Third Party & Independents Archives

Debt Commission - DOA? America Soon to Be!

Bowles-Simpson.jpgPresident Obama’s bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform is better known as the Debt Reduction Committee. It is made up of 18 members, Republican and Democrat, elected officials and some non-elected. They released their report yesterday. Member’s comments on the report and process were aired on TV. Despite all the backslapping and mutual admiration comments, the report will definitely not receive a unanimous vote on the morrow. It will quite possibly be dead, on arrival of the vote.

Rep's. Hensarling, Ryan, and Sen.'s Crapo and Tancredo, all Republican, and Rep. Schakowsky, a Democrat, indicated they would not likely be voting for the Commission's Report on Friday. There will be others as well. It is not known yet, but listening to their remarks, it appeared as though the report, if adopted by a majority, will be by the thinnest of margin. There is, however, no formal obligation of the Congress to take up the Commission's plan for legislation, even if the Commission's members do get a majority vote on the plan tomorrow.

A repeated objection to the report is its failure to deal with the 20 ton whale between our government and a sound economic future; Medicare and Medicaid unfunded mandates. The Commission chose not to address the issue with specifics, though they did address Social Security, which, is ironic since there was general bi-partisan agreement that Social Security was not a pressing fiscal issue. At worst, it was said, if left unaddressed, the result would be a 22% cut in benefits in a couple decades from now to remain solvent.

Regarding health care, the Commission could only agree on setting goals, not how to achieve them. They recommended capping growth in total federal health spending, to include Medicare and health insurance subsidies, to the rate of economic growth plus 1%. They also propose reforming physician payments, cost-sharing with Medicare beneficiaries, malpractice law reform, and prescription drug cost reductions. Again, how to achieve those goals were not addressed, which will leave Republicans in Congress seeking to rescind this year's health care reform, and Democrats seeking to enhance it.

This is truly a 'Black Hole' issue when talking about saving America from debt and deficits, because health care is the single largest threat going forward, not only to the government's debt growth, but, to the quality of life of most Americans going forward. There can be no escape from nation destroying debt, if health care in America is not addressed and resolved in a fashion which, both satisfies voter's demand for health care access and reverses the government's debt obligations for health care going forward.

One unanimous agreement amongst all Commission speakers was their acceptance of the fact that America's future is in peril as a result of fiscal irresponsibility and lack of budgetary discipline. Predictably, the Republicans on the Commission had grave concerns over tax increases, and Democrats had grave concerns over spending cuts and changes to Social Security. All agreed that fundamental tax structure reform was a necessity, as our current tax system seriously impedes the ability of our nation's businesses to compete with foreign competitors.

Another gross oversight in the Commission's plan is their failure to specifically address tax cut earmarks which cost the federal government $1 trillion dollars a year in revenues. They addressed appropriation earmarks with procedural requirements that would greatly reduce earmark spending but which represent a small fraction of the cost of tax earmarks. As everyone knows, tax cut promises are the heart and soul of reelection campaigns these days. So, don't look for Congress to attempt to recover that 1 trillion dollar a year revenue loss due to tax cut giveaways for campaign contributors and lobbying special interests.

This topic highlights and predicts what the response in Congress will be to the issue of deficit and debt reduction. Republicans will reject increasing tax revenues, and Democrats will reject significant changes to entitlement spending unless the Public Option is brought back on the table, which Republicans will oppose vehemently. Rep. Hensarling warned however, that if health care entitlement spending and inflation are not addressed proactively in the near term, our nation will be forced onto a Public Option path down the road. I found Hensarling's comment enormously insightful.

The one great result of this Commission's work is putting the deficit and debt issue front and center before the American public and the U.S. Congress. Having put it there, it will remain an election year hot potato for many election cycles to come, as well it must be. Failure to adequately address these fiscal issues, will, without question, according to the Commission, bury America's future under a pile of growing debt.

The disposition of this Commission's report in the halls of Congress is predictable. Some of the measures in the report will be implemented, others will never get bi-partisan consensus, and still others will accepted as necessary, but, political suicide in reelection terms, and therefore, put off for some future suicidal Congress to address. What that means for America's future, carries no good news within it.

Some of the most poignant comments came from Sen. Tom Tancredo (R), who stated the American Dream was predicated on sacrifice to provide the next generation with more and better than the current one. Failure to turn the deficits and debt path around will most certainly kill the American Dream, he said. I found his insight regarding American history predicated upon mutual sacrifice, profoundly worth noting. It is time for the Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Congress to take his words to heart, and sacrifice ideological and partisan ground in order to save the American Dream.

(This article was previously published at PoliWatch.Org.)

Posted by David R. Remer at December 2, 2010 04:40 AM
Comments
Comment #314374

I would say the Corpocracy is doing well with their effort to break the back of the middle class worker. I think they were expecting wages to be much lower at this point in the game but their soft landing for the great recession went well, is going well.

It would take about a week to start the US back on the fast track but, that’s just not the plan. The plan is to maintain the status quo, slowly squeezing the middle class until wages hit in somewhere around $3-4/hr which would put the US in the position of being able to compete in the global economy. So, expect lotsa talk about creating jobs and reform of this program or that. But, we shouldn’t take such propaganda seriously, IMO.

Beck has audio transcripts where a democratic Senator, thinking the mic was off, voiced frustration with the way the Food Safety Bill vote went down. The Senator referred to the whole system as being rigged, that no one even got a chance to talk about it before the vote was jammed in. Roger that!

Beck and O’Riley made note last evening that they believe Soros is a danger to America. Beck noted that a lawyer providing pro bono representation for the the military person involved in wikileaks works for ‘Open Society’, a Soros operation. Beck keeps referring to van Jones’ ‘top down, bottom up, insides out’ thing as a plan drawn up and master-minded by Soros to create crisis within the US while looking to take the country down. Example, the debt, jobs, SS, Medicare/caid/healthcare, wars, wikileaks, pensions, immigration, etc.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 2, 2010 11:02 AM
Comment #314376

David you worry to much! We the people voted out those bad guys that earmark federal money for their friends and voted in tea baggers that wouldn’t do such…. oops never mind.

http://hotlineoncall.nationaljournal.com/archives/2010/12/tea-party-caucu.php

Posted by: j2t2 at December 2, 2010 11:21 AM
Comment #314378

Opinion: 6 Hidden Gems in the Deficit Commission Report

Following are just two of the 6 hidden gems in the report. Link to story: http://www.aolnews.com/opinion/article/opinion-6-hidden-gems-in-the-deficit-commission-report/19741541

1) The federal government is horribly managed. The commission report cites just a few examples, but they are doozies. Did you know, for example, that there are 44 separate federal job-training programs across nine federal agencies? Or that there are 20 different programs all studying invasive species? And 105 programs meant to encourage participation in science, technology and math? Or that few of them can show they are achieving their goals? There are thousands of examples like this, according to the report.

2) Health reform’s cost savings apparently were bogus. Remember how Democrats boasted that health reform would cut the budget deficit by $170 billion over the next decade and far more after that? The deficit commission must not have gotten that memo. It says health spending projections under the new law “count on large phantom savings” and the reform law’s new long-term care program that the report calls “unsustainable.” As a result, Congress will still need to enact “a number of other reforms to reduce federal health spending and slow the growth of health care costs more broadly.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 2, 2010 12:34 PM
Comment #314382

As for the Bush-era tax cuts, the liberal media (JournOlists: e.g., Ezra Klein) like to play the ‘shoulda-coulda-woulda’ game of wishful thinking minus the ‘macro’ understanding of fiscal policy during a recession.

Are Progressives unable to see reality?

Btw, it gets tiring to hear those opposed to the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts to use the “$700 billion dollar cost argument” when everyone knows the final agreement would most likely be a two-year extension (70 + 70 = $140 billion, not the $700 billion over-ten-years cost that gets bantered about in the media). Indeed, it is a lot of money to add to the deficit. However, the fact is, upwards of 58% of those making above the $250k threshold are small business owners. And like it or not, the so-called millionaires and billionaires account for approximately 66% of all small business hiring in the US. Hardly a time to disincentivize these job creators.

Besides, these wealthiest 2% are not getting a ‘Bonus,’ it’s their money and it’s the current tax law. Raise their taxes after there’s a jobs recovery in the near future. November will mark the 19th month in a row where unemployment has been above 9%. This will break the record set back in the 1981-82 recession where unemployment was horrible.

The president has tried to show he’s an adult recently by sounding bipartisan and concilliatory. However, he’s left wide open, just how to negotiate with the Republicans on the tax cut extensions and unemployment. He acts as if the Nov. 2 election never happened.

The Dem leadership as well as the Dems in Congress don’t seem to have a viable strategy because of Obama’s indecisiveness. Many liberal strategists are questioning Obama’s short-term negotiation plan.

It was a no-brainer not to see that the extensions would include ALL Americans in the end. It was only a matter of what to bargain for. Unemployment benefit extension for 6 - 12 months was most likely what would be traded in exchange for at least a two-year tax extension for all.

How to pay for them? Use $12.5 billion from a portion of the unspent STIMULUS plan. After all, isn’t helping the unemployed, especially at this time in the year, far more important than some earmarked Stimulus project? In fact, the Reps were correct to demand a deal on the Bush-era tax cuts, unemployment and passing a budget resolution asap! After that, Congress can toy with DADT, the DREAM Act, the NEW START Treaty and other Harry Reid-led initiatives he promised to his Democratic base.

To be sure, the Reps look intransigent in their position; however, it’s the 11th hour and the three aforementioned items are vital to America and thus need to take precedence over other legislative items.

As a keen observer over the last weeks and months, I’ve waited patiently for Obama and the Reps to meet to finally hammer out some agreements. I was extremely disappointed when the Nov. 30 meeting between Obama and the R and D leadership ‘punted’ to another day and meeting. Congress MUST act now; there’s no time to spare and Americans deserve better.

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at December 2, 2010 02:10 PM
Comment #314383

Kevin wrote; “The Dem leadership as well as the Dems in Congress don’t seem to have a viable strategy because of Obama’s indecisiveness. Many liberal strategists are questioning Obama’s short-term negotiation plan.”

Well isn’t that the truth…

The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel wrote:

“According to (Nevadan Harry Reid), Senate Democrats are going to confirm judges, rewrite immigration law, extend unemployment insurance, fix the issue of gays in the military, reorganize the FDA, forestall tax hikes, re-fund the government, and ratify a nuclear arms treaty — all in two, maybe three, weeks. This is the same institution that needs a month to rename a post office.”

I find it sad that the dems appear to be so out-of-touch with reality. The nation can not tolerate such buffonery.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 2, 2010 02:57 PM
Comment #314384

I don’t recall where I read this but it is just a great one-liner that sticks in the mind.

If politicians understood the fundamentals of our country’s structure, they would realize that taxes are not the government’s revenue — but the people’s expense.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 2, 2010 03:18 PM
Comment #314394

I heard Tancredo and Crapo intend to support the Commission Report. Didn’t sound like they would, yesterday. The politics playing out in the back rooms of Party Boss offices have to be frenetic. And that is why the House and Senate will never pass this, or an equal version of this Plan.

There is austerity in this Plan, or any comparable one, that will affect everyone. Where will Paul Ryan and Jeb Hensarling come down on this? They both alluded to not supporting the bill yesterday. Is it now becoming OK for Commission members to say they will support it, knowing full well it will be DOA in Congress? That would be politics as usual. Far as I know, the only person who wouldn’t support this plan but has come up with a comparable one that gets the same job done (according to Simpson and Bowles) is Shakowsky (D).

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 2, 2010 06:25 PM
Comment #314395

Kevin said: “As for the Bush-era tax cuts, the liberal media (JournOlists: e.g., Ezra Klein) like to play the ‘shoulda-coulda-woulda’ game of wishful thinking minus the ‘macro’ understanding of fiscal policy during a recession.”

Sorry, but its the Republicans who don’t get the macro picture or understand that all Recessions are not equal. Lowering taxes on the wealthy has no job creation or economic stimulus effect when the Recession is caused by a loss of aggregate consumer demand. And that is the case with this economic recovery. Lowering taxes on the wealthy investor class is stimulative only when the economy is suffering from a lack of available capital for business growth. That is NOT the case with this Recession or recovery.

Economics 101 - Republicans get an F. What they are really doing in denying basic economics is trying to pay back their wealthy campaign contributors and special interest lobbyists with everyone’s tax dollars from present and future tax payer’s wallets.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 2, 2010 06:31 PM
Comment #314419

Five of OBama’s SIX appointees to the Commission are supporting the Report. Obama’s choice of two recorded deficit Hawks (Simpson and Bowles) to co-chair the Commission speaks volumes about Obama’s commitment to ending deficits and lowering the national debt. One does not empower those who will work against one’s own agenda.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 2, 2010 10:43 PM
Comment #314421

From what I can see the Deficit Commission has left out many budget items that should come before raising the age for social security.

The glaring omissions include the big pharma giveaway in Medicare. It seems our representatives in Congress are willing to talk about paying doctors less but still over pay big pharma.

If we can’t afford to take care of people in this country why are we not cutting foreign aid and the military budget? Seems rather extreme to still be protecting Iraqi’s on our dime. Even sillier to be protecting South Korea and Europe to name just a few.

Why are they not recommending any stimulus actions that would get the economy going again, putting people to work so they could get more revenue. The big reason for the debt is the lack of job creation the past 10 years. Well that and tax cuts for the wealthy while borrowing for 2 wars and bribing big pharma. Yet it is everyone else that pays.

With the age discrimination we see in hiring people in their 50’s and beyond extending social security will leave a donut hole for many people.

These guys that are on this committee need to hang their heads in shame, IMHO, if this is the best they could do in what 10 months? I think we could do better in a week with a dozen welfare moms figuring it out.

Posted by: j2t2 at December 2, 2010 11:40 PM
Comment #314424

j2t2 asked: “Why are they not recommending any stimulus actions that would get the economy going again,”

That was not their charge. Their charge was to restore fiscal balance and discipline to the end of zeroing out deficits and buying down the national debt. And their plan is not to kick in until 2012, which provides ample time to get the economy back on its feet if Congress will do their bloody job, which, they won’t.

Can’t believe Republicans walked right into the trap of voting DOWN tax cuts for middle class America in order to stand up for the wealthiest who can well afford a very modest tax increase. Now I hear Republicans have sold national security down the river for the same purpose, (START treaty filibuster), and are going to REJECT extending unemployment benefits (which generates $1.60 to $2 of economic activity for every dollar of unemployment benefit).

But, you know, Republicans were allowed to bullshit their way into the majority in the House last month, they have to be thinking there is nothing they can do to assault the American people that they can’t bullshit their way out of with the help of Hannity, Rush, and Beck. That is certainly how they are acting, in the literal sense of the word.

Of course, for those of us who know the GOP, none of this is surprising. But, it is coming as a rude awakening to many in the poorer and middle classes.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 3, 2010 03:03 AM
Comment #314425

McCain is trying to bullshit his way out of supporting Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, after saying he would support it if the military supported it, WHICH THEY DO overwhelmingly. McCain’s time has come to exit Stage Right.

He has a right to his own opinion, but, when he asserts his own opinion above that of all others overwhelmingly opposed to his, via the filibuster, he has corrupted himself beyond the pale.

BTW, that damned 60 vote filibuster rule’s time has expired as well. I will be voting out incumbents who DON’T stand for repealing that rule for a simply majority. One man or woman should not be able to stymie the entire democratic process. If they can, there is no democratic process.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 3, 2010 03:08 AM
Comment #314428

The current tax system is regressive:

  • 35% |——————————————————————————————-
  • 33% |—————————o——-o——————————————————
  • 30% |——————o—————————o——————————————- = (30% total
  • 27% |—————-o:———————————-o———————————— federal tax for
  • 24% |—————o-:——————————————-o————————— secretay making $60K
  • 21% |————-o—:—————————————————-o——————
  • 18% |————o—-:———————————————————————o- = (Warren Buffet’s total
  • 12% |———o——-:———————————————————————— federal taxes on
  • 09% |——-o———:———————————————————————— $46 Million in 2006)
  • 06% |——o———-:————————————————————————
  • 03% |—-o————:————————————————————————
  • 00% |ooo————-:————————————————————————
  • ____$0__30K__60K__90K_120K_150K_180K_210K_240K … … $GROSS INCOME …

Preserving the cuts only for people making $250K or less will make the tax system more fair, bringing the total federal tax percentage people play closer to the same percentage (since the majority of the Bush tax cuts were for the wealthy (i.e. tax cuts on capital gains, interest, and dividends; which are also not subject to Social Security and Medicare taxation).

That would help with the debt too.

And please, don’t anyone try to tell me that the wealthy pay most of the taxes!
And please, don’t tell me that we need to tax the wealthy less because they employee the rest of us!

Most Americans polled think that a flat percentage of their income (ALL TYPES of INCOME) is most fair.
The problem with the Bush tax cuts were that they didn’t really affected the very wealthy, mostly.
Here’s how that works:

  • The top federal income tax bracket on $60K (in year 2006) was about 20% (or 18.33% after standard deductions and exemptions);
  • Social Security tax is: 2 * 6.2% = 12.4% (on the first $94,200; on the gross income, before any deductions);
  • Medicare tax is: 2 * 1.45% = 2.9% (there is no cap on Medicare; on the gross income, before any deductions);
  • Total Social Security and Medicare tax rate is: 2 * (6.2% + 1.45%) = 2 * 7.65% = 15.3% (the employer pays half of the Social Security and Medicare tax, but it really comes out of the employee’s income; the employee really bears this cost; also, the self-employed pay the entire 15.3% themselves);
  • therefore, the maximum percentage of federal taxes on $60K of payroll could be as high as 31.0%.
    For example:
    Tax = [($60K - $5150 personal deduction - $3,300 for standard exemptions) * 18.33% tax rate] + ($60K * 15.3% Social Security & Medicare)
    Tax = [($51,550) * 18.33%] + ($9,180 for Social Security & Medicare) = [($51,550) * 18.33%] + ($9,180 Social Security & Medicare)
    Tax = [$9,451 ] + ($9,180 Social Security & Medicare)
    Tax = $18,631 = 31% of $60K (which is a higher percentage than Warren Buffet’s 17.7% in total federal taxes on $46 Million).
    Is that fair ?
  • However, Warren Buffet’s secretary paid 30% in 2006 (1% less than the potential 31% above) in total federal taxes on $60K income (see above), which is probably because of a 401K deduction, and/or some other deduction (e.g. a charitable donation).
  • Even if the employer’s 50%/50% contribution for Social Security and Medicare are excluded, the secretary’s Tax is:
    Tax = [$9,451 ] + ($9,180 / 2 for Social Security & Medicare)
    Tax = $14,401 = 23.4% of $60K (which is still a higher percentage than Warren Buffet’s 17.7% in total federal taxes on $46 Million).
    Is that fair ?
    No, it ain’t (according to most people polled), and Warren Buffet’s agrees it is not fair.
  • Whatever sort of tax system the voters have, they should ask to see the tax-curve across all income levels, because many tax-payers are not aware of the clever schemes being used to heap the highest percentages onto the middle-income group, and lower the tax percentages for the wealthy (such as the current regressive tax system).

A few recent polls show that the majority of Americans polled want tax cuts ONLY for people making under $250K per year.
Is it possible that the majority of Americans are finally aware that the tax system is regressive?
Who among you belive the current tax system is fair?
Aside from the poor, who pay no federal income taxes, who among you think benefits most from the ridiculous myriad of tax loop-holes in the current tax system?
And what about the CAP on Social Security taxes ONLY on payroll (not on capital gains, dividends, and interest income)?
Why is it certain TYPES of income are taxed much less than payroll income?

But the Republicans appear ready to screw it up for for the middle-class, proving again that they only carry the water for the wealthy, who finance their campaigns and re-election.

If Republicans block extention of tax cuts for people making less than $250K, I think they will suffer the consequences of it in 2010 in a big way. And I’m going to help all I can to make that happen by memorializing the Republicans actions on blogs everywhere, and a special web-page dedicated to their votes and actions on this issue.

It’s not that John Boehner and similar ilk don’t get it.
It’s clear that they mostly care about their wealthy supporters who fund their campaigns (as evidenced by 83% of all federal campaign donations of $200 or more coming from a very tiny 0.3% of all 200 million eligible voters.

Especially since the majority of Americans are FOR extending the tax cuts for Americans making less than $250K per year, and since such an extension would actually make the federal taxes less regressive, and more fair.

This is not about jealousy and envy, disguised as demands for equality.
This is about what is most fair.

So, what is wrong with ALL of us (aside from the poor who don’t have it to begin with) paying (at the very least) an EQUAL percentage of income in total federal taxes?
That seems more fair, and would also help the massive debt problem of nightmare proportions (source: One-Simple-Idea.com/DebtUntenable1.htm).
And most Americans seem to agree.
And Warren Buffet agrees too (source: www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/10/30/watch-warren-buffett-cal_n_70455.html).
Why hasn’t the Main Stream Media pointed out the regressive nature of the current tax system (clearly possible, based on Warren Buffet’s own taxes and his own opinion)?
Wouldn’t this flat income tax system be better? One-Simple-Idea.com/TaxSystemReform.htm

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 3, 2010 08:42 AM
Comment #314429

Debt of nightmare proportions

It appears more and more likely, that Congress will fail to do anything to avoid a crisis, until it is too late.

Few (if anyone) in Congress have the guts to deal with the growing debt crisis. They are morally and fiscally bankrupt.

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 3, 2010 08:52 AM
Comment #314431

d.a.n, Greenspan said this morning on the Joe Scarborough show that over the last 30 years or so, the bottom 50% income earners saw their income rise 20%. During the same period, the top 1% income earners saw their incomes jump 400%.

