How Congress is harming the economy

February 5, 2009

 Diana Furchtgott-Roth– Diana Furchtgott-Roth, is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and former chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor. The views expressed are her own. –

At the very time that the Senate is debating whether to spend $800 billion or $900 billion to stimulate the economy, the government is considering other legislative and regulatory initiatives that would impede economic recovery.

Growing Protectionism

By inserting protectionist provisions that require some goods financed by the stimulus bill to be made in America, Congress is risking a trade war with important trading partners in Europe and Asia. A trade war would reduce exports, potentially destroying millions of American jobs.

Cutting Defense Spending

Although Congress is trying to revive the economy by expanding domestic spending, the Pentagon is reportedly facing budget cuts next year. But with President Obama promising to deploy more troops to Afghanistan, America needs more defense spending, not less.

America needs to purchase more weapons, ordnance, vehicles, and body armor so that our troops have the best equipment possible. Defense supplies are generally made in America, and production employs Americans with a wide range of skills.

If America increases regular forces by 100,000 and hires 100,000 more civilians to support them, these individuals would acquire useful skills when they leave the Defense Department for the private sector. Their presence would enable the Pentagon to bring home reserve and National Guard troops, some of whom have been deployed for over a year.

Individual Emissions Standards for States

Earlier this week auto companies revealed that sales had reached a 27-year low. Yet, under a new directive from President Obama, states such as California would be able to set their own emissions standards, which will be—you guessed it—stricter than federal law. This would complicate engineering and production, raise costs, and send the industry into an even greater decline.

Since California is America’s largest car market, companies would have to make lighter, more fuel-efficient cars that consumers might not want to purchase. Domestic companies would be particularly hard-hit because they make larger cars. It makes no sense for Congress to bail out Detroit with loans and give tax deductions for purchases of new cars and trucks, while at the same time decimating the market of the Big Three. More red ink for the auto industry, and more layoffs across America.

Employee Free Choice Act

This misnamed bill would change the law to allow workplaces to be unionized without secret ballots. A workplace could be unionized if a majority of workers sign an open card in favor of unionization — a process known as “card check,” exposing workers to union intimidation. This bill passed the House in the 110th Congress and will be soon brought up in this congressional session.

One of the bill’s House sponsors was House Committee on Education and Labor Chairman George Miller. In 2001, he and five colleagues wrote to the state arbitration board of Puebla, Mexico, saying, “we feel that the secret ballot is absolutely necessary in order to ensure that workers are not intimidated into voting for a union they might not otherwise choose.” If Mexicans deserve a secret ballot, so do Americans.

States where employees do not have to join a union in order to work have lower average unemployment rates than other states, so it would not be surprising if increased unionization would raise unemployment rates.

As well as protectionism, cuts in defense spending, unionization by intimidation, and arbitrary environmental standards, the economic stimulus bill would open the floodgates of deficit spending. The ensuing debt would burden Americans far into the future.

The Democrats, who control both the White House and Congress, should know better. No wonder consumers are scared, financial markets are tumbling, and unemployment continues to rise.

Diana Furchtgott-Roth can be reached at For previous columns, click here.


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Good to see somebody’s actually thinking in this very serious situation….

I is time our leadership understand and address the real cause of this crisis… private sector debt! If a stimulus package does not address and begin to fix this it will fix nothing…

Posted by R. Johnson | Report as abusive

of course an opinion from the hudson institute founded by the RAND corp would want increased spending on the military and incase she didnt notice the last administration did nothing but deficit spend to the tune of over 5 to 6 trillion dollars.

