Entitlements Scare Tactics

By James Kwak

A friend asked me about last week’s WSJ op-ed by Christopher Cox and Bill Archer claiming that the government’s true liabilities exceed $86 trillion—not the  $16 trillion national debt that people usually talk about. There’s something to it, but there’s also a huge scary story in there that’s purely meant to frighten people.

$16 trillion is the amount of Treasury debt outstanding at the moment. The more relevant figure is the amount of debt the federal government owes to people and institutions other than itself. If, for some reason, I lent money to my wife and she promised to pay it back to me, we wouldn’t count that as part of the debt owed by our household. The debt owed to the public is about $10 trillion these days.

So where do Cox and Archer get $86 trillion? They are counting the present value of future unfunded liabilities. To take one example, if you add up all the money that Medicare Part A is expected to pay out over the next 75 years and figure out how much it would be worth today, you get a total of $21.2 trillion. If you add up all the money that Medicare Part A will bring in from payroll taxes and do the same, you get $15.6 trillion. So to make Medicare Part A balance over seventy-five years, the government would have to have $5.6 trillion that it doesn’t have today. Do the same for all of Medicare and you get a total of $38.6 trillion. This is all from Table V.F2 on page 238 of the latest trustees’ report on the Medicare trust funds. (Cox and Archer, who claim to be citing the same source, have $42.8 trillion in their op-ed; maybe they’re using an infinite time horizon instead of a 75-year timeframe.)

Now, this is a meaningful exercise. It provides information that isn’t captured in the annual deficit figures and the current national debt, neither of which says anything about how spending and tax revenues are likely to evolve in the future. When we make decisions about taxes and spending, we should consider what we know about the future. In this case, we know that Medicare spending, under current law, is likely to increase faster than tax revenues because of demographic changes and health care inflation.

But what does $86 trillion mean? Is it a lot or a little? And this is where Cox and Archer start telling silly stories meant to scare people. They claim that “to collect enough tax revenue just to avoid going deeper into debt would require over $8 trillion in tax collections annually.” This is wrong on two levels.

First, if you did your calculations properly, you don’t “go deeper into debt” each year. You already estimated the amount that you will have to pay out and the amount that you will collect. The present value of your future unfunded liabilities shouldn’t be changing significantly from year to year unless those estimates change. For example, your discount rate might change, or your estimate of health care inflation might go up, or something like that. But these estimates can change in either direction.*

Second, the source they cite already tells us how much we would have to raise taxes (p. 239):

“From the 75-year budget perspective, the present value of the additional resources that would be necessary to meet projected expenditures, at current-law levels for the three programs combined, is $38.6 trillion. To put this very large figure in perspective, it would represent 4.3 percent of the present value of projected GDP over the same period ($907 trillion).”

The appropriate number to compare $86 trillion to is the present value of all future GDP. The Medicare trustees give us the present value of GDP over the next seventy-five years, which is $907 trillion. So $86 trillion is a big number (and I’m still not sure where Cox and Archer got it), but $907 trillion is a much bigger number.

Looking just at Medicare, we would need to increase taxes by 4.3 percent of GDP over the levels set by current law. Today, it would be about $600 billion. That is a lot, but it is certainly doable—and it’s a lot less than $8 trillion.

Why do Cox and Archer mangle their estimates so much?

“Some public officials and pundits claim we can dig our way out through tax increases on upper-income earners, or even all taxpayers. In reality, that would amount to bailing out the Pacific Ocean with a teaspoon. Only by addressing these unsustainable spending commitments can the nation’s debt and deficit problems be solved.”

This is a standard, “we can’t afford it” attack on social insurance programs. But they only arrive at this conclusion by being an order of magnitude wrong about the actual size of the funding gap.

Being bad at math is one thing. But Cox and Archer didn’t even have to do the math; they just had to keep reading until they got to the point where the Medicare trustees did the math for them.

* There’s one exception: Since the most recent year has slipped from the future into the past, it’s no longer part of the calculation. If that was a surplus year, then the present value of your future unfunded liabilities will go up by a bit. But the surplus should have improved your balance sheet by an offsetting amount, so you’re no worse off.

160 thoughts on “Entitlements Scare Tactics

  1. Yet their fundamental point, sensational and wrong-headed as it is presented, is that we don’t have enough people paying enough into these systems to pay for them under current tax law – and that’s simple demographics. There are several minor adjustments to our current taxing regime that would solve the problem – assuming that another great collapse that flattens the economy for a generation is not around the corner. But the $86T figure is important as a focusing device when we wish to talk about nation-building expenditures that are just as important to ensure that that robust economy is present 50-60-75 years hence. Higher taxes are the easy way out of the short term; but changing the fundamentals of the way we deliver such services is an essential component of a durable solution. In health care, the majority driver of long term deficits, it’s overhead reduction, cost management, and public health epiphanies. But ultimately, we have to have enough budgetary leeway – and enough faith that that future will, through our efforts, happen – to make meaningful investments in that future.

  2. Mr Kwak: You mention that 4.3% of GDP is ‘do-able’, yet it federal revenues (annual receipts as a portion of annual GDP) since 1975 have been roughly between 15% and 20% of GDP.


    Is 4.3% do-able in the sense of raising revenues (raising taxes) by 20% – 30% over current levels?

    Moreover, because these tax increases are not likely to be raised tomorrow, and will probably be gradually phased in (assuming no change in federal outlays / benefits), the needed tax increase will be even greater than 20% – 30%, as earlier years in the projection weight more heavily towards the present value.

  3. OK, US GDP is $15.09 Trillion and we need to raise taxes by 4.3% of GDP. That’s an increase in taxes or $649 Billion. There were about 100 million taxpayers in the US last year that actually paid taxes so that makes. $6,490 per taxpayer.

    Great, now we’ve got Medicare covered for only $6,490 per year plus inflation. Now lets tackle Social security and Medicaid. Then we’ll add the unfunded liabilities of Fannie Mae, Gennie Mac, and AIG. After that, we’ll add the unfunded pensions of Federal employees. Oh yeah, let’s not forget that $10 trillion dollar debt we also need to collect for.

  4. And by the way, the federal government only took in $866 Billion in income taxes in 2009 so a $649 Billion increase is a 75% increase over our current income taxes. I forgot to mention that we also need to balance the budget as well. If we collect enough to stop the deficit spending estimated at $1.5 Trillion in 2011, that’s over $13,000 per taxpayer right there.

  5. Paul Holstein –

    Where did the 100 million taxpayers number come from? Does that count all taxpayers contributing towards these expenses, or just the ones paying federal income tax?

  6. 100 million taxpayers is the number of returns the IRS processes that pay any federal taxes. As best I can tell there are only around 78 million wage earners in the US. So if you divide by that, it’s even worse.

  7. i would disagree with “Now, this is a meaningful exercise. It provides information that isn’t captured in the annual deficit figures and the current national debt, neither of which says anything about how spending and tax revenues are likely to evolve in the future.”

    it’s amazing hubris to imagine you can forecase anything 75 years into the future…who, even with the most complete information available at the time, could have forecast today’s economy in 1937?

    the only reason the CBO does that today is cause some innumerate congressman slipped that into a budget bill…

  8. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/02/israel-palestinian-funds-statehood-bid_n_2226993.html?utm_hp_ref=world

    How dare you all sit around here in USA and act like someone put you in charge of deciding who gets FIAT $$$$ that was taken from them for decades and decades via the FICA tax – it’s a POLITICAL decision?!

    This is how Norquist *negotiates:


    @Oregano – I challenge you but I respect the tone you try to maintain. I am NOT on “tilt” – you AGREE that criteria #1 HAS BEEN MET – you wrote, ” ….assuming that another great collapse that flattens the economy for a generation is not around the corner…..”

    Can you please tell me how this *religious authority* is dismissed as irrelevant in USA when it comes to the “lasting, grave and certain” damage done by CRIMINALS via the *moneylenders*? What could the use of arms do other than to get their carcasses and put them on trial for FRAUD?

    cut and pasted from wiki – AGAIN:

    “…The Just War theory is an authoritative Catholic Church teaching confirmed by the United States Catholic Bishops in their pastoral letter, The Challenge of Peace: God’s Promise and Our Response, issued in 1983. More recently, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in paragraph 2309, lists four strict conditions for “legitimate defense by military force”:
    1. the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;
    2. all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
    3. there must be serious prospects of success;
    4. the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power as well as the precision of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition…”

  9. According to the Social Security Administration, there were 150,917,733 wage earners in the United States in 2009, a recession year with much higher than average unemployment. About 24.3 million of those had annual income of less than $5000. But that still leaves considerably more than 78 million.

  10. I can live with that, go ahead and run the numbers with your data. Scared yet? Don’t forget to add funding for the deficit, SS, Medicaid, Fannie, Freddie, Pensions, and AIG. What did you come up with?

  11. I’m not passing judgment on future liabilities. Just correcting your erroneous information.

  12. Yes, I realize that. But someone reading your comments could come to the conclusion that the problem is “considerably” less than I suggest. It would be great if you ran the numbers.

  13. Averages mean nothing. The average taxpayer would have a sizeable tax increase, but nothing like the amount that you’re talking about, because the income is so concentrated at the top.

  14. $16 trillion federal debt, plus umpteen trillion in state, county and municipal debt (to which we should add their unfunded liabilities)? And how about the GSAs (Fannie, Freddie, etc.) Academic exercise? C’mon James!

  15. OK Kit, let me run the numbers for you. According to the Medicare Trustees report for 2011. Medicare took in $196 Billion dollars in 2011. They say we need to raise taxes by 4% of GDP or $649 Billion dollars. That’s a 300% increase. Income is concentrated at the top, but it isn’t in the form of wages. Run the numbers yourself.

    Click to access TR2012.pdf

  16. It’s an interesting point that you make about income concentrated at the top not being in the form of wages. Raises the question of why and whether that should make a big difference in how it’s taxed. But that’s a separate matter.

    My original intent was to make a simple observation about an incorrect figure that you provided — understating the number of wage earners by about 50 million people. I wasn’t commenting on the difficulty of covering the costs of future unfunded liabilities, or whether, as you apparently are arguing, it’s necessary to pay off all federal debt and run a balanced budget. (For the record, I don’t think it is.)

    Yes, it’s going to be difficult to cover all of the liabilities that the federal government has taken on. It’s going to take some stiff tax increases. It will also require significant restraints on health care cost inflation and changes in how social insurance is funded. Ideally our representatives would have kept all this in mind ten or twelve years ago when they decided that we could afford huge tax cuts and wars in the Middle East and South Asia, as well as a large addition to Medicare that came without any change in the program’s revenue source.

    I don’t know what else you want. I’m no expert and I don’t claim to know how to “run the numbers,” particularly for the long term. That doesn’t change the flaws in the assumptions on which you based your figures.

  17. Oh, and by the way…even if you define income as compensation subject to federal income tax, as reported by employers on W2 forms (which the Social Security Administration does), you are still talking a distribution so skewed as to make averages meaningless. The top 5000 people make as much as the bottom 25 million.

  18. I think the main point was the debt we do not owe to ourselves. Debt we owe ourselves is money we can get back through taxes, or even health care costs to the elderly (who have the most spending power). [But since the elderly want to try to pass most of their wealth on to their children, and the most costly time for the elderly is toward their end. It’s easier for them to collect from a broader base today and pass those costs down to future generations while preserving their own wealth.]
    Now the real problem is the close to $6 trillion we owe to people outside our own country. We can’t simply tax or legislate our way to getting that money back, except to hope that they reinvest those earned? dollars back into the US monetary system. If they don’t, and they want to cash out at the tune of whose knows how much per month, you can have a very (hyper)inflationary experience which would add more than one straw to the camel’s back when he is already at his carrying limit. Now the timing for that would be only known by a few individuals, of one I am not a member. But I can read between the lines and get the hint that something might be ready to go wrong here. A couple more sources, and all of a sudden,it’s a given.

  19. Wait, is this the same Christopher Cox who made a laughable shambles out of the SEC, letting corporate criminals go scot-free for all of the Shrub years? We would pay attention to him why?

  20. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Peter_G._Peterson_Foundation
    “The Peter G. Peterson Foundation is an American foundation established in 2008 by Peter G. Peterson, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and co-founder of the Blackstone Group – an American-based financial-services company. With an endowment of US$1 billion, it focuses on raising public awareness about the need for fiscal sustainability related to federal deficits, entitlement programs, health care and tax policy and supporting the development of policy solutions to these challenges.”
    “In the cut of I.O.U.S.A. screened at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2008, the original designers from Agora Financial had audiotape of Nixon conspiring with his advisers to blame the decision to close the “gold window” on “speculators. ” After they sold the film to the Peterson Foundation, that story beat was edited out. The final cut of the film released in Aug. 22, 2008 blames rampant inflation in the 1970s on Arthur Burns, then chair of the Federal Reserve.[7]

    In February 2008, Walker announced that he would be resigning from his post as Comptroller General to become the president and CEO of the newly established The Peter G. Peterson Foundation, a position from which he could more freely draw attention to the serious issues the U.S. is facing.[8]”
    Institutional LOOTING: Private Equity and Think Tank Foundations
    (all tax free…investments in {their} asset seizing futures)

  21. Kit, I get the feeling that you believe that the concentrated income at the top of the spectrum can easily pay for any funding gaps we have with Medicare, the deficit, pensions, social security, medicaid, fannie, freddie, AIG and all the other quasi governmental guarantees we’ve made.

    But what if they can’t? Until you actually take out a calculator and start running some numbers about who will pay for this and how, you will not know the extent of the problem. My profession requires me to run numbers all day and I can help you do that. We can come up with assumptions about what the top 1% of our population make and how much they can reasonable afford to pay. Then we can divide out the shortfall among the selected taxpayers and figure out if they can pay this off or not. I’m not asking you to be an expert. The experts out there aren’t doing a swell job of figuring this out either.

    Just make some assumptions and let the calculations rip. I’ve done the math and I see no good way out of this. Period.

    BTW, I totally agree with your assessment about where we went wrong 12 years ago. Unfortunately, it doesn’t help much now, does it?

  22. Dr. Kwak,

    While I totally agree with you and am strongly against cuts to the insurance programs we pay into (Medicare/Medicaid and Soc. Security), when a husband or wife owes money to his spouse, it’s usually easier to get at that money as long as the spouses cooperate than it might be to get the money from the wealthy 1% who don’t appear to want to cooperate or even care about their 99% spouses.

  23. “Zeitgeist: Moving Forward, by director Peter Joseph, is a feature length documentary work which will present a case for a needed transition out of the current socioeconomic monetary paradigm which governs the entire world society.”

    “This subject matter will transcend the issues of cultural relativism and traditional ideology and move to relate the core, empirical “life ground” attributes of human and social survival, extrapolating those immutable natural laws into a new sustainable social paradigm called a “Resource-Based Economy”.

  24. “The Serious People in Washington, such as the Washington Post (both the opinion and news sections), the Wall Street Campaign to Fix the Debt, and the Republican congressional leadership are in a full budget-cutting frenzy. They demand cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and everything else that benefits middle-income and poor people because, well, because the market demands it.

    And we know, the market demands these cuts because the Serious People told us the market demands these cuts. The fact that the cuts have the effect of redistributing income from the rest of us to the Serious People and their friends is just a coincidence.”
    Dean Baker
    The Serious People Are on the War Path
    Posted: 12/03/2012 12:26 pm

  25. The Unbubble.

    I understand the concerns about long-term debt. But my level of concern seems to parallel that of the bond market – which doesn’t seem to be all that concerned at the moment.

    “Scare tactics” is correct – and it’s politically driven. Unless I am to believe that the politicians that seem to be beating the debt drum are somehow ahead of the market(?)

    Our political class, for the most part failed to see that the sky was indeed falling back during the run up to the financial collapse in the early part of this century. I can not help but feel that this current concern with debt is reactionary, at best. It curiously flips the delusion that allowed people to believe that their $80 000 condo was worth $300 000. They called that a “bubble”. I call this latest delusion the ‘unbubble’. And like those who helped inflate the bubble, those who are helping to deflate the unbubble, once we are all sucked into a vast negative space of austerity, will also survive with impunity . (Actually, the ‘those’ in both cases, seems to refer to the same group of people, with few exceptions – which was my first clue that this is all political gamesmanship.)

    Anyway, once again, nice piece Mr. Kwak.

  26. Paul Holstein, you seem intent upon reading things into my posts that I haven’t said. Please tell me where I suggest that “the concentrated income at the top of the spectrum can easily pay for any funding gaps we have.” In fact, I said it will be difficult to cover the federal government’s liabilities.

    Let me repeat myself. Your figures about cost “per taxpayer” are useless because of the skewed income distribution. You said, “If we collect enough to stop the deficit spending estimated at $1.5 Trillion in 2011, that’s over $13,000 per taxpayer right there.” That’s exactly the kind of alarmist tactics the right wing uses to scare people away from rational discussion of how the country’s fiscal problems should be handled.

    The people at the bottom aren’t going to be paying $13,000 more in taxes because they don’t have any money. The money is concentrated at the top and increasingly has been for going on forty years now — and that doesn’t even include the trillions that have been sheltered offshore. The people at the top are going to have to pay a lot more than $13,000.

    It’s true that even if we did finally return to properly taxing high incomes and wealth at this point, that alone wouldn’t be enough to cover the gap. For this reason, I believe I said that there will have to be concentrated efforts to control health care cost inflation (which will have to include a sharp move away from for-profit health insurance) and changes in the funding of social insurance.

    Of course, we made changes in the funding of social insurance in 1983, when Social Security went from being a pay-as-you-go system to a partially funded system. It would have made sense, if we had invested those funds properly (in infrastructure, research, education). Instead, we spent them on tax cuts and wars. And now we’re right back where we started. So you can imagine why people might be skeptical about more such changes now.

    Please don’t preen about how “your profession requires you to run numbers all day.” Where did you get the figure you used for the number of wage earners in the country? The first thing that came up on a Google search? Remember…garbage in, garbage out.

  27. Kit, That is the fourth time you’ve mentioned the erroneous number of wage earners. You mentioned it once in your initial reply, twice in the next and once again in this one. I get it. We all get it. I’ve conceded the point. Please stop beating that drum. Get over it already. It doesn’t make any of your points more valid.

    Let’s move on to how to manage this dilemma. Calling the math “scare tactics” doesn’t make it false. Since we are not face-to-face and we have limited space to communicate, I think it’s reasonable to try and figure out what you mean by your posts and I will try to read in to them whatever I can interpret. You can reduce the amount of ambiguity by being more specific.

    Just saying that the people at the top will pay a lot more than $13,000 isn’t especially useful. How much extra do you think they will pay? The $13,000 only covers the deficit. How much will they have to pay to cover all the unfunded liabilities and debt? How much income do the top 1% of income producers bring in annually? If we took 100% of their earnings, how much would it contribute to the deficit and unfunded liabilities? If it doesn’t cover it, how far down the chain do we have to go? How many cuts will we need to make to help balance out the revenue? We may not have exact answers, but I’m sure we can get close on this.

    I believe that you are correct that returning to a prudent revenue program of taxing high incomes at this point won’t cover the gap. And I also agree with you that we need to control health care cost inflation. In fact, I favor a single payer system to help reduce the costs. I have no party affiliation and no dog in this hunt.

    So please tell me how you think this thing will unfold. I’ve put my numbers out there and you don’t like them. Fine, please run your own. I am truly interested in figuring out if these are truly “scare tactics” or is there a legitimate serious problem here. If thoughtful folks like you don’t run the numbers, we can’t know the answers.

  28. Ultimately, I’d like to know if we are screwed or not? Some people are building retreats in the forest and stocking up on canned foods. Others are on the other extreme living hand to mouth with no savings or plan B.

    What is the most likely course of the economy in the next 10 years? Is the deficit, debt, trade imbalance and unfunded liabilities a major problem that will lead to inflation and ultimately economic collapse or is Krugman and Robert Reich correct that deficits don’t matter? Can our parents count on social security and medicare to be there and support them in their old age or can they not? Please give me your take on this.

  29. I think I’ve posted this here before; it has been on
    for a couple of years:
    Deficit Reduction for Dummies

    Taxes(1): An “emergency” tax of 60% on all income above
    $1,000,000. (Such income levels were taxed at 90% back in
    pre-Reagan days.)

    Medicare and Medicaid: Get rid of the health insurance
    industry; introduce Single Payer. That way we can get our
    health care costs down to around 10\% of GDP, the level it is
    in the rest of the developed world. Businesses should like
    this, since this decreases their tax burdens and paper work.

    Taxes(2): Institute a sales tax on stocks and other financial
    transactions; a .5%(.005) tax on every financial transaction on the
    NY Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, Chicago Board of Trade, etc. This
    would not bother the ordinary person, but might slow down the
    casino aspects of these markets. It would bring in great hunks
    of moolah too.

    Wars: Shut down the illegal and immoral wars in
    Afghanistan and Iraq IMMEDIATELY. They cost
    $2,000,000,000 per WEEK. Bring our troops home and settle
    them in pleasant camps along the US-Canadian border, on the
    alert for a possible Canadian attack. We don’t know when
    Osama bin Laden may suddenly make a move toward Canada; our
    military should be held in readiness for such eventualities.

    Social Security: Raise the cap on Social Security
    contributions from its present level to $1,000,000. Make
    a note to look at this issue again in 2035.

    Maybe some people here would like to tell us all
    how the U.S. got so poor all of a sudden. In my
    lifetime we fought and won(Yes, the Russians helped
    a little!) WW II. We built huge towns to house
    returning vets and others. We paid soldiers for
    their education(GI Bill), we gave quite a bit of money
    to rebuild Europe(Marshall Plan). A bit later on,
    under a Republican president, we built the Interstate
    Highway system. A bit after that, we embarked on a
    ten-year successful endeavor to put a man on the

    And now we whimper, holler, and tear our hair; we’s too
    poor to do _anything_. Very strange; except of course it
    isn’t strange at all, considering the people we’ve let
    dominate our manufacturing, financial, and now intellectual
    life since Ronald Reagan.

    Best wishes,

    Alan McConnell, in Silver Spring MD

  30. Alan, sounds like a great plan with no pain for you and me. If I don’t make over $1 Million, I pay no more income tax. Since I don’t work for an insurance company, I don’t worry about losing my job. Since I don’t own or trade stock, I won’t pay extra in fees. Since I’m not a military contractor, I won’t lose business. And since I don’t make over the Social security threshold, I won’t pay more social security taxes.

    I would imagine you are in a similar position than I am and wouldn’t be bothered at all by these proposals. So what’s not to love? Let someone else pay for this problem. Where do I vote for this?

    Let’s call this the “No pain for the ordinary guy, plan.”

  31. @PH, “…The $13,000 only covers the deficit. How much will they have to pay to cover all the unfunded liabilities and debt? How much income do the top 1% of income producers bring in annually? If we took 100% of their earnings, how much would it contribute to the deficit and unfunded liabilities? If it doesn’t cover it, how far down the chain do we have to go? How many cuts will we need to make to help balance out the revenue?…”

    Isn’t the real question how can we *politically* make the case for paying the usury interest back to the FED by emptying out all *social* accounts?

  32. Annie, I think the article pointed out that most of our debt is not held by the Federal Reserve. I’m not sure what you mean by “usury interest” since the Fed has been driving down rates pretty dramatically in recent years. In fact, they return negative rates on a real basis if you factor in inflation. Do you have a specific proposal that we could make a case for?

  33. http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/obscenely-rich-men-bent-shredding-safety-net?akid=9747.147584.-HsSdX&rd=1&src=newsletter754638&t=4
    News & Politics
    AlterNet / By Lynn Stuart Parramore
    The Obscenely Rich Men Bent on Shredding the Safety Net

    ….CEOs talk about shared sacrifice, but the only thing they want
    to share is your retirement money with their wealthy friends.
    December 3, 2012 |

    “New York magazine calls it a “Mass Movement for Millionaires.”
    The New York Times’ Paul Krugman sums up the idea :
    “Hey, sacrifice is for the little people.”

    The Campaign to Fix the Debt is a huge, and growing, coalition of powerful CEOs, politicians and policy makers on a mission to lower taxes for the rich and cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid under the cover of concern about the national debt. The group was spawned in July 2012 by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, architects of a misguided deficit reduction scheme in Washington back in 2010. By now, the “fixers” have collected a war chest of $43 million. Private equity billionaire Peter G. Peterson, longtime enemy of the social safety net, is a major supporter.”
    (full article) @

  34. Ladies & gentleman of the moment:
    All your numbers are merely statistically drawn data points in a graphic base denomination of demographic (capital) “heads” since this is no “real’ peg to the paper dollar. Your quibbling equivocations
    are a vulgar monetarism in a vicious economy of “virtual” control fraud that is driven by artificial chaos and crisis.
    chew on some of that before splitting the atom over the political agenda for popular distraction!

  35. Bruce, I’m not following your point. Are the rich millionaires wrong? How are they wrong? Do we even have a problem to begin with? Is your retirement money safe if we do nothing? Is Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid safe if we silence the rich? What is your proposal?

  36. Paul:
    I take it that we are speaking of systemics and not a false dichotomy between micro and macro business communities representing themselves as societies through political domination.

    In that regard the contemporary emergent evolution of the monetary “system” and its money supply-side allocations literally dictate to the people as to what they can and can not have to sustain themselves.
    The disproportionate monopoly of this (unfixed & relatively variable) money supply is the determining factor as to who literally rules the colonial planet.

    Your talking dead talk when you speak of rich and poor. These people do not all earn what they hold and not all so-called “wealth” is real hard equity that contributes to the real economy…it is “currency” for political capital. The “baseline” for capitalism is not money…it is literally “heads” that can be counted to serve a perverse advantage.

    Your way of calculating corrections is pretty close to about 40 years too late! I must admit, however, that if everyone was playing on a fair playing field… with reference points on graphs that don’t lie…
    …You would in fact be right ON the money.

  37. Paul, as you point out, my plan would indeed be popular. The
    soldiers(below the rank of major) would like it a lot. I used to
    own stock, and sometimes I bought and/or sold. But if I
    can pay 5% sales tax every day in my ordinary purchases,
    I certainly am not going to whimper about .5% tax on stock
    purchases. I agree that the health insurance industry would
    be wiped out. Just as many businesses and towns were
    wiped out when the Interstate came through and bypassed
    them. Schumpeter has a lot to say about Creative

    The “defense” industry is pure Keynesianism. Again, now that
    the USSR is the FSU, we can find better things to do with
    our money. Put the F35 manufacturers to work fixing our
    electric grid, and building wind turbine farms.

    I hope in your next post you’ll comment on the Levitt-towns
    we built, the GI Bill, the Interstate, NASA. We spent in those
    days like crazy, on things which increased our national
    WEALTH. Now we have Pete Peterson etc telling us that
    we can’t/shouldn’t increase our national WEALTH any more.
    Do you think the U.S. has enough schools? enough hospitals?
    When FDR came in, he built the TVA, the GW Bridge in NYC,
    the Golden Gate Bridge in SF, the Skyline Drive, and libraries
    and post offices all over. We are still benefitting from this
    wealth creation. Why can’t we do it again?

    I once had the chance, in a Concord Coalition forum, to
    ask Mr Peterson: “What about raising taxes?” The audience
    sat in silence; Mr Peterson hemmed and hawed . . .

    Best wishes,

    Alan McConnell in Silver Spring MD

  38. Paul: I enjoy your solid “feet on the ground” presentations. I think you might like to take a look here for some alternative “critical” thoughts concerning the foundations of our “crisis cosmology” in economic relaism:
    Put mindless econometrics and regression analysis where they belong – in the garbage can!
    December 4, 2012
    from Lars Syll

  39. Allan, without being facetious, I see a lot of good in your plan but I feel compelled to point out that it puts a lot of burden on the rich, insurance companies and defense contractors. Maybe that is the way to go, but I’m certain of one thing, they wouldn’t be the only ones to suffer temporarily. It would be hugely disruptive. True, we currently have terrible miss-allocations of capital but let’s be honest that correcting those miss-allocations will be very painful for most Americans.

    At the end of the day, I think you are heading in the right direction to make our country more productive and focused on expenditures that contribute to human happiness. But are you sure that your plan will be adequate? I’d be curious to see how much of a dent we could make on the fiscal problem if we implemented your proposals.

  40. Bruce, I must admit that I’m having a difficult time following your posts. When you use terms like “crisis cosmology” I get lost and don’t understand the language. You may be 100% correct and onto something very profound here that I can not comprehend, or you may actually be one card shy of a deck.

    I did follow the link you provided and agree somewhat that economics is more of an art than a science. The precise models don’t seem to work very well for predicting the future. Unfortunately, since I don’t really understand your posts, I can not intelligently respond to them. Are you suggesting we move to a gold standard or some other proposal? If you could be specific on what you propose, that might be helpful.

  41. SS, Medicare, and Medicaid are “safe” if by that you mean they will be bale to pay benefits to the ever growing number of retirees. They can do that because they collect taxes independent of the federal income tax, and because current beneficiaries are receiving payments supported going forward by the working population of the US.

    Part of the problem is that the “rich” referred to in the various pieces of the “FIx the Deficit” coalition run by Mr. Peterson don’t pay FICA taxes because they don’t earn traditional wage based income – they earn Carried Interest income which is FICA tax free, and which is taxed at considerably lower effective rates then wage earners. I make a very low six figure wage based salary, and I am taxed into the 35 % bracket for it (My effective rate, which includes FICA, is around 27%). Mitt Romney, by contrast, draws nearly all his “income” from carried interest, and has (as was widely reported during the Presidential election) an effective tax rate of around 17%. So “taxing the rich” is in fact an effective answer to the problem, as changing the Carried Interest taxation policies, and raising marginal federal income rates back to the Clinton era 39% would in fact generate something between $800Billion and $1 Trillion depending on whose math you use.

    Leaving that aside, the Affordable Act (Obamacare in the derogatory) further bolster Medicare by making structural change that bring and additional $716 Billion in savings to the federal budget over the next ten years (with presumed continued savings in out years). That is already the law of the land. Tere are also something like $500 Billion in “additional” revenue to be had by eliminating ethanol subsidies, eliminating petrochemical industry subsidies, and closing about a dozen federal income tax loopholes (all of which have had unintended consequences that are more negative then raising taxes would be, and all of which generate benefits disproportionately for upper income earners).

    and finally, if the US was headed off a Greek style cliff, then international investors would be fleeing to other currencies – presumably China and Germany. That’s not happening, and as long as the Fed keeps interest rates next to zero, it won’t happen. So the deficit is manageable and reducable in the near term with a few simple decisions that rely on solid math. But those decisions will render Wall Street less politically powerful, and keep public monies in the hands of government to help level the field in our economy. Wall Street doesn’t want that – they want unending profits with guarantees of tax payer funded bailouts when they fail. And the Math doesn’t support that at all as being in our Nation’s best interest.

  42. Paul: You might sit through the “zeitgeist” Youtube video documentary I posted above (but I should mention that the introduction minutes are a bit vaguely presented and does require some patience…you might push the cursor a bit forward if it does not immendiately hold your attention…although I think it is worth watching completely).

    I am an anthropologist not an accountant. My personal position, as an American citizen, is compelled to take the accounting position seriously. Theoretically however, I do not agree (as you stated in an earlier comment) that the causal foundations that emerged 10 years ago with entitlement attacks are now too late to deal with as a bygone reality that we all have to swallow whole. In fact, I believe that this insidious 10 year plan is standard business tactics and that they depend on JUST SUCH A CONCLUSION> that it is all too late.

    In the mean time I see the “facts” you are handling as contrived manipulations within the modus operandi that result from careful business plans of “real people” (not rich special people who have special powers…just real people cheating and exploiting other people).
    You are in the 21st Century and you are being duped with 20th Century strategic political tactics that are rooted in colonial imperialism and economic class & global warfare. But at the “micro-economic” level and at the macro-economic consequences;
    …. I don’t buy their fiction…and i am not distracted by time or tricks.

  43. Paul Holstein, I admit that my last mention of your error on the number of wage earners (in which you underestimated the number by between 63 and 94 percent, depending on whether you include those earning under $5000 annually) was a dig at your claim to be a professional number runner. I couldn’t resist. But the only reason I mentioned it the second time after my initial post was because you continue to insist that I prove something that I never said or even attempted to address in the first place. I think I’ve been quite specific.

    While we’re considering your propensity for inaccuracy, let’s look at some of your other mistakes, all of which make your numbers look scarier than they technically should.

    You said, “Medicare took in $196 Billion dollars in 2011. They say we need to raise taxes by 4% of GDP or $649 Billion dollars. That’s a 300% increase.” Medicare Part A took in $196 billion in FICA insurance, but that’s not the only revenue currently going to pay for Medicare. The program, including Part B and D Supplemental Medical Insurance, also currently receives general revenue, interest, and taxes on benefits, according to the trustees’ report that you mentioned. (Beneficiaries also pay premiums.) Total current revenues not including premiums are $530 billion, not $196 billion. Granted, the necessary increase is still very large. But it’s not 300%.

    You said, “[T]he federal government only took in $866 Billion in income taxes in 2009 so a $649 Billion increase is a 75% increase over our current income taxes.” This was in the context of paying for Medicare. The more accurate base figure would include FICA taxes. The Treasury says that in the 12-month period from July 2008 to June 2009, the government took in $954 billion in individual (not including corporate) income tax and $855 billion in FICA taxes. Total revenue, $1.809 billion. Again, the necessary increase is still large — but it isn’t 75%.

    Can the wealthy afford to pay a whole hell of a lot more than they are paying now, and would that make a difference? According to the Tax Policy Center, “tax deferrals and deductions and other forms of tax expenditures (tax subsidies from special deductions, exemptions, exclusions, credits, capital gains, and loopholes), which largely benefit the rich, are worth about 7.4% of the GDP, or about $1.1 trillion.” That would go a long way toward financing the federal government.

    I don’t know what it might take to get it through your head that I’m not arguing with you about the fact that we’re in deep shit. I’m just saying that carelessly throwing inaccurate figures around does not help.

  44. Philip, I don’t believe your first paragraph is correct for two reasons, 1) the demographics are unfavorable. That means that there are fewer and fewer workers to support retirees and 2) Health care costs have risen so much and continue to rise that future workers will simply not be able to afford both their own health care, plus those of the elderly. Every single proposal I’ve seen includes raising the eligibility age for those social programs as well as tax increases.

    On your next point about raising taxes on carried interest, that may make sense. But you are proposing both to raise taxes on carried interest and also raise marginal rates to 39%. All to collect less than $1 Trillion. That’s still not enough. Our annual deficit is greater than $1 Trillion each year and we aren’t even considering paying down the debt and unfunded liabilities of the social programs, pensions, and government guarantees.

    I agree that some form of nationalized health care (including Obamacare) is a step in the right direction.

    Finally, I wish I had the confidence in our international investors to assure myself that we aren’t going over a cliff. Unfortunately, I see investor behavior more influenced by profit and short term security rather than long term risks. At the moment, the US is the place to invest and the dollar is the only currency with the clout and reach that is able to facilitate large transactions in a non-disruptive way. Investors make poor decisions every day. How many folks lost money in the great housing bubble? It’s almost a confidence game. If investors panic, they will lose their investments. Some investors, such as pensions, however, have no choice but to stay in. They are bound by regulations to only invest in rated US securities.

  45. Paul wrote:
    “Allan, without being facetious, I see a lot of good in your plan but I feel compelled to point out that it puts a lot of burden on the rich, insurance companies and defense contractors. Maybe that is the way to go, but I’m certain of one thing, they wouldn’t be the only ones to suffer temporarily. It would be hugely disruptive. True, we currently have terrible miss-allocations of capital but let’s be honest that correcting those miss-allocations will be very painful for most Americans.”

    Paul, it is a sign of the degree to which most of us — certainly
    you — are captured by the Pete Peterson Spirit of the Times, that
    you can post the above. “burden on the Rich”; a tax of 60% on
    income over $1million. The Mittster, even under that onerous
    burden, will still be able to finish his La Joya mansion, garage with
    elevator and all. The insurance companies would be out of
    business; but their employees are very mobile, much more
    so than the small businesses that are bypassed by the
    Interstates. The defense contractors will lose something,
    since they will be in competition with each other and won’t
    be able to get the gov’t to give them cost-plus contracts any
    more(at least I hope not!), but there is ENORMOUS amounts
    of work needed to be done here in the US, for them to turn
    their hands, machines, and skills to.

    But putting people to work –RIGHT AWAY — to start work on
    roads, hospitals, schools, solar panels, anaerobic bacteria
    methane cookers, will, in a matter of months, bring enormous
    benefits, both to the jobless and to our country. How can
    correcting misallocations be anything except beneficial, both
    in the short and the long term?

    However, I am aware that we are having a theoretical
    discussion here. For what I propose has the chance
    of a snow-flake in hell of getting implemented. The
    Petersons, the Kochs, the Blankfeins of this world have
    control of the discussion and of the terms of the debate.
    All I can do is point out, in a forum read by perhaps
    a thousand or so people, that the solution is there and
    is easy to implement.

    Best wishes,

    Alan McConnell, in Silver Spring MD

  46. Just a side note, Paul Holstein…Paul Krugman has never said that deficits don’t matter. He has said that at the current time, the balancing the federal budget and paying down the federal debt should not be a priority.

  47. Kit, since we both agree that we’re in deep shit, let’s try to figure this out and manage this dilemma. I certainly don’t want to throw out inaccurate figures. So please take a moment to figure out exactly how deep we are in shit and what kind of pain it will take to get us out of it.

  48. Alan, I agree with you more than anyone else on this thread. Correcting miss-allocations cannot be anything except beneficial. But their will certainly be pain involved. Unfortunately, there are no “solutions” to this dilemma. We can merely manage who suffers the pain and how.

    BTW, I’ve never heard of Pete Peterson or the Spirit of the Times. I am more influenced by Tom Woods (and just barely at that) than any other economist. I didn’t vote for the Mittster either. I am not interested in politics other than to find some ways to manage the fiscal dilemma we find ourselves in.

  49. @PH – “…Annie, I think the article pointed out that most of our debt is not held by the Federal Reserve….”

    Of course not, the collection of interest for the fractional reserve banking scheme (fiat money issued as *debt*) was transferred to the Treasury.

    The fact that the FRB – IN RECENT YEARS (since 2008?) has lowered the interest rate only means that they are aware that the strata of wage dependent Middle Class was wiped clean over 40 years of extractive taxation (usury? yes?) which was collected, via Treasury, through a *political* scheme of social programs which they had no intention of honoring. They always saw it as a Ponzi – for them – not for the taxpayer. Even though the system was NOT designed to be a Ponzi because if it had been actually designed to be a Ponzi, that would have been an impossible *sell*.

    I think that the intention to NEVER honor the taxpayer getting their own money back (with compounded interest) from SS or Medicare or wha’ever is clear because there is no *contract* in place that can’t be overturned by Congress’ legislative pen – there is no contract between the INDIVIDUAL and the Federal Government. It’s all a *political decision*.

    Whoever was supposedly *borrowing* back USA dollars from foreigners, not on behalf or with the knowledge of USA taxpayer, mind you, were only lent the money because the SS fund was put up as collateral.

    The *concern* is that there is no one left to target for interest extraction, correct? So it’s time to empty out the “social funds”.

    The nastiest of the nasty is life at the mold covered crumb level – the millions without a penny, property or health left are hoping for the *kindness from strangers” from that pool of people with a decent paying job that – obviously – no one even has the correct # of who they are and for how long they will have that job as the axes are still chopping – supposedly as a negotiating tool now on the part of the CEOs to get – well, WTF do THEY want? Bump up to the TRLLIONAIRE club?

    Here’s just a hint of the kind of *who pays for YOU, as long as it isn’t ME” you can expect from *kind strangers* – the FINANCIAL responsibility for the health care costs incurred by the new cases of ALL sexually transmitted diseases will be the legal responsibility of the person who did the transmitting – whether *knowingly* or not. Next up – you have one autistic child, okay, sad. But with all the GENETIC science we have now – any more, and no one should be expected to pay for their care. Ditto for Down Syndrome. Here’s why – those *kind* people in the lowest middle class strata who left jobs and careers to take care of their old parents are completely without any inheritance and job, so that’s the end of the *kind* strata.

    The cold-blooded predators who hid behind the *kind* over the past decades are in full view – and what they DID to everyone who was already *good* well beyond measure when contrasted with the predators, was ruthlessly skin them – psychologically and physically – as payers for the health care costs of their kidnapped elderly (and let’s not PRETEND that this wasn’t EASILY an ethnic attack against the genetic all live to 90+ pool).

    Where you Deliverance Boyz plant the flag – “….squeeeel like a pig, Annie…” is obviously under the total control of your own free will. Not paying for the anal rip you cause others. Health care philosophy, USA-style…

    Nothing left to lose for those who actually HAD everything through honest labor….? Sounds dangerous to the 1%, don’t it? Especially since they took all those pre-empitve strikes already – hence the nothing left to lose…

    I think the #s are equal – as many skinned alive as there are still getting a *living wage”. Along with you, PH, I’d like to do that arithmetic – billion $$$$ Homeland Security Spy apparatus should have the actual numbers, no? That was their job – rob the Middle Class to pay the military *contractors*…

  50. Alan McConnell, you make some very good points. A sales tax on financial transactions would definitely raise revenue. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange traded 3.4 billion contracts with an estimated value of more than a quadrillion dollars in 2011. Right now, there are no sales taxes on these activities.

  51. @Woych, “….Theoretically however, I do not agree (as you stated in an earlier comment) that the causal foundations that emerged 10 years ago with entitlement attacks are now too late to deal with as a bygone reality that we all have to swallow whole. …”

    A new meme emerging…? Trickle down economy is now squirt it out economy?

  52. wonder what happens if you try to do the same exercise to any company in existance today no matter how profitable. just for grins lets take Apple. go 75 years out in to the future, and you will note that they are bankrupt because if you only take expenses you see they are. and that if they survive that long. so if we accept the 86 trillion dollars in expenses as calculated, and ignore the more than 750 trillion in income in that same 75 years. never mind that we can’t predict what will happen tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, or 5 years out

  53. Isn’t it always the current wrong time to balance the budget kit? Since like 1937 we have been beating this dead horse, and it never is a priority too. Now the consequences for not paying down the federal debt are about to come to fruition and we hail the same curtain call. Go figure!

  54. from:
    Richard (RJ) Eskow

    GOP Offers to Throw Middle Class, Elderly Over the ‘Fiscal Cliff’

    “The Republican Party has a message for the American people: Meet the new deal, same as the old deal. The GOP “counter-offer” to the president’s fiscal-cliff proposal isn’t really an offer at all: It’s a rehash of the tired and extremist right-wing economic warfare which the American people soundly rejected last month.

    But a political tin ear is the least of the shortcomings Republicans bring to this debate. This rehash of their old, rejected budget ideas is a formula for reducing the United States of America to a crumbling and poverty-haunted land where the young have no opportunities, the middle class is struggling to survive, and the aged live in misery and fear.”
    (full article @):

  55. Anybody familiar with the concept of dead weight loss of taxation? You ought to be since we’re talking about a 50% increase in tax revenue needed to close the gap between what is scheduled to be collected under current law and what is promised to be paid out in benefits.

  56. Kitsune wrote that Medicare took in not only FICA taxes, but also part B and D also receives general revenues, interest, and taxes on benefits.
    The taxes on the benefits are the only cash income of those 3 mentioned,in addition to FICA taxes. General revenue are immediate budget expenses, which increase the deficit. Interest is credited by issuing additional debt, and is not considered as cash income, but as non-cash income. That means the cash flow in the Medicare trust fund is more negative than you seem to suggest.
    Don Levit

  57. @Anybody familiar with the concept of dead weight loss of taxation? You ought to be since we’re talking about a 50% increase in tax revenue needed to close the gap between what is scheduled to be collected under current law and what is promised to be paid out in benefits.

    Is that where the fluff zone meets the no gap zone? Or is that a different con cept??

  58. Don Levit — Only Medicare Hospital Insurance is funded through the payroll tax. The Supplementary Medical Insurance, including Part B Medical Insurance and Part D pharmaceutical drug benefits, are paid for from funds appropriated by Congress, along with interest from trust fund investments. Medicare administration is also funded this way. Funding for Medicare Advantage (Part C) comes from both sources. Doesn’t represent any greater deficit present or future than what is already known.

  59. When I google Baseline Scenario, one of the results is the heading “What is baseline scenario? ” followed by this definition: “Actual or assumed situation or state of affairs, used as the starting point in a comparison or projection exercise”.

    If the baseline of this discussion is predicated on misperceptions or false assumptions, it’s an excercise in futility. So what should be the baseline from which we project or compare solutions to entitlements? I believe Kwak and Johnson nailed it with the subtitle of 13 Bankers….”The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown” In a Book TV presentation, Simon Johnson said the six largest banks have “captured the State” and have power to “extort” money from gov’t.

    The comments offering mathematical solutions assume a democratic process that represents the interests of those paying into entitlement programs. But if you buy Johnson/Kwak’s assertion that we’re three years into a Wall Street takeover, all the thoughtful solutions put forth by the number crunchers are irrelevant. Wall Street tyrants will use the public’s investment in entitlements as their personal piggy bank. Entitlement revenues will/are being used to fund growth in emerging markets because that’s where capital is yielding the highest return.

    Entitlement scare tactics are a Wall Street diversion. The scaremongers insist entitlements are driving the current defict/debt crisis. This is false. In the following clips, Simon Johnson establishes the “baseline” for determining the cause of TRILLION dollar annual budget deficits. Based on CBO numbers, Simon says the deficits are driven a huge drop in revenue due to the financial crisis and resulting recession.

    So the baseline for this discussion is the US is a virtual dictatorship and tax dollars will be used to generate growth and profits OUTSIDE the United States of America. This baseline is almost identical to the situation of pre-revolutionary American colonies.

  60. It’s important to recognize the degree to which left, right and center media are complicit in the Wall Street takeover. For example, the generally accepted narrative regarding the TARP bailout is banks paid back the 700 billion and taxpayers made a small profit. But in this clip from a Senate hearing, Sherrod Brown cites a CBO report which estimates it will cost taxpayers 8.6 TRILLION to prop up failing banks. He says banks are bigger than before the crisis and compares their business practices to “LOOTING” the Treasury.



  61. If one works from the baseline assumption that our country has been taken over by tyrannical bankers, the future can seem hopeless. But before the collapse of every dictatorship, the oppressed thought it would never end, and after the collapse of every dictatorship, they wondered how it lasted as long as it did.

    Throughout history, there have always been corrupt elites who wanted to enslave the masses. Nothing has changed, it’s the world we live in. The good news is, only a small percentage of the world’s population benefits from tyranny. That’s why Government of, by and for The People appeals to a vast majority of the world’s citizens. The vision of John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, etc., lies just behind the veil. But the price of liberty and democracy is high. It’s best expressed in the Declaration of Independence when the founders pledged their honor, fortunes and lives to the cause.

    Financial elites have achieved exemption from the rule of law and created a culture of corruption. Before “We the People” can apply common sense solutions to our debt and entitlement problems, we must restore the rule of law. In the following links, Neil Barofsky says fraud by the nine largest banks caused the financial crisis and William Black lays out specific evidence of fraud. Just listen to the first 5 minutes of Mr. Black’s interview, you’ll be angry that prosecutors have not acted upon the compelling evidence. So what’s the solution? If millions of citizens emailed these links to County, State and Federal prosecutors, and demanded action, it would make a difference.


    For more ideas and solutions, check out this pdf titled “Knowledge is Power”. http://www.standupforyourrights.me/?p=1026

  62. Hey, nevermind all of the above. Let’s try to remember the crucial things in life. John McCain wants everybody to know he thinks that Susan Rice is a really bad choice for Secretary of State. And Senator John McCain is a man well known for his extreme wisdom and acumen on appointments/selection of people for important jobs. Like say for example, the person who runs the country if your President is ill or shot. See here:

  63. @“We the People” can apply common sense solutions to our debt and entitlement problems, we must restore the rule of law.

    And how do you propose to do such a thing? Must is a tough nut to crack. First you would need money and time to go to law school, so as you attempted to gain momentum with the cause, you won’t look foolish in doing so. Once you have that sorted out, you will find an invisible force field that has a resistance to toward anything you want to do differently than the current status quo. And once you get there, and realize how bad the situation really is, you will turn tail and run the other way as you holler “If you can’t beat um, join um”. And then you will come back here to voice your displeasure. That’s what we here at The Base call, a revolving door.

  64. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/50034293#50034293

    @Woych – “trickle down” government? Brutal use of 24/7 media to channel fear, force, CENSORSHIP and psychological terror….? Rapid deployment of “technology” to extract the LIFETIME honest labor savings and property from the Middle Class? All FOI documents redacted to a Kandinsky slop of black lines?

    I guess as an anthropologist you know that the same % of the population that is psychotic operates alongside the % of the population that believes in majik words and the voices in their head.

    Restoring the rule of law after a coup d’etat is not done with emails.

  65. Annie says, “Restoring the rule of law after a coup d’etat is not done with emails”.

    Well, The coup d’etat was achieved without firing a shot. How was this accomplished? One could argue that the coup d’etat was achieved without firing a shot because tyrants understand the pen and keyboard are mightier than the sword. For example, the primary purpose of the Citizens United decision is to funnel vast quantities of money into disinformation campaigns, a.k.a., elections. If one compares Romney’s RECORD with Obama’s, they’re virtually identical. Two billion dollars were spent to fool citizens into believing the Presidential election represented a choice that achieved Constitutional principles of representative gov’t.

    By law, airwaves are owned by the public and must be used to serve the public interest. Broadcast licenses are periodically renewed based on the requirement that licensee’s serve the public interest. Citizens must create organizations that routinely challenge the renewal of broadcast licenses based on their use of public ariwaves to spread disinformation.

    I’m not saying a non-violent revolution is easy, to the contrary. But buying into the the fatalistc mind set that nothing can be done is precisely what the tyrants want, i.e., give up without putting up a fight. Standing up for justice and democracy is our duty. There is no guarantee of success. As we speak, citizens around the world are rising up against the global banking tyranny. Armed rebellion is a justifiable option, but I don’t believe it’s a viable option in the U.S.

    Many American colonists believed standing up to the British Empire was an excercise in futility. But individuals like Thomas Paine used the power of the pen to generate the groundswell of support necessary for revolution. We must light fires in the minds of our fellow citizens, and together, shoulder the responsibility for creating a just, equitable society. A just, equitable society is based on equality before the law, not equality of income or outcome. For more on this topic, check the post titled “Morals, Ethics and the Role of Gov’t in a Capitalist Economy”


  66. @Annie:
    “Kennelly and other liberal-leaning critics say they are particularly troubled by the influence of Peterson, a billionaire and former investment banker who began a $6 million campaign this week urging lawmakers to cut the deficit. Peterson, co-founder of the Blackstone Group investment fund, paid for a series of town hall meetings this year that included participation by deficit commission members. He also funds the Fiscal Times, a digital news organization that focuses on federal debt issues.

    Peterson representatives say the views and goals of his organizations have been distorted.

    Bullshit. Pete Peterson has dedicated his life and his fortune to ending social security and medicare as we know it. Pete Peterson’s Anti-Entitlement Juggernaut. He has been pursuing this goal for decades. The “partnership” of his Fiscal Times with ostensibly objective independent news organizations like CNN and the Washington Post calls into question the ethical standards of these news organizations.

    The media villagers and Beltway bloviators, all of whom are among the “two percenters” privileged elite, speak favorably of tax cuts for the rich and corporations, and of the need to cut back on the social safety net of social security and medicare. Their financial self-interest informs their views. Most, with few exceptions, do not have the best interests of average Americans at heart.”

    “Trickle Down Government” in action.

  67. You can check all you want there Glenn, the strength of your voice is directly dependent upon the size of your wallet. We don’t need more of anything we don’t already know, or have now. Which in itself is nothing more than time. The damage has been done, and really nothing here can reverse or change it’s course, as mere human mortals.

  68. filbt, the game is not over till it’s over. It may be a cleche but it’s true. The mutant ruling class ideology is moronism. I’m betting on the common sense of the global majority. While the noose is tightening around the necks of ruling class criminals, they will claim victory. Such is end of those who believe that moronism makes them demigods.

  69. @GG – “…Well, The coup d’etat was achieved without firing a shot. How was this accomplished? One could argue that the coup d’etat was achieved without firing a shot because tyrants understand the pen and keyboard are mightier than the sword. …”

    OMG, GG, you don’t consider the billion dollar erection of the Homeland Security apparatus, the pop out from dark ooze Ork army of private mercenaries, the fraudclosure kicking down of doors of homeowners to throw them and their belongings out on the street, the rise of the GLOBAL Drug Lords in the FIRE sector to launder their cash, the elimination of jobs to the tune of 600K per month, the brutal censorship of civic involvement speech of the MIDDLE CLASS via RELIGIOUS organizations, the persistant skinning of the “little people” of the IRS, the Supreme Court ruling of Citizens United, the sadistic “health care” shenanigans that leave 40 million WITHOUT HOPE –

    all those NON-EXISTENTIAL, direct manipulation of the MATERIAL organization of the human individual’s ability to participate in their own life-maintenance activities through HONEST LABOR acts of brutal FORCE?

    And all the above was gong on AT THE SAME TIME that the Maddow video lists as stuff that “….We don’t do this anymore…”….?!

    The WORLD is not wrong in knowing where the entire problem began and still sits. You might want to give it a passing thought whether you want to be standing near the neo-cons with your mighty pen in hand when so-called *karma* comes around…sounds like you missed the *force* part, so far, that TOO MANY GOOD USA citizens have personally experienced.

    @Woych – Pete Peterson put up SS as collateral for the *loans* he and his ilk took from *foreign* actors. Did he do this LEGALLY in the name of USA citizens? Looks to me like he’s trying to make it LEGAL now, no?

  70. I’m betting on the common sense of the global majority. While the noose is tightening around the necks of ruling class criminals.

    I completely concur with you, but my interpretation of common sense may differ from yours. And I am certain that my moral sense is on a different level than you. And as far as I can tell, the game is never over, until it is.

  71. Annie, you’re right. The mutant ruling class uses the law to force their will on society. Take Homeland Security for example. It’s blatant fascism, but rank and file Republicans willing to die upholding the principles of representative gov’t, supported the Patriot Act and DHS. Why? The power of the pen/media can also convince citizens to act against their own interests. The black community’s support for Obama is a prime example.

    I have a much better chance of educating the dupes with a pen than a gun.

  72. @GG – I have no idea who the *dupes* are and neither do you. They are an invention of the mutant majik pen that you were educated into believing actually existed.

    I’m talking about arrests being made and that takes boots on the ground, restraints, and a whole lotta other *material* tools. Rule of law without that? A myth.

    Only reason it is not happening is that the mutant criminals have that personal mercenary army tht they built up with your tax dollars – or maybe not yours, but they certainly did use mine. I got the paperwork proof. It’s got nothing to do, at all, with their majik pens issuing majik words being more majikal than yours.

    Need a subliminal reminder – let me spray a little pepper in the air…

    Plus you’re trying to lay this majik stuff on someone in NJ who has gone through being without electricity 3 times now in the past 12 months, and water once, after Mother Nature taking a hit on top of all the das boot action. Even by candle light you can add up the YEARS of taxes and bills and realize how much was SUCKED OUT, one “little person” at a time, under the pretense of it being used to pay for “infrastructure”.

    I’m all about, “Just the facts, Ma’am.”

  73. Hey Bruce, soon as we get out o here, lets grab some of that 50% Aroostook county farm land that’s not being used for anything. Looks like some good game their too.

  74. Annie says, “I have no idea who the dupes are and neither do you”. Come on Annie, you should KNOW by now I’m not going buy some weak anarchist drivel suggesting that nobody can know anything. Even your mentor, Donald Rumsfeld, understood the difference between known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns.

    You seem to take issue with my assertion that the pen is mightier than the sword. Well ma’am, if it’s just the facts you want, it’s just the facts you’ll get. We’ll start with The Big One. The ruling class are literally obsessed with controlling the media. Globally, they must spend trillions in pursuit of total media control. But according to your “logic”, their investment in propaganda has no ability to capture the hearts and minds of the sheeple. This is of course not true. History has repeatedly demonstrated the power of propaganda, or as you say, the majik pen.

  75. Many of the responses to Kwak’s posts have suggested practical solutions. Running the numbers and proposing workable solutions is valuable work. That work needs to continue in spite of the fact that they’re not politically feasible at this time. The one straw revolution needs professionals working in the trenches while frontline warriors dismantle the tyrants strongholds.


  76. Hey Bruce, interesting video. “The Handbook of Human Ownership” does a good job of illustrating the mutant ruling class mindset. Have you seen the movie “Cloud Atlas”? The mantra of the movie’s ruling class was, “the weak are meat and we shall eat”. They had bred a permanent underclass they called “fabricants” whose sole purpose was to serve the consumer class, until they were cannibalized. It’s amazing how well Hollyweird understands the mutant ruling class mind. One could get the impression they’re part of the ruling class propaganda machine. It’s the brave new world, coming to a theatre near you. Unless you’re somewhere “over there”, like Africa or Syria where life fully imitates mutant art.

  77. Thank you very much, and best wishes to you and yours. Good advice on that, “give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime”, video, thanks again.

  78. @GG – “Annie says, “I have no idea who the dupes are and neither do you”. Come on Annie, you should KNOW by now I’m not going buy some weak anarchist drivel suggesting that nobody can know anything. Even your mentor, Donald Rumsfeld, understood the difference between known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns.”

    You have completely lost your mind and have ZERO credibility in judgement if you think Rumsfeld was my mentor.

    Only people with biologically abnormal minds (whether born that way or made that way from years of substance abuse) are *dupes*.

    Everyone else can make free will choices – even when there is a freakin’ gun pointed at your head, the choice is yours how to react.

    more from GG, “…But according to your “logic”, their investment in propaganda has no ability to capture the hearts and minds of the sheeple. This is of course not true. History has repeatedly demonstrated the power of propaganda, or as you say, the majik pen….”

    The investments were made to channel what was ALREADY in the hearts of minds of people to PROFIT off of them killing each other – like duh.

    WAR/DRUG/SLAVE Lords feed off of the 7 deadly sins, so to speak.

    And so another day goes by without “a giant leap for mankind”….and yes, it’s much more boring than scary…seen one head do the 360 spin when jealously guarding *my precious*, you’ve seen them all…

  79. Annie, methinks thou doth protest too much about the Rumsfeld comparison. Your dismissal of propaganda’s power to dupe the people is very Rumsfeldian….”Only people with biologically abnormal minds (whether born that way or made that way from years of substance abuse) are dupes”. Wow, that statement could’ve come from Adolf Hitler’s PR department.

    But you don’t stop there, you keep digging a deeper hole for yourself…..”The [propaganda] investments were made to channel what was ALREADY in the hearts and minds of people to PROFIT off them killing each other…” That’s exactly how Rumsfeld would justify the invasion of Iraq. He would say, I lied about WMD in Iraq because I know what’s in the hearts of the American people and they wanted to go to war. Regarding the Iraqi people Rumy would say, I lied about liberating them because I knew they wanted to be bombed into the stone age, and I knew they wanted us to murder hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians.

    Apparently, you think Rumsfeld was just giving the American and Iraqi people what they wanted. Your argument completely absolves ruling class criminals of all their cirmes. If you believe criminal elites are just giving the people what they want, why do you rant and rave about their crimes against humanity? As I’ve said before, beware the rabid wolves who clothe themselves in righteous indignation.


  80. @GG – seriously, what did you smoke to read what I wrote as Rumsfeldian?

    Don’t know the dude, never met him.

    The *revolution* was a brute force coup d’etat launched by the Bush cabal after 911. There’s a reason GWB, Rumsfeld, Cheney and others are not roaming around as elder statesman like Carter and Clinton do around the world. Betcha you don’t know why they don’t, do you? Obama and Pelosi cut a *deal* to not let anyone in USA bring a case against the previous administration for crimes against humanity – not so in the rest of the world.

    Maddow’s segment where she notes all the things “we don’t do anymore” in the war of terror – was any of that “giving the people what they want”? We wanted to turn on the TV and listen to hours of caviling regarding the definition of “torture”? Obviously, they DID do something to people’s minds with that schtick, what do you think it was?

    But after BILLIONS spent on the recent Prez elections, what hearts and minds got *bought* with the power of majik words? Interesting that the largest number of white men registerd voters, ever, in USA history did not vote in Nov 2012. Might be something besides Annie being rumsfeldian – seriously, legal ganja must be mighty hallucinogenic…

  81. Oh, one more thing, GG. I never get in a car if the driver has drunk some booze. Never. Walked miles a couple times in my HS daze rather than do it. So go ahead and make a case for the PC hole I dig myself in by being such a bigot – don’t give a s-it – taught the next generation to JUDGE the other in the same way…

  82. Annie, you’re wondering whose hearts and minds got bought with the multi-billion dollar election. Everyone who believes Obama wants to maintain and build the American middle class. No one has done more to rob the middle class and enrich the 1% than President Obummer. That’s why black activist and scholar Cornel West calls Obama a “Rockefeller Republican in black face” whose policies are “crypto fascist”


    Bill Clinton repealed Glass Steagall, thereby laying the foundation for Bush and Wall Street to pillage Main Street. This is documented in the PBS Frontline video “The Warning”. If you watch the first 15 minutes, you’ll hear that Alan Greenspan was ideologically opposed regulating Wall Street fraud. Leaders of both parties support lawlessness on Wall Street. Their criminal ideology is the number one threat to sustainable entitlement programs.


    Bush received immunity for his war crimes because Democrats needed immunity for their part in the slaughter. And they laughed all the way to the bank. The following clips are from a Congressional hearing into wartime contracting waste, fraud and abuse. Chris Shays said those engaged in fraud are committing “TREASON”. Rep. EIijah Cummings said 30 cents of every dollar is lost to fraud. But the Obama administration says we’re “comfortable with these contracts, we’re at war”.


  83. by Richard (RJ) Eskow
    …….Exposing DC’s Dark Side: 12/06/12
    “Heritage co-founder Paul Weyrich was forthright about his feelings toward democracy. “Our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up,” he said,” as the voting populace goes down.” Who knows? Maybe someday they’ll eliminate voters altogether. But in the meantime they need their DeMints and Palins and Bayhs.

    They’re not leaders. They’re corporate America’s sales force.

    “Will You Help Save the American Dream?” asks the Heritage Foundation website. But that’s just another sales ploy. These politicians have already cashed in on their dreams – by selling yours.”
    links from Richard (RJ) Eskow’s article worth noting:
    Annie: Even Cowgirls get the Blues….
    Glen Gorder:

    Monopoly capital serves to monetize power; and power corrupts. The only thing that trickles down from this monetary supply side economy is corruption itself. Desperation lends itself to politics of scale, legitimation tactics and crisis driven control fraud. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
    In our society democratization has been converted to monetarism. The price you pay at the supermarket includes the political cost of someone else’s political interest. Poor or wealthy you must contribute through your purchases to corporate contributions (for issues you may actually not agree). At the same time financing has become the political final word of all outcome…regardless of legislative authority. If political right wingers don’t agree, they pull the financing. If the banksters do not agree with an issue, the power of finance is going to influence not only politicians…but corporate opinions who are seeking favor. The rigging gets tighter!
    PRIVATIZING THE US Government has become the ultimate gaming of the system from what goes under the false heading of private equity (in reality a conglomerate of international sovereign and private interests).
    This represents the finalization of executive capture and the hostile takeover of the United States Domestic Society under the tools of monopoly monetarianism (which is the contemporary version of totalitarianism over the economic factors of survival).
    All other facets derive from rationalizing this neo-institutional corporatism in the service of a cross border sovereign wealth pool of political power. We are just learning now of at least 21 TRILLION DOLLARS hidden OFFSHORE by private interests http://drpinna.com/the-super-r
    What I said above is worth repeating:
    The ONLY thing that trickles down in the neo-con economy is corruption!
    America is burning down for a fire sale. There is only one way to save her!
    LABOR Economics MUST UNITE! The re-framing of issues can not be based upon an appeal to “profit as authority.” The ideology of managerialism can no longer be allowed to openly manipulate price theory as an authentic mode of production, when in fact quantitative monotheism as monetarianism is merely an algorithmic mythology; a grid metric of property rights that render and exploit real production. This exploit of greed and manipulative abuse must be carefully delineated from being called a categorical universal representation of an unqualfied “capitalism” when it reduces assets . Cost effectiveness must be prioritized over profit driven efficiency dogmas that creates a zero sum exclusionary path dependency. Externalizations must be mutually evaluated into the colon cancer of independent greed parading as leadership in a schizophrenic claim to commercial interest over the public good!
    “Please note that a “Fourth Wall” is not synonymous with the more classic “Fifth Column” designation from the World Wars.

    see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_wall

    see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifth_column

    and: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/206477/fifth-column

    It is the suspended disbelief of our American Culture indoctrinated by an uncritical acceptance of propaganda rhetoric and cold war ritual psychopathology…that permits this culture of predator supremacy to continue and instill its viral controls over our economy and it’s rationalistic “economics” in the name of freedom and liberty.
    No better than aristocratic tyranny that enslaved centuries of Europe, but all relabeled as libertarian market realism. Pure rhetoric to hide ancient exploitations of power; an Old Snake…in New (Neo-Con) Skin.”

  84. An Old Snake…in New (Neo-Con/Liberal) Skin. Let’s not forget the Old Snake’s liberal side. After all, Neo-Liberal “Free” Trade is designed to produce a neo-feudalistic, global corporate tyranny. If I remember correctly, the Old Snake was hanging around the Garden schleping apples. But I hear he’s moved his headquarters to the Big Apple….New Yak Schitty….where he’s doing God’s work. And Apple Corp.has partnered up with China’s brutal authoritarian regime. Could the Apple Corp. logo symbolize the ancient exploitation of power? It seems Steve Jobs, the libercon hippie, may have struck a Faustian bargain with the Old Snake.

  85. Glenn, you are so today. You live for today, you speak for today, you want justice, today. But you must also think of yesterday, for it is yesterday, and yesterdays elders, whom caused or laid the foundation for today’s financial fiasco’s. And now tomorrow can’t resolve the issues because of today’s crony capitalistic congress. It is congress and the military who are most to blame here. And briefly here are the starters. Going off the gold std in 71, making paper PM (precious metals) the std or even the law in 75, and then again in 1980 the lifting of the usury tax which had been in place for some 2000 years. They (the upper class) simply made a financial tool so they could control the ones below them and spread their interpretation of justice. It’s no justice at all, but there is also nothing you can do about it but crow, so crow away you counter of crows.


  86. @GG, You can’t connect the dots, can you?

    “…Obama and Pelosi cut a *deal* to not let anyone in USA bring a case against the previous administration for crimes against humanity….”

    THIS is why the banksters aren’t being rounded up – the entire CABAL is one and the same cancer.

    And a person who comments on the economy DOCUMENTS what the *dupes* KNOW:

    He notes, “….Instead of Communist Chinese Armies conquering the USA, Communist Chinese individuals and/or businesses are using the US Dollars, that we paid them for making the consumer products that we imported from them and consumed, to purchase title to (corporations that own) privately owned businesses, factories, casinos, hotels, farms, land, ports, refineries, forests, ports, breweries, distilleries, and other privately owned NATIONAL WEALTH and other assets located in the USA that were created by previous US generations prior to de-industrialization overseas instead of redeeming the US Dollars and the freshly printed paper US Treasury Bonds that they earned by making and selling things to US consumers with gold from Ft. Knox…..”

    You want to KNOW why the money changers in USA who have been collecting GOLD via violence ever since they sold the Winchesters to the criminal element of the peasant class in Russia to take out the Czar and the rest of the government via REVOLUTION

    cozied up to the Chinese? Their *religion* – more like lack of….atheism….makes them 100% sympatica with each other – philosophically – as far as agreeing that the ends justify the means…

    What you don’t know about your enemy, myself included, GG, is a FAR FAR FAR bigger, thicker, and TRUTHFUL book. You and I may have a moment in time where the enemy of my enemy is my friend, but there never was and never will be an agreement about where to go from here.

    I do not participate in the cult of *personality* like you do – that the office of USA Prez. is a distracting political pinada INSTITUTION that now has the POWER to NOT prosecute crimes against humanity.

    There’s real historical irony to the fact that the Prez elected after the Bush cabal *revolution* is a *black man*.

    How many times have I posted JUST WAR criteria on wikipedia? Think Rumsfeld told me there was such a HISTORY to consider when declaring WARS? I have a BOOK full of comments censored from any and all websites where I tried to get that conversation going since 911….only after the DEAL was made not to prosecute am I able to post and even then there’s the Deliverance cretin “filth” stalking me – “….squeel like a pig, Annie….”. For the remake of the 1972 movie, DeMint can definitely be the *leader* of the back woods gang….

    ROTFL at the Deliverance Boyz having a “think tank”….oh, hahahahahah, my cheeks hurt from LAUGHING….

    not getting in that car with those drivers behind the wheel…

  87. @Woych, “The ideology of managerialism can no longer be allowed to openly manipulate price theory as an authentic mode of production, when in fact quantitative monotheism as monetarianism is merely an algorithmic mythology; a grid metric of property rights that render and exploit real production. This exploit of greed and manipulative abuse must be carefully delineated from being called a categorical universal representation of an unqualfied “capitalism” when it reduces assets . Cost effectiveness must be prioritized over profit driven efficiency dogmas that creates a zero sum exclusionary path dependency. Externalizations must be mutually evaluated into the colon cancer of independent greed parading as leadership in a schizophrenic claim to commercial interest over the public good!”

    AKA “man to land ratio” :-))

    Profit is not infinite. Only thing *infinite* is the time portion of the algorithm – nanosecond extraction funneling to the few accounts….an easy target for hackers…

  88. @filbt, I think your first comment was exactly wrong – you said we don’t need to worry about the money we owe ‘ourselves’, only the money we owe to foreign interests. Actually I believe we could cancel our debt to foreigners at any time (and suffer the consequences), but the debt we owe ourselves we can only cancel at our own expense.

    In reality we can’t ignore either.

  89. You are quite correct there Josh, my comment was intended to go there, but since I still have family, I thought maybe I wouldn’t grind the ax in too hard. They are very sensitive, old fashioned, dull minded people, who don’t like to be considered an expense. After that though, it’s game on!

  90. filbt says there’s “nothing you can do” about the criminals running our gov’t and reflects on “yesterdays elders”. Like filbt, many American colonists believed nothing could be done about King George III and his “private” sector cronies. And many British loyalists wagged their reptilian tongues in support of this fatalistic sentiment. But it did not deter a successful revolution. And as we know, history repeats itself.

    Definitions are important so I take issue with the association of capitalism with cronyism. Capitalism and efficient markets require competition. The objective of cronyism is the elimination of competition. So the proper term is crony CRAPitalism.

    The ideology responsible for allowing unaccountable central banks to manage a fiat monetary system, is mutant ruling class moronism. And like all delusional ideologies, it’s doomed to fail.

    To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson….If we allow a private bank to control our nations’s money supply, we’ll one day wake up as slaves in the country our forefathers fought to free. This short video illustrates Jefferson’s prediction, however, I disagree with the Biblical references at the end. About half way through, Henry Kissinger explains the need for a “new vurld order”.

    In this next video, George Soros explains the “new vurld order” monetary system.


  91. Annie reports….”Instead of Communist Chinese Armies conquering the USA, Communist Chinese individuals and/or businesses are using the US dollars that we paid them to make consumer products [to takeover America]. Evidence demonstrating this is provided by Pat Mulloy, a member of the U.S./China Economic and Security Review Commission.

    For some reason, the blocks for entering login info are staying within my comment section. So I had to leave the area above blank.

    In the following clip, Pat Mulloy references a 2003 article by Warren Buffet who said huge trade imbalances with China will change America from a shareholder economy to a sharecropper economy, i.e., China will own large chunks of the U.S. economy and we will work for them.


    But this didn’t just “happen”. Jim O’Neill, Chairman of Asset Management for Goldman Sachs, takes credit for creating the legal framework that subsidizes China’s authoritarian economic model. Why? Wall Street favors the Communist command and control economic model. John D. Rockefeller said “competition is a sin” and Goldman Sachs is carrying on that tradition. This is O’Neill’s interview with Charlie Rose


  92. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.

    Wiki definition that applies to the powers of The Patriot Act:

    “Generally speaking, genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings of all members of a nation. It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. The objectives of such a plan would be the disintegration of the political and social institutions, of culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of national groups, and the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups.”

  93. This is certainly Off-Topic, but there has been so much
    light-hearted fun here about guns and Red Revolution
    that I feel it appropriate to point out some practical
    remedies, in the hope that there are people here
    interested in such.

    First and most important point: There is tons of
    outrage out there; for instance about our foolish
    and illegal, and expensive wars, also about health
    care. So I, living in a close-in suburb of D.C.
    the “capital of the Free World”, started a project
    back in Dubya days whiich I now call Button
    Selling and Yard Signs(BS/YS for short). Back then
    we sold buttons saying “IMPEACH HIM”, and I and
    a few others sold $17,000 worth. With our profits
    we bought yard signs, also saying “IMPEACH HIM”,
    and we offered them, Free to a Good Yard
    knocking on doors, to houses
    with yards throughout the D.C. area. When
    that came to an end — we picketed Nancy Pelosi
    when she took impeachment “off the table”, and
    the present prezzie came in, we switched to
    buttons saying “NO AFGHAN WAR” and we have
    sold lots of these, and again used our profits for
    yard signs.

    For pictures and more info, go to http://www.waifllc.org .

    There is a BIG PROBLEM, however, with this Modus
    Operandi. Despite the fact that we made our own
    money, and got tons of signs accepted(we never
    put signs on vacant spots, the signs were always
    owned by the citizens on whose property they stood)
    NO ONE would help. If I’d been able to find ten
    people who would have worked one(1) hour a week,
    getting signs out(it was easy to find, in an hour, and
    within a couple of blocks, 5 people to accept a sign)
    we would by now have thousands of signs all over
    the D.C. area, and you all would have heard about

    But people find it somehow beneath their dignity
    to knock on doors, even though it is very pleasant
    work. I’ve knocked on thousands of doors and gotten
    many hundreds of signs accepted. But one Old
    Fat Bald Guy can’t get the D.C. area covered in
    signs by himself. If I’d only had ten helpers . . .

    Anyway: there you have a _practical_ and extremely
    _effective_ suggestion, tested with Impeachment,
    Anti-war, and also I sold “SINGLE PAYER” buttons
    for three weeks, brought in $200.

    For one person it is foolish. But suppose there
    are twenty people, who will do either BS or YS work;
    one hour a week. Areas can be changed, and
    perhaps the country . . . Remember the original
    premise: the people got to be for it. I never persuaded
    a soul; people bought buttons and accepted the
    signs because they liked what they said.

    For more info, and to get in private touch, visit
    http://www.waifllc.org ; you’ll find my E-address there.

    Alan McConnell, in Silver Spring MD

  94. Glen: “Jim O’Neill, Chairman of Asset Management for Goldman Sachs, takes credit for creating the legal framework that subsidizes China’s authoritarian economic model. Why? Wall Street favors the Communist command and control economic model. John D. Rockefeller said “competition is a sin” and Goldman Sachs is carrying on that tradition.”
    Don’t worry Glen…the Chinese have since revised their alliances with the Gold Men & Women, and have decided to adopt the “WALMART
    MODEL instead! Of course the Walmart Model is basically modeled after the Chinese model and …..so on…and so on…and so.

  95. @Alan – heck, let’s pump up the volume of *rage* about *health care* by taking it in a different direction:


    @filth – yup, BIG file you got there on me, meanwhile, top security clearance for you as a *patriot* who yippieheehaws that you’ll be a-shooting me…19 out of 24 skeets after 20+ years of never picking up a rifle, and letting those 5 go by not really trying just so as to not totally trash the male ego of my date…I needed the ride home…


    I think the MSM needs to be sued for the spin on the unemployment reports – the depth of depravity to lie like they are is astonishing.


  96. List of Goldman Sachs employees in the White House
    December 4, 2012. Washington. At best, it?s considered a revolving door for powerful individuals between Wall Street and the White House. At worst, it?s an economic coup that has been successful in infiltrating and subverting the United States federal government. What is it? The multi-national global banking syndicate known as Goldman Sachs. And more and more, its employees and the federal government?s employees are becoming one and the same.


  97. @Woych – the best and the brightest hand-picked wunderkinder doing god’s work, you got a problem with that?…nothing new there when a genocide is going on….

  98. it’s a hard knock life…
    Annie, the iconic redheaded orphan, is finding a home all over the mediascape with a new Broadway production bowing in November, NBC and PBS television specials airing this month and early 2013, respectively, and Tribune Media Services publishing the first of a series of eBooks featuring Annie comic strips on iTunes in November (www.rabbitholecomics.com). Filming is also set to start on a new Annie major motion picture, produced by Will Smith and Jay-Z, in early 2013.

  99. Alan McConnell said, “This is certainly Off-Topic, but there has been so much light-hearted fun here about guns and Red Revolution….”

    When the baseline scenario becomes self evident, i.e., the treasonous partnership between Wall Street and Communist China is threatening entitlements, the comedians come out of the woodwork.

    The Chinese gov’t is sitting on about 3 TRILLION in foreign currency reserves. This is a direct result of the trade subsidies implemented by Goldman Sachs and their criminal co-conspirators in Congress. The idea that China is “competing” with the U.S. is ludicrous. That would be like saying an NFL team exempt from all the rules was competing with the rest of the league. “Free” trade and outsourcing in the NFL would be comparable to trading your franchise player for the competition’s waterboy.

    Speaking of waterboys, Hank Paulson, former Goldman CEO and Secretary of TARP, is China’s number one waterboy. He made sure the Communist Party got paid 400 billion (100 cents on the dollar) when Fannie and Freddie collapsed. Now he’s back in the pribic sector (there’s no separation between public and private sectors, ergo pribic sector) pimping for his commie partners. He finds pribic sector whores willing to screw American taxpayers by selling U.S. assets to the Chinese government. Hank has started the Paulson Institute for Crony Crapitalism. He spoke about his organization at Johns Hopkins University. Hank said we need to “rebalance” the global economy by allowing the communist government of China to use it’s 3 TRILLION foreign reserve fund to invest in the U.S. He wants to grow the U.S. economy by by promoting Chinese gov’t ownership of U.S. assets. Meahwhile, the Fed and Wall Street are growing China’s economy by providing credit to their partners in the Chinese government. Here’s the link to Paulson’s speech.

  100. Bruce mentioned the revolving door between Goldman Sachs and government. This has earned Goldman the nickname “Government Sachs”. Here’s a short clip from a CNBC video on Goldman’s revolving door and how it benefited from the financial crisis.

  101. Thanks Glen: and If this keeps going we will have a storehouse of references for anyone that cares to review the full spectrum and scope of perspectives.
    I think this review is actually the best summary article on the Goldman Sackers:
    Goldman Sachs: SOURCEWATCH
    1 Financial crisis and the bailout
    1.1 Role in the crisis
    1.1.1 Deregulation of Investment Banks
    1.1.2 Dealing in Subprime Mortgage Securities
    1.1.3 Profiting on the Downturn in the US Housing Market
    1.1.4 Exposing foreign institutions to subprime risk
    1.1.5 Marketing what Goldman Sachs was simultaneously betting against
    1.1.6 Bubble machine
    1.1.7 Trading scandal
    1.1.8 Alleged fraud The SEC case against Goldman Sachs The SEC case against Goldman Sachs employee Fabrice Tourre Goldman Sachs’ defense against fraud charges
    1.2 Bailouts
    1.2.1 Bailout amounts TARP Bailout
    1.2.2 Goldman Benefits from Lehman Failure and AIG Bailout Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy AIG Bailout Benefits to Goldman Sachs of AIG Bailout AIG and Goldman Connections Geithner and AIG
    1.3 Actions as bank holding company
    1.4 Notable reactions to the financial crisis
    1.4.1 Invoking religious themes
    1.4.2 Apologies
    1.4.3 Discouraging holiday parties
    2 Other controversies
    2.1 Greek Financial Crisis
    2.2 Minimal Tax Payments
    2.3 Phoning in to White House meeting
    2.4 Seeking gun permits
    3 Goldman Sachs’ Post-crisis Profits
    4 Earnings and bonuses
    4.1 Bad bonus publicity
    5 Coal issues
    5.1 Coal investments
    5.2 Coal energy assets
    5.3 Coal investment pricing
    6 Political influence
    6.1 Lobbying
    6.1.1 Lobbying positions
    6.2 Campaign contributions
    6.3 Revolving door influence
    6.3.1 Political appointees and figures
    6.3.2 Former Goldman Sachs Employees Hired by the Obama Administration
    6.3.3 Former Goldman Sachs Employees Hired by the Bush Administration
    6.3.4 Former Goldman Sachs Employees Hired by the Clinton Administration
    6.3.5 Former Government Officials Hired by Goldman Sachs
    6.3.6 Goldman Sachs Connections with the Federal Reserve
    6.3.7 Other notable Goldman connections South African officials
    7 Personnel
    7.1 Key executives
    7.2 Members of the board
    8 Contact details
    9 Articles and resources
    9.1 Related SourceWatch articles
    9.2 References
    9.3 External resources
    9.4 External articles
    9.4.1 The McClatchy Series
    9.5 External links

  102. This news bulletin just in…… wait . Let me be certain….yes, yes. Mechagodzilla is dead!!!! REPEAT, Mechagodzilla is dead!!!!:

  103. Unfortunately, the commentary here has degenerated into the mindless idiocy one finds on the “Daily Show” facebook page. But on the bright side, it’s more proof that moronism cannot compete with the truth. As the noose tightens around the necks of mutant ruling class criminals, they’ll be cracking jokes and claiming victory. Such is the delusional end of those who worship stupidity.

  104. So we’re back to what exactly are the *entitlements* – in one case, PRIVATE banks had put up SS as collateral (wow! how did we not know that? – snark – ),

    and in another case, the too-expensive medicine being prescribed off-label has worse side-effects than the disease – which means that no one has the data to make any projections, unless they intend to project how to rotate seniors out of nursing homes a year after they arrive based on the efficacy of the side-effects (death).

    Taibbi still gets the balance right when it comes to political satire:


    C’mon, GG, that’s where all the *dupes* have been – point is, they say that YOU don’t have a choice – you MUST get in the car with the drunk driver.

    They are POWERFUL PEOPLE – master of trickle-downing *freedom* without *free will*…

    for you, Woych, from the Annies of the world…

  105. @Annie: I think we’re on to something here…
    Trickle-downing Freedom
    Trickle-downing Liberty
    Trickle-downing Justice
    Tickle-downing Jr. ….Too!

    Let’s just Trickle-down the Road? TRICKLE-TRICKLE

  106. “If, for some reason, I lent money to my wife and she promised to pay it back to me, we wouldn’t count that as part of the debt owed by our household.”

    I’m generally sympathetic to this logic, but this would seem to be the more appropriate analogy:

    I know my wife and I are going to retire 20 years from now so I’ve been setting aside some money for retirement. My wife has borrowed that money from me to buy food for the family so we can eat. She has promised to pay me back.

    Now the family’s net debt is zero, but so its its savings. When my wife and I hit retirement age she’s going to have to do “something” to “pay back” the money she borrowed, or else we’re going to have to learn to live in retirement without that savings. So I’m not sure it’s wise to just wave off intergovernmental debt.

  107. @Woych – the only thing that isn’t a “trickle” from the elite is their freedom of speech – that’s a big kaka dump.

  108. @Woych – USA officially does NOT prosecute crimes against humanity.

    We *forgive* them because we only hurt ourselves if we don’t (it’s always a blessing to be thrust into poverty), we make a BIG show of praying for the predators, psychos and criminals to have an epiphany that leads them to personal redemption (or crucify Jesus for their sins again), and then we move on to litigate the greatest social issue since slavery – how do you like to fly your freak flag.

    So how about being positive (-snark-) and listing the think tanks and charities these guys are using to trickle the loot back into Main Street….?

  109. Not that were are uneducated here at the base, but what if the second coming of Christ was partly to mostly responsible for today’s mayhem. If you can’t understand the reasons behind all his power and all his glory, you can’t comprehend the who’s and why for’s of today. You can though, repete the same message here, over and over again, for a daily pick me up.

  110. So “all his power and all his glory” becomes yours. filth, when you pull the “…squeel like a pig…” routine? Good to know…

  111. It was an add on scenario Wench, but thanks fer lettin me know how you operate, as if I didn’t already know, oh.

  112. @filth – you see nothing outside of what is in the mirror – “projection” – that’s why you won’t see what’s *coming*:

  113. That is some overwhelming programmed trading you got goin on there, fannie. I just can’t wait to see what’s coming.

  114. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/49263362#50165278

    There, I’ll go on record for who is going to “die”. I got the paperwork and it’s *personal*. There IS something of spiritual value to being able to enjoy the honest fruit of honest labor. But a predator species is genetically incapable of the brain power to “believe” it.

    As for making stuff up ala *prophecy* and *religion*, this one takes the cake for puerile bs. WIthout a man *sponsoring* a woman, Jesus is not going to let a “single” woman into the “Mansion Worlds”.

    Gee, I’m crushed. Jesus doesn’t love me without an introduction from a psycho? When did that happen? When the Drug Lord whispered it to his laundry maid at the bank?

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