Tuesday, February 24, 2009

No We Can't....A Few Points To Ponder

I'm sure many of you are familiar with this speech excerpt which Ronald Reagan incorrectly credited to Abraham Lincoln. However, I think it's important to re-think these words chocked full of wisdom

"You cannot bring prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot further brotherhood of men by inciting class hatred.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves" - Rev. William J.H. Boetcker


I believe that the "Yes We Can" crowd should have a considered this before they jumped on the proverbial band wagon.

40 comments:

uptownsteve said...

I think what's been missed in all this self-righteous pontificating on the right is that Obama and the progressives are just trying to clean up the mess YOU RIGHTIES made over the last 8 years.

You righties have no credibilty right now.

You were in charge for 6 of the last 8 years and produce a total failure.

Economically, politically and globally.

So sit back and be quiet while the adults straighten everything out.

DJ Black Adam said...

Two words: "False Dichotomy"...

brotherkomrade said...

Two more words; Prove It.

brotherkomrade said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Conservative Black Woman said...

Proof? I'll use two words as well--

WESTERN EUROPE

Digital Publius said...

uptownsteve, DJ Adam, BK, you guys don't want proof, I gave you proof of who was responsible for the economy several threads ago, proof which none of you addressed opting instead for ad hominem attacks. You wouldn't recognize proof if it bit you in the but.

Just like you didn't address any of the points made in the speech reprinted in this thread.

You guys are good at telling people to "STHU" but all you guys do is talk loud and say nothing.

DJ Black Adam said...

Digital:

You proved nothing, except that you are able to only place blame on the left and have a mental block in seeing the right's culpability.

If anything, you have proved yourself to have selective vision.

Digital Publius said...

but Uptownsteve is not doing that when he states:

"progressives are just trying to clean up the mess YOU RIGHTIES made over the last 8 years.

You righties have no credibilty right now.

You were in charge for 6 of the last 8 years and produce a total failure."

Is he guilty of what you accuse me of, and for the record, I never said that the right shared no responsibility.

uptownsteve said...

Digital Publius,

How the hell is the left responsible when the righties had almost total control over all 3 branches of government for most of the last 8 years and it was Bush's policies of unnecessary war, tax cuts for the rich and corporate deregulation that led to the economic crisis????

Digital Publius said...

Steve if you really care to know, here is an alien concept for liberals, work for it go back a few threads and read what I already posted. Unlike the rhetoric you guys spout. I provide answers that are backed by proof that can be verified in the public record. Not just you know this, and I think that.

DJ Black Adam said...

@Uptown:

Don't forget the Right and their contract on America during Clinton, as well Reagan and his "trickle down" supply side b/s.

Jus saying...

uptownsteve said...

DJ Adam,

The little rightwing pinheads never cease to amaze.

I was watching Fox TV last week and some conservative blowhard actually referred to an "Obama recession".

The man has been in office 24 days.

I swear, the righties occupy a parallel universe.

Digital Publius said...

I will say this, the facts are that we had six straight years of uninterrupted economic growth, with the dow hitting record highs and during the Bush years an average unemployment rate of 5.2% the same as it was under Clinton. The deficit went up because Bush spent more on entitlements and programs for the poor here and around the world than any president in history he spent like a drunken liberal.

The democrats took control of congress on a platform of war fatigue and a promise to end the funding for the war in Iraq, not the economy which was booming during the war. The economy became a problem with the collapse of freddie and fannie, and a refusal to act on the recommendations of the president by congress.

Digital Publius said...

as usual you guys issue a challenge and then forget about it when you get called on it LOL.

God Bless You CBW!

uptownsteve said...

Digital Publius

Read and learn.

First, the sub-prime mortgage meltdown. During the 8 years the Bush administration was in charge, we saw a dramatic expansion in available credit to borrowers who where not able to quality for conventional mortgages. This boom in new buyers drove up housing prices, creating a bubble of newfound wealth in the equity of homes, and creating a cycle of borrowing against newly inflated home equity. This bubble was evident to economists and consumers alike, yet in the absence of any legislation or government controls - the trend continued to balloon.

