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US: Obama Approval (Gallup 11/20-22)


USA Today / Gallup
11/20-22/09; 1,017 adults, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Gallup release)

National

Obama Job Approval / Disapproval
Energy Policy: 49 / 35
Terrorism: 45 / 47
Global Warming: 44 / 36
The Economy: 44 / 53 (chart)
Health Care: 40 / 53 (chart)
Creating Jobs: 40 / 55
The situation in Afghanistan: 35 / 55

 

Comments
Truthseeker:

The poll you posted was not Gallup's, but its questions were a lot more interesting, if less important.

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Stillow:

Obama approval below 50 on all 7 issues....and 4 of those 7 have him above 50 in disapproval....when they fall, they fall hard.

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Field Marshal:

Interesting to note that 66% of people profess to not being able to detail what the public option is about. Those are probably most of the people that support it.

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Farleftandproud:

There are also people who are opposed to the public option who don't know what it is too. Deep down inside many of these people might have objections due to what they have heard from their local church about abortion and euthenasia rumors, echoing Sarah Palin's death panels. I have spoken with some of these people who have listened to the ideology from the Christian conservative community and shared that they don't really believe in these things deep down in their heart. Young college kids have grown up in families like this and have serious problems with these myths.

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Louis:

Stillow,
You might try reading the actual release which says Obama's approval rating is above 50% overall.

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Xenobion:

I was looking at the actual release. Interesting that Regan was at the same approval rating at Obama in Dec of his first term.

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CUWriter:

Obama's approval now is meaningless except in terms of driving the political narrative and setting the table for 2010. It's totally meaningless for 2012.

However, it should be noted that Reagan's approval declined mostly because of the economy. In that time, Volcker had jacked the hell out of rates and there was a real plan to get inflation stamped out and the economy on the right path. Washington leaders on both sides were making tough decisions after a decade of malaise. There's no such plan now. There is no effort to get our financial and monetary houses in order. None. Just more sugar in the form of stimulus, low rates and the printing presses running at full speed from the Dems and an attempt to score political points from that "strategy's" failure by the GOP, instead of actually putting forward a plan that would cut the deficit and yet still grow the economy.

Our leadership is absolutely god-awful and that goes for all sides.

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Stillow:

X, the bummer for Obama is he is doing all the wrong things so it will drag him down further. Obama set un realitsitic goals, like promising unemployment won't go above 8 percent....having many of his followers actually beleive he is going to pay all there bills for them, etc........and with HCR as unpopular as it is, he is just going to dip more and more.

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Xenobion:

You really think Volcker's interest rates were the leading determinant of Regan's popularity? Those policies were already being implemented 2 years prior. Like Regan was to blame for FED actions.

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Stillow:

It was reagan's emphasis on tax cuts which generated real economic growth again. G'ment spending does not have the same effect as private sector capital....Reagan's popularity stemmed from his core principle that money in the the hands of those who earn it spreads much more prosperity than g'ment seizing that earned income by others and redistirbuting it.

Obama has the total oppositte view, he wants to raise taxes on the investment class, take away there capital and redistirbute it to those who he feels need it.

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Field Marshal:

Correct Stillow. Reagan was unpopular because of the economy, high unemployment, high interest rates, and GDP contracting. His policies helped the economy turn around quickly and led to one of the greatest economic booms in history.

We have yet to see what Obama will do. Maybe another union giveaway stimulus bill. Bush tax cuts are expiring next year? What are the odds he extends them? Can you say double-dip??

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Wong:

The notion that Reagan worked to reduce the deficit and that was what ended that particular recession is revisionist history in it's most profane form. The facts are that Reagan's attempt to spring the economy out of a recession through budget balancing and tax cuts only served to extend that downturn. Reagan went on to outspend and outborrow any other President previous to his administration. This convenient hero worship of Reagan is farcical when it comes from the lips and pens of knee jerk fiscal conservatives whose view of history is no more valid than a Rasmussen poll.

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Field Marshal:

Wong,

No one said Reagan worked to reduce the deficit. In fact, he increased it substantially, same as Bush. However, Reagans policies increased economic growth which kept debt to GDP at a fairly consistent level. Even Bush had done that with all his spending until 2008. The question is, will Obama's economic policies grow the economy enough to keep the growing debt from rising to unsustainable levels.

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Stillow:

Wong, the spending you refer to was congressional spending, controlled by Dems. Reagan did go along with there spending in order to enact some of his tax policy and cold war efforts agaisnt the Soviets. Compromise, when oppositee parties control the branches, you have to do it.

Clinton for example had the good fortune of having a conservative congress bent on low spending and things like welfare reform to help reduce the deficits and debt. Had Reagan had a fiscally conservative congress controlling the spending....we would be in great shape today.

Then W came around and wallla, the GOP became big g'ment liberals all of a sudden in 2001 onward...spend spend spend..........they would make FDR jealous with all there spending.

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Xenobion:

People need to understand that Regan's trickle down economics got us here. HUGE Military spending and tax cuts = big deficit. It super charged our economy sure but we have never been able to get out of the cycle of economic spending since. Regan cut alot of government waste which I think is a good thing but he was fixing Carter's legacy bequethed to him. I think Obama is still working with what Bush gave him. The Neoconservatives really took a number on this country, sacrificing fiscal discipline for their ideology.

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Xenobion:

Another reason we figured out fiscal tax cuts are poor and we live in a very different age than Regan.

Since global markets have been so much more connected, people take their tax cuts (which are supposed to stimulate the local economy) and invest/spend in foreign markets or goods completely draining the economy multiplier effect. Tax cuts to businesses are a real poor incentive these days because of this fact, otherwise they were perfect under Regan when our economy was on top.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"the spending you refer to was congressional spending, controlled by Dems."

Oh God, Stillow, the president submits the budget. Reagan's "cold war efforts" were what caused the deficit to go higher.

"a conservative congress bent on low spending"

More b.s. The size of the army was decreased by half in the 90's along with other defense cuts. That combined with surging tax revenues thanks to the dot-com bubble had more than anything to do with the budget surplus Clinton enjoyed.

We could cut the deficit in half by pulling out of both wars we're currently in.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"people take their tax cuts (which are supposed to stimulate the local economy) and invest/spend in foreign markets or goods completely draining the economy multiplier effect."

Exactly. My investment broker advised me to get into funds that had a high percentage of foriegn assets.

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Xenobion:

Should also make a point Aaron_in_TX that this Democratic Congress under Regan passed these tax cuts when they were needed.

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Wong:

Stillow,

I think what you are saying, correct me if I am wrong,is that Reagan recognized those social spending programs important to the Dems in Congress were acceptable so long as those Dems allowed Reagan his expansion of military programs necessary to counter the threat of the Soviet Union. I agree. But it doesn't change the fact that Reagan's deficits were record-setting.

Additionally, I think this supports my argument that political and economic situations arise when it is more important to compromise politically and not worry about the bean-counting, in order for the nation to survive. When the threat passes, then you must compromise to put the economic house in order, i.e. Clinton and the Reps.

Welcome to the world of Keynsian economics.

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Stillow:

Aaron, wrong. Yes Reagan spent money fighting the cold war, good thign he did since we won it. In the 90's the congress did not engage in huge liberal spending like it has done under Bush and now Obama. Obama has added record amounts of m9oney to the deficit and his projected debt level in 10 years is nearly double what we have now.

X - Businesses cannot hire when g'ment takes there money. Tax cuts on business is a common sense thing. If Joe's widget company has profit of $500,000 this year and the g'ment takes it then Joe cannot hire more, cannot invest that money back into his business. Cut the tax burden on Joe, gicing him more money, he can hire and expand his operations.....this is basic economics.

