Tea Party Tongues

The jobs numbers are out for June and it is becoming clear that the Tea Party has paralyzed not only the government, but it has gone a long way toward freezing in place a weak recovery.

Oh, I know the right-wing is proud of its achievements.  After all, they have managed to bring Democrats to the budget-cutting table; they have all politicians now talking in Tea Party tongues; they have managed to change the debate from what to do about the struggling economy and jobs to how much to cut entitlement programs and other staples in the Democratic Party and American diet, like, say, education.

They have done a lot those teapartiers. But they certainly can be most proud of contributing significantly to stagnating economic growth and keeping unemployment high—both of which just happen to be politically deadly for Barack Obama in 2012—and they show little sign of relenting.

Their continued opposition to government stimulus—in any form—and their continued insistence that we can cut our way to prosperity, including cutting taxes even further than the government-starving ratios in place now, is the most significant contributing factor in our inability to escape the black hole of the Great Recession.

The unemployment rate has now crept up to 9.2% and job growth has been essentially flat the last two months.  But the worst of the news is summarized in this sentence from CNN:

So far, the nation has only gained back about a fifth of the 8.8 million jobs lost during the recession.

And while Tea Party Republicans in Congress have spent a good deal of time fretting over Planned Parenthood and National Public Radio and other non-jobs concerns, they have managed to do what many of them said they wanted to do when they ran for office. From Bloomberg:

Employment in government continued to trend down over the month (-39,000). Federal employment declined by 14,000 in June. Employment in both state government and local government continued to trend down over the month and has been falling since the second half of 2008.

Yep, they can be proud of this accomplishment, as thousands upon thousands of teachers and other “government” workers join the millions of other victims of the kind of Republican economics that ruled the day not so long ago and a kind of economics that will—if Mr. Obama is defeated in 2012 because of the bad jobs numbers this year—rule our tomorrow.

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25 Comments

  1. Randy

     /  July 8, 2011

    Duane, I’ll bet you 100 dollars that if Republicans win the Presidency in 2012 that the economy will take off like a bat out hades. heck, I’ll put up 500 bucks against your 50 bucks. Take the bet? If we lose, I am afraid your utopia of equality for all is closer than you think. We will all be equally miserable.

    Randy

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    • Randy,

      As for your bet, I don’t understand the time frame, but, you know, that’s very interesting. You seem to think that,

      a) people are waiting to spend their money until Obama is defeated, even though at least nearly half of those people will be voting for him, or,

      b) that businesses are not hiring people because they hate Obama, and just as soon as he is defeated they will turn on the spigot and the money will flow, or,

      c) Obama’s economic policy will finally bear fruit in November of 2012

      And, by the way, I don’t have a “utopia of equality.” What I have is a desire that we strive for as much equality as our democratic, capitalist system will bear.

      Duane

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  2. Tony

     /  July 8, 2011

    It was the “stimulus” spending that resulted zero jobs that is causing the current dificits. All of the stimulus money went to “green” jobs and already many of those companies who were making “green” products are filing for bankruptcy because no one wants the crappy products they were peddling. Let the marketplace make goods and perform services the consumers want and watch the economy flourish overnight. Take away the onerous regulations and see the freedom and capitalism restore this country to its glory days!

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    • Tony,

      Your ignorance, a product of a blind faith in conservative ideology, is stunning.

      Only someone with exactly no understanding of how the economy works would say that the stimulus created “zero jobs.” And only someone with exactly no understanding of our fiscal history would say that the stimulus “is causing the current deficits.”

      And you demonstrate that you have no clue as to what the stimulus was or how the money was spent by the rest of the comments you made.

      Finally, your comment about “onerous regulations” and the “glory days” is an example of how people talk about politics, when all they know about it is what they are fed by conservative talkers.

