Showing posts with label Harry Reid. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Harry Reid. Show all posts

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bill Clinton Making Sense On Jobs

(Cross posted from Netizen)

Bill Clinton: Newsweek: It’s Still the Economy, Stupid
Harry Hopkins had nowhere near the rules and regulations we have now. (In 1933, Hopkins’s Civil Works Administration put 4 million to work in a month.) ...... President Obama came in with a really good energy policy, including an idea to provide both a tax credit for new green jobs and for startup companies, to allow the conversion of the tax credit into its cash equivalent for every employee hired. ....... the obvious candidate for that role today is changing the way we produce and use energy ...... Before the financial meltdown, the four countries that will meet their Kyoto greenhouse-gas emission targets were outperforming America with lower unemployment, more new business formation, and less income inequality. ...... We could put a million people to work retrofitting buildings all over America. ...... You get 7,000 jobs for every billion dollars in retrofitting. Let’s start with the schools and colleges and hospitals, and state, county, and local government buildings. That would keep the construction industry busy for a couple of years, creating a million jobs that would ripple through the whole economy, spurring even more growth. ....... One of the reasons Harry Reid won in Nevada is that, right before the election, two big Chinese companies announced they were moving factories there to make LED lightbulbs and turbines for the big wind farms down in Texas. ........ They said, “We’re coming here because Nevada has the best state incentives to go with the federal incentives.” They were very clinical. They said labor costs in China are still cheaper, but these turbines are big and heavy, and higher transportation costs to the U.S. market would offset the labor gains—and there was a tax credit from the federal government for green-energy manufacturing, and extra credits in Nevada. ........ Banks still have more than $2 trillion in cash uncommitted to loans. ....... I suggested that the federal government set aside—not spend—$15 billion of the TARP money and create a loan-guarantee program that would work exactly the way the Small Business Administration does. Basically, the bank lends money to a business after the federal government guarantees 75 percent of it. Let’s say that the SBA fund has about a 20-to-1 loan-to-capital ratio, and it’s never come anywhere near bankruptcy. If we capitalized this more conservatively at 10-to-1, we could guarantee $150 billion in loans and create more than a million jobs. ........ Look at the tar roofs covering millions of American buildings. They absorb huge amounts of heat when it’s hot. And they require more air conditioning to cool the rooms. Mayor Bloomberg started a program to hire and train young people to paint New York’s roofs white. ........ In most of these places you could recover the cost of the paint and the labor in a week. ...... Every analysis shows that TARP and the stimulus saved us from a second Great Depression. After the GM and Chrysler bailouts, we have something like 75,000 more jobs in the industry. Closure of the factories and the suppliers with them would have cost a million jobs. The stimulus should have been more vigorously defended in the last election. It did work, but it didn’t “fix the economy” because it was an $800 billion stimulus trying to fix a $3 trillion hole. ........ If we cut a lot of government spending while our economy still has so little private investment, we risk weakening the economy even more and increasing the deficit because tax revenues can fall more than spending is cut. ...... When asked why he robbed banks, Willie Sutton said, “Because that’s where the money is.” We have to unlock that money and take steps to get U.S. corporations to invest some of the $2 trillion they have accumulated. ....... The real thing that has killed us in the last 10 years is that too much of our dealmaking creativity has been devoted to expanding the financial sector in ways that don’t create new businesses and more jobs and to persuading people to take on excessive debt loads to make up for the fact that their incomes are stagnant. ...... In the seven years and eight months that preceded the meltdown, our economy produced a meager 4 million new jobs, far too few to cope with millions coming into the workforce, and virtually all those jobs were created in housing, finance, and consumer spending. ........ the former labor commissioner in Georgia, Michael Thurmond. After job vacancies go unfilled for a certain period of time, the state offers businesses the money to train potential employees themselves. During the training period, the companies don’t become employers, so they don’t have to start paying Social Security taxes or employer benefits. They train people their way, then hire those who succeed as regular employees, reducing the time lag between when a job is advertised and when it is filled. With unemployment at 9 percent and the real rate of those without full-time work higher, there are 3 million posted job vacancies. Filling them faster could make a big difference. ........ Lower the rates to be competitive, but reduce the loopholes that cause unfair disparities. We all need to contribute something to help meet our shared challenges and responsibilities, including solving the debt problem. ...... we abandoned the path of balanced budgets 10 years ago, choosing instead large tax cuts especially for higher-income people like me, along with two wars and the senior citizens’ drug benefit. In the history of our republic, it’s the first time we ever cut taxes while going to war. ...... There must be opportunities to be tapped, given all the cash in banks and corporate treasuries. ........ There’s been a remarkable lack of attention to “microeconomics,” the untapped growth potential of American corporations, entrepreneurs, and workers.
Now we know, the banks are sitting on two trillion dollars of cash, and the corporations are sitting on two trillion dollars of cash. There is no shortage of cash. There is no shortage of people with skills. There are huge unmet demands. So what's amiss?