With Obama's stimulus, his support for TARP and proposed HCR, he is perosnally adding trillions to the debt and hundreds of billns to the deficit. That will force the g'ment to increase the tax burden on the people....whenever you remove capital fro mthe private sector like that, then it will eventually shrink. Its thru tax cuts on people and business you generate "real" economic growth from the bottom up and the top down.

Reagan cut taxes and it spurred the eocnomy....gave us a huge economic boom which lasted 25 years. It was not until g'ment began getting invovled in things liek the mortgage indsutry that things started to go nuts.

There will be a double dip when hte Bush tax cuts expire. It is effectively a huge tax increase. Reagan knew money in my hands does more good for the country as a whole than money in the hands of g'ment.

Capitalism is not perfect, free markets require recessions to self correct flaws as time goes on, but its simply the best system in existance....it provides the most prosperity for the most number of people than any other system.

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Xenobion:

I don't see how Obama has changed Business Taxes yet, and we haven't ALWAYS had Bush tax cuts. Tax Cuts add to the deficit, its like a poor person writing a check that they have no money to back it on. Bush Tax Cuts did little if anything to spur the economy. It makes no fiscal sense to have them anymore. TaxCuts Checks to Businesses are obsolete. They aren't hiring people off these checks and the taxes to businesses haven't changed so why the woe is me attitude now when they were exactly the same under Bush?

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Stillow:

I would argue the Bush tax cuts helped ease the effect of the stock bubble pop and also helped after 9/11. When you cut taxes, you also need to cut spending to match which is what Bush should have done. But being a fiscal moron like he is, he increased spending and cut taxes.

How cn you say what your saying with a straight face? We paid almost $49,000 in federal income tax last year. If I had say half tha tback in my pocket, well that would be an extra vacation, perhaps a new car, more toys for the kids, new dog house for the dog, perhaps new furniture, etc, etc....but since g'ment takes that money from me, that is money I am not able to spend i nthe private sector. Not spending tha tmoney in hte eocnomy causes people to lose there jobs because no one is buying what they are selling. Then it uses that money it steals at an unfair tax rate and spends it on stupid wars or some liberal entitlement that creates nothing but the need for more of my money to sustain the entitlement.

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Field Marshal:

X,

The Bush tax cuts made the 2001 recession very shallow and the subsequent recovery much stronger (which helped to fuel the housing bubble but that's more of Greenspans fault).

Individual tax cuts are the best tool for economic recovery since 68% of GDP is consumer spending. The more consumers can spend, the more the economy can recover. Its very simple.

Obama hasn't really done anything to tackle the economy yet except for the stimulus which is arguably a poor plan.

Remember, historically, permanent tax cuts have a strong multiplier effect while government spending has a multiplier of just above zero.

The multiplier has been falling since late '06 but recently saw a hint of an increase last month from 1.68 to 1.71. It will be interesting to see if that trend continues.

Stillow, correct, capitalism, for all its flaws, is the best economic system ever conceived. How many times does central economic planning have to fail before politicians and leaders give it up??

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Stillow:

FM - I just do not understand how anyone can argue that tax cuts are not helpful to the people, the company's they work for and the overall economy.

With rising g'ment taxes on everything from a can of coke to my electircal use, it eats away at my disposable income. With out ample disposable income how can we the people keep hte economy going? Whose going to buy those little Obama dolls? The lighted santa's at Christmas time? Those little round washers you put in the hose? All those things create jobs because people have to produce them.

The more money taken from me, the less I have to spend on things others produce. The more money taken from businesses the less they have to invest and hire more people.

On the other side, the more money g'ment takes, the more wasteful spending it engages in, more entitlements it creats....and as I said, the only hting an entitlement does is increase the need for more of my money to sustain it.

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Napoleon Complex:

All Ronnie did was spend trillions on worthless weapons systems (Star Wars) and military hardware (that we're still paying for) while cutting taxes for his rich constituency. Either way, it's still government spending.

