Actually, why would anyone with a functioning brain and a remnant of honesty vote Democratic?
Actually, why would anyone with a functioning brain and a remnant of honesty vote Republican?The current Federalists are peas in a pod.If one hopes for change, the status que in Washington DC will not provide it.A return to Compassionate Conservatism, interventionist foreign policies, and a thousand Federally funded points of light is not a path to prosperity.Gary Johnson and the Librarians in 2012 and beyond offer hope for change. Neither Republicans or Democrats can say the same.Both will provide US another round of Goldman Sachs economic management.
The decision to leave Jerusalem out of the Democratic Party platform this year is perplexing only if you have not been paying attention to Obama's flagrant support of the Muslim Brotherhood and appeal to Moslems to support the Democrats. Concerning Israel, there are two political forces operating on Obama: 1) the Jewish vote, 2) the Moslem vote at home and placating the Moslems abroad. Obama's heart is clearly with the Moslems; he has said so himself; but he cannot afford to alienate the Jewish voters too abruptly or too much. He will continually push the envelope as much as he feels he can get away with toward favoring the Moslems.
"White House Changes Web Site In Passport Flap 08/11/11 Stewart Ain Staff Writer Pinterest LinkedIn Favorite Just days after the Zionist Organization of America pointed out in a legal brief that the U.S. government routinely refers to Jerusalem as a part of Israel, the White House changed its Web site to remove the designation. The ZOA’s brief had been filed with the U.S. Supreme Court as an amicus or friend of the court in a case that challenged the State Department’s decision to ignore a law requiring it to list “Israel” on the passports of Americans born in Jerusalem if their parents request it. The parents of Menachem Zivotofsky brought the case after the State Department said compliance with the law would infringe on the president’s foreign policy powers. In her brief, the ZOA’s lawyer, Susan Tuchman, pointed out that for years “departments and agencies in the Executive branch of the United States government have routinely referred to Jerusalem as part of the State of Israel. This designation has been a regular and accepted practice, without any evident impact on the president’s purported recognition power.” In addition, the brief said the “State Department will frequently defer to citizens’ personal preferences as to how their birthplace should be recorded. Indeed, for those citizens born in the U.S-recognized sovereign State of Israel, the State Department will disregard Israel’s sovereignty and honor citizens’ request not to have ‘Israel’ listed as their birthplace.” Thus, it said, people born before Israel became a state in 1948 in areas that are indisputably recognized by the U.S. today as under Israeli sovereignty may opt to have “Palestine” listed as their place of birth “even though Palestine is not and never has been a sovereign nation.” Five days after the Aug. 5 filing of the ZOA brief, the White House Web site suddenly changed captions under pictures of Vice President Joe Biden’s trip to Israel in March 2010 to remove references to Jerusalem being in Israel. The change was first reported in the New York Sun. “President [Barack] Obama and his administration should be ashamed of themselves for taking these outrageous actions which will surely do nothing to help the government’s case,” Tuchman said in a joint statement with ZOA President Morton Klein. “We are appalled that the White House would resort to such a transparent and shameful tactic in an effort to diminish the strength of the ZOA’s argument,” the statement added. “If anything, the White House’s actions show that the government recognizes the strength of the ZOA’s argument ….”
Who gives a crap?
People who aren't ignoramuses.Your comment defines you as the other.
.Just as your churlish attacks on the fair sex that visit here, Doug, define you.The comment was succinct and to the point something not always evident here (I plead guilty on that front myself).On this particular subject, I tend to agree with Gen..
Ms Crap is the fair sex?Her "mind" is crap.That she perhaps has a Vagina?Irrelevant.
.Whoops.I mean, "On this particular subject, I tend to agree with Jen."Since she appears to here so rarely, the typos come easy..
2 points for "churlish" tho.
- 3 points on "attacks"...not to include my outburst on Max/really Rufass, for which I apologized.Not accepted by some patrons or Deuce, apparently.You did.Thanks for that.
.Nonsense, Doug.Churlishness wasn't the first words that came to mind. You indulged in the same boorish language with Trish and she merely laughed at you.It's been so long since we've seen Mel; I don't recall how you talked of her.You're churlishness (along with my surliness) drove Max away. A loss for the blog. The blog is certainly diminished by the loss of the ladies. I would like to see them back even at the cost of me curtailing my surliness or if necessary not exchanging comments with them at all and you forgoing the pleasure of using the word cunt to a fellow blogger..
.My last comment was written before seeing your last post.I blame myself as much as you for Max leaving. Likewise, circumstances and the heat of the moment cause us all to say things we wish we hadn't. However, personal attacks affect different people differently. You rant at me and I laugh. Trish also laughed it off. Rufus used to.Others like Max say "I don't need this shit" or like Jenny say "Who gives a shit.".
.Doug, if you are still around today, I apologize for getting on you for basically doing things I tend to do myself, oftentimes shooting from the hip. Also, for bringing up an incident best fogotten.However, I do miss the ladies here. That's my only excuse.If you can forget about it just call me commie or an ignoranmus or something. You know it makes my day..
