"Chained CPI is just a fancy way to say cut benefits for seniors, the disabled, and orphans.” Elizabeth Warren
May I? The democratic process comes to this: It takes a 'yea' vote by 61 senators just to get the chance to actually discuss legislation – to do the people's business.
Imagine... Obama has again shown that he does not understand the process. Obama is willing to reduce or eliminate social insurance for many, if not quite yet most, people, to show his reasonableness. The Republicans will reject his budget out of hand, just to show they're serious. Republicans don’t want a compromise, they want to make most of America suffer for the benefit of the few. That's what will bring that smug look to their faces.
Pick A Number: The question was “How high should our top income tax rates be?” Higher. Much, much higher.
Perception: French borrowing costs are plunging, not because France's economy is picking up – it isn't – but because it has become obvious that the EU/ECB/IMF cannot let France go under. No France, no euro. Too big to fail and quite possibly too big to flail, so they'll just have to keep propping it up somehow. Thus the 'improvement' in the perceived soundness of French bonds.
Down The Up Staircase: The administration claims that chained CPI is a more accurate measure of the inflation experience of Americans because when we can't afford what we want, we buy something cheaper. Think about that for a moment: The government wants you to shop at Walmart, in the pet food aisle. But there is not a pet food version of housing or health care – and that's where a large share of the elderly's income goes. Research shows that the prices for the things the old folks buy increase about 0.2% faster than the CPI, while Chained CPI lags CPI by 0.3%. So using Chained CPI for Social Security is actually giving recipients 0.5% less than their experienced inflation. Party on.
Bait & Switch: The price of the Cypriot economic suicide is going to cost them another 6 billion euros, . And the ECB/EU/IMF are not going to chip in any more funds, so something's got to give. Well, in Cyprus 'give' isn't quite the word for it.
Exceptionalism: The Fed says that the crimes committed by the financial industry in defrauding millions of home owners are trade secrets, and that protecting the crooks and their modus operandi is more important than letting the public know the extent of the malfeasance. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency agreed and said that not even Congress should be told of the nature or extent of these financial crimes because the crooks were never going to stand trial.
Fine Print: Back in 2009 the IRS happily decided their agents could (and should) read your emails, text messages and other electronic communications without bothering to get warrants, because you don't really have an expectation of privacy - not from them.
Quantities of Quantitative Easing: While the real economy and the real people who live and work there continue to suffer, the stock markets are soaring to new highs, home sales are increasing as investors snap up houses to rent to their former owners, and Freddie booked $11 billion in profits, Fannie got $17 billion, the Fed booked $90 billion in profits, Apple made $41 billion and Google added $10 billion to the bottom line. US median household income dropped 1.5% and the economy still has a couple of million fewer jobs than when Bernanke got his job. Way to go Ben.
Message In A Bottle: Goldman Sachs would like you to know that, despite Obama's cowering in front of the GOP deficit hawks, “the federal budget deficit is shrinking rapidly.”
Republican Of The Day: Today's Best Buffoon award goes to OK's Senator Inhofe (who is far from okay), for his revelation that Al Gore, the UN, George Soros, MoveOn.org and Michael More got together and made up the global warming hoax.
The Parting Shot: