Isn’t It Ironic – Don’t Ya think?

| February 9, 2013 | 68 Comments

With apologies to Alanis Morissette.

This particular story ain’t really new, or news. TAH has already covered parts of the debacle that is the ongoing neutering of our country’s defenses. At all levels really – from our back doors to the international arena.

Panetta, Dempsey List Consequences of Sequestration

One paragraph from the link rattled my cage just enough to bring it to your attention:

“This is not something that should be done as a way to blame the other party for what happens,” Panetta said. “This is going to hurt the United States and hurt our defense.”

I’m at a loss here. It seems to be the PC mindset writ large.  I reckon both parties in a rape are at fault?  The store owner who shoots a robber pointing a gun at him while demanding the money from the register is part of the problem? Shutting down Head Start could save billions, but it is a (failed) well meaning program. The list of PC things that I can’t seem to understand grows everyday.

Folks, I dunno where this will end… Well, I AM kinda old and paranoid so maybe it is just me?

Category: Geezer Alert!

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  1. Insipid says:

    Oh God, please save me from humorless Republicans.

  2. Smitty says:

    i was going to write a long instructional lecture for insipid, but then i realized that s/he doesnt have the educational back ground to grasp any of it. what started out with quasi-organized thoughts, went out the window with “regan screwed it up”. clearly someone has never touched a book on modern american history or studied the Carter admin. FDR’s new deal prolonged the great depression by over a decade, had it not been for WW2, the great depression would have continued even longer. carter nearly created another depression, and Reagan saved the day! i have heard so much about “the worst recession since the great depression” but clearly these people choose to ignore the Carter years and how bad it got then.

    you may want to go back and check your facts on the debt ceiling raises under bush and reagan, your numbers are way off. never before in the history of our country have we had to debate a debt limit increase every year or had our spending this far out of control. you claim that the debt has decreased each year under obama, yet the projected deficit this year according the the CBO is 1.2T! dems complained it was unpatriotic to have a 500B deficit under Bush, Obama hiimself tried to block the debt ceiling increase under bush! read some history that hasnt been revisited by public educators. how many times did bush raise the debt limit? the answer is less than 3, ill give ya 2 guesses.

    i would like to give ya some advice that i love to give students with large government ideals, read George Orwell. any of his works are worth picking up, 1984 and animal farm are musts!

    as for the idea of obama as a centrist, you are either greatly deceived or lack basic understanding of the word centrist. conservatives hav NEVER championed government expansion or trampling of personal freedoms. the whole idea of conservatism is keep the government out of as much as possible, or as a great man once said “the government does very little well, so make the government do very little”

  3. Insipid says:

    Well, if your long “instructional” lecture was anywhere near as error filled or as fact free as your “short” lecture than I’m glad you saved yourself the trouble. You’re wrong and you’re ignorant. The debt ceiling was raise 7 times under George W. Bush, 4 Times under Bill Clinton, 4 times under Bush sr. and a record 17 times under Rondald Reagan:

    http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/moneymatters/tp/5-Presidents-Who-Raised-The-Debt-Limit.htm

    The unemployment rate when Reagan took office was 7.5 percent over the course of the next few years, thanks largely to his policies, the rate rose to a peak of 10.4% then he managed to bring it back down to 7.3%. Pretty much exactly where he started.

    Reagan’s “recession” was not nearly as bad as Obama’s near-depression and furthermore his solution was Keynesian economics:

    http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/rec1980.htm

    Also, let’s review some VERY basic history: FDR was elected in 1932 and came to power in March of 1933 (there was a longer waiting period prior then). World War II started for the USA on December 7th 1941. So if you do the math you’ll see that Roosevelts policies were in effect for only 8 years and 9 months prior to the event which- by your own admission- ended the great depression. So how the fuck could his policies have extended the depression over a decade when he wasn’t even IN office a decade? It couldn’t, you just pulled it out of your ass.