Second, Iraq. The cost of our dramatic increase in military spending provided a huge drain on the Federal Budget, as services that were heretofore part of the military budget became privatized and outsourced. Companies like Blackwater and Halliburton received huge military contracts to provide services - often without bids or oversight. Now, seven years later, we're uncovering fraud, waste, and violations of human rights that reflect both the size of the contracts and the Government's basic lack of ability to oversee or administer these programs. The elixir of privatization and deregulation created an environment that was ripe for fraud and misuse. In hindsight, is this any surprise?

Third, abandonment of a US economic vision. For 8 years the Bush administration focused on security and fear, while any vision of our economic future got put on hold. Gasoline taxes, emission standards or innovation in our core sectors were all either ignored or frowned upon.

Fourth, the environment. As George Bush dragged his heals on any environmental science, things like Kyoto were left unsigned. As former Vice President Al Gore raised the nation's awareness of Global Warming, the Bush Administration sought to minimize and obfuscate the science around climate change. As a result, government funding for new energy was back-burnered, and industries that count on the Government to legislate change and create a level playing field continued to build and produce gas guzzling trucks and automobiles. While world governments have used gas taxes to drive both conservation and innovation, the Bush administration essentially subsidized fossil fuel burning automobiles. The result, our energy industries are desperately behind, and our automotive industry is almost a decade behind in thinking about alternative energy.

Fifth, Wall Street and Banking. For 8 years there has been a dramatic expansion in the services and fast consolidation of what had been separate and in some cases regulated industries. As banking, brokerage, insurance, and financial services companies acquired and merged - the speed of these transactions far exceeded the regulatory ability or resources (not by accident) resulting in such things as credit default swaps that now even seasoned wall-streeters say were hard to understand.

The Bush Recession isn't the result of a single bad decision, or even actions out of our control. For 8 years we've allowed a handful of private industries to operate without oversight or review, with a focus on short term gains, as environmental and world economic issues have loomed large.

Steve Rosenbaum

DJ Black Adam said...

@Uptown:

"I swear, the righties occupy a parallel universe."

They live in that evil universe...you know the one where Spock has that goatee? Or that anti-matter universe where Superman is a villian named Ultraman....jus' saying...

DJ Black Adam said...

@Uptown:

That was a darn good post. Hey, are you Steve Rosenbaum?

Digital Publius said...

That is the tastiest Kool Aid I ever tasted, were did you get that stuff the Huffington Post? Go back and look at the older threads I posted a documented timeline of the collapse. LOL That ain't no ordinary Kool Aid, naw that must be imported or you mixed that with some papaya juice or something. LOL

uptownsteve said...

"That was a darn good post. Hey, are you Steve Rosenbaum?"

No. My name is Steve Vaughn but I thought that column by Rosenbaum pretty much sums up the situation in plain language.

I'll await Digital Plubius' point by point rebuttal.

I won't hold my breath though.

DJ Black Adam said...

@Uptown:

"I won't hold my breath though."

Please don't, right wingers have that terrible problem of lack of being able to self examine. He'll just blacnk you out.

Digital Publius said...

I'll give you guys a point by point, right after I get my first one from you. Hey BK you should spend a little more time on your blog so you can answer my latest question to you, my readers are waiting for your next answer!

Digital Publius said...

I know you're not accustomed to dealing with comments on your blog.

DJ Black Adam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JudyBright said...

Wow.

I am so offended by these principles you've outlined I can see why this post has generated such outrage.

I mean, saving money, not tearing others down, living within your means, personal freedom, all outrageous and disgusting.

You should be ashamed, CBW. ;-)

DJ Black Adam said...

"I mean, saving money, not tearing others down, living within your means, personal freedom, all outrageous and disgusting.

You should be ashamed, CBW. ;-)"

You should be ashamed not to see false dichotomies when they are presented in such an obviously disingenous loaded way.

JMK said...

First, the sub-prime mortgage meltdown. During the 8 years the Bush administration was in charge, we saw a dramatic expansion in available credit to borrowers who were not able to quality for conventional mortgages.

Be aware, UTS, Steve Rosenbaum is COMPLAINING about THIS:

Bush seeks to increase minority homeownership

By Thomas A. Fogarty, USA TODAY
1/2-0/2004
http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/housing/2004-01-20-fha_x.htm

In a bid to boost minority homeownership, President Bush will ask Congress for authority to eliminate the down-payment requirement for Federal Housing Administration loans.

In announcing the plan Monday at a home builders show in Las Vegas, Federal Housing Commissioner John Weicher called the proposal the "most significant FHA initiative in more than a decade." It would lead to 150,000 first-time owners annually, he said.

Nothing-down options are available on the private mortgage market, but, in general, they require the borrower to have pristine credit. Bush's proposed change would extend the nothing-down option to borrowers with blemished credit.
<
<
This boom in new buyers drove up housing prices, creating a bubble of newfound wealth in the equity of homes, and creating a cycle of borrowing against newly inflated home equity. This bubble was evident to economists and consumers alike, yet in the absence of any legislation or government controls - the trend continued to balloon.

Exactly what I’ve said about GOVERNMENT’S role in the current crisis, BUT make no mistake, Steve Rosenbaum is lamenting the Bush program to INCREASE minority home ownership rates. Something that DJBA, among others have apparently supported.
<
<
Second, Iraq. The cost of our dramatic increase in military spending provided a huge drain on the Federal Budget, as services that were heretofore part of the military budget became privatized and outsourced. Companies like Blackwater and Halliburton received huge military contracts to provide services - often without bids or oversight. Now, seven years later, we're uncovering fraud, waste, and violations of human rights that reflect both the size of the contracts and the Government's basic lack of ability to oversee or administer these programs. The elixir of privatization and deregulation created an environment that was ripe for fraud and misuse. In hindsight, is this any surprise?

Too simplistic an analysis.

After 9/11 we rightly came to the conclusions that (1) terrorism CANNOT be handled as a “police matter” and nations that harbor, support or otherwise abet terrorists are engaged in an “act of war” against the U.S.

Halliburton has had almost EVERY U.S. military contract since 1990.
<
<
Fourth, the environment. As George Bush dragged his heals on any environmental science, things like Kyoto were left unsigned. As former Vice President Al Gore raised the nation's awareness of Global Warming, the Bush Administration sought to minimize and obfuscate the science around climate change. As a result, government funding for new energy was back-burnered, and industries that count on the Government to legislate change and create a level playing field continued to build and produce gas guzzling trucks and automobiles. While world governments have used gas taxes to drive both conservation and innovation, the Bush administration essentially subsidized fossil fuel burning automobiles. The result, our energy industries are desperately behind, and our automotive industry is almost a decade behind in thinking about alternative energy.


Congress RIGHTLY refused to sign the Kyoto Accords, Clinton refused to sign it and leading climatologists claim that, at best, the Kyoto accords would deliver an imperceptible -0.5 degree Celsius decrease in global temperatures at the cost of 1/3 of America’s current energy consumption
<
<
Fifth, Wall Street and Banking. For 8 years there has been a dramatic expansion in the services and fast consolidation of what had been separate and in some cases regulated industries. As banking, brokerage, insurance, and financial services companies acquired and merged – the speed of these transactions far exceeded the regulatory ability or resources (not by accident) resulting in such things as credit default swaps that now even seasoned wall-streeters say were hard to understand.


The Commodity Futures Modernization Act deregulated all that in 2000, “the bill was passed at the height of Wall Street and Washington’s love affair with deregulation, an infatuation that was endorsed by President Clinton at the White House and encouraged by Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.” (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/10/26/60minutes/main4546199.shtml)
<
<
The Bush Recession isn't the result of a single bad decision, or even actions out of our control. For 8 years we've allowed a handful of private industries to operate without oversight or review, with a focus on short term gains, as environmental and world economic issues have loomed large.
<
<
The government, since the mid-1990s has sought to loosen lending parameters, passing a myriad of financial legislation from the Revised Community Reinvestment Act of 1995 to the Commodity Futures Modernization Act in 2000 and the SEC both under Art Levitt in the 1990s and Chris Cox over the past eight years has consistently looked the other way on everything from improper lending practices to the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme, which had been reported to BOTH those SEC heads. Is the current financial crisis the result of ill-conceived government action across the past two administrations’s? I seem to agree with Steve Rosenbaum on that score, that it IS.

Digital Publius said...

Believe me JMK, I have provided similar breakdowns for these guys, it is an exercise in futility.

uptownsteve said...

This JMK is such a shameless liar.

First he says this:

"Congress RIGHTLY refused to sign the Kyoto Accords, Clinton refused to sign it and leading climatologists claim that, at best, the Kyoto accords would deliver an imperceptible -0.5 degree Celsius decrease in global temperatures at the cost of 1/3 of America’s current energy consumption"

But the truth is:

"Vice President Al Gore was a main participant in putting the Kyoto Protocol together in 1997. President Bill Clinton signed the agreement in 1997, but the US Senate refused to ratify it, citing potential damage to the US economy required by compliance. The Senate also balked at the agreement because it excluded certain developing countries, including India and China, from having to comply with new emissions standards."

http://usliberals.about.com/od/environmentalconcerns/p/KyotoProtocol.htm

I'll be back to refute the rest of your garbage later.

uptownsteve said...

Revision:

"The Clinton administration signed the document on November 12, saying that it hoped to spur overall progress on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The protocol was signed during a Buenos Aires conference aimed at working out the Protocol's details.

President Clinton said, however, that he would not submit the protocol to the Senate for ratification until key developing countries agree to take significant steps to address climate change, a key Senate condition."

Digital Publius said...

I have no idea why I will even bother to do this but...

U.S. Rejected the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 and 2001

1993—President Clinton proposes/Congress rejects a BTU energy tax

July 1997—U.S. Senate votes 97-0 to oppose any climate agreement that would harm the economy or exempt major GHG emitters

December 1997—Vice President Gore personally endorses Kyoto

1998—President Clinton signs but does not submit Kyoto to Congress

2001—New President George W. Bush rejects Kyoto Protocol

2007—President Bush convenes 15 major nations to discuss alternative to Kyoto Protocol

Source: From Kyoto to Copenhagen:
U.S. Energy Trends and
Climate Change Policy Options

Thomas M. Kirlin, Ph.D. Vice President

Center for the Study of the Presidency

October 28, 2008

Energia08 Forum
Tampere, Finland

Bill Clinton Never submitted the endorsement of the Kyoto Protocols to congress to be ratified Period.

The 97-0 vote to reject Kyoto in the senate included every democrat that voted.

Why? Because it is a load of crap based on a lie. Here is another fact:

The earths atmosphere is composed of 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent Oxygen, and 1 percent everything else. that 1 percent includes Carbon Dioxide which is measured in parts per million something like 0.0384 percent of one percent. what is the mechanism that allows something measured in parts per million having so deleterious an effect on the earth? with 99 percent of the atmosphere being composed of far colder gases.

uptownsteve said...

DP

But your boy JMK claimed that Clinton "refused" to sign it, which is an out and out lie.

JMK said...

"Believe me JMK, I have provided similar breakdowns for these guys, it is an exercise in futility." (DP)


I am beginning to see that.

I always try to hold out hope, but sometimes it's impossible to reach some folks.

I don't think there's anything more important right now than as many people as possible really understanding the underpinnings and chronology of the current global credit freeze.

Its ramifications are too great and in too many spheres.

It has taken the onus away from the global War on Terror (WoT) and put the bulk of our resources into dealing with this potentilly disastrous crisis.

There are currently more than 35 terror training camps within the U.S. should America be attacked again on its home soil, that would not only exacerbate the financial crisis globally, it would effectively doom this Presidency and deeply damage this country.

uptownsteve said...

"There are currently more than 35 terror training camps within the U.S."

If this is true, they sure didn't pop up in the last 3 weeks.

Why didn't our Rambo President Bush close em down??

Do you know where they are JMK?

Probably right next to Saddam's WMDs.

JMK said...

Clinton did not push for the Kyoto Accords during his tenure, though he paid some lip service to them, safely knowing that the Senate opposed them virtually unanimously.