      Duane

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  3. ansonburlingame

     /  July 9, 2011

    to all,

    Let’s see if I got this right. Republicans (no Tea Party at the time) created the Great Recession. Democrats bailed us out of the GR but only achieved a weak recovery because Republicans (and a very small Tea Party with none in office at the time) were to blame because we did not spend enough money to make it a strong recover. And now the Tea Party which has “taken over” the Republican Party will cause a double dip recession or worse.

    Is all of that “right” according to Liberal gospel? In form and substance I suspect that will be the Democrat campaign for 2012, right. If only Republicans and now Tea Partiers would “get out of the way” all would be fine today, right?

    MIght I offer the counter view (as I always do in here). If Democrats had had their way over the last almost 3 years I assert we would be much more “like Europe” than the older America that I knew, regardless of which party was in power.

    Taken to the extreme, which many liberals try to do, we would actually be closer to Greece than say Great Britain today. A large number of western “social” democracies have shown the path down which liberals choose to follow, in health care, unions, work rules, little or no defense, “equality” in many things that lower the standards of a lot and are futile to a great degree in raising the standards of others, etc.

    So if you folks in here want to become “more like Europe” then follow that path.

    I will try my best to stay off that path and live within our means as a guiding principle. At least for today our means are a helluva lot better than Europe’s, are they not? I would like to keep it that way.

    Anson

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    • Anson,

      As usual, you don’t have it quite “right.”

      I’ll help:

      The Great Recession was largely the result of the practical implications of Republican governance, specific examples of which I have given a thousand times.

      The stimulus plan put forward by Democrats, which did help with the recovery, such as it is, was partially designed to attract Republican votes—it was almost 40% tax cuts—a strategy that failed. It was too small, but that’s because Democrats either underestimated the depth of the recession or just weren’t bold enough to present an adequate stimulus package. Take your pick.

      And for the record, there has always been some kind of Tea Party presence in the Republican Party, at least since 1980. But it took a Scary Negro to bring them out into the streets, with their misspelled placards and their funny hats with teabags hanging from them.

      In many ways, we are like Europe, what with our publicly popular socialist programs, Medicare and Social Security. Just try taking them away and you will have Greece-like riots in the streets, right? But you talk as if Europe’s history is monolithic, and as if there is no alternative other than our system and, say, Greece’s system. As if we have to have our twice-as-expensive health care system or import Great Britain’s National Health Service. Don’t you think it’s possible to borrow the best of others’ systems and create a better one here?

      Duane

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  4. “Let’s see if I got this right. Republicans (no Tea Party at the time) created the Great Recession.

    True since the recession began back in 2007 and Democrats didn’t take control until 01/2009. Obama took office during a receding economy that had already gained momentum.

    “Democrats bailed us out of the GR but only achieved a weak recovery because Republicans (and a very small Tea Party with none in office at the time) were to blame because we did not spend enough money to make it a strong recover.”

    True again and that’s according to the vast majority of respected economists.

    “MIght I offer the counter view (as I always do in here).”

    As much as I would like to say no, it’s doubtful that you will listen.

    “If Democrats had had their way over the last almost 3 years I assert we would be much more “like Europe” than the older America that I knew, regardless of which party was in power.”

    Do you realize that the above sentence makes no sense? If the “Democrats had their way over the last almost 3 years regardless of which party was in power” then it wouldn’t be just the Democrats.

    The United States takes 10th place for standards of living. Now which continent do think the countries with the top 9 standards of living is on?

    We could however be like the older American that you knew. You know the one, where women couldn’t vote, blacks were prevented from voting, where the KKK murdered young college kids helping blacks realize their rights, and 4 college kids at Kent State were shot by the National Guard for exercising their 1st amendment rights.

    “Taken to the extreme, which many liberals try to do, we would actually be closer to Greece than say Great Britain today.”

    Actually it’s the republicans who are pushing us in the direction of Greece. What is most frightening is that they’re doing it just try to end Obama’s presidency. Now I’ve witnessed some pretty shady politics over the years, but nothing compares to the republicans willingness to literally bring the country to its knees just to be rid of a black president.