Greenspan is a Republican conservative economist, still active in pursuing sound econometric measures on the cutting edge. If Greenspan acknowledges the gross inequity of income gains, and acknowledges that the upper income group is the only place to go to increase fiscal revenues while not sinking the economy (moderation of course), then Congressional Republicans and a handful of Democrats don’t have a legitimate case to make for both deficit reduction and extending the Bush Tax cuts to the wealthiest income group.

Though Greenspan didn’t outright say it, his comments alluded to the fact cutting spending while important, won’t get us to zero deficits without increasing tax revenues, substantially, especially in lieu of the tremendous increases in demands upon the government to assist the millions of persons out of work who can’t find employment or other legal income.

Pay attention to that word, “legal”. Because the longer this high unemployment rate persists, the greater the attraction to illegal income means. There is the cost side of failure to extend unemployment rates. The underground economy is a very extensive network of people and that economy is having trouble finding enough help at a reasonable rate.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 3, 2010 09:04 AM
Comment #314432

Oh, btw, he laid out in relatively simple terms that the GOP rhetoric about the FED’s dual mandate is just hot air. He said, in effect, the FOMC Board has but one mandate, and that is to fight inflation which means keeping it below 5%, and that in the long term, across decades, low inflation amends gyrations in the labor market. That appears plausible, that employment will recover given low inflation, looking backward across the data, and labor strength on average over that time remains strong - (short durations of recessionary unemployment spikes, are exceptions which come back to the mean.)

He explained the mechanics of currency supply in relationship to productivity, noting that the demand for increased currency remains on average about 5% greater than productivity growth, and as a result, deflation never has a chance in the long term. (Absent economic collapse, of course.) That parenthetical is my own, and why I can’t yet buy into his reasoning in this regard, except in a historical perspective. (Not a predictive one with the advent of so much accumulating national debt.) I accept his reasoning however, that from a monetary standpoint, this low inflation and slow growth context we are in, is actually going to repair the unemployment situation over the next few years all of itself, as unemployed fallen off the unemployment rolls come back into the labor force to seek employment. The fiscal matter, however, of job creation hinges entirely upon growth in consumer activity, and Greenspan says he sees commensurate growth on that front as well, as public fears of the near future are increasingly diminished for the next few years. But, he alluded to the idea that we only have a few years of that, if the fiscal situation is not placed on a path toward sustainability, (and that makes eminent sense to me.)

Pretty sharp for a person of his years.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 3, 2010 09:26 AM
Comment #314433

d.a.n said: “It appears more and more likely, that Congress will fail to do anything to avoid a crisis, until it is too late. “

That’s been the case for decades, d.a.n. I see where the head of the SEC (Hiu ?)is stepping down saying that Wall St. innovation will always, always, outstrip regulatory reform and enforcement. Pretty pessimistic but, no doubt, realistic, appraisal of markets today and going forward. But, keeping up as best can be done keeps the financial voodoo from getting too far ahead and never beyond view on the horizon he said. That is an experienced person speaking.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 3, 2010 09:31 AM
Comment #314441

Vote Day is here on the Plan, and support is falling away according to the Wash. Post.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 3, 2010 11:12 AM
Comment #314446

The Deficit Reduction plan is dead, basically. It was supposed to be here days earlier, if Congress was going to be obliged to follow it. It was supposed to also approve any plan by 14 votes. It did not.

The big problem is, as one observer put it, the conservative members of the commission were more interested in smaller government than smaller deficits. Why else engage the topic of SSI, when it’s funding or efficiency have nothing to do with the deficit?

What Republicans will not accept is that the deficit is a result of a dynamic imbalance between revenues and spending. If Spending cuts sink the economy, revenues go down, and some, if not all of the gains are swallowed up. If tax hikes cause problems, the expected revenue gains will be undermine the lack of economic activity.

Only when the slack in output from our economy is taken care of can we seriously entertain the kind of austerity necessary to close up the Budget deficit.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 3, 2010 12:34 PM
Comment #314447

Perhaps the committee voting on this plan should also consider the alternative plan from Schakowsky when they vote.

“Schakowsky’s plan would reduce the deficit by $427.75 billion in 2015, without raising taxes on middle-class Americans or making cuts to federal expenditures that benefit them.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/16/deficitreduction-panel-me_n_784266.html

Posted by: j2t2 at December 3, 2010 12:44 PM
Comment #314448

Stephen, Only when the bad times are over. And don’t rock the boat in the good times either, with deficit and debt reduction. That could upset the apple cart.

As all debt counselors will advise, there is no better time than TODAY to begin addressing one’s debt. Damned good advice that. Precisely, because debt is brought down with persistence and moderate measures which, themselves, do not create other crises requiring borrowing to remedy.

The enormous and overriding flaw with the Commission’s plan was its time table. Five years. That was destined to be politically impossible, given the state of our current political system.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 3, 2010 12:54 PM
Comment #314449

j2t2, Schakowsky’s plan would get even fewer, if any, Republican votes. Too heavy on the tax increases and too light on the spending cuts for Republicans carrying the water for the wealthiest.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 3, 2010 12:56 PM
Comment #314457

DR said:

Economics 101 - Republicans get an F. What they are really doing in denying basic economics is trying to pay back their wealthy campaign contributors and special interest lobbyists with everyone’s tax dollars from present and future tax payer’s wallets.


David, you are are appealing to the ‘us v. them’ analysis without any verifiable proof. It’s basically a Straw Man Argument.

You and I fundamentally disagree on the economic theory of fiscal policy. I am a supply-side proponent who believes that the “loss of aggregate consumer demand,” as you stated in comment #395, Isn’t the cause of the unemployment rate, but merely a symptom. The Cause of the weakness in the economy and thus high unemployment, is the lack of overall economic growth and lack of jobs because of many factors.

Uncertainty with the job creators, along with uncertainty of the tax code after Jan 1, 2011 is wreaking havoc on small and large business persons nationwide. Congress, along with Obama, needs to do everything in their power to create the conditions for business expansion and ultimately job growth. No, tax cuts on the wealthy do not guarantee job creation, nor do they help the deficit; however, given the fact that we are in a jobless recovery vis-a-vis other recent recessions, fiscal policy has shown to produce jobs faster after a recession than Keynesian or monetary policy can.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are now at 9.8% Unemployment for the 19th straight month. Keynesian economics isn’t working! Create the ‘conditions’ where entreprenuers can flourish and where nearly $2 TRILLION dollars are waiting on the sidelines to be injected into an economy with pent-up demand.

Economic indicators coming from the business sector are that auto sales are up…and growing, retailers are slowly doing well (black Friday and cyber Monday numbers were better than experts predicted), the NYSE, NASDAQ and the S&P 500 are also doing well. Even housing sales shot up 10% for the month of October versus nascent growth in the previous 12 months. Let’s not stop this momentum by sticking a proverbial ‘wrench in the chain’ of our slow, yet jobless, recovery.

As many commenters on here have noted, and millions across the nations have stated, the Dems need to reconcile their agenda with reality. It’s a sad day in our Capitol when members of Congress waste taxpayer’s time and money forcing votes before Congress that everyone knows are merely symbolic. To not take this 11th hour timing seriously when three major issues are at stake (Bush-era taxes, continuing resolution to keep budget moving (which passed temporarily) and extending unemployment insurance) is nothing short of dereliction of duty.

Finally, people who are oppossed to extending the Bush-era tax cuts to the wealthiest 2% are too caught up in the optics and class warfare that ultimately cloud one’s vision. I believe d.a.n. made the argument earlier that “unemployed or poor” people don’t create jobs. He’s correct. And although that statement may sound harsh, it’s true. Besides, what will the US Government do with the tax revenues it would ultimately collect from the wealthy? They wouldn’t save it. They wouldn’t invest it in the private sector where it would do the most good. They wouldn’t use it to pay down the debt. No, they would use it for expansion of government to appease their constituencies who voted Democratic.

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at December 3, 2010 02:36 PM
Comment #314472

d.a.n, appreciate the calculations on us vs them tax rates. Also, a good idea on ‘memorializing’ the Repubs if they screw up the tax cuts.

What I don’t understand is the American people clamoring to get started on paying down the debt.

The people didn’t create the the housing bubble, Greenspan/Bush did. The people didn’t create the globalized economy, Every administration/congress beginning with Regan did. IMO, it really started with Carter giving away the canal. The people didn’t whiz away $14T, Bush/Obama/congress did.

David noted that Greenspan said worker wages have increased 20% over the last 30 years while the top 1% is up by 400%. Keeping in mind that a 1950 dollar is worth something like a dime you can see the 20% didn’t go very far while the 400%, doing very well IMO.

Why are the taxpayers not standing up and demanding business take a hit. All we get is this ‘business needs more tax relief to be able to create jobs’. No, business needs the money to beat feet overseas, a la GM, etc.

At least lets put the blame where it is belongs, hold congress, the exec and the Supreme Court accoutable for their bad (actually planned and pretty much on schedule/target) decisions/policies come 2012.

Otherwise - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 3, 2010 05:49 PM
Comment #314479

Kevin Lagola,

The problem with this economy is not the lack of capital investment by business, it is the lack of consumer demand. There is a serious gap between demand and output capacity. We are not able to consume the available goods and services. That is not in debate. The average consumer is underwater due to the bursting of the housing bubble.

Considering the nature of the economic problem, justifying the continuation of tax cuts for the amount of income above $250,000.00 on supply side arguments makes little sense. There is plenty of money already on the sidelines for capital investment and business expansion. Business is not going to invest in new factories or service outlets (jobs) if they cannot sell what they are currently producing.

The best argument for continuing the tax cuts for higher amounts of income is that this money will act as a form of Keynesian stimulus for the economy and will sustain consumer demand.

The relevant question is what happens to the money under consideration for increased taxation. Is it being re-circulated through the economy? Alternatively, is it being parked in investments that don’t directly benefit the US economy, i.e., overseas investments, etc.? If the economy is not getting a decent bang for the bucks saved by the tax cuts to the rich, then it makes sense to put those dollars in service to the general economy and the public deficit.

The issue of fairness is always brought up in these discussions. In addressing that issue, it should be noted as David Remer has done in previous posts that the wealthy have received a disproportionate share of increases in income and wealth over the past three decades. It has not been a level playing field.

Posted by: Rich at December 3, 2010 07:30 PM
Comment #314484

One day of corruption reporting by the Wash. Post:

A judge sentenced a fellow to prison for 37 months for stealing more than $844k from the National Republican Congressional Committee and other political fundraising committees for which he worked as treasurer.

Rangel received ‘censure’ by the ethics committee for such things as not paying taxes for 17 years on some Jamaican property.

Missing e-mail raises new questions in Maxine Waters ethics probe. She says she was just helping minority owned banks. She is suspected of helping a bank, in which her husband had a financial investment, receive federal assistance.

Madoff trustee alleges J.P. Morgan aided fraud. Any money recovered from J.P. Morgan will go to pay off Madoff’s victims.

A 56 year old policy known as cargo preference is costing US taxpayers an estimated $140M each year for humanitarian food shipments. Requires the govt ship ¾ of its food aid on US flag vessels, costing US taxpayers a 46 percent markup on ocean freight cost. Ships crews that meet policy guidelines number about 1400 which breaks down to about $100k per sailor to ship via US flagged vessels. And, thanks to a complex set of ‘nested holding companies’ incorporated in the US, much of the windfall gain goes to foreign shipping lines, including Hapag-Lloyd, Maersk and Wallenius. Borderline corruption perhaps but bigtime Corpocracy in operation.

The DOJ has decided not to pursue criminal charges against Sen. John Ensign for his efforts to find lobbying work for his girlfriend’s husband. Likewise the FEC has dismissed a complaint concerning $96k that the FEC says it can’t prove the payment was anything other than a gift.

And, Tom Delay got a mention in the opinion section.

Yes, we have some severed arteries, equating to $14T of debt but, we are also dying slowing of thousands of tiny cuts.

The Copocracy need to go, but it will take a 3rd party with a different political attitude to pry their tentacles from gov’t.

Otherwise - -


Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 3, 2010 08:53 PM
Comment #314485


David, I tend to agree with those who say this commission was a way for Obama to punt the problem down the field until after the midterm election.

He had little in the way of alternatives. He is trying to deal with an extremely bad, possibly fatal economic situation and all the time, he has been hounded, on the deficit and debt by the Republicans, people like Boehner and McConnell, who are among those primarily responsible for creating our economic mess. In addition, he faced the tea party, primarily composed of those who voted for those Republicans like Boehner and McConnell in the first place, but would rather scapegoat the poor, Obama, and the liberals for babying the lazy poor and even worse, letting them buy houses which messed with the good peoples equity and has caused them to pay twice as much in taxes as they needed to.

The Administration has made another plea to progressives to not abandon ship. The meaning?

Keeping the tax cuts won’t help the economy all that much. Keeping the tax cuts for the wealthy won’t help at all. They have more productive things to invest in than jobs in America.

Eliminating all the tax cuts COULD be the only opportunity we have to POSSIBLY get an agreement on the deficits similar to that brokered by Clinton and the Republicans.

“David noted that Greenspan said workers wages have increased 20% Over the last thirty years while the top 1% is up by 400%.

Roy, actually, that is not what Greenspan said. He said that the bottom 50% of income earners have seen a 20% increase in income. This would imply that the top 50% of income earners did better than the bottom 50% and that the majority of those top 50% of income earners either managed to stay even with or exceed inflation.

Keep in mind that a significant number of the top 50% of income earners have investment income as well, and that the bottom 50% are still loosing ground despite the fact that a significant number of them receive some sort of government assistance. Keep in mind that those workers situation would be much more dire if that assistance were significantly curtailed or eliminated.

I would think that a majority of the top 50% exercise their right to vote while a majority of the bottom 50% exercise their right not to vote.

So, IMO, the primary support for the current program of globalization or a somewhat modified version comes from the top 50% of wage earners who have fared better in the three decades in which the current path has been incrementally implemented.

IMO, support for significantly, rather than somewhat, modifying the current globalization scheme will be dependent on how the top 50% of income earners fair, under the scheme, in the future. I don’t think the top 50% can force even more hardship on the lower 50%, as some of them are calling for, and expect to gain significantly by doing so.

Now that the corporations and companies have outsourced about as much of the low tech manufacturing that they can, the outsourcing of high tech, higher paying jobs is increasing rapidly. This will create a large pool of high tech graduates, both domestic and foreign, competing for the jobs that remain and an opportunity to lower those wages.

How many presidents have assured us that high pay, high tech will be the jobs of the future?

Posted by: jlw at December 3, 2010 09:10 PM
Comment #314492

jlw, Greenspan has no credence here anyway. Maybe this New York TImes report is factually worthy.
Hannity is ready to blow a gasket with his spiel that we are all doomed to die 1 Jan if the wealthy get a tax increase. The next most used rhetoric is that capital gains is going to go to 20% which will cause the wealthy to get out of stocks altogether. Maybe they will take the pressure off China and buy a few bonds for investment.

I’m still curious as to why BP paid no US taxes in 2009.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 3, 2010 10:56 PM
Comment #314500

Kevin said: “I am a supply-side proponent who believes that the “loss of aggregate consumer demand,” as you stated in comment #395, Isn’t the cause of the unemployment rate, but merely a symptom. The Cause of the weakness in the economy and thus high unemployment, is the lack of overall economic growth and lack of jobs because of many factors.”

You are entitled to your beliefs, Kevin, just not your own facts. Unemployment rose coincidentally with drops in aggregate demand in the economy. The relationship is undeniable, and what your comment reflects is ideology which refuses to acknowledge the real world. If consumer demand rises, jobs will grow to service that increased demand. Your comment denies that simple, empirical, and demonstrable fact of reality, making you an ideologue incapable of carrying on an intelligent and rational discussion on this topic.

Demand and Supply siders are ideologues, and their ideology works fine when the real world matches their theoretical assumptions, but, falls apart when reality does not comply with their assumptions. Believers, as they are, like you, they are incapable of a rational discussion when reality fails to conform to their ideological assumptions, forcing them to deny real world facts and data.

Consumer demand is increasing in a number of sectors, and so are the jobs in those sectors, at roughly the same pace as the increase in demand. Yes, there are other factors, but, in this time, the most fundamental and relevant one is aggregate demand. Corporations are sitting on 2 trillion in cash reserves because the diminished aggregate demand does not yet warrant expanding production and service jobs sufficiently to invest that 2 trillion dollars. The investment dollars of the wealthiest are increasingly being invested in overseas markets - that data is irrefutable by the numbers, and the reason again is that aggregate demand is rising faster in places like China, India, and Brazil, insuring a better rate of return on those investments overseas.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 4, 2010 06:58 AM
Comment #314501

Roy said: “David noted that Greenspan said worker wages have increased 20% over the last 30 years while the top 1% is up by 400%.”

Greenspan was speaking of inflation adjusted dollars, as all economists do in making such comparisons, which is mandatory in the discipline to insure apples and apples comparison.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 4, 2010 07:00 AM
Comment #314502

Kevin said: “Finally, people who are oppossed to extending the Bush-era tax cuts to the wealthiest 2% are too caught up in the optics and class warfare that ultimately cloud one’s vision.”

There is your ideology rejecting reality and facts, again. Increasing government revenues will reduce the deficit. That’s not optics and class warfare, that is reality and 3rd grade math, Kevin. Spending is going to decrease as the economy grows beyond the 3% rate. It would be another matter if this were 2001 and we had 8 more years of Republicans spending 5 trillion more dollars than they were taking in for mostly elective concerns. That era is over, if Republicans and most Democrats in Congress are to be believed - which is always dubious, but, that doesn’t change the math.

Even in a deficit spending period, increasing revenues decreases the deficit from what it would have been had those revenues not been received. This is 3rd grade math, and you reject it out of hand because of those ideological blinders that insists the world must conform to your assumptions and beliefs. Well, it never has, and it never will conform to people’s beliefs and assumptions. Reality has a rule set all its own which it abides regardless of human belief and assumptions. Which makes the study of economics a social science, and not a religion, despite the many believers who subscribe to this theory or that religiously.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 4, 2010 07:11 AM
Comment #314503

Roy Ellis, I don’t know, but I suspect BP didn’t pay taxes because of the tax write off of the 20 billion dollars to underwrite the losses incurred by the people of the Gulf. $20 billion dollars written off over a period of a couple years, is one helluva huge set of tax write offs, likely exceeding by far the corporate taxes that would otherwise have been paid. Just an educated guess. But, I am confident the reason can be found in the tax law.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 4, 2010 07:15 AM
Comment #314504

jlw said: “
David, I tend to agree with those who say this commission was a way for Obama to punt the problem down the field until after the midterm election.”

Well, you can agree with that if you wish, but, it flies in the face of certain facts and realities. The first and biggest being Obama’s selection of two hard cored Deficit Hawks to head up the commission and 5 of the 6 of his appointees to the Commission supporting the final report. If this were a stunt, he would appointed persons who would have supported a result that Obama would find easy to live with and easy to support.

Secondly, Obama was under NO OBLIGATION or even pressure to appoint his own Commission after Congress refused to. None. Debt and deficits were not an election issue for the mid-terms. Jobs and the economy overshadowed all other election issues.

If one is going to subscribe to a belief, one should test that belief against the reality that exists before subscribing to it - or amend that belief when the reality contradicts the belief. If one is logical and rational in their orientation.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 4, 2010 07:23 AM
Comment #314505

jlw said: “Roy, actually, that is not what Greenspan said. He said that the bottom 50% of income earners have seen a 20% increase in income. “

FALSE! Greenspan specifically referred to the top, and I quote, “ONE PERCENT” in comparison to the bottom 50%. It is on record and you can review and verify his quote. And yes, you are correct, he referred to the bottom 50%, not 20%, which I mistakenly transposed with the 20% of income rise which he spoke of for that bottom 50%. My transcription error.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 4, 2010 07:27 AM
Comment #314506

Roy, add to your list of corruption this week the story of 4 Freshman elected Congress persons already under investigation for possible campaign finance law violations, to include Marco Rubio.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 4, 2010 07:31 AM
Comment #314507

Rich, a very accurate response.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 4, 2010 07:33 AM
Comment #314533


David, I was going by what you wrote, Greenspan compared the top 1% with the bottom 50%. What about the other 49%? Have they fared as poorly as the bottom 50%? I think not. If the percentage of income earners between the bottom 50% and the top 1% had seen income gains of 20% over the last 30 years, the system that is creating this income disparity would have already been corrected.

Posted by: jlw at December 4, 2010 03:21 PM
Comment #314536


Right you are, David. It has to do with the tax code. For example, see how GE manages to pay low taxes year over year on billions of income.

It must really be
quite a joke among the corpocratists.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 4, 2010 04:08 PM
Comment #314538


David, jobs and the economy were the overriding issues, but debt and taxes brought the Republican voters out. Months of Republican and tea party rallies and rants had to have had some affect on the election and Obama.

Obama’s appointment of deficit hawks to lead a commission does not fly in the face of certain political facts and realities despite Obama’s desire to get deficits under control.

The political reality is that the commission did not come to an agreement. The political reality is that if they had reached an agreement it would have probably been DOA when it reached the Congress. The political reality is that incumbents can present rhetorical arguments for why they did not act that are good enough for their constituents. The political reality is that constituents haven’t reached a point where incumbents are all that fearful, not yet, especially with gerrymandering. The political reality is that there are still far to many voters who think putting ideology first is the same as putting the country first.

The political reality is that politicians, including Obama, know what the political reality is.

I agree with much of your response to Kevin but, I think the increase in production jobs from increased consumer demand is much less significant than in the past. Many Chinese production laborers have been laid off because of weak consumer demand in the U.S., while pent up consumer demand in China is being suppressed by inflation. I would think that from a production point of view, foreign workers would benefit from an increase in consumer demand than American workers. I think what we can expect to see is the preponderance of jobs created here are going to be low wage service jobs.

Posted by: jlw at December 4, 2010 04:17 PM
Comment #314539

Agree jlw, that the jobs going forward will be lo-tech. Question is how is it possible to create approx 20M lo=tech jobs for citizens plus another 10M or so for the illegal popultion?

Here is a glimpse at the future of high-tech development and associated jobs.

http://ge.geglobalresearch.com/locations/shanghai-china/

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-03/china-s-csr-corp-ge-to-partner-on-u-s-high-speed-railway-bids.html

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 4, 2010 05:42 PM
Comment #314557

jlw, I agree with most of your comments entirely and have written similar thoughts we share.

Manufacturing in the U.S. however, is not dead. I know, you didn’t say it was. But, the general public doesn’t seem to realize that manufacturing, though diminished from decades ago, is still an important part of our economy and provides jobs to high school graduates without college. Our manufacturing can grow again, and I have to give credit to conservatives who champion the general concept of reducing or eliminating corporate and business taxes, which only create competitive barriers with foreign manufacturers and which simply get passed on to consumers as a hidden tax.

But, I will resist any such effort in the absence of real political reform which removes corporate influence from legislation, and real tax reform which has the capacity to recirculate a good deal of the wealth hording in this country back through our own economy. Unemployment would not bear as intransigent as it is, nor would it have reached the level it is at, if 50% of the wealth amongst the wealthiest were circulating back through our manufacturing and service sectors as consumerism.

The inherent problem for any economy which experiences enormous wealth accumulation in the top couple percent of the populations income earners, is that it chokes aggregate demand for goods and services as that money chases money, instead of goods and services, which the economy is predicated upon.

That is why I argue with d.a.n about the flat tax, insisting that a flat tax must be tiered and progressive with higher rates for the high income earners, otherwise, wealth accumulation makes the income distribution through the economy choked, creating the growing situation in which ever larger numbers of people are working for an ever smaller portion of the nation’s available money supply, thus choking aggregate consumer demand: a situation we find ourselves in at this very moment.

The wife and I were talking just this afternoon about our future in this regard, considering our options when our governments default in 8 to 10 years, which will occur, now that the Debt Commission’s report was rejected from the legislative floor of Congress: (which marks the last passed opportunity for the U.S. to right its economic descent path).

We agreed that owning our home and property outright, without a mortgage would be very advantageous, and completely getting completely free of debt in five years prepares us nicely. A hybrid and all electric car is now on our todo list. Establishing one acre of our five as a crop growing acre will also benefit us enormously, since both of us will be out of work come the defaults.

That will leave us a minimal food bill, low transportation costs, and very likely a high utility bill which we can manage well with wood burning heat during our short Winter, and zoned AC in our long hot Summers.

This frees the bulk of our savings for health care, which will likely drop in price after the government defaults, due to an enormous drop in demand by those who can’t afford it.

Our daughter takes up nursing in Brazil, and we visit her every 2 years, and she visits us every two years on a staggered schedule. That just leaves a phone bill :-)

Everyone, who is not filthy rich, should now be planning along similar lines for the end of the coming decade. The writing is now on the wall. If congress and the White House take some prophylactic measures in the interim regarding deficits and debt, they may buy us another couple years, but, there is no impediment to our government bankrupting as a result of our broken political system. None. The Obama deficit and debt commission was the last best hope of averting that path and it was rejected.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 4, 2010 11:16 PM
Comment #314558

jlw said: “What about the other 49%? Have they fared as poorly as the bottom 50%? I think not.”

Quite correct. That other 49% saw income growth between the 20 and 400% levels along a distribution curve. And of course, we are referring here to the upper middle class when discussing that other 49%. This group is largely made up of the professional class: doctors, lawyers, managers, sole proprietorships, and LLC owners, engineers, IT specialists, etc.

But, then you write something very perplexing:

“If the percentage of income earners between the bottom 50% and the top 1% had seen income gains of 20% over the last 30 years, the system that is creating this income disparity would have already been corrected.”

Please explain. As I said, their incomes grew at a higher rate than that 20% over the last 30 years. Not lesser rate. Which leaves me asking just what it is you mean by the quoted statement above. I fail to see how it would have been corrected since the reality is, it was not corrected.

My wife started as an insurance trainer 20 years ago at $24 grand a year. She does the same work today and is making 80 grand a year. Adjusted for inflation, she has seen income growth in the range of about 200 to 250%. This is the same scenario for most of the professional class, and the wealth disparity has only increased. Reality seems to contradict your statement, but, perhaps I am misreading the intent and gist behind your quote.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 4, 2010 11:32 PM
Comment #314578

David, applaude your planning for the future and good to see you have the resources to do so. Many do not.

But, rather than take it on the chin, with the middle class accepting all the reponsibility, shouldn’t we be standing up to those who brought the coming devastation to our doorsteps?

I advocate holding politicians accountable for their poor policy/planning in turning the US into the world’s greatest debtor in a 25 year time span. They threw out anti-trust law, turned the big un’s loose to fight for monopoly/conglomerazation on the world stage while sidelining approx 25M folks who were once employed and capable of supporting their families.

What can you say about a gov’t that will stick with their free trade agreements while we have a $100B marijuana business flowing back and forth across the Southern border? Encouraging illegal immigration by offering state/federal (taxpayer) entitlements to those who can make it to the U.S. 30k people killed on the border since 06, 36 killed on the US side last year and 39 so far this year for drug related causes. And now, in this lame duck session of congress, during a time of economic hardship for so many, the corpocracy is going to legislate on the ‘dream act’.

IMO, nothing will deter the corpocracy until we can move to abolish corporate personhood. And, that can’t, won’t happen unless we can stand up a 3rd party with a different political attitude. IMO, the taxpayer should not accept responsibility for what has gone before. We should ban together in an effort to hold politicians accountable. We can do that through supporting Article V Convention, voting out incumbents every chance we get and standing up a 3rd party with a different political attitude.

Otherwise - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 5, 2010 04:04 PM
Comment #314581

Roy, time is running out to stand up a third party to take control of the Congress. I don’t believe that can be accomplished in the time remaining, 5 to 10 years, given the psychology of the American people and their conditioning to think only in terms of the two political party structure.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 5, 2010 04:20 PM
Comment #314587

I’m a little more optimistic but you are probably correct re the time frame. It will take another 3-5 years for the pain/misery to set in and really get peoples attention.

Still, we should have a populist/centrist party ready and waiting rather than take a chance on some wild card party popping up with some far left/right agenda, IMO.

Otherwise - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 5, 2010 09:32 PM
Comment #314593

A Wash. Post article today relates that ‘House rookies meet new day the old way’. After winning the election with an anti-Washington battle cry, many freshmen are seeking out fund raisers held at capitol hill bistros and corporate townhouses, taking money from K street lobbyists and special interests groups. Many are working to pay off 2010 debt. A policy director with the Campaign Legal Center noted that these events “are God’s gift to special interests,” allowing corporate PACs and lobbyists to curry favor with grateful lawmakers.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 6, 2010 12:14 PM
Comment #314594

Roy did you really expect it to be any different? For the most part tea baggers were led around by Conservative groups ran by Dick Armey and a few others. The newly elected spouted nonsense and allowed themselves to be bought out before they were actually in office. As long as we continue to elect these guys the same way why would we expect any thing to change? The conservative activist on the SCOTUS have ensured that bribery, lies and misinformation will continue to be the way things are done. Tea baggers and conservative movement followers ensure us that things won’t change because they have enough votes to continue the march towards the destruction of our Country in the name of freedom and democracy.

Posted by: j2t2 at December 6, 2010 12:44 PM
Comment #314598

A Wash Post article today relates that ICE/Executive Branch are using dubious tactics to deceive the public on immigration enforcement. Seems the goal was to reach or exceed the number of illegal immigrants deported last year, 389,834. The Executive has suggested they are tougher-than-ever on immigration enforcement and that ICE is not working to some some quota figure.

This fiscal year ICE deported 392.862. This figure includes 19,000 who had exited the previous fiscal year. ICE also ran a Mexican repatriation program five weeks longer than ever before, allowing ICE to count another 6500 that would normally have been tallied by the US Border Patrol.

In the final weeks of the fiscal year ICE directed immigration officers to bypass backlogged courts and time consuming deportation hearings when possible. Instead, the official word was to encourage eligible foreign nationals to accept a quick pass to their countries without a mark on their immigration record.

The voluntary return option may have allowed hundreds of immigrants the chance to bypass the courts, for such offenses as drunken driving, domestic violence and misdemeanor assault, by leaving the country. A voluntary return doesn’t bar a foreigner from applying for legal-residence or traveling to the US in the future.

On closing the books for 2010 ICE was told to return to normal operations. Without these efforts, which resulted in an additional 25,000 deportations, ICE would not have met or exceeded the prior year deportations.

ICE used some deporations acquired through the Mexican Interior Repatriation Program where the Border Patrol works to help illegals crossing the hot Sonoran Desert in summer months. ICE began in June adding those removals to their totals. A record 23,384 Mexicans between June and Sept accepted flights back to Mexico City and then a bus xfer to their home town, at a cost of some $15M. ICE acknowledged that some were detained hundreds of miles from Arizona. “Select individuals from West Texas were offered an opportunity to volunteer for safe return to their place of origin in the interior or Mexico”. About 500 detained near Seattle was included in the flights.

In Seattle the word was to give the return option to those not facing mandatory detention and didn’t have attorneys. In Atlanta, ICE was told to persuade those who had asked to see an immigration judge to instead accept voluntary return. In Chicago, officers were told to stop releasing eligible immigrants and monitoring them with electronic ankle bracelets, which might spur more to accept voluntary removal.

A La. ICE employee estimated that over a two week period at least 100 to 150 Mex. nationals, some of whom had multiple drunken driving convictions, had their court cases reassigned as voluntary returns.

ICE’s goal for 2011 is to remove 404,000 immigrants. Approximately 300,000 illegals cross the border yearly. But, who is really counting, let’s party! Say, need a free trip to Mexico??

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 6, 2010 03:26 PM
Comment #314606

Thanks Roy

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 6, 2010 06:59 PM
Comment #314609

The Obama administration achieved record deportations in 2009 and pushed the envelope to exceed that goal in 2010. It has an even higher goal next year. Illegal crossings are down. That’s the story.

Posted by: Rich at December 6, 2010 09:32 PM
Comment #314611

Right Rich, down because 25M are un/under-employed and to make entry one has to run a gauntlet of cartels and bandidos, some 30k being killed along the border since 06. Returnees are being told by the Mexican gov’t to fly back rather than go by road.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 6, 2010 11:12 PM
Comment #314618

Roy,

The fact that the Obama administration is putting pressure down the line to meet ambitious immigration enforcement goals should be welcomed by critics of US immigration policy. Seems its a damned if you do and damned if you don’t problem.

Posted by: Rich at December 7, 2010 07:20 AM
Comment #314619

Roy,
You say you are for a third political party, yet you still keep on telling us that America is doomed. And why I agree President Obama would have done America a better service if his debt commission was made up of Grandmas, it is what it is and we need to deal with the fact the 375,000 millionaries and billionaries can no longer support the lifestyle built by the Youth of the 60’s and Silver Spoons of the 70’s.

And why that is not all bad considering the profits achieveable in switching from a disposalable society to a sustianable society. At $87 trillion or $234.67 million paid by each millionarie and billionarie I do believe it may take a few years of payments before the Wealthy in America can again wear that title. Yet at $290,000.00 for each and all 300 million of us to pay off the bill in full today I do believe it would take most Americans a lifetime and that is not including interest. So what do we do?

For can America use the need for new Infrastructure to cover the exposed Debt?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at December 7, 2010 08:08 AM
Comment #314621

No good answers here on the paying off the debt Henry. Like you say, it is what it is. But, I am not for holding up for praise those tenured in Congress who spent the last 25 years working hard to put us in this position. We are right where they planned for us to be. Their great plan, brought over, as usual, on British tongues, was to so imbed nations of the world in ‘globalized trade’ that no nation could make war as they would be to dependent on their trading partners. But, in doing so, it would require the US middle class be brought in line with wage earners of the world at large. In about 3-5 years of continued austerity their plan should be fulfilled.

I would hope by then that the Independents will have seen the light and moved to support a new 3rd party with a different political attitude. Otherwise, continuing to support the duopoly or just another 3rd party would just be prolonging the pain/misery headed our way. We are going to need a party that cannot be influenced by the money influence, a party with an agenda to revisit our political history and right some wrongs that were put in place by congress and the courts over time. Corporate Personhood comes to mind. Also, an agenda that can implement major reform of government such as real campaign finance reform.

You won’t get such reform any other way, IMO. What you will get is ‘hope and change’ and ‘yes, we can’, etc.

Don’t recall using the term ‘doomed’ for our demise. But, it’s clear the good ole days are looming in the rear view mirrow. More tautology, I know, but, consider the debt, 25M un-under employed, millions of illegal immigrants needing care, wide disparity between rich and poor, cost of educating young people, - - you get my drift, Henry.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 7, 2010 10:23 AM
Comment #314642

Kinda of like dealing with the US muslim population. The population at large would like to hear a big resounding renunciation by American muslims of the Jihadist/terrorist movement in the US and around the world.

Likewise, most would like the Corpocracy to make some noise like ‘we will begin to enforce US immigration law’, ‘here is notice that illegal border crossing is illegal from this point forward’, etc.

Really not that hard, Rich. Unfortunately, illegal immigration has/is being used to break the back of the middle class workers, to provide a cheap labor force, to provide workers to maintain the $100B drug trade, to show WTO/NAFTA that the Corpocracy can stick with the goal of ‘open borders’ a la the NAU concept, etc. So, we can’t expect much from the Corpocracy re cleaning up illegal immigration, drugs, contraband smuggling until we can put a 3rd party with a different political attitude in place. Several more years of peaceful highs for those inbued, IMO

Otherwise - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 7, 2010 02:39 PM
Comment #314698

Roy,
If a 3rd Party is going to make a difference than it begins with having the courage to stand up to the Dems and Reps over what the Business Model will look like in the 21st Century. And though I have to smile as the Left and Right comes to terms with that fact, I do believe the Wealthy in America and Humanity will come to realize the difference between a Trickledown Economy (Handouts) and a Trickle-Up Economy (Hand Up). For who would of thought 30 years ago that a Green Sustianable World was possible?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at December 7, 2010 09:03 PM
Comment #314700


The population at large would like to hear a big resounding renunciation by Americans of their corporations practices in third world countries, some of which are often indistinguishable from terrorism.

Illegal immigration is harming some in the middle class, while some in the middle class benefit from illegal immigration.

Posted by: jlw at December 7, 2010 09:16 PM
Comment #314712

So, where will the money come from to merely pay the interest on so much debt, when that money does not yet exist?

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 8, 2010 09:14 AM
Comment #314716

Senate convicts federal judge Porteous, louisana, of corruption, 96-0.

Henry, not sure in the Consitution where it says the President should define or augment a US business model. It does say the fed will regulate commerce, which is what the TEA partiers elected to office are supposedly doing by repealing Obama’s financial regulation bill, and quick, before the ink is dry! So, we are in for another 4-6 years or so of unfettered big business.

We need government out of business rather than defining business.

Agree jlw, with globalization and Regan putting anti=trust law in the closet, big business has been unleashed on the world to plunder and pillage. Run every fish to ground, whack down the rain forest to grow dates, merge them up into monopolies where competition and innovation are shut out of the game, etc.

The DREAM Act is back congreses ‘to do’ list. A more determined bunch of people I’ve never known. But, I hope the American people will rally round with some loud chanting ’ Regan! No! Regan! No’, etc.

Otherwise - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 8, 2010 10:55 AM
Comment #314772

Roy how depressing is that bloomberg link.The Governator riding high speed rails in Korea, Japan and China and GE using Chinese technology that will employ only 3,500 jobs in this country. How did we sink so low so quick.

Posted by: j2t2 at December 8, 2010 08:36 PM
Comment #314789

Why did economist Ludwig von Mises state the following about the end-game brought on by reckless expansion of credit (debt):


    “There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit (debt) expansion.
    The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit (debt) expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.” (source: Mises, Human Action, chapter 20, section 6, page 560)

How does a nation get out of debt, when 90% (or more) of all U.$. money already exists as debt, and the remainding 10% is insufficient to even pay the interest on all of the existing debt?

$57 Trillion (or more) of nation-wide debt is over $184,000 per person (based on a U.S. population of 310,000 million).
It is also more than quadruple the nation-wide debt per-capita in year 1956.

  • $60.0T |——————————————
  • $57.5T |—————————————-D (Debt=$57 Trillion)
  • $55.0T |—————————————D-
  • $52.5T |—————————————D-
  • $50.0T |—————————————D-
  • $47.5T |—————————————D-
  • $45.0T |—————————————D-
  • $42.5T |—————————————D-
  • $40.0T |————————————-D—
  • $37.5T |————————————D—-
  • $35.0T |———————————-D——
  • $32.5T |———————————-D——
  • $30.0T |———————————D——-
  • $27.5T |——————————-D———
  • $25.0T |——————————D———-
  • $22.5T |—————————-D————
  • $20.0T |—————————D————-
  • $17.5T |————————-D—————
  • $15.0T |————————D—————G (GDP=$14T for year 2009)
  • $12.5T |———————D—————G—
  • $10.0T |—————-D—————G——-
  • $07.5T |———-D————G—————-
  • $05.0T |-D——-G——————————
  • $02.5T |-G—————————————
  • $00.0T +(1956)————————- (2009)YEAR

However, 40% of all U.S. citizens have ZERO net worth.
And the wealthiest 1% of all U.S. citizens owns over 40% of all wealth.

HHHHMMMMMmmmmmmmmm the simple math doesn’t look good. So, perhaps that is why economist Ludwig von Mises stated the following about the end-game brought on by reckless expansion of credit (debt):

    “There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit (debt) expansion.
    The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit (debt) expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.”

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 9, 2010 08:54 AM
Comment #314790

Glenn Beck has show after show advising people to get ready. Get their debts paid down, stock their pantries and if you have a plot of land for growing veggies you should plan to put it to use. Glenn and Von Mises seem to be on the same page.

The looming economical crisis could be the crisis needed for Soros and others to ‘take over the world’ whatever that means. That will be way harder for them to do as Beck has called them out on it. When banksters start jumping from tall buildings, that’s a sign we are getting close, IMO.

One would think the Corpocracy has something up their sleeve to deal, in part, with the crisis. Just by devaluing the dollar to near nothing would erase the foreign held debt. But, would make for some angry neighbors, bounce the dollar out as the world currency and lead to who knows what. A crisis made to order for a ‘new world order’. could Beck be right? Any solutions Henry?

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 9, 2010 09:43 AM
Comment #314791

Excerpt from Von Mises:

“One should not fall prety to the illusion that these changes in the credit policies of the banks were caused by the bankers’ and the monetary authorities’ insight into the unavoidable consequences of a continued credit expansion. What induced the turn in the banks’ conduct was certain institutional conditions to be dealt with further below, on pp. 796-797. Among the champions of economics some private bankers were prominent; in particular, the elaboration of the early form of the theory of business fluctuations, the Currency Theory, was for the most part an achievement of the British bankers. But the management of the central banks and the conduct of the various governments’ monetary policies was as a rule entrusted to men who did not find any fault with boundless credit expansion and took offense at every criticism of their expansionist ventures.”

You had to know those darn Brits would be in there somewhere.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 9, 2010 09:53 AM
Comment #314793

Roy said: “Glenn Beck has show after show advising people to get ready. Get their debts paid down, stock their pantries and if you have a plot of land for growing veggies you should plan to put it to use.”

Well, Beck has to be right once in awhile to maintain credibility for the rest of his bullshit! :-) I obviously agree with Beck on this.

Better to prepared than homeless and hungry and dependent upon the kindness of others, which may be hard to find.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 9, 2010 11:19 AM
Comment #314794

d.a.n, not to minimize the most appropriate warning of Von Mises (whom the Germans appear to take seriously), but, LIKE Germany, which absolutely loathes the idea of contributing to the bailout of Greece and Ireland, the alternative is worse, which is allowing the fiat money system to cascade into failure. Ergo, as much as Germans hate it, they are, out of enlightened self-interest, going to contribute what they have to in order to insure the efficacy of the EU, to which their fate is tied.

I point this out for only one reason. The U.S. is going to be in the same boat as Greece and Ireland, and the EU and BRIC nations are going to be in the same boat as Germany in a few very short years. And all the heads of government and central banks know it. Hence, it is entirely predictable that international pressure on OUR Congress and White House is about increase dramatically over the next couple years in the absence of efforts to zero the deficit AND Grow the economy in a significant way.

We may avert the Von Mises collapse, yet, but it won’t be averted without considerable sacrifice and pain on the part of the American people and BOTH political parties. That much is as plain as the nose on my face, and I have a substantial nose!

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 9, 2010 11:34 AM
Comment #314821

The Corpocracy really wants Beck off the airwaves, less Beck - more Huffington I suppose. Beck says the worst thing we can do when the crisis comes is to hit the streets with violence. He is pushing the George Washington approach, go in with Merit, Honor, Valor and a good prayer or two. I agree with that. The Corpocracy, including Soros and company, will need violence to make their crisis real. But, if the people don’t play the game they can’t have their crisis, defeating their effort for a ‘new world order’.

Not sure the American people can sit on it when it hits the fan but we should plan for nonviolence, beginning now. Our solution lies in the people and the ballot box. We have another shot at incumbents come 2012 and perhaps 2014 before things get really bad, IMO. Also, we should get behind the effort to put Article V Convention in the public purview. And, it’s a real good time to suppor the effort to build a centrist 3rd party with a different political attitude, impervious to the money influence and special interest and with an embedded oversight function where members can monitor their elected officials and vote up/down to reject those elected officials from the party if the stray from the agenda/mission. www.republicsentry.com if interested.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 9, 2010 06:51 PM
Comment #314848
David R. Remer wrote:We may avert the Von Mises collapse, yet, but it won’t be averted without considerable sacrifice and pain on the part of the American people and BOTH political parties. That much is as plain as the nose on my face, and I have a substantial nose!
Helicopter Ben Bernanke claims to have a solution. Simply drop vast amounts of money from helicopters.

Get ready for hyperinflation.

By the way, inflation is already most likely higher (more like 8%) than what is being reported.

If GDP is plotted in 2005 inflation adjusted U.$. dollars, GDP has been falling since year 2006.

Also, based on this, GDP has been negative since year 2006.

We’re being lied to about many things.

And the Main Stream Media is somewhat silent; probably because they don’t want to cause a panic?

So, where will the money come from to merely pay the interest on $57 Trillion of nation-wide debt, when money is created as debt at a fractional ratio of 9-to-1, 90% of all money already exists as debt, the economy is now 80% ocnsumer-spending driven, and the money required to merely pay the interest on the $57 Trillion nation-wide debt does not yet exist?

I think Glenn Beck and Ludwig von Mises are right.

    “There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit (debt) expansion.
    The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit (debt) expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.” (source: Ludwig von Mises, Human Action, chapter 20, section 6, page 560)
But you don’t have to be an economist or rocket scientist to know that no nation ever borrowed, created money out of thin air, and spent its way to prosperity.

The federal reserve can only delay the inevitable for a limited amount of time, before the massive debt-pyramid they’ve created finally collapses.

What will happen is essentially another Great Depression (or worse). But if the currency is debauched too, it will be much worse than the Great Depression, because all savings, entitlements, and pensions will become worthless.

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 10, 2010 09:00 AM
Comment #314878

d.a.n said: “I think Glenn Beck and Ludwig von Mises are right.”

Doom sayers contribute nothing to the potential for averting doom. Optimism precedes all attempts to bring about an optimal outcome. Fundamental law of human behavior. Without hope, there is no aspiration or effort toward an optimal outcome.

If it can’t be avoided, then there is no point in debating the issue or, lifting a finger to alter the outcome. d.a.n, if you truly believe there is no hope, are you preparing to leave the country? That would be the self-responsible thing to do, given that belief.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 10, 2010 05:52 PM
Comment #314884

Why do you ask that?

I remember you saying you might move to Canada?

When Roy Ellis wrote:

Roy said: “Glenn Beck has show after show advising people to get ready. Get their debts paid down, stock their pantries and if you have a plot of land for growing veggies you should plan to put it to use.”


there was this response
David R. Remer wrote: Well, Beck has to be right once in awhile to maintain credibility for the rest of his bullshit! :-) I obviously agree with Beck on this.

Then you asked:

David R. Remer asked:
d.a.n, if you truly believe there is no hope, are you preparing to leave the country?

HHHHMMMmmmmmmmmmmmm… sounds a bit adversarial.
Is this to increase readership, or a honest, genuine question?

Anyway, to answer your question:

    No.

But I am preparing, with:
  • no debt;
  • owning 50 acres of land in 3 states (TX,OK,NM);
  • 20 acres of arable land in OK;
  • 30 acres at 8,000 feet in the mountains next to a national forest where there are fish, bears, elk, deer, lots of wood, and other resources;
  • more weapons and ammunition;
  • more training and skills in key technology niches;
  • gold and other non-currency assets;
  • generators;
  • solar panels;
  • large tanks of propane;
  • more tools;
  • more self-sufficiency skills and research;

But, perhaps I should do as you, and renew my passport too?

People can laugh all the want.
We’ll see who (sadly) laughs last.

As for optimism, that’s all well and good, as long as it isn’t delusional.

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 10, 2010 07:02 PM
Comment #314894

David, leaving the country when it hits the fan??? Like, where ya gonna go man???? The socialist countries will go down first. Scratch the EU and the BRIC. Well, no sense going down that road…

IMO, Beck and d.a.n has the right idea, self-sufficiency to the degree possible. Beck harrangued on a 40 day program for the longest, get on God’s side, deal in honor, integrity, valor, etc, pay off your debts, stock your pantry and so on … just like d.a.n called out.

Like Beck sez, they must have a crisis situation to enable them to take drastic actions with the populace being somewhat supportive. “Bottom up, top down and inside out” as George Soros and Van Jones is fond of saying. It worked for Soros in Czechoslovakia and helped him take advantage of other countries through collasping their banking systems.

So, we stay calm, thwarting their needed crisis. Carry out Becks 40 day thing in preparing for hard times and continue to vote incumbents from office, work for AVC and get behind a 3rd party with a different political attitude. ( I hear some TEA Partiers who got elected are hiring K st. lobbyist to their staff and the new guy replacing Barney as Finance Chair has received 63% of his campaign funding from ——taaa daahhhh —- the Wall St banksters!! )

I assume the idea is to defeat capitalism and install a ‘new world order’ whatever that might be.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 10, 2010 09:06 PM
Comment #314895

Musing - a mule, a plow and a good axe may replace the dog as man’s best friend.

Otherwise - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 10, 2010 09:11 PM
Comment #314912

Thanks Roy.

You’re probably right … if things get bad here in the U.S., they’re likely to get worse in many other countries.

David R. Remer wrote: If it can’t be avoided, then there is no point in debating the issue or, lifting a finger to alter the outcome. d.a.n, if you truly believe there is no hope, are you preparing to leave the country? That would be the self-responsible thing to do, given that belief.
Self-responsible? Why?

I suppose, someday, that could possibly become the only logical choice. Leave, OR stay and try to fix things, and make things better?

Things in the U.S. will almost certainly get much worse, before they get better.
I have very little doubt of that, since no one answer this one simple question:

    Where will the money come from to merely pay the interest on $57 Trillion of nation-wide debt (One-Simple-Idea.com/DebtUntenable1.htm), when money is created as debt at a fractional ratio of 9-to-1, 90% (or more) of all money already exists as debt, the economy is now 80% consumer-spending driven, and the money required to merely pay only the interest on the current $57 Trillion nation-wide debt does not yet exist?/i>
Anyone merely stating that belief does not mean they should be invited to leave the country, to give up, and stop trying, does it?
How bad will it get?
No one knows for certain, but another Great Depression is not at all far fetched.
Something worse than the Great Depression is not far fetched either.
It depends on actions from this point forward, but it still doesn’t seem like Congress gets it yet, so it doesn’t look promising at all. History and human nature also are not reasons for encouragement.

But, I’ve still not given up.
Not yet anyway.
I think I’ll stay a while longer, vote out corrup incumbent politicians every chance I get, and conitnue to disseminate facts about abuses in this nation (One-Simple-Idea.com/Abuses.htm) that the Main Stream Media wants to keep a secret.
Hope and optimism are fine, and I still have some, but recognizing the 90% probability of future events, and preparing for it is also a responsible act and makes sense too.

Education is they key, and the majority of voters are going to get their education, one way or another.
That’s the purpose of these web pages:

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 11, 2010 10:27 AM
Comment #314933

d.a.n said: “But, I’ve still not given up.
Not yet anyway. I think I’ll stay a while longer…”

That’s the d.a.n I know and like. Pessimism is for Republicans and corporate backed Democrats who truly act as if they believe it is all going to crap, leaving for them, the only course of action to get as much of the public wealth as possible while the getting is good.

Those are the enemies of our nation’s future. I see where Republicans are to appoint one of their TOP earmark achievers as head of the budget and appropriations committee. Says a lot about their belief system.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 11, 2010 03:38 PM
Comment #314934

The BRIC is going to be fine. They are countries with low wage labor and large natural and undeveloped resources. I know its hard to believe, but, if the world’s money system collapses, the first one’s to be hurt will be the wealthiest, and the least affected will be those family farmers capable of a high degree of self-sufficiency and inheritors of the new sky rocketing currency - FOOD! The next best off will be necessity crafts persons. Many people will survive and make do in the less well developed nations where their skills and abilities are closer to self-sufficiency necessities.

Of course, in a global currency collapse, new currencies will arise. Depending on how fast and where they arise, the wealthiest may come back to rule the world again. History has a way of repeating itself because ignorance is born with each human birth and learning is just plain hard work most will choose to avoid once obtaining an occupation.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 11, 2010 03:46 PM
Comment #314948
David R. Remer wrote: Those are the enemies of our nation’s future. I see where Republicans are to appoint one of their TOP earmark achievers as head of the budget and appropriations committee. Says a lot about their belief system.
That’s because most (if not all) of them in Congress (both Democrats and Republicans alike) are FOR-SALE.

The painful consequences of that are growing worse.

Voters in this last election improved, by decreasing re-election rates from 87% to 77% (based on 123 new faces in Congress).

Perhaps angry voters will vote out Congress members by the hundreds in 2012 , and reduce Congress’ re-election rates to 61% (as unhappy voters did in year 1933) ?

Regardless of Congress persons’ party affiliation, few (if any) seem to understand how serious the situation is, and how bad it can get, and seem to think they can keep doing the same thing indefinitely. Or, perhaps, as you say above, they know, and they’re trying to …

David R. Remer wrote:
… get as much of the public wealth as possible while the getting is good.

Either way, the probable outcome is not encouraging.

Hopefully, some day, enough people will learn a way to limit the abuses to the currencies that are so prevalent today in so many different nations?

If the same cycle simply starts all over again, we will have learned nothing.

The majority of the world is feeling (again) the consequences of numerous abuses of their currencies.
History shows us how this almost always ends

    “There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit (debt) expansion.
    The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit (debt) expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.” (source: Mises, Human Action, chapter 20, section 6, page 560: mises.org/humanaction/chap20sec6.asp)

There could be many decades of austerity, as debt unwinds.
Or, things could get much worse, if the currency is total debauched.

Foreclosures are over 11,000 per day.
Bankruptices are more numerous than foreclosures.
Nation-wide debt has reached nightmare proportions.

But you wouldn’t know it by watching Congress.
That is, if any of them gave a damn, or had a clue?

Former David Walker was called Mr. Doomsday, but he was one of the few people that often warned about the dangers of excessive debt.

But it’s far worse than only the federal national debt.
The total $57+ Trillion of nation-wide debt is a more serious issue.
Do you think anyone Congress persons have pondered this one simple question?

  • Where will the money come from to merely pay the interest on $57 Trillion of nation-wide debt when money is created as debt at a fractional ratio of 9-to-1, 90% (or more) of all money already exists as debt, the economy is now 80% consumer-spending driven, and the money required to merely pay only the interest on the current $57 Trillion nation-wide debt does not yet exist?
If they have, what is their answer, and is it a credible answer?
I’ve got a very bad feeling that they’re going to do what many other nations have tried, which always results in hyperinflation, which makes things much worse.

In the Great Depression, the currency was not totally debauched.
There was eratic deflation and inflation (One-Simple-Idea.com/DebtAndMoney.htm#Inflation), but the currency was not made totally worthless.
That’s because the nation-wide debt (including the nation-wide debt per-capita) in the Great Depression was much smaller than it is today.
Today (DEC-2010), the total federal National Debt per-capita is $45,161 , which is 824% higher than the it was near the end of the Great Depression (which was $5,481 in 2010 dollars in the year 1941).
And the total $57 Trillion nation-wide debt per-capita is MANY times larger today than it was in the Great Depression, or after World War II.
The total $57 Trillion nation-wide debt-to-GDP ratio has more than quadrupled since year 1956 (source: One-Simple-Idea.com/DebtUntenable1.htm).

This information isn’t being offerred up merely for the sake of wallowing in pessimism.
It’s intended to educate people, to reveal the 10 major abuses that are causing much of their pain and misery.
These abuses, which did not all come about by mere coincidence, will continue to make their lives increasingly worse, as long as the majority of voters are unaware and/or indifferent to the abuses.

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 11, 2010 07:34 PM
Comment #314949

One of the tax proposals was to reduce the Social Security tax ceiling from $106K to about $50K ?

That’s a regressive tax.

Social Security is pay-as-you-go.

Where will the money come from to make up the shortfall?

When is Congress and the federal government going to realize that one of the many things they must do is to also cut spending significantly?

Do we need all of this dead weight, bloat, and waste?

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election rates finally becomes too painful.


Posted by: d.a.n at December 11, 2010 07:53 PM
Comment #315025


Excerpt from d.a.n’s ‘dead weight, bloat and waste’ url.

More Proof We Can’t Stop Poverty By Making It More Comfortable. The federal government now has 122 separate anti-poverty programs (defined as either means-tested programs or programs whose legislative language specifically refers to their purpose as combating poverty). These range from Medicaid, the largest and most expensive anti-poverty program, to the tiny Even Start Program for Indian Tribes and Tribal Organizations. Combined, these 122 programs spent more than $591 billion in 2009, and are projected to cost even more this year. That amounts to $14,849 for every poor man, woman and child in America. Given that the poverty line is $10,830, it would have been cheaper just to mail every poor person a check for $11,000.

As to where the money will come from to pay our debt one can only speculate. Since no one of official authority or even someone from a thinktank, has come forward to define or postulate how we will pay down the debt, then maybe that’s the answer. There is no plan to pay down the debt. To the contrary, there seems to be great interest in piling on to the debt. Seems kind of dangerous to not have a plan. Wonder what the several groups of seccessionist are thinking about the situation.

Perhaps there is some level of debt, 20T or 30T, where the heads of countries will just come out and say that they have agreed to a new world order with such and such a monetary system and that would be it. Just trade in your green backs for some other color, grab your sweetie and head for Starbucks. What crisis? Would the American people even blink an eye?

Nah. More likely they will use a crisis of some sort to help get us past the Constitutional thing.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 12, 2010 02:41 PM
Comment #315039

Navy and the Brits working on railgun development:
“Using a magnetic field powered by electricity, a rail gun can accelerate a projectile up to 52,493 feet (16,000 meters) per second. And while current Navy guns have a maximum range of 12 miles, rail guns can hit a target 250 miles away in six minutes.”

The joint effort of the Reps and Dems (Corpocracy) is to increase the debt by about $900B. The bill is not ‘stimulus’ as most of the tax dollars involved is revenue that wouldn’t be collected by not raising the tax rate. Still, the effect is another $900B of debt over 5 years.

If nations keep buying our debt is that not more reason to believe a new world order is in the works?

Otherwise - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 12, 2010 05:37 PM
Comment #315050

Roy, there is a lot left unsaid and misleading by your excerpt from d.a.n, where you write: “Combined, these 122 programs spent more than $591 billion in 2009, and are projected to cost even more this year. That amounts to $14,849 for every poor man, woman and child in America. Given that the poverty line is $10,830, it would have been cheaper just to mail every poor person a check for $11,000.”

First, the biggest, in dollar terms, of those programs is Medicare and Medicaid and they are funded, or should I say, underfunded? The implication from your excerpt is that the 591 Billion in 2009 was deficit spending. It was NOT. A portion of it was, but, you have to subtract the Medicare/Medicaid revenues to get to a deficit figure, and it is vastly less than 591 Billion. Going forward, of course, the Medicaid/Medicare deficit balloons, requiring increased funding sources, and/or, compensatory budget cuts.

But, look at it this way. That 900 Billion for the wealthiest tax cut deficits is Republicans following Keynesian economics which stipulates that the government must spend to rescue a recessionary type economy. The problem with Republicans, besides their being for this Keynesian tax cut for the wealthiest to stimulate the economy, is that they won’t buy the balancing part of Keynesian economics which posits that tax revenues must increase when the economy is healed and people are back to work, to pay for the stimulus spending. Too damn much simple arithmetic and common sense for Republicans to understand.

Democrats are of course, nearly as bad, since they don’t have any problem raising taxes in the good times, but, can’t find a single thing to cut during the bad times to offset the Stimulus deficit spending.

Between the two parties, our goose is cooked coming and going.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 12, 2010 08:15 PM
Comment #315052

d.a.n said: “Perhaps angry voters will vote out Congress members by the hundreds in 2012 , and reduce Congress’ re-election rates to 61% (as unhappy voters did in year 1933) ?”

That is what we need to hope and work for.

d.a.n said: “The total $57+ Trillion of nation-wide debt is a more serious issue.”

There is some good news on that front. Consumers are taking to holiday shopping with cash instead of credit cards. Credit card usage and personal loans are WAY down from last year, even as consumer spending is up. American citizens are pretty dramatically getting themselves out of debt, which is part of why the short term job market recovery is as sluggish as it is. If consumers were leveraging this holiday season like they did in 2006 and 2007, the job market would be recovering faster this season.

It is a classic short term cost for a longer term gain, scenario. The lasting effects of American consumers getting out of debt will pay larger rewards for far longer years than the short cost of a sluggish job market recovery.

If only Congress would take a lesson from the American consumers. But, that boat already sailed with Obama’s Debt Commission which failed to get the votes to put it on the Congressional floor for an up or down vote.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 12, 2010 08:24 PM
Comment #315070

Right. Congress doesn’t get it.

As for less credit spending, that’s good and it is inevitable. However, it could take decades for $57 Trillion ($184K per person, on average) of nation-wide debt to unwind.

How so much debt of nightmare proporations unwinds is the big question.
Will it be gradual over many decades, with 11,000+ foreclosures, and over 15,000 bankruptcies per day?
Will it be gradual over many decades?
But the situation is dangerous, because it will take a very long time to gradually unwind $57 Trillion of nation-wide debt, since the money to merely pay the interest on that much debt does not yet exist. Hence, the question:

    Where will the money come from to merely pay the interest on $57 Trillion of nation-wide debt when money is created as debt at a fractional ratio of 9-to-1, 90% (or more) of all money already exists as debt, the economy is now 80% consumer-spending driven, and the money required to merely pay only the interest on the current $57 Trillion nation-wide principal debt (not future debt) does not yet exist?

The danger is hyperinflation, or high inflation for many decades.
Hyperinflation is more probable.
We’ve put ourselves between a rock and a hard place, and there are now no painless ways out of the fix we’re in.
And Helicopter Ben Bernanke seems to think that he can stop hyperinflation after it starts, which is delusional in my opinion, and not only delays the inevitable, but makes it worse.

The most orderly way to get out of this mess is a slow, gradual unwinding of debt, and austerity over 2 or more decades, and much more discipline.

What are the chances of that?
That still means there will still be millions of foreclosures and bankruptcies per year.
There have already been millions of foreclosures and bankruptcies for 5 years now, and foreclosures are at all-time record high levels today (about 11,480 foreclosures per day).

But it will take more than that; more than a slow unwinding of debt of nightmare proportions.
It will take reforms to stop these 10 major abuses, to put Americans back to work, and stop hammering the American middle-income-group.

Congress, both DEMs and REPUBs, make promises they can’t and/or won’t keep to the majority of voters, and then delivers favorable taxation (lower percentages than most people in the middle class pay), mega subsidies, and welfare for the wealthy.

IRS statistics show that 7,389 federal tax returns with $200,000 or more in adjusted gross income did not have to pay any federal income taxes in 2005. That was a 161% jump from the 2,833 comparable returns filed in 2004 that did not have to pay any federal income tax.

Some types of income are not subject to income tax.
Also, many types of capital gains, dividends, and interest income are taxed a smaller percentage (e.g. 5% to- 15%) than the majority of tax payer pay (e.g. 25%-to-30%, wuch as Warren Buffet’s secretary paid on $60K).

Under the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004, Washington also allowed taxpayers to eliminate up to 100% of their alternative minimum tax liability by using credits for any foreign taxes paid. Before tax year 2005, those credits could only eliminate 90% of federal income taxes. So, the U.S. is essentially subsidizing taxes to foreign nations. Brilliant, eh?

Congress knows which people who introduce these provisions and laws will benefit most; their wealthy puppeteers who fund their campaigns and get them re-elected over and over and over (i.e. a tiny 0.3% of the wealthiest of all 200 million eligible voters make 83% of all federal campaign donations of $200 or more).

Is it class warfare to simply want fairness?
Why am I paying 29% in total federal taxes on less than $100K of income, when Warren Buffet is paying 17.7% in total federal taxes on $46 million ?

Why are some types of income (mostly the types of income that the wealthy receive) taxed at a lower percentage than that for labor income and wages?

The majority of American workers should be angry about this.
But too few voters are angry, or even aware of it.
But, they’ll get their education, one way or another.

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 13, 2010 09:06 AM
Comment #315077

And, the corpocracy is still piling on debt, ever more determined to break the back of the middle class worker. And, folks are getting up, going to work every day just like business as usual. We’ve heard so much about the great depression. Maybe we will get a chance to see it up front and personaal.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 13, 2010 11:58 AM
Comment #315130

A Wash Post article relates that some Congresspersons are bemoaning the talk of banning earmarks for a couple of years. Hawaii and North Dakota had more earmarks per capita this year, Hawaii $318 and N. Dakota $234. Miss. receives 11 times more funds in earmarks than they send to Wash. in taxes. Earmark requests for 2011 total $130B.

Earmarks are often the tip of the iceberg so to speak. An earmark will fund some part of a project and follow on legislative action will be required to ‘finish’ the job. Some earmarks start projects that never end. Some bummers are “$1.9M for a ‘Pleasure Beach Water Taxi Service’ in Conn. $900k to encourage Okla. Students to role play how to make tough choices as members of Congress, and $238k for ancient-style sailing canoes in Hawaii.

Of course, no self-respecting congressperson would ever vote against another congressperson’s earmark.

Otherwise - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 13, 2010 09:12 PM
Comment #315156

d.a.n and Roy: Here is some good news stats:

”# Average total debt in 2009 (including credit cards, mortgage, home equity, student loans and more) for U.S. households with credit card debt: $54,000. (That’s down from $93,850 in 2008.) CreditCards.com

The latest stats I referred to above about cash holiday spending indicates this trend is not yet abating. Down the road, taxes are going to have to be increased in order to zero out the deficit and buy down the debt. This is where that money will come from to deal with government debt. As consumer debt drops, the ability to absorb higher taxes increases. Which raises the biggest question of all. Will it primarily be the wealthy or the non-wealthy, who will see their taxes raised to deal with government debt?

If Democrats control the decision, it will be the wealthy. If Republicans control the decision, it will be the non-wealthy. These are facts, not speculation nor hypotheses. We see this fight over who is going to shoulder the debt unfolding now in Congress and between the White House and Congress.

So far, it is the Republicans who are controlling this decision. Will that change? That is the big unknowable. But, make no mistake, this is the preeminent war taking place between the two parties today and going forward, election majorities aside.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 14, 2010 08:58 AM
Comment #315224

Less debt is good.

That’s a good sign, if it is being paid down.

But how much of that reduction was via bankruptcies and foreclosures?
After all, there are about 11,480 foreclosures per day, and bankruptcies are more numerous.

And the nation-wide debt is now most likely more than $57 Trillion, and the federal spending is rampant (close to $14 Trillion of total federal debt (100% of GDP) and growing very fast).

So, I (nor anyone else, it seems) is able to answer:

  • Where will the money come from to merely pay the interest on the $14 Trillion federal national debt and the $57 Trillion of nation-wide debt when money is created as debt at a fractional ratio of 9-to-1, 90%-to-95% (or more) of all money in the U.S. already exists as debt, the economy is now 80% consumer-spending driven, and the money required to merely pay only the interest on the current $57 Trillion nation-wide debt does not yet exist?

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 15, 2010 08:55 AM
Comment #315225

http://www.frumforum.com/omnibus-bill-includes-earmarks-from-mcconnell

A little more tautology here. The Senate is planning to vote on an omnibus spending bill that contains a years worth of legislation they failed to deal with while they played politics with a couple of so-called major issues. The $1.1T, 1924 page bill has not, and will not be read by any Senator or anybody. The House recently passed a continuing resolution void of earmarks but the Senate has tagged on $8B for that purpose. Like $450M for a J-35 alternate engine program that the military doesn’t want or need.

The Senate likes to crow that expenditures are their primary duty. They will say that if they don’t allocate earmark funding the Executive will. Many of them say they don’t have a problem with earmarks so long as they are transparent and appropriate. Well, they’ve had about 40 tenured years each to provide the transparency and appropriateness and where the hell is that.

The Senate likes to say they are the branch of government that makes sure the minority doesn’t get outvoted by the majority. And, who is the minority they are dutifully looking after? The Corpocracy – monopolies and conglomerates, etc. And, where did this minority come from? Why, it was created by the – help me now – the Corpocracy – wouldn’t ya know? Corporate Personhood, put into law by corpocratists – railroad barrons, a sleazy ex-railroad exec as court clerk and a few sleazy activist corpocracy supreme court justices, created this minority that must be protected by the Senate. I do believe all the checks written by the Senate will be made out to corporations who have human rights.

Well, this one will be here to vote out incumbents come 2012 and 2014, God willing, and I’ll do it Beckian style. I’ll hold their hands while I vote.

Otherwise - - -do support a 3rd party with a different political attitude – Republican Sentry Party

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 15, 2010 09:45 AM
Comment #315232

d.a.n said: “But how much of that reduction was via bankruptcies and foreclosures? After all, there are about 11,480 foreclosures per day, and bankruptcies are more numerous.”

Irrelevant, d.a.n, because the banks are doing very well, and the mortgage industry is coming back, and there is no dramatic increase in businesses bankrupting as a result of consumer bankruptcy.

The Foreclosures are the feeback loop of the mortgage industry meltdown resulting from so many badly underwritten mortgages and of course, the Great Recession, which is abating month after month for a year now.

My point is, there is no long term consequence to these foreclosures resulting from the meltdown and Recession. They are temporary and remediable and correcting.

Bankruptcies, however, will continue to be a problem as a dampener on economic growth. No way around that. As poverty increases and more families drop out of the middle class into the poor class, bankruptcy numbers will not return to their previous normal rate.

Bankruptcies will stabilize, though at a new higher rate. This is structural - hinging upon the structural unemployment problem we face in this nation as a result of our abject lack of partnership between business and education, and our inability to rectify our education results due to its being a political war between those who want a national educational system and standard enforced and those who want education to remain as bad as it currently is or worse. I heard politicians talking about increasing H1B visas again to bring in foreigners to do work our own nation won’t train its own citizens to do.

In summary, things are going to get better for a few years, before they, then, become unimaginably worse due to national government debt growth and the inability of regulatory agencies to effectively halt inventive financing on Wall St., which will rear its ugly greedy over leveraged and unsecured head again. The SEC has publicly stated they will forever be playing catch-up with financial inventiveness like Madoff and CountryWide.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 15, 2010 12:46 PM
Comment #315233

Roy, that omnibus bill is a monument to our broken political system which results in broken government. Good call!

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 15, 2010 12:48 PM
Comment #315275
David R. Remer wrote: Irrelevant, d.a.n, because the banks are doing very well, …
Not really.

They have a LOT of bad debt still, and their reserves-to-debt ratios are barely 10%, and there are about 500 bank failures in 2010 (up from 283 in year 2008).
Before, it was subprime that was the problem.
However, now, prime loans are failing, which is not a good sign for the near future.
Also, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (which were taken over by the federal government) have about half a Trillion of debt that most likely will never be repaid.
10,000 of 30,000 banks failed in the Great Depression, but the banks were much smaller than today.
Few (if any) banks can stand a run-on-the-banks (with so little in reserves), without tens of trillions of money created out of thin air from the Federal Reserve.

David R. Remer wrote: … and the mortgage industry is coming back, and there is no dramatic increase in businesses bankrupting as a result of consumer bankruptcy.
I have not seen any convincing evidence of any significant improvements in the mortgage industry. And it depends on who you think is doing better in the mortgage industry? Borrowers? Banks and other Lenders? Or both? And in any significant numbers? There may be a little up-tick, but little to indicate a sustained recovery, which requires home sales, which ain’t a pretty picture, to say the least.

Especially since:

  • there is a huge glut of tens of millions of empty new and pre-owned houses on the market;
  • we’re being lied to about many economic statistics (inflation, debt, unemployment, money supply, GDP, etc.);
  • sustained high unemployment (even based on the governments’ own suspicious statistics);
  • and that unanswered question above.

But, I hear rentals are doing better, with so many foreclosures and bankruptcies?

David R. Remer wrote: In summary, things are going to get better for a few years, …
Maybe. They might manage one more bubble, maybe two, three, or more. But it will make things much worse later.
David R. Remer wrote: … before they, then, become unimaginably worse due to national government debt growth and the inability of regulatory agencies to effectively halt inventive financing on Wall St., which will rear its ugly greedy over leveraged and unsecured head again.
Right.

On that we agree.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see where this is all headed.

So, perhaps all we disagree about is the timing of the collapse of a massive debt pyramid that is mathematically doomed to collapse ?
And will most likely happen in two different ways:

  • a slow gradual unwinding of debt, and falling standard of living for the majority of Americans for decades;
  • or rampant hyperinflation, which will probably be worse, because it will destroy the currency, all savings, most pensions, entitlements, etc.

Especially since there is no answer for this one question that indicates we can get out of this mess without a lot more pain and misery for most Americans for many years:

  • Where will the money come from to merely pay the interest on the $14 Trillion federal national debt and the $57 Trillion of nation-wide debt when money is created as debt at a fractional ratio of 9-to-1, 90%-to-95% (or more) of all money in the U.S. already exists as debt, the economy is now 80% consumer-spending driven, and the money required to merely pay only the interest on the current $57 Trillion nation-wide debt does not yet exist?

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 15, 2010 06:55 PM
Comment #315312

d.a.n said: “They have a LOT of bad debt still, and their reserves-to-debt ratios are barely 10%,”

And improving every quarter. Why are you refusing to acknowledge the trend data? Does that data interfere with your world view? Are you becoming an ideologue?

d.a.n said: “However, now, prime loans are failing, which is not a good sign for the near future.”

Prime loans ALWAYS fail in increased numbers during and after a recession until the recovery is over. These prime loan failures are not unlike every other recession recovery.

d.a.n said: “Also, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (which were taken over by the federal government) have about half a Trillion of debt that most likely will never be repaid.”

A portion of that, will not be repaid due to the post bubble valuations. But, the economy was saved, 90% of Americans kept their jobs, and economic collapse was averted. In all, 500 Billion was cheap for that kind of result. What makes it expensive is the failure of our politicians to set a course toward fiscal solvency - in essence creating a debt that future generations will be paying interest on all their lives, if collapse can be avoided (doubtful).

Pending home sales jumped in October, showing a positive uptrend since bottoming in June, according to the National Association of REALTORS. NAR also sensibly states that the future for the housing market rests with the employment picture.

In Sept., 4.53 million existing homes, (seasonally adjusted annual rate) were sold in October, down after the two previous robust gaining months of Aug. and Sept. These are healthy figures for an economy in recovery.

Again, d.a.n, it is not wise to allow one’s ideas about the world to negate and ignore what is happening in the real world. The housing and mortgage markets are recovering, and there are a number of factors coming that are going to improve these numbers. As examples are the consumer activity increasing 1.2% despite consumers bringing down personal debt. That is a very bullish indicator for the future of housing and mortgage industry sensitive to personal debt and aggregate demand realities, both of which are improving.

To say the mortgage industry is depressed from 2006 levels, is like saying the sky is gray during a rain storm. Stating the obvious about a snapshot moment. But, to give an accurate picture of the industry, one has to look at the trend lines. In 2007 they were going down. Today they are going up. For those wanting a home and employed with not much debt, housing prices and mortgage interest rates are fantastic compared to 2007. And qualification standards for home buying which became severe after the Recession, are, predictably, going to ease going forward.

” * a slow gradual unwinding of debt, and falling standard of living for the majority of Americans for decades;
* or rampant hyperinflation, which will probably be worse, because it will destroy the currency, all savings, most pensions, entitlements, etc.”

Actually, d.a.n, the first option is in the cards, but, only for the next 7-10 years, which will be followed by a Greece type default (downgrading) of Treasury certificates. In the absence of an EU bailout for the U.S. government, the wealthy will flee America as the government attempts to dramatically raise revenues from those money to tax. This will be followed by a collapse in social services from police and fire to infrastructural maintenance - not dissimilar to what the Soviet Union experienced after the collapse of its economy. And in the wake, will rise a vast underground criminal economy that will cater to those employed in it providing them with the basic necessities and more as is available.

Inflation will of course follow, but as a consequence, not a cause. As a child, I had a cigar box of Confederacy currency, handed down to me by my Grandfather and Mother as play money. Inflation will remain in check as long as our treasury bond ratings remain intact, precisely because we are an import nation and growing competition amongst rising foreign economies for exports will act to keep OUR import prices cheap, relatively speaking. The law of inflation, money supply increasing faster than economic growth, in other words, will be mitigated for awhile by steady consumer import prices, as America imports ever more of what it consumes.

But, let me be clear, I am talking about a 2010 to 2020 time frame here. A very short time frame, indeed, of improving conditions before a default on U.S. treasury bond ratings occurs, at which point, our entire economy unravels, bringing about the pain and suffering for those Americans unwilling or unable to leave the country for better prospects.

Ironically, I think it is entirely probable that Mexico will have an American immigration problem by the end of the next decade. It will be interesting to see how they respond to a wave of unemployed and poor Americans seeking a better living in Mexico. Canada, of course, will simply close its borders. It has already begun stiffening its immigration laws against American migration.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 16, 2010 07:10 AM
Comment #315322

David, Improvements (if any) in mortgages for a few months is not what I’d call a convincing trend, because there are still record-high levels of foreclosures now, and for several more years to come, because it took several years to get here. Also, see recent news below about the mortgage industry, which doesn’t paint such a rosy picture.

    Foreclosures:
  • Year 2010: 4.0 million (11,480 per day )
  • Year 2009: 3.1 million
  • Year 2008: 2.5 million
  • Year 2007: 2.0 million
  • Year 2006: 1.2 million
  • Year 2005: 846,000
  • _______________________________________
  • TOTAL FORECLOSURES = 13.7 Million (from Jan-2005 to 2010)

A person is not an idealogue when existing conditions (record-high foreclosures; high unemployment; high debt; low reserves; $57 Trillion of nation-wide debt; bank failures increased from 283 in 2008 to about 500 bank failures in 2010; local and state governments situations are deteriorating due to debt; etc., etc., etc.) and facts do not indicate any sustained recovery of the mortgage industry.

Also, the debt situation has actually grown much worse; not better.

  • $60.0T |——————————————
  • $57.5T |—————————————-D (Debt=$57 Trillion)
  • $55.0T |—————————————D-
  • $52.5T |—————————————D-
  • $50.0T |—————————————D-
  • $47.5T |—————————————D-
  • $45.0T |—————————————D-
  • $42.5T |—————————————D-
  • $40.0T |————————————-D—
  • $37.5T |————————————D—-
  • $35.0T |———————————-D——
  • $32.5T |———————————-D——
  • $30.0T |———————————D——-
  • $27.5T |——————————-D———
  • $25.0T |——————————D———-
  • $22.5T |—————————-D————
  • $20.0T |—————————D————-
  • $17.5T |————————-D—————
  • $15.0T |————————D—————G (GDP=$14T for year 2009)
  • $12.5T |———————D—————G—
  • $10.0T |—————-D—————G——-
  • $07.5T |———-D————G—————-
  • $05.0T |-D——-G——————————
  • $02.5T |-G—————————————
  • $00.0T +(1956)————————- (2009)YEAR

Also, I’m not sure where you’re getting the idea that the mortgage industry is recovering.
That’s certainly NOT what record-high foreclosures, increased bank failures, and any of the above indicates:

  • Mortgage Crisis Set to Kick Into a Higher Gear (19-OCT-2010):
    www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2010/10/19/mortgage-crisis-set-kick-higher-gear/
  • Mortgage Industry Reform: Cure Worse Than Disease (26-APR-2010):
    source: www.biggerpockets.com/renewsblog/2010/04/26/mortgage-industry-reform-cure-worse-than-disease/
  • Fight over who has legal right to foreclose makes mess worse (11-NOV-2010):
    source: www.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/2010-10-11-foreclosures11_CV_N.htm
  • Our forecasts for 2010 lending and credit are now revised. Serious Delinquency: Worse And Worse (2010);
    Giants of the Mortgage Industry, 2010 A Double-Dip Housing Recession:
    source: www.smrresearch.com/GMI2010.pdf
  • Home sales plummet 34.5% (10-SEP-2010):
    www.charlotteobserver.com/2008/09/10/182408/home-sales-plummet-345.html
  • Stock Screen: Best & Worst Performing Industries (12-NOV-2010):
    www.valueline.com/Stocks/Screens_of_the_Week/Stock_Screen__Best___Worst_Performing_Industries_%E2%80%93_November_12,_2010.aspx
      Meanwhile, a look at the worst performers shows that market participants remain quite concerned about the state of our financial institutions. The Bank, Bank (Midwest), and Thrift industries all show losses, in the aggregate, for the past six weeks, earning them a place on this dubious list. Some of this weakness is likely related to the enduring weakness in the housing and mortgage markets, which is also reflected in the Homebuilding Industry’s presence on the list for a third straight week.
  • How mortgage default could get much worse (08-JUN-2010):
    blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/06/08/how-mortgage-default-could-get-much-worse/
  • 1 in every 492 housing units received a foreclosure filing in November 2010 (NOV-2010):
    www.realtytrac.com/trendcenter/ (not a pretty picture;)
  • Mortgage Market Turns Worse - Average 30-year 4.35% (09-SEP-2010):
    www.MortgageDaily.com
So, again, I don’t understand how anyone can be claiming that the mortgage industry is improving now in any significant way.

I hear a lot of people predicting things are better, and saying things are better, but the evidence of real improvement is anecdotal at best, and none of it points to a recovery for any sustained period of time.

And what has changed (of any real significance) to make it better or prevent it from happening again?

But why are we splitting hairs over whether the mortgage industry is getting better or not (to any significant degree), when? :

  • David R. Remer wrote: In summary, things are going to get better for a few years, before they, then, become unimaginably worse due to national government debt growth and the inability of regulatory agencies to effectively halt inventive financing on Wall St., which will rear its ugly greedy over leveraged and unsecured head again.
  • David R. Remer wrote: … the next 7-10 years, which will be followed by a Greece type default (downgrading) of Treasury certificates.
  • David R. Remer wrote: This will be followed by a collapse in social services from police and fire to infrastructural maintenance - not dissimilar to what the Soviet Union experienced after the collapse of its economy.
  • David R. Remer wrote: Inflation will of course follow, but as a consequence, not a cause.
  • David R. Remer wrote: But, let me be clear, I am talking about a 2010 to 2020 time frame here. A very short time frame, indeed, of improving conditions before a default on U.S. treasury bond ratings occurs, at which point, our entire economy unravels, bringing about the pain and suffering for those Americans unwilling or unable to leave the country for better prospects.
  • David R. Remer wrote: Ironically, I think it is entirely probable that Mexico will have an American immigration problem by the end of the next decade.

Debt is the biggest part of the problem.

  • The National Debt is $14 Trillion and growing fast.
  • The Social Security and Medicare systems are pay-as-you-go, with a 78 Million baby-boomer bubble approaching. Actually, borrowing is now required for current Social Security and Medicare.
  • As of DEC-2010, the federal National Debt per-capita is $45,161, which is 2.02 times larger than the previous record-high (which was $21,348 in year 1945 in 2010 dollars, after World War II).
  • As of DEC-2010, the federal National Debt per-capita is $45,161, which is 8.23 times larger than the it was near the end of the Great Depression (which was $5,481 in year 1941 in 2010 dollars).

It is exacerbated by the fact that 80% of the U.S. population owns only 17% of all wealth in the U.S., and the wealthiest 1% owns over 40% of all wealth.
Things can get better for a short while (a few months, perhaps even a year or two), but the long-term trend is what is most important, and all data and many of your own statements corroborate that most probable outcome for the long-term future in the U.S.

Also, lastly, many of the economic statistics are actually MUCH worse than the lies we’re being fed:

  • Inflation may really be 8% (not 2.0%);
  • Unemployemnt may really be 22% (not 9.6%);
  • GDP may really be -1.5% (not +1.6%);
  • And the falling U.S. Dollar has been in decline for about a decade;

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 16, 2010 09:23 AM
Comment #315327


Meanwhile, The Corpocracy is still out there ‘harmonizing’ administrative, security and whatever law they can that doesn’t raise a big red flag of Constitutional violation.

“A new regulatory space is emerging, distinct from that of inter-State relations, transcending the sphere of influence of both international law and domestic administrative law: this can be defined as the global administrative space. IOs have become much more than instruments of the governments of their Member States; rather, they set their own norms and regulate their field of activity; they generate and follow their own, particular legal proceedings; and they can grant participatory rights to subjects, both public and private, affected by their activities. Ultimately, they have emerged as genuine global public administrations[3]. In other words, the structures, procedures and normative standards for regulatory decision-making applicable to global institutions (including transparency, participation, and review), and the rule-governed mechanisms for implementing these standards are coming to form a specific field of legal theory and practice: that of Global Administrative Law (GAL). The main focus of this emerging field is not the particular content of substantive rules generated by global regulatory institutions, but rather the actual or potential application of principles, procedural rules and reviewing and other mechanisms relating to accountability, transparency, participation, and the rule of law in global governance.”

The last sentence might catch your the eye of a few but, unlikely. One thing for sure, we don’t hear much about the NAU anymore. We did shut them down on that one, yet, the border remains open!!

Reviewing the numbers and facts presented in this thread should send most to looking for a new 3rd party with a different political attitude.

IMO, it does little good to work to balance this or that budget, work to pay off the debt etc, without first putting a 3rd party in place to abolish corporate personhood and implement anti-trust law to begin to correct the wealth unbalance cited in the above posts. Plug the big leak and then sop up the water on the floor, etc.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.


Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 16, 2010 12:05 PM
Comment #315350

d.a.n said: “Also, I’m not sure where you’re getting the idea that the mortgage industry is recovering.
That’s certainly NOT what record-high foreclosures, increased bank failures, and any of the above indicates:”

That’s because you are UNWILLING to research ALL of the data. If you want trends, you have to look at the monthly data for this year to see that trend upward in foreclosures and the rate of climb are, are improving. You seem to refuse all other economic data that is, or will have, an impact on the mortgage industry, like increases in aggregate demand which will create more jobs, the tax cut extensions for the middle class, and small businesses which create most of the jobs, and the continued low interest rates.

Also, you FAIL to take into account what that data represents. A large percentage of those foreclosures are on people who bought properties as investments and hot turnover prospects. These same people are NOT homeless - most of them are paying the mortgage payments on their house of residence. They stopped making payments on their investment properties and filed bankruptcy to try to prevent losing all of their wealth.

These were the people inflating the housing bubble by ‘flipping’ properties. It is an enormous positive for the next several years that these flippers have been removed from daily mortgage industry activity and their influence on property value increases have abated.

The new people coming into the work force and those returning to jobs will find housing more affordable than it has been in years. And that means more discretionary income which will influence a rise in aggregate consumer demand, which in turn, will create more jobs.

