Tag Archives: Taxes

Give me a break. It’s not all about you moron.

Today, Americans celebrate the inauguration of our 45th president and 224 years of continuity of government – 224 year of bloodless constitutional transitions.

But not all Americans are happy.

According to Forbes, golfer Phil Mickelson may give up his career because he may have to pay higher taxes.

For starters, courtesy of President Obama’s re-election and the subsequent fiscal cliff negotiations, Mickelson will experience an increase in his top tax rate on ordinary income from 35% to 39.6%, and an increase in his top rate on long-term capital gains and qualified dividends from 15% to 20%. Clearly, when faced with tax hikes of that magnitude, it stops making economic sense for Mickelson to continue to swing a metal stick up to 70 times a day in exchange for the $48 million he earns on an annual basis.

Let’s repeat that last sentence:

Clearly, when faced with tax hikes of that magnitude, it stops making economic sense for Mickelson to continue to swing a metal stick up to 70 times a day in exchange for the $48 million he earns on an annual basis.

Either that is tongue-in-cheek or this is the most spoiled brat in sports.

I hope they’re grateful too . . .

I know I am very grateful that my enlightened government refuses to officially allow elderly and ill to be impoverished.

A factoid: where are the largest percentages of the Mr. Romney’s 47%? You already knew I’m sure. Remember also that those blue states are largely donor states, getting back less than a dollar for every dollar into the kitty and those red states are largely recipient states. Whoops, I meant ‘takers’.

So it makes perfect sense that they mostly voted for the guy who holds them in contempt. And says so.

Where are the 47% from? Bah, you knew all along

The Atlantic sheds some light on the subject (notice that the red states are Red States and the blue states are mostly Blue States). This is a pattern we see often on issues like teenage pregnancy, educational levels, income, health, obesity. It’s not Connecticut that isn’t educating its next generation.

That was then, this is now. After all, now isn’t then. Or something. Jeez.

This follows nicely on my Wednesday post about Romney’s frequent 360’s. Transparency about one’s financial civic practices are “expected of thee, but not of me”.

Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney has seen pressure mount from both Democrats and Republican pundits to release his tax returns. Romney says he is “simply not enthusiastic” about giving Democrats “hundreds or thousands of more pages to pick through, distort, and lie about.”

(Thousands of pages? Thousands? Really?)

But in 2002, during his run for Governor Romney attacked his opponent Shannon O’BrieThe Romney campaign accused O’Brien, who released her tax returns every year since 1998, of being disingenuous by releasing her but not her husband’s returns, a former lobbyist who had worked with Enron.

Romney spokesman and current top Romney aide Eric Fehnrstrom claimed O’Brien was attempting to hide possibly embarrassing finances from voters.

“Her hands aren’t clean. She can’t claim to be disclosing anything until she discloses the returns of her husband, the Enron lobbyist,” Fehnrstrom said. “Under Shannon O’Brien, the state Pension Board lost millions by buying Enron stock when it was collapsing — what is she hiding?”

Voyager: I am fierce proud my tax dollars helped this happen!

Voyager at Jupiter

Voyager I, launched 35 years ago, is now approaching the edge of our Solar System and will soon head out toward the other star systems that make up our galaxy, what we have fondly called the Milky Way. And it’s still transmitting data and adding to our store of knowledge like nothing else ever launched. (I’d say that its success strengthens the case for unmanned missions.)

There’s a link-rich story, plus videos and graphics at Talking Point Memo today.

We should all be proud, but also a bit sad that this is what we used to do.

NASA’s JPL has a site that follows the progress of [both] Voyagers in real time. It’s here.

Did you ever think of this?

Sorry Ronnie, you don't make the cut

Good thing Ronald Reagan, a president nearly deified by the right, is not in office today . . . were he, and had he ever signed Grover Norquist’s ‘pledge‘, his 11 tax increases would have doomed him to Jimmy Carter territory. No statues or  monuments would have been raised in his honor.

How is this healthy for a nation? It isn’t. It’s destructive.

We need to fix this or it’ll ruin us.

WASHINGTON — The top 1 percent of earners more than doubled their share of the nation’s income over the last three decades, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday . . .

In this report, the budget office found that from 1979 to 2007, average inflation-adjusted after-tax income grew by 275 percent for the 1 percent of the population with the highest income. For others in the top 20 percent of the population, average real after-tax household income grew by 65 percent.

By contrast, the budget office said, for the poorest fifth of the population, average real after-tax household income rose 18 percent.

And for the three-fifths of people in the middle of the income scale, the growth in such household income was just under 40 percent.

Entitlement my poptart . . . we paid for it!

Stipulated: The average American worker contributed to their Social Security and their employer did as well; that contribution totaled 15% of  income before taxes.

These figures below reflect the 49 years worked by the man who made these calculations. Punch in your own numbers.

  • If you averaged $30K/year over your working life, the 15% contribution is $4500 a year.
  • Over 49 years, that adds up to nearly $220,500 total cash contribution.
  • If you calculate the future value of $4,500 per year  at a simple 5%, after 49 years of working you’d have $892,919.98.
  • If you took out only 3% per year, you’d receive $26,787.60 per year and it would last better than 30 years.

(h/t friend Ed)

Americans, bah! It’s not what the oligarchy wants

From Bloomberg:

More than two-thirds of Americans, including a majority of Republicans, say wealthier people should pay more in taxes to bring down the budget deficit, and even larger numbers think Medicare and Social Security benefits should be left alone. . . .

More than 8 out of 10 Americans say the middle class will have to make financial sacrifices to cut the federal deficit even as the public just as strongly opposes higher taxes on middle-income families, according to a Bloomberg-Washington Post national poll conducted Oct. 6-9.

“While Americans see sacrifice as inevitable for the middle-class, the only sacrifice to win majority support is a tax on those too wealthy to be considered middle-class,” says J. Ann Selzer, president of Des Moines, Iowa-based Selzer & Co., which consults with Bloomberg News on polls.

By the way, tonight’s Republican debate will be broadcast only on Bloomberg.

Mr. Warren Reagan, class warrior

President Ronald Reagan in 1985, speaking in Atlanta:

We’re going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that allow some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share. In theory, some of those loopholes were understandable, but in practice they sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying ten percent of his salary, and that’s crazy. [...] Do you think the millionaire ought to pay more in taxes than the bus driver or less?

Here’s the video:

via Think Progress

Sunday funnies? Eh.

Well, apart from hearing David Gregory refer to Irene as “this monstrous storm” (while showing video of people actually outside in the rain) 24 hours after it was downgraded, I did find this:

Plus Bobblespeak will be up shortly (I hope). Meanwhile, want to weep? Sorry, I know it’s not funny, but neither is anything much right now. (same source as above)

They seem to have confused the U.S. Constitution with the Articles of Confederation

Don’t tell the Tea Party caucus who, along with Grover Norquist and a cabal (yes, cabal) of soulless financiers who crave power and hate taxes, that when they dream of a balanced budget and  call for a return to our ‘founding principles’, they only reveal ignorance of American history. In Salon, William Hogeland points out that The Founding Fathers would have hated the debt ceiling.

The Constitution came about precisely to enable a newly large government — a national one — to tax all Americans for the specific purpose of funding a large public debt. Neither Alexander Hamilton nor his mentor the financier Robert Morris made any bones about that purpose; James Madison was among their closest allies; and Edmund Randolph of Virginia opened the Constitutional Convention by charging the delegates to redress the country’s failure to fund — not pay off, fund — the public debt, by creating a national government.

Beginning during the War of Independence, and continuing throughout the 1780s, American nationalists committed themselves to a small class of upscale high financiers (largely identical with the American nationalists), who had bought bonds from the confederation Congress in hopes of earning regular, tax-free, 6 percent interest payments — not in the Congress’s crashing paper currency but in hard, cold metal or its equivalent, stable bills of exchange. Morris, Hamilton, Madison and others believed that swelling the debt to immense proportions would make a coherent nation out of 13 squabbling states and make that nation a player on the world economic stage. Their plan to do so depended partly on making military-officer pay a pension, thus turning the entire officer class into public bondholders — and giving Congress new power to tax all Americans to support that debt.

But they are certain of their righteousness (as defined by right-wing Christian Evangelicals and FOX News) and will fight on, financed by those whose allegiance is not to any nation, much less our own.

Sure, true things are true but . . .

I posted a few days ago about the singularly un-Christian tweet from’ America’s pastor’ Rick Warren, in which he transmitted yet again that stupid meme that 50% of Americans pay NO taxes!!  It is of course false on it’s face, since there is no way to avoid taxes.  What is true is that 50% of Americans pay no Federal Income taxes.

I just visited a site new to me, and one I look forward to visiting again, where Donald Marron takes a moment to tell us who those 50% are, and the reasons why they pay no federal income taxes..

