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Friday, October 21, 2016


Last year, how many people contracted Ebola in America and died?

Think hard. Remember all those news alerts, scary guys in masks, Republicans demanding that President Obama build a wall around Africa.

Well, there must have been… Nope. Zero. Not one.

Two nurses — required by their chosen profession to endure intense physical intimacy with the nine people who contracted the chronic disease outside the country and traveled back to the United States — became infected. Both survived. Of the nine who came to America already sick, seven survived.

That’s the whole story. While some 32,000 Americans died of gun violence in 2014 and thousands more likely died because Republican politicians refused to expand Medicaid, the medical story of the year was… Ebola.

If anything, that “crisis” was a story of an amazingly effective government intervention in health care — much like the advent of the Affordable Care Act (after the initial rollout), which has seen us possibly reach the lowest uninsured rate ever recorded. Officials didn’t just effectively limit the Ebola outbreak in the U.S., they helped meet the problem at the source and contain the tragic costs of this very real epidemic in Western Africa.

But did you see President Obama under a banner declaring “Mission Accomplished”? Is anyone bragging about how “he kept us safe”?

There are two theories about why Democrats don’t get credit for their successes. The first is that they suck at manipulating the media. With rare exceptions — like the successful effort to defend the Iran deal in the Senate — Democrats lack the discipline, cohesion, and ruthlessness to convey a convincing narrative. A second, and more likely, theory is that Republicans are experts at playing the media.

While they lack skills related to job creation and actually keeping us safe, conservatives compensate with their ability to package and sell propaganda. This is not a haphazard or slight accomplishment. It’s the central organizing principle of a movement built to sell a wildly elitist idea — that making life easier for the rich and powerful will somehow benefit Average Joe — as populism.

Republicans are masters of lighting up a story like a Roman candle and watching the media scramble around it in amazement.

Here are five ways they do it.

1. Playing with words.
On Tuesday, the Associated Press announced that it was making a change to its Stylebook: “Our guidance is to use climate change doubters or those who reject mainstream climate science and to avoid the use of skeptics or deniers.”

AP claims the move comes out of respect for skeptics because “proper skepticism promotes scientific inquiry, critical investigation and the use of reason in examining controversial and extraordinary claims.” And the word “deniers” is too harsh because it “has the pejorative ring of Holocaust denier.” Vox‘s David Roberts, who endlessly toils to cover the climate crisis, calls such language debates “tiresome” and prefers the term “climate truther.” But we can’t underestimate how powerful framing and contests about framing are in shaping policy and debate, or even the appearance of debate when none actually exists. Even the word “mainstream” has become pejorative thanks to the right’s endless assertion that only a “plucky band of billionaires and oil companies” is willing to tell the truth.

Laws that allow workers to benefit from collective bargaining without any responsibility to contribute to the effort to bargain are known almost universally as “right to work” laws, even in the New York Times. Perhaps this is because the left hasn’t offered a quick, neutral-sounding phrase of its own to identify “union busting.” But it’s more likely because there’s an organized effort on the right, sustained over decades by the world’s best marketing, consecrated by think tanks and academics, and then spread by a disciplined messaging machine. This relentlessness is born of the necessity to both deny reality and shape it. Its effect is to wear us all down to accept their definitions and their reality. And it works.

2. A network of harassment.
If you’re lucky enough not to be a journalist, or a raging conservative who appreciates a site that contests the notion that the body of a post should make more sense than the comments, you may not have heard of Twitchy. It’s the cornerstone of what Cosmopolitan‘s Jill Filipovic calls “The Right-Wing Hate Machine.”

“Twitchy may be one of the most powerful political platforms online, but its role as an organized harassment tool is almost never discussed,” Filipovic wrote. “Founded in 2012 by conservative blogger Michelle Malkin, the site has half a dozen editors who troll Twitter for content to post; each post consists of a tweet or series of tweets along with some brief and often outraged commentary.”

Find your tweet in a Twitchy post framed by a zinger you heard in a cellphone ad two years ago and your Twitter mentions will explode with righteous hate from guys whose profiles are littered with references to guns, #Benghazi and bald eagles mounting fey liberal beta males — especially if you are a woman.

Conservative cesspool Breitbart has recently delighted in picking out a regrettable offensive tweet of a “civilian” non-journalist regular Twitter person, with some tendency toward activism, upon which to sic some of the 8 million or so “readers” who visit the site each month.

And while it’s good that conservative sites are doing something to keep these people away from small children or sharp objects, the goal of such harassment is obviously to shut people up. Or at least to get you to think twice before you deviate from the conservative “truth.”

