Running in the red: How the U.S., on the road to surplus, detoured to massive debt

By , Published: April 30, 2011

The nation’s unnerving descent into debt began a decade ago with a choice, not a crisis.

In January 2001, with the budget balanced and clear sailing ahead, the Congressional Budget Office forecast ever-larger annual surpluses indefinitely. The outlook was so rosy, the CBO said, that Washington would have enough money by the end of the decade to pay off everything it owed. Continue reading

Comparing a Fox Nation Post with the Original Column

From Fox Nation

WH Pressures Ford to Pull Bailout Ad

By Daniel Howes, Detroit News

For the only Detroit automaker that “didn’t take the money” of the federal auto bailouts, Ford Motor Co. keeps paying a price for its comparative success and self-reliant turnaround…

As part of a campaign featuring “real people” explaining their decision to buy the Blue Oval, a guy named “Chris” says he “wasn’t going to buy another car that was bailed out by our government,” according the text of the ad, launched in early September.

“I was going to buy from a manufacturer that’s standing on their own: win, lose, or draw. That’s what America is about is taking the chance to succeed and understanding when you fail that you gotta’ pick yourself up and go back to work.”

That’s what some of America is about, evidently. Because Ford pulled the ad after individuals inside the White House questioned whether the copy was publicly denigrating the controversial bailout policy CEO Alan Mulally repeatedly supported in the dark days of late 2008, in early ’09 and again when the ad flap arose. And more.

With President Barack Obama tuning his re-election campaign amid dismal economic conditions and simmering antipathy toward his stimulus spending and associated bailouts, the Ford ad carried the makings of a political liability when Team Obama can least afford yet another one. Can’t have that.

The ad, pulled in response to White House questions (and, presumably, carping from rival GM), threatened to rekindle the negative (if accurate) association just when the president wants credit for their positive results (GM and Chrysler are moving forward, making money and selling vehicles) and to distance himself from any public downside of his decision.

Fox Post >>>HERE<<<

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The Original Post from the Detroit News

Ford pulls its ad on bailouts

‘Didn’t take the money’ boast ruffles feathers

For the only Detroit automaker that “didn’t take the money” of the federal auto bailouts, Ford Motor Co. keeps paying a price for its comparative success and self-reliant turnaround.

There’s no help from American taxpayers to help lighten its debt load, giving crosstown rivals comparatively better credit ratings and a financial edge Ford is working diligently to erase all on its own.

There’s no clause barring a strike by hourly workers amid this fall’s national contract talks with the United Auto Workers — a by-product of the taxpayer-financed bailout that General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC retain until 2015.

And there’s no assurance the Dearborn automaker can use the commercially advantageous fact that it didn’t “take the money” proffered by the Obama Treasury Department and use it in TV ads angling to sell cars and trucks. Not if the campaign takes a whack at its Detroit rivals and suggests that Ford no longer supports the Obama administration bailouts it backed in public statements and sworn congressional testimony.

As part of a campaign featuring “real people” explaining their decision to buy the Blue Oval, a guy named “Chris” says he “wasn’t going to buy another car that was bailed out by our government,” according the text of the ad, launched in early September.

“I was going to buy from a manufacturer that’s standing on their own: win, lose, or draw. That’s what America is about is taking the chance to succeed and understanding when you fail that you gotta’ pick yourself up and go back to work.”

That’s what some of America is about, evidently. Because Ford pulled the ad after individuals inside the White House questioned whether the copy was publicly denigrating the controversial bailout policy CEO Alan Mulally repeatedly supported in the dark days of late 2008, in early ’09 and again when the ad flap arose. And more.

With President Barack Obama tuning his re-election campaign amid dismal economic conditions and simmering antipathy toward his stimulus spending and associated bailouts, the Ford ad carried the makings of a political liability when Team Obama can least afford yet another one. Can’t have that.

The ad, pulled in response to White House questions (and, presumably, carping from rival GM), threatened to rekindle the negative (if accurate) association just when the president wants credit for their positive results (GM and Chrysler are moving forward, making money and selling vehicles) and to distance himself from any public downside of his decision.

In other words, where presidential politics and automotive marketing collide — clean, green, politically correct vehicles not included — the president wins and the automaker loses because the benefit of the battle isn’t worth the cost of waging it.

“This thing is highly charged,” says an industry source familiar with the situation. Ford “never meant it to be an attack on the policy. There was not any pressure to take down the ad.”

Maybe not technically. But the nexus of politics and the auto business in today’s Washington is bigger, broader and more complex than it arguably has been in who knows how long.

Add a re-election campaign for the president credited (or condemned) with executing the bailout, and it should be no surprise that a White House that insists it doesn’t want to “run” the business nonetheless reserves the right to question it, implications be damned.

