Friday, November 14, 2008

New York Times - July 4, 2009


Brian said...

I like the way you think. I think we'll see some troops being withdrawn, but not all by that date.

Pres Elect Obama will listen to his General's before putting a plan in the works. It may take longer than Jul of 09 though. The Iraqis are getting better & have been stepping up, but they are still not ready according to top military leaders.

If I had to guess on a date that the War in Iraq ended, I'd say June of 2010.

Timothy Smith said...

Obama will follow Pentagon policy so our troops will not all return home next year.

Those that do leave will be sent to Afghanistan anyway as Obama wants to ratchet that war up a few notches with a possible expansion into Pakistan.

I hope Obama freezes the bail out money until there is a concrete plan on what to do with it.

Things are already looking like my worst case scenario. Big business and the average American worker is to be "bailed out" to the tune of TRILLIONS and small business is to pay for it.

Rewarding failure and punishing success may not build such a "sane" economy as some may think.

Thomas said...

Brian & Tim, I also don't believe withdrawal will be accomplished by July 09, but twill be a grand day if/when it comes.

I'm doubtful anything major will occur in Pakistan though Obama has said he'll be much more forceful in trying to find Bin Laden.

I also think the bailout money should be frozen until significant strings are attached.

Here's a great article about the proposed Big Three bailout. The last two sentences:

"Ultimately, whether GM is dead or alive, the taxpayers are on the hook for billions, for everything from lost tax revenues to higher unemployment costs to taking over GM's pension obligations. The decision that Washington has to make is whether we pay for GM's survival or for its funeral."

houstonmacbro said...

I don't think it will be by July 09 either. I thought it was going to be 16 months anyhow? Wouldn't that put it sometime in 2010?

Timothy Smith said...

Let em fail. I don't see how the US can bail out all failing companies and individuals and expect the few successful companies and individuals to pay for all of it while also creating jobs and generating tax revenue.

Thomas said...

Houston, 2010 sounds like the ticket to me.

Tim, after reading the above linked article, I felt that the Big Three should be saved, but your point about small business and the average taxpayer being on the hook for them convinced me to change my mind.

The US auto companies have always been a couple steps behind (not getting behind new types of energy, not increasing mileage standards). Their lack of vision would cause any other business to go under. I can't find a single reason why they should be excepted.

houstonmacbro said...

Thomas - that single reason would be the hundreds of thousands of jobs. While I am not for a direct bailout or for government ownership of the big 3, I do feel they should be under some sort of technology and business advisory panel that has line item authority on all expenditures, company directions, incentive pay structures for their management. It sounds draconian, but we put people and businesses under court ordered mandates all the time.

Couldn't we do the same for the auto makers?

Timothy Smith said...

If the big three can prove all they need is a loan and that the current crisis is the only reason they can not secure a conventional loan then by all means loan them the money.


If like the airlines all they want is 25 billion to run the same operation doomed to fail for another 6 months whats the point?

What Houston is saying I could handle, maybe the feds need to outright buy GM and replace its management.

When profits are high its all about capitalism and when losses are great its all about socialism.

The UAW themselves said they will not negotiate with GM. Once I saw that I lost all compassion for the workers as well.

Let em go under...they have earned it.

houstonmacbro said...

Timothy - I feel any/all of this bailout money (new and old $700 billion) should come with a LOT of strings. They'd have to prove they are earning it. In fact, I would make it some sort of line of credit with veto action on HOW it would be spent and IF they could even draw on it for various purposes. Of course our congress people are lazy and I doubt they want any new oversight.

I dunno ... this is a prickly issue.

If something is not done these companies ARE going to go under. Maybe that is not a bad thing ... nothing lasts forever right.

I just worry about the individual workers. I didn't know the part about them (unions) refusing to negotiate though. That is unacceptable. I think everyone involved in this needs to be responsible for getting out of this mess and know that they cannot still have all the benefits they once were promised since those promises are worth pennies on the dollar right now, and it is you and me who would be paying their bennies.

If that is the case, I want some of that action at the trough too!

Timothy Smith said...

I have no problems with major strings being attached, if they don't like it they don't have to take the help.

I think the feds are using scare tactics to get big golden parachutes for their friends as the economy collapses.

I admit I fell for it at first.

My understanding was we needed the 700 billion to free up banks to do what they money to companies and people wanting to buy houses.

I think that was a lie now. It seems we want to loan people money to buy houses that cant afford a house and to loan money to companies that cant turn a profit.

What happened to all the doom and gloom over the banks?

I just don't buy it anymore. If GM had a decent business model and this was a temporary thing its stock would be trading higher and SOMEONE would be willing to loan them money.

No one wants to invest in GM because they are a failed why spend 25 billion on GM managers to get another 6 months? Save the money, let GM fold and spend the money on retraining, pensions, job creation etc.

GM does not even try and tell us they will change. They just say "has nothing to do with us, its the economy, its the CUSTOMERS fault".

Look at all the money we got scared into giving the airlines...they all filed chapter 11 anyway.