the reserve had grown to $2.5T. Don't know the details driving the Fed's balance sheet, i.e. if they bought something for $1T and liquidate it at $100B, they "lose" $900B but so what, lower assets value held by the Fed reduces their balance sheet which is what everyone wants apparently.
Thinking about the Fed's operations makes my head hurt, since they're really the 'man behind the curtain' in our economy.
"He asked audience members to raise their hands if they were far from receiving Social Security, asked them if they knew yet what their initial benefit would be and then asked them if they would be bothered if it were a little lower for the good of the country."
Jesus. If there's long-term mismatch between pay-ins for Gen Y and what they're going to take out, to keep the program self-funding we should raise FICA rates now, not cut payouts! The actual math on this is small contribution rises now result in bigger payouts 30-50 years from now, not just from recapitalization of interest but the fact that people work 2-3X longer than they take out in retirement.
What is wrong with conservatives??? What is their mental damage that they can't do math???
This is totally separate from the next 20-odd years, in which we need to see the $2.8T currently in the SSTF spent down to $1T or so, as the baby boom ages from 51 to 69 now to say 72-90 in 2036. This is $50B/yr or so in higher income taxation the rich (above the FICA limit) should pay, an easy target would be:
Whenever I hear conservatives say this nation is broke, I check that chart.
People paying FICA for the past 30 years have been made to overpay by around $1.5T, so they shouldn't be seeing any FICA rises or benefit cuts, not while there's fucking TRILLIONS sitting in the SSTF!
Maybe 1 out of 100 people understand what the SSTF is. People listening to Fox and Rush have been totally bamboozled by right-wing propaganda factory (Heritage, Club For Growth, US COC, etc etc) lies about it, and the general corporate media doesn't want to enlighten people about it either since this $2.8T is basically the marker on how much rich people (who pay most of the income taxes in this country) owe the working people affected by the "Greenspan Deal" of 1983 . . .
But there is no compromise between the single-issue voters . . .
I don't want the Christian majority to persecute the gay minority again, even in CA we needed the courts to intervene.
The courts via Heller etc. have also recently walled-off gun control from majoritarian policy mechanisms.
Redistribution from rich to poor via government? Not much compromise there unless we're talking military spending, basically getting at best net zero wealth accretion for the investment.
Abortion availability? Not much use talking there.
If the GOP could dial back their war on non-white immigrants that'd be great, but racism (at least via chauvinism and me-ism) is a foundational driver in our own worldviews.
Everyone believes they are "best" and "different" cannot be better than me and mine.
To some extent this is a class issue, middle-class whites are getting exposed to if not flooded with lower-class populations that have different -- "lower" IMV -- standards of considerate public behavior. Stupid shit like people walking around with their underwear exposed, renters playing their tuba music at all hours, parking cars on their lawn, etc.
Outsourcing so many millions of our lower-skill jobs to overseas labor and automation gains are putting the lower-class lower-skill population in greater economic pressure, too.
shows how mfg, construction, and info jobs have gone from 20% of the working age population to 10% . . .
this is a pretty nasty vise being applied on the lower, "non-professional" classes.
In other words, it’s straightforward and quite stark: Republicans support big tax cuts for the wealthy because that’s what wealthy donors want. No doubt most of those donors have managed to convince themselves that what’s good for them is good for America. But at root it’s about rich people supporting politicians who will make them richer. Everything else is just rationalization.
And they're going to get over 60M people to vote for it next November. Unbelievable.
I'm kinda afraid of putting Bernie up against this next year.
To be a "socialist" requires seeing through decades and decades of right-wing bullshit / indoctrination.
Not many people here have that perspective, 20% or so -- the reactionary tea party types("Guns, God, teh Gays") certainly outnumber the true left in this country.
As for Boehner, stunning that a mainstream political party is tearing itself apart like this.
They've got narrow majorities in the House, Senate, SCOTUS, and much of the judiciary.
Conservatives are 30-40% of the population. Just because they can take over the GOP and much of the periphery surrounding government (think tanks like AEI, Heritage, lobby groups like US Chamber of Commerce, Federalist Society, ALEC, media outlets like Fox & EIB, etc etc) -- doesn't mean they can take over the country like their Nazi counterparts did in Germany.
They're going to find this out the hard way I guess.
Then again, my understanding of electorates is that they are pretty slow on the take-up of what's really been going on, and as Lincoln said you can fool some of the people all of the time.
The blithely ignorant average media consumer is going to be exposed to a media mix in the political realm that is 40% outright conservative (Fox), 40% pro-corporate conservative (CNN), 10-20% center-left (the few leftish media shows here and there).
Progressives are a smaller bloc than conservatives so we're both fighting for the minds, such as they are, of the muddled middle.
Japan's progressive movement has been utterly beat down by the resilience and institutional power of their systemic conservative apparat, what van Wolferen called "The System" in his "The Enigma of Japanese Power".
Our "System" requires the voters to show up at the polls only every 4 years, if that. Less voting the better for the right wing, as the only power poor people can have in our society is at the ballot box. Wall that off and the rich are perfectly safe here.