19
   

Despite a bipartisan effort...

 
 
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 03:22 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
regardless, they missed forecasting the worst economic period in decades.

Why the hell should anyone trust that they know what they are talking about now? Why should we trust ANY of the econimists who were so horribly wrong about this recession?
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 03:36 pm
@nimh,
nimh wrote:
What strikes me in this kind of thing is the lack of any internal coherence to much of the complaints from the right. You will have the same people who complain one moment that the stimulus will do little for American workers, turn around the next and deplore a provision that will ensure stimulus billions are spent on American workers, rather than flowing abroad through imports.


You don't seem to account for the possibility that they just disagree with you as to whether the "Buy American" would be helpful or not. I know I do (disagree with your take that is).

If someone believes that this is a harmful measure to the American economy, it's not logically inconsistent at all and the lack of coherence you accuse them of is predicated on you being right about it being helpful.

Economic recession increases the risks of trade wars and the provision can be seen as an illegal subsidy that other countries have a legal right to retaliate against. Heck, in 2007 the US took China to the WTO to protest "illegal subsidies" that are very similar to what you propose the US does. Here's what the US had to say about it:

Quote:
Washington alleges that China is fixing its tax laws and using other means to promote its own exports and to discriminate against imports of US manufactured goods.

The subsidy programs provide incentives for companies in China to purchase domestic equipment and accessories, instead of buying from US exporters, said the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).

"This case is about standing up for America's workers and manufacturers," Schwab said. "China's subsidies can particularly distort trade conditions for small and medium-sized American enterprises [SMEs] and their workers."

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China_Business/IB06Cb03.html


If the "Buy American" provisions are to make a financial difference to America they necessarily have to come at the cost of the industry of other nations, and those nations would have the right to retaliate in trade relations, which could both negate the benefits from the protectionism itself as well as cause an overall economic loss through stifled trade. That the US brought China to the WTO over such practices indicates that the US believes these practices have the capacity to harm the US economy, and by engaging in the very same practices they give the entire rest of the world the right to take reciprocal measures against US trade.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 03:47 pm
@nimh,
nimh wrote:
We're not talking about crappy trinkets here. We're talking, for example, about steel.


Ok, then use this example then and look at what the 2002 steel tariffs did. Under NAFTA we had to exempt Canada and Mexico because there are provisions that allow for retaliation and immediately after it was filed the EU announced the intention to create retaliatory tariffs on key American industries if it was not removed.

Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Switzerland, Brazil and other countries went to the WTO and the WTO ruled against the US and when Bush said he wanted to persist with the steel tariffs anyway it gave them the legal right to retaliate, and the EU put together a great retaliation.

Bush did the tariffs for the political benefit it brought him in the rust belt, so the EU threatened tariffs on Florida oranges and cars (Michigan) in a calculated move to cause Bush political damage in key states.

It worked, Bush backed down. And the point is that these protectionist measures can trigger retaliation that causes more harm to the economy than the benefit it provides.

That it also violates treaties we are party to and our overall economic message for decades, as well as our insistence to other nations that "we are all in this together" in this crisis makes it unethical in addition to economically unsound.

We are in this together and we can all hurt each other if we want, and I don't recommend the US give it a try because trade war is not good for a bad economy.
GeneralTsao
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 03:54 pm
@rabel22,
You are looking at this wrong. The Republicans and the conservative voters DID NOT approve of the Bush bailout. That's one of the reasons McCain did not win this election, in spite of having a worthless opponent.

Conservatives hold their candidates' feet to the fire, and the Republicans had better get their party on track or they will lose it to a third party. The Republican party was a third party once, begun by Abraham Lincoln.
0 Replies
 
genoves
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 04:20 pm
@Robert Gentel,
You are right on target, Mr. Gentel. Protectionism never works and never has worked but Obama has to make some moves in that direction to repay the Mafiosi in the goon Labor Unions. Protectionism got a bad name in the late twenties when the Smoot-Hawley Act was passed. The left wing says there can be no comparison with today's adjustments and the Smoot-Hawley Act. That's rubbish. Protectionism is protectionism. The WTO, whose is quite concerned about a world economic meltdown, will, I am sure, strongly protest any moves toward US Protectionism.
genoves
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 04:25 pm
Foxfyre wrote:

SEN CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: Let me say this to all of the chattering class, that so much focuses on those little tiny, yes, porky amendments. The American people really don't care.

