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Week In The News: God Particle, Barclays, Health Care Fallout

Mitt Romney’s tax trap. The God Particle. Barclays bank scandal. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Fireworks streak across the sky near the full moon during a Fourth of July celebration in Kansas City, Kan. Tuesday, July 3, 2012. (AP)

Fireworks streak across the sky near the full moon during a Fourth of July celebration in Kansas City, Kan. Tuesday, July 3, 2012. (AP)

Sweet mystery of life, solved this week at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.  The “god particle,” the “cosmic molasses,” the Higgs boson – found by physicists, we’re told.  Hooray.

Meanwhile, sub-cosmic, Republicans fume as the Romney camp baubles on whether it’s a health care “penalty” or “tax.”  Obama makes his case in the face of rough new jobs numbers.  Another big bank, now Barclays, call its own behavior reprehensible.  And San Diego has a blowout display for the 4th of July.

This hour, On Point:  our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Chrystia Freeland, editor, Thomson Reuters Digital.

Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times.

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Guardian “Ratings agency Moody’s has threatened to downgrade Barclays’ credit rating because of the turmoil at the top of the bank following the Libor scandal, and the difficulty of replacing key senior staff including the former chief executive Bob Diamond.”

The New York Times “The European Central Bank cut its benchmark interest rate to its lowest level ever on Thursday in perhaps its most aggressive move yet to unblock the flow of credit and prevent further deterioration of the euro zone crisis.”

The Daily Dish “The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.”

Video: San Diego Fireworks Flub

A glitch in one of the country’s largest fireworks displays in San Diego on Wednesday, resulted in all the pyrotechnics igniting simultaneously. Check out the result.

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  • nj_v2

    This week’s entries in the Red-State, Whack-Nutter Devolution Sweepstakes:

    (Can’t make this sh*t up)

    Louisiana:

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/loch-ness-monster-used-debunk-evolution-state-funded-190816504.html

    Loch Ness Monster used to debunk evolution in state-funded school

    It sounds like a hoax, but it’s apparently true: The Loch Ness Monster is on the science class syllabus for kids at Eternity Christian Academy in Westlake, Louisiana.

    As reported by the Herald Scotland (which must track all Loch Ness-related news), a school that will receive tax-payer dollars, will teach kids that the mythological sea creature is real in order to debunk the theory of evolution. So pay attention: That will be on the test.

    Eternity Christian Academy uses the  fundamentalist A.C.E. Curriculum to teach students “to see life from God’s point of view.”

    According to the Herald, one textbook, Biology 1099, reads, “Are dinosaurs alive today? Scientists are becoming more convinced of their existence. Have you heard of the ‘Loch Ness Monster’ in Scotland? ‘Nessie’ for short has been recorded on sonar from a small submarine, described by eyewitnesses, and photographed by others. Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur.”

    [clipped]

    Texas:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/johntharvey/2012/07/01/texas-gop-platform/?utm_campaign=20120701&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=topic-investing&partner=obinv

    The Terrifying Texas GOP Platform

    The document (available here) has already made headlines with the portion that opposes the “teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills” and “critical thinking skills.” Although a partial retraction followed, this was in terms of the wording, not the general meaning. It appears that their fear is that these “focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.”

    [clipped]

    South Carolina:
    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/07/05/511153/south-carolina-judge-sentences-drunk-driver-to-bible-study/?mobile=nc

    South Carolina Judge Sentences Drunk Driver To Bible Study

    Circuit Court Judge Michael Nettles attached a rather odd — and unconstitutional — provision to the eight year prison sentence of a drunk driver: amandatory bible study and what is essentially a book report on the Book of Job:Circuit Court Judge Michael Nettles of Rock Hill has included in his sentencing of Cassandra Tolley the assignment of reading through the Book of Job and then writing a summary on the Old Testament Scripture.

    [clipped]

    • GAVANDI_VITTHAL

      GOD PARTICLE DISCOVER FIRST IN INDIA   V T GAVANDI FROM INDIA

      • Drew (GA)

        Call it what it is.

        Higgs boson.

        Can’t fault you for the mislabel though, even OP refuses to get it right. I especially like the way the term came to be, shame people chose to leave the  “damn” part out.

  • JGC

    Big news in the world of physics: The elusive Higgs bosun has been discovered in the course of experiments at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.  

    As everyone knows, the Higgs is the subatomic particle associated with mass.  To unlock the secret of the Higgs is to finally understand  what is the mass of an object acted upon by gravity to make “weight”:   W = mg, where W is weight and m is mass multiplied by g, the gravitational acceleration.

    Little known back story to the excitement of this discovery: In the midst of a heated argument over whose turn it was to flip on the switch of the particle accelerator,  Dr. Rolf Heuer tripped over the foot of Dr. Fabiola Gianotti,  accidentally flinging his Big Gulp into the Hadron Collider.  From this serendipitous event, it can now be concluded Higgs particles are concentrated within sugary drinks, or according to the new equation,

    W = BG (where W is weight, and BG is Big Gulp).  

  • Ed

    We rejoice at the finding of this particle, and we thank God that it was found. (‘That’s the issue with atheists, when something good happens, they have no one to thank”. GK Chesterton.)

    How beautiful creation is made!

    • Newton Whale

      Chesterton faced accusations of anti-Semitism during his lifetime, as well as posthumously. In a work of 1917, titled “A Short History of England,” Chesterton considers the year of 1290, when by royal decree, Edward I expelled Jews from England, an edict not rescinded until 1655. In writing of the official expulsion and banishment of 1290, Chesterton writes that Edward I was “just and conscientious” a monarch never more truly representative of his people than when he expelled the Jews, “as powerful as they are unpopular.” Chesterton writes Jews were “capitalists of their age” so that when Edward “flung the alien financiers out of the land,” he acted as “knight errant,” and “tender father of his people.”
       Chesterton’s hunger for stability and authority led him not only to Rome, but to a rebarbative political philosophy that logically entailed “Jew-hating.” Gopnik argues that Chesterton’s anti-Semitism was not merely casual or customary; it was personal (his brother, Cecil, had been one of the main players in the Marconi Scandal, a small-scale English version of the Dreyfus Affair), and it was programmatic:The trouble for those of us who love Chesterton’s writing is that the anti-Semitism is not incidental: it rises from the logic of his poetic position. The anti-Semitism is easy to excise from his arguments when it’s explicit. It’s harder to excise the spirit that leads to it — the suspicion of the alien, the extreme localism, the favoring of national instinct over rational argument, the distaste for “parasitic” middlemen, and the preference for the simple organ-grinding music of the folk.http://www.commonwealmagazine.org/blog/?p=2117 

      • Ehelmrich

        I attended a talk by Dale Ahlquist, the head of the Chesterton Society in America, and he said that this current biography – and its charge of anti-Semitism – is a way to dismiss Chesterton. He claims that it isn’t true of Chesterton at all.

        I can’t verify or deny your statements above. All I can say is that they could be taken out of context. And that anti-Semitism would be inconsistent with the rest of his writing and thought.

      • Ed

        PS What Chesterton means by tolerance is not what we mean by tolerance – he means that it’s a weakness and mistake to tolerate evil. (We mean we should tolerate everything, evil or not.)

    • Ray in VT

      I thank the scientists who worked on the project and the institutions that funded their research.  Atheists don’t feel the need to assign praise or blame to the supernatural for observable or natural occurances.  That having been said, you’re more than welcome to praise or blame whoever or whatever you like.

    • Yar

      I have this mental image of a cartoon: where two aliens are looking a super nova in the night sky, one says to the other, look another civilization just found the God Particle.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       The term, God particle, is a term of rhetoric, not a proof of the existence or non-existence of a divine being.  This changes nothing with respect to religion.

  • Ed

    The Fortnight 4 Freedom has concluded but we’re still praying for religious freedom to be protected. Amazing we have to do this. But we don’t want radical secularism to be establised as the goverment sponsored religion, we want religious diversity, and we want freedom of conscience.

    • Newton Whale

      Matthew 6:
      5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

      • Ed

        What you hear in secret, shout from the house-tops.

        • Newton Whale

          That’s not God talking to you Ed.
          It’s just the voices in your head.

          • Drew (GA)

            But the burning bush told me it was the voice of God! That wasn’t Metatron in ed’s closet either, Megatron maybe…

    • Hidan

       Pray to Joe Pesci. He has a better rate than Jebus does in answering such Prayers.

  • Yar

    Mitt Romney is correct: healthcare is a tax.  Currently it is a 19 percent tax on our GDP.  It is a tax that is paid with every product or service we buy and it is the most regressive tax in America.  The GOP doesn’t want to call all health care a tax, but it is.  How is the Healthcare tax regressive?
    A person earning 27,000 in compensation and benefits that takes home only 14 thousand because they have to pay 13 thousand to have insurance knows healthcare is a tax.  Their effective tax rate may exceed 50 percent when Mitt’s is only around 15 percent.  
    Some will say low wage workers don’t pay taxes, and while they might not directly pay income tax, they are paying sales taxes, gas taxes, utility taxes, property taxes, (even if they rent because their landlord uses rental income to pay his property taxes) and they are paying the healthcare tax. The fact is that low wage workers pay most taxes, employers are simply collecting their own taxes (and income) off the labor of their workers.  Isn’t that is how they made themselves rich?  They under-value their workers and over-value their own management. Healthcare is a tax and it must be made more progressive and cover everyone.  We should reduce healthcare “taxes” from the current 19 percent of GDP to less than 10 percent.  Now, that is a tax cut I will support!

    • Hidan

       A lot easier to be correct when one takes both sides of the Issue

    • Gregg

      It’s not the GOP that doesn’t want to call it a tax, it’s Obama.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bg-ofjXrXio

      And still yet:

      http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-spokesman-says-president-disagrees-supreme-court-obamacare-decision_648136.html

      Do you think it would have passed if it was sold as a huge tax hike on the middle class?

      • Hidan

         Don’t forget Mitt

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfXE-k-StEI

        Mr. Romney is asking voters to condemn his rival for a health insurance mandate that is nearly identical to the one he championed in Massachusetts. In allying himself after a delay of several days with much of the rest of the Republican Party in labeling Mr. Obama’s mandate a tax, Mr. Romney reduced the chances that he would anger conservatives. But in effect he also asked voters to ignore his own record…

      • Yar

        Good morning Gregg, The GOP wants to call the penalty for not buying healthcare a tax, not healthcare itself!  I am claiming healthcare is 19 percent tax on GDP,  and that the middle class are already paying it. 

      • Hidan

         Radio Vice eh?

        Dude sure loves Fox news

        http://www.youtube.com/user/radiovice

        • Gregg

          The clip was from ABC, what are you talking about?

          • Hidan

            The Channel where you got your info from.

      • Don_B1

        It ISN’T a huge tax increase on the middle class; it is a small “tax penalty” which will be paid only by less than 1% of the population who for various (selfish) reasons do not want to take responsibility for their potential liabilities should they have severe health problems. And Congress had a long debate about what Constitutional power should be invoked and along with the Commerce Clause, the taxing powers were invoked. Since Republicans had called the failure to obey the mandate was a penalty not a tax, it was thoroughly reasonable, particularly when the Republicans, as they are doing, would mischaracterize the whole issue. But Obama’s Solicitor General Donald Verrilli stated clearly that the mandate penalty fell within the taxing power of the Congress in his argument to the Supreme Court.

        And as Jack just made clear, the taxes that the Republicans are calling “huge” are on the “premium insurance” plans that are typically available to only C-level executives or maybe just slightly below them. Those are perks that are a income perk for high earners and should not be subsidized in the tax code by everyone else.

  • Hidan

    Looks like Mitt is turning Tricks again.

    Gotta watch the ad that the Right did against John Kerry.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oThH-MNCsYw

    Maybe the Dem’s can do the same for Mitt since it’s far worst and has no moral basis and will literally say anything.

  • Yar

    The financial industry taxes us as well.  It taxes the flow of money,  Barclays and other banks manipulation of the LIBOR is just one example how the financial industry taxes the rest of us.  High frequency trades and computer manipulation of the market are also a tax the flow of money.  We pay 3 percent or more to use a debt card, we are paying a tax.  We even pay the tax when we use cash!  It is already added to the price of goods and services.
    It is taxation without representation.
    Now is the time to clean house and elect citizen representatives who agree not to take lobby money or trade in the market while in office.
    We can do this, we can take our Congress from the bankers and insurance industries.
    Register (to Vote) to win.
    Vote! Don’t listen to the TV, find a local citizen and support them as your congressional Representative.  Help clean the House!

    • Drew (GA)

      Taxation Without Representation is what set our Founding Fathers off yet if you add up all the taxes the average American currently pays the percentage of income is higher than the one that sparked the revolution. It’s been that way for a little while now but none seem to be that bothered by the situation. We won’t even get into the lack of Representation, nothing could demonstrate that more than the last several years of Congressional Action (or lack there of).

      • Ray in VT

         I’ve heard it said, though, that at the time of the Revolution, the colonists were some of the least taxed and most lightly governed people on the planet.  Ironically, some of the taxes that they were opposing were levied in order to help pay for the cost of a world war that the colonists started.

        • Drew (GA)

          We love doing things that rape our self-interest don’t we? I think humanity must collectively hate itself and despise it’s own existence. We bite the hand then grow incensed when it repeatedly slaps us in the face. Damn that personal gain principle, Star-Trek would have nothing on us if we could just get over ourselves.

    • Don_B1

      A “house-cleaning” is needed, but it is unreasonable (and potentially disastrous) to expect to replace everyone in one election. But consider what “replacing” representatives did in the 2010 election: an 80-member block of Tea-Republicans have only further removed the ability of the Congress to affect positively the future of this country and the world.

