America’s Misplaced Anger???

Here is an opinion piece that is posted at AOL, written by Michael Cohen.  I read many articles from many sources, but sometimes, some articles I just can not let go unchallenged.  I have chosen this one to place here, as I think my comments would be too long for their site.

First a quote from the opinion:

“In reality, bank bailouts have actually turned a healthy multibillion-dollar profit.”

My question to Mr. Cohen, “where, specifically, have you determined that the “bank bailouts” have turned a profit??  Have you, Mr Cohen, included in YOUR calculations, the “bailouts” to AIG, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac??  I guarantee that you have NOT included these payoffs to favored entities, also known as banks, in your calculations.  THEY are STILL taking money (Billions a quarter) from US (this stat was just released last month), the American taxpayers.

Another quote:

“What about Congress? Here again, Americans have very little sense of what their representatives have actually done. Over the past two years a Democratic-controlled Congress passed comprehensive health care reform, reformed the student loan program, overhauled the financial system and passed a nearly $800 billion stimulus measure.”

What about Congress, Mr Cohen?  THEY are supposed to REPRESENT their constituents in congress.  That is US.  These programs, ALL of them, were all opposed by MORE than 50% of US (from almost ALL opinion polls), their constituents.  So, to say that they actually DID something is correct, the problem is that the American public as a whole did NOT want these actions!!  So, to imply that these were positive accomplishments, is either naive or deceitful.

Another quote:

“The policies enacted by Democrats have — whether one agrees with them or not — created nearly 3 million jobs…”

Unfortunately, Mr. Cohen, assuming of course that your statement is accurate, the USA NEEDED about 5 Million MORE jobs to be created during this time period, for it to reduce the unemployment rate to around 5% (from the Bureau of Labor Statistics).  Where are these “3 million jobs” that the “policies of the Democrats” created??  Were they low paying, temporary census jobs?  I want to know, specifically, where you get your numbers.  One could argue, that your democrats policies have HINDERED job creation, and have made the situation much worse than it would have been. 

Another quote:

“In short, the policy agenda — whether one opposes it or not — has been tailored to relieving the economic burden on the American people.”

One, who opposes the policy agenda, could argue that the “economic burden” on the American people has been exacerbated by the policies of the Democrats of the 111th Congress and that THEY have failed miserably.  I could go on critiquing this article, however, I will wait for a response based on facts.

My main comment to Mr. Cohen, is this.  If you would like to continue to post YOUR opinion, please, provide the sources of statements, that you make as facts.  If you would like to debate the pros and cons of your opinion, there are many who will do so.  But, please, start with a full understanding of the FACTS!

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4 Responses to “America’s Misplaced Anger???”

  1. Michael Cohen Says:

    Um Steve, if you want to know where the almost 3 million number came from . . . why don’t you look at the link on “3 million jobs.” I mean it’s actually provided for you.

    As for the bank bailout here: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_41/b4198029649845.htm

    Finally, the rest of what you dispute is opinion – but if you can identify some facts that are incorrect, please be sure to let me know.

    • Steve Says:

      Thanks Michael, I appreciate the time you have taken to discuss your article.
      As for your link to the “3 million jobs”, I did read that study. The relevant portion that I can find states:

      “Nonetheless, the effects of the fiscal stimulus alone appear very substantial, raising 2010 real GDP by about 3.4%, holding the unemployment rate about 1½ percentage points lower, and adding almost 2.7 million jobs to U.S. payrolls.”

      I was giving you the benefit of the doubt, that you had another source, instead of inflating your number by about 11%, to reinforce your “opinion”. If this is the number that you have used, I ask that you issue a correction and state the actual number. If I am wrong, please direct me to the appropriate location.

