Taxing the rich is never the answer, according to the rich.
Santa GOP: If I promise to vote against all the things I used to support, which will let you completely frustrate the will of the American people, will you bring me seniority in your caucus and a couple of nice committee assignments? Yours Faithfully (with my fingers crossed behind my back) Little Joey Lieberman.
Buy The Numbers: The Congressional Research Service say each of Obama's 30,000 soldiers will take two
mercenaries civilian contractors along with them to Afghanistan, brining the number of 'contractors' in Afghanistan to about 150,000. Contractors made up 69% of the Pentagon's personnel in Afghanistan.
Asked & Answered: “Producer Prices Rise 1.8 Percent. Should the Fed be Worried About Inflation?” No, but the citizenry should.
Christmas the New Year: All over the globe this year, governments have been bad, spending lots more than they had. And investors, inexplicably, kept buying up their questionable debt. If banks repay their debt, it will have to be with freshly printed paper, for no economy is producing the kind of taxable income required. And then they'll have to pay more interest to re-float their loans. Which will make the debt that investors bulked up on this year worth much less....
Timed Exercise: A British newspaper has a list of 100 purported reasons why climate change is a natural event no one need be concerned about. In 10 minutes see how many of their silly statements you can debunk.
Shipping Out the White Collars: Shell is shipping “hundreds” of Houston-based office jobs to India and the Philippines to reduce labor costs. Good news for shareholders, unless they used to work for Shell in Houston.
The Dark Side: There may be enough natural gas in the shale deposits in the Northeast to make oil barons drool. There are certainly enough problems with the extraction techniques to make the local citizens sue.
Soapbox: The question is 'should taxes be progressive'? Yes. All personal income no mater what the source – wages, dividends, interest, capital gains, inheritance, lottery winnings, everything – should be progressively taxed and at some level, say a million dollars a year, the taxes should be at least as large as they were back in the fifties. There should be no tax benefit of one form of income over another, and there should be no tax deductions which reward any form of debt, specifically no deduction for any form of interest paid on a debt and no writing off bad debts against income.
Being Brief: Growth in the US economy depends on growth in consumer spending, which depends on growth in consumer credit (because the American consumer doesn't have any discretionary cash on hand). Ditto for small businesses. No credit; no economy.
Wish I'd Said: “We are well on our way to becoming a failed state.” Oh, right. I have.
Excuse Our Dust: The CEO of the company that ships 12% of Canada's tar-sands oil to the US says that mining tar sands, ruining the environment, and adding greatly to the CO2 problem is necessary because “we can’t deny access to the rest of the world to that huge resource.”
Porn O'Graph: Tinker to Evers to Chance – Don't look down.