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Most Commented: Who's to blame for the bad economy? A left, right and center debate

Obama President Obama wanted to take credit for the economy, and Op-Ed columnist Jonah Goldberg is all too happy to oblige in his Tuesday column. Here's an excerpt from his column, which also talks about the unemployment rate, job creation, hamburger flippers, spending and the media's obsession with Sarah Palin.

The more salient point is that Obama acts like he knows everything. From Day One, this White House has been cocksure about how to get us out of the economic ditch. In every major relevant speech, he has stuck with a consistent message: We know what to do and the Republicans don't. "I will not sacrifice the core investments we need to grow and create jobs," Obama insisted yet again in his April budget speech.

So what does this guy have to do to get the blame for the bad economy? Mark Halperin, an analyst for MSNBC and Time magazine, was asked on the "Today" show over the weekend about the political impact of the bad economy. He assured viewers that the president was totally engaged in the need for job creation. "The Republicans, though, have the onus on them to come forward with some ideas. The president's ideas are still a little bit up in the air."

A little bit up in the air?

Readers are straying a bit from Goldberg’s column as they debate the country's economy in the discussion board, though there are a few pointed comments directed to the columnist. Here's a sampling of their comments, ranging on the political spectrum from left to right.

The problem is that President Obama no longer has the ability to do anything about the economy.  Republicans control the House and the Dems have a 1 vote majority in the Senate which is to say no majority at all.  And the Republican Plan?  Cut more taxes and deregulate everything.  And continue to pour money into the military.  Meanwhile all they can talk about is the deficit.


Really: what do you know.   Why are we in this mess? Because of two unpaid for wars and Bush Tax Cut for the rich.   Invest 3 trillion dollars in our infrastructure instead of bombing an assorted mix of civilians and "terrorists" in Afghanistan and IRAQ and see what happens to our job market. Rise taxes to the rich 1% and replenish federal and State budget and see what happens when instead of having to fire teachers, firefighters, policemen, nurses (30,000 fired nationwide just in May). you hire thousands

And who has put us in this mess and tries to keep us there: Republicans, Tea parties of different varieties, corporations and ... commentators like you.

-- duzziv


I was mildly interested in your article, Mr. Goldberg, until I ran into this line:

"Since his speech in Warren, we've spent another $2.8 trillion in borrowed money."

You are unhappy with this gross spending, yet where were you when W. Bush was fighting equally expensive wars with no real gains coming from it?  You are angry at Obama for tackling what is the biggest issue in the U.S. right now but fail to congratulate the people who actually created this mess.  You attempt to blame Obama for the economy but couldn't it be that the system is broken or that capitalism has gotten way out of control?  Get a real argument, Jonah and don't overlook the things you don't like.

--Mind Tricks

After 2-1/2 years in office of course it's Obama's economy just as it would be McCain's if he had won the election. Bush (along w/the Democrats AND Republicans) spent like drunken sailors and Obama has taken the spending to even higher limits. We spent billions on stimulus and created 38,000 jobs (not the 900k the government claims). If a Republican president was in office with this ongoing mess you better believe it that the mainstream press would be reporting on it non-stop. Washington is like California-clueless about cutting back and living within our means.  


President Obama has been in office long enough that he can no longer blame others for the current economic morass.  Likewise, he doesn't deserve much blame, but bears the responsibility nonetheless.  His empty rhetoric on successes is just that.  Nonetheless, any Republican challenger in 2012 must have a better plan than "I'm not Obama." 



It's clear that to be a leftist in the US, you must believe the following:

- Government can spend money better than citizens

- Rich people are bad people who stole or took advantage of poor people to get rich.  And by rich, I mean anyone making more than $150k/yr.

- Poor people should be helped no matter the cost.  They are poor because people took advantage of them.

- It's not fair that rich people should be rich and poor people are poor.

- Business owners know less about economic issues than college professors who have not owned businesses.

- Healthcare is a right, and everyone is entitled to it.  Just like high speed internet. 

- Entitlement programs help people and help make them independent. 

-- trust no one


 One question for all of you bleeding heart Liberals.  Based on the economic policies put forth so far from the Obama administration, would you allow him to run a business you own?

-- abo42000

*Spelling errors in the above comments were corrected.


Israel's borders

Our readers' Weiner obsession

College shouldn't be a big waste of time and money

Accusations of reverse discrimination

Obama's so smart, he sounds dumb?

--Alexandra Le Tellier

Photo: President Obama announces John Bryson, right, as his pick for Commerce secretary at the White House on Tuesday. Gary Locke, outgoing Commerce secretary, is on left. Credit: White House


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Dont Trust Ya

We all know who was there at the start and who's in charge now.

When in power, each party is rolling the economic dice and hoping for the best. The republicans failed to be good stewards under Bush, and Obama hasn't lived up to his own hype.

I don't know which proposals will address our nation's troubles in such a way as to make this a better country for all its citizens in a timely manner. I can only look at failures and say let's try something else.

The republicans failed and now it's Obama's turn. In the end, President Obama may have the best answers but lose out due to bad timing. It's not a problem that lends itself to trail and error, or a long recovery for those suffering from the crash.

I have yet to meet the individual who can predict the future of such a complex economy. Professional economists can't agree. Politicians can't agree. Few saw this recession coming down the track, yet they all promise to lasso the moon and pull us out of this recession.

All I know is that each and every one of them has failed my test for competency. I blame them all.

Jessie D

Well put don't trust ya. And, I might add, if our elected officials put as much inferences on protecting Americans as they do Illegal immigrants, it sure would be comforting to know that we still matter to them during these hard economic times.

Mitchell Young

"Illegal immigrants"??

