Social Question

saint's avatar

Would Herman Cain be a better Black President?

Asked by saint (3970 points ) October 14th, 2011

Americans certainly are aware, if not proud, that a significant milestone was reached when Barrack Obama was elected president. (Just so you know where I stand, I did not cast a vote for president in 08. I abstained on principle-I was not impressed with either candidate). Herman Cain is a comer in the Republican campaign for 2012. I doubt that he will be the candidate, but pretend that indeed he is the R candidate. Americans will be choosing between two black candidates! Cain is a Southern born African American, he seems more amiable, less self absorbed, less angry, more decisive, and less defensive than the President. Plus he has actually had a job in the private sector, including executive experience with all the attending fiduciary responsibilities. Would he be a better black president?

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119 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

Is this a joke?

mazingerz88's avatar

He could be. 999 times more or according to Bachmann 666 times worse as a ( Republican ) president. And I would need to see his dog first.

@Blackberry My post was. : )

tom_g's avatar

@Blackberry – I really hope so.

tedd's avatar

Aside from disagreeing with just about everything you said about the president and Herman Cain..

I think the bigger question would be “Would he be a better president?”

What the hell does their skin color have to do with anything?

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

Obama seems angry and defensive? This has got to be a joke.

JLeslie's avatar

Yeah, can we get past the color of their skin once and for all. I admit I would find it a little amusing for both candidates to be black, to torment the racists in the country, but I think most people are not racist. And, I certainly don’t want someone winning the candidacy for his skin color. I think some of that, a small part, might have been in play with Obama, and it is dissappointing to me. If you mean will it be interesting for Cain to run because typically black people are Democrats, I think that is a nonissue. Just like Powell and Rice being black, did anyone really care in the end?

What exactly do you think Cain would acheive? Do you think black people will be more likely to vote Republican because Cain is black?

zenvelo's avatar

He wouldn’t be that great a president if he keeps getting his economic policy positions from computer games.

Qingu's avatar

I think Herman Cain would be a better Black President than Lord Sauron.

Honestly I don’t even know where to begin answering your question, @saint. Maybe we should start by asking why you think the guy who makes a living charging thousands of dollars to make speeches on how to be successful, the guy whose claim to fame is Godfathers Pizza and who is incapable of saying anything beyond the most stupid and insipid right wing talking points, is less “self-absorbed” than Obama.

I mean, the fact that you are remotely impressed with Cain’s intellect or policy grasp makes me wonder if you are the kind of person who buys mops from infomercials.

Qingu's avatar

I guess I have to address this as well.

Plus he has actually had a job in the private sector, including executive experience with all the attending fiduciary responsibilities.

So what is it about running a mediocre and unsuccessful pizza franchise before cashing out and making a living ripping people off for “leadership speeches” that you feel gives Cain a grasp of macroeconomics and foreign policy? And does it bother you that Cain’s major economic proposal, the 9–9-9 thing, is utterly fraudulent?

marinelife's avatar

Not in my opinion, no.

The 999 plan is very regressive.

FutureMemory's avatar

Slowly back away from the Fox News channel.

Mamradpivo's avatar

Why are black politicians always described as ‘angry?’ I can think of a dozen hate-filled white politicians who aren’t ever called angry.

Also, his primary private-sector experience consisted of being promoted from job to job because he laid off thousands of people. I mean, that still counts, but I wouldn’t be quite so proud of firing thousands of low-wage workers.

Qingu's avatar

Yeah it’s pretty amazing to hear Obama, the most emotionless and tepid president we’ve had maybe ever, described as “angry.” Care to back that up, @saint?

jerv's avatar

A bad president is a bad president regardless of skin color. Take race out of the equation and you wind up with people far more qualified than Cain. I think that the main reason he is even being considered is so that the anti-Obama crowd can vote Republican without being accused of racism.

Jaxk's avatar

First of all Daffy Duck would make a better President than Obama, so the question sets the bar pretty low. Cain has a pretty good background for this job. His turn around of Godfather’s Pizza is well know but he did the same for Burger King. He has also been a director for the Fed as well as Chairman for the Kansas City Federal reserve. He has a bachelors degree in Mathematics and a Masters in Computer Science from Purdue. He has received honorary Degrees from Creighton University, Johnson & Wales University, Morehouse College, University of Nebraska, New York City Technical College, Purdue University, Suffolk University, and Tougaloo College.

Overall yes, Cain would make a much better president than Obama (regardless of color).

Qingu's avatar

Wow, a BA from Purdue… the Harvard of the Midwest. Not quite the educational breadth of someone like Sarah Palin’s college adventures, but it’s always nice to see the GOP embrace intellectualism.

I’m sure that math degree came in handy when he and a non-economist accountant came up with his 9–9-9 tax plan.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Yes, of course there can only be one good black man. We should hold a competition or something.

Qingu's avatar

I also see Cain’s claim to fame at Burger King was teaching employees how to smile.

Barack Obama never taught any masses of exploited teenage wage slaves how to smile!

Jaxk's avatar

@Qingu

Your right, since Obama took office no one is smiling. Good job.

saint's avatar

@Qingu Who ever said anything about being impressed? I even said I doubted that he would wind up being the R candidate.
Are you guys wound up this tight everyplace else in your world, or is Fluther just an outlet.

Qingu's avatar

@Jaxk, correction: nobody had been smiling at the time Obama took office, because of the massive recession caused in large part by your and Cain’s supply-side religion.

Nobody is smiling now because Republicans have succeeded in obstructing every attempt to help the economy.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@saint It seems that fluther is an outlet…of stupidity.

I advise you to re-read your details and recognize how idiotic you come off sounding when you think of our president as ‘a black president’ first and then think about his competition in terms of race and then attempt to figure out some absurd comparison between the two based, again, on race. Didn’t anyone ever tell you we don’t talk about black people like that anymore?

Qingu's avatar

@saint, what’s interesting to me is that conservatives so often fall back on the whole “lighten up guys!” schtick when people call them out for sounding, you know, kinda racist.

tom_g's avatar

Not to sidetrack, but the “better black president” thing reminded me of this Onion article. Not sure why.

tom_g's avatar

@saint – I’m curious, though. Could you answer @Qingu‘s question?

GabrielsLamb's avatar

I’m still waiting for Colin Powell to come back, I really liked him! but what does black have to do do with anything?

Blackberry's avatar

@tom_g That article was hilarious.

lloydbird's avatar

He might make a better citizen.

Qingu's avatar

Truly Colin Powell was a wonderful black presidential candidate for conservatives who desperately want to avoid looking racist, but I think conservatives will get more bang for their buck with Cain because his skin is even blacker. I mean if it weren’t for the whole one-drop thing, we might even call Powell a white person!

saint's avatar

A whole lot more people, his opponents and his supporters, made Obama’s race an issue long before I asked the question.
I didn’t vote for him, I would not vote for Herman Cain either. I did vote for Bill Clinton. And somebody called him America’s first black president. Was that a racist comment?
I asked my question simply for the sake of asking it. I chose to make a clearly subjective comparison, to suit my whim in asking the question. I never asked anybody to agree. I didn’t even know for sure if anyone would bother to answer. I just want to hear what you folks have to say. A few people (3) seemed to think it was an OK question to ask. Speaking for myself, I like the reference to teenage wage slaves. That conjures an interesting image. I have this picture of 16 year-olds chained to the grill or the fryer at Burger King. I worked a minimum wage job as a kid in order to buy gasoline and pay for my care insurance. I hated the job, but I was not a slave. However, that was not at Burger King. Maybe they do it differently there.
I suppose I could do without being called idiotic or stupid. I don’t really think I am either of those, but you can’t know that. But I have been here just long enough to know that name calling is sort of part of the deal. There are clearly enlightened and intelligent Jellies, and those that are stupid. Like the banner says, everybody is an expert at something.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@saint Just because people make race an issue doesn’t mean you can add to the madness. He’s America’s first president of color, yes, but I don’t see what that has to do with anything you’re actually saying. Stating someone is of color isn’t racist, it’s ‘factual’ (to the extent that race is a social construct) especially if a person identifies as of color, or as black or of mixed race.

Your comparison was subjective, so at least you are aware of that one thing. Nobody is disagreeing or agreeing with you because we find your premise to be non-sensical and therefore can’t take a stand one way or another. Now you have heard that what some of us have to say is that we don’t think about the president other candidates in terms of how they compare in representing their race. As to calling you idiotic, I didn’t say that. I said you come off sounding idiotic which I guess is too sutble a difference for you to discern.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
tedd's avatar

@GabrielsLamb somebodies been sucking on the anti-obama nookie… lol

GabrielsLamb's avatar

@tedd And I voted for him… Which is exactly why I am pissed. I was ROBBED!

“Mothers go back to school and get a better job” My FAT ass!

saint's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Much too subtle. It’s your facility for soft spoken understatement that makes discernment difficult.

tedd's avatar

@GabrielsLamb My dear, we could get into it and I could question why you voted for him, and why you’re disappointed now…. but that would completely hijack this thread, and there’ve been a few dozen threads dedicated to that topic already. But sufficive to say… calling the president a doody head doesn’t really help your point at all, it just makes you sound… and honestly no offense here…. stupid.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

@tedd But he is a great man doody head.

*Honestly I don’t really know enough about politics to debate anyone on point so… I just loved Colon Powell, he was a decent man and a wonderful candidate, and for someone to call me a “racist” for saying that, using the argument that stated how they felt he was “a white man” just shows their own racism and ignorance not mine.

It amazes me how stupid people always negate a point by making the same exact counter point theirs just demonstrated.

It is the single most ignorant means of dealing with people and spreading hate propaganda for personal agenda, that I have ever witnessed.

tedd's avatar

@GabrielsLamb lol… either way

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@saint That, my dear, doesn’t make sense (not even as a sarcastic remark). If it’s my facility for soft spoken understatement that makes discernment difficult, then you agree that you’re unable to discern. If, otoh, I am not soft spoken or understated, then you should have no problem discerning the difference.

FutureMemory's avatar

“Colon” Powell…lol

saint's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Gosh. You’re right. Thanks for clarifying.

saint's avatar

OK everybody. It’s been great. Here’s your points. I’ll check back later for stragglers.

tom_g's avatar

I would have liked an answer to this question.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

never mind Its not worth it.

gondwanalon's avatar

I suppose that it depends on your political point of view as to which man would make a better President of the U.S.A. If you are a far left liberal then Obama is your man. If you are conservative then Herman Cain would best represent you.

tom_g's avatar

I love seeing “far left liberal” and “Obama” in the same sentence! I also like going to the dentist and arguing with moon landing deniers. Hey non-US people here on fluther – is it only here in the US that people can get away with statements like that? Is the US ideological spectrum so narrow and skewed that a corporate shill president can be called “far left” and “socialist”?

Qingu's avatar

@gondwanalon, Obama is a centrist. Many of his policies resemble Republican policies from earlier eras. He cut taxes for 95% of people. His health care reform was similar to that proposed by Nixon and virtually identical the one enacted by Republican Mitt Romney. Republicans used to support the EPA (Nixon founded the agency). Government has shrunk drastically during Obama. During the primaries, Obama was significantly more conservative than many other Democratic candidates.

When you say Obama is a “far left liberal” you are demonstrating that you know nothing about politics and you are simply repeating propaganda you hear on Fox News/Talk radio. Which isn’t surprising. Because the Republican party today might as well be called the Know-Nothing party.

gondwanalon's avatar

@Qingu I did NOT say that Obama is a “far left liberal”. YOU wrote that.

I was just answering the question at hand.

I already know who you are and you have an idea who I am. We have been down that road before.

I have nothing further to say to you.

ETpro's avatar

At least he would give the electorate a starkly clear choice—not in ethnicity, but in policy. He wants to use Federal Tax law to move as much of the nation’s financial wealth as possible to the top 1%, The top 1% only have 42% of the financial wealth of the nation today, and the rest of we 99%ers have the remaining 58% to divide up among us all. Cain thinks this is the big problem facing America, and want to use his brutally regressive tax plan to transfer far more of the wealth that’s available up to the top 1%, leaving America a banana republic much like today;s Haiti. We’ve never had so clear a difference in governing ideas before. I hope he is the Republican nominee. .

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Nope. He has too much Black in him, Obama is 50/50 so that is much more tolerable.

Jaxk's avatar

The truth is, I like Herman Cain but his 999 plan will kill him. It’s not good for anyone. The more I learn about it, the less I like it. I’m about as conservative as they come but the 9% corporate tax is not a corporate tax but rather a value added tax. The 9% personal tax really would only help the top rung. And the 9% sales tax would turn into Congress’s piggy bank. There’s just nothing to like here. OK, it’s simple I like that but otherwise, it will kill us.

Still I like him personally, just not his tax scheme.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk I like him as a person too. He stansds for something. I may not agree with his policy ideas, but I do appreciate the fact he isn’t mealy mouthed about advocating for them.

zenvelo's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Well that’s a flat out racist statement. If you meant to be sarcastic and funny, it ain’t working.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@zenvelo @Hypocrisy_Central Well that’s a flat out racist statement. If you meant to be sarcastic and funny, it ain’t working. It was a tad bit sarcastic but mostly true. I do not see it as a racist statement because I live it. Just because we have a monument on the Mall of Dr. King, we have not come that far. Many people were not around when Jim Crow was given a seat in the luxury box and a cold drink. They see the ads, the TV shows and think it is all kumaya; it is far from that. It isn’t as blatant as having klan marches, but Jim Crow has never been expelled from the building.

Qingu's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central, just to be clear, was your statement meant to reflect what you yourself think about Cain/Obama?

Or were you poking fun at what you see as the racism of other Americans?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Qingu Or were you poking fun at what you see as the racism of other Americans? Myself, I am not in the party of Tweedle Dee, or Tweedle Dumb; both are self-serving hacks if you ask me. I will say it, I would not gain any better points if I didn’t, I think Obama is better, and would be better; and not because he is 50/50, I think he has good ideas and overall, is doing pretty good considering the bumbling buffoons he has to deal with.

It was more a tongue in cheek stab at the underlaying racism that is still in way more areas of the US than people want to believe. Sinking your head in the sand just makes the danger harder to see.

FutureMemory's avatar

I can’t believe you guys thought Hypo was serious.

Nullo's avatar

I think it’s wrong for anybody – Democrat OR Republican – to use skin color as a basis for determining presidential eligibility. Cain might be a better President, I don’t know. Is he conservative enough?

From an image-maintenance standpoint, voting for Cain’s blackness would be worse than voting for Barry’s blackness because it makes you look like 1) you actually care about the color of his skin (which demonstrates racism – that goes for all of you who voted for Obama’s skin color, too), 2) you lack originality.
And finally: by playing the race game, you’ve already accepted the liberal/Democrat rules, which puts you at an enormous disadvantage. The game is about power, and they’ve been leveling their Racistmon for longer time than you have.

Qingu's avatar

@Nullo, isn’t it interesting how white conservatives like yourself always seem to be the victims of racial dynamics?

Nullo's avatar

@Qingu Just about everybody’s a victim of racial dynamics. Before you get carried away, though, do note that I was speaking of image-maintenance – a function of public relations.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Herman Cain is a racist, himself, IMO.

Qingu's avatar

@Nullo, yes, racism sure is a terrible problem for a lot of white conservatives, too. Like how conservatives sometimes get accused of being racists for poorly thought out reasons. If only blacks would realize that they aren’t the only victims of this problem, why, maybe white conservatives wouldn’t resent them so much.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Qingu If only blacks would realize that they aren’t the only victims of this problem, why, maybe white conservatives wouldn’t resent them so much. I assume everyone has depending on where they lived at some level. Generally I suspect none of them was stopped just because they were DWB. I have so many times in my life, I have a hard time remembering them all and what excuse was used to pull me over. I do remember the very first time, I called it to my brother before he even got wind of what was about to happen.

Qingu's avatar

“The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has taken a close look at Herman Cain’s 9–9-9 plan and released what Cain hasn’t: a rigorous breakdown of who gets a tax increase and who gets a tax cut under the proposal. The short version is that about 84 percent of taxpayers, most of them low- or middle-income, would see a tax increase. About 14 percent of taxpayers, most of them high-income, would get a tax cut. The tipping point is among filers making between $200,000 and $500,000. That’s when you see more tax cuts than tax hikes.”

source

I don’t know what’s scarier, that Cain and Republican voters are stupid enough to propose/support something like this without realizing its actual implications, or that Cain and Republican voters do actually realize its implications and is callous and sociopathic enough to want to tax hike poor Americans in a recession while giving huge tax breaks to the wealthiest.

Nullo's avatar

@saint Note how @Qingu so deftly illustrates my point. I am being stereotyped in this very thread.

ETpro's avatar

@Qingu The top 1/10th of 1%, who make an average of $8 million a year, would get an average $1.5 million tax cut. The poorest 10% would pay an average of $1,500 more a year in taxes. The massive tax increases to the middle class would devastate consumer spending, leading to millions of additional layoffs.

The Koch Brothers paid for that 9–9-9. They are co-owners of Koch Industries, America’s second largest privately held company with annual revenues of $98 billion. How much will they save in taxes if they get such a tax break?. Small wonder they support it, and run such a costly PR campaign to keep the middle class dupes who are convinced Conservative is synonymous with God in the dark about the real purpose of it. That’s just standard Republican politics today. Say it’s about abortion, guns, gays, teaching old time religion in our schools. Demonize immigrants. Scapegoat them and claim they are the root of all of America’s problems. Claim the poor are getting a free ride and show up in Cadillacs to collect their welfare checks. But the real agenda is deregulate business completely, gut or eliminate Social Security, Medicare and all social program, get rid of all environmental regulations, and give massive tax breaks to our poor, starving billionaires. They need our help.

Nullo's avatar

@ETpro No, see, the confusion comes in where people are convinced that the Republican party is all conservative, or that all conservatives are Republicans. And it’s not “immigrants,” it’s “illegal immigrants.” There’s an “illegal” in the second one, means “not legal.”

ETpro's avatar

@Nullo I hear all the arm waving about definitions and not being partisan, but the vast bulk of dupes who have een reeled in by the American Enterprise Institute and such right-wing think tanks’ propaganda go into the voting both and pull the R lever with absolutely no thought to what that person actually stands for.

I have respect for your honesty. What party affiliation have you supported over the past 10 years?

About illegal immagration, I do NOT support it, I deplore demonization of it. When politicians demonize and scapegoat to gather votes, there are extremely ugly and sometimes deadly consequences.

We face serious problems in America today. The real unemployment rate (when you include those who have lost hope and stopped looking) is around 15%. Millions have lost their homes. Millions more are underwater and at risk of future foreclosure.

Blocking all jobs initiatives with the filibusterer may make political sense for Republican Conservatives at a time like this, so long as the majority of the voters remain ill informed enough to be aware who is doing it. Demonizing illegal immigrants and gays and non-Christians may be good political calculus. But it is terrible policy for a nation that needs JOBS, JOBS, JOBS.

Qingu's avatar

@Nullo, you poor, oppressed white person you. As a white person myself, I’m with you; I know the suffering our people feel when liberals accuse us of being racist, whether or not we deserve it. Granted I’ve never suffered the effects of a centuries-long poverty cycle inflicted by the legacy of institutionalized slavery but I’m sure what we’re going through is almost as bad.

Jaxk's avatar

Wow, what a load of twisted logic. @Qingu says he hasn’t suffered centuries of oppression and I thought he had. @ETpro says he’s against Illegal immigration but we can’t talk about it let alone do anything about it. Democrats in general think that if they call it a ‘Jobs Bill’ everyone will think it will create jobs. Forget the fact that they called it a Stimulus last time but it didn’t stimulate. Now they call it a jobs bill but it won’t create jobs. Why don’t we call it a spending bill since that’s what it is.

I’ll give the Democrats credit, they are the party of slogans. And they’re very good at it. No matter what the issue, no matter how complex, they’ll find a way to put it on a bumper sticker. I can only assume that’s because they have a short attention span.

Herman Cain came up with his 999 plan. Good marketing but not really a good plan. That’s OK since it has us discussing taxes. Democrats like to use their slogan ‘Pay thier fair share’. Of course no one knows what that means. They try to raise taxes on anyone making $200K and call them millionaires and billionaires. Huh? The nice thing about democratic slogans is that they don’t need to make sense.

Unfortunately (or fortunately) Obama is losing support at a rapid rate. This has thrown the Democrats into a fervor where all they have left are vicious attacks on anyone that disagrees with their agenda. Desperation is an ugly thing. Between now and next November, things will get pretty ugly. It would appear much of America is becoming weary of the blame game which is the stock and trade of the liberal agenda. Hopefully we can get the country back on track but it will take some thick skin. Democrats are counting on the people being stupid. I don’t think they are. We’ll see.

Qingu's avatar

“I’ll give the Democrats credit, they are the party of slogans.”

LOL! Classic projection, Jaxk. Because lord knows Republican policy is just full of technocratic details. I take it you’ve seen the latest jobs bill they want to pass?

(Also, why do you think I suffered centuries of oppression? The Jewish thing?)

Jaxk's avatar

@Qingu

Because nobody has suffered centuries of oppression, we don’t live that long. probably poor health care. It’s tongue in cheek.

Nullo's avatar

@ETpro I’ve only been politically active since 2005, when I turned 18. I am registered as nonpartisan, and I suppose that I might be a sub-variety of Libertarian. I vote for people who have the closes approximation to my values that I can find – failing that (as in the 2008 presidential election) I vote for the one that I think will do the least harm in that regard. Failing that, I vote against the worst guy. I used to be more generally sympathetic towards the Republican party than I am now; the turning point was when I realized that not all Republicans (and even fewer Republican politicians) are socially conservative.
I don’t usually vote for third-party candidates, partly because I don’t like most of the third parties, partly because I feel like I’m wasting my vote on someone who won’t win.

On a side note, you might want to consider getting a different news source. That one’s rather heavily biased, to the point where facts and arguments may be called into question.

@Qingu MY angle is one of principle, not past. Perhaps the message of the last 30 years or so has been, “Racism is bad!” I took that, analyzed it, and accepted it at face value. I believe that there can be no good or meaningful judgment made on the basis of a melanin count or size, shape, and relative position of one’s features. That goes for you, me, Cain, and Kim Jong Il. ANY non-aesthetic judgment on the basis of benign phenotypical expression is foolish -indeed, it is wrong.

Now culture (or elements of culture), on the other hand, is fair game for me.

So, what’s with all that crap you’re going on about? Is it because I’m not conforming to your stereotype?

Qingu's avatar

@Nullo I agree with you re: racism and culture.

My problem is that whenever white conservatives bring up racism, it always seems to be to complain about how white conservatives are the victims of racism.

Nullo's avatar

@Qingu Well, add this to your list of exceptions: I’m bringing up racism to complain about people voting for #603311 rather than, say, foreign policy.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk Just because the Big Lie right keeps saying over and over on Faux News that the stimulus bill did no good doesn’t make it true. A lie stays a lie no matter how big you tell it or how often you repeat it.

The nonpartisan CBO says:

1—As of June, between 1 million and 2.9 million Americans owed their jobs to the recovery act.

2—In the second quarter of 2011 the recovery act added or preserved 550,000 full-time jobs.

3—The recovery act brought down the unemployment rate by between 0.5 and 1.6 percentage points in the second quarter of 2011.

I trust the CBO more than Faux News and partisan Republicans whose only interest in any job is in grabbing Obama’s.

Nullo's avatar

@ETpro Consider the size of the population, though. We’re a country of ~300 million. Granted, a lot of those are either underage or retired, but 3 million isn’t that big of a number.
Also, ask yourself where those jobs are, sector-wise.

Seek's avatar

I only have one thing to say re: Herman Cain.

9% federal sales tax on top of your state and local sales tax.

That means anyone in Tampa (where I live) will be paying 16% sales tax.

That’s an awesome way to persecute the poor and pull the plug on the economy’s life support.

Jaxk's avatar

@ETpro

I understand you believe any group or person that tells you what you want to hear. I just can’t by into this ‘Saved or Created’ number you want to tout. It is completely unmeasurable, and was made up to convince people the stimulus had some positive effect. Obviously it worked for you.

This administration makes up a number that’s never been used before. A number that is completely unmeasurable. And then you call anyone that doesn’t believe it a liar. Sounds like desperation to me. When this administration missed thier estimate of unemployment staying below 8%, they said it was because the recession was worse than they thought. Was it worse or did they make it worse? Pretty much an opinion. You can scream ‘Lies’ all you want but it doesn’t add any validity to your argument. I could say the Bush Tax Cuts saved or created 10 million jobs and call anyone that doesn’t believe it a liar. That wouldn’t make it true. I would think that at some point the administration would deal with real measurable numbers. They don’t seem to want to do that, relying instead on numbers they make up to try and make thier policies look good (or at least better).

I think it was Lincoln that said “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time”. A lesson this administration has yet to learn.

tom_g's avatar

@Jaxk: “I think it was Lincoln that said “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time”. ”

I think this is the saying you’re looking for.

Jaxk's avatar

@tom_g

There’s no question that Bush butchered that quote. If that’s your point, I would agree. The quote however is appropriate. “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”. I use it all the time, and it is appropriate for my point. The Lincoln quote is simply a better quote for this issue.

Qingu's avatar

@Jaxk how many jobs do you think the Bush tax cuts saved or created?

Jaxk's avatar

@Qingu

I don’t engage in that kind of speculation. Any number I came up with would be a WAG (wild Ass Guess). I have no interest in trying to shore up Bush’s record nor do I feel any need to. It is what it is.

Qingu's avatar

So why were you shoring up Bush’s record in previous Fluther questions and arguing that his tax cuts created lots of jobs?

Jaxk's avatar

@Qingu

Apparently you never did get the point. When you try to compare presidential records, you need to measure them the same way. The same rules and the same statistics. Hopefully using valid statistics.

Qingu's avatar

And what were your methods and statistics for concluding that Bush’s tax cuts created lots jobs but Obama’s stimulus (which included lots of tax cuts) did not?

Jaxk's avatar

@Qingu

We’ve been through this a few times. I’m not going to look up all the statistics used in the past, you can do that as easily as I. The point is if you want to measure Jobs created by Obama, you can’t start counting the end of 2009 and then compare to Bush’s full term. If you start at the beginning for one, start at the beginning for the other. If you want to measure from the time Obama passed his stimulus, then measure from the time Bush passed his tax cuts. Or if you want to give it a few months to take affect for Obama then give it a few months for the tax cuts to take affect. I don’t have a problem with the point that Obama inherited a recession but if you recall Bush inherited one as well. Just measure both the same way.

This is all getting pretty far afield from the question at hand so I hope it solves the dilemma.

Qingu's avatar

I was talking about jobs created via a given policy (not presidential terms).

You know, like “The stimulus” or “The Bush tax cuts.”

You’ve repeatedly said the stimulus has not worked to create jobs, and you’ve repeatedly said the Bush cuts did work to create jobs. What is your standard for determining the Bush tax cuts worked?

If we measure both the same way than Obama’s stimulus worked too, better, and very likely for the same underlying macroeconomic reasons.

ETpro's avatar

@Nullo I completely agree with you on that. I think that Obama and his economic advisers all failed to grasp the magnitude of the disaster they inherited from George W. Bush and the previous Republican congress. They talked of the modest stimulus they introduced cutting unemployment significantly. Even I knew it was still on its way up. The stimulus was not enough.

I do think we needed to fix healthcare, but I don’t think what finally emerged did enough to accomplish that, and I think it ate up vital political capital Obama should have directed at a REAL program to get Americans back to work. We have a whole nation full of crumbling infrastructure and millions of construction workers out of work. I think he gets it now, but he was too new to the job, and had too much on his plate on day one.

@Jaxk It is not me who believes only what I want to hear, it is you. I am an empiricist. I respond to evidence. You are an ideologue. You attack whatever evidence there is that fails to support your ideology, and hang your hat on even the flimsiest evidence that fits with your cherished world view.

Now, I know you will find minute details in this to snipe at, but for those without a bias, let’s review some facts that come to bear on what the stimulus did. Part of the stimulus was money to states to avoid laying off teachers, firefighters and police officers. How many jobs that saved is easily quantifiable. The pink slips were already in the governor’s hands. Democratic and Republican governors alike celebrated being able to preserve those jobs. Part was the Republican tax credit solution that you ideologues insist works every time—except when any Democrat embraces it. Part was for road and bridge construction and repair. Republican Congressmen and Senators who railed against the move in Congress and who voted no Went to the ribbon cutting ceremonies and posed with the big check like it was all their idea. It is not difficult to count how many people worked on each of the road, bridge, schoold repair and other infrastructure projects funded by the stimulus.

A Big Lie is a Big Lie. And claiming you spent nearly $720.1 Billion and it put nobody to work, nothing happened, the money just evaporated, is a Big Lie

Jaxk's avatar

@Qingu

Here’s the way I see it. Bush implemented the tax cuts in 2003. Obama implemented his stimulus in 2009. Those are the critical dates to keep in mind if we want to compare the two approaches and the relative success of each. The other point I keep harping on is the consistent measurement. So if we want to compare the two approaches, we need to use the same measurement for both periods.

If you look at unemployment, it began rising in 2000 and peaked in 2003. Then it turned down and continued to decline until 2008. In 2008 unemployment began climbing and continued to climb through 2009 and leveled off in 2010 at ~9%. It has stayed there, there has been no decline to date.

If you look at Job Creation, you get the same pattern. Creation began declining in 2000 bottomed out in 2003 and rose from 2003 til 2008. Again it declined from 2009 til 2010 and leveled out.

If you look at Median Incomes, again the same pattern. Income declined from 2000 til 2003 then began climbing from 2003 til 2007 then began to fall in 2008. from 2008 til the present it has continued to fall.

In each case the tax cuts turned the problem around. In each case the Stimulus has held the problem constant (at best). In each case the tax cuts brought us back from the brink, while the Stimulus has merely prolonged our time on the brink.

Now we are looking at another stimulus. If you believe that the first one worked, the best you could get from this second stimulus would be to maintain the status quo. The bailouts for the states have been spent so this next one would merely keep the first going a bit longer (and encourage the states to not fix thier problems, I might add). The infrastructure spending has been mostly completed so this one would merely extend what has already been done. Same with the payroll tax cuts. And if you look at it realistically, it is only half the first one so is likely to have only half the impact. Since I see the first as having minimal impact that doesn’t bode well for the second.

Jaxk's avatar

@ETpro

I know you want to write me off as some sort of ideologue, it would certainly make it easier for you to promote the selective statistics and half measures you like to use. I have no problem acknowledging new information that is based on real data.

When Bush put through the tax rebates I argued with a friend of mine that they were a good idea. I thought they would work and spur the economy. They didn’t. Maybe it the impact of 9/11 or maybe the temporary nature was to blame but either way, they didn’t work. When Obama put through his temporary tax cut, I was a little more skeptical (once burned, twice cautious) but it was done differently, spread out in the paychecks and 9/11 wasn’t in play. I gave it the benefit of the doubt. It didn’t work again. I have to incorporate that data into my philosophy. The cuts were small and temporary. When a tax cut is temporary, people don’t change their spending habits. Maybe they use it to pay off credit cards or leave it in the bank for a rainy day but given they’ve been tried a few times, it obvious they have no lasting impact on the economy. Ergo, I’m against a repeat of a policy that doesn’t work.

We may have a problem with the definition of a policy that works. I’ve said before that if the government spends enough money they will create some jobs. The problem is that they are temporary in that they only last as long as the spending lasts. So if (as you contend) the $trillion spending created a million jobs, you must keep spending a $trillion every year to maintain those jobs. That’s not a program that worked in my book. What makes it even worse is the million jobs you point at can’t be confirmed by any measurement and is a creation of this administration specifically designed to try and make them look better because no normal measurement would show any impact. Talk about hanging your hat on flimsy evidence. And of course you never want to acknowledge the flip side of your speculative measurement. How many jobs were lost or not created as a result of impending tax hikes or the flood of regulation from Health Care, Dodd-Frank, and the EPA.

I don’t see all this as minute details but rather fairly obvious flaws in your argument. But I do understand why you stick with your ‘Big Lie’ statement. It’s your best argument, such as it is.

Qingu's avatar

@Jaxk, I love how you shift from looking at the rate of change to looking at the static figures when it suits your argument.

http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000

I see a small spike in 03, followed by a very gradual decline.

I see a huge, huge spike in 08/09, followed by a somewhat jittery decline.

But obviously the Bush decline was the result of tax cuts working while the Obama decline was just the business cycle leveling out.

Absolute BS, Jaxk, and you know it.

Jaxk's avatar

@Qingu

I’m not sure what you’re talking about as far as shifting from static to dynamic. I use the graphs I can find. It was late and I couldn’t find the graph you posted (I’ve used it before but didn’t book mark it). Either way it shows the same thing. A Dead Cat Bounce and then we’ve held steady around 9% for the past 9 months. Is that all you got?

Qingu's avatar

It’s the exact same pattern, Jaxk.

And when you take into account the rate of change (i.e. the rate at which the economy was shedding jobs) the stimulus looks much, much more effective than the Bush tax cuts.

We can also add to the fact that Bush was not dealing with a financial crisis, with a chronic demand slack, or with an insolvent EU. And we can distinguish between private and public sector jobs (most job losses under Obama post-stimulus have been public sector!) But I’m trying to keep it simple.

Jaxk's avatar

@Qingu

I suppose if we are concerned that the spike wasn’t big enough for a good comparison we could look at the “Reagan tax cuts” in ‘82 and ‘86. Or if we’re concerned about ideology, we could look at the “Kennedy tax cuts” in ‘62 and ‘64. Historically the steeper the rise, the steeper the fall.

Qingu's avatar

1. I never said tax cuts weren’t stimulative. They are. That’s basic Keynesian macro.

2. The Obama stimulus plan contained lots of tax cuts.

If you want to argue that the only stimulative thing about the Obama stimulus was its tax cuts and everything else was a wash, we can have that debate. But that’s not what you’re arguing.

Jaxk's avatar

@Qingu

You’re right that’s not what I’m saying. Temporary tax cuts have about the same impact as Stimulus spending. That’s because they are both temporary (or that’s what they tell us). A very small portion actually finds it’s way into the economy in a stimulating way. The few extra bucks you get on your paycheck is temporary and won’t change your spending habits. You won’t buy that house, or that car or even that refrigerator. You may put it in the bank or pay a bit more on that credit card or maybe buy a toy for your kid (probably made in China) but you know it will be going away. Nothing changes. We’d gain a lot more ground by just making the current tax permanent. A little stability would do more than a tax cut paid for by raising taxes. I’ll never see the logic in that.

Qingu's avatar

Wow, now I’m even more confused.

Because it seems like you’re now saying that no tax cuts are actually stimulative; it’s “stability” that’s stimulative. Because what this economy apparently needs is for rich people to know exactly how much money they will have even more money over a longer term, so they can plan their investments?

Of course, you’re just flat out wrong; those little extra bucks that poor people get from payroll tax cuts (1) add up and (2) are pumped directly into economic activity, unlike investments. Which is why the CBO says they are more stimulative than tax cuts for wealthy people. Which, of course, you ignore.

Jaxk's avatar

@Qingu

Yes, you are confused. You might try reading what I said rather than what you want read. TEMPORARY tax cuts don’t work. I would like to see some tax reduction but that’s not in the cards right now. Any tax relief would only further divide the country since you can’t cut taxes for the 50% that don’t pay any, so any tax cut would be fuel for the ‘tax cuts for the rich’ crowd. That only exacerbates the class warfare. Additionally, we have a debt problem. No matter how much tax cuts would spur the economy, the initial impact would be a loss of revenue. I expect that would have detrimental consequences that would mitigate the benefit of the cuts.

Despite your inflammatory rhetoric, you have hit on one critical piece. Businesses do need to be able to plan. Knowing what the tax code will be is not a bad thing, it actually helps to know how much you can afford to invest in your business.

And yes, I tend to ignore people that tell me the best stimulus is unemployment checks.

Qingu's avatar

“Any tax relief would only further divide the country since you can’t cut taxes for the 50% that don’t pay any,”

You know perfectly well this is false. It’s been pointed out to you many times. (They pay payroll taxes, not fed. income taxes. We can cut payroll taxes.)

Why did you write this, @Jaxk? Honestly, I want to know. What was going through your head when you typed this?

“Businesses do need to be able to plan.”
And that inability to plan is holding them back from hiring? As opposed to poor sales, the number 1 complaint of small businesses by far?

“And yes, I tend to ignore people that tell me the best stimulus is unemployment checks.”
Then you’re willfully ignorant. The data supports it.

Of course, the data also supports the Obama stimulus working in exactly the same way that you thought the Bush tax cuts worked. So it’s clear that you’re not interested in data or reality.

Jaxk's avatar

I suppose that would solve the problem of congress spending the social security funds, there wouldn’t be any. Of course there is no reason for anyone to have to contribute to thier own retirement, we’ll just call it old age welfare. Good solution to our burgeoning entitlement problem.

Poor sales is always the #1 problem whether good times or bad.

We’ve had more people on unemployment, getting more money, for longer periods than anytime in history. Is that the real data you think I’m ignoring?

Qingu's avatar

@Jaxk, I don’t think you’ve internalized the problem here.

“47% of Americans pay no taxes” is a conservative talking point that you’ve now repeated.

It’s flat-out false. Are you going to admit you were mistaken?

We can talk about the merits and effects of cutting payroll taxes re: SS and Medicare. But those are taxes that people pay. Yes?

And I don’t think gov. paying for unemployment benefits is a solution to the problem. It’s certainly not sustainable. But it functions as a shot in the arm, a short-term boost at the expense of long-term fiscal solvency. Much like tax cuts. Except it boosts more than tax cuts because all of that money gets spent. What part of this do you disagree with?

Jaxk's avatar

@Qingu

Social Security is a tax but separate from the income tax. I should have said income tax knowing how nit picky you can be. Social security does not go into the general fund nor does it support government functions. If fact congress must borrow those funds from the Social Security Trust fund in order to use them. In fact the government owes the fund about $2.5 trillion at this point in time. Most people look at social security as a retirement fund which they pay into in order to receive benefits at retirement. Much the same as any other retirement fund. In fact FDR sold it to the people as a retirement fund. Then when challenged in the Supreme Court, argued it was a tax. The latter argument won out. Nonetheless, when people pay into Social Security they expect to get it back. With taxes they have no such expectation. If you eliminate the social security payment, you also eliminate the expectation that they will get it back.

There is no talking point here only reality. If you want to argue that SS is just another tax, then it would not be a separate deduction, it would not have a separate fund, and it would not have to be borrowed to use for government purposes. It is labeled a tax only because that is the only way the government can forcibly extract it from your salary. Even though it is for your benefit.

As for the last paragraph, as always it’s about the scope. Unemployment is intended to be a bridge, to help navigate the period from discharge to employment. When unemployment runs for long periods it is detrimental in many respects. It does deter those individuals from taking a low paying job, opting instead to wait for a better opportunity. The longer you remain unemployed the harder it is to get a job. This is not new or something that cropped up in this recession, it has always been a problem. throughout the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s if you had a long period of unemployment you were less desirable for an employer. Sometimes you could explain it away, sometimes you just didn’t get a call back. Right or wrong, there are legitimate concerns from the employers perspective.

I suppose I could play the game of citing statistics about people finding a job in there last two weeks of unemployment but the problem is larger than that. And I can’t help but wonder what you consider a temporary fix (you said it wasn’t sustainable). Is it two years, three, four,, how long is this short term fix? And how much money do we spend, how much debt do we accumulate, to gain long term solvency? That sentence sounds like an oxymoron to me.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk We’ve hashed this out before. Those who chose their words carefully, the dog-whistle blowers for the Vast Right-Wing Noise Machine, say the bottom 47% pay no “income” taxes. truem because that’s a tax that only applies to the upper income brackets. Most right-wing talking heads and a large part of the corporatist owned media (yes, the Main Stream Media) repeat it simplistically as the bottom 47% of Americans pay no taxes”. When you dog-whistle blowers push your talking point with a wink-wink aside, you know exactly how the truth will spin into a lie in most heads.

The poor pay excise taxes on alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, and fuel. They pay withholding taxes. They pay property taxes, whether directly as a homeowner or added into their rent as renters. They pay sales taxes. They pay for their licenses, their registration, and on and on. The truth is that the poor often pay a greater total percentage of their income in taxes then billionaires pay with all their loopholes and virtually all their income as capital gains.

Spreading your GOP talking point is intended to ensure that the rich, who have doubled their share of the nation’s income over the last 30 year, keep right on getting all the tax breaks while we continue to deconstruct our middle class and turn America into a third world nation for the benefit of the Greedy Oligarch Patriarchs behind the curtain of the GOP..

Jaxk's avatar

@ETpro

I get whiplash listing to your arguments. Your problem is that you have trouble sticking to the point preferring instead to try denigrating those you dislike with redundant and circular arguments. The excise taxes on tobacco, alcohol, and fuel are the ones Democrats want to raise. Because they don’t like those things so they want to reduce consumption by raising the tax and consequently the price. They don’t care who they hurt as long as thier agenda is advanced. You want to mix State and Local taxes with federal taxes. But only sometimes. Depends on what point you want to make.

I would love to see the state taxes addressed, sales tax, income tax, property tax, fuel tax, etc. but it must be done at the state level. Overall, it sounds like what you really want is communism. everyone earns the same, no more Greedy Oligarch Patriarchs. It really does address your problem. Unfortunately, when everyone is the same, they are all dirt poor. But at least you don’t have those lousy rich people to contend with.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk No, my “problem” is I know exactly what people lkike you are trying to do with their poor don’t apy taxes lie. The top 1% owned 40% of the nation’s wealth at the end of the Gilded Age ending in 1929. There was no real middle class.

The top 1% share dropped to around 30% in the Depression, and stayed there through the 1970s. From 1947 to 1980, the rising tide really did lift all boats. Incomes and share of wealth advanced for rich, middle class and poor in about lockstep. This was very good for America. It built our strong middle class.

The Reagan Revolution of the 80s reversed all this. Reagan slashed the top tax rate for the wealthiest Americans from 70% to 28% Income and wealth inequity immediately started to grow. Over the past 30 years, those who could afford to lobby congress have bought themselves all the breaks. The top 1% doubled their share of the nation’s income, and now hold 42% of all financial wealth. Republican proposals like Cain’s 9–9-9 and Perry’s 20% flat tax would just accelerate the inequity, and would starve revenues so that Social Security, Medicare and all help for those who aren’t rich would have to be scrapped.

How much do you think the top 1% need before it starts to trickle back down? 50%? 75%? How about 100%?

Their incomes have only gone up by 265% over the past 30 years while the incomes of average working Americans have remained almost flat. How much more of the income share must they have? Please define your program, instead of dealing in talking points that try to mask what it’s really aimed at doing, further enriching the wealthiest among us.

Qingu's avatar

@Jaxk, sorry, I don’t buy it. I think you know exactly what you were doing when you said “no tax” instead of “no income tax,” and I think you are being dishonest when you’re arguing that SS isn’t really a tax.

But to answer your question, “And I can’t help but wonder what you consider a temporary fix (you said it wasn’t sustainable)”—when employment reaches normal levels. As usual, you bring up incentives, and I don’t necessarily disagree; but I think you ignore the big picture. In 10% unemployment, possibly double that when you factor in underemployment, we are not talking about people who are too lazy or proud to take a job at Starbucks. There are 4–7 (I’ve seen varying stats) unemployed people for every job opening. That is an emergency. You can and should worry about incentives during an emergency, but let’s prioritize.

Jaxk's avatar

I seem to be arguing with two guys that don’t see any difference in Social Security Tax and Income Tax. That believe you can stop paying into Social Security and continue to pay out with no affect on the long term viability of Social Security. That don’t realize the amount you pay into Social Security is tracked on an individual basis and determines the amount you will receive upon retirement. Hell, they even send everyone a statement that outlines this. Yet they continue to deny there is any difference.

I don’t see any common ground here for discussion nor anyway to bring reality into the debate. Continue to talk amongst yourselves.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk Another pathetic try at diversion. I have said nothing that would indicate I think Income taxes and Social Security taxes are one and the same. I listed a long and not even complete litany of taxes that middle class and working poor pay.

I seem to be arguing with one person who is incapable of refuting the facts I have listed, and chooses instead to continually try to change the subject we’re discussing or to make it all about me and my using rhetoric. Again, thank you. It serves to prove who has the facts on their side, and who has to resort to logical fallacies to hold out for an indefensible ideology; that the rich aren’t yet rich enough and need additional tax cuts while the poor are undertaxed and should carry more of the burden for the rich.

I have asked you a long series of questions now. You have not answered any of them. Waiting is.

Qingu's avatar

SS is a tax. Period. Government forcibly collects the money. Government doles out the money later. That’s the definition of a tax. Doesn’t mean it’s identical to other taxes. But it’s still a tax.

So is Medicare, which is also funded by payroll tax. Which you said wasn’t a tax.

“Payroll tax is different from income tax” — yes. Likewise, capital gains taxes are different from sales taxes. But they’re still taxes.

And I think you know all this perfectly well, Jaxk. You’re just engaging in sophistry to avoid admitting your error.

Jaxk's avatar

More than 50% of Americans pay no federal income tax. As such they contribute nothing/zero/zip/nada to the operation of the federal government. We only have a federal government because the other 50% pays for it all. That doesn’t seem like a difficult concept to grasp.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk Repeating an egregious lie after it’s been pointed out to be a lie is not going to transform it into the truth. Withholding tax IS a tax on income. All the other taxes I listed come out of income as well. THey all flow to the governments that levy them, and anyone who earns money pays them. More than 99.5% of Americans don’t ever pay an inheritance tax. Does that mean they are all tax cheats too, and they contribute nothing to government?

Constantly repeating a lie is the Big Lie idea of Hitler’s propagandist. And even he warned that the state must grab power while the lie persists, because it will eventually be found to be false. The time when you Repugs could convince Americans that the top 1% need more tax breaks and the bottom brackets should carry a heavier tax burden to finance your continued transfer of wealth to the rich has come and gone. You are flogging a dead horse.

Here’s a graph showing just who has been benefiting from the transfer of wealth over the past 30 years. As the graphic clearly shows, class warfare is very real. But it’s the lobbyist hired by the very wealthy and the lawmakers who they buy off who are waging that war, not the poor. And you want to shift the tax burden even more toward the poor and middle class? Why? How is that patriotic.? How is that going to benefit the American Dream?

Qingu's avatar

@Jaxk, thank you for walking back your previous statement, though an admission that you were wrong would have been nice.

But you’re still wrong. Unless you’d like to argue that SS and Medicare, which account for almost ⅔ of federal spending, are not part of the operation of the federal government.

Let’s hear it.

Nullo's avatar

@Qingu Proponents of minimalist government would argue that neither program is exactly the government’s bailiwick. Been reading Heinlein all evening, always puts me in a more generally libertarian mood.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Thankfully we’ll never have to concern ourselves with this possibility.

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