Archive for March, 2009

BUDGET 09, 3-17-2009

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009


President Obama’s budget is the change we voted for:

Sounds too good to be true

Health care reform, a plan to make polluters pay for clean energy investment, tax breaks for 95% of Americans, even a firm timeline for the end of the war in Iraq. As Paul Krugman said, it will set America on a “fundamentally new course.” But the budget faces mounting opposition from special interests and conservative Democrats who want to take out key parts of the bill.

Senators on the committee are already making up their minds about whether they’ll pass Obama’s progressive budget or water it down—and they’re hearing from the opposition every day.

Pass Obama’s budget without stripping the crucial provisions that make sure polluters and other special interests pay their fair share.Obama’s plan is boldly progressive—which makes the special interest lobbyists dead-set against it:

* Oil companies don’t like a key provision that taxes polluters to help pay for a transition to a clean-energy economy.
* Insurance companies are fighting the health care funding that will help create a more efficient system and pave the way for universal coverage.
* Highly paid executives are against the elimination of tax loopholes that they’ve gotten rich off of for years.

Few people realize that if we lose this budget fight, our other goals like transitioning to a green economy and health care reform will become difficult or impossible to achieve. So there’s a real risk that millions of progressives who helped elect this president will sit on the sidelines during this fight.

The Greenbacker

BONUSES, 3-17-2009

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

A.I.G. Planning Huge Bonuses After $170 Billion Bailout

By EDMUND L. ANDREWS and PETER BAKER

Published: March 14, 2009

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/15/business/15AIG.html?_r=1&th&emc=th

These people aren’t catching on.

Bonuses are NOT OK for those that tanked their companies and the world economy.  They need accountability, not bonuses.  The bailout should have started w/ middle income jobs not w/ the money merchants that spun their companies into the ground.


Here’s a fix:
Too big to fail?  Bust ’em up! Let Justice and Anti trust think more carefully about allowing mergers and acquisitions in the future.  Small companies run companies.  Big companies run government.
Publicly finance the campaigns elected officials. Without public financing of elections , special interests determine who we will vote for, every time.  And every time we get the same names on the ballot, and the same cronies making policy.
Accountability. Name names and trot out criminal proceedings. These thieves should be making license plates, not policy.  They need accountability, not bonuses.  Then it won’t happen again.

The Greenbacker

ECONOMIC STABILITY, 3-17-2009

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009


Sobering commentary by Sorkin;   Maybe AIG bonusees are the only ones that can untangle the ‘twisted derivatives’ that AIG has devised.

Interesting stats;  Googling, I find the total value of all derivative contracts issued, worldwide ~$700T.  That’s ‘Trillion, w/ a T’.
That amounts to about 750,000 railroad boxcar loads of dollar bills, to add some perspective.  (BTW, connecting these cars together, they  would stretch almost 1/3rd of the earth’s circumference)
BTW,  About $63T of the derivatives market is comprised of credit ‘swaps’.
http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/The-700-trillion-elephant-room/story.aspx?guid={024DB809-8506-4AA9-83BB-B053FD4E1C11}

According to Vercingatorix-ga (not sure) at    http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/480224.html
The total value of all paper money in the world is ~ $46.5T    (read the article).

Which means there is about $650T more issued in derivative contracts than there is issued in world currency.  About 15 times more.

If you are worried about economic stability, you might consider these numbers.

Here’s something else to consider.  How did we get here?

* Free market unregulated banking and markets.
* Politicians beholden to corporate interests for campaign funding
* Crony capitalism, earmarks, pork.
* *Citizens unwilling to spend the time to involve themselves in governmental policy*.

Here’s a fix;
Accountability.  Name names and trot out criminal proceedings.   These people are thieves and need to have that name attached to their actions.

Public financing of elected officials. Without public financing of elections , special interests determine who we will vote for, every time.  And every time we get the same names on the ballot.  Dump ’em!  No one could possibly have done worse than they have done.

Too big to fail?  Bust ’em up!  Let Justice and Anti trust think more carefully about allowing mergers and acquisitions in the future.
Small companies run companies.  Big companies run government.

Fund high-paying jobs.    Well paid people pay their bills, buy homes and send their kids to school.   They also pay taxes that will bail out our government.
Funding sustained energy and the ‘Green Revolution’ can make this possible.

Citizen involvement in government.    Become informed, and then write yr legislators, over and over, on every issue.
If they don’t work out, dump ’em and get someone else that does.
“Government of the people, by the people and for the people… ”   Remember that?
There’s too much money involved  for special interests to relinquish control easily.   The only way for Obama to be able to do what is right for the welfare of the country is for a groundswell of citizen support to overpower greedy special interests and force issues of public interest.

And this is only a partial list.  Add yr own items: Single payer healthcare so families aren’t crushed by illness.   An end to bogus wars  and empirical policy.
Restructuring of  ripoff globalization so resources taken from third world countries  benefit the citizens of those countries so they can pay their bills and send their kids to school instead of being breeding grounds for terrorists.

All this won’t happen overnight.  Next week is soon enuf—–

The Greenbacker