3. Taking advantage of cultural amnesia.
Remember the deficit?

The deficit hasn’t just been cut… so have the long-term deficit projections that Paul Ryan used as justification for gutting Medicare (while slashing taxes for the rich). Do we hear about the amazing success of Obamanomics? No, we just don’t hear about it.

Same with gas prices. Same with jobs. We’re in the longest private-sector expansion in American history and Republicans still act as if their predictions that Obama was going to drive America into a bottomless fiscal hole has some relationship to reality.

How can they take advantage of this? It’s not “Breaking News” worthy of special graphics or a half-dozen news alerts to say, “Hey, these guys were completely wrong about everything!” So Republicans know their accusations will go unchecked and their massive unprecedented failures are soon forgotten—it’s not as if their base is particularly big on fact checking.

4. Enabling endless investigations.
The Benghazi House Select Committee has now been empaneled longer than the Iran Contra investigation, which found an actual crime. It’s the longest congressional investigation in American historyAfter seven separate congressional committees found no intentional misconduct, this top-shelf effort is spending a fortune in hopes of inventing something to destroy Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. The closest they’ve come is to discover that the former Secretary of State used an unconventional private email server that she shouldn’t have used. And amid this smoke, the right — as it has for decades — is suggesting there’s some fire. Meanwhile the Washington press credulously serves up biased leaks from congressional Republicans as news, though they continually get debunked — but far too long after the false shadow of criminality has been cast.

The press isn’t just holding Clinton to a much higher standard than it holds itself. It’s playing accomplice to purposeful distractions that conjure “ethical concerns,” while ignore the vast injustice of using a congressional committee as a SuperPAC in an attempt to destroy a political opponent — all over again. This is how we wasted millions on Whitewater and a baldly political impeachment proceeding. This is how we got the war in Iraq after 9/11. Republicans know just how to bounce the ball to make sure the media chases it. The lure of being the journalist who finally destroys the Clintons is like Pavlov’s bell. All the right has to do is ring it and some members of the media drool all over their keyboards.

5. Inventing the media.
When all else fails, start a news channel that pretends it’s fair and balanced, then makes sure its candidates never deviate far from the message that liberalism is a foreign enemy that must be destroyed.

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Copyright 2015 The National Memo
  • bcarreiro

    It’s all about ratings not accuracy. We have for reporter Brian Williams as others a five million dollar salary and we have half of that for our military.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    The media is not necessary. At least not when it is so unreliable for facts and truth. The GOP is not winning anything. They know it. Their idea is to glut the media with tripe they know only the most impressionable and least politically educated will pay any attention to. In other words, they are wasting their money and their time.

    They will not now, nor ever impose their brand of propaganda on us.

    Take a good look at the New York Post as one example of a rag media that can’t post facts or truth without distortions. Page after page of the NY Post plays to a select group of rich elites who have nothing in common with the great unwashed masses.

    In other words, when you set your media up to live on such a lofty plane, you are alone in what your media preaches.

  • FT66

    The author of this article is quite right, republicans are experts at playing the media. I come to remember few years back even last year, there was heavy attacks from the media especially Fox News on Pres.Obama. I put the question, if Pres. Obama is gone what will these people do? I got the reply from Dominick Villa that they will place attacks on Hillary. He was right, they haven’t waited to see off Pres. Obama. The crucification of Hillary on emails is beyond anyone could had imagined to be. I don’t get it.

    • John Murchison

      The GOP has an entire media machine devoted to Hillary. But this isnt new for her.

  • John Murchison

    Unfortunately, this article is correct. I’ve watched these devices time and time again. Early on, during the Reagan years, I even bought into them some. The GOP are masters of propaganda and have been for years. During the Bush (the lesser) years it was maddeningly effective and so obviously abusive. Now, though, I’ve noticed a couple of things. First that their type of distortion is having a more and more localized affect on a slowly dwindling population. And two, the mesages are getting wilder, more frantic and hysterical even to the point of being farcical. They venture way beyond logic and simple common sense.

    • Insinnergy

      It’s true.
      However the one thing that consoles me is that this is not a winning strategy. The demographics are not on the side of the hick evangelical white Republicans because they’re all in their 50s and 60s.
      The millennials are often quite a bit better at tapping into different sources of news, they’re more “liberal”, they’re multi-cultural, and they’re younger.

      As the demographics change, I’m hopeful the screaming incoherent delusional rage bouncing around inside the Republican bubble will start to lose it’s audience and the massive shift to the right that has been engineered through the techniques above will suddenly become ridiculous and an embarrassment to even be part of.

      The Planned Parenthood mess is an excellent example of ridiculousness. Engineered outrage over things that have been legal, and helpful to both women in need and medical science have now been demonized and language-manipulated into the latest “sudden” “new” horror story. And the people driving it are very aware of the techniques and lies they are using to push this and drive the gullible anti-abortion conservative base.

      They were also wise to pick something so steeped in medical language from medical professionals. I don’t know if any of you have seen footage of a surgical knee replacement, or the medical discussion around it, but it’s fairly horrifying for the layman to hear the surgeons discussing a human like a collection of parts to be repaired and watching them saw, drill and hammer something into a living being’s bone while they bleed everywhere, even without the extra stigma of a fetus being involved. Yet this procedure happens every single day to thousands of people.

      You can also summarise the depths of the hypocrisy here by considering fertility clinics… According to the mentally unstable anti-abortion mob it’s a living human being from the moment of conception (despite the stupidity of this point of view)… therefore the number one killers of “viable fetuses” or “babies” since forever are the fertility clinics, who may successfully fertilise (i.e. The moment of Conception) many many eggs… and kill them… until they manage to give the patient a successful pregnancy.

      Of course the main difference there is that rich white women need fertility clinics… but only middle class and poor women need Planned Parenthood.

      Revel in the hypocrisy! Where is your fertility clinic outrage, frothing crazies?

      • John Murchison

        Times are changing and these media treatments are near the end of their lifetimes, thus the waning numbers. On the bright side the GOPs franctic fake news and countless unsubstantiated innuendos have groomed younger audiences to be far more cynical about truth in media than even my commercial wary generation. They will be far more difficult to hoodwink. I suppose this could also be behind an intrinsic need for “real straight talkers” of late.

      • idamag

        They can get elected by one-issue voters. That is what is wrong with evangelicalism. Their ability to reason has been suppressed by dogma.

  • latebloomingrandma

    They also care nothing about facts. Look at Carly Fiorina__she has been repeatedly called out for her false PP video story. She watched no such thing,yet continues to support the fiction. The amount of people who believe that PP cuts up live babies to sell their organs is astonishing.

    • idamag

      Unfortunately, there is a segment of the population who loves those gory stories and perpetuate them. Years ago, the 700 club announced that people were found who gave birth to babies so they could sacrifice them in satanic rituals. Funny thing was that if it were true and they had proof of it, law enforcement would have been doing something about it.

  • Jim_Klimaski

    What is missing from this article is “The Word of the Day.” When the Republicans take their position on an issue or event, they are given a specific word to use. All of a sudden every commentator or elected official is using that word. The Democrats couldn’t even keep the focus on the AFFORDABLE Care Act. Instead they even began using “Obamacare” which had already developed a pejorative connotation. Pretty sloppy work. Affordable has such a positive ring to it.

    • Bubba Chuck

      “Kill the bill” AFTER Obamacare was a law. “Activist judges.” “Lawless administration.”

    • onesetofeyes

      Well stated. The main culprit was Obama himself as recalled when asked I e was OK with it he shrugged it off and said OK. His ego played right into their narrative.

  • The Far Right nuttiness machine is well-oiled and always primed to broadcast false information under the guise of “Make America Strong Again”.

    As long as the GOP exists in its current “Dark Side” form, America will never reach the
    potential it is capable of. Why not strive to make America stronger than it ever was?

    Alas, for the ignorant masses on the Right, its politicians, and its media pimps, a head-turned-backwards-while-walking is their preferred mode of movement.

  • browninghipower

    And as usual the DC Dems cower in the corner. Same old, same old. And of course, they continue to field GOP lite candidates who refuse to defend anything.

    • bobnstuff

      The Democrats are the please don’t hurt me party. They run away from anything and everything.

      • Insinnergy

        Yeah Obama killed Bin Laden by running away and accidentally tripping over hm… right?

        • bobnstuff

          In 2014 the Democrats ran away from every good thing done by the President and lost. They gave in on the single payer option in the ACA. The don’t stand up for themselves. They let themselves be bullied by the media and the republicans and don’t put up a fight. Every time a lie is told by the Republicans or the media they should be screaming bloody murder. They don’t defend themselves or each other.

          • John Murchison

            spot on sir.

    • Insinnergy

      What does this actually mean?
      Can you use proper sentences please?

      • browninghipower

        Sorry…you’re correct…I am guilty of sputtering today…

  • onesetofeyes

    As much as the 5 points are legitimate in both theory and practice the main stream media plays right into right wing narrative. Media is always going over the top to present themselves as objective and never expends the energy to incessantly debunk fact less rhetoric and jargon. Is that whining guess so but it isrepresentative of reality.

    • John Murchison

      Main stream media fell into the GOP media trap. In the end it serves to slowly choke the media thru lost credibility. Eventually, i think, we will see a change in media tactics as their numbers dwindle and they struggle to maintain audiences.

      • idamag

        Who owns the mainstream media?

  • Otto Greif

    Bernie Sanders doesn’t think Obamanomics has been “an amazing success”.

    • Insinnergy

      I think you’re actually a paid troll. Your posts are looking more and more scripted.
      Sad really.

      • Otto Greif

        You think I’m paid by Bernie Sanders?

  • Otto Greif

    Democrats complain Republicans aren’t letting Obama spend enough, then take credit when the deficit goes down.

    • dtgraham

      The deficit reductions are partly due to decreased spending. Obama’s spending increases have been far more modest than Bush II, but don’t give that much credit for the drop in the deficit. It’s also held back economic growth which harmed tax receipts to the government. The deficit reduction is mostly due to growth—albeit slow—of the economy, bringing in additional revenues. Those increased revenues are also due to Obama’s tax increases (payroll, upper income) which have allowed deficits to come down.

      As far as fracking, it played a role I suppose but a much bigger role was the drilling for new hard-to-extract crude in ND’s shale formations and Alberta’s oil sands due to high prices at that time. That increased the world oil supply at a time when demand was beginning to taper off thanks to weakening economies and new efficiency measures. By 2014 world supply exceeded demand by quite a bit and oil was being stockpiled, so oil prices fell sharply.

      Opec did nothing about this because Saudi Arabia didn’t want to give up it’s market share, and refused to cut production to get the prices back up. The Saudis hoped that lower prices would help throttle the U.S. shale boom, so oil went into a free fall. They didn’t care about fracking in the same way because the use of natural gas in transportation is much less than oil. Technology is not really what is holding back the wider use of natural gas in such a huge market as the U.S. transportation system. It’s largely attributable to economic and political factors, and the Saudis know this.

  • Otto Greif

    The Obama recovery has been historically weak.

    • bobnstuff

      In comparison to what? When has there been a stronger one? There has only been one larger crash of our economy and it took a war to bring us out of that one.

      • Otto Greif

        In comparison to other recoveries.

        • JustTheFactsMa’am

          Care to point them out? Or do actual facts elude you?

          • Otto Greif
          • JustTheFactsMa’am

            If you pick a narrow field of view, it’s pretty easy to focus on a very select object.


            IF you choose to read the entire article, even though the author is feeding you the “facts” (BIG quotation marks there), when you take a look at the timeline and the events surrounding those “recoveries”, you can take a much different, and much more realistic perspective away from it.

            Factor in the off-shoring of manufacturing jobs (’60s to ’80s), the increase of robotics (’80s to 90’s), the massive increase of intellectual ‘horsepower’ (vis-a-vis ‘tech boom’, ’90s), and you have a perfect recipe for the reduction of readily available jobs for the “average joe”. AND the skewed “statistics” in the graphic you shared.

            Please, even for just yourself, look at the larger picture. Not just the simplistic memes that seem to support your bigoted perspective of the world. Go ahead, give a try.

          • Otto Greif

            The statistics were from the government and they weren’t skewed. It’s laughable the way Obamatards try to defend this crappy recovery.

          • bobnstuff

            Did you live through any of the Economic down turns? How good is your memory? Do you remember the inflation? Can you tell me if the stock market crashed by 50% in any of these, did housing prices crash, How high was unemployment and how long did it take to get it down? How was the world economy at the time? These are all important things when talking about the recovery. Now here is the other part of the story, did the party that was out of the White House actively work to slow the recovery?

          • 788eddie

            Otto, don’t give people grief with your name-calling.

          • dtgraham

            You have to remember that all economic recessions after the 1930’s and before 2008 were very, very, different in nature than 2008/09. Those recessions and subsequent recoveries were classic business cycle recessions.

            Reagan’s recession was caused by economic overheating for example which jacked up inflation, followed by the Fed raising interest rates to unprecedented levels (21.5% in 1980) in order to cool off the economy and kill inflation. That produced a recession that was quite deep but after inflation had been dealt with, interest rates could then simply be lowered enormously, leading to a V shaped recovery.

            The mythology is giving Regan’s tax cuts and deregulation credit for the economy. That’s not really born out in the data, in that there was no subsequent lasting investment or productivity boom. The economy moved down when interest rates were increased and recovered equally fast when interest rates came down, hence the Reagan V shaped recovery.

            The recession of 2009/09, by contrast, couldn’t produce such a V shaped recovery through lowering interest rates as these were already almost zero. That’s because this recession (depression?) was far more severe than anything since 1930 and was of a very different nature. It wasn’t a garden variety business cycle recession, but one brought on by an asset price collapse after a speculative asset bubble burst.

            That was caused by the private sector skewing financial markets by engaging in excessive speculation and credit creation (subprime mortgages) which fueled an asset price boom that fell under it’s own weight, leaving a ton of debt on the balance sheets of the private sector and banks but wiping out asset prices. Nine trillion was lost in house values alone.

            Public expenditures also played a large role in the 1980’s recovery. Real per capita government spending in 1984 was 14.4% higher than it was in1980 under Carter, adjusted for inflation. Under Obama it was only a 6.4% increase from 4 years previously. Obama had been stymied from 2011 on from the kind of per capita spending that Reagan was allowed to do, and to his credit…did. Reagan’s big military buildup played some role but the big difference was the real per capita spending at the state and local level, which continued to rise under Reagan but has fallen significantly this time around under Obama. That’s not Obama’s doing or wishes. Look to the Congress after 2010 for your villain there.

          • Otto Greif

            The recovery hasn’t been weak because the government didn’t squander enough money. Obama’s policies have been a drag on the real economy.

          • Independent1

            Your nothing but a lying sack of crap. More jobs have been created in the past 6 years than during the 12 years that Bush1 and Bush 2 were in office combined!!! Go stick your head in a toilet somewhere – that’s where it belongs!!!

          • dtgraham

            There are 5 pieces of the economy that are undershooting what they have always been given past history, and they’ve held back the recovery. Residential investment; consumption of durable goods; state and local government spending; business investment in equipment; and federal government spending. Everything else has been performing as normal.

            Unlike every other recession, state and local governments spent most of the years after this crisis cutting employees and trimming costs. The result has been a 189 billion dollar gap between what they’ve actually been spending versus what would have been expected, based on their historical share of the economy.

            The federal government has been spending 118 billion dollars below the level you’d expect given longer-term historical trends. The spending cuts that were part of deals to trim expenditures from the 2011 debt ceiling deal means that federal spending has been 6.8% of GDP, down from 7.4% of GDP from 1993 to 2013 for example.

            Public spending is an integral part of economic growth in any modern mixed economy. It’s not just squandering. Adequate, historical levels of public spending is something that Obama hasn’t had the luxury of compared to other Presidents (the bailouts notwithstanding), yet had a much worse economic crisis to overcome.

          • Otto Greif

            Everything else has been performing as normal? No, hiring has been weak, companies are sitting on large amounts of cash, among other things. There is no reason to believe government spending increases economic growth. Contrary to the predictions of those who believe as you do, the economy has grown faster since the sequester cuts.

          • Independent1

            It’s not the sequester cuts, it was the tax increases on the rich. Studies have shown that it’s only when taxes are raised that companies and the wealthy will pull monies out of investments and put them into risky ventures like starting new companies or expanding existing ones. As long as taxes are low, and they can make significant income from their investments because of low taxation – companies and the wealthy are more inclined to live off their investments rather than put their money into more risky ventures.

          • Independent1

            And here’s proof from an article in the Daily Kos that provides facts to prove it:

            Some excerpts:

            Ironically as we gave our businesses more and more money with lower taxes, less regulation, tax funded price supports, hand-tied their unions, and made free new technology at our taxpayers expense, despite all these perks and incentives, they invested less. So what are they doing with their money? Pick up any financial publication and read the headlines. They all will let you know.

            Rather than invest in plants and equipment, businesses are primarily using their funds to repurchase their own stocks in order to boost management earnings and ward off hostile take-overs, pay dividends to stockholders, and accumulate large cash and bond holdings.

            We need a system to return that money to the bottom so it can rise again and again and again.

            Here are the options that have been tried across our lifetimes..

            1.Price and pay freezes.
            2.Government set and regulated prices.
            3.Lower tax rates.
            4.Cash incentives from taxpayers to reinvest.
            5.Pleas and entreaties from the Oval Office.
            6.Higher marginal tax rates.

            Only one of these has worked. Can you guess which one? If you guessed higher tax rates spur reinvestment you are absolutely correct.

            Notice the rates of reinvestment climbing in each of these presidencies: Eisenhower, Kennedy-Johnson, Carter, Clinton each time Congress legislated higher marginal tax rates.

            Also notice the drops under Nixon, Reagan, and George W. Bush as Republicans cut the taxes…


          • Otto Greif

            You really think Apple is sitting on $203 billion in cash because personal income taxes are too low.

          • Independent1

            Absolutely! Over the past 4-6 years has Apple done anything but sit on it’s business model and live off its iphone, ipad, itunes business??

            Because the tax rates and very lenient tax code have allowed Apple to make billions in profits off those billions in investments, which together with their existing business profits, has made the company to not be motivated to diversify. They’ve apparently been profitable enough that their stock holders are happy; so they’ve been sitting tight on those profits.

            But you can bet your last dollar that they may have taken a different path, if the capital gains tax was 28-32%, and there was no convoluted tax code that has allowed them now to defer all taxation for years, such that they’re probably making 10-15 billion or more in capital gains profits on those 203 billion in investments each year!! And instead were having to pay 6 or more billion in taxes on those investment profits.

            And the same holds true for multi-millionaires who are content with the income they get from investments on which they pay next to zero in taxes, rather than putting those savings into some risky business adventure they would end up paying a much more in taxes on; and which might end up like Carly Fiorina’s boondoggle in her buying of Compaq. You can bet HP investor’s had wished Carly had left those HP investment monies where they were.

          • Otto Greif

            The blog you quoted said marginal tax rates, not capital gains taxes.

          • Independent1

            The same thing would occur if we raised the max marginal tax rate back to the 70% that it was before America’s worst president ever cut it more than in half so he and his buddies could pocket more millions of dollars. If Apple’s profits were impacted by more taxation such that their profits weren’t satisfactory to the stock holders, they would very quickly be pulling monies out of investments and finding a way to increase profitability – and that wouldn’t be by sitting on 203 Billion in investments.

          • Otto Greif

            Again, you start talking about income taxes, then switch to corporations. High marginal tax rates encourage wasteful investment in tax shields.

          • Independent1

            In essence – low tax rates make wealthy people lazy and willing to just play instead of be serious about running their businesses.

          • Otto Greif

            Do low taxes make the poor lazy, too, or just rich people?

          • Otto Greif

            I have two questions. 1. Why would someone take a greater chance of losing money if they know gains will be taxed away? 2. Why am I even discussing this with you?

          • Independent1

            I just answered your question: raising taxes cuts profits or income for multimillionaires, and so to either keep the investors (stock holders happy) or to maintain their existing lifestyles, THEY’RE FORCED to find ways to get their incomes back up to what they were accustomed to. And you can’t do that by sitting on investments. Like I said, low tax rates makes entrepreneurs lazy and CEOs not motivated to really do much with their businesses.

          • Otto Greif

            Companies aren’t “sitting on investments”, they are holding cash instead of investing.

          • Independent1

            If you think companies are sitting on mounds of cash that’s not earning a return, you’re nuttier than a fruitcake!! What they’re calling ‘cash’ are very liquid investments!!!

          • Otto Greif

            You’re extremely confused.

          • dtgraham

            The official U.S. unemployment rate is 5.1%. That’s the envy of much of the rest of the world. Think about what it could have been.

            The phenomenon of so-called dead money is a sign that corporations are sitting on too much cash and their retained earnings are too high. That they can’t find alternative vehicles to deliver an acceptable return on investment is indicative that some of that cash needs to be recouped and spent publicly. Infrastructure, for example, has historically delivered about $1.60 in economic activity for every $1.00 spent. Given that the U.S. infrastructure has such a failing grade from engineers, that would be an excellent investment. The real corporate tax rate, after taking all loopholes into account, is more along the lines of about 13%, not 35%.

            You’re a little behind the times on economic theory Otto. All modern economies operate on the Keynesian theory of economics and not the Austrian Hayek model. That’s because of the track record of Keynesian thought. It’s been proven to be true. That was the reason for all of the stimulus packages announced throughout the world after the crisis of 2008/09.

            Yes, government spending affects economic growth in a symmetrical way. Here’s the International Monetary Fund admonishing the United States for the sequester in 2013, insofar as it delayed the economic recovery and hurt the U.S. economy.


          • Otto Greif

            Keyensianism has a track record of failiure. Contrary to Keynesian models and predictions, the economy grew faster following the sequester cuts. Thanks for linking to an article demonstrating the Keynesians got it wrong.

          • dtgraham

            Over 40 years ago, Richard Nixon famously said that, “we’re all Keynesians now.” It’s accepted practise all over the world for a reason. The idea that government spending doesn’t affect economic growth at all is crazy.

            Yes, there are times when other factors come into play, where the economic multiplier may not be greater than 1.0. If it doesn’t accurately target the projects where it would be most productive for example. Conversely economies can eventually adjust to the downshift in government spending, which would be the opposite of the crowding out effect of private capital. Variables like world conditions can also improve. The point is that organizations like the IMF and ITG investment research and others, predicted a downturn after the sequester and were right about that for a while. They did so on the basis of Keynesian economics.

            Empirical studies have found a positive correlation between government spending and economic growth. A 1993 paper by economists William Easterly and Sergio Rebelo looked at empirical data from 100 countries from 1970 to 1988 and found a positive correlation between general government investment and GDP growth. While there are inherent difficulties with measuring such correlations in a complex economy admittedly, the link between government spending and economic growth is now accepted. Again, there was a reason for all of the stimulus packages announced around the world in 2008/09.