The number one reason should come as no surprise. It’s because they have low incomes. As my colleague Bob Williams notes:

“A couple with two children earning less than $26,400 . . . their $11,600 standard deduction and four exemptions of $3,700 each reduce their taxable income to zero.”

Low incomes (or, if you prefer, the standard deduction and personal exemptions) account for fully half of the people who pay no federal income tax.

The second reason is that for many senior citizens, Social Security benefits are exempt from federal income taxes. That accounts for about 22% of the people who pay no federal income tax.

The third reason is that America uses the tax code to provide benefits to low-income families, particularly those with children. Taken together, the earned income tax credit, the child credit, and the childcare credit account for about 15% of the people who pay no federal income tax.

Taken together, those three factors — incomes that fall below the standard deduction and personal exemptions; the exemption for most Social Security benefits; and tax benefits aimed at low-income families and children — account for almost 90% of the Americans who pay no federal income tax.

Of course, they’re also probably lefty pinko lazy gay communist liberals.  Or so suggests ‘Pastor’ Warren.

 

Hit us again harder. Please.

  • Irresponsible tax cuts.
  • Toothless regulation.
  • Interlocking directorates.
  • Boards hand picked by CEO’s.
  • Quarterly earnings now the fickle measure of a stock’s worth.
  • Perverse incentive systems.
  • A business media of enthralled groupies slavishly following and thrilling to rock star plutocrats.
  • The collapse of the  concepts of the common good and civics.
  • Devotion to profits above all.
  • The demonizing of any talk of fairness or social justice.
  • Purposefully ignoring our collapsing infrastructure while we prop up the economies of China and Brazil and their enormous investments in their own infrastructure (transportation, ports, broadband) that will ultimately make us even more uncompetitive than we are now. (After all, there’s no profit in proppingup a joint where workers demand a living wage.)
  • Our government’s committment to protect the ‘job creators’ who, during a decade of historically low tax rates have managed to lose more American jobs than at any time since the Depression.

And our entirely broken government, now wholly owned by those who created it all. Bill Mahar explains some of it:

The poor: WWJD?

Megapastor and Christian spokesman for US of A Christians, Rick Warren, has spoken with his lord and has the answer.

So sayeth the Lord

Let’s go get ‘em! Lazy scum.

Legislators gone wild: Minnesota still cutting off nose

I wrote about this when it happened. Now, five days in, the New York Times editorializes about the disgraceful government shut-down in Minnesota.

Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, campaigned for office last year promising to raise taxes on high earners, so it was no surprise when he proposed a tax increase on families making more than $150,000 a year to help close a $5 billion budget gap. In negotiations with the Republican majority in the Legislature, he compromised and reduced the increase to those making $1 million or more, but Republicans are refusing to consider any income tax increase.

The shut down is going to cost the State millions. It’s going to cost jobs. It’s going to hurt the people of Minnesota.

Their [Republican extremists] antitax radicalism, maintained at any cost, is doing enormous damage at all levels . . . and may soon engulf the economy if the standoff in Washington does not end. In Minnesota, there is now a chance to draw a line and say, no further.

But meanwhile those 7700 Minnesotans earning over a million a year won’t have to give up a single day of summer vacation.

Phew! That must be a great relief.

Minnesota government shut-down a dress rehearsal?

Is shutting down government part of the GOP platform now? Perhaps, because it worked so well in the past.

Talks imploded Thursday between DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders in the final hours before a midnight deadline, and Minnesota began a historic government shutdown.

“This is a night of deep sorrow for me,” Dayton said in an address at 10 p.m. that was punctuated by jeers and hisses from Republicans, including some lawmakers.

The governor said his last offer would have raised income taxes only on those earning more than $1 million a year — an estimated 7,700 Minnesotans, or 0.3 percent of all taxpayers, according to the Revenue Department.

It’s the same argument we’re hearing nationally with the same rancor and obstruction..

Talks may have also broken down because an earlier GOP offer asked Dayton to accept controversial policy positions the Republicans pushed for this year, including photo ID requirements at the polls and abortion restrictions. An offer sheet provided to the Star Tribune said the policy adoptions were in exchange for “new revenue in a compromise offer.”

Oh. Of course.

When A Country Goes Insane

One job for every five looking

That’s the headline on a recent article at Common Dreams, a website I visit when I need to refresh my inner liberal, the one who’s deeply offended by a wealthy country that let’s its children go to bed hungry. Where my Governor is bragging about the 65,000 new ‘jobs’ this year – which pay around $20K and replace the lost jobs that paid $40K.

