Its the ZOMBIES STUPID: Obama vs Krugman Round 2

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve probably seen Newsweek’s cover story “Obama is Wrong” featuring Nobel Prize winning economist and NYT columnist Paul Krugman.

While its worth a quick read, the article itself does little to explain the long held policy disputes between Obama and Krugman. In short, Krugman has been very skeptical of the Obama administration insistence in propping up our current economic system, which Krugman, believes is fundamentally flawed. How flawed? Krugman has begun calling these ideas “Zombie ideas” because of their role in keeping dead banks alive.

But this isn’t the first, or nastiest debate the President has had with Krugman. During the primary, Krugman and Obama traded several blows while debating the necessity of a mandate in achieving universal health care. Obama opposed it and Krugman, along with Clinton, Edwards, and most of the progressive community supported it.

It got so nasty, that the Obama campaign even sent out an opposition hit piece on Krugman. Of course, once he was elected Obama changed his mind and sided with Krugman. Oops

You can read about the debate HERE

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Voters See Obama as More Partisian – Approval Ratings Go Up

Rasmussen Reports umm…reports:

A new Rasmussen Reports poll finds that 50% now think President Obama is “governing as a partisan Democrat,” up seven points from last month and up 11 points from two months ago.

So has that shift hurt his approval rating? Nope. If anything, it’s the opposite.

Rasmussen’s daily tracking poll finds that Obama’s approval rating is up, at 58%. It finds that the number who “strongly approve” of his performance is also up, to 37%.

Looks like nobody wanted bipartisanship at the end of the day. If only there had been a clever blogger out there who could have foretold this months ago. Hmmmm. Guess that person would be considered pretty smart huh?

Bailouts vs Government Intrusion: In Defense of Obama’s GM and Chrysler Plan

Looks like GM was operating even worse than I thought:

Mr. Wagoner had managed the company through some of its most difficult moments. The company hasn’t logged a profit since 2004, reporting losses since then of $82 billion. It nearly ran out of money at the end of 2008 before the Treasury Department provided emergency loans. GM’s stock was trading above $70 when Mr. Wagoner took over as CEO in June of 2000. Shares closed last week trading at $3.62, placing the company’s market capitalization at $2.21 billion.

There’s a reason automakers like GM and Chrysler are begging the federal government for help to stay afloat. Two of them actually. First, they need A LOT of money. About $22 billion between the two automakers. Second, and this one’s key here so pay attention, there is no bank in their right mind that would ever give them that kind of money.

And so here we are today, with President Obama laying out new guidelines GM and Chrysler must meet in order to receive another billion dollar bailout.

Of course, conservatives were quick to bring up fears of government controlled auto industry and more “government intrusion.” But this, aside from being wrong, misses the point.

What’s the Real Issue Here?

When the government unilaterally tells a business to act a certain way without cause or compensation, thats a form of government intrusion. When a corporation begs the government and American taxpayers for emergency funds to keep their business alive, that’s a bailout. Read this and repeat it to yourself aloud. Take a deep breath and let it sink in because there’s a fundamental difference between the two.

GM and Chrysler are asking the American taxpayers for more money than any one of us is likely to ever see in our lives. They owe the American public a justification for recieving another bailout. If a business or an individual has to meet certain preconditions for a loan, why shouldn’t a corporation who hasn’t turned a profit in 5 years have to as well?

In the case of GM and Chrysler, the situation is simple. Either you oppose bailing out the two automakers and you’re proposing an alternative that I’m waiting to hear. Or, realizing the crippling damage the collapse of two US automakers would create, you support extending additional low interest loans to GM and Chrysler.

Assuming you fall into the later category, why wouldn’t you impose certain preconditions on another loan? I suppose we could just throw money at the problem and hope it works itself out, silly liberals, but that quite frankly is the stupid hands off approach that lead us to this economic recession in the first place. Not to mention the stupid hands off approach thats causing GM and Chrysler to seek even more in federal funds.

So please, spare me the lame overused talking points about “government intrustion” “free markets” and other bullshit the House GOP is having their interns write. If the automakers don’t like these terms they’re free to take their sterling credit and excellent business model to a bank and apply for the loan there.

House GOP Budget: WHO NEEDS NUMBERS WHEN YOU HAVE MAGIC!!

You know, I was going to write a long serious post about the counter budget the House GOP released last, but I can’t.

Why you ask?

Because the House GOP didn’t release a budget. Instead they released a series of pages stapled together that incoherently rants about President Obama being a bastard for 15 pages.

You don’t get it though. I’m being serious. Their “budget” has no numbers, no estimates of future spending, no projections for deficits, no proposals for lowering the deficit. Nothing.

For some perspective consider this important detail. Obama’s budget – 142 pages. House GOP budget – 19 pages. OUCH

Obama to GM CEO: Your Ass is Fired

Off with their heads cried the populist:

The Obama administration asked Rick Wagoner, the chairman and CEO of General Motors, to step down and he agreed, a White House official said.

On Monday, President Barack Obama is to unveil his plans for the auto industry, including a response to a request for additional funds by GM and Chrysler. The plan is based on recommendations from the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry, headed by the Treasury Department.

The White House confirmed Wagoner was leaving at the government’s behest after The Associated Press reported his immediate departure, without giving a reason.

My 17th century French references aside, its about time someone got fired for royally screwing up their corporation. To be honest, I’m kind of surprised he didn’t get a huge bonus. Hopefully this sets a clear marker. If you’re the head of a major corporation like AIG, Citigroup, and you come to the government asking for billions of dollars, there will be consequences.

It’ll be interesting to see what the President includes in his allegedly sweeping plans for the auto industry.

Stay tuned…

Burns of The Day: The House GOP Budget

John Rogers on conservatism’s obsession with Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged:

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

Atom-buuuuurn.

DNC Spokesperson Hari Sevugan on the House GOP “budget” :

“I’m all for changing the way we do business in Washington, but proposing a ‘budget’ that doesn’t use numbers may be too much for me. After 27 days, the best House Republicans could come up with is a 19-page pamphlet that does not include a single real budget proposal or estimate. There are more numbers in my last sentence than there are in the entire House GOP ‘budget.’”

Robert Gibbs on The Republican budget “proposals”

Ezra Klein and one of his commentators team up to slam the GOP budget:

If you’re having a bad day, I highly encourage you to spend some quality time with the Republican budget proposal. It’s reads like what would happen if The Onion put together a budget. ”

It’s like someone showed them a flowchart. Once. And only for a few seconds. And refused to explain it.
That looks like something they wrote it on a cocktail napkin over happy hour. It reminds me of the Underwear Gnomes on South Park:

Step one- steal underpants
Step two- ?
Step three- tax cuts
Step four- Profit!