Posted by gdub | Report as abusive

The critic to the protectionism is the only valid one. Increase WAR spending? right, that’s what we need, another war to make money (obviously only for the same reduced circle of people). There’s enough crazy people fighting over everything, deplying and hiring more americans for stupid wars? I don’t see as part of the solution but the problem PER SE. Now, it would be more cost-efficient in the long term to produce better cars, EVEN if people don’t like it at the beggining, they’ll get used to it and will be greatful, but no, Mrs. Diana would like to keep helping the car makers to produce the same contaminating cars that are killing our own planet, so they can keep making money, instead of using new technologies that already exist to help us save money, and also the planet. I wonder how leveraged she is in OIL and american car companies??? it must be a bug chunk of her stock to say the least. Do i need to say anything else?

Posted by Catherine | Report as abusive

geez Diana, bleach the hair, get more attitude, be the new Ann Coulter, maybe even get on the Rush show. yep, being a right wing naysayer, that’s the ticket.

Posted by nazdagg | Report as abusive

It is exciting to give opinion. there are many individual like to express opinions. The opinions come from intellectual investigation to deliver a proper opinion to prevent or deter or cure a crisis that is call a genius. I feel some disgrace to see that some of us making opinions without understand the core problem of this crisis. The crisis begun when Mr.Bush was taking cash to support the war and the bank was facing huge shortage of cash. So, Paulson thought if quickly he put some cash in the bank the bank will come in the right track but it was too late. By the time the economy was paralyzed. The voters of Bush should pay the consequences not the ordinary citizens.

Interesting point of view yet, I don’t worry about Obama’s policy. It can’t be worst than Bush’s one.
Americ will not accept a too tough protectionism, at least, I hope so.

Posted by Sarkozy François | Report as abusive

Well, it seems obvious this “expert” economist is a globalization junkie and gets payoffs from the US auto manufacturers.

1) Globalization already has shipped millions of US jobs overseas and what for – childrens toys that contain lead banned in the US, dodgy food products that kill our babies and pets.
2) The Big 3 car companies only have themselves to blame, they can make better engines they already do for Europe, e.g. the Lincoln MKZ, the equivalent car in Europe called the Monday now has a diesel engine that gets nearly 50 mpg. She should stop lying for these companies, if they can do it elsewhere they can do it here.

All in all she appears to be peddling the same junk that got the US into the current mess.

Posted by Lee Magee | Report as abusive

It is interesting that everybody talks about collateral expenditure and how this will help economy.

band aids do not work very well as we saw in 1928 depression. All the infusion of money and job creation did not help but what got us out of depression was major catastrophe like world war II. Now question is should we have another war to get us out of depression or maybe we could invade another Galaxie or planet to serve the same purpose. At least it will help the economy to a large extent or may be we could start a war on some barren land for the psychological point of view.

Now the question is will it help or not. At lest we should give it a chance at least it would not hurt.

Posted by vj | Report as abusive

Three things need to happen to get us out of this mess…
(1) Corporate capital investment has to be incented…the most efficient way to achieve this is to cut the corporate tax rate to about 22%..
(2) The consumer has to have confidence reinvigorated. Again, getting people back into shopping centers, buying new homes and new cars can best be accomplished by tax policy. A $15,000 immediate tax credit for the purchase of new homes will at least slow down the decline in housing prices. A $5,000 immediate tax credit for the purchase of new automobiles would salvage more jobs in the auto industry without just handing out cash to the unions and postponing the inevitable collapse of the industry.
(3) Capital has to start flowing again so we must find a way to incent banks to loan the money rather than attempting to repair their balance sheets…maybe the answer to this dilemma would be to let the banks that have acted so foolishly fail…new banks with fresh capital and healthy balance sheets would spring up like wheat in the summer!

Posted by lefty mclawhorn | Report as abusive

It is interestingto read these comments. Ms. Furchtgott-Roth brings up very good points which are proven basic economic factors this country has had for decades. The fact that we spend money on Defense is just that defending the country, which by the way includes jobs. The open union vote is so stupid that it is hard to believe anyone would think it isgood. Just look at the UAW and what they tried to do with the auto bail-out. they said “no we will not open the contracts in new negotiations.” That tells me they would rather put thousands of their workers out of a job rather than work in conjunction with everyone to mae things work. From where I stand a little of something is a lot better than a lot of nothing. To stimulate the economy quickly why doesn’t anyone suggest stopping the Federal income tax for 2 years. The money would be put back into thepockets of the American worker, they would spend it on goods and services, and the economy would move forward…Oh yea, then everyone would see just how much they pay in taxes and Congress would be help accountable…Nah, that won’t work.

Posted by Ed | Report as abusive

The author has strung together such a list of over-simplifications and misleading statements, that it is frightening to think that she was the head economist for the Department of Labor (under Bush, of course). This article is simply an echo of the discredited ideologies of the neocons, which I am coming to believe is a subterfuge for the destabilization that has unwound the world but created some winners who are all the paymasters of the Bush disaster.

Posted by Jonathan Cole | Report as abusive

Obviously it is the fault of unions who demand fair wages and benefits for their members. Clearly Wall Street and the US automakers are not at all at fault and need to be supported by the average American because now they hold toxic assets. This woman is a shill and a propagandist for the criminals who ruined the US.

Posted by JAN | Report as abusive

Employee Free Choice — It is just not fair that the unions have the chance to intimidate the workers without giving the company the same opportunity. That’s right buddy, you don’t work here anymore!

Posted by Neil Tevepaugh | Report as abusive

Diana get your facts straight on the defense budget cuts. There is no cut. The Pentagon budget is increasing, it is a matter of how much. Obama wants an 8% increase, joint chiefs suggested a 16%. -billion-incr.html

Posted by dusty | Report as abusive

Ms. Furchtgott-Roth is basically repeating the neoconservative thesis that what we need is simply greater doses of the medicine that’s already made us sick.

She’s even shilling for throwing more milk and honey at Halliburton and Blackwater. So we’re supposed to recruit more troops, with each new soldier shadowed by someone getting paid five times as much to provide inedible food, dirty drinking water, and electrified showers? Take your broken ideology back to the drawing board, lady!

Posted by Art Marriott, Seattle | Report as abusive

This author is a liar. She will only be happy when the USA is a 3rd world country with no middle class, just a mass of poor willing to work for bread, and a thin layer of rich elites running the country. She undoubtedly also advocates cutting taxes for rich people…so they can show their patriotism and ship more jobs overseas.

Notice how she doesn’t bring up how China manipulates its currency rates to “dump” its cheap products on the USA. China uses protectionism, so does Japan, South Korea, and all of Europe.

The US had protectionist policies since its inception as a nation. Under Reagan, continued under Clinton and the Bushies, these policies were dismantled. Look where it has gotten us. An 8 trillion dollar trade deficit, destruction of manufacturing sector…now tax revenues are so low off this sucky Walmart/McDonalds service economy that there isn’t enough money for schools, roads, and bridges.

We need fair trade, there is no such thing as free trade. No one is going to declare a trade war with the US because they have more to lose than we do. Remember, we are already losing.

Posted by Marc | Report as abusive

the absence of any rational thinking in this column is a devastatingly clear example of the mentality that got us into this mess in the first place.

Posted by kent | Report as abusive

Everyone needs to slow down…there are surely some wild claims, the truth is no one knows. I think that if we look to the past, we can get an idea of what may happen by various responses. However I believe that just need to focus on one thing, and not throw money at everything to see what sticks, I think we need to fix the one thing that went wrong in the first place and that is housing. Fix the housing mess and everything evens out.

Posted by Debra Kerr | Report as abusive

Everything the government is doing is band aids and political garbage.

The problem we are facing is the same as in the 30′s; a lack of demand. The war got us out because it created demand for weapons and supplies. Try offering a huge tax refund for anyone who buys a house this year instead of wasting money on the corporations that got us into this mess and see what happens to demand.

