Sunday, July 31, 2011

Should Government Finances Be Run Like Household Finances?

How many times have we heard Republican politicians say we should run our country finances like family budgets?  Over and over again, we hear similar statements.  Really?  Should we?  Well, let's take a look at what things might be if we did run government finances like we run our household finances.

I've picked up a series of three very interesting graphs over at Illusion of Prosperity.  They go into a little more detail than I do.

Here is the first graph.

This is a graph of the growth of the GDP and Wages and Other Labor Income since 1952.  They track each other very closely, with Wages, etc. dropping more than GDP over the last couple of years.

Now, let's add Civilian Employment and Corporate Profit Before Taxes to the graph.

Corporate Profits kind of track along with GDP, Wages, and Civilian Employment bouncing between the two until Bush II came along in early the 2000s, then Corporate Profits soared, crashed, and are now soaring again.

Finally let's get to my point and add Federal Government Debt and  Household Debt.

WOW!  Household Debt kind of dwarfs everything else, including the Federal Government Debt.  Household Debt takes off in the early 1980s.  Thanks Ronny!  Then there is another jump in the rate of increase about the time GWBII comes along.  Thanks George!  By the time the economy crashes, Household Debt is about 4 times as big as the other items, including the Federal Government Debt.

So, when the Tea Party and the republicans say we should run government finances like we run our household finances, what they are really saying is that we should have about 4 times as much debt.  That means that they want us to be about 60 Trillion Dollars in debt.  And who do you think would get all that money?  Why the wealthy and the big corporations, of course. 

Once again, republicans are full of crap!  And while they may have interesting sound bites, their sound bites don't mean crap.  And if you don't look past their sound bites, you have crap for brains.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Just A Thought On Default

With the US close to defaulting on our loans and not being able to pay our obligations, why aren't we hearing more of an outcry from big corporations and the wealthy?  After all, almost everyone agrees that the economic effects will be widespread and interest rates will go up significantly.

Increasing interest rates means that money will cost more.  For example, the interest that the US pays on its debt will increase.  Oh wait, big corporations and the wealthy don't pay for that.  After all, their tax burdens are at historic lows.

Interest rates on loans will go up.  Oh wait. Big corporations and the wealthy are sitting on trillions of dollars of cash.  They don't need loans.

Interest rates on credit cards will go up.  Oh wait. Big corporations and the wealthy are sitting on trillions of dollars of cash.  They don't need credit cards.

Interest rates on home mortgages will go up.  Oh wait. Big corporations and the wealthy are sitting on trillions of dollars of cash.  They don't need home mortgages.

Well, what about the banks.  Interest rates on savings will go up.  They will have to pay more.  You can bet that the interest they collect on loans they give out will increase much more than the interest they have to pay out to savers.  Hell, they will probably lose savers, but then again, they are sitting on tons of money, money they have yet to loan out, possibly because the interest rates are so low.

So, who does get hurt when interest rates go up?  Well, only people who need loans, only people who have credit cards, and only people who have home mortgages.  You and me, the average American.

So, why haven't we heard a big outcry from big corporations and the wealthy?  Maybe they are looking forward to it.  Maybe they see it as another opportunity to transfer wealth from the bottom and middle to the top.

Maybe it is part of the plan.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Question Of The Day

From Thom Hartmann

The American people have spoken – and it’s time Republicans AND Democrats listen.  According to a new ABC/Washington Post poll – 62% of Americans want to see a balanced approach to raising the debt-limit that includes both spending cuts and revenue raisers.  And when it comes to what sort of revenue raisers the American people want to see – the Republicans’ heads are about to explode.  A whopping 72% of Americans support raising taxes on people who make more than $250,000 a year. 
Only 27% oppose. 

Not only that – large majorities of Americans also support: raising the Social Security tax cap – closing the hedge fund manager tax loophole – and cutting off taxpayer subsidies for big oil corporations. 

So why is it that President Obama is supporting the Gang of 6 plan that includes none of these reforms – and instead cuts $1,300 a year out of Social Security checks – and further lowers taxes for millionaires, billionaires, and corporations?

Pawlenty VS Bachmann

I found it very interesting when Pawlenty came out and said,
But her record of accomplishment in Congress is nonexistent. It’s nonexistent. And so we’re not looking for folks who, you know, just have speech capabilities, we’re looking for people who can lead a large enterprise in a public setting and drive it to conclusion. I’ve done that, she hasn’t.
I love it when republicans eat their own.

I like her response, even better. 
I have fought the cap-and-trade agenda, rather than implement it, and I will work to end cap-and-trade as President of the United States. I stood up against President Obama’s support of the $700 billion bailout rather than defend it.

