Tag Archives: US economy

Which is why we must defund PBS. Now. Or we all die.

UPDATE:In comments, both jonolan and jamesb have pointed out this chart is, at the  very least, dishonest. They are right. I threw it up in haste. Bad me.

But it still sucks that our damn congress critters are going after PBS.

US spending more as a percentage of GDP? Yup. Ummm, maybe because GDP is shrinking? Yup. But don’t tell Wolf Blitzer; it’s a little too complicated.


Not fair! That's hard.

Stuff I wish I’d thought of but didn’t:

Obama is spending way more than _____________ (choose your president/decade). This is true. Krugman ‘splains why:

The fact is that federal spending rose from 19.6% of GDP in fiscal 2007 to 23.8% of GDP in fiscal 2010. So isn’t that a huge spending spree? Well, no.

First of all, the size of a ratio depends on the denominator as well as the numerator. GDP has fallen sharply . . .

A 6 percent fall in GDP relative to trend, all by itself, would have raised the ratio of spending to GDP from 19.6 to 20.8, or about 30 percent of the actual rise.

That still leaves a rise in spending; but most of that is safety-net programs, which spend more in hard times because more people are in distress . . .

That’s another 2 points of GDP, or about half the rise.

So we’re still left with a bit, around 1 point of GDP. That’s the stimulus, more or less. And there are two things you need to know about it. First, it’s temporary, and already fading out fast. Second, a large part of the stimulus “spending” was actually aid to state and local governments, intended not to expand spending but to avert a fall — that is, it was about maintaining government, not expanding it.

Now that wasn’t hard, was it? Of course, that doesn’t change the fact that Obama’s still a commie plant, here to destroy us from within.

Has Mitch McConnell ever smiled? Anyone? Ever?

My god, he really does look like a turtle!

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell was just on The News Hour where Jim Lehrer always asks informed and serious questions which  McConnell answered like he was on Morning Joe. He was as squirrely as can be and wouldn’t even “reveal”  whether he was one of those Congressional leaders who were shown the bin Laden death photos. Only elvis knows why.

What caught my attention though was this phrasing: “President Obama’s request to raise the debt ceiling.” He said it half a dozen times.

Sounds like Frank Lutz is back on the job.

The Missouri Compromise: not just for slavery anymore

The recent full frontal attack on labor has turned me from a so-so supporter of unions to a vigorous defender, ready to put my money where my mouth is. I am certain I am not alone. (h/t Bartcop for the cartoon)

Why your country doesn’t work anymore

We enable this with our silence. From Wonkette:

This is going to get repetitive, we’re afraid, but every aspect of the “financial crisis” in the United States is due to corporations not paying taxes and the very richest .01% individuals not paying taxes. That’s it, that’s the whole thing — your crumbling schools, your sinkhole highways, your abandoned state parks, the laid-off city maintenance worker . . . everything. General Electric, America’s largest corporation and the second-biggest company on Earth, simply does not pay any taxes at all. You try that!  . . .

With a massive internal tax-evasion department headed by a former Treasury official and staffed with former IRS agents, G.E. is simply the best at what has become common practice for the monstrous mega-corporations that control every aspect of policy and “politics.” A half century ago, corporations paid 30% of America’s total taxes. Now it’s down to 6.6%.

And still, they whine ceaselessly about how they can barely afford to do business in America, what with the crushing burden of 6.6% taxes.

From the original story in The New York Times:

The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States.

Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.

That may be hard to fathom for the millions of American business owners and households now preparing their own returns, but low taxes are nothing new for G.E.

My sentiments exactly

 RJ Matson, Roll Call  via http://www.cagle.com/

Good morning

On CSpan this morning is Simon Johnson, an economist who knows stuff. He referred to the regulatory apparatus in the U.S. as Byzantine. He said that when AIG was moving into reckless territory and inventing all those interesting new ways of  conducting business, they went ‘regulator shopping’.  And that was possible in the labyrinth of our system. Of course, many of the other big boys did the same thing.

courtesty Newsweek (I hope)

Interestingly, Johnson keeps his own money in a community bank in Massachusetts and a credit union in D.C. He endorsed the Move Your Money movement. (Go here to find a bank/credit union in your area.)

Last night, PBS re-aired their Frontline documentary about Brooksley Borne, the only regulator (somewhere in FDIC) who warned the Federal government (in the 1990’s) about the new ‘credit default swaps’. Unregulated, she warned, they would destroy us. But that was an inconvenient warning for the trio at the top of the US system – Bob Rubin, Larry Summers (and Alan Greenspan). They put a stop to her right quick! Rubin’s deputy was Timothy Geitner. Bet these fellas are thrilled to be back in charge. (You can watch it at the link.)

Obama may have to answer for that.

But I’ll bet the troops in Afghanistan – and Yemen according to Michael Isikoff this morning – are a little too busy to follow the career paths of the nation’s eminent economists. Because they’re busy fighting a war on this 131st day of the ninth year of that war.