Closing Thought–04Oct18

I remember when conservatives, Republicans, use to harp and rant about the debt and fiscal policies….those days are gone just recently the new tax cuts will explode the deficit and expand the debt that the GOP use to guard heavily.  According to Congressional Budget Office estimates, the bill will add more than $1 trillion to the national debt over the next decade. The annual deficit for fiscal 2017 was $666 billion, or 3.5 percent of the overall U.S. economy. That share, because of the tax bill, will now increase, though by how much is a matter contentious debate.

The news about the state of the debt was released…….

The US spends far more on its military than any other nation on Earth, but very soon, it will not be the top expenditure of the US government. Rather, rising interest rates and years of mounting debts mean that soon, interest on the debt will overtake that.

Interest costs will be $390 billion next year, and more than $900 billion within a decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office. At present, US military budgets are in the $700 billion range, and themselves constantly growing.

Somewhere, these two growing lines will intersect, and the runaway military spending is a big reason why. There simply is no way for US to keep pouring substantial portions of a trillion dollars down the well annually for the military without borrowing, and that debt is just growing.

The US debt is huge, and that is in no small part because of decades of runaway military spending, and trillions dumped into nuclear weapons. Lawmakers largely are not interested in this matter right now, likely reflecting their unwillingness to cut military spending to try to get the debt back in line.

(antiwar.com)

And the Trump GOP wants another round of tax cuts…..are these toads serious?

Yes they are!

With the nation’s attention rightly transfixed by the Senate GOP’s monstrous efforts to ram through a Supreme Court nominee who has been credibly accused by multiple women of sexual assault, House Republicans on Friday voted overwhelmingly to approve another $3 trillion in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans just weeks before the November midterms.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/09/28/nation-transfixed-kavanaugh-monstrosity-house-gop-votes-give-rich-another-3-trillion

If the last round of cuts exploded the debt then what will another round do?

If you did not know about this end run by the GOP then you can thank your local media for the lack of coverage.

But if you are such a slow learner that you think the GOP tax cuts are a good thing…..then you are a moron or a wealthy person that is making out like a bandit….but for the wider picture of the cuts…..

Tax Day has come and gone. How are those cuts working out?

Spoiler alert: They’re not. Republicans sold their rush-job bill as a way to boost an already strong economy; my colleague Holden Miller boasted they would be jet fuel for growth and touted the year-end bonuses and wage growth so many got.

I argued that most people weren’t seeing increased paychecks, that the bonuses were one-time and heavily concentrated in a couple industries, and that they weren’t lifting up the economy as promised. Actually, in the long term, they’re putting an already strong economy at risk.

Every month we get more fresh evidence of that.

https://www.debt.com/americas-voice-on-debt/far-trumps-tax-cuts-failing/

Peace Out!

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The Promise Of Wages

I follow Speaker Ryan on Twitter because his daily Tweets can get a real person laughing for most of the day.  His Tweets since the tax cuts of 2017 are about how much better off the economy is at this point and occasionally he offers some vague promise of wages.

The truth is these cuts have done little to raise the wages of the working class but did everything to raise the wealth of the already wealthy.

The real truth is that all the tax cuts for the last couple of decades have done nothing to raise the wages of the average working stiff.

The graph on wages is flat and has been that way for many decades……follow the graphs on wages……there are 9 of them that prove my point…..https://www.epi.org/publication/charting-wage-stagnation/

After checking out the graphs……read this report from the Pew Research……

On the face of it, these should be heady times for American workers. U.S. unemployment is as low as it’s been in nearly two decades (3.9% as of July) and the nation’s private-sector employers have been adding jobs for 101 straight months – 19.5 million since the Great Recession-related cuts finally abated in early 2010, and 1.5 million just since the beginning of the year.

But despite the strong labor market, wage growth has lagged economists’ expectations. In fact, despite some ups and downs over the past several decades, today’s real average wage (that is, the wage after accounting for inflation) has about the same purchasing power it did 40 years ago. And what wage gains there have been have mostly flowed to the highest-paid tier of workers.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/08/07/for-most-us-workers-real-wages-have-barely-budged-for-decades/

So to taunt the tax cuts as working for the working class is a damn lie….a lie that the GOP has become master at selling to the unwitting public.

To fight this growing story…the public is starting to see just how much of a lie the GOP is spreading…..the Right needs a theory to explain the lagging wages…..

Once upon time, when the GOP was still attempting to dress itself up as a party of ideas, Yuval Levin was considered one of its star intellectuals. As editor of the conservative policy journal National Affairs, he was a wonkish prophet of fiscal doom, who argued that the U.S. would soon face a reckoning over its national debt, and that the only way to avert catastrophe was to radically curtail the modern welfare state. Levin was once described as Paul Ryan’s own “personal philosopher,” and was the sort of guy who could get David Brooks hot and bothered by writing a long-winded argument for slashing entitlement spending.

If a politician like Sen. Marco Rubio or Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker had become president in 2016, Levin might still be playing a starring role in Washington’s policy discourse. But of course, Donald Trump is president, and Republicans have dropped the charade that they sincerely care about the deficit, or whatever the heck got written about in ponderous thinky policy rags. Levin still gets cited by columnists like Brooks, but his star is a bit fallen.

https://slate.com/business/2018/09/wage-stagnation-new-conservative-theory.html

An interesting read and very eye opening……

The GOP has always been a party for liars and when it comes to screwing the public they are masters at making the public smile while getting humped.

Follow The Leader

May I see a show of hands….how many here knows the name al-Baghdadi?

Really?  The self-proclaimed leader of the caliphate that ISIS wanted to bring into existence.  Well their efforts did not pan out the way they had desired.

During the long war with ISIS there were reports after reports of the death or injury to the leader of ISIS. al-Baghdadi……for instance…..

https://lobotero.com/2015/05/15/al-baghdadi-its-alive/

https://lobotero.com/2014/07/23/the-road-to-al-baghdadi/

His name has fallen from the desired topics of the MSM but the man with 9 lives has a new territory to work.  Afghanistan.

Yep this man has made is way to Afghanistan and to take up the cause of the ISIS activity in the country.

Daesh leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi recently escaped to Afghanistan via Iran, it emerged this weekend.

Al-Baghdadi is believed to have reached Nangarhar Province, situated east of the Afghan capital Kabul, on the border with Pakistan. According to Pakistani security sources, Al-Baghdadi crossed through the Iranian city of Zahedan, where Iran borders the southwest tip of Afghanistan, Asharq Al-Awsat reported.

Asharq Al-Awsat added that “according to the sources, ISIS [Daesh] manages a location to host its fighters in Zahedan in cooperation with [Iran’s] Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)”. Such allegations of cooperation between the IRGC and Daesh will be seen as significant in light of Iran’s participation in the Syrian civil war against such terrorist groups. Iran has supported forces loyal to the regime of Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad, as well as seemingly allowed IRGC forces to be present on the ground in Syria.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180924-daeshs-al-baghdadi-escapes-to-afghanistan/

Now the Taleban and AQ have been in a power struggle for about a year and now it appears that ISIS will join the mix for control.

Or maybe al-Baghdadi wants to be closer so that he can direct ops against Iran…..

The Islamic State jihadist group on Wednesday threatened to carry out new attacks in Iran, days after it claimed a deadly shooting at a military parade in the country’s southwest.

Iran is “flimsier than a spider’s web, and with God’s help, what comes will be worse and more bitter,” the group said in a statement on the Telegram messaging app.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/islamic-state-threatens-iran-with-more-attacks/

Keep in mind where the above story originated……may not be the most reliable source.  It is interesting because Israel had told so many lies about Iran to garner some sort of armed response against the country….would they now jump in bed with ISIS to do their bidding?  Just a thought.

This guy sure gets around after being killed at least twice and mortally wounded numerous times…..how will he play in Afghanistan?

That Glorious War On Terror

For over 17 years the US has been fighting a war on terror….ever since the attacks of 9/11…..the US declared war on a tactic….not any individual per se but rather a tactic….terrorism is a tactic not an entity.

I have been writing on this subject for all this time….here is a couple of the posts on the subject I have written……these are a few of the more recent posts……

https://lobotero.com/2018/09/21/will-the-war-on-terror-succeed/

https://lobotero.com/2017/02/22/war-on-terror-a-rethink-is-needed/

This so-called “War” has cost the taxpayer dearly and to what end?

As I was putting the finishing touches on my new book, the Costs of War Project at Brown University’s Watson Institute published an estimate of the taxpayer dollars that will have gone into America’s War on Terror from September 12, 2001, through fiscal year 2018. That figure: a cool $5.6 trillion (including the future costs of caring for our war vets). On average, that’s at least $23,386 per taxpayer.

https://www.thenation.com/article/americas-war-on-terror-has-cost-taxpayers-5-6-trillion/

How much?

The WOT is an unwinnable war……..for like I have written we are fighting a tactic not an entity…..we need a new approach and stop fighting a war on a tactic would be a good place to start…..

The United States is engaged in an unusual global war, fighting a tactic rather than an enemy nation. Unlike traditional warfare, it is possible that this war between the US and terrorist networks will not produce a clear winner. The US and its allies have been involved in military engagements over the past decade and a half, costing the US taxpayer an estimated $1.5 to $5.6 trillion dollars. The longer the US remains embroiled in this armed conflict, the less likely it is that such a war ends favorably from an American perspective. While US defense strategy will need to include counter-terrorism efforts for decades to come, it is time to end the war by beginning to reframe the narrative behind the Global War on Terror (GWOT).

In the context of the GWOT, terrorism refers most frequently to random attacks on civilians by groups who seek to conduct religious war against the United States. In using these terrorist tactics, these groups specifically intend to sow widespread fear. Recent polls show that a growing number of Americans feel “less safe” than they did before 9/11.

http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/stop-fighting-war-against-tactic

But then that is assuming the US wants to win this war….if not then this is thre perfect way to enrich the M-IC without having to win a victory.