Clinton knew the truth, that
the Kyoto Accords targeted cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 5 percent, based on 1990s emmisions base. By 2010, this would have meant a reduction of 30 to 40 percent for the United States by rationing fuels or by raising energy prices sharply. The developing countries, including China and India, would not have to cut energy use at all, and would receive financial subsidies to boot.

No decent American supports that UTS....not a single one.

Digital Publius said...

"But your boy JMK claimed that Clinton "refused" to sign it, which is an out and out lie."

You still avoided the main issue, the Kyoto accords are a load of crap, based on a lie.

Again, how does an element measured in parts per million have so profound an effect. Its like if I had a glass of water in my sink and a tiny stream of water constantly filling the glass, and I add a drop of tabasco sauce into the glass now and then, you may be able to detect traces of sauce with advanced instruments, but you sure as heck won't burn your tongue.

DJ Black Adam said...

@JMK:

"Bush program to INCREASE minority home ownership rates. Something that DJBA, among others have apparently supported"

Sure, there is no problem doing no down payment loans IF THE LOAN IS BASED ON THE ACUTAL INCOME OF THE BORROWER.

Very simple concept.

JMK said...

"Sure, there is no problem doing no down payment loans IF THE LOAN IS BASED ON THE ACUTAL INCOME OF THE BORROWER.

"Very simple concept." (DJBA)
<
<
Not entirely, DJ.

Nothing down loans are ALWAYS high-risk, because the borrower doesn't have enough equity at risk to motivate them live within their means.

"Nothing-down options are available on the private mortgage market, but, in general, they require the borrower to have pristine credit. Bush's proposed change would extend the nothing-down option to borrowers with blemished credit.

"In the proposal soon to be delivered to Congress, Bush would allow the FHA to guarantee loans for the full purchase price of the home, plus down-payment costs. As a practical matter, the FHA would guarantee mortgages as high as 103% of the value of the underlying property.

"Weicher says the change is aimed at potential home buyers whose credit excludes them from the private mortgage market. Borrowers would need sufficient income to meet monthly payments. (N.B. THIS is the etiology of the subprime mess...that key phrase "borrowers would need sufficient income to meet the monthly payments - NOTHING MORE," - that was a wink and a nod to the scammers) But, he said, the plan would eliminate the single largest impediment to homeownership for millions of households — lack of money for a down payment.

"FHA loans carry higher risks of delinquency and foreclosure than do private mortgages, and the proposed change presumably will lead to greater losses to the government than the current program does.

"Weicher said the added risk will be offset by higher fees charged to borrowers who opt to make no down payment."

http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/housing/2004-01-20-fha_x.htm

Easing the 20% down, keeping the prime lending rate artificially LOW and allowing Fannie & Freddie to buy/guarantee more high-risk loans (Fannie Mae increased its share of the mortgage market from about 1/3 to about 1/2, including a HUGE percentage of the new high-risk, subprime loans) all combined to create an atmosphere of "cheap money" and that precipitated the self-cannibalizing feeding frenzy that took place from around 2004 on.

I'm not excusing the abysmal and dishonest behavior of the private sector, but I'm holding government accountable as being the PRIMARY player in all this...INCLUDING its refusal to even look at the often reported irregularities of the likes of Bernie Madoff and Robert Allen Stanford.

DJ Black Adam said...

@JMK:

"Nothing down loans are ALWAYS high-risk, because the borrower doesn't have enough equity at risk to motivate them live within their means."

I beg to differ, FHA and VA loans that lower down payments to 5% do pretty wel. While I would agree that 0% down is not a good move, I'd go with 1-5%, IF and that is the real issue IF the loan is done within realistic INCOME GUIDELINES.

So while we may agree on the "0" % downpayment, I am still for FHA or VA style lending, I just submit that BANKS should make loans to people who can afford to pay them back, not off of credit scores as much but rnetal history and income.

JMK said...

"I beg to differ, FHA and VA loans that lower down payments to 5% do pretty well." (DJBA)
<
<
It was then Federal Housing Commissioner John Weicher who said, "FHA loans carry higher risks of delinquency and foreclosure than do private mortgages, and the proposed change presumably will lead to greater losses to the government than the current program does," not just me.

