11 Responses

  1. Perhaps that was the “best” line, but what does it say about this country if one should vote for Obama because there’s only one other option and he’s worse? Notice, that argument doesn’t say anything about Obama. 314 million people and this is the best we can do?

  2. Actually, there are other candidates (Rocky Anderson, Jill Stein, for example), but the political class that’s in power does everything it can to make them invisible and insignificant. Not a sign of a true democracy, in my view.

    • Our two party system is as close as we can get to fascism without having the name stick. It reminds me of The Blues Brothers movie where they ask the barmaid what type of music is played in the bar. She answers, “Oh! We have both Country AND Western!”

      Change will occur when our irate dissension surpasses our rate of descension.

  3. It’s hard to listen to two comedians debating fiscal policy when one of them (Mr. Stewart) doesn’t know the difference between the deficit and the debt. This is especially true when the most important problem facing people in this country is unemployment.

    The budget deficit is the amount by which government purchases and other spending exceeds tax revenue in the federal government’s fiscal year (October 1 to September 30). The debt is the accumulation of past deficits. Mr. Stewart (no relation)apparently refers to the sources of the debt inherited by and continuing under President Obama or this graph from http://www.cbpp.org.

    link to cbpp.org

    Mr. O’Reilly is disingenuous since he and his network didn’t make deficits and debt anywhere near the issue it is now during President Bush’s terms in office thereby validating VP Cheney’s famous statement that, “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter.” He might as well have added, “Unless a Democrat is in the White House.”

    link to commondreams.org

    A good measure of fiscal responsibility is what happened to the debt during different presidencies. President Reagan tripled the national debt during his eight years to about $3 Trillion. President G.W. Bush nearly doubled it from about 5.7 Trillion to about $11 Trillion. When the debt reaches $22 Trillion, then the fiscal comparisons between Presidents G.W. Bush and Obama are relevant.

    Two other graphs from Paul Krugman’s blog illustrate that the Democrats are the party of fiscal responsibility regardless of popular perceptions.

    link to krugman.blogs.nytimes.com

    link to krugman.blogs.nytimes.com

    • Sadly, unemployment is an essential part of our type of capitalism. It has become a civic duty. Maintaining unemployment levels in the millions creates artificially low wages at the bottom and artificially high wages at the top. It’s like a big hand squeezing money upwards.

      Remember back when Clinton was president and unemployment was getting “dangerously low.” So low, in fact, that Alan Greenspan had to step in and adjust interest rates to encourage more layoffs and allow the unemployment rate to rise back up to “acceptable levels.” So from my point of view, these people doing their civic duty of being unemployed should at least be taken care of by the rest of us, preferably by those who benefit most from their situation.

      Inflation is another tool used to consolidate wealth. If the worker’s raise is less than the rate of inflation, then it is really a pay cut, but given…and often accepted with a smile.

      For anybody interested, I created a graph of the effect of Trickle Down Economics. Mouse over the graph and it adjusts for inflation. link to tinyurl.com

  4. O’Reilly attempted to make mention of Bush a red herring, yet his contribution to the debt remains. As does Reagan’s and Bush Senior’s. Just because they’re gone, doesn’t mean that they have no bearing on today’s economy. Reagan ran on a platform that chided Carter for letting the debt reach a trillion dollars, in spite of the fact that it was the lowest as percent of GDP in many decades. In two terms, he tripled it. We’re still paying on the interest from that!

    Remember too that Dubya’s TARP idea postponed much of the “redistribution of wealth to the top” until AFTER Obama took office.

    Reagan’s Trickle Down Economics Policy is not A Free Market policy. It separates a person’s wages from his productivity, allowing the money made from his productivity to be distributed upwards, while wages remain stagnant. SO we’ve had a redistribution of wealth for over 3 decades…from the bottom to the top. In 1980, the top 1% earned half of that of the bottom 50%. By 2006, the top 1% were making three times as much as the bottom 50%, and not by doing more work, but by capitalizing on the work done by the bottom 50%…keeping it for themselves. In TDE, only the debt trickles. And remembering physics, work is measured in joules. However, the work of a Wall Street Hedge Fund manager making $1.5 million per hour is measured in jewels!

    Our Health Care System also lies outside the domain of the Free Market. It’s a very regulated market. O’Reilly stated at first that he wanted it run by insurance companies… which only squeezes more non-medical people between me an my doctor, raising the costs. Then a few minutes later, when Stewart was arguing for government control, O’Reilly said he wanted it run by the medical profession. Insurance companies are not medical professionals.

    Germany is a social democracy and they don’t place health care on the backs of businesses. This allows them to create quality products like Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen. Here in the USA, with all the costs of health care being placed on businesses, we instead opt for the Polished Turd paradigm of manufacturing, often outsourcing the both the manufacturing and polishing of turds, giving them warranties that expire as soon as the new owner realizes he bought a piece of crap.

    I was disappointed that Jon didn’t recognize the difference between the debt and the deficit, but overall, I’d say he slam dunked the debate.

    ;-)

  5. O’Reilly tells Sandra Fluke to “buy her own” and offers her a discount coupon. What I demand to know is, who is subsidizing that discount?!

  6. Jon Stewart would like Bill Clinton to run for President. I like Bill Clinton, but it is time to let the next generation take over.

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