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Why has Obama not created a public works program?


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In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 7:13:04 AM PDT
reply to Terd Ferguson's post:

and it didtn take 3 years for the environment impact study first
and there were not 800 inspectors watching every move that have to sign off before you can do the next step

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 7:14:31 AM PDT
reply to I miss W's post:

that is simplisitic
a factor for sure

but the economy has to go in cycles or it would not work at all
and there are many factors that say how good/bad the cycles swing
and to some extent how soon/later they occur

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 7:39:47 AM PDT
seajaw says:
Oh, I don't know. From the tax breaks and subsidies we're currently giving away to the one-percenters. You know, the job creators who took all that extra money and didn't create squat.

Presumably, as more people are hired off the unemployment rolls, that brings the money spent on assistance programs down.

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 7:42:52 AM PDT
Not to mention the money spent on pointless wars, pork, bailouts and foreign aid. Such money could be put to much better use.

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 7:50:34 AM PDT
seajaw says:
Agreed.

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 7:56:05 AM PDT
M. Daniel says:
seajaw says: "Oh, I don't know. From the tax breaks and subsidies we're currently giving away to the one-percenters.

What about the breaks and tax credits that go to the middle-class. That could build some high speed rail.

seajaw says: "You know, the job creators who took all that extra money and didn't create squat."

The Obama administration is lying when it reports the job growth and improving economy?

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 10:10:40 AM PDT
seajaw says:
No. I believe there are areas where people took (and continue to take) tax breaks, subsidies, whatever, then don't put that extra targeted money into what it was designated for in the Bush tax cuts.

When you apply that to the middle class and working poor, they are more likely to have spent that money in the economy, just to get by.

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 10:36:22 AM PDT
M. Daniel says:
seajaw says: "then don't put that extra targeted money into what it was designated for in the Bush tax cuts."

What was it targeted for? Don't the people who earned the money get to decide how to use it? Most invest the money but then they are attacked for paying only 15% for capital gains. A tax break is not a subsidy.

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 11:17:06 AM PDT
seajaw says:
The Bush tax cuts were specifically devised to boost a sagging economy. While those at the bottom spent their extra money (they had to), the top earners simply sat on their tax cuts.

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2010/09/17/Bush-Tax-Cuts-No-Economic-Help.aspx#page1

The extra money in the hands of the top one percent did little, if anything, to spur economic growth.

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2009/01/09/bush-on-jobs-the-worst-track-record-on-record/

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 12:39:38 PM PDT
M. Daniel says:
seajaw says: "While those at the bottom spent their extra money (they had to), the top earners simply sat on their tax cuts."

That is not what the article says. It said the tax cuts had no beneficial impact on the economy and that people saved it rather than spent it--not that upper income sat on it and lower income spent it.

"By and large, people saved the rebate rather than spend it."

A lot of these cuts went to lower and middle-class:

"Bush proposed a doubling of the child credit to $1,000; higher limits on education savings accounts; a new deduction for two-earner couples; allowing a deduction for charitable contributions by those that don't file itemized returns; a $400 deduction for teachers who buy unreimbursed school supplies; Individual Development Accounts to allow people to save tax-free for retraining; a refundable tax credit for health insurance; and a tax credit for financial institutions that matched savings by those with low incomes. The only supply-side element was a modest reduction in the top statutory income tax rate from 39.6 percent to 33 percent"

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 2:14:56 PM PDT
seajaw says:
Not everyone qualified for all of those cuts, so the impact was likely more minimal.

The biggest benefits went to the rich, through cuts in capital gains rates. Yes, the rates had started coming down during Clinton's second term, but the biggest impact was during the Bush years.

If you recall, Reagan signed legislation to tax capital gains at the same rate as other income in 1986.

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 3:13:28 PM PDT
M. Daniel says:
seajaw says: "The biggest benefits went to the rich, through cuts in capital gains rates."

The wealthy got larger benefits in actual dollars but middle-income got much larger percentage cuts---many were eliminated from paying any federal income taxes. The wealthy did not sit on their tax breaks but invested them which helps to expand business and jobs. The problem is that business did not expand because there was no consumer demand. Also, a lot of that money the wealthy invested was lost when the stock market sank--household wealth dropped from $66 trillion to $49 trillion.

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 3:29:03 PM PDT
seajaw says:
No consumer demand is usually the result when unemployment gets so high. Who's got the money to demand anything?

Yeah, the rich reinvested their tax breaks in themselves. Not sayin' that there's anything wrong with that, but when they are the folks who need to be investing in boosting the economy -- the job creators, right? -- let's just say they weren't doing much creating (here at home, anyway).

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 3:40:44 PM PDT
M. Daniel says:
seajaw says: "they are the folks who need to be investing in boosting the economy -- the job creators, right? -- let's just say they weren't doing much creating (here at home, anyway)."

Business cannot create jobs unless it has capital to expand. Investments are as important in creating jobs as consumer spending. Besides, I challenge your claim that the rich were not spending. Their spending fell in the recession when they took big stock market losses, but there was record spending before the recession.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/04/business/sales-of-luxury-goods-are-recovering-strongly.html

"Nordstrom has a waiting list for a Chanel sequined tweed coat with a $9,010 price. Neiman Marcus has sold out in almost every size of Christian Louboutin "Bianca" platform pumps, at $775 a pair. Mercedes-Benz said it sold more cars last month in the United States than it had in any July in five years.

Lissette Gutierrez chose a pair of $1,495 Christian Louboutin shoes at Bergdorf Goodman in Manhattan.

A Gucci coat for $11,950 at Bergdorf Goodman, where more customers have been willing to pay top dollar for luxury goods.


Even with the economy in a funk and many Americans pulling back on spending, the rich are again buying designer clothing, luxury cars and about anything that catches their fancy. Luxury goods stores, which fared much worse than other retailers in the recession, are more than recovering - they are zooming. Many high-end businesses are even able to mark up, rather than discount, items to attract customers who equate quality with price.

"If a designer shoe goes up from $800 to $860, who notices?" said Arnold Aronson, managing director of retail strategies at the consulting firm Kurt Salmon, and the former chairman and chief executive of Saks.

The rich do not spend quite as they did in the free-wheeling period before the recession, but they are closer to that level.

The luxury category has posted 10 consecutive months of sales increases compared with the year earlier, even as overall consumer spending on categories like furniture and electronics has been tepid, according to the research service MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse. In July, the luxury segment had an 11.6 percent increase, the biggest monthly gain in more than a year.

While the free spending of the affluent may not be of much comfort to people who are out of jobs or out of cash, the rich may contribute disproportionately to the overall economic recovery.

"This group is key because the top 5 percent of income earners accounts for about one-third of spending, and the top 20 percent accounts for close to 60 percent of spending," said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics. "That was key to why we suffered such a bad recession - their spending fell very sharply."

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 5:34:02 PM PDT
reply to seajaw's post:

because of bamacare and too many regulations

big bank ( BBT ) today said they could never start again like they did when they were small and grew big - cant start a small bank and survive because of too many regs now

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 6:39:28 PM PDT
seajaw says:
No, the whole financial crisis has occurred because of too little regulation. It didn't start to come unraveled until the Republicans started cutting regulatory restraints (true, Clinton "helped" by allowing the repeal of Glass-Steagall).

We were fine until that happened.

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 7:04:46 PM PDT
Intrepid says:
I was however, talking about 3 years after construction already started. Presumably contracts were awarded, bids in hand, before work began. So I am saying the clock started ticking after the earth movers were on site and visible from the traffic snarled next to them. In short, "hurry up I am tired to the congestion!"

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 7:11:31 PM PDT
M. Daniel says:
Intrepid says: "In short, "hurry up I am tired to the congestion!"

My county has about 25 miles of Interstate 10 that crosses it. They have been widening it for years (lost count) and they are about 2/3 complete.

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 7:12:10 PM PDT
Intrepid says:
Thanks. But I have to assume that once it starts there is money in hand to work. Unless of course, Congress blocked release of ARRA money and mucked things up. Even if there are miles to do, how many years is too long? It should not be unlimited. Compared to construction in better times, it just seems sloooooooow.

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 7:21:05 PM PDT
Intrepid says:
2/3 complete sounds good. It's the "lost count" of the years that makes me wonder what is reasonable.

The Germans built ~ 500 to 1000 km of autobahn each year 1936 - 1940. That's 300 to 600 miles per year!

I guess we just aren't interested in conquering Europe. Maybe why they called it the Greatest Generation (though they were the other side).

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 9:00:27 PM PDT
Less tacos (pardon the double entendre)

In reply to an earlier post on May 15, 2012 12:29:00 AM PDT
Intrepid says:
No, I want them to expand like we did. By Dec this year it will be 2 additional health centers
---------------------
your company is not just doing that because they want to be brave and grow the business. They calculated the risk and resources.

In reply to an earlier post on May 15, 2012 7:22:21 AM PDT
The Germans built ~ 500 to 1000 km of autobahn each year 1936 - 1940. That's 300 to 600 miles per year!
***********************************
What happened? Did someone slip under the fench at Auschwitz?

In reply to an earlier post on May 16, 2012 1:26:14 AM PDT
Intrepid says:
Of course - that's the point. That's the way it always is and locations are key. Even in this market.

In reply to an earlier post on May 16, 2012 1:29:42 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 16, 2012 1:30:29 AM PDT
Intrepid says:
I agree Leonard that if you don't pay anything and consider death to be the only employer give away, then you can build pretty fast. But 300-600 miles of highway in what is the size of one of our middle sized states - is a testament to the upper limit of what can be done.
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Discussion in:  Politics forum
Participants:  30
Total posts:  201
Initial post:  May 12, 2012
Latest post:  May 17, 2012

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