I spend an inordinate amount of time reading news from…well just about everywhere.
I read this one and thought I would pass it on…..amazing info but I am still a bit skeptical…..a pretty good piece nonetheless….
"It is the duty of every man, as far as his ability extends, to detect and expose delusion and error"..Thomas Paine
23 January 2014
I spend an inordinate amount of time reading news from…well just about everywhere.
I read this one and thought I would pass it on…..amazing info but I am still a bit skeptical…..a pretty good piece nonetheless….
13 September 2013
Now that Syria is put on a back burner and into a slow boil…..all eyes return to the petty arguments of the past……
I know we have been spared all the crap about the budget….that is about to change……will it get messy? Or possibly moronic?
Well the morons are the loudest……crap holes like Paul, Hill, et al…..that are willing to f*ck the country because they cannot understand that Obamacare is LAW! These twats are threatening to shut the entire government down if they cannot get a vote on de-funding health care…….is it a brilliant movw? Or possibly a moronic one!
Several Congress clowns have weighed in on the possibility of shutting the government down…..
House Speak John Boehner is seriously entertaining this stratagem, having recently received a letter from 60 House Republicans urging it on him.
All of which brings us back to a perennial question: What’s the deal with House Republicans? Despite every indication that they’ve simply lost their marbles, the question isn’t so easy to answer. In fact, I see three distinct possibilities: That they’re genuinely crazy; that they’re rational, but with perverse incentives; or that they’re just a little slow.
“Crazy” is pretty much self-explanatory. Whether they do what they do because they believe they’re the second coming of James Madison, or because space aliens told them to, is neither here nor there. “Rational,” by contrast, is a little more complicated. It means they’re acting in their self-interest; it just happens to be in their self-interest to appear crazy. For example, as multiple commentators have pointed out, many House Republicans represent ultra-conservative districts, in which the biggest threat to their survival is a Republican primary challenger, not a general-election opponent. Under these circumstances, it’s perfectly rational to come off as relentlessly conservative as possible.
But not all the whack-a-doodles feel confident with this decision……
Several prominent Republicans aren’t fans of the conservative push to shut down the federal government unless Obamacare is defunded. In fact, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) thinks it’s “the dumbest idea” he’s ever heard.
Andrew Taylor, a reporter for the Associated Press, asked Burr if he was on board with Tea Party favorite Sen. Mike Lee’s (R-UT) effort to get Senate Republicans to vote against a continuing resolution funding the government if it also funds the implementation of Obamacare. Burr didn’t pull his punches, joining a growing group of Republicans who think the strategy is counterproductive and futile:
BURR: No, I think it’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard of… Listen, so long as Barack Obama’s president, the Affordable Care is gonna be law… I think some of these guys need to understand that, you shut down the government, you better have a specific reason to do it that’s achievable. Defunding the Affordable Care Act is not achievable by shutting down the federal government. At some point, you’re gonna open the federal government back up, and Barack Obama’s gonna be president, and he won’t have signed the dissolution of the Affordable Care Act.
Asked if that turn of events would amount to “walking into a baseball bat and hitting your face,” Burr replied, “If there’s something bigger than a baseball bat, then I think that’s about where they’re going.”
Personally, I think it is idiotic…….I do believe that this could come back and bite them in the ass in the next election…….of course they will be stupid enough to point to what they did in the 1990′s…….all I have to say…..that was then, this is now!
I hope like Hell they crap in the chili……..I would enjoy that very much. I can hear Eastwood saying, “go ahead punks….make my day”!
How about you?
30 May 2013
By now even a deaf homeless guy in Peoria knows the debate on the deficit and all the worthless plans to save some cash…..most of the savings will come on the backs of the poor and middle class……now there is a good idea if you truly want a two class system…….but I got to looking around for some savings that would not add to the woes of the working people in this country…..the very people that the government says they are protecting, at least the next generation……and if you believe that…..I have a bridge in Brooklyn that is for sale….any takers?
