DOFOs

Patrick Caddell and Douglas Schoen, a couple of DOFOs* writing for the Wall Street Journal, say President Obama should take “the moral high ground” and allow Hillary Clinton to save the Democratic Party by becoming its nominee.

Now, there can only be three reasons why Caddell and Schoen would write such muck:

1) This is a payback to Roger Ailes for his allowing them to slurp his booty sweat through a short straw all these years.

2) They are insanely and irreversibly drunk.

3) Bill O’Reilly murdered Caddell and Schoen and is now writing under their names.

Check this out:

With his job approval ratings below 45% overall and below 40% on the economy, the president cannot affirmatively make the case that voters are better off now than they were four years ago. He—like everyone else—knows that they are worse off.

I know I could find more egregious examples of two political “commentators” running a propaganda fraud, but I would have to dig deep into the bowels of the now-defunct Soviet Propaganda Machine to find them. (By the way, these two self-described “traditional liberal Democrats” tried this shtick last year about this time.)

People are “worse off” than they were when Mr. Obama came into office? That kind of stuff properly belongs on the Wall Street Journal opinion pages, where economic truth goes to die. To resurrect some of that truth, I present it in graph form, courtesy of the Bureau of Economic Analysis:

As you can see, the economy tanked in 2008 (the -8.9 contraction was more than anyone thought as the Obama presidency began; these numbers are the revised ones and explain why the original stimulus package was not as effective as was hoped), and thanks to the efforts of Obama and the Democrats—with absolutely zero Republican help—the economy is not tanking anymore.

By any standard, except the one employed by Hannitized “Democrats” like Caddell and Schoen, people are unquestionably much better off than they were during W. Bush’s last year in office. 

The purulent propaganda continues:

If President Obama were to withdraw, he would put great pressure on the Republicans to come to the table and negotiate—especially if the president singularly focused in the way we have suggested on the economy, job creation, and debt and deficit reduction. By taking himself out of the campaign, he would change the dynamic from who is more to blame—George W. Bush or Barack Obama?—to a more constructive dialogue about our nation’s future.

Who is more to blame? Huh? Are they bleeping kidding? If they would pull their heads out of Roger Ailes’ trousers, perhaps they could take a look at the graph above.

And the idea that were Mr. Obama to suddenly withdraw from the race, Republicans, Machiavellians that they are, would call a truce and do what is right for the country is preposterous.

But Caddell and Schoen aren’t done:

But this is about more than electoral politics. Not only is Mrs. Clinton better positioned to win in 2012 than Mr. Obama, but she is better positioned to govern if she does. Given her strong public support, she has the ability to step above partisan politics, reach out to Republicans, change the dialogue, and break the gridlock in Washington.

Yeah, sure. Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, and the Tea Party Republicans in Congress would simply wilt under the influence of Mrs. Clinton, and probably summons Sister Sledge to Washington and burst into “We Are Fam-il-y!” And, no doubt, Grover Norquist would suddenly release his death grip on the GOP and the country, all because Mrs. Clinton has once again taken up residence in the White’s House.

Were Caddell and Schoen (a pollster for Bill Clinton) dropping acid during the Clinton presidency? Hillary Clinton was under constant attack by the same kind of conservatives who dominate Republican Washington today. Have people forgotten Whitewater and cattle futures and Travelgate and Vince Foster and all the murders the Clintons committed?  Does anyone believe that, say, Sean Hannity wouldn’t have his viewers—and Republican guests—whipped up into a Fox frenzy all over again?

Did The Onion reject this article? Were Caddell and Schoen then forced to sell it to the Wall Street Journal because the editors there cannot differentiate between satire and seriousness?

DOFOs, I tells ya.

___________________________________

* Democrats on Fox Only.

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16 Comments

  1. ansonburlingame

     /  November 21, 2011

    Duane,

    OK, now look at WHY the graph presented looks that way. What caused the “spike” in 2010? Of course it was the stimulus passed only by Democrats. Then the money ran out and we almost went into a recession again. That “blip” or “spike” in GDP was caused by government spending, almost entirely.

    Of course that makes your case that the stimulus made a difference a BIG difference. Great. IF we just keep “stimulating” we will all be fat and happy. Yep for as long as such spending can be sustained. GDP at a moment in time cares not if it is government money or private money. More money makes GDP grow.

    But now put the GDP curve next to the debt curve and see what happens. Debt skyrockets with the stimulus and other causes, like growth in entitlements and wars. Well then comes the question of how far do we let debt go up before the “bottom falls out of no more government money to spend. We have to borrow 40% (or so) of every one of those “stimulus” dollars.

