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Class Warfare

DCblogger's picture

Never mind the puppets, go after the puppet masters

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This post goes out to Joshua Micah Marshall, Alex Pareene, Mike Elk, Dan Froomkin, Kevin Drum, and any other reporter who wants to take a swing at this.

Never mind the House Republican Caucus. They are puppets doing what their puppet masters want. There is no point with arguing with or even reporting on the actions of puppets. It is just ridiculous. Read below the fold...

Rainbow Girl's picture

US Census: Lost Generation, not Lost Decade (Economic Gains)

Income of normal family (adjusted for inflation) hovering at 1989 level. Not that a few of us weren't/aren't aware of this. But it's in WaPo now.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/09/17/the-typical-a... Read below the fold...

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Rainbow Girl's picture

The AFFORDABLE Care Act (Light Bulb Moment)

ZOMG, I just figured out why Obama hasn't been lying about ACA making health insurance more affordable for Americans -- all along, what he meant is that PPACA makes it more affordable FOR INSURANCE COMPANIES to be in the health care business -- they can rake in premiums and pay bupkis out under all their "cost-sharing" schemes! Read below the fold...

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letsgetitdone's picture

Declaring the Grand Bargain Dead Is Premature

Stories in The Washington Post and the New York Times have some in the blogosphere proclaiming that it's time to celebrate the death of the Grand Bargain, and others at least raising a question about its death. I'll go on record as saying that celebrating its death is definitely premature.

It is so because we've yet to go through the budget or continuing resolution-passing activities coming up in September, and also have yet to go through the debt ceiling conflict to come in October. Mainstream Washington commentators believe John Boehner is determined to avoid a government shutdown crisis of the budget/CR conflict and that one or the other will be passed before October 1. Assuming they're right, that still leaves the matter of the debt ceiling “crisis,” which the same commentators are saying will happen because Boehner has to promise his tea party caucus a chance to coerce the Administration, if he's going to get their acquiescence on the budget/government shutdown matter.

So, they think, we are looking at a debt ceiling crisis around October 15, when Jack Lew says the Government will run out of borrowing authority, and he will be reduced to juggling $50 Billion in available cash to both repay debt and pay for the other obligations of Government legislated by Congress. The position on the debt ceiling being taken by the Administration now is that it will not negotiate over it, and that it's demanding a clean bill raising the debt limit to pay for spending Congress has already approved. Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

Jack Lew: Avoiding Default Is Your Responsibility Too

With the end of the Summer break, now comes the return of the debt limit dance. From Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew's letter to John Boehner:

“Congress should act as soon as possible to protect America’s good credit by extending normal borrowing authority well before any risk of default becomes imminent.

“Based on our latest estimates extraordinary measures are projected to be exhausted in the middle of October. At that point, the United States will have reached the limit of its borrowing authority, and Treasury would be left to fund the government with only the cash we have on hand on any given day, The cash balance at that time is currently forecasted to be approximately $50 billion.

“. . . A cash balance of approximately $50 Billion would be insufficient to cover net expenditures for an extended period of time. And, on certain days, net expenditures could exceed such a cash balance.

“. . . Protecting the full faith and credit of the United States is the responsibility of Congress because only Congress can extend the nation’s borrowing authority . . .“

OK. So, only Congress can extend the nation's borrowing authority. But it doesn't follow from that fact that protecting the full faith and credit of the United States is the sole responsibility of Congress. Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

The Five Worst Reasons Why the National Debt Should Matter To You: Part Four, The Three Real Reasons

This is the concluding post in a four part series on the “Top” reasons why the national debt should matter. In Part One, I considered “Fix the Debt's” claim that high levels of debt cause high unemployment and argued that this is a false claim. In Part Two, I followed with a review of the historical record from 1930 to the present and showed that it refutes this claim throughout this period, and that there is not even one Administration where the evidence doesn't contradict “Fix the Debt's” theory. In Part Three I showed that the other four reasons advanced by “Fix the Debt” also had very little going for them. In this part, I'll give reasons why the national debt does matter, and why we should fix it without breaking America, or causing people to suffer. Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

The Five Worst Reasons Why the National Debt Should Matter To You: Part Two, the Record Since 1930

In Part One, of a critique of the most important of "Fix the Debt's" reasons for "Why the National Debt Should Matter To You," I asserted that high debt levels haven't caused high unemployment in the United States, and that, if anything causation was in the other direction. I didn't want to disturb the flow of the argument there with a relatively lengthy survey of some of the numbers in the historical record since the 1930s. But let's test the idea that High debt causes fewer jobs and lower wages in the United States by looking at that record now. Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

The Five Worst Reasons Why the National Debt Should Matter To You: Part One, High Debt Levels and Jobs

I came across a post from the “Fix the Debt” campaign last month called “The Top Five Worst Reasons Why the National Debt Should Matter to You.” It's a post full of debt/deficit lies that cry out for correction. That's what I'll provide in this series. Read below the fold...

Rainbow Girl's picture

Obama-Booker Love Fest (One Looter's Lackey to Another)

From the NY Daily News:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/president-obama-endorses-corey-...

Only Obama is capable of the sort of High Mendacity that can take a Cory Booker and call him -- Bain Capital's barking defense dog -- a long-time friend of the poor, underprivileged, and middle class. Read below the fold...

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letsgetitdone's picture

“Makers and Takers:” They're Projecting Again!

I found a segment on MCNBC's Up With Steve Kornacke show revealing for what it did not say. The segment started off with a clip from a Recent Town Hall of John McCain's. Senator McCain took a question from a woman who said, with more than a little emotion. Read below the fold...

Rainbow Girl's picture

Detroit a new benchmark for elected Kleptocrats

Mayor Bloomberg "warns" New York City (it's future mayor) that -- basically -- if union contracts are not significantly shredded in the next round (city workers have been working w/o a contract for 4 years), then NYC will have missed a huge opportunity not to become Detroit

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/election/bloomberg-mayor-cut-costs-detro... Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

What Would You Have the President Do? Part III, Doing Some Economic and Social Justice

The first two Parts in this series began answering the question “what would u have him do?” It arose in the context of a Post at Naked Capitalism by Michael Hudson with some additions by Yves Smith. A commenter, objecting to the criticism of the President's Knox College speech, issued the challenge in connection with the President's promised effort to restore prosperity to the middle class and the poor.

In Part I, “Necessary First Moves,” I offered and described two of these: ending the filibuster, and using High Value Platinum Coin Seigniorage (HVPCS) to fill the Treasury General Account (TGA) with $60 Trillion in reserves. In Part II, I offered a number of proposals aimed at getting to full employment.

These included: a full payroll tax holiday; a guarantee of annual entitlement spending without regard to “trust fund” balances; State revenue sharing grants of roughly $1600 per person; and a Federal Job Guarantee program establishing jobs in local communities at a living wage with full fringe benefits. This third and last part will offer proposals for doing some economic and social justice to begin to right the wrongs the neoliberal globalizing political/economic/ideological system has inflicted on the American middle class and those living in poverty. Here are the proposals. Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

What Would You Have the President Do? Part II, Getting to Full Employment

Responding to a Post at Naked Capitalism by Michael Hudson with some additions by Yves Smith, a commenter, objecting to the criticism of the President's Knox College speech, issued the challenge ”What would u have him do?” in connection with his promised effort to restore prosperity to the middle class and the poor. In this series I'm giving my answer to that question. In Part I, “Necessary First Moves,” I offered and described two of these. Ending the filibuster, and using High Value Platinum Coin Seigniorage (HVPCS) to fill the Treasury General Account (TGA) with $60 Trillion in reserves.

The purpose of the first was to prepare the way for substantive policies by removing the Republican minority's power to tie up legislation. The purpose of the second, was to neutralize austerian fiscal responsibility justifications for subjecting every policy proposal to a deficit neutrality test, and for opposing deficit spending on grounds that it adds to the national debt and imposes heavy risks that the bond markets will demand very high interest rates on US debt. Of course, HVPCS gets rid of both the debt and bond market concerns for good.

Neither of these two policies, however, addresses substantive needs such as creating and maintaining full employment. This post is about the policies for getting to full employment I want the President to propose and try to implement. All of these policies have been previously proposed by MMT economists including Warren Mosler, Randy Wray, Bill Mitchell, Stephanie Kelton, and others. Read below the fold...

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