My short search on-line came up with two possible savings programs…..
(Newser) – The Abrams tank sounded pretty remarkable in reports chronicling its arrival in Afghanistan more than two years ago: The 68-ton machine is propelled by jet engines and has a main gun that can destroy a house from more than a mile away. But since its debut, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have been pushing to upgrade the tank, devoting $436 million to the cause. Except as the AP explains, senior Army officials keep telling Congress they’re not interested. “If we had our choice, we would use that money in a different way,” says the Army’s chief of staff.
The Army says it doesn’t need to buy more tanks until 2017; Congress wants the Army to buy earlier models that have been upgraded with things like better microprocessors and color flat panel displays, at a cost of about $7.5 million each. “The Army is on record saying we do not require any additional M1A2s,” said the deputy director of the Army budget office this month. And while tank-proponents Rep. Jim Jordan and Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio insist our safety is at the root of it all—”we are supposed to spend taxpayer money in defense of the country,” says Jordan—the AP notes the country’s only tank plant happens to be located in Lima, Ohio. Such a pet project is nothing new, but the Abrams example is notable due to the certainty of the Army’s position. “When an institution as risk-averse as the Defense Department says they have enough tanks, we can probably believe them,” says a director with Citizens Against Government Waste.
And the next possible savings is in the international realm……..
In one of the most disturbing tales yet of payoffs, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) spent more than a decade delivering tens of millions of dollars in cash to the office of President Hamid Karzai, according to an investigation led by Matthew Rosenberg of The New York Times.
The newspaper learned that American dollars—what one former Afghan official called “ghost money”—were put into suitcases, backpacks and even plastic shopping bags and dropped off in secret in the hopes it would buy influence with Karzai and warlords.
Instead, the payments undermined U.S. efforts to help Afghanistan develop a legitimate, democratic government.
“The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan,” one American official told the Times, “was the United States.”
Mohammed Zia Salehi, the administrative chief of the Afghan National Security Office in charge of distributing the CIA cash, was arrested in July 2010, accused, among other transgressions, of smuggling cash out of the country. He made a call to Hamid Karzai and was instantly released.
According to Matthew Rosenberg, Salehi, referring to the contradiction of the U.S. government trying to fight corruption in Afghanistan, while at the same time forking over millions of dollars of cash, said, called himself, “an enemy of the FBI and a hero to the CIA.”
In a follow-up story, Karzai acknowledged the CIA payments, claiming the money was used for “various purposes.” Those close to Karzai said the cash went to pay off warlords, lawmakers and others whom the president courted for support. Karzai shrugged off the controversy, noting that his Office of National Security still receives monthly cash payments from the CIA. Later, his office issued a statement that some of the money was used to treat wounded soldiers, but others suggested that it wasn’t wounded soldiers who were receiving “treats.”
Granted these two programs will not solve our deficit problem, but any savings will help and these two we can live without….now ask yourself why these types of expenditures are seldom mentioned when looking for solutions……
Here’s a flash for you deficit hawks…….food stamps is NOT wasteful spending……buying tanks nobody wants IS!
How about my readers….any ideas on how to lessen the deficit?
10 July 2012
Sure there is regardless what you see, read or hear…..the plan that all want to ignore is the Simpson-Bowles……Repubs do not like it because they will have to go against Nordquist…..Dems do not like it because they would have to change a few of the entitlement positions….I do not like it because I think it does not go far enough in areas……but you decide…….read it here…..
The 6 Tenets of “The Plan”
1. Discretionary Spending Cuts
- Eliminate all Congressional earmarks
- Reduce Congressional and White House budgets by 15% (including travel budget)
- Freeze Congressional pay until 2014
- Freeze federal workers’ wages through 2014
- Also, eliminate 200,000 federal jobs by 2020 (10%)
- Also, eliminate 250,000 federal non-defense contractor jobs by 2015
- Hold discretionary spending in 2012 to 2011 levels; by 2013, reduce descretionary spending levels to those of 2008. After 2013, increase the spending by half the rate of inflation.
