Archive for Saturday, July 2, 2011

Passing major debt deal by Aug. 2 seems doubtful

July 2, 2011


— It may be even more difficult than it appears for Congress to reach a broad deal to raise America’s borrowing limit and slash spending by Aug. 2. Maybe all but impossible.

Even if quarreling lawmakers can somehow agree this month, it is doubtful that Congress can write it up in binding fashion and pass it by one month from today. That’s when, the Treasury Department declared anew on Friday, the government will start running short of money to pay the nation’s bills.

Congress could end up having to vote at least twice on the political poisonous issue of raising the debt ceiling, now $14.3 trillion, to avoid a first-ever government default. The first vote would be on an interim raise, possibly in the tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars, to give Congress time to wrap up a grand bargain allowing the government to go trillions of dollars deeper into debt in exchange for spending cuts and possibly higher taxes totaling an equal amount.

“It will take time, and that is a bit troublesome,” says Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., who represented Senate Republicans in budget talks led by Vice President Joe Biden. “Nobody wants this to be just parachuted in three days before they vote on it.”

Veterans of previous budget deals say there’s no way President Barack Obama and Congress can meet the Aug. 2 deadline even if a broad overall agreement is reached in the next two weeks. First, it could take weeks more for lawmakers and staff aides to implement that deal negotiated by the president and the two parties’ leaders.

Then, lawmakers would need time to examine and digest the legislation. And that’s hardly all.

“There’s the need to write it, the need to read it, the need to understand it, the need to score it, the need for it to be ‘real,’ the need for it to be processed and supported by each side’s base, the need to assemble the necessary votes,” said GOP lobbyist Eric Ueland, a former longtime Senate aide.

And that’s assuming everything goes according to plan — that the debt-budget pact doesn’t get blown up by a revolt from the tea party on the right or frustrated Democrats on the left. That’s a huge “if.”

It took many months to move a 2005 budget-cutting bill — which ended up cutting about $100 billion over 10 years — through the system, and that was when Republicans controlled both the White House and all the congressional committees that drew the legislation up.

Now, GOP-controlled House panels and Democratic-led Senate committees with little experience working together will have to write up an agreement hatched by Obama and the top leaders in both parties. Battles are unavoidable. The House and Senate Agriculture committees, for example, will be asked to implement farm subsidy cuts they either disagree with or would prefer to do in a more deliberate fashion later.

Even items that both sides agree on, such as lucrative auctions of electromagnetic spectrum to wireless companies, can be enormously complicated to implement. Core questions, like how much money to devote to building a new, more effective wireless system for emergency responders and how much to compensate broadcasters for giving up their existing rights to spectrum, seem much too complicated to resolve in a couple of weeks.

The degree of difficulty is heightened by the desire to generate a package of deficit cuts in the range of $2.4 trillion over the coming decade to balance a similar increase in the debt limit — one that’s large enough to keep the government afloat past the November 2012 election.

Discussions led by Biden focused on well over $1 trillion in savings, most from the pot of money assigned to Cabinet agency budgets passed each year by Congress. But the types of additional ideas that could get lawmakers to the $2 trillion-plus target, like cuts to Medicare providers or targeted tax increases, invite sparring from industry groups and their defenders on Capitol Hill. Another idea, a new government cost-of-living adjustment that would affect both Social Security benefits and tax brackets, is simpler to draft but may be too big a lift politically.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 11 months ago

Translation: a sizable number of Republicans have convinced themselves that plunging the country and the world into an even deeper economic crisis will be good for them come Nov 2012.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 11 months ago

Bozo hates anyone with money. Interestingly, if Bozo is just an average American, or even a lower income American, then Bozo would be considered wealthy by the vast majority of the world's population. While Bozo rails against the wealthy, Bozo is wealthy.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 11 months ago

Interesting that the responses to my post were comments about me, rather than about the content of my post.

I suspect it's because you both know my post is quite accurate, but it's easier to make strawman attacks on me than to acknowledge inconvenient truths.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 11 months ago

It should be noted, Bozo, that prior to the last election, when Democrats controlled the White House as well as both houses of Congress, they were unable to pass a budget. Neither party has clean hands here. Both are playing the same political game. You may not like the policies of Republicans, but the game they're playing is the same game the Democrats are playing. Get elected and steer money and power to their base.

