Carte Blanche Spending

Ever notice that the GOP is only concerned about spending when the Dems are in the White House?

Since Trump took office in 2017 the GOP in Congress has given him carte blanche on spending with seldom a challenge.

Ever since he took office I have been saying that the GOP would back to the days of their biggest stupidity….deficit hawks.

I have written about this idiocracy in the past……https://lobotero.com/2010/06/24/cut-spending-now/

In January 2021 the new president will take office and the gutless GOP will once again start their constant whining about federal spending……

Republicans are preparing to re-embrace their inner deficit hawk after greenlighting big spending bills under President Trump

GOP senators say they expect to refocus on curbing the nation’s debt and reforming entitlement programs starting in 2021, as the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the debt has surpassed the size of the American economy. 

“I think that’s kind of getting back to our DNA. …I think spending, entitlement reform, growth and the economy are all things that we’re going to have to be focused on next year and, yeah, I would expect you’ll hear a lot more about that,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican.

he shift could pose a significant headache for a new Biden administration that will need GOP support in the Senate to move its agenda. It is also likely to complicate efforts on a debt-ceiling deal.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is poised to become the chairman of the Budget Committee if Republicans keep the Senate. He said he wants to create a new commission to propose ways to reduce the deficit and address the country’s debt.

“I think we’ve got to understand that we’re going to be raising the debt ceiling in perpetuity if we don’t find a way to bend the curve,” Graham said.

https://thehill.com/homenews/news/527197-republicans-ready-to-become-deficit-hawks-again-under-a-president-biden

Of course they will return to their stupidity.

It is all they have is opposition…..for they have NO plan to move this country forward.

I told you to watch for this…..and here it is……

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New Covid Stim

It has been months since the last Covid stim package….McConnell wanted to wait until after the election and the hope that Trump would win re-election…..that plan did not work out….so now the gutless GOP has a plan for more funds to help out during the pandemic….but who will they help the most?

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is issuing an outline of the latest COVID-19 relief plan.

The legislation would provide additional funding for coronavirus liability relief, unemployment assistance, and the Paycheck Protection Program under small businesses.

But here is what is in this newest plan to save the nation from economic ruin during the pandemic…

  • It would set enhanced federal unemployment insurance at 70% of a worker’s previous wages, replacing the $600 per week which states stopped paying out this week.
  • The GOP would set the benefit at a sum of $200 per week on top of what recipients would normally receive from states through September, slashing what they got from April through July. In October, the 70% replacement would take effect up to a maximum of $500 per week.
  • The proposal would send direct payments of $1,200 and $2,400 to individuals and couples, respectively. It would set the same qualifications as the checks approved in March: the payments started to phase out at an average of $75,000 in income per person, and individuals or couples making an average of $99,000 or more did not receive one. It would offer an additional $500 per dependent of any age.
  • The legislation would shield entities such as businesses, doctors and schools from lawsuits, except for cases of “gross negligence” or “willful misconduct.” 
  • It would set aside $190 billion for Paycheck Protection Program loans. The bill would allow small businesses with fewer than 300 employees that have seen revenue fall by more than 50% to apply for a second round of aid. It would also authorize $100 billion for loans to seasonal businesses and companies in low-income Census tracts that can show revenue reduction of more than 50%. 
  • The bill provides $105 billion to help schools reopen in the fall. Roughly $30 billion of that amount would go to colleges, according to Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. Most of the money would go to schools physically reopening to help them with the costs associated with safely restarting. 
  • It includes $16 billion to help states boost Covid-19 testing capacity, according to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala. 
  • Shelby said it would put $26 billion toward the development of Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics. 
  • The plan includes 100% deductability of business meals, according to Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C. 
  • It includes several tax credits, including an enhanced employee retention credit and a credit for expenses such as upgrades to workplaces and testing that help businesses operate safely. 
  • The bill also authorizes an unrelated $1.75 billion for construction of a new FBI headquarters building in downtown Washington D.C., a short walk from President Donald Trump’s hotel. His company worried plans to demolish the FBI’s current home, the J. Edgar Hoover Building, and move headquarters to the suburbs could allow a competitor hotel to move downtown, according to The Washington Post.

Now the president-elect has done what I thought he would do….jumped on the bandwagon for this stim plan…..

