..

    • Your last sentence leads me to a couple quotes from our friend in Iraq.. Baghdad Bob

      “Please, please! The Americans are relying on what I called yesterday a desperate and stupid method.”

      “Today we slaughtered them in the airport. They are out of Saddam International Airport. The force that was in the airport, this force was destroyed.”

      “Desperate Americans”

      • Anita,

        Baghdad Bob was simply predicting the inevitable outcome of the war.

        He will be proven right on every account – albeit 10 years later.

    • Bob Herbert of the NY Times (a Fredo supporter who bashes Fredo’s policies pretty consistently) agrees with both BF and myself; we’re already there (the economic disaster) and yapping about deficits while continuing this insane war is nothing short of schizophrenic.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/10/opinion/10herbert.html?ref=opinion

      • Charlie,

        Nice article. Another from the Times,
        “still awaits Congressional ratification”

        http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/02/business/economy/02trade.html?ref=panama

        Hurdles Deter Obama’s Pledge to Double Exports
        By SEWELL CHAN
        Published: August 1, 2010

        WASHINGTON — When President Obama announced at his State of the Union address in January a goal of doubling American exports over five years, business owners applauded, envisioning a flood of goods moving into new markets in the Asian and Latin American countries that are leading the global recovery. The chief executives of Boeing and Xerox agreed to lead an advisory council to support the effort, called the National Export Initiative.

        But now, as officials complete a plan of action due in September, the hurdles before Mr. Obama’s ambitious goal are getting clear.

        Opening access to foreign markets, especially the fast-growing developing countries in Asia and South America, remains a politically touchy matter that will

        require the cooperation of Congress. A free-trade agreement with South Korea that was negotiated under President George W. Bush and that has been endorsed by Mr. Obama still awaits Congressional ratification, as do agreements with Colombia and Panama, and important issues remain unresolved in each.

        Even more critical, by some measures, is the rising strength of the dollar, which increases the cost of American goods and makes them less competitive. The dollar has risen in value relative to the euro and the pound and remains overvalued, in the view of many economists, against China’s renminbi.

        “When the dollar does get excessively valued relative to other currencies, exports don’t grow, period,” said Franklin J. Vargo, a former Commerce Department official who is the vice president for international economic affairs of the National Association of Manufacturers.

        And in hundreds of pages of comments filed last week with the Commerce Department, industries as varied as winemaking and long-haul trucking identified dozens of smaller hurdles — including regulatory barriers and a shortage of customs officers — that they claim hinder trade. The comments, invited by the department, offer a glimpse into why the country’s large trade deficit persists even as consumers reduce spending.

        On July 7, Mr. Obama said the country was “on track” to meeting his goal; exports in the first four months of 2010 grew almost 17 percent over the same period last year. But while exports are growing, imports are growing even faster: in May, the trade deficit in goods and services was $42.3 billion, up from $24.9 billion a year earlier.

  5. A while back you asked for us to paint a picture of our towns and how they looked in relation to the economy of the USA. Today in my town things are still much the same. Vacant storefronts and homes. One thing I can say is that I’m seeing fewer homes for sale but the homes are still vacant and the ones that have For Sale signs are going for a little better price. Many homes were going for in the $30’s 6 months ago now the prices are more like in the 50’s to 80’s. These are homes that a few years back were selling in the $100-140’s. Strange thing is there are no people in the homes that have been bought. So I guess a bunch of ghosts live here now. As for job growth, that’s strange too. Many people around here work for temp agencies now and if you’re working- then you’re working tons of overtime. It doesn’t make sense.

    • And for those who remember me saying the only bright spot in my town was the newly remodeled adult entertainment joint, The Landing Strip, it’s still jammed with cars every night!

  6. Time for a little perspective about recessions and recoveries.

    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2010/05/industrial-production-capacity.html

    Make sure to click on the graphs to enlarge where you can read.

    Note the blue bars are recessions. See what production and production capacity do at the beginning and end of each recession.

    Also note that current production is within the growth trend that existed prior to the Dot.com growth spurt and then the housing bubble.

    The current situation is the same as those in the past in this one respect. Employment is what people feel and employment always lags behind.

    So that raises the question of what the authors is trying to do with this article. Notice he says we need JOBS first to fuel a recovery. But jobs never come first.

