Listen to this, from 2001. A zebra never changes his stripes.
Think, people, this guy with a supermajority Dem Congress led by Pelosi and Reid..do you really want to hand our kids a nation like France, whose children live with no self or national defense, 70% tax rate, 14% unemployment when Sarkozy was elected, the need to migrate to another country to find work, and the fear of being jailed or fined for expressing an opinion?
I want my kids to have at least as much liberty as I had.
Posted by The Real Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 6:55 am
This is from 2001--7 years ago. times change.
Back to the archives once again I see in attempt to smear Obama--the republicans are running on empty--they have no solutions for our present problems so they try to distract us by bringing up stuff from the past.
Posted by but seriously, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 7:13 am
There isn't much of a country left to give my kids after 8 years of Bush. I fail to see why distributing the wealth among the economic bottom 99% instead of consolidating it all in the top 1% (as has been the case for years now) is the way to go to "leave" something for my kids. Rave on.
Posted by Perspective, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 8:21 am
Oh, yes. Brilliant. "Times change" is just a brilliant remark. in 7 years we have figured out how to make socialism not destroy an economy, after 400 years of trying and failing in our own nation and around the world? Start with Jamestown, then work your way forward in history to every socialist nation and every more socialist state in our own USA.
Oh, but Obama, Reid and Pelosi will know how to do it RIGHT I guess.
But Seriously: Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Your commment shows no knowledge of reality, and the triumph of the Democrat run public education from the last 40 years. Revolution through education works!
Posted by The Real Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 8:30 am
Perspective--thanks for your thoughtful comments--times do change--McCain used to show up at ACORN rallies and support them (remember ACORN they are being pilloried now because of their association with Obama and "voter fraud" charges).
Get a grip--the election is slipping from your grasps and you and the rest of the republicans are getting more and more desperate by the day.
By the way the WSJ piece you posted is an opinion piece isn;t it? Is there any evidence to support the writer's opinion? At least you agree that the republicans committed voter fraud in Florida in 2000. Just because the lawyers are democrats does not mean that they are dishonest and will throw the election for Obama. Post some facts instead of the usual tripe that you and others have been posting for weeks
Posted by When will Republicans learn?, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 8:31 am
The thing I fail to understand is, why have the Republicans lost their way? Why do they think that going "Democrat lite" is what wins elections in this country? All they had to do was note that the Dem Congress approval fell to half of Bush after the Dems got power...anyone with half a brain would put 2+2 together and realize that Bush's approval fell AS HE MOVED TO THE LEFT.
Hello, Republican "leaders"..are you ever going to learn from history? Think Reagan,..he won through converting people to conservatism, not "moving across the aisle".
Posted by Huh?, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 8:34 am
Perspective, I think you can look forward to a cranky next several years. Bush and Cheney took a very aggressive and ideological approach to taxes, foreign policy, and national security, arguable much more radical and to the edge than any president since WW II. The results, sadly, speak for themselves.
Obama will certainly tack back to the center, perhaps to the left of center. If you think that is "socialism," then you are out of the mainstream, I think, and will find a lot to complain about. I am prepared to judge him by his actions and results - just as we are know judging Bush and Cheney.
Posted by Donald, a resident of Stanford, on Oct 27, 2008 at 8:47 am
One main purpose of any government is the redistribution of wealth. People who don't have children still pay taxes for schools. People who don't drive cars still pay taxes for roads. People who don't believe in war still pay taxes to invade foreign countries.
Both McCain and Obama believe in redistribution of wealth, just in different ways. McCain will use more of your tax money on programs for corporations. Obama will use more of your tax money to programs for working families. As a voter, you have to decide which is better for the country.
Posted by Wicks, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 9:14 am
Liberalism always seemed to me to be a system of “oughts.” We ought to do this or that because it’s the right thing to do, regardless of whether it works or not. It is a doctrine based on intentions, not results, on feeling good rather than doing good.
But today it is so-called conservatives who are cemented to political programs when they clearly don’t work. The Bush tax cuts—a solution for which there was no real problem and which he refused to end even when the nation went to war—led to huge deficit spending and a $3 trillion growth in the federal debt. Facing this, John McCain pumps his “conservative” credentials by proposing even bigger tax cuts. Meanwhile, a movement that once fought for limited government has presided over the greatest growth of government in our history. That is not conservatism; it is profligacy using conservatism as a mask.
Today it is conservatives, not liberals, who talk with alarming bellicosity about making the world “safe for democracy.” It is John McCain who says America’s job is to “defeat evil,” a theological expansion of the nation’s mission that would make George Washington cough out his wooden teeth.
This kind of conservatism, which is not conservative at all, has produced financial mismanagement, the waste of human lives, the loss of moral authority, and the wreckage of our economy that McCain now threatens to make worse.
Posted by R Wray, a resident of the Palo Verde neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 9:25 am
"One main purpose of any government is the redistribution of wealth."
This applies to most governments, past and present. The US, however, had a different founding--the government's purpose is to protect each individuals right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That's what made the US the greatness country in history.
But Donald is correct that taxes redistribute wealth. The solution is less taxes, not the welfare state.
Posted by Solution?, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 9:36 am
Hmm, if less taxes is the solution, what's the problem? Are you advocating that we abolish social security for instance? Medicare? National parks? Federal highway system? The idea that just lowering taxes by itself somehow creates a great nation and fulfilled people seems like a simplistic slogan, not a real policy.
Posted by Perspective, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 9:38 am
I won't be cranky, I will be LMAO as America reaps what it sows and learns it's lesson...the very ones intended to be helped by the Obama vision are the very ones who will be hurt the most...and they are the very ones voting in their own pain.
People like me and my kids will be fine. Just laughing.
Those of us who know how to work and save will be fine, just spending less than we used to. Those who don't know how to work or save will get less welfare.
My kids will not sign up for any war led by Obama, which means that when we are attacked under Obama, we will either do nothing in response or have a draft, which will increase the percent of poor and uneducated in the military.
The biggest damage of the Rockyfeller Repubs and Bush has come from the lack of will to shrink our govt and fix Fannie Mae etc..now Repubs have lost the "small govt" brand, and there is nothing left to vote for except security...maybe Supreme Court nominations.
Just read another great piece in the WSJ about the "Hoover effect" which deepened and lengthened the depression..we are repeating history and apparently want to continue doing so.
Posted by Huh?, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 9:44 am
It's too bad that you are laughing at our country's and countrymen's misfortune. And it is too bad your kids will not sign up to defend their country because they don't like the elected leader. It seems like your moniker perhaps should be "Selfish Perspective."
Posted by Away with Social Insecurity, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 9:47 am
Yes, we were a better off nation before Social Security. People got the idea that they no longer needed to plan for their retirement once SS was instituted, and the house of cards, the scheme, is tumbling down around our ears. Anyone under 50 who thinks they are going to get their social security is dreaming. In fact, most people under 50 are planning their retirement without SS, because they are smarter than my generation.
That is the problem with govt "entitlements". They rapidly grow from a "minimal safety net" to a "be all" in peoples' minds. Sort of like Aid to Dependent Children grew from "emergency help" for kids who were left fatherless through no fault of the mother to women believing they could make a living through having babies. As for Medicare..I hate it. I think it is badly run and I would definitely vote for eradicating it, and instead having people mandatorily sign up for private health insurance across state lines, choosing the one they want the most. Half of all Medicare costs are in the last 6 months of life, and I resent paying for people to get extreme care when I will choose NOT to use money and health care to give me, for example, dialysis 3 times per week while I sit in a hospital slowly dying at the age of 85, hoping for a miracle to stop my death.
Believe it or not, many of us believe in our ability to care for ourselves and WANT to be adults, making our own decisions, paying our own consequences.
Posted by Perspective, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 9:51 am
Huh? I am laughing at the people who are foolish enough to vote for and believe in what has failed throughout history. And OF COURSE people sign up to risk their lives depending on who the Commander in Chief is..will you volunteer to go to war with Obama in charge? A man who has voted to NOT fund protection or health care for our military for political gain..who votes for our military to lose, for the meaningless deaths of the men and women who have already died?
If so, good luck being so "unselfish"! My bet is you wouldn't sign up for the military regardless who is in charge or what the cause is, since you believe that the Commander in Chief is irrelevant to that decision. Watch the military recruitment plummet if Obama is elected.
Posted by Huh?, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 10:00 am
I find that perspective sad. Yes, I would volunteer for war if I thought the country needed it, regardless of how I felt about the president. BTW, would you have stayed out of WW II (save the draft) because you didn't agree with FDR?
And yes, you are probably right that with a President who opposed the war from the outset, recruiting will probably drop off. Of course I can't say what we are "defending" in Iraq - can you?
You remind me of Mr. Potter in "It's a Wonderful Life" - it's a lonely life when you are in it just for yourself.
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 10:07 am
Obama is redistributive to his very bones. This does not change over seven years. He reiterated his views to Joe the Plumber. Why do some of his defenders try to suggest that he is not a socialist? As a fomer leftist, myself, I fully recognize that if it has feathers, waddles and quacks, it is a duck.
Posted by Godless Palin and McCain, a resident of Stanford, on Oct 27, 2008 at 10:12 am
Palin Power--be prepared for a really big surprise in the coming week regarding Sarah Palin--remember how she is refusing to have her medical records released? Looks like she underwent a certain medical procedure that she now claims to oppose.
Gary---McCain is an old communist--he collaborated with the enemy during the vietnam war days and then tried for years to get the US to normalize relations with the godless communists in Vietnam--he hasn;t changed for almost 40 years
Posted by Huh?, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 10:47 am
Gene, what do you think the magic is in marginal tax rates in the highest bracket? This is a red herring, as many have pointed out.
The focus of the most recent administration on lowering taxes for the highest earners has resulting in the highest income inequality in almost 100 years and the largest deficit ever (putting aside our current economic melt-down). Do you think these are good things?
Yes, higher marginal tax rate at the top bracket will, at the margin, cause the wealthy to shift activities. And so will raising capital gains tax, which are at the lowest rates since WW II. It will also probably raise tax revenues for the government. Can you explain why this will be good or bad for the country?
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 12:25 pm
I like ideological arguments about socialism.
"We do need a more equitable sharing of the country's resources (and the world's as well.) And Obama will lead us courageously against the forces of reaction toward that shining goal."
I agree that this is what he is all about, and glad that at least some of his supporters acknowledge as much.
What is wrong with socialism?
Answer: It personalizes macroeconomic decisions, under a command structure, which creates commanders of ever-increasing power. These commanders can use their power to murder tens of millions of people, without losing a wink of sleep about it. In the 20th century, over a hundred million people were murdered under this sicko concept...that is more people than have been killed in all the wars in recorded human history, combined.
Yes, there IS a problem with socialism...mass murder is evil.
Eleanor Roosevelt is reported to have said, "Communists are just liberals in a hurry". Beware of the government offering free gifts.... Obama is only the latest in a long line of such hucksters.
Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 12:31 pm
I'm not sure why McCain/Palin spend so much time fretting over 'spread the wealth', when Palin leads the charge on that in Alaska (ie: raising taxes on big oil, redistributing by sending bigger and bigger checks to the people of Alaska to spread that oil profit around.) What, they don't think big oil companies deserve to keep their profits? That oil companies can't make their own decisions with how to 'spread' their own wealth? Those decisions are good enough for the Alaskan people (but they're good enough for the rest of us???)
Besides which, McCain originally opposed the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy (Obama is just proposing rolling those tax rates back to earlier levels) and McCain just voted for the (socialist) $700Billion dollar bail out, and McCain's own health care plan includes checks to Americans to help them cover health insurance costs. I think McCain/Palin are two-faced on the issue of their trumped up concern about 'spreading the wealth', and they' are pretty ignorant for thinking they can lie like this to the American people.
All I see is that the republicans want to claim to hate 'tax and spend' - while they only support spend and spend. Take a look at their proposals (like Palin's special education plans, or McCain's education and healthcare proposals) they are JUST LIKE Obamas (ie: make better decisions within current budget), OR they require more spending, but they aren't HONEST enough to tell how they will fund their own proposals. They say they are for growing the economy - by freezing spending, and freezing taxes, and keeping the government out of big business. Well guess what?? That's TODAY, under Bush! How stupid do they think we really are?
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 1:22 pm
Private oil companies can decide to bid (or not) for the right to extract oil/gas from federal or state or private lands, inluding surface rights. They do this all the time. If the private companies do not think the opportunity is worth the price, they will decline the offer.
Sarah Palin actually introduced some competition into the gas/oil extraction profers. She then transferred some of this to her own people in Alaska. She wants LOWER taxes for her people, not higher taxes, and she is willing to exploit her resources to achieve this goal.
To put this in a way that even you might understand, she is INCREASING the size of the pie, very unlike Obama, who just wants to redistribute the same, or smaller, pie.
Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 1:57 pm
First of all, state ownership of natural resources is called socialism by definition.
Palin is not increasing the size of the pie, her increased taxes on oil company is stripping the oil company's of the pie THEY created, and handing it over to the citizens of the state who socialistically own the resources. (I'm not arguing its fair or right, or unfair or unright - its just the fact of what's going on there.)
The OIL COMPANIES turned Alaska's natural resources into profit (the people didn't, Palin didn't). The people own the resources collectively (which is by definition socialism), they rent it to the oil company's she INCREASED the wealth spreading by INCREASING the rate the oil companies paid for their 'rent' on those resources (she didn't DECREASE the effects of socialism there, she increased it), all because they wanted to share in the the excess oil profits. You can deny deny deny, spin spin spin, the fact is, its socialism, and that's exactly what Palin was working for in Alaska.
Hey - good for her.. stick it to the oil companies who are raking in excess profits while BUSH and CO are laying the groundwork for them with their unjustfied wars in the middle east. (driving price of oil up, so our domestic oil producers enjoy the unnaturally high price per barrel.) Yes oh yes, Palin is getting in there like any good policitician should, and protecting her people from rogue capitalists who are manipulating free markets. Imagine that.
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 2:17 pm
You get it all wrong. This is why I love ideological arguments.
If the oil companies owned their own land, and wanted to exploit, that is one thing...btw, they do this sometimes. However, most oil companies lease extraction rights, and surface rights. If the land is owned by private individuals, these invididuals can lease out exploration/surface rights (or not). Same for the federal and state governments, if they own the land. Palin is determined to exploit those resources under her control, for the benefit of the Alaskan people.
Obama could, should he wish, open up outer continential shelf lands to oil exploration (oil leases), to benefit the American people, yet he refuses to increase the size of the pie. He would rather just redistribute existing wealth. Like most socialists, he does not understand that wealth is developed by taking risks, and increasing exploiting resources, within an open and understood market.
Obama, if elected, will, I believe, come to understand that creation of wealth is done by increasing resoruce extraction (e.g. nuclear, oil/gas, wind/solar, etc.). At this point he only understands that the wealthy should be taxed, in order to (among other things) build more subsidized wind/solar, etc. He is a smart guy, and I think he will grow, but he must be willing to give up his socialist soul...and this would crush his true believers, like yourself.
Posted by Gary's a socialist, a resident of the Esther Clark Park neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 2:37 pm
Gary: "he does not understand that wealth is developed by taking risks, and increasing exploiting resources, within an open and understood market."
oh, you mean like the leveraged financial markets we just bailed out, and the unregulated energy markets that have brought us into recession, and the price-supported agriculture markets? Guess what Gary, YOU"RE the socialist!!!
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 3:19 pm
"oh, you mean like the leveraged financial markets we just bailed out, and the unregulated energy markets that have brought us into recession, and the price-supported agriculture markets? Guess what Gary, YOU"RE the socialist!!!"
Gary's a socialist,
You are hyperventilating! Try to get a grip. OK, one more slow breath...feel better?
Leveraged financial markets did NOT cause the financial meltdown, although they amplified it, somewhat. Subprime mortgages, directed by the governemnt, caused the financial meltdown. In fact, this is a good example of socialism in action.
Relatively free energy markets, in this country, have provided relatively low cost energy utilization, and wealth creation...only socialists with blinders on can deny that fact.
I do agree with you about agricultural subsidies, in the abstract, but they are rarely in play, when demand is up.
If we want economic prosperity in this country, we should elect Sarah Palin as president...the other three candidates don't really get it. Drill ANWAR! Build nukes! You betcha! (OK, McCain is half way there, kinda).
Posted by Perspective, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 3:25 pm
Gary, that is why one of the reasons I am voting for McCain, though it is a throwaway vote in this state..I want Palin for President in '12!
To those taking this back to the ideological realm, thanks for staying there. That is what this thread was about, and I appreciate the honesty in simply acknowledging Obama is a Socialist, so we can talk about what is wrong with it. This discussion has been missing in our schools for 40 years, and this is why we are here.
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 3:42 pm
I agree that ideological discussion is a very rare thing these days. This does not mean that ideology is not in action, in our schools, and MSM, but it does mean that there is just very little honest debate about it. For example, when was the last time that Palo Alto students actually had a fair and even discussion in their classroooms about capitalism and freedom?
Sarah Palin should be invited to discuss resource exploitation at Paly! Could you imagine that? A police cordon would be required to protect her from the leftist rotten-egg throwing brigade.
Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 4:02 pm
Gary, "Palin is determined to exploit those resources under her control, for the benefit of the Alaskan people." Which is exactly what I said - Palin is a socialist. You don't need to explain why/how the oil industry works that way - its irrelevent to the argument. the point is that it DOES work that way, the people/state own the resources, that the government can decide when its time to exploit the oil companies for more $ (at a time the government determines to be in the better interest of the people/state), and Palin SUPPORTS that socialist concept, and even TOUTS her support for it by calling herself a MAVERICK in going against her republican base in supporting that concept. Which apparently (according to the McCain campaign) makes McCain a socialst, by virtue of his close 'ties' to Palin. Point being, the republicans employ intellectual dishonesty at ever turn, being at least as guilty, if not guiltier than the ones they are accusing (on every single accusation on any subject).
By the way, restoring prior tax rates (or not voting to make prior tax cuts permanent) is NOT the definition of socialism. So, no, I do not agree that Obama is a socialist. If you'd like to use the actual definition of socialism to defend your argument that he is, by all means go right ahead. If you argue that paying taxes or increasing taxes to pay for public education, infrastructure, medicare, medicaid, social security, police, fire, military, etc., socialst, then that's fine -which then in fact means that we are a socialist country, and all four of the presidental candidates are supporting socialism. In which case, so what? Is this the best support for McCain that his campaign can come up with? That Obama is a "socialist" just like he and Palin?
Posted by nonsense, a resident of the Greater Miranda neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 5:16 pm
Yes, Perspective you are right. France is a terrible country, where everybody is poor, oppressed, and unhappy, where no one works, where there is a large population of political prisoners and it is a country that hordes of desperate people are rushing to flee.
Posted by Sual, a resident of Stanford, on Oct 27, 2008 at 5:59 pm
This redistribution of wealth, he states, “essentially is administrative and takes a lot of time.”
It is an administrative task.
Not suitable for the courts. More suitable for the chief executive.
Now that’s just garden-variety socialism, which apparently is not a big deal to may voters.
So I would appeal to any American who claims to love the Constitution and to revere the Founding Fathers…
I will not only appeal to you, I will beg you, as one American citizen to another, to consider this next statement with as much care as you can possibly bring to bear:
“And uh, to that extent, as radical as I think people tried to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution — at least as it’s been interpreted, and [the] Warren Court interpreted it in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties: [it] says what the states can’t do to you, says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf."
We need to be protected from enemies of the Constitution both foreign AND domestic.
Obama has attacked the Constitution at its foundation, this must not stand!
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 6:12 pm
Nope, Palin is just exercising her right, as governor, to open up her lands to resource exploitation by the private market. She does not control the means of production...she just leases out the land, at the highest market price, just like private landowners do. There is a big difference. If Palin was a socialist, she would take over the private comapnies in Alaska, and form a state enterprise to drill for its own oil (like Chavez and Castro and Mao and Stalin, etc.). Palin wants to grow the pie, get the best market price, then share it with her citizens...a far cry from Obama, who mainly just wants to the deck chairs on the Titanic.
Not So Fast,
If you truly think that human progress was not worth the price of burning fossil fuels, perhaps you can give it all up, including your extended family...and eat hand gathered wild oats. Of course you will not, becasue you are too comfortable. Same thing with DDT in Africa...the ban has caused millions of deaths among the children of Africa, a real holocaust, but that is something that American liberals never talk about, becasue they led the way to ban DDT.
The major punch against CO2 emissions is nuclear power, yet Obama hides behind a shield of perfect safety...never mind, he will do it, anyway, if he gets elected (another lie to his gullible supporters).
Sarah Palin is the one showing leadership in this election cycle. She wants to exploit our natural energy base, win in Iraq, lower indivdual taxes, create wealth via free markets, demonstrate individual responsibility...she is the real deal. Obama is a lightweight.
Posted by Wing Nuts, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 6:24 pm
The socialist party is the G.O.P. The Bush Administration just partially nationalized the 13 largest banks. They just issued a $25B loan to the big three auto manufacturers. If the big three are lucky, the Bush Administration will partially nationalize them too. They bought A.I.G, the largest insurer and will probably partially nationalize other insurance companies.
Posted by but seriously, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 6:28 pm
Sual, what you quoted was not particularly radical, it was what most students learn in law school about the Constitution. In fact, my fifth grader learnd this same concept in the standard California history curriculum. The Constitution says what the states cannot do to you. It is reactionary -- re-read the Declaration of Independence and it is a long litany of woes against the King, explaining how we got to the point where we had to throw the bum out even though most people prefer the devil they know to the devil they do not know. The Constitution follows up on this by saying, essentially, "ya know all those awful things you were making us do like quarter troops, and thin you were not letting us do like print our opinions? Well, in THIS country we're not going to have those rights abridged." The Amendments elaborate with additional rights, and are a mondo compromise plan.
Gary. Ah, Palin is the real deal and Obama is a lightweight. hahahahahahahaha.
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 6:35 pm
Once the government forces the issue with sub prime loans (aka toxic paper stews), it had better step up to the plate to get it straightened out.
No free market person, like Bush, wants to bail out private markets, but if those markets were forced to go socialist by the government, the government bailout at least forces the government to take an appropriate hit...why should the shareholders have to bear all the pain?
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 6:40 pm
There have been around 400 murders in Chicago so far this year, Obama is their Senator, this is what we can expect if ACORN prevails and Obama becomes POTUS.
He will try and manipulate white guilt, force the robbing of the productive to pay the indigent.
The entire purpose of the Constitution was to limit government.
That limitation of powers is what has unlocked in America the vast human potential available in any population.
Barack Obama sees that limiting of government not as a lynchpin but rather as a fatal flaw:
“…One of the, I think, the tragedies of the Civil Rights movement was because the Civil Rights movement became so court-focused, uh, I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change. And in some ways we still suffer from that.”
There is no room for wiggle or misunderstanding here.
This is not edited copy.
There is nothing out of context; for the entire thing is context — the context of what Barack Obama believes.
You and I do not have to guess at what he believes or try to interpret what he believes.
He says what he believes.
We have, in our storied history, elected Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives and moderates.
We have fought, and will continue to fight, pitched battles about how best to govern this nation.
But we have never, ever in our 232-year history, elected a president who so completely and openly opposed the idea of limited government, the absolute cornerstone of makes the United States of America unique and exceptional.
Posted by Peter, a resident of another community, on Oct 27, 2008 at 8:32 pm
To help untwist your collective shorts, please read the truth about Obama's statement and the Republican spin on it from the Washington Post's fact checker -- a pretty reliable source:Web Link
From the conclusion of the article: "The Pinocchio Test.
With very few exceptions, all American politicians, including both presidential candidates, are in favor of a progressive income tax system and welfare policies (such as Medicare and Social Security) that "redistribute wealth." Barack Obama is more enthusiastic about "spreading the wealth around" than his Republican rival. But that does not make him a "Socialist." The McCain camp is wrong to suggest that the Illinois senator advocated an "wealth redistribution" role for the Supreme Court in his 2001 interview."
The truth is so much more boring than your overheated rhetoric.
Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 8:35 pm
``Barack is essentially taking the position that it's better to organize and get stable social change through legislation,'' instead of through litigation which ``is expensive and time consuming,'' Hutchinson said."
You can see in this article a description of the context for the remarks that Sharon blindly quotes, that the conversation was about equality of education opportunity that the civil rights movement was attempting to achieve.