      There are two major crises the country MUST face within the next year:

      1) Stimulate the economy in a way that benefits the middle and lower class through job and wage growth.

      2) Acknowledge the threat that Climate Change is and build on Obama’s tentative steps to put in place incentives and regulations that will turn this country and the rest of the world (which IS watching closely to see what we are doing, not what we are saying) away from fossil fuels and toward alternative and sustainable energy sources which are currently available at reasonable cost, and for which the costs will be reduced further as they are developed.

      Look at those two goals: the Republicans are adamantly AGAINST both:

      a) Their economic platform is more of the same tax cuts and deregulation that brought on the financial crisis in that by increasing the income of the super rich who wanted high rates of return in a low-growth economy where worker wage gain was stagnant led the big investment banks to misuse derivatives to attempt to meet that demand while making themselves rich also. The Republican approach has never been shown, with a diminished union power, to provide wage gains for the average worker.

      b) The Republicans are wedded to acting on every whim of the fossil fuel industry which sees great wealth (for them, not the average citizen) in extracting oil and gas (note that the cost of coal burning plants is rising world-wide, driving down the price of coal at the mine). The only reason that America has had the democratic success that has eluded other countries such as those in the Middle East or Nigeria, etc., in Africa with economies dominated by extraction of resources is that America developed a democratic tradition while it was largely agrarian and BEFORE the large-scale extractive industries took full root. Note how the gas (and oil) “fracking” companies are lying about the methane leak rates from their wells and the inherent liability of the cement “seals” needed to prevent leaking for centuries.

      Therefore, while the Democratic Party is no panacea, and contains many individuals of persuasions only slightly different from the Republicans, the Republicans are currently the party which presents the major “present danger.”

      It would therefore be best for the country if as many Republicans as possible were removed from office at all levels, from local to state to Congress, this fall.

      But that MUST be followed by letters and demonstrations that show the newly elected that those two goals must be their first concerns or they will be similarly removed at the next election. One or two such rounds, if successful, could put this country back on the right track.

      A third problem is the financing system for campaigns, which must be made primarily public. If the current dysfunction and struggle for power does not convince voters that much of the problem is the fear that legislators justifiably have of doing anything “courageous” on retaining their positions IS the main reason for Congress’s poor performance, then the country is lost to the power of money and the oligarchs who wield it for their own, and nobody else’s, benefit.

      • Yar

        If Grover Norquest can get candidates to pledge not to raise taxes, then why can’t we get candidates to pledge not to take any money from the lobbyists or trade in the market while in office?
        I am for replacing any legislator that doesn’t see the money and influence of outside groups as a problem. If we get a slate of independent candidates to sign such a pledge, I think many current members would sign as well.
        We are in a real crisis and we need real leadership, this is the best way I know to promote it.
        I believe in the democratic system, but also believe it is dependent on an informed and empowered citizens. I propose a grass roots campaign in each house district. Just the campaign will change the behavior of those currently in office.

  • Hidan

     Shamir Remembered–With Selective Amnesia

    Neither CNN  or MSNBC mentioned Shamir’s terrorist past, but the Post offered a taste of the bloody history with a couple of paragraphs on Shamir’s leadership of Lehi (AKA the Stern Gang), the most extreme Jewish militia in Palestine in the 1940s:    While mainstream Zionist groups forged a truce with the British to combat Nazism during World War II, Mr. Shamir and Lehi fought on, even offering to cooperate with the Germans to rid Palestine of British rule.    Mr. Shamir was the architect of Lehi’s most daring attack, the 1944 assassination in Cairo of Lord Moyne, Britain’s top Middle East official and a close friend of Prime Minister Winston Churchill.”

    • Hidan

       http://www.fair.org/blog/#post-21538

  • Hidan

     Corporate Media Untells the ALEC Story

    To help settle that dispute between ALEC and its many critics,
    correspondent Mark Strassmann talked to only one source:  Chip Rogers,
    who just so happens to be ALEC’s national treasurer and the Georgia
    State Senate majority leader. So Rogers could, without challenge, tell
    the group’s story of beleaguered corporations that must “continually
    look over their shoulders to protect themselves from an onerous
    government.”

    http://www.fair.org/blog/#post-21521

  • Drew (GA)

    LIBOR should be the only thing on the table for the moment. The Moneychangers ARE the problem, time to start kickin over some tables folks.

  • Sean

    Boy, does Mitt think you’re dumb!

    Mitt said, “All I have to do is talk about the economy… if I just do that, I’ll win.”

    I guess no one needs to hear ANYTHING resembling an idea from Romney, about ANY policy area whatever!

    So long as any moron criticizes the incumbent, he should win!

    Right Republicans??!!

    • Drew (GA)

      “Boy, does Mitt think you’re dumb!”

      The fact that Romney is a Presidential Candidate seems to prove his assumption right.

      • John_in_Amherst

        The great Catch 22 of American politics:  If you are crazy & egotistical enough to want the presidency, you are too crazy to be president.

        • Drew (GA)

          Nice. The only people who should ever be in power are those who have no desire to be.

    • Brandstad

      The fact that about 50% of Americans’ still have hope that Obama will fix the economy even though he didn’t even try during the two years he controlled every branch of government and deserves a second term is proof enough how dumb some Americans are.
       
      If he failed for his first 4 years, why will he succeed in his second?
       
      If you think his first 4 years was successful, why has he implemented the worst economic recovery since the great depression?
       

      • Sean

        I take it you’re running as a Republican too?

        All bluster and no substance, yet again!

        • Brandstad

          I agree that Romney isn’t a great candidate, but he does beat Obama in the following categories: leadership experience, Business experience, never been friends with terrorists, never attended a church that preached hate, and at least he is not a Socialist!

          • Ray in VT

            Well, Obama’s not a socialist either.  I don’t see him going around nationalizing banks and other industries out of some ideological drive.

            Leadership experience, sure, Romney’s got that, although there are some things that Bain did, like raiding employee pension funds and dumping the employees on the taxpayers, that Romney would rather not talk about.  They made quite a bit of money, but some of the ways that Bain did it were pretty reprehensible.

            “Paling around with terrorists” again?  Was Bill Ayers ever prosecuted for his alleged crimes?  If there was a case, then wouldn’t some enterprizing prosecutor have brought him up on charges?

            Preaching hate?  Are you aware that people of African descent were considered to be sub-human mud people until 1979 by the LDS?  I’d call that preaching hate.

          • kelty

            leadership experience – yes, if you count leading people in bullying others
            Business experience – in shipping jobs overseas and gutting companies for profit
            Never been friends with terrorists -do felons & corporate raiders count?
            never attended a church that preached hate – LDS/Mormons are on record for hating gays and blacks
            and at least he is not a Socialist – neither is our current President if you understand the meaning of the word which apparently you do not, but that isn’t very surprising coming from you.

          • Brandstad

            It is obvious you don’t know much about Romney’s business experience.  His company bought failing businesses that were on track for bankruptcy and turned them around by cutting some jobs to save the majority, and restructuring the companies debt so they paid less interest on their loans.
             
            Socialism   /ˈsoʊʃəlɪzəm/ ”is an economic system characterized by social ownership and/or control of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy.” 
             
            The presidents solution to the healthcare system is to socialize it by taking complete control over something like 16% of the US economy!  Please name another US president to take control over 10% or more of the US economy!
             
            Socialists believe the government can control and solve economic problems better than the private sector.  Please name some areas of the economy that Obama has encouraged the private sector to correct by reducing regulation and cutting through red tape to allow the private sector to work faster to correct their problems.

          • kelty

            So many things wrong with your post I don’t even know where to start, but that is your mode anyways, throw out a bunch of garbage and see what sticks. Once the lie is out there, its hard to say its a lie, people just say “well I read it somewhere, so it must be true”

          • GetReal

            Have you ever lived in Massachusetts??
            He was a crappy governor that couldn’t be re-elected.

          • Brandstad

            Obama couldn’t be elected governor either!

          • BHA in Vermont

             1) (For GetReal – just don’t want to post twice) Romney didn’t seek re-election so we don’t know if he would have had a second term.
            2)  (For Branstad) We don’t know that either. Obama was elected to the Illinois State Senate and re-elected twice. He was elected to the US Senate. Historically that would place him pretty well in a run for governor.

          • BHA in Vermont

             1) Running the government isn’t the same as running a business. And Romney didn’t RUN the businesses Bain Capital funded.
            2) You are going WAY out on a thin thread suggesting Obama is friends with terrorists. Your suggestion would be that he is a terrorist or actively supports terrorists?
            3) As with #2. Yes Reverend Wright made some pretty inflammatory statements but that doesn’t mean every sermon every Sunday was offensive and it doesn’t mean that President Obama was even at the services in question. Like the ‘Birthers movement’ argument, this one is DOA.
            4) Being socially conscious is not the same as being a Socialist.

          • TFRX

            So much for that whole “moderate swing voter” thing you’ve been trying to craft.

      • BHA in Vermont

         The American public voted for GWB and his “cut taxes to make the rich richer, start wars with no funding” economic policies TWICE. The economy was in the sewer when he left office.

        The only decent idea he had while in office was the concept of a REAL ‘guest worker’ policy and he didn’t push for it.

        That shows how stupid ‘we’ are.

      • TFRX

        The worst recovery since the Depression was the one Shrub gave us.

        Try harder. Or don’t bother.

      • Steve_T

         Wow what a twister, Dumb Americans’ I give that  award to you!

      • John in Amherst

         Even in his first two years, Obama DID NOT control the congress, because the GOP adopted a strategy in which a supermajority was required to pass legislation and approve nominees.  The GOP lost the election in 2008, then decided they were through playing, took the ball and went home, in hopes that the resulting failure in governance would be hung around Obama’s neck.  A politician’s job is to work out compromises.  The GOP basically abdicated on their responsibilities for the last 4 years, and should, by Mitt’s game plan, be given the pink slip.

      • Don_B1

        Obama at best “controlled” the three branches for at most 14 weeks between the swearing in of Al Franken and the election of Scott Brown with a number of weeks without a MA senator and the refusal of Joe Lieberman to support him, particularly on the health-care bill. During that time the Senate in particular was working full steam, with Republican obstruction, on health care.

        What could have been a better ARRA was watered down to get the Republican Senator Arlen Spector and Senators Snow and Collins for “cover.” A larger initial stimulus bill was critical for jump starting a stronger recovery. The Republicans have been able to prevent all but a couple small additional stimulative features in the various “debt reduction” bills allowed by the Republicans since.

  • Greyman

    Uninspiring President inspires uninspired employment numbers: details at 10:00 (ff.). Also: any thought that the near-discovery of an almost-Higgslike particle might be sending us all epistemologically back to the late 16th or early 17th centuries? (Sounds like a lot of recalibration must ensue.) And a 29-second Fourth of July fireworks display must have left a good 23 hours 59 minutes and 31 seconds for other celebrating, although audio compression software still labors to squash entire J. P. Sousa tunes down to 9- or 10-second files.

  • Brandstad

    Non-Farm payroll numbers disapoint again.  Now 80% of the developed world show retracting economies.  If nothing changes we are headed for a double dip.

    • Don_B1

      And it will be the Republican Party’s fault for obstructing Obama’s efforts to prevent it. Just like the second recession during FDR’s fight to recover from the Great Depression, austerity measures implemented before the recover had gained a strong growth trend lead to a second dip in 1937 and the whole world is repeating it now, which is causing the world-wide slow down.

  • Brandstad

    Unemployment rate for blacks jumps to 14.4%…This should be another demographic longing for the good days when Bush was in office!

    • interested1d

      I would suggest you read “The End of Wall Street” or “Griftopia”.  The current employment rates are directly related to the recession caused by Bush/Greenspan/Gramm economics and deregulation of derivatives.

      • Greyman

        Oh, you mean Bush/Greenspan/Gramm/Rubin/Pelosi/Clinton economics and deregulation, yes, I see your point.

        • ilovedogs792

          Agree there are guilty parties on all sides.  However, I suggest that, “but for” the actions of Gramm (as chair of the Senate Banking Committee) and Greenspan and the intense lobbying of the banking industry, the Commodities Futures Modernization Act (largely freeing derivatives from regulatory oversight) would not have passed in Senate in the waning days of the Clinton Admin.

          During the Bush Admin, when the writing was on the wall about the danger flowing from derivatives, derivatives of derivatives (CDO,s) and swaps, Greenspan et al stuck their collective heads in the sand, repeating the mantra that the free market in derivatives would regulate itself (WOW!).

          Meanwhile, anyone with even a lick of common sense could see that the rating agencies were in the pocket of the banks whose products they were rating.

          Junk mortgage bonds were being sliced and diced and layered in order to produce triple A bonds.  And yet regulators charged with oversight of the agencies looked the other way.

          This happened for 8 years until the ultimate collapse of the US economy. 

          Now, with Citizens United, I am sure we will be able to spread the blame for future harms more equally on both parties, since they are all being bought and sold, except for Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

          My democratic congressional rep, Owens NY, just crossed the aisle on the vote to hold Holder in contempt.  I suggest he wants to keep his NRA rating up.  I also received a disappointing email from him.  He does not support a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens.    

          • Greyman

            “Socialists aren’t for sale”? Whatever do you mean?

          • ilovedogs792

            Greyman – Our whole system of governance is now on the chopping block.  He who gets the most PAC support and campaign contributions wins.  It is now becoming all about how much propaganda money can buy.  And we know who has the money.  

            Unless the system is reformed or voters develop more critical thinking skills, you can kiss democracy good by…. or should I say good “buy”. Who is for sale?  Seems like nearly everyone.Only the most principled and dedicated individual politicians (oxymoron eh?) aren’t for sale.  But whether those individuals can survive the onslaught of special interest dollars is yet to be seen.

