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No Mr. President, The Private Sector Isn’t Doing Fine

President Obama held an impromptu press conference this morning that was obviously meant to address the economic situation in the country, and the world. I can’t say that he said anything new, or proposed any new ideas, other than bringing up the “jobs bills” that everyone knows aren’t going to make their way through Congress any time soon once again. It was something else the President said, though, that is getting attention this afternoon:

President Obama told reporters that “the private sector is doing fine,” as he attributed the high unemployment rate to a lack of government jobs.

“Overall, the private sector has been doing a good job creating jobs,” Obama told reporters this morning. “The big challenge we have in our economy right now is state and local government hiring has been going in the wrong direction,” he explained, citing for Congress to avert the layoffs of police, firefighters, and other public employees that have taken place at the state level.

Obama said that “the other sector that’s still weak has been the construction industry,” but noted that “those two areas we’ve directly addressed in our jobs program,” citing his call for Congress to roll back the police and firefighter layoffs and the state level and to pass legislation that would increase infrastructure spending

As James Pethokoukis notes, the President seems to have a very odd definition of the word “fine”:

1. Private-sector jobs have increased by an average of just 105,000 over the past three months and by just 89,000 a month during the entire Obama Recovery.

In 1983 and 1984, during the supply-side Reagan Boom, private sector jobs increased by an average of 292,000 a month. Adjusted for population, that number is more like 375,000 private-sector jobs a month

2. If the labor force participation rate for May had just stayed where it was in April, the unemployment rate would have risen to 8.4%. As it is, the U.S. economy is suffering is longest sustained bout of 8% unemployment or higher since the Great Depression.

3. Private-sector GDP rose just 2.6% in the first quarter, after rising a measly 1.2% last year.

By contrast, private-sector GDP rose 3.8% in 1983 and 6.5% in 1984 during the supply-side Reagan Boom.

4. The U.S. stock market is down 7% since early April.

5. Real take-home pay is down over the past year.

6. That first-quarter GDP report also showed that after-tax corporate profits dropped for the first time in three years. Major red flag.

I’ve cataloged some of the bad economic news that has come out over the past six weeks or so here at OTB. It started with a revision to the First Quarter GDP to a level below where anyone thought it would or should be in order to sustain the kind of recovery that will actually lead to strong job creation. We also learned that planned layoffs had increased by 53% in the month of May alone. Overseas, there is the ongoing Eurozone crisis along with the news that Europe’s economy is contracting. China, seems to be showing signs of slowing down or at least signs that those  years of rapid economic growth may be coming to an end. We also learned that another And, just today, reports indicated that the Indian economy is also slowing down. At the start of the Second Quarter, we learned that April’s Factory Orders took an unexpected drop, signalling more slowing down to come in May and June. Then, just a week ago, we got an incredibly weak May jobs report that showed only 69,000 net jobs (of which some 83,000 were from the private sector). And then there are those 23,000,000 Americans still looking for jobs, jobs that, by and large, only the private sector can provide.

Furthermore, even to accept the President’s claim that he’s “created” 4.3 million jobs, you have to suspend reality quite a bit:

In order to get to 4.3 million, Obama has to ignore his first full year in office. Only by comparing May 2012 to February 2010 do we get to 4.267 million private-sector jobs being created. However, that’s not a net gain, certainly not counting from the launch of the $800 billion jobs stimulus plan, nor from the recovery.

Even if we assign the entirety of the recession to George Bush, as Obama argues, job growth in the private sector in this recovery amounts to only 86,300 jobs per month — not even enough to keep up with population growth, which requires roughly 125,000-150,000 new jobs per month to just tread water. Obama’s spurious claim of 4.267 million jobs in 27 months as being net for his economic policies still amounts to just 158,000 per month, barely the status quo … at the bottom of the trough.

If this is Barack Obama’s definition of “fine” then he has a really odd way of looking at the world. And it was a rather odd comment to make in a press conference where he was essentially argument that the economy wasn’t doing fine and that it wouldn’t start doing fine until the Republicans in Congress passed his jobs bill. That’s called stepping on your own message and handing an easy attack line to the opposition.

Photo via The Washington Post

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. MBunge says:

    Oh, good grief. There’s more than enough legitimate grounds to criticize Obama on the economy without you and James Pethokoukis turning into pedantic ninnies. If “fine” has to equal the supply-side Reagan boom, then when is it appropriate to refer to the private sector as “good” or “doing great”? What Obama is talking about, and neither you nor Pethokoukis are so stupid as to not know this is true, is that our employment and economic situation would look a lot better if government at all levels weren’t shedding jobs like mad.

    This isn’t about those smelly hippies you met in college, Doug. You’re better than this.

    Mike

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 9

  2. Moosebreath says:

    Response outsourced to Ezra Klein

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 3

  3. Rick DeMent says:

    well I don’t know whenever I watch FOX news they tell me the economy is even worse then the great depression. That it is as bad as it could ever get and Obama is doing everything he can do to make it even worse (over the objection of GOP filibusters apparently). So really it’s hard to know who’s spin to believe .

    But I’m curious Doug, do you honestly think that if McCain\Palin had won that the policies would have been much different and we would be substantially better off? I mean do you really think there would not have been some kind of stimulus and that that stimulus (tax cuts natch) would have improved tings some much more by now?

    I mean do you really honestly think so? I’m curious. I mean my opinion is that McCain would have pushed though some kind of stimulus, would not have cut any more then Obama has and we would be sitting here and you would be the one doing Obama’s happy talk . Or maybe we would be worst off but is would be a good bet we wouldn’t be much better. Implicit is all of your posts on the economy is that with the right policy we would be booming again right now and that’s just nonsense. The only thing you would not have is the individual heath mandate which hasn’t even kicked in yet. (a policy issues that is mathematically identical to the home mortgage deduction BTW).

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 6

  4. Moosebreath says:

    Kevin Drum does a good job with his response, too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  5. Tsar Nicholas says:

    You don’t need to review the anemic job creation stats or the anemic private sector GDP stats to know the private sector is about as “fine” as guy in traction and a full body cast. Just ask anyone who actually works in any private sector basic industry. Shit, you can’t go a week without seeing a major customer going out of business or filing for bankruptcy. Everywhere. It’s pretty f’n grim.

