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Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

It seems like just yesterday that Republicans, wingnuts and teabaggers suffered a collective schizoid embolism over the passage and signing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

One year ago today, the president signed the bill amidst protestations from Fox News, talk radio and Rick Santelli about how the “porkulus” spending bill wouldn’t work — how it wouldn’t stimulate economic growth or create jobs. It was called generational theft, socialism, communism, Nazism and any other -ism that could be quickly plucked from the glossary of Glenn Beck’s fifth grade social studies textbook.

Nearly all Republican members of Congress voted against it — the first shot in their “trash and cash” strategy whereby they screech about the evil stimulus and how it’s an unmitigated catastrophe, while also gleefully celebrating the incoming cash in their districts, scores of Republican lawmakers outright begging various cabinet-level agencies for stimulus grant money. In all, 111 members of Congress have engaged in this hypocrisy. One of many reasons why they’re consistent only in their unapologetic self-contradictions.

And, at the end of the day, they can get away with it because of annoyingly common misconceptions about the bill. Chief among these misconceptions is the mixing up of the stimulus and the bailout. A recent CNN poll shows that only 25 percent of Americans think the stimulus helped the middle class, while a majority think it helped bankers. Of course the stimulus had nothing to do with bankers.

CNN Polling Director Keating Holland: “It’s possible that the belief that the stimulus bill helped bankers and CEOs is due to the public confusing the stimulus bill with the various bailout bills that were passed at roughly the same time last year.”

So let’s clear this up.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is “the stimulus.” Those signs you see along the highway just before driving onto super-smooth new asphalt? That’s the stimulus. The recovery act. When you hear “stimulus,” it references this $787 billion spending bill, and it contains the following key provisions.

(more…)

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Obama: Stimulus package prevented another depression

By Raw Story
Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 — 3:13 pm

On the anniversary of his huge stimulus bill, President Barack Obama admitted Wednesday that millions of Americans had yet to feel the economic recovery, but insisted he had staved off a depression.

Obama also lashed out at Republicans he accused of misrepresenting the aims and achievements of the $862-billion mix of tax cuts and government spending, which he said had saved or created two million jobs.

“One year later, it is largely thanks to the Recovery Act that a second depression is no longer a possibility,” Obama said, at an event marking the anniversary of the day he signed the bill last year in Denver, Colorado.

“We acted because failure to do so would have led to catastrophe.”

Obama’s remarks came the same day as the New York Times‘ David Leonhardt reported that the “best-known economic research firms” agree the stimulus package created somewhere between 1.6 million and 1.8 million jobs, with the final tally expected to be around 2.5 million.

MORE HERE

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The End of Influence: What Happens When Other Countries Have America’s Money

America finds itself cash poor, and to a great extent, power follows money. A new book explores the grave consequences this loss will have for America’s place in the world.
February 11, 2010 |

Editor’s Note: America’s leading role in the international economy is waning as other world powers find themselves holding onto trillions in U.S. debt. Recently, former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s claimed in his new book that Russian officials encouraged the Chinese to ditch their Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bonds in 2008 in an attempt to make the United States bail out the troubled mortgage giants. (Russia that year sold all of the bonds it had in both public firms.) And then a few days later came news that Chinese military officers have proposed that their country sell some U.S. bonds to punish Washington for its latest round of arms sales to Taiwan. Power follows money, and Stephen S. Cohen and J. Bradford DeLong’s new book The End of Influence: What Happens When Other Countries Have the Money (excerpted below) explores what will happen in this new world, where other countries have America’s money.

* * *

For more than a quarter century now the countries of the world have been dreaming the neoliberals’ dream. They have been trying to shrink their states back to their core competencies to promote economic efficiency, global economic integration, and growth, and to slash through red tape, rent-seeking, and simple corruption. They have been actively privatizing state holdings. They have hugely reduced their ownership and their active involvement in “national champion” companies. They have cut back on interventions to affect market outcomes and on regulation to scrutinize and control market players.

But now they are waking up. And the neoliberals’ dream is at an end.

