economy

US economy faltering: The nightmare of Republicanism hits home

Knives sharpened to cut the deficit, the unsteady hands of Republican leaders have slashed through muscle to the bone of public institutions, weakening the economy to the point of relapse. One must conclude that this is purposeful. The risk of restarting the Bush Depression is a risk they deem worth taking. Failing financial systems are the only hope Republicans have for winning the presidency in 2012. This destruction of the global economy is simply collateral damage on the way to the White House.

On hole cards, or, "Drill, baby, drill"? Why? Is Canada out of sand?

In America, today, there are three kinds of drivers: those who look at the other gas pumps down at the ol’ gas station and think: “Oh my God, I can’t believe how much that guy’s spending on gas”, those who look at their own pump down at the ol’ gas station and think: “Oh my God, I can’t believe how much I’m spending on gas” – and those who are doing both at the same time.

On Redistribution, Or, “Afghanistan Peace Dividend Stimulus Lotto? OK!”

They tell us we’re dropping about $10 billion a month in Afghanistan so we can catch that Bin Laden guy...but eventually, we’re gonna catch him, and as soon as we do you can imagine that folks will be wondering why we’re still over there – and I gotta tell ya, I’m one of those people.

I mean, we’re over here talking about how we're so broke that we have no choice but to cut a couple of billion from heat assistance for the poor, and a billion-and-a-half from the Social Security operations budget, and money from food stamps and childcare assistance and tornado forecasting in Alabama…but every single month, just as regular as clockwork, we seem to be able to find another $10 billion to spend in Afghanistan, even as we have an economy that could badly use another round of truly productive stimulus.

And I don’t think y’all even realize just how much money $10 billion really is – but today we’re gonna see if we can’t fix that with a bit of a thought exercise.

Imagine if we set up a program that took that Afghanistan money and spent it right here at home for a year or two – and it was spent in the form of a lottery, where we stimulate the larger economy, help fix the mortgage crisis, and create a more energy-independent nation, all at the same time.

I got all we need except a catchy name; with that in mind let’s move on to the description of how the Happy Super Fun Day Peace Lotto Stimulus Thingy works.

On Killing Medicare, Or, You Stand Up, They Run Scared

Oh, my, has there been a lot of news since we spoke last about the Potential Impending Death Of Medicare: obviously we’re going to have to talk about the implications of Osama Bin Laden’s death (but we’ll do that another day), President Obama very publicly congratulated Donald Trump for having the leadership skills to know that Gary Busey was the one who needed to be fired after the way he ran the men’s cooking team on “The Apprentice”, and, of course, there was that “extreme ironing incident” on the M1 near London’s Mill Hill.

But what you may not have noticed is that in the past two weeks the Grim Weeper himself, Speaker of the House John Boehner, has gone from saying “I fully support Paul Ryan’s budget, including on Medicare” to saying that the Paul Ryan “Let’s Kill Medicare” plan is “an idea … worthy of consideration”—and when that happens that quickly you know somebody applied what we might politely describe as being at least “an equal and opposite force”.

And what I’m here to suggest today is that the opposite force in question…is you.

On Happy-ing Their Gilmores, Or, Will Body Bags Be The New Gold Watch?

We are continuing a recent theme here today in which two of my favorite topics are going to converge: Social Security and in-your-face political activism.

I have been encouraging folks to take advantage of the recent Congressional recess to have a few words with your CongressCritter about the proposed Death Of Medicare and all the proposed cuts to Social Security…and you have, as we’ll discuss…and now we have an opportunity to do something on a national scale, just as we did a few weeks ago in support of Social Security.

This time, we’re going to concentrate on fighting the idea that retirement ages should go up before we become eligible for Social Security and Medicare (and elements of Medicaid, as well), and that Americans should just keep right on working until the age of 67 or so—which isn’t going to be any big problem…really…trust us.

Now that just makes no sense, and to help make the point we have a really cool video that you can pass around to all your friends—and your enemies, for that matter, since they’ll also have to worry about what happens to them if they should ever make it to old age.

The Fundamentals

Back when I was a kid I loved baseball. More than anything I wanted to be a baseball player. But I sucked at it. Mainly because, and I will admit it, I was scared of the ball. I gave up my dream because I was afraid of getting beaned.

My fear is that the Democratic party is following the path I chose. Only instead of just affecting one person, their fear will affect millions and millions. They have decided to avoid getting beaned themselves, 10 million poor people can handle a fastball to the noggin.

I will not let this slide. It is time for true progressives to call bullshit, loudly.

First, as I have said before, the country does not need spending cuts. We. Need. Jobs.

Second, tax cuts for the wealthy DOES NOT create jobs.

Third, cutting government spending DOES NOT create jobs.

Fourth, Republicans DO NOT care about deficits.

For some reason that is totally lost on me the Democrats have bought into the, well, sorry to say it again, bullshit.

Tagged:

5 Point Economic Recovery Plan

"The US and the world are gripped by a deepening economic depression. There is no recovery and no automatic business cycle which will revive the economy. This bottomless depression will worsen until policies are reformed. The depression results from deregulated and globalized financial speculation, especially the $1.5 quadrillion world derivatives bubble. The US industrial base has been gutted, and the US standard of living has fallen by almost two thirds over the last four decades. We must reverse this trend of speculation, de-industrialization, and immiseration. Current policy bails out bankers, but harms working people, industrial producers, farmers, and small business. We must defend civil society and democratic institutions from the effects of high unemployment and economic breakdown.

On Petals And Metal, Or, Today And Tomorrow, Street Actions Are Afoot

For the past couple months I have been talking a lot about “taking it back”, and I have two great chances for you to do just that over the next two days.

One of them involves actions that are taking place all over the USA—but the other is a very special and particular event which will be taking place in Vancouver, British Columbia on Wednesday.

This’ll be a short story…but by the time we’re done, you’ll have stuff to do this week.

On Taking It Back, Or, Wisconsin Recalls, Explained

News is suddenly moving so fast that it’s becoming hard for me to keep up; that’s why we’re not finishing the story today that we just began Tuesday. You know, the one about Titan Cement suing two North Carolina residents who appear to be doing nothing more than speaking the truth.

Unfortunately, other important news has forced itself to the front of the line, and it’s going to demand that we break schedule, whether we like it or not.

That’s why today we’re going to be talking about Wisconsin, and how workers there are fighting back against the State’s Republican legislators and Governor, who seem to have gone out of their way this past three weeks to govern without the consent of the governed.

It’s kind of chilly today in Wisconsin…but I can assure you, things are heating up fast—and it ain’t because of spring.

Social Security: If You Can’t Kill The Program, Screw The People

There’s a lot of ways to be petty and cheap and stupid, and a lot of ways to stick it to a program you don’t like, and by extension, the clients of that program…and this week the House Republicans have embarked on an effort to combine the two into one petty, cheap, and stupid way to stick it to the clients of Social Security and the workers who administer the program.

They’re going to sell it to you, if they can, as a way to “lower the deficit”, or words similar…but what this is really about is making the actual Social Security program work less well—because, after all, if a program is popular today, the best way to make it less so is to apply a bit of “treat ‘em like their cars were impounded” to every interaction customers have with the system.

And what better way to make sure that happens…then to aggressively demoralize everyone who works down at the ol’ Social Security office?

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