    In any event, regarding the pure politics of this, and reading between the lines, the conclusion I draw from this numbskulled commentary by the Prez is that Team Obama has abandoned hope of holding down Romney’s inevitable large majority among white working and middle class adult voters. Otherwise he wouldn’t insult their intelligence in this fashion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

  6. mantis says:

    First, here’s the quote:

    We’ve created 4.3 million jobs over the past 27 months. The private sector is doing fine. Where we’re seeing problems is with state and local government, often with cuts initiated by governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help they’re accustomed to from the federal government.

    And some context. Since Obama took office, 600,000 public sector jobs have been lost. If they hadn’t, we would only be at 7.8% employment. In fact, it would probably be a good deal lower, as the government layoffs have only contributed to private sector problems, as they decrease demand. If those 600,000 people still had jobs, they would be buying houses, cars, etc. and thus there would be more private sector jobs and even lower unemployment. Austerity and government layoffs kill recoveries and drive recessions deeper. That’s what Republicans have given us by refusing to do anything about the jobs problem (except advocate policies that make it worse).

    In 1983 and 1984, during the supply-side Reagan Boom, private sector jobs increased by an average of 292,000 a month. Adjusted for population, that number is more like 375,000 private-sector jobs a month

    Government hiring started going crazy in the last year of Reagan’s first term. You think the private sector job gains are unrelated to the public sector job gains? If so, you’re delusional.

    Furthermore, even to accept the President’s claim that he’s “created” 4.3 million jobs, you have to suspend reality quite a bit:

    Now you’re just lying. He didn’t claim to create those jobs. He said “we created” and was clearly talking about the US economy.

    Can you try making arguments without lying maybe?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 7

  7. anjin-san says:

    Doug, I will ask you the same question I recently asked Jan. If you could flip a switch and go back to the economy the day before Obama took office, would you? Or would you stick with what we have today?

    Jan’s response was that she would go back, with the proviso that there would be free market magic ponies as part of the deal to make everything better. I am curious as to what you have to say.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 6

  8. anjin,

    As far as I’m concerned George W. Bush and Barack Obama have both been horrible when it comes to fiscal and economic policy.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 19

  9. The private sector is doing fine. It’s doing great, even. Profits are at a record high and continue to grow strongly despite the economy.

    It’s the labor market that’s not doing well, but then the purpose of the private sector isn’t to create jobs just for jobs sake.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3

  10. jan says:

    A retort from the right —-> “The private sector is doing fine.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 10

  11. Barry says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Doug: “In 1983 and 1984, during the supply-side Reagan Boom, private sector jobs increased by an average of 292,000 a month. Adjusted for population, that number is more like 375,000 private-sector jobs a month”.

    Krugman also tore you a new one, pointing out that Reagan pursued extreme Keynesian policies.

    To echo a comment above, can you actually make an honest argument?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 7

  12. Tsar Nicholas says:

    @Stormy Dragon: You do realize, don’t you, there are major differences between reported profits from the likes of the S&P 500 and the profits or losses among the many tens upon tens of thousands of other companies out there in the private sector, the overwhelming majority of which are not even publicly traded, much less traded on major exchanges?

    FYI, profits for private sector companies on Main Street largely are in the toilet and have been for years. Not everybody gets to sell iPads.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

  13. jan says:

    @anjin-san:

    “Jan’s response was that she would go back, with the proviso that there would be free market magic ponies as part of the deal to make everything better.”

    anjin, there’s was a little creative license in your redo of my response.

    I said, I would go back as long as Obama wasn’t the one who followed as president. If we could do time-travel in reverse, I think McCain would have done better than Obama. For one think, the keynesian application of the stimulus would not have happened, IMO. Also there would not have been the rampant impact of overreaching EPA regulations in the mix. Finally two years of rancor would not have been wasted on a HC bill, passed by only dems, and now having 62% of the people hoping either all or part of it will be overturned by the Courts. And, there’s so much more……

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 13

  14. Buzz Buzz says:

    Poor OTB drones, still desperately trying to convince anyone outside the hive that President Choomwagon isn’t an absolute failure and a laughingstock who’s completely detached from reality.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 21

  15. al-Ameda says:

    Please, the 2008 crash of the housing and financial caused the loss of nearly $14 trillion dollars in wealth and income to our economy.

    Anyone who thought that this would be a transitory condition, and that we would be well on our way to “normal” 4% economic growth and regular job growth is delusional. I am surprised that we’ve managed anemic growth, and actual private sector job growth.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 3

  16. @Tsar Nicholas:

    It’s not just big corporations, it’s all corporations:

    http://www.bea.gov/briefrm/corpprof.htm

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  17. Rob in CT says:

    Depends on what is meant by “private sector.”

    If you mean “corporate profits” then yes, it’s doing fine.

    If you mean private sector employment, it’s doing so-so.

    His point, badly made, was that overall unemployment is higher than it would be if it hadn’t been for a lot of government job losses.

    There are much better ways of saying it, though.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  18. al-Ameda says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    President Choomwagon

    You do realize that ” President Choomwagon” is retired and clearing weeds in Crawford, Texas.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

  19. @Tsar Nicholas:

    FYI, profits for private sector companies on Main Street largely are in the toilet and have been for years.

    Well obviously it’s because those companies are run by lazy, incompetent owners and the fact their businesses are failing are entirely their own fault. Oh wait, or does the “this is America, pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” narrative only apply to individual workers?

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  20. @Rob in CT:

    If you mean “corporate profits” then yes, it’s doing fine.

    Since when has the right wanted to measure companie by any other metric? Suddenly it’s all “labor theory of value” in here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2

  21. Rob in CT says:

    Another reason this was a meh idea for Obama to push:

    Say you figure the 600k public sector job losses cost an additional 300k private sector ones. That’s 900k. Add those back in, and the unemployment number is still too damned high. Better, certainly, but still sucky. Which you then still have to explain.

    I think the Dems are better off pointing out that we are digging out from a catastrophic meltdown, and that their political opponents have blocked many of their proposals to help, and are proposing solutions that haven’t worked well in the past.

    It’s not an easy sell, but nothing is when you have high unemployment (particularly high long-term unemployment).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  22. Console says:

    I say this all the time but come on… James Pethokoukis of “Dude where’s my recession” fame (funnily enough those posts stopped around september 2008)…

    How does he even remotely have a job telling anyone about economics?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  23. walt moffett says:

    Interesting to see Obama take up once again the issue of declining public employee numbers. I await details of his plan. Though boosting taxes/the national debt so the county can hire more cannon polishers is not a good idea. Whether this creates an expectation among the state & local governments help will always arrive and so they don’t need to adjust revenue/expenditures is a rant for another day.

    Private employment, locally, the big employers are opting for overtime than new hires, however, title pawn/payday loan staff, entry level fast food and material handling jobs are available.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  24. Jeremy says:

    @Barry:

    If you’re going to quote an economist, quote one that actually knows WTF he’s talking about, not some guy who blames Estonia’s brief recession on spending cuts that didn’t take place until a year later, or who doesn’t understand what austerity is, or claims that spending in the US has gone down even though it hasn’t, or writes about space aliens invading and how that will shore up our economy.

    Quote someone honest. It could even be a Neo-Chartalist at this point, or any other Keynesian. But don’t quote Krugman. The guy is a fool and a shill. He ceased being a real economist years ago.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 16

  25. Console says:

    @Jeremy:

    Estonia isn’t even back at their pre-recession peak

    We are

    Krugman’s point is that Estonia tanked for the same damn reasons in 2008 that every other economy did. But they haven’t recovered… and it’s 2012. Not a hard concept, even for Cato.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

  26. David M says:

    @Console: You’re asking Cato to understand or acknowledge either a negative outcome for austerity or a positive outcome for government spending? Not. Going. To. Happen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  27. al-Ameda says:

    An austerity plan is not going to cause economic growth. Where has that happened?
    A reduction in aggregate spending will not cause increased economic growth during a period of anemic demand.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  28. jan says:

    @Jeremy:

    But don’t quote Krugman. The guy is a fool and a shill. He ceased being a real economist years ago.

    So true, Jeremy. He’s unbearable to hear/watch/read anymore.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 20

  29. David M says:

    Um, quoting Krugman isn’t the problem. Quoting Krugman as saying something he did not say, about a subject you don’t understand is the problem.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

  30. Dave Schuler says:

    I think it was a poor choice of words that is being blown completely out of proportion. It seems to me that it was pretty clear what he meant: if the public sector weren’t shedding jobs, at the present rate of job creation in the private sector the net job creation wold be roughly where it needs to be to to account for the natural increase and would be pretty consistent with pre-recession job creation.

    Characterizing that as “fine” is a venial sin not a mortal one.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 4

  31. Buzz Buzz says:

    roflmao

    Obama throws his OTB propaganda drones under the bus:

    Hours after saying the private sector is “doing fine,” President Obama on Friday walked back those remarks, saying it’s “absolutely clear” the economy is not fine.

    ( http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/economy/231833-obama-walks-back-comment-about-private-economy-doing-fine )

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 15

  32. Tlaloc says:

    If you’re going to quote an economist, quote one that actually knows WTF he’s talking about

    Followed by a link to Cato? Priceless.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  33. Ben Wolf says:

    @Jeremy: Suppose you have an economy of two people, and $100 with neither person saving. Each person’s income will be, of course, $100 and government is running a balanced budget, taxing that $100 out of the economy and spending it back in.

    But one of the people in our two-person economy decides to save $10 each year. She spends the other $90 and lowers Person B’s income to that same amount. Person B continues to spend everything, but they only have $90 to spend now, and so the saver has indirectly lowered their own income and reduced aggregate demand below the economy’s full productive capacity.

    The government finds its revenues have dropped to $90 while it is still spending $100 (a deficit). It could simply allow this to continue, and the additional $10 it spends will replace the income lost to saving. Or it could attempt to cut spending and achieve a new budgetary balance.

    Let’s say the government cuts its spending to $90 in the next fiscal year. Person A saves another $10 and spends the remaining $80, dropping person B’s income yet again. Person B decides to hedge against another drop and saves $10 themselves, spending the other $70. You can imagine where this will end up eventually. That’s exactly what fiscal austerity is: a mechanism for reducing incomesand revenues, and generating unemployment. Eventually our two-person economy will run out of money and be forced to start handing over real assets to government to settle tax liabilities.

    The logical thing for government to do in this case is to either increase spending or decrease taxation sufficiently to satisfy both people’s desire to save and to replace the income lost to that saving. We in the U.S. live in an enormous economy, so large even our $1.3 trillon deficits are insufficient to satisfy the non-government sector’s desire to save. Why? We had $600 billion leave our economy last year via the trade deficit. We also have $45 trillion in private debt everyone is trying to pay down. If our government makes a real effort to reduce the deficit the private sector’s financial wealth will decrease and prohibit its efforts to deleverage.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

  34. anjin-san says:

    As far as I’m concerned George W. Bush and Barack Obama have both been horrible when it comes to fiscal and economic policy.

    Hmmm. GW led us to the brink of disaster, and Obama has led us to a lukewarm recovery.

    Yea, that’s pretty much the same thing.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 3

  35. Jeremy R says:

    @Buzz Buzz:

    Where’s the inconsistency? When did he say the economy was doing fine in his original statement? In fact he said the opposite and called for more economic aid. The private sector with it’s near record profits and cash reserves doesn’t need more government help; the public sector does.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  36. anjin-san says:

    @ Jan

    Also there would not have been the rampant impact of overreaching EPA regulations in the mix

    For eight years, the Bush administration pretty much told the business world “do whatever you want, just make money. Regulations? Nod, nod, wink, wink.”

    How did that work out? Not so well. Perhaps you have forgotten about the oil rig disaster in the gulf.

    EPA regulations are not what is holding the economy back. But you are free to pine for the days when a river in America caught on fire. Personally, I am happy to see salmon and beavers returning to the creeks in the urban area where I live.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  37. Cycloptichorn says:

    Linking to Pethokoukis is usually a sign of desperation. The guy is a total and complete hack who constantly searches for some sort of evidence to support his pre-formed conclusions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  38. G.A. says:

    and Obama has led us to a lukewarm recovery.

    lol…….you meant depression right?

    Linking to Pethokoukis is usually a sign of desperation. The guy is a total and complete hack who constantly searches for some sort of evidence to support his preformed conclusions.

    So he is an evolutionist?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 13

  39. Cycloptichorn says:

    How apropos your avatar is, buddy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  40. al-Ameda says:

    @G.A.:

    lol…….you meant depression right?

    Just so you know, positive economic growth does not equal the Great Depression that we avoided in 2009.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  41. G.A. says:

    Just so you know, positive economic growth does not equal the Great Depression that we avoided in 2009.

    lol ya I thought it was all over when Obama got elected and it almost was that’s why I went with lukewarm instead of Great.

    You know I suck at numbers but almost 15% unemployment and ungodly debt and deficit and spending and printing and borrowing and millions gone from the workforce and double the food stamps and double the price of gas…America is still kicking, we still can’t be took down By the new fabian commie X Men puppet …

    haha what did that cool FaceBook sign say? oh ya…”CAN YOU SEE NOVEMBER FROM WISCONSIN” lol…well can you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  42. jan says:

    @anjin-san:

    For eight years, the Bush administration pretty much told the business world “do whatever you want, just make money. Regulations? Nod, nod, wink, wink.”

    I don’t exactly remember it in those extremes, anjin.

    How did that work out? Not so well. Perhaps you have forgotten about the oil rig disaster in the gulf.

    Oh you must mean BP, the oil rig accident occurring on Obama’s watch. BP was also a major contributor to his presidency.

    EPA regulations are not what is holding the economy back. But you are free to pine for the days when a river in America caught on fire. Personally, I am happy to see salmon and beavers returning to the creeks in the urban area where I live.

    Clean coal companies are in jeopardy because of these regulations. There are many references of grivances from manufacturers, mining and other companies whose survival has been negatively impacted by the EPA. In fact, in so many commentaries, the antidote suggested, to help our ailing economy, has been to curb the EPA, which expanded incredibly under Obama, taking a liberal license in it’s interpretation of power delegated to it via the earlier Clear Air Act.

    What I find distracting, though, in these kind of conversations, are people who knee-jerk their comments with exaggerations, towards those pointing out the abusiveness of the EPA, as wanting to go back to the days of reckless exploitation of the environment.

    Have you ever heard of moderation, or having a moderate POV?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

  43. Ben Wolf says:

    @Rob in CT:

    Say you figure the 600k public sector job losses cost an additional 300k private sector ones. That’s 900k. Add those back in, and the unemployment number is still too damned high. Better, certainly, but still sucky. Which you then still have to explain.

    If we add in people who have given up looking for work the unemployment rate is somewhere between 11-12%. We have the power to fix that within a year but we won’t use it. Government musn’t do anything, ever.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  44. al-Ameda says:

    @G.A.:

    haha what did that cool FaceBook sign say? oh ya…”CAN YOU SEE NOVEMBER FROM WISCONSIN” lol…well can you?

    See you at Obama’s re-inauguration in November.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  45. Tlaloc says:

    I don’t exactly remember it in those extremes, anjin.

    You are trying hard not to remember it then. Leaving aside BP we can point at no less than 3 major mine accidents in 2006 and 2007 (Crandall Canyon mine, Sago, and Darby 1), substantially above average in the modern era, with plenty of corroborating evidence that the lax and even outright hostility to regulation by industry insiders that Bush placed in control of the MSHA (such as the statements by Jack Spadaro the former director of the agency).

    Oh you must mean BP, the oil rig accident occurring on Obama’s watch. BP was also a major contributor to his presidency.

    Yes, lax regulation by idiot republicans will in fact have devastating results for decades to come. Thank you for noticing.

    Frankly the anti-regulation people should have been metaphorically crucified after they aided and abetted the financial collapse in 2008, but of course since the right’s reaction to evidence is “roll to disbelieve” they have come up with alternate fairy tales of the bad minorities who took houses they didn’t deserve…. a charming mix of delusion and racism.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  46. jan says:

    Here is a utube political ad created from the “Fundamentals of our economy are strong” comment by John McCain, in 2008. He was trying to calm people with this reassuring assessment. However, Obama would have none of that, and pummeled McCain’s comment, deriding him by a very similar ad commentary he is being hit with, for his own misspeak today, saying that the, “Private sector is doing fine.”

    Karma, anyone?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

  47. jan says:

    Albertsons announces wave layoffs: up to 2500 employees being laid off in S. CA and Nevada. I wonder if they think the economy is doing fine?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

  48. jan says:

    All President Obama seems to do is slam Congress on the Jobs Bill they left sitting there. While he’s at it, why doesn’t he give Harry Reid a call and ask him why all the bills, generated from the House dealing with the economy, never make it to the Senate floor for a vote? President Obama acts like “The Congress” means only the House, when, “The Congress” has two branches, one of which his party controls.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  49. anjin-san says:

    Clean coal companies

    There is no such thing as “clean coal” – there is somewhat less filthy coal.

    Oh you must mean BP, the oil rig accident occurring on Obama’s watch.

    Have you hear about something called “cause and effect”? Unless you can show how an Obama policy(s) caused the disaster, I am just going to say you are full of shit.

    What I find distracting, though, in these kind of conversations, are people who knee-jerk their comments with exaggerations

    Have you ever heard of moderation, or having a moderate POV?

    Irony meter just blew, and in a mushroom cloud way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  50. Herb says:

    “That’s called stepping on your own message and handing an easy attack line to the opposition.”

    It seems to me that this should be treated the very same charitable way you treated Romney’s ‘Etch A Sketch” comments, Doug.

    Smart money is on Dave Schuler’s take: “a poor choice of words that is being blown completely out of proportion”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  51. WR says:

    @jan: Because all those house bills dealing with the economy are either giveaways to billionaires or attempts to criminalize abortion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  52. David M says:

    @jan: Bills from the GOP House are are a joke. That’s the starting place for all discussions, so why Obama isn’t asking the Senate to take the House’s stunts seriously isn’t hard to understand.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  53. Tlaloc says:

    While he’s at it, why doesn’t he give Harry Reid a call and ask him why all the bills, generated from the House dealing with the economy, never make it to the Senate floor for a vote?

    Because the house republicans keep trying to kill the economy with their asinine inability to deal with economics?

    Yeah probably that. Elect people who aren’t suicidal and we’ll talk.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  54. Herb says:

    Andrew Sullivan is relevant:

    He knows, as we do, that what Obama was trying ineptly to say is that compared with the public sector, the private sector is doing fine, which is not the same as great, right now. But watch Mitt up there, all shocked and stunned. He’s just incredulous that Barack Obama genuinely believes that the private sector is doing fine. Amazed. Staggered. I mean: gee willikers, can you believe it?

    It wasn’t that long ago that a guy got tremendously rich peddling common sense in the form of self help books. One of his “habits” was “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

    Just saw every Republican in the party on CNN staunchly refusing to even make the attempt. They all seem perfectly comfortable taking the remarks out of context or painting them in a negative light. They know the only people who will call them on it will be liberals and a few heretical RINOs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  55. anjin-san says:

    @ Doug

    So you are going to duck a simple question and go with a lame variation of “both side do it”?

    Weak.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  56. superdestroyer says:

    @Moosebreath:

    I wonder how many conference calls Mr. Klein participated in with Democratic Party operatives before you prepared that response. quoting a Democratic Party supporter and operative is no answer just because Mr. Klein works for the Washington Post.

    Mr. Romney has made such a gaffe, Mr. Klein would mention it several times a day for months.

    Please find a non-partisan who believes that President Obama wasn’t a fool.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  57. superdestroyer says:

    @David M:

    What about all of the people who quoted Krugman on education statistic when it was obvious that Krugman did not know what he was talking about and made a mistake that everyone learns about in their first semester of statistics.

    If Krugman will make such stupid mistakes for partisan reasons, what else is he stupid about.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  58. G.A. says:

    See you at Obama’s re-inauguration in November.

    You paying for the airfare and the room?Or are we getting bussed in?

    I get a little jumpy when it involves Obama and a bus….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  59. G.A. says:

    Smart money is on Dave Schuler take: “a poor choice of words that is being blown completely out of proportion”

    lol why…

    OK I give. I Know he was thinking 1%er’s when he said what he said.

    he still sucks….for using that logic that has been shown to be class warfare for political gain.He believes that stuff because he is a puppet and it comes out.

    He did a Biden and I hope he does more.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  60. Hello World! says:

    It’s obvious republicans are anxious to celebrate failure, if they weren’t – given all the fuss – wouldn’t they have skipped their recess to pass a bill that would help? If people don’t realize soon that rooting for failure is destroying this country then we will never be prosperous again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  61. Buzz Buzz says:

    @Jeremy R:

    Try following the links provided in the original post:

    In a news conference, Mr. Obama said three times that private sector employers were doing well in America, saying that hiring among private companies was “fine” and proceeding at “a solid pace.”

    ( http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/08/in-remarks-on-the-economy-obama-calls-private-sector-hiring-fine/ )

    President Obama told reporters that “the private sector is doing fine,” as he attributed the high unemployment rate to a lack of government jobs.

    ( http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/obama-economy-weak-due-size-government/588351 )

    Then follow the link I provided in my comment showing President Choomwagon’s walkback once everyone outside the hive started laughing at how detached from reality he was:

    Hours after saying the private sector is “doing fine,” President Obama on Friday walked back those remarks, saying it’s “absolutely clear” the economy is not fine.

    ( http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/economy/231833-obama-walks-back-comment-about-private-economy-doing-fine )

    You drones are getting dumber (which didn’t seem possible, as most of you are already operating at Sheriff Joe levels of stupidity) and more desperate in your efforts to convince anyone outside the hive that the Democrats’ implementation of their “New Direction For America” and “Hope and Change” policies over the past 6 years haven’t been a complete disaster.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  62. Herb says:

    @G.A.: “lol why…”

    Um….the way the right pounced reminds me of when they pounced on flag pins, birth certificates, Jeremiah Wright, terrorist fist bumps, and all the rest. It’s Boy Who Cried Wolf territory.

    A fair-minded person would make even a minor attempt to understand what the man is saying, and either agree or disagree. It takes a true hack to deliberately misunderstand and then turn it into an attack ad.

    Liberals disagreed with Mitt Romney when he said, “Corporations are people,” but they didn’t go around saying, “Mitt Romney says corporations have belly buttons.” Because we’re not idiots.

    (And seriously….President Choomwagon? Typical. I’ve been telling my friends that Obama will never make any attempt to legalize marijuana. Not when “the opposition” can use legal Obamaweed against him.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  63. matt says:

    I cannot even figure out what a choomwagon is supposed to be. Results from google are overrun with nutjobs posting in all caps on various blogs most of which seems to be in reference to how evil Obama is..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  64. jan says:

    @Hello World!:

    “It’s obvious republicans are anxious to celebrate failure, if they weren’t – given all the fuss – wouldn’t they have skipped their recess to pass a bill that would help? If people don’t realize soon that rooting for failure is destroying this country then we will never be prosperous again.”

    You are definitely very partisan and under-informed in your assertions. Here is a December 2011 article from a Construction Industry Magazine, Construction Executive: magazine for the business of construction, with a piece entitled: Jobs Bills Encounters Senate Roadblock.

    “While the president and the Democrat-controlled Senate were willing to go it alone to pass a failed $1 trillion stimulus bill, they are refusing to support targeted, pro-growth House bills that direct attention to sectors in need of an economic jumpstart.

    Americans are demanding immediate relief from unemployment. Cooperation could bring progress, but instead the president is pitching his jobs proposal in campaign-type events in states critical to his re-election, even when he knows Reid will not bring his plan to the floor for a vote. Rather than trying to convince the American people they are better off under his policies, the president should work with Congress on the stalled jobs bills that, if signed into law, would help bring certainty to job creators.

    Unfortunately, Americans should expect more political posturing and legislative delays in 2012 as Obama transitions from governing into campaigning full time for a second term as president.”

    Boy, has that last sentence proved to pre prescient!

    I’m not even sure what job’s bill you are referring to. However, Obama’s jobs bill has been met with luke-warm optimism, at best, in it’s ability to genuinely help the economy. Most of Obama’s bills, though, are usually created with political posturing in mind, not anything of substance or duration for curing the problem it is supposedly addressing. As for Congress, it has been the lackadaisical Senate who has been sitting around and nay saying what is brought up by the House. Hence the real source of the obstruction that is constantly pinned on ‘Congress.’

