• Why all that is true; it was a just a couple years ago ,when the republicans were using the same playbook; yet the independents joined them to oust the democrats.

    I've kept up with politics for a long time and it's been pretty evident to me that that don't know how to govern without tax cuts. They despise government, so their goal is to privatize everything starting with Medicare. It used to be a party of fiscal restraint but the Tea Party is pulling them farther and farther to the right.

    Their fiscal leaders like Congressman Paul Ryan and Mike Pence seem to think that we just need to cut spending and that tax cuts will magically trickle down to the peasants. Congressman Paul Ryan voted against the bipartisan commission to reduce the debt because it did not offer personal accounts for Social Security recipients. That's where the rubber will meet the road; the last time Bush tried to privatize Social Security, his own party didn't support him. Overreach will cut them down a notch or two.

    December 7, 2010 at 3:51 p.m.

  • I pretty much think that President Obama threw down the gauntlet. The republicans cannot cry about the deficit anymore and they surely cannot take credit for parts of this bill. They seemed to be looking toward only one prize, cost be danged.
    The working men and women with children won this round, with the help of President Obama, but when it comes time for deficit reduction, fingers will be pointing because all the Republicans wanted out of this deal was to keep the tax breaks for those who really didn't need it to survive. Nothing else!
    As I said before, there are more voters in the bottom 97% than there are at the top 3%, and with 2 more years of Republican way of governing, voters will have their eyes opened again.

    December 7, 2010 at 3:27 p.m.

  • RE:Rebecca

    I would never use teachers as scapegoats... I have a special fondness for teachers because my youngest daughter is a teacher. I see the 12 hours she puts in, the extra hours of grading papers, out of pocket expenses for school supplies and a genuine interest in teaching. It's an occupation that we don't reward enough but I bet my bottom dollar, teachers don't stay in that profession for the money.

    December 7, 2010 at 2:32 p.m.

  • The president just completed his news conference where he explained that the tax cuts for the top 2% was the Holy Grail for republicans,so they would not budge an inch.... He said that keeping the $1000 Child Tax Credit, some education credits and more money for EITC was something the republicans gave up because they didn't want that.

    It's all speculation but if Pelosi & Reid would have stuck by their guns and let the tax cuts expire; the working people would seen the difference in their 1st January paychecks.. The public outcry and the fact that this past Saturday five democrats voted against just a middle class tax cut and another for those making less than $1 million showed that the votes aren't there,so it's not something president Obama would use his veto pen for..... He did say, the republicans will control the house in January, so they will have to help govern... They can't just say no and when that top 2% ext runs out in two years, they will have to make a decision as to whether we can afford to keep it. President Obama went on to say that when the economy start recovering; we will start taking serious steps toward reforming the tax code.

    The president took a grilling from the press as to why he caved so easily but John Boehner and Mitch McConnell didn't get treated the same way....Of course it doesn't do any good because they will repeat the same old talking points " we want everyone to have a tax cut."

    The next big battle will be " raising the debt ceiling."

    December 7, 2010 at 2:26 p.m.

  • Why he caved is quite simple. He could not let unemployment benefits run out right now, nor could he allow tax increases for the middle and lower class. People vote their pocketbooks and there are more people in the lower brackets to worry about. He had to keep them happy, and he also knoew what it would do to the economy to take that much money out of circulation.
    I don't agree with it. I think President Obama should have held out a little longer to get the message across as to who didn't want the unemployed paid, but it was his choice to do it now.

    December 7, 2010 at 1:14 p.m.

  • "I think the biggest reason the president caved was that the republicans would have come back on January and made the tax cuts retroactive causing the Internal Revenue a nightmare."

    How would they have gotten that through the Senate and a Presidential veto?

    December 7, 2010 at 12:35 p.m.

  • itisi, maybe you got poked by the wrong point, unless you were agreeing with me. My point was totally off topic as I took three words from Mike's post and shared something I thought was interesting. My comment was, as usual, off topic to the thread. (ok, sometimes I comment-bomb and share thoughts on the thread without reading the article) Forgive me for that. But, in answer to your question: I'm not trying to find WHO to blame, just thinking of who NOT to blame.

    Mike, I see teachers as our educational scape-goats. Never mind genetics, effects of poverty, apathetic (or genuinely busy) parents, an uneducated public, physiological development not always lining up with standards...

    December 7, 2010 at 12:21 p.m.

  • That's just speculation(it could have some merit)besides The democrats wanted to make the GOP vote on December 24, when they would have some leverage to pass middle class cuts ONLY. They said it was too early to cave but they also want repeal DADT and pass the START treaty in this lame duck session.