Bill Clinton is well qualified to be talking on this topic. He sat on an economy that did well. The economy did so well he deserved a third term.

But there is a big missing link in the picture he paints. That missing link is globalization. Bill Clinton never really got that part. He was the kid standing on the shore admiring the waves of globalization. But he never really got into the waters, as Governor, as President, and as former President. That is a curious thing to say because I would give him an A for trying.

Money wants to grow. Four trillion dollars sitting around is money not growing. It is safe, but it is not growing. And money wants to grow. It is the very nature of money, that it wants to grow. And the best way to grow that money is by building the global financial infrastructure that will take trillions into global microfinance and global infrastructure. There will be guaranteed 10% annual returns. Money wants to grow.

Early in the recession the Chinese challenged the special place of the dollar in the world. They were right. You can not complain about the very real deficit and debt problem America has and also protect the dollar's special place in the world. There is a direct correlation between that special place for the dollar and America's fiscal indiscipline.

Another gap in his thinking is that he seems to suggest clean tech has taken the place of internet technology as an engine of growth. And so you see a huge blind spot: broadband. Ubiquitous wireless broadband is the interstate highway of these times and America does not have ubiquitous, it does not have wireless, and it does not have broadband. One gigabit per second would be broadband.
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Precisely The Time For Progressive Fervor

Official presidential portrait of Barack Obama...Image via WikipediaIn 2008 progressives used to make it sound like registering people to vote was revolutionary, getting people to show up and vote was the grand stand, calling voters up was Gandhi's Salt March. By 2010 the standards should have been raised. Where is the organization that has a one point agenda to take the minimum wage to $10? That organization should have been going toe to toe with "the American Family Business Institute, which is dedicated to abolishing the inheritance tax." Instead of building such organizations the people who stand to lose the most are planning on sitting out this election. It is not easy to organize the poor and the powerless, but in this day and age you would think it would at least be easier.

Citizenship is a near daily responsibility. It is not a vote once and watch Barack walk on water proposition. Even dictators who engage slave labor to build roads and bridges have needed a minimal of cooperation from the people. But in a democracy the people have to offer willful, fervent cooperation if they want big things to happen.

A crowd that wants a tax cut for the super rich that would be as big as the stimulus bill was but complains the stimulus bill happened is borderline insane. But the insane will carry the day if the common sense people will let them. People responsible for unpaid wars to the tune of trillions long lost their right to preach fiscal responsibility. And they know they did. That is why they have now climbed down to downright economic illiteracy. The dogma they are preaching is coherent, but it is as coherent as the gold standard. The name Tea Party is no accident. This is not a longing to kick out the British: there are no British. This is a hearkening to the slavery era.

The billionaire sponsors of the Tea Party drama got pawns running up and down the streets. The previous administration turned record surpluses to record deficits. It went into two unpaid wars. It blew up another trillion on tax cuts. It did not give drugs to the seniors. It gave a give away to Big Pharma.

That the government has to spend big when families and businesses are stepping back on their spending is elementary economics, it is quite basic. It is like demand and supply. Even George Bush knows that. But once you get the economy back on track, then you bring down the deficit which is not hard to do at that point because the revenues are coming in. Deficit spending in a recession is not only a good idea. It is the only idea.

Since Ronald Reagan real wages have not much gone up. There were a few years of anomaly in the Clinton years. But otherwise the no movement has been the norm. Barack Obama has to set the tone for a generation. He has to put into place a worldview whereby it is a rising tide lifts all boats kind of thing. And so you can't have the political pendulum swing the other way right now.

Those who have the most to lose seem to be the least interested in fighting even when they have at their disposal the mightiest political office ever created in the history of humanity. The apathy of the powerless is mesmerizing.
The New Yorker: October 25, 2010: Harry Reid And Sharron Angle Square Off In Nevada: The third group was the American Family Business Institute, which is dedicated to abolishing the inheritance tax....... “Our Contract with America is the Constitution”; “I want Harry Reid to stop doing more for Nevada—we can’t afford it!” ..... repeal the health-care-reform bill; liquidate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the federal home-mortgage agencies; oppose the Administration’s lawsuit aimed at overturning Arizona’s immigration law. ...... the anti-tax Club for Growth, the Tea Party Express, and American Crossroads, the new conservative organization co-founded by Karl Rove...... Nevada is in such bad shape that comparisons to the Great Depression are justified. It has the highest foreclosure rate, the highest bankruptcy rate, proportionally the highest state budget deficit, and the highest state unemployment rate in the country....... Congress passed more major pieces of progressive legislation in one session than it has in decades. ....... Nevada .. the most nationally powerful politician in its history....... she has called for abolishing the Departments of Energy and Education and the Environmental Protection Agency, and for privatizing Social Security, Medicare, and the Veterans Administration....... “Man up, Harry Reid!” .... Reid plainly had gone into the debate with the idea that he could demonstrate that Angle is “extreme,” but nothing seemed to stick....... some of the distinctive aspects of American life in the twenty-first century (loosening of social bonds, soaring hope in new ventures, rootlessness, risk, debt) have been cultured ...... more recently, he has called Kirsten Gillibrand, of New York, the “hottest member” of the Senate ..... Everybody in Nevada politics has a story about the brusque telephone calls he makes at all hours..... Charged with cleaning up the casinos, Reid faced down the real-life versions of the Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci characters in “Casino.” ...... only once in his long career has he won more than fifty per cent of the vote in an election. He’s a will-power politician...... He took personal umbrage at George W. Bush. “I have made no secret of my antipathy toward the second President Bush,” he wrote. He added that Bush “is an ideologue who has done incalculable damage to the government, reputation, and moral standing of the United States of America.” He twice publicly called Bush a liar, explaining, “When one lies, one is a liar.” Late in his Presidency, Bush summoned Reid to the White House and tried to appease him. “I never went to Kennebunkport as a kid,” Reid recalls. “I never went anywhere. And I’ve got no blue blood in my veins, just some desert sand. So as he and I sat there in the Oval Office, I said little in return.” ...... practically the only good thing that ever happened in the life of his father was joining a union ...... “The American government is the greatest force for good in the history of mankind”; Social Security is “the greatest social program since the fishes and loaves.” ..... most establishment Republicans in Nevada, is backing Reid over Sharron Angle ...... “Social Security unites all Democrats. It’s the founding principle of our party” ..... he had spotted Barack Obama as a comer and given him a prominent assignment ..... Without the barest hint of braggadocio or conceit, and with what I would describe as deep humility, he said quietly: ‘I have a gift, Harry.’ ...... Reid’s gift—relentlessly working the Senate Democratic caucus, member by preening member—is one that Obama lacked any interest in during his four years in the Senate..... Bernie Sanders, the Vermont socialist, and Joe Lieberman, the Connecticut almost-Republican ..... In the partnership between the Obama White House and the Reid Senate, Obama supplied the eloquence and grace and originated the policy ideas. Reid’s role was to get it done. Between Obama’s Inauguration, in January, 2009, and the congressional recess early last month, more consequential liberal legislation passed than at any time since the Great Society: health-care reform, the economic-stimulus package, financial regulation, a big education bill, the rescue of the auto industry, and the second phase of the rescue of the big banks. Others (a large expansion of protected public lands, funding for universal broadband access) didn’t get the attention they normally would have......... Reid would explain that each senator is a “brand”: Maria Cantwell, of Washington, is high-tech ...... respecting the power of committee chairmen helps to win their loyalty..... In 2005, Reid decided to establish an early Presidential caucus in Nevada, like Iowa’s..... Reid had the wit to become actively involved in the Republican primary campaign, so as to get the opponent he wanted in the fall...... She is unlike Reid in almost every way except in her relentless determination..... she and Reid are in a dead heat in the polls ...... Reid, a teetotaller who doesn’t gamble ..... beginning in 2007, and escalating in 2008 and 2009, Nevada went spectacularly bust. Last year, the state lost population for the first time since the Great Depression. Next year, the state legislature will meet to balance a budget that, on a two-year cycle, has a three-billion-dollar deficit, on total spending of less than seven billion dollars. The construction industry—Nevada’s second-largest, after casinos, during the boom years—has nearly disappeared. More than half the students in the Clark County public school system are eligible for the federal school-lunch program........ “You had a large group of people from California who took advantage of the system. Come here, buy a house, no money down, take out a HELOC—a home-equity line of credit—use it to buy another home, get a second mortgage, get some cash. And then they’re gone—poof. They all came at the same time and they all left at the same time....... MGM is not just Nevada’s largest employer and taxpayer; it is proportionally among the largest single taxpayers in any state, supplying eleven per cent of the budget of Nevada’s government. ....... Angle’s campaign ignores what would seem to be a basic rule of elective politics: that you have to promise to deliver government services to your constituents, especially in hard times. ...... European governments get into trouble by overloading on pensions and other expensive benefits; American governments get into trouble by practicing a kind of casino liberalism, in which credit flows too easily, everybody goes too deeply into debt, and if the growth ever stops, everything crashes.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Keeping The House And The Senate

Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States Hou...Image via Wikipedia
Since June 2008 I have not followed Obama daily for a few hours each day like I did before that for a year and a half. So I don't exactly have my finger on the pulse. But following the headlines has been as good as seeing hill top to hill top.

The Dumbfuck Immigration Laws

The political landscape as it stands right now is a mystery to me. There are few things I can say for sure, but I can try and attempt and make a few guesses.

On immigration I don't know what to say. This issue is hard for me because (1) it touches me at the bones level, (2) I know Obama feels deeply about this issue, it touches him almost at the bones level, he understands it to be a civil rights issue, and (3) I would not want him to lose the House and the Senate over it.

How do you kill the snake without breaking the stick?

I first argued that immigration has to be saved for 2011. Then I argued it perhaps needs to be worked on now. Now I am thinking it has to be worked on now but only if work on it can be completed in two months. If you can be done and over with by the end of September, start work on it now. If not, save it for 2011. 2009: Stimulus. 2010: Wall Street Reform. 2011: Immigration. 2012: Deficit.

Immigration Now?
Save Immigration For 2011

So how to keep the House and the Senate? Obama could do it because he has done this before. He has defied history before. There was no rule in any book anywhere that said a black man could end up in the White House.

Obama's Got Momentum: He Could Defy History In November

There is a rule in the books that says a president does not get to keep the Congress during his first mid term elections. Defying this rule should be much less challenging than that first rule. After all, race is America's original sin.

There are a few pointers I could give.
  1. I like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, but it is the president who has to step up. This has to be his election. He needs to campaign and campaign vigorously. He needs to treat 2010 like it were 2012.
  2. He has to make the point that had he been the president from 2000 to 2008, there would have been no Iraq War and there would have been no Wall Street meltdown. Had there been no Wall Street meltdown, there would have been no bailout and no stimulus bill. The stimulus bill was expensive, but minus that we would have been in the middle of a Great Depression right this moment. If you think 10% unemployment is ugly, try imagining a 25% unemployment.
  3. The bailout was expensive but the banks already paid for it for the most part. The stimulus bill was expensive, but the economy will pay for it over time. That money did not go down the drain.
  4. We can not run these deficits forever, but now is not the time to cut back. If we cut back now, we run the risk of running the economy to the ground all over again. The stimulus will have gone to waste. 
  5. The deficit will be eliminated, and that will happen while he is in the White House. But now is not the time.
  6. Health care reform happened. That was a once in a century thing.
  7. Wall Street has been reformed. That has been a once in a half century thing.
  8. It makes no sense to take a winning team out of the league.
  9. A hole that was almost a decade in the digging, I never promised to take you out of it in one year. We are not there yet fully, but we are on the right track, and we need to stay the course. Let me keep my team that has let me get this far. I have bigger and better things in mind that I want to do. And I need my team to stay with me.
  10. I want the unemployment rate to come down to 5% from near 10% more than anybody else. And that is why I need your continued support. Just like the deficit will be eliminated on my watch, unemployment will be brought down to about 5% on my watch, but I need to keep at it. And I need to get to keep my team.
I think the Dems stand to keep the Senate right now, and they stand to keep the House, although I expect the margins to get slimmed, especially so in the House. But then we have three full months. And three full months are a long time. Three months are a long time for the political winds to blow. Obama could make them blow his way.

Obama's 2010 election effort has to be about the economy first, second and third. I can see him defying history "but the arc does not bend on its own."

Pelosi Will Continue As Speaker
John Liu: Mayor Of NYC: 2013
Reshma Saujani: Top 10 Women To Watch In America