- Both security and non-security funding cut in equal percentages
- Increase transportational revenues until the transportaion trust fund is fulled-funded (includes a gas tax-hike starting at $0.15)
- Create a committee to cut $11 billion of unnecessary programs by 2015
- Cut $1 billion of “low-priority” Army Corps of Engineers programs by 2015
- Cut oversea’s budget by 10%, cut contributions to the U.N. by 10%, and cut foreign aid budget by 10% by 2015
- Cut almost $1 billion in fossil fuel research funds
- In order to spend above the caps: (1) Affirmative vote from House of Reps (2) 60-vote point of order in the Senate
- President proposes annual limits to war spending
- Establish a disaster fund based on the average amount spent in the past decade (rolls-over annually)
- Create a committee to cut duplicative, unnecessary, or non-priority programs from spending
2. Tax Reform
- “The Zero Plan”
- There will only be 3 personal tax brackets
- There will only be 1 corporate rate
- All deductions, loopholes, and credits will be eliminated
- This includes EITC and mortgage interest deductions
- The 3 tax rates will be 8%, 14%, and 23%
- The 2nd Plan
- Personal deductions would increase to $15,000
- The 3 tax rates will be 15%, 25%, and 35%
- Repeal or extensively limit tax deductions
- This includes state, local, and mortgage interest deductions
- The 3rd Plan
- Force Congress to reform taxes by raising taxes each year that they fail to act
- Implications of Their Suggested Changes
- The above 3 plans allow Congress to only collect taxes on income made in the US
- It redudes or eliminates taxes on revenues companies earn abroad and US expatriates
- The report also suggests raising the gas tax by $0.15/gallon
3. Healthcare Cost Reduction & Reform
- More lower-income citizens would be put into Medicaid-managed care
- Freeze Medicare payments through 2013, cut them in 2014, and create a better physician payment formula
- Medicaid co-pay amount would increase
- Reform or repeal the Community Living Assistancer Services and Supports program – it is unsustainable
- Begin previously-planned cuts to Medicare Advantage and home health care programs
- Use pilot programs more often
- Create savings by reducing administrative costs, excess payments, and fraud, reforming cost sharing, medical malpractice, and Medigap coverage, and eliminating state gaming on the program
- Create a spending cap for Medicaid/Medicare growth
- If the health care system overspends in 5 years, Congress and the President may be forced to increase premiums or co-pays
- If the health care system overspends in 5 years, Congress and the President may be forced to raise the Medicare eligibility age
- Create a long-term budget for total health care spending, limit growth to GDP growth plus 1%
4. Mandatory Spending Cuts
- Government expenditures and revenue stop at 21% of GDP
- Reduce argicultural subsidies
- Eliminate federally subsidized student loans in which the government makes interest payments while the student is in school
- Reform military and civil service health and retirement savings programs
- Charge market rates for federal electricity-generation
- Require the TVA to charge rates to cover its costs
- Give Postal Service more rule over their restructuring
- Increase user fees with inflation
5. Social Security Reform
- Retirement age will increase based on longevity statistics
- In 2075, estimated retirement age will be 69
- Raise the Contribution ceiling:
- Currently, people only pay Social Security taxes on the first $100,000 that they make – This accounts for only about 85% of taxable wages
- Let’s take the ceiling up to 90% by 2050
- Ensure the minimum benefit is 25% higher than the poverty line
- Use “chained CPI” instead of standard CPI to measure Social Security cost of living adjustments
- Increase benefits to individuals older than 85
- Achieve a net-reduction in benefit payments by (1) increasing benefits for low-income beneficiaries and (2) decrease benefits for higher-income people
6. Process Reform
- Enforce deficit reduction targets
- Adopt triggers for extended unemployment benefits based on the unemployment threshold
- Only allow spending cap adjustments for review of IRS enforcement, anti-fraud efforts in health and labor programs, and disability claims
Read the bill here. If you think there is more that could be done, then read the whole thing and draw an informed conclusion…..
