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[Cross-posted at The Left Coaster.]

The Obama Administration and its stalwart supporters, for the sake of all Americans, should accept a political reality as soon as possible:  the stimulus bill of 2008 is a political flop, it didn’t work and it’s constant invocation as a success backfires.

We averted another Great Depression, it is so very much so, yes yes yes we freaking know, for the bankers and finance creeps are rolling in millions of dollars while all the rest of us are unholy screwed with a real unemployment rate of 20-25%.  The whole edifice didn’t come crashing down, well what an accomplishment for our generation, any chance ordinary Americans can have a life like their parents did? Too much, all right, how about any life at all?

Note that this perfectly obvious reality is slammed home every day with zero opposition from the Republicans, this reality is in fact what they believe in, god, the oligarchs fat and giggling while the rest of us are ground down to serfdom.

There’s another viciously toxic political twist to our Great Recession, the insanity of Afghanistan.  While State Governments reel and the unemployment rate is 25 freaking percent higher than the Obama administration itself projected nine months ago, soon Mr. President is going to ask for 30 extra billion dollars to wage another year of war, or whatever they’ve talked themselves into for what we’re doing there.

Needless to say this cute little move instantly moves beyond mere administrative and managerial spheres of competence into a dreadful moral position.  Lance Corporals, mere children, come home in boxes, to say nothing of the heinous damage inflicted upon Afghanistan and its people.

Bankers laugh with billions while the rest of us get nothing and the war gets more.  The Republicans haven’t said a word, yet of course everyone is acutely aware of this plain reality.  Why can’t the Obama Administration see the perilous politics of this?  Why can’t they push for more American employment and help?  It’s hard for Bob Herbert to say today in the New York Times, but I’ll give it a shot.

As discussed, the primary factor is an embarrassing, classic human case of self-deception, the administration hosers strut around believing and telling everyone we averted the Great Recession, clueless that even if correct blunders right into a backfire.

Surely ego is involved here, oh yes, with such, well...plain examples of it in the endearing characters of Summers and Emanuel.  Stressing Stimulus II would mean the dudes were wrong in 2009, they fucked up.  It’s nothing, everyone knows it, but regrettably all must acknowledge that in the sorry world of DC testicles admitting wrong can be such a  very big deal.  That cretin Summers still yaps the Great Recession is over with our appalling unemployment rate.

Then there’s that little detail it wouldn’t work, not in time for the 2010 elections, anyway.  This is an offensive, stupid way to look at the situation, for of course sometime in 2011-12 it would start to work, praise baby Jesus Americans would start to get jobs by doing the right thing, and if Democratic politicians can’t successfully sell help is on the way for 2010 they seriously need to get a life and another profession.  Don’t forget Stimulus II would still deliver handsomely for 2012.

I would think it’d be fairly obvious why Obama makes no political or social impetus for our horrendous black unemployment:  the last thing he would ever want is to somehow be open to the perception as the Angry Black Male.  Not only is this so not his personal style, Obama wisely knows that stance—even the hint of perception—would likely not politically work in the United States.  I think it’s a sad political reality and I’d be more than thrilled to see him take it on, but I understand why Obama doesn’t.

Which is closely related to the last reason we won’t see Stimulus II, passionately advocating for the little people in America means taking on a real political fight, something our "transformational" President, so above the fray of partisan "squabbles," well, he just isn’t up for that.

Self-deception, ego, poor managerial and ethics skills, delayed results, American racial reality and foolish endearment to a fantasy political paradigm, that’s basically why the little people of American won’t get Stimulus II, no matter how much our people continue to horribly suffer.  If the Obama Administration finds such a conclusion offensive don’t say a god damn thing, Lord we’re all tired of yap, just go out and prove me wrong with Stimulus II.  Soon, please.

Originally posted to paradox on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 06:46 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  They will after Coakley loses. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alnc

    Because the health care bill will be dead, and the Dems will have to do something desperate to save tehir jobs.

    •  Are you cheery today! /not (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rich in PA, soms

      Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
      I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
      -Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 06:49:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've been waring about this for months. (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TJ, polecat, alnc, Demi Moaned, Hens Teeth, Sunspots

        Anmd got nothing but HR's and bitching from a lot of people who are doing the President and the party no favors by trying to shut down any criticism of his stupid-fucking decisions.

