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Links With Your Coffee - Tuesday


It’s actually good that the “Grand Bargain” is apparently dead, because what President Obama offered to the Republicans was a very bad deal for America.

The latest actions by House Republicans push the nation to the brink of ruinous default.



Loved these comments on the "This Age of Hicks":

I thought you were going to say something about the over-representation of the uninformed in the US Congress.


*whew* From the post's title for a moment I thought this was going to be a slur on southerners vis-a-vis the Republicans' political strategy. For what it's worth, those things are hurtful.

I was thinking the same thing and we know Leftbanker was too!

re Age of Hicks

I don't get why so much economic theory resembles nothing so much as a catechism, that the the faithful must believe irrespective of observable effect. I mean, it's not like we don't all see that the big industry 'job creators' are just sitting on cash, not making jobs. It's not like we don't know that state govt. retractions to meet balanced budget requirements have cost the country thousands of jobs. Nor does it seem terribly opaque to note that a consumer/service driven economy demands some more equitable distribution of wealth and income else there are no consumers.

Did you see that headline "Lawyer: Norwegian Attack Suspect May be Insane."

Ya think? Seems to be a lot of that going around. I can't believe we're really gonna become a deadbeat nation. I've been wondering what to do with whats left of the retirement kitty if the debt ceiling isn't raised. Usually when I worry, I say well, best take some out of the market and put more in govt insured CDs or treasuries. No interest, but at least the principle is safe. But if the US Govt defaults, then what? Are we back to the hide cash under the mattress days?

And, I want to know why Moody's and Standard and Poor's have the cheek to threaten downgrades on US credit worthiness. Aren't these the same guys who marked all those sub-prime mortgage tranches as triple A? Why aren't they in jail???

did you all send emails to your representatives yet? If not, then now's the time.

Did you see that headline "Lawyer: Norwegian Attack Suspect May be Insane."

You have to wonder if any of the 9-11 attackers were mentally ill. You also have to wonder why no one really ever bothered to check.

•A Sunday in July

The majority of my news consumption this weekend was via cable news.

It struck me that in the country with the highest atheist populations and the lowest % of people saying they believe in a god, that most all the mourner shots seemed to be in churches and include clergy.

The rate of atheism must be larger in the liberal party than in the general population.

It seemed to me that the media had the opposite reaction to this as they did 9-11. They started a PR campaign for christianity and soon as the discovered this was a white christian terrorist.

I wonder how many stories they will do about people distrusting and descriminating about christians after this...

Those members of the House of Representatives who refuse to raise the Debt Ceiling, are in violation of their Oath of Office. IRRESPECTIVE of what is or is not done about future deficit reduction budget issues.

A simple Debt Ceiling raise is mandatory. The 14th Amendment to the US Constitution demands that "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payments of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion shall not be questioned."

The Oath of Office for Members and Delegates of the House of Representatives (Article 6 of the Constitution) requires the following

Oath: "I, AB, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."

Any Representatives that refuses to vote for the Debt Ceiling raise ought be censured by the House for violating their Oath of Office. There are but 60 in the Tea Party caucus in the House. Only 51 of these have signed on to the "Cut Cap Balance" pledge. The good faith and credit of the United States of America is held hostage by a few extremists.

Didn't Obama vote against raising the debt ceiling when he was a Senator? I'm pretty sure Harry Reid made a very passionate argument against raising the debt ceiling back in March of 2006. Something about children and grandchildren if memory serves. Should they be removed from office for violating their oaths? Or should you stop watching MSNBC?

There is a big difference between a protest vote on something you know will pass and actually taking a stance that defaulting on our loans in the middle of a recession is a good thing.

Dems were protesting enourmous deficits caused by tax cuts for the rich and multiple wars.

Yer right. I prob'ly should stop watching TV news.

It just ticks me off to see this BS. We still have 20% unemployment in our county. This economy should be seeing massive stimulants from the Fed govt, not all this nonsense about now is the time to deal, all at once, with all the stupid over spending by the Bushies. And I find the refusal to raise tax rates on the folks who got us into this fix with their greed SO offensive.

We've been trying the massive stimulus thing for the last three years, and we still have 20% unemployment. While Red is wrong about us defaulting on our loans if the ceiling is not raised, can you understand why so many Americans are thinking that borrowing money to make loan payments is a recipe for disaster? Thankfully, we're arguing with each other about taking out more credit cards and not having the credit card companies (China, Japan, India etc...) refuse to issue us more cards to max out. The time will come when our creditors will make this decision for us.

Actually, we haven't had "massive stimulus" - that's bullshit. Total government spending, states plus federal, has been flat. Now it will decline. What Cory (Syngas) simply can't face is the fact that the average income of bottom 90% of American families is only a bit over $31,000 and that isn't enough to stimulate demand and create jobs. The top 1% are raking in an average of more than $1,100,000 and not enough of it trickles down - just that group is pulling down close to half of all disposable income by any reasonable definition of "disposable income". If we're going to worry about Chinese debt payments, it's time to raise taxes on the rich - by a lot. Of course, it would be far preferable if corporate employers decided on their own to institute a much more equitable distribution of wages, but don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen.

If raising taxes is such a good idea, why didn't the Democrats do it while they controlled both houses (2007-2010) and the WH (2009- )? All of a sudden, now that the GOP controls one house, they're the bad guys for not doing what the Dems were too cowardly to do themselves.

Why didn't the Democrats raise taxes on the wealthy? Nothing complicated there. The corporate oligarchy owns enough Democrats to augment their virtual total ownership of the GOP that they get their way on most issues. Corporate taxes are very low, health care reform is a corporate friendly affair, the "stimulus" was mostly tax credits, and so on. It helps too that consolidation of the media in a few large corporate hands ensures that we are either inundated with raw propaganda from 'Fox and Friends' or 24-hour trivia from the rest.

Low compared to who?

I'm not sure what that was supposed to prove Tim. It appears to be a stinging indictment of the increasingly regressive FICA taxes. As I'm sure you found out durring your frantic search for that graph, the US has the second highest corporate income tax in the industrialized world. Do you think making us the highest in the industrialized world will substantially change that graph, or might it chase the corporations that haven't already left to finally jump ship? Moving operations to other countries has cost millions of Americans their jobs, as Obama's economic advisor just demonstrated with GE's imaging division.

Yeah, but one of the lowest income taxes and enough loopholes that most corporations pay far less than the rate.

That can't be news to you.

It's not news, but does show how our politicians love to social engineer by providing 'loopholes'. I'd be in favor of eliminating most of those so-called loopholes. (Except for the child tax credits, and student loan deductions for about um lets say... 16 years ;). You'd probably want to keep the 'green' loopholes, but THAT'S IT, DAMMIT!

Oh, how could I forget the 401K - lets keep that little loophole for about 25 more years, but after that, everyone should pull their own damn weight!

Tax and fine pollution and You really don't need environmental loop holes.

Yeah, but then you get the morons who think CO2 is a pollutant, and it becomes pretty clear environmentalism is just a cover for social justice, and we're right back where we started.

no comment

Exactly, at this point is would be feeding the troll.

As Red indicated, our corporate tax rate is one that many corporations don't pay - hence the relatively low percentage of all Federal taxes that corporate taxes bring in. I'm not sure that high corporate taxes are a good idea - the point of my mentioning them was to indicate that they're getting their way. It would be interesting to set corporate taxes to zero with one exception: for every dollar the any employee is paid in excess of 30 times and less than 50 times the amount they pay their lowest-paid employee, they pay $3 in taxes. For over 50 times, it jumps up to $5. For corporations who are based elsewhere, the tax would be levied as a tariff. It is an easy tax to avoid, redirects wasted management overcompensation to reinvestment in the business. I would do away with the phony "long-term" capital gains tax rate and instead index it so real long-term gains are not unfairly penalized, and otherwise tax capital gains as ordinary income.

FICA taxes increased as share of total income not because they have become any more or less regressive; the FICA tax rates have not changed since the mid-80's - a fact I referrred to above. The number of baby-boomers moving into the job market increased the FICA share of total income. That, and the lowering of the income tax rates, of course.

Incidentally, check the times of your post and my post. Do you think I got up at 6 AM (Kansas or Texas time) and conducted a "frantic" search for anything? I already knew about the graph I posted and spent 90 seconds doing a screen shot.


And this guy has some number despite disagreeing with his conclusions to some extent.

I think our tax reciepts have hit such a low because our tax burden is largely places on the middle class and small business and they have been the hardest hit in the recession. A more fair system would raise revenue in the short term and could, if invested better (less corporate welfare and more infrastructure) lead to much more long term prosperity.

Also low when compared to the civilized world.

I hear, China is doing ok lately, funny considering their tax burden is just shy of twice ours.

Wow Tim. I figured you were wrong about the FICA taxes not increasing, but I didn't realize just how wrong you were. Check it out. Seems to fit your graph very well.

You are correct that they increased until 1990, but those rate increases were enacted in 1983. I hadn't remembered that the rate increases were phased over 7 years or so. The cap is indexed, of course.

I was clearly wrong about the uncapping of medicare though.


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