Posted by Craig | Report as abusive

Is there any way we can get the unions and the reactionaries into the SAME party? You’d think there was some kind of law granting equal evil to political parties! Oh, I know! There is no legitimate purpose served by trade unionism that is not better served by birth control, so maybe they can both be against that!

By the way, Boss, I’ll be on strike in Bermuda for the next two weeks.

Posted by Kurve Ball | Report as abusive

So what you are suggesting is that to improve your
economy you need to kill more people. Brilliant.
Perhaps you could invade a few African countries
and start a conflict in South American. Israel could
probably start a few wars for you in the middle east
too. The problem with your economy is a lack of
innovation. This is clear you are trying to produce
goods which are produced better and more cheaply
in Asia. What you need to do is produce goods
which others are not producing, keep innovating
so that they lead the market, and they are desirable
because of innovation not because they are identical
to what is produced in Asia. Why are you afraid of unions?
Unions are just groups of people who seek change through
collective action. You’d all be working 80 hours a week, living
in sheds, and chained to the factor floor without the Union movement.
They are not evil that are just workers who act together to
seek better conditions. If we don’t protect the environment then
we’ll all be dead. Money has nothing to do with it. There is
no consumption if we are dead or dying from Mercury poisoning,
or drowning as the ocean’s rise upon the land. You are talking
a lot of nonsense. People don’t need money. People need food,
clean water, shelter, and a well-sustained environment, so that
they can live a reproduce. Money has no intrinsic value other
than as a firestarter.

Posted by luke | Report as abusive

Finally, a little common sense. However, point of concern 1, War does not produce any consumable goods or services which increase the efficiency of the economy. The consumption of war is non productive compared to consumption based on free market civilian consumer demand. Point 2, re different auto standards is totally valid. Point 3, regarding labor is also true. Organized labor is a root cause of the current economic problems. Unions restrict labor supply and wages grossly exceed their true free market value. It is a fools paradise which cannot be economically sustained. Lets also not forget that union seniority clauses promote incompetence instead of promoting worker productivity and efficiency. Dealt with a government union worker lately? Point made.

Posted by JJ | Report as abusive

I sure hope the protectionist clause stays in. We need to be using American made goods when we spend taxpayer money to purchase things to stimulate our economy. I would much rather use tax payer trillions to pay Americans to make something than any foreigner. America needs to cut it’s military spending drastically by bringing the empire home. With more than 700 military bases globally and 2.5 million serving globally I’d say we have spent a bit much on our military empire. That needs to come to an end now. America’s auto emissions laws should be uniform across the states. The auto manufactures should be allowed to fail and be replaced if they are doing so poorly. Let the market decide what kind of cars people want to drive. A workplace should not be allowed to be unionized by a vote of workers. If an employee doesn’t like the deal they made for employment then they should find a new job. If an employer provides a terrible workplace then don’t work there or take it to the judicial system. If that sleazy employer cannot find workers and is in violation of state labor law then he will not be in business very long. Let workers be united in their personal standards on their own. We already have plenty of regulation in place regarding the workplace. Perhaps some states just need to enforce it a bit more. The writer leaves one to believe that Democrats are less spendy than their Republican counterparts. Don’t be fooled. Both parties spend equally the same. One doesn’t make a move without the other. It’s all a big show to provide false legitimacy around election time and keep their interests in place. To build tax payer funded infrastructure with American made steel over foreign steel seems pretty smart to me. Call me a protectionist if you want but I think it makes good sense.

Posted by jason | Report as abusive

I agree with Ms. Kerr, chill. The way people rant and try to down grade another persons opinion is exactly why we are in the mess we are in right now. People close their ears to an idea that is different from their own. Not any one person is totally right or totally wrong in their comment. All of you have some very good points but each one by themselves is only a small part of what is happening right now. Some times it is better to listen, think, and then talk. You forget one thing, real people write these articles, and they have feeling just like you do, so state your opinion with out insults please.

