• VBB...I somehow think the "dang consumers" remark by Mike was made with tongue planted firmly in his cheek.

    July 24, 2009 at 8:14 a.m.

  • Deflation would do Americans some good. The housing market needs a serious correction. (Bubble needs to be popped instead of sustained.) It would be great for consumers to get more for their dollar for a change. If we have a housing surplus (increased foreclosures & such) and the prices are artificially high, the solution is obvious. Nature will take its course if the Fed will get out of the way.

    Price increases have become the norm, which is horribly wrong, and the people who benefit are the ones closest to the source of the counterfeited currency and get to use it first, namely big corporations and the federal government. Until everyone wakes up to the fact that price increases resulting from inflating currency is a HIDDEN TAX dishonestly levied on us all – from rich to poor – we deserve all the hardship that’s coming.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:11 p.m.

  • Mike says "those dang consumers holding onto their money" it's a bad thing. Consumers NOT holding onto their money & spending like drunken sailors or teenage girls with their parents credit cards, is a big part of what got us in this mess to begin with.

    July 23, 2009 at 8:19 p.m.

  • Mike,

    I don’t know how to say this more appropriately; “When one finds himself in a turkey shoot, it’s the one that runs out of bullets when it counts, that is the turkey”.

    There is a definite threshold, as to whether consumer confidence reaches a substantial level, to reverse unemployment and begin real job growth again. This threshold is unavoidable and will determine if we fall back into the recession or continue on in recovery.

    I’ll put it in plain English for everyone to see; “If consumer spending is not doubled, November 01 through January 01, we risk falling back into a deep recession”.

    The unemployed should either start up small online businesses or engage in one. One of the reasons for health care reform was to enable small businesses to either offer affordable health insurance, or make it inconsequential if companies offered health insurance, in attracting gifted employees.

    July 23, 2009 at 8:08 p.m.

  • I am more worried about deflation because we do not have the tools (artificial or not) to control that aspect our economy….We are not even close to deflation.

    The Dow hit 9,000 today so investor confidence seems to be up; if only it could transcend to consumer confidence…Those dang consumers are holding on to their money..That's a week and half of an upward trend.

    The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment rose to 554,000 last week from 524,000 in the previous week, according to a Labor Department report released Thursday morning. Economists thought claims would rise to 557,000, according to estimates. The numbers are based on reliable data but I don’t really expect to see low unemployment for another year (5.6%) or (10.6% by another standard).

    July 23, 2009 at 5:54 p.m.

  • I agree that trends are key, which makes it important to keep the measurement parameters consistent over time. In the case of the economy, the government slowly redefined the meaning of the word “inflation”, which referred to the inflation of the money supply. It’s now used to describe the increase in prices resulting from inflating the money supply. So, now what do we call an increase in the money supply? Well, it’s not really talked about much any more because of this semantic diversion. And wouldn’t ya know, the Federal Reserve stopped publishing the total size of the money supply (M3) in 2006. We just can’t be trusted to know how badly the purchasing power of our savings is being destroyed. Luckily, we have the CPI to tell us about the rising prices of hand-picked components.

    So, can we really trust "official" unemployment numbers? Doubtful. And if they’re inaccurate and/or manipulated, one must ask – cui bono?

    July 23, 2009 at 5:37 p.m.

  • I don’t think it’s a government conspiracy because they’re just relying on methods used by previous administrations…. It’s the trend that matters..IMO

    Everyone concerned knows that unemployment is high , whether you gauge it on kitchen table formulas or other methods.

    July 23, 2009 at 4:14 p.m.

  • The real unemployment rate is 15-18% when you add the unemployed folks the government excludes for various reasons. Ya gotta love government stats!

    July 23, 2009 at 3:51 p.m.

  • John
    I guess it all depends on the definition of normal; it is 9.5 % and predicted to go as high as 10.1% but the fed chairman told Congress “While housing and household spending appear to be stabilizing, unemployment is likely to remain uncomfortably high into 2011 and could sap fragile consumer confidence, he warned.”

    I hope you are right….. I see where the financial markets are coming out of this recession but most companies are just reporting losses that were not as bad as they predicted….. Perhaps the stimulus will bring the unemployment figures down as you predicted.

    July 23, 2009 at 1:24 p.m.

  • Unemployment will normalize around June, give or take 60 days. Originally, I calculated March or April but circumstances “may” have changed this.

    China will make a substantial economic push around this time that will foster manufacturing and procurement of resources associated, around the world. The other thing, U.S. commodity exports will increase. Natural gas prices will rise.

    There are other economic considerations of minor stature that combined will drive employment globally, but I’ve strayed off topic too much. Just know that within three to five years we will be at the beginning of an economic boom, unless of course something occurs to derail this.

    You understood me mike, I apologize to everyone for not presenting my self well; I’ve been out in the sun, inside joke.

    BSspotter yes, government never relinquishes power; that is its nature, and it is to ones own detriment to believe otherwise.

    I must state for the record that my opinion is bias, not because I’m democrat; but for practical reasons.

    I do not trust this president or the government, but I am willing to give them a chance to prove them selves and learn from their mistakes. There is nothing that they can do today, that we as a united and enlighten citizenry can vote others to undo tomorrow.

    “The best intents, will fail to the worst efforts, if we do not recognized our hearts and lead with our minds.” – john

    Personally, I’m willing to give those Republicans and Democrats that have worked hard towards developing as reasonable a plan as possible, under the circumstances, a chance. I respectfully disagree with those against any healthcare reform, but acknowledge their concerns to be legitimate.

    I am not above accepting accountability for my position and to work against what I thought to be the correct course if found to be misguided within reason, but if this is not given a reasonable chance for success then I pray that it was for the best.

    I hold no ill will or desire for prejudice; I have and will always embrace “country over person”, and do not question that all those voicing concerns in Congress place duty to country, over politics and person. Instead of taking the positions pro and con, we should work towards holding reform to its purpose; reform.

    July 23, 2009 at 1 p.m.

  • John

    You say a program; I am assuming you mean the” public option.”..That is what the president wants but they might use it as a “legislative threat” which is similar to what you said in the last sentence…e.g. If the insurance companies don’t bring down premiums on their own, then congress could vote to bring in the public option….But who knows?

    I am with you, at least they all agree that the insurance companies will take pre-existing illnesses and laid off workers will still be able to buy affordable insurance; unlike Cobra is today.

    July 23, 2009 at 12:06 p.m.

  • Legion357
    I’ve seen that example but one important point is left out…Insurance premiums are being raised every year by 10%..

    Yes, the GOP have added 160 amendments to the Health care reform draft but you cannot deny that they are parroting the words of Frank Lutz to try and kill this bill..HSAs have been around for a long time and they still remain unpopular.

    The GOP delay tactics are well known and that “rush” is another Frank Lutz talking point..Health care reform has been talked about for about 61 years and they have had numerous meetings. They are not at the table in workable numbers.

    Nancy Pelosi might get the house version through but the senate version won’t be ready until October…IMO It still needs a lot of markup…The Senate Finance Committee and the administration will have the final say.

    Unemployment won’t come around until sometime in December of next year; the full effect of this bill won’t take place for another few years…We don’t have a manufacturing base anymore, so unemployment numbers will take awhile to come down.

    July 23, 2009 at 11:54 a.m.

  • BigJ

    Good quote…The GOP passed two tax cuts for the wealthy(borrowed) numerous supplements for a” war of choice” (off budget) and Medicare Part D (not paid for)with a lot less numbers and they rubber stamped everything President Bush wanted…Not so with my Democrats…lol

    OK, I am taking that excuse away from you.:-)

    July 23, 2009 at 11:37 a.m.

  • John, the government NEVER relinquishes power.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:26 a.m.

  • The President gave his speech in prime time last night on his Healthcare plan. He has stated this Healthcare plan is not about him, well he is wrong, this plan is by his design, he owns it without a doubt.

    Last night he tried to sell his plan to the American people. If you going to sell something you better know what you’re selling. This President on Q & A could not articulate what his plan is about, this Harvard educated man couldn’t explain his plan. He spoke as if he is still on the campaign trial. The most important issue, how do you pay for it, simple couldn’t give an honest answer.

    This President failed miserably last night, because of the like of leadership. God Bless this country, if this type of leadership continues this country is in bad trouble

    July 23, 2009 at 9:55 a.m.

  • I like what I heard from President Obama concerning not adding to the debt, not taxing families that make less than 1 million a year, that peoples existing coverage will not be taxed, and a few other points.

    My last and final concern if he stands by all that he has said is this, “Will this program be discontinued after 10 years”. I do not want to see another Social Security; it was not originally intended to last beyond a few years.

    If there are adequate insurances that this program will end in 10 years once the health care industry is reformed then “Do it!”

    Let this program be the stick but we need the carrot, and that should be that if the health industry reforms itself within 10 years this program ends. Even the best program will eventually succumb to corruption over time, and this reason along should illustrate my point.

    July 23, 2009 at 9:19 a.m.

  • BIGJ says: “Now I am not totally on board until I actually read the final bill.”

    That gives you more integrity than most Congressmen who will vote on this without reading the final bill. This bill is wrong in principle and will still be wrong on paper in its final form. This is the ultimate in slippery slopes.

    I must repeat myself:
    “Supporters of this bill are ringing the death knell for free society. This is the result of willful ignorance of natural economic law and the denial of the long history of failures of government programs.”

    And to beat a dead horse:

    July 23, 2009 at 8:49 a.m.

  • I'll get on board with the health care plan the minute congress, the federal courts and the executive branch place themselves under its coverage. If it's good enough for the citizens of the country, it should be good enough for the people who created it.

    July 23, 2009 at 7:37 a.m.

  • Heard on HLN this morning less than 50% of the country is in favor of rushing through health care reform....I know how you love the stats.

    July 22, 2009 at 10:10 p.m.

  • I'm grateful for this “diversity” if it scatters totalitarian bills like this to the wind. Unfortunately, all interests involved will give concessions and swap votes to yield the net effect of more laws, more government intrusion into private lives, and more burdens on taxpayers and small businesses. Like most other laws that have molested the free market into its sad state, the result will be consolidation of money & power into fewer hands. The little guy always gets squeezed out. This irony is lost on supporters of this form of government who pretend to care about the little guy.

    Get government out of the current health care market if you want prices to drop. Allow competition in the prescription drug market (open it to Canada) if you want prices to drop. This is not the answer! This will fester into a problem the government will try to solve in 10 years with more Draconian law.

    Supporters of this bill are ringing the death knell for free society. This is the result of willful ignorance of natural economic law and the denial of the long history of failures of government programs. Well, I guess one government program succeeded -- Your Brainwashing.

    It wasn’t until this moment that I realized that Ben Franklin’s famous quote is just as applicable to this matter as it was to the passages of the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act –
    “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

    July 22, 2009 at 8:47 p.m.

  • Diversity is only a problem if you don't get what you want.

    IMO, the biggest stumbling block in the Presidents plan, is the fines imposed on business owners.Sure employers with less than 25 employees will be exempt, well and good.

    On ABC evening news last night, they interviewed a employer that would not be exempt. His payroll, as he stated was right at 1M. He stated that it would be cheaper to pay the extra 8% fine ($80,000) than to provide health insurance for his employees.

    He was then asked how the added, (and the interviewer said it), "tax, I mean fine will affect you". He replied, I will probably have to close at least one outlet.

    There it is, it's cheaper to pay the 8% payroll fine than provide insurance, but that will increase unemployment, local, state and federal taxes payed will decrease, minus the offset of the 8% fines paid to the Government,deduct 8% of the fine to the Government the employer would have paid for the laid off workers,all of which are suppose to pay for the health care plan.

    One other thing, the Republicans have offered alternatives, tax credits for buying health insurance and health savings accounts, but durn, those will not cover everyone so they are unacceptable.

    Meanwhile, Rep. Pelosi said today, "I believe we have the votes on the floor to pass the bill", ( as written I assume), "before the August recess."

    Republic lawmakers are saying , yes it is important, but lets not rush it through.

    In other words, IMO, let's get the best plan we can, instead of rushing through legislation that in the long term, will not help health care and just might lower quality of care, availability and through fines on employers, result in higher unemployment and extend the recession.

    July 22, 2009 at 6:52 p.m.