Who Took A Political Hit? Obama, Tea Party Or You?

Who Took A Political Hit? Obama, Tea Party Or You?

In the aftermath of the debt ceiling crisis there seems to be a consensus that President Obama somehow took a political hit by bowing to the Tea Party. But, did he really? Obama's liberal base isn't very happy as they view his actions as a capitulation. But what did he give away? Some theoretical numbers that may or may not occur?

It seems to me that if anyone took a hit it would be the Tea Party since they were unable to bring home the debt reductions they had promised its ardent followers. However, if the Tea Party thinks they won this battle then the immediate gratification that goes along with a victory is somehow missing in action.

According to Jacob Sullom's commentary in the Chicago Sun-Times: The debt deal, which authorizes the federal government to borrow another $2.1 trillion on top of the $14.3 trillion it already owes, supposedly includes “$2.5 trillion in cuts.” But as Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) emphasizes, those are cuts from a projected baseline in which the national debt grows by $10 trillion during the next decade, which means “the best ­case scenario is still $7 trillion more in debt over the next 10 years. ”Paul also notes that the vast majority of the “cuts” are not scheduled to take effect for years, raising serious doubts about whether they will happen at all. “Why do we believe that the goal of $2.5 trillion over 10 years . . . will ever be met,” he asks, “if the first two years’ cuts are $20 billion and $50 billion?”

I will say this though, the Tea Party definitely showed the country that a group of mavericks can disrupt the sausage-making process in Washington. But was it effective? As I think back on the events leading up to the crisis, there still seems to be a pervasive ugliness in our political process that in the end allows us to solve nothing. As such, I still happen to believe that most Americans are sick and tired of the constant rancor between two political parties acting like immature spoiled brats and want its politicians to solve its problems once and for all. America is in crisis and it is time that the peoples business be addressed in earnest!

How is it that a room full of average people, with differing ideological perspectives, can sit down at the same table and discuss the same issues politicians face and come up with a slew of common sense suggestions while they cannot? And that is really the bigger issue, isn't it?

Look, no one will deny that our country cannot continue to operate in the irresponsible manner it has. There must be a complete and fundamental change in the way America does business. Let's face it, we are no longer the most dominant economy in the world in large part due to our lawmakers.

America has shifted from being a strong manufacturing economy to that of being a service orientated one. And that has had a lot to with decades of bad government policy. Then again it hasn't helped that our lawmakers got into bed with Big Business either. It has been their combined actions that have destroyed what once made America great.

American lawmakers need to get off their damn asses and get serious about passing legislation that promotes job growth and punishes corporations that like to play on both sides of the fence. You simply cannot give corporations huge tax incentives while watching them  downsize and move operations to sweatshop nations in an effort to avoid paying their fair share.

After all there is a cost to doing business!

However, if corporations want to move - you can't stop them. However you can put some pretty stiff tariffs on their products as they come into the country. One way or the other Big Business must pay for the privilege of supplying American consumers. And to all those naysayers who say that companies will just pass those costs on - think again. Smart American Entrepreneurs will just open businesses to supply that void at a competitive price.

Besides, are these "cheap" products currently being made in those overseas sweatshops really worth the price we pay? If you haven't noticed the quality is at an all time low and having to buy multiples of the same item don't exactly save money in the long haul.

If politicians want to claim victory after this last brouhaha, then it is time that they explain how their victory is going to get America back to work! It behooves me that we allow politicians to continue jerking us around with half-baked economic policies designed to further cripple what has always been America's greatest asset - its workers! It really is our fault for not being smarter and buying the same old shit over and over again.

But it is time we stand tough and tell our lawmakers that if they really want to reduce the debt then they need to sit down and bring our country back to what it does best.

Personally I don't give a damn if Obama or the Tea Party won -

Americans still lost!

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  • Obama won to the extent that he won the point of getting something that lasts until 2013.

    If there is any real spending reduction, we'll have to wait and see. Certainly there wasn't any tax reform out of this.

    As far as the Tea Party crying for a balanced budget amendment, this article confirms what I previously said about Illinois having one. So, the Tea Party was deprived of touting a bit of snake oil.

    As far as buying imported crap, sure I do, but there is a difference in expectation in buying it at Walmart or Target, as opposed to at Macy's, where I no longer shop. Probably, the better debate is between free trade and fair trade. Also, this is an effect of the Chinese stashing their dollars here instead of floating the yuan, but I don't think the U.S. govt. can afford having the Chinese pull their money out.

  • In reply to jack:

    There wasn't much of a win given the level of acrimony and the message it sent to the rest of the world.
    As for China - hmm - they are beginning to feel the internal pressures now and won't be able to keep prices / wages at previous levels from what I've read. of course that is a boon for other countries on the Pacific Rim that are just entering their own industrialization ambitions. But yes, you are correct that the debate between free and fair trade is key.

    As for consciously buying inferior shit - whether I shop at Wal-Mart or Macy's - I have an expectation of quality IF the corporation making it is charging a high MSRP. Here is an example, I was livid yesterday when my wife and kid came back from Dick's Sports where they purchased a "kidney guard" for his upcoming football season. Dick's charged $20+ for an item that was made in Viet Nam and costs 1/8 to manufacture. I used to be in plastics manufacturing so I know what these things cost to make. The outfit - Schutts is a good brand but if they make a decision to make it in Nam for $1.50 (and assuming the amortized fee per piece on a filled container adds $0.10 ea) and adding any import / broker fees brings it to $2.00 what kind of crap is that to charge a high premium? Sell it for what it is worth and I'd be happy. But you see this is the bullshit consumers endure while corporations get the best of both worlds. p.s. - in an American Plant that same part could be made for ugh $2.00. So while the cost is fairly equal, Schutts avoids the burden of being taxed as a manufacturer with inventory and instead they become a distributor bringing in product usually by drop ship or just in time delivery.

    Example 2 - I have now purchased / returned 8 garden nozzles from Sears. Although made in China, thank goodness they are Craftsman branded and carry a lifetime guarantee but jeez come on 8 friggen rejects? Quality has dropped off big time with what was a longtime Made in America Brand. Yet, from the moment they left it all went to hell. I wonder how much they are losing on warranty returns? Funny though, many items have been re-labeled as to limit the warranty, so you have to be really careful and read the product tag.

    Personally, I will keep buying American first and if I do purchase from wherever I have the background to understand quality vs cost. Now if I can just get the wife to understand it?

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    Not much is made in the U.S.A., and your athletic stuff point reminds one of the claims that a $150 pair of Air Jordans was made in Malyasia or Indonesia for about $1.50, but people, especially in the hood, would pay.

    I might be watching too much public TV/Create, but I was thinking more along the lines of America's Test Kitchen saying in 2 of its 3 episodes in a row that "We like Le Creuset at $169, but you can get just as good a pot from [some other brand] at $40, the difference is one word--China" and then "you can pay $700 for All Clad, or $149 for almost as good a set from [the same brand as before], but the All Clad is only available at Williams Sonoma and the other at Walmart." Apparently the All Clad is made in the U.S.A.

    You may have also explained a reason why Sears is going out of business. Usually with that kind of junk, the lifetime guarantee means the product's lifetime. However, I see from where you are coming. One of my sisters is a QC engineer and used to work for a big medical devices company, but the job came down to traveling all over the world dealing with nonconforming suppliers (she was talking about getting lengua tacos south of the border, but you can get them in Niles now), but then that company didn't need her (she now works for a German owned company in the same business). Nonetheless, she bought the company line about product liability reform, notwithstanding that that company had big product liability issues. Medical devices are different than hose nozzles., when you talk about the effect of product defects.

  • In reply to jack:

    It is true that less and less items are made in the USA, but never-the-less there are still some very good products that are. It does take an effort to find them too, but worth it in many instances. Now don't get me wrong, I will buy foreign but I am choosy as hell as to which country; i.e. Japan has an excellent reputation even though there has been a shift in their workplace culture. Chinese made product from a firm I know has good quality procedures is also a buy consideration - so I don't boycott them.

    The Test Kitchen example is good one - we watch it too. The problem with many coatings used on cookware is that if they are not applied correctly they can become a health hazard. I suppose many products that are treated and coated are made overseas because pollution controls and carcinogenic warnings mean very little there. People talk about regulation, but adding the proper equipment like scrubbers and recirculation pumps are actually a good thing. Too bad companies that value profit over anything else feel otherwise.