    Now the difference in this one from the past is the impact to the housing markets. Until the excess inventory is reduced there will be little in the way of new housing. Without new housing there is little in the way of jobs, because so much of the economy is tied to this one element.

  7. Here is another. This time GDP the past few years.

    Note that GDP has declined each of the past three quarters but remains positive. The RECESSION is OFFICIALLY over. It died in 2009.

    Now the question is why is GDP shrinking? The large jump in 2009 is probably due to flush of Federal Spending. As that cools then GDP settles at it “quasi real” number.

    The future will depend on how aggressive the Dem Congress and the Pres. are about their “progressive” legislative agenda. Bad times is not a good time to increase “uncertainty” in the market place.

  8. TexasChem says:

    1. Are we at the beginning of the recovery from the recession that we have been going through for the last couple of years?

    No.I predict further economic problems with the new tax increases coming at the end of the year due to the healthcare reform and loss of the Bush tax cuts.

    2. As a follow up, if you think the answer to #1 is yes, do you think it is getting better because of Obama’s policies? N/A

    3. How many of you believe that a complete meltdown is going to happen?

    Depends on the outcome of the elections in November and whether or not the Dem’s push cap -n- trade and amnesty.These two items represent more taxes + more social program burdens.

    4. Of those, how many think it is within the next 5 years? 10 years? 100 years?

    5 without decreasing the size of the federal government.

    5. Back on the topic of this article, how do people feel about the completely fantasy based declarations of recovery from Geithner?

    That dog don’t hunt here in Texas!

  9. Judy Sabatini says:

    No, things have not improved here in Nevada at all. People are still looking for work, me included, homes sales, not really, the homes that are being sold, sell for a lot less than the market value, home foreclosures are still on the high side here, a lot of businesses have closed due to the economy, the job unemployment rate still sits at 14.2%, still the highest nation wide as well as home foreclosures. How can people save money if they’re not making it? Taxing us to death isn’t helping either.

    • It is something isn’t it-I’m watching my friends, family members, and business associates-lose their jobs and close down their business’s. They have applied and applied and there just isn’t a job to be found. They can’t take advantage of the things which are cheaper like cars and houses, yet everything they need to survive is going up in price. But the government keeps telling us the answer is to spend and tax-to scare business’s from growing so no new jobs are available. At the same time they want us to give money to save the people who are being destroyed because they are taxing their business’s to death and scaring the stronger business’s from growing. Perhaps we might lower taxes and lower spending at the same time-I don’t believe that has ever actually been done.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Hi V

        I have re applied for the same jobs I have applied to before, and then some. I only got one reply, telling me that that job has been filled, and it didn’t matter what kind of job I applied for either. And being as to how I’m not working, lost my unemployment benefits as well, my husband only working part time, we’re only making half of what we used to, if that much.

        Even my sister is having a hell of a time where she works at. The Oakland Police department, her hours cut, which means half the pay, mandatory days off without pay, robbing Peter to pay Paul, and sometimes Peter doesn’t get that much to give to Paul.

        I don’t know where they get the idea that the economy is improving with the way places are closing down. We’ve had several shops going to up, open, then a short time later, closing, because people are just not spending. Gas prices have gone up here, over $3.00 a gallon, food prices have gone up, everything has gone up except for jobs . People aren’t making the money like they used to. I read in the paper this morning, that wages have gone down, compared to what they used to be 2 years ago. If you made $40,000 last year, you’re now down to maybe $35,000.

        I think they need to get their heads out of the sand, and take a reality check on what the average American worker is going through. And that crack that Dingy Harry made about no illegals working here in Nevada is a crock. Just ask the construction workers here looking for jobs, and they’ll tell you different.

    • Homes are struggling in my neighborhood. There have been two on my street no longer advertised for sale, a quick check on the county website shows that they were not sold. When I looked at a lot of homes I have seen for sale, a majority that are no longer listed did not sell. There is an appearance that it is getting better but it is not.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        We have so many homes for sell around us, it’s not funny. A lot of for rent signs in the yards as well. You can tell which ones they are, just by looking at yards and all the growth that happened. Weeds 3 ft tall, dried grass, broken windows. Some have foreclosed signs on the front yard.

