Category Archives: Finance

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It seems that the Rich need the help of us folks in the Middle Class..

Romney has given us a plan!

Maybe I’ll be in that group of 125 families that helps support Mitt’s own tax break. What a contribution that would be!

Thanks to Suzanne Fleischauer for her contribution to this blog…

 

My thanks  to Suzanne Fleischauer for her contribution to this blog Thanks, Suzanne.
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Bob Schieffer sums up Congress pretty well…

 

Bob said this on CBS last Sunday:

There will be three more unemployment reports before the election. Congress has gone on vacation for the next five weeks, leaving work on their desks involving jobs, taxes and the budget deficit.

Congress managed to get through last year without passing one single piece of significant legislation. It would be hard to do worse than that, but this crowd may actually manage to do it.

And there’s also a couple of fairly important items that have to be resolved one of these days: whether to let the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of the year, and whether or not to block a draconian $110 billion across-the-board cut in defense and domestic spending.

No word on what if anything they plan to do about those items. Truth is, no one expects them to do anything until after the election. The way it stands right now, if the U.S. Capitol caught on fire, this Congress could find a way to make it a partisan issue and do everything but call the fire department.

They went on vacation? I expect we’re paying for these yoyos to spin out at the end of the string.

Look at it this way:

 

 

Republicans, As Usual, Block Bill to Bring Jobs Home

 

The best piece I’ve read on this subject is over at PoliticusUSA… and while anything I’d write on the Republicans and their ongoing program to outsource jobs overseas, benefit the wealthy and convince the middle class voter that they are really on their side doesn’t come close to this piece by Rmuse, I have condensed it here. You can read the whole article HERE.

Mitch “I won’t let Obama get anything passed” McConnell

Last Thursday, in another attempt to protect corporations and kill American jobs, Republicans blocked a measure to reward companies that brought jobs back to America, and protect their candidate Willard Romney. Republicans in the Senate refused to allow a vote on a bill, The Bring Jobs Home Act, which provided a 20% tax break for costs related to moving jobs back to the United States, at the same time rescinding deductions for companies that moved operations and jobs overseas. The bill was number one on the President’s congressional “to-do list,” but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wanted to amend it with an Affordable Care Act repeal and Bush-era ta x cuts for the wealthy extension.

——-

Willard “The King of Outsourcing” Romney

With the Senate Republicans action on Thursday, they exposed their agenda of corporate profit protection at the expense of Americans’ jobs. In one fell swoop, they obeyed the Chamber of Commerce, guaranteed more companies will outsource Americans’ jobs, subsidized outsourcing with taxpayer dollars, provided millions for Romney, created jobs in foreign countries, prevented economic growth, and most importantly, killed millions of Americans’ jobs. Their claim the bill was a political ploy by the Obama Administration is patently false because this is the second time in two years Republicans blocked an anti-outsourcing bill.

——-

The Republican focus on jobs since January 2009 has been killing them, not creating them. They voted against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (stimulus), opposed the auto industry bailout, payroll tax cut and extension, all of the President’s jobs bills, and have blocked any new revenue sources that would fund rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure. All of the Republican job-killing measures have as their basis protection of the rich and keeping unemployment figures high, and they are not close to being finished if they win control of the White House and both houses of Congress.

——-

It is a mystery why Republicans get any support from Americans when they have spent the past three-and-a-half years deliberately killing jobs and holding up economic recovery. They have, at every step, demonstrated their allegiance to the wealthy and corporations over the American people, and continue claiming a laser-focus on creating jobs while obstructing job creation and giving corporations tax breaks for outsourcing existing ones. Their contempt for Americans looking for work, or barely holding on to their existing jobs, is nothing short of despicable and by blaming President Obama, they reached a new low in hypocrisy.

So, do you believe what these sociopaths are telling you? The only thing I believe is when McConnell says Obama will never get anything passed… whether we need it or not.

Don’t vote for these people. Keep your jobs here. Encourage businesses to make more. You can bet that the upper 1% aren’t going to make any… and they don’t need the tax deduction because their money is invested in tax free havens like the Cayman Islands.

 

The business growth of Private Enterprise Prisons… this at a time when violent crimes have decreased about 41%…

 

Here are the facts… you make your own conclusion. Personally, I think making prisons a private industry sucks— I wonder when they’ll be exporting the prisoners to China.

 

Quote of the Day – Fox news Poll: Do Republicans have a jobs plan?

 

Even Fox News in a recent poll doesn’t think Romney can create jobs. The totals? 27 percent of Americans think Romney has a plan to revive the American economy… 41 percent of registered voters think Obama the better plan. That is a 14-point gap.

A revealing question in this poll was “Who do you think will do a better job looking out for you and your family during tough economic times?” 47 percent said Obama and 36 percent Mitt Romney.

As a Fox News commentator said:

“What is true in poker is true in politics. You can’t beat something with nothing. 

And right now, voters are coming to the conclusion that when it comes to credible plans to fix the economy, Republicans have nothing.”

Juan Williams, Fox News analyst

Are you surprised?

 

Out Of All The Reasons African-Americans Don’t Trust Mitt Romney, Here’s The Very Best One…

 

This is from MoveOn.org:

Forget for a second that he just gave a speech for the NAACP and vowed to repeal Obamacare. And then insinuated to his rich, white friends later that the NAACP audience just “wants free stuff.”

Forget, momentarily, that he once tried to relate to a group of black teens by asking them, “Who let the dogs out?”

Forget all that for just a moment, and focus on this:

So now that you know, what’s your best reason not to trust the Mittster?

 

Why you and I have to cover what the rich don’t pay…

 

… according to Economist Robert Reich:

If you don’t think we should increase taxes on the top 1%, watch this video first.

 

Quote of the Day – Romney had better wise up.

This from The Fix in the Washington Post:

“The truth — in politics and in life — is almost always less damaging than what the imagination can conjure. While the tax return debate is a no-win for Romney, he’d be better to lance this political boil once and for all. It’s not going away and if he doesn’t it’s only likely to grow.”

And grow is what Romney’s situation is doing. He has to be hiding something, and the longer he represses the truth the more obvious it becomes.

Poll shows Obama’s proposal to raise taxes on the rich is a winning political position…

The proposal Obama has made to raise taxes on households making at least $250,000 a year was the subject of a poll by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.

The survey found that 44% thought the tax increase would help the economy, 22% thought it would be harmful, and 24% didn’t think it would make a difference. An identical percentage, 44%, said a tax hike on better-off Americans would make the tax system fairer, while 21% said it would make the system less fair.

There is a deep partisan divide over the proposal.  Democrats, by a large margin, said the tax hike would boost the economy and make the tax system fairer. Republicans thought the opposite, though by smaller margins.

Since this has to be decided before Jan. 1st when all the Bush tax cuts disappear by law, it will be interesting when it gets Congressional attention. Odds are it won’t be until after the November election and will depend on who gets elected President.

Even more Republicans are calling on Romney to release more tax returns…

This morning’s pundit shows brought the increased demand for release of the tax returns… or questioned what he was hiding.

“The cost of not releasing the returns are clear.Therefore, he must have calculated that there are higher costs in releasing them.”

George Will, on ABC’s “This Week.

“There’s obviously something there, because if there was nothing there, he would say, ‘Have at it.’ So there’s obviously something there that compromises what he said in the past about something.

“Many of these politicians think, ‘I can do this. I can get away with this. I don’t need to do this, because I’m going to say something and I don’t have to do this. If he had 20 years of ‘great, clean, everything’s fine,’ it’d all be out there, but it’s arrogance.”

Republican strategist Matthew Dowd

Romney should “release the tax returns tomorrow and take the hit for a day or two.”

Bill Kristol on Fox news Sunday

You know, I think the Obama team is making the right move here. Eventually, even if Romney releases a dozen years of returns, people won’t forget his stalling and wonder why he couldn’t be transparent to the American People.

