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  The Official Obama Approval Ratings Thread (search mode)
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Author Topic: The Official Obama Approval Ratings Thread  (Read 999470 times)
The Duke
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« on: January 24, 2009, 05:07:54 am »

The One.
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The Duke
JohnD.Ford
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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2009, 12:23:47 pm »

Obama always made it clear that he would listen to the generals, and get out as carefully as we carelessly got in.

Are you seriously posting verbatim lines from Obama campaign speeches as your argument?

All Obama's Iraq plan does is abide by the SOFA signed before he ever took office.  The Iraq stuff is the least interesting news story of the month unless you've been paying literally no attention all this time.
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The Duke
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« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2009, 09:06:27 pm »

Isn;t the PPP poll registered voters?  Rassmusen is likely voters and they Obama in the 60s.  The Gallup and AP polls are all adults.

Isn't the unreported story on these approval ratings that Obama's numbers among people who are paying attention are mediocre and his numbers among people who get their news by reading the cover of Us Weekly in the supermarket checkout are high?

Shouldn't we start saying that PPP and Rasmussen are the canary in the coal mine?  That they are outliers because they measure a different, and more relevant, universe of people than the AP and Gallup polls?  And that their sample is telling us where things are headed?
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The Duke
JohnD.Ford
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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2009, 06:29:05 pm »

2. Economic calamity. Nobody expects any reprise of the real-estate boom of the Dubya era; such is clearly impossible. Real estate will be a very poor investment in the 2010s unless it is bought cheaply or built cheaply... and everyone knows that. Enough time remains for a boom that goes bust.

Except that no one who knows anything thinks the real estte bubble is over.  Seen commercial real estate values?  As we say in California, aftershock.

A calamity is not required, just sustained misery.  I fully expect sustained misery (in fact I expect the next President to preside over sustained misery).
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The Duke
JohnD.Ford
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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2009, 07:44:15 pm »

This thread will be amusing when unemployment hits 12%.
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The Duke
JohnD.Ford
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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2009, 12:40:56 am »

This thread will be amusing when unemployment hits 12%.

I don't know, with GOP reactions like that, I'd say that it's pretty amusing right now. Smiley

You can pretty much put me in the Sam Spade level of pessimism camp on the economy.  I basically think we're in deep you-know-what for a couple of years no matter what we do, and it will come as no shock that I think almost every single thing Obama has done has made the problem bigger.  He misdiagnosed both the problem and the solution.

So yeah, suffice it to say I think Obama's approval ratings are going to slide quite a bit over the next year.
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The Duke
JohnD.Ford
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« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2009, 05:46:08 pm »

My suspicion is that Rassmussen's numbers dipped down because people aren't in love with the GM takeover.
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The Duke
JohnD.Ford
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« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2009, 10:05:51 pm »

My suspicion is that Rassmussen's numbers dipped down because people aren't in love with the GM takeover.

What do you suggest then, leave GM to fail and cause another economic crisis?  If he ratings went down because of this, the American people are too stupid to know how the economy works. 

How exactly would it cause an economic crisis? You liquidate it and sell it off piece by piece. Do you seriously think the government can run a car company? When is the last time the government has done anything right?

He appears not to understand how bankruptcy works.  If GM filed for bankruptcy in the traditional Chapter 11 (Instead of the version of Chapter 11 they entered into under the federal government's plan), a bankruptcy judge would simply rewrite the terms of the union contract and shrink the brand lines down based on a standard of reasonableness.  The company would restructure and become solvent again.  GM would not go away.

Instead, we've got the government taking over a car company without doing the things that need to be done to make it competitive.  The government will now subsidize make-work jobs at above market wages for the President's labor union backers so Obama can win Michigan in 2012.

In the process, we have prevented companies like Tesla and Magna (Small electrical car manufacturers) from having a fair chance to expand and take over GM's market share.  GM will have massive govenrment aid in retaining its market share and these smaller more agile companies that haven't run themselves into the ground will never have a chance to compete fairly.
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The Duke
JohnD.Ford
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« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2009, 05:13:43 am »
« Edited: June 07, 2009, 05:22:18 am by The Chairman »

My suspicion is that Rassmussen's numbers dipped down because people aren't in love with the GM takeover.

What do you suggest then, leave GM to fail and cause another economic crisis?  If he ratings went down because of this, the American people are too stupid to know how the economy works. 

How exactly would it cause an economic crisis? You liquidate it and sell it off piece by piece. Do you seriously think the government can run a car company? When is the last time the government has done anything right?

