Here’s to the Yahoos! Who Ruined a Perfectly Good Shutdown!

Posted: Oct 21, 2013 12:01 AM

Normally when I call someone a yahoo, it’s an insult. But in this instance it’s both an insult and something the target can’t deny.That’s because Yahoo! Finance writer Rick Newman is decidedly a yahoo.

I rarely call out other writers about flatly not knowing what they are talking about, but I make an exception-- as EVERYONE knows—with Ezra Klein…and now noted yahoo, Yahoo! Finance! Writer! Rick! Newman!

OK, who am I kidding?

I’ll stipulate right now that I call A LOT people out- including finance writers- for not knowing what they are talking about. But I’m saying that I don’t in this case in the same way Obama says he does negotiate with the GOP.

It’s done more as a matter of claiming moral authority than it is for any actual impartation of truth.

So I’m saying it rhetorically, OK? From a great big throne surrounded by Grecian columns.

I’m saying it because Newman! is another poster boy for what’s wrong with mainstream media.

And I’d like to use him as an example so aspiring journalists will know that gone are the heroic days of brave investigative journalists. I’m selfless in this way.

I give and I give and I give and I give until someone else hurts, as we all know.

You’re welcome.

Anywho, today, journalism looks more like stuff made by people who are good at making stuff up. And it’s consumed by people who are good at listening to make-believe stuff written by people who make stuff up.

Stuff that’s mostly rhetorical.Created by yahoos like Yahoo! Rick Newman.

"Well, for those who like that sort of thing,” Abe Lincoln once yawned after listening to a reading about the occult, “I should think it is just about the sort of thing they would like."

Don’t get me wrong, Rick’s a fine writer. For those who like the sort of thing that Newman! writes about, I should think it is just about the sort of thing they would like.

I assume that he knows a lot about defense issues because he covered the Pentagon. But if reality, truth and facts are important to you, you want to pass over Rick’s writings.

His latest Memo to the Tea Party: The Government's Budget Is Actually Improving is a good example of what I’m talking about.

Rick’s memo contains the usual shill that you just can’t believe everything you hear because MY GOODNESS the budget is getting better…and oh, by the way it’s all George W. Bush’s fault. And the Tea Party’s.

In fact, Rick is puzzled by the recent shutdown because “Washington’s annual deficit has fallen to the lowest level since George W. Bush was president, with pressure from Tea Party budget hawks partly responsible for the improvement,” he throws in as an aside. If he could make the font smaller on that clause, he would have.

His reference to the Tea Party certainly seems puzzling to me.

He continues: “Obviously the deficit and the debt both swelled beginning in 2009, President Obama’s first year in office. Critics can blame Obama for that, though it seems likely that any president of any party would have approved a sizable stimulus package funded by borrowing, as Obama did, to help combat a brutal recession. That’s the main reason deficit spending soared.”

Let’s dispose of the first implication, the one in the headline, the one that treats the Tea Party like we’re a bunch of morons.

The implication there is that everything is sunshine and roses financially and that gosh, can’t you just give Obama a break? The only break there however is Newman’s!—and liberals’- break with reality if they think that the rest of us believe that the deficit is smaller because Obama wills it.

If Obama—and liberals, and likely Newman-- had their way the deficit would be much, much higher.

I know it, you know it and that yahoo Newman! knows it too. He just pretends like he doesn’t.

And no, not ANY president, from ANY party would have actually approved a sizable, stimulus spending package, just like Obama did, which is what Newman implies.

We only have to consult what Obama predecessor, George W., and his lower deficits, did to understand the difference.

Bush inherited a financial crisis at the beginning of his presidency, a crisis that was wholly unforeseen as well, and certainly not his fault. Looking at the stock market as proxy for the economy, the economy was already in trouble. The market peaked in September 2000. The recession started in February 2001, a month after Bush was inaugurated.

The Department of Homeland Security estimates that the direct cost of the 9/11 attacks, which came seven months later, were about .5% in GDP and 600,000 jobs in 2001.

This all in economy that was reeling to begin with. Prior to 9/11 the market, as measured by the S&P 500 lost 23 percent of its value. 9/11 added another 11.5% to the downturn for a loss of 34.5%. In 2008, the market lost 38% year over year at the height of the financial crisis. In 2001 however the markets had recovered their losses and were up about 4% over their pre-9/11 by the end of the year.

What was the difference?

In June 2001, George W. Bush signed into law a series of tax cuts aimed at helping the economy. Unlike Obama’s targeted approach where money is directed to special interest groups, welfare groups, and cronies, these tax cuts went directly into the pockets of taxpayers.

In fact, in 2003 Congress accelerated the tax cuts in the economy took off to the benefit of the deficit.

“Tax revenue rebounded quickly because the tax cuts encouraged economic growth by increasing the incentives to work, save, invest, and take on new risk,” writes Heritage. “From 2003 to 2007, the number of tax filers rose by 9.6 percent, and taxable income, by 44 percent. By contrast, in the last four years of the previous expansion, from 1997 to 2001, these numbers grew by 6.4 percent and 23.6 percent, respectively. With income and taxpayers growing at such a fast clip it is not hard to see why tax revenue did not suffer from the tax cuts.”

By 2007, the deficit only made up 1.1% of GDP. Under Obama however our deficits have run at least six times that number, sometimes nine times that.

In short, tax cuts, used by Bush, are self-funding mechanisms for stimulating the economy. Stimulus spending, as we have seen, on the other hand, especially under Obama, has been a gigantic sucking sound for the entire economy.

The government shutdown as much as anything was about reestablishing the relationship between the people and the government. Newman! seems to think that we can’t get along without government intervention in or economy. But the American people, as George Bush's approach to tax cuts showed, can get along very fine without the government doing anything for them.

So, here’s to the folks who screwed up the latest demonstration of that. Here’s to the yahoos! who ruined a perfectly good government shutdown.


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