Archive for July, 2011

Teabaggers you cannot do these things!!!

Sunday, July 31st, 2011
All of the below are “SOCIALISM”. Please forward this to your Teaparty friends who you hear complaining about paying taxes (America is 32 out of 34 nations in Corporate Taxes PAID and individuals have seen the lowest tax burden today since the 1950s) .If you are a Conservative complaining about Those Damn Liberals…it is very simple…stop using tax payer subsidized programs which were put there by Liberals. Medicare and Social Security were totally opposed by Conservatives from day 1 so they are at the top of the list. They are listed below for the convenience of your friends knowing what not to use any more so they are not hypocritical in their political beliefs. Please pass to your Teaparty friends because most if not all do not realize that these programs below are anywhere from a majority of Societal Socialism of regulation to out and out pure Socialism of government programs run with Redistributed Income…also known as TAXES.
List of Socialistic programs to forward to your Conservative friends so they can avoid them as they are “killing America”-
 

1. Do not use Medicare.

2. Do not use Social Security

3. Do not become a member of the US military, who are paid with tax dollars. GPS is a military program so no more GPS for you!!! You are lost now.

4. Do not ask the National Guard to help you after a disaster.

5. Do not call 911 when you get hurt.

6. Do not call the police to stop intruders in your home.

7. Do not summon the fire department to save your burning home.

8. Do not drive on any paved road, highway, and interstate or drive on any bridge.

9. Do not use public restrooms.

10. Do not send your kids to public schools.

11. Do not put your trash out for city garbage collectors.

12. Do not live in areas with clean air.

13. Do not drink clean water.

14. Do not visit National Parks.

15. Do not visit public museums, zoos, and monuments.

16. Do not eat or use FDA inspected food and medicines.

17. Do not bring your kids to public playgrounds.

18. Do not walk or run on sidewalks.

19. Do not use public recreational facilities such as basketball and tennis courts.

20. Do not seek shelter facilities or food in soup kitchens when you are homeless and hungry.

21. Do not apply for educational or job training assistance when you lose your job.

22. Do not apply for food stamps when you can’t feed your children.

23. Do not use the judiciary system for any reason.

24. Do not ask for an attorney when you are arrested and do not ask for one to be assigned to you by the court.

25. Do not apply for any Pell Grants.

26. Do not use cures that were discovered by labs using federal dollars.

27. Do not fly on federally regulated airplanes.

28. Do not use any product that can trace its development back to NASA.

29. Do not watch the weather provided by the National Weather Service.

30. Do not listen to severe weather warnings from the National Weather Service.

31. Do not listen to tsunami, hurricane, or earthquake alert systems.

32. Do not apply for federal housing.

33. Do not use the internet, which was developed by the military.

34. Do not swim in clean rivers.

35. Do not allow your child to eat school lunches or breakfasts.

36. Do not ask for FEMA assistance when everything you own gets wiped out by disaster.

37. Do not ask the military to defend your life and home in the event of a foreign invasion.

38. Do not use your cell phone or home telephone.

39. Do not buy firearms that wouldn’t have been developed without the support of the US Government and military. That includes most of them.

40. Do not eat USDA inspected produce and meat.

41. Do not apply for government grants to start your own business.

42. Do not apply to win a government contract.

43. Do not buy any vehicle that has been inspected by government safety agencies.

44. Do not buy any product that is protected from poisons, toxins, etc…by the Consumer Protection Agency.

45. Do not save your money in a bank that is FDIC insured.

46. Do not use Veterans benefits or military health care.

47. Do not use the G.I. Bill to go to college.

48. Do not apply for unemployment benefits.

49. Do not use any electricity from companies regulated by the Department of Energy.

50. Do not live in homes that are built to code.

51. Do not run for public office. Politicians are paid with taxpayer dollars.

52. Do not ask for help from the FBI, S.W.A.T, the bomb squad, Homeland Security, State troopers, etc…

53. Do not apply for any government job whatsoever as all state and federal employees are paid with tax dollars.

54. Do not use public libraries.

55. Do not use the US Postal Service.

56. Do not visit the National Archives.

57. Do not visit Presidential Libraries.

58. Do not use airports that are secured by the federal government.

59. Do not apply for loans from any bank that is FDIC insured.

60. Do not ask the government to help you clean up after a tornado.

61. Do not ask the Department of Agriculture to provide a subsidy to help you run your farm.

62. Do not take walks in National Forests.

63. Do not ask for taxpayer dollars for your oil company.

64. Do not ask the federal government to bail your company out during recessions.

65. Do not seek medical care from places that use federal dollars.

66. Do not use Medicaid.

67. Do not use WIC.

68. Do not use electricity generated by Hoover Dam.

69. Do not use electricity or any service provided by the Tennessee Valley Authority.

70. Do not ask the Army Corps of Engineers to rebuild levees when they break.

71. Do not let the Coast Guard save you from drowning when your boat capsizes at sea.

72. Do not ask the government to help evacuate you when all hell breaks loose in the country you are in.

73. Do not visit historic landmarks.

74. Do not visit fisheries.

75. Do not expect to see animals that are federally protected because of the Endangered Species List.

76. Do not expect plows to clear roads of snow and ice so your kids can go to school and so you can get to work.

77. Do not hunt or camp on federal land.

78. Do not work anywhere that has a safe workplace because of government regulations.

79. Do not use public transportation.

80. Do not drink water from public water fountains.

81. Do not whine when someone copies your work and sells it as their own. Government enforces copyright laws.

82. Do not expect to own your home, car, or boat. Government organizes and keeps all titles.

83. Do not expect convicted felons to remain off the streets.

84. Do not eat in restaurants that are regulated by food quality and safety standards.

85. Do not seek help from the US Embassy if you need assistance in a foreign nation.

86. Do not apply for a passport to travel outside of the United States.

87. Do not apply for a patent when you invent something.

88. Do not adopt a child through your local, state, or federal governments.

89.Do not use elevators that have been inspected by federal or state safety regulators.

90. Do not use any resource that was discovered by the USGS.

91. Do not ask for energy assistance from the government.

92. Do not move to any other developed nation, because the taxes are much higher.

93. Do not go to a beach that is kept clean by the state.

94. Do not use money printed by the US Treasury.

95. Do not complain when millions more illegal immigrants cross the border because there are no more border patrol agents.

96. Do not attend a state university.

97. Do not see any doctor that is licensed through the state.

98. Do not use any water from municipal water systems.

99. Do not complain when diseases and viruses, that were once fought around the globe by the US government and CDC, reach your house.

100. Do not work for any company that is required to pay its workers a livable wage, provide them sick days, vacation days, and benefits.

101. Do not expect to be able to vote on election days. Government provides voting booths, election day officials, and voting machines which are paid for with taxes.

102. Do not ride trains. The railroad was built with government financial assistance.

 

The fact is, we pay for the lifestyle we expect. Without taxes, our lifestyles would be totally different and much harder. America would be a third world country. The less we pay, the less we get in return. Americans pay less taxes today since 1958 and is ranked 32nd out of 34 of the top tax paying countries. Chile and Mexico are 33rd and 34th. The Republicans are lying when they say that we pay the highest taxes in the world and are only attacking taxes to reward corporations and the wealthy and to weaken our infrastructure and way of life. So next time you object to paying taxes or fight to abolish taxes for corporations and the wealthy, keep this quote in mind…

“I like to pay taxes. With them, I buy civilization.” ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

How a flush country could be in debt trouble

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

The United States is a lot like a rich businessman who owns two homes, a yacht and millions of dollars in stock but is in debt because he took out a big loan to buy a private plane.

This fellow could always have used some of his wealth, for instance his stock, to pay cash for the plane. But he didn’t want to. Now, with the weak economy, he’s finding it hard to pay off the plane simply out of his salary. By putting most of his wealth beyond reach, he has boxed himself in.

Likewise, U.S. politicians have made a value judgment that they shouldn’t tap much of the country’s wealth to pay for government programs. That judgment, in turn, reflects the preference that many Americans themselves have expressed over the years for leaving private resources in mostly private hands.

Political leaders have actually reduced taxes — personal and corporate — to some of their lowest levels in generations and carved out a series of loopholes and policies that allow American companies and individuals to save money. And some of this money ends up leaving the country altogether.

The government, for instance, has encouraged savings in tax-shielded retirement accounts, which in part are invested abroad.

Corporations, likewise, have enjoyed preferential tax treatment through a range of loopholes and breaks that allow many large U.S. companies to pay far below the 35 percent corporate tax rate. Again, some of these corporate savings end up invested overseas.

Money generated by companies abroad isn’t taxed until it is returned to the United States — which companies are loath to do.

Frank Warnock, a professor at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, said the government decided to make major expenditures — such as two wars — without coming up with the money to pay for them.

But while the country is flush with assets, it doesn’t mean the government can seize them to pay for public debt. “I don’t think you can say there are buckets of money and let’s grab it,” Warnock said.