16. wretchard"Here’s my guess. The God and Jerusalem articles were removed because a large constituency in the Party wanted them specifically removed. They were so numerous that President Obama acceded to it in the days prior to the convention. But when a huge backlash began to form it was detected by his pollsters and the president did what he does so well: he becomes for something after he was against it. So he told his flunkeys in the DNC to change the wording. Not because he believes in either God or Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but for political convenience.---Nope.BHO knew what was in there and had no objection to Jerusalem, at least, for sure:That was, and is, the administration's position, unless a party platform overrides an administration's stated policy. My bet is he was fine with Godlessness too, until he wasn't: He certainly had plenty of time and opportunity to object, but didn't, until he had to.When he saw the blowback, he knew they had to make a strategic retreat, quick-like.Having Villaretardo be the master of disaster provided the perfect Orwellian Comedic Atmosphere.More on Retardo to follow, I will search my previous efforts submitted here which I have archived on my private (searchable) blogger archival blog.---— not really on point, but revealing, I’ll find something to the point tommorrow: - The All-About-Me Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa At a minimum cost of $200,000 per wax statue, the team needed to be thorough and precise, especially since the mayor is all set to become one of 80 celebrities featured at the new Madame Tussaud’s, opening on Hollywood Boulevard next spring — further fulfillment of the fame Villaraigosa avidly pursues.Holland says the wax-sculpting team not only makes an exact copy of its subject but “is also able to discern the character and personality of a person, which makes our creations so lifelike.”It’s unknown what the team learned about Villaraigosa’s character or personality. But the fact that the mayor so eagerly posed for a tribute to himself offered some telling clues.On the Red Carpet at the Oscars: Mayor Villaraigosa is Maniacal
The same can be said for Mr Romney not objecting to a Party Platform plank concerning rape, incest and abortion that does not mirror any of his varied his own stated positions on that subject. Or the GOP platform does mirror Mr Romney's currently held private views, but he flipped another flop after Mr Akin's remarks on rape and procreation.
Religion has no place in politics. In fact, our Constitution more or less forbids Government involvement in Theistic matters.
You sir are FOS.The Founders repeatedly refer to God and The Lord.Godless, Socialist Moron.
Religion and God are not one and the same. While rufus references religion, as did the Founders, doug makes the argument about God, which the Founders avoided. This is readily seen in the crafting of the 1st Amendment. Where religion is taken out of the Federal sphere, with no mention of God, at all.Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; ...The free exercise of a Godless religion is a right protected from Federal interference.
Not in the Constitution, they didn't.
Where in the Constitution, doug, is God mentioned?Chapter and verse, please.In the Declaration the Creator is mention, but not any particular God.
Chance of rain at Obama speech time: 0%...Resident Socialist will have latest Democrat Talking Point Rebuttal coming up shortly.
Forget the rain, Those tickets were for the Democratic World Series, what happens to those 50,000 ticket holders?They did exist, didn’t they?
If those tickets were paid for, the holders could get a refund. If they were freebies, no harm no foul.It is amazing though that on FOX News the discussion was about Mr Clinton going over his allotted time, which was to be expected and now the venue of Mr Obama's speech is the talking point.Avoidance of the content of either speech, the point of primary importance to Mr Obama's opponents.Mr Clinton made a series of arguments that were quite effective, if anyone in the "undecided" category was listening.
.I didn't watch the Clinton speech but I did watch a bunch of the highlights from it on CNN. Don't know if CNN was merely looking for quotable one-liners (probable) or if those were the actual highlights but most of them seemed to be the usual talking points.In other instances, such as with the jobs numbers, he was clearly blowing smoke out his ass.Even when I was hoping he would get a cumuppance, I couldn't help liking Clinton. Now, years later, with some of the good work he has been doing, you kind of forget some of the bullshit he pulled. I like the guy. However, he is an anachronism in today's Democratic Party, a party that is defined by the far left as much as the GOP is defined by the far right. He would have to change his views quite a bit to be accepted today. This point has been made in a number of articles lately by writers both foreign and domestic.As one Dem operative put it (paraphrased) "We don't want Clinton the man. We want Clinton the Myth.".
I would say, Q, that with Mrs Clinton in the #3 spot of the Obama Administration, Mr Clinton's views are not far from the mainstream of that Party. ObamaCare is a Heritage Foundation/Romney proposal which is as "Conservative" as it gets, in DC. Not a "Far Left" program at all. In deed, in 2009 Mr Romney called it the "Conservative" option for a national health care program. I've posted the link to the video previously.The Democrats position on Afghanistan, rendition and predator strikes in Yemen and Pakistan, not "Far Left".I would agree, with you, on the Democrats preferring "Clinton the Myth" to the actual man. The Myth was there, last night, in full force. A much better introduction to Mr Obama's nomination than Mr Christie provided for Mr Romney in Tampa.
My reasons for voting Democratic are:1) Renewable Energy2) Healthcare3) Taxes4) Foreign Wars5) The Economic Health of the Country in General (Deficit, etc.)
5) The Economic Health of the Country in General (Deficit, etc.)Can't wait to see you explain that one!
Throwing the Medicaid seniors out of the extended care facilities, which would be the result of Romney/Ryan's immediate 33% cut to the Medicaid budget would be detrimental to the health of the country.Both economic and physical.
The knowledge (that I've been posting here for weeks) that 2/3rds of Medicaid Expenditures go to Seniors hit the Dems, last night, like a ton of bricks. The Dems aren't a hell of a lot smarter than the pubs.
Oh, I forgot:You claim BHO has reduced spending!!!!!!!!!!!
I've posted the numbers before.
Mr Romney would immediately increase the deficit by $5 trillion dollars, from the current Obama baseline.Mr Romney would bankrupt Medicare by 2016 with the repeal of Obamacare, a full seven years before the Romney/Ryan Vochercare program would be instituted, in 2023.
Any asshole can shout out hate-filled rhetoric; but HERE are the Numbers from the Treasury Dept:In the 10th month (July) of Bush's last budget (2009) The Government had Spent (Outlays) $3,007,132,000.00.Treas Statement of July, 2009By the end of July This Year the government had spent $2,982,507.00.Treas Statement for July, 2012
$3,007,132,000.00 - $2,982,507,000.00 = $24,625,000.00Expenditures are $24,625,000.00 Less this year than in the same period in bush's last budget year.
As Bill Clinton so succinctly put it last night, "Arithmetic."Most of the Jews I've known were pretty good at 'rithmetic.
."Arithmetic"You are hilarious at times. You define lying with statistics..
The common denominator, Q.
Those aren't "Statistics," Q. Those are the Cold, Hard Numbers from the Treasury Dept.A Balance Sheet is NOT "statistics." A Balance Sheet is a Balance Sheet.
.See my answer below..
.What is the message you are trying to convey with these statistics, Ruf?.
That Obama Has Not "exploded" spending. He's, actually, bringing spending under control.Once we get the rest of the troops out of Afghanistan, and get back to Clinton-era tax policy we should be within striking distance of a balanced budget, AGAIN.
And, mostly, I was just responding to Doug's 10:39 snarky comment.
Seems, to me, to be an answer to ...DougThu Sep 06, 10:39:00 AM EDTOh, I forgot:You claim BHO has reduced spending!!!!!!!!!!!
.Isolated numbers don't prove a point.You look at expenditures (something that has little to do with budgets these days) for two points in time and try to make the case that Obama has decreased spending over his time in office by what amounts to a rounding error..
Twenty Six Billion Dollars is a "rounding error?"I seem to remember that when ethanol was getting "four billion" it was a big thing.A 1/2 billion in a solar company goes bad, and it's headline after headline.And, "expenditures" aren't, somehow, "important," now? Now that they're going down?You're sliding off into Doug's Bizarro-land, Q'ster.
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.I never said expenditures weren't important. It was merely a tangential reference to your use of the terms "Bush Budget" and "Obama Budget" especially since Obama was president for most of 2009 budget period and I'm sure the Obama stimulus package wasn't included in the Bush budget since it was voted on and signed after Obama took office..
.With regard to the great job Obama has done in reducing expenditures, A reduction in expenditures of 0.8% over three and a half years from a base that included both Tarp and the some percentage of the Obama stimulus plan.Impressive..
"We are all Keynesians now" is a famous phrase coined by Milton Friedman and attributed to U.S. president Richard Nixon. It is popularly associated with the reluctant embrace in a time of financial crisis of Keynesian economics by individuals such as Nixon who had formerly favored monetarist policies.
On Varney, this morning, the rebuttal to the Democrat answer to the question ..."Are you better off now than four years ago?" Was to say that "Four Years" comparing September '08 to September '12, October '08 to October '12, that four years ago the US was losing 750,000 jobs per month as compared to gaining over 150,000 now, was "Cherry Picking".Comical.
.Not comical at all.The 750,000 per month figure was at the height of the crisis. If we had kept up that pace, we would have been out of jobs to lose at this point.It was a major recession not the apocalypse. There were businesses that were still getting by and if you have a going concern there is a limit to how much you can cut staff.Bottom line is over the past few years job growth has been abysmal..
.Also, who are all these people that are better off now than four years ago?Just asking..
Well, that's pretty simple; something like 90% of the income growth has gone to the top 1%.
And, I got news for you. It came within an eyelash of Being he Apocalypse. That was a close fuckin' call, brutha.And, as for "job growth," it's going to Be Abysmal for quite a while, regardless of who gets elected.The difference is, if the dems are elected it might be a bit better five or ten years from now.
.Yet, it was Tarp and the FED that stopped the initial freefall not Obama's stimulus plan.Once the system stabilized, the question becomes what have you done for me lately.Over the past four years, job growth hasn't kept up with population growth..
I would agree, Q, that job growth has been abysmal.But the GOP question ..."Are you better off than you were four years ago?"Is answered month over month, comparing now to four years ago.To then call that "Cherry Picking", comical.As to why job growth has been abysmal...The combined government payroll has been cut, across the country.While the private enterprise has enjoyed the lowest tax rates in my lifetime, and the highest corporate profits ever, they have done so by shipping jobs off shore. They are in charge of hiring, not the government.Manufacturing jobs have been in decline since 1979. The "Giant Sucking Sound" that Mr Perot often mentioned would be the result of bi-partisan "Trade Agreements", a reality. Those GM and Ford assembly plants in the seven States of Mexico that Mr Obama sees as part of the US, just a blatent example of the results of deliberate bi-partisan policy decisions.Mr Varney accused the Democrats of "Cherry Picking" the worse months of the Bush Administration, the Democratic reply, "Four years is four years". Mr Obama took charge at the crest of a systematic collapse of the financial sector. A huge loss of wealth on Wall Street and a collapse of the real estate market across the country.There is, was, no silver bullet that the Federals could have fired to have changed the course that had been charted. Taxes could not have been lowered to under 15% of GDP, which is where they are today. The lowest level of taxation in 60 years.The War in Iraq could not have been ended sooner.Afghanistan could have been wrapped up a bit quicker, but there were many voices in Congress calling for a even greater footprint, there, than approved by Mr Obama.Oil imports from outside North America are down, domestic production up. Alternatives to petroleum are making a substantial impact in that regard. 10% of our gasoline is now grown domestically.The US has ... "Stayed the Course!"
.Please, rat, it is cherry-picking. It's cynical. You take Bush's worst year and compare it to the present period where job growth is improved but barely keeping up with population growth and ignore the performance in the intervening years. It's cynical cherry-picking..
That's like saying "The Feds took Bernie Madoff's One Bad Year."
