Most Americans say they are middle class - and fear they are not.
Spreadsheetism: While everyone's blubbering about what a Romney Ryan budget would do to Medicare - make it a permanently underfunded and inadequate voucher program intended to enrich insurance companies - the real excitement should be the 50% reduction in the government's 'discretionary' non-entitlement spending by 2022. Of course it didn't specify what would be cut by how much, but there's bound to be plenty for bombs. And drones.
Deflation: Belgium's central bank head Luc Coene said “"It makes no sense for the ECB to start financing those countries...It would only lead to the ECB taking on the whole public debt of Spain and Italy onto its balance sheet. That would in turn weaken the ECB and do nothing to resolve the underlying problems...” That brings to seven the number of ECB members who are trying to introduce reality into the hope-fest stirred up by the ECB's Draghi.
Follow Me! On Sunday Tracey Hepner pinned brigadier general's stars on her husband, the newly promoted General Tammy Smith, who became the first lesbian to serve openly as a general in the US military. Progress, but same-sex partners of active duty soldiers still do not receive the same benefits as heterosexual couples, even if their spouse is a general.
Point of Order: Under Ryan's plan, The Mitten would not have to pay any taxes at all for the next ten years – apparently mirroring most of the last ten – because unearned income such as capital gains, interest, and dividends would not be taxed. To offset these breaks for the rich, taxes on the bottom 30% of earners – those who punch a timeclock – would increase. But they don't earn enough to fund the government, so Ryan/Romney would eliminate all government spending outside Social Security and defense. And Ryan wants to privatize Social Security, too.
Asked & Answered: Will high oil costs permanently ruin world’s economy? Yes.
Some Numbers: Italy's public debt rose 6.6 billion euros in June, to a new record of 1.973 trillion euros, increasing the odds Rome will eventually have to seek a bailout, if they can find anyone with a bucket. Appointed PM Mario Monti is trying to shove a 20 billion euro austerity package on the populace as Italy's GDP fell for the fourth consecutive quarter. Greece continued its role as poster child for the effects of relentless austerity measures, as its GDP fell 6.2% in the second quarter.
Good Question: How is it that, in the middle of a record drought with massive crop failures, the presidential campaigns are spending upwards of $2 billion in advertising without mentioning climate change? The odds are they don't understand the odds.
Victimless Crime: The World Bank says that the banksters' rapacity has thrown 100 million people (or more) into poverty, cutting about 8 years off their life expectancy, and has increased infant mortality by 400,000 a year.
Remember: When a politician refuses to talk about something, there's a reason.
The Parting Shot:
Chamaecrista fasciculata Partridge Pea