Yes Sharon, I do believe that you are completely against equal education, and everything else the civil rights movement was about. Its clear from your posts.
Yes, aint we all a bunch of socialsts for expecting our country to provide equal access to education.
Posted by OhlonePar, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 9:28 pm
If you think a progressive tax system is socialist then we've been a socialist country for close to a hundred years.
Gary, when you claim that socialism leads to mass murder then you're so deep in the weeds that there's no point in having a real discussion.
By your reasoning--Christianity causes mass murder and torture because both things have occurred under Christian regimes. And making the world safe for Christians was used as a justification.
Not all socialism ends up in authoritarian regimes. Russia has a long history of repressive governments--it predates communism. Similar story with China. Socialism isn't communism--yes, they're related. So are Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Doesn't make them same with identical outcomes.
Perspective, Sharon, etc.,
You know, I *knew* George W. Bush would be a bad president--not because I needed to indulge in speculative fear-mongering--but because his history was one of one business failure after another.
It was also clear that he knew very, very little about any other country and had no grasp of how to deal with foreign affairs. He was too insular.
It was simple, concrete and didn't require fear-mongering to figure it out.
A lot of Republicans who are anything but lefties have come out for Obama. Why? Because he's *not* some radical, but gives every sign of being a pretty rational guy who thinks things through.
The fact that you guys don't have anything but slurs and speculation speaks poorly of your reasoning ability and, frankly, your opinion of McCain.
Posted by Peter, a resident of another community, on Oct 27, 2008 at 9:30 pm
And Gary, the government didn't force the issue with subprime loans.
From this article, among other refutations of your claims: Web Link
"Federal Reserve Board data show that:
* More than 84 percent of the subprime mortgages in 2006 were issued by private lending institutions.
* Private firms made nearly 83 percent of the subprime loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers that year.
* Only one of the top 25 subprime lenders in 2006 was directly subject to the housing law that's being lambasted by conservative critics.
The "turmoil in financial markets clearly was triggered by a dramatic weakening of underwriting standards for U.S. subprime mortgages, beginning in late 2004 and extending into 2007," the President's Working Group on Financial Markets reported Friday."
Posted by Paul, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Oct 27, 2008 at 11:11 pm
John McCain, evidently a practicing socialist, is running his campaign on public (that is, government) funds. But Barack Obama, evidently a free enterprise capitalist, chose to get his financing on the open market. Obama's choise was rewarded well - he has raised many times as much money as Comrade McCain.
Posted by Perspective, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Oct 28, 2008 at 9:19 am
yawn..same ol' same ol'. Using relative thinking to obscure the point.
Reading a great book right now, OP, you might enjoy. Called "If Minds Had Toes" By Eyre. A book on philosophy ( sort of a Philosophy for Dummies book, nicely written to be easily absorbed).
It had a couple great examples of what so much of this slippery slope thinking is. What is the difference between "old" and "young"? Obviously 99 years old is "Old", and 1 year old is "young". Walk backwards from 99 and tell me the day "old" becomes "young". So, walk backwards from socialism and tell me when it becomes "free market".
We have to make decisions as a society over what kind of economics we want. I choose to be as close as possible to an economic system where everyone who wants to find work, can. Where everyone who wants to go to school to their highest ability, can. Where everybody has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness ( which does not mean hedonistic pleasures, but in the world-wide known concept of happiness which means the ability to pursue your vocation/work in a way that feeds/clothes you and your family). Etc. We have been here many times.
I do NOT want to move ever closer to an economic society where there is 11-50% unemployment rate. This is bad for individual spirit, and bad for society. It causes unrest of the sort where thousands of cars are burned in riots, and it is considered "normal". Where a murder rate is out of control from gangs roaming the streets. Where young men are ripe for the pickin' for any manner of ungainful livelihood.
Obviously we have to choose on which side we prefer to err'. I prefer to err' toward more free market, trusting individuals to care for themselves and voluntarily care for those who can't. And you prefer to err' toward "government', even at the expense of jobs.
You also prefer to stick in the realm of the argument of what is "old" and what is "young", to use a metaphor. At some point, you MUST choose a side, and you have obviously chosen socialism. Your choice as a free American ( so far) to vote in such a manner. My choice to vote otherwise, though in our Republic, my vote will be completely useless in this Presidential campaign. But, I cast it anyway just to show the rest of the nation that there are still free-thinkers left in California.
A person must choose what to stand up for or they will fall for anything,..as proven throughout these threads.
Posted by Perspective, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Oct 28, 2008 at 9:23 am
By the way, for anyone who cares, there is a well written and dispassionate series running in the WSJ ( www wsj dot com) that you can access. I think it is 8 parts, and in the Editorial/Opinion section. Each part focuses on different ideas of McCain and Obama. Health Care, Environment, Foreign Policy, Taxes etc.
I am finding it refreshing to read since it bypasses all the hyperbole and sticks to facts.
Posted by New Testament, a resident of Stanford, on Oct 28, 2008 at 9:39 am
Doesn't the New Testament (the book that all the born-again republicans follow devoutly) speak of resdistribution of wealth? Could it be that JC was a marxist??? Does that mean that all the born-again republicans are palling around with a marxist!!!!!!
Sounds to me like all these people complaining about Obama may be christian but they are not christ-like
Posted by Perspective, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Oct 28, 2008 at 9:40 am
But Seriously: You think anyone who wants to work, can, in France where all the Obama policies have been in effect for 30 years? Do you realize that if they had 6% unemployment they would be jumping up and down with joy, proclaiming how great their economics are?
Posted by Perspective, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Oct 28, 2008 at 9:45 am
Obama 2001: Scrap the Constitution. Believe it or not...link to another American Thinker article. Quotes Obama and his belief that our Constitution is flawed, and that it is not right that the Supreme Court can't use it's powers to bring about "redistributive wealth". This guy gets scarier the more I learn.
BTW, our founding "parents' knew Europe, and purposefully set our Constitution in order to avoid the problems of Europe...pretty successfully in my opinion.
Posted by Paul, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Oct 28, 2008 at 9:46 am
"Not suitable for the courts. More suitable for the chief executive. Now that’s just garden-variety socialism, which apparently is not a big deal to may voters."