To listen to your cherry picked data for all negatives, the picture you create is one of impending double dip recession. But, of course, that is not the case and the vast majority of economists now agree, and more verily, so do the majority of stock market investors who make the markets their living.

Your view is a hope and action killer. No positive action EVER occurs intentionally absent the hope that the action will bear fruit. Be the pessimist if you wish. Meanwhile, realists are making money and improving their lot by using all the data, especially that data that portends opportunity. I don’t know about you, but, its been a banner year for me this year - 36% earnings and growth on my Jan. 1, 2010 investments. And that followed some serious improvements the latter half of last year, as well. Prior to that, I was nearly all in fixed rate investments, and lost very little in Black March.

My property value where I live has dropped only 1.8 to 2.2 percent since 2008, depending on whether I use the County tax assessor or realtor’s data. And it rose nearly 60% in the previous decade. These results were not enjoyed by all, to be sure. But, in part, that is because many folks failed to look for those opportunities and follow those trends.

The opportunity to improve one’s lot lies in the positive data trends. When the markets were at their lowest and the outlook was most pessimistic, was when I started putting money back into the stock market. It has paid off handsomely. Just as it paid to start removing money from the stock markets back in late 2006 and first half of 2007 into fixed rate investments. The crowd always comes to this theater of opportunity during the curtain calls. And the reason is simple. They focus on the negative and miss the positive opportunities.

I find it amazing that individual mom and pop stock market investors and 401K holders have still not returned to equities. When they get their confidence back and step off the dock onto the boat, they will discover that that boat had sailed a long time previously.

There is a vast growing mountain of cash being built in America today, looking for the confidence to put it to work. And it is gradually trickling into the productive economy, as pent up desire to do so increases. There is opportunity in knowing this. There is opportunity in knowing that net jobs are being created - masked by the static unemployment figure which hides the return of workers to the market place after having dropped off the labor force rolls. The unemployment data figure actually HIDES the good news on job creation, because people take that one statistic and base their world view around it. That is not only naive but counterproductive to those have no hope still of finding a job and are therefore not out there applying.

My daughter has found 3 jobs in the last 2 years, improving her work conditions and pay with each one. She now has a full-time and a part-time job and paying her way through college. And she is just average high school graduate and 19 year old. World view and hope, or the absence of it, come with enormous self-fulfilling prophecies and opportunity costs.

The news is full of folks waiting for better data, or the government, or the corporations, or the Fed, or their neighbors, or family and friends to do something to help them out of this really bad time for America. That is a psychology that damages people’s lives. I have been on that side of the fence, and the grass is all burnt. It really is greener over here.

I am not going to let cheats, and politicians, and bad news mongers preempt my hopeful actions to rectify their and my own faults. The journey, the action, and outlook IS the destination, not economic collapse, or the funeral home or crematorium. I only wish I could get a few hundred million of my fellow Americans to grasp that fact of life, so they could enjoy themselves and each other more, and work together to remove the obstacles and hurdles in their path. Those who follow politics have the worst possible role models and without a doubt, a huge struggle to stay off pessimism and cynicism. Being a realist is what allows folks teflon those effects and remain informed, and action oriented, nonetheless.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 16, 2010 05:14 PM
Comment #315352

Roy said: “IMO, it does little good to work to balance this or that budget, work to pay off the debt etc, without first putting a 3rd party in place to abolish corporate personhood and implement anti-trust law to begin to correct the wealth unbalance cited in the above posts.”

IMO, reform begins at home, with the individual. We all support the system in myriad ways without ever examining how or why. Want the system to change? Begin by changing oneself, and how one lives, in ways that no longer support the corruption of the system.

Some of the ways I have chosen include:

Dumping all major long distance phone carriers

Boycotting fast food restaurants

Boycotting my favorite Castol Oil, made by British Petroleum.

Reporting spammers.

Refusing audience to any and ALL sales people knocking at my door or barking in a mall!

Looking for, and reporting crime, from speeders and exhaust pipe violators to suspicious activity in the neighborhood, and most especially, unfair trade practices by vendors (my favorite is auto repair shops - have found ONLY ONE honest and fair shop in the last 20 years.

Keeping each vehicle I buy for a minimum of 10 years or 200,000 miles, and doing minor repairs and maintenance myself.

Contributing 5% of what I earn to worthy causes trying to make positive change.

Consolidating trips to anywhere, except for emergencies, accomplishing a minimum of two errands with each venture from the house.

Composting all by non meat food scraps.

Gardening some vegetables each year. Eat them. (100’s of millions of tons of vegetables are bought and thrown into the trash each year by Americans.) What a waste!

Direct investing in dividend yielding stocks.

Voting out incumbents regardless of party.

Paying my taxes willingly and without grudge, while writing my representatives frequently, about how they won’t be getting my vote for mishandling them.

Admitting my own areas of ignorance and not venturing to speak of, or form opinions on such areas without having eliminated that ignorance, first, or qualifying that I don’t know.

Read and listen to people who know stuff, at least 2 hours each day.

Trust authority ONLY after verifying their trustworthiness (in all areas, from Ebay purchasing to government statistics to friends and family to vendors).

Staying good to my word to the very best of my ability.

Ever practice the skill of reasoning.

And my cardinal rule of all is, know what I don’t know, and act on what I do. Knowledge without action is as useful as a Christmas ornament at a bar mitzvah in April. And reason is a skill one can never become skilled enough at.

A little knowledge in the hands of a person skilled with reason can move mountains, repair a car, fix a roof, or heal another. An abundance of knowledge in the hands of one without reason is an intellectual black hole, it consumes while giving nothing of apparent use back. I have met more than my share of white collar professionals who exemplified intellectual black holes.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 16, 2010 06:01 PM
Comment #315417
David R. Remer wrote: That’s because you are UNWILLING to research ALL of the data.
Not true. Not even close.

I look at the data a LOT more than most people, and there is no evidence to believe that the mortgage industry is improving to any significant degree, and you have provided no convincing evidence that the mortgage industry is improving to any significant degree.

The Housing Sector is considered one of the worst performing sectors in year 2010, with only a 4.46% increase from the previous year.

Also, on 16-DEC-2010, it was reported that October new housing starts were up only slightly by a about 3%, but new housing starts for the several coming months in the future dropped significantly. So, that contradicts your assertions that the mortgage industry is improving to any significant degree.

David R. Remer wrote: My property value where I live has dropped only 1.8 to 2.2 percent since 2008, depending on whether I use the County tax assessor or realtor’s data.
That is anecdotal evidence, and it also does not mirror the situation in most states, counties, and states.

Here’s the housing starts for the last 20 years:

  • _________________ Housing Starts __________________
  • 1900K |——————————————————————
  • 1800K |——————————————————————
  • 1700K |—————————————————o————-
  • 1600K |————————————————o—————-
  • 1500K |———————————————o——o————
  • 1400K |—————————————————-o————
  • 1300K |——————————o———-o———o————
  • 1200K |—————o———-o—-o—-o————-o———-
  • 1100K |————o—-o-o-o———-o—————-o———-
  • 1000K |o—————————————————-o———-
  • 0900K |—o—-o———————————————o———
  • 0800K |——————————————————-o———
  • 0700K |——o————————————————o—o—-
  • 0600K |———————————————————oo——
  • 0500K |——————————————————————
  • 0400K |——————————————————————
  • 0300K |——————————————————————
  • _______1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
  • _______9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
  • _______8 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
  • _______9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1

That most certainly is not a booming house market.

If the small uptick contines for a year or so, then your comment may have some credibility.
But it’s more likely that the trend above will move mostly sideways for a year or more.

David R. Remer wrote: My daughter has found 3 jobs in the last 2 years, improving her work conditions and pay with each one. She now has a full-time and a part-time job and paying her way through college.
Again, that is anecdotal evidence, at best.

Many others in many other states are not as fortunate.
Also, a few states (such as Texas) were not as severely impacted by foreclosures, bankruptcies, and unemployment as were the majority of other states.
However, still, the Texas state government now has tens of billions in debt.
The next shoe to drop is growing debt in many local, county, and state governments in many states. It’s already begun, and it will last for several years.

David R. Remer wrote: There is a vast growing mountain of cash being built in America today, looking for the confidence to put it to work.
Not really, due to so much debt, and certainly not for the majority of U.S. citizens.

Not with $57 Trillion of nation-wide debt ($184K per-capita), and still growing ever larger.
Not with $14 Trillion federal national debt ($45,161 per-capita) and still growing ever larger.

Not with $57 Trillion nation-wide debt per-captia that is much per-capita that is many times larger today than in durring or after the Great Depression, and after World War II.
Not with the $14 Trillion total federal National Debt per-capita of $45,161 , which is a whopping 824% higher than the it was near the end of the Great Depression (which was $5,481 in 2010 dollars in the year 1941).
The total $57 Trillion nation-wide debt-to-GDP ratio has more than quadrupled since year 1956 (source: One-Simple-Idea.com/DebtUntenable1.htm).
80% of all U.S. citizens only own 17% (or less) of all wealth in the U.S.
The wealthiest 1% who owned 20% of all wealth in the U.S. in 1967 now own over 40% of all wealth in the U.S. today.

  • Percentage of wealth owned by the wealthiest 1% in the U.S.:
  • 45.0% |—o——————-
  • 42.5% |-o-o—————-o
  • 40.0% |oo-o—————o-
  • 37.5% |——o—oo——o—
  • 35.0% |——o—oo——o—
  • 32.5% |——-oo—o—o—-
  • 30.0% |——-oo—o—o—-
  • 27.5% |—————o-o—-
  • 25.0% |—————o-o—-
  • 22.5% |—————oo——
  • 20.0% |—————o——-
  • 18.5% |—————————-YEAR
  • _____ 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2
  • _____ 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 0 0
  • _____ 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
  • _____ 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 0 0

David R. Remer wrote: To listen to your cherry picked data for all negatives, …
So, that’s all mere cherry-picking?

Of course, people can believe whatever they like.

There’s still a whole L O T of debt to pay-down, default, and/or possibly disappear with hyperinflation.
David R. Remer, either your comments apply only to specific and different periods of time, or they are inconsistent.

David R. Remer wrote: To listen to your cherry picked data for all negatives, the picture you create is one of impending double dip recession.
That is not only quite possible, put quite probable, and most certainly not at all far-fetched.

The data does not indicate mere cherry picking.

Your comments appear inconsistent, because (above) you wrote the following:

  • David R. Remer wrote: In summary, things are going to get better for a few years, before they, then, become unimaginably worse due to national government debt growth and the inability of regulatory agencies to effectively halt inventive financing on Wall St., which will rear its ugly greedy over leveraged and unsecured head again.
  • David R. Remer wrote: … the next 7-10 years, which will be followed by a Greece type default (downgrading) of Treasury certificates.
  • David R. Remer wrote: This will be followed by a collapse in social services from police and fire to infrastructural maintenance - not dissimilar to what the Soviet Union experienced after the collapse of its economy.
  • David R. Remer wrote: Inflation will of course follow, but as a consequence, not a cause.
  • David R. Remer wrote: But, let me be clear, I am talking about a 2010 to 2020 time frame here. A very short time frame, indeed, of improving conditions before a default on U.S. treasury bond ratings occurs, at which point, our entire economy unravels, bringing about the pain and suffering for those Americans unwilling or unable to leave the country for better prospects.
  • David R. Remer wrote: Ironically, I think it is entirely probable that Mexico will have an American immigration problem by the end of the next decade.

That doesn’t sound very rosy, does it?

Yet, your subsequent comments (above) stated:

  • David R. Remer wrote: I am not going to let cheats, and politicians, and bad news mongers preempt my hopeful actions to rectify their and my own faults. The journey, the action, and outlook IS the destination, not economic collapse, or the funeral home or crematorium. I only wish I could get a few hundred million of my fellow Americans to grasp that fact of life, so they could enjoy themselves and each other more, and work together to remove the obstacles and hurdles in their path. Those who follow politics have the worst possible role models and without a doubt, a huge struggle to stay off pessimism and cynicism. Being a realist is what allows folks teflon those effects and remain informed, and action oriented, nonetheless.
    Do the multiple similar statements such as this
    David R. Remer wrote: In summary, things are going to get better for a few years, before they, then, become unimaginably worse due to national government debt growth and the inability of regulatory agencies to effectively halt inventive financing on Wall St., which will rear its ugly greedy over leveraged and unsecured head again.

    immediately followed or surrounded by mutliple similar statements such as this:
    David R. Remer wrote: I am not going to let cheats, and politicians, and bad news mongers preempt my hopeful actions to rectify their and my own faults.

    appear consistent?

David R. Remer wrote: Being a realist is what allows folks teflon those effects and remain informed, and action oriented, nonetheless.
I agree with that completely.

But your comments assert that there is a significantly improving mortgage industry.
But there isn’t, and considerable evidence to support the existence of a significantly improving mortgage industry.
The improvements are tiny, and the housing market is still fragile.
And there will most likely be no significant improvements in the housing market until unemployment and a few other economic conditions improve.
However, unemployment is expected to remain high for several quarters (if not several years).
While falling home prices may be good for anyone looking to buy, it’s not good for the larger number of people whose homes are falling in value.

Even if there really were any significant improvement in the mortgage industry, there are still far too many fundamentals in the toilet, and those poor fundamentals will most likely remain that way for many years.
There may be another bubble or two, but it will not be constructed on firm fundamentals, because the flawed fundamentals that fueled the previous 3 bubbles still exist.
Many abuses that got us here today still exist.

David R. Remer wrote: Also, you FAIL to take into account what that data represents. A large percentage of those foreclosures are on people who bought properties as investments and hot turnover prospects.
Where is that data?

Not just a small uptick, but a significant improvement?
I’d like to see it.

There were more subprime foreclosures and bankruptcies in the beginning (which started risingin in year 2004).
But now there are increasing numbers of non-prime foreclosures and bankruptcies.
The cause now is also largely due to unemployment.
Regardless of whether it was an investment or someone’s only home, there are still losers for every foreclosure and bankruptcy?
And much of those losses are being passed on to taxpayers (e.g. half a $Trillion in bad debt (now owned by the federal government) at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac).

The housing crisis began several years ago, and it is a long ways from ending anytime soon.

  • FORECLOSURES (2005-to-2010):
  • 425K |———————————-
  • 400K |———0———-0-0———
  • 370K |—0-0—-0-0-0—————
  • 350K |0—-9-9——-9-9-9-9——
  • 325K |—————9————-9-9
  • 300K |9———-9——-8————
  • 275K |—-9—————————-
  • 250K |———8-8-8-8—————
  • 225K |8-8-8—————-7-7—-7
  • 200K |———————7——-7—
  • 175K |————7-7-7—————
  • 150K |7-7-7-7————————
  • 125K |—6————————6-6-6
  • 100K |6—-6-6-6-6-6-6-6———
  • 075K |5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5
  • 050K |————————————
  • 020K |__________________________
  • 000K |J-F-M-A-M-J-J-A-S-O-N-D (Months of Year)
      Where:
    • 0=Year 2010: 4.0 million (or more)
    • 9=Year 2009: 3.0 million
    • 8=Year 2008: 2.0 million
    • 7=Year 2007: 2.0 million
    • 6=Year 2006: 1.2 million
    • 5=Year 2005: 846,000

David R. Remer wrote: I find it amazing that individual mom and pop stock market investors and 401K holders have still not returned to equities.
Perhaps it is because so many trillions have been lost in the stock markets in the 1999 and 2008 bubbles (when they burst)? There is also still a lot of volatility. And if you look at volume, it is still weak. And perhaps many investors don’t have any confidence in the market due to $50 Billion ponzi-schemes that the SEC can’t or won’t deal with before it’s too late? And U.S. bonds recently took a significant and painful plunge. The following are considered by many as the worst sectors (as of DEC-2010):
    Worst sector annual changes:
  • Drug Sector -3.26%
  • Utilities Sector -1.09%
  • Housing Sector 4.46%
  • US Dollar Sector 4.77%
  • Telecumunication Sector 5.71%
  • Defense Sector 6.15%
Compare the above to these sectors below (as of DEC-2010):
    Best sector annual changes:
  • Internet Sector 39.41%
  • Technology Sector 25.90%
  • Gold/Silver Sector 24.82%
  • Oil Sector 22.55%
  • Computer Sector 22.04%
Again, that doesn’t indicate a significantly improved mortgage industry.
David R. Remer wrote: The unemployment data figure actually HIDES the good news on job creation, because people take that one statistic and base their world view around it.
Anyone who bases their world-view only on that one statistic is a fool.

The problem is that the our problems are growing in number snd severity, and have been for many decades.
That’s not based on mere pessimism.

However, unemployment statistics and other economic statistics being reported may actually be worse than what is being reported.
Many of the economic statistics are actually MUCH worse than the lies we’re being fed:

  • Unemployemnt is probably really about 22% (not 9.6%);
  • Inflation is probably really about 8% (not 2.0%);
  • GDP is probably really more like -1.5% (i.e. negative; not +1.6%);
  • And the falling U.S. Dollar has been in decline for about a decade;
  • The total $14 Trillion federal debt and the $57 Trillion nation-wide debt is ridiculous.

One of the deceptions of stating GDP in current U.S. dollars is that it hides the fact that real GDP is falling.
For example, simply look at GDP in 1950 and 2005 inflation adjusted U.S. Dollars.

  • _________________ GDP (in 1950 Dollars) ___________
  • $1.7T |——————————————————————
  • $1.6T |—————————————————————x-
  • $1.5T |————————————————————-x-x
  • $1.4T |————————————————————x—-
  • $1.3T |———————————————————-x——
  • $1.2T |——————————————————-x———
  • $1.1T |——————————————————x———-
  • $1.0T |—————————————————-x————
  • $0.9T |————————————————-x—————
  • $0.8T |———————————————-x——————
  • $0.7T |——————————————-x———————
  • $0.6T |—————————————-x————————
  • $0.5T |————————————-x—————————
  • $0.4T |———————————x——————————-
  • $0.3T |————————xxxxxx———————————
  • $0.2T |———————-x——————————————
  • $0.1T |xxxxxxxxxxxxxx———————————————
  • $0.0T |——————————————————————
  • _______1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2
  • _______9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 0 0 0
  • _______0 0 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 6 6 7 7 8 8 9 9 0 0 1
  • _______0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0
  • __________________ GDP (in 2005 Dollars) ___________
  • $14.5T |——————————————————————
  • $14.0T |————————————————————-x—
  • $13.5T |————————————————————x-x-
  • $13.0T |————————————————————x-x-
  • $12.5T |————————————————————x-x-
  • $12.0T |———————————————————-x——
  • $11.5T |———————————————————-x——
  • $11.0T |———————————————————-x——
  • $10.5T |———————————————————-x——
  • $10.0T |———————————————————-x——
  • $09.5T |———————————————————x——-
  • $09.0T |———————————————————x——-
  • $08.5T |——————————————————-x———
  • $08.0T |—————————————————-x————
  • $07.5T |————————————————-x—————
  • $07.0T |———————————————-x——————
  • $06.5T |——————————————-x———————
  • $06.0T |——————————————x———————-
  • $05.5T |—————————————-x————————
  • $05.0T |—————————————x————————-
  • $04.5T |————————————-x—————————
  • $04.0T |————————————x—————————-
  • $03.5T |———————————-x——————————
  • $03.0T |———————————x——————————-
  • $02.5T |————————-xxxxx———————————
  • $02.0T |————————x—————————————-
  • $01.5T |———————-x——————————————
  • $01.0T |———-xxxxxxxx——————————————-
  • $00.5T |xxxxxxx——————————————————-
  • $00.0T |——————————————————————
  • _______1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2
  • _______9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 0 0 0
  • _______0 0 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 6 6 7 7 8 8 9 9 0 0 1
  • _______0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0
  • Yet, we’re being told that GDP is positive and growing?
    Sure it is … if you ignore inflation, which is also being reported as being much lower than it really is.

    David R. Remer wrote: The unemployment data figure actually HIDES the good news on job creation, because people take that one statistic and base their world view around it. That is not only naive but counterproductive to those have no hope still of finding a job and are therefore not out there applying.

    People can call that doomsdayish and chicken-littleish if they like.
    But like your statement above, I prefer …

    David R. Remer wrote: Being a realist …

    None of that means things can not get better.
    It’s really a choice that’s up to the people.
    And the good news is that there is (fortunately) a built-in self-correction mechanism that is most effective with humans and many other living things:Pain and Misery is an excellent educator and motivator to take steps to reduce or eliminate the cause of the pain and misery.

    However, I remember many conservatives trying to paint rosier-than-reality pictures just before a near-total run on the banks in year 2008, rising unemployment, massive debt, etc., etc., etc.

    And the ingredients of that mess still exist today, except that the debt is now much larger.
    Many of the abuses that got us to here today, still exist.

    So, trying to characterize anyone merely presenting the facts, and most probable outcome based on those facts and history, as mere pessimists and doomsdayish chicken littles, may be raising questions about the credibility of their own comments. Especially if their own comments have already made almost identical predictions such as this:

    • David R. Remer wrote: In summary, things are going to get better for a few years, before they, then, become unimaginably worse due to national government debt growth and the inability of regulatory agencies to effectively halt inventive financing on Wall St., which will rear its ugly greedy over leveraged and unsecured head again.
    • David R. Remer wrote: … the next 7-10 years, which will be followed by a Greece type default (downgrading) of Treasury certificates.
    • David R. Remer wrote: This will be followed by a collapse in social services from police and fire to infrastructural maintenance - not dissimilar to what the Soviet Union experienced after the collapse of its economy.
    • David R. Remer wrote: Inflation will of course follow, but as a consequence, not a cause.
    • David R. Remer wrote: But, let me be clear, I am talking about a 2010 to 2020 time frame here. A very short time frame, indeed, of improving conditions before a default on U.S. treasury bond ratings occurs, at which point, our entire economy unravels, bringing about the pain and suffering for those Americans unwilling or unable to leave the country for better prospects.
    • David R. Remer wrote: Ironically, I think it is entirely probable that Mexico will have an American immigration problem by the end of the next decade.