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  65. jan says:

    Mickey Klaus, of Klaus Files, even has a message of indictment, in saying that Obama’s gaffe wasn’t a phony story..

    What is brought up here, by Klaus, is putting the sensationalized sentence into context with the rest of Obama’s statement:

    The problem is that many voters (myself included) don’t think government jobs are just another sector. We want the number of housing and manufacturing jobs to keep growing–the more the merrier, all things being equal. We don’t want the number government jobs to keep growing, in part because we pay for them without the assurances, offered in a competitive private economy, that we’re getting our moneys worth or that the jobs are necessary at all. It’s one thing to boost government jobs as a temporary stimulus measure. It’s another thing to never let federal, state and local governments shrink to a more sustainable size.

    So, no matter how you slice or dice it, with or without his “private sector is fine” line, Obama really has no feel or clue for why this economy is so sluggish. Consequently, his legislative antidotes don’t jive with reality, and are not working.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  66. jan says:

    There are so many salient articles relating to President Obama’s comment on Friday, about the private sector.

    Here’s another, Victor Davis Hanson’s superior article about Professor Obama’s take on the economy.

    How odd is his diagnosis when Democrats themselves not long ago attacked George W. Bush’s “jobless recovery” of 5.4 percent unemployment and George H. W. Bush “it’s the economy stupid” of 3.4 percent GDP growth. Yet Obama’s problem was not just the absurdity of defining economic distress as too little borrowed federal money for insolvent states and municipalities, but his timing right after blue-state Wisconsin repudiated just that philosophy.

    So we are in an interesting paradox: All empirical evidence points to the worldwide failure of the blue-state model (e.g., California, the southern Mediterranean, anti-Walker Wisconsin), and yet Barack Obama’s entire career, from community organizing, to the state legislature, to the Senate, was predicated on just such a protocol of public borrowing to provide expansive government entitlements and jobs in exchange for a loyal political constituency, with the debt, in redistributive fashion, to be serviced by wringing more revenue from the suspect private sector that is always doing “fine.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  67. Scott O. says:

    @jan: There are so many salient articles pointing out that Victor Davis Hanson is a liar. Here’s one you may enjoy.

    http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/victor-davis-hanson-and-election-2012/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  68. David M says:

    @jan:

    failed $1 trillion stimulus bill

    This is the author announcing as loudly as possible they are GOP shill, and nothing more. And I typed that before doing a quick search and seeing in fact the author was previously part of the staff for a GOP Senator. So this is nothing but a press release for the GOP, and should not be taken seriously.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  69. G.A. says:

    ….the way the right pounced reminds me of when they pounced on flag pins, birth certificates, Jeremiah Wright, terrorist fist bumps, and all the rest. It’s Boy Who Cried Wolf territory.

    You guys dismiss every thing when much of it matters and call it crazy or stupid or racist.
    then you want me to believe liberals don’t take stuff that they don’t get and run amok with it?lol and never ever give it up…man you should go look at the Wisconsin money spent on posts.

    I don’t know if you have been paying attention but I live in Wisconsin, and I study liberals and their methods, minds, worldviews, and religions..

    And I used to be one.The thing I don’t get is how you guys go right past that part when I tell it to you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  70. Eric Florack says:

    @jan:

    anjin, there’s was a little creative license in your redo of my response.

    LOL…. Most of us don’t expect much else. Facts give Anjin hives, ya see.

    So, no matter how you slice or dice it, with or without his “private sector is fine” line, Obama really has no feel or clue for why this economy is so sluggish. Consequently, his legislative antidotes don’t jive with reality, and are not working

    I think it’s worse than that. Obama has done everything wrong. Everything he’s done…. 100%, right down the line…. has been an abject failure.

    But that’s only if and I say again only if, we define success as a booming economy and an America that is strong and free, and respects the rights of the individual first.

    I dare to submit, Jan, that one does not get to that level of consistency without both talent, and intent.
    It’s time to give up this myth of Obama incompetence. He knows damned good and well what he’s doing… and he’s doing as he intends. It’s time for reality, here. The only logical conclusion to draw is that he and his backers, including George Soros, intend nothing less than a destroyed America.

    And the private sector economy falling on it’s face as it has been since he came into power, is just fine to him, thereby,

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  71. Moosebreath says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Shorter superdestroyer — I have no way of attacking the actual words said, so I’ll just pound the table with ad hominem attacks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  72. Herb says:

    @jan:

    “So, no matter how you slice or dice it, with or without his “private sector is fine” line, Obama really has no feel or clue for why this economy is so sluggish. “

    If you got laid off from your government job –that so and so columnist says was unnecessary– you probably don’t think the economy is “sluggish.”

    But whatever….it’s nice to see Kaus (and you) basically admit that you’re willing to endure a poor economy if it means shrinking the job sector you don’t like. Now that wouldn’t seem so foolish if the private sector were creating enough jobs to replace the lost public sector jobs, but that’s not the case. So cheer on the job losses, if you’re that kind of person.

    Just don’t then claim that other people have no clue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  73. Hello World! says:

    @Eric Florack: At least your willing to admit that you are hoping and praying for this country to fail.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  74. jan says:

    @Scott O.:

    “There are so many salient articles pointing out that Victor Davis Hanson is a liar. Here’s one you may enjoy.”

    So, one short thread by Alex Knapp, with only one opinion piece by a Daniel Larison, is supposed to take down Victor Davis Hanson’s credibility, in one fell swoop??? If you can produce other commentaries, demonstrating irregularities in Mr. Hanson’s facts/opinions/presentation, then I will give them some consideration. Otherwise, what you’ve posted seems more like a tit-for-tat hit piece than anything else.

    BTW, if you want to read up on VDH, here is a wikipedia link showing him to be a scholar and far from a slouch. You might learn something, in the process.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  75. jan says:

    @Herb:

    “But whatever….it’s nice to see Kaus (and you) basically admit that you’re willing to endure a poor economy if it means shrinking the job sector you don’t like. Now that wouldn’t seem so foolish if the private sector were creating enough jobs to replace the lost public sector jobs, but that’s not the case. So cheer on the job losses, if you’re that kind of person.”

    Do you read content? Or, do you just breeze through posts and then add your adolescent, partisan interpretation?

