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Senate Republicans force delay on spending bill

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The spending bill is packed with republican earmarks, I don't know why they are slowing it down, except because they can.

I wish they'd scrap it and start this bill all over. < :-)

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Heh, packed with Republican earmarks? Perhaps you didn't bother to check, but 70% of the earmarks in that bill are Democrat earmarks. That said, in my opinion, they ought to scrap all of them. Republican and Democrat. In fact, for once I agree with Day, though obviously for different reasons. They should scrap this bill.

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This blocking action by the GOP is one of the very few tactics they are trying to show Joe Sixpack that they are still a relevant party, even though they are not. :-)

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The Republicans and a few responsible Democrats have given Obama another chance to get right with the American people and keep his promise to stamp out earmarks. C'mon Mr. President, please show us some leadership. America needs you to be the President of the United States and not the President of the Democrats.

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Tens of millions of Americans vote every day.

It's called investing. Check the stock market if you don't believe me.

Americans don't like the direction Obama is taking the country.

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rollonarte - "Americans don't like the direction Obama is taking the country."

Could that be why they voted Obama in with the biggest winning majority in 50 years?

Sure, people are getting anxious watching the stock market tank, but it was tanking before, and it tanked again today on the latest news about a possible GM bankruptcy - nothing to do with Obama and everything to do with the U.S.-caused global recession and poor management at GM.

The key is not to get upset at the day to day fluctuations - it's emotions like this that lead to rash decisions, but let's face it, as Obama hinted at yesterday, in a low market like we have now, now is the time to buy shares. How do you spell B-A-R-G-A-I-N-S?

I remember when I first started investing in shares - I'd be watching and graphing the share prices every day, then quickly realized that was pointless, and that the long term trends are what counts.

Investors who let emotions get the best of them will be fretting and wondering when to sell. But the smart Warren Buffets of the world will be buying up.

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Change and hope. Get rid of career politicians and the corrupt two-party system and you might see both.

"Although the total amount of earmarks in the bill will be less than the $17.2 billion included in all 12 FY 2008 appropriations bills, there are still thousands of unaccountable earmarks worth billions of dollars in the omnibus. Congress could have helped President Obama make good on his promises to cut earmarks. Instead, the appropriations committees decided that it was imperative to spend $4.5 million on wood utilization research and $2.9 million on shrimp aquaculture research, bringing total spending on those programs since 1985 to $95.3 million and $71 million respectively. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who said of the President’s speech that “we know that if we make some sacrifices and the right investments we can move our state and country forward,” apparently believes that by spending $1.8 million on three YMCAs in her state she can fulfill that vision. She managed to abscond with 42 percent of the $4.2 million in spending on nine YMCAs in the FY 2009 omnibus bill."

Source: Citizens Against Government Waste (cagw.org)
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I say let those investors that believe in Obama either stay put or invest everything they have left on the stock market. The smart investor loves when rank amateurs let their emotions drive their decisions.

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Obama. What a disaster.

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Tens of millions of Americans vote every day. It's called investing. Check the stock market if you don't believe me. Americans don't like the direction Obama is taking the country.

Dear Rollon,

My condolenscnes on your amnesia, which seems to have been induced by the traumatic election of Barack ("Hussein"?) Obama. To refresh your memory, you'll see that the market has been tanking since the fourth quarter of 2007.

http://www.google.com/finance?q=INDEXDJX:.DJI%20INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC%20INDEXSP:.INX

I would remind you who was president then, but I'm afraid you might suffer a relapese. Suffice it to say: It wasn't Mr. Hussein-Obama.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery -- economy-wise, and memory-wise.

Yours,

Nessie

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The Dow closed today at 6,594.44 only down 3,030.84 since election day, 31.5%.

Thanks Obama, your socialism is working.

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Me, I got out back in early 2007. I kept reading that Bush was henceforth "a lame duck."

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There are a number of issues at play. The market has still not shaken out. Warren Buffet isn't investing in common stocks, he's buying bargain-basement class A equity shares... and only in companies that won't be permitted to go under, like Goldman Sachs. So, if you're a regular Joe, now is not the time to go in unless you have money to gamble.

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hey Nessie,the president wants you to invest. Are you?

By the way, I seem to recall Obama and the media talking down the economy all the way back in the fourth quarter of 2007. Both Obama and the media continued to talk down the economy all the way through the primaries and throughout the entire presidential campaign. He finally knocked it off during the state of the union speech. It appears too little and too late, he has created this panic and now he has to live with it. Obama hostility to the open market is clear and that is what the market is reacting to right now, but if you feel blaming Bush, go right ahead, it does diddlysquat in reversing the Obama crash.

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hey Nessie,the president wants you to invest. Are you?

Yes. In shorts.

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Thanks Obama, your socialism is working.

As opposed to Bush's much larger socialism??? Or are you measuring socialism by some other yardstick than dollars???

I refer you to the following post, this thread: Nessie at 03:18 PM JST - 6th March

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the way, I seem to recall Obama and the media talking down the economy all the way back in the fourth quarter of 2007. Both Obama and the media continued to talk down the economy all the way through the primaries and throughout the entire presidential campaign. He finally knocked it off during the state of the union speech. It appears too little and too late, he has created this panic and now he has to live with it.

If you build your house on sand and it falls, you don't blame the guy who'd been pointing out that your house was built on sand.

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Obama has been WORSE for the stock market than 9/11.

Compare where the Dow was on 10 Sep 01 with 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year later. Then compare the plunge since The One started leading in the polls, got elected, and inaugurated. As a percentage of total value, Obama was worse for Wall Street than the attacks on New York and Washington.

