The simplistic is seductive.
Can You Hear Me Now? Americans of both parties overwhelmingly want Congress to increase the taxes the rich pay and to keep their hands off Medicare and Social Security. Excuse me, Mr. Boehner, I think this one's for you.
Numbers, We Got Numbers! US unemployment claims fell from an upwardly revised 416,000 to 393,000, with 5.2 million drawing benefits
despite GOP efforts to kick everybody to the curb. In Germany unemployment climbed for the 8th consecutive month, reaching 6.9%. Our government revised its 3Q2012 GDP number to 2.7%, a large increase from the previous guess of 2.0%. Nearly all of the upward push came from government spending and inventory restocking, while personal consumption grew at a sickly 1.4%.
Shaken, Not Stirred: The good news is that the Antarctic icecap is melting slower than thought. The bad news is that the Antarctic icecap is melting.
Demos Demonstrated: Romney adviser Stuart Stevens emphasizes that “Romney carried the majority of every economic group except those with less than $50,000 a year...” Which, he says means that “Republicans must be doing something right!” Unfortunately, the 'demos' part of democracy did them in – they would win, they say, if the electorate could be limited to well-off white voters. Fortunately, it isn't.
Getting There:As expected, AZ has joined the bevy of Republican states that are ceding control of their states' health insurance exchanges to the Department of Health. Quite why the Republicans want to help bring a nationally coordinated system into being is a mystery, like so many things the GOP folks do these days. They must see a down-side for the feds and the Dems, but it escapes me at the moment.
Past As Prelude: The US housing market has improved since 2009, 2010. But only a tad, and remains at recessionary levels despite the $30 trillion and counting that has been thrown at it. What would a real recovery cost? What will happen when Daddy takes the T-Bird away?
Enough Is Too Damned Much: The US government insures over $500 billion of assets sitting on the nation's coastal flood plains. For some reason – probably because the rich like their sea-side mansions – the taxpayers get to pay for repairing the damage storms and seas do to housing plopped down in inappropriate places. These are not losses caused by 'accidents' or 'unforeseeable events'. These losses are the result of exercising very bad judgment. Why the rest of us should pay for the rich or the foolish to live on a sand dune escapes me. If they couldn't get insurance from Uncle, they couldn't get insurance. Then they wouldn't be there costing us more money when we have to pay to rescue them and then rebuild their homes so we can foot the bill again and again. Enough. If you want to live in harm's way, fine. Don't make me pay to rescue you and don't make me provide insurance for you, whether you live in New Orleans or New York or anywhere in between.
'Twas Ever So: The folks that couldn't mange Hostess have asked a judge to let them pay themselves $1.8 million in executive bonuses for looting the company.
Going Down Is Going Up: Sales of repo properties will increase 25% this year, to 1.25 million. Many have been kept off the market for over a year as the courts and the banks wrestled with shady foreclosure practices – and a year sitting vacant is a guaranteed additional 10% drop in sales price, on top of the 35% that just being a foreclosed property costs. After two years the loss is about 60%. These properties will drag down the prices of other houses in the neighborhood, bringing expectations for the Case-Shiller index to a 5 to 10% fall next year, even as about 1 in 4 long-term foreclosed structures get bulldozed.
Porn O'Graph: Down so long, looks like up to
The Parting Shot: