Politics & Economics Open Thread

Talk about politics and the global/national economy to your heart’s content, as much as it takes to get it out of your system so the rest of the site can stick to real estate and housing.

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As of 09/07/2010, global economic comments that do not directly relate to Seattle-area real estate go only in threads designated for this specific subject.


About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

472 comments:

  1. 251

    By doug @ 248:

    Again, read “Employment Division Vs. Smith.” They have to obey the law.

    BTW, clearly distinguishable. It’s dealing with whether a religion can override a statutory prohibition when it comes to individual acts. So can a member of a religion use otherwise illegal drugs.

    To be on point with that decision you would have to have a law prohibiting the use of contraceptives, and a religion which required or encouraged them to be used. Under the Smith decision, the use of the contraceptives would be illegal, but clearly that is a completely different fact pattern.

  2. 252
    doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 249

    How is it any different than attacking Roe v Wade? It is not. Whether he does it during a SotU, or in a press conference is irrelevant, it is changing the topic. Is attacking Roe v Wade, saying it was wrong, attacking the Bill of Rights? If so, it’s just as ‘dangerous’ as Obama attacking CU, which is not at all.

    The only person who is ‘dangerous’ in this regard was Gingrich, who said he’d use executive power to just override judicial authority.

    News flash Kary: laws pass ALL THE TIME that are unconstitutional. sometimes it is blatant, sometimes not. This is the ENTIRE point of having a judicial body. If the Constitution were completely clear and in no need of interpretation, the founding fathers would not have established a Supreme Court, and not established a clear (but difficult) way to amend the constitution.

    Bush’s quote is regarding the establishment of a constitutional amendment in reaction to judicial decisions that he disagreed with. Exactly what you were so worried about. Whether is was a Supremes decision or not is irrelevant. The President can’t override a state judge any more than he can override a Supreme Court decision. But he’s certainly free to express his displeasure. And he’s free to pursue a constitutional amendment. I’m 110% for the right of gays to marry, but I don’t think that Bush was trying to topple the Republic.

    Nor should you get upset that Obama got disgruntled about a judicial decision (that reversed previous practice that was accepted as law) on the 2nd amendment. It’s his right. It’s his right to vocally do it too! Under the same 2nd amendment! If he decided he could just overrule it, now that would be trouble. But he hasn’t. In fact, he’s got his very own super PAC. Lighten up. Your freedom is not being taken away because Obama got indecorously grumpy.

    In short: you either have a basic misconception of the way this government works, or you’re just all worked up and you’re stubbornly digging in now.

  3. 253
    doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 51

    Smoking peyote is illegal, just like refusing to provide birth control coverage is illegal under the ACA. It is a broadly defined law not intended to pick on Catholics. It in no way prohibits them from worshiping freely. Finding a law immoral is not grounds to disobey it.

    No one is compelling Catholics to use birth control, so the kosher analogy doesn’t hold up at all.

  4. 254

    By doug @ 252:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 249 – How is it any different than attacking Roe v Wade? It is not.

    Roe v. Wade is not a decision based on the Bill of Rights.

    You seem to assume I have a problem with amending the Constitution. I don’t. Amendments are expressly provided for, and a most of the Amendments have been good. The exception would be Prohibition, but there might be others.

  5. 255

    By doug @ 53:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 51

    Smoking peyote is illegal, just like refusing to provide birth control coverage is illegal under the ACA.

    No one is compelling Catholics to use birth control, so the kosher analogy doesn’t hold up at all.

    First, there was no kosher analogy in that post. I did address in another post how if you assume a law prohibiting contraception (which requires ignoring Roe v. wade), religious beliefs promoting their use wouldn’t stand up to that law (again, which ignores Roe v. Wade).

    As to the first sentence, not parallel at all. In the first case (peyote) you’re prohibiting someone from doing something. In the second case (contraceptives) you’re requiring them to do something (provide coverage, not take contraceptives). Other than paying taxes, and serve in war, the federal government can’t typically force people to do things.

  6. 256
    doug says:

    Ok, let’s split it into two issues, because I do think I get your objection to the birth control thing, but it’s combining two distinct issues.

    Issue 1: Is the ACA mandate constitutional? Maybe! Compelling individuals and organizations to buy health care may or may not be Constitutional. It’ll probably make it’s way to the Supreme Court.

    It’s definitely up for debate, and I understand arguments on both sides. Either way, signing it doesn’t make Obama dangerous, or unique. Again, laws are declared unconstitutional with some regularity, sometimes after decades of being on the books. Interpretations change.

    Issue 2: Should the Catholic Church be immune from provisions of the ACA? And here, I think it’s a clear ‘no’. If the ACA is the law of the land, then everyone must obey it. Religious exemptions can be written in (as they often are in laws) but that doesn’t mean the church gets to flout the law.

    If the law is unconstitutional, it’s not because of birth control, or any religious issues. If it’s unconstitutional, it’s because of the mandate, and it will be decided as such.

  7. 257

    RE: doug @ 256 – I would agree with your analysis of the Individual mandate. I would only note though that if the individual mandate is constitutional, that would be a huge expansion of federal power.

    On that topic there are two issues. Is the individual mandate a good idea and is it constitutional. Some think it’s a good idea because it deals with the freerider issue, but I think it’s a bad idea because I think it will be highly inflationary. The Supreme Court will not strike it down because they think it’s bad policy. The very well might strike it down as not being within the government’s power. Personally I think that is somewhat likely given some of their other decisions the past ten years or so, but it will probably be a 5-4 decision either way.

    On the other I continue to disagree. The court can find the rule on contraceptives constitutional as applied to everyone but religious organizations. The case you cited earlier clearly doesn’t address it. If you have another to look at, let me know. But it would need to be something requiring a religious organization to do something that violated their principles. So just having to pay minimum wage, for example, wouldn’t cut it.

  8. 258

    Not a Supreme Court decision, and it’s older, but you might want to look at this case dealing with minimum wage law:

    http://openjurist.org/899/f2d/1389/dole-v-shenandoah-baptist-church-c-d-b-m-s-f-p-t-i-t-t-r-l-c-t-m-dole

    Paragraph 45.

  9. 259
    doug says:

    I think the law itself is a good idea, but don’t necessarily think it’s constitutional. It could certainly lead to bad things.

    Do you get upset about warrant-less searches and wire taps, the Patriot Act, private prisons and private military groups? That’s what gets ME scared. Bad stuff is happening with those issues now, not in the future. And since we’re all so scared, it just gets swept under the rug. The SC won’t even hear arguments in some cases.

  10. 260

    RE: doug @ 259 -Sticking to Bill of Rights issues:

    Searches, wiretaps depend on the circumstances. Technology makes that very difficult. For example, I didn’t have a problem with putting a GPS device on a car, because it tracks the movement in public, and that could be done by having cops follow, using a helicopter, etc. The court didn’t agree, however, and possibly because apparently surveillance can become so intrusive to be unconstitutional (not sure).

    On the other hand, using infrared detectors to look inside houses for drugs, clearly bad IMHO.

    BTW, historically the court hasn’t been that strong in protecting against search and seizure. Our Washington State Supreme Court has been much more restrictive, and I would agree more with what they do.

    As to locking people up, I’ve already indicated a problem with that in some situations.

  11. 261
    doug says:

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2005-12-09/news/0512090161_1_mitt-romney-abandoned-plans-private-hospitals-public-health-commissioner

    Is this that different?

    Again, I would say this kind of thing is not at all unprecedented. We seem to be splitting some pretty fine hairs here, and once we’re drawing distinctions this fine, it’s really hard to say that Obama doesn’t respect the Bill of Rights.

    I personally think that CU is contrary to original intent. If money is speech, how is bribery or blackmail illegal? It’s all just speech. But I wouldn’t say the Supreme Court doesn’t respect the Bill of Rights.

  12. 262
    David Losh says:

    RE: doug @ 261

    You are fighting a good fight, that will get you nowhere. You’ve made excellent points, but you will find the conversation circular, on many small points.

    In my opinion you are correct, and have made an excellent presentation.

  13. 263

    By doug @ 261:

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2005-12-09/news/0512090161_1_mitt-romney-abandoned-plans-private-hospitals-public-health-commissioner

    Is this that different?

    I don’t know what the state constitution looks like in Massachusetts. They might not have any clause pertaining to freedom of religion, and then you’d have to resort back to arguing one of the amendments to the US Constitution applied to them.

    Similarly, Romneycare might be constitutional under their constitution. That in fact is more likely. That still wouldn’t mean it was a good idea, and judging by their medical costs there it wasn’t. But at least that’s a distinction Romney could raise.

    It’s like what I was addressing on the search and seizure issue, where Washington decisions on the restrictions are more restrictive on police powers. In that case it’s not based differences in the language of the two constitutions, where in the case of Romneycare or the issue in your article, it very well might be.

  14. 264

    By doug @ 261:

    I personally think that CU is contrary to original intent. If money is speech, how is bribery or blackmail illegal? It’s all just speech. But I wouldn’t say the Supreme Court doesn’t respect the Bill of Rights.

    It’s not that money is speech. What the money pays for is speech. There’s a message there, and the law which was struck down prevented certain groups from speaking the weeks prior to an election. I was shocked when the Supreme Court found that constitutional several years before CU.

    What I also find amazing is how willing the press is to go along with this attacks on the First Amendment. They describe the CU decision as applying to corporations, because people don’t like corporations. In discussing the more recent issue, they address it as being about contraception rather than religious rights, even though all it’s about is religious rights. No one is talking about taking away anyone’s contraception. Back during Clinton they acted as if claiming the Second Amendment was an individual right was an absurd idea. And during Bush, on your issue, they hardly covered the Patriot Act and the people locked up.

    The press is going to regret being so in bed with the politicians when the politicians turn their sights on the press. But judging by what passes as news these days, I think it will be a long time before the politicians decide that they even care what the press has to say.

  15. 265
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 264

    What I heard Doug to say is that the Citizen’s United decision was contrary to the original intent of the 1st Amendment.

    Many people consider the Bill of Rights to be Individual rights, or the Rights of the People.

    What the decision does is further extend the rights of organizations, like the Nazi Party, Republican Party, Democrats, Black Panthers, the Nation of Islam, Jewish Defense League, Anti Defamation League, the Communist Party, Socialist Party, or any other organization that can raise money.

    More to my point is that I consider Citizens United to be a hate group.

  16. 266
    doug says:

    “I don’t know what the state constitution looks like in Massachusetts. They might not have any clause pertaining to freedom of religion, and then you’d have to resort back to arguing one of the amendments to the US Constitution applied to them.”

    No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. State laws have to obey the U.S. Constitution for Goodness sake.

    And re: Citizens United, the point I was trying to raise was not that it’s a bad decision, but that I wouldn’t describe the court as disrespecting Constitutional rights, as you did with Obama. When I point out all the times VERY similar things have happened, you draw finer and finer distinctions (Well, it was at the State of the Union! Well, that was the 9th Amendment not the 1st! I said Bill of Rights, not Constitution!)

    So yes, no other president of the United States wrote the ACA, and no other President disagreed with THAT specific decision at a State of the Union, because it hadn’t been written yet. I cannot argue otherwise. Why should I have to?

    When you make your argument this specific, it loses all meaning, and you can’t draw the conclusion that Obama has no respect for the Constitution.

  17. 267

    By doug @ 266:

    “I donâ��t know what the state constitution looks like in Massachusetts. They might not have any clause pertaining to freedom of religion, and then youâ��d have to resort back to arguing one of the amendments to the US Constitution applied to them.”

    No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. State laws have to obey the U.S. Constitution for Goodness sake..

    Only in certain instances, and only where there’s a conflict with federal law.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supremacy_Clause

    If the First Amendment says that the Federal Government shall not enact a law with restricts the freedom of religion, then that wouldn’t stop the states from enacting such a laws. You would need to have some other amendment to the constitution loop back and have the First Amendment apply to the states. That would possibly be the due process clause of the 14th Amendment. Off the top of my head I’m not sure which parts have been held to apply to the states. You can read about it here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incorporation_of_the_Bill_of_Rights

    Applied to Obamacare (the big issue, not the contraceptive issue) it’s an entirely different argument. The question isn’t whether the Constitution prohibits Obamacare, but whether the Constitution gives the federal government the power because the federal government has limited powers. The argument against Obamacare is that the federal government doesn’t have the power to force people to buy things. If the state constitution has such powers in Massachusetts, it’s entirely possible that Obamacare would be unconstitutional but Romneycare constitutional.

  18. 268

    By doug @ 66:

    And re: Citizens United, the point I was trying to raise was not that it’s a bad decision, but that I wouldn’t describe the court as disrespecting Constitutional rights, as you did with Obama. When I point out all the times VERY similar things have happened, you draw finer and finer distinctions (Well, it was at the State of the Union! Well, that was the 9th Amendment not the 1st! I said Bill of Rights, not Constitution!)

    Of course CU is not disrepecting Constitutional rights. It’s giving greater constitutional rights. The case which disrespected the Bill of Rights was the decision a few years earlier which was overruled by CU. That earlier decision said people could not get together jointly and put a message on TV saying that they did not like an incumbent politician. Very clear violation of the freedom of speech. I don’t know how it could be any clearer, and I don’t understand how that earlier decision could have reached the decision it did.

    And again, you’ve yet to give an example of a President so disrespecting the First Amendment. That may be cutting hairs, but complaining about Roe v. Wade is not attacking the First Amendment or the Bill of Rights, because Roe v. Wade is not based on either. For the record though, I don’t like those references in a State of the Union address either. The idea that judges are restricted in interpreting the Constitution is absurd. For example, there’s no way you could have strict construction and rule on using GPS devices being attached to cars.

    BTW, the argument that the individual mandate is unconstitutional is also a Bill of Rights issue–the Tenth Amendment. If you throw that in, then President Obama is attacking the Bill of Rights on three fronts. Personally, I wouldn’t go that far because I don’t think you need to get to the 10th to rule Obamacare unconstitutional.

  19. 269
    doug says:

    States have to obey the 1st Amendment. This is settled law. It’s clearly stated in the very link you copied above.

    And you’re mixing your arguments again. I already granted you that the ACA may not be able to compel people to buy things. But if it does, then you can’t refuse coverage on religious grounds.