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If you build your house on sand and it falls, you don't blame the guy who'd been pointing out that your house was built on sand.

Yes you do if the guy pointing out that your house was built on sand, and he tells you he has the plan to fix it, if you vote for him.

So far his plan to fix it ain't working out to well. Gonna be a long four years.

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So far his plan to fix it ain't working out to well

I guess you expect decades of lax regulation and financial malfeasance to be cured in weeks by fiat. Good luck with that.

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Yes you do if the guy pointing out that your house was built on sand, and he tells you he has the plan to fix it, if you vote for him.

Only I can't remember ever hearing anyone say he would fix it in a few weeks if you voted for him! But someone did promise more trouble. No matter what, it is still primarily the fault of the people who decided or suggested to build the house on sand.

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Nessie,

My condolences on your amnesia. Even before 2007, there have been warnings about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

This one is particularly damning: "The GSEs are increasingly in the asset management business, growing significant portfolios of mortgages and mortgage-backed securities. The GSEs are highly leveraged, holding much less capital in relation to their assets than similarly sized financial institutions. A consequence of that highly leveraged condition is that a misjudgment or unexpected economic event could quickly deplete this capital, potentially making it difficult for a GSE to meet its debt obligations. Given the very large size of each enterprise, even a small mistake by a GSE could have consequences throughout the economy. More than six out of ten institutions in the banking industry hold as assets GSE debt in excess of 50 percent of their equity capital. As shown in the accompanying table (Growth of the GSEs in the Last Decade), the outstanding liabilities of the GSEs have grown by more than five hundred percent since 1992, to $2.3 trillion at the end of December 2002. For comparison, the privately held debt of the Federal Government at that time was $3.0 trillion. In 2003, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), which oversees the safety and soundness of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, studied the risks posed by these GSEs to the financial system. Its study indicated that should a GSE experience large unexpected losses, the market for its and other GSEs’ debt might become illiquid. Institutions holding this debt would see a rapid depletion in the value of their assets and a loss of liquidity, spreading the problems of the GSEs into financial sectors beyond the housing market."

Analytical Perspectives, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2005

Hmm... what's this? This problem existed long before 2005? "Recent analyses of systemic risk have concluded that some non-bank financial institutions are now so large and integral to the financial sector as a whole that their failure could lead to a systemic event. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—the two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) chartered by the federal government to support the secondary market for residential mortgages—are among the largest non-bank financial institutions in the world. Thoughtful observers have expressed concern that, if either of those Enterprises experienced severe financial difficulties, turmoil in the market for GSE debt could become severe and spread to other financial markets, substantially increasing systemic risk. Factors cited as justifying that concern include the huge size of the outstanding debt and mortgage-backed securities4 (MBS) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the fact that, although investors perceive an implicit federal guarantee of those obligations, the government has provided no explicit legal backing for them."

"Systemic Risk: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Role of OFHEO", Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight; February 4, 2003

Uh, oh. We are running out of years of President George W. Bush's administration. "Uncertainties about the Federal Government's liability have increased in some areas. Consolidation has increased bank size, and deregulation has allowed banks to engage in many risky activities. Thus, the loss to the deposit insurance funds can turn out to be unusually large in some bad years. The potential loss needs to be limited by large insurance reserves and effective regulation. The large size of some GSEs is also a potential problem. Financial trouble of a large GSE could cause strong repercussions in financial markets, affecting Federally insured entities and economic activity."

Analytical Perspectives, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2002

Of course, this is the real clincher. "In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.

The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets -- including the New York metropolitan region -- will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.

Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the [censored] Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.

In addition, banks, thrift institutions and mortgage companies have been pressing Fannie Mae to help them make more loans to so-called subprime borrowers. These borrowers whose incomes, credit ratings and savings are not good enough to qualify for conventional loans, can only get loans from finance companies that charge much higher interest rates -- anywhere from three to four percentage points higher than conventional loans."

"Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending", Steven A. Holmes, New York Times; September 30, 1999

I censored the article for your benefit, Nessie. Here's a trivia question for you. Who was President in 1999? You get three guesses and the first two don't count.

Presidents don't make the laws, so I don't like to blame or credit them beyond their fair share. There is Executive branch responsibility, but partisans tend to blame the "other" party's Presidents and not their own.

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I guess you expect decades of lax regulation and financial malfeasance to be cured in weeks by fiat. Good luck with that.

Ness,

Of course not. All Americans know from both sides of the political spectrum that this is going to be hard and painful.

However we got rid of Bush and have consigned the Republicans to the political wilderness (actually that started in the 2006 mid-terms when the Democrats took back control of Congress), electing Obama completed the task.

We cleaned house, we looked for change, real change.

YOU WOULD EXPECT THE MARKET AND THE ECONOMY TO AT LEAST REACT POSITIVELY TO THAT AND HIS ELECTION.

Sorry, for the yelling but what in the hell??????? At least gain a little in value instead of tanking everytime he has proposed anything that he considers will fix this mess.

Could you explain that to me? Why'd we elect him in the first place? To fix this, you counseling patience, fine. By the time his plan actually works (works, thats a laugh borrow, spend and put even more debt on the national card is the way to go, as if that isn't how we go into this mess in the first place) patience is all I'm going to have, it sure isn't going to be the money I've been saving the past twelve years for my long term retirement so I wouldnt be a burden on society in my old age, that's pretty much gone now and not going to happen.

Thanks, Obama for sorting the course for 'Economic Recovery' and giving me hope and change I can believe in that you had a real plan for economic growth, instead of Bush economics on steriods now for the next four years.

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My goodness... is someone here actually learning that career politicians (whether Democrat or Republican) are liars and crooks? By "coincidence," most of them are lawyers, too.

