Monday, August 01, 2011

IS it a good compromise...

...if everyone hates it?

Maybe. Whether or not it is, the Democrats have a rough row to hoe: they really need to knuckle down and get this message:

It's the jobs, stupid!!

NOTHING will fix this crisis until people are employed. Nothing. Period.

Here are some quotes you might want to think about:

"Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves." --Abraham Lincoln

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit."  -- Harry S. Truman

Honest Abe, the Last Great Republican (actually, at this moment, Barry Goldwater is a flaming liberal in some Republicans' and Tea Partiers' eyes...) - had it right. The Republican party of today is being ruled (and/or ruined) by the Baggies. Either they're screwing us totally by their honest opinion that this country is in the toilet, or they're screwing us because of their monumental stupidity and willful ignorance.

Either way, the ultimate end of this equation is that we're screwed.

Obama has dropped his requirement that deficit reduction includes some revenue increases. Now, I'm no economist, and no math major, but I like to think I have common sense. And common sense tells you that if your expenses outpace your income, you're screwed.

If you don't include revenue increases -- the dreaded "T" word in the Baggies' vocabulary -- you won't be able to balance anything. And besides, the balanced budget has NOTHING to do with the budget deficit. Tossing in that constitutional amendment thing is insane. The budget is fundamentally unbalanced, and with our economic system, it always will be.

The President put Medicare on the table in order to avoid triggers. So.... the Baggies that are holding signs saying, "Get your government hands out of my Medicare" are screwed. But do you wonder if they realize that??

Even the Chicago Tribune, an admitedly right-wing newspaper, (honestly, if I didn't hate the Sun-Times as much, I'd switch to a paper with more left-leaning chops) is indicating that "...history shows ... enforcement mechanism don't always work." So. All this talk about a Super Congress pretty much gags me. The regular Congress can't get its act together. What makes anyone think that a "Super Congress" will get anything done?

Under this deal on the table, this special "bipartisan" (cough, gag, yark) panel will recommend steps to reduce the deficit. Any logjams by the panel or rejection of its recommendations by Congress will trigger a round of spending cuts.

Spending. Cuts. Again - here's the math. You have a family and your annual income is $100,000. So you have a budget. You have certain fixed expenses: mortgage, transport, utilities. Say that those expenses come to about $70,000. $100,000 - $70,000 = $30,000. Say you have kids you're putting through college, a vacation home, and credit cards. That amounts to $40,000. $30,000 - $40,000 = ($10,000). That's called a deficit. Say you could have "revenue" in the form of additional income from a renter that would equal $15,000 per year. ($10,000) + $15,000 = $5,000 --- you would GAIN $5,000 from that revenue increase.

Taxes. Increase the stinkin' taxes. Don't holler at me that we are "taxed enough already." Yes, what's left of the middle class is taxed enough already. But those folks making $250,000 or more? Not so much. But wait -- there's hope.

Look here:

And here:

There are actually people who feel that we should let the Bush tax credits expire. And those people are in the bracket that'd benefit from keeping those credits alive. And they say it's not fair. For the sake of the country. So who's more patriotic? The Baggies that don't get the concept that Medicare is a government program? And those who use the word "entitlement" as a swear word, who don't get the concept that yes, we are "entitled" to these things because we pay for them. Or these folks who do make more than I'll ever see in my lifetime, who say that the nation shouldn't get its funding from the most vulnerable.

Here's another thing: Those corporations who aren't paying any tax? (Yes, you read that correctly.) So if they're "tax-averse" since they have flocks of corporate tax lawyers combing the flawed tax codes for loopholes you could drive a herd of yaks through... Make a fee. This "head-count fee" is imposed for the benefits WE lose when THEY ship jobs overseas. The benefits of having the corporate deductions taken out of paychecks of US EMPLOYEES - those are the backbone of our economy. And it's logical: If you have a job, you spend money. If you don't have a job, you don't spend money because you don't have any.

Jeff Imelt, Obama's Jobs Czar (an irony of epic proportions) has just indicated that GE (the company he heads) will be shipping hundreds of jobs overseas. Nice job, Jeff. That gives me a nice warm fuzzy.

See the print above in red? IT'S THE JOBS, STUPID. We can't recover unless three things happen: we get jobs back here so we're able to spend money and start taxing more equitably.

Economists are also saying that the US figures debt incorrectly. The government bundles bondholder debt with intragovernmental debt. Bondholder debt is owed to outside bondholders: individuals, pension plans (!), foreign governments. Intragovernmental debt includes the obligations of the Treasury Department to some trust funds: basically what we owe ourselves. This is basically counting internal AND external debt in one lump, which is something that makes for fuzzy figuring. Public debt is the more important of the two: those outside bondholders hold 2/3 of the total US debt. Yep. TWO-THIRDS.

And one-third of the US debt is owed to our own citizens: IOUs to Social Security, Medicare, pension plans for federal workers and military personnel.

We won't be broke on August 3. Period. But this crisis in a tea pot does point out that there's a huge problem. It's only an "entitlement crisis" if we let it happen. Pay the IOUs to those most vulnerable --- it is our money, after all. We gave it to the US to hold in trust for when we needed it - when we are old and need the help the most.

Pay us back. Stop taking our money. Raise the taxes on those who can afford it, and the businesses who skip town without a conscience. That will help go a long way. It's not the sexiest solution but it does make sense.

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