Godot 6 years, 11 months ago

Treasury was scheduled to make its semi-annual interest payment to the so-called Social Security Trust Fund on June 30. The amount due the trust fund from Treasury was approximately $90 billion. Treasury didn't make the transfer. The US is already in technical default because Geithner chose not to make a required interest payment to Social Security rather than cut spending somewhere else.

pace 6 years, 11 months ago

Radical right wing are becoming true anarchist, willing to destroy the existing economy to wipe the slate clean for a new world order.

Godot 6 years, 11 months ago

This is the first time I've seen the term "radical right wing" applied to Geithner and Obama.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 11 months ago

Barry needs to get some campaigning done & isn't available for Presidenting right now.

Mixolydian 6 years, 11 months ago

The problem isn't enough revenue.

The problem is too much spending.

Here's a reasonable comprimise: Any talk of new taxes has to be tied directly to the debt. Not just raising taxes to raise taxes. Any dollar raised by a new tax needs to be matched by two dollars in cuts and the new tax revenue applied directly to the debt and not for any other purpose..

Godot 6 years, 11 months ago

This is not even close to being enough. The feds currently borrow over 40 cents of every dollar they spend. That means in order to just stop borrowing, Congress and the President need to agree to a combination of nearly $2 trillion in spending cuts and tax increases just this year alone.

47% of US households pay no income tax. Many very profitable corporations pay no income tax. Many very wealthy people are able to avoid or reduce their tax bills, legally, by exploiting loopholes in the tax code. This has to stop. Everyone should pay their fair share, not more, not less.

If I were president, I would compromise by agreeing (and keeping my promise) to work with Congress to reduce spending 10% across the board, repeal the entire tax code and replace it with a flat tax, with no loopholes or exemptions above a certain minimum income, along with a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, in exchange for a $1.5 trillion increase in the debt limit. Then I would devote full attention to getting these things accomplished before the next election. This is such a crisis that I would not devote one iota of my time and energy, nor use any of the resources of my administration, toward engineering my re-election.

In short, I would act as President of the United States, not as the leader of a political party and candidate for the presidency.

Jimo 6 years, 11 months ago

"The problem isn't enough revenue. The problem is too much spending."

No, too much spending and not enough revenue.

Federal revenues haven't been such a small part of GDP since Truman's term.

No revenues, no deal.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 11 months ago

" Any dollar raised by a new tax needs to be matched by two dollars in cuts"

The only way that could be done without further collapsing the economy, or making a further mockery the "social safety net," would be to take both dollars out of Defense/War spending.

And Republicans will never go after the military pork that serves them so well. (and a whole lot of Democrats are right there with them.)

Flap Doodle 6 years, 11 months ago

Learn from the past. "Thirty years ago this fall, on October 18, 1981, a charismatic academic with rather limited government experience and with a one-word slogan, “Change,” was elected prime minister of Greece. His name was Andreas Papandreou. Greeks may now wish that 30 years ago they had had a Tea Party movement. Things could have turned out differently.

Thirty years ago, Greece was in an enviable position on the matter of national debt, with its debt just 28.6 percent of GDP. Few advanced countries can manage that kind of debt-to-GDP ratio. By the end of Papandreou’s first term in office, that ratio had nearly doubled, with debt at 54.7 percent of GDP. By the end of his second term, the figure was in the mid 80s.

The 1980s in Greece were a time of dramatic expansion of government. Papandreou and his Socialist party created a new government-run health-care system, dramatically expanded employment in the public sector, nationalized failing companies, and increased government handouts of every shape and form.

It was a government expansion so large and many-sided that in the end it generated a revolution of expectations and attitudes about the role of government in society. No government since then has been able to reverse that revolution, no matter how willing it was or how pressing the circumstances.

It is in this detrimental position that the current prime minister, George Papandreou, son of Andreas, finds himself. A sorry state of affairs created by one generation to be dealt with by another, the sins of the father to be paid for by the son — this is the material that Greek tragedies are made of.

The statism of the Eighties got another boost when subsidies from the European Union started to pour in, and yet another boost in 2001 when Greece adopted the euro and discovered that she could borrow at very cheap rates. The euro and the subsidies played the same role in Greece that oil has played in the Middle East: the lifeline of an unsustainable economic system, the enabler of a demagogic political class.

