Posted by: 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.

43 responses to “Weekly Open Thread (2014-04-14)”

  1. Kary L. Krismer

    By Macro Investor @ 56:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 55

    That’s funny. You might as well blame Henry Ford, since you can go back as far in history as you want to find who was first to grab power or ignore a political crime.

    When it comes to presidents I don’t like going back any further than Johnson, because he’s the first president I knew. That’s because the first time I learned we even had a president was the day JFK was shot.

    I’d be curious why you think the US economic success came from the federal gov. Why wouldn’t a simple monetary union and free trade agreement accomplish the same thing?

    I think having a sovereign power over the states is better than states merely having treaties with one another. Changes to treaties would be far to time consuming. Also, you’re much less likely to have border issues transporting goods.

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  2. Kary L. Krismer

    I assume the property owner is responsible for these charges. I haven’t been following the story close enough to know the relationship of the owner to the “mad scientist.”

    http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Cost-of-cleaning-up-toxic-Seattle-home-mounts-over-300000-255199321.html

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  3. ChrisM

    “A software company that promises to help Americans avoid the annual misery of filing their IRS returns has, in fact, spent years trying to convince lawmakers to make sure filing taxes remains difficult, thus protecting its business, a new report found.

    [snip]

    The owner of Turbo Tax, Intuit has spent at least $11.5 million on a federal lobbying effort over five years (spending more than Amazon or Apple) in an attempt to make sure the way Americans pay their taxes doesn’t change”

    http://rt.com/usa/turbo-tax-harder-than-necessary-500/

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  4. softwarengineer

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 2

    Be Careful Buying Top Soil

    When some companies compost they throw anything into the pile, even toxic waste. Some yards in the recent past have been ruined trying to add new contaminated top soil from vendors or sacks.

    I do my own composts by mulching the weeds right back into the lawn. I think weed killer [chemical fertilizers too] should be banned anywhere there’s water supplies under the neighborhood…..after 20 years the weed killer seeps and gets in our tap water. They’re toxic to breath the fumes and touch too.

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  5. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: ChrisM @ 3 – This just seems like sensationalized reporting–trying to make a story where none exists.

    Return free filing seems like an incredibly simplistic but stupid idea. Yes banks and employers report income to the IRS, but that is not the only source of income that needs to be reported on the return. And in effect we do have a form of that because if you forget to report say $200 of interest income the IRS will send you a bill. But beyond that, how is the IRS supposed to know your filing status (e.g. married, single, head of household)? Without knowing that they wouldn’t know how much to bill or return.

    You’d need to have a much different tax code for that type of system to work, and that is likely why we don’t have that type of system. Tax reform is too hard for Congress to accomplish.

    Finally, the premise of the article is a bit absurd. With our current code those who could take advantage of this would probably file 1040EZ forms, and I think you can do that for free with Turbotax’s website. And with such a return there’s also the old fashioned way of filing a return. I really doubt these people are a great source of revenue for Intuit.

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  6. softwarengineer

    RE: ChrisM @ 3

    Same With Pot Legalization

    The foreign corporist lobbyists buy off most of our two party politicians and they don’t want pot legal [who's skimming drug money from organised crime?] stealing profits from mainstream tobacco and alchohol too. The wants of our general legal majority voter population are ants to squished.

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  7. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: softwarengineer @ 6 – Just wait until the politicians realize that they can tax weed and spend even more money! If it progresses like the legalization of gambling pretty soon we’ll have vending machines disbursing crack.

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  8. ChrisM

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 7 – “Colorado, the first state to tax legalized recreational marijuana sales, expects to bring in an estimated $98 million in revenue this year, exceeding the state’s original expectations by 40 percent.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/11/us-colorado-marijuana-idUSBREA3A1X720140411

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  9. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: ChrisM @ 8 – I wonder what the needless expenses saved number would be? That would add considerably to the pot too. (Pun intended.)

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  10. Blake

    They are incredibly clever…
    http://www.propublica.org/article/turbotax-maker-linked-to-grassroots-campaign-against-free-simple-tax-filing
    -snip- Over the last year, a rabbi, a state NAACP official, a small town mayor and other community leaders wrote op-eds and letters to Congress with remarkably similar language on a remarkably obscure topic. Each railed against a long-standing proposal that would give taxpayers the option to use pre-filled tax returns. They warned that the program would be a conflict of interest for the IRS and would especially hurt low-income people, who wouldn’t have the resources to fight inaccurate returns.

    And don’t hold your breath waiting for this Congress to do anything that might help common Americans and cut into the profits of a large corporation like Intuit.
    Here’s what Congress will do:
    http://ourfuture.org/20140415/dont-let-these-zombie-corporate-tax-breaks-come-back-to-life
    Today, as millions of Americans rush to file their taxes before tonight’s midnight deadline, corporate lobbyists are digging up the graveyard and working to bring these tax breaks back from the dead.

    These are the very tax breaks that enable major corporations to earn billions in profits while paying little or no taxes – or, in some cases, get big payouts.

    Take General Electric, the company that used to say “we bring good things to life.” What it’s trying to bring to life now is a tax loophole that allowed it to not only pay zero income taxes in the past five years on profits of $28 billion, but actually enabled it to receive checks from federal taxpayers totaling $3 billion, according to the group Americans for Tax Fairness.

    Best Congress money can buy!
    http://billmoyers.com/2014/04/03/an-army-of-lobbyists-is-quietly-fighting-for-budget-busting-corporate-tax-breaks/
    -snip- An army of corporate lobbyists is trying to push a huge package of tax cuts through Congress without drawing public attention. The 55 cuts, known on Capitol Hill as “extenders,” expired at the end of 2013 but in the past have been renewed retroactively on a bipartisan basis with little fanfare. Altogether, according to the Congressional Budget Office, they could cost the federal government $46 billion in revenues in 2014 and as much as $700 billion over the next 10 years.

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  11. wreckingbull

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 5 – Repeat after me, Kary.

    “If it is free, YOU are the product.”

    Intuit does not offer the free service out of charity, and this is why they are trying to buy this piece of legislation. To me, the real story is how little it costs to buy legislation these days. That is downright cheap.

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  12. ChrisM

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 5 – “Return free filing seems like an incredibly simplistic but stupid idea. Yes banks and employers report income to the IRS, but that is not the only source of income that needs to be reported on the return.”

    Hmm, England somehow muddles through: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pay-as-you-earn_tax

    For the vast majority of Americans, what, other than employers (and govt welfare) is a source of reportable income?

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  13. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: ChrisM @ 12 – Does England have separate tax rates for single, married and head of household? No one has addressed that issue, and that is only one reason this is unworkable here.

    And again, ignoring the filing status issue, the only people this would work for in our current tax system are people who can either use a 1040EZ or file a return electronically for free. Again not a big source of income for Intuit.

    I would also note that over on Facebook Ira joked today that with lower IRS budgets it was now safe to claim excessive dependents, etc. because the audit risk was lower. That brings up the point that this also wouldn’t work for anyone who can claim someone else as a dependent.

    Don’t get me wrong. I would like a simpler tax code, but I don’t expect to see that happen. Until it does, this system is just not workable and the story is just another BS piece written by someone with a degree in journalism.

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  14. Kary L. Krismer

    By ChrisM @ 12:

    Hmm, England somehow muddles through: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pay-as-you-earn_tax

    For the vast majority of Americans, what, other than employers (and govt welfare) is a source of reportable income?

    That link doesn’t seem to say what you claim, nor is England one of the countries mentioned in the main piece above (Spain, Denmark and Sweden are mentioned). Seemingly England just has a withholding system similar to ours.

    But to answer your second question there is interest, dividends, unemployment compensation, some payments for support or alimony, winnings, sales of assets, etc.

    On the other side there are things like the Earned Income Credit, qualification for which isn’t dependent only on income.

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  15. Blake

    Ominous… “The death of mortgage lending”??
    http://www.housingwire.com/blogs/1-rewired/post/29650-christopher-whalen-the-death-of-mortgage-lending
    -snip- Were there no CFPB or Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, banks and non-banks alike would be backing away from the mortgage business. The significant withdrawal of players such as Nationstar and Bank of America from retail lending, and the collapse of the mortgage wholesale and correspondent markets, is just the start of a more generalized retreat of capital from residential mortgage lending that has its origins long before 2010, before Dodd-Frank passed and the CFPB was created.

    The simple reason for this statement is that the mortgage business, as it stands today, is not particularly profitable, in a nominal sense.