11 April 2012
News Flash! In case you missed it…Santorum suspended his campaign yesterday….so now there are three….but only one that will now focus on sniping at the president…….pretty much hands Mitt the nomination on a silver platter…….well played Mr. Romney!
I have said that I would support an idea no matter where it comes from as long as it passes my test…that being in the best interests of the people of the US……and now it is about time for the deficit circus to begin again……..but it will be the same partisan game they have been played since the election of Obama….none of these worthless individuals are concerned with the country and that sucks!
The Repubs have their plan…..Dems have their plan……The White House has their plan…..an NO one talks about it…..all they can accomplish is a sprint to a microphone and sling out lame ass talking points…..this accomplishes absolutely NOTHING!
Personally I like the Simpson-Bowles solution from a couple of years ago……it was a perfect place to start the conversation….but NO the players had to go back and be told what to believe and it did not fit into the scheme of their political BS……in case you missed it back when it was published let me refresh your memory…….
Social Security cuts:
Discretionary spending cuts
Defense spending cuts:
I know it is a lot to digest but if you do not know what is being offered then it is possible that the MSM will make all your political decisions for you………this would be a great place to start negotiations…provided that was ever the intention……
6 September 2011
It is the day after Labor Day and the Congress should be making their way back to work….or at least to Washington……and when they return it will be the super committee that will get most of the media attention……..and very little will be said about those donors that will be pulling strings……..
Each party named 6 people to work on the Super Committee that will be working on the spending cuts thingy that consumed Washington for 6 weeks prior to their abandoning their posts and going home to sleep with their donors…..but the big question is…..will this committee be successful at finding a partisan answer to all the crap about spending? My guess is…….NO!
Let me explain my reasoning…….from an article in Raw Story…..
The bipartisan “super committee” created by the debt ceiling deal is comprised of lawmakers who have received big bucks from special interest groups, according to a report by MapLight.The committee is tasked with finding at least $1.2 trillion in deficit cuts over ten years.
In total, the twelve members appointed to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction got nearly $64.5 million from special interests groups over the past decade, with legal firms donating about $31.5 million and Wall Street firms donating about $11.2 million.
Of that $11.2 million, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase donated approximately $2 million combined.
The members appointed to the committee are Sens. Pat Toomey (R-PA), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Rob Portman (R-OH), Patty Murray (D-WA), John Kerry (D-MA), and Max Baucus (D-MT) and Reps. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Fred Upton (R-MI), Dave Camp (R-MI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Xavier Becerra (D-CA), and Jim Clyburn (D-SC).
Remember that irritating term, “kicking the can down the road”? Well, sports fans, this committee is that can on that road……This is always the answer in Washington….A Committee! Nothing will be done because they can drag their feet and the trigger with no compromise will do what the conservs want done….so there is NO incentive for this attempt to succeed. Just another Washington waste of time and resources!
10 August 2011
Just when you thought it was safe to follow the news again…..BLAM! Here we go again with a ginned up story to capture our hearts and minds……well you know what they say about hearts and minds, right? NO? “when you have them by the balls they follow willingly”……and that my friends sums it up very nicely……
But all seriousness aside……..the next “big” story for the media to drive will be the “super committee” to solve all our debt problems with one group of people….(pause here for side splitting laughter)……..remember that can that everyone was so concerned about go down the road? This committee is just that sort of can…..need we say any more?
While it’s a relief to many in Congress that the debt ceiling bill is on its way to becoming law, Jill Lawrence reminds us of the next phase — “the one with the holiday deadlines — in which a 12-member bipartisan committee of senators and House members is supposed to come up with $1.5 trillion in further deficit reduction.”
“A word to future supercommittee members as you ponder how to proceed: You’re starting out in a deep hole. The public has been focused to an unusual degree on Congress for the last several weeks. The result is rock-bottom approval ratings and an image nobody wants
But who these saviors be? I can tell you who they will not be……any of the Gang of Six, while I did not agree with them on much, at least they had a plan….and then there are those Dems and Repubs that were on the Simpson-Bowles committee, they will not be on there either for there was a plan that came out of those meetings….so who will it be that will be tapped to lead away from the road to ruin?
Senate GOP sources tell the Weekly Standard that senators who vote against the debt ceiling legislation today will be ineligible to serve on the so-called “supercommittee” for deficit reduction that the legislation creates.
“Excluding those who vote against the debt deal will ensure that some of the most fiscally conservative members of the Senate Republican caucus, including most of its freshmen, will be reading about the committee’s activities in the newspaper rather than guiding its decisions.”
(Sorry…I had to pause for more raucous laughter…..sorry)….like I said….it will be a joke and at worse a media circus…..
There will be the extremes of all three sides of the political triangle…..Dem/Repub/Tea Party….and for that reason there is NO one serious on solving the problems……and then in the end will go the way of Simpson-Bowles and the Gang of Six….dismissed and all this crap will start over again……NO one in Washington is serious about finding solutions…..and in the end….we Americans will have a good laugh at those that we elect…..but will we learn anything? Doubtful, very doubtful! And in the end we will still be on that road that we hope to avoid trying to catch up with the can we kept kicking……
Governance as usual!
P.S. If you do not like this, then wait….the Repubs will use the unemployed to finish the screwing of the American people (post to come)………
31 July 2011
Economics, Fiscal Policy, Government, News, Observations, Politics, Professor's Classroom, Public Policy Budgetary Debate, Deficit Reduction, Deficit Solutions, Federal Budget, Postaday2011, US Congress, US Constitution 2 Comments
My last day of non-existent Zen…no deal out of Washington……and the beat goes on…..tick….TOCK!
The third and last part of the wonder that is ‘cut, cap and balance’……..the Balance part of the equation and here is where this whole thing falls apart, in my opinion…….FleetAdmiralJ of Blue Wave News has done a fine job at describing the act and if you want to read the whole thing go to Parts 1&2….or go to blogroll and click on Blue Wave News and if that is too slow for your liking then this should help……http://bit.ly/mRYhLS
Title III: Balance
This section extends the debt limit to $16.7 trillion (an increase of $2.3 trillion), but only unless and until a balanced budget amendment as introduced in H. J. Res. 1, S. J. Res. 10, or H. J. Res. 56 (or any comparable amendment) is passed by 2/3 of both houses of Congress and sent to the states.
And then 2/3 of the states must vote to put this in the Constitution……NOT gonna happening, sports fans…..why? Think about the ERA or as us old farts called it the Equal Rights Amendment….which would truly have made everyone equal……if the states could NOT pass an equal rights amendment, which by the way is something that the Constitution already says we have….what chance would a balanced budget amendment have?
Let’s be honest….if you have read parts 1,2 & 3 you have seen what they want to do to the budget and to the country………but if this were to actually pass…..what would it do? Let us be clear!
Many have that it was a pretty good plan…..but once again it would fall on the shoulders of the middle class to solve ALL the country’s economic woes…….personally, I am weary of all the these programs that have me and people like me having to shallow the austerity pill……It is about time that we ALL…..and that means just what I said…..ALL…….to be part of the solution…..if they cannot do that then…..LET IT RIP!
30 July 2011
Economics, Fiscal Policy, Government, News, Observations, Politics, Professor's Classroom, Public Policy Budget Cuts, Budgetary Debate, Deficit Solutions, Deficit Spending, Postaday2011, US Congress 2 Comments
Usually I take the weekend for some Zen….but the debt thing is keeping me from clearing my mind of the numbing effect of American politics…….
