Tag Archives: deficit

The Truth About Social Security

This is the best summation of the truth about Social Security and the Deficit that I’ve seen:



Hat Tip:  MoveOn.org

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Mitt Romney Says Corporations ‘Are People, My Friend’

This is what’s wrong with the Republican Party- They not only think Corporations are people, they think they are VIP’s!

Much more important than Middle Class People….

How much longer are real people going to listen to this foolishness?

I encourage you to click the link to the full article and the video.  From The Huffington Post:

WASHINGTON — Speaking to an occasionally rowdy crowd two days before the Ames Straw poll, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made what seems likely to become a much-discussed flub, declaring to a group of Iowans that “corporations are people.”

Pressed by an attendee at the Iowa State Fair on Thursday as to why he was focusing on entitlement reforms as a means of deficit reduction over asking corporations to share part of the burden, the GOP frontrunner shot back:

“Corporations are people, my friend… of course they are. Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to the people. Where do you think it goes? Whose pockets? Whose pockets? People’s pockets. Human beings my friend.”

The comment was immediately pounced on by Democrats, who saw it as another example of Romney being uncomfortable on the stump and inartful in his attempts to come off as an everyday pol.

“This is what Mitt Romney is going to run on? Corporations are people? Really?” said Democratic National Committee Communications Director Brad Woodhouse. “There’s a great message for people struggling to get by and trying to make ends meet. Don’t complain — corporations are people too!”

Speaking at the Des Moines Register soapbox, Romney was also interrupted by a heckler who asked if if he supported “scrapping the Social Security payroll cap so that rich people pay their fair share into the trust fund?”

Romney responded, “There was a time in this country where we didn’t celebrate attacking people based on their success. We didn’t go after people because they were successful. I’ve watched this president go across the country attacking people, and I… and I am… if you want to speak, you can speak. But right now it’s my turn, so let me continue.”

The presidential contender went on to underscore his bottom line. “If you don’t like my answer, you can vote for someone else,” he said.

via Mitt Romney Heckled, Says Corporations ‘Are People, My Friend’ (VIDEO).

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Stock Market Plunges…

I hate to say it, but “I told you so”.

Congress is hurting the recovery, not helping it….

I’m afraid, it’s only going to get worse…

I’ll blame the GOP for creating this false Budget Deficit crisis which drove behavior in DC that only made things worse….

And I’ll blame the Dems for not having the guts to stand up to the GOP/Tea Party to force them to address the real issue:  Jobs.

From CNN:

Poof! There goes any progress stocks made in 2011.

Stocks plunged Thursday, with the Dow tumbling 400 points to hit its lowest level since December, as global economic fears gripped the market.

U.S. markets were already sharply lower on widespread worries, including the weak job market. But the selling gained momentum as Japanese and European policymakers stepped in with dramatic measures to shore up their financial markets.

There’s “total fear” in the market, said Bob Doll, chief equity strategist at the world’s largest money manager, BlackRock.

All three major indexes tumbled more than 3% Thursday and erased all their gains for the year. The indexes have also pushed into ‘correction’ territory – defined as a 10% drop from their highs earlier this year. Over the past 10 days alone, the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq have dropped more than 8%.

“In the last two weeks, we’ve been through the ringer,” said Rich Ilczyszyn, market strategist with futures broker Lind-Waldock. “When we start looking at the recovery, there’s nothing to hang our hats on anymore.”

via Market Report – Aug. 4, 2011 – CNNMoney.

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Passing the Ball to Eric Cantor

Looks like Boner (spelling intentional) may be hanging Cantor out to dry….


Eric Cantor is just about the most despicable man in Congress.  I can’t think of anything better than for him to get what’s coming to him…

He doesn’t want a deal, he wants to play games.  Let the games begin.  I somehow think President Obama just may know more about playing the game  than Cantor…

Some interesting details from Jay Newton-Small on yesterday’s debt ceiling negotiations at the White House:

“Boehner hardly said a word in the meeting. His stance seems to be: if Cantor didn’t like the grand bargain, he’s welcome to negotiate one on his own. Republicans left the meeting noticeably subdued. Few had anything they wanted to say about it. And Cantor may have just jumped from the frying pan of Biden’s debt talks and into the fire of Obama’s. He has little experience hammering out legislative deals — particularly at this level. He wanted a smaller deal, and now Boehner’s sitting back and watching silently as Cantor flounders.”

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times has more on the “long-simmering rivalry” between the top two Republicans in the House.

via Passing the Ball to Eric Cantor.

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Will Anyone Even Insure Seniors if Paul Ryan’s Medicare Plan Passes? | TPMDC

I thought of this right away….

There’s not money to be made insuring Senior Citizens, so why would private insurance companies cover them?

This is another reason Paul Ryan’s Republican proposal to kill Medicare just won’t work….

It’s not realistic.

But then, that never mattered to the GOP….

At first glance, Paul Ryan’s plan to send millions of seniors into the free market with dwindling vouchers in hand might seem a boon to the private insurance industry. But would companies even want to participate?

Unlike the Affordable Care Act, which mandated that millions of young and healthy Americans purchase insurance with government subsidies, the Paul Ryan plan would instead bring the oldest, sickest, and least profitable demographic to the table. And with the CBO projecting that the average senior would be on the hook for over two-thirds of their health care costs within just 10 years of the plan’s adoption — a proportion that is projected to worsen in the long run — the government subsidies backing them up may not bring in enough profitable customers to make things worthwhile.

“If reimbursement rates are too low to provide basic benefits, they’ll tell the government, ‘You do it,'” one insurance lobbyist told TPM. “I don’t think they can require they lose money, they’d just pull out.”

via Will Anyone Even Insure Seniors if Paul Ryan’s Medicare Plan Passes? | TPMDC.

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In the Next Round of Budget Talks, Big Cuts for Health Research Are Coming | The Nation

This Congress- and Washington in general- has no foresight….

Their current budget cutting mania is leading us down the path to becoming a Third World Country.

We have fallen behind the rest of the world in so many areas and they seem intent on pushing us back even more…

From The Nation:

But the real damage will come after the proposed cuts take effect. The NIH is comprised of twenty-seven institutes and centers with particular focuses, including the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and National Heart Lung and Blood Institute; each will decide how to manage their individual cuts. The NCI will prioritize funding the same level of new grants (they currently fund 14 percent of new grant applications), but will have to cut funding from cancer centers. Others will have to choose between new and existing grants. When ongoing grants aren’t renewed, work may simply stop. “University departments will do their best to support promising research during a dry spell,” explains Riggins, “and there are a few foundations that provide bridge grants, but these resources aren’t abundant either.”

In the long term, funding scarcity will make it hard to attract top research scientists. Many have already left for more stable careers in industry. And US labs will continue to lose people not just to other fields but to other countries as well. Kelly Ruggles, a microbiologist at Columbia, says, “It used to be that people would come here to get trained in the sciences. Now, people are leaving for better opportunities in Singapore or China. There’s just more science than money right now.”

Of course, this is a difficult funding environment, but the proposed NIH cuts are based in part on ignorance. Legislators who understand the NIH tend to give it full-voiced support. When retired Representative John Edward Porter chaired the appropriations subcommittee that oversees the NIH, he held hearings with each of the twenty-seven institutes so members could hear directly from the researchers why they needed money and what they were doing with it. When, during the mid-’90s, the House Budget Committee proposed cuts to the NIH budget, Porter brought a troupe of Nobel laureates, esteemed scientists and business leaders in to meet with then-speaker Gingrich. The result? Instead of cutting the budget, Congress doubled the NIH budget over five years, because they saw that the funding was working. “I certainly learned that the money going to the NIH was money that was being tremendously well spent,” recalls Porter, “making a difference in the lives of human beings all over the planet.”

via In the Next Round of Budget Talks, Big Cuts for Health Research Are Coming | The Nation.

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Budget debate was fought entirely on the GOP’s turf

Greg Sargent, at The Washington Post, makes some good points here…

First of all, it’s all about the 2012 Elections, not about what is best for the Country or what the Democrats core beliefs may be…

We know the Republicans have no core beliefs…

Sadly, given what happened in 2010, this approach might be necessary to deal with an uneducated, stressed out, results oriented electorate.  Obama’s strategy may be to try to protect the American electorate from themselves…

This might be smart, but it’s also very scary….

And it sacrifices good policy on the altar of political necessity….

And Americans have no one to blame but themselves…

President Obama’s advisers apparently believe that his best route to reeelection is to acknowledge the need for more fiscal discipline, while picking a fight with the GOP over the need for targeted government investment in our future and painting the GOP’s cut-at-all-costs vision as out of the mainstream. In fairness, his advisers, as Paul Krugman noted recently, may very well be right about this.

But it’s still worth appreciating how far to the right the debate has shifted, in part because of Democratic acquiescence. The idea that government spending should be a job-creation tool in our arsenal was entirely marginalized, to the point that it was simply not part of the discussions; meanwhile, the insane conservative demand for $100 billion in cuts was treated as a kind of outer right-wing boundary of legitimate discourse. The result: Giving Boehner more than he originally asked for in cuts became the stuff of middle ground compromise.

via Budget debate was fought entirely on the GOP’s turf – The Plum Line – The Washington Post.

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The GOP’s Shutdown Frenzy | Mother Jones

This is obvious, but it will be interesting to see if it is reported as such…

The GOP wants this shut down to occur to appease their Tea Party Base…

In my view, the Democrats offered entirely too much in an effort to avoid this…

I wish the Democrats had half the nerve of the GOP…

A government shutdown now looks all but inevitable, and both parties are jockeying to make sure that the other one gets the blame. But I think this paragraph makes it pretty clear which party is really jonesing for a shutdown to happen:

House Republicans huddled late Monday and, according to a GOP aide, gave the speaker an ovation when he informed them that he was advising the House Administration Committee to begin preparing for a possible shutdown. That process includes alerting lawmakers and senior staff about which employees would not report to work if no agreement is reached.

Democrats are willing to endure a shutdown but are pretty obviously willing to compromise to avoid one. Republicans, conversely, really want this to happen. That’s been obvious from the start, and we shouldn’t allow anyone to let us to lose sight of this.

via The GOP’s Shutdown Frenzy | Mother Jones.

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Two Thirds of US Corporations Pay No Federal Income Taxes

US Uncut held a National Day of Protest over the push to cut vital government programs while major, profitable Corporation pay No Taxes…

Sorry, but this just isn’t right….

From The Nation:

“I’m tired of people calling for shared sacrifice and it’s all coming from the workers and nothing’s coming from the top,” says protester Dave Sonenberg. “I’m sick of companies like Bank of America not paying their taxes.”

Bank of America hasn’t paid a nickel in federal income taxes for the past two years, and in fact raked in an additional $1 billion in tax “benefits.” The bank is enjoying these profits after accepting $45 billion from taxpayers, which the company then got to count as a deduction when they paid back the money.

Big corporations get to play by a whole different set of rules, says tax expert Bob Willens of New York-based Robert Willens LLC:

It’s also not unusual for a company to pay no federal taxes, while still paying state and local taxes, Willens said. Items that can be deducted for federal purposes aren’t always deductible for state and local returns, he said. State taxes can also be based on the amount of capital deployed in a state, not pre-tax income.

This is why two-thirds of corporations in America pay no federal income taxes. If they were forced to, we’re told, the whole country would suffer. Jobs would be lost, salaries slashed. Thank heavens we’ve avoided such calamity by allowing corporations to shape legislation in their favor.

In 2010, Bank of America handed out $2.2 million in campaign contributions to Congressional representatives and PACs (36 percent went to Democrats, 64 percent to Republicans). By throwing around that much cash, huge companies like BoA have a big say when it comes to crafting legislation that permits them to escape paying taxes, according to US Uncut organizer J.A. Myerson.

“The reason it’s not illegal is because they have bought and paid for the people who make the laws. The laws are made to accommodate this sort of nefariousness,” he says, adding that the process is wrong, and ordinarily that would mean approaching Congress to ask them to fix it, but there’s no point in attempting that when the system is so heavily rigged in favor of the rich and well connected. “So what US Uncut is doing right now is not Capitol Hill lobbying because that doesn’t seem like it’s a fruitful avenue. It’s trying to directly undermine the ability of Bank of America to earn record windfall profits by depleting the public trust that they are an upstanding member of society.”

via When Illegal Doesn’t Matter: US Uncut’s National Day Of Protest | The Nation.

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Public Policy Polling: Brutal numbers for Kasich, SB 5

More Buyer’s Remorse with the GOP Governor in Ohio….

I do hope the tied is turning and lasts through the 2012 elections…

Elections have consequences and we are seeing them now with the out of control GOP Governors and House….

There are two things particularly notable in the crosstabs on all of these questions. The first is that non-union households are supportive of the public employees. 54% support their collective bargaining rights to 36% in opposition and 44% say they would vote to repeal SB 5 to 38% who would let it stand. Obviously that level of support is not nearly as high as among union households but it still shows that the workers have even most of the non-union public behind them.

The other thing that’s worth noting is the independents. A lot of attention has been given to the way what’s been going on in Ohio and Wisconsin is galvanizing the Democratic base, but it’s also turning independents who were strongly supportive of the GOP in the Midwest last year back against the party. 62% of independents support collective bargaining for public employees to 32% opposed and 53% support repeal of SB 5 to 32% who would let it stand.

All of this is having an absolutely brutal effect on John Kasich’s numbers. We find him with just a 35% approval rating and 54% of voters disapproving of him. His approval with people who voted for him is already all the way down to 71%, while he’s won over just 5% of folks who report having voted for Ted Strickland last fall. Particularly concerning for him is a 33/54 spread with independents.

Voters in the state are having significant buyers remorse about the results of last fall’s election. In a rematch 55% say they would now vote for Ted Strickland to just 40% who would vote for Kasich. Because this is a sample of all registered voters in the state and not just those who voted in last fall’s Republican heavy electorate the self identified 2010 vote of this sample is 49% for Strickland and 46% for Kasich but that still suggests a 12 point movement toward Strickland among those surveyed over the last four months.

via Public Policy Polling: Brutal numbers for Kasich, SB 5.

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