          • Greyman

            Of course socialists are for sale: “they are red and they are hot, is it not so, or are they not?”

          • ilovedogs792

            You are not greyman
            if your handle is greyman. Right?

            Regulating the
            banking industry is not socialism.

            Market systems
            involving instruments like stocks, bonds and derivatives, require regulation,
            otherwise the fundamentals of the assets and trades will not be made
            transparent, no matter the sophistication of the at risk party to the
            transaction.

            If you can’t read
            the books I suggested in the prior post, at least look at these
            links:

            http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/talking-wall-street-corruption-libor-scandal-with-eliot-spitzer-20120706

            http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-scam-wall-street-learned-from-the-mafia-20120620

            Fox, something you
            probably believe in:

            http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/taibbi-on-imus-how-municipal-bond-rigging-robbed-americans-of-billions-20120621

            Not meaning to be redundant but Matt Taibbia  (sp?) is covering the story better than anyone on the market right now.

            Have a great weekend
            and renounce your affiliation to the tea party at your earliest convenience.  ;
            )

        • Don_B1

          So where did you get Pelosi in this mix? It was Rep. Ewing (R, Il) that did yeoman work in the House to write and pass the Commodities Futures Modernization Act of 2000 . And it was the eponymously named Gramm-Leech-Bliley bill that repealed what was left of Glass-Steagall. All the people listed here are REPUBLICANS.

          The CFMA notoriously opened the loophole that allowed Enron to rip off the electrical generation utility industry to California’s detriment in particular. That loophole was only closed in 2008 over Republican objections.

  • Brandstad

    Lights go dim on another Obama energy project…

    A geothermal energy company with a $98.5 million loan guarantee from the Obama administration for an alternative energy project in Nevada — which received hearty endorsements from Energy Secretary Steven Chuand Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid — faces financial problems, and the company’s auditors have questioned whether it can stay in business.
    Much like Solyndra LLC, a California solar-panel manufacturer with a $535 million federal loan guarantee that went bankrupt, Nevada Geothermal Power (NGP) has incurred $98 million in net losses over the past several years, has substantial debts and does not generate enough cash from its current operations after debt-service costs, an internal audit said.

    The Green Energy agenda seems to be a looser so far….

  • Brandstad

    While the overall U.S. unemployment rate is unchanged, today’s jobs reports shows that minorities are still getting hit much harder by the jobs crisis — and its getting worse for African Americans. 

    The unemployment rate for black Americans jumped up to 14.4 percent in June, from 13.6 percent the previous month. By comparison, white unemployment remained consistent at 7.4 percent. Hispanic and Latino unemployment was unchanged at 11 percent. 

    Even more alarming is the unemployment rate among black youth, ages 16-19, jumped a full 2.8 points, to 39.3 percent. That’s nearly double the 20.9 percent unemployment rate for whites in the same age demographic. 

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/black-teen-unemployment-rate-jobs-report-2012-7#ixzz1zqruNnlm

  • Mark

    The only thing that is genuine about Mitt Romney is his insincerity.

  • Chris

    Question of healthcare fallout:

    I think I understand that Justice Roberts’ majority decision upheld the Affordable Care Act on the basis of the tax and spending clause, but the part of his opinion rejecting the commerce clause rationale was joined neither by the four conservative dissenters nor by the four liberal justices (with Justice Ginsburg rejecting it explicitly in a separate opinion).

    So, my question is: Was Justice Roberts’ opinion rejecting the commerce clause rationale simple dicta, and non-precedential?

    Chris, Baltimore, MD

  • BHA in Vermont

    Why isn’t Bobby Jindal at home in Louisiana doing the job he was elected to and being PAID to do instead of following the President around the campaign trail? He isn’t a vice presidential candidate (may be in the future, who knows). The tax payers of Louisiana are not getting their tax monies worth.

    • TFRX

      First, I don’t trust a single number out of Bobby Jindal’s mouth.

      However, to paraphrase Ted Williams (attributed), “If you don’t govern so good, you shouldn’t govern so much.”

      Maybe Louisianans are getting the best from Jindal when he’s out of state.

      • kelty

        It certainly worked for Romney. Pissed off the people in MA when he dissed the state all over the country through.

        • TFRX

          “Respect you in the morning?” Romney told Bay Staters on election night in Boston. “Hell, I don’t respect you now!”

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

     Romney is a candidate, not an office-holder.  At the moment, all he can do is talk.

    • Drew (GA)

      And some seem to think that will change once he’s in office. Snake-Oil salesmen are the best talkers on the planet, doesn’t make their “product” any more valuable though.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        Name an American president that your comment does not apply to over the last several decades.

        • Drew (GA)

          We both know there isn’t one.

  • jim

    I completely disagree with your panels that the jobs number is bad. the creation of 80k+ jobs last month is quite impressive considering what we had to deal with after a financial meltdown. I do not think Romney can even come close to the performance of these number if he were to run this country in this environment. Other parts of the world is facing a more dire problem. 

    At end… at least we are CREATING jobs, not destroying them. 

    • Don_B1

      If Romney should win the presidency, the likely reason would be that Democrats did not get out to vote or were suppressed from voting. Either of these would mean that Republicans probably would win more seats in the House and Senate, which would mean that if these new members are Tea-Republicans, there would be next to zero chance of much stimulus passing an a big chance of more austerity being passed, which Romney will have to veto based on his correct understanding that job creation in the short to medium term will NOT occur with that type of legislation. Romney demonstrated that knowledge in his interview with Time’s Mark Halperin a couple weeks ago.

  • Greyman

    Of course, the June numbers might’ve read 80,120, had solar-panel manufacturer Abound Solar (freshly fed $68 million in Federal spending, courtesy of our President) not declared bankruptcy. (Cumulatively, is Obama feeding more bankruptcies through “investment” and “stimulus” than Romney was able to engineer when leading Bain Capital?)

    • Brandstad

      This is another example of Obama betting on America!  It is too bad we never asked him to gamble with our tax dollars!

    • TFRX

      Lemme guess: You’re full of HotAir.

      Strangely, when you post some stuff here without links there’s meaning gone missing.

      Aren’t you forgetting the four Indiana GOP congresscritters who begged for the money?

      And this was from a special high-risk pool.

      Indiana’s GOP governor, Mitch Daniels, supported an $11.85 million tax
      credit for the firm, and “two Abound investors were major Republican
      donors who have given more than $100,000 to Republicans in the last few
      years.” according to reports in the National Review.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/29/business/energy-environment/abound-solar-says-it-will-file-for-bankruptcy.html?_r=2

      • Greyman

        No: I’m only half-full of half-cold air. (Physics is being reconstrued, haven’t you heard?)

        • TFRX

          HotAir is a blog where people get something they pass off as information.

          The NYTimes and National Review (wow! that’s rare) are more fact-based than your desire to ret-con this as Obama’s problem.

          • Greyman

            Jocularly or seriously, risibly or with earnest metrics, you can’t argue, can you, this far in that Obama has in fact fueled a thriving “green economy”, can you? A green economy, to speak of, would be Obama’s singlehanded creation: since we know odious republicans would never consent to any such creation, Obama could take ALL the credit for creation of a green economy . . . if such an economy in fact existed in the summer of 2012. The contemporary domestic solar industry in the US really doesn’t look to be thriving, but if you have the data to support a contrary view, please share. Obama cannot simply blame republicans for failure to create a green economy: but has he actually racked up the metrics that show that he has singlehandedly launched THE stellar energy policy that will sail the US economy through the remaining nine decades of the 21st century? We have more oil than sunlight from Obama, you could say.

          • TFRX

            Pfft.

            The GOP, “fiscal conservatives” all, get to keep that label no matter how many times they go to the public trough.

            If it weren’t for that fact, I might listen to the “I’m not a Republican”s from the right who say they’re concerned about this stuff. No matter how much you care to hype little numbers.

            Well, that, and your media sources are suspect. It discolors your entire framing. This isn’t The Network News where they’re afraid of being called liberal, so are slaves to Politico (andthereforeDrudge).

          • Greyman

            “pft4pft” makes a fine motto this season.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Somewhere, probably here, I heard that the growth in the 20th century, for the USA, was due to increasing the labor force — adding the baby boom post World War II, and adding women, for instance, which I’m thinking resulted from electrical appliances and chemicals and other things which freed up women to do other things — plus the efficiencies in from computers — in communication and digital management.  
        And we don’t have a big boost in the labor force on the horizon.  And the computer revolution may have yielded its best.  Besides that, our growth now is more of a comparative thing.  We can become more efficient, but can we increase efficiency faster than Brazil, India, China?
       The population issue, additional consumers, additional workers — what we’ve got is more senior citizens.  And this is true in a number off countries.  How can that be a plus?
       It seems to me the increase in older people is an increase in the work force if you can persuade them to work.  Once it was considered a threat to have women employed.  They’d take jobs from others.  So which is it?  How to get older people to work, if they have Social Security and pensions?  Oh, hollow out those retirement securities.  Then see what happens.      What about the unemployment rate?  What indeed.  Supposedly workers are an advantage to a country, and have been an advantage since long before corporations existed, with or without “voice.”

  • Brandstad

    ‘FU** THE POLICE’: OCCUPIERS CELEBRATE 4TH OF JULY BY…BURNING AMERICAN FLAGS AND VANDALIZING POLICE PROPERTY

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/fu-the-police-occupiers-celebrate-4th-of-july-march-by-burning-american-flags-and-vandalizing-police-property/

  • Drew (GA)

    “It depends on which Mitt Romney you want to listen to.”

    Statement of the day right there.

    Come on Round Table, this is just more of the same Election Year BS we get all day every day. Please get to LIBOR, I’m dying to hear Mr. Beatty’s take on the matter.

  • Livin_Large

    ALL I WANT TO KNOW is when we’re going to see Romney’s income tax returns for the past several years. The rest is a smokescreen.

    • BHA in Vermont

      You don’t need to see them.

      The one he popped out is very likely quite representative of those prior. Tens of millions made doing ZERO work (blind trust) and the absolute minimum number of dollars spent on taxes using legal loopholes and tax breaks available only to the people who do not need them – the very rich.

    • Brandstad

      ALL I WANT TO KNOW is who approved of and knew about the Fast & Furious program and why they thought it would be successful! Not to mention what was it supposed to succeed in doing?

      • jimino

        I would start your inquiry with John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales.  It was hatched while they were in charge.

      • Livin_Large

        Ronald Reagan and Oliver North and John Poindexter — oh no wait — that was Ayatollah Khomeini that got the guns!~ Sheesh you guys are so two-faced and predictable!

  • BHA in Vermont

    re. San Diego fireworks show:
    Big finales are exciting, but most people like the show to last a bit longer than 15 seconds :)  Sadly, the observers likely originally thought it was a big start to a BIG show.

    • Drew (GA)

      They say it was a Computer Glitch, I think it’s far more likely that a Cracker was involved and perhaps even a program developed by our own benevolent Government. That’s not Conspiracy Theory, more like common sense.

      • BHA in Vermont

         Oh PLLEEAASSEE. Yeah, I am REAL sure some government entity would spend the time to hack the San Diego fireworks show.

        • Drew (GA)

          I didn’t say a Government entity, I said “perhaps even a program developed by our own benevolent Government.”

          I don’t think any Governmental Agency was directly responsible, but I definitely think it could have been an “escaped” and possibly modified program. Or it could have been an ID10T error. Either way No, I don’t think Government set off the fireworks early. Stupidity or a malicious prankster were more likely responsible. I’m not a member of the Tin-Foil Hat Brigade.

  • atakemoto

    Do you really think it matters to me if you call it a tax or a penalty?  Either way, I’m being forced to support for profit insurance companies who care more about the bottom line than the health care of the individuals they are covering.

    • Don_B1

      But at least most of their bad practices are prohibited, like denying coverage (for a procedure or after discovery of an expensive disease), or spend more than 20% of premium income on advertising and wages, etc.

  • Armidalm

    I am willing to endure four years of having Rommey in the White House. If this man and his team perform in such in such a mediocre fashion as they are currently doing, notwithstanding millions of dollars in contribution to his favor and the slow economy recovery, and the promise is that Rommey and his team will still do worst before November, I am assure that his four years in the White House will sink the GOP in oblivion for a long term. 

    • BHA in Vermont

       Except that we rats have no way to leave the country he would be sinking at the same time.

      And, you might note the short memory of the American voter. 4 years of GWB was bad and he got reelected. The second 4 years were disastrous yet approximately half the voters want to do it again with Romney.

      • Drew (GA)

        I could be wrong but I’m willing to bet that if President Obama were white and Republican his actions while in office would have made him a hero with the Grand Ol’ Party full of Good Ol’ Boys.

        • TFRX

          Hell, if he were a black Republican, he’d be lionized by the Beltway Inbreds. He might not even need to worry about winning over the bulk of white males in your state.

          David Brooks, if one can stomach reading him, seems to long for a candidate that proposes everything President Obama wants. With the exception of that nasty (D) after his name.

          And we all know Brooks is the gatekeeper to moderate-sounding acceptability.

    • Guest

      When I read “If this man and his team perform in such in such a mediocre fashion as they are currently doing, notwithstanding millions of dollars in contribution to his favor and the slow economy recovery,” I thought you had switched to talking about President Obama.

  • GTopulos

    DON’T CALL IT A God particle!!!

    Who cares tax or penalty it’s better health

    • Drew (GA)

      I’d be fine with it being called The God Particle if they’d throw the damn back in there. If not, Higgs boson should be the only way it is referred to. That’s no fun though I guess.

  • Bethrjacobs
  • Ellen Dibble

    I heard that the health insurance deduction is going to disappear on the IRS forms.  Currently, a self-insured such as myself finds herself deducting something like $9,000 a year, or the percentage of that which is the tax.  And I understand that is disappearing.  So that seems to me to be a tax.

    • Brandstad

      Health Savings Accounts are also now not legal.  I loved using my HSA.  It allowed me to save a lot of money.

  • TomK in Boston

    The economy needs gvt spending and the TeaOP won’t let it happen, end of story. Over 100K teaching jobs were eliminated in the past year thanks to local gvt austerity. Meanwhile the romney class is doing just fine as financial con games continue to dominate the economy and corporations redistribute $ from workers to their executives. We are truly screwed and will be even more screwed if we elect a financial con man to fix a system broken by financial con games.

    It’s pretty funny to see Etchasketch denouncing his own “personal responsibility incentive”. He is massively on record that using the tax code to is the right way to deal with the free loaders. Truly an amazing liar and chameleon.

    • Brandstad

      How did we get out of the worst recession since the great depression at the end of the Carter administration?  Did we spend our way out of it?

      Did we spend our way out of the recession in the early 1990′s?

      When was the last time that government spending brought us out of a recession?

      • jimino

        Reagan and Clinton raised taxes and the end of those respective recessions soon followed.

      • Ray in VT

        Well, we certainly didn’t cut our way out of it, at least at the Federal level.  Here is Federal spending for the following fiscal years (in millions):

        1979: $504,028
        1980: $590,941
        1981: $578,241
        1982: $745,743
        1983: $806,354

        That certainly looks to me like a large increase in Federal government spending.

        There were smaller spending increases through George H.W. Bush’s term, and there were also tax increases.

        Government spending sure as hell ultimately brought an end to the Great Depression, for what was World War II if not the greatest government spending program ever?

      • Don_B1

        Recessions come in different flavors and require different approaches/solutions to drive quick recoveries. Ray in VT shows that spending was increased both during the final years of the Carter administration and the first term of the Reagan administration which compensated somewhat for the FED-driven recession, caused by the increase in interest rates to fight excessive inflation. But because the FED had created the recession by raising interest rates, as soon as they were lowered the economy shortly recovered. And while the previous recessions did not all have explicit stimulus packages, they did not cut public spending and employment. See:

        http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2012/04/ideology-and-facts-in-the-economic-policy-debate.html

        and

        http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/25/american-austerity/

        And then read the following for more on false comparisons of the recoveries from the Reagan and Obama (really the Bush) recessions:

        http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/11/reagan-obama-recovery/

        But Branstad can read this as often as once a day and not have any of it penetrate at least to the point of not repeating his false claims, which he continually does to try to mislead the economic novice.

    • TFRX

      It’s funnier to hear Romney talk about his plan for the economy. Something about a pipeline where the pollution and risk will be here forever, but the jobs will be pretty much gone after it’s built.

      Seriously, this man doesn’t sound like a CEO of a real business. He can’t even say the word “demand”.

  • Sean

    Yes, Christia, “there are cuts and increases that balance out” in the Affordable care Act, but after the revenue balances, 30 million more people are covered!!!

    Neutral revenue, but MUCH BETTER coverage!!!!

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       I’ve yet to see that.  Rather than hope, I prefer proof.

      • Sean

        You can either take the word of the CBO or not.

        … But since you’re a genius who will understand the “proof” when you see it, then you ought to know you won’t see the “proof” AT LEAST until the provisions of the Affordable Care Act actually kick in!!

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           That leads me to wonder why you have such faith in something that hasn’t taken effect.  I’ve seen lots of promised boons in my decades of watching politics, and I’ve seen most of them fall flat.  As I said above, I’ll be pleased if the reform works.  I’d have more hope if there had been a public option.  But I’ll wait to see.

          • Sean

            It makes me wonder why you think you’re so much more able to jugdge, ON NOTHING, that the CBO is wrong in its calculations.

            I take them at their word.

          • Sean

            BTW, I agree, OF COURSE, that the public option was THE answer… unfortunately, there’s NO WAY in hell the attempt would have gotten past Republican obstructionism.

            It would have been absurd for the President to have wasted THAT kind of effort on something that would have predictably ended in deadlock!

            We’re LUCKY Obama got through The Affordable Care Act, if the CBO numbers are anywhere near accurate… and they’re the best numbers we have!

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             You have a lot of faith in the CBO.  I have little faith.

            But since healthcare reform was passed with Democratic support only, Democrats are the ones to blame for the lack of a public option.  My now former (I’m glad to say) Senator, Blanche Lincoln, was involved in killing the public option.  She wanted to be reelected in a red state.  She lost.

          • Sean

            OK… I just wanted to be sure you somehow think you’re smarter than all those “experts” employed at the CBO.

            But I’m sorry to tell you that your absurd claim that Dems are somehow responsible for the fact that Republicans are uber-obstructionists, of late, casts some little doubt on your genius.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             And what of yours?  Name one Republican who voted for the act.  Killing the public option was an effort to win Republican support.

          • Don_B1

            That wasNEVER going to happenin this universe, and you SHOULD know that.

          • Don_B1

            While Republican obstructionism was necessary, the refusal of either Sen. Lieberman (I, CT) or Sen. B. Nelson (D, NB) to support a public option was also necessary and both opposed it.

          • Brandstad

            Can you name the last time the CBO estimate of the cost of a government program was less  than the program ended up costing?

            I didn’t think so because it is always the opposite.

          • Don_B1

            Just for starters, look up the costs for cutting pollution from power plants, using Cap & Trade. They ALL came in early and under cost.

    • Brandstad

      How do you get better coverage when your doctors, nurses and hospitals get paid less and have to see more patients?

      Do you do a better job at work when your work load is increased?

      • jimino

        Why don’t you ask all the other employees who, for several decades now,  have had to do more with less, and for less money, as a result of the trickle down economics you constantly praise?

        Or does your economic “principle” only apply to high income earners?

      • Don_B1

        The doctors and nurses DON’T get paid less and have to see more patients. They are incentivized to order less tests and do less procedures when it can be shown that there is no benefit derived from those tests and procedures. And hospitals will have lower expenses if they do less.

    • Brandstad
  • Livin_Large

    It would be good if one of your experts talked about the $1.1 billion refund of unearned excess premium (>20% margin). I believe the checks should be mailed this month….

  • Ellen Dibble

    The shopping around that can be done with the kind of offerings in Massachusetts involves whether you want a $5,000 deductible, whether you want to deal with an HMO or an individual doctor, whether you want co-pays of this sort or that.  It’s financial gambling, but it doesn’t deal with the kind of competition that would give me useful choices.  I would like to choose to make sure I can have nurse’s aides in my home daily rather than going to a hospital, for instance.  The government has “panels” which determine what I end up paying out of pocket, and that applies across ALL the competition.  In some instances, I think I don’t want to be in the same pool as the idiots who end up needing or wanting this or that.  But there are lobbies that demand that everybody have that.

    • Don_B1

      That is one of the improvements that can come from the analysis developed by the Advisory Panels.

  • Thinkin15

    Calling the mandate for those who don’t buy health care a “tax on the middle class” is like calling a parking ticket a tax on the middle class. Absurd and a stupid political tactic that only fools will fall for.

    • Beez

      The problem is the disproportionate amount of fools

  • L-sigmund

    If Romney is elected, he won’t overturn Obamacare.  He knows he can’t fix the economy unless Obamacare is in place.  The right wing will be angry at him, he’ll drag his feet and ultimately won’t do it.  

    • Don_B1

      But that may depend on what happens in Congress. If the Republicans take control of the Senate and even just hold their own in the House, it would take a Romney veto to preserve the PPACA.

  • imjust Sayin

    This is a huge tax cut for me.

    I only make less than 50k$ a year.

    If you consider the insurance premium taken from my paychecks, I have paid 52 times as much in premiums than taxes.

    Even if you subtract all earned income tax credits, then double my taxes —. Then if you cut my premiums for health insurance by half…   Omg much more money for me to eat healthy food.

    • Drew (GA)

      “I only make less than 50k$ a year.”

      I can’t possibly be the only one that has multiple problems with this statement. Disregarding grammar, the fact that you feel “only” making 40k-50k a year is a pitiable situation says a lot about you. I’m pretty sure that a family of 3-4 could do a lot better than just get by at 40-50K if living responsibly, even with the economy as screwed up as it is. Sounds like you need a protracted period of unemployment to provide you with a little perspective.

      • Beez

        Drew,
        Here in Mass, my family of 3 could never get by on 40-50k.

        • Drew (GA)

          I completely understand your point and believe it or not I somewhat agree with your sentiment. I have survived on $300 a month or less at several points in my life. I’m getting by on literally almost nothing as I write this. I didn’t say I lived well, or that I ate well, or that I had healthcare, or that I had a nice car, or that I had a big screen TV, etc.. I did survive though and I didn’t complain about it. I have never taken a dime of Federal or State aid (welfare for the haters) because I have always known that no matter how desperate my circumstance seemed there are always many in much more dire circumstances in need of assistance. My point was only that there was no need to bemoan the fact that ImJust Sayin “only” makes around $50K a year. As for your situation I guarantee you that there are several thousand (if not tens of thousands) of people within a couple hundred miles of where you live getting by on one or two part time jobs with no benefits. I didn’t say they were living well, living well and getting by are two entirely different things.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Several commentors here are convinced that the healthcare reform act will lead to better health coverage.  I have yet to see that.  I’ll be pleased if good things come from this law, but for the moment, all I’m offered is hope.  I can’t live or stay healthy on hope.

    • Ray in VT

      We can’t properly judge something that has yet to fully take effect.  Some provisions have already kicked in, and one of my co-workers was saying the other day that at least one of those had saved her family quite a bit of money.  Maybe the law will lead to better health coverage, and maybe it won’t.  I don’t think that anyone really knows yet, and an honest assessment and critique will take years to properly assess.

    • jimino

      Have you yet spoken to an insurance professional about how the new law will affect or help you?  Pleas stop talking about how much you don’t know about until you have done so.  It makes you look pretty helpless.

      • nj_v2

        Yesiree, my first stop for unbiased information and advice would the the “insurance professionals,” the people who stand to profit the most from the healthcare insurance company enhancement act.

        • jimino

          Stay as ignorant as you like.  Just don’t constantly complain about it while taking no action to try to get answers, like the professor. 

          • nj_v2

            As if industry pablum is the solution to “ignorance.”

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        Clearly, you know little yourself.  Since I have Type I diabetes, no “insurance professional” or other similar bloodsucker will sell me anything for any money.

        But do go back to enjoying your faith in Savior Obama.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Don’t forget “A Face in the Crowd.”  That was a role that Griffith didn’t play later in his career, but it’s a brilliant film, one that all voters should watch now.

  • JGC

    This somehow will have repercussions on our healthcare costs, with or without Obamacare: Reuters reports “India to provide free generic drugs”, called within the article “a blow to Big Pharma’s emerging-market ambitions”.  Both China and India are granting their domestic drug-makers authority to produce cheap copies of medicines, including those that are protected by patents.

  • imjust Sayin

    Sorry to reply to myself…

    But I say this for perspective.

    Corporations raise premiums faster than government raises taxes,

    If you consider that healthcare insurance as a tax, small businesses with no income to deduct unfairly pay full price.  Big businesses use health care deductions to keep the economy centralized around them.

  • Drew (GA)

    RIP Andy Griffith, The Andy Griffith Show is certainly among the best programming the idiot box has ever produced. There sure have been a lot of true contributors to The Human Race dropping off this past year. If it’s The Rapture (No I don’t buy into it) there’s going to be many disappointed “believers” standing around scratching their heads soon.

    • JGC

      Scott Simon did a fine interview with Mr. Griffith on NPR in 2007, worth another listen today.  I miss the humanity that emanates from people like Andy Griffith, and that other recent late, great North Carolinian, Doc Watson.

      • Drew (GA)

        And Earl Scruggs, and several others. It’s been a tough year for innovators.

      • Drew (GA)

        Ernest Borgnine just joined the list. The Wild Bunch is one of my favorites, check it out if you’ve never seen it. Warning: It’s not a fairy tale and it’s pretty brutal.

  • Guest

    From Mona Charen’s column 07/06/2012:
     

    The answer to the question “Wasn’t Romneycare exactly the same thing as Obamacare?” is, to quote Nancy Pelosi, “Are you serious?” The Massachusetts law contained an individual mandate (which states, unlike the federal government, are allowed to impose). But it did not consist of 2,700 pages of new regulations; 159 new boards and commissions; more than $500 billion in new taxes (and counting); the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a rationing board whose decisions are unreviewable by the courts and practically untouchable by Congress itself; restrictions on religious liberty; Medicare cuts; affirmative-action mandates for medical and dental schools; huge new authority over one-seventh of the U.S. economy for the secretary of health and human services, and open-ended regulations of the way doctors and others perform their jobs. Beyond that, a glance at the history of Romneycare in Massachusetts shows that Romney’s instincts and initiatives were for free-market reforms.

    • imjust Sayin

      You seem to ignore the rationing board my employer is using.  The ever shrinking formulary my employer uses is the perfect example of faceless rationing.

      I do not elect my employer.  I have no real representation.  So employer based health insurance is taxation without representation. 

      • TFRX

        I see you lost at “Healthcare roulette”, again.

        Of course, that’s a misnomer. The odds of winning at roulette are much higher than what happens when anyone’s employer has to put in a new health plan every autumn.

      • Still Here

        All payers are forced to ration since the final consumers care nothing about the cost.  As you conclude, the only solution is consumer-driven helath care otherwise known as vouchers. 

    • jimino

      But you agree they share the requirement of an  individual mandate, and the claim of unconstitutionality on that basis was purely political, right?

      • Guest

        As Ms. Charen stated, the states are allowed to impose an individual mandate whereas the federal government is not.  10th amendment to the Constitution.

        • ulTRAX

          AGAIN, possibly the FIRST individual mandate was in the 1792 Militia Acts mandating every militia member had to be equiped with a musket and sufficient ammo. The idea that only states have this power is amusing.  

  • Montmartre

    One of your commentators used the phrase, “a tough row to hoe.”  If you look back at Obama comments on excusing the behavior of bankers in creating this financial crisis and the lack indictments by Eric Holder the USAG, combine these two with the campaign donations to Obama’s last campaign, maybe Obama does not want to dig to deep into this latest LIBOR scandal.

  • Suzvt

    It may seem insignificant compared to all the political and international news, but what a wonderful breath of fresh air Mayberry R.F.D. was for casual entertainment. No need to police what your children were watching on tv. Do people really demand sex, violence, and profanity on tv, or do the producers and “suits” assume we insist on it. When I see a rerun of Barney’s antics, Andy’s modest wisdom, and the general moral clean lifestyle, I laugh until I cry and smile at all the subtle lessons bestowed. Those are lessons we all could use in this world right now. Thank you Andy, Barney, and the gang.  

    • jefe68

      Well I guess you did not like the Wire.
      Mayberry RFD was about a world that really never existed.
      It was a good decent show, but lets be real here.  

  • Tina

    “If you’re gonna play the game, you can’t be the referee.”  THANK YOU, Chrystia!  We need to add:  ”And if you’re gonna play the game, you can’t even be on the nominating committee that determines the referees!!!”

    SOME non-profits have prohibitions against the people on the Executive committee of the Board of Trustees being on the Nominating committee of the Board.  I know of an institution that had this clause in its by-laws, but violated it for awhile — a while when LOTS went wrong with the institution.

    Back to our economy, I don’t even know how our congressional delegations can be clear enough of the game to serve on the “nominating committee” for the regulatory bodies we so desperately need, but insisting on transparency is a must.  Clinton screwed up when he bowed to powerful lobbying forces; but I fear the mass of Americans are NOT aware of how dangerous the Republicans are on the topic of regulation/de-regulation! 

    • Brandstad

      Do you like the 13K pages of healthcare regulations that have been drafted so far under Obamacare? 

      How many thousands of pages of regulations do you think we should have?

      • ulTRAX

        You’re correct. A Single Payer system that gets rid of all these private, parasitic healthcare middlemen, would be MUCH simpler to design and run.

        • Drew (GA)

          And far more impossible to implement which is why the President took the action that he did. I don’t excuse the Insurance Mandate or agree with it and I seriously doubt The President does either. It’s hard to be a fighter when your hands are always tied though.

          • Guest

            It is unfortunate that the pesky US Constitution ties the hands of our politicians. LOL are you kidding me!

          • Drew (GA)

            The pesky Politicians are the ones doing all the tying. Don’t talk to me about The United States Constitution, I have long been an advocate for stripping all law and legislation  back to the original document and trying again. Obviously we have gotten it wrong. That would be too expensive though. And I suppose Corporate America shares no blame for the shackles we’re all dragging around these days.

          • ulTRAX

            The Constitution does NOT prohibit Single Payer. It would be legal under Article 1, sec 8: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States;

        • Guest
          • ulTRAX

            I can see that you love contrived arguments. Simple fact is the US is spending way too much and not geting much back. If that’s the case may be we should be asking why the private sector is incapable of efficiently provide health care?

    • TFRX

      Good catch.

      I missed that remark from Freedland. Was it about Ginny Thomas?

  • ulTRAX

    The GOP pretends there was no real support for an individual health care mandate back in the 90′s. Yet between the two main GOP bills introduced in 1993 to compete with HillaryCare… the CONSUMER CHOICE HEALTH SECURITY ACT and the HEALTH EQUITY AND ACCESS REFORM ACT, 37 of the then 46 GOP members of the Senate, 80%, signed on to support those bills.

    • Brandstad

      The fact is the GOP descoverd the individual health care mandate was a bad idea because it takes away freedom that we love so much. 

      It is too bad that the Democrats didn’t like the mandate then because they didn’t realize this and now that they know it takes away freedom from Americans they Love it!

      • ulTRAX

        Gee, so you’re saying these 80% of GOP senators didn’t think about “freedom” before they signed on????? ROTF

        The mandate was proposed by the HERITAGE FOUNDATION back in 1989 and the GOP agreed it was the ONLY way to provide universal health care AND deal with the “freeloader” problem. Romney came to the same conclusion in Mass. And this is why any GOP proposal without a mandate leaves tens of millions of Americans uncovered.

        • Brandstad

          If America was still the land of the free shouldn’t any American that wants to be uncovered by health insurance have the right to do so? 

          • ulTRAX

            Tell that to Reagan who signed a law mandating hospitals provide emergency ER treatment to everyone whether they could pay or not. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_Medical_Treatment_and_Active_Labor_Act

            But I suppose the new “conservative” pro-life position is to let them die.

          • Guest

            Mandating business to do something is the function of government and it doesn’t infringe on the freedom of American People.

            Now allowing people to make decisions for themselves is taking away FREEDOM!

          • ulTRAX

            Again, there’s NO requirement in ObamaCare a person MUST buy private insurance… only a fine of they don’t. Do I like it? No. I don’t believe we should be pressured into buying from a private company. If we don’t have Single Payer I’d prefer the Public Option. ObamaCare can be seen as backdoor corporate welfare for Health Insurance companies.

          • Ray in VT

            It still is the land of the free, despite what some may tell you.  Also, I have no problem with people choosing to not have health care, but I say let them sign some sort of document saying that they won’t seek health care services no matter what the circumstances.  If they don’t want to pay, then let them not also take.

          • ulTRAX

            Your view of “freedom” is simplistic beyond belief. There are plenty of commonsense limits on our “freedoms” starting with those which prevent harm to others. We don’t have the “freedom” to drive a car without insurance… and it’s not to necessarily protect OUR investment or OUR lives.

          • Guest

            You have the freedom to decide not to drive if you don’t like the rules.  

            Obamacare would be better compared to mandating that everyone own and drive a F150 while making all other vehicles illegal.

          • ulTRAX

            ObamaCare does NOT mandate someone buy insurance, only pay a fine if they don’t. And this is NOT the first government mandate. The Militia Acts of 1792 REQUIRED militia members to own a proper musket and ammo.

          • Don_B1

            So you think we have/need the “freedom” to not get sick?

            I see nothing in the PPACA that puts any insurance company out of business. It just says that if you are going to live, you have to expect the possibility of sickness and have a way to pay for care, just as if you are going to drive, you need to be able to pay for damage/healthcare to others and yourself.

    • ulTRAX

      For the record, this is the list of those 37 GOP senators:

      Sen. Robert Bennett [R-UT, 1993-2010] Sen. George “Hank” Brown [R-CO, 1991-1996] Sen. Conrad Burns [R-MT, 1989-2006]Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond [R-MO, 1987-2010] Sen. John Chaffee [R-RI]Sen. William Cohen [R-ME, 1979-1996]Sen. Daniel Coats [R-IN] Sen. Thad Cochran [R-MS] Sen. Paul Coverdell [R-GA, 1993-2000] Sen. Larry Craig [R-ID, 1991-2009] Sen. Robert Dole [R-KS, 1969-1996] Sen. John Danforth [R-MO, 1976-1994] Sen. Pete Domenici [R-NM, 1973-2009] Sen. David Durenberger [R-MN, 1978-1994] Sen. Duncan “Lauch” Faircloth [R-NC, 1993-1998]Sen. Charles “Chuck” Grassley [R-IA] Sen. Judd Gregg [R-NH, 1993-2010] Sen. Slade Gorton [R-WA, 1989-2000] Sen. Charles “Chuck” Grassley [R-IA] Sen. Orrin Hatch [R-UT] Sen. Mark Hatfield [R-OR, 1967-1996]Sen. Jesse Helms [R-NC, 1973-2002] Sen. Kay Hutchison [R-TX] Sen. Nancy Kassebaum [R-KS, 1978-1996]Sen. Dirk Kempthorne [R-ID, 1993-1998]Sen. Trent Lott [R-MS, 1989-2007] Sen. Richard Lugar [R-IN] Sen. Connie Mack [R-FL, 1989-2000] Sen. Frank Murkowski [R-AK, 1981-2002] Sen. Don Nickels [R]Sen. Alan Simpson [R-WY, 1979-1996] Sen. Bob Smith [R-NH, 1990-2002]Sen. Arlen Specter [R-PA, 1981-2010] Sen. Ted Stevens [R-AK, 1968-2009] Sen. Strom Thurmond [R-SC, 1961-2002] Sen. Malcolm Wallop [R-WY, 1977-1994] Sen. John Warner [R-VA, 1979-2009]

    • jimino

      Everyone should contact their Republican representatives in Congress, as I have, and ask them to lead the way in proving the value of their “ideas” by rejecting their government-employer-provided health insurance and going out on the open market they so worship and purchase an individual policy for themselves and their families, subject to the rating and premiums charged for pre-existing conditions.  After all ,this is their professed solution to the problems the ACA was intended to alleviate.

      Then they can publish (I’m sure FOX news would help out) how that compares to what they currently have and tell us how that works for them and their family in terms of price and coverage.

    • BrokenTusk

       Obama used to oppose the healthcare mandate.  The GOP was for it- now things are reversed.   Not sure what your point is.

    • ulTRAX

      Can it be? Did WBUR actually DELETE the names of GOP Senators I posted at 12:03?

      AGAIN, For the record, this is the list of those 37 GOP senators:

      Sen. Robert Bennett [R-UT, 1993-2010] Sen. George “Hank” Brown [R-CO, 1991-1996] Sen. Conrad Burns [R-MT, 1989-2006]Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond [R-MO, 1987-2010] Sen. John Chaffee [R-RI]Sen. William Cohen [R-ME, 1979-1996]Sen. Daniel Coats [R-IN] Sen. Thad Cochran [R-MS] Sen. Paul Coverdell [R-GA, 1993-2000] Sen. Larry Craig [R-ID, 1991-2009] Sen. Robert Dole [R-KS, 1969-1996] Sen. John Danforth [R-MO, 1976-1994] Sen. Pete Domenici [R-NM, 1973-2009] Sen. David Durenberger [R-MN, 1978-1994] Sen. Duncan “Lauch” Faircloth [R-NC, 1993-1998]Sen. Charles “Chuck” Grassley [R-IA] Sen. Judd Gregg [R-NH, 1993-2010] Sen. Slade Gorton [R-WA, 1989-2000] Sen. Charles “Chuck” Grassley [R-IA] Sen. Orrin Hatch [R-UT] Sen. Mark Hatfield [R-OR, 1967-1996]Sen. Jesse Helms [R-NC, 1973-2002] Sen. Kay Hutchison [R-TX] Sen. Nancy Kassebaum [R-KS, 1978-1996]Sen. Dirk Kempthorne [R-ID, 1993-1998]Sen. Trent Lott [R-MS, 1989-2007] Sen. Richard Lugar [R-IN] Sen. Connie Mack [R-FL, 1989-2000] Sen. Frank Murkowski [R-AK, 1981-2002] Sen. Don Nickels [R]Sen. Alan Simpson [R-WY, 1979-1996] Sen. Bob Smith [R-NH, 1990-2002]Sen. Arlen Specter [R-PA, 1981-2010] Sen. Ted Stevens [R-AK, 1968-2009] Sen. Strom Thurmond [R-SC, 1961-2002] Sen. Malcolm Wallop [R-WY, 1977-1994] Sen. John Warner [R-VA, 1979-2009]

  • Dee

    Obama should turn Romney’s & GOP’s job creation record on 
    its head ….

    Obama should slap it right back to Romney & GOP on his latest Job Job numbers–with their Job creation record since 2008? 
    Obama needs to remind folks what the Job market was like when he came into office in 2008 (free fall with 80,000
    to 100,000 workers a week or a day losing their jobs…..

    Indeed, the GOP’s  job’s growth was at a stand still it seems 
    during the last decade.. Yet the “Job Creators ” on Wall St.
    were lining their pockets with tax cuts & low capital gains
    tax–while hanging the little guy out to dry…..
    Or Indeed ,Obama should take up Paul Begala in Newsweek suggestion –when his critics compares his job record..he should fire back.” compared to what? Off with their heads…Paula Begala .., Newsweek http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/05/20/paul-begala-can-obama-weather-the-storm-against-incumbents.htmlObama inheritied a fiscal diaster, Jim Cooper, CSM http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2009/0218/p09s02-coop.html

  • Brandstad

    Obama’s war on women has resulted in 780K fewer women working today when compared to the day Obama came in office!

    • TFRX

      Just when I think you said the stupidest thing ever, you keep talking!

      (h/t Hank Hill)

      • Don_B1

        His approach to “winning” a “debate” is a Gish Gallop, where he throws out one inane falsity and before it can be even partly rebutted, throws out the next unrelated one so that the debate is overwhelmed with repeated false arguments unrebutted, which therefore tend to stick in the novices’ mind.

    • jefe68

      I’m thinking of Forrest Gump right now, and it’s not about chocolates. 

    • ulTRAX

      You haven’t provided a source for your numbers but it’s unfair to use the Obama inauguration date as meaningful since the Bush economy was still imploding and that momentum didn’t stop until about Oct 09. Compare that the Reagan where his recession started about 6 months AFTER he took office. And how many job losses are due to GOP governors firing public sector workers? Your use of numbers without context is, predictably, designed for a political purpose rather than inform.

      • Ray in VT

        I would also like to know how he thinks that Obama’s policies are driving women out of the work force.  Given that a majority of teachers are women, then certainly the downsizing of public education has hurt them more.  Also, I would be willing to bet that that number, if true, is heavily thrown off by the early 2009 job loss numbers.

      • Brandstad

        This is the slowest recovery since the great depression.  If we were on just the average recovery track, we would be producing 400K jobs per month by now!
         
        You can’t blame the recovery, or lack of it on Bush.  If I remember correctly, Obama ran a campaign saying that bush put the economy in the biggest recession since the great depression, which was exaggerating at the time, and he was the person with the skills to turn the economy around!  We have now seen that he was either lying or incompetent
         

        • Ray in VT

          If this was not the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression, then what was it and what standards are you using to compare them?

          The economy certainly has turned around since Obama became President.  I hear plenty of grousing that the recovery isn’t happening fast enough, but just about every voice that I hear on the topic of recovery, left, right and center, say that recoveries following financial crashes take longer to dig out of.

          • ulTRAX

            Unemployment under the Reagan Recession was higher… 10.8% and it was over 8% for 24-26 months. And Reagan didn’t have to deal with imploding banking and housing sectors.

          • Don_B1

            But, as I posted above, recessions come in multiple flavors, some of which are harder to recover from (and which thus require different methods.

            Both the 2008 and 1932 Recessions were caused by overleveraging leaving large outstanding debt in a large segment of the private economy. Thus individuals and businesses are disinclined to spend, requiring the government to make up the difference.

            For the 1982 Recession, it was caused by the FED raising interest rates to fight inflation, so by lowering those rates, the FED could drive a quick recovery.

            Brandstad is comparing apples with oranges and coming up with a deceptive false result as usual. But it is a carefully crafted one, which people without a bit more than a basic understanding of economic history would accept, unfortunately for them and the rest of us.

          • Drew (GA)

            He’s not comparing Apples and Oranges, he’s throwing them both in the blender and making a smoothie.

        • ulTRAX

          Here’s a repost from above:

          In a March 2ed 2009 letter to Sen Grassley the CBO estimated without the Stimulus unemployment would only get to 9% when it actually got to 10.2%. The CBO  gave high and low estimates for the effects of the Stimulus. For 2009 unemployment:

          Low estimate of effect 8.5%High estimate of effect 7.8%Clearly EVERYONE was wrong meaning Bush and the GOP did MORE damage to the economy than anyone realized in early 2009.

          • Don_B1

            Early estimates of the loss in GDP due to the financial crisis were a bit under 6%, whereas over a year later better estimates put the downturn at nearly 9% of GDP, at least 50% above the initial estimates.

      • Brandstad

        Team Obama predicted 5.6% unemployment rate today with stimulus…

        Should we believe any of his promisses after that big miss.

        http://www.aei-ideas.org/2012/07/june-jobs-swoon-americas-labor-market-depression-continues/

        • Ray in VT

          Predictions and promises are two entirely different things.  It didn’t work out as planned, but I think that there’s a pretty broad consensus among people who’ve crunched the numbers that the stimulus did help to alleviate some of the job loss numbers. 

          You wanna talk about not believing promises?  How about Iraq costing $100 billion max or how it would be paid for with Iraq oil money.  Given the long history of the GOP failing to deliver on what they promised, then I’m certainly not going to give them any benefit of the doubt.

        • ulTRAX

          Any Obama predictions were made in the midst of the Bush economic free fall. In retrospect the Stimulus should have been bigger but the GOP was complaining about costs. Reagan’s predictions were made 5 months before the Reagan Recession began and they were also way off. But I’m sure you give Reagan a free pass.

          BTW, I’m not sure where these Obama forecasts come from. The CBO’s estimates for the Stimulus had a range of predictions.. not one. 

          • ulTRAX

            In a March 2ed 2009 letter to Sen Grassley the CBO estimated without the Stimulus unemployment would only get to 9% when it actually got to 10.2%. It gave high and low estimates for the effects of the Stimulus. For 2009 

            Low estimate of effect 8.5%High estimate of effect 7.8%Clearly EVERYONE was wrong meaning Bush and the GOP did MORE damage to the economy than anyone realized in early 2009

          • Don_B1

            The Obama forecast came from Christina Romer, who said that based on the drop in GDP estimated inDecember 2008, the unemployment rate would not go above something under 10% and that the stimulus would bring it back down under 8%. But the data to make an accurate estimate of the loss of GDP were not available then and the drop in GDP was actually much worse.

        • John in Amherst

           look up “promise” and “prediction”.  2 different things.  I would agree that Obama’s promise to work toward bipartisan solutions was ill-advised, as it was clear from day one the GOP was hell bent on not working with him so that they could whine endlessly about his failure to govern.

          • Guest

            Was the spirit of compromise which Obama espoused the one where he told Republicans “I won” when dismissing their concerns during the discussions on the stimulus in his first month in office?  He didn’t exactly create a Kumbaya bipartisan moment from day one.

          • Still Here

            He got into office and immediately put a boot on the neck of the GOP.  The nation responded by taking away his control of Congress in 2010, but his attitude never changed.

          • ulTRAX

            LOL, I love these Orwellian rewrites of history. BTW, what credibility did GOP policies have back then when the economy was still imploding? Are you suggesting we should NOT have changed direction?  

          • Drew (GA)

            Of course that’s what is being suggested. We just need to get back to the Good Ol’ Days and everything will take care of itself, right? lol

          • Don_B1

            The “I won” comment came in response to Sen. Jon Kyle’s (and other Republican’s) complaints that the Republican position that there were not enough tax cuts in the stimulus. Since almost all economists agree that tax cuts are much less effective than unemployment and direct payments to states to keep current employees and not cut other spending as they struggle to deal with revenue declines, and the fact that Obama had ALREADY included more tax cuts than most economists would say was justified, Obama’s jibe, with a twinkle in his eye, was throughly justified.

            The Republicans did not want the Earned Income Tax Credit increased, which would put money in the pockets of people who would spend it on needed items like food, shelter and healthcare. All Obama was saying was that elections have consequences, which the Republicans are more than happy to reciprocate in kind, and have, when they win an election.

            See:

            http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2009/01/23/obama-to-gop-i-won/

    • Thinkin15

       Silly. Those are the public sector jobs that the local and federal gov’t has cut funding for. i.e. teachers The Tea/GOPers want those cuts and then whine about jobs lost. Quite a plot.

    • JGC

      Nice try.  Yawn…

  • Brandstad

    1/3 of the jobs created in the latest jobs report that came out today were temporary jobs!
     
    I wonder why so many companies are hesitant about hiring new full time employees…
     
    I bet even a progressive can figure this one out.

    • John in Amherst

       How about the do-nothing congress in which any meaningful legislation has been blocked by GOP obstruction, thereby inducing a state of insecurity regarding future policy & regulation?  How about a world economy totally beyond the control of the president that is teetering on the edge of full blown depression and take the US with it?  How about the financial industry that went a long way toward causing the economic crisis through risky schemes and which is now sitting on the assets they got when the taxpayers bailed them out?  How about a GOP strategy to make Obama fail at the expense of the country’s welfare so that they can gain complete political control?

      • Drew (GA)

        Yes there is definitely something wrong with someone who is willing to sink the ship in order to be the Captain. They think their wet suits and scuba tanks will save them, if only it were possible to make them realize that at some point they’ll still run out of Oxygen.

        • Brandstad

          If the captain of the ship is stearing the boat twards an ice burg, should the crew really allow the engines to accelerate?

          • Drew (GA)

            What the hell do you think the GOP has spent the last three decades doing? You can’t steer a ship that’s sitting on the bottom of the ocean Mr. Titanic. We hit the ice burg as you put it when your beloved Saint Reagan was in power and we’ve been sinking every since. The only thing I have seen the GOP (and much of the Democratic Party) do is continue to shovel ever greater amounts of coal into the fire.

          • Brandstad

            If your comment “continue to shovel ever greater amounts of coal into the fire.” is refering to Federal Debt, then I agree that both parties are spending like drunken sailors.

          • ulTRAX

            Spending is only one half of the budget equation. I see you have NOTHING to say about irresponsable tax cuts.

          • Still Here

            There is no such thing as irresponsible tax cuts, only irresponsible spending.  

          • ulTRAX

            Thanks for proving my point that the GOP is suffering from fiscal dementia. Of COURSE tax cuts, especially when we’re deep in debt are responsible.

          • Still Here

            There less irresponsible thanreckless spending, otherwiseknown asstimulus.

          • ulTRAX

            The Bush tax cuts were SO irresponsible that in constant dollars, revenues only exceeded Clinton’s last year in two of the last 11 years… and then barely so.

          • Guest

            I hate irresponsible tax cuts but Bush’s tax cuts were not irresponsible.  Tax revenues went up after the tax cuts.

            Not to mention that the rich pay their fair share according to the CBO report!

            http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jul/10/cbo-rich-pay-outsized-share-taxes/

          • Still Here

            If only we could control the spending.  Between bureaucrats and politicians, there’s no one looking out for the taxpayers’ interests.  In fact, these guys are all about growing the size of their empire built on tax dollars.  Thankfully, sequestration offers the promise of cuts.

          • Don_B1

            @fd9417e79c2c45265ddb05491109247d:disqus @DrewYouToo:disqus 
            To change the metaphor, when you are the pilot of a jet plane that has been diving toward the earth, the pilot has to push the throttle forward hard to generate the speed to pull the plane out of the dive before impact with the earth.

            That is what the stimulus has done, but it was only enough to level the plane off, but not enough to give it the speed to climb above the mountain peaks it is currently flying between (hopefully).

          • Drew (GA)

            We’re still flying? Thank Goodness! I thought we smacked the wall at Mach 3 in 2008. Hope that pilot you mention has their s**t together. Nice metaphor, gotta love em’.

      • Brandstad

        You have pointed out many reasons for a great leader like Reagan and many examples of how Obama isn’t very good at being a leader.

        • John in Amherst

           this statement is delusional

        • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

          Reagan’s tax cut plan FAILED by his own yardstick! I documented it here:

          http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/2011/06/proof-reagans-tax-cuts-failed-as.html

        • Livin_Large

          Reagan damned near got himself impeached and squeaked by due to his inability to remember anything under oath and the expiration of his term. In defiance of US law and common sense, he sold arms to the Ayatollah and used the money to fund an illegal war. 

      • Greyman

        You mean you’ve observed action in the Senate apart from the farm bill? Do tell.

      • Guest

        Suppose you owned a business and asked your manager “Did you do it yet?” and he responded “It’s not my fault.  The guy who had this job before me made it too hard.”  You ask later “Is it done yet?” and your manager tells you “It’s not my fault.  The people here make the job too difficult.”  Time passes and you ask the question once more, and the response is “The other companies around us are dragging us down.”  Nearing the end of the manager’s contract you ask him “Is the job done?” and he tells you “The company has gotten soft, and we don’t have the competitive edge we need.”  The job isn’t done.  Would you renew his contract?

        • Drew (GA)

          Nah, I’d hire a new manager and prompt him to start a new war. That’s where that was heading right? Thanks for making my head explode for the umpteenth time today, I just can’t imagine why no critical problems seem to be getting solved.

          • Drew (GA)

            The following are lyrics from the song Let’s Have A War by A Perfect Circle. Hate to reply to myself but the words perfectly embody the mindset of those such as Guest above:

            Let’s have a war;
            So you can go and die.
            Let’s have a war;
            We could owe you the money.
            Let’s have a war;
            We need the space.
            Let’s have a war;
            Clean out this place.

            Let’s have a war;
            Jack up the Dow Jones.
            Let’s have a war;
            It can start in New Jersey.
            Let’s have a war;
            Blame it on the middle-class.
            Let’s have a war;
            We’re like rats in a cage.

            Let’s have a war;
            Sell the rights to the networks.
            Let’s have a war;
            Let our wallets get fat like last time.
            Let’s have a war;
            Give guns to the ******.
            Let’s have a war;
            The enemy’s within.

    • Roy Mac

      Back to your mom’s basement, troll.  You weren’t missed and you’re just bothering the grown-ups.

      • Guest

        Are you 12 years old?  

        Grown ups know that anyone that starts name calling is either too ignorant to make a respectful and coherent argument against an idea they disagree with or just lazy.

    • Still Here

      Judging by the comments below, they can’t figure this one out, but you gave it a good try.

  • RChicago

    Republicans and Democrats both win. Create a two party system and no individual has accountability and there are no term limits. The two sides fight endlessly and the sheep (that would be us) pick a side and then fight amongst ourselves. The winners? The politicians – high salaries, great benefits, insider trading to make themselves richer, connections for furthering their careers once they leave office. The losers us – yet we fall for it every time.

    • Drew (GA)

      Well some of us fall for it every time, not all. We The Sheeple…

  • John_in_Amherst

    It’s not clear how much time Romney has spent talking to the people who actually did the work at the companies Bain “managed”.  (not much, it would seem)  Too bad.  Any
    good trades person knows if you don’t have the right tool for the job, you stand a good chance of botching it.  There are a lot of problems facing a president for which the “free market” and a big military just aren’t the right tools. 

    From a Paul Krugman editorial in the NYT today: “….if
    Bain got involved with your company, one way or another, the odds were pretty good that even if your job survived you ended up with lower pay and diminished benefits…”  

    The difference between running a corporation and running the country seems lost on Mitt, and the GOP.  When you run a corporation, your primary responsibility is fiduciary (maximizing shareholder returns).  Mitt’s “tool box” at Bain included “down-sizing”, “selling off assets”, “out sourcing”, “restructuring”, and by all accounts, he was skilled at using
    these tools.  However, running a country involves tending to a lot of other messy complications and issues (human & environmental health, individual prosperity, education, foreign relations, domestic and international security, expanding & maintaining infrastructure, etc, etc.) that a corporate tool kit can’t fix.  We can all hope Mitt never gets the chance to learn on the job….

    • JonS

      Very impressive observations. I guess the best preparation for being president is to follow in Obama’s empty footsteps: namely know nothing about job creation other than to castigate job creators and threaten to raise their taxes , know nothing about economic growth and what it takes to grow an economy and create wealth other than create more make work temporary public sector jobs by taking from the productive private sector economy, and know nothing about leading  organizations and peoples other than organizing a community of poverty pimps. 

      PS– I suggest you take a course in basic economics 101 and learn something about how business (big and small) operates. If government spending , higher taxes and increased public sector hiring was the path to economic growth, Greece would be experiencing another Golden Age.

      • John in Amherst

        The point of my comment, which you either dispute, or missed (not sure which – I suggest you take a writing course ;-)  ) is that running a country is not the same as running a corporation.   A president is responsible for much more than economic growth, and economic growth as the sole measure of effective governance is perhaps apt in a fascist state or a corporation, but not a democracy in which the prosperity of the wealthiest is not the sole interest of the state.  There is a middle road – probably many roads – between plutocracy and socialism, and there are many countries that do a better job of meeting the needs of both their corporations and their population than either the US or Greece.

        • JonS

          I got your point. I just thought it and your post above lacked any connection in reality. Without economic growth, all of the things that you espouse would not be available for those less privileged.Your proposal would spread the poverty , not spread the wealth. I suggest you add to your reading list Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations.

          • Roy Mac

            Wealth Of Nations is an entertaining 18th century outlook on what became economics; it is hardly relative in this century.

          • John in Amherst

            beat you to that – read it in some sophomore philosophy class.  And btw, wealth in this country is being concentrated into fewer and richer hands, not being spread.  Our fiscal reality resembles 1929 a bit too vividly, thanks.

          • John in Amherst

             Oh, and while on the topic of reading lists, here’s one for the GOP: any text on biology or psychology, to learn about the physical psychological and social damage done to people when they are unduly hungry, sick or stressed.  any book on chemistry or biology, to gain an appreciation of how pollution damages health now and the climate going on into the future.  Any religious text – bible, koran, torah – and see aht they have to say about lenders that charge usorous interest, who ignore the sick and poor, and things like greed and killing and war.  Like I said, there is more to running a country than economics.

          • Gregg

            “…unduly hungry, sick or stressed.”

            There are more people going on disability than there are getting jobs.

            http://www.humanevents.com/2012/07/06/more-people-going-on-disability-than-getting-jobs-under-obama/

            “Workers Receiving Federal Disability Surpasses Population of NYC.”

            http://www.thenewamerican.com/economy/commentary/item/11961-workers-receiving-federal-disability-surpasses-population-of-nyc

            I don’t believe all of them. To many it’s a free ride, I’ve seen it. Even when it’s not, I question the efficacy of telling a man he’s done. No good can come from it.

            There was a fellow named Moses Austin who lived on some land we now own 160+ years ago. He was born a cripple and could not walk so he learned to write. He became the first Register of Deeds for Alexander County n 1847. Every morning he was loaded on to an ox sled, strapped upright to a rigid seat. He would drive in to work every day. I’ve read many of his deeds, they are remarkable works of art. The penmanship is highly flourished and flawless. I’m not a monster who wants people sick and hungry but I think a society built on that mentality is healthier that one looking for a free lunch.

            And please, who hasn’t gone to bed hungry? It builds character.

          • John in Amherst

            Sorry you have had the experience of hunger.  Had I known you then, I would have shared a meal with you.  I’m glad you know of a man with a handicap and gumption who lived 160 years ago.  There are a few of them today, too.  Maybe leave the land you own for a while and look around – I find them inspirational and an antidote to those who routine game the system, rich and poor. 

          • Gregg

            America is not full of victims.

          • John in Amherst

            I know.  Do you know there are people who are sick, who are unemployed, who need help of various sorts who are not that way out of choice?

          • Drew (GA)

            see above. thanks Disquss

          • Drew (GA)

            There’s one of those people you mention right here. I don’t like to
            think of myself as a victim because of the implied weakness but the DOJ
            considers me to be just that: A victim

            Disquss murdered my comment below, apologies for the re-post.

          • Drew (GA)

            You’re right. America is not full of victims, it’s full of victimizers. Tell me I’m wrong.

          • nj_v2

            There’s Greggg, again tossing out bogus data from his right-wing propaganda site.

            Hey, Greggg, why do your hack sites compare the net change (increase) in jobs with the total new disability benefits?

            The i>net change in SSI disability from May to June ’12 was only 26,276. Doesn’t sound nearly so bad, so Greggg’s capitalist vulture sites have to make bogus comparisons.

          • JonS

            you’re right. You need to have the progressive Democrat’s book of GOP cliches and cartoon-like caricature. When you find utopia, please send us the coordinates.

          • John in Amherst

            No utopias.  Not through compassion.  Not through “free market” or “self reliance” or any of the teabag excuses for ignoring the less fortunate. As Christ reputedly said, “the poor shall be with you always”.  Except he didn’t go on to say “screw ‘em”. 

      • Guest

        When I look at government today, some of the skills that I think are most needed are “down-sizing”, “selling off assets”, “out sourcing”, and “restructuring.” Given the choice of having a community organizer in the oval office or a highly successful businessman, I’d choose the businessman every time.

        • John in Amherst

          see original post for Krugman’s quote.  Our country has been on a track for over 30 years where wealth is ever more concentrated at the top, education ever more out of reach or under-funded, and the opportunity for advancement economically for citizens here is significantly LESS than for in several European  nations.

          • JonS

            NPR is the only media outlet that I’m aware of that even bothers to quote Krugman. He long ago lost any credibility he may have had as an economist.

            Yes wealth has become more concentrated at the top. With a global economy the traditional path to the middle class for poorly educated workers no longer exists. Unfortunately the only answer to this dilemma is  improving our public school system which won’t happen so long as the NEA and other teacher’s unions oppose real reform.

          • John in Amherst

             Your assessment of Krugman differs from that of the Nobel awards committee.  And you might benefit from looking beyond the Murdoch media empire for your economic wisdom.

          • JonS

            Not really. I knew Krugman received the Nobel in economics. So what, his NYT column is nothing more than a left wing  diatribe of the world’s events. Getting a Nobel isn’t what is used to be. Even Obama has one.

          • John in Amherst

             As for Ed reform, I am all for merit pay and for dismissing teachers who are doing a poor job, coupled with a pay scale that actually attracts more competent albeit less altruistic individuals, and a funding scheme that doesn’t divert money away from PUBLIC education and allows for teaching kids to be creative and innovative thinkers, not just successful test takers.  Our global competitiveness depends on our ability to educate and motivate our youth. 
            But the recent return of Gilded Age income distributions here is not the result of deficient education, it is the result of 30+ years of tax breaks for corporations and wealthy individuals – the same trickle down that keeps being proposed as a solution by the GOP.

          • Drew (GA)

            Well the first thing we could do to improve public education is to make certain that only facts are what is being taught. Teaching personal ideology and selective memory when it comes to History (especially our own) is not only irresponsible, it’s dangerous. I don’t expect you to agree with or believe what I say, you may want to read Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen.

          • TomK in Boston

            Are you serious? How about the economists who said inane things like “tax cuts pay for themselves” and that cutting taxes and regulation would be good for everyone? Those are the ones who have lost all credibility – they have been wrong about EVERYTHING – but people like you repeat their scripts endlessly as if they hadn’t been tested already, and failed.

            Wealth has become more concentrated at the top because of tax cuts and deregulation.

          • JonS

            If you research the effects of the Kennedy and Reagan tax cuts you’ll find that tax revenues grow and the “rich” taxpayers pay more tax when marginal tax rates are slashed ; ie. lower income taxpayers bear a lower share of the tax burden. Conversely, periods of higher tax rates are associated with poor economic performance and stagnant tax revenues. These results are even more evident when you look at the effect of reduced tax rates for cap gains and dividends.

            Also–how do lower tax rates and deregulation cause income concentration? With nearly half of all taxpayers paying NOTHING in fed taxes , I don’t get it. Moreover federal deregulation impacts specific industries  and not the all of the “rich”. So how does deregulation cause wealth concentration?

  • Danpbc

    Tom about the health care debate, you are saying competition is good. But have you ever examined whether American businesses actually compete for real on price and service.  Or does, especially big business prefer to divide markets, drive up costs and profits and not compete.  Look at Cell phones providers, Cable TV, The history of Railroads trusts, Standard Oil, big banks.  It has not really changed.  You are fooling yourself and your listeners if you really believe that Big Insurance, or Big health Care or Big Pharma wants to compete.  They will  pay lip service, while not competing, and attempt to take as much as possible.  Calling our system a competitive free enterprise system is not logical, it is a myth, and unchallenged myth that does not hold up

    • Guest

      Do American businesses actually compete?  Why don’t you ask someone at Eastman Kodak, Circuit City, Drug Emporium, Woolworths, KB Toys, Rhodes Furniture, or the myriad other companies forced into bankruptcy by market competition?

      • JonS

        Your post is this week’s winner for most vacuous comments. You confuse competition with competitors. The purpose of our competition ( ie antitrust) laws is to preserve competition , not protect competitors. The very nature of a well-functioning vibrant and competitive marketplace is that the less efficient producers will not survive against more efficient competitors.

      • Roy Mac

        There are many more reasons than market competition for companies to find themselves bankrupt.

  • JGC

    Once upon a time, I really liked Mitt Romney, until he turned Republican…

  • Greyman

    Simply to observe fine government service being performed, close attention can be paid on two ends, DC and Sacramento both, to watch the uni-directional flow of funds (ostensibly for rail of high-speed intent–receipt of these funds plainly would help state cash flow). Watching the utter efficiency of the Obama Administration at work, dutifully assisting state officials, sending those welcome billions to Jerry Brown that other governors saw fit to sneeze at. Curious: on a good day what percentage of these Federal dollars might wind up as assessed tax or fine or penalty or remittence in the bowels of state government in Sacramento, applied specifically to addressing their local $16 billion+ hole, something like a third? 

  • Mitch

    The headline for the weekly roundtable led with the “God particle,” so I was disappointed that in only got 30 sec discussion at the end.  A lot of the news I’ve heard this week is that it’s a “big deal” but that’s about it.  I imagine it’s a difficult thing to explain — would be nice if the science reporters/writers at NPR dug into it.  Found a way to communicate to the public why it’s so important. 

  • Mason Smith

    I have been frustrated, now by On Point, that this talk of tax vs penalty hasn’t clarified a question for me. Are we indeed talking about only the requirement that non-buyers of insurance pay something (tax or penalty) or that when they’re “forced” to buy insurance, that’s a tax? Isn’t it a much smaller issue if it’s only the penalty that bothers people? And isn’t the more serious point about the Supreme Court’s “decision” the ruling that the mandate is not constitutional via the commerce clause, by which it would be deemed unconstitutional. Gopnik in the New Yorker scares me with what that precedent means for Congress’s powers when the Court looks ar past and future legislation, and what the Robert’s court may be capable of down the road.

    • TomK in Boston

      I don’t care what you call it. I like former Gov Etchasketch’s tag of “personal responsibility incentive”, but anything is fine. The only reason why this stupid discussion exists at all is because after 32 years of anti-tax propaganda, sothe TeaOP thinks they can score points if they call something a tax, even if it’s a good thing. After 32 years of “starve the beast” tax cuts the USA is desperately in need of tax revenue!

      Here’s some nice pics for the week. First this is what you see if you’re working for a company devoured by Bane Capital:

      http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/ampadad1.jpg

      And here’s CO2 and temperature as far back as we can measure. The rise to 400 ppm is literally “off the charts”. Anyone who is not worried is REALLY brainwashed. I wonder how much the red states will have to burn before they begin to doubt what the oil companies tell them?

      http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/2010/antarctic_icecoreT.gif

  • Gregg

    John in Amherst, my problem is with the vagueness of your message. Where does the rubber meet the road? What kind of safety net are you talking about? Should people who are “stressed” be subsidized with taxpayer’s money? There is no way ten’s of thousands of Americans are suddenly becoming disabled. There is no way the food stamp President is not enabling a free lunch for those seeking just that. Half of American households are now receiving some kind of government assistance. That’s not what built this nation. To ignore this dynamic and it’s devastating affects on society is at best naive. To cloak it all in some fantasy compassion is disingenuous. There is nothing compassionate about confiscating, printing or borrowing money to fund decadence.

    • Drew (GA)

      “There is nothing compassionate about confiscating, printing or borrowing money to fund decadence.”

      And there is something compassionate about confiscating, printing, or borrowing money to fund unjustifiable Military action? But of course unjustifiable Military action is precisely the thing that “built this nation” right? I understand your point but just like the rest of us you get lost along the way.

      • Gregg

        Who said anything about military action? I’m not going to get in the weeds and define what is justifiable but I will say the Constitution authorizes our leaders to fund the military.

        My point is it’s kind of sleazy to hide behind compassion as we throw money down a rat hole and don’t change the outcome.

        • Drew (GA)

          I said something about military action because I was doing the same thing you were doing; trying to make a point. Justifiable, like everything else, depends on perspective. I can’t understand why it’s okay to pay several hundred dollars for a ten dollar hammer, but it’s objectionable to use several hundred dollars to provide a hundred starving families with some much needed food. Yes there are those who game the system and I despise them almost as much as I do the majority of Politicians these days.

          I completely agree about hiding behind a false front of compassion while dumping money down a rat hole. This is the majority of the reason I have a great deal of contempt for Mr. Romney. Anyone that poses for a photo op on expensive toys or in front one of their many mansions while professing to care about the plight of the poor is not only clueless and insensitive, they’re downright sleazy as you so aptly phrase it. Mr. Romney dramatically increased his personal wealth at the expense of those beneath his level of affluence. Can’t blame him for being born into fortunate circumstances and using that good fortune to amass ever greater amounts of undeserved wealth though can we?