With the “CUT” section behind us….I will turn to the “CAP” portion of the evening……once again I will let FleetAdmiralJ of Blue Wave News explain this section…..in case you have the patience of a oversexed rabbit you can go to blogroll and get the whole thing at one time…..and if that is too difficult then try this……http://bit.ly/mRYhLS
Title II: “Cap”
Section 201(a), as far as I can tell, removes section (c)(4) from this piece of the US Code, which eliminates certain discretionary budget categories, including “highway category,” “mass transit category,” “conservation spending category,” “Federal and State Land and Water Conservation Fund sub-category,” among others. I don’t think this prohibits funds from being spent for these things, but it appears to eliminate them as distinct budget categories. It then adds to the US Code, this:
“The term ‘GDP’, for any fiscal year, means the gross domestic product during such fiscal year consistent with Department of Commerce definitions.”
Section 201(b) then limits total outlays (both on and off budget) to:
- 21.7% of GDP in 2013
- 20.8% of GDP in 2014
- 20.2% of GDP in 2015
- 20.1% of GDP in 2016
- 19.9% of GDP in 2017
- 19.7% of GDP in 2018
- 19.9% of GDP in 2019, 2020, and 2021
Just as comparison, federal outlays for the past 40 years have averaged at about 20.6% of GDP, though FY 2009 and FY 2010 averaged at 24.4% of GDP.
Finally 201(b) says that if outlays are over, sequestration measures should be taken, though Medicare, Social Security, military pay, military retirement, veterans benefits, and national debt interest are exempt.
Read the last paragraph! And then tell me what is left to cap? Oh, let me guess….such non-essentials as education? There are only so many programs left and the ones that are will do little to balance anything……
26 July 2011
Ok, we have heard from the GOP with the Ryan plan…..we heard from the gang of 6……we have heard from damn near every politician that can sprint to a mic after a negotiation session….here a plan and there a plan….plans are everywhere…..and with all that planning…there is NOT a damn solution in the bunch…..SNAFU….or maybe a better description would be….FUBAR!
But wait there is time for one more deficit plan…..yes….one more….this one comes from the Senate and it comes from the majority leader, Harry Reid……his is very simple……
$2.7 trillion package, including $1.2 trillion in discretionary spending cuts, $100 billion in mandatory savings, $1 trillion savings from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, $400 billion in interest savings, while establishing ‘Joint Congressional Committee to Find Future Savings’.
Can anyone say……”VAGUE”?
But it does include one of my favorite things about Washington……..establish a “Commission”…….now that is what is needed…for sure…….look how well the Simpson-Bowles Commission worked (all that is sarcasm, in case you missed it)…..you know how every politician, yes those same politicians, that sprint to a mic to get the first talking point in, likes to use the analogy of….”kick the can down the road”…..a term that is almost as popular as “boots on the ground” or “24/7″……..well sports fans…..a commission is nothing more than kicking that damn can down the road…….a commission is something used to make it appear that progress is being made…….but all we get is that can rolling into traffic…..
Oh goody…the Prez has signed on…..and what would you think the GOP response will be? You got it! To the Repubs it is a non-starter….go figure!
Sorry people….but this plan is no damn better than nay of the others….the middle class is still pulling everybody’s weight in the deficit debate…….now that is fair….we would not want all those jobs that the corporations are creating to be effected b y an increase in taxes…….(yep! Sarcasm again!)
The cowards in Washington have 7 days………
And just when you thought it was safe from another plan…..you were WRONG! It seems that House Speaker, John Boehner has a two step plan….oh goody….more fun……
In the first phase, there would be $1.1 trillion in non-defense cuts with an increase in the nation’s debt ceiling by $1 trillion which should last until April.
In the second phase, there would be a vote on a balanced budget amendment, which is designed to secure the votes of 59 House Republicans who have already pledged not to vote to raise the debt ceiling under any circumstances. And he also wants a commission….cool, huh?
I see Boehner has the same vision as everyone in Washington…..F*ck the Middle Class and collect your dividends from the special interests………business as usual…….not much new! All this is just so damn silly that it begs to be ridiculed!
There is an election in 2012….maybe we as voters should look elsewhere for representatives….the ones we keep electing are cowards and as worthless as tits on a boar…….period!
7 days and counting……tick….tick!