One of the best parts of blogging for The Detroit News is the debate that often occurs after the article. Sometimes these conversations bring about good questions that deserve more than just a quick response in the comment section. For example in my recent post on Michelle Malkin I stated that “Republicans defend the wages of CEOs, because the more you pay, the better CEO you get,” which prompted Tim Kelly to ask “Show us anyone that says that.”
“As frustrating as it may seem to watch top executives at government-backed firms take in millions in bonuses, in other words, the alternative is to limit those firms’ abilities to attract the best talent. The inevitable result is a crop of less-skilled managers, which put those companies at even greater risk of financial loss.”
Cato Institute September 10, 2008:
“High executive compensation is a market outcome caused by limited supply and high and rising demand for top talent.”
“If you want good CEOs, you are going to have to pay.”
“If the shareholders want to get their money’s worth, they better pay a good CEO what a good CEO demands.”
Of course these are just individuals and organization who don’t speak for all Republicans but it should be noted that in a survey of companies, “over 40 percent of companies say that they want to pay their CEOs above market average.”
Another good conversation was started in a post by Libby Spencer regarding federal spending, in which a few comments took exception to the idea that George W. Bush would be responsible for the 2009 budget (excluding the 2009 stimulus spending).
“Critics sometimes blame Obama for things that are not his fault. Listening to a talk radio program yesterday, the host asserted that Obama tripled the budget deficit in his first year. This assertion is understandable, since the deficit jumped from about $450 billion in 2008 to $1.4 trillion in 2009. As this chart illustrates, with the Bush years in green, it appears as if Obama’s policies have led to an explosion of debt.
“But there is one rather important detail that makes a big difference. The chart is based on the assumption that the current administration should be blamed for the 2009 fiscal year. While this makes sense to a casual observer, it is largely untrue. The 2009 fiscal year began October 1, 2008, nearly four months before Obama took office. The budget for the entire fiscal year was largely set in place while Bush was in the White House.”
Also from this topic was the data that under Obama federal spending, after inflation, has actually decreased. Commenter Kevin Burke said, “It is a fact that federal spending under Obama has skyrocketed. Just because you keep repeating a lie doesn’t make it true.”
Daniel J. Mitchell of the Cato Institute did a more nuanced review of the numbers quoted in Libby Spencer’s post and found that by certain measures “it turns out that Obama does win the prize for being the most fiscally conservative president in recent memory.” After a few more tweaks Mitchell eventually concludes that in terms of government spending Obama falls somewhere in the middle of the last eight presidents.
In the end, I as a blogger always appreciate those of you who take the time to read these posts and comment and I try my best to read and respond to as many of the good questions as I can. Hopefully these conversations help us to agree on some of the facts, which should help us to respectfully disagree on our subsequent solutions.