    Sears Craftsman was iconic and their lifetime guarantee was exactly that. You could have passed a wrench down and if it broke they replaced it. Sears then added their craftsman mark and guarantee on other items as a means to justify the cost of something made in a place deemed low quality. Okay if they had the quality control to justify it but they don't since they rely on the manufacturer for that. Always have. I was the Chief Plastics Engineer at Life Fitness and as such dealt with quality all the time as we moved to more and more plastics - but we did it right and quality was never compromised. We attempted to open a consumer line via a Taiwanese / Chinese partnership - I too traveled extensively - I can tell you it didn't take long before I had to shut it down. The mentality just wasn't there and our owner at the time did not want to jeopardize our products reputation.

    So I understand your sisters plight very well. Some companies preach the preach but few actually enforce it. I once interviewed for Bose in San Juan Luis (across the border from Yuma) and their manufacturing plant was world class! They had a commitment to quality and as such understand the cost attached to the product. Quality costs! However, achieving quality is not as difficult as people think. My last employer was the brother of Joe Cari and it was a molding facility that was one of Life Fitness' non-conforming's - he hired me with all sorts of promises. Yet he didn't want to maintain his machines on a regular basis, cheated customers by allowing excess regrind to be used, etc.. I put a stop to it and the quality went up, but in spite of it all, he still lost the business because of his outside endeavors with his silent partners (Stuart Levine, Steve Loren and Joe Cari). That's another story. But still - here was a man who was trying to mold quality parts with machines capable of producing junk and I have to tell you, there are a lot of Scheisters out there like that.

    As for Air Jordan's - I'll be damned to buy those for my kid. Although my son is also in the USATF for his Track and Field pursuits - they sell Nike's to members at a substantial discount and my kid wants the Glides. I don't like Nike! Bad reputation and sweatshop attitudes diminish their value in my eyes. Heck, my kid had 2 pairs of Football Spikes fail in less than a season and they were Nike's (yes I let him buy them since they fit right). Now he wears Under Armour Spikes - way better quality and way better price - but made in Pacific Rim. Again, have to balance the cost vs quality. I do this religiously because of my background and training. Maybe I am anal, but I can pick up a product and 9 out 10 times tell you how long it will last and where it will fail.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    Bringing up the coatings also reminds me that ATK has basically proved PBS's prior authority, Jeff "The Frugal Pedophile" Smith, wrong on a consistent basis.

    The latter always said to use a nonstick pan and "hot pan, cold oil." ATK says always to put the oil in a nonstick first, because heating up an empty nonstick releases fumes from the coating.

    Jay Leno said on a similar subject last night "the economy is so bad, China has to put fake lead in its toys."

    Based on what you say about your QC experience, no doubt that most products are now garbage or at least potential refuse. That must have crept into Toyota, but hopefully not yet Honda. But, as I might have previously mentioned, I'll by an Ohio assembled Honda over a Mexican assembled Ford, Volkswagen, or Fiat. Not an Illinois assembled Mitsu, assuming that such a thing still exists.

  • In reply to jack:

    Yes ATK is 100% correct on that and Owens-Corning even has printed that caution for as long as I can remember in addition to "pre-treating" their pans upon purchase. Unfortunately many people ignore the warnings too, so whose fault is that? Kind of like those fool-hardy lawsuits where a woman spills hot coffee on herself and still holds McDonald's liable? Did she think it was iced?

    As for the presumption of garbage product - there is plenty out there and it comes down to buyer beware. Again, I can't stress enough that people need to take the time and research certain products as well as read the cautions afterwards.

    Honda America is a very good product and have earned their loyalty - although I do not like their nickel and diming on trims that should be standard. However, from a quality standpoint - yes - top notch. Now, on the issue of Mitsubishi, I have owned 7 thus far and while 3 were made in Adelaide (Diamontes) the others were made in Bloomington-Normal. To this day I have never had a major issue with any of the seven. 2 units had rear wheel bearing failures and were fixed immediately. I have been treated extremely well by Mitsu and given their history in aviation make an engine that is nearly indestructible. Getting 200,000 miles is a cinch if you do minor maintenance so I don;t know where you are coming from or if you ever owned one, but they have been exceptional. Now, some interior part design could be better but all in all acceptable.

