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Archive for the ‘You’re On Your Own-ership Society’ Category

Boehner loses one

Posted by Charles II on June 20, 2013

Savage cuts to NSAP (Food Stamps) and international food aid in HR 1947 were voted down 234-195. You can see the vote here.

But they’ll be b-a-a-a-a-c-k.

If this happens enough times, maybe Republican leadership will figure out that being a–holes is not a good political strategy.

Democrats who chose to join forces with evil:

Barber, Barrow, Bera, Braley, Brownley, Bustos, Costa, Cuellar, Enyart, Farr, Garamendi, Garcia, Loebsack, McIntyre, McNerney, Murphy (FL), Owens, Peters, Peterson, Rahall, Schrader, Sinema, Vela, Walz.

I guess agribusiness is more important to them than the flood tide of hungry people.

Posted in Congress, poverty, Republicans acting badly, You're On Your Own-ership Society | 6 Comments »

A fable for our time, by Tommy Douglas

Posted by Charles II on June 22, 2011

Avedon links us to a most brilliant piece:


Posted in (Rich) Taxpayers League, abuse of power, workers, You're On Your Own-ership Society | 1 Comment »

Those who make peaceful reimbursement impossible

Posted by Charles II on April 27, 2011

Via ql at Atrios’s dive, KTUU-TV (MSNBC) reports that:

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court gave corporations a major win Wednesday, ruling in a 5-4 decision that companies can block their disgruntled customers from joining together in a class-action lawsuit. The ruling arose from a California lawsuit involving cellphones, but it will have a nationwide impact.

In the past, consumers who bought a product or a service had been free to join a class-action lawsuit if they were dissatisfied or felt they had been cheated. By combining these small claims, they could bring a major lawsuit against a corporation.

But in Wednesday’s decision, the high court said that under the Federal Arbitration Act companies can force these disgruntled customers to arbitrate their complaints individually, not as part of a group. Consumer-rights advocates said this rule would spell the end for small claims involving products or services.

Breyer [dissenting] added that a ban on class actions would prevent lawyers from representing clients for small claims. “What rational lawyer would have signed on to represent the Concepcions in litigation for the possibility of fees stemming from a $30.22 claim?” he wrote. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joined his dissent.

So, if companies cheat their customers for less than about $50,000 each (the approximate sum at issue that it takes to get a lawyer to represent you), no law applies and they’re home free. What do consumers have left to defend themselves? The five Justices who delivered this monstrosity are nothing better than criminals in black robes.

Posted in abuse of power, activist judges, Supreme Court, You're On Your Own-ership Society | 1 Comment »

Democracy is the problem: the uprising at Katherine Catherine Ferguson High School

Posted by Charles II on April 23, 2011

Rachel Maddow has the story.

Amazingly, a columnist in the Kalamazoo Gazette defended the actions of the man who is running Detroit by asking whether we would rather have dictatorship or dysfunction. I think the state of New Hampshire answered that question for all of us who believe in the American system:

New Hampshire logo

Added: Also note that the man closing the Catherine Ferguson Academy, Robert Bobb, was appointed by Democrat Jennifer Granholm.

The dictator of Detroit

Shame on her. Bobb is also closing the Day School for the Deaf. Shame on him.

Posted in 'starving the beast', capitalism as cancer, You're On Your Own-ership Society | Tagged: | 6 Comments »


Posted by Charles II on November 19, 2010

From FAIR:

Tonight’s broadcast of the Charlie Rose Show will feature a discussion of the budget deficit with progressive economist Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.).

Getting two progressives on TV to discuss the deficit is like Haley’s Comet. Most of us only get to see it once in a lifetime.

Posted in Catfood Commission, deficit, You're On Your Own-ership Society | 2 Comments »

Gotta cheer the good news…

Posted by Charles II on September 10, 2010

(reprising Atrios)

No surprise this was done in the dead of night. Jackie Calmes, NYT via CNBC:

President Obama on Friday will promote a longtime economic adviser, Austan D. Goolsbee, to chairman of his Council of Economic Advisers, signaling continuity even as a high unemployment rate has left much of the public dissatisfied with administration policies.

Oh, wait. This news is not so good.

Calmes notes his primary qualification for the job:

Mr. Goolsbee, an amateur comic as well as an economist, was a favorite within the White House, where many colleagues felt he had earned the chairmanship.

And then there’s this gem:

Mr. Goolsbee, who has a free-market bent, opposed bailing out Chrysler.

Exactly what we need for the chairmanship of the CEA: a looneytarian clown.

Posted in Barack Obama, economy, You're On Your Own-ership Society | 2 Comments »

America held hostage

Posted by Charles II on July 26, 2010

The Tax Policy Center (a joint project of Brookings and the Urban Institute) has an analysis of what the effect of failing to extend the Bush tax cuts in their entirety would mean. My interpretation is that if the tax cuts on the bottom 80% lapse, it will put such a serious dent on demand as to send the economy back into recession. On the other hand, the underlying tables suggest to me that only $60B can be gained by reinstating taxes on the top 1%. That’s probably not enough deficit reduction to prevent more pressure on the dollar and interest rates. The optimal solution is probably extending tax cuts on the bottom 80% for another three years and phasing them out thereafter, immediately repealing the tax cuts on the top 1%, and phasing out the tax cuts over three years for those between the lower 80% and the top 1%.