Posted by Karen | Report as abusive

It’s sad to see so many people trying to excuse very poor decision making in our current White House team by saying “it’s better than Bush”. Making good leadership decisions is not about comparing your choices to someone else’s bad choices – it’s about making the RIGHT choices.

I don’t necessarily agree with Diana’s thoughts here but I DO agree that the current “stimulus” plan is huge government spending being marketed as a saving recovery plan and I DO agree it will do very little if anything to solve our economic problems.

“They spent money so we can too.” Yeah, that’s going to work.

How about giving some incentive to get people to let go of some of the $4 trillion sitting in the bank accounts of U.S. investors and businesses right now? If I don’t have a reason to invest – I’m not investing.

Posted by Kelly | Report as abusive

The author is being attacked by those who think that they know what is best for everyone else (just like most politicians). Those who are concerned about these issues must keep the pressure on the elected officials in Washington. Write, call, send e-mails. Tell them what YOU want. The reason the Senate is beginning to waver on the so-called stimulus bill is because they are hearing from the taxpayers. Keep up the pressure on all these issues.

Posted by Jack S | Report as abusive

I thought this was a satiric piece at first. But then about a third of the way through, i realized you were being serious.

Increase military spending? Increase by 100 thousand? then have a support team of another 100k? That’s your big plan to stimulate the economy?

And then complaining about more stringent emission standards? HEAVEN FORBID American car manufacturers have to actually spend time engineering lower emission, more fuel efficient vehicles (like the rest of the world is already doing). If this is not taken care of now, the issue will just resurface again in the future. This “don’t worry about it now, just push it till later” mentality is half the cause of the mess we now find ourselves in.

It never ceases to amaze me that all this “experts” pop out of the woodwork to give their opinions, when nothing they say puts them in the line of fire if things were to go sour due to their non researched opinions.

Apologies in advance if this sounded rude, it just boggles the mind to read over what was written and try to take it seriously.


Posted by Sol | Report as abusive

The CBO has stated that the stimulus bill would do more harm than good over the next ten years. Home mortgage interest rates jumped significantly today, probably in anticipation of massive government borrowing. During President Carter’s reign, interest rates hit 20 percent. As for protectionism, it can be shown mathematically that countries engaged in free trade are mutual beneficiaries. Cuba and North Korea do not participate in free trade and they are economic basket cases. Respectfully, Albert

Posted by Dr. Albert Gortenbull | Report as abusive

AMEN, AMEN, to: gdub, Catherine, Nazdagg, Lee Magee, Jonathan Cole, Jan, dusty, Art Marriott, Matrc, Kent and Kurve Ball!!!

Oh dear! Protectionism destroys exporting jobs. How many American products are highly exported? Buy American creates domestic jobs, doesn’t it?
America needs to purchase more weapons, ordnance, vehicles, and body armor so that our troops have the best equipment possible. How about America needs to stop fighting wars half a globe away killing people who have never done us any harm? What’s the maxim? Live by the sword. . . .
Stricter emissions standards would complicate engineering and production, raise costs, and send the industry into an even greater decline. I doubt it, but even if so, how many lives would such standards save and how much of the earth’s degrading environment would be improved?
States where employees do not have to join a union in order to work have lower average unemployment rates than other states. Yeah, they also have lower per capita incomes, fewer services, the worst schools. . . .
Lady, why do you wear shoes on only the right foot?

Why are you namimg Congress in your article. This one is from the man himself- Barack!! He is the smartest man in the world and he was sent to save us so we must trust him and spend our way to prosperity. As long as we trust B.O. everything will be alright in the end. But right now it is a matter of trust. Hope…Change…Trust. Almost sounds Biblical doesn’t it? YES WE CAN!!

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive

I like how many responders to this story believe that their hatred of Bush supports their positions on issues. I’m no Bush apologist, but Congress is the primary destroyer of this country. They make the laws, they appropriate funds, they meddle with the private sector when it suits their interest, and whichever president happens to be in office take the heat. Congress is responsible for the housing crisis and they share complicity in the Iraq war. It will be this band of inept, morally bankrupt, shisters that bring down the country.