    The downside to them was when Chrysler took a huge stake in them and that was when I stopped buying them. The depreciation value was terrible after that.

    As for their sexual harassment scandal, well that can happen with any organization and has nothing to do with building a car.

    Mexican built isn't all that bad if the quality is monitored (like Bose) - but I do know that Mexican Transmissions seem to have problems but I am not sure they are manufactured there, rather Brazil. Mexican made can be a hit-miss though.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    As I might have previously mentioned, my experience with MMMI was when they were assembling Dodges after Chrysler took the stake. I wondered how they could keep that plant going after Chrysler pulled the contract, but apparently they don't assemble cars there now, just one SUV.

  • In reply to jack:

    I bought 7 Mistu's from 1995 up until 2005. Like I said nothing but good luck and still have a 2001 Galant Ls V6 with 30k miles on it in the garage (it becomes my son's when he gets his license next month). I really loved my Diamonte though and wish I never traded it for my Mazda. As for production they still manufacture there and more than 1 SUV http://www.carsdirect.com/car-buying/where-are-mitsubishi-cars-built. I know the Galant I just looked at last month was made in Normal so this link is correct.

    As for any joint Dodge / Mitsu deal well I never bit on that and wouldn't have based on their requirements. As for MMMI quite happy until they priced themselves out.

  • It's incredible what is peddled for truth on Fox news We/you owe 15 gazillion dollars because Obama's a baaad man! That jism-guzzler Sean Hannity actually had the cajones to say that We/You/The People were 15 trillion in debt because of medic-aid-care-whatever ... @#%^#@%$%$ Hot jiminy cricket ! He says it like he actually believes it!! Is he a genius plant by the Fed? Not with that hair methinks! What a Johnny!

    And nobody, NOBODY mentions why.

    Even Ron Paul – who has hounded Bernanke and Geithner before him – always stops just short of saying what he wants to scream from the rooftops … repeal the Federal Reserve Act ....because he remembers what happened to JFK. He's afraid.

    And speaking of hair - there's Trump saying he "doesn't want to be president, but he’ll have to step in unless the economy improves” … when it can’t improve ...ever ...not under the Federal reserve system.

    "Where will the jobs come from Mr. Trump?" chirps sugar-tits
    "Why, China! We'll take em back from China! It's easy!"

    And no explanation whatsoever! Sound-bite given ...cheesy grin ... wave ...job done! "I'll vote for him!" thinks America. "He knows what he's talking about!"

    Yeah ! Screwing YOU!!

    Fifteen trillion. Of course it's got nothing to do with the fact that every dollar bill printed comes with a wodge-load of interest attached to it - nothing whatsoever - interest that has to be paid off every year by printing more money that has MORE interest on it and which GETS HANDED STRAIGHT BACK TO THE ‘FEDERAL’ RESERVE. A cartel of privately owned sheisters controlled by Sir Evelyn De Rothschild under the misleading moniker of 'Federal'. It's like a bad trip! And nobody says a word!! The biggest fattest smelliest elephant that ever sat in a room, literally firing crap out of its anus like a muck-spreader!! The interest to the Fed is continually compounded ! In order to pay the interest repayments, they print more and more money at more an more interest - to you, the sucker in the middle - spiralling the debt even further and further out of control! Fifteen trillion will be nothing in a few years! People will be saying “Ya remember when the debt was only FIFTEEN trillion?”

    People ... HEELLLLLL-OOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

    Please, is there a very wealthy person out there who gets this? Is there not one wealthy celebrity with a few spare million dollars who could pay for adverts to be made and then shown on TV in between American Gladiators and Survivor? A nice little Sesame Street number that explains exacltly where money comes from and how the Rothschilds are bumming you all daily from England! Have you SEEN David de Rothschild - the Jesus look-a-like ?? How scary is he? Parading the planet as this super-trendy eco-warrior telling us to recycle our plastic and turn off our lights !!! WTF !! Heir to half the planet's wealth!! HUNDREDS OF TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS made off your misery and the rape of the planet and he's acting like the son of God !! And it's against the U.S. constitution what's more! Only Congress can have the power of control of the money supply - how can Americans stand idly by and let this happen? What's the point of having a constitution ? Why bother?

    Deep breath. Yes, lots of serenity ... 90 seconds ... re-focus ... relax ... and breathe ....

    NO! DAMMIT !! Where are the wealthy who see the scam ?? Help your brothers and sisters and children and grandchildren! Help them all!! Educate your children, educate yourselves - research 'money as debt' and take back your currency and ask yourselves why the most powerful nation the world has ever known is fifteen trillion dollars in debt.

    Tom Cruise - you sir ! Oprah, you m'aam! You talk about wanting to help people?! Help them then !! Pay for a ninety second ad just once!! It would be headline news except that it wouldn't be headline news because you-know-who has a finger in every pie of every news station and newspaper the world over or their finger up the asses of those who do, because you-know-who isn't on any of the rich-lists topped by paupers like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. He’s practically the invisible man to a world full of people that have too much shit to contend with to care who's running the world .... the rest are ignoramuses he helped dumb down! But we’re watching you …. Sir Evelyn De Rothschild … we’re watching you and all of your satanic spawn ...we're watching, and you haven't RF-chipped us yet. No serenity until you burn in the lake of fire where you belong.

    Do you love your kids? Do you really love them? Do you want a country for them to grow up in - the country you grew up thinking was free? Well it's not free and the Fed owns your ass hook line and sinker, it owns all the forests and national parks and it trades your birth certificates on stock exchanges in the derivatives market - you were all put up as collateral in a loan made in 1933 from the 'Fed' to the government to keep it solvent and people had better wake up really quickly and realsie what that means.

    “If Americans ever allow banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children will wake up homeless”
    - Thomas Jefferson

    "Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes her laws."
    - Mayer Amschel Rothschild

    "It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning."
    -Henry Ford

    "Most Americans have no real understanding of the operation of the international money lenders. The accounts of the Federal Reserve System have never been audited. It operates outside the control of Congress and manipulates the credit of the United States" — Sen. Barry Goldwater (Rep. AR)

    "We have, in this country, one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board. This evil institution has impoverished the people of the United States and has practically bankrupted our government. It has done this through the corrupt practices of the moneyed vultures who control it". — Congressman Louis T. McFadden in 1932 (Rep. Pa)

    "We are completely dependant on the commercial banks. Someone has to borrow every dollar we have in circulation, cash or credit. If the banks create ample synthetic money we are prosperous; if not, we starve. We are absolutely without a permanent money system.... It is the most important subject intelligent persons can investigate and reflect upon. It is so important that our present civilization may collapse unless it becomes widely understood and the defects remedied very soon." — Robert H. Hamphill, Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank

    "A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the world--no longer a government of free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of small groups of dominant men." — President Woodrow Wilson

    "I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a monied aristocracy that has set the government at defiance. The
    issuing power (of money) should be taken away from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs."
    - Thomas Jefferson

    "To expose a 15 Trillion dollar rip-off of the American people by the stockholders of the 1000
    largest corporations over the last 100 years will be a tall order of business." — Buckminster Fuller

    "Every Congressman, every Senator knows precisely what causes inflation...but can't, [won't] support the drastic reforms to stop it [repeal of the Federal Reserve Act] because it could cost him his job." — Robert A. Heinlein

    "...the increase in the assets of the Federal Reserve banks from 143 million dollars in 1913 to 45 billion dollars in 1949 went directly to the private stockholders of the [federal reserve] banks." — Eustace Mullins

    Viva La Revolucion!

    Yes, get angry ....

    It’s time to get mad, people, it’s time ….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WINDtlPXmmE&feature=related

  • In reply to IrishSweetness:

    Thanks Irish Sweetness - How could I not let such a wonderful display of anger be shared? However, it did come up twice so I took the liberty of deleting what would be a repetitive dissertation. Yes the time has come for people to get angry and am glad to see you bring with so much raw emotion and examples. Thanks.

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