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Why is failed Keynesianism back in vogue?
Las Vegas Review-Journal ^ | 01 mar 09 | Vin Suprynowicz

Posted on 03/01/2009 7:24:14 AM PST by rellimpank

Fortuitously, I recently stumbled on a copy of Henry Hazlitt's "The Failure of the 'New Economics,' " 1959, reprinted 1973.

The "New Economics" referred to by the esteemed Mr. Hazlitt -- who replaced H.L. Mencken as editor of The American Mercury in 1933 and joined The New York Times in 1934, writing financial and economic editorials there and later a bylined weekly financial column well into the 1960s -- is Keynesianism, the economic doctrines of the Briton John Maynard Keynes which are still widely taught in American college economics courses.

The top blurb on the back dust jacket panel caught my eye:

"A great book, the best and most thorough exercise in economic demolition since Boehm-Bawerk exploded Marx's labor theory of value," wrote my late friend Murray Rothbard, in the National Review. "It is no exaggeration to say that this is by far the best book on economics published since Mises' great 'Human Action' ten years ago ... It will be read, and it will destroy the Keynesian system."

Writing in the Christian Science Monitor, Ludwig von Mises himself said of this book "Hazlitt has entirely demolished the Keynesian misconceptions."

In brief, Keynesianism -- as set forth by Keynes 73 years ago in his "General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money" -- holds that the twin answers to unemployment and economic downturns are massive government deficit spending and "cheap money" -- the artificial driving down of interest rates to "free up more credit."

(Excerpt) Read more at lvrj.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bho44; bhobudget; economics; economy; keynes; obamarruthfile; porkulus; suprynowicz; taxes
--the weekly Vin--
1 posted on 03/01/2009 7:24:14 AM PST by rellimpank
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To: rellimpank
Another great one that, surprisingly, seems to be the first one to address this fundamental question -- why keep implementing a proven failed theory? His closer is spot-on...

But why are Keynes' thoroughly debunked notions still in vogue? ... Imagine any of our egotistical and money- and power-hungry members of Congress or chief executives (of either party) today announcing, "Gee, this economic downturn sure is a misery. Too bad there's nothing the central government can do but to slash spending till our budget is in surplus so Washington is no longer crowding out private borrowers, meantime putting us back on the silver standard and shutting down the Federal Reserve. So all you lobbyists here to plead for special favors just might as well go home. Store's closed." ... What? Give up the greatest excuse since Hitler and Tojo for enacting every pork barrel spending spree they can imagine? Are you crazy?!

It's that simple. The typical power-mad, narcissistic, economically-illiterate democrat throwbacks are working hard to punish prudency and achievement, enslave entire classes of Americans and put at least two generations of our descendants hopelessly in hock.

2 posted on 03/01/2009 7:40:09 AM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: rellimpank
It's a mistake or a lie to say it is back in vogue only now. GWB used KEYNSIAN arguments to get his temporary tax cuts passed. If Keynsianism made a comback, it did so under GWB.

Just google "bush tax cuts 2001 keynesian" and see for yourself.

1. Bush: Raising Keynes

"For proof that Keynes truly reigns supreme, all you had to do last week was watch President George W. Bush hawking his tax cut as a cure for the global economic slowdown."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A59814-2001Aug24?language=printer

2. The Difference Between Keynesian Stimulus And Supply Side Tax Cuts

Although both Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush proposed tax plans which cut marginal income tax rates across the board, the philosophy underlying them is different. While the Reagan plan was based on supply-side economics, the Bush plan owes much more to Keynesianism.

http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/?Article_ID=8662&page=article

3. The Keynesian Remedy Is Confidence

"For proof that Keynes reigns supreme, all you have to do is watch George W. Bush hawking his tax cut as a cure for the global economic slowdown. "

http://www.iht.com/articles/2001/08/27/edignatius....php

It goes on and on. I remember complaining at the time about it. But back then it was all rah-rah Bush all the time. Well, the chickens have come home to roost.

3 posted on 03/01/2009 7:40:36 AM PST by Huck (Palin is perfect just where she is....in Alaska.)
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To: sickoflibs; Gondring

ping


4 posted on 03/01/2009 7:41:19 AM PST by djsherin (Government is essentially the negation of liberty.)
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To: Huck

Excellent post.


5 posted on 03/01/2009 7:42:00 AM PST by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

Even FReepers run from Ron Paul’s conservative proposals, so is it any wonder the general populace isn’t raising much fuss?


6 posted on 03/01/2009 7:44:14 AM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: djsherin

Thanks for the ping.

Sad times.


7 posted on 03/01/2009 7:45:09 AM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: rellimpank

***despite the fact that Mr. Hazlitt, way back in 1959, demonstrated not only that these Keynesian remedies did not work, but that they often had precisely the opposite effect of that intended!***

That’s because Keynesian ideas are the opposite of what you should do during a recession.


8 posted on 03/01/2009 7:46:10 AM PST by djsherin (Government is essentially the negation of liberty.)
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To: rellimpank

Great article by Vin Suprynowicz. Thanks for posting. The anti-freedom economic parasites of the collective are a constant. They are never exterminated, only contained at times. Witness history.


9 posted on 03/01/2009 7:46:43 AM PST by PGalt
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To: rellimpank
But the second reason [Keynesian economics is embraced] is far more obvious. Imagine any of our egotistical and money- and power-hungry members of Congress or chief executives (of either party) today announcing, "Gee, this economic downturn sure is a misery. Too bad there's nothing the central government can do but to slash spending till our budget is in surplus so Washington is no longer crowding out private borrowers, meantime putting us back on the silver standard and shutting down the Federal Reserve. So all you lobbyists here to plead for special favors just might as well go home. Store's closed."

In a nutshell, this is why, sans le revolution, we will NEVER stray from the dead end path of Keynesian economics.

10 posted on 03/01/2009 7:48:04 AM PST by Thommas
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To: rellimpank
Keynesianism will always be popular with the left, no matter how many times it fails, because it is a system that requires massive government control and centeralized government planning.
11 posted on 03/01/2009 7:52:47 AM PST by NavVet ( If you don't defend Conservatism in the Primaries, you won't have it to defend in November)
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To: rellimpank

I suggest the reason that the failed theories are once again put to use is that their failure is the goal. Said failure can be used as an excuse to do more of the same. Case in point. The first 700 billion (Bush) bailout did not work so we have a second, a third, and a follow on huge spending bill in the works. All of which will also fail, giving rise to still more of the same.

After all, if government did the right thing, government would not be necessary. Clearly, the political class cannot permit that to happen. They would be out of a job.


12 posted on 03/01/2009 7:55:38 AM PST by A. Rational Human (http://arationalhuman.blogspot.com/)
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To: Gondring

If you must generalize with no facts to back it up, so will I. FReepers run from Ron Paul’s nutty foreign policy ideas. As far as domestic spending goes, Paul is right on target.


13 posted on 03/01/2009 7:57:38 AM PST by Republic of Texas (Socialism Always Fails)
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To: rellimpank

http://www.amazon.com/Road-Serfdom-Fiftieth-Anniversary/dp/0226320618/ref=sr_1_18?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1235922177&sr=1-18

The Road to Serfdom — F.A Hayek


14 posted on 03/01/2009 7:59:42 AM PST by dajeeps
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To: rellimpank; rabscuttle385; TigerLikesRooster

"There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as a result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved."

-~~Ludwig Von Mises

15 posted on 03/01/2009 8:00:10 AM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Republic of Texas

True, were it not for his terrible foreign policy, I’d be a Paul supporter. But the foreign policy is a deal breaker for me.


16 posted on 03/01/2009 8:08:26 AM PST by Marie2 (Ora et labora)
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To: Travis McGee

I can no longer afford barrels.


17 posted on 03/01/2009 8:08:48 AM PST by John Leland 1789
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To: Marie2; Republic of Texas

As I said, conservatism is dead. America has decided that the role of government is a lot larger than in the past and that its role is to run all over the globe spending and giving away money that it has borrowed and must be repaid by the taxpayers at gunpoint.


18 posted on 03/01/2009 8:11:56 AM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: John Leland 1789
I can no longer afford barrels.

That's okay, join ACORN and get one for free.

19 posted on 03/01/2009 8:14:38 AM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: Gondring
Even FReepers run from Ron Paul’s conservative proposals

Paul's economic views are great -- best I've heard out of D.C.; if only his foreign policy were more to my liking.

20 posted on 03/01/2009 8:41:44 AM PST by BfloGuy (It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we can expect . . .)
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To: rellimpank
Keynesianism is back again because business has laid off employees again. Keynesianism will be out of vogue again when business starts hiring again.
21 posted on 03/01/2009 8:55:40 AM PST by ex-snook ("But above all things, truth beareth away the victory.")
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To: BfloGuy
"Paul's economic views are great -- best I've heard out of D.C.; if only his foreign policy were more to my liking. "

Views were quite similar - no bailouts for anyone domestic or foreign.