  20. 270

    Look at the law struck down by CU and tell me it doesn’t violate the Freedom of Speech:

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/2/441b

    Subpart (a) provides:

    It is unlawful for any national bank, or any corporation organized by authority of any law of Congress, to make a contribution or expenditure in connection with any election to any political office, or in connection with any primary election or political convention or caucus held to select candidates for any political office, or for any corporation whatever, or any labor organization, to make a contribution or expenditure in connection with any election at which presidential and vice presidential electors or a Senator or Representative in, or a Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, Congress are to be voted for, or in connection with any primary election or political convention or caucus held to select candidates for any of the foregoing offices, or for any candidate, political committee, or other person knowingly to accept or receive any contribution prohibited by this section, or any officer or any director of any corporation or any national bank or any officer of any labor organization to consent to any contribution or expenditure by the corporation, national bank, or labor organization, as the case may be, prohibited by this section.

    Clearly it’s incumbent protection legislation. And remember, the issue which gave rise to the CU decision was a documentary on Hillary. Now you can argue that the documentary wasn’t somehow factual, but neither are Michael Moore documentaries. That doesn’t mean Congress can pass laws preventing those documentaries from being seen.

  21. 271
    doug says:

    Roe v Wade = 9th Amendment = Bill of Rights.

    And again, I believe I’ve shown that this is not an attack on 1st amendment rights at all. I REALLY don’t think it is. The existence of contraception does not establish a state religion, or forbid the practice of a religion, much like war being waged with my tax dollars does not forbid my practice of religion. You can’t exempt yourself from Federal Law on moral grounds.

    If you think the federal government has never imposed its will on a religion, read up on Mormonism and polygamy.

    The law doesn’t apply to churches. Churches don’t have to hire women priests either. But once you go to businesses where the primary mode of operation is not the practice of religion: hospitals, schools, what have you, the Catholic Church has to obey federal law! Period! Otherwise, you’d probably have every corporation setting itself up as a religious entity to get out of federal regs.

  22. 272
    doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 70

    It doesn’t mean that Obama can’t speak out against it if he thinks it’s wrong. It doesn’t mean that presidents speaking against SC decisions is unprecedented.

  23. 273

    By doug @ 271:

    Roe v Wade = 9th Amendment = Bill of Rights.

    I don’t think so. From the Opinion:

    This right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment’s concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or, as the District Court determined, in the Ninth Amendment’s reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0410_0113_ZO.html

    The lower court based it on the Ninth but the Supreme Court based it on the 14th.

    See also the discussion here of the 9th vs. 14th:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roe_v._Wade

  24. 274

    By doug @ 71:The existence of contraception does not establish a state religion, or forbid the practice of a religion, much like war being waged with my tax dollars does not forbid my practice of religion..

    This isn’t about the “existence of contraception.” That’s how the press has tried to frame the issue to claim it is not a First Amendment issue. It’s about forcing a religious organization pay for insurance which provides for contraception services.

  25. 275

    By doug @ 72:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 70

    It doesn’t mean that Obama can’t speak out against it if he thinks it’s wrong. It doesn’t mean that presidents speaking against SC decisions is unprecedented.

    It would be rather hypocritical for me to claim that he couldn’t do that. As a President he has First Amendment rights too.

    That doesn’t mean that in doing so, he isn’t attacking the First Amendment, which was my point. I don’t know why you think I should exclude a particular event of his attacking the First Amendment as being evidence that he’s attacking the First Amendment. That’s the point I’m trying to prove!

    As to the speech, that other Presidents have complained about then long standing decisions or “liberal judges” in the State of the Union address doesn’t mean that President Obama being critical of the Court in the very next State of the Union address isn’t something the Court should take sitting down. As I said, they should have walked out on him, and boycotted the rest of his speeches. That would be their right under the First Amendment too.

    Finally, on the topic of being hypocritical, look how much money President Obama spent in 2008 getting elected. He’s not against spending money to sway elections. He just wants to limit that power to politicians.

  26. 276
    doug says:

    Because Obama was rude, he is a danger to the country?

    ” It’s about forcing a religious organization pay for insurance which provides for contraception services.”

    There is absolutely no difference, in my mind, between forcing Catholic hospitals or bookstores to comply with this law than forcing non-discrimination of employees and customers, throwing polygamists in jail, or upholding the right to fire someone for smoking marijuana or peyote for religious purposes.

  27. 277

    By doug @ 276:

    Because Obama was rude, he is a danger to the country?

    No, it’s because he is attacking the First Amendment. I don’t care about his manners, I care about his positions.

    BTW, I voted for Clinton in 1992, but after learning that he would repeatedly attack the Second Amendment I didn’t vote for him in 1996, nor did I vote for his VP in 2000, nor would I have voted for his wife in 2008 if that had happened. I take attacking the Bill of Rights very seriously.

    ” Itâ��s about forcing a religious organization pay for insurance which provides for contraception services.”

    There is absolutely no difference, in my mind, between forcing Catholic hospitals or bookstores to comply with this law than forcing non-discrimination of employees and customers, throwing polygamists in jail, or upholding the right to fire someone for smoking marijuana or peyote for religious purposes.

    RE: doug @ 276

    As explained in the Court of Appeals decision, discrimination of employees is not a core value of a religion (at least the one in the case, which I believe was Catholic). And as I explained above on peyote, there’s a difference between forcing a religious organization to do something, and preventing an individual from doing something. Organization/individual. Force to act/prevent from acting. Not even close to being on point.

    As to the polygamy issue, I would question whether that is the right decision, but I would note that is also preventing an individual from doing something, and so therefore clearly not the same thing as this health insurance issue.

  28. 278

    On one of your topics, imprisonment without trial: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/02/29/MNKS1NDCIE.DTL

    Of course, President Obama only signed the law because “my administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens.” As if it has a sunset provision, that only made it applicable while he was in office.

    BTW, that’s probably a Fifth Amendment violation. I would assume “liberty” would include not being imprisoned.

  29. 279
    doug says:

    It’s pretty clear that you hold the right of companies and organizations to be far more important than the rights of individuals. That’s just mind-blowing to me.

    It shouldn’t matter whether it’s a core religious belief or not. These entities are acting in the public sphere and have to comply with federal laws regulations. My company is forced to comply with innumerable federal regulations, and can’t get out of it with some broadly-defined Bill of Rights argument. Religious organizations operating in the public sphere get a lot of leeway, but that is at the government’s discretion. Else all small business owners could define themselves as religious organizations, disobey the laws, and the courts would spend all their time litigating who has genuinely held beliefs and who doesn’t, exactly the kind of thing that the 1st Amendment is supposed to prevent!

    “Your coal company isn’t getting permits / following pollution laws!”
    “Well God said man is to have dominion over the earth, and you’re violating my God-given authority to exert my dominion!”

    Still not seeing why the 9th Amendment, and attacks on Roe V Wade isn’t important in your eyes, if interpretations of the Bill of Rights are so sacrosanct in your eyes.

  30. 280
    doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 78

    Yes, that is truly awful. I take such issues very seriously, and I would most likely vote for any Republican who was against such laws. There aren’t any, aside from Paul.

    It’s clear that there are cases to be made for and against the ACA. Isn’t this the very reason for a Supreme Court? Shouldn’t you withhold your judgment until it’s decided?

    Just like you think it’s obvious that CU is constitutional, it’s obvious to others that it’s not. These things are complicated. Accusing Obama for not respecting the Constitution and its Amendments is insulting. He doesn’t respect your subjective interpretation of the Constitution. That’s not a put-down, all interpretations of the Constitution are somewhat subjective.

  31. 281
  32. 282

    By doug @ 279:

    It’s pretty clear that you hold the right of companies and organizations to be far more important than the rights of individuals. That’s just mind-blowing to me.

    I didn’t say they were more important. I said it was a way of distinguishing the case law.

    It shouldn’t matter whether it’s a core religious belief or not.

    I would disagree.

    Still not seeing why the 9th Amendment, and attacks on Roe V Wade isn’t important in your eyes, if interpretations of the Bill of Rights are so sacrosanct in your eyes.

    Because as I explained, it’s not a Ninth Amendment case. It’s a 14th Amendment case.

  33. 283

    By doug @ 80:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 78 – It’s clear that there are cases to be made for and against the ACA. Isn’t this the very reason for a Supreme Court? Shouldn’t you withhold your judgment until it’s decided?

    There are two separate issues there. Whether the individual mandate is constitutional and whether the contraception mandate is constitutional. Only the former involves the First Amendment. But I don’t understand why I should withhold judgment until there’s a court ruling? There are several conflicting rulings in lower courts on the individual mandate issue. The issue is well framed.

    Just like you think it’s obvious that CU is constitutional, it’s obvious to others that it’s not. These things are complicated. Accusing Obama for not respecting the Constitution and its Amendments is insulting. He doesn’t respect your subjective interpretation of the Constitution. That’s not a put-down, all interpretations of the Constitution are somewhat subjective.

    He was critical of a decision which struck down a statute which arguably would have prevented a documentary about a politician from being shown. I’m sorry, but I don’t think you can just say that is subjective and leave it at that. If that is not a clear violation of the First Amendment, I don’t know what is. My concern though is over further erosion of the rights in the Bill of Rights. That’s why I prefer the decisions of the Washington Supreme Court over the decisions of the United States Supreme Court when it comes to search and seizure issues. And remember, the US Supreme Court once held it was okay to lock up Japanese and others during WWII. It’s not like they have an unblemished record.

  34. 284

    By doug @ 81:

    Also, too:

    http://www.fcan.org/Health_care/law_professors_ACA.pdf

    Again I would point out that you could have found the same type of thing on the Second Amendment issue. People have different opinions on legal issues, and no one is necessarily right until the Supreme Court rules (and possibly even then in the case of McConnell v. Federal Election Commission).

    The problem comes about when people let their political views color their decisions on constitutional issues. It was a horrible result allowing Nazis to protest, but that decision really helped make the First Amendment stronger. So with healthcare, your analysis of whether or not it’s constitutional should not be colored by whether or not you think more health insurance should exist. Or to decide a freedom of religion issue based on what you think of contraception. The analysis should not be result driven.

  35. 285

    By doug @ 80:

    That’s not a put-down, all interpretations of the Constitution are somewhat subjective.

    BTW, no offense taken. I’ve appreciated this civil debate. I hope I haven’t said anything to offend you, and if I did, I’m sorry.

  36. 286

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 283 – I missed the edit window by a second. Only the insurance coverage issue involves the FA. I wrote former when I meant latter.

  37. 287
    doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 284

    I certainly agree with that. I honestly don’t know enough about Constitutional law to know if the individual mandate is proper. If I’d had my druthers we’d have single-payer.

    I’ll say while I disagree with the Catholic Church on the issue, I also strongly believe that the law should apply to them. If you think the bill of rights are eroding, worker protection is eroding far faster.

    I truly believe that religious entities, when employing people for reasons other than running a place of worship, should act in full faith and accordance with federal and state law. Their freedom to practice their religion is not harmed by their obligation to their workers.

  38. 288
    doug says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 85

    No, you haven’t offended me, and I hope I’ve caused no offense as well :-)

  39. 289

    RE: doug @ 287 – I’m not sure if you’d call it single payer, but I’d open up something like the VA system, alongside what we have now. Back in college at the UW they had “Hall Health” which students could go to for free. If students had insurance (or money) they could also go to a regular doctor. On topic, if I recall correctly, women could even get diaphragms fitted, and IUDs at Hall Health.

    As to the religious organization acting as a non-core area employer being required to obtain certain health coverage, I would agree that wouldn’t be the worst erosion of the Bill of Rights. And I’ll agree that when it comes to contraceptive coverage, that is really splitting hairs, but that’s the way I would split the hair.

    The bigger issue to me is the Free Speech issue, and when i hear Democrats are considering amending the First Amendment to limit free speech (and protect future politicians), I react to that.

  40. 290

    The conservatives are playing right into President Obama’s hand. The Senate tries to pass something so broad that it clearly would be unreasonable, and then Russ Limbaugh goes off an an absurd rage about paying for others’ birth control so that they can have violent love, as if that’s really a financial hardship for him. Somehow, I don’t recall him complaining about insurance companies covering Viagra.

  41. 291
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 290 – So let’s try this thought experiment. You eat at McDonalds a lot, and your doc has prescribed statins to lower your cholesterol. Your employer believes that eating cows is a sin, and refuses to cover your statin prescription on religious grounds, believing that it would enable you to continue to consume quarter pounders.

    Your husband beats you because he believes you wear provocative clothing. You seek psychiatric treatment for your depression, but your employer’s religious beliefs cause you to be regarded as a shameless whore, who should be stoned to death, and your employer refuses to cover your psychiatric treatment on religious grounds.

    Of course. nobody would give a crap about the validity of these religious beliefs, because they are false religions. Christianity made this country great, and the rule of the gun, by God!

  42. 292

    RE: Blurtman @ 91 – You’re explaining why the proposed Senate bill was too broad. Amazing they got 49 Senators to vote for that. Strike that. It’s not amazing given the fact that we’re dealing with Senators who are idiots.

    BTW, Rush Limbaugh is continuing to make this even worse. Now he’s expanding this from contraception into pre-marital violent love. He needs to just STFU, but saying stupid things is how he makes money to pay for his own vices.

  43. 293

    The Senate Amendment is apparently called the Blunt Amendment. Jon Stewart claims that’s because you’d have to be really F’n high to think the thing had a chance of passing! ;-)

  44. 294

    At least Rush is getting hit in the pocketbook for his asinine, ignorant comments. He’s lost seven advertisers!

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46620985/ns/business-us_business/#.T1PrHoeWfcE

  45. 295
    Haybaler says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 231

    I watched Santorum make a speech in which he stated that his plan would have higher taxes on Corporate profits because the corporations should pay for the privilege and benefits of existing in our country BUT in the next breath he stated that he would entice manufacturing to come back to this country by reducing tax rates to 0 when companies bring their jobs back to the US.

    I remember thinking that when that idea gains traction we’ll see a bidding war develop between candidates….the next candidate will up the ante to guarantee a profit, like the energy subsidies. ” I’ll give em 2%”…” I’ll give em 5%”…”I’m the jobs candidate, we’ll give em 10%”

  46. 296
    doug says:

    RE: Haybaler @ 295

    Yeah, I’ve always found the idea of a ‘tax holiday’ to repatriate wealth kind of repugnant.

    “Hey, here’s your reward for abusing the law and dodging taxes! You were so clever!”

    Rather, the U.S. can and should enact laws that prevent the tax havens from being abused int he first place. If you have billions in the Caymen Islands, you better have a proportional number of employees, production, and administration there.

  47. 297

    By doug @ 296:

    RE: Haybaler @ 295

    Yeah, I’ve always found the idea of a ‘tax holiday’ to repatriate wealth kind of repugnant.

    “Hey, here’s your reward for abusing the law and dodging taxes! You were so clever!”.

    Not sure which program you’re referring to. If the “dodge” was something perfectly legal, I wouldn’t have a problem at all with a policy which reversed the trend of prior stupid government policy.

    If they were doing something illegal, however, at most I’d only support the penalties being waived if they voluntarily show up and pay the tax owing, with interest.

  48. 298
  49. 299
    whatsmyname says:

    The Cato Institute gets a taste of the prescription they thought was good for the rest of us. They don’t like it much.

    http://baselinescenario.com/2012/03/08/the-koch-brothers-the-cato-institute-and-why-nations-fail/?

  50. 300
  51. 301

    This is largely a test to see if this thread is locked at 300.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that the problem with the stimulus is that it wasn’t put into enough productive assets. We have a lot of new lanes of road, but little else.

    The government’s investment in the solar panel company has been largely panned, but that type of investment would have been much better. Instead of investing in the company though, we should have been buying its products, and then those products would have been producing energy for the future.

  52. 302
    The Tim says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 301 – As far as I know the comment threads should be able to go on forever. I set it up to page them at 100 comments per page because much over that and the pages would time out and never load on some browsers.

    I figure if the comments can page, why bother starting a new economic thread every month. Just have the conversation go on in the same post indefinitely.

  53. 303

    RE: The Tim @ 302 – I was just wondering because it had been stuck at 300 for a few weeks!

    Locked perhaps wasn’t the right word. Limited might have been better.

  54. 304
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 301

    “the problem with the stimulus is that it wasn’t put into enough productive assets”

    That’s part of it. Hard to find projects that were productive enough to overcome the fact that each borrowed dollar of stimulus spending had a negative net return. All it did was dig the hole we were in deeper. tons of studies all over the net showing this, but people still won’t believe.

    Cue pffffft: “millions of jobs created, just wasn’t big enough, blah, blah, blah.”

    http://market-ticker.org/cgi-ticker/akcs-www?get_gallerynr=1846

    http://market-ticker.org/uploads/2010/Mar/Diminishing-Prod.jpg

  55. 305
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 304:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 301

    “the problem with the stimulus is that it wasnâ��t put into enough productive assets”

    That’s part of it. Hard to find projects that were productive enough to overcome the fact that each borrowed dollar of stimulus spending had a negative net return. All it did was dig the hole we were in deeper. tons of studies all over the net showing this, but people still won’t believe.

    no. almost no studies show this. almost all show that stimulus spending has a positive multiplier.

  56. 306
    Doug says:

    Scotsman, I’ve been wondering this for a while. With your outlook on this, what’s your prescription? Austerity? Lower taxes? Total deregulation? Hire a professional hand-shaker vulture capitalist like Romney?

    I’m genuinely interested on your outlook. Having followed Zero Hedge and other apocalyptic outlets for a while, I simply come away with the fact that it’s easier to tear something down than to build it up again.

  57. 307

    Yet another way President Obama has not lived up to his promises:

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/04/17/BUD41O40O4.DTL

    The too big to fail banks are now bigger!

  58. 308
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 307 – The fate of the free world is at stake. We need larger, more powerful banks.

    Obama is going to lose some of his base.

  59. 309

    By Blurtman @ 308:

    Obama is going to lose some of his base.

    But not Gitmo. ;-)

    He promised to lose that base, but didn’t live up to that promise either.

  60. 310
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 307:

    Yet another way President Obama has not lived up to his promises:

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/04/17/BUD41O40O4.DTL

    The too big to fail banks are now bigger!

    banks are bigger in part due to an oversupply of savings. people are putting their money into banks instead of the stock market. corporations have cash like crazy.

  61. 311
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 8:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 307 – The fate of the free world is at stake. We need larger, more powerful banks.

    Obama is going to lose some of his base.

    breaking up the banks is a joke. when the losses show up what does it matter if the 100 banks have $1 trillion in losses or 10 banks do?

    does anyone remember the savings and loan crisis? just as bad for all intents and purposes and those weren’t large banks.

    there are two things to do. one is to make sure banks have enough capital. the other to that thanks do dodd frank banks will have a plan to be broken up.

  62. 312
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 311 – Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Re-instate Glass-Steagal and protect depositors’ money from the destructive gambling on Wall Street. Remove any critical functions from investment banks so that when they melt down, we can have a party. And speaking of the S&L scandal, let’s elect a president who will make it a priority to prosecute the criminal bankers.

  63. 313
    whatsmyname says:

    By Blurtman @ 312:

    RE: pfft @ 311 – Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Re-instate Glass-Steagal and protect depositors’ money from the destructive gambling on Wall Street. Remove any critical functions from investment banks so that when they melt down, we can have a party. And speaking of the S&L scandal, let’s elect a president who will make it a priority to prosecute the criminal bankers.

    It should shock every financially literate American that after all this time, Glass-Steagal hasn’t even been seriously debated in Congress, let alone reinstated.

    In fairness to the S&Ls, the industry was based on classic mismatched maturities. The Reagan era financial market deregulation made them insolvent overnight. The bone they were thrown was the opportunity to try and save themselves by quickly expanding into higher yielding, more risky business where they didn’t have any business being. Desperate times and all that.

  64. 314
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 312:

    RE: pfft @ 311 – Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Re-instate Glass-Steagal and protect depositors’ money from the destructive gambling on Wall Street..

    that wasn’t the subject we were talking about.

  65. 315
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 9:

    By Blurtman @ 308:

    Obama is going to lose some of his base.

    But not Gitmo. ;-)

    He promised to lose that base, but didn’t live up to that promise either.

    congress blocked it.

  66. 316
    pfft says:

    By whatsmyname @ 13:

    By Blurtman @ 312:

    RE: pfft @ 311 – Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Re-instate Glass-Steagal and protect depositors’ money from the destructive gambling on Wall Street. Remove any critical functions from investment banks so that when they melt down, we can have a party. And speaking of the S&L scandal, let’s elect a president who will make it a priority to prosecute the criminal bankers.

    It should shock every financially literate American that after all this time, Glass-Steagal hasn’t even been seriously debated in Congress, let alone reinstated.

    this isn’t true. the Volcker rule, irrespective of the London Whale, seems to be pretty punitive.

  67. 317
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 316 – Nonsense. The Volcker Rule, for all its good intentions, will not end the need for future bailouts. A definitive firewall between depositors monies and the casino will, and only Glass-Steagal or something like it, can ensure this.

  68. 318
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: pfft @ 316 – It’s not about punitive. The system cannot simultaneously protect the commercial bank, and control the investment bank, especially within context of tbtf, because the investment bank spouse can take it down. It is the perfect hostage situation. Ordinarily, I agree with you. Here, I am with Blurtman.

  69. 319

    By pfft @ 315:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 9:

    By Blurtman @ 308:

    Obama is going to lose some of his base.

    But not Gitmo. ;-)

    He promised to lose that base, but didn’t live up to that promise either.

    congress blocked it.

    That was mainly a joke, but if you want to talk seriously about it.

    I know Congress blocked it. Mainly because it was a stupid idea. Congress actually got one right!

    Housing foreign terrorists on US soil. Trying them in NYC. Another example of Obama pandering for votes by saying stupid things. It worked three years ago, so that’s why he’s still doing it.

  70. 320

    Lots of bad news on California today. I don’t have the links handy, but they have 4 of the 5 cities with the highest unemployment rates (WSJ article) and lead the nation in the decline of tax revenue YOY for the quarter.

    California and its government really has been an anchor on the national economy for at least 12 years.

  71. 321

    This is ironic. The only US car company the government didn’t bail out is going to start making their cars out of money!

    http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/20/11270685-car-parts-made-from-cash-ford-tests-green-arm-rests-trays?lite

  72. 322
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 317:

    RE: pfft @ 316 – Nonsense. The Volcker Rule, for all its good intentions, will not end the need for future bailouts. A definitive firewall between depositors monies and the casino will, and only Glass-Steagal or something like it, can ensure this.

    I don’t think you understand. if it’s a choice between bailouts and the economy crashing they will choose bailouts. we can agree the Glass should be back but that won’t solve all of our problems.

    I should also point out that MF Global was not bailed out.

  73. 323
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 19:

    By pfft @ 315:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 9:

    By Blurtman @ 308:

    Obama is going to lose some of his base.

    But not Gitmo. ;-)

    He promised to lose that base, but didn’t live up to that promise either.

    congress blocked it.

    That was mainly a joke, but if you want to talk seriously about it.

    I know Congress blocked it. Mainly because it was a stupid idea. Congress actually got one right!

    Housing foreign terrorists on US soil. Trying them in NYC. Another example of Obama pandering for votes by saying stupid things. It worked three years ago, so that’s why he’s still doing it.

    We have plenty of terrorists in US jails on US soil.

  74. 324
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 21:

    This is ironic. The only US car company the government didn’t bail out is going to start making their cars out of money!

    http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/20/11270685-car-parts-made-from-cash-ford-tests-green-arm-rests-trays?lite

    Ford would have gone under too if the rest weren’t bailed.

  75. 325

    By pfft @ 323:

    We have plenty of terrorists in US jails on US soil.

    Irrelevant. By moving them to US soil they gain additional rights. But I guess a constitutional law professor who doesn’t know that the Supreme Court can enjoin the enforcement of unconstitutional legislation wouldn’t know that. /sarc

    Then there was the idea of trying them in NYC. Brilliant idea. /sarc

    I’ll make the point again. President Obama needs to stop pandering to voters by saying stupid things. He knows they are stupid, but he says them anyway to get votes. And it’s hurting him and his chances of being re-elected.

  76. 326

    By pfft @ 24:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 21:

    This is ironic. The only US car company the government didn’t bail out is going to start making their cars out of money!

    http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/20/11270685-car-parts-made-from-cash-ford-tests-green-arm-rests-trays?lite

    Ford would have gone under too if the rest weren’t bailed.

    I’m not sure what your logic is on that one. By having two major competitors stay in business, Ford would have been hurt? I could see some disruption of suppliers, but the suppliers could have stayed in operation with their own Chapter 11s if necessary, so over the long term it would have been a big plus for Ford and the other auto manufacturers.

    Interesting aside, Ford didn’t need the bailout because they had reorganized their financing before the crisis. Cramer wanted to short them because of that deal. So he wanted to short the only US car company which survived the crisis without a government bailout.

  77. 327

    Notice how this piece doesn’t even mention the Democrat’s payroll tax holiday as being a contributing factor toward the decline of Social Security.

    http://nbcpolitics.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/23/11355323-social-security-trustees-see-earlier-fund-depletion-date?lite

  78. 328
  79. 329

    Which is worse? Four more years of anemic growth and out of control government spending under President Obama? Or four years of Romney telling jokes at the White House Correspondents Dinner?

  80. 330
    pfft says:

    data shows a clear recovery albeit a slow one in the US.

    Recovery Measures
    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2012/04/recovery-measures.html

  81. 331
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 29:

    Which is worse? Four more years of anemic growth and out of control government spending under President Obama?

    obama is the most thrifty of all recent presidents. I don’t know where you get your data from.

    can you post it?

  82. 332

    RE: pfft @ 31 – Can you troll somewhere else? Seriously, jokes don’t require either analysis or a response.

  83. 333
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 332:

    RE: pfft @ 31 – Can you troll somewhere else? Seriously, jokes don’t require either analysis or a response.

    can you post your data? I am just waiting. I have at least 3 links proving my case.

    you move.

  84. 334

    RE: pfft @ 33 – Are you really that dense? You’re trying to get me to prove a joke?

    Get a life.

  85. 335
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 334:

    RE: pfft @ 33 – Are you really that dense? You’re trying to get me to prove a joke?

    Get a life.

    just provide a link. all I ask for is a just one link. I’ve got 3 waiting to disprove you.

  86. 336

    RE: pfft @ 35RE: pfft @ 31RE: pfft @ 33 – Three posts that prove you really are that dense.

    It’s a joke. How hard is that to understand?

    And the primary target of the joke wasn’t your precious President Obama, but instead Romney. You’re so dense you apparently didn’t even realize that! /shakes head

  87. 337
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 336:

    RE: pfft @ 35RE: pfft @ 31RE: pfft @ 33 – Three posts that prove you really are that dense.

    It’s a joke. How hard is that to understand?

    And the primary target of the joke wasn’t your precious President Obama, but instead Romney. You’re so dense you apparently didn’t even realize that! /shakes head

    so are you going to post those links? I am confused.

  88. 338

    By pfft @ 37:

    I am confused.

    No, you’re a troll. Don’t pretend to be confused when you’re not.

  89. 339
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 338:

    By pfft @ 37:

    I am confused.

    No, you’re a troll. Don’t pretend to be confused when you’re not.

    I am confused.

  90. 340

    Rubio made a good point on Fox News this morning. I’ve been saying that President Obama’s repeated talk of tax increases retards increases in employment because businesses plan for the long term, and the talk of taxes makes them take on fewer new projects. That was his second point. His first point was massive spending creates fear of higher taxes in the future, resulting in less employment. IMHO, that type of thinking would influence small business more than big business, but small business can create a lot of jobs.

    Interesting argument because it cuts to the heart of stimulus spending, or at least long term stimulus spending.

  91. 341

    Yep, we’re clearly in the midst of a bad recession.

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2404086,00.asp

    Seriously, ignoring the bad reporting of statistics there, I do think thing all that spending on smartphones and wireless data will have both short and long term problems for the economy and society.

  92. 342
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 340:

    Rubio made a good point on Fox News this morning. I’ve been saying that President Obama’s repeated talk of tax increases retards increases in employment because businesses plan for the long term, and the talk of taxes makes them take on fewer new projects. That was his second point. His first point was massive spending creates fear of higher taxes in the future, resulting in less employment. IMHO, that type of thinking would influence small business more than big business, but small business can create a lot of jobs.

    Interesting argument because it cuts to the heart of stimulus spending, or at least long term stimulus spending.

    how did those tax increases work for the Clinton admin?

  93. 343

    By pfft @ 42:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 340:

    Rubio made a good point on Fox News this morning. I’ve been saying that President Obama’s repeated talk of tax increases retards increases in employment because businesses plan for the long term, and the talk of taxes makes them take on fewer new projects. That was his second point. His first point was massive spending creates fear of higher taxes in the future, resulting in less employment. IMHO, that type of thinking would influence small business more than big business, but small business can create a lot of jobs.

    Interesting argument because it cuts to the heart of stimulus spending, or at least long term stimulus spending.

    how did those tax increases work for the Clinton admin?

    You really need to take that economics course so that you can think at the margin. There are many things that effect the economy. During Clinton there was a huge amount of progress made in computer tech and technology generally. That lead to both a huge increase in employee productivity as well as a huge increase in tax revenues from market activity. Those events far overshadowed whatever effect any change in tax policy would have had.

  94. 344
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 343:

    By pfft @ 42:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 340:

    Rubio made a good point on Fox News this morning. I’ve been saying that President Obama’s repeated talk of tax increases retards increases in employment because businesses plan for the long term, and the talk of taxes makes them take on fewer new projects. That was his second point. His first point was massive spending creates fear of higher taxes in the future, resulting in less employment. IMHO, that type of thinking would influence small business more than big business, but small business can create a lot of jobs.

    Interesting argument because it cuts to the heart of stimulus spending, or at least long term stimulus spending.

    how did those tax increases work for the Clinton admin?

    You really need to take that economics course so that you can think at the margin. There are many things that effect the economy. During Clinton there was a huge amount of progress made in computer tech and technology generally. That lead to both a huge increase in employee productivity as well as a huge increase in tax revenues from market activity. Those events far overshadowed whatever effect any change in tax policy would have had.

    you are wrong and just can’t admit it. there are always advances. pick any era. guess what, the wealth affect from housing is bigger than it is from stock gains. bush had a bigger wind at his back than clinton did.

    the bottom line is studies show that done right tax increases don’t hurt the economy. clinton proved that. more importantly clinton raised taxes BEFORE the tech boom really took off.

    I was young then but I remember republicans saying it would cost as much as 10 million jobs. Clinton CREATED 10 million jobs. in fact he has the best jobs record in recent memory.

  95. 345

    RE: pfft @ 344 – You don’t know what you’re talking about. Yes there are always advances. It’s the rate of advances that is important, and what those advances are.

    Your logic is foolish. I had more hair back in 1992-2000, so the economy won’t do well until I have that much hair again. Clinton proved that.

  96. 346
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 345:

    RE: pfft @ 344 – You don’t know what you’re talking about. Yes there are always advances. It’s the rate of advances that is important, and what those advances are.

    Your logic is foolish. I had more hair back in 1992-2000, so the economy won’t do well until I have that much hair again. Clinton proved that.

    we were told that tax increases were going to crush the economy. they didn’t. we were told that the bush tax cuts would boost the economy. they didn’t.

    anyways studies back me up.

    and again. the wealth effect of the stock market is less than the wealth effect of the housing market.

    studies also show that some of the most heavily taxed nations are some of the best place to live and have the highest standards of living. see scandinavia. high taxes also do not affect social mobility or income equality.

    I’ve got tons of links to back all those claims up if you want me to.

    clinton created 23 million jobs. bush created almost none with this two unfunded tax cuts for the very rich.

  97. 347

    RE: pfft @ 46 – Again, the economy is has many things that impact it, not just one. It’s like the housing market.

    But tell me wise one, just what is your theory as to why higher taxes cause all this prosperity that you claim? /sarc

    If you think something does something, then how do you think it works?

  98. 348
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 347:

    RE: pfft @ 46 – Again, the economy is has many things that impact it, not just one. It’s like the housing market.

    But tell me wise one, just what is your theory as to why higher taxes cause all this prosperity that you claim? /sarc

    If you think something does something, then how do you think it works?

    because socieity benefits from a strong safety net and from making investments in education and infrastructure. If the rich have a little less it doesn’t matter but at the lower end people who are poor spend their money(and often in poor areas with poor workers).

    The Reality of Raising Taxes at the Top, Part 5: Can Tax Increases Help Economic Growth?
    http://www.offthechartsblog.org/the-reality-of-raising-taxes-at-the-top-part-5-can-tax-increases-help-economic-growth/

    Tax Cuts and Job Growth: They’re Just Not That Into Each Other
    http://jaredbernsteinblog.com/tax-cuts-and-job-growth-theyre-just-not-that-into-each-other/

    Big governments, big people?
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/big-governments-big-people/2011/07/11/gIQAyladaI_blog.html

    FLASHBACK: In 1993, GOP Warned That Clinton’s Tax Plan Would ‘Kill Jobs,’ ‘Kill The Current Recovery’
    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2010/08/10/173450/1993-quotes/

    The biggest driver of income inequality: capital gains
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/the-biggest-driver-of-income-inequality-capital-gains/2012/01/02/gIQA181EWP_blog.html

    The Reality of Raising Taxes at the Top, Part 4: Would Tax Increases Affect Small Businesses and Entrepreneurship?
    http://www.offthechartsblog.org/the-reality-of-raising-taxes-at-the-top-part-4-would-tax-increases-affect-small-businesses-and-entrepreneurship/

    Study: States With Higher Taxes Are Better For Children
    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/01/19/406378/study-states-with-higher-taxes-are-better-for-children/

    A More Complete Look at Inequality and Immobility
    http://jaredbernsteinblog.com/a-more-complete-look-at-inequality-and-immobility/

    Inequality and Mobility, Revisited
    http://jaredbernsteinblog.com/inequality-and-mobility-revisited/

    that should keep you busy.

  99. 349

    By pfft @ 348:

    that should keep you busy.

    I got pretty board quickly. The first admitted they found no convincing proof. The second didn’t really say anything. The third is talking about the height of people! The fourth is addressing the Clinton era which we’ve already discussed.

    As to the fifth, I would agree capital gains rates make little sense now. They made more sense when the maximum tax rate was 70% and the gain necessarily occurred over multiple years to qualify for the special rate.

    The next one (Part 4) is total BS, apparently written by someone who doesn’t even understand taxes!

    They can fully deduct their investment costs, bringing the effective tax rate on new investment to zero, regardless of the statutory rate. [A total complete fabrication!]
    If they use debt to finance the investment, the interest payments would be tax deductible, making the effective tax rate negative. [Again a complete fabrication!]
    They can fully deduct wage payments, so the marginal tax rate should have minimal impact on hiring. [Okay, not only do they not understand taxes, they don’t understand business. Increased expenditures don’t become okay merely because they are deductible]

    That’s as far as I got.

  100. 350
    Former Poster Ben says:

    I love to read Tim’s posts.

    Pfft’s waste of space comments are what drove me away. If we could vote to ban posters in the name of sanity restoration, count me in. I’ve saved countless hours not reading this thread.

    TIM, if you are listening….

  101. 351
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Former Poster Ben @ 350 – The poster’s name in bold is the first part of every post. So posts that you could have easily ignored drove you away? They really drove you away? That may be the lamest comment ever to have graced the Bubble. Pfft must be doing God’s work. I wouldn’t want you banned, though. I live in hope that I may see you top yourself.

  102. 352

    I finally got around to watching This Week w/ George S. today (Tuesday). The liberals on the panel were making a big deal of consumer sentiment being high, as announced on the 25th. Today consumer confidence was announced to be lagging. I wonder which matters more for the election?

    One person (I forget who) said something which made a lot of sense. There are a lot of people who are disillusioned by President Obama’s record on social and economic issues. But they’re not ready to jump to Romney. I think the implication was that they might accept his economic positions, but not his social positions. They’re upset because President Obama isn’t liberal enough, so the solution for that isn’t Romney.

  103. 353

    Not even former President Clinton is buying President Obama’s attacks on Bain.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/06/clinton-calls-romneys-bain-career-sterling.html?mid=rss

    Seems like that has proven rather ineffective. I think pfft would have voted for President Obama anyway. ;-)

  104. 354
    uwp says:

    The problem with Bain isn’t that it was a horrible company, it’s that Romney holds it up as his “Job Creation” credentials. That wasn’t what Bain was interested in. It was about making money (sometimes at the expense of the workers). If I was voting for someone to run my venture capitalist firm, I would surely pick Romney over Obama. Why doesn’t Romney want to talk about job creation when it was actually central to his job (Mass. Gov)? It’s obvious.

    Anyway, businesses aren’t expanding because there is no demand, not because of phantom taxes that could possibly maybe happen someday. We had a big over-hang of debt, and if everyone tries to pay it down at once it cripples the economy (as we’re experiencing right now, and Europe is doubling down on with full-on austerity).

    US interest rates are at all-time lows. Real interest rates are negative. Conservatives and business people have been saying for over 3 years that high interest rates are around the corner. Any day now. They are coming. Just wait. We’re going to get punished for our debt. It hasn’t happened.

    When times are bad, the private sector cuts back, and interest rates are low, that’s when the gov. should be stepping in. This is Econ 101.

  105. 355

    By uwp @ 354:

    The problem with Bain isn’t that it was a horrible company, it’s that Romney holds it up as his “Job Creation” credentials. That wasn’t what Bain was interested in. It was about making money (sometimes at the expense of the workers).

    That Democratic line is just the opposite of the Republican line claiming that the stimulus didn’t create jobs. Neither is true.

    You’re not going to create wealth without creating jobs. Sometimes, however, you don’t create at much wealth as what you would like, and when that happens fewer jobs are created or even jobs or lost.

  106. 356

    By uwp @ 54:

    Anyway, businesses aren’t expanding because there is no demand, not because of phantom taxes that could possibly maybe happen someday..

    It’s both, but for a recovery to take hold you need business to start spending first. Absent that happening a recovery would be impossible–there would only be downward spirals. Threats of increased taxes (and the reality of Obamacare) keep a recovery from happening, or at a minimum slow it down.

    Here’s three examples of why businesses are not hiring, and only one is related to demand, and that’s the artificial demand of government spending on infrastructure.

    http://www.seattlepi.com/business/article/US-employers-waiting-and-watching-before-hiring-3604468.php

  107. 357

    By uwp @ 54:

    When times are bad, the private sector cuts back, and interest rates are low, that’s when the gov. should be stepping in. This is Econ 101.

    Generally I would agree with that. But when we’ve had over three years of that “stepping in” and dismal results, that indicates something else is wrong.

  108. 358
    uwp says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 55:

    That Democratic line is just the opposite of the Republican line claiming that the stimulus didn’t create jobs. Neither is true.

    You’re not going to create wealth without creating jobs. Sometimes, however, you don’t create at much wealth as what you would like, and when that happens fewer jobs are created or even jobs or lost.

    So the stimulus both did and did not create jobs?

    Firms like Bain could create wealth for themselves without creating jobs by loading up struggling companies with debt, paying themselves high “management fees” with the borrowed money then watching the company fold under the weight of the debt. I would say a great deal of the finance world (which I actually work in, so I’m not completely anti-wallstreet) is about creating wealth without creating jobs.

  109. 359
    uwp says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 56:

    By uwp @ 54:

    Anyway, businesses aren’t expanding because there is no demand, not because of phantom taxes that could possibly maybe happen someday..

    It’s both, but for a recovery to take hold you need business to start spending first. Absent that happening a recovery would be impossible–there would only be downward spirals. Threats of increased taxes (and the reality of Obamacare) keep a recovery from happening, or at a minimum slow it down.

    Here’s three examples of why businesses are not hiring, and only one is related to demand, and that’s the artificial demand of government spending on infrastructure.

    http://www.seattlepi.com/business/article/US-employers-waiting-and-watching-before-hiring-3604468.php

    Anecdotes are great and all, but every single survey I have ever seen has lack of demand/sales as the #1 issue. Businesses always whine about taxes and regulations. It’s an American Tradition.

  110. 360
    uwp says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 57:

    By uwp @ 54:

    When times are bad, the private sector cuts back, and interest rates are low, that’s when the gov. should be stepping in. This is Econ 101.

    Generally I would agree with that. But when we’ve had over three years of that “stepping in” and dismal results, that indicates something else is wrong.

    That something is a massive lack of demand, that was misjudged in 2008/2009. When Obama went to the stimulus well we didn’t have a full picture of how bad the situation was and he was too timid anyway. For some crazy reason, he thought Republicans wouldn’t fight him on every single thing he wants to do. They actually thought that if the initial stimulus was too small, they could go back for more later! Total miscalculation.

  111. 361

    By uwp @ 358:

    So the stimulus both did and did not create jobs?

    I didn’t say that. What might be confusing you is that I have said other Obama policies reduced job growth.

    Firms like Bain could create wealth for themselves without creating jobs by loading up struggling companies with debt, paying themselves high “management fees” with the borrowed money then watching the company fold under the weight of the debt. I would say a great deal of the finance world (which I actually work in, so I’m not completely anti-wallstreet) is about creating wealth without creating jobs.

    The first part of that is another Democratic line, and again doesn’t fit with reality. That clearly is not the goal, because putting money into a company and then paying it back out to yourself isn’t a very good way to make money.

    If you are going to put money into a company, you’re most likely going to do that as a secured creditor. And if things turn south, you’re going to thereby get paid first. And yes while you are working to save a company you are going to get paid for your efforts.

    As to the last part, just how do you think you create wealth without creating jobs? Even if you’re dealing only in derivatives, you’re going to be having indirect effects which create jobs.

  112. 362

    By uwp @ 60:

    That something is a massive lack of demand, that was misjudged in 2008/2009. When Obama went to the stimulus well we didn’t have a full picture of how bad the situation was and he was too timid anyway. For some crazy reason, he thought Republicans wouldn’t fight him on every single thing he wants to do. They actually thought that if the initial stimulus was too small, they could go back for more later! Total miscalculation.

    I was thinking more that something was the other Obama policies and rhetoric.

    And while the Republicans can be blamed for the gridlock in DC, President Obama and the Democrats are not without blame. Remember the “we won the election” comments from both Obama and Pelosi? When you take that attitude and then the voters take the power away from you two years later, you should not be terribly surprised that the other side isn’t too willing to work with you going forward.

    I agree with you that thinking they could get more stimulus was foolish. Ignoring the Republicans, the public has also no appetite for such things over the long term. That was apparently true after the Great Depression too.

  113. 363
    uwp says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 61:

    The first part of that is another Democratic line, and again doesn’t fit with reality. That clearly is not the goal, because putting money into a company and then paying it back out to yourself isn’t a very good way to make money.

    If you are going to put money into a company, you’re most likely going to do that as a secured creditor. And if things turn south, you’re going to thereby get paid first. And yes while you are working to save a company you are going to get paid for your efforts.

    Leveraged buyouts. Companies like Bain aren’t putting down 100%. I seem to remember another industry where it was very in fashion to put down only a small percentage of the overall cost, and yet reap large, mostly paper rewards.

    • 1988: Bain put $10 million down to buy Stage Stores, and in the mid-’90s took it public, collecting $184 million from stock offerings. Stage filed for bankruptcy in 2000.
    • 1992: Bain bought American Pad & Paper, investing $5 million, and collected $107 million from dividends. The business filed for bankruptcy in 2000.
    • 1993: Bain invested $25 million when buying GS Industries, and received $58 million from dividends. GS filed for bankruptcy in 2001.
    • 1994: Bain put $27 million down to buy medical equipment maker Dade Behring. Dade borrowed $230 million to buy some of its shares. Dade went bankrupt in 2002.
    • 1997: Bain invested $41 million when buying Details, and collected at least $70 million from stock offerings. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2003.

    This whole discussion of “Job Creators” is just another example of how good the Republicans are at messaging (or mostly how much the Left sucks at it). Had anyone heard of this term until the past year and OWS? Obviously what’s wrong in this economy is that we haven’t given in to the blessed job creators enough. If we only give them a few more breaks. Corporations are people, my friend! They are the ones who are really hurting here.

    One of these days that wealth is going to trickle down. I can’t wait!

  114. 364
    uwp says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 62:

    I was thinking more that something was the other Obama policies and rhetoric.

    And while the Republicans can be blamed for the gridlock in DC, President Obama and the Democrats are not without blame. Remember the “we won the election” comments from both Obama and Pelosi? When you take that attitude and then the voters take the power away from you two years later, you should not be terribly surprised that the other side isn’t too willing to work with you going forward.

    But you would think that they wouldn’t be willing to let the country burn just to screw you over. Boehner is happy to set us up for another showdown over the debt ceiling, we all remember how well that went last August.

    The only good side to Romney is the fact that he is obviously saying whatever he thinks it takes to be elected. He isn’t actually crazy. The problem is that he’s very clearly unwilling to stand up to the craziness he’s been forced to accept to get to where he is.

  115. 365

    RE: uwp @ 363 – Leveraged buyouts were much more common 20 years ago–you have a point there. They’re more likely to be avoided now due to liability concerns.

  116. 366

    By uwp @ 64:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 62:

    I was thinking more that something was the other Obama policies and rhetoric.

    And while the Republicans can be blamed for the gridlock in DC, President Obama and the Democrats are not without blame. Remember the “we won the election” comments from both Obama and Pelosi? When you take that attitude and then the voters take the power away from you two years later, you should not be terribly surprised that the other side isn’t too willing to work with you going forward.

    But you would think that they wouldn’t be willing to let the country burn just to screw you over. Boehner is happy to set us up for another showdown over the debt ceiling, we all remember how well that went last August.

    The Republicans obviously are not letting a PR firm drive their decisions. Some of their decisions are just nuts, both from a policy standpoint and popularity standpoint.

    President Obama on the other hand is crazy like a fox. Announcing a rule on religious entities and contraceptives, letting a firestorm erupt, and then changing the rule one day later while simultaneously spinning it as a women’s issue–pure genius. The Republicans fell right into that one.

  117. 367
    uwp says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 366:

    The Republicans obviously are not letting a PR firm drive their decisions. Some of their decisions are just nuts, both from a policy standpoint and popularity standpoint.

    President Obama on the other hand is crazy like a fox. Announcing a rule on religious entities and contraceptives, letting a firestorm erupt, and then changing the rule one day later while simultaneously spinning it as a women’s issue–pure genius. The Republicans fell right into that one.

    I think you give Obama too much credit here. I wish he was playing 11-dimensional chess here, but I just can’t believe it.

    Ultimately, I think Clinton would have been a better president for what the country needed in 2008. But I do not think she would have won the election. She would have energized the Right into fighting one of it’s favorite old enemies, and wouldn’t have had the cross-over appeal the Obama had. Plus, I don’t think McCain would have picked Palin in a hypothetical Clinton-McCain matchup (whether or not that helps or hurts, I’m not exactly sure).

    Anyway, the thing to remember here is Supreme Court Justices. They are of huge importance, and Obama has done fine there. And whether we have Obama fighting congress to pass all the secret plans that he’s saved for his second term, or Romney having free reign with all 3 branches forcing us to bow when we come upon a Job Creator in the streets, the next term will probably decide which way the court swings for the coming decades. So, go vote for whomever you hate the least!

  118. 368

    By uwp @ 67:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 366:

    The Republicans obviously are not letting a PR firm drive their decisions. Some of their decisions are just nuts, both from a policy standpoint and popularity standpoint.

    President Obama on the other hand is crazy like a fox. Announcing a rule on religious entities and contraceptives, letting a firestorm erupt, and then changing the rule one day later while simultaneously spinning it as a women’s issue–pure genius. The Republicans fell right into that one.

    I think you give Obama too much credit here. I wish he was playing 11-dimensional chess here, but I just can’t believe it.

    Ultimately, I think Clinton would have been a better president for what the country needed in 2008. But I do not think she would have won the election.

    Maybe Obama’s team just stumbled into that, but it was so bam-bam fast it’s a bit hard to believe.

    As to Clinton losing, I don’t know how. Given what was happening with the economy right before the 2008 election, any Democrat would have won. Unfortunately that voter blame didn’t extend so much to the House and Senate.

  119. 369

    By uwp @ 63:

    This whole discussion of “Job Creators” is just another example of how good the Republicans are at messaging (or mostly how much the Left sucks at it). Had anyone heard of this term until the past year and OWS?. . .

    One of these days that wealth is going to trickle down. I can’t wait!

    This comment stuck with my yesterday, and I’ve been thinking about it. I think the reason that the term “job creator” has come up is we’ve never had a president who has been so clueless about the economy and so hostile to business. President Obama thinks that to get more jobs again you can simultaneously spend a lot of money and make conditions less favorable to business, and somehow have that result in increased economic activity when the government spending ends. The problem is that when the government spending ends, you’ve made conditions worse for business, and that will mean fewer jobs, not more jobs.

    Yesterday one of President Obama’s surrogates on a Sunday talk show said something that also stuck out. She said what President Obama wants is to have wealth created from the middle out, rather than the top down. I’m not exactly sure what the definition of “middle” is, but if they’re not including small business in the middle, that’s complete nonsense. You can’t create wealth by giving people in the middle a $20 a week tax cut. That is merely income redistribution, and does not result in growth. You need policies that result in sustained economic activity, and I’ve yet to hear that out of the Obama camp. If you want to tax high income earners to deal with the deficit, say that, but don’t pretend that’s going to somehow create a great expansion of the middle class.

  120. 370

    Last week I said it was stupid of the Obama campaign to directly attack Romney’s record in Massachusetts on job creation, given that when he left office the unemployment rate was under 5%. That expected counter attack did materialize, with the Romney camp comparing under 5% under Romney to President Obama’s over 8%.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/obamas-ad-hits-romney-massachusetts-economy/story?id=16490692#.T8zTp7CWfcE

    Not satisfied with stupid attacks, the Obama campaign is now turning to state ranking job creation numbers. Apparently what they’re doing is looking at BLS four year rankings, and the Romney campaign is countering that with the BLS individual year rankings, which shows a steady improvement from the bottom.

    My question is why is the Obama campaign doing this directly? Seems like the stuff that would be left to super-Pacs. Doing it directly only leads to counterattacks showing that the Obama campaign is trying to deceive the voters, and hardly seems presidential.

    Note the counterattack in the article: Something to the effect that President Obama has gone from “Hope and Change” to Hope to Change the Topic.

  121. 371
    No Name Guy says:

    The Tim:

    While all fine and dandy to ban non RE stuff to this thread (ref your comment 1 on the election poll post), you’ll have to make these ones reset more frequently to help . 300 something posts to this thread is very unwieldy. The Monday, mid week and weekend open threads are typically manageable in length to read through. There’s no way to stay on top of a thread this long.

    Also, I’d point out that RE and the broader economy are highly interlinked. Fed policy, for example, has a direct result on RE.

    My 2 cents.

  122. 372
    uwp says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 369:

    By uwp @ 63:

    This whole discussion of “Job Creators” is just another example of how good the Republicans are at messaging (or mostly how much the Left sucks at it). Had anyone heard of this term until the past year and OWS?. . .

    One of these days that wealth is going to trickle down. I can’t wait!

    This comment stuck with my yesterday, and I’ve been thinking about it. I think the reason that the term “job creator” has come up is we’ve never had a president who has been so clueless about the economy and so hostile to business.

    It’s because rich people don’t like to be called rich people when so many of the rest are struggling. And the titans of industry are incredibly thin-skinned.

  123. 373
    The Tim says:

    By No Name Guy @ 371:

    300 something posts to this thread is very unwieldy. The Monday, mid week and weekend open threads are typically manageable in length to read through. There’s no way to stay on top of a thread this long.

    That’s part of the reason that I’ve set comment threads to page at 100 posts. It seems like if you’re active in a long thread it isn’t usually too difficult to remember where you left off and just jump to that numbered comment. Perhaps I am incorrect in that assumption, though?

  124. 374

    RE: The Tim @ 373 – It’s probably different if your just looking at the thread for the first time in weeks.

    Is it possible to have two “recent comments” sections above at the top right? One that just has the other threads and one that just has the open threads? That might make it a bit easier to follow along without remembering the number of posts in each thread.

  125. 375
    No Name Guy says:

    RE: The Tim @ 373

    When I see these 300 something long posts, it’s that there are 300 plus posts that turns me off. I’m not going to read through them to see if the topic has already been discussed. That’s why I haven’t bothered to post here in this thread when ever I point out a macro economic matter over in the open comment thread. it’s a TLDR thing.

    The generic open threads are topical, timely…..I can read 20-30-40 comments and then jump in….not going to do it with 300+.

    My 2 cents is to not over moderate the generic open threads, FWIW. Then again, it’s your blog….

  126. 376

    By pfft @ 346:

    we were told that tax increases were going to crush the economy. they didn’t. we were told that the bush tax cuts would boost the economy. they didn’t.

    anyways studies back me up.

    and again. the wealth effect of the stock market is less than the wealth effect of the housing market.

    studies also show that some of the most heavily taxed nations are some of the best place to live and have the highest standards of living. see scandinavia. high taxes also do not affect social mobility or income equality.

    I’ve got tons of links to back all those claims up if you want me to.

    clinton created 23 million jobs. bush created almost none with this two unfunded tax cuts for the very rich.

    Not even former President Clinton agrees with your nonsense! ROTFLMAO at the poor foolish pfft.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303506404577448924153849542.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

    Apparently President Obama’s plan of preempting Meet the Press this next weekend to avoid yet another surrogate going off message didn’t work. President Clinton decided he couldn’t wait two weeks.

  127. 377
    ricklind says:

    I follow Spanish news and economy pretty closely; am a fan of Spanish food and culture, and the reserved, polite, and very warm people integral to both.

    So here’s my update:
    Spain’s view of the end game in euro zone. “Either protect the Euro throughout the Zone or bad things happen.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/9307560/Spanish-premier-Mariano-Rajoy-calls-for-eurozone-centralised-control-authority.html

    We are back to the bailout vs austerity argument. I think Spain is screwed and maybe a presage of US economy. Either kick the can down the road with liquidity, eventually having to face it, or tighten now and face a very bloody deconstruction sooner. I think either way our kids’ future will be very different.
    Rick
    I

  128. 378
    ricklind says:

    RE: The Tim @ 73

    Tim,

    Just a suggestion. This thread should re set occasionally so it is more topical. Very few of us come here ever or often, so it is not vibrant, and you already see a need to channel the open threads since they wander more than you like, methinks.

    The macro economic topics are useful for folks like me who try to put local (Seattle) events in a larger context, regionally, nationally and globally.

    Just thoughts.

    Best,

    Rick

  129. 379

    By pfft @ 346:

    we were told that tax increases were going to crush the economy. they didn’t. we were told that the bush tax cuts would boost the economy. they didn’t.

    anyways studies back me up.

    and again. the wealth effect of the stock market is less than the wealth effect of the housing market.

    studies also show that some of the most heavily taxed nations are some of the best place to live and have the highest standards of living. see scandinavia. high taxes also do not affect social mobility or income equality.

    I’ve got tons of links to back all those claims up if you want me to.

    clinton created 23 million jobs. bush created almost none with this two unfunded tax cuts for the very rich.

    Another Obama defection on the tax increase issue! Not a good week for pfft and President Obama!

    http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-former-wh-adviser-larry-summers-says-tax-breaks-should-stay-for-now-20120606,0,2262060.story

  130. 380

    RE: ricklind @ 78 – I might agree with you if SB had a better search function. As it is I don’t see what the big issue is since the most posts you’ll see is 100.

  131. 381
    uwp says:

    By ricklind @ 377:

    I think either way our kids’ future will be very different.
    Rick

    And what about our kids’ current situation? Horrible unemployment now and forever stunted careers in the future because of how things are going.

    But I guess they need to suffer through the pain now so we might not have to… suffer through possible pain later?

    People don’t seem to understand that our current short run problems are forever worsening long-run problems. Austerity is not making things better. It is both worsening the current budget situations, and not helping the long-run crisises. WE HAVE THREE YEARS OF EVIDENCE! What does it take?!?

