Patterico's Pontifications

2/4/2009

The L.A. Times “Emerging Consensus” That Isn’t

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 7:10 am

Discussing the Daschle withdrawal, the L.A. Times tells us:

John J. Castellani, who heads the influential Business Roundtable, said over the last month his group has actually been working more closely with members of Congress than with the new administration

That effort builds on the emerging consensus that the federal government must act decisively to help cover the roughly 46 million people in America who lack health insurance.

Lawmakers and interest groups also agree that Washington must take aggressive steps to bring down costs and reward quality care.

Hmmm. There is an “emerging consensus” that the government must act decisively to cover the uninsured? I’m quite sure there is at the water cooler in the L.A. Times newsroom. I’m sure that, for the well-heeled liberals sipping their lattes in the paper’s cafeteria (is that sucker still open?), the consensus emerged long ago.

I’ll grant you that nobody thinks it’s a good thing to have over 45 million uninsured people. But there’s something short of a “consensus” — whether “emerging” or otherwise — about precisely what we should do about it.

As one data point, note that the S-CHIP legislation was recently passed in the Senate — but it happened on a party-line vote. Republicans are very suspicious of anything that looks like a movement toward a single-payer system, and tend to seek solutions via some combination of the free market and tax policy. Does that count as the federal government acting decisively to help cover the uninsured? Would the L.A. Times agree?

If I’m wrong about this “emerging consensus,” please tell me in the comments. But I don’t think I am.

When Obama’s health care proposals actually come up for debate, I’ll be reminding you about the “emerging consensus” the L.A. Times is telling us about today. I think we’ll all have a good laugh.

122 Responses to “The L.A. Times “Emerging Consensus” That Isn’t”

  1. Well, the Massachusetts universal health care mandate is coming in right on budget so they have that to look at, which is nice, and it still doesn’t cover everyone. Heh!

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  2. That “45 million uninsured” stat is grossly exaggerated:

    Subtracting non-citizens and those who can afford their own insurance but choose not to purchase it, about 20 million people are left – less than 7 percent of the population.

    “Many Americans are uninsured by choice,” wrote Dr. David Gratzer in his book “The Cure: How Capitalism Can Save American Health Care.” Gratzer cited a study of the “nonpoor uninsured” from the California Healthcare Foundation.

    “Why the lack of insurance [among people who own homes and computers]? One clue is that 60 percent reported being in excellent health or very good health,” explained Gratzer.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., who wants DRJ back! (0ea407)

  3. I think that’s a perfect example of resistance to the notion that government should cover everyone first, and worry about costs later.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  4. The L.A. SLIMES losing readers it deserves to go bankrupt

    Krazy Kagu (e1e2c1)

  5. The issue with health care as it exists today is the concept of buying coverage yearly.

    Fact is a health insurance policy should be issued at birth. The policy should “straight line the premiums’ till anticipated death and allow the individual to trade that policy from one insurer to the others.

    Think about it.

    Obama über alles!!!!! (48dd5e)

  6. This story reminds me of the old Pauline Kael quote, after Nixon won re – election: “how did Nixon win? I didn’t know anyone who voted for him!”

    Dmac (49b16c)

  7. Regarding healthcare – it appears that France has figured out the way forward in this arena. Mike K. has done an excellent job in dissecting their quasi private/gov’t model on his site.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  8. Well, in my house there sure is an “emerging consensus” that the government must act decisively to cover the uninsured, and I’m insured.

    Official Internet Data Office (cb0dac)

  9. “Emerging consensus” refers to a liberal perspective.

    Bare majority” refers to a conservative perspective.

    aunursa (1b5bad)

  10. Hey look, it’s krazy kagu.

    My comment 3 was a response to daleyrocks’s number 1, btw.

    Patterico (9f9035)

  11. If they add the “unemployed” to the Medicare rolls, we’ve lost this battle….

    reff (b996d9)

  12. “Emerging consensus” is the Leftist mechanism to not actually have to look at the facts, or engage in an actual debate. Consensus is what they use to advance the notion of global warming. It is as transparent as it is dishonest.

    JD (5535b9)

  13. “Emerging consensus” is another way of saying “62-32″.

    Obviously, the support is conditional. But obviously, the support is there.

    Leviticus (7011c1)

  14. That’s a fair point – but as always, the devil’s in the details. Who wouldn’t want everyone to have universal healthcare – but who’s going to pay for it in the end? Funny, but those surveys never seem to get around to asking that question.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  15. Support does not equal consensus, Leviticus.

    Pablo (99243e)

  16. Dmac, that is because Michael Moore said that we should have “free” healthcare! People like “free” things.

    They don’t see that, often, the most expensive things in the world don’t cost a cent.

    Eric Blair (1aa50b)

  17. From your link, Leviticus:

    Previous polls have asked this differently; one last year asked if people would support or oppose “a national health plan, financed by taxpayers, in which all Americans would get their insurance from a single government plan,” and found 40 percent support. The wording in this ABCNEWS/Washington Post poll weighs the proposal against the current system, and adds the Medicare model to the description. Context also can play a role; this poll asks about universal health after a long and probing series of questions on the current system.

    As noted, support for this universal system is conditional. If it limited Americans’ choice of doctors, support drops sharply, from 62 percent to 35 percent. Likewise, if it meant waiting lists for some non-emergency treatments, support falls to 39 percent.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  18. Also from your link, Leviticus:

    This ABCNEWS/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone Oct. 9-13, 2003, among a random national sample of 1,000 adults. The results have a three-point error margin.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  19. So this “consensus” was emerging in 2003?

    JD (5535b9)

  20. Nuance JD

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  21. I’ve always wondered why something that apparently ~90% of Americans possess is described as “unaffordable”.

    Techie (6b5d8d)

  22. Don’t worry about this – Teh One is calling a press conference today, in which he is expected to state that without immediate passage of his stimulus bill, the current recession will become a disaster. Wonderful nuance in that conjecture.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  23. Kaiser Family Foundation. Jan 15 2009.

    Washington, DC– The public ranks action on health care highly as part of efforts to stem the impact of the economic recession and also views reforming health care as one of the top priorities for President-elect Obama and Congress, according to a new national survey conducted by researchers from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.

    Americans rank helping the newly unemployed afford health insurance coverage second (picked by 33% as a top priority) behind helping businesses keep or create jobs (45%). Providing states with more federal help to pay for health care of lower income residents ranks third (picked by 31%). These proposed health provisions of the stimulus package ranked ahead of repairing the country’s infrastructure, cutting taxes for the middle class, helping people pay their mortgages (each picked by 27%), and helping large businesses hurt by the recession (13%).

    sleepy (09c352)

  24. Government by polls !!!!!!!!!!!!

    JD (5535b9)

  25. The fact that health insurance subsidy is not an economic stimulus at all just goes right over sleepy’s head of course.

    Democratic pork is all that this trough of hog slop is.

    SPQR (72771e)

  26. This is the first time I’ve seen Krazy Kagu Kapitalized. I prefer the lowercase.

    It seems so obvious that health care needs to be disassociated with employment, and pronto. It’s an artifact of our stupid tax code, and needs to be eliminated. Why in the world should your employment status have anything to do with your health care? Does your employer buy your car insurance? Renters insurance? Ridiculous.

    carlitos (ac34f6)

  27. “The public ranks action on health care highly as part of efforts to stem the impact of the economic recession and also views reforming health care as one of the top priorities for President-elect Obama and Congress”

    By all means let’s have a full and open debate on health care reform not just accept some items jammed down everybody’s throats by Granny McRictusface and her gang of thugs. The same goes for all the other social experiements tucked into the “Stimulus Bill” which are more approriate for the light of day and open debate.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  28. Americans rank helping the newly unemployed afford health insurance coverage second (picked by 33% as a top priority)

    That’s a lot, huh, sleepy? How do you like this poll?

    Pablo (99243e)

  29. Granny McRictusface

    Oh, that’s a keeper.

    Pablo (99243e)

  30. The public ranks action on health care highly as part of efforts to stem the impact of the economic recession…

    Good thing health care is none of government’s business.

    Rob Crawford (6c262f)

  31. I would imagine it is indeed a consensus among Business Roundtable folks. They don’t want to pay for their employees’ health insurance!

    Patricia (89cb84)

  32. LA Times commonly uses the trick of putting “some say” in front of stuff they make up. So, they slipped up. They meant to say:

    That effort builds on what some say is an emerging consensus that the federal government must act decisively to help cover the roughly 46 million people in America who lack health insurance.

    Wesson (3ab0b8)

  33. “That’s a fair point – but as always, the devil’s in the details. Who wouldn’t want everyone to have universal healthcare – but who’s going to pay for it in the end? Funny, but those surveys never seem to get around to asking that question.”

    - Dmac

    That’s a fair point, as well, and one that the proponents of universal healthcare are going to have to get around to addressing (in specific terms) if they want the issue to move anywhere anytime soon… but I would argue that it still doesn’t change the fact that a large segment of the US population, under the conditions of the survey at hand, desired a switch to a universal healthcare system.

    “Support does not equal consensus, Leviticus.”

    - Pablo

    I know that, Pablo. If your only quibble with the LAT in this case is their use of the word “consensus”, then I wouldn’t argue with you… hell, I’d agree with you wholeheartedly. There is very little “consensus” on any issue in this country – “emerging” or otherwise.

    However, I think there’s enough support for the idea of universal healthcare that the debate needs to begin in earnest in the legislature.

    “If it limited Americans’ choice of doctors, support drops sharply, from 62 percent to 35 percent. Likewise, if it meant waiting lists for some non-emergency treatments, support falls to 39 percent.”

    - daleyrocks

    Understandably… but the likelihood of such consequences is debatable in and of itself. One way or another, Congress needs to begin the debate.

    Leviticus (35fbde)

  34. I think there is a consensus that illegal aliens of all ages should not receive taxpayer-funded health care — but I doubt the LiAr Times will report this soon.

    Anonymous (0d6d87)

  35. Rasmussen polling shows public support for the stimulus package itself dropping.

    SPQR (72771e)

  36. SPQR – That is likely due to the fact that it is not actually a stimulus package, unless stimulus is redefined to mean Dem special interest pork-laden legislation.

    JD (5535b9)

  37. #36 “pork-laden” (Debatable), but still equals what 1 or 2 percent of 900 billion?

    Throw the baby out with the bath (sink) water when there is a need to be obstructionist.

    Oiram (983921)

  38. Oiram, 1 or 2 percent? ROFL.

    SPQR (72771e)

  39. So, hundreds of millions and even tens of billions are alright with you, since the total figure is even bigger?

    JD (5535b9)

  40. They exist in a different universe, SPQR.

    JD (5535b9)

  41. #39 JD, I said “(Debatable)”.

    But let’s look at your math:

    “tens of billions” does not even equal 2 percent of 900 billion……….

    There’s that “selective” math again JD.

    It serves your narative well.

    Oiram (983921)

  42. Please list the 98 – 99% that is NOT pork.

    kaf (16e0b5)

  43. having survived received government health care in the military, i’ll pass on it as a civillian, even though i am currently uninsured myself.

    redc1c4 (9c4f4a)

  44. #42. I defer to JD’s #36.

    Perhaps he should list what he considers “Pork Laden”.

    Oiram (983921)

  45. #40 That’s right SPQR:

    We exist in the universe outside of Patterico.

    Oiram (983921)

  46. Just what is an “emerging consensus?” If there is a consensus, it already exists; if by “emerging consensus,” the writers mean to imply that a consensus will exist in the future on a particular topioc, they are engaging in prognostication, not reporting, because said consensus does not yet exist, and may not “emerge.”

    A good editor would have thrown out such a phrase.

    Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to imply that there were any good editors at The Los Angeles Times.

    The nit-picking Dana (3e4784)

  47. #43 “survived” was supposed to be struck out….

    redc1c4 (9c4f4a)

  48. Here is another example of what passes for reasoning among the barnacles on the good ship LA Times: An antitrust exemption for the media so they can charge for Web content:

    It would allow all U.S. newspaper companies — and others in the English-speaking world, as well as popular broadcast-based sites such as CNN.com — to sit down and negotiate an agreement on how to scale prices and, then, to begin imposing them simultaneously.

    That, in turn, would set the stage for tackling the other leg of this problem — how to extract reasonable fees from aggregators like Google and Yahoo, which currently use their search engines to link to news that newspapers and broadcasters pay to gather.

    As veteran journalist and book publisher Peter Osnos said this week, newspapers and magazines “have to start demanding payment for use of their material or they will disappear.” No one delivers more of that content online than Google does, Osnos noted, through its advertising-supported search functions. That revenue goes to Google, not to the companies that gathered the news.

    Google News doesn’t sell advertising, and the links help the news organizations, a fact that journosaurs like Osnos and this particular overpaid, Internet-hating sanctimonious endomorph seem incapable of understanding.

    I’d like to see these ill-informed troglodytes try their 19th-century monopoly policy just for the pleasure of watching it fail. All Google and Yahoo need do to call their bluff is to stop linking. Their Web traffic will plummet as people turn elsewhere to get their news. And Google News doesn’t have ads. But why left facts get in the way of yet another Luddite rant?

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., who implores DRJ to remain at Patterico! (badb95)

  49. Mario, I would venture to say 90% of the outlays in the bill are pork, not 2%.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  50. tens of billions does not equal 2 percent, Oiram. You are correct, assuming you do not know what tens means. If we were to simply use 10,000,000,000 as the figure, that would be around 1.1%. If there was 20,000,000,000 dollars in pork in the bill, that would be 2.2%, etc … I would be interested in hearing from you what you consider pork, and what is not. Since they are calling this a stimulus package, needed immediately, I would suggest that anything that does not provide immediate stimulus is pork in this bill. Is that fair?

    JD (5535b9)

  51. I looked at that website showing where the pork-barrel bill was planning on throwing the money. Ohio is supposed to be 5th in total programs but only get 4 billion of the then-819bil pork-barrel bill. I’d be willing to give up all of Ohio’s programs in the bill but that would just barely scratch the surface, expense-wise.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  52. Fans of language nitpicking will like this take on David Gergen’s comment, “One cannot underestimate how widely admired Tom Daschle is in Washington for his integrity.”
    CrossingWallStreet: Trouble with Double Negatives

    Wesson (3ab0b8)

  53. Come on JD, 20 Billion isn’t tens of billions. Oh, wait…

    “If it limited Americans’ choice of doctors, support drops sharply, from 62 percent to 35 percent. Likewise, if it meant waiting lists for some non-emergency treatments, support falls to 39 percent.”

    - daleyrocks

    Understandably… but the likelihood of such consequences is debatable in and of itself. One way or another, Congress needs to begin the debate.

    Comment by Leviticus — 2/4/2009 @ 11:01 am

    Good to see you posting, Leviticus!

    Yes, the likelihood is ‘debatable’ but it seems pretty likely to most of us. Have you ever enjoyed state-run health care? It is not pretty. I remember the controversy in the UK when the Queen got her knee surgery, because the average wait for a mere subject of the Queen was like three months.

    carlitos (ac34f6)

  54. Canada is saying “Move along, nothing to look at here.” MSM is saying “Don’t look at what happened in Canada.” Barack is saying “I got 80 percent of the vote in Canada and lots of money in my campaign came from that state.”

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  55. So doing nothing, and or complete tax cuts for the wealthy (which is why we are where we are) is the answer?

    11 percent unemployed……… sounds like depression figures to me.

    How did doing nothing work out for Hoover?

    Oiram (983921)

  56. I didn’t realize I lived through a depression in the 70s. Thanks for informing me that, Mario. And this propaganda about tax cuts for people who pay a grossly disproportionate amount of taxes being the problem is ridiculous (deserving of ridicule). The housing bubble exploded. Freddie and Fannie collapsed. There were warnings about that coming but the Dems in Congress and MSM claimed “racism” and a desire to keep the poor down as reason for the warnings.

    The Dems set up a system of lending money to people who couldn’t afford to pay. GOP membership warned about the obvious results coming down the pike. It wasn’t tax cuts for the people who make money that caused this. It was wealth-redistribution and government-mandated irresponsible lending practices.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  57. #57 That’s right John, you were not aware of it thanks to pre-Reagan non tax cuts.

    Hope your not aware of it under The Obama administration as well.

    “The Dems set up a system of lending money……..”

    Wow, o.k. didn’t know Dems were in the real estate business.

    For your information John, it’s not just the poor and African American that are in foreclosure.

    What most people call “The Rich” (White and Black) were also sold homes they couldn’t afford.

    Oiram (983921)

  58. Mario is arguing with the voice is his head again today.

    JD (df7812)

  59. #59 Nope Sorry JD, your voice is not in my head (thank God).

    If you think that, perhaps you need to take a break from your spinning class (Bloging).

    Oiram (983921)

  60. I would suggest that anything that does not provide immediate stimulus is pork in this bill. Is that fair?

    As soon as I saw this, I figured Oiram’s head would spontaneously combust.

    11 percent unemployed……… sounds like depression figures to me.

    Yep, it exploded right on cue. Clean – up on Aisle 1, near the Slurpee Machine!

    Dmac (49b16c)

  61. #59 “……. the voice is his head…….”

    Must have been a Freudian slip I guess.

    Oiram (983921)

  62. As the old John Candy and Joe Flaherty characters on SCTV would say, “it blew up real good! Reeeal good.”

    Dmac (49b16c)

  63. #61 Damn Dmac, I can’t believe you’ve got the 7-11 cam up on your screen there!!

    Which finger am I holding up?

    Oiram (983921)

  64. “What most people call “The Rich” (White and Black) were also sold homes they couldn’t afford.”

    Oiram – I love this shit. People forced all those dumbass rich jerks to sign on the bottom line for houses they couldn’t afford. Guns were held to their heads I tell you.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  65. There’s no way anyone can spend $800 to $900 billion quickly without waste and boondoggles. It comes with the Keynesian territory. This is an emergency; the normal rules do not apply.

    That’s what Mr. Reynolds’ Newsweek link says. It’s funny how the normal rules don’t apply when there’s dirty socialist policies what need to be implemented but if you have say, a war, you better have all your ducks in a row from the get go. Newsweek is a dirty socialist apologist propaganda magazine I think.

    I just wanted to share that.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  66. Wow, o.k. didn’t know Dems were in the real estate business.

    Funniest comment of the thread so far – but there’s still plenty of time for him to top himself.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  67. Which finger am I holding up?

    The one signifying your IQ.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  68. Is there a booger atop a “klingon” on the tip of it?

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  69. Quit smelling your fingers, Mario.

    JD (df7812)

  70. #66 Sorry to disappoint Dmac, but that “funniest” comment of mine was a response to this:

    The Dems set up a system of lending money to people who couldn’t afford to pay. GOP membership warned about the obvious results coming down the pike. It wasn’t tax cuts for the people who make money that caused this. It was wealth-redistribution and government-mandated irresponsible lending practices.

    John H. has me beat.

    Oiram (983921)

  71. #70…………. somehow I’m guessing you dissagree.

    Slushy school taught be that.

    Oiram (983921)

  72. Mario – How did you arrive at the conclusion that 1-2% of this bill is pork, and the rest is important and necessary spending that will keep us out of the Great Depression?

    JD (df7812)

  73. The one signifying your IQ.

    Comment by Dmac — 2/4/2009 @ 1:38 pm

    No silly……. that would be all 10 fingers!

    Here, look at the screen again, now I’m holding up three fingers (read between the lines).

    Oiram (983921)

  74. #72 I missunderstood your position JD, I appologize for that.

    You think it’s all pork. I dissagree.

    Oiram (983921)

  75. Slushy school taught be that?

    JD (df7812)

  76. I never said I think it is all pork, Mario. Is it that difficult for you to be honest? I think the aspects that provide immediate stimulus are not pork, and bear consideration.

    JD (df7812)

  77. Here‘s an interesting article that ties into the discussion.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  78. #75 3 million jobs desperately needed by U.S.A. taught me that JD.

    Spinning School will teach you the opposite.

    Oiram (983921)

  79. I forwarded a list of projects contained in the stimulus bill in my community to a guy who took early retirement from a senior position the community government in anticipation of seeing him last night. When I spoke with him he confirmed what I thought, that a bunch of the items had been on the town’s wish list for years and years and obviously had not been particularly high priority since they had never gotten accomplished. He was particularly impressed by new curtains for a Senior Center.

    Thanks Nancy!

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  80. How will this “stimulus” package create 3,000,000 new jobs in the short term?

    JD (df7812)

  81. How will it create public-arena jobs at all?

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  82. This one bill is going to cost approximately $2250 for every American, assuming it stays at $815,000,000,000 and assuming 350,000,000 people. That is all new spending, new money. That is before Baracky and his Dem partners get their hands on the budget. Didn’t he promise to offset all new dollars by closing corporate loopholes?

    JD (df7812)

  83. #81 Robots alone don’t build roads and bridges John.

    Oiram (983921)

  84. Baracky said his budget would have a net spending cut, JD. He said that in October. He lied. He lied to the American people, JD. Baracky did. I know. It’s hard to get your head around.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  85. feets – Tell me it ain’t so. Will he accept responsibility for his lies like he did for his crooked cabinet nominees do you think?

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  86. #82 “This one bill is going to cost approximately $2250 for every American”

    Great Math JD.

    I know sad price to pay for our past mistakes.

    Maybe the next time corporations are handed bountiful tax breaks, they will actually think about the need for middle class existence.

    After all, a strong middle class are the ones who are going to purchase their products.

    But wait…………

    Strong Middle Class = Marxism in your Rush Hannity infested heads……….

    Never mind then.

    I’ll go back to cleaning the slurpy machine.

    Oiram (983921)

  87. When I read:

    “…I’ll go back to cleaning the slurpy machine….”

    I hope that was literal rather than a euphemism. If the latter, I am wondering if that is legal in all states.

    Eric Blair (1aa50b)

  88. I guess Oiram in #70 shows that he finds information he fails to understand humorous.

    Not the most useful of reactions one can have to being informed.

    SPQR (72771e)

  89. Didn’t he promise to offset all new dollars by closing corporate loopholes?

    Sure, but there’s just going to be one little fly in the ointment – many corporations will be claiming huge losses for both last year and 2009, so fuhgettaboutit. And if they try raising taxes on corporations to the highest level in the developed world (currently at #2, I believe), you can wave buh – bye to the rest when their businesses start to recover. Hell no, they’ll sure go.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  90. Eric – Thanks for the visuals. FIEND!

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  91. Let me add to your disquiet and imagery burned into your retina, with one word:


    Contortionist

    Happy dreams, daley.

    Like Alec Baldwin said in that SuperBowl ad for Hulu: I’m an alien, and that’s just how I roll.

    Of course, I am a legal alien.

    Eric Blair (1aa50b)

  92. Alec Baldwin was typecast for that ad.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  93. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said he’s scrapping the lease of dozens of parcels of federal land for oil and gas drilling in Utah’s redrock country.

    [...]

    Mr. Salazar on Wednesday ordered the Bureau of Land Management, which is part of the Interior Department, not to cash checks from winning bidders for the parcels at issue in a lawsuit filed by environmental groups.*

    The emerging consensus is that we have a president person what is making things worser already. How many jobs would developing those leases have created? Like Baracky cares. Jeez. These socialists are worse than sleestaks.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  94. The L.A. Times has become the shuck and jive act newspaper equivalent.

    Why work if the money and health care is free.

    bill-tb (26027c)

  95. This one’s more on-point.

    “In a decent society, there are certain obligations that are not subject to trade-offs or negotiations — healthcare for our children is one of those obligations,” Obama said.*

    The dirty little socialist neophyte is sounding more and more like Hugo every day. This is suboptimal for us getting to where we want to be as a country I think.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  96. Well, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for December of 2008 — January 2009 hasn’t been released yet — was 7.2%. But the unemployment rate was 7.5% in November of 1980 (month chosen because that was when Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter) and never dipped below 7.2% for President Reagan’s entire first term. Unemployment reached 10.8% in November and December of 1982.

    Yet, somehow, some way, we came out of that recession and those unemployment numbers without some huge economic stimulus bill being passed.

    Last time I looked, consensus meant “An opinion or position reached by a group as a whole.” Well, at least this group as a whole doesn’t seem to have reached a consensus that the Porkulus Bill specifically, or any economic stimulus bill, speaking generally, needs to be passed.

    The best thing the government could do is to just do nothing.

    The conservative Dana (556f76)

  97. How did doing nothing work out for Hoover?

    Comment by Oiram

    You really have to read some history there, fella. How about Amity Schlaes’ book The Forgotten Man? You would learn what Hoover actually did. It included lots of public spending, plus higher tariffs (Smoot-Hawley) and pressure on industry to keep wages high, which led to more layoffs. It was actually kind of similar to this bill.

    Roosevelt actually ran against Hoover by saying that Hoover was spending too much and needed to balance the budget.

    There are some good suggestions being made and, if Obama has control and means what he has said about bipartisanship, a couple might get in the bill. They include tax credits for buying a new car and for buying a house with a down payment. The larger the DP, the larger the credit up to $10,000 or more. Plus there is a proposal to refinance mortgages at 4% for owners who still are current in payments.

    Guess where they are all coming from.

    Mike K (8df289)

  98. Twenty-seven percent (27%) say the final legislation is Very Likely to make things worse, while just seven percent (7%) say it’s Not at All Likely to have that effect…

    Don’t panic, Baracky! Make a speech! That’ll do the trick!

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  99. Slightly off topic, but this one’s especially for the Honorable Mr Fikes, soon-to-be-publisher of The Los Angeles Times: Printing The NYT Costs Twice As Much As Sending Every Subscriber A Free Kindle.

    I told you we could make money doing it this way! :)

    The entrepreneurial Dana (556f76)

  100. Mirrored mariO: Politically, nothing worked out for President Hoover. Then we got President Roosevelt, and the Depression continued until the economic stimulus package passed by Hideki Tojo and Adolf Hitler. I’m not sure that you really want to try to get out of the recession by laying waste to Europe and Japan.

    The historian Dana (556f76)

  101. Actually, as far as the government controls on businesses — that $500k exec pay thing — I agree with Barack, sorta.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  102. #99 Hey Mike, you really have to read beyond misleading statistic quoter Amity Shlaes.

    Oiram (983921)

  103. oh. I don’t. That’s socialism, Mr. Hitchcock. 4 out of 5 dentists do NOT recommend.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  104. Happyfeet, follow the link. ;)

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  105. Entrepreneurial Dana,
    I saw that piece. Quite disturbing to see the facts about the huge cost of print laid out so plainly.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., who implores DRJ to remain at Patterico! (1a9676)

  106. You are a wise man, Mr. Hitchcock. That’s the most hopeful thing I read all day.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  107. It bears repeating that happfeet is Teh Awesome. And Mario, not so much.

    JD (ddb337)

  108. So…Mario. Does that mean you have read Amity Shlaes’ book?

    My guess is that you have only glanced over some Left wing blog reviews of the book, or the Amazon quotes.

    Lots of people here have actually read the book. Perhaps you should debate them on those statistics that you spurn in this case (though you certainly seem to approve of quoting statistics when they fit your partisan ideology).

    How about a detailed analysis, from you, in the next 30 minutes or so? I mean, since you have read the book carefully and rejected it on its merits?

    I didn’t think so.

    Eric Blair (1aa50b)

  109. “I’m sure that, for the well-heeled liberals sipping their lattes in the paper’s cafeteria (is that sucker still open?), the consensus emerged long ago.”

    What was interesting about the Palin candidacy was her starbucks (were they lattes?) drinking. I thought maybe the wingers would drop this faux culture war stuff — maybe realizing lattes are a suburban strip mall phenomenon now. But alas, maybe not yet. No matter how many starbucks cups Palin holds while standing in front of hte turkey slaughter. It looks like it may not end.

    imdw (e36369)

  110. [...] likely to make things worse rather than better, but 39% say such an outcome is not likely.” (Hat tip to SPQR) Support for the legislation has been slipping over the past two weeks and a plurality now oppose [...]

    Common Sense Political Thought » Blog Archive » Comment rescue: From the Phoenician (73d96f)

  111. imdw erected and slaughtered a strawman in one post. Brava.

    JD (df7812)

  112. The thing that seems eternal about Palin-haters is this weird elitism. And something tells me, strip mall or not, our Brave Cultural Snob has bought quite a few lattes from that institution.

    Eric Blair (1aa50b)

  113. I love a good triple venti mocha from Starbucks.

    JD (df7812)

  114. “The thing that seems eternal about Palin-haters is this weird elitism. ”

    Starbucks burns coffee. Dunkin Donuts, for me anyday. It doesn’t really matter which of these is authentically un-elite. For me its taste. But for folks who make points about ‘latte sipping’… its something else.

    imdw (2d0308)

  115. A triple venti mocha sounds like a significantly less metrosexual drink than, say, a white chocolate mocha I think.

    happyfeet (4eacbc)

  116. Wow, o.k. didn’t know Dems were in the real estate business.

    Oh, but they actually were (and are). That’s because it’s racist — RACIST!!! — and too capitalistic, and too imperialistic, and too mean, and too unkind — UNKIND!!! — for certain portions of society to not have access to mortgages and a self-owned roof over their heads!

    Village Voice, August 2008:

    There are as many starting points for the mortgage meltdown as there are fears about how far it has yet to go, but one decisive point of departure is the final years of the Clinton administration, when a kid from Queens without any real banking or real-estate experience was the only man in Washington with the power to regulate the giants of home finance, the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC), better known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    Andrew Cuomo, the youngest Housing and Urban Development secretary in history, made a series of decisions between 1997 and 2001 that gave birth to the country’s current crisis. He took actions that — in combination with many other factors — helped plunge Fannie and Freddie into the subprime markets without putting in place the means to monitor their increasingly risky investments.

    He turned the Federal Housing Administration mortgage program into a sweetheart lender with sky-high loan ceilings and no money down, and he legalized what a federal judge has branded “kickbacks” to brokers that have fueled the sale of overpriced and unsupportable loans. Three to four million families are now facing foreclosure, and Cuomo is one of the reasons why.

    In 2000, Cuomo required a quantum leap in the number of affordable, low-to-moderate-income loans that the two mortgage banks—known collectively as Government Sponsored Enterprises—would have to buy.

    The 1992 law [that allowed HUD to regulate Fannie and Freddie] required HUD’s secretary to make sure housing goals were being met and, every four years, set new goals for Fannie and Freddie.

    Cuomo’s predecessor, Henry Cisneros, did that for the first time in December 1995, taking a cautious approach and moving the GSEs toward a requirement that 42 percent of their mortgages serve low- and moderate-income families. Cuomo raised that number to 50 percent and dramatically hiked GSE mandates to buy mortgages in underserved neighborhoods and for the “very-low-income.”

    Part of the pitch was racial, with Cuomo contending that Fannie and Freddie weren’t granting mortgages to minorities at the same rate as the private market. William Apgar, Cuomo’s top aide, told The Washington Post: “We believe that there are a lot of loans to black Americans that could be safely purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac if these companies were more flexible.”

    Mark (411533)

  117. CBO says that porkulopolis is actually worse than doing nothing over the long haul.

    SPQR (72771e)

  118. [...] When Obama violated his pledge to make bills available for review for five days, editors overlooked it. But hey, the bill wasn’t that important — it was just a stimulus bill costing almost a trillion dollars. The paper groused that Republicans had failed to participate in the drafting of the bill to give it a bipartisan sheen — all because Republicans failed to treat things like an increased government role in health care as the “consensus item” that the editors falsely claimed it was. [...]

    Patterico's Pontifications » Patterico’s Los Angeles Dog Trainer Year in Review 2009 (e4ab32)


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