We let in over one million *legal* immigrants last year, despite nominal unemployment of over 9 percent (12 percent in heavily immigration impacted Los Angeles. With the economy struggling to make enough jobs for American citizens, it surely makes no sense to increase the pool of workers. Even if the increased population creates more demand for housing, schooling, etc, the experience of the last decade has shown that demand is not enough to make up for the increased supply of 'workers'.


- reply to abo42000
Government CAN spend OUR money more effectively than Wall Street can (and remember - it IS OUR money). The bailout of the Wall Street Banks and the lack of prosecution of the criminals involved in the meltdown of the economy and housing crisis proved this. They pocketed the money instead of fixing the mess they made.

The dismantling of our regulatory system has resulted in a criminal class of billionaires who have systematically looted the wealth of the American people and very nearly destroyed the middle class. Most of those middle class'ers have dropped into the vast gulf of the poor, (not too many have been given a hand UP into the ranks of the rich... those making ummmm 250,000 per year or more).

It's ok for someone to be rich - but the poor need help too, and what would it hurt them to pay a little higher taxes to help those less fortunate (read LUCKY) than themselves... after all, "there but for the Grace of God go I ..." the rich are always looking for new and creative ways to spend their excess cash... try buying one less yacht this year, and help the poor.

Business owners know how to make a buck, send all the manufacturing offshore and sell cheap products at home. That's what they've done and it's destroyed our country's economy, and moved us dangerously close to becoming a 'third world' country - or at the very least, a 'banana republic'. Business doesn't hold all the answers, and neither do corporations - simply because they operate on one mantra. PROFIT. Profit without consideration to the environment, the worker, the society, neighboring societies and the planet is nothing more than rape or piracy. Asking first: "who do I hurt by this action?" is a start.

Bill of Rights: "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." What part of that didn't you get? Seems to me that dying from a lack of available, affordable health care kind of shoots that whole scenario in the foot, wouldn't you say?

And as regards the internet, without it, how would people ever be able find out the truth of what is going on in the world. Now that corporations own all the media we USED to use to get our news, we no longer get news, just propaganda. I suggest you turn off FauxNews and avail yourself of this "right" while it still exists - so you can get educated about what you think you know.

When a soldier is sent off to fight in a foreign war of choice and comes back maimed and damaged, and given a 'pension' and health care by the government that sent him there, or his family receives social security because he died there, that's what you call an 'entitlement'. When workers pay a substantial chunk of their paychecks, year after year for social security benefits on retirement to help them live a modestly decent life in their old age, that's an entitlement.

There is not a darn thing wrong with Social Security. The idiots in Washington (congress, the senate and the pentagon) need to stop raiding it, reduce their spending by ENDING the foreign wars of choice we are now engaged in. That's where ALL the (remaining) wealth of our nation is being spent.


reply to jessie d and don't trust ya...

Good points... but the REAL culprits here are the multinational corporations that over the last 30-40 years have undergone 'corporate creep'... becoming 'legally' persons was the first step in a campaign that began over one hundred years ago to usurp the people's power and take control of our government through well placed and well spent CASH. The final step took place over a year ago in the 'citizens united' case ruling by the supreme court. We are no longer a democracy and unless the death grip of the corporations on our government, media and military can be loosened, we never will be again.

Alfonso Rodriguez

This up and down economy is what happens when we don't concentrate on consumers in a consumer based economy (2/3 of the economy). Consumers are still hurting, they are still losing their homes and there is still a lot of unemployed. The business/financial sector is only 1/3 of the economy and part of it is legalized gambling. The republicans are anti-consumer and are hurting the economy even more. Since the bulk of the U.S. economy is consumer based, the help should be directed to consumers (not the top 5%). This is how to boost and sustain the recovery, if not, this lopsided economy will never be stable. (PS Small businesses also need help, not large corporations).


I would allow Obama to run a business I owned. I wouldn't leverage it to the hilt and spend money on things that weren't giving me a return...like fighting lawsuits (read: wars) that I knew would lead to nothing...and I'd educate my workforce (read: education) so they could compete in the real world. And, it would be good to have a Harvard trained lawyer who could quickly navigate through complex issues. We may not see eye to eye on the issues, but at least I know he'd be smart enough to understand what they are. Can't say that about Palin can you...


The Republicans have proven they are just as ready and willing to spend this country into oblivion as the Liberals. It's just a matter of on whose behalf they're going to do it. Not one Republican President since Nixon has even presented a balanced budget, much less had one passed.

rolan carrillo

Who's to blame? As far i m concerned, the real problem is the unrelentant legal immigration influx from Europe, Asia and the middle East. I don't understand why the U.S. Goverment is not putting an stop to that. I mean we are in a very difficult situation here. First we should fix our economy then... we can let people in. Now, Obama is going to let Russia, Poland, and Spain to enter the country without a Visa. Wow ...thats crazzzzy

rolan carrillo

I wonder sometimes,
which is the reason that so many people with good education are migrating here, even when the entire U.S. country is in disarray. The only explanation I find is that people want to live here because this is the only country in the world where the dollar is manufactured, so people feel more protected and secure; and also because of the social security benefits. I don't understand. I mean, what other reason might be?


Who is to blame? THE FEDERAL RESERVE private banking cartel that controls the U.S. Govt. All else is political theater.


Surely higher taxes, increased union power, expanded entitlements, higher energy prices, increased regulation, printing money, and government micromanagement of EVERYTHING will convince businesses to hire.

Is there anyone in this administration with a clue as to the real cost of waging class war on American businesses?


Am reading "Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon" by Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner. If you want the correct answers to the question this article poses, read this book. If your just one of the clowns in the car don't bother.



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