Zera's Blog

A Citizen's View from Main Street

Eric Cantor’s Small-Business Tax Cut Faces Threat Of Presidential Veto

And a well-deserved veto it would be.

Holy Crap, Batman! Look at the numbers!

$46B added to the deficit in order to create 100K jobs. That’s $460,000/job. That’s likely 10 to 15 times the salary of the jobs created. There is no possibility that this would generate enough new revenues to pay for the cuts, even if the new jobs were taxed at 100%.

Cutting taxes for 22M “small” businesses to create 100K jobs means only 1 job would be created for every 220 businesses getting a tax cut – and that’s if the republican best-case scenario proves true.

Official portrait of Congressman .

Official portrait of Congressman . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I think that Eric Cantor and I have radically different definitions of “potent economic stimulus”. This is designed to be incredibly inefficient, ineffective, and wasteful as a “jobs” program.

Could the lies be any more blatant? Promoting this as a “jobs” bill is an insult to the intelligence of every American, and a clear demonstration that republicans are fiscally irresponsible in ideology and practice. After all, they can blame President Obama for not signing it, or the Senate Democrats for not passing it, and never face responsibility for passing it. I expect them to accuse the Democrats of playing politics in stopping this moment of insanity.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

April 19, 2012 Posted by | 2012 Election, Budget, Economics, Ethics, GOP, Legislation | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pentagon buying chief: Navy can’t ‘hide’ nuclear sub fleet’s $60 billion price tag – TheHill.com

yellow submarine

Pentagon buying chief: Navy can’t ‘hide’ nuclear sub fleet’s $60 billion price tag – TheHill.com.

The Navy will have to find room in its annual shipbuilding budget for its $60 billion nuclear-powered submarine program, a senior Pentagon official said this week.

And how is it that Congress is not the one to “find room” in the budget for submarines? I know that the Pentagon has serious accounting problems, but they should not even imagine trying to build ships under the table.

This represents a mindset of ‘bills of any size always being paid’ catching a whiff of fiscal accountability and discipline coming down the hallway.

With each new nuclear-powered sub expected to cost around $5 billion, Navy officials have for some time said paying for a dozen models would “squeeze” their shipbuilding budget and threaten shrinkage of its future surface vessel fleet.

Their shipbuilding budget should be based on ships authorized to be built. Perhaps with a small margin for overruns, but not so much as to discourage efficiency. Certainly not enough to build a major ship.

April 17, 2011 Posted by | Budget | , | Leave a comment

The Madison Protests: It’s Not About the Money

Over the past few years, I have likened the ideologica­l divide to a political civil war. The Democrats still embrace the Federalist view of government while the republican­s now embrace the anti-Feder­alist perspectiv­e.

“The accumulati­on of all powers, legislativ­e, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary­, self-appoi­nted, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”
James Madison, Federalist 47

I am hoping that in this attack on the working class, people see the republican­s as going a bridge too far. That this turns into a Ft. Sumter moment for working America.

The country cannot function with this much conservati­ve extremism and hostility. The checks and balances have all broken down. The country is in decline. The political conversati­on has become all about picking sides and bundled agendas. We are facing a Constituti­onal crisis.

We need a major event. Something to rally around. Something that can push us past the propaganda­. Something that can be used to make us take a serious look at ourselves and our future.

9/11 involved an external threat. It was irrelevant to a constitutional crisis.

We have two diverging interpretations of the Constitution. The liberal view is a more principled interpretation, which has benefited the general welfare of the country far better but still needs better definition of it’s limitations. The conservative view is a more literal interpretation, which is more appropriate to a sparsely populated isolationist society with an agrarian economy. Conservative policies have done real harm to this country for decades, and threaten to make our current problems insurmountable.

We need an event that will lead to something like a town hall constitutional convention. A widespread and in-depth public conversation on what we want and need the Constitution to mean. Only then can we decide with confidence how we want to enforce or amend it.

Ignoring the Constitution, or pretending it says something it does not, are not options in a nation of laws.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

February 21, 2011 Posted by | Budget, Direction, Economics, Government, Labor, Unions | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mike Huckabee Talks Smack about Public Servants

This image depicts the Territorial acquisition...

