13 Feb 2012

The Obama budget assumes “expiration of Bush tax cuts” but only for rich

The 2013 budget counts $1.5 trillion in increased taxes, including the expiration of the George W. Bush-era tax cuts for top earners, increased estate taxes and higher rates on investment income. Since expiration is automatic and will happen unless the Democrats in Congress and Obama do another grand bargain so

07 Feb 2012

Bank foreclosure Settlement very close to completion

Michigan joined the settlement Tuesday and it is being reported that Arizona, and Florida will join a nationwide settlement (Formal announcements for Arizona and Florida could come within a week) over foreclosure abuses, putting the count somewhere between 45 and 50 states in the settlement – depending on what California,

07 Feb 2012

The 1% reject Greek tax reform, so why do a bailout?

After more that 2 years of austerity that round tripped a 110 billion euro “bailout” as bond payments back to EU banks as it caused depression in Greece, we are now doing another 130 billion (likely to be closer to 150 billion) euro “bailout” of the March 20th and later

06 Feb 2012

Obama Signed ACTA – “evil twin of SOPA” – internet rights gone?

The GWBush 2008 attempt to destroy the US with “think” crimes, first with the Patriot Act and then via the original of the International Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement that was signed by Obama (as an executive order?), is now moving with the EU signing, the EU saying that the International Anti-Counterfeiting

30 Jan 2012

WSJ War on Climate Science continues with 16 prominent (but not in climate science) Scientists

Lot of fun in the Climate Science war with the oil companies/WSJ folks. Peter Gleick, a prominent climate scientist, noting the “false/strawman” arguments and the “ad hominem attacks” on climate scientists had a climate change affected by humans open letter signed by no less than 255 scientists submitted to the

28 Jan 2012

Greek Bond Haircut Agreement reported – but does it really help?

http://www.actuaries.org.uk/news/aggregator (my favorite news aggregator – wonder why?) Seems the AP is reporting that Germany demands Greece surrender control of their country to Germany – WW2 is repeated but this time the Germans’s win (Germany is proposing that debt-ridden Greece temporarily cede sovereignty over tax and spending decisions to a

28 Jan 2012

Obama’s mortgage help – better HAMP “incentives” to write down principle – refi help still in planning stage

Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP, will now pay much more to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (and other lenders/investors) to forgive debt on homes that have lost value – a move that “might” get them to stop refusing to reduce principle in home modifications (a few months ago Edward

26 Jan 2012

The con-job Obama Defense “cuts” exclude Super Committee cuts & will be reversed in the next Grand Bargain

David Dayen has his as usual great summary http://news.shadowproof.wpengine.com/2012/01/26/new-pentagon-budget-reflects-new-american-way-of-war/ of the Obama election year “cut defense budget” where he points out that there is no cut – only a reduction in the growth of Defense spending from a prior projection down to a “modest” 6.8% growth over 5 years in

24 Jan 2012

How far will Obama’s job approval drop because of the State of the Union?

Since 1980, as we used State of the union speeches to compare the new words with past actions, the average normal response of the public was a drop in the speaker’s approval rating. Per Gallup, Reagan averaged a 1% drop, the Bush’s averaged a drop of several percentages, and only

23 Jan 2012

Health Exchanges Prof Gruber’s “Health Care Reform” -a book review

At http://www.amazon.com/Health-Care-Reform-Necessary-Works/dp/0809053977 we find “essential information through a short cartoon medium” in a paperback -Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It’s Necessary, How It Works by Prof. Jonathan Gruber – inventor of the theory that Exchanges save money and control health care inflation. But to give the devil his