PILGRIM: Not really. Public watchdog groups have targeted what they describe as earmarks in pork that they hear are going into the final version of the bill, $30 million to protect endangered wetlands around San Francisco, home to the salt marsh harvest mouse (ph), a pet project of Nancy Pelosi's. Pelosi's office says it's about clean water, a better environment and creating jobs.

Six hundred million dollars for energy-efficient vehicles, including electric golf carts for neighborhood travel, $400 million for health prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, $10 billion to the National Institute of Health, a particular interest of Arlen Specter who has long campaigned for such funding, or $2 billion for a rail system Senator Harry Reid has been pushing for.

VERONIQUE DE RUGY, GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY: We knew that Harry Reid has managed to actually earmark $8 billion for a rail line system that's four times higher than what was voted on in the Senate bill on Tuesday.
END OF QUOTE

Chucky Schumer admit as much---"Those little tiny PORKY amendments"---
Just a few million here and a few million there"

But Obama declared himself as four quare against "pork". Like most left wingers, he abandons his principles quickly for political gain.
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 04:30 pm
@nimh,
nimh wrote:

Foxfyre wrote:
Anyhow, I got the marsh mouse stuff from CNN. You want to paint THEM as a right wing propaganda tool?

OK, critical reading 101. The CNN correspondent said that (unspecified) public watchdog groups "have targeted what they describe as earmarks in pork", for example, "$30 million to protect endangered wetlands around San Francisco, home to the salt marsh harvest mouse" - which Nancy Pelosi's office says is "about clean water, a better environment and creating jobs."

So there is $30 million in the budget to protect endangered wetlands around San Francisco. That much is fact. The wetlands are "home to the salt marsh harvest mouse," the correspondent picturesquely points out, which is one of the things special about the wetlands -- but that is a far cry from saying the $30 million is spent just to preserve the mouse. Right? Meanwhile, Pelosi says the money will help the environment and create jobs. While unidentified groups say this is just "earmarks in pork".

And from this you derive the assertion that "$30 million is allocated to save the marsh mouse. $30 million!" how?


The $30 million will be alloated to save the wetlands that just happens to be the habitat of the presumed endangered salt marsh harvest mouse which has been a pet project of Nancy Pelosi's for a long time. It is in her district that puts high value on such things. The fact that it is being touted as a conservation project isn't fooling anybody who has been paying attention. And if it turns out that the political heat causes her to back off forego that pet project, then so be it.

0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 04:32 pm
@Foxfyre,
This:

Quote:
(You would think he or his press secretary would have mentioned to us in one of the press conferences the last few days that we could see the information on the website.)


Is what I was jokingly responding to with this:

Quote:
Well, according to you he announced it back on November 14th. How much time do you need? :::flee!:::




It seemed obvious to me that I was responding to the time factor and lack of announcement about it being available that you were complaining about. I'll more directly connect the dots next time so there won't be as much confusion.
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 04:37 pm
@Butrflynet,
I knew what you meant Butrfly but the implication was a mischaracterization about what I meant. There is no way the President could have presented this stimulus package and so much deficit spending back in November without putting his election in serious jeopardy. As unexciting and unimpressive a candidate as John McCain was, it could have made him look a whole lot better.

And the fact is our lawmakers have foisted an enormous package of unspecified spending on us that swells the deficit and provides little assurance that anybody other than a few targeted special interest groups will see much if any benefit from it at all.

