Third Party & Independents Archives

Beat me, beat me. Hurt me, hurt me.

If not the actual tone, the first-order harmonic of America’s welling enthusiasm for “progressive” government is eerily religionistic: that we need to do penance for the relatively fat & happy times that were the Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush years.

Implied is that we would do well to flagellate ourselves with radical changes to our personal behavior: driving less, buying less, eating less, having less--as if success were sinful, prosperity morally suspect, and the current recession our cosmic comeuppance for being, like, way too comfortable.

What’s fascinating is how well this religionistic Neo-Puritanism lately plays to an otherwise secular America. I sense a kind of knee-jerk misanthropy here--an existential self-loathing, if you will--that has become an intellectual fashion accessory for too many Americans, as if “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” displaced “Martha Stewart Living” in America’s rumpus rooms.

The implication is that we Americans need to be psychologically reconditioned to lead more ascetic lives, which invites the kind of social engineering that has led to many of history’s greatest horrors--both human and economic.

We'd better be careful.

Posted by Stephen G. Barone at March 2, 2009 4:09 PM
Comments
Comment #276592

Stephen Barone,

You write: “The implication is that we Americans need to be psychologically reconditioned to lead more ascetic lives…”

WoW! That view ENTIRELY misses the fundamental focal point of what is happening in real life. Debt and unemployment precludes living the high life for increasing numbers of Americans. That is the reality Americans even still holding jobs, are preparing to deal with, and justifiably and rightfully so.

All this other mumbo jumbo about a conspiracy to undermine the psychological representation of what the good life is, or was, completely misses the reality of an economy on the verge of bankruptcy, experiencing enormous threat to jobs and debtors, and the radical constriction upon choice and opportunity such threat represents.

This is not a propaganda brainwashing campaign to persuade folks to choose lives of asceticism. This is real life economic threat to future choices, options, and opportunities to remain in the venerated Middle Class while avoiding a fall into the poverty class.

To the extent that folks can pay down debt, by increasing income, curtailing spending, and diverting spending to debt reduction, from the national to the personal level, everyone’s future choices, options, and opportunities will be preserved and expanded. To the extent that we fail in this endeavor, we limit severely our futures.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 2, 2009 5:07 PM
Comment #276593

Stephen, we are going to be in a world of hurt very soon.

No doubt most Americans didn’t realize that ‘change’ really did mean what Obama said it was, “fundamentally transforming America;” a change into what the left has been advocating all these years: the destruction of traditional America to make way for Progressive America.

It’s not going to be pretty. Too bad that conservatives laid down and just let it happen.

Posted by: eric simonson at March 2, 2009 5:17 PM
Comment #276597

One of the most tone deaf article I’ve ever seen. AIG posted the largest quarterly loss in corporate history today. The final failure of AIG could result in a domino effect, with dozens of large corporations failing as well. The financial sector is collapsing, stock markets plunging, and this is “penance”? What next? Want to call Americans “a bunch of whiners” a la Phil Gramm? Is this a “mental recession”? The most ardent capitalists in America, the good people of Wall Street, are being kept on life support by the Federal Government, and this is an example of ascentism? My goodness, that’s one of the most foolish things I’ve ever seen put in writing.

Eric,
It’s not pretty right now. It’s ugly, and getting uglier.

Posted by: phx8 at March 2, 2009 5:43 PM
Comment #276598

eric simonson said: “Stephen, we are going to be in a world of hurt very soon.”

You mean the last couple million newly unemployed Americans, bankrupt corporations, and foreclosed upon homeowners to date, and Republicans raising the national debt from 5.65 trillion to over 12 trillion in 8 years DOES NOT QUALIFY as a world of hurt, already?

How ya’ doing, eric? Long time no hear. Welcome back to the fray, guy.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 2, 2009 5:44 PM
Comment #276606

Why is everything posted that is anti-democrat compared to religion or sex? What can be going through the mental gyrations?

Just curious.

Posted by: womanmarine at March 2, 2009 7:33 PM
Comment #276621

Eric-
Your party didn’t lay down. It shot itself through the brain and then tried to do its thinking with Rush Limbaugh’s rhetoric. I don’t call unanimous no-votes in the House and nearly the same in the Senate laying down.

The only thing that prevented your people from defeating Obama was the fact that your Party’s previous performance gutted it in the last two elections.

If they had really tried, they could have taken advantage of Obama’s willingness to reach across the aisle in order to get concessions and bring more conservative methods to the table. You folks could have been the ones seen as conciliatory and cooperative. Instead, the Republican congress demonstrated that it was in its “terrible twos”.

I’m sorry, you can’t lose two elections and lose both majorities in the House and Senate and expect to set the agenda.

As for the destruction of traditional America? First, which one? The Agrarian, decentralized America done in by the Civil War, Industrialization, urbanization, and the mechanization of agriculture? The Frontier America done in by the Pacific Ocean being in the way? The Fifties America done in by the supplanting of radio by television, the relaxation of the Red Scare, the puncturing of American illusions? The Laissez Faire America destroyed by the economic consequences of the Great Depression?

What former version of America do you prefer to the current version? Which version will you be nostalgic for later on?

The Eighties were an innocent time for me, a time when the cares of the world were less, the scars not yet set. As they drew to a close, I saw a communist menace and a Warsaw block that I thought would long persist crumble and collapse.

The Nineties started out rough, got worse, and then became a time when I found myself. I would change my political thinking, my religious thinking, find my callings, go from a boy with imagination to a man with worlds spinning in his head. Technology would take a course nobody at the beginning thought it would take, booming, then busting, the economy hurtling upwards into greater and greater heights.

This current decade started out at the Nineties height, became a time of trial, a time of forging, a time when bare ideas became fleshed out storytelling, when an interest in politics became a dedicated following of the course of my nation, when my ambitions became dragged down by their own weight, and great responsibility was forced on me. Hope and fear burn side by side, and my life is once again at the crossroads. But there are things I know about myself now that I didn’t before, and now I am stronger.

The days of my past are fossils in mind and fact. America’s past is the same. America cannot expect to stay the same forever. The question, though, is whether the best of ourselves and the best elements of our country’s laws and liberties shines through the clouds of the challenges we face, whether America emerges triumphant, whatever shape it takes, held together by an integrity that doesn’t require America to be set in stone and cast in concrete to achieve.

Stephen G. Barone-
America has to find a way to prosperity that can actually last, that isn’t dependent on self deception or a naturally limited resource. It is a matter of efficiencies built on efficiencies. The smarter we are, the more we can enjoy ourselves without killing ourselves.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 2, 2009 9:48 PM
Comment #276622

It’s, “Whip me, beat me, make me write bad checks.”

Posted by: gergle at March 2, 2009 10:09 PM
Comment #276626

Womanmarine,
The conservative and libertarian references to religious fanaticism show just how bankrupt these political philosophies have become. They have nothing to offer that is of any use right now. Nothing. There are vague references to something terrible happening: “social engineering,” and “the destruction of traditional America.” Meanwhile, the non-farm payroll numbers for Friday are going to be awful, with estimates of 750,000 job losses in February alone. It doesn’t get much more destructive than that. Bailing out AIG is not anybody’s idea of “social engineering.” No one, and I mean no one, wants to see the nationalization of the financial sector. Call it socialism, but that’s where we’re going because we have no other viable choices. If libertarians and conservatives had viable option, they’d offer it for discussion. Instead, the GOP trots out the same irrelevant ideas, as if tax cuts could save AIG, or somehow fill the smoking hole that used to be occupied by investment banks. The truth is, lack of government oversight, i.e., regulation, let the financial sector go nuts with mortgage derivatives. AIG owns trillions in losses. Capitalism has no answer for losses of such magnitude other than bankruptcy, and the failure of AIG would ensure a deep depression.

Well, we may be going down anyway. Oh wait. That’s just my liberal prediliction for sex talking. Never mind.

Posted by: phx8 at March 2, 2009 10:31 PM
Comment #276629

gergle said: “It’s, “Whip me, beat me, make me write bad checks.””

Now that’s funny. Thanks.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 2, 2009 10:46 PM
Comment #276630

Stephen D. said: “Your party didn’t lay down. It shot itself through the brain and then tried to do its thinking with Rush Limbaugh’s rhetoric.”

That too is very funny. Thanks. I am impressed by the levity injected into such a serious political war between those in power and their, now largely irrelevant, counterparts in search of a leader.

I can hear the audience at CPAC thinking, “Emergency, Emergency Will Robinson, please, please, take us to our leader, whomever, just pick one. A radio show host? Sure, anyone who badmouths Obama, please, please, Emergency, Emergency. Our great leader has resigned to Dallas and must be replaced immediately for us to function and continue to exist. Emergency, Emergency.”

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 2, 2009 10:54 PM
Comment #276637

Stephen, attacking and complaining about Republicans does not make the case for anything that Democrats do. Your comments seem obsessed with Republican failings while studiously avoiding any reasoned defense of Democrat policies.

It’s this simple: the failure of a Republican effort does not guarantee the success of a Democratic one. It’s like saying that because Republicans shot America in the foot, that Democrats would be justified to shoot America in the other foot and then chop it off at the knees.

There does seem to be an odd phenomenon taking hold among some Democrats, especially its far-left internet-based segment. It’s as though they got so angry at America for electing George Bush twice, that they want to beat, gouge, and set America on fire to punish it now that they’ve achieved some power. Well, Obama’s socialism is certainly going to hurt all of us if a few brave and principled Democratic congressmen don’t join the fight to stop the Mugabe-Obama legislative agenda.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at March 2, 2009 11:47 PM
Comment #276639

Loyal O,
“It’s this simple: the failure of a Republican effort does not guarantee the success of a Democratic one.”

That’s true. There is no guarantee of success. In fact, I suspect the odds are heavily stacked against us- all of us. And even if Obama and the Democrats can somehow pull this off, and bring the country out of this freefall by 2010, and stop the asset deflation, they will have to face a terrible the consequences of a deficit. It doesn’t get much worse than this.

Remember 2001, when Bush and the GOP sent a tax rebate to everyone because they projected a $10 trillion surplus?

Posted by: phx8 at March 3, 2009 3:06 AM
Comment #276643

Eric
Oh No! Progressive America! What will we ever do without 40 million with no healthcare!It could get so bad they might even increase tax credits for college tuition!Or even get so bad that our infant mortality rate might get better than Latvia or,God forbid, we start fully funding Headstart instead of Halliburton.The sky is falling!

Posted by: bills at March 3, 2009 6:39 AM
Comment #276652

Or, it could get so bad that we are grossly over taxed, told what we can eat, told where we can show our faith, can have our property stolen, are given permission to exercise our “rights,” when and how we will retire, what we must do for charity, are made dependent, and told we are all victims.

Get real Eric.
Progressive America is here and the Obama is the final nail in the coffin of the once great “traditional America.”
With this transformation complete, we are no longer unique, special or the greatest country on earth. We are no different than any other “democracy.”
With this transformation, we are no longer the “beacon on the hill.”

Posted by: kctim at March 3, 2009 10:48 AM
Comment #276659

Why is it so hard for the Left and Right of Society to accept the fact that the Youth of the 60’s and Silver Spoons of the 70’s did not have all the answers to the questions asked by the Elders and Powers-that-Be. For calling the End of the World as We Know It and claiming that you have been beat and hurt be the other. I am wondering how long the Self-Pity Party is going to last.

For why it would take a host of lawyers locked in a room for days to fix AIG and the Banking System while still saving most of the Money of the Top 20% of Society as well as the Average American. I do believe that My Peers can solve this problem only if they would allow the American Consumer and Small Business Owner light the way.

Yes, America could stand up, dust ourselves off, and start building a Sustainable Green Civilized World today which would see the market soar. But instead it seems that some of My Peers would rather cry over spilled milk than how their leadership can create the jobs that will increase the demand of Goods and Servives that will allow the Top 20% of Society to regain the Wealth that they were promised by the Establishment they elected over the last 30 years.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at March 3, 2009 12:10 PM
Comment #276660

Remer, or someone pretending to be him, writes; “To the extent that folks can pay down debt, by increasing income, curtailing spending, and diverting spending to debt reduction, from the national to the personal level, everyone’s future choices, options, and opportunities will be preserved and expanded.”

I wonder if some conservative is guilty of identity theft here as I can hardly attribute these words to Mr. Remer considering that in another recent post he said just the opposite. In that post he was extolling the virtue of more spending to avoid bankruptcy.

Now it would seem that Mr. Remer’s logical brain has awakened and now promotes the correct course of action for both individuals and government…that being, “increasing income, curtailing spending, and diverting spending to debt reduction.”

Posted by: Jim M at March 3, 2009 12:33 PM
Comment #276664


The Democrats are using a borrow and spend plan in an attempt to bailout a borrow and spend economy to maintain a borrow and spend American Way Of Life. What is progressive about that?

Posted by: jlw at March 3, 2009 1:25 PM
Comment #276668

Along the way we will need to be on the watch for the chipping away of our sovereignty, Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Fairness Doctrine was defeated but Sen. Durbin of Illinois was able to get a bill through that actually expands on the Fairness Doctrine. From the Media Research Center (?) : “Upon closer look, this “stealth” attack on Free Speech Rights is far more insidious because it empowers the government to censor and control the airwaves through backdoor policies that would almost certainly be expanded to include television, newspapers and the Internet!”

Also, the new Atty Gen. is hell bent on chipping away at our 2nd amendment right. He is using the lame excuse that too many US assault (read semi-automatic) weapons are reaching the hands of the drug cartel’s and therefore, the US should tightly control these weapons. Who’s sovereignty are you protecting Eric? Ours or Mexico’s?

Another one to watch is the sovereign waters of the States. The Klepto-Plutocracy likes to streamline progress; no regulations, no sovereignty issues, etc. They understand that to keep up their mandated growth rate of 5-8%/yearly the U.S. will have to pipe water to the SouthWest. Therfore, the Fed wants to have control of all the U.S. water rights down to near mud puddles. They may be able to feed off the TVA in the South but the big dip will be in the great lakes region. Remeber, the NAFTA highway has pipelines to carry oil, gas and water from the Can. border to Mex.
There is something like the ‘natural sea law treaty’ (sic) coming up. Supposed to double the existing offshore areas at least for alternative energy. Need to get some info on this one.

As the transcontinental electric grid development gets underway we will need to keep an eye on eminent domain.

The Fed will continue to chip away at these things and if folks just roll over for them, well…

Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at March 3, 2009 3:31 PM
Comment #276673

Earmarks ,Pork Is Pork, Or Porkears Lard fat waste …. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5injFfO8MlwJfFFF_n29IR630N94AD96MPE700

Posted by: Rodney Brown at March 3, 2009 4:26 PM
Comment #276702

Rodney

looks like the times they are a changin, NOT!!
i wonder if alfred e newman is still available? what me worry. ;-)

Posted by: dbs at March 3, 2009 8:11 PM
Comment #276703

Republic Sentry Party. Solid as a rock!

Posted by: Roy Ellis at March 3, 2009 8:14 PM
Comment #276705

Thank you Roy and David and dbs funny These Beautiful Animals feed in my back. Seneca white deer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrB0ADdRLEI

Posted by: Rodney Brown at March 3, 2009 8:39 PM
Comment #276709

DBS,
Why the followers of Rush wish that Change would not come I do believe that their failure to listen to Mr. T. Boone Pickens and other Conservative American Barons in 2008 is why President Obama and the Democratic Party won so easily. For why you can say that the Foreign Oil Companies will never allow America to become Energy Independent or that upgrading the Federal System for the Children of the 21st Century is wasteful spending by holding the No-Nothing position. The fact is that the Market itself is now coming to terms with the idea that not all corporations of the 20th century will survive the Recovery and Reinvestment of America and the New Global Market.

So stand in the path of the Political Storm as it perpares to wipe the Land clean of Ancient Technology and offer the Children of the 21st Century the opportunity to invest in a Sustainable Green Civilized Society. For just as those Elders of the 70’s who stood in the way of the Youth of the 60’s and Silver Spoons of the 70’s wanting to Change the World. I do believe that History will show that Nothing Known or Unknown to Man can resist the Change of Time not even Pure Ignorance.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at March 3, 2009 9:25 PM
Comment #276711

David,

I’m speaking of the “fundamental changes” that our one party government is engaged in implementing right now. Since it takes a village to raise a child: I guess the idea is that we have to destroy our village (the US) in order to save it.

Posted by: eric simonson at March 3, 2009 10:10 PM
Comment #276713

Stephen,

Hm. And here I thought that the GOP lost because they didn’t actually implement a conservative agenda. Silly me.

Posted by: eric simonson at March 3, 2009 10:15 PM
Comment #276716

Eric,
If you’d like to go into the archives and pull out one- just one- example of your criticizing the GOP and the conservatives during the Bush administration for their failure to implement a conservative agenda, I’d like to see it. One article. Even a comment would do.

I don’t think you’ll find one. Conservatives supported Bush and the GOP lock, stock, and barrel, with money and with votes, and virtually no criticism. Whether it was Iraq, or Global Warming, or tax cuts, or debts and deficits, conservatives were fully onboard, every step of the way.

To their credit, I remember Independents and Libertarians joinging Liberals and Progressives in criticizing GOP spending here, on this site.

Posted by: phx8 at March 3, 2009 11:19 PM
Comment #276730

Jim M
Sounds like DR to me. The stimulus package is first aid. Its a temporary necessity. An apt analogy is a guy that spends and spends all his money on wine,woman and song. Then he gets sick from all the partying. It does not make sense for him to all of a sudden decide he has to start saving money by not buying the medicine he needs. That does not mean that when he recovers it is not a good idea to change his ways and put some bucks aside.

Posted by: bills at March 4, 2009 2:54 AM
Comment #276735

Jim M, my sentence was apparently too complex for your reply. I point you to the first words in my sentence, “To the extent that folks can pay down debt…”

Think about it. You just might comprehend the meaning and there after recognize there is NO conflict between my statements in this regard.

America is NOT in a position to pay down debt at this time AND prevent the recession from overtaking our future prosperity. Get it? (Somehow, I suspect not, despite all efforts to assist).

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 4, 2009 4:39 AM
Comment #276736

eric said: “I’m speaking of the “fundamental changes” that our one party government is engaged in implementing right now. Since it takes a village to raise a child: I guess the idea is that we have to destroy our village (the US) in order to save it.”

Sorry, eric, you will have to more specific than this. Such generalizations I am sure make sense inside your eyelids, but, lack enough specificity to respond to from within mine.

It is easy to agree with the fact that this is a one party government (potential filibuster exception in the Senate duly noted), and that one party government is prone to excesses in favor of that party’s value system. Beyond that, I am unable to respond to your references which lack a real world context.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 4, 2009 4:45 AM
Comment #276739

jlw said: “The Democrats are using a borrow and spend plan in an attempt to bailout a borrow and spend economy to maintain a borrow and spend American Way Of Life.”

What you say is factually correct. Democrats (and Republicans I might add) want our credit markets to flow again so that our economy can return to borrow and spend behaviors, which created jobs in excess of the economy’s capacity to provide jobs if folks were far bigger savers than borrowers in their behavior.

The introduction of the credit card to our economy and population was the single greatest shove of our population to move from savers to borrowers. We made borrowing easy, convenient, and for a couple decades, cheap.

However, borrowing is no longer cheap. And that humongous shift in economic reality is what the American people and BOTH the Republican and Democratic Parties are going to have adjust to and accommodate in their governing philosophy going forward, if we are to have an economic future worth living in.

That said, the immediate challenge is the Recession. It threatens the future of our economy more immediately than the longer term behavioral problem of borrow or spend. This Recession has several original causes, but, it is now maintained and worsening due to a lack of consumer activity in our places of business, causing those businesses to lay off workers, which in turn cause more contraction in consumer activity.

That vicious cycle must be arrested and the only way to arrest it is to both halt the decline in consumer confidence in holding onto their jobs and homes, and by insuring consumers have sufficient cash resources to increase their consumer behavior. This is no easy or simple feat. And Republicans and Democrats do not differ on the need to get cash for consumer activity flowing through the hands of consumers again.

They only disagree on the method of getting that cash into consumers hands, cutting taxes and for which segment of the population while increasing deficits, or cutting taxes on most, raising taxes on some, and investing the difference in job creation and maintenance while increasing deficits.