Whatever the politics, the ad kerfuffle exposes two opposed realities existing simultaneously for Ford:

First, a sizable cadre of current and would-be customers oppose the notion of taxpayer bailouts for automakers, whatever the economic costs to the industrial Midwest and the nation of letting them collapse. Meaning there’s an advantage Ford can press to remind folks that it didn’t receive direct payouts from Treasury.

Second is that Ford supported the bailouts before Congress, in public statements and still does today, despite the recurring snarkiness you hear around its offices in Dearborn that it “didn’t take the money.”

No, it didn’t. But Ford did seek a line of credit from the feds, borrowed billions under a government program to “retool” its plants and effectively failed first. That’s why it recruited a superstar CEO from Boeing Co. and gave him some $23 billion in borrowed money to save the Blue Oval from bankruptcy.

Or it would have taken the money, too.

dchowes@detnews.com

(313) 222-2106

Post >>>HERE<<<

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kent Snyder, 49; Campaign Chief for Rep. Ron Paul

Friday, July 11, 2008Kent W. Snyder, 49, the campaign chairman of Rep. Ron Paul’s unsuccessful bid this year for the Republican presidential nomination, died June 26 of viral pneumonia at Inova Fairfax Hospital. He lived in Arlington County.

Mr. Snyder had been associated with Paul, a Texas Republican with Libertarian leanings, for more than 20 years. He worked as a top aide for Paul in 1988, when the congressman sought the presidency on the Libertarian ticket. Continue reading

Debt by President

U.S. president

Party

Term years

Start debt/GDP

End debt/GDP

Increase debt ($T)

Increase debt/GDP
(in
 percentage points)

Roosevelt/Truman

D

1945–1949

117.5%

93.1%

-0.01

-24.4%

Harry Truman

D

1949–1953

93.1%

71.4%

0.01

-21.7%

Dwight Eisenhower

R

1953–1957

71.4%

60.4%

0.01

-11.0%

Dwight Eisenhower

R

1957–1961

60.4%

55.2%

0.02

-5.2%

Kennedy/Johnson

D

1961–1965

55.2%

46.9%

0.03

-8.3%

Lyndon Johnson

D

1965–1969

46.9%

38.6%

0.04

-8.3%

Richard Nixon

R

1969–1973

38.6%

35.6%

0.10

-3.0%

Nixon/Ford

R

1973–1977

35.6%

35.8%

0.24

+0.2%

Jimmy Carter

D

1977–1981

35.8%

32.5%

0.29

-3.3%

Ronald Reagan

R

1981–1985

32.5%

43.8%

0.82

+11.3%

Ronald Reagan

R

1985–1989

43.8%

53.1%

1.05

+9.3%

George H. W. Bush

R

1989–1993

53.1%

66.1%

1.48

+13.0%

Bill Clinton

D

1993–1997

66.1%

65.4%

1.02

-0.7%

Bill Clinton

D

1997–2001

65.4%

56.4%

0.40

-9.0%

George W. Bush

R

2001–2005

56.4%

63.5%

2.14

+7.1%

George W. Bush

R

2005–2009

63.5%

84.2%

3.97

+20.7%

Barack Obama

D

2009–

84.2%

93.2% (2010)

1.65 (2010)

+9.0% (2010)

Top radio talkers sell endorsements

If you’re a regular listener of Glenn Beck’s radio show and you wanted to contribute to a political group that would advance the populist conservative ideals he touts on his show, you’d have plenty of reason to think that FreedomWorks was your best investment.

But if you’re a fan of Mark Levin’s radio show, you’d have just as much cause to believe that Americans for Prosperity, a FreedomWorks rival, was the most effective conservative advocacy group. And, if Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity are who you listen to, you’d be hearing a steady stream of entreaties to support the important work of the Heritage Foundation. Continue reading

Fox: The Liars’ Network

by Eric Alterman | April 7, 2011

In July 1999 Vice President Al Gore paddled down the Connecticut River in New Hampshire to spread what then–Rolling Stone reporter Eric Boehlert termed “his green theme of protecting the environment” while posing for the obvious photo-op. His hopes for making this message heard, however, went over the side when Bill Sammon, a reporter for the then-Moonie-owned Washington Times, wrote that local authorities had granted Gore a special favor when they released nearly 4 billion gallons of water from a nearby dam, at a cost of $7 million, in order to (literally) float Gore’s boat. As Boehlert noted in his masterful forensic audit of the story, Sammon’s point was clear: “In a clumsy abuse of power, Al Gore, a supposed friend of the environment, gladly wasted precious natural resources to stage-manage a political event.” Continue reading

G.E.’s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether

By DAVID KOCIENIEWSKI

General Electric, the nation’s largest corporation, had a very good year in 2010.

The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States.

Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion. Continue reading