Thursday, November 5, 2009

Go ahead and protest, but think a little, too

As I was driving to the grocery store after work Wednesday, I noticed some young folks who I assume were W&J students protesting at the corners of Lincoln and Beau in Washington. It appeared they are not pleased with the president and were taking considerable pains to point out that unemployment is currently very, very high. The impetus for the protest, I assume, was the first anniversary of President Obama's election. Yet, it's been only about nine months since Obama took office, and blaming him for the country's high unemployment rate is shortsighted and rather thoughtless. Certainly, the jobless rate is painfully high and will, no doubt, creep higher in the coming months. At the same time, however, it should be noted that other economic signs are trending in a better direction. We've recently seen encouraging reports about housing. The national economy actually grew in the last quarter. And just today, there was positive news about retail sales, giving businesses hope that this holiday sales season won't be a huge downer. Also today, there was even a report that the number of new jobless claims was lower than expected. The overall unemployment rate is expected to hit 10.5 percent in the coming months, but analysts expect that to start improving by next summer. A little history, semi-ancient and recent, might be in order for the campus protesters. The jobless rate was close to 11 percent during the first term of Ronald Reagan, but I doubt anyone who currently is pillorying Obama wants to be reminded of that black mark on the record of the hero of modern conservatism. To Reagan's credit, the rate got better. Under Obama, it's likely to do the same. I'd also remind the demonstrators that when George W. Bush took office, the rate was 4.2 percent. At the beginning of 2008, it was still only 4.9 percent, but it was 7.6 percent when Bush left office and already well on its climb to where we sit today. I have to confess that when I saw the protesters Wednesday evening, I wondered to myself how many of them come from wealthy homes from which Mommy and Daddy dispense checks for more than $40,000 annually so that they can enjoy college life at a top-notch school. I also wondered how many of them had heard their parents griping that Obama wants to tax them into the poorhouse. Young people are very impressionable. But at the same time, this group apparently was paying no attention during the previous eight years when "W" took a strong economy and ran it right into the ground, in part thanks to his "war of choice" in Iraq. No one could fix in 10 short months the economic devastation that Obama faced on the day he took office. He deserves more time to see if his policies can help to lift us from our current mess. If he fails, those protesters at W&J will have plenty of company in voting Obama out of office in 2012. Bottom line, I'm glad that the young demonstrators were taking an interest in our government and exercising their freedom of speech, but it's a shame that they seem to be taking their marching orders from Fox News.

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Anonymous welfare warrior said...

Berry is our President, like it or not. We only have time to give to him. It's up to him, but he would have to change everything that he is trying to do. Hit the reset button, and just start all over.

The only thing you didn't say in your post Brant was the student unemployment numbers. Last that I seen it was around 24%. I think that includes highschool kids also. Pretty high, so the college kids you passed, do you think they needed fox news to press them that way?

November 5, 2009 at 4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got news for you Brant, there aren't many kids at W&J who voted Republican in the last election. I spend some time there and they were largely Obama supporters.

At what point will this economy belong to Obama, by the way? Six years in? Seven? Just asking.

Why no mention that the new health care package is now coming with a price tag of $1.3 trillion, far more than the big O asked for. And it will offer no help to most families. Oh wait, there was no mention of that in your paper.

How about how the admin has been trumpeting all the jobs it saved with the stimulus package. But now we find out that they're counting jobs saved as people who got raises in federally funded jobs? That did appear in your paper, but was buried deep, deep inside.

While we're talking about wars, I thought the big O was going to have us out of all of them in nine months? Hasn't happened. Where are the protests over that? Hmmm.

November 5, 2009 at 10:41 PM  
Anonymous impeachments are nice said...

Brant is the type that gets a tingle up his leg when hears about the President.

That 10.2% unempolyed is Bushs fault don't you know! didn't the president say it wouldn't go over 9.5 if congress would just sell out our childerens future!?

The dems are the party of major failure! I'm sure they will find a way to screw up Iraq.

November 6, 2009 at 10:35 AM  
Blogger Lori said...

