Wednesday, December 4, 2013 Third Way's Anti-Populist, Anti-Warren and Deceptive "Dead End"
The predations of Wall Street banking firms -- many of whom provide funding for Third Way and sit on its board -- crashed the economy in 2008, throwing millions of people out of work and leaving millions more underemployed. Jobless people don't contribute to Social Security, and underemployed people contribute less than they normally would.
Monday, December 2, 2013 "Thinking Globally, Acting Locally" In the Minimum Wage Fight (1 comments)
The minimum wage struggle is occurring at the intersection of powerful forces. It's taking place at a time of growing economic inequality, the erosion of working people's rights, and the globalization of an economic oligarchy whose scope of power is unprecedented in modern times.
Thursday, November 28, 2013 A Walmart Thanksgiving, by Charles Dickens
"A pretty high energy day" for employees. That's how a Walmart executive described Thanksgiving after the corporation announced that this year's "Black Friday" would begin on Thursday evening, leaving many of its workers unable to spend the holiday with family or friends.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 10 Things We Learned (or Re-Learned) In Chase's Latest Fraud Deal (1 comments)
If you steal something and don't have to give it back when you're caught, you'll keep right on stealing. It's called "deterrence" in professional circles. Speaking of deterrence: Until a senior bank executive goes to prison, as more than 800 did after the much smaller savings and loan scandal, things aren't likely to change very much -- at JPMorgan Chase or any other big bank.
Monday, November 18, 2013 For Democrats, a Tax-the-Rich Road to Victory (4 comments)
The conclusion is inescapable: if Democrats make this budget battle a fight over who has the smartest spending cuts, they're fighting on the Republicans' turf. That will weaken them as they enter the 2014 campaigns. But if they make this a fight over taxes and jobs, that's a fight they can win.
Friday, November 15, 2013 The Hearing: Reality, Delusion, and the Federal Reserve
The Federal Reserve was created by the American people. It should serve their interests, not those of the bankers it regulates. Yellen, a mainstream economist, isn't likely to transform it into the central bank our nation needs. Janet Yellen will be a good Chair for today's Federal Reserve. But the Federal Reserve needs to change.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 Something's Happening Here: The Minimum-Wage Wave (1 comments)
Fast food corporations are increasing their profits by refusing to pay their workers a living wage. And taxpayers are subsidizing their profits, along with the misery of their workers, to the tune of billions of dollars a year nationwide. Voters understand this. Where is the political party organizing around this issue? If none can be found, isn't it time to support the workers' movement which is organizing around it?
Tuesday, November 12, 2013 The Shamelessness of Bankers (1 comments)
How can legal safeguards be maintained when the money these institutions spend taints the political process from beginning to end? How can bank executives learn "respect for law, regulation and the public trust" when they are subject to the flattery of journalists, rather than the scrutiny of journalists?
Wednesday, November 6, 2013 Beware: Huge Media Companies Are Selling Corporate Ideology as the "New American Center" (8 comments)
The Esquire/NBC News poll shows that 42% of respondents said they agreed with the statement that "financial reform should only be used to curb abuses, and shouldn't interfere with banks' and investors' ability to make profits." Esquire's editors say that journalists and advisers "better be substantive" and "leave their hobbyhorses at home." This study fails on both counts. If a "bleeding heart" won't tell you, who will?
Tuesday, November 5, 2013 Debunking the Spin: Voters Want Change, Not "Centrism" (1 comments)
The Republican Party is, not to put too fine a point on it, going insane. That's an opportunity for Democrats. Will their party run with an uninspiring and unpopular "centrist" agenda, and pray that their opponents will always be as incompetent as Cuccinelli? Or will they build an agenda for the future, based on the world -- and the electorate?
Friday, November 1, 2013 Confirm Mel Watt Now
The Senate's role in presidential nominations is usually described as "advise and consent," not "obstruct and prevent." Republicans are afraid that Rep. Watt might "take more aggressive steps to help the housing market, such as reducing principal on mortgages." That would cut into Wall Street's profits. As the old saying goes: Follow the money.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 A Four-Point "Scorecard" for the Budget Talks
The House-Senate budget negotiations, scheduled to begin on Wednesday, are an opportunity for our leaders to finally have a meaningful discussion about healing our damaged economy. That's the discussion Washington should have been having all along, but which it hasn't had yet.
