Closing Thought–27May21

Do you have student debt?

This is a hindrance to people as they try to pay off thousands of dollars in debt for their excellent education…..this crippling debt keeps college grads from living the ‘good life’…..

There has been ideas to help people get on with their lives by lessening or cancelling student debt.

Some progressives are calling for the canceling of all student debt….the new president is calling for the cancellation of $10,000 of debt…..that figure is not nearly enough.

Forty-five million Americans now owe a total of $1.7 trillion in federal and private student loans.

For many people, that debt is the biggest drag on their adult lives. It prevents them from buying a home or starting a family or investing in their future. They are stuck in a perpetual loop.

This crisis has led to calls to cancel all that debt and liberate an entire generation of Americans — something I instinctively support. But when you start to think about all the obstacles and trade-offs, you quickly realize how politically fraught such a proposal would be. Is there any way to do it fairly? What about the millions of people who spent decades paying down their loans? And what about the people who didn’t go to college because they didn’t want the debt — how would this land for them?

So I reached out to Astra Taylor, documentary filmmaker and author of the 2019 book Democracy May Not Exist, But We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone. Taylor has become a leading advocate for debt forgiveness, and she treats it as not just an economic problem but as a small-d democratic problem. We talk about why that is and how it shapes her argument.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/22383450/student-debt-forgiveness-biden-astra-taylor

A total cancellation of student debt could be fuel for the economy….it would put $1.7 trillion dollars into the economy…..and that would be a huge boost across the board.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

GOP Economics

Since 1980 I have not thought the GOP had the best economic ideas to put this country on the path for progress….and since then all their economic solutions have actually done little to improve the lives of Americans unless they are in the wealthy class.

These days nothing has changed……here are some of the statements made that illustrate the GOP lackluster economic ideas and why.

First infrastructure……most specially our road systems….

… it’s up to Senate Republicans to try to demonstrate there’s some rationale for their GOP colleagues to be participating in this thing called government. It’s been ages since they’ve been called upon to proactively contribute to a policy-making process, in this case infrastructure, and thus far they’re not making much headway.

They’re “getting there,” says Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, of the process they’ve been working at for nearly a month. Back in mid-April they revealed just how incompetent they’ve become at governing, offering up a $568 billion counter to President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion proposal. It was a back-of-the-napkin scribble that offered a vague funding mechanism of taxes on electric car drivers and taking COVID-19 relief money away from states. It’s a reflection of just how inadequate that proposal was that senior Republicans are now inching up their spending limit. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell went up to $800 billion just last week, and on Monday Sen. Lindsey Graham offered $900 billion, but they’re still fighting the idea of raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations to fund it.

https://m.dailykos.com/stories/2021/5/18/2031013/-While-rural-America-clamors-for-infrastructure-Republicans-obsess-over-keeping-corporate-taxes-low

Then there is the attempt to starve people into accepting crappy wages…..

Millions of jobless workers in Republican-led states across the U.S. are growing increasingly worried that they soon won’t be able to afford rent, medicine, and other basic necessities as GOP governors rush to cut off pandemic-related unemployment benefits, a widely condemned attack on struggling people that the Biden administration insists it is powerless to stop.

As of this writing, 22 Republican governors have moved to withdraw from a federal program that boosted regular unemployment checks by $300 per week to help jobless people weather the ongoing economic crisis.

Of those Republican-led states, 19 are also ending their participation in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)—federal initiatives that provide an extension for people who have exhausted their state-level benefits and offer aid to gig workers and others who are typically ineligible.

To justify stripping a crucial lifeline from the jobless, the Republican leaders of Texas, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, South Dakota, and other states have falsely claimed that the federal unemployment programs are so generous they are dissuading people from rejoining the workforce—a narrative that ignores a slew of other relevant factors, from the low wages on offer to lack of child care to health concerns.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/05/21/attempting-starve-people-back-work-anger-grows-gop-governors-cut-jobless-benefits

Their big idea is that if people get help then the economy will collapse…..according to Sen Ron Johnson of Wisconsin….

Senator Ron Johnson, are asking the poor to stay poor for the good of all America.

On Sunday, Johnson appeared on WKOW in Wisconsin to explain his support for a bill that would end the $300 enhanced unemployment benefits. While many conservatives have argued that these benefits are hurting employers who want to pay their employees less than the $16.75 an hour the unemployment benefits come out to, Johnson is taking the bold step of claiming that employers paying workers more in order to compete with said unemployment benefits, and workers demanding more money to work, is bad, because that will lead to inflation.

https://www.wonkette.com/ron-johnson-wants-people-to-work-for-less-money-than-they-need-to-live

Really?

Johnson has just stated what I wrote about over a decade ago…….https://lobotero.com/why-poverty/

I have written many times that GOP economics suck….and now with the stupid within the party their true colors are finally emerging.

Watch This Bog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–18May21

Mississippi’s governor did what all cowards within the GOP does……he jumped on the BS that people are not working because they make too much on unemployment….

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves followed the lead of his Republican counterparts in Montana and South Carolina by announcing the state will refuse expanded federal unemployment benefits, costing unemployed Mississippians $300 a week in an effort to force them into low-wage jobs—despite a lot of data showing that Republican claims about the effects of the federal unemployment aid boost are simply false.

President Joe Biden pushed back on some of those claims in Monday remarks on the economy, saying “we don’t see much evidence” that people are staying home because of high unemployment benefits, and pointing out: “We still have 8 million fewer jobs than we did when the pandemic started.” At the same time, Biden emphasized that “anyone collecting unemployment who is offered a suitable job must take the job or lose their unemployment benefits.”

In Mississippi, businesses “report that they cannot get employees to return to work because they can earn more from combined federal and state unemployment benefits than their normal wages … These businesses are no longer suffering from a lack of demand due to COVID-19,” Mississippi state House Speaker Philip Gunn wrote in a letter to Reeves. “Rather, they are suffering from a labor shortage caused by unemployment benefits that exceed normal wage levels for productive work.”

Mississippi’s maximum unemployment benefit without the added $300 a week is $235, so the benefits that “exceed normal wage levels for productive work” end up at $13.38 an hour, just under the $13.43 an hour that the MIT Living Wage Calculator says is a living wage for one adult with no children in Mississippi.

Contrary to Republican claims that people are staying home because they don’t want to work, Ashton Pittman reports that Mississippi’s labor force participation rate is back to pre-pandemic levels. People are either working or looking for work, in other words. And nationally, the April jobs data suggests “the exact opposite” of the claim that people aren’t looking for work because they can get more money from unemployment benefits, as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently noted. That’s because the highest job growth has been in low-wage industries like hospitality and food service, where unemployment benefits can outstrip wages. 

https://m.dailykos.com/stories/2021/5/11/2029937/-Mississippi-dives-into-the-Republican-push-to-blame-low-wage-workers-for-the-COVID-19-economy

This spin that people do not want to work because they are making too much with it is just plain BS.

It seems they want to blame people for the shitty work environment….the GOP is killing workers with their fixation on BS.

Enough Said!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Biden On Budget Predictions

I have been trying to help my readers navigate the ins and outs of Biden’s policies he is trying to get through a divided Congress.

Biden has offered up his first budget as president and it has many great points……

President Biden released a $1.5 trillion wish list for the federal budget on Friday, one that seeks substantial increases for Democratic priorities like education, health care, housing, and environmental protection, per the AP. The request by the White House budget office spells out Biden’s top priorities as Congress weighs its spending plans for next year. Highlights:

  • The Biden request provides a relatively small 1.6% increase to the $700 billion-plus Pentagon budget. Homeland security accounts would basically be frozen, reflecting opposition among Democratic progressives to immigration security forces.
  • Biden wants to increase the Education Department’s budget by a massive 40.8% to $102.8 billion, which includes an additional $20 billion in grants for high-poverty schools.
  • The Department of Health Human Services would get a 23.1% boost to $133.7 billion. There would be additional funds to combat opioid addiction and for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, whose mission took on new urgency in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The administration is also asking for $6.5 billion to establish a biomedical research agency to address cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases.
  • Biden is seeking a $14 billion increase across government agencies to address climate change.
  • Housing and Urban Development would get a 15.1% increase to $68.7 billion, primarily to provide housing vouchers for an additional 200,000 families.
  • The administration also seeks more money for civil rights enforcement addressing gun violence as a public health epidemic.
  • The plan also details how the Biden administration will try to deal with the influx of arrivals at the southern border. It includes $861 million to invest in Central America to address the forces driving people to migrate to the United States. An additional $345 million would go to immigration services to resolve delays in years-long naturalization and asylum cases. The budget for the Executive Office of Immigration Review would jump 21% to $891 million in order to hire 100 new immigration judges and support teams to reduce the existing backlogs.

I like the expansion of education which is an excellent idea…..but dislike the increase to a bloated Pentagon budget that has been sucking up funds for way too long.

An ambitious budget…..but how far will this go in a divided Congress populated with dullards and cowards.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Is The Era Of Reaganism Ending?

God I do hope so!

I have often stated that I was no fan of Reagan and his policies……to me he was the founder of what is happening in DC these days……he did not want the government to do anything for this country….instead he blamed it for all our ills.

Now look at the disruptive BS coming from the GOP these days…..Reagan was the father of this disruption.

Biden has said that the government needs to act to try and repair all the ills in this society……could this be a new stage of American government?

A common theme is emerging in coverage about President Biden from political observers on the left and right: His plans to dramatically expand the scope of the government—witness his $1.9 trillion COVID package and his $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal—might just mark the definitive end of the Ronald Reagan era of small-government politics. But that’s assuming, of course, that Biden can get his infrastructure package and other measures through Congress. Examples:

  • Ronald Reagan famously declared that “government is not the solution to our problem” but the problem itself, notes David E. Sanger in an analysis at the New York Times. Biden’s “gamble” is “that the country is ready to dispense with one of the main tenets of the Reagan revolution, and show that for some tasks the government can jump-start the economy more efficiently than market forces.” The president is of the mind that the nation’s “political center of gravity” has been shifted by the pandemic and by a new focus on social and racial inequities.
  • In the New Yorker, Susan Glasser writes that the Biden administration is making a “real historical gamble.” Essentially, they are “advancing the proposition that the politics of the Reagan era—of endless tax cuts embraced by Republicans and of Democrats trying and failing to escape the label of big-government liberals—is finally over.” Lots of comparisons to FDR and LBJ are being tossed around, but Glasser says they should wait until we see what Biden actually gets passed.
  • Biden’s early moves suggest he is “eager and prepared to seize the opportunity to define the end of the Reagan era and shape the one to come,” writes Damon Linker at the Week. Linker thinks a comparison to FDR is more appropriate than to LBJ. The latter president expanded but mainly continued already existing policies. “What Biden is attempting now is something very different—a major leftward change of orientation from the preceding 40 years. That kind of swing hasn’t happened since 1933.”
  • All of this has conservative Matt Lewis pondering some big questions in the Daily Beast. “What if Biden turns out to be the liberal answer to Reagan?” he asks. Unlike Reagan, Biden’s party actually controls both houses of Congress, he notes. “What if Biden, who was often seen as a ‘transitional’ caretaker who was tolerable to get rid of Donald Trump, turns out to be a truly transformational president who brings about a new political consensus? Imagine the irony if Obama turns out to have been the John the Baptist to Joe Biden’s Jesus Christ.”

Yes the Reaganism of old is dead….even the GOP has abandoned most of his policies….the only thing that remains of Reaganism is the racist bigoted rhetoric.

It is beyond time for the government to do its part to uphold that social contract…..that social issue that so many have ignored for too long.

The US needs progress….without it we are a stagnant cesspool of political BS….it has begun and needs to be brought to a halt as quickly as possible.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

That Scary Infrastructure Bill

Pres. Biden has introduced a massive infrastructure bill that comes with a price tag of about $2 trillion….I like the idea for it is long been needed to help this nation move forward after being stuck in stagnation for decades.

Believe it or not….even with the huge price tag…..is wildly popular with the American people.

A new survey shows that “every major aspect” of the Democratic president’s plan to rebuild the country has majority support, regardless of party affiliation.

A new poll released Tuesday shows that a large, bipartisan majority of voters in the United States supports President Joe Biden’s proposal to spend $2.25 trillion over eight years to upgrade the nation’s physical and social infrastructure.

The survey (pdf), conducted by Invest in America and Data for Progress, found that voters support Biden’s American Job Plan by a 52 point margin, with 73% of all voters in favor and only 21% opposed.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/04/06/73-us-voters-including-57-republicans-back-bidens-225-trillion-infrastructure-plan

With all that popularity you would think that the representatives would be open to this ambitious plan…..if you do then you would be wrong…..and on many levels.

Even Dems are in opposition to this legislation…..

Two Democratic senators have already voiced concerns about President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan.

One of them is Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat from West Virginia who has already proven himself to be an outsized presence in the razor-thin Democratic majority. He was also a pivotal voice against the inclusion of a $15 minimum wage in the American Rescue Plan.

Now, he’s expressed his concerns with the infrastructure package. In an interview with Talkline, a West Virginia radio show, Manchin said that, “as the bill exists today, it needs to be changed.”

Regarding Biden’s proposed increase of the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, Manchin indicated that he doesn’t support the 28% figure and stressed that the international average is a few percentage points lower. The rate “should have never been under 25%,” he said. “That’s the worldwide average. And that’s what basically every corporation would have told you was fair.”

https://www.businessinsider.com/senate-democrats-bidens-infrastructure-plan-needs-change-warner-manchin-2021-4

Well we know who pays his salary…..and it is not the people of this country.

To call Manchin a moderate is disingenuous….he is a conservative and he is relishing the fact that he has all the power to kill Dem proposals.

Once again the Dems are their own worst enemies.

Now you know why I call most as spineless slugs.

Infrastructure is definitely needed….but instead war gets all the cash they need to keep waging the obscenity and yet programs that help the people of this country needs to be begged to get anything done.

That alone should tell you who/what is important to these slugs in Congress….and it is NOT YOU!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–19Mar21

How many times have you heard what a draw those Blue States on the government…..all those programs that are draining the treasury with their liberal BS?  How many times?

The problem with that accusation is that it is pure bullsh*t…a “big lie”…..

States run by Republicans are far more dependent upon the help of the federal government than their Democratic-run counterparts, based on the latest annual study from Wallethub.com.

In ranking the 50 states, the financial website listed 11 red states among the 12 most dependent upon Washington D.C. No fewer than 19 of the 25 of the most-dependent states were Republican dominated. Conversely, 12 of the 14 states least dependent on the federal government were run by Democrats.

“Blue states are less dependent on federal government than red states,” the site observed, noting that in its 50-state ranking, red states ranked 20.68 in dependency to Washington DC, versus a much lower average ranking of 30.32 for blue states.

https://www.rawstory.com/federal-mooching/

I live in deep red Mississippi and the residents for the most part hate government programs that gives free money to those that they feel do not deserve it.

And yet Mississippi is in the top ten states that depend on government funds to continue their existence.

In 2020 Mississippi was number 4….in 2021 we are still the fourth highest recipient of federal funds….

The U.S. is a federal republic, meaning that power is held by both the central federal government, located in Washington, D.C., and by the governments of every state and territory that make up the union. But the “division of powers” isn’t as simple as it seems — and neither is the division of finances, since states rely on the federal government for money and various programs to help them operate. With all this in mind, SmartAsset crunched the numbers to see which states are the most dependent on the federal government.

To do this, we considered data on all 50 states across the following metrics: the federal share of state government revenue, the ratio of federal funding to income taxes paid, the percentage of workers employed by the federal government and the ratio of median earnings for federal workers to median earnings for private for-profit workers. For details on our data sources and how we put all the information together to create our final rankings, check out the Data and Methodology section at the end.

This is SmartAsset’s 2021 study on states most dependent on the federal government. Check out the 2020 version here.

https://www.moneytalksnews.com/slideshows/the-10-states-most-dependent-on-the-federal-government/

It always amazes me just how damn ignorant people can be……even when federal handouts benefit them and they still hate those that receive them…..

The voter in Mississippi has always voted against their best interests….just how stupid can they be.

Is your state cited?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The New Covid-19 Relief Bill

Over the weekend the Senate voted to move forward with the relief from the pandemic….sans minimum wage thing……and the good news is the Biden says we normal peasants should expect a check soon….

After the Senate passed his coronavirus relief package Saturday, President Biden told Americans they’ll get their stimulus payments soon. “This plan will get checks out the door starting this month to the Americans that so desperately need the help,” he said in a news conference at the White House. For most taxpayers, the direct payments will amount to $1,400, and will arrive through direct deposit for Americans whose bank information is on file at the IRS, CNBC reports. That money could start to reach people within two weeks of final passage. Other payments will be made by check or debit card and sent by mail, and could take until May to arrive. The measure has to clear the House again but is on track to be signed by Biden on Tuesday.

Besides a check coming soon what else is in this bill?

The Senate approved a sweeping pandemic relief package over Republican opposition on Saturday, moving President Joe Biden closer to a milestone political victory, the AP reports. The bill cleared by a party-line vote of 50-49 after a marathon overnight voting session and now heads back to the House for final passage. Democrats said their “American Rescue Plan” would help the country defeat the virus and nurse the economy back to health. Republicans criticized the $1.9 trillion package as more expensive than necessary. The measure follows five earlier virus bills totaling about $4 trillion that Congress has enacted since last spring. Highlights of the legislation include:

  • Unemployment: Expanded unemployment benefits from the federal government would be extended through Sept. 6 at $300 a week.
  • Checks: The legislation provides a direct payment to most taxpayers of $1,400 for a single taxpayer, or $2,800 for a married couple that files jointly, plus $1,400 per dependent.
  • Government Aid: The legislation would send $350 billion to state and local governments and tribal governments for costs incurred up until the end of 2024.
  • School Aid: The bill calls for about $130 billion in additional help to schools for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
  • Business Aid: A new program for restaurants and bars hurt by the pandemic would receive $25 billion. The grants provide up to $10 million per company. The bill also provides $7.25 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program.
  • Testing and Vaccines: The bill provides $46 billion to expand fed testing for COVID-19 and to enhance contract tracing capabilities. It also contains about $14 billion to speed up vaccination efforts.
  • Tax Breaks: The bill would increase the child tax credit from $2,000 to $3,000 for every child age 6 to 17 and $3,600 for every child under the age of 6. The bill also significantly expands the Earned Income Tax Credit for 2021 by making it available to people without children.
  • Housing Assistance: The bill provides about $30 billion to help low-income households and the unemployed afford rent and utilities, and to assist the homeless with vouchers and other support. States and tribes would receive an additional $10 billion for homeowners who are struggling with mortgage payments because of the pandemic.

There you have your new stimulus bill and how it may effect you and yours.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

A Vote For More Defense Spending

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was passed by Congress and then vetoed by Trump…..this got the M-IC up in arms and pulled no punches to get the congressional override of the veto….and they succeeded.

There were a few brave representatives that think we spend way too damn much on the military and should reassign those funds where they are needed…..