22 posted on 03/01/2009 9:00:49 AM PST by ex-snook ("But above all things, truth beareth away the victory.")
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To: rellimpank
It's not "Keynesianism", it's "Kenyanism" -- the Annointed One is trying to turn the US into a failed Third-World hellhole, much like Kenya or Chicago.

Cheers!

23 posted on 03/01/2009 9:07:50 AM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: Huck
Keynesianism never went away. It is the "economics" of politicians. It is no Economics at all. It doesn't even make sense. I mean that the English does not make sense. The logic in Keynes' Theory of money, Etc is not logical. He contradicts himself within the confines of single paragraphs. He writes non sequiturs, etc. The book seems to be the same sort of treatise that MIT students occasionally get published in peer-reviewed journals only to publicly laugh their arses off after publication because they are deliberate nonsense designed to snow the peers. Politicians love Keynes because he seems to justify central control of the Economy by a few "experts" whose adjustments and helmsmanship are required to make the free market work. Parse it a bit and there is nothing there.
24 posted on 03/01/2009 9:25:23 AM PST by arthurus ( H.L. Mencken said, "EWhy would thpvery election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.")
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To: Huck

I never had any faith in any of the Bushes and was pleasantly surprised by Jeb (I live in Florida). As for George- l and ll, well, Clinton, Gore, and Kerry were far worse choices. I still do not crave to see Jeb Bush the Republican candidate for President in 2012 or ever. He carries the wrong genes.


25 posted on 03/01/2009 9:29:44 AM PST by arthurus ( H.L. Mencken said, "EWhy would thpvery election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.")
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To: ex-snook
Keynesianism will never be "out of vogue" with the political class. Politicians are dynamic can-do individuals. With only a couple of exceptions, they believe that they can fix any problem with positive input even where positive input is poison. The exceptions that I know of were Reagan, Coolidge and Cleveland. They understood there is no positive thing that the government can do to fix an injured economy. Useful government actions re the economy are all negative; reducing taxes, removing taxes, eliminating regulations, etc. Keynes gives politicians the excuse to meddle in and tinker with and even strangle the economy or clop it between the eyes with a crowbar all in the name of "doing something."
26 posted on 03/01/2009 9:39:01 AM PST by arthurus ( H.L. Mencken said, "EWhy would thpvery election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.")
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To: rellimpank

The article is spot-on.

Unfortunately, the study of Economics invariably begins with a dose of PURE Keynes, in the form of Macro-Economics. It is not without value, because it does introduce the concept of mathematical models to represent behavioral patterns. But it deals in aggregate behaviors without considering the many and varied motivations and incentives for those INDIVIDUAL decisions about economic activities.

Parents, I plead with you - have your children take MICRO-Econ FIRST, so they will have some understanding of those individual decisions and how to model them, before they advance to the grandiose visions of managing national and global economic systems.


27 posted on 03/01/2009 9:42:17 AM PST by MainFrame65 (The US Senate: World's greatest PREVARICATIVE body!.)
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To: rellimpank

Deuteronomy 15:1-2

1 At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release.

2 And this is the manner of the release: Every creditor that lendeth ought unto his neighbour shall release it; he shall not exact it of his neighbour, or of his brother; because it is called the LORD’s release.


28 posted on 03/01/2009 9:46:25 AM PST by donna (Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy.)
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To: Huck; Moonman62
Hey Huck, Bush is NOT President. I am sick and tired of Freepers pissing on Bush.

Obama is President. Got that????

From your last link dated August 27, 2001:

“But Keynes's own formula in the “General Theory” was subtler. The key to recovery, he argued, lies in investor psychology. Investors are motivated “as a result of animal spirits — of a spontaneous urge to action rather than inaction.” Investors overcome fear “as a healthy man puts aside the expectation of death.”

And here is the central task for Mr. Bush: He needs to reduce uncertainty and fear in the financial markets by promoting policies that are stable and predictable.”

By the New York Times'/IHT's standard Obama has FAILED! The Market which looks FORWARD (from October 2008 on wards) knew Obama would be a free market NIGHTMARE.

YOUR President Obama just signed a $3,500,000,000,000 bill without reading it in its entirety. YOUR President just declared war on small businesses, entrepenpeurs, the stock market, etc. Your President had condemned millions of workers to unemployment with this Non-Stimulus Bill. Your President just condemned this country to a long recession at the very least. Get over Bush. Your President IS Obama.