The question is really how is it, now, compared to when Obama took office.The answer is, truthfully, much improved.Now if the GOP were to ask ...How is it compared to six or seven years ago, when the US was on the "bubble", well that's another thing entirely.But that is not the question they were asking, in Tampa.No, they were echoing Mr Reagan, looking for some of his magic.Which was not institutional, but personal.To ask how Obama is doing, we have to compare it to when he took office, when the US WAS losing 750,000 jobs per month. When equity values were crashing. That is where we were when he took over the White House.Not at the height of the equity bubble.To say that Mr Obama has "under performed", well that is an easy argument to make ...Unless one compares the US to Europe.Japan, Korea or Oz.China is performing better, but no one in the US is advocating we mimic their style of State Capitalism. We have built a global economy, where the US is a major player, but not immune to the business cycles inherent to that global environment. Indeed compared to the rest of the global economy, the US is the safest haven. Evidenced by the capital flight, from "over there' to "here".Even the Chinese are "Buying American"
.I've stated my opinion that Obama took his eye off the ball during his first year on the biggest issue facing the US (in the view of the majority of citizens), the economy, and that his stimulus program was less than successful at creating jobs.At this point, there is no way of knowing if a different emphasis or approach would have made a difference back then; however, I agree there is little chance that government policies, GOP or Dem, will bring us out of the current funk. I've written as much here over the past couple days.What I blame Obama for is his initial promise to solve our problems, not so much his inability to do it but his rewriting of history to say he actually did, and his continued promises to address those problems using the same methods he has used in the past.That, and his cynical detachment from the whole thing.Obama to his peeps at the Jobs Council when asked about why his stimulus plan wasn't creating the jobs he promised:At this point, Obama smiled and interjected, “Shovel-ready was not as … uh .. shovel-ready as we expected.” The Council, led by GE’s Jeffrey Immelt, erupted in laughter.Obama smiled, one of the good old boys yucking it up with the other good old boys.In line with his statist perspective and denigration of small business owners. In his case, it's the attitude stupid...
That is why, Q, I support Gary Johnson of New Mexico to be elected President.He has no real chance, in 2012, but Imperial Rome was not dismantled in a day.But neither Mutt or Jeff even want to begin the long hard slog that will be required of US.
Look at how hard the Republicans have fought him on the Auto Bailout, and Job Retraining Programs.
It's hard to imagine a bigger "Jobs" program than the auto bailout.
.The auto bailout was a needed program, and deserved by the companies involved since both were cranking along, suboptimally to be sure but still cranking along, when they were blindsided by things beyond their crontrol.That being said, there is always something to complain about, in this case with government picking and choosing the winners and losers among the parties involved..
Okay, Obama took office on January 20, 2009. Let's look at Jan, 2009 vs Jan 2012.Jan, 2009, Expenditures, Year to Date were $1,342,562,000.00 Treas StatementNow, let's look at Jan, 2012 - $1,138,903,000.00 Treas Statement Jan$1,342,562,000.00 - $1,138,903,000.00 = $203,659,000.00.
The American dream is coming to an end and it’s the nice, grey-haired lady next door who is to blame, economist Laurence Kotlikoff told a banking conference in Zurich this week.That dream of prosperity – owning a home, building a business, perhaps even striking it rich – was a tantalizing prospect for generations of Americans. But it’s fading quickly thanks to a critical shift in demographics towards a much older population coupled with what Mr. Kotlikoff terms the “Ponzi” retirement scheme of recent decades.“The demographic change because of the level of benefits that the elderly are being told they’re going to receive, this demographic change is going to drive countries broke, particularly the U.S.,” warned Mr. Kotlikoff, a professor at economics at Boston University.The dramatic shift in demographics isn’t taking anyone by surprise. Birth rates have come down in developed countries like the U.S., while life expectancy has increased significantly over the past 50 years. The number of people over the age of 65 in the U.S. will rise to 20 per cent in 2050 from 13 per cent in 2009.Even the elderly will grow older: Mr. Kotlikoff highlighted projections that there will be 835,000 centenarians in the U.S. by 2050, enough to inhabit a city the size of Washington or San Francisco.As more of the population ages – the baby boomers are officially starting to retire now – there will be fewer workers. In 1970, there were 5.3 workers to a retiree in the U.S., by 2010 that ratio had slipped to 4.5 and by 2050 it will reach 2.6, according to Mr. Kotlikoff. The result is fewer workers to pay for those pensions.Mr. Kotlikoff is obviously no fan of what he terms the “take as you go” Second World War retirement policy, saying it would make even Bernie Madoff “blush.”He believes the costs are enormous but unknown to many Americans. The official U.S. debt stands at $11-trillion. But Mr. Kotlikoff prefers to look at the so-called fiscal gap, which takes into account all of the government’s spending along with taxes and other income. He calculates that figure is some $222-trillion U.S.The fiscal gap as a percentage of current GDP is 12 per cent in the U.S., higher than in European crisis-stricken countries like Greece and Italy, according to Mr. Kotlikoff.“The U.S. is actually in worse shape on the proper measure than Greece in terms of the fiscal position,” he said at the NZZ Capital Market Forum, a controversial viewpoint for the European attendees who are used to dire forecasts being reserved for their continent.An immediate and permanent tax hike of some 64 per cent would be required to close the gap, according to Mr. Kotlikoff. If ignored, the tally will become impossible for future generations to pay. One generations’ dream may be the next one’s nightmare.“This policy has also left our kids with an enormous bill,” Mr. Kotlikoff said. “What you’re seeing in this picture and in the other figures is the end of the American dream. That’s it.”
Mr Perry said much the same thing, about Social Security being a Ponzi Scheme.He was sent back to Texas.
It was designed that way - you do not save for social security but those that are working pay for those who are not. When the demographics shift and there are fewer young uns working than old collecting you have a problem. Maybe the US will open the floodgates and let immigration boost the population base......then again maybe not.
