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So, Santorum said what?

A couple weeks ago, I listed several things that Rick Santorum has said that I thought were somewhat over the top or even outrageous. A good friend of mine did not see anything wrong with any of the statements that I listed. Well, today in Lansing, Michigan Rick Santorum said, “We went into a recession in 2008 because of gasoline prices. The bubble burst in housing because people cannot pay their mortgages because they’re looking at four dollars a gallon gasoline. And look what happened, economic decline.”

Now this is simply flat-out nuts. There is no self-respecting economist in the United States who is going to sign onto this theory that gas prices caused the great recession. Here are the gas prices over the last 60 months.


According to the government, the great recession started in December of 2007. Gas prices didn’t start to rise until April or March of 2008. The timeframe is all wrong. Of course, if gas prices were truly the cause of the great recession, when gas prices fell in late 2008 and early 2009, the economy should have picked right back up immediately. That didn’t happen.

The exact cause of the great recession is a tale of complex financial tools (credit default swaps, CDO’s, synthetic CDO’s and mortgage-backed securities) and massive over-leveraging. The great recession had little or nothing to do with gas prices. I don’t know what Rick Santorum is smoking, but when I have a week off I would like to have a kilo of it. I guess for Rick desperate times call for desperate measures. He has to win Michigan or his bid for the presidency is over.

By |2012-02-27T20:30:20-04:00February 27th, 2012|Economy, Party Politics|Comments Off on So, Santorum said what?

Unions Are Under Siege, Again

Republicans, in a thoughtful and coordinated attack, have opened up another front in their war on labor unions. Remember that unions are a source of money and organization for liberal causes and the Democratic Party. As such, Republicans hate unions. They hate them above and beyond the union’s ability to negotiate wages and safe working conditions. The first battlefront was in Wisconsin. Consequences of the anti-union legislation continue to reverberate today as signatures for Scott Walker’s recall election were turned in just a couple weeks ago. Then the battlefront moved to Ohio. The Republicans passed anti-union legislation. The unions organized and won a referendum to kill the flawed legislation at the ballot. Now, attention turns to Arizona.

This attack on unions is particularly well-timed. The legislation is extremely anti-union. It goes further than Scott Walker ever thought he could. Fighting this legislation will require unions to divert their attention away from the national election and local elections. They will have to focus almost entirely on this assault on their very existence. Thus, this assault will probably deprive Democrats of much-needed money and organizational strength. I look at this as a last and desperate effort to crush progressive causes.

More from TPM:

Union members were searching for a way out of the wilderness on Wednesday in Arizona as the Republican-controlled Senate moved ahead quickly on several bills that could devastate organized labor in the state.

The measures caught many union leaders by surprise, being introduced on Monday night and passed in committee less than 48 hours later.

At issue is a sweeping series of restrictions that would, among other things, ban unions that represent workers in state, county or city governments from engaging in any type of negotiations that affect the terms of their employment. That includes teachers, prison workers and the state’s powerful police and firefighters unions. The move would take away much of the power those unions have and turn them into something more akin to trade groups.

By |2012-02-02T04:27:14-04:00February 2nd, 2012|Economy, Party Politics|Comments Off on Unions Are Under Siege, Again

Remember When Republicans Wanted the Auto Industry to Fail?

Just a couple weeks ago, we got the new auto sales reports for November.

From the Wall Street Journal:

U.S. car makers reported a surprisingly strong month of sales on Thursday, with trucks boosting General Motors and Chrysler enjoying its best November since 2007.

Ford Motor Co. F -0.54% , Toyota Motor Corp. TM -0.40% and Nissan Motors NSANY -1.31% also fared well, while Honda Motor Co. HMC +0.09% took another hit.

Overall, the industry reported a SAAR (seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales) of 13.6 million units, according to Autodata, up from 12.28 million in November 2010. Total deliveries rose 13.9% from a year earlier.

GM GM -0.63% , still the biggest of the group in the U.S., said it sold 180,402 cars and trucks, paced by a 34% increase in sales of the Chevy Silverado and a 22% rise in sales of the GMC Sierra.

Back in November of 2008, former Governor Mitt Romney wrote an op-ed in the New York Times titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” He argued that “in a managed bankruptcy, the federal government would propel newly competitive and viable automakers, rather than seal their fate with a bailout check.” It seems that Mitt Romney, a money guru, could quite possibly have been completely wrong.

By |2011-12-06T20:50:50-04:00December 6th, 2011|Economy|Comments Off on Remember When Republicans Wanted the Auto Industry to Fail?
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