Gone To Since 1984

And now, they're coming for your Social Security money - they want your fucking retirement money - they want it back - so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all from you sooner or later. Because they own this fucking place. It's a Big Club: and you're not in it.

George Carlin

  • September 27, 2012 9:55 am
    Precisely. Add a guy pulling a curtain across while saying “nothing to see here” and Mittmentum in the background, handing out footballs to everyone on the field and you’ve got yourself some commentary. View high resolution

    Precisely. Add a guy pulling a curtain across while saying “nothing to see here” and Mittmentum in the background, handing out footballs to everyone on the field and you’ve got yourself some commentary.

    (Source: Washington Post)

  • April 19, 2012 4:38 pm

    GSA “Scandal”

    Worth noting that the “scandal” eating up several days worth of Congressional hearings cost American taxpayers $823,000. That’s Thousand, with a “t.” Particular interest seems to focus on a single party that cost $1960 dollars. Two thousand dollars.

    Bonuses paid post-bailout in AIG’s godforsaken Financial Products Division? $168 million. Total USG investment in AIG alone: $180 billion. With a B.

    That’s just for AIG and really just for one division of AIG. The whole shooting match there on Wall Street was measured in trillions of dollars.

    These and other gross mismatches in outrage brought to you by Feckless, the official messaging arm of The Democrat. Well played, boys. Should government money be wasted? Of course not. But let’s keep a sense of scale and focus the outrage on the truly outrageous.

  • February 3, 2012 10:06 am

    Annals of the (Completely) Free Market

    May God bless Our completely Free, Uninhibited, and Unbiased market economy that, for some reason likely tied to his un-Americanism, noted socialist Obama hates so very much:

    By granting exemptions to laws and regulations that act as a deterrent to securities fraud, the S.E.C. has let financial giants like JPMorganChase, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America continue to have advantages reserved for the most dependable companies, making it easier for them to raise money from investors, for example, and to avoid liability from lawsuits if their financial forecasts turn out to be wrong.

    Freedom! If we can just keep on keeping Big Guvmint off the backs of these little Mom and Pop operators, just think of all the jobs that will be created when, again, their “financial forecasts turn out to be wrong.” Going to be a big day for us all.

  • December 9, 2011 4:16 pm

    A Jobs Pipeline

    This kind of crap (linking the payroll tax cut extension to the Keystone XL pipeline) is precisely why we’d be better off as a nation if Obama had come to the Rose Garden back on Day Two and announced his immutable opposition to wind power, trains, mass transit of any kind, single payer health care, mortgage adjustments and cram-down, and massive civil and criminal penalties for the banksters in general and claw-back of Wall Street salaries specifically. Had he done so, odds are at least two or three of these items would have gotten done per “give us x or we destroy the country” showdowns. With a heavy heart he’d show up and sign the dreaded bill(s). By now he’d have a legislative record on par with the New Deal and the Great Society and would be hard pressed to find new things to “oppose.”

    We are in an era in which whatever the President is for, the GOP is against. If it angers the dirty fucking hippies, then so much the better. They don’t even hide it anymore. Here’s Ohio’s Representative Jim Jordan:

    “Frankly, the fact that the president doesn’t like [the Keystone XL project] makes me like it even more’’

    It is long past time to plan accordingly and make them pay political prices for this. Over and over again. Start picking the things they love the most and convert them into policy proposals that you can live with or even like. Come out for them. Propose the legislation. Force votes. Make ads about the inevitable “flip flop” in their districts. All 50 states. Lather, rinse, repeat.

  • October 17, 2011 9:50 am
    Reblogged to note that an identical poll that instead targeted only Democratic “strategists” would produce the inverse result. They see none of these as “winning” issues, and plainly have no desire to get out of the defensive crouch on any issue of genuine importance, much less any of these. This is why they fail.

    Reblogged to note that an identical poll that instead targeted only Democratic “strategists” would produce the inverse result. They see none of these as “winning” issues, and plainly have no desire to get out of the defensive crouch on any issue of genuine importance, much less any of these. This is why they fail.

  • October 11, 2011 11:00 am
  • October 11, 2011 10:41 am

    "What’s going on here? The answer, surely, is that Wall Street’s Masters of the Universe realize, deep down, how morally indefensible their position is. They’re not John Galt; they’re not even Steve Jobs. They’re people who got rich by peddling complex financial schemes that, far from delivering clear benefits to the American people, helped push us into a crisis whose aftereffects continue to blight the lives of tens of millions of their fellow citizens.