"I suspect Mr. Obama knows no more about ordinary people than Mr. Romney does. Like immense wealth, the White House tends to isolate a person. Mr. Obama is surrounded by people who tell him he walks on water – and, by most accounts, he believes it.But his greatest problem is that he doesn’t seem to know the old order is finished. He seems to think that all he needs to do is tax the rich, wait it out and soon the good times will return. That’s not a vision, or a plan. It’s a fantasy.What he really needs to talk about is the rights of the unborn. By the unborn, I mean his future grandchildren and all the other children of the next generation who will bear the burden of an entitlement machine that’s out of control. Forget about shrinking government. The size of government is about to grow as never before, Lawrence Summers, who was one of Mr. Obama’s top economic advisers, has argued in The Washington Post.There are three reasons, he says. First, the cost of old-age benefits (which are already 32 per cent of the federal budget) will explode as society ages. Second, interest payments on the federal debt will soar. And third, the complexity of the services that government buys (health care, education) will make them far more costly. The historical level of federal spending was 21 per cent. Today, it’s 24 per cent. Soon, Mr. Summers reckons, it will be 31 per cent.Cutting other spending, such as defence, won’t solve the problem. Entitlement spending now accounts for two-thirds of the U.S. budget. Half this spending goes to the old, and nearly half the country is on the dole. According to the Census Bureau, just over 49 per cent of U.S. households were using at least one government benefit to help support themselves in 2011. In the early 1980s, the number was about 30 per cent.The entitlements explosion was a bipartisan affair. Both Republicans and Democrats were responsible for it, and Mr. Bush was among the worst. But now, both parties are in full flight from reality. Neither will admit that simply meeting current levels of commitments will require massive increases in both taxes and (somehow) revenue. America has turned into a society that eats its young.Mr. Romney has nothing credible to say about this. But Mr. Obama doesn’t seem to know there’s a problem. If only he could bring himself to say, as he did in 2009, that it’s time for “a new era of responsibility.” That hopey changey stuff won’t cut it any more. Americans are still in crisis, and they’ll need more than happy talk to fix it."http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/hope-and-change-wont-cut-it-now/article4522169/
Not all Jews believe that Israel has a god given right to Jerusalem as its capital.
I would take all the "doomerism" with a grain of salt. We're in he middle of a paradigm shift, and those are always confusing.There's a reason why our bond yields are so low. The Pros know that we can change our "deficit" problem in a heartbeat by lowering our war expenditures, and letting the Bush Tax Cuts expire.As for "healthcare costs," they are experiencing the lowest rate of inflation in the last 50 years - 4% the last two years.
ya can't fix the entitlement problem (note the off book nature of many of the entitlements) in a heartbeat with the demographic trend as it is, you just can't.
It's not as bad as you think. Our main problem is "revenue" - and that gets solved on Jan. 1, 2013.
.There's a reason why our bond yields are so low. The Pros know that we can change our "deficit" problem in a heartbeat by lowering our war expenditures, and letting the Bush Tax Cuts expire.Big if's.Afghanistan would be a plus if and when we get out of there. However, I'll believe it when I see it.However, removal of the tax cuts would make a significant difference. The liklihood? Probably pretty slim. Neither party is talking about removing the tax cuts. The GOP wants no tax cuts. Obama promises to keep rates intact except for those making over $250k. However, since the higher rates would be on marginal income, the actual revenue gain would be relatively modest. And I am not arguing the fairness of the proposed cuts but rather their effectiveness. Remember that for even the rich they would still maintain their lower rates on the first $250k.And based on Obama's past performance (he has lowered taxes before and he politicked for last years extension of the Bush cuts) and Congressional politics, I wouldn't be surprised to see the following scenario play out if Obama wins.Congress argues about sequestration up to and beyond January 3. When the shit is about to hit the fan and the markets are tanking they reach a minor compromise that kicks the can farther down the road. There is a compromise on taxes that leaves most of the cuts in place but on a noticeably more progressive schedule.Net result: Both sides declare victory and we proceed as before with their eyes on 2016..
.The NLP has a catchy new slogan."TM for all or the alternative, bend over and kiss your ass goodbye."My peeps. You gotta love them..
"An immediate and permanent tax hike of some 64 per cent would be required to close the gap, according to Mr. Kotlikoff. If ignored, the tally will become impossible for future generations to pay. One generations’ dream may be the next one’s nightmare."64% tax hike will close the gap there rufus ole boy, in a heartbeat!
Ash, I have no idea who that guy is; and I don't care. Ink is cheap.I read silly bullshit every day. I've watched all kinds of 'experts' miss revenue estimates by Hundreds of Billions on a One-Year basis.Hell, just last year "experts" were giving all kinds of estimates about how large the SS Deficit would be This Year. As it turns out, Social Security is running a nice little SURPLUS this year.Take it all with a grain of salt, study the history, and use common sense, and arithmetic.
and the same to you ole boy - common sense plus arithmetic will tell you that the basic structure does not hold up when the demographics change and social security is but one entitlement not funded plus you add the deficit on the books coupled with the demographic problem and you have what we are seeing in the pension industry only writ large for America.
We have TWO Huge problems. Oil, and Retraining. Both are Solvable; and in Both instances, it's the Dems that have the answers.
What was that old syaing about GM 'So goes GM, so goes America' -? Well extrapolate thier pension and medical liabilities to America in general.
GM was blindsided by having a lot full of SUVs when gasoline went (under GW Bush) to $4.11/Gal.BTW, Carter warned us back in the seventies, but no one listened.
.The problem is that neither party is talking about 'real' solutions to the debt problems. The are both locked into their own ideological isolation chambers and they refuse to compromise, on 'principle'.There are numerous ways of addressing SS issue, many of them involving quite simple fixes; yet, neither party is willing to address them. There has been no mention of SS since the election cycle began. There is no mention of a fix in either Obama's nor Ryan's budgets. Not even any proposals on the table recently.If these guys can't resolve the simple problems like SS, how are they ever going to address the complicated ones like Medicare?.
.Doug, if you are still around today, I apologize for getting on you for basically doing things I tend to do myself, oftentimes shooting from the hip. Also, for bringing up an incident best fogotten.However, I do miss the ladies here. That's my only excuse.If you can forget about it just call me commie or an ignoranmus or something. You know it makes my day..
Well, I haven't forgotten about it. It was despicable, and stupid.
.It's a tough crowd here, Ruf, kinda heated and not much compromise.Maybe not the place a decent young lady should frequent.But I remember the times when the Muses held sway here, when T was a lesbian, Trish talked of purple shoes, and Mel gave us insights on her latest road trip.Good times.A lot more fun than talking politics all the time..
As to why a US Jew, especially one concerned about Israel, would vote for Mr Obama...In an interview on Fox News, Israel’s foreign minister (and former prime minister) Ehud Barak laid to rest the myth that the Obama administration is casting aside the U.S.’s special relationship with Israel.Baited by Fox host Greta Van Sustren on whether “Israelis [are] disenchanted a little bit with the Obama administration,” Barak responded:BARAK: No. Our countries are good friends. And I’m the minister of defense, I can tell you that I can hardly remember — I was in uniform for decades — I can hardly remember a better period of support, American support and cooperation and similar strategic understanding of events around us than what we have right now.
Here's the main reason you're not hearing much about SS, Quirk; Social Security, in the first 10 months of the fiscal year, is running a $81,209,000,000.00 Surplus.After running a $78,558,000,000.00 Surplus last year.Current Treas Statement
Yeah, and they are tucking that money away in a lock box for when the baby boomers START to retire and the demographics go to an inverted pear shape.
SS is what, about 5% of GDP?Projected to rise to maybe 6 or 7% of GDP?Gimmee a break.
.Well, then no problem, Ruf. Good to know.Heck, I was just going by what it said in the 2012 SSA Trustees Report. Those guys must not know what they are talking about.Here, I thought it was merely because the pols didn't have the balls to bring the subject up near an election..
Rufus, the problem is not the ratio of SS to GDP but rather the viability of the financing. The printing press only goes so far in papering over budget deficits and when it fails, it fails big time.
Q, you typed this:"There are numerous ways of addressing SS issue, many of them involving quite simple fixes;"I'm just agreeing with you.Politics is a lot like the news in that "If it bleeds, it leads."There just isn't anything bleeding in SS, right now; therefore, silence.
All we have to do, Ash, is get people working, and get "Revenues" back up in the 20% of GDP range. That accomplished, and SS is a yawner.
riiiight and the housing crisis would just leave a few ripples in the big old pond. Loads of companies are having Pension problems and, sure, a big batch of good old revenue would help but that is far easier said than done. Getting revenues back up to 20% is not an easy task when the demographics change - THAT is the WHOLE DAMN POINT!! You toss in the political gridlock as Quirk has pointed out and the mess gets whole damn lot worse, but hey, you are already cashing in so you do not have to worry your little head about the problems faced by others and their children.
just get people working, lordy, hey, you old farts WORK!!!!
That's the only thing I do worry about, Ash. I'm set.
.Then we agree on the political aspects of the problem. I merely used it as an example to show, politically, these guys are incapable of solving the simplest of our problems. And, SS does have problems just none that can't be fixed.2012 SSA/Medicare Trustee Summary ReportRemember, interest on the accrued funds is considered in judging whether the program is 'technically' in surplus or deficit: however, since we know that the trust-fund is an illusion and that SS disbursements come directly out of the general fund, the interest factor is also illusional and the only true measure of the program's ongoing health is determined by actual revenue recieved versus funds disbursed..
The "Demographics" aren't changing as quickly as you might think, Ash.First off, the very severe recession forced a lot of the baby boomers into taking their benefits early, which means they're getting smaller payouts. Also, the age at which one becomes eligible for max benefits is rising as we speak.
This Headline and story illustrate part of the challenge that rufus refers to, when he says the Republicans are standing in the way of the recovery.Companies Say 3 Million Unfilled Positions In Skill Crisis: JobsEven with almost 13 million Americans looking for work and 8 million more settling for part-time jobs, almost half the 1,361 U.S. employers surveyed in January by ManpowerGroup say they can’t find workers to fill positions. At the same time, American employers are less likely than their counterparts overseas to invest in training, the Milwaukee-based staffing company reported last month.Companies have reported more than 3 million job openings every month since February 2011, according to the Department of Labor.Now, that the Federals would not be moving "Full Steam Ahead" on retraining the workforce seems incongruous, except when one remembers what Mitch McConnell said was the GOP's primary mission, back in 2010 ..."The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told National Journal's Major Garrett in October.Fox News' Bret Baier asked McConnell Sunday if that was still his major objective."Well, that is true," McConnell replied. "That's my single most important political goal,...An improved "Jobs Number" would make that goal more difficult for Mitch McConnell to achieve.
And so, we have the "Party of NO!"I thought the Debt Clock the GOP had running at Tampa humorous, too.Since the 2010 election the GOP in the House, Congressman Ryan in particular, touch and approve every Appropriations Bill. The GOP tried to play that the debt clock was Obama's doing, when in all reality, it was Congressman Ryan's personal piece of clock work.A real example of a Congressman failing to take responsibility for his actions as a Committee Chairman.
.Now, you get it, Ash.None of these issues are going affect Rufus or me. We don't personally have to worry about Medicare, SS, probably taxes (I frankly don't expect to be affected much by any tax changes that are going to be coming about anytime soon), etc.Mine and Ruf's differences are philosophical but that doesn't mean we are indifferent to what our kids or grandkids are going to face.You also sit there in Canada (what's it been forty years now) and complain about things that don't really affect you. There is little chance Ruf or I will change anything just as you will have no affect on what happens here. It's easy to sit in another country and take pot shots at the US.You should be blaming all those people here that are your age or who have children that can vote and continue to complain if their future benefits are cut and don't demand changes. You should blame the pols who pander to the votes. You should blame them for not taking simple steps like changing the way cost of living adjustments are calculated or upping the top end on the SS income range, steps that would resolve the SS problem. Heck, under Ryan there is no change in Medicare for 10 years. More than half the baby boomers will be through the system by then. Obama promises no changes to Medicare.Save the blame game for the people and pols that can actually effect change..
Quickly is a relative word, especially for a guy like you with only a few years left. Here, a report made for Congress:http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL32701.pdfI can not seem to lose the carriage returns so I will not bother posting excerpts but, basically, they refer to profound changes in the age demographic and the change being rapid. Here is a pertinent table:Table 3. U.S. Population, by Age Group: 1950-2050Age/year 1950 1975 2000 2025 2050Number (in thousands, rounded)Total 152,272 215,972 282,171 357,452 439,0100-19 51,673 75,646 80,576 94,254 112,94020-64 88,202 117,630 166,522 199,290 237,52365-65+ 12,397 22,696 35,074 63,907 88,547Percent in Age Group (rounded)0-19 33.9 35.0 28.6 26.4 25.720-64 57.9 54.5 59.0 55.8 54.165-65+ 8.1 10.5 12.4 17.9 20.2That bottom line is showing 65+ going:Age/year 1950 1975 2000 2025 205065-65+ 8.1 10.5 12.4 17.9 20.2So, 12.4% of the population is 65+ in 2000 and 20.2 projected in 2050. That is pretty darn quick given the change see from 1950 to 2000.
Being a US citizen I can vote there Quirk.The POLS are priceless and they cater to the voters. Guess who vote the most - the older folk, all those boomers. Here in Canada at least the CPP actually collects money and invests it but the POLS here did a funny thing recently with the demographic changes in mind and they changed eligibility rules for collecting OAS (old age supplement) which is a rather small part of the the whole pension scheme but they did raise the age of eligibility and raked back some of the payouts. The priceless part, the changes come into effect only when the boomers have finished hitting retirement age. Just like slamming that barn door shut after the horse has already fled.
:) You're making my argument for me.First, 67 is the important age, not 65. Second, 13.3% of the population was over "65" in 2011. It's probably close to 14%, today. Maybe we'll pick up another 4% (we're looking at 67, remember?) by 2020.That would be maybe another $200 Billion/Yr.That ain't no "step for a stepper."
.You are not seriously blaming the older folk for voting are you Ash?Save the umbrage for the people who don't vote..
people tend to vote for their interests quirk and there are competeing interests in society. There are a lot of boomers and those boomers have had a powerful effect on society as they have done their thing. Sure, youth today do not vote much and even if they did they would be dominated by the tyranny of all those boomers.Quite simple though, the short term out weighs the long term. Take your money and run and damn the rest. The political system and people in general are programmed that way.
.The Tyranny of the Boomers.You might want to trademark that and sell some T-shirts.:).
The Dems have figured out a way to put a "White-Face" on Obama.His name is "Bubba." :)
One of the greatest phrases of all time was Harry Truman's 1948 excoriation of the pubs as The Do Nothing Congress.
.This Headline and story illustrate part of the challenge that rufus refers to, when he says the Republicans are standing in the way of the recovery.Companies Say 3 Million Unfilled Positions In Skill Crisis: JobsMore bull IMO.The following is a post I put up the other day when the issue of 3 million jobs was raised.As for the 3,000,000 jobs unfilled, one has to take that with a grain of salt. It is one of the many excuses used by the business community when they are being pressured to hire more. It is right up there with "Given the uncertain tax and regulation environment in D.C. right now we can't take the risk of hiring additional people." They have been using that one for the past two years even the companies that benefitted most from government intervention.As for taxes, employee costs are written off on a company's taxes. Regulation? They may be combursome in some cases but I don't really buy their direct connection to hiring. If a company needs a worker and can make a profit off him, it will hire him. If it can make the same amount of profit and get by without hiring him it will. If there is insufficient demand to justify hiring a new worker nobody is going to hire him.As for the training, with all the college graduates that are availible and looking for work, there are 3 million jobs sitting idle? Not likely. More likely, there are $3 million jobs out there which require skills the companies are unwilling to pay for. And why should they when they are already making record profits at the employment levels that exist?I'm not saying there isn't a shortage of trained people available for some of these specialized fields; but, I suspect there are enough 'qualified' people. In the past, companies would take qualified people and train them for specialized work. It appears that might not be the case anymore. Now, they push the responsibility off on the government. Why cut into a company's training budget if you can eliminate training altogether and have the government pay for it.It used to be the last thing you cut in a recession was your workforce. Today it's your first. Companies have established a new normal. As noted in a preceeding post, macro factors such as globalization, robotization, and computerization, have reduced the amount of good paying jobs that were out there. Education and retraining are good ways to attack the problem; however, they are insufficient until there is enough demand to justify additional hiring.If the demand is there and a company can profit by hiring an employee it will find a way to get a qualified, trained, productive worker even if it has to do the training itself. If they want to maximize profits, they have to.If the demand isn't there, then not being able to get qualified workers is one good excuse for getting the government off your back..
Yeah, I agree with part of that (especially, the part about final demand;) enough that I'm not going to pick at the rest of it.We're all kind of feeling our way through, here (that's what happens in paradigm shifts.) Companies that never thought they'd need a "programmer," or a robotics engineer are scratching their heads, and going "wtf? Wha' now?"
Could well be that those companies really do not need folks, they just say they do.It may be that they are not willing to pay the rate the new hires demand.Could be that we are in a new normal, where 22 million under and unemployed is the standard for "Full Employment". That'd be the most disconcerting.
They need those workers; but they're not "desperate" for those workers. They're not going to try to train a fifty year old fork lift driver to control, and repair, robots. Yet.Hrs. worked is up to 34.5 from about 32.5ish at the bottom. They'll have to start hiring more people soon. BTW, we created a little over 2 Million jobs in the last twelve months. That's the best since about 2006 IIRC.
.Rather than leaving unannounced, like the rat, and leaving open questions as to whether I am still alive, I'll just say I'm taking a break for a while.When I open my mouth without thinking, as I did this morning, it upsets me. Likewise, we have the convention this week and the debates will soon start none of which interests me in the least. We've said everything that can be said about the pols. But that is likely to be the biggest subject between now and then.In the absence of something big like a new war, the EU giving up the ghost, or Michelle announcing she's pregnant (October surprise?), I'll probably wander back in after the election and continue to mock those that brag and those that make excuses about the results.Besides I'll need the time. Got a lump sum buyout offer on my pension and I need to crank the numbers, attend seminars on the details, visit my financial planner etc. Big decision. It will take some time. Plus I'm still thinking about getting involved with that National Novel Writing Month gig where you have to write a novel in 30 days over the month of November.The only satisfaction I take in this is that Bob won't have me to kick around anymore, well, at least for a while.Adios..
You'll miss us. :)
Don't stay away long! You are one of the 'smarter' folk here though, ya, you can be one mean surly son of a bitch but hey, it is the internet and it is a rough and tumble place. I am mildly amazed at how personally some take these discussions - glass jaws abound.Consider yourself lucky you've got a choice on that pension. Those of us in the small business world don't have that luxury. As an old timer once said when he heard how I make a living "oh, you eat what you kill". Without you to read Bob's drivel I think it will only be Deuce left picking through those droppings.Take care, and Rufus does say some stuff that is right at times like "You'll miss us".If you stay away for a day you'll have fulfilled your stated 'stay away'. Tell us what you finally decide, or, more fruitfully let us tell us what you should do with that pension!cheers!!
ahhh shit I burnt dinner typing that last little missive.Get outta here cause that is definitely your fault :|
In his opening remarks, Mr. Draghi slightly raised the ECB's forecasts for inflation in the same period, saying that it would stay above 2% this year, but fall below that level next year.The euro fell back below $1.26 against the dollar after the ECB slashed its economic growth forecasts, but the losses were limited as Mr. Draghi outlined the conditions for buying of government bonds."If ever there was a case of buying the rumor and selling the fact this is surely it. Draghi delivered exactly what the market expected and investors locked in some profits," said Peter Kinsella, foreign exchange strategist at Commerzbank.
Adios, Quirk.Good luck with the novel. Send link when complete, please. I'll look for the character playing Sam.
The public prosecutor for the Annecy region, Eric Maillaud, was asked at a press conference yesterday whether he believed that he was dealing with "professional killers"....Mr Maillaud said that he hoped the two little survivors would be able, eventually, to help the authorities to piece together what happened on the Route de la Combe d'Ire. "At the moment, we are confronted with a crime of immense savagery," he said."As for why these people were killed at this place and at this time, there is, so far, no way to answer that."
Plans to record every Briton’s online activity and mobile phone use could put national security at risk and may not even be technically workable, internet companies have warned MPs.The London Internet Exchange (Linx), which represents service providers, said the Government’s controversial surveillance proposals represent a “dramatic shift” in the balance between individuals’ privacy and the power of the state.
Florida’s political dynamics narrow Wasserman Schultz’s options. A white liberal Democrat from southern Florida in all likelihood couldn’t win statewide.Some have surmised she could land a Cabinet spot in a second Obama term — not so, say her allies.People in her orbit see her national profile and bombastic personality as appealing to House Democrats.
Heard a report yesterday that said no incumbent has ever been re-elected with unemployment above 8%.
FDR was reelected with unemployment over 15%, a couple of times.By 1939 the U.S. unemployment rate was 17.2 percent, down somewhat from its 1933 peak of 24.9 percent but still remarkably high.He served as President from 1933 until 1945
Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, turns 50 years old today.
When 3 people have sex, it's called a THREESOME.When 2 people have sex, it's called a TWOSOME.Now I understand why they call you HANDSOME!
For your Missoula real estate needs, visit me athttp://homes.lee.net/missoula/agents/detail/181-ME25bill
Sam, the Clark Fork from Lookout down to Missoula looks good for both fishing and kayaking. Well, little slow in some parts for kayaking maybe.
Seeking the IMF's participation is critical to maintaining German political support for Mr. Draghi's initiative. Berlin insisted on IMF involvement in rescues of Greece, Ireland and Portugal and values the IMF's technical expertise.However, IMF involvement could weaken the incentive for Spain and others to sign up for aid, given the strict conditions it would likely demand."We strongly welcome the ECB's new framework," IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said in a statement. "The IMF stands ready to cooperate within our frameworks."
Sounds good, Bob. Got your fly rod with you?Rat - FDR. I heard this report on the tv, Australian news channel, I think it was yesterday. I was back and forth between rooms in the house while it was going on and heard it in passing. Either they got it fucked up, or, I got it fucked up. No doubt, it was the latter. Maybe they qualified it with something like 'since some date', or whatever.
Yeah, Sam, there was a "since . . . . . " attached to that.That would apply to Carter - maybe, Ford, I guess.
This is a pretty good comment off The Independent talking about drone strikes:Amazing how the same person who sits down every Tuesday to go over the "kill list" also won a Nobel Peace Prize.
The British holidaymaker murdered in France along with two other people – believed to be his wife and mother-in-law – left the UK "on the spur of the moment", a close family friend said yesterday....A neighbour, who did not want to be named, said yesterday: "The family are very nice and friendly. The two girls are really sweet and pretty.The eldest went to the local primary school and the youngest was going to start."
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has said that his website will encrypt connections with Britain if plans to track internet, text and email use become law....But Mr Wales told MPs and peers yesterday that it would be relatively easy for Wikipedia to thwart any snooping on how people had been using the site by encrypting data.