There is always that well used quote (by Einstein, I believe)….the definition of insanity is ‘doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome’……..but in American politics we seem to stick with the insane!
Insane? Yep! Since the 1980′s we have been told that if the top 1% gets tax breaks that it will benefit everyone…..same for the 1990′s….and the 2000′s and now in the 2010′s we are still selling this idea to the American public…..let us look at some stats…..since the 1980′s wages have been stagnant…..and corporate profits have soared….even in times of recession…..but yet it is still a campaign promise that the American people buy into every election…….is it insane?
You bet your butt it is! People are voting on a promise that has not come true in 40 years and we vote on it every election….(doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome)…….it is fine to be optimistic but at what point does it become delusional instead of optimistic?
‘Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome’………
Voting for the two party system……they promise and seldom deliver….yet the American voter once again believes that the campaign promises of the election well somehow translate into a better life for them and their family……but yet each time that are optimistic and vote for the promise they have been disappointed and yet they will do it all over again in the next election and the next batch of promises that are hollow and unrealized. Is that insane?
Once again….you bet your butt it is!
For those of us that are OLD….we can remember the theory that Reagan was so fond of….the promises of trickle down economics….a theory put forward by one Laffer (a name well said to describe the BS)…basically it is an economic theory that says if the top 10% of the population gets tax cuts, tax breaks and other benefits that the good stuff will trickle down to the rest of us……sorry to say but it has been proven to be a crock of crap……
Now that you have a small amount of info on the down side how about “trickle up economics”? Is there really such a thing? You bet your butt there is…..,just look at the economic happenings of today….but you would like a simple definition….something not too hard and easy to remember……. the flow of wealth from the poor to the affluent.
This video can help explain trickle up better than me…..and it will be more easily retained by those that care to learn…….http://on.msnbc.com/j6I92G
All income and benefits are flowing up and yet those on the bottom are asked to sacrifice time and time again….when does it become a “Shared Sacrifice”?
Meanwhile ….back at the debt…….
You are damn right! We need a deficit plan…..a energy plan….an environment plan….and sorry a week of 30 second ads and 3 minute stories is NOT the way to formulate a plan…..and a 2 year cycle of elections is NOT the way to come up with a viable plan……WE NEED A PLAN!
It is that simple! Instead of all the wrangling back and forth between the two cowardly parties, that have nothing to offer but their personal agendas……the whole time the US is sucking tit when it comes to the economy and most notably our industrial base (actually there is not much left of a once dominate sector)….all we have now are a couple of people that spend all their time sniping at the other side or throwing slogans around like confetti or worse yet, arguing about the fate of NPR….NONE of this will return the US to prominence on the world economic stage…….blame China or India or anywhere else all you want….but the truth is that our politicians have pull the trigger on the execution of the American industrial sector…..blame NO one but politicians….both Dems and Repubs…they are ALL to blame and no amount of finger pointing will stop the demise……
The Washington Times, which you would expect a slashing editorial against the prez, has said the following:
President Obama’s “policies have secured America’s status as part of the declining world.” The Times further wrote: “[T]he president’s answer to economic crisis is to heap on more debt. It’s this crippling tax-and-spend Obama creed that’s bringing America to the brink of Third World inferiority.”
To be honest…there has been a plan for the last couple of decades….the conservs are just as guilty as the dems for the downward spiral of the US……and that plan entailed……
fiscal discipline…..control public expenditures…..tax reform……liberalize the financial sector…..liberalize the trade sector…….promote foreign investment……privatization o0f state enterprises…..Deregulate the economy……there you have it…the plans down over the last couple of decades……and finally, how has that worked out for you?
Yes, Irene….WE NEED A PLAN! Not some half ass reform that last two years at best….we need to develop a short term, mid term and long term plan and make it law so that it cannot be f*cked with by some elected official to win an election…..we need politicians that are serious about making this country strong again…not one sector over another…..WE NEED A PLAN!
What the Fed has done by promising to buy up $600 billion in US bonds, besides also promising to print more money, is what is called the virtuous cycle in economics…..
The most acceptable definition is……..One good thing leads to another. That is, a situation in which improvement in one element of a chain of circumstances leads to improvement in another element, which then leads to further improvement in the original element, and so on.
Now the Fed is praying like a maniac that this infusion of money will start some sort of spending by industry……which will create improvements in the economic condition of the country……
My problem with this whole thing is that this will not create an opportunity just as NOTHING the Fed has done to this point has created anything but more profits for companies and more unemployment for the people…….also we will be spending money we do not have on the wish and the prayer….with all the talk about the national debt and yet this will be allowed to go on is proof positive of the real function of the Fed is NOT the good of the working class or the middle class, if you will….but rather the interests of the Banksters that continue to steal our money with the permission of the government….all the government…both sides of the political spectrum……
Think I am wrong? Then where have you heard any opposition to this outrageous plan? Have the Repubs bitched about the add on to the debt? Not a peep so far! Have the Dems bitched that this will NOT help the average worker? Not a peep! And I bet you still think that there is not a veiled class war (an upcoming post) going on as we speak…..right?
From the VOMITORIUM
The GOP has a new plan…well at least the messenger is new and wanting to look like a possible leader of the House of Representatives….John Boehner. On Tuesday, he gave a major economic speech and he offered up the new plan….as reported by Miami Herald:
The top Republican in the House of Representatives on Tuesday called for President Barack Obama to fire top economic advisers Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers as part of an effort to revive the ailing economy.
Boehner’s speech was a major part of a renewed GOP effort to offer specific alternatives to Democratic economic plans. Republicans have been buoyed recently by polls that found they stand to gain, and perhaps gain big, in the November congressional elections, largely because of voters’ concern about the economy.
The centerpiece of the GOP strategy is to extend the Bush administration’s tax reductions, originally enacted in 2001 and 2003. Democratic leaders want to extend only the cuts that affect individuals who earn less than $200,000 annually and joint filers who make less than $250,000.
-”President Obama should announce that he will veto any job-killing bills sent to his desk by a lame-duck Congress, including ‘card check,’ a national energy tax and any other tax increases on families and small businesses,” he said. Democrats counter that they aren’t seriously considering any broad-based tax increases.
-Obama should submit to Congress an “aggressive spending reduction package,” which the White House has argued that it’s already done.
-Paying more attention to small business, which the White House also has maintained that it’s done.
I have been trying to fight the misinformation being handed out by those on the Right over the Dems health reforms.
Just when I thought the “death panels” were a thing of the past….
We have all heard the accusations about killing granma…or the Death Panels…or whatever other piece of bovine fecal matter that they try to spread to kill health reform. The biggest, in my opinion, lie was the death panels and believe it or not some of the crazies will NOT let it go even after it has been proven to be so much crap.
But recently I was looking over the NYT and found an article that, to my amazement, sounded like those “death Panels” that the crazies are so worried about.
“The bankers plan to buy ‘life settlements,’ life insurance policies that ill and elderly people sell for cash—$400,000 for a $1 million policy, say, depending on the life expectancy of the insured person,” Times correspondent Jenny Anderson reports. “Then they plan to ‘securitize’ these policies, in Wall Street jargon, by packaging hundreds or thousands together into bonds,” to be sold to investors.
Investors will continue to pay out the premiums on the insurance and will collect the payout when the person dies. “The earlier the policyholder dies, the bigger the return.” In the example given, if the insurance is for $1 million, it is sold for $400,000, and an investor pays out $100,000 in premiums before the individual dies, the resultant profit will come to half a million dollars.
Of course, the great danger for an investor would be a sharp rise in life expectancy for a particular section of the population. “A bond made up of life settlements would ideally have policies from people with a range of diseases—leukemia, lung cancer, heart disease, breast cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s,” the Times notes, to safeguard against the danger of a cure for any one of these.
After I read that I started thinking that this sounds like a feasible plan for Wall Street…why?…..as people loss their livelihood they will be searching for ways to pay the bills and with a hefty insurance policy at their disposal it would be a logical step in finding funds to continue living their lives.