        We wanted to sell ours, but said forget it, would lose money instead of making anything. We’re even upside down on ours because of the economy. We were able to re modify our loan so we could lower the payments, so that helps some anyway.

        • Judy,

          What will you do if the Telepromper Jesus offers to forgive the upsidedown portion of your mortgage in his attempt to buy more votes? Will you do it?

          • Judy Sabatini says:

            NOPE, not if it boost him any. We had no choice but to go that way for now, checked every which way we could to not go that way, but didn’t look good no matter what. Guess we got lucky really, because I know there are a lot of others in the same boat as we are. My sister tried to get her loan re-modified, but they wouldn’t even talk with her.

            • Good for you. The whole things smells like a trap to me.

              When I first read about it, I had the mental image of a crowd of desperate looking people drooling over a juicy looking lump of roast meat hanging on a hook, in front of them.

              • Judy Sabatini says:

                We waited a while first before we decided to try and see if we could. Going through the finances doing away with this, doing away with that, going here, going there, and no matter what we did, still had to go through it. Like I said, didn’t have a choice.

  10. TexasChem says:

    This is completely off topic but is such utter bull***t I had to post it…

    US State Dept Sends Mosque Imam to Mideast!

    August 9, 2010 – 7:01 PM | by: Jake Gibson

    WASHINGTON– State Department officials on Monday confirmed Feisal Abdul Rauf, the Imam of the so-called Ground Zero Mosque, will soon be going on a trip of the Middle East and the U.S. government will be picking up the tab.

    The planned construction of a mosque near Ground Zero in New York City has set off a contentious national debate over religious freedom in the U.S., drawing impassioned opposition from some families of 9/11 victims.

    Rauf has emerged as a controversial figure because of his refusal to acknowledge Hamas as a terrorist organization, which is how the U.S. government classifies the group. The imam also has been quoted as saying U.S. foreign policy was in part responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

    “He is a distinguished Muslim cleric,” said State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley. “We do have a program whereby, through our Educational and Cultural Affairs Bureau here at the State Department, we send people from Muslim communities here in this country around the world to help people overseas understand our society and the role of religion within our society.”

    Rauf and his partners are preparing to build a $100 million Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero, where on September 11, 2001 two airliners hijacked by al-Qaeda terrorists, slammed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, killing nearly 3,000 innocents.

    The project, known as Park 51, cleared a final hurdle on August 3rd, when decision by New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission cleared the way for construction. The tower could span up to 15 stories and will house a mosque, a 500-seat auditorium and a pool.

    The State Department has not yet divulged a detailed itinerary of Rauf’s trip, although Arab media is reporting he will visit the oil rich states of Saudi Arabia, The United Arab Emirates and Abu Dhabi.

    “It is to foster greater understanding and outreach around the world, among… Muslim- majority communities,” said Crowley. “We’ve done this many, many times, with many leading figures… over the past few years.”

    The project has also drawn outspoken criticism from Sarah Palin who famously tweeted, “Peace-seeking Muslims, pls understand, Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation. It stabs hearts.”

    New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has forcefully defended the project as a symbol of America’s religious tolerance.

    Thoughts???

    • I don’t have a problem with the mosque itself, but sending this guy overseas on our dime does piss me off. The justification being used for this waste pisses me off even more.

      I’m starting to think we should have national referendums on at least some of the wasteful spending going on. I know if there had been a referendum on the bailouts, more than a few banks would’ve folded the way they should have. And I’m damn sure this guy would be fitting his own bill (or the project would be limited to internet emails–equally as useful/useless).

      This is where you wingies get to mark one down for your side; absolutely stupid government spending very, very few of us (if any) care to donate to.

    • F*@#)$$#!!!!!!!

      👿

  11. Good article by small business owner in NJ:

    Why I’m Not Hiring
    When you add it all up, it costs $74,000 to put $44,000 in Sally’s pocket and to give her $12,000 in benefits.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/NA_WSJ_PUB:SB10001424052748704017904575409733776372738.html

    As far as Geithner et al, I’ve asked before….how do they sleep at night and look themselves in the mirror in the morning?

    • This won’t open for me because you have to be a subscriber.

    • The EPA banned all government mirrors. 🙂

    • Geithneris just doing what he was hired to do, sell the lie to advance Obama/Pelosi’s agenda.

      Now, adding to the insanity, there is ObamaCare.