    That is akin to a family borrowing money to “grow” their income while the paycheck remains constant. Now how long can a family do THAT, I wonder.

    But I KNOW. You tell me DEBT and deficits are NOT A PROBLEM for now. Just keep those wheelbarrows full of cash coming from overseas and we will just be fine, right.

    We have been arguing these points for well over a year now and no progress has been made, between you and me or in DC. Now the “wonderful” Super Committee has failed, just like you and me being unable to work together.

    Well we can just keep on keeping on and both sides HOPE for a real “super” majority after Nov 2012. But you know as well as me that will probably not happen.

    So THEN what, I ask? Might I suggest again a looming “cliff”? $15 Trillion and counting every day and very fast (the ever upward debt). And neither one of us has a clue how to change that sprial in debt, politically.

    I hope you watched the chairwoman of the IMF last night on 60 Minutes. She made more sense to me than ANY of our current leaders or want a be leaders in America, today. And don’t you dare try to “cherry pick” her remarks. She spoke in very broad but sensible terms, at least to me.

    Anson

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    • Anson,

      I know you stumbled into making the case that the stimulus actually had a salutary effect on the economy, but, please, let that moment of clarity envelop you, soothe you, nurture in you a more comprehensive understanding of economics!

      Whenever you hear Republicans say the stimulus had no effect or that Obama ruined the economy or other such nonsense, I suspect you will correct the record, no?

      As far as the stimulus increasing the debt, yes, it did slightly (about $850 billion or so, if I remember correctly), but that dough is almost all gone now, as you say, and the deficits are still high. Why? Oh, yeah, that George Bush feller. His deficits didn’t just end when he left office, Anson. They are still there in the budget, although Obama gets credit for making them up himself.

      Once again, the federal budget is not like a family budget, no matter how many times you and President Obama say so. The two operate under different dynamics.

      As far as the supercommittee failing and you and I failing, I believe that at least you would see the light on increased taxes on the wealthy, right? You would be, for instance, repealing the Bush tax cuts for the top 2%, no? That is the hangup on the deal, from what I heard this morning on the TV thingy. So, if you and I were to make a deal on increased taxes and reduced spending, I think we could do it, even though Grover Norquist would call you a rat head.

      You see, I did see 60 Minutes. And yes, I could cherry-pick Lagarde’s remarks. The Economist reported a a couple of months ago the following:

      Echoing a theme raised by Ben Bernanke, the Fed chairman, in his speech the previous day, Ms Lagarde argued that fiscal policy should pivot, putting in place policies to reduce future deficits while supporting growth today. This was not a cop-out, she argued. Growth was necessary for fiscal credibility. “After all, who will believe that commitments to cut spending can survive a lengthy stagnation with prolonged high unemployment and social dissatisfaction?”

      In America that pivot would require “credible decisions” on future deficit reduction involving both tax increases and spending cuts, coupled with a focus today on making a serious dent in long-term unemployment.

      That sounds an awful lot like what President Obama and the Democrats have been saying, my friend.

      Duane

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  2. ansonburlingame

     /  November 21, 2011

    Duane, again,

    Anticipating a rebuttal to my observation that GDP does not care where the money comes from needs further explanation.

    If a dollar goes “into the economy” that is true. A dollar invested by government or private money directly into the economy is the same kind of dollar, usually.

    But it is a question of how that dollar is “generated”. A dollar from a private investor (individual or business) is a result of profit (business) or “extrat income” (from an individual). Those are “pure” dollars with overhead, taxes, etc already taken out before the final profit of extra income is calculated and then invested.

    Not so with a “tax” dollar. I pay a dollar to the federal government, THEN the federal government applies it’s own “overhead” to it. Just consider the cost of all the bureaucrats handlling that tax dollar. What comes out of government, the “stimulus” is a helluva lot less than what went into government from my checkbook.

    Botton line is tax dollars are a very expensive way to generate money to then invest. As well NO bureaucrat, like the Sec of Energy is smart enough or experienced enough to make “wise” investments in private matters. Good CEOs and CFOs do that all the time and their jobs depend on it.

    A bureaucrat’s job depends on much different standards of excellence. Consider ANY bureaucrat whose performance is measured by a standard of ROI, or any politician either for that matter. Politician’s job performance in fact is measured by voters as ONLY money “out” to the voters most of the time. NO ONE worries about ROI on such money, politically.

    Government spends money for NEEDS. Business and individuauls spend money to GROW (things and more money).

    Anson

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    • Anson,

      CEOs and CFOs didn’t do that great a job making wise decisions leading up to the financial crash, now did they?

      The truth is that in private businesses or in public efforts, the human factor is always with us and folks screw up. I could tell you how inefficient the business is where a loved one of mine works, much more inefficient than the Postal Service, which is a modicum of efficiency (if you don’t count the management side). But you won’t believe me, I suspect. There is a default in the conservative mind towards the private, which I understand, but it is not necessarily the most efficient or best way of operating all the time.

      And in the case of government spending money for needs as opposed to growth, that isn’t always the case. Much of the investment government makes in things like infrastructure is to help grow the economy. Police and firefighters and, for God’s sake, teachers are a kind of investment in society to help nourish the kind of environment that businesses can thrive in. That’s just common sense, and that is where a lot of our local, state, and federal moneys goes, or at least should go.

      The safety net that eats up part of the GDP is also necessary for a stable social structure in which business can operate. There wouldn’t be much of a demand at the local WalMart’s, etc., around here, Anson, if it weren’t for government transfer payments of one kind or another. You guys on the right need to keep that in mind.

      Duane

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  3. Looking at the new chart I would say that Anson has a point about it showing the bubble effect of the stimulus, first rising and then sinking to a low in 2011 Q1, nearly going into recession again. However, it didn’t and there has clearly been a rebound, with successive increases in Q2 and Q3. My conclusion is that the stimulus did indeed pull us out of the nosedive, inefficient as it was. You know, it’s not as if the Bush II administration had any better ideas at the time – they started the stimulus.

    I believe it’s true that raising the tax rate for the wealthy won’t have a lasting effect on boosting the economy, but what it would do is help a severely divided nation become one tribe again, and we desperately need that because the underlying causes of our financial malaise, principally entitlement reform, is still unaddressed. It is a basic principle of leadership, it seems to me, that when sacrifice is required it is only effective if it is evenly shared.

    It is clear now that the super committee has failed, so I suggest we need to ask ourselves, what kind of partisan government can we elect that could bring itself to enact and approve entitlement reform, chiefly healthcare reform? Current healthcare costs are still rising faster than inflation. Both Joplin hospitals are planning ever more expensive single-bed rooms with fancy machines while tolerating high medical errors. The healthcare trajectory is financially disastrous unless something radical changes.

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    • Jim,

      I like what you say about the salutary effect, socially at least, of raising more revenue from the wealthiest Americans. I worry about what is happening to our national tribe.

      As for the current local investment in the two hospitals, I am glad you find that a little strange, too. And I hope Anson and others note that Obama had nothing to do with the expansion of health services in our area and the increased cost in health care that will eventually come with it.

      Duane

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      • ansonburlingame

         /  November 21, 2011

        com’on,

        Businesses (which hospitals are for sure) expand to meet demand. So why is HC services demand going up.

        Because government is paying for too damn much of it, for crying out loud, particularly for Medicare patients.

        Are more people getting SICK today than a few years ago? I doubt it. But now we all run to the “hospital” for hang nails or a lot of people do so, particularly the older folks on Medicare.

        Knock off government provided HC and you would see lots of empty beds in hospitals for sure. Only the really sick would go there if they had their own “skin” in the game.

        Equally as such for the really old and dying we would see a BOOM in hospice care, much less expensive hospice care but it would keep people comfortable which sometimes is the best for folks to hope for much less pay for.

        I wonder how many of those new hospital beds will be for lung transplant for smokers, liver transplants for drinkers, heart transplants for the obese or all sorts of other “restorative” medical practices. Right. Pay a fortune to restore a patient so he can just go back to a “normal” life that put him in the hospital in the first place.

        Try this one on for size. A patient had carotid artery surgery three years ago. The patient was a smoker with high cholesterol. After surgery, NO DIET change, STILL smoking and a small fortune in Lipitor to unsuccessfully control the cholesterol!!! And now more carotid surgery is needed at guess who’s expense.

        Are you kidding me!

        Anson

        Anson

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    • Jim – I think we’re already becoming (and acting) tribal. The unwillingness of congress critters to socialize with other than their own is an example of that. The ‘echo chamber’ on both sides is another.

      How do we fix it all? I honestly am beginning to think we can’t – at least not at the Federal level. And meanwhile, the professional campaign industry and its clients are moving rapidly into state and local elections.

      Reform needs laws – not likely to happen when the laws would curb the activities of the lawmakers.

      In a world where Gingrich is advocating a repeal of child labor laws and American workers are expected to compete against forced prison labor in China . . . I’d say oligarchy is already us.

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      • I agree, Moe, and I wish I knew how to fix it. I believe one of the root causes of gridlock is Gerrymandering, and I think both parties are tempted by that. It produces enduring pockets of polarization.

        The only hope I see is to look for politicians who seem to understand the problem and want to fix it – kinda scarce right now. Here in Missouri I think McCaskell is one. If David Gergen would run on either ticket, I’d vote for him.

