Tag Archives | Budget

Congressman Paul Ryan Hands Cold War Victory to the Ruskies

Soyuz TMA-7 SpacecraftWell, there it is folks. Plain as day: Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan's "Roadmap to Ruin" austerity program sh*tcanned the U.S. Spaceshuttle program and left us dependent upon the charity of ex-KGB chief Vladimir Putin. No you wouldn't hear much about that from the Fox News(tm) Politburo. Seems that we have to rely on our Aussie cousins to get the scoop. It's true. Now without an independent space program of our own, we'll be at the tender mercies of the apparatchiks in Moscow to support our telecommunications satellite infrastructure. Now I don't have definitive proof yet that Paul Ryan is a sleeper agent for Uncle Vanya, but all signs point to yes. In debt ceiling talks this week his lot are trying to force American-born grandmothers to give up their cat food money in order to support the vodka habits of his Wall Street buddies like Frenchman "Fabulous" Fab Torre.
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Millions for Defense; Not One Cent for Tribute

Oh how the times have been a changin' since Robert Goodloe Harper coined that gem in 1798. In the 21st century, apparently, patriotism means stealing hundreds of billions from the U.S. Treasury to bailout incompetent bankers, as "minute man" [1] Paul Ryan begged the House to do on September 29, 2008. Okay, so as a nation we're totally cool with recasting tribute to greasy financial fat cats as "investment" — even if it doesn't exactly pay a huge return. [2] But since "far left socialist" Barack Obama proposed cutting Social Security benefits during recent talks to increase the nation's debt ceiling (to much Republican enthusiasm), making sure Granny gets her catfood money has also been redefined as "wanton profligacy". Ah, sure, the ol' gal only had another ten years left in her TOPS anyways, right? America, you are a pack of perverts. [3]
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The U.S. Owes $62 Trillion in Financial Promises

Out Of MoneyDennis Cauchon writes in USA Today:
The federal government's financial condition deteriorated rapidly last year, far beyond the $1.5 trillion in new debt taken on to finance the budget deficit, a USA TODAY analysis shows. The government added $5.3 trillion in new financial obligations in 2010, largely for retirement programs such as Medicare and Social Security. That brings to a record $61.6 trillion the total of financial promises not paid for. This gap between spending commitments and revenue last year equals more than one-third of the nation's gross domestic product. Medicare alone took on $1.8 trillion in new liabilities, more than the record deficit prompting heated debate between Congress and the White House over lifting the debt ceiling.
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Tent City Erected By Protestors In Madison, WI

Hooverville in Portland, Oregon

Hooverville in Portland, Oregon

Would you live in a tent to show that history repeats itself? Protesters opened ‘Walkerville’ tent city, much like the infamous ‘Hooverville’, in the middle of Madison on Saturday night. This is the most recent demonstration protesting against Governor Scott Walker’s budget plan. Dubuque Telegraph Herald reports:

Those against Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposal are settling in for the long haul, pitching tents at Capitol Square.

WISC-TV reported Sunday that protesters are calling their tent city “Walkerville,” named after the “Hooverville” shantytowns set up during the Great Depression.

Overnight camping is being allowed along parts of Carroll and Mifflin streets. The protesters will have access to portable toilets and hand washing stations, and several businesses sell food in the area.

Protester Karen Tuerk said the budget is a war on working families and the middle class

[Continues at Dubuque Telegraph Herald]

Read the rest

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And Now: The Homily from Brother Dimon … U.S. Debt Default Would Be A ‘Moral Disaster’

Jamie DimonIt’s 21st May: If you’re reading this, you’re in Hell; welfare Queen JP Morgan Chase’s CEO, Jamie Dimon provides today’s post-rapture homily via the AP/Huffington Post:

It would be a “moral disaster” if the United States were to default on its debts and become unable to pay its obligations, JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon said at an appearance in Colorado Thursday evening.

The U.S. is the financial linchpin of the world, and the economic effects of the U.S. defaulting could be “potentially catastrophic,” he said at a dinner for the University of Colorado Denver Business School.

“It will dwarf Lehman,” Dimon said, referring to the 2008 collapse of the investment bank Lehman Brothers, which contributed to the beginning of a global financial crisis.