Sunday, October 27, 2013 7 Reasons to Take 7 Seconds to Save Social Security and Medicare
The president's latest budget does include cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security: the chained CPI benefit cuts; $57 billion in increased out-of-pocket contributions from Medicare enrollees; $306 billion in reduced Medicare provider reimbursements; and $19 billion in Medicaid cuts. No wonder Republicans see entitlement cuts as the "smarter spending cuts" to help forge common ground with Democratic negotiating partners.
Saturday, October 26, 2013 If the ACA Rollout Seems Rough, Wait Until the Right "Reforms" Medicare (1 comments)
Be careful, Republicans! Every critique you offer against the ACA rollout is a damning indictment of your own vision for privatizing Social Security and Medicare. Whether you want to call the customer service line at your private health insurer, or are eager to slam the healthcare.gov website, our advice to you is the same: Don't go there.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 Why JPMorgan Chase Doesn't Deserve Your Sympathy
This deal was not hammered out in a back room in some dusty courthouse, as the suspects sweated under the glare of naked light bulbs. It came about because Jamie Dimon called Attorney General Eric Holder four hours before the Justice Department was going to announce new civil charges against his bank -- we wonder how he got wind of that, exactly?
Monday, October 21, 2013 The Road From Here: What About Medicare and Social Security? (9 comments)
The posturing has begun. The position taken by Durbin, and apparently by the President as well, is that Republicans must agree to tax increases in return for entitlement cuts. Republicans say they're willing to give up the harmful cuts known as sequestration -- and only those cuts -- in return for Social Security and Medicare benefit reductions.
Friday, October 18, 2013 Winning The Peace: The Post-Shutdown Challenge (1 comments)
Congratulations are in order. The President vowed not to negotiate over the debt ceiling, and he was as good as his word. He stood up to the closet ideologues of the artificial "center," the ones who unwisely argued that being the "adult in the room" meant surrendering to the tantrums of children.
Thursday, October 10, 2013 As Republicans Fight a Civil War, An Economy Hangs in the Balance (1 comments)
If Republicans remain deadlocked, or if the Tea Partiers prevail, we could be facing a full-scale depression. But that realization could leave us in the odd position of rooting for the corporate interests. It's true that they're a safer and more predictable adversary, because they're rational and won't let the economy collapse. But their greed is profound and their resources all but limitless.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 Republicans Discover Government, Promptly Convene "Imperial Congress" (3 comments)
Democrats have already made too many concessions. They're right to stand up to the Imperial Congress. But that won't be enough. It's time for the people to take their government back from the extremists, before their empire collapses and takes us all down with it.
Thursday, October 3, 2013 The GOP's Shutdown Tab: One Billion Dollars and Counting
Fox News' editors and television personalities have taking to describing the shutdown as a "slimdown." Their amusement won't be shared by the mothers of hungry children in Arkansas, where 85,000 meals for lower-income kids will not be served as a result of the GOP's actions.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013 Republicans Win Standoff, Shoot Hostages Anyway (2 comments)
A party that has been cynical and greedy for a long time has now become something even more disturbing: It has become irrational. This is no longer a hostage negotiation. It has become something far more unpredictable, and much more frightening. Republicans have come full circle from when Ronald Reagan proclaimed "it's morning in America." It's midnight in John Boehner's America and the shutdown has officially begun.
Thursday, September 26, 2013 Thanks For Asking, Fix the Debt! (1 comments)
One of the most insidious effects of Fix the Debt and its many sister groups has been to shift the national conversation from our real crises -- massive unemployment, poverty (especially child poverty), and the wage stagnation which is killing our middle class.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013 Your Household Lost Seven Thousand Dollars Last Year. Where Did It Go? (3 comments)
It's shameful when a nation whose wealthiest individuals saw their income increase by one-third in a single year allows 15 percent of its people to live in poverty. It's shameful when a nation with record corporate profits allows those corporations to pay a tax rate that's near its 60-year low while more than one in five of its children live in poverty.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013 Memo to Washington: The Occupy Movement Is Very Much Alive (8 comments)
The Occupy movement isn't dead. It lives on in the political will of the American people. They want a president and a party that will represent the 99 percent, not the 1 percent who write campaign checks and give them cushy post-government jobs. Summers' failure was their latest memo to our leaders in Washington, and here's what it said: If you won't fight for us, we'll find somebody who will.
Thursday, September 12, 2013 11 Questions You Should Ask Libertarians to See if They're Hypocrites (20 comments)
They call themselves "realists" but rely on fanciful theories that have never predicted real-world behavior. They claim that selfishness makes things better for everybody, when history shows exactly the opposite is true. They claim that a mythical "free market" is better at everything than the government is, yet when they really need government protection, they're the first to clamor for it.