President-elect Joe Biden swung behind a bipartisan COVID-19 relief effort Wednesday and his top Capitol Hill allies cut their demands for a $2 trillion-plus measure by more than half in hopes of breaking a monthslong logjam and delivering much-sought aid as the congressional session speeds to a close. Biden said the developing aid package “wouldn’t be the answer, but it would be the immediate help for a lot of things,” the AP reports. He wants a relief bill to pass Congress now, with more aid to come next year. Biden’s remarks followed an announcement by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democrat leader Chuck Schumer of New York in support of an almost $1 trillion approach as the “basis” for discussions. The announcement appeared aimed at budging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who so far has been unwilling to abandon a $550 billion Senate GOP plan that has failed twice this fall.

The Democrats embraced a $908 billion approach from moderate Sens. Joe Manchin and Susan Collins among others. It would establish a $300 per week jobless benefit, send $160 billion to help state and local governments, boost schools and universities, revive popular “paycheck protection” subsidies for businesses, and bail out transit systems and airlines. “In the spirit of compromise we believe the bipartisan framework introduced by Senators yesterday should be used as the basis for immediate bipartisan, bicameral negotiations,” Pelosi and Schumer said. McConnell wouldn’t respond when asked about the Democratic statement. His top deputy, Sen. John Thune, said GOP leaders might agree to merging the bipartisan proposal with McConnell’s bill.

What will this do to help the average person?

Just who will this save from economic ruin?

Of course I have an answer for my reader…..

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday began circulating a coronavirus relief proposal whose contents offer so little assistance to the tens of millions of jobless, hungry, and eviction-prone Americans that critics warned the Kentucky Republican is actively working to ensure the U.S. economy remains mired in deep recession as Biden administration takes charge next month.

Described as a “targeted” relief proposal, McConnell’s plan is heavily geared toward providing corporations with immunity from coronavirus-related lawsuits; the offer includes a liability shield that Public Citizen’s Remington Gregg described as “breathtakingly broad.” The Kentucky Republican’s plan also contains a 100% tax deduction for business meals.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/12/02/critics-smell-economic-sabotage-mcconnell-unveils-covid-plan-0-unemployment-boost

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Secretary Of Treasury To Be

My continuing look at the possible people that are being considered for the cabinet and admin of president-elect Biden…..this time I look at the proposal of ex-Fed chief Yellen as the next SecTreasury….

The first woman to lead the Federal Reserve is set to become the first female Treasury secretary. Sources tell the Wall Street Journal and the AP that President-elect Joe Biden has tapped 74-year-old labor economist Janet Yellen, who chaired the Fed from 2014 to 2018, for the role. Yellen also served as chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers during Bill Clinton’s second term. If she is confirmed by the Senate, Yellen will lead the Biden administration’s efforts to help the economy recover from the pandemic, though unlike in her role in the Fed, she will have to deal with a deeply divided Congress on measures including another stimulus bill, the New York Times notes.

Yellen has long focused on reducing unemployment and fighting income inequality, though she has also warned that federal spending should be reduced to a more sustainable level. In a September interview with the Journal, she said Congress needs to spend more to fight unemployment and save small businesses. “There is a huge amount of suffering out there. The economy needs the spending,” Yellen said. Politico reports that before news of the Yellen pick emerged, Biden said Democrats would be pleased with the choice. “You’ll find it is someone who I think is—will be accepted by all elements of the Democratic Party, from the progressive to the moderate coalitions,” he said.

Once again Biden is turning to those people that will continue the slide of the Middle Class….so his promises in campaign were total BS as I said it was…..

She has had 30 years of fighting unemployment and wage inequality….so far it has been for naught…..

Just another Centrist” without anything new to bring to the table….typical Biden .

The only thing to change will be the gender of the secretary of the Treasury if she is confirmed by the Senate.

So far I am batting a 1000…I said after he was declared to be the winner of 2020 that little will change…..and so far I am right on target.

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“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–20Oct20

Do you collect Social Security?

If so then you will be getting a rip-roaring 1.3% COLA for year 2021…..but not to worry your insurance will eat up most of that raise…..

The Democrats in the Congress have called the COLA “absolutely anemic”……and will try to do something about the small COLA…..

In the wake of the federal government’s announcement this week of a paltry 1.3% cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security recipients in 2021, a pair of House Democrats on Wednesday introduced legislation that would more than double the benefit increase next year as an emergency measure to help seniors cope with the devastating economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis.

