h/t Heather at VideoCafe
Lord, spare us your milquetoast, conservative Democrats eager to suck up to Republicans tropes and hurt the country. There is no earthly reason why Harold Ford Jr. should enjoy either a position in the Democratic leadership or a national platform to sabotage the Democratic Party and the president. And on David Gregory's version of Meet the Press, there are no sane Democrats on for "balance". No attempt to offer any other possible solutions other than to stick it to seniors and the middle class.
There's so much wrong with this clip that it's easier to comment as we go along:
DAVID GREGORY: Speaker Gingrich, President Obama was on the air a week ago and he talked about a new normal in our economy. Let me play a portion of that interview and have you react to it.
PRESIDENT OBAMA ON VIDEO: What is a danger is that we stay stuck in a new normal, where unemployment rates stay high. People who have jobs-- see their incomes go up. Businesses make big profits. But they’ve learned to do more with less. And so, they don’t hire. And as a consequence we keep on seeing growth that I just too slow to bring back the eight million jobs that were lost.
DAVID GREGORY: Do you accept that?
NEWT GINGRICH: No. I think-- I think we have two enormous policy challenges. The first is that we’re not in a world market, a genuine world market. Where you’ve got to think about economics in terms of competing with China, India, Germany. And you ought to study Germany, which is a high cost country with a huge export manufacturing base.
Yes, Newt, let's look at Germany...do you really want to go through with this analogy? Because that would mean admitting that "socialist" programs like health care for all, investing in infrastructure, government regulations protecting workers and the manufacturing base of the economy are critical aspects to improving the economy and I just don't see Republicans getting on board for this.
Second, this Administration’s just wrong. I mean, the Obama model of the economy is just fundamentally, profoundly wrong. And I don’t care-- I think Chairman Bernanke is very foolish to be putting $600 billion of additional money, because the fact is the problems in this economy are problems of fiscal policy. They’re problems of taxation. And they’re problems of an anti-business, anti-jobs bureaucracy that this President encourages.
Well, Newt is right that the economy is an issue of taxation and fiscal policy. But he's 100% wrong that it's the Obama model that's the problem. Strictly speaking, Newt, if your economic policy --lending tax breaks to the incredibly wealthy and corporations and cutting benefits and programs to the middle and lower classes-- worked and was successful, would the country be in this giant clusterf&@k now? Being "pro-business" by all but eliminating taxes and regulations has hurt us, Newt, no matter how much you lie to the American people about "anti-business bureaucracy".
DAVID GREGORY: We prop up the economy, Harold Ford. We’re certainly propping up the housing market. And so, we’re in this state. Do you agree with that?
HAROLD FORD JR: In large part. But let-- let me differ a little bit with the Speaker. I think there are two kinds of debt here. The first is the debt that we’re accumulating as a result of this crisis. And we can’t ignore the fact that to get America back on a growth trajectory and growth platform, there’s some steps that government’s gonna have to take. I agree with the chairman wholeheartedly that certainly around taxes and regulations going forward, I hope that the Administration will call for a year moratorium on regulations. I hope they extend the tax cuts and even cut the corporate rate.
Oh sweet Jebus, Harold. How many corporations even pay taxes? Cutting the corporate rate is the absolutely most idiotic suggestion from someone who clearly does not have a grasp of economics. We spend more money than we take in and your boneheaded response is to take LESS in?
But to suggest that the Fed should not continue to play an active role, especially in the face of some inaction from-- on the fiscal side, I think is wrong. Two, the entitlement debt. I think that recommendations made by this-- Deficit Reduction Commission have been responsible. There may be some areas that we disagree with. But I hope that left to my party and the right in the Republican Party don’t scream so loud that they scare the crowded middle.
Oh STFU, Harold. You can take your Third Way thinking and leave the stage now. The MINUTE you begin to assert that the sacrifices have to come from the struggling middle and lower classes rather than the top 2% and corporations paying a little bit more towards their fair share, you have marked yourself as a delusional elitist who doesn't really care about putting the country back on track, but just enriching your cocktail circuit colleagues.
DAVID GREGORY: And I-- and I want to get back to the debt commission. But Bethany McLean, let me bring you into this. A big part of your book, of course, deals with the-- the financial collapse and the housing market. The-- look-- we don’t talk about this enough. The fact that the government is propping up the housing market. Prices have not come down far enough, even though there’s so much pain out there and such a crisis out there. Can the economy really rebound unless the housing market corrects fully?
BETHANY MCLEAN: That’s a great question. And it’s a really interesting thing, because one of the great ironies of the financial crisis, one of the big complaints is that government involvement in the housing market was a factor. People want to overplay it as the factor, it was a factor. But the great irony is that we’ve come out of the financial crisis with the-- the housing market even more reliant on the government. It’s now some 90 percent of the housing market.
And I don’t know if anybody has the guts to see what happens if you yank government support away from the housing market right now. But I think if you don’t do that, it’s hard to argue that we found-- that we’ve found a real bottom in-- in housing prices. But doing so will risk putting the economy into more of a tailspin.
I just want to point out that the reason the government had to step into the housing market is because we've had 30 years of Republican systematic dismantling of regulations and controls that sent the mortgage and financial industries spiraling out of control. And by McLean's own admission, if the government stopped, we would spiral out of control again. Because the Republican policies of de-regulation and "free" market invisible hands DO NOT WORK.
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