        The President needs to know the truth. Otherwise, he will keep making the same stupid fucking mistakes.

        •  Preaching to the choir. (0+ / 0-)

          You didn't really expect it to be otherwise, did you?

          The writing was on the wall when we found out what Obama was like at Harvard.  Or even when he picked his cabinet.

          Be honest.  "Change" it ain't.

          Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
          I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
          -Spike Milligan

          by polecat on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 06:57:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  You're dreaming. If Coakley loses ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Whimsical

      the blame will be solidly on liberals who attempted to do too much.

      David Brooks is already on that message in today's column (deliberately not providing a link to his garbage).

      "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

      by Demi Moaned on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 06:55:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, I know. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        alnc, scorpiorising, Sunspots

        All that means is health care will be dead. Another stimulus, however, will be the thing that the Dems take up as a consolation for the death of health care reform because it will be politically popular and will be sold as a jobs bill.

        •  Maybe. It's hard to disagree with Krugman (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          scorpiorising, Hens Teeth, Sunspots

          when he writes:

          About the stimulus: it has surely helped. Without it, unemployment would be much higher than it is. But the administration’s program clearly wasn’t big enough to produce job gains in 2009.

          Why was the stimulus underpowered? A number of economists (myself included) called for a stimulus substantially bigger than the one the administration ended up proposing. According to The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza, however, in December 2008 Mr. Obama’s top economic and political advisers concluded that a bigger stimulus was neither economically necessary nor politically feasible.

          Their political judgment may or may not have been correct; their economic judgment obviously wasn’t.
          ...
          Could the administration have made a midcourse correction on economic policy if it hadn’t been fighting battles on health care? Probably not. One key argument of those pushing for a bigger stimulus plan was that there would be no second chance: if unemployment remained high, they warned, people would conclude that stimulus doesn’t work rather than that we needed a bigger dose. And so it has proved.

          At this point, I think they would have to go to reconciliation to pass health care.

          "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

          by Demi Moaned on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 07:04:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That would be another huge error. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            alnc, scorpiorising, Hens Teeth

            A) If they go reconciliation -- that will raise questions as t9o why the fuck they didn't do that months ago.

            B) If they go reconciliation -- and don't jam in all the good stuff -- such as a public option -- into the bill -- the rank and file will go fucking ballistic. We were all told we couldn't do reconciliation, and that we had to give up the POP, etc. to get a bill passed. Now, without the 60 votes, we go to reconciliation and we don't get the good stuff? No fucking way. The rank and file will revolt.

            IMHO -- having 60 votes was a curse ratherthan a blessing. If we knew from the get go we couldn't pass anything with 60 -- then we would have gone the reconciliation route a lot sooner and none of thsi shit would have happened.

  •  We're going to need 3 or 4 more stimulus packages (5+ / 0-)

    to get everything back on track.

    And if we don't, welcome to either 1937 or the 70's show.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    -Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 06:49:11 AM PST

  •  Because they're really very expensive (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paradox, VClib, cordobes

    It was worthwhile to make sure we didn't have a depression, but I don't know if it's worthwhile to make some incremental change in the recession we ended up with.  I'd only support a new stimulus if the stimulus effects were secondary to the actual physical and social infrastructure goals of the spending.

    Enrich your life with adverbs!

    by Rich in PA on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 06:49:54 AM PST

    •  Loss of government revenue (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hens Teeth, Sunspots

      ...from a down economy in the midst of two wars is more expensive.

      Typically a stimulus bill requires:

      providing consumer income through things like extension of unemployment benefits, subsidizing healthcare, one-time bonuses to folks on SSI and Social Security

      infrastructure investments, which are still needed desperately because even the backlogged repairs on infrastructure are not complete with the 2009 bill and there are exceptional opportunities for creating new infrastructure that lowers the cost of living and doing business.

      The first stimulates demand; the second provides a cushion against inflation as the economy recovers.

      In addition, this recession requires:

      a significant mortgage relief program to get folks out from under financial-market-caused debt and help folks who have gone into medical bankruptcy and foreclosure; this will require a principal cramdown on mortgages

      aid to states to get state budgets back from their cost-cutting binges; key elements of this are permanently federalizing Medicaid (taking away a huge unfunded federal mandate on the states), substantial education funding tied to requirements that states not financially tie their hands in dealing with recessions with balance budget amendments and supermajority requirements for tax increases that have turned states like California into failed states

      financial transaction tax to pay back the federal funds put at risk, to finance the recovery, and to create a risk pool against future financial industry failures while the financial industry regulation legislation moves forward

      immediate repeal of the Bush tax cuts and a progressive windfall profits tax on corporate bonuses over $75,000.

