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How Is The Recovery Really Doing?
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 6022

PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"And once again I say, taxes are not the way to make it fair. Making it easier for small business to compete is."


Bard, you say stuff like this all the time, but I don't have a clue what you really want. You haven't given us a clue what you do for a living, or anything about the small businesses you own. Frankly, it's a big mystery.

Regarding making it easier for small business to compete, again, you offer more total mystery. Often, I've asked you to give us some critical detail. How come you never really step up with anything meaningful? The way that I see it, businesses grow and prosper where there's a need. As boggsman points out, there are many that are doing well in our capitalistic system today, regulations and taxes aside.

Somehow, I'm getting the picture that you feel that the government should be doing something for you and others like you that they're not doing now. To have any real discussion, you have to fill in the picture for us and present your case. Let's cut out the Republican BS talking points like lower income taxes with stimulate business growth and jobs, as we have 10 years of historically low taxation and very little, if anything, to show for it. If you want regulations out of the way, which ones and why is a simple prerequisite to start with. Bard, I might be a liberal, but there is a conservative side to my nature. You seemingly have your hand out, so convince me that your cause is both sound and warranted.
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pueno



Joined: 03 Mar 2007
Posts: 2763

PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevenbard wrote:
Somehow it's not trickling down yet

Wait a minute!!

You, Mr. B, you don't buy supply-side, trickle-down economics? So-called "voo doo economics"? The life blood of Ronnie Reagan?

Do you mean that you finally understand that the wealthy who receive tax breaks and all that extra cash simply keep it, ala Mitt Romney and his off-shore banks?

Amazing!! Shocked
.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5560

PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A dramatic difference in perspective from those who rely on faith and those who rely on facts and analysis:

Quote:

By Dana Milbank, Published: December 16
When will the criticism of Obamacare finally end?

I’ve done some research on the question, and by my calculations, judging from current trends, this will happen approximately . . . never.

I base this on the criticism of the auto bailout of early 2009. Almost five years later, the industry is healthy again and large swaths of the Midwest have been spared what would have been certain economic devastation. All this was achieved for a relatively modest sum: When the government’s last shares of General Motors were sold last week, the total cost to save GM and Chrysler came to about $12 billion. It would seem that the argument against the bailout has been settled. Yet opponents continue to argue their case — if anybody will listen.

On Monday, I resolved to listen. I went to the National Press Club, where the National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative group, was arguing that the GM bailout was a big mistake. When I arrived two minutes before the start of the news conference, I was the only reporter in the room; eventually, two others joined me.

Peter Flaherty, the group’s president, stared into a lone camera. “At its most fundamental level, the auto bailout is a failure,” he proclaimed. “There’s only been a modest culture change” at GM, he said, and “the bailout did not save jobs.” What’s more, he said, GM’s reorganization “was government-orchestrated theft.”

When Flaherty finished speaking, he asked for questions. Nobody stirred. Feeling pity, I asked if he really thought the auto bailout had no impact on U.S. employment.

“Yes,” he replied.

And the Troubled Assets Relief Program — which the auto bailout was part of — that returned a profit to taxpayers of $11 billion overall?

“I think it was a mistake,” he said.

Flaherty was offering a pre-buttal to GM’s chief executive, Dan Akerson, who spoke at the press club two hours later. Unlike Flaherty, Akerson had some concrete evidence to show why the bailout had been worth the cost: a $21.3 billion initial public offering for GM, 15 profitable quarters and total profits of nearly $30 billion, $10 billion invested in U.S. facilities (including $1.3 billion announced Monday), a return to an investment-grade rating for its bonds, and 26,000 jobs preserved.


Akerson — who is soon to be replaced by Mary Barra, GM’s chief of product development and the first woman to run a major industrial company — was a private-equity guy who joined the company after the bailout. But asked his opinion of the bailout decision, he cited a study by the Center for Automotive Research that concluded that overall it saved the government $36 billion to $38 billion in costs such as unemployment benefits, and that didn’t include $26 billion in pension liabilities that would have been dumped on taxpayers.

“The automotive industry in this country is somewhere between 3.5 and 4 percent of total GDP,” he said. “To have ceded that to foreign competition — in my opinion, as an American — would have been a serious mistake.”

The study Akerson cited calculated that the bailout saved 1.2 million to 2.6 million jobs in 2009 alone. But the National Legal and Policy Center’s Flaherty offered a breezy dismissal of that report: “Not surprising, in light of the fact that the center is substantially funded by the government.” (The Center for Automotive Research reports that 16 percent of its money comes from the government.)

Few people have heard of Flaherty or are likely to care what he thinks of the bailout. But his undiminished opposition to it, a position many conservatives share, is worth examining because there is apparently no pattern of facts that would change it. This, I suspect, is what Obamacare is up against.

Flaherty was sure the bailout didn’t work because his theory says it couldn’t work. “The massive misallocation of capital to an inefficient market purchase can only cost jobs in the long run,” he argued.

But in the long run, we’re all dead. And the dramatic, and rapid, collapse of the American automotive industry in 2009 could have rippled across the economy, setting off panic and perhaps a depression. Again, Flaherty scoffed. “These dire stories . . . about a depression being triggered or the economy of the Midwest collapsing were just totally overblown and wrong,” he said.