The United States finds itself in a very different situation from Greece, Portugal and other European countries that are struggling with debt and trying to avoid default. These Europeans have far less wiggle room, owing the vast majority of their debts abroad while owning relatively few assets.

What’s more, these countries have poorer prospects for economic growth. They are being charged interest rates to borrow money that one might expect at a payday lender. And they are locked into a single currency — the euro — which deprives them of a crucial tool: devaluing your currency to make your products cheaper and more attractive to customers in other countries.

The U.S. economic picture is not that rosy either. But economists still expect growth to pick up over the coming years, which will boost tax revenue and make it easier for the nation to afford its obligations. U.S. companies remain competitive, and if firms put their cash to work, it could fuel growth even more.

World Reacts To Debt Ceiling Debacle: ‘Irresponsible,’ ‘Worst Kind Of Absurd Theatrics,’ U.S. Politicians A ‘Laughing Stock’

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

Conservative German Die Welt: “[T]here are few signs of self-doubt or self-awareness in the U.S. … [The Tea Party movement] sees the other side as their enemy. Negotiations with the Democrats, whether it’s about appointing a judge or the insolvency of the United States, are only successful if the enemy is defeated. Compromise, they feel, is a sign of weakness and cowardice.”

The German mass-circulation Bild: “What America is currently exhibiting is the worst kind of absurd theatrics and the whole world is being held hostage… Most importantly, the Republicans have turned a dispute over a technicality into a religious war, which no longer has any relation to a reasonable dispute between the elected government and the opposition.”

French newspaper Le Monde:”The American politicians supposed to lead the most powerful nation in the world are becoming a laughing stock.”

Chinese state-owned newspaper Xinhua: “Given the United States’ status as the world’s largest economy and the issuer of the dominant international reserve currency, such political brinksmanship in Washington is dangerously irresponsible.”

Story is located here

IT’S OFFICIAL: The Whole World Thinks Republicans Are Dangerous Maniacs Threatening Everyone

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

Yes, the rest of the world is watching this embarrassing debt ceiling nonsense, and it is growing dismayed.

 

Der Spiegel has a roundup of commentary in German newspapers about the fight, and the universal message is this:

The US is holding the entire world hostage, and it’s the Republicans that are playing with fire.

Hard to accuse the Germans (who are no fans of fiscal profligacy) of being motivated by politics, or of having some inherent reason to attack Republicans. This is just the reality of what they’re doing.

Story is located here

My Teabagger friend does not know of what he speaks when he describes his life

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

One of my grade school/high school classmates posted something to Facebook about being happy that Redistribution of Income was hurting Europe….or something like that. So I asked him why he thought that way since he benefited from Redistribution of Income throughout his life. He said…ehh maybe 5% of his life was due to Redistributed Income but the rest was just hard work on his part. I had to point out his Public School education was almost 100% Redistributed Income….his 4 years in Military was PURE SOCIALISM….his college he went to during his military time was PURE SOCIALISM…his job of dealing with government contracts at a major manufacturer is totally based on Redistributed Income and his job was gotten due to the Welfare program called Affirmative Action for Veterans. I asked him for the very short moment in his life when he was not a screaming Pure Socialist. He had no response. He is a Teabagger of course and convinced he is a “self made man” when in fact the warm blankey of Uncle Sam handed him everything he has today. If you ask a Teabagger their background it is easy to tear them to pieces using logic alone because if their concepts of a small government and lower taxes were in force when they were younger….it would have resulted in their life going in a drastically different direction from what it is today due to the fact that they would not have the advantages given to them on a silver platter by Uncle Sam, Redistributed Income or out and out Welfare programs. My school friend does not understand life nor how he became what he is today. He is biting the hand that fed him quite well when he was younger and continues to feed him with his job of government contracts. Teabaggers truly do not know of what they speak.

The Super Rich- Job Creators or Job Movers?

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

Moving jobs to China for the benefit of corporations is a very Conservative principle in protecting the established rich people and corporations that hold power.  Thom Hartmann discusses this.

Video is  located here

“Reagan proved deficits don’t matter”

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

An article from 2004 looks funny in comparison to what is going on today with the budget battles.

Story is located here

Annihilating Democracy with the Tea Party or German comment EVISCERATES Tea Party concepts or Germans know more about Founding Fathers than Teabaggers

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

America’s Founding Fathers thought of everything. They wanted to establish several centers of power in Washington rather than just one. They wanted the occupant of the White House to be strong, but Congress was to have the power to check that strength. The friction between Capitol Hill and the White House — a product of this system of checks and balances — was to make the decisions of America’s leaders cleverer, wiser and better.

 

But the system only works when all branches of government play the role designed for them. For almost 235 years, the system worked reasonably well. But, about a year ago, things started to go wrong in the US capital; the system began to melt down. The friction is no longer propelling the country to greatness, rather it is hastening its decline. Members of the right-wing conservative Tea Party movement, which is well represented in Congress since the last elections, want friction. But at the expense of results.

 

These lawmakers no longer view themselves as part of the political system. Instead, they identify themselves as its enemy. They see themselves as outsiders, even as they sit in Congress and enjoy the kinds of job benefits they would like to strip from their fellow Americans.

All Take, No Give

They are, as has become clear during the ongoing debt debate , calling the entire system into question. And they have turned the system of checks and balances into a tool of obstruction.

Experts agree that America can only reduce its vast mountain of debt by both cutting expenditures and raising taxes — at least a little. Tea Party politicians are eager to slash spending, but they are adamantly opposed to allowing the government to increase tax revenues. Their refusal to compromise has led economists to warn of ” Armageddon ” should the US become insolvent.

In response to such “fear mongering,” the Tea Party group Campaign for Liberty wrote on its blog that, even if the debt ceiling isn’t raised, “the sun will still rise in the East and set in the West, as it has for all time.” What, after all, do the experts know?

As a result, America has come to a standstill . The branches of government were designed to both exercise and yield power. More than anything, though, they are supposed to work together. But working together would appear to be contrary to the Tea Party movement’s creed. Members aren’t interested in making Washington better, they want to annihilate it. Their Holy Grail is a stripped down state.

President Barack Obama wants to improve schools, whereas the Tea Party would prefer to see many state-run schools eliminated. Obama wants to invest in clean energy; the Tea Party denies the existence of climate change. The president wants to make trillions in cuts; but the Tea Party refuses to approve a dollar more in taxes, even on the very rich.

Unbending Principles

Indeed, after talks with Republican leaders broke down last Friday, a visibly annoyed Obama asked reporters: “Can they say yes to anything?” The answer is no, and the blame lies with the new system.

It used to be that politicians would campaign on anti-Washington platforms, but would still be proud of being in Congress once elected. But the representatives who road the Tea Party wave into Washington do things differently. As a recent article in the New York Times noted, several of them actually live and sleep in their offices “so as to pronounce themselves detached from the culture in Washington” and then fly back to their constituencies on Thursdays. It’s a matter of principle. They view themselves as being on a mission and proudly claim to not think about their re-election chances. They are focused on their principles.

Yet, in so doing, they are betraying the principles of democracy. It is in the nature of democracy to think about re-election. It means politicians remain in touch with their voters — and it keeps them open to compromise.

But the Tea Party is opposed to compromise, that lubricant of all legislative bodies. They practice a form of democracy, but in its rawest, most aggressive form.

They have, for example, repeatedly and publicly humiliated Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner. Boehner had hammered out a deal with President Obama involving $4 trillion (€2.8 trillion) in federal spending cuts, including a long-overdue reform to the overburdened social system. In return, Boehner agreed to some tax increases. It would have been a genuine reform — a rather major one.

The Tea Party, though, saw the deal as a betrayal. Taxes, after all, are poison according to their doctrine. It is an extremely fundamentalist doctrine, and they have used it to take the Republican party hostage.

The Republican Party “has been infected by a faction that is more of a psychological protest than a practical, governing alternative,” writes conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks. He says the movement is driven by protest reflexes and “do not accept the logic of compromise, no matter how sweet the terms.”

With its stubbornness, the Tea Party is betraying its own idols. They like to quote Ronald Reagan, famous for saying that “government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem.” But even he didn’t shy away from governing. He raised taxes 11 times and upped the debt ceiling 18 times. The Republican icon spoke often about his dislike for government, but he never made it into a religion.

Stoking Voter Ire

 

The Tea Party, on the other hand, is the Congressional outgrowth of “you’re either with us or against us,” the maxim that former President George W. Bush espoused as he launched his “war on terror.” And the movement wants to drive the state into bankruptcy, consequences be damned.

 

Tea Party lawmakers themselves will ultimately have to pay the price for this strategy. Polls indicate that many Americans are put off by the radicalism of these wild new politicians and want to see a compromise reached on the debt ceiling. A majority backs a deal that includes lower expenditures and more taxes. It makes people nervous that Tea Party adherents acts as though America can choose whether or not to pay back its debts.

Most Americans, after all, are also familiar with the Founding Fathers that the Tea Party movement is so fond of citing. And what did Jefferson, Washington, Madison and the others say when their young republic was forced to borrow money? The state, they said, had to pay its debts. On that point, they knew no compromise.

Story is located here

Hardball: Bruce Bartlett destroys every Republican fiscal talking point in 5 minutes.

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

Bruce Bartlett was on Hardball today. If you missed his appearance it was simply amazing.

He destroyed every Republican fiscal talking point in 5 minutes.

He then ended the interview with this when Chris asked him how to end the debt issue.

CM: I feel like sanity has just walked into the door. Bruce, so great, now that I realize you’re smart and have the numbers, give me two seconds. Any way to solve this kerfuffle?

BB: I think at this point, there’s nothing that can pass the House of Representatives.

CM: Because it’s too much of a zoo?

BB: Yeah, i think a good chunk of the Republican caucus is either stupid, crazy, ignorant or craven cowards, who are desperately afraid of the tea party people, and rightly so.

WOW.

He does let out a dirty little secret though.

Video is located here

$22 trillion Social Security surplus revealed on C-SPAN+*

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

When Peter Coy, the Bloomberg Businessweek Economics Editor, appeared this morning on “Washington Journal,” he brought along a chart for his discussion of the magazine’s cover article, “Why the Debt Crisis is Even Worse Than You Think.” But, the chart, purported to show a national fiscal gap, did not match Coy’s talking points. As Coy concluded commenting that cuts would be needed to Social Security and other entitlements, C-SPAN moderator Susan Swain pointed out that Coy’s chart showed a long-term surplus for Social Security of $22 trillion. Coy confirmed as accurate her interpretation of the chart and, after some stumbling, admitted that, “The trust fund is not the crucial issue.” Indeed, his own figures show that it is not an issue at all. So, why did he continue to insist that Social Security cuts are needed?

To watch the interview, go to the video and fast-forward to the 28 minute mark. Discussion of the Social Security surplus occurs around the 30 minutes mark.

Story is located here

The Balanced Budget Amendment is a buncha crap

Friday, July 29th, 2011

These problems are magnified by the balanced budget amendment Republicans plan to debate next week. As reported by the House Judiciary Committee on June 23, the joint resolution (H.J. Res. 1) would limit federal spending to “18 percent of economic output” unless two-thirds of the House and Senate vote otherwise.

Assuming such a proposition is a good idea, how practical is it? For one thing, the term “economic output” in not defined in the committee report. Presumably, it means gross domestic product. But this is not a term defined in law; nor could it be. GDP figures are constantly being revised as new data become available and economists change their concept of what it means.

Another problem is that Congress cannot know what GDP will be in the coming fiscal year and it must necessarily pass its appropriations bills before the fiscal year begins. This means, as a practical matter, that Congress must base its spending on forecasts of GDP, which are often wrong and sometimes by large magnitudes. And of course it is impossible to control spending on entitlements or interest on the debt on an annual basis.

Needless to say, the problem of enforcement is even greater than with the simple sort of balanced budget amendment that was previously under discussion. Yet Republicans held exactly one day of hearings on their proposed amendment and routinely assert that further discussion is unnecessary because the idea of a balanced budget amendment has been kicking around for decades. But no previous amendment has ever contemplated limiting spending to a certain percentage of economic output–and no state or foreign country has ever attempted such a thing.

Story is located here

China and Texas are a lot alike

Friday, July 29th, 2011

As Americans lose ever more jobs and economic clout to China, the pressure’s mounting for us to become more Chinese. Enter Texas Governor Rick Perry, whose 2012 presidential campaign slogan might as well be, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” In many ways, Texas is the China in our own backyard, a big, brash upstart that’s created thousands of jobs by playing economic hardball. Admirers of the Lone Star State have dubbed its economy the “Texas Miracle,” but maybe a better name would be the “Texas Tiger.”

Story is located here

Mardi Gras: Made in China—

Friday, July 29th, 2011
In 2002, David Redmon decided to make Mardi Gras: Made in China (74 minutes) after reading articles about China’s rapid transformation into a capitalist, free market economy. Redmon wanted to follow one object from China to the United States in order to visually personalize globalization and illustrate how the commodity chain is connected to different people along the alienated and seemingly disconnected route. Out of curiosity and seduction, Redmon chose Mardi Gras beads as the object to analyze “from the factory to the festival.” Redmon followed his bead-trail of curiosity to the rural region of Fuzhou, China where the bead factory is located in a tax-free Special Economic Zone.

After staying with the workers and documenting their everyday life inside a factory compound for two months, government officials in China requested that Redmon immediately leave the factory. Redmon left China and continued his bead-journey by following the bead trail to New Orleans during Carnival. Redmon’s purpose was to invite others to be part of a constructive debate about globalization by showing how the beads are transported, consumed, disposed, and recycled during their global journey.

 

Preview is located here

More info on this located here

The politics of this budget mess

Friday, July 29th, 2011
First of all the debt crisis is NOT A CRISIS. Interest rates for Treasuries are as low as they have ever been meaning there are plenty of buyers for our debt. There is no debt crisis. It is just…not…a problem today. It would be good to pay it down but to those calling it a crisis…you just need you to point to low treasury interest rates and their crisis claims are blown out of the water as the interest is the arm twisting and convincing we must to to sell Treasuries. HOWEVER…because we do not have a government agreement to cover the costs of the bills we ran up….there IS a crisis due to that artificial problem. We have the money to cover the bills but the Republicans are not allowing us to pull out the credit card.
#1- ALL BUDGET BILLS……..ALL…..start in the house. Originally the House plan was 85% cuts and 15% taxes. Obama gave them an 83% and 17% plan which the Teabaggers said NO to. THAT is how inflexible these people are. Again…the Senate and Obama can offer suggestions to the House as to budget plans…but BY DEFINITION AND BY CONSTITUTIONAL LAW spending bills Originate in the HOUSE. The House today is a ZOO dominated by a small number of unbending Teabaggers who are holding the mainstream Republicans (who dabbled into the Teabagger arena to be elected and are DEEPLY regretting it today) hostage to the Teabagger extremist views of our economy and social direction. Obama gave the House literally 98% of the cuts they wanted and the Teabagger house said NO. 98% of the cuts they wanted and the Teabaggers could not move 2% towards Obama. This is all ALL ALL blamable on the House which is held hostage by the Teabaggers. Those who hate government…Republicans…cannot govern well.
A quick explanation of the budget process is here
http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/federalbudgetprocess/a/budget_process.htm
A spending bill must be created, debated and passed to fund the programs and operations of each Cabinet-level agency. Per the Constitution, each spending bill must originate in the House. Since the House and Senate versions of each spending bill must be identical, this always become the most time-consuming step in the budget process.
#2- Who is to blame for the debt? Look at the curve head down during Clinton’s time http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_debt_by_U.S._presidential_terms Clinton tried to bring it down but once he handed a few hundred million dollars in Surplus to Bush ALAN GREENSPAN…WHO WAS LOOKING AT OUR $4TRILLION DEBT AT THE TIME….SAID PAYING DOWN THE DEBT WOULD BE BAD!!!!!! Here he is quoted. http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=1592 THIS along with Cheney saying debts dont matter entered America into a debt spiral we see today. There is NO CRISIS as proven by interest rates being almost zero and the issue of this Debt Ceiling being a difficult thing to pass….paying the bills for services done for the government by private companies shows the whole crisis is a total fraud
The only answer is that the GOP is trying to tank the economy…kill the nation…then their Teabagger wet dream is to rebuild the nation in a totally Corporate mold giving all to the richest as it is taken from the average people. THIS is the definition of Trickle Down Economics. The people who hate Liberals and Democrats are going to soon be crying that they want Socialism because governmental action on behald of people is going to be the only way we are going to pull a dollar out of the cold moldy hands of the billionaires. The proof is the Walton family again with $100Billion in the bank as their workers apply for Food Stamps and Medicare just to survive. YAY FREE MARKET!!!
The result-
Boehner is going to be voted out as Sspeaker and Cantor who is a Teabager will be voted in meaning there will be NO LEGISLATION of any kind passed from the House. There have been ZERO ZERO ZERO jobs bills passed from the house as it is since the Teabaggers were installed. ZERO JOBS BILLS…..during a near depression as their main election mantra was WHERE ARE THE JOBS. Obama’s stimulus was something good preventing the firing of thousands of teachers cops and firefighters and helped states balance their budgets avoiding further localized catastrophies in the economy. The Teabagger House has had ZERO jobs bills of any kind.
History will be written about this time showing Republicans driving up a massive deficit…then Republicans complaining about the deficit created by Republicans….so the Republicans destroyed the nation’s and the world’s economy…..because of the deficit created by Republicans.
Anyone voting for a Republican for even DOG CATCHER should be deemed insane and not allowed to vote ever again.
Anyone saying they are a Conservative are by definition less than human.
And the Democrats….they better come to see FDR as the way to go because the torches and pitchforks will soon be the strong arm force the average people use to get cash from the hands of the super rich. The Walton Family did not put $100Billion in their personal bank accounts by paying their workers well and treating them as humans!!!!
OH….American Idol has a new season coming soon!?!?!?! I wonder what Paula is doing today!!!!!
America deserves what it gets and it will be ugly.

