I swear my neck hurts after reading the papers every day just from the shaking and HUHs?
Let’s give some examples from just today’s news stories:
From Stephen Stromberg of the Washington Post.
Americans’ attitudes toward the law might brighten as they begin to feel some of its popular provisions, including when the government begins to send out subsidy checks. But beyond all the death panel-style misinformation about the law, the policy still has a long-term political problem: Much of the reform is difficult to explain in unqualified, appealing terms. Large portions of the law are meant to avoid future runaway health costs, to bend the curve — slowing the projected increase in health spending, not necessarily arresting it. You can’t fairly evaluate the reform on facts and figures outside of that hypothetical context — which means that success might be difficult to recognize in coming years, and extolling its future benefits in terms of that baseline sounds like so much Washington speak. So advocates more often talk about the expansion of coverage — the expensive part — even as concerns about the national debt rise, making reform sound tax-and-spendy.
1 – if you think the government spends too much of people’s money, how is getting subsidy checks in the mail going to fix that?
2 – If you read daily about health care costs rising – who are you going to believe? Those who say these daily rises will help future runaway health costs, or reality?
Later Stromberg mentions that it isn’t really fair to compare reality now with reality before. You have to compare reality now with reality as it would have been without X,Y and Z. Huh?? Seriously.
It can be hard to get disquieted voters to think relative to baselines. Ronald Reagan won in 1980 in part by asking Americans if they were better off then than they had been when Jimmy Carter took office. This is an irrational way to evaluate a president. The standard should be: Are you better off now than you would have been had Carter done different things or continued existing policy?
I suppose we’re supposed to just take the word of whoever is talking vs compare reality now with the reality they themselves predicted without X, Y or Z. Nothing to see here folks, just go on by this little chart.
Or how about in this story from Dana Milbank, again of the Washington Post. It concerns David Axelrod resigning and potentially “leaving in defeat”.
It’s not really an electoral defeat: Though Democrats will probably experience a shellacking on Nov. 2, Obama’s prospects for 2012 will surely rise with the economic cycle.
What rising economic cycle is this guy seeing? It’s like there is absolutely no connection between the universe and the economic cycle. Economies cycle, sure, but economies also respond to governments. Governments that try to take over economies cause economies to be wary of rising!!
I don’t understand the thought processes behind people. On the one hand they treat Obama and the government as if a George W Bush (the hated) will never ever be able to get his hands on power again and hence choose to give more and more power to the government without looking to how bad that could be for them if someone they despise were the one in power.
On the other hand they act as though things just cycle naturally and soon we’ll be on an upswing because it’s always happened that way before.
Bizzaroworld this is.
Oh wait, don’t forget to read this column about Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac and the FHA. They’re doing it again!!!!
To insure a loan, the FHA requires a downpayment of 3.5 percent — but also it allows “seller concessions” of 6 percent. In other words, if the seller’s willing to mark up the official price by 6 percent and then put that amount to the downpayment, the buyer doesn’t have to come up with any cash. There’s talk about reducing allowable seller concessions to 3 percent — but that would still permit FHA-insured loans of 99.4 percent.
Because the FHA is insuring so many more mortgages than it used to, its capital reserve — the cash it’s supposed to have on-hand in case of a wave of defaults — is at a quarter of the congressionally mandated minimum. But Democrats want the FHA to keep insuring subprime loans, so it’s not enforcing the minimum.
Testifying before the Senate on Thursday about when the FHA would meet the reserve minimum, FHA Commissioner David Stevens said, “a timeline would be the wrong way of approaching FHA reform” and could have “unintended consequences.”
Yeah, like the FHA being unable to underwrite bad mortgages.