    “So if you folks in here want to become “more like Europe” then follow that path.”

    Hopefully we will follow a path determined by our conscience.

    “I will try my best to stay off that path and live within our means as a guiding principle. At least for today our means are a helluva lot better than Europe’s, are they not? I would like to keep it that way.”

    We did better than many European nations but not all of them. For instance that nasty little Socialist nation we called Sweden fared better than we did.

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  5. Randy and Tony apparently listen to the same idiocy on rightwing radio. The fact is that this economy cannot ‘take off’ when 18,000 jobs a month is all we can come up with, regardless of who ‘wins’ in 2012.

    It cannot soar when home values continue to sink, nor when the average amount of equity mortgagees have has dwindled from fifty percent to 19%.

    Tony apparently doesnt know that all the ‘onerous reguations’ are long gone and that the stimulus money went to big banks with almost no money into jobs creation, green or otherwise..

    How do you think that the marketplace will flourish again with a decimated midde class with no equity? There are no buyers left.

    You guys don’t know squat.

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    • Jane,

      Your point about home values and the problem with mortgages is an important one, and may represent the single biggest drag on the economy, at least on the demand side.

      Duane

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  6. ansonburlingame

     /  July 9, 2011

    First HLG,

    The America that I knew (meaning 1965 when I began to work, to around the turn of the century) had various parties in power and was a helluva lot better than what I see today. We were indeed headed down the wrong path during that time by creating some much dependency on government but we had not yet reached the tipping point. Since 2000, well all bets are now off for sure concerning the tipping point which I believe we have now gone beyond and all the spending in the world will not rescue.

    Second, HLG, so America is 10th in the world by some of your stats, right. OMG. Where would you rather live, anywhere in the world, than America? And I have no idea which countries are “better” in your statistics. But I will assure you I would not move anywhere to achieve a better standard of living for myself, my family, my kids or my grandkids. I have reservations about the last category however because those other 9 countries are in all liklihood headed for a crash and burn before we do!!

    And if 9 countries are so much better than we are why don’t all of our illegal immigrants go there instead, I wonder? Maybe we can buy the boats to do so? Be a lot cheaper in the long run.

    Jane,

    All was well until you “squatted”. But of course the trick it to get housing values, jobs, pay, etc back UP. Spend more money that we don’t have, right, will do us just fine, just like Greece.

    Anson

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  7. “The America that I knew (meaning 1965 when I began to work, to around the turn of the century) had various parties in power and was a helluva lot better than what I see today. We were indeed headed down the wrong path during that time by creating some much dependency on government but we had not yet reached the tipping point.”

    We’re headed down the wrong path through the perversion of Democracy in favor of corporatism. If the people of this country don’t take a stand against corrupt corporate rule of America then the country that you speak of will be gone forever. The problem is I don’t think that you and countless millions more can see it, because these same powerful people have usurped America’s media. They control the message and the minds of those who are susceptible to it.

    “Where would you rather live, anywhere in the world, than America? And I have no idea which countries are “better” in your statistics.”

    Those aren’t mys statistics, I just freely borrow from reputable non-partisan experts.

    “Where would you rather live, anywhere in the world, than America?”

    No, but I would like to see America take advantage of what has worked in those countries and practice some of that here.

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  8. De-regulate.
    Lower taxes on the wealthy.
    Cut programs for middle and low income people.

    If anybody objects, let’s talk about abortion, immigration, and gay rights. That should keep the malcontents busy.

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  9. “De-regulate.”

    De-regulation is one of the reasons that we suffered more than Canada and Sweden in the current recession, but then you already knew that. Just like you know that cutting programs on the middle class and low income people is wrong.

    You do know of course that Anson is biting on your post “hook line and sinker” which suggest that you fish for bottom feeders. Sorry if I’m ruining your humor. :>)

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  10. Lot of delusional republican comments on this one.