One of the fallacies being floated out there, is that if Republicans were still in power, they would not be increasing deficit spending to fight this recession. This is precisely what Republicans did in 2001 through 2003 to fight that recession. So, it really is a false debate about whether R’s or D’s would differ on raising deficit spending and national debt.

What Democrats do in terms of economic policy AFTER this recession has been arrested (and there is increasing evidence this recession will end), is the far more relevant debate issue.

Will they pursue a course leading to balanced budgets? Pres. Obama appears to be trying to chart a course in that direction via lowering the costs incurred in our health care system per unit of administered health care, raising revenues through reversal of previous tax cuts where they can be best afforded by those taxed without substantial changes in lifestyle, looking for areas in the bloated enormously wasteful military budget while preserving national security readiness capacity, and other measures.

Whether or not Pres. Obama can craft such legislation initiatives in a manner that will be adopted by Congress is a dubious question. Whether Congress can deny itself its own temptations in favor of the objective of reaching zero deficits is very doubtful, as 6 out of 10 of the highest pork spenders in the Omnibus Bill are Republicans, and the majority which is Democrats are refusing to be denied their share of the pork pie. Will Obama veto his first fiscal year budget coming out of Congress if it is loaded with spending which does not further progress on our main national fiscal objective to zero out deficits in the future? No one knows but Obama at this point. Should he? Absolutely!

The point I am getting at here, is that Republicans have demonstrated no better behavior regarding deficits and debt than Democrats are accused of, and guilty of as this Omnibus Bill and the House version of the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act prove.

Which leads me to believe that the only direction from which progress will come will be the voters and Obama. If Obama proves incapable of vetoing Congressional habitual appetites, then the whole ball of wax rests upon the voters in 2010 to choose to vote out their own representatives in Congress, or not. If they fail to, Congress will continue bankrupting the nation on a bi-partisan basis.

Optimally, however, Obama will use the bully pulpit to garner public support of his VETOING Congressional spending as usual, demanding that appropriations meet the national economic needs of our present and future. If Obama takes that direction successfully, I am far more confident in my daughter’s future than I can be otherwise.

We should all however, get onto Obama’s White House website and encourage him to move in this direction, regardless of whether we are registered independents, Democrats, or Republicans. It is our best hope going forward, I think.

And the astute and accurate comment of yours above seem to me, to lead only in that direction for voter’s who wish to take responsibility for their and this nation’s future.


Posted by: David R. Remer at March 4, 2009 5:26 AM
Comment #276769

LO-
I’m making the case that America can’t and never has been the same, and that it’s greatness is in its ability to express the same principles in different ways as it grows and changes.

We all grow up, and change as we do. The college student at 18 expresses themselves differently than the father at 45. America’s changed before, and it will change now.

The Republicans are insisting that nobody touch their precious status quo. They’re threatening that disaster will come if somebody does. They’re always doing that. Why should I buy it now, given the disasters they inflicted over the past few years? Should we take the warnings of those who have shown such bad judgment over time?

kctim-
Calm down. We did this once before and it didn’t prevent our country from becoming one of the greatest powers in the world. It’s the policies that the right put forward that have gotten us the closest to losing that all, not the Democrat’s policy.

This BS about there not being true conservatives is just spin to try and change a catastrophic failure of conservative policy into more firm evidence that liberal policies don’t work.

But was that what conservatives were saying while the Republicans were on top? No. They were backing the same policies against Democratic Party/ Liberal resistance, and pushing these policy as truly conservative. Only in the wake of the disastrous events and aftermath of the Bush Administration is this line of rhetoric, that they weren’t truly conservative, being peddled.

The Republicans want to be given a second chance they haven’t earned by essentially claiming their politics weren’t truly expressed during the years that earned them the rejection of the American people, but they do this speaking of their policy in a way that does not square with how they defended it at the time.

America’s power is in the freedom to move beyond tradition when it has to, when it wants to, not be beholden to the dogmas of the past. We are still the beacon on the hill, and I’d argue that even during the Bush years, people saw in Americans the strength of their system, the ability to maintain discourse and debate even in the midst of the most desperate and fearful of times.

America is still America, even if its an America no longer heading in the direction that Conservatives want. The question here is whether Republicans are loyal to America only when Americans flatter their sensibilities, or whether they can truly be a loyal opposition?

America was not dead to me simply because it was being run by hard-right Republicans at the time, and it didn’t die for me when people chose to elect a Republican Congress in 1994, or a GOP president in 2000, and 2004.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 4, 2009 12:57 PM
Comment #276776

I will reduce Mr. Remer’s compound sentence to a simple one and then ask others if I misunderstood his meaning. Remer wrote; ““To the extent that folks can pay down debt…opportunities will be preserved and expanded.”

Does this not imply that opportunities will be preserved and expanded by the successful attempt to pay down debt? Since Mr. Remer applied this same principle to individuals and government, I still agree with him despite his attempts to distance himself from his own words.

Posted by: Jim M at March 4, 2009 1:49 PM
Comment #276811

Jim M, you still fail to comprehend the meaning of the words, apparently. My point was that one cannot abandon the needs of the present in an all out effort to protect a future decades from now. That is illogical, irrational, and potentially downright stupidly suicidal.

Ergo, we need to BOTH address the current recession crisis and future debt limitations and opportunity costs for future tax payers. Which is precisely what Obama is attempting to do. He has established a priority plan, rescue this economy so we have one to pass down to the future, and then address cutting deficits and lowering the national debt.

There is no way we can pay down debt if the current economy collapses.

That was the point, which your comment obviously failed and continues to fail to grasp. And it is a point entirely and fully consistent with my previous comments.

Nice to be in agreement on the opportunity cost for the future resulting from debt created today. Still doesn’t change the fact that it is better to pass down debt and functioning economy to deal with it, than to pass down a smaller debt and a non-functional economy to deal with it. Well, for folks whose reasoning is guided by logic, anyway.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 4, 2009 7:32 PM
Comment #276812

Clear tables of the history of marginal federal tax rates.

Forces one to ask what all this fuss is about in raising taxes on the wealthiest. They haven’t had it this good, even with the tax increases, since just after the turn of the 20th century, more than 90 years ago.

When the marginal tax rates on the wealthiest were between 50 and 70%, this country and her economy continually grew by leaps and bounds. The tax rate today is around 30% on this group.

Seems to me they should shut up and take the modest increase without engendering further animosity toward their good fortune, since their plight is pretty damned good by historical standards.

If they won’t shut up and pay up, I say we raise their rates to the Post WWII levels when our economy grew rapidly. That will give them something to bellyache about.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 4, 2009 7:59 PM
Comment #276825

Jim M-
I can essentially reduce your equation to this:

Step 1: Let American Markets plummet without intervention, thus sparing future generations the cost of a big stimulus package.