  132. 382

    RE: uwp @ 81 – What austerity are you talking about? Do you think this country has been going through austerity? Maybe at the state and local government level, but other than that I’m not sure what you’re seeing.

    BTW, I agree with you on the current situation as to those just starting out looking for work. It’s not the first time we’ve been through this, but it is perhaps the first time when those coming out have also been saddled with huge amounts of student loans.

  133. 383

    Jon Stewart’s take on the Democrat’s spin of last week’s employment numbers: Polish that Turd!

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-june-4-2012/polish-that-turd

  134. 384
    uwp says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 382:

    RE: – What austerity are you talking about? Do you think this country has been going through austerity? Maybe at the state and local government level, but other than that I’m not sure what you’re seeing.

    I was mostly talking about Europe as evidence of the failure of austerity, but is there some reason US state and local levels don’t count?

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/06/government-jobs-loss-president-obamas-catch-22/
    “Since Obama took office, 636,000 state and local jobs have been cut.” (Federal has grown by 143,000 employees.)

    http://cloudfront.mediamatters.org/static/images/item/fred-20120529-govemployment.png
    Total government employment. (The source for the chart is FRED).

    We would be a lot better off if we rehired all those teachers/police/firemen.

    If the number of people employed by the government kept pace with the growing population these last 3.5 years, there would be around a million more people employed. The unemployment rate could possibly be under 7%, and this recovery might actually have some momentum (which would help the long run deficit problem).

    It’s too bad our huge government liberal president is socializing every thing he sees.

  135. 385

    By uwp @ 384:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 382:

    RE: – What austerity are you talking about? Do you think this country has been going through austerity? Maybe at the state and local government level, but other than that I’m not sure what you’re seeing.

    I was mostly talking about Europe as evidence of the failure of austerity, but is there some reason US state and local levels don’t count?

    No, it counts. I was just wondering what you were referring to. That explains it, thanks.

  136. 386

    Part of the reason that the price of oil goes up is a number of countries either subsidize or regulate the price of gas. Here China is using it as economic stimulus, like a cut in interest rates.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/china-lowers-gasoline-diesel-prices-2012-06-08?link=MW_latest_news

    When countries do that, those countries use more oil than they should, and don’t decrease their use of oil like in other countries. That makes prices go up higher.

  137. 387

    Apparently it’s not only President Obama’s surrogates who he has to worry about going off message. ;-)

    http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/08/12127428-obama-it-is-absolutely-clear-that-the-economy-is-not-doing-fine?lite

  138. 388
    Blurtman says:

    A prophetic interview with Sir James Goldsmith in 1994.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PQrz8F0dBI

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZTzPmn-87w&feature=relmfu

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_hiEvTNV5k&feature=relmfu

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yonUgZ2Y6Qs&feature=watch_response
    (8:16 begins an absolutely true analysis of the folly of our current economic system.)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YW6KkF6aa_A&feature=watch_response

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDxufaKZLjc&feature=watch_response
    (:50 – danger in derivatives. This is 1994.)

    Laura Tyson, a seemingly well meaning UC Berkeley academic who has been shown to be quite wrong. Ditto Janet Yellen, but in a much larger way.

    Tyson, BTW, worked (works) at the Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy (BRIE), an ostensibly academic economic think tank, that seems to establish expertise through the production of white papers, and then whores itself out to industry.

    Yet another example of how our leaders fail us. Clinton, as is being shown, has been one of the worst presidents of all time, at the helm when critical regulatory structures were dismantled, setting the table for the destcruction of the middle class, and the destruction of the US financial system.

  139. 389
    Macro Investor says:

    By Blurtman @ 388:

    Yet another example of how our leaders fail us. Clinton, as is being shown, has been one of the worst presidents of all time, at the helm when critical regulatory structures were dismantled, setting the table for the destcruction of the middle class, and the destruction of the US financial system.

    Not that I would ever defend Clinton — I have said many times I will never vote for another democrat or republican… but the destruction of the US financial system would have happened (will happen) anyway. Regulations or no regulation don’t make a d@mn bit of difference if corrupt administrations won’t enforce them.

    Laws are for the little people. Bankers do what they want.

  140. 390

    How could anyone judge who the worst president was? There’s just too much competition! ;-)

  141. 391
    pfft says:

    And Here Are The Charts That Will Get Obama Reelected…

    http://www.businessinsider.com/obama-economy-2012#ixzz1xLB8tDpy

  142. 392
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 388:

    Clinton, as is being shown, has been one of the worst presidents of all time

    I guess you don’t remember the 90s do you? There was more to it than that. We had the rise of the shadow banking system. We had massive fraud in mortgages. We had Greenspan ignoring non-existant lending standards. We had Hank Paulson lobby for banks to take more risk. Ben Bernanke was a Bush guy. All of this was after Clinton. How would Glass-Steagal have prevented AIG? The greatest responsbiilty resides with those at the helm or our banks and corporations while all these outsize risks were taken and subsequently failed. If I were a BOA or C shareholder I would be pissed at the CEOs. How hard is it to make a loan?

    Let’s not forget how radical Republicans were in the 90s and how much Clinton blocked just by being there.

  143. 393
    pfft says:

    Obama has been great so far. I think with all the criticism that is warranted we forget what he inherited and what he did. He came in to two wars and a financial system on meltdown. He had a huge stimulus bill that saved millions of jobs, he saved the US car industry and the midwest, continued shoring up the banking system, got bin laden, responsibly ended the Iraq War and Obamacare will insure tens of millions of people for decades. Obamacare alone is a great accomplishment however flawed.

    We forget was has happened the last 4 years.

  144. 394
    pfft says:

    Obama’s cons:

    Hasn’t done enough to prosecute Wall St.
    Didn’t really want foreclosure relief
    Didn’t get a climate/energy bill
    Obama is flawed, should have gone for medicare for all

  145. 395
    Scotsman says:

    “So far this year, President Obama has been to three times as many fundraisers as President Bush had attended by this point in the 2004 campaign. This is what the New York Post calls his “torrid pace,” although judging from those remarks in California he’s about as torrid as an overworked gigolo staggering punchily through the last mambo of the evening. According to Brendan J. Doherty’s forthcoming book The Rise of the President’s Permanent Campaign, Obama has held more fundraisers than the previous five presidents’ reelection campaigns combined.”

    http://www.nationalreview.com/blogs/print/302269

    “For a donation of $35,800, he’ll pose with you in a Seal Team Six uniform with one foot on Osama’s corpse (played by Harry Reid). For a donation of $46,800, he’ll send an unmanned drone to hover amusingly over your sister-in-law’s house. For a donation of $77,800, he’ll install you as the next president-for-life of Syria (liability waiver required). For a donation of $159,800, he’ll take you into Sarah Jessica’s guest bedroom and give you the full 007 while Carly Simon sings “Nobody Does It Better.”

    There are monarchies and republics aplenty, but there’s only one 24/7 celebrity fundraising presidency. If it’s Tuesday, it must be Kim Cattrall, or Hootie and the Blowfish, or Laverne and Shirley, or the ShamWow guy . . . I wonder if the Queen ever marvels at the transformation of the American presidency since her time with Truman. Ah, well. If you can’t stand the klieg-light heat of Obama’s celebrity, stay out of the Beverly Wilshire kitchen.”

  146. 396

    RE: Scotsman @ 395 – I wonder how much you have to donate to get a job?

  147. 397
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 395:

    “So far this year, President Obama has been to three times as many fundraisers as President Bush had attended by this point in the 2004 campaign. This is what the New York Post calls his â��torrid pace,â�� although judging from those remarks in California heâ��s about as torrid as an overworked gigolo staggering punchily through the last mambo of the evening. According to Brendan J. Dohertyâ��s forthcoming book The Rise of the Presidentâ��s Permanent Campaign, Obama has held more fundraisers than the previous five presidentsâ�� reelection campaigns combined.”

    http://www.nationalreview.com/blogs/print/302269

    “For a donation of $35,800, heâ��ll pose with you in a Seal Team Six uniform with one foot on Osamaâ��s corpse (played by Harry Reid). For a donation of $46,800, heâ��ll send an unmanned drone to hover amusingly over your sister-in-lawâ��s house. For a donation of $77,800, heâ��ll install you as the next president-for-life of Syria (liability waiver required). For a donation of $159,800, heâ��ll take you into Sarah Jessicaâ��s guest bedroom and give you the full 007 while Carly Simon sings â��Nobody Does It Better.â��

    There are monarchies and republics aplenty, but thereâ��s only one 24/7 celebrity fundraising presidency. If itâ��s Tuesday, it must be Kim Cattrall, or Hootie and the Blowfish, or Laverne and Shirley, or the ShamWow guy . . . I wonder if the Queen ever marvels at the transformation of the American presidency since her time with Truman. Ah, well. If you canâ��t stand the klieg-light heat of Obamaâ��s celebrity, stay out of the Beverly Wilshire kitchen.”

    Citizens-United duh! standard scotsman…

  148. 398

    By pfft @ 397:

    Citizens-United duh! standard scotsman…

    Yes, it’s so sad that the incumbent protection legislation was struck down, making those poor incumbent politicians actually have to do things to counter the truth about them.

    And of course, President Obama has to work extra hard in that regard, because too many of his surrogates tell the truth!

  149. 399
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 398:

    By pfft @ 397:

    Citizens-United duh! standard scotsman…

    Yes, it’s so sad that the incumbent protection legislation was struck down, making those poor incumbent politicians actually have to do things to counter the truth about them.

    And of course, President Obama has to work extra hard in that regard, because too many of his surrogates tell the truth!

    don’t even know what you’re talking about…this makes it even tougher to defeat an incumbent as they are likelier to have rich friends once they get to Washington. Scott Walker had much more money than his challenger in Wis did.

  150. 400
    yukon dave says:

    SPAIN! Most people dont know this but Spain is a very big mess and so is Italy. They suffer the same banana republic thinking that is beginning to effect the United States. The depth of the problems in many countries is very dangerous and I hope States like California dont make the same mistake as Spain.

    Here is a great comment from the economist:

    The UE is wasting his money. The 100 billions loan will go directly to fund the next issues:

    1. Seventeen useless automous regions with his presidents, regional ministers, regional parlaments, regional official cars, assistants, advisors, supporting staff and regional corruption.

    2. Unions and political parties that make billions in grants.

    3. Unnecessary pharaonic ongoing infrastructures as high speed trains to remote villages as Cuenca or Albacete or airports without passengers in the middle of nowhere as Huesca, Castellon or Ciudad Real.

    4. Over three million of unnecessary public servants (more than USA or Japan) that have almost two months of vacations per year and make “siesta” everyday.

    5. More than one billion is funding directly the soccer teams (with tax exemptions) that’s why Spain can afford the best players in the world.

    6. The best free health care system in the world (paradoxically in the most ruined country of Europe)

    7. Over 200 regional embassies that regional governments mantain in many countries (e.g. Catalonian embassy in New York is based in the Rockefeller Center building, the most expensive rent in NYC)

    8. 8000 town halls (4 times than Germany, albeit Spain has half population)

    9. 5000 ruined public companies (created only to give a job to the relatives and friends of the politicians)

    10. Over twenty ruined public TVs, but controled by central and regional governments as propaganda centers.

    11. Over three years of umemployment coverage (highest in Europe)

    12. The PER (rural unemployment system that in Andalusia pay for one year if you work for two months)

    13. And of course 450.000 politicians.

    As a result the UE is only funding the corruption and incompetence of Spanish political class. The worse problem in Spain is not a financial problem, the core problem is an economical problem,
    What kind of goods or services is going to produce Spain to pay back the 100 billion European loan and also mantain his oversized welfare state?

    None talk about this point because none has a realistic plan to overcome Spanish crisis. Meanwhile Spain has added to his current European unemployment record of 25%, the banks bailout world record with an astonishing 100 billions. Which will be the next record?

  151. 401

    RE: yukon dave @ 400 – Look! Almost a brand new thread! ;-)

    I’ve mentioned California as a problem state, but how do you see it being like Spain? They don’t have their own banks. They can’t run deficits (that I know of). The can do a lot of stupid things without those things, but I’m just curious how you see them being the same.

  152. 402

    Maybe the slip ups of Romney and President Obama aren’t that big of a deal! ;-)

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/story/2012-06-11/david-cameron-daughter-pub/55521094/1

  153. 403
    yukon dave says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 1

    Sorry I see patterns many dont notice, I guess I have a little rain man in me. I did start out as an actuary. My point is this is the direction of California moving forward and why Washington will benefit in the future.

    I see California like Spain in many ways. Banking between states is much easier in the US but is still run by banking entities that are broken out by states. Wells Fargo of California is not the same corporation as Wells Fargo of Washington. Spain with a GDP of about $1.5 trillion dollars while California is about 1.8 trillion dollars is in an order of magnitude similar as well. The types of industry from technology, tourism, music, movie, wine, agriculture and manufacturing mix as a percentage of GDP makes them similar as well. Even the weather is very similar in the major cities.
    Next you have the way the local city, county and state governments run is much the same with crony capitalism but with a liberal twist (some say socialist). Remember that California wants to be more like Spain in every way from taxes to social spending. Spain even launched the most aggressive “Green economy” push in Europe. Like Spain, each is their own government fiefdom with a similar cast of characters as I point out in my previous post.

    While California does not have its own embassy, they do have their own dedicated trade missions that are in some cases more powerful than most other countries and rivals Spain. A book recently published called “Republic Lost”, talks a great deal about how a gift economy is developing in the 1st world economies that is starting to resemble a banana republic.

  154. 404

    RE: yukon dave @ 3 – Thanks.

    I would agree that taxes and spending are problems in California. Those are things that their liberal population like, but things which businesses don’t like. And that means high unemployment.

    California reminds me of the seller of a house who wants to net $250,000, because that’s the amount they need to downsize into a condo free and clear. The buyer doesn’t care what they want to do with the money. The same is true of businesses and California taxes and regulation. By and large the businesses don’t care, although there are some things government spends money on which they do care about.

    I guess I could see the problems in California as an advantage for Washington, but mainly I see California as a potential anchor dragging down the entire country. They hurt the entire west coast during the California energy crisis, they were a major part of hurting the entire country during the housing crisis. What will be their next impact, and how severe will it be?

  155. 405

    State tax revenues are expected to exceed pre-recession levels.

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/story/2012-06-12/Tax-revenue-up/55546822/1

    The federal government better give more money to the states so that they can pay their employees! /sarc

  156. 406
    J.M. says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 401
    I know you’re not talking to me….but California has been living with a deficit of $ billions for years now. It cannot print its own money, like the feds can; the debt just keeps getting bigger and bigger while the state keeps spending & spending………..and those with money MOVE out of state taking their businesses, jobs and capital with them.

  157. 407

    I don’t make a habit of reading opinion pieces, but this one caught my eye, and is particularly good. It explains why the economy is not doing well under President Obama.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/06/12/ED3U1P02VU.DTL

    And in the same newspaper, an example of why business doesn’t want to take risk in the current political climate. Discussing the recent Chase trading losses, which were large but relatively insignificant in the scheme of things, it is noted that those losses are responsible for “triggering at least five federal probes and two planned Capitol Hill hearings with Dimon.”

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/06/11/BUIO1P06CI.DTL#ixzz1xb2Uywdg

    Capitalism involves taking risk. The risk should be losing your money, not becoming the focus of multiple federal investigations. No wonder the private sector isn’t taking on new tasks that would hire more people. It’s safer to keep their heads down.

  158. 408

    RE: J.M. @ 406 – Many states cannot run deficits. That’s why I said I was not sure about California. In the past year though, there have been a lot of budget negotiations, and Brown vetoed a budget because it relied on too many gimmicks to balance the budget–or at least I thought that was what it attempted to do.

    They can borrow money for some things, just like Washington can, but I’m not sure they can actually operate at a deficit. Do you have a link?

  159. 409
    yukon dave says:

    Great example of how not to price a home. I have asked many people the question, what is the house worth and almost always get the wrong answer. The only answer is what the market will pay and has nothing to do with what you want to sell it for. Ask people to explain supply and demand and you will get answers all over the chart.

    California has been using gimmicks to close the budget gap and every year find out that budget projections did not meet actuals. Its like me deciding that the year I made the most money is the baseline for the next 10 years. Then when revenue drops by 10%, I project that I will make 10% more next year. Budget balanced. Optimistic to say the least.

    Gray Davis was recalled because over the 12 months he incorrectly stated (legal word for lied) that the California budget went from surplus to $30 billion in deficit spending. He had four major announcements over that 12 month period which were $2.5b, $7.8b, $18b and the final number of $30B. California recalled him. The Governator took over and reduced that $30+ billion deficit to $15 billion and now it is inching back up. Brown is a pretty honest guy and believe it or not is really trying to deal with the deficit. He is in a knock down drag out with his own party.

  160. 410

    RE: yukon dave @ 9 – I wish more schools taught economics in high school.

    I thought Davis was recalled for something relatively stupid, as opposed to one of the many stupid things he did. Whichever, I was glad to see him go.

  161. 411
    pfft says:

    ‘Romneycare’ Didn’t Kill Jobs, And Neither Will ‘Obamacare’: Study
    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/06/romneycare-didnt-kill-jobs-and-neither-will-obamacare-study.php?ref=fpa

    ain’t that the truth.

  162. 412
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 10:

    RE: yukon dave @ 9 – I wish more schools taught economics in high school..

    yep, but if we taught everything in high school that people thought should be taught in high school we’d have a school day that is 3-4 hours longer.

  163. 413

    By pfft @ 11:

    �Romneycare� Didn�t Kill Jobs, And Neither Will �Obamacare�: Study
    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/06/romneycare-didnt-kill-jobs-and-neither-will-obamacare-study.php?ref=fpa

    ain’t that the truth.

    LOL. Apparently they didn’t get the Obama talking point, that Romney as governor had one of the worst job creation records in the country during his period as governor.

    (BTW, apparently the Obama campaign gets there by looking at the employment in MA over the entire 4 year term, rather than the change in situation over the 4 year term. Doing the same thing for President Obama he’d probably be one of the worst presidents ever for employment. Both started their terms out with high unemployment rates.)

  164. 414

    By pfft @ 12:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 10:

    RE: yukon dave @ 9 – I wish more schools taught economics in high school..

    yep, but if we taught everything in high school that people thought should be taught in high school we’d have a school day that is 3-4 hours longer.

    They could easily cut out a ton of foolish memorization tasks, and teach people instead how to apply facts to an analysis (teach people how to think).

  165. 415
    Scotsman says:

    RE: pfft @ 412

    “we’d have a school day that is 3-4 hours longer.”

    Whoa- that would seriously cut into the little darling’s pot smoking time. Not to mention texting, video games, and just screwing around. But hey, it might mover national test results up from 20th world-wide to maybe somewhere in the top ten. We might have to drop gay sensitivity training though.

  166. 416
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 413:

    By pfft @ 11:

    �Romneycare� Didn�t Kill Jobs, And Neither Will �Obamacare�: Study
    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/06/romneycare-didnt-kill-jobs-and-neither-will-obamacare-study.php?ref=fpa

    ain’t that the truth.

    LOL. Apparently they didn’t get the Obama talking point, that Romney as governor had one of the worst job creation records in the country during his period as governor.

    yes they did and it wasn’t because of Romneycare.

    How does an individual mandate hurts businesses? It mainly falls on individuals. There already is an employee-mandate and probably nobody over 40 would have insurance without it.

  167. 417
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 15:

    RE: pfft @ 412

    “weâ��d have a school day that is 3-4 hours longer.”

    Whoa- that would seriously cut into the little darling’s pot smoking time. Not to mention texting, video games, and just screwing around. But hey, it might mover national test results up from 20th world-wide to maybe somewhere in the top ten. We might have to drop gay sensitivity training though.

    I wasn’t thinking about the students I was thinking about the students. who would want to spent more time with the students?:)

    “We might have to drop gay sensitivity training though.”

    oh wow where are we going with this? please elaborate. totally inappropriate.

  168. 418

    By Scotsman @ 415:

    RE: pfft @ 412

    “weâ��d have a school day that is 3-4 hours longer.”

    Whoa- that would seriously cut into the little darling’s pot smoking time. Not to mention texting, video games, and just screwing around

    How long has it been since you’ve had a kid in school? For me it’s just over 10 years (high school, not college). The homework brought home then was a lot more than when I was a kid.

  169. 419

    By pfft @ 16:

    There already is an employee-mandate and probably nobody over 40 would have insurance without it.

    Proof please.

    Stated differently, WTF are you talking about?

  170. 420
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 418

    Current test results speak so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying. The U.S., as a whole, is getting a solid B- compared to the rest of the industrialized world. Lots of busy-work doesn’t automatically lead to results.

    In the local private school universe Lakeside is famous for the homework load. But The NW School and my kid’s private school both have better records for getting kids into top schools. Both also have relatively little homework. So what does the data say?

  171. 421
    Scotsman says:

    RE: pfft @ 17

    “totally inappropriate”

    I’ll assume you got an “A” in that one.

  172. 422
    whatsmyname says:

    By Scotsman @ 420:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 418

    The U.S., as a whole, is getting a solid B- compared to the rest of the industrialized world.

    …rest of the Industrialized world? Is that some kind of code for socialist Europe?

  173. 423
    Scotsman says:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 422

    Catch the chart half way down the page:

    http://4brevard.com/choice/international-test-scores.htm

  174. 424
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 423 – Good chart.

    I assume that we can agree that the results for grade 12 are more useful to society than those at grades 4 or 8. So it would seem that the Scandinavian countries are most consistently the best across the categories. Of course, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, the Czech Republic, and the Russian Federation consistently beat the US too.

    I can see that I made an assumptive error in only including the “European” socialist countries. Upon which of these nations should we model our education system?

  175. 425

    By Scotsman @ 420:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 418

    Current test results speak so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying. The U.S., as a whole, is getting a solid B- compared to the rest of the industrialized world. Lots of busy-work doesn’t automatically lead to results.

    I didn’t say they were doing a good job, only that they were giving them a lot of homework. Earlier I mentioned doing things other than spending a lot of time on memorization of facts. That’s an indication I don’t think they’re doing that good of a job.

  176. 426
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 421:

    RE: pfft @ 17

    “totally inappropriate”

    I’ll assume you got an “A” in that one.

    are you saying that we shouldn’t be sensitive to gays?

    you are a birther so you lost all credibility anyways. nobody cares!

  177. 427

    By Scotsman @ 423:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 422

    Catch the chart half way down the page:

    http://4brevard.com/choice/international-test-scores.htm

    Actually, just yesterday I was reading something that they’re debating the need to teach math, at least the way it’s been done in the past. With electronic devices, do people really need to memorize the multiplication tables? The thought given was that you only need to teach them how to estimate the result so that they recognize GIGO.

  178. 428
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 427

    If you can’t think and create on your own you’ll certainly end up a slave to the man who can.

    Those without a plan are always at the eventual mercy of the guy who does have one. Education and intellectual independence are keys to freedom. We continue to let standards slide at out own peril.

    A world of pffffffts- looking to government for our values and sustenance with never an original thought.

  179. 429

    RE: Scotsman @ 28 – I would largely agree. I would add that the recent trend of teaching to achievement tests has made our education system, and the product it produces (the younger generation) worse.

    People cannot think. Take my favorite topic. California politicians pass a really stupid deregulation scheme and then run it into the ground. How it would fail would be obvious even before enactment. But both democrats and republicans voted for it overwhelmingly (nearly unanimously) so they need a scapegoat when it does fail. Enron is involved in that industry, and Enron was guilty of lots of illegal things in another area, and did some illegal things in this area too, so the blame gets put on Enron. The only problem with that, even if you don’t know anything about economics, Enron went bankrupt! One California utility alone lost went through over $20B in losses buying power, and when they could no longer do that California itself spent over $20B more buying power. If Enron was the main cause of California’s problems, how the hell did it go bankrupt after getting most of $40 billion dollars? Only gullible people fell for the explanation of California’s politicians. Unfortunately, well over 50% of the population is extremely gullible, because with our education system people no longer think for themselves.

  180. 430
    Scotsman says:

    Obama has now attended over 150 fundraisers- more than the prior 4 presidents combined.

    How in the world does this guy find time to golf?

  181. 431

    The timing of President Obama’s new executive order on illegal immigrants is interesting. I believe next week may be the last week for the Supreme Court to issue opinions before taking a break. If so, the Arizona case might come down next week (as well as Obamacare).

    While I agree with President Obama that we can’t (and shouldn’t) just ship everyone back, and that Congress has been dragging its feet on this issue, I have a problem with an executive order which basically says the administration will start ignoring the law in certain areas. To do that right before a decision is due where a state is complaining that the feds are not enforcing the law seems to be rather bad timing. It might change a vote on the Court.

    Couldn’t President Obama have waited one more week to pander to a certain voter group?

  182. 432

    In a recent survey, 76% of the people believe that the Supreme Court Justices’ political opinions sway their decisions.

    http://www.politicsincolor.com/gbmarshall/2012/us-supreme-court-approval-44

    Who are the morons in the 24%? Of course their political opinions affect their decisions. How else could you explain 4 Justices thinking that the Second Amendment was not an individual right?

  183. 433
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 428:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 427

    If you can’t think and create on your own you’ll certainly end up a slave to the man who can.

    Those without a plan are always at the eventual mercy of the guy who does have one. Education and intellectual independence are keys to freedom. We continue to let standards slide at out own peril.

    A world of pffffffts- looking to government for our values and sustenance with never an original thought.

    says the birther! there is an original idea.

  184. 434
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 30:

    Obama has now attended over 150 fundraisers- more than the prior 4 presidents combined.

    link please

  185. 435
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 432 – Or that George W was actually elected president.

  186. 436
    Blurtman says:

    “Ipso, facto.” sings Obama the Enchanter. “Razzamatazz!” “My magic will heal the economy and remove this plague of locusts.”

    “Taxus Minimus!” chants Romney the Diviner. “My magic shall deliver a fair deal to all subjects throughout the land.”

    Meanwhile, the people grow weary and despair.

    “In the aftermath of the financial crisis, there has been persistent high unemployment as households reduced debt and scaled back purchases. The consequence for wages has been substantially slower growth across the board, including white-collar and college-educated workers.”

    And household wealth is dropping. The Federal Reserve reported last week that the economic crisis left the median American family in 2010 with no more wealth than in the early 1990s, wiping away two decades of gains. With stocks too risky for many small investors and savings accounts paying little interest, building up a nest egg is a challenge even for those who can afford to sock away some of their money. ”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/19/us/many-american-workers-are-underemployed-and-underpaid.html

  187. 437

    By Blurtman @ 436:

    “Ipso, facto.” sings Obama the Enchanter. “Razzamatazz!” “My magic will heal the economy and remove this plague of locusts.”

    “Taxus Minimus!” chants Romney the Diviner. “My magic shall deliver a fair deal to all subjects throughout the land.”

    Meanwhile, the people grow weary and despair.

    Part of the problem is there are too many gullible people in this world, who believe sound bites.

    For example, President Obama’s response to the Romney tax cuts is “They want to take us back to the policies . . ..” as if what got us into the trouble we’re in was too low of taxes. And Romney is no better, trying to pretend that no taxes will have to go up, or that no new types of taxes will be needed, and hiding what spending he wants to cut.

  188. 438

    The Fed cuts their estimate for growth in the economy in 2012 and raises it for unemployment.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18527347

  189. 439
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 438 – If only people could borrow more, things would get better.

  190. 440
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 437:

    By Blurtman @ 436:

    “Ipso, facto.” sings Obama the Enchanter. “Razzamatazz!” “My magic will heal the economy and remove this plague of locusts.”

    “Taxus Minimus!” chants Romney the Diviner. “My magic shall deliver a fair deal to all subjects throughout the land.”

    Meanwhile, the people grow weary and despair.

    Part of the problem is there are too many gullible people in this world, who believe sound bites.

    For example, President Obama’s response to the Romney tax cuts is “They want to take us back to the policies . . ..” as if what got us into the trouble we’re in was too low of taxes.

    it’s not just low taxes that romney wants. he thinks there is too little regulation. low tax rates are a big cause of our future deficits. low taxes also incentivized the wall street economy and the transfer of wealth to the top.

  191. 441
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 39:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 438 – If only people could borrow more, things would get better.

    yes.