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Texasaggie - "Thanks Obama, your socialism is working."

Ha ha, I always get a laugh out of seeing Republicans tossing around 'Socialism' as if it is a bad word.

Looking at the dismal state of the U.S. economy, it's pretty damn clear rampant Capitalism hasn't worked.

I'm just wondering exactly what better system these critics have in mind.

And, let's be honest folks, the U.S. has already begun introducing aspects of socialism.

Nationalizing? That's happening too, with the U.S. government buying into Citibank, Fannie and Freddie, etc.

But, as per usual, the people who criticize all this just don't seem to understand that it was their 2 votes for the previous president that led to most of the global economic meltdown we are seeing today, and that is now causing the current Obama administration to take these drastic steps.

In fact, according to these critics, - apparently - it's ALL President Obama's fault.

It's just never occurs to them that it might be their fault.

Can you believe that?

As I said, I find it pretty funny. :-)

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The MSM said everyone loved Obama. But everytime the affirmative action president opens his mouth about fixing the economy the Dow drops lower.

Apparently, Wall Street didn't get the memo.

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SushiSake3,

Read my post to Nessie. You might learn something.

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YOU WOULD EXPECT THE MARKET AND THE ECONOMY TO AT LEAST REACT POSITIVELY TO THAT AND HIS ELECTION.

I can tell you I didn't. I never expected that. And I think it foolish to expect that as well as a waste of time wanting it.

All Obama has given us has been bad news. That is because he has been honest. If he had lied, and told investors and companies something they wanted to hear, rather than the truth, the market may have had another, minor, positive reaction. But for what? In the long run, its not going to do crap all. If you wanted some sort of silver lining in the dark cloud, I think you should try getting it elsewhere rather than expecting Obama to hand to it you. He is busy giving hand-outs that he thinks is more important, not that I agree with those hand-outs either.

I suppose he could make prettier speeches about American strength and resiliency, and still be honest, but I would rather he concentrate on the nuts and bolts than the window dressing at this time. Nothing significant for the long term of our financial health is going to be accomplished in weeks, nor will it make a little positive boost.

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OldGeezer: Don't expect sake3 to read anything. In reviewing his/her past posts, he/she once wrote that he/she gets "excited" when he/she hears Obama speak.

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Sail - "YOU WOULD EXPECT THE MARKET AND THE ECONOMY TO AT LEAST REACT POSITIVELY TO THAT AND HIS ELECTION."

Thanks (?) for yelling :-), I'm just curious why you say this.

Sure, many people are driven by emotions. I believe the majority are now being driven by reality.

the reality of their houses being foreclosed, the reality of they and their friends losing their jobs, the reality of seeing shops and businesses closing down around them, the reality of having overtime hours and bonuses cut, the reality of seeing share dividends slashed and investments shrinking, etc.

You know all about it.

This downturn started at the end of the previous president's watch, and has been spiralling downward at an ever increasing rate since.

I think it is this downward spiral of events that is influencing peoples' emotions that are causing this sell off of shares we are seeing.

It's almost a state of paranoia, that does not - by any stretch of the imagination - reflect reality.

Take Toyota as a case in in point - arguably the best, most efficient auto maker in the world. 57 straight years of profits. Now asking Jgov for money.

The point is their economic problems are not of their making, unlike the U.S. Big 3).

And, IF you voted for GWB twice, you have no one but yourself to blame for your investment portfolio being wiped out. Sorry, look in the mirror before you start complaining. [If you didn't vote for him twice, ignore the last sentence.]

"Thanks, Obama for sorting the course for 'Economic Recovery' and giving me hope and change I can believe in that you had a real plan for economic growth, instead of Bush economics on steriods now for the next four years."

Sail, what exactly do you suggest he do differently?

And President Obama

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TexasAggie - "OldGeezer: Don't expect sake3 to read anything. In reviewing his/her past posts, he/she once wrote that he/she gets "excited" when he/she hears Obama speak."

Heh, you obviously weren't on the winning side last November.

Too busy scrambling for the lifeboats? :-)

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The right wing crowd here are so desperate to dog Obama that they completely ignofe reality.

You cannot blame the market crash on Obama. There are far too many reality based factors driving this. Most of the market crash is self inflicted from failed exotic investments and bone headed real estate policies during the past decade.

Why would you expect Obama to reverse the decline before he has been in office long enough to significantly impact anything? Let the man have some time to get some work done. You let that moron Bush run things for 8 years because you were too afraid of terrorists under every bed to see any other dangers he posed. So shut up and give Obama some time!

The GOP are just trying to see to it that change fails instead of getting with the program and helping things get better. Shame on them!

Most of you don't know sqat about socialism!!! You blame Obama for socialism when Bush spent more of your precious money than anyone before him. And most of that on idiotic policies that helped get us into this mess. His rich buddies got stinking wealthy while the rest of us lost our shirts thanks to poor regulation that led to this crisis.

Most of the hard core right wing crowd need socialism as much if not more than the rest of us. You need to get your thoothless, inbred, illiterate children to have better schools, medical care and opportunities to break the cycle of trailer park poverty. More social programs and less gun racks my friends. And less stories of creation and a lot more science to help them contribute to the country you claim to love so much.

Social programs will put you lot back to work. They will educate your kids, take care of your medical problems, rebuild your run down towns and utilities and get our economy going.

Why is it that the people most apt to benefit from socialism are the most clueless about it? You need this more than most of us who advocate it. It is to help you! Clue and get with the program.

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likeitis,

Do you actually believe that President Barack Obama understands economics well enough to have the judgment to choose the correct policies? Do politicians in general understand economics well enough to form policy? Studying the Great Depression from an economics standpoint, it becomes clear that the President and Congress didn't have a clue. In fact, they messed up the system to the point where they actually prolonged the Depression. The more politicians get involved in the economics, the more they screw it up.

