Left In Lowell

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August 25, 2010

Lowell Sun Editorial, FULL of Sunshine…

by at 3:55 pm.

Or rather, it’s full of sh*t. Probably another edition of Jim “Logic? What’s that?” Campanini drivel. It has his signature pull-it-out-of-my…well. You know.

In it, he blames Obama, Patrick, and the Democrats for the reslumping economy we are, it appears, going through now. Of course, Campanini (ahem, I mean “the editor who wrote this”) has a real, electoral reason for doing this - he wants Republicans to win, so he’s gotta paint this as a problem with the leadership of the Democrats. To do so, he has to ignore general consensus of real economists (the reality-based ones who don’t work for the Heritage Foundation). Particularly with Mass job increases at 20 year highs, he has to make you think that despite this progress, it’s not progress.

All the real economists (the ones that win Nobel Prizes) have rejected trickle down (hey even Bush Sr. called it “voodoo” after all), affirmed Keynesian economics, and basically have said for a couple YEARS now that the big problem with the economy is that we didn’t stimulate it enough - and 1/3 of that stimulus bill we did get was, actually, useless tax cuts, to boot. (I find it odd how this is never mentioned in the context of conservative rants about the stimulus package. Maybe because it would help prove they are full of crap?)

These smart economists are now saying that what we’re seeing has an awful lot in common with the slowdown and retrenching of the unemployment rate in the 1930s after FDR and Congress got all deficit-hawky. And they are right, there’s a ton in common. And this deficit worry is the prevailing idiocy here and around the world. End result? Since we haven’t yet dug ourselves out of the hole we were in, we’re sliding back in now that we put the brakes on powering our way up.

It’s sort of like worrying about how to fix the patient’s broken arm while he’s still on the surgeon’s table having a heart attack. Simple triage dictates you deal with the worst problems first, then move on once you’ve stabilized the patient. This is pretty conventional wisdom for those who don’t still believe in the tooth fairy and Reaganomics.

And I love, just adore the whole concept of ignoring why we’re in this mess of a economic pothole in the first place - the tender ministrations of one George W. “I went to business school!” Bush. Who. Cut. Taxes.

Here’s the other piece of logic stupidity this editorial commits - it fails to take into account that the ONLY reason Obama has not fixed the economy more substantially (besides just how bloody deep it was to begin with) is the Republicans (and the few conservaDems) watered down any attempt to actually do the real things that needed doing - like going all in on stimulus rather that doing what most economists tell us is dipping one’s toe in.

If anyone’s to blame for the failures of this economy, it’s Bush, first, and second, Republicans in the Senate who prevented Obama from enacting a decent agenda that had a shot at actually working. But I can tell you, far smarter people than Jim Campanini say that the only reason we’re treading water instead of drowning to our deaths is because of the stimulus that was put into place. Without it, we’d be far, far worse off.

Oh, hell, for fun, because I haven’t done this in a while, let’s pick apart the arguments in the editorial one at at time…

Both Obama and Patrick have tried to tax and spend their way out of the recession rather than rein in fiscal policies and promote business investment.

In a recession, (says all the smart people in the world), if unemployment is high and there are no buyers, businesses will not invest in anything. Why in the hell would they?? They won’t create widgets (or houses, or sell services) if people are not buying them. Businesses are not stupid. They know that a widget sitting on a shelve is lost revenue. Apparently, this editor thinks that businesses are dumb and will build widgets if they get tax cuts - regardless of whether or not they have buyers!

However, if more people are employed (those much-maligned teachers and fire fighters and public employees whose essential jobs were saved, to name a few), they buy things. They buy services. They, in effect, create, what’s that word…demand. But this writer here thinks the Demand Faerie brings that to businesses in the night, I guess…

Democrats who once hailed the Obama administration’s $787 billion economic stimulus plan are now making excuses for its failure to create jobs. They say the package wasn’t big enough. What gall.

Who has gall? This writer ignores the fact that fully one third of the stimulus was in tax cuts as a sop to the GOP to get them to stop filibustering it. Otherwise, it would have been 1/3 more effective than it was. It was, at the time, being lamented as too small - our economy is just too big for a few hundreds of billions to drag us out of a Bush-dug recession.

Reviving the economy should have been Obama’s No. 1 priority.

I agree. And it was. The Republicans however, prefer a shitty economy so they could run on it, and blocked all the effective stuff that would have been otherwise directed towards the economy. Note, however, that the stimulus bill was basically one of the first things Obama ever worked on - a fact conveniently not noted here.

Instead, he directed Democrats to push through a costly health-care law that, when it kicks in in 2014, will add more financial burdens on business and workers.

Again, that was after the stimulus-that-was-small-and-1/3-tax-cuts was passed, and it was evident that none more would be had with the Republican filibuster threat. Also, health care is a huge, just ginormous portion of our GDP - more than all the socialized countries who’ve taken health care off the books of their private sector. Addressing it was a necessary long-term help to our economy, though obviously not a short term solution. Our businesses are drowning in health care costs that are just insane.

The bulk of the money has gone to protect government jobs — union teachers, police, firefighters, etc. — while ignoring the private sector, which creates jobs.

Yeah, cuz we don’t need those stinkin’ police, firefighters, and teachers…or their spending money to stimulate the economy, either. And of course, the editor here ignores the 20-year-high rate of private sector job increases in MA in the last few months. Funny how that happens. How much better does he think the private sector job growth can get, without breaking all records??

With more one-time stimulus money on the way, Patrick will be spreading the wealth to municipal governments to protect even more union jobs. It’s an election year, after all. A responsible leader, however, would tuck that money away in the state’s rainy-day fund, leaving it for the challenges of fiscal 2012.

Shorter Jim Campanini: unions suck. I hate them! Damn the weekends they gave us, and damn them for serving the Commonwealth with crazy policing, firefighting, and teaching all over the place. They should paid $20K a year, or not at all!

And, in the middle of the worst recession in ages, we should be SAVING! Saving for a rainy day! The hell with the reason we have a rainy day fund in the first place!

God, can you get any sillier than pretty much this entire editorial?

Of course, if you’re Campanini (*ahem* this editorial writer), facts and the words of real smart economists don’t really influence your view of the universe. You have your narrative all picked out and then torturously try to twist everything fit it. Reality doesn’t really factor in to it.

Whereas I’d rather actually solve the real problems of our time. But hey, that’s just me.

23 Responses to “Lowell Sun Editorial, FULL of Sunshine…”

  1. Peter Rollins Says:

    That paper is a total rag anyway. It’s good for letting me know who’s playing where for the folk festival and what time the Christmas parade is (usually after the fact). I wouldn’t even let my birds sh*t on it lest they might catch something. You gotta love their loaded polls.

  2. Lynne Says:

    “loaded polls” …hehe…you think maybe???

  3. Blowellian Says:

    “You have your narrative all picked out and then torturously try to twist everything fit it. Reality doesn’t really factor in to it.”

    Funny, those same words could refer to you talking about your candidate for state senate.

  4. Faustus Says:

    Shhhh……the Lowell Sun is collapsing. Four major staffers have resigned within the past couple of weeks and others are ready to bail as well. Why? Need you ask? They are breaking free of the crazed and tyrannical agenda driven regime of “THE EDITOR”. In truth it is sad that it got this bad and this far. How did he get control of everything? Where is the upper management of the paper? I

  5. openyoureyes Says:

    A quite personal and vitriolic attack on Mr. Campinini. That is the kind of stuff that gets people banned from sites, but I digress. Wake up, that money that goes to the public sector jobs is not created through economic growth it is a direct drain on the city and state. Unemployment is at a record level and will remain so. Businesses are terrified to hire new people because they do not know what kind of costs will be coming in the next two years. The Bush tax cuts must be extended, all economists agree with that yet the anointed one says he will not. And by the way these economists that win Nobel prizes doesn’t mean they are right. The Nobel prize is and has been a joke for more than 30 years now, just look at who won the peace prize. How much is enough Lynne? we already pay 60 percent or more of our income in taxes and fees, add it up sales tax, sin taxes, increased meal taxes, gas taxes, the most regressive and infuriating the excise tax which was a “temporary” tax which is now permanent. All I want for Christmas (oh sorry, can’t mention that not P.C.) All I want for Ramadan (you can talk about that) is November second.
    P.S. I wonder if and when John Forbes Kerry is going to pay the half million or so in sales and excise tax. None for the beautiful people let them eat cake.

  6. Mr. Lynne Says:

    “…all economists agree…”

    Fantasyland.

  7. RUDY Says:

    Boy are you guys getting nervous and
    november isnt even here yet. stay tuned!!!

  8. Mr. Lynne Says:

    Here is a Reagan economist and supply side pioneer (emphasis mine):

    During the George W. Bush years, however, I think SSE became distorted into something that is, frankly, nuts–the ideas that there is no economic problem that cannot be cured with more and bigger tax cuts, that all tax cuts are equally beneficial, and that all tax cuts raise revenue.

    These incorrect ideas led to the enactment of many tax cuts that had no meaningful effect on economic performance. Many were just give-aways to favored Republican constituencies, little different, substantively, from government spending. What, after all, is the difference between a direct spending program and a refundable tax credit? Nothing, really, except that Republicans oppose the first because it represents Big Government while they support the latter because it is a “tax cut.”

    It seemed obvious to me right from the beginning that there was a close parallel between the causes of the Great Depression and the current crisis. The principal difference is that the former was caused by a collapse of the money supply resulting from the closure of many banks and the disappearance of their deposits, while the latter was caused by a fall in velocity resulting from a sharp decline in consumer spending following bursting of the housing bubble. (Because GDP equals the money supply times velocity, a decline in velocity has exactly the same effect as a decline in the money supply–nominal GDP must shrink, which causes both prices and output to fall.)

    I explained my thinking in a Forbes column on December 5 and a New York Times op-ed on Christmas Eve 2008. That analysis led me to support a large fiscal stimulus. Without public spending on goods and services I didn’t see any way for monetary policy to be effective, thus prolonging the deflation at the root of the economy’s problem. I was disappointed that so little of the February stimulus package went to the purchase of goods and services, which drives spending, and so much into economically ineffective transfers, which don’t.

    I really don’t understand how tax cuts would have done the slightest bit of good when millions of people had no income because they were unemployed, when businesses had no profits to tax, and investors had huge capital losses that will offset all of their gains for years to come. Given such economic conditions–resulting from a lack of demand, not supply–it’s nonsensical to think that tax cuts would have helped. Indeed, one can make a case that the tax cuts included in the stimulus bill were its least effective element.

    …I believe that my friends are still stuck in the 1970s when tax rates were considerably higher and excessive demand (i.e., inflation) was our biggest economic problem. Today, tax rates are much lower and a lack of demand (i.e., deflation) is the central problem. I really don’t understand why conservatives insist on a one-size-fits-all economic policy consisting of more and bigger tax cuts no matter what the economic circumstances are; it’s simply become dogma totally disconnected from reality.

  9. waittilnextyr Says:

    The Bush era was a disaster that we will live with for a long time.

    The key mistake was invading Iraq, and at least $1T was spent on that misadventure, very little of which supported our economy.

    Bush took the NAFTA agreement and extended to every little country that had a standard of living so low they could support the race-to-the-bottom that the fat cats love.

    He provided tax cuts to the wealthy by robbing the social security surpluses of $200B each year, the greatest transfer or wealth in our country’s history. And he used that $200B to artificially reduce the apparent annual deficit - but what we owed was increasing at the rate of $1T per year. Oh yeah, he didn’t count the war expenses in his budget either.

    And as for wealth transfer, the foreign trade deficit was run up to over $700B a year for at least 3 years before our own economy started to fall apart.

    And now the SUN speaks? Too late!

  10. Jack Mitchell Says:

    Stop it right now. Mr.!

    You completely screw up the right wing parrot points!

  11. Lynne Says:

    Campanini knows perfectly well that I think he’s a terrible editor, and has a major problem with logic and facts. In fact, all I have done here is attack his editorial and point of view.

    Did I say anything about him personally? No. I could give a rat’s patootie about his personal life or him as a private citizen. But when he prints such drivel in his paper, I damn well will attack it with reason and rhetoric, because, well, that paper and its employees deserve a better shake, IMHO.

    The evidence is right there in his own newspaper, kids. He’s not a good editor. And a terrible, awful writer.

  12. joe from Lowell Says:

    “RUDY Says:
    August 26th, 2010 at 8:55 am
    Boy are you guys getting nervous and
    november isnt even here yet. stay tuned!!!”

    Weren’t you the guy who kept writing in September 2008 that liberals were panicked over Sarah Palin?

    Republicans are 2-7 in Congressional elections since the first Tea Bagger rally was held last April.

    In the words or Mr. Blonde, “Are you gonna bark all day, little doggie, or are you gonna bite?”

  13. openyoureyes Says:

    Your round about logic is truly dizzying Lynne. Your first two sentences certainly sound pretty personal to me. Go ahead and hide behind semantics but when you say someone’s writing is always full of shit and usual drivel and pull’s it out of his ass I’m sorry that is personal. Let me be clear I have no problem with that type of stuff but whats good for the goose should be good for the gander.
    Point two: did you really say that the FDR administration got deficit hawky, check your history he spent more money than all the presidents prior to him, does that sound familiar, new boss same as the old boss. Despite the popular myth that he took us out of the Great Depression most economists agree that his enormous spending plans kept us in the depression for at least 5 years longer than it should have been. Only WWII and the massive spending on that pulled us out. A notable distinction is the bulk of the spent money went to PRIVATE contractors to provide goods and services who in turn EMPLOYED Americans to do that work. A vast difference to the gov’t spending money on people to do little to nothing for the government which produces little and contributes nothing to the tax base. Economics 101, do your homework a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.

  14. Mr. Lynne Says:

    You need to stop getting your economic ideas from Fox. They pulled back on spending because of deficit fears and it got worse until WWII increase spending again.

    The first example of policy in a liquidity trap comes from the 1930s. The U.S. economy grew rapidly from 1933 to 1937, helped along by New Deal policies. America, however, remained well short of full employment.

    Yet policy makers stopped worrying about depression and started worrying about inflation. The Federal Reserve tightened monetary policy, while F.D.R. tried to balance the federal budget. Sure enough, the economy slumped again, and full recovery had to wait for World War II.

    And what are you harping about spending on contractors for? What do you think the stimulus does. Frankly, it should have spent more on this and less on tax cuts.

  15. wouldntyouliketoknow Says:

    ….and what is it that you do differently to the Republican party, Lynne? Each side is always going to blame the other…I don’t get why your mad about this? Your blogs are always anti-Republican pro-Democratic. If it was the other way around you’d have a blog about a great editorial in the paper. We get it, you’re a democrat. jeesh.

  16. Lowell Lurker Says:

    Personally I think Lynne makes some great points and, substantively, some good critiques of Campanini’s editorial … I can only imaging how she’s going to react to the Palin lovefest in today’s paper ….

    That being said, I also agree that the post attacks the man as much, or more than, the editorial. It’s a very nasty and personal post. If a mere commentor like me were to write something like that about Lynne or Mimi, I suspect it would be censored and or would trigger a ban.

  17. waittilnextyr Says:

    The Truth? You can’t stand the truth!

    Fri Aug 27, 8:39 am ET
    WASHINGTON – Five years after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, the federal official at the heart of a firestorm over Washington’s slow response is acknowledging the government’s shortcomings.

    Former Federal Emergency Management agency director Mike Brown tells NBC’s “Today” show “there was a disconnect” about what the Bush administration was saying about the situation, and how bad things actually were.

    Brown said “there was a mentality in Washington which says you put the best face on everything.” He said information given out by the administration was accurate, but “we never put it in context” with how much still needed to be done to lift the stricken city.

    Brown is the man whom then-President George W. Bush famously praised publicly for doing a great job.

  18. Lynne Says:

    “Your first two sentences certainly sound pretty personal to me.”

    It’s called, calling it like you see it. Rhetoric. And also, humor.

    That editorial was painful in its lack of fact, logic, and the person who wrote it (probably - had his stink all over it) was the perpetrator of such drivel. As such, it deserves heavy derision. Mocking, as it were. Mock mock mock.

    Campanini is the editor of a prominent local newspaper and he is a terrible writer, and lacking in some basic skills as an editor. It’s a terrible waste of a good resource for the community. Yes, that makes me frustrated as all get out. Not to mention, he has used his platform for all sorts of questionable attacks on other people (including bloggers) as well as suppressed news we needed to know (2007, anyone?)

    He deserves the same language from me that Bush did and does. Because they’re both cut from the same cloth - men who failed upwards and got put in charge, destroying the very thing they became in charge of.

  19. joe from Lowell Says:

    Point two: did you really say that the FDR administration got deficit hawky, check your history he spent more money than all the presidents prior to him, does that sound familiar, new boss same as the old boss. Despite the popular myth that he took us out of the Great Depression most economists agree that his enormous spending plans kept us in the depression for at least 5 years longer than it should have been.

    You don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re repeating false information you saw in someone’s article about “The Forgotten Man.” I doubt you could find a single economist not on the payroll of a political lobbying shop who would claim that the New Deal extended the Depression for five years, and the record of FDR scaling back spending to close the deficit in 1936 is beyond question.

  20. Sleuth Says:

    Faustus, I guess retiring after 30 years qualifies as “breaking free of the crazed and tyrannical agenda driven regime of ‘THE EDITOR’”

  21. Lowell Lurker Says:

    For a blog that has endorsed a candidate in the State Senate race, you aren’t really helping your girl here with the paper of record for the region.

  22. Faustus Says:

    Given the circumstances….yes

  23. C R Krieger Says:

    OK, but I didn’t see anything here about business confidence.  I understand there is about $2 Trillion sitting around in businesses for use to replace capital equipment, etc.  Someone I know down in the Florida area said that his company had to use their own trucks to move 55 gallon drugs back to the cooper because that outfit has been skimping on repairing their own delivery trucks, and thus they are out of service more.  The cooper has the money, but doesn’t want to spend it right now.  If we could break loose that $2 Trillion we could get the economy going again.

    Sure, we can blame Bust II.  His instinct to respond to the 9/11 attacks by trying to avoid putting the American People into a Wartime Mode was a good move in that it avoided us doing the kinds of things we did to German, Italian and Japanese nationals in this nation at our entry into WWII, but it wasn’t good for the economy.  We would have been better off with a wartime surtax and maybe conscription of some sort, so we didn’t have to pay young enlisted members so much, but that would have had its own problems.

    On the other hand, how did the UK get out of the Great Depression before us?  It wasn’t massive rearmaments, which didn’t start up until the last minute, and then the Brits went broke in about 1940.

    I think that we really don’t know all we should about the Great Depression, on any side of Keynes.  Brilliant man, but there are still those who question him.

    Regards  —  Cliff

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