This, of course, is a hopelessly complex policy both to implement and explain politically. The simple and politically palatable policy is for the Republicans to hold the economy hostage to tax cuts for the wealthy. If we go along with bankrupting the country, they’ll let the economy live a while longer. We’ll see if they are that corrupt and destructive in the event that the country gives them back control of even one house of Congress.

[edit: I’ve had no time to do the proper analysis, which would break out the revenue/tax burden consequences of various approaches to the tax law. Sorry.]

Posted in 'starving the beast', Republicans as cancer, taxes, You're On Your Own-ership Society | Comments Off on America held hostage

Chopping up the oak furniture for kindling

Posted by Charles II on July 17, 2010

The kind of people who, in times of economic distress, demand cutbacks to services instead of taxes do not understand that the savings may not be there, because many costs are invisible. In some cases, it is not simply a matter of costs. We may lose things that are not replaceable, as when one chops up antique oak furniture just to heat the room.

Via Calculated Risk, this article from Lauren Etter of WSJ:

Paved roads, historical emblems of American achievement, are being torn up across rural America and replaced with gravel or other rough surfaces as counties struggle with tight budgets and dwindling state and federal revenue. State money for local roads was cut in many places amid budget shortfalls….

In Michigan, at least 38 of the 83 counties have converted some asphalt roads to gravel in recent years. Last year, South Dakota turned at least 100 miles of asphalt road surfaces to gravel. Counties in Alabama and Pennsylvania have begun downgrading asphalt roads to cheaper chip-and-seal road, also known as “poor man’s pavement.” Some counties in Ohio are simply letting roads erode to gravel….

Some experts caution that gravel roads can be costlier in the long run than consistently maintained asphalt because gravel needs to be graded and smoothed. A gravel road “is not a free road,” says Purdue University’s John Habermann…

Not to mention that unpaved roads degrade air quality and have difficult-to-quantify costs–and irreversible health damage– associated with lung disease.

Posted in 'starving the beast', financial crisis, when government is a good thing, You're On Your Own-ership Society | Comments Off on Chopping up the oak furniture for kindling

Looks Like Pete Peterson Wrote Out Yet Another Check

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 15, 2010

Because this anti-Social-Security story reads like he’d custom ordered it:

For more than two decades, Social Security collected more money in payroll taxes than it paid out in benefits — billions more each year.

Not anymore. This year, for the first time since the 1980s, when Congress last overhauled Social Security, the retirement program is projected to pay out more in benefits than it collects in taxes — nearly $29 billion more.

Oh noez! That’s eight whole years earlier than predicted! Eeeek!

Except that’s not that big of a deal, as AARP explains:

Myth: The fund starts getting into trouble in 2018.

Not true. The year 2018 is when Social Security benefit payments are expected to exceed payroll tax revenues. That’s not exactly cataclysmic. Reason: from 2018 through 2027, incoming tax revenue combined with interest earnings will still be enough to pay benefits and build the trust fund balance. Beginning in 2028, as mentioned, the trust fund principal will have to be tapped, and that’ll get us through 2042—even if we do nothing.

Clearly a tune-up is needed to extend Social Security’s life beyond that horizon. “But dismantling the whole system would be like buying a new car because the one you have has a flat tire,” says Peter R. Orszag, a senior fellow of economic studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

But of course the privatizers want to get at the trillions in Social Security’s trust fund, so they can skim 14% to 20% straight off the top, as compared to the fraction of 1% in overhead costs of Social Security as it’s currently configured. This would reduce your benefits by 14% to 20% — something the privatizers don’t want you to know.

Oh, and the reason why Social Security might be putting out more this year than it takes in? The bad economy and stock market. What do the privatizers want you to do? Let them take your money out of nice, safe, fraction-of-1%-overhead Social Security and put it in the casino that is the open stock market. I think you can see what’s wrong with that concept.

Posted in 'starving the beast', big money, privatization, Social Security, You're On Your Own-ership Society | 2 Comments »

Turn out to town halls

Posted by Charles II on August 2, 2009

Lee Fang, ThinkProgress (via t/o):

This morning, Politico reported that Democratic members of Congress are increasingly being harassed by “angry, sign-carrying mobs and disruptive behavior” at local town halls. For example, in one incident, right-wing protesters surrounded Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY) and forced police officers to have to escort him to his car for safety.

This growing phenomenon is often marked by violence and absurdity. Recently, right-wing demonstrators hung Rep. Frank Kratovil (D-MD) in effigy outside of his office. Missing from the reporting of these stories is the fact that much of these protests are coordinated by public relations firms and lobbyists who have a stake in opposing President Obama’s reforms.

The lobbyist-run groups Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks, which orchestrated the anti-Obama tea parties earlier this year, are now pursuing an aggressive strategy to create an image of mass public opposition to health care and clean energy reform. A leaked memo from Bob MacGuffie, a volunteer with the FreedomWorks website Tea Party Patriots, details how members should be infiltrating town halls and harassing Democratic members of Congress

How contemptible is a movement when its objectives are:
Artificially Inflate Your Numbers
Be Disruptive Early And Often
Try To “Rattle Him,” Not Have An Intelligent Debate.

Maybe it’s good training for Democrats who need a spine to figure out what they believe in.

Posted in Flying Monkey Right, health care, You're On Your Own-ership Society | 3 Comments »

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