Lets not forget that Reagan took on an economy that had seen the Gas Crisis of 1977, War in Iran, and in the Tri-State area we lived in, the closure of the Steel Mills, Glass Factories and Coal Mines. You left town and joined the Military during all this, so...maybe there were no jobs for a young man fresh out of high school in 1976.

November 6, 2009 at 11:04 AM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

I too am wondering just when Obama is going to take ownership of anything. I saw a statement released by one of his sycophants the other day that stated that the reason Obama hasn't done much of anything is that he's still trying to unravel Bush's mess.

I'd have much more respect for the man if he'd just say something like, "I underestimated the support I'd have," or something, anything other than blaming Bush for everything. Frankly, I haven't seen anything of substance that Obama has done since he's been in office other than plunge this country into deeper debt. This blaming Bush for everything is getting boring. I don't expect him to fix everything wrong with the country in ten months or even two years. But for God's sake, do SOMETHING besides bitch about Bush.

November 6, 2009 at 12:01 PM  
Anonymous Horselips said...


November 6, 2009 at 3:54 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Lori, I'm going to hit you with something that is probably anathema to you: facts. First, I signed up for the Army in October 1975. The unemployment rate was 8.4 percent and going down. It was no factor in my decision. Certainly, Reagan faced economic challenges during his presidency, but it's idiotic to suggest that Obama faces any lesser challenges, most of which existed when he took office. Bush had plenty of company in leading the country down the path to financial ruin, but his role was significant, and it can't be swept under the rug of history. Folks like you focus only on the negatives in order to make your argument that Obama is failing. You don't recognize any of the improvements in the country's economy. Employment is typically the last to recover after a recession. It takes time. During Reagan's tenure, unemployment first topped 10 percent in September 1982, and it didn't go back below 10 percent until July 1983, almost a year later. Also, the rate didn't go back below what it was when Carter left office until May 1984, almost two years later. I'm sure you'll support Obama and afford him the same length of time and opportunity to achieve the same success. Yeah, right. But feel free to keep relying on selective truth and ignorance of reality, if you wish. Or just liberate yourself and come out and say, "I hate this guy." Then you don't have to make ridiculous arguments. Just sing in the chorus of "It's Obama's fault," with little or no rational thought involved. In the meantime, I'll continue relying on the "holy trinity" of facts, common sense and reason.

November 6, 2009 at 5:33 PM  
Anonymous LORI OWNS BRANT said...

When the dow went up above 10,000 a cpl weeks ago, was that Bush's fault or Berrys?

I think in the first year people got to see what our President is really about. Now the American public don't like the slight lean to socialism so Obama will be a one timer.

November 6, 2009 at 5:51 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Thanks, Nostradamus.

November 6, 2009 at 6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From The Wall Street Journal, January 9, 2009:
"Bush On Jobs: The Worst Track Record On Record

President George W. Bush entered office in 2001 just as a recession was starting, and is preparing to leave in the middle of a long one. That’s almost 22 months of recession during his 96 months in office.

His job-creation record won’t look much better. The Bush administration created about three million jobs (net) over its eight years, a fraction of the 23 million jobs created under President Bill Clinton’s administration and only slightly better than President George H.W. Bush did in his four years in office."

We gave Bush eight years. 11 months is too long for Obama?

November 6, 2009 at 6:46 PM  
Anonymous Get a backbone said...

Why can't dems keep demestic terrorism at bay? Look at most major demestic terrorism in this nation. Who was in power then?

1. Waco

2. OKC

3. Ruby Ridge

4. Ft.Hood

Obama is weak.

November 6, 2009 at 11:08 PM  
Blogger Dale Lolley said...

Let's be honest here. An administration doesn't "create" jobs. The only jobs the government "creates" are government jobs.
The Obama administration seems to want to do a lot of that. Although, as somebody noted earlier in this post, this admin is counting "jobs saved" in its job totals. Does anyone even know what that is? Hell, you could pull a number out of the sky and say you saved that many jobs.
Then again, they are counting people who got raises in government jobs as jobs saved.

November 6, 2009 at 11:40 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Backbone, if you want to blame Democratic presidents for the incidents you cite, I guess I could say, "Why can't Republican presidents keep Islamic terrorists from flying airplanes into buildings and killing thousands of Americans?" They're both ridiculous assertions.

November 7, 2009 at 6:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey backbone:

Why can't the Reps keep mass murderers at bay?

The DC Sniper: 2003
Red Lake Minnesota High School: 2005
Virginia Tech: 2007
N. Illinois University: 2008

Bush was weak.

Statistics can "prove" damn near anything.

Who was it who said, "Even the devil can quote scripture to his own purpose?"

November 7, 2009 at 9:28 AM  
Anonymous smooth operator said...

Why can't Republican presidents keep Islamic terrorists from flying airplanes into buildings and killing thousands of Americans?"

That was planned under Billy Clinton. So wouldn't that be the mess he left for G.W. Bush?

An administration doesn't "create" jobs.

Really? Cause I always thought if you cut the capital gains tax employers would have more capital to hire more workers to make their bussiness grow. In a indirect way the Govt could have helped the jobless claims if they would have cut the capital gains tax a cpl % points. We have the highest and China has the least amount of capital gains tax.

So all those evil white old rich men that create jobs should get a tax break. Make it more marketable to produce goods in America once again. Instead of tax and spend.. lets cut and produce.

The DC Sniper: 2003
Red Lake Minnesota High School: 2005
Virginia Tech: 2007
N. Illinois University: 2008

all planned under a democrap, except the N.Illionis University one... that one had special powers and he went forward in time to plan it out under Berry then came back and carried it out under GW.

November 7, 2009 at 12:52 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Glad your sense of humor shone through there at the end, Operator. For a minute, I thought you were really serious about those shootings being planned under Clinton.

November 7, 2009 at 3:36 PM  
Anonymous Welfare Warrior said...

Never waste a good crisis, wonder if Berry is going to tighten gun laws....

Time will tell.

November 7, 2009 at 7:28 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

"Berry" can't do anything by himself to tighten gun laws. The NRA types have been keening since Obama was nominated that he was going to "take our guns." Hasn't happened yet. Ain't gonna happen. We already have some level of gun controls. It's really up to Congress to decide whether other restrictions are needed, and lawmakers also aren't going to do anything that would involve taking of anyone's guns.

November 8, 2009 at 6:39 AM  
Anonymous Selling my daughters Soul said...


death by public option

November 8, 2009 at 12:33 PM  
Blogger Scott Snyder said...

Brant, While it is true that employment is a lagging indicator, it was Obama who promised that if we just gave him the PORKulus package, unemployment would not go above 8 percent. Also, if Bush's big spending on the war you so adamantly disagree with sunk the economy, why do you believe that Obama's plan to raise taxes and increase government spending will help the economy.

Some of the good news you mention about the economy is suspect. It seems that the increase in GDP is mostly due to government spending.

It is also true that Reagan and Obama both inherited some messes. However, Reagan had a track record of dealing with such problems. When he took over as governor of California, he inherited a mess. He had to make some tough choices, but within a few years, he turned that state around, brought the government into a surplus and then lowered taxes. Obama has no track record and is not using proven methods to turn the economy around. He is a tax and spend Democrat gone wild...increasing the deficit to outrageous levels.

Bush was a lousy president from a fiscal standpoint. With his so-called Compassionate Capitalism, he spent like a drunken Democrat. But, he recovered from 9-11 quite well with the help of tax cuts. As time passed, for reasons known only to him, he started spending more and more money and that helped bring us to where we are today. How is more government spending and interference in the markets going to help when that is what is chiefly responsible for this economy?

I guess people who take their marching orders from MSNBC believe in Obama's big-Government solutions, but I do not!

November 8, 2009 at 3:58 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Government was considerably larger in 1988 than it was in 1980... Arguably, Reagan "turned things around" with spending...

November 8, 2009 at 6:03 PM  
Blogger MJ said...

Haha, you guys are too much.

November 8, 2009 at 7:05 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

What I find almost amusing (and perhaps this is what MJ is referencing) is the foolish consistency with which Obama opponents criticize his EVERY move. If Obama had not pursued the stimulus, and things went even further south with the economy, you would have criticized him for NOT acting. And anyone who criticizes Obama for increasing the deficit, under these dire circumstances AND after what happened under George W., is quite the comedian. Here's what I'd like you Obama opponents to do: Tell us now, before a decision is made, what you consider to be the correct approach in Afghanistan. Should we pour more troops into that country or start pulling them out? What should our strategy be there? Stake out your positions in advance. That way, you won't be able to criticize Obama no matter what choice he makes. He'll have a 50/50 chance of doing the "right thing."

November 9, 2009 at 6:19 AM  
Anonymous flip flopper said...

what you consider to be the correct approach in Afghanistan.

That is just it Brant. DO SOMETHING. It's been around 2 mths now that the General asked for more troops.

You can not send more troops, then go to Dover @ 5am for a photo op with the men that you could have saved if you would have sent more troops!

November 9, 2009 at 7:43 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

You're avoiding the question by answering with another question and changing the subject. C'mon. Man up (or woman up) and tell us what you believe is the right course of action in Afghanistan.

November 9, 2009 at 8:24 AM  
Anonymous flopper flip said...

I don't collect that paycheck on fridays!

The point is we pay someone to make these big boy decisions. 69 days have passed since the General asked for troops!!!! He has to make up his mind.

Obama is our President, I don't have to like his decision, I just have to support him after he makes it. I don't even have to support him. I just have to pay for it, pay my taxes.

November 9, 2009 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

So you're just going to wait until he makes a decision, and no matter what it is, you're going to bitch about it. Just as I suspected. Any of you Obama opponents want to actually take a stand on this one?

November 9, 2009 at 9:41 AM  
Blogger Scott Snyder said...

Brant - I think we have to stay...if we stay, we need more troops...If we're not going to support the current effort with the troops we need, though, then we need to get out. The problem is one of Obama's chief responsibilities is Commander in Chief. He can't seem to handle this job.

Bush also screwed this up in Iraq...allowing stupid rules of engagement to be put in place. He finally started listening to the field commanders and put the surge in motion.

I will stop condemning Obama when he stops acting like a statist...but that's not likely to happen. Unlike the Bush haters, I am opposed to him on principles based in the Constitution. I was not very happy with Bush either. It's not that we will object to anything Obama's just that he does all the wrong things...and yes, there's a difference.

November 9, 2009 at 11:11 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

Unless you are a knee-jerk opponent of a president, it's virtually impossible for them to "always" do the wrong thing. I thought George W. Bush was a terrible president, but I did give him credit for some things. There has never been a president with whom I agree on everything or disagree on everything. Maybe I just approach things with an open mind.

November 9, 2009 at 11:44 AM  
Anonymous x anonymous said...

I told you what I thought about this mess.

If we are going to stay to kill terrorist, press on and send more troops.

If we are going to stay and prop up a govt, I would say pull out. We failed once at setting up a govt in that area.

Obamacare? Kill it

What happen to all the bills being put online for 72hrs before a vote?

Whatever happen to transperancy?

We have one party in this country. It's called the corporate/wallstreet party.

The people in Washington have no clue how the working class live.

Maybe that should be our third party. WORKING PARTY?

November 9, 2009 at 12:20 PM  
Blogger Scott Snyder said...

Okay...agreed...Always was too strong...but a lot, how about that?

November 9, 2009 at 12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On Afghanistan: get out now. Completely. We will never win a war against terrorists because we can't simply trash a country like we did with Japan and Germany in WWII. We tried trashing Vietnam and it didn't work. You'd think that we would have learned something from our own defeat of the British in the Revolutionary War: those fighting for a cause in which they believe will keep fighting even after they supposedly have been defeated or crippled.

The problem, is, of course, that if we leave terrorists alone, they will continue to terrorize. But we will never defeat them. I'm surprised that they haven't struck in the US again. So, it looks like we'll be stuck in policing actions all over the world until someone launches the big one.

November 9, 2009 at 12:48 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

I have no quarrel with folks who disagree with "a lot" of what a president does. ;-)

November 9, 2009 at 12:55 PM  
Anonymous ANTI 1984 said...

We went from ask not what your country can do for you to ask your country to do it for you.

No thanks, keep the change!

November 10, 2009 at 12:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Health Care

Get a $15000 policy, or go to jail.


November 11, 2009 at 2:33 AM  

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