If the economy has bottomed and starts ticking upward at this point, of course the President and Democrats in Congress will wave this huge bill as evidence that they did it. It won't be what did it, but they'll get the credit.

The question is, if the economy continues to worsen or stagnates into the summer and fall, will they admit it didn't work or will they just say it would have otherwise been worse?

Am I completely jaded and cynical? You bet I am.
genoves
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 04:41 pm
@Foxfyre,
Foxfyre wrote:

And the fact is our lawmakers have foisted an enormous package of unspecified spending on us that swells the deficit and provides little assurance that anybody other than a few targeted special interest groups will see much if any benefit from it at all.

end of quote.

And I predict that we shall see the anger of the American people who will not, as Foxfyre says "see much if any benefit from it at all" rise up and vote out scores of Democrats in 2010. Apparently , the Democrats have not learned the lessons of 1994, when the Republicans rallied to chase out the Democrats.

This stimulus package has been done--and it can be undone-----
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  3  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 04:53 pm
@Foxfyre,
The origins of it are both partisan and sloppy reporting.


From the St. Petersburg Times, the same people doing the scorekeeping on President Obama's campaign promises:

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2009/feb/13/mike-pence/no-money-stimulus-san-francisco-mice/

http://www.tampabay.com/universal/politifact/rulings/tom-false.gif

The stimulus has "$30 million in there to protect mice in San Francisco."
Mike Pence on Thursday, February 12th, 2009 in a statement on the Fox News Channel.

No money in the stimulus for San Francisco mice

To hear Republican House members tell it, you'd think Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi stuffed $30 million into the stimulus bill to benefit an endangered mouse in her district.

Rep. Steve King of Iowa called it an earmark and "a pet project" while pointing to a sign he made that said "Pelosi's Mouse slated for $30 Million."

Rep. John Boehner of Ohio opposed the bill and asked how money "for some salt marsh mouse in San Francisco is going to help a struggling auto worker in Ohio?"

And Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana said on Fox News that there was "$30 million in there to protect mice in San Francisco."

The tale of the mouse appears to have originated around Feb. 6, 2009, from Republican staff members of the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee.

"Appropriations Republicans, concerned with this irresponsible process and possible abuse of taxpayer funds, have asked various federal agencies how they intend to spend the windfall of cash that Congress may approve in the 'stimulus' bill," said a memo posted to the site. "One peek behind the bureaucratic curtain has yielded the following examples of hidden program information that is not included in the language of the bill or report. These are programs which various federal agencies have privately indicated they will fund with 'stimulus' money."

The memo lists a number of projects, including up to $37.5 million for "wetland restoration in the San Francisco Bay Area " including work to protect the Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse."

That became fodder for a Feb. 11 email from Michael Steel, Boehner's spokesperson. "Thirty million dollars for wetland restoration in the San Francisco Bay Area " including work to protect the Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse," Steel wrote. "This sounds like spending projects that have been supported by a certain powerful Democrat in the past. And it certainly doesn't sound like it will create or save American jobs."

That email made it into a Feb. 12 story in The Washington Times headlined "Pelosi's mouse slated for $30M slice of cheese." The story stated, incorrectly as it turns out, that the stimulus bill "includes $30 million for wetlands restoration that the Obama administration intends to spend in the San Francisco Bay Area to protect, among other things, the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse."

And that story was then picked up by the Drudge Report.

That's when the mouse references exploded, morphing from a possible project of an unnamed agency to Pence's "$30 million in there to protect mice in San Francisco."

Still, we wanted to get to the bottom of this issue and find out what was up with the mouse.

Turns out the salt marsh harvest mouse is a previously obscure beneficiary of a major environmental restoration project for the San Francisco bay area.


"A friend emailed me and asked me if any of the $30 million for the mouse was for us, and I was like 'What are you talking about?'" said Steve Ritchie, an engineer with the California State Coastal Conservancy, a state agency charged with preserving and restoring the coastline.

When the stimulus bill was first proposed and a call went out for ready-to-go projects, Ritchie prepared a list of the agency's shovel-ready projects and submitted it to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, both of which received money in the final version of the stimulus bill.

Three projects would turn abandoned industrial salt operations back into natural wetlands, about 26,000 acres in all. It turns out the mouse is an endangered species that likes tidal salt marshes, and it's mentioned by name as one of several species that will benefit
.

But the projects themselves -- the South Bay Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, the Napa Plant Site, and the Napa Salt Marsh restoration --are intended to do more than just benefit wildlife. It's major construction work to create recreation areas and to restore marsh land that will resist flooding and storm surge.


"This is bulldozers, front-end loaders, backhoes. These are major earth-moving projects to break down levees, to re-sculpt the landscape and to make sure nature can do its thing," Ritchie said. "Right now, we just have these lousy little salt pond levees and they break."

"These are real jobs, and these are truly ready to go," he added. "We can definitely spend this money for construction by Nov. 30, 2010."

Given this description of the projects, which were first reported in the San Jose Mercury News, it's a serious distortion to say there's money in the bill to protect San Francisco mice. The bill doesn't even list the San Francisco projects by name. And the funding agencies -- the Corps of Engineers or NOAA -- could still decide to fund the projects or not. The bill passed a final vote in the House on Feb. 13, with no Republicans supporting it.

So Pelosi did not put an earmark in the bill to save the mice. In fact, there's no money in the bill for mice. For this reason, we rate Pence's remark False.
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 05:00 pm
@nimh,
I'd add more to the list of beneficiaries for those regional projects not just the people in that region and the people constructing it. You need to also add to it the people working for the companies creating the components for it such as the miners obtaining the ore for the materials, the smelters, the mixers,the fabricators, the transporters to get the materials to the location, the engineers, the tool makers of tools and equipment used in all segments of the production of it, and on down the line.
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  0  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 05:02 pm
Then you are suggesting there is no $30 million budgeted/planned for a 'conservation of wetlands' project in Nancy Pelosi's district?
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 05:08 pm
@genoves,
Gen, you are a true conservative. First, it was probably unionism that gave your crummy family middle-class status. Maybe not, but it certainly was the general impetus for the parents of the present middle class.

Reciprocity is not protectionism, and is not related to the Smoot-type protectionism that was put in place in the '30's. It is virtually impossible to get our goods into South Korea, which has no trouble doing this here. The right somehow thinks this is great, and that nothing should be done to correct this.
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 05:13 pm
I think that the right has been busted on the issue of pork. The public is pretty well aware that, under Bush, when the right controlled all of government, there were thousands of pork projects. The public also knows, I think, tht, in the stimulus bill, there is virtually no pork, certainly far less than one percent of the bill's cost.
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 05:14 pm
@Advocate,
Ok, so what is the allowable amount of pork in a democratic bill?
0 Replies
 
genoves
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 05:25 pm
@Advocate,
Unionism nearly ruined our country in the fifties and sixties. Perhaps you don't know who Jimmy Hoffa was. Bobby Kennedy thought he was dangerous to our country. Perhaps you are unaware of the massive involvement of the Mafia in the Unions. Are you aware of the push-pull inflation that set up the strikes in the coal mines, the steel mills and other large industries which contributed heavily to the massive inflation which hurt all other people in our country.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  2  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 05:29 pm
@Foxfyre,
I'm saying that this, written by you, is false.

Quote:
$30 million is allocated to save the marsh mouse. $30 million!


Old Crow
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 05:51 pm
@A Lone Voice,
Where was your whineing about stuffing pork down the throats of our grandchildren while spending the trillion plus in Iraq? That was a pure, Republicans at their best, pork plan. Perhaps we should save the stimulus bill money so the next republican administration could pre-pay for their next foreign invasion. Taxpayer dollars spent in this country is much more fruitful than spending it overseas.
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 05:57 pm
@Old Crow,
This is your first post....MANY of us were "whining" about the cost of Iraq.
0 Replies
 
 

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