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  11. “Lot of delusional republican comments on this one.”

    Indeed however I don’t think that Sekanblogger is one of them. It’s not possible to be a big Shawn Philips fan and be a complete conservative any more than it’s possible to mix oil and water. The rest of course are truly confused.

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  12. No, you’re right. Sekan’s a good guy. I respect his opinion a lot. :)

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  13. ansonburlingame

     /  July 10, 2011

    Ok,

    “Those aren’t mys statistics, I just freely borrow from reputable non-partisan experts.”

    You should put experts in paraenthesis. Show me any substantial number of “experts” that do not have a political agenda. It then comes down to which sides “experts” are truly expert. Again, that is why I don’t trust many “statistical” arguments. Too many “learned experts”, particularly when they fail to draw meaningful historical parallels like when did raising taxes stimulate economic growth for any sustainable period of time when free competition was available.

    Don’t even try to show me American growth after WWII with the Eisenhower tax rates (which were payin goff our war debt) and the whole world was in ruins and provided NO competition for our untouched by bombs homeland of productivity.

    So what do you REALLY want HGL, economic growth or high taxes to take care of the “poor”. You cannot have both and sustain either at the same time, historically. And I already KNOW what you want based on your “books”. But again, where exactly would you choose to live other than America today, HGL, or have your children or grand children live?

    Anson

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  14. “You should put experts in paraenthesis (Parenthesis).”

    Only if it’s an actual quote because the term expert is too generic. I think you meant that I should have added quotation marks which aren’t required?

    “It then comes down to which sides “experts” are truly expert.”

    That’s easy since there are no genuine experts on the right. An example would be having TV meteorologists with bachelors degrees on the right refuting claims made by PH.D educated climatologists on global warming.

    “I don’t trust many “statistical” arguments. Too many “learned experts”, particularly when they fail to draw meaningful historical parallels like when did raising taxes stimulate economic growth for any sustainable period of time when free competition was available.”

    Without “statistical arguments” and our many “learned experts” you have no means from which to draw conclusions of any kind. To do so while in a position of power is doomed to failure and could have dangerous and catastrophic outcomes.

    “So what do you REALLY want HGL, economic growth or high taxes to take care of the “poor”.”

    I don’t see why we can’t achieve both economic growth and take care of poor with reasonable taxes. It will of course require some change in how some services are delivered and funded. In the end however we should never place personal greed above the well-being of people. Once humanity crosses over that threshold there’s nothing left but sorrow. Hoarding huge sums of accumulated wealth at the expense of everyone else should never be an option.

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  15. Randy

     /  July 10, 2011

    After reading through these comments, and comments on other sites, I don’t know wether to cry or laugh sometimes. So many meaningless words and so much foolishness.

    Randy

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  16. “After reading through these comments, and comments on other sites, I don’t know wether to cry or laugh sometimes. So many meaningless words and so much foolishness. ”

    The only foolishness is policy or support of policy based on whimsy instead of facts. You just might want to try a few supportive facts on occasion to back your “Limbaugh-esque” claims.

    “Duane, I’ll bet you 100 dollars that if Republicans win the Presidency in 2012 that the economy will take off like a bat out hades.”

    All you have to do is explain how that’s going to happen without a thriving middle class.

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  17. Randy

     /  July 11, 2011

    HL,

    It’s a bet, it does not need explanation. But – I will say this, every recession since the depression has rebounded strong… this is the first time a “rebound” has been so weak and slow. Ever wonder why? I know, it’s the republicans who control one third of DC for just the last 6 months or whatever. Of course it has nothing to do with the Obama and both houses ramming down all their anti-bussiness legislation for 12 months…

    And oh by the way, back to the silly ball field analogy that Duane proposed… this whole recession started because of the financial collapse, which was largely caused by liberal lending policies and regulations – combined with typical human greed. You guys know the significant role that Frank and Dodd played in all of this mess…

    Randy

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  18. Randy

     /  July 11, 2011

    So, you strive for equality of outcome? Or equality of opportunity? (As much as possible)

    I am very curious.