    I think the biggest reason the president caved was that the republicans would have come back on January and made the tax cuts retroactive causing the Internal Revenue a nightmare.

    But that's 6 one way and 1/2 dozen the other ...We will read about it in 10 years.

    December 7, 2010 at 12:12 p.m.

  • Allowing the capital gains and dividend taxes to rise would have caused a stock market crash, because everyone would bail out before the end of the year - Obama's no dummy.

    December 7, 2010 at 11:58 a.m.

  • Rebecca,

    Although you have a valid point, but let me ask you this, why and where is the physical responsibility of the parents that has become so dependent on the federal government to provide for their children? Why can’t the parents buy an 88cent loaf of bread and lunch meat a bag of apples make their child lunch since they only get one lunch break during school time, that cost is not out of reach of most parents even in poverty? This idea of providing lunches for children at the expense of the taxpayer is ridiculous. If one can buy a $200 pair of tennis shoes for themselves, they ding well can afford a loaf of bread for their children. Poverty breeds poverty and the government is the precursor to proverty.

    December 7, 2010 at 11:27 a.m.

  • RE:Rebecca

    That's a good point and the fed chairman agrees with you.... He said that we're creating two societies and it starts with education... He said that only 5% of those with a college degree are unemployed... It's 10% or more for those with a high school education... He said there are many unqualified applicants for the jobs that are available.

    I go back to that tax cut for the top 2%.... That's redistribution to the very top..If we are going to borrow additional funds anyway; that money would be better spent for student loans, funding of school lunches, replacing outdated textbooks and equipment and incentives for academic achievements...IMO

    I'm not quite sure what " scapegoats" you're talking about.

    Then again, we're spending $2 billion a week on a unpopular war, that no one seems to be worried about.

    December 7, 2010 at 11:07 a.m.

  • This is in response to your mention of "the gap."

    The percentage of children living in poverty is increasing, if you count how many children qualify for free or reduced lunches, according to

    (Academic achievement is negatively affected by poverty. We seem to be barking up the wrong tree at the wrong scape-goat.)

    December 7, 2010 at 10:49 a.m.

  • RE:Hictoria...You asked

    President Obama brokered a deal with the republican leadership to extend the Bush tax cuts in its entirety for two years; in return the republicans agreed to extend unemployment compensation for 13 months. Two years for the top 2% to 13 months for those that are unemployed. What a deal! There are some good things in the package such as payroll tax holidays, UI and other refundable credits but it comes with a cost. The bipartisan commission on reducing the debt had a plan to reduce the debt by $4 trillion, this package adds another $1 trillion to that. The package still has to go back to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, where they will make a little noise but will probably encourage their troops to pass this bill in its entirety. I don't get it; an ABC News, CBS News, and Washington Post poll stated that over 65% of Americans did not want the top 2% to get a tax cut. The American people sided with the democrats on this issue but they will vote against their wishes. I can understand why the president did it, but it isn't making any easier to swallow. The republicans would have let the tax cuts expire and would have won the message war by convincing the uninformed that the democrats raised their taxes. The republicans are happy for now but they will still call Obama a socialist, liberal ,progressive even though he was instrumental in giving them exactly what they asked for.


    December 7, 2010 at 10:14 a.m.

  • The fed chairman is well aware of all his detractors and different viewpoints and if he's wrong; he will be found out. ...All seven Federal reserve governor's don't necessarily agree but what I have seen; I I don't have any evidence to call Ben Bernanke a liar,but others can believe whenever they want. ...He's got the degrees and expertise; I don't.

    December 7, 2010 at 10:05 a.m.

  • So, Mike... What are your thoughts on the tax cuts? :)

    December 7, 2010 at 10 a.m.

  • "He was quite open in explaining his reasoning for the $600 billion plan to buy treasury securities. He emphasized that it was the Fed's own reserves they were using, they were not printing any new money, or using taxpayer money."

    I don't think Bernanke is being completely honest with the public. He may not be printing money but he is certainly expanding the supply of money - that's what banks do when they loan money.

    He confidently says he can control inflation once it starts - LOL. He is debasing our currency to reduce the debt.

    ".....inflation helps reduce past liabilities, it is the tool of last resort that central banks can always rely on. They can, directly or indirectly, print money. I say indirectly because much debate has been done on the US Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing program of 2010 (“QE2″) of nearly 1 trillion ($600 billion treasuries, $300 billion mortgage securities).

    The argument is that the FED is not printing money but merely swapping assets. This is not a direct inflation program, as government stimulus is. But if you are a bank that suddenly sees cash instead of mortgage securities or treasuries, you need to allocate the cash to *something*. You have to buy some asset that will yield more than zero. Especially when the same Federal Reserve explicitly says it *wants inflation*.

    The consequence of all this is that inflation is becoming more and more likely, and the targeted 2-3% level of “price stability” is likely to be over achieved when the economy recovers. We are already seeing commodities go up as of 2010: Gold, Silver, Copper, Cotton, and so on. The conventional measure of consumer price index (CPI) is misleading: real inflation is likely much higher than this number suggests. So eventually, inflation will have one advantage: debt levels will come down, because of inflation’s shrinking power. But between now and then, there will likely be discontinuous shocks to the system just like we had 3 recessions in the 70s in similar circumstances."

    December 7, 2010 at 9:54 a.m.

  • Jared:Great point.

    I read where usury rates were raised in the lead up to the Perfect Storm of the housing crisis.

    This is from a article in Harper's Ferry

    It reads, quote, "no amount of New Deal regulation or SEC-watching could have stopped what happened...The problem was not that we ‘deregulated the New Deal’ but that we deregulated a much older, even ancient, set of laws." The article goes on to say, quote, "We dismantled the most ancient of human laws, the law against usury, which had existed in some form in every civilization from the time of the Babylonian Empire to the end of Jimmy Carter’s term."

    The ones that should not be borrowing are paying the highest interest rates.... That can only lead to disaster.

    December 6, 2010 at 4:37 p.m.

  • I am curious to any thoughts on the subject. Dante mentions that usurers make a mockery of art because art follows the nature of things and it is against the nature of money to reproduce if you will. Skills and craft can recreate or produce, but money of its nature cannot. Do you think usury had anything to do the financial crisis? We hear greed a lot, but usury is a particular form of greed. I am just wondering, I am trying figure this out as well.

    December 6, 2010 at 4:22 p.m.

  • cv27531
    I think you hit on all points with your post.
    It's pretty much what Dick Simms,of Kingwood wrote in a letter to the editor, in the Sunday's Houston Chronicle.

    He's said and I quote:

    "I Personally believe that the best days are gone forever. We're in such terrible shape due to the greed and stupidity of Congress over the past 20 years, as well as the greed of big business in promoting free trade. We presently have more than 15 million unemployed or underemployed citizens as over 50,000 factory's have been closed and equipment of jobs have been moved to China, Mexico and other countries where wages are 50 to 70% cheaper than the United States. Most new jobs created are service jobs that paid much less than factor jobs.

    "Congress has agreed to destroy good paying American jobs due to tons of money given to them by thousands of corporate lobbies. Business will not be happy until every factory job and call center has been outsourced."

    "All of the savings can be used to pay the $50 million or more annual compensation to the top corporate dogs. The average worker cannot compete with corporate cash. Our only hope is to throw out all the bums out of office and elect members of Congress who really cares about the American worker and not enriching themselves."

    An old comic strip philosopher,Pogo, said it best" we have met the enemy and he is us."

    Thanks, I've been wanting to include that letter since I read it yesterday.

    ****The views presented by Mr. Simms are his and and I don't necessarily agree with every point he makes.....i.e. I'm not an isolationist, I think it goes back 30 years, and we can change out politicians like we do dirty sock,s but unless we have some serious campaign finance reform; things will never change****

    December 6, 2010 at 4:05 p.m.

  • I have already read about the corrupt practices of Goldman Sachs and Bank of America during the financial crisis, much has been written but perhaps the WikiLeaks could put more light on the subject. ..BOA's stock did drop after the WikiLeaks threat.

    December 6, 2010 at 3:43 p.m.

  • There is one word for the decline of the American Economy....GLOBALIZATION! The golden age of America took place after WWII. When the rest of the world was in ruins and rebuilding, the US had extensive manufacturing facilities already in place and quickly took advantage, allowing everyone to be lifted up the financial ladder. In the last 30 yrs, America had the auto industry taken over by the Japanese, the manufacturing sector taken over by Mexico and China, and now the technology sector is being taken by India all as a result of free market competition. And instead of rising and responding to the challenges facing our country, both political parties spend their time playing the blame game.

    December 6, 2010 at 3:41 p.m.

  • I can't wait for WikiLeaks to put up information from Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and The Federal reserve. It might be a huge game changer.

    December 6, 2010 at 3:28 p.m.