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major underscore

The Obama presidency

Recommended Posts

major underscore

The U.S. has now had Barack Obama in office for almost half a year.

 

How has your opinion of him as a politician, if at all, changed since the election? Has he acted the way you expected? Do you approve or disapprove of what he's done, based on your expectations?

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Spaghetti Cat

Bill Maher (whom I don't always see eye to eye with) had something to say about this the other night:

 

Link

 

Basically he's on TV to much and need to get to work. Which I couldn't agree with more. As for my opinion, a pol is a pol. They always bend to whatever direction the wind is blowing. So his pandering to everyone under the sun is not a shock to me. Where I believe a lot of us are disapproving of the President, both left and right, are the large amount of spending that the federal government is undertaking. Trillion dollar deficits for the next several years, is not something anyone wants. The President seems oblivious to these concerns. And the only solution seems to be higher taxes, which is something that Obama campaigned against (at least for the middle class).

 

If you look at the poll numbers, the President is still high in personality. But asked about policies, the numbers are on a downward trend.

 

I also believe that his muted response to the election in Iran, and the turmoil that followed, has also hurt his standing among here in the U.S.

 

Those are my 2 cents.

 

 

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Bigs

I supported Obama in '08 as a lesser of two evils, and I still view him as that. It could be a lot worse.

 

Of course it irks me that he hasn't kept many of his promises, and obviously I'm not alone. He said he wouldn't be influenced by lobbyists or have pork barrel spending, but a quick glance at the stimulus will prove otherwise.

 

While I'm quite liberal on social issues, I'm much more moderate-to-conservative fiscally. I think the spending is out of control. During the election Obama talked about how Bush had ruined Clinton's surplus and how we needed to become responsible again, but I believe he's tripled the debt. They say "in the long run", but I have my doubts.

 

I'm still wavering on what he wants for health care. It definitely needs reformed and his ideas don't seem too bad, but a whole shakedown of such an infrastructure scares me a bit.

 

On foreign policy I think he's done a pretty good job. I'm glad he didn't jump the gun on N. Korea or over-involve us in Iran. I think the strategy of pulling our troops out of Iraqi cities was good as well. We'll have to see about Afghanistan. It's not time to pull out there but perhaps a change of strategy is necessary.

 

He's been predictably disappointing, but it could be a lot worse. I'm trying to stay optimistic here, maybe the next few years will show a turn around.

 

 

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Breaking Bohan

It's funny that they promised to create 3-4 million jobs with the 787 Billion Dollars that the Obama Administration took for the "stimulus bill," but there were another 467,000 jobs lost in June.

 

No jobs are being created (that I can see).

 

I wonder what exactly the govt is doing with all that money ...

 

 

mad.gif

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nlitement

Everyone should have voted for Ron Paul instead anyway.

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Chargr

I haven't seen any progress yet from him. He did say he would need 2 terms to finish the economic crisis.

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trickstar34
I haven't seen any progress yet from him. He did say he would need 2 terms to finish the economic crisis.

I never liked him from the beginning, it doesn't need two terms, it needs 1 year of a good president.

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General Goose

He was better then McCain and I agreed with him more, but so far he's been a typical politician, very little change, not much action, mostly words and fearmongering.

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trickstar34
He was better then McCain and I agreed with him more, but so far he's been a typical politician, very little change, not much action, mostly words and fearmongering.

That's what I thought and I'm even a republican. I didn't vote this year because of that. We have to face it, he's an idiot! Why would you apoint someone who wants you out of the picture as your secretary of state? Pure moronism.

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major underscore

 

Why would you apoint someone who wants you out of the picture as your secretary of state? Pure moronism.

I think that was quite a cunning move by Obama, in the school of thought that you keep your friends close and your enemies even closer. He probably concluded that the Clintons and their allies and supporters would be less dangerous to him if he appointed Hillary Clinton his secretary of state than had he not done so. I don't think that Hillary Clinton will have many opportunities as secretary of state to undermine Obama's position without simultaneously doing harm to her own; she has basically been neutralized, as far as I understand, which is something that was important considering the harsh climate of the Democrat primaries. In my opinion that was probably his best move yet after the election.

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trickstar34

That saying doesn't go that close.

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Ronnyboy

What I find interesting is that Obama was on NBC about unemployment rate and said this "It took us years to get into this mess, but only a few months to get out of it". I really don't see how he's going to do that, when he says that it will take 2 terms to turn our country's debt around. I fear that the american public won't re-elect him, and we will get another conservative in that will ruin Obama's fragile plan with his own, and say he will need 2 terms. He will get them because no one will vote in a Dem due to Obama's financial plan which cost us too much.

 

I love the guy as a politician, but I haven't seen much policy from him. I think he should spend less time in make up and rehearsals, and more time focusing on our country.

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bobgtafan

Well he's not as progressive as I hoped and the stimus could had been bigger. I also hope he pushes forward a public option in Health Care. I'm still pretty happy though. He's much better than Bush or any full free markets nut job in the white house would be.

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Mike Tequeli
Well he's not as progressive as I hoped and the stimus could had been bigger. I also hope he pushes forward a public option in Health Care. I'm still pretty happy though. He's much better than Bush or any full free markets nut job in the white house would be.

What's so scary about the free market?

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bobgtafan

The fact that when left uncontrolled the worker has no safety net, the market is more uncontrollable and has more ups and downs, the market left by itself has shown it doesn't give a s*** abou consumers, shareholders, or workers. And the fact that when you have no monetary regulation banks would act even worst than before and put the whole system in danger. Quite frankly I don't see how you still support full free markets they work in short term interest and don't put their future or the peoples future first. And many companies will end up forming monopolies by having a race to the bottom. Specuatlors will go wild and make prices for commidites rise ( oil anyone?) and companies have shown that when left by themself they don't even do proper accounting of their assets. That's why we need regulation.

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Mike Tequeli

Monopolies generally form when the government supports them, not vice versa. Look at liquor distribution, most of that is monopolized, take away government interference and you get competition. You're basically saying companies are incapable of operating by themselves without help from the government. The bottom line is that there is very little historical evidence that government interference has improved a companies ability to function. We need to stop rewarding incompetence and inefficiency by leaving these companies to fend for themselves, the good ideas will survive and overall the consumers will benefit.

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bobgtafan

 

Monopolies generally form when the government supports them, not vice versa. Look at liquor distribution, most of that is monopolized, take away government interference and you get competition. You're basically saying companies are incapable of operating by themselves without help from the government. The bottom line is that there is very little historical evidence that government interference has improved a companies ability to function. We need to stop rewarding incompetence and inefficiency by leaving these companies to fend for themselves, the good ideas will survive and overall the consumers will benefit.

Awh Mike that all just sounds so hopeful and unbeat you almost had me going on your train to failure. I don't argee with government helping large companies get larger. I too beleive in competition and I beleive the Gov. should help small bussiness as much as possible but most the time Mega. corp and these multi national and trans national companies send lobbist to Washignton and get their way. And the liquor industry has heavy lobbying in Washignton. I don't argee with that.

 

Secondly look at the facts. When ever the market is further deregulated speculators run wild and companies don't do proper accounting. Example

If you debate that we can go at that aspect but you know it's true. And yes if companies want to be all they can be they do need help whether it be physical help ( roads, bridges, skilled workers) or monetary help ( lowering of interest rates, tax cuts, etc.). And very little evidence? Just look at the highway system as one of the best examples! Or the internet in terms of research. Come on Mike the government does more than you give them credit for and you trust the free markets too much. And the whole the good ideas will rise? You almost had me going. Like how we all buy eco friendly products and drive clean energy effeicent cars because the good ideas came up huh?

 

Last thing it's one thing to make companies to fend for themselves it's another to let workers who simply did their best to fall all the way down. They NEED a safety net and retraining so they can get back in the work place. And Mike you know that companies produce bad things ( pollution) and don't care unless the government interves. Mike reallly can you honestly agrue against these things

 

Safety Net for workers

Regulation

Government Subsides for industries Socitey has deemed critical towards delevopment of the country.

Edited by bobgtafan

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Mike Tequeli

What you don't seem to understand is that the companies are not hinging on government support for anything. I happen to think governments are responsible for building infrastructure but that is only because I'm not an anarco-capitalist. Companies would build roads if given the opportunity, that is why private roads exist, they aren't as common in the US but they exist all over. There are a variety of reasons why private roads are a solid solution to congestion and state bankruptcy.

 

The government cutting taxes on businesses isn't really helping them, it's just reducing the burden the government is already putting on those businesses. Subsidies generally only support nonviable business models, so yes I can argue with it.

 

Another thing, I don't see how government regulation will ensure companies can crunch their numbers better. Plenty of corporations do that just fine without help.

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bobgtafan
What you don't seem to understand is that the companies are not hinging on government support for anything. I happen to think governments are responsible for building infrastructure but that is only because I'm not an anarco-capitalist. Companies would build roads if given the opportunity, that is why private roads exist, they aren't as common in the US but they exist all over. There are a variety of reasons why private roads are a solid solution to congestion and state bankruptcy.

 

The government cutting taxes on businesses isn't really helping them, it's just reducing the burden the government is already putting on those businesses. Subsidies generally only support nonviable business models, so yes I can argue with it.

 

Another thing, I don't see how government regulation will ensure companies can crunch their numbers better. Plenty of corporations do that just fine without help.

Uh...First off I'm not saying the Gov. should crunch companies numbers I'm saying they should make sure they are not doing it in a fashion that would lead to falutly information put into the market. Secondly the reason the business model is non variable is because the current market situation doesn't want the new thing in the market. If the general public decides they do want that thing for the greater good but can't get the item, resource or service etc..becasue of this or that or crowding out by the old market holders then you need a subside for that thing. And as far as infurstructure is involved you show me one highway system that can move goods and people over long distances as effiecentilly as the interstate highway system that was FULLY privite build. And do you remember the last time a large transportation network was owned by a privite company? MAJOR railroad monopolies anyone?

 

So Mike their are still three things

 

Regualtion

Safety Net

Subsides

 

And you never touched on speculators.

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Mike Tequeli

I'm not really sure if this can go anywhere. I've never seen any good examples of financial regulation, if a company does something stupid they suffer for that, the market self regulates. As for highways, the only reason you don't see them everywhere is because they usually aren't allowed to be built, they are fairly common in Asia and Europe apparently. Not surprisingly they have better maintenance and lower rates of congestion, so yes the market is better at building roads then the government.

 

You really underestimate the power of the market. Blaming the internet on the government doesn't automatically make everything the government does worthwhile. What about the trillions they've spent on retarded sh*t, laser planes and bridges with no purpose. The market provides the people with useful technology all the time. Like I said, this isn't going anywhere. As for speculators, they get blamed for rising oil prices all the time, I'm not sure if there is any proof to that.

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Spaghetti Cat

 

...show me one highway system that can move goods and people over long distances as effiecentilly as the interstate highway system that was FULLY privite build. And do you remember the last time a large transportation network was owned by a privite company? MAJOR railroad monopolies anyone?

Answered your own question, didn't ya?

 

I believe the only involvement the federal government should have in commerce, is that it should even the playing field. If everyone is playing by the same rules, the government should butt out. The only exception would be interstate commerce. I think that is something that everyone could agree upon, both left and right.

 

Defense is the only other charge that the federal government is tasked with by the constitution. Everything else is icing on the cake.

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illspirit

 

I'm still pretty happy though. He's much better than Bush or any full free markets nut job in the white house would be.

"Bush" and "free market" in the same sentence? lol.gif

 

Bush was a corporatist and only cared about the market when it helped his rent seeking cronies and donors.

 

That said, my opinion of our young President has changed a bit. Before the election, I had him pegged as a standard Euro-quasi-socialist. But now that he's pretty much doing everything that Bush did, plus trying to ram through new programs that will give massive subsides and monopolies to big corporate donors and forming all sorts of new private-public partnerships with banks/car companies/etc.., it looks like he's just another narcissistic corporatist.

 

In fact, he's starting to look more and more like the caricature his campaign painted of Bush than Bush ever really was. tounge.gif

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bobgtafan
I'm still pretty happy though. He's much better than Bush or any full free markets nut job in the white house would be.

"Bush" and "free market" in the same sentence? lol.gif

 

Bush was a corporatist and only cared about the market when it helped his rent seeking cronies and donors.

 

That said, my opinion of our young President has changed a bit. Before the election, I had him pegged as a standard Euro-quasi-socialist. But now that he's pretty much doing everything that Bush did, plus trying to ram through new programs that will give massive subsides and monopolies to big corporate donors and forming all sorts of new private-public partnerships with banks/car companies/etc.., it looks like he's just another narcissistic corporatist.

 

In fact, he's starting to look more and more like the caricature his campaign painted of Bush than Bush ever really was. tounge.gif

Well your pro free market if your for deregulation and large tax cuts which Bush did both of. To illspirit it's either let these massive companies survie or let them fail and let the economy fail. Also a difference between Bush and Obama is that Obama believes more in Government stimus than tax breaks to get out of a rescission.

 

I'm not going to argue about the privite vs public on transportation and the reason they don't have the same rates of congenstion is because of factors in the country from car usage to highway usage in general and that directly effects the amount of maintaince needed. Though you have to admit that the Federal Government has built the best in the world. As for what you said about specuators Here

 

Also Trillions? I would like to see some fiqures on some of that stuff. I argee EVERY thing we spent money on wasn't useful but we have still had many things come from the government The internet, computers, a government scienist discovered video games( look it up you wouldn't have GTA today), satillites, space travel, cures for many dieases, nukes, rockets, super jets, mircowave techonlogy, etc. So much stuff it would make your head spin. Look without the government this is what would happen

 

A company is doing well but they decide they can fudge around with the accounting just a little. After they come out with better than expected results speculators push thier stock price really high ( a natural thing in the market). For 2 years A company is doing great but then it is revied it has been missing up with the accounting big time! The CEO runs away with tons of cash for sold stock before the company collapses while everyone esle is screwed. Every worker is automatically jobless and because thier is no safety net lose thier houses too. Teh specualtors made a ton of cash and are happy, the top executives and the CEO are rich because they were able to get stock options that weren't on the accounting either. Also this company hurts the suppliers, buyers and consumers. As a result more people get laid off, more people lose there houses, the bank takes in more houses and it's loans are increasing not repaid, then the bank runs out of money and credit stops and the economy stops.

 

That's why the Free Market by it's self sucks because then the government can't lower interest rates to get credit reflowing and it can't give tax breaks because it doesn't collect taxes. It can't do a stimus to get the privite sector moving ( Like Obama is doing) and it can't recapitize the banks ( which is needed to ge credit moving illspirit) that said the economy stagantes and just keeps going down. That's why we cna' thave a full free market it's to wild and unpredictable. and can bring your whole country to it's knees when not regulated and when measures aren't taken to ease it out of bubbles or help it recover from bubbles.

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major underscore

Although a general discussion about free markets and not-so-free markets can be interesting smile.gif , it seems like we're getting a bit off topic:

 

How has your opinion of Obama as a politician, if at all, changed since the election? Has he acted the way you expected? Do you approve or disapprove of what he's done, based on your expectations?

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bobgtafan
Although a general discussion about free markets and not-so-free markets can be interesting smile.gif , it seems like we're getting a bit off topic:

 

How has your opinion of Obama as a politician, if at all, changed since the election? Has he acted the way you expected? Do you approve or disapprove of what he's done, based on your expectations?

O sry underscore. I think the has done the best he can. But I want that public health care option.

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illspirit

 

Well your pro free market if your for deregulation and large tax cuts which Bush did both of. To illspirit it's either let these massive companies survie or let them fail and let the economy fail. Also a difference between Bush and Obama is that Obama believes more in Government stimus than tax breaks to get out of a rescission.

 

*snip*

 

and it can't recapitize the banks ( which is needed to ge credit moving illspirit)

 

 

Except Bush didn't deregulate much of anything. The big book of Federal regulations grew exponentially under his administration. While many of these did favor certain businesses, regulatory capture is the polar opposite of a free market. Likewise, the last major legislative deregulation was the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999.

 

Tax cuts, on the other hand, aren't necessarily a free market thing. Obama claims to want to cut taxes for 95% of the country in the name of "economic justice" or whatever. Even most of Europe, who love their regulatory states, have lowered their corporate tax rates below ours because they realize they will collect more revenue from a small tax on a growing or stable economy than a large tax on one which is contracting. Bush walked into a mild recession, which double-dipped after 9/11, yet tax receipts increased as the tax cut encouraged economic activity. Even that was probably a happy accident, as his campaign promises of tax cuts was more populist than anything (and, I suspect, to make up for his dad's failed "no new taxes" pledge).