  192. 442
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 36:

    “Ipso, facto.” sings Obama the Enchanter. “Razzamatazz!” “My magic will heal the economy and remove this plague of locusts.”

    “Taxus Minimus!” chants Romney the Diviner. “My magic shall deliver a fair deal to all subjects throughout the land.”

    Meanwhile, the people grow weary and despair.

    �In the aftermath of the financial crisis, there has been persistent high unemployment as households reduced debt and scaled back purchases. The consequence for wages has been substantially slower growth across the board, including white-collar and college-educated workers.�

    And household wealth is dropping. The Federal Reserve reported last week that the economic crisis left the median American family in 2010 with no more wealth than in the early 1990s, wiping away two decades of gains. With stocks too risky for many small investors and savings accounts paying little interest, building up a nest egg is a challenge even for those who can afford to sock away some of their money. ”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/19/us/many-american-workers-are-underemployed-and-underpaid.html

    that data is old and now irrelevant. household wealth has made somewhat of a comeback. trillions have been recovered.

  193. 443
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 440 – Perhaps if he brings Condi on board as his running mate, she can convince us to attack Iran again.

  194. 444
    Scotsman says:

    “So let me get this straight. If I have a headache, and I try to fix it by smashing my head against the wall, and that doesn’t work, I should just keep doing it over and over hoping that eventually it will?”

    How BB, pfffft, and many others hope to fix the economy. I’m feeling more optimistic already.

  195. 445

    By pfft @ 40:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 437:

    By Blurtman @ 436:

    “Ipso, facto.” sings Obama the Enchanter. “Razzamatazz!” “My magic will heal the economy and remove this plague of locusts.”

    “Taxus Minimus!” chants Romney the Diviner. “My magic shall deliver a fair deal to all subjects throughout the land.”

    Meanwhile, the people grow weary and despair.

    Part of the problem is there are too many gullible people in this world, who believe sound bites.

    For example, President Obama’s response to the Romney tax cuts is “They want to take us back to the policies . . ..” as if what got us into the trouble we’re in was too low of taxes.

    it’s not just low taxes that romney wants. he thinks there is too little regulation. low tax rates are a big cause of our future deficits. low taxes also incentivized the wall street economy and the transfer of wealth to the top.

    I assume you meant Romney thinks there is too much regulation. On that I would tend to agree with him. You need regulation, but the regulations need to be easier to understand and easy to comply with. If they are not, then the business activity gets done out of the country, and the jobs are out of the country.

  196. 446

    By Blurtman @ 43:

    – Perhaps if he brings Condi on board as his running mate, she can convince us to attack Iran again.

    That would be like picking Sarah Palin again.

  197. 447

    By Scotsman @ 25:

    “So let me get this straight. If I have a headache, and I try to fix it by smashing my head against the wall, and that doesn’t work, I should just keep doing it over and over hoping that eventually it will?”

    A better analogy would be you have a headache, so you take some aspirin (I’m old-school), but your “friend” Barack is slapping you on the head every five minutes. Should you discontinue taking aspirin, or get Barack to stop slapping you?

  198. 448
    Pegasus says:

    The Scam Wall Street Learned From the Mafia

    How America’s biggest banks took part in a nationwide bid-rigging conspiracy – until they were caught on tape

    The defendants in the case – Dominick Carollo, Steven Goldberg and Peter Grimm – worked for GE Capital, the finance arm of General Electric. Along with virtually every major bank and finance company on Wall Street – not just GE, but J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, UBS, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Wachovia and more – these three Wall Street wiseguys spent the past decade taking part in a breathtakingly broad scheme to skim billions of dollars from the coffers of cities and small towns across America. The banks achieved this gigantic rip-off by secretly colluding to rig the public bids on municipal bonds, a business worth $3.7 trillion. By conspiring to lower the interest rates that towns earn on these investments, the banks systematically stole from schools, hospitals, libraries and nursing homes – from “virtually every state, district and territory in the United States,” according to one settlement. And they did it so cleverly that the victims never even knew they were being ­cheated. No thumbs were broken, and nobody ended up in a landfill in New Jersey, but money disappeared, lots and lots of it, and its manner of disappearance had a familiar name: organized crime.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-scam-wall-street-learned-from-the-mafia-20120620

  199. 449
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 445 – Well, not exactly. Condi is a former Secretary of State. Sarah, a former VP candidate. Picking Condi would be more like picking Hilary to be VP.

    Condi is a war criminal, however. Hilary – probably as well, but on a more targeted level.

  200. 450
    Blurtman says:

    RE: pfft @ 41 – in your world view, is there such a thing as a maximum debt capacity? For individuals, i.e., consumers?

    And in your world view, how does spending only what you earn factor in?

  201. 451
    graygoat says:

    By pfft @ 440:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 437:

    By Blurtman @ 436:

    “Ipso, facto.” sings Obama the Enchanter. “Razzamatazz!” “My magic will heal the economy and remove this plague of locusts.”

    “Taxus Minimus!” chants Romney the Diviner. “My magic shall deliver a fair deal to all subjects throughout the land.”

    Meanwhile, the people grow weary and despair.

    Part of the problem is there are too many gullible people in this world, who believe sound bites.

    For example, President Obama’s response to the Romney tax cuts is “They want to take us back to the policies . . ..” as if what got us into the trouble we’re in was too low of taxes.

    it’s not just low taxes that romney wants. he thinks there is too little regulation. low tax rates are a big cause of our future deficits. low taxes also incentivized the wall street economy and the transfer of wealth to the top.

    Can you explain what you mean by: “low taxes also incentivized the wall street economy and the transfer of wealth to the top”? Do you mean low taxes in general across the general population or specifically low taxes aimed at the wealthy?

  202. 452
    whatsmyname says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 447:

    By Scotsman @ 25:

    “So let me get this straight. If I have a headache, and I try to fix it by smashing my head against the wall, and that doesn’t work, I should just keep doing it over and over hoping that eventually it will?”

    A better analogy would be you have a headache, so you take some aspirin (I’m old-school), but your “friend” Barack is slapping you on the head every five minutes. Should you discontinue taking aspirin, or get Barack to stop slapping you?

    I have a better analogy. My head aches because as I was at the ballpark watching George hit ’em out of the park for the 1 percenters, the bat slipped from his hands, clocking me good. The force of the blow slammed my head into the wall.

    Barack took this opportunity to sell me some insurance, and then drove me to the clinic. By the time we arrived my ears were bleeding, and the clinic had new doctors.

    Doctor Republican Majority wasn’t sure that this was a medical matter, but begrudgingly gave me a half aspirin provided I don’t use the comfy chair.

    Doctor Perry noticed that my ears were bleeding, although no blood was seen at the ballpark, and determined that the injuries were caused by the car trip to the clinic – and the driver.

    Dr. Paul knew absolutely that hard work is the only key to good health and told me that wind sprints were the only true cure.

    Doctor Boehner determined that the aspirin was not working, and therefore likely the cause. He prescribed anti-aspirin as a proper palliative.

    Doctore Romney etch-a-sketched me a message that the best medicine is to get back to the ballpark and watch another slugger deliver the goods to the luxury boxes.

    Dr. Tea Party thought I deserved it.

    Dr. Donald couldn’t understand why all the fuss. His head feels fine, and someone’s got to get the car keys away from that Kenyan.

  203. 453

    RE: whatsmyname @ 52 – LOL. You might want to change the first part to George and Barack hitting them out of the park, because George simply wasn’t that good on his own. He needed the support of both parties.

    The point of my analogy though was simpler. It doesn’t really matter what the Fed does, or even that economies go in cycles and will eventually head up just as part of a cycle, because the economy will not do well with the President of the United States spouting anti-business rhetoric. Companies will sit on cash playing it safe, so they’re not likely to be motivated by lower interest rates.

  204. 454
    pfft says:

    By Blurtman @ 450:

    RE: pfft @ 41 – in your world view, is there such a thing as a maximum debt capacity? For individuals, i.e., consumers?

    yes.

  205. 455
    pfft says:

    By graygoat @ 51:

    By pfft @ 440:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 437:

    By Blurtman @ 436:

    “Ipso, facto.” sings Obama the Enchanter. “Razzamatazz!” “My magic will heal the economy and remove this plague of locusts.”

    “Taxus Minimus!” chants Romney the Diviner. “My magic shall deliver a fair deal to all subjects throughout the land.”

    Meanwhile, the people grow weary and despair.

    Part of the problem is there are too many gullible people in this world, who believe sound bites.

    For example, President Obama’s response to the Romney tax cuts is “They want to take us back to the policies . . ..” as if what got us into the trouble we’re in was too low of taxes.

    it’s not just low taxes that romney wants. he thinks there is too little regulation. low tax rates are a big cause of our future deficits. low taxes also incentivized the wall street economy and the transfer of wealth to the top.

    Can you explain what you mean by: “low taxes also incentivized the wall street economy and the transfer of wealth to the top”? Do you mean low taxes in general across the general population or specifically low taxes aimed at the wealthy?

    both.

  206. 456
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 53:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 52the economy will not do well with the President of the United States spouting anti-business rhetoric. Companies will sit on cash playing it safe, so they’re not likely to be motivated by lower interest rates.

    1. the economy always recovers slowly after a financial crisis.

    2. corporations have record profits.

    3. corporations have record profits even with slow demand and they are doing it with less workers than in 2007. corporations are all about spending the least amount of money on labor as they can while still earning great profits. why hire? there is not enough demand.

  207. 457

    By pfft @ 456:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 53:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 52the economy will not do well with the President of the United States spouting anti-business rhetoric. Companies will sit on cash playing it safe, so they’re not likely to be motivated by lower interest rates.

    1. the economy always recovers slowly after a financial crisis.

    Agreed, but that doesn’t disprove my point in any way. Do you really think that the President of the United States making negative comments about business and business people has no effect at all?

  208. 458
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 457:

    By pfft @ 456:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 53:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 52the economy will not do well with the President of the United States spouting anti-business rhetoric. Companies will sit on cash playing it safe, so they’re not likely to be motivated by lower interest rates.

    Agreed, but that doesn’t disprove my point in any way. Do you really think that the President of the United States making negative comments about business and business people has no effect at all?

    it has very little effect and is more than offset by his not prosecuting wall street, dragging his heels on new regulations, the auto bailout, the stimulus and helping save the banks shortly after he got into office.

    His jobs act is being blocked by Congress and that would create millions of jobs and help businesses.

    business is to blame for business being bad.

    “the economy will not do well with the President of the United States spouting anti-business rhetoric.”

    links please to studies and etc. showing how much faster the economy would be growing if obama weren’t saying(in your mind of course) anti-business things. also please cite specific instances that aren’t about Las Vegas which was a dumb example. any money not spent in Vegas would just be spent elsewhere.

    We had a “CEO president” how did that work out?

  209. 459

    The Supreme Court again upholds the First Amendment, summarily reversing the Montana supreme court decision which restricted corporate spending on campaign issues. By issuing a one page ruling, the Supreme Court basically was in the face of the Montana court!

    http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/11-1179h9j3.pdf

  210. 460

    The Court strikes down a lot of Arizona’s immigration law, but apparently not the part that allows state officers to check immigration status.

    http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/11-182b5e1.pdf

  211. 461
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 460 – What do Obamney say about the ruling?

  212. 462

    RE: Blurtman @ 461 – I think there’s something in that decision for everyone. No clear winner. Overall though, Arizona lost, and the 10th Amendment lost.

  213. 463
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 459:

    The Supreme Court again upholds the First Amendment, summarily reversing the Montana supreme court decision which restricted corporate spending on campaign issues. By issuing a one page ruling, the Supreme Court basically was in the face of the Montana court!

    http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/11-1179h9j3.pdf

    corporations are not people.

  214. 464

    By pfft @ 463:

    corporations are not people.

    What’s that have to do with squat? Do you think Constitutional protections don’t apply to corporations? Do you think the government can just go walking into Microsoft without a warrant and seize all of their documents and hard drives?

    The Supreme Court has long held a lower standard for the protection of “commercial speech” which is advertising and such. Who do you think does most of the commercial speech? Individuals or corporations?

    You’ve been brainwashed by the incumbents who like legislation that suppresses speech that opposes them. They want to use their considerable advantages as an incumbent to maintain power, and don’t like the fact that others can spend money against them. So they pass unconstitutional legislation restricting such activity.

  215. 465
    ChrisM says:

    Critical info when determining for whom to vote:

    http://spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=37603

    “In regards to national security, nearly two-thirds (65%) of Americans think Barack Obama would be better suited than fellow presidential candidate Mitt Romney to handle an alien invasion. In fact, more than two in three (68%) women say that Obama would be more adept at dealing with an alien invasion than Romney, vs. 61 percent of men. And more younger citizens, ages 18 to 64 years, than those aged 65+ (68% vs. 50%) think Romney would not be as well-suited as Obama to handle an alien invasion.”

  216. 466
    Blurtman says:

    RE: ChrisM @ 465 – Too late, hu-man. Consume and Obey.

  217. 467
  218. 468

    RE: whatsmyname @ 467 – That was practically predictable. What was the criminal case about 5-10 years ago where they had multiple counts and signals from across the street to indicate guilty or innocent on each count? That was comical.

    These networks try so hard to scoop one another that they throw accuracy out the window.

  219. 469
  220. 470

    Now the White House is upset that the fee that you pay the IRS for not having health insurance is called a tax and not a penalty.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/white-house-roberts-obamacare-mandate-penalty-tax/story?id=16679772#.T-3huRfOXwo

  221. 471
    J.M. says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 408

    California in debt.

    Projected annual budget problems of about $20 billion each year through 2015–16. Also in 2012–13, California is appealing federal penalties of $160 million because it failed to move enough welfare recipients to private sector jobs.

    The state Budget Brown just signed relies on the voters passing a proposal for more taxes in November. I know I wouldn’t vote to tax myself more.
    http://lao.ca.gov/reports/2010/bud/fiscal_outlook/fiscal_outlook_2010.aspx

  222. 472
    pfft says:

    By whatsmyname @ 467:

    For Scotsman:

    http://blog.seattlepi.com/hottopics/2012/06/28/cnn-fox-news-botch-obamacare-ruling/

    fox is understandable, there is no excuse for CNN.

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