    As far as your A, B, C. I’ll choose D. ANd you already know what that is even if you pretend you don’t. Geesh.

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  19. ansonburlingame

     /  July 11, 2011

    Ok,

    this string of comments has now, as usual, stalemated.

    NOW, which deficit reduction figure do all of you support (See today’s Wash Post headlinges), $2Trillion or $4Trillion in deficit reduction over the next ten years? Or is there a “D” out there as well?

    Anson

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  20. Randy

    “It’s a bet, it does not need explanation.”

    Since when is a bet won on conjecture?

    “But – I will say this, every recession since the depression has rebounded strong… this is the first time a “rebound” has been so weak and slow. Ever wonder why?”

    No, this recession is the second time there was no “rebound.”
    The “Great Depression” which started in 1929 occurred because of the “conservative economic philosophy of laissez-faire (“leave it alone”)” policies put into place by Republican presidents: Warren Harding (1920-1923), Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929) and Herbert Hoover (1929-1933). The concept was simple leave banks and other financial institutions unregulated, slash taxes, and the market will fix its-self. The problem is however that it resulted in out of control monopolies and accumulation of wealth into the hands of the rich few.

    “Hoover kept the Federal Reserve from expanding the money supply while bank panics and billions in lost deposits were contracting it. The Fed’s inaction was the reason why the initial recession turned into a prolonged depression.”

    The outcome was an inequality of wealth that left the middle class without purchasing power which threw us further into a recession. In response to the growing recession and fear of loss the wealthy began hoarding assets which caused even less money to circulate and ultimately a run on the banks by a panic driven population. This caused a complete economic collapse and the Great Depression.

    The Republican response to the current recession is virtually the same response that failed and caused the Great Depression. The current recession began in 2007 under George Bush whose economic policies were also very similar to those put into place by Hoover.

    Republicans point to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae as the major cause of the current recession which is wrong. Like all financial institutions Freddie Mac and Fannie played a role in the collapse (13% of subprime assets) which was nothing compared to the role played by private sector institutions which held the other 87% of “toxic assets.” The reason that Freddie’s and Fannie’s assets were limited is because they didn’t get in on the feeding frenzy until 2006, just before the collapse began.

    The major causes of the collapse stemmed from market deregulation put into place and supported by republican administrations.

    Factors that further exacerbated the situation are: 1. Greenspan’s failure to raise interest rates in 2004 which made borrowing and lending more attractive. 2. Unregulated, non bank, subprime lenders. 3. Ratings agencies rubber stamping AAA on worthless assets.

    As a result of low interest rates the housing market boomed while property equity became superficially inflated. All that equity however was little more than “vapor,” but it was enough for homeowners to begin using the equity in their homes to secure other loans. Banks and other lending institutions took the bait and began lending money based equity that was destined to evaporate. When the housing collapse began home equity decreased by as much as 60%, which caused several trillion dollars in home equity to disappear. This now meant that countless Americans owed more on their property than it was worth, and all those loans secured on that property also became worthless.

    “When home prices began to fall in 2007, owners’ equity in their real estate fell from almost $13.5 trillion in the first quarter of 2006, to a little under $5.3 trillion in the first quarter of 2009. In that three year period, there was a decline in total home equity of over 60% said the report. At the end of 2009, owners’ equity bounced back a bit and was an estimated $6.3 trillion but still more than 50% below its 2006 peak.”

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    • HLG,

      Once again, I want to thank you for doing God’s work here. I have tried repeatedly to counter the enduring conservative myth that it was the Democrats affection for poor, mostly minority folks who couldn’t afford homes that was the cause of the financial crisis. It’s sickening and tiring to have to constantly fight that battle, and I thank you for stepping in and helping out.

      Duane

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