No one’s talking about the economy anymore and blaming Obama for screwing it up since it has become obvious it’s improving?
America’s leading economic indicator, housing foreclosures, are down in 62% of U.S. cities. The lack of foreclosures is expected to cause widespread unemployment in the mortgage industry and negatively impact banking profits. “Good numbers are bad numbers in the foreclosure markets” said one mortgage insider. “This could trigger a trend in good numbers such as rising employment and production rates, signaling a much healthier economy and horrible decline in homelessness. U.S. banks have been counting on continued rampant foreclosures to support their bottom line – we are invested in a high-foreclosure future!”
A combination of refining and transportation problems in the Midwest and on the West Coast have driven gas prices up just in time for the November elections, the same way they always do when an incumbent Democrat is running for re-election to the Presidency.
So…I’m black? HOORAY! I’M BLACK! Maybe I’ll start dressing better!
U.S. jobless claims are down and hiring has increased over the past month, creating over a quarter of a million new jobs and lowering the jobless rate to 8.3%. This marks the fifth straight month of decline for the jobless rate due to private sector hiring. These gains are being seen in almost every state except the state of GOP Rhetoric, where there has been little or no economic improvement.
“Anemic growth is not growth. Okay, well, technically it is growth, but I prefer to use the term ‘negative worsening’”Newt Gingrich said in a written statement.
“Unfortunately, these numbers cannot hide the fact that President Obama’s policies have prevented a true economic recovery” Mitt Romney said. “And by ‘true’ I mean the kind where companies flounder so I can buy them for a song and then borrow money against them and then liquidate them so I don’t have to pay the money back.”
Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, also said “This feels like a Charles Dickens novel. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” he said. “And this is the worst because Obama might come back up in the polls going into the election. As a Republican I feel it’s important for Americans to bite the bullet and suffer just a year or-so longer.”
“Middle income Americans ought to have the highest income in the world”
Really. He said that. Out loud in front of a microphone. In a room full of people. Living people.
It’s the usual Republican chanting: lower taxes on corporations, do jack for workers, kill the unions, kill “Obamacare” even though Republicans re-wrote it in their own image, exterminate the EPA, repeal anything with Barney Franks’ name on it because he’s a big fairy, aggressively exploit fossil fuel resources regardless of the ecological damage, repeal inheritance taxes so rich people’s kids can be even richer, gut federal programs that don’t directly benefit corporate interests, do away with taxes on corporate profits made overseas, create the “Reagan Economic Zone” wherein I imagine it will be legal to harvest the organs of the poor before they die, delete carbon provisions from the clean air act, concentrate alternative energy funding on basic research so nothing is developed that threatens oil companies now, gut our own education system while granting permanent residence status to foreigners with advanced degrees because most of them will work for rice and onions, pack the NLRB with corporate stooges, cut wages and benefits for government employees (something that can’t actually legally be done), and most of all NOT A DIME IN TAX CUTS for those making less than $200k/year because someone has to pay for everything.
Here are the 59 Romney Plan points (yeah – 59 of ’em. That should be a breeze to implement in a congress that goes to the brink of economic collapse over a single point). In particular notice the open-ended ones like number 58 – essentially saying nothing about HOW to restructure government programs – hint: it involves a meat cleaver.
1. Maintain current tax rates on personal income
2. Maintain current tax rates on interest, dividends, and capital gains
3. Eliminate taxes for taxpayers with AGI below $200,000 on interest, dividends, and capital gains
4. Eliminate the death tax
5. Pursue a conservative overhaul of the tax system over the long term that includes lower,
flatter rates on a broader base
6. Reduce corporate income tax rate to 25 percent
7. Pursue transition from “worldwide” to “territorial” system for corporate taxation
8. Repeal Obamacare
9. Repeal Dodd-Frank and replace with streamlined, modern regulatory framework
10. Amend Sarbanes-Oxley to relieve mid-size companies from onerous requirements
11. Ensure that environmental laws properly account for cost in regulatory process
12 Provide multi-year lead times before companies must come into compliance with
onerous new environmental regulations
13. Initiate review and elimination of all Obama-era regulations that unduly burden the economy
14. Impose a regulatory cap of zero dollars on all federal agencies
15. Require congressional approval of all new “major” regulations
16. Reform legal liability system to prevent spurious litigation
17. Implement agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea
18. Reinstate the president’s Trade Promotion Authority
19. Complete negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership
20. Pursue new trade agreements with nations committed to free enterprise and open markets
21. Create the Reagan Economic Zone
22. Increase CBP resources to prevent the illegal entry of goods into our market
23. Increase USTR resources to pursue and support litigation against unfair trade practices
24. Use unilateral and multilateral punitive measures to deter unfair Chinese practices
25. Designate China a currency manipulator and impose countervailing duties
26. Discontinue U.S. government procurement from China until China commits to GPA
27. Establish fixed timetables for all resource development approvals
28. Create one-stop shop to streamline permitting process for approval of common activities
29. Implement fast-track procedures for companies with established safety records to conduct
pre-approved activities in pre-approved areas
30. Amend Clean Air Act to exclude carbon dioxide from its purview
31. Expand NRC capabilities for approval of additional nuclear reactor designs
32. Streamline NRC processes to ensure that licensing decisions for reactors on or adjacent to
approved sites, using approved designs, are complete within two years
33. Conduct comprehensive survey of America’s energy reserves
34. Open America’s energy reserves for development
35. Expand opportunities for U.S. resource developers to forge partnerships with neighboring countries
36 Support construction of pipelines to bring Canadian oil to the United States
37. Prevent overregulation of shale gas development and extraction
38 Concentrate alternative energy funding on basic research
39. Utilize long-term, apolitical funding mechanisms like ARPA-E for basic research
40. Appoint to the NLRB experienced individuals with respect for the rule of law
41. Amend NLRA to explicitly protect the right of business owners to allocate their capital as they see fit
42. Amend NLRA to guarantee the secret ballot in every union certification election
43. Amend NLRA to guarantee that all pre-election campaigns last at least one month
44. Support states in pursuing Right-to-Work laws
45. Prohibit the use for political purposes of funds automatically deducted from worker paychecks
46. Reverse executive orders issued by President Obama that tilt the playing field toward organized labor
47. Eliminate redundancy in federal retraining programs by consolidating programs and funding streams,
centering as much activity as possible in a single agency
48. Give states authority to manage retraining programs by block granting federal funds
49. Facilitate the creation of Personal Reemployment Accounts
50. Encourage greater private sector involvement in retraining programs
51. Raise visa caps for highly skilled workers
52. Grant permanent residency to eligible graduates with advanced degrees in math, science,
53. Immediately cut non-security discretionary spending by 5 percent
54. Reform and restructure Medicaid as block grant to states
55. Align wages and benefits of government workers with market rates
56. Reduce federal workforce by 10 percent via attrition
57. Cap federal spending at 20 percent of GDP
58. Undertake fundamental restructuring of government programs and services
59. Pursue a Balanced Budget Amendment
The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction has announced it will hold its first meeting on September 8. The members will make opening statements and decide on committee rules.
“This first meeting is very important because it sets the tone for ones that follow” said co-chair Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas). “We’ll be deciding who gets the comfortable chairs and who gets the ones with the broken casters and the loose armrests. I’m also going to propose a rule that the Democrats can’t speak unless they first say ‘Mother may I’ – which I think is fair.”
Co-chair Sen. Patty Murray (D-Washington) announced “Democrats will present a united front: we shall unanimously cave-in to all Republican demands. The President has given us strict instructions on this. The strategy is to say it’s all their fault when everything goes to Hell, as it inevitably will no matter what we do.”
About two weeks after this first meeting the committee will hold its first hearing on “The History and Drivers of Our Nation’s Debt and How Much Longer Will People Put Up With Our Political Bullshit Before They Rise In An ‘Arab Spring’-Style Revolt?”. The first witnesses will be Dr. Douglas Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, and Muammar Gaddafi, Pretty-Much Ex-Dictator of Libya.
Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D – AZ) returned to the House of Representatives yesterday after being severely wounded in an assassination attempt in January. Giffords returned to vote in favor of the new debt/spending package negotiated by President Barack Obama and Congressional leaders.
House members greeted Giffords with a standing ovation on her return to the House floor, and members of both parties shook hands and embraced her. Except for the Tea Party cranks, of course, but then these are people who go to their own rallies armed with handguns just in case one of their own is overcome by a liberal spasm and has to be put-down.
By a solid majority the Republican House of Representatives voted to approve the latest debt ceiling increase, allowing the United States to borrow trillions more and go even deeper into debt than ever before in history. Fiscally responsible Democrats tried to defeat the bill but had no chance in the GOP-dominated House – and may have to pass the bill through the Senate even though they have a slim majority there, due to Republican threats of reprisals on future legislation.
So-called “Tea Party” Republicans were dancing in the streets around the country to celebrate their victory over liberals by passing legislation that may someday cut spending by some token amount while increasing debt almost infinitely, thus guaranteeing the advent of a fiscal apocalypse and bringing their ultra-rightist prophets predictions of economic doom to fulfillment.
Liberals all over the country were downcast as their attempts to inject some economic responsibility into government finances were swept away by the landslide GOP vote in the House. “It’s spend, spend, spend, baby!” House Speaker John Boehner announced as the final vote was tallied. “Cocaine and hookers for everyone!”
President Barack Obama and House and Senate leaders announced today they have reached an agreement on the U.S. debt. The plan calls for increasing the nation’s debt ceiling to avoid default, and then convening some kind of congressional committee later sometime to do something about reducing the deficit, maybe.
The plan might reduce spending by a trillion dollars someday, and there might also be tax reform to increase revenues, although no one is sure.
The agreement does clear the way for both Republicans and Democrats to move forward with their election campaigns without the distraction of taking care of the nation’s business, and without being pinned-down to any real policy that might prove unpopular with one or the others’ constituencies.
So after weeks of fighting, arguing, whining, moaning, crying, threatening, and acting like spoiled children, the nation’s leaders have decided to go back to business as usual.