Saturday, August 18, 2012

It's all about the Benjamins

John Paulson, known for scamming billions off the last crash, is trying to pump up the gold market. The gold market responded by going down Friday after a two day mini rally. He's heavily invested in the ETF gold market, Exchange Traded Funds are traded like paper stock, because, well they are just paper. In theory you can have your gold if you want it, but nobody does.

The rationale for this sudden interest in gold is the fear of runaway inflation based alternately on scary stories about Europe's collapsing economy, or the idea that once the economy in the US starts to recover that there will be massive consumer price increases. Neither scenario makes any sense. Any sort of collapse leads to deflation and these fears are being reflected in the bond market. The specter of consumer price inflation is predicated on massive consumer lending, they don't explain how exactly consumers who are tapped out on their equity and with stagnant incomes (if they have one) will get all this credit. Basically he's trying to tap the into fears of both success and failure, either will do as long as the price of gold goes up for a few days. That's the wonder of paper exchanges, profits created from nothing.

We certainly won't be having wage inflation since unions are non-existent, and outsourcing is driving down factory wages. The gold bugs are also certain that the Federal Reserve wants more inflation than they are letting on. The problem with the Fed is that they don't seem committed to more inflation. When you have a money supply based on credit, you either have inflation or deflation. If you ever teeter over into deflation, things can get real bad, real fast. Jefferson warned us about bankers whom he believed to be a bigger threat than standing armies. Jackson shut them down. Lincoln feared bankers more than the Confederacy at a time when he could see the enemy campfires from the White House. Ironic that bankers put these guys pictures on their money.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

He takes the posting bounty in pieces of silver

Mittens doubled down on the lies today by asserting that he paid at least 13% income tax over the past ten years. Off course you or I would pay over 30% if we made more than a middle class income. He makes a hundred times that or more, we don't know.

Willard must have decided he needed to do something to distract from the flat polling numbers after choosing  "Austerity" Paul as his running mate. Choosing a VP always creates a bump in polling, always. This indicates that Romney is actually falling in his own right, 60% of people don't even know Ryan. So Mittens is attacking a Senator instead of running on his record as a capitalist.

He has to be hiding something that involves a felony of some sort, directly or indirectly. His brain dead base doesn't care that he evades taxes so that they pay more, they can't figure that out. After all, they'll all be billionaires someday.

To answer the trolls that keep demanding to know why we need to tax the rich. It isn't just a mater of fairness. The reason that the government of any nation (even back to the stone age when they used shells and beads) issues money is to allow business activity to happen efficiently and in a timely manner. If you allow the wealthy class to hoard money, your economy slows and stalls. The wealthy tend to do the exact opposite of what is needed when stimulus is required, they save money assuming things will get worse. They are always right when they do that. Even ancient kings understood this and taxed in good times and spent in slow times. That is, the ones that were successful.

US corporations are sitting on $5 trillion in cash with $3 trillion outside the US to evade taxes. If they brought it back onshore, the corporate tax alone would be enough money to balance the budget for a year. The right wing response, "well then what, genius. You're out of money." No dim bulb, the money circulates, stimulating the economy and produces more revenue. You know, build some roads and viaducts like the wise kings did.  Then there is the $20-$40 trillion the rich have stashed in tax havens around the world. Are you getting the idea? They are destroying the economy. That's why a troll like you has to post talking points to blogs at 50 cents a pop, instead of having a job that pays $56/hour like factory workers in Germany get.




Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Blowing hard in Iowa

In one of his first campaign appearances, Paul Ryan refused to discuss farm policy at the Iowa State Fair, saying he was there just to enjoy the Fair. I guy known for near zero body fat probably didn't come for the fried stick of butter on a stick (yes there is). Everybody running for President has come to the Iowa State Fair to talk about his farm policy, the only thing is that Ryan doesn't have one. The Republicans refused to act on the Senate bill, so no bill has passed. Something Obama made hay about on his simultaneous visit to Iowa, Ryan's trip was intended to show up the President. Instead it made Ryan look like the problem. On his executive authority, Obama ordered the government to buy $170 million of meat to put into frozen stockpiles.

Obama also made much of Romney's plan to kill wind energy tax credits, Iowa gets 25% of its electricity from wind turbines and manufactures them in the state. Romney tried to score points in Ohio by by bragging about leveling the playing field for different sources of energy, posing with coal miners and falsely claiming Obama is trying to kill the coal industry. Would that were so.  Romney actually made the same boast on his last visit to Iowa, oops. Ohio, Iowa, one fly over state looks like another from your private jet.

Retail sales up sharply in July. The Consumer Price Index was unchanged for the month. The sharp rise in gasoline prices won't have an effect if it doesn't go too high as the increase was built in to prices the last time it shot up. Analysts are predicting the gas will fall again in September. We're still swimming in the stuff, so that's not a hard guess to make. 

Nuclear plant permits are all on hold until waste storage issue is resolved, both long term storage and the safety of on site storage. Apparently the Fukushima disaster is not being ignored after all. This affects 16 proposed new reactors, and 14 that will shut down without renewal of their permits. We could probably use a bunch of new windmills.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I'm shocked

Sheldon Adelson's bag man in China is under investigation by the DOJ for, well, for being a bag man. Adelson has made billions by providing offshore casinos on the Chinese island of Macau for the Chinese market where gambling is otherwise illegal. This was all facilitated by a well connected businessman named Yang Saixin. The investigation into bribing Chinese officials is sort of a slam dunk: "I'm shocked to discover that there is gambling at Ricks"; "Here are your winnings, Captain"; "Thank you". 

Seems there's this little law on the US books about bribing foreign officials. The scrutiny will doubtless make the Chinese uncomfortable, Mr Yang has much more to fear from Chinese prosecutors. What he's been doing for Sheldon is commonplace in China but is still illegal and can be fatal if it creates embarrassment for the wrong people in power.

If Mr Adelson can be shown to even be aware of the bribes he could face stiff penalties in the US. Does this have anything to do with him trying to buy the US elections? Perhaps, after all the original definition of racketeering was the buying of elections by criminal gangs. Are the Red Chinese funneling money into US elections? Why would that be more shocking than it simply coming from an oligarch who wants to own a President?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Paul who? I've never heard of him my friend

"It's just marvelous" [my friend] so said Mitt Romney about the Ryan budget. Now he pretends the bill never existed let alone that it was passed by the Republican controlled House. Romney's policy is to cut his 14% tax rate by a quarter, Ryan would eliminate Romney's taxes entirely. No wonder he thinks it's marvelous.

Ryan is an ideologue, most people pronounce the word like 'idea', but in the soft 'a' instead hard 'a' in the tomato-tomato choice, it can be pronounced with a soft 'i' like 'idiot'. I've noticed Democratic spokes people all use the more descriptive version.

There's talk that Ryan could put Wisconsin into play, his numbers were falling in his district, so maybe not. He's not giving up the campaign for his seat to run for VP, gosh you'd think he wasn't confident of winning. Ryan does seem to have taken Florida out of play. Really he's just positioning himself to run in 2016, Romney made the Freudian slip of introducing him as "the next President". Romney is admitting that Ryan is really the candidate now. A rightwing type like Romney, always does the kick down/suck up calculation, Ryan is the dominate partner in this couple.

This may have been the stupidest thing Republicans could have done strategically. Except for the reddest of red districts, any Republican Congressional candidate would be crazy to appear in public with Ryan. Republicans have already been running against the Ryan plan. It's hard to find a Congressional District that wouldn't be adversely impacted by the Ryan budget. Remember this isn't a hypothetical budget, Republicans passed it in the House.

The only question is, if Democrats can turn out the voters. Ryan can turn out the tea baggers, but only if they don't actually read his budget. Romney says now he has his own budget plan. Really, since when? Then why run with Ryan if you don't accept his Ayan Rand principles? Of course nobody else does, so it's time for a flip-flop.  

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Anti-Intellectualism

Paul Ryan is the new intellectual of the Republican Party, or so he's been anointed by the very serious people at the corporate media. This 'statement' from the Obama camp, "oh goody, goody. Ha ha ha hee hee". [gasping for air] Newt Gingrich used to be their intellectual, but he can't be counted on to always avoid the truth. Paul Ryan doesn't suffer from that affliction.

Let's be clear, Paul Ryan is no intellectual, he's just good at keeping the billionaires talking points straight in his head. Now the claim is that they don't need to defend the Ryan budget because he's come out with an all new "bi-partisan" plan. They bought one Senator, this is bi-partisan plan the same way the British plan with Benedict Arnold was. The outcome for America is the same, rule by a handful of rich oligarchs. The new plan is the same as the old plan, just dressed up with a few new lies.

Considering that Willard picked Ryan simply to tamp down the Tea Bagger revolt at the Republican Convention, it seems strange that they would want to label him with the "I" word. The baggers hate smart people, of course Ryan really isn't one, so maybe it will work for him. The incurious do have a n idea in their head about what smart people should really sound like. The "really smart" people always agree with them.