Monday, September 9, 2013 The Larry Summers Confirmation Hearing Would Be a Political Nightmare (1 comments)
There's a knotty procedural problem. Summers' appointment has to pass the 22-member Senate Banking Committee before moving on to the full Senate. Democrats have a two-member majority on that committee, but three Democratic Senators have already said they will not vote for Summers. The three -- Elizabeth Warren, Jeff Merkley, and Sherrod Brown -- are highly respected by the Democratic base.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013 Contemplating War (1 comments)
The debate we're about to have will affect the lives of many people, and will determine whether fellow human beings live or die. A decision this grave can't be made in haste, or out of anger. It must be considered and discussed carefully and thoroughly. There are moments in history when we're called upon to act as if the future is watching us -- because it is.
Thursday, August 22, 2013 Cynicism is Corporate America's Greatest Weapon. Disarm It. (1 comments)
our national security system's definition of "terrorism" has become so broad that it apparently now includes lawful and peaceful protests by citizens exercising their constitutional freedoms of speech and assembly. That seems like a sign of totalitarian behavior. But it's also a sign of fear. A mobilized public can change the world at any moment. Those who oppose your cause know that.
Monday, August 19, 2013 Don't Get Complacent About Social Security -- They Still Want to Cut It
If you expect to depend on Social Security, now would be a good time to get worried -- and get active. If you're a Democrat who cares about the political fate of your party, complacency about Social Security would be an even bigger mistake. The president's misguided notions about a Social Security deal may well have cost Democrats the House in 2010.
Friday, August 16, 2013 The "Bankization" of America (2 comments)
The financialization of the U.S. economy is the result of very deliberate governmental choices. Unless different choices are made going forward, we will continue to become a "Bankistan" whose wealth and economic fate is increasingly hijacked by Wall Street.
Monday, August 12, 2013 8 Signs the Rich Have WAY Too Much Money (2 comments)
Wall Street greed and criminality caused the crisis of 2008, but government efforts since then have concentrated on rescuing banks, and on boosting stock market performance and other forms of profitability for corporations. And it shows: Corporate earnings have risen by more than 20 percent each year on average since then, while disposable income has only risen by a meager 1.4 percent on average.
Tuesday, August 6, 2013 Which Jeff Bezos Is Buying the Washington Post?
Jeff Bezos isn't likely to become the Post's Perry White. He'll probably stick to being the publisher. He could become an important one. The best kind of publisher any editor could want is the kind who backs his team when the pressure's on -- from the government, from powerful business interests, from anyone who doesn't want the truth to be told.
Monday, August 5, 2013 Fighting the GOP's Hateful Agenda -- Without Hate (3 comments)
Republicans turned the filibuster and other procedural rules from rarely-invoked options into routinely deployed paralyzing maneuvers. Republicans under Mitch McConnell have transformed the Senate from a collegial body into an armed camp, and effectively changed it from a body which employs majority rule into one in which a minority can block any piece of legislation.
Thursday, August 1, 2013 The New Economic Math = Jobs
Republicans are still ignoring reality. They're trying to extend and even double down on the sequester's destructive spending cuts, despite the economic evidence -- and despite our crumbling infrastructure. It's time to invest in jobs, as well as roads, highways, bridges, and schools.
Wednesday, July 31, 2013 Bankers: The Real House Thieves of New Jersey
The "Real House Thieves of New Jersey," and of the nation -- America's big banks -- continue to enjoy the fruits of government assistance. That aid's moved from direct bailouts to indirect subsidies like the implicit market advantage that comes with being "too big to fail"; immunity from prosecution; low tax rates as corporations and as individuals; and a string of cushy settlement deals.
Saturday, July 27, 2013 A Surprise Ending for Larry Summers and the Fed? (1 comments)
The President is very forgiving of Summers' flaws, which include his apparently shocking attitudes toward women, his spectacular failure to foresee the financial crisis, his pivotal role in deregulation, the many millions he's made from the same Wall Street bankers he'd have to regulate, and his long record as a bully to subordinates, peers, and colleagues.
Thursday, July 25, 2013 Tom Friedman: A New Ayn Rand for A Dark Digital Future (4 comments)
Thomas Friedman is the perfect mirror for the undeserved self-infatuation which has infected our corporate, media, and political class. He's the chief fabulist of the detached elite, the unfettered Id of the global aristocracy, the Horatio Alger of self-deluded, self-serving, self-promoting techno-hucksterism.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 A Federal Bailout For Detroit's Pensions? (4 comments)
If Detroit fails it will hurt our nation as a whole. It will send a message to minority and urban youth that their futures are as hopeless as they seem and the country doesn't care. It will add to a national atmosphere of hopelessness and decay. And we will have missed an opportunity to turn the tide for America's cities.
Friday, July 19, 2013 McDonald's Accidentally Served Up a Minimum Wage "McManifesto" (1 comments)
McDonald's should join the wage movement it so ably served this week, because economic misery is hurting its bottom line in the US and worldwide. And while its new and successful "dollar menu" shows that it's willing to profit from hard times, that's only a short-term fix in a declining economy. Pay your workers what they deserve, McDonald's. Every dollar makes a difference.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013 While Washington Sleeps, a Nation Crumbles (7 comments)
If Washington's going to act, it's going to have to act now. It's not too late. But time's running out. As Bob Dylan says, "It's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there."
If the power grid fails or gets hacked, it could stay dark for a long, long time.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013 Where the Hell Is the Outrage? (3 comments)
It's not that things aren't changing. It's that people don't know they're changing. Without that knowledge the public becomes a canary in a coalmine, only aware of its declining oxygen supply when it keels over and dies. The media has failed to tell the story of our broken economy. The two-party system is failing, too, as corporate forces complete their corruption of the GOP and seize an ever-increasing chunk of the Democracy.
Saturday, June 29, 2013 Believe It or Not! -- 13 Mindblowing Facts About America's Tax-Dodging Corporations (1 comments)
The "chained CPI" cut, proposed by President Obama and supported by Republicans, is projected to "save" a total of $122 billion to $130 billion over the same time period by denying benefits to seniors and disabled people. It's true. "Serious" politicians and pundits are demanding that ordinary people sacrifice earned benefits, while at the same time allowing corporations to avoid more than 10 times as much in taxes.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013 The Court, the Corporate Coup, and the Call to Struggle
Our democracy was under siege even before the Supreme Court's ruling on the Voting Rights Act. This decision caps the Court's clean sweep on behalf of the United States Chamber of Commerce and is part of a concerted effort to seize democracy on behalf of moneyed interests. It's a mistake to view this decision in isolation. It's part of an ongoing, corporate-backed constitutional coup.
Monday, June 24, 2013 7 Institutions That Have Grown So Monstrously Big They Threaten to Destroy America (2 comments)
Corporations, databases, storehouses of personal and institutional wealth all are expanding at ever-increasing speed, threatening to engulf our economy and our lives as they do. That's the problem with Big Things: Once they reached a certain size, they keep on getting bigger. When businesses become so large that competition's squeezed out, everybody suffers.
Sunday, June 16, 2013 Fighting For Our Classrooms, and For the Human Beings Inside Them (7 comments)
We're told that our children are citizens of a great, powerful, and democratic nation. Their education must be equal to those claims. They should be prepared to assume the full rights and duties of citizenship, prepared to determine their society's fate. The System may not want that kind of education for our children. But we do. That's why we have a democracy.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013 Big Money and the NSA Scandal ... How Dangerous is the "Security/Digital Complex"?
A lot of people are getting rich from national security data contracts. And, coincidentally or not, this corporate-driven national security apparatus seems especially interested in protecting Wall Street banks and bankers. In a very real way, financial institutions are now data institutions -- and the "too-big-to-fail" ones are grabbing all the power that comes with the hoarding of information.
Friday, June 7, 2013 Trash Talking Economists (1 comments)
There's a war on. Corporate interests are killing the middle class and depriving poorer people of hope, opportunity, and basic human needs, and they're using economics as a weapon They say truth is the first casualty in any war, and maybe so. But can't we give it a decent funeral, or is that too "uncivil" to mention?
Thursday, May 30, 2013 Our Ongoing Health Crisis, Part 2: The Cadillac Tax Is Still Foolish and Cruel
Despite some modifications which the labor movement pressured the Administration into making (another unsung victory for the labor movement), the tax still punishes plans more for including sick people than it does for anything else. It punishes people for decisions made by their doctors, not them. It even punishes people for living in the wrong area.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013 A Vision for Social Security (5 comments)
Social Security is based on simple moral principles: Children who lose one or both parents shouldn't be forced to into child labor; disabled people shouldn't be condemned to poverty; and people should be able to retire with financial security after a full working life.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 On the Billionaire's Agenda, Does 60 Minutes Need a Visit From ... 60 Minutes? (1 comments)
Ms. Stahl and her employer had two honorable choices: They could have defended her role on the Peterson Advisory Board, or they could have acknowledged that it was inappropriate and announced her resignation. They did neither. Apparently they simply removed her name from the list without comment.