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"You cannot blame the market crash on Obama"

No, he is totally blameless. I mean, just because since he started running for president he's been trash-talking the economy, and now all these bailouts and this "stimulus" pork bill which is driving the debt to new heights, that doesn't have anything to do with the diving stock market.

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"Senate Republicans, demanding the right"

The Republicans are in a position to demand nothing! They lost to the Democrats fair and square! Maybe if they embrace true conservative values, they'll take back the Congress...

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Do you actually believe that President Barack Obama understands economics well enough to have the judgment to choose the correct policies?

No. But at least he is addressing the real problems for the most part. It is a step in the right direction at least.

And I agree with you that the bail-outs were a mistake. And I cannot believe so few others fail to see that. Many are just following the lemming in front of them it seems.

Do politicians in general understand economics well enough to form policy?

Nobody does I think. But we have to make due with what we have. At any rate, it will be politicians choosing policy, even if its by them choosing people more savvy than themselves to choose it for them. They will still be choosing policy through selecting people. And how can they choose the right people without understanding economics? Even economists disagree.

But at least Obama seems more worried about JQP than his rich friends. For that, I am thankful.

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No. But at least he is addressing the real problems for the most part. It is a step in the right direction at least.

They are addressing the real problems? They're going to dissolve the GSEs? They're going to break up the banks and divest the investment sides? They're going to build nuclear power plants? They're going to build a new national power grid? They're going to get rid of the ethanol mandate? They're go to require executive salary and asset transparency in stockholder reports? Are they going to do any of this? When a person is clueless at land navigation, the worst thing you can do is "just do something" and walk in any direction that "looks good." When you are clues about economics, the worst thing you can do is "just do something" and try implementing any policy that "sounds good."

And I agree with you that the bail-outs were a mistake. And I cannot believe so few others fail to see that. Many are just following the lemming in front of them it seems.

People are panicking. They are in the "just do something" mode. This creates a dangerous impetus for policy-making.

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Career politicians don't care about JQP. They just try to look like they care about JQP. They worry about themselves and their political party... particularly since there's another Congressional election in less than two years.

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The earmarks are insignificant. They amount to approximately 1.3% of the total amount. Complaints about the earmarks are frivolous and represent an ideological stake driven into the quicksand of a faltering economy.

Complaints about the total size of the budget are more appropriate. However, the funds in this budget are, by and large, benefiting Americans instead of the much greater amounts which have been and are being wasted overseas.

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No. But at least he is addressing the real problems for the most part." That's true. But while he may be president, he still has to answer to the people who got him there and that's a problem.

There is enough in this bill to warrant concern.

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Investors just don't have confidence. And there is little about this administration and the Dem majority that would inspire any.

You have to laugh, and maybe weep a little after, to read about tax cheat Tim Geithner, Obama's Treasury Secretary, "boldly testifying" last Tuesday before fellow Democrat (and tax cheat...) Rep. Charlie Rangel’s Ways and Means Committee, promising that the Obama administration intends to propose “a series of legislative and enforcement measures to reduce...tax evasion and avoidance.”

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The real leaders of America are the nations that buy up large amounts of its debt (China, Japan, Saudi Arabia), provide it with goods (China, Japan), or control its energy supply (any OPEC nation).

America hasn't been controlled by Americans for a good while.

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The writing is on the wall. Stop printing money, you fools!

"Gresham Investment Management LLC, the New York-based commodities investment company led by Henry Jarecki, has a record $1.2 billion committed from investors betting that inflation will send raw materials higher.

The $1.2 billion due in the next several months is “our biggest inflow of new money since we started accepting outside money in 2005,” Douglas Hepworth, the company’s director of research, said in an interview in Barcelona late yesterday. “It is basically the inflation story. The economic crisis will end at some point.”

Commodities, measured by the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of 24 raw materials, have outperformed stocks and lagged behind U.S. Treasuries this year as copper and gasoline rebounded. Government spending to revive economic growth will either boost both growth and inflation or just inflation, Hepworth said.

“I’m talking about the possibility of hyperinflation or stagflation,” Hepworth, 48, said. “We have some people betting on gold because it’s a stagflation bet.”

It’s a “very reasonable bet” that gold will lead gains in commodities this year, he said. Gold has climbed 6.7 percent, compared with 20 percent for copper and 32 percent for gasoline.

“It’s conceivable there will be more pain in commodities before the crisis ends,” Hepworth said. “But people are looking for very significant inflation afterward and that could take the form of inflationary growth if stimulus plans work or stagflation if stimulus plans don’t.”

"Gresham Expects Record $1.2 Billion for Commodities Investments", Claudia Carpenter, Bloomberg; March 6, 2009
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There's no reason why many cannot prosper during a recession. If idiots would stop shrieking their demented partisan rhetoric it would be a damned good start...

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SezWho: The earmarks are insignificant. They amount to approximately 1.3% of the total amount.

1.3% is insignificant. $5.5 billion dollars isn't.

The fact is that people allowed the Republicans to use the spending bill as a political football by adding these things in there. And I'm tired of hearing about pork spending while nothing seems to change. The idiots on both sides need to realize that with the level of scrutiny going on these days it might be a good idea to table the Buffalo Bill museum for a while. But they don't. They keep adding it in. Just stop adding it in and you'll get the double benefit of eliminating pet projects while taking the stage away from Republicans.

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There's no reason why many cannot prosper during a recession. If idiots would stop shrieking their demented partisan rhetoric it would be a damned good start..."

YOu are very very correct, and I have advocated that on this board. However, what can prevent you is a government and that government looks like its going in that direction. I mean, with all the YOU MUST help calls makes me feel like I should have never even bothered being anything more than a grocery store worker.

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Social programs will put you lot back to work. They will educate your kids, take care of your medical problems, rebuild your run down towns and utilities and get our economy going.

Cool! Do I get a free house also?

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SuperLib,

$5.5B is significant in terms of my budget. It would also represent a staggering increase to my absence of debt. $5.5B is totally insignificant in terms of the US budget and is ludicrously insignificant in terms of US debt.

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Agreed

$5.5B is significant in terms of my budget. It would also represent a staggering increase to my absence of debt. $5.5B is totally insignificant in terms of the US budget and is ludicrously insignificant in terms of US debt.

After all let us put this also on the credit card it's soooooo insignificant.

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Republicans have blasted the $410 billion measure as too costly. But the reason for Republican unity in advance of a key procedural vote was that Democrats had not allowed them enough opportunities to offer amendments.

It is really sad to see how much the republicans are trying to hurt America in an attempt to have President Obama fail. Real sad, and they will suffer in the long run. How can Republicans hate American this much?

The Republicans are dying to toss some added costs in the bill. Most likely to pay off some lobbyist that bought them lunch in Rio.

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sailwind,

It doesn't matter if it goes on the credit card or not. The spending will be stimulative, even if not as directly as other types of stimuli. This is a straw on the camel's back and it is unlikely that it will be the one that breaks its back--and that's if its back is not already broken.

So, even allowing for your sarcasm, you're correct. It is so insignificant. The Republican complaints are a political ploy that has nothing to do with fiscal integrity or with economic recovery.

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Even Bloomberg has piled on:

‘Obama Bear Market’ Punishes Investors as Dow Slumps

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OldGeezer I believe that Obama does understand the economy very well. I think that even though the economy is out of control and been on a nose dive for the past year and a half. Obama isn't the reason for the deficits or the wars, but they are now his to deal with.

Prior to Obama we had been lied to, we had an idiot who had no idea what the econmy was doing to tell us our econmy was strong. Everyday the economy is strong as it was crumbling all around him.

Now the same party that got us so far in debt and continued to block efforts the efforts of the democrats and a president who vetoed every effort to help this country.

So give the republicans their moment to slow down the bill, but it's going through and Obama will sign it. He wants to get past the old business. New bills will have earmarks clearly limited and then Obama's mantra of no more earmarks will go into effect. < :-)

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You have to laugh, and maybe weep a little after, to read about tax cheat Tim Geithner, Obama's Treasury Secretary, "boldly testifying" last Tuesday before fellow Democrat (and tax cheat...) Rep. Charlie Rangel’s Ways and Means Committee, promising that the Obama administration intends to propose “a series of legislative and enforcement measures to reduce...tax evasion and avoidance.”

This is what I like about my boy, rollonarte. The unabashed, unashamed hypocrisy.

How dare we have to listen to a "tax cheat" regarding issues of tax evasion and avoidance, he shrieks. Oh, the hypocricy! Oh, the humanity.

For 8 years, he worshipped 2 draft dodgers and lapped up everything they had to say about military matters with cult-like ferver and glee. Nodding his head in agreement like a bobble head doll on a paint mixing machine.

When pointing fingers about hypocritical rantings of others, rollonarte needs to point first at a mirror.

Taka

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The sad thing about the Republicans is that they don't yet understand they are now irrelevant.

Why, actually, that's not sad at all - it's fantastic! :-)

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At least there is some debate on the spending. No government can be trusted with carte blanche when it comes to money. They can "spend" all they want as long as the Chinese continue to buy T-bills. But hyperinflation could be one result. It's going to be a very difficult and dangerous few years. Everybody might want to dust off their history books for a look at Germany in the 1920s. There are some interesting similarities.

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SushiSake3: The sad thing about the Republicans is that they don't yet understand they are now irrelevant.

Judging by the amount of time you spend talking about them every day it's safe to say they aren't irrelevant to you. Maybe to others, but definitely not you. ;)

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SezWho: $5.5B is significant in terms of my budget.

Great argument.

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as long as other countries are willing to extend the credit --> America will charge it.

Foolish consumerism that only increases inflation of the currency.

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Badsey,

It doesn't matter. America is shielded due to the fact that borrower nations are in their debt. What are they going to do, sell treasuries en masse? Watch their exports get blocked and their populaces starve, until a new "economic friendly" government comes in.

There is no trump card to play against America, since God has taken sides.

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You are wrong. There is no point investing money in America if inflation is eating your money. (E.G. Rwanda --> with their inflation of 100% a day there is no point of investing there)

What scares rich (people with money in the bank) people the most? -inflation

Very hard to give out 30yr home loans in high inflation environments at low interest rates also. (bad idea = as a bank I would stay out of the home loan business right now - if holding the notes long term, and if short term you should sell them as soon as possible (dump to Fannie of Freddie) before the interest rate goes higher!!) =This of course will lead to another housing disaster again.

Home buyers: take advantage of these low interest rates or wait until the interest rate goes up (saying you have more cash than loan). The higher interest rate will drive home values down even more (good for cash buyers). People that have good jobs and want that house (but need the loan) should buy before the interest rates rise (lock in that low rate). With inflation the value of a house must rise anyway due to replacement costs are higher (your money is worth less).

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What is something worth? What is your money worth? =These two sort of go hand in hand and form value.