      Every year, we negotiate a renewal to our health coverage. This year, our provider demanded a 28% increase in premiums—for a lesser plan. This is in part a tax increase that the federal government has co-opted insurance providers to collect. We had never faced an increase anywhere near this large; in each of the last two years, the increase was under 10%.

      To offset tax increases and steepening rises in health-insurance premiums, my company needs sustainably higher profits and sales—something unlikely in this “summer of recovery.” We can’t pass the additional costs onto our customers, because the market is too tight and we’d lose sales. Only governments can raise prices repeatedly and pretend there will be no consequences.

      And even if the economic outlook were more encouraging, increasing revenues is always uncertain and expensive. As much as I might want to hire new salespeople, engineers and marketing staff in an effort to grow, I would be increasing my company’s vulnerability to government decisions to raise taxes, to policies that make health insurance more expensive, and to the difficulties of this economic environment.

      A life in business is filled with uncertainties, but I can be quite sure that every time I hire someone my obligations to the government go up. From where I sit, the government’s message is unmistakable: Creating a new job carries a punishing price.

  12. It seems like the HH (HuffPo Herd) are a little agitated. Too bad it still doesn’t occur to them that their Messiah and his lackies are frauds that used the herd to get in power.

    I can’t blame Timmy Tax Cheat for his out and out lies to the herd. The herd ‘elected’ the Messiah and almost two years into His reign, it has yet to occur to them that they adore a false god.

    Until they realize what they’ve done, I’m not very concerned about them.

    I suspect the disaster called the US economy will continue rolling down hill for a while yet. It’ll slowly pick up speed on its way to the bottom. That’s if we’re lucky. If we’re unlucky, we’ll get an assist in some form, maybe a huge Katrina like disaster, ‘terror attack, market crash, who knows.

  13. I live in a van.
    The economy is not better.

    I predict a meltdown in 10 years, but some of that prediction depends on how one defines “meltdown”. It will get worse before it gets really bad. It will not get better without a major overhaul, and it is so bad that even a major overhaul will not halt it getting a lot worse before getting better. This is, unfortunately, dangerous for those who would seek to overhaul the system before it collapses completely, because people, in their great wisdom born of fear and A.D.D., will say that it didnt work, that it made things worse. Then a real fix will be set far back, unless the powers that make such a change are COMPLETELY up front and accurate about the effects of the fixes. No bedside manner, no candy coating. We can fix this but its gonna hurt. We have to rebreak and reset all the bones, we have to do extreme surgery, and we have to do it all without anesthesia.

    The only thing Geithner ever did right was not pay taxes.

    • Jon,

      I remember you saying that you’re living in the van to save money for a business or something. Is that still your plan or have altered it?

      Everytime I think of you living like that I shudder. I lived in a camper for a year and car for several months back in ’81-82. After awhile it really sucks.

      • Still the plan, going along well, truth be told. Minimal living has allowed us to put an extra $5k into our businesses, and both are growing steadily. Due to the current economic state, however, the growth and savings, etc. has been slower than we had hoped. We are in a place where we can plug in for power pretty much permanently, and we are hoping to install a small AC unit in the van in the next month or so (just in time for fall when we dont need it). Its not really as bad as it sounds (the van is part camper), but it does add to the effect when O-bots talk crap about how great the economy is, or when some jerk wants a handout from me just because I am working and he is not.

        We are about $3k short of completing our upgrades to the point that we will start looking at renting a place again. I dunno tho, I am pretty far under the radar right now, I might just want to stay that way….

        • I’m glad things are going in your direction. The thing I hated most about living like that was lack of sanitation; no toilet and having to find a garden hose to shower with if someone didn’t take pity on me let me use their bathroom. I survived it once and could do again if I had to but I sure wouldn’t enjoy it.

          Under the radar is a great place to be. Maybe someday I’ll join you there but you better have a working toilet and a hot shower, lol!

          • I have a toilet actually, no shower tho. Fortunately, our semi-permanent power arrangement includes shower and washing machine priviledges. 😛

            • Nice…..I hope you can keep those priviledges especially in the winter. Using a garden hose to bathe with during winter sucks, espcially in up north!

    • Anita,

      Reagan would have cut taxes, but increase government spending via printing money through T-bills.