Saturday, May 18, 2013 Simpson-Bowles Austerity Gang: Go Home (3 comments)
"Go big or go home," bellow Bowles and Simpson, and for once they're right. Go home, all of you, and take the sequester with you. Then the grown-ups can start working on real ways to fix the economy, with jobs and growth and other things that really work.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 Holder Says Leak Required "Very Aggressive Action"... Bank Crimes, Not So Much (1 comments)
Bank crime doesn't seem to appear on the Obama Administration's radar, and it doesn't seem to interest the Holder Justice Department. Law enforcement spends a lot more time evicting homeowners -- including the victims of illegal foreclosure -- than it does arresting lawbreaking bankers. They're wiretapping reporters and jailing leakers, while letting executive-suite criminals go free.
Friday, May 10, 2013 Tick-Tick-Tick: Do 60 Minutes and America's Billionaires Want Us to Beg?
60 Minutes was once a shining light of independent journalism. Now it's a covert mouthpiece for the far-right, anti-government values crowd. Once it spoke to, and for, a majority whose interests it fought to defend. Now it represents an atavistically self-centered billionaire class which expects flattery from its subjects whenever it deigns to take notice of their misery.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013 It's a "Big Deal" When Red-state Senators Defy Obama on Social Security Cuts (2 comments)
The "chained CPI," a Social Security cut and middle-class tax hike rolled into one, is despised across the political spectrum. Washington's "center" is formed by the consensus of lobbyists, politicians, mainstream media employees, and other beneficiaries of corporate largesse. But the real political center -- the one where most voters live -- loathes these one-percent-friendly cuts.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 60 Minutes and the Billionaire Agenda: Part 1, "Counterinsurgency Cops" (6 comments)
Three stories were aired Sunday night: Counterinsurgency Cops, Robin Hood, and Invisible Wounds. The first two pieces advanced the anti-government billionaires' agenda with almost Orwellian efficiency. The third was less driven by that agenda, although it also reflected the biases which big-money interests have built into the institutions of journalism and politics.
Sunday, May 5, 2013 Mushroom Clouds Over Texas, 500 Deaths in Bangladesh -- That's Why We Need Unions (3 comments)
The Texas plant did not report the fact that it was storing 270 tons of ammonium nitrate to the Department of Homeland Security as required by law, even though that's more than 200 times the amount Timothy McVeigh used to blow up the Federal building in Oklahoma City. We're expected to suspend our civil liberties in the name of national security, but businesses aren't even being asked to follow safety regulations.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013 My Dark Night of the Sequester (1 comments)
The only sensible thing to do is to cancel the entire sequester. And stop trying to use it to gin up hysteria so they can put through other unpopular cuts. Just can it. If it will help, they can cancel everything except the delayed flights. I'd gladly volunteer to keep enduring flights like last week's if we could scrap the rest of this foolish austerity program right now.
Monday, April 29, 2013 Second Thoughts on Health Exchanges and Hill Staffers
A financially-secure middle class pays its bills, educates its children, and buys the goods and services that bring prosperity to other working people like themselves. Adequate health insurance, both during their working years and after retirement, is a critical element of their financial security. The battle for better benefits isn't over, it's just beginning.
Friday, April 26, 2013 Do Hill Dems Think High Health Premiums Are Okay -- Sometimes? (1 comments)
There are plausible economic arguments for requiring all Americans to purchase health insurance (although they're not as conclusive as their proponents usually claim). But they certainly don't outweigh the dire economic effect healthcare costs have on most Americans.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 When Senators Vote Against Voting (And Reporters Don't Report It) (3 comments)
Begich didn't vote against this measure to expand background checks for gun purchases. He voted against allowing other senators to vote on it. So it failed, even though a majority of senators supported it and it was overwhelmingly backed by voters.
Sunday, April 21, 2013 Real Faces of the Minimum Wage
Last month Republicans in Congress rejected a proposal that would have raised the minimum wage to $10.10. They've also indicated they would reject the President's more modest proposal for a $9.00 minimum. Most minimum-wage workers are women. The GOP certainly doesn't want people to notice that this is one more policy that disproportionately harms women.
