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Deficit be Damned, It's Time for Bold Economic Stimulus

Even if the deficit grows over the entire first four years of Obama's term the economy needs bold, decisive, bipartisan action and it needs it now.

Obama should formulate a plan and call for its implementation immediately. Let George Bush and the Republican dunderheads in Congress explain to the American people why the economy should wait until after Obama's inauguration.

NY Times: Unemployment Rate at 14-Year High After Big October Losses:

The American economy lost another 240,000 jobs in October, the government reported Friday morning, the 10th consecutive monthly decline and a clear signal that an accelerating slowdown is assailing households and businesses.

The unemployment rate climbed to 6.5 percent , the highest level since 1994 and up from 6.1 percent the month before.

Adding to the gloom was a steep downward revision in payroll numbers for September. The Labor Department said that employers slashed 284,000 jobs that month, far higher than the 159,000 that was initially reported.

Since August, the economy has lost 651,000 jobs -- more than three times as many were lost from May to July. So far, 1.2 million jobs have been lost this year.

The Republican party has shown a blatant disregard for balancing the federal budget and getting a handle on the deficit for years now. For them to fund the debacle in Iraq for years but now block funding to support Main Street America would be political suicide.

A lame duck President and a minority party on the ropes following a stunning defeat in the election adds up to a golden opportunity for a progressive move in support of Americans, and if Americans are economically healthy the economy will rebound - but we have to put Americans first over the corporations.

Update: Here are the members of Obama's transition economic advisory board:

DAVID E. BONIOR Academic; former Democratic Congressman from Michigan; John Edwards's campaign manager.

WARREN E. BUFFETT Billionaire investor and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway; expected to take part by telephone.

ROEL C. CAMPOS Washington lawyer; former member of the Securities and Exchange Commission; former broadcasting executive.

WILLIAM M. DALEY Senior executive at JP Morgan Chase; former Commerce Secretary; chairman of Al Gore's presidential campaign.

WILLIAM H. DONALDSON Former chairman of the S.E.C.; long career in investment banking, higher education and government.

ROGER W. FERGUSON JR. Chief executive of TIAA-CREF, the giant public-employee pension fund; former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve.

JENNIFER M. GRANHOLM Governor of Michigan.

ANNE M. MULCAHY Chairwoman and chief executive of Xerox.

RICHARD D. PARSONS Chairman of Time Warner; former banker.

PENNY S. PRITZKER Senior executive, Hyatt; national finance chairwoman for the Obama campaign.

ROBERT B. REICH Author, academic, former Labor Secretary.

ROBERT E. RUBIN Chairman of Citigroup; former Treasury Secretary.

ERIC E. SCHMIDT Chairman and chief executive, Google.

LAWRENCE H. SUMMERS Economist, academic; former Treasury Secretary.

LAURA D'ANDREA TYSON Academic; former chairwoman of the President's Council of Economic Advisors and the National Economic Council.


PAUL A. VOLCKER Former chairman of the Federal Reserve.
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courtesy of the New York Times

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Comments (17)


Lee, there is no way anyone, Demo or Repug will be able to turn this country around in one year. Bush and his crooks have caused too many problems for them to get fixed in a short time.

But watch all the people with ODS start screaming about him not fixing things RIGHT NOW. Hell, they already want to impeach him before he takes office. And if anyone thinks McCain could have fixed them overnight, they must be high on drugs.

This country has serious problems that need fixing. How many more bridges have to collapse (like in MN)on the interstate hwys. before people realize our whole country is in need of repair?

But when you have people like Rush Limpdick, Ann Coulter, Michelle Maklin spouting off half truths and the rest BS, it isn't helping to solve the problems. Naw, the GOP and some Demo's would rather spout words of BS.

At least give the man a year or two and see what happens. The cabinet he chooses to head the different dept's will tell a lot. But in the mean time, the GOPer's still want to sling the BS. Guess they are sore losers.


That's right, only liberals are allowed to be sore losers.

The rest I agree with-- no one should be expected to "fix" things immediately. Barry O probably shouldn't have promised everyone the moon and the stars though; the howls are going to come from people expecting him to deliver, and realistically, deliverance is impossible.


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics officially defines an "Area of Substantial Unemployment" as having an unemployment rate of 6.5% or higher. So now the entire country is an ASU.

Thanks, Chimpy.


You should have titled the post: Deficits are OK again because Democrats are in charge, or maybe: Hypocrisy be damned now deficits are good.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Deficits are never good (well, unless you're a Republican and you feel like invading a foreign country, then deficits are your friend)- but reducing the deficit is a lower priority than fixing the economy.

In 2000 Clinton handed GW Bush a $236 billion budget surplus. In the fiscal year ending October 1, 2008 Bush recorded a record $428 billion deficit.

As long as we keep the Republicans out of power we'll get back to the surplus position, but that is a lower priority than getting the economy back on track.

But at least you spelled 'hypocrisy' correctly! Most of the the Repubbies blow that one


Lee's new meme...

It is all George Bush's fault!

Which is exactly the same as the old meme...

plus ça change!

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

break me a give, MunDane. On Wizbang Red they blame Jimmy Carter when it rains...


Sure, budget surplus:

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence"- Carl Sagan

Where's your proof Clinton actually had a surplus?

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

The link you provided is a blog post, it proves nothing.

If you click on the link in the blog post, it goes to the US Treasury website, and doesn't show the data that the blog writer is supposedly citing.

Further, the asshat blogger is citing the national debt in his/her equation. We're talking about budget surplus and deficits, and the national debt is not part of the equation. We're talking about a budget, not a balance sheet.

Nice try though. You had me fooled for a good 15 seconds...

Or tell me what I'm missing...

Lee Ward:

Here's the White House "Executive Office of Management and Budget" report (published in 2002 while under Bush's reign of terror) that shows the 2000 ACTUAL budget surplus as $236 billion.

Bush's White House says there was a Clinton budget surplus of $236 billion in Fiscal Year 2000, Mike.

"Where's your proof Clinton actually had a surplus?"

Table 4.1 - link.

I'm such an asshole....



Deficits are bad. I said that repeatedly on many blogs. I railed against the out of control pork spending by the Republican-led congress.

This crisis has been precipitated by inaction of both a Republican led congress and a Democrat led congress. TO say that deficits are now "okely-dokely" because your guy is gonna be running things is, you know, that word...

So "break me a give" yourself. This is a variation of the MSDS syndrome.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

I see the nation creeping towards a depression. 1.2 million unemployed and retail sales fell off a cliff in October. Isee the current situation as very serious.

And so I think we need serious, major action and we need it now. I'm not alone in my concern, but I admit that there aren't many who are equally as alarmed about this as me. But I was complaining we were in a recession back in January.

Consider my concern an early warning sign - I hope I'm wrong.


Lee, you aren't wrong, but we haven't seen the tip yet of how bad it's going to get. If you don't have a firearm to defend yourself and family, and property, I suggest you go get one and learn how to PROPERLY use it.

Things are going to get worse before they get better. And it's going to be that way for at least one to two years before the recovery starts to work.

And all the idiots who complain how the stock market went down; the simple reason a whole bunch of people, me included, sold stock. In a couple of days, I'll buy more stock, at one hell of a less price than it was several days ago.

And I'll laugh all the way to the bank because some idiots are blaming Obama's win on causing the market to go down. It had nothing to do with who won. It had everything to do with making money. I like a whole bunch of people are just using the GOP way of doing business to making money. And if you personally got screwed, HA HA HA HA. That's what 6 years of no oversight got you, and I am taking advantage of it before Obama takes office. There is money to be made if you know how right now. After Jan 20, 09, you may not have that chance.


Lee -

If you want to be intellectually honest, and there's a first time for everything, Clinton did not hand off the budget responsbilities to Bush in fiscal year 2000, but a third of the way through fiscal year 2001. That year the surplus was 128 billion, substantially less than the previous year and a whole lot less than the 268 billion that had been projected. It was still a surplus, but the decline represented the slowdown in the economy at that time, which required nearly 200 billion in negative adjustments to the FY 2002 estimates. So the Clinton pipe dreams about surpluses as far as the eyes can see were just that.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Ohhh, ts, you made my day. I love it when people get all "factual" on me because everyone knows reality has a left-leaning bias.

2000 ended with the surplus I cited.

FY 2001 began October 1, 2000 and Clinton presided over the White House until January, 2001 - so it's true that part of 2001 is Clinton's fault.

After Bush took office his adminstration rewrote the FY 2001 budget. In that rewritten budget Bush had a projected budget surplus for FY 2001 of $128 billion.

Where did it go?

Well, Bush gave $74 billion of it to the rich. Literally... Bush enacted tax cuts that reduced the surplus by $74 billion. It was one of his first acts of office. The remainder of the surplus was lost through reduced revenue collections from a slowing economy.


When the Bush Administration issued its budget on April 9, 2001, it predicted a budget surplus outside Social Security of $125 billion for fiscal year 2001, which at that time was six months complete.(1) Now, four months later, the predicted $125 billion surplus has practically disappeared. How did this happen? The quick answer is that the recently enacted tax-cut reduced revenues by $74 billion in 2001 and the economy slowed significantly, so that revenue collections fell below predicted levels. (See Table 1.)

Check out table 1. It details how Bush systematically and intentionally pissed away every cent of the surplus - whittling away at it until the OBM estimated the surplus for FY 2001 would be $1 billion, down from the $128 billion Bush projected in April, 2001.

After that Bush never looked back. It's now apparent in retrospect that Bush the Blunderer didn't give a rat's butt crack about having a budget surplus.

Bush wasn't a fiscal conservative. Bush was social conservative when it served his interests (such as vote gathering) and a political neoconservative. He didn't give a crap about balancing the budget....

...if you're going to intellectually honest about it, ts.


Lee, if you're really going to be honest, you have to acknowledge that one of the biggest problems conservatives had with George Bush was runaway spending. I and many others hated the term Compassionate Conservatism. It just meant Republican Big Government. We hated the big government spending of the Bush/Kennedy No Child Left Behind, contineud subsidies for mohair, sugar, ethanol, ad naseum. We stood behind the man on judges, right to life issues, the defense of the nation against all threats foreign and domestic. Go read through Wizbang Main and a bunch of other blogs, you'll find plenty of those criticisms along with plenty of support.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Well Tim I am being honest when I say I don't share that view. I don't recall a single blog post at Wizbang that called out Bush for his failures at fiscal conservatism, and I've read that blog for going on three years now.

Here's Jay Tea in February, 2008 writing on Bush's FY 2009 budget - Not a single word against Bush's "Drunken Sailor" 8 year spending spree.

Here's Jayson Javitz in mid-2007, who says not one disparaging word against Bush the Budget Whacker, but takes turns beating up on Democrats in general and Clinton in particular instead.

Those were the top two results in a search at Wizbang for "bush budget" - but go ahead an scroll down those search results further and just cut and paste the url into the comment box like this


if you (or anyone else who wants to try) find a couple that demonstrate true fiscal conservatism.

Only put in two links per comment or the blogging software will think the comment is spam. Just post addition comments if needed.


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