We will never know for sure. But we can believe either opponents of the bailout, or our lying eyes.


I recall many on this forum, including the apologist for the oil companies, arguing that the stimulus and TARP did no good. Keep your head in the sand righties, the facts are inconvenient.
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 1542

PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I agree with the bail out for GM and Chrysler, what you posted leaves me with concern.
Quote:
When the government’s last shares of General Motors were sold last week, the total cost to save GM and Chrysler came to about $12 billion. It would seem that the argument against the bailout has been settled. Yet opponents continue to argue their case — if anybody will listen.


Now that GM is doing so well, why does the government bail out on the GM shares and leave us hanging with a 12 billion loss? It's good to see GM in the game, buy way can't we collect the 12 billion we are owed? This is what bugs me the most, the government being so free and easy with our money.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5560

PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good question Techno, see if you can dig out an answer.
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 1542

PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mac,

You obviously have another take on this, so please share.

From CNN Money, Dec. 9:
Quote:
The Treasury Department has sold its final stake in General Motors, closing the book on its 2009 bailout of the auto industry. GM has been revived and is now profitable, but taxpayers are out more than $10 billion dollars.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced the final stock sale late Monday afternoon, saying that Treasury ultimately recouped $39 billion through the sale of shares, dividends and loan repayments since 2009. But the government pumped $49.5 billion into GM to help it get through a bankruptcy reorganization. Treasury lost an estimated $1.3 billion in its bailout of Chrysler Group.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5560

PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Techno--god, or the devil, is in the details. I think that TARP worked, and worked only because of Obama. Bush proposed a bail out--with a two page outline of a bill. No accountability. McCain was in full panic. Obama actually tried to reach out to McCain so it wouldn't be a campaign issue. McCain had no idea what to do.

So the TARP was not really pure Keynesian economics, it was a "stop the panic and bank run" measure, mixed with buy the bad assets. The fact that it lost only $11 billion, according to the article that I cited, is absolutely amazing. Remember that the banks in question had invested a huge amount of money in sub-prime loans, and the loan approval process and the rating of derivatives had both become completely corrupt because of the way Phil Gramm wrote the bill. So the panic drove house prices down well below their true value, and they have come back. The really troubled assets have worked their way through the system, and despite the Republicans refusal to help with true Keynesian stimulation of the economy, the construction industry is back and tech is on fire. There might be a bubble in there--but I don't trust the biases of those who are screaming that there is. So.

The auto bailout is a different matter, although it used TARP assets. It either was expressly allowable under the legislation, or Obama found a loophole that allowed him to develop it. Whether or not each individual company had an obligation to pay back the loan, or whether some of it was a grant, is in the details of the individual deals. I don't know, and don't care enough to dig. From the big picture perspective, it was a better deal for the country than the first Chrysler bail out. It force unions, bondholders and management to all take a haircut. Perhaps something similar could have been worked out in bankruptcy, but from the economic perspective, it seems like it was much cheaper than just the unemployment costs.

Obama has had both failures and mistakes, as well as successes like pulling of the ACA legislatively, and TARP, where Bush couldn't carry it politically or in legislative drafting. The Bard's of the world will never give him credit for his successes, and have no idea how to learn from his (or their own) mistakes. The auto bailout appears to have been a huge success.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 6022

PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's not a Republican or businessman out there who can prove to me that the government's bailouts of GM and Chrysler was the wrong thing to do. Just the fact that President Obama had the good sense to recognize and ensure that manufacturing needed to stay strong in the US says enough in my view. The bailouts were worth it despite any imagined conclusions otherwise.

Often folks talk about American car companies, and they think about union folks assembling cars in and around Detroit. They don't have a clue about the huge supplier base, the technology and the experienced workforce that keeps everything going behind the scene. Effectively killing two-thirds of the American auto industry would have been utterly stupid. The negative impact to small businesses would have been enormous. Anyone thinking that they could have danced around everything when the bottom fell out are drifting on nonsense.

Keeping manufacturing strong here in the US is crucial to our future. I give President Obama credit for doing the right thing. I have no doubt that history will see it similarly.
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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1413

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote ...'Keeping manufacturing strong here in the U.S. is crucial to our future.'

We faced a similar problem S.W. (British Leyland and other car firms standing jokes, and bottomless pits for losing money) but took a different approach. We allowed other countries to move in and take control.

We still have a manufacturing sector, and a large workforce employed, but all now owned by foreign countries. (Japanese, French, German, and soon |Chinese probably.)

Good idea, or bad idea? Views on that differ!
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pueno



Joined: 03 Mar 2007
Posts: 2763

PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GURGLETROUSERS wrote:

Good idea, or bad idea? Views on that differ!

While the companies might be Japanese, French, German, or soon Chinese, the fact remains that the companies will employ millions of Brits who will spend their money on British goods, live in British towns and cities, pay British taxes...

Far better for Britain to have the factories on home soil than in Japan, France, Germany, or China.

Is Lucas still the Price of Darkness?

I always believed that Brits drank room temperature beer because Lucas made the refrigerators. True or false?
.
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