Image via Wikipedia

I think that the article missed the bigger story completely.

“Employees within the government always believe that it’s about more, more, more. It’s the number one word in any type of government bureaucracy.”

This is a fallacy of hasty generalization designed to demonize public employees. For some, “more” may mean meritocracy at work. For others, “more” may mean compensating for unfunded mandates.

“Every American business and every American family has had to make deep cuts in what they do. It is asking the government to do what they have been forcing on families and businesses.”

This is a fallacy of false cause designed to demonize government. It is also a straw man argument blaming the consequences of private sector corruption and failure on the government.

The biggest fallacy of all is in comparing the government to families or businesses. All three have different responsibilities, authorities, resources, and limitations. All three have different roles in society, and cannot be directly compared this way.

Huckabee Inadvertently Acknowledges Spending Cuts Will Cost Jobs

Is that all you read between the lines? Eternal vigilance, people.

Huckabee Inadvertently Acknowledges Spending Cuts Will Cost Jobs (VIDEO)

January 22, 2011 Posted by | Budget, Economics, Government | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Obama-GOP Tax Cut Bill Turning Into ‘Christmas Tree’ Tinseled With Gifts For Lobbyists, Lawmakers

This deal has turned into just about everything that the last election protested. Secret deals, buying votes, huge deficit spending.

Extending UI benefits has a positive stimulativ­­e effect. Tax breaks for the middle class, positive but less efficient. The SS holiday is a dangerousl­­y slippery slope. The rest is unstimulat­­ive and unaffordab­­le.

The economy will never recover as long as the tax breaks for the rich remain in place. They just drain too much money out of the economy with very little return. 2/3 of the economy is consumptio­­n-driven, and not enough money is getting back to consumers to sustain it’s growth.

Middle class workers have not shared the benefits of increased productivi­­ty, which has been used to keep job creation low. The middle class has lost a tremendous amount of wealth in the housing bubble, lost retirement money, and been forced to compete on wages with workers in third-worl­­d or emerging economies.

The job creators have all the money they need to start hiring. What they lack is customers. They are waiting for the people they have shorted to start spending money they no longer have. Government stimulus spending is the usual way to break that gridlock, but the effort has been undermined and that well is tapped dry.

Tax cuts for the rich haven’t created jobs, and restoring those rates will not hurt job creation as much as conservati­­ves claim.

This plan may seem like good politics, but it also seems like bad economics.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

December 12, 2010 Posted by | Budget, Economics | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Have We Really Seen This Recession Before?

People keep comparing this recession to past recessions here and in other countries. Other debates argue about what policies worked or failed. But how valid are the statistics and assumptions of the past, when applied to today?

After WWII, we were still a creditor nation. THE creditor nation. Our debt was held domestically. We are now THE debtor nation. Interest payments on the debt now leave our economy, not reinvest in it.

We had the largest undamaged industrial capacity, countries in need of rebuilding, and a trade surplus. Now those countries have been rebuilt, regained their economic independence from us. We are shipping manufacturing capacity off-shore, further weakening our economy. China has replaced us as the economic Titan of the world. The trade surplus has turned into a deficit that undermines the economy even more than budget deficits.

We benefited from the “Brain Drain” of German scientists and engineers, to achieve technological supremacy. The new brain drain has worked against us. We have educated the rest of the world to our level. We have exported our tech base along with our jobs. We have driven some of our best and brightest overseas through lack of research funding. Companies are calling for more H-1B visas with the claim that we no longer have the experts their companies need. Our education system has fallen far behind much of the rest of the industrialized world.

All the economic advantages we held during the Cold War have been erased by globalization and excessive conservatism. Continue reading

August 5, 2010 Posted by | Budget, Capitalism, Direction, Economics, Labor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bush Tax Cuts: Democrats Set Stage For Big Battle Over Ending Tax Cuts For Rich

It is sad that American politics has devolved to this. That the majority party has to resort to playing games in order to do the people’s business in spite of bitter partisan obstruction. We are seeing a political civil war in progress.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

July 26, 2010 Posted by | Budget | , , , | Leave a comment


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