Wednesday, December 8, 2010

SAR #10343

Thomas Malthus was the first economist.

Proverb:  Two wrongs do not make a right.  If raising taxes is wrong and increasing the budget is wrong, then most assuredly the December Compromise is wrong.  Anybody remember why we're waist deep in the Big Muddy?

Fad:  As of Oct 2, 2010, another half-million Americans signed up for food stamps, bringing the number to 42,911,042 participants.

Coming 'Round the Bend:  Either rail freight has fallen for the three of the past four months (seasonally adjusted) or rail traffic continues its mixed progress. Depends on how you count the cars.

On Message:  Big Sister will be there, at the Walmart checkout, hanging out in the mall, watching you register at the hotel, blasting security reminders at you from ever-present TV screens.  Ubiquitous, like Santa.  Wait for the Two Minutes Hate.

Verily, Verily:  “No one in either party is even bothering to pretend that we'll ever have a balanced budget again.”

A Quarter Loaf:  Under the general heading of you-can't-get-there-from-here, Governor Schwarzenegger is proposing to cut California's budget deficit by about $5 billion a year, mostly by cutting health care for the poor, eliminating the welfare-to-work program and charging more for low-income health insurance.  The budget deficit is nearly $20 billion, so some other heads will have to roll.

Unsafe Sex:  Bank America is “concerned” that WikiLeaks may release documents revealing the extent of fraud behind Countrywide's loans.

Fair Taxation?  Federal taxes are the lowest in 60 years, which gives you a pretty good idea of why America’s long-term debt ratios are a big problem.  Also tells you how serious the Republicans are.  If the taxes reverted to somewhere near their historical mean, the deficit problem would be solved at a stroke. Check out the chart.

The Word:  The always cheerful Nouriel Roubini says the US's real estate problems will cost the banks another trillion dollars.  But then he said the problems in PIGS are “contained”, too.   Contained to what?  Europe?

Class Size:  The Supremes are considering whether class action suits should be limited to classes with but one member when it hears motions on the largest class action employment suit in US history.  The betting is 5-4 in favor of eliminating nearly all class action lawsuits, which has been a right-wing goal for decades.

The Little Engine That Could:   Christine O'Donnell has nearly a million dollars left over from her failed campaign for the US Senate.  If past behavior is any guide – she admits using campaign funds to cover her living expenses - she'll have a good payday out of it.

Soothsayer:  DOE Secretary Chu says not to worry, in just 5 years we'll have battery powered cars that will go as far on a 'fill up' as today's gasoline powered cars do.  Remember the hydrogen economy?

Porn O'Graph:  Making the grade.

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