          • Otto Greif

            Look up how well Keynesian policies worked in the 70’s. Those using Keynesian models like the IMF predicted the sequester would harm the economy, and they were wrong. Normally when a model predicts things that don’t happen, it falsifies the model. The recent stimulus spending around the world isn’t evidence government spending works, it’s the opposite.

          • dtgraham

            “Normally when a model predicts things that don’t happen, it falsifies the model.”

            I would simply say that economics is an art and not a science. There are variables and other factors, that are hard to predict, which can sometimes change predicted anticipated results. These are known and they don’t invalidate theory based on documented empirical data. They’re just deviations due to changing world conditions, or spending on sectors that don’t produce the same multiplier effect, or poorly targeted spending, or inappropriate public spending that displaces available private capital, etc… Generally speaking though, the theory holds.

            When private capital formation dried up in 2009, what was the alternative? Do you honestly believe that all governments around the developed world were wrong in 2009? Every one of them. Actually, countries with larger fiscal stimulus packages at that time exceeded expectations to a greater degree that those with smaller stimulus packages. This graph attempts to control for all other effects like, other fiscal policies, size of the shock, and automatic stabilizers.


          • Otto Greif

            When the theory makes wrong predictions it clearly doesn’t hold. Is it really necessary for me to explain how bogus that graph from the administration is?

          • dtgraham

            It only doesn’t hold when it makes wrong predictions, most or all of the times; not just a few of the times. We’ll have to agree to disagree.

            You may want to explain your problems with the graph though. However, it shouldn’t just be…I HATE THAT KENYAN MARXIST MUSLIM!

          • Independent1

            Only a low IQ moron would try to compare GDP growth between presidents in office 30 years apart. It really didn’t take much economic development to move the GDP 25% when the GDP was at 2.5T; it’s taken a lot more economic recovery to move the GDP 10% when the GDP was at 15T – any Moron can see that.

            And the vast majority of the disaster in the 1980s was of Reagan’s making – sitting on his butt for about 1.5 years without doing a thing when he had inherited an oil inspired recession – resulting in Reagan having the worst 2nd year approval rating of all presidents since ratings were taken – at around 35%.

            But see this article from Forbes (9/2014):

            Obama Outperforms Reagan On Jobs, Growth And Investing

            “President Obama has achieved a 6.1% unemployment rate in his sixth year, fully one year faster than President Reagan did. At this point in his presidency, President Reagan was still struggling with 7.1% unemployment, and he did not reach into the mid-low 6% range for another full year. So, despite today’s number, the Obama administration has still done considerably better at job creating and reducing unemployment than did the Reagan administration.

            “We forecast unemployment will fall to around 5.4% by summer, 2015. A rate President Reagan was unable to achieve during his two terms.”


          • Otto Greif

            “Some eight million jobs have been created under Obama since the mid-2009 end of the recession, with a net gain of about five million. Charting Obama and Reagan’s job-creation against overall U.S. population increases makes the picture look even worse for Obama, and the Reagan-era U.S. had a much smaller population. At any rate, more people have been added to the food-stamp rolls than the job rolls under Obama.

            It’s misleading to compare employment rates during the two presidencies. Imagine 90 out of 100 people are employed, and because the economy looks like it’s picking up more steam 10 more people enter the workforce. If nine out of ten of them find jobs, the unemployment rate doesn’t go down at all, yet ten percent more people are employed.

            Reagan’s economy was so strong that, for the last three-quarters of his administration, Americans were flooding into the workforce. Under Obama, the opposite has happened, and those who have given up on working aren’t counted as unemployed. Even today, more than five years into the tepid recovery, labor-force participation remains at its lowest level since 1978.”


          • Independent1

            And there go the lies – you’re clearly nothing but a pathological liar just like the typical RWNJ!! More than 12 million jobs have been created the past 6+ years!! You’re no more what you claim to be than I’m the man in the moon – you’re a bona fide RWNJ pathological lying idiot!!

            Reagan deserves absolutely NO CREDIT for the economic recovery during his 8 years – IT ALL HAPPENED DESPITE HIS TOTAL INCOMPETENCE!!









            The second half of Reagan’s term was nothing like what you describe and certainly was none of Reagan’s doing. Fact is his policies were so incompetent that only 4 million jobs were created in his 1st four years after more than 10 million were created in Carter’s 4 years in office – Reagan clearly BLEW IT!!!

            And the last couple of years of Reagan’s 2 terms were NOT FILLED WITH PEOPLE CHOMPING AT THE BIT FOR JOBS!!