Say the American dollar is worth 30% against the ¥ than it was a year ago = inflation. A good time to change ¥ into $ and go after American assets that appreciate. =bad time to convert ¥ to $, must find assets that are appreciateable ( have a true value and will gain $ in an inflationary period =gold is a good example, land and property take more time usually)

rich people use inflation events to go after assets since it's like having a sale and people are slow to raise prices, but this recession has hurt many's cash flow with the stock market drops etc.

As I said before: If people are continuing to give credit to America in their high inflation environment it is their own fault. They should be buying American assets instead of loaning them cash.

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SuperLib,

Thanks for the pithy false praise. I'm sorry I cannot return the favor. Your bald statement that $5.5B isn't insignificant is no argument at all.

Significance is relative. You've made no attempt whatsoever to explain the non-insignificance of the amount in question. Sarcasm is still not an argument.

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Billions of pork in this spending bill. Billions more pork in the omnibus. More than $3 trillion in all (including interest) when you consider the misguided, politically motivated spending spree. No, it's not a "straw".

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Badsey said:

Say the American dollar is worth 30% against the ¥ than it was a year ago = inflation. A good time to change ¥ into $ and go after American assets that appreciate. =bad time to convert ¥ to $, must find assets that are appreciateable [sic] ( have a true value and will gain $ in an inflationary period =gold is a good example, land and property take more time usually)>

The problem with your theory today is the same problem it had a couple of days ago. The dollar is within a couple of yen from where it was a year ago against the dollar. Every other currency is down against the dollar over the past year. I provided links to graphs last time you posted these untruths and they were very clear the dollar had gained substantially. Do I need to do that again? You choose to make up events like you make up words and then self define them. There is no word "appreciateable" and the dollar has not fallen but risen against currencies except the yen and the Japanese want the yen to fall. Where you get the idea that you can make up what ever you want to make up and it will be so is a place you should not return. But you do have plenty of conservatives in your company that are willing to do the same thing.

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Currency comparison isn't the guiding measurement I would use. Why? Because their originating governments are devaluing them by printing more currency out of proportion to real economic output. Compare the USD, JPY, Euro, and GBP to gold, silver, and copper. That will give you a better perspective on inflation. Since 1979, gold has gone from about $230 to $936. That's more than 400% growth. Has the real economic output of the world grown by 400%? No, it hasn't. The driving force is inflation, as the governments of the world's largest economies "bail out" the banks.

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Nessie,

My condolences on your amnesia. Even before 2007, there have been warnings about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

You'll notice that I'm aware of this, as evidenced by my comment "decades of lax regulation and financial malfeasance." My main points are these: you can't blame Obama for the market crash. I said nothing of the merits of his plan. I agree with many posters that both political parties, multiple presidents and private sector organizations are all at fault. My defense of Obama as not causing the crash seems to have been interpreted as more partisan than it was.

My other point is that there was a bubble. No amount of pretending could undo that. Closing one's eyes is not an answer. So accusations of Obama causing doom and gloom are silly.

And Sailwind seems to have attributed comments to me that I never wrote.

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OldGeezer,

Billions of pork sounds pretty big until you compare it to the mega-billions of non-pork. Comparatively, it is a straw.

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Nessie, if legislators (such as Senators) aren't to blame for failing to take the proper corrective actions before the economic failure accelerates, then nobody is to blame. Do you follow?

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SezWho2, mega-billions are being spent to bail out state programs and fund special interests programs. That's pork on a grand scale. It has almost nothing to do with "stimulus".

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This is such an economic emergency that 90% of the stimulus package was to be used immediately, in 2009. Er.. wait. It wasn't even 75%. 50%? Not even close. 30%? Try 20.79% according to the Congressional Budget Office. So, if economic crisis is supposed to abate by the end of the year, why are there spending outlays past 2010? The stimulus package wasn't stimulus.

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First of all gold was up to $900.00 an ounce in the '80's. I have always made the point that this crisis is of epic proportions. Who is saying the "economic crisis is supposed to abate by the end of the year[?]" If there had been regulation that could have limited the exposure to toxic loans we would not see such an epic crisis. If banks had to hold more of their loans that they made in folly to begin with the effects would have began a long time ago; a lot sooner rather then after they had made countless more loans that were ludicrous in both number and scope. A financial institution would make a loan that was not sound then they bundled it up with other loans and sold them. If the bank were forced to hold on to those loans the crisis never would have reached this level because it would have affected some institutions early on and making unsound and/or sub-prime loans on a continual basis would have been recognized as dangerous to the stability of a financial institution. I am not saying we should forbid any risky loans. I am not saying we should not allow loans to be bundled and sold. I am saying I am not smart enough to know the best solution but I have just outlined how without a bank or other financial institution's ability to "ship out" toxic loans they would have had to respond much earlier and adverted the massive scope of this crisis. It was Bush's job to regulate such matters. He not only failed in this respect but also in general with the needed improvements on regulating derivatives.

Now Obama is telling us that if we do not do enough soon enough the damage will be disproportionally higher. If we waste a few hundred billion in putting in too many efforts it will mean nothing in comparison to future losses if we do not succeed or we significantly under perform. We have already seen about $7 trillion in market value, real estate and other monetary losses. We knew about the problems over two years ago. There were plenty of indications that there were too many sub-prime loans four years ago. The Republicans dropped the ball in a major way. Now they are blocking and will continue to block what may be construed as zealous efforts to revive our economy. However, if one understands the dire need for stabilization of our financial markets and equally important the establishment of a bottom in the drop in real estate values then one would be less concerned with the hundreds of billions we are gambling to revive our economy and the many trillions of dollars of "principal" we have already lost and how we are very likely to continue to lose "principal" in the trillions in the future if the hemorrhaging is not stopped quickly. Intelligent people are not looking for a total turn around in one year of our nation's economy. We are looking to stop the hemorrhaging in one year and that would be a major success. We should be grateful for that alone after our markets and economy have been devastated to a point not seen in a very long time. And all of this occurred in a rather short period of time.