It was a very big deal to liberals and other defenders of freedom during the Cheney-Bush Unitary Executive initiative of the past 8 years. But the Bushies took the party line hook line and sinker. They loved unlimited executive power, including $14 billion worth of socialism to Comrade Halliburton.
Now, with a Democrat poised to inherit this legacy of power they suddenly sober up. Goes to show you - be careful what you push for.
But they'd be all for Obama if he just changed his party registration. Right, gang?
My last post of the day..by Thomas Sowell about Obama's alliances.
GREAT READ, but I always enjoy Sowell, so I am biased.
BTW, I have to really admire ..his name is Rick Davis I think, a guy who wrote in a letter to the Post yesterday ( sorry if I got your name wrong, I hope you correct me if it I did). I am talking about the guy who is African-American and wrote a letter saying how sick he was that those who vote against Barack must be "racist", and why he is voting for McCain. I wish I could write you a thank you note for your very brave letter. Did my heart good. I hope you don't get any bad fall out from it.
Posted by Taking Perspective's Place, a resident of the Evergreen Park neighborhood, on Oct 28, 2008 at 10:17 am
Ok, Perspective said "no more posts today"..so I will post this one.
By Mark Steyn: ( A Canadian guy who had to flee to the USA to escape Canadian oppression of Freedom of Speech. Research him, you will see..)
"In the Cold War, the world did not stand as one. One half of Europe was a prison, and in the other half far too many people — the Barack Obamas of the day — were happy to go along with that division in perpetuity. And the wall came down not because “the world stood as one” but because a few courageous people stood against the conventional wisdom of the day. Had Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan been like Helmut Schmidt and Francois Mitterand and Pierre Trudeau and Jimmy Carter, the Soviet empire (notwithstanding its own incompetence) would have survived and the wall would still be standing. Senator Obama’s feeble passivity will get you a big round of applause precisely because it’s the easy option: Do nothing but hold hands and sing the easy listening anthems of one-worldism, and the planet will heal.
To govern is to choose. And sometimes the choices are tough ones. When has Barack Obama chosen to take a stand? When he got along to get along with the Chicago machine? When he sat for 20 years in the pews of an ugly neo-segregationist race-baiting grievance-monger? When he voted to deny the surviving “fetuses” of botched abortions medical treatment? When in his short time in national politics he racked up the most liberal – ie, the most doctrinaire, the most orthodox, the most reflex — voting record in the Senate? Or when, on those many occasions the questions got complex and required a choice, he dodged it and voted merely “present”?
The world rarely stands as one. You can, as Reagan and Thatcher did, stand up. Or, like Obama voting “present”, you can stand down."
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Oct 28, 2008 at 2:13 pm
"And Gary, the government didn't force the issue with subprime loans."
Here is a little bit of education for you:
"The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's mortgage policies fueled the trend towards issuing risky loans. In 1995, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac began receiving affordable housing credit for purchasing mortgage backed securities which included loans to low income borrowers. This resulted in the agencies purchasing subprime securities. Subprime mortgage loan originations surged by 25% per year between 1994 and 2003, resulting in a nearly ten-fold increase in the volume of these loans in just nine years. In 1996 the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) agency directed Freddie and Fannie to provide at least 42% of their mortgage financing to borrowers with income below the median in their area. This target was increased to 50% in 2000 and 52% in 2005. In addition, HUD required Freddie and Fannie to provide 12% of their portfolio to “special affordable” loans. Those are loans to borrowers with less than 60% of their area’s median income. Naturally, these targets increased over the years with the 2008 target being 28%. At a hearing in 2003, Barney Frank explicitly stated that Fannie and Freddie’s government privileges were conditional on their willingness “to make housing more affordable.” The only way to achieve the low income loan targets while dramatically increasing lending was to erode underwriting standards. Fannie Mae aggressively bought Alt-A loans, where these loans may require little or no documentation of a borrower’s finances. As of November 2007 Fannie Mae held a total of $55.9 billion of subprime securities and $324.7 billion of Alt-A securities in their portfolios. As of the 2008 Q2 Freddie Mac had $190 billion in Alt-A mortgages. Together they have more than half of the $1 trillion of Alt-A mortgages. The growth in the subprime mortgage market, which included B, C and D paper bought by private investors such as hedge funds, fed a housing bubble that later burst. In 2004, HUD ignored warnings from HUD researchers about foreclosures, and increased the affordable housing goal from 50% to 56%. These securities were very attractive to Wall Street, and while Fannie and Freddie targeted the lowest-risk loans, they still fueled the subprime market as a result.
A September 30, 1999 New York Times article stated, "... the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans... The action... will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough... Fannie Mae... has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits. In addition, banks, thrift institutions and mortgage companies have been pressing Fannie Mae to help them make more loans to so-called subprime borrowers whose incomes, credit ratings and savings are not good enough for conventional loans... Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk... the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble... prompting a government rescue... the move is intended in part to increase the number of... home owners who tend to have worse credit ratings...""
As I have said before, this financial meltdown is NOT the result of a housing bubble, per se. It is the result of subrpime loans...and those subprimes were driven and supported by the government.
McCain warned about it, but he was shot down by the Dems. This is just another reason to support McCain over Obama. Obama is NOT a thoughtful thinker, as some claim...he just does a rope-a-dope when serious issues are before him. Sarah Palin has made more serious policy decisions in a one month period than Obama has done in his entire life.
Then, you have to factor in that the 2 countries don't calculate their rates the same way. The US drops people off the unemployed list much sooner than France does if they have not resumed working after a while. So, if both countries used the same methodology, their unemployment rates would be even closer to each other.
Posted by OhlonePar, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Oct 28, 2008 at 3:04 pm
And how much time to you spend listening to Obama? Give it a rest.
History is what it is. Calling me names doesn't change that. I pointed out the weakness in Gary's reasoning. Read my post again and try to pay attention this time.
Also, I think religion is a matter of *choice* and is subject to criticism. I don't think well of religions that practice human sacrifice, for example.
I think the Inquisition was a bad thing, that the torture used was a bad thing. Do you think the Inquisition was a good thing?
I think the Taliban's treatment of women is a bad thing. Do you have a problem with that?
If you want to vent, go ahead and vent. However, I do tend to tune those kind of postings out. Don't assume that I'm going to give you the courtesy of reading your posts and answering them when you do that.
I don't quite understand why you're so upset (but then eight years as a Dem under Bush gives one a certain sort of detachment--you'll learn)--Proposition 8 seems like a pretty fraught issue for you--given what you've said about yourself I can see that you'd be hearing a lot on both sides.
But, anyway, I don't think dialogue is a possibility with you right now. So I'm going to take a break.
We've been over this before. You're looking for a single (Democrat) cause and that just doesn't hold water. There's no reason that lenders had to make high-risk oversized loans, which is what happened. No one forced the mortgage lenders to hand out loans that the borrowers were likely to not be able to pay off, particularly when the ARMs kicked in.
It goes back to the separation of risk from decision-making. It's the moral hazard issue. Without that, bankers would have had a stake in minimizing their risk.
Also, and this is HUGE--the derivatives issue meant that the problems spread way beyond the housing market. No one knows the extent of the problem as a result--and *that* is at the nexus of the credit collapse.
McCain doesn't have a good record as far as regulation is concerned--Keating Five. He's also been impetuous and reckless--Palin, the non-break break from campaigning. There's a just a real failure of leadership there.
The big difference between Obama and McCain on this, however, is access to advisors. Obama has access to a better set than does McCain on economic issues.
McCain has supported Bush's economic policies and doesn't have a different economic platform. People don't want more of the same economically--it's NOT working.
To the wire,
Sorry, you need to look at some poll aggregating sites. IBD has a problem in that it wayyyy undersampled younger voters and got its party ID sampling off. Zogby has a similar problem in that it uses the party weights from the 2004 election when it's well-acknowledged the Dems have gained voters and the Republicans have lost voters since then.
Gallup? Depends on which poll of theirs you're using--the old likely voter model excludes anyone who didn't vote in the last election, filtering out, again, younger voters.
More to the point, Obama's lead is solidifying in the battleground states, while McCain's is eroding in even some fairly red ones--he'll win them, but by much smaller margins than originally thought.
McCain is campaigning in Pennsylvania--a state that's gone blue in the last several elections because he can't hold onto the battleground states--his only hope is to win a big traditionally blue state.
So, yes, Obama will win unless something completely unpredictable happens. For the GOP the real question left is how badly hit will they be in the Senate? If Obama has seriously long coat-tails, the Dems will get their 60. They need to get all the Senate seats where they currently have a lead and Franken in Minnesota and one of the three toss-ups in Kentucky, Georgia or Mississippi.
Personally, I'm rooting for Georgia as payback for the Max Cleland smears.
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Oct 28, 2008 at 3:23 pm
You continue to go on with your notions that private banks just went off the rails for no rational reason. What you forget is that Fannie and Freddie were buying up increasing amounts of subprrime for about a decade. It made immense sense for private mortgage company to write loans that they could then sell to F/F. F/F held over 50% of all mortgages, nationwide, until recently.
Your derivatives arguments are, in themselves, derivitive arguments...if the subprimes did not come to pollute the market, all those derivatives would be looking solid. As Hank Greenberg, formerly at AIG, has said, the risk models were based on the fundamental assumption that Americans pay their mortgages...until they stopped doing that in the past few years. Those who stopped paying, and started walking, were the subprimes (with little or no skin in the game).
If Obama's advisors are those who agree with Barnie Frank, we are doomed!
Posted by Samuel, a resident of Stanford, on Oct 28, 2008 at 4:41 pm
A Useful Timeline of the Mortgage MeltdownWeb Link
The Chicago Sun-Times reports an initiative led by ACORN’s Talbott with five area lenders “participating in a $55 million national pilot program with affordable-housing group ACORN to make mortgages for low- and moderate-income people with troubled credit histories.” Kurtz notes that the initiative included two of her former targets, Bell Federal Savings and Avondale Federal Savings, who had apparently capitulated under pressure.
Represented by Obama and others, Plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit alleging that Citibank had “intentionally discriminated against the Plaintiffs on the basis of race with respect to a credit transaction,” calling their action “racial discrimination and discriminatory redlining practices.”
BTW godless socialists killed 200 million since 1914
The Taliban is not a Christian sect
The Inquisition was not a religious event it was political, first to rid Spain of Muslim invaders and fellow travelers, later as part of the nation state wars in Europe.
Being anti Christian is being anti Western Civilization.
Socialism/ Communism started with the French Revolution which was anti Christian and killed many more people than the Inquisition in 5 years compared to the whole 300yr history of the Inquisition, Spanish and other.
Posted by Perspective, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2008 at 5:20 am
OP, you said: w"hen you can offload the risk, the incentive is to process and resell as many loans as possible."...combine this with "when it is cheaper to give in than to face hassle lawsuits" and you get the subprime lending mess. Why? Offload risk onto Fannie Mae since they won't securitize you unless you give the types of loans they are backing...give the damn loans rather than lose security and risk more hassle loans from..who? ACORN. Add in a little ratings changes, and voila, you have the type of subprime losses which give the far left the seed to plant a panic, and to sprout "free market has failed we must elect a socialist" mantra they want to push
Follow your dots backward OP. You are almost there.
Posted by Perspective, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2008 at 5:24 am
OP: Again, follow your dots back to the root. The Inquisition was to force people into accepting Christianity the way the 'leaders" of Christianity believed it should be accepted. Had there been a George Bush around at the time, the Inquisition might have had to stop at the border of some countries, and fewer tortures and deaths would have occured.
So, I disagree, sometimes religion and politics MUST mix, if only to keep a people free to choose their religion. Think about how our country was founded. Remember those who came here seeking religious freedom from the Anglicans.
Excellent, in that I completely agree with it, WSJ analysis of why the markets are weak right now. The title is "The Markets are Weak because the Candidates are lousy" is a good summary. The conclusion is that the markets are already adjusted to the worst of what Obama would bring..
My conclusion is that the markets will strengthen if McCain wins, but not by much until he shows he has rid himself of his natural "bigger govt" tendencies.
They will stay flat or worsen if Obama is elected.
Whatever...the "rich" will be fine. There are always the "rich", even in communist nations.
Posted by Paul, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2008 at 12:59 pm
"sometimes religion and politics MUST mix, if only to keep a people free to choose their religion."