            They were filled with companies CHURNING EMPLOYEES!!

            Because Reagan had brainwashed CEOs and Entrepreneurs into believing that employees really didn’t matter, what mattered was a companies BOTTOM LINE!! Companies were churning employees by rewriting jobs so the could let older more experienced higher paid employees go and replace them with younger people who they could pay less and not offer the enhanced retirement packages that many older employees were offered and were close to tying companies into.

            So many companies rewrote jobs smaller less complex jobs that they could often split and therefore not have to work people long enough so they could qualify for many healthcare, vacation, paid leave and other benefits. You pathological lying RWNJs keep trying to say Obama is responsible for that, but creating part-time jobs and using them big time actually started during the last term of Reagan’s disastrous 8 years in office.

            Even my wife, several of her friends and some of my friends were cut from work in their late 40s in the late 1980s and sat for years trying to unsuccessfully get jobs. The vast majority of jobs created during Reagan’s 2nd term were the result of job churning and did nothing to improve America’s GDP. It was all an exercise in companies shifting their employee bases to people who they could pay less and were less committed to providing with long term benefits like pensions and healthcare plans in retirement.

            And if Reagan’s last year or two were such great job creation years, explain please why the following 4 years were the 2nd most lack luster job creation years since the Great Depression??? Did job creation magically disappear just because Bush 1 took office??? What a pack of distorting the truth and pathological lying.

            Even during what should have been the best 4 years of our economy during the time America moved into the personal computer era with hundreds of technology companies being created and/or expanded, Reagan was only able to create a paltry 12 million jobs in 8 years; while Clinton during the Dot Com era and after having raised taxes was able to create 30% more jobs than Reagan – Close to 24 million in 8 years rather than a paltry 16 million after Reagan deliberately trashed job creation in his 1st four years and just couldn’t keep it down in his 2nd term despite his incompetence – America’s technology sector completely took over and blew the lid of job creation in his 2nd term just like it did during Clinton’s 8 years!!!


          • Otto Greif

            You call job creation during George H.W. Bush’s term “lackluster” when it was better than Obama’s has been.

          • Independent1

            As I pointed out in another reply, your assertion is a flat out lie!! H.W. Bush’s presidency was the 2nd most lackluster economically of any president since the Great Depression.

            And while you’re at it know it all, identify for me one GOP president that has governed for over 4 years without creating a recession or a depression!!

            And find me one that has gone over 60 months with continuous positive jobs growth. Or more than one tha’ts gone over 50 months with the same.

            Or find one who was successful in getting any program enacted that was actually beneficial to millions of Americans other than the already wealthy – programs like Social Security or Medicare or even Obamacare. Programs that millions of Americans today depend on today.

          • Otto Greif

            That’s a fact.

          • Independent1

            As I’ve said before, only in the corrupt, convoluted, pathological lying mind of a RWNJ like yourself. There were never two consecutive months of 200,000+ jobs created during HW’s 4 years and Obama actually did that for almost one year – if not a year. And more jobs were created in the 4 months of 10/14 to 1/15 than were created IN ANY ONE YEAR that either Bush was in office!!!!

            Sorry, I’m not believing ONE THING you ever post!!! You are a totally pathetic pathological liar!!!!

          • Otto Greif

            If you want to continue discussing things stop denying facts.

          • Independent1

            And here’s a chart which shows that H.W. Bush’s economy and job growth were absolutely abysmal!!! And Reagan’s wasn’t much better!!!! Reagan’s wasn’t even as good as Nixon’s.

          • Otto Greif

            Your comment contains multiple factual errors, and caps-lock key abuse.

          • Robert Griffith

            Did you forget the monies pumped to the states repeatedly to bolster their employment may have helped and hastened past recoveries? Job expansion among state employment was never inflated as in the past and actually noted job losses that kept public employment as a no net gain.

      • idamag

        Inn 2009 unemployment was 9%. Today it is 5.3%. So, yes, compared to what? My post above describes the nazi’s son’s post.

  • idamag

    John Cheese says, “If you are very, very stupid, how can you possible realize how stupid you are.” This explains some posters inability to understand verifiable facts. These are the people who think fox news is real news, when they, themselves, said they are an entertainment channel. Some people are easily entertained, I suppose.

  • JohnJ

    This post is wrong on its face. Focusing on ‘GOP manipulation’ completely ignores the fact that our media is owned by the same people that fund the GOP and corporate Democrats. The media is already set up to maintain the corporate stranglehold on our country, and Fox News is just one part of the machine. The GOP is one part of the machine. CNN,NBC, Reuters,etc. are parts of the SAME machine.