    No one has said anything about liking or disliking any jobs. In fact, it’s a shame, really, because Obama is creating another divide in the country, one between the public and private sector employees. The problem with public sector employees is that they need private sector revenue to pay their salaries, pensions, and other benefits. If you haven’t noticed, the private sector is shrinking. The entire work force is smaller since obama has taken office. Hence, everyone is impacted, including public sector jobs. We are a wholistic country, where a bad or good economy effects everyone.

    Your comments about anyone ‘cheering on job losses,’ is beyond immature. Grow up!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  76. anjin-san says:

    @ Jan

    The entire work force is smaller since obama has taken office.

    Poor Jan, pining for the good old days of losing 500,000 jobs a month under Bush.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  77. anjin-san says:

    It’s time for reality, here. The only logical conclusion to draw is that he and his backers, including George Soros, intend nothing less than a destroyed America.

    So what you are trying to say here is “I am a nutjob, and I want everyone to know it”…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  78. Herb says:

    @jan: “is supposed to take down Victor Davis Hanson’s credibility”

    Here’s the thing about VDH: You ask him about ancient history, not contemporary politics. Just because he’s an authority on one subject doesn’t make him an authority on another. His political commentary is of poor quality, and if that affects VDH’s “credibility” as a whole….well, so be it.

    In fact, it’s a shame, really, because Obama is creating another divide in the country, one between the public and private sector employees.

    No, he’s not. Indeed, most often when I hear about “public sector employees,” I hear a lot of assumptions, mixed in with some ax-grinding. For instance, it’s often assumed that:

    –Public sector employees are over-compensated
    –Public sector employees do nothing useful
    –The public sector gains when the private sector loses

    All of that is hogwash. If you care about employment –people being paid for doing something useful– then you should not care whether its in the private or the public sector. That this distinction is such a concern indicates you’re grinding axes rather than thinking about the economics. (And really….Kaus? VDH? Ax-grinders, both of em.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  79. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Herb: Here’s a detail that’s often overlooked, Herb, and you overlook it here: we are the employers, and our “managers” have a fiscal responsibility to us to act responsibly.

    We, as taxpayers, should pay our employees somewhere “the most we can afford” and “the least they will accept.” That’s the key to labor negotiations.

    The problem is, the public sector unions have been bribing our managers to go along with more and more and more money, until it’s well past the “most we can afford” point. Witness the horrific state of finances in Illinois, in California, and what Wisconsin was before Walker.

    Public sector unions should be BANNED from participating in electoral politics. Period. They are basically buying their way on to both sides of the negotiating table.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  80. Herb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “we are the employers, and our “managers” have a fiscal responsibility to us to act responsibly. ”

    Actually, no, and frankly I’m tired of hearing this nonsense. You’re a taxpayer. That doesn’t make you an employer. You have no special insight into how to run a police department or a school or the wastewater treatment plant. You have literally NO operational knowledge of what goes into these things and why should you? You’re a taxpayer. We don’t expect you to know when the school district bus fleet got their last oil change. We don’t expect you to know how much chlorine the water plant has on stock. We don’t expect you to know which kevlar vests are checked out to which officer.

    And yet we’re supposed to take your advise on “fiscal responsibility?” You don’t have enough information to even know what’s fiscally responsible or not.

    You just have this idea that as a taxpayer you get a say you don’t even get as a voter. And that’s not how it is.

    As for this:

    “We, as taxpayers, should pay our employees somewhere “the most we can afford” and “the least they will accept.””

    No. That’s how we hire fast food workers, theater employees, and Wal-Mart greeters. It’s great for low-skill, low-pay type jobs, but you really want your neighborhoods police force to be some low-paid, low-skill do-nothings like the crew down at Burger King?

    Hell, no. We want pros. Pros will expect to be compensated.

    I will never get the logic that says CEOs must be paid millions and given corporate jets and golden parachutes and all these other perks, but government employees exist in this alternate universe where the best people can be attracted with minimum wage and crap bennies.

    “That’s the key to labor negotiations.”

    Here’s the key to labor negotiations: Be generous. Pay your people well, treat them like humans, and they will not try to organize on you. Ford famously doubled his workers pay, reduced their workweek, and made sure they could all afford Ford cars. They didn’t need the UAW until 1941.

    I think it’s sad that the so-called “fiscally responsible” pro-business side has chosen union busting over generosity. I guess that’s one way to do it….but hell, man. Generosity never killed anyone.

    As for this:

    Public sector unions should be BANNED from participating in electoral politics.

    That’s clearly unconstitutional, and stupid. If unions supported your favorite candidates instead of the ones you don’t like, this would not be your position at all. (Which is what makes it stupid.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  81. jan says:

    @anjin-san:

    “Poor Jan, pining for the good old days of losing 500,000 jobs a month under Bush.”

    Like a one-trick pony, anjin, you only seem to have one recycled comment in your posting bag.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  82. jan says:

    @Herb:

    “His political commentary is of poor quality, and if that affects VDH’s “credibility” as a whole….well, so be it.”

    An appreciation or respect for someone’s commentary is individual to the beholder, and is frequently belittled only because the viewpoints and rationale doesn’t speak to the ideology of the one criticizing and calling said commentary ‘of poor quality.’

    That’s you, Herb.

    “For instance, it’s often assumed that:

    –Public sector employees are over-compensated
    –Public sector employees do nothing useful
    –The public sector gains when the private sector loses

    All of that is hogwash. “

    Those are your listed assumptions. All, but one, are frivolously inserted to make a misleading point. Public sector employees are (oftentimes) over-compensated. After stating that fact, you simply went off into hyperbole-land. Like I said before, Herb, you read into the comments what you want, and then respond to these misinterpreted, misstated interpretations with self-generated ire.

    Quite a gig you have going for you!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  83. An unfortunate choice of words used to leverage discussion into an economic and political neverland …

    Here is the proper push-back:

    Did Republicans deliberately crash the US economy?

    It is silly and over the top too, but has at its core some truth. The Republicans definitely dragged their feet, wanting to hit Obama for a bad economy. If you gave them credit for rationality and sefl-control, then you’d have to say they planned this.

    It’s only if you think the GOP stupid, emotional, and reactive, that you have to let them off the hook.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  84. Herb says:

    @jan:

    “An appreciation or respect for someone’s commentary is individual to the beholder, and is frequently belittled only because the viewpoints and rationale doesn’t speak to the ideology of the one criticizing and calling said commentary ‘of poor quality.’”