OK, chalk up one impossible thing. Five more to go before breakfast.
Did it ever occur to you that's why the Founders wrote the First Amendment of our Constitution? They thought religious freedom was more important even than owning guns, which got pushed into the Second Amendment.
The mixing of religion and politics defines a theocracy. People are never free to choose their religion in a theocracy, unless they happen to freely choose the theocrats' religion.
Posted by OhlonePar, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2008 at 1:22 pm
No, Freddie and Fannie held only a small percentage of the subprime loans--most of which did not, in fact, qualify for Freddie and Fannie purchase.
And, again, deregulation meant that these derivatives spread throughout the financial sector--which is what undid the credit markets.
You're being reductionist here and that doesn't work.
Your comments about Bush and the Inquisition seem muddled. My point was that belief systems (religious and political) can be distorted and misused--Stalin and the Inquisition are two examples of that.
There's no reason religion and politics have to mix. The Founding Fathers did what they could to separate the two--many of them were Deists instead of churchgoers.
And, again, you oversimplify. Some early settlers came in order to follow their religious beliefs (and force it on anyone else living in their colony). Others, such as the early settlers in Virginia, came for very different reasons (and were Church of England to boot). Religiously, the colonies were a mixed bag from the get-go. We owe our coherence as a nation to our Founding Fathers ability to formulate a set of legal and ethical principles that are *not* inextricably tied to religion. They are not anti-religious, but secular. The United States is very much a product of the Enlightenment--that hotbed of rationalists, agnostics, deists and atheists.
I have no issue with your wishing to live by your religious beliefs. What I object to is your thinking that *I* have to live by your religious beliefs.
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2008 at 1:37 pm
"It isn't that hard to connect the dots here"
I agree, so why don't you try doing it?
Fannie and Freddie wanted MORE junk loans, not less (until a couple of years ago...too late, then). F/F don't originate loans, they buy them from banks and brokers, then they package them into portfolios and securitize them. F/F can either pass through portfolios to the market, or they can hold them themselves (or a combination, including buybacks). If F/F wants junk, there are plenty of loan originators willing to supply them; if F/F did not want junk there would have not been much of it originated.
Without the subprime loans bubble, there is not a financial meltdown. Without a willing (and eager) F/F there is no subprime bubble. The derivatives that you keep talking about are secondary amplifying elements...they are not causal.
Posted by OhlonePar, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2008 at 1:56 pm
Freddie and Fannie only held a small percentage of the junk loans and, no, they did not originate them. They were more not less restricted than the other institutions in what they could buy.
And, yes, the passing of the derivatives is causal. Without them, the mortgage meltdown wouldn't have spread throughout the financial markets.
By the same token, the changes in 2004 are also causal--without them the Wall St. banks wouldn't have ended up wayyy in over their heads.
Again, you're trying to simplify things--there's a series of causal agents, Gary. Freddie and Fannie are a mess, but they're not the prime culprits here. Lack of transparency, poor regulation and moral hazard all played major parts here.
Posted by Regulate, baby, regulate!, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2008 at 2:11 pm
You don't know much about finance.
"Without the subprime loans bubble, there is not a financial meltdown." Wrong. We had a huge credit bubble across finance. It would have burst with or without the subprimes.
"Without a willing (and eager) F/F there is no subprime bubble." Wrong. FF were only a small part of the overall problem.
"The derivatives that you keep talking about are secondary amplifying elements...they are not causal." Wrong. If, as you claim, the only problem was subprimes, then the fallout would have been tiny compared to what we have now.
The real problem here was a failure to regulate the financial industry; this failure encouraged companies to take enormous, unhedged risks, and it encouraged them to believe the system would bail them out.
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2008 at 2:34 pm
"Again, you're trying to simplify things--there's a series of causal agents, Gary. Freddie and Fannie are a mess, but they're not the prime culprits here. Lack of transparency, poor regulation and moral hazard all played major parts here."
F/F repackaged all the subprimes that they were eagerly seeking, and sold many of them to the open market, mixed in with primes, creating a toxic stew. This left them with fewer on-the-books junk. I think you know this, so why are you in denial?
F/F also held a major porfolio, which is not securitized, and it tried to enrich this porfolio, as best as it could, with primes. However, it got greedy for earnings, and even bought back some of its own securitized toxic stew. In the end, F/F could not stay ahead of the curve, as foreclosures mushroomed.
Just as a logical construct, OP, eliminate subprimes from the equation, then tell us where we would be right now, holding derivatives and transparency and "moral" issues constant.
Posted by R Wray, a resident of the Palo Verde neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2008 at 5:32 pm
OP, A free market is one where people can trade with each other without the threat of force. Nothing mystical here. Your "truly free market" and "don't exist in the wild" must be some post-modern BS. It's nonsense. Ipods don't exist in the wild, but they exist.
Greenspan hasn't been an Ayn Rand fan for decades. Ayn Rand didn't believe there should be a Federal Reserve. Greenspan is a power-luster who sold his soul. To attempt to blame the financial failure on the free market when the failure was actually caused largely by his intervention is despicable on his part.
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Oct 29, 2008 at 6:45 pm
"So, while the Repub administration du jour cheered"
You have stumbled on a certain truth, althouth probably not the one you intended.
The GOP wanted an ownership society, so they were complicit with mortgage investment excess (including easy credit, to a degree). For example, the GOP supported securitization of mortgages. However, the GOP, better late than never, realized that a train wreck was coming, and they warned about it; the Dems were a drunk on the corner, insisting that junk loans were fully justified, going forward. There IS blame to go around, however, the iceberg that sank the Titanic was SUBPRIME LOANS, driven by F/F...and that one is on the Dems, even though they still refuse to admit their own culpability.
Posted by Pesrspective, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Oct 30, 2008 at 6:12 am
Gary, well said.
Of course, the Dems will never admit the root cause, and certainly I see no hope in the near future of any 9/11 type commission honestly coming out with this info, and even if it does, it will NOT be reported in the papers, just like a lot of the 9/11 report was conveniently forgotten to be reported.
I mean, if the guy RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT on the R side is "too polite" or "bipartisan" to bring it up, what hope is there? The problem with people on the right is that we tend to be "too polite". To the point of not saying what we should.