Six million people have lost their jobs. Twenty five million are underemployed. Many will never work again. Eight trillion dollars of middle class wealth has been destroyed in the housing collapse. One out of four mortgage holders are under water, owing more on their home than it’s worth. Fifty million people are living in poverty. One out of eight Americans are on food stamps. One of every two children will be on food stamps at some point .

And meanwhile:

[The country] can’t tell truths from lies . . . Sleazy operators pass themselves off as statesmen . . . and the crowds, unable to distinguish sanctimony from sincerity, bravado from bullshit, lap it up.

Let’s just ignore:

. . . the Republicans’ response? The working and middle class need to pay. Never mind that it was Reagan and Bush I who quadrupled the national debt in only 12 years, and Bush II who doubled it again in only eight, all to grease the pockets of their wealthy base. It’s the working and middle class who need to be bled. They still have assets that can be milked from them. They can still be made more subservient, more docile.

Remember, it’s Obama’s economy. And what about the American people? The ones who aren’t the 1% who enjoyed all the economic gains of the last 30 years?

. . . they need to give up any expectation of security, or dignity. They need to give up any childish illusions that [government] is operated for any such quaint Madisonian ends as “the general welfare.” They need to put on their kneepads and accustom themselves to being grateful servants to their new feudal masters . .

And through it all:

The media genuflect before gibberish and idolize idiocy. They are the media-tors of a Gresham’s Law of public discourse where bad information drives out good. For their own slick whoring they become “players,” while everybody else is left with a debauched civic currency, a crushed economy, and a collective impotence that makes true democracy and true prosperity impossible.

God bless us every one.

The Bush tax cuts, the bubble, the collapse, the $2.5 trillion: what might have been instead

The Bush tax cuts were signed 10 years ago today. We gave the wealthiest among us $2.5 TRILLION dollars. That worked out well. Here’s some stuff we might have done instead with that revenue.  But all these things would have done of course is educate and employ people.

  • Provide 43.1 Million Students With Pell Grants Worth $5,500 Every Year For Ten Years
  • Provide 31.5 Million Head Start Slots For Children Every Year For Ten Years
  • Provide VA Care For 30.7 Million Military Veterans Every Year For Ten Years
  • Provide 30.4 Million Scholarships For University Students Every Year For Ten Years
  • Hire 4.19 Million Firefighters Every Year For Ten Years
  • Hire 3.67 Million Elementary School Teachers Every Year For Ten Years
  • Hire 3.6 Million Police Officers Every Year For Ten Years
  • Retrofit 144.6 Million Households For Wind Power Every Year For Ten Years
  • Retrofit 54.2 Million Households For Solar Photovoltaic Energy Every Year For Ten Years

The tradeoffs paint a stark picture. For the same price as the Bush tax cuts, which did little to help the economy, we could’ve sent tens of millions of students to college, retrofitted every household in America with the capacity to generate alternative energy, and hired millions of firefighters and police officers.

UPDATE: Drat! Kay posted this too. She gets up earlier.

A comment worth promotion

In an earlier thread, commenter Doug took issue with the premise of a letter to the editor of my local paper that I’d posted, in which the writer addressed how our economy got into its present condition.  Doug’s comment  then elicited a response from ojmo which I think is worth promotion to the front page so you can read it too. It’s long and full of those fact things and deserves a read.

Doug said:

Can I point out that Medicare and Social Security are payroll taxes, and come out of MY paycheck? I did not see those taxes get cut…And the great recession came as a result of the housing collapse (compounded with high fuel costs). The housing collapse came out of irresponsible lending encouraged by the vaunted government institutions of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The government was encouraging, rewarding, and driving banks to give mortgages to people who couldn’t afford them. These programs were conceived under Carter, pushed under Clinton (I remember the news stories personally), and warned against by Bush and McCain, to name two, but poopooed (I just wanted to get poo into this). Let’s look at the unemployment rate before the housing collapse, shall we? Then let’s look at the job creating juggernaut that is Obama and the rates over his tenure…

And ojmo responded: 

Can  I point out that Medicare and Social Security are payroll taxes, and come out of MY paycheck? I did not see those taxes get cut…

The Republicans are the party that cuts income taxes on the wealthy every chance they get. Payroll taxes are different because they’ve already “baked in” upper limits on those taxes. However, as far as payout on the benefits goes, the Continue reading

The GOP is the “cut taxes, borrow money and spend it all” party and don’t let them pretend otherwise. Oh, and Democrats create the jobs.

Job growth by President - trust the trend

Expect excessive linkie-linkie to my local daily for a while. I just re-subscribed (after a year of thinking there was life after a daily newspaper and being wrong) to the Herald-Tribune, a fine paper that is about half of what it was just a few years ago. But even in this world of smaller and smaller papers, the Trib managed to grab another Pulitzer Prize this year for an exhaustive investigative report on Florida’s property insurance system – which legislators have refused to address (multi-part story here). Like I said, a fine paper.

I want to share a Letter to the Editor from today’s paper. The writer says it well.

Bad economic ‘solutions’

In the 1920s, the Republicans ran the country and we had the Great Depression. In the 1990s, President Clinton raised taxes to reduce the deficit and not one Republican voted for this program, but lots of them predicted an economic catastrophe. Instead we got unparalleled growth.

Then came Bush and, without any concern for long-term solvency of Medicare, Social Security, etc., those in power cut taxes, especially on upper incomes. And even after incurring huge wartime expenses, they never made any effort to roll back the tax cuts. The Republicans in Congress went along with every bit of this deficit spending, and we got the great recession.

These same “experts” now want to hold the country hostage to a refusal to raise any taxes. They tell us that raising taxes on the rich will slow job growth, but never acknowledge that job growth was far better when that tax rate was higher. Nor do they accept study after study showing that these tax cuts have the least stimulative effect on the economy. Cutting spending only to balance the budget will be a disaster, leaving us less educated and less healthy. Yet this is what these economic illiterates propose. The question isn’t only why their solutions are harmful, not helpful, but, why, given their record, anyone listens to them.

That’s about right. I will add that the bald-faced lie that extending the Bush tax cuts will lead to  jobs creation, is just that. A bald-faced, evidence supported, lie. After the were signed into law, all we did was lose jobs.  But let’s not let facts get in the way.

Cut spending? How ’bout earning more?

Oh those Republicans! They hate taxes even when we’re starved for revenue. They don’t much like caring for ‘the least among us’ or – as modern reality would have it  – the sick, the poor and the elderly. They say they believe in education, but think every eight year old is able to set the course for a successful life – not the taxpayers problem. They love our hi tech future but don’t worry about who’s going to have the education and skills to fill those hi tech jobs. They’re big fans of moving Social Security from a defined benefit and exposing it to the volatile wonders of the ‘market’. Which worked so well for folks who pensions evaporated in ’08-’09.

A local city has for some time been dipping into their diminishing reserves to cover pensions for police and firemen. Now they’re actually considering tax increases. They (tea party favorites) – and the previous city council – refused till now to own the looming problem. Now it’s biting them in the butt.

As property tax revenue has plummeted along with values, the council for four years has not increased the tax rate as many communities have done. Instead it has relied on reserves to plug the hole. Now it does not have that option, especially as officials anticipate another pension shortfall next year.

Obama now biggest tax cutter since Ike

The press can’t be bothered with ‘facts’ like this – lying eyes must be silenced. There are opinions to consider.

Beneath all of the Republican and Tea Party grumbling about taxes, one key fact continues to be ignored. According to the Tax Policy Center, Federal taxes are lower than at any time since 1955. Obama has now reduced taxes by more than any president since Dwight D. Eisenhower.

. . . In fact, most Americans have no idea that Barack Obama has lowered taxes. According to a 2010 CBS News/New York Times Poll, only 12% of Americans knew that Obama has lowered taxes. 53% thought that he kept taxes the same, and 24% believed that Obama has raised taxes.

. . . Not surprisingly, only 2% of Tea Party supporters knew that Obama had lowered taxes. 44% of them thought that the President has raised their taxes.

Some good statistics and links at the story remind us that “The US revenue gap could be closed immediately with a tax increase . . .”

But let us not speak of such things. Interferes with the script we so love. And socialism also. Must keep an eye on socialism.

Thank a union guy!

Author Stephen King (born poor in the state of Maine; worked his butt off; got rich; has a house down here) stopped into the Awake The State Rally in Sarasota FL last week. To the delight of the crowd, he took the mic.

Some choice bits:

At 1:45   I’m a rich guy. I pay 28% in taxes and I want to know why I don’t have to pay 50%!

At 4:35  If you like a weekend, thank a union guy. If you like a 40 hour week, thank a union guy.

Proud to have you as a neighbor Mr. King. Sir.

Don’t need those kids to live too long

Even I've got my priorities straighter than that!

