Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It's the Stupid Economy Again

Still don't think CNN's at least a teeny tiny bit in the tank for Obama? Check out this piece. The distortions really deserve individual recognition:
Until recently, McCain consistently described himself as an opponent of most government regulation. In 1995, he proposed an across-the-board moratorium on all federal regulations but that measure failed in Congress.

In a March interview with The Wall Street Journal, he said, "I'm always for less regulation. But I am aware of the view that there is a need for government oversight."
The CNN writer then gleefully points out his recent verbal flip-flop towards regulation without questioning whether his past rhetoric was actually about over-regulation versus saving the economy in a crisis. Other than bailing out AIG or enacting some Bush-like proposals the last remaining alternative is the Ron Paulternative--"let 'em eat cake". Would Paul even have the stones to do that considering the political fallout?

But fine, he gotcha'd McCain--that's their job. Feel free to scan the article looking for examples of Obama's financial past, such as his contributions from Fannie Mae or perhaps even his associations with the failed Chicago Annenberg Challenge or the sorry condition of the Illinois State Pension fund. Or better yet don't bother, just check out the little teaser box on the left side of the page:

Fair and balanced, CNN style! Slant the article towards Obama then point readers to go other places heralding how he's better on the issue and how Democrats will benefit from the deal. Yes, yes, hardly breaking news.

Actually, with this AIG thing how about a quick trip back in time. In 1976 Gerald Ford bought a railroad. It was called "Penn Central"; it was decrepit; and many wondered if the US freight rail industry was better off sold for scrap and new condos. He renamed it "Conrail". The alternative was to let several major rail arteries go into bankruptcy and perhaps liquidation, which would have severely affected interstate commerce since most other railroads connected to Penn Central. This line also served nearly every auto plant in America at the time. Inflation was already spiraling (remember the WIN buttons?).

So he had two basic choices. One - Allow competing railroads to buy off the best chunks while leaving others to rot or be abandoned. Problem is, nobody can force anyone to buy and run a failed RR with labor problems, and the ICC heavily regulated everthing tightly at the time. Or, two - let the line go into liquidation since it was incapable of turning a profit. Keep in mind a lot of the right-of-way property was highly valuable and coveted. Thing is, once the condos or shopping centers are built it's hard to go back and lay track again, so that option was a rather final solution (Amtrak was different because it was strictly about preserving passenger train service, something that will never be purely profitable). He made one of McCain's "hard calls".

Ironically, Jimmy Carter came along in 1980 and saved the day by deregulating the railroad industry with the Staggers Act, which allowed a major paring down of the nation's rail network through abandonments and sales but the resulting streamlined network and lack of price regulations allowed a pathway to profitability for the remaining carriers. The government eventually sold Conrail to Norfolk Southern and CSX in 1997 for a profit. If not for deregulation we taxpayers might still own Conrail.

So yes, a government buy-out saved the industry and preserved the infrastructure but it was de-regulation that saved the industry and the peoples' investment. Carter bailed out Chrysler in 1979 with loans but look at the domestic auto business now. At some point the government is going to have to just say no or cut regulation.

But which government? Obama's tutelage suggests that as long as everyone has living wages (determined by him) and great health care, state-run industry ain't all bad. McCain, though currently waffling a bit to get elected, likely abhors the above notion with every molecule in his body, perhaps even going as far as just saying no one day. We have our choices.

MORE 9/17/08


Gang tackle. And McCain is right where Obama and the press want him--on defense. That's why Biden has bobbed to the surface to attack, fulfilling his role as the man designed to cause McCain to flame out into a colossal meltdown, which is what all leftist parties are secretly hoping for. Hang tough, you old geezer.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't want anything to do with the Republican brand name no matter to whom it is attached and I will help vote them out of office with my vote on November 4th! By then our financial situation in this country will be in such dire circumstance that I will not be alone. But only if people realize that McCain is PART of the problem and not part of the solution.

A.C. McCloud said...

So you think Pelosi is doing a heckuva job right now?

You think Obama getting thousands in donations from Fannie Mae led to McCain ruining the industry?

Greed is bi-partisan. There's no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater by over-regulating everything.

After all-- would you trade your liberty for a little short term security?

B.T. said...

Great point A.C....

Joe Biden, in his latest error filled speech, noted that he supports "common sense" regulation.

What type of regulation is that? Who defines that? These statements have the problem that every government effort faces, there is not limit to the amount control government will take if allowed. A free market with extremely limited oversight has none of these problems.

See my blog: dicta for more.

Anonymous said...

IT IS NO SECRET THAT CNN IS REPUB SUPPORTER. WOLF BLITZER IS TE NUMBER ONE RACIST. I BET HE'S STILL AT HOME WITH MAMA. HE LOOKS LIKE THE TYPE. THE MEDIA HAS DID EVERYTHING TO HURT THE PEOPLE BY PROMOTING THE MCCAIN/PALIN LIES. THEY HAVE NO SOUL.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree, CNN is being bias, Fox News is just plain racist, and MSNBC has also been known to go to extremes, but they still manage to keep things honest. I am just glad that so called Palin effect, is a Palin after effect (after all the blatant lies). I think they would have this election is the bag if it weren’t from some of the fair reporting from the “View.”

Nick said...

Since when did reporting the truth become "media bias"? Sometimes "balanced" is not fair.

Spin it how you will, but McCain has always been a deregulator. And the meltdown we're seeing on Wall Street is exactly what under-regulation brings. Unfortunately, the Republicans seem to learn very slowly from past mistakes (Great Depression anyone?) Bad enough that the lack of government oversight has allowed this catastrophe to occur: imagine if Bush & McCain had had their way and privatized SS? My 77-year-old mother would be unable to survive.

So thanks but no thanks.

A.C. McCloud said...

Since when did reporting the truth become "media bias"? Sometimes "balanced" is not fair.

Nick, I'm not saying CNN isn't supposed to report the news about McCain trending towards regulation. If you read the post you'd see that was acknowledged.

But you're missing a great big giant elephant in the room-- Obama himself is one of the largest receivers of donations from Fannie and hired Raines and Johnson as advisors. That's called balanced, especially when the candidate is running around blaming the other for the mess. Face it--the media is loving this new fixation on the economy because they know it's the Dem's biggest strong point (next to class warfare). Why rock the boat?

As to regulation, there is a happy medium that neither the Dems nor Repubs seem to be able to find. Both trend towards the extreme to please their main base. Do you think Obama was getting big bucks from Fannie to start reform?

Anonymous said...

CNN employees are people too. They vote and have opinions. They also have the loud speakers to air their side of the story. It is unfortunate that this so called new agency is now running the communication department for the OBAMA/BIDEN ticket.

Anonymous said...

News flash...want to learn true journalism and reporting...watch PBS and BBC.

Where do you come off thinking I value your opinion. I watch the news to get facts, not your side of the story.

Opinion, thanks but no thanks.

A.C. McCloud said...

News flash...want to learn true journalism and reporting...watch PBS and BBC.

Where do you come off thinking I value your opinion. I watch the news to get facts, not your side of the story.

Opinion, thanks but no thanks.


Well, it might help if you'd identify which anonymous you are first.

Since I've no idea who you are I've no idea exactly what you're referring to. But let me just remind you, in case your unaware, this is a blog, and blogs are about opinions, both yours and mine. And you've stated yours.

BTW, if you really think PBS and BBS aren't biased we've got some work to do yet...