    Yet they have paid no price. Their institutions were bailed out by taxpayers, with few strings attached. They continue to benefit from explicit and implicit federal guarantees — basically, they’re still in a game of heads they win, tails taxpayers lose. And they benefit from tax loopholes that in many cases have people with multimillion-dollar incomes paying lower rates than middle-class families.

    This special treatment can’t bear close scrutiny — and therefore, as they see it, there must be no close scrutiny. Anyone who points out the obvious, no matter how calmly and moderately, must be demonized and driven from the stage."

    Paul Krugman, hosting another edition of Krugman Explains it All in 200 Words or Less. Shrill.

  • August 24, 2011 11:20 am

    Fallows on the GOP and Taxes

    James Fallows weighs in on the GOP finally finding a tax hike they love, the elimination of the Obama-initiated payroll tax “holiday” that would affect every employed individual in the country:

    I had thought that Republican absolutism about taxes, while harmful to the country and out of sync with even the party’s own Reaganesque past, at least had the zealot’s virtue of consistency. Now we see that it can be set aside when it applies to poorer people, and when setting it aside would put maximum drag on the economy as a whole. So this means that its real guiding principle is… ??? You tell me.

    You answered your own question, James. The increase would not impact the core constituency of the GOP, the top 2% of all earners. Most of their income isn’t touched by payroll tax rates anyway. Likewise, dumping this temporary and stimulatory tax break on January 1, 2012 puts “maximum drag on the economy as a whole.” The GOP sees that as a feature of this stance, not some arbitrary outcome. That such a position comes from the unitary “we pledge allegiance to no tax hikes of any kind, ever” club is also unsurprising. They only expressed interest in extending the Bush tax cuts if and when said extensions protected the cuts for the wealthiest 2%, who had already benefited asymmetrically from said imminently expiring tax policies.

    The GOP has been working with single-minded focus towards the worst possible policy outcome(s) for more years than Obama has been in office. They dislike government. They want it to fail, and barring that outcome at best appear grossly ineffectual. Holding a lesser fraction of the total DC power structure only makes it easier to sand the gears and mutter “wha happened?” to an all too pliant media, the most popular outlet of which is firmly in their corner. The GOP machine is most certainly not going to stop now, especially not when they can needlessly prolong the economic suffering of millions of Americans for years in exchange for some short-term political gains and do that in a way that minimally impacts their core constituency: the top 2%. This is who they are.

  • August 23, 2011 10:41 am

    "Finally, it is not clear why it views the fact that the [proposed EU financial transaction] tax will make it more difficult to construct trading algorithms as an unintended consequence. These algorithms may provide large profits to the people who develop them, but the benefits to the economy and society are likely to be near zero. If a transactions tax discourages skilled mathematicians and computer programmers from developing complex formulas for financial arbitrage and instead has them work in a productive area of the economy, then the tax will have been a great success."

    Dean Baker nails it. The very existence of this sort of trading apparatus, which benefits only the company deploying it, relies entirely on what should be privileged knowledge (e.g. foreknowledge of trade patterns about to happen that can only be extracted and acted upon through either initiating the trade itself or privileged placement of what amounts to a compute cluster on a particular routing switch (or both)), and is the sort of thing used by Goldman et al. to, you know, screw their own customers by trading against their interests and/or simply profiting off what amounts to insider information, is as anti-market, anti-competitive, and the very essence of what all our anti-collusion, anti-insider trading, anti-trust, and anti-monopoly laws are intended to control. And these types of transactions do nothing for the broader economy beyond radically enriching a handful of folks who can only spend so much. And we’re a country with a giant aggregate demand problem. So there’s that.
    But may the Flying Spaghetti Monster help anyone who tries to regulate this practice in any way, much less apply a nominal cost to such actions. This, along with rampant and abusive naked shorting, is the true scandal of Wall Street. (By the by: naked shorting is already illegal, but is basically never even investigated, much less litigated. In light of recent events, this should be the basis of a scandal…but that would require a functioning media. Look over there! A missing white woman!)
    And, so far as I can tell, exactly zero is being done about any of it. And nothing will be done until after the next financial collapse. And it will only happen then if the collapse is sufficiently devastating that the entire structure of Wall Street finance is utterly laid waste (thus ending their political influence in the aftermath). Sounds like a time.

  • August 15, 2011 10:27 am

    Read Up

    Yglesias details the 10 “Weirdest Ideas” in Rick Perry’s Fed Up. It’s a must-read post that I’ll tease with this single, highly representative sentence:

    The propriety of a federal role in regulating the banking industry has been the subject of bipartisan agreement since the Madison administration.

    Says it all.