Friday, March 01, 2013

North Korean TV - Kim Jong Un and Dennis Rodman Meet, Kiss - Harlem Glob...

The Harlem Globe Trotters have been ambassadors of peace for a long time. This is not new. (click title to entry - thank you) I wish I knew what she was saying in English. Everyone is dressed in black. Okay, then. They are having a good time and there are girls in the audience. I can't be that bad. 

Obama: I can't 'Jedi mind meld' Congress

Others have tried and it got ugly !

President Obama's Presidency

There is a reality being missed regarding all these efforts by President Obama. I would call it "Keeping it Real," but, the Republicans would call it "Destroying the Party." Through all these engagements with the public and speeches, President Obama is trying as hard as he can to remove ideology from the workings of the government. He is very much seeking to return function to government.

Up to now, he has been willing to 'go along, to get along' with the Republicans, but, at the basis of his efforts both stated and unstated is 'the will' to return the government to the people without the rhetorical nature of it all. He is trying to clean up the language. This term is obviously a return to solid language, even in his inaugural. He wants to speak the language of the people, not the political dialogue of any party.

What was startling to me within the speech in Virginia was the idea "The Sequester" was not at all necessary. It didn't seem at all within the reality as I know it. But, the President is strongly dividing the Budget from the National Debt. He wants job growth to overtake "The Sequester." He is correct. We still  have a generation UNDER-employed.

When it comes to the debt during these times, we need to minimally address the interest on the debt with goals to address more of it.

Erskine Bowles, (click here) a co-chair of the president's bipartisan deficit-reduction commission known as "Simpson-Bowles," has called the nation's compound interest burden one of the biggest long-term challenges facing the United States.

As a nation, we should never tolerate under employment nor poor wages to our citizens. The USA is not for sale to Wall Street. To that moral end, we have an obligation to increase taxes, increase employment and raise the minimum wage. If President Obama is convinced he can undo all the poisons in our government and increase the quality of life of all Americans we need to pay attention.

To address Senator Bowles, who served from 2005 to 2010 as a Democrat, there needs to be understanding to a 'tipping point' where the interest on the debt becomes a burden too difficult to handle. We may already be there, but, that is what is most important to me. If we are to grow our country back to vibrancy and equity to all Americans, we need to know the limits and how to adequately address them to avoid them and move away from their sharp edges. If there are sharp edges. No disastrous words, but, a simple understanding where the limits to RECOVERY occurs that actually leans into sovereignty.

Argentina, which probably is no accident to the passions of a former governor, is a good example of over reaching. And in all honesty when the assets of a government become coveted by creditors; the creditors need to know there is no hope in recapturing their debt in a real way, so why bother. I mean who is going to buy an aircraft carrier and have the right to use it? Won't happen, nor should it. If nothing else, the private sector is a dependent on government, so the entire mess is hideous.

Creditors are trying to seize the property of Argentina, which defaulted on its bonds in 2001. Could the same thing happen to the U.S.? (click here)

January 15, 2013|Michael Hiltzik
You know all those warnings about how America's addiction to deficit spending is going to make us look like Greece?
Stop worrying. The bigger concern should be that America will look like Argentina.
That could happen, theoretically, if the threatened refusal by Republicans in the House to raise the federal debt limit leads to a default on U.S. government bonds. How bad would it be, you ask?...
...Experts in international finance say a U.S. bond default, even if "technical" and even if it lasts a day, puts us in uncharted territory....

I do believe the debt cuts are wrong for the year we live in.

Medicare is effected by $85 billion over ten years, but, I have no problem with the military cuts. The military cuts are overdue. The fact it is broadly distributed is the problem, but, the military budget is out of control because it is FREE MONEY to the states. The military also has to bring it's spending back within the boarders of the USA, too. The Defense Department is seeking to do that, by the way. It is not a radical idea.

So, some of the political spin by Republicans is that Medicare has been cut by the President. That is not accurate. That is GOP rhetoric. We know all to well how Republicans want to eliminate the social protections for our seniors and disabled. Medicare is not protected by the Social Security Act. It is different legislation. Medicare was signed into law by President Johnson on July 30, 1965.

On this day in 1965, (click here) President Lyndon B. Johnson signs Medicare, a health insurance program for elderly Americans, into law. At the bill-signing ceremony, which took place at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, former President Harry S. Truman was enrolled as Medicare's first beneficiary and received the first Medicare card. Johnson wanted to recognize Truman, who, in 1945, had become the first president to propose national health insurance, an initiative that was opposed at the time by Congress....

Former President Harry S. Truman was the first person to sign up for Medicare. At the Medicare/Medicaid bill signing ceremony on July 30, 1965, in Independence, Mo., President Lyndon B. Johnson enrolled Truman as the first Medicare beneficiary and gave him the first Medicare card. Truman’s wife Bess was the second person enrolled in Medicare.

President Harry S. Truman (click here) is credited with being the first person to suggest that a national health care program through the Social Security system was needed for people. In a November 1945 address to Congress, Truman called for the creation of a national health insurance program to be run by the federal government. He wanted the program to be open to everyone with no enrollment requirement. Beneficiaries would pay a monthly fee for the program, which would cover any and all costs for medical services, including doctors, hospitals, labs and dental services. The government would pay the costs of the doctors participating in the program.

McConnell will filibuster any legislation. He doesn't care, any reason to filibuster is a good reason. "The Sequester" has been a Republican political strategy before it ever was written. 

No one can deny that. It is known. 

End of discussion about blaming. If an Obama Administration proffered it as a method to end the dead lock, the proposal existed within the House already.

The nation now knows where this horrible idea came from. There is no shifting baseline on BLAME. It came from the Republican Tea Party and Speaker Boner caved because of the Hastert Rule. That same extremist wing of the Republican House, lead by Eric Cantor, then made a fool of the Speaker when they walked away from Plan B that was to extend the Bush Tax Cuts for incomes $1 million  or less per year. They went home for Christmas instead. (click here)

...Both sides still hope the other will either be blamed by voters (click here) for the cuts or cave in before the worst effects - like air traffic chaos or furloughs for tens of thousands of federal employees - start to bite in the coming weeks.

Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, all but killed any hopes that President Barack Obama and top leaders of Congress can hammer out a deal in talks that begin shortly after 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT).

“I'm happy to discuss other ideas to keep our commitment to reducing Washington spending at today's meeting. But there will be no last-minute, back-room deal and absolutely no agreement to increase taxes,” McConnell said....

Senator Reid needs to bring the The Financial Transaction Tax to the Senate floor.

It is an important tax for the USA with estimates of treasury income to $100 Billion annually. This tax would stabilize the rapid transactions to be instituted by private firms with their high speed cable which will rob pennies a second from investors. It will give them pause to their exploitative intent to control wealth unilaterally. This tax is a requirement to equitable trading.

For Immediate Release: February 28, 2013

Washington, D.C.-The Center for Economic and Policy Research (click here) released the following statement from co-director Dean Baker on the introduction of the Harkin-DeFazio bill:

"The Harkin-DeFazio bill provides a way to raise a substantial amount of revenue while at the same time making our financial markets more efficient."
"The modest tax would discourage an enormous amount of short-term trading while having almost no impact on the ability of markets to finance productive investment. The cost of the tax would be born almost entirely by the financial industry, since for most investors the money saved as a result of lower trading volume will offset the higher cost of trades.

"At a time when Congress and the President are looking to cut Social Security, Medicare, and other essential programs, the idea of getting $40 billion a year from taxing speculation in the financial industry looks very attractive."

The bill is out of committee and once on the Senate floor it would be more than interesting to find the lack of a filibuster or not. The markets are complaining it would cause such incredible harm to them and even Obama's nominee Jack Lew is complaining it would be adverse because the investment community would have incentive to under report and literally rob the treasury. That seems to me to be the most lame excuse I have ever heard to institute a tax that would not only return equity to traders without incredibly high speed access to the markets, but, provide revenues to the USA Treasury.

WASHINGTON | Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:55pm GMT

U.S. President Barack Obama's Treasury Secretary (click here) nominee Jack Lew, in a written response to a Republican senator weighing his nomination released on Monday, said the White House still opposes the tax.
"The administration has consistently opposed a financial transaction tax on the grounds that it would be vulnerable to evasion, create incentives for financial reengineering and burden retail investors," Lew said.
Little support has emerged in Congress for instituting such a tax, which is firmly opposed by Wall Street banks.
This is the case even though 11 European Union countries, including Germany and France, this month agreed to a trading tax that would raise up to $45 billion (29.6 billion pounds) annually.
Lew, expected to win Senate confirmation as early as this week, also cited scepticism from the International Monetary Fund about the tax in a statement answering questions from Orrin Hatch, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee.
The EU tax would be set at 0.01 percent for derivatives and 0.1 percent for stocks and bonds. Further approvals are needed in the EU before the transaction tax becomes a reality.
At a Washington think-tank seminar on Monday, European Union tax commissioner Algirdas Semeta said the only way to avoid the tax would be to give up all financial trading in the countries where it will be imposed....
I mean, Jack Lew's opposition is because it may be difficult to enforce? I thought Senator Warren asked the members of the administration why there aren't more banks taken to court proceedings. So, Jack Lew needs to think twice about what approach the administration's Justice Department takes to prosecution of financial institutions. These institutions tend to be trouble makers without a conscience. Additionally, I find it absolutely astounding an administration Secretary would shy away from any law because of enforcement; that is the role of government; to intervene in inequity and enforce the laws of the USA. Jack Lew's opposition leans into the venue of corruption.

By Albany Tribune -- (February 28, 2013)

...“The Harkin-DeFazio bill (click here) provides a way to raise a substantial amount of revenue while at the same time making our financial markets more efficient.”
“The modest tax would discourage an enormous amount of short-term trading while having almost no impact on the ability of markets to finance productive investment. The cost of the tax would be born almost entirely by the financial industry, since for most investors the money saved as a result of lower trading volume will offset the higher cost of trades.
“At a time when Congress and the President are looking to cut Social Security, Medicare, and other essential programs, the idea of getting $40 billion a year from taxing speculation in the financial industry looks very attractive.”
Yesterday, Robert Reich stated "The Sequester" was conceived as a Tea Party political strategy after their rash of victories in 2010. They have since lost seats in the House. But, Reich goes on clearly to illustrate how "The Sequester" (which the word is best assigned to the living agreements of Pope Emeritus Benedict and the Rome Catholic Church) was the devil's spawn to implode the federal government.

Posted 28 Feb 2013 
...Sequestration is only the start. (click here) What they set out to do was not simply change Washington but eviscerate the U.S. government — “drown it in the bathtub,” in the words of their guru Grover Norquist – slashing Social Security and Medicare, ending worker protections we’ve had since the 1930s, eroding civil rights and voting rights, terminating programs that have helped the poor for generations, and making it impossible for the government to invest in our future.
Sequestration grew out of a strategy hatched soon after they took over the House in 2011, to achieve their goals by holding hostage the full faith and credit of the United States – notwithstanding the Constitution’s instruction that the public debt of the United States “not be questioned.”
They elicited a binding agreement to large, arbitrary (“sequestered”) spending cuts if they and the Democrats couldn’t come up with a more reasonable deal in the interim. But they had no intention of agreeing to anything more reasonable. They knew the only way to dismember the federal government was through large spending cuts without tax increases....
Reich is closer to the truth than anyone wants to admit. Discussions outside of DC noted that rhetoric regarding the nation's equity even with a large budget is intact. There was openness to the ability of the administration to fund the budget without cuts and the political Washington rhetoric caused the assault against CREATING JOBS. 

No doubt that is the case, however, there is the issue beyond the budget to the nation's debt crisis. To that end cuts are a way to begin to absorb the nation's debt. I have no doubt Mr. Reich and others are correct in stating the nation's budget is funded which is different than balanced. But, the national debt needs to be funded as well. So, while 10 percent seems draconian to many when the USA still needs to elicit a higher jobs opportunity, there is the issue of the debt and it's interest.

Traders work at the DAX Index curve at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on Sept. 12, 2011.

By Mark Schoeff Jr.
Nov 2, 2011 @ 3:28 pm (Updated 3:31 pm) EST
...A measure written by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., (click here) would place a 0.03% levy on financial trading in stocks and bonds at their market value. It also would cover derivative contracts, options, puts, forward contracts and swaps at their purchase price.

“A financial transactions tax is essentially a sales tax on investors,” Kenneth Bentsen Jr., SIFMA executive vice president for public policy and advocacy said in a statement. “At a time when we face a slow economic recovery, such a tax will impede the efficiency of markets, and impair depth and liquidity, as well as raise costs to the issuers, pensions and investors who help drive economic growth.”...
...Financial markets in countries that have adopted a financial transactions tax have suffered asset price decreases, lost businesses to other countries and experienced a loss of liquidity, Mr. Bentsen added.
Mr. Harkin implied that the financial industry is crying crocodile tears over a small charge on daily trading.
“This measure is not likely to impact the decision to engage in productive economic activity,” Mr. Harkin said. “There's no question that Wall Street can easily bear this modest tax.”
The point is to curb the high-frequency trading that injects volatility into the market and turn the attention back to capital formation, according to Mr. DeFazio.
“They don't make things,” Mr. DeFazio said of Wall Street. “They don't feed people. They churn. We have to begin to rebuild the real economy.”...
This tax is more than simply income to the USA, it is necessary to assist other countries, including allies, to stop cross border movement, too. The EU tax begins in 2014. Wall Street is already seeking to evade the transaction taxes globally in markets where they are instituted. For the USA to undermine the European Union's tax is unconscionable. The EU needs to income, their countries populous is smaller and their treasuries more vulnerable to global impacts, so tax in the USA will also provide stability to global initiatives to create equity in the markets. This is more than simply looking for monies for the USA Treasury, it will provide stability in the global markets where it is direly needed.

"Taxing the Speculators" (click here)
Published: November 26, 2009

Should we use taxes to deter financial speculation? Yes, say top British officials, who oversee the City of London, one of the world’s two great banking centers. Other European governments agree — and they’re right.

Unfortunately, United States officials — especially Timothy Geithner, the Treasury secretary — are dead set against the proposal. Let’s hope they reconsider: a financial transactions tax is an idea whose time has come.

The dispute began back in August, when Adair Turner, Britain’s top financial regulator, called for a tax on financial transactions as a way to discourage “socially useless” activities. Gordon Brown, the British prime minister, picked up on his proposal, which he presented at the Group of 20 meeting of leading economies this month.

Why is this a good idea? The Turner-Brown proposal is a modern version of an idea originally floated in 1972 by the late James Tobin, the Nobel-winning Yale economist. Tobin argued that currency speculation — money moving internationally to bet on fluctuations in exchange rates — was having a disruptive effect on the world economy. To reduce these disruptions, he called for a small tax on every exchange of currencies....

Ya think? Of course, since 1972, Mr. Tobin has been proven to be absolutely correct. It is time to stabilize the markets and side with allies.

And here a second source stating the same thing as Dr. Krugman.

Updated December 2011

- An FST would reduce dangerous financial market speculation. Since the tax would hit high-volume, high-speed trading the hardest, it would serve to discourage short-term speculation in financial markets as well as the proliferation of ever more complex derivatives. More complex financial instruments could be subject to the tax many times over, substantially
reducing the potential profits from such complexity.

No one can object to the reality foreseen by a Nobel Laureate over forty years ago. The foreshadowing is more of a measure to the truth than anyone is willing to admit.

There is no saying "NO VOTE" to this tax. It is well studied and needs to be applied. This is not a shoot from the hip measure. It is necessary as well as prudent.