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Obama and financial markets: fear itself

Obama and financial markets: fear itself

Once again Obama takes a message of fear, and sells it as hope.


Instead of exerting a calming influence, Obama ramps up the fear connected with the shutdown and the debt limit.

Watch his demeanor, too; chilling:

But actually this is nothing new, it’s how Obama rolls. Why do I say that?

It was also his reaction when he was candidate Obama, at the very outset of the financial crisis signaled by the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in September of 2008. His initial response to the Lehman bankruptcy was to heighten the feeling of alarm and blame his opponents in a speech given on September 15, 2008:

Obama said that this latest development in the financial world is “as bad as anything we’ve ever seen…This is a serious, serious situation. We’ll have a lot of rebuilding to do. This turmoil is a major threat to our economy. There are too many folks in the U.S. and Washington D.C. who weren’t mending the store. This is the most serious financial condition since the Great Depression.”

Obama said that problems with U.S. financial institutions would not be addressed by Sen. McCain. “A few hours ago he said the fundamentals of the economy are still sound. I ask McCain what economy are you talking about?”…

Obama also stated that the policies of a McCain administration would parallel those of the current Bush administration, saying: “We know what the consequences are: a meltdown on Wall Street; millions without jobs or health care; pain at the pump.”

Here’s what I observed at the time:

Obama’s response has not only been more partisan [than McCain’s], it is also more alarmist.

…Obama would do well to remember that it was a fellow-Democrat who understood the principle that investor panic can make these things a great deal worse, and who said as much during that Great Depression, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Obama is reckless to speak as though a such a catastrophe has already occurred, drumming up fear rather than attempting to calm it through a realistic appraisal of what we are facing right now.

Professor Jacobson also saw it back in October 2008, Fear Stalks The Land:

Fear is stalking this land, and being stoked by Obama. The genius of Obama is that he has taken a message of fear, and sold it as hope. And the public buys it.

Obama knew that the worse the crisis seemed, the better it was for his chances of election. By immediately painting Republicans as having caused a crisis of the utmost severity, John McCain as out of touch (which he actually was, unfortunately), and himself as the sober solution—despite his complete lack of knowledge of economics—Obama knew it would almost guarantee him the presidency. And the worse the crisis was perceived to be, the more time the public would give him to fix it after he was president, and the longer he could go on blaming Bush and the Republicans for the nation’s problems.

Same now, although of course Obama isn’t running for election. But the Congressional races of 2014 loom, and he’d love to have a Democratic Congress result. Making the crisis worse and demonizing Republicans for it may seem like a winning hand.

[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]


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Excellent post. Obama wants Americans to be afraid of government. This is his chance, so he is going to take it. He hopes, and he may be right, that the majority of Americans are afraid and will not stand up to government. His belief in that regard is fueled by the overwhelming desire of congress to capitulate. Most of the Republicans in control of the House of Representatives are afraid of the president. Likewise for many Republican senators.

Midwest Rhino | October 6, 2013 at 11:50 am

False Democrat talking points that should be rebutted constantly:

1. It is a “faction” that is pushing more reasonable Republicans into this “dangerous anarchist” position.

NO … 68% want lower taxes and less government, and Congress has a 10% approval rating. It is the Democrats that constantly push the furthest left members to run for President. Republicans routinely run moderates. Remove the poisoned term “tea party” and 68% prefer a smaller government.

2. Default will result unless the debt ceiling is raised, and markets will collapse without increased government spending.

NO … funding our current debt requires only 20% of current revenues. We will not default in any case, because our whole strategy for getting out of debt is to print, and now to “quantitatively ease”. That means even with debt rolling over on a shorter term basis, the fed reserve itself is “buying” trillions of debt.

The thing that would improve our credit rating would be to decrease spending. We already did tax increases, with Obamacare being the largest middle/lower class tax increase in history. But our politicians buy elections with spending … and big lies.

So Obama will increase entitlements until our currency is harmed, and the shadow banker billionaire types start dumping our bonds. THAT is what will increase interest rates, and force serious reforms. Bernanke won’t be able to stop that freight train, but it is being brought to us by DC big spenders.

Obama may be talking to financial players that are getting rich while savers get 0% interest on hard earned savings, but serious financial people know our politicians are incapable of proper action, because giving free stuff is too popular, and elections too frequent to make it through the pain of fiscal reform, pain we must face eventually in any case.

That pain will be greater the longer we “kick the can down the road”. Each time the party is almost over, the next candidate rolls out another keg, and a fresh bag of drugs. The “dope” of deficit spending, is now the “meth” of quantitative easing. Our teeth are falling out, but we sell granny’s income to inject more more more “stimulus”.

The true message has to penetrate Obama’s Orwellian hate mongering. Candidate Obama said it himself … “running up our children’s credit cards is irresponsible and unpatriotic”.

What a surprise to see an NBC Twit with his lips affixed to the Infantile Majesty’s tail section.

I dream of a subtitle supered over the Boy King’s scrawny chest reading: IF HIS LIPS ARE MOVING HE’S LYING.

TrooperJohnSmith | October 6, 2013 at 11:52 am

Democrats abandoned facts for emotions and feeeeeeelings long ago. The result? The Dear Leader is unable to communicate with his base using any other means. No emotion = no message.

And since people become desensitized to emotional motivation, the tone and tenor must be constantly raised. While ObamaBots see this discourse as normal, reasonable people are put off and shocked.

However, our schools, the media and popular culture are driving all dialogue, communication and understanding towards the loud, visceral and strident end of the spectrum.

    NeoConScum in reply to TrooperJohnSmith. | October 6, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Yep, trooper, and the Boy King knows that his legions of the vapid don’t do critical thinking or READING(other than Tweety & F-Booky & I-Grammy & Huffy-Puffy Posty).


What do WE do..

Barry CTRL-ALT-DEL was mistake and disinfect OUR USA history of this mistake (knowing the Left will throw a tantrum) OR keep it as a reminder to NEVER make that mistake, again? …

This mechanism of fear is how the “progressives” globally manipulate people into buying their “solutions”. They use the same method using “Global Warming” to get people to buy their policy agenda. You scare them to death that doom is just around the corner, you tell them that the doom is caused by their political opponents, and you warn them that the consequences of not going along with them might be disastrous and do you really want to take that chance with your children’s future? That is how they manipulate the population into going along with them. In the computer industry it is called FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt). The Democrats and globally the “progressives” are masters at this sort of manipulation of peoples’ perceptions.

    MaggotAtBroadAndWall in reply to crosspatch. | October 6, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    I gave you a “thumbs up” but I think you are too narrow. They use all manner of emotion, not just fear, to generate support for their polices. I tend to think “compassion” is their most effective emotional weapon to get control over how we all live. I absolutely agree, however, that facts, data, reason and logic are usually irrelevant considerations.

    I argued in a comment in a thread a few days ago that the reason why they use incendiary language such as arsonists, terrorists, racists, jihadists to describe Republicans is in part because it is so easy to do (they are lazy) and it provokes a negative emotional response toward Republicans. It takes skill and effort to win an argument about the merits of policy using facts, data, reason, and logic. But using one highly charged word – if it is insidious enough – can delegitimize the opposition. It’s emotional manipulation. And Democrats have mastered it brilliantly while promoting disastrous policies.

    It demonstrates how much contempt Democrats have for the average American. Ironically enough, because it often works, the contempt is justified.

It’s time to bite the bullet. As so many have said “We can’t keep kicking the can down the road.” So let’s resolve it now. There are more important issues at stake.

    JerryB in reply to janitor. | October 6, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    You are absolutely right, Obama’s campaigning aside. Even the Republicans aren’t addressing this. Out-of-control spending and the collusion between the Fed and Wall Street are bleeding us dry while giving Hussein cover for the devastation. We are in the middle of the largest transfer of wealth from poor to rich in history (David Stockman covers this well – see We’ll see if the House will confront this reality. I’m not holding my breath.