      We are here suffering because, in part, of what he did.

      • Yeah well you’re more up on that than me but doesn’t this make sense?

        In the mid-1980s, the employment-population ratio recovered less than two years after hitting bottom. The momentum continued for the rest of the decade, fueled by the 1986 tax reform that lowered the top marginal income tax rate to 28%, allowing America to employ the millions of late baby boomers, women and immigrants who sought jobs. By the time the boom ended in 1990, the employment ratio had rocketed to 63% from 57

      • Sorry BF I copied the wrong paragraph. Now check out the two together..

        An administration that pursued job creation—not ideology—would note this history and see how individuals and companies can create wealth and jobs quickly if they have the right incentives. Instead, we have policies that are uncertain and portend higher taxes and greater regulatory burdens. This is causing business and consumers alike to restrain spending, creating a drag on the economy too great for any government stimulus to reverse.

        • Anita,
          So much wrong in such a short paragraph.

          An administration that pursued job creation—not ideology—would note this history and see how individuals and companies can create wealth and jobs quickly if they have the right incentives.

          Individuals and businesses require no incentive to make money other than to make money!

          The embedded irrational theory inside this statement is that there is a positive action of government that can create wealth better then the free market can do on its own.

          But as I’ve presented over and over again…
          you cannot improve economic calculation by destroying it with political calculation.

          Any action — and I mean any action of government to act in the market place destroys the market place.

          The action of government that is required is … nothing.

          Get it out – leave, do nothing, quit muddling and meddling – and the economy will work itself to the optimum.

          Instead, we have policies that are uncertain and portend higher taxes and greater regulatory burdens. This is causing business and consumers alike to restrain spending, creating a drag on the economy too great for any government stimulus to reverse

          Government cannot reverse the decline of the economy but it most certainly can speed that decline up!

          Consumer spending is not the goal.

          Consumer saving is vital. It is necessary to restore the capital of the economy that has been destroyed by government action.

          Business productivity is vital. It is necessary to improve the economic output to provide the excess of savings to restore the capital destroyed by the government.

          Tax cuts and cutting government spending reduces the seizure of capital out of the market place that the savings and productivity is trying to replace.

          • Can’t argue with you. The sentence that summed it up for me is:

            Instead, we have policies that are uncertain and portend higher taxes and greater regulatory burdens.

            Sooo..I agree..get the govt out of the way .

          • Very well explained, BF!

  14. here is a good article provided by the Wall Street Journal talking about companies that can’t find people to hire, and that get less applications now then when there wasn’t a recession, and talks about why.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/career-work/article/110277/some-firms-struggle-to-hire-despite-high-unemployment

    • Naten, wasn’t 53 Herbie’s number?

      (A very good article, matches some of my experiences. We have had several people refuse a job offer because they still can draw un-employment. Also have some put things on a job application so they will not ever be considered
      for a job.)

      For one, the U.S. education system hasn’t been producing enough people with the highly specialized skills that many companies, particularly in manufacturing, require to keep driving productivity gains. “There are a lot of people who are unemployed, but those aren’t necessarily the people employers are looking for,” says David Autor, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

      Manufacturers of high-precision products such as automobile and aircraft parts are in a particularly tough spot. Global competition keeps them from raising wages much. But they need workers with the combination of math skills, intuition and stamina required to operate the computer-controlled metalworking machines that now dominate the factory floor.

      At Mechanical Devices, which supplies parts for earthmovers and other heavy equipment to manufacturers such as Caterpillar Inc., part owner Mark Sperry says he has been looking for $13-an-hour machinists since early this year. The lack of workers is “the key limitation to the growth of our business and to meeting our customers’ expectations,” says Mr. Sperry. He estimates the company could immediately boost sales by as much as 20% if it could find the 40 workers it needs.

  15. 1. Are we at the beginning of the recovery from the recession that we have been going through for the last couple of years?(No, we are in a slow decline partly obscured by the Fed’s hijinks. Local gov’s are especially starting to feel the pinch of reduced collections, and are considering increasing taxes to offset.)

    2. As a follow up, if you think the answer to #1 is yes, do you think it is getting better because of Obama’s policies? (Obama’s policies seem to be to advance his/Pelosi’s agenda, no matter the cost. No job, that sux, but at least you have free healthcare!)

