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Watching Romney on 60 Minutes led me to remember the things he was lying about…


Post these on your websites if you want to be aware of what Romney-Ryan will do to Medicare… and what they will do to employment and tax income, etc.:

Gee, I’m lucky… being in the oldest category they only grab about 50% of my retirement payments from Social Security (or all of my pension each year for the next 8… then it’s gone.)

Did you hear Romney say he was going to cut taxes on Middle America? Go you remember ythe other day when he said the income rate of Middle America started at $200,000.00 a year in annual income… and averaged a quarter of a million dollars. All at once I was not part of Middle America any more. Neither were ALL of the people I know and deal with every day in West Virginia.

I hope most people realize the bullshit Romney is bubbling over with. We have the possibility of having the worst president in history. Let’s avoid that situation by not voting for him.


Gee… Elly and I are no longer “Middle Income”


Well, we have to thank the Mittster for making the economic level of middle income clear. He told George Stephanopoulos:

Romney Interview: $250K is middle income

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Is $100,000 middle income?

MITT ROMNEY: No, middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less.

Even with Elly’s full time teaching job and my Social Security plus pension money, which used to make us think we were middle income, puts us in the ranks of the lower economic folks.

Does this mean that the rich folk Romney cultivates are going to avoid tax increases allowing Romney to claim he had served the middle class? I guess so. What a clever ruse.

If we elect Obama we can move back into the middle class and not feel so depleted in our economic situation. Not that I don’t wish we made $250,000.00, but we are not likely to. And, of course, we don ‘t make $100,000.00 either. I guess we are now poor.


Now that they’ve wasted our time over Health Care Repeal, will the Congress get down to Jobs?

There are only about 40 days left in  the Congressional season before these champions of non-accomplishment go out to lie and buy their votes. Yet what they should be doing is getting the Middle Class jobs, not waiting to see if Romney is elected.

In Las Vegas, today marks a protest of appointed U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) to get him to support H.R 5542, the “Bring Jobs Home Act.” Heller has been focused on by the AFL-CIO. Heller, along with the Republican Party, have never voted for any  Job Bills proposed by President Obama or the Democrats in congress, and it’s not likely that he or his Party will start now.

The Bring Home The Jobs Act would end a tax benefit for companies that move jobs overseas and, instead, would add a tax credit for companies that move jobs back to the United States. The bill would also prohibit the first group of companies from receiving federal grants or guaranteed loans.

The AFL-CIO is also promoting the “United States Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act” that would make public the names of companies that move call centers overseas (H.R. 3596.)

The Democratic Party in both the House and the Senate have backed Bills in the past that would end corporations from receiving a tax break for creating jobs overseas, while giving a tax credit if they create jobs in the United States, but the Republican Party stopped them with a no vote in the House and a filibuster in the Senate.

Of course, wasting time on repealing an unrepealable Health Care bill was worth the effort for Boehner and his Bozos.

And what is their job strategy based on? This:

GOP Destruction Of Middle Class And Unions Rages On

GOP Destruction Of Middle Class And Unions Rages On | Double Dip Politics… btw, Ye Olde Soapbox has been added to the Blogroll.

The extra $40.00…

President Obama in a live speech today defended maintaining the tax deduction to the Middle Class to say that it is $40.00 a paycheck. What difference, the critics say, does $40.00 make?

Thinking about this as I went out for groceries in Martinsburg, I passed by gas stations where the price was now $3.85 a gallon for regular. Only two weeks ago it was 40¢ a gallon less. Given my regular driving record, that adds $40.00 to a biweekly part of my monthly Social Security payment.

In other words, $40.00 is a lot of money when you’re not sitting on a pile coming in from your low-taxed investments.

Since Republicans don’t mind cutting taxes on the wealthy, but don’t want to continue the payroll cuts on the other 90% of us, maybe our answer is not to drive ANYWHERE anymore. Of course, then, a lot of people won’t get to their jobs. Or get their kids to school. Or make doctors’ appointments.

The world changes and we get poorer.

And meanwhile our state, local and federal governments are doing nothing to bring the once regulated price of gas down to where we can afford it again.

Quote of the Day – Looks like the Occupy Movement will benefit Obama

“While people were pretty evenly split on whether the administration favors the middle class, the rich or the poor, they were all but unanimous about which class the Republicans favor; 69 percent said Republicans in Congress favor the rich, while just 9 percent said the middle class and 2 percent said the poor. That’s a significant perception problem for the GOP, and the Occupy Wall Street protesters — for whatever bad press they have created and will create due to the actions of some participants — are rallying support against the very class that the GOP is thought to favor.”

Chris Cillizza, The Fix, Washington Post

I’m not sure the GOP cares… nothing else that has been said, polled, complained about or done has gotten them to listen to the Middle Class that they started to disable with Reagan. The day one of those turkeys comes out to Tax The Rich and gets the Republican Party behind him (or her) is the day the world will end.

My Podcast is at 10 AM Today if you want to tune in…

… we’ll be spending some time talking about the economy, the political future of the Middle Class, and a few other things.

That’s 10 o’clock this morning

An Economic Quote for the Morning…

… from Paul Krugman in the NY Times:

“Consciously or not, policy makers are catering almost exclusively to the interests of rentiers — those who derive lots of income from assets, who lent large sums of money in the past, often unwisely, but are now being protected from loss at everyone else’s expense.”

Hmmm. “Rentiers.” There’s a new word to learn. It’s sort of a nice way to say bastard bankers, or corporate pigs… a lot of class for a collection of scum ( or “scumiers”). Yet these are the people who have taken their tax deductions and NOT created jobs… nor even encouraged the creation of jobs… but have pocketed their cash in the back of their pants in Mexico and China and India… Certainly it is not being spent here in the good old USA.

And who pays the tab on the huge bill created for operation of our government, military, debt repayments and the loans and support w are making to just about every other civil population but our own? Why, we do. The American “Middle Class“… just a label now, since any economic positives of being in the middle class have been thoroughly negated.

Krugman sums up how these “rentiers” take over the ruling power in our country:

“And that explains why creditor interests bulk so large in policy; not only is this the class that makes big campaign contributions, it’s the class that has personal access to policy makers — many of whom go to work for these people when they exit government through the revolving door. The process of influence doesn’t have to involve raw corruption (although that happens, too). All it requires is the tendency to assume that what’s good for the people you hang out with, the people who seem so impressive in meetings — hey, they’re rich, they’re smart, and they have great tailors — must be good for the economy as a whole.

And we sit by the wayside, left behind, in pain and broken (and broke), thinking that we could get rich, too, rather than standing up and fighting back.

As the Middle Class disappears, we turn into Poverty Nation at the Middle Class level.

“You can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, or democracy. But you cannot have both.”
Louis Brandeis

So how poor is the Middle Class when looked at in comparison with the top 1% (who don’t seem to be affected by the results of the Great Recession)?  Here are a couple of charts from Stanford University which will give you an idea:

CEO pay as related to Average Worker pay
The ratio of the average pay of the 100 highest-paid CEOs in the United States to the average wage of workers increased from 39:1 in 1970 to 191:1 in 1988 to 1,039:1 in 2000. Put more colloquially, top CEOs in 1970 made 39 times more than the average worker, whereas now they make 1,039 times more than the average worker.
U.S. CEO pay in relation to the average worker’s wage:

Source: Thomas Piketty, and Emanuel Saez. 2007. “Income Inequality in the United States, 1913-2002.” In Anthony B. Atkinson, and Thomas Piketty, Top Incomes Over the Twentieth Century. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Children In Poverty
In the United States, 21.9 percent of all children are in poverty, a poverty rate second only to that of Mexico’s (among rich nations).
Relative Poverty Rates in Twenty-One Rich Nations at the Turn of the Century for Children:

Source: Timothy M. Smeeding, 2008. “Poorer by Comparison.” Pathways 3-5.

Got it? The rich aren’t complaining because they earn around a thousand to one compared to the average middle class guy. And they don’t seem to be concerned that, aside from Mexico, we are leaders in Child Poverty among developed nations (we even come in 3 times worse than Slovenia!)

