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Despite being dispirited by the one-sided nature of the debt ceiling deal, most of us were looking forward to reaping the rewards from its only ancillary benefit; the impending stock market rally. Much to our chagrin, the Dow dropped precipitously, losing over 800 points since the opening bell on Monday. After the initial euphoria from the debt ceiling hangover began to subside, people have been forced to confront an inconvenient reality. The problem with the economy is not the debt ceiling; it is the debt – and all that it represents; overbearing and job-killing government.Late Sunday night, Republican leaders forged a bipartisan deal with the president to raise the debt ceiling another $2.4 trillion without any preconditions for the second tranche. Despite pretentious claims that we were entering a new era of austerity, the debt deal has charted us on a trajectory to incur $7.8 trillion more in debt, even considering the unrealistic baseline projections of economic growth and revenue.Well, the Treasury wasted no time utilizing its new credit card and devouring the spoils like the starved beast that it has been for the past few months. On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner issued $239 billion in new debt, almost 60% of the entire $400 billion increase in borrowing authority that Congress granted for the first round of the debt limit hike. To put that in perspective with the “austerity side of the debt deal,” it will take 4.5 years to achieve a commensurate degree of savings from the discretionary caps imposed in the bill. I guess that is one way of measuring dollar-for-dollar cuts.Our total cumulative debt (including the intragovernmental share) now stands at $14.58 trillion, approaching 100% of out GDP for the first time. We have joined the failed socialist experiments of Europe in this ominous distinction.Please click here for the rest of the post.
I reported recently on EPA rules that ran the risk of causing shut downs of plants in Texas and elsewhere. But that was before the massive heatwave began putting the real strain on them. So much so that they are almost at full capacity. And unfortunately, the EPA is only tightening it’s grip.Please click here for the rest of the post.
Wow! It’s really flattering that radio talk-show host Thom Hartmann is attributing the Concord Project with the Tea Party taking over the GOP. The fact is, though, the GOP is still filled with those who would compromise the Constitution and bankrupt our country. Taking over the GOP has barely begun and, more importantly, the Tea Party (and other conservative activists) taking over the GOP involves many more people, groups, and organizations than the Concord Project.Nevertheless, if Thom Hartmann wants to give some credit to the Concord Project for the strategy to take over the GOP, as long as it gets you to really know how important precinct activism is, so be it. More importantly, if progressives understanding the strategy and doing it themselves, get you motivated to get involved, even better.Please click here for the rest of the post.
I’ve written about General Motor’s CEO Dan Akerson before, but for those who don’t remember, he was appointed to the board of directors by President Obama to represent the administration. He’s also been a big proponent of the gas tax which he believes will increase the cost of car ownership just enough to get America off of foreign oil by forcing us to choose crappy cars that use less fuel.As though the fates are trying to prove to Akerson that a gas tax is the only way Americans will ever buy into their green dreams, the Chevy Volt has crossed over into the realm of abysmal failure (one step above abject failure).Please click here for the rest of the post.