The efforts by the industry that owns damn near all our elected officials was overwhelming…..

First it was the House of Representatives that voted to override…..

The House convened on Monday for an override vote of President Trump’s veto of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). In a vote of 322 to 87, the House secured well over the two-thirds majority needed for the override, and the bill now moves onto the Senate.

The Senate is expected to convene for the override vote on Tuesday. Before President Trump’s veto, the NDAA passed through the Senate by a vote of 84 to 13, well over the two-thirds majority needed for the override. But the bill could be delayed if a senator chooses to drag out procedural hurdles. If the vote is delayed past January 3rd, Congress will have to restart the NDAA from scratch.

There were a few brave reps that voted against the override…..

Just 20 House Democrats opted to break with their party and their Republican counterparts late Monday to vote against overriding President Donald Trump’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act, a sprawling bill that greenlights over $740 billion in military spending for fiscal year 2021.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), one the few House Democrats who voted against overriding the president’s NDAA veto, applauded his colleagues for having “the courage tonight to vote no on the bloated defense budget.”

“They are changing the culture of endless war and calling for more investment instead in the American people,” said Khanna.

“We’re spending money on the modernization of nuclear weapons. And we can’t find money to get food in to people who need it?” Khanna said. “We can’t find money to get more rental assistance for folks who are going to face evictions? We can’t find money to get $2,000 into the pockets of Americans? The priorities are wrong, and so I’m not going to vote to override his veto.”

(commondreams.org)

For those interested in the people that voted against war and for as better society…..

Here are the 20 Democrats who voted against overriding Trump’s NDAA veto: Reps. Earl Blumenauer (Ore.), Suzanne Bonamici (Ore.), Yvette Clarke (N.Y.), Mark DeSaulnier (Calif.), Adriano Espaillat (N.Y.), Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii), Jesús García (Ill.), Jimmy Gomez (Calif.), Jared Huffman (Calif.), Pramila Jayapal (Wash.), Joe Kennedy (Mass.), Ro Khanna (Calif.), Barbara Lee (Calif.), Jim McGovern (Mass.), Grace Meng (N.Y.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Mark Pocan (Wis.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.).

And the Senate follows suit….

the Senate voted to override President Trump’s veto of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). In a vote of 81 to 13, the Senate easily secured the two-thirds majority needed for the override.

Earlier this week, the House also voted to override the veto in a vote of 322 to 87. The votes mark the first time Congress rebukes one of President Trump’s vetoes with an override.

President Trump had several issues with the $740.5 billion military spending bill. Chief among them is the lack of an amendment to repeal Section 230, a law that shields tech companies from liability for content published on their platforms by third parties.

Another issue the president had is over amendments that seek to block planned troop drawdowns in Afghanistan and Germany. Another provision can block any future plans to withdraw troops from South Korea.

The senators who voted against the NDAA are Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT), John Kennedy (R-LA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Mike Braun (R-IN), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Josh Hawley (R

(antiwar.com)

These people did what elected officials are suppose to do….they voted for the best interest of the people they represent.

I may not agree with some of the issues these reps hold dear….but I applaud their vote for the country and its people.

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Your Checks Are In The Mail

Closing Thought–04Jan21

This is what Bernie had to say about the pittance stim checks on the floor of the Senate…..

Sorry it is a bit lengthy but it is well worth watching……

I agree with Bernie….the smallness of the checks is pathetic but as they say “every little bit helps”….my favorite  thought is….

“All of a sudden, Mitch McConnell is ‘worried’ about giving a $2,000 check to someone who ‘doesn’t need it,'” Sanders tweeted Thursday. “That’s funny. He had no problem giving a $560 million tax break to Sheldon Adelson who is worth $34.3 billion. Total hypocrisy! Let the Senate vote on $2,000 now, Mitch.”

It will be interesting to see how the pandemic stim plays out in 2021.

The one thing I think will appear once again…..fiscal conservs without Trump will find their moronic voice.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”