    JerryB in reply to janitor. | October 6, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    P.S. In counter to your final assertion, I don’t see anything more important than getting the budget balanced and stopping the Fed’s money printing. The continued existence of our Republic is absolutely dependent on fiscal sanity being restored.

      janitor in reply to JerryB. | October 6, 2013 at 5:50 pm

      The Constitution, the rule of law, separation of powers, and our liberties. We can go an economic hit for that. Some of our brothers have died for less.

        JerryB in reply to janitor. | October 6, 2013 at 10:41 pm

        I think we agree. My point is that our freedoms will all be lost if we collapse from fiscal irresponsibility. What’s happening now is unconstitutional, and I’m convinced that it presents the most immediate danger to the Republic.

        Economic freedom IS freedom. With economic freedom, we can control the government. Without it, we are slaves.

This and the article that follows (putting cones on roadside viewing areas near Mt Rushmore), all of the Natl park closings, telling hotels that are concessioners to close, boats that are concessioners, etc. — illustrates to me that this is about Obama proving that he CONTROLS EVERYTHING. This ought to scare the bejesus out of everyone. The FEDS have their fingers in everything. How do you think Hitler got ordinary citizens to round up Jews for shipping and extermination? The same way Obama gets park rangers to put padlocks on open air memorials.

Sorry…I can’t stand to watch even a few seconds of this petulant little brat.

There will most certainly be a fiscal crisis if the debt ceiling is reached. There is no reason whatsoever for the US to default, however.

Last year federal revenues were $2.7 trillion and total debt service was under $400 billion. Some estimates for this year’s total debt service have it under $300 billion. That interest is paid as the debt is rolled over.

Now, there would have to be other expenses that go unpaid until the matter is resolved either through raising the ceiling, increasing revenues, cutting spending, or some combination of the three.

For instance, we might have to cut out lavish White House parties where Jay-Z and Beyonce twerk about and regale guests with their hilarious Castro anecdotes about torturing dissidents.

The depth of disgust, dislike, and disdain that Obama evokes is immeasurable.

I fear that some project that the President will do whatever is necessary to prevent a default and to protect the markets from actually crashing. Assuming that he will be motivated to prevent disaster is analogous to the stereotypical ‘ugly American’ that believes those in other countries should have the same values and priorities that we have in America. He has proven that he does not have the same priorities and values as the Founders. He is driven to change everything he can about the country. Is it time for the rubber room if we consider the President even remotely capable of willfully causing economic calamity?

In 3.3 years Obama and the Progressives will be gone and the markets will go on.

Obama will then become President of Idiocracy where he will go on selling his version of the Brawndo solution to the gullible of the world.

    Radegunda in reply to Sally Paradise. | October 6, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    How much more destruction will he do meanwhile? He’s already destroyed the private insurance market and is rapidly destroying the practice of medicine. Schools are even more tightly under federal control. Borders essentially open, amnesty on the way, many millions of new prog voters — are you sure the progs will really be gone?

    Meanwhile, citizens’ lives are in turmoil as we try to figure out how to pay for unaffordable health insurance.

    I’m deeply ashamed of the American electorate for putting this hideous regime in power.

What’s this guy whining about? He says, in the video, that the American people don’t like jumping from one crisis to the next, but he and his supporters sure do like it. Else why would they put up with it?

Somebody needs to remind him that having a “bully pulpit” [see: ] is not the same as being a bully. This is an important distinction.

This guy — and his puppetmaster, Valerie Jarrett — are monsters.

NC Mountain Girl | October 7, 2013 at 6:55 am

Obama obviously never had Aesop’s fairy tales read to him as a child. If he knew The Boy Who Cried Wold he’d know the problem with fear mongering and proclaiming everything a crisis is that soon people stop listening to you.