    3. How many of you believe that a complete meltdown is going to happen?
    (Depends on actions not yet taken, Cap & Trade, amnesty, as Tex said, are economy busters. Add to that more regulation, such as EPA requiring big trucks to double their mileage. I have checked, it can be done, but how much will it cost? What happens if new gov. regulation makes shipping on trucklines as expensive as air shipping? And the kicker, if we demonstrate enough instability, the countries buying our debt will stop, and the fed’s money game comes to a halt, the house of cards tumbles.

    4. Of those, how many think it is within the next 5 years? 10 years? 100 years?(November thru January will tell. First the elections, the the lame duck congress.)

    5. Back on the topic of this article, how do people feel about the completely fantasy based declarations of recovery from Geithner? (Geithner is just what Flag has said, and will leave his position very well off, with much more than 30 pieces of silver. He has pitched, spun and lied from day one, just like he was hired to do.)

    • GOP considers resolution to block lame duck session
      Rick Moran, American Thinker

      Huffington Post’s Sam Stein is reporting that the GOP will seek to preempt Democratic attempts to call a lame duck session of Congress in order to pass cap and tax, and perhaps even card check:

      House Republicans are going forward with plans to introduce a resolution on Tuesday to prohibit the House of Representatives from assembling during the two-month period following the November elections.

      A GOP leadership aide confirmed to the Huffington Post that the resolution, authored by Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) for the purposes of preventing Democrats from passing legislative items during the lame-duck session, would be introduced before the House passes additional Medicaid and teacher funding. The aide argued that comments on Sunday by Carol Browner, the White House’s top energy and environmental adviser, suggesting that energy legislation could be considered during the so-called lame duck period, proved that the resolution was pertinent.

      Of course, there is little to no chance of the gambit succeeding. The Democrats still have their 40 seat majority and will easily beat back the resolution.

      But the GOP is starting to make the case that if they succeed in taking over the House, it would be a slap in the face to voters if dozens of defeated Democratic lawmakers were to vote on issues for which the voters had just soundly rejected them for supporting.

      • A slap in the face to voters??? LOLOLOLOL! What’s one more? Sheesh, the voters are pretty much numb from being slapped in the face so many times.

  16. Looks like we have this topic discussed out at the moment so..

    Mathius and Cyndi: Food Network voted on the best burgers in each state and guess who won in California?

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/50-states-50-burgers/package/index.html

    • I haven’t had an In-n-Out burger in at least two decades! As I recall it was a greasy mess and highly over rated.

    • Make sure you order that double double “animal style” to get every ounce of goodness out of it (the style isn’t on the menu – you just have to know about it).

      Yes I liked In-N-Out when I suffered life as a California resident. I’m sorry.

      • HELLS YEA!

        3×3 is even better (agreed on animal style), and don’t forget the fries and the vanilla shake!

  17. Essentially then, the dispute with the Statist is about the exact role to be assigned to the state and the extent of the power that should be delegated to it. Therefore, the negative references to the “state” do not stem from a fundamental opposition to it. The reservations merely reflect the dangers inherent in an excessive role of the state. This comes about when that role is paired with the ability of special interest groups to kidnap the state to serve their interests.

    1. The story behind new taxes is rich in lessons. However, through the repetition of the cases, the plot can become rather monotonous to the attentive. Even so, the repetition might be necessary because those in need of instruction resist the lesson of the story.

    It all begins with stage one. That is when the measure is proposed. At that point, the public is told that the planned tax is to be temporary and slight. Most importantly, the advocates soothingly allege that the costs will hit others but not you.

    Once enacted, we proceed to stage two. This is the phase when the burden becomes permanent. Like St. Bernhard puppies, it will grow as time passes. Most importantly, in faze three –too late folks!- you will discover that, after all, you were wrong about the “you”. Another “you” must have been meant when your immunity had been promised. Surprisingly, the “you” you happen to be is the one who has to pay. Directly or indirectly.

    more at,
    http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/4498

  18. And from the other side, we should be happy, the stimulus worked!

    http://mediamatters.org/research/201008080008

    Liz Cheney contradicts economists, claims the stimulus has “not worked”
    August 08, 2010 3:02 pm ET — 28 Comments

    Liz Cheney spread the myth that the stimulus bill has “not worked” to mitigate job losses. In fact, many independent and private analysts have agreed that stimulus spending significantly raised employment over what would have happened without it.