Dimon’s comments came in response to a question about the federal deficit from moderator Tom Petrie, a vice chairman of Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Congress is debating raising the country’s $14.3 trillion borrowing limit.

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DNC RIP: 1848 – February 16, 2011

“There was madness in any direction, at any hour. You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning.” — Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Trumka and McEntee

Trumka and McEntee

Well, almost . . . I’m not too confident about defeating Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s junta in the near term. In fact I’m detecting a growing rumble that suggests the earth is about to crack open within the next week and swallow the Madison Uprising whole. However, two other points seem equally clear to me:

1.) If it does, it will likely drag the DNC to Hell along with it

2.) The DNC’s demise may not be all that great a loss for Richard Trumka and Jerry McEntee — or the American people.

Madness

I’m only one lone blogger, an overfed garden gnome with a bad haircut.  I can’t possibly hope to convey to those outside of Wisconsin the full brutal glory and incendiary bolts of sheer lunacy roiling through the state right now.  In part because I have heretofore lacked the resources and the contacts to be at the epicenter and in greater part because the whole awesome mess is so overwhelming that I think it’d be beyond the capability of a dedicated full-time team of bloggers to bring home the sublime scale of the thing.… Read the rest

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Back to the (Dystopian) Future: Scott Walker’s CV Explains a Lot

BTF WTFIs Scott Walker’s latest stunt in Wisconsin just an attempt at revenge for his own mediocre academic career?  Let’s take a look at the facts.

Been busy days out here in Wisconsin, what with all the turmoil wrought by “Boy Wonder” Scott Walker’s genius pre-emptory activation of the armed forces.  Clearly the man missed his calling as an FBI hostage negotiator.

As of the time of this writing, the basic facts of the matter remain as they have for nearly a week now:  Scott Walker has called for, and the public employees unions have agreed to, major financial concessions.  Which raises the question as to why there remains so much upset a week into the farrago.  I mean, if this were really about saving $ and ¢, why would Walker have bothered to call in the national guard, starting the meter running on their active-duty pay [1] when unions have caved on the only issue?  Why does Walker still refuse even to negotiate non-financial issues?… Read the rest

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The Economy of The Crow: Bird Brains Want to Throw Away $116 Billion A Year to Benefit The Richest 1.3% ‘Small’ Business Owners

There is an old folk saying that comes down from the Irish tradition:  “The economy of the crow”.  It’s uttered whenever some old wag wishes to describe, in a dryly pithy manner, a short-sighted and foolish resource management strategy.  It supposedly is derived from the habit of scavenger birds like crows who, upon noticing an unharvested bit of carrion ripe for the picking, tend to drop whatever goodies they may currently have in their clutches in order to go in pusuit.  Basically the saying is a ridicule, a chastisement of stupid waste.
Economy of The Crow
While that kind of bird-brained buffoonery may be understandable in a creature with the cranial capacity of a thimble, it’s not the type of responsible management practice we expect from our elected representatives.  Certainly not from the members of the party that claim in one breath to be both the party of fiscal responsibility and the party of deep business savvy.  Nonetheless that’s exactly what Republican’t douchebags like Paul Ryan (R-WI) and McConnell (R-KY) continue to parrot unashamedly when they urge for yet another tax cut for the wealthiest 2% of Americans.  We’ve already estimated at Chart 2 of this post that tax cuts for elite income individuals as proposed by Ryan will likely add $116 BILLION* per year to the deficit.… Read the rest

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Should Republicans Consider Hedging Their Bets On Paul ‘Speedy’ Ryan?

Rep. Paul Ryan

Rep. Paul Ryan

disinformation’s readers come through yet again. Responses to my last blogpost were extremely varied and thought provoking, with some well-reasoned and others less so.  The persistence of themes played out in some of the latter so impressed me that it well pleases me to once again examine the big ol’ “Fail” written all over Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) endorsement of the Laffer Curve, especially its implications for ‘The Velocity of Money’.

Remember ‘The Velocity of Money’?  That’s the basic economic concept introduced in our post about the hypothetical castration of Goldman Sachs.  It’s a thumbnail measure of how efficiently an economy employs its capital—the more often a single dollar is spent during a given year, the higher the rate of employment.  Any number of other theoretical implications can be drawn from that;  the higher the rate of employment, the greater economic, social and political equality, the higher the rate of technological innovation, etc., etc.… Read the rest

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