    The New Deal WAS working, which is why Roosevelt kept getting reelected along with Democrats. The one bad year was 1937 when he listened to the deficit scolds of his day and decided to cut. However even if i were to buy your argument that it was WWII that got us out of the Depression (which i don’t) that’s STILL an endorsement of Keynesian economics of spending to stimulate a depressed economy. Your also ignoring the 40 years of prosperity AFTER WWII where all presidents, even the Republicans, were dominated by Rooseveltian policies. That lasted right up until Reagan’s policies fucked everything up, ruining our industrial base, our banking industry, increasing wealth stratification to levels higher than the great depression and turning us from the largest creditor nation to the largest debtor nation.

    Also the idea that George Orwell was a libertarian is laughable. He was a Social Democrat whose politics were much closer to mine than yours. He wasn’t against all government, he was against totalitarianism. So not only do you suck at history, you suck at literature.

  4. Hondo says:

    Sippy: sure. Well over 7 years of economic “recovery” under FDR gave the country an unemployment rate of almost 14.5% in 1940. That’s really . . . wonderful. And that’s U1 – they didn’t accurately measure U6 in those days.

    By any rational definition of success, that royally sucks. Even Morgenthau, FDR’s Treasury Secretary, admitted in 1939 that FDR’s deficit spending policies simply hadn’t worked worth a damn to end the Great Depression. He’d be in a position to know.

  5. NHSparky says:

    No, sippy–the New Deal was working to buy votes, and that’s about it. You know, “Tax and tax, spend and spend, elect and elect.” Oh, who was it who said that? Oh yeah–Harry Hopkins.

    Even the uber-liberal SCOTUS had to smack down a lot of FDR’s programs because they overreached so far. And when the taxes (or whatever the FDR administration called them that day to dodge legal challenges, much like the Obama administration did with Obamacare) kicked in early in FDR’s second term, that’s when you saw the economy start to take a major shit in the 1937-38 timeframe. Gee, raising taxes slows the economy–who fuckin knew?

    Finally, might I suggest picking up a copy of FDR’s Folly? You might be surprised just HOW negative an impact FDR’s policies had throughout the 1930’s. Consider that by 1935-36, Europe was pretty much over the Depression. Granted, they were ramping up for WWII, but their economic state certainly never matched ours during the late 30’s.

  6. Insipid says:

    Yes, considering over half the banks in the country had failed and that he started with unemployment at over 20% reducing it to 14.5% is pretty good.

    Also, if this world were “rational” you Conservatives would shut the fuck up and hide in shame. But apparently the party of “personal responsibility” won’t take it. It was Republican laissez fare economics of bank deregulation and wealth stratification that caused the first Republican great depression in 1929 and it was the exact same policies that almost caused one in 2009. The only reasons we’re not in a great depression now are 1. the remnants of the new deal that prevented it and 2. the amazing leadership of President Obama and the Democratic Congress.

    But that’s what ALWAYS happens. Republicans get put in charge and take a massive dump on the economy. Then when Democrats are in charge you complain that we don’t clean up your shit fast enough.

    The fact is that considering the massive devastation caused by Hoover and Coolidge’s policies Roosevelt did an amazing job. Unemployment was declining as fast as it did during WWII except for that one period in 1937 when he disastrously listened to the austerity junkies of his day and tried debt reduction.

    The same is true for Obama. His job performance has been amazing considering what he was given. There is no President- certainly no Republican President- that could of cleaned up the pile of dung that GWB left for President Obama. That’s why he was re-elected. That’s why he’ll go down as one of the great Presidents in history while Reagan will fall to the dustbin of the mediocrity.

  7. Ex-PH2 says:

    Things/people that are (or were) funny:
    Carol Burnett
    John Belushi (dec.)
    Jack Kennegy (dec.)
    Red Skelton (dec.)
    Wile E. Coyote & Roadrunner
    Burns & Allen (dec.)
    Bob Hope (dec.)
    Jim Gaffigan http://www.jimgaffigan.com/
    Kittens with a toy
    Will Shakespeare

    Things/people that are NOT funny:
    Recession
    Inflation
    Jimmy Carter
    High gas prices
    Traffic accidents
    People who take themselves too seriously
    Insipid’s looney-tune ramblings (although they could be almost funny if rewritten just a tad)

  8. Insipid says:

    You have it backwards, as usual Sparky. The economy took a “shit” in 1937 because of austerity policies. Slashing spending in the midst of a depression is a BAD idea.