    Cheney advances discredited claim that stimulus has “not worked”

    Cheney suggests the stimulus didn’t create employment. During the August 8 edition of Fox News Sunday, Juan Williams asked Cheney, “Where are there any Republican ideas for getting this economy back on track? All we get from Republicans is no, no, no, to everything from unemployment benefits to stimulus spending.” Cheney said:

    The Republicans are saying no to things that have not worked. We’ve lost 3.3 million jobs since the stimulus passed last year. And what is clear is that the private sector is not going to hire when they’re traumatized. And I think they have been pretty well-traumatized by the policies of this administration. They don’t know what coming next; more taxes, more regulation.

    But independent and private analysts agree stimulus significantly raised employment

    CEA: Recovery Act has raised employment “by between 2.5 and 3.6 million.” In its fourth quarterly report on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) stated: “The CEA estimates that as of the second quarter of 2010, the ARRA has raised employment relative to what it otherwise would have been by between 2.5 and 3.6 million. These estimates are broadly consistent with the direct recipient reporting data available for 2010:Q1.”

    Independent analysts agree that recovery act significantly raised employment. In its quarterly report, the CEA included figures from independent analyses that also credited the recovery act with increasing employment:

    Economists say stimulus helped economic recovery

    Wall Street Journal: 70 percent of economists surveyed said stimulus helped. The Wall Street Journal reported on March 12 that 38 of the 54 economists it surveyed “said the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act boosted growth and mitigated job losses, while six said the legislation had a net negative effect.”

    ABC News: Most on panel of economists “think the economy would be worse” without the stimulus. ABC News reported on February 18 that “most” of the economists on its panel “think the economy would be worse today without the big aid package, which totaled $787 billion and was signed into law by President Obama on Feb. 17, 2009.”

    NABE: 83 percent say stimulus raised GDP. A February survey of 203 members of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) found that “[e]ighty-three percent believe that GDP is currently higher than it would have been without the 2009 stimulus package (ARRA).”

    USA Today: Surveyed economists said “stimulus package saved jobs.” USA Today reported on January 25:

    President Obama’s stimulus package saved jobs — but the government still needs to do more to breathe life into the economy, according to USA TODAY’s quarterly survey of 50 economists.

    Unemployment would have hit 10.8% — higher than December’s 10% rate — without Obama’s $787 billion stimulus program, according to the economists’ median estimate. The difference would translate into another 1.2 million lost jobs.

    • Maybe Media Matters (they wish!) should survey the people living in the ObamaVilles springing up like mushrooms after a summer rain, and ask “Did the recovery work?”

      If I had the money, I’d order a huge sign for the entrance of every ObamaVille in America.
      It would have the words “America, THIS is what Change looks like!”

  19. Bottom Line says:

    1. – No.

    2. – N/A

    3. – It’s already started.

    4. – 1-2

    5. They are ALL full of shit. Geitner is typical.

  20. D13's Guardian says:

    Standing in for D13 (who, last seen, was at the border in desert cammies…face paint…night vision goggles with infrared sensing…water pack (4 litres)…salt tablets….etc.

    He would have wanted me to answer your questions..

    1.Are we at the beginning of the recovery from the recession that we have been going through for the last couple of years?

    A Resounding NO

    2.As a follow up, if you think the answer to #1 is yes, do you think it is getting better because of Obama’s policies?

    Answering NO to #1 answers #2.

    3.How many of you believe that a complete meltdown is going to happen?

    A meltdown always happens about every ten years….nothing different now….5 years from now, we shall see but an overall meltdown…NO (But that also depends on definition.

    4.Of those, how many think it is within the next 5 years? 10 years? 100 years?

    If you define meltdown meaning riots in the streets, burning buildings, armed insurrection….NO.

    5.Back on the topic of this article, how do people feel about the completely fantasy based declarations of recovery from Geithner?

    He needs to go on the comedy channel. What an idiot.

    Side Note: What you are getting now makes Bush look like a piker. What is happening now is what academia produces. No concept and not a clue to reality and none of them could runb a Lemonade stand.

  21. “Tim Geithner Gives Us More Lies…”

    Shock and “Awwww Sh*t”….

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