Please support Under The LobsterScope…

…and I will give you a free gift if you make a donation of $5.00 or more…

…you get “Bill’s Cast O’ Characters” my favorite picture font, based on ornaments and images from the turn of the century Barnhart Brothers and Spindler specimen book and others. This is a font, for Mac or PC, that I usually sell for $29.95 and it’s one of my most requested. It’s my way of saying “Thank You.” If you already have Cast O’ Characters, let me know and I’ll substitute a different one of my picture fonts.

So many of you have been following this blog since 2004 that I feel like a member of a huge web community.

I have enjoyed bringing you the Cartoon(s) of the Week, the Quotes, the Political and Arts News, the Blogrolls of the best sites in America and beyond… They are all a joy to put together. Often we get the breaking political stories before you see them anywhere else. And our wide open communication channels with readers can’t be beat.

I really need YOUR help to keep it going. I’m hoping you will make a small contribution, by PayPal or credit/debit card, in support of Under The LobsterScope. You’d be amazed at how much $5.00 can do to help me bring more and more to these pages. And it is probably the LOWEST annual subscription fee you will make to any publication… interactive or not.

And for a contribution of $5.00 (or MORE) you will receive a copy of my Picture Font, Bill’s Cast O’ Characters – a collection I rarely offer with a blog donation!

(I send you font versions for both Macs and PCs by email, and include a typeface keyboard directory.
See the Sample Below.)

I should note that even a donation of $1.00 gets my thanks and helps to keep this blog going. By clicking on the DONATE button below, you tell me that Under The LobsterScope makes a difference in your time on the web.

Thanks,

– Bill T.

Robert Reich on Regressives vs. Progressives…

Reich outlines what is really being fought for in 2012 and beyond.

Listen up!

 

Morning Quote – So what should we know about Romney’s money?

“Americans need to ask themselves: why does an American businessman need a Swiss bank account and secretive investments like that?”

DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Oh, I see. We don’t really know how much he has or why he doesn’t invest it back in  America to help create jobs and to help the government with tax revenues.

As Joe Biden suggested the other day, we have never voted before for a candidate with off shore investment accounts and money in Swiss Banks.

Tax Benefits for the Middle Class with Obamacare

No matter what the Republicans in Congress say as they pass Eric Cantor‘s legislative move to repeal Obamacare (don’t worry, the Senate will send it to the crapper), it should be clear that the health care program benefits the Middle class. Especially with tax cuts.

Take a look:

Save this to argue with your Republican friends (as if they’ll listen!)

How many Americans actually watch (or listen to) the News?

For instance, with all that has been said in relationship to the Supreme Court’s decision on Obamacare, wouldn’t it be really disappointing to know that almost half of all Americans were in the dark about the decision?

Or maybe it would be frightening. These are people that vote.

A new Pew Research poll finds that 45% of Americans either didn’t know what the Supreme Court had decided with regards to President Obama’s health care law (30%) or thought that the Supreme Court had overturned the law (15%).

My guess is that the same number of Americans know exactly who Kim Kardashian is dating.

So how much effort have Republicans put in on Jobs?

So when they say their main focus is and has been on jobs, wave this in front of them.

Decision is in… for the most part Obama has triumphed.

From the Financial Times:

US Supreme Court upholds bulk of ‘ObamaCare’

The US Supreme Court has left Barack Obama’s healthcare law broadly intact but ruled that an element of the law was not valid, handing the president a political victory.


In decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the majority of justices ruled that the individual mandate that compelled every American to buy insurance was not valid under the commerce clause of the Constitution. But they also ruled that the financial penalty outlined in the law against people who did not buy insurance was allowed. In effect, it means that the high court agreed with critics who said the mandate as written was unconstitutional, but that the implementation of the law will proceed much as it would have if the law had been completely upheld.


The mandate can now be enforced as a tax.

So the Mandate is unconstitutional, but it still may be applied with a different definition. This, of course, means Congress has to create the tax and the forthcoming conflict will be in this area.

30 lies in seven days… Romney beats his record!

Last Friday he achieved his peak

with thirty lies in just one week…

He treats the voter like a twit

by feeding him this Romney shit.

1. In an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Romney claimed it’s fiscally responsible to eliminate the entirety of the Affordable Care Act: “It saves $100 billion a year to get rid of it.”

That’s the opposite of the truth. According to the CBO and other nonpartisan budget estimates, killing the law would make the deficit go up, not down, and would cost, not save, the country hundreds of billions of dollars in the coming years.

2. In the same interview, Romney said, “I think a lot of people forgetting is there is only one president in history that’s cut Medicare by $500 billion and that is President Obama.”

Romney says this a lot. He’s not telling the truth.

3. Romney also said, “I see people holding up signs, ‘Don’t touch my Medicare.’ It’s like, hey, I’m not touching your Medicare.”

Romney endorsed Paul Ryan’s House Republican Budget plan, which ends the Medicare program and replaces it with a private voucher scheme.

4. In the same interview, Romney said President Obama has “never had the experience of working in the private sector.”

Actually, that’s not true. Obama worked at a private-sector law firm before entering public service.

5. Romney also told Hannity Obama went on “an apology tour” in his first year.

As Romney surely knows by now, he’s lying.

6. Romney, trying to talk about foreign policy, said Syria is Iran’s “route to the sea.”

Iran doesn’t share a border with Syria, and Iran already borders two bodies of water.

7. At a campaign event in Stratham, New Hampshire, Romney claimed, “Bill Clinton and so many other mainstream Democrats are revolting against the backward direction President Obama is taking his party and our country.”

In reality, Bill Clinton supports the president’s re-election and recently said a Romney presidency would be “calamitous for our country and the world.”

8. At an event in Cornwall, Pennsylvania, shared an anecdote about a local optometrist who was forced to fill out a “33-page” change-of-address form — several times — at the post office.

There is no such change-of-address form.

9. At the same event, Romney said Obama is “taking away” scholarships and charter schools for “kids in Washington, D.C.”

This has become a line in Romney’s stump speech, but it isn’t in any way true.

10. Romney also claimed, “This president has put together almost as much public debt as all the prior presidents combined.”

That’s a lie.

11. Romney went on to say, “It’s immoral in my view for my generation to pass on to these kids the burden of our generation. I think it’s wrong. It’s got to stop. And if I’m president of the United States I will get us on track to have a balanced budget.”

That’s plainly false. Romney says his plan “can’t be scored,” but independent budget analysts have found his agenda would make the deficit bigger, not smaller, and add trillions to the national debt.

12. At a campaign stop in Weatherly, Pennsylvania, Romney said the president’s “trillion- dollar stimulus” failed to “create jobs.”

That’s the opposite of the truth.

13. At the same event, Romney said about Obama, “He was told that one small business was having a hard time dealing with Obamacare. He said he hadn’t heard that.”

That’s not what happened. In fact, the small business wasn’t having a hard time dealing with Obamacare, and was hurt by policies Romney wants to pursue.

14. Romney went on say, “I was in Las Vegas and met a woman who was worried. She has a business renting furniture to casinos and to conventioners that come to Las Vegas. And when the president said, don’t bother coming to Las Vegas for your company meetings a few years ago, her business dove.”

Obama actually said, in reference to Wall Street recklessness, “You are not going to be able to give out these big bonuses until you pay taxpayers back. You can’t get corporate jets. You can’t go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayers’ dime. There’s got to be some accountability and some responsibility.” To blame the failure of some random business in Nevada on this is ridiculous.

15. Romney added, “If we stay on the road we’re on, we’re going to become like Europe…. I don’t believe Europe works in Europe. I don’t want it here.”

The irony is, Europe is trying to grow through austerity, just as Romney intends to do here. He’s lying in a self-refuting sort of way.