      The bank bailout link that you have given is also suspect. You have still selectively quoted “treasury officials” (not the most unbiased officials) saying that the bank bailouts have turned a profit. However, in the next paragraphs, they state how it will only LOSE “about $45 Billion” (an estimate). This still does NOT include the on-going infusions of OUR cash into Fannie Mae ($1.2 Billionin the latest quarter and $11.5 Billion in the previous quarter and still asking for more “aid” as reported at http://money.cnn.com/2010/08/06/technology/fannie_mae_loss/index.htm) and Freddie Mac ($4.1 Billion in the latest quarter as noted today at http://www.cnbc.com/id/39985741) nor the debacle that is AIG. It has also been reported recently that Citibank could be in more severe trouble than thought, as well as, any effects from the foreclosure fraud. In light of these facts (that you have omitted), I feel that your implication that the “bank bailouts” have given a beneficial financial return to the American public to be blatently untrue. UPDATE: From CNBC (11/04/10), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have ALREADY cost US $148 Billion and may cost as much as $685 Billion according to S&P (http://www.cnbc.com/id/40010356).

      I still ask you to identify what type of jobs these “3 million jobs” are. To portray the American public as ungrateful is insulting. Maybe they do not like the minimum wage, temporary positions, that you are claiming they should be thankful for. I appreciate that you say some of my arguments are opinion, and I 100% agree with that assessment. With this comment, I am hoping to continue our conversation, maybe one of us will have our opinions changed. If not, we can agree to disagree. However, I feel that these discussions are beneficial to flesh out ideas, not only for us, but for our readers.

  2. Howard Waxwood Says:

    Just a hint, many of the facts Mr Cohen has quoted can be found at the CBO website, or more conveneintly within Bloomberg financial newx. You are mostly correct about AIG, still owing money, they should pay off their loan within the next couple of years. You are dead on where Fannie and Freddie are concerned. Still remember they are quasi governmental institutions with specific mandates pushed by political pressure. Most notably the Reagan, Clinton, and Bush adminsitrations.
    I’m sorry, Senators are not just supposed to do what the people they represent want them to do. They are supposed to do what will benefit them most. This requires and understanding of complex issues or at least the modesty and willingness to learn. I would like to repeat the same about the house, however, your point holds truer there since they are supposed to be a representable sample of the people within their state. Finally, in your comment concerning the deficit, why would you support a party that is responsible of 60% of our national debt now, including, (but not limited to) not recognizing the cost of two wars on the books.
    Finally, personal responsibility requires one to do research. I have given you two places you can look to verify Mr Cohen’s statements, (though there is certainly room for debate concerning conclusions), but it is the hight of folloy not to do your own research, from several sources, taking into account their agendas, the time in which they were written, and their underlying intent. Then taking all of those sources, you may reach a decent conclusion. In other words…..look it up!
    Finally

    • Steve Says:

      Thank you Howard for your response. When you say “many of the facts are on the CBO website”, which facts specifically, are you speaking of? Is it the 3 million jobs? is it the $800 Billion stimulus? Is it that the Democrats passed these bills? Or are you stating that 3 million jobs is a lot and is all we could have hoped for, from any congress and $800 Billion??
      Please don’t insult me and suggest that I have not done my research. I have not insinuated that of Mr. Cohen, nor anyone else. I ask for their sources. This allows me, and any other reader, a place to investigate the veracity of the statements.
      As for your statement that the Senate represents the people, I believe that is incorrect. The senators were originally voted on by the state legislatures and their reason for being was to represent the interests of the state, not the people. For this reason, if they were still elected to be a voice for the state, ObamaCare would NEVER have passed as written. Too many of the expenses are impressed upon the states.
      As for your statement, “Finally, in your comment concerning the deficit, why would you support a party that is responsible of 60% of our national debt now, including, (but not limited to) not recognizing the cost of two wars on the books.”, I do not understand. Nowhere in my post do I mention the deficit, nor do I say that I support a party. Are you assuming I have a position on this subject?
      I have made a few pointed, specific references in my post. Which are you disputing, so that we can discuss in greater detail? Please do not make a general argument that implies that I do not know what I am talking about, nor have I researched it. Let us speak of specifics. Pick one subject/sentence/paragraph to start with and we can discuss it, then we will move to the next.

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