The Deficit, The Deficit, The Deficit! The US budget shortfall has fallen 37%, to $680 billion, which is big money at my house but is the lowest deficit in five years, down from 6.8% of GDP to 4.1% in the last year. The upward redistribution of income, not an improving economy, explains the drop in the deficit. Many economists feel the deficit is shrinking too fast as lowered government spending deprives the economy of much needed demand.
Victory! Only 340,000 Americans lost their jobs last week. Recovery are US.
Free Trade vs Trading Freely: Negotiations are now underway for what is mistakenly called a free trade agreement with Europe. Actually, the goal of the negotiations is the dismantling of any and all regulations – both here and in Europe – that reduce corporate profits by more than a penny or two. Along the way it will wrest a community's ability to regulate its own environment - economic, social and physical - from the populace and deliver it to the board rooms.
Expectations: No one should harbor even the smallest hope that anything will come of the current round of budget negotiations. The Republicans are not likely to let reality – in the form of the will of the voters – intrude on their campaign to lower the standard of living for most Americans.
Skids: Adjusted for inflation, median household income in America fell by 7% in the 1999 – 2010 decade, while the costs of nearly everything – education, health, housing – continued to climb. Once the 99% have been trained by the tough love of the sequester's austerity to live within their means like the 1% already do, things will improve.
Curb Your Enthusiasm: Euro-zone unemployment is at an all time record high – 12.2% overall and 24.1% for youth- in September. Spain – where recovery was declared last week – now has a 26.6% unemployment rate. Germany, which has not benefited from advice from the Germans, has an unemployment rate of only 5.2%.
Shoot, Foot: Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), “I’m from a district that pretty much ignores Washington. If you say government is going to shut down, they say, ‘OK, which part can we shut down?’” The 20,000 farmers in his district pull in $1.5 billion from farm support programs every year – $75,000 for each of those folks who don't like big government.
If Only: Bill Gross, manager of the world's largest bond fund, wants his fellow members of the 1% Club to support taxing dividends, interest, and capital gains as ordinary income, and to do away with the mythical 'carried interest' loophole. Well, he said some of that anyway.
Hard of Healing: The Republicans continue their dual campaign to abolish Obamacare while complaining it is hard to sigh up for it.
Porn O'Graph: Location, location, location.
The Parting Shot: