Short Memory

Rep. Paul Ryan, on the vanguard of Medicare privatization, had this to say on Fox News, via Crooks and Liars…

Rep. Paul Ryan said Sunday that S&P’s downgrade of U.S. credit was a “vindication” Republican actions and his budget plan, which would end Medicare as it exists today.

“I am not very surprised with the downgrade,” Ryan told Fox News’ Chris Wallace. “We more or less saw it coming because we are the wrong fiscal path. We’ll find out what spike in rates we are going to get. Obviously not only does it hurt the federal government and its ability to close deficits, but it hurts people. Car loans, home loans, all these things are going to go up. And so, it is because Washington has not gotten its fiscal house in order.”

And to me, this is just more vindication of our actions. We passed a budget, which according to someone with S&P yesterday, would have prevented the downgrading from happening in the first place.”

“Isn’t that like a doctor saying, ‘I did the operation perfectly but the patient died?’” Wallace wondered. “In its announcement, S&P condemned the political dysfunction here in Washington, the grid lock here in Washington… isn’t the failure to compromise part of the problem?”

“Both political parties are responsible for the mess we have right,” Ryan admitted. “This is not a Democrat or Republican problem only. Both parties got us to where we are. I would argue, though, in the last couple of years, we’ve gone deeply in the wrong direction.”

“Yes, we haven’t been able to get the kind of compromise because our partners on the other side of the ailes had been unwilling to reform the [entitlement] programs that the cause of the problem.”

Yes, let’s look at the cause of the problem. Is it our greedy grandparents presuming to feel ‘entitled’ to their Social Security and Medicare? Is it the last 2 years, the Obama years, that tanked our economy? How soon we forget what the Obama administration inherited in January 2009. Here’s from the end of 2008…

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Stocks fell hard on Wednesday, with the Dow closing below 8,000 for the first time since March 2003, as ongoing anxiety about the economy and uncertainty about the future of the auto industry weighed on the market.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) shed more than 400 points to close 5% lower. All 30 Dow components lost ground.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 (SPX) index slid 6% to its lowest level since March 2003. And the Nasdaq composite (COMP) lost 6.5% to settle at its lowest point since April 2003.

Stocks languished for most of the day, with the selloff accelerating near the close of trade. Wednesday’s dramatic retreat erases gains made in the previous session.

“The market is fearful of the fallout from the credit crisis and the global economic slowdown,” said Todd Salamone, market strategist at Schaeffer’s Investment Research.

Those fears were writ large in the plight of the nation’s automakers. Investors are grappling with a possible bankruptcy in the automotive industry, something analysts say could have dire implications for the broader economy, as a second day of congressional hearings on the matter ended without resolution.

We recall, of course, that the Iraq War began in March, 2003 and the violence and our military involvement have not ended.

During the past two years the stock market recovered slowly, and despite a terrible week the market is still in much better shape than when President Obama took office. Our auto industry is not headed for a crash just now. We are still adding jobs, though far from the job growth we need.

Here’s where we are now…

Over the weekend, Dow futures contracts were trading down nearly 250 points. The New York Stock Exchange invoked rules that allow for smoother trading when heavy activity is anticipated.

The Dow quickly fell 245 points after the opening bell but more recently was trading down 219.79 points, or 1.9%, at 11,224.82.

This debt crisis was a confrontation between a moderate Democratic president and the hard right of the Republican party, and the Democrats lost. Blame the President for failing to fight hard enough, for being too willing to compromise, for letting the small-government partisans go unchallenged in a time of crisis when we need strong government action. But don’t blame the President for a falling stock market, a deficit, unemployment that were all far worse when he took office than they are after two years of his administration.

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One response

  1. Obama is more interested in governing properly than making political points. So he probably could have rallied the base better by attacking Republican hypocrisy (claiming they care about the deficit but refusing to raise taxes on the wealthy, or corporations) but he was more interested in reaching a compromise.

    Paul Ryan is a fool if he thinks people will agree to see medicare gutted so that Paul’s wealthy masters can escape taxes.

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