    At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

    Posted by: d.a.n at December 17, 2010 01:31 PM
    Comment #315418
    David R. Remer wrote: My property value where I live has dropped only 1.8 to 2.2 percent since 2008, depending on whether I use the County tax assessor or realtor’s data. And it rose nearly 60% in the previous decade.
    Nominally perhaps.

    But not a real 60% increase in inflation adjusted dollars.

    In inflation adjusted dollars, your property is probably worth only a little more than it was 10 years ago.
    But that’s Texas, which was not hit as hard as most states.
    Many people in other states have seen their properties loose 20%-to-50% of their value since 2005.

    At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

    Posted by: d.a.n at December 17, 2010 02:48 PM
    Comment #315422

    d.a.n, you are the only one using the words, Significant Degree. I never used those words. If you want to create straw men to debate, go ahead, and I will bow out.

    I said the industry is peaking and recent months show a reversal of trend. The word significant does not yet apply. That is for down the road, as a result of the factors I outlined previously, which, you don’t seem to want to address or acknowledge.

    TO my statement: “David R. Remer wrote: My property value where I live has dropped only 1.8 to 2.2 percent since 2008, depending on whether I use the County tax assessor or realtor’s data.”

    d.a.n replied: “That is anecdotal evidence, and it also does not mirror the situation in most states, counties, and states.”

    What is your reading malfunction? Did I not say: “These results were not enjoyed by all, to be sure.” Now you are using red herrings, implying that my anecdote was somehow representative, which I CLEARLY STATED IT WAS NOT.

    If you don’t want to debate by fair rules, that’s fine.

    We have established by your own comments that your world view is hopeless. That is the central point of your commentary. I accept that this is your view. I won’t agree with it.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at December 17, 2010 04:10 PM
    Comment #315423

    d.a.n said: “In inflation adjusted dollars, your property is probably worth only a little more than it was 10 years ago.”

    Now you are just making shit up out of thin air. If what you said were true, that would mean inflation would have had to be running at 6% per year for those 10 years, WHICH NO REAL WORLD DATA supports or even hints at.

    If you need to make shit up to keep your world view intact, you are, by definition, an ideologue. Ideologues dismiss conflicting real world data to keep their view intact. An amazing thing the human brain and its capacity to disallow reality.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at December 17, 2010 04:16 PM
    Comment #315430

    HHHMMMMmmmm … must have struck a nerve, eh?

    d.a.n said: “In inflation adjusted dollars, your property is probably worth only a little more than it was 10 years ago.”

    David R. Remer wrote: Now you are just making shit up out of thin air.

    False.

    A U.S. Dollar in year 2000 is now only worth 79 cents in 2010, based on the federal government’s own data, which is questionable.

    Based on the government’s data:

      As of year 2009:
    • A 2000 dollar is worth only 79 cents.
    • A 1990 dollar is worth only 58 cents
    • A 1980 dollar is worth only 34 cents.
    • A 1970 dollar is worth only 17 cents.
    • A 1960 dollar is worth only 14 cents.
    • A 1950 dollar is worth only 11 cents.
    • A 1940 dollar is worth only 07 cents.
    • A 1930 dollar is worth only 08 cents.
    • A 1910 dollar is worth only 04 cents.
    • A 1900 dollar is worth only 04 cents.
    • A 1890 dollar is worth only 04 cents.

    Also, inflation is most likely not being reported accurately.
    So, inflation is probably worse.
    Therefore, in inflation adjusted dollars, your property is probably worth only a little more than it was 10 years ago.
    But it can vary widely by location, county, and state.
    Perhaps you got lucky and built your home in a good location that increase significantly in value?
    But one thing is for certain, if your property increased in price by 60% (as you stated above), it did not increase in real value by 60%, due to inflation.
    So, why are you so angy?

    Perhaps you could tell us what your property was appraised for in year 2000 (one decade ago), and today?
    Then we can calculate the real increase in value based on inflation.

    David R. Remer wrote: d.a.n, you are the only one using the words, Significant Degree. I never used those words. If you want to create straw men to debate, go ahead, and I will bow out.
    David R. Remer wrote: I said the industry is peaking and recent months show a reversal of trend.
    That sounds a lot like creative back-pedaling now, since you already wrote above:
    David R. Remer wrote: the banks are doing very well, and the mortgage industry is coming back, and there is no dramatic increase in businesses bankrupting as a result of consumer bankruptcy.

    HHHMMMmmmm … but you now want to quibble that your statement that the “mortgage industry is coming back” does not mean it is any improvement of any “significant degree”?

    So, whose really full of $#!+ ?

    David R. Remer wrote: My point is, there is no long term consequence to these foreclosures resulting from the meltdown and Recession. They are temporary and remediable and correcting.
    Now if you want to discuss “nonsense”, that statement is most definitely pure “nonsense”.

    It took over 5 years for foreclosures to go from 846,000 per year up to 4 million per year, and it will take several years for them to fall back to pre-2005 levels.
    These foreclosures most certainly will have (and already have had) a huge affect on home prices, home sales, and the economy.

    The housing crisis began several years ago, and it is a long ways from ending anytime soon.
    Here’s another view of foreclosures (by month and by year):

    • ________ FORECLOSURE FILINGS PER MONTH (2005 -to- 2010) _____________
    • 400K |———————————————————————————————————-
    • 375K |————————————————————————————————-o-o-o-
    • 350K |——————————————————————————-o-o-o—-o-o———-
    • 325K |——————————————————————————o——-o-o—————
    • 300K |—————————————————————-o—-o—-o—————————-
    • 275K |————————————————————-o—o——o——————————-
    • 250K |———————————————-o———o-o———————————————
    • 225K |———————————————o-o—o-o————————————————-
    • 200K |———————————————o—-o——————————————————
    • 175K |—————————————-o-o————————————————————-
    • 150K |————————————o-o——————————————————————
    • 125K |——————-o———-o-o———————————————————————-
    • 100K |——————o-o-o-o-o—————————————————————————
    • 075K |o-o-o-o-o-o——————————————————————————————
    • 050K |———————————————————————————————————-
    • _____2 2 2 2 2 222 2 2 2 2 222 2 2 2 2 222 2 2 2 2 222 2 2 2 2 222 2 2 2 2 22(YEAR)
    • _____0 0 0 0 0 000 0 0 0 0 000 0 0 0 0 000 0 0 0 0 000 0 0 0 0 000 0 0 0 0 00
    • _____0 0 0 0 0 000 0 0 0 0 000 0 0 0 0 000 0 0 0 0 000 0 0 0 0 001 1 1 1 1 11
    • _____5 5 5 5 5 556 6 6 6 6 667 7 7 7 7 778 8 8 8 8 889 9 9 9 9 990 0 0 0 0 00

    • Year 2010: 4.0 million (or more; up to 11,480 per day in 2010)
    • Year 2009: 3.0 million
    • Year 2008: 2.0 million
    • Year 2007: 2.0 million
    • Year 2006: 1.2 million
    • Year 2005: 846,000

    • _____ FORECLOSURE FILINGS PER YEAR (1979 -to- 2010) _________
    • 4.2M |————————————————————————————————
    • 4.1M |————————————————————————————————
    • 4.0M |———————————————————————————————o-
    • 3.9M |————————————————————————————————
    • 3.8M |————————————————————————————————
    • 3.7M |————————————————————————————————
    • 3.6M |————————————————————————————————
    • 3.5M |————————————————————————————————
    • 3.4M |————————————————————————————————
    • 3.3M |————————————————————————————————
    • 3.2M |————————————————————————————————
    • 3.1M |————————————————————————————————
    • 3.0M |——————————————————————————————o—-
    • 2.9M |————————————————————————————————
    • 2.8M |————————————————————————————————
    • 2.7M |————————————————————————————————
    • 2.6M |————————————————————————————————
    • 2.5M |————————————————————————————————
    • 2.4M |————————————————————————————————
    • 2.3M |————————————————————————————————
    • 2.2M |————————————————————————————————
    • 2.1M |—————————————————————————————o——-
    • 2.0M |————————————————————————————————
    • 1.9M |————————————————————————————o———-
    • 1.8M |————————————————————————————————
    • 1.7M |————————————————————————————————
    • 1.6M |————————————————————————————————
    • 1.5M |——————————————————————o-o————————-
    • 1.4M |————————————————————————————————
    • 1.3M |————————————————————————o———————-
    • 1.2M |———————————————————o-o-o———-o—-o————-
    • 1.1M |——————————————————o—————————————-
    • 1.0M |————————o———-o-o-o——-o——————————————-
    • 0.9M |———————o—-o-o-o———-o-o—————————-o—————-
    • 0.8M |——————o—————————————————————————-
    • 0.7M |—————o——————————————————————————-
    • 0.6M |———o-o———————————————————————————-
    • 0.5M |————————————————————————————————
    • 0.4M |—o-o—————————————————————————————-
    • 0.3M |o———————————————————————————————-
    • 0.2M |————————————————————————————————
    • 0.1M |————————————————————————————————
    • 0.0M |————————————————————————————————
    • _____ 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 (YEAR)
    • _____ 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    • _____ 7 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
    • _____ 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1

    You are obviously upset, but what is the real reason?
    Is it because someone demonstrated your obvious contradictions and inconsistencies?
    You are free to believe what ever you like.
    So, there’s no need to get upset, rude, and hateful.

    David R. Remer wrote: If you need to make shit up to keep your world view intact, you are, by definition, an ideologue. Ideologues dismiss conflicting real world data to keep their view intact. An amazing thing the human brain and its capacity to disallow reality.
    How typical.

    Some people, when they’re losing a debate, turn to obfuscation, name calling, and character assination.

    David R. Remer wrote: An amazing thing the human brain and its capacity to disallow reality.
    Yes indeed.

    And your comments have demonstrated the “capicity to disallow reality” all too well.

    Why resort to such childishness and hatefulness?
    Are you drinking or something?
    What’s causing all of this anger and vitriol, and Jekyll and Hyde behavior?
    Are you unable to debate the facts, in a civil and calm manner?

    Usually, people get excitable, and rude, when their arguments are shown to be failing, inconsistent, and contraditory.
    Is that what the problem is here?

    Any way, feel free anytime to disprove my facts.
    If they are so wrong, it should be easy to do, eh?
    Don’t just say something is wrong; prove it.
    Or, continue to believe whatever you like.

    Obviously, the “Watchblog Rules of Participation” don’t mean squat, eh?
    But, it has always been interesting how the “Watchblog Rules Of Participation” applied to some people, but not others.

    Any way, you are correct on one point. In all fairness, you did say about home properties that “These results were not enjoyed by all, to be sure.”
    But again, how does that prove the mortgage industry is doing better to A N Y degree that matters?

    Any way, do you think such anger and vitriol are going to improve the readership and traffic at Watchblog, or any other website?
    Do you think that encourages or discourages debate?

    If you want to debate in a civil manner, I’ll be happy to do that.
    If not, then you’re only hurting yourself, your own credibility, Watchblog, and other organizations you are affiliated with.

    At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

    Posted by: d.a.n at December 17, 2010 05:27 PM
    Comment #315463

    Looking backward, the numbers speak for themselves. Projecting forward, even with good numbers, can be dicey.
    We do know for sure that certain segments of the stock market, as d.a.n made note, are doing well. The banks are on the sideline awaiting some certainty in government policy going forward. One could say with good credence that with a Republican senate majority come Jan. the banks will begin to start lending again.

    What I find ironic is the Repubs talking up boosting the economy through a doubling, yes doubling of exports, and manufacturing, yes manufacturing. It seems clear that corporations around the world are manufacturing/producing more goods than the world can consume right now. And, it seems clear that any demand for goods will be provided by those monopolies/conglomerates well positioned with cheap labor.

    It’s also clear, from d.a.n’s data that the great disparity in wealth began to really take off during the Regan years of ‘greed is good’, merge them up and let them go.
    IMO, nothing has changed to suggest that the US is on a different path than that of the last 30 years. Change would be actions to reduce spending, reduce debt, and protectionists actions toward exports/imports.

    I expect the duopoly to continue to talk the good game for another 8 years or so until the New World Order gets settled in. With China and India in the catbird seat we must wait to see how things work out. China/N. Kor vs the Asian rim, etc.

    The middle class consumer gets just enough ‘hearsay’ to keep them comfortable. “We are going to read the bills, test each bill for constitutionality before voting on it, double exports, increase manufacturing”, etc etc etc. Let’s see how long it takes ear marks to return to the floor.

    Otherwise, Independents may want to support a new 3rd party with a different political attitude.

    Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 18, 2010 12:51 PM
    Comment #315512

    d.a.n, you were making shit up. Red herrings and Straw men arguments are the signs of an inability to respond to the points made. There is nothing to debate with a person who dodges the facts and reality as presented.

    I never said the housing and mortgage markets were doing well. You were putting words in my mouth that I never uttered. I said it was recovering, and the data the last several months are FACTS and EVIDENCE that the worst may be over and improvements like those seen the last quarter may well continue.

    Getting rid of all that undervalued and over leveraged property will take a decade or less. It has to be done in increments of losses (sales of that property) which the holder of those notes and properties can absorb on their balance sheets. But, that is precisely what appears to be underway, as the year end approaches and the year’s earnings and profits are summable, allowing for the allocation of sale of of some of those properties at a loss, but, not so muck of one, as to cause insolvency. In other words, there is a path for those holders of those properties to deal with them.

    As those properties are released onto the market, or abandoned at a loss, new home buyers are constantly coming into the market, and with interest rates low, and housing prices out of the inflation bubble zone, those new buyers will find more affordable housing options to choose from, increasing demand in the years to come, especially, as unemployment ticks downward.

    In the short term, those holders of those properties will have to continue to hold most of them on their depreciating balance sheets, and continue to do business at lower annual profit margins until those properties are gone from their balance sheets. Some estimate that to take 10 years, or just about the time the national debt becomes untenable and brings the economy down. Until then, however, if the last several months are an indication, the housing and mortgage markets will improve, albeit, at lower profit margins going forward as they eat their incremental losses on partial annual basis. Doing so, however, creates bargains for consumers. And in light of consumers buying down their credit card debt, their home buying qualification improves, and as their confidence grows, buying or upgrading housing will increase.

    I went to an insurance company’s Christmas party for its employees this evening in the San Antonio Alamodome. About 10,000 people showed up, 5000 employees and one guest each. Food and drink was in abundance and free to arrivals and high name entertainment talent (singer from Hootie and the Blow Fish, Darris something. I did a quick count estimate of the personnel needed to pull that off, and the count was about 700 people hired for a minimum of 6 hours. At an average of 7$ and hour, that came to about a quarter million dollars in just payroll. Then there was the food and entertainment and rental of the Alamodome. This was on top of a 2 week pay Christmas bonus handed out to each employee this month.

    What I found striking was the many conversations which both counted the blessings of working for that company, and the confidence the people had in their future with the company. And there’s the untold story about our economy. For that massive majority of Americans who are employed and continued to be employed through the recession, their prospects and confidence in the future are improving. And that is soil from which seeds of economic growth are sprouting increases in aggregate demand going forward, and in turn, decreasing unemployment.

    The recession made even the employed nervous about the future. But, that concern is waning fast. And that is where the economic growth is going to come from in the short term. It is, as we agreed, the sovereign debt of nations around the globe that are the grave concern. The EU is working through theirs. The worry for the U.S. is that there is no E.U. to shore up its restructuring when floating treasury bonds finds no buyers in 7 to 10 years.

    Either, the politicians will act on that knowledge, or, they won’t. So far, they have chosen not to. But, the political climate in this country is rapidly deteriorating and the politicians know it. That is why the GOP is so desperate to abandon the middle class and poor to secure their wealthy contributor’s faith in them going forward. They believe they can buy elections going forward. Maybe they have some inside information I am not aware of. I don’t see it working for them.

    A large number of Democrats struggling with the tug-o-war between deficits and debt and securing the future of the votes from the middle classes. They have put forth a number of great moves in that direction, but, they didn’t travel far, and there is hardly a consensus amongst Democrats. At some point however, they will have to achieve consensus on how to meet the dual and somewhat mutual opposing objectives of debt and middle class economic security, or continue to share power with Republicans who think they don’t need Democrats to acquire victories going forward.

    America is ripe for the rise of a 3rd party that has the consensus which alludes Democrats, but, time has all but run out for that option to take hold and grow in time to save the future. So, we the people, are left with the D’s and R’s.

    And that political system between them is impotent in addressing the long term government solvency issues of our future. They proved that, this last month. So, it is time, I think, for all smart Americans to begin laying down their own contingency plans as to how they are going survive the future of America’s economic collapse. That, or, get behind the anti-incumbent movement the way the people got behind by Tea Party for awhile or, MoveOn.Org, with a massive person to person recruitment that dumps both parties incumbents election after election. This last November’s election was a solid down payment on the growth of such a movement. I remain hopeful that it will grow geometrically with each coming election.

    That will depend very much, however, on the media, and whether they make the public aware of the economic collapse now stacked in the cards. We shall see if there is any Kronkite or Murrow left in our 4th Estate, and whether they can and will adopt the new media technologies needed to reach the widest possible audiences.

    I was very encouraged by the media’s coverage of the anti-incumbent movement and polled sentiment in this last election. We shall see. There are ways America can save itself. But, people must stop talking about it and take concrete action to make the change in themselves and their voting behavior if salvation is to become a reality.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at December 19, 2010 03:55 AM
    Comment #315513

    d.a.n, A 1990 dollar is worth only 58 cents. That’s a 42% inflation over 20 years.

    I bought my property in 1989 for $19,800. It is market valued at $45,000 this year, give or take a couple grand. That is more than a 200% increase in value in that same 20 year period. 42% inflation over 20 years compared to more than 200% increase in market value.

    Like I said, you are making shit up. Haven’t done the math. Don’t know what the hell you are talking about in claiming it is false, that my property has not increased in value as I said it has. The math is the math, d.a.n. 42% vs. 200%. That’s the math and the reality. The real world, by the numbers. Those numbers will vary a lot depending on where in the country one lives. Nevada and Michigan were among the hardest hit in declining property values.

    Texas, fared very well in property values vs. inflation over the last 2 decades. My county fared extremely well because it has continued to grow in population, and therefore demand, throughout those last 20 years and right through this Recession. We are about 35 miles North of San Antonio, and the migration of the Middle Class on the North side of San Antonio to the commutable Hill Country I live in, has been incredible.

    When you want to talk real world, with all the relevant numbers, I will be happy to continue. Check your math first, though, before making false claims and getting stuck trying to defend them.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at December 19, 2010 04:11 AM
    Comment #315555

    It has been noted that the gov’t has been writing IOU’s for some $24B the energy companies have paid into a nuke waste fund going back to about 1980. Shucks, Just chicken feed!

    Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 19, 2010 04:39 PM
    Comment #315563
    David R. Remer wrote: d.a.n, you were making shit up. Red herrings and Straw men arguments are the signs of an inability to respond to the points made.
    False.

    Saying that and proving are two different things.

    Back already to dig that hole deeper?

    Read the following carefully, which reveals:

    • (a) the glaring flaws in your own math,
    • (b) and why your comments are simply revealing your own ignorance and arrogance.

    And then we’ll see if you’re man enough to admit your mistake?

    Your own comments are all the proof that is needed to show that you are claiming inprovements in the mortgage industry of a significant degree (which will be demonstrated quite clearly below), and that your own property is now worth as much as you think it is today, in inflation adjusted U.S. dollars.

    David R. Remer wrote: I never said the housing and mortgage markets were doing well.
    Really. Then how do you explain your following comments, which make it sound a lot like improvements of some notable significance?
    • David R. Remer wrote: … d.a.n, because the banks are doing very well, …
    • David R. Remer wrote: … and the mortgage industry is coming back, …
    • David R. Remer wrote: There is a vast growing mountain of cash being built in America today, …
    • David R. Remer wrote: I said the industry is peaking and recent months show a reversal of trend.
    • David R. Remer wrote: In summary, things are going to get better for a few years, …
    • David R. Remer wrote: … if the last several months are an indication, the housing and mortgage markets will improve, albeit, at lower profit margins …
    • David R. Remer wrote: The recession made even the employed nervous about the future. But, that concern is waning fast.
    • David R. Remer wrote: And there’s the untold story about our economy. For that massive majority of Americans who are employed and continued to be employed through the recession, their prospects and confidence in the future are improving.
    I simply disagreed that there was any significant improvement in the mortgage industry, and provided numerous reasons, and you then resorted to personal attacks, assertions about others’ world view, etc., etc., etc., which is often a sure sign of a weak and failing argument.
    David R. Remer wrote: There is nothing to debate with a person who dodges the facts and reality as presented.
    Then why now go to such great lengths to engage in more circular obfuscation and back-pedaling?
    David R. Remer wrote: You were putting words in my mouth that I never uttered.
    Nonsense. Again, your own comments (above) are quite clear.

    Blaming others for interpreting your comments to mean that there is an improvement in the mortgage industry of A N Y significance is not their fault.

