The chickens are crossing the road; coming home to roost.
Once More, With Feeling: In Great Britain a year of economic stimulation through severe austerity has resulted in a 0.2% GDP growth rate, not the promised 2.6%. The Chancellor says he has no choice but to impose even harsher austerity. Don't smirk; Obama and the Republicans plan the same thing here.
Cleaning Up: The GOP's funding bill cuts EPA funding by 18%, to reflect their lighter workload - the EPA will no longer be required to protect the environment. Regulations that hinder the exploitation of the environment
and workers will be rescinded. Henceforth the agency will be charged with assisting the destruction of the environment in the name of Motherhood, God and Profits. Mostly profits.
Devil/Details: Another 11 million foreclosures are in store before house prices will hit bottom. That's the “reasonable” estimate from Amherst Securities' Laurie Goodman. Get 'em while they're hot.
Eli's Coming: The media is full of talk about the terrible things that will happen to Wall Street, to the bond markets, to the banking system if the debt ceiling is not raised. But they do not talk about the terrible things that will happen to the people when the debt ceiling is raised.
Hail Damage: May's Case-Shiller report shows a 4.5% y/y decline in housing prices.
Lest Ye Forget: The median wage is $26,261. For the mathematically challenged, that means that half the workers in the US make less than $26,000 a year. The richest 400 individuals pay only 18% of their income in taxes.
Cards Plan: The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities concludes that Boehner's latest plan “could well produce the greatest increase in poverty and hardship produced by any law in modern U.S. History. … In short, the Boehner plan would force policymakers to choose among cutting the incomes and health benefits of ordinary retirees, repealing the guts of health reform and leaving an estimated 34 million more Americans uninsured, and savaging the safety net for the poor. It would do so even as it shielded all tax breaks, including [those] for the wealthiest and most powerful individuals and corporations.”
Trick Question: Can economic growth last? No. Après moi, le déluge.
The Secret: UPS domestic package traffic has remained static, yet profits are up 29%. They claimed it was increases in productivity - paying workers less to do more.
Observation: “In hindsight, attempting to engage the House Republicans on long-term fiscal issues was a silly idea — these are people who think you can raise revenues by cutting taxes.”