Monday, December 31, 2012
This President, just like virtually all of his predecessors (Reagan and FDR included), has engaged in a fair amount of demagoguery. Perhaps the most egregious example of it had to do with his 2008 campaign assertion that HIS administration would crack down on tax havens and that that act alone would raise $100 billion extra every year for the treasury.............................................................................A little bit off? Yeah, the dude was a little bit off. Less than a year later, (by then) President Obama's own international tax proposal claimed to collect only $21 billion a year (a 79% reduction) AND the vast majority of that was in the form of tax increases on companies trying to compete in a world market. The amount of money that the report ultimately claimed to raise from this supposed tax evasion in low tax jurisdictions? Try $870 million dollars a year, a whopping 99.1% reduction from his original 2008 claim. Youza, huh? Millionaires and billionaires indeed.
Sunday, December 30, 2012
It appears that Mrs. Clinton has been admitted into the hospital with a blood clot relative to her concussion. Hm, I wonder if any of those idiots over at Fox News (O'Reilly, Gutfeld, Bolton, etc. - and kudos to Greta Van Susteren for defending Mrs. Clinton) who implied/joked around that the woman was faking to get out of testifying are going to apologize for it. A little something tells me here, probably not.
Saturday, December 29, 2012
1) The cost of cosmetic surgery has been rising at a rate that is lower than the rate of inflation (this, from the National Center for Policy Analysis). This tells me that competition in healthcare CAN work when in fact it's allowed to.............2) In 1975, there were 25 million people on Medicare and the average cost was $2,000 per enrollee. By 2040, those numbers are expected to be 88 million and $17,000, respectively. To say that this trajectory is thoroughly unsustainable should be obvious - TO EVERYBODY.............3) Medicaid was started in 1965 and its original budget was approximately $1 billion. The program's current budget is $250 billion AND, according to the CBO, the budget for that program is expected to hit $600 billion by 2023 and eclipse a trillion ten years later. Again, UNSUSTAINABLE.............4) According to the National Tax Journal, less than 50% (39-42, depending on the survey) of the people in the top 1% in 1996 were still in that group by 2005. This whole notion that the affluent have somehow carved out a permanent high status is ludicrous (not to mention a figment of the President's imagination).............5) The President seems to be operating on a notion that tax policy doesn't in any way influence economic behavior, that increasing taxes will never cause people to work less, invest differently, and/or shelter their money. The fellow is being exceedingly naive on this one, I think.............6) According the Social Security Trust, there were 5.4 workers per retiree in 1960. By 2040, that ratio will dip all the way to 2.3 workers per retiree. Time to think outside the box, I'm thinking.............7) Have you ever wondered why the terrorists switched from machine guns (their previous mode of terror) to suicide bombers in Israel? I'll tell you why. It's because Israel has a right to carry law and little old ladies were pulling guns out of their underwear and killing the terrorists before they could get off too many shots. Interesting, huh?
It's absurd. Israel is the only nation in that shit-hole part of the world in which Jews, Arabs, and Christians are able to dine together, work together, shop together, and even serve in the government together (there are a lot of Arabs serving in the Knesset NOW). It's also a country in which Arabs (many of them residents of the West Bank) probably receive the best healthcare of any Arab population in the whole region (some hospitals having close to 40% Arab patients). Yes, they did build a wall along the West Bank but the only reason that they did that was to stop the suicide bombers who were coming in like a sieve and wreaking havoc (it's been successful, btw, terrorists acts are down 90%). Look, I'm not opposed to criticizing Israel and I've done it myself on occasion. But to have people like Jimmy Carter throwing around such loaded terms as apartheid is well beyond the pale, imo.
Washington is strange place. Only there would a person even attempt to call adjustments to the rate of growth of spending "budget cuts" - and savage ones, no less. It's a dirty little secret that they have and they call it baseline budgeting.........................................................................................So, yes, even with the supposedly "draconian cuts" of the Ryan budget, the vast, VAST, percentage of those (yes, there are some actual cuts in the first year of it but after that the budget grows approximately 40% over the next 11 years) are basically slowdowns in the rate of projected growth.........................................................................................And why do the nummies do it this way, you ask? I don't know, probably for several reasons. a) Bureaucrats and politicians love power (and wealth) and what better way to consolidate it than to remove it from the private sector and b) it also provides multiple opportunities to demagogue. Take, for instance, this quote from the Center for American Progress's John Podesta - "Closing the budget gap entirely on the spending side would require draconian cuts - cuts that would affect Americans' everyday lives, threaten the fundamentals of our health and safety, and reduce investment in science and technology, which undergird innovation in our economy." It's utter nonsense (and, yes, I could come up with a conservative counterpart regarding defense spending), in that as I plainly pointed out in a previous post, we don't even have to cut (real cuts, I'm saying) spending in order to balance the budget in the short term (10-12 years). We just have to keep the growth of it to 2.5% and it'll balance itself!! Enough already with the BS, you slugs.
Friday, December 28, 2012
As you folks may recall, I castigated President Obama for the fact that even the Democratic-friendly witness at those recent Congressional debt hearings (one Mark Zandi) had had some issues with the man. Yeah, well, guess what, the Republican-friendly witness at those very same hearings didn't exactly rubber-stamp his side, either. According to Kevin Hassett, the optimal debt consolidation package is one in which is the budget cuts outweigh the spending increases by approximately 5.7:1. Considering the fact that every single Republican at that (now infamous) Presidential debate said that they would have no problem walking away from a 10:1 cuts to revenue package, it doesn't necessarily sound as if they're being all that serious, either, I'm thinking.
"High tax-rates do not always lead to high tax revenues. Between 1982 and 1999, the average corporate income tax-rate fell from 46% to 33% while corporate income tax collections rose from 2.1% of national income to 2.4% of national income."......Wow, it seems as if they're saying that competitive tax-rates can sometimes improve a country's economy/ its economic standing in the world. Who'd have ever thunk it?
"Taxation may be so high as to defeat its object, and that, given sufficient time to gather the fruits, a reduction of taxation will run a better chance than an increase of balancing the budget."......Wow, it kinda sounds like he's articulating something similar to the Laffer Curve here, the Law of Diminishing Returns, etc..
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
"Implicit in this narrative is a notion that the economy has no recuperative power of its own. It is only through these wonderful actions of President Obama that the economy has been able to recover. The reality, though, is that for the first 150 years of this country the government did absolutely nothing during economic downturns and the economy recovered every time. The hubris of those in Washington thinking that it's only them who can fix the economy is astonishing."
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
"We didn’t admit it at the time, but practically the whole New Deal was extrapolated from programs Hoover started."......And Krugman didn't know this. Unbelievable. I guess that you don't necessarily have to read books any more to win a Nobel Prize.
On the Assertion by Paul Krugman and Chris Hayes that FED Chairman, Ben Bernanke, Hasn't Been Doing ENOUGH
It's insane. Mr. Bernanke has essentially tripled the monetary base over the past four years, issuing more paper-money than all of the previous FED chairmen COMBINED!!! And he's also kept the interest rates at zero or pretty damn close to it. What, pray tell, WOULD be enough for these two discredited individuals (Krugman thinks that the world should be building up its military in preparation for an alien invasion and that that massive misallocation of resources would in fact get the world out of its recession - he's never once read Frederic Bastiat's "Broken Window Fallacy" OBVIOUSLY) ? I mean, do they completely want to destroy the value of the dollar here?
Monday, December 24, 2012
1) Note to Obama and Boehner - According to the Cato Institute's, Dan Mitchell, and the Mercatus Center's, Veronique de Rugy, if you folks in Washington simply restrained the growth of government spending to 2-2.5% a year, the deficit itself would all but disappear in 10-12 years. Yes, more would have to be done after that (2022-2024) due to those demographic issues pertaining to the baby-boomers retiring and all, but at least it shows that the problem isn't totally insurmountable. Please, fellows, get your act together.............2 The federal government currently spends more than $17,000 per year per capita (and, NO, this doesn't include our defense spending). That is more than England, Germany, Canada, Italy, Switzerland, Greece, Belgium, Australia, Japan, Spain, Finland, Portugal, Israel, and New Zealand. This whole mentality of those on progressive side that America's problems are somehow the result of insufficient government activity is a total head-scratcher to me.............3) Mr. Obama's proposal to change the cost of living increases for Social Security is a measure that supposedly reduces the deficit by $30 billion dollars a year. I would like to adopt it and add it to the list of my proposals and happily say that my new subtotal is $138 billion ($1.38 trillion over 10 years).
Sunday, December 23, 2012
Saturday, December 22, 2012
1) In 1967, the federal government projected Medicare spending to be approximately $12 billion in 1990. The actual cost was $98 billion (that's a 717% miscalculation for those of you who are brave enough to keep a tally) and the current expense is now well over $500 billion. To say that I am looking at the current projections of Obamacare with a grain of salt these days is an understatement.............2) And, yes, to be fair and balanced about it, one could absolutely make a similar criticism pertaining to the Iraq War. Mr. Bush's initial projections on that conflict were somewhere in the $50-60 billion dollar range and we have obviously exceeded that in spades and multiples. The way that I see it here, neither party has been a very good steward of the taxpayer's money - NEITHER SIDE.............3) According to the IRS, only 23% of the top 1% of America's wage-earners are millionaires. Correct me if I'm wrong here but it seems as if Mr. Obama has a tendency to conflate these two groupings and tries his best to make hay over it. If I were advising the fellow......
What would be my answer to the question, "So, what's your all-time favorite Herman Munster line?"
a) We can't tax our way out of the deficit (government, no matter what the tax-rates, has never been able to consistently tax its way to over 21% of GDP) and b) Medicare and Medicaid are the major drivers of future debt and to ignore them is plainly suicidal.
Mr. Buffett is always yapping about wanting to pay more in taxes. But that clearly hasn't stopped the dude form using one of the oilier (albeit legal) tax avoidance schemes. It seems that Mr. Buffett, instead of simply giving money to charities, has been giving away a lot of his appreciated stock shares. Yes, it's a very magnanimous gesture but it also represents a major-league loophole for Buffett. a) He doesn't have to pay the long-term capital gains tax and b) he nevertheless still gets to deduct the APPRECIATED AMOUNT of the donated stock shares on his tax form. Not an terrible gig if you can get it.
Friday, December 21, 2012
I didn't like it - not because he made fun of the President (politicians exist to be ridiculed in my little world). I didn't like it because it was just such a shock to have to witness it; that one-time virile and dynamic icon from Sergio Leone's epic masterpiece, "The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly", being reduced to such a stumbling, bumbling, and stammering douche-bag/tool for some mediocre political party. Believe me, it was a hard-core image that this fellow could have well done without.
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Like I said, I don't own any guns. But neither am I going to go around advertising that sucker. Like I'm not going to be putting a monstrous sign in front of my house that specifies, "gun-free house", and I doubt that any of my colleagues would be willing to do that, either.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
I don't have a gun, I don't have a desire to purchase one, and I'm not philosophically opposed to common sense gun control. But can we at least take a reasoned approach as to what we're talking 'bout here (this, I'm saying, to the partisan leftists)? a) Justice department data shows that nearly 80% of criminals purchase their weapons ILLEGALLY (a large chunk of which aren't even manufactured in this country) and that less than 1% (.7% to be precise) of them purchase their firearms at these (admittedly scary) gun shows. And 2) this Connecticut mother purchased the guns legally and also passed a background check. How, pray tell, would the things that people like Rachel Maddow are spitting and drooling over have prevented this crime when they were already in place (yes, Connecticut even has a assault weapons ban, for Christ - the weapon in question apparently didn't qualify)?.................................................................................................P.S. Yes, I realize that there are some other things that we could possibly look at. But none of these steps are necessarily clear-cut, either. For instance, yeah, we could limit the number of guns that a person could possess but a) that would penalize the 99.9% of gun collectors who are responsible and b) criminals aren't even going to go through the legal channels anyway....And then of course there are those who are advocating that the the gun-buyers' entire family should be screened prior to purchase. Again, it doesn't sound that unreasonable until you realize here that a) there would also be some huge confidentiality issues and b) people with mental illness aren't necessarily more likely to be violent PERIOD (Aspergers people are actually LESS likely to be violent to others). This whole construct that politicians (replete with their hubris) can significantly make a dent in this at least somewhat wishful thinking, I'm thinking.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Monday, December 17, 2012
Paul Krugman has a Nobel Prize (I still have a hard time typing that) and Rachel Maddow was a Rhodes Scholar....and so what exactly? A mitigation of the fact that they constantly deceive and have achieved a true-believer status that even Eric Hoffer himself could have never envisioned? I'm sorry but, no. And if you think that I am in any way coming at this from a partisan slant, I can assure you, I feel THE EXACT SAME WAY about well-educated buffoons on the right such as Ann Coulter (Cornell and the University of Michigan Law) and Laura Ingraham (Dartmouth and the University of Virginia Law). A jerk is a jerk is a jerk is a jerk.