    There’s something to this, but not much. I think VDH’s political commentary is “of poor quality” precisely because it is so ideological. You can almost predict what he’s going to say just by looking at his byline. So why read VDH’s commentary when you can just consult the ideology?

    “Public sector employees are (oftentimes) over-compensated. After stating that fact”

    That is not a fact. That is a false perception the axe-grinders want you to have. The reality is that there are some who are over-compensated, some who are compensated just enough, and some that are under-compensated.

    Many are under-compensated. You think Mitt Romney’s running for president for the 200K salary? You think John Hickenlooper became governor of Colorado because he wasn’t making enough money in the restaurant business? And what about all the public servants who could be making more money in the private sector, but don’t because they’ve dedicated themselves to public service.

    There’s a lot more money to be made as a patent troll than as a prosecutor, but squeezing Samsung just isn’t as honorable as putting murderers in jail, is it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  85. anjin-san says:

    Like a one-trick pony, anjin, you only seem to have one recycled comment in your posting bag.

    It’s more that I don’t find you interesting enough to burn any real daylight on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  86. Scott O. says:

    @jan: Mr. Hanson is merely a more erudite version of everyone’s favorite commenter here at OTB, G. A. But the basic message from both is always the same, namely “Obama is a poopy head”. If that’s the kind of stuff you enjoy reading, you go girl!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  87. jan says:

    @Herb:

    I will repeat my comment:

    “Public sector employees are (oftentimes) over-compensated.”

    Here’s one example, taken from a local newspaper:

    A new York City system-gaming public school teacher, Alan Rosenfeld, 66, continues to show up for make-work (such as photo-copying “duty”), at a salary of $100,000 a year, rather than retire. Rosenfeld was accused in 2001 of making lewd comments to female students in his typing class and removed from classroom duty. But, he protested and continues to exercise his union “due process” rights. In a January status report, The NY Post noted that Rosenfeld could have retired 4 year ago, but that remaining on the “job,” the value of his pension increases, and the light duty enables him to conduct his real estate business while at “work.”

    This is by no means an isolated case. Other egregious ones have been reported over the years in NY, Los Angeles etc. This is a national loophole, if you will, allowing public sector teachers, because of union protection, to stay on the job, collecting full pay, even though their behavior, in any other private sector work place setting would have been an instant reason to merit them losing their job.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  88. jan says:

    @anjin-san:

    “It’s more that I don’t find you interesting enough to burn any real daylight on. “

    The game of political limbo seems to appeal to your senses, anjin, where back and forth comments just go lower and lower, to see who can post the final affront. My final one was the ‘one trick pony.’ You can bask in the glow of the above one. Game over. Nobody really won.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  89. anjin-san says:

    The game of political limbo seems

    I don’t see you as able to play any other game. Your conceptual universe seems to be rooted in the notion that if everyone was only more like you and your husband, things would be just fine. I can’t see diving into such a shallow pool.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  90. Herb says:

    @jan:

    “This is by no means an isolated case. ”

    Sorry, Jan…..but Alan Rosenfeld is an isolated case. That’s almost the definition of an isolated case. Very few teachers are in Rosenfeld’s situation and of those few, how many are making the same decisions Rosenfeld is making?

    Indeed, if you think Rosenfeld is the norm…of course, you’re going to have skewed views on this subject.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  91. jan says:

    @Herb:

    “Indeed, if you think Rosenfeld is the norm…of course, you’re going to have skewed views on this subject. “

    Indeed, Herb, I wish you were right, that this is an isolated case. Unfortunately, it is not. I’ve heard, for years, about cases like this in Los Angeles. As far as NYC is concerned, here is another notation on this matter:

    1500 teachers paid by the UFT & NYC DOE to miss class.

    IMO, if there is even one teacher using the system in this way, it is a loophole which needs to be looked into and corrected. Look at it as a racial violation. Wonder if there was a case of racial discrimination. Would you say the same thing, that it was only an isolated incident, and basically to dismiss it as such?

    Professionals, in any work place, should be held accountable for their actions and behavior, whether they are in the medical, business, finanacial or teaching realm.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  92. Herb says:

    @jan: Jan, please understand I’m not about to defend this teacher or any other teacher “gaming the system.” I will only point out that the majority of teachers do valuable work and deserve the compensation they earn.

    What they don’t deserve is to be vilified by political hacks with axes to grind.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  93. anjin-san says:

    Professionals, in any work place, should be held accountable for their actions and behavior

    Hmm. I’ve missed all the calls for the people who crashed the economy to be held accountable for their actions.

    How many people got hurt by WAMU writing loans they knew would fail? CEO Kerry K Killinger put a lot of pressure to keep writing shaky loans – the more predatory, the better (more profitable).
    How many people lost their homes? Their jobs? Killinger walked away with over 100 million.

    By all means, lets get those damn teachers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  94. jan says:

    @Herb:

    “Jan, please understand I’m not about to defend this teacher or any other teacher “gaming the system.” I will only point out that the majority of teachers do valuable work and deserve the compensation they earn. “

    I totally agree about those teachers who do valuable work, being a treasure, and should be rewarded as such. That’s why I believe ‘merit’ pay has merit. However, once a teacher is tenured, which often happens after a mere 2 years, there is little incentive to do your best. Teachers become locked into their jobs, no matter how good or bad their performance. And, if there are teacher cuts to be made, it is done on who was the last hired, rather than who is the teacher with the poorest track record. I remember reading a story, where a woman who was ‘Teacher of the Year’ was fired because of her position on the hiring totem pole, when positions had to be thinned.

    Unions also use the motto, “Do it for the Kids!” However, they don’t seem to apply it to keeping and rewarding the incredibly devoted, wonderful teachers. Instead, their system is one of maintaining the teacher ‘herd,’ without any differentiation as to good or terrible teachers. How is that helping the kids?

    That’s why I have problems with unions. In earlier times they had a useful purpose in honestly advocating for the people in their particular labor industry. Now, they seem to be more like obstructiive enablers for the labor members they are representing, assuring them of uninrterrupted employment, as high performance standards and ethical behavior is kicked to the curb.

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