29 posted on 03/01/2009 10:06:36 AM PST by Chgogal (Don't look at me, Comrade. You elected them!)
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To: MainFrame65

I found this book to be interesting, and I laughed as the media and the Democrats were outraged when it was first published.

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything is a 2005 non-fiction book by University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt and New York Times journalist Stephen J. Dubner. The book has been described as melding pop culture with economics.[2] As of 2008 it has sold over 3 million copies worldwide


30 posted on 03/01/2009 11:09:19 AM PST by Morgan in Denver (Barack Hussein Obama: More corrupt than Clinton, more inept than Carter.)
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To: Chgogal; Huck
Hey Huck, Bush is NOT President. I am sick and tired of Freepers pissing on Bush.

Obama is President. Got that????

W gave tax cuts a bad name and that's going to have a negative effect for years if not decades. He's like a skunk who's sprayed his scent all over the place. It's going to take time and effort to get rid of the stench.

31 posted on 03/01/2009 11:10:50 AM PST by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: Chgogal
No need for hysterics. I agree that Obama is following the wrong course. Nothing shocking there.

But the topic of this thread is Keynesianism, and why it is "back in vogue." I have presented evidence to remind people that it was the Bush administration pushing Keynesianism before Obama ever took office.

Temporary tax cuts. Stimulus checks. Rebate checks. It was all Keynsian, all the time. The facts are what they are. Sorry the truth is so unpleasant.

32 posted on 03/01/2009 11:38:28 AM PST by Huck (Palin is perfect just where she is....in Alaska.)
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To: arthurus

Neither did I. I didn’t vote for Bush in 00. Voted for him in 04, based solely on the war still going on. I felt the troops needed Bush over Kerry. Other than that, Bush was basically worse than my already low expectations.


33 posted on 03/01/2009 11:44:26 AM PST by Huck (Palin is perfect just where she is....in Alaska.)
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To: Huck; Moonman62
Focus on Obama. Bush had low approval ratings. Focus on Obama.

The Anti-Bush Freepers like the Rabid BDS Dems are STILL talking about Bush while Obama is DESTROYING the economy with no questions asked.

Instead of raising Hell, RINOs and Anti-Bush Freepers wallow in what was instead of what is and what will be.

Enough! Focus on Obama. Focus on Obama.

Deal with the now and the future. Focus on Obama.

You want reality. Check these posts, dear Rabid Freeper:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2196311/posts?page=32#32

Because
RINOs and Anti-Bush Freepers are so INTIMIDATED with the past they cannot fight the fight that needs to be fought.

Again for the billionth time, we need to:

1) decrease income taxes
2) decrease fuel taxes
3) increase domestic drilling
4) increase refining capacity
5) decrease capital gains taxes to:
a. 0% for two years
b. 5% for two years
c. 10% for two years
d 15% for two year
6) decrease depreciation from 30 years to 15 years.

Now fight the fight or get out of the way.

34 posted on 03/01/2009 12:12:47 PM PST by Chgogal (Don't look at me, Comrade. You elected them!)
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To: Huck

Were you a Gore Bore?


35 posted on 03/01/2009 12:14:02 PM PST by Chgogal (Don't look at me, Comrade. You elected them!)
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To: Chgogal
In the long run, we must learn from our past mistakes in order to succeed. And that means, first of all, acknowledging our mistakes.

We ought to be able to deal with the now, while at the same time learning from our mistakes and planning for the future. It can all be accomplished, in fact, it all must be accomplished.

It's simply a fact that GWB used Keynsian policies again and again. Newt called him out on it at CPAC. In one crisp speech, he dealt with past mistakes, offered new solutions, and took on Obama. It's possible, and necessary.

36 posted on 03/01/2009 12:16:26 PM PST by Huck (Palin is perfect just where she is....in Alaska.)
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To: Chgogal

No. I’ve never voted for a Democrat on any level.


37 posted on 03/01/2009 12:16:59 PM PST by Huck (Palin is perfect just where she is....in Alaska.)
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To: Huck
: )

No argument there!

We know from history that the following stimulates employment/economy:

1) decrease income taxes
2) decrease fuel taxes
3) increase domestic drilling
4) increase refining capacity
5) decrease capital gains taxes to:
a. 0% for two years
b. 5% for two years
c. 10% for two years
d 15% for two year
6) decrease depreciation from 30 years to 15 years.

Now let's fight the good fight and do what is right for American Workers today and tomorrow. Focus on Obama. Focus on Obama Focus on Obama.