“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, seniors are facing additional financial burdens in order to stay safe,” said Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), who unveiled the bill alongside Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.). “This absolutely anemic COLA won’t even come close to helping them afford even their everyday expenses, let alone those exacerbated by Covid-19.”

Endorsed by advocacy groups representing millions of seniors and retirees across the U.S., DeFazio and Larson’s legislation would boost Social Security’s COLA to 3% in 2021 because, as the Connecticut Democrat put it, “a 1.3% cost-of-living adjustment is just not enough during these difficult times.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/10/15/remedy-absolutely-anemic-social-security-increase-amid-pandemic-democrats-bill-would

Sorry to be a Gloomy Gus but I will believe it when I see it…..we Seniors have been promised so much and given so little that I doubt any party’s claims of support.

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“lego ergo scribo”

Delusional Amount Of Cash

I see that the Congress has left town , go figure, that is the one thing they all agree on, without any action on the new economic stim package to help the country deal with the costs of the pandemic.

People will soon lose or have their benefits cut or lost….and yet the only ones showing a profit out of the pandemic is corporations that are 100s of million of dollars that have seen profits jump by double digits……and what is the answer for the Fed?

Give the rich bastards more cash…..

Federal Reserve officials have launched what amounts to a full court press aimed at ensuring that Congress provides a further fiscal stimulus to corporations, as the COVID pandemic continues out of control and the limited revival of the US economy stalls.

While Fed representatives always couch their remarks in terms of giving assistance to the economy and even to workers, the fall in the stock market since the beginning of the month—the most significant downturn since the plunge in mid-March, when all financial markets froze—is the underlying concern.

The push began on Tuesday, when Fed Chair Jerome Powell gave testimony before the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services. Powell repeated earlier calls for fiscal action, on top of the more than $3 trillion made available under the CARES Act.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/09/25/econ-s25.html

All this leads me to ask the one simple question….why do we give corporations so much power over our lives?

The media leads us to believe that the markets going up is good for the people….it is not the only people that benefit are the CEOs.

Then why do we give them the power?

The American people own most of the wealth—private and public—and most of the information in the country. The top one percent do not.

The American people have most of the power in the country. The top one percent do not.

(If you believe any of that then I have a bridge I will sell cheap)

These assertions may surprise you, because the top one percent and the giant corporations work overtime to control what you own. This means they do not have to seize what you own so long as their control provides them with both riches and power over you.

Let’s spell this out with specifics. Our Constitution starts with the words, “We the People…”; it doesn’t start with ‘we the corporations’ or ‘we the Congress’ or ‘we the super-rich.’ The sovereign authority under the Constitution is us; we the people are the bosses. But we give our power away to the Big Boys who run the big companies that control most of our elected politicians. The politicians in turn proceed to corrupt our elections with campaign money, gerrymandering, deceitful ads, voter obstructions, and a totally dominant two-party duopoly. This corporate state destroys competitive democracy which would give our votes meaning, choices, and effectiveness.

The corporate “Borg” is sucking the ready availability of the good life, decent, secure livelihoods assured by our collective self-reliance, and the freedom to shape our future out of our political economy.

We have been brainwashed….and it has been a rousing success for we equate our personal success by others standards.

For Christ Sake—-Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–01Oct20

More bad news for the workers thanx to the Trump admin during the pandemic.

All those economic stim packages that were aimed at helping workers to live until the virus can be conquered…..most of the money….all the money….has made it into the hands of corporations….and to add one more failed program to save the workers from unemployment.

A new analysis out Wednesday reveals that the Federal Reserve bond purchasing program meant to prevent workers from losing their jobs amid the Covid-19 pandemic instead bolstered companies who laid off more than one million workers while paying massive dividends to shareholders—a finding escalating concerns that the central bank’s behavior is “contributing to an economic recovery that benefits wealthy executives and investors but leaves behind American workers.”

The report put forth by the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis —titled “Prioritizing Wall Street” (pdf)—examines individual corporate bonds purchased through the Fed’s Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility (SMCCF), a lending system supported by funds from the CARES Act but which lacks taxpayer and worker protections included in other programs backed by the legislation passed earlier this year. 

For corporations hoping to become eligible to issue bonds purchased by the Fed, the SMCCF “imposes no conditions requiring companies to save jobs or limit payments to executives or shareholders,” the report notes. 