 

And, umm, Bush went all Keynesian too with the "stimulus" checks last January. wink.gif

 

As for me wanting the economy to fail, and recapitalizing the banks, well, the first is a strawman and the second is just wrong. We don't have a liquidity problem. We have a debt problem. Between the housing and credit bubbles, there is simply too much bad paper floating around in the system. Until all this is worked out through defaults, bankruptcy, and bringing housing prices back to Earth, continually propping up the private debt bubbles with more public debt is only delaying the inevitable. The longer we play musical chairs with the debt, the more painful it's going to be when the bubble and all its ad hoc support comes crashing down on us. This is simply math, and the math is never, ever wrong.

 

When the proverbial music stops, we'll be left holding the tab while Goldman Sachs and friends run off with the loot. It's here, especially, that Obama is turning out to be more Bush than Bush, what, with appointing Geitner to Treasury and picking Summers as his econ point man (both from GS), funneling bailout money to GS (directly and through AIG), allowing GS to pump and prime the stock market etc.. We're witnessing the biggest corporatist rent seeking scheme in history, but everyone's distracted by arguing about deregulation which never happened, and about whether to "fix" it by giving more regulatory powers to people who are already using existing powers to facilitate the looting.

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Dingdongs

Honestly, I'm not liking Obama too much anymore.

 

He's bullsh*tting too much. I'm sick of him trying to beat around the bush and act like a moderate.. he needs to go after the right like Bush went after the left.. I'm getting really sick of him trying to act like a level headed idiot.. he needs to step it up and say " Well too bad, the Republicans don't have enough people to stop anything we do so they can shove it up their ass, you're getting universal healthcare America "

 

Not " Ohmygosh well we can work together ok? "

 

He looks like a f*cking dope saying that.. he's not making anyone happy, Republicans still call him a Socialist due to his skin color, and Liberals/progressives aren't pleased with him drifting to the center like this.

 

I'm also really pissed he's continuing to monitor peoples email without warrants.

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Mike Tequeli

Keep in mind that a majority means f*ck all in America, having 60 Democratic senators doesn't mean 60 on your side. That's the way it should be too, Obama has to appeal to the Republicans because not all the Democrats are on board with his plans.

 

I've personally been disappointed by the gay rights issue. I really think he should step up in favor of gay marriage and ending homophobia in the military, he has the power and the popularity, he can pull it off. The lack of clear drug policy is absurd too, but I didn't expect much from him anyway. Essentially nothing much has changed.

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Ciabatta

I went into this whole thing somewhat supporting Obama because I was sick of the social agendas of the Republicans. Now, I have come to dislike Obama and the media's constant "tongue-baths" that they give him. I dislike his handling of the current economic climate as well as congress'. I feel that stimulus money is actually hurting us. For Example, the "Buy American" clause which states stimulus money will be used to buy U.S-items made from iron/steel yet China is now writing a clause in their stimulus package where they are only buying Chinese items made from iron/steel. So instead of helping the United States, it's actually hurting us. GM reported that one of their biggest foreign consumers was China and now with this clause in this stimulus package, it can only further hurt GM.

 

Also, I have a huge problem with the media's perception of Michelle Obama and how "great" she is. Really? Her style, she's a fashionista, so-on and so forth. Spare us all. Jackie Kennedy at least re-decorated the damn White House. As a First Lady, she hasn't done anything special.

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illspirit

 

*snip*

 

you're getting universal healthcare America "

 

*snip*

 

Liberals/progressives aren't pleased with him drifting to the center like this.

Funny, I would think self-proclaimed liberals would be more pissed if the unicornal health care plan passed, seeing as it's shaping up to be a quasi public-private partnership/corporate welfare/subsidy bonanza, and, quite possibly a future monopoly for General Electric. If Bush had wanted to partially privatize Medicare or something back in 2000 in a similar manner, the left would have shrieked that he was a crony capitalist/corporatist. Oh, wait, he did and they did.

 

But, yea, like the old saying goes, scratch a progressive, find a fascist..

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