To understand why, we need to journey back to the mid-20th century. The coming of World War II ensured that whatever money still remained in Britain left quickly. Franklin Delano Roosevelt ruled an isolationist country that he wished to cajole into engaging in the war with Hitler as early and as completely as he could. But part of Roosevelt’s strategy (and a not-altogether unwelcome consequence, for many who worked in the State, War, and Navy Building-a Victorian-era structure just west of the White House that looked like a French brothel) was to make Britain broke before American taxpayers’ money was committed in any way to the fight against Hitler. Only after Britain had sold off the family silver to pay for the nozzle would America “lend” Britain its garden hose to fight the Hitlerian fire.

MORE HERE

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Obama State Of The Union Speech Will Focus On Economy

BEN FELLER | 01/27/10 09:49 AM | AP

WASHINGTON — Facing a divided Congress and a dissatisfied nation, President Barack Obama will unveil a jobs-heavy agenda in his State of the Union address Wednesday, retooling his message more than his mission.

His goal: Get the economy, the confidence of voters and his own presidency on surer footing.

Obama will offer fresh details about how he wants to salvage an overhaul of health care, rein in the national debt and help businesses hire again. He will call for education reform and more money for schools, take responsibility for mistakes in his first year and follow up his speech with a dash to Florida to announce $8 billion in awards for high-speed rail.

Two themes will underpin the entire address – reassuring millions of Americans that he understands their struggles and convincing people that he is working to change Washington even as he finds himself working within its old political ways.

Yet for all the new wrinkles he offers, Obama’s moment will be measured largely by how well he reconnects with the public.

“In this political environment, what I haven’t always been successful at doing is breaking through the noise and speaking directly to the American people,” Obama conceded to an interviewer last week. This is his chance – speeches like this one can draw 30 million to 50 million viewers, sometimes more.

The White House knows the 9 p.m. EST address has enormous stakes. Obama rode a tide of voter frustration into office and now is getting smacked by it himself.

Change is working against him.

MORE HERE

>>>FULL TEXT HERE<<<

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Obama In Allentown, Pa. To Discuss Jobs, Economy

AP/Huffington Post
First Posted: 12- 4-09 10:46 AM   |   Updated: 12- 4-09 12:00 PM

President Obama travels to Allentown, Pennsylvania on Friday to discuss jobs and the economy, one day after his jobs summit in Washington, D.C. and in the wake of news that unemployment decreased slightly last month. He is speaking at Lehigh Carbon Community College.

“This is good news, just in time for the season of hope,” Obama said. “But I want to keep this in perspective. We’ve still got a long way to go. I consider one job lost one job too many.”

The full remarks as prepared for delivery:

It is good to be back in the Lehigh Valley. It’s been about a year and a half since I last visited Allentown and Bethlehem when I was running for this office. And while it was a pleasure to be here as a candidate, it is an honor to be here as your President.

Pennsylvania, you helped put me in office. But even on the most trying days, I want you to know that I’m grateful – grateful for the opportunity to serve you in these challenging times for America; and grateful for this chance to get out of Washington and spend the day in the Lehigh Valley, talking with folks about this very tough economy.

I’ve just come from Allentown Metal Works, where I had a chance to visit with workers there. They were working hard – and not just to forge the heavy machinery that makes this country run. Like so many others across America, they’ve been doing the best they can to stay afloat in a brutal recession that has hit folks like them hardest of all.

In the two years since this recession began, too many members of our American family have felt the gut punch of a pink slip. Eight million Americans have lost their jobs. Every one of us knows someone who has been swept up by this storm: neighbors who have lost their homes or their health care; friends who have used up their savings and put off their retirement; relatives who have downscaled their dreams – or dropped them entirely.

I’ve heard these stories in every corner of America, and I see them in the letters I read each night.

So as we come to the end of this very tough year, I want to do something I haven’t had a chance to do often during my first year in office; and that is to share some encouraging news on our economy.

MORE HERE

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TPM July 18, 2009

A bipartisan group of six “moderate” US senators, dubbed the “Gang of Six” by news agencies, issued a demand July 17 for a slowdown on Democratic health care reform. These senators – including three conservative Democrats, one conservative Independent who caucuses with Democrats, and two moderate Republicans – asked for a slowdown on health care reform not because their constituents wished it so: recent polls show that a clear majority of Americans want health care reform now including a public health care option such as that proposed by President Obama and progressives in Congress. No, these senators asked for a slowdown on health care reform because the for-profit health, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries have bid them to do so in the hope that reform can be stopped, and because these same industries have generously provided them with career campaign contributions totalling more than $11 million.