So now the Tea Party folks are pushing a budget where they have already eliminated, in concept, NPR, PBS, the EPA and just about every other federally funded advantage that the Middle Class has. This was all passed by the House yesterday… now it goes to the Senate.

I  signed a petition yesterday to save public broadcasting. If you want to join me, go to this link: This will get the word out to the Senate before they vote on it. Let’s let them know what WE want.

The Republicans are working very hard to eliminate the Middle Class, and it is a losing battle, it seems, negotiating with them. John Boehner seems to have no real control over his House colleagues and the Tea Partyers don’t have any idea what negotiation means.

As we head for a potential government shutdown, we’re in for lots of rhetorical crap and not much real action.

A quote for the morning…

“Here’s the truth: The only way America can reduce the long-term budget
deficit, maintain vital services, protect Social Security and Medicare,
invest more in education and infrastructure, and not raise taxes on the
working middle class is by raising taxes on the super rich.

“Even if we got rid of corporate welfare subsidies for big oil, big
agriculture, and big Pharma – even if we cut back on our bloated
defense budget – it wouldn’t be nearly enough.”

Robert Reich

And you can be sure, in an election year, no one is going to even whisper about this.

Quote(s) of the Day – re: The Republican Budget Plan

“A nervous breakdown on paper.”

– Rep. Emanuel Cleaver on MSNBC


Of course, this is a quote on the opposite side that an assistant to Paul Ryan (main author of the Republican Budget Plan) said to Wiccaspirits that was quoted at The Political Carnival:

“His representative told me that they did not think it would hurt the middle class that much, and that the budget needed to be cut in any way necessary.


“He told me that Republicans are not paying attention to what the American people want, they are paying attention to the cuts that need to be made, no matter where those cuts come from. He said Republicans are carrying the momentum right now and they will continue to do because that is what the American public wants right now.”

So whose side sums it up best? My bet is on Cleaver.

Here’s what Class War looks like – a Chart

I picked up a very good comparison of the amount of money Scott Walker and his allies in Wisconsin are ready to cut from the budget that effects middle class and union workers to the amount of money given away as tax breaks for the wealthy (reprinted from a Daily Kos post by greywolfe359):

On the left you have the “shared sacrifices” and “painful cuts” that the Republicans claim we must make to get our fiscal house in order. On the right, you can plainly see WHY these cuts are “necessary.” The reason? Because we already gave away all that money to America‘s wealthiest individuals and corporations.

This just mirrors what we’re seeing in Wisconsin, where Governor Walker (R-Koch) claims that ordinary public sector workers need to fork over at least $137 million to save the budget. Problem is, he just gave away $117 million in tax breaks for his corporate pals. This is out and out class warfare. The big corporations in America have decided that they can get even richer by raiding the public treasury. It’s time for the middle class to stand up and defend itself!

Greywolfe359 also gives us this music video for Unions standing up to the Wisconsin Class War:

If only the Rich will have the Best Advantages in our Society, then I want to be Rich…

I should have decided this long ago, and I’m not sure why I didn’t.  I tell myself I was concerned with creating things for middle class design workers (my fonts) or hiring young people and giving them health insurance (U-Design, Inc and Hybrid Communications the two companies I owned in the 80s and early 90s) or just promoting good, ethical, Progressive and liberal causes in this blog.

Apparently I was wrong all these years.

So I am now thinking about raising the price of my picture and display fonts (which you can find at UTF Type Foundry or here on this blog where I give away one of these products for any contribution above $5.00) from $29.95 a set to $125,000.00. Then, if I sell the same amount I’m doing now, I’ll be Rich in a very short time and have all the tax breaks and government favors…and be able to hire my own lobbyists… and spend the remaining years of my dwindling life in Conservative Happiness.

Of course, there may be other, even easier ways to get Rich. So many of those on the top scales of our society did it by committing some form of white collar crime… it goes all the way back to Joe Kennedy during the Depression… and I could spend time researching the possibilities now (or what else is the web for?). This solution means I don’t have to go through the e-mail chore of sending fonts and keyboard charts out to buyers, saving me ten or fifteen minutes on each sale. I could sleep longer in the morning!