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/09/23/fed-program-meant-help-workers-amid-pandemic-prioritized-wall-street-investors

“The primary beneficiaries of the program have been corporate executives and investors, not workers.”

This is no different than the rest of the stim plans……make the CEOs richer and the screw the people that make these corporations possible.

Not to worry though the whole BS about the shareholders saving the working people is a LIE….please let me repeat that for the mentally slow….IT IS A LIE!

When the Business Roundtable issued a statement on corporate purpose and promised to “deliver value to all of… our stakeholders” in 2019, some applauded the attention paid to social and environmental concerns by 181 CEOs as a significant improvement from neoliberal economist Milton Friedman’s 1970 dictate that “the social responsibility of business is to increase its profits,” which marked the beginning of an era of shareholder primacy. 

But a study (pdf) published Tuesday by the Test of Corporate Purpose (TCP) initiative showed that amid 2020’s disastrous public health, economic, social, and environmental challenges—the coronavirus pandemic, massive unemployment and worsening inequality, persistent police violence and racial injustice, and intensified climate crisis—”stakeholder capitalism” has failed to follow through on its promises to do more to benefit workers and communities, continuing to “put profits ahead of people” instead. 

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/09/22/study-shows-stakeholder-capitalism-failing-live-promises-corporations-continue

“The study enhances doubts that corporations can be depended upon to moderate their quest for profits to pursue solutions to challenges like climate change, racial injustice, and economic inequality.”

The more you learn the more you see what a biased system we live in….the workers mean NOTHING.

If you cannot see the inequality you are either ignorant or a Trump supporter….wait…that is basically the same thing.

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“lego ergo scribo”

Time To Re-Think The Pentagon Budget

In twenty years we have spent trillions on unnecessary wars…..and can we state without qualification that we are a safer nation because of them?

The pandemic we are now fighting has shown us that we need to re-think war and focus on the survival of this country.

The inadequate response of both the federal and state governments to the Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the United States, creating what could only be called a national security crisis. More than 190,000 Americans are dead, approximately half of them people of color. Yelp data show that more than 132,000 businesses have already closed and census data suggest that, thanks to lost wages, nearly 17% of Americans with children can’t afford to feed them enough food.

In this same period, a number of defense contractors have been doing remarkably well. Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon’s top contractor, reported that, compared to 2019, its earnings are actually up—yes, up! The company’s success led the financial magazine Barron’s to call it a “pandemic star.” And those profits are only likely to grow, given the Trump administration’s recent approval of a 10-year deal to sell $62 billion worth of its F-16s to Taiwan.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/09/14/national-insecurity-and-pentagon-budget

Congress needs to step up and do the hard lifting since no one else will….but they are a worthless, lazy bunch and I feel they will do what high dollar donors want…not what is best for the nation.

More Americans have now died from COVID-19 than from the wars in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan combined. Yet the United States is poised to continue spending more money on the Pentagon than the next 10 countries combined, with some 1 million troops deployed in about 175 countries. In other words, there’s no end in sight for our forever wars.

Monday marked the 19th anniversary of the vote to pass the post-9/11 Authorization for Use of Military Force, or AUMF, a blank check to deploy U.S. military personnel anywhere in the world in the name of going after terrorists. Our country’s response to that attack has had unintended and tragic consequences: war profiteering by military contractors, traumatic impact to our soldiers, and massive numbers of refugees and civilian casualties around the world.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/09/15/its-time-repeal-presidents-license-endless-war

This pandemic has shown the nation just how inadequate our social skills are….we can go fight wars without end but we are dumb-founded by a virus.

Maybe now is the right time to start putting the nation and its people first…and I do not mean another round of stim cash that only benefits those that do not need the stim.

Wall Street wants more and more cash…..

When Wall Street receives a major boost from the US Federal Reserve it can always be relied upon to come back and demand more. This phenomenon, one could say a law of political economy, has been on display again this week.

On Wednesday, the central bank’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) set out its new framework for monetary policy. It committed itself to maintaining interest rates at near zero levels, for as far as the eye can see. It would also maintain its purchases of financial assets, at least to the tune of $120 billion a month—nearly $1.5 trillion a year—and intervene even more aggressively should there be a return of financial turbulence.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/09/19/wall-s19.html

Time for this nation to once again become a single entity and not the wandering bands of tribes that spend all their energy sniping at each other.

Pay Attention!  Your life is depending on it!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Time To Reform Social Security

How many years have you heard this issue in the last decades?

