economy

Campaign Manifesto #3: On The Road, Defending Social Security

So it’s Day 3 of my fake campaign for Congress, and we’ve run into our first obstacle

The Fake Campaign, as you may recall, is fake headed for Wisconsin, to show solidarity, and we’ve fake hitched a ride on a delivery truck headed for Rush Limbaugh’s Florida broadcasting studios—but we fake found ourselves caught up in the all-too-real Giant Grip Of Winter that has seized the Midwest over the past week.

We’re back on the road now, but we were stuck for darn near a half-day there at Wall…and if you know anything about South Dakota, you know there are really only two things to do in the City of Wall: you can shuffle back and forth between Gold Diggers and the Badlands Bar, partaking of numerous intoxicating liquors along the way…or you can head on into Wall Drug (the same one that's on all those bumper stickers and signs) and partake of the finest display of Giant Jackalopia on the planet.

The Campaign, naturally, chose Jackalopia—and that’s why today’s Manifesto is all about the fake impromptu 5-cent-coffee-fueled Social Security Town Hall that we held in the Wall Drug Mall for several hours while we waited for I-90 to reopen.

Campaign Manifesto #1: In A World Of Phonies, It’s Time For A Fake Candidate

We have spent the past two years watching as insanity has gripped Congress, and even more so with Republicans now running the House.

We have a wavering President, far too many feckless Democrats, and Republicans that have decided to dive headfirst into total “insane mode” in a full-blown effort to destroy this country just as fast as possible.

To give but one example, in my own District, WA-08, we are represented by the absolutely useless Republican Dave Reichert, whose best-known legislative achievement is that he has virtually no record of any legislative achievement whatever.

Now we’ve had a very interesting relationship, you and I, over these past few years; in my efforts to “bring you the story” I’ve been a fake political consultant, a fake lobbyist, even a fake historian…and now, I think it’s time to try to bring our relationship to a new level.

And that’s why, America, I’m announcing my fake candidacy for Congress.

Scarce jobs and broke budgets: What can Southern states do?

Cross-posted from a Facing South article by Chris Kromm.

If anyone needed evidence that the Great Recession is still reverberating through the economy, consider the situation state legislatures face as they come into session this month.

Put together, states have a collective $160 billion budget shortfall for the current fiscal year. And some states are doing much worse than others: 10 have budget shortfalls of at least $2.5 billion, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, including Florida ($2.5+ billion), North Carolina ($3+ billion) and Texas ($10+ billion).

Why Beijing's bankers lose sleep at night

Will offshore drilling ban spur wind development?

Yesterday the Interior Department announced an updated strategy for offshore oil and gas leasing that bans drilling in federal waters off the Atlantic Coast and the Eastern Gulf of Mexico for the next seven years.

Social Security: If The Rich Paid Taxes Like You And Me...Problem Solved

Over the course of the past couple of weeks we’ve been talking about how the War On Social Security was about to get under way and what happens when countries choose to privatize their systems.

Today we take on another bite-sized chunk of economic analysis: how can you get to a situation where Social Security is financially stable for the next 75 years?

We’ll describe some proposals that are out there—but the big focus of this conversation will be to look at one change that, all by itself, could not only solve the entire funding problem, but could actually allow us to lower the Social Security tax rate, immediately, and still achieve fiscal balance.

“Well, if that’s such a bright idea” you might ask, “why haven’t we adopted it already?”

That’s a great question—and after you hear the proposal, you may well have explanations of your own.

Bank of America restarts home repossessions

The biggest bank in the US, Bank of America has said it will restart legal proceedings to repossess 102,000 homes. The lender had stopped its foreclosure process earlier this month after it emerged that thousands of cases may have been mishandled. The bank said it would restart proceedings in 23 states. It is continuing an internal review of cases in the other 27 states, but said it expected fewer than 30,000 foreclosures to be seriously delayed. The bank spokesman said that as was the case for our judicial state review, our initial assessment findings show the basis for our foreclosure decisions is accurate. The news was greeted well by markets, with Bank of America's and JP Morgan's share prices rising 2.9% and 2.4% respectively by the close of trading on Monday. JP Morgan also suspended its foreclosures this month for similar reasons.

Competition

Cross-posted from my website, chrisheagarty.com.

Competition. It drives our economy, pushes us to be better, and is a cornerstone of the American Dream. Right now, many people in Wake County are engaged in the fight of their lives. We're competing for jobs and opportunities. We're doing our best to make sure that we're not the first generation that makes things harder on the next. 

What's your take on the economy and our economic future?

My father lost his father in the Spanish influenza epidemic in 1918. His mother remarried and his mother and step-dad used the proceeds of a insurance policy, left to my then infant father by his father, to purchase a house. During the depression they took in boarders ($5 a week room and board) and his step father tried to find work in his trade - carpentry. The step-dad built a tool chest on wheels and was often gone for weeks at a time pulling his cart and looking for work. Finally, it was too much for him and he took his own life ... leaving behind an insurance policy to repay my then @ 12 year-old dad. It was a bitter time. Folks who lived through it have never forgotten.

I'm not trained in economics. I'm not sure what the future holds. But the signs are troubling and getting worse rather than better...in my opinion.

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