    If you actually take the time to look at mortgage lending based on a risk-adjusted return on capital, it quickly becomes clear that no rational investor would want to put capital behind a standalone lending operation.

    The reality is that mortgage lending is a tough, miserable business with shrinking spreads and rising costs.

    Without the opportunity for outsized gains on sale into a vibrant securitization market, there are really few incentives for many lenders to stay in the game. Indeed, most large lenders are targeting significant net reductions in loan servicing portfolios over the next several years.

    The mortgage market is in a sustained decline in terms of retained portfolios, loan sales and new origination volumes from the unsustainable levels of 2001-2007.

    And no one entity can be held responsible.

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  16. pfft

    no shhh?

    Losing Benefits Isn’t Prodding Unemployed Back to Work
    http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/losing-benefits-isnt-prodding-unemployed-back-to-work/

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  17. ChrisM

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 14 – I stole that link from an article about taxes (http://yro.slashdot.org/story/14/04/15/1450227/slashdot-asks-how-do-you-pay-your-taxes). People from England, Denmark and at least one other Northern European country chimed in about how the banks & companies submitted data to the taxing entity, such that normal citizens just basically had to approve the existing tax figure, with a minimum of fuss. Of course in the US banks and companies do that as well, so one wonders what is left to do on the IRS side.

    I rhetorically asked about sources of income, and as I expected, you came back with a bunch of examples, which, I argue, do not apply to 75% of the tax-paying population (but dividends & unemployment etc. could trivially get submitted to the IRS if it doesn’t already happen). I expect winnings fall under Bank Secrecy Act or something similar. Sale of assets – somehow Craigslist must have some good lobbyists!!! :-)

    I submit (with no facts to back me up) that a majority use 1040EZ. A five-second google returned nothing useful, but that would actually be interesting to learn. Does anyone know the breakdown (both by census count and by dollar amount) breakdowns of which 1040 form gets filed?

    Since I run a Nevada S-corp, I of course understand the additional sources of income, etc. But the tax-paying woes of a business owner is a separate rant…

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  18. ChrisM

    RE: pfft @ 16 – As Kary repeatedly states, you don’t understand links you yourself post. From your own link: “Three months is too small a sample to draw firm conclusions”

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  19. softwarengineer

    RE: pfft @ 16

    What Work?

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  20. Blurtman

    RE: pfft @ 16

    Obsolete!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJyqlxoLuvo
    (1:26)

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  21. Kary L. Krismer

    By ChrisM @ 17:

    I submit (with no facts to back me up) that a majority use 1040EZ. A five-second google returned nothing useful, but that would actually be interesting to learn. Does anyone know the breakdown (both by census count and by dollar amount) breakdowns of which 1040 form gets filed?

    Don’t forget about the 1040A–I think it still exists. With most homeowners likely itemizing, although perhaps in smaller numbers now that interest rates have dropped, I would suspect that the 1040 is the most common return filed. I too have no data though.

    What we could have is an even more simplified tax return. One that just had marital status and number of dependents along with a statement that the party had no income other than that which they received a W2, 1099, etc. Then the only math would be counting the number of kids! ;-)

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  22. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: pfft @ 16 – There are a lot of responses to that short post.

    1. As Softwarengineer notes, the job market really isn’t that good, despite the falling unemployment rate. We live in a world where our economy sucks so badly that a jobs report which almost stays even with population growth is considered a good jobs report.

    2. As Blurtman implies, it’s harder for older people to get work, and thus they would be more likely to be in the long term unemployed.

    3. I would add that it’s really unclear what that data shows. I’ve always heard that it’s easiest to get a job while you still have your current one, and the longer you’re unemployed the harder it is to find new employment. The data could be showing that.

    4. Assuming #3 is true, then it’s possible the extension of long term unemployment benefits was a trap for the unwary, sort of like the very low minimum payments credit cards used to have. Taking advantage of either the extended benefits or low minimum payments could put a person into a serious financial trap. If so, this would be yet another example of politicians hurting people by trying to help them.

    5. Finally, I would add that this isn’t really surprising. The United States re-elected a totally incompetent and ineffectual president, and one who has accomplished very little in any area in the past two years. On the bright side he’s so ineffectual he’s no longer doing much to harm the job market, but I suspect by the end of his term the job market will still suck. If so, the ranks of the permanently unemployed will have swelled even higher as those over 50 continue to lose their jobs and continue to face a lousy job market.

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  23. pfft

    By ChrisM @ 18:

    RE: pfft @ 16 – As Kary repeatedly states, you don’t understand links you yourself post. From your own link: “Three months is too small a sample to draw firm conclusions”

    ha ha.

    Still, the early evidence is consistent with other research.

    anyone who has looked at this issue already knew what the answer would be. the research said it wouldn’t work. there are many more people looking for work than job openings. demand doesn’t just suddenly spike because you take away unemployment benefits. demand is what creates jobs.

    research has shown that unemployment benefits only keep people unemployment about a week longer.

    if cutting unemployments benefits were working we wouldn’t hear anything about 3 months sample size.

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  24. pfft

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 22:

    RE: pfft @ 165. Finally, I would add that this isn’t really surprising. The United States re-elected a totally incompetent and ineffectual president, and one who has accomplished very little in any area in the past two years. On the bright side he’s so ineffectual he’s no longer doing much to harm the job market

    you’re joking right? nobody did more for the unemployed than Obama during the great recession. His stimulus saved millions and millions of jobs. It’s Republicans that have hurt job creation not Obama. What is funny is you still probably think that Obama telling bailed out bankers they probably shouldn’t party in Vegas for a few years hurt the economy.

    Obama hasn’t been able to pass his economic agenda. The only thing he has really done is keep the Republicans from defaulting on our debts.

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  25. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: pfft @ 24 – Yes I’m serious. Obama’s only job creation ideas (his “economic agenda”) involve spending government money rather than encouraging a sound economic system. The spending idea was good the first year of his presidency, and foolish thereafter.

    I note you haven’t disputed my claim that Obama hasn’t accomplished anything significant in the past two years. It is rather ironic that the president who has made the most attacks on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is also probably the weakest president in my lifetime, if not in US history. It’s rather sad that the presidential candidate who promised to end partisanship and gridlock in DC managed to create more of it than any other president in in my lifetime.

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  26. Kary L. Krismer

    I remembered that Ardell had a post over at RCG right after the election and that I commented. I just looked up what I wrote back then:

    This might not surprise anyone, but I really don’t think a lot of either party. So I’m neither happy nor sad about the results of the Presidential election. I do think it a bit funny that the same people that voted in Democrats two years ago, falling hook line and sinker for their claims of wanting to end the Iraq war now think that Democrats now have a solution for the economic situation, but whatever. I do hope they have better ideas this time!

    The real benefit of this will be maintaining balance in the Supreme Court. [balance addresses the Supreme Court and a jab at Congress.]

    Unfortunately, the Democrats didn’t have any better ideas and Obama turned out worse than I imagined possible.

    http://raincityguide.com/2008/11/04/president-barak-obama/

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  27. pfft

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 25:

    RE: pfft @ 24 – Yes I’m serious. Obama’s only job creation ideas (his “economic agenda”) involve spending government money rather than encouraging a sound economic system. The spending idea was good the first year of his presidency, and foolish thereafter.

    I note you haven’t disputed my claim that Obama hasn’t accomplished anything significant in the past two years. It is rather ironic that the president who has made the most attacks on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is also probably the weakest president in my lifetime, if not in US history. It’s rather sad that the presidential candidate who promised to end partisanship and gridlock in DC managed to create more of it than any other president in in my lifetime.

    “Obama’s only job creation ideas (his “economic agenda”) involve spending government money rather than encouraging a sound economic system.”

    Hilarious. During a liquidity trap THAT IS THE SINGLE MOST SIGNIFICANT THING YOU CAN DO! Your statement is like saying when I was drowning the only thing you could think of was sending a lifeguard in to save me.

    “It’s rather sad that the presidential candidate who promised to end partisanship and gridlock in DC managed to create more of it than any other president in in my lifetime.”

    he’s been filibustered at every turn. republicans don’t support things they themselves used to champion. I wonder why?

    “rather than encouraging a sound economic system.”

    right. like saving the banks. like passing dodd-frank? like obamacare?

    It is rather ironic that the president who has made the most attacks on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is also probably the weakest president in my lifetime, if not in US history.”

    I guess you really don’t know anything about the country or US history. nothing the president has done is unconstitional. what has he done that’s been rule unconstitutional? nothing! that doesn’t mean I agree with them but nothing has been ruled unconstitutional.

    “”I note you haven’t disputed my claim that Obama hasn’t accomplished anything significant in the past two years.”

    he’s been blocked at every turn! still he reduced the deficit, stopped republicans from defaulting on our debt and he passed a tax increase on the richest americans which will reduce the deficit, allow us to not cut needed programs and will reduce inequality.

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  28. pfft

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 26:

    I remembered that Ardell had a post over at RCG right after the election and that I commented. I just looked up what I wrote back then:

    This might not surprise anyone, but I really don’t think a lot of either party. So I’m neither happy nor sad about the results of the Presidential election. I do think it a bit funny that the same people that voted in Democrats two years ago, falling hook line and sinker for their claims of wanting to end the Iraq war now think that Democrats now have a solution for the economic situation, but whatever. I do hope they have better ideas this time!

    The real benefit of this will be maintaining balance in the Supreme Court. [balance addresses the Supreme Court and a jab at Congress.]

    Unfortunately, the Democrats didn’t have any better ideas and Obama turned out worse than I imagined possible.

    http://raincityguide.com/2008/11/04/president-barak-obama/

    yeah the “only” think obama did was pass a historic stimulus that saved and created millions of jobs.

    what was your idea? LOL. be sure to measure the effects on jobs(it better be in the millions!) and GDP. I want lots of detail. like this:

    New CBO Report: Up to 2 Million People Still Owe Their Jobs to the Recovery Act
    http://www.offthechartsblog.org/new-cbo-report-up-to-2-million-people-still-owe-their-jobs-to-the-recovery-act/

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  29. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: pfft @ 27 – Obama has been filibustered because he is very unlikable and created a very partisan situation in DC. I know Democrats who can’t stand Obama.

    Obamacare didn’t add jobs–it reduced jobs. It was incredibly stupid to push for that when jobs were an issue.

    I know your memory is very short, but part of Obamacare was ruled unconstitutional, on Tenth Amendment grounds, something that is very difficult to do. And in any case, the intentional killing of US citizens by drone is clearly unconstitutional. What I believe you meant to say is nothing he has done has been ruled unconstitutional, but even there you would be wrong.

    Again I know your memory sucks, but my position favored the increased spending initially. Perhaps even more spending than what was done. It’s the spending that was more than about 12-18 months out I have had a problem with.

    Finally, this goes way beyond your memory, but back then I was saying they needed to do more to encourage business lending, like they were doing to encourage home loans. That could have put a ton of people to work.

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  30. softwarengineer

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 29

    Yes Kary

    But the QEs under Obama [borrowing treasuries] and Keller’s ambiguous good/bad report on the economy cause a sudden surge in stock prices today, they say….at least the home buyers got 3-4% mortgage interest from the never-ending QEs, if longterm CDs can stomache like 1% interest much longer.

    I’m not sure this was all Obama’s fault/doing, I imagine Bush would have done the same.

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  31. Kary L. Krismer

    By softwarengineer @ 30:

    I’m not sure this was all Obama’s fault/doing, I imagine Bush would have done the same.

    I think they would have started out the same, if Bush could have gone another term. But Bush wouldn’t have been so anti-business. No one knows what he would have done after the first year. He couldn’t have been much worse.

    That said, it the choice had been between Bush and Obama I would have favored Obama at the time, just to get change. The choice between Obama and McCain was blah. Change was a part of the reason I supported Romney over Obama, although by 2012 it was clear Obama was a miserable failure, so that wasn’t too hard of a choice. A harder choice would have been Obama vs some of the other primary contenders, particularly Santorum (sp?) and Rick Perry. But I never like the candidates anyway. The last one I liked was Clinton the first time, and I soon hated him.

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  32. softwarengineer

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 31

    In Many Ways Kary

    I’m the more liberal version of you, albeit we agree on politics it seems anyway…..the last good candidates I remember came from the “real liberal” Earth Day [pro-depopulation]heydays of America. I’d take Nixon [he was pro-depopulation in America too] over the hopeless crop we’ve had since Carter….today’s politicians aren’t liberal or conservative in my book anymore….they’re both more “foreign corporate fascist” bent and both for cheap labor flooding into America; no matter what the environmental/economic MASSIVE debt and/or collapse its currently causing.

    Thank God the schools are starting to put overpopulation back into text books again and making it demographic science again. There is hope.

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  33. softwarengineer

    RE: softwarengineer @ 32

    BTW Kary

    HAPPY EARTH DAY for depopulation in America…..its this Tuesday and I love wearing tee shirts and polos advertising it. It irritates the open border pundit Dem/Reps…..they glare at my shirts….LOL

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  34. pfft
  35. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: pfft @ 34 – Apparently he doesn’t have a Nobel price in statistics.

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  36. wreckingbull

    RE: pfft @ 34 – While it has done better than Republicans hoped, if you are at any way satisfied with what we have now, you have a remarkably low bar. Of course, this does not surprise me.

    Just curious, which plan on Washington Health Plan Finder did you select?

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  37. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: wreckingbull @ 36 – Irrelevant would be too strong of word–incomplete would be better. It’s incomplete data because you don’t know many things about the 8 million, including most importantly how many already had insurance. That Krugman would even point to such data is extremely surprising, and the reason for my post 35.

    On the topic of Nobel prizes, we now know why Obama was surprisingly given a Nobel Peace Prize! Apparently it has nothing to do with peace, but instead has to do with the recipients understanding climate change!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/susan-caseylefkowitz/nobel-peace-prize-laureat_b_5158681.html

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  38. pfft

    By wreckingbull @ 36:

    RE: pfft @ 34 – While it has done better than Republicans hoped, if you are at any way satisfied with what we have now, you have a remarkably low bar. Of course, this does not surprise me.

    baby steps. I don’t have a low bar, I have a very high bar. I eventually want single payer and wished Obama had fought for it more.

    Don’t act Obamacare isn’t a big deal.

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  39. pfft

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 37:

    RE: wreckingbull @ 36 – Irrelevant would be too strong of word–incomplete would be better. It’s incomplete data because you don’t know many things about the 8 million, including most importantly how many already had insurance. l

    kary don’t you follow a long at all? I believe I’ve posted how many people who signed up didn’t have insurance. pay attention!

    http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-rand-20140408,0,6208659.column

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  40. pfft

    Republicans are denying 5 million people healthcare.

    Obama Blasts GOP Govs Turning Down Medicaid Expansion: ‘That’s Wrong’
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/obama-blasts-gop-govs-medicaid-expansion

    A recent study said thousands will die because Republican states refuse to expand health insurance.

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  41. Blurtman

    Basketball Commissioner Says NBA is “Too Black.”

    http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2023397167_wwutoowhitexml.html

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  42. Kary L. Krismer

    By pfft @ 39:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 37:
    RE: wreckingbull @ 36 – Irrelevant would be too strong of word–incomplete would be better. It’s incomplete data because you don’t know many things about the 8 million, including most importantly how many already had insurance. l

    kary don’t you follow a long at all? I believe I’ve posted how many people who signed up didn’t have insurance. pay attention!

    http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-rand-20140408,0,6208659.column

    First, that’s not the data Krugman was pointing to.

    As to that data, it indicates the number of new insureds is about 1 million people in the private market. “Of the 3.9 million people counted by Rand as obtaining insurance on the individual exchange market, 36% were previously uninsured. That ratio is expected to rise when the late signups are factored in.” I’m underwhelmed.

    It does indicate that about 8 million people became employed and obtained insurance by that route, and suggests not many companies dropped insurance (as say UPS did for spouses). And that about 6 million got it through Medicaid.

    So basically about 15 million more people have insurance, and only 1 million of those are related to Obamacare totally screwing up the private insurance market. If it wasn’t for Obamacare more people would likely be employed and insured for that reason. So it’s possible Obamacare has hurt the number of insured. And we still aren’t to the point yet where all the people who will drop because they can no longer afford it will have done so.

    As to your next post, the reason some states didn’t expand Medicaid is that it’s a fiscal trap. The federal government will only pay for it for a limited number of years and when they stop the states cannot go back to the original Medicaid coverage. Presumably the Republican states are more fiscally responsible than the Democratic party states.

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  43. pfft

    By Blurtman @ 41:

    Basketball Commissioner Says NBA is “Too Black.”

    http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2023397167_wwutoowhitexml.html

    nice try.

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