July 07, 2009

Barack Obama, Economic Battlefield Surgeon

The madness of an illogical mind:

A second economic stimulus package could still be on the table, President Obama suggested Tuesday as the unemployment rate hovered close to 10 percent.

In an interview with FOX News in Moscow, Obama defended the roll-out so far of the stimulus package passed in February, saying he knew the scope of the economic crisis would make recovery difficult no matter what.

"I think it's important to understand that we've got a short-term challenge which, no matter how big our stimulus was, was going to be a challenge -- partly because we've got fiscal constraints," Obama said.

The president said the government has spent money as fast as it could as the "economic tsunami" unfolded, admitting that getting cash to the states has been difficult.

"You just can't push that out that quickly, partly, not just because the federal government has to process applications, but also because states and local governments have to gear up to get these projects going," Obama said.

President Obama's current stimulus package increased unemployment beyond what doing nothing would have done. We know, because this is his graph.

Well, it isn't entirely his graph.

The light blue line represents what the Administration said we'd see if we did absolutely nothing. The dark blue line is what Obama said the stimulus would do.

The red dots, however, are reality, the real numbers that Barack Obama and all the Democrats in Congress would rather ignore. Those bright, red dots represent the hundreds of thousands of Americans that have lost their jobs because Barack Obama and the Democratic Party rammed through a massive stimulus bill that none of them read.

I'll repeat that again.

The massive stimulus bill Democrats unanimously voted for has cost America hundreds of thousands of jobs, and Obama wants to leave the option open to do it again.

Obama has become something like a mad battlefield surgeon from the Civil War, hacking off limbs with his crude and barbaric medicine, killing and maiming more than he saves. Our economy is bleeding out due to his hackery and that of the incompetents and cheats his employs.

We don't need any more of his help, and we'll be damn lucky if we survive the medicine he's already prescribed.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at July 7, 2009 11:15 AM

Let’s now even consider another “stimulus” until they actually manage to spent the first “stimulus”. So far,less than 1% of the money budgeted in February for job creating “stimulus” has been spent.

If Obama and the Democrats in Congress who put this last one together had been a bit more bipartisan, it would have been more stimulating. Of course, we will never know if that money taken out for Nancy’s condoms would have had a stimulating effect.

Posted by: Neo at July 7, 2009 12:03 PM

A Definiton of Insanity: doing the same thing over again, and expecting different results.

It's ironic that the Government of Mexico City, a leftist bastion, quickly implemented a more appropriate stimulus to counteract the effects of the swine flu: a rebate for a significant part of their payroll taxes for 2008, as long as they were current. The rebates began may 11th, and the mayor called it an investment in jobs.

The world is turned upside down!

Posted by: Doug Wenzel in San Diego, CA at July 7, 2009 02:26 PM

Interesting that if you run the REAL unemployment figures relative to the unrealistic figures presented by Obama you see that unemployment will peak at just over 10% in 2010 and will still be at 8%+ through to 2012.

You could see how Obama's imature economic advisors played with the unemployment figures. Imagine that just as Obama would be facing the electorate in Nov 2012 that his fancifully concocted unemployment numbers had dropped to just the right 5%+ margin showing that his economic medicine had worked.

Posted by: joseph at July 7, 2009 05:36 PM

perfect, the Civil War surgeon.
It could be that he's even worse, a medieval doctor whose next remedy is a good bleeding.

Posted by: exceller at July 7, 2009 05:38 PM

You are wrong, Sir! The Civil War surgeon generally had some form of anesthesia to comfort the patient. The 17th Century surgeon, on the other hand, performed his work without such niceties.

Speed was the prized attribute (that and really strong assistants). Obama is more like one famously flashy surgeon in those days who achieved a 300% fatality rate in a single procedure to amputate a leg:
- the patient (gangrene)
- an assistant who lost his fingers and contracted gangrene
- an observing older surgeon who was almost slashed in the frenzy and suffered a heart attack.

Posted by: Mike O at July 7, 2009 05:39 PM

Can we maybe for a moment fantasize about electing an economist to the Presidency? And requiring all politicians and candidates to take at least elementary courses from someone like Thomas Sowell?

I hope you don't mind if I post a link to this article--hopefully the more who read it the more will be thinking about impeachment... Or maybe rebellion?

Posted by: LaMagdalena at July 7, 2009 05:57 PM

I think you're giving him a little too much credit there. I've been to the Jamestown Settlement and seen the surgeon reenactor explain removing a musket ball from an injured leg. I'd say Obama's techniques are more American Revolution than Civil War.

Posted by: w3bgrrl at July 7, 2009 06:32 PM

Yes, I love the argument: "we can't spend the money we already planned to spend, so we're going to spend more instead."

Strangely top reporters aren't noticing the logical error there.

Posted by: Max Lybbert at July 7, 2009 06:44 PM

The big complaint(s) about the original stimulus package were that a) it was full of pork and b) that it was stretched out over too long a time period to be effective as stimulus (out to 2019 if I remember).

I wonder what proportion of the money has been spent so far? Wouldn't it make more sense just to speed up the delivery of the original Porkulus money instead of adding billions more in future debt for the country?

Posted by: Truenorth at July 7, 2009 06:53 PM

The stimulus was never really intended to help the economy. Obama just said it was. The stimulus was just a payoff to Democrat special interest groups.

Posted by: Sherri at July 7, 2009 08:31 PM

Sherri is correct, with one caveat -- the stimulus is a payoff to a bunch of big-shot minority contractors who get the minority set-asides when the money is funneled through federal, state and local governments. You know, the ones he'll be rubbing elbows with on Cape Cod next week.

Posted by: Willie at July 8, 2009 09:45 AM

I'll repeat that again.

The massive stimulus bill Democrats unanimously voted for has cost America hundreds of thousands of jobs, and Obama wants to leave the option open to do it again.

Repeat it as many times as you like, but could you also show the math that leads you to this conclusion?

Posted by: D. Aristophanes at July 8, 2009 12:20 PM

Just a side note here on the use of anesthesia in surgery, in case anyone is interested. Yes, indeed, surgery was a very bloody painful business until well after the 17th century. English surgeons were also barbers, and teeth pullers up through the first quadrant of the nineteenth century. And in the Napoleonic wars, battlefield surgeons did not use anesthesia, except maybe a large slug of whiskey if they had it. There are descriptions of the Battle of Waterloo and and the tents set up near the battlefield, where amputated limbs piled up in great mounds outside the tent walls. It took guts to be a soldier in those days -- no body armor, no anesthesia, no fairly comfortable prosthetics if you did survive the surgery. The memoirs of doctors from that period and from the latter period of the nineteenth century are quite horrifying for us to read.

The first surgery done under anesthesia in this country was in 1845. Makes me glad I was born in the 20th century, although the strides in prompt effective treatment of war wounds are much different and better than they were even as short a time ago as the Second World War, when one of my college friends had lost one leg in a wartime plane crash. One of the things he did to help his fellow warriors was to test new advancements in prosthetics for the Veterans Administration -- which meant he essentially had to accustom himself to a new prosthesis every three weeks. If you know anyone who has an artificial limb, you know how uncomfortable that can be even today.

Today's prosthetics are a marvel to me. Our more athletic young veterans are running races on them, and indulging in sports competitions.

Medicine progresses, if it is allowed to.

Marianne Matthews

Posted by: Marianne Matthews at July 8, 2009 12:53 PM

D. Aristophanes -- truly. Thanks.

Posted by: ADS at July 8, 2009 12:55 PM

Obviously CY thinks that Obama's stimulus plan should have been even bigger to make up for the gap between the projected and actual numbers. Who knew you guys are even BIGGER socialists than Obama?

Posted by: noen at July 8, 2009 01:33 PM

I wonder what proportion of the money has been spent so far?

Maybe 10%. All that talk of shovel ready projects was largely a crock.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at July 8, 2009 02:12 PM

noen makes an interesting association. So, it is axiomatic that a LARGER amount of otherwise wasteful (at best) spending would have lowered the unemployment rate we see today? No noen, just the facts on display in that one chart demonstrate the falsity if not stupidity of that association. The lines were PROJECTIONS, including one that describes what would happen if none of this action were ever taken. The dots are REALITY and that reality does not square with ANY of the stimulus being effective or even benign strictly on Obamanian terms. Like Cap'n Trade it fails on its own stated presumptions. That is BEFORE one applies any analysis from an American perspective. (Obviously, the Obama crowd represents an anti-American philosophy.)

What really surprises me is how flatfooted O has been during this fiasco. Even if he was really dumb enough to believe he could tax and borrow us rich he had to know this would barely effect employment on net.

Posted by: megapotamus at July 8, 2009 02:56 PM

How do you know that the red dots represent reality? How could anyone possibly know what unemployment would be had there been no stimulus package?

I'm as appalled as most of you so called conservatives are at the amount of debt that we're facing. The difference is that I realize that this train wreck was a long time in the making, decades. It certainly didn't start with President Obama's tenure, nor even with Bush's tenure. This is the culmination of years of bad policy, over regulation in some areas and under regulations in other areas. The bubble that we've all been living in has finally burst.

America is by no means finished. We're a great nation and will continue to be so. But, the days of Ozzie and Harriet are over. They ain't coming back.

We're going to see more government involvement, more regulations (much needed) in the financial industry, health care, etc., etc.

Those of you who keep harping on the evils of big government should realize by now that you're living in a fantasy world if you think that we're going to see less government involvement in the future. We will be continue to be a capitalist society, for sure. However, we'll also have more aspects of socialism integrated into our version of free market capitalism. It's inevitable and not necessarily a bad thing. Change is the only constant in all societies.

Posted by: Dude at July 8, 2009 03:53 PM

Dude, the dots are booked numbers, that is how they represent reality... literally. Yes, all socialism is a bad thing. Unfortunately too many of our citizens are beyond the reach of logic so you must learn this by experience. If only you could go alone! And certainly Barack did not invent deficit spending, he just ran against it (laughably) and then quintupled it in his first six months in office. That's all.

Posted by: megapotamus at July 8, 2009 05:29 PM

Dude, you're kidding right? Referring to decades of train wrecks is an apt description of socialism. Hey, let's look back a bit shall we? Remember how all those Russians lived the sweet life in fancy houses and drove really nice cars? And remember how all those West Germans kept climbing over that wall ,despite the pesky machine gun bullets, to bask in the freedom of East Germany. And how about all those times retirees in Florida turned their Buicks and Crown Vics into boats to cross 90 miles of ocean just to set foot in the workers paradise of Cuba? Of course none of that happened, because those countries had nothing but socialist government out their ass. Wake up junior,it's been tried,failed and discarded by every group of people with more brains than an ACORN organizer. It will take more than unicorns and rainbow soup to make it work here.

Posted by: Chuck at July 9, 2009 06:43 PM

Chuck: No, I'm not kidding at all. You're taking my comments completely out of context and then using examples that have nothing to do with what I'm suggesting is the future for our country. ALL of the countries that you mention in your comparison are or were communist countries. I'm not talking about communism.

My point is that we're going to see more aspects of socialism integrated into our free market system. It isn't an either/or situation. It's both. Canada and most of western Europe are prime examples of what I'm talking about. They are free market nations who also happen to incorporate some aspects of socialism into their systems. Are they perfect? No. Is our system perfect? Of course not. No political system is ever going to be perfect.

Fact is, we've had socialism in our system for generations now. Farm subsidies are a form of socialism. States and counties who give huge tax breaks and provide infrastructure at tax payers' expense in order to lure large businesses to their area is a form of socialism.

Employees of the federal, state and municipal governments who receive tax payer funded health care insurance are beneficiaries of a type of socialism. The list goes on and on. We have a socialized highway system, fire protection and police services, public education, etc.

You're the one who needs to wake up. Furthermore, if your arguments have any validity at all, why do you need to insult people who have a different point of view than yours? It's because your arguments leak like a sieve.

Posted by: Dude at July 10, 2009 12:36 PM


You're right, I shouldn't have been so familiar with my discourse. No insult intended.

However, the main point remains intact. Government has NEVER managed ANYTHING efficiently. Every example you cite is a black hole of tax dollars. Farm subsidies are the worst kind of regressive burden on low income folks. European countries that rely on massive exports to the US to substain their welfare states are now teetering on the brink of insolvency. Canada's "socialism" is only possible through their symbiotic paracitism of the US.

You said:"States and counties who give huge tax breaks and provide infrastructure at tax payers' expense in order to lure large businesses to their area is a form of socialism". Really, Tax breaks at taxpayers expense? Please tell me exactly how many dollars the state would bring in WITHOUT that industry. I believe the answer is ZERO. So how is even zero less than zero? Of course the difference is that the state will reap the benefits of (choose your number) of NEW employees paying all the various and sundry other taxes the state imposes.

You may choose to paint the socialist state in the best possible light, I refuse to. I can point to any number of abject failures of socialist states. I challenge you to point out a state that failed because they choose the non-socialist path.

Posted by: Chuck at July 10, 2009 03:10 PM

Hey Chuck,

Thanks for the civil response. Apology accepted.

For the record, I'm not advocating farm subsidies for US Farmers. My point is that they ARE a form of socialism and that most farmers who receive the subsidies DO advocate them, regardless of political affiliation; Democrat, Republican or Independent. The effect of US farm subsides on other nations is another topic altogether, one worthy of discussion, to be sure. Nevertheless, the fact remains that the subsidies are a form of socialism that directly benefit folks here in the US who aren't, for the most part, poor folks by any measure.

As for your statement: "Canada's "socialism" is only possible through their symbiotic paracitism of the US", I would suggest that it is more of a mutualistic symbiosis than parasitic. Both nations benefit. Again, that's another whole topic in itself for another discussion.

You make my point for me regarding my statement that "States and counties who give huge tax breaks and provide infrastructure at tax payers' expense in order to lure large businesses to their area is a form of socialism". I didn't say that this practice is a bad thing. I only said that it's a form of socialism. You're absolutely correct when you list the benefits to the state of having such policies in place. In fact, Down South, where I live, states aggressively compete with each other to offer the sweetest deals to private companies in order to bring them into our states. In my opinion that's usually, with a few exceptions, a win-win situation for everyone: the private companies, citizens who have good jobs and for the states whose revenue coffers eventually benefit from the sweet deals offered to the private companies.

Keep in mind also, please, that in many cases it isn't just tax deductions offered to these companies when luring them into a state or municipality. In the case of the new VW plant under construction in Chattanooga, you can read a list of the free goodies offered to VW by Chattanooga, Hamilton County and the state of Tennessee at this page:

Again, I'm not against this policy. In fact, I think it's a great idea for the economy of our state and that region in particular. I'm simply calling it what it is: A form of socialism.

I, too, can point out a long list of "abject failures of socialist states", IF we're talking pure, ideological socialism. Of course, "pure" socialism will always be a failure. That isn't what I'm talking about.

Though I can't point out "a state that failed because they choose the non-socialist path": I don't know of ANY successful states that haven't incorporated some forms of socialism into their political/economic system. I CAN point out a list of states (nations) that have and are becoming pure socialist and communist states because the ruling minority elite of those nations didn't have enough sense to offer a fair shake to the majority poor of their nations. Think Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba to mention a few North American nations.

To be perfectly clear, I'm not advocating the current political leadership in those countries. My point here is that the systems that we most fear here in America are now a reality in those nations simply because of the lack of foresight, and greed, of the previous leadership of those nations.

Kind Regards,

Posted by: Dude at July 10, 2009 09:00 PM

"Not advocating" total socialism, he says. Just like what Lenin said to the Kulaks. lol.

Anyway, hopefully the AA Messiah will flame out soon enough for his & others' red-bannered fantasies NOT to become reality.

Posted by: Nine-of-Diamonds at July 11, 2009 09:03 PM