Presenting The Extremely Liberal Podcast

I’ve been wanting to do a podcast for quite a while and finally got off my ass and made it happen. Although I enjoy writing and will continue to do so, I find that I can express myself much better with words in the air rather than trying to commit them to paper.

One reason it has taken me so long is I’ve been trying to think of a good person to do them with. Joe is a friend and colleague of mine and we’ve always been able to discuss politics with ease. He has agreed to help me with this little venture.

We’ve recorded 3 podcasts so far, but I am posting the latest first, because it is more timely. I will post the first two in good time, so you can hear our predictions about the first two debates (Presidential 1 & Vice Presidential) and how far off we were.

Without further ado, here is Episode 3 of “The Extremely Liberal Podcast”.

Download the MP3 here! (right click and save as – 93.7 mbs)

Romney’s One Point, “Magic Bullet” Plan To Fix Everything

With the passing of Senator Arlen Specter, I was reminded of the “magic bullet theory” he devised while working for the Warren Commission investigating the assassination of President Kennedy. I couldn’t help but see a parallel to Mitt Romney’s singular solution to all the country’s problems – more tax cuts for the 1%. He believes that cutting tax rates that benefit the wealthy disproportionately and rolling back regulations that President Obama put on Wall Street after the 2008 crash, will somehow fix everything.

Just forget about Bush’s tax cuts in 2001 & 2003 that added $3 trillion dollars to the national debt and ignore the fact that in the years after those tax cuts, America lost 8 million jobs during the Bush recession, which was handed to our newly elected president. And of course, you should also forget that the Republican leaders, including Paul Ryan, met on President Obama’s inauguration day to plot complete obstruction of the new president for political reasons.

Let’s call Romney’s one point plan what it is, TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMICS. The belief that if we just coddle the rich, they will, in their benevolence, share the wealth with the rest of us by supposedly creating jobs. Just ignore that new Jaguar they are driving, or the 4th home in the Hamptons or the Rolex watch that is weighing down their Bermuda tanned arms. It will trickle. Really!

The concept of supply-side economics has been thoroughly tested and thrown on the trash pile. We only have to look at Mitt Romney’s personal history to see a perfect example of how giving even more to those who don’t need it, won’t do a damn thing for the rest of us. Where is Mitt Romney’s money at? IN THE FUCKING CAYMAN ISLANDS, BERMUDA AND IN SWISS BANK ACCOUNTS. Do you think that money will ever trickle down to you?

Mitt Romney is a walking example of how greed and selfishness only creates more greed and selfishness.

Businesses don’t create jobs unless there is a demand for their products or services. It would be fucking stupid to do it otherwise. It’s why they do market analysis and studies to determine whether there is demand. When there is demand, businesses expand and create jobs. No demand, no reason to expand. Any business person who says they will create jobs if we just give them more disposable income is applying Romney’s “greed is good” principle and probably has an eye on a new car or vacation home.

If the government were to invest in rebuilding our infrastructure – roads, bridges, schools, railroads and other foundations of our country that we all rely on – real people will get those jobs like construction workers, teachers, contractors, firefighters, suppliers of the materials for the projects and many more businesses that support those industries. And when those people receive their paychecks, they will create demand for products and services and give a reason for the 1% to actually invest in new jobs. We don’t have to rely on their benevolence, they will do it because it makes business sense.

Here is an analysis that shows the difference between the effects of spending versus tax cuts.

The most widely cited studies include those by the Congressional Budget Office, economists Alan Blinder and Mark Zandi, and economists James Feyrer and Bruce Sacerdote. These reports find a range of values for each program. In these studies, the “bang for the buck” value—what economists call the “multiplier,” or how many dollars of economic activity is fueled by one dollar spent—for overall social protection ranges from 0.8 to 2.31. Separately, Blinder and Zandi report a value of 1.61 for unemployment insurance and 1.74 for food stamps.[2]

Research by Urban Institute economist Wayne Vroman estimates that one dollar spent on unemployment insurance fuels between 1.7 and 2.1 dollars of activity in the overall economy.[3] According to these studies, the value for a dollar of spending on infrastructure ranges from 1 to 2.5, while the value for aid to state and local governments ranges from 0.7 to 1.8.

The analyses value middle-class tax cuts, such as the Making Work Pay tax credit that gave tax credits of $400 ($800 for couples), as generating between 0.6 and 1.5 dollars of additional economic activity; the value of extending the Alternative Minimum Tax patch for high-income earners for an additional year ranges from 0.2 to 0.6 dollars of additional activity. And the analyses value the extension of the housing tax credit for first-time homebuyers, providing credits up to $8000, in the Recovery Act from 0.3 to 0.9.[4]

As you can see, putting money in the hands of consumers who will spend that money does a lot more to spur economic activity. Handing money over to the rich and hoping they create jobs with it is just plain stupid.

President Obama has been working hard to pass legislation like the American Jobs Act that would create an estimated 1.9 million jobs, but the obstructionist Republican party isn’t interested in creating jobs while President Obama is in office. They should be shown the door on November 6 for letting petty politics keep America from recovering from the mess that the GOP congress and President Bush created in the first place.

There is an easy solution, vote Democratic across the board and send a message to the Republicans that American workers are more important than politics.

Cross posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles

Binders Full of Women And Getting Home To Make Dinner!

Here is the question and each candidate’s answer that reveals which one respects women and which one misses the 1950’s when women knew their place. As Romney was talking, I couldn’t help but think of June Cleaver for some reason.

I was more offended at the part where Romney told the story about his chief of staff, who had children you know….apparently none of his male employees had any children.

Romney: …Now one of the reasons I was able to get so many good women to be part of that team was because of our recruiting effort. But number two, because I recognized that if you’re going to have women in the workforce that sometimes you need to be more flexible. My chief of staff, for instance, had two kids that were still in school.

She said, I can’t be here until 7 or 8 o’clock at night. I need to be able to get home at 5 o’clock so I can be there for making dinner for my kids and being with them when they get home from school. So we said fine. Let’s have a flexible schedule so you can have hours that work for you.

You know, because “if you ARE going to have women in the workforce…” you have to be more flexible. From the sounds of it, Romney might prefer that women aren’t in the workplace, who’s going to cook dinner and do laundry and take care of the kids when they get home from school. Golly!

But shucks, if you ARE going to have women in the workplace, you “need to be more flexible.”

Cross posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles

A Note To Andrew Sullivan, Chris Matthews and Ed Schultz – Pre-debate #2

Dear Andrew, Chris & Ed,

President Obama is not an Ultimate Fighter who will exact the revenge that you seek on Mitt Romney.

You are not the only people watching this debate and what the President says is not personal to just you, so prepare yourselves. The President represents all Americans and he isn’t going to just say what you want to hear.

This debate is not the actual election, don’t freak out if Mitt Romney has a good “performance” while telling his blatant lies. He’s been rehearsing for this moment for over 5 years, he ought to be good at it by now. And he can afford to hire (and fire) the best coaches.

As the Republican media spins like hell after the debate, please don’t curl up into the fetal position, stick your giant thumbs in your puckered little mouths and whine like someone took your “bankie” away. Put on your big boy pants and act like an adult. You can do it.

What the candidates say actually matters, not just how slickly and passionately they deliver it. Fuck style, give me some substance.

If you give a shit about the future of our country and want to see President Obama continue to move us forward, don’t let your personal expectations and desires interfere with your other higher brain functions, like reasoning and tact.

If you can’t handle any of the above, just SHUT. THE. HELL. UP. and let the rest of us do your jobs for you.

Sincerely,

Extreme Liberal

On The Eve Of The Second Debate, Romney’s “Jobs Plan” Crumbles!

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been flying around the country promising to create 12 million jobs in his first term and he just released a new ad saying the same thing.

Thankfully, there are a few good print journalists left who remember what they were taught in journalism school and actually dug below the surface, beneath the manufactured reality that the right has hoisted on the American people. Glenn Kessler took a look at the 12 million jobs claim by Romney in his latest ad and discovered what I expected, a mishmash of bad math and wishful thinking. Go Glenn…(emphasis mine)

The analysis, which is prominently posted on the Romney campaign Web site, concludes:

 “If we had a recovery that was just the average of past recoveries from deep recessions, like those of 1974-1975 or 1981-1982, the economy would be creating about 200,000 to 300,000 jobs per month. By changing course away from the policies of the current administration and ending economic uncertainty, as proposed by the Romney plan, we expect that the current recovery will align with the average gains of similar  past recoveries. History shows that a recovery rooted in policies contained in the Romney plan will create about 12 million jobs in the first term of a Romney presidency.”

I’m sorry, but any statement that begins with the word “IF” and then ventures down the road of false comparisons and rosy numbers should be thrown out on its face. But then they go on to say with a straight face that by merely “ending economic uncertainty, as proposed by the Romney plan”, the recovery will take off like a rocket and all will be well. When you are living in a fantasy world where you make up the numbers, create a fantasy candidate to run against and lie with abandon with no push back, I’m sure that the idea of just waving a magic wand over “economic uncertainty” is plausible. Why not, the rest of the Romney plan is smoke and mirrors – what makes anyone think they won’t get away with this either.

The man has “style” while lying through his pie-hole.

Glenn Kessler, to his credit, tears apart the basis for Romney’s “12 Million Jobs” ad and looks at the source for the claims in the ad.

But the specifics — 7 million plus 3 million plus 2 million — mentioned by Romney in the ad are not in the white paper. So where did that come from?

We asked the Romney campaign, and the answer turns out to be: totally different studies … with completely different timelines.

For instance, the claim that 7 million jobs would be created from Romney’s tax plan is a 10-year number, derived from a study written by John W. Diamond, a professor at Rice University.

This study at least assesses the claimed effect of specific Romney policies. The rest of the numbers are even more squishy.

For instance, the 3-million-jobs claim for Romney’s energy policies appears largely based on a Citigroup Global Markets study that did not even evaluate Romney’s policies. Instead, the report predicted 2.7 million to 3.6 million jobs would be created over the next eight years, largely because of trends and policies already adopted — including tougher fuel efficiency standards that Romney has criticized and suggested he would reverse.

The 2-million-jobs claim from cracking down on China is also very suspicious.

Now just to be clear, the above justifications for the numbers came from the Romney campaign. The 7 million jobs number is a “10-year number” and was the only study cited by the Romney campaign that was even based on the Romney “plan”, such that it is.

The 3-million-jobs claim came from a study that looks at 8 years and was based largely on policies that President Obama has adopted, some of which Romney plans to reverse.

The 2-million-jobs, that Romney thinks will magically appear, will materialize by “cracking down on China.” It is based on old numbers and economic conditions and relies on China cooperating on intellectual property rights. If you really think that’s going to happen, I have a nice condo in the Cayman Islands, very near Romney’s tax shelter corporation, that I will sell you really cheap.

With only 3 weeks to go until the election, it is astounding to watch the Romney campaign get away with the most shallow, fact free campaign for the White House that our country has ever known.

Thankfully there are still a few great journalists around that also care about truth….because damn it, it will set you free.

Cross posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles