Monday, October 20, 2008

Krugman lowers the boom on Bushenomics

Krugman nails it in a really good column today. I'm going to excerpt more than usual because it's so spot on.

And bear in mind that all these data pertain to 2007 — which was as good as it got in recent years. Now that the “Bush boom,” such as it was, is over, we can see that it achieved a dismal distinction: for the first time on record, an economic expansion failed to raise most Americans’ incomes above their previous peak.

Since then, of course, things have gone rapidly downhill, as millions of working Americans have lost their jobs and their homes. And all indicators suggest that things will get much worse in the months and years ahead.

So what does all this say about the candidates? Who’s really standing up for Ohio’s plumbers?

Mr. McCain claims that Mr. Obama’s policies would lead to economic disaster. But President Bush’s policies have already led to disaster — and whatever he may say, Mr. McCain proposes continuing Mr. Bush’s policies in all essential respects, and he shares Mr. Bush’s anti-government, anti-regulation philosophy.

What about the claim, based on Joe the Plumber’s complaint, that ordinary working Americans would face higher taxes under Mr. Obama? Well, Mr. Obama proposes raising rates on only the top two income tax brackets — and the second-highest bracket for a head of household starts at an income, after deductions, of $182,400 a year.

Maybe there are plumbers out there who earn that much, or who would end up suffering from Mr. Obama’s proposed modest increases in taxes on dividends and capital gains — America is a big country, and there’s probably a high-income plumber with a huge stock market portfolio out there somewhere. But the typical plumber would pay lower, not higher, taxes under an Obama administration, and would have a much better chance of getting health insurance.

I don’t want to suggest that everyone would be better off under the Obama tax plan. Joe the plumber would almost certainly be better off, but Richie the hedge fund manager would take a serious hit.

But that’s the point. Whatever today’s G.O.P. is, it isn’t the party of working Americans.
It's like Krugman is living inside my head, it so perfectly describes the state of my life right now. And I'm really tired of arguing with people who would rather blame Bill Clinton for the meltdown than admit the GOP has taken them for fools. I don't see how any working person could possibly even consider voting Republican in this round.

[More posts daily at The Newshoggers and The Detroit News.]

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am what could probably best be described as a moderate libertarian.
I have voted Republican very nearly without exception, all my life. I may actually break that trend this year, in truth I am not sure I will know until I am in the booth.
I have spent the last few months in an ongoing attempt to understand where the left is coming from, and how they look at the same world I live in and come to such different conclusions. One of the few certainties I have reached is that liberals understand us as poorly as we understand them.
I like Obama. I think he would bring some much needed dignity and respect to the White house. He's honest and respectful, intelligent in many ways, and I really think he MEANS what he says, at least within the context of his world view. And I will be honest and say that it is time and past that someone other than an old white guy sat in the big chair.

But.... the healthcare thing.

Simply put, I don't think it will work in the long term. You believe otherwise.
That's fine.
But if you have your way, I will be literally forced to do it your way.
That's not fine.

So in the end, like most who will vote Republican, I will hold my nose and vote; not for McCain, but against Obama.


ps. The tax break thing? Don't care. If we had a Republican of the quality of Obama, they would be promising to raise taxes and use every cent to pay off the deficit. That I would skip my way to the polls to vote for.

7:52:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Well Jon, that's a bogus argument to me. You wouldn't lose your right to choose your own health care, what would happen is those who can't afford health care would be able to get it too.

As if the GOP has given you a choice about where your tax dollars go. McCain has pledged to continue the same Bushenomic policies. How's that been working out for your 401k.

And they spend the money on warmongering. Which McCain has definitely pledged to continue. I thought you libertarians were against spending money on that. McCain won't eliminate the deficit.

No matter how you couch it to ease your own conscience, a vote against Obama, is a vote for an addled old man who is surrounded by the same people who have been running this country to shit for the last eight years. I thought libertarians were supposed to be smarter than the average voter.

And I remind you that if something happens to McCain, you get Palin as the figurehead in chief. You honestly think she's qualified? Cripes even the neocons are jumping ship and the old school conservatives are all endorsing Obama.

If the idea of helping out poor people is so abhorent you would rather destroy the country than help them, I'd say it sounds like a pretty damn selfish reason. Why do you just vote for your own candidate? That would make more of a statement and you would be still be voting against Obama.

8:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A bogus argument? Does that mean I can opt out? Didn't think so. If I choose not to pay for this, the nice men with guns will come and put me in prison.

Don't accept that the current 'crash' is caused by the Republicans. That's a whole subject by itself.

The war? That would be a telling argument if Obama had more of a solid plan for getting out.

I look around I cannot see that the country is going to shit. Sorry, my Dad said the same thing, and I looked around his huge white house and his new car and his new motorcycles and just didn't see it. And the folks would barely qualify as upper middle class. We got it pretty good in America. You'll know we have a problem when more people are trying to leave to get a good life than are trying to get in. Don't hold your breath.

Who we choose for president this go around will not destroy the country. If nothing else, we are pretty well certain to have a strongly Democrat congress to reign them in.

Selfish? Maybe, maybe not.
I've been poor. Real poor. Search through the sofa cushions hoping I missed a quarter so I can eat today poor. It was a learning experience. It wasn't because some rich guy was holding me down, or I was 'unfortunate', or any such excuse. It was because I made a poor choice. I learned and made better ones. We all see life through the lens of our experiences. I cannot seriously picture being unemployed for any amount of time. I am in my mid thirties now, and in my entire life I have never been jobless for more than a few days unless I wanted to be. I live in an area with higher than average unemployment, but somehow I always have standing job offers if I ever get tired of being where I am.
Put most simply, I do not think that rescuing people from their mistakes actually helps them. You screw up, you pay the price, you learn. I accept that you mean well, but what it most reminds me of is a parent who coddles their child all their formative years, and then can't understand why they self destruct as soon as they leave the nest. Maybe the easiest way to describe it is a favorite saying amongst my crowd : "Stupid should hurt". And contrary to what you might think, mostly we apply it to ourselves.


9:38:00 PM  

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