Read more about these sicko’s

Gang of Sickos (part 2)

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This article was originally from Rolling Stone magazine, and is here shown in a blog from somethingawful.com. It seems that Henry Paulson was the former CEO of Goldman Sach’s, a time honored vampire that has sucked the life blood of the sheeple. Even in the times before the Federal Reserve.

Omnislash
May 25, 2004

This isn’t really an exclusive, but aside from a scanned PDF copy of the physical magazine, the complete article isn’t online anywhere I can see thanks to Rolling Stone being completely retarded, so I OCR’d it. This is one of the best articles he’s written yet, and even as cynical as I am, I was still sick to my stomach by the time I finished the last section.
quote:

THE GREAT AMERICAN BUBBLE MACHINE

From tech stocks to high gas prices, Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression – and they’re about to do it again

By MATT TAIBBI

The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it’s everywhere. The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money. In fact, the history of the recent financial crisis, which doubles as a history of the rapid decline and fall of the suddenly swindled-dry American empire, reads like a Who’s Who of Goldman Sachs graduates.

Read the whole article ~here~, or click the link at the top for a PDF file of the original article in Rolling Stone magazine.

kudos to Omnislash

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Obama to outline state of economy in speech today


Apr 14, 9:09 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is juggling a glass-half-full take on the economy with a determination to not be seen as naive about problems still washing over the business landscape. The president is slated to give an economic speech Tuesday at Georgetown University as his administration nears its symbolic 100-day mark. Aides billed the address as major but acknowledged that it was expected to contain no significant policy announcements.

Rather, they said, the speech would outline the state of the economy when Obama took office in January, steps his administration has taken in its first three months, and what still needs to be done to right troubled sectors, including the housing, banking and financial industries.

“The president wants the opportunity to update the American people on where we are, what we have to do going forward, and lay out the steps that are being taken to help our economy recover,” said presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs.

Hours before the speech, a cold dose of reality came in the form of a report saying retail sales fell unexpectedly in March, decreasing by 1.1 percent. That was the biggest decline in three months and a much weaker showing than the 0.3 percent increase that analysts expected. At the same time, wholesale prices dropped sharply last month as the cost of gasoline and other energy plummeted, fresh evidence that inflation appears to pose little threat to the economy.

Tuesday’s indicators epitomized a continuing problem for government policymakers and ordinary people alike: How to figure out where the economy is headed amid such often contradictory business signals.

MORE HERE

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Well, as you probably already know, Fox News makes me feel like losing my groceries, but I had to show this video attack on Congressman Alan Grayson. This repulsive dude, Neil Cavuto, is attempting to take on the appearance of authority to trick him into giving him an absolute number on an argument that doesn’t really call for anything but a relative example.

What Alan is dealing with here is known as The “Cavuto mark”. Following a satirical segment proposing it on The Daily Show on September 13, 2006, the word “Cavuto” is sometimes used to refer to a question mark “used to turn any statement, no matter how outrageous, into a simple, seemingly fair, question.”

Barney Frank: “This is presumably a psychological disorder”

Huffington Post

April fools day, 2009

House Republicans did their best Wednesday to battle Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) on the House floor and wound up on the receiving end of some classic Frank jabs.

The bill at issue, authored by Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), would cap executive compensation at bailed-out financial institutions and it puts the GOP in a tough spot: after expressing outrage over the AIG bonuses, it’s tough to vote against the bill.

In announcing their opposition, Republicans such as Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) took to the floor to decry the fact that the stimulus allowed the bonus payments to be made. They excoriated Democrats for not reading the full stimulus bill but said they objected to the bill on the floor that would fix the loophole that had been in the stimulus.

Frank had a field day with it.

“This is really extraordinary,” he said. “What you have just heard is a denunciation of something the Congress did a few weeks ago and a refusal to undo it. I’ve never seen people, Mr. Chairman, so attached to something they hate. This is presumably a psychological disorder which I am not equipped to diagnose. The objection of the gentleman from Texas was that when the recovery bill was passed, it was passed too quickly [and it] included a provision that shouldn’t have been in there. This bill takes it out.”

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