16. In his “Face the Nation” interview, Romney said of Obama’s new immigration policy, “If he really wanted to make a solution that dealt with these kids or with the illegal immigration in America, then this is something he would have taken up in his first three and a half years, not in his last few months.”

That’s remarkably misleading. Obama has pushed for the DREAM Act for years, and would have signed it into law in 2010 had it not been blocked by a Republican filibuster.

17. In the same interview, Romney said about health care, “I will continue to describe the plan that I would provide, which is, number one, to make sure that people don’t have to worry about losing their insurance if they have a preexisting condition, and change jobs.”

This is the kind of answer that’s clearly intended to deceive. Under Romney’s approach, millions of people with pre-existing conditions would be denied coverage — and occasionally his campaign even admits it.

18. Also on health care, Romney said the president “jammed through a bill” and “didn’t really try and work for a Republican vote.”

This is laughably untrue. Obama worked for months to find someone — anyone — in the Republican Party who would work with him in good faith, including delaying progress while the “Gang of Six” engaged in pointless talks.

19. Romney also said, “I’m not looking for a tax cut for the very wealthiest.”

Either Romney hasn’t read his own tax plan, or he’s lying.

20. Appearing via video at the “Faith and Freedom Coalition” annual event, Romney applauded the far-right group’s leader: “Ralph Reed has been a real champion in fighting for the fundamental values that have made America the nation that it is.”

You’ve got to be kidding me.

21. In the same speech, Romney said, “When you put in place a bill like Obamacare, you attack the freedom of people to make a choice about their own insurance and what kind of coverage they want to have.”

That’s not true. Under the Affordable Care Act, consumers would choose from competing plans as part of a health care exchange. Romney knows this — it was part of his own plan.

22. Romney went on to say, “[M]edian income in this nation has dropped by 10 percent over the last four years.”

That only makes sense if we count Obama’s first year in office, which relies on a standard Romney believes is fundamentally unfair.

23. He also argued, “Government at all levels is about 37 percent of the economy today — 37 percent. And if Obamacare were allowed to stand, government would control about half of the economy of America.”

That’s demonstrably ridiculous.

24. At the same event, Romney said that Obama “insists” that “Israel return to the ’67 borders — indefensible borders.”

He’s lying.

25. At a campaign event in Brunswick, Ohio, Romney claimed that Obama said “if you let him borrow all that money, he’d keep unemployment below 8 percent.”

As Romney surely knows by now, that’s simply not true.

26. At the same event, Romney said under Obamacare, we’ll get “a healthcare system run by the government.”

There is no universe in which this is true.

27. At a campaign event in Janesville, Wisconsin, Romney argued, “[T]he path we’re on, spending $1 trillion more every year than we take in, is leading us to Greece.”

That’s painfully untrue.

28. At a campaign event in Holland, Michigan, Romney claimed that, as a result of the Dodd-Frank reforms, “small banks and community banks are finding it harder and harder to make loans to small businesses.”

According to community banks, this is false. These banks have actually gotten stronger after Dodd-Frank, and the president of Independent Community Bankers Of America recently said, “I am sick of Wall Street using community banks as their shills to scare community bankers into stampeding Congress into undoing provisions of law that finally attempt to deal with too big to fail and Wall Street overreach.”

29. In a speech to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials yesterday, Romney argued that President Obama “has not completed a single new trade agreement with Latin America.”

Romney does realize that Panama is part of Latin America, right?

30. Romney went on to argue, “Unfortunately, despite his promises, President Obama has failed to address immigration reform.”

Actually, Obama has addressed it quite a bit, taking executive action where the law allows, and pushing Congress to pursue comprehensive reform based on a bipartisan plan he presented last year.

– Thanks to Steve Benen, Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity

Hey, Mitt: A majority of Americans want to keep the Health care Law!

New Bloomberg poll results show a plurality of Americans, 43 percent, say they want to retain the 2010 law with only small modifications, while 15 percent say the measure should be left alone, a Bloomberg National Poll shows. That’s 58 % for keepers! Only 33% say it should be repealed.

Next week the Supreme Court is expected to rule “on the constitutionality of the law, the centerpiece of which is the mandate that most Americans buy insurance or pay a fine.”

Do you suppose the Court pays attention to people, or to Republican campaign rhetoric?

Things are looking up for the Housing Market…

Permits to build new homes rose sharply in may, suggesting a beginning housing recovery remains on track.

The Commerce Department said on Tuesday that although groundbreaking on new homes dropped last month, upward revisions to data for March and April put starts above 700,000 for five straight months, a first since 2008.

This means a big turn of eventst is under way: while the broader U.S. economy appears to be losing steam, housing is gaining traction and has become a relative bright spot. Homebuilder sentiment has risen to a five-year high.

“The incipient recovery in housing market activity, in short, seems not to have been affected by the recent softening in much of the other economic data,” said Ian Shepherdson, an economist at High Frequency Economics in Valhalla, New York.

Starts for single-family homes, which account for most of the market, increased 3.2 percent.

Cheers for Joseph Stiglitz…

In a section of his book, “The Price of Inequality,” printed in Salon, Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz gives a thorough analysis of why the top 1% is able to manipulate the rest of us by “brainwashing” us about inequality:

Joseph Stiglitz

The fact that the 1 percent has so successfully shaped public perception testifies to the malleability of beliefs. When others engage in it, we call it “brainwashing” and “propaganda.” We look askance at these attempts to shape public views, because they are often seen as unbalanced and manipulative, without realizing that there is something akin going on in democracies, too. What is different today is that we have far greater understanding of how to shape perceptions and beliefs — thanks to the advances in research in the social sciences.

It is clear that many, if not most, Americans possess a limited understanding of the nature of the inequality in our society: They believe that there is less inequality than there is, they underestimate its adverse economic effects, they underestimate the ability of government to do anything about it, and they overestimate the costs of taking action. They even fail to understand what the government is doing — many who value highly government programs like Medicare don’t realize that they are in the public sector.

Stiglitz compares the perceptions of Americans to citizens in other countries and discovers polar opposites in experience of  inequality and fairness. It is worth reading the whole article (HERE) to get his opinions on how beliefs effect reality,

Quote of the Day – Romney Staffer Admits GOP is Rooting Against Economy

“I am buying that they’re rooting against the economy somewhat, because they think that the short term pain of the next four months is much better than having an additional four years under Obama. If we have to suffer between now and November to get a president, they’re all for it.”

 – Former Romney adviser Rob Gray

and, as Bob Cesca says:

…they don’t give a rip that “the economy” isn’t just some sort of abstract fart in the wind. It’s real people with real families in need of real jobs, and broadly speaking it’s the financial health of the United States. Republicans are rooting against that. Good people. Let’s totally continue to take them seriously — you know, because they’re so serious.

If anything should be working against Romney and pals among the rest of us in America, it is that. That conservative politicians would let their country flush down the drain instead of helping it survive is their primary failure.

Judy Woodruff interviews Sen. McCain on the money the Citizens Union decision has brought into the fray…

Here’s part of the interview:

JUDY WOODRUFF: But in the wake of the Supreme Court decision Citizens United, we are seeing enormous sums of money going into this campaign, to the campaigns themselves, to outside supporters.

Is this — is it just inevitable that we’re now in a period where money is going to be playing this dominant role in American politics?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: I’m afraid, at least for the time being, that’s going to be the case, because of the most misguided, naive, uninformed, egregious decision of the United States Supreme Court I think in the 21st century.

To somehow view money as not having an effect on election, a corrupting effect on election, flies in the face of reality. I just wish one of them had run for county sheriff. So what we are. . .

JUDY WOODRUFF: You mean one of the justices?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: One of the five Supreme Court justices that voted to invalidate what we know of as McCain-Feingold.

Bom-pa-da-bom! So not all Conservative Republicans are married to the five reactionaries on the Supreme Court. Maybe there is a future after all.

Go over to Crooks and Liars and see the whole, revealing interview.