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Hooray! Paul Ryan Proposes to Make Canada Part of the US

9:19 am in Uncategorized by Scarecrow

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo playerI’m surprised it has taken so long for American politicians to realize that the surest way for the nation to reach energy independence is to annex neighboring oil-producing countries that have extra oil to sell and just keep it for ourselves. That is effectively what one of Mitt Romney’s potential VP picks, Paul Ryan, suggested while lecturing President Obama about “gimmicks” that cannot lower gasoline prices.

Here’s how this works: All you need to do is approve more oil pipelines to carry oil from the Canadian tar sands all the way to refineries along the Gulf Coast where the refined products will be sold to world oil markets just us Americans.

From Ryan’s appearance on ABC’s This Week:

“Let’s open up the Keystone pipeline to bring Canadian oil into our country to dramatically reduce our dependency on foreign oil. It creates jobs here in America. It lowers gas prices, increases supply, ” said Ryan.

“And just by passing this legislation, you’ll improve the prices in the futures market, because you’ll see that all this new American-made energy is coming online. Unfortunately, the president is standing in the way of all of those kinds of reforms, and so he’s resorting to what I call these sort of policy gimmicks that in the past really haven’t done a whole lot to change the outcome.”

The “gimmick” Ryan was referring to is having western nations actually or threaten to dip into their strategic reserves as a means to signal to oil markets that higher oil prices cannot be sustained. So, according to our wannabe future VP, you can’t affect current prices or futures for the next six months by doing something that could actually increase supplies very quickly, but you can influence near term futures prices by promising to increase supplies that won’t reach markets for several years. How could anyone argue with that?

It’s on a par with the argument that by relieving the bottleneck at Cushing by building the lower part of Keystone, thus allowing surplus supplies in the middle US to reach the Gulf Coast and hence world markets, it will lower prices from Denver to Chicago. Sure it will. Read the rest of this entry →

Remedial Tax Cut 101, Just for CNN (and NPR, and…)

7:13 am in Executive Branch, Government, Legislature by Scarecrow

Start with Remedial Tax Cuts, 101, courtesy of Austan Goolsbee (featured here at right).

On the road and forced to watch CNN’s John Roberts this morning (do not try this at home), I was struck by how often one hears the tax cut debate inaccurately described. Either from carelessness or being cynically misled, the media often say that the debate is between those who want tax breaks “only for the middle class,” as John described it, versus those who want tax cuts for the rich too. But that’s not correct.

The tax cuts are about marginal tax rates in each bracket, and when you cut the rates for a given bracket, everyone in that bracket or higher gets the tax cut. So when Congressional Democrats say they support cutting taxes for those with incomes up to $250,000, what they mean is the tax cut also applies to those making over $250,000 as well. Millionaires and billionaires would get a significant tax cut for that portion of their income up to $250,000, just as those who make less than or up to that amount would. It’s not “only the middle class.”

Everyone, including the rich, gets a tax cut. Everyone. The debate is about whether Congress should agree to the Republican proposal, or Sen. Chuck Schumer’s $1 million variation, under which the very richest Americans with incomes over that $250,000 would get an additional gift just for them. As the White House tutorial explains, that additional gift to the richest people in America is huge. That’s the $700 billion ($400 billion under Schumer) we keep saying is both morally unconscionable and fiscally irresponsible.

Everyone here presumably understands this, but the media frequently gets it wrong, and I may have been shorthand careless about it too. These details matter.

Luntz’ Republican Talking Points on Bank Reforms = A Pass/Fail Test for Media

12:38 pm in Uncategorized by Scarecrow

When Republican Senator Mitch McConnell said yesterday that the Democrat’s proposed financial reform bill would perpetuate bank bailouts and make them more likely, he was following carefully polled talking points from strategist Frank Luntz. From the New York Times:

“We cannot allow endless taxpayer-funded bailouts,” Mr. McConnell said on Tuesday. “That’s why we must not pass the financial reform bill that’s about to hit the floor. The fact is, this bill wouldn’t solve the problems that led to the financial crisis. It would make them worse.”

The Republicans know that the best way to kill, weaken or discredit Democratic financial reform bills is to falsely equate efforts to limit and regulate too-big-to-fail(TBTF) banks with the unpopular financial bailouts that began and exploded under President Bush but which are now associated with the economic team retained by President Obama.

There is a huge debate now about how far federal regulators are/should be willing to go either to prevent large financial institutions from becoming TBTF or to break them up and/or regulate their risky behavior once they exist. But there is a important distinction between these two concepts:

(1) Allowing TBTF banks that are mismanaged to fail through normal bankruptcy, pretending we won’t step in regardless of the consequences for the rest of the economy; and

(2) Having federal authorities, like FDIC, take over TBTF banks that are mismanaged and sheparding them through a controlled failure — a "resolution" and dismantlement that attempts to mimimize the harm to the rest of the economy as they fail.

So the litmus test for US media is whether they can recognize and explain the difference. If they can’t, we’ll wind us with a public even more confused and misled on financial reform than it became on health care reform.

At The Baseline Scenario, Simon Johnson explains why this difference matters in Why Senator McConnell is Completely Wrong on Financial Reform:

In a Senate floor speech yesterday, Senator Mitch McConnell (Senate Republican leader) said,

”The way to solve this problem is to let the people who make the mistakes pay for them. We won’t solve this problem until the biggest banks are allowed to fail.”

Do not be misled by this statement. Senator McConnell’s preferred approach is not to break up big banks; it’s to change nothing now and simply promise to let them fail in the future.

This proposal is dangerous, irresponsible, and makes no sense. The bankruptcy process simply cannot handle the failure of large complex global financial institutions – without causing the kind of worldwide panic that followed the collapse of Lehman and the rescue/resolution of AIG. This is exactly the lesson of September 2008.

If a huge financial institution were to reach the brink of bankruptcy, the choice again would be: collapse (for the world economy) or rescue (of the very bankers and creditors who are responsible for the mess). The point of the reforms now before us is to remove that choice, as far as possible, from the immediate future.

There is only one plausible way to ensure banks that are currently “too big to fail” can actually fail: Make them substantially smaller. This is necessary but not sufficient for financial stability. . .

As Johnson, Krugman (appearing on MSNBC’s Countdown) and many others point out, much more is needed to bring these monsters under control. But none of that will work unless we can break them up to help lessen the risks they create and then provide a process for managing the havoc they may still leave behind. And to do that, we’re going to need the media’s help in explaining some hard concepts and warning their audiences when the con artists are trying to fool them again. Can the media lift their game?


Update (video): Senator Dodd responds to Senator McConnell

More:
McClatchy, Dodd blast McConnell for lying about reform bill
Mike at Rortybomb, Can the real economy speak? Republicans respond to financial reform
Rortybomb, Luntz’ Financial Reform Memo 1.

Put up or shut up suggestions from . . .
Robert Reich, the Republican Strategy on Financial Reform . . .
Mike Konczal, Can the real economy speak . . . (See point one, asking Republicans and Democrats" to explain how their solutions would have handled Lehman’s collapse in the Fall of 2008.)

Why Is CNN Pimping for Billionaires Against Social Security?

10:46 am in Uncategorized by Scarecrow

For months there has been a concentrated effort by the Pete Peterson Institute to create public hysteria over federal budget deficits and the public debt. These efforts have chilled efforts to provide sufficient economic stimulus and provide additional funds to states and localities to avoid further layoffs, and they threaten to halt further efforts to drag the economy out of the Great Recession.

But Peterson’s real targets are Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid.

As Dean Baker reminds us, Peterson has already succeeded in getting the Washington Post to run Institute propaganda and numerous deficit hysteria "articles" as front page news, and then pivot to attack "entitlements." Now CNN is giving Peterson’s crowd two hours of free air time this weekend to give us more of the same propaganda.

Time to Call out CNN. The folks at Campaign for America’s Future are mounting a campaign today to convince CNN either to stop airing Peterson prograganda for free and/or to give credible economists an equal opportunity to debunk Peterson’s dangerous attacks on Social Security and deficit spending during recessions. From CAF’s Roger Hickey:

This weekend, CNN is giving four hours of free airtime to the leading propagandist fanning the flames of deficit hysteria, Pete Peterson, along with his lackeys. Bloggers and online activists are joining today to promote this action:

Click here to demand CNN stop giving free airtime to deficit crazies this weekend – And if they do go ahead with this programming, tell them to provide balance to Pete Peterson’s deficit hysteria. Give equal time to defenders of Social Security, Medicare and public investment.

CNN plans to air Peterson’s thoroughly debunked propaganda movie "I.O.U.S.A," – and then his acolytes will have free reign to spread their usual lies about Social Security, Medicare and government in general without any fiscal expert to challenge them and give a different point of view.

How do we know? Because CNN did the exact same thing with "I.O.U.S.A" last year. No debate. Just Peterson’s propaganda.

Is this how "the most trusted name in news" should cover the debates on retirement security, job creation and fighting poverty?

We have just one day to get CNN to balance it’s programming.

Peterson’s efforts have already induced the Obama Administration to create an "independent commission" to recommend changes in Social Security and Medicare, and then to stack the commission with too many political hacks who have little problem undermining America’s economic safety net while protecting the most wealthy from higher taxes.

And what else is at stake? Think Greece. Here’s Krugman on what lessons their predicament has for us:

But what are the lessons for America? Of course, we should be fiscally responsible. What that means, however, is taking on the big long-term issues, above all health costs — not grandstanding and penny-pinching over short-term spending to help a distressed economy.

Equally important, however, we need to steer clear of deflation, or even excessively low inflation. Unlike Greece, we’re not stuck with someone else’s currency. But as Japan has demonstrated, even countries with their own currencies can get stuck in a deflationary trap.

What worries me most about the U.S. situation right now is the rising clamor from inflation hawks, who want the Fed to raise rates (and the federal government to pull back from stimulus) even though employment has barely started to recover. If they get their way, they’ll perpetuate mass unemployment. But that’s not all. America’s public debt will be manageable if we eventually return to vigorous growth and moderate inflation. But if the tight-money people prevail, that won’t happen — and all bets will be off.

If you want to join CAFs efforts to call out CNN, here’s the link.

Harris-Lacewell and Coates on Confederacy Republicans: “Proud of Being Ignorant”

7:38 pm in Uncategorized by Scarecrow


Video from MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show.

Brad DeLong is right. What the Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates said after Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s Confederate history declaration deserves to be read and republished, over and over.

Proud of Being Ignorant

A lot of you have e-mailed me to note that Virginia governor Bob McDonnell has decided to honor those who fought to preserve, and extend, white supremacy. I don’t really have much to say. The GOP is, effectively, the party of willfully unlettered Utopians. It is the party of choice for those who believe global warming is a hoax, that humans roamed the earth with dinosaurs, and that homosexuals should work harder at not being gay.

That the party of unadulterated quackery also believes that Birth Of A Nation is more true to the Civil War than Battle Cry Of Freedom, is to be expected. Ignorance does not respect boundaries. It is, at times, qualified and those who know more, often struggle to say more. But people who believe that the Census is actually a covert attempt to put Americans in concentration camps, are also likely to believe that slavery was incidental to the Civil War.

This is who they are–the proud and ignorant. If you believe that if we still had segregation we wouldn’t "have had all these problems," this is the movement for you. If you believe that your president is a Muslim sleeper agent, this is the movement for you. If you honor a flag raised explicitly to destroy this country then this is the movement for you. If you flirt with secession, even now, then this movement is for you. If you are a "Real American" with no demonstrable interest in "Real America" then, by God, this movement of alchemists and creationists, of anti-science and hair tonic, is for you.

And for those in our media, the question you need to answer is why you continue to give these ignorant people repeated, unquestioning opportunities to facilitate their dumbing down of America’s political discourse. Surely you must know you’re part of the problem.

More:
B.T., Group that lobbied Republican Governor to honor Confederacy Tied to White Supremacist Group
More links/reactions from Amanda Terkel, Think Progress

George Will: I’m Rich and Covered, So the Rest of You Don’t Need Health Reform

10:03 am in Uncategorized by Scarecrow

Shorter George Will to Arianna Huffington: "Oh, calm down, you silly girl; Americans are happy with their health insurance, so stop whining."

Nothing patronizing there. Nope. Move along.

Earth to ABC’s favorite recipient of media welfare, George Will:

The percentage of people with employer-based insurance is declining rapidly; it’s now below 59 percent, and those still covered are getting less coverage and being forced to accept more of the risks pushed onto them by insurers struggling to meet Wall Street’s demands for lower medical loss ratios (aka, less coverage, more profits).