Now the Greek government finds itself with a debt-to-GDP ratio somewhere north of 140 percent and quickly rising. Since May of 2010, that problem has also become the European Union’s problem. Because Greece is a member of the EU and the eurozone, it is feared that her instability will lead to the destabilization of other weak members of the EU. Greece cannot go out to the markets to service her debt and finance her new deficits; that has become the care now of other nations’ taxpayers across the continent...."

camper 6 years, 11 months ago

I really am beginning to think the Republicans could be sabatoging the economy purposefully. They have always voted to raise the ceiling before.

It would not be wise to do go into default. Talk about the 1st dominoe. Then we just might be in for some really rough times.

The thing to do is to 1st stop the bleeding. Translated....raise the ceiling. The we need to go about making progress in reforming future budgets. Ideas like Mixolydian has above. Propsong a ratio like for each increment of raised taxes, an equal increment of budget cuts.

It is too bad that the Republicans are playing games considering just how serious an issue this is.

Godot 6 years, 11 months ago

The Republicans are not in control. Obama is the one who can veto any bill that crosses his desk. He can also exert pressure on Reid and Pelosi to get their members to come to an agreement.

If Obama really wants to avoid default, all he has to do is agree to make cuts that have to be made, no matter what. This federal government as it stands now is unsustainable.

Regarding the need for more revenue, Obama could issue an executive order tomorrow to confiscate 100% of the wealth of all the billionaires in the US, and he would only delay busting through the debt ceiling by about 12 months......unless he agreed to also make huge cuts in spending.

A combination of comprehensive tax reform (as opposed to targeted tax increases) entitlement reform, a balanced budget amendment, and major downsizing of the federal government, is the solution.

As for US defaulting on its debt? It is not a question of "if." The Treasury has already technically defaulted on its statutory obligation to pay interest on the government IOU's held by the Social Security Trust Fund in its mythical lock box. This is entirely the fault and strategic choice of Barack Hussein Obama and his unwillingness and/or his inability to lead.

Godot 6 years, 11 months ago

The issue at hand is not the budget, it is the raising of the debt ceiling. Raising the debt ceiling does not involve appropriating funds. There is nothing to keep the democrat controlled senate from originating and passing a clean debt ceiling increase bill as long as it does not stray into taxing and funding. Just put together a one page bill that says, "We authorize the raising of the debt ceiling to $20,000,000,000,000. That is what it will take to get through the next 3 years, if spending continues to increase at the pace it has been during the last 2.5 years. If they pass it and it goes to the house and it does not pass, then so be it. At least they can demonstrate that they have the courage of their convictions.

camper 6 years, 11 months ago

The Republicans are not in control? False. They are just a much in control as the Senate and Executive. The house must pass the budget 1st (correct me if I'm wrong). They are refusing to allow any tax increases and tax reform but only want to cut....which essentially is felt from the bottom of society all the way up to the middle. They are doing two things 1) playing politics, and 2) catering to the wealthy tax base (the rich people).

Godot 6 years, 11 months ago

You are wrong. The senate can originate the debt ceiling bill if they don't attempt to change tax law or specifically affect spending in the same bill

Apparently you are not aware of the FAIR tax bill introduced by Republicans. Or you are doing the tired old Obama trick of saying, "They don't have any ideas/plans/solutions" meaning the Repubs are making many proposals, but you just don't like them, so you pretend they don't exist. Kind of like Obama refusing to meet with Republicans about the debt ceiling. And that brings us right back to an abject failure of leadership on the part of the person who is supposed to be the president of all of us, not just the president of the Democrats.

camper 6 years, 11 months ago

You are wrong. But do tell me more about the FAIR tax bill. Who is the author? What are the numbers? Is it on the agenda for a house vote?It must be that the liberal biased media is not reporting it

Jimo 6 years, 11 months ago

I've been hoping we could get what we really need in this country -- the GOP to grow up and focus on good government. Apparently, that won't happen soon (probably not until after Obama wins another term and, whatever Republican small-fry goes down in flames). Failing to raise the debt ceiling doesn't make us spend one dime less or lower our debt at all. This is because refusing to pay doesn't make the obligation to pay go away nor does it constrain new spending nor does it raise a penny of additional revenue.

Obama will have to fall back on the "Constitutional Option" and ignore the unconstitutional effort by the Congress to repudiate payment of our bills. The fact is requiring Congress to approve the Executive's recognition of what the Congress has already approved and the Executive has already acted in reliance upon, is not (a) contemplated by the Constitution, (b) necessary in practice or (c) allowed by our Constitution. Like so many of our Congressional rules, they aren't required by the Constitution and either will work with the process and be routinely invoked or work against the process and be rarely invoked. (Both being invoked routinely and gumming up the process isn't sustainable.)

The validity of the debt of the United States shall not be questioned. (Difficult to say it more clearly than that!)

If the GOP wants less debt then they can spend less, tax more, or do both, by passing such measures in the House, convincing the Senate to agree, and gaining Presidential approval. Short of that, they can go pound sand! Our Constitutional system disallows any one part of the government to dictate terms to the other parts.

In short, because the Mad Tea Hatters are stark raving mad, instead of getting a reasonable deal (reportedly, Dems had offered a bit over $2 trillion in spending cuts), they won't get any deal at all! (And if they had the intelligence God gave a mule, they'd learn from their errors. Are there any adults left in the GOP to tell the nuts to sit down and shut up or else? Why does that have to be left to the voters to do so a year from now?)

Jimo 6 years, 11 months ago

BTW - happy belated Canada Day.

Canada: the country where--in wingnut theory--life is a living hell of constitutionally mandated "peace, order and good government" (or "paix, ordre et bon gouvernement").

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 11 months ago

With such an insightful analysis, surely you can come up with a final solution that will protect the interests and property of the money makers, who, as supremely capable as they are, can't seem to figure out what to do with all the inferiors of the human race with whom they are so burdened.

Or is blaming Obama your "final solution?"

jafs 6 years, 11 months ago

Interesting that you don't mention the companies that have outsourced jobs, laid off large numbers of employees, etc.

Jimo 6 years, 11 months ago

Amazing how the nutters will demand an end to abortion one minute and complain about people having kids they can't afford the next. It's almost funny.

Godot 6 years, 11 months ago

Good to see a rabid lib admit that abortion of children of the poor is their attempt at entitlement spending control.

Jimo 6 years, 11 months ago

A. Those are the standards of your debate. Not anyone else's.

B. I'm a conservative. What are you? Do you prefer the term revolutionary or reactionary?

Godot 6 years, 11 months ago

wait, What? Liberals. They make absolutely no sense. That is why you cannot have civil discourse with them.

Jimo 6 years, 11 months ago

It's fairly obvious you don't have the first clue what conservatism is.

Jimo 6 years, 11 months ago

“The full consequences of a default — or even the serious prospect of default — by the United States are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate. Denigration of the full faith and credit of the United States would have substantial effects on the domestic financial markets and the value of the dollar.” -- Ronald Reagan.

Jimo 6 years, 11 months ago

I suppose it's worth noting as well that Alan Simpson referred just this week to the GOP's refusal to include tax revenues in a budget deal as "absolute [excrement that falls out of a male cow]" --

Jimo 6 years, 11 months ago

You won't find the situation summed up much better than this:

"Republicans got the tax cuts they wanted. They got the financial deregulation they wanted. They got the wars they wanted. They got the unfunded spending increases they wanted. And the results were completely, unrelentingly disastrous. A decade of sluggish growth and near-zero wage increases. A massive housing bubble. Trillions of dollars in war spending and thousands of American lives lost. A financial collapse. A soaring long-term deficit. Sky-high unemployment. All on their watch and all due to policies they eagerly supported. And even worse, ever since the predictable results of their recklessness came crashing down, they’ve rabidly and nearly unanimously opposed every single attempt to dig ourselves out of the hole they created for us."

Jimo 6 years, 11 months ago

Love the non-denial denial. Always a sure sign that the arrow found its target.

Jimo 6 years, 11 months ago

Maybe this is a better summary:

For nearly a decade, our federal government paid for two wars and a costly prescription drug benefit with borrowed money. Our government paid for the Bush tax cuts with borrowed money. Now, after exhausting the budget surplus left by the Clinton administration, the only spending Republicans are willing to discuss cutting is spending that helps the poor and vulnerable — meaning anything that does not touch the interests of large corporations and the very rich. Last December, Republican hard-liners held hostage benefits for people out of work in exchange for an agreement to extend the Bush tax cuts for those who make a million dollars or more a year. Last month, many of the same lawmakers rallied to protect special tax benefits for oil companies that have made record profits on high gas prices.

Meanwhile, some mom-and-pop stores and college students pay more in taxes than some of our largest corporations. Still, taxes are sin to the hard-liners, though they have difficulty demonstrating a correlation over the past decade between tax cuts and economic growth.

gkerr 6 years, 11 months ago

Jimo, If you are interested in knowing the truth of the housing and banking debacle please, please, read Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner's outstanding book, RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT. The authors are NYT reporters who pull no punches in naming and exposing the sordid underbelly of corruption of both government and corporate interests.

The culprits are many and include hallowed political pillars- past and present elected officials of both parties as well as special interest operatives maneuvering behind the scenes. Their story, which could have begun in the Garden, begins in 1994 with President Clinton's announcement urging private enterprise to join with government to markedly increase home ownership across America. Roosevelt's "a chicken in every pot" became "an owner in every home." According to Morgenson and Rosner, within a decade the nation was slipping into economic disaster directly due to the embrace by partners in the Clinton programs of a corrupt corporate model used to enhance home ownership.

The scheming insiders, folks like James A. Johnson Fanny Mae's "calculating and politically connected chief executive" crafted a series of laws and schemes that allowed the United States Government and his company to take grave risks and of course made him and his friends and partners inside and outside of government both rich (or richer in this case) and powerful. The authors write, "Perhaps even more important, Johnson's tactics were watched closely and subsequently imitated by others in the private sector, interested in creating their own power and profit machines." They note in the final pages of their prologue that Barney Frank, an ardent supporter of Fanny Mae and apologist for the Clinton housing program, was asked after his speech to the Institute of International Bankers whether he had considered the possible downsides to the home ownership drive. His reply, "We'll deal with that problem if it happens." There are culprits from all political parties and persuasions. The real lesson of our current grave crisis is that power begets hubris which begets risks and bad judgments which are ruinous to our economic, political, and cultural health as a Nation. Gkerr

Jimo 6 years, 11 months ago

Oh, I'm a general fan of Gretchen Morgenson's analysis. It's quite rare to find anyone who will name names among the corporate and financial evil-doers in any national publication.

But the "real lesson" isn't about power. It's about the corrupting influence of money on people who face choices between public interest and self interest. Don't get me started on the prostitution of the Democratic Party to this money.

But let's be clear. While both Parties take these bribes, one Party would vote in a new system yesterday that banned such bribery, while the other Party relishes the ability of wealth to control the public interest, so much so that they write Odes to the corruption and consider it both natural and desirable.

Let's also remember that: (a) Fannie and Freddie were not the cause of the housing bubble nor its collapse but were instead quite late to the party, chasing after market share being stolen by poorly regulated lenders operating with virtually no regulatory limitation. And (b), Fan & Fred's quasi-gov't structure was the consequence of the demands of the Ayn Rand - Milton Friedman wing of the right, that if the gov't had to be involved in this area at all, it's GSEs should at least be private market players instead of arms of gov't staffed by bureaucrats. Thus, we went from a system of gov't support for subsidized rental housing for the poor and a modest leg-up for the working middle class to a grossly bloated system of welfare for the well to do, with the vast(!) majority of the tax spending going to the well off.

Finally, when money is allowed to buy influence, regulatory capture is inevitable. That's true whether its bank regulators or clean water people or food inspectors or anything else. Yet every year the ability of wealth to control our elections grows including most recently the legal obscenity of (the falsely named) Taxpayers United decision. There we saw the juxtaposition of judicial activism at its worst: in the hands of an "originalist" jurists, who, having no originalism to support their cause just made up the law to be something unquestionably contrary to the Founder's intentions.

Four years after the collapse and the too big to fail banks are even bigger, no one has gone to jail despite considerable revelations about systemic fraud, regulators will little more power than they had before, the mortgage business unreformed (albeit for now in a stunned stupor and not working more evil), and a party of Mad Tea Hatters who don't seem bright enough to realize who funds their movement and who benefits from their misinformed agenda.

Jimo 6 years, 11 months ago

You know, most claims of lies and misinformation start with documenting those lies and misinformation.

Since you didn't (because you can't) we can all just understand that you can't handle the truth.

"Far Left": Anyone not a Mad Tea Hatter including Reagan, Eisenhower, and Papa Bush.

Source: The Crack Pot Encyclopedia (2001 edition).

camper 6 years, 11 months ago

There is plenty of blame to go around when talking about the housing bubble: 1) Both major political parties 2) Finance and banking industry 3) Homeowners

In no particular order

Jimo 6 years, 11 months ago

Nothing wrong with that observation.

The question though is: what's to be done about it looking forward? Or perhaps more pointedly: why has nothing been done to avoid a repeat (and in whose financial interest is 'do nothing' a plus)?

camper 6 years, 11 months ago

Yeah Jimo, it seems that the financial reform was watered down and nothing of real substance came forth like the 1933 Glass-Steagall act.

Jimo 6 years, 11 months ago

Indeed. Despite the howls of pain from banks. I also note that the GOP is determined that the consumer advocacy bureau never be funded or staffed. God forbid someone would be on the average Joe's side.

This issue is quite simple. If banks are "too big" for the economy to allow them to fail, there's only two choices: 1. Heavy regulation (much like a utility) to prevents them from ever taking on any real risk, or 2. Break them up into 'small enough to fail' pieces.

Personally, I would just let the bank decide. Everyone who wants to follow the big but regulated scheme, go over there. Everyone who wants to be small and nimble but potentially make big bucks on big risks, you sign up here.

And of course, investors would appreciate that. Some investors want 'widows and orphans' stocks that carry little if any long term risk and pay nice predictable dividends. Other investors want to invest as if the market was Las Vegas.

Oh, and yes, camper, for the big boys, bring back Glass-Steagall. There are arguments against this but I've got trillions in bailout money that argues for it.

Query: why do we never hear the Tea Party crowd demand action on this? Hmmm....why oh why?

camper 6 years, 11 months ago

A system of small banks has been argued, and I tend to be for it. Bank failures can better be absorbed in this regard.

Jimo 6 years, 11 months ago

It would be an improvement.

A better one would be to deregulate non-profit financials like credit unions. Banks work very hard to keep credit unions limited in scope.

tomatogrower 6 years, 11 months ago

I am pretty sick of this. First the Repubicans start a war and then refuse to pay for it. Then they complain because Obama is trying to clean up the messes that Bush and his banking buddies got us into. Republicans have no problem going into debt for Iraq and Afghanistan, but when it comes to spending money on the American people, gasp that's just terrible. Invest in business in the US, when they can make more money in another country, gasp! As far as I'm concerned anyone who isn't willing to pay their share for the wars should be shipped off to the middle east. Most people don't even know we are at war. They got a tax break, their kids didn't get drafted. Heck, they probably have some stock in the companies who have contracts with the military. Dirt bags, everyone of them. If there are any typos on this post, it's because I'm angry!

gkerr 6 years, 11 months ago

Tomatogrower, Read about the cause of the current fiscal crisis that has rocked the world and caused Europe and USA to rethink the sustainability of the Welfare state. The crisis caused in America by politicians pandering to the middle class promising all the ability to own their home even if they could not afford it has indirectly exposed the bigger problem of bankruptcy from ever growing entitlements that cannot be paid for and are in fact a Ponzi scheme which is doomed to fail. The entire political apparatus of the western developed nations, especially Europe and America, has been built on the notion that government spending could drive economic justice and equality of outcomes by forever redistributing capital from the productive to the relatively unproductive sectors of the population.

Read Reckless Endangerment by New York Times writers Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner. They name names. Many names you know, many you don't know.

You will be surprised even shocked by what you read. You will not believe the extent of the greed and reckless corruption of the powerful legislators, executives, and their staffs.

You will be disappointed to learn that many you support and revere are and were part of the problem and are not the solution. Read the book and then see if you will ever be able to spell again. Gkerr

tomatogrower 6 years, 11 months ago

How are workers unproductive? The people who are serving you in a restaurant or a store or not being unproductive, but they aren't getting to share any of the wealth they create. The people who make the computer with which you communicate is productive, but they aren't sharing in any of the wealth. The guy who keeps this forum functioning, probably earns more than many, but I'll bet he isn't getting to share as much of the wealth as he deserves.
You envision a world of worker bees catering to the queen and king bees, and getting thrown scraps. And if they keep their mouths shut they might get a couple of weeks vacation. And we'll throw them a bone every now and then, like a turkey at Christmas. And they will feel so proud that our comanpy of which they are an associate, is making record profits, but they have to remember that none of those profits will come back to them. Arrogant unproductive workers.

Jimo 6 years, 11 months ago

Yes, somehow the hard working Americans who were working when employment was closer to 5% are suddenly lazy lay-abouts who just need some hard love to get busy looking for all the jobs that everyone knows go begging for applicants. Don't you watch Fox?

Jimo 6 years, 11 months ago

Dude. Gretchen Morgenson does not say that entitlement programs are ponzi schemes doomed to fail. You're clearly misreading her work and seeking an agenda.

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