Posted by BushRuinedTheWorld | Report as abusive

Another stay with the old, fear the new piece. She is defending out DOD budget? She is disagreeing with states right to impose their own emission standards? Why don’t the republicans come up with a new party, They want Bigger gov. more then anyone!

Posted by joethedumber | Report as abusive

Interesting how with all the debate, no one EVER mentions a prominent problem in my eyes: there is no monetary standard. Economists call the entire system of American (and world) finance “imaginary money” because the only reason anyone’s money has value is because it is accepted as money. There is no solid base for the current financial situation in the world (i.e. gold standard, etc.), there is only credit, and with America’s seeming lack of good capital I don’t see much hope aside from band-aides here and there. Increasing defense spending is equally illogical. Like many have said, if America didn’t have bases spread across the globe (including places like Arabia, where such presence is deeply resented), there would be less need to spend so much on defense. We still have bases in Germany and I have never understood why. It’s like we’re afraid that as soon as we leave the armbands and black shirts will come out of the woodwork.

Posted by Zack | Report as abusive

While we are it since the nation is such a dire economic situation let’s suspend all air pollution regulation standards, endanged species acts, and labor laws. God only knows we MUST do anything and everything to get America back on track even if it’s at the expense of our humility.

Posted by mabart | Report as abusive

JK Galbraith, in “The Affluent Society” pointed out decades ago that the USA production was over-satisfying its needs to such an extent that demand (sic) had to be created [by advertising] and that while individual consumption was catered for, public consumption (and “public goods” lke clean air and water) was not.
If Obama is going it inject public money into Detroit’s automakers, it would only make sense that some “public good”, like cleaner emmisions, less fuel consumption is built into the package.
Of course, since most of the big sponsors of terrorist organisations are oil-exporters, reducing consumption would also be striking a blow at terrorist organisations

Posted by colin | Report as abusive

Hey Obama bashers:


The election was a referendum on YOUR WAY. YOU LOST!

NOW, at least, WE’RE GONNA TRY SOMETHING ELSE. It can’t POSSIBLY be worse than the mess YOUR WAY CAUSED!

Posted by Dave Kauble | Report as abusive

Simply made our “free trade laws the MIRROR of our “fair trade partners” AKA China must own 50% plus of any firm, so does USA,
Japan “safety (disassembles) checks imported cars” USA does same, can employ many at our ports for that one. Labor laws lacking offshore, simply “fee” (not tariff as that is “bad” the amount such would add to product and attach at our entry port.
China charges “fees” not tariff on selected USA products, we do same


Posted by chuck | Report as abusive

Cut the size of our bloated, grossly overpaid,unproductive politicians, bureaucrats and unionized government workers at every level by only 15% and we would not have to spend a penny injecting new money into the economy. They have all bled us dry, and are enslaving our children with a debt which can never be paid off. While we lose our jobs, homes and futures, they have given up nothing.

Posted by luke | Report as abusive

Hmmm….Hudson Institute–other famous trustees, fellows and official advisors; Conrad Black, Douglas Feith, Scooter Libby, Richard Perle.
Clearly an honorable institution full of sage advice.

Posted by polat guney | Report as abusive

I think its pretty obvious that the citizens of the US of A no longer buy this sort of corporatist shill. I wonder who pays her salary these days? Military-Industrialist? Anti-Unionists perhaps? Why is it that any regulation that seeks to help or protect the regular, average person in America inevitably is sold by this type of person as ‘harming the economy’?

Posted by lupus le fou | Report as abusive

As our fore Fathers had the logical sense to know about 200 years ago and where the true trouble for America is:

“‘I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.” – Thomas Jefferson 1802

If people would read history and understand it every time we have been in war it has boosted our economy to go to war just for this reason…Well we all understand (I hope) that’s not a very wise move. However, it does not change the fact that we are in war not just one but two.