          Just out of curiosity, what made you feel that J in A was fronting compassion? I’m certainly not saying that isn’t the case but I fail to see what motivation or agenda he would be toting to drive that front. I may have missed something (I frequently do, stress is a bitch) but for the most part I thought John was pretty on point today. I’m not picking or instigating, just trying to understand what motivated your comment.

          • Gregg

            In a nutshell, JonS made the point that economic growth was the only way to realize what John in Amherst wanted. I agree. The response implied America (as a whole) is too sick, stressed and troubled for a healthy economy to be possible. The message becomes, “If you support reigning in fraud and abuse then you don’t car about those in need”. I strongly object to that characterization. Maybe I improperly inferred it but I don’t think so.

          • Drew (GA)

            You had me up to “The message becomes”. I have read the statement that follows three times and still don’t understand how “If you support reigning in fraud and abuse then you don’t care about those in need” becomes the message.

            Maybe I’m mistaken but I think the underlying message is that those who want to reign in fraud and abuse solely on funding that is humanitarian in nature don’t care about those in need. I’m afraid I can’t disagree with that.

            As for the point about economic growth, that would be the proper way to realize what J in A wanted, unfortunately America on the whole is too sick, too narcissistic, and too much of a sociopath to make that a viable option. The People is not what I speak of when I said the above, the financial and governmental sectors are. And it’s not just America that’s down with the sickness. Maybe J in A meant the people, I don’t know. Either way, without fundamental systemic change we’re going to continue to ride the spiral down at a constantly increasing rate.

            Thanks for explaining the context, I understand your initial statement now.

          • Gregg

            Just too be clear, I absolutely think there is plenty of fraud and abuse across the board. My comment is in no way directed “Solely” at disability… at all.

            And I do believe the message has become one of false compassion. J in A certainly implied it. We have Obama actually saying Republicans want dirty air and water, they want autistic kids to suffer, they want the elderly to die. Any effort o address entitlements is met with horrendous rhetoric. They even made an ad about Paul Ryan throwing Grandma over a cliff.

      • Hidan

        Attacks on Diable people brought to you by Bill O

        http://www.fair.org/blog/2012/07/06/oreilly-as-paul-revere-the-disabled-are-coming/

        Who does this sound like ?

        Bill O’Reilly complained last night (7/5/12) that there are too many disabled people in America:

        Twenty years ago in June 1992, there were 3,300,000
        Americans receiving federal disability payments. Today, 20 years later,
        that number is a record 8,733,000 workers on disability.

        O’Reilly’s not buying it for a second:

        Why has the disability rate increased more than 100
        percent? I’ll tell you why. It’s a con. It’s easy to put in a bogus
        disability claim.

        • Hidan

           ”disabled”

        • Drew (GA)

          I could qualify for disability but I refuse to. I figure as long as I can function for the most part (regardless of the pain involved, me and pain go waaaaaay back) it would be wrong to take something someone else is in greater need of. This is also the reason I refuse to take Federal or State assistance. Believe it or not I’m going to agree that many who should never qualify for disability do and there are many who are just raping the system. I see that more as a function of what we consider to be “American Culture” than almost anything else. We are products of our environment whether we admit it or not. We want the most we can get for as little effort as possible because we think we deserve it. We all deserve something but it’s certainly not a free ride. Also, I think the other major contributor to skyrocketing disability claims is increased obesity rates. Again, this is courtesy of our Grand Culture. The more processed the food the greater the profit. Letting the Idiot Box sit us down and tell us what to think isn’t shrinking our waistlines either. It’s not right but it is what it is. I do think that anyone who truly needs disability (especially those who have actually contributed to the system) should be able to get it. And I’d much rather see money dumped down the “Help your Fellow Man Hole” than the “To Hell With Your Fellow Man Hole”. Sorry for the novel, you can’t tell I’m bored can you? Free For All Friday board at OP is good for something after all. lol

          • Gregg

            I argue that your fellow man is not helped by money down the “Help your fellow man” hole. I guess that’s the rub as opposed to compassion. I think most are like you and don’t want help if you can do without it. I hate you have to qualify your comment with the bold word “Legitimately” but it’s necessary, that’s my problem. I could qualify too I suppose but it may not be entirely legit. The system can be gamed easily from what I’ve seen. I worry about a culture that is comfortable living off of others and in many cases expects it.

          • Drew (GA)

            Initially the “legitimately” descriptor was not in my comment. Just after posting though I realized many would immediately think my inference was that I could game the system. I also hate that the addition was necessary. We have so thoroughly screwed ourselves as a society that until we are willing to fess’ up and face our failures as a nation, I just don’t know how else to think about it.

          • Hidan

            Great response and sorry for your pain.I agree that we do have some that will abuse the system but often times I find is that this is distorted twisted to attack the ones that really need it. It always amazed me that a Bank/er could game millions if not billions of tax payer dollars and some see no really issues and will fight tooth and nail to stop regulations stopping such from happening again with than be so Pissed when they find someone gamed the system for 50$ or 200$ and called for some of the nastier and more in your face regulations to stop it often times calling for the ending of the program altogether.

             
            I see it as the “Reagan Culture” and “Gordon Gekko” mind set. How many times you here people talk about pulling themselves up with the bootstraps than finding that they had connections, family help, friends, or plain luck(some cases government) ?

          • Drew (GA)

            Thanks for the compliment and sympathy, I appreciate it. Please don’t feel sorry for me though, I don’t feel sorry for myself and don’t want anyone else to either. I woke up this morning so it’s a good day and there’s millions of people out there that are in much worse situations.

            As for your amazement at those who would burn a convenience store robber at the stake while turning a blind eye at someone who walks with huge amounts of ill-gotten cash, don’t over think it. It’s pretty simple: People are more willing to let the Gordon Gekkos of the world slide because somewhere in their brain they’re thinking “That could be me. I could be stinking rich and getting away with murder.” It’s the exact same reason that most froth at the mouth over celebrities, professional athletes, and banksters. Everyone wants (and most seem to need) to believe that they could be the star one day. I’m not saying that everyone doesn’t possess the potential, just that we have a seriously screwed up sense of  what makes us valuable as individuals.

    • JGC

      I read somewhere on this topic of taking federal disability payments  that a number of people in their late 50′s/early 60′s lost their jobs during the Great Recession, cannot find new employment, do not have unemployment benefits to fall back on and so the next step they take is to find a bridge to get them to Social Security age. 

      I also saw an old report in the New York Times that the same thing happened in 2002 during the post-dot.com recession of the early 2000′s.

      • JGC

        Oops, I didn’t mean for that to show as a link. 

    • jefe68

      And exactly what did build this nation?
      You seem to have a Hollywood image of what built the nation. Shall we call it a fantasy of the reality of the history based on your own set of values.
      Seems to me slavery was a huge part of it.
      So was exploiting labor.

      So go ahead, cloak your ideal fantasy nation in the rhetoric of right wing ideology.

      • Gregg

        This nation was not built by victims looking for a handout.

  • Drew (GA)

    And since it is still Free For All Friday on the board I’d like to know: How many others felt that the LIBOR nightmare should have been given the lion’s share of the air time and discussion?

    If you don’t think it’s that big a deal wait about two weeks to weigh it’s importance and get back to me.

    • JGC

      Royal Bank of Canada says it followed all rules concerning LIBOR, but Citigroup, JP Morgan and Bank of America are under investigation (why am I not surprised) as part of the group of 16+ banks that help set the daily rate on the U.S.$.   Bloomberg News has some interesting reports and blogs concerning the LIBOR dealings.

      How many investigations until someone is indicted for fraud and theft in the banking “industry”?  Be sure to 
      listen to the On Point hour on “Lies” from a couple of days ago.    

      I imagine the On Point staff are arranging an hour on LIBOR to be aired soon.  

      • Drew (GA)

        The “How many investigations” question is a great one. There’s an even more important (in my opinion) question that’s been burning up my brain for at least the past four years: At what what point will we realize that we can’t legislate or regulate greed out of existence? Yes we all want to believe that we’re good, that we’re doing what’s right, that we’re making the world a better place, etc.. The truth begs to differ. The only way to stop the abuse of the financial system and all the misery that results from said abuses is to remove all incentive to lie, cheat, and steal.

        I listened to and enjoyed the Lies show, just never got around to reading the discussion on the board. I will say I was somewhat disappointed because the lead up made me think there was some new revelatory info coming my way. I thought that all of the testing and results were pretty much common sense and they didn’t affect any of my prior beliefs and opinions regarding lying. I would have been the subject that never fudged an answer for a dollar, didn’t mind if the attractive subject hooked up with the attractive interloper, and gave any excess change back to the cashier. And no, I’m not lying, I’ve done all of the above. Yes I know that makes me weak or naive in the minds of many (and explains why I’m not stinking rich). I guarantee I am neither weak nor naive, I’m probably about as jaded as they come. If you enjoyed the Lies show you should check out the link below when you have time.

        http://www.radiolab.org/2008/mar/10/

        If On Point doesn’t have an hour on the LIBOR scandal up by Wednesday’s show I’ll be a little surprised. I’m looking forward to it. I know that it’s going to take several weeks for the full scale of the scandal to start to sink in but I’m interested to see what direction OP takes in their coverage.

        Apologies for the lengthy response, insomnia inspires boredom.

        • JGC

          There were surprises for me in the Lies program, like how in one test, there were only a few big liars which cost the researchers a few hundred dollars in payouts.  But there were many, many,many little liars, adding just a point or two to their score, who could it hurt, but this resulted in an overall loss of tens of thousands of dollars. The small lies were more costly than the big ones.

          He made a connection with the finance people who start out shaving the truth, not for themselves, but to help out a friend or the company or whatever excuse, and it steamrolls until it is such a web of lies, they can’t even see themselves trapped within, surrounded by their community of lying, bonus-grasping enablers. And they are being well rewarded, so it must be O.K., right?

          This strikes me as a kin to former NYC mayor Giuliani’s broken windows theory, where the small things that get overlooked like graffiti and garbage and defacement of property leads to larger crimes and a sense of hopelessness. So don’t tolerate the little stuff, and that will help prevent the big stuff from happening.

          Another thing that surprised me in Lies was (and I am not a religious person) the subtle effect of participating in some sort of moral exercise, like swearing on the bible even if you are an atheist, or trying to list the 10 Commandments, before doing a task, that it literally has a halo effect and subconsciously makes a person act in a measurably more trustworthy way.

          Maybe there has to be a Bible-swearing amendment attached to a refreshed Glass-Steagall to get the right wing Republicans on board.

           

          • Drew (GA)

            Glad you found it informative, for me it all pretty much just traced back to my life-long belief that there is no such thing as a little lie. I’m certainly not going to say that I have never lied during the course of my entire life but I have made a conscious effort not to during the adult portion of it. I was a kid like everyone else once upon a time. The reason I have such a HUGE problem with a liar is that they are providing false information. No one can make a good decision with only bogus information to base it on.

            “Maybe there has to be a Bible-swearing amendment attached to a refreshed
            Glass-Steagall to get the right wing Republicans on board.”

            Nah, that’d be a disaster. If there is a God the Bible would just burst into flames when they placed their hand on it. I doubt “I swear” would even make it out of their mouths. lol
            Okay, now insomnia is breeding silliness so I’m out. Hope you have a good night.

  • JGC

    There is a program on the global banking scandal on today’s Diane Rehm Show (June 9).   

    • JGC

      I just am listening to it now.  Short America’s Favorite Banker.  Now it is clear why JP Morgan was doing relatively well during the financial crisis:  they were busy messing with the global financial interest rates, and are also implicated in manipulating the natural gas/electricity markets (smells like Enron?) 

      The LIBOR scandal is veeerrry close to coming into the U.S. public conscious (as Drew (GA) is predicting below). Here comes the next jolt to the recovering U.S. economy.

      Aside:  Extra money for the Commodities Futures Trading Commission is held within the Farm Bill.  The CRTC is the staff that is blowing the whistle on LIBOR and Barclays.  Meanwhile, the Republicans are trying to decrease the number of CRTC staff looking into this subject by cutting their budget.

        

      • Drew (GA)

        In my heart the possible discovery of the Higgs boson was the biggest news last week because to me It’s like beginning to understand The Force (yes I know I’m a geek). I knew what the implications of the LIBOR scandal were the moment I heard about it and that’s the only reason I felt it should have been the focus Friday. Apparently The Round Table felt that standard election year fodder was more important. I really enjoyed the Diane Rehm show, thanks for pointing me in that direction.

        Pandora’s Box anyone?

  • Drew (GA)

    http://www.npr.org/2012/07/07/156416876/scrantons-public-workers-pay-cut-to-minimum-wage

    I wonder if Mayor Chris Doherty and the City Council are paying themselves minimum wage as well.

    I’m willing to bet not, any takers?

    • guest

      they are.

      • Drew (GA)

        I was somewhat shocked by that. I guess you have to “do the right thing” when you’re the focal point (or when there just isn’t any money there). I’m sure their positions, prior income, and standing in the community won’t make that burden easier. You should have taken that bet. lol
        I’m actually glad I would have lost that one.

  • Drew (GA)

    Should have been reply to guest.

  • Drew (GA)

    Romney says President Obama is the “Outsourcer in chief”.

    I guess the obscene influx of revenue he’s been receiving has helped him grow a set. He certainly must have brass-b**** to make that accusation. Anyone that will vote for this sociopath deserves what they get, unfortunately the rest of us don’t deserve what we’ll receive.

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