Our cowards in Congress keep upping the age so that you pay and pay and die before you can collect.

To the GOP it means to gut the system and make it invalid.

To Dems it is to expand and fund the system.

BTW, the Social Security system is going broke because Congress is a spineless group that has done the most to make the system a failure….that includes both parties.

But it is getting to the point that we are running out of time to make the needed reforms to save and expand the system.

he Congressional Budget Office warned this week that the Social Security Trust Fund will be exhausted within 10 years, and a federal budget expert is urging Congress to take action before it is too late.

In a report titled “The Outlook for Major Federal Trust Funds: 2020 to 2030,” the CBO also warned that the Highway Trust Fund will be depleted by the end of next year.

“We know how to fund highway trust funds, you know, you raise the gas tax or you change the distribution of highway spending,” Marc Goldwein, senior vice president and senior policy director at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, told Just the News. “We know what to do about Social Security, you adjust the retirement age, you increase the amount of income subject to the tax. We know the options here. We just need the political will to come to an agreement, and we’re running out of time.”

https://justthenews.com/government/congress/were-running-out-time-reform-social-security-expert-warns

Policies are killing the only retirement some Americans will ever have….tax cuts and tax breaks have done more to kill the system than any one person…..

Closing Thought–21Sep20

Those hated immigrants!

DoD cost cutting program…..

I am always going on and on about the money that is wasted by the Pentagon in the name of national security….but I never considered this as a way to do so…..

A Democratic lawmaker wants the Pentagon to buy American when it comes to its Military Working Dog program.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut included an amendment in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act that would require the U.S. Air Force, which oversees the Pentagon’s program, to conduct a business case study on what it would take to purchase dogs from U.S. breeders instead of European sources.

“I was surprised to learn from the Air Force that the vast majority of our working dogs are actually born and bred in Europe, which raises costs and puts us in competition with other countries,” Blumenthal said in a statement to Military.com on Wednesday. Bloomberg News was first to report the story.

“I wanted to do what I could to help establish a strong program to breed working dogs here at home, where we already have an expert training program. Our provision in this year’s NDAA takes the first step toward that goal by assessing what resources are necessary for the Department of Defense to meet increasing demands for military working dogs by supporting American breeders,” he said.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/09/18/us-military-working-dogs-should-be-american-born-senator-says.html

You know I have a better idea and it will save a lot more cash than worrying about the immigrant status of our canine soldiers.

Try ending all these goddamn useless wars that we have been fighting for two decades…..this would save trillions not some piddling amount in the millions.  But as usual when it comes to the Pentagon it is chump change and not real cost cutting.

Just A Thought!

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“lego ergo scribo”

Not Since World War Two

2020 election is around the corner and there are things one should consider before they cast their vote (ever how many times they are told to)……economics should be one of those deciding issues.

The markets are hitting all time highs and yet the deficit just keeps growing….and GDP is not all that good either….now I am waiting for one of those “expert” economists to explain this….probably in graphs that NO ONE understands…..

The federal budget deficit is projected to hit a record $3.3 trillion as huge government expenditures to fight the coronavirus and prop up the economy have added more than $2 trillion to the federal ledger, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday. The spike in the deficit means that federal debt will exceed annual gross domestic product next year, a milestone that would put the US in the company of countries like Greece whose accumulated debt exceeds the size of their economies, the AP reports. The $3.3 trillion figure is more than double the levels experienced after the market meltdown and Great Recession of 2008-09. Government spending, fueled by four coronavirus response measures, would register at $6.6 trillion, $2 trillion-plus more than 2019.

The shutdown of the economy in the spring led lawmakers and President Trump to pump money into stimulus steps that have helped the economy in the short term. Most economists are untroubled by such huge borrowing when the economy is in such peril, and the debt was barely a concern when a cornerstone $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill passed almost unanimously in March. But now that lawmakers and the White House are quarreling over the size and scope of a fifth virus relief bill, Republicans are growing skittish at the enormous costs of battling the pandemic. The Democratic-controlled House passed a $3.5 trillion measure in May. Sentiment among top leaders in the GOP-held Senate has been for a bill in the $1 trillion range, with recent party efforts focused on a measure that’s even smaller.

This will take the Congress to screw someone to try and stem this tide…..and that usually means the poor and working people of this country.

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Next year could be another historic year…..it is on track for the deficit will out pace GDP……