    Also the court “Smacked down” six of the eight provisions of the New Deal between 1935 and 1937. Roosevelt’s first supreme court appointment was Hugo Black in 1937. The Supreme Court that overturned the New Deal was a REPUBLICAN Supreme Court. They were appointed by Harding, Coolidge and Hoover. So not only was the court NOT “uber liberal” it was Conservative. Most of the “smacked down” provisions were later instituted under different names after FDR was able to appoint his own justices. Thank god for that, i can’t imagine how bad of a depression we’d be in right now if it weren’t for the safety net of the new deal.

  9. Hondo says:

    Sippy: keep drinking the Kool-Aid, fella. It’s working to keep you completely disconnected from reality.

    By the way, you’re dead wrong about the “unemployment declined as fast during the Great Depression as during World War II” claim. The largest single year drop in unemployment during the Great Depression were those between 1933 and 1934, and betwen 1936 and 1937. Both changesx were -3.2%. The largest single year drop during World War II? -5.2%, between 1941 and 1942. The drop between 1940 and 1941 (beginning of pre-World War II military expansion) was -4.7%.

    The best 2 and 3 year drops are also large during World War II.

    Those drops are in absolute percentage terms of estimated or actual U1. If you calculate that as a reduction in the percentage unemployed the previous year, it’s not even that close.

    The best single-year percentage decline in unemployment (as opposed to absolute decline) during the Great Depression occurred between 1935 and 1936, when U1 declined from 20.1% to 16.9% – a drop of (16.9 – 20.1) / (20.1) = -15.92%. Every year-to-year percentage decline in unemployment between 1940 and 1944 (e.g., 40-41, 41-42, 42-43, and 43-44) was at least twice that, and two (41-42 and 42-43) were over 3 times that [ (1.9-4.7)/9.9 = -52.53% and (1.9-4.7)/4.7 = -59.57%, respectively.]

    In short: you didn’t know what you were talking about and pulled it out of your ass. Again.

  10. Hondo says:

    For completeness: here’s the U1 data on which the above is based:

    1933 – 24.9%
    1934 – 21.7%
    1935 – 20.1%
    1936 – 16.9%
    1937 – 14.3%
    1938 – 19.0%
    1939 – 17.3%
    1940 – 14.6% (note: major military expansion began in 1940 and continued through WWII)
    1941 – 9.9%
    1942 – 4.7%
    1943 – 1.9%
    1944 – 1.2%
    1945 – 1.9% (note: World War II demobilization began this year)

  11. NHSparky says:

    Sippy–lemme give you a little hint.

    Who ran Congress starting in 2007? I mean, if you want to blame the GOP for the shit we’re in now, meaning you want to blame Congress now for the mess we’re in, it’s only fair you blame the people in charge of Congress then for the mess that started in 2007-08.

    But you just pretty much stated what you REALLY wanted in your previous post is for us to just STFU. Criticism not allowed, dammit, or you’re a racist–or worse! Nevermind that between 2001-09, “protest is patriotic”, and “speakinig truth to power” were memes bleated repeatedly by the left. What’s the matter, sippy? Facts kicking your ass again? Don’t like the fact your policies DON’T and HAVEN’T worked?

    If this economy is in such great shape, why are we on the verge of another recession, with one quarter of negative GDP, and one more coming just to make “Obama’s recession” official? You’d think after four years of maxxing out the credit cards we’d be on cloud nine, but funny how we’re just sputtering along, isn’t it?

    Newsflash for ya–it isn’t GOVERNMENT spending that drives the economy. It’s CONSUMER spending that drives it. Look how the latter is doing, how the latter did during the recent Christmas season, and tell me that the economy is coming back. What’s that you say? Unemployment is coming down? Sure, the U-1 is, but consider for ever job added, 3-4 people have been giving up, leaving the workforce. If you had the same workforce participation rate as you did in 2008, U-1 unemployment would be closer to 12 percent, not 7.8.

    I could go on all day, sippy, but what you and your ilk will never even begin to understand is that when you have fewer and fewer workers supporting more and more of the idle masses, eventually the scales will tip. Even now, we have 49.5 percent of the US population which has either zero or a negative tax burden. People are leaving high-tax states in droves. To oversimplify, it’s people “going Galt.” What’ll the looters and moochers do THEN?

  12. Insipid says:

    Unemployment is a lagging indicator. Furthermore the unemployment numbers at the time does not include recipients of jobs from the PWA and others that benefited from the Welfare state. AT its peak 20 million were receiving benefits 1 out of 6 Americans. The economy was well on its way to a recovery until Roosevelt made the mistake of instituting austerity measures in 1937. Once the depression hit bottom in 1933, the US economy started on four years of expansion that was the biggest cyclical boom in U.S. economic history. For four years, real GDP grew at a 12% rate and nominal GDP grew at a 14% rate. There was another shorter and shallower depression in 1937 caused by renewed fiscal tightening (and higher Federal Reserve margin requirements).

    Oh, how did Romney’s winning the last week in a Reaganesque manner work out for you, Hondo? Worked out GREAT for me, and the country.

  13. Hondo says:

    NHSparky: not sure I’d even agree that U1 is “going down”, amigo. It seems to have essentially quit declining nearly a year ago. For the last 11 months it’s held pretty steady at 8.0% +/- 0.2%. And it went up a bit last month vis-a-vis Dec 2012.

    The labor participation rate has similary stagnated for the same period at about 63.65% +/- 0.15%.

    In short: we’re stuck in neutral. But after 4 years, we ought to be improving substantially – and we’re not.

  14. RayRaytheSBS says:

    The Bottom line Insipid, is that you seem to think that this is an attack by the republicans on the democratic party and that it is all the republican’s fault. And that the President is not at fault at all. I call B.S.

    Where does the buck stop if not the president? This is HIS government, and has been for the past 3 years. And from what I have seen, he is not doing anything to promote anything resembling a Bi-Partasin movement. The Budget is NOT being balanced, he hasn’t made the senate pass a budget in 3 years in a DEMOCRATICALLY controlled house by the way.

    I understand that cutbacks are necessary, and money is tight, (or should be). The Military is getting gutted,but no OTHER organziation is being called on to make the sacrifices that the military has. Not Social Security, not the entitlement programs, none.

    It is thanks to this, that we will not be able to project power when diplomacy fails. And when the country needs us again, the military will be unable to answer the call.

    You laugh at this,I am sure. But it WILL happen, and the people who will have suffered from it will be the soldiers and marines who will pay the final price because of political expedience.

    I don’t care whose fault it is at this point, I don’t care about the pointing fingers. I want a politician who will place the COUNTRY’S needs above his political career and get the Budget fixed and the country back on track, Period. And from what I see of this president, that is not the type of person he is.

  15. NHSparky says:

    Sippy–it’s real difficult to grow the economy at double-digit rates when it was damn near zip-point-shit to begin with.

    Yet here we are, four years into the Obamanation, and how much has GDP improved from 2008? Seriously. Look at GDP in 4Q2008, and compare it to 4Q2012. Here, let me help:

    Dec 2012: 15.83T
    Dec 2008: 14.27T
    Dec 2004: 11.59T
    Dec 2000: 9.71T

    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/data/GDP.txt

    So, we have an increase from 2008-2012 of 10.9 percent, or about 2.5 percent per year. But from 2004-08, it increased 23.1 percent, or about 5.3 percent per year. For the period 2000-04, we’re looking at an increase of 4.5 percent per year or a total change of nearly 19.4 percent.

    What were you saying about that “awful Bush economy” again?

    As much as you’d like to piss and moan that he had anything to do with it, it was much more the housing bubble and near collapse of the banks along with it that was the real catalyst of the 2008 recession. Now how did we get there in the first place?

    Can you say, “Community Reinvestment Act”?

    Finally, there are people who would disagree with you that unemployment is a lagging factor. Yeah, not so much when you consider long-term unemployed, sippy:

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/38125080/Unemployment_Is_No_Longer_A_Lagging_Indicator_ElErian

  16. Hondo says:

    Changing the subject because you can’t argue facts, Sippy? That
    s the typical tactic of a fool who knows he’s stuck with a losing argument. But from you, it’s also completely predictable.

    PWA jobs were paid work, and were therefore indeed included in U1. Wrong there, bucko.

    You’re probably thinking about the CCC, which employed a maximum of 300k persons at any one time. They may not have been counted in U1; I haven’t been able to find a definitive answer for that.

    Moreover, “welfare benefits” aren’t productive work and are thus a non sequitur in any discussion of unemployment. Even you aren’t dumb enough not to know that, proving that your bringing up the point was merely another clumsy attempt to obfuscate.

    We’ll see what the numbers say about your latest claim a bit later today, when I’ve had a chance to analyze them.

  17. Hondo says:

    Finally had a chance to look at the numbers, Sippy. And yes – you again appear to be, well, wrong. Again.

    But in this case, you’re not quite as badly wrong as usual. Here you’re maybe 10% correct.

    Maybe.

    The 4 year period from 1933-1937 did post an impressive 4-year gain in GDP – a cumulative gain of nearly 63% in 4 years (from $56.4B to $91.9B). And it did have a relatively high 1-year gain in GDP: 17.02% between 1933 and 1934.

    However, that 4 year run was followed by two lackluster years – 1938 and 1939. The former actually showed a contraction, while the latter had a mediocre gain in GDP. The 6 year gain is thus a much less impressive 63.5% – or the equivalent of an average annual GDP growth rate of roughly 8.5369% (1.085369 ^ 6 is approximately 1.635).

    In contrast, the periods 1939-43, 1940-44, and 1941-45 each show much higher cumulative GDP growth – 88.04%, 115.40%, and 116.77%, respectively. So FDR’s Great Depression “recovery” is hardly the best 4-year run in our history on that score.

    Moreover, the period 1933-1937 is not unique in having an unusually high one-year percentage gain in GDP, or in having several (3) consecutive years of double-digit GDP percentage gains. 1950-51 showed a one-year gain of 15.53%; and of the 9 years between 1973 and 1981, six showed double-digit percentage gains in GDP – including the 4-year period from 1975-1979.

    Finally, you should note that GDP growth is a relatively meaningless indicator of general economic “wellness”. The 4-year periods 1974-1978, 1975-1979, 1976-1980, and 1977-1981 all show excellent 4-year GDP growth, having cumulative 4-year gains of 52.97%, 56.45%, 52.81%, and 54.02%, respectively. Not quite as good as that during the 1933-1937 FDR “recovery” – but damn close. So that must also have been a time of “great economic recovery”, right?

    Wrong. I lived through those times, and remember them well. Economically, those years absolutely sucked the big wazoo – they were frankly considerably worse than today. Not only did you have high unemployment, but you also had simultaneous high inflation.

    In contrast, the late 1990s all showed 4-year GDP gains in the mid-20% range. Clinton’s foreign policy was naive and foolish, but his willingness to work with the GOP Congress during his second term did this nation a world of good.

    Well, it did the nation good for a while. Then the Dot.Com bubble burst and the ticking time bomb left behind via Clinton Administration regulatory abuse of the Carter-era Community Reinvestment Act led to the real-estate collapse a few years after Clinton left office. The real estate collapse that resulted was a primary factor (if not the single biggest factor) in the 2008 financial crisis.

    And, yeah – that real estate collapse is indeed traceable to the CRA and risky lending forced by Clinton’s regulatory abuse of same.

    http://www.nber.org/papers/w18609.pdf

    Still, I have to give you credit here. 10% correct is a whole lot closer to accurate than your norm of 100% bullshit.

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