    David R. Remer wrote: I said it was recovering, and the data the last several months are FACTS and EVIDENCE that the worst may be over and improvements like those seen the last quarter may well continue.
    More nonsense, since you wrote:
    • David R. Remer wrote: … d.a.n, because the banks are doing very well, …
    • David R. Remer wrote: … and the mortgage industry is coming back, …
    • David R. Remer wrote: There is a vast growing mountain of cash being built in America today, …
    • David R. Remer wrote: I said the industry is peaking and recent months show a reversal of trend.
    • David R. Remer wrote: In summary, things are going to get better for a few years, …
    • David R. Remer wrote: … if the last several months are an indication, the housing and mortgage markets will improve, albeit, at lower profit margins …
    • David R. Remer wrote: The recession made even the employed nervous about the future. But, that concern is waning fast.
    • David R. Remer wrote: And there’s the untold story about our economy. For that massive majority of Americans who are employed and continued to be employed through the recession, their prospects and confidence in the future are improving.
    David R. Remer wrote: Getting rid of all that undervalued and over leveraged property will take a decade or less.
    Probably. But you wrote
    David R. Remer wrote: My point is, there is no long term consequence to these foreclosures resulting from the meltdown and Recession. They are temporary and remediable and correcting.
    So, which is it? It “will take a decade or less” indicates a problem of major consequence, or there is no long term consequence ?

    Again, there are inconsistencies in your statements.
    These foreclosures will most certainly have short and long term consequences:

    • ________ FORECLOSURE FILINGS PER MONTH (2005 -to- 2010) _____________
    • 375K |———————————————————————————————————-
    • 350K |——————————————————————————-o-o-o—-o-o—-o—-
    • 325K |——————————————————————————o——-o-o—-o———
    • 300K |—————————————————————-o—-o—-o—————————-
    • 275K |————————————————————-o—o——o——————————-
    • 250K |———————————————-o———o-o———————————————
    • 225K |———————————————o-o—o-o————————————————-
    • 200K |———————————————o—-o——————————————————
    • 175K |—————————————-o-o————————————————————-
    • 150K |————————————o-o——————————————————————
    • 125K |——————-o———-o-o———————————————————————-
    • 100K |——————o-o-o-o-o—————————————————————————
    • 075K |o-o-o-o-o-o——————————————————————————————
    • 050K |———————————————————————————————————-
    • _____2 2 2 2 2 222 2 2 2 2 222 2 2 2 2 222 2 2 2 2 222 2 2 2 2 222 2 2 2 2 222(YEAR)
    • _____0 0 0 0 0 000 0 0 0 0 000 0 0 0 0 000 0 0 0 0 000 0 0 0 0 000 0 0 0 0 000
    • _____0 0 0 0 0 000 0 0 0 0 000 0 0 0 0 000 0 0 0 0 000 0 0 0 0 001 1 1 1 1 111
    • _____5 5 5 5 5 556 6 6 6 6 667 7 7 7 7 778 8 8 8 8 889 9 9 9 9 990 0 0 0 0 001

    • Year 2010: ~4.0 million (11,454 per day = 343,638 in SEP-2010)
    • Year 2009: 3.0 million
    • Year 2008: 2.0 million
    • Year 2007: 2.0 million
    • Year 2006: 1.2 million
    • Year 2005: 846,000
    David R. Remer wrote: I went to an insurance company’s Christmas party for its employees this evening in the San Antonio Alamodome. About 10,000 people showed up, 5000 employees and one guest each. Food and drink was in abundance and free to arrivals and high name entertainment talent (singer from Hootie and the Blow Fish, Darris something. I did a quick count estimate of the personnel needed to pull that off, and the count was about 700 people hired for a minimum of 6 hours. At an average of 7$ and hour, that came to about a quarter million dollars in just payroll. Then there was the food and entertainment and rental of the Alamodome. This was on top of a 2 week pay Christmas bonus handed out to each employee this month.
    Yes, USAA appears to have done well this year.

    Premium members have received large dividends.
    But this is possibly more anecdotal evidence, rather than evidence of the mortgage industry improving in A N Y degree of significance.
    And after all, you also wrote:

    David R. Remer wrote: d.a.n, you are the only one using the words, Significant Degree. I never used those words. If you want to create straw men to debate, go ahead, and I will bow out.

    Despite you also writing:
    • David R. Remer wrote: … d.a.n, because the banks are doing very well, …
    • David R. Remer wrote: … and the mortgage industry is coming back, …
    • David R. Remer wrote: There is a vast growing mountain of cash being built in America today, …
    • David R. Remer wrote: I said the industry is peaking and recent months show a reversal of trend.
    • David R. Remer wrote: In summary, things are going to get better for a few years, …
    • David R. Remer wrote: … if the last several months are an indication, the housing and mortgage markets will improve, albeit, at lower profit margins …
    • David R. Remer wrote: The recession made even the employed nervous about the future. But, that concern is waning fast.
    • David R. Remer wrote: And there’s the untold story about our economy. For that massive majority of Americans who are employed and continued to be employed through the recession, their prospects and confidence in the future are improving.

    So, which is it?
    Is the mortgage industry getting better to any degree of significance, or not? Maybe the math is what’s confusing you?

    David R. Remer wrote: What I found striking was the many conversations which both counted the blessings of working for that company, and the confidence the people had in their future with the company. And there’s the untold story about our economy. For that massive majority of Americans who are employed and continued to be employed through the recession, their prospects and confidence in the future are improving. And that is soil from which seeds of economic growth are sprouting increases in aggregate demand going forward, and in turn, decreasing unemployment.
    I and many people certainly hope things are getting better.
    David R. Remer wrote: America is ripe for the rise of a 3rd party that has the consensus which alludes Democrats, but, time has all but run out for that option to take hold and grow in time to save the future. So, we the people, are left with the D’s and R’s.
    Maybe.

    But that sounds so pessimistic to some people.
    Besides, I thought your comments above indicated that things were getting better, and there was a growing optimism?
    Or perhaps your meaning was that things will be improve only for a few years only, and then the U.S. will fail to “save the future” ?
    And what does this say for the short term and long term future of the mortgage industry?

    David R. Remer wrote: And that political system between them is impotent in addressing the long term government solvency issues of our future. They proved that, this last month. So, it is time, I think, for all smart Americans to begin laying down their own contingency plans as to how they are going survive the future of America’s economic collapse.
    HHHMMMMmmmmmmmmmm … some people would say that sounds awfully pessimistic?

    Do you realize that you have harshly criticized others for similar pessimistic statements (including this thread; above)?

    Can you now see why your comments are confusing and appear to be inconsistent?
    What time-lines and time-periods are you talking about for things getting better, and needing to learn how U.S. citizens “are going to survive the future of America’s economic collapse”?
    In one paragraph, you appear to believe the mortgage industry, banks, and people’s optimism are improving to some degree of significance.

    Then in subsequent paragraphs, you appear to be predicting a failure of the U.S. to “save the future”.

    David R. Remer wrote: That, or, get behind the anti-incumbent movement the way the people got behind by Tea Party for awhile or, MoveOn.Org, with a massive person to person recruitment that dumps both parties incumbents election after election. This last November’s election was a solid down payment on the growth of such a movement. I remain hopeful that it will grow geometrically with each coming election.
    Me too, because there is already historical precedent for that to happen, because that’s what the majority of unhappy voters did in years 1929, 1931, and 1933.

    There seems to be a promising trend developing with the voters.
    Voters appear to be getting angrier (as they did in years 1929, 1931, and 1933).
    Voters reduced Congress’ re-election rates from 87% in year 2008 to 77% in year 2010.
    And perhaps year 2012 will be like year 1933, when unhappy voters delivered even lower (e.g. 61%) re-election rates for Congress?

    • Start _ End _ Congress _ Re-Election Rate
    • Year __ Year __ # ______ Rate
    • 1927 __ 1929 __ 070st __ 83.6% (87 incumbents ousted)
    • 1929 __ 1931 __ 071st __ 79.7% (108 incumbents ousted)
    • 1931 __ 1933 __ 072nd __ 76.8% (123 incumbents ousted)
    • 1933 __ 1935 __ 073rd __ 61.2% (206 of 531 incumbents ousted; 59 Dems, 147 Repubs)
    • … … … … … … . .
    • 1989 __ 1991 __ 101st __ 90.1%
    • 1991 __ 1993 __ 102nd __ 87.7%
    • 1993 __ 1995 __ 103rd __ 73.5% (142 of 535 incumbents ousted)
    • 1995 __ 1997 __ 104th __ 79.8%
    • 1997 __ 1999 __ 105th __ 77.4%
    • 1999 __ 2001 __ 106th __ 89.2%
    • 2001 __ 2003 __ 107th __ 89.2%
    • 2003 __ 2005 __ 108th __ 87.9% (65 of 535 voted out/replaced)
    • 2005 __ 2007 __ 109th __ 88.6% (61 of 535 voted out/replaced)
    • 2007 __ 2009 __ 110th __ 84.9% (81 of 535 incumbents voted out/replaced)
    • 2009 __ 2011 __ 111th __ 86.9% (70 of 535 voted out/replaced)
    • 2011 __ 2013 __ 112th __ 77.0% (123 of 535 voted out/replaced)
    • 2013 __ 2015 __ 113th __ ??.?% (??? ousted perhaps?)
    Notice the similarity of increasing anti-incumbency above for 1929, 1931, 1933 AND 2009, 2011, and possibly 2013?
    Perhaps voters are finally getting fed up with BOTH parties?
    The voters are culpable too, and the refusal to repeatedly reward failure and corruption is probably the ONLY thing that will get the attention of the FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt Congress.

    David R. Remer wrote: That will depend very much, however, on the media, and whether they make the public aware of the economic collapse now stacked in the cards. We shall see if there is any Kronkite or Murrow left in our 4th Estate, and whether they can and will adopt the new media technologies needed to reach the widest possible audiences.
    There are no guarantees.

    But pain and misery is a very good educator and motivator.
    Fortunately, if nothing else, that built-in self-correction mechanism will finally motivate enough voters to demand real government reforms.

    David R. Remer wrote: I was very encouraged by the media’s coverage of the anti-incumbent movement and polled sentiment in this last election. We shall see. There are ways America can save itself. But, people must stop talking about it and take concrete action to make the change in themselves and their voting behavior if salvation is to become a reality.
    Education is the key.

    That means information and interpretation and analysis of the information.
    And if necessary, pain and misery may provide the motivation to obtain some education to reduce the abuses that are hammering the majority of U.S. citizens.

    David R. Remer wrote: I bought my property in 1989 for $19,800. It is market valued at $45,000 this year, give or take a couple grand. That is more than a 200% increase in value in that same 20 year period.
    First of all, you made improvements to your property between year 1989 and 2010, which you failed to mention.

    But still, based on the governments own inflation data, $19,800 in year 1989 is equal to $34,938 in year 2010.
    However, you claim your appraised value in year 2010 is $45,000 (a difference of $10,062 in 2010 U.S. Dollars over a 21 year period; i.e. $45,000 - $34,938 = $10,062).
    Also, $10,062 in 2010 U.S. Dollars is equal to $5,702 in 1989 Dollars.
    So you see.
    Your property did not increase nearly as much in REAL value as you claim, and I did not even account for the improvements you have made to your property over the last 21 years.

    Your house increased in real value $10,062 in 2010 dollars from $34,938 in 2010 U.S. Dollars, whch is a real increase of 28.8%.
    Your house increased in real value $5,702 in 1989 dollars from $19,800 in 1989 U.S. Dollars, whch is also a real increase of 28.8%.
    28.8% is not even remotely close to 200% !

    David R. Remer wrote: Like I said, you are making shit up.
    False, and I easily proved the mistakes in your math above.
    David R. Remer wrote: Haven’t done the math. Don’t know what the hell you are talking about in claiming it is false, that my property has not increased in value as I said it has. The math is the math, d.a.n. 42% vs. 200%.
    You obviously don’t have a clue about inflation calculations, do you?
    David R. Remer wrote: d.a.n, A 1990 dollar is worth only 58 cents. That’s a 42% inflation over 20 years.
    False.

    That is a reduction in value of 42% over 20 years.
    The inflation rate is calculated as the percentage of increase in price over a period of time (e.g. a year).s
    The inflation is 76% since year 1990, because $1.00 in 1990 would have the buying power of $1.76 in 2010.
    The inflation percentage = 100 x (Year2Value - Year1Value) = 100 x ($1.76 - $1.00) = 76% inflation.
    76% inflation between year 1990 and year 2010 also equals about 2.1% inflation per year:

    • Year 1990: $1.00
    • Year 1991: $0.979
    • Year 1992: $0.958
    • Year 1993: $0.937
    • Year 1994: $0.916
    • Year 1995: $0.895
    • Year 1996: $0.874
    • Year 1997: $0.853
    • Year 1998: $0.832
    • Year 1999: $0.811
    • Year 2000: $0.79
    • Year 2001: $0.769
    • Year 2002: $0.748
    • Year 2003: $0.727
    • Year 2004: $0.706
    • Year 2005: $0.685
    • Year 2006: $0.664
    • Year 2007: $0.643
    • Year 2008: $0.622
    • Year 2009: $0.601
    • Year 2010: $0.58

    David R. Remer wrote: That’s the math and the reality. The real world, by the numbers.
    False. Your calculations and terminology are incorrect.
    David R. Remer wrote: Haven’t done the math. Don’t know what the hell you are talking about in claiming it is false, that my property has not increased in value as I said it has.
    Yes, it is obvious that it is you who “Don’t know what the hell you are talking about”

    The proof of the flaws in your math are shown above.
    It proves that your property most certainly did not increase in value by 200%.

    A $5,702 increase in value (from $19,800 in 1989 U.S. Dollars) in 1989 U.S. dollars is an increase in value of 28.8%.
    A $10,062 increase in value (from $34,938 in 2010 U.S. Dollars) in 2010 U.S. dollars is an increase in value of 28.8%.

    Get it?
    28.8% is far, far less than 200% !

    And again, that increase in value also did not even take into accout the improvements to the property over the past 21 years.
    Also, you have most likely spent more than $10,062 in home improvements over the past 21 years.
    That means, your real increase in value is not even really 28.8% !
    And if you also include the interest on loans (if any) for your property, you’re REAL increase in value is even less than 28.8% .

    So, are you going to still erroneously and childishly claim that I “make shit up”?
    Or admit you made a mistake?

    Now, had you invested that $19,800 in year 1989 at 2.71% (compounded monthly) for the past 21 years, it would now be worth $34,938 in 1989 U.S. Dollars.
    And, had you invested that $19,800 in year 1989 at 3.97% (compounded monthly) for the past 21 years, it would now be worth $45,000 in 1989 U.S. Dollars.
    So, that’s not the wonderful investment you think it is, since it’s easy to earn more than 2.71-to-3.97% in other ways.

    David R. Remer wrote: When you want to talk real world, with all the relevant numbers, I will be happy to continue.
    Such arrogance is why some people have lost respect for you.
    David R. Remer wrote: Check your math first, though, before making false claims and getting stuck trying to defend them.
    Perhaps you should check your own math, eh?

    So, are you man enough to admit your mistake?
    Or, are you going to continue with more arrogant and hatefulness, and telling people they are “making up shit” ?

    That, and merely discussing the facts of current economic conditions most certainly does not equate to a “hopeless world view”:

    David R. Remer wrote: We have established by your own comments that your world view is hopeless. That is the central point of your commentary. I accept that this is your view. I won’t agree with it.

    David R. Remer wrote: When you want to talk real world, with all the relevant numbers, I will be happy to continue.
    Yes. Please continue to entertain us.

    At one time, I felt bad about some things, but not any more. It was justified.

    Roy Ellis,
    Thanks.
    You’re right.
    Things are as rosy as some would make it seem.
    Things are also not as horrible as some would make it seem.
    Viewing things (i.e. the “world view”) on a larger perspective, and I’ve written this possibly dozens of times over the years:

    • The U.S. is still one of the top 15 (of hundreds) nations in the world.

    At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

    Posted by: d.a.n at December 19, 2010 06:24 PM
    Comment #315564

    CORRECTION (next to last sentence above): Things are [not] as rosy as some would make it seem.

    Posted by: d.a.n at December 19, 2010 06:28 PM
    Comment #315734

    David R. Remer,

    By the way, where did you get your numbers for the $19,800 (in 1989 U$D) that you claim you paid in year 1989 and the current value of $45,000 in 2010 U$D that you claim your property is worth today?

    Are you making up $#!+ , or do have another property that is now worth $45,000 today?

    Based on public tax records, your property below increased in value from $13,260 in year 1993 to $77,510 in year 2010, and there were $2,500 improvements every year since 1996.
    Year Improvements ($in 2010 U$D) _ Land Market _ Appraised _ Assessed
    2010 $2,500 ($2,500 in 2010 U$D) _ $75,010 _____ $77,510 ___ $77,510 ($77,510 in 2010 U$D)
    2009 $2,500 ($2,550 in 2010 U$D) _ $75,010 _____ $77,510 ___ $77,510 ($79,051 in 2010 U$D)
    2008 $2,500 ($2,541 in 2010 U$D) _ $75,010 _____ $77,510 ___ $77,510 ($78,770 in 2010 U$D)
    2007 $2,500 ($2,638 in 2010 U$D) _ $36,230 _____ $38,730 ___ $38,730 ($40,871 in 2010 U$D)
    2006 $2,500 ($2,713 in 2010 U$D) _ $34,510 _____ $37,010 ___ $37,010 ($40,168 in 2010 U$D)
    2005 $2,500 ($2,801 in 2010 U$D) _ $33,130 _____ $35,630 ___ $35,630 ($39,918 in 2010 U$D)
    2004 $2,500 ($2,896 in 2010 U$D) _ $29,330 _____ $31,830 ___ $31,830 ($36,869 in 2010 U$D)
    2003 $2,500 ($2,973 in 2010 U$D) _ $29,330 _____ $31,830 ___ $31,830 ($37,851 in 2010 U$D)
    2002 $2,500 ($3,041 in 2010 U$D) _ $27,600 _____ $30,100 ___ $30,100 ($36,609 in 2010 U$D)
    2001 $2,500 ($3,089 in 2010 U$D) _ $27,600 _____ $30,100 ___ $30,100 ($37,188 in 2010 U$D)
    2000 $2,500 ($3,177 in 2010 U$D) _ $27,600 _____ $30,100 ___ $30,100 ($38,246 in 2010 U$D)
    1999 $2,500 ($3,283 in 2010 U$D) _ $27,600 _____ $30,100 ___ $30,100 ($39,532 in 2010 U$D)
    1998 $2,500 ($3,356 in 2010 U$D) _ $20,400 _____ $22,900 ___ $22,900 ($30,740 in 2010 U$D)
    1997 $2,500 ($3,408 in 2010 U$D) _ $20,400 _____ $22,900 ___ $22,900 ($31,219 in 2010 U$D)
    1996 $2,500 ($3,486 in 2010 U$D) _ $20,400 _____ $22,900 ___ $22,900 ($31,935 in 2010 U$D)
    1995 ___ $0 ($00000 in 2010 U$D) _ $20,000 _____ $20,000 ___ $20,000 ($28,714 in 2010 U$D)
    1994 ___ $0 ($00000 in 2010 U$D) _ $20,000 _____ $20,000 ___ $20,000 ($29,528 in 2010 U$D)
    1993 ___ $0 ($00000 in 2010 U$D) _ $13,260 _____ $13,260 ___ $13,260 ($20,078 in 2010 U$D)

    The $2,500 per year (above) in improvements for 15 years is a total of $44,452 spent for improvements in 2010 U$D (or $29,357 in 1993 U$D).
    Therefore, subtracting the cost of improvements of $44,452 (in 2010 U$D) from the total appraised value of $77,510 (in 2010 U$D) in year 2010, and the initial cost of about $20,078 in 2010 U$D, that’s an increase in value of only $11,980 in 2010 U$D ($7,912 in 1993 U$D) over 17 years.

    That is a real increase in value of only 15.5% (of $11,980 in 2010 U$D from $65,530(which is $45,542+$20,078) in 2010 U$D to $77,510 in 2010 U$D) over a 17 year period.
    So, that real increase of $11,980 in 2010 U$D ($7,912 in 1993 U$D) is only an increase in real value of about $704 per year in 2010 U$D (for 17 years).
    If the initial $13,260 in year 1993 U$D ($20,078 in 2010 U$D) had been invested at only 2.76% (compounded monthly) for 17 years, it would be worth about the same as the real increase of $11,980 in 2010 U$D (or $7912 in 1993 U$D).

    And none of the above even included any costs for interest for any loans for borrowing for the property or the improvements (which could easily be more than 2.76% interest for 17 years only on the initial $13,260.

    So, again, that’s not a great return on investment, and not even remotely close to the 200% increase in value that was claimed above in Comment # 315513.

    At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

    Posted by: d.a.n at December 23, 2010 04:18 PM
    Comment #316005

    Perhaps embracing Centrism is the answer to all this partisan spite. Ultimately if the aim is compromise, than supporting candidates who are opening Centrist or Moderate is more beneficial than openly choosing divisive individuals to run the country.

    http://globefront.com/2010/12/embracing-centrism-the-answer-to-partisan-hypocrisy/

    Posted by: Rick K. at December 29, 2010 09:36 AM
    Comment #317728

    U.S. State debts & bankruptcy:
    -
    The U.S. Government should raise the retirement age to 200, that way our government won’t have to pay any retirement benefits TO ANYONE, L.O.L. And with those extra trillions of dollars we can bailout our State debts and spend the rest in the Middle East.
    -
    The National of Israel will encourage Christians in the U.S. to start more “unholy wars”) in the Middle East; with our Israeli motto “If you really want to please us, kill an Arab for Jesus”, and at the same time “Bankrupt” America financially in the process (our one world government goal)
    -
    Our Creator God is very much ashamed with individuals or nations who would kill others and presume they are righteous before God in doing so!!! REPENT
    -
    Sincerely,

    ArthurTrafford.com

    Posted by: Arthur Trafford at January 21, 2011 10:43 PM
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