Are Bush and Obama Synonymous?

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Shore Properties 1005238

I was listening to one of my favorite news/talk programs, "Morning Joe" as I was checking email today and the folks on the show were having a discussion on the mistakes Obama has made and it led me to start thinking about how the last two administrations are pretty darn similar.  Think about it:

Healthcare - Bush adds the prescription drug program which did nothing to control the price of drugs.  Obama overhauls the health-care system - it does nothing to control costs.

Spending - Bush more than doubled the national debt from 5 trillion to over 10 trillion dollars. Obama is on his way to doing the same thing.

War - Bush took us to war in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Obama has doubled down in Afghanistan and has opened a new 'front' in Libya and 'secret' drone attacks in Yemen.

Taxes - Bush tax cuts.  Obama extended them. Both exacerbating the debt issue

Patriot Act - Bush made it law, Obama extended it (with little fan-fare) a week or so ago.

GITMO - Bush started it, Obama is continuing with the our own little gulag system.

This is just a few examples off the top of my head. In the meantime corporations are making record profit.  Let me say this again...RECORD PROFITS, while the middle class has seen no real wage increases in over 10 years...as a matter of fact, 'real earnings' for the middle class have declined.

What's going on here?  IMHO, while the 'styles' of the two parties are drastically different, they're fundamentally really very similar.  While the congress and the presidency may change every few years, one thing that does not change and that is the underlying power structure of lobbyists and Washington insiders. 

And what do we, the citizens, do?  The folks on the right call Obama a socialist, the folks on the left called Bush a fascist.  While we're having this childish food-fight, the 'powers-that-be' continue to do what they do...which is make as much money as possible at the expense of our country and citizens.

The question is:  Now what?

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Rainmaker
565,629
Mike Saunders
Lanier Partners - Athens, GA

I am just going to challenge one of your assertions at this time, reserving the right to comment on the others at a later time.

Your point 4 ( although they are unnumbered) -0 Tax Cuts - when the "Bush" tax cuts took effect after 2003 federal income tax revenues rose to record levels (interestingly, just like they did after the Reagen and Kennedy tax cuts). However, federal spending rose faster than the tax cuts. Ergo, it was not the tax cuts that exacerbated the deficits and the debt, but rather the excessive spending. Using your logic, we should blame the employer who gives a raise for the employee's increase in spending to outpace the raise.

Jun 17, 2011 07:45 AM #1
Rainmaker
576,381
Karl Hess
Keller Williams Shore Properties - Barnegat, NJ
on The Jersey Shore

Mike...the myth that tax cuts created increased revenues is oft repeated and always incorrect.

The CBO analyzed data to uncover the causes of revenue growth since 2003 in response to a request from Sen. Kent Conrad, chair of the Senate budget committee. In a letter to Conrad, CBO Director Peter R. Orszag says that overall receipts increased by 1.9 percentage points as a share of GDP and that the increase "disproportionately" comes from a rise in corporate income tax revenues.

Orszag attributes two-thirds of the bump in corporate taxes to an increase in corporate profits. The rest he pins to tax policy. For instance, when provisions allowing partial expensing of investment in equipment expired, tax revenue increased. In other words, revenue declined when the provisions were enacted and bumped up again when they expired.

Orszag says there was growth in capital gains realizations in individual tax receipts, but measures such as lower rates on dividends and an increase in the child tax credit, as well as a drop in job wages, caused a reduction in revenues. A CBO chart in Orszag's letter shows that legislation (not counting an impact on capital gains) had a total negative effect on revenue growth.

The impact of the tax cuts on economic growth is a matter of debate among economists. We're not voicing a view on whether the tax cuts should have been enacted; that, too, is a separate discussion. But it is clear they did not "increase revenues."

Jun 17, 2011 09:37 AM #2
Rainmaker
319,542
Goodbye Active Rain
Out of Real Estate

Karl, Yes they are!  All politics is controlled by banks and corporations.  The President must obey their orders.  It is so clear to see if you are willing to do the research as I have done over the past 3 years. Politics is a farce meant to keep people divided and fighting.  The Left/Right paradigm might as well be the new civil war.

Politics is a joke and no longer relevant.  Our problems today are technical and no amount of laws will fix them.  More laws only strip away liberties and keep the masses quiet and controlled.  Humanity must grow up and get out of the dark ages.

It's that simple.

Jun 18, 2011 02:20 AM #3
Rainmaker
3,983,763
William Feela
WHISPERING PINES REALTY - North Branch, MN
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Money talks and because we the people have very little of it we get to talk very little.

Jun 18, 2011 09:28 AM #4
Rainer
129,004
Ron Brown NMLS #270845
NMLS ID: 40831 - Federal Way, WA

Karl - I get your point, and agree with your conclusion that party affiliation seems to make little difference in actual policy implementation. 

However, there is one Key difference - Obama campaigned on the promise to America that he would CHANGE things, and he has merely exacerbated existing problems, making things worse than when he took office.

As for a solution; we need to start supporting 3rd party candidates.  While it is highly unlikely they will win, they will take notice when support outside the 2 party system gets into the double digits.  Once that support range is found, the chance to influence actual behavior increases.

Jun 19, 2011 01:19 PM #5
Rainmaker
565,629
Mike Saunders
Lanier Partners - Athens, GA

Karl - and why did profits increase? Because people spent more. There was more money available for discretionary spending. The net was an increase of $635 billion in federal tax revenues. Similar events occurred from 1965 - 1969 (when the Kennedy cuts took effect) and in the mid 80's when the Reagen cuts occurred. The important thing to look at in Orzag's analysis is that everything is "relative to GDP", as opposed to relative to revenues previously collected. Yes, the cuts in dividend and capital gains, when taken in isolation, had a reduction relative to GDP, but, in the following sentence he states that it resulted in a net increase in revenue of .3%.

If you read carefully, there was an overall record increase in gross federal income tax revenues in dollars clearly stated in the report. There was no loss of revenue, except when measured against a percentage of GDP, which averaged above 3% 2003 - 2007 (this report only goes through 2006, in 2007 income tax revenues again increase by about $46 billion or roughly 3%).

Jun 20, 2011 04:07 AM #6
Rainmaker
576,381
Karl Hess
Keller Williams Shore Properties - Barnegat, NJ
on The Jersey Shore

Ron:  I'm not so sure Obama has made things that much worse, in the last two years there have been 2 million private sector jobs created in comparison to the hundreds of thousands we were losing in 2008.  But I do agree that we haven't see much "change."

Mike: You almost completely disregarded my statement and came out what is basically a defense of the "Laffer Curve." Virtually every economics Ph.D. who has worked in a prominent role in the Bush Administration acknowledges that the tax cuts enacted during the his administraion have not paid for themselves--and were never intended to. Harvard professor Greg Mankiw, chairman of Bush's Council of Economic Advisers from 2003 to 2005, even devotes a section of his best-selling economics textbook to debunking the claim that tax cuts increase revenues.

Jun 21, 2011 01:10 AM #7
Rainmaker
565,629
Mike Saunders
Lanier Partners - Athens, GA

Karl - regardless of what Mankiw, or others have to say, history has demonstrated differently. From 65 - 69, when the Kennedy tax cuts too affect, federal income tax revenues went up by over 60%. A lot of people try to rewrite history, or at least offer different explanations of why what happenned didn't really happen.

And no, I did not ignore your statement. Bush & Obama are two incredibly different presidents, but yes, Obama has continued some of the Bush policies. However, Gitmo is certainly not because he wanted to. Remember, it was his democratic super majority that shot that down.

Jun 21, 2011 08:51 AM #8
Rainmaker
576,381
Karl Hess
Keller Williams Shore Properties - Barnegat, NJ
on The Jersey Shore

Mike, revenues may have increased, but it was not, as even the conservative economists have stated, the result of tax cuts. 

Jun 21, 2011 09:08 AM #9
Rainmaker
146,565
Nogui Aramburo
Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS® - Raleigh, NC
Real Estate Professional in the Raleigh Area

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. This administration is only slightly better than the criminal regime that preceeded it. They both serve somebody else besides "we the people"

Jun 23, 2011 12:50 PM #10
Rainmaker
576,381
Karl Hess
Keller Williams Shore Properties - Barnegat, NJ
on The Jersey Shore

Nogui...that pretty much sums it up.

Jun 24, 2011 02:17 AM #11
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Rainmaker
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Karl Hess

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