It’s time for me to walk the dogs and do the dishes, so I’ll have to get back to my exit from the Middle Class later on.

Austan Goolsbee Explains The Tax Cut Fight…

Introducing White House Whiteboard

In this first edition, Austan Goolsbee, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers at the White House, tackles the tax cut fight and what it means that Congressional Republicans are “holding middle class tax cuts hostage” as the President has said:

That makes it pretty clear, doesn’t it. While the candidates are off now running for their seats, please remember to bring this up to the Republicans who are saying that Obama’s Administration is doing nothing to fix our economy.

Cartoon(s) of the Week – Perhaps Reality Will Set In…

Rex Babin in the Sacramento Bee:

Perhaps the Teabaggers are suffering from shortness of view…

– and –

Chan Lowe in the South Florida Sentinel (reprinted from 2009):

Perhaps McCain can tell…

– and –

Matt Davies in The (Westchester NY) Journal News:

Perhaps the Congress will get back to this after the election…

– and –

Joel Pett in the Lexington Herald-Leader:

Perhaps real Americans are uneducated and closed minded…

Depressing morning…

(Post has been UPDATED BELOW)

I’m waiting to hear from Brown’s Automotive on what’s wrong with my car. They told me on the phone that it might be a head gasket problem, which John Case informs me might just mean a dead car. It will be pretty expensive to get it running again and, as usual, I don’t know where the money will come from. The car used just about all of my Social Security money last month. My wife says we can’t afford that again… and besides, these little ischemic attacks I have that I’m getting tested for may come to mean that they won’t let me drive anyway. My existence is getting much smaller.

I have to arrange rides and pickups to get through my lighting commitment to Thurber Carnival. That’s not too difficult. Several of the cast members drive near my home when they come in to rehearsal or the show and I can get picked up or dropped off after. I just wish it were over with and I had one less thing on my mind.

It may be getting to be time to end this blog. It’s something I’m thinking seriously about right now. It takes a lot of energy and focus to keep it up… I’ve been doing it for six years, starting when I was actually gainfully employed and feeling pretty good about everything, and operating now in a place where I wasn’t able to get reemployed and had to retire earlier than I wanted to and my health is starting to take a dive. The blog is just one more thing… It doesn’t bring in enough money from font sales to do more than buy a couple of bottles of seltzer every other month and it doesn’t have any effect on changing the depressing politics and middle-class decline in this country. As one of that middle class that has suffered the decline, I don’t see a way out of it (unless a big move to hire carless 64-year-olds pops up somewhere around Shepherdstown, WV, where I am now trapped.)

I’ll make a decision on the blog in the next couple of days. Meanwhile, I’m going to start looking through my stuff to see what I can put up on eBay.


UPDATE: 11:48 AM

If I was depressed before, it is a deep pit now.

A Quote that we NEED from the President’s Labor Day Speech:

“Well, anyone who thinks we can move this economy forward with a few doing well at the top, hoping it’ll trickle down to working folks running faster and faster just to keep up – they just haven’t studied our history. We didn’t become the most prosperous country in the world by rewarding greed and recklessness. We didn’t come this far by letting special interests run wild. We didn’t do it by just gambling and chasing paper profits on Wall Street. We did it by producing goods we could sell; we did it with sweat and effort and innovation. We did it by investing in the people who built this country from the ground up – workers, and middle-class families, and small business owners. We did it by out-working, out-educating, and out-competing everyone else.”

– Barack Obama.

…and it’s time the Middle Class that’s left wises up and refuses to go back into the arms of the Republican Wealth Assuagers who got us into this situation!

Labor Day as Memorial Holiday; Middle Class R.I.P.

So says Rob Kall, executive editor, publisher and site architect of, in an article today (Go to to read the rest):
clipped from
David Letterman joked, on his show the other day,

Folks have big plans for Labor Day? Labor Day, of course, is the one day a year we honor our workforce. Do we still have a workforce?

We go out and we buy a lot of products made in China. That’s how we celebrate Labor Day.

Arianna Huffington’s newest book, Third World America, chronicles, in painful detail how corporations and the congress, and the White House and their appointees have been systematically undermining, literally wiping out the middle class.
We’d hoped that a strong Democratic congress and Obama in the White House would stanch the bleeding.
It didn’t happen. The Whitehouse rescued big finance and the auto industry but did nothing for millions of homeowners facing foreclosure. Congress pretended to pass financial reform while simultaneously gutting real reform…
The result is, the middle class is worse off now than it was in 2008.
blog it

Krugmann explains the Bush Tax Cut expiration…

Start here, then go into the NY Times and read the rest. Your clarity on the subject will improve 100%:
clipped from
We need to pinch pennies these days. Don’t you know we have a budget deficit? For months that has been the word from Republicans and conservative Democrats, who have rejected every suggestion that we do more to avoid deep cuts in public services and help the ailing economy.
But these same politicians are eager to cut checks averaging $3 million each to the richest 120,000 people in the country.
What — you haven’t heard about this proposal? Actually, you have: I’m talking about demands that we make all of the Bush tax cuts, not just those for the middle class, permanent.
Some background: Back in 2001, when the first set of Bush tax cuts was rammed through Congress, the legislation was written with a peculiar provision — namely, that the whole thing would expire, with tax rates reverting to 2000 levels, on the last day of 2010.
Obviously, the idea was to go back at a later date and make those tax cuts permanent. But things didn’t go according to plan. And now the witching hour is upon us.
Read the rest HERE. blog it

Guns and Butter

We are spending $2 Billion a week in Afghanistan. If you want to see zeros, that’s $2,000,000,000.00 a week. It also means $104 Billion a year.

Meanwhile, we can’t afford to keep our education budgets in functional condition. We can’t reduce our National Debt. We can’t bring down our operating deficit. And we are spending a fortune on foreign servicing (read China) of our debt.

The Teacher/Jobs bill that was passed by the Senate goes to the House tomorrow. It MUST be passed there if we want teachers to keep their jobs, if we want to see class sizes remain small enough, if we want to have all the extra programs beyond basic ABC’s working in our children’s favor.

And what about the money we are still spending in IRAQ? Here is the remains of a military action that we get just about zero benefit from (we shouldn’t have been there in the first place… and now it turns out that the Bush Administration has been documented as planning the invasion of Iraq BEFORE 9/11!)

The debate that is going to come up right away…if not as I write this…is a Guns and Butter debate. Do we keep supplying useless wars or do we keep our own middle-class culture from dying out entirely? Watch the activities of Congress and listen to the coming election speeches if you don’t believe me.

Facing a disastrous economy

We appear to be in the middle of a hugely stupid economic system. Consumers are consuming less…perhaps saving, actually. Lenders, even those who were bailed out by the government, are loaning less. The Military is spending more (and even if it cuts the military spending by a significant amount over the next two years, we will still be spending more… quite a bit more… than we spent the year prior to 9/11.

Our Industry economy has been replaced by a service economy (and long ago we lost our agrarian economy) and the need for services uses up computer networks and telephone lines but does not use up to available musculature and time of potential employees. Growing numbers of middle class employees become lower class unemployed and part-time strugglers. While we think about ways to go in a direction which favors the largest number of people instead of the top 1 percent of the population… the extremely wealthy elite… we fall more and more into a depth which was designed for us long ago and which we have supported, brainlessly, for close to 30 years.

Sustainability is one of the tactics which is being put in place by the current and former middle-classers as an effort to face the future with at least a drop of hope. Here in Shepherdstown, WV, a number of locals have put together Sustainable Shepherdstown in an early move to improve life conditions while looking out for urselves. This effects food, lifestyles and other economic factors. You can learn more about it at Sustainable Shepherdstown. Similar activities are happening in other communities.

The only real question is “Is it too late?”

While the Middle Class Disappears…

I’ve been reading a number of articles on the subject, recently, as I try to put my finger on why my own world is shrinking. It won’t be long and there will be no Middle Class, or a very small one that we use as a museum exhibit to remember when the world worked better than it does now.

Elizabeth Warren’s piece on Alternet titled America without a Middle Class – It’s not as far away as you might think is a good starting place:

Today, one in five Americans is unemployed, underemployed or just plain out of work. One in nine families can’t make the minimum payment on their credit cards. One in eight mortgages is in default or foreclosure. One in eight Americans is on food stamps. More than 120,000 families are filing for bankruptcy every month. The economic crisis has wiped more than $5 trillion from pensions and savings, has left family balance sheets upside down, and threatens to put ten million homeowners out on the street.

I’m in the first “1 in 5″… have been for 18 months or so… and I’m also part of the “5 trillion” in pension and savings losses (in my case, $30,000. from a once-secure 401 k.) So does that put me in the disappearing middle class?

PBS’ FRONTLINE explored how the credit card industry has shattered the Middle Class. It’s worth watching HERE. I watched and then thought how lucky I was that I gave up credit card use 5 years ago… only spend what I have, only use a debit card.

Health Care costs (which we are all evaluating as we watch the Senate debate the current Bill), have done their best to eliminate much of the Middle Class’s economic structure. There is a report from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation which lays out the economics of this situation HERE.

Plenty to read… plenty to think about. I hope you have a job and don’t have time to read it all… and, if so, I’m jealous.

And Speaking of Civil Wars…

Thinking this morning (see prvious post) of our insertion into Afghanistan which is in the midst of what can be seen as a Civil War, I started to ponder the “Intellectual Civil War” we are currently experiencing right here at home. While it is not the bombing, kidnapping, house-to-house shooting kind of Civil War, ours has elements which spell out an equally destabilized future for those of us who grew up in the Post WWII Middle-Class environment.

Starting about thirty years ago, the Conservative Right set out to weaken and then, most recently, to destroy or at the least enslave the Middle-Class to be the exclusive tax-supplying funding source of an Upper-Class dominated economy. The fact that it was stretched out over three decades (a slow, slow war) made it almost invisible to the majority of Americans who were convinced that there was something called a “trickle-down” advantage to stopping the taxation of the top 2% or so of the economic population. Then, when it was too late to really make a change without unattached politicians who were not paid off by the corporate creations of that top 2%, we discovered ourselves in a world where a ratio of one Dennis Kucinich was put up against 50 or so “identified-as-liberals”… or, as I would like to call it, the “false democracy.”

This “Intellectual Civil War” has battles, too, only they have taken on names like “Tea Parties” and have been controlled by outside players acting as puppeteers, and we have done little to cut the strings. Those of us in the American 98% that are being economically destroyed, robbed of affordable health care, impoverished by bankruptcies of government supported financial institutions and forced to see possibilities of our world turning around for the better dashed against the whining wrinkles of Joe Lieberman… we are left not knowing who to turn to, who we can actually believe is acting in our interests.

Look… I want to believe that Nancy Pelosi is going to do something to really get the Insurance Companies disabled when it comes to health care. I want to believe that Obama will see what’s going on in the Middle East and issue the order for everyone to come home… now… and forget the crap about how many years it will take to get our weapons and ships and other facilities dismantled… bring the armies home NOW, have them pull out in the middle of the night on Wednesday (and if Karzai’s government complains, tell them you’ll be back IF they really have a fair election and IF they handle their own military and police actions… frankly, we’ll never have to go back.) I want to believe that Republican leaders like John Boehner will actually call up Pelosi this morning and say “we’re ready to help and compromise for the good of the country… what do you want us to do?” I want to believe that the sun will shine and the sky will be blue and everything will get better (and employment opportunities will turn up so I can be at work instead of sitting here at the computer bitching about everything)… I want to believe it. I’m just not able to given current conditions.

I want to see an end to our Intellectual Civil War. I want to see the opposing generals like Dick Armey and Sarah Palin and Michael Steele decide that they have enough and can ride off into the sunset.

Fat chance.