New York Times

Budget Chief Tried to Tilt Power to Executive Branch
Editorial:Keeping Politics in the Shadows
Early Word: Off to New Jersey and New York
Year of the Women in Oklahoma
Democrats Confirm More House Seats in Play
Obama Meets With Big Donors
Texas Battles Health Law Even as It Follows It
In Study, 2 Economists Say Intervention Helped Avert a 2nd Depression
From Blagojevich Lawyer, Final Argument With Drama
Massachusetts Nears a Change to Electoral Votes
How G.O.P. Senators Plan to Vote on Kagan
Obama Assails Republicans on Campaign Finance
New Health Official Faces Hostility in Senate
Blagojevich Corruption Trial Wraps Up
Panel Seen Approving F-35 Engine, Risking Veto
Lawmakers Seeking Cuts Look at Nonprofit Salaries
Washington Memo: Warren’s Candidacy Raises a Partisan Debate
When Race Is the Issue, Misleading Coverage Sets Off an Uproar
At the White House, Losing a Game of Phone Tag
Wedding Is Talk of the Town, but Nobody’s Talking
Cities View Homesteads as a Source of Income
Geithner Dismisses Concerns on Letting Tax Cuts Expire
Salon: Tea Party embraces billboards for anti-Obama message delivery
Huffington Post: Obama Could Face Primary Challenge Over Afghanistan (VIDEO)
The Politico: Rangel talks in jeopardy
Ezra Klein: How to end the filibuster with 51 votes
CNN Political Ticker: Santorum huddles with former aides to talk 2012
Interactive Feature: Fund-Raising in the Most Competitive Races
Interactive Map: Tracking the Races
Interactive Timeline: Barack Obama
Interactive Feature: Inside Congress
Interactive Timeline: Nearly 100 Years of Milestones and Defeats
On the Surface, Gulf Oil Spill Is Vanishing Fast| Concerns Stay
Maureen Dowd: Lost in a Maze
Thomas L. Friedman: Want the Good News First?
Videos Rouse Russian Anger Toward Police
New York to Pay $7 Million for Sean Bell Shooting
Op-Ed: Stop Raiding the Ivory Tower Restaurants Grading Begins in New York
Illegal Immigrants Caught on a Yacht, in a Web of Maritime Laws
Student Injury at Protest Leads to Battle in Israel
Campaign Finance Bill Is Set Aside
18 States and District of Columbia Are Finalists for Education Grants
Ex-Regulators Get Set to Lobby on New Financial Rules
U.S. Military Chief Presses Iraqis to End Deadlock, Citing Risks to Security Gains
China Pushes to End Public Shaming
Remarkable Creatures: Translating Stories of Life Forms Etched in Stone
Advance on AIDS Raises Questions as Well as Joy
Essay: Lifesaving Medications, Through a Back Door
Tobacco Funds Shrink as Obesity Fight Intensifies
Can Migraines Damage the Brain?
Economic Scene: The Case for $320,000 Kindergarten Teachers
On Education: Equity of Test Is Debated as Children Compete for Gifted Kindergarten
The Roller-Coaster Ride Called a Short Sale
Wind Drives Growing Use of Batteries
Disney Buys Playdom in $763 Million Deal, Becoming Hollywood Leader in Social Games
Telefónica Wins Control of Brazilian Operator After Raising Bid
Sprint Nextel Reports Gain in Subscribers
Indians 4, Yankees 1: Yankees Are Foiled by a Pitcher in His Debut
Mets 8, Cardinals 2: Francoeur, Possible Trade Bait, Makes the Most of an Unexpected Start
Practical Traveler: Avoiding a Large Phone Bill When Traveling
Next Stop: A Swedish Island for Respite or Revelry
A London Chef Looks to a Different East
The Curious Cook: To Enhance Flavor, Just Add Water
Drilling Down: Why Elite Shoppers Eschew Logos
G.M. Puts $41,000 Price Tag on the Volt
Appeals Court Rejects Effort to Create Hybrid Taxi Fleet
Editorial: Rethinking Criminal Sentences
Film: Duvall, Nearly 80, Is Still a Darling of Hollywood
Hero of Comic-Book World Gets Real
Surviving an Epic Night of Being Everything and Nothing
Theater Review | 'Notice Me': Angry, Bored, Conflicted. Group Hugs, Anyone?
Books of The Times: Love Found Amid Ruins of Empire
Political Times: Race: Still Too Hot to Touch
Facebook Is to Power Company as ...
The Web Means the End of Forgetting
The Yoga Mogul
New Orleans’s Gender-Bending Rap
More City Preschoolers Are Perfect, Test Scores Show
Poll: Older Americans Perplexed by Health Care Law
A New Concept in Health Care

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Reshma Saujani At The Netroots Nation

Our candidate is in Vegas attending the Netroots Nation. And the best way to follow her is on Twitter:

Netroots: Taking the Tea Party Seriously Wall Street Journal (blog) The convention founder, blogger Markos Moulitsas, told Washington Wire Thursday that the movement has evolved in to a more sophisticated operation. “I think we’re a key component in mobilizing people online, in funding a lot of candidates, and fueling a lot of grassroots energy that has allowed a lot of remarkable candidates to win a bunch of seats.”
Majority Leader Reid, live from Netroots NationDaily Kos (blog)
Reid praises progressives at Netroots convention‎ CNN
Progressives' next big fight: Elizabeth Warren‎ CNN Political Ticker (blog)
Netroots Nation: Strengthening Social Security AFL-CIO (blog)
Washington Wire Q&A: Markos Moulitsas‎ Wall Street Journal (blog)

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