Live From The White House: Obama Plan For Job Growth

In a speech this morning, President Obama is expected to address the economy, and “outline some key priorities for encouraging businesses to invest and create jobs,” according to White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer. Will it work? Watch the speech here at 11:15 a.m. EST, and let us know what you think.

Update: Just in case you missed the live speech, here’s the replay:

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  1. Chargeback says:

    Until consumers deleverage, there will be no job creation…..

    • sonneillon says:

      We have done a pretty good job of that. Now it was forced because of credit not being available, but whatever the reason we have lessoned the amount of credit we use.

    • That's Consumer007 to you says:

      No it’s really until banks start making loans to small business and consumers AS THEY AGREED TO WHEN THEY GOT THE BAILOUT MONEY there will be no job creation.

  2. b-ridge says:

    I won’t sit with my fingers crossed, but his first priority should be cutting government spending and his second priority should be to reduce the tax burden on business so they can put more of their own money into growth. That is exactly what fixed the depression in 1920 that everyone blissfully ignores when they encourage the things we keep doing to make this depression worse.

    • Coelacanth says:

      My understanding from history was that the years after the Great Depression leading up to WWII was a comical series of “New Deals” experimenting with radically different policies. While the Labor Boards of yesterday seem to be the much more extreme parallel to today’s Pay Czars and government investment in private companies, I believe it was the Second World War that was really responsible for the recovery.

      Please let me know when “trickle-down economics” has ever worked successfully. While I’m not an economist, I’m not aware of too many examples which didn’t increase the divide between rich and poor, ultimately hurting the middle class.

      • FatLynn says:

        You are correct, sir. The war ended the depression. If you look at the 30′s, the economy was best in the years that the government spent the most.

      • ARP says:

        Sort of, but not entirely. If you look at the stats from the years leading to WWII, we were on a definite upswing. So, yes, I think WWII was the final “push” that we needed, but things were recovering on their own.

      • Trai_Dep says:

        …Because they cut stimulus spending too much and too quickly, because of yammering from the Right about deficits when there were bigger problems to solve.
        So your lesson from history is to repeat that, and instigate WWIII?
        Wait. WHAT?!

    • TouchMyMonkey says:

      Why is it that certain people just assume that if businesses pay less in taxes, they’ll automatically reinvest the savings as if by magic? Doesn’t recent experience indicate that the money is far more likely to end up in the pockets of a few top executives instead?

      • QuantumRiff says:

        Why is it that people assume most large business pay much at all in taxes? really, go look at the percentage of income that large companies, that can afford armies of tax accountants actually pay. Isn’t it something like the 6 biggest companies in the US don’t pay a dime in taxes?

        • Naame says:

          Overall, I pay more % in taxes than Microsoft did in Q1 of this year according to their released statements. I pay something like 25% overall and they paid 18% I think it was…

        • Trai_Dep says:

          So, rather than pursue them, or update the laws, let’s simply pass a law saying the rich or the corporations pay no tax. Since collecting money from them is so h-a-r-d!
          Can we make up for the shortfall from you first?

    • ARP says:

      Question: How did the great depression happen in the first place? I think it was a lot of banks (and people) overborrowing and overlending, lack of regulation in the financial markets, and rampant speculation. So many of the conditions (if not cause) were due to the “free” market and sound very similar to our recent history. As to your statement that the spending made things worse, I think that’s a Fox News talking point that everyone just says as if its obvious, when it’s not true. This is similar to the statement made by Beck, Bachman, et. al, [paraphrasing] “we all know the Community Reinvestment Act required banks to lend to minorities and others who couldn’t afford a mortgage.” That’s not true at all.

      Heavy government spending actually increased the stats that matter (e.g. employment and wages). In fact, isn’t a World War, just another variant of government spending?

      As to your statement that reducing corporate taxes will cause them to reinvest- doesn’t recent history show the opposite. Essentially those savings are used for salaries and bonuses. Also, what was the corporate tax rates during our other times of growth? In the 50′s and 60′s, it was at 50%+. Individual rates were even higher. So, this tautology of “cut taxes” and “reduce spending” feels correct to wealthy conservatives and those who think they may be some day, but it often doesn’t have a basis in financial reality.

      • michaelgibbons says:

        Question: How did the great depression happen in the first place? I think it was a lot of banks (and people) overborrowing and overlending, lack of regulation in the financial markets, and rampant speculation. So many of the conditions (if not cause) were due to the “free” market and sound very similar to our recent history.

        Banks can’t overborrow and leverage 30 times unless the Fed sets a interest rate that’s too low.

        So wouldn’t it be the fault of the Fed who was persuaded by the Clinton Administration to set low interest rates during the Internet bubble, and then Greenspan who did after 9/11.

        None of this seems free-market to me at all as a price or interest rate is set most accurately by a free market.

        • ARP says:

          So when the banks overborrow and act recklessly, its the Fed’s fault for offering them the money . When people overborrow, its “lack of personal responsibility,” “buying too much house,” etc.?

          • michaelgibbons says:

            Both are culpable, but it was only made possible by government.

            • littleAK says:

              That seems to say that whenever a bank or business is given an opportunity to spend, whether it is responsible to do so or not, it will. Even if part of the issue was that the Fed set a low interest rate, doesn’t the bank’s actions when presented with an ability to overspend speak ill of free market and what big business will do if it is able?

              Holding the interest rate low isn’t a pure evil action that only begets negative consequences. There was more at play causing the current economic woes.

              • michaelgibbons says:

                Even if part of the issue was that the Fed set a low interest rate

                This was the issue. Everything that happened afterward was just the aftermath, in my eyes.

                That seems to say that whenever a bank or business is given an opportunity to spend, whether it is responsible to do so or not, it will.

                You can say the same thing about a consumption-based economy in general. And for the homeowners who bought houses with NINJAs and banks who were underwriting such loans. I think you’re so quick to blame the banks. But the truth of the matter was that everyone was complicit in the house of cards.

            • Tiber says:

              If the government is at least partially responsible simply because it allowed something to happen, isn’t that also arguing for a nanny state?

        • Naame says:

          Even so, the banks were in 100% control of every single dollar they chose to lend. They could have denied any bad deal they wished, but they didn’t. I am not apologizing for any bad roll the government had in this mess, but to think that only one side was at fault or more at fault than the other is ludicrous.

          • michaelgibbons says:

            Agreed. But then you also need to place appropriate blame on those who didn’t save properly for a house or made aggressive investments at too old of an age.

      • littleAK says:

        ” In fact, isn’t a World War, just another variant of government spending?”

        IMHO – Quote of the day!

  3. msingerman says:

    Are you sure you don’t mean the Great Depression of the 1930s? The 1920s were a time of booming economic growth…

    But anyway, I hope the Democrats use this as a chance to kill two birds with one stone: generate more jobs by investing heavily in infrastructure repair, from highways to mass transit, including repair of vehicles. I know that in DC, we could certainly use some major investment in Metro maintenance and repair.

  4. apd09 says:

    What the government is not realizing about the original stimulus and any future potential stimulus to job growth is that unless it is designed to benefit organizations not associated with the Federal or State government it will fail. The original stimulus managed to save and create government jobs but strangely the jobless rate kept rising and the government now needs to do this because originally all they were concerned with was keeping their own jobs safe.

  5. mannyvel says:

    Well really, how are his policies geared towards job creation:

    * higher taxes
    * more government spending

    The only jobs that government can create are government jobs. Those are basically financial transfers, because they’re paid via taxes (or deficit spending). If Obama had actually worked in a real business, he (or his staff) may have had an understanding of why, how, and under what conditions businesses hire more workers.

    Here’s a protip for the administration: if nobody’s buying, businesses won’t hire anyone. If people are buying, businesses will wait for a while before hiring to make sure the uptick isn’t a blip. No amount of tax credit (which aren’t that useful, because you still need to be able to cover the expense until the end of year) will make that process faster.

    With massive taxes (due to obamacare, the current federal spending levels, and the probability of higher state taxes due to the strapped finances) coming down the pipe, I’d be surprised if anyone would be crazy enough to start hiring anyone until at least Q2.

    Other note: the low number of job losses last month may be due to the fact that there’s nobody left to fire.

  6. Trai_Dep says:

    The President should lean on the states to improve their freaken’ schooling.
    Since most of those parroting the Fox News line are divorced from history of even two years ago, when, after an eight-year-long rule, the Free Market Fundamentalists removed prudent regulation of mega-corps (that were allowed to grow Too Big To Fail by – drum roll – Conservatives!). Freed from adult supervision, they quickly enriched themselves by torching everyone else’s retirement and leveraging their children (and grandchildren’s) future. Imagine if Palin & McCain were running the country, after being handed the smoking ruins created by Bush to fairly judge Obama: do you REALLY think our economy would be in better shape? Really?!
    He should also lean on the states to improve their freaken’ schooling since some are seemingly incapable of reading charts. Investment spending? Negligible. Consumer spending? Absurdly low. Leaving what? Government spending. Add to that, a Fed Rate that’s close to the Zero Bound, and most reasonable people would realize that monetary policies are largely irrelevant at this juncture. Leaving us only the possibility of Hoovertowns to look forward to, if we adapted “Conservative” principles to get us out of the immolation created largely by… The Conservatives.

    It all comes down to education – or lack thereof.

    • Naame says:

      You are on the right track, but more specifically we need a specific kind of education. What a lot of people do not realize is that there are a great many jobs out there within specific industries and the problem is we hardly have anyone qualified to do them. I believe that at least part of the solution to this problem is to make available modernized vocational schools. The skills needed to do many of these jobs do not need a college degree, but they do need anywhere between 3-24 months worth of schooling that focuses on how to do certain jobs that require specific skills.

      We need more than just that though. We need some major revamps to policy. We need a modern jobs bill and that bill needs to be a modern New Deal.

      “A jobs policy without an industrial policy, without a revamped trade policy, without a policy directed at reducing inequality will be nothing more than a Band-Aid. It might hold us together for a little while. But what we desperately need is surgery.”

      • ARP says:

        Hear hear. Look, we know that college isn’t for everyone, but there are lot of great jobs that don’t require college. The American HS system usually pushes academics with a smattering of vocational training. We should be pushing academic AND THEN doing an add-on public schooling of 3-24 months for those who aren’t attending two or four year colleges (or in conjunction with them) to learn a certain vocation: Carpentry, mechanics, electrician, plumber, maintain solar panels or wind generators, basic surveying for public transportation programs. Perhaps I’ve drunken the Kool-aid, but some public works programs really can create good paying jobs, if they’re managed properly and give us a net benefit.

      • Trai_Dep says:

        I agree. One-size-fits-all doesn’t work. I like Europe’s approach: academic and vocational tracks, both rigorous and useful.
        Although, there are tracking concerns: one reason they fell to the wayside here is from concerns that administrators were picking “winners & losers” by dividing children into those these categories, which would then set these thirteen-year-olds into life-altering paths.
        Of course, the apprentice route leading to the trades would have to be an option that’s economically viable, which brings into focus how, and whether, labor can provide a reasonable income in the face of Conservative hostility and global outsourcing… A tough nut.

      • michaelgibbons says:

        Your calls for a national education plan are mind-blowing. Indoctrination of our children is scary, this is why public education is best handled on the local level and financed only by property/local taxes. That way parents voices can literally be heard in their town’s gymnasium.

        You like and Trai_Deep like the idea now presumably because Barack Obama is the president. But what if Sarah Palin were president? Wouldn’t you be afraid that your children would be subject to her crazy theories on whatever?

        Conservatives actually did have it right at one point in time on education; the federal government needs to stay the heck out.

        • ARP says:

          Can you please discuss the specific indoctrination that is going on? And before you answer, not that both Reagan and Bush II went to schools (which was televised) and talked about the policies they wanted. Also, how would moving it to the state or local level prevent indoctrination? In fact, I thin it would be worse. If I lived in an ultraconservative community, I wouldn’t want my kid to be taught that all gays deserve to die of AID’s, or that the Beck or Palin is the source of any truth.

          As to your proposal, I believe that creates a schooling disparity that’s much worse than it is now (and believe me, its bad). Essentially, you’re saying that children of poor people deserve bad schools, because its the child’s fault they’re poor. If you do it at the state level, then you’ll have many of same problems that exist at the Federal Level. If you do it at the local level, then the disparity will be enormous. Also, who would set academnic standards, the state? So, a child from the Bible belt can graduate with honors without learning the scientific method (ie evolution) or that we interned the Japanese during WWII (you know, because America is a good country and incapable of doing bad things- like tourture). There’s always room for improvement, but I think the Federal Government does have a role in setting standards, resolving funding disparities, and setting educational priorities (e.g. we need more engineers).

          • michaelgibbons says:

            Can you please discuss the specific indoctrination that is going on? And before you answer, not that both Reagan and Bush II went to schools (which was televised) and talked about the policies they wanted. Also, how would moving it to the state or local level prevent indoctrination? In fact, I thin it would be worse. If I lived in an ultraconservative community, I wouldn’t want my kid to be taught that all gays deserve to die of AID’s, or that the Beck or Palin is the source of any truth.

            I already mentioned all of this. On a local level your parent’s voice can actually be heard. If a federal board is mandate what people learn, control is nearly completely out of your hands. It’s an easy concept to understand. It’s really what makes America so great—small communities. And if one is ultraconservative, so be it just as some towns are ultra liberal to the dismay of some of its citizens.

        • Naame says:

          I don’t think you understand how vocational schools work. Most successful vocational school programs like those in Europe are actually supported very much by both local and large businesses who contribute a lot to them. They primarily decide what is taught rather than the government because they are the ones who are aware of what is in demand. They love vocational schools because they help shape future employees which fit perfectly with what generates their revenue the most. Vocational schools are also very capable of adjusting quickly to the times in order to educate and train people to what is in high demand by the employers which is very much unlike what traditional 4 year college programs teach.

          It is a win/win situation for everyone and it is has already been proven in other countries. How in any shape or form is this indoctrination? While the government would regulate the schools to a degree, they wouldn’t be forcing people to go to these schools. They wouldn’t have to because I guarantee you that people will want to go. Nor do they decide what people are taught once in them since the markets of the modern age basically dictate that naturally.

          Also, I work for my local school system and I can tell you that the Fed is not the problem. The problems stem at the state level which trickles down to the county level. If the state’s fail to regulate properly then that means no one is watching the members of the county school boards properly which leads to a lot of corruption throughout. It starts from the top and while the Fed does have influence over that it is primarily the states which make all of the real decisions. Trust me. I am exposed to this stuff every day at work.

          • michaelgibbons says:

            Also, I work for my local school system and I can tell you that the Fed is not the problem. The problems stem at the state level which trickles down to the county level. If the state’s fail to regulate properly then that means no one is watching the members of the county school boards properly which leads to a lot of corruption throughout. It starts from the top and while the Fed does have influence over that it is primarily the states which make all of the real decisions. Trust me. I am exposed to this stuff every day at work.

            Would you agree that these problems are more easily correctable than if the federal government was in charge?

            • Naame says:

              Absolutely not. The Fed helps far more than it hurts in most cases that I have been involved with. The states and the county run the real show and are responsible for the real successes and failures.

              I am not permitted to start talking any details pertaining to numbers and such, but just to provide you a recent example I will say that the education portion of the recent stimulus literally saved public education.

    • michaelgibbons says:

      Ever since the federal government became more involved in education, it’s gotten notably worse.

      • ARP says:

        You mean for middle upper class white people? Maybe. Seriously, could you expand on your thoughts here. How do you think its gotten worse? Has it gotten worse for everyone or just select (preferred?) groups? Is this based on a article or research or just your opinion (I’m not a cite nazi, I just want to know the basis)?

        I agree that our education system has a long way to go, but I don’t find comment like these very helpful without specifics. Actually, under the previous president, things got much worse, since he mandating standardized testing (forcing schools to teach to a test and not to life) and added requirements without funding (unfunded mandate).

        • michaelgibbons says:

          You mean for middle upper class white people? Maybe. Seriously, could you expand on your thoughts here. How do you think its gotten worse? Has it gotten worse for everyone or just select (preferred?) groups? Is this based on a article or research or just your opinion (I’m not a cite nazi, I just want to know the basis)?

          It’s gotten worse for everyone and even more so for inner city children. We spend more on them per pupil than suburban students, and they get a worse education and have serious safety concerns.

          http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d03234.pdf

          Any study is going to be subjective on the matter of the quality of education, but the CW is that the education in America has been on a decline.

          http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2008/11/19/US-slipping-in-education-rankings/UPI-90221227104776/

          Reading and writing skills have been theorized to a serious hit due to the focus on standardized testing so you can get into a good college and consequently a good job—something drilled into most of us. And instead, we probably should focus more on being well-rounded and well-read. That’s just my opinion, though. But at the very least we should allow children to have more options in their learning.

          http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/24/AR2005122400701.html

          • littleAK says:

            This is an argument against standardized testing, not government intervention, though. Public school systems sans *any* intervention from the government would be in much worse condition than they even are now.

      • ballistic90 says:

        You mean ‘Every Child Left Behind’? Oh wait, it was SUPPOSED to be ‘No Child Left Behind’. I honestly couldn’t tell.

        There has to be a standard that every school has to conform to, but we need someone very educated generally and well-versed within the school system to build these standards, and then you’ll see the Federal government influence pay off.

        • michaelgibbons says:

          Wait, so you agree with me? Or do you not realize that that massive failed program was created by and tinkered by the federal government.

          Clearly, you just want what you believe works to be what every American child has to follow. Even if you’re the smartest educator in the country you can’t create a singular program that works for the 85+MM children.

          • Naame says:

            Again, working in this sector has allowed me to see some things that most do not get to see unless they dig through lots of public records.

            In short, the concept behind “No Child Left Behind” can be either a blessing or a curse depending on how the state runs their education system. Whether you approve of his principles or not, Obama was right in the sense that the biggest failure with the concept was that the money was left behind. The fact is that it is expensive, but high quality education is never cheap. It is designed to put both the states and the counties in a position where they are forced to find ways to fairly distribute the service of public education in such a way that everyone benefits. Not just middle class. Not just the poor. Not just the rich. Not just the white, the blacks, the hispanics, etc. Everyone.

            It is a very fair policy. It isn’t perfect though. The main imperfection lies within the states and counties themselves because while the Fed is setting a standard it is completely up to the states and counties to decide upon the ways which they will meet that standard. Some states and counties have managed to come up with ways that work right along side with it very nicely and it has had a positive effect on the overall education of that state. You can thank superior teachers and fine educational governance on a state and county level for that as well as the Fed for inspiring them to do so. Likewise, you can primarily blame the states and counties for the failures and usually it is because they spend more time fighting the standard and doing the minimum to get by rather than working along side with it and trying to actually improve public education.

            • littleAK says:

              My experience based on how my child is educated under NCLB is that the kids are now trained to pass the tests, so the school doesn’t lose its funding. In one class my daughter had, they specifically learned test-related items and took practice tests all year. When the official test was over, her teacher stopped giving homework and tests altogether.

              The policy is rooted in the idea of fairness, but the results have often been less than fair and less than optimal for creating an environment that produces children that know how to learn, not just pass tests. (At least in NE Ohio)

          • Skankingmike says:

            you mean the program bush signed? the one McCain backed?

        • littleAK says:

          Thank you! When I read michaelgibbon’s post, I immediately thought – No Child Left Behind! There is good intervention and bad intervention. NCLB was an example of poor government intervention. Funding for books, equipment, salaries, etc. is crucial to schools in low income areas. While these types of schools rarely benefitted from NCLB, their need for funding (considered “intervention”) remains.

    • Erwos says:

      So, basically, we should educate our children to hold the exact same political opinions as you because you’ve got the right ones. Ironically, I think you’ve made a very good argument against that idea just by stating it.

      • Trai_Dep says:

        I’m arguing that we should base decisions on demonstrable fact and reason, not faith.
        And “magic of the marketplace” and “business will self-regulate” – Libertarianism, in other words – is faith-based. As are any so-called cures put forward by Conservatives.
        NOT conservatives, mind you – I’m referring to the movement Conservatives.

        • Erwos says:

          That “faith” is based on a whole lot of math. You should try reading an intermediate microeconomics textbook one day, you might be shocked at what you find.

    • Bobspamming says:

      Haha… Any one remember when people had to have facts or at least a good idea about what was going on before making rash claims in a public forum?

      I am not interested in addressing all your prejudges Trai_Dep, but I would really like you to have a little more practical knowledge before making your asinine and prejudicial claims.

      A basic rule of national economics is that is takes usually between 8-15 years for any economic policy to really have full effect on our nation. Since it usually takes about 3 years for the effects of a bill to hit the economy and most bills have some kind of delayed start on when each of the items in the bill must go into effect. If things where just CHANGED then everyone would be out of compliance since it takes time to know, understand, and implement a change in the way things are done to keep current with the law.

      Bush inherited an economic mess from the Clinton administration who squandered the growing stable economy passed on from Regan and Bush Sr.

      Any given presidential administration gets the blame/credit for the economic policies left to them since any changed they make probably won’t effect the economy till after they are out of office. The big difference with the current administration is that they are trying to force all these bills through with very little “warm up” time before they go into effect. This would allow them to make the most use of their new laws because they will actually start to have effects while the administration is still in office. Although most every credible economist is saying that what is currently being done is going to GREATLY increase the length of this recession, if not prenatally cripple our economy.

      (P.S. that “surplus” that we supposedly had under the Clinton administration? If you look closely he actually increased spending but decreased the budgeted amount that would pay on the national debit to make it look like he had freed up money.)

  7. InuYasha8908 says:

    Honestly, it was not reducing the tax burden on businesses that fixed the Great Depression of 1920. Truely it was advertisment and propaganda. People were encouraged to buy on credit, ( as what we are in now) and to pay later. Yet when the bills came and were not paid, what happened then. The buisnesses, especially the multinational corporations are what is wrong with America. America was “great” when we had small buisnesses who cared for their employees, even with large corporations, like steel mills, had care plans for their employees.
    Want to create jobs? Look back to the New Deal of FDR. Federal programs that gave jobs to repave roads, build firelines and fire watch posts in forests. Dont forget it does take time to dig out of eight years of failure to show some progress.

    • BytheSea says:

      I thought the war ended the depression. Took most of the enemployed out of the country and gave them a job overseas and put a lot of other people to work in their place. Created a ton of new jobs in new an innovative industries and created new industries. Can we have another popular war, please?

  8. zandar says:

    Public spending before WWII did gradually improve the economy. Stats from the period bear this out. Once the New Deal was up and running, the economy slowly began to improve. The only years during the Great Depression when the economy got worse is when the deficit hawks got uppity about the amount of spending, spending slackened and the economy began to tank immediately as a result. It may not have been a mechanism for full recovery, but
    the “comical” WPA gave people jobs, so they could actually survive long enough to see the end of the depression. This was kind of important, unless starvation and death is no big deal.

    How would tax breaks for businesses help? We already have a system with enough loopholes for the largest businesses to dodge paying the bulk of what they already owe. Not sure how decreasing this burden would help the real world in any way.

    Now, what I do believe in is legally excusing the tax burden of the nation’s small businesses. That I think would result in real jobs. For the largest businesses, I think we need to find a way for them to pay the real price of their negligence and monopolistic practices. Perhaps by closing those loopholes (for instance, eliminating offshore tax shelters and forcing the largest online retailers to pay state sales tax). If some giants have to split up and compete amongst themselves, all the better.

    • Naame says:

      I think this guy understands what the core problem is. He is right. Going back to “Normal” is not an option.

      http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2009124902/fixing-jobs-normal-isn-t-option

    • what+the_smack says:

      What stats are you referring to? I guess you can say unemployment dipped below 20%…so I guess that is relative improvement…Bottom line is the New Deal destroyed commerce & kept the economy stagnant for a decade. By the way, who were these deficit hawks?

      “For the largest businesses, I think we need to find a way for them to pay the real price of their negligence and monopolistic practices” -Those are just sweeping generalities my friend.

      I’m a business owner. It make me throw up last night’s PF Chang’s when someone tells me the government can do more with my dollar than I can.

  9. Kid Awesome says:

    I’m interested to hear what the new plan is. So far the goverment has pumped BILLIONS into large banks, dropped interest rates and bailed out some large companies with limited results (see GM and current unemployment).

    Although many companies are doing better than they were last year they are saving money by bleeding jobs and cutting benefits. The working class is still hurting and things do not appear to be getting better. The stock market may be up but that does little to put food on the table for millions of people.

    I don’t know the solution, but then again I never said I did, nor promised I would improve things. Good luck Washington, I hope this works, whatever this is.

    • ARP says:

      One of the biggest problems with giving money to the banks was that they simply put it in their (depleted) reserves and didn’t lend it to anyone. What little money they had, they gave themselves great bonuses. What would have provided a more direct benefit to the economy would have been to given money to people to pay down their mortgages. It would have prevented foreclosures and let banks get their money the “traditional” way.

      Of course, the elephant in the room is the fundamental fairness of this approach. Why are we giving money to (some) irresponsible people? What about renters? How would it be allocated?

      We’ve found that simply cutting taxes didn’t work, so they decided to use the Stimulus approach. I think its going to take a while before we see any benefit. Of course, given how tempramental Americans are, we’ll probably vote a number of people out, reverse course, and go back to our old ways Voodoo economics- deficit-based tax cuts for the wealthy, that provide short term relief for the general economy and a lot of benefit for the ultra wealthy, but don’t addresss any underlying issues.

      • michaelgibbons says:

        What would have provided a more direct benefit to the economy would have been to given money to people to pay down their mortgages. It would have prevented foreclosures and let banks get their money the “traditional” way.

        You attack the executives who took bonus money and imply they’re greedy and selfish. And then you suggest we give people money to pay down their mortgages?

        • ARP says:

          If you’re asking me to decide between a middle class family that’s over their head because of job loss, medical bills, etc and an executive who’s already making millions, getting a few more million, I’ll choose the family for both moral and economic reasons. Its well known that middle class tax cuts and benefits programs help the economy more because they spend the money (they need to). Is it Randian objectivism? Nope. Don’t care either.

          • michaelgibbons says:

            No, I’m asking you to be consistent. Many of the Wall Streeters who you indiscretionally loathe probably became a middle class stiff (much like myself) that you portrayed in your reply.

            And why stop at mortgages? Let’s help people pay down their cars, cell phone plans, and other contracts that they entered knowingly.

            • Naame says:

              I’m not saying I support the decision to pay those down using tax dollars, but you must admit that it is pretty fucked up that these people walked into the contracts knowingly, were more than capable of being able to afford them, and then got screwed by a bunch of super rich financial yahoos and the Bush administration for completely wiping out our economy and leaving so many people unemployed and unable to fulfill the agreements of those contracts.

              Many of these people did nothing wrong yet they are being punished heavily as a result of the financial risks made by others. Why should they be punished because these investments went under? They didn’t take any risks. They didn’t sign up for the investments. They would not have reaped any benefits if those risky investments succeeded. Yet, they lose it all when they fold? How is that fair? Isn’t a basic concept behind the purpose of a government to protect us from the wrong doings of others?

              • michaelgibbons says:

                Of course I feel badly. I had a family member who got crushed and a few who are underwater but have steady jobs and aren’t moving anytime soon. But the solution isn’t to take other peoples’ money and pay down their mortgages.

                The people who worked at Fannie Mae, Countrywide, and employees who analyzed the loan underwriting and CDOs and credit-default swaps are probably pleasant people. And I bet they thought they were doing a good thing, and told their friends “Ya I work in mortgages and try to help people get into homes.” I doubt they thought the good times were going to end.

                And therein lies the main issue. The market would never have permitted such loans. But cue the cheap borrowing and Fannie and Freddie, and its fostered such an environment.

                So it is rather upsetting to me when we keep attacking the banks! the banks! the banks! I feel like the bitterness is so misguided and ignorant when we have many of the facts laid out in front of us now that we stand in the smoldering ashes of the crash.

        • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

          Not that am I fan of the greedy banks getting TARP funding, but although normally, putting money in the hands of the people is a good thing, in this case, it wouldn’t have worked as intended. Money would have gone to paying down mortgages and credit card bills–money paid for services and things already purchased, not new spending for goods and services–and at the end of the day, the money arrives in the vaults of the banks anyway.

  10. flugennock says:

    Actually, I haven’t heard the speech, but I know what the plan is… it’s called “escalating Afghanistan”.

    http://sinkers.org/stage/?p=299

    • Naame says:

      You’re kidding right? I believed that back when Bush was pres. and there was seemly no end in sight while the military was handed a blank check, but that is hardly the case anymore.

  11. cmdr.sass says:

    Whatever the plan is, I hope it doesn’t cost us $246,000+ per job, like the earlier stimulus plan

  12. michaelgibbons says:

    The government cannot create anything because it has nothing. It only has what it takes from others and re-allocates it. Thus, to successfully create a job you must first take from the efficient and give to the inefficient. It’s a hard task that fails more often than not; the New Deal showed us that it’s a near impossible job, yet this administration wants to give it another shot.

    • dragonfire81 says:

      “take from the efficient and give to the inefficient” – Isn’t that the basic principle behind socialism and redistribution of wealth? The same things some folks are terrified Obama is enacting in america?

      • michaelgibbons says:

        Yes. Because it has a poor track record of succeed and then there’s large overhead costs with the bureaucracies that facilitate such capital transfers.

        • ballistic90 says:

          This would matter if the wealthy were actually paying a tax proportional to what they make. As it is, they pay a much smaller percentage (see capital gains tax) than the average American. Considering that the ‘Conservative’ approach is to cut their taxes, and then to give them the stimulus in order to have this ‘trickle down’, I guess that would instead be ‘stealing from the poor and giving to the rich’?

          I have news for you, if you give the money to the companies that make money (the ‘efficient’ as you put it), they don’t spend it. They put it in with the rest of their reserve funds to pump up the value of their stock to their shareholders while continuing to lay off staff to further increase their apparent wealth.

          At least if you give money to the ‘poor’, they can pay their bills, keep from starving, and in a lot of cases, spend more money on everything which STILL ends up going into the hands of the wealthy (or ‘efficient’).

          • michaelgibbons says:

            This would matter if the wealthy were actually paying a tax proportional to what they make. As it is, they pay a much smaller percentage (see capital gains tax) than the average American.

            This is commonly cited as fact, but is just a myth. The rich pay more tax dollars proportionally and of course in real terms. And who do they pay less than, proportionally?

            I have news for you, if you give the money to the companies that make money (the ‘efficient’ as you put it), they don’t spend it.

            You’re quite good at putting words into my mouth. I don’t want to give federal money to anyone.

            • Naame says:

              That is not true when it comes to local and state taxes. Only federal taxes. While at the same time I paid more % in federal taxes than Microsoft did in Q1 of this year according to their released statements. I pay something like 25% overall and they paid 18% as I stated in a previous comment. It is a good example of how the rich are supposed to pay more, but so many find ways to pay less.

              • michaelgibbons says:

                Who pays the most in property taxes?

                • Naame says:

                  Read this:

                  http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2009114722/what-ever-happened-good-times-tax-cutters-promised

                  Or at least consider this segment from the article:

                  “only two states require their best-off citizens to pay as much of their incomes in taxes as their very poorest taxpayers must pay, and only one state taxes its wealthiest individuals at a higher effective rate than middle-income families have to pay.”

                  America’s most affluent 1 percent now pay, on average, just 6.4 percent of their incomes in state and local taxes. But they actually pay even less than that, since they can deduct their state and local taxes from their federal tax bill. The state and local tax burden on America’s rich, after taking this offset into account, drops to 5.2 percent.

                  Middle-income families — to be precise, those families who make up the middle fifth of America’s income distribution — pay, after the federal offset, 9.4 percent of their incomes in total state and local taxes.

                  America’s poorest families pay even more. Tax collectors take 10.9 percent of the incomes of households in the nation’s bottom 20 percent, more than double the share they take from the incomes of the nation’s top 1 percent.”

                  Property taxes and federal income taxes are not the only taxes…

                • Skankingmike says:

                  Depends on the state. Many companies have tax breaks so that the companies stay in those states. Some companies never pay property taxes as the income tax on those people and subsequent property taxes on those people (from the houses they will ideally buy), and sales taxes from the good the employed will purchase: will make up for the nominal property tax corporations will pay.

                  You need to do a little more research.

    • Naame says:

      You do realize that one of the core reasons why we are having so many problems is because too much American wealth has been aggregated to the hands of so few (you call them the efficient). Their system was run upon a principle that they never had to give their fair share back and that there was no limit to the wealth they could accumulate from the rest of America. Instead of finding ways to grow their profits by creating jobs they are constantly finding ways to grow profits by eliminating or outsourcing jobs. What some guy in India or China cannot do they look towards technology to fulfill automatically instead. They look for ways to consolidate work within smaller divisions of people while laying as many off as they can as they reduce the pay of the rest.

      They were wrong. There is a limit and now that no one has any money any more they are feeling the pain. We all are. Yet, you want to give even more money to these people? You want to aggregate even more wealth to the few whose methods of “growth” no longer revolve around the creation of jobs due to the changing time and advancement of technology?

      • michaelgibbons says:

        You do realize that one of the core reasons why we are having so many problems is because too much American wealth has been aggregated to the hands of so few (you call them the efficient).

        No, I do not realize this nor do I accept your theory. I do think it’s a problem that people accumulate wealth through government policies.

        • Naame says:

          You are aren’t looking hard enough then. It is happening everywhere plus the concept is very simple. If more people had more money they would spend that money. That liquid cash didn’t just vanish into thin air. It got accumulated by the few who are not giving back by creating anywhere near as many good jobs as they used to. These days they are looking to conserve, consolidate, reduce payroll, and replace people with technology or those with very low wages in other countries.

          Granted, that is not the only reason for the issues but it is a big part of that problem.

          Also, I agree with you in the sense that corrupt governance leading to generating wealth amongst special interest groups sucks and is another part of the problem. Again though, it is not the only problem.

        • ARP says:

          Pleased to see you on the boards, Ms. Rand.

          • michaelgibbons says:

            Same to you, Mr. Marx.

            How come those who believe in the free-market are always cast as ideologues? Isn’t everyone?

  13. PsiCop says:

    The entire reason for massive unemployment in this recession, is that it gave businesses the perfect justification for axing employees by the million. Putting all those people out of work, artificially depresses wages, even for those who are still employed. The last thing businesses are going to want to do, is to rehire all those people they got rid of.

    The “carrot and stick” approach to “encouraging” businesses to rehire, is NOT going to work. Businesses have decided NOT to hire and they did so for what are, to them, very compelling reasons. Unless Obama can come up with coercive tactics that force companies to rehire people, which transcend their current goal (which is to keep wages low), nothing he offers will put a dent in unemployment.

    • Erwos says:

      You’re going to have to explain how you would implement your stick approach, because, frankly, it sounds pretty weird on the face of it. Force people to hire? What?

      • ARP says:

        It does. See my message above. People are killing themselves because they’re so afraid of losing their jobs and so companies won’t hire new people, because the fearful employees are doing more than their share of work.

        You can’t directly force companies to hire, but you can create consequences for those that push their existing labor too hard and remove incentives to outsource or bring in cheap, foreign labor.

        • Erwos says:

          That’s not forcing anyone to hire. Paying you off for a few days of vacation is peanuts compared to paying for a new worker. The H1B “crisis” is in an industry that’s surviving the recession quite well. But, more simply put, it seems odd to think that forcing companies to pay more for workers is going to incentivize them to hire more, and frankly flies in the face of the labor economics I studied in school. If you wanted to maximize the working population, you’d actually want to drop wages, not raise them.

          Cutting the work week to 35 hours, French style, might do it – but then you’d also be cutting salaries by 1/8. I’m sure that would get a lot of support by the 85%-90% of people still working… or not. That’s not even mentioning the more fundamental question of the limits of government interference – why should the government have the power to so drastically alter your private employment terms? Would it even pass Constitutional review?

          There’s no easy fix here, and trying to regulate your way out of an economic cycle strikes me as a poor solution.

      • PsiCop says:

        Well, my point is, there is no way to do it! I was being facetious when I said Obama would have to “coerce” employers to rehire. I can’t think of any way he could legally do that.

        So in the end, high unemployment is here, and it’s here to stay … at least until companies are satisfied that wages have been depressed long enough and low enough.

        • Erwos says:

          Sorry… some people on here ACTUALLY THINK the government should “force” low unemployment. It’s like a scene out of Atlas Shrugged or something.

    • ARP says:

      True, and when you combine it with the fact that employers are leaning on their existing employees even harder to be more productive (essentially saying, “you’re lucky you have a job, now work 14 hour days, or I’ll find someone that will”) and not increasing salaries (resulting in less spending), there isn’t much to be done about employment.

      There are some sticks, but people are afraid to use them. For example, cut the H1B program. Also, lower the deductions available to companies that outsource. Allow employees who don’t take vacations to “cash them in” so that giving an employee vacation time, but not letting them use it, creates a worse result.

    • michaelgibbons says:

      The entire reason for massive unemployment in this recession, is that it gave businesses the perfect justification for axing employees by the million.

      It’s not because they simply could not afford it, and would have otherwise folded?

      • Naame says:

        In some cases yes, but those are primarily small businesses, some medium sized businesses, and a few large businesses which cannot afford it only because they are so wasteful.

        A very large number of today’s layoffs, pay reductions, benefits reductions, raise refusals, bonus refusals, etc are based solely around ways for the businesses to make more money. These businesses have work to do but rather than create jobs they just reduce payroll and make those that get to keep their jobs work harder and longer with no added benefit such as raises or benefits increases. It does not have anything to do with survival in many cases. If they have work to be done then that means they should be able to create jobs because having work means someone is paying them for that work. Instead, these businesses have found ways to make people work longer and harder as they pocket all the savings.

        • michaelgibbons says:

          In some cases yes, but those are primarily small businesses, some medium sized businesses, and a few large businesses which cannot afford it only because they are so wasteful.

          That’s quite the generalization.

  14. badgeman46 says:

    We won’t have any significant expansion in the jobs market until Obama and company abandon their socialist agenda. They need to cut the corporate tax rate so businesses want to come to America, and businesses in america can hire more people, and those people spend their money at other businesses. Hope you like your spare change! I hear there is a spare change tax coming next.

    • That's Consumer007 to you says:

      Ummm…the same way giving banks all that free money encouraged lending? Not!

    • ARP says:

      Are you saying all administrations up to Reagan were socialist? Nixon capped salaries during the 70′s. The highest tax rates during the 50′s was 72% and corporate taxes were above 50%. It wasn’t until the mid-80′s that the tax rates for the highest earners dropped. Interesting, it was paid for by huge deficits. Reagan taught everyone that “deficts don’t matter,” unless you’re a Republican and there’s a Democrat in office trying to pass health care. Then suddenly, it matters a lot.

      I’m sorry, but the mantra of tax cuts in response to every question proved itself wrong a long time ago. And throwing around the socialist label shows you’re not “taking it seriously.”

      • PsiCop says:

        Re: “It wasn’t until the mid-80′s that the tax rates for the highest earners dropped. Interesting, it was paid for by huge deficits.”

        Actually it was also “paid for” by removing a lot of tax shelters/loopholes. The effect was that people were paying smaller tax rates but levied against a larger amount of money.

        The extent of this is what’s debatable. To this day, economists still have not decided how much of the increased revenues from the “Reagan tax (rate) cuts” came from the reduction of rates and (if supply-siders are to be believed, additional income that was generated), or from the elimination of tax shelters (which meant more money was taxed than had been before).

        Of course, I don’t expect a resolution to this any time soon. Economists are famous for never arriving at any meaningful conclusions about anything and for disagreeing on everything. I bet they wrangle over the color of the sky. (“It’s blue!” “No, it’s azure!” “No, it’s light sapphire!”) Moreover, the people most likely to run the numbers, happen also to have an ideological stake in the conclusion. Their word cannot be trusted.

    • Naame says:

      *sniff *sniff*

      So I smell…tea bags!?….wait no…it was just a Fox.

  15. Hakib says:

    @b-ridge: I’m not sure what history textbooks you’ve been reading, but I can assure you that even the Austrain School of Economics wouldn’t agree with you.

    FDR’s New Deal undeniably helped the economy climb out of the Great Depression. What it’s long term effects would have been, we may never know, since WWII came in and changed the economic paradigm. However the post-war economy remained as one very similar to what was laid out in the New Deal, and even during the 1960′s, when we saw the largest growth of our economy in history, the same idea of progressive taxation, and heavy govt focus on anti-trust and regulation activities was the norm.

    It could be argued that the Reagan Administration makes a good case for cutting taxes for small businesses, but that was a solution to stagflation, which isn’t the cause of our current situation.

    That being said, the current gap between the top 5% and median is the largest it has been IN HISTORY. People always say “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer”, but in this case it was the God’s honest truth. To me, that says the the current implementation of “trickle down economics” hasn’t worked. You might be able to argue that Reagan’s implementation worked (it didnt) but in this case, we NEED direct job creation, a la The New Deal. Indirect job creation (i.e. the Bank Bailouts) hasn’t worked.