There are several reasons to believe that a new life insurance securitization market—one wit dubbed the resulting securities, “collateralized death obligations”—could be very profitable.
First, with the desperate financial situation facing millions of people, there will inevitably be a large pool of poor or elderly workers who find themselves unable to pay their insurance premiums. They may also be in need of immediate cash to fund mortgage payments, medical expenses or other necessities for themselves or their relatives. As the economic crisis deepens, the willingness of individuals to part with their insurance policies at a low price will increase.
Second, investors will be essentially betting that individuals on average will be dying sooner than anticipated by insurance companies who originally devised the policies—that is, they will be betting that the curve of life expectancy in the population will dip.
So yes…the crazies were right about Death Panels but I doubt very seriously that they will find too much objectionable to the idea. After all this is just the “free market” at work will be their only comment when confronted with this idea. But I seriously doubt if we will ever hear too much more about it, for now.
Think about it…..if this becomes reality….your death would make a profit for investors….don’t just love the free market?
You want “death panels”…you got it!
I would like to thank Joe Kishore of wsws.org for his insights into this situation and the use of some of his words.
While surfing the other day I came across a piece written by Megan McArdle for the Atlantic. She had some interesting perspectives on the Deficit Blame Game.
I am a long-time believer in the notion that nobody cares about the budget deficit. People say they care about the budget deficit, but people say they care about a lot of things. Almost everything, in fact. What people flogging the budget deficit actually care about is the programs it goes to pay for. Every time the presidential party turns over, I get the pleasure of watching deficit-hawk Democrats suddenly discover that borrowing hundreds of billions of dollars actually has no moral or economic implications, especially when compared to national health care. Meanwhile, Republican scientists who presumably spent the last eight years locked in a vault in the basement of Heritage run out into the metaphorical street screaming that they have just made a shocking, horrible, and totally unexpected new discovery: budget deficits will make the economy melt down into a pool of manufacturing-depleted sludge, and also, cause rabies.
Economically, much of the talk about deficits is hysteria. A budget deficit of less than 4% of GDP is not a good thing, but it rarely results in catastrophe either, because inflation and GDP growth steadily erode the value of past debt. As long as the deficit is less than inflation + GDP growth, the government is unlikely to get into much trouble. It’s possible that this borrowing may crowd out private borrowing, but at least over the last decade, this has obviously not been the case.
But more importantly, the deficit now is not what matters. Any Republicans who are using it as a political tool to bash Obama should be ashamed of themselves; whatever you think of the stimulus package, one year of massive borrowing is not going to kill us, and the impact on future generations will be small.
The problem with the budget deficit is not any particular program, or even any particular tax cuts. It is not that George Bush or Obama is a bad person who does bad things. The problem with the budget deficit is that, unlike the deficits George Bush ran, the deficits projected under Obama (and beyond) are actually large enough to potentially precipitate a fiscal crisis. If our interest rates suddenly spiked up, perhaps because lenders were worried about the size of our budget deficits, we’d find ourselves in the kind of nasty fiscal jam that regularly plagues third-world countries. The difference is, no one has enough money to bail us out.
McArdle made some very fine points and should be read:
All you Repubs out there…..do you feel that the GOP is still the party for you?
These guys and gals have been attacking the Obama plan without mercy. They say that it will bring back big government and increase the deficit. All in all, pretty good arguments, but there is one thing they are hoping that the people will not remember. Just what could I be speaking of?
Wait a minute! Are not these the same group of people that had NO problem letting GW Bush go ape shit with spending? Do not hurt yourself…yes it is.
All this new found concern for the American people and the runaway spending is just so damn pathetic. Their “principles” and I use the term lightly, were not a problem when they held all the cards and now that they have screwed themselves into a corner….they reach down and pull out their “fiscal conservatism”.
It is NOT about the spending, it is about trying to find a voice that can benefit them in upcoming elections. It is NOT about the plight of the American economy and the people, it is about regaining their lost power.
If it were a real concern for the economy, then maybe they should have a plan B….something beyond a tired old mantra……Tax Cuts. This is all so amusing…..lots of vocal opposition, but not a stable plan in the bunch.
May I suggest that instead of holding worthless meetings like CPAC that the conservatives sit down an formulate an alternative plan to the Obama proposals. Maybe then the people would start taking them seriously. As it is now, they are just jokes without a punch line.
Oath taken, parade has passed and the dancing over……time for President Obama to take the bull by the horns and pray for success.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news……
The findings, released to lawmakers Sunday, call into question the effectiveness of congressional Democrats’ efforts to pump up the economy through old-fashioned public works projects like roads, bridges and repairs of public housing.
Less than half of the $30 billion in highway construction funds detailed by House Democrats would be released into the economy over the next four years, concludes the analysis by the. Less than $4 billion in highway construction money would reach the economy by September 2010.
The economy has been in recession for more than a year, but many economists believe a recovery may begin by the end of 2009. That would mean that most of the infrastructure money wouldn’t hit the economy until it’s already on the mend.
The CBO analysis doesn’t cover tax cuts or efforts by Democrats to provide relief to cash-strapped state governments to help with their Medicaid bills. But it illustrates just how difficult it can be to use public investment to rush money into the economy. It usually takes bids and contracts to announce such developments, which invariably take time.
Overall, only $26 billion out of $274 billion in infrastructure spending would be delivered into the economy by the Sept. 30 end of the budget year, just 7 percent. Just one in seven dollars of a huge $18.5 billion investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy programs would be spent within a year and a half.
And other pieces, such as efforts to bring broadband Internet service to rural and underserved areas won’t get started in earnest for years, while just one-fourth of clean drinking water projects can be completed by October of next year.
Still, other elements of Obama’s $825 billion economic recovery plan, such as $275 billion worth of tax cuts to 95 percent of filers and a huge infusion of help for state governments, will be distributed into the economy more quickly. But Republicans are poised to attack the bill for spending too much.
This is a piece written by Rep. Ron Paul of Texas
Economic Freedom or Socialist Intervention?
by Ron Paul
The freedom to fail is an essential part of freedom. Government- provided financial security necessitates relinquishing the very essence of freedom. Last week, the big 3 American automakers came back to Capitol Hill with their hands out to the government. Congress spent this past week debating how much money to give them and what strings should be attached. Though the bailout plan for the auto industry has suffered what I would call a temporary setback in the Senate, other avenues for public funding are being explored through the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department. I am afraid the American auto industry will soon learn that having billions rain down from Washington will not be the blessing one might expect.
The government, after it subsidizes an industry, tends to become a very demanding benefactor. Politicians may not have any real idea about how to build a car, run a bank, educate a child, heal the sick or build a road, but they are quite adept at using carrots and sticks to manipulate and threaten those who do. Most of the federal control over education, roads, healthcare, and now banking and soon auto manufacturing, is done through money, mandates and conditions. The bailout proposal we were considering would force automobile manufacturers to submit their business plans for the approval of a new federal “car czar.” This bureaucrat would have the authority to approve the automakers’ restructuring plan, monitor implementation of the plan, and even stop certain transactions he determines are inconsistent with the companies’ long-term viability.
One could argue that if billions of taxpayer dollars are going to flow into a failing industry, then representatives of those taxpayers have “bought” a say in how that industry is run – which is precisely why bailouts are such a bad idea for both the industry and the taxpayers. The federal government has neither the competence nor the Constitutional authority to tell private companies, such as automakers, how to run their businesses. I would have thought that failed experiments with central planning and government control of business that caused so much harm in the last century would have taught my colleagues the folly of making businesses obey politicians and bureaucrats instead of heeding the wishes of consumers, employees, and stockholders. But the auto industry is in danger of learning for themselves one of the oldest lessons in politics: he who pays the fiddler calls the tune.
It is not the job of government to sustain business. The government should get out of the way, and instead examine excessive regulations, tax policy and red tape that have been hostile to manufacturing in this country. We should get back on a sustainable economic course in this country, or we are doomed to collapse, as the Soviets did, under the crushing burden of big government and a strangled economy that can no longer pay for it.