To eliminated bases is a pure ignorant statement this is what continues to insure our safety with other countries. Not terrorities they do not play by the rules of warfare but democratic countries do and this is part of our defense. Even with us in Germany look at what Russia has just done in the past six months!!!(Hello) and as there economy is weaker then ours they have increased their spend on defense by another 30% of GDP. Please!!!

Everyone is upset at where we are today but to make statements that are un-warrant by so far everyone that I have read shows the lack of understanding of our economy and more importantly our world which we do life in. I would agree that we do need to bring more innovation into our system but then again every time we have the foreign markets are the ones coping then finding was to make it cheaper and with not as good quality as American products. But than us Americans want things cheaper and the cycle continues.

This stimulus package is a bad idea you want to jump start this economy take the money start buying small businesses account receivables at a very small discount. Get the money into the hands of companies that if they had the cash could hire employees back you’ll restore confidence into the market because it would then have cash people would not lose their jobs spending would then begin again and make it a three year program…….

Posted by Todd | Report as abusive

I’m tired of hearing another set of Republican talking points so Ms. Roth can tout her credentials during the tough times brought on by the policies she has supported in the past. Why would anyone listen to her now? Where are her new ideas and problem solving skills? That’s what we need, not retread conservative ideology.

She’s one of the fools that got us in this mess. This is propaganda plain and simple. You have to wonder why people publish this nonsense…or do you?

Posted by Dbird | Report as abusive

Too much capacity in the auto industry and has been for over 30 years, some need to go away.
The belief in the paper we exchange to purchase things is the only backing any currency has. The trust that we can continue accepting it day after day and the country that printed it.
If we pull our bases away from the middle east now we are doomed as a nation. We need to move 5 million americans and others to Iraq and set up another colony preaching western ways and love of freedoms, not the radical jihad movement. Tax free living for two years stay and a million dollar bonus if you leave alive.
People will never stop being greedy or gluttonous. Its everywhere around us with messages telling us to consume more. A fat group of cows don’t complain and that pretty much describes America and their people. As long as they can go to the 7-11 run by Achmed and Raoul to get their beer, chips, soda and cigarettes, Americans don’t give a care about much. Fat and happy at Wal Mart.

Posted by cmentd | Report as abusive

Ms Furchtgott-Roth,

Where were your complaints about congressional damage of the country the last 8 years when your man Bush was at the helm of national destruction?

Remember the election results? You and your corporatist robot-robbers lost! ! ! ! And not a minute too soon either.

Please, just fade away. Take your trust fund and go to an island somewhere and stop whining.

Posted by Paul | Report as abusive

1. allow workers to have unions unhindered.
2. enact universal healthcare immediately.
3. reduce the pentagon by 80% as a start.
4. reduce all bases by 80%
5. bring the troops home
6. nationalize the oil industry.
7. create a national government run banking system.
8. assist access to higher education
9. limit interest rates on homes to a max of 4%
10. cap non productive wages (ceo’s) to 5 times what a worker on the line makes.

I think yopu get the picture, as capitalism failed society we the new social order must now rebuild from the ground up a just society whereby the citizens control
the nation not the select few.

Have a nice year!!

Posted by arthur buonamia | Report as abusive

Ayn Randian nonsense. Move along – nothing to see here. The discredited elite are sounding like a broken record.

Posted by Spastica Rex | Report as abusive

The author is a complete advocate of the status quo.
My comment isn’t based solely on this article, most of her previous posts prove the point too.

When it comes to protecting old money & entrenched interests…. Miss Roth is the go to girl.

Posted by Darren | Report as abusive

You have not learned your lessons of 1939. Government spent lots of money to get us out of the depression. And causing technology to stay still is not helping this economy. We would not have computers if we followed your negative thoughts. People do not need computers. Yet today there almost a computer in every house.

Posted by Sandy | Report as abusive