: )

38 posted on 03/01/2009 12:20:03 PM PST by Chgogal (Don't look at me, Comrade. You elected them!)
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To: Huck

Whew! I can still talk to you. You passed the test. ; )


39 posted on 03/01/2009 12:26:07 PM PST by Chgogal (Don't look at me, Comrade. You elected them!)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
It's that simple.

It's even simpler than you think.

Keynesianism disregards the long-term effects of its own actions. Famously, Keynes himself, when challenged on this point, said, "In the long run, we're all dead".

Now, as a man captivated by sex with other men, Keynes' interests were in the present. Posterity was no concern of his - he renounced his genitive nature and had no offspring.

Since his time, most of society has taken up his "here and now" orientation. If a child conceived tonight is not aborted, he or she will in all likelihood be denied a real childhood. If the child is a girl, she will be sexualized prematurely. If the child is a boy, he will be immersed in pornographic filth by an early age, forever distorting his capacity to be a father and a husband.

So, when people say, "we're all Keynesians now", they say more than they intend.

We deny our posterity, to the point that most of the young cannot even entertain the concept. The posterity for which the US Constitution was written, for whose benefit the blessings of Liberty were secured, do not exist in the mind of the average American.

Without posterity and without Heaven, after all, who gives a sh*t if the currency is debased? After all, in the long run, "we're all dead", to quote Professor Keynes.

40 posted on 03/01/2009 12:29:33 PM PST by Jim Noble (They are willing to kill for socialism...but not to die for it.)
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To: Chgogal

I’m for all that stuff you listed. Toss in a dividends tax cut while you’re at it. And nuke power.


41 posted on 03/01/2009 12:35:48 PM PST by Huck (Palin is perfect just where she is....in Alaska.)
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To: Huck
I remember complaining at the time about it. But back then it was all rah-rah Bush all the time.

Liberal ia called "conservative" as long as you have an (R) after your name and pretend to fight a War on Terror (while leaving the homeland vulnerable to attack with the border open).

42 posted on 03/01/2009 2:57:28 PM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: rellimpank

Because there’s a failed Kenyan in the WH! ;^)


43 posted on 03/01/2009 3:31:38 PM PST by TigersEye (This is the age of the death of reason.)
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To: donna

Just maybe God knows how bad his creation(s) are at basic economics.


44 posted on 03/01/2009 3:38:54 PM PST by nomorelurker
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To: rellimpank

The Kensyians have been brooding for decades. They think that had their advice been followed before there would have been no great depression. Instead the powers that be here and in Europe caused a tightening and squeezing and killing of the banks. Tens of thousands of banks failed. Business stopped. Jobs evaporated.

This time it will be different. This time we will flood the markets and there will be so much money there cannot possibly be a significant down turn.

Har


45 posted on 03/01/2009 4:16:20 PM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 . John Galt hell !...... where is Francisco dÂ’Anconia)
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To: Huck
Yes, I was thinking Obama should also increase long term capital gains/dividend losses from let's say $3,000 to $5,000 for the next five years. ; )

And of course we should increase nuke power. EDF is trying to place itself in the market. There is so much for him to do and what does he do? He goes on a date with his wife on Valentine's Day and then signs a bill that saves Pelosie’s Salt Marsh Mouse instead of growing the economy. Yikes! We have a loser here!

46 posted on 03/01/2009 8:45:46 PM PST by Chgogal (Don't look at me, Comrade. You elected them!)
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To: Huck; Moonman62
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2196633/posts?page=103#103

“Chris Wallance on FNS, to Senator Jon Kyl: “Senator, the Republicans have an image problem with overspending ...”
Kyl had a luke-warm response to that, although Rep. Ryan had a much better comment a little later. I like this Ryan. He talked about the Pubbies being amateurs in spending, which the Dems are professionals. (we should not forget that amateurs built the Ark, and professionals built the Titanic.)

But, the Republicans need to start using the word “amuck” when talking about the Democrats and spending. The image of Chuck the Schmuck and Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi running down the street handing out blank, signed checks to total strangers should be in the background every time a Republican talks about Democrat spending.”

I didn't watch the Sunday Morning programs. But if what is stated is accurate, Kyl needs to get over the Bush years. Focus on today and the future.

47 posted on 03/01/2009 9:16:32 PM PST by Chgogal (Don't look at me, Comrade. You elected them!)
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To: Chgogal

I have a better idea. Cut all unconstitutional spending which would eliminate 75% of spending then reduce taxes to the point that we make just enough surplus to pay back maturing debt.


48 posted on 03/02/2009 5:31:00 AM PST by djsherin (Government is essentially the negation of liberty.)
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