Even David Stockman admitted that Kemp-Roth was just a Trojan Horse that was used to provide tax relief for the rich. Others in the administration have since admitted that their tax policy was a total disaster.

This nonsense about government intervention in the the mortgage industry is total b.s. It was capitalism in its purest form because you had realtors--working on commission--coupled with mortgage brokers--working on commission-- driving the whole industry. Throw in some corrupt appraisers (who were being paid "bonuses" under the table) and you have yourselves a good old-fashioned speculation bubble. On top of that you had old Phil Graham dismantling the protections put in after the first Republican Great Depression which allowed the creation of credit default swaps in 2002/03. Had the SEC and CFTC been doing their jobs under Bush II, the crash never would have happened.

I'm a Capitalist and I enjoy making money, but risk has to be regulated. The Republicans are 2 and 0 in causing total economic collapses in the last 80 years, so history tells us to avoid their way of thinking.

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Field Marshal:

Because they go to school to be community organizers or social workers and have no idea how economics works.

Keynes won the nobel for his work on fiscal policy, especially with his notion that tax cuts stimulate the economy.

Now, maybe what X is thinking of is tax rebates or stimulus checks. Those, like other government spending, has been shown to have very low multiplier effects on the overall economy.

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Xenobion:

The 2000 recession was a fast money bubble in tech stocks. How's a tax cut to help a completely gutted industry that collapsed? Tech stocks are not normally connected consumer spending as they provide limited, typically business services or things that you wouldn't suddenly be buying now that you have a tech stock. Its like getting a shot for a disease you don't have. That's what the Bush tax cuts were. You think all those Techies suddenly got jobs because some other random business got a tax cut? lol.

I don't defend that government spending is more important than a tax cut in regards to your multiplier argument FM, I never did. I do believe that its quite inefficent to tax a business and then have that tax go through the bureaucracy back in the form of a tax cut. Now that is wasteful government action if I ever saw one.

Stillow I've already explained to you how tax cuts don't work, how trickle down does not work. Answer: THE GLOBAL ECONOMY. Invest your tax cut in a foreign mutual fund as an individual, buy an export from a foreign country as a business, invest and buy a new foreign business. That spending DIRECTLY decreases our current account deficit (economics speak sorry) thus increasing our country's deficit.

Stillow, where are these rising Government taxes? What are businesses being taxed on more? What has changed? What policy has been put in place to hurt businesses more? I don't expect to get into a deep economics debate with you but you might as well tell me how you think things have changed...

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Xenobion:

There was no Nobel Prize in Economics when Keynes was around. Keynes is the father of Macroeconomics, a leading proponent for government spending to get out of the depression.

And yes I'm talking about the tax cut checks, but also about the business taxes. If those taxes were just put in as non-taxible income for businesses it wouldn't go through government bureaucracy.

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Stillow:

Yes X, globaliziation requries us to reduce our tax burden and g'ment spending so we can compete. Do you seirously not get it? If I have more money, I can buy more!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe I will buy a nice GM car or a new Ford F350. Perahps I will go on another vacation to DisneyWorld in Florida for the week. Maybe I will order more channels from my cable company....etc, etc....the options are infinite. I cannot do that when g'ment takes all of my money. We are entering atime becaus eof the global economic structure where we need to reduce the tax burden on business for them to be able to compete. We have one of the high corp tax rates on the planet. It costs an American copany much more to hir ean american worker here because of things like matching payroll tax requirments, etc....

G'ment theft of weatlh only hurts our economy and in turn, people like you and me. If people like me do not have money to go to disneyland, then Disneyland eventually closes and everyone there loses there job. Again, this is really basic stuff.

For americans to compete with foreign workers it must be made cheaper to hire us and we must be able to keep more of our money that WE EARN in order to spend it to keep the enginge moving.