At CPAC, Haley Barbour just bragged that Mississippi is the safest place in America for an unborn child. He didn’t dare mention it’s the most dangerous place in America for a born child.

Per thousand rates put Barbour’s state a proud 1st among the fifty in infant mortality. Brag on Haley! (Who’s doing the best job in keeping their born babies alive? Why, that would be the liberal hellhole of Massachusetts.)

Earlier they were all excited denouncing government ‘investment’ proposals. Barbour said ‘can’t borrow your way to prosperity”. But of course, that’s what successful businesses have to do all the time – it’s the only way they can grow their companies, their sales and thus their revenues. Standing still is how you commit suicide.

Where’s my foot? I need to shoot it.

Aaaahhhh . . . Just looking at this thing depresses me so much I’ve not the energy to search up a proper link. Happily Paul Krugman did.

DESCRIPTION

(via Krugman h/t Digby)

A random thought

The only US Presidents who raised taxes in the last 31 years were Republican.

Media FAIL (yet again)

Bloomberg today:

“The Obama administration cut taxes for middle-class Americans, expects to make a profit on the hundreds of billions of dollars spent to rescue Wall Street banks and has overseen an economy that has grown for the past five quarters.

Most voters don’t believe it.

A Bloomberg National Poll conducted Oct. 24-26 finds that by a two-to-one margin, likely voters in the Nov. 2 midterm elections think taxes have gone up, the economy has shrunk, and the billions lent to banks as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program won’t be recovered.”

You know the line: “Move along, nothing to see here”

While America-the-people wallows in mid-term election grizzlies and gossip, America-the-country is dissolving around us. I heard the top dog of Tea Party Express on CSpan this morning say that the movement (as usual) is about stopping any new taxes and reducing the deficit. It’s nonsense: contradictory goals – a waste of his breath and the airtime. But sadly people believe it’s possible.

It’s not. And 30 years of deregulation and insufficient taxation – and a growing belief that in fact raising taxes is to practically trample on the Constitution and side with the terrorists – have brought us to a sorry state of affairs. While we subsidize everything that ends up costing us in the long run – sugar, gasoline, corn syrup, highways etc., our infrastructure and our educational credentials (see next post) are falling apart.

It’s as though we’re trying to devolve.

Bob Herbert today (my new favorite columnist) talks about water systems.

” . . the truth is that the nation’s water systems are in sorry shape — deteriorating even as the population grows and demand increases. Aging and corroded pipes are bursting somewhere every couple of minutes. Dilapidated sewer systems are contaminating waterways and drinking water. Many local systems are so old and inadequate — in some cases, so utterly rotten — that they are overwhelmed by heavy rain. “

“If this were a first-class society we would rebuild our water systems to the point where they would be the envy of the world, and that would bolster the economy in the bargain. But that would take maturity and vision and effort and sacrifice, all of which are in dismayingly short supply right now.”

“Improving water systems — and infrastructure generally, if properly done — would go a long way toward improving the nation’s dismal economic outlook . . . . every dollar invested in water and sewer improvements has the potential to increase the long-term gross domestic product by more than six dollars. Hundreds of thousands of jobs would be created . . .

“The nation’s network of water systems was right at the bottom of the latest infrastructure grades handed out by the American Society of Civil Engineers, receiving a D-minus. Jeffrey Griffiths, a member of the federal government’s National Drinking Water Advisory Council, told The Times: “We’re relying on water systems built by our great-grandparents, and no one wants to pay for the decades we’ve spent ignoring them. There’s a lot of evidence that people are getting sick. But because everything is out of sight, no one really understands how bad things have become.”

But the gays and the terrorists are out to get us. So there’s really no time for this stuff.

This is a massive failure of government at every level, a failure of both parties. Ultimately however, it’s our own failure.

You get what you ask for. (Of course we’ve managed to convince people to pay for their water in bottles, so maybe it’s okay!)

The Gipper got it (sometimes)

Between errands and pool and chores and some reading, I have managed some Sunday morning news shows and some time cruising around the intertubes.

Sure! I raised taxes when it was the right thing to do!

Vocally opposed to extending the Bush tax cuts for the richest two percent of us?

Alan Greenspan, who this morning said we need to ‘let them expire’.

David Stockman (the Reagan guy), who has an entire op-ed in The NY Times today, wherein this old time conservative even goes so far as to say “Mr. McConnell’s stand puts the lie to the Republican pretense that its new monetarist and supply-side doctrines are rooted in its traditional financial philosophy”

Just sayin’.