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        • Yup. Gerrymandering, which of course is why incumbents are almost unbeatable. They’re re-elected 75%? 90%? of the time. Deadly.Plus, the outside commissions that traditionally redrew those districts have increasingly been replaced by legislative committees.

          And I’d add our primary system, which tarnishes candiates as they need to appeal to the wings of their parties.

          Ironically though, I think it’s the venerable First Amendment that will always stand in the way of mitigating the poisonous effect of corporate money and obscene levels of lobbying. That’s one of hte reasons I’m not hopeful.

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  4. Duane, re Caddell and that silly op-ed, I think he’s just looking for a job (like any Dem campaign above dog catcher would hire him, much less Hillary).

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    • Moe,

      Good point. Maybe he is searching for consulting work, but I can’t imagine any Democrat worth the name giving him a job, particularly after he and Schoen have gone out of their way to attack the leader of the party.

      Duane

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  5. ansonburlingame

     /  November 21, 2011

    To all,

    MAYBE, just MAYBE, this exchange shows the prospects for constructive agreement on some things.

    I am NOT at all opposed to seeing the 1% EITHER pay more or take less from the federal government. My approach is for them to TAKE LESS from government as a first and very big step (like ANY bailouts or Freddie and Fannie CEO’s making millions when they fail)

    And NO I do NOT like high pay for failing fat cats either. But that is not a government function to control private salaries (nor is it in the Constitution). Boards of Directors have to wake up and do that.

    You have already “heard” my solutions. If you bother to read them they are all over my blog as well. MILLIONAIReS SHOULD NOT be getting SS benefits or Medicare assistance of any sort. STOP that alone and the deficit spending oveall plummets by $10′s of billions if no $100′s each year.

    Fully tax all earned income with no top limit for Social Insurance. It is after all OUR society. Anyone that thinks their individual taxes in that regard are for THEMSELVES is smoking what Duane must smoke when he writes a bunch of blogs!!! (I like that comment). That brings in some $100 BILLION a year in more federal revenues and only the RICH are paying such, substantially.

    At one point in my civilian career my bi weekly pay check would go up when I exceeded the income limit on SS taxation. It was “beer money” to me and NOT a strain on my budget for the first 6 or 8 months in the year when such taxes were withheld.

    My point is that cuts in the right areas can be made that work to SAVE money. But no, Dems will NOT address that “third rail”. Nope they just want to keep paying SS to MILLIONAIRes but TAX them more.

    My position has now long been to CUT down to where government SHOULD be constitutionally at least as a guide. Then after absorbing those cuts (like SS payments to millionaires) see if we really do need to raise taxes.

    You guys (Dems) say Na!!! Just raise taxes on the rich and all will be well. Well, again, I say Baloney and ask what you all might be smoking!!

    TAKE money FROM the rich and even some middle class in benefits, see how it works then raise taxes on EVERYONE if it doesn’t do enough to “work”.

    I even define “work” for you in my blogs. It means ZERO deficits except in dire national emergencies. Now do you want me to define “dire”? It for sure will not conform to Dem expectations!!!

    Anson

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    • Anson,

      Since you have an aversion to “links”, I’m providing text from Bruce Bartlett’s “The Balanced Budget Amendment Delusion” from Economix.

      “Unfortunately, conservatives intentionally destroyed the remnants of the implicit balanced budget constraint in the 1970s so they could cut taxes without having to cut spending at the same time. Finding enough spending cuts to pay for big tax cuts would have doomed their efforts, so they concocted a theory, “starve the beast”, to maintain a fig leaf of fiscal responsibility.

      Under this theory, deficits are intentionally created by tax cuts, which puts political pressure on Congress to cut spending. Thus, cutting taxes without cutting spending became the epitome of conservative fiscal policy. Unfortunately, it didn’t work.

      We gave starve-the-beast- theory a test during the Reagan administration, but as I have shown previously, when push came to shove, Reagan was always willing to raise taxes rather than to allow the deficits to get out of control.

      The truth is that Republicans don’t care one whit about actually balancing the budget. If they did, they would want to return to the policies that gave us balanced budgets in the late 1990s.”
      _____________________
      The article is worth a read for those who aren’t opposed to utilizing internet-available information.

      http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/15/the-balanced-budget-amendment-delusion/

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  6. ansonburlingame

     /  November 22, 2011

    Well,

    WTF! It is almost Thanksgiving. I am “on the road” to visit my son and his family in the craziest place in the world, DC.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone, even “you guys”. But don’t worry, I’ll be BACK in spite of all your links!!

    Anson

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