Napoleon Complex:
Loan officers working on commission, mortgage brokers, etc...those ar enice talking poin arugments, but the fact is the federal g'ment forced Fannie and Freddie to purchase subprime loans at a much higher volume than they historically did. When they were forced to purchase those bad loans it created a buyer...so people sold them. Had the g'ment not forced them to purchase those bad loans, then far fewer bad loans would have been made.

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Napoleon Complex:

There weren't nearly enough subprime loans in the system to cause the level of collapse that occurred. The real problem was in the middle income range where people who could afford a @250K house were buying at $500K and above.

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Stillow:

That is true, people bought to much home...but the subprimes did kickstart the collapse.

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Napoleon Complex:

That's just not true, although I know that's the RNC talking point. It was interest-only and other "creative" loan products that were packaged as privately-issued asset-backed securities that caused the collapse. The GSEs are restricted in dealing in no-doc loans, which is the root of the problem.


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Stillow posts more interesting comments, but the globalization rationale for tax reduction is suspect. Accrding to the Bush Administration's Commerce department in 2008, the U.S. has the second lowest effective tax rate on business in the industrialized world (right behind world power Ireland). The countries home to the firms that are beating U.S. companies in the market; namely South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Germany all boast corporate, individual, and energy tax rates that are CONSIDERABLY higher, across the board, than their U.S. counterparts. All of those countries have more restrictrive environmental regulations, and Germany (the world's largest per-capita exporter) has trade unions that would make Hoffa proud. I am not advocating copying their systems here, but I would say that the facts stand in contradiction to your premise. Those countries use tax dollars on infrastructure (both people and facilities), and that seems to be the defining point.

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Field Marshal:

45% of all subprime loans were issued or bought by Fannie or Freddie. That's a whole lot of bad paper the government issued or supported the issuance of.

Subprime was the cancer that metastasized throughout the economy.

Its dumb to point to one thing and say this is the reason for the recession, but subprime loans (and the lax standards around their issuance) is probably the largest of a dozen reasons.

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Xenobion:

Lets just not tax and not have a government because businesses are always hurting no matter how much they are taxed. There seems to be no reasonable number to tax them so lets just throw the baby out with the bathwater.*

*Sarcasim

I don't think people get that we can't compete with developing economies that work for pennies. Its not businesses can't compete because of taxes, its that they can't not take the offer of going overseas and paying someone 5 grains of rice for a days work.

Oh and again you fail to tell me what new taxes are hurting whatever businesses you're talking about. Or are we just both being partisan here and when a republican is in office suddenly businesses feel all warm and fuzzy?

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Stillow:

X - the emerging global economy is hurting our business...which is why we have to provide incentive for business to stay here and hire local. You do that by giving them tax breaks, tax credits and making it easier for them to do business, ie getting g'ment off of their back.

You and I both work for a business, therefore that business must earn money to pay our salary and benefits. To do that it has to compete with global companies...in order to do that it cannotkeep paying taxes and fees up ht ewazoo. That translates to personal level as well...you and I cannot buy anything if we do not have disposable income to do it. We only have the necessary income if g'ment doesn't take it from us.

In a consumer economy, the consumer must have income and money available to consume with....businesses consume from one another so htey too must have capital to do that. G'ment taking that money only services to restrict business growth and contract the availability of money to you and I.

If the federal g'ment cuts its budget by 50 percent and you cut the federal income taxes everyone pays by 50 percent...we would expereince the largest economic boom in the history of man kind. People woudl have money to purchase goods and services....therefore people woudl be ut back to work providing tho se goods and services....its been shown that by cutting taxes you actually increase revenue to the g'ment because more people are working and paying taxes. You get more people paying a lower amount of tax than a smaller group of people paying a higher amount.

We really did pay just under $49,000 in just federal incoem tax...if I had half that back I assure you, we would have spent most of it, saved soe of it yes, but spent most of it in the economy....maybe go out to dinner more often....like I said, the options are infinite. But that money would have gone back into the system wher it would have helped put people to work.