He appears not to understand how bankruptcy works.  If GM filed for bankruptcy in the traditional Chapter 11 (Instead of the version of Chapter 11 they entered into under the federal government's plan), a bankruptcy judge would simply rewrite the terms of the union contract and shrink the brand lines down based on a standard of reasonableness.  The company would restructure and become solvent again.  GM would not go away.

Instead, we've got the government taking over a car company without doing the things that need to be done to make it competitive.  The government will now subsidize make-work jobs at above market wages for the President's labor union backers so Obama can win Michigan in 2012.

In the process, we have prevented companies like Tesla and Magna (Small electrical car manufacturers) from having a fair chance to expand and take over GM's market share.  GM will have massive govenrment aid in retaining its market share and these smaller more agile companies that haven't run themselves into the ground will never have a chance to compete fairly.

Have you been even following this story at all? There is no DIP financing for GM (or indeed for many companies) out there right now, thanks to the global economic crisis. The kind of Chapter 11 bankruptcy you are talking about is a fantasy. The alternative to nationalization was total liquidation.

Nhoj is actually right that this is not the place to discuss GM, but I have to say that if there is no DIP financing available, then that is a good sign the company can never be viable and it should be allowed to fail and go into liquidation.  If no lenders want a piece of this taxpayers shouldn't want a piece of it either and we've just sunk another couple of billion down a rat hole.  If no one will be a DIP lender to GM then our choice is simply between GM failing now and GM failing later.  I say its cheaper to let it fail now.

But I don't think the issue was financing becuase the banks have more cash on their balance sheet than at any point in a long time.  Further, the government basically owns the banks, too, so a call from Tim Geithner to Jamie Dimon would have been able to produce some DIP financinf, no?  The White House hasn't shied away from using the fact that they own the banks to push their political agenda before. 

But the issue is not and never was DIP financing.  The money could have been gotten, either by GM finding fnancing or by having Treasury throw their elbows around to get the financing.  And if the issue was a lack of financing, the government could have simply provided the financing.  They could have given GM a loan as a stand-in for a bank.  Instead, the government decided to buy a goddam car company.

The issue was never the availablity of financing.  The issue is that the administration wanted to avoid the rewriting of union contracts that would have occurred under a real Chapter 11 process.
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The Duke
JohnD.Ford
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« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2009, 02:17:09 pm »

Obama is down to 51% in Rassy and down to  56% in the RCP average.

Don't worry, Dems, I'm sure that Obama is as invincible as you've all told us for months.
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The Duke
JohnD.Ford
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« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2009, 02:23:52 pm »

Obama is down to 51% in Rassy and down to  56% in the RCP average.

Don't worry, Dems, I'm sure that Obama is as invincible as you've all told us for months.

I'm not worried considering Saint Reagan was sitting at 35% in Gallup as of January 1983

Saint Reagan's won because the economy recovered in the second half of '83.  So Obama should be fine if the next election doesn't happen until 2017.
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The Duke
JohnD.Ford
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« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2009, 03:53:20 pm »

Obama is down to 51% in Rassy and down to  56% in the RCP average.

Don't worry, Dems, I'm sure that Obama is as invincible as you've all told us for months.

I'm not worried considering Saint Reagan was sitting at 35% in Gallup as of January 1983

Saint Reagan's won because the economy recovered in the second half of '83.  So Obama should be fine if the next election doesn't happen until 2017.
I don't see how the economy would take that long to recover when almost every group of economists has predicted the recovery to start in 2010...

The same economists who didn't see the crash coming?  The same economists who now have to admit their stimulus projections were wrong because they underestimated the recession?

And when the ysay the recession will end, they mean GDP will stop literally shrinking.  That doesn't mean they are predicting recovery.

In 1984 the economy grew at a 5.8% pace.  For 1983 it grew at a 7.7% pace.  There is nothing like that on the horizon.
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The Duke
JohnD.Ford
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« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2009, 05:07:41 pm »

The same economists who didn't see the crash coming?  The same economists who now have to admit their stimulus projections were wrong because they underestimated the recession?

And when the ysay the recession will end, they mean GDP will stop literally shrinking.  That doesn't mean they are predicting recovery.

In 1984 the economy grew at a 5.8% pace.  For 1983 it grew at a 7.7% pace.  There is nothing like that on the horizon.

Well, I guess the only thing that's left to do for Obama is to appoint you next January as Bernanke's succesor.

It wouldn't be a bad move, though I don't think Bernanke is the problem.
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The Duke
JohnD.Ford
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« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2009, 05:08:17 pm »

The same economists who didn't see the crash coming?  The same economists who now have to admit their stimulus projections were wrong because they underestimated the recession?

And when the ysay the recession will end, they mean GDP will stop literally shrinking.  That doesn't mean they are predicting recovery.

In 1984 the economy grew at a 5.8% pace.  For 1983 it grew at a 7.7% pace.  There is nothing like that on the horizon.

Well, I guess the only thing that's left to do for Obama is to appoint you next January as Bernanke's succesor.

Yes, I'd be a real booster for consumer confidence.

And I don't think Bernanke is the problem.
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The Duke
JohnD.Ford
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« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2009, 06:45:03 pm »

CNN Poll:

61% approve, 37% disapprove

http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/08/rel10j.pdf

...*waits for a response from a Republican*...

RCP has a CNN poll with a 61-37 approval, but it says the poll was conducted in late June.  If this is the same poll, it occurred when other polls had Obama around 60% and before the new job loss numbers.  More recent polls have Obama much lower.
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The Duke
JohnD.Ford
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« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2009, 01:17:44 am »

Obama is down to 51% in Rassy and down to  56% in the RCP average.

Don't worry, Dems, I'm sure that Obama is as invincible as you've all told us for months.

I'm not worried considering Saint Reagan was sitting at 35% in Gallup as of January 1983

Saint Reagan's won because the economy recovered in the second half of '83.  So Obama should be fine if the next election doesn't happen until 2017.
I don't see how the economy would take that long to recover when almost every group of economists has predicted the recovery to start in 2010...

The same economists who didn't see the crash coming?  The same economists who now have to admit their stimulus projections were wrong because they underestimated the recession?

No, the same economists that said that the GOP neutering of the stimulus bill would slow the recovery because Republicans underestimated the recession.

It is amazing that it took only six months for the left's argument to reach this point.

The failure of Keynesianism is evidence of the need for more Keynesianism!

Your arguments have reached the point where nothing is ever falsifiable.  If your polices fail, you can always excuse the failure by saying your policies were not sufficiently pure.  You never have to re-examine your premises or think seriously about where you went wrong, you just have to shout louder.
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The Duke
JohnD.Ford
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« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2009, 03:08:53 am »

It is amazing that it took only six months for the left's argument to reach this point.

The failure of Keynesianism is evidence of the need for more Keynesianism!

Your arguments have reached the point where nothing is ever falsifiable.  If your polices fail, you can always excuse the failure by saying your policies were not sufficiently pure.  You never have to re-examine your premises or think seriously about where you went wrong, you just have to shout louder.

Why does an econimic genius like you continues to argue with some unwashed losers hanging at a politics forum?

I am truly benevolent.
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The Duke
JohnD.Ford
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« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2009, 05:01:23 pm »

I will gladly take Keynesian economics over supply-side theory any day of the week. Comparing the historcial performance of each, as well as the logic behind both theories, it's clear Keynes had it right and supply side is a dismal failure.

Supply side has only really been tried once and it was a huge success.
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The Duke
JohnD.Ford
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« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2009, 04:23:40 am »

I donít really want to turn this into an econ threadjack so I will not address all your points, but I do feel the need to correct the most egregious of your errors.

The time that it worked was the 1980s, when lots of young workers (late-wave Baby Boomers)  entered the workforce who learned because of severe competition in the workplace that they would be wise to be thankful just to be able to have food in their bellies, clothes on their backs, the means of getting to work (an aging used car), and protection from the elements (some tiny apartment). Supply-side economics then rode the learning curve of young workers in rapidly-growing service and retail businesses (like fast food places). It could then be imposed with little loss of personal freedom. Poverty, sure, but tycoons and executives can always exempt themselves from its hazards.

The 1980s were not a period where people got less but were happy to get it, which is how you seem to be portraying it.  Inflation and unemployment fell and GDP grew.  Actual economic indicators went in a positive direction at an impressive rate.

And poverty fell in the 1980s!  I donít have a clue where you would get the idea that most late wave boomers were all stuck working in fast food or that the 1980s created more poor people while shielding tycoons from onrushing social decay.  The America you describe as existing in the 1980s actually has not existed for about a century.

The failure of the 1929 economy was not that it was insufficiently productive by the standards of the time.

No one said that was the cause of the crash of í29.  In fact, my view of the crash of í29 is quite the opposite.  The economy needed to slow down in the late Ď20s because we were in a severe bubble.

The cruder sort of Keynesian (depression) economics can fail -- when it is done too long or in inappropriate times. If it is done in a time of inflation -- as Jimmy Carter tried to do -- it leads almost entirely to inflation.

The Carter years were not an anomaly.  In fact, they are quite instructive because the Keynesians said that high unemployment and high inflation in concert were impossible (Or close to impossible).  The very fact that stagflation happened at all undercuts one of the central theses of Keynesianism: That in times of high unemployment we need not worry about inflation.  The late 1970s proved once and for all that inflation is not caused by prosperity, but rather is a primarily a monetary phenomenon.

This is very useful today.  Keynesians dismiss the events of the 1970s as an anomaly.  Then they dramatically expand the monetary base while increasing government expenditures.  They then claim that there is no threat that increasing public expenditures and growing the money supply will create inflation because there isnít enough consumption to have inflation.  But the 1970s prove that you donít need an overheated economy to have inflation!  When inflation has returned by the middle of next year, the Keynesians will be very surprised but the monetarists and supply-siders will not.  The reason is that Keynesians never learned the central lessons of stagflation because those lessons were too inconvenient for them.


Look at the image of the Great Depression: the people who still had money were hoarding it in the expectation of later needs, rather than enjoying what remained of the bounties of capitalism.

Wrong.  People did not hoard that much in the Great Depression.  The money supply was shrinking when the economy was shrinking.  Once FDR went partially off the Gold Standard and the money supply was allowed to grow people did, in fact, begin consuming as the supply of money increased.  When monetary policy was conducted well, it was an effective stimulus.

Deficit spending that puts people back to work in construction, iron and steel, concrete, brickmaking, lumber, coal, and probably now glass industries and landscaping effectively pays for itself in income tax and sales tax receipts -- and of course reduction in "relief" payments, some of them through the multiplier effect. Some newly-employed construction worker at a dam project or bridge buys, buys, and buys. That worker's income ends up flowing through retail stores, restaurants, apartment rents, etc.

You make the classical economist mistake: You assume that because you can design a stimulus program that will get economic activity going then that means you must be able to actually create that stimulus program in the real world.  But you canít translate that program from the blackboard to real life.  Part of the reason for that is that politics take over and money is directed towards the politically connected and not towards things that are economically viable.  Part of the reason is that shovel ready projects arenít shovel ready.  Part of the reason is the leaky bucket problem, where money is siphoned off in administrative costs instead of being injected straight into the economy.

And part of the problem is that central planners often just make bad decisions about where to spend money, so even when the money is spent quickly and does into the economy it often still doesnít do any good.

You tell me -- does this time look more like 1930 in economic direction... or 1980?  Keynesian depression economics are relevant now as they weren't in 1980. Indeed, JMK would have told government to cut government spending and raise taxes around 1980 even if it were politically uncomfortable.   

Your question is irrelevant.  The issue is not our circumstances; it is the policies you are advocating.  Bad economic policies are bad economic policies.  Keynesianism doesnít work (And it didnít work any better in the US in the 1930s than it did in Japan in the 1990s).  It isnít a matter of it working in some circumstances and not in others; it doesnít work in any circumstances!  If you were advocating policies that would work in certain circumstances but not others, your comparison would be well taken.   But you are not.  You are advocating policies with a track record of perfect failure in all circumstances.
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The Duke
JohnD.Ford
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« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2009, 12:06:43 am »

Fix you quote boxes, please.

And the infaltion of the 1970s wasn't due only to energy prices.  It was due to a large expansion of the money supply.  We had price spikes in '73 and '79, but inflation was a problem from '68-'82.  The inflation was persistent.  Was it worse during the energy price spikes?  Yes, energy exacerbated the problem.  But it is, by itself, an incomplete explanation.
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The Duke
JohnD.Ford
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« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2009, 05:01:57 pm »

pbrower is in fantasyland.  A lot of Dems are.

Comparing Obama in 2012 to Reagan in 1984?

Reagan's "morning in America" campaign worked because the economy was growing.  I fhe had said it was morning in America and unemploymnet had been at 12%, people would have thought he had a screw loose.  Reagan won because he ran on his record.

You think Obama can win simply by pointing to the failures of his predecessor?  Absurd!  If Obama can't turn the economy around, no one will care about George Bush.

Obama's re-election is totally dependent on his record.  If his record is defensible, he will be re-elected.  If his record is indefensible, he will not be re-elected.  Pretening that his charisma guarantees him a second term is unserious.
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The Duke
JohnD.Ford
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« Reply #21 on: July 26, 2009, 03:56:34 am »

We are likely to have a slow recovery. The easy gains from real estate speculation and from predatory or destructive activities (subprime lending, export of jobs) are no longer available. Obama will be unable to impose some economic magic that cuts unemployment levels to the point that inflation becomes a genuine threat, as he does not have command of the economy.

Silly Keynesian, inflation is a monetary phenomenon.  Inflation can occur even without meaningful growth (See: Zimbabwe).

And you are right that the recovery will be slow.  It will take up the lions share of this decade, I'm afraid.  That is one of the main reasons I do not see Obama being re-elected: Recovery will not be obvious enough fast enough.

Nor are Obama's programs likely to make things better.

Any recovery in America is going to depend upon import substitution, formation of small businesses, and the likely recovery of industries that have recently had hard times (like the auto industry). Much of this will happen without him doing anything, and he will derive political gain from it.

I agree that growth will need to be driven by small businesses.  But you can't grow small businesses by raising taxes on small businesses or by mandating employer helath coverage.

Small businesses cannot afford to insure their employees because their small workforces give them little pricing power.

Obama's promised tax increase on the rich is actually a tax increase on small businesses.  Small businesses pay what's claled pass through taxation.  That menas taxes are not levied directly on the business' profits, but rather on the income the owner earns from his business.  Tax increases on the top marignal rate hit small businesses primarily, a fact that is apparently not known by the White House.  50% of the top 5% are small business owners and 75% of the top 1% are small business owners.  The owner recieves his share of the profits and pays income tax on his share.  This is how small businesses are taxed.

Which may include staying out of the way of necessary change, and keeping the corruption  and cronyism that Dubya fell for out of the federal government.

The man whose early campaigns were funded by Tony Rezko will be ending corruption?  How do you expect me to take this seriously?

No corruption in the Obama administration?  See: Walpin, Gerald.

Obama and Emmanuel practice the Chicago Way.

Government activity must be effective and economical; it must create wealth (think of highway projects, conservation, retrofitting buildings for savings of energy, and the like).

When Obama starts building highways, be sure to notify me.

Government may retrofit its own buildings, but this is a tiny protion of our energy consumption.  If we end up saving money by retrofitting buildings, it will be because individuals and businesses chose to do it, not government.

Even defense spending can be part of the mix; a nutty dictator in North Korea who makes Leonid Brezhnev look like a paragon of decency, caution, and reason may force us into the SDI program that Reagan wanted.

Er, Obama just ciut missile defense.

So far I consider it blasphemous to compare Obama to FDR -- but Obama knows his US history. Note well that FDR won a huge landslide victory in 1936 even though the economy had yet recovered the 1929 level of prosperity -- but enough people seemed to believe that America was headed in the right direction.

That will be enough in 2012 to win, if not in a spectacular landslide.

Look at the actual data from FDRs first term.  There is a startling rapid improvement in every meaningful stat.  Where do people get this idea that FDR got re-elected without serious recovery?
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The Duke
JohnD.Ford
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« Reply #22 on: July 26, 2009, 06:19:48 pm »

We are likely to have a slow recovery. The easy gains from real estate speculation and from predatory or destructive activities (subprime lending, export of jobs) are no longer available. Obama will be unable to impose some economic magic that cuts unemployment levels to the point that inflation becomes a genuine threat, as he does not have command of the economy.

Silly Keynesian, inflation is a monetary phenomenon.  Inflation can occur even without meaningful growth (See: Zimbabwe).

Silly deflationist, deflation is also a monetary phenomenon. It always results in extreme hardship for any debtor. The Bush Administration and Big Business pushed debt as a surrogate for income, and deflation would make things far worse. Even we Americans have our limits of tolerance for personal ruin and for economic subjection.

What I'm telling you is not that deflation is good.  I don't know how you got that idea.

What I am telling you is that:
a) The Fed should be tasked with handling the recovery because only they have the tools and expertise to control price level
b) The stimulus ties the Fed's hands by forcing them to monetize more debt than they want to and
c) If you force the Fed to monetize more debt than they want to you can get inflation without growth

You seem to be under the impression that we won't have inflation period.  I think that view is tragically mistaken.  The Fed has managed to keep price level steady, avoiding deflation or inflation, since the crash began.  How much longer will they be able to keep price level steady with our current fiscal policy?  The only way for them to keep price level steady will be to raise interest rates, which will slow the recovery further.

Shoulda let the Fed do its job, guys.
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The Duke
JohnD.Ford
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« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2009, 01:19:46 am »

Sigh.  No one said all government spening is inflationary.  But if government spending forces the central bank to monetize debt (as is happenning now) it will be inflationary.
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The Duke
JohnD.Ford
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« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2009, 07:57:33 pm »

Sigh.  No one said all government spening is inflationary.  But if government spending forces the central bank to monetize debt (as is happenning now) it will be inflationary.
What would be bad about inflation if we are starting to get into levels of big amounts of deflation...

You don't want inflation or deflation.  You want price stability.
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