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First of all gold was up to $900.00 an ounce in the '80's. I have always made the point that this crisis is of epic proportions. Who is saying the "economic crisis is supposed to abate by the end of the year[?]" If there had been regulation that could have limited the exposure to toxic loans we would not see such an epic crisis. If banks had to hold more of their loans that they made in folly to begin with the effects would have began a long time ago; a lot sooner rather then after they had made countless more loans that were ludicrous in both number and scope. A financial institution would make a loan that was not sound then they bundled it up with other loans and sold them. If the bank were forced to hold on to those loans the crisis never would have reached this level because it would have affected some institutions early on and making unsound and/or sub-prime loans on a continual basis would have been recognized as dangerous to the stability of a financial institution. I am not saying we should forbid any risky loans. I am not saying we should not allow loans to be bundled and sold. I am saying I am not smart enough to know the best solution but I have just outlined how without a bank or other financial institution's ability to "ship out" toxic loans they would have had to respond much earlier and adverted the massive scope of this crisis. It was Bush's job to regulate such matters. He not only failed in this respect but also in general with the needed improvements on regulating derivatives.

Now Obama is telling us that if we do not do enough soon enough the damage will be disproportionally higher. If we waste a few hundred billion in putting in too many efforts it will mean nothing in comparison to future losses if we do not succeed or we significantly under perform. We have already seen about $7 trillion in market value, real estate and other monetary losses. We knew about the problems over two years ago. There were plenty of indications that there were too many sub-prime loans four years ago. The Republicans dropped the ball in a major way. Now they are blocking and will continue to block what may be construed as zealous efforts to revive our economy. However, if one understands the dire need for stabilization of our financial markets and equally important the establishment of a bottom in the drop in real estate values then one would be less concerned with the hundreds of billions we are gambling to revive our economy and the many trillions of dollars of "principal" we have already lost and how we are very likely to continue to lose "principal" in the trillions in the future if the hemorrhaging is not stopped quickly. Intelligent people are not looking for a total turn around in one year of our nation's economy. We are looking to stop the hemorrhaging in one year and that would be a major success. We should be grateful for that alone after our markets and economy have been devastated to a point not seen in a very long time. And all of this occurred in a rather short period of time.

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First of all gold was up to $900.00 an ounce in the '80's.

Gold pegged $850 on January 1, 1980, at the peak of the 79 oil crisis. The highest it hit in the late80s was $499.75 on December 14, 1987

I have always made the point that this crisis is of epic proportions. Who is saying the "economic crisis is supposed to abate by the end of the year[?]"

Don't look now, but the head of the Boston Federal Reserve, as well as the former head of the IMF said so. Of course, I consider them the useful idiots for politicians, but that was the sort of guidance responsible for justifying the stimulus package. Who wrote the stimulus package? Lobbyists did.

If there had been regulation that could have limited the exposure to toxic loans we would not see such an epic crisis. [...]

The largest creators of of these "toxic" securities were the GSEs at the sum of $4.443 trillion in 2007. Loan originators (eg banks) sent the loans to the GSEs for inspection (e.g. CRA rules) and guaranty. If they passed, the GSEs bought them. The GSEs securitized the loans and sold the new securities to banks with a guaranty (which many assumed would be backed up by the Federal government). The banks bundled these securities and sold them to intermediaries who resold them to Wall Street. Wall Street firms used these "guaranteed" securities in investment products, which in turn would fund or be used as collateral for other investments. If we did not have the GSEs, we would not have had the proliferation of "toxic assets" in the market.

I am not saying we should forbid any risky loans. I am not saying we should not allow loans to be bundled and sold. I am saying I am not smart enough to know the best solution but I have just outlined how without a bank or other financial institution's ability to "ship out" toxic loans they would have had to respond much earlier and adverted the massive scope of this crisis. It was Bush's job to regulate such matters. He not only failed in this respect but also in general with the needed improvements on regulating derivatives.

You have proved that our schools have failed.

"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;"

Constitution of the United States, Article I, Section 8

Congress creates the laws that regulates the GSEs, securities, and oversees them. The SEC is charged with enforcing those laws, it does not make them. That is why President George W. Bush and his Treasury Secretary had to ask Congress to impose regulations on the GSEs in 2004, 2005, etc.

http://online.barrons.com/article_email/SB123396551669058895-lMyQjAxMDI5MzAzNzkwNjc1Wj.html

Now Obama is telling us that if we do not do enough soon enough the damage will be disproportionally higher.

Do what? That's the rub. What is Congress and the President doing?

If we waste a few hundred billion in putting in too many efforts it will mean nothing in comparison to future losses if we do not succeed or we significantly under perform. We have already seen about $7 trillion in market value, real estate and other monetary losses. We knew about the problems over two years ago. There were plenty of indications that there were too many sub-prime loans four years ago. The Republicans dropped the ball in a major way. Now they are blocking and will continue to block what may be construed as zealous efforts to revive our economy.

Let's say that Republicans couldn't block anything in Congress. Would there have been reform of the GSEs? Nope. Who receives the most contributions from the GSEs? Republicans? Nope. Democrats? Yup.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122091796187012529.html

However, if one understands the dire need for stabilization of our financial markets and equally important the establishment of a bottom in the drop in real estate values then one would be less concerned with the hundreds of billions we are gambling to revive our economy and the many trillions of dollars of "principal" we have already lost and how we are very likely to continue to lose "principal" in the trillions in the future if the hemorrhaging is not stopped quickly.

Explain to me how the stimulus package "stabilizes" the financial markets or establishes a "bottom" in the drop of real estate values. Really. Go for it.

Intelligent people are not looking for a total turn around in one year of our nation's economy. We are looking to stop the hemorrhaging in one year and that would be a major success. We should be grateful for that alone after our markets and economy have been devastated to a point not seen in a very long time. And all of this occurred in a rather short period of time.

It would probably help if our politicians actually helped resolve economic problems through sound economic policies. Printing trillions to spend on their favorite programs isn't sound economic policy. I am sure that everything will seem so much better if I drank the Koolaid, but I prefer to think for myself rather than let the media and politicians do it for me.

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OldGeezer said:

Compare the USD, JPY, Euro, and GBP to gold, silver, and copper. That will give you a better perspective on inflation.

Let's see I was off by $50.00 off the top of my head from what I remember living through it in my 20's. However according to Reuters:

After adjusting for inflation, the 1980 high is equivalent to $2,119.30 an ounce at 2007 prices, according to precious metals consultancy GFMS Ltd.

http://www.reuters.com/article/hotStocksNews/idUSL1380670620080314

I realize I used a "high" for gold prices but you can't argue that the $936 spent on an ounce of gold today is worth anywhere near what the same $936 would have been worth in the 80's.

So gold "will give you a better perspective on inflation." Good luck with that. I will take the inflation indexes any day of the week in comparison to commodities for the use of "the value of a dollar." My point was that Badsey was comparing the dollar to other currencies unfavorably without cause. I had previously posted links to the graphs representing our gain on other currencies.

Don't look now, but the head of the Boston Federal Reserve, as well as the former head of the IMF said so. Of course, I consider them the useful idiots for politicians, but that was the sort of guidance responsible for justifying the stimulus package.

Reference Please! Especially this part, "but that was the sort of guidance responsible for justifying the stimulus package."

The largest creators of of these "toxic" securities were the GSEs at the sum of $4.443 trillion in 2007. Loan originators (eg banks) sent the loans to the GSEs for inspection

Boy, that is fast and loose usage of the terms "creators" and "originators." A less intelligent person might find those terms interchangeable. But of course we know that it was the banks that originated the loan; created the loan if you want to put it another way.

The SEC is charged with enforcing those laws,

Care to enlighten us with the huge drop in SEC regulation enforcement under the Bush administration.

Explain to me how the stimulus package "stabilizes" the financial markets or establishes a "bottom" in the drop of real estate values. Really. Go for it.

If you do not believe that injecting cash into a market that is cash strapped then maybe you are not aware of the various implications. More cash in the system will loosen up credit. It may spark consumers, not receiving the benefits of the government cash directly or indirectly, to begin spending again due to the infectious nature of consumer confidence. As the dollar that the government payed the state to pay the police office gets spent repeatedly it continues to cause each product or service provider to require employment hours. Not just once for the first time the dollar is spent but repeatedly. We are spending money on implementing and researching energy production that will reduce the cost of energy. We have already seen the crippling effects that the huge spikes in gasoline prices had on our economy. When we reduce those energy costs we will see an enabling effect upon our economy. You can make an argument that government spending can cause inflation but to say that it will not stimulate the economy is ignoring the effect that injecting cash into the market place has.

The way you try to defend using gold as a measure of inflation hardly qualifies you to school me and speak of the lack of influence of my education. Furthermore I was speaking of Administrative law which is one of the predominant factors when it comes to the SEC or any other federal government agency for that matter. Why would the courts need to rule on whether regulations set by the agencies were "Arbitrary and Capricious." If you look up the U.S. Supreme court case law you will see numerous rulings on federal agencies using that exact determination. That would be because federal agencies make rules. So you can quote the constitution all you want but I will still try to look at the reality of how we govern and that includes administrative law. Bush screwed up.

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OldGeezer,

It's a little difficult for me to understand your point. This is a $410B bill and an issue is being made over the $5.5B "pork". I'm talking about the $5.5B. What are you talking about?

Compared to the $410B, which in and of itself is not mega-billions, the $5.5B is hardly mega-billions. It's easy to sit on the Senate floor and acerbically twitter about this or that pet project, projects which sound so strange because of one's uninformed judgment as to the necessity or desirability of funding them. It's easy and it's counter-productive.

The plane's going down and we've got to lighten the load. OK. We get the point. But there's little point in holding on to the cases of hand grenades and munitions in case we should be so lucky to land the plane only to encounter hostiles and at the same time demanding that the crew chuck their Timex watches out.

I think SuperLib is right that the problem would be solved if the Democrats just resolved to give it all up. By the same token, however, it would also be solved if the Republicans just gave in. The $5.5B really doesn't make a difference.

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Nessie, if legislators (such as Senators) aren't to blame for failing to take the proper corrective actions before the economic failure accelerates, then nobody is to blame. Do you follow?

Where did I say legislators are not to blame?

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A few things:

Who gives a crap about what Republicans have to say.

They lost

Who gives a crap about what Republicans have to say.

The created this mess.

Who gives a crap about what Republicans have to say.

They are, now what was that word....oh yeah.

"Inconsequential."

America has moved on. So should you.

As for the garden-variety JT Republican: Who gives a crap about what they have to say.

No honor. No shame. Never right about anything.

They are inconsequential.

So, Sezwho, Betzee, Good Donkey and all you good guys,

America has moved on. So should you. You wanna help? Talk with eachother, not the lunatic dead-ending, hope-Obama-fails crowd.

They are irrelevant. They are Republican.

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It passed!

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If Commie Obammie gets the credit for the stock plunge, does his socialism also get the credit for today's amazing rally? No, that would be too logically consistent.

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