5) Secular progressives (as opposed to religious conservatives, secular conservatives, and religious progressives) and the "culture war".............4) Media bias (other than his own, of course).............3) Ratings.............2) His ratings.............1) Bill O'Reilly/"The Factor".............And, YES, I'm still trying to get him to come on "The Contra".
Saturday, December 15, 2012
1) If the federal government cut foreign aid by 20%, that would save the treasury $10 billion. If they cut agricultural supports by 20%, that would net them another $4 billion. And if they closed unnecessary foreign military bases, that would save them $12 billion (Rumsfeld's numbers, not mine). All together that would be another $26 billion that you could add to the $60 billion from previous posts (capping the mortgage interest deduction and having Medicare negotiate directly with the pharmaceutical companies) for a total of $86 billion. This isn't rocket-science, people.............2) I also think that we really need to look at that payroll tax holiday. That one item alone is costing the treasury $110 billion a year and, even if we scaled that back 20% (and, yes, we could graduate this in favor of the working and middle classes), that would be an additional $22 billion in savings and a subtotal now of $108 billion.............3) I've been pretty critical of FDR and Obama lately and so let me do a little turnabout here. Herbert Hoover, a Republican, increased federal spending by an unprecedented (for peacetime) 47% (11.8% average per year) during his four years. George W. Bush, another Republican, increased federal spending 61% (7.6% average per year) during his eight years. And Gerald Ford, yet another Republican - he, unfortunately, was the original pioneer of this idiotic tax-rebate concept (tax-cuts generally lead to economic growth only when the marginal rates on productive behavior are permanently lowered). This whole notion that only Democratic Presidents have engaged in wasteful spending and government interference is a purely false one and if I've ever even implied that in the past then I apologize.
Friday, December 14, 2012
If somebody had told me two months ago that, on December 14th 2012, the New York Knickerbockers would be 17-5 and the L.A. Lakers would be 9-14, I would have probably considered that person a lunatic and tried to contact authorities. BUT THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HAS HAPPENED! Can you even begin to believe this shit, people?
Thursday, December 13, 2012
It allows you the opportunity to vote your conscience (and, yes, I thoroughly took advantage of it).
Hannity has made it abundantly clear that, if President Obama nominates John Kerry to be the next Secretary of Defense/State, he will in fact "swift-boat" the fellow AGAIN. Batten down the hatches, me-bucks..........................................................................................And, no, I'm not necessarily saying that I approve of everything that Mr. Kerry did and said when he returned from the war but at least the fellow went over there, and that's a hell of a lot more than you can say for Bush, Quayle, Cheney, Romney, Biden, etc..
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
1) According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, if Medicare were able to negotiate directly with the pharmaceutical companies over drug prices, that one act alone could potentially save the tax-payers some $30 billion dollars. If you combined that with the $30 billion that I had brought up in a previous post pertaining to tweaking the cap on mortgage interest, that's a total of $60 billion, some $600 billion over ten years. This isn't rocket-science, people, and even the idiots in Washington (Boehner, Pelosi, McConnell, Reid, etc.) should have been able to pick off this low-hanging fruit, I think.............2) If Krugman really wanted to make a point about Boehner AND if he was being intellectually honest about it, he would have compared the fellow not to Herbert Hoover (who, as we all know now, wasn't a laissez faire capitalist by any stretch; the beneficent hand, etc.) but to Harding and Coolidge. But since Krugman is NOT an honest man and he used the name of Hoover a) because it has certain negative cache to it and b) because the economies under both Harding and Coolidge were exceedingly strong, you got what you usually get from this Krugman fellow, a majorly sneaky Pete.............3) Note to MSNBC and "The Nation's", Chris Hayes. This notion of yours that FED chairman, Ben Bernanke, was intentionally tanking the economy by not engaging it ENOUGH, and that his doing this was to somehow get Governor Romney elected, IS ABSURD! a) Mr. Bernanke has essentially TRIPLED the money supply over the past four years (creating out of thin air more paper currency than all of the previous FED chairmen COMBINED!!) and b) Mr. Romney had made it patently clear that he would in no way reappoint Mr. Bernanke. Why, pray tell, would this Bernanke try and lift a finger (or, as you would say, NOT lift a finger) to help a candidate who was clearly going to throw him under the bus? You are totally insane, dude.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