I was a leading voice, fighting against Obamacare and the unconstitutional individual mandates; I did not lift my voice in praise of it. My message brought tens of thousands of Americans to Washington D.C. to oppose Obamacare. As President I will not rest until Obamacare is repealed. And I will not vote to raise the debt ceiling.
Let's break down what she said.
  • Fought against implementation of cap-and-trade
  • Will work to end cap-and-trade
  • Was against the $700 billion dollar bailout
  • Was a leading voice against Obamacare
  • Thinks individual mandates are unconstitutional
  • Wants to repeal Obamacare
  • Will not vote to raise the debt limit
All of her stated accomplishments are NOT accomplishments.  They are all things she will NOT do.  These are things she is against.  They are basically INactions, NONactions.  And they are more things she will not do in future, rather than things she has done in the past.

Looks like all talk and no action.

Sounds to me like Pawlenty was right. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Is The Phone Scandal Coming Home To FOX?

As reported on the Immoral Minority,
A former producer with Fox News claimed in a lengthy essay gaining new traction this week that the conservative television station has a "Brain Room" in its New York headquarters, which enables employees to view private telephone records with ease.
 It couldn't happen to a more deserving network.

Monday, July 4, 2011

United States -- The Good And The Bad

The Good:

The Bad:
There are several more at Lists Galore.

The Founding Fathers Were Liberals!

Liberally taken from HERE.
Conservatives across the country are pretending to be patriotic. Liberals on the other hand are celebrating the biggest achievement that appears on their resume’: the founding of America and its government. You see, the Founding Fathers were, and always will be, liberals. And here are seven reasons why.
1. ... the Declaration of Independence, [is] the basis for universal human rights, which liberals wholeheartedly support. Today’s conservatives are more interested in stripping away human rights, and have fought relentlessly to repeal rights from women, religious groups, and minorities.

2. Conservatives always claim that liberals are the supporters of big government. Well, the Founding Fathers also supported big government. Oh sure, they tried small government at one point but The Articles of Confederation didn’t cut it. ... They met in secret in 1787 and wrote the Constitution which created a bigger, stronger central government. Conservatives would call that growing the government.

3. Within the Constitution, the Founders gave power to the Congress to levy taxes as necessary. The Founding Fathers never had an issue with taxes. On the contrary, the founding generation waged the American Revolution because they felt that they were not properly represented in the British Parliament....

4. The Founding Fathers made it possible for us to change the Constitution when necessary. That is the beauty of the document. But Republicans are only lobbying to change the Constitution so that only the original document applies. They would repeal most of the amendments and many of the rights. Liberals on the other hand are all about change for the better and seek to perfect the Constitution which is what the Founders intended.

5. Republicans have claimed time and time again that health care mandates and government run health care is unconstitutional. They have also consistently slammed liberals for being the ones that introduce such programs and laws. What they fail to recognize is that health care mandates and government run health care dates all the way back to the Founding Fathers. In 1798, John Adams signed the very first health care mandate into law...

6. Republicans are currently owned by corporations. They have not only defended corporations but have worked tirelessly to push corporate sponsored legislation through Congress. The Founding Fathers feared this kind of relationship and viewed corporations with suspicion and largely kept them at arms length. In fact, one reason the founding generation went to war with Britain is because of the influence that the East India Trading Company had on the British Parliament. A corporation even once governed Massachusetts on behalf of England...Unlike today, however, corporations were only permitted to exist 20 or 30 years and could only deal in one commodity, could not hold stock in other companies, and their property holdings were limited to what they needed to accomplish their business goals. And perhaps the most important facet of all this is that most states in the early days of the nation had laws on the books that made any political contribution by corporations a criminal offense. ...Here is some advice from Thomas Jefferson that all Americans should take to heart.
“I hope that we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”

7. Separation of church and state is not just a liberal concept, the Founding Fathers made it part of America’s sacred foundation. Freedom of Religion was not included in the Constitution just to protect Christianity. Freedom of Religion protects ALL religions, even if you do not practice any religion at all. The idea that a wall between church and state doesn’t exist is absurd and the idea that the Founders meant America to be a Christian state is equally absurd...
So there we have it.  The Founding Fathers were Liberals.  If republicans are going to invoke the Founding Fathers, they should at least follow their principles.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Founding Fathers Favored Mandatory Health Insurance

From HERE:

In 1798, under 2nd President and Founding Father John Adams, the United States passed a law requiring mandatory health insurance for any private employees working on Maritime vessels. The bill was called “An Act for The Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen

 When republicans say the Founding Fathers would not support mandatory health care, they LIE!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Who Are The Fascists?

The term fascist is tossed around a lot by both republicans and Democrats, each accusing the other of being fascist. 

What is a fascist?

From the Oxford Dictionary:
An authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization
(in general use) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practices.

Dr. Laurence Britt, a political scientist, studied the fascist regimes of: Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile). He compiled a list called “The 14 Points of Fascism.”  Here they are (see addictinginfo for more details):

1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism

2. Disdain for the importance of human rights

3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause

4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism

5. Rampant sexism

6. A controlled mass media

7. Obsession with national security

8. Religion and ruling elite tied together

9. Power of corporations protected

10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated

11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts

12. Obsession with crime and punishment

13. Rampant cronyism and corruption

14. Fraudulent elections

Who fits these criteria better -- republicans or Democrats?

You decide!  I think the answer is self-evident!