Step 2: Try and maintain spending in the face of dropping revenues as the recession gets worse. Don’t drop spending unless you want to add to the deflationary downturn. Fail to spare future generations the cost of those deficits.

Step 3:????

Step 4: Profit!

The Republicans are essentially fixated on a response that’s a fossilized remnant of the 1930’s reaction against FDR. Call people socialists. Emphasize that Deficit Spending must be cut, the books balanced. Never mind that in a severe deflationary downturn, like we’re entering, Government’s the only entity with the wherewithal left to put money in the economy.

Prudence demands that we keep an eye on the books, and that we not get lazy or hazy about what we’re spending. But it also demands that we take what emergency measures are necessary to keep things from getting worse, because the costs that come after would be greater.

Oh and if you’re wondering why we continue to spend that much money bailing banks out? Well, it’s because the alternative is having to pay for the aftermath of their failure. After eight years of Bush, you should have learned by now that it’s easier to take care of a situation that’s screwing up before it goes all the way south than after.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 4, 2009 10:02 PM
Comment #276832

After WWI, German troops left the Army, and found themselves in a devastated, deeply depressed country. Many joined the Communists, Socialists, and other leftist organizations. The experience is described in a book which is out of print, “The Road Back.” It is the follow-up to “All Quiet on the Western Front,” by Remarque. People in the US are familiar with the anti-war classic. The sequel, and the description of surviving veteran’s desperation, is nearly unknown.

In 1932, during the Great Depression in the US, veterans of WWI marched on Washington D.C. to demand early payment of a promised bonus. This was the Bonus Army. Hoover ordered the US military to disperse them. Some people, such as General MacArthur, believed the marchers were Communists. US troops fired on the veterans, killing some. More than anything else, this made people loathe and revile Hoover. After FDR’s election, his show of compassion and understanding for the Bonus Army veterans made him beloved.

Posted by: phx8 at March 5, 2009 1:35 AM
Comment #276867

Hoover Threw his hands up in the air and so did Bush.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at March 5, 2009 12:32 PM
Comment #276911

Heard on the street. Wall Street spent $5B lobbying and hired 1000 lobbyist in seeking deregulation of the financials.
Sounds like our taxes are going up through increased taxes for gas, sales, property and energy regulation. Florida raised traffic violations fine by $10. Federal debt expected to double over next few years to 100% of GDP. More than half the fed debt held by foreign entities. Expecting long recession. Things are worse in EU and Asia.
530 Corporate fraud investigations underway by FBI. Using investigators from 9/11 for this work.

A year after Bear-Stearns no laws have been passed to deal with non-bank failure. AIG had contracts for $2.7T with only $100B in real assets. Large as the GDP of France. Shouldn’t we anti-trust any company with assets or risks of $100B?

A supervisor at a kosher meat packing plant in Iowa was given a 2yr sentence for working illegal immigrants. What about the owners? Dunno.
Congress about the axe the NAFTA cross border Mexican trucking agreed to in 07. 29 Co’s signed up whereas 100 was expected. Problems in that there was no assurance drivers had been checked. GPS’s were not installed on trucks until 90 days after the program started. 1143 trucks moving around and nobody knew where they were at any given time.

Inflation around the corner. Production down, labor up.

Calif. Supreme Court to determine, in 90 days, if the majority can overrule the minority in gay marriage case. Citizens recently put in a ballot initiative, Prop 8, to overturn right to same sex marriage. 52% of the voters voted to overturn same sex marriage. To me this is a small version of Article V Convention. Congress is afraid to give the people an in to amending the Constitution. Is this a case for too much Democracy? Should the majority be able to overrule the minority? Or should such heavy matters be left to the Congress?

Atlanta is now the key hub for East coast drug distribution. Phoenix is #2 in world for kidnapping.

Pelosi says she can’t open up budget bill to debate/amendment as it’s a done deal and is just too big and there is no time for contentious battles.

Obama’s healthcare czar has ties to the industry big time. CCMP, Boston Science, Medo, and Gerner. Says she will recuse herself where necessary. These groups gave 1.2M to O’s campaign.

Food stamps and other assistance going from $12k/yr to $24k/yr, more than the minimum wage.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at March 5, 2009 8:52 PM
Comment #276951

David,

Excellent link and comment! Thanks.

Posted by: gergle at March 6, 2009 10:32 AM
Comment #276964

gergle, thanks, and your welcome.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 6, 2009 12:42 PM
Comment #276987

david

1944 94 200,000
1945 94 200,000
1946 86.45 200,000
1947 86.45 200,000

this is stunning, why bother? that would leave you with 12k. is there something i’m missing here? maybe i’m misunderstanding they way the tax was applied.

“If they won’t shut up and pay up, I say we raise their rates to the Post WWII levels when our economy grew rapidly. That will give them something to bellyache about.”

they should just shut up? what right do you or anyone else have to confiscate what you haven’t produced. you think thier hiding income offshore now just wait till you see what happens if the rates are raised to post WWII levels. those tax rates are obscene. i still believe taxes should not be raised until the waste is eliminated. once that happens then we can realisticly talk about what tax rates should actually be.

Posted by: dbs at March 6, 2009 8:41 PM
Comment #276988

Doing a rewrite on our VISIONUSA page and was reviewing Robert Kuttners, “The Squandering of America” published in 07. A very informtive read. It caught my attention on the 29 depression and how we are following the same path in some ways.
He noted that with the founding of the Fed Reserve the bankers wanted the power of the Fed to reside with members of the Federal Open Market Committee made up of a blend of public folks and private folks from the various regional banks. Marriner Eccles, Chairman of the board of governors, sought to have the power over money supply rest with the government. He lost. So, the Republic Sentry Party will try to right a wrong. We will advocate for reform by doing away with appointee’s for Agency heads and assigning senior staffers to those positions, rotated every 4 years. Also, we will advocate to put the Fed Reserve under Treasury and have the Open Market Committee serve in a consultant capacity to the government.
Kuttner writes that even strong Fed chairmen such as Volcker, the last decent chairman under Carter, and Greenspan had to get contingent authority to vary rates as necessary, and even threaten to resign and on occasion they still were outvoted.
It’s all about accountability. When is the last time a private official with the Fed Reserve was asked to resign or even reprimended? Now, by putting accountability into the political equation through a 3rd party with citizens’ oversight we can hold folks accountable for their actions.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at March 6, 2009 9:07 PM
Comment #276989

dbs, where are you getting the 200,000 figure?

Are you adjusting for inflation?

dbs’s comment apparently doesn’t know about, or agree with our Constitution, specifically the 16th Amendment, where his comment reads:

what right do you or anyone else have to confiscate what you haven’t produced.

I don’t have the right. My federal government DOES have the Constitutional right. You have two choices here, dbs, work to repeal the 16th Amendment or, find another country in the world that doesn’t tax its citizens in order to fund its government. (Good luck with that last option ;-0 )

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 6, 2009 9:53 PM
Comment #276990

Roy said: “We will advocate for reform by doing away with appointee’s for Agency heads and assigning senior staffers to those positions, rotated every 4 years.”

Huh?

Do away with appointees? And then appoint OTHERS to replace them? HUH? Rotate them every 4 years? Aren’t they already replaced every 4 to 8 years by the new president? And are you really suggesting rotating a Health and Education Secretary into the job of Commerce or OMB agency secretary? Does skill, education, and experience not mean anything? Would you rotate the Defense Secretary into the Health Education and Human Services slot just because 4 years went by?

It does not appear this idea has been very well thought out.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 6, 2009 9:58 PM
Comment #276995

David, let’s take the time to look at it from a standpoint of merit. Obama was going to appoint Dr. Sanja Gupta to, I believe Health and Human Services. My question to you is why would a member of the medical profession who just happens to be a government employee be any less qualified to serve as an agency head? I do believe the now Sec. of Defense, (can’t remember his name right now) was a CIA staffer.
Staffers can be asked to sign that won’t take a retirement job that would be a conflict of interest. I think the idea has some merit.
IMO, when we can put accountability into the political equation we can then give more responsibility to the government. BUT, not until they can be held accountable for their actions.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at March 6, 2009 10:27 PM
Comment #276996

david

“dbs, where are you getting the 200,000 figure?”

from the chart you linked to. that was with a tax rate of 94%. thats why i asked you if i was mis-understanding the chart.

Posted by: dbs at March 6, 2009 11:14 PM
Comment #276997

david

so i guess you’re ok with the gov’t taking 94% of someones income in taxes. that does seem to be what the top rate was in 1944, and 1945. hell why bother working at all?

Posted by: dbs at March 6, 2009 11:20 PM
Comment #276999

dbs, to make my point emphatic by example, I offer this hypothetical:

A hypothetical CEO of mega corporation in 2020 whose business underwrites and assists in the management of 50% of all other businesses in America, receives as compensation 1/3 of the entire money supply of the United States, and that person chooses to invest those trillions in China and Saudi Arabia where returns are higher than than in the U.S. Such a compensation is learned to be crippling the American economy and its future economic viability. The government (the people of America) decide to tax that CEO’s compensation at a 95% rate, leaving that CEO still with billions in after tax income, and providing the American government and economy the revenue it needs to secure its economy and future against inflation and recessions caused by an insufficient amount of dollars circulating in the economy.

Would I agree with the government’s action in the above scenario? Absolutely! Wouldn’t you? Perhaps not.

However, the point of my linked reference was that the wealthiest were taxed at 300% of their current rate and the nation prospered and grew. Which is empirical evidence that the Conservative argument that taxing the wealthy will always be a detriment to the nation’s economy, is clearly false.

And no, you guess wrong. I would not favor a 90% tax on the wealthiest in America. I do support Obama’s increasing their rate from 30 to 35% whole heartedly.

In truth, any tax on the wealthy which still leaves the wealthiest the wealthiest, is not a disincentive to those wealthiest to continue to work for their wealth. Yet, that is precisely the argument conservatives attempt to promulgate, quite falsely.

Conservatives have tied their ideology to the support of those whose interests are driven by greed. It is no surprise then, that conservatives defend greed and excess without bounds in their ideology. Which is why Republicans led America to this economic crisis by opening the doors wide to the greedy to leverage their corporations out of solvency.

The people get it. That’s why Republicans were given the boot in the elections in 2006 and 2008. The people get, dbs.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 7, 2009 12:11 AM
Comment #277000

Roy, Dr. Gupta would be qualified to serve as HHS director by virtue of his career field. But, you proposed rotating these agency heads every 4 years.

Perhaps the word rotate was not the right word, as it can be interpreted as musical chairs for agency heads all changing departments every 4 years, which is how I interpreted the word ‘rotate’.

I have a problem with term limits. Always have, and always will. It forces erasure of historical and institutional memory, and as we have all heard many times, those who are ignorant of the past are destined to repeat it.

When the people get a top notch leader or person in government, that person should, by the permission of the people, continue to hold that position doing top notch work for the people.

I understand that institutional and historical memory carries a liability as well, in terms of potential limits upon thinking outside the box, when that is what is needed. But, there is a natural attrition and replacement of staff within our agencies such that a dearth of capacity to think outside the box is not necessarily a consequence of tenure in the top leadership spots. Most leaders I have worked with have encouraged and employed brainstorming sessions as warranted, a preferred method of thinking outside the box.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 7, 2009 12:23 AM
Comment #277013

Where I’m coming from David, is that in a more integrated world we need more stability in government. Every 3rd President has had a financial crisis to deal with. Rather than have a bunch of yo yo’s like Rumsfeld running a war wouldn’t we be better off with a 6 star General or Admiral running the defense dept? And, aren’t we tired of having strawmen put into the Consumer Affairs, the FDA, and EPA, etc?
So, how might it be done? Set the 4 year term for Agency/Dept heads to expire one year after the Pres. election cycle. That gives the new Pres, or the old Pres. a year to review a pool of available govies for a good fit. These guys would serve at will and otherwise act as appointee’s do today. I do think it would limit the ‘Cheny and the oil patch’ escapades and just serve to stablize government. And, let’s be clear about this, anyone coming into goverment from the business sector has a business agenda that does not necessarily involve We The People. The Constitution says government will regulate commerce. Doesn’t say commerce will regulate government. More than ever, we need agency heads that can act on behalf of the people with less emphasis on supporting some narrow business interest.
Now, if we find this idea is unpopular with the public we will back off and stick with appointees. And for those appointees who are members of Republic Sentry, they will still be held accountable through our citizens’ oversight effort.
What say ye one? What say ye all?

Posted by: Roy Ellis at March 7, 2009 9:09 AM
Comment #277019

Dbs,
Why 94% in taxes may seem high I wonder if you would care to be still paying on WWi and WWII today? For with all the talk about Hoover and FDR I do believe if you check Recent History that is was the 50’s and Early 60’s when Average Americans exchanged their War Bonds that gave America the economy that we have enjoyed the last 30 years.

Yes, the tax cut from 94% to 36% may have done wonders for the pocket book of some. Considering the Cost of Living and Inflation over those years I doubt if even the so-called Rich today are living as good as the Ancestors who paid the 94% Income tax and was happy to do so.

So would you be willing to pay 94% of your income to ensure that your Great Grandchildren are not paying for the curent Two Wars and do it happily?

For as an American “We the People” should be alowed to make great profits off our Labor and Management; however, just as Our Forefathers and Ancestors had to work hard and sacifice for the mistakes of their Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders should the American of the 21st Century be willing to do the same.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at March 7, 2009 10:14 AM
Comment #277039

A fool and his money are soon parted. In boom times it takes longer. In bust times, it is easier to screw up. But no politician has been able to repeal the law of supply, so we are stuck with life the way it is, not the way we want it to be. Prosperity never lasts; neither does penury. We will never completely master the cycles in our economy and we have no control over the cycles of nature to which we are subject.

The American people AND the people throughout the world spent faster than they could produce wealth. This is usually what ends good times. People get reckless and develop feelings of entitlement. There is a natural adjustment. It is not “punishment,” but it does affect more those who made bad decisions.

Unemployment today has not been that bad since 1983, but that was after we began to recover. Times were worse in 1981-82. This is NOT the worst time since the Great Depression. Ronald Reagan faced a greater challenge in his first year. Unemployment and inflation were double digit. The world system seemed to be collapsing. Oil prices were through the roof. Then from 1982 until 2007, we had a remarkable run of good times for the U.S. and much of the world. Wealth worldwide grew fantastically and we are starting at a higher level.

The economy will come back even if the stimulus package wastes more money than needed. The investment advice I hear is to buy tangible assets that will resist the great inflation that is coming in a few years as the government monetizes the debt. You will also need a shelter from the high taxes that are coming.

Posted by: Christine at March 7, 2009 3:22 PM
Comment #277045

David Remer states:

In truth, any tax on the wealthy which still leaves the wealthiest the wealthiest, is not a disincentive to those wealthiest to continue to work for their wealth. Yet, that is precisely the argument conservatives attempt to promulgate, quite falsely.

Well said. Another way of looking at it would be to say that someone making 40K, who has a great new service/idea and who could earn 250K+ with this new idea/service, refuses to do so, because their taxes would go up slightly. What a ridiculous argument.

Posted by: Tom at March 7, 2009 4:48 PM
Comment #277053

Tom

If taxes are reasonable, people who have money spend their time and invest their money in places where more money can be made by producing something. If taxes are high, they spend their tim and invest their money in things that allow them to shelter their money from taxes OR they don’t invest it at all and instead piss it away on luxury goods.

People do not act exactly rationally when it comes to money. They usually don’t figure that they will work less because they have to to pay a certain amount in taxes. But when they notice that extra work is not producing much reward, it annoys them and make them less likely to do the extra work. It is a human nature thing.

And how many hours of overtime would you volunteer to work if you were paid less for each hour of overtime than you got for each hour of ordinary work?

You just have to be careful when you separate effort from rewards.

Remember that wealth has to be created before it can be divided up. If wealth creators get the same rewards as wealth consumers there might be less to go around.

Posted by: Christine at March 7, 2009 7:12 PM
Comment #277059

Christine, people never cease to amaze. Why would anybody in their right mind ever fail to pay the full balance on a credit card? Why would anybody buy those things advertised on TV but not sold in stores? Etc. Etc. Well, everbody comes to the table with a somewhat differing mindset.

You wrote: “But no politician has been able to repeal the law of supply, so we are stuck with life the way it is, not the way we want it to be.”

I don’t understand that to be the case. IMO when borrowing money cost more than 10% interest its USURY. We used to have a usury law up until the Regan era. I just received a letter from Capital One notifying me that they will start charging me 32% on unpaid balance. I may change cards if I find a better deal. Doesn’t really bother me as long as I keep the blance paid. But, 32% is pure, unadulterated GREED.
In reading the Constitution I find it says the government is to protect the people. Maybe its a stretch to assume that carries over from a military defense to a commercial defense. It is clear that Congress is to regulate commerce, and certainly clear that commerce is not to regulate Congress. So, in that context, why would we not expect the government, in representing the people, to regulate commerce in accordance with the Constitution. Why would Congress not adopt a realistic usury law? Granted, you could make usury 3% and a few folks would get in trouble with it. Either way, that’s beside the point. The point is that Congress should have enough smarts to set a reasonable usury law. Then we could take off on CDO’s, hedge funds, payday loans, etc, etc.
Statistically, every third President has experienced a financial crisis. I believe that for each crisis the cause remains the same. GREED. Brought about by commerce regulating the government. Phil and Wendy Gramm come to mind with the Enron loophole, or better known as the Commodoties Futures Modernization Act. Ole Phil retired from the Senate and, I believe, he is working for UBS which I consider a conflict of interest. And, wouldn’t you know, UBS is now being sued by the FED for assisting US citizens with evasion of taxes.
I’m just making the point that people should not have to have a Phd in something to survive in the workaday world. FYI the Enron loophole is still there. Therefore, no reason our gas price can’t go back to $4 or $5/gal., and you can still evade taxes through any number of tax havens, including UBS.

Otherwise we have the government we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at March 7, 2009 8:34 PM
Comment #277078

Christine,
Good try, but Wealth is not created. It is made by Hardwork, Profit, and Sacifice by an Individual, a Group, or a Corporation turning raw material into a product or service desired by others. Sure, a Silver Spoon could increase their families wealth by properly investing in the production of the products and services that the Consumer desires or needs; however, unless the Miner pulls the Gold Ore out of the Mine and the Smelter purifies it into Gold Bars than not even the King has Wealth in his Treasury so that he may devide the Wealth among the Fools that serve him and hails to his becon call. For why you can believe one can pull Gold out of thin air, Reality says different.

Yes, Supply may have been made King by the Youth of the 60’s and Silver Spoons of the 70’s due to Ignorance, yet to say that this economic meltdown was not cause by the lack of Demand by the Consumer goes against all the Imperical Proof of the Time. And thus that is why the Conservatives and Republicans in America have found themselves losing the political battle.

For go ahead and use All Your Wealth to build all the cars, tvs, and any other of todays products and you will run into the same exact problem faced by the Elders and Powers-that-Be of the 70’s. Because as last Christmas will show us that the Market can cut their prices by 50% and the Consumer is no longer desiring or wanting what the Market is offering. So how is the Wealth going to be created so that it can be divided?

No, I do not envy President Obama and Congres with the tasks ahead knowing that they are going to have to help the Independents learn from their mistakes; nevertheless, seeing that Rush and Company feel that they no longer need the Republican Party Leaders I want them to tell “We the People” why they should make money without making profit first. For why I may not agrre with My Democratic and Republican Community Elders and Peers I do believe that even the Wimpest of Them knows Right from Wrong on that question. So why they work on a Trickle Up Economic Theory to restore the Purchase Power of the American Consumer let me show you what I believe President Bush and Congress should of done with the Tax Cuts they gave the Wealth to produce Nothing. Because frankly speaking, how many tvs can one Wealthy Person own before the product loses its value?

Yes, Congress and President Bush could of listened to Greenspan and not rushed into issuing Tax Cuts until they reworked the Pay Role Tax for the American Small Business Owner and their Employees. For in doing so every American could of enjoyed a raise in their monthly budget without adding to the cost of production. In fact I would go so far as to believe the Basic Business Owner would have forked over to their employees much of the money they got back from the reduction of pay role taxes. Why, for the more money the Average Consumer has to spend on products and services the more Profit a Company can make which adds value to its existence and demand for raw resources.

Hence, why the political argument of today is different than that faced by the Elders and Powers-that-Be of the 70’s. For why “We the People” could spark the Flame of Demand simply by allowing Every American to win the Lottery next month to the levels of Supply in 2007. Bring me and better yet President Obama and the Democratic Party a debate that goes beyond Energy Independence from Foreign Oil. Because until Desire and Need fuels Demand beyond the ability of Supply to deliver what “We the Corporation” can produce than as an American Consumer I do not see how the Wealthy are going to create Profit so that Their Value will grow.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at March 8, 2009 6:24 AM
Comment #277080

Roy

Like most Americans, I do not evade my taxes. I am not a rich Democrat trying to after all. I do not believe it is a smart idea to raise taxes too high and I don’t think the government can use my money better than I can.

Usury laws are regulated by states. Regulation Q was phased out by the Democratic congress. It didn’t work anymore in the time of inflation. If you want to limit the amount of money you can get on your bank account etc, you can still find places like. that.

Nobody should pay 32% on credit cards because nobody should be buying all those things they cannot afford on credit. (Some people are not credit worthy at lower interest rates. Isn’t that how the whole banking crisis started?) Of course, many people don’t pay off their balances at all. They just steal the money by defaulting. There is greed on both sides of this kind of equation.

BTW - gas will be $4 a gallon again. It needs to be. The cap and trade will drive up energy prices. We need higher prices so that people drive less.

Posted by: Christine at March 8, 2009 7:25 AM
Comment #277083

Christine,
What started the Banking Crisis is the fact that the Banks could not afford the higher interest rates of the Federal Reserve without passing the cost directly to their customers. A very bad business mistake given the problems of today. For why Industry and Transportation kept their expenses checked when fuel when up to $4.00/gal. It seems that all the Bankers could do is raise their Interest Rates and lower Credit Limits for their Customers even when the Fed lowered their interest rates to zero.

Yet, all we hear from the right is how taxes are going to kill us or that the Cap & Trade will force energy prices to climb. Not that it was because of Poor Management that has caused the need for some people to be charged 32% on their credit cards making it almost impossible for Supply to add value to the Market.

For why I realize that the Learned of Society may not know what the Unlearned of Society realizes. I do believe that a well ran Cap & Trade Program will create more opportunities for Business and Industry than the few pennies some are worried about saving. Because why producing CO2 may be bad for the Whole Environment, in certain controled environments CO2 and other gases are actually just what the doctor ordered for Profit. Can we say Bio-Mass?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at March 8, 2009 8:15 AM
Comment #277283

Christine and Henry, since I’m a states rights kinda guy its hard for me to suggest the FED reinstate a usury law. Which is wildly studpid as the banking systems are highly regulted by both state and federal agencies. And, I don’t really understand the CC regulation that applies to usury. It would seem the CC companies interest regulations are the same for customers regardless of which state they live in. So, if I am being charged 32% I would assume the same would apply to folks anywhere in the country using the same CC company.
Henry, I believe cap and trade is coming but I object that the risk (cost) is always shifted to the taxpayer.
I did learn one thing that made me feel better. FDIC funds used to bailout failed banks are derived from a fee or a tax collected from all the banks.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at March 10, 2009 11:56 AM
Comment #277350

Roy,
Why that State and Federal Government have usurt laws I do believe that you will find them almost impossible to use due to the terms in the Law. Thus, as a result the CC companies are free to use almost any reason to increase the interest rates they charge provided they word it in the manner set forth by each state. Hence, the need for a Federal Law.

Now the Cap & Trade can be a great source of income for the Smart Business Owner. For collect the CO2 and feed it to a Bio-Mass Green House which can produce the raw material to make the products of the corporation or sell on the open market. How easy is that to not only get through the Cap & Trade Regulation, but put money in your back pocket at the same time. However, that is assuming that America has Smart Business Owners and that IMHO in questionable.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at March 10, 2009 11:44 PM
Comment #277370

Roy said: “Christine and Henry, since I’m a states rights kinda guy its hard for me to suggest the FED reinstate a usury law. Which is wildly studpid as the banking systems are highly regulted by both state and federal agencies.”

Roy, the laws that apply are the state in which the lender is headquartered. There is a reason so many credit card issuers are headquartered in Deleware. They permit usuruious rates, I have seen as high as 32% for individuals with no defaults, and on time payment history. That is usury, no matter how you slice it. We need federal usury laws so that state’s DO NOT compete for providing the hightest usurious rates as incentive to companies to headquarter and pay tax in their state. Delaware won the competition for the highest usurious rate laws in the nation and that is why so many credit card issuers like MBNA and BofA headquarter their credit card operations there.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 11, 2009 7:42 AM
Comment #277409

DRR,

That is just part of the so-called ‘free market’ system of economics…here is an example of how such free marketing actually occurs in real life:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/11/jim-cramer-shorting-stock_n_173824.html

What a wonderful interview Mr. Cramer had with the WSJ in 2006. I explains a little about the ‘valueless’ assets being traded, and the mindset of high finance.

Cramer is an ex Hedge Fund Owner, and currently the main talking head at CNBC.

By the way, although Wal-Mart is headquartered in Arkansas, Wal-Mart Enterprises, is a Delaware company.

Posted by: Marysdude at March 11, 2009 1:49 PM
Comment #277411

The term ‘Free Market’ has undergone an evolution as of last year. It no longer means to the American public, free to do whatever the hell they please. The new definition in common understanding taking hold is: “Private entities free to trade with each other on whatever terms they find mutually acceptable, provided the transactions are legal, transparent to oversight, and in compliance with regulations designed to protect the nation and her people from the consequences of excesses, hidden agendas, or exploitation through deceptive or withheld information relevant to all parties affected by the trade.”

In short, ‘free trade’ now, and hopefully forever forward, shall mean regulated, transparent, and overseen trade. Amen to that.

It is now incumbent upon all Americans to demand that those running for office using the term free trade, define it. If there’s is the old definition, electing them will constitute a move back to the Great Recession of 2008. And who would want to experience this all over again, right?

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 11, 2009 2:01 PM
Comment #277444

Should of figured David, I knew Deleware had the market cornered on Corporate’s but was unaware it was home of the CC’s as well. Gonna have to think about giving up my state’s rights position on this one. I guess, since the whole financial mess is intertwined with state and fed regulations I might as well toss the CC business in with the Feds.
But, I ain’t budgin an inch on ‘free trade.’ I’m sticking with ‘fair trade’ and all that entails. Even the nomen ‘free’ is ridiculously wrong. Besides, if I had to name my Party something other than the ‘Jacksonian Populist Party’ because some pig headed folks think he was a racist first and a populist second, then I’m sticking with ‘fair trade’ vs ‘free trade.’

Posted by: Roy Ellis at March 11, 2009 4:58 PM
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