We can compete with foreign companies, even those paying 3 grains of rice....but we have to get g'ment off our backs and out of our wallets.

So long as we handcuff the people and there employers, we will see things continue to get worse. When the Bush tax cuts expire there will be a double dip to the recession.

G'ment lacks the efficiency and capacity to spend our money better than we can. As we see with entitlements currently in place now, it requires more and more money fro mthe people to sustain them. Carry that out long term and it does not work....eventually the funds required will exceed the ability of the people to pay.

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Xenobion:

I would bet you we could tax some businesses 0% and they would still fail in competition with countries that pay their workers to do the same job but in worse conditions for 1 dollar a day. This isn't really a government problem. Its a problem for developed nations that really can't grow at the rate they used to anymore when all of the hot investment money is going toward the developing world where there are no regulations financial or environmental or work condition related. Its just not a level playing field. You can't pay someone a living salary in the U.S. and a person in Vietnam and end up choosing the U.S. Shipping is so cheap and these countries are taxing the exact same if not more off of their activities in those countries.

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al of arabia:

where is his overall approve/disapprove numbers?

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Stillow:

X - So the answer is to keep raising taxes here? That will somehow make our companies compete? The free market always finds balance. You can't move all labor to countries paying $1 a day in wages...there has to be infrastructure somewhere who can afford to buy the goods being made. The Free market will find balance and wages will come up in these other countries. If there Ameerican consumer sinks no one is left to buy all this stuff being produced.

You already see the emergence of a Chinese middle class who have disposable income.

To raise the tax burden on people and business in this country during a recession and in a global economy whih we have to compete in is a recipe for collapse. Lending is slowly drying up....so we can not depend on debt spending anymore to carry us. We have to free up capital here at home and that means lowering taxes on everyone.

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saywhat90:

Reagan raised taxes four time during his presidency and he did it because the deficit was rising fast during his administraion(he would end up triplng the deficit). Neither did he reduce the size of government — the number of federal workers rose 61,000 under Reagan, as opposed to Clinton who cut 373,000 jobs.And don't try to say it was becuase of the dems he did it. He signed of on it,so he did it. This myth of Ronald Reagan has got to stop.

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saywhat90:

correction 11 times

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Napoleon Complex:

So does this myth that the Community Reinvestment Act caused the mortgage collapse. It's a good talking point for the Right, but it's simply not true. Subprime lending was a contributing factor, but it was un-regulated speculation in the private sector at the middle and high end that was the major factor. But, accepting the truth would mean that those on the Right would have to admit that a "market solution" didn't work in this case. Greenspan already admitted this to Congress last year, but the Right's still in denial about it.

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Thaddeus:

People like to reduce economics to the simplest forms, tax cuts = increase in economy. It's just ridiculous. Bush 1 raised taxes and lost the election miserably and the economy did just fine (actually quite well). Even Reagon's ecomomits are saying that their version of tax cut was based on motivation to earn more money, i.e. marginal tax rates or the difference between the steps, is basically done and now you need to pay for government.

I'd argue there is much more damage to the growth of the economy when the gov. is issuing $500 billion or more in bonds, since that is a much safer investment then investing in a private business that may go bust. It just sucks the free "investment" money out of the system. Which was part of the 90's boom (almost a balanced budget), and eventual bust of over investment.

Stillow: I'd like to hear your recommendations for cutting the budget in half. He's the latest breakdown I could find: 21% Defense, 21% Medicare & Medicaid, 8% Interest on Debt, 21% Social Security, 11% Safety net programs, 6% benefits to veterans and gov retirees, 2% education...
If we can't cut 400 Billion from Medicare over ten years with out repubs saying we're going to kill grandma, maybe you could keep your talk of cutting taxes and half the gov budget somewhat close the relm of reality.

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