      The second two items finance the first two.  The tax on the financial system is to encourage investment long term in the real economy instead of through constant churning of paper assets.

      50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

      by TarheelDem on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 07:06:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sometimes I think that the only worthwhile... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sunspots

        ...stimulus is to cover the budget shortfalls of the states.  The states, after all, provide the bulk of social services beyond unemployment benefits.  The trick would be to ensure that states do their fiscal part--otherwise they'll all act like California or Louisiana.  

        Enrich your life with adverbs!

        by Rich in PA on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 07:10:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  A lot of budget shortfalls of states (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sunspots

          ...are because they ended taxes on businesses, like inventory taxes, tied their hands on tax increases, and raided their "rainy day funds" for tax cuts.  As a result they have no reserves for bad downturns.

          States are the ones who provide unemployment benefits with federal and state funds.  Same for social services.  What began as a partnership during the New Deal has to the view of state politicians become "unfunded mandates", meaning that states have little choice but to pick up their share in order to get the federal funds.  Federalizing these "federal-state partnership" programs would take away the "unfunded mandate" issue that gets trotted out against federal programs.

          50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

          by TarheelDem on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 07:32:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Because we're not rich and powerful (5+ / 0-)

    Like Obama's masters in Wall Street.

    That's why.

    Where's CANDIDATE Obama hiding these days?

    by Dems 2008 on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 06:51:31 AM PST

  •  We need another one (0+ / 0-)

    and I fear in about 12 hours we will see we cannot get one.

    The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

    by fladem on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 06:51:49 AM PST

  •  Because the deficit is the greatest threat ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paradox, scorpiorising, Sunspots

    to humanity ever known-- now that the Democrats are in office.

    It's time for some good shock doctrine. How can we justify all this outrageous spending on Social Security and Medicate?

    It's just common sense that people can't endlessly binge on debts without coming to ruin.

    These are just a few of the ideas that are getting wide circulation, including from some Democrats. I wouldn't hold out much hope for a second round of stimulus, though from a political point of view, I think it's the Democrats' best chance to avert disaster in 2012.

    "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

    by Demi Moaned on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 06:52:24 AM PST

  •  We will, in the form of a Jobs Bill. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Raven, Inkin, Sunspots

    A million monkeys at a keyboard could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.

    by lookit on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 06:56:15 AM PST

  •  Because Congress is broken. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybrestrike, Sunspots

    The Senate is a completely useless body. Nothing good will come out of it because one senator has (as palpatine would say) "UNLIMITED POWER".

    (thats a star wars episode 3 reference.)

    I hated Glenn Beck before it was cool.

    by ChrisFromMaine on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 07:54:15 AM PST

  •  even if we get another stimulus (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sunspots

    If it's loaded with pork and tax breaks like the last one it won't do any good anyway. 40 billion out of almost 800 billion is what was used for infrastructure, that's only 5%. We would be in a depression now without it though because state govts were on verge of bankruptcy and still are but simulus funds averted that for now. But to actually improve things instead of keeping status quo we need more infrastructure spending. 40 billion is just what is needed every year anyway to keep up maintenance. The big dig by itself in massachusetts cost 14 billion, almost every state in the US has a need for a project on that level, a real legit need and that would put many back to work with a real project like that (of course in my comparison I don't want the same engineers that worked on the big dig).

  •  I'm against another stimulus bill (0+ / 0-)

    not financed by spending cuts.

    The only way to keep jobs in the long run is by enhancing the fiscal competitiveness of the US. Find the money by cutting down the defence budget, corporate welfare and bureaucratic waste.

    My favourite form would be a tax rebate to the middle class + tax exemptions to companies that hire unemployed workers. Throwing money at the big business, Wall Street, construction companies and the pet projects of the pork addicts in DC is not a winning solution, both from an economic and a political perspective.

  •  because (0+ / 0-)

    the last one failed miserably?

  •  cause we're broke (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cordobes

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