As the employer-based coverage shrinks, it pushes people once covered at work into the highly concentrated individual "markets." There, the insurers’ death spiral is forcing massive increases in premiums for the sick (see Anthem BC/BS) and inducing those who are young/well now to drop coverage in a bet they won’t also get sick, thus driving up premiums more, etc, etc.

The very concept of private "health insurance" is failing, and the only thing saving some of its victims is the expansion of public insurance programs like SCHIP and Medicaid, which the reform bills would extend.

Every trend line says America’s private insurance system is imploding, leaving tens of millions at risk and killing/bankrupting thousands. But the willfully misinformed and misinforming George Will says we’re all happy, not to worry, because, you know, he’s well off and can afford his insurance.

And the reason he’s okay (and hence the country must be fine, since he presumes to speak for the common man) is because the beltway media feel compelled to hire, sustain and overpay a fact-challenged conservative hack because that’s what they do.

Related links to follow:

Kaiser, Employer Health Benefits 2009 Annual Survey
EPI, Employer-sponsored health insurance erosion continues, will likely accelerate through 2009
Commonwealth Fund, Trends in Underinsurance and the Affordability of Employer Health Coverage 2004-2007
Wonk Room, Medicaid program sees highest one-year increase in 40 years
Paul Krugman, California Death Spiral (Anthem)
CAP, Map of Health Insurance Competition (Concentration)
Crooks and Liars, Wendell Potter on Medical Loss Ratios
Seminal Archives, Paul Krugman on Republican health care logic: the Great Forgetting meets the Great Disingenuousness

WaPo’s Dana Milbank: Rahm Emanuel Should Be President

7:21 am in Uncategorized by Scarecrow

WaPo’s Dana Milbank has peered into the soul of the Obama Administration and discovered the Obama Presidency would be an utter failure if it weren’t for the brilliance of Rahm Emanuel.

In Why Obama needs Rahmbo at the top, Milbank claims every misstep and failure attributed to Obama can be directly traced to Obama rejecting Rahm’s wise advice and instead following his own instincts or those of the cult fools that surround the President.

If only Obama had listened to Rahm, the President would have cured American’s health system with a popular, bipartisan health reform bill already, and the Republicans would be falling all over themselves to support climate change legislation, financial reform, education reform, fair treatment for detainees and a massive jobs/stimulus program.

I’m sure Milbank must have broken at least three No. 2 pencils trying furiously to keep up with all the points Rahm Emanuel handed him, but fortunately, we’ve retrieved the original notes:

0. Obama is a dreamy-eyed incompetent fool who would be doomed without Rahm’s guidance.

1. Everyone else around Obama is a fawning idiot.

2. Rahm has his own press unit — he gave me this story, but told me not to print points 0 and 1.

3. Obama’s Presidency would fail without Rahm calling everyone else f**g re**ds.

4. Since he’s a complete backstabbing jerk, Rahm would have been more successful in getting conservaDems and Republicans to agree with him.

5. All of the principled, popular measures Obama ran on made the Administration bills less popular, while all the shady, corrupt backroom deals everyone hates made the bills more popular; therefore, Obama should follow Rahm’s advice and do more shady corrupt deals with the people who ran the country into the ground, and that will allow Obama to succeed.

6. This all make sense because, I, Dana Milbank, am clueless. (Am I supposed to print that?)

Update: I suppose if you want to help Dana help the White House succeed, you can forward Dana’s column to the White House. They always appreciate Beltway advice, especially when it’s leaked from Rahm (h/t emptywheel).

Rachel Slams G.O.P. Stimulus Hypocrisy, But What About the White House?

7:37 pm in Uncategorized by Scarecrow

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow did another excellent opening segment on the pervasive hypocrisy of Republicans in first trashing last year’s stimulus in D.C. and then praising the job-saving/creating effects of the stimulus in their home districts. The Republicans deserve to be called out, often and harshly, but they’re not the only ones.

What about the Democrats? Democratic Party Chairman Tim Kaine followed Rachel’s opening and agreed the Republicans should be called out. He then added that Democrats also needed to follow up with a jobs bill. But he neglected to mention that the Democratic bills Harry Reid’s Senate is preparing to create/save jobs are pathetically inadequate.

If the issue is hypocrisy, then it’s just as hypocritical for Democrats to be extolling the job creating virtues of last year’s stimulus while studiously avoiding anything that sounds like another stimulus. Instead they’re working as hard as they can to make sure whatever “jobs bill(s)” they pass will be an order of magnitude too small, given the Administration’s own forecasts for continued unacceptably high levels of unemployment.

For months, economists like Paul Krugman, Brad DeLong and many others of the nation’s best macro economists have been pleading with the Obama Administration to find some politically palatable way to pump more money into job-creation. If they couldn’t sell another “stimulus” per se — although given the “hypocrisy initiative,” it’s hard to understand why not — then call it a “jobs bill.” But whatever you call it, put enough money and smart design into the effort to make a difference and to counteract the fall-off in the earlier stimulus’ effects later this year.

If you can’t get a sufficiently large jobs bill out of a deficit-spooked Congress, then cram additional necessary funds into another emergency bill to help struggling states prevent massive layoffs for teachers, firemen and police; otherwise, they’re just 50 anti-stimulus drags.

And for heavens sake, get money to extend jobless benefits and continuing subsidies for COBRA health insurance coverage and other safety net items into a bill and on the President’s desk now, or better yet, yesterday.

And why isn’t the Administration putting better people in the Federal Reserve and demanding that the Federal Reserve use its monetary authority and its ability to set inflation targets to boost the economy more, given the fact that all forecasts seem to suggest only modest (by recovery standards) GDP growth and minimal inflation? Did anyone think to ask Bernanke for help while handing him another term?

Calling out the Republicans for their stimulus hypocrisy is important. But they’re not in charge. Worse hypocrites are the political and economic advisers in the Obama White House. The WH released their annual ARRA (stimulus bill) analysis today, and they make the case the stimulus worked. But they haven’t explained why, given the winding down of that apparently helpful effort and their own forecasts of continuing unemployment misery, they aren’t coming back with another round that’s at least as effective as they claim their first effort was. After all, the Obama Administration’s current unemployment forecasts are just as high as the original forecasts last year on which they based the first stimulus.

The next time Tim Kaine or any of the WH economic/political team are on Rachel Maddow, et al, they should have to answer these questions. [And maybe bring along a couple of those embarrassed Republican Senators -- looking at you, Snowe/Collins -- who should be willing to support a meaningful jobs package.]

More:

Calculated Risk, Obama Administration Unemployment Forecasts
Paul Krugman, The Case for Higher Inflation
FDL News/dday, Liberal Economists on Schumer/Hatch tax credits
Economic Policy Institute, States in distress
The Hill, Reid kills Baucus jobs bill, narrows focus
DeLong, When will it be morning in America?
Bob Herbert, What’s Wrong with U.S. Infrastructure?
Dean Baker, Schumer-Baker: Money for Nothing
FDL/Eli, Senate watches jobs circle down drain
Scarecrow, Why Bernanke’s Confirmation Is/Should Be In Trouble

Obama Succeeding In Plan to Resurrect “Republican Ideas”

9:41 am in Uncategorized by Scarecrow

While I don’t pretend to understand non-dimensional chess, it seems to me the President is succeeding in his unrelenting efforts to resurrect and lend credibility to Republican ideas.

The last confirmation is on the front page New York Times article this a.m., in which reporters Pear and Herszenhorn, in the only paragraph above the fold, state their opinion as fact:

When Republicans take President Obama up on his invitation to hash out their differences over health care this month, they will carry with them a fairly well-developed set of ideas intended to make health insurance more widely available and affordable, by emphasizing tax incentives and state innovations, with no new federal mandates and only a modest expansion of the federal safety net.

[that's followed by this]

But Congressional Republicans have laid out principles and alternatives that provide a road map to what a Republican health care bill would look like if they had the power to decide the outcome.

Wonderful. These must be serious people with serious proposals.

As we read further, we learn that one serious Republican proposal, to allow mega-insurers to sell across state lines, will "encourage competition and drive down costs." The Times does not explain that this would allow the mega-insurers to bypass stronger state’s regulation or that these same mega-insurers have already drastically curtailed competition and created highly concentrated markets in most of the country. These near monopolies have no problem telling a state as large as California that they intend to raise premiums by as much as 39 percent this year.

We learn that Republicans would solve the nation’s shameful uninsured/affordability problems by encouraging more states to create/expand "high-risk pools" to cover those with chronic diseases. The reporters don’t explain that many states already do this and yet we still have 45 million plus still completely uninsured and tens of thousands still going bankrupt even where such insurance is offered.