Mr. Weicher seemed confident that the added risk would be offset by the higher fees charged to borrowers who opt to make no down payment.

It seems that the old lending standards worked because they required the borrower to put up a sizable stake in the venture.

The problem, with 0% down loans, is not merely that when as much as 105% of home's value is mortgaged (those loans can also include additional closing costs) the lender is exposed to far more risk, but that it makes it easier...too easy for the borrower to walk away from the venture unscathed, in some cases, even enriched.

As an example, had my wife and I taken a mortgage out for double the amount we had (the amount the broker said we could get on "either of our incomes"), and took that amount out on a home that was (1) far too expensive for us to maintain and (2) had over-leveraged that property, borrowing perhaps 125% of its value with low to no downpayment and subsequent home equity lines of credit, we might have stuck a lender with a "white elephant" (a property that they probably couldn't unload for anything close to the amount they loaned out on it), with ourselves having NO incentive to maintain that property, as we'd already have been able to pocket a sizable profit from that 125% of the purchase price.

That's a recipe for disaster and that's what we've had recently.

The mortgage meltdown is a systemic problem that's impacted borrowers of every economic level.

Again, I can't sympathize all that much. You NEED to know how to protect yourself. The borrower HAS to ask some very basic questions and any reasonable person would be expected to ask them, such as, "How much will this loan cost me?...How much will it go up and at what intervals?....What will the total cost of this home (mortgage, taxes, utilities, insurance) be?

Those questions have to be answered, in order for a borrower to know whether they can afford OR even WANT to afford that particular burden.

This ISN'T like a person holding a stock portfolio and having a salesman "churn their account."

A cousin of mine has been a stock broker and "retired" at 32 y/o, claiming "I LOVE the trading, but I HATE the selling", to day trade, going back to work four years later, because he wanted to "bounce ideas off other investors."

Apparently he's done well. He lives in the Dakota (the bldg John Lennon lived in) and has a place in the Hamptons and I still can't imagine someone "retiring" to invest at 32 years of age, but he seems to have had to do some things (like churning the accounts of his broker's clients) to make his living.

I don't know whay anyone would invest in stocks without knowing anything about them, but it's even crazier to take out a mortgage on a house that's going to claim the bulk of your income over the next few decades without knowing EVERY detail....at least the most basic ones - How MUCH will this whole nut cost.....CAN it and will it go up and by how much...How much does that leave me to live?" You might help people answer those questions and that's great, BUT even in the face of someone who wouldn't or couldn't....ESPECIALLY in such cases...the borrower MUST know the most basic questions to ask.

Not knowing those basic things is insanely, suicidedly stupid on the part of the borrower. It's their basic quality of life they're putting at risk.

Again however, my point about the current global credit freeze is NOT so much the actions of the borrowers (as crazy as that has been, in many cases), b ut the major role that government action played in it.

That's something that has been ignored by far too many people.

JMK said...

"This JMK is such a shameless liar.

"First he says this:" (UTS)

"Congress RIGHTLY refused to sign the Kyoto Accords, Clinton refused to sign it and leading climatologists claim that, at best, the Kyoto accords would deliver an imperceptible -0.5 degree Celsius decrease in global temperatures at the cost of 1/3 of America’s current energy consumption" (JMK)

"But the truth is:

"Vice President Al Gore was a main participant in putting the Kyoto Protocol together in 1997. President Bill Clinton signed the agreement in 1997, but the US Senate refused to ratify it, citing potential damage to the US economy required by compliance." (UTS)


OK, so where's the lie???

I NEVER mentioned AlGore...Congress didn't merely reject it, it did so virtually unanimously and Bill Clinton was tepid (at best) on the issue.

I didn't recall Clinton signing onto it....frankly, I gave him more credit than that. I've since read that he only signed it once he KNEW that it would be roundly rejected in Congress.

Again, NO decent American would support a treaty that would cripple our economy by mandating a 1/3 decrease in energy use by the USA by By 2010. This would have meant a reduction of 30 to 40 percent in emmisions for the United States, requiring the rationing fuels and a sharp increase in energy prices.

Who'd support something like that?!