It's preemptive strike against the Arab states in 1967? No. Egypt's decision to close the Straits of Tiran, its mobilization of troops along the border with Israel, and the bellicose language coming from Egypt and Syria were all a more than adequately sufficient justification for Israel's action.......The fact that Israel annexed the West Bank from Jordan during this same conflict? No. Israel repeatedly made peaceful overtures to Jordan and pleaded with them not to engage in hostilities. It was only after Jordan started shelling Israeli civilian populations and later sent in its air force to bomb key residential areas that Israel eventually responded; bombing Jordanian air-fields and, yes, seizing the West Bank.......In my opinion, the biggest miscalculation that Israel made was its failure, post the '67 War, to adopt the Alon Plan. This plan, which was put forth by Labor Minister/General, Yigal Alon, had Israel withdrawing from all Arab population centers and from most of the other territory as well. Yes, it did call for some of the land to be annexed but only enough for defense and to maintain "territorial integrity". The way that I see it here, had the Israeli's chosen this route, they could have a) solidified their defenses and b) avoided the embarrassment of having to occupy another group of people for multiple decades (world sentiment might have actually swung to their advantage)....But, hey, hindsight is 20/20, right?
Monday, December 10, 2012
1) The unemployment rate in Spain right now is 25%. In Singapore it's less than 2% (1.9). Spain has a heavy regulatory burden and a high taxation rate. Singapore has neither of these (they don't even have a minimum wage). Now, can I say with absolute certitude that there's a causal connection here? No, I can't. But at the very least it's interesting.............2) According the Cato Institute's Dan Mitchell, the 1913 tax code had 400 pages in it, the tax code of 2012, 73,000. I challenge anybody to try and convince me that this is a change for the better (I mean, yes, I could see it being somewhat bigger but 182 fold!?).............3) The federal budget has grown 31% over the last four years and 41% over the last five years. Couple this with the fact that a) douche Bernanke has essentially tripled the monetary base and b) the deficit has now quadrupled (from 2008) and it really doesn't look all that good for the Keynesians, now does it? Time for another 30-year hiatus, I'm thinking.............4) Looking for a flying under the radar high school football player? My suggestion is that you take a gander down toward Raleigh and a duel-threat quarterback by the name of LeMar Harris (class of 2014 - Millbrook High). This kid is a rangy 6'2" with speed and who can really sling the rock. He doesn't have any offers yet but, I'm telling you, 5-6 months from now, he'll probably have a whole slew of 'em and, yeah, you can bank on it
Sunday, December 9, 2012
Saturday, December 8, 2012
Really Van, present era Republicans are the "worst people ever born"? Worse than Hitler? Worse than Stalin? Worse than Mussolini? Worse than Saddam Hussein? Worse than Pol Pot? Worse than the Hamids of Turkey? Worse than Augusto Pinochet? Worse than Idi Amin? Worse than Roberto Daubuisson? Worse than Kim Jong Il? Worse than Attila the Hun? Worse than the Assads of Syria? Worse than Genghis Kahn? Worse than Milosevic? Worse than Leopold 2? Worse than Snooki (just wanted to see if you were paying attention)? Worse than Franco? Worse than Mao? MAN, I really gotta steer clear of these folks.
The fellow makes Noam Chomsky sound like Golda Meir.
"you don't really care about life. stop pretending to care. A poor man today lives better than a king did for the vast majority of history. A poor man in central africa today has a higher standard of living, better healthcare than the emperors of rome. All of the kings of the past would trade their empires for a car, or dental care. You only care about relative wealth not absolute wealth, In an other words you are envious of other. You should really think about your life."......Yeah, there are some grammatical errors and/or typos but, overall, I love it.
Friday, December 7, 2012
There actually is one area in which Mr. Krugman does excel; the dude is clever. I mean, just take a look at this whole position of his on the stimulus. While, yes (and as Robert Murphy conceded in his Mises blog), it is true that he DID say (in real time) that the stimulus wasn't significant enough, it's also true to say that Mr. Krugman was in fact basing this sentiment on Christina Romer's, HELLO!, ACTUAL PROJECTIONS! So, in other words, Krugman never said that the stimulus was insufficient to the point that it wouldn't keep the unemployment rate under the 10% that ultimately happened, but that the stimulus should have been bigger in order to prevent the 7.5% figure that came DIRECTLY FROM ROMER'S PROJECTIONS. See the difference here? The dude is sneaky, I'm telling you.
On the Fine Art of Grown-Up Republicans and Democrats Acting Like Recalcitrant Children/Total Idiots
The Democrats want the top tax rates to go up from 33% (on people making over $200,000 a year) and 35% (on a figure yet unspecified - it's currently $388,000 a year) to 36% and 39.6% respectively. The Republicans - they, on the other hand, don't want these rates to go up at all. My question IS, can we please, pretty please, cut some sort of a deal here?...Like, I don't know, instead of the rates going up to 36% and 39.6%, we have them go up to 34.5% and 37.3% (yeah, I simply cut the differences here), and instead of the thresh-hold being $200,000, we negotiate it up to $500,000....I mean, no, we wouldn't get as much in terms of the revenue raised (instead of the $70 billion it would probably be closer to $35-40 billion) but it still would be a fairly amount and each side will have given up something in order to get it. So, what do you think, a deal here?
1) Not to pick on Mr. Obama, but I was watching some of the debt testimony yesterday and even the Democrat's own hand-picked witness, Mark Zandi (an economist from Moody's), said that the President hasn't gone anywhere near far enough in terms of budget cutting (he advocates at least an additional $600 billion)....I mean, the dude was basically saying that President needs to get serious.............2) And then, of course, we have the hard left (which up to this point I hadn't considered Obama a part of - and still don't in terms of military matters). For these folks to continue to characterize Mr. Obama's proposal as serious at this point (as many at MSNBC are pantingly attempting to) is absurd - even more so than their ratings.............3) According to M.I.T. economist, William Wheaton, if the federal government a) capped the mortgage interest deduction at $500,000 AND b) did away with the deduction for second houses completely, those two changes alone would increase revenues to the federal government by $30 billion. THIRTY BILLION DOLLARS. I mean, I know that that's only about 3% of the current deficit and all but when you snap up 3% here and 3% there and you combine that with a burgeoning economy, we could probably get out of this thing. But you gotta start somewhere.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
1) What Obama and the Democrats did (beginning in 2010 and moving forward - and this really is kind of shady) was use the 2009 budget as a baseline and essentially moved forward with it via a series of continuing resolutions....It’s kind of like if you wrecked your car and then decided afterwards that you really liked spending that extra $25,000 a year and so you continued to do so in perpetuity. Of course the downside is that you'll eventually end up, hello, busted!............2) According to the Gallup Daily Tracking Poll, consumer spending is up 28%, from $60 a day (per individual) in 2009 to $77 a day in 2012. That, and we ALL know that government spending has grown significantly, too (it's essentially doubled since the final year of Clinton). This whole notion that a lack of demand has been the reason for our crappy recovery is borderline laughable.............3) The actual reason for the poor recovery, in my opinion, is the fact that we aren't saving and investing. I mean, just take a gander at the breakdown of GDP; consumption - 71%, government spending - 20%, imports/exports - -3%, and investment - 12. 12%!! That number has to get better and it has to get better quickly....Argentina anybody (the fact that those idiots tried to improve their economy via tax increases and printing money, too - and, guess what, it didn't work!)?
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
1) I am willing to concede that, from 2010 to 2012, the Republicans in Congress were probably more recalcitrant and arrogant than Obama was (Trent Lott in the Senate and the tea party caucus in the House, especially). But ever since the election (granted, it's only been a month or so), I'm not entirely certain anymore. This combination of Obama's nonproposal proposal and an almost Captain Ahab caliber preoccupation with raising the top two rates is starting to look a little bit more like spiking the football (than leadership) to me. That, and maybe the dude is starting to show his truer colors, too.............2) Pol Pot's solution to income inequality was basically to kill off anybody who had a profession or a degree and divvy it up later (with him taking the largest slice obviously). Hopefully the situation in this country will never get that damned desperate.............3) It appears that Obama's plan DOES include a continuation of the payroll tax holiday and, so, no, that 115 billion cannot be a part of the 160 billion in increased revenue. Damn! I so wanted to give the fellow some props.
Two words - Mike Malloy.
Getting a little sick of it myself.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Haven't the time nor the interest. And, besides, I'm far too busy fighting my own epic battle; "The War Against Inane Topics Currently Being Foisted Upon the American Electorate by Egotistical and Paranoiac Cable Hosts Whose Sole Existence Seems to be the March for Higher Ratings/Advertising Dollars".
Monday, December 3, 2012
Those dudes (Mark Warner, Tom Coburn, Dick Durbin, Kent Conrad, Saxby Chambliss, and Mike Crapo) came up with ten year plan that reduced the deficit by $3.7 trillion (at a roughly 2:1 ratio of tax increases to spending cuts). Is it perfect? No, of course not. Nothing is. But at least it's a start (not to mention infinitely better than anything that the President has offered of late) and isn't it about time that we did just that? Seriously?
Please, just skip the murder part.
1) According to Rachel Maddow, "WE KNOW" that government spending is more stimulative to the American economy than tax-cuts. Yeah, well, guess what, WRONG! At the bare minimum it's debatable. I mean, yes, there are some studies and economists (that dude from Moody's and the celebrity economist, Krugman - two of them) who still subscribe to this multiplier effect thing but it is far, FAR, from a consensus. Harvard's Robert Barro and the University of California's Valerie Ramey, for instance - those folks place the multiplier effect of government spending at .7 and between .6 and 1.1, respectively. Hell, even the administration's own Christine Romer in a study that she did at Cal had the multiplier effect of tax cuts at 3.0 (a far greater amount than even the hardest of the hard-core Keynesians have asserted for any form of government spending)....Look, I'm not saying here that I have the final word on any of this shit. But for activists like Rachel Maddow to continuously say that they DO, sorry, not going to let it pass.............2) Hugh Samuel Johnson, FDR's administrator of the National Recovery Administration - wow, what a piece of work that guy was. Not only was the fellow an admirer of Mussolini, he actually went as far as to disseminate fascistic propaganda within the government by one of Mussolini's favorite economists AND he was an alcoholic who administered the NRA so incompetently that it was even too much for Roosevelt who ended up firing him in 1934. Of course, the most hilarious aspect of the story is that Time Magazine actually named him, "Man of the Year" OVER FDR! Is this a great country or is it not?............3) Just for the record, he was in fact a true-believer while he was there. He once referred to the NRA as "the greatest social advance since the days of Jesus Christ."
Sunday, December 2, 2012
1) Just to be fair and balanced here, Democrats such as FDR and Obama aren't the only Presidents who have utilized constituency politics and patronage. Richard Nixon in 1972 (less than 6 months before Election Day) markedly increased Social Security payments and George W. Bush spent money like a drunken sailor in the months leading up to the 2004 election. Bribing the electorate is as American as apple pie and both parties are exceedingly proficient at it.............2) According to historian and economist, Thomas Woods, Andrew Carnegie was able to single-handedly bring down the cost of steel by 90%, John D. Rockefeller was able to single-handed bring the cost of kerosene by 90%, and Cornelius Vanderbilt was able to single-handedly bring down the cost of steam transport by 95%. Now, yes, all three of these individuals went on to make millions and millions of dollars and none of them were flawless. But I think that they probably contributed more to society than politicians like Herbert Hoover, FDR, and Woodrow Wilson did with all of their initiatives....Certainly one could argue that, I think.............3) Wow, I can't believe what I just saw. New York Times leftist columnist, Charles Blow, actually went on CNN and gave some straight and reasonable analysis (on the upcoming "fiscal cliff"). A job well done, Mr. Blow (and, please, do not rearrange the words in that sentence).
In the now legendary words of Mickey Rourke's character (one Henry Chinaski) from "Barfly", "Ah, IT'S HATRED!!!!!!!!!! It's the only thing that lasts."
Saturday, December 1, 2012
That, according to a variety of sources (whistleblowers.org, Democracy Now!, Jake Tapper of ABC News, economist Anthony Gregory), Mr. Obama has invoked the Espionage Act more frequently than all of his predecessors COMBINED?............Is it my imagination or is this President starting to sound more and more like a certain fellow from Texas?