Monday, April 15, 2013 The Upside of Taxes
Sometimes our tax dollars are wasted. Two unnecessary wars and the accompanying loss of life are our most tragic examples of that. Every wasted tax dollar that enriches a corporate executive is a "democracy tax." We pay it whenever money's political influence overrules the people's will. Tea Partiers should join in the fight against this "taxation without representation."
Thursday, April 11, 2013 GOP's Not-So-Shocking "Shocking Attack" On Obama's Chained-CPI Cuts (1 comments)
It's hard to understand why so few pundits seemed to understand that President Obama was walking into a trap. Republicans want the chained CPI. But they've never been reluctant to use policies they support as a club to bludgeon any opponent foolish enough to agree with them. And only the President has included in a budget.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013 Could Democrats Be Rebranded As the "Anti-Social Security Party"? (3 comments)
Democratic activists say that, no matter what happens this year, it "wouldn't be fair" to characterize them as Social Security cutters or the relentlessly hostile Republicans as its defenders. If we're being completely fair, it's not altogether unreasonable to think of someone who voted to cut Social Security benefits as...well, as someone who voted to cut Social Security benefits.
Monday, April 8, 2013 Why Obama's Social Security Cuts Are Our Wake-Up Call (4 comments)
The president leads his party. Unless Democrats mount a concerted opposition to this budget, they'll have gone on record as the party that wants to cut Social Security. Democrats who support it will help inflict a deep wound on their party's electoral chances. We have a moral obligation to future generations, and to ourselves, to actively oppose the cuts in this budget.
Friday, April 5, 2013 Have Wall Street's "Third Way" Democrats Ever Been Right About Anything? (1 comments)
We're currently experiencing crisis-level unemployment, record-high poverty (than includes one American child in six), wage stagnation, and a decline in social mobility. Citizens struggling with these problems will be surprised to learn that deficits are a more "pressing long-term problem" than their future, or that of their children.
Thursday, April 4, 2013 The Long Depression (3 comments)
They're taking our economy apart, one piece at a time. We have a way out: through concerted action. But there's no World War-sized event looming that could summon our will -- or our willingness to accept government spending. There's no sign of a new "Greatest Generation," either.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013 Why *Wouldn't* Obama Cut Social Security and Medicare? (7 comments)
Polls continue to show that voters across the political spectrum oppose these kinds of cuts -- "hate" isn't too strong a word -- and would even be willing to pay more in taxes to protect Social Security. These cuts might become be the most unpopular domestic policy decision in modern history.
Saturday, March 30, 2013 Yes, We Can Have Banks That Work For the People
It boils down to a very simple principle: We control our currency, and for too long we've ceded that control to corruptible private parties. Private-sector bankers should run banks, not the economy. Public banking can help to reinvigorate economic growth while restoring balance to our financial system.
Friday, March 29, 2013 Slick, Paranoid Tea Party Video Aims for Violent Insurrection (6 comments)
Many members of the Tea Party Patriots, and groups like it, are undoubtedly good people who have been manipulated into believing terrible things. Cracks in the group's wall of secrecy have offered glimpses of those manipulators by revealing its relationship with big-money Republican operators.
Monday, March 25, 2013 147 People (2 comments)
The circle of right-wing Republicans and corporatist Clintonite Democrats is still intact. That means Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders will keep on promoting the right-wing agenda known as Simpson Bowles until their party loses all its political power at the polls.
Thursday, March 21, 2013 The Price of Evil at JPMorgan Chase (1 comments)
The bank executives who committed those crimes haven't paid a penny in restitution, nor have they been charged with crimes. Those fines have been paid by the bank's shareholders, who in some cases were the victims of the very crimes that led to the fine in the first place! In banking, the victim's expected to pay restitution to the criminal.
Sunday, March 17, 2013 As Senators Roast JPMorgan Chase, Are The Winds Shifting for Diamond Jamie? (1 comments)
Well-connected hucksters like Dimon have a way of slipping away at the last second. The ending to this story is still unwritten, and Dimon's still likely to come out on top -- or, at the very least, to avoid legal scrutiny -- as long as the current team stays in charge at the Justice Department and other agencies.
Monday, March 11, 2013 An Etiquette Lesson For Elizabeth Warren From "El Loco" (1 comments)
Politicians and regulators serve criminal banks for the very same reason that Willie Sutton robbed them: That's where the money is. If these Senators don't figure that out pretty soon, they're going to have to go to the people to raise money. And going to the people is a ghastly experience. The people are messy, over-emotional, and have all sorts of opinions about their government.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 Lords of Disorder: Billions for Wall Street, Sacrifice for Everyone Else
All of those banks' CEOs, men (they're all men) who preen and strut before the cameras and lecture Washington on its profligacy, would not only have lost their jobs and fortunes in 2008 because of their incompetence -- they would probably lose their jobs again today. We have a clear choice: Demand solutions that are more just and democratic -- or submit willingly to the Lords of Disorder.
Sunday, February 24, 2013 Washington's Stupid, Destructive Game (2 comments)
The President is insisting on $100 billion in cuts to Social Security payments for the elderly and disabled -- an offer which Republicans have shrugged off but which he has placed back on the table again and again. Those offered cuts are accompanied by other proposed cuts to Medicare, which seem to include limitations on choice of medical providers.
Thursday, February 21, 2013 Wall Street's Misdeeds Cost Trillions, But It's Main Street Who's Getting Nickel-and-Dimed (1 comments)
As Washington argues about whether it should spend millions to save Main Street's residents trillions, both parties are reportedly open to a budget agreement that would cut $130 billion in Social Security benefits for the elderly and disabled over the next 10 years (according to White House estimates). In Washington that's an acceptable "buy-partisan" solution.
Saturday, February 16, 2013 The Great Wage Robbery (6 comments)
The real "job creators" aren't the ultra-wealthy. If they could create jobs with all their added wealth, they would have done it already. The real job creators are working people with jobs. They don't invest their money in hedge funds or stash it in offshore accounts. They spend it: on food, transportation, their kids' education, maybe a night at the movies ... And then other people get jobs making those things possible.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013 Increasing Social Security Benefits: An Idea Whose Time Has Come (1 comments)
Profits for large corporations are at record highs. Income inequality in the United States is greater than at any time since the Great Depression. And yet the perpetrators of this multi-generational scam have somehow convinced leaders in both parties that we need to cut Social Security -- either through the "chained CPI" benefit cut, by raising the eligibility age even further, or both.
Wednesday, February 6, 2013 Why the Government's Lawsuit Against Standard & Poor's Matters
There's an extremely strong case for fraud in the government's new lawsuit against Standard & Poor's. The suit says S&P lied to the SEC in order to be certified as a credit rating agency, and that it lied to investors about the objectivity and thoroughness of its reviews. This lawsuit is at least a hopeful sign, and a step in the right direction.
Monday, February 4, 2013 14 Reasons to Rise Up -- For Jobs, and Against More Spending Cuts (4 comments)
We've patiently endured lectures about "tightening our belts" while most Americans watched their wages decline. We've stood by as corporate forces manipulated politicians and the press into a manufactured sense of deficit hysteria, watched several rounds of spending cuts make our problems worse, and seen our austerity ideologies discredited by events.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 Grading Geithner -- And Waiting For Obama (3 comments)
Geithner knew about the Libor scandal in 2007, wrote a sternly worded "cover your ass" memo, and then promptly ignored the entire affair. Worst of all, he bailed out a number of banks that should have immediately been liquidated after the financial crisis. Chief among them was the disastrous wreck known as Citigroup. Where it mattered most, Geithner failed one test of leadership after another.
Friday, January 25, 2013 Senator's Denial of News Story Reflects Deep Resistance to "Chained-CPI" Social Security Cut (2 comments)
This story shows that the fight to protect Social Security benefits is far from over, and that both public opinion and advocacy groups are playing an active role in the battle. It illustrates the dangers Democrats face when they don't clearly distance themselves from the chained CPI, or from other cuts to Social Security or Medicare.
Thursday, January 17, 2013 How Extreme Is the Business Roundtable? Check Out Its Attack on the Elderly (1 comments)
Rich CEOs have used every tax loophole in the book to add to their own wealth, have been bailed out directly or indirectly by the American taxpayer, and have rigged corporate governance so that they make far more than they're worth. Now, to make sure the milk and honey keeps flowing their way, they want to cut Medicare and Social Security benefits for the beleaguered American majority.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 Time to Declare Victory Over the Deficit -- And Start Fixing Our Real Problems (2 comments)
Let's stop pretending this is a debate about "fiscal responsibility" or "facing reality": It's about keeping taxes as low as possible for the wealthy and corporations while shifting as much pain as possible onto lower-and middle-income Americans. Stop talking about the deficit and start fixing the problem by investing in our future.
Monday, January 14, 2013 JetBlue and Its Friends Are Trying to Ruin Your Old Age
JetBlue has joined some of the nation's most hypocritical recipients of corporate welfare, like Goldman Sachs and Pentagon contractor Honeywell, in an effort to maximize their own already-swollen bank accounts by destroying your financial future.
Tuesday, January 8, 2013 Two New Fraud Deals Show Wall Street's Washington Insiders at Work (2 comments)
Fannie Mae's CEO hasn't been there long. His last job was as General Counsel for...Bank of America. In fact, he was BofA's top attorney in 2008, at the height of its foreclosure misdeeds. Now he's settling those misdeeds as part of a wave of deals that will allow the bank's executives to escape criminal prosecution. So he had a seat at both sides of the table.
Friday, January 4, 2013 Our Deficit Debate's 'Sick Secret' Is Killing Us ... Literally
Our health care system -- guess we'll need to call it that for lack of an alternative -- is the worst in the developed world. It costs far more, provides much less, and has worse outcomes than any system that's even remotely comparable.
Sunday, December 30, 2012 The Top 12 Political Fallacies of 2012 (3 comments)
It's undertaxed corporations and billionaires who are living beyond our nation's means, by claiming an inordinate and unearned share of our nation's wealth and not paying their fair share of taxes for it. We have the means to be the country we've always been. What we've lacked is the political will to buck the moneyed forces who are dismantling a system that's worked for 75 years.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012 Fix the Debt's New Email: Too Cruel to Laugh, Too Ridiculous to Cry (3 comments)
It's easy to make fun of something this inept, and the overpaid cynics at Fix the Debt -- and fellow shell organizations like the Committee For a Responsible Federal Budget -- certainly have it coming. But this time they've crossed a line. They're claiming to speak in the very interests of the people who would be most hurt by their actions.
Saturday, December 22, 2012 The "Fiscal Cliff" Failed. Now Kill It And Get Back to Work. (2 comments)
The "fiscal cliff" was never real. It was virtual reality. Now it's time for our leaders to take off the goggles and get back to work. The artificial crisis limited the discourse. Newspapers talked of little else. They certainly didn't pay much attention to the more pressing economic problems we face. The show's over. Get over it, Washington, and get to work.
Thursday, December 20, 2012 Defense Lobby Wins, Middle Class Loses In Obama Debt Proposal (4 comments)
The President's latest budget offer slashes a 95-year-old retiree's Social Security benefits by more than nine percent -- and trims the defense budget by less than one percent. Nancy Pelosi insists that these benefit reductions aren't "cuts" which is consistent with the propensity to describe the slowed growth or freezing of military spending as a "reduction."
Monday, December 10, 2012 Four Republican Medicare Secrets ... and a $600 Billion Funeral (2 comments)
Republicans are demanding $600 billion in Medicare cuts over the next 10 years. Their only concrete proposal is to deny Medicare coverage to Americans during what is now their first two years of eligibility, at ages 65 and 66. But their official offer isn't even that specific. It just throws out that figure: $600 billion. But you can't get there from here.
Friday, December 7, 2012 Tea Party Quitter DeMint Cashes In, Exposing DC's Dark Side (2 comments)
How many politicians want to vote against big-money interests when they know there's a pot of gold at the end of the political rainbow? Some can't wait and cash out early, like DeMint. "Will You Help Save the American Dream?" asks the Heritage Foundation website. But that's just another sales ploy. These politicians have already cashed in on their dreams -- by selling yours.
Thursday, December 6, 2012 GOP Offers to Throw Middle Class, Elderly Over the "Fiscal Cliff" (3 comments)
Republicans also propose to raise the Medicare eligibility age to 67, which would force 65- and 66-year-olds to seek private, individual health-care coverage on the open insurance market. And since they'd also repeal the new health-care law, these older Americans would get no help in that process.
Monday, December 3, 2012 In Fiscal Cliff Talks, Republicans Have Nowhere to Run (1 comments)
The GOP is boxed in -- as long as Democrats hang tough. If Republicans really "run" from those talks, that will trigger the "fiscal cliff" provisions they've been describing in such apocalyptic terms. They can't win: Either the "cliff" apocalypse won't come, which will make them liars, or it will -- which will make them destroyers of the economy.
Saturday, December 1, 2012 If Fighting for the Majority Is "Radical," Call Me Radical (5 comments)
If it's radical to defend important and successful social programs, and to work to make them even stronger, count me in. Here's a news flash for the folks at WorldNetDaily: If they think it's "radical" to defend Social Security, fight for Medicare, and make sure that the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, then stick around. You ain't seen nothin' yet.