Alan Greenspan looking at the surplus handed to Bush by Clinton said America could NOT pay down its debt

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Story is located here

On February 22,the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released an analysis, “The Peril of Zero Debt and the Long-Term Budgetary Outlook: Some Questions Regarding Chairman Greenspan’s Recent Testimony.” This analysis evaluates the argument that Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan has advanced that because of the “peril of zero debt,” a large tax cut is needed.

Chairman Greenspan noted that projected budget surpluses are sufficiently large that the public debt may be eliminated within the next ten years. At that point, continued surpluses would necessarily result in public investment in some sort of private assets (since there would be no debt left to pay down). Chairman Greenspan argued that public investment in private assets could lead to political interference in private capital markets and, as a result, would risk “sub-optimal performance by our capital markets, diminished economic efficiency, and lower overall standards of living than would be achieved otherwise.” This is the so-called “peril of zero debt.” To avoid that peril, Greenspan recommended that projected surpluses be dissipated in part through tax cuts.

Dissipating the surpluses through tax cuts, however, would result in lower national saving than if the surpluses are saved by paying down debt (since the funds used for the tax cuts or spending increases would not be saved, while the funds used to pay down debt would be). Higher national saving offers significant benefits to the nation in preparing for the retirement of the baby boomers, since it raises the productivity of future workers and thereby reduces the burden of supporting the baby boomers in their retirement. Given these benefits of higher national saving, Chairman Greenspan’s argument about “the peril of zero debt” merits careful scrutiny. A critical question is whether the economic costs associated with public investment in private assets outweigh the economic costs of failing to undertake as much national saving. The Center’s analysis paper finds:

  • Higher national saving — achieved by preserving a substantial portion of the projected budget surpluses — offers the most promising fiscal policy response to the need to prepare for the increased long-term costs of our aging population.

 

  • Forgoing national saving to avoid any public investment in private assets would potentially entail economic costs. Saving the projected Social Security surplus, the projected Medicare surplus, and one-third of the projected on-budget surplus between 2002 and 2011 would increase the size of the economy (i.e., increase GDP) by roughly $70 billion (or about 0.5 percent) in 2012 relative to saving only the Social Security surplus over the coming decade. By the end of 2011, our nation’s capital stock (the resources that help us to produce income) would be $800 billion higher than if we saved only the projected Social Security surpluses. (These estimates are explained in the Center’s paper.)

 

  • Even if the projected budget surpluses fully materialize, and the majority of the surpluses is used to reduce debt or accumulate private assets, the size of projected public investment in private assets over the next ten years would be small in comparison to the investments already undertaken by state and local government pension funds in the United States and by foreign governments such as Denmark and Norway. State and local pension funds in the United States already own almost $2 trillion in corporate equities and have invested these amounts without any apparent damage to the economy. Denmark has successfully invested its public pension fund in private assets for decades.

 

  • Public investments in private assets should be undertaken through the Social Security system. In investing Social Security reserves in equities, no Congressional or executive branch involvement should be allowed. Most proposals to allow a portion of Social Security reserves to be invested in private securities would establish an independent board tasked with selecting private investment managers. These managers — which could include entities such as Merrill Lynch, Vanguard, or State Street Bank — would undertake the investing of a modest portion of Social Security reserves in broad index funds in the equities markets. (An index fund reflects a collection of stocks.) Investments in individual stocks, rather than index funds, would not be permitted.

Given the experience of state and local government pension funds in the United States and of national governments in other countries in managing investments in private assets, and the protections that could be erected to avoid politicization of the capital markets from investments in private assets through the Social Security trust fund, the peril of zero debt does not provide a sound rational for enacting a large tax cut today. Passing a large tax cut merely to avoid the possibility of public investments in private assets would not represent sound policy.

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#1- ALL BUDGET BILLS……..ALL…..start in the house. the Senate can offer a suggestion..they offered $2.7Trillion in cuts….Obama offered a suggestiojn of $4Trillion in cuts….the house has yet to pass anything. the Senate and Obama can offer suggestions to the House as to budget plans…but BY DEFINITION AND BY CONSTITUTIONAL LAW spending bills Originate in the HOUSE. the House is a ZOO. This is all ALL ALL blamable on the House which is held hostage by the Teabaggers.
A quick explanation of the budget process is here
http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/federalbudgetprocess/a/budget_process.htm
A spending bill must be created, debated and passed to fund the programs and operations of each Cabinet-level agency. Per the Constitution, each spending bill must originate in the House. Since the House and Senate versions of each spending bill must be identical, this always become the most time-consuming step in the budget process.
#2- Who is to blame? Look at the curve head down during Clinton’s time http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_debt_by_U.S._presidential_terms Clinton tried to bring it down but once he handed a few hundred million dollars in Surplus to Bush ALAN GREENSPAN WHO WAS LOOKING AT OUR $4TRILLION DEBT AT THE TIME SAID PAYING DOWN THE DEBT WOULD BE BAD!!!!!! Here he is quoted. http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=1592 THIS along with Cheney saying debts dont matter entered America into a debt spiral. There is NO CRISIS as proven by interest rates being almost zero. This whole crisis is a total fraud
The only answer is that the GOP is trying to tank the economy…kill the nation…then their wet dream is to rebuild the nation in a totally Corporate mold giving all to the richest of us as it is taken from the average people. THIS is the definition of Trickle Down Economics. the people who hate Liberals and Democrats are going to soon be crying that they want Socialism because that is the only way we are going to pull a dollar out of the cold moldy hands of the billionaires.
Boehner is going to be voted out as speaker and Cantor who is a Teabager will be voted in meaning there will be NO LEGISLATION of any kind passed from the House. there have been ZERO ZERO ZERO jobs bills passed from the house as it is since the Teabaggers were installed. ZERO JOBS BILLS…..during a near depression.
History will be written about this time showing Republicans driving up a massive deficit then Republicans complaining about the deficit created by Republicans so the Republicans destroyed the nation because of the deficit created by Republicans.
Anyone voting for a Republican for even DOG CATCHER should be deemed insane and not allowed to vote ever again.
Anyone saying they are a Conservative are by definition less than human.
And the Democrats….they better come to see FDR as the way to go because the torches and pitchforks will soon be the strong arm force the average people use to get cash from the hands of the super rich. The Walton Family did not put $100Billion in the bank by paying their workers well and treating them as humans!!!!

Van Jones tries to help create a liberal version of the Tea Party

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Then it was time for the main event: the Contract for the American Dream. This whole effort is a reverse-engineering job on the Tea Party. Yet the contract is something that the right took from the old, pamphleteering left. This version is designed for maximum efficiency—the most popular items selected at the American Dream parties will be sent to MoveOn, which will start cranking out a manifesto. On four sheets of paper, there are 40 line items for a progressive agenda—”create [health] care jobs,” “end the huge waste of wars and invest the money in peace-building,” and so on. We were told to select three priorities.

The airing of grievances was over, and we had moved on to talking strategy. There are plenty of progressive dreams on this list, but what did people at the meeting think they could sell? What do they think they should sell? The group honed in on all of the economics items. The most popular item is about tax hikes.

Story is located here

Michele Bachmann Painted by Insiders as An Incapacitated Valley of the Doll

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Trying to knock her out, Michele Bachmann insiders say she is “incapacitated” often.

The image of a pill-popping, incapacitated Michele Bachmann is being painted today by “former aides”, “three people who have worked closely with Bachmann”, unnamed witnesses, an unnamed adviser, and “some around her”. I doubt it’s any coincidence that the Daily Caller is reporting this on the heels of the news that Michele Bachmann is the “Grand Old Party’s” new front runner, as they are all quite aware of her limitations against President Obama.

According to these sources, due to “stress”, Bachmann is shuttled in and out of emergency and urgent care, put to bed in CEO’s homes, and propped up by at least three different kinds of pills. Repeated use of the word “incapacitated” to describe Bachman’s “migraine headaches” is taken so far as to say the word is being used deliberately, as the adviser is “terrified about the impact the condition could have on Bachmann’s performance if she actually became president.”

The DC (Tucker Carlson’s joint) justifies offering the sources anonymity because their breaches of confidence could impact further job prospects. No doubt that’s a valid concern, but one does have to wonder why the Daily Caller is taking out the Republican front runner with rumor and innuendo:

Story is located here

JP Morgan Tells Investors Why Middle Class Americans Are Screwed

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

How many working class Republicans do you know? How many blindly vote against their own economic interest? It is not their fault, they have just been duped into believing the conservative mantra that the government is stealing their money, when in actuality it is the wealthy who are stealing their money.

Let’s take welfare for example, according to a report by USA Today, in 2010 4.4 million people were on welfare. In a country of 330 million people that equals to a little over 1% of the population. Many people do not know this statistic because the corporate media wants to sensationalize news and this statistic will not get the blood boiling. Now there are also 50 million people on Medicaid, this is also welfare, just not the “check” poor people use to buy clothing, gas and pay for their electric bills. The reason why there are so many people on Medicaid is simply because businesses are not providing health insurance to their employees or if they are, the cost to the employee is too much because their checks are so small.

So your Republican friends are not happy and they have been told that if we reduce taxes on the “job creators” those tax savings will trickle down to them in the form of better wages or benefits. Your republican friends are getting squeezed, financially all the while the wealthiest in America are having their taxes cut and earning more.

Each and every time the federal government reduces taxes on the wealthiest in this country, that translates to lower state aid from the federal government. The states increase sales tax then push the burden onto the local towns and cities by cutting local aid from the state capitols that help fund schools, build roads etc. This then translates to reduced police, firemen, teachers, parks and senior centers, and/or higher property taxes on the small business owners and middle class homeowners.

In a recent report in a JP Morgan memo to their investors from Michael Cembalest, the chief investment officer he says, “US labor compensation is now at a 50-year low relative to both company sales and US GDP.” Cembalest continues to explain why corporate profits are so strong while the rest of the working class are feeling the pinch, “reductions in wages and benefits explain the majority of the net improvement in margins.” 75% of the increase in profit margins directly correlate with the reduction in workers’ wages.

Story is located here

Plutocracy: If Corporations and the Rich Paid 1960s-Level Taxes, the Debt Would Vanish

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Once upon a time in America, back a century ago, our nation’s rich paid virtually nothing in taxes to the federal government. And that same federal government did virtually nothing to better the lives of average Americans.

Story is located here

The Chart That Should Accompany All Discussions of the Debt Ceiling

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

It’s based on data from the Congressional Budget Office and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Its significance is not partisan (who’s “to blame” for the deficit) but intellectual. It demonstrates the utter incoherence of being very concerned about a structural federal deficit but ruling out of consideration the policy that was largest single contributor to that deficit, namely the Bush-era tax cuts.

An additional significance of the chart: it identifies policy changes, the things over which Congress and Administration have some control, as opposed to largely external shocks — like the repercussions of the 9/11 attacks or the deep worldwide recession following the 2008 financial crisis. Those external events make a big difference in the deficit, and they are the major reason why deficits have increased faster in absolute terms during Obama’s first two years than during the last two under Bush. (In a recession, tax revenues plunge, and government spending goes up – partly because of automatic programs like unemployment insurance, and partly in a deliberate attempt to keep the recession from getting worse.) If you want, you could even put the spending for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in this category: those were policy choices, but right or wrong they came in response to an external shock.

The point is that governments can respond to but not control external shocks. That’s why we call them “shocks.” Governments can control their policies. And the policy that did the most to magnify future deficits is the Bush-era tax cuts. You could argue that the stimulative effect of those cuts is worth it (”deficits don’t matter” etc). But you cannot logically argue that we absolutely must reduce deficits, but that we absolutely must also preserve every penny of those tax cuts. Which I believe precisely describes the House Republican position.

Chart and story are located here

Regarding taxes and the top 1%

Thursday, July 28th, 2011
The top 1% own over 42% of the wealth as they admit to so the real number is over 50%. They pay 50% of the taxes and that is just about right where they SHOULD BE to merely maintain the nation. They should Actually pay MORE becuase they make their money because of- Educarted workers from Public Schools…their workers use the electric Grid to work to make them obscenely wealthy…they use public water/sewer…they need clean air/water/food in order to be healthy to go to work…the court/government police/fire/militay…the workers use public roads and so many more things. Then those obcenely paid people take disproportionally from corporate profits in terms of being ovrpaid. The top 1% suck resources disproportionately from the rest of us. As they receive so much of a majority of the wealth of this nation they should pay AT LEAST THAT AMOUNT 50% for FAIRNESS to merely maintain the nation. If investment is needed and improvements needed for the nation those top 1% owning 50% of the wealth need to supply well more than 50% of the costs to upgrade the nation’s infrastructure as they are merely getting it back later. In America the super rich pay less than 18% while the “worker bees” average people pay upper 20 to low 30%. How is this a FAIR or LOGICAL tax scheme? It is merely a ripoff for the average people and raw Socialism for the rich. ANDD the ironic thing is that this upside down tax scheme we presently have is supported by Conservatives who are those average people paying mid 20% taxes as the super rich pay 18%. For such a Puritanical nation and a Godly “Christian” (but having nothing to do with the actual WORDS and ACTIONS of Jesus) some Americans LOVE TO BE SCREWED by the rich.

FLASHBACK: Republicans Never Voted On A Balanced Budget Amendment When They Controlled Congress Under Bush

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Story is located here

House Republicans last week insisted on passing their radical “cut, cap, and balance” plan, which would allow the federal debt ceiling to be raised only if a balanced budget amendment (complete with a federal spending cap and a supermajority requirement for tax increases) is approved by Congress and sent to the states. The Senate tabled the bill by a vote of 51-46.

Despite their plan failing to receive even a majority in the Senate — far less than the two-thirds required for a constitutional amendment — Republicans have continued to demand, as they have for months, that a balanced budget amendment be a part of any deal to raise the debt ceiling. And the GOP is framing its BBA push as some kind of favor for the next generation. For instance, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, who chairs the House Republican Conference, said today that the balanced budget amendment is “not about the next election. It’s about the next generation.” Watch it:

However, when the Republicans held both chambers of Congress from 2003 to 2006, and had a Republican in the White House, they not only didn’t approve a balanced budget amendment, they never even held a vote on it. In fact, the last vote on a BBA was in 1997, when Bill Clinton was president; the Senate defeated it by a single vote.

As we’ve extensively discussed, a balanced budget amendment is one of the worst ideas in Washington. It would force the government to make economic downturns worse by actively slashing spending in the face of falling revenue. Republicans are now claiming, in the name of the next generation of Americans, that enacting a balanced budget amendment is the price of averting economic catastrophe, but their utter indifference to the idea when they actually had the power to advance it shows that it’s nothing more than a political ploy.

Typical- When a big corporation goes Chapter 11 the CEO, COO, CFO and other leaders get…

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

A big big bonus!!! 

Story is located here

RBR-TVBR Analysis
Top executives of Citadel Broadcasting are in line for big severance packages when the company is sold to Cumulus Media. So, how much are they already making?

The answer to that question is also revealed in the preliminary proxy materials filed a few days ago with the SEC.

A few months after Citadel emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization; all five top execs received bonuses for calendar year 2010. The SEC filing says the bonuses were based on the company achieving a target of $232.4 million of consolidated EBITDA. The actual figure (we looked it up) was $251.2 million, so they hit the target with millions to spare.

CEO Farid Suleman was paid a base salary of $1,186,955 for 2010 and got a bonus of $2 million for hitting the EBITDA goal. He received $2,554 in other compensation. The total compensation chart also lists the stock options that the execs received last year, but that was spelled out more fully and accurately in our previous report.

COO Judy Ellis got a base salary of $489,391, a bonus of $250,000 ($200K for the EBITDA performance and $50K additional) and other compensation of $2,554. That other compensation is for the 401(k) match and insurance for most of the execs.

VP/General Counsel Jacquelyn Orr got a salary of $342,574 and total bonuses of $350,000 – including $150K for her role in completing the Chapter 11 process and $200K for hitting the EBITDA target. Orr received $550,104 in other compensation, including her separation payments when she left the company at the end of January. As a result, she forfeited stock options which would have been worth $851,000 if she’d stayed for the deal which later emerged with Cumulus.

CFO Randy Taylor was paid a salary of $385,179 and got total bonuses of $400,000 — $150K for his role in the Chapter 11 process, $200K for the EBITDA performance and an additional $50K. His other compensation for the 401(k) and insurance was $2,554.

Last (and least in terms of executive compensation) was Sr. VP of finance and administration Patricia Stratford. She was paid a salary of $195,756 and got bonuses of $150,000, including $125K for the EBITDA performance and an additional $25K. Her 401(k) and insurance compensation was also $2,554.

Wealth gap between races in America widens with the Great Recession

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Chart is located here

There’s long been a big gap between the wealth of white families and the wealth of African-Americans and Hispanics. But the Great Recession has made it much worse — the divide is almost twice what it used to be.

That’s according to a new study by the Pew Research Center, which says that the decline in the housing market is the main cause.

The numbers are astounding. The average wealth of a white family in 2009 was 20 times greater than that of the average black family, and 18 times greater than the average Hispanic family. In other words, the average white family had $113,149 in net worth, compared to $6,325 for Hispanics and $5,677 for blacks.

That’s the largest gap since the government began collecting the data a quarter of a century ago, and twice what it was before the start of the Great Recession.

Story is located here

Norwegian President does something in speech after horrible gunman attack that the USA could learn from

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Video is located here

His speech transcript is as follows—

“Today Norway was hit by two shocking and bloody and cowardly attacks.
We still do not know who attacked us; much is still uncertain.
But we know that many are dead and injured.
We are all shocked at the evil that has struck us so brutally and so suddenly
This night demands much of all of us.
And the days that follow will demand even more
We are prepared to face up to this.
Norway hangs together during critical times.
We mourn our dead, we suffer with the injured, and we comfort relatives.
This is about attacks on innocent civilians, on young people at summer camp.
An attack on all of us.
I have a message to the people who attacked us, and those behind them.
This is a message from all of Norway:
You will not destroy us.
You will not destroy our democracy nor our quest for a better world.
We are a small nation, but we are a proud nation.
No one shall bomb us into silence or shoot us into silence.
Nothing will frighten us out of being Norway.
This night we will comfort each other, talk with each other, and stand together.
Tomorrow we will show the world that Norway’s democracy grows stronger when it is challenged.
We shall find the guilty and hold them responsible.
The important thing tonight is to save lives, to care for the victims and their loved ones
I would like to state my recognition for the work of the police, the medics,
and all the other people who currently do such formidable work
to help others, healing injures and saving lives.
We must never cease to stand up for our values.
We have to show that our open society can pass this test, too,
And that the answer to violence is even more democracy,
even more humanity, but never naïveté.
That is what we owe to the victims and to the those they hold dear.”

By law FOX News won the right to lie.

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Video is located here

Ever wonder why it is that Fox News can lie over and over again – yet continue to call itself “News”? It’s because Fox News is a corporation – and ever since that 1886 Supreme Court case of Southern Pacific Railroad versus Santa Clara County when a rogue court reporter named JC Bancroft Davis slipped corporate personhood into the legal record – the courts have ruled time and time again that corporations – since they have all the rights that actual people have – could also lie just like people can. Except for one time. Back in 1998 – a political activist named Mark Kasky sued Nike alleging that Nike was lying to its customers by publishing in the San Francisco Examiner a letter assuring everyone that the corporation’s workers around the world enjoy basic labor rights like a minimum wage – health and safety regulations – and equal opportunity employment. Kasky knew this claim wasn’t true. A 1996 audit of the Nike revealed that workers in Vietnam were routinely exposed to cancer-causing chemicals that were illegal in the United States. And a Mothers Jones article later cited a Nike-funded study that found, “evidence of physical and verbal abuse and sexual harassment at nine of its contract factories in Indonesia.” After realizing he and thousands of other Nike customers were lied to and were buying Nike products under false assumptions – Kasky took the corporation to court. And in 2002 – Kasky won his case before the California Supreme Court which ruled that Nike did indeed …

Story is located here

Why does God back such horrible Presidential candidates that hate Americans so much?

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Now that Rick Perry is positioning himself as the next Great American Messiah, it’s hard not to find one’s nerves wearing thin at the number of candidates that God apparently sees fit to endorse, and even more, with their sheer gumption and embarrassing lack of qualification.

Rick, of course, is a delightful case of crackpot and self-aggrandizing delusional quasi-prophet turned politician, but he is hardly alone in being quite so ridiculous. In fact, it seems that God has called most of the Republican field to run; He just can’t seem to make up his mind as to which entrant He finds to be the most tempting. Perhaps we should make them wear apple costumes. The Almighty seems to be fishing towards the lower sections of the barrel when He dredges up the candidates that He wants to run. And you have to ask why, after all, for someone who is omnipotent, could He not pick anyone?

It’s not that much of a surprise that Barack Obama, an ex-drug using Ivory Tower type and formerly non-religious radical is not high on God’s list, even if he might be top of the candidate roster drafted by the less religious factions of the United States. God doesn’t want candidates that are big on that learning bent, but loves candidates that know how to pray!

Let’s just run through the list, shall we? Michele Bachmann is feeling God’s call to run. Rick Santorum and his wife have decided that God wants them in this the race. Tim Pawlenty’s star campaign recruit feels that God not only wants him to help elect the next president, but that that person should be Tim Pawlenty. Herman Cain thinks that God wants him in the milieu as well.

Story is located here

Obama spending vs Reagan Spending

Monday, July 25th, 2011

As a percentage of GDP Obama is WAYYY behind Reagan spending as a percentage of GDP.  Reagan was a spender…Obama is not.  Taxes are as low as they have been since the 1950s and spending is up ONLY BECAUSE OF TARP which was done by Bush to save Capitalism from iself and the Stimulus which DID save hundreds of thousands of jobs in the process.  Story is located here

Obama spending vs Bush Spending

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Remember that the chart which is located here shows Obama spending of the Stimulus and Stimulus tax cuts which were battling the near-Depression handed to him. Story is located here

It’s based on data from the Congressional Budget Office and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Its significance is not partisan (who’s “to blame” for the deficit) but intellectual. It demonstrates the utter incoherence of being very concerned about a structural federal deficit but ruling out of consideration the policy that was largest single contributor to that deficit, namely the Bush-era tax cuts.

An additional significance of the chart: it identifies policy changes, the things over which Congress and Administration have some control, as opposed to largely external shocks — like the repercussions of the 9/11 attacks or the deep worldwide recession following the 2008 financial crisis. Those external events make a big difference in the deficit, and they are the major reason why deficits have increased faster in absolute terms during Obama’s first two years that during the last two under Bush. (In a recession, tax revenues plunge, and government spending goes up – partly because of automatic programs like unemployment insurance, and partly in a deliberate attempt to keep the recession from getting worse.) If you want, you could even put the spending for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in this category: those were policy choices, but right or wrong they came in response to an external shock.

The point is that governments can respond to but not control external shocks. That’s why we call them “shocks.” Governments can control their policies. And the policy that did the most to magnify future deficits is the Bush-era tax cuts. You could argue that the stimulative effect of those cuts is worth it (”deficits don’t matter” etc). But you cannot logically argue that we absolutely must reduce deficits, but that we absolutely must also preserve every penny of those tax cuts. Which I believe precisely describes the House Republican position.

After the jump, from a previous “The Chart That Should…” positing, an illustration of the respective roles of external shock and deliberate policy change in creating the deficit.

UPDATE: Many people have written to ask how the impact of the “Bush-era tax cuts,” enacted under George W. Bush and extended under Barack Obama (with the help, as you will recall, of huge pressure from Senate Republicans), is divided between the two presidents. I don’t know and have written the creators of the chart to ask. (They have responded to say: it indicates the legacy effects of the changes made by each Administration. For instance, neither Bush nor Obama is credited with the entire cost of Pentagon spending or entitlements, but only the changes his Administration made, up or down. By this logic the long-run effect of tax cuts initiated by Bush is assigned to him, as any long-run effect of savings he initiated would be too.)

But to me it doesn’t matter. As I said above, the point of the chart really isn’t partisan responsibility. It is the central role of those tax cuts in creating the deficit that is now the focus of such political attention. Call them the “Obama-Extended Tax Cuts” if you’d like: either way, a deficit plan that ignores them fails a basic logic, math, and coherence test.

Andrew Sullivan: Republicans “are anarchists.”

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

They are not a political party in government; they are a radical faction that refuses to participate meaningfully in the give and take the Founders firmly believed should be at the center of American government. They are not conservatives in this sense. They are anarchists.

Story is located here

Belief in Evolution vs National Wealth

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

America is backwards in comparing nations that believe in Evolution and their wealth.

Chart is located here

America’s Debt Problem Is Not Caused By Social Programs

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

The United States spends 16.2% of our GDP on social programs and Canada spends 16.9% on theirs and an even closer comparison, Australia spends 16%. These two countries spend the same amount of their GDP to ensure a comfortable standard of living for their citizens as the United States does, yet we do not have the same outcome.

For instance, America does not have a single payer health insurance system that covers everyone, our single payer only covers the elderly and even that program is under assault [see Paul Ryan's voucher system proposal]. Both Australia and Canada have single payer that covers every single citizen in their country.

Another difference is America’s unemployment insurance, we normally give the unemployed 26 weeks of benefits, unless we are in a deep recession as we are now. In Australia unemployment benefits are unlimited. Being unlimited in Australia there are more requirements to be met by the citizen, such as employment search programs and educational programs to increase your employment opportunities.

The current debate in Washington D.C. about austerity measures takes direct aim at our social contract. The conservatives are blaming our so-called broad safety net as the reason for our debt. If that is an argument they would like to have, great, I am all for it. Let’s take a look at Canada’s and Australia’s national debt and percentage of GDP.

Story is located here

Deconstructing Right-Wing Myths About Socialism, Capitalism, and Who The ‘Job Creators’ Are

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

Conservatives have taken to a new spin on truth, by refashioning definitions of words and terms in order to provoke new connotations. Socialism is now defined as a government take over, Capitalism is now defined as patriotic, and the wealthy are now defined as job creators. But simply redefining these words will not change their true meaning, it is only myth making.

Story is located here

Exactly why Teabaggers are wrong about goverment and jobs. Goverment MAKES the groundwork for private sector jobs to happen. Government is a job CREATOR.

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

Imagine if, when Henry Ford wanted to start the Ford Motor Company, he had to not only drill for oil himself but also oversee the laying of pipelines and production infrastructure across government-owned land so his cars could have gas to make them go. And when the American auto industry was expanding in the 1940s and 50s creating jobs throughout the nation, imagine if Chrysler and General Motors had to not only build their own factories and assembly lines but actually plan and construct the roads and interstate highways for cars to drive on.

Imagine if Oprah had to regulate the television spectrum for herself and that at random, bandwidth pirates could intrude on broadcasts of the Oprah Winfrey Show because there was no Federal Communications Commission monitoring ownership of and access to the public airwaves.

Imagine if every restaurateur today had to invest in his or her own food safety teams to make sure the meat served isn’t toxic. Imagine if every small business in remote rural communities had to generate its own electricity on site because the government wouldn’t have helped fund the expansion of power lines to those distant places. Imagine if every corporation had to educate its entire workforce from childhood to adulthood because there were no public schools.

Story is located here

Texas Governor Rick Perry another Teabagger nut

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

He’s an anti-government crusader who’s a career politician who’s collected a government paycheck for nearly 20 years.

He’s a fiscal conservative who called on lawmakers to make up a budget shortfall in the tens of billions by living within our means. Yet, he’s charging taxpayers $10,000 a month for a 6,386-square-foot rental mansion in the West Austin hills with seven baths and $1,000 Neiman Marcus window coverings.

He railed against federal stimulus funding, then took credit from a misinformed Fox news host who applauded him for not taking “any stimulus money,” when, in fact, he signed a biennial budget in 2009 plugged with $12.1 billion in stimulus funding.

During the last gubernatorial campaign, Perry made a big do-to about so-called “sanctuary cities” like Houston when, by his own standards, he’s the governor of a sanctuary state. Houston officers don’t ask about immigration status in the field, but neither do troopers with the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Perry opposes the federal health care reform act, but considers it an “emergency” for government to force a woman considering an abortion to have a medically unnecessary sonogram.

While the governor is perfectly comfortable with government micromanaging women’s wombs, he’s appalled by such overreach in the form of, say, a bill that would have banned texting while driving. Our proudly “pro-life” governor saw nothing wrong with vetoing the anti-texting measure that would have surely saved lives.

Story is located here

United States Ranks At The Bottom In Total Taxation

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

The statistics in this article create a problem for Republicans who consistently blame taxes going up as a reason for job loss, and credit taxes going down as a reason for job creation. It turns out that out of all 34 OECD countries, the United States ranks 32nd out of 34 in the world, only 2 countries have lower taxes than the United States, and they are Mexico and Chile. The highest taxed country in Denmark at 48.2% but has an unemployment rate of 4.3% in 2009

The United States citizens’ total tax bill equals 24% of GDP in 2009. The 2009 statistics is still relevant today, because the US tax code has not really changed overall. In fact the GDP of the United States has actually grown since 2009, thus today’s percentage of taxation to GDP ratio is even smaller.

Measuring taxation in parallel to GDP is a good analogy because the Republican and conservative argument that every dollar that is taxed is dollar taken out of circulation in the economy, thus halts job growth. This of course is a false premise to begin with, but we will use their own logic in this article

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China announces plans for national health service

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

China has announced plans to build thousands of new hospitals and put a clinic in every village in the next three years, the first steps in a decade-long reform plan to provide universal health care coverage.

Story is located here

The more Liberal you are…the smarter you are…or vice versa?

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Defined as such, liberalism is evolutionarily novel. Humans (like other species) are evolutionarily designed to be altruistic toward their genetic kin, their friends and allies, and members of their deme (a group of intermarrying individuals) or ethnic group. They are not designed to be altruistic toward an indefinite number of complete strangers whom they are not likely ever to meet or interact with. This is largely because our ancestors lived in a small band of 50-150 genetically related individuals, and large cities and nations with thousands and millions of people are themselves evolutionarily novel.

The examination of the 10-volume compendium The Encyclopedia of World Cultures, which describes all human cultures known to anthropology (more than 1,500) in great detail, as well as extensive primary ethnographies of traditional societies, reveals that liberalism as defined above is absent in these traditional cultures. While sharing of resources, especially food, is quite common and often mandatory among hunter-gatherer tribes, and while trade with neighboring tribes often takes place, there is no evidence that people in contemporary hunter-gatherer bands freely share resources with members of other tribes.

Because all members of a hunter-gatherer tribe are genetic kin or at the very least friends and allies for life, sharing resources among them does not qualify as an expression of liberalism as defined above. Given its absence in the contemporary hunter-gatherer tribes, which are often used as modern-day analogs of our ancestral life, it may be reasonable to infer that sharing of resources with total strangers that one has never met or is not likely ever to meet – that is, liberalism – was not part of our ancestral life. Liberalism may therefore be evolutionarily novel, and the Hypothesis would predict that more intelligent individuals are more likely than less intelligent individuals to espouse liberalism as a value.

Analyses of large representative samples, from both the United States and the United Kingdom, confirm this prediction. In both countries, more intelligent children are more likely to grow up to be liberals than less intelligent children. For example, among the American sample, those who identify themselves as “very liberal” in early adulthood have a mean childhood IQ of 106.4, whereas those who identify themselves as “very conservative” in early adulthood have a mean childhood IQ of 94.8.

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Rush Limbaugh: The Heat Wave Sweeping America Is A Government Conspiracy

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Just because it is hot doesn’t mean it is hot. 

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GOP cuts to education grants can send nation into a downward spiral

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

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Federal student-aid programs are wise investments that increase access to higher education and lead to greater wealth for individuals and society. Experts agree that college graduates may choose from a wider assortment of jobs and earn more over the course of a lifetime than a high school graduate. Higher-earning college graduates also pay more in taxes, are less likely to end up in prison or on welfare and, according to 2010 Department of Labor Statistics analyses, are more likely to give back to their community through volunteering.

The ironic outcome of reducing funding for student aid programs in the name of debt reduction is that young adults experience higher debt burden early in their careers when they are least able to afford it, or they are forced to opt out of education entirely, thereby lowering the nation’s collective ability to pay future obligations. Eighty percent of the fastest-growing jobs in the country now require training beyond high school. A college degree is practically a necessity in the 21st century and, yet, for many young adults, it is getting harder to afford.

College seniors completing college in 2009 carried an average of $24,000 in student-loan debt. The Pell Grant, the nation’s cornerstone aid program, provides invaluable offsets to the overall debt burden students face and is for many recipients the difference between sustainable and unsustainable debt. Students on the margin and the nation as a whole can ill afford to tip the scales in favor of unsustainable debt by approving shortsighted cuts to college aid.

For the 9 million students who currently receive a Pell Grant each year, the amount of aid is a deciding factor for college enrollment. In the 1980s, the maximum Pell Grant covered most of the cost of attending a four-year public college. Today, it covers less than 35%. Consider that nearly 75% of all Pell Grant recipients come from families with household incomes of less than $30,000 per year, according to the U.S. Department of Education. The median family income of Pell Grant recipients is just $16,300. We must not ignore when considering future deficits that a less-educated workforce carries a cost to our country, as these potential students will have lower lifetime earnings and pay far less in taxes.

Decreasing the number of students graduating is counterproductive to our long-term economic growth and short-term recovery. A Federal Reserve report released earlier this month found that despite the historically high unemployment rate, employers in information technology and other industries reported difficulties in finding skilled workers.

An educated workforce is critical to a prosperous economy. The investments in education, aid programs and job training benefit today’s students as well as tomorrow’s taxpayers. Cuts to these programs rob our country of future opportunity and success. Congress must not cut college aid programs in the name of staving off debt burdens for the next generation. When it comes to college access, we can either pay now or pay an even higher economic price in the years ahead.

US labor compensation is now at a 50-year low relative to both company sales and US GDP

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Another result of Trickle Down which by definition means you need to take it from below and hand it to the top.

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The primary subject of Cembalest’s report isn’t wages. It’s profits — specifically, the fact that profit margins (the share of a company’s revenue that goes to profits) of the Standard & Poor’s 500 companies are at their highest levels since the mid-1960s, despite the burdens of health-care costs, environmental compliance and other regulations that are presumably weighing down these large companies.

How can that be? To find the answer, Cembalest studied the rise in profit margins “from peak to peak” — that is, from their high point in 2000, just before the dot-com bust, to their high point in 2007, just before the financial crisis. In those seven years, profit margins rose from just under 11 percent of the S&P 500’s revenue to just over 12 percent. (Today, they’re near 13 percent.)

Why the increase? “There are a lot of moving parts in the margin equation,” Cembalest writes, but “reductions in wages and benefits explain the majority of the net improvement in margins.” This decline in wages and benefits, Cembalest calculates, is responsible for about 75 percent of the increase in our major corporations’ profit margins.

Or, to state this more simply, profits are up because wages are down. That’s not the only reason profits are up — innovation and offshoring factor in as well — but among the reasons, it’s a doozy.

What’s behind this drop in the share of revenue going to wages? After all, the workforce of the S&P 500 companies contains many more college graduates today than it did in earlier decades. Cembalest cites high unemployment and the addition of 2 billion Asians to the world’s labor force since 1980 as the reasons for workers’ declining ability to secure their former share of company revenue. He’s right, of course, but his list is hardly exhaustive. Surely the fact that the great majority of American employers no longer have to sit down and hammer out collective bargaining contracts with their workers has contributed to the increase in profits at wages’ expense. And many of those employers want to keep it that way.

On Monday and Tuesday, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) heard testimony from 61 witnesses at a hearing on a board proposal that would diminish management’s ability to delay union elections. Opponents made dire predictions that the rule would enable unions to run roughshod over employers, but the America they described — awash in union goons — bears no resemblance to the nation in which we actually live. In the real America, union elections have declined 80 percent since 1970, as employers have become adept at delaying and opposing — often by illegally threatening their workers with job loss — their employees’ attempts to unionize. In the America of 2011, there are scarcely any union organizing campaigns. There are fewer union members: Just 7 percent of private-sector employees are unionized, down from 35 percent in the 1950s. And what was the last strike you recall? The strike as a bargaining tool for workers is now the province of professional athletes, the last American employees who have enough clout even to contemplate taking a walk.

Too bad Cembalest wasn’t a witness at the NLRB hearing. The redistribution of wage income to profits during recent decades — something that higher levels of unionization might reverse — laid the foundation for our economic disasters: To bolster the otherwise sagging purchasing power of the American people, banks extended credit — on homes, cars, you name it — any which way they could. When home values stopped rising and the gap between debt and income grew too great, everything came tumbling down.

In Sunday’s New York Times, Tom Friedman wrote that “there is a deep sense of theft” in both Greece and Egypt that their nation’s capitalism was rigged to benefit only a connected few. In America, we don’t do things that way. Here, we just look the other way as the power of workers to claim their share of the proceeds declines. It’s not, strictly speaking, theft. But it has brought our economy down just the same.

As NewsCorp is trying to pretend they are a good corporate citizen Hannity completely changes Obama’s words in a press conference.

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011
President Obama held a press conference Friday, looking to convince America we don’t need to gut Social Security and Medicare if we can cut defense, oil subsidies or modestly raise taxes on the rich who did not deliver promised jobs in the last decade as their incomes soared. Obama sought to make his case to the American people.
Regardless of which side you are on in the debate over debt, tax cuts for the rich, handouts for corporate jets or Obama’s re-election, Americans all agree that we need to hear both sides of the debate acurately so we can make up our minds – or do we?
I thought we all reject propaganda or yellow journalism distorting news. No one likes being compared to Tokyo Rose or Hitler’s information minister Josef Goebbels, yet America’s biggest political pundits show you can win by using censorship and distortion.
Last Friday, Hannity actually changed what Obama said so listeners cannot decide who is right and wrong. He has been systematically and repeatedly misleading audience for years.
Story is located here

Lie of the day- Business hates Obama or has hesitation with the current economic situation

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

GDP growth as compared to previous year chart is located here

Yesterday on his company’s conference call, Wynn Resorts CEO Steve Wynn went on a fantastic, blistering tirade against the Obama administration.

He accused the administration of being a “wet blanket,” killing job growth by introducing so much uncertainty.

So has the private sector really shriveled under Obama? No.

This chart looks at GDP without net government spending (AKA the deficit, AKA the difference between how much the government is pumping in via spending compared to how much its taking out via taxes). What you’re left with, basically, is private sector growth.

It turns out growth is robust: The private sector is growing at just under 5% right now.

Not bad at all under an administration that supposedly hates business.

And of course, this fits in with what other data has showed: It’s the public sector that’s shedding jobs right now (as stimulus wears off), and the private sector adding them.

Why will Capitalism always survive? It will force Socialism to save it.

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Video is located here

Presidential candidate Ralph Nader (subscribe to the Nader channel http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=votenader08 ) has a good video about the wall street bailout, I’ll play you a short clip and also a clip of Chomsky talking about capitalism in the real world .

Nader is right, the bailout is yet another example of socialism for the rich which has been the game that’s always been played.

I recommend this CD of Noam Chomsky talking at Harvard in 96.
Chomsky explains that the free market theory sold to the public is just a fantasy. He shows how in the real world, different rules apply to the rich. the rich make sure they have the nanny state to take care of themselves. We are being played for fools. Let’s get the word out. Send this link to others: http://Tinyurl.com/BailoutTruth

Texas’ new jobs are minimum wage jobs or below. THAT is how they are doing so well

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Much of Texas’s recent growth is the result of adding low-wage jobs. Of the 211,000 jobs added last year, 37 percent (or more than 76,000) paid at or below minimum wage, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Texas now leads the nation in minimum-wage workers (550,000 in all). That hasn’t improved our income inequality. Despite the good economy, Texas remains a state of extreme wealth and desperate poverty.

Story is located here

Many many documentaries posted in full online

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/

The World According to Monsanto

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

There’s nothing they are leaving untouched: the mustard, the okra, the bringe oil, the rice, the cauliflower. Once they have established the norm: that seed can be owned as their property, royalties can be collected. We will depend on them for every seed we grow of every crop we grow. If they control seed, they control food, they know it – it’s strategic. It’s more powerful than bombs. It’s more powerful than guns. This is the best way to control the populations of the world. The story starts in the White House, where Monsanto often got its way by exerting disproportionate influence over policymakers via the “revolving door”. One example is Michael Taylor, who worked for Monsanto as an attorney before being appointed as deputy commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1991. While at the FDA, the authority that deals with all US food approvals, Taylor made crucial decisions that led to the approval of GE foods and crops. Then he returned to Monsanto, becoming the company’s vice president for public policy.

Thanks to these intimate links between Monsanto and government agencies, the US adopted GE foods and crops without proper testing, without consumer labeling and in spite of serious questions hanging over their safety. Not coincidentally, Monsanto supplies 90 percent of the GE seeds used by the US market. Monsanto’s long arm stretched so far that, in the early nineties, the US Food and Drugs Agency even ignored warnings of their own scientists, who were cautioning that GE crops could cause negative health effects. Other tactics the company uses to stifle concerns about their products include misleading advertising, bribery and concealing scientific evidence.

Video is located here

Corporations pay very little in taxes as compared to you

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

Many multi billion dollar corporations pay NOTHING in Federal Income Taxes.

Video is located here

Corporate tax evasion video is located here

Orwell Rolls in His Grave

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

Corporations rule our airwaves and do not give us news.

Video is linked here

A BILL: To express the sense of the Senate on shared sacrifice in resolving the budget deficit. OR….millionaires should sacrifice more money in these tough economic times

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Below is an actual bill…a piece of legislation…a LAW.  The wording of the LAW is simple.  The potential LAW is linked here as I copied it directly from that page.  How would you vote on the bill below that may become LAW.  Yes or no.  EVERY Democrat voted YES. EVERY Republican voted NO. 

 

S.1323 — To express the sense of the Senate on shared sacrifice in resolving the budget deficit. (Placed on Calendar Senate – PCS)
S 1323 PCS

Calendar No. 93
112th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 1323
 
To express the sense of the Senate on shared sacrifice in resolving the budget deficit.
 
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

June 30, 2011
 
Mr. REID introduced the following bill; which was read twice and ordered to be placed on the calendar

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 A BILL
 
To express the sense of the Senate on shared sacrifice in resolving the budget deficit.
 
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
 
SECTION 1. SENSE OF THE SENATE ON SHARED SACRIFICE.
 
(a) Findings- Congress makes the following findings:
(1) The Wall Street Journal reports that median pay for chief financial officers of S&P 500 companies increased 19 percent to $2,900,000 last year.
 (2) Over the past 10 years, the median family income has declined by more than $2,500.
 (3) Twenty percent of all income earned in the United States is earned by the top 1 percent of individuals.
 (4) Over the past quarter century, four-fifths of the income gains accrued to the top 1 percent of individuals.
 (b) Sense of the Senate- It is the sense of the Senate that any agreement to reduce the budget deficit should require that those earning $1,000,000 or more per year make a more meaningful contribution to the deficit reduction effort.
 Calendar No. 93
112th CONGRESS
 1st Session
 
S. 1323
 
A BILL
 
To express the sense of the Senate on shared sacrifice in resolving the budget deficit.

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June 30, 2011

Read twice and ordered to be placed on the calendar