Nevertheless, the reporters assure us that unlike the Democrats’ efforts to "remake the health care system" — that’s presumably not as bad as Medicare for all, which would likely destroy the galaxy — the "Republican leaders favor a more modest approach." What a relief! Since the current system is killing 18-45,000 people per year and threatens to bankrupt the country, there’s no reason to get too ambitious about the issue.

Our reporters can’t bother to explain or critique the Republican’s core "ideas" put forth by Rep. Paul Ryan (R. Wisc), because then they’d have to report that Ryan’s great idea is to move the risks of higher health care costs from the federal budget to seniors. It would do that, as James Kwak has explained in detail, by providing vouchers in lieu of guaranteed care for future Medicare recipients, but the vouchers would increase more slowly than escalating care costs. As Yglesias notes,

Ryan’s vouchers will buy some kind of health insurance for all seniors, but over time that insurance will start looking pretty skimpy relative to prevailing standards of care. Lots of seniors will die preventable deaths due to lack of funds.

So the Ryan/Republican plan would destroy economic security for seniors; the plan isn’t to kill granny directly; it’s to give granny less coverage as she ages and let her choose how to die. That’s the Republican plan. The Tea Baggers should love the individual freedom to choose how to die, and Sarah Palin will explain why this isn’t f**king retarded.

But don’t expect Pear and Herszenhorn to explain any of this. They’re job in On Health Care, the G.O.P.’s Road is a New Map is to help Obama make Republican ideas sound reasonable, because that’s the only way this essentially Republican President and the Republican crazies he’s resurrecting can sell undermining America’s safety nets.

More:
Baseline Scenario/James Kwak, The Republican Plan II, You’re On Your Own
CAP, High-risk insurance pools; a flawed model

Yglesias, House GOP Medicare Elimination Plan Puts Conservatives in a Pickle, and see Uncompensated Care

Greenspan and Paulson on Meet the Press and Disneyland

3:38 pm in Uncategorized by Scarecrow

So I printed out the Greenspan/Paulson transcript from Meet the Press that Elliot sent me, and I go down to the local bar for dinner. After a while, the nice lady serving me comes over and asks, "What are you reading?

"I’m reading the transcripts for Meet the Press."

"What’s that? I never heard of that."

I stared at her for a moment. A tear starts to trickle down my cheek. OMG. A virgin. A genuine political virgin, I’m thinking. She has no idea how completely screwed we are.

She says, "Is that something I’m supposed to know about??"

"Well," I said. "Have you ever heard of Disneyland?"

"Yes."

"Well, Meet the Press is this television news interview show that’s been around since before Disneyland."

"Wow."

"Yes. So the next time you’re in Disneyland, think to yourself, ‘I’ve now done this; next time I’m going to watch Meet the Press.’"

"I’ll do that." I think she was sincere, but then I started to feel bad.

I didn’t have the heart to tell her Walt is dead, Mickey and Minnie did not have a traditional marriage, and David Gregory is an idiot.

As I’m having this conversation, I’m thinking, there’s no point jumping out the window, because of the bush, but if I get the axe out of the trunk and first cut down the bush, and then plant some bamboo spikes in the ground . . . but then I realize the ground is frozen and it would take a lot of effort out in the cold to dig the holes for the spikes, and besides, I don’t have any bamboo, so I just forgot the whole thing.

The transcript shows that David Gregory interviewed Paulson and Greenspan, after he had just finished an interview with security adviser John Brennan about how the US Justice system treats people who are a menace to the country, yet he never once asked Paulson and Greenspan whether they were read their Miranda rights or whether they should have been taken to an undisclosed location for enhanced interrogation to learn how many others at Goldman and the government might still be involved in inflicting so much misery and suffering on the country . . . and why are these guys out on their own recognizance? Surely Obama deserves criticism for that.

P.S. I don’t want to leave the impression that Gregory didn’t ask any questions. He asked his guests whether they thought the Obama Administration was doing enough to rebuild the financial system they allowed to wreck the economy, whether Obama’s proposals could ever bring back the millions of jobs their policies helped destroy, whether the President was doing enough to bring down the massive deficits they created when they were in charge. You could tell David spends a lot of time thinking about these things. The proof is here.